Roadmap for Recovery

Movement is Medicine Personalized Training Program Offers Roadmap for Recovery Three years ago, Suzanne Clark sat in her wheelchair at a Soroptimist International regional conference, waving her hands and smiling while club members danced around her during a friendly competition. This year, wheelchair-free, she taught her friends the steps and led the dance. Suzanne, 60,…
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Trainer Triumphs

Thanks to Trauma Team, Wounds are Nearly Invisible The kick came without warning. One moment Green Valley horse trainer Katie LeDoux, 27, was walking a horse from its stall to the training ring, and the next she was facedown in the dirt. “I started to cry when I saw blood and realized I was spitting…
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A Future After Fusion

A Bright Future After Spinal Fusion Marge Buckner of Vacaville had tried just about every possible approach to ending unbearable back pain when she met neurosurgeon Edie Zusman, M.D., in 2016. “My whole life was geared around the intensity of pain. But I wouldn’t give up.” ~Marge Buckner Marge’s troubles began almost a decade earlier,…
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Painfree & Grateful

Surgery Gives Retiree His Life Back Valiollah Eslami Amirabadi, visiting from Iran, right, gratefully thanks Dr.Jeffrey Dembner for restoring his health, while daughter Sedigheh Ghods watches. After Iranian doctors told Valiollah Eslami Amirabadi that he’d have to live with intense back pain, he felt hopeless. But during a visit with his daughter and her family…
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Arthritis Specialist Helps Patients Cope

Melissa Schoenwetter, D.O. We’ve all woken up with aching joints, and the occasional morning stiffness is inconvenient but manageable. For people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), however, the activities of daily living—washing hair, buttoning a shirt, or even walking up or down stairs—can be painful all day long. RA is an inflammatory autoimmune disease characterized by…
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Putting Pain in its Place

Cynthia Peña, M.D. Techniques Unique For Each and Every Patient Pain can be a formidable foe. Just ask Cynthia Peña, M.D., who has made it her mission to help people suffering from all kinds of pain, from the nagging and intermittent to the chronic and debilitating. Her original focus, medically speaking, was anesthesiology, but she…
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Comforting Care – Expert Focuses on End of Life Issues

Dr. VanAken confers with long-time patient Della Horn during a recent hospital stay. In the late 1980s, as one of the first family physicians to practice at the newly opened VacaValley Hospital, Terrell VanAken, M.D., specialized in treating entire families. “From birth to death, I’d be there through their whole life cycle.” But, during the…
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Getting Past Aches & Agony

With compassionate care, NorthBay Healthcare’s team of experts seeks to ease pain in the lives of all our patients, addressing everything from headaches to foot pain, and all problems in between. In this issue, we’ll share stories of how doctors, therapists, nurses and social workers strive to free our patients from a gamut of afflictions….
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Reform is Not Pain-free

How about a pain-free life in a society where health care is accessible to all without much government interference? Of course, that is an inconceivable plot, even for an old-fashioned Disney movie. Pain is not only a part of life, it is part and parcel of healthcare reform. With it, come difficult decisions, amid perpetual,…
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Local Chest Pain Center Offers Quick Diagnosis & Treatment

The rule is simple: if you have chest pain, call 9-1-1. Don’t wait. Don’t be embarrassed. Because when it comes to saving your heart, doctors have a saying: “Time is Muscle.” The faster you get help, the more of your heart muscle can be saved. Chest pain comes in many varieties, from a vague discomfort…
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The Ache of Arthritis

If you’ve been diagnosed with osteo-arthritis (OA), you’re familiar with the pain. It can ache deep in the joint or radiate down your leg. It’s a pain that feels better with rest and a pain that gets worse throughout the day. Arthritis basically means inflammation of a joint. OA is characterized by a gradual loss…
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Top 10 Reasons for Foot Pain

Dr. Kevin Miller examines the foot of Fairfield patient Emilion LeGaspi. An old proverb states,“No hoof, no horse.” And as anyone with foot pain knows, that statement applies to both man and beast. An aching foot takes the pleasure out of most daily activities. Studies show that three out of four Americans will have a…
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A Tale of Two Patients and One Diagnosis

Peripheral Arterial Disease occurs when blood flow is cut off or limited to the foot and leg, and results in terrible pain. They’re on opposite ends of the spectrum. Bill Ivins, 71, of Vacaville, is diabetic with failing kidneys and a history of heart disease in his family. Ashley Marques, 23, is athletic and active…
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When It’s All in Your Head

That throbbing pain in your head can have many causes, says Shahid Rehman, M.D., a neurologist with the Center for Specialty Care, a NorthBay affiliate. “Most often, headaches are a benign condition, especially when they are chronic and recurrent. But, a new, severe headache may be the earliest sign of a serious neurological disease and…
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When Suffering Doesn’t Go Away

Dr. Michael Amster says the team at the Center for Pain Management works to break the cycle of pain. Twisted ankles and toothaches are painful, but temporary. Pain that keeps you from sleeping or working or lasts for weeks or months is chronic, according to Michael Amster, M.D., director of the Center for Pain Management,…
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When Chest Pain Isn’t Your Heart

Almost 30 percent of patients tested for a possible heart attack find that their pain is due to something else. Many cases turn out to be caused by a problem in the esophagus—(the tube that connects your throat and stomach). The esophagus and heart are in close proximity and even have a similar nerve supply….
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Lifesavers Come Through in a Complex Case

Laura Mathiasen (left) follows up with Dr. Teresa Whitley (center) and case manager Sandy Remell, R.N. Laura Mathiasen has been an athlete most of her life—playing competitive softball, swimming and even teaching physical education for awhile—until a devastating disease sidelined her with a vengeance. Aptly named, Cyclic Vomiting Disease is every bit as terrible as…
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Choosing an Over-the-Counter Pain Medication

Although the drug store aisle is packed with pain medications, you really have a choice of only two main drugs types—acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NASAIDs). Acetaminophen (Tylenol) relieves mild to moderate pain from muscle aches, headaches, colds, sore throats, arthritis, backaches and menstrual periods. It also reduces fever. To reduce the potential for side…
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Coping with Cancer

Dr. Jonathan López examines patient Bereniece Wilson. Cancer patients may experience pain, but what causes it can depend on the kind of cancer, how advanced the cancer may be, its location and even its treatment, according to Jonathan López, M.D., hematologist/oncologist with the NorthBay Cancer Center. Either way, cancer patients should rest assured that there…
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Palliative Care: Support for the Chronically Ill

Dr. Terrell VanAken Hospitalized patients who are suffering from chronic, debilitating, difficult-to-manage or progressive health issues can receive assistance with pain management through NorthBay Bridges, a palliative care service of NorthBay Healthcare. NorthBay Bridges uses a team approach to help seriously ill hospitalized patients optimize their quality of life. With a goal of relieving pain…
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Muscling Back

Thanks to Surgery, Dad can Shoulder Responsibilities Dr. Stephen Franzino puts Matt Moraida’s shoulder through the paces. As a strength and conditioning coach in his spare time, Matt Moraida, 30, of Vacaville was in such good shape that when he injured himself during a workout in February 2011, it only slowed him down for a…
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Surgery Returns Spring to Her Step

Using the model, Dr. Charles Sonu shows Kathryn Welter the area where her spine needed surgery. At first, Kathryn Welter attributed the pain in her legs to old age. “I just worked through it,” recalls the feisty 89-year-old Vacaville resident. But when she couldn’t sleep through the night, and she had to start giving up…
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New Mom Has Praise for Physician’s Magic Touch

Angela Lim, D.O. (left), holds Siddhartha Francisco Ghimire, while his mother, Aurora, is all smiles, thanks to Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine. Aurora Ghimire was only four months into her pregnancy when lower back pain struck. A pre-school teacher in Sacramento, the 33-year-old was thrilled to be expecting her first child with husband Sudhir, a construction company…
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On Her Feet Again

Margie Furco knows well how pain can put a life on hold. For a dozen years she worked as a baker and cake decorator for a grocery store chain, spending hours on her feet, lifting heavy baking equipment and bags of flour. It was a job she loved, and her customers loved her, too. Her…
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Pain Plan

Hit your thumb, bang your elbow or knock your head and you know for a few moments it will be hard to focus on anything else past that initial blast of pain. But pain that is constant, throbbing and chronic—whether the result of an accident, workplace injury or illness—can easily become the primary focus in…
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