All posts by Jason Glogau

Victor Duran

While at the Advanced Care Hospital of Southern New Mexico, Victor Duran learned how to manage his COPD.

Victor Duran was enjoying his retirement, spending his days on the go and much of his time working in his yard. One day, he began to experience shortness of breath and found himself at the hospital and quickly admitted to the ICU. Doctors found that Mr. Duran had suffered a heart attack and fallen victim to COPD. Mr. Duran needed to be placed into a coma and be intubated. After spending quite some time in the ICU, he got a little stronger. His doctors and family members decided that the Advanced Care Hospital of Southern New Mexico was the right choice for his next level of care.

During his time at ACHSNM, Mr. Duran continued to regain strength. He also began to get his COPD under control. He made great progress over his stay. When the time came, he and his family chose to continue his recovery at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Southern New Mexico.

During his two week stay at RHSNM, Mr. Duran continued his progress with specific goals in mind. He was motivated by his desire to make his daughter Cassandra Marie proud and to return home with Topaz, his beloved cat. Mr. Duran and his family worked very hard with his doctor, therapy, and nursing to achieve these goals.

Rosa, Mr. Duran’s respiratory therapist, noted how special it is to care for patients like him. “To serve our community and help patients like Mr. Duran be able to breathe easier, be educated about their COPD disease, and manage the disease so that they can enjoy life, is not only our passion, but our honor.”

The day he discharged home, Mr. Duran reflected on his stay. “It has been wonderful and all the staff have been great,” he stated. “The way the people treat you, you wouldn’t want to go anywhere else. I would definitely recommend this place!” He said that he plans to, “continue therapy, go to all his follow up appointments and get better!”

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Ramona Pacheco

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Ramona Pacheco, 86, is the kind of grandmother we all know

Ramona Pacheco is the kind of grandmother we all know. Widowed from her husband of 53 years, Ramona has four daughters and as many grandchildren. Originally from Rincon, NM, she has lived in Las Cruces since 2011. The 86-year-old homemaker loves visiting with her family and neighbors and going to the store.

That was until one day when Ramona began having issues with her breathing. “I was at home and I couldn’t breathe right,” she recalled. “I started feeling very warm and weak. Just overall yucky.”

Over the past year, Ramona had spent the past year in-and-out of hospitals with infections. Gradually, she became weaker. Ramona returned home from a skilled nursing facility on a Friday. On Saturday, the breathing incident occurred and Ramona’s daughter took her to a local emergency room. Ramona was admitted to the hospital where things progressively got worse.

On Sunday, Ramona was transferred to Intermediate Care. On Monday, she was moved to ICU, intubated, and put on a ventilator. After 16 days, a tracheostomy and PEG tube were placed surgically. Ramona had developed severe pneumonia. Her physician, Dr. Shet, recommended a transfer to Advanced Care Hospital of Southern New Mexico.

Ramona transferred to ACHSNM where the ventilator weaning process began. Though Ramona doesn’t remember much of her stay, her daughters were by her side and involved all the way through. The teamwork between the doctors, staff, and Ramona’s daughters produced results.

While at ACHSNM, respiratory therapists helped Ramona with treatments to wean from the ventilator. Speech therapists worked with her on talking and eating. Occupational therapy taught Ramona how to perform the daily tasks she used to perform with ease. Physical therapy helped her regain some mobility.

Ramona spent a little over a month at ACHSNM. Liberated from the ventilator and feeding tube, she transferred to the Rehabilitation Hospital of Southern New Mexico. There, she participated in additional therapy as an inpatient. Ramona has since discharged home with her family, participating in outpatient therapy at RHSNM to further her recovery.

Ramona and her family wished to thank the staff who helped her regain her independence: Annette and the respiratory therapists, Taylor, Nathan and Bradyn, Bernie, Sandra, Desiree, and all the nursing staff. “Not once did the staff ever complain when Mom wanted to get up to the chair and then back to bed,” said her daughter, Teresa. “Everyone would come in happy to help and were compassionate.

But the moment that Ramona and her family will always remember is her discharge day. “When Mom was discharged, the staff lined up in the hallway and cheered and clapped for her,” Teresa said with a smile. “This brought tears to our eyes, it was so beautiful!”

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What to Pack for a Hospital Stay

Whether you are a patient preparing for an inpatient hospital stay, or someone who’s loved one unexpectedly finds themselves in a hospital, having the right things for a hospital stay is important. Packing the right items will help make your stay less stressful and allow you to focus on your recovery.

Below you’ll find a summary of suggested items to pack for a hospital stay.


  • 5-6 outfits of loose fitting pants and tops
  • Undergarments
  • Sweater or jacket
  • Supportive pair of athletic shoes with non-skid soles
  • Night clothes (gown, robe, pajamas)


  • Soap, if you prefer a certain brand
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash & dentures
  • Comb, brush, shaving supplies & cosmetics
  • Deodorant, lotion, perfume, & aftershave


  • Insurance cards & medical information
  • Eyeglasses & hearing aids
  • Incontinence pads (if needed)
  • Pillow, blanket
  • Family pictures
  • Laundry basket or bag

Click here to download a printable version of this checklist

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Understanding Influenza: 5 Facts to Know this Flu Season

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the 2017-2018 flu season was one of the worst. Understanding Influenza – how it’s spread, how to prevent it, and the symptoms of the flu – can help keep you, and your community healthy this winter. Below are five flu facts to know as we enter flu season.

Can a flu shot give me the flu?

The Influenza vaccine is safe and cannot give you the Flu. It takes 2 weeks to build up your immunity, so you can contract the flu before developing the antibodies.

How is the flu spread?

Influenza is a contagious respiratory virus that spreads when you are exposed to an infected person that coughs or sneezes. It can also be spread by touching your nose, mouth or eyes after touching a surface with the virus on it.

How can I prevent the flu?

There are several things you can do to keep yourself flu-free! The most important step you can take is to get a flu vaccine each year. You can also help prevent getting the flu by frequently using hand sanitizer or washing your hands. Try to avoid touching your nose, mouth or eyes. Avoid spreading the flu by covering your coughs/sneezes and by staying home if you are sick. Additionally, be sure to keep surfaces in your home clean.

What are the symptoms of the flu?

Symptoms usually start 1-4 days after exposure and usually come on suddenly. You are most contagious in the first 3-4 days after the illness starts. However, you can infect others before you are symptomatic and up to a week after becoming sick.

Flu symptoms can range from mild to severe. They can include fever, headache, fatigue, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, sore throat, cough and chills. Seek medical care for any worsening symptoms.

What is the treatment for the flu?

Rest, pain relievers and extra fluids will help to lessen your symptoms. While antibiotics are not effective for the flu, there are prescription antiviral medications that can help to lessen the symptoms and shorten the duration. But, they must be started within 48 hours after onset.

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Resources for Caregivers

There are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers, and those who will need a caregiver.” – Rosalyn Carter

Caregivers often hide in plain sight. They make up a substantial portion of the United States population. In the US alone, there are over 40 million unpaid caregivers for adults over the age of 65. We tend not to realize the strain put on an individual who cares for a loved one. Instead, we see only the selflessness with which they provide care. Unfortunately, there’s often more going on than we recognize.

Caring for a loved one can be overwhelming, particularly when providing care for a spouse. It’s important to understand and utilize the resources available to you as a caregiver. Here are some great resources for caregivers:

VA Caregiver Support

If you provide care for a veteran, the Veterans Administration has a number of resources available to you. Services offered include mentoring, diagnosis-specific tips and guidance. Additionally, help is available to care for your loved one so that you have time to care for yourself. Many of these services are provided at no cost.

Diagnosis-specific Support Networks

Many organizations offer online support networks for patients and caregivers, focused on specific diagnoses. These support networks typically have segments dedicated to the unique needs of caregivers. Some of the organizations offering these support networks include:

Local Support Groups

Hospitals often host support groups on a variety of topics. Some are diagnosis-specific. Others focus directly on caregivers. It can be quite helpful to connect with individuals who have had similar experiences to yours. Contact your local hospital to find out what support groups they host and when they meet.

An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.” – Unknown

As a caregiver, it’s important not to neglect yourself. The resources above offer support so that you can care for yourself, too. Additionally, you may speak with your healthcare provider for more resources. Remember, taking good care of yourself is part of providing care to another!

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How to Spot a Stroke

Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States suffers a stroke. Every four minutes, someone dies.

Stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States, responsible for about one out of every 20 deaths.

As many as 80% of strokes may be preventable. But if someone is suffering a stroke, one of the most important factors is time. Knowing the signs of stroke, and what to do in that situation, could save a person’s life.

All you need to remember is F-A-S-T.

F: Face Drooping

Look at the person’s face. Does one side droop? Do they feel numbness on one side of their face?
Action item: Ask the person to smile. Is their smile lopsided or uneven?

A: Arm Weakness

Does the person feel numbness or weakness in one arm?
Action item: Ask the person to raise both arms above their head. Are they able to lift both arms? Does one arm drift downward?

S: Speech Difficulty

Is the person making sense when they speak? Are their words slurred?
Action item: Ask the person to say a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Can you understand what they say?

T: Time to Call 9-1-1

If any of these symptoms are present, call 9-1-1 immediately. Tell the operator you think someone is having a stroke. Do this even if these symptoms disappear. Time is critical, so it is important to get them to the hospital right away. Be sure to note the time when the symptoms appeared.
Action item: Call 9-1-1!

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Physical Therapy and Respiratory Failure

Physical therapy can play an important role in many patients’ recoveries. And this holds true for patients who are on ventilators as well.

Studies have shown that early movement in patients on ventilators – like sitting, standing, and even walking – can provide better recoveries.

Physical therapists can help patients on ventilators begin moving as soon as possible. This may include progressing from arm movements to sitting on the edge of the bed to even walking down the hall. This is all while the patient is still on a ventilator.

If it doesn’t sound like an easy feat, it’s because it’s not. It requires determination from the patient. Often, it also requires the help of several healthcare professionals to ensure the patient’s safety.

But, it’s worth it.

Every step the patient takes – literally and figuratively – provides for a better chance of recovery.

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3 Tips for Keeping Yourself Flu-Free

It’s that time of year again…flu season. With the constant risk of catching the virus, educating yourself can be the key to being flu-free.

The flu typically is spread when someone who has it coughs, sneezes, or talks. Droplets from his or her mouth spread to the mouths or noses of people nearby. Additionally, you can catch the flu from touching an object that has flu germs on it, and then touching your mouth or nose.

Once flu germs get inside the body, they go to the respiratory system. There, they attach to those cells, essentially turning them into more flu germs. That’s when your immune system begins to fight back. It does so by creating two different proteins that attack the virus – cytokines and chemokines. Cytokines multiply to help fight off the virus. Chemokines create white blood cells (called T cells) to help fight against the virus, as well.

Eventually, the fever that comes along with the flu is your body’s way of killing off the virus.

As it turns out, many symptoms you feel from the flu aren’t the virus itself. Rather, it is your immune system working to fight it off.

While it’s great that your body has the ability to fight the flu, the best defense is always prevention. To keep yourself flu-free, try these 3 tips:

  1. Get a flu shot. This vaccine is the number one way to keep the flu out of your body.
  2. You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again: wash, wash, wash your hands. When you wash your hands, you wash flu (and other) germs away, limiting your risk of catching them.
  3. Last, keep the surfaces clean in your house to help remove any flu germs.
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