City Promoter Hypes Peyton Manning, St. Elmo’s – and Dr. Lawrence Einhorn

Along with talking up Indy’s famous and fiery shrimp cocktail sauce from the historic St. Elmo’s Steak House, and bragging about the largest kid’s museum in the country, Chris Gahl is not shy when it comes to touting one of IU Health’s most respected cancer doctors, Lawrence Einhorn.

The New Year had just started and Chris Gahl, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Visit Indy, sat on a stage beneath the bright lights of the Indiana Convention Center. He shared the stage with a man who also helped promote the city  – former Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback Peyton Manning.

In front of a crowd of about 1,200 people, Gahl was poised and ready to ask Manning questions about his football career in Indianapolis. The event was the Visit Indy Annual Meeting – a time when the city’s stakeholders hear the highlights from a successful year of Indianapolis tourism.

“When I say the word ‘Indianapolis’ what emotion does that evoke?” Gahl asked Manning. Then he listened as Manning talked about his early years in his hometown that hosted the Super Bowl in 2012.

Facilitating the Q & A with one of the most iconic athletes in football history was undoubtedly a highlight of Gahl’s career.

But there was another Q & A session that discreetly marks a turning point in Gahl’s life. It was with IU Health oncologist Dr. Lawrence Einhorn. This Q & A was in the privacy of Dr. Einhorn’s office and Gahl didn’t need to ask the questions. They were answered without prompting.

“When he entered the room for the first time he introduced himself and sat down in a chair right next to me,” said Gahl. “I expected him to be wearing a white coat and sitting on a doctor’s stool but he pulled his chair right up next to me and said, ‘how are you doing? I know you must be scared. I know you have family. How are they doing?’”

Gahl was in Dr. Einhorn’s office seeking answers. He had just been diagnosed with testicular cancer and he was there to find reassurance, to gain confidence in his treatment plan.

“He answered my first two questions before I asked them. I have never felt so loved so quickly by another human being in my life,” said Gahl, who turned 41 on December 13.

***

After they talked for a bit, Dr. Einhorn told Gahl that there were two doctors from two different countries shadowing him for the day and since Gahl was seasoned in the area of hospitality, would he mind offering a warm welcome to the visitors. Gahl happily obliged. It’s what he’s done for 14 years in his role with an organization that promotes tourism in the state’s capital city. It is through that role that Gahl was no stranger to Dr. Einhorn.

“I had studied Dr. Einhorn. I had talked about Dr. Eihorn and I had pitched him to members of the media as far back at 2008,” said Gahl.  “I was familiar with his treatment of testicular cancer and because my profession promotes Indianapolis inside and outside the city part of that is culling over people who are interesting people. Dr. Einhorn’s reputation with curing testicular cancer makes him an Indiana ambassador,” said Gahl. “We don’t only promote major sporting events, chefs and athletes, we promote leading oncologists – people making a difference.”

Patients have traveled from around the world seeking care from Dr. Lawrence Einhorn; known for his successful treatment of testicular cancer – germ cell tumors – using a mix of high dose chemotherapies and peripheral stem cell transplant.

“When the world’s leading oncologist for testicular cancer resides in your community, you call,” said Gahl. When Indianapolis hosted Super Bowl 2012 Gahl in fact pitched Dr. Einhorn’s story to several sports writers, promoting men’s health.

Gahl is passionate about the cause – in part because of his own family’s experiences facing cancer.

***

Gahl’s maternal grandmother died of complications from breast cancer; his mother, Nancy Gahl, is a 20-year breast cancer survivor and his great grandfather died of complications from testicular cancer.

It was the last Friday in September. Gahl, his wife of 17 years Catherine Eberspacher and their sons Kanoa, 12, and Kai, 10, had just returned from one of their favorite vacation spots – Hawaii. Gahl had felt a dull ache in his groin. He made an appointment with his urologist when he returned home.

“He examined me and there was no lump, but I felt God poke me in the back and I asked my urologist for an ultrasound. They did one to be safe,” said Gahl. It was that poke in the back that marked a turning point in his personal life. On October 3 he got the news – there was a sizeable mass in his right testicle. He had surgery within 72 hours and had his first meeting with Dr. Einhorn on October 17.  

“When I sent him an email he responded within 17 minutes and said he’d be happy to see me and he copied his scheduler so I could get an appointment in a few days. I have kept that message because it reaffirmed his authentic desire to help his patients,” said Gahl.

A graduate of Pike High School and Butler University, Gahl has visited 44 islands across five continents, has helped generate millions of tourism dollars, and was once named to the Indianapolis Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40.” In addition to Peyton Manning, he personally knows some of Indianapolis’ most influential people – including the city’s 49th Mayor Joe Hogsett.

And when he learned of his cancer diagnosis, Gahl turned to another intimate relationship.  

“After my surgery, the weather was nice. I had the windows open and I put away work and spent a lot of time praying and refocusing my life lens,” said Gahl. “I’ve always focused on work and life balance and this time I put away the phone and laptop and focused on faith and family.”

A member of Cornerstone Lutheran Church, Gahl turned to his pastors, his mother, his wife, his brother and two sons for support. And he looked to Dr. Einhorn to help him navigate his treatment plan.

“He said, ‘Chris, men from all over the world have sat in this chair and have been successfully treated. You will be no different,” said Gahl. Based on CT scans, Dr. Einhorn recommended no additional treatment after his surgery. No radiation. No chemotherapy. He suggested monitoring what he described as “pin prick cancer cells” and felt that Gahl’s body would fight off those cells.

“He asked if I felt comfortable with that and I said, ‘yes, I trust you,’” said Gahl. Since then, he exercises regularly and is judicious about what he puts into his body. His recent blood work and follow up scans showed no tumors. And like the poke in his back encouraging him to request the original ultrasound Gahl is responding to others who have reached out about their own cancer diagnosis.

“When someone asks to meet with me, I make that a priority,” said Gahl. “Sitting with them helps me put things in perspective – I caught it early. I’m an advocate for monitoring mental and physical health. I don’t bring it up proactively but if someone brings it up I’m happy to faith share and I’ve been really moved by the reciprocal faith connection. I’m thankful this process has strengthened my faith, refocused my life lens and helped me share with family and friends.  I’m thankful God is in control.”

— By T.J. Banes, Journalist, IU Health.
   Reach Banes via email tfender1@iuhealth.org.

Sisterly bond – Strengthened by kidney donation

They grew up together – four years apart.  When Amber Howard’s kidney failed, it was her younger sister who donated a new one.

Growing up Amber Howard was the adventurous older sister. April Howard was more artsy, said their mom.  They both ran track. April played the violin and was in theater.

Their late father, Gary Howard was in the military so the family made several moves. The girls often hung out with the same friends, many from their church youth group – hosting pizza parties and game nights in the family basement. Some of their best memories were camping trips and family vacations to Colorado, Kentucky and the Michigan’s upper peninsula. In warmer weather they’d pack a lunch and go for a swim. On wintry days they’d enjoy cross-country skiing near the Canadian border.

Amber, four years older than April, sometimes babysat for her younger sister. On one occasion, their mom, Barbara Morgan, remembers coming home to a house filled with “snow.” The sisters decided to rip apart a beanbag chair and every time the furnace kicked on the tiny particles of white stuffing would spew out from the vents.

“She thought I was a brat. A pest. She’s more of a girly girl. She likes to get her nails done and I like to go for a hike,” said April, 41. “We’re very different but we both are foodies and we travel together taking vacations in Florida,” said Amber, 45.

The sisters graduated from high school in Sault Sainte Marie, MI. Amber went on to obtain her nursing degree and works at IU Health Ball Hospital in the psychiatric unit. She has a daughter, 23. April is married and lives in Arizona where she works as a wildlife biologist.

Even though they were separated by nearly 2,000 miles, the sisters remained close at heart.

Barbara Morgan says Amber was born with small kidneys – something she believes was a genetic abnormality – but nothing that ever caused any health issues. A few years ago, during a routine checkup doctors discovered Amber’s creatinine levels were elevated – an indication of impaired kidney function. In July 2016, she was listed for a kidney transplant. Initially her mom and a couple of friends were tested as potential donors. During the testing a mass was discovered on Barbara Morgan’s lung. It was benign but she was no longer qualified as a donor, said Amber.

“We ran into a lot of bumps in the road. Originally my sister couldn’t be a donor because she was diagnosed with high blood pressure,” said Amber. After a few lifestyle changes, April was reevaluated in May of 2018. She was an ideal donor candidate.

On January 31, Amber was in one in operating room under the care of Dr. William C. Goggins and April was in an adjacent operating room under the care of Dr. John A. Powelson. After surgery they were in separate rooms – FaceTime bridged the distance – and when she felt strong enough April made the trip down the hospital halls to see her big sister.

“I was in ICU for six days. I had great care. I can’t say enough about Dr. Goggins,” said Amber. “It can be scary living with one kidney but I wouldn’t hesitate for a minute to be a living donor,” said April. “This is giving my sister a chance to live a healthy life.”

— By T.J. Banes, Journalist, IU Health.
   Reach Banes via email tfender1@iuhealth.org.

Emergency treatment made him a better emergency responder

Jeremy Vardaman has spent his career focusing on emergency response. But when he needed attention for his own health emergency, he saw a different side of patient care.

In high school Jeremy Vardaman ran cross country and played baseball. After high school he became an EMT. His goal was to pursue a career as a firefighter – a physically demanding job.

He grew up watching his dad, Jed Vardaman work as a volunteer firefighter. His brother, Jarrett also became a firefighter.

After working with several EMS services, Jeremy Vardaman landed his dream job with the Zionsville Fire Department. He had been at the job for two years – working long shifts responding to alarms, putting out flames, performing underwater rescues, and coming to the aid of accident victims. It was a job he loved.

“The stress of the job didn’t affect me. It’s what I love to do,” said Vardaman, 30. But on June 3, 2018, Vardaman had just finished a basketball game with fellow fire fighters and completed a routine workout when he began to feel dizzy.  He had completed a health physical just a month earlier and was “perfectly healthy,” said Vardaman. But His heart was racing on this night.

“I went out to the medic truck and hooked myself to a heart monitor,” said Vardaman. His heart was beating at 234 beats a minute. A normal heart rate for adults 18 and older is between 60-100 beats a minute. He was rushed to ER and within weeks was connected to IU Health for genetic testing. That testing determined that Vardaman had a genetic mutation in his heart. Commonly known as Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) the condition is a disease of the heart muscle. Left untreated, the disease can result in death.

February is American Heart Month – a time to promote awareness of heart disease and prevention. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest monitoring cholesterol – a leading cause of heart disease.

For Vardaman, who thought he was the picture of health, his diagnosis came as a surprise.

“ARVC is one of the leading causes of athletic deaths,” said Vardaman. Caught early, the treatment involves controlling the heart rate through medication or heart ablation.  Vardaman was referred to IU Health cardiologist Dr. John Miller and was told, “he’s nationally known for his expert treatment in difficult heart ablations.” The week before Thanksgiving Vardaman underwent a complex six-hour procedure to stabilize his heart rate.

“The minute I met Dr. Miller I knew I was in good hands. He was so nice along with the anesthesiologist, nurses, and entire staff. They were so caring and professional,” said Vardaman. The experience taught him something else too: “I’m used to giving patients care, but this time I was the one who needed the care,” said Vardaman. “It made me see things from a different way – from the other side.”

Although there is no history of heart disease in Vardaman’s family ARVC is typically inherited in an autosomal dominate way. After Vardaman’s diagnosis, his mother also learned that she has the genetic mutation. “The doctors have said the more athletic you are the more the chances the condition flares up,” said Vardaman. “I consider myself lucky that we caught it in time.”

The ablation helped regulate his heart rate, but doctors have suggested that Vardaman refrain from strenuous sports and athletics. He recently made a decision to pursue his career as an EMT and has been hired by IU Health LifeLine. He is also enrolled in the Paramedic Program through IUPUI set to begin in August 2019. 

“I look forward to expanding my skills and education to better serve patients I come into contact with,” said Vardaman. “I have always thought LifeLine is professional and family-oriented. I think now I bring something new to my passion for patient care. I know what it’s like to meet someone on one of the worst days of their lives and to make the outcomes better.”

— By T.J. Banes, Journalist, IU Health.
   Reach Banes via email tfender1@iuhealth.org.

Nurse Asks the Tough Questions

Millicent MacGregor divides her time between palliative care research and the bone marrow transplant clinic at IU Health.

Her interest in nursing goes back to when she was about the age of three. Millicent MacGregor remembers spending time with her grandfather who was sick with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Even at a young age, she liked to think she was taking care of her grandpa.

Her father was in the Air Force and her mom worked in a hospital cafeteria. When she became a nurse 16 years ago, MacGregor says she came into her career naturally.  She obtained her associate’s degree and is now working on her bachelor’s degree at IUPUI.

She first joined IU Health working in ER at IU West. After five years she began working in oncology.

“I didn’t choose oncology; oncology chose me,” said MacGregor. She eventually began working in research and now combines both research and oncology patient care. “We do research trials that help IU Health patients manage different symptoms through oncology. For instance, there is a clinical trial that we’re getting ready to start enrolling patients in that involves vibration to help lessen neuropathy induced by chemotherapy.”

What does she like best about her career?

“I love coming alongside patients and being part of their journey,” said MacGregor. “I know I can personally make or break a patient’s day by the way I treat them. It’s my goal to make their day a little easier. I can’t fix their diagnosis or what chemotherapy they get but maybe I can lessen their burden – whatever that is. Something physical brought them to the hospital but they are more than that – they are spiritual and emotional beings.”

What makes MacGregor a good nurse?

“I think what I hear from my patients is I give compassionate care and I’m willing to ask the hard questions – the questions that they are thinking,” said MacGregor. “I have the ability to ask ‘So tell me how you are really doing.’ There’s a transparency I’m able to pull out of them and they feel like they are being listened to.”

More about MacGregor:

  • She and her husband Bill, a captain and paramedic with Decatur Township Fire Department, will be married 25 years in April.
  • She has three children  – Leanza, 24; Laurel Mann 21 (married to their “bonus son, RT, 21), Isaac, 19; and a stepdaughter Shannon Glaski; and two step grandchildren.
  • She loves to cook, and she and her husband are big Yankees baseball fans and have set a goal to watch a game in every major baseball stadium.
  • MacGregor and her husband are also board members of the SON Foundation, an organization that provides part-time housing for oncology patients and their families.
  • They are also involved in marriage ministry at their church – Connection Point Christian Church in Brownsburg.

— By T.J. Banes, Journalist, IU Health.
   Reach Banes via email tfender1@iuhealth.org.

Joint Commission prep invokes wizards (and fun) at IU Health Arnett

IU Health Arnett team members are getting creative with their preparation for The Joint Commission’s survey, drawing on the characters and plot lines of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling for a little inspiration (and fun.) Take a look at how they’re gearing up for success, and instilling a little “Arnett magic” into the mix.

Are you prepared for The Joint Commission survey? The wizarding world of Periop is getting prepared for the fall survey. IU Health Arnett Hospital Periop Manager Sarah Norkus is sending her team on a quest for The Joint Commission cup.

Team members have been sorted into their respective houses: Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Gryffindor and Ravenclaw. They are ready for their quidditch matches. For eight weeks each match includes a question that could be asked by The Joint Commission. The questions are hidden. There is even a golden snitch for bonus points. It is like an Easter egg hunt.

Team members don’t necessarily know each other due to the different areas they cover and different shifts worked. Many of the team members have never been through the survey process. The houses were encouraged to set up email groups to work together on finding and answering clues.

Norkus reported that she has been overcome by the response and how excited the teams are getting for each quest.

  • Competing house clues have been held hostage.
  • Shift leaders are getting questioned by staff or observed closely to see where the next clue might be hidden.
  • Every time Norkus leaves her office with glitter on her hands or face, staff thinks she is preparing to hide the golden snitch, and people follow her.

Team members may use any resources at their disposal to answer the questions, including reaching out to other departments and referring to The Joint Commission website. Norkus appreciates that the teams are focusing on the why behind the questions and are looking at things more critically. She often receives answers with the email chain showing the number of other staff members reached.

Norkus has noticed a lot more self-correction by staff in following hospital policies, best practices and being mindful of resources since the game began. “I added a half-point bonus for every expired product found. More than 900 items were submitted in less than 36 hours.” The take-away is improved performance: stock is rotated, not over-ordering, checklist and an owner of that checklist has been assigned.  

Norkus is adding another element to the game—a shadowing opportunity to help team members get to know each other better and their job duties. Bonus points will be awarded for each hour of shadowing.  

Is it working? Team members have asked if the game can continue. Rumor has it the Outpatient Surgery Center team may have a Game of Thrones happening.

About The Joint Commission

Patients should always experience the safest, highest quality, best-value healthcare we can provide. Preparing for a Joint Commission survey can be a challenging process for any healthcare provider. At a minimum, a hospital must be completely familiar with the current standards; examine current processes, policies and procedures relative to the standards; and prepare to improve any areas that are not currently in compliance. The hospital must be in compliance with the standards for at least four months prior to the initial survey. The hospital also should be in compliance with applicable standards during the entire period of accreditation, which means that surveyors will look for a full three years of implementation for several standards-related issues.

The Joint Commission is a U.S.-based nonprofit tax-exempt 501 organization that accredits more than 21,000 US healthcare organizations and programs. The international branch accredits medical services from around the world. A majority of U.S. states accreditation as a condition of licensure for the receipt of Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements.

​His broken heart was healed by love, generosity

Transplant recipient and his wife honor organ donor at their wedding.

Barrett Younghans is at the gym, pedaling a stationary bike at a pretty good clip as he tells his story.

It’s the story of a broken heart, a new heart and the love that surrounds both.

Younghans went from being a three-sport athlete at age 17 to being a couch potato playing video games within a week’s time.

He was at Disney World with his parents, Barry and Lisa, and three sisters a decade ago when he first became ill, and then things quickly spiraled out of control.

The problem was his heart. An echocardiogram revealed dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart becomes enlarged and cannot pump blood effectively.

“I didn’t realize how sick I was,” said the now-26-year-old teacher and coach at Goshen High School.

He was admitted to Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, nearly three hours away from his home in Goshen, Indiana.

“The day after I got to Riley, they said I was going to need a heart transplant. I was 17.”

The teen was on the transplant list for two years. In that time, he finished high school, shifting his focus to academics rather than athletics, he said. He started college at Valparaiso University but was forced to withdraw six weeks in when he became too ill.

He was put on a ventricular assist device, a mechanical pump for people with advanced heart failure. Two days before Valentine’s Day in 2012, Younghans received his new heart at IU Health Methodist Hospital at the age of 19. Dr. Mark Turrentine was his surgeon.

The hardest part of the process might be waiting for a heart, but adjusting to taking several medications and learning the symptoms of rejection and infection post-transplant all require vigilance, explained Aly Darroca, Younghans’ transplant coordinator.

“It’s a lot for a young person to have to handle and try to go back to school,” Darroca said. “Barrett has adapted well with the help of his parents. They have encouraged him to be very independent, and he has done that.”

Calling him an “exceptional patient,” Darroca said he is self-motivated and ambitious. “It’s really nice to see someone grow up and do well. We are all so very proud of him.”

With a new heart and a new outlook, Younghans was determined to repay his donor by living a life worthy of such a gift.

That’s one of the reasons he goes to the gym just about every day.

“Some people struggle for motivation, but I spent two years of my life playing video games, being inside all the time,” he said. “Getting to the gym for me is easier than a lot of people because I have a lot to be thankful for and I want to keep myself healthy.”

After the transplant, he went back to college, graduating in 2015. Then he went back to his high school – as a history teacher and swim coach. And last month, he got married. His wife, Dr. Chelsea (Kiehl) Younghans, has only known her husband with the heart he has now. And it’s a good one.

The couple did a triathlon in August in honor of Younghans’ donor, a triathlete. And they made him an honorary groomsman, placing a photo of him at the head table with the rest of the wedding party. Younghans has never met his donor’s family, but they began communicating via email a few years ago, after the family agreed to establish contact.

Any communication with donor families is first done through the Indiana Donor Network and the donor’s organ procurement organization where the donor hospital is located, explained Michele Spencer, with IU Health Transplant. A recipient can prepare a letter and give it to his or her transplant social worker to give to the Indiana Donor Network, where it is reviewed.

“I have a ton of respect for the family and I’m a huge advocate of organ donation,” Younghans said.

In fact, his father, principal of the school where he teaches, flies an organ donation flag outside the school every day.

“I feel obligated to the donor’s family, to my family, to the doctors and to other people who didn’t get organs. I wouldn’t be living up to my donor’s name if I’m not taking care of the gift he gave me.”

–- By Maureen Gilmer, IU Health senior journalist
   Email: mgilmer1@iuhealth.org 

Dental Implants, Risks, Benefits And Costs

Are you looking to find the right answer to the question regarding the various pros and cons associated with dental implants? If yes, then it is likely that you will find the next few lines interesting and informative. Today it is becoming one of the most common solutions for tooth restoration, and other such solutions. While there are other such methods available, there are obviously a number of benefits as far as dental implants are concerned. We will have a look at it over the next few lines.

 When Is Dental Implant Recommended

 Dental implants are required whenever you have a missing tooth. If you are not keen on getting into denture, crowns or bridges, then dental implants can come into play. Many people believe that it would be better to ignore a lost tooth. However, this is not correct because, over a period of time, it could create more problems than solutions. Further, there is no doubt that dental implants do have quite a bit of aesthetic benefits. They could help you to have a healthy bite. They help in keeping all teeth in the right place. It also could play a big role in keeping the jawbone healthy and also stop and prevent deterioration of bone.

It also plays a big role as far as overall appearance is concerned. If you are self-conscious about your overall looks and appearances, dental implants OKC can help in more ways than one. You can eat comfortably when you are at social gatherings and you can laugh and smile without discomfort or pain.

 Some Advantages Of Dental Implants

 One of the biggest benefits of dental implants is that it is stable and it gets firmly anchored into the jaw. Therefore when it comes to eating, speaking, laughing and other such daily activities, the users do not face much of a problem. They are also considered very durable and if it is done properly the dental implants could last a lifetime. Some bit of support and proper care would, however, be required. When compared to other forms of dental restorations, implants are often considered much better. This is because they perform the task of the tooth root and therefore they could prevent bone loss which often is a big problem. The bone loss usually occurs around the surrounding part of the jaw. When a tooth or root has been missing for a long period of time, this often is a big challenge. This can easily be overcome with the help of dental implants.

The Downsides Of Dental Implants

 However, as is the case with some surgeries, dental implants by OKC dentist also carry some health risks. Though the problems are rare and sporadic, they do occur once in a while. But in most cases, the problems are minor and nature and are easily treatable. Common problems include infection at the site of implant, injury or even minor damage to the neighboring blood vessels, jaw areas, and also surrounding teeth.

 The Final Word

 After evaluating the pros and cons associated with dental implants, it is quite obvious that the benefits are much more than some small and minor disadvantages.

Contact US:

Reflections Dental Care

Address:10924 Hefner Pointe Dr
Oklahoma City, OK
Phone: (405) 563-7097

Difference Between Dentist And Orthodontist

What is the basic difference between a dentist and an OKC orthodontist? This is a common question that comes to our mind when we need the services of dental professionals to take care of some problems. However, not many of us would be aware of the difference between orthodontist and dentist. We are therefore happy to list a few basic differences between the two professionals for the benefit of our readers.

What Is Dentistry

When we talk about dentistry we are referring to a broad canvas of services and this could include the various aspects of teeth conditioning and treatment, repair of problems related to the nerves, jaws and much more. On the other hand, when we talk about orthodontics we are referring to a specialty segment of dentistry. This area focuses mainly on occlusion, correction of bites and managing the straightness of teeth. Put in simple words, all orthodontists can be dentists but dentists cannot be orthodontists.

What Are The Similarities?

The main similarity between an Norman orthodontist and dentist starts from the fact that both these professionals are in the area of oral care. As mentioned above, orthodontists can provide all the services that can be provided by a dental professional. Therefore in this area, there is quite a bit of familiarity between these two professionals. They are both qualified doctors and they take care of problems that affect the gums and teeth.

What Are The Differences?

The similarities between the above two professionals start and end with the fact that both of them are concerned with teeth and gum health. There are many differences between a dentist and orthodontist. Shawnee Orthodontists require going through additional schooling and there are some special areas of dentistry that they must learn. Further, the main job of orthodontists consists of taking care of problems with regard to the wrong alignment of teeth, taking steps for improving bite, and also in fitting the patients with corrective braces and other dental devices. When a patient is suspected to be suffering from a case of overbite, dentists will diagnose the same and refer it to an orthodontist.

Services Rendered By Orthodontists

We are listing down some important services that one can expect from orthodontists. This is over and above the normal tasks that are performed by dentists. Orthodontists are considered extremely important when it comes to managing crowded teeth, overbite, underbite, teeth that are misaligned, and also correcting problems related to broken teeth or teeth that have not been formed properly. They also are extremely useful whenever there is a need to handle TMD or temporomandibular disorders. Their services are also required for treatment of various other problems of the jaw.

Conclusion

While it might be possible for a dentist to gradually learn and practice some parts of orthodontic care, the job is always much better done with the help of qualified and experienced orthodontists. Many patients believe that their smiles can be better-trusted and managed with the help of orthodontists for specific problems as mentioned above. Hence, if you have any such specific problems with regard to your jaw, wrongly aligned teeth and other such problems, you would do better to get in touch with a good orthodontist rather than get treated from a dentist.

Contact US:

Sky Ortho

Address:717 S I-35 Service Rd
Moore, OK
Phone: 405-378-4774

VIDEO: Brain surgery to save her smile

Jennifer Taylor knew something was wrong, but didn’t know what. She was losing hearing in her right ear, losing her balance, and about to lose the ability to smile on the right side of her face. She had a large tumor, called an acoustic neuroma growing in her head. 

Good thing she found Dr. Rick Nelson at IU Health who is really good at taking those out. 

“There’s not a lot of people that do acoustic neuroma surgery. Our success rate of having normal or near normal facial nerve function with large tumors is as good an anyone in the country.”

Turning Her Back on Addiction: Restoring Her Health

A recovering addict and mother of three, shares her story about finding help through IU Health’s addition counseling services.

An abandoned tree house serves as home to two 12-year-olds who create a fantasy world in the fictional book: “Bridge to Terabithia.” It’s a world that is all too familiar to Michelle Manning. The book was one of her favorites and she too, used to imagine escaping to a forest and blending in with the trees.

From the age of seven and continuing into her teen years, Manning said she often pretended her name was “Lisa” or “Rhiannon.” The latter name referring to a popular Fleetwood Mac 70s song about a Welsh witch. When Stevie Nicks sang the song, her vocals were so powerful that her performance was once described as a sort of ritualistic purification.

Manning didn’t give much thought to that sort of purification at the time, but now her life is all about restoration.

“I had loving parents but my mom had leukemia and was in the hospital a lot. My dad was a truck driver and gone a lot. It triggered a deep paranoia in me. I didn’t trust anyone and I just wanted to escape,” said Manning, 32. She dropped out of high school after her freshman year and had her first child at the age of 18.

***

For a time she worked in a daycare and liked it because it was like being a child again. She could play all day. But she knew she needed to get a better job to support her own child, so she worked to get her GED, got a college certification in medical office administration and landed a job at a behavioral health practice. Part of her role was answering client calls – many who were in desperate situations.

“I wasn’t trained to answer these calls. It was hard for me. I’d lived in a fantasy world for so long that I didn’t know these bad things happened in real life – people threatening to take their own lives,” said Manning. “It got to the point where I couldn’t sleep, my depression grew worse and I had suicidal thoughts.”

She was 23, now a mother to two children, and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She was prescribed medication to help control her mood swings.

“This was the beginning of my drug addiction. I drank here and there but then I began using opioids, meth and amphetamines,” said Manning. She eventually had a third child. All three were delivered by cesarean birth. Narcotics were offered to help with the pain. “I accepted them because I liked the way they made me feel. I was able to get my opioid prescription extended and when I ran out I would go to different doctors. It numbed me,” said Manning.

***

The addiction intensified. She cleaned out her parent’s savings account convincing them that she couldn’t survive without the drugs.

“When I ran out of options to get prescription pain meds, I’d get them on the street. We all thought it was harmless,” said Manning.  “When those ran out and I started getting sick and I turned to heroine. No one wanted to do that because we all thought that we were better than that but it was available and a whole cheaper than pills.”

At one point she was in a car accident and ruptured her spleen and broke her ribs.

“I felt like at least I can get pills out of this,” said Manning.

Three years ago, Manning was living in abandoned alleys or derelict houses and sometimes sleeping in her vehicle. She was jailed for harmful behavior – sometimes intentionally.

“Sometimes I’d get arrested on purpose because I was tired and hungry. I needed to sleep. Jail was a place to eat, it was cleaner than the places I was staying at and they had running water,” said Manning.

There were overdoses. Some landed her in ER; some she waited out.

But her lowest point came when a serious infection in her leg lead to infection in her blood stream – a result from repeated IV use with dirty needles. Twice she was hospitalized and had to learn to walk again.  Her family never gave up on her, but they were caring for her children and knew that she needed professional help. It was her younger sister who connected Manning to that professional help. She came to visit Manning at the abandon shack she called home. It was September of 2017.

“She saw my arms for the first time. I was lying on the floor and she told me to get up. I thought we were going to fight but instead she hugged me. It was the first time in a long time I felt reconnected to reality. I didn’t even know if I was dead or alive until then,” said Manning. “It was the reassurance I needed that I was alive and people love me and I don’t have to be alone.”

Manning’s sister works for IU Health and she was familiar with the chemical dependency and pain clinic at Methodist Hospital. Manning went through detox and enrolled in the program.

At Methodist, a team of behavioral health recovery specialists works with doctors and nurses connecting opioid overdose patients with ongoing care. The collaborative effort is part of a statewide plan – Project Point – that provides outreach intervention in opioid-related emergency medical services to help combat the tragic outcomes of opioid addiction. Many of the recovery specialists are recovering addicts who have walked the walk and know the challenges of addiction.

***

Manning’s road has not been smooth. At the beginning of October 2017, she showed up for every meeting, she listened, and she made a decision to follow the program rules. By Halloween weekend she relapsed. Police responded to a missing persons report by calling her mother and telling her that they found Manning’s purse and her shoes in an abandon alley. When she was eventually found – walking barefoot around downtown Indianapolis – she was transported to Methodist ER. She was met by one of the addiction recovery specialists.

“He said, ‘we have missed you. We were worried about you. We love you,’” said Manning. “They have been with me every step of the way.” She returned to the program the following Monday and completed the program last year. After she was clean for six months she began volunteering with the program, helping others on their road to recovery. In January of 2018, Jack’s Donuts hired her – her supervisor worked her schedule so that she could continue attending her recovery meetings. In August she completed training to become a peer recovery coach and has been reunited with her three children.

“We are recovering together,” said Manning. “The addiction didn’t just hurt me; it hurt them; it hurt my family. I’m trying to shelter them from some things and give them the assurance they need so they don’t feel alone. I know how that feels.”

As a volunteer with the addiction program, Manning openly shares her story with others. “I tell them ‘recovery is a process,’” said Manning. “I try to give them hope and help them learn to use the tools they need to stay clean and sober.”

— By T.J. Banes, Journalist, IU Health.
   Reach Banes via email tfender1@iuhealth.org.