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  • Let's have a nice, clean campaign season

    May 23, 2024

    by Zac Taylor, Powell Tribune Last Thursday marked the beginning of the filing period for the primary election season. While obviously this paper has done stories on a number of candidates already declared to run, from state House and Senate to county commissioners, expect a whole lot more partisan and municipal candidates to declare in the next couple of weeks. Filing period ends May 31. Then we’ll have a long sprint to Aug. 20 and Election Day. The nearly three months in between can be fun and informative or miserable for followers of l...

  • Ghosting simply doesn't cut it

    May 16, 2024

    by David Peck, Lovell Chronicle Pet peeve time here. Are you familiar with the communications concept known as ghosting? For the uninitiated, the word refers to an electronic communication during which one of the parties simply stops responding to a conversation or disappears from contact in the first place. I guess it could also refer to any communication, such as refusing to return a call or something like that. But for the young people out there, I have one thing to say: Don’t do it. At least if you want to get or keep a job. Let me tell y...

  • Thoughts on confidence

    May 16, 2024

    I read something today that changed my perception of the concept of confidence. It said something along the lines of: “Confidence can’t be seen or heard. It can’t be created by anyone but you.” I found this profound. I’ve always believed I lacked confidence. I’m guessing many of us feel this way. I lived my life thinking my lack was simply the way things were. I saw other people as confident – born that way – and I envied them. I thought their confidence came from abilities or talents – a knowledge that they had what it took to stand out from...

  • Your words matter

    May 9, 2024

    by Bryan Golden, Dare to Live Without Limits You are usually conscious of what you say to others. The things you say are based on what you want to achieve. You know from experience that the words you chose have a big impact. When you use the wrong words, the reaction of others is not what you intended. What you say to yourself is just as important as what you say to others. Yet, too many people are not fully aware of the impact their self-talk has on their own wellbeing. Your words to yourself program your mind. Your mind follows whatever...

  • Paper patch gardening

    May 2, 2024

    by Sara Ready “I’m heading out to mow the garden” my dad announced. Then I heard him mutter, “I never thought I would put those words together in a sentence.” My garden had been a source of embarrassment for years. I was raised better. My mother was a fantastic gardener, I learned and helped her throughout my childhood. I thought gardening was pretty strait forward. Then I married, and moved to a bentonite hill. I borrowed a tiller, and started my first garden. For three years I scrached my so called garden out of the bentonite. My rows were...

  • Dry skin? Join the club

    Apr 25, 2024

    by Kelly Evans-Hullinger, MD An exceedingly common question I get in clinic, especially in the heart of a South Dakota winter, is how to remedy dry skin. And the questions arent just in clinic; my own kids, family, friends, everyone seems to have an occasional problem with dry and irritated skin. Dry skin is something we are all familiar with; if your dry spots come with a rash or anything else unusual, it may be worth showing it to your primary care provider, as it could be something else entirely. Eczema, a common inflammatory skin condition,...

  • Pain - It's no joke

    Apr 11, 2024

    by Jill Kruse, DO There is an old joke where a man walks into his doctor’s office and says, “Doc, it hurts every time I do this. What should I do? To which the doctor replies, “Simple, don’t do that!” While the advice seems trite and maybe even insulting, like most jokes, there is some truth in it. Pain is one of the ways your body tries to protect you from even worse injury. Pain tries to keep you from walking on a sprained ankle or lifting things with a broken arm. In those cases, the advice from the doctor is accurate. We cast broken bo...

  • Let go of the anchor

    Apr 4, 2024

    by Bryan Golden Imagine you are swimming while holding a heavy anchor which is pulling you under water. What would you do? Of course you would let go of the anchor to keep from drowning. Maintaining your grip on the anchor would lead to certain disaster. With your survival at stake, you wouldn’t hesitate to drop the anchor. Yet, in life there are issues you are hanging onto which are drowning you. Anger, hate, bitterness, resentment, and grudges are all anchors pulling you to the bottom. Trying to change circumstances outside of your control al...

  • Feeling winded?

    Mar 28, 2024

    by Andrew Ellsworth, MD “Well, doc,” the patient was telling me, “I get winded so easily now. I can hardly go to the mailbox without stopping to catch my breath. It did not used to be that way. Do you think something is wrong?” Many of us have experienced shortness of breath. After a period of inactivity, such as winter or a busy month, when we decide to exercise again, it may be easier to feel winded. That experience can be due to deconditioning, feeling out of shape. A good remedy for that is a gradual increase in exercise, helping us to r...

  • Five myths about Social Security

    Mar 21, 2024

    by Sam Shumway AARP Wyoming State Director For most of us, Social Security is – or will be – essential for helping to cover daily living expenses and pay bills as we get older. The bottom line is that Social Security is your money, earned through a lifetime of hard work. Yet there are persistent misconceptions about its long-term financial stability and how it works. Here are facts behind five of the most stubborn Social Security myths. Myth #1: Social Security is going broke. The facts: Social Security will not run out of money, as long as wor...

  • No man is an island

    Feb 22, 2024

    by Andrew Ellsworth, MD “No man is an island, entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” This is the beginning of a poem from 1624. In it, the poet John Donne appreciates how humans are all connected. Indeed, humans are social beings, and social connection is a factor in our health. We all know the importance of a healthy diet and exercise for our health. We are getting better at understanding the importance of mental health. One thing we do not discuss much, however, are the benefits of social connection. Our...

  • Fundamental functions: Ear, nose, throat

    Feb 15, 2024

    by Debra Johnston, MD I confess that occasionally even doctors get squeamish. Or perhaps more honestly, this doctor does. My personal list has gotten pretty short, but one of the things that still makes me squirm is something I nevertheless frequently recommend to my patients. So what is this mysterious and rather ominous medical recommendation? Nasal saline irrigation. The practice of rinsing the nose out with liquid probably originated centuries ago in India, and it remains part of spiritual ritual as well as traditional medicine around the...

  • These boots were made for walking

    Feb 8, 2024

    by Jill Kruse, DO Winter weather has finally arrived this year. Getting outside for some activity, even in winter, is great for your overall health. However snow, ice, and cold can turn a stroll in the park into an obstacle course. Having proper footwear is not only important for warmth, but also the wellbeing of your feet. Choosing the correct boots for the elements could mean the difference between enjoying the outdoors and needing an urgent care visit. What makes good footwear for enjoying the outdoors safely? Good traction is essential for...

  • Why routine dental visits matter

    Feb 1, 2024

    by John Bisson, DDS Routine visits to the dentist are key to maintaining overall health. Preventive dental care starts at home. We advise patients to brush twice a day, usually in the morning and before bed, for two minutes followed by flossing. Eating healthy is also crucial to maintaining oral health. Sugary foods and beverages are key factors in tooth decay. Acid is produced when the bacteria in your mouth break down sugar. That acid dissolves the tooth surface leading to tooth decay. Preventive dental care continues by visiting the dentist...

  • Even in darkness you can be found

    Jan 25, 2024

    by Nicola Park LAC, LPC-MH “I’ve lost everything…but I just can’t stop”. “Once I take that first drink that is all I think about”. “I use it to take the pain away”. These are some of the many things you might hear someone who struggles on a daily basis with an addiction say. Addiction is a chronic disease that can physically and mentally change a person from who they once were. When we hear the word addiction, we might automatically go to ‘the person on the street looking to score their next fix’, but these are people who struggle every minute...

  • The threat in your bedroom

    Jan 18, 2024

    by Debra Johnson, M.D. My family has a fondness for crime dramas and thrillers. It isn’t uncommon to watch a scene in which a peacefully sleeping individual wakes when a shadowy figure approaches their bedside with a pillow. Predictably, the assailant calmly presses that pillow over the face of their victim and waits until the struggling stops. For millions of us, the threat in our bedrooms isn’t some malevolent other, but rather our own bodies and brains. We may get our next breath, but for those with sleep apnea, it can be a struggle. Sle...

  • Benefits of pasteurization

    Jan 11, 2024

    by Andrew Ellsworth, MD My father-in-law is a farmer. He grew up on the family farm in southwest Minnesota, where his dad grew up, too. Blessed by fertile soil, the farm has provided for the family for several generations. It is invaluable for my children to experience the farm, see the crops grow, help with animals, and learn about the cycles of life on the farm. The farm no longer has cows, but it did at one time. My father-in-law used to milk cows. He remembers they had a pasteurizer. His mother would pour in raw milk. The cream rose to the...

  • What path should you take?

    Jan 11, 2024

    by Bryan Golden We all face decisions throughout life when circumstances change. Deciding what path to take can pose a dilemma. Each of the various options has positives and negatives. How do you determine the best course of action? There are a number of factors to consider. Your personality traits play a significant role. What do you like and dislike? What’s your affinity for risk? How much challenge are you happy with? The answers to these questions affect what path you will be comfortable taking. For example, someone who is uncomfortable w...

  • Information about seizures

    Jan 4, 2024

    by Andrew Ellsworth, MD A seizure can be one of the most frightening things for a family member, friend, or anyone to witness. However, for some people with epilepsy, seizures may be fairly common and not unexpected. Roughly 1 in 10 people may have a seizure at some point in their lifetime. A seizure occurs when there is a burst of uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain. This may cause a sudden change in awareness or full loss of consciousness, unusual sensations or thoughts, or temporary problems in muscle tone or movements, such as...

  • Make better brain health your top New Year's resolution

    Dec 28, 2023

    Alzheimer’s disease is expected to impact nearly 13 million Americans by 2050, including 10,000 Wyomingites today, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. So, as you contemplate your New Year’s resolutions for 2024, consider there are steps you can take yourself to maintain and improve your cognitive function. Research has shown lifestyle changes like improving diet and exercising regularly have helped drive down death rates from cancer, heart disease and other major diseases. These same lifestyle changes may also reduce or slow your risk...

  • Santa is a cowboy

    Dec 21, 2023

    by Slim Randles The subject came up spontaneously at a recent meeting of the New Mexico Cowboy Curmudgeon Coalition, where our motto is: “If we actually existed, would anyone really care?” It came about because of the time of year and the spirit of Christmas, and was encouraged by other spirits, of a more … well … bottled variety. “I think it’s time,” said one member, “we gave credit where credit is due. Santa Claus … hear me out now … is a cowboy.” This met with derisive outbursts in the House of Commons, which is more the Bunkhouse of Comm...

  • Unraveling medical myths

    Dec 21, 2023

    by Jill Kruse, DO Myths are just stories we tell ourselves and others to make sense of the world around us. Myths convey beliefs or values and attempt to tell truths. In their effort to tell the truth, myths may exaggerate or misrepresent things. Sometimes this misrepresentation is innocent, while other times it is used as a tool to regulate or manipulate people. Myths can be used to give a sense of power and control over an overwhelming situation. Of the many types of myths, ones that deal with medicine are particularly common. A person’s l...

  • China would benefit from proposed IP giveaway

    Dec 21, 2023

    by Walter G. Copan China steals up to $600 billion of American intellectual property every year -- more than the entire GDP of most countries. Considering the sheer scale of this theft, Americans should be shocked to learn that the White House is considering a plan that would voluntarily give the fruits of American innovation to China and other economic and geopolitical rivals. But that is precisely what's happening. In the spring of 2022, the World Trade Organization, with the United States' consent, voted to waive patent protections on...

  • The gift of peace

    Dec 14, 2023

    by Jill Pertler It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Or is it? People enjoy decorating for the holidays, cooking, baking, writing those non-brag family letters and finding the ideal gift for everyone on their list. Or do they? For some, many even, this is the most wonderful time of the year. People truly enjoy rearranging the living room to make room for a seven-foot evergreen. They look forward to lugging plastic tote bins from the garage or basement to sort through ornaments. Untangling masses of stringed lights rates as one of their t...

  • Escaping the black hole of worry

    Dec 7, 2023

    by Bryan Golden Worry is an all-consuming black hole which drains your time, emotions, and physical wellbeing. Worry is insidious because you are so used to it that you aren’t aware how often, or how readily, you worry. For some people, worry is a way of life. We grow up being taught, by example, to make worry a regular activity. We worry about what happened. We worry about what is happening now. We worry about what might happen. We worry about what others will do. We worry about what other people won’t do. We worry about just about eve...

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