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TAKE ONE FREE

H E A L T H&W E L L N E S S Healthy at Home

A Special Section of the

Sullivan County Democrat

November 2020


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HEALTH

SULLIVAN COUNTY DEMOCRAT

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NOVEMBER 2020


NOVEMBER 2020

SULLIVAN COUNTY DEMOCRAT

The benefits of massage therapy BY LUCETTE OSTERGREN, LMT.

PAIN.

We are a nation in pain both physical and emotional. As a massage therapist I regularly see clients with some form of chronic pain. And not only do I treat individuals with chronic pain but I also experience chronic back and neck pain followed by headaches. One of my go to fixes for my own pain issues has been getting regular massages and I have been doing so for the past 20 years. I also include chiropractic and exercise as part of my pain management which are also important components but for the purpose of this article I am limiting my discussion to massage therapy. What is massage? It is defined as the manual manipulation of soft tissue using a variety of techniques depending on the issues being treated. According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control, pain is one of the most common reasons that adult Americans seek medical care. Further it is estimated that about 50 million people, which is about 20.4 percent or 1 in 5 U.S. adults have chronic pain. It is also estimated that $560 billion dollars are spent each year in not only alleviating pain, but also in lost productivity and in disability programs. As our nation has struggled with an opioid epidemic there has been a rise in the need for alternative therapies to treat chronic pain syndromes. Massage therapy is recognized as an effective form of pain management by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense and Veterans Administration, the American College of Physicians (ACP) and The Joint Commission. It has recognized

effectiveness in treating headaches, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, sciatica, post operative and injury rehabilitation, lymphatic drainage, as well as aiding in the treatment of anxiety and stress. The American Massage Therapy Association has estimated in its analysis that the savings to Americans through the use of massage as an alternative to opioids could amount to close to $26 billion. So one might ask how exactly does massage therapy reduce pain? One of the most immediate responses is a relaxation response in which the breathing rate is slowed, the production of stress hormones is decreased and the production of serotonin, the chemical in our body that positively affects emotions and thoughts, is increased. I know that sometimes simply the act of lying on a massage table can start that relaxation response even before the massage actually begins. By kneading stiff muscle tissue the blood flow can increase to the muscles and tendons thereby softening them. Mark Tarnopolsky at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, conducted a study with 11 participants by taking biopsies of muscle tissue after intense exercise. The biopsies were taken before and after massaging the muscles. That study found massage suppresses the inflammation that follows exercise while promoting faster healing. In other words massage is like giving a “helping hand� in the recovery of sore muscles. The softening of tissue supports the body in carrying away waste products and returning hormones and nutrients to muscle tissue. Of course it is easy and sometimes

very effective to pop a pill and get quick results which might seem like a good fix but as we all know medication brings with it the possibility of complications. However this by no means is to imply that medication is negative because there are very good indications where physicians determine that medication is absolutely necessary. Healthy and strong muscles help to protect your joints, increase the amount of work one can do, contributes to less body fat, stronger bones, better posture and balance, helps lower blood sugar, lowers stress and lessens body aches. Having healthy muscles is much like car maintenance and requires regular attention. Massage can be one component of creating and maintaining healthy muscle as well as a way to reduce pain. And finding a massage therapist can require a little trial and error because massage therapists can have different levels of touch and strength. In looking for a massage therapist it is important to find one that meets the requirements for licensure or certification for the state that you live in or are visiting. Lucette Ostergren is a New York State licensed and registered massage therapist in practice for the past 20 years in Sullivan County. She is the owner/operator of Western Sullivan Massage in Jeffersonville.

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NOVEMBER 2020

How to stay healthy at home BY ISABEL BRAVERMAN

As we head into the winter season the coronavirus pandemic is still in full swing. While we follow safety protocols like wearing a mask, social distancing, and washing our hands, it’s also important to keep up your general health—which includes mental health too. Here are some tips and tricks to stay healthy while at home. Exercise at home

Go for a walk or run

The pandemic has changed many of our schedules, and exercising at a gym is one of the things that is now different. Exercising at home can still be very effective, and you don’t need any equipment. Search for videos online for HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), which gets your heart rate up. Incorporate

It may be cold out but it’s still possible to get outside. Bundle up and make sure you’re wearing proper clothing, like warm boots, a hat and gloves, and a warm jacket. Even a 15-minute walk is helpful. Also, take advantage of the many trails in our area. small weights or resistance bands for added strength building.

Shop for fresh produce Studies have shown that eating

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Health & Wellness ‘A Guide to Keeping Fit this Fall & Winter Season’ Published by

Catskill-Delaware Publications, Inc. Publishers of the

(845) 887-5200 Callicoon, NY 12723 November 13, 2020 • Vol. CXXX, No. 45

Publisher: Co- Editors: Editorial Assistants: Production Manager: Design: Advertising Director: Assistant Advertising Director: Special Sections Coordinator: Advertising Coordinator: Business Manager: Assistant Business Manager: Telemarketing Coordinator: Monticello Office Manager: Classified Manager: Production Associates: Circulation & Distribution:

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locally and seasonally may improve your health. Stock up on winter veggies, including potatoes, carrots, squash and turnips. These are great for a soup or just roast them in the oven. Also, onions and garlic contain many vitamins and antioxidants.

Drink tea It’s important to stay hydrated year round, but even more so in the winter when multiple factors can dehydrate us. Try drinking a hot cup of herbal or green tea (no added sugar). There are many benefits to tea, such as boosting your immune system and fighting inflammation. And different types of teas have different benefits.

Fred W. Stabbert III Joseph Abraham and Matt Shortall Isabel Braverman, Margaret Bruetsch, Kathy Daley, Richard Ross, Jeanne Sager, Ed Townsend Petra Duffy Rosalie Mycka Liz Tucker Barbara Matos Susan Panella Lillian Ferber Susan Owens Patricia Biedinger Michelle Reynolds Margaret Bruetsch Janet Will Elizabeth Finnegan, Nyssa Calkin, Katey Dnistrian, Jessica Roda Anthony Bertholf, John Fischer, Phil Grisafe


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shown to reduce stress, enhance your mood and reduce symptoms of depression.

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Get enough sleep

Taking vitamins is a great way to boost your health and make sure you don’t get sick. In the winter there are a few vitamins that you should take. Since the days are shorter and we’re not exposed to as much sunlight, you should take vitamin D. Others include Vitamin C, Iron, B-vitamins and Zinc.

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[This article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.]

Local

PHARMACY

Journal or meditate During the long and cold months many people struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Some ways to help combat that is by writing in a journal and meditation. Both have been

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Take vitamins

We all know getting your eight hours of sleep is important, but it turns out there are many benefits. According to health.gov getting enough sleep helps you get sick less often,

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NOVEMBER 2020

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845-887-4485


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SULLIVAN COUNTY DEMOCRAT

NOVEMBER 2020

Get hairy for good cause And be generous to local organizations helping our neighbors in their health battles

I

n the month of November, you might notice your usual, cleanshaven male friends donning a full beard. For some it’s a hunting tradition, but for others it is a way to raise awareness. In the late 2000s, No Shave November, was born. The goal of No Shave November, acccording to their website, “... is to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free. Donate the money you typically spend on shaving and grooming to educate about cancer prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting the battle.” Participants (not limited by gender) can take part in the initiative by growing a beard, cultivating a mustache, letting those legs go nat-

ural, and skipping that waxing appointment. Tri-Valley Superintendent of Schools, Michael Williams, has made No Shave November an annual tradition, and he has been joined by several coworkers at the district. “My impetus stems from the fact that my father died of colorectal cancer 35 years ago,” said Williams. “Back then the disease was relatively unknown unless someone contracted it, and pre-testing and screening was unheard of. Not using a razor for a month is a small price to pay to raise awareness, and money, to support the cause. Not to mention the fact that a beard breaks up the monotony of my face! “Tri-Valley has several staff members participating, both male and female. In the past, one of our

teachers, Matt Haynes, organized the group and we took weekly pictures to update our progress and attract more sponsors. Obviously, this year prevents us from doing that, but we are all contributing individually to the cause and the monies raised!” Town of Liberty Parks and Recreation Assistant Recreation Director, James Guara, has taken part in No Shave November for the past three years. He noted that he started the November beard for hunting purposes but once he found out about No Shave November, and a family member became a cancer survivor, that became his reason for getting hairy each time the eleventh month rolled around. “It’s a unique and different way to raise awareness,” he said.

LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS While all three foundations mentioned above and No Shave November are great causes, there are also several locally-based organizations that help Sullivan County residents in their bouts against cancer and other life threatening illnesses. Here are just a few ... • Allyson Whitney Foundation: Provides young adult cancer patients with ‘Life Interrupted Grants™' to ease their financial

TRI-COUNTY EAR, NOSE & THROAT P.C.

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Dr. Robert Haray, D.D.S. Damascus Dental Center 1731 Cochecton Turnpike Damascus, PA 570.224.6700

This year No Shave November proceeds will benefit the following foundations: Prevent Cancer Foundation; Fight Colorectal Cancer; and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. For more information or to donate, visit noshave.org.

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BY JOSEPH ABRAHAM


HEALTH

SULLIVAN COUNTY DEMOCRAT

NOVEMBER 2020

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CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Members of the Tri-Valley Central School District participating in No Shave November in 2019.

burden, so that they can concentrate their energy on healing. For more info, visit www.allysonwhitney.org. • Can’t Hurt Steel: The mission of this fund is to provide assistance to community members in their times of need. The foundation will meet this goal by providing grants to assist patients and family members that are experiencing a catastrophic illness. For more info, visit www.canthurtsteelfoundation.org/ • Celebrate Life: This annual race is more than a half-marathon. Celebrate Life honors, remembers and celebrates those who have fought against cancer. The race raises funds to assist cancer patients in their financial needs donating 100 percent of the proceeds to patients in treatment. For more info, visit celebratelifehalf-

marathon.com. • Ride 2 Survive: A community based volunteer organization whose mission is to assist with transportation expenses for Sullivan County residents or those receiving treatment locally, who are

under the care of an oncologist and who have been diagnosed with cancer or pre-malignant conditions. For more info, visit ride2survivesullivancounty.org. • Trevor Loughlin Foundation: Raises funds and issues grants to

individuals and organizations in need, with a particular focus on helping patients who are battling blood cancer and other acute catastrophic illnesses. For more info, visit www.rockhillrun.com/trevorsfoundation.

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Building a Heealthy Communitty, One Degrreee at a Time

Join th the e Movement! Mo vement! Become a Community Health Champion Call 845.295.2680 0 or email info@sullivan180.orrg

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Wee are recruitingg new Community Health Champions and Sullivann Club 180 Leaders to serve as healthy living championns who are ready to volunteeer to help improve the health of their communities.

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NOVEMBER 2020

The Holidays, Stress, COVID and your Mental Health BY M. LORI SCHNEIDER, MS

I

n any given year, the approaching holidays aren’t necessarily the harbinger of merry times for all. This year, in particular, with the stress of the ongoing COVID precautions, recent spikes curtailing family get-togethers and all the upheaval going on in the world, it’s more important than ever to think about and address our own mental health needs. Even people without a diagnosis of Depression or Anxiety have been feeling depressed and anxious these last several months. The additional stress that comes with this time of year can only serve to exacerbate these feelings. For people who have an underlying diagnosis of Depression or Anxiety, it can be even worse. Depression and Anxiety can affect people of all ages, across all

socioeconomic backgrounds. Symptoms of Depression include changes in sleep patterns, changes in appetite, lack of concentration, loss of energy, lack of interest in usual activities, low self-esteem, hopelessness, even physical aches and pains. Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder include exaggerated worry and tension, an inability to relax, startling easily, fatigue and physical symptoms accompanying the anxiety such as headaches, muscle tension, muscle aches, difficulty swallowing, trembling, twitching, irritability, sweating, nausea, lightheadedness, feeling out of breath and hot flashes. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please know that help is available – there is no shame in reaching out; the shame is in not taking advantage of available resources.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

With additional stresses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to think about your own mental health this holiday season.

You can check with your Insurance Provider for local Behavioral Health Services that participate with your plan or contact the Sullivan County Department of Community Services at (845) 292-8770 for their Mental Health Clinic which accepts all insurances and operates on a sliding scale. The Mobile Mental Health Team in Sullivan County is also available in the event of a Psychiatric Emergency and can be reached at (845) 790-0911. NAMI Sullivan County, NY is the local affil-

iate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Primarily a family support and advocacy organization, NAMI Sullivan has been providing services in our area since 1983. While NAMI doesn’t provide clinical services, we can put you in touch with local resources and arm you with knowledge and support with Family Support and Peer Support groups. Please note that all Support Groups are currently meeting virtually via ZOOM or by phone for those who cannot access ZOOM. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with a mental illness or are experiencing symptoms, you are not alone. For information about mental illness or the services provided by NAMI Sullivan County, phone (845) 7941029. M. Lori Schneider is the Executive Director of NAMI of Sullivan County, which is located at 20 Crystal Street in Monticello.

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Dr. Jamie Noeth 12 Plank Road, Mongaup Valley, NY 845-583-6151

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NOVEMBER 2020

Meeting your health care needs for over 28 years.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

From left, Environmental Services staff Michelle Miller, Mary Moser, Patricia Reahm, Gail Reynolds and Molly Nagle with Tru-D Smart UVC robot in the Intensive Care Unit.

spores like C-Diff (Clostridioides difficile), and we plan to use them throughout the hospital.” Ultraviolet light, invisible to the human eye, exists on the electromagnetic spectrum between xrays and visible light. The sun emits UV light every day, although much of the UV energy is absorbed by the ozone layer. UVC light is UV light with short wavelengths that make them highly effective germicidal machines. They alter the DNA of microorganisms so the germs cannot reproduce. Miller and her staff spent a few days learning how to deploy the two “Trudi” robots as the company calls them. The machines are programmed to assess a room and set their own timers—bigger rooms take longer. Staff cannot be in a room with the robots to avoid a risk of severe eye or burn injuries. John Conte, director Facility Services, said the hospital has been using UVC in its air handling system for years. Acquiring the two robots was not a hard decision. “We have a relatively low infection rate,” said both Conte and Miller, “and we want to keep it that way.”

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ayne Memorial’s Environmental Services Department has two new “employees,” Ultraviolet-C germ-killing robots. The machines’ light “sweeps” a room and, according to their manufacturer, Tru-D Smart UVC, destroys 99.9% of the bacteria and spores left in the room after patient discharge. What’s more, recent company studies show “its patented Sensor360® technology is effective for inactivation of the SARSCoV-2 virus on hard, nonporous surfaces.” SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes the novel coronavirus or COVID-19. Many hospitals deploy similar machines to disinfect patient rooms, intensive care units, operating rooms, emergency rooms and long-term care facilities. TruD claims its robots uniquely cover an entire room at a time—360 degrees; staff does not have to relocate a robot to another area of the same room to clean it. “These machines are very easy to use, effective, chemical-free, and safe,” said Michelle Miller, manager Environmental Services. “They can be set to kill bacteria as well as

May - October – Saturdays & Sundays: 9:30 am - 10:45 am and private practices by reservation

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Wayne Memorial enhances infection control with new robots


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SULLIVAN COUNTY DEMOCRAT

NOVEMBER 2020

a scale of 1-10, how is the pain?” I repeated what I had been doing that morning as I handed him my medication list and medical history that I always keep with me. “You’ll feel a pin prick,” Tom said as he inserted an I.V. catheter into a vein on the back of my hand for medication and calmly, evenly said try to relax.

‘I may be having a heart attack’ STORY AND PHOTO BY JIM KAYTON

T FILE PHOTO

Jim Kayton

here wasn’t anything unusual about the start of the day that death came knocking. Morning meds, a quick peck of a kiss for Barbara, my wife, then to the exercise room. Tools for longevity. This was the morning routine for this 73year-old, just trying to maintain fitness, break a good sweat over 40 minutes. Since selling the Callicoon Theater two years ago, the goal was to remain Mr. Healthy. Leg lifts, curls, wide bar pull downs...ACH! An incredible knife-like pain between the shoulder blades took my breath away and doubled me over. A cold sweat, unable to take more than staccato breaths. On the pain scale of 1 to 10, this was a 12! “I may be having a heart attack” I said to Barbara as we piled into the car. Barbara doesn’t drive fast, but this morning she set speed records on the 13 miles over back roads and Route 97 to Callicoon and Garnet Health Medical Center — Catskills Grover M. Hermann Hospital’s Emergency Room entrance, where before pushing the button for the automatic doors I had the wherewithal to don a mask. At Grover Hermann, the morning brought with it the usual routines for Dr. Christopher Roman and Registered Nurse Tom Candela. Tom wasn’t new to emergency rooms, having spent 27 years in emergency medicine since earning his Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from New Jersey City University in Jersey City, NJ. Time since had been spent in Level 1 trauma centers at metropolitan hospitals in Newark, New Jer-

HEALTH

SULLIVAN COUNTY DEMOCRAT

NOVEMBER 2020

A Diagnostic Journey As he took my blood pressure, an electrocardiogram and other “vitals,” Tom said, “We’re going to give you a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, some blood pressure medication and morphine for the pain. You may feel a little woozy, don’t worry.” The pain and anxiety lessened. “Can my wife come in?” I asked. “I’m sorry,” Tom replied, “COVID protocol permits only the patient to enter. She can wait in the car and I will talk to her when we have more information.” Tom talked as he worked. “We’ll find out what’s going on; today we’re going to go on a diagnostic journey.” A journey indeed. In a few minutes the blood work results were in. “Well, you’re not having a heart attack,” Tom said. Then what was it? The ER doctor came in, talked with Tom, stood beside me. “I’m Dr. Christopher Roman. Let’s see what’s going on.” Like Tom, Chris’ calming manner reflected his depth and breadth of knowledge and experience. Schooled as a Doctor of Osteopathy, Chris’ background was steeped in medicine. His dad is a doctor, his mom an emergency room nurse. He learned the healing trade at Lake Erie College of Osteopathy near his hometown of Pittsburgh, where he grew up watching the tv show M.A.S.H. “I’ve been around medicine my whole life,” Chris said.

He and his wife, Lauren—a local Callicoon girl of dairy farmer Sebastiano and Hillriegel lineage and a practitioner of family medicine— enlisted in the Army, where they gained invaluable experience on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. “Being an ER doctor in a combat zone was pretty interesting,” Chris says with characteristic understatement. “The first two years we learned a ton about trauma, resuscitation, blood products, emergency surgeries.” Tom calls Chris a war hero. Life On The Line? Was I going to live? If I was checking out I wanted Barbara by my side. Tom apologized and sympathized. “I’ll give her a report as soon as we know something. She should go home. We’re going to do some more tests, an x-ray, a CAT scan.” A cheerful voice drifted in from nearby. “Hi, I’m Sarah, the Radiology Technician.” She rolled in the potable x-ray equipment, then wheeled me in to a nearby room for a CAT scan. If this wasn’t a heart attack, then what was this pain in my back and chest? I soon had an answer. “We found something,” Tom said

Roman telephoned Barbara at home and told her what was happening. “We’ve called for an air ambulance. LifeNet will be here soon.” And before I knew it, they were there, effortlessly sliding me from the gurney to LifeNet’s portable stretcher and wrapping me up for the flight to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, New York, the closest hospital with cardio-thoracic capabilities. “We’ll be there in about 17 minutes.” Time Blurs The rest of that day—the next five days—were a blur, memory snapshots. The smooth helicopter flight, WMC’s CTCU (Cardiac Thoracic Care Unit) for three nights, then two nights in a semi-private room. The round-the-clock care. Barbara, the “Queen B” as my Vietnam buddy calls her, drove the 5-hour round trip day after day to sit by my side while nurses constantly checked my vitals and medication. I’d heard about aortic injuries; any injury to the “Main Street” of arteries is very serious. My injury was a dissected aneurism in the mid-tolower section of the aorta that a doctor later described, drawing on a small whiteboard, as a peeling back of layers inside the aorta, similar to layers of an onion. Although cardiologists are not sure what causes a dissection, they think that genetics are involved and that sudden high blood pressure can exacerbate the condition. Four days after my injury I was taken for another CAT scan. My attending physician and his team felt that the dissection had stabilized. I was discharged from WMC the next day. While at WMC I contacted my cardiologist at Mount Sinai Health Sys-

Barbara doesn’t drive fast, but this morning she set speed records on the 13 miles over back roads and Route 97 to Callicoon and Garnet Health Medical Center...

sey and at community hospitals like Grover Hermann, receiving patients in various stages of damage from gunshot wounds, auto accidents and countless other tragedies. All that experience had molded Tom’s soft, level-voiced demeanor to be amiable and reassuring yet professionally in control. Working 12-hour shifts (ER doctors work

24-hour shifts), Tom sees a good number of the nearly 300 patients that pass through Grover Hermann’s emergency room doors each month, or some 3,100 a year. Tom met me at the automatic doors. “I may be having a heart attack,” I repeated, anxious, scared. He led me in, helped me onto a gurney, asked me a slew of questions. “When did you notice the pain?”“On

Dr. Chris Roman, D.O. (left) and Tom Candela, R.N. at Grover Hermann’s Emergency Room

as he made notes. I looked at him from the gurney. “Aorta?,” I questioned. Tom looked up, surprised. “How did you know?” I didn’t “know”; my answer was just a guess. Maybe I was going to die. Maybe I’d never see Barbara again. This wasn’t real. But here I was, alive, conscious, talking. So maybe, Grim Reaper, maybe not so fast. Dr.

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a scale of 1-10, how is the pain?” I repeated what I had been doing that morning as I handed him my medication list and medical history that I always keep with me. “You’ll feel a pin prick,” Tom said as he inserted an I.V. catheter into a vein on the back of my hand for medication and calmly, evenly said try to relax.

‘I may be having a heart attack’ STORY AND PHOTO BY JIM KAYTON

T FILE PHOTO

Jim Kayton

here wasn’t anything unusual about the start of the day that death came knocking. Morning meds, a quick peck of a kiss for Barbara, my wife, then to the exercise room. Tools for longevity. This was the morning routine for this 73year-old, just trying to maintain fitness, break a good sweat over 40 minutes. Since selling the Callicoon Theater two years ago, the goal was to remain Mr. Healthy. Leg lifts, curls, wide bar pull downs...ACH! An incredible knife-like pain between the shoulder blades took my breath away and doubled me over. A cold sweat, unable to take more than staccato breaths. On the pain scale of 1 to 10, this was a 12! “I may be having a heart attack” I said to Barbara as we piled into the car. Barbara doesn’t drive fast, but this morning she set speed records on the 13 miles over back roads and Route 97 to Callicoon and Garnet Health Medical Center — Catskills Grover M. Hermann Hospital’s Emergency Room entrance, where before pushing the button for the automatic doors I had the wherewithal to don a mask. At Grover Hermann, the morning brought with it the usual routines for Dr. Christopher Roman and Registered Nurse Tom Candela. Tom wasn’t new to emergency rooms, having spent 27 years in emergency medicine since earning his Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from New Jersey City University in Jersey City, NJ. Time since had been spent in Level 1 trauma centers at metropolitan hospitals in Newark, New Jer-

HEALTH

SULLIVAN COUNTY DEMOCRAT

NOVEMBER 2020

A Diagnostic Journey As he took my blood pressure, an electrocardiogram and other “vitals,” Tom said, “We’re going to give you a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, some blood pressure medication and morphine for the pain. You may feel a little woozy, don’t worry.” The pain and anxiety lessened. “Can my wife come in?” I asked. “I’m sorry,” Tom replied, “COVID protocol permits only the patient to enter. She can wait in the car and I will talk to her when we have more information.” Tom talked as he worked. “We’ll find out what’s going on; today we’re going to go on a diagnostic journey.” A journey indeed. In a few minutes the blood work results were in. “Well, you’re not having a heart attack,” Tom said. Then what was it? The ER doctor came in, talked with Tom, stood beside me. “I’m Dr. Christopher Roman. Let’s see what’s going on.” Like Tom, Chris’ calming manner reflected his depth and breadth of knowledge and experience. Schooled as a Doctor of Osteopathy, Chris’ background was steeped in medicine. His dad is a doctor, his mom an emergency room nurse. He learned the healing trade at Lake Erie College of Osteopathy near his hometown of Pittsburgh, where he grew up watching the tv show M.A.S.H. “I’ve been around medicine my whole life,” Chris said.

He and his wife, Lauren—a local Callicoon girl of dairy farmer Sebastiano and Hillriegel lineage and a practitioner of family medicine— enlisted in the Army, where they gained invaluable experience on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. “Being an ER doctor in a combat zone was pretty interesting,” Chris says with characteristic understatement. “The first two years we learned a ton about trauma, resuscitation, blood products, emergency surgeries.” Tom calls Chris a war hero. Life On The Line? Was I going to live? If I was checking out I wanted Barbara by my side. Tom apologized and sympathized. “I’ll give her a report as soon as we know something. She should go home. We’re going to do some more tests, an x-ray, a CAT scan.” A cheerful voice drifted in from nearby. “Hi, I’m Sarah, the Radiology Technician.” She rolled in the potable x-ray equipment, then wheeled me in to a nearby room for a CAT scan. If this wasn’t a heart attack, then what was this pain in my back and chest? I soon had an answer. “We found something,” Tom said

Roman telephoned Barbara at home and told her what was happening. “We’ve called for an air ambulance. LifeNet will be here soon.” And before I knew it, they were there, effortlessly sliding me from the gurney to LifeNet’s portable stretcher and wrapping me up for the flight to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, New York, the closest hospital with cardio-thoracic capabilities. “We’ll be there in about 17 minutes.” Time Blurs The rest of that day—the next five days—were a blur, memory snapshots. The smooth helicopter flight, WMC’s CTCU (Cardiac Thoracic Care Unit) for three nights, then two nights in a semi-private room. The round-the-clock care. Barbara, the “Queen B” as my Vietnam buddy calls her, drove the 5-hour round trip day after day to sit by my side while nurses constantly checked my vitals and medication. I’d heard about aortic injuries; any injury to the “Main Street” of arteries is very serious. My injury was a dissected aneurism in the mid-tolower section of the aorta that a doctor later described, drawing on a small whiteboard, as a peeling back of layers inside the aorta, similar to layers of an onion. Although cardiologists are not sure what causes a dissection, they think that genetics are involved and that sudden high blood pressure can exacerbate the condition. Four days after my injury I was taken for another CAT scan. My attending physician and his team felt that the dissection had stabilized. I was discharged from WMC the next day. While at WMC I contacted my cardiologist at Mount Sinai Health Sys-

Barbara doesn’t drive fast, but this morning she set speed records on the 13 miles over back roads and Route 97 to Callicoon and Garnet Health Medical Center...

sey and at community hospitals like Grover Hermann, receiving patients in various stages of damage from gunshot wounds, auto accidents and countless other tragedies. All that experience had molded Tom’s soft, level-voiced demeanor to be amiable and reassuring yet professionally in control. Working 12-hour shifts (ER doctors work

24-hour shifts), Tom sees a good number of the nearly 300 patients that pass through Grover Hermann’s emergency room doors each month, or some 3,100 a year. Tom met me at the automatic doors. “I may be having a heart attack,” I repeated, anxious, scared. He led me in, helped me onto a gurney, asked me a slew of questions. “When did you notice the pain?”“On

Dr. Chris Roman, D.O. (left) and Tom Candela, R.N. at Grover Hermann’s Emergency Room

as he made notes. I looked at him from the gurney. “Aorta?,” I questioned. Tom looked up, surprised. “How did you know?” I didn’t “know”; my answer was just a guess. Maybe I was going to die. Maybe I’d never see Barbara again. This wasn’t real. But here I was, alive, conscious, talking. So maybe, Grim Reaper, maybe not so fast. Dr.

PLEASE SEE HEART ATTACK, 12H

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HEALTH

SULLIVAN COUNTY DEMOCRAT

NOVEMBER 2020

HEART ATTACK EFFECTIVE, NATURAL RELIEF FOR:

FROM PAGE 13H

• Headaches, Dizziness • Neck Pain, Tight Muscles • Shoulder & Arm Pain • Low Back, Hip & Leg Pain Because of the current circumstances with the Coronavirus – COVID-19 pandemic to ensure your safety and ours we are taking every necessary precaution. Please take care to keep safe and healthy.

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tem in Manhattan; she put me in touch with the Chief of Surgery at Mount Sinai, the surgeon who designed the aortic stent that I might need. A week later—twelve days after sustaining my injury—I was at Mount Sinai for another CAT scan and a conference with the surgeon. Many times, he said, surgical intervention is not performed. Doctors watch and wait and let healing take place without intervention, then reevaluate in six months, which is what he recommended. In the meantime, no strenuous activity or heavy lifting, no exercise regimen except for walks, and rest. The healing process would take weeks, months; my lifestyle would be altered, perhaps permanently. So, emerging from the dark tunnel of uncertainty there’s a bright new day (I know, they say “don’t go into the light!”). I met with Tom Candela and Chris Roman a few weeks ago for this article. Turns

out mine was the first of three aortic dissections that were diagnosed at Grover Hermann that day! Dr. Roman said that statistically about five percent of back and chest pain involve dissected aneurisms. Many times, a followup procedure may involve inserting a stent. Tom and Chris pointed out that, once a patient leaves the Grover Hermann emergency room, they don’t know patient outcomes. Referring to the day of my injury, Dr. Roman said, “I’m glad you came in. If you hadn’t, I don’t think you’d be with us.” Yes, death had come knocking. But I hadn’t answered the knock. Not yet, not this time, anyway. A few weeks after incurring this injury I turned 74. An especially poignant, significant and very happy birthday! Jim Kayton and his wife, Barbara for 32 years owned and operated the Callicoon Theater. Previously, Jim ran the public relations office at Pace University and edited the University’s alumni magazine, worked with NBC News and WNBC Radio.

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to wearing a mask, ealthcare maintaining social professiondistancing, and als are disfrequently washcovering new ing or sanitizing connections and your hands. health risks assoGarnet Health ciated with conDoctors, with eight tracting and fightlocations and con ing COVID-19. venient hours is Heart health is ready to care for already an essenyou – and we take tial topic in any extensive precauwellness discustions at our facilision, but new ties to keep you research reveals safe from coronhow our cardiovasavirus. Our skilled, cular health can be compassionate providers seriously impacted by coroare highly trained on how to navirus. Recent studies proactively protect from Johns Hopkins Unipatients. Precautions versity have shown that include masks required for some patients infected with everyone. Registration and COVID-19 experience heart damage that may persist CONTRIBUTED PHOTO waiting areas use social distancing. Many facilities utilong after other symptoms BY DR. MITUL PATEL have subsided. CARDIOLOGIST, GARNET lize plastic shielding in key For some, this damage HEALTH DOCTORS areas, and patient appointments are staggered to could be caused by the virus, or as a result of inflammation minimize foot traffic. These steps as the body tries to fight the virus. are complemented by aggressive We know COVID-19 can result in cleaning and sanitizing. Whether you need a test, procedeath, and even those who recover can face lasting consequences – dure, doctor’s visit or urgent care, which is why following safety guide- you can trust that our locations lines is so necessary to protect your have rigorous safeguards in place. Telehealth visits are also available. health. Researchers continue to work to Telehealth is an easy, convenient understand short- and long-term way to talk to a doctor via a phone ramifications of contracting call or live video. This means you COVID-19. For example, coron- don’t have to leave your home – and avirus patients with pre-existing that you can receive care from anycardiovascular conditions such as where. Most insurance plans cover high blood pressure, coronary Telehealth, so don’t delay your artery disease or heart failure who medical needs or ignore symptoms contract the virus can face addi- that you would typically visit or call tional complications such as unsta- your doctor about. To set up a Telehealth or in-perble heart rhythms or improper son appointment, call (845) 333functioning of the heart. The virus may also result in clot- 7575. To learn more about primary ting, which can lead to a stroke or care provided by Garnet Health visit heart attack. Those who are aware Doctors, of pre-existing conditions should garnethealth.org/doctors or call take extra precautions. In addition, our Bethel office at (845) 583-5620, other non-heart-related factors Callicoon office at (845) 887-5693, such as diabetes and chronic the Liberty office at (845) 292-6684, obstructive pulmonary disease Livingston Manor office at (845) (COPD) can worsen the potentially 439-3579, Middletown office at (845) 333-7575, Monroe office at serious symptoms of the virus. With new information being (845) 333-7830 or Monticello office released frequently, stay informed at (845) 333-6500. For an appointabout COVID-19 news so you can ment with Dr. Patel, call our Harris take safety precautions in addition office at (845) 794-5335.

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HEALTH

SULLIVAN COUNTY DEMOCRAT

NOVEMBER 2020

ORANGE & SULLIVAN

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HEALTH

SULLIVAN COUNTY DEMOCRAT

NOVEMBER 2020

What you need to know about kidney stones BY UROLOGISTS SAMUEL ABOURBIH, MD, FRCSC AND MICHAEL HOFFMAN, MD GARNET HEALTH DOCTORS

symptoms at all. However, it is important to seek medical care if you are experiencing any of these symptoms because kidney stones can turn a painful situation into a life-threatening condition. Preventing kidney stones is usually a matter of lifestyle choices. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you set yourself up for a much lower chance of developing kidney stones. Staying fully hydrated at all times is an essential aspect of prevention.

If you know you’re in an environment where dehydration is likely, such as in a hotter environment or during the summer, you’re also at higher risk. Additionally, other dietary factors such as consuming too much salt, protein or oxalates (found in foods like spinach and nuts, for example) can lead to kidney stones. Lastly, if you are obese or have had gastric bypass surgery, inflammatory bowel disease or

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chronic diarrhea, the way your kidneys process calcium and water also can be impacted. Seeking care quickly is essential if you suspect kidney stones may be an issue. Garnet Health Doctors are proud to have stateof-the-art technology to serve our patients. The Urology Department is on the main campus of Garnet Health Medical Center in Middletown, NY, so our Garnet Health Doctors team, and you, have immediate access to hospital resources and staff. Although an operation is rarely necessary for small stones or cases diagnosed

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any people have heard of kidney stones, but what exactly are these potentially painful little intruders? Kidney stones are deposits made of minerals and salts that can form inside your kidneys. They’re created when urine becomes too concentrated. Most of the time, these deposits come with symptoms like blood in urine; uncomfortable pain in the back, abdomen, or groin area; frequent and/or cloudy urination; and in some more serious cases, nausea, fever or chills. Occasionally, you may have no

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It is important to seek medical care if you are experiencing any of these symptoms because kidney stones can turn a painful situation into a lifethreatening condition. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

Urologists (left) Samuel Abourbih, MD, FRCSC and (right) Michael Hoffman, MD Garnet Health Doctors

early, larger stones or more advanced cases may require intervention that could include surgery. It’s also important to know that, in these unprecedented times,

you should not delay the care you need. You can trust that you’ll be safe from COVID-19 when going to a Garnet Health hospital or doctor’s office for any type of care. Providers are highly trained on

how to safely protect patients. Precautions include taking your temperature using no-contact thermometers when you enter. All registration and waiting areas use social distancing. Facilities have installed plastic shielding in key areas, and patient appointments are staggered to

minimize foot traffic. These steps are complemented by aggressive cleaning and sanitizing 24 hours, seven days a week. In addition to in-person appointments, Telehealth visits also are available. Telehealth is an easy, convenient way to talk to a doctor via a phone call or live video. This means you don’t have to leave your home – and that you can receive care from anywhere. Most insurance plans cover Telehealth, so don’t ignore symptoms that you would typically visit or call your doctor about. To set up a Telehealth or in-person appointment, call (845) 3337575. Visit garnethealth.org/doctors for more information.

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1-866-832-5575

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SULLIVAN COUNTY DEMOCRAT

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HEALTH

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Return to the gym safely

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yms have begun to reopen in parts of the United States and Canada after being shuttered to prevent the spread of COVID19. It may have been several months since members have stepped foot in these facilities. That means not only will fitness enthusiasts need to be smart about COVID-19 precautions, they also will need to reacclimate their bodies to routine exercise. Fitness resolutions may come earlier this year as people are eager to regain fitness levels achieved prior to shutdowns. Going about a return to the gym in a smart way can prevent injuries and illness.

Ease into workouts

There will be a transition period as you get back to your gym routine. Start with flexibility workouts like yoga or pilates that can help reacclimate your body to physical activity. These will help increase blood flow, joint mobility and range of motion. Expect that your stamina will have taken a hit from a prolonged absence at the gym. So if you once were a cardio master, it may take some time to build up to the speed and distance of a treadmill run or you may need to enroll in low-impact classes as your body adjusts.

The last thing you want to do is injure yourself, so the mantra "slow is pro" is key. Aim for exercising two or three times a week to begin with, and stick to shorter workouts of 30 minutes or less. Gradually increase the duration and frequency of workouts as you notice your endurance improving. Stretching is essential after any workout, but especially helpful for those who are easing back into the gym. Stretches help avoid muscle tightening and spasms that can come with being unaccustomed to working out.

Pandemic precautions Returning to the gym also means sharing space with fellow members. Official guidance on how gyms are to operate now vary by state or province. However, certain safety tips can help you stay safer if you're ready to work out indoors. Try working out at off-peak hours when the gym is likely to be less crowded, even with capacity restrictions in place. "Based on recent research, aerosolized droplets can remain airborne for up to three hours, making the potential for spread in crowded and confined spaces such as fitness studios problematic," said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in NYC.

METRO CREATIVE PHOTO

Maintaining distance and avoiding crowds is essential. Ask about air filtration and circulation at the gym. The rate of transmission of coronavirus may be higher in hot and crowded facilities without adequate circulation. Turn on fans or work close to open doors when possible. Many gyms require that masks be worn while working out. This may mean members must take more breaks if the masks impede respiration during strenuous activity. While gyms may be spraying down equipment and high-touch areas, keep hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes in your gym bag so you can do your own cleaning and keep your hands as clean as possible. Wash your hands after using any equipment if it's feasible to do so. Now that gyms are open again, members must take additional precautions as they get back into the swing of things.

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Robert J. Kaiser Middle School’s new “Wellness Walk” bridges nature and learning Mr. Cooper leads groups of students, from as few as five to as many as 20, through the woods, pointing out the sound of the wind whistling through the trees, the crispness in the air, or the leaves falling gracefully from the sky to earth. As they meander through the path, there are encouraging signs and trail markers created by art teacher CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

A one-mile “Wellness Walk” has been hewn out of the woods out behind the school by health and physical education teachers Scott Cooper and Rich Sternkopf.

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tudents at Robert J. Kaiser Middle School have a new way to release stress, connect with nature and encourage a deeper state of mindfulness – all without leaving the property. A one-mile “Wellness Walk” has been hewn out of the woods out behind the school by health and physical education teachers Scott Cooper and Rich Sternkopf. “The kids love coming out here, especially now,” said Mr. Cooper. “With anxiety rates skyrocketing, being out here really helps. They say it’s the best part of their day.”


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“Wellness Walk” continued Eliz Bassett. For some kids, it’s their first foray into hiking – and they love it. In fact, they enjoy being in the outdoors so much they’ve begun to take ownership of the path, actively seeking out ways to make it better. The students are learning about the “leave no trace” philosophy of hiking. Unasked, the students have begun picking up garbage, building cairns and brainstorming ways to improve the trail. The trail passes by a water tower that is covered in graffiti, and the students dream of repainting the tower and replacing the graffiti with positive affirmations. “One part of what we teach in health class is advocacy,” Mr. Cooper said. “We teach kids to

try to make things around them better and their taking ownership over the wellness trail is a perfect example of that.” Just the virtue of being outside seems to have a transformative effect on the students. Mr. Cooper noted how students who barely utter a word in class jabber away with their peers once they leave the walls of the building. Students who are prone to fidgeting and restlessness are able to focus and calm themselves. In the future, Mr. Cooper and Mr. Sternkopf hope to see the trail continue to grow and possibly even add fitness stations and open it up to the community. “Nature heals,” Mr. Cooper said. “And we need it.”

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Garnet Health announces Director of Infection Control

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arnet Health is pleased to announce Jacqulynn Carroll, RN, BSN, CIC, as Director of Infection Control (IC). Ms. Carroll provides system-wide leadership that includes planning, coordinating, implementing and evaluating Garnet Health’s Infection Prevention Program. She collaborates with multidisciplinary care teams to support and assure compliance with policies and standards and educates staff on IC protocol. Ms. Carroll joined the IC team in March 2018 as an Infection Preventionist. As a subject matter expert in IC she offered support to organization training, policy development, data analysis and surveillance. Jacqulynn serves on numerous committees and has been a key IC leader in the DNV accreditation and NYSDOH regulatory surveys.

Ms. Carroll has been at the center of the COVID-19 pandemic and has provided leadership in enhancCONTRIBUTED PHOTO ing safety proviJacqulynn Carroll, sions for RN, BSN, CIC patients, staff and visitors of Garnet Health. Prior to joining the IC Department, Ms. Carroll worked as a registered nurse in the Telemetry and Medical Surgical Units. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing at Binghamton University and is currently pursuing her Master of Public Health degree from University of New England. For more information on careers at Garnet Health, visit www.garnet health.org/careers.

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Health Tab November 2020  

In this issue learn about the benefits of massage therapy, the effects the holidays have on mental health, what you can do to be healthy at...

Health Tab November 2020  

In this issue learn about the benefits of massage therapy, the effects the holidays have on mental health, what you can do to be healthy at...

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