Texan ENT - February 2020




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601 A Leah Avenue San Marcos, TX 78666 Tuesday and Thursday afternoons

1009 W. San Antonio Street Lockhart, TX 78644 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month



How I Fell in LoveWith Skiing

Recently, Renee pulled up an old video of me going down the bunny hill during our first ski trip together. That was the first time I’d ever been on skis. I remember feeling like I was going too fast and could lose control at any second. However, the video proves I was inching down the slope, taking every turn as slow as possible. This month, Renee and I will be going on our annual ski trip. It’s a little wild to think I have an annual ski trip because, until about six years ago, I had never gone skiing in my life. The first time I strapped on a pair of skis was the first winter after Renee and I met. Renee also didn’t start skiing until she was an adult, but by the time we got together, she was well-acquainted with the mountain. She dragged me out to Colorado to go skiing together at Winter Park Resort. The very first day I went skiing, I took a group lesson while Renee hit the slopes by herself for a while. I don’t know howmuch the lesson helped, but I least I didn’t feel totally helpless. I learned a lot more by skiing with Renee after the lesson. She took it easy on me —we stuck to the green circle slopes — but she still forced me to go outside my comfort zone. Renee made me keep my skis parallel as I went down the slope rather than in the pizza triangle shape beginners rely on to go slow. While I wouldn’t say I had fun on that first ski trip, I had moments when I did have a good time. It was fun enough for me to agree to come out again. Two years later, Renee and I went skiing in Breckenridge. That trip had more fun times and slightly fewer frustrating times than our first trip. The next year we went to Park City Mountain in Utah. It was that Park City trip that really helped me fall in love with skiing. Once I got past being a beginner who tripped over his own skis, I started to really look forward to our February ski trips. Since then, we’ve been to Telluride, Vail, and Whistler Ski Resorts. It’s always a blast. There’s nothing like sitting on the lift and seeing the mountain covered in fresh snow beneath a bright blue sky.

see little kids all bundled up and learning to ski in group lessons. It’s super cute! I’m excited for Audrey to be part of that. It will be interesting to see how she does. She’s cautious when it comes to new things, so she might not love it at first, but I can see her really liking skiing once she gets the hang of it. If you’ve never been skiing but have a significant other who wants to drag you up the mountain, here’s my advice. First, take a group lesson. They’ll cover all the basics, and falling with a group of beginners is a much better first experience than struggling to get down the mountain with your friend. That said, as soon as you can get down the bunny slope without falling, I recommend pushing yourself a little and joining your friend on the easier hills. It’s important to get out of your comfort zone. Be warned, the first trip probably won't be much fun, but if you had even just a second of fun while going down the mountain, make a promise to go back. Skiing is one of those activities where you have to be at least a little skilled in order to have any fun. If you can build those skills, I promise you’ll have a much better time.

Living in Texas where we rarely get snow, we know it’s fun to get away to a cold, winter wonderland once a year. I’d never want to live in a place with such cold winters, but taking a ski trip with my wife is always a great way to wrap up the season.

Audrey hasn’t joined us on the slopes yet — the kids’ lessons don’t start until age 3 — but we’re looking forward to taking her up there with us. We always

–Dr. Seth Evans





On Oct. 28 last year, President Donald Trump tweeted a photo that quickly went viral. It showed an adorable snapshot of a bright-eyed Belgian Malinois, tongue lolling, still wearing its camo military vest. In the caption, President Trump explained that the pup, Conan, was a national hero who was instrumental in taking down ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.


With four years in special operations forces and roughly 50 missions under his collar, Conan was selected to be part of the team that pursued al-Baghdadi through a network of underground tunnels in northwest Syria, where the terrorist ultimately died. It’s unclear whether Conan was there to track al-Baghdadi or to spot improvised explosive devices that may have been planted on the route, but either way, he performed well.

The Secret to Living a Longer, Healthier Life The human brain is an incredibly powerful organ. It solves complex problems, recalls forgotten memories, and triggers a dizzying array of emotions. But its most incredible power is the effect it can have on the rest of the body. When it comes to love, well, our brains certainly love it, and our bodies reflect that. LESS STRESS Human beings thrive on a sense of connection and belonging, and studies have shown that love actually has positive effects on a person’s physical health as well as mental. The security and commitment felt in a loving relationship are shown to reduce stress by stunting the production of cortisol, the body’s stress-inducing hormone. Less stress means lower blood pressure, a healthier heart, and a lower risk of stroke, especially in men. HEALTHIER IMMUNE SYSTEMS Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that calm, happy people can fight common colds and the flu more easily than those who are anxious or depressed. The physical benefits of love even go as far as healing wounds quicker. Small injuries inflicted on a wide test group at Ohio State University Medical Center healed nearly twice as fast on people who experienced consistent warmth and care than those who experienced hostility. In fact, the latter group needed almost a full additional day to achieve the same amount of healing as the first group. LONGER, HAPPIER LIVES Being surrounded by love may even save your life. A statistic from the National Health Interview Survey states that single people face a 58% higher risk of mortality. Further bolstering that claim is the Harvard Health Blog, which claims happily married participants experience better health as they age when compared to peers in unhappy partnerships. In fact, the blog asserts, “People in stressful, unhappy marriages may be worse off than a single person who is surrounded by supportive and caring friends, family, and loved ones.” So, it seems the results are in: Loving someone is a healthy lifestyle choice. Even having a strong network of friends and family boosts your odds of living a long life by 50%. So, get out there and make the healthy choice for yourself and those around you by leading a life full of love.

According to NBC News, Conan was injured by some live electrical cables during the mission, but he recovered quickly and

was back on duty within the week. Meanwhile, President Trump invited the brave pup to the White House and tweeted out a doctored photo that showed him awarding Conan a Medal of Honor. President Trump captioned the photo “AMERICAN HERO!” and he’s not alone in his appreciation for the hardworking dogs that have been helping our military since World War II. “To me, they’re the first line of defense,” United States War Dogs Association President Ron Aiello told Vox after the news about Conan came out. “They’re such a great asset to our military today.” Military dogs are put up for adoption after 6–8 years in the service, which means a lucky civilian could take Conan in as early as 2022! Meanwhile, dozens of other smart canine heroes are looking for homes. To learn more about military and other working dog adoptions, visit MissionK9Rescue.org.




3Ways to Treat a Sinus Infection at Home STAY OUT OF THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE

Nasal Decongestants

Your nose is stuffed up, your head is foggy, and your face is tender to the touch. Your eyes are bloodshot, and you’ve officially become a mouth breather. Sinus infections are not fun. However, there are a number of options available for self-treatment to keep you out of the doctor’s office. Here are three methods Dr. Evans recommends for at- home treatment: Saline Rinse Saline rinses flush out the inside of your nose and sinuses with diluted salt water. You can buy premixed saline rinses at the store in squeeze bottles – Neilmed is one brand that makes these, or you can mix up your own saline solution at home and apply it using a device called a neti pot. Neti pots are designed to pour water in through one nostril, flow through your sinuses, and come back down through the other. While both store- bought saline sprays and neti pots achieve the same objective, neti pots can be messy; be prepared to stand over a sink! Nasal Steroid Sprays If your congestion is extreme, consider a nasal steroid spray like Flonase or Nasacort. Steroid sprays help lower congestion and inflammation, and mucus. This reduces pain, swelling, and nasal sensitivity.

If you are at the absolute end of your rope and need something that can give you fast-acting relief, try a nasal decongestant spray. Afrin is a popular one, although the generic versions work the same way. Nasal decongestants are an effective and fast-acting way to reduce the swelling in your nasal passageways, which can relieve the feeling of pressure and improve airflow. However, they aren’t safe to use for more than five days in a row — your body gets habituated to them and you could end more stuffed up than you were before. Sinus infections are downright unpleasant, but they don’t always have to mean a trip to the doctor. Try treating your infection at home first and wait for a natural resolution. When home treatment fails, or when you find yourself getting infection after infection, give Texas ENT a call and schedule an appointment with Dr. Evans.

Apple Cider Chicken and Brussels Sprouts



• Salt and pepper to taste • 4 boneless chicken breasts • 1 tsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped

• 1 lb Brussels sprouts, halved • 2 gala apples, cut into wedges • 1 red onion, cut into wedges • 2 sprigs rosemary • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

• 2 tbsp butter, divided • 2/3 cup apple cider • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar


6. Pour cider onto chicken. Roast in the oven for 12 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet and let it rest on cutting board. 7. Return skillet to stove on medium-high and simmer sauce until reduced by half. 8. Swirl remaining 1 tbsp of butter with

1. Heat oven to 450 F. 2. On a baking sheet, toss Brussels sprouts, apples, onion, and rosemary sprigs in olive oil, salt, and pepper. 3. Roast vegetable and fruit mixture until tender, about 25–30 minutes, flipping halfway. 4. Season chicken with salt, pepper, and chopped rosemary. 5. In an ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tbsp butter. Add chicken and cook 6 minutes on one side. Flip and cook 2 more minutes.

vinegar, salt, and pepper. Slice chicken and divide among plates with roasted vegetables and serve.

Inspired by Food Network






Page 1 Third Time’s the Charm

Page 2 Meet the Dog Who Helped Take Down al-Baghdadi

Page 2 The Effects of Love on Your Physical Health

Page 3 3 Ways to Treat a Sinus Infection at Home

Page 3 Apple Cider Chicken and Brussels Sprouts

Page 4 Word From the Westies

3WAYS TO SHOWYOUR PUP THE LOVE Hours: Monday–Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Love Language of Dogs

about to have a seizure, and it should come as no surprise that we can also read the love — or lack of love — in your facial expression when you look at us. But if you really want to cover

Hello, everybody!

February is the month of love, and while you can’t get your dog chocolates to show you care, you can take some special time with your pooch on Valentine’s Day to make sure they know exactly how much they mean to you. Talk to us! Dogs are social animals, and we like it when you talk to us. In fact, Rover.com points out that when scientists used MRIs to study dog’s brains, they learned what Emma and I have always known: We dogs can understand human language better than you guys think. And that special, high-pitched voice you use that’s just for us? We like that, too. And when you use words we know, like “walk,” “outside,” and “treat,” we like it most of all! Show us the love!

your bases, we’ll let you in on a little secret: When we feel connected to a person or another dog, we raise our eyebrows, usually the left one more than the right. If you raise your eyebrows at us on Valentine’s Day, rest assured that we’ll know exactly what you’re saying. Cuddle us! Dogs love to cuddle; there’s no surprise there. Study after study have shown that when an owner touches their dog, oxytocin, sometimes called the love hormone, releases in the dog’s brain. We especially like it when you gently stroke or rub our ears, which according to Rover. com, some scientists proved releases the most oxytocin. I guess our ears are for more than just for looking adorable after all! Izzy& Emma

Izzy and I confess: We’re basically clairvoyant. Dogs can predict when there’s about to be an earthquake, we can predict when a person is

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