The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 2, 1998 · Page 13
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 13

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Thursday, April 2, 1998
Page 13
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THURSDAY APRIL 2, 1998 THE SAUNA JOURNAL Health MONEY/ C3 NEWS / C4 CLASSIFIED/CS c BRIEFLY Examine neck, not head for depression - The millions of people who have unexplained mood swings, feel empty or sad or just don't care anymore may not need to have their heads examined. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists says its their necks that should get the scrutiny. Although frequently dismissed Ss stress, aging or the result of a fast-paced lifestyle, these depres- isidn-like symptoms may actually 'be a sign of a disease involving the thyroid gland located in the neck. A new AACE study found only one in five people who have experienced these depression-like symptoms in the last two years have ever been tested for thyroid disease. Left undetected and untreated, thyroid disease can cause long- term complications. It can result in elevated cholesterol levels which may lead to subsequent heart disease and menstrual ir- , regularities leading to infertility. *-~~ AACE offers a pamphlet to per- ifbrm a self-examination called the "Thyroid Neck Check." To receive the pamphlet, visit the association's Web site at, or write AACE at Radio City Station, P.O. Box 1412, New York, N.Y. 10019 Just say no to negative thinking -Tor years, people have been told about the power of positive thinking to improve health and well-being. But new research suggests it may be even more important to avoid negative thinking. " An Ohio State University study of 224 adults found avoiding pessimism may be more important than embracing optimism in reducing anxiety arid stress and improving health. • "When examined optimism and pessimism separately, it turns out that pessimism had more of an influence on well-being," according to Susan Robinson-Whelen, who co-authored the study. , While previous studies have •linked optimism to well-being, ithose studies generally considered optimism and pessimism to ;be simple opposites. "Researchers have generally lumped pessimism and optimism together, and attributed all the effect on well-being to optimism," ^Robert MacCallum, professor of psychology at Ohio State, explained. "But we found that levels , of optimism and pessimism may .not always be strongly related. ^[BQf's good reason to consider ^tem separately." It's better to talk about STDs than not Talking to your doctor about sexually transmitted diseases can •be^Dainful — but that discomfort 'is'far less than the agony that can come later. The American Social Health Association wants to help break the silence about sexually transmitted diseases, STDs for short, with a free guide designed to encourage people to talk to their health care providers about this sensitive subject. The brochure, "A Practical Guide for the Tongue-Tied," is available by calling ASHA at (800) 677-4100 during April. : Linda Alexander, ASHA president, says the organization is particularly interested in getting .more information out about human papillomavirus (HPV), one of the most common but least discussed STDs. "Because HPV is extremely common but often symptomless, [education is essential for early 'detection and treatment," she explains. Some types of HPV can 'cause genital warts and other can ! cause cervical cancer. April is National STD Awareness Month. From Wire Service Reports VDIET DOWN OUT but not With the loss of feeling in his hands, once common tasks such as opening a lunch meat container become an exercise In creativity and persistence for Farney. Photos by KELLY PRESNELL / The Salina Journal After getting home from work, Jeff Farney takes a few moments to read the newspaper before making dinner for himself and his cat, Bo. His body under siege, man strives for a normal-life By DAN ENGLAND The Salina Journal BELOIT — Jeff Farney's new life began with a tingle in his right arm. The Beloit resident was at work at Carrico Implement on May 5,1995, when his arm suddenly felt as if it had fallen asleep. He didn't think it was a big deal — limbs fall asleep all the time — but when the tingle moved up his arm and began to creep around his body like a python, he told his co-workers that something wasn't right. That was in the afternoon, and by 9:30 p.m., it was apparent to Farney something definitely was wrong. It would be two weeks before he had his answer. By 6:30 a.m. the next day, he could still support himself, but his legs splayed out in front of him, as if they were made of Silly Putty. By 5 p.m., about 28 hours after the tingle first surfaced and while being examined in the emergency room at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan., a spasm wracked Farney's body. He was one month shy of his 25th birthday, and he could no longer feel, any sensation below his armpits. A viral condition called acute transverse myelitis, a rare disorder that affects 1 in 1.7 million people, had left him paralyzed from the chest down. Farney, who graduated from Beloit High School in 1988, had just bought his first home. He wanted to fix up the house and have 'a "sports room" stuffed with his sports memorabilia collection. All that was gone, but Farney was determined not to have it escape him forever. Almost three years after the tingle barged into his life, forced him to use a motorized wheelchair and stole his independence, Farney is battling to grab back his self-sufficiency. A burden for life? About three weeks after the spasm, Farney was moved to Mid-America Rehabilitation Hospital in Overland Park. He couldn't even sit up Famey takes 46 pills dally, many of which are to control muscle spasms and help his bowels function. He separates the medication into containers to keep track of his doses. His previous life had been much different. Farney stocked parts and worked with customers at Carrico Implement. He regularly loaded 50-pound parts onto pickup trucks and worked 50 hours a week most of the year and 80 hours a week during harvest. He loved to fish with friends, keep up with Beloit High School teams, watch sports on television and go to movies. "I liked to do normal stuff that single guys my age do," said Farney, 27. All that was replaced with the fear of being a burden on his family for the rest of his life when he was transferred to the rehabilitation hospital. He couldn't wash himself, go to the bathroom on his own or feed himself. "There was nothing more humiliating than having someone feed you," Farney remembers. "I felt useless." The first hope came in a finger twitch. His therapist cried out in joy after he saw Farney move his fingers a few inches back and forth three weeks after Farney arrived at the rehabilitation hospital. The progress was small but significant: A sign of nerve conduction meant Farney had a chance to regain some movement in his hands. But it would take work. So, in Farney's words, the hospital had him hopping for more than six hours a day, A brave new world The world beyond the rehabilitation center is a scary one for paralysis patients. It's full of narrow doorways, rooms brimming with furniture and stairs with no ramps. There are light switches high on the walls, ceiling fans with strings that only someone 6-foot-tall can reach and kitchens with counters and stoves that might as well be in the clouds. Farney left the rehabilitation center in August to live with his mother and stepfather in Beloit after he had regained some movement in his hands, fingers and arms. The battle for his independence had begun, but his new world was overwhelming. See DOWN, Page C2 When an infection develops in the human body, white blood cells rush to fight it. In cases of transverse myelitis, those same blood cells sense an infection in the person's spinal cord. The infection isn't there, however, and the white blood cells pick a segment of the spinal cord and destroy the nerves until they believe the infection is gone. Transverse myelitis is different in every case. It can attack anyone, and is not a transmittable virus. There are no known cures or causes. Controlling cravings can reduce PMS symptoms, study finds ! Premenstrual syndrome symptoms can increase with binges on sweets By EDWARD M. EVELD The Kansas City Star • As researchers get closer to pin- i pointing the biological factors of ipremenstrual syndrome, the race !is on to try to tame it. , Health experts have trotted out a variety of pills and powdered po- ;tions, even Prozac, as potential remedies. But some women are finding relief from irritability, anxiety and headaches with a much simpler prescription: food. Cravings, especially for sweets, are a well-known component of PMS for some. But women can learn to handle such cravings in a way that also can reduce symptoms, said Joanne Mentzel, a registered pharmacist with the Women's Health America group in Madison, Wis. The group specializes in women's health issues, especially PMS and menopause. Binging is not the answer. Some women try to hold out against a craving but eventually yield to it with a flurry of eating. An onslaught of sweets then sets up blood sugar swings, worsening some of the symptoms often present with hormonal changes. Even snacking on foods considered healthy such as fruit and juices can amount to too much sugar. "They may think they're eating well, but they're really putting themselves back on the roller coaster," Mentzel said. Other women stand firm against cravings, to the point they actually aren't eating enough. "You need to snack in order to maintain your blood sugar level," Mentzel said. The better solution, then, is to space out food intake during the day, avoiding the highs and lows, she said. PMS sufferers should try eating three smaller meals supplemented with three scheduled snacks at mid-morning, mid-afternoon and later in the evening. And done carefully, eating more often won't increase the potential for weight gain, Mentzel said. In fact, it can help avoid overeating. "By eating the small amounts during the day, you're not going to get those cravings where you feel you have to gorge yourself," Mentzel said. Carrie Puck, a registered dietitian with St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, said frequent, smaller meals will help keep energy up and also may help limit premenstrual bloating. Puck said scientific studies would be needed to de- termine what results most women could expect from the program. The important concern for the between-meal snacks is to cut the sugar and to concentrate on protein and complex carbohydrates. For example, a hard-boiled egg would be a good choice for breakfast and a low-sugar peanut butter on wheat crackers for a snack. Vegetables such as carrots and broccoli are also good snacks, but some people are so sugar-sensitive they should steer clear of sweet corn and beets. . , . . •• ~. .,<.,,-. ••...-... : l ..:.-':.-,i-.-"i i -.-t:;t:::-:-\rt : v'k l $®$?^^ •"•:*•'•.'••• " ' •.-,•:.• SUGGESTIONS? CALL BECKY FITZGERALD, LIFE EDITOR, AT (795) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT s|bflUg.erald©8aljournal.Com

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