Sunday, May 24, 2015

Happy Memorial Day (tomorrow)

We recognize that Memorial Day is the day to honor our veterans and active service personnel for their work and sacrifice.  So thank you for your service.  I (We) appreciate what you do.
What’s the history of Memorial Day?  Memorial Day was called Decoration Day when it was first celebrated in 1868.  On that day General John Logan ordered that flowers and decorations be placed on Civil War graves as a remembrance of their sacrifice.  The celebration and remembrance spread across the land.  Eventually the name was changed to Memorial Day.  In 1971 the National Holiday Act placed the day as the last Monday in May and gave us a three day weekend for Memorial Day.

I took this picture of the Statue of Liberty when we visited New York City a few years ago.  Happy Memorial Day. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

In the News--Women play dangerous waiting game with heart symptoms

Researchers at the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada have found that women “deny” and delay seeking medical care for heart symptoms.  Because women deny and delay, they are more likely to suffer more severe heart damage than men.  Why do women deny and delay?  The researchers suggest women allow their focus on their caregiving role in the family.  Women may discount their symptoms thinking heart disease is more a “man’s disease”

·        What are symptoms of a heart attack?  Angina (chest pressure or discomfort, squeezing, tightness in the chest),

·        Angina pain may spread to shoulders, arms, back, neck, teeth or jaw.

·        Angina pain may feel like bad heart burn. 

·        Feeling short of breath

·        Feeling anxious, feeling dizzy or lightheaded

·        Sweating

·        Feeling sick at your stomach or vomiting
Women may experience any of the above symptoms and also unusual fatigue.
Anyone who experiences these heart symptoms should call 911 and get emergency help.  Ambulance staff have equipment to monitor and support your condition. 
Science Daily, Women Play Dangerous Waiting Game with Heart Symptoms,

Mayo Clinic, Heart Attack Symptoms: Know what’s a medical emergency.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Dealing with Denial

When bad news hits us in the face, our first reaction is to deny.  “No way can that lump be cancer.”  Denial is our normal coping mechanism.  It’s a protective response that gives our brains time to adjust to bad news, In fact, you may remember that denial is the first step of grieving. 

We can grieve over many losses in life.  Of course, we grieve over the loss of loved ones, including beloved pets.  But we can also grieve over loss of other aspects of life, such as our health or a job that we enjoy.  Many people who have heard a diagnosis of serious life-threatening illness such as cancer or Alzheimer’s will recognize they went through the stages of grief. 

How do we constructively deal with denial?  According to, these strategies can help us deal with denial.

       ·       Face what you are afraid of.  Allow yourself to honestly examine the situation you are in denial about.  Is it wise to keep ignoring a problem?  If it’s about a lump, stop denying it’s a problem.

·       Talk to someone you trust; Vent about your fears and concerns.  You will find the weight of the situation lightens as you share your thoughts and fears.

·       Get help.  Go to your family doctor and get his opinion.  If he recommends a referral to a specialist, do that.

·       Write it down.  Journaling helps a person cope constructively.

·       A support group can provide a helping hand as people cope with tough times of life. 

·       A strategy I personally have used over the years: ask yourself what’s the worst that can happen and can I live with that “worst?  I have found these questions decrease my anxiety over the situation. 
Five Stages of Loss and Grieving can be found at
Mayo Clinic, Denial: When it helps, when it hurts,