To Your Health
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.
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.
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.
The 3rd Wave Brewing Co. Inaugural 5K Run will be held on Saturday, May 30 at 5:30 p.m., starting and ending at the brewery, located at 501 N. Bi-State Blvd, Delmar.
Something took hold of Butch Martin while he was traveling in his RV through Arizona — now almost 10 years ago — that would change his life forever. To him, it was something new, something different, and something that he couldn’t help but try for himself.
And ever since he did, he’s been hooked.
“I heard the noise, the popping,” Martin recalled of what initially drew his interest to the increasingly popular sport of Pickleball. “So I went over to see what it was and they invited me to play. I’ve been playing ever since.”
From there, Martin quickly learned the game and the rules: serves must be underhand; play to 11; win by 2 — oh, and don’t go in “the kitchen,” the game’s notorious area designated in front of the net.
Pickleball is played on a badminton-sized court, with paddles that are slightly larger than ping-pong paddles. The ball used is similar to a whiffle ball, but slightly smaller and, combined with a lower net, offers opportunities for players of various skill levels to play in a low-key social setting or with some serious competition in mind.
A boxing injury pulled Bobby Hammond out of the ring when he was younger, but physical therapy helped him climb back in the ring a few months later.
Today, the physical therapist helps other people regain their strength through rehabilitation at Atlantic Physical Therapy’s newest location, in West Fenwick.
“Our goal is to implement a life change,” said Hammond, adding that he hopes patients “live a healthier life, a pain-free life, which ultimately is a safer life.”
His father, Robert Hammond, first opened the Ocean Pines, Md., location of APT in 1998, adding locations in Salisbury, Md., Laurel, Del., Millsboro and just recently in West Ocean City, Md.
“People come in for such a broad range of things,” said Bobby Hammond, company vice president. “Everyone’s treatment is tailored to them.”
Therapists help with previous fractures, falls, post-operative care, stroke victims, Parkinson’s patients, sports injuries, neurological rehab, automobile- and work-related injuries and more.
“We go through exercises with the patients. It’s constant one-on-one supervision,” Hammond said. “We’re coaching them through the whole experience, and I think that makes us unique.”
He said empathy is part of his approach to physical therapy.
“We treat them the same way I would treat my mother. You have to have compassion.”
I understand hip replacement surgery and rehab, and that’s from more than my work with so many of you as a physical therapist. A few years ago, I had total hip replacement, and I was the patient.
The Fenwick Island-based Barefoot Gardeners Club will be holding its annual plant sale this Saturday, to raise money for the club’s community outreach projects.
“We offer planters, planted containers, flowers, herbs, some vegetables, and succulents,” said Susan Caldwell, one of the club’s founders and its current president. “There will be people there from the club that can help buyers with what they may want to plant, to help them organize their container or help them put together a good combination of plants.”
The plant sale will be held Saturday, May 9, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine, in Fenwick Island, at the home of Vivian Jennings.
“We’re thankful for her making her property available for the sale,” said Caldwell. “She maintains her yard beautifully.”
I’m one of those people who falls asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow, and I sleep through the night. For too many people, though, the inability to fall asleep normally, stay asleep and get sufficient sleep each night is placing them at risk of serious health problems.
“Think about how you live your life… You have a routine, get up, get ready for your daily activities, take a break to get a snack. You don’t think about how many grams of carbs your snack is. You don’t have to wonder about what your blood glucose level is. The tips of your fingers don’t hurt or bleed. You don’t think that, before you eat, you have to get a shot in your arm. Every meal, every snack, every day, every year for the rest of your life…”
That’s the opening of a letter to Congress from 15-year-old Newark, Del., teen Kyle Smith, who has been living with Type 1 diabetes since the age of 4.
Smith and his grandmother, Sandi Grzybowski of Ocean View, were able to travel to Washington, D.C., in March for the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) Call to Congress.
“You have to apply,” said Grzybowski, who has served as an advocate for the ADA since 2004. “I thought, ‘Oh, the Call to Congress — I wonder what this is all about.’ I thought, ‘Well, alright, I’ll apply.’ Well, I got picked. I took my 15-year-old grandson with me, because who better to tell them than him?”
According to the ADA, diabetes is a “group of diseases characterized by high blood-glucose levels that result from defects in the body’s ability to produce and/or use insulin.”
Spring is here, and not a minute too soon. I’m sure you are as happy as I am about putting this winter behind us. Grass is greening up, plants are coming to life and it’s baseball spring training that has so many kids, as well as the pros, getting ready for the season.
Caring for a loved one with a debilitating disease can be a rewarding experience, but it can come with a great deal of stress, exhaustion and, at times, heartbreak.
Paddle Second Chance recently announced that it will hold its third annual Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) board day of racing and fundraising for Operation Second Chance (OSC). OSC is a non-profit 501(c) organization committed to serving wounded combat veterans and their families’ recovery and transition back to active duty or into civilian life.
A few weeks ago, a patient told me he wanted me to write an article about diabetic neuropathy. As I was thinking about it, it occurred to me that there are so many kinds of peripheral neuropathy that I wanted to make sure I help all of you who are struggling with it or might be soon.
“My story starts when I had a stroke in 2006. My life on dialysis started one year later. I was a dialysis patient for five years. My passion as a patient advocate is what kept me going. The other motivation was that one day I would receive a kidney.
If I had a nickel for every time my mother told me to stand up straight or sit up straight, I’d be rich. I’m betting most of you heard the same thing. I thought it was annoying, but years of education and experience have proven that my mom was right. Poor posture can cause many serious health issues, and it’s really a shame, because it’s something each of us can control.
I recently had a call from a former patient who still gets the Coastal Point, even though she has relocated. She called me for advice because, after her knee-replacement surgery, she developed iliotibial band syndrome, or ITBS. She asked me if I could write an article about it to help her, and others suffering with this distressing and very painful problem, understand it.
Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a dedicated amateur athlete with that “all-in” attitude, you’re a high-probability candidate for an ankle injury.
Hoping to provide a healthier new year, Bayside Chapel will host its first Winter Health & Wellness Event on Saturday, Feb. 7.
“One of our members thought that, since it’s a new year and a lot of people are thinking about being more fit and trying to make resolutions to be a better you, [we’d] try to meet the need in the community,” said the Rev. Jim Penuel.
With the influenza A (H3N2) viruses sickening many people around the country, medical professionals have been urging community members to get their flu shots this year.
“I recommend everyone get a flu shot,” said Dr. Nicole Alu, a family physician with Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Laurel, Del. “I think it’s the best protection.”