Tag Archives: health

A Matter of Balance

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A Matter of Balance

Anyone who knows me well is quite aware that I am constantly taking courses. I have this thirst for knowledge and have way too many letters that come after my name. Thanks to the internet I have taken courses from Rice, Harvard and several other prestigious American universities. While the majority of these courses have been in the field of psychology, I have also begun delving into the area of health and fitness in more depth.

Back in 2017, I began attending SAIL classes in Leavenworth. No, this has nothing to do with boats or water. SAIL is an acronym for Stay Active and Independent for Life. After a couple of weeks, I was approached and asked if I’d be interested in taking the training to teach these fitness classes. It was a natural fit after teaching water aerobics classes at the YMCA back in Canada.

SAIL is a fitness program for seniors geared towards fall prevention. Classes begin with a warm up followed by an aerobics component. Dynamic and static balance exercises are next, followed by strength exercises for both the upper and lower body. Next are flexibility exercises for the upper and lower body as we cool down. I am now into my sixth year teaching here in Washington.

Always eager to learn more, this month I am taking a course called A Matter of Balance. This is a program based on Fear of Falling: A Matter of Balance offered by Boston University. I have very legitimate concerns regarding the fear of falling, primarily due to the fact that I’ve had two knee replacements. Some cognitive restructuring is in order and this course has been most beneficial to me.

I’ve met some amazing people in this course. The oldest in our class is ninety-one and I’m the baby at seventy. The others are in their seventies and eighties. We are all interested in remaining active and independent. Regular exercise is definitely a part of our daily routine.

As a child, I remember well when my own grandmother turned seventy. I recall thinking that she was old. Well, I’m that age now but I feel healthier than I did when I was in my fifties. And I attribute a lot of that due to the exercise that has become such an important part of my life. I do not feel old.

I look around me at the participants in the SAIL classes I teach. In their eighties and nineties they are a true inspiration to me. And I look forward to sharing with them what I have learned in A Matter of Balance classes.

Falls are a serious concern. The statistics from ERs regarding fall related incidents are staggering, as are those related to hospital admissions.

Most falls are preventable and falls should not be viewed as a natural part of aging.

So SAIL away with me today and perhaps some day I may have the opportunity to coach you in A Matter of Balance. Yes. I think that coaching in this program will be the next step for me.

On My Mind

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On My Mind

My blog post on Wednesday had more than a few of you wondering WTF was going on in my life. It was a short post and I sounded kind of down.

About three weeks ago I saw my doctor in Leavenworth to get a prescription refill. I hadn’t seen her in almost two years. In Mexico I don’t need a script. However this past year there were still shortages so I wasn’t able to bring my meds with me to Washington.

She noticed a mole on my ear and was concerned. I consented to a biopsy. The results that came back were inconclusive. I had her book me in with a specialist in Wenatchee. He removed the mole on Tuesday and phoned me on Thursday with the results of the second biopsy. Malignant. But he was confident that he got it all and that the tissue surrounding it was healthy and cancer free.

I was relieved. But at the back of my mind is that nagging thought. What if I had waited until next month when I got back to Canada? I would never have gotten an appointment with my PCP and then seen a specialist within three weeks. Instead it would have been several months. Yes, the precarious nature of the Canadian medical system scares me. Socialized medicine is not all it’s cracked up to be.

I have nothing but praise for Cascade Medical Center and Confluence Health. The medical staff were attentive and caring, as well as efficient. Canada can learn a lesson from their neighbors to the south.

Wednesday Humpday

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Wednesday Humpday

I’m glad it’s Wednesday. I’m not too anxious to relive yesterday. It was a little on the stressful side. And it’s behind me now.

This morning I’m headed to the YMCA for the first class of A Matter of Balance. I’m really looking forward to it. The older I get, the more important fitness becomes.

Walmart is on the horizon for this afternoon. I’ve successfully avoided it for a while so I guess I’m due.

Tonight is another Zoom class sponsored by the library. Wednesday nights have been a series of interesting programs dealing with health issues.

Hope you have a great Wednesday!

Phase 3

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Phase 3

Here in Mexico we entered Phase 3 last week. This is the most serious phase related to COVID-19 where community spread is supposed to really take off.

Where I live there is no curfew or strict rules other than physical distancing and wearing a mask. This is to be the norm until May 30th. There is purportedly a plan in place to begin opening things up a little come June 1st.

Of course very little testing is being done here so I have no idea how reliable the statistics are. Are we really in the worst part right now? There are professionals who argue that the summer will be the worst time. I guess that’s what happens when you make predictions based on unreliable statistics.

I don’t base much on statistics. What I do believe is that COVID-19 is a deadly disease spreading rapidly throughout the world. It is important to practice good hygiene and respect physical distancing. As far as when it will be safe to lift restrictions and resume a more normal life…..who knows?

I believe it’s in God’s hands now.

My Daughter

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My Daughter

As a mother you always want to protect your children. You love them and pray for them and want only good things for them.

They grow up and make career choices. My daughter pursued a career in culinary arts but wanted more of a challenge after working as a chef for a couple of years. She then chose nursing as a second career. She has worked mainly as an ICU nurse for the past several years.

Her mother faints at the sight of blood. So to say that I am nervous about her work is an understatement. And in view of what’s going on right now with COVID-19 I am even more so.

But at the same time I am extremely proud of my daughter. The hospital where she works is in Kelowna, BC in Canada. She assures me they have adequate supplies and are taking every precaution.

The other day I What’s App’d her to see if it was a good time to call. The featured photo in this post was her reply. This photo was taken at the nurse’s desk. She told me she puts on even more garb when she goes into a patient’s room.

I feel a tiny bit more reassured but I still worry. It’s really hard to sit back and watch her face the danger and uncertainty she experiences regularly. This is something I can’t protect her from.

Stay safe Kimmy. Love you lots!

Mayo Clinic And Me

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Mayo Clinic And Me

My association with Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota began decades ago when I was a teenager. Specialists in Winnipeg had been unable to diagnose my condition. And I was referred to the Mayo Clinic.

After a three week hospital stay at Rochester Methodist Hospital, I returned to Winnipeg. I continued to receive medication from Rochester for several years as it was not available in Winnipeg.

I kept in close touch with my doctor there and returned periodically for checkups.

Flash ahead a few decades and another serious medical condition was diagnosed. Once again Mayo Clinic came to the rescue.

The Mayo Clinic has long been my Health Bible. I subscribe to newsletters and find the information very helpful.

I am alone here in Aguascalientes during this pandemic. My children are in two different provinces in Canada. My Mexican family is in Culiacán which right now feels as far away as Canada.

There is so much negativity on the internet right now. There is also an abundance of misinformation which only adds to the panic and anxiety.

Once again Mayo Clinic has come through for me. I’ve joined an online discussion group where we all post positive thoughts and comments. Photos and poetry are also welcome. My featured image is a page I colored and submitted to the group.

I encourage my readers to check out the Mayo Clinic website for reliable information and support at this time.