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Health and Well-being

October 2010
NURSE PRACTITIONERS: Taking on primary care

When we go to the doctor’s office these days, it’s increasingly likely that the medical professional we see is not a doctor but a nurse practitioner, trained, licensed and fully qualified as a primary care provider. ... (read more)

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September 2010
CLINICAL TRIALS: What’s in it for you?

If you think of clinical trials at all, you’re not likely to think of a family business or even Cape Cod. But it turns out that’s exactly what you’ll find in the tidy building on Attucks Lane in Hyannis that houses the Clinical Research Center of Cape Cod. ... (read more)

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August 2010
FUNCTIONAL FITNESS: Accessible, adaptable, affordable

The large, light-filled room in Truro’s new community center is humming with activity as a group of women work their way around a circuit, each spending one or two minutes per station.
... (read more)

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July 2010
CELEBRATE YOUR MEDICARE BIRTHDAY: Compare doctors, hospitals, nursing homes online  – and sign up for benefits

It will surprise no one to hear that there is a shortage of primary care physicians on Cape Cod. In fact, it’s a nationwide problem, but it’s particularly acute on our remote sandspit because of the Cape’s aging population and geographical isolation. (read more)

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June 2010
YOUR LIBRARY: Gateway to reliable online health information

Got a medical question? Want to be sure you get answers that are accurate and authoritative? Before you turn to Wikipedia or Google, try the public library.(read more)

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May 2010
STROKE IS A FAMILY AFFAIR: Jim Graham and the Stroke Survivors Support Group he founded

In 2002, Jim Graham was, in his own words, “Fat, dumb, happy, and indestructible. Nothing could hurt me.” The Pennsylvania native was living with his wife, Nancy, in Marston’s Mills, working as a plant engineer in the packaging industry. “I was 61 years old, at the top of my game, working 50 to 55 hours a week, out on the road for a week at a time.” Then he started having double vision and vertigo attacks. (read more)

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April 2010
SHAMAN: Don Cameron, a high-tech engineer, follows an ancient path of healing

It all started with a snowy owl. Don Cameron had taken three of his grandchildren to see naturalist Marcia Wilson, who periodically comes to the Cape with her Eyes on Owls educational program. …That day, she walked through the  audience with a majestic snowy owl, with a wingspan that can exceed five feet. As Don watched, it spread its wings and, he recalls, “It felt like somebody punched me in the gut.” (read more)

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March 2010
MUSIC THERAPY: ‘Music has charms to soothe a savage breast’ 

Think of it as a love story set to music. John and Jean Samuelson were music students at Boston University when they met back in the late 1930s. …It is fitting that music brought glimmers of light to Jean’s last years, as Alzheimer’s disease dimmed her mind, and has been a solace to John since her passing. (read more)

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February 2010
A BALANCED VIEW OF FALLING: Why it happens; how to prevent it

Did you know that nearly 1 in 3 people living independently over the age of 65 fall each year, and that over age 80, the incidence is 1 in 2? That 1 in 10 falls results in hip fracture, head injury, or other serious injuries? (read more)

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December 2009
BILATERAL KNEE REPLACEMENT: A nurse shares how she prepared for, underwent and recovered from the procedure.

As a visiting nurse, Rosemary Perrin had a constant companion: pain in her knees. In the course of her daily rounds, she had to haul around a heavy equipment bag, get in and out of her car, climb stairs, bend, reach, kneel, and lift – all activities that put additional stress on joints eroded by arthritis. (read more)

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November 2009
CHICKEN SOUP (REALLY!) FOR CAREGIVERS

Caring for a spouse or parent who is no longer able to live independently is among life’s most stressful experiences. Day after day, with no happy end in sight, caregivers must put personal needs on hold and engage in intricate planning that can be shattered by a single unexpected event. It is often lonely work that takes time, patience, and ingenuity. Although most of us have a vague sense that help is available, finding out what, where, and how to get it is simply one more task that must be scheduled into days filled to the breaking point. ... (read more)

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October 2009
MEDITATION FOR MENOPAUSE : Using mindfulness to lessen the impact of midlife “symptoms”

Hot flashes. Night sweats. Dry skin and hair. Scattered thoughts. Irritability. If you are a woman between the ages of 40 and 60, you’re probably familiar with one or several of these. And you probably know they signal a new stage in your life: menopause. For some women, this bookend to the years of fertility that started in their teens arrives without notice; for others it is accompanied by uncomfortable and unwelcome physical and emotional symptoms. But the word symptoms implies an illness, and the truth is, “Menopause is a normal change in our lives,” according to Deborah Ennis, a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC). ... (read more)

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August 2009
HELPING HANDS: Surgical fixes for arthritis and carpal tunnel

You don’t have the strength to open that jam jar, even though it’s been opened before. Twistoff bottle caps are agony, and even with an ergonomically designed can opener, a tuna can is a challenge. It hurts to turn a doorknob, using scissors is a trial, and your strong handshake is a thing of the past.

The problem? Carpometacarpal (CMC) arthritis, says Jessica Mattoli, M.D., a hand surgeon who can explain the cause and cure for the pain, tenderness, and weakness in the fleshy area where the thumb meets the palm of the hand. (read more)

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July 2009
WHAT’S A HOSPITALIST? Dr. Timothy Arruda is the answer

It’s hard enough being a patient in the hospital without having to figure out who’s who among the many scrub-clad people who appear at your bedside at all hours of the day or night. Which one’s a nurse, which a doctor, which a technician or assistant or aide? Whether you are the patient or a family member or loved one of someone who is hospitalized, the most burning question you may have is, “Who’s in charge?”
... (read more)

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June 2009
DIABETES EDUCATION: Lifetime learning for a lifelong disease

“Diabetes is a lifetime thing,” says Deb Gibbons, registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at Learning for Life, Cape Cod Healthcare’s diabetes education program. “What we’re about is helping people figure out what they need to do to live the lives they want while having diabetes.” ... (read more)

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May 2009
JIM GARVEY: An apothecary who cares

It is news to no one that our health care system is in crisis. Here on the Cape, a major sign is the shortage of primary care physicians, with many medical practices closed to new patients. Managed care pressures health care professionals to see as many patients as possible as quickly as possible. One bright spot in this picture are local pharmacists, trained professionals who represent a vital link in the health care delivery chain.
... (read more)

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March 2009
EYE on LARRY HARTUNG: Doctor of optometry

Even if you made it to middle age without needing glasses, it’s a sure thing you’ve started to notice the blur of words on the page. You may be able to compensate by holding your book at arm’s length, but it’s a losing battle against time. (read more)

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February 2009
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY: Re-learning the daily tasks of life

Unless you've needed occupational therapy, you probably don’t know what it is. Is it sort of like physical therapy? If so, what’s the difference? And what does it have to do with jobs and working?  … (read more)

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January 2009
ORLEANS WHOLE FOOD STORE: Emporium of a bygone era

There’s a 1910 photograph by H. K. Cummings hanging in the Orleans Whole Food Store of a solitary house with a horse and cart parked out front. A sign above the door reads: “Davis and Chase Apothecaries.” Today, the house – its gingerbread trim painted red, white, and green – is sandwiched between the stores of Main Street and tiny Parish Park. When you walk up the steps, cross the timeworn wooden porch, and turn the brass doorknob, you enter a space that looks, sounds, and smells like history. … (read more)

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December 2008
A.W.A.K.E. and INVOLVED: The Leyden Team

Michael Leyden tells the story of a sailing trip he took with a group of friends. Anchored off Mystic, Connecticut, for the night, “there were four people onboard when I went to sleep, but when I got up the next morning, everyone was gone. They had rowed the dinghy ashore and slept in the boathouse.” Anything to get away from his thunderous snoring. … (read more)

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November 2008
SEIDO KARATE: The spirit of not quitting

“Have you always wanted to study karate but just never got around to it? Do you feel like you’re too ‘old’ or ‘out of shape’ to start now?” Those questions will be familiar to anyone who has perused the Nauset Community Education catalogue. The person asking them holds a fifth-degree black belt in seido karate, a Zen-based style that emphasizes “the training of body, mind, and spirit together in order to realize the fullness of human potential.” She also happens to be a cancer survivor just months away from her 65th birthday. … (read more)

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October 2008
Vitalistic Healing through chiropractic care

If you’ve ever driven through Eastham on Route 6, you’ve probably noticed the banners. The colorful flags change daily, sometimes signaling a holiday or boosting the Sox or the Pats, often just waving cheerfully in the breeze beneath the sign that reads: Chiropractor. … (read more)

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September 2008
VARICOSE VEINS: Let the singing surgeon help

When he isn't singing a cappella, Daniel Gorin, MD, is singing the praises of a quick, painless, and effective treatment for varicose veins. The 46-year-old vascular surgeon specializes in a minimally invasive technique that has his patients back on their feet in less than an hour. … (read more)

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August 2008
Now is the Time to put prevention into practice

Earlier in my career as a medical writer, I had a minor role in an effort by the U.S. Public Health Service to get more primary care physicians to practice preventive medicine on the theory that it's better—medically and economically—to prevent illness than to treat it once it develops. ... (read more)

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July 2008 
O.J. MURPHY: Fit and fabulous

If it's 7 a.m. at Willy's Gym in Orleans, you'll find the glass- and mirror-walled exercise classroom filled with people—mostly women, but a smattering of men—all on the other side of 50, some considerably so. … If it's a Friday, chances are a perky, yet elegant blue-eyed blonde will be at the front of the room, putting them through their paces. ... (read more)

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June 2008
DOCTORS OF OSTEOPATHY: Treating the whole person

When you walk into Brewster Medical Associates it looks pretty much like any other doctor’s office, except for a sign over the door identifying the physicians as D.O.s, doctors of osteopathy. If you’re accustomed to seeing an M.D., you may wonder if you’re in the right place. What is osteopathy? How is it different from allopathic medicine, the kind practiced by M.D.s? Does an osteopathic physician have the training, knowledge, and certification to take care of your health care needs? ... (read more)

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May 2008
NOW HEAR THIS: Dr. Theresa Cullen talks about hearing loss

Do you often ask people to repeat themselves? Do you have difficulty following conversations in a crowded restaurant? Does everyone around you seem to be mumbling? If so, Theresa Cullen, Au.D., says it’s time for a hearing evaluation. A doctor of audiology in Hyannis, Theresa has been treating people with hearing problems for 22 years. Although she sees patients of all ages, an increasing number of baby boomers come to her for help. Normal age-related hearing problems coupled with past exposure to loud music may explain why the generation that put the “boom” into popular music is experiencing hearing problems at an earlier age than their parents did. ... (read more)

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April 2008
JEBBA HANDLEY: A life of abundance tempered by an appetite
of moderation

Food has always been close to Jebba Handley’s heart. She loves to cook, she loves to eat, she loves to feed the people she loves. “There’s nothing I love better than having people sit at my table and talk,” she says. “That’s high entertainment to me.” For six and half years, many of us had the pleasure of sitting “At Jebba’s Table” through her column on food and entertaining in a local newspaper. Then, as 2006 drew to a close, everything changed. ... (read more)

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March 2008
IN THE CATH LAB with Dr. Richard Zelman

Standing in the corridor between the four spanking-new cardiac catheterization suites at Cape Cod Hospital, Dr. Richard Zelman launches into a mini-course on how to halt a heart attack before it begins. In front of him is a glass wall looking into one of the cath suites. Three people in blue scrubs gather around a gurney fitted out as an operating table. The man lying on it is conscious, but calmed by a sedative. A large video monitor hangs at eye level, displaying the black-and-white moving image of a heart in distress. Zelman clicks on a smaller monitor showing the identical image. In his precise, soft-spoken manner, he explains every step of the procedure taking place on the other side of the glass wall. ... (read more)

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February 2008
TOM SBARRA, MD: In the heart of his community

Tom Sbarra intended to retire after practicing cardiology for 25 years. The plan was for him and his wife, Judy, to spend a year in New Zealand, then come home to Falmouth for a life of active leisure. They did the New Zealand part, living in Wellington while Tom worked in a teaching hospital. “I’d always wanted to go there,” he says. “It was a fabulous experience.” But when they returned to the Cape last year, Tom was offered the opportunity to develop a program aimed at preventing heart attacks rather than treating them after they occur. Having spent his career battling cardiovascular disease, Tom jumped at the chance. ... (read more)

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January 2008
THE EMERGENCY ROOM: “It’s not like television at all, ever.”

Katy Kelley loves working in the ER. “I love the excitement, the camaraderie,” she says. “I like not knowing what’s coming in the door.” The door she’s talking about leads into the Emergency Department of Cape Cod Hospital, one of the busiest in the commonwealth. Each year, about 84,000 people seek treatmentthere, arriving in ambulances or on their own. And when they come, nurses like Katy Kelley are standing by, ready to give them the care they need. ... (read more)

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December 2007
ER ON WHEELS: A shift with the Harwich Fire Department

Tom Gould and Rob Sanders may have wanted to be firemen when they grew up, but these two members of the Harwich Fire Department spend more time delivering pre-hospital medical care than they do fighting fires. Each of the 35 members of the Harwich crew is an EMT (emergency medical technician). More than halfincluding Gould and Sandersare paramedics, the most highly trained level of EMT. ... (read more)

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November 2007
THE INFUSION NETWORK: First accredited free-standing infusion
facility in Massachusetts

Paul Dussault has a rare appreciation for the important things in life. Maybe it’s because he survived a life-threatening cancer and lived to see his family grow to six children and 15 grandchildren. Maybe it’s because he sees new beginnings where others might see the end of the road. Maybe it’s because he has built successful businesses that also serve the needs of the community. Most likely, it’s all of those things. ... (read more)

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