Doctor's Perspective Be honest with your doctor
By Dr. Anthony Policastro
I was watching a TV show recently where they were interviewing a comedian. They were talking about questions that doctors ask. They got to the topic of lying about the answers and the example they used was how much alcohol do you drink in a week. They were laughing about the fact that they all lied when given that question.
The comedian thought that the next time she went to the doctor and he asked, she would answer 36 drinks per week. She was clearly joking, however, her point was what would the doctor do with that information?
Sometimes it can be hard to diagnose a patient. This is especially true when a patient lies about important things.
For example, pregnancy can cause abdominal pain. Patients frequently lie about the date of their last period when they come to the ER which often forces the doctor to do a pregnancy test anyway.
We see the same kind of lying when we suspect a reaction to illicit drugs. Patients will deny using them, however, a drug screen will come back positive. Of course, there are patients who will go on lying about it even after the positive results come back.
I have written in the past about the dilemmas patients create when they are not taking their medication and lie about it. These patients force the physician to increase the dose, change the medication or add another medication. None of that is good for the patient.
There are other ways that patients intentionally make things difficult for physicians. For example, they may have an important piece of information that they do not share with the doctor which results in the doctor making an incorrect diagnosis leading to an incorrect treatment.
I know someone who is seeing a neurologist for memory issues. He had an appointment recently. I told him that the likely cause of the memory issues is related to his sleep apnea symptoms. After the visit, I asked him if he shared that information with the neurologist. He said he did not. Thus, the neurologist will not make the correct diagnosis.
The question is, why even bother going to the physician if you are going to hide information? You are wasting your time and the physician's time. You are wasting money on medications that you may not need. You may possibly have side effects from medications you do not need. You may have diagnostic tests done that are a further waste of time.
Those tests cost the medical care system money. We all pay for your useless tests with our insurance money. You are costing each of us additional money when you do that. You may suffer side effects from the tests. You might have unnecessary surgery.
The bottom line is that physicians can only use the information that they have to decide what is going on. If you lie to physicians or withhold information, then they may not make the correct diagnosis.
Laurel Library hosts dementia-related behavior program
Laurel Public Library in cooperation with the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, will provide an educational session on dementia-related behavior at the Laurel Public Library at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 3, in the Carpenter Community Room.
The Alzheimer's Association will discuss typical triggers that initiate dementia-like behavior. Attendees will learn the process of recognizing and addressing these behaviors. Participants will be able to ask questions.
Registration is required. Attendees should register by calling 800-272-3900 or e-mailing Sharon.Jarnette@alz.org, no later than Aug. 27. For more information, email Gregg McCullough at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 875-3184.
Annual Nanticoke benefit golf tournament set for Sept. 17-18 On Thursday, Sept. 17 and Friday, Sept. 18 over 200 golfers will take to the course at Heritage Shores Club in Bridgeville to show their support for The Campaign for Nanticoke - Emergency Department.
This project will enable Nanticoke Health Services to serve patients faster and more efficiently, and accommodate anticipated growth in patient volume in the immediate future. Pink golf ball shaped signs, which are placed throughout the course, are available for a donation of $25 to honor, memorialize or celebrate a loved one.
To learn more, visit www.nanticoke.org/golf, call the Nanticoke Health Services Foundation at 536-5393, or email FioriC@nanticoke.org.
Camp for adults with brain injuries
The Brain Injury Association of Delaware (BIAD) with Easter Seals of Delaware and Maryland's Eastern Shore, is offering a respite camp for adult Delaware residents who have sustained brain injuries and have caregivers. The free camp will be held at Camp Fairlee in Chestertown, Md., on Aug. 28-30. Fifteen slots are available.
Activities will be planned from morning to evening with trained staff attending to their assigned campers, and registered nurses available 24 hours a day on site. Campers will sleep in a dormitory style setting but other settings may be available based on camper needs.
For more information and to apply, contact Jason Carpenter at email@example.com.Individuals of all level of care and brain injury will be considered. The deadline to apply is Aug. 13.Free mother daughter event for Latinas
Girls Inc. of Delaware and Beebe Healthcare will partner together on Saturday, Aug. 15, to present a free event for Latinas and their daughters. Hosted by Pastor Israel Figueroa and La Iglesia de Dios Maranatha, this bilingual event will have free health screenings, hands on activities for mothers and daughters, and guest speakers from local health providers.
The event, Saber es Vencer: Saludables para Nosotras y Nuestras Familias, is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at La Iglesia de Dios Maranatha in Seaford. The target audience for the daughters is between the ages of 9 to 15. The goal of the conference is not only to strengthen families, but to deepen the critical bond between mothers and daughters.
A healthy lunch will be provided. Interested parties are requested to pre-register; space is limited. Contact Linda Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 575-1041 to register.
NHS recognizes Breastfeeding Week
Nanticoke Health Services celebrated World Breastfeeding Week Aug. 1-7. This year's theme was Breastfeeding and Work, Let's Make it Work.
Breastfeeding or giving breast milk is recommended exclusively for the first six months of life. During this time, many new moms return to work and legislation has improved their support of these working women.
Work places provide time and private space for moms to pump and some insurance companies over breast pump coverage.
Nanticoke Health Services offers prenatal breastfeeding education classes and the first Breastfeeding Moms Support Group began on Aug. 11.
If you are an employed mom or an employer and your company supports breastfeeding, contact Jacalyn Bradley, a member of the Delaware Breastfeeding Coalition; we are instituting a work place recognition program.
For more information about breastfeeding, contact Lactation Consultant, Jacalyn Bradley, BSN, RNC, IBCLC at 629-6611, ext. 2234 or to register for Breastfeeding Class, 629-6611, ext. 2540.
Lunch Bunch Lecture
Mindfulness: Reducing Stress & Staying Open in the Moment will be the topic of Delaware Hospice's next Lunch Bunch Lecture with Dr. Judy Pierson on Friday, Sept. 4 at Delaware Hospice Center in Milford. Lunch Bunch Lectures are organized to help members of the community re-invest in life and are open to the public.
Lunch is from noon to 12:30 p.m. and is $5 per person. The presentation is from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and is free of charge.
Mindfulness has been defined as a state of active, open attention on the present. When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience. Mindfulness can be used as a form of meditation and stress reduction. It teaches you how to be fully present in any given moment and provides greater mental clarity and deep contentment.
Registration is required as seating capacity is limited. Register by Thursday, Sept. 3, by contacting Michele August at 746-4503 or email@example.com.
DBCC plans fundraiser
The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition (DBCC) is preparing for the Sixth Annual Monster Miles for a Cause Walk at Dover International Speedway on Saturday, Oct. 17.
The un-timed walk, which takes place during breast cancer awareness month, is a family friendly event for supporters to step onto the NASCAR track to benefit the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition.
Attendees are encouraged to walk in honor or in memory of someone in their life that has been impacted by breast cancer. The event will include food, vendors, and team prizes. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. and the walk steps off at 10 a.m. To register online, visit www.debreastcancer.org.
Monster Miles will be held rain or shine and costs $25 per individual in advance and $30 for day-of registration. Individuals can also participate as part of a team. Children 10 and under can walk for free with an adult. Sponsorship opportunities are available and those who cannot attend can register as Sleepwalkers to make a donation.
For more information, contact Michelle Marshall, DBCC event coordinator, at 302-593-9924 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Road to Recovery Program
The American Cancer Society's Road To Recovery program offers free rides for patients to their cancer treatments plus a host of other free services.
For more information, call 1-800-ACS-2345.