Friday, May 26, 2017
Doctor's Perspective

We never stop changing By Dr. Anthony Policastro

Children grow quickly. They change in four distinct areas: physical, intellectual, emotional and social (PIES). Many of the changes are quite obvious, especially physical growth. It is a little less so for intellectual and social growth. It is often not perceptible for emotional growth. We sometimes forget that growth in these areas does not stop when adolescence ends. We continue having changes in all four areas throughout the rest of life. There is an old joke that points this out. An older married couple stops at a traffic light. There is a younger couple in the car in front of them. The girl is practically on the driver’s lap. The woman turns to her husband and says, “We used to be like that. What happened?” He sits behind the wheel and replies, “I haven’t moved.”
Physical changes continue into adult life. These might involve changes in weight, chronic pain, injuries and physical intimacy between couples. These changes result in a variety of other changes that are not just physical in nature.
Intellectual changes also occur over time. When I was applying for medical school, I had an interview one Saturday morning at NYU. The interviewer asked me some questions about my life. One of those questions was if I had a girlfriend. She then asked what my girlfriend did for a living. I told her that she was a secretary. The remainder of the interview was a diatribe. The interviewer tried to convince me that this girl was never going to be smart enough to communicate with me. Now as that girl and I approach our 47th wedding anniversary in June, the interviewer was clearly wrong.
Emotional changes occur throughout life. Some people tend to be moody while others tend to be anxious or somewhat compulsive. It is important for couples to realize that those emotions are not something that can be readily changed. Trying to get your partner to do something that hard can be destructive for a marriage. Social changes evolve as well. Individuals may move to a different social class as they become successful or unsuccessful. Some individuals care about belongings and outward appearances. Others are social climbers. Again, this might be the kind of thing that can tear a couple apart.
We need to realize that we change in these four areas as we age. We need to realize that our spouse also changes. The key is to understand that these are changes that need to be understood and accepted. Trying to prevent them will only bring heartache.
Some drivers do not tend to move from behind the steering wheel very much. Others may want to be a passenger. However, it does not make one way right and the other way wrong.
We start out changing in the four PIES areas and we continue doing so. It is important for us to recognize those changes in the ones closest to us.

Fit for Life Some injuries can become chronic

By Jonathan Souder

Have you ever had an injury from exercising? I have and I’m sure some of you reading this have also. Some injuries can become chronic making life hard to cope with.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), common signs of chronic injuries include pain during activity, pain or an aching sensation at rest, and swelling at the site of injury. It’s important to seek medical treatment if there is severe pain, swelling or numbness, if you can’t put weight on the injured area, or if you have pain accompanied by increased swelling, instability or joint abnormality.
Bursitis, fractures and torn muscles or ligaments are a few of the common injuries. I’ve had to deal with a few torn muscles and ligaments over the years from playing sports or running. It’s funny how you learn all about a specific injury when you’re trying to fix that injury.
Here’s some helpful information from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) explaining what these common injuries are, how they are treated, and exercise suggestions for each injury (always get exercise recommendations and restrictions from your doctor before exercising with an injury).
• Bursitis is an inflammation or irritation of the bursa sacs, which are small, fluid-filled cushions in between bones or joints. Bursitis is caused by overuse, repetitive movements or an injury directly to a joint. Like most injuries, rest, compression and elevation of the affected area are suggested along with anti-inflammatory medicines. It’s also important to do gentle stretching and strengthening of the muscles of the affected area, taking a break from the repetitive movements and stopping all activities that result in pain.

• A fracture is a complete or partial break in a bone and fractures can be stable (broken ends line up and are only slightly out of place), open, compound (skin is pierced by bone), transverse (horizontal), oblique (angle fracture pattern) or commuted (bone shatters in three or more pieces). Fractures can be caused by overuse, trauma or bone disease (like osteoporosis). Bones can be set and casted to restrict movement or they may require surgery to fix. Following the healing process, movement will still be limited and the muscles surrounding the injury will need to be strengthened and stretched.
• Muscle tears (and ligament) are very common injuries when exercising. A muscle tear can reduce your strength, bruise and swell the area, and cause a lot of pain. Less severe tears can be treated with anti-inflammatory medicines and the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation). More severe tears may require surgery to fix. When getting back to your exercise routine, reduce your previous exercise volume (days and times) and intensity in half to start. Then progress back to more exercise volume and intensity over time.
Common chronic injuries can be helped with proper medical guidance (doctor and physical therapist), exercise, time and patience. Don’t give up!
About the author
Jonathan Souder is the fitness director at Manor House, an Acts Retirement-Life Community in Seaford, Email your thoughts to

Diabetes education program

Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will host a four-session diabetes educational program, The Diabetes Connection, on June 6, 13, 20 and 27 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. As a person with diabetes, Nanticoke can be part of your healthcare team to help teach you the self-care skills needed to keep you on track. Our four-session diabetic program includes weekly education sessions in a group setting. One family member or significant other is welcome to attend.
Pre-registration is required and the cost of the program may be reimbursable by insurance. To register or for more information, contact Nanticoke’s Diabetes Education Department at 629-6611, ext. 2446.

Breastfeeding support group

On Wednesday, June 7 at 10 a.m., Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will hold The Mom’s Circle, a free breastfeeding support group, in the Nursing Conference Room. The Mom’s Circle is a safe place for moms to come for support, advice and friendship from both experienced nursing moms and new moms. This group meets the first Wednesday of each month. Registration is not required.
Activities include: interaction with other nursing moms and babies to promote confidence; mom-to-mom conversations; opportunities to share parenting advice and information; and assistance with breastfeeding issues or concerns by a lactation consultant.
For more information, contact Jacalyn Bradley, Nanticoke’s lactation consultant, at 629-6611, ext. 2234.

Bariatric support group

Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery hosts bariatric support groups the first Tuesday of each month from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and the fourth Monday of each month from 6 to 7 p.m., in the Medical Staff Conference Room at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital. Meetings will be held in June on Tuesday, June 6 and Monday, June 26.
This free support group is designed to provide education and support to patients before and after their bariatric weight loss surgery and is open to the public.
Support group meetings consist of guest speakers and presentations to provide useful information about nutrition, supplements, exercise and behavior modifications.
Patients and their spouses, family members or friends are welcome to attend. Registration is not required.
For more information about this support group or other services provided by Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery, visit or call 536-5395.