Air Force Vet Overcomes PTSD and Sleep Disorder With Medical Foods

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Story Updated: Feb 13, 2013

(NewsUSA) - After serving four years in the Army and six in the U.S. Air Force, Christi J. Cook of Harbor Beach, Mich. left the military the same way many service members do -- proud and dutiful, yet struggling with a wrecked body and a civilian life she had never known.

For Cook, joining the military was the plan since adolescence, the desire to serve embedded in her genes dating back to her ancestors in the Revolutionary War. But she wasn't prepared to face the condition of her body once she left the military.

While in the Air Force, Cook suffered a hit from a scud missile overseas that resulted in exposure to an unidentified toxic nerve agent. The physical consequences were widespread for the young woman in her mid-twenties: heart arrhythmia, memory loss, bladder irregularity, gastrointestinal issues, arthritis, migraines, severe insomnia and unbearable muscle pain.

After years of physical therapy, antibiotics and prescription medication that provided little to no relief, Cook couldn't sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time, sit in a car for prolonged periods or enjoy a day without debilitating pain. It wasn't until a year ago that she finally found an effective way to cope with her symptoms.

"I was on a lot of antibiotics, a lot of pain killers, and none of it really worked. A lot of it masked the pain, but it was just like a boomerang. It came back and it usually came back worse," explained the 42-year-old, now a mother of two. "I tried so many things, and then when I started taking medical foods Sentra PM and AM, it was the first time in decades that I had any energy."

Sentra PM and Sentra AM are FDA-regulated, prescription-only medical foods that provide the precursors to the neurotransmitters needed for restorative sleep, while reducing fatigue and managing the increased nutritional requirements of fibromyalgia, respectively.

Medical foods, like those developed by Targeted Medical Pharma, Inc., help patients meet the increased nutritional requirements of chronic disease, including pain syndromes, peripheral neuropathy, hypertension, obesity and sleep and cognitive disorders.

By the time Cook discovered a solution, she was battling multiple diagnoses: post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), minor depression, fibromyalgia, traumatic arthritis and migraines.

"I get hyper-vigilant. I don't like to be in a crowd, I kind of panic in a crowd. Even going to church or grocery shopping was extremely difficult," Cook said, describing her PTSD symptoms, many of which only grew worse.

But Cook's insomnia was the most challenging -- until she found medical foods. In less than a week, Cook said, the tension began to ebb away. Now, it's the only thing she takes, and she recommends it to everyone. Learn more about Rx-only medical foods at www.targetedmedicalpharma.com.

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Dr. Dzwonczyk – Medical Director

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NYS Veterans' Home at Oxford

Welcome to New York State Veterans' Home at Oxford
The New York State Veterans' Home at Oxford is a 242 bed facility located in Chenango County about thirty miles north of Binghamton NY. Situated on a sixty acre site, the Home has spectacular scenic views of rural countryland. We provide state of the art medical, nursing, psychosocial, and rehabilitative services to our residents. We also have several academic affiliations including the Upstate Medical Center College of Medicine/Clinical Campus at Binghamton.

About Us
The New York State Veterans' Home at Oxford is a long term care skilled nursing facility. We are located in Oxford NY, and we serve the Central New York Region. We provide care for veterans and their dependents. Our current building has 242 beds in seven different units, including our rehabilitation unit and our dementia unit. Our facility is clean and pleasant, and our staff is friendly and professional. We welcome you to a guided tour upon request!

Dr. Dzwonczyk – Medical Director

Dr. Dzwonczyk Receives Certification in Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

It is with great pleasure that we announce that Philip J. Dzwonczyk, MD has been certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Dzwonczyk joins more than nineteen hundred fellow physicians to have achieved such certification.

Hospice and palliative medicine is the medical discipline of the broad therapeutic model known as hospice and palliative care. The discipline and model of care are devoted to achieving the best possible quality of life for the patient and family throughout the course of a life-threatening illness through the relief of suffering and the control of symptoms. Hospice and palliative medicine helps the patient and family face the prospect of death assured that comfort will be a priority, values and decisions will be respected, spiritual and psychosocial needs will be addressed, practical support will be available and opportunities will exist for growth and development. Hospice in the United States is an organized program that provides palliative care for terminally ill patients and supportive services to patients, their families, and significant others.

Dr. Dzwonczyk is the medical director of the New York State Veterans Home in Oxford. He recently completed the Harvard Medical School Program in Palliative Care Education and Practice and has worked for many years as an internist and geriatrician practicing in central New York. Dr. Dzwonczyk received his undergraduate degree from the University of Scranton and his doctor of medicine degree from Jefferson Medical College. He trained in internal medicine and psychiatry at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and holds specialty certificates in Internal Medicine and Geriatric Medicine. He has achieved Certified Medical Director status from the American Medical Directors Association and is a Fellow of both the American College of Physicians and the American Geriatrics Society. Dr. Dzwonczyk has directed the medical care of patients at the New York State Veterans Home since 1993 and has been active as a medical educator. He is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Upstate Medical University and is active as a member of the faculty of the Geriatric Medicine Clerkship of the Clinical Campus in Binghamton. In addition to his interest in palliative care, Dr. Dzwonczyk has an interest in the evaluation and management of cognitive and mood disorders of the elderly.

The American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine was formed in 1995 to establish and measure the level of knowledge, attitudes and skills required for certification of physicians practicing hospice and palliative medicine. Eligibility requirements for certification are significant. In order to be eligible to sit for the certifying examination, applicants must have received prior major specialty certification, practiced at least two years following residency, worked as a member of an interdisciplinary team for at least two years and have directly participated in the active care of at least fifty terminally ill patients in the preceding three years. Alternatively, applicants must have completed specialty fellowship training in palliative medicine. The fellowship training program must be at least one year in length and must meet the established voluntary standards for such a program.

ABHPM conducts its Certification Examination in Hospice and Palliative Medicine annually at multiple sites through the United States. Currently, 1908 physicians have been certified by virtue of meeting certification requirements, including successful completion of this examination. A listing of currently certified physicians may be viewed on the Boards website at www.ABHPM.org.

Information on the American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine may be obtained from the website at www.ABHPM.org or by call (301) 439-8001.

Welcome to New York State Veterans' Home at Oxford