Author Archive

Holiday Stress Management

Memory care community offers relief for caregivers.

Donna* describes her mother, Meredith, as an 81-year-old firecracker who’s very physically fit. Donna says her mother has been that way all her life and can even outrun and outjump her.

Donna (alias) talks about how her mother, Meredith (alias), is doing at Symphony at St. Augustine. Tara Tosh and Nancy Nichols of Symphony at St. Augustine discuss managing holiday stress in loved ones with dementia.

Tara Tosh

Two years ago, however, Meredith was diagnosed with frontal temporal lobe dementia.

“Mom’s symptoms started a year after my father’s death, which was in mid June 2015, and were vague at first,” Donna shares. “My sisters and I live fifteen hundred miles away, so we checked on Mom by phone daily and every six weeks, one of us went to Florida for a week or two to be with her.

“Then, we started getting phone calls from Mom’s neighbors who were saying Mom was doing funny things and wondering if she should still be living alone.

“The neighbors told us Mom was getting lost driving in the neighborhood, and she backed up and hit a mailbox. She also broke the back windshield of her SUV and wasn’t home when the technician came to the house to fix it. She started going days without sleeping and got a little delusional. She started saying things that didn’t make sense.”

Initially, Meredith ended up in emergency care, where she was diagnosed with dementia. She then went to an assisted living facility, where she developed a close bond with staff member Nancy Nichols.

Not long thereafter, Nancy left that community to become the marketing director at Symphony at St. Augustine, a memory care facility for people with dementia. The move had a great effect on Meredith.

“I almost felt like my mother was grieving for Nancy,” Donna relates. “It was another loss for her. I kept Nancy’s number in my phone and eventually called her and arranged to have my mother moved to Symphony at St. Augustine. That was in December of last year.

“Symphony at St. Augustine was like Walt Disney World®. We were very impressed and loved the staff. My sister and I talked to Nancy and then met the executive director Tara Tosh. My sister and I said, Mom will like it here. It’s all memory care, and she can be outside in the park if she wants to be.”

Because Meredith was fond of doing housework, Donna was not surprised that Symphony at St Augustine’s housekeeping staff became some of Meredith’s best friends. But it was in the community’s kitchen that she found her second calling.

“Mom helps the kitchen staff with breakfast, lunch and dinner,” states Donna. “She folds napkins, puts the silverware together and makes sure everybody’s got their meals in front of them. She loves working and being in that work atmosphere. I think working in the kitchen promotes a lot of self-esteem for her.

“Mom likes it at Symphony at St. Augustine, but if you ask her, she’ll say she’s going home any day now. The structure they offer there, as well as the activities, are very good for my Mom.”

Holiday Option

The holidays can be stressful for anyone, but they can be extra stressful for someone with dementia or someone caring for a loved one with dementia. Adding shopping, holiday parties, travel, family gatherings and other activities to the hustle and bustle of daily life can lead to confusion and acting out in people with dementia, and fatigue and guilt in caregivers.

Donna (alias) talks about how her mother, Meredith (alias), is doing at Symphony at St. Augustine. Tara Tosh and Nancy Nichols of Symphony at St. Augustine discuss managing holiday stress in loved ones with dementia.

“We love Symphony at St. Augustine and we love that Mom is thriving there.” -Donna

“Primary caregivers try to squeeze in activities at church or with grandchildren, and get stressed because they can’t leave their loved ones with dementia home for long because they’re not safe,” describes Tara. “Then when the caregivers get home, they feel guilty because their loved ones feel that stress and might act out with a negative behavior.

“The holidays are also a common time for depression in any senior, much more so in people who have dementia. It’s a time of year when they look for loved ones they’ve lost and think about family gatherings they used to have. At home, there’s generally not much conversation or interaction with others.”

Meredith’s move to Symphony at St. Augustine came right around the holidays, a time when caregivers for people with dementia sometimes become stressed and anxious that they’re not giving their loved ones enough time and attention.

Caregivers also worry that their added activities at this time of year interfere with their loved ones’ routine schedules. To help alleviate those concerns, Symphony at St. Augustine offers short-term stays for those loved ones with dementia.

“When caregivers need a respite and want a more stimulating environment for their loved ones with dementia, they can be comfortable leaving their loved ones here because it’s a safe environment,” offers Tara.

“Their loved ones will be happy here. There are activities to keep them active, and they’ll be around other people the same age, so they’ll make friends. There’s a daily routine and schedule, which helps people with dementia stay focused. Many of them love it so much here that they decide to stay permanently.”

The atmosphere at Symphony at St. Augustine is always warm and inviting, but it is especially so during the holidays. The campus is festively decorated, and it opens its doors to family members and friends to celebrate with residents. There are many scheduled activities with a holiday flavor.

“Family members don’t have to feel guilty, because their loved ones are celebrating the holidays,” assures Tara. “The building is decorated to a tee to bring joy to the residents. Often, when people get older, they don’t decorate as much because they get tired. The residents will get to see our staff’s holiday spirit.”

Donna (alias) talks about how her mother, Meredith (alias), is doing at Symphony at St. Augustine. Tara Tosh and Nancy Nichols of Symphony at St. Augustine discuss managing holiday stress in loved ones with dementia.

Nancy Nichols

“Caregivers and family members can have holiday dinner with the residents,” adds Nancy. “Dinner will always be at the same time. Here, everything stays on schedule, even on the holidays. Structure is vital for people with memory problems because it decreases negative behavior and keeps their expectations even. It’s very important to stick to a routine.”

Being There

Meredith’s was a permanent stay from the beginning, not a converted short stay. Donna opted to cut back on her visits for a while so Meredith could get accustomed to living at the community.

“Mom went to Symphony at St. Augustine the first week of December, and I chose to stay away for a couple of weeks so she could get acclimated,” Donna confirms. “Of course, I was there to celebrate the holidays.”

Donna retired last year and now lives in Florida from the beginning of November until late June. Now that she’s in Florida during the holiday season, she gets to spend that time with Meredith. Donna’s sister visits with her mother as well. Between the two of them, Meredith is never alone during the holidays.

“We love Symphony at St. Augustine,” Donna exudes, “and we love that Mom is thriving there.”

*Patients’ names were changed to protect their privacy.

Are You at Risk for a Hernia?

Learn the facts and figures in this Q&A.

Nearly one out of every ten people will suffer some type of a hernia during their lifetime, and while hernias most often occur in men over the age of 40, women and children are not immune.
Men, women and children alike can develop hernias as a result of heavy lifting, straining, coughing or any unusual stress that causes a sudden increase of intra-abdominal pressure. That’s why more than a million hernia repairs are performed each year in the United States.
Some hernias are congenital, or present at birth, whereas others develop as a result of a predisposition for hernia, and anyone who has surgery may experience a weakening of tissue at the incision site that could result in a hernia.
Because everyone is at risk, Florida Health Care News turns to a specialist in minimally invasive surgery, David A. Napoliello, MD, to learn more about hernia repair. Dr. Napoliello, practicing in Venice, Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch, is board certified by the American Board of Surgery and is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

FAQs

According to Dr. Napoliello, a hernia is a defect of the abdominal wall that allows a protrusion of an organ or structure through the wall that normally contains it.
Q: Dr. Napoliello, what is the most common type of hernia?
A: The most common type of hernia is called an inguinal hernia. It is a defect or weakness in the abdominal muscle wall through which intestine and fat layers protrude, forming a visible bulge in the groin area.
To visualize the dynamics of it, think of an automobile tire. The abdominal wall is like the thick outer wall of the tire. Should the tire get damaged, the inner tube can push through the weakened area or crack and form a small bubble. If the abdominal wall becomes weakened, the thinner, flexible tissue that lines the inside of the abdomen and holds the intestines in place, called the peritoneum, can bulge into the outer wall. In the tire, it is easy to see that the inner tube can become strangled by the pressure of the edges of the crack through which it is protruding. It is the same with a hernia.
Q: What are some of the other common types of hernias?
A: An umbilical hernia takes place when abdominal contents protrude through the naturally occurring tiny opening behind the belly button. Incisional hernias can take place when a previous surgery leaves an abdominal wall defect that allows the abdominal contents to protrude through it and bulge out.
Q: How does a person know when he or she has a hernia?
A: A person may suspect a hernia if he or she notices a bulge under the skin. Additional symptoms may include discomfort or pain during any of the following: lifting heavy objects, sneezing or coughing, straining while using the toilet, standing or sitting for long periods of time. Because delayed treatment can sometimes result in the intestine being trapped inside the hernia sac, resulting in gangrene, any bulge should be brought to a physician’s attention immediately so diagnosis and treatment can begin. If left untreated, some complications from hernias can be fatal.
Q: Will a small hernia ever heal itself?
A: No, a hernia does not heal itself or improve over time without intervention. The only exception to this may be small umbilical hernias in young children.
Q: What treatments are available for hernias?
A: Surgeons may choose one of several hernia repair techniques today, depending on the patient and the size of the hernia.
In the past, the only hernia repair option available was called a tension repair. In this open surgical procedure, the physician makes an incision at the site, pushes the protruding tissue back into place, and stitches the tissue layers together. The potential disadvantages of this type of surgery are relatively long recovery periods, relatively high recurring rates and discomfort following surgery.
Today, we can offer a variety of both minimally invasive open procedures and laparoscopic procedures.
Q: Please describe the minimally invasive open procedures.
A: Unlike the tension repair, minimally invasive open procedures are tension free because the stitches or sutures used do not put tension on the sides of the defect to keep it closed. Instead, special mesh patches are used that limit the size of the required incision. These procedures offer lower recurring rates, quick recovery and only minor discomfort following the surgery. Additionally, the minimally invasive approach allows the patient to avoid general anesthesia.
Q: How do the laparoscopic surgeries differ?
A: There are two main options for laparoscopic surgery. In the transabdominal approach, the physician makes a small incision and slides the laparoscope, which is a thin telescope, through the abdominal wall into the abdomen. For the preperitoneal approach, the laparoscope slides in between the tissues of the abdominal wall. With both approaches, the doctor views the hernia and surrounding tissue on a video screen.
Q: What are the advantages of laparoscopic surgery?
A: Depending on the patient, of course, there are several. Because it requires only small incisions, it will likely mean less pain and a shorter recovery time for patients, and because the physician has the advantage of looking through the laparoscope, previously undiagnosed hernias may be discovered. Additionally, the laparoscopic approach allows us to manage recurrent hernias and to optimize any repeat surgery because we do not have to go through the same incision site.
Q: Is this surgery done on an outpatient basis?
A: Yes, and it is usually performed in under an hour.
Q: Have there been any improvements to these surgical techniques in recent years?
A: Definitely. Scientific improvements to help hernia repair include the addition of very lightweight artificial meshes and biologic meshes such as processed skin grafts. Other improvements to decrease chronic pain associated with hernia repairs include the addition of absorbable tacking devices and dissolvable sutures, which help to decrease the risk of nerve entrapments.
These improvements are mainly geared toward decreasing pain and improving the repair, thereby shortening recovery time.
Q: Once the surgery has healed, will the patient experience any diminished quality of life?
A: No, most patients will be able to return to a normal routine. In fact, data show that within a week’s time, most people will feel well. Because I am conservative, I recommend that my patients avoid any physical strain for four weeks.

A Letter to FCS

December 16th, 2018

Image from Rare DR - Rare Disease ReportIt took Tampa local Charles “Alvin” Middleton more than 10 years to receive an accurate diagnosis of familial chylomicronemia syndrome (FCS), a rare genetic lipid disorder that causes fat buildup in the body and often leads to unpredictable and potentially fatal attacks of pancreatitis. Alvin has been in and out of the hospital for more than a decade, and once was put into a medically induced coma for more than 40 days. His husband and family were told at the time that he had a 5% chance of survival. Alvin still suffers from daily symptoms including severe fatigue, abdominal pain and brain fog, and recently had to leave his job. His only option is to adopt a lifelong extremely restrictive low-fat diet (10-12 grams of fat per day), but even that is not often not prevent his symptoms.

Alvin decided to write a letter to his disease, looking back on his journey and voicing his frustrations as well as his hope for a treatment for this devastating disorder. There are no approved treatments available for FCS, which is why Alvin and the entire FCS community as part of a new national campaign are urging the FDA and pharma industry to approve a treatment currently in development – you can learn more via this recent press release.

Here is Alvin’s “Dear FCS” letter:

Dear FCS,

Looking back 11 years ago, I considered myself normal. Someone who had a job, hung out with friends and family, and was in relatively good health. But then our journey together started when I experienced my first symptom because of you, severe stomach pain while on a flight home to Tampa Bay. An ambulance was my welcome home vehicle as I was immediately brought to the emergency room, where I was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis. The doctor said that my case was so bad there was only a 5% chance I would survive. I didn’t know it at the time, but because of you I would eventually undergo seven surgeries, have my gallbladder and spleen removed, be in and out of the hospital with pancreatitis, and see doctors every other week. I am grateful that after a decade a young hospitalist finally figured out that you are the cause of my constant pain and frequent hospitalizations – but I am writing this letter to tell you I want nothing to do with you!

You have caused me, my husband, family and friends tremendous pain over the years. Not only have you caused a significant decline in my physical health but now I am also often emotionally and spiritually withdrawn. Life with you can be a lonely experience. I try to be strong for my friends and family, and especially my husband who has been my rock throughout this journey. You also cost me thousands of dollars that I could have used to help others and now I have accumulated $2 million in medical debt. You even tried to kill me 10 years ago, forcing me into the ICU for more than 40 days in a medically induced coma, but God had a different plan for me.

I feel like I try to please you, but nothing works. I follow the strict low-fat, no carbohydrates, and no sugars diet and exercise regularly as directed by my doctor. I take my prescribed medication. Yes, I sometimes cheat and eat food I’m not supposed to, but generally I do everything I am told — and yet you still cause me pain. Doctors who didn’t know about you would tell me I must not be maintaining the suggested diet, exercising enough, or taking care of myself. Every time I was hospitalized with severe vomiting and pain, doctors would accuse me of drinking alcohol or not following my strict diet. Sometimes I thought I was crazy or a hypochondriac, but it was all you. I was so discouraged and frustrated by many doctors’ responses that I disconnected from the conversation and gave up all hope that I would ever find the cause of my pancreatitis attacks and other symptoms.

I have known for years that something was seriously wrong with me. There have been times when I have been so fatigued from the constant pain that I just wanted to give up on life. You took away my love of gardening, cooking, socializing with my friends, being able to go someone’s house and eat without getting sick, and most recently you forced me to leave my job. You are the reason for my constant fear, anxiety and stress about my health which, combined with feeling out of control and powerless, can be overwhelming. Often, I forget that feeling terrible every day isn’t normal.

Life with you can be a lonely experience. It has ended my career and changed me forever in many ways. Despite the many challenges I’ve faced, the most rewarding experience of my journey has been meeting other FCS patients and knowing that I’m not alone. By sharing our stories with one another and how you have impacted our lives, we are encouraged and hopeful that someone is going to find a treatment to beat you. Together we are building a stronger community of support and sharing information that can help improve our quality of life and educate others who might not know about you. If one person sees my story and learns about you, then all my efforts are worthwhile.

Charles “Alvin” Middleton

Toning Down Tinnitus

Hearing aids can offer double benefit: better hearing, less ringing.

For years, Phyllis DeVincentis endured a hissing in her ears that sounded like steam. Although she wasn’t imagining it, no one else heard it because nothing was really there. Phyllis has tinnitus, commonly known as “ringing in the ears,” and the noise was coming from inside her head.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Phyllis DeVincentis

Tinnitus can be a malfunction occurring within the hearing system and varies widely in sound and severity. It might resemble a constant buzzing, whistling, hissing or swishing.
“I can’t tell you when it began. It just started and that was it,” recounts Phyllis. “It was terrible.”
Originally from New York, Phyllis has lived in Florida for more than 40 years. She worked as a waitress after moving south and is now enjoying retirement at age 79. The aggravation of tinnitus has never slowed her down. On Fridays and Saturdays, she and her husband still like to go dancing, and she makes time for a weekly bowling game.
Eventually, her three daughters began to notice their mom seemed to be having trouble picking up on their conversations. “They said I couldn’t hear them. They’d speak to me and I didn’t hear what they said,” remembers Phyllis.
They convinced her that she should get her hearing checked, so Phyllis made an appointment to see Kelly Hansen, AuD, at Trinity Hearing & Balance Center. Phyllis’s first concern, however, wasn’t what she might be missing due to poor hearing. It was the constant hissing sound in her ears that really bothered her. After so many years of enduring it, she wanted relief.

Hearing and Tinnitus

“Many people have tinnitus and it doesn’t bother them,” says Dr. Hansen, “but there are others who are really troubled by it. The sounds they hear can keep them from sleeping at night and affect them throughout the day. People who have tinnitus can become very depressed.
“The hissing in her ears was really bothering Phyllis,” recalls Dr. Hansen. “The first thing we want to do when someone has tinnitus is to determine if hearing loss is present, so we do a diagnostic hearing evaluation. Tinnitus is often present when people have hearing loss. However, not everyone with tinnitus has hearing loss, so we need to rule this out first.”
Phyllis’s audiology test revealed she had a significant hearing loss. “She certainly needed hearing aids,” continues
Dr. Hansen, who fit Phyllis with two digital hearing aids. Although Phyllis was skeptical at first, Dr. Hansen assured her that the devices would help her hear better overall as well as help with the tinnitus.
Many people, like Phyllis, don’t notice their hearing has gradually become worse, says Dr. Hansen. Hearing loss
frequently occurs due to aging, as well as from exposure to heavy noise, like working in a factory or shooting guns. It can also be hereditary.
“Hearing loss can be so gradual that people sometimes don’t realize how much of a loss they have. Or they tend to say, Well, people are just talking a little softer or mumbling and if they would just talk louder, I’d hear them,” she continues.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Phyllis is delighted her hearing is improved and she no longer hears odd sounds caused by tinnitus.

Hearing aids have the capacity to help relieve tinnitus as well as improve the ability to understand conversation and hear what’s happening around you, says Dr. Hansen.
“There are many good studies suggesting a correlation between nerve damage (also known as sensorineural hearing loss) and tinnitus. Thus, when hearing loss is identified, often the tinnitus is relieved by hearing aids alone.
“The best known method to relieve tinnitus is sound therapy,” explains the doctor. “Sometimes just wearing hearing aids is enough to help the patient forget about the tinnitus as the brain turns its attention to the additional sounds it’s receiving.”
Certain hearing aids also have built-in sound therapy maskers, adds Dr. Hansen. They produce sounds like ocean waves that serve as gentle background noise and nudge the brain to stop processing the sound of tinnitus.
The speed at which relief from tinnitus occurs can vary, notes Dr. Hansen, depending on how much time the brain needs to adjust to the new sounds. For Phyllis, results came quickly. Only one week later, she was back in Dr. Hansen’s office to report her hearing was remarkably improved and the steam-like sounds from her tinnitus had gone away.
“It was unbelievable,” says Phyllis about the difference in her hearing. “I could hear everything, even papers moving. I could hear birds, and my husband talking to me, and my daughters talking to me.
“The steam in my ears wasn’t there anymore,” she reports, “but when I took the hearing aids out, I could hear steam again. I thought to myself, How did I ever live with that? But I did.”

Commitment to Patients

Phyllis made a fortunate choice in consulting Dr. Hansen at Trinity Hearing & Balance Center, where experience and dedication work together for the best outcomes.
Dr. Hansen has diagnosed and treated hearing, balance and dizziness disorders for more than two decades. In addition, her practice is AudigyCertified, which gauges a practitioner’s experience, credentials and expertise along with a commitment to patient satisfaction, continuing education and application of current technologies.
One of the unique aspects of Audigy’s service is ePatient, which helps explain complex topics to patients using digital tools. “The ePatient program is an educational tool that offers an overview of what’s going to happen during an appointment and explains how someone’s hearing works,” Dr. Hansen explains. “It is a treatment-focused software tool that enables us to quickly and effectively explain products and procedures to patients. ePatient has excellent visuals to show the patient how their hearing works and what happens when someone has a hearing loss.”
In addition to assistance with hearing-related problems and fitting patients with the appropriate hearing aids, Trinity Hearing & Balance Center also offers assistance with vestibular problems, such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) using the Epley Omniax® System, and balance disorders.
“We work side by side with our patients to help find a solution to their hearing problems,” assures Dr. Hansen. “Many patients who have gone through our Patient for Life program experience greater satisfaction with their hearing technology and a greater quality of life.”
Also, as a hearing aid wearer herself, Dr. Hansen can relate to her patients in a way many audiologists cannot.
“Dr. Hansen is wonderful,” confirms Phyllis. “I sent my daughter to her, and I sent another young lady who told me that going to Dr. Hansen was the best thing she ever did.”
Dr. Hansen’s skill and care in fitting Phyllis with hearing aids have made a big difference for the active retiree. “Being able to hear has improved my life one hundred percent,” she enthuses.

Restore Youth and Vitality

Feel younger, stronger and sexier with BHRT.

Lisa Tomarelli is a registered nurse who works as clinical support for the sales team of a biologics company. Even when she’s traveling, the 50ish nurse finds time to work out and keep her body in shape for the many bikini competitions she enters. When she began putting on weight despite working out, she suspected the problem, and the answer.

Photo by Fred Bellet.

Lisa Tomarelli

“As a registered nurse, I taught bio-natural hormone replacement therapy, or BHRT, fifteen years ago for a local pharmacist in Sarasota,” relates the Scranton, Pennsylvania native. “When I was teaching and doing research on BHRT, I thought, I’ll probably benefit from this when the time comes.
“About five years ago, I started putting on weight. I was exercising, so that shouldn’t have been happening. I was also beginning to get a little moody and having some night sweats, and I could see other symptoms coming. I said, I know I’m perimenopausal. I should probably seek out treatment before I actually swing to the other side.
Initially, Lisa tried to influence her system by making changes to her diet and taking over-the-counter supplements to try to balance her estrogen levels. None of that worked, however, and she wasn’t convinced that the creams the doctors in Sarasota were offering her were the most effective method of BHRT delivery. So, she did more research, discovered pellet therapy, then looked further to find a pellet therapy provider nearby.
“I went back and forth to Tampa a lot, so I Googled who did pellet therapy in Tampa,” she states. “I found Infinity Medical Institute. The staff at Infinity Medical Institute is very good at explaining what they do, and so I decided to start going there.”

Matching Hormones

Infinity Medical Institute offers bio-natural L3 pellet hormone replacement therapy, the most natural and effective solution for hormone-related issues.
“Through Infinity Medical Institute’s bio-natural L3 pellet hormone replacement therapy, patients such as Lisa achieve consistent absorption of the proper, predictable levels of the hormones their bodies require for optimum health through the simple insertion of a pellet approximately every three to five months,” explains Moriah R. Moffitt, MD, staff physician at Infinity Medical Institute.

Bikini photo courtesy of Lisa Tomarelli.

Pellet therapy is helping Lisa stay toned
for her bikini competitions.

The pellets used in bio-natural L3 pellet hormone replacement therapy are derived from wild yam plants, a natural plant material that’s molecularly changed in structure and function for a 98 percent bio-identical match to the body’s own composition. Synthetic hormones, by contrast, can be as little as six to eight percent bio-identical.
“Hormones affect everything, including our growth through childhood, our sexual development, our moods, how we break down our food, sleep patterns, stress, how much weight we gain – just about every function in the body, big and small,” informs Dr. Moffitt. “They also play a role in many health conditions such as diabetes, an over- or underactive thyroid, osteoporosis, obesity, anxiety and depression.
“Our bio-natural L3 pellet hormone therapy helps to give us an edge as we provide patients with a product that’s all natural, and we stand behind it. It’s the most effective hormone treatment on the market because it’s naturally replenishing normal hormones with biologically identical hormones that the body is used to seeing rather than synthetic versions of the hormones.”
Comprehensive evaluations of overall health are performed prior to the pellets being administered. This ensures that the patient is receiving the proper amount of hormones.
“We want to be sure that the treatment we administer is going to be the overall best course of action for that patient,” Dr. Moffitt observes. “We’re very thorough with the labs at every visit in order to see what has changed, and what needs to be altered.
“We want to be sure every patient is feeling the best they possibly can. We not only look at their labs, but we look at their overall health because other issues, like diabetes or high blood pressure, can affect how the treatment is administered.”
“I was perimenopausal for the first two years I went to Infinity Medical Institute before actually becoming menopausal,” Lisa states. “I decided to start treatment there before I reached the point where I gained twenty pounds, was really moody, had hot flashes, night sweats and other symptoms.
“Now, I go back to Infinity Medical Institute every three months and based on where my hormone levels are, we adjust the pellets. They talk with me, and we’re in constant collaboration on whether a hormone needs to go up or come down, if I need more or less of something. They’ve been very good at working with me.”

From the Inside Out

Dr. Moffitt and the Infinity Medical Institute staff truly care about each patient and take the time to get to know the person they’re treating.
“Every patient is unique, and we understand that,” notes Dr. Moffitt. “We get to know each one and understand their lifestyle so we can treat them appropriately.”
“At Infinity Medical Institute, we’ve been offering bio-natural pellet hormone therapy for nine years,” comments Mike Montemurro, president of Infinity Medical Institute. “We take an extensive therapeutic approach. We customize the treatment for each patient, and we use a superior-quality product. We cater to our patients, and make sure they get the best possible care, as well as exceptional results.

“I tell the Infinity Medical Institute staff that I couldn’t compete if I didn’t have my hormones balanced in order to sustain the energy and the muscle I’ve built. I’m operating like I’m in my thirties.” – Lisa

“We work very closely with everyone to optimize and restore their hormone levels to what they were when they were in their prime – back in their twenties. That’s our goal, and that’s why we get such significant results for our patients.”
Mike notes that people often reach middle age and start experiencing symptoms such as lack of energy, difficulty sleeping and loss of sex drive and strength.
“When these symptoms start occurring, people need to visit us at Infinity Medical Institute and have their hormones checked,” he emphasizes. “Once we get their hormone levels optimized with the bio-natural L3 pellet hormone replacement therapy, their lives will change significantly for the better.”
“Many people come in saying they’re not feeling vibrant, energetic, and they have other symptoms,” adds Dr. Moffitt. “Our aim for those seeking hormone replacement is to make them feel good from the inside out.”

High Energy

Bio-natural L3 pellet hormone replacement therapy at Infinity Medical Institute was a good treatment choice for Lisa. It took away her uncomfortable menopausal symptoms and left her feeling energized.
“With pellet therapy, my energy level is very high,” she marvels. “After a full day’s work, I have enough energy to work out six days a week at a pretty high intensity level. It enables me to maintain my weight so I can compete in bikini competitions and win first place in my age category.
“I tell the Infinity Medical Institute staff that I couldn’t compete if I didn’t have my hormones balanced in order to sustain the energy and the muscle I’ve built. I’m operating like I’m in my thirties.”
With a careful diet, routine exercise and her hormones balanced, Lisa can easily keep the weight off. She feels good now, and she gives a lot of the credit to the bio-natural L3 pellet therapy.
“They always said in nursing school, When one hormone is off, they’re all off, and that can affect a lot of things in your life,” she states. “I don’t have any more night sweats. I haven’t had them since my first pellet therapy. I’m not moody. I don’t have any menopausal symptoms, and I feel bad for women who go through them and don’t seek out this therapy.”
Lisa doesn’t think any woman should have to go through the negative symptoms of menopause. She encourages them to seek out pellet therapy at Infinity Medical Institute.
“More and more people are finding out about BHRT and pellet therapy, and are seeing how much better they can feel,” she says. “Even better, disorders such as cardiac disease and orthopedic issues are preventable by having your hormones in check. I absolutely recommend pellet therapy at Infinity Medical Institute.”

Don’t Hide Those Toes!

With open-toed shoes and flip-flops as the footwear of choice in Florida, toenail fungus is very common.

The most common breeding grounds for toenail fungus are warm, moist environments, such as swimming pools and showers. These microscopic organisms can invade your toenail or skin through small separations in your nails or even tiny cuts you may not even know that you have.

Stock photo from istockphoto.com.

Florida’s warm and humid environment is the perfect breeding ground for toenail fungus, but the condition is treatable.

“Many people who have toenail fungus will try to cover up the fungal nails instead of having them treated,” explains board-certified podiatric surgeon Robert P. Dunne, DPM, FACFAS. “This can actually worsen the fungus, as painting the nail with nail polish will smother the nail and not allow it to breathe properly, and closed-toed shoes make for a dark, warm and moist environment where the fungi can grow and thrive.
“People don’t realize that even if they have had treatments fail in the past, there are new prescription medications on the market that are chemically different from anything we have tried in the past. These new products are showing results far exceeding
previous treatments.”
Dr. Dunne treats a wide variety of podiatric complaints such as fungal nails, tinea pedis (athlete’s foot), dermatitis; heel, foot and ankle pain; tendonitis and bone issues.
“For toenail fungus, our typical treatment is a debridement, or reduction, of the nail, followed by a medication regimen that can be either oral or topical,” explains the doctor.

Toenail Fungus Risk Factors

There are many risk factors for toenail fungus, especially in our Florida environment.
“Age tends to be the most common risk factor for nail fungus. The reason for this is that as we age, our circulation naturally becomes diminished, we have been exposed for a greater number of years to fungi and our nails grow more slowly and tend to thicken, making them more susceptible to fungal infection,” explains Dr. Dunne.
Other risk factors include heavy perspiration, exposure to a humid environment, minor nail injury or damage, and having medical conditions such as diabetes or a weakened immune system.
Lake Washington Foot & Ankle is a comprehensive podiatric medicine clinic offering treatment for everything from bunions to hammertoes. “We treat ingrown toenails, warts and neuromas,” assures Dr. Dunne. “We also do clinical trials for onychomycosis [fungal toenails] in an effort to find better and more effective treatment for this ailment.
“Our patients come first, and we recommend that they take action now if they have a problem. Many people are intimidated by treatment for fungal nails because of known side effects to the liver and other organs. These medications are no longer the only option, and alternate treatments are available.”

Article submitted by Lake Washington Foot & Ankle.

The iStent inject®

Compelling new treatment option for managing glaucoma available now at The Eye Institute.

The new iStent inject, designed to help glaucoma patients achieve and maintain lower eye pressures, is available now, according to ophthalmologist and cornea, cataract and glaucoma specialist, Jason K. Darlington, MD, of The Eye Institute for Medicine & Surgery.

Photo courtesy of The Eye Institute for Medicine & Surgery.

Dr. Darlington (left) and Dr. McManus

Dr. Darlington, who has performed extensive surgical research for Glaukos®, the company that developed the iStent, explains that this new device is designed to optimize the natural outflow of certain fluids inside the eye – known as aqueous humor – by creating two bypasses through the part of the eye largely responsible for fluid drainage.
“By enhancing fluid outflow, we are able to reduce a patient’s eye pressure on an ongoing basis, oftentimes without the need for eye medications or with a reduced number of eye medications,” says Dr. Darlington.
Achieving and maintaining reduced eye pressure is the key to maintaining the health of a patient’s optic nerve, thus maintaining their vision, explains James N. McManus, MD, cataract and glaucoma specialist at The Eye Institute.
“More than four hundred thousand generation one iStents have been implanted worldwide since 2012,” informs
Dr. Darlington. “The iStent has earned a reputation of demonstrated efficacy and safety.”
An interesting fact is that the iStent inject stent, at approximately 0.23 mm x 0.36 mm, is the smallest medical device ever approved by the FDA, notes Dr. Darlington.
In the key trials leading to the FDA approval of the iStent inject, over 75 percent of patients achieved a 20 percent or greater reduction in unmedicated eye pressure. In terms of the units used to measure eye pressure, this translates into a seven point decrease in eye pressures for this same group.

Screening Is Critical

Diagnosing and appropriately managing glaucoma is of the greatest importance, emphasizes Dr. McManus, because if glaucoma is present and not treated, the result can be permanent loss of vision, up to and including blindness.
In the early through later stages of the disease, glaucoma is largely asymptomatic. There is no pain and no obvious loss of vision. There is nothing to directly tell a patient that he or she has glaucoma, adds Dr. McManus.
Because glaucoma is a progressive and irreversible disease that may lead to vision loss caused by optic nerve damage, it is critical for people to be screened for glaucoma and for them to receive the treatment they need without delay, says Dr. Darlington.
Those at greater risk for developing glaucoma include:

  • People over age 40
  • People who experience elevated eye pressures on a regular basis
  • Immediate family members of people diagnosed with glaucoma
  • People with diabetes and/or high blood pressure
  • African Americans
  • Hispanic Americans
  • People of Asian ancestry
  • People with a history of eye injuries or certain eye conditions, such as farsightedness or nearsightedness
  • Medical conditions that affect blood flow such as migraines and low blood pressure
  • Prolonged corticosteroid use, including pills, eye drops, inhalers and creams

“It is estimated that half of the people who have glaucoma are unaware of it, and because of this, they are not receiving any type of treatment,” states Dr. McManus.
“If you or a loved one have one or more of the risk factors above, receiving a comprehensive eye examination by an eye doctor may be one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family,” advises Dr. McManus.

Article courtesy of The Eye Institute for Medicine & Surgery.

No Reservations

Quality care, pleasing results help dentist earn inherited patient’s trust.

For regular business travelers and occasional vacationers alike, finding just the right hotel room for just the right price can sometimes be a difficult process. Michael Burrock is in the business of making that process a little easier.

Michael’s photo by Jordan Pysz.

Michael Burrock

Michael develops hotel reservation software programs, and over the years, the three start-up companies he’s either owned or been a partner in have been associated with some of the world’s best-known hotel chains.
“Right now, we’re working mostly with Motel 6 and Best Western®, but we’ve also worked with Sandals®, Wyndham® and Westin® hotels,” says Michael, who stands out from the majority of his fellow software developers for one very specific reason.
At 74, Michael is nearly 50 years older than the average software developer. He’s very active and health-conscious, and as a result, the Bokeelia resident says he neither feels like he’s 74 nor looks like he’s 74.
“I don’t mean to be boastful, but I don’t look my age,” says Michael, who willingly gives a lot of the credit for his more youthful appearance to the dentist who has spent the past couple years shaping his youthful-looking smile.
That dentist is Katrine A. Farag, DMD, who inherited Michael as a patient when she took over a previous practice and opened Advanced Dentistry of Fort Myers. Michael says Dr. Farag made the transition from his previous dentist a breeze.
“I have to admit, I had some concerns about having to transition to a new dentist because I was very happy with my old one,” Michael explains. “But I was immediately comfortable with Dr. Farag. She’s very personable, knowledgeable and thorough.”

Getting to Know You

Dr. Farag first began treating Michael in 2016, and over time, she eventually earned Michael’s trust, first by doing the follow-up work for a laser gum treatment that was performed by his previous dentist and then by doing some general maintenance work.
“We followed up on his gums to make sure they stay healthy so that he would not need the surgery again, and did a filling on one tooth, a filling on a smaller tooth and some minor things on a tooth that had cracked,” Dr. Farag recalls.
“All along, though, his lower front teeth were very misaligned and not really in great shape. It was something he had put off taking care of for a long time, even with the previous doctor, and it was affecting his smile.”
It wasn’t just Michael’s smile that was impacted by the problems he had with his lower front teeth. His ability to eat was eventually affected as well when one of those teeth became loose and the area around it very painful.
It was about that time that Michael was making a new commitment to proper oral health, so he decided once and for all to have his bottom teeth repaired. Having long since developed a great degree of trust in Dr. Farag, he turned to her to do the work.
“One of the things I really like about Dr. Farag is that before she does any work for you, she always does a great job of explaining all your options and what the pros and cons are of each choice,” Michael exudes. “She, of course, did that in this case as well.
“And what she told me was that because both of the lower front teeth were infected, it made the most sense to pull the front teeth and replace them with a bridge because the bridge would be more structurally sound and have a much better appearance.”

A Perfect Match

Confident that Dr. Farag’s recommendation would enhance both his oral health and his appearance, Michael agreed to have Dr. Farag pull his lower two front teeth and fit him for a permanently fixed bridge.
The time required for the gums to heal after two infected teeth are pulled is about eight weeks. Michael was given a temporary bridge to wear during that time and was fit for the permanent bridge in July.
“The bridge we gave him is completely fixed,” Dr. Farag says. “It’s firmly cemented and anchored to other, healthier teeth, and one of the great things about it is that it’s made of ceramic, which allows us to be in control in a way that lets us align everything perfectly.
“Now, he has perfectly straight lower teeth. To look at Michael, you would never know how crooked his real teeth were. What I’m happiest about, though, is that he’s happy to have that look, because I know he was unhappy with that crooked smile.”
Ecstatic might be a better way to describe how Michael feels about the new look of his lower front teeth. He says the new bridge fits perfectly, has alleviated any eating problems he was having and has greatly enhanced his confidence.
“Dr. Farag did an excellent job,” Michael enthuses. “The procedure wasn’t painful at all, and I’m no longer having any pain or discomfort when I’m chewing. A number of people have told me how great my teeth look now.”
Michael was so pleased with the work Dr. Farag did to improve the health and appearance of his lower teeth that he recently returned to have her do some aesthetic work on his two upper front teeth as well.
“I call those my bunny teeth, and they’re sound structurally; there was nothing wrong there,” Michael explains. “But one was a little discolored and the other one was a little worse than that, so I asked her what could be done about it.”
Dr. Farag determined that capping the two front teeth would be the best option for Michael, who agreed with her assessment. As part of that process, Dr. Farag also matches the color of the patient’s other teeth so they are aesthetically perfect.
“We have a variety of different shades to choose from, and it’s mostly a judgment call we make in making that match,” Dr. Farag informs. “Sometimes, we even step outside to see what the teeth look like in natural light to make sure we’re getting it right.
“Then, once I think I’m pretty close with the match, I let the patient try them, just to make sure they love the color before they’re married to them with permanent cement.”
Michael says he couldn’t be happier with the results of Dr. Farag’s work. Not only did she improve his oral health, but she gave him the aesthetically pleasing smile he’s always wanted. He adds that he would recommend her to anyone looking for a dentist.
“She’s a very happy, upbeat person, and the office is a comfortable place to go to where everyone is very positive,” Michael says. “And as far as her work goes, she’s very diligent and an absolute perfectionist. Everything has to be exactly right.
“She always does what’s necessary to make you feel comfortable and not experience any pain or discomfort. She’s very considerate, very much in tune with her patients that way, so I would suggest that anybody who has any anxiety about going to the dentist go see Dr. Farag. She has a way of taking all of your anxiety away and making everything very easy.”

Bridging the Gap

Growing up, Billie “B.J.” Bowser never liked losing a tooth and waiting for a new one to grow in the way most other kids her age did.
“I can remember losing teeth, and the adult teeth would never appear,” B.J. recalls. “I always had gaps in my smile. It was awful growing up with that. I have my two adult front teeth, but the ones on the sides of those never grew in.

 Billie’s photo by Fred Bellet.

B.J. has confidence in her smile.

“I always had gaps there as a young child and pre-teen. I hated having my picture taken, and it was really tough growing up with that. You really have no idea how your smile impacts your life.
“I’ve seen dental specialists since I was fifteen years old. I got my first bridge at that age. I had three others since then, and none of those were ever a natural, perfect fit.”
Working in the health care field, B.J.’s job requires public speaking engagements. In recent years, she had become embarrassed by how her teeth looked.
“I always had a great smile when I was a child, but once I lost my baby teeth, my smile was never the same. I was uncomfortable every time I opened my mouth,” she shares. “The teeth weren’t the right shape or color, and my bite was off. It never felt like me. I could never find a dentist who took the time and put forth the effort to do
the work the right way.”
B.J. and her husband are licensed foster parents. The couple recently adopted two children they were fostering and have become a family. Knowing that she will now be a part of a lot of family portraits, B.J. recently decided to correct her smile so that it matches the level of confidence she now has in her life.
“When I started out, I had no idea where to turn to find a skilled dentist who could permanently fix my issue once and for all,” B.J. relays. “But then I read an article about Dr. Farag in Florida Health Care News and thought, If she can help that person, I think she can help me, too.

Better Appearance and Function

“When I met with B.J. initially and examined her mouth, the first thing that struck me was that her bite was off,” Dr. Farag shares. “The reason her bite was off was because the existing bridgework was not made properly.
“The shapes of the teeth were too rounded and did not match her face cosmetically. The size and color of the teeth were also not flattering for her. B.J. is forty years old, and she’s been living with this for years.
“She is much too young not to be happy and to be self-conscious about her smile. I wanted to restore the confidence she’d lost. The bridge she had obviously needed to be replaced, not just for aesthetic reasons, but because it did not fit properly in her mouth.”
Dr. Farag recommended creating a new, six-unit bridge to attach to the adjoining teeth. She started that process by taking a full set of x-rays and made models of B.J.’s existing bridge to send to the lab for a mock-up of the improved look. Prior to the models being sent to the lab, Dr. Farag and B.J. also chose the shape and color of the teeth for the new bridge.
“B.J. did not want her smile to look fake or unnatural, so we chose the shade and size carefully,” Dr. Farag explains. “I always involve my patients with their dental health. I never make a decision for someone without them being part of the process. After all, it’s their smile.”
The entire process, from start to finish, was completed in three visits.
“I had the temporary bridge in before the permanent bridge was completed, and that temporary provided me the perfect outlook toward the final product,” B.J. enthuses. “I was so excited!”
Now that the final bridge has been placed, B.J. is ecstatic over the look and feel of her permanent bridge. She is grateful to Dr. Farag for her expertise and chairside manner.
“Dr. Farag was amazing from the moment I sat in the dental chair,” B.J. raves. “She listened to my concerns, and we worked together to come up with a solution. It’s a dental partnership because she involved me in the entire process.”
B.J. says her new smile has given her a newfound confidence she has never had before.
“Once I had the permanent fixture placed, I could not believe how it looked,” she adds. “It is amazing to me. I can go to a restaurant and order anything I want and not worry about my bite or about chewing anything. I feel one hundred percent confident again, thanks to Dr. Farag!”

Optical Options

Different replacement lenses bring the world into focus.

Though immersed in a world of science fiction and fantasy, about which he writes award-winning short stories, novels and novellas, Rick Wilbur also returns to Earth as a professor of journalism, mass media and creative writing. These pursuits necessitate long hours of intense research and reading, so Rick’s vision is precious to him.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Richard Wilber

“I’ve worn glasses since seventh grade,” he recalls. “I was a heavy reader as a kid, which probably made my eyes worse. Because I read so much, the bottom parts of my glasses were for reading, and the tops had these little half-moons that were more for distance vision, like reading the chalkboard at school.”
Always the storyteller, Rick shares the tale of how his family discovered his need for glasses. His father, a major league baseball player, frequently took his five children to his games. It was at one of those contests that Rick’s poor vision was discovered.
“We were at a game and I asked my father, Why do they even bother with the scoreboard since nobody can read it?” Rick relates. “My father looked at me and asked, Can’t you read the scoreboard? I said, No. It’s just a blur, so he took me to see an eye doctor to get glasses.
“Next time I went to a game with my glasses on, I looked through the top of my bifocals so I could see the scoreboard. It was a revelation.”
Years later, Rick was once again visiting an eye doctor, board-certified ophthalmologist David E. Hall, MD, at Pasadena Eye Center. Unaware of why, Rick had been experiencing several symptoms of cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s natural lens.
“Dr. Hall said, You know, you have some cataract issues,” Rick recounts. “I didn’t realize that. I had noticed I was cleaning my glasses all the time. I thought they were dirty. It was humbling that it didn’t occur to me that the problem was with my eyes, not my glasses.
“In retrospect, I had other symptoms as well, like trouble driving at night and seeing halos over lights, but the cataracts came upon me so slowly that I didn’t notice I wasn’t seeing colors and details as well as I used to. I forgot how bright colors are.”
Dr. Hall recommended cataract surgery on Rick’s left eye because the cataract was significantly worse in that eye. Rick’s right eye was not as severe and didn’t require surgery right away.
“Since I’m a writer, I work on my computer for hours every day and then read from my Kindle or print books,” discloses Rick. “I needed to see at about fifteen inches and then at ten to twelve inches. The replacement lens implant for my left eye improved my vision at those distances.
“The surgery didn’t take more than ten or fifteen minutes. The Pasadena Eye Center staff prepared then sedated me. When I came out of surgery, I went right home. From a patient’s perspective, cataract surgery is a very easy procedure to go through, and it offers a dramatic change. After surgery on my left eye, my vision was shockingly better.”
Rick was so impressed with the outcome of his first surgery that he decided to have the surgery done on his right eye as well. The second procedure was completed less than a year after the first.
“The idea with this surgery was to help me see better at a distance,” describes Rick. “This way, my eyes can work together, so I’ll be able to see both near and far. The results are amazing.”

Establishing Suitability

Before patients are scheduled for cataract surgery, a battery of tests are performed to evaluate the health of their eyes and their suitability for surgery. There are also tests to determine the most appropriate intraocular lens implant, or IOL, for each patient.
“Initially, we perform a routine eye exam during which we check the strength of the eyes and their general anatomy,” notes Dr. Hall. “We then dilate the pupils to examine the backs of the eyes, the retinas and optic nerves. If the patient’s eyes are healthy and they decide to have cataract surgery, they come back for a topography test.
“The topography test examines the shape of the cornea, the front part of the eye. The test results look similar to the maps in National Geographic that are color-coded to mark hills and valleys. During the topography test, we measure astigmatism, which is when the cornea is not perfectly round.
“I’d forgotten what really clear vision can be, and now, there it is. The surgery gave me back vision I haven’t had since my youth.” - Rick “We can correct astigmatism during the cataract surgery to give patients the clearest vision possible.”
Another test performed prior to cataract surgery is the OCT retinal scan. This scan is done to check for any problems that may be hidden under the surface of the retina and are unable to be seen under normal light. The OCT can expose conditions such as swelling and scar tissue, which if serious, can interfere with the success of some premium IOLs.
“We obtain the measurements for calculating the lens implant prescriptions two ways,” explains Dr. Hall. “One is with light energy, and the name of the instrument we use is the IOLMaster®. The IOLMaster measures the length of the eye from front to back, from the cornea to the retina.
“We also measure the length of the eye a second way, using ultrasound. The measurements from the IOLMaster and ultrasound tests are fed into a computer program. That takes the curvature of the cornea, which was measured with the topography test, and the length of the eye and tells us which lens implant would work best for an eye that shape and size.”

Root Cause

Lynda Lovell can attest to the fact that, unlike wine, whiskey and some allergies, eyesight does not get better with age. As Lynda drew closer and closer to retirement a few years back, she noticed her vision was growing progressively worse.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Lynda Lovell

“My vision just became very, very poor,” Lynda relates. “I could no longer see things as far off in the distance as I once did, and it was getting harder and harder for me to read numbers or any fine print. The words and numbers would just kind of blur together.”
Lynda first attacked the problem by doing the same thing anyone else with fading vision would do. She visited an optometrist. Later, after the new eyeglass prescription she was given failed to solve the problem, she visited another.
Finally, after the second optometrist prescribed yet another set of new prescription lenses that also failed to significantly improve her vision, Lynda decided to see if there was anything the doctors at Pasadena Eye Center could do for her.
“I pass by their office all the time when I’m driving, and I happened to have a good friend who had been to see them as well,” Lynda explains. “My friend said she really liked Dr. Hall, so I decided to make an appointment with him.”
Dr. Hall quickly found the root cause of Lynda’s ever-deteriorating vision. Unfortunately for Lynda, the problem was no longer one that could be solved by simply prescribing a stronger set of eyeglasses.
“She had cataracts,” Dr. Hall reveals. “And sometimes, in the early stages of cataract development, in addition to the lens getting cloudy, the way the lens focuses also changes. That’s why a simple change in eyeglass prescription can sometimes be helpful.
“But that change will only let you get by for a little while. There’s a limit to how far you can go making those changes because eventually, the vision just gets too cloudy. That’s where Lynda was when I first checked her vision.”
Dr. Hall’s initial examination of Lynda’s eyes included a test to determine whether she was suffering from macular degeneration, a retinal disease that can also cause blurred vision, particularly in people over 50. She was also tested for glaucoma.
The ophthalmologist found no evidence of either of those two issues, but while learning that Lynda’s distance vision was measuring at 20/100 on a scale in which 20/20 is clear and crisp and 20/400 is the worst, he discovered she also had a lot of astigmatism in her
right eye.
An astigmatism is a flaw in the curvature of the cornea or eye’s lens, both of which are normally smooth and evenly curved on all sides. The flaw can cause vision to be distorted because it prohibits light rays from being focused sharply onto the retina.
In the case of someone such as Lynda, who needed to have her cataracts removed and did not want to have to wear glasses for distance vision following the surgery, the astigmatism creates an added challenge for ophthalmologists such as Dr. Hall.

Selection Process

It is necessary, before the removal of a cataract, to select a new IOL to be implanted in the eye. For patients with an astigmatism, however, a special intraocular lens is needed if the patient is to avoid wearing glasses following the procedure.
“A patient like Lynda, who has a lot of astigmatism, could get the regular implant lens, but then she would still need to wear glasses to correct the astigmatism,” Dr. Hall educates. “For patients like that, we have the toric implant lens.
“The toric lens has a prescription ground into it that is just right for her amount of astigmatism. She got that lens for her right eye, and because she didn’t have any astigmatism in her left eye, she got the more routine, spherical implant lens for that eye.”
Lynda had the cataract removal and lens implant surgery done on her left eye first. She waited two weeks before having the same procedure done on her right eye. It was during her brief wait that she realized how beneficial the surgery would be for her.
“I was astonished at how well I was seeing, and that was after having just the left eye done,” Lynda recalls enthusiastically. “I was still wearing glasses for my distance vision, but they had replaced the corrective left lens with a regular lens.
“Even with that, I was already seeing things a lot clearer and crisper, including when I would read or look at something up close. Then I had the other eye done, and I just loved it. I remember walking around for a month or two just smiling all the time.”
Rick opted for routine replacement lenses in both eyes. He doesn’t mind wearing glasses to read, but he wanted both eyes working together for distance, so he could achieve the results he sought through a more standard lens.
“Rick was fortunate,” Dr. Hall says. “He had a little bit of astigmatism, but not enough to keep him from seeing 20/20 in each eye after surgery. He doesn’t use glasses at all for distance vision anymore, just for near vision.”

Seeing Is Believing

Rick and Lynda are thrilled with the results of their cataract surgeries. Rick is overwhelmed by the improvement in his vision.
“After my second cataract surgery, I had the same kind of revelation I did seeing that scoreboard at the baseball game,” he states. “I’d forgotten what really clear vision can be, and now, there it is. The surgery gave me back vision I haven’t had since my youth.
“Now, I see really well both up close and distance with my two eyes working together. That’s a very welcome change. I’m fine when I drive at night; I see very clearly. I do wear glasses for reading, but I’m not sure I even need them. I’m still getting used to my new vision. I know people often say this about cataract surgery, but I wish I’d had it done sooner.”
Like Rick, Lynda can hardly believe the results of her surgery. She now describes her distance vision as being “perfect” and adds that it’s all due to the care she received from Dr. Hall and the staff at Pasadena Eye Center.
“I’ve recommended them to several friends,” Lynda explains. “I even recommended them to my mother. The staff there is professional and very friendly. It’s a nice, well-run office, and I didn’t feel nervous at all.”
Rick agrees and says he owes his success to Dr. Hall and the staff at Pasadena Eye Center.
“Dr. Hall is terrific,” he shares. “He’s personable and expert at the same time, as everybody wants their doctors to be. He and his staff are fantastic.”

Backcourt Rebound

Better than ever after chiropractic treatments.

Basketball is in Courtni Demorest’s blood. Her mother, Diane, played the game and has been coaching it for 32 years. It was only natural that after toying with a couple other sports as a youngster, Courtni went all in on basketball a few years back.

High school basketball player Courtni Demorest found relief for her knee and wrist pain from Dr. Minafri at Riverview Chiropractic Center.

Courtni Demorest

A budding shooting guard, Courtni has forgone the traditional high school route to attend the Impact Basketball Academy in Sarasota. Courtni has already drawn the attention of a few colleges and therefore has realistic dreams of one day playing college ball.

If she makes it, some of the credit for her success will have to go to Steven J. Minafri, DC, of Riverview Chiropractic Center. Courtni, 15, might not be playing at the level she is right now were it not for the care Dr. Minafri recently provided.

“My mother was actually the first member of our family to be a patient of Dr. Minafri’s, and she suggested a while back that I go to see him, too, to help me with some back stiffness,” Courtni explains. “So, he was already treating me when I injured my right knee.”

The knee injury Courtni suffered was a torn meniscus. Largely the result of constant wear, the tear was discovered last November, just before the start of Courtni’s freshman season, which was all but wiped out by the surgery required to repair the tear.

Courtni returned to the court just in time to play in a couple of playoff games this past spring, but after a couple more months of recovery, her knee still wasn’t feeling right. That’s when her mother suggested she have Dr. Minafri look at it.

Manipulative Magic

“Much like the back, there is potential in the knees and other joints for misalignment,” Dr. Minafri educates. “And just as you would with someone’s back or neck, you can treat that with manipulation.

“That’s what I did with Courtni. I started by making sure her hips were even and that her spine wasn’t putting any undue stresses or weight on her knees. I then looked at the specific joint and made some typical chiropractic adjustments there.”

The results of the manipulation were remarkable, Courtni proclaims. She says that after a couple of therapeutic sessions with Dr. Minafri, her knee began to feel more comfortable and a lot more stable.

“On the basketball court, it was a lot easier for me to move in my defensive stance,” she states. “My movement side to side was a lot better, too, and I was a lot quicker than I had been before.”

Dr. Minafri didn’t stop at treating Courtni’s knee. When Courtni later complained of some soreness in her right wrist, which is her shooting wrist, he used similar techniques to correct that problem. Those techniques led to similar results.

“Ever since I started getting the wrist treatments, I’ve had some really good games,” Courtni says. “There was one game during the AAU season this past summer where I made seven three-point shots, so what he’s doing is definitely working.”

It’s working for Dr. Minafri, too. Since seeing the results his therapy has had on Courtni, Diane has recommended the doctor to several of the players she coaches. She also recommended him to her husband.

“I don’t think a lot of people realize all the things Dr. Minafri can do for you,” Diane says. “He doesn’t just adjust the spine and neck; he can adjust your knees, your wrists, even your ears. He does all kinds of things, and he does them well.”

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