Transformation Gameplan

Transformation

Photo by Foundry on Pixabay.com

Someone had posted this quotation without attribution on Facebook last week.

Inspiration and information without personal application will never amount to transformation.

The quotation resonated with me in a powerful way so I researched it.

Embarrassingly enough, it was from a book I had already read. I say embarrassingly because not only had I read the book within the past two years but also I had written about it in this post from June 24, 2017.

Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst contains many gems of wisdom. In my mind, the Inspiration / Information / Application / Transformation quote has to be one of the most universally applicable pieces of advice ever.

Consider these three scenarios:

You’ve been stuck in a horrible work environment for several years. A friend gives you some great advice about a new job-hunting website. He also gives you a pep talk about your many outstanding characteristics. So you have the information and you’ve been inspired. BUT unless you apply yourself and actually go to the site and do the work of finding new employment, you’ll still be in that life-sucking job this time next year.

You read an article about getting back into shape after the age of ___ (fill in the blank). The article is saturated with easy-to-understand information about the many benefits of exercise at any age. Not only that, but there are links to free online videos to help you perform the movements correctly. “I can do this!” you shout. But neither your body nor your health will be transformed unless you do the work.

You’re interested in deepening your faith and/or spirituality so you sign up for a study group at church. The group is amazingly supportive and the book being used is rich in fascinating information. But life happens. You skip a homework assignment, then you don’t find the time to read the next chapter, and decide to drop out. No application = no transformation.

We watch TED talks, read books, research online, and attend classes and seminars that inspire us and provide the information needed to take whatever step we’re considering taking. But when we just let that information seep out of our brains and allow the inspiration to languish, it’s as if it never even happened.

Lest you think I’m pointing fingers and holding up myself as a sterling example of accomplishment, uh, no. Sorry to disappoint you.

In the past, I’ve stayed too long in a joyless job. I’ve worked my way into shape and lazily watched it slip away several times. I purchased the book Crafting a Rule of Life two years ago and haven’t gotten farther than Chapter 3.

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” (Attributed to various people including Buddha.)

And Richard Bach said, “We teach best what we most need to learn.”

In my case, often I WRITE best what I most need to learn.

So thanks, Lysa TerKeurst, for the words of wisdom. I promise this time I’ll remember them.

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About the book Uninvited

Let’s Give The Hands A Hand

Hands

Photo by Di Lewis on Pexels.com

A friend was recently lamenting that her hands look older than her face does. She’s in her late 50s. “How did THIS (holding up the backs of her hands to me) happen?!”

We may not consciously think much about our hands. But our hands are out there, taking the brunt of sun exposure, wind, cold weather, hot weather, cleaning solutions, dish liquid, and water. Women especially may have excellent routines for taking care of our faces, but our hands are most often forgotten.

Even if we take preventive methods to care for our hands, aging by itself wreaks havoc with them. To quote Amos Lavian (found of Dermelect Cosmeceuticals), “As you age, the elasticity of the skin on your hands as well as the abundance of collagen begins to dissipate, making the skin on your hands look and feel more fragile.”

It turns out that the skin on the backs of our hands is thinner so it is more prone to wrinkle anyhow. And our hands have fewer sebum-producing sebaceous glands than our faces do. Sebum is the oily stuff that helps keep the skin moisturized. How ironic, right? There are those of us who complain about our faces being too oily, when in fact we could use that extra oil on our hands.

Here’s the advice from experts on keeping our hands looking their best:

  • Use sunscreen on the backs of your hands and wrists year-round. Remember to reapply throughout the day. Although I do this now, I wish I had known that advice when I was 20. Currently, I use Aveeno Protect+Hydrate Face, SPF 50 on my hands.

  • Choose a hand cream that contains ceramides. These are molecules that help to retain moisture by creating a protective barrier. CeraVe Therapeutic Hand Cream (about $11) is a good choice.

  • Use a mild exfoliant once or twice a week. I am crazy about the product Aveeno Positively Radiant 60 Second in-shower Facial. So twice a week after I apply it to my face, I use it on the backs of my hands and my elbows. A minute later I massage it off as I rinse.

  • Use a hand cream just as you’re getting into bed when you know it won’t be washed off. Because my nails currently need some attention, I just started using Vaseline Healthy Hands Stronger Nails with Keratin. Too soon to tell any effect, but it feels luxurious going on and I really like the calming fragrance.

You’ll notice I don’t spend hundreds of dollars on any of these products. They can be bought at most drug stores or places like Target or Walmart.

My husband says that should I ever be noted for offering advice on a subject, it would be this: There isn’t much that a good cream can’t cure. Since I do sound rather zealous on today’s topic, maybe he’s right. Please don’t tell him I said that.

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A Real Simple magazine article on the topic

Sticking Out Your Neck (or Head) Isn’t The Best Idea

Neck forward head

Image by Amandad on Pixabay.com

Sometimes when I’m driving, I suddenly realize that my head is sticking out in a forward position, almost as if there is something stuck on the windshield that I’m trying to see. I’ll pull my chin back in and straighten my posture. That lasts for a few minutes until I realize I’m doing it again.

It turns out that I’m not alone in this bad habit.

The condition is called Forward Head Posture and driving is only one of the areas where it becomes apparent.

Several experts have commented that this is becoming nearly an epidemic since the effect has origins other than driving. Typing, whether on a phone or keyboard, and texting are huge causes. Looking down while reading or scrolling on a phone also causes trouble. Even reading a book with your head tilted down is problematic.

Correct posture would have our ears positioned directly above the shoulders with our shoulders back and our chests open. This is the neutral position where the head’s weight is resting on the cervical spine. Here’s a good analogy: think of a golf ball resting on a tee, perfectly balanced.

Have you ever thought about the weight of your head? It turns out that the average human adult head weighs around ten pounds. The brain accounts for approximately three pounds, then we have the skull, the eyes, the teeth, the facial muscles, and the skin that holds it all together.

Consider a bowling ball. The lightest one weighs 6 pounds and the heaviest legal bowling ball weighs 16 pounds.

Yes, you have a mid-sized bowling ball being carried on the top of your spine.

So as I incorrectly hold my neck and head forward, my cervical spine has to support an increasing weight. Some spine experts say that for each inch the head is held forward, an additional 10 pounds of weight is added to the burden of the cervical spine. This causes many physical problems when some muscles in the neck and upper back are forced to overwork to counterbalance the pull of gravity on the shifted-forward head.

Mayo Clinic states that forward head posture leads to “long-term muscle strain, disc herniation, arthritis, and pinched nerves.”

Ouch.

Letting our heads lurch forward typically also has effects elsewhere. We hunch up our shoulders and round our upper backs which just adds to the pain and stiffness.

And newer research shows that poor posture not only impacts our physical health but also our mental health such as our mood, memory, and feelings of stress.

I am going to work on correcting this bad posture habit in myself. Like anything else that we want to change about ourselves, the awareness that we’re doing it is the very first step.

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One chiropractor’s suggested exercises to correct the problem

NIH article on rounded shoulders and forward head position

Information from Spine-Health.com

USNews.com article on poor posture in general

 

Color My World

Color my world with snow

Photo by Norma Thatcher

My spot of Virginia had an end-of-winter snowfall on Friday. The temperature was just right to produce picture-perfect snow; every single tree branch and bush was deliciously and thickly coated in white. The soggy marsh that’s supposed to be my yard was painted a pristine pearl except, of course, for the tracks of Mr. Fox who came by to see what I had left out for him.

Winter can be so dreary. The brief interlude of snow made everything bright again—for one day. Now we’re back to the blah sameness of grey.

I know Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real illness, a type of depression. According to the Mayo Clinic, the specific cause is unknown but it’s believed that reduced sunlight is a major factor. I’m wondering if it’s not just the diminished light but also the lack of color that depresses people in the bleak winter.

According to the website Regain.us, there is an Eastern medicine field called Color Therapy. While it’s not recognized as valid in the West, some people swear by it. The site says, Color therapy has been around at least since the time of Ancient Egypt. Egyptians believed in the power of light and used different colors of light to promote healing. Color therapy has continued to be important in some cultures. Even in Western societies that tend to prefer modern, institutionalized medicine, natural healers have continued to use colors to help people improve their physical and emotional health.”

What if rain actually looked like this card by American Craft?

Color is important to me. I rarely wear neutral shades any longer, and when I do, you can count on sparkly jewelry or a bright scarf to offset it.

Seeing designer all-white kitchens in magazines makes me break out in a sweat. To me, these look more like a sterile operating room instead of a home’s kitchen. I can never envision a family cooking, baking, doing dishes, leaning against the counters laughing at something in that environment. Well, maybe if they were masked and gloved. I can’t imagine making a mess in an all-white kitchen. The thought of my bright red homemade spaghetti sauce bubbling up and splatting against a white wall is enough to keep me up at night.

Nope. I need my colors.

Do-it-yourself coloring card by American Craft

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Color My World song by Chicago

Color Therapy website

 

This Thing Is A Killer

Sepsis is a killer

Photo courtesy of rawpixel.com from Pexels

What do you know about sepsis? Until yesterday I didn’t know much about it, but coming across three articles in a row within a couple days got my attention.

When I get that many messages on a topic, I know I’m meant to write about it.

I realized I’d been hearing of increasing numbers of people hospitalized because of sepsis. Then it struck me that I actually knew a few people who had died of it, but I hadn’t taken the time to find out what it was.

Sometimes sepsis is incorrectly referred to as blood poisoning, but the term for that is actually septicemia so you can understand why they get mixed up.

According to an NIH publication, sepsis “is caused by an overwhelming immune response to infection. The body releases immune chemicals into the blood to combat the infection. Those chemicals trigger widespread inflammation, which leads to blood clots and leaky blood vessels. As a result, blood flow is impaired, and that deprives organs of nutrients and oxygen and leads to organ damage.”

Massive organ damage can, of course, lead to death.

An article in Vim & Vigor, a publication of the University of Virginia Health System, was one of those recent articles that got my attention. The article began as follows: “Each year, almost 260,000 lives are lost to sepsis—only heart disease and cancer cause more deaths in the U.S.”

How could I NOT know more about the third leading cause of death in the US? I felt like I was disconnected from the world.

Then I decided to fact-check. The half dozen sites I reviewed do indeed show heart disease as the #1 killer at 635,000 people in 2017, with cancer right behind at 598,000. But accidents showed up as #3 at 161,000, chronic lower respiratory issues at 154,000 for #4, and stroke at 142,000 rounded out the top five.

Sepsis was not named in the top five. I didn’t think that UVA could make such a blunder.

Then in further checking the National Institute of Health informational page on sepsis, I found this: “Severe sepsis strikes more than a million Americans every year, and 15 to 30 percent of those people die.”

Hmm…I think I can do that math in my head. 15% of a million is 150,000 and 30% is 300,000 which would indeed place sepsis in the top five. And using the 30% figure would make it #3.

I cannot explain the disconnect as to why the “leading death causes in the US” sites don’t talk about sepsis.

NIH does state that both awareness and tracking of sepsis are increasing. People are living longer, and the chronically ill and the “elderly” (don’t get me started) are more prone to develop it. But anyone at any age can get it.

Sepsis is sneaky in that it’s not easily diagnosed. Many of the symptoms are common to other conditions: fever, shivering with chills, rapid breathing and heart rate, rash, confusion, pale skin, pain, disorientation.

The disease is treated with antibiotics and fluids as doctors try to stop the infection while protecting the vital organs. But NIH tells us that, “Despite years of research, scientists have not yet developed a medicine that specifically targets the aggressive immune response seen with sepsis.”

And the treatment currently offered is expensive, usually involving intensive care stay and high-cost therapy. Again, NIH notes that “The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality lists sepsis as the most expensive condition treated in U.S. hospitals, costing nearly $24 billion in 2013.”

Certainly, not everyone dies from sepsis, and yet we see that it indeed can be a killer.

Be informed. Gain additional information from the sites below, and for Pete’s sake, take care of yourself.

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Center for Disease Control statistics on causes of death in the US in 2017

National Institute of Health informational page on sepsis

Next Avenue article on the death of Patty Duke from sepsis

 

Take a Deep Breath, Will You?

breath

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi from Pexels

Raise your hand if you’ve consciously thought about breathing over the last 24 hours. Unless you have a breathing issue or have recently participated in yoga, Pilates, or mediation, you likely may not have given your breathing a single thought.

We take breathing for granted. Our wonderful autonomic nervous system keeps our heart beating and our lungs filling and releasing without any thought or specific effort from us.

But what if we would make a conscious effort to be better breathers, especially if it can improve our health?

The first time I heard about Heart Rate Variability (HRV), I thought surely I misunderstood because it seemed so counterintuitive.

HRV is the slight variation in the intervals between our heartbeats. And get this: the greater the variation, the better. A high variation indicates a state of calm. Is it just me or does that strike you as backward?

Why do we want to increase HRV? An article from Harvard Health Publishing calls HRV “an interesting marker for resilience and behavioral flexibility.”

It helps us deal with stress. It makes us more resilient and flexible in difficult times. Some studies show it lowers our blood pressure.

An article from the National Institute of Health Library says that, “Over the years, reduced HRV has been found to be associated with the development of many cardiovascular conditions, including coronary artery disease, hypertension, chronic heart failure, and myocardial infarction, as well as poorer cardiovascular outcomes in those who already have disease. In contrast, a heart rate that is variable and responsive to demands is believed to bestow a survival advantage.

A survival advantage!  I want one of those.

We can learn to increase our HRV through practiced slow rhythmic breathing for about ten minutes a day. The second link below can guide you through the practice of taking six breaths a minute. Most healthy adults take between 12-20 breaths per minute, so a practice of slowing down, taking just six per minute will feel different at first.

The chart below shows how this works. On the left-hand side is the inhalation breath. Then there is a slight pause. On the right is the longer exhale, also with a pause before you inhale again.

There are various pacers online. If you choose another one, be sure to use one that includes the two pauses and has the exhalation longer than the inhalation.

I’ve included four links because it’s likely a new topic for many of my readers. The first link is Dr. Gevirtz lecturing while a volunteer is demonstrating biofeedback while practicing this rhythmic breathing. While he isn’t the greatest speaker, he knows his stuff.

Obviously, we cannot breathe like this all day long. What I found is that after practicing the breathing pattern for a couple weeks, I no longer needed to watch the pacer. Now whenever I need to be calm, need to reset my thinking, want to “settle down,” I slip into the breathing pattern. When you are able to do this on your own (without a screen), it is a wonderful method for falling to sleep.

Obviously, if you have existing health issues, consult a doctor before you make any changes to your routine.

“Our life is defined by breath. We take our first the moment we are born and our last the moment we die. Our breath is the means by which we are connected to the universe.”  — Dr. Robert Fulford

So yes, please do take a deep breath.

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Demonstration & Explanation by Dr. Richard Gevirtz

Respiration pacer 

Harvard article explaining HRV 

NIH Library article 

Ten Things I Meant To Tell You

Ten things

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

When my niece Jen was expecting her first baby eight years ago, I sent her a card that included my list of “Ten Things I Meant To Tell You About Having a Baby.”

Yes, I realize we’re not in the “little house on the prairie” way of life where one woman actually NEEDS to distill her knowledge and experience about becoming a first-time mom to a younger relative.

We are, in fact, overwhelmed with information on how to do just about anything. I just Googled “how to video” and came up with these initial responses:  how to make slime, how to fold a fitted sheet, how to tie shoes, how to crochet, how to cut a mango, and yes…even how to make a “how to” video.

There is even a site devoted to “how to” called Howcast. (Link is below.)

We have ready access to books and magazines (online or actual) with information galore on how to be a success in countless topics.

But the kind of advice I gave her wasn’t about being an expert in parenting or how to win “mom of the year.” It was just down-to-earth, heartfelt advice from Aunt Norma.

I would share it in its entirety if I could find it. But eight years is a long time. That baby is now a big amazing boy!

“Sleep when the baby sleeps.”  “Dirty dishes in the sink will still be there later; it’s OK.” Those were two of my top ten.

When we over-research “how to” something, we reach a saturation point. We can’t take it all in. We find ourselves second-guessing which expert’s way is the best. Because sometimes “experts” contradict each other!

Apparently, marketers aren’t aware that we are tired of reading the online articles that proclaim, “The top six life hacks you can’t afford to ignore!”

Enough of the hype.

We long for simple advice from someone who loves us.

Speak up. Share your story.

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Site devoted to “how to” videos

Some top video examples

Get Well Soon Even If You Can’t

Well

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

When someone we know has broken her arm, we send an optimistic get-well card that conveys our good wishes for quick and complete bone mending.

If a friend has the flu, we commiserate and say we hope he feels better soon.

But what do we offer up when we learn someone has been diagnosed with a debilitating disease from which there is no recovery? And what kind of card can we send when we learn that someone we know has been pronounced terminally ill?

Too often we say nothing because we don’t know what to say.

I remember five years ago when my friend Jonathan, diagnosed with terminal cancer, came to the home office to sign papers, turn in equipment, and say his goodbyes to people he had worked with for many years. When he reached my office toward the end of the day, I enfolded him in my arms. Letting go, I felt compelled to say something.

“Jon, I’d be honored do a Bible reading at your funeral.”

I’ll never forget the look on his face. At first I thought it was shock because the two of us hadn’t really been friends. Then I realized that clearly he was relieved that someone had verbally acknowledged that he was dying.

It’s difficult to talk about a life that will be ending. And it seems even harder when we know that the person’s final days will be marked with extreme pain.

I realize that each person has his/her own level of privateness and that not everyone would want to or choose to talk about the soon-to-be-end of their life.

But if I were ever to be in that position, I would hate for people to tiptoe around the subject. I would not want people to send me cheery “get well quickly” or “feel better soon” cards if that was not a possibility.  I’d rather hear the truth—“I know you’re not going to get better and I’m so sorry.”

And then I’d want to hear what I meant to them. “Because of the time that you…When you took the time to…You were a tremendous influence on my life because…”

Over this summer I attended a hands-on healing service for a dear friend. Throughout the service the priest recounted all of her strengths and virtues, the unselfish way she has lived her life, the role model she has been for the rest of us.

At the close of the service, one by one each person went up to our friend as she knelt at the altar. We touched her head and whispered something special to her.

Afterward she shared what a moving experience this service was for her. She was quick to explain that her tears were ones of joy. “I wish everyone could experience a life-affirming event like this. When someone is gone from the earth, it’s too late. How wonderful to hear this when I’m still alive!”

When someone you know has a serious health issue, especially if the outlook does not look rosy, remember my friend’s pure elation. Summon your courage and speak up from the heart.

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An aside: Finding a card for someone who is terminally ill isn’t easy. Although I haven’t ordered from them yet, I did find a site called GreetingCardUniverse.com that has a nice selection of cards for Hospice patients. Last night they noted a promotion called Fall189 where the cards are $1.89 each if you buy a minimum of five cards, and there’s free shipping for ten cards. I do not receive any commission from purchases. I’m simply passing along what appears to be a site that offers cards for a wide range of circumstances.

 

 

 

 

There’s An Imposter In Our Midst

Imposter

Photo courtesy of Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash

You read last Tuesday’s article, right? If not, read it here now because it ties into today’s post. Go ahead. We’ll wait for you to catch up. Raise your hand when you’re ready to move on.

OK just admit it. You were highly impressed not only by Capt. Sullenberger’s piloting skills, but also his exemplary decision making, his executive calmness, and his ultra-focused “I have 155 souls on board to save” attitude.

One of the dreams Sully has in the movie version of the Miracle on the Hudson story depicts Katie Couric broadcasting the way so many news stories are presented today; she hints that there may be more to the story than is being presented and asks the viewing audience, “So is Sully a hero or is he a fraud?”

I love that scene because in an actual Couric interview about a month after the forced water landing, Capt. Sullenberger tells her this: “One of the hardest things for me to do in this whole experience was to forgive myself for not having done something else, something better, something more complete…I don’t know.”

Something better? Something more complete? Like what?

He also said that in the period immediately after the event he replayed the situation endlessly, and he began to question himself. He went through a loop of “what if’s?” and “did we make the best choices?” and “were we aware of everything we could have been aware of?”

This very common reaction has the title of “imposter syndrome.”  Psychologists name it “impostor phenomenon.”

A review published in the International Journal of Behavioral Science says that at some point, an estimated 70% of people experience these types of feelings: that we are a phony, a fraud, an imposter.

It can also manifest as thinking that we are NOT actually smart or wise or talented or qualified or accomplished or a good student and quick learner and instead –Hey, we were just lucky. We don’t deserve the spotlight, the accolades, the promotion, the applause, the success.

And as with any phony, fraud, or imposter, we carry a deep-set fear: Someone is going to find out sooner or later.

When first identified in the late 70s, psychologists believed that this was a women’s disorder. But now it’s recognized as affecting men and women alike, from young people to the elderly.

I’ll admit to feeling this myself at times. The night before I’m to speak to an audience, I find myself thinking, “Why do they want to hear me? Surely someone else knows more about this subject and can speak more proficiently on it than I can.”

Yes, even though I’ve been psyched up to speak for weeks, and know I have a killer presentation, and recognize that I have rehearsed many hours…even so, that old “who do you think you are?” voice can begin whispering in my ear.

Fortunately, when I realize what I’m doing, I just tell it to shut up and go away.

That’s one of the first steps of overcoming imposter syndrome; recognizing what you’re feeling. I’ve included a link below to a Time.com article that provides helpful information on it and offers ideas on overcoming the distressing ailment.

Because if it can affect a hero like Capt. Sullenberger, it can happen to anyone.

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Couric interview. The section noted above begins at 3:47.

Excellent Time.com article with suggestions on dealing with Imposter Syndrome

The Pills In The Bottle Go Round and Round

Pills in bottle

Photo courtesy of Pina Messina on Unsplash

My last post pointed out that in 2017 the pharmaceutical industry spent six billion dollars on direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs. It turns out that’s just a quarter of what that industry spent in marketing those same drugs to the healthcare profession.

Yep…over 24 billion was spent marketing to doctors in medical journals, at meetings and educational symposiums, and providing free samples, according to a 2017 Consumer Report article.

Note: The FDA budget is around five billion dollars, yet the pharmaceutical industry outspends that amount in advertising.

To quote Bruno Mars, “Say what?”

Per a spokesperson from PhRMA (The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, formerly known as the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association) the money was spent to build a relationship with the healthcare providers and to ensure that the providers “have the latest, most accurate science-based information available regarding prescription medicine.”

We are a nation of over-prescribed people. One expert has noted that we are a “culture encouraged by intense marketing by drug companies.”

How did this happen? Sometimes we take medicine for conditions we don’t yet have; we may be “pre” something and instead of altering our diet and lifestyle, we’re told to take a pill.

Or perhaps we used to actually need a medicine but don’t anymore. If it’s something we’ve been taking for years, we may not even give it much thought.

And there are numerous real cases described in the literature where something like this happens: An Rx is prescribed for a condition, but that Rx made the patient dizzy, so he was prescribed another pill for the dizziness. But that dizzy-fixer pill caused a mood disorder so then THAT condition needed to be corrected. And, well…you see where this is going.

I’m fortunate to have a family doctor who now evaluates not only my prescription drugs (two) each visit, but he also checks my supplement list since some prescription drugs and supplements taken together can produce negative effects. Consider a blood thinner and baby aspirin being taken together; this could be too much medicine that is aimed at fixing the same issue.

One segment of our population that unnecessary and/or improper prescription drug use affects the most is the elderly. (Personal aside: Many studies categorize “elderly” as over 65. That includes me, and I am highly offended.)

A Washington Post Dec 2017 article was titled: “The other big drug problem—older people taking too many pills.” The term for this is polypharmacy which means this: taking a multitude of medicines, whether they are prescription drugs, OTC treatments, herbal or dietary supplements.

The more that this issue is being brought into the light, the greater the number of healthcare providers there are joining the cause called “deprescribing.” That is the systematic discontinuation of prescriptions that are improper for the patient, duplicative, or simply not needed any longer.

My doctor helped me with some deprescribing last year. Some years back I took an anti-inflammatory for arthritis. Since that can be rough on the upper gastrointestinal system, I also took Omeprazole, a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), that is often prescribed for acid reflux or heartburn. In fact, PPIs are one of the most commonly used classes of drugs prescribed in the US.

Research is now showing that long-term use of PPIs can be linked to various health issues such as increased risk of bone fractures and serious kidney damage. So I wanted OFF that medication. My doctor set up a plan to wean me from the PPI rather than just stopping it.

Where am I going with this post? I want you to be aware of what I’ve shared. No, I am not a doctor and to be crystal clear, I am NOT offering medical advice of any kind.

I am suggesting that you take this action: Type up a list of every prescription, over-the-counter medicine, and supplement you take. Note the name, strength, quantity, and time of day you take each one.

For instance, this is what the supplement Curcumin looks like on my own list:  Curcumin, 40 mg, 1 daily in the morning

Then at your next checkup or visit, have your doctor review your list to make certain your medications are what you truly need to live your healthiest life.  This is an idea seconded by Consumer Reports. Last year the group designated October 21 as National Check Your Meds Day. So make your list now!

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Link to an article on polypharmacy