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JANUARY 20, 2012

NEW SERIES!

THE SKINNY What fiber looks like: The Patient’s Perspective

ON GETTING MORE FIBER

by Marcia Ribble

5 Quick tips: Choosing high fiber foods 1. Go with whole fruit instead of juice. Whole apples and whole oranges are packed with a lot more fiber and a lot fewer calories than their liquid counterparts. 2. Break the fast with fruit. Get off to a great start by adding fruit, like berries or melon, to your breakfast every day. 3. Check the label for fiberfilled whole grains. Choose foods that list whole grains (like whole wheat or whole oats) as a first ingredient. Bread, cereal, crackers and other grain foods should have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. Read “Health Gains from Whole Grains” for a list of whole grains and their benefits. 4. Eat more beans. It’s easy to forget about beans, but they’re a great tasting, cheap source of fiber, good carbs, protein, and other important nutrients. 5. Try a new dish. Test out international recipes that use whole grains, like tabouli or whole wheat pasta, or beans, like Indian + dahls. — Harvard University

t seems hard to believe that this newspaper has been in existence for more than five years and this is our first article about fiber. Is it possible, or do we need to do an article about memory loss too? Well, whether this is the first time or not, fiber is a curious dietary component. After all, it’s considered to be very important, yet its most basic definition is that it’s the part of food that’s indigestible. That seems counterintuitive. Something the body can’t even digest is vital to good health and nutrition? Let’s get over that. Plates and forks are indigestible too,

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and we all think they’re pretty important to good nutrition. But it does beg the question: how can something that can’t even be digested be such a nutritional big deal? In brief, in the same way that plates and forks are: they multitask like crazy, and so does fiber. If you think fiber is all about digestive health, you have come to the right place. You are about to be enlightened. Fiber is known to keep the circulatory system healthy, reducing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), thereby cutting the risk of heart Please see FIBER page 7

My how things have changed in medicine. In the old days, a single doctor saw many patients through their entire lifetime, so they knew everything about their patients and their lives. That one family doctor took care of everything from pregnancy to broken bones right through to end-of-life issues. Today, doctors are usually handicapped by their areas of specialization and by economic forces limiting the time they can spend with a patient. This makes them more dependent on patients to inform them about details that could be missed during office visits, hospitalizations, or other interactions. To add to the challenge, patients often look at doctors as all-knowing godlike beings who can read their minds, so they fail to express issues their doctors really need to know Talk is cheap. about. In many intellectual areas Not talking can be deadly. of inquiry — education, medicine, religion and others — the primary voices being heard are those of the professionals. In medicine, this may silence the critically important knowledge of their own bodies and symptoms that patients have. For example, I just found out that my platelet count is down to 30,000, which is way too low. My primary did the CBC that provided that information, but she isn’t my only doctor. So it’s my job to contact and inform my hematologist, my orthopedic surgeon, my regular eye doctor, my retina specialists, and my vein surgeon. Some older folks have a person who keeps everyone informed, a medical caseworker. I don’t, but having that knowledge is crucial for many reasons for any specialist who might now or in the future interact with me. They might also need to know how that information is affecting me emotionally. Is it making me scared about the underlying causes, that I might be dying or have cancer? Is it making me depressed as a senior who might become overwhelmed by too many medical concerns? Will I need hospitalization? Chemotherapy? Surgery? If I do, will I be able to find help at home for the needs these issues may bring to the surface? Because we often have doctors now who only see us for just the things they specialize in, it becomes our job as patients to keep all our medical practitioners on the same page, and we have not been taught to do that, nor to see ourselves as a source of wisdom about our medical concerns. Well-informed doctors can be our safest recourse when we are seeking Please see PERSPECTIVE page 10

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JANUARY 20, 2012

AUGUSTA MEDiCAL EXAMINER

OUR OPINION

The Big Merger: what was the rush? Editor’s note: this article in slightly different form was posted at the Medical Examiner blog site (www.AugustaRx.com) last week. Is the merger of Augusta State University with Georgia Health Sciences University a good thing? We don’t know. It might go down as better than Currier hooking up with Ives; better than uniting peanut butter and jelly; better than Ben meeting Jerry. Or it might be more like Bonnie meeting Clyde; like merging ketchup and chocolate; like mixing bedtime and 5Hour Energy. We hope not. But we don’t know. And neither does anyone else. One of the regents said, mere days before the union was officially announced, that the sudden rush to merge learning institutions across the state should wait. Someone, he said, should determine whether or not the mergers would really be beneficial and if they will actually save money. That made headlines for a few hours and then was crushed by the oncoming merger freight train. On January 5, 2012, GHSU’s website announced “ASU/GHSU consolidation proposed.” Town Hall meetings were announced to discuss the “proposed” merger. Who knew that by the time the meetings rolled around less than a week later, the merger would already be a done deal? With the vote already over, what was the point of the meetings? Probably to tell people what that lone regent wanted to know, except without the benefit of any solid facts or the results of any study of what the intended (and unintended) results of the merger might be. There’s an old Latin phrase that applies here: Abusus non tollit usum. In plain

English, abuse is no argument against proper use. Abuse of a drug, for example, is no argument against its proper use. Likewise, what some view as the failed or dysfunctional merger of Augusta and Richmond County, doesn’t mean this merger is a bad idea. But good idea or not, it does have the unmistakable

name GHSU could soon vanish. As a result only minimal changes have been made incorporating GHSU into signage, stationery, et cetera. So even though the estimated $3 million hasn’t been spent yet, the jobs that were cut around the time the name change was announced are still gone.

From proposal to fait accompli in less than a week? and undeniable feeling of a rush job. That in itself is beyond odd: since when does anything governmental happen practically overnight? And it is, after all, the merger of two very different institutions, the adoption of an apple into the family of an orange. Is it a good idea? Again, in the rush to consolidate, no one really knows. The Name Game Then there’s the issue of the name this new blended family will assume. It’s no secret that GHSU has not been a wellreceived name change, both in Augusta at large and at the institution itself. In our opinion, no one will miss “GHSU.” Mere months ago when MCG became GHSU, the cost of the change was predicted to be roughly $3 million. At the same time, MCG issued a flurry of pink slips to cut costs. Whether those two events were connected or not, the message some people heard was: we have to get rid of human beings and cut back on patient care to free up funds for new stationery. Last week at the Town Hall meetings it was revealed that since the merger has been under discussion for some time (which was news), officials knew the

Now two institutions will presumably change their names. What will that cost? And what will the name be this time? Who knows, but here’s an observation: we can’t think of any university with a 4-letter acronym that really works except perhaps UCLA. The only exceptions are 1-letter additions to existing 3-letter abbreviations. Like USCA just across the river in Aiken. And like MUSC in Charleston. So yes, MUGA would have been the perfect name for MCG — except for Augusta’s long-standing Athens paranoia. GHSU was a name that sounded like a high school acronym (think Greenbrier High School, for one) with a U tacked on for prestige. That’s not something we thought of; that’s what MCG students and employees have told us. And so, an institution that had the same name for parts of three centuries is about to have its third name within less than a year. Without the merger, we predict people would have still been calling MCG MCG – not GHSU — long into the future. Meanwhile, the not-so-distant change from Augusta College to Augusta State University – and from AC to ASU – was assimilated into the local lexicon quickly

and smoothly. It’s the 3-letter rule at work. Hopefully the seven current letters will be reduced to three, not four. Right this moment, if we had to choose between ASU and GHSU, we’d opt for ASU without hesitation. When all is said and done, the name itself is one of those things that is important and unimportant at the same time. It would be ridiculous to assert that, say, Princeton and Boise State have equal name. At the same time, we feel the name debate here is distracting most of us from the real issues that could make or break this union. In the final analysis we’re not saying we’re against uniting Augusta State and the Medical College. We’re not saying it’s a very bad idea or a truly great idea. We have no crystal ball. But no one can say that this isn’t a very important issue — to both institutions, to their thousands of employees, to their student bodies and the CSRA as a whole. Nor can anyone correctly say that making this merger of two very different institutions work won’t be a challenging and complicated issue. It’s hard enough to bring two people together and make that marriage succeed. But marrying two huge institutions? With that in mind, doesn’t it seem just a little odd that this went from initial announcement to fait accompli in less than a week? That’s virtually unheard of. And if it was under discussion for weeks or months behind closed doors before the proposal became public, why? Why not give it a little public exposure and scrutiny before pulling the trigger? In short, what was the rush? +

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Not every problem in life can be fixed by a pill, a shot, or a scalpel. And that applies even to situations that can have a major effect on our health and wellness. Perhaps what regularly vexes us the most in everyday life is losing keys or important papers. Maybe it’s a troubled marriage, being late all the time, contentious teenagers, chronic procrastination or never-ending problems making ends meet. In this Medical Examiner column we tackle these troublesome issues and try to offer practical solutions.

Need a S lution? Please drop us a line - info@AugustaRx.com - with a question or a suggestion for a future column.


JANUARY 20, 2012 M E DIC I N E

I N

T H E

F I R ST

P E R SON

Shot point-blank am a Navy Vet, Hospital Corpsman and Surgical Tech. I was stationed in San Diego at Balboa Naval Hospital and worked the evening shift at Mercy Catholic Hospital. I also was stationed at Oakland Naval Hospital in Oakland, CA. Prior to my discharge from the Navy in 1959, I was hired as a Surgical Tech by Eugene Talmadge Hospital (MCG) right here in Augusta. I was instructed to report to the hospital as soon as I was discharged. Coming from a very active OR experience at Balboa, I saw a much less patient load in comparison, which was ok with me. I needed a break. Things can become foggy after so many years, but the following occurrence I will never forget. In late 1959 or early 1960, I was on duty and was told by the OR supervisor that we had a chest gunshot coming in and to prepare for the case. I scrubbed, prepared all

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AUGUSTA MEDiCAL EXAMINER

The patient shot in the chest said,“I feel good.” chest instruments required and stood ready, towel over my hands, as the male patient was rolled in and prepped by the circulating nurse, vitals conducted and his IV was started. All vitals were normal — which was abnormal. To my surprise, he spoke to me and I asked him how he felt and he replied, “Oh, I’m ok.” I observed a black spot located in the left center of his chest near the sternum. I again asked if he if he had pain and he replied, “No.” The surgeon had scrubbed and had entered the OR. The anesthesiologist was on his way. I told the surgeon about my conversation with the patient and he did the same, asking him different questions. He

responded to the surgeon basically the same as he did to me. “I feel good,” he said. The surgeon asked me if I knew if there was an exit wound and I did not know. The surgeon said let’s turn him over and see, so I broke sterile and assisted the surgeon and discovered there was no exit wound. The surgeon said as long as his vitals are stable, let’s bring in the portable Xray machine. We shot a quick chest pic and rushed it for development. Again to our surprise no bullet appeared in the film. Hesitating to rescrub and open the chest we both noticed upon further examination a very faint red streak running vertically up from the entrance wound across the left shoulder. As we turned the patient over on his side, we followed the red streak down to where it stopped…the left upper quadrant of the gluteus maximus. The surgeon and I felt around for the bullet where the Please see SHOT page 4

What’s your story? Nearly all of us — even doctors and nurses — are sometimes patients. Perhaps you were recently injured playing your favorite sport, or years ago you somehow got hurt without even leaving your favorite recliner. Maybe you were diagnosed with a dreaded disease, mugged in a dark and lonely parking lot, or you stubbed your toe in the safety of your own bedroom. On the other hand, perhaps you needed medical attention 5,000 miles from home. Whatever your medical experience, we’d like to hear your story for our Medicine in the First Person feature. It can be frightening or funny, ordinary or extraordinary, just a few paragraphs long or quite a lengthy tale. We’ll publish your encounters with the medical profession as often as we receive them. + Send your submissions for Medicine in the First Person to the Augusta Medical Examiner via e-mail: info@AugustaRx.com or to PO Box 397, Augusta, GA 30903-0397. (The Medical Examiner reserves the right to accept, reject, or edit any submission at its sole discretion.)

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Money Doctor

appears exclusively in the Medical Examiner’s 3rd Friday issue of even months, written by Augusta’s own Bill

Why would anyone pay for a subscription to a free newspaper? That’s certainly a legitimate question. The answer: as a major regional medical center, patients come to Augusta hospitals and physicians from all over the Southeast. The MCGHealth Medical Center alone sees patients from every single county in Georgia, not to mention South Carolina, Florida, and beyond. Add to that the regional reach of Eisenhower Army Medical Center and both Veterans Administration hospitals, the Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital, MCGHealth Children’s Medical Center, Walton Rehab and University Hospital, and it’s clear that many people seeking treatment in Augusta are not local residents. Furthermore, some of our most loyal readers are in town only occasionally. Or their treatments and visits to Augusta are only temporary. Even local residents may find it more convenient to walk to their mailbox than visit one of our many newsstands. Subscriber copies are mailed the day prior to the issue date so they will be received by most readers no later than the publication date printed on the paper. Copies are sent by First Class mail in a sealed envelope so they’ll arrive promptly and in crisp condition. Rates are $16 for a 6-month subscription (12 issues), $32 for a full year (24 issues). Complete the form below and drop it in the mail with your payment. Thank you! +

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By popular demand we’re making at-cost subscriptions available for the convenience of our readers. If you live beyond the Aiken-Augusta area or miss issues between doctor’s appointments — don’t you hate it when that happens? — we’ll command your mail carrier to bring every issue to your house!

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www.AugustaRx.com • E-mail: graphicadv@knology.net Opinions expressed by the writers herein are their own and their respective institutions. Neither the Augusta Medical Examiner, Pearson Graphic 365 Inc., or its agents or employees take any responsibility for the accuracy of submitted information, which is presented for informational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment consult your doctor. © 2012 PEARSON GRAPHIC 365 INC.


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JANUARY 20, 2012

AUGUSTA MEDiCAL EXAMINER

Hope IS Possible

Are you in recovery? Helen Blocker-Adams would imagine this question caught you a little off guard and may not have set too well with you. Your defense mechanism went up and immediately your first response was ‘I’m not in recovery…I’m fine… there’s nothing wrong with me.’ Or maybe some of you, who are not in denial, had a quick answer to the question. Let’s talk about recovery and

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what it is. Generally when one hears the term recovery, we might think of someone recovering from alcoholism, drug addiction, mental illness or something similar. But I want to approach this from a different perspective. Mental health or behavioral health does NOT have a monopoly on the term recovery. That revelation occurred to me when I attended an event held in Augusta last week. The CSRA Behavioral Health Summit cohosted by Augusta National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Mental Health America and Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance was held 8 a.m. – 12 noon at the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library downtown. The day started out with a Local Advocacy Leaders meeting which included a diverse group of individuals, organizations and companies

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that provide mental health/ mental wellness services in the CSRA. I was honored with the opportunity to facilitate a portion of that session that involved an ice breaker and relationship building component. It turned out quite well. The next session was called “Laughter for Wellness.” An extraordinary interactive demonstration that showed the benefits of laughter as it relates to reducing and/or eliminating mental health challenges. Now that was fun. The rest of the morning was the Georgia Recovery Initiative Community Listening Session. That session gave everyone present an opportunity to voice their concerns, challenges, opportunities and successes. It was powerful to say the least. Let’s go back to that word recovery. Naturally that came up several times throughout the day. It’s interesting how most people typically hear that word when it comes to surgery, mental health/mental

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illness, substance abuse or behavioral health. But wait a minute. In today’s volatile economy, wouldn’t you agree that we’re in a recovery? Or maybe not for some people. There is also recovery from loss of a job; loss of a loved; relationship problems; financial challenges; business loss; divorce or economic downturn/recession. You’re probably thinking of others as you read this column. From your personal perspective, what does recovery mean to you? One of the first steps to any recovery process is to admit there is a problem in the first place. That can be challenging to some people. If you really think about it, most of us are ‘recovering’ from something. Or have recovered from something. One of the leaders in the morning session said she’s recovering from being in school as a nontraditional student. Another was recovering from the recent loss of his wife of over 40 years.

A negative stigma exists regarding mental health/ mental illness and that’s a shame. People who suffer some form of mental illness want an opportunity to be accepted and function in this society just as much as anyone else. He or she should be able to do that. Frankly all of us are in this together because recovery is at work in our lives in ways we all share in common. Mental health or behavioral health does not have a monopoly on the word recovery. + Helen Blocker Adams is President/ CEO of The HBA Group, Intl and Executive Director of the Southeast Enterprise Institute, Inc. Visit her website at www.helenblockeradams. com. If you like politics, visit her blog at www.projectlogicga.com. You can reach her via email at hba@hbagroup-intl.com Helen’s new book, Unlikely Allies: 8 Steps to Bridging Divides that Impact Leadership can be purchased by visiting www.hbagroup-intl.com or www.authorhouse.com

SHOT… from page 3 streak ended and there it was, just under the skin. The surgeon took a scalpel, made a half-inch incision and removed the bullet with a hemostat. I believe that may have been the simplest cure for a gunshot wound to the chest in the

history of medicine. I later learned that the patient had been shot pointblank with a 38 Police Special in a gun battle with a 78-yearold sheriff in Aiken. + — Submitted by Bob Ligon, Evans, GA

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JANUARY 20, 2012

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AUGUSTA MEDiCAL EXAMINER

WHAT EVERYBODY OUGHT TO KNOW ABOUT LONGEVITY AND PREP-PHOBIA by Bad Billy Laveau When Klem Moody’s doctor made morning hospital rounds to update him on his lab test, Klem’s face was draped in sternness and his body bundled in street clothes. “I’m leaving ... right now!” “Wait! We’re not done with all your tests.” “You may not be done, but I am! Up ‘til last week, nobody knew I even had an arse. Since I have been here, everybody has stuck tubes in it and took pictures of it, ‘til I’ve had enough. I’m outa here.” Klem ran out the door like a moonshiner chased by revenuers. (And that, Dear Hearts, may be how we got the idiom, “faster than Moody’s goose.”) My recent Executive Physical went something like that as well. A well-known hospital caters to corporate executives, rock stars, pro athletes, and trust fund wonders. But they admitted me anyway. (A friend arranged a hefty discount because the true cost was far beyond my meager means.) They have wings named for various Fortune 100 dignitaries. After more than a century, they still do not feel the need to have “University” in their name. They had hordes of competent (and polite) doctors and nurses and technicians. They have multiple copies of every medical machine known to man. I saw five CT scanners in

one wing. They gave me a going over (and through) that makes the Spanish Inquisition seem unintrusive in comparison. In my two days there, vampires vacuumed out blood specimens at least six different times. I got in and out of my clothes more times than Paris Hilton does on a holiday weekend. They ruined my impending Hollywood career by shaving my chest hair in an asymmetrical way that must be a secret signal to space aliens, or proof of the random numbers mathematical equation. Either way, when I got home my wife said, “Get that weird stuff off your chest.” She wasn’t amused by my story that it was the latest fad, and that I had so much chest hair because, growing up poor, I grew my own sweater to keep warm in the winter. But back at the hospital, their history-taking delved into everything I know and things I had not pondered in decades, and even ferreted out the name of my dog. The colonoscopy prep was draconian, but I survived and eventually felt clean clear through. The anesthesiologist said, “I will give you an IV anesthetic. You will tingle when it takes effect. Then you will wake up in the Recovery Room.” “What drug are you using?” “Propofol. You and Michael Jackson.”

ATTENTION Compensation and medical benefits are available for covered illnesses related to exposure to radiation, beryllium, silica and toxic substances through the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICP). Over $420 million has been paid to eligible Savannah River Site workers or their survivors through this program.

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t s e B I felt fluid go in my arm. I blinked and was about to say I didn’t feel a tingle, but when I un-blinked, I was in the Recovery Room. An hour or so was pleasantly gone from my life. My colon was normal, they said. (I’m not even sure they did it. They could have just been telling me that, for all I know.) They said I could get a repeat in 10 years if I felt it necessary. Right now, I don’t feel the need. But if I ever do, maybe they will have a less torturous prep. (I can see why Michael liked Propofol. But did he need three gallons of it in his home? I think not. I calculate that three gallons would keep me under for a solid week.) They monitored my blood pressure hourly for 24 hours. Five different doctors zeroed in on various body parts and areas of concern. Nurses and technicians zipped in and out like the shiny ball in a pinball machine. Before the GloFlo CT test, I was warned that I would feel like I was peeing in my pants, but that I was not. They injected the radioactive material. I got hot all over and was certain I had wet everything below the waist. However, disaster was

e n i c i d ME

averted. I was cheerfully dry. I twisted my finger and tore a fingernail getting off an examining table. They called out the SWAT Team and dialed up DefCon 3. Through my extra-ordinary communicative skills, I convinced them to treat me with a complimentary Curad Band Aid. My Tetanus was up to date. To the horror of malpractice lawyers worldwide, I refused to file an Incident Report, thereby derailing a multi-million dollar medical neglect fingernail law suit. Finally, near the end of the second day, I saw a real, down home doctor. He treats patients rather than body parts or specific diseases. He was delightfully philosophical. He knew who Lightnin’ Hopkins and Jimmy Reed were. He knew the background music for the current TV Viagra ad was Howlin Wolf, recorded over 50 years ago. A true Renaissance man was he. We talked about how medicine was descending into an abyss of highly trained technicians and machines, and few real doctors anymore. And, how that was both good and bad. So far, they think I will live. Treadmill: negative. Pulmonary functions: normal.

Blood work: normal, except for a small elevation in cholesterol that has been stable for 30 years. Kidney function: normal, with the glomerular filtration rate of someone 20 years my junior. PSA: normal. Five pages of confusing normal blood test values. All sorts of normal scans and Xrays. More results are forthcoming after they have had time to calculate ratios and have a conference about how to best preserve Bad Billy for the foreseeable future. I am glad it’s over and done. There is peace in knowing I am mostly normal, that I don’t have a hunk of cancer lurking about, and that acute myocardial infarctions and strokes are unlikely. Would I do it again? Sure. But not today. You take the next turn. That’s my gift to you to preserve your health. Besides, I break out in a cold sweat whenever I hear the word, “Prep.” Maybe I ought to sue them anyway, now that I have near terminal Prepphobia. But all jokes aside, get an annual physical. It beats the hell out of your body dying and your family crying. + Bad Billy Laveau is a retired MD with a pointed sense of humor. Bad Billy speaks and entertains at public and private events for audiences not subject to cardiac seizure secondary to overwhelming laughter and glee BadBilly@knology.net or 706306-9397

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JANUARY 20, 2012

AUGUSTA MEDiCAL EXAMINER

Health 101 by Sandy Turner, RN, EdD, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Assistant Dean for Administration in the GHSU College of Nursing HOW IMPORTANT ARE NON PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS? e use a lot of medications that many of us consider very safe or maybe not even important enough to include in any list of what medications we’re taking. These are over the counter or behind the counter or herbal medicines. Many OTC medications can interact with prescription medicines or cause other reactions. It is important to tell your health care provider and your pharmacist about all medicines you take so that any and all possible interactions can be considered. Over the counter medicines like Tylenol, ibuprofen and

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aspirin are considered safe, but in large quantities they can all cause problems. They can affect the kidneys or liver or, in the case of aspirin, cause stomach bleeding. They can also interfere with other medicines like heart medicines and blood thinners, so they should definitely be included when you are asked about what you take. How often are they taken? Daily? More often? Behind the counter medicines are the ones that used to be over the counter, but the FDA now considers them to be more dangerous, more likely to be abused, or they can be used to make illegal substances. These

drugs may have ephedrine in them, which can raise the blood pressure and speed up the heart rate. While these medicines don’t require a prescription they must be signed for in order to buy them. Decongestants fall into this category and will raise the blood pressure. Herbal medicines are being used more frequently now. Many people who take them consider them to be very safe and as a rule they are. They have certainly been around longer than many of the prescription medicines on the market today. Aspirin, for example, is basically an herbal. It comes from the bark of the willow tree and has been used for centuries for headaches and pain relief. The problem with most herbals is that they aren’t considered medicines. They are regulated like a food substance instead of a drug, so they don’t go through the same rigorous standard of approval. One company can measure the standard dosage amount differently than another. Or one pill may be different than another. Niacin is an herbal that is now being sold by a drug company, so the standards on manufacturing change when the medicine is made by them as opposed to when

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an herbal company makes the pills. Other herbal supplements that a lot of people take are: Ginseng – a stimulant that may also raise the blood pressure. Gingko Biloba – a memory enhancing herb that can also thin the blood and cause bleeding. Cinnamon – a spice that can lower the blood sugar. There are several products that provide a weak form of estrogen such as soy, Mexican yams, evening primrose, dong qui, red clover, St John’s wort, Ginseng, Black cohosh, Kava, Vitamin E. Depending on risks such as history of cancer or stroke some may not be appropriate. Some may cause some relief of symptoms and some may not. They provide a good topic to discuss with your doctor.

There are several minerals that are taken as supplements that we only need in small amounts. These should be monitored so we don’t get too much of them. These include chromium, zinc, magnesium and iron. Most vitamins can be easily excreted if we take too much, as long as they are water soluble. If we eat the right foods, though, vitamins aren’t really needed at all. Supplements that have multiple ingredients usually don’t have a very high amount of any one thing. If you take supplements it is better to take just the ones you want separately rather than a combination product. Again, the most important thing is to go over everything you are taking with your provider and your pharmacist to look for interactions and to determine if the medicine is really helping — or if it is even needed in the first place. +

HEALTH 101 – Information to help you make positive changes in your life to improve your health by Sandy Turner, RN, EdD, Family Nurse Practitioner, Director of the Good Samaritan House, A Free Community Health Center Open Mondays 1-5 pm. 213 N Main St., Dearing, GA 706-556-9080.


JANUARY 20, 2012

FIBER

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AUGUSTA MEDiCAL EXAMINER

‌ from page 1

attack and stroke. Fiber reduces cholesterol, and helps prevent diabetes and also helps diabetics manage their condition with less medications. A diet high in fiber can also help promote weight loss or prevent weight gain, and it can contribute to lower blood pressure. Other than those few things, fiber doesn’t do much. Well, there is also improved digestive health. But that’s really it. Unless you count the generally higher nutritional value of foods rich in fiber too. But that really is it. How does it work? That’s a legitimate question: how could fiber — lowly oatmeal or mere blueberries, for example — improve the health of my heart and brain? If those are organs you care about, read on. Otherwise, skip to the next subheading. In simplified terms, the magic of fiber begins with digestion. Acids, bile and enzymes manufactured by the liver help digest food by binding with fiber in the intestines, expending cholesterol in the process. The liver pulls more cholesterol from the body to replace the supply lost, which reduces circulating cholesterol, dropping both total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, the evil twin of HDL cholesterol. Reduced cholesterol means clearer arteries, free of the plaque that otherwise would be accumulating inside them, impeding and sometimes completely blocking circulation. Those clearer arteries mean healthier hearts, less heart disease, and fewer heart attacks. And when it comes to unimpeded circulation, the brain also benefits, along with brain

owners: another word for blocked circulation in the brain is “stroke,� and no one wants to experience one of those. Studies suggest that diets rich in fiber help sugars to be released into the bloodstream more slowly, preventing spikes and crashes that diabetics seek to avoid. Eating a meal high in sugars but without fiber is like winning the lottery and taking the lump sum payment option — and then being broke six months later. With fiber, those sugars are released gradually over time, like a structured annuity. That’s better whether one is diabetic or not. Foods high in fiber are often more filling, and therefore we get full faster. If we’re (to borrow a phrase) listening to our gut, that means we’ll eat less. We may even lose weight. That further promotes the aforementioned heart benefits. Fibery foods (that’s a word, right?) also are healthy foods. Check your nearest package of Twinkies and you’re not going to see a plethora of fiber listed on the nutritional label. You’re going to see a lot of zeroes, at least for the good stuff. Check the label on the side of a raspberry, on the other hand, and you’re going to be pleasantly surprised to discover 4.6 grams of fiber in every half cup. Where can I fi nd this stuff? Raspberries aren’t the only source of fiber, of course. Far from it. You could even go for

a psylliumbased fiber supplement, but where is the fun in that? No fiber pill or drink can hold a candle to a whole wheat English muffin or maybe some rye or whole wheat crackers. Sure, beans and lentils are the kings of fiber. That goes without saying. But if you don’t want to be poppin’ Beano all the time (not that there’s anything wrong with that), just remember that oranges, baked potatoes, dates and figs, whole wheat spaghetti, bran muffins, sweet potatoes and pears are all on the delicious list of foods that provide a goodly amount of fiber. Fiber is tasty! One medium sized apple — the kind that keeps a doctor away for 24 hours — contains 4 grams of fiber. Two-thirds of a cup of applesauce has 3.6 grams. 100% bran breakfast cereals really bring it, to the tune of 8.8 grams of dietary fiber. How much do I need? In a word: more. If you’re an average person living in the United States, you’re probably only getting somewhere between one-third to one-half of

the current recommendations. Specifically, health experts recommend consuming a minimum of 20-35 grams of dietary fiber per day depending on caloric intake. For an average 2000 calorie daily diet the figure is 25 grams of fiber. Unfortunately, the average American consumes just 12 to 18 grams per day. Studies show young people aren’t even doing that well: their fiber intake may be as low as 20% of the recommendation. For the record, kids should get grams of daily fiber equal to their age plus 5. All of us would probably benefit from a simple exercise: keep a food diary for several days, perhaps a full week. That should encompass all of our more or less habitual Monday through Friday meals, as well as weekends when we go off the reservation a bit. Hopefully we’ll be pleasantly surprised, but more than likely we’ll see the need to start “roughing it� a little more than we have been. Once we start doing that on a consistent basis, expect improved heart health to follow, along with better cholesterol readings, lower blood pressure and improved circulatory health. And your bathroom scale should get a break too. +

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OUR NEWSSTANDS Medical locations: • Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Ctr, 15th St., Main Entrance • Dept. of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Uptown Div., Wrightsboro Rd., main lobby • Doctors Hospital, 3651 Wheeler Rd, ER Lobby Entrance • Doctors Hospital, 3651 Wheeler Rd, Employee Entrance (near the Joseph M. Still Burn Center entrance) • Eisenhower Hospital, Main Entrance, Fort Gordon • George C. Wilson Drive (by medical center Waffle House and mail boxes) • MCG Hospital, 1120 15th Street, South & West Entrances • MCGHealth Medical Office Building, Harper Street, Main Entrance • MCGHealth Medical Office Building, Harper Street, Parking Deck entrance • MCG Hospital, Emergency Room, Harper Street, Main Entrance • MCGHealth Children’s Medical Center, Harper Street, Main Lobby • Medical College of Georgia, Laney-Walker Boulevard transit stop, Augusta • Select Specialty Hospital, Walton Way, Main entrance lobby • Trinity Hospital, Wrightsboro Road, main lobby by elevators • Trinity Hospital Home Health, Daniel Village, main lobby • University Health Federal Credit Union/ University Hospital Human Resources, 1402 Walton Way, Main Lobby • University Hospital, 1350 Walton Way, Emergency Room lobby area • University Hospital, 1350 Walton Way, Outside Brown & Radiology/Day Surgery • University Hospital - Columbia County, 465 N. Belair Road, Main Lobby • University Hospital Prompt Care, 3121 Peach Orchard Road, Augusta

Around town: • Barney’s Pharmacy, 2604 Peach Orchard Rd. • Birth Control Source, 1944 Walton Way • ASU Student Bookstore • Blue Sky Kitchen, 990 Broad Street • Columbia County Library, main branch lobby, Ronald Reagan Drive, Evans • Enterprise Mill (North Tower), 1450 Greene Street, Augusta • Daniel Village Barber Shop, Wrightsboro Road at Ohio Ave. • Hartley’s Uniforms, 1010 Druid Park Ave, Augusta • International Uniforms, 1216 Broad Street, Augusta • Marshall Family Y, Belair Rd, Evans • Mellow Mushroom, 12th and Broad Streets, Augusta • Southside Family Y, Tobacco Road, Augusta • Surrey Center, Surrey Center Pharmacy, Highland Avenue, Augusta • Top-Notch Car Wash, 512 N. Belair Road, Evans • Wild Wing Cafe, 3035 Washington Road, Augusta

Plus... 500+ doctors offices throughout the area for staff and waiting rooms, as well as nurses stations and waiting rooms of area hospitals.

JANUARY 20, 2012

AUGUSTA MEDiCAL EXAMINER

P harm acy 41 1 EDITOR’S NOTE: Very little if anything about healthcare is inexpensive, and that includes medicine. Tiny pills can command large prices. Over-the-counter medications may be less expensive, but are they also less effective? Find the answers to lots of your drug store questions in this column written by Augusta pharmacists Chris and Lee Davidson exclusively for the Medical Examiner.

A NEW YEAR IN THE PHARMACY: ARE YOU READY? It’s another year in the pharmacy and some of you a transaction fee to cover administrative and processing may be trying to find a pharmacy that takes your new costs. Breaking up a monthly prescription into four weekly insurance, or maybe a new pharmacy that takes your same installments would end up costing you an extra three old insurance. These are all too common problems in the transaction fees. These transactions fees are usually a minor present medical setting. With insurance companies paying part of the overall prescription costs and may be justified less and less there are some pharmacies and pharmacy if the patient can get their medicines when needed. If chains that, just like some hospitals and doctor’s you get all of your monthly income in a single offices, say it’s not cost-effective for them to take payment, then a monthly prescription is the most a certain insurance company’s products. economical way to go. JANUARY If your pharmacy has decided to drop your Your insurance may not include a deductible insurance for the new calendar year you may for your prescriptions but instead a copay for well be shopping for a new pharmacy. For those each prescription. With the increase in copays of you who have been going to a pharmacy this year, generic prescriptions may come with you love, maybe it’s worth it to stick with a twenty-dollar copay. Ask about the cash price them and pay cash, then submit your bills for your prescriptions, especially generics, for reimbursement. Be forewarned that your because your pharmacy may offer a discount insurance company will only pay at most for cash customers that can save you money what they would have paid for a network pharmacy and compared to filing your prescriptions on your insurance possibly less. So check with your plan before deciding on and paying your copay. Insurance customers should check this option. with your insurance company about the possibility of If you prefer to get the full benefit from the insurance getting more than one month’s worth of medications for that costs you so much, you have no choice but to shop for a single copay. A few insurance companies will do this. a new pharmacy. There are many great pharmacists out If your insurance company is one of them, then you will there, so take your time before selecting one. Get friends’ need a new prescription written so that your pharmacy input and find a pharmacy with a record of good customer can fill the prescription this new way. For example, if service. Remember that your copays are typically going to your insurance pays for three months for a single copay, be the same no matter where you go, so base your decision then the prescription must be written for a three-month on customer service, the customer-pharmacist relationship supply since you cannot use three refills from your existing and extra services provided by the pharmacy (perhaps they prescription if it’s written for a 1-month supply at a time offer free delivery, for instance). with a year’s worth of refills. This is due to insurance Another January issue is that the beginning of the year regulations and cannot be overridden by your pharmacy. means a new deductible for many of us. How do you help So find a pharmacy and pharmacist you like and stick lessen the deductible burden without resorting to going with them. It’s always better to have all your prescriptions cold turkey or not taking all of your medicines every day? in one place if possible to minimize the risk of unnoticed It depends on your situation as to how you handle interactions and other problems. it. If you get paid twice a month or weekly, then maybe getting one or two week’s worth of your medicines at a Questions about this article or suggestions for future columns time would be a good option. It may cost a few dollars can be sent to us at cjdlpdrph@bellsouth.net + more overall for your monthly medicines, but the cost will be spread out in more manageable pieces. A medicine’s Written for the Medical Examiner by Augusta pharmacists Chris copay due to a deductible is based on the drug cost and and Lee Davidson (cjdlpdrph@bellsouth.net )

2012

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JANUARY 20, 2012

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AUGUSTA MEDiCAL EXAMINER

What’s Cooking with Cindy by Cindy Crawford, Owner and Executive Chef, Cindy’s Catering

Happy New Year! It’s that time when we reflect on the year past and prepare for change in the year ahead. How many of you made resolutions for the New Year? How many of your resolutions are already just a faded memory? Statistics say less than 20% of resolutions are kept more than 3 weeks. (And today is... let’s see... January 21...) The rest of them mysteriously disappear until next year. Resolutions can be good, if you set attainable goals, but more often than not they are just something we almost do. I decided this year to make only one resolution: I am going to have more fun. This may sound a little too vague and corny, but one should never underestimate the power of fun. Besides, I think it is a resolution I can fulfill. I suggest we all begin this year by resolving to have more fun, do something silly, make someone laugh until they snort and be as happy as we possibly can. We could start by being happy with our body. Face it: our waists will never be the size of Scarlett O’Hara’s again. Certain parts of our anatomy are heading south and unless we join the space program gravity will continue to be an issue! So focus on being fit and healthy and not a number on a garment or a scale. I know someone who likes to refer to the European sizes in clothes so I…. uh, I mean she can wear a size 1. Our body image should not depend upon something so trivial and I… uh, she resolves not to do that anymore. I guess that makes two resolutions for the year. This is not to say we shouldn’t exercise and eat healthy. We absolutely should. But healthy living needs to be a LIFE STYLE, not a temporary, unrealistic goal. By setting unattainable goals, we set ourselves up for failure and God knows most of us don’t need anything else to feel guilty about. Rather than being able to enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, it becomes another source of stress. Here’s a little cosmically cruel tidbit for you: Stress is one of the contributing factors to both weight gain and the inability to lose weight! Good grief!

So let’s get out and take a 30-minute walk and let the stress and the pounds fall away. Take the stairs, park across the parking lot. Let’s burn a few extra calories and consume a lot less. Eat smaller portions….I mean seriously, do any of us need to “super size” anything??? Just think, when you do you are also super sizing your butt. Laugh a little more, live a lot more and love more than you ever have and I think we will all have a wonderful New Year! I’ve lost count of how many resolutions that is. Oh well, such is life!!!! Here is a fun, healthy, vegetable salsa recipe my family has enjoyed for years.

Southern Caviar a fun, healthy, vegetable salsa • 2 - 14 oz cans black eyed peas, drained • 1- 15 oz can yellow hominy, drained (substitute whole kernel corn if you don’t like hominy) • 2 tomatoes, chopped • 4 green onions, chopped • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 1 green pepper, chopped • 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped (Use more if you want heat) • half cup onion, chopped • half cup fresh parsley, chopped • 8 oz Italian dressing of your choice Mix all ingredients and add dressing. Let marinate 2-3 hours in refrigerator. Serve with tortilla chips.

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Please feel free to contact us with any comments or if you would like to share recipes for future articles at www.cindyscatering.com Thanks for reading. Eat well and be healthy! + Article and Recipe are Property of Cindy Crawford, Cindy’s Catering, Inc.

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Don’t Lick the Beaters and other interesting food facts

by dietetic interns with University Hospital’s Augusta Area Dietetic Internship Program

Flu Fighters F

JANUARY 20, 2012

AUGUSTA MEDiCAL EXAMINER

ew people think about food and nutrition when they are sick, but the fact is your body absolutely craves nutrition when you are sick with the flu — or any other illness, for that matter. This is because the flu creates a strain on the body; in addition, your body needs certain nutrients to fight the flu. Simply sustaining life burns calories. Every day you continuously burn calories without even knowing it. Calories are burned while blood is being pumped to and from your organs, during the digestion of your food, and even while you breathe or sleep. At the same time, any activity outside of your basic bodily functions increases the energy you use. For example, a fever has the potential to raise your metabolism and may increase your daily caloric needs. Helping the body to be ready to fight the flu virus may lead to a shorter sickness. Before illness strikes, the best defense is to eat a balanced diet every day that includes a variety of foods. Choosing foods that are more nutrient dense can help boost your immune system. If you feel like you are becoming sick or already are sick, consuming a balanced diet may aid in a quicker recovery. Nutrients that play

a pivotal role in fighting the flu are calcium, electrolytes, antioxidants, and Vitamin C. Calcium is important because it stimulates the white blood cell response to fight off the infection. Electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium, are minerals that keep your energy up and maintain proper fluid balance within the body. Next are antioxidants which protect your cells from being damaged or altered during illness and infection. Colorful, fresh fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants. Vitamin C is a nutrient recommended for any type of illness. Vitamin C is needed for the growth and repair of cells all throughout your body and is extremely important for a strong immune system. Most fruits and vegetables contain Vitamin C. Excellent sources of Vitamin C include broccoli, cantaloupe, bell peppers, oranges, strawberries, mangos, and tomatoes. Staying hydrated is an important part of preventing and fighting off illness. Dehydration is common, especially if vomiting and diarrhea take place. Drinking water helps to flush toxins out of your system, and that helps protect your body from illness. In addition, water plays an important

role in keeping your kidneys cleansed and your joints lubricated. A good list of fluid options include: water, sports drinks, warm broths, and clear sodas such as ginger ale or lemon-lime flavored soda, as well as non-caffeinated drinks like tea and fruit juice. Keep in mind that preventing or fighting off the flu with nutritious weapons should be a goal for everyone, but eating a healthy diet is just part of the flu prevention picture. One of the obvious ways to avoid getting the flu is to get your flu shot. In addition, washing your hands thoroughly is the best way to get rid of the millions of germs your hands come into contact with on a daily basis. Also get lots of rest. When your body doesn’t get enough sleep it becomes weak and more susceptible to illness. Lastly, get plenty of exercise. Exercising three to four days a week boosts your body’s natural ability to fight infection. Ultimately, pay no attention to the old adage of “Starve a fever, feed a cold.” Of course good nutrition is important on a normal daily basis, but healthy nutrition and good hydration are especially important when fighting the flu. + — Stephanie Chavez Dietetic Intern

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PERSPECTIVE… from page 1 treatment for the more complex and interconnected issues many older patients have. What many folks may find surprising is that doctors are often grateful when we do tell them what we know. My VNUS Closure doctor’s assistant was happy to know about the platelet problem this morning. “We don’t like surprises,” she said, and my leaking a lot of blood during the VNUS Closure would be one of those unhappy surprises. Because he knows now, he’ll be alerted to ask if we’ve gotten the platelets up before he starts Bill had suffered the procedure. multiple heart attacks Historically, one of the first scientists and struggled with to listen to his human lab rats was congestive heart failure William Foote Whyte, a sociologist and diabetes for years, who studied Boston street gangs in the 1940s. He not only interviewed yet he never had much the gang members, but also lived with of a dialogue with his them and listened to their stories “in doctors. “They’re the their own words,” a phrase that has experts, so who was I to become a mantra for many scientists challenge them and what doing human subjects research. Why? they were telling me?” he Because interviews are controlled by the would say. interviewer, right down to selecting the Bill took medications questions to be asked. That’s the reason without asking what they doctor’s forms may not get to issues that are important to their patients, and to the were for, sat for hours doctors too. Whyte’s methods broke new in waiting rooms and ground and resulted in the famous book, then felt rushed through A Street Corner Society. appointments. It wasn’t A more recent book examining this until a doctor told him problem is Gordon Henry Jr.’s The Light he would keep having People. In his work, Henry demonstrated heart attacks and there how far from reality scientists can stray was nothing more to be when using their imaginations instead done that he realized he of asking “the natives.” He tells the needed to start asking story of Old Man Four Bears getting questions about his care. drunk and passing out in the snow. His leg froze and had to be cut off. It was put into a box to be buried, a plan that unraveled when a massive blizzard caused the young men who were to bury it to put it high in the crotch of a tree instead. The anthropologists who came along many years later saw the frozen leg and imagined all kinds of causes and beliefs for why the leg was cut off and in the box with its legging and moccasin intact. Their competing theories about the leg were all wrong, but they nonetheless took the leg to a museum and kept it frozen and on display there. Although the story was greatly exaggerated for humorous effect, it proves there is something to be learned from asking people being studied about their perspectives regarding their issues. That is equally true of people who are dealing with or have dealt with medical problems. This column has been designed to bring up issues from a patient’s perspective and to be informative for patients, and for doctors and other medical workers. I welcome your stories, questions, and concerns and will work to address them in upcoming columns, as well as telling my own stories. + Marcia Ribble received her PhD in English at Michigan State University, and recently retired from the University of Cincinnati where she taught composition. She has taught writing at the college level since 1985, and loves giving voice to people who have been silenced. She can be reached with comments, suggestions, etc. at marciaribble@hotmail.com.

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AUGUSTA MEDiCAL EXAMINER

The blog spot From THE Bookshelf Posted way back in 1998 at http://nursingdiary.nursezone.com

Think about who might be listening Perhaps you were walking down a deserted hospital corridor, discussing in quiet tones the details of a patient’s care with a fellow RN. Maybe a similar discussion took place with one or more nurses during a regular shift change report. Whatever the situation, the absence of visibly obvious listening ears does not mean no one is hearing your words. A neonatal intensive care physician, who was hospitalized for three months after being severely injured in a bicycle accident, learned a lesson during her recovery that is of value to all who are involved in patient care. Because of her injuries, including fractures that required traction, the doctor was limited to lying flat on her back, unable to see much of what was going on around her. She was also intubated for a time, which temporarily curtailed her ability to speak. Despite the doctor’s limitations with verbal communication and visual observation, her sense of hearing was not compromised and she did plenty of listening, often hearing conversations not intended for her ears. A dramatic example of what can happen when nurses let down their guard when discussing patient care occurred early in the physician’s recovery period. Her injuries were severe and required several surgeries in the days following her accident. Her condition stabilized but she still required intensive care. As she lay in the ICU she overheard a conversation coming from the nurses’ station questioning the care being given a patient: “Why are we continuing to (life) support her? Shouldn’t we let her go?” The doctor, her thoughts muddled by the effects of narcotics and the anesthesia administered earlier in the day, was convinced that she was the patient the nurses were discussing. Overcome by anxiety, she summoned a nurse and, although it was near midnight, insisted that her husband be called. She urgently asked him, “Am I going to die?” He calmly reassured her that, although her injuries had been life threatening initially, she was improving and making progress every day and she needn’t worry about dying. Although the incident was at the forefront of her mind, it was weeks before she revealed that it was the nurses’ words that had prompted her to make that frantic phone call. Her lengthy recovery period gave the doctor more than ample time to relive the upsetting incident and she realized that she, too, had probably conducted sensitive conversations within earshot of families and patients who overheard and misinterpreted her words. She vowed that she would, thereafter, be actively aware of what she said and where and how loudly she said it. It is good to be reminded that we need to be vigilant about privacy when engaged in confidential conversations. As nurses we know the importance of patient privacy and that of reassuring patients and family rather than upsetting them, so why do we so often slip up? The doctor mentioned here thinks we unwittingly fall into a sort of complacency. Nurses are busy, and dealing with the immediacy of life and death must come first. As a result, we may unintentionally allow the finding of an optimum time and place for such discussions to drop a few notches on the priority list. Perhaps we think that a certain background noise level—one caused by respirators and monitors—will drown out our words. The doctor’s frightening experience should be the clicher wakeup call for all of us to be mindful that listeners, intentional or accidental, are everywhere whether we can see them or not — and even when we think they can’t hear us. +

A true story

We publish on 1st and 3rd Fridays. Our next issue: Feb. 3

There’s no doubt we live in The Information Overload Generation, and here’s a book that we haven’t had time to read yet, but we Googled some information about it. According to some online reviews — hold on, an e-mail just popped up.... okay, never mind, it was just a pitch from Dillard’s for a sale this weekend. Anyway, I believe we were saying that we live in a very informative time in human history. If I haven’t mentioned it previously, there is more information available than at any time in human history, so much so that, even though it would take a many centuries just to read what’s on the Internet — even if we were to read ten hours a day (which would represent a 20 percent reduction from how much time we’re spending now). I’ll tell you this much: my wife and I were having a conversation about this very subject a couple of weeks ago. I specifically remember it because it was during a commercial that played just before halftime of that big game. Anyway, I don’t think we’ve had a conversation since, but we definitely had

that one. It was about this very subject and we were pretty much talked out before the commercial ended. I mean, there is so much to talk about you can’t even begin to cover it, so why start? It’s pointless. Personally, we like to text each other, even if we’re sitting side by side watching TV and surfing the Internet. It has kept our marriage minty fresh all these years. You can say a lot in 140 characters or less, you know? That way you don’t get all bogged down with messy emotions. Emoticons are quicker and more better. Some people say the Internet has shortened people’s attention spans, but that’s so untrue that even if it were true it would be

untrue. We were on YouTube the other day for hours. But anyway, I read part of a review of a review of this book, and from what I could figure out, it’s like he might be saying the Internet is frying our brains or something which is like totally untrue and everything. People can still be deep and stuff. You should see some of the stuff on Tweet. Or is it Tweeter? But like I was saying — wasn’t I? — it’s dumb to think the Internet is making us dumb. If it is, how did we find out about this book? Is he saying his own book is dumb? You can even get an e-version of this book. Honestly, we’re probably not going to read this book. If we want to be called dumb by total strangers we can get on Facebook or Tweeter. And besides, this book has 276 pages. Do you have any idea how long that is? It probably doesn’t even have any pictures. No sir, we’ll pass on this one. We can wait for the movie. +

The Shallows: What The Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr, 276 pages, published in 2010 by W.W. Norton & Company

the

Clipping File Hold the aspirin? One of the puzzling but good things about medicine is that it’s constantly evolving. That’s why we don’t use blood-letting to cure headaches anymore. The puzzling part comes along when one study says something (chocolate is a good example) is good for you, then another study a year later says the opposite. Well, it’s happened again. A new analysis by London researchers of nine major studies involving more than 100,000 participants has concluded that a daily aspirin regimen is not for everyone. About one-third of Americans take a low-dose or baby aspirin in hopes of reducing their odds of cancer, stroke or heart attack. There is a proven benefit to a daily aspirin dose, but there are also side effects: aspirin poppers are also significantly more likely (30 percent more) to have serious gastrointestinal bleeding as a direct side effect of their aspirin regimen.

Overall, said the research analysis, for every 162 people who take daily preventive aspirin, the drug prevents one nonfatal heart attack and causes two cases of serious bleeding. Researchers say it’s not the end of aspirin therapy as we know it, just a reminder that aspirin is a drug. It can cause serious side effects, and its administration — even in low doses — should be decided on a case-by-case basis. In short, ask your doctor. The Most Dangerous Room What’s the most dangerous room in the average home? The bedroom, where we spend up to a third of our lives? The kitchen, full of sharp objects and hot stoves? The garage, where chemicals from paint to gasoline and fertilizers to weed killers line the shelves? Turns out it’s the bathroom, according to accident figures compiled by the Centers for Disease Control. Roughly 235,000 people are hurt badly

enough in their bathroom every year to require an emergency room visit, with nearly 14 percent of the total being admitted. That makes the throne room the most hazardous room in the house. Speaking of thrones, nearly 15 percent of the injuries occur while using the toilet and onethird happen while bathing or showering. Nuts! Don’t say nuts to nuts, suggests the current issue of AARP, The Magazine. Nuts of just about any variety offer disease-fighting antioxidants, protein, fiber and good fats. Nuts lower LDL and total cholesterol. As if that’s not enough, people who eat several servings each week slash their cardiovascular risk by 74 percent compared with those who eat nuts less than weekly. Moderation is good, though: just enough nuts to fill the palm of your hand is plenty for a daily serving. +


+ 12

JANUARY 20, 2012

AUGUSTA MEDiCAL EXAMINER

THE EXAMiNERS +

I was thinking about joining Sam’s Club today.

Oh?

by Dan Pearson

Yeah, I’ve got that colonoscopy coming up next week.

Don’t they sell those Oh, right. I’ll see if 96-roll bales we can borrow the of toilet paper? neighbor’s forklift.

I fail to see the connection.

The Mystery Word for this issue: LIRAKIPLEN

© 2012 Daniel Pearson All rights reserved.

PUZZLE ACROSS 1. Longtime senator, to friends 6. Uterus 10. Riverhawks’ _____shot 14. Fragrance 15. Jewish calendar’s 6th month 16. In this place 17. Twangy 18. Barber shop customer (in an AFLAC ad) 19. Affirm with confidence 20. Unsealed 22. Manipulate 23. Tear apart 24. Swear 26. Hat 28. Kitchen storage 33. Golfers mound 34. Bay window 35. Research oversight org. 37. Cavalry sword 41. Twinned crystal 42. Boy’s name? 43. Commerce 44. Inflammatory swelling or sore 45. Can contents 46. Street that dead-ends at ASU 47. Ted Turner TV stn. 49. A deceased person 51. Famed microbiologist 55. Ancient king, in short 56. TV’s top show, briefly 57. Below prefix 59. Street of skiing 64. Blue and White river 65. Internet giant founded in 1995 67. National house 68. Duct variety 69. Arm bone

20

All Mystery Word finders will be eligible to win by random drawing. We’ll announce the winner in our next issue!

2

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14

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21 24

28

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22 26 32

41

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51

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53

Click on “Reader Contests”

QUOTATION PUZZLE

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35

48

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27

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47

12

23

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11

36

49

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S O O U U R I R R I U F E O Y C R D W A E N Y M V H U O E A S E G N O I Y L H E Y

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U O U E

N C R T U R

67

— Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784)

DIRECTIONS: Recreate a timeless nugget of wisdom by using the letters in each vertical column to fill the boxes above. Once any letter is used, cross it out

by Daniel R. Pearson © 2012 All rights reserved. Built in part with software from www.crauswords.com

70. Easy pace 71. Belonging to us 72. Inheritor of Earth 73. Wiki follower DOWN 1. Monte add-on 2. Snare 3. Jack’s co-star (She survived.) 4. Its capital is Muscat 5. Ill will 6. Walton exension? 7. 14-A synonym 8. Lakers #32 9. Brilliant 10. Having keen hearing 11. Canal keeper 12. Football style 13. Hidden (French) 21. Like an idea with no chance of success (abbrev.) 25. Body part sometimes slapped

27. Characterized by good taste 28. Used to untangle hair 29. Russian river 30. Type size 31. Ones who disparage 32. Park off Walton Way? 36. Stephen Vincent follower 38. Hollywood Christian 39. Steinbeck title word 40. Pay to borrow 48. High, for one 50. Lily Tulip product 51. High fiber bean 52. Farewell 53. Panel type 54. Soviet money 58. Ruin 60. Arrived 61. Fernando group 62. Cheat 63. Singles 66. Shaggy-haired ox Solution p. 14

in the lower half of the puzzle. Letters may be used only once. Black squares indicate spaces between words, and words may extend onto a second line. Solution on page 14.

by Daniel R. Pearson © 2012 All rights reserved

E

9

X A M I N E R

1 4

4

S

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6 7 2 9 8 7 2 4 1 6 3 8 7 1 6 4 9 7 4 3 1 8 4 by Daniel R. Pearson © 2012 All rights reserved. Built with software from www.crauswords.com

U D O K U

DIRECTIONS: Every line, vertical and horizontal, and all nine 9-square boxes must each contain the numbers 1 though 9. Solution on page 14.

Use the letters provided at bottom to create words to solve the puzzle. All the listed letters following 1 are the 1st letters of each word; the letters following 2 are 2nd letters of each word, and so on. Try solving words with letter clues and entering unique and minimal choice numbers (such as 6 thru 9 in this puzzle). A sample is shown. Solution on page 14.

1

H 1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4

1

1 2 3 1 2 3 4

A 1 2 3 1

2

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 C S 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 3

4

5

6

— Author unknown

1.TWMAAAAQCCC 2.SHHUNAAAI 3.SSNNNEKIA 4.NEWTSL 5.DOET 6.RIT 7.O 8.N 9.S

SAMPLE:

1. ILB 2. SLO 3. VI 4. NE 5. D =

L 1

O 2

V 3

E 4

I 1

S 2

B 1

L 2

I 3

N 4

D 5

by Daniel R. Pearson © 2012 All rights reserved

BY

Simply unscramble the letters, then begin exploring our ads. When you find the correctly spelled word hidden in one of our ads — enter at AugustaRx.com

VISIT WWW.AUGUSTARX.COM TO ENTER! 1

WORDS NUMBER

THE MYSTERY WORD


JANUARY 20, 2012

13 +

AUGUSTA MEDiCAL EXAMINER

strikte ou er canc

CSRA/Augusta Parkinson Support Group

SOFTBALL HITTING CLINIC

What: This will be an evening of sharing for all the attendees. There will be separate break-out groups for caregivers and patients led by people experienced in the field of Parkinson’s. This is a wonderful opportunity to explore lessons learned, express concerns and to hear helpful tips from those who have first-hand knowledge. When:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 6:00pm

Where:

St. John Towers dining room 724 Greene Street Augusta, GA

Saturday, January 21 12 - 3 pm at Patriots Park

Contact: Eva Erwin (706) 364-1662

ORGANIZED BY MOLLY LILLIS COLUMBIA COUNTY ALL-COUNTY 2ND BASE, GREENBRIER HIGH SCHOOL

What a pity human beings can’t exchange problems. Everyone knows exactly how to solve the other fellow’s. ~Olin Miller

TELL YOUR STORY

Assisted by Coach Mark Hamlin $20.00 includes Souvenir T-Shirt & Hitting Instruction

ALL PROCEEDS WILL BE DONATED TO THE CANCER CENTER RELAY FOR LIFE GEORGIA HEALTH SCIENCES MEDICAL CENTER Register online: http://tinyurl.com/hittingclinic For more information call 706.833.8377

Share your Medicine in the First Person experience!

If you enjoy this newspaper... ...please support it by supporting our advertisers.

LLER

Tell them, “I saw your ad in the Medical Examiner.”

PAIN KI

More info, page 3

+

WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR MEDICAL EXAMINER? Take your pick:

+

St. John Towers, Sit-A-Spell Coffee Shop on Broad Street, Walton Options on Walton Way, The Partridge Inn lobby, Daniel Village Barber Shop, and GHSU’s Cancer Center. See a list of many of our newsstand and drop-off locations in the center pages of every issue. +


+ 14

JANUARY 20, 2012

AUGUSTA MEDiCAL EXAMINER

THE MYSTERY SOLVED The Mystery Word in our last issue was: CYANOSIS

...carefully hidden (on theshelves of wine) in the page 16 ad for LA MAISON ON TELFAIR Congratulations to Brittney Middleton, who scores a $20 Wild Wing Cafe gift certificate, two free movie passes courtesy of Health Center Credit Union, a free Top Notch Car Wash gift card, and anything else we may be able to scrape together on short notice. Win this stuff! The new Mystery Word is on p. 12. Start looking!

The Celebrated MYSTERY WORD CONTEST ...wherein we hide (with fiendish cleverness) a simple word. All you have to do is unscramble the word (found on page 12), then be the first to find it concealed within one of our ads. Click in to the contest link at www.AugustaRx.com and enter. If we pick you in our random drawing of correct entries you’ll score our goodie package: gift certificates from Wild Wing Cafe, Top Notch Car Wash, Cheddar’s, and movie passes from Health Center Credit Union! SEVEN SIMPLE RULES: 1. Unscramble and find the designated word hidden within one of the ads in this issue. 2. Visit the Reader Contests page at www.AugustaRx.com. 3. Tell us what you found and where you found it. 4. If you’re right and you’re the one we pick at random, you win. (WInners within the past six months are ineligible.) 5. Prizes awarded to winners may vary from issue to issue. 6. A photo ID may be required to claim some prizes. 7. Other entrants may win a lesser prize at the sole discretion of the publisher.

The new scrambled Mystery Word is found on page 12

EXAMINER CLASSIFIEDS HOMES, APARTMENTS, ROOMMATES, ETC.

years experience in the CSRA with an eye for detail. Call 706.833.2658 or email lynn_dubose@hotmail.com

APARTMENT One bedroom, one bath garage apartment, $595/mo. TOWNHOME Two bedroom, 1.5 bath townhome, $645/mo. Quiet West Augusta area. 706.951.3598 or 706.855.5986

SAY IT THE WRITE WAY Online editing, proofing, writing and drafting service. Visit http://sayitthewriteway.webs.com or email proofing-editing@live.com

1612

12012

31612

TOWNHOUSE One bedroom townhome in Town Club on Berckman Road. Gated community with security system. Minutes from ASU. Gym & pool on site. Info: call 706-564-1107

SPARKLING CLEAN Looking for offices to clean. No contract req. Husband & wife team have years experience and give FREE on-request estimates. Call 706.831.8552 or 706.831.8553

21712

TOWNHOME Great location, everything new, 2 master suites, sunroom, all appliances. $98,000 (706) 504-4023

BIBLE BY PHONE - Free daily Bible readings; for Spiritual Encouragement and Growth. Call 706-855-WORD (9673)

TOWNHOME 3 bedroom, 3 full bath townhome. 2 master suites, like new, end unit with extra parking, single garage, covered patio, $125,000. 706-799-0394

NOTICE! ATTENTION! If any current or past employer has failed to pay you min. wage or time and a half overtime pay, you may be entitled to an order from US Federal Court awarding you twice the amount of your unpaid wages plus atty. fees. For info, call Arthur H. Shealy, Attorney at Law, 803-278-5149, 1010 Plantation Rd, North Augusta SC 29841. You may be entitled to a similar award for unpaid wages if your employer required you to perform duties during your lunch hour, before clocking in, or after clocking out.

SERVICES

LAWN SERVICE Commercial, residential. Call Vince: (704) 490-1005

LYNN’S CLEANING SERVICE over 20

NUTRILITE the world’s leading brand

HOMESBYOWNER.COM Sell • Buy • Rentals • 706.564.5885 WEST AUGUSTA Luxury 3 BR / 2 BA Townhouse, 1-car attached garage located off Pleasant Home Road $725 /mo 706-228-4655

USE THE FORM BELOW AND MAIL IT IN, OR GO TO WWW.AUGUSTARX.COM AND PLACE & PAY CONVENIENTLY AND SAFELY ONLINE. THANKS!

(OURS IS COFFEE)

.75

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7.50

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9.00

(Copy this form or continue on additional sheet if more space needed.)

Send this form with payment to:

AUGUSTA MEDICAL EXAMINER, PO BOX 397, AUGUSTA, GA 30903-0397 Total ad cost by number of words as shown above: $

S A N O

T R A P

R O S E

O M A N

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A D I E U

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W O M B A D A R Y O G I R I G W C H R D T I R B S U E T I N D E C R T U U B P B A Y L N A E E K

A E S T H E T I C A L

S H A R P E A R E D

L E V E E

A R E N A

P E R D U

B A L E

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C A M E

A B B A

B I L K

O N E S

QUOTATION PUZZLE SOLUTION: Page 12: “You raise your voice when you should reinforce your argument.” — Dr. Samuel Johnson

AD COPY (one word per line; phone numbers MUST include the area code): .50

Thanks for reading the Medical Examiner!

QUOTATION

In case we need to contact you. These numbers will not appear in the ad.

.25

CAREGIVER/COMPANION Need a ride to the doctor, store, etc. or someone to come in to visit and help you. Great References, reasonable rates. Call (706) 589-1698 or email msmagic4@yahoo.com.

SEE PAGE 12

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING FORM Name Address Work number (if applicable) ( ) Home phone ( ) Category of ad (leave blank if unsure):

PERSONAL TRAINER Certified by United States Sports Academy in Science of Bodybuilding and Strength Training for Athletes. Significant improvements for all sports at all ages. Natural techniques for relief of all common sports-related injuries employing positioning and myofascial release. Rapid recovery and strength gains. One free session to 1st 10 applicants. E-mail Hme3065805@aol.com or call 803-257-5421

THE PUZZLE SOLVED

SENDING US A CLASSIFIED? WHAT’S YOUR DRUG OF CHOICE? Augusta Medical Examiner Classifieds

of vitamin, mineral and dietary supplements based on 2009 sales, specially formulated to deliv. the unique benefits of plant concentrates. To learn more, contact 706.564.5885. Nutrilite.com, www. amway.com/samuelschristopher, or www. espring.com

The Sudoku Solution

COFFEE IS GOOD MEDICINE VISIT DRUGOFCHOICECOFFEE.COM FOR YOUR REFILLS TODAY

9 5 6 8 1 4 3 7 2

2 1 7 6 5 3 8 4 9

8 4 3 7 2 9 6 5 1

3 7 4 2 9 6 5 1 8

6 8 2 1 7 5 4 9 3

1 9 5 3 4 8 2 6 7

4 2 9 5 8 7 1 3 6

7 6 1 4 3 2 9 8 5

5 3 8 9 6 1 7 2 4

WORDS BY NUMBER “A child can ask questions that a wise man cannot answer.” — Author unknown

Multiply by number of times ad to run: x Total submitted: $

The Augusta Medical Examiner publishes on the 1st and 3rd Friday of every month. Your ad should reach us no later than 5 days prior to our publication date.

Thanks for reading!

www.AugustaRx.com


JANUARY 20, 2012

15 +

AUGUSTA MEDiCAL EXAMINER

MEDICAL EXAMINER PRODUCT AND DISPENSING INFORMATION INDICATIONS AND USAGE The Medical Examiner is a twicemonthly publication indicated as an adjunctive therapy to: • increase information about topics of general health and wellness for an audience of healthcare consumers and providers alike. Limitations of Use The Medical Examiner is not intended as a means of diagnosing or treating any illness or condition and is not offered as a substitute for in-person care offered by a medical professional. Statements in the Medical Examiner have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration unless otherwise specifically noted. DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION • Dosage is offered in one 16page tabloid sized newspaper printed on premium bright white newsprint. The Medical Examiner should be administered twice monthly. Do not discontinue unless under medical advice. Use all of this product. CONTRAINDICATIONS • Concomitant administration of the Medical Examiner and cookbooks containing less than healthful recipes may result in

adverse reactions. • The Medical Examiner should not be administered to individuals with an established hypersensitivity to any component of this publication, such as improved diet or encouragement to exercise. WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS • Patients should be advised to consult their physician prior to significant alterations of their normal exercise and/or dietary habits are outlined in the Medical Examiner. ADVERSE REACTIONS • The most common adverse reactions are difficulties experienced in developing new and more healthful habits to replace practices that are not conducive to optimal health. A rash may occur. To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact The Medical Examiner at 706860-5455 or via e-mail: info@AugustaRx.com. DRUG INTERACTIONS • There are no known adverse drug interactions between The Medical Examiner and any prescription or over the counter drug.

USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS • The Medical Examiner is formulated primarily with and for patients located with the Central Savannah Area in mind. However, readers and subscribers in Massachusetts, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Nevada, Kansas and other states have experienced beneficial results from application of The Medical Examiner. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION No purchase necessary. May be harmful if swallowed. No substitutions. Close cover before striking. Take with meals. Do not use near power lines. Season to taste. Do not attempt. Batteries not included. May become soggy in milk. Product may be addictive. Some assembly required. Do not freeze. Do not use while operating vehicles or heavy machinery. Safe around pets and children. Keep away from open flame. Certified. Do not swallow. May contain soy. Do not drop. Suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Not dishwasher safe. Not to be used as a personal flotation device. Use right-side up. You could be a winner. If vomiting or indigestion results, discontinue use immediately. This product not tested on animals. Life is short.

See store for details. Do not use in shower. Do not use while sleeping. If product gets in eyes, flush with water immediately. Do not use near fire, sparks or flame. Not for internal use. May contain small parts. Warning: choking hazard if eaten. Some exclusions may apply. No stopping or standing. Payment is due by due date. May contain dairy products. Speed monitored by detection devices. If you experience sudden loss of hearing or vision or an erection lasting more than four hours, consult your physician. Shake well. No parking. May cause swelling of hands, feet or ankles. Product may have sharp edges. Do not leave unattended. Think outside the box. From concentrate. Keep out of direct sunlight. This is not a toy. Discard if seal broken. Slower traffic keep right. Contents hot. Battery may explode. Use hearing protection. Refrigerate after opening. Color inside lines. Twist to open. Not for human consumption. May contain peanut products. For a limited time only. Waldo may be difficult to find. If unsatisfied, return unused portion. Do not block intersection. Parental guidance suggested. Defrost before using. Test on small area. Some settling of contents may occur. Product of U.S.A. Recommended for mature audiences. To continue in English,

press 1. You pressed 1. If this is correct, press 1. Pass with caution. Use in well-ventilated area. May stain some fabrics. For best results use 12 to 16 inches from face. Safe for carpets. Do not discontinue unless directed by physician. Look before you leap. At participating dealers only. Pay it forward. Limited time offer. Employees must wash hands. Offer not valid in Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Michigan. All you need is love. Professionally dry clean only. Bridges freeze before roads. Keep away from water. Kosher. Electric shock hazard. Do not open. May contain up to 10% ethanol. If cloudy, discard immediately. Do not pass. Gluten free. Post no bills. Keep out. Always wear seat belts. Please pay in advance. Low clearance. Freshness guaranteed. May cause diarrhea. Discard after use. Please recycle. Closed course; professional driver. Use only as directed. Misuse may cause injury or death. Objects are closer than they appear. May cause blindness. No warranty expressed or implied. Sold for the prevention of disease only. Not advised for use as a home pregnancy test. Stop drop and roll. May result in temporary swelling. Use all of this product. Wear all appropriate safety gear. Your results may vary. +

M E D I C A L S E RV I C E S D I R E C T O RY Knob

Hill

ASSISTED LIVING CENTER, INC. A specialty care community offering:

Spinal Cord Injury Care • Traumatic Brain Injuries Respite Care • Specialized Rehabilitation Care Specialized Dietary Requirements Adult Day Care • Alzheimer’s Care

Approved for VA and Medicaid and private pay Knob Hill Assisted Living Center is just off Washington Rd. near Windmill Plantation, approx. 3 miles from Evans WalMart

Family Care Center CENTER FOR PRIMARY CARE Primary & Urgent Care

No appointments • All major & secondary ins. accepted 3686 WHEELER ROAD GROVETOWN

(across from Doctors Hospital)

(old Post Office Building)

706.922.6300

706.434.3500

Mon-Fri: 8am-7pm; Sat: 9am-6pm

Mon-Fri: 9am-6pm

NEW PATIENTS WELCOME • SIMPLY WALK IN www.urgentmd.com

m $

49

o

For more information or to make a referral, please contact us:

PER SQUARE PER ISSUE

KNOB HILL ASSISTED LIVING CENTER Ryan Hunt • huntglobalinc@gmail.com 2822 Knob Hill Farm Road • Evans, GA 30809

($89 PER SQUARE/PER ISSUE FOR DOUBLE BOX)

706-860-0541

p

ADVERTISE/RENEW IN 3 MONTH INCREMENTS PER ISSUE: $49 SINGLE, $89 DBL

n

FAMILY MEDICINE

CPC-EVANS

CPC-SOUTH

363 NORTH BELAIR ROAD

2011 WINDSOR SPRING ROAD

706.650.7563

706.798.1700

CPC-CENTRAL

CPC-N. AUGUSTA

706.868.7380

803.279.6800

3614-D DEWEY GRAY CIRCLE

CPC-CROSSROADS

105 HUGH STREET

CPC-AIKEN

1701 MAGNOLIA WAY (OFF DYESS PARKWAY)

410 HITCHCOCK PARKWAY NEW CPC OFFICE AS OF AUG. 1

706.922.6600

803.649.6941

Evans, South, Crossroads, Central and North Augusta offices open 8:30 am-8:00 pm Monday thru Thursday and 8:30 am-5:00 pm Friday Aiken office hours, effective August 1: 8:30 am-8:00 pm Mon & Tue and 8:30 am-5:00 pm Wed thru Fri CPC-Crossroads open weekends for CPC patients with acute care needs. Please call ahead.

26 PHYSICIANS • EVENING HOURS • 6 CONVENIENT LOCATIONS •

TO ADVERTISE HERE CALL 706.860.5455

 THANKS FOR SUPPORTING OUR ADVERTISERS! 


+ 16

JANUARY 20, 2012

AUGUSTA MEDiCAL EXAMINER

S LUTIONS

Ideas for health happiness and better living that are outside the realm of medicine

Not every problem in life can be fixed by a pill, a shot, or a scalpel. And that applies even to situations that can have a major effect on our health and wellness. Perhaps what regularly vexes us the most in everyday life is losing keys or important papers. Maybe it’s a troubled marriage, being late all the time, contentious teenagers, chronic procrastination or never-ending problems making ends meet. In this Medical Examiner column we tackle these troublesome issues and try to offer practical solutions.

Those three little words — minus one In these difficult economic times, not everyone has time for those famous three little words. So how about just two little words? One is only three letters, the other just five. But in these difficult economic times, reasons to say Thank and You can sometimes seem difficult to find. But there is something deeply satisfying about making someone else feel deeply and sincerely appreciated. It’s not always easy. We live in a world often beset by crime, disease and death, war, financial strains and everyday disappointments. But as the late Andy Rooney once noted, “happiness depends more on how life strikes you than on what happens.” That’s probably why the human spirit seems to frequently thrive under even the most adverse conditions.

Perhaps a lifelong athlete suffers an injuries that makes him a quadriplegic. It seems like life is no longer worth living, but gradually the sun comes up again and the dark days recede. It’s amazing what people can adjust to. John Kralik has discovered this. He wrote A Simple Act of Gratitude, a book subtitled How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life. A few short years ago, Kralik was an idealistic young lawyer, ready to help the world in any way he could. Trouble was, the world wasn’t ready to help him back. His law practice came apart at the seams when some $400,000 in billings went unpaid. By coincidence his firm was more

or less evicted from its offices, and at about the same time his marriage also failed. His personal and professional lives were in utter disarray. He felt like a failure as a man, a husband, a father, as an

attorney, and as a human being. The downward spiral was brought to a halt by a thank you note he received. The “simple act of gratitude” made him realize what a tiny place gratitude has played in his life, and how seldom he ever expresses thanks to anyone. The realization changes him and changes the course of his life. And it might make you and me ponder the place gratitude holds in our lives. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Two people in exactly the same circumstance — one that could easily be viewed as negative

— could have diametrically opposite outlooks; one morose, pessimistic and defeated, the other cheerful, optimistic and hopeful. What accounts for such different perspectives? One answer could be the message found in this book, that exchanges of gratitude can be profoundly powerful, deeply effective in bettering our lives no matter what our situation seems to be outwardly. Truly, every one of us is so richly blessed no matter what our circumstances are. Even so, we all tend to forget that fact from time to time. It takes a little extra effort to remind ourselves of our blessings and the positives of our life — whatever our circumstances are — but it’s well worth it. Each of us can always find a good reason to utter those two little words: Thank you! And our lives and others will be richer for it. +

THANK YOU TO THE READER WHO SUGGESTED THIS TOPIC. Need a S lution? Please drop us a line - info@AugustaRx.com - with a question or a suggestion for a future column.


Medical Examiner