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If you have painful periods or a child who suffers from painful periods, it could be a sign of endometriosis.

Many people have heard about endometriosis but don’t necessarily know what it is. So let’s start there. It’s a disease where tissue (similar to the lining of the uterus) grows outside the uterus.

It can be excruciating.

In the Past, You Might Have Gone Unheard by the Medical System

In the past, doctors did not always take women seriously when they voiced concern over their period pain. (And really, not just period pain, but any kind of pain.)

Planned Parenthood says this long history of overlooking women’s pain is especially prevalent in women of color. They also say it happens partly because of a belief that severe period pain should be expected and tolerated.

Even today, some medical professionals may unintentionally dismiss women who express concern over their period pain. We’re here to tell you, that it’s not in your head. And you’re not alone.

If this is something you’ve been told in the past, please reach out to us. We can talk through your symptoms, determine if it’s endometriosis or something else, and take action to help you feel better.

What Everyone Who Has a Period Needs to Know

Symptoms of Endometriosis

Endometriosis is estimated to affect roughly 10% of all people of reproductive age worldwide.

Teenage girls who suffer from it will often miss school because the pain is so debilitating. In addition, women who have it may experience painful sexual intercourse.

Symptoms include:

It can occur in anyone who has a uterus. If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to reach out to a medical professional for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment for Endometriosis

The only way to know if someone with a uterus has endometriosis is through surgery or an MRI.

If a doctor suspects endometriosis, they often start by giving the patient a pelvic exam and maybe even an ultrasound. From there, if they still suspect endometriosis, they will recommend exploratory surgery to identify where the endometrial tissue is and try to remove it.

Therapeutic treatments such as contraceptive steroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, and painkillers can help manage pain and inflammation, but it’s important to seek medical evaluation if you’re concerned you may have endometriosis because it’s a complex thing to treat.

At Care On Location, we can offer birth control to treat endometriosis. For some people, it helps with their pain. Then, there’s also Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy that we can connect you with. Not only does it help with endometriosis, but cervical cancer treatment as well.

Living with Endometriosis

There is no way to prevent endometriosis from happening. Still, an early diagnosis can go a long way to slow the disease down and reduce the symptoms in the long term.

It can also cause those suffering from it to experience anxiety and depression, especially when they’re being told nothing can be done.

It’s also important to note that there is some misinformation about infertility and endometriosis. Yes, some people who suffer from endometriosis experience this, but not all. Those who can still conceive may need medical intervention to get pregnant.

The important takeaway is that if you’re suffering from endometriosis, your pain can be managed, and there is help. You don’t have to suffer through it. We’re here for you!

Care on!

As they say, the struggle is real. That’s especially so for all the caregivers out there. And we’re not talking just parents, but those who are caring for aging family members, medically complex patients, or people with disabilities. Talk about multi-tasking! That’s a job. 

And for some, it really is their job. Here in Colorado, the number of jobs for home health aides is expected to continue to rise.

Maybe you’re a caregiver? If not, there’s little doubt that someone in your life is. These people spend day after day giving all of themselves to others. Did you know there’s a day to honor them? February 18 is National Caregivers Day (it’s always celebrated on the third Friday in February).

Today is a day to show our appreciation for the work they do. It’s amazing what a little recognition can do for the soul. And our caregivers deserve it!

Caregiving on the Rise

According to a 2020 National Alliance on Caregiving report, caregiving is rising in our country. Here are some interesting takeaways from their report:

Source: https://www.caregiving.org/caregiving-in-the-us-2020/

Clearly, these people deserve to be recognized for their care every day! Often it can be so hard to give so much of yourself to others. A little gratitude and appreciation can go a long way to renewing that caregiving energy.

How Care on Location Can Support Caregivers

No Need to Drive Anywhere

One of the reasons we love working in telehealth is that it makes access to care easier for people and those who care for them.

When it comes to scheduling doctor visits, it can really take a toll on the caregiver. They have to work around their own schedule, that of the person they’re taking care of, and the doctor’s office.  Through telemedicine, a caregiver can easily help the person they’re taking care of set up an appointment. And for the caregiver who can’t easily get out of the house, they have a chance to prioritize a visit for themselves. With online video appointments, Care on Location removes one more hurdle for you: you don’t have to drive anyone to the doctor (as long as it’s not an emergency!).

And considering the pandemic is still ongoing, you can have a little peace of mind about that as well.

After the video appointment, we can help walk you through the process of finding affordable care locally or through your regular doctor, if it’s needed. We work with providers throughout Colorado, and join them in providing care for in-state residents.

Just a few of the things we typically treat:

We also see patients for mental health issues, smoking cessation, gender-affirming care, and family planning and sexual health.

No Special Equipment Needed

We meet with patients over the phone or online. We do have three easy suggestions to help the video sessions run smoothly:

And just as you would if you went to the doctor’s office, it’s helpful to have your questions ready ahead of time. Also wear appropriate clothing (for example, short sleeves for an arm issue).

Recognizing Caregivers

Caregivers are often under a lot of stress. So, if you’re a caregiver, use this day as your permission to unwind and do something for yourself. Remember, you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself too!

Caregivers often suffer from burnout. One way Care on Location can support them is by giving them access to their mental health provider who can help them manage stress and continue their vital role.

If you’re looking to do something special for the caregiver in your life, here are some ideas:

We want to thank all the caregivers out there! Because we work in telehealth, we know how important you are to the people you take care of. Thank you for all you do!

Care on!

Most people have experienced this frustrating scenario: You go to the doctor’s office for treatment or prevention services, and when you ask how much services cost, the answer isn’t nearly as straightforward as you hoped.

When you get your bill, either right after your appointment or in the mail, you notice unexpected costs (aspirin is how much?!), not to mention a hefty fee for the doctor you likely saw for a short time.

A big part of owning your health is knowing how much services cost.

That way, you can make the choices that suit your budget as well as ask for available financial resources that’ll assist you with costs or reduce them.

Health care shouldn’t be so complicated. But, unfortunately, it can be. That’s why our Care on Location team wants to make this part of your life as easy as possible. We believe your ability to choose what’s best for your health shouldn’t be affected by how confused you are about how to pay for it. You deserve good health, and you deserve to have access to the people who can help you maintain that health.

If you’d like to meet with one of our health professionals, we’re honored to have you! Here’s a look into what we offer and how much services cost — with nothing extra.

How Care on Location Can Help You: How Much Services Cost

At Care on Location, our mission is to provide telemedicine services and care support that closes health equity and accessibility gaps for all Coloradans, especially Medicaid members.

That means if you’re a Health First Colorado member, Colorado’s Medicaid program, and all of our services and offerings (not including dietary) are completely free!

You’ve got enough surprise bills in your life, so we’re making the money part clear and hassle-free. Check out this chart to see the flat rates you’ll pay for our offerings.

SERVICECOST (BASED ON SELF-PAY)
Urgent/Primary Care
Cough and Colds
Nausea and Vomiting
Rashes
Eye Infections
Bladder Infections
Back and Joint Pain
(and many more!)
$69.99
FREE for Colorado Medicaid members
Tele-PrEP (HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis)
We can help you complete these HIV screenings every 3 months right at home or we’ll set you up in a local laboratory.
$69.99
FREE for Colorado Medicaid members
Birth Control Counseling and Management$69.99
FREE for Colorado Medicaid members
Pelvic Floor Physical TherapyFREE for Colorado Medicaid members
(Not currently accepting self-pay clients.)
Nutrition$125 for the first intake visit with our dietician. Following appointments are $100 for 60 minutes and $50 for 30 minutes.

Available Payment Options

If you’re a private insurance policyholder, here’s how it works:

Although we collect your credit or debit card information, we don’t charge you on the day you receive services. We’ll charge the payment option on file for any amount your insurance doesn’t cover, and we’ll also process charges for any co-pays and deductibles.

Self-pay is super simple. You pay the cost(s) reflected in the chart shown above at the time of service.

How Does it Work? What You Can Expect During a Telemedicine Visit.

Online video appointment visits with our skilled care team mean you get to meet with an experienced medical professional who’ll validate all your concerns in a judge-free zone.

We believe each patient is unique — our job is to listen to your concerns and use our expertise to guide you in the right direction for prevention or treatment.

Whether you have an urgent condition or a general medical issue, we’re here to put you at ease from wherever you are. All you need is a stable internet connection through your cellphone, tablet, or computer.

The length of your appointment may vary based on the service you’re receiving, but a typical urgent care visit lasts from 15 to 30 minutes. If you’re new to telehealth or telehealth with Care on Location, here are a few tips to help you prepare and set up for success:

Whenever you experience a concerning symptom, come talk to us. We’ll help you navigate what’s often a stressful time and give you the support you need to feel more informed about your body.

Care on!

February is all about the state of your heart — emotionally (Valentine’s Day) and health-wise (American Heart Month). 

And it’s fitting because to truly enjoy one aspect of your heart, the whole thing has to be healthy. So, let’s talk about that. 

Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US? Across genders and most racial and ethnic groups, nearly 700,000 people die from this disease each year. And in the winter, your heart is even more vulnerable. 

To raise awareness of the importance of a healthy heart, here’s what you need to know about year-round prevention. 

What is Heart Disease?

Heart disease is a general term that describes any condition that affects the structure or function of your heart. And contrary to the popular belief, heart disease isn’t only one condition. It’s actually many conditions that have a range of root causes. 

For example, along with age and family history, here are common risk factors for developing heart disease:

Let’s check out some types of heart disease:

Heart disease symptoms depend on what type of disease you have, but these are some common symptoms across the conditions:

Protecting Your Heart in the Winter

Seasonal depression isn’t the only condition that increases during the winter — your risk of heart attack (and stroke!) does too. 

To minimize your risk, consider these cardiologist-recommended acts of self-care this winter:

Finally, don’t wait to ask for help. If you experience any symptoms of a heart condition, reach out for assistance ASAP.

Year-round Prevention for Heart Disease

Now that you have a better understanding of heart disease and how to protect yourself in the winter, let’s talk about prevention for the whole year.

1. Get moving

If you can exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week, great! It can be difficult to stick to a routine, but we can’t deny the benefits of regular exercise in lowering your risks of heart disease. 

Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. Plus, it strengthens your heart, improves your circulation, and reduces your chances of developing other conditions that can strain your heart.

If you’re jumping back into exercises, don’t feel the pressure to go all-in too fast. Take your time, and slowly work your way up to your desired fitness goals. 

If you experience any unusual chest pain or shortness of breath that makes you concerned, seek help and guidance from a healthcare professional or seek emergency services.

Keep in mind that we all exercise differently. Plus, you don’t have to train like an Olympic athlete to maintain your health! You can simply take short walks, take the stairs over the elevator, pull some weeds, or even shovel your neighbor's walk. Even shorter bouts of physical activity offer heart benefits.

Here are some other daily activities to try: 

2. Don’t skip these key screenings

Lowering your risk for heart disease is all about managing risk factors, especially the big ones that can significantly damage your heart and blood vessels. Here are the heart-health screenings you can’t overlook: 

There’s only one way to know if you have these conditions and how to take action: Get screened. In the meantime, limit alcohol and smoking (they both raise your blood pressure and risk of heart disease!), and lead a healthy lifestyle that includes any recommendations from your doctor.

💡 Pro tip: Unmanaged stress can raise your blood pressure, and extreme levels can even trigger a heart attack. As you navigate your stresses, remember to cope with heart-healthy activities, like exercise, meditation, listening to music, or journaling. Anyone can do these anywhere. Plus, they’re free!

3. Eat a heart-healthy diet

Look, we’re not saying you can’t ever enjoy your favorite french fries or that perfectly cut steak, but it shouldn’t be a weekly splurge — that won’t make your heart happy.

Here’s what’ll protect your heart and improve blood pressure and cholesterol level, plus reduce type-2 diabetes risk:

Limit

Increase in Moderation

Care on!

HIV can affect anyone regardless of sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, gender, age, or where they live, yet, Black/African-American communities are disproportionately affected by HIV compared to other racial and ethnic groups in the US. 

Why? This prevalence is explained by a range of social, economic, and demographic factors such as stigma, discrimination, income, education, and geographic region. 

When it comes to prevention, there’s one thing we know for sure: Routine screening and testing can help to prevent new HIV infections in the Black community, especially for Black women.

While the numbers of those living with the disease are dropping, we haven’t seen the same reductions happen among Black communities across gender and sexual identity.

For National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, which was February 7 this year, let’s look at the numbers behind this disease exposure. Plus, we’re sharing ways to keep yourself and others safe during sex and even tips for routine care.

HIV Statistics for Black Patients

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that about 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV, and 42% of all new infections are among teens and adult African Americans. However, there’s no way of finding out a partner or potential partner’s HIV status or knowing whether having unprotected sex with them will be risky just by looking at them.

In fact, an HIV infection doesn’t usually cause symptoms in its early stage. Many people (about 1 in 7) who are HIV-positive are unaware that they have the infection, making them more likely to transmit the virus to sexual partners.

According to the CDC, an estimated 476,100 African Americans had HIV as of the end of 2016. Of that number, 6 out of 7 were aware that they had the virus. For context, African Americans represent 13% of the U.S. population, but they made up 44% of infections in 2016. (That’s where those social, economic, and demographic factors come into play.)

Similarly, Black women are almost 18 times more likely to die from HIV and AIDS than non-Hispanic white females. Routine testing can be the key to turning the tide.

HIV Screening Guidelines

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently released new recommended screening guidelines for HIV.

It gave a grade A recommendation for routine HIV screening for everybody ages 15 to 65 and younger adolescents and older adults at an increased risk of HIV infection.

It also gave a grade A recommendation for screening for all pregnant women, including those in labor whose HIV status is not known.

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), private health insurance policies created after March 23, 2010, are required to offer all preventive services to which the USPSTF has given an A or B recommendation at no out-of-pocket cost to the consumer.

The ACA also gives state Medicaid programs money to cover USPSTF-recommended preventive services for adults.

Telemedicine for HIV screening is especially beneficial for those who live in rural areas and may not have a clinic nearby. Plus, it has the added benefit of an extra layer of privacy for those who are concerned about being seen at a clinic. Here at Care On Location, we’re always supportive of those seeking guidance and support on this issue.

If you think you may have been exposed it’s important to seek treatment right away. For those who are HIV-negative, there is medicine that can help prevent the virus from infecting your body.

The Benefits of Knowing Your Status

Once identified by screening, the hope is that a person with an HIV infection can:

A suppressed viral load means better health outcomes for people with an HIV infection, as well as a lower chance of transmitting the infection to partners.

Under the new guidelines, HIV screening will be easier for providers since they will no longer need to find out a patient’s risk status before offering to test. With this change, the stigma of testing is more likely to go away! 

Routine testing will also help reduce the number of late diagnoses.

One-third of people with HIV are diagnosed so long after they acquire an infection that they develop AIDS — the syndrome that results from untreated HIV — within 1 year of diagnosis.

A person can be HIV-positive for as long as 10 years before being diagnosed, which makes them unable to take advantage of early treatment.

HIV Prevention: How to Be Proactive

The unequal impact of HIV on Black/African-American communities is also seen in the number of new HIV infections, which means that effective prevention and treatment education and methods aren’t actually reaching the people who’d benefit most, yet, systemically have the lowest access.

Getting tested and educated can provide personal empowerment. Here are some things everyone can do:

Together, we all have a role to play. For Black women, it’s even more important that you:

Need a starting point? We’re here for you!

Care on!

We get to observe many special days in January, but don’t forget that the whole month recognizes one important cause: cervical cancer awareness.

Every January, we spread awareness in the US for this preventable disease (with vaccination and screenings!) to reduce the number of people with cervixes who are diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer each year. To help you learn more about this disease, we’re sharing the information you need to know about detection, prevention, and treatment. Plus, we’re digging deeper with Care on Location physical therapist Krystyna Holland, PT, DPT into how cervical cancer and treatment can affect your body — specifically, your pelvic floor.

An Overview of Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer occurs when there’s any genetic change in the DNA of healthy cervical cells. These cells grow and multiply at an abnormally rapid rate, then eventually form cancerous tumors. Most commonly, though, the viral infection of human papillomavirus (HPV) causes this type of cancer.

While it’s a very common cancer in people with cervixes, cervical cancer is quite preventable and treatable, especially with early detection. Because this cancer doesn’t show signs or symptoms early on, catching it early is crucial. As the disease progresses, it can cause irregular vaginal bleeding or discharge.

That’s why Pap smears and HPV tests are so important — they help prevent or find cervical cancers. Pap smears look for cell changes on the cervix that might become cancerous, while the HPV test looks for the virus that can cause these cell changes.

Here are some expert recommendations to follow to improve your chances of early detection:

If your healthcare provider finds any abnormalities during your screening exams, they’ll determine whether you need a follow-up screening or if you require additional testing.

How Cervical Cancer Impacts Your Pelvic Floor

Our pelvic floor is a group of muscles that start from the pubic bone to the tailbone (AKA the coccyx) — so, essentially, they cover us from front to back. The proper functioning of these muscles is incredibly important, because they support our bladders, bowels, urethras, and anuses. And for people with vaginas, pelvic floor muscles also support the uterus.

Does that mean it helps us control those organs? Absolutely! Your ability to control or delay the release of pee, poop, or gas is all thanks to the pelvic floor. Besides this, these muscles also support your sexual function.

Because they’re so critical to vital elements of your health, it’s crucial to seek help when pelvic floor muscles are weakened and create issues with bladder or bowel control, or even cause pain during sex — all of which are possible results of cervical cancer and/or treatment of the pelvic floor.

According to Holland, “If there’s any type of surgery anywhere in the abdomen or pelvis, there’s very likely going to be some change in the way the pelvic floor muscles and the deep core muscles work.”

With the impact of cervical cancer and radiation, these changes may include:

Keep in mind these symptoms can also occur in people who haven’t had cervical cancer but have had preventative procedures, such as a colposcopy (examines your cervix, vagina, and vulva for signs of disease) or a loop electrosurgical excision, which is a removal of precancerous cells and tissue from your cervix. 

“Sometimes, that exam in and of itself can be quite uncomfortable,” explains Holland, “and people can have [a] reflexive guarding response to that type of localized injury to the tissue.” This refers to the possibility that you walk away with symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction as a result of your pelvic floor’s attempt to protect you from the discomfort associated with these procedures.

On the bright side, you don’t have to deal with it alone.

Pelvic Floor Therapy at Care on Location

Unfortunately, something we know for sure about cancer and cancer treatment is how much pain and discomfort anyone impacted can experience. Whether you need support to use and manage dilators after radiation treatment, help soothing pelvic or vaginal discomfort after surgery or treatment, or guidance to navigate the changes in your pelvic floor, we’re here for you!

Our team at Care on Location is here to assist you however we can via our telemedicine system. Here’s what you can expect pelvic floor therapy to look like with our care team, including Holland.

We welcome every question and concern

Each telehealth visit begins with you sharing your primary concerns. Based on her experience, Holland says this typically includes:

Because your safety is our priority, members of our care team always get your consent to ask additional questions to learn more about what you’re experiencing. Based on the information you provide, you and our medical providers, including Holland, discuss how pelvic floor muscles might contribute to your symptoms. 

If your issues don’t seem pelvis-related, however, Holland helps refer you to the right specialist, who is usually a gynecologist. But your session doesn’t end there. Detection is key to treatment, so Holland also talks about how you can perform self-checks on your body to detect any abnormalities, like redness or inflammation in your tissue. 

She even shares self-massage techniques, pelvic floor exercises that target your problem areas, and tips on how to check if your pelvic floor muscles are moving as they should.

We leave no one behind

Got a cervix? Then, everything related to cervical health is for you, and it’s important to us that you feel seen. 

Besides having clinical expertise in gender-affirming care, much of Holland’s experience includes working with transgender women, especially after vaginoplasty, as well as nonbinary people who were assigned female at birth and might be on low-dose testosterone while navigating pelvic pain, painful intercourse, or urinary symptoms.

Although medical advice related to cervical cancer is largely specific to women and cisgender women, we believe that anyone who has a cervix should participate in screenings and get the care they need and deserve in a way that feels affirming to them and their identity. Many transgender men and nonbinary individuals report barriers to cervical cancer screenings despite being at high risk, which results in them going without the support they need to catch and fight life-threatening diseases.

Your body and identity are welcome and safe here!

Fact: Your expertise is as valuable as ours

The foundation of Holland’s practice is trauma-informed care, which to her means “a purposeful and intentional ongoing process of making sure we mitigate the chance of doing harm to someone else.”

Pelvic care can be triggering, sensitive, or uncomfortable for some people, so she leads with compassion, validation, and medical expertise to meet everyone where they are. Plus, Holland makes sure you feel like no question is dumb or unreasonable. 

“Something I regularly tell clients or patients is that I know a lot about the pelvic floor muscles, bones, and nerves, but I don’t know anything about what you’re experiencing. You are the expert of your own body.” 

At Care on Location, we take your expertise and match it with ours, then work together to create a plan that’ll work specifically for you.

Benefits of Telehealth for Pelvic Floor Therapy

This one is simple: “Telehealth totally removes the potential that anyone is going to touch you in any way that could not feel good to your system,” says Holland.

Our mission at Care on Location is to provide a judge-free zone that’s also respectful of your background and boundaries. We champion telehealth because it allows you to go at your own pace — then when you’re ready, we’ll take the next step together.

Care on!

Urinary tract infections are incredibly common. In fact, over 20% of all women will experience the effects of a UTI at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, the symptoms of a UTI range in severity from mildly annoying to incredibly serious. The upside? Once signs and symptoms start to pop out, diagnosis (and treatment) is relatively easy.

Before you go running to Google for a self-diagnosis, Colorado Medicaid patients should consider getting an official diagnosis through Care on Location’s telehealth services. Through a simple video visit or phone call, our medical specialists can help you figure out whether an in-person trip to the doctor’s office is even necessary.

Advocating for Your Personal Health

Our healthcare system is built on patient-centered care — treatment options that put you, the patient, in the driver’s seat. For residents of Pueblo, Sterling, and the surrounding San Luis County, Colorado, telehealth serves as an incredible tool to help you advocate for yourself. While many mild UTIs are easy to diagnose by yourself, Colorado Medicaid patients can use our video visits and phone call options to get a more accurate diagnosis without significantly disrupting their daily routine. 

If you suspect that you have a urinary tract infection, here are some signs and symptoms to look out for:

The bottom line? There’s a wide range of urinary tract symptoms to be on the lookout for. After all, your urinary tract is a huge system which includes multiple organs including the bladder, kidneys, ureters, and urethra. While the bladder and the kidneys are the most common infection sites, bacteria can invade anywhere along your urinary tract. For women, urinary tract health is especially important due to the proximity of the urethra to both their reproductive organs and their rectum.

If you’re looking to prevent a UTI in the first place, there are a number of frontline measures you can take to protect yourself. Good hygiene — especially after sexual activity — can help reduce bacteria buildup. A good, well-rounded diet that includes citrus and other fruits can help kill nasty organisms within the body. If you suffer frequent UTIs, there are many over-the-counter testing products available. And while a UTI may be mild at first, if left untreated, it can seriously damage your body. The best course of action is to seek the advice of a professional before our symptoms get out of hand. Through Care on Location’s telehealth services, Colorado Medicaid patients have an easy alternative to an in-person doctor’s visit. 

Care on Location features a full staff of urgent care specialists. Through a simple video visit, they can help you determine how severe your individual case is, recommend home therapies, or refer you to a higher level of in-person care if necessary. No matter who you are, telehealth solutions are an ideal alternative to a traditional office visit. At Care on Location, we treat San Luis residents from all walks of life. We believe that everyone, no matter their occupation or social status, deserves access to high-quality care, especially when it comes to something so easily treatable as a urinary tract infection. 

Urgent Care for Urinary Tract Infections Through Telehealth

Care on Location’s telehealth services are perfectly suited for the uncertain times that we’re living in. Between the COVID-19 pandemic and our overtaxed healthcare system, the thought of waiting in an ER or urgent care facility just to diagnose a simple UTI can be both frustrating and anxiety-inducing. Our video visit options can help put those fears to bed. Through our telehealth services, you can get an accurate diagnosis — and effective plan of care — on your own schedule. To book a quick and convenient appointment, visit Care on Location today. 

Care on!

Colds, cases of flu, and other respiratory illnesses are more common in colder months. People are indoors more often, allowing viruses to pass easily from one person to another — and the cold, dry air may weaken your body’s resistance to winter health conditions.

If you’re coughing and sneezing this winter, how do you know if you have a cold or something more serious? Do you think you might need antibiotics? Are you contagious? Could it be the latest COVID-19 variant, Omicron? 

Here are five common winter health conditions, all treatable by our Care on Location telehealth providers. Keep reading to see if we can help restore your health and peace of mind.

5 Common Winter Health Hazards You Can Treat From Your Bed

1. Colds and viruses

Fever, chills, head congestion, body aches, that annoying postnasal drip, coughing — and sometimes even nausea or vomiting or (heaven help us) diarrhea. Each winter, this assortment of symptoms has patients everywhere heading to health providers to treat infected respiratory tracts: your mouth, nose, throat, and lungs.

The most common root cause is respiratory and flu-like illnesses that are largely viral and don’t require antibiotics. What they do require is tons of rest, fluids, and medicine. 

Whether you have the flu or a common cold, you likely got it from airborne droplets through a sneeze, cough, or a contaminated surface. While most people feel terrible for three to five days, taking antiviral medications like Tamiflu or Relenza within the first 48 hours will greatly improve your health. Coughing and general tiredness can linger for two weeks or more, so don’t be concerned if you’re not at your best after a few days. But if your symptoms don’t improve or worsen, or you develop new ones, consult a Care on Location provider.

2. Seasonal depression

You may know them as the winter blues. But another issue related to the weather is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which surfaces in late fall or early winter and fades by spring or early summer.

Even if you don’t have SAD or seasonal depression, you may find that you’re more lethargic and less happy during the winter, thanks to the combination of less sunlight and physical activity, plus changes in your sleep schedule. Eventually, these depletions can all wear on our minds.

Depressive symptoms associated with SAD during the fall and winter months may include sadness, anxiety, hopelessness, irritability, fatigue, guilt, a lack of energy, and even thoughts of suicide. Not everyone affected by SAD or seasonal depression experiences the same symptoms, so your experience will be unique.

Some experts link the condition to an imbalance in serotonin and melatonin, the chemicals in the brain that regulate sleep, mood, and energy levels. That’s why treatment often involves 30 minutes of light exposure per day — ideally in the morning — and more physical activity to naturally boost the mood. If you need to talk to someone to help you navigate depressive emotions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Our mental health professionals are here to help.

3. Stomach flu

Viral gastroenteritis is an intestinal infection that most of us think of as a stomach bug. However, it’s not related to the common flu or the influenza virus — instead, it’s most commonly caused by norovirus, a very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea.

Stomach viruses are very contagious and can cause severe symptoms that vary in duration. Typically, vomiting may last one to two days, but some gastrointestinal symptoms can last up to one week. Ugh.

Symptoms of viral gastroenteritis can include:

Exactly what you need in the middle of the cold, enclosed months! These viruses develop quickly, usually within 12 to 48 hours, so you and everyone in your household should make sure to wash your hands thoroughly and often.You can reach out to us if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms as well.

4. Sore throat

While you don’t typically need to see a medical professional about a sore throat, it’s important to pay attention to sore throat symptoms. A sore throat could be an indicator of a more serious developing winter health problem. 

Usually caused by viral infections, sore throats are common in the winter because of temperature changes, like when we go from the warmth of summer and the slight chill of fall to winter’s freezing temperatures. 

Besides allergies, colds, and the flu virus, a sore throat can be due to: 

If you’re worried about the sore throat symptoms you’re experiencing, we can help you! All you have to do is check in with us.

5. Asthma flareups

For those of us with asthma, cold, dry air can cause our airways to seize up, triggering an asthma attack. Winter air can also harbor lovely critters like mold spores and dust mites, so when you breathe in that damp, cold air, you put your lungs at risk for inhaling stuff that causes flareups and airway swelling.

Be sure to take any medication your physician prescribes you, and always carry your rescue inhaler if you have one. 

Don’t have an inhaler? We can get you set up.

And to stay on the safe side, you might consider exercising indoors and avoiding vigorous physical activity outdoors on especially cold and windy days.

If Your Winter Sickness Is Actually COVID-19

It’s very possible that the sickness coursing through your body is a result of COVID-19 variants, such as Omicron. 

If that’s the case, Care on Location can help! We’ll work with you to identify your health status, discuss home treatment options, and the best ways to keep yourself and others safe. 

Our online providers can evaluate and treat your cough, prescribe an inhaler or antibiotics, and even order labs and X-rays. 

Here’s some helpful information to know about COVID-19 as well as links to check out for testing, treatment, and more:

As of December 2021, Omicron has been detected in most states and territories, and the proportion of COVID-19 cases it’s causing is rapidly increasing. It’s highly contagious, increasing even so-called breakthrough infections, meaning infections of the vaccinated.

At this time, experts aren’t sure of the severity of illness it causes, or how well available vaccines and medications work to treat it. But what they do know is it’ll likely spread faster than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus. 

If you think you’ve recently been exposed to COVID-19 and are experiencing symptoms you’re concerned about, start here.

Finally, mask up indoors and in areas of high community transmission! Masks offer protection against all variants.This can be overwhelming. That’s OK. If you’re confused, worried, or you’re not sure where to start, get in touch with us. We’re here to help.

Care on Location — Here to Simplify Treatment 

Telemedicine evaluation is a great option for treating winter health conditions. 

Think about it: When you’re sick and trying to manage unmanageable symptoms, the last thing you want to do is leave your house. We want to make getting better as easy as possible for you. 

Our services include a Video Care Consult for only $69.99 for uninsured or self-pay patients. If you’re a Colorado Medicaid member, your visit is completely free, or it’s often covered by other insurance providers. Wherever you are in Colorado, we connect you to a qualified healthcare provider from the comfort of your home and device. 

We’re always here to help.

Care on!

Over the last few years, telemedicine has been consistently increasing in importance and effectiveness for patients. Hundreds of thousands of healthcare providers are already using telemedicine, and 66% of patients use telemedicine and tend to trust it as much as in-person visits. In fact, at least 84% of those who use telemedicine appointments are able to resolve their issues within a single online appointment.

There's no question telemedicine is a big player in today's healthcare market. But what exactly is telemedicine and how can it work for you? Let's take a look.

What is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine is a method of treatment that, according to Medicaid, "seeks to improve a patient's health by permitting two-way, real-time interactive communication between the patient, and the physician or practitioner at the distant site." In simple terms, this means it's a virtual meeting between the patient and their healthcare provider, usually completed over the phone or computer. 

Telemedicine is a cheaper and faster way to provide healthcare for patients when it is inconvenient to travel or when they can't or don't want to make it out of their homes to attend appointments. It has become especially popular in the wake of COVID-19 as more and more patients seek to limit their exposure to the virus by staying home.

What Can I See a Provider for Through Telemedicine?

Telemedicine can be a good option for quite a variety of appointment reasons. While providers may not be able to touch you and inspect you physically in quite the same manner as at an in-person visit, they can easily coach you on how to inspect yourself and make you more aware of and involved in your personal health needs.

You can see a provider for:

What Does Care On Location Treat Through Telemedicine?

Care On Location treats a variety of different ailments for patients in Colorado. Our staff are trained to provide support in a variety of different areas, including:

*Please note that our healthcare providers cannot prescribe controlled substances that could cause dependence, including certain medications like Tylenol, Xanax, Lyrica, etc. 

Do I Have to Be on Video During My Telehealth Appointment?

It is not always necessary to be on video during telehealth appointments. Some providers offer text messaging for less serious conditions or allow patients to connect only over audio. However, with Care On Location, we use video and phone-based appointments to ensure that you get the full spectrum of care you need quickly and in the moment. 

Video visits are preferred although our patients are able to choose their preferred type of visit.  On the chance that we are not able to see you, we might not notice important warning signs in your appearance. In addition, we believe that we can provide a more personal and in-touch experience when connecting with you over video. We always want our Colorado patients to know they are cared for and we are doing all we can to help them get better.

How Long Will the Appointment Take?

Most virtual health appointments take less than an hour. In general, it’ll take around 10 minutes to get to know you and go over your medical history and around 20 minutes to discuss the specific reason for your appointment and get the help you need.  We will also during that time send any prescriptions you need filled to your pharmacy or arrange to have them delivered (in the surrounding Denver area currently)  as well as order any labs or diagnostic imaging that are also necessary. 

How Fast Can I Book an Appointment?

With Care On Location, you can book within 20 minutes of the appointment time you desire if that time is available. As long as you book within business hours (Monday to Friday 9 am to 6 pm and Saturdays 10 am to 1 pm), you should be seen the same day. 

What Services Can I Get in a Telemedicine Appointment?

Care On Location offers you all the main services you'd get in an in-person appointment, including:

We can e-prescribe your medication and get it delivered via courier to you for free in Denver using a service we partner with.  We can also fax in orders for images and labs. Our healthcare providers will provide you with high-quality care immediately so that you don't have to book an appointment or get caught up in the stress of emergency room visits. 

Will My Normal Doctor (PCP) Know That I Saw You?

Care On Location will fax your primary care provider with a clinical summary of our visit and inform them of all we discussed. That way, they can be aware of any issues if they need to follow up with you. 

If you don't have a PCP, reach out to us and we can help find and refer you to providers that best can meet your medical needs. We want to make sure that all of our clients have the support they need to maintain a healthy life even when they aren't meeting with us.

Do I Have to Use a Portal To Book an Appointment?

You don't have to create an entire account to be seen by one of our providers. However, we will need some basic information such as your name, date of birth, address, email, and phone number. We can use that information to look up your Medicaid number if you don't know it since we work closely with Medicaid to provide patients superior care. Additionally, we also require the patient to be physically present in Colorado at the time of treatment.

Does Care on Location Take Colorado Medicaid?

We primarily see patients who have Colorado Medicaid. We also can see you if you have Medicare, Tricare, or most commercial insurance plans.  If you are uninsured or underinsured, you can see an urgent care provider for $69.99 as a self-pay patient.  If you have more questions, we'd be happy to put your concerns to rest. 

What Number Do I Call if I Have More Questions?

If you have more questions, we'd be happy to address your concerns. Just give us a call at 720-778-0005 and we'll answer your questions and help you get started with your telehealthcare.

Conclusion

If you have a medical concern and don't have the time to get an appointment with your primary care provider, we can help. Our trained providers will give you a proper diagnosis and help you get the medication and advice you need to start getting better. We can also refer you to a great PCP if you don't have one so that you can get more sustainable ongoing care. 
Don't hesitate to reach out to us for help. We are experts at navigating Medicaid, so we can direct you to the right resources and help you get the care you need in as little time as possible. We are standing by and eager to help you today!

Care on Location Can Help

Emotions are natural responses to events or situations. For example, you may be anxious when heading for a job interview or getting ready to give a speech to a group of people.  This feeling is normal and, interestingly enough, these anxious feelings help us do our best.

However, sometimes we have difficulty with letting go of uncomfortable emotions well past the event that caused these emotions. This may lead to difficulty in getting along with others, completing our tasks, or getting along with normal life. While our brains respond to threats, danger, or feedback by releasing hormones, in some cases, the hormones linger long after the situation has passed. This high level of hormones can cause continued unnatural or prolonged reactions to situations that are no longer present.

There are many situations that occur in daily life that cause uncomfortable feelings, feelings of not having control of our lives, and impact our daily lives.  More importantly, these situations can impact our relationships with people who are important in our lives, and people who can even help us the most like our families and loved ones.

Anxiety 

Anxiety is a feeling of fear or worry when responding to situations that present a threat, danger, or some difficulty. This feeling is a natural part of the flight or fight response system we all have.   However, if these feelings continue long after the threat is gone, they begin to interfere with other aspects of our lives in a negative way.  Our relationships can suffer, further increasing the anxiety of our lives.

Many times, having anxious feelings is normal. We can help with anxiety when it takes a noticeable toll on daily life. 

These situations, and others, are signs that anxiety may be a problem in your life that we can help with.

Anger

 Anger is not a bad emotion, but it is what we do with it that can hurt ourselves or others. Also, recurring bouts of anger can be signs of other issues for which we should seek assistance.   Often anger is a symptom of something else: stress, frustration, depression, and/or anxiety.  It is important that we understand the root of anger and address that issue while learning to redirect anger into some form of positive action.

The good news is there is help for us. There are people who are trained to help us process our anger and help us take control of the expression of our anger.  We can be empowered to harness that energy into something productive for ourselves.  

Try Seeking Help

If you find yourself dealing with stress, worry, anger, anxiousness, annoyances in life, or restlessness, please reach out for help.   A good start is to talk to someone who understands these issues.  We can help you have a more empowered life.

Reach out to Care on Location, a professional telehealthcare company that connects individuals to someone who can help.  Care on Location has professionals trained to help people with issues like yours.  These professionals can help build a support team (including a counselor, health care provider, and medication management) and offer professional support throughout the healing process. The Care on Location online platform allows you to connect with our professionals from the comfortable location of your choosing.

 Live the best life you can imagine.  Become empowered in your daily life.

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