man with diabetes sign

The Silent Dangers of Diabetes

Today, March 28th, is American Diabetes Alert Day.  I am dedicating this blog post to alerting people to the facts of this disease, especially to Type 2 Diabetes.

I confess that when I was younger I knew little to nothing about the disease called diabetes.  My awareness really began because a friend of mine discovered she had it.  Besides being a friend, this lady was also a dental patient who I took care of.  In observing this woman, I would have never suspected that she’d be diagnosed with diabetes.  The biggest misconception I had was that all diabetics are overweight.  My friend was a slim, older lady.  If anything, she needed to put on a few pounds!  However, from a dental perspective, I knew that something was wrong.  As I continued to see her for dental cleanings, her periodontal (gum) condition steadily deteriorated.  That, plus the fact that she had a really high rate of decay, made me suspect she was in a different category from my other patients.  At first I thought the problem was poor nutrition.  She admitted to eating a limited variety of foods and not taking vitamins.  I figured that possibly she was really suffering from a lack of vitamin C and recommended she both add citrus fruits to her diet and start taking a good multivitamin.  I also stressed that she really needed to step up her oral hygiene and I scheduled more frequent cleanings at our office for her. Continue reading

crocuses

Hello Spring…and a free gift!

Oh, how I love spring!  

Along with the other new beginnings that I’ve mentioned enjoying in previous blog posts (New Year’s Day, mornings), spring is a fresh start.  Here are just a few things I love about this time of year:

  • Fringy leaves on trees.  Fully developed leaves in the summer are nice for shade, but there spring treesis something about the delicate nature of leaves when they are just starting to pop.  This is an advantage to living in the Midwest and being rewarded for enduring the bare winters.  The new leaves give a fresh appreciation of God’s creation.
  • New flowers to discover.  I have planted a number of flowers in our flower beds throughout the years we’ve been at this house.  I don’t claim to have a green thumb and there are definitely plants that haven’t fared too well, despite my efforts.  However, I love the excitement of seeing the various colors emerge, so I keep planting more.   Squirrels have a plan of their own and I’ve caught the little rascals in the process of redistributing what I have planted.   One year, I bought a bunch of mail-order bulbs to plant in the fall.  Since none of my crocuses have stayed where I put them, I questioned whether I should even bother to plant any other bulbs.  A friend told me that I should cover the bulbs with screen to keep the squirrels away.  Smiling to myself, as I imagined thwarting my garden thieves, I went off to buy some screen.  The screen I bought at the local hardware store was in a large piece, but not large enough to cover my whole bed.  So I cut it into about 12″ sections and plunked a piece of screen on top of each bulb in the hole and then refilled the hole with dirt.  Well, the squirrels (not to mention the neighbors) must have been laughing in the spring.  Instead of tulips emerging, I was growing screen!  As each bulb sprouted, the tulip pushed the screen right out in front of it, so that there were little hillocks of screens all over!  Oh, I wish I had a picture to show you!!!
  • Returning birds.  I took an ornithology class in 8th grade in an attempt to avoid chemistry and other difficult classes.  Although I’m still convinced that my teacher was crazy (he cut off a chicken’s head and invited us to watch what happened – I declined), I learned more from this class than from almost any other middle school class…and most of my high school classes!  I enjoy watching the birds.  My favorite birds are Sandhill Cranes.  I have seen some recently in a nearby community, so I know it is just a matter of time until they come to visit my neighborhood.
  • Warmer temperatures.  It is so refreshing to be able to walk outside rather than on our treadmill in our dreary basement.  The earthy smell of spring that replaces the musty smell of our lower level definitely adds to my walking enjoyment.
  • Thunderstorms.  I really miss thunderstorms in the winter.  I have been known to pull back the drapes that we’ve closed in the evening just to see the light display.  I enjoy the flash and then trying to guess when the rumble will come.  The only time I don’t enjoy thunderstorms is when I’m caught outside when they start up.

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birthday cake and candles

Having a Happy Birthday

Today is my birthday.  I feel a little funny about broadcasting that fact.  It smacks with self-exultation and attempts to solicit well wishing from others.  That is not me.  I have always felt an embarrassment creep over me when the candles on the cake are lit and everyone starts into “Happy Birthday to YOU!”.  The stares I received as a child were only compounded when I got married and found that some of my husband’s family added to the verses, making me want to melt into the cake along with the dripping wax.  The reason I decided to reveal this fact is that I wanted to write about our perceptions of birthdays as we grow older.  Continue reading

When all seems dark

Hello, thought I’d jump in with a surprise post.  I wasn’t planning on sending one out until Tuesday, however I thought I’d tell you about something that happened this last week.  Since I already have my posting for Tuesday written, I figured I’d just share a message of encouragement now.

This past Tuesday and Wednesday we had extreme winds in our area.  The winds gusted to over 60 mph and they just lasted and lasted.  I’d sit in my house listening to the constant wail and wonder if that is what the moors sound like that I’ve only read about it books.  It was an eerie sound.

On Wednesday afternoon our electricity went out.  We later learned that before it was over, this wind storm took out the power at a record 800,000 homes.  I wasn’t too worried.  I had been feeling tired anyway and I just took a nap.  Besides, we had a gas fireplace, a gas portable generator, and the temperatures had been warmer than usual.

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It can’t be morning already!

You hear that dreadful noise coming through your dream.  That constant and annoying sound that just keeps going on and on.  You struggle to make sense of the repetition and slowly your mind sharpens to the point that you can make out that the irritation is your alarm clock going off.  You reach an arm out from under your warm cocoon and are startled by the frigid air.  Fumbling around, you finally locate the snooze button and quickly draw your hand back under the protection of the warm covers.  You snuggle back down into your comfortably warm cloud and float back into the world of tranquility.  You are just getting back to your pleasant dream when the peace is broken by that blaring noise again.  You repeat this process for the next thirty minutes in nine minute intervals before you finally  yield to the electronic pest.

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