Health Masters Hand & PT MARCH 2018

How My Parents Found a Foothold in America


ith St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, many people are celebrating their Irish roots. While I may not be Irish, the holiday has got me thinking about

nearly every day of his life. They cultivated a sense of togetherness in our family and instilled a powerful work ethic in each of us. At the same time, they were both generous with their attention and love. I often tell people that my mom was the living embodiment of unconditional love, doing everything she could for the many people who depended on her.

my own family background. I’m proud of my Mexican heritage, and I’m grateful for everything my parents and grandparents went through so that my siblings and I could call ourselves proud Americans. My father immigrated to the United States from Mexico as a child, later becoming a naturalized citizen. As he aged, he went on to become an auto mechanic and built his business from the ground up. Despite the cultural tenor of those times in Texas (when it wasn’t fashionable for a Hispanic entrepreneur to grow and succeed in their business), he consistently expanded the reach and reputation of his shop. He did this by providing quality service and staying dedicated to his work. My mother was a first-generation immigrant and the matriarch of her family. My grandmother died at a young age, so my mom essentially had to raise her siblings by herself. In a poor household, with my grandfather working in Juárez, Mexico, my mother took on the immense responsibility of single-handedly raising her seven siblings. Despite these humble beginnings, each of her siblings went on to be extremely successful. Several went on to raise their own incredible families. One of my uncles became an expert mathematician and another became a federal judge — the Albert Armendariz Sr. The United States Federal Courthouse here in El Paso is named after him. Neither of my parents had much growing up, but they lived with abundant generosity, compassion, and drive, accomplishing everything without government assistance. They relied solely on their own grit and force of will. As they established a foundation for the next generation here in the States, they developed a deep respect for the opportunities the country provided.

I find my parents’ story heartening in this era of controversy. As I was growing up, it seemed as if their Mexican roots strengthened my family’s patriotism and sense of civic responsibility. When I was 10, my mom brought me along so she could vote in a local election. She stressed to me the importance of participating in our democracy. I am certainly a product of my mother, father, and their ancestors before them. Their tireless work laid the foundations for our entire family to thrive and flourish in ways I’m sure their own parents could never have imagined. For some people, their roots are just a genetic percentage, but to me, they’re everything. Without the efforts of my ancestors, I can’t imagine where I’d be today.

–Louis Zuniga

That was the environment I grew up in. My mother was the central hub for our massive family, while my father worked hard

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The Importance of Spring Cleaning Your Utility Room

Don’t Forget to Clean the Heart of Your Home

Family homes (three or more occupants) with no pets or allergies: 3–6 months. Family homes with at least one pet or minor allergies: 2–3 months.

• Family homes with multiple pets or allergies: 1–2 months.

In addition to changing the air filter, it’s important to schedule a routine inspection of your home’s HVAC system. This includes an inspection of the appliances themselves and any connecting ducts. Dust, dander, and mold can accumulate in the ducts and spread throughout the home, which can lead to health issues, including respiratory problems. A routine inspection will identify potential problems in your HVAC system. On top of that, you can get these systems professionally cleaned and maintained. These are simple steps that will keep your home’s air systems running smoothly for years to come. Plus, you’ll be ready for the summer months ahead!

• Homes with minimal foot traffic (single or double occupancy) and no pets or allergies: 6–12 months.

Don’t Let a Tommy John Injury End Your Career

Ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injuries are commonly seen in baseball players, especially in pitchers. These injuries are often referred to as Tommy John injuries, named after the famous baseball pitcher who underwent the first UCL surgery in 1974. This injury used to signal the end of a baseball player’s career, but fortunately, physical therapists can help these athletes recover. The UCL is a band of tissue that connects the inside of the upper arm to the inside of the forearm. This ligament provides stabilization when you perform motions like throwing the ball. Over time and with repetitive stress or trauma, the UCL can become stretched or torn. Surgery is not always necessary to heal a UCL injury, but it may be suggested if the patient is in extreme pain or if the elbow feels unstable after a period of rest. Once your physical therapist conducts an evaluation and learns your health history, they will ask you questions about your injury to determine a proper treatment plan. Make sure to tell your physical therapist if you are in pain, if you have numbness or tingling in your arm, if you feel a

pop when throwing, or if your elbow feels unstable. Your physical therapist may also manually evaluate your arm. If you have had or need surgery, your physical therapist will also collaborate with your surgeon to form a specialized treatment plan.

Your physical therapist can help you recover from a UCL tear or surgery and restore stability in your elbow. You may be asked to rest your arm so that it can recover, and you may also be asked to ice, compress, and elevate it at home. When your arm is ready, your physical therapist will take you through a series of stretches and exercises to strengthen the muscles in your arm, improve your range of motion, and correct your movements. Call our office today if you have suffered a UCL injury. We can get you back on the field in no time.

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Sudden Sweating Sudden sweating can easily be confused with night sweats or hot flashes. However, sweating that indicates a heart attack is particularly extreme, doesn’t go away, or can make it difficult to sleep. Nausea or Vomiting Often, women who experience nausea or vomiting think they have food poisoning, gastrointestinal issues, or a bug. However, these are common heart attack symptoms and should be taken very seriously. Unusual Fatigue New, unexplained fatigue may be a warning sign of a heart attack. However, fatigue can also be a symptom of many other issues, including anemia, depression, thyroid conditions, and even cancer. So even if it’s not a heart attack, it’s still important check in with your doctor. Research suggests that women often don’t recognize heart attack symptoms simply because they don’t know what they are experiencing. The best thing a woman can do is make herself aware of heart attack symptoms and get checked out immediately if there is a concern.

When people think of heart attack symptoms, they often think of stabbing chest pain. However, that’s not always how symptoms manifest, particularly in women. The following are serious symptoms that can indicate a looming heart attack. If any of these symptoms are present, consider seeking medical attention. Chest Discomfort The most common symptom is chest discomfort, including pain, tightness, squeezing, or pressure. In women, chest discomfort is more likely to feel like pressure or tightness. Radiating Pain Pain isn’t necessarily restricted to the center of the chest. It may be felt at the sides or even in the upper abdomen or back. It can also radiate into your shoulders, jaw, neck, or arms. Remember, anything above the waist could be related to the heart. Shortness of Breath Sometimes your body will present symptoms well before an attack. For instance, you may experience shortness of breath during normal activities. If you notice this symptom, your doctor may run blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose tests and administer an EKG. Feeling Faint, Lightheaded, or Dizzy Feeling like you’re going to faint or actually fainting are both warning signs of a heart attack or other cardiac issue. This is especially worrying if it happens while exercising.

Have a LAUGH


When you think of St. Patrick’s Day cuisine, corned beef and green beer are probably the first things that come to mind. This year, consider adding colcannon to your March 17 menu. It’s basically mashed potatoes on steroids, and it’s utterly delicious.


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3 pounds potatoes

1 pound cooked bacon, chopped into small pieces

2 sticks butter

1 1/4 cups hot milk

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4 scallions, finely chopped

1 head cabbage, cored and shredded

Parsley, for garnish

Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Steam potatoes for 30 minutes. Peel skins and mash flesh thoroughly. 2. Chop 1 stick of butter into small cubes and add to warm potatoes. Once melted, slowly add milk, stirring constantly. 3. Boil cabbage in water. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to tenderize. 4. Add cabbage, bacon, and scallions to mashed potatoes, gently stirring to combine. 5. Serve garnished with parsley and a pat of butter.

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INSIDE This Issue

Heritage, Pride, and Those Who Came Before

Spring Clean Your Utility Room

Physical Therapy for UCL Injuries

Heart Attack Symptoms in Women

St. Patrick’s Day Cuisine

The 3 Best Places to See Beautiful Flowers

Earth’s Most Beautiful Flower Displays

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Desert lavender, flowering cacti, pygmy poppies, and rock daisies are just a few of the many wildflowers decorating Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The various native species are often seen weaved together to form a colorful carpet over any barren patch in the park, which is located just two hours from San Diego. In addition to flowers, visitors often spot bighorn sheep. Wildflower blossoms vary in intensity each year, but they typically begin to bloom in late February or early March.

Spring is here, which means flora will soon be in full bloom. Flowers can be an easy pick-me-up or a great way to add color to your home, but some people take their flower obsession to the next level by planning botanical-themed vacations. Here are some of the most impressive gardens and flower displays in the world. Netherlands Holland, most famous for its tulips, always draws visitors at the first sign of spring. One of its most famous destinations, Keukenhof, located in Lisse, is among the world’s largest flower gardens. The park is 79 acres and boasts approximately 7 million flowers each year. This colorful garden is open annually frommid-March to mid- May, but mid-April is the ideal time to see the tulips. Washington, D.C. Besides the monuments and historic buildings, one of the biggest attractions in Washington, D.C. is the cherry tree blossoms. Travelers who visit the Tidal Basin during the spring can witness 3,000 trees, which were a gift from Tokyo in 1912, flaunt their beautiful pink blossoms. The best time to see the spectacle is from the end of March through the end of April.

Next time you’re planning a spring trip, consider visiting one of the world’s most beautiful flower displays. No green thumb required.

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