August 11, 2009
While doing research for my upcoming presentation at the Larimer County September Symposium, I found a fascinating study from 2004 on womens’ perceptions of aging. Here’s a PDF of the full presentation and findings.
The psychologists involved in this study questioned 1,000 healthy, physically fit, active women age 18-86 (average age 41) about various aspects of aging and the fear they felt.
Overall they found that health challenges, money problems and fear of loneliness rated the highest among all of the women questioned. After that, loss of emotional well-being, loss of a mate, and fear of a spiritual void followed in importance, along with fear of death.
The highest overall levels of fear were found among women age 20-29, and the least among those 70 and older. Women who were separated or never married were found to be most fearful and women in their 40s-60s were found to be most confident. Women who were self-employed were most confident regardless of time projections.
Perhaps the most interesting finding was that aging concerns differ greatly by age and marital status.
June 25, 2009
After struggling for over a year with some difficult and confusing symptoms which emerged after a traumatic brain injury last May, I finally did the needed research yesterday. I found that I have been contending with a well-known set of symptoms called post-concussion syndrome.
I know, I’ve made a few jokes about my spaced out condition, but I finally decided my difficulties were no joke to me because they continue to get in the way of my work and my relationships with others.
Here are some of the primary symptoms of post-concussion syndrome:
- Attention deficits, difficulty sustaining mental effort
- Impulsivity, irritability
- Low frustration threshold
- Temper outbursts and mood changes
- Learning and memory problems
- Impaired planning and problem solving
- Lack of initiative
- Dissociation between thought and action
- Communication difficulties
- Socially inappropriate behaviors
- Self-centeredness and lack of insight
- Poor self-awareness
- Impaired balance, dizziness and headaches
Medications and cognitive rehabilitation have been found to be ineffective in treating these symptoms, but neurotherapy (EEG biofeedback) has found some success in teaching the injured patient how to promote normal functioning in the brain by normalizing dysfunctional brainwave patterns.
April 11, 2009
Being desperate for some sort of relief from my ongoing foot infection/rash, I visited a naturopathic doctor yesterday. From him I learned about how serious our iodine deficiencies are in this country, especially in the middle of the country with no access to the ocean.
Being the curious, researching sort, I then read a book about this subject: IODINE: Why you need it, why you can’t live without it and afterwards could not believe that I had never heard about this before. We are most definitely not getting what we need from our daily salt intake. I am taking an iodine supplement for now!
For a nice concise summary of the issues involved go read this simple two pager.
My dietician advised that we should never take more than 200-400 mcgs of iodine per day. It’s easily available as Kelp at the health food store.
January 8, 2009
Just finished Wally Lamb’s third novel, and what a book it is! I thoroughly enjoyed She’s come undone by Wally. Could not believe how well he captured the internal life of an emotionally disturbed, obese young woman in that book!
This new one is the story of the ultimate midlife crisis. In the midst of dealing with the common midlife issue of burying a beloved aunt who helped to raise him, Caelum Quirk finds himself working in the same school where the Columbine massacre occurred. He happens to miss that day of school because of his aunt’s funeral, but his wife Maureen, the school nurse, barely misses annihilation by hiding in a cabinet in the Columbine library. There she develops a lifelong case of PTSD while listening to the killers shoot a number of her students to death.
To Caelum’s credit, he sticks it out with his damaged wife, moving back to his family farm in Connecticut. This novel is the story of all he discovers about himself by loving his wife through thick and thin while also learning about his crazy family history in the process.
This is also the story of what violence does to people through time. The violence others do to us, and the violence we do to ourselves through not acknowledging our own human frailty.
Caelum knows when he returns to the family farm in Connecticut, that there are far too many memories there for him. His line: “The place was radioactive with memories” was a standout.
But, to his credit, he stays and works through it all, solving many mysteries about how he came to be. In the end, he is rewarded with a much better life. He confronts the crisis instead of trying to run away from it once again.
Though definitely long and very convoluted, this novel is well worth sticking with to the end.