Health Notes: Woman’s MS diagnosis spurs sisters to actionWhen Jeanne Lassard’s right leg — and, gradually, almost the whole right side of her body — went numb one night in November 2011, she didn’t think too much of it.
By: Compiled by John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
When Jeanne Lassard’s right leg — and, gradually, almost the whole right side of her body — went numb one night in November 2011, she didn’t think too much of it.
“I’m kind of good at ignoring things that I should pay more attention to,” the Poplar woman said.
Two days later, at the insistence of older sister Leah Bangs, she went to see her doctor, who sent her to the emergency room. There, an MRI revealed multiple sclerosis.
In the 18 months since, Lassard, 36, has learned a lot about MS, an incurable disease that attacks the body’s central nervous system. She knows the effects vary widely from person to person. In her case, she continues to experience numbness as well as pain, fatigue and weakness.
“Going up and down the stairs is difficult,” Lassard said.
Lately, she has had double vision.
But Lassard, with sisters Bangs and Kim Adams, is fighting back. At Adams’ suggestion, they formed a team to participate in this Sunday’s MS Walk in Duluth.
The team is known as FUMS, an acronym that can’t be spelled out in a family newspaper. About 65 people have signed on, Lassard said, and they’ve raised more than $7,400 so far.
The walk, with 2-mile and 4-mile options, starts at 10 a.m. at the Hampton Inn in Canal Park. Registration begins at 9 a.m.
Cloquet kids to bike, walk to school
Cloquet schools are encouraging healthy lifestyles with Bike and Walk to School Week beginning Monday.
Walk- and bike-oriented events will take place at Washington and Churchill elementary schools and at Cloquet Middle School, a news release from Carlton County Public Health and Human Services said.
Even bus students will get to participate, as buses will drop students off at a remote location so they can walk part of the way. Parents who drive their kids to school also are being asked to drop them off at a remote location.
The Cloquet event is one of hundreds nationwide next week on walking
and biking to school.
More information is at www.walkbiketoschool.org.
Forum to focus on insurance exchange
An information forum on Minnesota’s new Health Insurance Exchange will take place on Tuesday.
The event will feature Mario Vargas, outreach manager for the Minnesota exchange, and Jennifer Schultz, a health economics professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth. It’s sponsored by the Citizens Federation.
The free event will be from 7-8:30 p.m. at Holy Family Church, 2430 W. Third St. It will be preceded at 6:30 by an ice cream social.
Open enrollment begins in October for the insurance exchange, which will be an online marketplace where people can choose insurance plans. Those plans will go into effect on Jan. 1 as part of the Affordable Care Act.
Rehab center offers health screening
Chris Jensen Health & Rehabilitation Center, 2501 Rice Lake Road, is offering a free health screening from 9-11:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Hearing, vision, blood pressure, bone density, cholesterol, medication review and blood glucose checkups will be offered.
To get to the screenings, enter at the main (upper) entrance closest to Arlington Road.
For more information, call (218) 625-6402 or go to www.chrisjensenhealth.com.
Practice opens second office
Orthopaedic Associates of Duluth has opened a second office in Hermantown.
The new office, which offers physical and occupational services, is at 4310 Menard Drive. Staff began seeing patients there on Wednesday.
Therapy services continue to be available at the main office at 1000 E. First St., Duluth, in Suite 404. New therapists have joined the group to accommodate the new location, a news release from Orthopaedic Associates said.
For more information about the practice, call (218) 722-5513, or go to www.oaduluth.com. To contact the Hermantown therapy office, call (218) 336-7676.
LSC profs earn dental hygiene honors
Two dental hygiene faculty members from Lake Superior College distinguished themselves recently, the school announced in a news release.
Tess Caywood was installed on Saturday as president of the Minnesota Dental Hygienists’ Association. She will serve a three-year term.
On Friday, Joan Ostapenko received the University of Minnesota Distinguished Dental Hygiene Alumna Award. The U of M’s Dental School honors one dental and one dental hygiene alumnus each year.
Mental health meetings offered
A free and confidential meeting for people who have mental illnesses takes place on the first and third Thursdays of the month.
The mental health meeting, sponsored by the Mental Health Association of Minnesota, will take place from 5-7 p.m. today in the Miller-Dwan Medical Center at Essentia Health-Duluth, 502 E. Second St. The meeting takes place in Meeting Rooms 1-3 in the lobby level near the auditorium.