Family member giving thanks

Friends Pondering Gratitude at Thanksgiving, for Which I am Grateful

A few Thanksgivings ago, I posted a request on Facebook (along with a picture of one of my cats because, well, doesn't almost everyone love cat pictures!) Read the Rest »
Cute doggie

Don’t feed your dog turkey leftovers and other pet holiday safety tips

November 23rd, 2015 | I'm Not Your Mother, But ...
What's wrong with a little turkey? It's the skin and the gravy that might be coating it that could make your dog sick. They contain too much fat. Read the Rest »
Windham Primary School

Learn how to protect your child against sexual assault

Talking to your children about sexual assault might not be an easy conversation for a lot of parents. It may not even occur to some if their child is still young. When should you say something? How do you find the right words to avoid scaring them or leaving them bewildered and confused? Maybe that's exactly how you're feeling. Read the Rest »
Joe Brannigan

How hospice care helped Joe Brannigan and his family in the final months of his life

Guest post by Claire Brannigan, whose husband Joe died January 17, 2015. 

Our story

It all began when Joe started struggling with the aerobic portion of his regular gym workout. At the advice of the instructor, Joe saw his doctor that day. Within days, we got the diagnosis: Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia (AML) — incurable and treatable only with palliative chemotherapy treatment. Joe asked the difficult question anyone in his situation would want to know: “How long do I have?” Her answer was six months to a year with treatment. Read the Rest »
Three men on bikes

Who says 90 is too old to exercise? Not these men!

November 18th, 2015 | I'm Not Your Mother, But ...
Do you have trouble fitting exercise into your life? Join the club. Sometimes, everything else comes first. And yet, being active can be key to feeling young and healthy. I know that. You know that. And so do the three gentlemen I met in the Fit to Live exercise group at the South Portland Recreation Center. All in shape, all active, all in their 90s. Read the Rest »
Chest x-ray

Some surprising little known facts about lung cancer

Most people assume that all lung cancers are caused by smoking. Period. Given that active smoking is responsible for an estimated 85 percent of lung cancer cases, it seems like a fair assumption. But when I asked Deb Violette, who was diagnosed with lung cancer 17 years ago if she'd been a smoker, I could tell she was slightly annoyed. Read the Rest »
X-ray technologist

Having an x-ray? Show some love and kindness to your technologist!

November 9th, 2015 | I'm Not Your Mother, But ...
On November 8, 1895, Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, a German physicist, discovered what we know as the x-ray. The first image he took was of his wife’s hand and wedding ring. By the following year, x-rays were being used in health care settings to see bone fractures and damage from gunshot wounds. Read the Rest »
Diane in kayak

Decade by decade. How to keep your body strong and agile

I try to be active, but I've noticed lately that I'm not as quick or as flexible as I used to be. Balance can also be an issue. Sometimes, it's downright scary. Like when I dashed across the street the other day and thought for a second I was going to pitch forward onto the pavement. Then there's getting out of the car. It used to take one fluid movement. Now, it probably looks as if a robot is emerging. Read the Rest »
Halloween costume

Trick or Treat and a Halloween Candy Confession

October 30th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories, Nom Nom
There was a time when the neighborhood kids did not get Halloween candy from the Atwood family. Instead, we handed out granola bars because we thought it was a healthier choice. We weren't the favorite house in the neighborhood. Fran Evans down the road beat out everyone. She made cupcakes from scratch and put each child from the neighborhood's name on top. My daughters still remember those cupcakes with great fondness. Read the Rest »

What I didn’t know about physical therapists

Any of these describe you?
  • Your back hurts
  • You injured your rotator cuff and had shoulder surgery.
  • Someone rear-ended you and now you can't move your neck.
  • You've had a mastectomy and your arm is swollen.
  • You had your knee replaced.
  • You're trying to live a healthy lifestyle
  • Every time you have sex, it hurts.
Read the Rest »
Cars covered with snow

How businesses can chill out this winter with safety prep now

Guest post by Tony Payne, VP Business Development, Clark Insurance. Many of the most frequent and costly insurance claims for businesses are winter-related accidents. With cold weather approaching, property owners need to take steps now to avoid injuries as well as property and liability claims. Here are several hazards to avoid and things you can do to control your risks now and through the dark days of winter. Read the Rest »
Morning Report Screenshot

How an AED saved a man’s life. On the Morning Report

Would you know what to do if someone collapsed right in front of you and went into cardiac arrest? On the Morning Report, Sharon Vaznis and I talk about some of the steps that could save a person's life. Read the Rest »
Illustration for The Tense Vagina

A tense vagina. Something worth dancing about

Sara Juli is not afraid to tackle personal issues in a public forum. She's a dance artist who has been creating and performing solo work since 2000. She has danced about fear and shame and anger. In 2006, she offered audiences her life savings — $5000 — in The Money Conversation. In 2008, after losing her father to cancer, she addressed the taboo topic of death in her piece Death. And now, the topic is tense vaginas. Her tense vagina. The title of her upcoming dance theater performance is Tense Vagina: an actual diagnosis.  Read the Rest »
Tire tracks

Sleep apnea at night nearly killed this man during the day

"I was driving along a state highway heading home on a summer afternoon. I dozed and drifted onto the gravel shoulder toward a drop-off onto someone’s lawn. The bang of my right side mirror striking a mailbox woke me up. I swerved left and skidded back into the road. Safe this time, but frightened."
Read the Rest »

How to get an AED for your community and why it’s important that you do

March 5, 2007. A day Joe Gould will never forget. It started out like any other day. He went to work and at lunchtime headed to the YMCA in Augusta for his daily workout. Here's what happened: Read the Rest »
Think VTE button

Preventing life-threatening blood clots in the hospital

Guest post by Cindy Asbjornsen, DO, FACPh Happy World Thrombosis Day! Today, October 13th, healthcare professionals, scientists, and regular folks around the world are spreading the word about how to identify and prevent thromboses, more commonly known as blood clots. Read the Rest »
Konnie Stinson

Diagnosed with a rare cancer she’d never heard of before

October 12th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
Konnie Stinson is one of those people who just try to push through it when they're hurt or don't feel well. That's what she did back in 2013 when she had a host of unusual symptoms. Nausea, blurred vision, dizziness, headaches and exhaustion. "All symptoms you might have if you're tired or work out too hard or are busy or have low blood sugar," she says. "I just kept trying to explain them away." Read the Rest »
Breast Cancer myths infographic

Top 10 breast cancer myths

October 8th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
Ever since I was a young woman, I've been hyper-aware of my breasts. Not because there's anything special or unique about them, but because when I was in my twenties, I discovered a lump. Read the Rest »
Sharon Vaznis and Diane Atwood

Recognizing Parkinson’s disease: On the Morning Report

October 7th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
Did you ever get a gut feeling about something and then brush it aside? It can turn out to be something important so we should probably pay attention. The doctor told Warren Gilman his problems walking were probably due to a back injury, but his wife had a gut feeling it might be Parkinson's disease. She was right. Sharon Rose Vasniz and I talk about gut feelings and early signs of Parkinson's disease on the Morning Report. Read the Rest »
Taking the SAGE

Forgetting things? Take this test to see if you need to worry about Alzheimer’s

October 5th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
Worried because you're not young anymore and you've started forgetting more things than you used to? Why you left the room? Where you put your glasses? Whether you turned off the iron? A name? An appointment? Read the Rest »

Tomato. Tomahto. Either way, they offer more than sweet succulence

September 30th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories, Nom Nom
Guest post by Jenny Babino, RDN, LD, courtesy of the Maine Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. As our home-grown tomatoes enjoy their last few weeks on the vine, we thought it would be a good time to remind you that tomatoes are highly nutritious and should be part of your diet year ‘round — no matter whether you prefer them fresh or in one of their many canned forms. Read the Rest »
Warren Gilman

How to recognize the signs of Parkinson’s disease

September 28th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
This summer, my 86-year-old neighbor Warren Gilman found out that he has Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's disease is a disorder of the nervous system that affects how a person moves. The most common first sign of Parkinson's is a tremor, but Warren's hands are as steady as they ever were. His sharp-eyed wife Emma noticed some other worrisome signs, though. Read the Rest »
Group yoga pose

Does yoga have the power to save an addict’s life? Absolutely, say these people

September 23rd, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
For twenty years, Angela Weymouth watched her brother struggle with opiate addiction. She and her husband, Michael Seymour, own Maine Hatha Yoga on Dartmouth Street in Portland. Since they first opened in 2002, they've known that people with substance abuse issues take their yoga classes. But only recently did some share their personal stories. Read the Rest »
Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 11.22.26 PM

Never too old to get mono: On the Morning Report

September 22nd, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
Mononucleosis is an infection we usually associate with teenagers, but people of all ages — even baby boomers — can get mono. Sharon Vaznis and I talk about symptoms and treatment on the Morning Report. Read the Rest »
Page from book

When a child has cancer, what happens to the other children in the family?

September 21st, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
When Daniel's dad tells him his sister Kate has cancer, he doesn't understand. She doesn't look sick. "Will she be better by Saturday for the parade?" he asks. Read the Rest »
Kath Bartlett

Treating depression, anxiety and insomnia with Chinese medicine

September 17th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
Guest post by Kath Bartlett, LAc, licensed acupuncturist and Board Certified in Oriental Medicine, NCCAOM Everyone wants to be happy and avoid suffering and pain. Our body’s nervous system hardwires us to pursue this attainment. So when anxiety, depression, stress or insomnia affect us, we understandably seek relief from our afflictions. Read the Rest »
Body Worlds specimen

Body Worlds: Education? Entertainment? Spectacular? Ghastly? It’s up to you to decide

September 10th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
As a longtime health reporter and former x-ray tech, I've been in lots  of operating rooms and have witnessed more surgical procedures than I can count. I've seen people's brains, hearts, stomachs, intestines, gall bladders, kidneys, joints, muscles and bones. Read the Rest »
Older man running

You can’t run like you used to, but you may still be able to run!

September 9th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
You ran like a gazelle when you were younger, but it's been years and now, you often feel clunky and stiff. Why, even getting in and out of the car or up from your chair is a challenge. Read the Rest »
Marty and Fran

How to be a friend — a best friend — to someone with a mental illness

September 6th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
How important are your friends? Would you travel to the ends of the Earth for any of them? I suspect that best friends Fran Houston and Marty Baker would, although their friendship got off to a rocky start. They met four years ago on a mutual friend's Facebook page. The friend, who was despondent, wrote that she "Didn't want to do this anymore." Read the Rest »
Apples from Mullis Orchards

Where You Can Pick Apples in Maine

September 3rd, 2015 | Catching Health Stories, Nom Nom
Some people consider apples a superfood, so one a day just might help you stay healthy. There are thousands of varieties to choose from, many of them right here in Maine. I've put together a list of some Maine orchards that let you pick your own apples — a great way to spend a late summer/early fall afternoon. Read the Rest »
Screenshot Morning Report

What a recent DCIS study does and doesn’t tell us : On the Morning Report

September 1st, 2015 | Catching Health Stories

Every year, 60,000 women in this country are diagnosed with DCIS or stage 0 breast cancer.

In a recently published study, researchers analyzed the medical data of 100,000 women with DCIS to see what happened to them 10 and 20 years after they were diagnosed.  Sharon Vaznis and I discuss their findings on the Morning Report. Read the Rest »