Dr. Carl Stites

Fish story has two tales

October 29, 2009 // 0 Comments

 LIFELIKE ARTISTRY—Floyd Riegling, a Rockford carver, created a replica of the huge small mouth bass caught by Dr. Carl Stites this summer. His carvings allow anglers a life-sized memory of their catch while allowing the fish to go free.                           When you want to let the big one get away, Rockford man has the answer When Floyd Riegling retired from his upholstery business, his wife Carol wondered what he would do. He is enjoying his second career as a “starving artist” with his new passion of carving fish from photographs. “I always wanted to carve,” he said. Self-taught, the artist can re-created an angler’s favorite catch in about 25 hours and result in a product that is life-like but didn’t cost the fish its life. He works from either basswood or foam and has developed his own techniques. The teeth of a sturgeon and whiskers of a catfish are actually nails he embedded and filed to shape. Onion bags under the paint give his foam fish scales. On wood they are burned in. He recently presented Rockford eye doctor Carl Stites a duplicate of a fish Stites caught this summer. Riegling saw the photo in the Squire and took it upon himself to make the carving. “It’s very flattering, actually,” Stites said. He took the fish on a crawler harness in Intermediate Lake in Bellaire. It was 22-1/2 inches and he took it at about 5:45 a.m. and earned him a master angler’s patch for the catch. “I let it go so maybe someone else can have the fun of catching it,” Stites said. Riegling said he enjoys the work so much he would rather carve fish than go fishing now. Fish range from under $100 to over $500, depending on the size, because of supplies and the amount of time they take. The carver showed his work at Art in the Park and sold several pieces. He has many at his Rockford home to show people interested in hiring him to carve their favorite catch. To find out more, give him a call at (616) 454-7847. He just doesn’t have any examples of fish he’s caught himself. “I never caught anything big […]

Glaucoma: the leading cause of preventable blindness in U.S.

July 9, 2009 // 0 Comments

by DR. CARL STITES Stites Eye Care Our visual system is a complex network of nerves, blood vessels, muscles and refractive surfaces that allow us to view the world clearly. Although we have made great advancements over the years in the study of human medicine, we still cannot repair nerve fibers. If your spinal cord is severed, paralysis is unavoidable. The eye relies on nerve fibers to transmit visual information to the brain. If the nerve fibers of the eye are damaged, transmission of this visual information is affected and vision loss inevitably and irreparably occurs. This is what takes place in glaucoma. Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness in the United States. Glaucoma is a disease of the eye that initially causes a gradual loss of peripheral vision that slowly advances to an eventual total vision loss in the affected eye. This article will deal with the most common type of glaucoma, “open angle glaucoma.” Unfortunately, there are no symptoms-no redness, no pain and no blurred vision. Patients do not realize they have the disease, which is why it is the leading cause of preventable blindness in our country. The earliest effect of this condition is a very gradual loss of peripheral visual field. If you notice a loss in your visual field, the disease has most likely been present for quite some time and even with aggressive treatment it is often too late to save any usable vision in that eye. Any vision loss at all from glaucoma is always permanent and irreversible since it involves damage to nerve fibers. The goal in any treatment is to prevent further vision loss. Glaucoma can affect any person at any age. I have diagnosed and treated glaucoma in 29-year-olds and 89-year-olds, although it is more common with each decade of life. There is definitely a genetic component to this disease, so if a family member is affected, your risk increases markedly. Blacks, Hispanics and diabetics are also at a greater risk of developing glaucoma earlier in life. Glaucoma has not been linked to blood pressure, diet, exercise, high cholesterol or wearing glasses. The eyes are filled with a viscous fluid, much like a balloon is filled with air. In patients with glaucoma, the […]