To Your Health

Education key to fight against heroin woes

Last week, community members gathered at a town hall meeting to have an open discussion of how to best address the growing heroin epidemic.

The back problem that’s not a back problem

A few months ago, we took a look at lower back pain and the toll it takes on so many of you. There’s one problem I want you to pay particular attention to, because it can cause great confusion.

Health Care Commission upholds psychiatric hospital approval

A 90-bed psychiatric hospital is still coming to Georgetown, after the failed appeal of the project’s initial approval was heard before the Delaware Health Care Commission. The 70,000-square-foot hospital is to be located in Georgetown, adjacent to La Red and Beebe Healthcare facilities. The project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2017, with construction to begin next year.

Guest Column: Red and processed meats — delicious or dangerous?

If you follow the latest diet and nutrition trends, it was hard to miss the most recent report on red and processed meats from the World Health Organization (WHO). Scary headlines claiming processed meats are as bad as smoking had people dropping their bacon cheeseburger and ordering a salad. While shocking, these statements are not completely true.

Physical therapy makes a difference for Parkinson’s sufferers

Parkinson’s disease is challenging and frustrating. It takes an increasingly difficult toll on those afflicted with this erosive disease and their families. About 1 million Americans are living with the disease. To put that in perspective, more people are afflicted with Parkinson’s than muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and Lou Gehrig’s disease combined.

Keeping kids safe: Free program removes lead paint

De-Lead is on a mission to remove lead paint from low-income homes in Kent and Sussex counties.

“If you have a child under 6 years old, and your home was built before 1978, you may be eligible for help removing the lead-based paint hazards for free,” according to the First State Community Action Agency, which manages the De-Lead program.

Indian River health teacher: Ease up on the vaccines

Paris Mitchell and his own children have been vaccinated. But, given what he’s learned in the past few years, he said he would have second thoughts if given the opportunity to vaccinate now.

Caldwell creates community around mystery illness

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: At Crystal Caldwell’s urging, Gov. Jack Markell issued a proclamation for Dysautonomia Awareness Month.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: At Crystal Caldwell’s urging, Gov. Jack Markell issued a proclamation for Dysautonomia Awareness Month.Crystal Caldwell was in second grade the first time she passed out.

In eighth grade, Caldwell had tremors and was getting sick after every meal. Doctors suggested common ailments, like IBS and hypoglycemia.

She was enjoying life by age 20, living on her own, driving a new car and working a beach job. That’s when the illness threw Caldwell and her life upside-down.

“I had to move back home because I was basically bedridden for a year-and-a-half to two years,” said Caldwell, now 26.

That winter, her overheating body could only stand to wear short sleeves in public, with ice packs and open windows at night.

Finally, a doctor suggested the diagnosis that would be Caldwell’s answer to years of confusion: dysautonomia.

Dysautonomia (dis-auto-NO-me-uh) is an umbrella term for many conditions that affect the autonomic nervous system, “which controls everything, like heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, temperature control, stuff that you don’t think about that your body’s supposed to automatically control,” Caldwell said. “My body has a hard time controlling that.”

Within that umbrella, she has the most common diagnosis of Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS).

Getting a handle on osteoarthritis

Don’t you love those commercials on TV that show a person with arthritis pain taking an over-the-counter pain reliever and suddenly he or she is playing sports or hiking and happily free of pain? Don’t you wish it was that easy? One pain reliever and you’re cured? If you’re one of the millions of people struggling with osteoarthritis, you know that it doesn’t quite work that way.

State approves $18 million psychiatric hospital in Georgetown

The Delaware Health Care Commission last week unanimously approved SUN (Solving Unmet Needs) Behavioral Health’s application for a proposed 90-bed psychiatric hospital, to be located in Georgetown.

A public hearing for the psychiatric hospital was held in September, during which the majority of those who spoke were in favor of the application’s approval.

Special Olympics Delaware thanks North Bay Marina

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Scott McCurdy, owner of North Bay Marina, receives recognition from Special Olympics Delaware for North Bay’s donation of a pontoon boat to the organization for the last two years.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Scott McCurdy, owner of North Bay Marina, receives recognition from Special Olympics Delaware for North Bay’s donation of a pontoon boat to the organization for the last two years.For the last 15 years, Delaware Special Olympics athletes from all over the state have been able to attend an annual summer camp at Camp Barnes. Campers are given a traditional overnight summer camp experience, including fishing, crafts and a dance.

One of the highlights of the camp for the athletes over the last few years has been a pontoon boat cruise on the Little Assawoman Bay.

“It’s a long day; eight cruises,” said Paul Daisy, who captains the boat.

“They really, really enjoy it. If you ever watch these athletes while we’re cruising down the water, they’re just smiling,” added first mate Tony Gough.

The pontoon boat has been donated by North Bay Marina for the last two years. To show their appreciation for the business, Special Olympics Delaware recently presented owner Scott McCurdy with a plaque.

Agents of service: Bauer, LB Lions Club offer medical equipment to locals in need

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Jack Bauer and the Lord Baltimore Club Lions Club are offer a variety of free medical equipment usage for those in need.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Jack Bauer and the Lord Baltimore Club Lions Club are offer a variety of free medical equipment usage for those in need.When fictional Los Angeles is in trouble on the hit television series “24,” they call Jack Bauer. And when lower Sussex County is in trouble in real life, they do, too.

Ocean View’s Jack Bauer may not be an FBI agent, but he is a board member of the Lord Baltimore Lions Club and leading the cause to meet one of the area’s growing issues: rising demand from those in need of medical equipment but without the means to pay for it. And even though the club’s been offering the service for almost 70 years, it’s never been at the level it is now.

“The club has been doing this since it was formed in 1946 in some capacity, but not like what we do today,” explained Bauer. “There’s absolutely a big need for it.”

“There’s people that come out of the hospital and can’t afford things, so we loan them,” added LB Lions Club 1st Vice President John Monahan. “Jack finds out what they need and delivers it to people.”

What you need to know about lower back pain

Are you struggling with lower back pain? You’re not alone. According to the National Institute of Arthritis & Musculoskeletal & Skin Diseases (NIAMS), 65 million Americans, or 8 out of 10 people, have some type of back pain.

Public hearing held for proposed Sussex psychiatric hospital

The Delaware Health Care Commission held a public hearing earlier this week for a proposed 90-bed psychiatric hospital to be located in Georgetown.

At the hearing, SUN (Solving Unmet Needs) Behavioral Health President Steve Page stated the company first heard about Sussex County after meeting Jeffrey Fried, president/CEO of Beebe Healthcare, last fall.

Physical therapy homework could be the key to your recovery

Whether you’ve had surgery, an accident or a sports injury, there are many health issues that require physical therapy to let you return to your full capabilities and maintain your quality of life. The problem is some people think physical therapy is just a big inconvenience.

SCAPC continues to address local addiction issues

The Seaford Chapter of Sussex County Action Prevention Coalition (SCAPC) held its monthly meeting this week, continuing to try to attack the area’s drug problems from various angles.

Jeep donation to raise funds for Tunnell Cancer Center

The Beebe Medical Foundation announced this week that it will hold a new fundraising raffle, for a 2015 Jeep Wrangler donated by Megee Motors of Georgetown. All the proceeds from the Jeep raffle will benefit Beebe Healthcare’s Tunnell Cancer Center, located at the Beebe Health Campus on John J. Williams Highway (Route 24) in Rehoboth Beach.

Doctor’s license officially suspended

Dermatologist was prohibited from performing biopsies

A Dover-based dermatologist was only practicing in Ocean View one day each week. But that just decreased to zero days, after the State of Delaware suspended his medical license on Aug. 19.

Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock and the Board of Medical Licensure & Discipline this week issued a temporary order suspending license of Dr. Lindsay Brathwaite.

Football injury-prevention is a game-changer

Kids are heading back to school, and that means it’s time for fall sports. Is the young athlete in your house playing football this year? It’s a great sport, and it teaches so many positive lessons about teamwork and fair play, to say nothing of all the positives that come with being active and staying in shape. Like any sport, though, football has its risks.

Football is the leading cause of school sports injuries. The latest numbers from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, from 2013, show some 881,700 football injuries were suffered by kids between the ages of 5 and 18.There are numerous studies that have looked at the issue of kids and football injuries, too. They show that about 20 percent of football players between the ages of 8 and 14 are injured during the typical school football season.

Organizations come together to discuss addiction epidemic

Connections Community Support Programs made a presentation to the Sussex County Action Prevention Coalition’s (SCAPC’s) Seaford Chapter at its monthly meeting last week.