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Record number of people register for organ donation in Michigan BY TONY LASCARI tlascari@mdn.net

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record number of people signed up for the Michigan Organ Donor Registry in 2011 following a new initiative through Michigan Secretary of State offices. In April, the department began directly asking customers about joining the donor registry and placing organ donation reminders on some of its most widely distributed forms and applications. The registry had about 396,000 new people sign up in 2011, up from about 320,000 in 2010. “That’s a new record by far,” said Tim Makinen, director of corporate communications for Gift of Life Michigan. “When Secretary of State Ruth Johnson created the policy to have clerks directly ask customers if they want to join the registry, that’s when numbers increased dramatically.” The registry now includes about 32 percent of adults in Michigan, or about 2,446,000 people. That is lower than the national average of 40 percent, but an increase from the beginning of the year when Michigan was just under 27 percent, or about 2,051,000 people. “We’ve added over 5 percentage points, which is huge,”

Makinen said. Johnson said she is proud of what her department, Gift of Life Michigan and the Michigan Eye-Bank have accomplished together “to save and improve the lives of Michigan residents.” “Secretary of State employees really took these new efforts to heart,” Johnson said in a statement. “They asked the organ donor question and the people of Michigan answered — loud and clear — with a 56 percent increase in organ donor signups in November and a 57 percent increase in December alone.” Makinen said more people on the registry means more opportunities to help those in need of organ, tissue and cornea transplants. Currently, about 3,000 Michigan residents are waiting for life-saving organ transplants. When a person registers, his or her name is recorded in a database and a heart logo is placed on his or her driver license or state identification card. Makinen said registering relieves family members from having to make a decision about organ donation without knowing the person’s wishes. “It’s the best way to ensure these gifts get to people who need them,” he said. To join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry go to www. Michigan.gov/sos or www.giftoflifemichigan.org or www. michiganeyebank.org, or visit any Secretary of State office. PAGE 3

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Photo provided

Diane Biby of Midland learned a great deal by attending Spine Camp at MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland.

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iane Biby of Midland began recovering from spine surgery even before she had it. A few days before Biby’s surgery, in which Neurosurgeon Mark Jones was to remove arthritic bone from two vertebrae in her lower spine, she went to Spine Camp at MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland. “Spine Camp gives patients an expectation of what’s going to happen, so they are prepared to do the things they need to do to recover,” said Dr. Jones. “They improve faster and are typically ready to go home earlier than they would otherwise be.” That was fine with Biby. “I think everybody who is having back surgery should go to Spine Camp,” she said. “I learned so much. I was so much more comfortable about surgery.” At the informal, single-session program, Biby and her caregiver heard about what would happen in the hospital, how to avoid injury during recovery and how to prepare the house for her homecoming. “I practiced how to walk, take stairs and get in and out of a

chair or bed,” she said. “I didn’t realize how much I bent and twisted.” Campers were measured for any braces they might need and shown how to use any equipment their doctor might order after surgery. “Spine Camp puts in place the things a patient needs,” said Jones’ physician assistant, Cheryl Volkmann, who helped develop the program. “It’s much better than trying to teach or measure a patient for braces when they’re on medication or recovering from surgery.” After six years of pain that was consuming her life, Biby awoke from surgery ready for a successful recovery. “I spent one night in the hospital, and after about four weeks, I woke up one day and felt I had turned the corner,” she said. “It’s just wonderful. I’m glad I went to Spine Camp. Now I’m ready to go to Florida.” People who are considering spine surgery can ask their specialist about Spine Camp at MidMichigan Medical CenterMidland. To learn more about neurosurgeons associated with MidMichigan, visit www.midmichigan.org/doctors

Spine Camp

Biby sees benefit of attending

PAGE 4

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Your Health 1-22 5

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ENERGY USED TO PROMOTE HEALING NICK KING | nking@mdn.net

Jeff Currier demonstrates Reiki on employee Alana Hartman at Ways To Wellness in downtown Midland. Jeff and his wife Jo own the store and both teach and practice Reiki.

Cancer patient sees benefits of Reiki, diet, treatments PAGE 6

BY ANDY BEAUDOIN

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for the Daily News

or cancer patient Jenifer Sisco, her diagnosis has encouraged her to change the way she thinks about nutrition, supplements and her energy. “When you’re diagnosed with cancer, it’s terrible. I’ve got little kids at home,” she said. “So I’m open to any way that will help.” Aside from upping the amount of greens she’s been eating, regularly visiting doctors and taking drugs, she has found improvement from an energy technique called Reiki. “Scans from the hospital have shown that I’ve improved and I can only think that Reiki has been a part of it,” she said. Sisco frequents the Ways to Wellness store on Ashman Street, where husband and wife owners Jo and Jeff Currier perform and teach Reiki.

“It works on the premise that energy is all around us,” Jo Currier said. “Reiki is the idea of bringing energy to someone.” Reiki was started by a Japanese businessman and has since spread all over the world. According to Jo Currier, the procedure treats the skin, reduces stress and is a form of healing. Reiki often is used for healing people with diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. “I don’t know how it gets rid of the nausea and body aches, but it does,” Sisco said. “(Jo) plays really calm, zen-like music. You’re in a soft reclined chair, and you can cover up in a blanket. It’s a very relaxing atmosphere. ... The idea is to have your body in balance, and after that you’re own personal healing is more willing to take over.” The Reiki practitioner will move his or her hands over the person in order to facilitate the energy flow.


7 The Reiki practitioner will move his or her hands over the person in order to manipulate the energy flow. Cancer patients across the U.S. have been feeling the benefits of Reiki, so much so that hospitals have begun to pick up and use the practice as a form of medical treatment. Hospitals in Michigan include University of Michigan Hospital, Beaumont Hospital, Henry Ford Hospita and Spectrum Health located in Grand Rapids. Cancer Services in Midland offers Reiki sessions by appointment — for more information go to www.cancerservicesmidland.org “Each (hospital) has a different approach; some only let medical practitioners perform Reiki and others sometimes train people to do it,” Jeff Currier said. “We’d love to see them start (Reiki) here.” Aside from practicing Reiki, Ways to Wellness focuses on a number of alternative healing solutions. “The premise of the store is wellness,” Jo Currier said. “Everything is natural or organic.” The Curriers have carefully selected items that are designed to improve the well being of people. For example, there are stones, a lot of them found in Michigan, that have a special purpose. “If you look at the stones, one will call out to you,” employee Elizabeth Bozzelli said. “It makes it difficult to pick one out for someone.” A stone that Jo Currier believes to be a very powerful is quartz. “Quartz has the same structure as water,” Jo Currier said, “and it makes sense to have it on you because your body is NICK KING | nking@mdn.net 70 percent water.” Reiki promotes healing in patients and has been catching on across the nation, so much so that a Bozzelli has developed a number of hospitals have begun using the practice as a form of medical treatment. deep appreciation for the stones and especially for the Sisco also has radically changed what had my ovaries removed and been on store. drugs, but I think they have all done she’s eating. “There’s just such a beautiful way to their parts,” she said or Reiki, her diet “I’m trying to focus more on what I’m explore yourself here,” she said. Bozand her treatments. “I would never give going to have green, and what I’ll have zelli also has taken Reiki classes from one for the other. I think they can work with it,” she said. “I’ve dropped Coke the Curriers. together nicely.” for tea. After (cancer) happens to you, “We want to help people reduce stress Sisco said that she has been feeling you become so much more aware of how and create an awareness for mind, body better, and that her health has improved bad some foods are for you. Some are and soul,” Jo Currier said. because of all the different treatments full of preservatives. It’s a whole lifestyle Sisco said that she has become very close she’s been receiving. change, and you can’t do it all. It’s hard to Jo Currier in the last two months. “If you can believe in it, then I think it’ll when you have little kids who want the “She and I have very personal conwork,” she said. “Even if Reiki simply convenient snacks and stuff.” versations,” Sisco said. “Sometimes relaxes me or provides uplifting in this Sisco does not give all the credit to visualizations are involved. She’ll see whole experience, then I see no reason Reiki and nutrition. She said that treatthings that she believes describes what why it wouldn’t work. ments at the hospital also have been I’m going through — like a sea turtle “You can’t describe it,” Sisco said. “You beneficial. struggling to stay afloat.” “I’ve gone through radiation, I’ve have to experience it.”

“It works on the premise that energy is all around us. If you think about Newton’s first law, it really makes a lot of sense — no energy is ever created or destroyed, so Reiki is the idea of bringing energy to someone.”

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Coping with prostate cancer BY JOSH GROSTEFFON jgrosteffon@mdn.net

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s believed that every man who lives long enough will experience some form of prostate cancer. Bobby Randall, the Midland man Bobby Randall, right, performs â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Devil Went Down to Georgiaâ&#x20AC;? on stage with Charlie Daniels. who was once part of Sawyer Brown Randall was diagnosed with prostate cancer in March 2011 and thanks to early detection, his and is now guitar player for Confederate Railroad, saw his father, Bob, outlook is great.â&#x20AC;&#x153;To me, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the reward of it all,â&#x20AC;? he said of being able to do things like perform die of complications from the dis- with Daniels. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That makes me want to fight cancer and live a little bit longer.â&#x20AC;? ease. Thanks to a fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s guidance, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;You need to check your prostate.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? tate-specific antigen (PSA, an indicator his son avoided the same fate. Bobby was having regular checkups of the disease) score went up. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He died a brutal death. It was ugly, but his fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s urging led him to ask for His hunch was right â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Bobby was ugly, ugly,â&#x20AC;? Bobby said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the midst of a biopsy from his doctor after his prosdiagnosed with prostate cancer in March all that, he kept bringing attention to me.

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Your Health 1-22 8

1/11/12 4:09:07 PM


9 2011. His Gleason score (a scale used to determine a prostate cancer patient’s prognosis) was high, an 8.5, and his doctor said things would have been worse had it not been detected early. “If I had waited six months, I’d be dead,” he said. The cancer would have spread and eventually killed him. Early detection saved his life. Bobby elected for a robotic prostate removal treatment at Henry Ford Medical Center. According to the hospital’s website, it’s a nerve-saving surgery. After what he said was a fairly simple procedure and a few days of recovery, the tough part started. Two of the most prevalent side effects are incontinence and impotence. “It’s humiliating. It’s embarrassing. It’s everything guys don’t want to talk about,” he said. “Guys don’t want to talk about it because of what it affects — it affects your manhood.” Bobby had friends to lean on (one man who was experiencing the disease as well) and do research for him, but it’s not something guys just sit around and discuss. For those looking for someone to talk to, there is a support group. Bobby Randall and Jack Daily came to Cancer Services and asked Executive Director Susan Dusseau why there wasn’t a group for men. In fact, some men (usually those in hormone

therapy) were attending the breast cancer support group, Dusseau said. The prostate cancer support group meets the third Thursday of the month from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The group is split up between an informational portion and a portion for sharing. A few times a year, different attendees with different treatment experiences will have a panel discussion. The group gives men a chance to talk about uncomfortable topics and offer encouragement in a safe setting. With some treatments, impotence and incontinence are temporary, but they can be depressing symptoms. As for dealing with the disease, there are several treatment options and there is no catch-all solution. Solutions depend on a lot of factors from the age of the patient to how aggressive the cancer is. Some patients require aggressive treatments but others are good candidates for active surveillance, Dusseau said. For these patients, the disease may be present but aggressive treatments may cause complications worse than the disease itself. New recommendations for prostate cancer patients are to have a conversation with their doctors about the bigger picture. Sometimes surgery, radiation or chemo may cause more complications than they are worth. “The goal is to be the least invasive,” Dusseau said.

As for early detection, there are different recommendations for people with different risk factors. One rule of thumb for those with family histories is to have screening at least 10 years before their father was diagnosed. The Michigan Department of Community Health recommends that those at high risk (African Americans or those with a close relative diagnosed before 65) should have discussions with their doctors about testing starting at 45. Those at a higher risk (several close relatives with the disease) should start at 40. The American Cancer Society estimates that 33,720 men died of the disease in 2011, but mortality rates have declined greatly since the early 1990s. For Bobby, the diagnosis has changed his outlook on life. He’s reconnected with his songwriting and touring, especially relaxing in his bunk on the tour bus. He also has a few other things to look forward to such as a chance to play at Super Bowl festivities and his first tour in Europe. He’s happy he followed his father’s advice — a decision that prolonged his life. “I don’t care about anything anymore. I don’t care about BMWs. I don’t care about big houses,” he said. “I look at life as a gift. And I don’t take life for granted.” For information on Cancer Services’ support groups, visit www.cancerservicesmidland.com

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Short-term goal = long-term success BY TONY LASCARI tlascari@mdn.net

Working out is a regular part of Shirley Witteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s week, but that wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always the case. Two years ago the 68-year-old Midland resident was tired of gaining weight and wanted to improve her health. She started to eat healthier and joined a gym. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was short-term planning at that point. I wanted to lose the extra weight I put on. It was eating habits,â&#x20AC;? Witte said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is long-term now. I feel better. I am healthier than Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been in years.â&#x20AC;? A recent University of Michigan study suggests that those short-term motivations may be key to long-term success when people begin to exercise. The study, published in The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, included 226 women between the ages of 40 to 60 who worked full time. Participants completed three surveys during a one-year period, answering questions about their exercise goals and participation, how much they valued their goals, body mass index and social support. The study found that while promoting exercise for long-term

NICK KING | nking@mdn.net

Matt Smith, right, owner and trainer at Smittyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Iron Works, works with client Shirley Witte during a recent workout session at the gym. Witte was performing rows as part of her training session.

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NICK KING | nking@mdn.net

Above: Smith works with Witte as she uses a medicine ball to increase her strength and balance. Left: Smith looks on as Witte uses ropes as part of her training session.

health goals is logical, it isn’t as effective in encouraging daily decisions as emphasizing more immediate benefits such as stress reduction or increased vitality. Matt Smith, who owns Smitty’s Iron Works in Midland with his wife, Julie, said short-term goals work. “The biggest thing we find in motivation is we’ve got to get people victories,” he said. “Many small victories leading up to a big one is how people stay engaged.” Smith believes this applies to all demographics. When he works with clients, they set goals every quarter and continue to build on them throughout the year. When he worked with Witte, one goal became avoiding taking a medication for low bone density. “She set her goal and started doing resistance training with the weights,” he said, and her efforts were a success. “There’s a situation where maybe extending her life wasn’t so much the issue, it was, ‘I don’t want to get on this prescription.’” Trainers should listen to clients’ needs and find ways to motivate them. “It seems like the biggest thing that would make you successful as a trainer or staff at a fitness center would be learning exercises, but that’s the easy part,” Smith said. “What really sets you apart is when you learn to be a great counselor and a great listener.” Witte said the staff at Smitty’s and her family keep her motivated as she continues to get fit. “I never was interested in doing anything like this and then boom,” she said. “I just feel good. It’s great because it also changes your self confidence.” Smith said people should build a progressive workout plan that lets them accomplish new feats and set new goals. “I like to see the mental barriers come down,” he said. “You’re able to do more than what sometimes society and media would make you believe. Give yourself a chance and you’ll surprise yourself.”

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WORKING OUT Shirley Witte prepares to lift weights under the guidance of Matt Smith, owner and trainer at Smittyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Iron Works. Witte began with short-term fitness goals that have resulted in long-term improvements to her health. Story, pages 10-11

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15 For years, Kline had been treated as an asthma patient, not as a heart patient. After all, her symptoms were difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, wheezing â&#x20AC;&#x201D; all things that are associated with asthma. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Growing up, I always had my inhaler with me. I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go outside if it was humid, too hot or too cold. I tried to do what every other kid was doing, but I just couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t breathe,â&#x20AC;? she said. Everything changed when, at 24 years of age, Kline was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect, specifically mitral valve prolapse with severe regurgitation. The reason she was short of breath was because her heart was not pumping blood correctly and probably never had. Congenital heart defects are structural problems with the heart present at birth. They result when a mishap occurs during heart development soon after conception and often before the mother is aware that she is pregnant. Defects range in severity from simple problems, such as â&#x20AC;&#x153;holesâ&#x20AC;? between chambers of the heart, to very severe malformations, such as the absence of one or more chambers or valves. Thankfully Kline was healthy enough to fight her disease during those years before medical professionals figured out the real problem. During that time period, many new discoveries were made through medical research. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Research had made great advances in those years and I was just so thankful that we were able to figure out what was really wrong,â&#x20AC;? she said. Kline is hopeful that her surgery this past August will be her last. The last month of summer was spent in a hospital bed away from her 4-year-old son and her family. This was the third open heart surgery sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s undergone, the first being in 2002 when her mitral valve was repaired. The second

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16 surgery came in 2010, when her heart was functioning as a 73 year-oldsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; heart normally would due to severe stenosis of the mitral valve and her tricuspid was failing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The surgeries are always frightening, but after becoming a mom itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s even more frightening. Leading up to the first surgery, I was relieved that I was going to be healed somewhat, but that second and third time it was just different being a mom.â&#x20AC;? Her son understands that the doctors need to fix his momâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heart. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mom has a hurt heart, so theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to make it better,â&#x20AC;? he said. And they have made it better. Everyday Kline is getting stronger with cardiac rehab. She wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t able to return to her work this year as an elementary school teacher but is planning to get back to work as soon as her doctors allow. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s getting stronger both

physically and emotionally. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I find strength in talking with others about my disease. Many people donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like to talk about it, but we need to in order to save lives,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;One in every three women will die of heart disease â&#x20AC;&#x201D; thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more women losing their lives to heart disease than all cancers combined! People need to understand the impact heart disease has on all of us.â&#x20AC;? Kline will be speaking at the Go R e d F o r Wo m e n luncheon and conference this February at the Midland Country Club. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am so passionate about people getting involved with and giving to the Heart Association. Their research saved my life. And I want our community to know that every dollar given can save a life. It saved mine,â&#x20AC;? she said. The Go Red For Women Luncheon is set for 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10. To register, visit www.GLBRGoRed.org

Kline will be speaking at the Go Red For Women luncheon and conference this February at the Midland Country Club

Signs of a Heart Attack 1. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. 2. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach. 3. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort. 4. Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness. 5. As with men, womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain. If you have any of these signs, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wait to call for help. Call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.

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Robert W. Klomparens, D.D.S., M.S. 810 W. Wackerly Rd. Midland, MI 48640 (989) 631-9860 www.klomparens.com

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17

Study: When overeating, calories, and not protein, contribute to increase in body fat CHICAGO — In a study conducted among 25 healthy individuals living in a controlled setting who were randomized to overconsumption of different levels of protein diets, those consuming a low-protein diet had less weight gain compared to those consuming normal and high protein diets, and calories alone, not protein, appeared to contribute to an increase in body fat. The study appeared in the Jan. 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The researchers also found that protein did contribute to changes in energy expenditure and lean body mass. “Obesity has become a major public health concern with more than 60 percent of adults in the United States categorized as overweight and more than 30 percent as obese,” background information in the article stated. George A. Bray, M.D., of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, La., and colleagues conducted the study to determine whether the level of dietary protein affected body composition, weight gain or energy expenditure under tightly controlled

conditions. The controlled trial included 25 U.S. healthy, weight-stable male and female volunteers, ages 18 to 35 years, with a body mass index between 19 and 30. All participants in the study gained weight and there were no differences by sex. The rate of weight gain in the low protein diet group was significantly less than in the other two groups (6.97 pounds. vs. 13.3 pounds for the normal protein diet group and 14.4 pounds in the high protein diet group). “In summary, weight gain when eating a low protein diet (5 percent of energy from protein) was blunted compared with weight gain when eating a normal protein diet (15 percent of energy from protein) with the same number of extra calories. Calories alone, however, contributed to the increase in body fat. In contrast, protein contributed to the changes in energy expenditure and lean body mass, but not to the increase in body fat,” the researchers write. The key study finding is that calories are more important than protein with respect to increases in body fat.

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18

WONDER DRUG WORRY?

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STATINS

Drug linked to small diabetes risk, but doctors say patients should not stop taking their medicine BY LAURAN NEERGAARD AP Medical Writer

W

ASHINGTON — A new side effect seems to be emerging for those cholesterol-lowering wonder drugs called statins: They may increase some people’s chances of developing Type 2 diabetes. A study published recently adds to the evidence, finding a modest risk among older women who used a variety of statins. It’s a puzzling link, and specialists say people who most need statins because of a high risk for a heart attack should stick with the drugs. “What I fear here is that people who need and will benefit from statins will be scared off of using the drugs because of reports like this,” says Dr. Steven Nissen, cardiology chairman at the Cleveland Clinic, who wasn’t involved with the research. “We don’t want these drugs in the water supply, but we want the right people treated. When they are, this effect is not a significant limitation.” But more and more doctors are urging otherwise healthy people to use the pills as a way to prevent heart disease. For them, the findings add another potential complication as they consider whether to tackle their cholesterol with diet and exercise alone or add a medication. “The statin should not be seen as the magic pill,” says Dr. Yunsheng Ma of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, who led the study of postmenopausal women. Statins are one of the most widely prescribed drugs, and among the most touted with good reason. They can dramatically lower so-called “bad” LDL cholesterol. Studies make clear that they save lives when used by people who already have heart disease. What’s debated is how much the drugs help people who don’t yet have cardiovascular disease but whose chances are higher because of other factors such as smoking or high blood pressure — or diabetes. In fact, long-term diabetes is so heart-risky that the American Diabetes Association urges fairly aggressive statin use by many diabetics. For everyone else, Nissen says the general rule is statins help people who have at least a 10 percent chance of a heart attack in the next 10 years, something a doctor can calculate. All drugs have side effects that are important to consider while deciding whether they’re a good bet for an individual. Statins have long been known to cause muscle pain that on rare occasions becomes a serious breakdown of mus-

cle that can lead to kidney failure, even death. But whether statins can make blood sugar rise enough that someone crosses the threshold to diabetes has been confusing. After all, some of the same risks for heart disease — such as being overweight and sedentary — also increase the odds of developing Type 2 diabetes. And Ma says too many statin users wrongly assume the pills will let them eat whatever they want. Ma’s team examined a huge government study that tracked the health of postmenopausal women for many years. They culled the records of more than 153,000 women who didn’t have diabetes when they enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative in the 1990s. Just 7 percent were taking statins at the time. Fast forward to 2005: Nearly 10 percent of the statin users had developed diabetes, compared with 6.4 percent of the older women who hadn’t used the drugs at the study’s start, Ma concluded. The findings were reported online by the journal Archives of Internal Medicine. This is what scientists call an observational study, which can hint at a risk but can’t prove it. But it comes after a number of smaller but more precise studies — where patients were randomly assigned to take a statin or some other treatment — that also have found a link. The first to prompt doctor head-scratching was in 2008, a study of the drug Crestor. Last June, a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association analyzed five additional randomized trials and concluded the increased risk was small but real for people taking higher doses of any statin. That report calculated that one fewer patient would experience a heart attack or other cardiovascular problem for every 155 patients treated for a year — and there would be one additional case of diabetes for every 498 patients treated. At the National Institutes of Health, diabetes specialist Dr. Judith Fradkin says statins’ benefits outweigh the potential side effect, and that newly developed diabetes won’t harm right away. “The danger here is alarming people and having them go off a medication that’s of proven benefit,” she says. But Dr. Beatrice Golomb of the University of California, San Diego, welcomed the new study as a needed note of caution for women, saying there’s less certainty about the drugs’ overall effects in them. Stay tuned: Her own research aims to narrow down which statin users are more likely to experience a blood-sugar jump.

“What I fear here is that people who need and will benefit from statins will be scared off of using the drugs because of reports like this. We don’t want these drugs in the water supply, but we want the right people treated. When they are, this effect is not a significant limitation.”

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NICK KING | nking@mdn.net

The outside of the new MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland.

Absolutely beautiful Nurses, doctors settle in at new facility BY TONY LASCARI tlascari@mdn.net

T

NEIL BLAKE | nblake@mdn.net

The waiting room for Surgical Services and Invasive Imaging seats 117 and has electronic tracking boards enabling family members to follow the surgical patient’s progress.

he new addition to MidMichigan Health’s flagship medical center in Midland was opened to much public fanfare in December and now it is time to get down to work. The $115 million, 280,000-square-foot expansion makes the center the only one in the Great Lakes Bay Region to offer all private rooms. There also were upgrades to operating rooms, waiting rooms, the chapel and more. Jerri Liphard, director of nursing for the center’s medical/ surgical unit and the observation unit, said good planning led to a beautiful facility that’s boosted morale and helped better provide comfort for patients and their families. “It is absolutely beautiful,” she said. “The employees are just thrilled.” A mock room was built to allow doctors, nurses and other staff to suggest tweaks to the planned patient rooms before they were built. “As a result of that mock up room, they were able to change several minor things for the construction team but major things for the nurses,” she said, including improvements to make it

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21 safer to transfer patients to toilets. One thing that is still being worked out is staffing for each floor. The number of nurses needed is calculated on a national patient-to-nurse ratio, and the floors were not set up to be staffed by that ratio, Liphard said. “It’s been a little bit of a learning experience,” she said. While the previous building allowed a nurse to stand in the center of two hallways and see all 30 rooms, the new facility doesn’t offer such visibility. “It’s really technology that’s going to step in and fill that gap,” she said, describing systems connected to each room that allow constant monitoring of patients. S o m e a n c i l l a r y s t a ff are still finding their way around the building, but nurses and doctors have settled in, Liphard said. She said one benefit of the new tower is it offers more work space and work stations for the staff, so there is no longer a shortage “In the same token, it has allowed us to spread out in the (original) tower and given everyone more space to work,” she said. As patients and staff became more spread out, something unexpected happened: It made the hallways quieter, Liphard said. So far, patients have loved the changes, which provide additional space and privacy, Liphard said. Families also have appreciated having a sleeper couch in each room. “The patients and families love it,” she said. “The space is just amazing.” There’s been an additional benefit of sorts for the medical center’s staff, Liphard said. “It’s a lot of walking,” she said. “We jokingly say it’s our fitness program for the year.”

NEIL BLAKE | nblake@mdn.net

The Health Services Library has computers that will be available for medical staff and students as well as the public at times in the new expansion at MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland

One of the surgical services patient prep and recovery rooms boasts a large window in the new expansion at MidMichigan Medical CenterMidland. The new expansion has private patient rooms close to the operating rooms. The Spiritual Care Center has private carrels for prayer and an open area for services. A labyrinth is included on the wall.

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22

For those in constant pain, even sleeping can be difficult When your body feels good, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy to take for granted simple headaches, arthritis pain, cancer pain, carpal tunnel movements like bending down to put on your shoes, reaching syndrome, fibromyalgia, sciatica, sports and recreational your arms up to grab a glass from the cupboard or easing into injuries, occupational injuries and injuries caused by auto position for a comfortable, restful night of sleep. accidents. Those struggling with constant pain are never able to Studies have proven that utilizing a multidisciplinary forget that they are in pain. Simple movements can be- pain treatment approach improves the probability of come torturous and successful pain rea peaceful night of lief, improved funcsleep can continue to tion, and recovery. evade them, making To achieve this, the getting through their clinic uses a team normal day nearly of medical providers impossible. who are board certiDr. Marvin Bleified in pain medicine, berg is the founder interventional physiof Michigan Spine & cians, chiropractic Pain, a comprehenphysicians, behaviorsive multidisciplinary al health specialists, pain clinic which for physical therapists, more than 12 years acupuncturists and has been caring for massage therapists. people suffering from Michigan Spine & acute and chronic Pain has locations pain. in Mount Pleasant, Michigan Spine & West Bloomfield and Pain offers customGaylord. For more ized treatments for information, contact acute and chronic 800-586-7992 or visit Photo provided www.michiganspinepain, neck and back pain, all joint pain, A procedure is performed on a patient at Michigan Spine & Pain. andpain.com

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New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s resolution: Toss old medication With a new year under way, the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) is encouraging Americans to clean out their medicine cabinets. Pharmacists recommend patients clean out their medicine cabinets once a year to dispose of all the unused and expired medications that accumulated over the previous year. This once a year tradition will help keep everyone safe and healthy. Unused medications have the potential to be abused and misused and expired medications can lose their potency thus reducing or providing no value to the condition being treated. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Over the course of a year, we can accumulate many medications to treat colds, headaches and infections, as well as more serious conditions,â&#x20AC;? said Thomas Menighan, CEO and executive vice president, APhA. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These medications play an important role in helping patients obtain better health and wellness, but if we do not store and dispose of them properly, they can become a hazard. When they fall into the wrong hands, these medications have the potential to be abused, and if improperly disposed of, they can harm wildlife, pets and other people. Make sure to talk to your pharmacist about the best storage of medications in your household, the length of time a medication should be kept and the efficacy of that medication past its expiration date.â&#x20AC;? Prescription drug abuse is the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fastest-growing drug problem. While there has been a marked decrease in the use of some illegal drugs such as cocaine, data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) show that nearly

one-third of people age 12 and over, who used drugs for the first time in 2009, began by using a prescription drug non-medically. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that every day in the U.S., an average of 2,000 teenagers use prescription medication for the first time without a physicianâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s guidance. The same NSDUH survey found that more than 70 percent of people who abused prescription pain relievers got them from friends or relatives. Following are some tips for storing medicines and cleaning out medicine cabinets or other medication storage areas: â&#x20AC;˘ Medications should be stored in a secured area â&#x20AC;&#x201D; up, away and out of sight of children and teenagers â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that has low humidity, a stable temperature and adequate lighting. â&#x20AC;˘ Check the date on everything in your medicine cabinet and dispose of anything that has passed the expiration date. â&#x20AC;˘ Dispose of anything you have not used in the past 12 months or that you no longer need. Do not share medications with others. â&#x20AC;˘ Dispose of medicines that are no longer in their original container, have changed color or odor, or that can no longer be identified. â&#x20AC;˘ Do not flush or pour unused or expired medications down a drain or sink. They should be disposed of properly in the household trash or through your communityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s medication disposal program, when available. Talk to your pharmacist or visit www. smarxtdisposal.net for tips on how to properly dispose of your medications.

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