What Can Women Do to Prevent Early Menopause?

About Early Menopause

The average age a woman goes into menopause is 51. Menopause is considered abnormal when it begins before the age of 40 and is called “premature ovarian failure.” Common symptoms that come with menopause include hot flashes, night sweats, sleep problems, sexual issues, vaginal dryness, pain during sex, pelvic floor disorders (urine, bowel leakage, pelvic organ prolapse), losing bone mass, and mood swings.

Menopause is mostly genetically predetermined, which means you generally can’t do much to delay it from happening. What we can do is work to counter-balance or prevent the symptoms and effects that tend to develop during menopause.

What You Can Do

Women can do a lot of things to prepare themselves for changes that will come with menopause. These include modifying our lifestyles so we are eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

Diet and Exercise

Related to diet, women should look into their caloric intake and make adjustments like eating smaller meal portions, and eating a well-balanced diet that includes lots of fiber and protein and less carbohydrates. Avoid eating late at night or snacking, which means no eating two to three hours before bed time.

Take calcium and vitamin D supplements for bone health to prevent osteoporosis. Well-balanced food with decreased caffeine intake also helps to decrease night sweats.

Exercise is one of the most important and modifiable factors that all women must take advantage of. Cardio workouts including walking or jogging three times a week will boost your cardiovascular system and endurance, and also help you control your weight. It’s also important to do weight-bearing exercises regularly to build up bones and prevent osteoporosis.

Kegels

Kegel exercises can help prevent pelvic floor disorders (urine, bowel leakage, pelvic organ prolapse). Kegel exercises should ideally be done every day three times a day. Every woman needs to know how to do Kegel exercises properly. Unfortunately, many women think they do Kegel exercises when, in fact, they do not, because the muscles are hidden inside the body. Your physician should be able to help you with it. You can do long squeezes for 10 seconds, or fast squeezes. This helps to maintain strength and endurance of the pelvic muscles in order to prevent urinary or bowel leakages in the future.

Mental Health

If possible, I recommend having regular sex. It improves vaginal lubrication and helps to prevent vaginal dryness and pain with intercourse. It is also good for your overall mood.
Finally, every women should work on developing a positive attitude, and spending time in a healthy environment helps – for example, taking frequent walks in a park or whatever makes you feel good; finding a way to de-stress and/or control any stress in your life. This will improve your mental health.

Hormone Therapy

Hormonal treatment for early menopause and menopause has been out of favor because of concerns with breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. With that said, it is still gold-standard treatment especially for hot flashes and night sweats. Hormonal therapies could offer significant benefits to women especially those going through early menopause. Talk to your doctor about what is right for you.

Fertility

A woman going through early menopause is still fertile. Unless you don’t have periods at all anymore, there is still a risk that you can get pregnant, so it’s important to use some form of contraception to avoid pregnancy.

Tatiana V. Sanses, MD, is Assistant Professor of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery at University of Maryland School of Medicine and Director of Outreach Program for Urogynecology at University of Maryland Medical System.

 

 

Recovering Cancer Patient Takes Control of Health and Weight

Verna Prehn, before and after

My Story of Getting Healthy

By Verna Prehn

Three years ago I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. At the time of my diagnosis, I was a very large woman (weighing more than 300 lbs) with a very high “at-rest” heart rate and (we would find out later) severely malnourished.

I went through tough but successful treatment, including two surgeries, chemotherapy, artificial feedings with a nasogastric tube, and blood transfusions, under the care of Dr. Sarah Temkin at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center.

Chemo had many side effects, including bone pain, hair loss and weight loss (97 pounds), but it has successfully freed me from cancer for now, and Dr. Temkin keeps a close watch on my health, vigilant for a recurrence that would require additional treatment. Dr. Temkin told me that keeping the weight off that I had lost with chemotherapy treatments would be healthy for me and increase my survivorship.

After treatment was complete, I began to put on weight, but Dr. Temkin said not to worry too much because everyone puts on a bit of weight after they have completed treatment. But my little bit of weight became a lot more weight until I had put on all 97 pounds I had lost.

I went to Dr. Tais Baig in UM Family Medicine as my primary care physician to have her regulate medication for my high blood pressure and rapid heart rate. She ran tests and found that my blood glucose was high enough to suspect diabetes. Dr. Baig talked with me for a while, getting to know me and asked how she could best help me with my health.

I told her that I wanted to get the weight off because I wanted to increase my survivorship and I knew that being so heavy is a threat to my health. I told her that I didn’t know how to do it. I don’t know what good nutrition is, what’s good or bad to eat, and how to come up with a plan to lose weight. She told me about the University of Maryland Medical Weight Management Program through the Department of Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Baig helped me through getting an appointment to begin.

I met Dr. Verlyn Warrington at my first appointment. She explained the program, gave me lots of information and set me up for the group meetings with a licensed clinical social worker and behavior therapist, Harriet Mandell. I was taking medication for high blood pressure and rapid heart rate, thyroid medication for an under active thyroid, an inhaler for asthma, and Dr. Warrington wanted to put me on medication for diabetes.

My first meeting with the support and accountability group was overwhelming. We talked about protein, protein, protein. We talked about portion size. We talked about eating several times a day and not skipping meals. Harriet told us that if we followed the plan we would lose 10 percent of our body weight in three months. It took me about a week-and-a-half before I gave the plan a try because I was afraid and overwhelmed. In three months, I did indeed lose 10 percent of my body weight. In fact, I lost 35 pounds that first three months.

Additionally, Dr. Warrington explained that I needed to increase my activity level. I had some restrictions on what I could do because of my knees and asthma. I began walking. I started walking around the perimeter of my neighborhood, which measures out to just over a mile. At first, I couldn’t walk and talk at the same time and I had to stop frequently to rest and catch my breath. As I have lost more weight and have increased my cardiovascular endurance, I have started exercising to on-line walking videos

I have learned so much from Harriet, Dr. Warrington, Dr. Vivienne Rose and the people in our support and accountability group. I know how to think and make good choices about eating. HALT is a good motto to follow because my emotions drive my eating habits. So I think: HALT – am I HUNGRY? Or am I ANGRY? or am I LONELY? or am I TIRED? Actually, I add an “S” to it (HALTS) – am I STRESSED?

I read the labels on food and check them for calories, fat and sugar content. I measure my food so that I keep healthy portion sizes. (Portion size was a huge surprise to me. I had an unrealistic concept of what an individual serving was and what was actually food for two or three people.)

I keep track of my food in a food journal through MyFitnessPal.com. It also keeps track of my exercise and activity level. Dr. Warrington told me about this tool to use because I had gone about two months and had only lost one pound. Dr. Warrington and the food journal help me to realize that I was eating too few calories – I wasn’t eating enough food.

Dr. Vivienne Rose and Harriet Mandel present Mrs. Verna Prehn with a congratulatory plaque marking her 100 pound weight loss

Dr. Vivienne Rose and Harriet Mandel present Mrs. Verna Prehn with a congratulatory plaque marking her 100 pound weight loss

 

It has been 14 months since Dr. Warrington, Dr. Rose and Harriet helped me make a lifestyle change that is healthier for me and increases my rate of survivorship. At my last appointment and weigh-in, I had lost 100 pounds. It took 13 months. I am no longer on medication for my heart or blood pressure or thyroid. My blood glucose is no longer in the diabetic or pre-diabetic range. I have walked two 8k walks. I walk to videos or outdoors five times a week. I do strength training exercises with weights and bands. I am starting a faith and fitness class with a trainer and will begin a gym membership soon. I can walk my entire neighborhood in 20 minutes without stopping and while carrying on a conversation at the same time.

I still have a considerable amount of weight to lose to get to a healthy weight that I am comfortable with. I feel so much better already. I take the steps instead of the elevator and it doesn’t hurt my knees! I know so much more about what is a healthy food choice and portion size. The University of Maryland Medical Weight Management program, Dr. Warrington, Dr. Rose and Harriet have helped me claim a new healthier way of living.

Verna Prehn

Elkridge, Md.

Spreading Love and Unity in The Breast Center at UMMC

By Tiesha Dove, CMA

Certified Medical Assistant, The Breast Center

Here at The Breast Center at UMMC, many of our patients come in once a year or so for a screening mammogram and soon receive a letter confirming everything looks normal. But others find themselves dealing with the harsh reality of cancer, and we do our best to care for them throughout their treatment. We always want to help in any way we can, even if it’s just with a smile. Our staff members are supportive of one another as we support patients, and that’s how the Valentine’s Day sock exchange came to be.

Who knew that a simple pair of socks would bring so much happiness? The sock exchange started out as a random act of kindness. I always wear crazy socks because they’re fun and brighten up my day. When my co-worker, Stephanie Jackson, noticed and admired my socks one day, it sparked the idea to spread the joy of crazy socks. On Valentine’s Day.

Just like with a “secret Santa” drawing, everyone in our office drew names and then each bought a pair of crazy socks for the person whose name she drew. We exchanged the socks on Valentine’s Day during our lunch hour, and then we all agreed to wear them the next day, showing them off to our patients and spreading love and unity within our Breast Center community.

And, by the way, we decided that the sock exchange will be an annual event.

Pictured above are, from left to right: Regina Pinkey-Gillespie, Stephanie Jackson, Danita Biles, Tiesha Dove, Kam Finckel, Gayle Sis, Lynne Randolph, Esther Jackson, Barbara Myers and Dornette Brown.

In the Pink: UMMC’s Gina Muldrow Wins a Night Out

Gina Muldrow, left, and her sister, Karen Mohammad, stop by the UMMC main entrance during their night out in a pink limousine. Gina is a stem cell donor navigator in the Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at UMMC. She won the night out as a door prize when she participated in after-hours events reserved for staff to schedule their own screening mammograms.

 By Gina Muldrow

The Pink Limo was awesome, a real treat and an eye catcher. It has the biggest, prettiest lashes on the headlights — it’s definitely a girly car. And my sister, Karen Mohammad, and I both felt like pretty pink princesses.

The driver was funny, friendly and courteous. Karen and I felt like a tourists while he drove us around Baltimore. It really is a beautiful city at night.

We had dinner at the Black Olive Restaurant. It’s such a lovely, quaint little place in the heart of Fells Point, sitting back on a cobblestone street. Incidentally, the dim lighting would make for an elegant, romantic evening if you’re with your sweetheart. But even if you’re with a sister or a good friend, it’s a beautiful place to have dinner.

The service was very fast and professional, and the food …. OMG! It was awesome. 🙂 Delicious to the last bite. I’m sure they have the best chef in town.

Before we ordered, our waitress gave us a tour of the Black Olive’s seafood display. She educated us about the types of fish they offered and where they came from. In the end, we chose a fish entrée and a lamb entree.

All in all, it was a fantastic evening and I’m so lucky and appreciative of the experience.
Thank you all in the Breast Center for all you do.

Save the Ta-Tas!

Prevention, Screening and Lifestyle Changes Could Reverse the Alarming Increase in Diabetes

 

By Catherine Brown, MS, RD, CDE
Diabetes Education Coordinator

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month.  The incidence of diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate worldwide.  In theUnited States, 26 million people have diabetes.  That’s 8.3 percent of us. Chances are you know someone with diabetes.  Additionally, an estimated 79 million people have pre-diabetes, which means the sugar level in their blood is higher than normal and could lead to diabetes. 

Here are a few more statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that paint an even clearer picture of this enormous public health problem: 

  • Every 17 seconds, someone is diagnosed with diabetes.
  • Diabetes kills more people each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.
  • By 2050, according to some estimates, as many as 1 in 3 Americans will have diabetes.

Symptoms of diabetes include extreme fatigue, blurry vision, frequent urination and increased thirst.  However, many people don’t experience any symptoms, or don’t have symptoms until their blood sugar levels are much too high.  To help determine if you are at risk for developing diabetes, take the risk test at http://www.diabetes.org/assets/pdfs/alert-day-2011/diabetes-risk-test-english.pdf. Discuss your results with your doctor.

The good news is that a major research study, called the Diabetes Prevention Program, showed that the more common type 2 diabetes can be prevented with lifestyle changes. Performing 150 minutes of exercise per week and reducing calorie and fat intake to lose 7 percent body weight was effective in preventing or delaying diabetes.  To learn more about this study, visit http://ndep.nih.gov/media/dpp_factsheet.pdf.

Diabetes is a chronic and costly disease that can lead to kidney disease, eye damage, nerve damage and heart disease if not well controlled.  People with diabetes need to adopt several behaviors, such as staying active, eating a healthy diet and monitoring their blood sugar.  Usually, they need a team of professionals to help manage the condition. The University of Maryland Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology offers physicians, nurse practitioners, diabetes educators, dietitians, pharmacists, podiatrists and psychiatrists to assist patients. It provides diabetes education classes to help patients better manage their diabetes.

 To learn more about our services or to make an appointment, please call 410-328-6584 or visit http://www.umm.edu/diabetes/index.htm. For more information about diabetes, check out the American Diabetes Association’s website at http://www.diabetes.org/.

Looking Good! UMMS Experts Shine at the “Healthy, Wealthy, Wise and Beautiful Conference & Expo,” June 18

By Sharon Boston
Media Relations Manager

The University of Maryland Medical System is partnering with Heart & Soul Magazine to bring you a lively day of health information and fun as part of the magazine’s Heart & Soul Awards Weekend, when you can be part of some amazing, star-studded events taking place in right downtown Baltimore.

But when it comes to health, UMMS is the star! At the conference, our doctors and nurses will lead more than 18 interactive seminars on topics such as breast health, heart disease, diabetes, uterine fibroids and inflammatory bowel disease. There are also seminars on weight management, skin care and “successful” aging.

Actor Boris Kodjoe

There is something for everyone with workshops for nursing professionals, teens and women of all ages!

During the day you also talk with more than 30 health, wealth and beauty exhibitors; get screenings for cholesterol and blood pressure; take part in fitness demonstrations and mingle with Heart & Soul celebrities, including award show host Boris Kodjoe who will be stopping by.

The day begins with a keynote address by Dr. Michelle Gourdine, author of the brand new book: “Reclaiming Our Health: A Guide to African American Wellness.”

Dr. Michelle Gourdine

It’s just $10 for general admission for a fantastic day of health information and fun designed to make you feel “healthy, wealthy, wise and beautiful.” But space is filling up, so click here to register!

The website has details about the cost for nurses earning CEU credit as well as how teenagers can come for free by submitting an essay. You can also see the full schedule of workshops featuring UMMS experts.

We hope to see you on the 18th for the Health, Wealthy, Wise and Beautiful Conference & Expo!

Back to Reality

By Sharon Boston
Media Relations Manager

Vivenne Rose talks with Shanice during her baby’s check up as the video crew records the action.

The University of Maryland Medical Center goes primetime on Tuesday, October 19 at 9:00 p.m. when the Discovery Health Channel airs “I’m Pregnant And…Morbidly Obese,” a show that followed one of our patients before and after her delivery.

The program tells the story of Shanice Glenn, a 26-year-old Baltimore woman who had a Body Mass Index of 53 (30 is considered obese) when she gave birth to her second daughter earlier this year. Shanice is a patient of Family Medicine physicians Dr. Vivienne Rose and Dr. Ada Orisadele.

The crew spent many hours with us, videotaping in several different locations including Family Medicine and the Mother/Baby unit. Watch the show to see if you can spot any places you recognize.

The show was originally scheduled to air in September, but the Discovery Health Channel postponed it until October 19.

Check out our previous blog with behind-the-scenes details of what happened when “Reality TV Came to UMMC.”

Other Posts By Sharon Boston:

Dr. Ahmet Baschat Becomes Couple’s Hero After Performing Surgery to Save Twins

After being diagnosed with Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome at a local hospital, Liz Tarallo was referred to Dr. Ahmet Baschat at the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Center for Advanced Fetal Care (CAFC). Dr. Baschat performed laser ablation surgery that saved the lives of Liz’s twin boys. In this video, Liz talks about her experience at the Medical Center and the excellent care she received from the entire CAFC staff, and explains why she and her entire family consider Dr. Baschat to be their hero.

UMMC Hosts First-Ever Online Video Chat

By Michelle Murray
UMMC Assistant Web Site Editor

Are you expecting twins? Wondering what you can do to minimize risks in complicated pregnancies?

It’s easy to get the answers: just log on and post your questions live on Friday, September 24 at 1 p.m. during our first-ever video chat with Dr. Ahmet Baschat, head of fetal therapy at UMMC’s Center for Advanced Fetal Care.

You can chat directly with Dr. Baschat, who will cover topics such as twin pregnancies, complicated fetal conditions and other maternal/fetal issues. Visit our video chat page to send in questions ahead of time and receive e-mail reminders, or just submit your questions live on the day of the chat.

Details:

When: Friday, September 24 at 1 p.m.
Where: www.umm.edu/webchat

In the coming months, we plan to feature other UMMC doctors, who will answer your questions on a variety of health topics. If you have ideas for topics you’d like to see covered, let us know by e-mailing us at: (webmaster.umms.org) And remember to tune in live on September 24th!

Reality TV Comes to UMMC

By Sharon Boston
Media Relations Manager

Kendra Johnson
Kendra Johnson was born at UMMC on April 25, weighing 7 lbs, 9 oz.

Meet Kendra Johnson, born at the University of Maryland Medical Center on Sunday, April 25, 2010, at 11:37 p.m. Kendra’s birth and her mother’s pregnancy are the subject of a Discovery Health Channel program called “I’m Pregnant And…,” a show that follows women facing particular challenges in their pregnancies.

For Kendra’s mother, 26-year-old Shanice Glenn, obesity put her at increased risk for complications in her pregnancy, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Just before giving birth, Shanice weighed more than 270 pounds, with a Body Mass Index of 53. (A BMI of 30 or above is considered obese).

The program, called “I’m Pregnant And…Morbidly Obese,” follows Shanice through the final stages of her pregnancy and after delivery, as she works with Dr. Vivienne Rose and Dr. Adaku Orisadele from the Department of Family Medicine to have a healthy baby and then makes plans to get healthier herself by losing weight safely.

Here’s some behind-the-scenes scoop on what happened, including how the baby’s early arrival nearly sank the whole project. We’ll also let you in on what it takes to put together a half-hour reality show like this one and what you can look for when the program airs on Tuesday, October 19, on the Discovery Health Channel at 9 p.m.

Shanice Glenn with her sister
A videographer captures the action in the Mother/Baby unit the day after Shanice gave birth. In this photo, Shanice holds Kendra while talking to her sister.

How It All Got Started

In mid-April, our office received a call from the show’s production company, Sirens Media, with a request to follow Shanice, who was a patient of Dr. Rose and Dr. Orisadele. (They found Shanice when they put out a request to the American Society of Bariatric Surgeons, and a Family Medicine colleague forwarded the request to Dr. Rose).

Ideally, the crew wanted to videotape Shanice at her doctor’s appointments and in her hospital room before and after giving birth. They also wanted to videotape the delivery, which they would shoot discreetly. For a half-hour show, you need a lot of footage, and the delivery is often a key scene in the program.

Shanice, Dr. Rose and Dr. Orisadele were all on board for this. But, as you can imagine, a lot of other people needed to sign off on this before we would allow a crew in Labor & Delivery. (A member of the media relations team must always accompany any crew while they are in the hospital, so I had planned to be on-call and come in when Shanice gave birth if it happened at night or on a weekend).

For a production company like this one, there are also location release forms that need to be signed, so we had our legal department reviewing those while we worked on coordinating what we might be able to allow in terms of videotaping the delivery.

Can We Come Earlier?

Time is of the essence when you’re dealing with a pregnant mom. But, Shanice’s due date was May 4, so we thought we had some time. She had an appointment with Dr. Rose and Dr. Orisadele on April 30, so we were working to coordinate when the crew would arrive, where they would interview the doctors, etc. for that last day of April.

However, the week before, producer Diana Nolan called to say that Shanice had another doctor’s visit on April 23, and the crew wanted to come for that too. Could we make that happen?

Shanice would have a long day of tests and appointments, and the crew wanted to be there for any and all of it, and they kept coming up with more questions and more requests. Along with the doctor visit, could they videotape Shanice’s fasting glucose test? What about her ultrasound? How long would her appointment last? What kinds of things would she be doing in the appointment? Could they videotape outside the hospital? What do our signs say? And so on.

To make this happen with just a day or two’s notice, I was making dozens of phone calls and sending lots of e-mails. The appointment would take place at a different location than the delivery, requiring a separate location release and a different team of lawyers, and we were literally faxing the final forms while the crew was driving here from the D.C. area.

At the time, it seemed very last-minute and somewhat stressful, but with the help of the folks in Family Medicine, OB/GYN and two legal departments, we were able to get this arranged.

And, as you’ll read later, it’s a very good thing we pushed to get the appointment videotaped that day!

Taping Day

Even though Shanice’s appointment wasn’t until midday, the crew arrived in the morning so we could be outside filming “establishing shots,” such as the hospital exterior, the outside of Family Medicine and signs that say “University of Maryland Medical Center.” The producers could use them as transitions between scenes and as a way to establish where the action is taking place.

The interviews from this day would provide much of the main narrative for the show, so they had to look and sound great. The crew brought a huge cart of video equipment, which we needed to keep out of the way of the medical staff and other patients. Diana was there along with a videographer and sound technician. Later in the day, another producer joined the team.

The crew interviewed both Dr. Rose and Dr. Orisadele separately. The producers commented that both doctors were fantastic and could explain, in simple language, why Shanice’s weight put her and her baby at increased risk for medical complications.

The doctors also talked about some of the social pressures that can make losing weight a challenge. After the interviews, the crew videotaped Shanice’s appointment with Dr. Rose and Dr. Orisadele. At one point, there were eight people, including Shanice, in the exam room!

With that Friday appointment and a long day of shooting behind us, we decided to regroup on Monday and talk about the plans to shoot Shanice’s next appointment and the delivery, which was still a week-and-a-half away. However, baby Kendra had other ideas.

Early Arrival

Monday morning I awoke to find two voicemails and a text message on my cell phone from Diana. Shanice had gone into labor the night before, and Kendra had been born without complication just before midnight.

Luckily, we had pushed to get the footage on Friday! Without that, the whole program would have been scrapped. Shanice’s family also had some home video from the night before, which they would give to the production company, so the producers thought they would have enough to continue the project.

By 9 a.m. on Monday, Diana and I were planning what to do next. The production team wanted to come that day to interview Shanice and get footage of her with Kendra. After a few phone calls, we had everything arranged, and Diana, her videographer and I spent several hours with Shanice, Kendra and their family in the Mother/Baby unit. The producers captured some wonderful interaction between Shanice and her nurses, but we’ll have to see how much of it makes the final cut.

Media Crew
The crew from Sirens Media documents Shanice and Kendra’s visit with Dr. Rose in Family Medicine. This appointment came just four days after Kendra’s birth and happened to be Shanice’s birthday.

Follow-up Visits

Just a few days after giving birth, Shanice was back for a check-up with Dr. Rose, and the Sirens Media crew and I were there right along with them. Dr. Rose checked on Kendra and talked to Shanice about breast feeding and eating right. They also talked about some strategies for losing weight long-term. Diana thought this would probably be the final day of shooting for Dr. Rose and the rest of us at UMMC.

Of course, the crew wanted to come back. They returned at the end of June to videotape another follow-up visit for Shanice and Kendra. One key scene for viewers will be to see if Shanice had been able to lose some weight in the two months after Kendra’s birth.

The Show

If you’ve ever watched “I’m Pregnant And…,” you know that the program takes a hard look at some difficult issues facing these pregnant women. We expect Shanice to be the main focus with Dr. Rose, Dr. Orisadele and the rest of staff playing supporting roles.

In watching all the interviews and spending time with Shanice, I was impressed by her openness, thoughtfulness and patience. She is an intelligent and caring woman, and I hope that comes across on the show.

Other Random Notes

If I had to estimate, I would say the crew spent about 15 hours with us for this production.

The producer told me some show topics they’ve covered include, “I’m Pregnant And… Homeless,” “I’m Pregnant And…Addicted” and “I’m Pregnant And…a Nudist.”

Kendra was born on a night with extremely strong thunderstorms, and Dr. Rose said she had a tough time driving to the hospital. In fact, Kendra came so fast that Dr. Rose did not make it in time for the delivery. Dr. Orisadele was there.

The production crew filmed Shanice’s baby shower. They also followed her as she went shopping for baby things.

Shanice has another daughter, a chatty 3-year-old named Kiyah, who kept us entertained with lots of questions and observations through two of the shoots. When asked who the new baby was, Kiyah emphatically told us, “That’s my sister!”

As a media relations manager, I am always there when a TV crew is videotaping. However, I do all I can to stay off-camera because, in reality, I wouldn’t be there. This time, I apparently didn’t do enough. Diana e-mailed about a month ago asking me to sign a release form because there is one shot where you can see me and our media relations intern in the waiting room of Family Medicine. The shot comes at the end of the show during Shanice’s final visit with Dr. Rose.

The episode of “I’m Pregnant and Morbidly Obese” featuring Shanice, baby Kendra and UMMC is scheduled to air Tuesday, October 19, at  9 p.m. on the Discovery Health Channel.

Other Posts by Sharon Boston: