Sunday, December 30, 2012

Welcome to 2013!

Every man should be born again on the first day of January.  Start with a fresh page.  Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past.  ~Henry Ward Beecher

The Old Year has gone.  Let the dead past bury its own dead.  The New Year has taken possession of the clock of time.  All hail the duties and possibilities of the coming twelve months!  ~Edward Payson Powell

We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.  ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this:  To rise above the little things.  ~John Burroughs

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas-Peg Bracken

There has been only one Christmas, the rest are anniversaries-W.J. Cameron

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Quick Math

Mr. P., an 82 year old, has insomnia.

"It makes for a long night, doesn't it?" I said.

"It sure does. I try to pass the time by counting all my money and savings in my head. It's just that I don't have a whole lot and can finish in a few minutes," said Mr. P. (as he laughed).

Not so common lately

Calvin E. Stowe (1802-1886) was an American biblical scholar who is quoted as saying, "Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are and doing things as they ought to be done."

It's amazing how one short sentence can offer such wisdom.

Old faithful

Mr. M. let me know that he would never try to be intimate with the women who sleeps in his bed at night and helps him throughout the day because he has never cheated on his wife.

Mrs. M., his wife of over 60 years, is his 24/7 caregiver.

As his dementia became more advanced, Mr. M. started to think that Mrs. M. is just a women who is there to help him. He's not sure what happened to his wife.

Mrs. M. gets a little teary eyed talking about it but she also realizes he was always good to her and never gave her any reason to think he was being unfaithful. In some ways he has more than confirmed that he has always been a "good man."

I agreed.

Good thinking

Mr. M. has advanced dementia.

He was sitting back in a recliner with two, three year old, chiwawas by his side on my arrival-one sitting on his chest and the other between his legs.

I finally asked him their names.

"Come here," said Mr. M..

Before I could ask any further questions his wife let me know they weren't given "official" names because of his poor memory.

"He just calls them come here. They never leave his side."

"Come here makes perfect sense," I said, "but are they at least come here 1 and come here 2?"

"No, just come here," confirmed his wife.

I smiled, Mrs. M. chuckled and Mr. M. sort of laughed.

All involved sure seem to be content.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Good advice!

You know. . . Time has a way of moving quickly
And catching you unaware of the passing years.
It seems just yesterday that I was young,
Just married and embarking on my new life with my mate.
And yet in a way, it seems like eons ago,
And I wonder where all the years went.
I know that I lived them all...
And I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams...
But, here it is... The winter of my life and it catches me by surprise...
How did I get here so fast? 
Where did the years go and where did my youth go?
I remember well...
Seeing older people through the years and thinking that those
Older people were years away from me and that winter was so far off
That I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like...
But, here it is...
My friends are retired and getting grey...
They move slower and I see an older person now.
Some are in better and some worse shape than me...
But, I see the great change...
Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant...
But, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those
Older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd be.

Each day now, 

I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! 
And taking a nap is not a treat anymore... it's mandatory! 
'Cause if I don't on my own free will... I just fall asleep where I sit!
And so, now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared
For all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability
To go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!!

Yes, I have regrets.
There are things I wish I hadn't done...
Things I should have done, but indeed,
There are many things I'm happy to have done. 
It's all in a lifetime...
So, if you're not in your winter yet...
Let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think.
Whatever you would like to accomplish in your life, 

please do it quickly! 
Don't put things off too long!!
Life goes by quickly.  So, do what you can today,
As you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not!
You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life...
So, live for today and 

say all the things you want your loved ones to remember...
And hope they appreciate and love you for all the things
You have done for them in all the years past!!

Life is a gift to you.

The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after.
Make it a fantastic one.

~ And, Remember ~

"It is health that is real wealth
And not pieces of gold or silver."
~Author, Unknown

Sandy Hook post script

twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.
their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
they were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.
they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
"where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
"this is heaven." declared a small boy. "we're spending Christmas at God's house."
when what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King
and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.
and as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."
then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"
"may this country be delivered from the hands of fools"
"I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"
then He and the children stood up without a sound.
"come now my children, let me show you around."
excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
and i heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
"in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."

Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA

It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas

Check out this flash mob when you get a chance:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gold exchange

Mr. P. is 83 years old and still has a great sense of humor.

As I was getting ready to leave his home he wanted to remind me of something:

"You know how everyone says these are supposed to be my golden years. I'm learning real quick that they are only the golden years for the doctors. They get to take all the gold from us old folks."

He laughed and so did I but it's also sad...but often very true.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

"Y" Oscar?

Oscar is a morning fixture at the Crosby YMCA every morning.

The local television station ran a short segment on him today.

Here's the site:

I always used to ask him how he could get to the "Y" so early everyday (by about 5 AM).

"It's easy," he says, "I've been up since 3:30 AM."

Good answer.

He's a friend to all and an amazing man.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Won't forget the picture, will you?

Mr. O. is sure to find some nail particles around his living room for some time to come.

The living room was the room he choose to have his toenails clipped for the first time in a couple of years yesterday.

I did my best to keep the clippings from flying away but every once in a while I would hear a piece landing a second or so at a distant site after the "snap" of the clippers.

He had onychogryphosis, also known as Ram's horn nails.

It's a tough word to remember.

It's easier to remember of picture (this was not my patient but was very similar):

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Simple pleasures

Mr. O. has been bed bound for awhile.

I spent part of our visit trimming his toenails that hadn't been cut in a very long time.

My nurse had given me a heads-up and I was able to borrow a heavy duty pair of clippers from the podiatry department before going to his home.

Mr. O. is a very ill man with multiple medical problems.

There's no cure or hope for significant improvement for most of his medical concerns.

Cutting his toenails, however, sure seemed to make his day.

Seeing how thankful he was to have such a simple thing done sure made mine.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

None for me

The months issue of Men's Health is packed full of Christmas ideas:

The RoadID is a rubber bracelet worn by an individual who runs and "may get into trouble" because of distracted drivers, loose dogs, chaotic intersections and the unknown. It has all your identifying information, I gather, so that if you are down and nonverbal, the driver who accidentally hit you can identify you when, hopefully, he/she calls for help.

Fresh Balls is a product for men designed specifically to relieve the moisture and uncomfortable feeling of sweaty balls (I'm not kidding). It's recommended to be part of your daily grooming routine (

Finally the Cocksox looks like bikini underwear but reports to being great support for sports while supplying ultimate comfort ( The advertisement doesn't  mention sizes available but I would suspect most men would only want it ordered in large, even if they didn't need it.

I don't run outside (it didn't say it was recommended for walking outside), I've never had the sweaty balls concern (or at least been uncomfortable by it), and I've never liked constricting underwear.

Maybe the next issue will have some other ideas?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A change of heart

A car with darkly tinted windows yesterday was stalking me, for my parking space, as I walked to my car.

I hate the feeling although I had to admit that the spot I was getting ready to vacate represented the only soon to be open spot.

I said various curse words under my breath.

I had an armful of things-briefcase, two cell phones, beeper, notebook, etc..

I accidentally drop everything prior to getting into my car.

I cursed out loud and gave the driver of the car stalking me my meanest look.

I thought I picked up everything.

About an hour later I realized I didn't have my wallet.

I returned back to the office.

I looked in and around the car that had taken my place.

Finally I stopped at the security desk of the building.

My wallet was there-all contents intact and accounted for.

My arch-enemy car stalker had turned it in.

I no longer cursed this individual.

I was pretty darn thankful!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Hold on to them there teeth!

Ever wonder why dentists work so hard to help patients retain their natural teeth for as long as possible? Would not it just be better, in many patients with poor teeth, to just pull them all and replace with full dentures?

Full dentures have only 10% the chewing power of natural teeth, and it’s difficult to get them to fit satisfactorily, particularly in the lower jaw (mandibular arch). Even if a patient retains one tooth, that will contribute to the denture’s stability. However, retention of just one or two teeth in the upper jaw does not contribute much to the overall stability of the denture, since a full upper denture tends to be very stable, in contrast to a full lower denture. It’s thus advised that patients keep their natural teeth as long as possible, especially their lower teeth.

I sort of find this information interesting, don’t you? I’ll end here to go floss.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

1/2 man

Mr. B. is only 63 years old but he remarks that he is half the man that he used to be, and then laughs.

He had bilateral above the knee amputations due to severe peripheral vascular disease during his late 40's.

He kept me laughing during most of our visit together.

He may be half a man but he appears to have a better outlook on life than most complete men I come across these days.

He clearly doesn't sweat the small stuff.

In fact, he let me know he thinks it's weird that he only sweats on the upper half of his body.

Yup, he then let out a hearty laugh again, and so did I.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Organized to a fault

95 y/o Mr. F. knows he's a hoarder but he doesn't like to think in those terms.

He prefers to call it "pride of possessions."

The only furnishings in his one bedroom apartment are a recliner, one bureau, two desks and a stool (where I sat).

The rest of the apartment is basically floor to ceiling home made shelves with carefully marked and stacked plastic containers and isles just wide enough to walk through.

I so wanted to ask his permission to take a picture but it would not have done it justice.

He seems to know exactly where everything is located.

Even screws are boxed according to length-listed both in inches and millimeters.

I reached for my pen to write a note and realized I had left it in my car.

No worries-right next to the recliner-that serves as his day chair and his bed-were 5 containers marked 1.Pencils 2. Black ink stick pens 3. Blue ink stick pens 4. Click pens and 5. Felt tip markers.

I guess he thought I looked like a click pen sort of guy.

As I was using it I couldn't help but ponder what year it might have been made.

Welcome to the poo

There was a sign near the front door of the home of Mr. P..

"Welcome to the Zoo."

I could hear dogs barking once I rang the doorbell.

Once inside I met the three border collies, three cats, and periodically ducked as the two cockatiels, who had free reign of the house, flew by.

Mr. P. had a good size spot of bird droppings on the left shoulder of his T-shirt.

It didn't seem to bother him so I wasn't going to let it bother me.

Mr. P. was happy, in relatively good shape given his assortment of medical problems and all nine inhabitants of the home seem to get along well together.

I did find a mirror on my return to the office, however, to make sure I was poo free after my visit to the zoo.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Early TV death?

Researchers from the University of Queensland report that for every hour of TV watched, after age 25, life expectancy dropped by 22 minutes. By comparison, smoking one cigarette reduced life expectancy by 11 minutes.

Those who watched the most TV a day-six hours-lived 4.8 years less than those who watched none.

One letter to the editor questioned if it’s just a coincidence that for every hour of TV, approximately 22 minutes are advertisements.

So…if/when enjoying a night of relaxation watching TV, every time a commercial comes up, drop to the floor and do some push-ups, sit-ups or run in place. Just don’t run to the kitchen for more snacks (my recommendation only).

Reference: Br J Sports Med doi:10.1136/bjsm.2011.085662