Health
Thursday, November 20, 2014
 
Doctor's Perspective
Reflecting on your past decisions and 'what ifs'


By Dr. Anthony Policastro
It can be interesting to reflect on decisions that we have made in the past. I decided that I wanted to be a pediatrician when I was in the second grade and I never wavered from that decision. When I was in medical school, the draft and Vietnam War were still going on and I wound up in the Air Force. After 20 years in the Air Force, I came to Seaford as the medical director at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital. I had worked with Dr. Bucky Owens and Dr. Carol Owens at Dover Air Force Base and they suggested that I come here. Thus, I never really had to make a single decision after the one in second grade. Everything kind of fell into place after that. However, there was another decision that I might have made along the way but it never materialized due to things beyond my control. Part of the reason I stayed in the Air Force was that I liked the fact that I did not have to bill my patients for my services. I was doing what I really liked so why should I charge people for that? In the 1960s, I was in college and medical school. Walt Disney had purchased land in Florida and he was building Disney World. However, his goal was not just to build an East Coast version of Disneyland. He bought all the land in Lake Buena Vista to complete a different vision - an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT). Walt's vision was far different from the theme park that we now call EPCOT. Walt wanted to build a city from scratch. At the center of the city would be all of the necessary services. There would be stores, restaurants, other forms of entertainment, hotels and a conference center. There would also be doctors' offices. When I first heard about the plan, I was intrigued about the medical care that would be provided. Built around the town center would be a series of houses in a circular fashion. The center would be the hub of a wheel and the houses would be the spokes. There would then be an outer circle of greenery that would have parks and playgrounds which would be an area for everyone to congregate. After that would be more homes. The houses would be owned by Disney and the families living there would all work for Disney. Many would work in an international park similar to the current EPCOT center. Individuals from all over the world would live in EPCOT and since they would all be working for Disney, there would be no unemployment. Thus, there would be no poor parts of town. The houses would all be owned by Disney and rented. The idea was that the "community of tomorrow" houses would be constantly updated with the newest technology. That way individuals would not have to buy the technology. Transportation to and from the town center, or the parks or the international park would exclude cars. There would be monorails and people mover type tracks similar to those in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom. There would be a level below the city that would house cars and support services like sanitation. Walt Disney died in the midst of this dream in December 1966 and I started medical school about 18 months later. I wrote to the Disney corporation a few years later. I was interested in what would be happening in the way of medical care in this new city. The response I received indicated that after Walt Disney passed away, the Disney corporation saw no profit in such a venture. The city was no longer planned and would be replaced with the EPCOT theme park instead. As a result there was no reason for me to look at being involved with it after my Air Force commitment was over. However, I still wonder what would have happened if Walt Disney had lived a few more years. Would his concept have worked? Would I be helping him fulfill that dream? I guess we will never know.

Monitor your child's cell phone TeenSafe, maker of the leading iPhone, iPad and Android monitoring software for parents, is reminding moms and dads planning on buying their teen a smartphone this holiday season to be prepared and empowered with the proper tools to help them keep a watchful eye on their child in this technologically advanced world. "Children are receiving phones at younger ages every year and because the technology is expanding so quickly, many parents have learned the hard way how these devices can have negative effects," said Rawdon Messenger, TeenSafe CEO. TeenSafe gives parents the ability to see their kids' incoming, outgoing and deleted text messages, web browsing history, contacts, call logs, location and Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Kik activity through a secure, online account. For more information about TeenSafe, visit www.teensafe.com.

Grief and the holidays "Grief and Coping with the Holidays," will be presented by Delaware Hospice's Midge DiNatale, GC-C, bereavement counselor, on Wednesday, Nov. 26 from noon to 12:45 p.m. at the Ocean View CHEER Center. Participants will learn strategies to help cope with the universal challenges presented by the holiday season. There is no fee for this presentation. For questions, contact Yolanda Gallego at ygallego@cheerde.com or 302-539-2671.

Stroke, osteoporosis screenings Residents living in and around Laurel may be screened to reduce their risk of having a stroke or bone fracture. Laurel American Legion Post 19 will host Life Line Screening on Tuesday, Nov. 25, at 12168 Laurel Rd., Laurel. This event is sponsored by Bayhealth Medical Center. Screenings identify potential cardiovascular conditions such as blocked arteries and irregular heart rhythm, abdominal aortic aneurysms and hardening of the arteries in the legs, which is a strong predictor of heart disease. A bone density screening to assess osteoporosis risk is also offered and is appropriate for both men and women. Packages start at $149. All five screenings take 60 to 90 minutes to complete. For more information regarding the screenings or to schedule an appointment, call 1-877-237-1287 or visit www.lifelinescreening.com. Pre-registration is required.

Hospice to hold grief workshop Delaware Hospice's Family Support Center will present a workshop entitled, "Coping with the Holidays," with Dr. Judy Pierson, clinical psychologist, from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Nov. 22, at the Delaware Hospice Center, 100 Patriots Way, Milford. When you've lost someone close to you, the holidays can bring both good and bad memories of previous years to the surface. In this engaging presentation, Dr. Judy offers useful advice and suggestions to help you and your family cope with your loss during and after the holidays. There is no fee for this community outreach program, however, space is limited, so reservations are kindly requested. To reserve your place, contact Michelle August at 302-478-5707, ext. 1103, or 800-838-9800, or email maugust@delawarehospice.org.

Breast Cancer Awareness On Wednesday, Oct. 8, Heritage at Milford Senior Living went Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness. Connie Holdridge of the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition presented information on breast health for both women and men. She stressed the importance of continued screening at all ages. Residents then enjoyed watching Heritage staff as they performed a Pink Glove dance to the 1980s tune "Girls Just Want to Have Fun."