Preparing for Your Next Visit
The War AGAINST
atherosclerosis must be fought on many fronts
Please do not take your health for granted. Try to prepare for your next
meeting with myself. A series of 5 steps and forms have been made available.
Most of us take our health for granted. Keeping healthy is no easy task.
Take advantage of the time you are here today. Take a copy of some of the
information provided and complete any of the forms that you feel are
appropriate and take some for the future and complete them prior to your
next meeting with Dr. Curnew.
Atherosclerosis (or clogging of the arteries) causes heart attacks and
strokes, and leads to countless deaths and disability each year. The fact is
that 80% of people with clogged arteries will succumb to this disease. In
people who are lucky enough to survive a heart attack, 20% will be dead a
year later. Unfortunately physicians cannot predict the future.
Atherosclerosis is a chronic condition that has no cure. The good news is
that its progression over time can be slowed with the right lifestyle
changes and medications. Reducing blood pressure, blood sugar and blood
fats, losing weight and quitting smoking can help even the odds. In the
past, medications were used solely to treat disease. Today, more and more
medications have been shown to prevent disease.
Please take both copies
of preparing for your next visit. One is a generic version of the form and
the second is a form specifically for Dr. Curnew. Complete one now and take
the time to complete another one prior to your next visit.
Dr. Curnew's Version
What Is Your Blood
Pressure (BP), it silently kills:
(If you have high blood pressure visit the patient corner, hypertension
Your heart is a strong
muscle that pumps freshly oxygenated blood through arteries to the rest of
your body. When the heart contracts it causes an increase in pressure in
your arteries, this is called the SYSTOLIC blood pressure. When your heart
relaxes (and fills with blood), the pressure in your arteries is called the
DIASTOLIC blood pressure. The best BP is 110/70 mmHg. Higher values lead to
more health problems.
- All Canadians should have a BP to a safer level of 140/90 mmHg OR LESS.
- If you have diabetes, blocked arteries or kidney problems, your target is
lower at 130/80 mmHg or less.
- Keep in mind home BP measurements are generally 10/5 mmHg lower than those
achieved in the MD office.
- Ideal BP is < 110/70
Using the most modern blood pressure measuring device available called
BP-True, you will get a series of six blood pressure measurements done a
minute apart. The machine will then give an average blood pressure which
reflects your true blood pressure. Remove any restrictive clothing from your
left arm. You must be seated comfortably with back support and feet flat on
the floor in a quiet environment. Your arm should be at heart level and
supported on the table. A blood pressure measurement will be done every
minute 6 times. The first value will be discarded and the remaining five
will be averaged after you press the start button. You can watch your blood
pressure and pulse results. While the machine is working, take the time to
complete the other steps. Remember, you should not talk or move your left
arm which should be firmly supported on the table. The machine is extremely
intelligent and will not record blood pressures that are felt to be
inaccurate. If you notice an error Code in the left hand Corner or the
machine stops working, relax, stop moving your arm so the machine resumes
working. You may also measure your blood pressure at home and bring in your
results. Download the home blood pressure form of this site and visit
Patient's corner for more information on hypertension.
Download the Home Blood Pressure Form
of us would prefer not to be on medications;
however to maintain health, we have a series of drugs that allow us
to live healthier, longer and improve our quality of life when used
Always carry a complete list of the pills you are taking at all times. Never
visit a doctor without knowing exactly the names and doses you are taking.
Use the same pharmacist for all your prescriptions and ask for 2 copies of
wallet size prescription list, one to give to Dr.Curnew with each visit.
Another option is filling the medication profile (small blue card). Keep it
up-to-date by filling it out in pencil so changes can easily be made. Take
more than one if needed. If you prefer, ask for a copy of the High Road to
Health Workbook-cookbook which is a detailed book where you can keep track
of your health.
"Don't run out of your pills before your next visit. Most physicians,
including myself are no longer providing renewals of medications by phone
because of potential for too many errors.
Mr. Phone Renewal is a 55 year old gentleman who is running out of his
cholesterol and blood pressure pills, and calls my office for a phone
renewal. He hasn't seen me for over a year. My secretary quickly brought him
to the office later that day where he brought all his medications. Going
through his medical record, his last cholesterol, measured a year and-a-half
ago was extremely high at 6.5 mmol/L. His blood pressure today was 150/95:
also, too high. His last blood work suggested that he was a pre-diabetic
with a fasting blood sugar of 6.5 mmol/L.
A simple phone renewal would be the easiest for all parties involved,
however it is bad medicine. Mr. Phone Renewal now has diabetes and was
under-treated for all his risk factors. I am glad that I made sure he came
"Good medicine is doing what is best, not doing what is easiest"
Many physicians including myself no longer provide phone renewals of
prescription medications. There are too many opportunities for errors, and
poor medical care. If you are running out of your pills, here are your
options for prescription renewal:
1. Come to one of the ten LIFE meetings per year with your completed list of
current pills so that you can be properly evaluated. (see yellow pamphlet or
visit your health website at www.healthcorner.ca)
2. See your family doctor who is the central manager of your health care
3. Call to book yourself an appointment with Dr. Curnew at the Lipid Clinic
(905-522-1182) or the Outpatient Clinic Department (905-527-0271 ext.46266).
4. Come in and see me today by calling my emergency number at 905 978 3134.
Remember to have your fasting blood work done two weeks before your
Always carry a list of all the medications you are taking, including the
doses. Remember, many individuals see multiple physicians. Complete the
medication list or obtain a complete list from your pharmacy.
Download the Medication List
Blood Work (Blood
test should be done 2 wks before each visit):
Most of us do not know our own cholesterol levels and other important
results. For many medical conditions, appropriate monitoring of liver,
kidney function and potassium are important. You should know your
cholesterol fractions and blood sugar. If you have blocked arteries or
diabetes you must make sure that you are at goal every year and stay below
target values. Less than 25% of Canadians at high risk are at target
cholesterol values. If you do not know your values, have not had recent
blood work or would like blood work done, grab a laboratory requisition
form. Add your NAME, DATE OF BIRTH, OHIP #, and name of your family doctor
in the top right hand corner, and have your fasting blood work done at least
two weeks before the next LIFE meeting or encounter with Dr. Curnew.
Prevention: the best way to treat a heart attack or stroke is to prevent it
from happening in the first place:
Most of my days are spent dealing with crisis. We are treating most disease
processes in the advanced phases. Little time is available for prevention.
Finding time to discuss healthy lifestyles adequately is very difficult
during my daily practice. However, it is so important that I have decided to
deal with prevention once per month in a relaxed and fun atmosphere to
answer your questions, learn how to prevent and better treat ILLNESS so
wellness predominates. Come to a LIFE meeting and bring a friend; all are
welcome. Grab a brochure!