Kicking the habit

HOUGHTON – There’s no doubt about it – quitting things that are unhealthy is difficult to do, but there’s help available to those who are willing to ask for it. And that is through Aspirus Houghton Clinic’s Dr. Mariana Perinot, who is offering 24/7 support to people who want to get help with smoking, weight loss or both.

According to Perinot, she decided to use 24/7 support from a doctor that was using the method to reach patients from all around the country.

“I thought that was such a superb idea, especially doing it in a small town where people care about each other,” Perinot said. “What better way to support the patient than being able to be there by phone. The problem when you try to quit smoking or try to quit sugar, it’s great when you’re in the office and say, ‘I’m going to quit smoking,’ but when you step out into the real world where you have a million different triggers and stressers, that’s when you need that support and not everyone’s going to understand.”

Perinot will be available to offer support and be a person’s cheerleader. Occasionally a person will call Perinot in the middle of the night looking for help, but she mostly just deals with people who call during the day looking for support.

“Most of the time it’s more during the day, ‘somebody said something about my diet and I’m very frustrated with it’ or ‘I really want to have a piece of cake’ or ‘I fell off the wagon and I had a pack of cigarettes now I need to go back to quitting smoking, how do I do this?’ So, it’s damage control and also preventing the damage from happening.”

But phone calls aren’t the only option available when someone is in need of a little help. People can also email Dr. Perinot or text her.

“I can answer much faster than saying, ‘Hold on. Let me call you,'” Perinot said. “Sometimes all they need is just a comforting and supportive word.”

While some people may be ashamed to admit their problems to a doctor, Perinot wants people to know that she herself has struggled with these same afflictions and is not there to pass judgment, but merely to lend a helping hand.

“I know what it’s like to have to lose weight or to have to quit smoking,” she said. “Name the diet and I’ve probably been on it. I have also failed many times. I also have my days when I don’t want to exercise. I’m human, too. When they come into my office and they see me, they don’t see a supermodel or a body builder, they see a regular person that has struggled just like them. My hope is to have them break down those walls of resistance. I’ve been there too and I can help you. It becomes more of a personal matter because I’ve been in those shoes,” Perinot said.

Perinot also has clients that are trying to both lose weight and quit smoking. She deals with that by focusing on just one problem at a time, which is usually quitting smoking.

“I think doing too much, too fast tends to sometimes set people up to fail,” Perinot said. “It makes it more manageable.”

There’s no set plan for everybody, so anyone who makes an appointment will be built a custom plan.

“It’s a very custom, patient-based medical approach,” Perinot said.

For anyone who would like to make an appointment, call Dr. Perinot at 906-487-1710. Those who are looking at setting up a weight loss plan can expect the appointment to run about 40 minutes.