Wednesday, February 27, 2019

WMSC's Spring Course Bulletin Is Out!

All WMSC members should have received their Spring 2019 Course Bulletin by email. If you haven't, something has gone wrong. Check your junk/spam folder to see if it's there. If not, contact board chair Nurrie Caviness and let her know (ancaviness@gmail.com). Anyone who would like can download the course bulletin and registration form here. Forms are also available in the Telstar Adult Education Office.

Have you always wanted to learn to play bridge? Join the Bridge for Beginners class (beginners only, please). Want to know more about our visiting birds? The Early Nesting and Returning Spring Birds Workshop may be just your cup of tea. Or, for a different peek into Maine’s past, consider signing up for Vintage Postcard Collecting. Click Spring Courses for our complete lineup.

WMSC sponsors several programs that are free and open to the public. To Your Health presents “It’s a Pasta Party!” and “The Stress of Aging – Growing Old Is Not for Sissies.” Down Home Maine offers three events, “Nesting Eagles”, “Manufacturing History of Locke’s Mills” and “Step Falls Wildflower Walk.” Brown Bag Lunch hosts Donna Sheerin Gillis who will discuss her "The Honor of the Brave" flag project. And Martha McLean will give a talk on MaineCare and Estate Planning. For details on all of these click on Public Events.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Atrial Fibrillation Revisited

On Thursday, February 7, Dr. Daniel van Buren spoke to a To Your Health audience on Atrial Fibrillation (AF) and the most recent developments in treatment. 

Individuals with AF have a problem with the heart's electrical system. Very simply, disorganized electrical activity in the upper chambers causes the lower chambers to beat erratically. Blood is not pumped properly, which results in the formation of clots, hence the greatly increased risk of stroke.
 

Because of the increased risk of stroke, medication that inhibits clot formation is usually prescribed. Traditionally, that drug has been Warfarin, but Warfarin requires a great deal of tweaking and monitoring, which has led to under treatment. Newer drugs are now available that have proven to be at least as effective as Warfarin, at least as safe, and do not require constant monitoring, and the price is coming down. The downside with any blood thinner is the risk of bleeding, but in the case of preventing stroke the benefits outweigh the risks. 

Peter Musso thanks Dr. van Buren for his presentation.
A really encouraging new development is the Watchman Device. Most clots form in the left atrial appendage. The Watchman Device is inserted over the opening to the appendage to prevent blood from entering and clots from forming. Dr. van Buren says it’s almost too good to be true; except for the need for and the cost of a procedure, so far there are no negatives.
 

The next To Your Health presentation, “It’s a Pasta Party!”, will be held on Thursday, March 7 from 4:30 – 6:00 at the West Parish Congregational Church. It is free and open to the public.