To Your Health

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

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.

You don’t have to play tennis to suffer from tennis elbow

Tennis elbow is not a very common injury for tennis players. The fact is tennis elbow is more often than not associated with work or daily activities. Most people think it’s a minor problem, but the truth is it can be very painful and it can severely limit your daily activities.

Without the proper information, you could be at risk and a classic example of the proverbial accident looking for a place to happen.

Information is power, and that’s why we’re going to take a look at what tennis elbow really is, the causes, the symptoms, treatments and prevention strategies. Armed with the facts, you’re going to be able to do a much better job of taking care of yourself and the people you care about.

What’s the big deal about rotator cuff injuries?

It is a big deal. Rotator cuff injuries are more common than most people think. The statistics should make you think twice. Research has proven that rotator cuff-related problems rank as the most common musculoskeletal disorder. Many doctors have find rotator cuff damage to be the leading, most common source of shoulder pain.

Community comes together in support of Baby Alana

Coastal Point • Submitted: Alana Rose Prettyman is facing a tough battle, but she has a community behind her.Coastal Point • Submitted: Alana Rose Prettyman is facing a tough battle, but she has a community behind her.Watching their baby girl grow weaker every day, one Ocean View couple is being lifted back up by their community.

Baby Alana Rose Prettyman was a born a bright, happy girl on Sept. 14, 2014. But several days after she turned 8 months old, in May, her parents took her to A.I. duPont Hospital for Children, and Alana was recently diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease that is quickly robbing her of her ability to eat, smile, sit up and focus.

With that diagnosis, the life expectancy is just one year for this now-9-month old. That’s why people are taking action now, already donating thousands of dollars to the family.

Alexa Shoultes, 24, and Kyle Prettyman, 23, are responding to their daughter’s worsened diagnosis and all the community support by starting a foundation in Alana’s name.

“Our daughter has so much love — people would be blessed to experience that much love in a lifetime,” Shoultes wrote in a June 20 email. “I am so proud of the community for uniting for our sweet angel, and for us. … They are the sole source of our sparse positivity.”

Shoultes is on leave as a rehab technician and gymnastics coach, and Prettyman is taking time off from his fulltime construction work. They’re capturing every precious smile their darling girl can give them.

Boomers beware: Lumbar spinal stenosis cases are on the rise

If you haven’t heard of lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS), those of us of a certain age may become all too familiar with it very soon. Some doctors are sounding the alarm about the rapidly increasing number of cases of LSS.

Right now, about 11 percent of the population is suffering with this painful problem, but Baby Boomers are changing all that. Medical experts are warning the trends don’t look good. By 2021, they expect more than 2.4 million Americans will be afflicted with the condition.

Do you know what LSS is and how it happens? Do you know what your treatment options are and what the latest medical research has discovered about the most effective treatments? Did you know that aging is the primary factor, but not the only factor, that can cause LSS?

As I so often tell you here in the Coastal Point, understanding the problem and getting the information you need to be an informed consumer can make a critical difference for you or someone you know.

Could you be suffering from frozen shoulder?

Is your shoulder stiff and painful? Is it one of those discomforts that has become increasingly worse?

You may be suffering from a very painful problem that can be difficult to pinpoint. It’s called frozen shoulder, and it can make something as seemingly simple as picking up a newspaper an excruciating and difficult task.