Listen to what your body tells you
By Dr. Anthony Policastro
One thing that we should be aware of is that no one knows our bodies better than we do. We need to be good observers of things that go wrong. It might be a new pain. It might be a new feeling. It might be something that we cannot quite describe. In either case, we often know when something is not right. I have learned over the years to listen to parents when they tell me that something is different about their child. They are usually correct. Fortunately, most of the time it is something minor. Some of the time it goes away and we never know what it was. Physicians are on the outside looking in at these types of things. Going to a physician with a complaint requires more than just voicing the complaint. The more information about the complaint that you can give to a physician, the more likely it is that a correct diagnosis can be made. For example, if you come to see me and tell me you have headaches, the list of possibilities is endless. However, if you give some details, it can make all the difference in the world. You might tell me that the headache occurs in the front of your head. You might also tell me that it is only on one side of your head. You might tell me that it is throbbing in nature and that you see spots before your eyes when it is coming on. You might also tell me that you develop nausea during it and that it gets better when you go to sleep. You might tell me that bright lights make it worse. What you have then described is a classic migraine headache. When I confirm that you have a family history of migraine headaches, the diagnosis is then certain. If you come in with the same complaint but cannot give that kind of description, it makes the diagnosis much more difficult. The key is that we need to pay a lot of attention to our symptoms before we go to the physician. Most of our diagnoses are made from a good history. Some people think that a diagnosis of appendicitis is made from pressing on the abdomen. That is certainly part of it. However, there is usually a history that leads the physician to examine the abdomen looking for those particular findings. We may see a child who comes in with a chief complaint of a limp. The limp could be due to a problem in the foot, the lower leg, the knee, the upper leg or the hip. The history of injury becomes very important to know where to look. Alternatively, if there is no known injury, it causes us to look for very different things. There are two different hip conditions in children that cause a painless limp. There are also times when the nerve that runs through the hip can get irritated by inflammation in the hip. That nerve ends just above the knee. The sensation that the patient gets is pain above the knee as opposed to pain in the hip. The more information you can provide to a physician about a new symptom, the more likely there will be a correct diagnosis. That means that you need to do your homework before you go to the doctor. You need to observe what is different and the surrounding circumstances. You need to show how well you know your own body.
Milford Memorial hosts BBQ/Auction The Bayhealth Milford Memorial Auxiliary will sponsor a Country Barbecue and Auction from 5 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27 at the Dover Building at Harrington Raceway. The Milford Auxiliary will donate proceeds to the capital campaign for the replacement facility at Milford Memorial. Tickets, which are available until Oct. 15, are $25 each. For tickets and more information, email Tiffany Walter at Twalter1280@verizon.net.
Vitiligo Support Group The last meeting for 2012 of the Vitiligo Support and Awareness group will be held on Friday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. in Bayhealth's Education Building, 208 W. Water St., Dover. For more information, call Bayhealth's Education Department toll-free at 1-877-453-7107.
Nanticoke offers flu shots It's time to get your seasonal flu shot. Influenza is a serious disease that affects many people, including the elderly and those with serious, long-term health problems. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone get a seasonal flu vaccine every year. Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will be offering seasonal flu shots to individuals 18 years of age and older at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Mears Health Campus (300 Rawlins Dr., Seaford, Rehabilitation Services Building) on the following dates: Tuesday, Oct. 9 from 7 to 10 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 25 from 3 to 6 p.m. There is no charge but a donation of $10 per vaccination is requested. Pre-registration is not required. For more information regarding seasonal flu shots, call 629-6611, ext. 8948. For information on vaccinations for those under 18 years of age, contact Nanticoke Pediatrics at 629-6525.
Free DNA paternity testing For clients who need paternity established, Delaware's Division of Child Support Enforcement is offering free DNA testing weekdays through Sept. 28, at its offices statewide. Testing times are 10 a.m. to noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. In Sussex County, the office is located at 9 Academy St., Georgetown. In Delaware, if a child's parents were not married or in a civil union when the child was born, the law does not recognize the other parent unless paternity/parentage is legally established. Establishing paternity/parentage will give a child the same rights and benefits as children born to married parents. Parents who do not want to do DNA testing can agree to sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity. Gov. Jack Markell has proclaimed September as Child Support Month. For questions or further assistance, contact the Sussex County customer service center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at 856-5386. For more information about child support enforcement, go to www.dhss.delaware.gov/dcse, or contact Janice Taylor, Community Relations Officer, at 302-395-6525.
Prescription Drug Take-Back Day A new Prescription Drug Take-Back Day sponsored by the Division of Public Health and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is planned for Saturday, Sept. 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Delaware. The event is an opportunity to anonymously and safely dispose of unused medications. "Prescription drugs have been found in some Delaware water supplies where they could pose a health and safety hazard," said Rita Landgraf, secretary of Delaware Health and Social Services (DHSS). Prescription drugs should only be used by the persons to whom they are prescribed. In addition to being illegal, using unauthorized drugs can cause irreversible medical damage. Prescription and over-the-counter pills, liquids, and cream medications will all be accepted - even pet medication. Injectables and aerosols are not included in the program, and will not be accepted. Collection is free and anonymous. Personal information should be removed from bottles and packages. In Sussex County, area residents may visit the Bridgeville Fire Department, Bridgeville; Greenwood Police Department, Greenwood; Laurel Police Department, Laurel; and Nanticoke Mears Health Campus, Seaford. For more information, visit www.delawarehealthyhomes.gov or call 1-800-882-9539.
Carper commends new labeling law Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) has commended McDonald's USA for listing nutrition information, including calorie counts and U.S. Department of Agriculture-recommended food groups guidance, on its restaurant and drive-thru menus before federal regulations on menu-labeling take effect next year.
As part of the Affordable Care Act, the menu labeling provision requires restaurants and other retail food outlets with 20 or more locations nationwide to disclose nutritional information about their standard menu items. Sen. Carper, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, was one of the cosponsors who crafted the provision on menu labeling that was included in the Affordable Care Act.
Bike-A-Thon for St. Jude's On Sunday, Oct. 14, Seaford area residents will team up with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in the fight against childhood cancer. The 25th annual Bike-A-Thon is an event to give area residents the opportunity to help support the lifesaving mission of one of the world's premier pediatric cancer research centers. This event will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14 at West Seaford Elementary School. For information about this event and to pick up your fundraising packet, contact Ron Breeding, event coordinator, at email@example.com or 396-0117.
Prepared childbirth classes at PRMC Peninsula Regional Medical Center is offering a series of "Prepared Childbirth" classes in the fourth quarter of 2012. A traditional four week series of classes, which meet only on Mondays from 6 to 9 p.m., will begin on Oct. 15 or Nov. 19. A four week series that meets only on Tuesday nights from 6 to 9 p.m. will begin on Nov. 20. Parents also have the option of a weekend series on Oct. 27 and 28 or Dec. 15 and 16 that will meet from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on both days. All classes will be taught in the Avery W. Hall Educational Center on the PRMC campus. Meet other expectant parents at this interactive course that includes information about prenatal care, labor and delivery, post partum care and infant safety. Classes should be taken during the 6th to 8th month of pregnancy. The fee is $75 for the mom to be and her coach. Pre-registration is required. Participants are asked to bring a blanket and two pillows to each class. For more information, call 410-543-7126 or visit the Classes and Events section of the Peninsula Regional Medical Center website at www.peninsula.org for online registration.
Annual Go Pink! Health Fair Oct. 5 October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Bayhealth will host the 7th Annual Go Pink! Health Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 5 at the Dover Women's Center, located at 540 South Governors Ave., Dover. There will be free clinical breast exams; free blood pressure screenings; information on available cancer screening, treatment and survivorship programs; eye health education; health education opportunities and a bake sale. Bake sale proceeds will be donated to Bayhealth's Cancer Screening Assistance Fund to provide imaging services to uninsured patients in lower Delaware. Go Pink! T-shirts will be available to purchase for a donation of $10 or more. Sale proceeds after expenses will be divided between the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition and breast screenings and education programs available through Bayhealth's Cancer Institute. To order Go Pink T-shirts in advance go to www.bayhealthfoundation.org. They may also be purchased at one of the hospital gift shops at Kent General or Milford Memorial during normal operating hours.
NMH to renovate main lobby In order to improve the experience of patients and visitors to the hospital, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital is renovating the main lobby throughout the month of September. The newly renovated lobby is scheduled to be complete Oct. 1. Throughout construction, the lobby will remain open to patients and visitors with the exception of the last weekend of the month. Beginning at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28 the lobby will close, reopening at 6 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 1. Anyone visiting the hospital or needing care during this time should enter the hospital using the Emergency Department entrance. Outpatient Lab Services will remain open on Saturday, Sept. 29 and will be available by entering through the Emergency Department entrance. If you have any questions or concerns, contact Cathy Marketto, advocate, at 629-6611, ext. 3533.
'Self Hypnosis for Relaxation' On Saturday, Sept. 29 at 10 a.m., the Cancer Support Community, formerly The Wellness Community, will offer Self Hypnosis For Relaxation. Hypnosis is a tool that can be effectively used when recovering from cancer. Join Shannon Smith from Advanced Hypnosis Associates to learn how to use self hypnosis for relaxation. All programs at the Cancer Support Community are offered to people affected by cancer and their loved ones free of charge. Cancer Support Community is located at 18947 John J. Williams Hwy., Ste. 312, Rehoboth. Register in advance by calling 645-9150. More information about the Cancer Support Community is available online at www.cancersupportdelaware.org.
Diabetes screening event Bayhealth Milford Memorial and Walmart of Milford will offer a free Community Diabetes Screening event at the Milford Walmart on Saturday, Sept. 29 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bayhealth Diabetes educators will be on-site to provide free finger sticks for assessing random blood sugar, educational materials and more. For more information, call Bayhealth's Education Department toll-free at 1-877-453-7107.
NMH offers CPR classes Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will offer community CPR classes to anyone interested in learning CPR at the Nanticoke Training Center located on Water Street in Seaford. Participants will learn how to perform the basic skills of CPR on adults, children, and infants and how to help an adult, child, or infant who is choking and use of the AED. This classroom-based, video, and instructor-led CPR course offers families, friends, and community members the opportunity to learn CPR and need a course completion card. Classes are open to participants ages 12 and up. This program is specifically designed for those who prefer to learn in a group environment with feedback from an instructor. The target audience is those who have a duty to respond to a cardiac emergency. Cost is $40. Payment and registration is required by no later than five business days prior to the class. Late registrations may be accepted if seating is available. To register and to obtain a listing of class dates/times, contact the Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Training Center office at 629-6611, ext. 8919. Pre-registration is required.
HIV/AIDS Support Group A new support group for HIV/AIDS will meet every other Wednesday, at 7 p.m., in the Branford Lounge at Epworth United Methodist Church at 19285 Holland Glade Rd., Rehoboth Beach. The group is sponsored by Epworth UMC, CAMP Rehoboth, the AIDs Delaware and Delaware HIV Consortium. For more information, contact David at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. To learn more, call Lois Wilkinson at 672-6435. Registration is required and light refreshments and small gifts are provided.