Thursday, January 18, 2018
Doctors Perspective
More to the story

By Dr. Anthony Policastro
On a television program I was watching recently, an individual was preaching about something he called un-American. He indicated that it was going to ruin our very society. This sounded so familiar to what I hear often in the media these days. The problem was that the setting was Lubbock, Texas in 1956 and this individual was preaching against the music of Buddy Holly. There was a time when the only thing to watch on television in the way of news was the network news shows which were limited in time and how much they could cover. Then came 60 Minutes, an hour long show, which had more time to cover topics such as medicine and the military. These were areas I knew well. One of the obvious things I discovered was their intent. It was not necessarily about reporting stories but shaping opinions. Sometimes their opinions were correct. Other times they were off base. I could easily tell given my knowledge of the subject. They would present one side of the story and give lip service to the opposing view. Eventually, we had 24 hour news channels which had to report things in detail. There was only so much actual news to go around so they had to analyze it. They too wanted us to agree with their opinions. The medical term for that type of reporting of information is propaganda. Propaganda plays on the emotions of listeners and it does not try to present facts but rather opinions. Fox News and CNN both report the news. However, if you watch either one of them, you come away with a different feeling about the news. There are many ways to prey on the observers feelings. One of them is known as ad hominem. This comes from the Latin and means attacking ones opponent. It takes the form of attacking a person and not what they stand for. The best example is when someone resorts to name calling. A second type is called ad nauseum. The principle here is that if you say it enough times, people will believe it. It really does not matter if it is true or not. There can be appeals to authority. Celebrity endorsements fall into this category. There can also be appeals to fear. The Nazis told their people that the Allies wanted to exterminate all Germans. There can be appeals to prejudice. That was what happened in The Buddy Holly Story. Bandwagon techniques try to persuade people to back a winner. With the 16 candidates in last years Republican primaries, people might be swayed from voting for one of the sure losers. One technique is the black and white fallacy which means that there are only two sides to the story with no in-between. Demonizing the enemy is to make those we do not like, e.g., a different ethnic group, seem like devils. Whataboutism is the technique used to deflect criticism. The Soviet Union was an expert at this. Whenever they were criticized, they would point to a similar event in the Western World. It is similar to someone being accused of sexual harassment claiming that the victim in some way provoked it. There are many other techniques, however, they all have the same end in mind. The goal is to move you with your emotions. They are not interested in you thinking on your own. It is better if you are a puppet. Richard Crossman was the British deputy director of the psychological warfare division for the Allies during World War II. He said: The art of propaganda is not telling lies, but rather selecting the truth you require and giving it mixed up with some truths the audience wants to hear. We need to understand that when we react emotionally to a story that we hear, there may be more to the story. We are rational human beings. We need to act that way when listening to the opinions of others.

Nanticoke Weight Loss hosts bariatric support groups Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery hosts free bariatric support groups three times a month at the Nanticoke Training Center located within the Miller Building at 121 S. Front Street in Seaford. These support groups provide education and support to patients before and after their bariatric weight loss surgery and are 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. The general bariatric support group is open to all bariatric patients before and after their surgery and is held the first Tuesday of each month from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.. The post-op bariatric support group is designed for post-op bariatric patients and is held on the second Tuesday of each month from 6 to 7 p.m. The nutrition-focused bariatric support group is designed to provide nutritional support to bariatric patients and is held the fourth Monday of each month from 6 to 7 p.m. PLEASE NOTE: Due to scheduling, there will be no nutrition-focused support group this month. For more information about these support groups or other services provided by Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery, visit or call 302-536-5395.

Heart failure support group to take place Jan. 25 at Nanticoke Memorial Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will hold a heart failure support group on Thursday, Jan. 25 from noon to 2 p.m., in the Nursing Conference Room. This free support group is designed for individuals with heart failure, as well as their families and caregivers, to share stories and tips with others with this disease. This month’s meeting will feature a presentation on “Over the Counter Medications and Herbal Supplements” by George Schwobel, pharmacist at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital. Attendees are encouraged to bring their medications to receive a free pharmacy consultation. For more information or to register, call 629-6611, ext. 2428.

Nanticoke Memorial Hospital to hold Diabetes education program Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will host a four-session diabetes educational program, The Diabetes Connection, on Feb. 6, 13, 20 and 27 from 9:30 am to 11:30 am. Pre-registration is required. As a person with diabetes, Nanticoke can 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 as a passenger on your diabetic road trip. The cost of the program may be reimbursable by insurance. Program schedule: Week #1- What is Diabetes? Physiology and Self-Care Skills Review Week #2- Meal Planning, Eating Out, Reading Food Labels Week #3- Self Blood Glucose Monitoring and Management, Sick Day Rules, Traveling Week #4- Medications Used to Manage Diabetes Stress Management—Coping with Diabetes and Lifestyle Changes Summary and Course Evaluations, Goal Setting To register or for more information about this course, contact Nanticoke’s Diabetes Education Department at 302-629- 6611, extension 2288. To learn more about diabetes services at Nanticoke, visit

Nanticoke Rehabilitation Services to hold Lymphedema support group Nanticoke Rehabilitation Services hosts lymphedema support groups on the third Thursday of each month from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the Seaford Library and Cultural Center located at 600 N. Market Street Extended in Seaford. This month’s meeting will be held on Thursday, Jan. 18. This free support group is open to anyone affected by lymphedema including patients, caregivers, and relatives. Meetings will consist of a lecture by health care professionals and medical equipment providers followed by refreshments and an open question and answer session or discussion among participants. Registration is required. Lymphedema is an abnormal collection of high-protein fluid just beneath the skin that occurs most commonly in the limbs. The condition can be caused by a variety of factors including family history, damaged lymph vessels, lymph node removal, infection, or radiation therapy. Lymphedema causes swelling which may create movement limitation, and leaves patients at higher risks for wounds and infections. Lymphedema is a chronic condition with specific manual treatments, skin care, compression pumps, wraps, and exercises. For more information or to register, contact Robert Donati, PT, CLT at 302-629-6224. To learn more about services provided by Nanticoke Rehabilitation Services, visit

Nanticoke to host Parkinson’s education, support group Nanticoke Health Services, in conjunction with CHEER and Care DE and the Manor House, will hold a Parkinson’s education and support group on Thursday, Jan. 18 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the Manor House located at 1001 Middleford Road in Seaford. This support group is FREE and open to the public. Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disease that affects the part of the brain that controls muscle movement. Each individual may experience different symptoms, such as tremors, rigidity, poor balance, and a list of others. A PD diagnosis can bring out many difficult emotions—fear, anger, resentment, hopelessness, and more. It is a challenge to learn how to cope with these feelings along with the stress of diagnosis and treatment.  Participating in support groups is essential for coping with an illness such as PD or other disorders that impair bodily movement. This support group is not only helpful for the individual diagnosed with PD, but also for caregivers, friends and family.

Nanticoke Memorial Hospital offers childbirth classes Nanticoke Memorial Hospital hosts childbirth classes on Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Ground Floor Conference Room. The class will meet for a total of five weeks – four weeks related to childbirth education and the fifth week will be a breastfeeding class. 2018 Dates:
  • January 18, 25, February 1, 8
  • February 22, March 1, 8, 15, 22
  • March 29, April 5, 12, 19, 26
  • May 16, 24, 31, June 7, 14
  • July 5, 12, 19, 26, August 2
  • August 30, September 6, 13, 20, 27
  • October 4, 11, 18, 25, November 1
  • *November 13, 20, 27, December 4, 11 (*Tuesdays)
The maternity education classes are designed to offer information, counseling, support, and hands-on experience to help prepare for a new family member. They will cover pregnancy in general, information to prepare the expectant mother for labor and delivery, and will include a tour of Nanticoke’s Mother & Baby Care Center. A refresher course is also available for those who have previously taken childbirth classes. The refresher class covers breathing techniques, signs, symptoms, and stages of labor, birthing options, and a tour of Nanticoke’s Mother & Baby Care Center. The cost of the childbirth course is $50, and the cost for the refresher course is $25. Mothers are encouraged to bring their partner or support person for all courses. Pre-registration is required for either class. To register or for more information, contact Nanticoke’s Maternal Child Health Clinical Educator at 302-629-6611, extension 2540. To learn more about women’s health services provided by Nanticoke, visit