One-Word Inspiration and A Story In A Single Image

Choice

CHOICE

What does it mean to have a choice?

Does a child have a choice in what family they are born into?

And do we have a choice in how we are taught?

Does a child have a choice in the body they are given?

in the country they’re born into?

Or the religion (or no religion) they are raised in?

A child comes into the world trusting.

Can that child be the person they were created to be?

Or will that child be limited in the choices available to them?

It’s a wonderful, expansive world  with so many choices both good and bad.

Are we letting those we love have the freedom to learn and grow?

Or are we binding them with narrow walls that attempt to keep them

within our own small world?

Choices ~ how to teach a child to think and follow their own path…

to believe in themselves.

How to help them make the best choices for themselves.

How to let go of them and let them take that leap!

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Choice ~ Take that Leap

This post is a combination of two assignments for Writing 101.  We had a choice out of six words to pick one that spoke to us and that we wanted to write about.  The other assignment was to pick a single image that inspired us.  So I picked “Choice” as my one word and two images that I felt represented what I wrote.  Be well and be happy!

Me in the Middle of the World of Walking ~ Part 3

This is my third post on a course I’m taking.  Walking has been my exercise of choice whether at the fitness center, traveling, or walking around the neighborhood where I live.

When OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) with the University of Virginia offered the Fall Course ~ The World of Walking ~, I was totally on-board.  What could this instructor, Dan Kulund, possibly introduce us to about ‘Walking’ that would fill up a six-week, hour and half weekly class on The World of Walking.  My first post on The World of Walking covered some of the styles of walking and tips on good walking form.  My Second Post (here) covers some of the interesting history of City Walking and how things have changed.  This third post covers country walking and tips on using a walking stick.  

Dr. Kulund, a retired orthopedist, is an expert at walking and its health benefits.  The class is educational in both the slide presentations of the history of walking plus the experience of walking in a group and learning exercises and techniques along the way.

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Walking Stick

Walking Sticks

I bought my walking stick at the museum gift shop at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.  Now that I’ve taken this course and learned a few exercises you can do as your walking along the trail, I’ll be bring my walking stick along with me when I walk the Saunders-Monticello Trail. 

  • PUSH:  Up over your head ~ Out in front
  • PULL:  Curls; Half-jacks from waist up;
  • MIXED:  Squats using stick for support; Lunges (step back/drop knee to ground) 

In my area we also have a neurologist designed of special walking sticks called Neuro Staff.   (You can go to his website by clicking on the link)  You might be able to  find a similar product in your area.

The Staff of Asclepius is a medical symbol and refers to the Greek God of Healing:

 

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“The object of walking is to relax the mind. You should therefore not permit yourself even to think while you walk. But divert your attention by the objects surrounding you. Walking is the best possible exercise.”

~ Thomas Jefferson ~

Country Walking

Country Walking

Me in the Middle of the World of Walking Part 2

 

Pedestrian Walking #2

Image from Pixabay

This is my second post on a course I’m taking.  Walking has been my exercise of choice whether at the fitness center, traveling, or walking around the neighborhood where I live.

When OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) with the University of Virginia offered the Fall Course ~ The World of Walking ~, I was totally on-board.  What could this instructor, Dan Kulund, possibly introduce us to about ‘Walking’ that would fill up a six-week, hour and half weekly class on The World of Walking.  My first post on The World of Walking covered some of the styles of walking and tips on good walking form.  This second post covers some of the interesting history of City Walking and how things have changed.  Dr. Kulund, a retired orthopedist, is an expert at walking and its health benefits.  The class is educational in both the slide presentations of the history of walking plus the experience of walking in a group and learning exercises and techniques along the way.

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I’ve always wondered why they called it JAYWALKING, haven’t you?

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There was a time when folks in the city would walk all over and being a pedestrian was the most common form of getting around besides the horse and buggy.  Trolley cars came on the scene and traveled 10 miles per hour so it was easy for pedestrians to safely coexist on city streets with street cars traveling along on their tracks.  There were no curbs, no sidewalks ……… just trolley cars and walkers. 

Along came the automobile in the 1930’s and with it the ever increasing speed of transit.  Over the years it’s become a safety issue for pedestrians to find safe places to walk.  As speed limits changed by law it was found that deaths of pedestrians did also ~ @ 20 MPH 1 out of 10 deaths, @30 MPH 5 out of 10 deaths and @ 30 MPH 9 out of 10 deaths.  Sidewalks and curbs were included as safety measures to protect walkers.

Trolley Car Conspiracy

 

Now there’s a movement to return to lower speed limits and pedestrian-only roadways.

Travel By Foot: Walkable Cities Around The World

 

 

 

Me in the Middle of Sleep Apnea (Update)

This is an Update to my Update to my original post about my experience with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and my success with four years of CPAP treatment which has changed my life.

My recent trip to the ER to stabilized my heart rate was a new development that I mentioned at the end of my original post on Sleep Apnea. 

After a visit to my cardiologist for an Echocardiogram and Nuclear Stress Test, and wearing a 24-hour holter monitor, I was sent to see an Electrophysiologist.  Finally, I have a diagnosis of AVNRT (Atrioventricular Nodal Reentry Tachycardia) and am scheduled for a Cardiac Ablation next month. 

AVNRT is a form of supraventricular tachycardia that has been with me for awhile over the years and will only get worse as I get older.  There are also signs that Untreated Sleep Apnea is connected with the development of heart arrythmias.  My sleep apnea went untreated and undiagnosed for a long time. 

So ……. here I am!  Cardiac Ablation has few risks and will eliminate the abnormality so I’ll be feeling much better going forward.  

“Atrioventricular nodal reentry tachycardia (AVNRT), a form of supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), is the most common narrow-complex tachycardic arrhythmia in healthy individuals and only second to atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter in the general population.”

Supraventricular Tachycardia

“In people with OSA, repeated episodes of falling oxygen levels lead to a variety of physiological changes that affect the heart and blood vessels. During these episodes, the heart is stressed, which increases blood pressure and heart rate.”

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

~ So, treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea is very important as it appears to be connected to heart arrhythmias if left untreated ~

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~ Original Post ~

 

This post is a wee bit longer than my usual posts.  Awareness is Important!

It’s been four years since I started treatment for Severe Sleep Apnea.  It’s changed my life!  Or maybe I should say that I never realized before just how my living with undiagnosed/untreated sleep apnea over the years had affected my life.

OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) is one of the most under-diagnosed conditions that can ultimately lead to serious, life-threatening consequences if left untreated.  It affects men, women and children; overweight and thin … and it has many causes.

Upon reaching my 70th birthday, what I considered to be a fairly healthy life began to spiral downward with a series of symptoms that were puzzling for both me and my doctors.  Over the years I had had what seemed to be age-related medical issues that I was quick to address for the best outcome.  Looking back, in hindsight, I can now connect the dots to what I’ve come to understand were symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

There were times over the past 30 plus years where I struggled with low energy, feelings of depression, racing heart, nausea, fainting spells and anxiety.  Coping with everyday stresses were also complicated by the early onset of menopause in my late thirties.  Most of the time I approached these symptoms in a proactive way without medication by learning about exercise, diet and mind/body balance techniques.  Never in all my proactive approaches over the  years did I ever learn, nor was it ever brought up by the doctors I’d seen, that I might have Sleep Apnea.  There were thyroid checks, blood tests and heart tests ~ along with reassurances that nothing abnormal was found other than an insignificant tricuspid-valve leakage.  In the early Eighties it was confirmed through FSH blood tests that I was indeed in the middle of early menopause.

Then, as I approached my seventies, symptoms became more troubling.  The expected onset of spinal stenosis, along with a family history of joint replacements, were complicated by vascular symptoms in my legs where I would lose control of coordination and feeling.  There was a series of surgeries over the next years for EVLT (Edo-Venous Laser Treatment), Lumbar Laminectomy and, last but not least, THR (Total Hip Replacement).  It was while I was in the hospital right after the THR surgery that my son, a cardiologist, saw that I had stopped breathing which immediately confirmed his suspicions that I might have Sleep Apnea.  My cardiologist was contacted and a sleep study was ordered.

Up until that time, it was progressively looking like I was developing A-Fib and Tachycardia.  I was prescribed blood pressure medication and set up with a heart monitor for tracking the events where my heart rate would become so fast that I couldn’t read a pulse.  I’d be waking up many times in the night with my heart pounding so hard I could feel it in my neck.  When walking up an incline I was finding myself short of breath and was attributing it to signs of aging.  A trip to the Emergency Room after I passed out at work forced my decision to stop part-time work.  The ER doctor did all sorts of tests while I was there.  His final diagnosis was Vasovagal Syncope (fainting) and he sent me on my way.  No mention of Sleep Apnea.

Image result for jokes about sleep apnea

So, when I received the call from the Pulmonologist who prescribed the Sleep Study for me four years ago I was stunned by what she told me.  I had Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea!  No way!  AHI 43 events per hour (stopped breathing); Sleep efficiency @ 51%; Oxygen level @ 80% (dangerous).

Sleep Apnea and Women

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Image result for sleep apnea and dementia
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Over the course of the last four years of treatment on CPAP I’ve been catching up on activities that I never had the energy for in the past.  Daily fatigue had drained me in so many ways and I thought I’d have to let go of so much that I’d hoped to do in retirement.  Well, it’s never too late!  It’s never too late to begin writing your story;  It’s never too late to begin watercolor sketching;  It’s never to late to try out on-line dating;  It’s never too late to do foreign travel;  It’s never too late to change your perspective on things; and It’s never too late to be young at heart!
This is the CPAP mask that I’ve found works best for me!  I hardly know that I’ve got it on and now my AHI is <2.0 and my oxygen level is 99%.  I wouldn’t go to sleep without it.
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Image result for dreamwear nasal mask
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All of my symptoms are gone!  No more anxiety, no more racing/pounding heart, no more fainting, no more waking up many times in the night and no more shortness of breath.  Now I get lots of restorative sleep (8 to 9 hours) and I’m dreaming again because I’m spending more time in the very important deep-sleep stages of the sleep cycles.  My blood pressure is back to normal and staying stable.  My medications have been cut in half.
So I hope my sharing my experience will encourage anyone who notices some of these symptoms to ask about having a sleep study done.  And if you are diagnosed with Moderate or Severe Sleep Apnea I hope that you’ll hang in there with the CPAP treatment.  It’s all worth it ….. and it may save your life.
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~ Update ~

The cardiac symptoms have returned in full force after four years on CPAP treatment where I had no Atrial Fib/Atrial Flutter and Atrial Tachycardia symptoms. I spent 5 hours in the ER this week with high blood pressure and high heart rate. The ER team did a great job in stabilizing my heart rate and now it’s a matter of just finding the best medication adjustment for this new development.
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of diagnosing Obstructive Sleep Apnea early on and to encourage anyone in staying with the CPAP treatment. I really believe I wouldn’t have developed this heart condition if mine was discovered sooner. I’ve been blessed in these past four years where treatment gave me back the energy and life that I was meant to have. 🙂

Me in the Middle of The World of Walking

 

Women, Walk, City, Blue, Good Looking

Image from Pixabay

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Walking has been my go-to outlet down through the years.  Whether for exercise, weight-loss, stress-release or just plain relaxation, walking has always served me well.

So, when OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) with the University of Virginia offered the Fall Course ~ The World of Walking ~, I was totally on-board.  What could this instructor, Dan Kulund, possibly introduce us to about ‘Walking’ that would fill up a six-week, hour and half weekly class on The World of Walking.  Over the next few weeks I hope to bring you up-to-date on what we cover.  It’ll be a way for me to reinforce what we’ve learned and pass it on to you.

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Ordinary Human Walks from A to Z

Amble ~ Bounce ~ Creep ~ Dance ~ Eggshell ~ Falter ~ Glide ~ Hobble ~ Idle ~ Jaunt ~ Knock-kneed ~ Lurch ~ March ~ Navigate ~ Plod ~ Quickstep ~ Race ~ Strut ~ Tiptoe ~ Undulate ~ Vacillate ~ Waddle ~ X-ing ~ Yaw ~ Zenwalk  (And many, many more!)  

I was strolling on the moon one day

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Walking Form

Dan Kulund ~ The World of Walking

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healthy-walking-signpost-77422_640

Image by Pixabay