Divisional Playoffs – Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants Pick

NFL Playoff Preview 
Philadelphia Eagles (10-6-1) at New York Giants (12-4) 
Sunday, 1:00PM Eastern 
Bookmaker.com betting line – New York -4, 40 O/U 
Two NFC East rivals are scheduled to battle for the 3rd time this season when the Philadelphia Eagles travel to take on the New York Giants. Both earlier match-ups were decided by less than a touchdown with each time scoring a victory once. However, this game will be much bigger than the previous two battles considering the winner this time will move on to play in the NFC Championship. The Giants were the class of the NFC all season, but face the challenge to hold off a dangerously hot Philadelphia team who has really come on strong in the late part of the year. 
New York struggled through the month of December losing 3 of their last 4 games. The Giants offense has really lost their early season form and has struggled to produce points in recent weeks. The Giants own the 3rd best scoring offense in the NFL at 26 points per game. However, New York only averaged 18 points in their final 4 games and it is imperative they get the offense back to top form. The Giants have two running backs that have eclipsed the 1,000 yard barrier on the season in Derrick Ward and Brandon Jacobs. The Giants strong running game will battle a strong defensive front from the Philadelphia Eagles this season. The Giants running game will need to come up big considering the passing game has been missing in action the latter part of the season. QB Eli Manning highest game total is 191 yards of passing in his last 4 games. The Giants need Manning to be more effective this weekend in a huge rivalry game. 
Philadelphia has played as well as anyone in the NFC the 2nd half of the season. The Eagles defense has simply been outstanding in recent weeks. The Philadelphia defense has held teams to a staggering 10.8 points per game in their last 5 outings against some really quality teams. QB Donovan McNabb has got the offense rolling again overcoming some mid-season turmoil that had the offense under the microscope. McNabb threw for 300 yards last week against the Vikings in the Wildcard Playoff Game and he will need another big performance this Sunday. Also running back Michael Westbrook will be a player to keep an eye on for the Eagles. Westbrook has big play capability and could be a difference maker this weekend. 
What to watch for… 
The Giants offense against the Philadelphia defense will be fun to watch. The Eagles defense has to be prepared to stop the run and most-likely will do so especially early in the game. The Giants will need Eli Manning and the struggling passing attack to add some key support. The Giants passing game will be the deciding factor in an anticipated defensive battle. 
Pick – NY Giants

Open heart surgery changes Provena Mercy nurse???s life

The Beacon News – Aurora (IL) August 3, 2011 Jo Volkening has spent most of her adult life working in health care. But it wasn???t until she heard a few simple words that her life and career changed forever: ???You???ll be going in for heart surgery within 6 months.??? see here open heart surgery

After hearing that news, ???my knees went weak,??? said Volkening, an RN in Provena Mercy Medical Center???s Cardiac Rehabilitation Department. ???It hits you like a ton of bricks. Open heart surgery is about the biggest surgery you???ll ever face.???

Volkening says this life-changing event was the key determinant in her decision to work as a cardiac rehab nurse. Her own experience as a patient in rehabilitation was so powerful, that she felt a calling to help others through this extraordinary process.

Volkening started as a paramedic, then worked as a medical assistant before becoming a nurse. She discovered at age 20 that she had a heart murmur, and later learned of a leaky valve, known in clinical terms as a mitral regurgitation. When a physician told her that her murmur was a ???Grade 4,??? she was scheduled for surgery to repair the valve.

???I was 49 years old and had no symptoms,??? she said. As an avid bicyclist, exercise enthusiast and health care provider, she says, she???s been committed to health her whole life.

And although she trained to be in peak physical condition prior to surgery in order to cope with the physical trauma, ???I came out of that surgery feeling like road kill. It takes 100 percent of your stamina,??? she said. ???I didn???t realize what a significant event open heart surgery was going to be.???

Her time spent as a hospital patient changed the way she practiced nursing.

???There were things that happened to me in the hospital ??? things the nurses said to me that I used to say to patients. And I thought, ???I will never say that to a patient again,?????? she said. ???And there were other things that nurses did for me that were so soothing and meaningful. I said to myself, ???I will do that for patients from now on.??????

Volkening believes that her experience helps her relate to patients, set them at ease and provides an added level of trust.

???So many times I see patients who are struggling with loss of control,??? she said. site open heart surgery

With open heart surgery, there is a 40 percent chance of depression. Patients suffer losses, they???re isolated, and can???t drive.

???I tell people I have a scar, too. I???ve been through this,??? she said. ???I feel so privileged to be with people in this significant event. I work in a place where you can be so intimate with people on a one-to-one basis. There???s no job like it.???

But why choose to work in rehab rather than as an ICU or surgical nurse?

Volkening says that she???s drawn to the positive aspects of rehab, both as a former patient and as a nurse.

???I used to look forward to rehab,??? she said. ???Every time I went, I saw progress. Every time I went, I knew I was getting better. I was getting out of the house and felt less isolated. I made friends there. We joked, we told our stories, we compared our scars.???

Exercise is a powerful antidepressant, Volkening says. ???

When you exercise, your body releases endorphins,??? she said. ???You feel better. We all left rehab feeling stronger.???

Moreover, cardiac rehab puts patients in a positive environment with people who love and care for the patients, she said.

???The most important determinant of cardiac health is the feeling of being loved and cared for. And that???s the mission here at Provena Mercy,??? Volkening said.

What sets Provena Mercy apart, says Volkening, ???is that we are committed to making a connection with the people who walk through this door. You???re not a number. People come in kicking and screaming because they don???t want to exercise, and when they walk out, they don???t??? want to leave. They???re so grateful for us helping to make them stronger.???

Jo Volkening has spent most of her adult life working in health care. But it wasn???t until she had open heart surgery that her life and career changed forever. She is a registered nurse in Provena Mercy Medical Center???s Cardiac Rehabilitation Department.

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