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Welcome to What’s Eating You? musings on food, weight, body image and raising resilient kids. This blog will include observations and thoughts from my life as a mom, daughter and wife, and a gal who’s sat on both sides of the therapy couch.
 
Every day I see teens and women who are seeking help to “fix” their dysfunctional relationship to food: well, at least that’s their stated excuse for showing up in my office. Little do they know that our task is much more profound. Food issues are metaphors. They are the key to unlocking deeper mysteries. Eating problems are about nurturance, self-love, control, protection, anger, sexuality, shame, hopelessness, trauma, trust, self-worth, fear and a yearning for a more meaningful life.
 
Many therapists and helping professionals refuse to work with people struggling with eating disorders. There is nothing like sitting across from someone who is either precariously underweight or dangerously overweight to put you in touch with your helplessness. Helping professionals don’t like that feeling.
 
I had to make a profound paradigm shift in order to do this work: the first and most challenging (for someone with her own control issues!) was to not view my clients’ weight status as a sign of progress. If she senses that I need her to either lose or gain weight to validate my worth as a therapist, I will lose the subtle power struggle that results.
 
In a world of quick fixes, long-term sustainable behavior change leading to healthy weight change is painstakingly slow. Patience, my friend.
 
At the same time I have learned to respect the awesome power of the therapeutic relationship: an accepting and trusting connection creates a safe space for real change to occur. Together we will re-write her life story, discover hidden strengths and moments of true courage. Her history will turn out to be more complex than she knew, and she’ll realize that her eating disorder may have actually saved her sanity and her life. As her story evolves, so too, will the possibilities for a different future.
 
My hope is that these stories will help you understand yourself better. You will develop a healthier relationship with food, with your body and with yourself. I also hope that if you are a mom, you’ll make a commitment to ending unhealthy generational patterns you may have inherited.
 
The next generation—your daughters, your sons and your grandchildren—is depending on you.
 
Dina Zeckhausen is a nationally-known clinical psychologist and author who specializes in treating eating disorders and body image in both adults and adolescents. She is a weekly columnist for ShareWiK.com. You can visit her on the web at dinazeckhausen.com and MyEdin.org.


More Dina Zeckhausen articles, click here.


 


© ShareWiK Media Group, LLC 2009
Dec 13

Hesitantly, I lifted one foot and then the other onto the scale. It was the first time in months I had mustered enough courage to do this. I had a feeling the news wasn’t going to be good.

340 pounds. My moment of truth was revealed between my pudgy legs. I just stared at the number in horror.

How did I get to THAT number? How did I let my problem with food get so out of control? How was I going to bring that number down? How was I going to fix me?

It was time to stop blaming my gene pool for my problem with overeating and start putting a plan into action that would turn my life around.

I was 45 years-ld and the excess weight I was carrying around was starting to slow me down faster than I wanted to admit. I had to do something. And fast.

But what? Where should I start?


I knew what hadn’t helped me in the past. The cabbage soup diet, low carb diet, grapefruit diet, Slim Fast and so many other things didn’t work for me. I am not one to join a group or work out my problems on a doctor’s couch. My gal pals are my harshest critics and most treasured confidants but I didn’t even tell them that I was embarking on a life-changing mission to lose at least 180 pounds. I had failed too many times before to overcome my obesity. So I quietly started to do my own research and didn’t tell anyone that I wanted to lose weight. A lot of weight.


This time was different. I was determined. I made the commitment and started to push my oversized butt up the proverbial hill. The harder I worked the lighter the load became.

Several months into the reduced-calorie-and-increased-exercise journey, I began to keep a journal. Paper and pen became my friend, my therapist and on some days, my worst critic. My mistakes, my humor, my reality were scrawled in blue pen as I embarked on a mission to lose the equivalent of another person. I was so tired of my overweight existence.


People ask me all the time how I lost the weight. Everyone wants the quick fix, the golden answer, a secret formula. But there isn’t one, except this: Start eating less and exercising.

My amazing transformation included a healthy dose of self-assessment and self-discipline and a healthy outlook on my relationship with food. It can’t be escaped or used as an escape from whatever is bothering you. Like many Americans I had let food overtake my body and it was starting to kill me.


I want to help you stop letting food overtake yours.

Tip 1: Face your fears and step on the scale. Every journey has a starting point.

Tip 2: Go to the bookstore and find a weight loss plan you think fits your lifestyle and tastes.

Tip 3: Make a commitment to take the time to do what it will take to change your life.

Tip 4: Make a commitment to no longer let food have power or sway over you.

Tip 5: Stay focused on your goal.


 Lisa Griffis has lost over 185 pounds through diet, exercise and sheer determination.  She is a member of the TODAY’s show “Joy Fit Club” and a regular ShareWIK.com columnist. Visit her website at lisagriffis.com.


More content on Weight Loss


© ShareWiK Media Group, LLC 2009



Can’t kick the four-soda-a-day habit? Worried about your risk of diabetes or obesity?  


Continuing scientific evidence demonstrates that you may need to curb regular soda intake if you want to stay healthy.  Regular soda – not the sugar-free kind - is a non-nutritive, calorie-dense product sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.  Excessive fructose intake can increase your chance of developing the metabolic syndrome.  This syndrome increases your risk of developing heart disease (a leading cause of death in women) and Type 2 diabetes which can cause stroke, kidney failure, and blindness. As a society, we're increasingly fighting the battle of the bulge, so cutting back your intake of any food or drink high in fructose is a good way to start. 


Recent data shows that taking in fructose can cause your blood pressure and insulin levels to rise as well as unfavorably alter your lipids (think higher triglycerides and lower HDL cholesterol).  In addition, consuming too many sugary drinks such as soda can lead to leptin resistance. Leptin is a chemical that helps your brain tell your body that is is full and satisfied. Developing a resistance to leptin can increase your sugar craving causing you to consume more sugar….and increasing your risk for all the health problems listed above.

 

The solution: just switch out that soda for plain water, and you can improve your health today.


 Dr. Elizabeth Ricanati is the former director of The Cleveland Clinic's LifeStyle 180 program and a regular columnist for ShareWIK.com

 


For more Dr. Elizabeth Ricanati articles, click here.

 

 

©ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 2010


When I was younger I didn’t take very good care of myself. I guess that’s not such a surprising statement. Most teens wear invisible “blinders of invincibility.” Somehow they are put on around age 14 and aren’t removed until the mid-20s, when the frontal lobe finally finishes developing. And not a moment too soon!


On the outside, I was the “perfect” kid: straight A’s, a leader in my youth group, engaged in community service, editor of the yearbook, destined for a “good school,” etc.


On the inside, I was a mess: no exercise, pack-a-day habit, pulling all-nighters cramming for tests, eating apples with French fries and a Coke for lunch – daily (I know, at least it was an apple, but you get the point).


I was not at all dissimilar from the kids portrayed in the current movie, “The Race to Nowhere,” which captures the “achievement society” in its ugliest glory. I was internalizing the stress of my success.


At some point around the age of 16 – my junior year in high school, when the pressure cooker started getting dialed really high – my outside and inside selves collided with each other – or maybe it was more of a collusion.


In any event, after a series of embarrassing episodes (marked by an urgency that allowed for mere seconds to get to the bathroom before an accident occurred), and a day spent drinking the vilest, chalkiest white stuff I’d ever encountered, I was diagnosed with a Spastic Colon.


With increasing frequency, and with no apparent warning, my colon would have a little hissy fit, and I was forced to stop on a dime to take care of matters. It happened most frequently around test-taking, and was raised to epic proportions when I actually had to run out of the SATs – and I mean run.


Over-achiever that I was, it seems clear to me now that the spastic colon was my body’s way of trying to get me to stop stressing out so much.  But did I heed the call?  Of course not.  I was 16. Instead, I fanned the flames.


Our society has a way of lavishing praise and attention on a teenager losing weight, even if it’s weight she doesn’t need to lose.  Unfortunately and not surprisingly, I got that attention, and enjoyed it.  I learned my triggers in addition to stress, (sadly, it was coffee and chocolate), and instead of avoiding them, I would aim and shoot. Not only was I attempting to sabotage my education, I was wreaking havoc on my body.


Fortunately for me, I went to a university where the community culture emphasized self-respect. It created a healthy framework for my developing brain.  I can’t say I completely changed my ways – all-nighters were a common strategy throughout most of college – but my choices began to shift in the direction of better health, enough so that the spastic colon actually went away (amazing – when I drank coffee with food there was no problem!).


Around the same time, while I was still in college, my grandmother had a bad flare up of colitis.  She was hospitalized and nearly died, received a colostomy and lived with a ‘bag’ for the rest of her life. In truth, for many decades, my grandmother had not made healthy choices, aggressively treating symptoms without searching to eliminate the causes.  As was common of the times, she was harsh on her body, and it responded accordingly. 


It was a sobering wake-up call for me.  I saw my future if I continued to ignore the messages my body was sending. It wasn’t a pretty sight.


My high school experience began an awareness for me of the connections among stress, food, the body and health. I learned that food and environment could have a direct (and immediate) impact.  Initially I didn’t use the lesson for good, but it gave me a grounding that served me well once the blinders finally came off in my mid-20s (remember those invisible “blinders of invincibility”?).


What I Know™ from all this suggests that we have much more input on our health than we give ourselves credit. When we set an intention towards good health, the outcome is in some part dependent on our awareness and the choices we make.


1.     Our body sends us messages in the way of ‘symptoms.’  It’s up to us to decide whether to listen, and how to respond.


2.     Society sends conflicting messages about managing our health. Healthy or skinny? Change a behavior or take a pill? It’s our choice.


3.     Shortcuts are actually just detours.  We must keep our eye on the destination.


4.     When we mask our symptoms with ‘treatments,’ do we continue to look for underlying causes?


5.     What happens in our body is often a response to something else in our lives. Are we putting ourselves in circumstances that will lead to good health?


6.     We can train ourselves to become aware of our triggers and put a safety lock on them, rather than going for the easy shot.


7.     The negative impact of stress on our bodies is NOT to be under-estimated.

 

Elaine Taylor-Klaus is a Life, Leadership and Parenting Coach and the founder of Touchstone Coaching and ImpactADHD™.  She is a regular ShareWIK.com columnist.

 

Read more articles by Elaine Taylor-Klaus here.

 

©2011 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 

 

It happens every time I push myself past my physical limits. I’m not talking the extreme physical limits of marathons and climbing Everest – let’s not get carried away, here. I’m talking about when I get so engrossed with something happening in my life that I go full throttle for days, weeks, even months on end, rarely slowing down long enough for my hair to stop blowing in the wind.


After I push myself to the limit, I get sick.


We all have times like this, when something takes over in our lives and we make the choice to surrender to it. Maybe it is caretaking for an elder or a needy child; working on a huge case or trying to close a big account at work; or taking on a volunteer project that has an end-date, but is intensive leading up to it. Generally, when we’ve made the choice to allow something “important” to co-opt our schedule, we work longer hours than usual and do a less-than-adequate job of taking care of ourselves.


Inevitably, when it’s finally time to rest, my body collapses. It’s like my body has an internal barometer that can read my calendar and knows, “I can let go, now.” But it’s not enough to just catch up on a sleep debt. No, my body tends to crash and burn, with some infection or virus taking up residence where the adrenaline rush of pressure was previously holding space in my being, if not my body.


Now, I know this is not my experience alone. People frequently get sick on a honeymoon, after a major presentation, on a vacation or major holiday. In our culture we have a tendency to push ourselves – beyond a healthy limit – and expect our bodies to cope.


We tend to believe that we should be able to do so much more than is actually reasonable, certainly in any context of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The truth is, we do this all the time, not just when we have an unusual/major responsibility that calls upon us to do more. This is deeply imbedded in our culture as Americans.


The rest of the world values leisure. Other societies are structured so that a month’s break each year for “holiday” is standard procedure. Here in the U.S., we’re lucky if we get one week. We have a cultural expectation of pushing ourselves to our limits. And we wonder why we spend billions a year on health care.


Perhaps it’s a holdover from a previous age when there were limited amenities and life didn’t offer much more than hard work. Maybe it’s a Puritan thing, or the fall-out of a competitive, individualistic society. I’ll leave the “why” to those in the  Ivory Towers. I’m an action girl, so my question is: “How can we stay healthy in the context of a culture that structurally devalues health?”


Well as Stanley Kubrick demonstrated so clearly in “The Shining,” “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” The expectation of constant work is just not good for us, even if we do accept it as a given.


True confession: lately, I’ve been working seven days a week leading to the launch of a new business, which was established to support parents in taking care of themselves. No, the irony is not lost on me. But here I am, days after launching at an intensive weekend conference, still standing and in good health. I’m exhausted, but I’m not crashing, for a change.


So, here’s my prescription for a little more health in an unhealthy world, especially when it’s a particularly busy time in life. (While I acknowledge that there is a “physician-heal-thyself” component to this Rx, I’ve actually been taking my own medicine, and it’s helping!): 


1.  Rest when you can. Seriously, be intentional about it. If you’re working seven days a week, be aware of the time you have off and relax into it. Take naps – even 10 minute ones. Listen to your body when it tells you it’s tired.


2.  Pace yourself, and don’t over-schedule your leisure time. Take the time to do absolutely nothing.


3.  Limit your alcohol intake. When your body is fighting those toxins it has less energy available to fight other germs (and no, you’re not likely to effectively poison the germs with alcohol, though that’s a very creative response!)


4.  Try to eat foods that are high in vitamin C throughout the day, like oranges, green leafy veggies or broccoli. If you are going to take a Vitamin C supplement, take a smaller dose twice a day instead of a huge dose once a day. Vitamin C doesn’t last for too long in the body and needs to be replenished as the body uses it.


5.  Anti-oxidants are great for long-term health, but in the short-term we need to boost the immune system. Think in terms of “what will help me fight off germs?” Good hand washing; nutrition; exercise; sleep; water. What makes you feel rejuvenated?


6.  Get the vitamins you need: whether it’s multi-vitamins, Juice Plus, or conscious eating, give your body the fuel it needs.


7.  Take Fish Oil regularly. From where I sit, it’s a necessary component to function in our modern world. If you’d prefer to eat a lot of fish, make sure it’s wild caught – farmed fish will not give you the fish oil you need.


8.  Actually start your day, and end it, with a full glass of water. Try to get your water in throughout the day, but definitely give yourself a head start before you start pouring in the caffeine.


9.  Limit caffeine (note: I did not say eliminate it). It masks your body’s exhaustion, and ultimately supports you in pushing past healthy limits. We know that – in fact, we use it for that. So be aware when you do, and try to cut back.


10.          Practice Mindfulness. Slow down, and breathe, and be clear about the choices you are making.


11.          Decide what’s important, and what is not. Delegate what you can, and be willing to let things slide, sometimes, for the greater good of health. I’m not saying become a slacker, but sometimes “done beats perfect.”


12.          Finally, as I say to my kids when they are going off into the world on their own, make good choices. What does that mean? I don’t know what it means for you ... but I suspect you do!

 

 

Elaine Taylor-Klaus is a Life & Parenting Coach and the co-founder of ImpactADHD.com, an online coaching community for parents of kids with ADHD. She writes for “Living Without” magazine, and is a regular columnist on ShareWIK.com and MySpecialNeedsNetwork.com. Elaine shares her business, Touchstone Coaching, with her husband, David Taylor-Klaus.

 

Read more articles by Elaine Taylor-Klaus here.

 

 ©2011 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC

 

 

 

Apr 07

Sitting in a Persian restaurant in Dubai last week, a friend from India listened as I told him I was having a hard time connecting with this week’s ShareWIK topic of colon cancer, and that I was grateful for my lack of connection to that devastating diagnosis.

 

To this, my friend replied in his liltingly beautiful Indian accent, “So many people think diet is the most important thing to health. In my country we say, ‘It is not so much what you eat that kills you; it is what eats you.’”


The closest to colon cancer I have been, through my 50+ years, is having two acquaintances who had colectomies. Both had intensely ulcerated colons. Fortunately, neither had colon cancer.

Both had, it seems to me now, laid their health on the altar of trying to control out-of-control lives and expectations. Admittedly, I am only capable of making that observation because I myself have been known to suffer from the overwhelming desire to control. 


As I thought more about what my friend said, I tried to overlay it onto the people who'd had colectomies. Ultimately, I connected my own control-itis  to “what eats me.”

 

The first person I knew to have a colectomy was a man with a high-powered sales job. When his boss made impossible requests, he would say yes on the spot, and then wonder how to meet the commitments. His instant yessing kept him in constant motion, fear, and the kind of intensity that eats people alive. Though he ultimately said, “TAKE THIS JOB AND SHOVE IT,” his colon was already destroyed. Last I heard, he’d been through several surgeries to construct an internal pouch, and an infection had almost killed him.

 

The second acquaintance had huge regrets for pushing herself to cram several years’ worth of studies into two. Throughout her work on an advanced degree, she fought colitis, depression, and an abusive boyfriend. Her colectomy came in her late 20s. Through the years she softened somewhat on the anger toward herself, alternately loving her ileostomy because it had saved her life, and hating it, because of her reliance on bags and tape.

 

Back to Dubai, and What I Know: We are never too healthy, wise, self-actualized, or “recovered” to be immune from what my friend said about harming ourselves more – or at least as much – by what we let EAT US, as opposed to what we eat. We can act out this self-cannibalization in any aspect of life: relationships, work, health. Whatever we seek to control will ultimately control us. Whatever we fear will keep returning until we face the fear and let it go. Whatever we cling to too tightly, too intensely, we will crush, not keep. Or if we do “keep” it, it usually fails to flourish.

 

In Dubai I was saying goodbye, for a while, to my daughter who, at 19, is starting an amazing adventure thousands of miles and several continents away.

 

Jet lagged and unrealistic about how much saying goodbye to my youngest child would affect me, I ended up sobbing about halfway through a 14-hour flight back to Atlanta, as she stayed behind to begin her trip to Africa. My imagination, desire to know what was going on with her, fear, and frustration over my lack of control, literally made me sick on the way home. That I was sitting next to a man who kept popping open beers and watching violent movies didn’t help. But please! With my deep faith and spirituality, blah, blah, blah, I had the expectation that I would KNOW how NOT to let things, like a lack of information, eat at me. 

 

And so here I am, on Good Friday, having returned to Atlanta as the mother of a capable adult daughter who is living abroad for a while. She is beyond my control. (Truly always has been!)

I am at the crossroad of faith and fear.

 

The advanced degree I am now called to earn is in letting go and letting God. This multinational iteration is tough stuff, pushing every button from my frantic childhood. It is testing every muscle of my faith. Calling me to try, learn, ask for help, pray, meditate, listen, surrender, and embody at the cellular level that my love – and worry – will not save the people I love. Letting go and letting God is not a “one and done” thing. The letting go must be done over and over and over again – lest what I am clutching so tightly eat me alive.

 

This Easter I have the opportunity to learn all of this at a deeper level. I get to internalize faith that will free me to do good work, go about my life, and, I hope, stay healthy while this precious young woman is far away and beyond my sight. If I will accept this new stage of our development and trust God, I may save my gut – and my loved ones – from a lot of upset.

 

That said, I am stepping out in faith to plant my cut flower garden. Some of it will grow from seeds I gathered and saved from last fall’s final blossoms. I believe this little garden will be in full bloom in about six weeks, around the same time my daughter and I return home together, God willing.



Read more articles by Carey Sipp here.


Carey Sipp's first book, The TurnAround Mom – How an Abuse and Addiction Survivor Stopped the Toxic Cycle for Her Family, and How You Can, Too, guides fellow “children of chaos” to create the kind of sane and loving home life that helps prevent next-generation addiction and abuse. Her book is available at Amazon.com; to check it out, click here.


©2012 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC


Apr 17

I am one of those lucky people who grew up on the skinny side and never had to worry about my weight. Okay, I was a tomboy until my teens and even ran the 50 yard dash and relay race in the Kansas Junior Olympics (and won red and blue ribbons, respectively). But even as a teenager, I had a flat stomach and little fat on my bones. I used to joke that I could eat several hot fudge sundaes a day and never gain weight. When I ran a marathon when I was in my 30s, a friend commented that she couldn’t understand how my skinny legs could carry me 26.2 miles.


Those were the days.


Then I hit my 50s and the word diet entered my vocabulary. Not a structured, strict, named diet, but I started watching the numbers on my scale rise into, for me, unimaginable figures. So I switched to diet sodas and became more mindful of what I ate. Eventually, I brought my weight down from its height. And lately, thanks to surgery, I have essentially reached my goal for my height and age.


But that doesn’t mean I can be casual about my food choices. Those days are over. 


I can’t blame all of this new food-mindfulness on aging and a slower metabolism. I want to blame the Internet, the media, Californians, the New Agers – all of those who tell me which fruit to eat for which organ, not to eat sugar or anything white, and what colors of vegetables should be on my plate. 


Who has time for all of this? Paying strict attention to our choice of diet is now a full-time job. According to these experts – and the advice changes nearly daily – we all have eating disorders!


I’m not trying to minimize the importance of diet on how we feel, our general healthiness and even our longevity. I’m not saying that the chemicals used to repel bugs from our fruits and vegetables are good for us, and hence we shouldn’t consider buying organic produce. And, I never would say that the diets most of us grew up with in America are balanced or healthy.


Yet, I believe there’s a limit to how obsessive we should be about our diets. For instance, I probably have been more casual about my food choices than my sisters. But my passions are outside the kitchen and dining room. I care more about politics or international affairs than they do. We just have different personalities and interests.


After I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, I considered several special diets and tried to avoid all dairy, soy and, of course, sugar. I stopped cold turkey my addiction to Diet Coke. 


Most of these diets, however, just didn’t fit my personality. I didn’t want to spend so much time and energy focusing on my food intake. I eventually found a happy medium that I’m comfortable with. I have never been much of a red meat eater; my entrees oftentimes consist of fish. I do eat more whole grain breads and pastas. And I’ve always drunk many glasses of water a day.


In the last five years, I have increased my food supplements, however. But this fits my personality: popping a bunch of capsules that contain special properties of fruits and vegetables is quick. I don’t have to shop at special grocery stores or spend additional time in the kitchen.


After having said all this, I have a confession. Since my last operation, which undid a bunch of tangles in my intestines, I still suffer from some constipation. So I am conscious of eating apples or dried apricots. I think about the impact of the food I eat on my digestive system. And, because I am still me, I swallow stool-softeners, which I accept as an acknowledgement of my age.


But, in my mind, being forced to be constantly cognizant of what I eat is not natural. To me, it’s just a food disorder!



Jan Jaben-Eilon is a long-time journalist who has written for The New York Times, Business Week, the International Herald Tribune, the Jerusalem Report and Womenetics. She was a founding reporter for the Atlanta Business Chronicle and was international editor for Advertising Age before she fulfilled a lifelong dream of moving to Israel. Jan and her Jerusalem-born husband have an apartment in that city, but live in Atlanta.

 

In November 2006, Jan was diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer and has kept a blog on her cancer journey since December of that year. Follow her story here. Read more of Jan's ShareWIK.com columns here



©2012 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC


Jun 06


Two years ago, I sailed on my first cruise. Despite seeing movies and talking to people who had been on cruises, I really had no concept of what to expect.


What I did know – or thought I knew – was how to prepare. I had traveled internationally for years. I knew, for instance, the obvious, which is to carry all prescription pills onboard with you. You don’t want them lost with a suitcase.


I even pack all my vitamins in my carry-on bag. As the number of daily vitamins, supplements and prescription drugs rose through the years, I stopped carrying the bottles and started using the little plastic boxes with all the pills for Monday in one section, for Tuesday in another, etc. But a couple of years ago, I found something even better. Tiny little baggies can be purchased at drug stores that are the perfect size for daily pills. 


Actually, you can check off whether the enclosed pills are for the a.m. or the p.m. So a week or so before each of my trips, I can be found sorting my vitamins and pills into these little reusable baggies. They are so easy to pack and carry!


Because I have traveled to Third World countries, I also learned how and when to be careful with the water I drink there. In Egypt, it was definitely bottled water. In most European countries, I can drink from the tap, but I still drink bottled water. In India, I learned that I must take note that the bottled water I buy has been sealed. I was told by my travel agent at the time that oftentimes, a plastic bottle would be refilled from tap water and then resold.


 And, if one is being careful of drinking the local water in any country, be sure not to eat any fruit that has been washed with that water. (I also learned, after I returned to the States from India, that one should not leave their toothbrush visible when they leave the room during the day; it might be used by someone else!)


Obviously, in some countries, you should check to see if you need any special shots, but I think I maybe only did so before I left for India. However, a friend of mine, a journalist, last year was going to Haiti to write a story and only because of my intervention, in which I introduced her to a doctor I know who has spent a lot of time there, did she realize that she had to take malaria pills even before she left. One cannot be too careful about their health when traveling.


Getting sick anywhere is no fun; when you are far from home, it’s much worse. For my last cruise and my upcoming cruise, I bought travel medical insurance. It is not expensive and my insurance, at least, provides emergency medical transportation of $100,000 and emergency medical and dental coverage of $25,000. That’s not a lot of coverage, although medical care is cheaper abroad than in the United States.


Some time after my diagnosis of cancer, a friend who has had a kidney transplant and travels all over the world all of the time, recommended I sign up with a medical alert company. I wear a bracelet when I travel on which is engraved my membership number and my major medical issues. My friend has also urged me to purchase a special travel insurance policy through this company. And I finally just did. Coverage includes a 24-hour emergency response center and if I must be transported home, even covers my husband’s flight home with me.


Obviously, I have no intention of testing either of these medical insurance policies while I’m abroad, but it does keep my blood pressure in the normal range knowing that I have them!



Jan Jaben-Eilon is a long-time journalist who has written for The New York Times, Business Week, the International Herald Tribune, the Jerusalem Report and Womenetics. She was a founding reporter for the Atlanta Business Chronicle and was international editor for Advertising Age before she fulfilled a lifelong dream of moving to Israel. Jan and her Jerusalem-born husband have an apartment in that city, but live in Atlanta.

 

In November 2006, she was diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer and has kept a blog on her cancer journey since December of that year. Check out her blog here.


©2012 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC

Jun 30

As a cancer survivor who underwent four months of extensive chemo, thus forever concerned with my immune system, it was very encouraging to see the emphasis on cleanliness on the cruise ship I recently traveled on in the Mediterranean. In fact, I left the ship feeling that there would be fewer epidemics in the world if more people took cruises and learned how to combat the spread of disease.


With me on this family trip was, among others, a sister who was in the restaurant business. She was impressed with the emphasis on cleanliness and health on our Princess cruise. She noted that it’s not unusual for a restaurant to have rules about employees washing their hands after using the lavatories. But on our ship, the rule applied – or at least was encouraged by signs both public and private – to passengers.


In staterooms and in the public bathrooms, passengers are told to wash their hands for 20 seconds then rinse them thoroughly. In the public bathrooms, everyone leaving was told to open the doors with a paper towel to keep from spreading germs, and a waste basket was provided next to the door for the used towels. Passengers were encouraged to use their stateroom toilets over the public toilets if possible, again to avoid disbursing germs. Two years ago, on the same cruise line, I learned how important it is to concentrate washing under the fingernails.


During this trip, the emphasis on health was repeated at all levels. In a small group visit to the captain’s bridge, Commodore Guisippe Romano told us about the water treatment plants on board and the desalination plants that could take in sea water – all resulting in “cleaner, purer” water than bottled water for passengers and crew to drink.


In a separate “behind the scenes” tour by hotel manager Guenther Kopf, our group commented that we could eat off the floor! Kopf told us how they separate dirty from clean dishes and that employees must wash their hands after dropping off dirty dishes and before handling clean implements. In fact, an employee cannot be moved from the dirty dishes area to the clean dish area; they enforce strict barriers, all to make sure bacteria are not transferred. 


He told us how public health inspectors from the various ports of call come on board to check out cleanliness. In a recent stop at Kusadasi, Turkey, the inspectors took more than three hours, but gave our ship a score of 100.


The ship had a huge blender for waste. High temperatures, not chemicals, are used to sanitize the waste, which can then either be burned or discharged.


Of course, the ship was also equipped with a medical center, which had its own office hours. And an emergency call to the center could be easily made directly from the staterooms. The ship had two full-time doctors and a hospital for the crew. “There are always some in patients,” he said. Unless it’s an emergency, no surgery is done on the ship, Kopf said, pointing out that an itinerary like this Mediterranean cruise was never too far from a port city with a good hospital. 


Kopf, who noted in a hoarse voice that his swollen tonsils were recently cared for, also emphasized how important it is to keep crew members healthy. The ship organizes sports activities for the crew and at-port tours for the crew are subsidized by the ship. In addition, the crew had its own swimming pool area, in view from the captain’s bridge.


With more than 3,000 people on board, health, not just fun, was the focus of the Ruby Princess.


Jan Jaben-Eilon is a long-time journalist who has written for The New York Times, Business Week, the International Herald Tribune, the Jerusalem Report and Womenetics. She was a founding reporter for the Atlanta Business Chronicle and was international editor for Advertising Age before she fulfilled a lifelong dream of moving to Israel. Jan and her Jerusalem-born husband have an apartment in that city, but live in Atlanta.

 In November 2006, she was diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer and has kept a blog on her cancer journey since December of that year. 


©2012 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC

“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”  Except when you are at the national kindergarten teachers’ convention; then “What Happens in Vegas should then happen in your classroom.”  I just spent a week with some of the most dynamic, enthusiastic, and hard-working educators on the planet.  These women (and a smattering of men) have devoted their lives to early childhood education – a unique place of transitioning little people from the comforts of their homes and parents to the big wide world of school.


Speaking of the big wide world of school, what has happened to the teachers?  I am not trying to judge these ladies, but they were the most physically unfit set of adults I have seen in one location at one time!  According to the CDC, more than 33 percent of American adults are considered clinically obese.  At the kindergarten conference, that rate easily rose to 50 percent and higher.


I have spent a week wondering why this particular demographic appears so out of shape.  Is it the readily available diet of animal crackers, string cheese, fruit snacks, and pudding?  Or maybe the birthday treats like cupcakes, dirt cups, and pizza parties that so many well-meaning parents send to school?  Certainly diet plays an important role in everyone’s overall health, but I believe that diet alone is not the problem here.


The real culprit here is lack of physical activity and exercise.  There is one thing that is certain for most Americans, we simply do not move enough.  The electronic and digital tools and devices so prevalent in our daily lives have made life easier for us.  Likewise, few of our occupations demand much physical activity so a sedentary lifestyle is easy to fall into.  


It’s tough being a kindergarten teacher.  My hat is off to you professionals as I watch the hours spent planning centers and preparing materials that all relate back to the Common Core State Standards.  I am certain that it takes you significantly more time to plan a week’s worth of lessons than it does for me to plan for my middle schoolers.  The time you devote to your classroom children does not allow you for much time to pursue physical activities.  While your quest for excellence in the classroom is appreciated and most honorable, you folks are taking a gamble on your overall health.  And if there is one thing I learned in Vegas (this was my first visit ever) is that the odds are not stacked in your favor.


So what’s a teacher to do to turn around her lifestyle and get herself, and very likely, her students, in shape?  If part of your job as a teacher is to model how to learn and complete various academic tasks, then shouldn’t that extend to taking care of your overall health?  You bet ya it does!


At the Vegas conference, I was encouraged to hear one teacher who was having her kids follow her in running laps around the playground each day.  They started with one lap then eventually worked up to two.  On the days it was too hot to run (this was a school in Arizona) the kids started to play tag games and create new exercises in the shady areas of the playground.  The more they exercised, the more they wanted to exercise. 


That’s not just a coincidence, mind you.  There is a direct connection between exercise and the serotonin and dopamine levels being released.  These brain-produced chemicals help improve mood, concentration, and help us to perform motor movements.  Sound like benefits that would help children learn?  You betcha, it does!


This teacher said that she had lost 30 pounds and she noticed that her “pudgy kids” were showing signs of having more energy and making better snack choices.  And that statement of hers is right on the money;  the more you exercise and the better you eat, the better you feel and the more energy you have.  Sounds like a win-win to me!


Comedian Jason Love had this to say about Las Vegas:  “All the amenities of modern society in a habitat unfit to grow a tomato.”  After what I saw in Vegas, I would hate for that idea to become true about American teachers and their classrooms:  all the education you need in school that is unfit -- period!  


So, I am encouraging all teachers, not just the early childhood educators, and adults alike, to get “all in” and raise the bets on a healthy lifestyle.  I guarantee that your efforts will be a lock on a healthier future for yourselves and for our children.


Margaret Anderson is the mother of three teenagers and a middle school teacher somewhere in the Midwest.  She is a regular ShareWIK.com columnist.

 
 



Read more Margaret Anderson articles here.



 ©2012 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC


Jul 24

Years ago, when I lived in Israel, I took an extensive course to learn how to teach the Holocaust. And since then, I have taught various classes to both high school students and adults. I have had the opportunity – now dwindling – of meeting with survivors of the Holocaust. And I have instructed students how to question them.


One question that has always stuck in my mind is: To what do they attribute their survivorship? Without exception, they have responded -- luck. I understand that the answer is partly due to not wanting to take any personal credit for surviving, because that would somehow infer that their loved ones who did not survive were responsible for their own deaths.


I have also spoken with survivors about their feelings of guilt for having survived, while their families and friends did not.


I was reminded of this recently when I suddenly felt a wave of survivor’s guilt. I learned that a friend of mine, who was diagnosed last year with ovarian cancer, Stage IIIc, like me, learned that her cancer is growing again and her doctor has put her back on chemotherapy.


Another friend, whom I actually met because of our shared diagnosis and with whom I have lunch occasionally to compare notes and share our common paths, has been on chemo more than off the last five years. And two of her friends, with whom I have met a couple of times, also have had to return to chemo infusions.


And I feel a sense of guilt. It’s been over five years since I finished my six rounds of intensive chemo. It’s true that my blood test numbers had climbed well out of the normal range before my recent surgery, and that I thought chemo was imminent for me. But my doctor and I agreed that we could wait it out a bit, and fortunately for me, it’s worked well. 


My friends have different doctors who believed that they could not delay their chemotherapy. The women, also, felt more secure receiving the chemo to fight back at their cancer.


I always wanted to minimize the amount of the poisonous chemo I put in my body. I know that the cancer could kill me, but I also know that chemo weakens the immune system and kills healthy cells as well. If the chemo isn’t essential, I’d rather pass.


I tell everyone that I have been phenomenally lucky on this cancer journey, and I whole-heartedly believe it. I do not take any credit for it. I paid more attention to the proper diet than some, but less than others. But all cancers are different, even all ovarian cancers. And our doctors are different. And we are different.


But I still feel somewhat guilty that I’ve been so lucky. I hesitate to get together with these other women who haven’t been so lucky. And when I’m not feeling overwhelmed with this sense of luck, I feel a sense of loneliness. The other women I know can share stories about the chemo room and the difficulties of obtaining certain chemo drugs because of the nationwide shortages. I’m not in that world.


On the other hand, I’m not entirely in the world of the healthy, either. I was diagnosed with a treatable, but not curable cancer. I’ll be living with this the rest of my life – however long that is.


So I don’t really fit in either group. Yet, I really can’t complain. I live in the blessed group of the lucky. 


I am a survivor.


Jan Jaben-Eilon is a long-time journalist who has written for The New York Times, Business Week, the International Herald Tribune, the Jerusalem Report and Womenetics. She was a founding reporter for the Atlanta Business Chronicle and was international editor for Advertising Age before she fulfilled a lifelong dream of moving to Israel. Jan and her Jerusalem-born husband have an apartment in that city, but live in Atlanta.

 

In November 2006, she was diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer and has kept a blog on her cancer journey since December of that year. 


©2012 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC

Nov 26

The 30-year-old daughter of a close friend was recently diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer.  After the initial shock, tears and bewilderment, our friend’s daughter Macy was faced with an overwhelming amount of information regarding this serious condition. 


Along with the information came multiple choices about her treatment opportunities.  With all those choices, she was forced to make many decisions related to her care including decisions about diet, chemotherapy, surgery, diagnostic tests, advanced directives and many other therapeutic options.  Many of the decisions have been time compressed due to the aggressive nature of her disease.  Making a wrong decision could mean life or death.


What if Macy were your daughter and she asked for your help in making these critical decisions; how would you best support your loved one?  Most of us would begin by recommending that our loved one make an ‘informed’ decision.  Informed decisions require gathering sufficient information about our various options and rating the risk/reward factors of each option.  


Others may be part of your decision-making process like your healthcare professional, spouse, clergy or other trusted advisor.  Prioritizing and scoring different options may help you better quantify your best choice or decision.  This all seems reasonable if you have sufficient information; but many times patients and families may be unaware of the variety of medical options available to them.


Many medical providers and healthcare professionals recognize the importance of practicing shared decision-making with their patients to achieve patient-centric, informed decisions.  Remember, you are an expert about you!  


Although the Internet is a great source of information, you want to make sure that the website is providing up-to-date, correct information. One source to check out is the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, which provides unbiased, honest and proven decision aids for patients dealing with more than 25 serious conditions.  These decision aids should be used in partnership with your healthcare professional. Other comprehensive decision-making tools are available to help patients make informed healthcare decisions using simple, yet proven algorithms. One such tool from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute is a fillable form that guides the patient or designated caregiver through a series of questions along with a personal scoring system for each option or choice.


Remember, no one knows more about you than you. When you share decisions with your healthcare professional, you share control of your treatment plan even when your disease may seem to be out of your control.  Making decisions is empowering; making shared decisions about your treatment plan can manage expectations better and make all available care options easier to understand (Stacey, et al., 2011).  Ultimately, Macy will have to make the final decision about her cancer treatment options; may she and her doctor share the decision-making process to achieve the best possible outcome for Macy.


Source:  

Stacey, D., et al. Decision aids for people facing health treatment or screening decisions. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 10. Art. No.: CD001431. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001431.pub3.


Steve Powell is an experienced facilitator, practitioner, communicator and proven leader with over 25 years of experience in human factors education and teamwork training. For more information, click here. Follow Steve on Twitter @S_SPowell


Read more columns by Steve Powell here.


©2012 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC

Jan 21


The most damaging myth about older adults is that aging means saying goodbye to sex. On the contrary:

In a nationwide survey in the AARP magazine and the Journal of The Society Mental Health, of more than 3,000 men and women ages 57 to 85, more than half of those 75 to 85 said they have sex more than two or three times a month, and 23 percent claimed to have sex at least once a week.


The benefits?


Sex causes the brain to release endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that act as painkillers and reduce anxiety. Sex also prompts the release of substances that  bolster the immune system. What's more, sexual activity is associated with lower levels of depression in both men and women, according to a study in the journal, “Society and Mental Health.” 


Physicians have even stated that more frequent ejaculation lowers  the risk of prostate cancer.


Apparently it's not just wine that gets better with age!


Dr. Judie is a Clinical Sexologist and educator who has appeared on numerous television programs and hosted an award-winning cable television program called "Sex Talk."  A contributor to Lifestyles magazine, she also authored a sexuality column for "Senior Life," an award-winning publication of Mature Media.  She has been an interviewer for the "Better Sex" video series and serves as a talking head in the video, "Sex After 50."   Follow her on Twitter @DocJudie.


To read other blogs by Dr.Judie, click here.  


©2013 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC

Jan 21


The most damaging myth about older adults is that aging means saying goodbye to sex. On the contrary:

In a nationwide survey in the AARP magazine and the Journal of The Society Mental Health, of more than 3,000 men and women ages 57 to 85, more than half of those 75 to 85 said they have sex more than two or three times a month, and 23 percent claimed to have sex at least once a week.


The benefits?


Sex causes the brain to release endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that act as painkillers and reduce anxiety. Sex also prompts the release of substances that  bolster the immune system. What's more, sexual activity is associated with lower levels of depression in both men and women, according to a study in the journal, “Society and Mental Health.” 


Physicians have even stated that more frequent ejaculation lowers  the risk of prostate cancer.


Apparently it's not just wine that gets better with age!


Dr. Judie is a Clinical Sexologist and educator who has appeared on numerous television programs and hosted an award-winning cable television program called "Sex Talk."  A contributor to Lifestyles magazine, she also authored a sexuality column for "Senior Life," an award-winning publication of Mature Media.  She has been an interviewer for the "Better Sex" video series and serves as a talking head in the video, "Sex After 50."   Follow her on Twitter @DocJudie.


To read other blogs by Dr.Judie, click here.  


©2013 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC

I hope I do not jinx my family but none of my relatives for the last four generations has had a stroke.  They either die from a cardiac or respiratory  condition that slowly leaches their health but does not seriously impair their functioning or they die in their sleep.  


My mother’s family has a serious history of alcoholism and emphysema .Several of her brothers lived long inebriated lives.  One of them continued smoking even when he was on oxygen.  His wife would bring him a bourbon and Coke for breakfast and he would puff on his Lucky Strikes with his oxygen tube hanging from his nostrils.  Little puffs of blue flame would be visible every time he exhaled!  I am surprised he didn’t blow the whole house up! When we went for visits we left very quickly, expecting a fiery disaster with each passing moment.


I come from a line of very old folks.  My father is 93.  He still lives independently and drives very well. He is planning his next trip to California to visit his 98-year-old brother who lives with his wife in a retirement community.  His 90-year-old sister just passed away.  Considering she worked her last few years on a tour bus carrying seniors from Santa Cruz to Las Vegas for gambling getaways, I would say she fared very well! Except for this aunt, I can not remember the last funeral we had in that side of the family.  


Several years ago, my mother, who suffered from angina, fell, broke her neck, but was not paralyzed.  She lived another eight months, most of which was hell as she never recovered from the depression that injury created.  Living in a nursing home away from my dad, the love of her life, was more than she could bear. Even though he stayed with her every day for all eight months, he went home every  night and she became despondent.  


However, her identical twin celebrates her ninetieth birthday next month.  She lives independently  in a retirement community, as well.  If Mom had not fallen I have every confidence that she would still be with us. Her dementia would have made this journey even more fun! Our latest reunion with my mother’s family indicates we are all doing quite well.  Older, a few more gray hairs and fewer stories of rock climbing and camping, but no serious health issues.  


We live too far away from my father’s extended family to know of every ache and pain, but the Christmas letters from the cousins are full of outdoorsy pictures with lots of smiling , healthy faces.  They were always more adventurous than my mother’s clan so I am not surprised.  I am sure if we lived closer we would not be able to keep up with them!


My own immediate family enjoys good health, as well.  My husband and children have a life-long pattern of eating healthy (foods from our garden help) and practice exercise on a moderate level.  Recent research now shows that is it important to eat and live well, but your genes  trump daily practice.  I can’t take credit for our history of good health, but I can be careful and try not to screw it up! All in all, I am grateful for my genes!


Jacque Digieso has been an educator for over 40 years.  She and her husband Joe co-founded The Cottage School in Roswell, GA, to educate adolescents with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder and other special educational needs. The school currently serves close to 150 middle and high school students.  Jacque and her husband have two sons, one of whom is adopted, and a handful of grandchildren. 


Read Jacque's blog here, find her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter @CottageSchoolGA.


Read more columns by Jacque Digieso here


©2013 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC

Jan 26

No matter your age, gender or marital status, if you are going to a doctor for something out of the ordinary, do not, I emphasize, go alone. I don’t mean that you need a driver or someone just for moral support. You do need someone, however, to help ask questions and more importantly, listen to the answers.


You may be a great listener and take voluminous notes, but if you are the patient, you will not be able to digest all the information that you need. I know this from experience.


I vividly recall my first visit to my oncologist. My husband was with me. I’m sure we were both in shock, learning about my cancer diagnosis, but at least there were two of us asking questions and absorbing the details. In subsequent doctor appointments, after my surgery and during my chemo regimen, either my husband or my sister came along to help ask the pertinent questions. At those times, my mind was probably a bit fuzzy. 


Only after the doctor visits became more routine did I go alone, and even then – and until this day – I still take many written questions with me, and I try to jot down the answers during our visit. There’s no way, under the circumstances, that I would be able to remember all the questions that have popped into my head as I anticipate the meeting, or the answers the doctor provides.


This is a custom that I continue to follow when the situation calls for. That is, except once, and I still regret it.


My husband came with me for my initial meeting with a plastic surgeon whom I was considering hiring for the breast reconstruction after my bilateral prophylactic mastectomy. I chose to the mastectomy because I had learned that my ovarian cancer had resulted from a genetic defect that also made me more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer.


At that meeting, we just learned some basics, although I had a list of more than 20 questions, reaped from reading books and talking to other women who had gone through reconstruction after mastectomies. I did not insist that my husband come with me for the next visit, when I was to make my final decisions on what kind of reconstruction to have, because I knew he was personally put off by the flamboyant surgeon. I will always regret that.


I made the decision to have what is called a latissimus flap reconstruction rather than implants. This surgery required the surgeon to take part of a muscle from my back to re-form my breasts. Although this was more than three years ago, I still feel the repercussions. I’ve lost strength in my back. I have middle back pain and pain under my arms where the muscle was stretched forward to my front.


I thought I’d done my homework, but I was too easily convinced by the surgeon that my new breasts would be more natural than if I were to just go with implants. I think if my husband had been with me to make that decision, he would have cautioned me not to put myself through additional surgery that was unnecessary.


I have a single male friend who has been through more surgeries than me. He’s the recipient of a kidney transplant and has replaced hips and knees and I don’t know what else. A couple of years ago, he made an appointment with a surgeon in anticipation of some back surgery he was planning. He asked me to join him. He said he knew he wanted someone with him to gather the information and he decided that because I’m a female and a reporter, I would fit the bill.


I was only too happy to oblige. I managed to ask the doctor questions my friend had not thought of, and I took copious notes. He had other friends who visited him in the hospital when he had his surgery (I was out of town), and still other friends who helped him when he returned home. But he pointedly chose me for that initial visit with the doctor.


I urge everyone who must confront some major surgery to be smart like my friend and take someone with you. Please learn from my mistakes.




Jan Jaben-Eilon is a long-time journalist who has written for The New York Times, Business Week, the International Herald Tribune, the Jerusalem Report and Womenetics. She was a founding reporter for the Atlanta Business Chronicle and was international editor for Advertising Age before she fulfilled a lifelong dream of moving to Israel. Jan and her Jerusalem-born husband have an apartment in that city, but live in Atlanta.

 

In November 2006, she was diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer and has kept a blog on her cancer journey since December of that year. 


Read more columns by Jan Jaben Eilon here




©2013 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC



Jan 27

A fall can be the beginning of a downward spiral that can result in premature death. It is an unexpected event, but one that often can be averted by being proactive.  


Since falls are always a surprise, we often look back and see what we could have done to prevent it. Many times, it was not only obvious, but easy. It is imperative to anticipate, as your loved one ages, that unless there is intervention, a fall is likely to happen at some point. Making sure that optimal safety measures are in place ahead of time, may save a life. Perhaps even more importantly, it may save the quality of your loved one’s life. 


Possible Causes for a Fall

  • Mobility problems
  • Medical problems (dizziness, medications, urinary track infection, infections)
  • Safety hazards
  • Confusion
  • Brain blood flow (transient ischemic attack)
  • Cardiac problems

Top Three Things to Know About Falls at Home

  • Increase your awareness for any change in behavior or function.
  • Do a thorough inspection of your loved one’s home to ensure optimal safety measures.
  • If you have a concern, get a medical evaluation to determine a beginning point of reference and then monitor for change.

Falls can happen anywhere, while still at home or even in a professional facility. As your loved one’s caregiver and advocate, you cannot rely on anyone to be as diligent and mindful as you, even in the best of facilities. My father was taking therapy to increase his strength so he could walk again after surgery. The process was painful and sometimes discouraging. Keeping him motivated to continue was a scary challenge. At any point if he had given up, he would have never walked again. I could not let that happen. 


One day, he was left alone too long after lunch at the nursing home. He had been waiting for at least two hours for someone to take him back to his room. We had been diligently building his confidence to encourage him to walk again. So that is, in fact, what he did. He took eleven steps before he fell, breaking his hip. No one could have imagined he could have gotten up from his wheelchair unassisted. But it was, in fact, us who had convinced him that he could do it!


It would have been so easy to put a restraint on his chair to prevent such a tragic event. He never walked again. In fact, the pain he experienced was devastating. I still remember his scream as the nurses tried to turn him over in his hospital bed. I ran to him and fell across his thin body, sobbing. He immediately tried to console ME… imagine that. But that’s love.


A fall can be the beginning of the end. My father’s quality of life was never the same. Although he tried to stay positive, he ultimately gave in to his inevitable decline. He died a few months later.

Had this fall not occurred, he could have lived several more years in significantly better health and continued to engage with his surrounding community at the nursing home. I am telling you this now, so that your father or mother does not have to experience what mine did. I am sharing what I know. Each of us must share what we know with each other in an effort to shorten the learning curve of caregiving. Even though we are all doing this for the first time, we don’t have to keep making the same mistakes!


It is our duty to speak for our precious loved ones who can no longer speak for themselves, and do it effectively.




Author Lee Lambert, CEO of Lee Lambert Cares, empowers family caregivers to know what to do and when to do it, so that they can experience the simple joy of living life normally while caring for a loved one. Visit her at www.leelambertcares.com


Read more columns by Lee Lambert here



©2013 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC




©2011 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC. All rights reserved. ShareWIK does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. For more information, please read our Additional Information, Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

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