Page 1

October 19, 2010

Health The Examiner

• Tracey Shaffer

Apples: Better than ever – Page 3

Kansas City

Ability Day Independence teen and his mom discover new options for activities and support – Page 8 Christopher Crane, 13, looks up the climbing wall at the View Community Center in Grandview during the fourth annual Kansas City Ability Day. The Examiner/ ADAM VOGLER


Have asthma? Have a plan – Page 4

Wellness 2, 4, 7 • Calendar 5 • NUTRITION 3

Page 2 Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Sinus problems may be worse this year By Kelvin Walls, MD Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist St. Mary's Medical Center

If you have allergy problems, you probably already know this fall has not been kind to your sinuses. Ragweed pollen is one of the leading causes of allergies in the Midwest. If you’re allergic to pollen-producing plants, chances are you’re allergic to ragweed. WALLS Chances are also good you’ll experience sinusitis, or more simply put, inflamed or infected sinuses. If misery loves company, you have a lot of it: Sinusitis affects roughly 37 million Americans each year. The sinuses are air spaces behind the bones of the upper face, between the eyes and behind the forehead, nose and cheeks. The sinuses are covered with mucus housing tiny filters to

protect us from bacteria and pollutants. When everything is working properly, mucus drains easily from the cavity, but just like in your sinks, when the drain is obstructed, mucus and builds up causing congestion, pain, fatigue and other symptoms. The common cold is one of the main causes of acute sinusitis. When people have a cold or allergies they tend to sniff or blow their nose more frequently, which causes the swelling of the nasal passages. Most cases of acute sinusitis have a sudden onset and may last four weeks. Treatment usually includes antibiotics, pain relievers and decongestants. Sometimes a steroid nasal spray is used to reduce the swelling of nasal passages. In some cases, sinusitis occurs frequently and may last months, developing into chronic sinusitis. People with asthma and allergies are more prone to chronic sinusitis. The condition significantly impacts an individual’s physical, functional and emotional quality of life. Traditionally after medical therapy failed, sinus surgery was considered. During conventional sinus surgery, bone and tissue are removed

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to enlarge the sinus opening. The removal of bone and tissue may lead to post-operative pain, scarring, and bleeding. A newer, less invasive procedure is becoming more available. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration five years ago, balloon sinuplasty is getting good results. During the procedure, a small, flexible balloon catheter is placed through a nostril into the blocked sinus passageway. When it’s in the right place, the balloon is inflated, pushing the sinus cavity open and restoring normal sinus drainage and function. There is no cutting; instead the balloon fractures the bones and spreads them apart. There is less pain, risk of infection, blood loss, bruising and swelling. Patients generally recover faster than from conventional surgery. Studies have shown sinuplasty to be safe and effective: 96 percent of patients report some improvement. Not everyone is a candidate for this procedure. Those with growths in the sinuses or other conditions will not be helped with this procedure, so it will not make sinus surgery obsolete, but for many sinus suf-

IF YOU GO WHAT: Seminar on sinus issues, presented by Dr. Kevin Wall, MD WHERE: St. Mary’s Medical Center, 201 N.W. R.D. Mize Road, Blue Springs WHEN: 6:30-8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 28 COST: Free CONTACT INFO: Reserve a seat at 816-228-3335 ferers, it can bring welcome relief. If you want to learn more about common sinus problems and the pros and cons of various treatments, I’ll be presenting a seminar at St. Mary’s Medical Center on Thursday, Oct. 28, 6:30-8 p.m. The seminar is free, but reservations are recommended as we'll be providing hors d'oeuvres. Call 816-228-3335 to reserve your seat.


Blue Springs blood drive is Wednesday and Thursday The Blue Springs Community Blood Drive is from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at 1124 W. U.S. 40, at the Community Blood Center. Please bring photo identification like a driver’s license. Cholesterol testing will be performed on all units of blood collected. The blood will benefit local hospital patients. When checking in at the registration desk, ask that donation be credited to “code CL” To make an appointment, go to and select “schedule an appointment” tab. Or you can call Paula Melton at 816 2285704. All registered donors are eligible for a drawing for a $20 gift card to the Olive Garden.

Walk-in mammograms offered at St. Mary’s Medical Center St. Mary’s Medical Center is offering walk-in mammograms this month. Appointments are available Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4

p.m. If women prefer to schedule a mammogram, the hospital’s breast cancer center has extended hours. Call 816-655-5515 for more information. – Michael Glover

Did you know? After cancer treatment, you may be eager to get back to a healthy lifestyle. Speak with your doctor about whether it is OK to adopt an exercise regimen. Although the basic guidelines for a healthy routine for cancer survivors don't differ much from the average (eat right, exercise, maintain a healthy weight, avoid tobacco and limit alcohol intake), they can improve the quality of the years ahead as a cancer survivor. --

Number to know


Toasted Skin Syndrome, a brownish discoloration of the skin caused by prolonged exposure to heat from a computer, can occur when the heat from your laptop reaches 111 degrees. – –GateHouse News Service


Tuesday, October 19, 2010 Page 3

Crunch before you have lunch Have you heard there’s a new kind of crunch that can help you eat less? Not the abdominaltype of crunch, but a crunch that involves food. New research has found eating an apple before lunch may help a person consume fewer calories. A study from Pennsylvania State University found that people who ate a whole apple before lunch consumed nearly 190 fewer calories at lunch than those who snacked on a different food or did not snack at all. Researchers suggest the act of eating and chewing solid food as the possible reason people consumed fewer calories. Apples are also rich in fiber, which helps to give a feeling of fullness. It’s a good thing apples are one of American’s favorite fruits to snack on. Not only can apples help you eat less, but they are also full of disease-fighting compounds that may protect against breast, colon and liver cancer. Both the flesh and peel have antioxidants and phytochemicals and work best when eaten together to get the health benefit. The pectin in apples has also been found to help lower cholesterol. Apple tips: ■ Apples will keep in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 weeks.

Tracey Shaffer Food for Thought Tracey Shaffer, RD, LD, is a Hy-Vee dietitian at the Blue Springs location The information provided should not be construed as professional medical advice. E-mail her at

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■ Store apples away from strong-flavored foods such as onions or garlic, to prevent the apples from absorbing the odors. ■ To get the most nutrients and health benefits, eat both the peel and flesh together.

Whole grain apple salad Serves 7 (1/2 cup each). All you need 1 (6.5 oz) packet Kashi 7 whole grain pilaf 1 cup apple juice 1 cup water 1 Gala apple, cored and chopped 1 cup finely chopped celery 1/2 cup light mayonnaise All you do 1. Prepare Kashi according to package directions using apple juice and water. Remove from heat and allow to cool 5 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl. 2. Stir in chopped apple, celery and mayonnaise. 3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Nutrition Facts: 160 calories, 6 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 150 mg sodium, 24 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 4 g protein


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Page 4 Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Have an asthma plan Millions of Americans are affected by this chronic lung condition Asthma is a disease that affects everyone from babies to adults. In the United States, more than 22 million people are known to have asthma. Nationwide, the average percent of children with asthma is 8 percent. However, in Independence approximately 12 percent of children have this chronic condition. It is the leading medical cause of absenteeism from schools which also effects time lost from jobs plus medical bills. This is why understanding asthma and getting proper treatment is critical for anyone with asthma. What exactly is asthma? It is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways in your lungs. No one knows what causes asthma, but we do know that it can run in families and certain things in the environment can also trigger asthma symptoms. While there is no cure for asthma, with proper

Larry Jones Larry Jones is director of the Independence Health Department. diagnosis and treatment, it can be managed. When a person has asthma, their lungs are hypersensitive to certain allergens or irritants which cause muscles around the airways to tighten and the lining of the bronchial tubes to swell. This causes narrowing of the airways and reduces the air flow to the lungs. As the tightening and swelling increase around the bronchial tubes, symptoms such as chest tightness, coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath occur. This is what we call having an “asthma attack.� So what can someone do to keep their

asthma under control? Know your triggers. These are things that cause you to wheeze or get short of breath. They may be allergens such as pets, pollen, dust mites or they can be irritants like changes in weather, strong odors, exercise or illness. Work with your physician or a doctor who specializes in asthma and allergies. They will help you develop an asthma action plan that will let you know what medication you should use, when to use it and how to properly use an inhaler. The plan will let you know what to do when symptoms flair up and a stronger treatment is required. People who have an asthma action plan have fewer visits to the emergency room and are able to have better control of their asthma. The Independence Health Department provides several asthma education classes. Open Airways is a free program offered to students with asthma in grades 3 through 5. We also offer an Asthma Education class for those who have contact with or care for children with asthma such as childcare facilities, scout leaders, and school bus drivers. For more information, call the Independence Health Department at 816-325-7185.


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The best way to get crucial vitamins and minerals is with healthy foods. But for people over age 50, even the best diet may not provide enough of some important nutrients. Here's a small look at what people over 50 may want to supplement into their diets, according to the AARP Bulletin: Vitamin A: 900 mcg for men; 700 mcg for women. Promotes good vision and a healthy immune system. Look for beta carotene in supplements (retinol or retinoic acid increases the risk of bone fracture). Vitamin D: 10 mcg for ages 51 to 70; 15 mcg for ages 71 and up. Helps the body to absorb calcium, and helps to prevent heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Folic acid: 400 mcg for men and women. Helps to form red blood cells and produce DNA. When coupled with vitamins B6 and B12, folic acid may reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. Vitamin E: 15 mg for men and women. Helps protect cells from damage and may reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and chronic diseases. Don't take it in conjunction with a blood thinner. Supplements may cause side effects. Be sure to talk to your doctor about the vitamins and supplements you take. –GateHouse News Service

Inspections l Jackson County The Jackson County Public Works/Environmental Health Division conducts inspections anywhere food is handled, prepared and served to the public for cities other than Independence.

Lee’s Summit

■Stuey McBrews, 321 S.E. Main St. – On Oct. 4, an open beverage container was found on a shelf in the kitchen, corrected. ■ Lakeview Woods State Schools, 351 N.E. Gregory Blvd. – On Oct. 4, numerous rodent droppings were found on the floor, on the shelving, and on a number of food containers in the dry storage room. Droppings also observed in the corner under the desk, in the corner of the restroom, and in a bin that was holding parts for the stand up mixer. Hard food containers and food contact equipment where droppings were observed must be cleaned and sanitized. Food packages that are not smooth and easily cleanable that are contaminated must be discarded. All affected food packages that were observed during the inspection were discarded. A number of harborage conditions that were observed must be corrected at time of re-inspection. ■ R. A. Long’s Sawmill Restaurant, 3365 Fascination Drive – On Oct. 5, inspectors found no detectable sanitizer in the final rinse in the dishwashing machine. There was no detectable sanitizer in the three-compartment sink sanitizer dispenser. The establishment agreed to use sanitabs or bleach to sanitizer equipment until the sanitizer containers are replaced. ■ Applebee’s, 1501 N.E. Douglas St. – On Oct. 5, an open beverage container was found on cook’s line, corrected. ■ Fazoli’s, 498 S. Missouri 291 – On Oct. 7, inspectors found the reach-in cooler by drive-through window was 52 degrees; all potentially hazardous foods were discarded.


■Wendy’s, 9708 E. 63rd St. – On Oct. 4, inspectors observed a food service worker consuming food while engaged in food service. Consume foods out of a food service area, and wash hands before returning to work.

Inspections l Independence The city of Independence Environmental Health Division conducts inspections anywhere food is handled, prepared and served to the public within city limits. Critical violations must be handled within 72 hours. ■Bamboo Hut Steak House, 10111 E. U.S. 40 – On Sept. 15, inspectors noted there were no hand towels behind the bar, corrected. Roaches were observed in the kitchen, on the floor, on prep surfaces and on shelves. Roaches were of a variety of sizes, indicating a substantial infestation. Request to see extermination records. ■ Dixon’s Chili Parlor, 9105 E. U.S. 40 – On Oct. 6, inspectors found no single use paper towels at hand sink in cooking area, corrected. All hand washing sinks must be fully stocked at all times with hot water, soap and single use paper towels. ■ Sonic Drive-In, 11707 E. U.S. 24 – On Oct. 8, inspectors observed the manager on duty was wearing a tongue stud. Stud was removed immediately. No facial jewelry is allowed on the job at any food service establishment.

– Jillayne Ritchie

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010 Page 5


healthCALENDAR Items for the Health Calendar may be e-mailed to or mailed to: The Examiner, P.O. Box 459, Independence, Mo. 64051, attention Jill Ritchie. The following items are for Oct. 20 through 26, unless otherwise stated.


Independence KID’S COOKING CLUB – for ages 2 to 12, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Noland Road HyVee. Register at the pay station in the dining area, deadline is today. KID’S COOKING CLUB – for ages 2 to 12, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, 23rd Street Hy-Vee. Register at customer service desk, deadline is Thursday. WALK-A-THON FOR CHILDREN WITH APRAXIA OF SPEECH, “Unlock our Voice, Open our Future,” Saturday, Waterfall Park, 4501 S. Bass Pro Drive. Contact, April Kempton at april_kempton@ or call 516-9997. DIABETES STORE TOUR OCT. 27, 4 p.m. at Noland Road Hy-Vee; or 10 a.m. at 23rd Street HyVee. Tours are free, meet at the customer service desk. Blue Springs COMMUNITY BLOOD DRIVE, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Community Blood Center, 1124 W. U.S. 40. All registered donors will be entered into a drawing for a $20 gift card to Olive Garden. Call Paula Melton, 228-5704. CLUB FITNESS CLASSES, sponsored by Blue Springs Parks and Recreation, held at Club 7 Fitness, 1241 S. Missouri 7. All classes are $40. Call 228-0137 to register for any of the following classes. BODYPUMP, 6:35-7:35 p.m. Thursdays Oct. 21Dec. 16; 8-9 a.m. Saturdays Oct. 23-Dec. 11; 9-10 a.m. Sundays Oct. 24-Dec. 12. BODYVIVE, 8-9 a.m. Wednesdays Oct. 20-Dec. 8; 9:05-10 a.m. Saturdays Oct. 23-Dec. 11. YOGA FLOW, 6; 7-8:15 p.m. Wednesdays Oct. 20Dec. 9; 6:30-7:40 p.m. Sundays Oct. 24-Dec. 12.

Addiction groups

Independence Straight Talk, Narcotics Anonymous, 8 p.m., Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, First Baptist Church. Narcotics Anonymous Help Line: 531-2250. Living Free – Al Anon meeting, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, 1723 Appleton Ave. 461-0039. Blue Springs ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, meetings available daily, most sessions are closed, and there are beginner meetings also, 1428-B W. U.S. 40 (behind Betty’s Diner). There is a total of 29 meetings per week. For times, call 228-7921. CHAPEL HILL AL-ANON, 6:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday; 9 a.m. Saturday, 1428-B W. U.S. 40 (behind Betty’s Diner). BLUE SPRINGS ALATEEN, 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday, 1428-B W. U.S. 40 (behind Betty’s Diner). Raytown NEW DAY AL-ANON, 10 a.m. Wednesday, Blue Ridge Trinity Lutheran Church. 353-5446.

Bereavement groups

Blue Springs Widowed Persons support group, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, St. Mary’s Medical Center, Annex A. 224-0677 or 229-8093. Independents Singles Ministry grief

support group, 7 p.m. Tuesday, First United Methodist Church. 228-3788. Adult Bereavement support group, sponsored by St. Mary’s Medical Center, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. several times throughout the year, Vesper Hall. To register, 655-5490. Independence Bereavement support group, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Columbian Adult Day Care Center. 836-8303. The Compassionate Friends, for those dealing with the death of a child, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Walnut Gardens Community of Christ. Call Barbara Starr, 229-2640, or the hotline: 531-6464. Other Infant loss group, sponsored by Carondelet Health. 655-5582.


Independence Gentle Tai Chi for those 50 and older, 6 p.m. Monday, The Palmer Center. Free. 325-6200. LOW IMPACT EXERCISE, 9 a.m. Mondays, Wednesday, Friday, Fairmount Community Center. 254-8334. Wake Up Workout, 9 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, The Palmer Center. 325-6200. Walk to the Beat, 8 a.m., Monday-Friday, Fairmount Community Center. 254-8334. PEPPI exercise classes, 10:15 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, The Palmer Center. Free. To

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register, 325-6200. PEPPI exercise classes, 9 to 10 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Fairmount Community Center. To register, 254-8334. PAVEMENT POUNDERS 9:15 to 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, Friday, The Palmer Center. 325-6200. SITTIN’ FIT chair exercises class, 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Thursday, The Palmer Center. Free. 3256200. STRETCH AND TONE, 9 a.m. Tuesday, Thursday, The Palmer Center. Cost, $1. 325-6200. ZUMBA GOLD, dynamic workout to Latin and international rhythms, 10 to 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, Palmer Center. Cost, $2. 325-6200. TAI CHI by the Three Dragons Way, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sermon Center. Cost, $35 for a four-week session; $40 for a 5-week session. 3257370. WALK TO THE BEAT, 2 to 3 p.m. Friday, The Palmer Center. Free. 325-6200. Blue Springs Swimnastics, 9 to 10 a.m. and 8 to 9 p.m. Monday, Wednesday; 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesday, Friday, Centennial Pool-Plex. Cost, $3.75 per visit. 228-0188. Therapeutic swim, 10:15 to 11:15 a.m., Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Centennial Pool-Plex. Cost, $3.75 per visit. 228-0188. Crosstrainer aerobics, 9 to 10 a.m., Monday, Wednesday, Vesper Hall. Cost, $2.50 per class. 228-0181. Prenatal and postnatal exercise classes, 9:45 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 300 N.W. Mock Ave. 655-5400. Weight room for ages 50 and older, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Vesper Hall. Cost, $10 per month; $2 per visit; $96 for a year. 228-0181. Yoga — For beginners and beyond, 2 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Vesper Hall. Cost, $2.50 per class. 228-0181. YOGA-GENTLE FLOW, 6:45 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Vesper Hall. Cost, $8 per visit, $48 for six classes. 2280181. Tai Chi, 8:30 to 10 a.m. Tuesday, Vesper Hall. Cost, $2.50. 228-0181. Swimnastics, 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesday and Friday, Centennial Pool-Plex. Cost, $3.75 per visit. 228-0188. Stretching exercise, 10 to 11 a.m., Tuesday, Thursday, Vesper Hall. Cost, $1.50. 228-0181. ARTHRITIS FOUNDATION EXERCISE PROGRAM for older adults, 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Wednesday and Friday, Vesper Hall. Cost, $1 per session. 228-0181. Stretch AND TONE, 9 to 10 a.m. Friday, Vesper Hall. Cost, $2.50. 228-0181. Raytown Tai Chi, 11 a.m. Thursday, Elliott Place Retirement Community. Free. 313-6800. Kansas City WALK AND TALK, 7 to 10 a.m. Monday-Friday, Ascension Lutheran Church, 4900 Blue Ridge Blvd. 358-1919. PACE (People with Arthritis Can Exercise), 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, Thursday, Truman Medical Center-Lakewood. 373-4415, Ext. 1175.


Independence MATERNITY UNIT TOURS, Centerpoint Medical Center. Call 751-3000 for dates and to register.


Page 6 Tuesday, October 19, 2010


healthCALENDAR FROM / Page 5

VISITING NURSE, Friday, Fairmount Community Center. They will check blood pressure, glucose levels and answer general health questions for seniors. 254-8334. Food handler/manager permit training classes, food handler classes, 3:30 p.m. Thursdays at Truman Memorial Building, 1 and 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Independence Health Department; manager class, 1 p.m. Monday. There is a fee. To register, 325-7803. Blue Springs Break Time Club, sponsored by Shepherd Center of Blue Springs, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Timothy Lutheran Church. For older adults with some physical and/or mental limitations. A donation of $10 to the cost of the program is suggested. 228-5300. Free legal advice for seniors, 10 a.m. to noon Monday, Vesper Hall. Legal advice provided by Cochran, Oswald & Roam, LLC. To set up an appointment, 228-0181.

Prenatal/Infant/Child programs

Independence Natural family planning session, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nativity of Mary Parish. Fee. For reservations, 913-384-1000. Blue Springs Blue Springs/Lee’s Summit Tough Love support group, for families dealing with

unacceptable adolescent behavior, 7:30 to 9:40 p.m. Tuesday, First Christian Church. 913-492-1200. Moms & Moms-to-be prenatal and postnatal class, 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, Family YMCA. 224-9620. Kansas City Tough Love support group, for families dealing with unacceptable adolescent behavior, 7:30 to 9:40 p.m. Wednesday, Longview United Methodist Church. 881-6570. Tough Love support group, for families dealing with unacceptable adolescent behavior, 7:30 to 9:40 p.m. Thursday, Colonial Presbyterian Church. 881-6570. Support group for gifted teens (freshmen-senior), 3:30 to 5 p.m., first and third Friday, offices of Elizabeth Campbell, Ph.D. 361-2030. Truman Medical Center-Lakewood WIC Nutrition Program, for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or gave birth less than six months ago. 404-4WIC.

Support groups

Independence Domestic violence group for men, 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Family Conservancy of Eastern Jackson County. 373-7577. Caring Communities Kinship, 7 p.m. Monday, Cler-Mont Community School. LiLi Moe, 796-6041. Moms Off Meth, 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, First

Healthcare you can


At Blue Springs Pediatrics, your child’s health is top priority for us. Our mission is to provide quality, efficient and effective medical care for your children. Schedule an appointment today for a new patient consultation, and together we’ll look after your child’s health and well-being.

Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Blue Springs Pediatrics A division of Lee’s Summit Physician’s Group


1600 NW South Outer Rd., Blue Springs, MO

Christian Church, Room 206. Free. Terri, 210-9574. CARETAKER’S OF PEOPLE WITH ALZHEIMER’S, 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Comprehensive Mental Health Services. Call Pat Aldridge, 254-3652, Ext. 222. Alzheimer’s Caregivers, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Christ United Methodist Church. 461-1101. Caring Communities Divorce and Step Family, 6:30 p.m. once a month, days vary, Blue Hills Elementary School. 796-6290. Blue Springs Overcomer’s Outreach 12-step, 7 to 8 p.m. Monday, Blue Springs Assembly. 229-3298. MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS SELF-HELP GROUP, 6:30 p.m. Monday, St. Mary’s Medical Center, Annex B building. Call Dixie Bozarth, 229-2851. CANCER support group, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, First United Methodist Church, Room 100. Call 2298108. Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue, Blue Springs Wellness Group, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, James Walker Elementary. 220-7356. Self-help group for people with Multiple Sclerosis, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, St. Mary’s Medical Center. Call Dixie Bozarth, 229-2851. PARENTS OF NICU BABIES, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, St. Mary’s Birthing Center. Moms delivering at other facilities are welcome. 655-5574, option 5. Breastfeeding, offered by St. Mary’s Medical Center, 10 a.m. Thursday, 206 Mock Ave., Suite 101. 655-5574.

CHRISTIAN 12-STEP RECOVERY PROGRAM, 7 p.m. Friday, Blue Springs Christian Church. Call Steve, 229-7311, Ext. 243. Lee’s Summit ALZHEIMER’S, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Lee’s Summit Medical Center, The Arbor Room. Call Jeanne Reader or Jan Horn at 913-831-3888. Other Agoraphobia, 7 p.m. 649-9863. Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse, daily meetings, Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault. 931-4527. Groups sponsored by Carondelet Health. For the BreathEasy group call 655-5236; and for cancer group call 224-3489. National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Center, 913-652-1542 or visit

Women’s Issues

Independence Women’s Empowerment Groups, sponsored by the Child Abuse Prevention Association (CAPA), 6:30 to 8:30 Monday. For locations, call Karen Costa, 252-8388, Ext. 16. Other Hope House Inc. weekly support groups, open to any female who has been or is now involved in an abusive relationship. For times and location, call 461-4673. By Jillayne Ritchie


Tuesday, October 12, 2010 Page 7

Vampire lore could have roots in medical conditions Vampires are shrouded in fantastic folklore and myth. They are alluring, blood sucking killers. What’s not to like? They are also misunderstood. Vampires. What do you know, T or F? 1. Tuberculosis is associated with vampirism. 2. Bubonic plague is associated with vampirism. 3. Garlic can repel the most fearsome vampire. Vampires draw particular attention during the cool dark autumn, just in time for All Hallows Eve. They are depicted, some blood sucking, some not, in most cultures. After more than 1,000 years of stories, vampires remain popular in modern literature and cinema from Anne Rice to “The Twilight Saga.” Grave digging was widespread among vampire hunters. The exhumed body often revealed blood around the mouth and nose (blood suckers!) darker healthy appearing skin and body (nocturnal feasting!) and larger, longer teeth and claw-like nails (still alive!). Vampire! Not so fast, Sherlock. Blood may leak from vessels after death. Ruddy skin and bloated

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appearance are not signs of nourishment, but rather normal decomposition and the accumulation of bodily gases. As skin and gums lose fluid after death there is the appearance that nails, hair and teeth have grown. But, let’s not allow forensic science to get in the way of great folklore. Apotropaics make beautiful decorations. They also have the added utility of repelling the random vampire who may wander near

under the guise of trick or treating. To be informed is to be safe. Garlic, and branches from wild rose and hawthorne plants are apoptropaics used for centuries to ward off vampires. They are especially effective for the under 4-feet tall crowd. In Europe, mustard seeds were sprinkled on rooftops to ward off vampires, zombies and other undead who may bid harm. Sacred items such as crucifix, holy water or rosary were similarly used. Upon death, suspected vampires were buried with garlic or lemon in their mouths in an attempt to destroy them, thus preventing their return to the land of the living. Coins were often placed on the eyes or mouth to prevent evil spirits from entering the dead. In 1985 a biochemist wrote his idea that vampires suck blood because they have porphyria, a blood disease. This idea was dismissed on the basis that vampires of folklore did not suck blood and by the fact that people with porphyria do not crave blood. Nonetheless, the idea is now entrenched in vampire lore. Increased sightings of vampires have been correlated with outbreaks of bubonic plaque

and tuberculosis. A type of bubonic plague attacks the lungs and can lead to bleeding which may drip out of the mouth, even after death. Tuberculosis can have a similar result. An entire family afflicted by TB or plague may be accused of vampirism, ostracized and even executed. Spanish neurologist, Dr. Juan GomezAlonso thinks that folklore vampires may have had rabies. He noted that vampires have many signs and symptoms of rabies. Rabies is known to cause hypersensitivity to light and garlic and cause insomnia and hypersexuality. Might vampires have been afflicted with centuries-old common conditions such as plaque, TB and rabies? My 8-year-old son announced that he was going to be Dracula for Halloween. He has been a vampire for the past four years and before that he was a ‘bampire.’ He has no awareness of the “Twilight Saga” or “True Blood.” From where does this unexplained drive come? “Again? Are you sure?” “Yes, a vampire, that’s what I am.” Bring on the garlic, hawthorne and wild rose. Happy Halloween! 1. T 2. T 3. T

Page 6 Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Ability Day shows special needs families options By Michael Glover

For Christopher Crane, Sunday was a fun day. The Independence teenager and his mother attended the fourth annual Kansas City Ability Day in Grandview. Hosted by the city of Grandview Parks and Recreation Department, the event attracted more than 200 families who have disabled children. The goal was to learn what Kansas City agencies and organizations can do for families affected by children living with disabilities. The event provided various activities for the children to do, including bowling, swimming, bicycling, soccer. Christopher did all those things. He even tried scaling a rock climbing wall. “It was really fun,” Teresa says. “Christopher had a good time.” Teresa was impressed by the event and how it’s geared toward kids who have disabilities. Chris has mild mental retardation, his mother says, coupled with developmental delay and hyperactivity. He has a short attention span, she says, so the different activities were

helpful. Teresa first noticed the condition when Chris was 5 years old. “That’s when we noticed that something was a little different about him,” Teresa says. The 13-year-old is going through a challenging time as he enters teenage years. Perhaps more important than the interaction Christopher got with special needs children, Teresa learned about programs available to her son. For example, she discovered “Groovability,” a program for people in wheelchairs to do ballroom dancing. Although Christopher is not in a wheelchair, the program is holding an upcoming Halloween dance that he might be attending. “That was the main point of the day,” Teresa said of Sunday. “It’s letting parents know about what is available. Sometimes that’s hard to find on your own.” Teresa picked up many brochures about different organizations she may follow up with. Teresa helped spread the word about the event, telling Chris’ teacher at Bingham Mid-

dle School about the event. She said they will be back for next year’s event. “I am thrilled to once again have the opportunity to increase community awareness on all the resources available and to allow participants to try many different recreational activities and have the organizations answer questions about them,” said Lynn Howard, one of the organizers of the event.

The Examiner/ADAM VOGLER (Above) Christopher Crane, 13, works his way up the climbing wall at the View Community Center in Grandview during the fourth annual Kansas City Ability Day. (Left) Christopher has a Spider-Man face painted on his arm at the event.

Now Accepting New Patients! Jackson County Medical Group welcomes

Maia Gakhokidze, MD Maia Gakhokidze MD, has joined Jackson County Medical Group located on the campus of Centerpoint Medical Center. Dr. Gakhokidze is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Prior to joining Jackson County Medical Group, Dr. Gakhokidze was an internist at Kirkpatrick Family Care in Longview, Washington and was chief resident of the Internal Medicine Program at Huron Hospital-Cleveland Clinic Health System. Dr. Gakhokidze joins Jackson County Medical Group’s two endocrinologists and three internal medicine doctors who are all board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Gakhokidze is now accepting new patients. Some same-day and next-day appointments are available. Maia Gakhokidze, MD

19550 E. 39th Street, Suite 335 Independence, MO 64057 (816) 350-0005 For more information, visit Jackson County Medical Group accepts all major health insurance plans in the Kansas City area.


Health is the only weekly publication dedicated to health and wellness in Eastern Jackson County.


Health is the only weekly publication dedicated to health and wellness in Eastern Jackson County.