Page 1

West Georgia

LiVing March/April 2018

Life . Art . Music . People




Vol. 8/Issue 2

Introducing the

WellStar Mobile App Healthcare on your schedule and at your ďŹ ngertips!

Find a doctor, practice or other location near you

Get turn-by-turn directions to our locations

Check into Urgent Care & Emergency Room locations

Access MyChart to manage your patient record

Simply go to your app store and download today!

Actual app icon shown. 2 West Georgia Living March/April 2018

March / April

Features 16


Beverly Kirk fulfills a lifelong passion of working with children.



Alzheimer’s Disease is The Silent Killer.

Coalition works toward a healthier west Georgia

PLUS Georgia’s resources for mental health - 28 Living a vegetarian lifestyle - 36 Natural healing could be the answer - 40 For others, homeopathic treatments work - 42

4 West Georgia Living March/April 2018


When the human body attacks itself.


Healthy living doesn’t have to be expensive.

On the Cover: Cryste Berry and L.C. Reese run on the Carrollton GreenBelt. Photograph by Jessica Gallagher



March has arrived and the official start of Spring is only weeks away. Sunday March 11th be sure to turn your clocks forward Daylight Savings time begins, Spring Ahead!

*SOIL Testing Available

Easter is considered by many as the start date for successful planting. Easter is April 1st this year, it is always good to wait for the soil to warm up before a full garden planting. Whether working in the garden, yard or on your lawn, know the PH level of your soil and the correct level for what you are planting or growing. This one step will have the greatest effect on saving you time, money overall results. Lime, fertilizer, compost, weed control and insect prevention are basics to enhancing a garden yields and the appearance of your yard and lawn. We have what you need to make the job easier and the results even better, WE CAN HELP!

When it comes to lawn care, here are 10 basic points to a healthy lawn: 1. Get a soil test or test on your own – the ideal PH for most grasses in Georgia is 6.5. If the PH is low, add lime. This will enhance root growth and good worms. If PH is high, add sulfur. 2. Top dress with compost; most soils are lacking organic matter needed for cycling nutrients, and helping to hold moisture. 3. Over seed liberally – most lawns never get the chance to go to seed due to frequent mowing, lawns get old, tired and thin providing the perfect opportunity for weeds to take over. 4. Water responsibly – over watering can cause root rot, most grasses can survive on less water at one time, water more frequently, monitor the amount, ideally 1/2 inch each time, at least 1 inch per week. 5. Mow high – depending on your type of grass, set the mower higher than lower. Cutting low causes lots of problems. 6. Aerate – an annual aeration reduces compaction; increases air, water and nutrient infiltration in to the soil. Aerating, then seeding, then top dressing is the trifecta of having a great lawn. Don’t forget to water – small amounts frequently. 7. Weeds – take care of weeds early before they germinate. Pre-‐emergent herbicides, weed and feeds or organic-‐corn gluten meal are safe around children and pets. 8. Mulch lawn clippings and leaves – mulching has two benefits – adds organic matter back to the soil and saves time and money by not bagging or hauling away. 9. Seeding – know your soil, know the setting and select what will be best for your region. 10. Alternatives – if grass just won’t grow, consider ground cover plants – there are many more options to consider for tough growing areas. We invite you to come by and visit our ever-expanding Lawn & Garden Center. Talk with our knowledgeable staff - Cathy - CarolNancy and Carl Brack. They are all eager to help you with your lawn and garden ideas and questions. Be sure to come by and check out our new Bonide Diagnostic Center for problem solving ideas and products. In addition we are your local Southern States Brand Dealer carrying a full line of lime, fertilizer, grass seeds, pest control, products and supplies for your home, farm or ranch. Come on by, new plants and products are arriving daily. The newness of Spring is happening here, hope to see you soon, your friends at Southern Home & Ranch Center.


West Georgia

Li Ving Volume 8 . Issue 2 March / April 2018 Publisher Marvin Enderle

Editor Ken Denney

Advertising Melissa Wilson

Photographer Ricky Stilley

Design Richard Swihart


Kitty Barr, Lauren Bridges, Robert C. Covel, Jessica Gallagher, Mimi Gentry, Richard Grant, Erin McSwain-Davis, Russell Ives, Sunday Holland Lovvorn, Josh Sewell, Molly Stassfort, Amanda Thomas, Leigh Thornton, Haisten Willis.

ABOUT THIS ISSUE Everybody likes to be healthy, nobody likes to be sick. Fortunately, for ourselves and for those we love, west Georgia is a region gifted with both a healthy lifestyle and skilled professionals who guard our health. In this issue, we explore various aspects of ensuring healthy living Amanda Thomas starts us off with a story on a coaltion that is taking a multi-faceted approach to improve health acrosss west Georgia.

And that isn’t all. Also in this issue, we look at a Douglasville artist who quite literally draws inspiration from animals and espeNext, Erin McSwain-Davis tells us how the team of school nurses in Carroll County treat cially horses. Our food writers discuss how our children for everything from minor boo- some easy-to-make meals can pair well with boos to surprisingly serious matters. Richard locally brewed beer, and Kitty Barr takes us out into the garden for some healthy plantGrant explores in detail how Alzheimer’s ing as spring approaches. Disease cruelly robs people of their sense of self. Lauren Bridges also takes us into the world of autoimmune diseases, a large spec- We’ve tried to take the broad and sometimes scary subject of health and find ways trum of conditions that develop when the to explore its various aspects. Whether you body’s natural defenses turn against itself. want a healthier lifestyle yourself or if you are giving care to a loved one, there’s lots of Mimi Gentry leads us into a section of information here and we hope you enjoy. healthy living with a DIY approach to

Departments A R T I S T' S C O R N E R

Submissions, photography and ideas may be submitted to Ken Denney c/o The Times-Georgian, 901 Hays Mill Rd., Carrollton, GA 30117.


Submissions will not be returned unless requested and accompanied with a self-addressed, stamped envelope. West Georgia Living reserves the right to edit any submission.


Direct mail subscriptions to West Georgia Living are available for $24 a year.


Copyright 2018 by the Times-Georgian

6 West Georgia Living March/April 2018


A vision turns in to a trip to the Kentucky Derby


Tasty dishes that pair well with local brews


Getting outside has mental health benefits


Healthy living movies exist, believe it or not


Visions and Revisions in the Rural South


To advertise in West Georgia Living, call Melissa Wilson at 470-729-3237. West Georgia Living is a bi-monthly publication of the Newspapers of West Georgia.

healthy exercise. We look at the myths and realities of the vegetarian and vegan lifestyles and discover that both offer a way to live healthy, ethical lives. We explore the world of natural ways of healing the body and mind by exploring some unconventional methods. And we discuss how brewing a nice cup of tea can help ease the stresses of modern life.

Health is a TREASURE beyond MEASURE A

s I’m writing this, I’m sick.

Not seriously. It’s just a cold, but it did keep me confined to the house for a couple of days and kept me from doing things that needed doing. Apart from the stuffed-up nose, cough and achy muscles, not being able to do what I wanted has been the worst part of all this. As people, we’re action oriented. We want to move when we want to move and todo things. We like to be active. We like to get outside, jog, stack firewood, build something, love someone, raise a family, hop in the car, jump for joy, help people and generally get up to things. Health is a treasure that you don’t miss until it’s gone. Health is what enables you to do all those things, and when it leaves you – even temporarily – you suddenly discover its value. For most of us, though, the experience of being unhealthy is a temporary thing. This cold will be gone by next week, and by the end of the month, I will have forgotten all about it. And then, as so many of us do, I’ll start taking good health for granted again. For others, of course, this is not the case. Many people deal with the consequences of bad health daily, and not just their own. If they themselves do not have some condition, then they provide care for someone whose health has been compromised. We are fortunate to live in a community where health services are pretty amazing. Unlike some places in the state, notably those below the metro area, where getting to a doctor or a hospital when needed is more complicated than in west Georgia. All of us have stories to tell of the time we, or someone we care about, received the benefit of the trained doctors and nursing staff of the area. Of course, medical care is expensive and sometimes for reasons that leave us flummoxed. No one can argue that the quality of care in America is second to none, but also no

one questions that the system of delivering that care, especially paying for it, is overly complex and often prohibitively expensive. This isn’t a political diatribe, but it does seem that the issue of health has become politicized in our country and that is a shame. All people want to do is to be healthy and to see their loved ones taken care of when they are ill. Politics and money seem to profane the idea of tending to those who need medical attention. Of course, learning the art and science of medicine is a long, difficult and expensive process. Doctors and surgeons of all specialties train for decades, as do nurses, and afterward go into the trenches much the way soldiers do to battle disease and death. Not many of us would volunteer for service the way these brave souls have. When a child lies critically ill, or a grandparent hovers between life and death, or a parent or a sibling or a co-worker is threatened by illness we naturally pray and hope for their recovery. But it is the skill of their medical caretakers that matter most, and so we also place our trust in their knowledge and experience. I can think back to many instances of going to hospitals to sit in vigil, either because someone I cared about was lying ill, or to add my emotional support to someone whose loved one was there. It’s something we don’t often think about, but when someone is in the hospital there is generally more than one patient. There is, of course, the person in the hospital bed, but those who care about them are also in need of care. The sick person is the hub around which an entire network of relations and friends revolve, and they grieve and suffer emotional distress while the patient battles disease. Their hopes rise and fall with every medical update they receive. Try to imagine, then, the coldness and stark reality faced by those who go alone to the hospital, without a community of care and support. Doctors and nurses are kind and compassionate, but also necessarily distant and emotion-

KEN DENNEY 8 West Georgia Living March/April 2018

ally detached. Patients who must alone face the consequences of a poor diagnosis, or the challenge of managing a serious illness without help, especially emotional support, are perhaps in the greatest need of care. Life is life, and no one gets out of it alive, but it never seems as precious as when it is under threat by illness. Health is indeed a treasure, and we must all spend its capital as carefully as we can. Back when I was growing up, cigarettes were advertised on television and junk food was part of everyone’s diet. Madison Avenue had us eating all kinds of sugary snacks and nine out of ten doctors recommended a certain brand of smokes. A good bit of our economy seemed based on making us unhealthy, and people my age are paying the price for decades of poor living and bad decisions. So, thankfully we have this modern age in which people are far more conscious about their health. Say what you will about the limits of government, but we are all better off without cigarette smoke being blown in our faces, and with packaging that tells us what’s in the food we eat. After decades of being encouraged to pursue taste over health, we are now becoming more conscious of how the products we buy influence and even damage our bodies. Let’s all take a few moments, then, to be thankful for our own health and to think about those who are ill. Whether those illnesses are small or large, all sickness is a thief that steals away what is most precious. Let’s resolve to do more to protect ourselves from our impulses, and to intervene in the risky decisions made by loved ones. Above all, let’s take advantage of the sunrises and sunsets allowed us and live each day in the knowledge that it is a gift, and a gift best enjoyed in the fullness of health. Now, excuse me – I need to sneeze. WGL


Zoe Kazan and Kumail Nanjiani in “The Big Sick,” Amazon Studios / Lionsgate, 2017

Memorable movies with medical theme


ovies are an intensely personal form of storytelling, which is why they often provoke a more pronounced emotional reaction than other media. Healthcare – one of our society’s most pressing and controversial issues – is also personal and emotional, which could be why filmmakers are so drawn to it. Sometimes movies address health-related issues in a serious manner, while other times they’re used as a diving board into action, horror or other heightened genres. Compiling an extensive list of films that use healthcare or illness to tell their stories is a project better suited to a grad school project or a book, so think of the 10 films below as a random sampling of stories that address the issues in a memorable fashion.   “Awakenings” (1990) In one of his best-known dramatic roles, Robin Williams plays a neurologist who discovers an experimental drug that awakens catatonic patients. One of them, played by Robert De Niro, has been unresponsive for decades and must cope with missing most of his life. It’s smart, funny and heartbreaking in equal measure.

“The Fugitive” (1993) Spoiler alert for a movie that’s almost 25-years-old: the plot revolves around Dr. Richard Kimball (Harrison Ford) being framed for murder because of a medicinerelated conspiracy. The story uses the public’s mistrust of the healthcare industry as the foundation for one of the all-time great action movies. I’ll never forget dogged U.S. Marshal Sam Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones, in one of the best performances of his career) replying to Kimball’s anguished cry of “I didn’t kill my wife!” with a dead-serious “I don’t care!”   “Philadelphia” (1993) While this groundbreaking drama might feel moralizing and overly simplistic in hindsight, it’s important to recognize the impact Jonathan Demme’s work had on film and American culture. It cemented Tom Hanks as one of the greatest actors of our time, forever shattering perceptions of him as comedic performer and earning him his first of two back-to-back Best Actor Oscars. It


also furthered Denzel Washington’s journey down the same path. But, most significantly, it marked the first time a mainstream film addressed the HIV/AIDS epidemic. “A Civil Action” (1998) Although it didn’t do well at the box office, this true story is compelling and rage-inducing, focusing on families whose children were poisoned because a corporation polluted the community’s water supply, as well as the attorneys seeking justice for them. It’s not an easy film to watch, but it contains terrific performances from John Travolta, Robert Duvall, William H. Macy and James Gandolfini.   “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004) This comedic drama, one of my all-time favorites, is about a couple (Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey, in a performance he still hasn’t topped) who recently ended their relationship and use an experimental medical procedure to erase one another from their memories. It’s sweet, funny and an emotional gut-punch. It also utilizes practical effects to portray the erasing process in a visually stunning West Georgia Living March/April 2018 9

Robin Williams and Robert De Niro, “Awakenings,” Columbia Pictures, 1990

“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” Focus Features, 2004

way. Not to mention the incredible supporting cast includes Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo, David Cross, Kristen Dunst and Tom Wilkinson. “Thank You for Smoking” (2005) This pitch-black comedy centers on a tobacco company lobbyist (Aaron Eckhart) who tries simultaneously to be great at his job while also being a role model for his young son. As you can guess, it ends up being an impossible task. Writer-director Jason Reitman deftly manages the difficult tone, but he gets a lot of help from a cast that’s 10 West Georgia Living March/April 2018

Contagion,” Warner Brothers Pictures, 2011

equally talented at comedy and drama. “Contagion” (2011) I’ve written about this terrifying thriller several times over the years, so I’ll keep it short: if you’re a hypochondriac, stay far, far away from this realistic look at what would happen if a global pandemic struck today. Director Steven Soderbergh never goes for melodrama; instead he matter-of-factly portrays each horrific stage of the outbreak. Everyone in the huge cast is great, but Matt Damon, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne and Kate Winslet are the standouts.

“Dallas Buyers Club” (2013) Loosely based on a true story, director JeanMarc Vallee’s drama shows how far the national conversation about HIV/AIDS has progressed in the 20 years since “Philadelphia” hit theaters. Matthew McConaughey plays Ron Woodruff, a Texas good ol’ boy diagnosed with HIV in 1985 – when the disease was still widely considered “the gay plague.” Now that he’s personally affected, Woodruff applies his hustling skills to work around the system to help get AIDS patients the drugs they desperately need. McConaughey doesn’t sugar-coat his character’s

Daniel Kaluuya stars in “Get Out,” Universal Pictures, 2017

unlikeable qualities – particularly that he’s initially in this racket to profit off desperate, sick people – but it also makes his change of heart more powerful. Jared Leto won a well-deserved Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his work as Woodruff’s transgender associate. “The Big Sick” (2017)

V. Gordon based on their own relationship) keeps vigil over a girl (Zoe Kazan) he technically just broke up with. It makes his conversations with her parents (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano) especially awkward, but the film itself is a joy from start to finish. “Get Out” (2017)

A significant amount of this romantic comedy – one of my favorite movies of 2017 – takes place in a hospital, as aspiring comedian Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani, who wrote the screenplay with his wife Emily

Okay, I can’t really explain the health/ medicine connection to this incredible thriller – my pick for the best film of 2017 – without getting into spoiler territory, but it’s there. Honestly, I just want to sing

the praises of Jordan Peele’s directorial debut one more time. If you haven’t seen it, I envy you. I’d love to pull an “Eternal Sunshine” and erase my brain so I could recapture my first viewing of this twisted tale of a young black man (Daniel Kaluuya) meeting his white girlfriend’s (Allison Williams) parents (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener) for the first time. It’s one of the most exciting experiences I’ve ever had in a theater. Fortunately, it plays even better on repeat viewings; there are tons of elements that take on new meanings once you know all the surprises. WGL

CARROLLTON/BREMEN 770.214.2800 VILLA RICA 770.456.3786

Dr. Howard Seeman Dr. Thelma Lucas Dr. John Arledge Dr. Prashanl Sharma Dr. Peter Ojuro Susan Prescott, NP Corie Price, NP

West Georgia Living March/April 2018 11

A healthier west Georgia

Multi-faceted approach improves peoples’ lives


or most, the appeal of retirement is the promise that there will be time to take it easy; to sit around the house. Maybe get really into “The Price is Right.” But for Randy Weems, retirement was a chance to take the effort he had long applied to his service to the community and refocus on himself. “Because of my work, I didn’t want to take the time to cook and I didn’t exercise,” said Weems. “Fast food was how I ate. I was 65 and weighed about 270 pounds, and I felt slow — sluggish. With retirement, I had a chance to dedicate some time to my health and do some of the things I wanted to do.” As director of the Carrollton-based nonprofit Alice’s House, Weems worked to provide a sanctuary for children who had been displaced by abuse, neglect and other family situations. The work was demanding, both physically and emotionally, but Weems’ passion was ensuring that children in the program had the resources they needed. Then, one Sunday morning at church, Weems was introduced to a free local program that sounded tailor-made for what he hoped to accomplish for himself — losing weight, improving his diet, beginning to exercise and reducing his risk for health problems in years to come. The program was offered by another organization that, not unlike Alice’s House, was working to make the region a better place to live. “It was in the right place at the right time,” said Weems. “It sounded convenient, and I knew I had the time to do it, so I signed up.” The Diabetes Prevention Program is a series of free classes that help participants make lasting changes to fight key risk factors for diabetes. Developed by Stanford University 12 West Georgia Living March/April 2018

When Randy Weems retired at the age of 65, he decided to make improving his health a priority. in California, it combines coaching from a certified lifestyle educator, proven learning materials and small-group support to set participants on the path to better health. It’s one of several clinically-based programs offered by Tanner Health System’s Get Healthy, Live Well, a unique, multi-sector community coalition working to eliminate tobacco use, expand access to healthy food,


increase physical activity and reduce chronic disease risks in Carroll, Haralson and Heard counties. The coalition consists of businesses, educational institutions, community groups and faith-based organizations. And it’s getting results. Since 2011, when Tanner conducted its first Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) — an in-depth survey of the region’s health needs — the health system has been

working to build a “culture of health,” cultivating a community where good health flourishes across demographic, geographic and social sectors. The following year, Tanner received initial funding from the Community Foundation of West Georgia to support Get Healthy, Live Well. In April 2012, the Get Healthy, Live Well Coalition was born, and the community’s health goals were established later that year.

cal activity, compared to 29 percent in 2016.

Randy Weems and fellow Diabetes Prevention Program class participant Beverly Denny shop for produce.

With the help of two grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the program has continued its work to transform west Georgia into a healthier community. Over the years, the coalition has worked to address tobacco-free living; healthy food access; physical activity; and community prevention, wellness and health education. So far, the coalition has provided Freshstart tobacco cessation programs to 700 individuals. It has also established a local chapter for Safe Routes to School in Carrollton, leading to a 700 percent increase in walkers and cyclists. Other major accomplishments include establishing an inpatient Diabetes Health Education Program to help hospital patients learn to control diabetes after they’re discharged, reducing the risk for rehospitalization, and introducing chronic disease self-management programs like Living Well With Diabetes. “Eating healthy and exercise can have a huge impact on combating disease,” said Denise Taylor, senior vice president and chief community health and brand officer for Tanner Health System. “We’re really trying to help people prevent disease. But we also want to help people who have a lifelong condition learn how to manage that disease as well, which can have a meaningful and lasting impact in their quality of life.” According to the annual County Health Rankings report issued by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, residents in Carroll, Haralson and Heard

counties are becoming healthier. The report considers more than 30 factors that affect health across every county in all 50 states. Those include high school graduation rates, obesity, and smoking; the number of people without health insurance, teen births, quality of local air and water, and other metrics shown to impact a community’s overall health. Each county is ranked on two overall measures — health outcomes and health factors. The health outcomes metric includes rates of premature death and how people reported their overall health in surveys. For health factors, the report details behaviors such as adult tobacco use, physical inactivity and teen births, as well as clinical care issues, socioeconomic factors and the physical environment. The 2017 health rankings showed that Carroll, Haralson and Douglas counties all improved in their residents’ health outcomes from the year prior. Douglas County improved its score by four points between 2016 and 2017, moving to 31 among the state’s 159 counties from a 2016 ranking of 36. And its “quality of life” moved up 18 points, to 40 from 58. Carroll County improved its health outcomes rank almost 10 places, from 58th in 2016 to 49th in 2017. While the county’s health factors’ rank decreased slightly, from 60th in 2016 to 68th in 2017, there were improvements in the areas of physical inactivity. In 2017, 28 percent of adults age 20 and over reported no leisure-time physi-

Haralson County improved from 95th to 81st in health outcomes and improved from 55th to 47th for health factors. The county also lost some significant weight, showing a significant improvement in the percentage of adults who report a BMI of 30 or more. That percentage went from 29 percent to 27 percent. There’s still work to be done, however. The coalition is working toward new goals based on the key issues identified in the 2016 CHNA. Those issues include access to care; behavioral health (especially substance abuse treatment); health education and literacy; and chronic disease prevention and management. The chronic conditions targeted will be cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity. To address these issues, the coalition is comprised of several targeted committees: School Wellness Committee; Healthy, Safe and Active Communities; Faith-Based; Nutrition/Healthy Food Access; Access to Care; Behavioral Health; Health Education/Literacy, Chronic Disease Prevention and Management; and Social Determinants of Health. “We knew early on that the only way to make a real impact on health was to bring local community leaders and volunteers to the table,” said Taylor. “Partnership and volunteer engagement has been the most important thing that we’ve been able to accomplish. Making a community-wide change requires community involvement.” For Weems, the Diabetes Prevention Program was key to helping him turn his health around. “I’ve lost about 50 pounds,” said Weems. “I do more of my own cooking now, walk four or five miles several times a week on the Carrollton GreenBelt with my wife and enjoy being active and outdoors more. I feel better, I enjoy life more, I smile more and I feel great.” WGL West Georgia Living March/April 2018 13

KNOW YOUR RISK FOR COLORECTAL CANCER By John Arledge, MD West Georgia Gastroenterology Associates

Are you at risk for colorectal cancer? Well, yes. And so is everyone else. Colorectal cancer occurs in both men and women of every ethnic and racial background. It is typically found in adults age 50 and older, but in certain instances may occur in younger individuals as well. The risk for developing colorectal cancer increases as you age.

You can arrange for a colorectal screening by asking your primary care provider for a referral, or by calling 770.214.CARE and asking for a gastroenterology specialist on staff at Tanner Health System. With Tanner, the screenings

Since colorectal cancer can begin with no symptoms,

can be performed in Carrollton, Villa Rica or Bremen, making

it’s essential to keep up with regular colorectal cancer

it more convenient.

screenings beginning at age 50. These screenings allow your physician to detect cancer in its earliest stages, or even help prevent it by removing polyps in the colon before they can develop into cancer.

You can also learn more about your risk for colorectal cancer by taking a free online health assessment, available at

Individuals with these risk factors may need earlier or more

According to the Centers for Disease Control and

frequent tests — or may need to begin receiving screenings

Prevention (CDC), some populations may be at a

earlier — than others. Talk to your physician about when to

higher risk of developing colorectal cancer. You may

begin screening and how often you should be tested.

be at a higher risk than average if:

According to the CDC, in 2013 (the most recent year for

ƒ You or a close relative have had colorectal polyps

which data is available), 136,119 people in the United States

or colorectal cancer.

were diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

ƒ You have inflammatory bowel disease.

Speak with your primary care provider about any family

ƒ You have a genetic syndrome such as familial

history of colorectal cancer that you may have, and ask

adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary

about whether or not you should be screened.

nonpolyposis colorectal cancer.

14 West Georgia Living March/April 2018

The school nurse

will see you now B

everly Kirk has been working with the Carroll County School System for 26 years as its head of school nurses. But she sees every day as a chance to connect with children and better their whole lives, not just their health. “I was working at Tanner Medical Hospital before, but I applied for the job with Carroll County Schools to have more time with children,” said Kirk. “Work was full time and I would get the opportunity to work one-on one with students, which is my passion.” Since 1992 Kirk has held the same job but every day is different; unpredictable yet rewarding. ‘We are not just giving out Band-Aids or ice packs,” said Kirk. “We document much more than that.” “If you don’t document, then it did not happen,” said Kirk. “Working with the schools is just as strict as a hospital or doctor’s office. I’m not just the lead nurse with the school system, I am also following a schedule with the school. Working in a school is like a doctor’s office, but without the appointments.” Kirk also said that she is blessed to seek opportunities where she can educate children, and that includes teaching them that they must wait their turn. At the beginning of each school year, or right after breaks and holidays, Kirk encounters more students than some people might expect.

Beverly Kirk

County nurses tend to everything from boo-boos to major crises 16 West Georgia Living March/April 2018

“You start school from the summer and you would think that everyone is pretty healthy,” said Kirk. “But they come in with complaints that may have happened over the summer that just not have been dealt


with. Others simply may not feel like being in school, but we see things from stomach bugs to pneumonia.” Kirk said that her days are never dull. She has tended to everything from common stomach bugs and colds, to injuries which may be accidental or even self inflicted. Kirk has even treated students with rare conditions such as severe palsy. “Also, chronic conditions,” said Kirk. “No one knows what someone is living with unless a parent has reported it. Asthma and seizures, diabetes which are common but also we see things like allergic reactions to food, or bee stings, the sky’s the limit.” With larger school populations, Kirk says that the number of special need students is higher, and with those numbers there are the possibilities of a student who is wheelchair bound, or who may need a feeding tube. “Most of the time we are multiple-school assigned,” said Kirk. “I mainly work with Bowdon High School and Villa Rica High School, but many or our nurses work with multiple schools.”

Kirk works with a set schedule to manage the distances between the schools. Because there are 26 campuses in the county and only 13 nurses, Kirk and the system’s other nurses will tag team and help each other.

“When a kid comes in with a complaint, our nurses dive deeper,” said Kirk. “Sometimes there is more than a simple “my arm hurts.” If you don’t ask the right questions, then you will not get the right answers.”

“Of course, everyone knows that you need a nurse on every campus, but we are getting there,” said Kirk. “We have a supportive system in the county, but things cost money. We are able to care for all of our students.”

Kirk experienced a situation some time ago when a girl wearing an icepack on her arm came to her complaining that the arm was hurting. She explained that she had fallen against a wall, but when Kirk uncovered the arm she saw strap marks. Kirk could see that this was a far more serious matter than a minor injury.

Kirk says that the nurses do more that just working with the students; they also work one-on-one with the teachers and the parents. “Once the children are old enough to know what is going on, we work with them,” said Kirk. “The opportunity to see those students learn and become independent are what we enjoy the most. The Band-Aid and the ice pack are important at the moment, but in the long haul, those teaching moments and the opportunity to make a lifelong impact are what we really enjoy.” Knowing what questions to ask a child about what is happening with them is more of an art than a science.

“It took courage, but after questions she revealed her other arm with multiple bruises,” said Kirk. “Students in this situation don’t have the intent to reveal, they seek relief or treatment. But we are able to dig deeper and, even though it is sad, we are able to help students out of difficult situation.” Kirk said that with the help of other nurses, teachers and administration, social workers play a big part in the success of helping students. “We have social workers here at the school, and they are a critical part to our network,”

The opportunity to see those students learn and become independent are what we enjoy the most. The Band-Aid and the ice pack are important at the moment, but in the long haul, those teaching moments and the opportunity to make a lifelong impact are what we really enjoy. — Beverly Kirk

Carroll County School System head of school nurses West Georgia Living March/April 2018 17

said Kirk. “We could not do our job without social workers. With the situation of this little girl, this is where our social workers can step in and complete the mission of helping our students.”

“Nurses have the mentality that we must fix it; we will fix it, but we don’t always have the resources,” said Kirk. “And that is where the social workers help as well. Students and social media creates bad anxiety. They don’t have the skills to deal with things and they usually don’t know why they feel upset.”

Kirk said that the school nurse’s office is very similar to an emergency room. “You do not know what is going to walk in the door,” said Kirk. “We have the schedule of some things such as medications, but other things can be unpredictable.”

Kirk said that school nursing and school health is not at all what people expect, but says it is the most rewarding job she has ever had.

Carrollton Elementary School nurse Robin Street takes the tempature of second grader Brody Robinson.

Kirk has been with the school system since 1992, and in that time she has noticed an increase in mental health issues. “Oftentimes, they are not presented to me because counselors usually see it first. They can help students to make referrals (to outside experts), but some students will come to us,” said Kirk. “Mental health issues are

big in the middle school and high school, and we are even starting to see some in the elementary school as well, because students are receiving cell phones and many students are using social media.” Kirk says that a young person on social media can face a situation with which they don’t have the life skills to cope.

“All the nurses here have a passion, and even with the scary things, such as mental health, it drives us to work more and continue to help our students,” said Kirk. “I want to let people know and understand that we are more than just a visit to grab a Band-Aid or ice pack; we dive much deeper than that because we care.” WGL

You call a plumber for clogged pipes. Who do you call for your digestive pipes? Protect your internal plumbing. Call the experts.

Expert GI Care for Whole Family Douglasville | Villa Rica 678.784.5020

Hiram 678.486.5500

Marietta | Pediatrics 404.843.6320 AGA, LLC and its affiliates are participating providers for Medicare, Medicaid, and most healthcare plans offered in Georgia. We comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. CHÚ Ý: Nếu bạn nói Tiếng Việt, có các dịch vụ hỗ trợ ngôn ngữ miễn phí dành cho bạn.

18 West Georgia Living March/April 2018


“Early diagnosis lets loved ones put together the social connections they’re going to need to become caregivers. It gives them time to learn about the disease’s progression, and it allows the patient to make decisions and plan for his or her long-term care while he or she is able. That can be invaluable for families.”

— Joseph Jellicourse, M.D.

Family practice physician with Primary Care Group of West Georgia and a member of the medical staff at Tanner Health System

The silent



n the mid-1960s, there wasn’t much talk of a disease that could effectively take your brain, your cognitive reasoning, your memory. To people living in that era the notion sounded like a plot for an episode of The Twilight Zone.

Ironically, around that same time, one of the him, he was soon commissioning scripts major writers for that fantasy TV show was to ghostwriter friends to submit under his hit with a debilitating disease at an unusuname and splitting the fees because he could ally young age. He began to age rapidly. His no longer do the work himself. He died in speech slowed and his ability to concentrate 1967 at the age of 38. diminished. As it began to overtake His name was RICHARD GRANT

West Georgia Living March/April 2018 19

Charles Beaumont, and he was an early victim of the disease that’s much more known today as Alzheimer’s disease, named after the German doctor who first identified this form of degenerative neurological condition. In the 50 years since Beaumont’s death, researchers still have no effective treatment, but early detection has been found to be a step in the right direction. For most, the onset of the disease is more gradual than was Beaumont’s, and earlier stages can be harder to detect. Alzheimer’s disease is the silent killer that has, over the years, crept into and greatly impacted the lives of both its victims and their families. It kills more than breast and prostate cancers combined, making it the sixth leading cause of death nationwide. A rising risk with age One of the greatest mysteries associated with Alzheimer’s has been why the risk rises so dramatically with aging. Of the estimated 5.5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2017, an estimated 5.3 million are age 65 and older, and approximately 200,000 individuals are under age 65 and have younger-onset Alzheimer’s. One person in 10, aged 65 or older, has the disease and someone is said to be developing the disease every 66 seconds. The likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s doubles about every five years after age 65. After age 85, the risk reaches nearly 50 percent. The number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease may more than triple by 2050, from 5 million to a projected 16 million, barring the development of medical 20 West Georgia Living March/April 2018

breakthroughs to prevent, slow or stop the disease. As Alzheimer’s progresses, brain cells die and connections among cells are lost, causing cognitive symptoms to worsen. While current medications cannot stop the cell damage, they may help lessen or stabilize symptoms for a limited time by affecting certain chemicals involved in carrying messages among the brain’s nerve cells. FDA-approved drugs temporarily slow worsening of symptoms for about six to 12 months, on average, for about half of the individuals who take them. And in some cases, doctors are becoming more cautious with existing medications due to the potential side effects associated with their use. But even that sort of limited progress is nowhere near a cure. The local impact The Alzheimer’s Association, the nation’s leading voluntary health organization for Alzheimer’s care and research, says that some 130,000 Georgians were living with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016, most between the ages of 75-84. The organization forecasts that number will grow to 190,000 by 2025.

A 2015 report from the Georgia Department of Public Health, which examined data on Medicare beneficiaries throughout the state, found that Carroll and Douglas counties had an Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia rate of less than 6.4 percent — statistically similar to the rest of metro Atlanta. Haralson County’s rate was slightly higher, falling in the 6.4 percent to 6.9 percent range. Southcentral Georgia — running from Ben Hill County to Bulloch County and south to the Florida line — had the highest prevalence in Georgia, from 7 percent to 7.5 percent. Joseph Jellicorse, MD, a board-certified family practice physician with Primary Care Group of West Georgia in Carrollton and a member of the medical staff at Tanner Health System, said that early detection has been increasingly found to be beneficial for treating Alzheimer’s disease. “Like so many other diseases, early diagnosis lets us get out in front of the disease’s progression,” he said. “There are treatments available now that we didn’t have five, 10 or 15 years ago. While these treatments don’t necessarily change the course of Alzheimer’s disease, they can help with the disease’s cognitive and behavioral symptoms.” Jellicorse, who frequently provides primary care services for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, said another benefit with early detection is helping families prepare. “Early diagnosis lets loved ones put together the social connections they’re going to need to become caregivers,” said Jellicorse. “It gives them time to learn about the disease’s progression, and it allows the patient to make decisions and plan for his or her long-

term care while he or she is able. That can be invaluable for families.” Early warning The Alzheimer’s Association offers 10 early signs of the disease: Memory loss that disrupts daily life; challenges in planning or solving problems; difficulty completing familiar tasks; confusion with time or place; trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships; problems with words in speaking or writing; misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps; decreased or poor judgment; withdrawal from work or social activities; and changes in mood and personality. “Anyone who thinks they may be experiencing these symptoms — or who has witnessed these symptoms in a loved one — needs to speak up to a medical professional,” said Jellicorse. “That gives us a chance to evaluate the individual and possibly get a handle on his or her condition earlier in the disease’s process.” In 2016, 15.4 million caregivers provided more than 18.2 billion hours of unpaid care valued at $230 billion. Medicaid costs of

caring for people with Alzheimer’s in Georgia for 2017 was at $1.04 billion. Healthcare costs projections associated with the disease by mid-century are staggering and estimated to be north of $1 trillion. Currently one in three seniors die with Alzheimer’s disease, and while that number has been on the rise since 2000, deaths from other diseases have declined, but among the top 10 diseases, Alzheimer’s is the only one that cannot be prevented, cured, or slowed. Hope for the future Carroll County’s death rate annually from Alzheimer’s over the last 10 years is at about 40, ranking it 5th in causes of death, and Haralson is at 53 and ranked 4th. According to the census tract, the disease was the cause of 5.6 percent of all deaths in Haralson County through the period of 2012-16. In Douglas over the same 10-year period, deaths annually attributed to Alzheimer’s was at 34, mirroring the national ranking of 6th leading cause. One goal in recent years as research advanced a biomarker-based method for

diagnosis and treatment, including those detectable in the blood or cerebral spinal fluid, or through neuroimaging at the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease, is a future envisioned in which Alzheimer’s disease is placed in the same category as other chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes, which can be readily identified with biomarkers and treated before irrevocable disability occurs. Had this kind of medical assistance been available to patients in 1965, then perhaps the tragic decline like that of Charles Beaumont could have been avoided. If diagnosed, it’s important to reach out to others in the community who are similarly impacted by the disease. For instance, the Alzheimer’s Group of Carroll County Inc., which was established in 1987, features an active Facebook page. The Alzheimer’s Association also lists support groups that meet regularly at The Oaks of Carrollton and the Woodie Fite Senior Center in Douglasville. A complete statewide listing is available online from . WGL


West Georgia Living March/April 2018 21




PLUS 10 iPads to GIVE to the school or nonproďŹ t of your choice. Visit 820 Dixie Street, Carrollton, GA, or call 800.763.4444 for Details. Actual gifts not displayed. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit for more info.




When the body fights against itself

ach year, millions of Americans come down with the common cold or some type of infection. With or without medication, the immune system normally kicks in to ward off whatever virus or condition affecting their body. However, six percent of the American population suffers with a hidden disease, one that not only comprises their ability to fight common illnesses, but which causes their immune system to treat their whole body as a disease. This condition, in which the body attacks itself, is a spectrum of conditions known as Autoimmune Diseases. In these people, their immune system attacks their healthy cells by mistake. Autoimmune diseases are also very likely hereditary and can occur in many different forms, affecting almost any part of the body. Some autoimmune diseases have more obvious symptoms than others, but make no mistake – the diseases can be life altering. Over 50 million Americans suffer from an autoimmune disease and 75 percent of these 50 million are women, according to the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association. While there is no definite answer as to why women are more affected, scientists do have theories. For most autoimmune diseases, there is no known cause and no


known cure. Treatments and therapies are available to help the body cope with being attacked by itself, but for some these treatments are less effective than they might be for others. In fact, in the world of medicine, specific types of venom and poisons from plants and animals are being tested to try and act as an immunosuppressant. It’s fascinating that something that could kill other living things could help others in small doses.

First-hand experience In 2001, my mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that attacks the coating of the nerves, which is called myelin. Think of an electrical cord. An insulating material keeps the wires inside from being exposed. Likewise, our nerves are insulated by myelin. But when a person’s immune system attacks the myelin, it causes spots or lesions on the brain and spinal cord. These spots, visible in MRI scans, can cause numbness, loss of vision, or trouble with general body movements. Many autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis, can cause a retinal deterioration disease. If the retina attached LAUREN BRIDGES to the eye is JESSICA GALLAGHER torn, or becomes West Georgia Living March/April 2018 23

Duane Theobald

detached, it can often be repaired. But there is not much that can be done with a deteriorating retina. Growing up with my mother and her disease, I had a first-hand account of how this specific disease affects everyday life. Multiple sclerosis is a relapsing-remitting disease, meaning just as a patient with cancer can enter a period in which the disease is less active, so can autoimmune diseases. Because the immune system attacks the body, it also has trouble fighting off normal infections. Many people, including my mother, struggle to fight off common – and for most people easily managed – conditions such as upper respiratory infections. So, not only do they have to live with and deal with their disease, but they also have 24 West Georgia Living March/April 2018

Brandy Chambless

to endure common sicknesses that other people may be able to more easily fight off. Autoimmune diseases are a wide spectrum of conditions. Many of these, like multiple sclerosis, are familiar, even if most people are not aware they are autoimmune related. Other conditions are even less known to the public as autoimmune diseases. For example, conditions such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, lupus, narcolepsy, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes are more common than multiple sclerosis, which, like Common Variable Immunodeficiency and Sjogren’s Syndrome, are more obscure. There are over 100 different types of autoimmune diseases.

Struggling with common infections

Common Variable Immunodeficiency also causes people to struggle with infections. My stepmother, Kim Williams, was diagnosed with this disease, which causes her body to create disabled white blood cells. This autoimmune disease, closely related to Primary Immunodeficiency, causes a person to get sick much easier. As Kimberly describes it, “I get sick much easier and when I do catch something, it’s a lot more serious. If it’s an infection, it usually takes two to three doses of antibiotics to get rid of it. The fear is that I will get resistant to antibiotics. That’s why they do the IgG (immunoglobulin) infusions, to at least

Over 50 million Americans suffer from an autoimmune disease and 75 percent of these 50 million are women, according to the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association. give me the immune system that a normal person has.” Kimberly has these infusions once a month, and they help compensate for the lack of immunity her body offers her. Because it takes on average four to six years to discover and diagnose an autoimmune disease, people that are suffering with it may not even know they have it. “It’s very hard to find out that I had it for two years before they could figure out what it was,” Kim said. “I had sinus infections time after time, with only one or two weeks between illnesses. They put me on antibiotics for six months. Once off the antibiotics, I had an infection within three weeks. That’s when they tested for the disease.” Common Variable Immunodeficiency may not be very prevalent, but there is a more common disease, that may have more telling signs.

Rheumatoid arthritis

When most people hear the word “arthritis,” they associate it with an older population; people whose joints have grown tired and worn over the years. But rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease; one that can affect anyone. I work at the University of West Georgia in the English department, I have gotten to know two very special people who suffer with this disease, Duane Theobald and Brandy Chambless.

Duane is the coordinator for the University Writing Center; Brandy is a professor and also my teaching mentor. Both suffer with rheumatoid arthritis, which despite the public conception, can strike men and women of any age, even young adults. Many people do not have much knowledge on rheumatoid arthritis outside of general informercials on television. Duane can give a detailed description of not only how rheumatoid arthritis works, but how it affects his everyday life.

but which also causes his body to become very tired and weak. Because he takes the medication once a week, he must carefully plan the dose so that his medications will not interfere as much with work or family time. Although these diseases are invasive and possible detrimental to the body, those diagnosed with them have devised many different ways to get help and learn to cope. It is, after all, a condition that changes a person’s lifestyle.

“It was right before our daughter was born that I was diagnosed,” he said. “I had severe joint pain and swelling, I would almost pass out, but after talking to people about it, I went to the doctor to figure out what was going on.

“Remind yourself you can’t constantly do everything you want to do,” Duane said. “You have to slow things down a little and give yourself time to do things” including acceptance, coping and treatments.

“I have regular fatigue. Most of my joint pain is in my knees, making walking or climbing stairs hard. I have joint pain in my hips which pop regularly. My hands are the worst right now. I have a hard time writing; typing sometimes is hard too. I can hardly shake hands, I have a hard time picking up my kid sometimes, and she’s three. Hugs and playing are hard sometimes and when the pain is at its worst, I use a cane.”

Finding ways to cope Because of this life-altering disease, many people are put on medications that can help to relieve some symptoms. But that help can come at a cost. Duane is currently taking Methotrexate, which helps him manage his condition,

Cell: 770-301-9154 | Office : 770-834-3000 Paula Waters Fax: 770-830-8415 | 1000 Bankhead Hwy • Carrollton, GA 30117 Realtor


There are many people in the world who know something about autoimmune diseases from a personal experience with a friend or loved one. They are sympathetic to how these conditions affect those lives, and their own relationships with them. We could all be more educated about autoimmune diseases because they are more widespread, and affect more people than many might imagine. Do not be afraid to talk to your doctors and ask questions; even if you or a loved one are not suffering, you can still ask your doctors about information. If you do know someone affected by an autoimmune disease, listen to them and support them. This may not be easy, but it does become a little easier with education, understanding and support. WGL

821 Dixie Street, Carrollton, GA 30117

770-832-7076 Gifts • Drive thru Service • Free Delivery West Georgia Living March/April 2018 25

Red Road Construction & Remodeling, LLC 404-245-2061 •

ADAM ALVORD 415 B BRADLEY ST. CARROLLTON , GA 30117 (678)476-4974


Insured We offer Free Estimates

We are a full service construction & remodeling company for your home or business doing quality work. We would welcome an opportunity to exceed all your expectations!

Hightower Funeral Home 318 Gordon St. Bremen, Ga 30110 770-537-2375 Martin & Hightower Heritage Chapel 1312 South Park St. Carrollton, Ga 30117 770-836-1466 Hightower’s Memorial Chapel 7034 Broad Street Douglasville, Ga 30134 770-489-2818

w w w. h i g ht o w e r f a m i l y f u ne r a l home s . c om

Say YES to Tuxedo Savings with Shot Spot. Shop our ultimate tuxedo looks today.

970 Hays Mill Rd. Carrollton, Georgia 30117 678-664-0610 26 West Georgia Living March/April 2018

West Georgia has resources to


hen most people think of terms like “wellness” and “health care,” they think of surgeons and medicine bottles, or maybe a weight loss program, or a plan to deal with diabetes. But mental health care is just as important as caring for your physical health. In fact, it can be even more important, because decisions and habits contribute greatly to physical health factors. “I don’t think behavioral health care is different from physical health care,” said Dr. John Miller, a psychiatrist with Behavioral Health of West Georgia, part of Willowbrooke at Tanner. “Our physical wellbeing depends on our 28 West Georgia Living March/April 2018

behavioral wellness — our mental wellness drives our ability to take care of ourselves and our loved ones. We need to be mentally well to make good decisions and build healthy habits. Caring for the mind as well as the body is essential to providing care for the whole person.” Despite this, Miller said there continues to be a stigma surrounding mental health; a stereotype that people who need such treatment are weak or defective. There are about 450 million people living with a diagnosable mental or behavioral disorder, according to Miller, and effective,


clinically-based treatment can help them live healthy, productive lives. One issue that has seen growing public awareness is the problem of widespread substance abuse and addiction. Miller added that it can be difficult to fit treatment into a busy work schedule, even though working professionals are no less susceptible to addiction than anyone else. His advice is simple — if you or someone you know needs help, get it. The first step in getting help is usually asking for it. Willowbrooke at Tanner provides inpatient and outpatient behavioral health services addressing illnesses including major depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress

help those with mental illness disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), schizophrenia, impulse control disorders, substance abuse, dual diagnosis (behavioral and substance abuse problems), psychosomatic disorders and chronic pain syndrome. Willowbrook provides about 1,600 behavioral health assessments each month, or about 19,000 each year. Tanner also works with young students at 24 local schools in five districts, and plans to expand the program this year. This is especially important, because treatment is almost always more effective when health problems are diagnosed early. That’s true for both physical health and mental health. According to Tanner officials, the program has lowered local rates of teen suicidal thoughts and gestures and disciplinary referrals decrease, while grades and school attendance have improved. In Douglas County, WellStar Health System also offers services for mental health, with 24-hour medical care for people struggling from severe depression and other mental illnesses. WellStar’s Behavioral Health Resource Team responds to psychiatric emergencies in all four WellStar Emergency Departments, including one located in Douglasville. Licensed mental health professionals complete in-person behavior assessments and operate a 24-hour call center. Therapists assist with providing referral information and discuss potential treatment options with patients and their family members. Expanding mental health courts In recent years, local governments have begun stepping up their efforts to address mental health issues as well. In Carroll County, Judge Betty Ca-

son works with citizens with mental health issues. As a probate court judge, she has the power under certain circumstances to order involuntary treatment of persons proved to be suffering from mental illness or drug or alcohol addiction, according to the county’s official website. When certain provisions are met, Cason can also order apprehension by the sheriff’s office, and have the person delivered to a hospital for evaluation. Unfortunately, she said the system does not always work as well as it should. “When someone is mentally ill and doesn’t know it, if they’re given medications and told to attend a mental health facility that is not going to work,” she said. “First of all, it takes between 15 and 30 days for any psychotic medications to get into someone’s system in order to be effective. If someone is in crisis or angry, or may be schizophrenic or hearing voices, medications may not help.”

Dr. John Miller

Many mental health patients end up spending time at the local jail. Carroll County has started a mental health court, though it can only serve about 25 people out of the 400 residents Cason estimates suffer from behavioral issues. A mental health court has also been launched in Haralson County, with Jim Winchester hired as first coordinator of the Tallapoosa Judicial Circuit Accountability and Resource Court in 2016. The court’s purpose is to prevent offenders from entering prison and steer them instead toward community-based support and treatment, with a team made up of mental health providers, judicial, probation and law enforcement professionals. “Many people who get arrested would not have committed a crime if they hadn’t had mental health issues,” said Cason. “What the court is trying to do is get those people help rather than having them continue to commit crimes and end up in jail. The mental health court aims to get them assessed and get the treatment they need to become productive.” She added that there is a lot of misunderstanding around mental illness, as people don’t realize it’s a real sickness in the same way that diabetes or cancer are sicknesses. Patients cannot get better on their own. Cason sees people from all walks of life, including University of West Georgia students. Some cases include people who are paranoid or who have irrational beliefs or impulses. . The key is to do what it takes to see improvement. “Our goal is to give families some relief and to have patients functioning on their own,” Cason said. WGL March/April 2018 West Georgia Living 29

Ralph E. Fleck M.D. General Orthopaedics

Jubal R. Watts M.D. General Orthopaedics

Gregory S. Slappey M.D. Sports Medicine Joint Replacement

Brad G. Prybis M.D.

Spine Disk Replacement

Anthony W. Colpini M.D. General Orthopaedics Arthroscopic Surgery Joint Replacement

E. Franklin Pence M.D. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation



Kevin M. Charron M.D.

Sports Medicine Shoulder Arthroplasty

Taylor B. Cates M.D.

Sports Medicine General Orthopaedics

Dr. Ki Lin M.D. Spine

Shomari A. Ruffin M.D. Sports Medicine

Bryan Kirby M.D.

Pain Management




GENERAL ORTHOPAEDICS SPINE SURGERY • MRI Carrollton Orthopaedic Clinic 150 Clinic Ave, Ste 101 Carrollton, GA 30117 770-834-0873

Villa Rica Orthopaedics An Affiliate with Carrollton Orthopaedic Clinic

705 Dallas Highway, Ste. 301 770-834-0873


An Affiliate of Carrollton Orthopaedic Clinic

204 Allen Memorial Drive, Ste. 102 Bremen, Ga 30110 770-834-0873

Carrollton Orthopaedic Clinic Spine & MRI Center

An Affiliate with Carrollton Orthopaedic Clinic

812 South Park St., Ste. 3 Carrollton, Ga 30117 770-834-0873

Exercising on the


West Georgia Living March/April 2018 31

It’s not just about looks though. Ok, it’s mostly about looks. But there are health benefits associated with being fit that I wouldn’t mind recapturing – more energy, improved sleep, and lower blood pressure to name a few.

Mimi Gentry


’ve always been relatively physically fit, but over the years, time and french fries have taken their toll. Once upon a time, my figure might have been compared to the Venus di Milo, but now I’m starting to lean more toward the Venus of Willendorf. Pay attention, kiddies. Gravity is real. It’s not just about looks though. Ok, it’s mostly about looks. But there are health benefits associated with being fit that I wouldn’t mind recapturing – more energy, improved sleep, and lower blood pressure to name a few. So, it’s time to face facts, bite the bullet and get myself in better shape. “It’s easy,” you say. “Just join a gym or take a class”, you say. But I’m thrifty (meaning I don’t like to spend money), so I needed to figure out how to exercise on the cheap. I came up with a system and I call it, “The Cheapskate’s no-low-cost Exercise Plan.” THE GEAR: I have, for the first time, bought exercise wear. You’d think, that after parading around Japan and parts otherwise in my underwear, I’d not care much about somebody seeing me coming out of a dressing room in exercise wear. But I’ve got to admit, I felt peculiar about it. At first, when I saw people wearing activewear out in public, I thought it was a little 32 West Georgia Living March/April 2018

scandalous, walkers and joggers exposing their limbs to the elements. But as the seasons wore on, and people of all ages started wearing it for jaunts on Carrollton’s GreenBelt, I grew accustomed to seeing it. Finally, I thought, “If the ‘Glam-mas’ can get away with it (that’s glamour and grandmother combined) I can too.” Let me warn you. Exercise wear is not cheap. In fact, the first time I picked up a pair of such pants, the price tag made me put them back down. That’s when I moved my shopping expedition to the Goodwill. I know the thought of this brings discomfort to a few of my favorite germaphobes– I assure you, I wash the garments in hot water, so it’s no different than using a hotel towel. At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself. Now, I’ve since become quite the fan of active wear but I must say, you don’t need a pair of fancy pants to get it into a fitness program. Just wear something comfortable – sweats, overalls, whatever you’ve got. And get creative. I wanted to get a yoga headband. At the local big box, discount retailer, they were asking $11 for one. So I just made one myself. I got a pair of men’s sweats and cut off the bottoms (I had to hem them anyway). Abracadabra – two yoga headbands, for free. Sweat bands? Cut the feet out of a pair of cotton socks that you don’t wear

anymore. For cold weather exercise, add hole thumbs on the sides. Your hands will stay dry and warm (not to mention being stylish) for free. Concerning footwear, I know that older feet need support, but it sure is hard to let go of a $150 for a pair of sneakers. So, I often wear hand-me-downs. My sister is a cake and pastry decorator and stands on concrete all day. It wears out her sneakers fast, so she can’t keep them long. Lucky me – I get her mostly like-new sneakers. For those of you who don’t have a cake-decorating sister with your same foot size, wear what you have: boots, moccasins, or deck shoes. The type of footwear doesn’t matter; so long as it gets your feet moving. There’s no need to wait for fancy sneakers. THE MEMBERSHIP: Health club memberships have many benefits. Exercising in a climate-controlled environment (no ice, rain, or humidity) has great appeal. Also, club membership adds accountability (like Santa, your trainer knows if you’ve been bad or good). So, I totally understand why “gym people” are gym people. But I like my exercise environments un-climate-controlled and non-supervised, not to mention free-of-charge. So, instead of a membership at a club I prefer a membership at the GreenBelt.

If you’ve been living in a cave for the past couple years, let me tell you about the wonder that is our GreenBelt. It is the largest paved loop trail system in the state of Georgia – 16-miles of concrete track that connects existing neighborhoods with the city school campus, the University of West Georgia, city parks, and several commercial shopping areas. Around west Georgia, you’ll find other walking options that include McIntosh Reserve Park, UWG, John Tanner Park and Sweetwater Creek State Park. If you’re in the mood for a drive east into Alabama, Cheaha State park in the Talladega National Forest (Alabama) has great trails. Bikes are another low-cost exercise option, once you make an initial investment. Not for me, because I have the balance of a one-legged kangaroo. But for anyone who enjoys biking, it offers a high-calorie and low wallet burn. The folks at Perpetual Bikes in Carrollton told me their bike shop sells some refurbished bikes that offer a considerable cost savings over retail (sometimes as much as 40%). Perpetual Motion also rent bikes for the day. But maybe the most economical way to enjoy biking in west Georgia was to rent a Zagster Bike on the GreenBelt. You can rent a bike for $3 an hour (the cost of a milk shake), or it’s pretty easy to join the Zagster Bike Share (only 25 bucks a year). A rider can pick up and return the bike at any Zagster station. Invest in a good helmet, though. That beautiful brain should be preserved at all costs.

When I started researching my Cheapskate’s no-low-cost Exercise Plan, I turned to the experts on Facebook and found inexpensive or free classes all over the place – cross training, zumba, yoga, even bellydancing. These classes are happening at surprising places like local libraries, churches and Tanner Health System. Here are some recommendations that my friends shared: • “Nice and Easy” for seniors at the Bonner Building in Carrollton, M-W-F. • Free stretching and toning class at Tanner, M-W from 7:40- 8:20. • Paddle a canoe/kayak in Lake Carroll or at Sweetwater Creek State Park. • Zumba class at Tabernacle Baptist. • Free yoga at the Mount Zion Senior Center, Tues-W, 10 AM. • Free Yoga at the Neva Lomason Library Tuesday, 6PM. Also, somebody reminded me that Netflix has workout videos that you can stream on your computer, so you don’t even have to leave your house. Long story short, there are tons of free (and almost free) exercise-class options in the west Georgia area. My favorite suggestion? “Increase your water intake.

It’s free out of every tap in the US of A.” THE BURN: If you really want to get in shape, you need to add some resistance to your cardiac workout. Using weights is a great way to achieve maximum burn and the Cheapskate’s no-low-cost Exercise Plan has everything you need. Watch yard sales for weights (More people buy them than use them, so there’s always a surplus). I personally walk with two aluminum baseball bats that give me a great arm workout (also discourages strays). I do lots of reps, above my head, behind my back, out to the side (this one gets complicated on the GreenBelt, because you might “clothesline” a cyclist). I use a gallon jug of water for kettle bells, and quart-sized orange juice bottles for dumb bells. Our home is filled with workout options. I wouldn’t, however, recommend trying to do pull-ups on a shower rod (that’s another story for another day). When I step back and look at all the free and almost free exercise options that are available in west Georgia, I’ve come to the sad realization:- I can’t use being a cheap-skate as an excuse anymore. When it comes to staying fit in West Georgia, money truly is no object, and it’s time to get fit! WGL West Georgia Living March/April 2018 33


From high school dual enrollment to associate degrees that transfer directly to UWG, ďŹ nd out how WGTC can prepare you for a meaningful career doing what you love.

855.887.9482 |


CERTIFIED Electrical Contractors with Straight-Forward Pricing! 770.489.0001 Office 770.489.0001 770.489.2244 770.489.224 44 Fax gandhelectric ca

“Christ is all and in all”






NOW HIRING experienced electricians. Benefits offered. Drug & alcohol free work place.







FACTS about



ood shopping for most Americans means a trip to a big-name supermarket. There, in row upon row, are stacked colorful boxes and containers of food products that promise to be tasty as well as convenient.

But there is a large segment of consumers who aren’t content with manufactured products. There is a growing market for foodstuffs that are made less by machine and more with care for nutrition and wholesomeness. And within this segment of health-conscious food buyers are those who go further. They oppose eating meat for a variety of ethical, moral and health concerns. Vegetarians and vegans were once very rare in our country, since they seemed to set themselves apart from the carnivore culture. Now, those who reject meat are just another segment of consumers concerned with a healthy diet. There are many myths and stereotypes about the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle. One prevailing concern is that they cannot obtain all the proteins and amino acids that are necessary; that these essential substances can only be obtained through eating meat.

mins, fiber and “a little bit of fat.” By combining different plant sources of protein, anyone can obtain all the protein they need – as well as other nutrients such as iron, vitamin D and even calcium and zinc. What’s more, a much wider array of plantbased foodstuffs is increasingly available, even in major supermarket chains, which means that anyone exploring a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle can have an incredibly rich and varied diet, with dishes that explode with flavor. Food basics As you probably know, both vegans and vegetarians are non-meat eaters, but while vegans exclusively abstain from all animal food products, there are several shades of vegetarianism. Most vegetarians will consume milk and eggs, but some will eat either dairy or eggs, or fish and other seafood without any other animal-based food. Those vegetarians who do consume eggs or dairy, or both, have an easier time in getting their proteins and essential nutrients, Rivet said. But there are plenty of sources of proteins that more than make up for the absence of any animal-based food.

But that’s wrong, according to Cindy Rivet, a registered dietician and nutritionist who works as a health coach with the Tanner To have a proper, nutritious diet, you must Health System in Carrollton. have sources of certain essential nutriShe said that plants can supply 100 percent ents: iron, calcium, protein, vitamin D, of all the things that vitamin B12 and zinc. make up a balanced STORY BY KEN DENNEY meal – and that inProtein is the fuel PHOTOS BY JESSICA GALLAGHER cludes protein, vitathat drives the body, 36 West Georgia Living March/April 2018

but protein itself is made up of amino acids, which make up our cells, muscle and tissue. They also transport and store the nutrients our bodies need and are essential for healing wounds, repairing tissue and removing the waste products our cells produce. Half of the 20 amino acids our bodies need can be broken down by the cells and reassembled into other amino acids, but there are eight essential amino acids that can’t be produced this way. They can only come from the food we eat. By combining certain food groups, vegans and vegetarians can get complete proteins that provide these essential amino acids. Plant-based and protein-rich combinations include: •Peanut butter on wholewheat bread and a banana • Red beans and brown rice • Peanut butter and oatmeal with some berries • Whole-grain cereal with soy milk • Brown rice and black bean burritos Finding those alternates Rivet said that one mistake many people make when they begin a vegetarian or vegan diet is not making sure they are getting all the nutrients they need. But she said that with a little homework, alternate sources of vitamins and minerals can be found. Iron-fortified breakfast cereals is one way to ensure you are getting that mineral; also chickpeas, lentils and baked beans. Eating these along with food sources high in vitamin C, like citrus fruits, juices and tomatoes, will help your body absorb the iron more efficiently. Fortified soy milk and green leafy vegetables are alternate sources of calcium, while beans, nuts, tofu and grains are also sources of protein. But if you are just starting out and don’t yet know all the different sources of food, there is one off-the-shelf solution to getting all your essential vitamins at once. “Taking a multivitamin would be a good choice if you are kind of new and don’t know how to do it,” Rivet said. “That would probably be the best catchall to start with.” There can be severe consequences for new

Cooper’s Tofu and Kale Bowl Interested in trying out a vegetarian dish? Here’s an easy one, and a favorite of the husband of our own on-staff vegetarian. Cooper’s Tofu and Kale Bowl 1 bunch kale Vegetable oil 2 cloves garlic 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 teaspoon sesame oil 1 tablespoon sesame seeds One block firm tofu, about 14 ounces 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 tablespoon brown sugar 4 cups cooked brown rice One lime 1 bunch cilantro To start, begin to cook your rice, either in a rice cooker or on the stove. Next, prepare the tofu by pressing it for 30 minutes (you can use heavy books wrapped in aluminum foil). As the tofu is pressed, remove the stems from the kale. Chop the kale and then rinse in a colander with cold water. Allow kale to drain. Mince two cloves of garlic, and then add it to a large pan along with one tablespoon of vegetable oil. Sauté garlic on medium heat until it begins to brown slightly. Next, throw in the kale and stir until it is wilted. Now add the soy sauce, sesame oil, and sesame seeds. In a bowl, make the tofu sauce by mixing the chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Once the tofu is finished being pressed, cut it into small cubes or rectangles.

In a skillet, add one tablespoon of vegetable oil and over medium heat, add the tofu pieces. Fry until all sides are golden. When finished, turn off the heat and stir in the chili garlic sauce and toss. Prepare each bowl with rice, sesame kale and tofu. Slice limes and ad wedge to each bowl. Garnish with cilantro. Here’s an easy dish recommended by The Vegetarian Society ( ). Simple Thai Stir Fry 350g Quorn ™ pieces or marinated tofu pieces 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 500g bag of mixed ready-prepared stir fry vegetables 400ml coconut milk 1 teaspoon nori flakes 1 lime, juice and zest 2 tablespoons soya sauce 1 teaspoon brown sugar 1 Tablespoon Thai 7-spice mix 250g ready to wok noodles Salt and pepper, to taste A small bunch fresh coriander, chopped Gently fry the Quorn ™ or tofu in the oil for five minutes, then add the bag of vegetables. Continue to cook for two minutes. Add the coconut milk, nori flakes, lime juice, soya sauce, sugar and Thai 7-spice mix. Reserve the lime zest for the end. Add the noodles and cook for a few minutes to heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and then decorate with lots of fresh chopped coriander and the lime zest. WGL West Georgia Living March/April 2018 37

vegans and vegetarians who do not get the right balance of these nutrients.

that animal-based food can be loaded with fat, few consider that plants can also be very calorically dense.

“Anemia is number one,” she said. “So you will probably feel very tired, very sluggish, foggy. Your attention’s not quite there.”

“So, if they are eating an avocado at breakfast, which is 360 calories for just that avocado, plus two slices of whole grain toast and two boiled eggs to make avocado egg toast, that’s at least 600 calories right there. So, it adds up very quickly.”

Anemia can result if the plant-based diet isn’t supplying the required amounts of vitamin B12 and iron. Supplementary vitamins can make up that absence, but vitamins from pills aren’t absorbed as well by the body as are those obtained by food.

A lifestyle choice The general assumption is that vegetarianism and veganism produces a healthier diet, but that isn’t necessarily true. But diet is only one aspect of the lifestyle.

So, until the budding vegetarian learns the correct combination of foods that supply these needs, Rivet said that multivitamins are a good bridge.

Vegetarians and vegans alike make a choice of lifestyle that sets them apart from most of the populace. Sometimes this causes some cultural friction, because humans as a rule look suspiciously at people who stand outside the norm.

Another problem that many newbie vegetarians and vegans face is, paradoxically, eating too much. That’s right – if you aren’t careful, that diet that you may think is healthy can actually pack on the pounds.

But to the extent that vegetarians are choosing a healthier lifestyle, they are nowadays more of the norm than the exception. Even meat eaters are today making a conscious choice about the sources of their food, ensuring that animals are raised organically, without hormones and on grass-fed diets.

“What ends up happening is that people are so focused on quality food – which is not a bad thing – but with quality, sometimes we’re not paying attention to quantity. So, sometimes too much of a good thing is a bad thing.” People need a certain amount of fat in their diet, Rivet said. And while everyone knows

Those vegetarians who include animal-based

food products in their diet are likewise concerned with the sources of that food, choosing those from animals raised on local farms or by farmers who follow good and ethical practices. “It becomes a mind-body experience versus just the diet,” said Rivet. “That’s an interesting aspect of vegetarianism and veganism, because they’re starting to think past their plate.” “People are getting tired of taking medicine, so they’re trying to find what they can do at home. It’s expensive to be on medication and it’s not fun to have a disease. So, I think people are starting to get more engaged on what they can do.” For many, starting on a vegetarian or vegan diet is, at its core, a desire to enter into a healthier lifestyle. But food is only one component of that lifestyle. Along with being concerned on moral and ethical grounds with how we as a civilization relate to the animals we share the planet with, being a vegan or vegetarian involves embarking on a lifestyle of mindfulness; of being aware that we are all organisms sharing a common planetary environment. Diet, exercise, and taking care of their bodies are all things that vegetarians try to do, and, these traits are the same that more and more people share, even carnivores. WGL

Dreaming Up the Ideal Retirement Is Your Job. Helping You Get There Is Ours. To learn more about why Edward Jones makes sense for you, call or visit a financial advisor today.

Fred O’Neal, AAMS® Financial Advisor

410 College Street Carrollton, GA 30117 770-832-2141 Member SIPC

623 Dixie Street Carrollton, Georgia 770 834-3393 • Tim Oliver, RPH Personal, Fast Service • Free City-wide Delivery

We accept most insurance and Medicaid. Greeting Cards & Gifts | Tervis Tumblers Archipelago Skin Care Products Nora Fleming | Harvest Home Candles

38 West Georgia Living March/April 2018


When life hands you lemons ...


or a few years, I have heard and read about green tea and how it can do marvels for your health. I have wondered how much of the ‘hype’ is true – and I have also wondered about benefits of plain old black tea and orange pekoe? I drink buckets of the stuff! Now, I know if I stir in tons of white refined sugar all possible benefits are lost. So, I decided to investigate tea drinking and how beneficial it can truly be. I learned that I was already doing some relatively healthy tea drinking. I also learned that by making a few changes to what I put in my tea, what I eat with my tea, and when I drink my tea, I could increase and add to these benefits. In the Western world, we average four cups of tea a day. And if you have it with milk 40 West Georgia Living March/April 2018

(or a milk alternative), then you’re getting around 15% of your daily calcium intake. Add to that, potassium, zinc, manganese and a few B vitamins (2,6, and 12) and you’ve got between 5-20% of your RDA for these nutrients. The amounts vary depending on number of cups and if you take it with or without milk. If you are drinking this, you are on a healthy track. While that may not sound too impressive, for women it could be substantial. Getting enough of the above nutrients is essential for growth and to prevent bone loss and osteoporosis.


Calcium is important for healthy bones, but so is manganese as it helps with cartilage formation. Zinc and B12 are central to tissue repair and nerve health, while potassium is also good for regulating fluid in the body and to prevent arthritis and reduce inflammation. To further aid against arthritis and inflammation you can add gelatin, ginger root, turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne or black pepper, or cloves to hot teas. Drinking hot teas with fish containing Omega-6 fatty acids, nuts, or fresh fruits can decrease arthritic inflammation, as well. Tea is also chock-full of antioxidants. Antioxidants keep free radicals and cancercausing agents in check. Consuming drinks and foods that are rich in antioxidants can

Apple cider vinegar, raw honey, fresh lemons, ginger, chamomile, mint, peppermint, and dark chocolate are some of the many easily available ingredients that can be used with hot tea for tried and proven home remedies.

help fight heart disease, cancers and strokes.

an antioxidant too. Lemons are also a good source of folate, potassium, magnesium and thiamine. The combination of hot tea, honey, and lemon are not only soothing for colds and sore throats, it could also be a preventative combination to ward off sickness and strengthen the immune system.

Drinking tea sweetened with raw honey (preferably locally harvested) in combination with antioxidants from the tea can help fight inflammation, boost your immune system and help counter-balance your cholesterol. After eating ‘not so healthy’ food, this can be helpful in getting digestion and metabolism on track. The antioxidants found in tea are called flavonoids. You can also find them in wine, apples, onions, dark chocolate, mint, basil, and parsley. The tea plant has the highest number of flavonoids and counts for more than half the flavonoid consumption in tea-drinking Europe.

is best. Green tea has more of the so-called ‘simple antioxidants’ due to early picking, while black and orange tea gets more oxygen and so has more ‘complex’ antioxidants.

Yet, that doesn’t mean we can shun the fruits and vegetables. The number of flavonoids in your cup depends a lot on the quality of your tea — fresh loose leaf over tea bag

When life gives you metaphorical lemons, put the kettle on for tea and serve with a slice of actual lemons. Lemons are a rich source of vitamin C, and vitamin C acts as

As a digestive aid and to boost metabolism, it is best to drink hot tea two hours before or after a meal, and before bedtime with a light snack. Drinking hot tea during a meal inhibits the absorption of iron, calcium, and magnesium from foods. To boost metabolism first thing in the morning, a less warm drink made of apple cider vinegar, honey, and lemon could more beneficial. This combination lowers blood sugar, increases satiety, and improves digestion. Drinking a warm chamomile or lavender tea at bedtime also aids in digestion and can help one sleep more soundly. WGL West Georgia Living March/April 2018 41

ALTERNATIVE HEALING l a n o i t n e v n Unco healing methods channel natural energie s to treat a variety of ills

“I believe the base root of all illness is fear. I’ve read studies that the base reason for cancer is unexpressed anger. Homeopathic modalities are the answer to these diagnoses.”

— Julie Story

manager at Journeys to Health, LLC 42 West Georgia Living March/April 2018


cupuncture, ayurveda, reiki, crystals and massage.What used to be thought of as “hippie nonsense” has quickly become a way of life for some. Websites such as Goop and Vogue are putting methods such as these at the top of their health lists. All fall under the arc of alternative healing. With roots in India, Japan and other parts of the world, modern forms of alternative and homeopathic healing are quickly complementing – and sometimes replacing – conventional modern medicine. While finding doctors or masters who practice all of these regimes can be difficult outside of urban areas, Journeys to Health, LLC in Carrollton, has been offering expertise in alternative


and holistic health remedies and appointments in Carroll County for almost a decade. David Saundergald and Brian Eckman opened the store in late 2009. Julie Story joined the team six months after the business opened. Half of the business is a store, offering different healing modalities, different Indian herbs and spices, homeopathic remedies and other all natural food options. The other half is the healing side, where manager Julie Story offers reiki appointments, crystal chakra balancing and other alternative healing methods to the west Georgia area. “I believe the base root of all illness is fear,” Story said. “I’ve read studies that the base reason for cancer is unexpressed anger. Homeopathic modalities are the answer to these diagnoses.” She initially began as the reiki master and crystal chakra balancing instructor for Journeys

Tarot reading.

West Georgia Living March/April 2018 43

to Health. Since then, she has advanced into managing the healing part of the business. Unconventional treatments Story defines reiki as a “Japanese form of manipulating energy so the body can heal itself.” Historically the practice began in the early 20th century Japan and is currently classified as a “pseudoscience,” meaning there is no scientific evidence for proving the effectiveness of reiki; however, the trend of alternative healing and pseudosciences is not a dying fad. According to a 2008 study by the National Institute of Health, approximately 38% of adults in the United States are using some form of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), which they define as “a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine.”

ground. Story does this by hooking the client to a grounding wire. This wire is wrapped around their foot and transmits vibrational frequencies of the earth to the client. She then begins a guided meditation to lower the client’s body state. “Alpha state is the daily functioning state of the human body. My goal is to lower the patient’s state to beta, gamma, delta or the lowest state I can get them to. The lower the state and the brainwaves, the more relaxed and calm the body becomes.” Beta state is the general brain state of being actively awake, with brain waves ranging from 12-38 hertz. When the client has descended to a relaxed energy level of about delta, which is around 4 hertz, Story will hook the client up to a Chi machine.

Julie Story

Scheduling a reiki appointment starts with a reading, very similar to what Story just described. These readings can be energy readings, tarot card readings, angel card readings, or pendulum readings. An energy reading is most recommended to get to the source of the client’s affliction. “When someone enters the store, I can see or notice if they’re in pain. When I get close, I can pick up different characteristics; my hands get hot or cold and they kind of send messages to me as to what is wrong with the people coming inside. If they allow me to feel their body or energy with my hands, I can tell them where their pain is stemming from internally.” The appointment can continue with the other readings, allowing for the most in-depth evaluation of the client’s health issues. Story then begins to “ground” the client. Energy in balance Grounding is best defined as connecting the human body to the earth, analogous to an electrical 44 West Georgia Living March/April 2018

“Hundreds and thousands of energy meridians come off of each one of the chakras,” continues Story. “I also use acupressure to work on these meridians.” Acupressure is a form of auricular therapy, or therapy on the ears, that can help reduce panic attacks and increase calmness within the client. A client lies on a table and Story places crystals on his or her chakras to align the vibrations in his or her body. Each crystal or stone has vibrational frequency that she says heals, changes, fixes or affects parts of the human body Simultaneously, she wraps the grounding wire around the client’s foot to accomplish the same grounding method used in reiki appointments. The crystals may vary depending on each person’s waves. For those interested in practicing with crystals at home, Story recommends selenite as a beginning crystal because “it dispels negative energy, and it can clean any other crystals’ energy as well.”

“I can see energy,” says Story of her reiki abilities. “Actually, anybody can ‘see’ energy, but it takes a trained eye to look for it.” Story says she was born with the ability to see into the spirit realm, a trait she says her mother and sisters also inherited. “Reiki provides the hollow bone that allows an energy source to pour through (the master) into the patient.”

“Chakra balancing is based off the energy meridians in the body,” explains Story. “There are seven major meridians in the body, based off the chakras.” The seven chakras are: crown, third eye, throat, heart, solar plexus, sacrum and base (or root).

Body, mind spirit Story is a firm believer in her methods and many other forms of alternative healing. She has noticed an upward trend in their use. “Energy that each person has within them resides just around the navel area and protrudes from there; we call that the ‘prana’ or ‘chi.’ When someone is hooked up to the chi machine, it helps align their spine, and the music played during this time balances the right and left sides of the brain.” This process takes about 12 minutes with the goal of the client’s chi expanding outside of his or her body, allowing stimulation of the lymphatic system, allowing temporary relief for muscle and joint pain and an enhanced meditational experience. Crystal power Journeys to Healthy offers crystal chakra balancing, another alternative healing option provided by Story.

“It’s because it works! The homeopathic remedy side of medicine is a growing trend because people are realizing these methods are working. So many people have never heard of reiki, but my goal is to grow its popularity.” Story not only practices all these methods on clients, but she also teaches classes, so that others can become reiki masters, including classes on karuna reiki, Tibetan reiki and Shamballa healing, as well as crystal classes. “Once you’re taught how to use the methods confidently, you can feel, see and push out the energy for the next person. For me, I have to do reiki on myself everyday just to be able to leave my bed in the morning. These methods are all in your attitude. It’s body, mind and spirit - healing yourself mentally, physically and emotionally.“ WGL




Across the Border Vegetable Salad and Seared Tuna pair well with brews by Printer’s Ale in Carrollton.


t’s said that nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. That may be true, but it’s possible to eat well while working on your physique. This time, we’d like to present a couple of recipes that hit the ever-elusive trifecta of satisfying, tasty, and healthy. In addition to these awesome recipes, we’re also providing two great beer pairings from west Georgia’s own brewery, Printer’s Ale. To start, we have a beautiful Across the Border Vegetable Salad with a lime and cumin dressing. The variety of veggies pack the dish with flavor, protein, and color. You’ll be surprised that something this healthy can taste this great! For the entree, we have seared tuna tacos with a jalapeno pineapple slaw. We love the combination of the spicy peppers and sweet 46 West Georgia Living March/April 2018

fruit, paired with the meaty and protein rich tuna. Between the colorful salad and bright flavors of the fish tacos, you’ll be yanked away from the stress of everyday life to a white sand beach with a cold brew in hand. And why not make that a local brew? Located just off Columbia Drive in Carrollton, Printer’s Ale has been making locally made craft beer since last April. This fall, laws regulating brewery taprooms across the state changed, so now makers like Printer’s Ale can serve some of their brews directly to customers. We made the trip over to Printer’s Ale Manufacturing Company to talk with Dylan, the taproom manager, about their offerings. Printer’s Ale consistently offers four beers in their Everyday line: Black (a rich and robust

porter); Cyan (a tropical and citrus India pale ale); Magenta (a flavorful, mediumbodied amber ale); and Yellow (a light and refreshing golden ale). In keeping with the printing theme, the colors chosen are the four colors used in the printing process. In addition to their Everyday line, Printer’s Ale offers a wide variety of other beers, including their Makeready Cryo Citra, Copperplate Juniper Saison, and Kiss Cut Belgian Quad. Keep in mind that that many of their brews are rotated regularly (often as frequently as every week), so if you find one that you like, be sure to pick up a growler’s worth! Printer’s Ale is open Thursday and Friday from 5 - 9 PM; Saturday from 1 - 9 PM, and Sunday from 1 - 6 PM. These recipes almost beg to be washed down with a cold brew and we’ve got two recommendations for pairing. First up is

Printer’s Everyday Yellow. The light golden ale is super flavorful but doesn’t overwhelm the complex flavors of these dishes. The Yellow is also a great, safer choice for someone who perhaps is unfamiliar with the more exotic offerings of craft beer.

ommend you let the dish sit for a couple hours or overnight, stirring periodically. As the salad sits, the veggies soak up more and more of the dressing making every bite even more intense.

Our personal recommendation for a pairing with these dishes is the Makeready Cryo Citra. This beer is a session IPA (India pale ale) brewed with oats and absolutely filled with citrus flavor and aromas. It features Cryo Citra hops which are cryogenically concentrated to provide a bigger punch. A lot of people aren’t big fans of IPA’s, but the Makeready is a special breed. It’s very light on the bitter flavors but the citrus and hop flavors are right out front. Now onto the recipes!

For the dressing:

Across the Border Vegetable salad For the Dressing: 4 tablespoons of olive oil 4 tablespoons of white wine vinegar 1 teaspoon of ground cumin 2 cloves of minced garlic ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper ½ teaspoon salt ¼ cup to ½ cup lime juice to taste For the salad: 2 green onions, chopped into ½” pieces 1 zucchini, cut into ½” cubes 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained well 1 can (8 oz. or more to taste) whole kernel corn, drained ½ red bell pepper ¼ chopped red onion 1 bunch cilantro chopped Once your ingredients are prepped, combine everything for the dressing. Mix together your vegetables and pour the dressing over top. Give the salad a good mix. The salad is now ready to eat, but we rec-

Jalapeno Pineapple Slaw Juice of three to four limes to taste 1 teaspoon of brown sugar ½ teaspoon cumin ½ teaspoon chili powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro ¼ cup finely chopped mint leaves For the slaw: 1 head of shredded cabbage ½ head of shredded purple cabbage 2 finely chopped jalapeno peppers (with seeds and ribs removed to make the slaw milder) 3 shredded carrots ¾ of a pineapple, finely chopped The slaw, like the salad, is straightforward. Chop your vegetables and place them in a large mixing bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine all your wet ingredients and whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the slaw and mix thoroughly. This is another recipe that gets better with a little time to sit. We prefer to let it chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Seared Tuna 1 pound of tuna steaks Salt Pepper Cumin Chili powder Butter and olive oil for frying Corn (or flour) tortillas The biggest trick with the tacos portion of this recipe is making sure that the tuna is cooked how you like it. This is based on personal preference, but we like our tuna either rare or medium rare. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Dust your tuna steaks on both sides with a healthy pinch each of salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder. Once your pan has come up to temperature, put about a tablespoon of olive oil and a small pat of butter to the pan, swirl to coat. Place the tuna in the pan. Your pan is hot enough if the fish sizzles strongly. Sear the tuna for between 30 seconds to 2 minutes depending on your desired doneness then flip. Do the same on the other side. Though not necessary, we recommend frying your tortillas in a little olive oil for about 30 seconds to a minute. This warms them up nicely and gives them a nice crisp without being too crunchy. Place several strips of the tuna on your tortillas and top with a small mound of the slaw. Serve with the salad on the side.

** Hopefully these recipes have given you some inspiration to make some of your own tasty and healthy meals. Being healthy isn’t just a yes or no situation; it’s a gradual process. If you are making positive decisions, you’re on the right track. Just keep in mind, you’re allowed to have a beer (or two) with dinner once in a while! WGL

March/April 2018 West Georgia Living 47



Construction Company Inc.

2030 South Highway 27, Carrollton, Georiga, 30117 STATE LICENSED GENERAL CONTRACTOR

Phil McGukin, President Office 770-834-4585 Cell 678-776-6517 Email

Lawn & Garden Supplies Feed Seed Fertilizer Hardware RADA Knives

Convenient Location & Parking Available 124 Rome St. • Carrollton, GA 770-832-6252

Store hours: 8 to 5 Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri. • 8 to 3 Wed., & Sat.

MITCHELL APPLIANCE CO. Serving Our Customers since 1956!




GE’s Newest Premium Appliance Finish-Slate

48 West Georgia Living March/April 2018


Zebra Nose

Horses of many colors M

any artists trace the origins of their craft to a childhood experience or an influential elder, but few can look back as far as Susan Easton Burns.

Susan Burns’ works are inspired by Nature

Burns, at the age of three, saw a great black riderless horse outside a window in her upstate New York home. At the time, her family lived on a rural highway that was scary and dangerous with traffic, and a storm was blowing in when the horse appeared. Burns could see its mane and tail streaming in the wind, a saddle and bridle incongruously in place. The horse disappeared as quickly as it arrived, leaving an indelible mark in her mind.

speechless. As a toddler, you don’t have much to say anyway.” “In those five seconds, that horse became part of me,” Burns said. “I experienced the great spirit of that animal, with all its power, beauty and fear.” She didn’t even fully remember the experience until adulthood, though she’s sure it really happened. Today, decades later, she creates artwork, often inspired by nature, often by horses, from a studio on her property near Douglasville.

That inspiration has led to a successful career as an artist, with work featured at galleries in Marietta, Nashville, Douglasville’s “Subconsciously, I acted on it a lot, but Cultural Arts Center, Birmingham and even never consciously until maybe 20 years the Kentucky Derby, where she served as ago,” said Burns. “It had gotten away from official artist in 2014. its rider and was STORY BY HAISTEN WILLIS She also works with probably scared of the storm coming in. charitable groups, PHOTOS BY JESSICA GALLAGHER I remember being including the MiWest Georgia Living March/April 2018 49

No Absolutes

chael J. Fox Foundation, which is dedicated to Parkinson’s disease research. Burns grew up in an area where animals and horses were a common sight. Her parents kept her connected with the natural world, which she expresses today largely through her finished work. She’s a prolific painter, and enjoys variety, often with up to 10 works in progress simultaneously.

Early Inspiration Not surprisingly, Burns has always been drawn to horses - and to drawing horses - though she says that wasn’t necessary an unusual habit for a young girl. Her morning and afternoon bus rides to and from school took a full hour. Drawing horses was how she and a childhood friend passed the time. “She would get parts of the horse that I couldn’t get,” Burns recalls. “I’d get angry. I worked so hard at it!” Her parents were a big help. Burns’s dad, a financial director for Goodyear, helped with her horse sketches, and her mother, a 50 West Georgia Living March/April 2018


homemaker, was always interested in the arts, and often volunteered in arts organizations and museums. She always excelled as an art student and was always on the lookout for jobs with some sort of tie-in to art. After graduating from Daemen College, near Buffalo, Burns worked in drafting as far back as the 1970s, and as an industrial designer in the ‘80s. She earned a Master’s Degree in painting from Buffalo State, and has also taught art at the Portfolio Center and the Art Institute of Atlanta. She came to Georgia 35 years ago, when her husband was offered a job in the area.

The Painting Process Painting was always in the mix as a side interest until the late 1990s. Burns always kept her talent sharp by taking workshops and staying involved in the arts community, including groups like the Atlanta Artist’s Club.

While her children were small, Burns considered being a mother to be her primary duty, and thus couldn’t devote herself full time to painting. She volunteered as an art teacher in the area, including at her daughter’s high school, to stay involved with both roles. “Teaching is hard, especially in a public school,” Burns says. “It seems like they sort of dump students in there that they don’t know what to do with. It’s really hard.” After a while, Burns was able to get her work into a new studio in Marietta called dk Gallery. That made a huge difference for Burns, who was able to begin painting more regularly and making a business out of it. She was able to draw healthy commissions and place her work in organized art shows. As for inspiration, Burns is mostly vision oriented. If she’s been looking at trees all day, there’s a pretty good chance a tree will feature in her new painting. “It’s a way of exercising your eyes and brain,



Both Sides

March/April 2018 West Georgia Living West Georgia Living March/April 2018 51 51

The Key

opening them up to see more than you’ve seen before,” she says. Both she and her husband own horses, so naturally horses are a recurring theme in her paintings. But she says if she lived in a big city, there’s a good chance there would be tall buildings and city landscapes in her work. That was the case when she lived in Chicago many years ago. She enjoys working at her home studio, painting for a few hours then taking a break for tea or some yard work to clear her mind. “If I have to take a break, I do physical labor. For artists, there’s so much emotion that needs to be expelled,” says Burns. “The physical part is helpful to me. Your mind and your body both need rest.”

The Kentucky Derby Burns doesn’t always enjoy the business side of working as an artist, but tolerates it as a sort of necessary evil.

She uses acrylic paint for her work, typically on a square canvas, and draws the images that come to her mind. Sometimes she just keeps adding paint until she sees something she likes.

the right hat took nearly a full year. Burns visited her sister in Charleston, thinking they’d have the right hats for the occasion. As it turns out, Southern hats and Derby hats are not one and the same.

Sometimes it’s a quick process, sometimes not. Sometimes she destroys a half-finished canvas. Some paintings take only a matter of days, others take years.

However, Burns’ sister had a friend in Louisville who knew just where to go. She brought over a bundle of hats to choose from, Burns picked a black and white number to match her dress, and that was that.

“When I start paintings. it’s an abstraction of color and shape,” Burns says. “I believe our brains have a lot to do with how we see. It’s different for different people. Sometimes I’ll get asked, ‘did you paint this in there on purpose?’ and it’ll be something I didn’t even see. Our brains work so differently from person to person.” Becoming the official artist for the Kentucky Derby was perhaps a crowning achievement for an artist so enamored with horses. Of course, she also had to go out and buy an enormous hat, an all-but-required accessory for women attending the Derby. Choosing

Susan Easton Burns and “Unity.”

52 West Georgia Living March/April 2018

“Apparently there are famous designers for all these hats in Louisville,” Burns says. “As soon as I arrived, a woman said, ‘Is that a Frank Olive hat?’ I replied, ‘yes, of course it is.’” Burns had never attended the event until serving in her ceremonial capacity in 2014. She sat right across from the finish line and greatly enjoyed the view, seeing the winning horse eye to eye. “The race was the most intense two minutes I’ve ever had,” she recalls. WGL




A Note From

Scott Evans


I-20 Atlanta/ Six Flags



6 Y.




Scott Evans Dodge





HW Y. 1











725 Bankhead Hwy, Carrollton, GA


770-832-8222 770-832-8222





�I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the customers of West Georgia and surrounding areas. I am so thankful for your support, continued business, and patronage.�

March/April 2018 West Georgia Living 53


Get OUTSIDE for yo


f you walk up to a neighbor’s door, and must restrain yourself from weeding the walkway, then you are a gardener (or maybe have just a teeny bit of OCD.)

If work buddies are planning a golf game, or a trip to see the Braves, and you are fighting the urge to work in your yard, thinking “Gee, this weekend’s supposed to be sunny and mild and I really enjoy cutting grass”; give in to your natural instincts and stay home. Although a day out with friends is great fun, for the fullblooded gardener puttering at home in a new herb bed is more enjoyable. Gardening, just like walking the dog, is good mental therapy. There’s no cheaper way to work out a problem than to mull it over while doing something you enjoy, be it baking, polishing silver or pushing a mower. Be true to your tools A couple of inexpensive tools can get you started on a healthy hobby while enhancing your property’s worth. Next birthday, wish for a pair of good hand pruners, the bypass type, and a pair of loppers for larger

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KITTY BARR 54 West Georgia Living March/April 2018

The peony blooms only last a few weeks. Enjoy them inside, also.

our mental health Cast iron plant aspidistra (Aspidistra elatior) with variegated hosta.

branches. Pruners are handy for every small job. In autumn, when plants turn brown, prune and take all the dead material to your compost pile. Neaten up the beds with your handy-dandy pruners in preparation for the appearance of bulbs in the spring and new bedding plants. After discarding at least a dozen pruners over the years (maybe more), I now tie a bright iridescent orange or pink plastic strip to the handles so I can find them at the bottom of a clipping pile. Having them in hand constantly for so many years, I was so used to their feel that I would gather a huge bundle of branches and cast my pruners – along with whatever I was discarding – into the growing pile at the curb, only to search for them fruitlessly 15 minutes later. A bright, six-inch trailing strip of tape makes lost pruners easy to spot through branches and grass clippings. After spending $8 to $15 - prices have risen over the hundred years I’ve been at this hobby - I figure I’ve saved a bunch on money this way. But this method isn’t foolproof, because the fool writing this has just misplaced a good pair yet again. The spring season rapidly approaching is not the best time to buy plants. They are priced dearly, and our hot summers will send a wad of your money to the local water department as you try to keep your investment from dying. Nevertheless, it’s impossible to keep a die-hard gardener away from the tempting displays. My car veers uncontrollably into the big box parking lots and out I leap, ready to pay untold amounts for trunk loads of the prettiest perennials you’ve ever seen. I do try to stick with perennials because they return next spring, whereas annuals will die over the winter. Get informed Read. The. Labels. I preach this, boringly, over and over. Reading labels on plants has given me useful information, such as whether it is an annual; how big the specimen will grow at maturation; whether it thrives in full sun, March/April 2018 West Georgia Living 55

part-sun, or prefers total shade. Recently, (I’m writing this in the dead of winter), I was asked why a camellia wasn’t in bloom. Discovering it had been struggling in total shade for over a decade, I suggested they buy a new bush and find it a very sunny home with late afternoon shade. Trying to move an eight-foot-tall shrub would probably kill it, and the owner.

Tired of losing your pruning shears in a pile of trimmings? Tie a brightly colored length of ribbon to one of the handles.

Labels are not included just to add to your recycling bin. They impart valuable facts. This little nugget of gold will save you hundreds of dollars by preventing you from placing an expensive purchase where it will be unhappy. Expensive to me is any amount I spend. And ... if the shrub’s not happy, then I’m not happy. Occasionally, I accidentally get a new plant with whiz-bang attributes. Last year, at the end of season sales, I purchased a small ferny-like specimen called Green-Leaved Euryops, Europs pectinatus ‘Viridis.’ The label, one of those fancy fold over kinds with a color photograph, said it was deer resistant and evergreen. Only later, after I noticed it had continuously covered itself for months in yellow daisy sized blooms, did I dig out the label and read that it blooms year-round, and will reach six feet tall. Golly gee, if I had only bought more! I might order more online, although no vendor will beat the $1 sale price I triumphantly paid last fall. I might move it to a roomier spot before it gets too settled into its home.

relatives long gone. I have moved these to new gardens in new cities, not willing to leave them behind. Treasured pass-alongs I possess include the bear claw Lenten Rose, candy tuft, phlox, Mexican petunia, pineapple lily, gladiola, white bearded iris, purple shamrock and the white variety also. The fabulous ground cover pachysandra has been a smashing success. Variagated liriope, which makes a bigger green and white striped clump and won’t spread like the plain green variety, is a very recent gift from a friend who said “Take it all, I have a new plan.” Well, I too have a plan for it – all along a path.

Pass it forward The third recommendation I have for longtime savings is the pass-along plant. I heard this term one Saturday many years ago at a small selective nursery near Athens, Georgia. The term has nothing to do with UGA, but it certainly educated me! I thought the nearby customer was naming a plant. Hmm, “passalong”; that’s a new one for sure I thought, as I peered to see which one she meant. Only later did I learn it refers to plants that dedicated gardeners pass along to others when bulbs become over crowded, beds are spilling over with babies, or there’s just too much of a good thing. Your garden can become filled with sweet memories when you have plants given by good friends and

I had been mulling for months what would best suit that walkway. Having made impulsive choices in the past, only to have to dig it all out, I was taking my time. Allium is the bad choice which leaps to mind. The generous pachysandra owner also invited us to take a little of his charming white and green leaved creeping vine. Holy Moly, I had a creeping explosion: under, over and around a huge bedding area maybe six feet by 25 feet. I don’t think I ever conquered it. Those soft vines wove a web about eight inches deep under every other plant. Now that we have smart phones, do a little research before accepting every gift. Politely murmuring, “I don’t think I have a spot for that one,” can save your back and your good humor. WGL

Tammie Pero-Lyle (770) 832-0911

Come By and Visit Us!

102 Trojan Drive, Suite A Carrollton

Southern Home & Ranch Garden Center 1110 NORTH PARK STREET • CARROLLTON, GEORGIA • 770-832-0114 HOURS: MONDAY-SATURDAY 8AM-7PM • SUNDAY 12PM-5PM © 2011 Allstate Insurance Company

56 West Georgia Living March/April 2018






in the Rural South “Sing, Unburied, Sing.” Jesmyn Ward Simon and Schuster, 2017


here are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Shakespeare’s Hamlet says this to his friend Horatio early in the play. Then Hamlet sees his father’s ghost, and his life becomes much more complicated. Most people’s lives are more emotionally and internally complicated than they appear to others. That complexity is the subject of Jesmyn Ward’s novel. The lives of Ward’s characters are chaotic as they cope with violence, racism, drug dependency, and other moral issues that extend beyond reality into the realm of the supernatural. The conflicts of this interconnected plot reflect Southern literary and historical traditions, which also are evident in larger cultural contexts. A young boy named Jo Jo is the hub of the novel’s wheel of conflicts. He is the son of a white father and black mother, and the resulting racial and familial conflicts in Jo Jo’s life create much of the novel’s emotional and physical violence. The novel begins with Jo Jo watching his black grandfather Pop slaughter a goat, a scene that sets the tone of the novel. While distressed and even horrified by the violence, he is worried about living up to Pop’s expectations. As they are walking to the barn, Jo Jo says, “I follow Pop out of the house, try to keep my back straight, my shoulders even as a hanger; that’s how Pop walks.”

ROBERT C. COVEL West Georgia Living March/April 2018 57

Additionally, the violence, racism, drug use, and complex personal interrelationships encourage the reader to examine the chaotic world around us. Despite the disturbing events and themes of the novel, Ward gives the reader a possibility of hope, even optimism, primarily through Jo Jo. He considers his grandfather to be a model for his own behavior throughout the novel, and he is also close to his grandmother, Mam, who is dying of cancer. In contrast, he barely knows his white grandparents, aware that they neither approve of him or of his parents’ relationship. Much of the novel revolves around the young boy’s developing awareness of his place in his racially divided society as he copes with his family’s racial and socioeconomic divide. Each chapter in the novel is told by one of the characters, most narrated by either Jo Jo or his mother Leonie. This narrative technique challenges the reader to take into account the biases of the character. These viewpoints add to the book’s complexity, because the speakers may be unreliable. Jo Jo is the narrator of the opening chapter, providing a central consciousness for the novel. His perspective acts as a filter for some of the other characters’ flaws. An intelligent and sensitive young man (the novel begins on the day of his 13th birthday), Jo Jo cares for his young sister Kayla as he copes with his family’s turmoil. He says of his mother, “Sometimes I think I understand everything else more than I’ll ever understand Leonie.” His birthday celebration is an afterthought, as his mother buys a small cake instead of baking one (which disappoints him), and the candle ceremony is disrupted and nearly a disaster because Jo Jo’s father Michael calls from prison. Throughout the novel Jo Jo gives the reader

his honest thoughts and emotions, counterbalancing the distorted perspectives of his drug-addled mother’s narration. Jo Jo’s perspective in the novel helps the reader to avoid getting lost in the labyrinth of voices. Perhaps the most interesting chapters in the novel are those narrated by ghosts, including Given (Jo Jo’s uncle and Leonie’s older brother) and Richie. Both Given and Richie have died particularly violent deaths; Given died in a racially charged incident, and Richie died in prison. Leonie, Jo Jo, and Michaela have all inherited the ability to see and to communicate with spirits from Mam, a spiritualist and herbalist. Leonie sees her brother (whom she calls Given-not-Given in his ghostly form) when she is using drugs: “Last night, he smiled at me, this Given-not-Given, this Given that’s been dead 15 years now, this Given that came to me every time I snorted a line, every time I popped a pill.” Because she is impaired when she sees him, the reality of her vision may be questionable. In contrast, Jo Jo’s encounters with Richie are more reliable because they are not chemically induced. While the reality of these spiritual encounters may be unreliable, they serve an important purpose for the reader, underscoring the violent themes of the book and giving the reader an additional dimension to the characters and the events of the novel. Jesmyn Ward’s novel “Sing, Unburied, Sing” challenges the reader on many levels. The multiple perspectives of possibly un-

reliable narrators (including two ghosts!) allows the reader to participate in the story, putting together parts of the narrative like a jigsaw puzzle. Additionally, the violence, racism, drug use, and complex personal interrelationships encourage the reader to examine the chaotic world around us. Despite the disturbing events and themes of the novel, Ward gives the reader a possibility of hope, even optimism, primarily through Jo Jo. His love for his little sister and for his grandparents gives him an emotional grounding that helps him cope with the chaos around him. Ward is a rising new voice in American letters. This novel, her second to win the National Book Award, places her firmly in the forefront of great Southern and American writers. She has been compared with Toni Morrison and William Faulkner, two Southern Nobel Prize-winning authors who have reshaped American literature. “Sing, Unburied, Sing” may challenge the reader on several levels, but the payoff is worth the effort. WGL Author Bio Jesmyn Ward received her MFA from the University of Michigan and is currently an associate professor of creative writing at Tulane University. She has published a number of books, including “Salvage the Bones,” which won the National Book Award in 2011. Ward lives in Mississippi with her family.


Donnie Brown, with Southern Homes & Land Realty, has been awarded the Seller Representative Specialist (SRSsm) designation, the premier seller agency designation in the country. The SRS is conferred by the Real Estate Business Institute (REBI) and is an official credential of the National Association of REALTORS®. Donnie joins an elite group of real estate professionals in and around the world who have earned the SRSsm designation. All were required to successfully complete a comprehensive course in seller representation, pass a comprehensive exam and subscribe to the REALTOR® Code of Ethics.

Donnie Brown

As a Georgia native and local Realtor®, my goals are to provide clients with the most responsive and effective real estate services available. Today’s market is fast-paced and ever-changing. Sellers should demand a Realtor® who is quick, aggressive, knowledgeable and responsive to their needs. I truly strive to make these traits a staple within my business. I apply proven systems and processes to make the home selling experience seamless for my clients. I appreciate the opportunity to be your Realtor® and look forward to working with you.

With 30 years of successful professional management experience and vast knowledge of 770-826-8942 Cell Georgia, I look forward to helping you with the sale of your next home. I am a member of 770-459-8841 Office the West Georgia Board of Realtors and a graduate of Barney Fletcher Real Estate School.

58 West Georgia Living March/April 2018

“Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One” Phone: 770-258-7239 Fax: (770) 258-7230


West Georgia businesses answer consumer questions

Healthy Lawn, Happier Homeowner! Pro Tips from NG Turf NG Turf....... 60

Dental Disease in their Pets Carroll County Animal Hospital ........ 62

How can You Make a Urinary Incontinence Service Personal? in Women Tanner Health System ...... 61 What is “Having the Talk of a Lifetime� Scott & Ellen Wynn McBrayer/ Jones Wynn Funeral Home ...... 63




Sure, a lush green lawn looks beautiful and does wonders for your curb appeal. But did you realize that regular contact with aesthetically pleasing green spaces contributes to physical, emotional, and mental health, too? There is a growing body of scientific research demonstrating the direct link between spending time outdoors in pleasing natural environments and overall good health, including mood, quality of sleep, lower blood pressure, stress reduction, and even better eyesight!

Nicky Dailey Scheduling Manager & Marketing Qualifications Joined the NG Turf team in 2011. While

being the Senior Sales Representative she is also the Scheduling Manager and oversees

marketing for NG Turf. She became a Certified Turfgrass Professional in 2012.

Here are a few simple things you can do to create a backyard health oasis.

Invest in the right sod for your property’s needs, and care for it well. Is your yard sunny most of the day? Are there areas of dappled shade? Do you have pets or children frequently outside enjoying your lawn? Do you have an automatic irrigation system already in place? These are some of the questions you should be asking yourself as you discern which variety of sod would be best for your property. Our expert staff would be more than happy to talk you through the options.

New sod needs special care – be sure to follow your installers recommendations or visit the Resources Tab on the NG Turf website for installation and watering tips. Established lawns need ongoing care, too. The NG Turf blog includes extensive resources for watering, pest control, disease prevention, and more.

Mix it up in the vegetation department

Green spaces that rank higher in biodiversity have a greater effect on improving health metrics. To achieve this, be sure

boost serotonin levels with farm fresh sod

your landscape plan includes broad-leaf deciduous trees, flowering shrubs, splashes of annual or perennial color, and a variety of textures in the vegetation. Go native for best results‌ visit and search the term “nativeâ€? to access their fantastic Georgia native plant guides. Add in some water, too

Adding a water feature, even just a small table-top fountain, also boosts the happiness-factor of your backyard green space. Researchers are not completely sure why this happens, but theorize that it is a combination of the pleasing white noise that helps us relax and the evolutionary significance that close access to a water source had for the survival of our ancestors. Include a gathering place

Probably the most impactful addition you can make to your backyard green space in terms of health improvement is adding a social gathering space. It can be as low-key as a patio constructed of pavers or flagstone with a small seating arrangement to a full-scale outdoor living space. What matters most is that you enjoy it enough to spend time there socializing with friends and loved one. Combining the powerful health enhancing effects of increased social interaction with the natural happiness boost you get from being in a beautiful green space is a supercharged win-win.

Have questions about how adding new sod to your yard can help beautify your backyard health oasis? Give us a call‌ our turf experts would love to be part of your green space transformation!

Luxury Lawn for Your Backyard Oasis Our certiďŹ ed turf professionals are ready to advise you on your green space transformation. 770-431-1348 • • • • •

Finest Quality Sod in the Region Harvested Daily to Ensure Freshness Convenient Delivery or Farm Pickup Multiple Varieties to Meet Your Landscaping Needs



What every West Georgian should know about Urinary Incontinence in Women

James Cullison, MD West Georgia Urology


Q. What is urinary incontinence?

Q. How is urinary incontinence treated?

A. Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control. It may be uncomfortable to discuss and even more uncomfortable to live with, but urinary incontinence is common condition among many women of all ages and can have a significant affect their quality of life. The National Institute of Health estimates that four American women in 25 are living with some type of urinary incontinence issue. The severity of urinary incontinence can range from slight to moderate urine leakage when you laugh, cough or sneeze to more severe cases such as pain during urination and strong sudden urges to urinate and being unable to hold your urine until you reach a restroom.

A. Fortunately, there are many options available to treat urinary incontinence. If you believe that you have urinary incontinence, it’s important to speak with a urologist. Treatment options usually depend on a patient’s age, health and family history or previous experience, but once a care provider has determined the cause of your incontinence, he or she will be able to discuss the treatment options that are available to you, such as therapies, pelvic muscle rehabilitation, medications and lifestyle changes.

Q. What causes urinary incontinence?

Dr. Cullison is board-certified in urology as well as female and pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery by the

American Board of Urology. He earned his medical degree from the Columbia School of Medicine at the University

of Missouri in Columbia. He also completed an internship

and urology surgical subspecialty residency at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta.

A. Although urinary incontinence is common among older women, it’s important to understand that it can occur during any stage of a woman’s life. Factors such as age, weight, diet, pregnancy and child birth, a weak or overactive bladder and weak pelvic floor muscles make it more likely that a woman will have urinary incontinence during her lifetime. Other risk factors may stem from a previous health conditions, previous surgeries, a pelvic floor disorder or urinary tract infections. Some risk factors you may be able control; others may be beyond your control.

For more information or to make an appointment with a urologist, visit or call 770.214. CARE.

Advancing Health with specialized urology care in west Georgia and east Alabama.

At Tanner Urology Care, our team of experienced urology specialists are committed to your health, offering advanced clinical solutions — including minimally invasive and noninvasive treatment options — for a host of urologic conditions affecting both men and women. With locations in west Georgia and east Alabama, specialized and compassionate urology care is close to home.

Tanner Urology Care Carrollton | Villa Rica | Bremen | Wedowee For more information or to make an appointment, call 770.214.CARE.



$6. XLI (;(57


Jason Harden, D.V.M Carroll County Animal Hospital

Qualifications: Dr. Jason Harden is a native of Carrollton, GA. He graduated from Oak Mountain Academy and continued on to the University of Georgia where he received his degree in Biology and his doctorate in veterinary medicine. His interests in veterinary medicine include surgery, exotic medicine, and ophthalmology. Dr. Harden is married to Chloe Harden, and they have 2 children, Maggie and Reese. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Animal Hospital Association. He is the chairman of the Oak Mountain Academy school board, a member of the Carrollton Lions Club, and on the board of directors of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce.

What every West Georgian should know about dental disease in their pets We hear it time and time again, “My pet’s breath is horrible. Is there a reason for this?� Most often times when this is the case, there is a problem. What we see in most cases is that their pet needs their teeth cleaned. Sometimes there can be other causes for bad breath, but the most common is an overgrowth of bacteria which can tunnel under the gum line and release toxins that weaken the tooth. Over time, plaque build ups on the teeth and begins to push the gum away from the tooth even more and can lead to a host of other problems with the teeth such as tooth loss and abscesses.

These same bacteria that collect in the plaque on your pets teeth like to explore as well. Once they have invaded the gum line they will get into the bloodstream and can infect other organs. Most commonly, they will infect a valve in the heart and can cause your pet to go into early heart failure as a result of the underlying dental disease. Significant dental disease can also make it difficult to manage certain conditions, like diabetes.

1) Talk with your veterinarian about dental disease in your pet. 2) Brush your pet’s teeth regularly. You can buy flavored, animal formulated tooth paste that your pets will love at your local pet store. 3) Provide lots of hard chew toys or dental treats. Much of the soft plaque can be removed with these chew toys. 4) When your veterinarian recommends having your pet’s teeth cleaned, make it a priority. Your veterinarian is trying to provide you and your pet with more happy years together so take their advice. It will make huge difference in your pet’s life. If you need help with your pets bad breath schedule an examination with one of our doctors today.

What you can do to prevent dental disease in your pets?

For more information, call 770-832-2475 or 770-834-1000 or visit

Carroll County

Animal Hospital Sometimes your pet’s health care can’t be scheduled Office Hours: Mon. - Sun. 8am - Midnight Regular Office Hours: Mon. - Sun. 8am - 6pm


(770) 832-2475

635 Columbia Dr. 1155 Stripling Chapel Rd. Carrollton, Ga. 30117 Carrollton, Ga. 30116 #OLUMBIA$Rs#ARROLLTON 'A Across from Sony(770) Music 834-1000 (770) 832-2475


West Georgia businesses answer consumer questions

Scott McBrayer Ellen Wynn McBrayer Jones-Wynn Funeral Home & Crematory and Meadowbrook Memory Gardens As always, we remain “A Family Serving FamiliesŽ....Since 1950�

Qualifications Scott & Ellen McBrayer are both licensed funeral directors and embalmers. Jones-Wynn Funeral Homes & Crematory has served our community since 1950. We keep our funeral home & crematory synonymous with its name & reputation of serving & caring for families. We are three generations carrying on one tradition. We offer Peace of Mind with the highest quality of service and affordable options. Our funeral home family is always available to help you clarify or answer questions you might need help with.


How can you make a service personal? What is “Having the talk of a lifetime?� One thing we remind families we serve is that a service or funeral isn’t a day in someone’s life; it’s a lifetime displayed in one day. The service for your loved one is the greatest love story you can tell, and our encouragement is to remember to make the service personal and to create it so that it expresses your loved one’s life. The first thing to remember when planning a service is that there are no rules. If a song has special meaning to a family, play or sing it. If there are special people who can share a special story, then ask them to speak from the heart. If part of the family speaks and needs a moment to cry, allow them time to cry. The following are some options to remember when planning a service. Choosing a speaker is a very important decision for most families. The family of the deceased can find the words of faith from the speaker to be very comforting and invaluable in this time of need. Sometimes families will ask a preacher who was close to the loved one who passed away, or sometimes it’s one of the closely related family member’s preacher. It may be meaningful to have additional participants in the service. A close friend telling wonderful stories seems to give a special and personal picture of life like nothing else can. It’s

important to remember to talk about “who� and “what� stories while living. That’s what “Talk of a lifetime� means. Have the “talk of a lifetime� now with your loved ones about their faith, hobbies, meaningful pictures, and/ or special memories. Write these down and put them in a safe location. If you choose to place this information in a safe deposit box, make the extra effort to make copies and communicate your decisions to other family members. Meaningful music is one of the most important choices to many families we serve. Most of the songs played during a service are very special to the family members. Also personal items are a unique and meaningful thing to put on display. If there are things that have special meaning to someone and can be put on display in the visitation or service, then allow them to put it on display. Some examples would include family pictures, family Bible, guitar, motorcycle, hunting game memorabilia, or homemade quilt. Your service can be as unique and special to your family and friends as you and your survivors make it. Always remember that a life lived is a life worth remembering.

Your Trustworthy Local Family

Advancing Heart Care At Tanner, we take matters of the heart seriously. That’s why we empower our team of board-certified cardiology and vascular medicine specialists throughout west Georgia and east Alabama to provide the advanced clinical care you need. Our fully accredited 24-hour chest pain centers, multiple clinic locations, advanced interventional cardiology program and state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging capabilities ensure that the care you need is always available — close to home. At Tanner, we’re here for you and your heart — offering exceptional heart care services with medicine beyond measure.

To find a heart specialist, call 770.214.CARE or learn more at MEDICINE BEYOND MEASURESM

WGL March-April 2018  
WGL March-April 2018  

West Georgia's most popular living and lifestyle magazine