Thursday, May 06, 2010
Arguing wastes time and energy

By Dr. Anthony Policastro

People spend a lot of time arguing about things. If we stop and think about it, much of that time is not worth the effort. The gist of most arguments is the expectation that one person is right and the other is wrong. Even in the best of circumstances one person is not going to be right 100% of the time. That means that sometimes when you argue about something, you are wrong. One question then to ask when you are having an argument is whether it really matters if one person is right and the other is wrong. In most circumstances the world will not end if one person is correct and the other is not. So, why bother arguing about something that has no real long term impact? Another issue is the type of arguments that people tend to have. Most of them are about trivial things. The thing that begins the argument is frequently not worth arguing about. A classic is the issue of leaving the toilet seat up or down. In the overall scheme of things, is it really a serious issue? Is it really worth arguing over? One of the things I frequently tell newly married couples is to spend some time looking at their first few arguments. When they take their wedding vows, they are only thinking about each other. If I were to ask them on their wedding day if they would have an argument over a toilet seat, they would think I was crazy. The third thing that frequently occurs in arguments is transitioning from the original issue to an unrelated issue. The classic example of this is the adolescent who wants to go somewhere and the parents say "no." It goes from being an issue about a particular item to a generalization such as "you never let me have any fun." There are some important lessons to be learned when there is any kind of argument. The first is that the two parties must stop and ask themselves some questions. This is the hardest part of all. When someone gets into a situation like this, it is hard to come up for air. However, that is the only way to do it. Once that is done, there are three questions that need to be asked. The first is whether it really matters who is right or who is wrong. In most circumstances even if one person is right, it matters very little in the overall scheme of things. So why argue? The second question is whether the issue is really an important one. In most cases it is not. So why argue? The third question is whether the argument is about the issue that started it all or has it transitioned to something else? If it has transitioned, then it makes sense to go back to the original issue. Once you do that, you will find that the first two questions then apply. The result will still be the same. Why argue?

Foot care for diabetics

An average of 235 amputations a day are performed in the United States on patients with diabetes. Each year one in 20 people with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer which may result in chronic non-healing wounds and, in extreme cases, lead to amputation. Tragically, those cases are hardly isolated: on average a staggering 235 amputations a day are performed in the United States on patients with diabetes. "Most people with diabetes know the importance of checking blood sugar levels while the importance of daily foot exams is underemphasized, even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that comprehensive foot care programs can reduce diabetes-related amputation rates by 45 to 85 percent," says Katherine J. Rowland, chief clinical officer for the National Healing Corporation. The local experts at Nanticoke Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center, a National Healing Corporation Wound Healing Center, recommend these foot care tips:

  • Don't count on foot pain to alert you to problems since diabetes can cause changes in the skin on the feet as well as nerve damage, which can impair sensation of feeling. Visually inspect your feet and between your toes for blisters, cuts, red spots and swelling.
  • Avoid crossing your legs: this can cause pressure on the nerves and blood vessels, possibly causing damage.
  • Sit with your feet up to keep the blood flowing to them. Two or three times a day, wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down for five minutes.
  • Your feet contain a million sweat glands. Always wear properly fitting socks made of cotton and wool, and change your socks and shoes twice a day.
  • Don't go barefoot.Feel inside your shoes before putting them on to make sure they don't have tears in the lining or foreign objects.
  • Cut toenails straight across and don't trim them too short. Use an emery board to smooth corners of toenails or ingrown nails.
  • While Medicare and many health care providers will reimburse a portion or all of the cost of shoes and custom inserts prescribed by a doctor, don't buy more than one insert at a time in case the size or shape of your foot changes.
  • Don't pull loose pieces of skin off your feet.See a health care professional to have them removed.
  • Seek medical treatment if a leg or foot wound has not healed in 30 days or shows signs of infection such as increased pain, redness or swelling, foul wound odor, a change in color, or amount of drainage from the wound.
For more information about diabetes management and treating and preventing chronic wounds, contact Nanticoke Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center located at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, 628-8322.

NMH celebrates occupational therapy April was Occupational Therapy Month and the theme was "Living Life to Its Fullest." Health professionals involved in occupational therapy programs throughout the United States sponsored activities to help people learn about occupational therapy. Occupational therapy (OT) helps people regain their strength and begin performing basic daily living activities independently again.OT focuses on many areas during a person's rehabilitation phase, including range of motion and strength of the upper body, fine motor, sensation, visual abilities, and cognitive or mental capabilities that would enable someone to function safely in their home. Occupational therapy can work with a patient in a wide variety of settings, such as hospital care, a rehabilitation facility, home care, or long-term care.An individual in long-term care may require OT for upper body positioning, splinting or even passive range of motion. The occupational therapy staff at Nanticoke Memorial hospital and the Mears Outpatient Center strive to tailor all of their treatments to the very specific needs of each of their patients. For more information, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital at 629-6611, ext. 5108 or the Mears Outpatient Campus at 629-6224, ext. 8613.

Free prostate cancer screening Bayhealth Medical Center is offering a free screening for prostate cancer on Saturday, May 22, beginning at 9 a.m., at the Bayhealth Cancer Center at Milford Memorial Hospital. The free screening consists of a PSA blood test and digital rectal exam (DRE). Pre-registration is required. For more details or to register, contact Paula Hess, MSN RN OCN, at 744-6752.

Bayhealth sponsors stroke seminar Stroke is the third leading killer and the top cause of disability in the United States. Bayhealth Stroke Care Coordinator Dawn Fowler, MSN, RN, PCCN, will join Bayhealth Neurologist Joel Rutenberg, MD, during Bayhealth's upcoming Stroke Seminar, Wednesday, May 19 and Thursday, May 20. Dr. Rutenberg will lead a discussion about prevention and treatment for stroke, while Fowler will provide insight on how strokes impact entire families. The seminars will be held on the following dates and times: Wednesday, May 19, 5-8 p.m., in the Board Room & Conference Center at Milford Memorial Hospital, Milford. Thursday, May 20, 5-8 p.m., in the General Foods Conference Room at Kent General Hospital, Dover. For more information, visit or call 302-744-6584.

Stroke and osteoporosis screenings Residents living in and around the Blades community can be screened to reduce their risk of having a stroke or bone fracture. The Blades Town Hall-Hardin Hall will host Life Line Screening on May 17. The site is located at 20 W. Fourth St. in Blades. Appointments will begin at 9 a.m. For more information regarding the screenings or to schedule an appointment, call 1-877-237-1287 or visit our website at Pre-registration is required. Life Line Screening was established in 1993, and has since become the nation's leading provider of preventive screenings.

Lunch and Learn about diabetes The Sussex Child Health Promotion Coalition Diabetes Prevention and Control Program will hold Lunch and Learns throughout Sussex County for individuals with diabetes and their caregivers. Participants will learn more about diabetes and how to manage the disease. The following area lunches are scheduled:
  • Clarence Street Church of God, Seaford - Thursday, May 20, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. To register, contact Pastor Cannon at 629-9443 by May 14.
  • Delmar Public Library - Thursday, May 20, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. To register, call 846-9894 by May 14.

Cancer support group The Wellness Community-Delaware offers a free general cancer support group for people affected by cancer and their loved ones at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford. The monthly support group meets in the second floor conference room of the Cancer Care Center on the third Monday of each month from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The Wellness Community is dedicated to helping people affected by cancer enhance their health and well-being through participation in a professional program of emotional support and hope. All facilitators of these groups are trained mental health professionals. Call 645-9150 for information or to register.

Man to Man support group Nanticoke Memorial Hospital offers a Man to Man support group meeting on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Man to Man helps men cope with prostate cancer by receiving information and peer support. Man to Man is a forum for men and their support network to learn about diagnosis and treatment options through presentations, written materials and videos. Specialists share information such as side effects and how to cope with prostate cancer and its treatment. News and information about nutrition, general health, research and treatment, as well as messages from men living with prostate cancer and other Man to Man activities, are offered to assist in the recovery process. Pre-registration is not required for this free support group. For more information, contact Larry Skala (337-3678) or Grafton Adams (628-8311).

Depression Support Group There is a free bimonthly Depression Support Group meeting in Laurel on the second and fourth Wednesday evenings from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Any person who has signs and symptoms of depression and is under the care of a professional counselor/MD is welcome to attend. To register, call 302-465-6612.

Bereavement support group Compassionate Care Hospice, The Wellness Community-DE and Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will collaborate to present a monthly bereavement group, The Next Step. The group focuses on issues of loss that continue beyond the early stages of grief. Mary Van House, bereavement coordinator, will facilitate the group at 10 a.m. on the third Tuesday of each month, at the Nanticoke Cancer Care Center, second floor conference room. To register, call Lisa at 629-6611, ext. 2378.

Breast cancer support group Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Inc. (DBCC) has expanded its Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey, a program for women newly-diagnosed with breast cancer, by partnering with Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center in Seaford. The free, monthly program is offered at the Cancer Center located at 801 Middleford Road, Seaford, the third Thursday of each month from 3 to 4 p.m. The program is facilitated by Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center professional staff - Terri A. Clifton, MS, NCC, Cancer Care coordinator; Mary Brown, RN, DSN, manager Cancer Care Center; and Wendy Polk, nutritionist - with assistance from Lois Wilkinson, DBCC special projects manager, who helps facilitate the program at Bayhealth. Together, they answer questions, help calm fears, and share information about resources that are available at Nanticoke, through DBCC, and other organizations within the local community. Of particular value to newly-diagnosed women is DBCC's Peer Mentor Program through which they are paired with a long-term survivor for one-on-one support. To learn more about Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center, call Lois Wilkinson at 672-6435. Registration is required and light refreshments and small gifts are provided.

Wellness Program funding available Obesity, which is the second most preventable cause of death in the U.S., has reached epidemic proportions. The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) announces that a two-year funding opportunity is available to support two Delaware municipalities in implementing a sustained approach to healthy eating and active living. The Municipal Wellness Leadership Program assists with planning, assessing, initiating or expanding environmental systems to support healthy lifestyles. To apply, municipalities led by city/town mayor or management must be able to mobilize a partnership that includes representatives from schools, businesses and municipal, governmental, faith-based and community organizations. The deadline to send responses to this grant is June 15, at 11:30 a.m. A pre-bid meeting is required. The meeting will be held on May 11, at 10 a.m. at Delaware Health and Social Services, Herman Holloway, Sr. Social Services Campus, Main Administration Building, Sullivan Street, 1st Floor, Room 198, 1901 N. Dupont Highway, New Castle. All bidders must be present on time at this mandatory pre-bid meeting. For more information, contact Michelle Eichinger at 302-744-1011.