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The Pocahontas Times––March 29, 2012––Page 1B

Health and Wellness Mancil Doolittle suffers stroke, beats the odds Suzanne Stewart Staff Writer

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ormer tractor-trailer driver Mancil Doolittle, of Green Bank, has traded in 18 wheels for three. Mancil rides an adult tricycle every day as part of his ongoing rehabilitation in his recovery from a brain stem stroke he suffered January 22, 2011. The past year has been a rough road, but he has surpassed his doctor’s expectations for his recovery. Most brain stem stroke victims are fully paralyzed and can only move their eyes. Mancil was working in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and staying with his aunt, Nelda Sorrell, when he suffered a stroke. “I was working there about three months when it happened,” he said. “They suspected it was high blood pressure. At first, when it hit me, I blamed a basil leaf. I picked a leaf and stuck it in my mouth and my mouth went numb first. I was grabbing that leaf, trying to get rid of it, then all of a sudden, I got powerfully dizzy and I grabbed the antenna [on my

truck]. That’s the last recollection I have until I hit the concrete.” Usually, when Mancil stays with his aunt, she respects his privacy. So she didn’t realize he wasn’t in his room. “She had a terrible, terrible guilt trip because he laid out there – they thought – for two hours,” Mancil’s wife,

for where this stroke is.’ I was sitting there thinking, ‘this is good shape? He’s on life support,’” Shirley said. In a family with a “rich heritage,” Mancil’s children, as well as his wife, quickly traveled roughly 1,200 miles to see him. “Most of my children came out, and my wife was there the next day after it hap-

I thought, if they want me to live this bad, Iʼm going to try my best ~ Mancil Doolittle, about his family

Shirley, said. “When she came out she called my name and I couldn’t respond,” Mancil said. “I just laid there like a mummy. I had taken my shoes off and it was cold. It’s amazing what goes through your mind in all that time.” Mancil was taken to the hospital and an MRI revealed that he had a brain stem stroke. “The Intensive Care neurologist pulled it up on a computer and he said ‘it’s in the pawns of the brain stem’ and he looked at Mancil and said, ‘you’re in good shape

pened,” he said. “The school gave my daughter, Anita, a week off and she came out, too. During the night, Melvin showed up. He came from Nebraska. Dale lives in Springfield, Missouri, and he was there overnight, too. I thought, if they want me to live this bad, I’m going to try my best.” Along with his family, many men and women from his truck-driving family alyzed on his left side and came to visit, as well. With the placement of the partially paralyzed on the stroke, Mancil was fully par- right. “He couldn’t hardly move at all, but did have some movement on the right side,” Shirley said. “He was weak because the stroke had crossed the center line and was on both. He was in intensive care for 16 days and they basically told us 30 days tells what’s going to happen. He went five weeks when he actually moved his left side a little bit.” Before he could begin physical therapy, Mancil suffered a bout of aspiration pneumonia and two-days of hiccups. Once he recovered from both, he was transferred to the Valir Rehabilitation Hospital to begin his rigorous rehab regimen. “When they take you to rehab, they don’t take you in a bed, they take you in a

AS PART OF his ongoing rehabilitation from his brain stem stroke, Mancil Doolittle rides an adult tricycle for exercise. Above, he takes a ride with grandson, Dawson Deputy. Several of Doolittle’s grandchildren take turns riding wtih him. At left, Doolittle performs one of his many chores, feeding two calves he purchased to raise. S. Stewart photos chair,” Shirley said. “He could hardly sit up. Even in that first week they worked with him, he was so flaccid. They would sit him up and he was what they called total assist. He couldn’t really help himself.” Being a determined man who could, well, do little, Mancil fought hard to regain control of his body. “He [the physical therapist] said ‘show me what you can do,’ and I moved my foot just every so slightly and they jumped up, and got me walking between [the parallel] bars,” Mancil said. “They knew just how to do it.”

“He had a speech therapist, a physical therapist and an occupational therapist,” Shirley added. “In rehab, they worked 30 minutes a piece in the morning and 30 minutes a piece in the afternoon, so he had three hours of therapy. Once he started moving his foot, I mean, those folks gathered him up, took him down to the gym and they literally held him up and walked him on parallel bars. They knew once it started coming, you’ve got to grab the opportunity and keep after it.”

see Doolittle pg 6B

Local firefighter determined to walk again Suzanne Stewart Staff Writer

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few weeks ago, Michael O’Brien, of Green Bank, took a drive. It may not sound like a big deal, but considering that O’Brien hasn’t been able to drive for nearly eight months, it was a huge achievement for him. “Of course, I have to drive an automatic. I can’t drive a standard, so I’m stuck in an automatic,” the 25year-old said. O’Brien hasn’t been able to drive because he is recovering from a serious dirt bike accident, the kind which more often than not, takes the life of its victim. “We had been riding and was on the way home,” he said. “Luckily, I was wearing all my gear. If I didn’t have all my gear on, I would’ve gotten killed. I broke my neck, and where my chest protector stops, is where I cracked my scapula. That healed up on its own.” O’Brien also lost two teeth from the impact of his helmet and broke his left leg. “I broke my tibia, which is the little bone and the fibula, the big bone, it popped out of the socket and came out the side of my ankle,” he said. “There’s a little bone that sits above your ankle and it came out. They put it all back together and then the infection got in there. It caused that little bone to reject and eat up my cartilage, and that’s why they had to do the fusion.” The worst break O’Brien suffered was his C5 cervical vertebrae in his neck. “The C5 is where your phrenic nerve is, which controls your diaphragm, controls your breathing,” he explained. “It’s the size of a pencil lead. I broke my vertebrae all around it, but didn’t break it [the nerve]. The people that do that, wind up the rest of their life on a ventilator. I was expected to be in

down and scoot back. I didn’t even have enough strength to push down and scoot back. I couldn’t curl a five pound barbell. That was the ultimate low.” With the help of his physical therapists and support of family and friends, O’Brien slowly regained his strength and was soon walking again. “That place, HealthSouth, it was so great,” he said. “They actually had me trying to do some stairs and I was gaining slowly. Since I’ve been home, I keep gaining and gaining. I do some home therapy to keep it up.” When O’Brien went for a check-

I could move my arms and he could see I could move my legs. He went and got another doctor to show him. He said, ‘I’ve been a spine surgeon since 1972, and I can count on one hand the people I’ve seen that had an outcome like you got.’” On November 9, O’Brien came home with the help of his co-workers from Shavers Fork Fire and Rescue. “The guys from work, they brought the ambulance to Morgantown to make it easier to ride home,” he said. O’Brien said it is support like that that has amazed him through

up with his spine specialist, he amazed the doctor with his progress. “The first time I went back to see him, he asked my name, and I told him. He said ‘I just read your report, and I didn’t expect to walk in and see what I’m seeing. I was expecting to walk in and basically see a non-functioning paralyzed patient,’” he recalled. “I showed him

all this. “The one thing I can’t believe is how good the community has been to me,” he said. “The churches, the people, they really kept me strong. The guys at work, I can never say enough about the guys I work with. When I woke up in ICU and I kind of got my bearings back together, I

AFTER NEARLY EIGHT months in the hospital, rehabilitation center and sitting at home, Green Bank resident Michael O’Brien is back to work, part-time, at Shavers Fork Fire Rescue. With the help of his co-workers, O’Brien, above, was able to sit in one of the fire trucks again. At right, on November 9, O’Brien came home from Morgantown with the help of SFFR. Ross Morgan, left, and O’Brien’s uncle, H.A. Taylor, right, wheel O’Brien into his house after the arduous journey home. Photos courtesy of Michael O’Brien the hospital and paralyzed from the neck down for the rest of my life.” O’Brien didn’t let those daunting expectations discourage him. He never lost control of his arms, and only lost feeling from the waist down for one month. “When I woke up, I didn’t have any trouble using my hands, but I didn’t have any feeling from the waist down,” he said. “If you would hit it [my leg] real hard, I could feel it. I could feel pain if somebody would pinch me or pull on my skin.” O’Brien slowly regained use of his legs while he was recovering at Ruby Memorial in Morgantown. “One night I got out of the shower, I was in my chair getting back to my bed, and I was thinking [about] moving my toes and I looked down and my toes were

moving,” he said. “You don’t know how excited you get over the little things. Very, very slowly, the right leg came back and then the left leg started back. The left leg basically came back since I’ve been home.” Once the movement slowly started coming back, O’Brien was transferred to HealthSouth MountainView Regional Rehabilitation Hospital in Morgantown, where he spent 104 days regaining his strength. “In your mind, you don’t really know how bad you are,” he said. “The low for me is they had me on the edge of the mat and they had these paddles with handles on them, and they told me to push

see Firefighter pg 5B


Page 2B––The Pocahontas Times––March 29, 2012

FINANCIAL WELLNESS

Spiritual Wellness

It’s more than money in the bank Jaynell Graham Managing Editor

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t is a rarity today to find someone who can totally identify with the words of the Apostle Paul. But it may be that in those words we find the secret of true “financial wellness.” Financial wellness is more than money in the bank. It is about having a healthy attitude in such matters, as well. A clearer definition would be that “financial wellness is an intricate balance of the mental, spiritual and physical aspects of money.”  I contacted several individuals to get their thoughts on this particular subject, and one bit of wisdom was repeated, time after time.  “Live within your means. Don’t spend what you don’t have.” That sound advice, which has been past from generation to generation, may lose some of its adherents in today’s young people. Anyone who has watched even one episode of House Hunters on HGTV can tell you that one major financial downfall of the younger generation is that they “want it all and they want it now.”  Gone are the days when newlyweds were satisfied with each other’s company and an adequate roof over their heads.  It seems that now, in their minds, a kitchen without granite countertops is unacceptable and may very likely be a deal breaker on the path to happiness. And, Heaven forbid, that two people should have to share one bathroom. The deal breaker, and the road to unhappiness, is usually found in having to hustle to make loan payments, thereby missing out on the joy that might otherwise be found in a relationship. When it comes to taking on debt, I often think of the words of my grandfather, Walter Graham.

“Borrowing money is like peeing down your leg in the wintertime.  It feels good at the time, but, pretty soon, it gets damned uncomfortable.” One New Year’s resolution that ranks up there with losing weight is the determination to adopt a household budget. Of course, that resolution goes down the hatch as fast as an order of bread sticks and dipping sauce.

Rev. W. Scott Ingleton, Pastor Marlinton/Edray United Methodist Charge

a moment. “The need to need more than you need equals greed,” writes Bryant Wright in “Right From the Heart.” At the opposite end of the spectrum are those who are attuned to the needs of others, as well as their own. Winston Churchill made the following observation: “You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.” Folks in this spiritual category of financial wellness agree that when they reach out to help another person, that gesture returns to “their own hearth” with “compound interest.” The March 28, 1912 edition of The Pocahontas Times contained some insight into the spirit of the not-socheerful giver: “The trouble with some people is that they want to draw compound interest for life on the little charitable deeds they do just for the purpose of keeping the world from suspecting that they are coldhearted and stingy.” Getting back to the present, I came across a Youssef Financial Wellness Check-up on the Internet. It has a humorous touch, but that bit of humor may be lost in some households. 1. Do you have cash in your pocket? A. Yes; B. Kind of; C. No; D. You must be kidding 2. Do you balance your checkbook regularly? A. Yes; B. Kind of; C. No; D. You must be kidding 3.  Do you know the total amount of debt you have? A. Yes; B. Kind of; C. No; D. You must be kidding And so it goes for 10 questions covering areas that, when the answers are calculated, will provide an overview of a person’s financial wellness. If you did not answer “D. You must be kidding” to the previous three questions, then you may proceed to the next section of this article.

“Just then a religion scholar stood up with a question to test Jesus. Teacher, what do I need to do to get eternal life?  He answered, What’s written in God’s law?  How do you interpret it?  He said, that you must love the Lord your God, with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence – and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself. Good answer! said Jesus.  Do it and you’ll live.” (Luke 10:25-28) (The Message, Eugene Peterson) How does a person have spiritual wellness? I do not presume to believe that one article can totally do it justice, but I do have some ideas that I hope can be helpful. “Do it and you’ll live.”   Don’t we all want to feel alive? One cannot have spiritual wellness and not love. One cannot love God and not love their neighbor. The two go together. Doing both gives us life. Love has to be nurtured and it grows when spent with God and with other people.  Jesus, on many occasions, retreated and spoke with his Heavenly Father.  To spend time reading the Bible and in prayer nurtures the relationship between us and God. Prayer is not just to tell

No one is born content with life. As babies we cry for our every need. As we grow up we experience the frustrations and struggles of life. Yet, through our hardships, we can learn how to gain contentment. The Apostle Paul told the Philippians, ʻI know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.ʼ” ~ Dr. Michael “I believe that most people overspend – or spend way more than they can afford,” said my CPA contact.  “If people would take the time to actually sit down and come up with a budget – and more importantly – follow the budget – I believe there would be fewer bankruptcies in America.  When preparing the budget, don’t leave it down to the penny – leave a little wiggle room for savings and unknowns.” And speaking of pennies, here is some sage advice from a CEO. “Count your pennies, and the dollars will take care of themselves.” Tracking your family’s spending habits for one month can be quite eyeopening. People are often surprised to find that too much of the family’s resources is spent in pursuit of external satisfaction, or things that lasts for only

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insurance coverage was due to end, they received another letter stating that the Affordable Care Act prohibited insurance companies from imposing a life-time limit on benefits, therefore his lifesaving treatments would continue to be covered. He is in remission now, and they plan on celebrating many more anniversaries,” said Brown. Young adults and families have also reaped benefits under the ACA because it has ensured young adults can

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“For example, insurance companies can no longer place a life-time limit on benefits. This is extremely important for cancer patients.” Brown relayed the story of the personal impact the ACA had on one of the Cancer’s Society’s own volunteers: “One of our volunteer’s husband was diagnosed with cancer. After he started chemotherapy, our volunteer received a letter from the insurance company notifying them that her husband had reached his life-time limit and that they no longer would cover his treatment. She was so concerned that he would quit his treatment that she did not tell him about the letter. One week before his

God stuff, but to be quiet and listen for God’s voice. It has a way of clearing the clutter in our minds, settling the chaos in our lives, and pointing us on the path God has for us. The path God has for us involves our neighbors.  It is not just me and God. We are on the journey of Christ-like holiness and we do not take that trip alone. We take it with our brothers and sisters. The journey God has us on is not for just us, but for the many that God blesses through us.  It is easy to say love our neighbor, but it can at times be so hard to do. Love people with the hope that more will follow Jesus Christ. I can remember when I was in college that a guy, who lived in the same dorm I did, was angry with me one night and reacted by pointing a pocket knife at me. (He never tried to stab me.) The next day when things had cooled down he came to see me and apologize. We had a long talk and put the incident behind us. To be honest, I was not 100% innocent. We became close friends and he accepted Christ for himself and we still see each other on occasion. I have found in my life that doing acts of compassion help me to love people more.  Those acts can consist of giving food to the hungry, helping someone pay a utility bill or pay for

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The Pocahontas Times––March 29, 2012––Page 3B

Ayurveda provides wholesome Why garden? lifestyle changes in Marlinton Adreinne Cedarleaf Local Foods AmeriCorps

Angelo Jiordano Staff Writer

“Why do something that takes so much time and so much work? Well, doesn’t anything that is worth anything take time and hard work? Gardening is worth your time and effort. There are many studies which report the physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual health benefits of gardening. But I think we already know that instinctively. Humans have been gardening for centuries, but mainly for the practical reason - to eat the food. In the past several decades society moved away from home gardening and farming for a “better” life. People now are beginning to realize gardening is needed for more than its practicality. A large percentage of the population is overworked, overstimulated, overstressed and overweight. Gardening can serve as an escape from today’s hectic lifestyle. It takes you outside, away from the iPad, computer, cellphone and TV and allows your brain to relax and focus on one thing. A garden gives you a sense of accomplishment and pride as you step back and see the difference you have made, giving you an appreciation for the small things in life. Gardening hones your skills and provides great exercise. A garden provides all of these things without even mentioning the fresh and flavorful food it supplies. If you are interested in gardening but don’t have the space or don’t want to jump in all the way, you can volunteer at several community/school garden sites. It’s a great way to spend time with your family and friends. So? Why not garden? For more information on gardening opportunities, contact Adrienne Ceadarleaf at 304-940-6048 or adri enne.marissa@gmail.com

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yurveda is an ancient healing system from India. It’s their holistic medicine, according to Kristy Lanier, owner of the Dirt Bean Ohana Cafe. Lanier has been practicing Ayurveda for about four years now, and offers her services in Marlinton. “One way of looking at it is kind of ‘you are what you eat’,” Lanier said. “It’s all about how your body processes food and toxins and releases them. It’s believed that Ayurveda predates Chinese medicine. It’s one of the oldest, holistic medicine systems in the world. ” Lanier said Ayurveda focuses mostly on diet and digestion but also incorporates exercise and meditation. “Everything comes into play, the spiritual aspect,” Lanier explained. “Yoga is part of the whole thing too. All these things together; diet, exercise, yoga, spiritual practices, astrology. Diet to coincide with the mind-body make-up you’re born with. Prakriti is the term for your mind-body make-up.” When a client visits Lanier initially, they first answer a series of questions that determines their “dosha.” “You have three doshas; vata, pitta, and kapha. Most people are a combination of a couple. These are like the characteristics that you’re born with. Looks, mental make-up, emotional state, that sort of thing.” Lanier described her dosha as an example. “I’m vata, kapha. When I found that out, it explained a whole lot. Typically vata people are kind of anxious. Physically they’re skinny, not well defined musculature, usually bony or veiny people. Nervous types.

VISTA EMILY NEWTON, left, chats with Kristy Lanier, right, owner of the Dirt Bean Ohana. Lanier offers Ayurvedic services in Marlinton to anyone wanting to make healthier lifestyle choices. According to Lanier, Ayurveda is an ancient, Indian holistic medicine that focuses mostly on diet and digestion, but also incorporates exercise and meditation. A. Jiordano photo Things that aggravate vatas are cold, dry weather. They tend to be highly creative people, and they get really fired up about things, but they burn out quickly.” Once the dosha is determined, a client is given dietary and exercise information that best fits their make-up. “You have different foods for different people. Like, since vata people are dry, cold, irritable types, they do better on warm, moist foods. Oatmeal for example. Sweets are good for vatas, they soothe their irritable nature,” laughed Lanier. Lanier first learned about Ayurvedic medicine while studying nutrition. “I stumbled upon it about four years ago,” she said. “In a roundabout way, it was sort of an ‘aha’ moment for me. I started racing bikes professionally, and diet became very important to me. I started studying nutrition a lot on my own. My biggest

downfall in racing was not having a very good diet. I started paying a lot more attention to what I ate. I started reading a book based on Ayurveda. When I realized what it was about, I was hooked. It all rang so true for me when I started looking back at my life. It all just made sense.” Lanier visited The National Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine in Brewster, New York, where she met with Dr. Scott Gerson, both a licensed medical doctor and Ayurvedic practitioner. Lanier said the institute has a correspondence program she participates in, and she is excited about learning some new techniques this summer. “In Ayurveda they have a way of feeling your pulse. It’s one thing I’m really excited about learning,” Lanier said. You can tell people’s Prakriti by feeling and listening to their heart rate. When you’re vata, pitta or kapha

Snowshoe provides unique fitness opportunities for employees Angelo Jiordano Staff Writer

Snowshoe offered yoga and zumba classes and a Wii sports night, but it has exbeen panded the program to in-

employees aren't the only folks that can participate, the resort offers geo-caching to nowshoe has guests, as well. working on “Geo-caching is pretty an emcool,” said Baker. “It's ployee fitness basically a mix of oriprogram since enteering and hiking last year, and so using GPS technology. far, it's been a Our course is a little success. Michael unique. The way it Baker, Outdoor works, when you go Adventure Mangeo-caching, we give ager at Snowpeople a backpack, a shoe, said there's map, a handheld GPS never been a prounit, and a compass.” gram like this for Geo-cachers are Snowshoe emgiven a five minute ployees. demonstration on how “In the past to use the equipment there's been and how the GPS groups of em~ Michael Baker, works, and are sent out ployees that get the woods. Outdoor Adventure Manager into together, runners “We have different or hikers, but boxes hidden around, we've never had anything clude other unique, guided caches. Essentially they're pre-planned or organized,” activities. “We want to get folks out see Fitness pg 5B said Baker. “Last year we formed an employee fitness hiking, and biking, get peocommittee with the goal of ple out geo-caching, trail providing a permanent fit- running, road running. We ness facility for employees, also have a guided, fullcardio equipment, a small moon hike out to the fire gym, being able to host a fit- tower,” Baker explained. Geo-caching is like a scavness class, yoga, aerobics enger hunt for adults accordand step classes.” Baker said that initially ing to Baker, and Snowshoe

S

We want to get folks out hiking, and biking, get people out geo-caching, trail running, road running. We also have a guided, full-moon hike out to the fire tower.”

your pulse will have a different rate and pitch to it.” To learn more about Ayurveda or to make an appointment, contact Kristy at 304-799-4038. Angelo Jiordano may be contacted at amjiordano@ pocahontastimes.com

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Page 4B––The Pocahontas Times––March 29, 2012

PMH Lifeline Your Health - Your Hospital

Workplace Wellness program Have you ever wanted to see the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Great Wall of China, or even Machu Picchu in Peru? Well, the employees, staff and their families at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital are doing just that with the new walking program organized by the PMH Workplace Wellness committee. So how does it work? I am so glad you asked. Seventy-four participants signed up, chose a team and were issued pedometers. Each week the teams will reTHE PANEL OF speakers at Rural Practice Day were WVSOM graduates Ralph Wood, D.O.; Gerry O’Lough- port their steps. Those steps lin, D.O.; Frank Swisher, D.O.; Bridgette Morrison, D.O.; Sarita Bennett, D.O.; David Carr, D.O.; and Manuel will be plotted on a course to see the Seven Wonders of the Ballas, D.O. World. The  adventure begins at the Great Wall in China and the first team to make it to the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza, Mexico wins. During the journey, the sights, culture and customs

Program gives students insight into rural practices T “ he Rural Health Initiative (RHI) Program at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine hosted its first major event in February to give medical students the opportunity to meet with graduates and understand how to be successful physicians in rural practices. The program is supported by a grant received from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission to enhance rural primary care curriculum at the school. Organizers said they wanted Rural Practice Day, the program’s first event, to provide insight to medical students who are considering entering rural practices. Janet Hinton, RHI program coordinator, said she hopes this event will encourage students to choose a rural practice. “We want to make WVSOM graduates better trained to assist the underserved communities in West Virginia,”

We want to make WVSOM graduates better trained to assist the underserved communities in West Virginia.”

FITNESS ROOM Located in the Art Guild Room on Fifth Avenue (Everett Tibbs Road), Marlinton

It’s the third-leading cancer found in men and the fourth-leading cancer in women, yet thousands every year fail to get screened for it. It’s colorectal cancer, and if undetected and left untreated, it can spread to other organs and result in death. The best defense against colorectal cancer is early detection. The sooner the disease is detected, the sooner treatment can start and, hopefully, the sooner the cancer can be eradicated.

We also participate in the following programs: •WV Breast and Cervical Don’t Miss Cancer Screening Progam Bonnie’s Bus •WV Family Planning Program (Mammograms) Community Care •WV Connect - Free/low cost of Green Bank health care to the working public May 16 •Sliding Fee - Low cost health care 304-456-5115

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First Annual Spring Fling The Outreach Committee is finalizing its plans for the First Annual Spring Fling to be held at the Pocahontas County Opera House on Saturday, April 7.  Tickets are available by calling 304-7997400, Ext 1051. The proceeds from this affair will be used to refurbish a room a year to ensure the comfort of patients at PMH. Get your ticket today and enjoy an evening of good music and dancing, all for the benefit of you and the community.

Pocahontas County Schools to host first annual Childhood Fair

she said. Workshops about rural emergencies, Seven WVSOM graduates from women in rural medicine, quality of life across the state shared their personal in rural West Virginia, financial incensuccess stories with nearly 200 current tives and family life were presented throughout the day. Representatives from rural hospitals also took part in the event. Dr. Robert Foster, associate dean of Predoctoral Clinical Education, said the event exceeded expectations. “The attendance demonstrated the depth of interest of rural practices in West Virginia among WVSOM students,” he said. “The guest speakers pro~ Janet Hinton, vided stimulating personal exRHI program coordinator periences, which is typical of our graduates in rural West Virginia. We were grateful to have participation of many rural hospistudents, significant others, WVSOM employees and guests. Manuel tals.” For more information about the “Manny” Ballas, Class of 1993; Sarita Bennett, Class of 1998; David Carr, Rural Health Initiative Program, email Class of 1981; Carolyn “Bridgett” ruralhealthinitiative@osteo.wvsom.edu WVSOM is a national leader in eduMorrison, Class of 2007; Gerard O’Loughlin, Class of 1988; Frank cating osteopathic physicians for priSwisher, Class of 1998; and Ralph mary care medicine in rural areas. Visit Wood, Class of 1982 were the speak- WVSOM online at www.wvsom.edu ers.

Pocahontas County Parks & Recreation

of the Taj Mahal, India; Petra, Jordan; the Roman Colosseum, Italy; Christ Redeemer, Brazil; and Machu Picchu, Peru will be reported in the PMH Newsletter, tips of the day and the Wellness Bulletin board. The journey begins soon. So PMH employees, lace up your sneakers, because the Great Wall awaits.

Suzanne Stewart Staff Writer The first annual Pocahontas County Schools Childhood Fair will be held April 21 at Pocahontas County High School. Local agencies geared toward assisting families, including Head Start, North Central Community Action and WIC (Women Infants and Children) will be at the fair to give parents the opportunity to learn about services offered to children in the county. The fair is also an opportunity for parents to enroll their three- and four-yearolds in preschool.

A dentist and doctor will be available to do screenings. “We’re anticipating having a fair where all those entities are there at Pocahontas County High School and the parents will be able to see what services will be available for them in [the county],” Director of Special Education and Student Services Ruth Bland said. “They will be able to sign up for those services right there.” For more information on the fair, contact Bland at 304-799-4505, ext. 2224. Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at sastewart@ pocahontastimes.com

( Primary Election Preview in the ( April 19 Edition of The Pocahontas Times ( Voters will get a clear, concise ( – all in one place – look at the candidates. ( ( information ( Candidate must be submitted by Thursday, April 5. ( Candidates - stop by our advertising department to place your ad. Deadline is 5 p.m., Thursday, April 5.

Thank you to the providers of RCBC for the long hours and dedication to the care of others. Your commitment is greatly appreciated.

+DSS\'RFWRU·V'D\

304-456-5115

y Health Car l i m e Fa “The concept of total wellness recognizes that our every thought, word, and behavior affects our greater health and well-being. And we, in turn, are affected not only emotionally but also physically and spiritually.” – Greg Anderson, cancer survivor and motivational speaker

GENERAL FAMILY PRACTICE WITH AN EMPHASIS ON

• Women’s health • Osteopathic manipulative therapy • Well-child care and appropriate vaccinations • Acute & chronic care

Coming soon: Friday Prenatal Clinic

• For low-risk women up to 38 weeks pregnant • Referral to OB provider of choice, at 36 weeks • Childbirth education included

Also coming soon: Ladies Afternoon Out • Building community through fun and education • Once a month • Watch for details

SARITA BENNETT, D.O. Board Certified Family Physician 304-799-0011

Monday - Thursday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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The Pocahontas Times––March 29, 2012––Page 5B

Living with Osteoarthritis? More than 10 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee, making it the most common form of arthritis in the U.S. What are frequent causes of this type of arthritis, and what can you do to protect your knees, reduce the

symptoms, and support your doctor’s treatment? With advice from some of the world’s leading knee specialists, the American Arthritis Society has compiled in its publication, “Arthritis Info,” useful and practical tips for self-

care. Each tip is interesting and easy to follow. For a free sample issue of “Arthritis Info,” write to: American Arthritis Society, P.O. Box 271010, Minneapolis, MN 55427. Please include a 45-cent stamp for return postage.

Lewisburg doctor completes nutritional training Dr. Timothy Pence, a chiropractor in Lewisburg, has completed the last 25 hours of a six-month training program in advanced clinical nutrition. Nutrition Response Testing is used by thousands of health practitioners of all types and specialties across the United States, including osteopaths, medical doctors, nutritionist, chiropractors, massage therapists and acupuncturists. Pence is one of only 205 health practitioners who have graduated from this very extensive Advanced Clinical Training program in

Nutrition Response Testing, conducted in Clearwater, Florida. He had studied the advanced breakthroughs in all aspects of clinical deficiencies to successful continued patient care. Nutrition Response Testing was developed by Dr. Freddie Ulan, a chiropractor and certified nutritionist after 25,000 hours of clinical experience in his highly successful practice in upstate New York. According to Ulan, “Nutritional Response Testing is a noninvasive method of analyzing the body to determine the

Firefighter, from page 1B looked up and here come all the guys from work. Several of them made several trips to rehab in Morgantown to keep me on track.” Now that he is home, O’Brien is ready to get back to his old routine. “I’ve crossed every hurdle but walking and I’ve got about five more weeks before I can start putting weight on that [left] leg,” he said. “My plan is to get back into that rehab center for awhile. I think there’s no doubt I’m going to walk. My goal is to get back to being a firefighter/EMTI [EMT Intermediate] like I was. Back on that truck and things I enjoy.” For now, O’Brien is back to work, part-time, doing paperwork at SFFR. “The toughest thing for me is having to sit in that office and look out the window, and watch that truck go out and not be on it,” he said. “That’s really tough on me, but that’s my goal. I know now, I’m going to work until I get there.” With the worst days behind him, O’Brien has risen from the ashes of his accident. Not unscathed – he has two steel rods in his neck under a two-inch scar, two new teeth and rods and pins in his leg – but much wiser. He has sworn off motorcycles and is even questioning if he’ll ever ride an ATV again. “I’m definitely done with motorcycles. I’m kind of leery of my four-wheeler now,” he said. “If I could get any message out there to anybody – wear your helmet – at least. Wear as much protective stuff as you can because I was on a paved road, on my way home and I had my accident. You just never

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know. I just hope and pray that some of these kids learn from my mistakes. My helmet and chest protector saved my life. Had I not had on my chest protector, I probably would have broken my back. Just looking at the damage to my helmet, that could have been my head, it could have killed me instantly.” After this experience, O’Brien is ready to share his story with people to let them know the dangers of riding motorcycles and the importance of wearing protective gear. “I hope when I get better, I can help people,” he said. “It’s scary being in this situation and there’s a lot of advances in the medical field, but when it comes to the

actual root causes of health conditions. It enables the practitioner to determine the exact patient nutritional deficiency or imbalance so it can be corrected. And that pinpointed deficiency is usually the root cause of the problem,” he stated. “Nutrition Response Testing is quick, noninvasive, inexpensive and painless,” he added. Nutrition Response Testing practitioners also provide nutritional dietary advice. Pence has been serving the Lewisburg area for the past 20 years at Greenbrier Chiropractic Center.

spine, there’s a lot of unknowns.” O’Brien said he hopes to return to HealthSouth as a mentor and talk to spine injury patients. “It’s so much easier to relate to someone that’s been in your situation than it is somebody that hasn’t,” he said. “I hope that I can help somebody in that aspect. Stay strong, keep your head on straight, work hard and stay confident. I’m not going to lie to you, rehab was the toughest thing I had to do in my life. I’ve never been in the Army, I’ve never been in boot camp, but I’d say it’s pretty close [to rehab] because that’s what it takes. It takes somebody pushing you to make you do things you don’t want to do to get better.” This care and consideration will also carry over into

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O’Brien’s work when he returns to his job as a firefighter/EMTI. “I will have a different outlook on my patients because it used to be, it was a job. You picked them up, you drop them off at the hospital and you kind of went on to the next,” he said. “Now, I see personally what they’ve got ahead of them.” O’Brien plans to continue his education and become a paramedic this fall. He said with the support of his coworkers at SFFR, his goals are getting closer every day. “They know how passionate I am about what I do and my goal,” he said. “I’m not stopping until I get back to what I do.” Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at sastewart@poc ahontastimes.com

Fitness, from page 3B ammunition boxes,” said Baker. “The caches are hidden throughout the mountain. The way it works, you use the GPS to find the cache. If people have too much trouble, on the back of the maps we have hints.” Baker talked a little about the history of geo-caching. “Geo-caching has been around for a long time,” Baker said. “I think it was in the 90s during the Clinton administration that the U.S. government took a ban off GPS technology. GPS used to be filtered for military security purposes but they got better at scrambling and hiding sensitive stuff. It started like a grassroots kind of thing. People would hide caches all over the world and they would post something on the Internet. For some people it's a serious hobby, they'll drive across the coun-

try geo-caching.” Baker said geo-caching is fun and affordable. “A family of five can go out and have a great time for twenty-five bucks,” he said. Baker said that the new fitness program has been popular with employees, and Snowshoe plans to expand the concept. “Bottom line, it's not for Snowshoe, it's for the employees themselves,” he said. “I think if you look at the bigger scale, yeah, healthier people are happier, more productive people. But we're just trying to encourage people. Ideally, this will branch out and we'll get not only employees, but local folks and homeowners that want to be active and get out.” Angelo Jiordano may be contacted at amjiordano@ pocahontastimes.com

April is Stress Awareness Month

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH AT HUNTERSVILLE Reaching out into our community through the following ministries: PRE-MARITAL AND SPIRITUAL COUNSELING, MEN’S AND WOMEN’S PRISON MINISTRY, NURSING HOME, HOSPITAL AND SHUT-IN VISITATION, KIDZ KLOZET AND MANY OTHERS! Sunday School 9:45 a.m. • Worship 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday Night Bible Study & Prayer Meeting and Children’s Activities 7 p.m. Pastor Jerry Moore

Call 304-799-0853 if you’re interested in serving God in this active, Bible-believing Christ-centered Church.

Familiar. Friendly. Like Family.

POCAHONTAS PHARMACY • Prescriptions filled • Professional, private drug counseling for our customers • Friendly, helpful staff

• Health and beauty items • Gift items, candles, greeting cards and candy • Baby items and gifts

Franklin

304-358-2522 The Pocahontas Center wants to thank its Medical Director,

DR. LUIS SORIANO, for more than 27 years of service to the residents and patients of the center.

The pharmicists and staff of Pocahontas Pharmacy salute all the physicians and hospice staff we deal with on a daily basis. We are proud to be a part of the healing process. Duncan Road 304-799-4944 105 Marlinton Tim Robbins, RPh, and Terrie Robbins, owners Chad Hanna, RPh Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

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Obstetrics & Gynecology Robert L. Wheeler, M.D. Connie Perkins, D.O. Coy Flowers, M.D. Pulmonary Medicine Z. Shamma-Othman, M.D. Mark A. Byrd, M.D. Ophthalmology Yuri Leo Arvan, M.D. Family Practice Conni Anderson, D.O. Joseph Lutz, PA-C Internal Medicine Z. Shamma-Othman, M.D. Mark A. Byrd, M.D. Verna Hanes, M.D.

Pediatrics William S. Dukart, M.D. K. Michelle Morrison, M.D. Janice Centa, PA-C

General Surgery Alan T. Lee, D.O. Frank J. Kadel, D.O. Vascular Surgery Frank J. Kadel, D.O. Orthopedic Surgery Steve Vess, D.O. Steven C. Miller, D.O. Radiology Department • X-Ray • Ultrasound • Digital Mammography • Bone Densiometry State-Of-The-Art Laboratory

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Page 6B––The Pocahontas Times––March 29, 2012

Doolittle, from page 2 Once that first sign of hope came, Mancil progressed rapidly through his therapy. “First week, he walked the parallel bars. Second week, they had a shopping cart they stood him up behind. By the third week, he was walking with a walker,” Shirley said. “They kept following me with the wheelchair and I said, ‘I don’t need that anymore,’” Mancil added laughing. Mancil spent three more weeks in rehab before he was able to return to West Virginia. “They would have probably given me several more months of therapy and all, but I already maxed out the pedal machine, the leg lifts to 160 pounds on each leg,” he said. “The pedal machine, I said just turn it all the way up. They called me their poster child. It was remarkable.” “He’s a walking, talking miracle, with medical treatment and the good Lord hav-

ing mercy,” Shirley said. “They said this is what makes our job worth it. This kind of return.” Between the Intensive Care Unit and rehab, Mancil spent nine weeks and three days in the hospital. “It seemed like an eternity,” he said. Mancil continued his rehab in Marlinton, as well as around Green Bank. He began by walking around the National Radio Astronomy Observatory Science Center and graduated to his current mode of transportation, the tricycle. “All the children pitched in and I got it as a Christmas gift,” he said. “I take the children on rides.” The bike is equipped with a passenger basket that Mancil’s grandchildren take turns riding in as he goes up and down the driveway. To see Mancil now, it is hard to believe that he suffered a stroke that should have left him totally paralyzed and could have killed

him. “I’m as close to normal as I’ve ever been. Now, if I could just convince them of that,” he joked. Mancil credits the Lord, his family and the community for his successful recovery. “I give all the credit to the Lord because if I didn’t have Him, I wouldn’t have had the strength to go through all that I’ve been through. My hat’s off to my wife, too. Nine weeks and three days she was in the hospital, every day,” he said. “We had so much support from the local community here, our church and his truck driving family,” Shirley added. “Everybody just… it was amazing. People were so good to help out, even financially.” Mancil knows he will never return to driving an 18wheeler. Now, he would just be happy to trade in three wheels for four. “I hope I’ll drive again. I keep trying to convince my doctor,” he said. “He has to release me, and then it has to go to a review board before I

can even drive a car.” For the time being, Mancil has to settle for the passenger seat. “Now, I’m a big shot. I have a chauffeur,” he joked. After 35 years as a truck driver, Mancil is now on dis-

ability, and finds ways to keep himself busy at home. Although the past year has been filled with a lot of ups and downs, Mancil is happy, most of all, to be back with his family. “I have a rich heritage,” he

said. “We had 11 children. Kristin is gone now, but we still have 10 children and 11 grandchildren. That’s our heritage.” Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at sastewart@poc ahontastimes.com

FOR HEALTHCARE # JOBS # EDUCATION

Vote Denise

CAMPBELL Democratic candidate for

HOUSE OF DELEGATES Paid for by candidate

District 43

Mountain Hospice Happy Doctors’ Day on March 30 "To all the Doctors in our area… You are truly appreciated. It is recognized that all of you go above and beyond for others.” The Staff of Mountain Hospice www.mountainhospice.com Pocahontas County Office - Marlinton Pocahontas Medical Plaza • 105 Duncan Road

304-799-2673

S

pring is here! Pull on your hip boots and hit the streams. The water is great and the native trout are feisty. Get that bike in gear and head toward the mountains; whether it's on a single track, rail-trail or back road, Pocahontas County has it all for the biker. And if you're looking for an event to test all your skills, look no further than the last Saturday in April for the Great Greenbrier River Race.

Come, play in Nature's Mountain Playground.

Visit our website or give us a call for information on spring events and lodging. 800.336.7009 • NaturesMountainPlayground.com


The Pocahontas Times––March 29, 2012––Page 7B

Financial, from page 2B

Heart Disease:

A major contributor to mortality Frank Puckett, MD

High Cholesterol and High Blood Pressure

H

eart disease is the number one killer in America today. According to West Virginia Department of Vital Statistics heart disease accounts for greater than 40% of all mortalities in Pocahontas County. We can’t change the fact that our risk for heart disease increases with age. It is also common knowledge that men have a greater risk of heart attack at a younger age than women, but a woman's risk increases after menopause. Heart disease also tends to be more prevalent in families. If your parents or siblings had a heart attack before age 55 (men) or 65 (women) then you are at an increased risk. Certain lifestyles or risk factors are modifiable to help protect us from developing cardiac disease and they are as follows:

High blood pressure and/or high cholesterol increase the risk of developing cardiac disease. High blood pressure increases the heart’s workload. Untreated, high blood pressure will lead to heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. Additionally, as blood cholesterol increases so does the risk of cardiac disease. Everyone needs to know the numbers to strive for: • Total Cholesterol below 200 mg/dl • HDL above 40 mg/dl • LDL below 100 mg/dl • Triglycerides below 150 mg/dl • A normal blood pressure reading is 120/80 A healthy diet low in fat and salt will help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Limiting caffeine intake and alcohol in moderation are also important, as well Smoking as maintaining a normal body weight. Sometimes the use of medication is Smoking is the number one factor necessary to modify these risk factors. that can be modified to prevent the development of heart disease. Tobacco Diabetes and Stress users are four times more likely to develop cardiac disease than nonsmokThe development of Diabetes iners. Smokers who have a heart attack creases your risk of developing heart are more likely to die, and die sud- disease. It is vital that you manage denly. Nicotine causes the arteries to your blood sugar to minimize the risk constrict or become smaller, reducing of disease progression. If your fasting the flow of blood to the heart muscle. blood sugar is greater than 110 you Smoking triggers the release of pow- should seek advice from your healtherful hormones that can cause spasms care provider to help manage and conin the coronary and other arteries. It trol your diabetes. Response to stress also allows fats and cholesterol to be may also be a contributing factor for deposited much more quickly in the heart disease. When you encounter artery wall. Nicotine causes the stress, your body prepares itself for platelets or clotting elements in the “fight or flight” by releasing hormones blood to become sticky and increases that cause the heart to beat faster, the likelihood of a blood clot. The blood pressure to rise, blood vessels hardest thing you may ever do is to and stomach muscles to contract. quit smoking, but the health benefits Over time this can be harmful to your are well worth it. heart, especially if you respond with anger or hostility.

Health, from page 2B stay on a parent’s policy until the age of 26.  “Our 25-year-old son, Levi, is just starting his career and couldn’t afford health insurance,” said Sam Hickman, CEO of the National Association of Social Workers West Virginia Chapter. “Like thousands of parents across West Virginia, I am thankful the ACA extends insurance coverage to young adults. I’m very comforted by knowing if Levi develops a serious illness he will get the care he needs.” Renate Poore, WVAHC’s director of health care policy, commented on the progress made under ACA for children’s health care. “Medicaid and CHIP have provided important preven-

tive services for many years for low income children,” said Poore.  “The ACA takes this a step further and assures that all children have access to preventive care and wellchild visits. This is not just the right thing to do, but it also makes economic sense. The better we care for our children, the more successful they’ll be in school and in life.” The ACA has weathered criticism from certain partisan factions, but the groups gathered today celebrated progress being made and documenting the positive impact ACA is having on peoples’ lives.  “Our new health law is still unfolding but is already helping thousands of West Virginians access critical medical services,” said Gary

Inactivity and Obesity Inactivity can lead to being overweight and both lead to an increased risk of developing heart disease. People who gain weight around their midsection are at higher risk for heart disease. Extra weight causes the heart to work harder. It can also raise blood pressure and cholesterol. Regular exercise can help improve the way you look, feel and work. People who exercise regularly have more energy, cope with stress more easily, feel less tired and burn extra calories which helps them to lose weight. Be sure to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Alcohol Consumption The risk of heart disease for people who drink moderate amounts of alcohol is lower than nondrinkers. Women should limit alcohol to one drink a day, and men should limit to two a day. One drink is defined as 1 ½ ounces of 80-proof spirits, 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits, 4 ounces of wine or 12 ounces of beer. Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure, cause heart failure and contribute to high triglycerides. It is not recommended that non-drinkers start using alcohol or that drinkers increase the amount they drink. In Conclusion Although heart disease is a major contributor to mortality in America and Pocahontas County, there are many things that we have an opportunity to change. Diligently striving for a healthy lifestyle and working with your primary healthcare provider will help to minimize the modifiable risk factors associated with heart disease.

Zuckett, executive director of West Virginia-Citizen Action Group. “The law is not perfect and needs to be improved – not repealed. We can’t go back to the time when insurance companies cancelled policies when people got sick or when the gravely ill ran out of medical services by hitting the dollar ‘cap’ on their coverage. This law is a much more humane way for our society to provide health care,” said Zuckett. For more information on the ACA in West Virginia visit www.wvahc.org.

Drs. Bill and Pat Browning Colleen Roshau, PA Terry McLaughlin, PA and their support staff for providing quality care for their patients in Pocahontas and Greenbrier counties.

pose in my life. To sum up spiritual wellness:  Seeking God through prayer and Bible study. To also seek God through acts of compassion and loving people. I do not presume that more can’t be added.  I know more can be, because God is so incredibly awesome.  Following Luke 10:25-28 does not make life easy, but it sure makes life worth living. Amen.

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But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

At this time of the year, many of us resolve to shape up and get fit. As you are deciding what areas of your body to work on, don’t neglect your spirit. Trust in God to help you get fit physically, emotionally and, most importantly, spiritually.

medicine, being a good listener for someone who is hurting, etc.  I find that when I do acts of compassion my attitude toward people is much better.  It helps me to be more comfortable in my own skin.  I am more patient, forgiving, and have fewer burdens to carry around.  It is easier to love people whom I would otherwise have a harder time loving.  It makes it easier to love God.  I get a renewed sense of God���s pur-

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2 Corinthians 3:18

PHYSICIANS AND ASSISTANTS ON DOCTORS’ DAY, MARCH 30:

Spiritual, from page 2B

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From my professional contact at First Citizens Investor Services come the following recommendations. Recommendations that he says are “simple, but often overlooked or neglected.” Review your investments. Review insurance coverage which protects your assets, coverage for long-term care, and life insurance coordinated with your estate plan. Update your will as needed.  Review your beneficiaries. For those who own businesses, it is recommended that you plan to whom you will transfer ownership and management of your company. And, in addition, evaluate the tax implications and clearly communicate your plans in writing. Have you designated a Power of Attorney, and made sure that person understands the responsibilities that they will have? And does your POA comply with current legal requirements? Do you have a Medical Power of Attorney, and does that person fully understand your wishes? Do you have a plan for financial gifts to family members and have you considered the tax implications? Have you named your primary and secondary executor or trustee? So, there you have it, some tips for Financial Wellness, from beginning to end.  The best advice is to be responsible. But calculating and planning only for yourself could “strangle George Washington” and cause you to miss an opportunity to help someone else.

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Pre-planning. Peace of mind for those you leave behind. By pre-planning a funeral, difficult decisions will not have to be made during a time of grief and stress. You have time to decide on and compare options. Your wishes can be put into writing to give your family direction when the time comes. Look to us for pre-planning and exemplary services including traditional funeral services, memorial services, cremation, monuments and special requests.

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Go green with informative topics like sustainable home improvement, pollution prevention tips, recycling and more.Take the first step toward a more eco-friendly lifestyle today! Publishes April 19 in The Pocahontas Times Our Go Green supplement is the ideal place to market your eco-friendly products and services to a receptive audience of readers.To find out more about this valuable advertising opportunity, contact Sunny Given at 304-799-4973 today!


Page 8B––The Pocahontas Times––March 29, 2012

Is modern technology hurting your eyes?

A

world full of personal computers, hand-held video games, smartphones and ereaders is increasing the risk of eye-related problems in many Americans. This isn’t surprising, as children and teenagers are now spending 7.5 hours a day consuming electronic media, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Computer vision syndrome, or digital eye strain, is an increasingly common medical ailment and can affect learning and work productivity. It is now the number one computer-related complaint in the United States -- ahead of carpal-tunnel syndrome. “The eyes function best when looking at something about 20 feet away. Looking at something close-up, like a computer game, text message or e-reader requires more focus, and over time, can lead to blurry vision, eye strain and headaches,” explains Dr. Leanne Liddicoat, a VSP optometrist in California. And VSP Vision Care, the largest not-for-profit eyecare benefits providers in the United States, recently reported that nearly one-third

of VSP patients suffer from symptoms of computer vision syndrome. However, there are easy steps parents and children can take to prevent these symptoms: • Get the right lighting. Keep bright lighting overhead to a minimum. Position your computer screen in a way that reduces reflections and glare from windows or overhead lights. • Stay back. The closer the eyes are to an object they’re looking at, the harder they have to work. A good rule is to apply the Harmon Distance (the distance between the elbow and first knuckle) when viewing anything on screen. If you or your children are holding digital devices closer than a Harmon Distance on a consistent basis, consult your eyecare provider. • Apply the 20/20/20 rule. To avoid fatigue and digital eye strain symptoms, eye doctors recommend stopping every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Also, remember to blink frequently. • Monitor usage. Set time limits on the amount of “screen time” you and your children will have each day. For children over 2 years, limit screen time to less than

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two hours per day when possible. If older children need to use the computer and ereaders for homework, make sure they first give their eyes a rest after school by playing outside or engaging in other non-digital activities. Children under 2 years should have no screen time. • Get checked. It's important you have the best vision possible when using digital devices. This starts with a comprehensive examination by an eye doctor, who may prescribe corrective lenses or glasses specially designed for digital screens. To find an eyecare specialist near you, or to learn more about combating computer vision syndrome, visit www.vsp.com As our reliance on digital devices increases, we must be mindful of our usage and take steps to relax and refresh our eyes to reduce eye strain.

Tips to prevent memory loss as you age You may not realize it, but you can take steps to keep your brain fit and flexible as you age. In fact, some experts now say that through proper diet and routine mental health exercises, you even can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease long enough to avoid experiencing the symptoms. “The sooner you start to protect your brain against Alzheimer’s, the sooner you will notice improvement -- not only in recall and mental focus, but also in energy level, mood, general health, and sense of well-being,” says Dr. Gary Small, M.D., Professor at UCLA, and author of the new book “The Alzheimer’s Prevention Program” (Workman Publishers). Small offers these stay-sharp tips to help you get started: • Eat brain food : Stock up on food filled with antioxidants like berries, avocados, and raw vegetables; omega-3 rich, anti-inflammatory food choices, like fish, whole grains, and legumes; and memory-boosting spices like turmeric and cumin. Alcohol in moderation can be beneficial too, so don’t shy away from a glass of wine or beer at dinner. • Train your brain: You can cross-train your brain, by jumping from right-brain to left-brain workouts. “The Alzheimer’s Prevention Program,” offers great daily mental workouts that combine wordplay, letter scrambles, 3-D drawings, tricky equations, logic challenges, and number sequences.

For more information, visit www.drgary small.com • Be flexible: Try simple tasks like writing and eating with your non-dominant hand. By engaging neural circuits in ways that are different from their usual patterns, you will provide your brain a good mental stretch. • Make discoveries: Like any muscle you’d work out at the gym, your brain needs variety and stimulation to stay in shape. Find new challenging mental activities that you also enjoy, so that engaging your brain is never a chore. For example, explore a genre of music you haven’t before, or take up a new thought-provoking hobby. • Get Moving: Hopefully you are already exercising for optimum physical health. If you aren’t, consider this: physical activity increases blood flow, oxygenating the brain. So turn off that mindless television program and take a brisk walk! • Reduce your stress: Practice yoga, meditate; take a vacation or even just a bubble bath. “Stress can temporarily impair one’s learning and recall,” says Small. “By taking away sources of stress, or reacting to stress differently, you can improve your memory.” Alzheimer’s is already affecting five million people in the U.S. alone. But a memory lapse today doesn’t need to become a bigger problem tomorrow. Take charge and help sharpen your memory now.

Don’t Miss Out on the Sounds of Spring. If you experience difficulty hearing, now is the time to stop in for a free hearing screening by the experts. There’s no charge or obligation, and you’ll be amazed by how comfortable, effective and discreet today’s digital hearing aids can be! To schedule an appointment for your free hearing screening, please call today. Walk-ins welcome. Located in Pocahontas Foodland Open Tuesday and Thursday • 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

304-799-2222 • 1-877-322-2474

ARE YOU READY TO QUIT? Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in America. It is a complicated addiction, and many tobacco users would like to quit but feel they cannot. Are you one of them? You are invited to attend a free workshop to aid tobacco users on strategies to quit.

You CAN quit! Let us help! Call Karen Larson at 304-799-6112 to register for this free three-hour KP Workshop.

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For the other 364 days in the year, thank a Doctor on March 30.

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again, what could repay them for the lives they’ve improved, the fears they’ve alleviated, the pain they’ve eased and the care they’ve offered? For all they have done and all they will do in the days ahead, thank a physician on Doctors’ Day, March 30. We will, too.

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