Future Thoughts

As we move into middle age, my friends and I, we have more discussions around what we see ourselves doing next.  The children are out of the house, some are retiring, some have had serious health issues and we are presented with opportunities for reflection on what is really important to us.  For some it is taking time to enjoy life more, for some it is finding more ways to give back to the community, for others it is realizing it is time to step back and encourage our younger peers to move into our roles and shake things up a bit.

I like all of these possibilities.  And the more I consider these options and their variations, the more I begin to trust that those coming after us are smart, creative, dedicated and energetic in their willingness to step up.  I can also trust that my peers are smart, creative, dedicated and energetic in their willingness to make room, support and applaud those of any age who are not afraid to do the shaking, or who might be a little bit afraid, but will do it anyway.

Life Changes

We are gearing up to move my 88-year-old father from his home of 40 years to a very small independent living apartment, across the state from his home. He will be closer to family, which is good and I am struggling with trying to make the move as efficiently as possible and still respect that we are deconstructing his life, to a large extent.

I am impressed that he is willing to do this and is, so far, willing to help as much as he can. His Alzheimer’s gets in the way, but he is trying very hard to stay focused and get things done. I will be relieved when it is done, and hope like crazy that he can do this without losing a big part of himself and that my heart will hurt less when he is settled in his new digs.

Here’s to you, trace minerals

I recently gave a short talk to a professional group about the importance of trace minerals. I love doing these exchanges and sharing some little known info with non-healthcare professionals. They are always very attentive and ask such great questions.

I started taking the liquid trace minerals a few months ago and found that my joints ached less and I had more energy. Several of my patients are taking them, reporting some interesting changes in their health status, as well. Better sleeping reported by folks with insomnia and chronic pain, decreased pain and discomfort of fibromyalgia, better range of motion and decreased stiffness in chronically inflamed joints. What a gift!

Fortunately, these supplements are not expensive and one doesn’t require large quantities, (thus the ‘trace’ designation). Ideally, we would get these nutrients from organically grown root vegetables, since the roots are where the minerals are absorbed from the soil, but considering that most of us don’t focus on root vegetable much and we don’t all have access to organically grown foods, we most likely need to supplement. Even with the not-so-pleasant taste of the minerals, which resolves quickly, it is worth adding it to the supplement regimen. You will be better for it.

More of life’s interesting events

I recently attended a celebration of life for a friend who recently died. I was impressed by the numbers of people who were there not to cry, as that had already been done, but to truly celebrate.

We were all allowed to see photos and hear stories of the love the family shared and the impact this man had on his many friends and co-workers.

I was reminded, yet again, that there are rewards in looking for the silver linings associated with all of life’s experiences and that a sense of humor can take you a long way. I am impressed by this man and by his family, even vicariously. I wish I had met him sooner.


I have been thinking quite a bit about how much I enjoy my work. I love it when I get to the office and the schedule is full. My fulfillment comes when my patient and I can collaborate about a plan to help them improve their health and raise the level of enjoyment in their life.

This morning I was expecially glad to work with a patient that felt she was losing her edge and the joy she is so used to experiencing. Getting to know my patients at that level and listening to their stories really helps me see what is affecting those areas of their health that I can help to influence.

It is like a big puzzle, with lots of the pieces hiding under other parts, and the goal is to connect the edge pieces in the right order so the patient can fill in the tapestry in the middle. Great stuff!

More opportunies for finding the humor in life.

I just spent the weekend with friends in Wichita, to celebrate my good friends birthdays.  What a gift good friends are.  While there, I got a call from my daughter who is living with my 87 year old father, who has early dementia, perhaps Alzheimer’s.  Things lately had seemed to be going pretty well, when the call came in.  Dad had taken everything out of her and her husband’s closet and delivered the contents to the Salvation Army.  He didn’t recognize anything in the closet as his or my deceased mother’s, so he thought he would just clean it out.  They were left with the clothes they were wearing, their underwear and PJ’s.  My, oh my!  What a flurry of emotions and activity that prompted. 

After talking with my Dad, it was clear he felt very bad about his mistake.  He hopped in the car, drove to the place he thought he dropped them off, (not really sure) and grabbed a bag of shoes and brought them back.  The kids haven’t had a chance to look through them to see if they are theirs, but we are all looking for a way to find some humor in this.  It is easier when you are removed from it, as with all the stories I have heard from my friends whose parents experienced dementia.  Today, they get to arrive at both places for donation drop off and go through everything that was delivered on the community donation drive day, to see if any of their clothes can be recovered.  As I said, My, oh my!!

The Lessons of Middle Age

I have been reminded lately, and frequently, of how important it is to allow yourself to just be present with those you care about. As others in their middle years can attest, it is a time of challenges of many kinds. I have been spending more time assisting my father, with his worsening dementia, my mother with heart disease and cancer, and more recently, my long time friend and office manager with serious heart issues. It is interesting to examine how each requires something different and very individual to them and my relationship to them. I am trying to be more present in the time I spend with each and am grateful for the exchange of love, caring and appreciation we have for each other. I am also reminded of just how they have contributed to my life and to others in our respective circles. Life is an amazing journey, my friends, and my heart is full to overflowing.

New Lessons

I have been spending lots of time on the road, helping with my parents, and have tried to use the time to learn more information that would be helpful to my patients.  So, while driving, I listen to CDs that share information about nutrition subjects.  Like, did you know that calcium is utilized in hundreds of processes in your body. 

We all are somewhat familiar with the importance of calcium in maintaining healthy bones and teeth.  In addition, it is essential in healthy soft tissues, and a fully functioning immune system.  I have been using calcium lactate with some other formulas for patients just coming down with cold/flu symptoms and it is impressive how quickly they move through the episode, compared to those who do conventional remedies.  Unfortunately, we don’t get much information regarding the importance of minerals in our diets, so I will try to share more of that in the coming weeks.

Life Gets Complicated

Since my last post, things have gotten a bit more complicated, then less complicated, and again, more so.  My family moved my mother into a nursing home, where she is doing much better, and of course, there was a flurry of activity surrounding that move.  I was trying to stay present with the process and remain aware of my feelings and those of my family who were there.  I must say, the emotions were all over the spectrum. 

I have not always been a fan of nursing homes, but after finding a place that was close to home, cheery and clean, I felt much better about the move.  The common opinion that they are only places to go at the end of your life is not entirely true.  Some of Mom’s fellow residents are quite young, with disabilities that can not be accommodated in other situations and the residents seem to be quite comfortable and engaged in the day’s activities and interested in what goes on outside the facility. 

We are relieved and impressed with the level of care and caring shown from the staff.  Yet another eye opener and opportunity for stretching my reality and my expectations.

Weekend Blather

What a gorgeous weekend we had here in Lawrence, KS! 

Even though I had several options regarding how I spent my time, I chose to stay close to home and take several long walks around my beautiful neighborhood.  The trees are breathtaking, the temperature quite moderate and everyone seems to be in a pretty good mood. 

To begin the weekend, I was feeling a bit guilty about not attacking my to do list, but realizing that we are sliding quickly into the holiday season, I chose to take advantage of some down time.  And I quickly let go of the guilt.  Conversations about Thanksgiving and Christmas have started and I know the personal time will be more and more limited.  It is good to honor yourself when you can.