My cats on the mantle

What brought you joy this week?

July 5th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories, Joy!

Here's what I believe:

[Tweet "If you look for joy, it will find you."] Read the Rest »

Pat Jordan and Julie Marchese

Tri for a Cure: How it really began

July 1st, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
If it weren’t for Pat Jordan, who passed away in May, there would be no Tri for a Cure (an annual women's triathlon in Maine.) It was Pat who lovingly pointed that out to her daughter Julie Jordan Marchese, who founded the Tri eight years ago. “When she reminded me,” Julie chuckles, “I said Mum, you’re right!“  Read the Rest »
Morning Report

Does your family know your final wishes? On the Morning Report

June 29th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
If you could no longer speak for yourself, would the people who love you know your final wishes? If they did, could you count on them to carry them out? Sharon and I talk about how to start the conversation — on the Morning Report. Read the Rest »
John McCleary

10 important tips for preventing deadly medical errors and infections

June 24th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
John McCleary died at the age of 83. He lived a nice long life, you might say. Maybe, but John's life was still unexpectedly cut short. Not by an accident or a heart attack or cancer. By an infection. That he picked up as a patient in the hospital. Read the Rest »
Wisteria

What Brought You Joy Today?

June 24th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories, Joy!
Today is the fifth installment of a series of updates on joy from the Catching Health Facebook page. In case you missed the previous posts, about a month ago, I was inspired to share a picture of a lilac tree and asked my followers what brought them joy that day. People responded! Day 30 has come and gone, but I’ve decided to continue sharing and asking “What brought you joy today?” here on the Catching Health blog. Read the Rest »
Diane's mother

What Brought You Joy Today?

June 22nd, 2015 | Catching Health Stories, Joy!
Today is the fourth installment of a series of updates on joy from the Catching Health Facebook page. If you missed the previous posts, about a month ago, I was inspired to share a picture of a lilac tree and asked my followers what brought them joy that day. People responded! Day 30 has come and gone, but I’ve decided to continue sharing and asking “What brought you joy today?” here on the Catching Health blog. Read the Rest »
Amy and Porter 2015

What Brought You Joy Today?

June 19th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories, Joy!
Today is the third installment of a series of updates on joy from the Catching Health Facebook page. If you missed the previous posts, about a month ago, I was inspired to share a picture of a lilac tree and asked my followers what brought them joy that day. People responded! Day 30 is tomorrow, but I’ve decided to continue sharing and asking “What brought you joy today?” here on the Catching Health blog. Read the Rest »
Hammock

What Brought You Joy Today?

June 18th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories, Joy!

Today is the second installment of a series of updates on joy from the Catching Health Facebook page. As I mentioned in yesterday's blog post, about a month ago, I was inspired to share a picture of a lilac tree and asked my followers what brought them joy that day. People responded!

I decided to keep doing it for the next 30 days and now I've decided to continue sharing and asking "What brought you joy today?" here on the Catching Health blog.

I'm beginning by sharing the Facebook posts and responses from the past month.

I hope you'll be inspired to share you own moments of joy. It can be contagious! Read the Rest »
Diane and her Dad a few years back

Some difficult but important advice about planning ahead — now

June 18th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
If you could no longer speak for yourself, would the people who love you know your final wishes? If they did, could you count on them to carry them out? Have you even thought about what your wishes might be? Read the Rest »
Lake Champlain

What Brought You Joy Today?

June 17th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories, Joy!
The sight and scent of lilacs in my backyard last for such a short time but bring me immense joy. We have a lilac bush that we bought years ago as a tiny plant from the McLaughlin Garden in South Paris, Maine. The flowers are pink and this year, they were in abundance. A month ago, I took a picture, which I shared on the Catching Health Facebook page. I also decided that for the next 30 days I would continue sharing pictures of things that brought me joy. Read the Rest »
Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 6.50.22 AM

Delicious, healthy strawberries: On the Morning Report

June 16th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories

Freshly picked strawberries. Wicked good! Sharon and I talk about their health benefits and share some advice on the Morning Report. I also ask viewers for a little help with the Catching Health list of where you can pick strawberries in Maine. Read the Rest »

Handful of tomatoes

Why composting will make you feel good about yourself and the world

June 15th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
When Saco Middle School started composting this past March, it went from 10 garbage bags a lunch period to just one. Students in the school's ecology club feel pretty pleased with the accomplishment because they understand why composting is a good thing to do. Read the Rest »
Cover Photo Rad Art

An artist’s take on the frightening unfamilar world of cancer treatments

June 11th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories

Have you ever used the word rad? (Slang for cool or awesome.)

Rad actually stands for radiation absorbed dose. It's a term used to define a unit of energy that is absorbed from radiation — like when someone is having radiation therapy treatments to kill cancer cells.

Maine artist Sally Loughridge knows all too well what a rad is — she endured six weeks and a half weeks of radiation therapy to kill off any lingering cancer cells in her breast.  Read the Rest »

strawberries

Where to Pick Strawberries in Maine

June 8th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories

Is there anything else quite as delicious as a handful of freshly picked strawberries? Check out the Catching Health list of farms across Maine that let you pick your own strawberries. If a farm has a website or Facebook page, I included a link. Otherwise, you might want to call ahead to make sure it’s open for picking.

Wherever possible, I have included information about a farm's use of pesticides.

If you want to add a farm or additional information to the list or notice something that needs to be corrected, please let me know. I'll tell you how at the end of the post.

[Tweet "Where to pick strawberries in Maine"]

Read the Rest »
Carolyn Preston

Harvard Pilgrim offers employees a quick and easy way to EatRight

June 4th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
When Carolyn Preston goes grocery shopping, she tries to make healthy choices for her family. A handy little app on her smartphone makes it a lot easier. With it, she can scan the barcode of a food item and get all kinds of useful information. First and foremost, its nutritional score on a scale of one to 100 with one being the least healthy and 100 the most. Read the Rest »
Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 9.24.55 PM

Men and skin cancer: On the Morning Report

June 3rd, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
According to a recent survey by the Skin Cancer Foundation, men over age 50 are twice as likely as women to die from malignant melanoma. On the Morning Report, Sharon Vaznis and I share some important information about protection and prevention — for men and women. Read the Rest »
Adult Deer tick

Do ticks make you paranoid? You’re not the only one

June 2nd, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
A few years ago, Clayton Douglass went to his local quick care clinic to have a rash under his arm checked out. The doctor didn't know what it was and prescribed a cream, which didn't work. The rash spread. Read the Rest »
Lacy and Vanessa having some fun

Every day Vanessa Child battles a deadly monster that is never satisfied

May 28th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
The monster Vanessa fights every day lives inside her brain. It tells her that she's hungry — starving even — whether she just ate a snack or a three-course meal. Read the Rest »
Men's legs in sun

Men, follow this simple advice. It could save your life

May 25th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories

Guest post by retired dermatologist J. Michael Taylor, MD, MPH

According to a recent survey by the Skin Cancer Foundation, men over age 50 are twice as likely as women to die from malignant melanoma. This difference increases with age.

Men are also much more likely to develop the more common, but less threatening, basal and squamous cell carcinomas. Read the Rest »

Students looking at a lemon

Out of the mouths of babes. What it’s like to have a disability

May 22nd, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
For what seemed like an eternity, but was barely a minute, Shannon Grady's third graders at Small School in South Portland had to pair up and stare at each other. There was a little a lot of fidgeting and giggling and glancing around. Read the Rest »
Diane's grandmother

Strokes kill people we love. You need to know the risks

May 19th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
Thirty years ago, my beloved grandmother — her name was Joanna Tenney, but we called her Nanny — had a massive stroke and died a few days later. She had congestive heart failure and had been under treatment in the hospital for about a week when she had the stroke. I didn’t know it at the time, but congestive heart failure is a risk factor for stroke.  Read the Rest »
Woman in hammock

Want a good excuse to nap? Here’s all you need to know

May 17th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
Now that the sun is out, so is my hammock. Fortunately, my boss (me) thinks napping is ok — healthy even. A 20-minute power nap swinging under a blue sky between the birch trees. Doesn't that sound heavenly? Check out this infographic from Patio Productions to see what kind of nap might fit into your day. You'll be joining the company of geniuses! (Einstein, not Diane.)  Read the Rest »
Michelle Spencer

A lifetime of headaches became one woman’s worst nightmare

May 15th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
For nearly 30 years — ever since she was about 10 years old — Michelle Spencer endured headaches. Migraines said doctors.  Read the Rest »
Diane and Sharon on the Morning Report

Understanding the cost of your healthcare: On the Morning Report

May 12th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
I recently wrote a blog post encouraging you to ask your doctor how much tests and procedures will cost. Sharon Rose Vaznis and I continued the conversation on the Morning Report with a look at the often confusing pricing structure. Retail price versus negotiated price. What's that all about? Watch the video. Read the Rest »
Julia Clukey on luge

How to be a champion like Julia Clukey (No need to ride a luge)

May 8th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
Imagine that you have trudged to the top of your favorite sliding hill. You take a deep breath and down you fly — sitting or stretched out on your belly. Your choice. Read the Rest »
Medical bill

How to ask your doctor how much it will cost. Why it’s important

May 6th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
Last year, my family had some unexpected medical expenses. The bills began to add up after I had my annual mammogram. Because there were some suspicious looking calcifications, I was called back for additional views. Next, I had a stereotactic biopsy, which was positive for DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ or stage zero breast cancer). After consulting with a breast surgeon and getting a second opinion, I opted for a lumpectomy. About an hour before the procedure, I had to go the radiology department for a wire localization so the surgeon would know exactly where to operate. The total cost of all those procedures was just under $16,000. Read the Rest »
Wiper not feeling well

Protect your pets against Lyme Disease: On the Morning Report

May 5th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
Happily, little Wiper is doing better. His brush with Lyme Disease serves as reminder to protect our pets against deer ticks. Sharon and I pass along some important Lyme Disease prevention tips on the Morning Report. Read the Rest »
Logo for CAS Concert

Alzheimer’s: Amazingly, it can be something to sing about

May 1st, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
You wouldn't think that Alzheimer's or any form of dementia was something to sing about. I'm not talking about the effect music can have on someone with dementia, which I happened to witness just the other day at the memory care facility where my mother lives. (I arrived in the middle of a concert — a man playing his guitar and singing old, familiar songs. Several of the residents were singing along and tapping their feet. One woman was practically jumping out of her chair with the urge to dance. I'd never seen her act so lively before.) But that's not what I mean. I'm talking about a musical composition that tries to tell the story of Alzheimer's. There really is one. It was written in 2008 by composer Robert S. Cohen.  Read the Rest »
Wiper

Thanks to his vet back home in Maine, a sweet little dog is on the mend

April 27th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
Hi, I'm Wiper!

What's all the fuss?

The fuss is that a few weeks ago sweet little Wiper (yes, that's his name) was so sick his humans (their names are Russ and Donna) thought he might be dying. First, his legs kept going out from under him and then one morning, they found him stretched out on their bed rigid and glassy-eyed. His heart was beating, but he wouldn't respond to anything they said or did. They thought he'd had a stroke. Terrified, they scooped him up in a blanket and drove straight to the nearest veterinary clinic. Read the Rest »
Woman and grandson

How to handle an ache in your hip that becomes a pain in the neck

April 23rd, 2015 | Catching Health Stories
It happens at least a few times a week. When it does it can take Dee's breath away. You might think I'm talking about her sweet grandson's laugh or her husband's smile from across the room. Happily, those things occur quite frequently and yes, they do take her breath away, but this other thing — well, it's not much fun. In fact, it hurts quite a bit. Read the Rest »