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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung: Friday, November 28, 1997 - Page 8

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   New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 28, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas                                8A o HeraldZeltung a Friday November Health Briefs FDA approves first drug for nonHodgkins ymphoma WASHINGTON AP Thousands of patients with an incurable type of nonHodgkins lymphoma won their first new weapon in a decade Wednesday The Food and Drug Administration approved a novel genetically engineered drug to attack the immune system cancer with far fewer side effects than standard treatment Rituxan is not a cure but the FDA said it has an excellent success rate in shrinking tumors safely The approval makes Rituxan the nations first anticancer monoclonal antibody a longawaited biotherapy in which specially manufactured antibodies bind to cancer cells and trigger the immune system to do the killing instead of toxic chemicals One patient who tested Rituxan called the approval something to celebrate this Even though my type of lymphoma is still considered incurable Rituxan has renewed my hope of raising my three said Dr Wendy Harpham a Richardson Texas physician who failed other treatments before Rituxan therapy put her cancer in remission Want fatty foods Dont forget the vitamins CHICAGO AP It sounds like a recipe for a coronary Serve Egg Me Muffins and Sausage McMuffins for breakfast with slabs of fried hash browns on the side to captive research subjects You can almost feel arteries slamming shut Yet when huge doses of vitamins C and E were added to the diet an extraordinary thing happened The subjects arteries responded to the highfat meal as though theyd eaten a lowfat bowl of corn flakes Researchers caution that the small studys finding is preliminary but it appears to bolster scientific thinking that antioxidant vitamins can decrease the heartdisease risk posed by a fatty diet The 20 subjects who ate the fat packed McDonalds breakfast had impaired blood vessel function for up to four hours afterwards But no such impairment was found on another day when they swallowed 20 times the recommended daily dosage of vitamins C and E immediately before eating the same meal The research appears in Wednesdays Journal of the American Medical Association The predominant mechanism by which a highfat especially saturated fat diet leads to atherosclerosis is by elevating serum wrote the authors led by Dr Gary Plotnick a professor of medicine at the University of Maryland Medical Center diagnosis of chest pain is cheaper CHICAGO AP The nation could save hundreds of millions of dollars a year if patients complaining of chest pain were tested for heart attacks in the emergency room instead of being admitted to the hospital researchers say The researchers looked at the cost and effectiveness of what are known as chest pain evaluation units which often operate as part of the ER An estimated 15 percent of the nations hospitals have established these units on the assumption they can do thorough testing for less money The findings were published in Wednesdays Journal of the American Medical Association The study indicates that the emergency room can maintain quality care in a costcutting said Dr Rebecca R Roberts chief researcher The study conducted at Cook County Hospital a large public hospital in Chicago found that the cost of testing a patient admitted to the hospital was vs for those kept in an ER chest pain evaluation unit Study Olive oil butter equally bad in clotting DALLAS AP Real butter on your Thanksgiving Day green beans wont do you any more harm in the short term than some other fats a study suggests According to Danish researchers butter and polyand monounsaturated oils are equal culprits in raising the level of a blood clotting factor that may boost the risk of heart attack and stroke within hours of consumption The study didnt look at the long term effects of the various fats on blood levels of cholesterol Instead researchers led by Danish doctoral student Lone Frost Larsen studied what happened to blood levels of Factor Vll hours after healthy young men ate highfat meals containing butter canola oil or other fats compared with when they ate lowfat meals Let Christmas holidays Turkey sandwiches are definitely in your future for the next week The wishbone has been pulled and the wish made And today is the biggest shopping day of the year All of this spells one thing Christmas is around the corner as in 27 And how are you reacting Exactly The holiday season can be one of the most stressful times of the year but why is this We remember how it was last year we certainly remember swearing that this year it would be different and it almost certainly never is A possible reason might be the stressor supreme anticipation Nothing drives up our anticipation like past memories of Christmas or projected hopes for how this holiday is supposed to be After all who hasnt seen Norman Rockwell Is painting of the three generations of family all gathered around the festive dinner table waiting for Father to carve the turkey While that image is idyllic for the vast majority of us such pictures are found in books not our own dining rooms Take a deep breath and say to yourself Christmas is just another over and over again for the next 28 days And keep in mind that much of the hype of Christmas is exactly that Madison Avenue advertising in full swing Attempt to remember the true meaning of the holidays by counting the blessings you already possess on this day Also the holidays might serve as emotional signposts for people who have had deaths or losses in their family and thus reawaken grief Rather than mask your sadness Leslie Tallant acknowledge your einotiorts by sharing them with someone with whom you feel safe and respected Write your thoughts and feelings in a journal allow yourself a good cry or see a counselor or member of your clergy Feel what youre feeling then come up for air Make plans ask about holiday activities in which you can be a part and investigate volunteer work to help those less fortunate than yourself Isolating yourself might intensify depression so fight back by being with others even if they are strangers If you recall your best friend was a stranger to you once For others anticipation might be like dread if youre going to be in contact with family members or friends you find stressful As the saying goes you can always pick your friends but you dont have that choice with family People may be unkind to you but it is your choice on how you react or verbally respond While obligation might be great to attend or host family gatherings you can lower your stress level Decrease your time spent with family members who are hurtful and increase your time with people who are kind and respectful by possibly including them in the gathering Or remember once more that Christmas is another day out of 365 Maybe by lowering our anticipation reducing known stressors and creating new traditions we can allow the true joy of the holidays to shine through Remember it is the small simple things from true giving that create the sweetest memories Its not the glitter of the gift that counts but the gold in the heart Ms Tallant is a professional counselor under the supervision ofMyrna Tucker board certified psychiatrist at Austin Street Medical Plaza For questions or comments write Tallant via this newspaper or e mail at leslie@hayscd.het. State health care programs can help lowincome seniors Some local physicians are concerned about health care decisions being made currently by Comal County senior citizens Many seniors are being wooed to switch from regular Medicare coverage with a supplement to the new Medicare HMOs Doctors in the area are concerned because some of the seniors might not understand that the HMO plans are a Medicare replacement policy Currently a Medicare senior with a supplement policy and his doctor are free to choose nearly any available treatment among the options appropriate for his condition The doctor can customize the treatment for the patient to the very best fit to his illness lifestyle personality and individual patient wishes with almost no outside interference in the decisionmaking process Referrals to a specialist only involve discussing the reason that this might be helpful with the patient and a phone call to the specialists office to schedule an appointment The doctor and patient are also free to choose any hospital they wish for treatment In a Medicare HMO this process changes fundamentally The decisions are no longer just between the ill senior and his physicians but also require the approval of a managed care organization and often an insurance company as well In signing on with a Medicare replacement policy seniors are agreeing to comply with the restrictions included in these plans These restrictions typically include having to leave their doctors for physicians on the HMO panel and having to see primary care physicians to obtain approval prior to hospitalization surgery or referral to a specialist Not following these procedures results in a financial penalty with a reduced percentage or perhaps none of the costs covered by the plan Often the prescription benefits included in these plans include a druggist where only certain medications usually lower cost or generic are approved by the MCO for coverage Patients who have been stable for years on particular medications might be forced to switch to an alternative drug on the formulary list that might not be as effective for them The approval process at each stage takes time and energy which can delay your care Physicians in New Braunfels are aware that some seniors no longer can afford a supplementary insurance Government statistics James Bartay show that about 20 percent of Comal County senior citizens have yearly incomes under Fortunately there are some state programs that can help these lower income seniors but very few of those eligible have so far applied for this help One of these programs is called QMB which stands for Qualified Medicare Beneficiary To be eligible the senior citizen has to be enrolled in Medicare Part A and be over 65 unless he has chronic renal disease or has been receiving disability benefits for 24 months or more If the persons monthly income is less than with resource less than or the couples income is less than and their resources are less than they qualify for this aid The QMB essentially functions like a supplemental insurance plan by paying the Medicare deductible and copay amounts The QMB also pays the Medicare Part B premium that currently is deducted monthly from social security checks Another plan is called SLMB or Specified LowIncome Medicare Beneficiaries The eligibility requirements for this plan are the same as QMB except an individual income can be per month or in the case of a couple This plan does not cover the Medicare copayments and deductibles but does take over paying the Medicare Part B premiums for SLMB eligibles There is another program called MQMB or Medicaid Qualified Medicare Beneficiary which includes prescriptions benefits but has lower income and means eligibility criteria than the QMB program None of these programs are of any use however unless the person applies for them Seniors interested in the above programs can call Health Reach at The BOXCAR 62QOM I MlRRY CHRIS TMYS 1259 LOOP 331 November 20 November PRESENT THIS AD FOR A Free gift certificate with every purchase of or more Certificate can be used towards any merchandise on your next visit to our store Redondo Plaza On Bitters near 281 behind Target 4948228 Walnut Square New Braunfels next to Target 6068228 Many off the doctors in Comal County are willing to help with health care costs in various 8306062170 to request additional information on these programs Finally I would encourage seniors who are in financial difficulty to discuss this with their doctors Many of the doctors in Comal County are willing to help with health care costs in various ways but they are probably not aware of your financial circumstances Some doctors even have staff members assigned to help with prescription assistance plans or installment payment plans that can help keep health care affordable for seniors without resorting to the bureaucracy and restrictions of a medicare HMO Dr James Bartay is a family practice physician whose offices are at 876 Loop 337Suite 101 This article was provided by Health Reach a health care organization composed ofMcKenna Memorial Hospital and 74 locally based physicians who work together to provide a complete system of health care services to the community If you have a medical or insurance question call 60621 V anfct0 orest Opens lluthiv after Open daily from 10 Fresh cut coldstorage shipped Noble and Firs from award winning Tilton Valley Farm in Morton Washington We also a have potted Pine and Cypress trees and Texas grown Virginia Pines Dorothy Mercer Resident Caretaker 8306294518 or 8306291854 Hoffman Lane eraldZeitung h the Horizons Edition unday January 18 1998 January 25 1998 e sections will be called Neighbors Neighbors7 will be a section which depicts relationships between local We are requesting photos and information rom you our readers Heres how it works Readers will submit about their neighbors in New Braunfels and Comal County Submissions will detail the special things a particular neighbor does or why a neighbor is so si Submissions may be no longer than 500 words Stories can be dropped off at the HeraldZeitung offices or mailed to New Braunfels HeraldZeitung 707 Undo New Braunfels Texas 78131 Deadline for submission December to allow for photographs to be arranged Margaret Edmonson will be the contact for any questions about this section i I 5 v   

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