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ARE YOU OVERTREATED AND OVERMEDICATED?

 First of all I have to say that I am a very lucky person because I am not on any kind of medication and I will be 65 in September of this year.   My sugar and blood pressure is good.  I try to get some exercise everyday.  Several years ago, my doctor put me on Actonel for osteoporosis.  I took it for five years and started having problems with my esophagus. Then, they put me on Prevacid for acid reflux and took me off the Actonel because they thought it was causing the problems with the acid reflux.  I took Prilosec, Prevacid, and whatever medicine my insurance would pay for at least another five years.  They told me I would have to take the acid reflux medicine for the rest of my life.  I lost some weight, started exercising, and on my own I cut down to a pill every other day for the acid reflux.  This worked and after about three months, I went to one every three days. Eventually, I quit them altogether.  I quit eating after 6 p.m. at night and I quit eating huge amounts of food at one time or “pigging out” as I sometimes did.   I started taking vitamins and calcium regularly.   Today, I have no problems with acid reflux and I don’t have osteoporosis.  My bones have even improved!

I met Bob five years ago.  He was on all kinds of medicine.  Bob took blood pressure medicine, diabetes medicine, cholesteral medicine, fluid pills, arthritis medicine,  an aspirin a day, and several others that I can’t even remember.  He slept all the time and once when he was driving I noticed him “nodding off” and screamed at him before he ran the car off the road.  I thought he had narcolepsy because he would be sound asleep in a matter of minutes.  It seemed every time Bob went to the doctor he put him on another pill of some kind.  A couple of years ago we were trying to do some work in my yard and he started staggering around in the yard and thought he was going to pass out.  We thought his sugar was low and I got him some orange juice.  Later, he left for his house, got home and passed out on the floor and cut his head open.  He managed to call his daughter and 911.  Bob spent several days in the hospital with pancreatitis.  The specialist took him off the fluid pills, the arthritis pills and some others saying they were causing him more problems than doing him good.  Today, he takes one pill for his blood pressure if he needs it!  His sugar is good, his cholesterol is normal and he feels great.   He takes a small nap in the afternoons and never sleeps during the day other than his 35 minute nap.  We mowed my yard with a push mower all spring, he runs the weedeater, we walk, and enjoy the yard work.  Bob will be 72 in October.

Bob is living proof that more medicine doesn’t always make you healthier and can make you sicker.  I recently read where one-third of the tests and treatments we get are estimated to be unnecessary, and avoidable care is costly in more ways than the bill: It may lead to dangerous side effects.

Did you know that too many CT scans increase the risk of cancer?  Supposedly, back pain is the most over treated condition and most people would get better without it.  One in five people that get back surgery end up having a second surgery within ten years.

Sometimes, doctors give in to a patients demand for medicine rather than explain why they don’t need it and tests are performed on elderly patients that would not benefit from the treatment due to age.

I certainly know that there are people out there that have to have their medicine and benefit from taking medication.  I just think we need to be fully aware of the side effects of certain pills especially when you are taking several prescribed medicines.

Do you or don’t you take medications?  How do you feel about them?  Have you been able to reduce your medications or are they increasing with each doctor visit?

Thank you for your comments.

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ARE YOU A PENNY PINCHER?

Are you a tightwad or penny pincher?  I consider myself a very frugal person or a person that is thrifty instead of extravagant.   When my children were young and we lived on the farm I had to watch every penny.  Eventually, I found myself enjoying finding ways to save money. 

My father-in-law thought I was a tightwad and used to say, “she’ll squeeze a buffalo nickel till the buffalo chokes”!  I had never heard this expression until he started saying it about me.

I love a bargain, or a tip about a way to save money.  It seems since the recession started there are a lot more articles out there on  being thrifty.   Yesterday,  I read one on Yahoo about laundry detergent.  It said the manufacturers of this product was ripping off the public and that we could use half the amount of detergent called for on the bottle and our clothes would be just as clean unless they were filthy when we washed them.  According to the article, it is the agitation that gets most of the dirt out and not the detergent. (if you think about this, people used to scrub their clothes on a scrub board to get them clean without detergent)  I had never given this a thought before.  I did know that the dryer uses a lot of electricity and will often hang my clothes instead of using the dryer.

Some other hints I have seen lately include using fluorescent bulbs instead of regular bulbs but I have been doing this for a while now.  Also, never run the dishwasher unless it is full and don’t use the heater on your dishwasher to dry the dishes but let them dry naturally.  I just automatically let them heat dry but sometimes I don’t empty the dishwasher for several hours.  I am going to try letting them dry naturally since this is supposed to save a lot of electricity.  Another thing I had not ever thought about was using the small burners on the stove top instead of the large ones.   This uses less gas or electricity when cooking!  

I read this one the other day about saving gas.  Did you know it is cheaper to drive an empty car than a car filled with “stuff”?   This article said if you are driving a rolling warehouse, clean out your car and save the cost of driving it!

I looked up the word “tightwad” before doing this post and found out there is a town in Missouri called Tightwad!  It has an area of one square mile and a population of 66 people according to the 2006 census.  If my father-in-law was still living he would be trying to move me to Tightwad!!!! 

Do you enjoy getting tips or household hints about saving money or energy?

WHAT’S YOUR FEEL AGE?

This is taken from Prevention Magazine’s April issue.  I thought it was an interesting test that my friends might enjoy! 

1.  Do you feel physically strong and capable most days?   Never: +2   Rarely: +1  Sometimes: 0 Often: -1 Always: -2

2.  When you size yourself up against others your age, how often do you feel you’re in good (or even better) shape? Never: +2 Rarely: +1 Sometimes: 0 Often: -1 Always: -2

3.  Do you see your body as sexy, shapely, attractive – any, or all, of these?  Never: +2  Rarely: +1 Sometimes: 0 Often: -1 Always: -2

4.  Are you at ease shooting off a text message or Twittering?  Never: +2  Rarely: +1 Sometimes: 0 Often: -1  Always: -2

5.  Are you the knowledge-seeking, google-eyed, curious type?  Never: +2  Rarely: +1  Sometimes: 0 Often: -1 Always: -2

6.  How often do you feel let down by what your body can achieve?  Never: -2  Rarely: -1 Sometimes: 0 Often: +1 Always: +2

7.  Whether it’s your “muffin top” or your “jelly belly”, how often do you negatively rate your body?  Never: -2  Rarely: -1  Sometimes: 0 Often: +1  Always: +2

8.  How regularly do you wake up feeling more tired or sad than excited and energetic?  Never: -2 Rarely: -1 Sometimes: 0 Often: +1 Always: +2

9.  As you age, do you feel more confident and optimistic about what the future holds?  Never: +2 Rarely: +1 Sometimes: 0 Often: -1 Always: -2

10.  Do you draw inspiration and support from your friends?  Never: +2 Rarely: +1 Sometimes: 0 Often: -1 Always: -2

11.  Do you have friends in every age group, from 18 to 88?  Never: +2 Rarely: +1 Sometimes: 0 Often: -1 Always: -2

12.  Are you prepared to gracefully accept some aspects of aging?  Never: +2 Rarely: +1 Sometimes: 0 Often: -1 Always: -2

13.  Do you think getting older means losing your marbles?  Never: -2 Rarely: -1 Sometimes: 0 Often: +1 Always: +2

14.  Do you get excited about experiencing new things?  Never: +2 Rarely: +1 Sometimes: 0 Often: -1 Always: -2

15.  Do you feel under siege from minor illness and fatigue?  Never: -2 Rarely: -1 Sometimes: 0 Often: +1 Always: +2

16.  Do you actively help other people or volunteer for charity?  Never: +2  Rarely: +1 Sometimes: 0 Often: -1 Always: -2

17.  How often do you feel that these are your best years?  Never: +2 Rarely: +1 Sometimes: 0 Often: -1 Always: -2

18.  Does your face reveal a happy, no holds-barred kind of life?  Never: +2 Rarely:  +1 Sometimes: 0 Often: -1 Always:  -2

19.  Mirror, mirror…do you look older than your age?  Never: -2  Rarely:  -1 Sometimes:  0  Often: +1  Always:  +2

20.  Do you often think that getting older is the pits?  Never: -2  Rarely:  -1  Sometimes: 0  Often:  +1  Always:  +2

21.  Is there meaning and fulfillment in your life?  Never:  +2  Rarely:  +1  Sometimes: 0  Often:  -1  Always: -2

22.  Socially and politically, do you feel you have some opinions to share?  Never: +2  Rarely: +1 Sometimes: 0 Often: -1 Always: -2

Your feel age is:  Add all the negative scores together and, separately, total up the positives.  Write down your age.  Now subtract the negatives, add the positives, and that’s your feel age!  It’s a score based on your physical confidence, personal development, optimism, and attitude toward aging.  Below shows how you can adjust the dial.

If your feel age is younger than your real age…..You’re the adventurous, positive type; you love life and are young at heart.  You feel physically capable. Friends and family draw on your zesty approach to life.  You are aging fabulously!  Maintain your healthy, balanced lifestyle and keep celebrating life.  Continue investing your time and energy in doing what you love – the satisfaction will invigorate both and your close relationships.  Stay emotionally intimate with your spouse.  A healthy sex life, an active social life, and loads of physical exercise will help keep you sizzling!

If your feel age matches your real age……You are balances, lively, realistic, and curious.  You have a strong sense of self that, along with your other strengths, constitutes a great recipe for positive aging.  To hold steady at the same feel age for another 5 years, sprinkle your calendar with friendly get-togethers; get an MP3 play or iPod and spend a weekend loading it to stay connected with technology; and pump up your curiosity about the world.  Keep getting the physical workouts you need- at least 30 minutes 4 or 5 times a week.  And don’t pick up any bad habits- such as settling for inadequate sleep or turning a blind eye to portion control.  It’s all about loving the skin(and the mind) that you’re in.

If your feel age is older than your real age…..Self-awareness and honesty are two of your strengths, yet it’s likely you have some health concerns preventing you from aging in a more positive way.  Make a new beginning.  Put the way you see and describe yourself under the microscope and work out how to celebrate who you are.  Start by writing a list of what you’re good at and what you appreciate about yourself.  Some traits to consider:  creativity, humor, and kindness.  Also, boost your exercise to at least 2 hours a week, and organize more face time with friends.  Research show those who socialize often age better.

If you took this test, how do you feel about your “feel” age?

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