Wellness Forum by Nathan Kagan

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Author: Nathan
December 21, 2012


May 7, 2017

what is real?

Alternate realities.

He was laying in this hospital bed pondering, thinking about what was going on. He vaguely remembered his life, was it a dream maybe? The botanic garden, the colors, sunshine, flowers. Was it just a dream? What is our life, our reality? Reality? What is that-our reality? Who knows. To him, now, it all seemed not that real, maybe a product of his wishful imagination.

He was laying in this room and that was his reality now-this little world-the 4 walls, his bed surrounded by some blinking clicking stuff, his wife…

Maybe this is just a bad dream and he will wake up at home, in his bed, or on the couch just dreaming. Bright day outside, wife working in the garden, birds singing, Luke, his dog, sleeping and probably dreaming of being young and chasing rabbits.

He liked this thought. He was scared of this dark room, of being sick, of not knowing whether he was awake or dreaming.

What is wrong about dreaming, being deep inside your mind, not seeing all this scary stuff?

He glanced at the TV -some show that he did not know, nor cared to know. Why is it in black and white? Something wrong with his eyes? Or the stupid TV is broken?

He looked around with more attention. The things around him- they looked different, not the way he remembered from last time. Was it in his dream or was it real last time in this room? This room? He wasn’t sure anymore. He wasn’t sure of his memory.

Fear crept in. What is wrong with his head? He decided to try to sleep. It will be better in the morning, all will clear up.

On and off he drifted to sleep-lucid dreams, hearing noises, nurse coming and doing something with him and equipment. Eventually, finally, it was getting lighter outside. He could see buildings, cars moving in silence. Something strange about these buildings, the cars. What was it, he tried to analyze, what is bothering him about this picture?

He now could see the room. Again, something was not quite right. What was it? Colors or the lack of colors?

The picture on TV was still black and white-maybe the TV was broken. But other stuff-people, voices, even the air felt strange. Holy shit, I must be losing my mind he panicked.

His wife woke up, moved around, turned to him.

It was her all right. Same women he loved. And yet… He could not quite put his finger on the strangeness, some nuances.

Suddenly he felt lost. He remembered being lost in his dreams, many times. Strange and desperate feeling when you recognize the place – kind of – but at the same time you are lost, have no idea where you are. In his dreams, he was waiting for his wife to find him. But now, here she was and yet he felt lost.

Maybe because of this anxiety, maybe medications, but his mind was working feverishly building explanations. Of course, the first and easiest one was that he was losing it, his mind, his touch with the real world.

Real world-what is it?

There are many theories about our reality, our universe. Multiverse, infinite number of realities. The theory that everything that happened, or could happen is already there and one’s every choice moves you to a certain reality. Realities are constantly crossing – meeting and separating again. That is why the butterfly effect is negligible between realities.

But, he thought, maybe some extreme circumstances cause not a smooth transition but a jump between realities, creating a ripple, a detectable jump.

Maybe his cardiac arrest caused the jump and he is able to detect it.

One thing he knew-no matter what he said trying to describe his feelings, his observations, no one would take it seriously. Most likely he would get more medications.

Do some of these people see anything different, strange about him? If yes, do they just dismiss it as not real? Are they wondering about it or blaming their imagination for this “nonsense”?

He was getting better. Strong enough to walk with a nurse. He talked to the nurses during these walks and noticed some strange unfamiliar words and expressions. He kept this to himself. They noticed it too in me, he was sure of this but he knew the nurses would attribute it to him being an immigrant or not well yet.

In a way, it has been exciting to imagine or maybe to know that he actually travels between realities. An adventure. I don’t care if this is happening just in my head. For him it was real, it was his secret, even from his wife.

The nurse looked at this strange patient, still in a coma. He was delivered to the E.R. after cardiac arrest and doctors managed to revive him and he has been improving.

His breath was deep and even. All vital signs were decent. And yet, he was still in coma.

If there are an infinite number of possible realities, he thought, then I died in some of them. That was an unsettling idea. How would this jumping between realities work? You are sick and this is a stupid idea, he decided, you shouldn’t think about it anymore.

But he couldn’t stop thinking about it. Are these realities subjective and exist for each person? If I die in one reality does that mean this reality ceases to exist?

The nurse could not understand what is happening to this patient and why.

His breathing was getting shallow, vital signs were slowing down. He was dying peacefully, in deep sleep.

The nurse called the doctor. They looked at each other. The doctor was at loss. There was no reason for this. And yet, they are losing this patient.

Finally, he was strong enough and was released from the hospital. He was sick of this place though he could not complain about the service that had been excellent.

He hoped that once he was home and back to normal, all these strange things would go away. All this nuanced strangeness will disappear. And that these dreams mixed with reality, all unfamiliar and yet very familiar – will not be so scary and strange anymore.

Little by little, life returned to normal at home. He slept better, strange dreams that were so real almost disappeared. He enjoyed his wife’s company, kids and grand kids.

And yet, sometimes these strange thoughts, weird feelings would come back and he felt strangely lost. He would push this strangeness away.


The Loop

Author: Nathan
April 27, 2017


 

Possibilities

Dreams, coma and alternate realities.

He tried to look around. Small dimly lit room. Clicking noises, something humming. Flickering. His bed – metal, like a hospital bed. Hospital? What the hell? Window to his right. It was dark outside. He saw his wife looking at him. Where am I, what is going on? Why? Why are we here, not at home? She just looked at him. “You got sick.” Let’s go home he said and started to get up, turned to put his feet on the floor. And he noted some tubes inserted in his body. “What happened to me?” he finally asked? “You got sick and will have to stay here in the hospital for a while.”

But he had a hard time concentrating, keeping his thoughts together. He felt dizzy and thoughts were coming and going in no particular order. He couldn’t remember his questions and her answers. So he kept trying to get up and she softly would explain again where he was. The door was open on the left and the light was coming into the room. He saw TV on the opposite wall in front of him – it was on but no sound. Some show he did not recognize but it made no difference. It was all foggy and unreal – the room, the light, TV, him being here. He would fall asleep, wake up and sleep again. Somebody came through the door – the nurse. She did something with his body, looked at some displays and left. His wife was unfolding the couch and laid down on it.

Little by little the darkness outside retreated and he could see the buildings, the street, cars moving. He did not hear any sound through the windows and all this looked like a silent movie. He did not recognize the street. He tried to get up and go to the toilet several times but again his wife softly stopped him trying to explain that he had a catheter. In a few minutes he tried again and was stopped with the smile and patient explanation. Little by little the world came into focus and his mind started working. But still the whole thing – hospital, being sick, nurses coming and going. Faces of friends, relatives and his kids and grand kids were like a blur. Surreal.

Days went by. Time was stretching and flying by his semiconscious mind poisoned by medications. He dosed off during the day, woke, ate and looked at TV without really watching it. The world outside was getting dark and lighting up in rapid succession. He knew that he did not like any of this. His wife always by his side was his anchor, his connection to the world. He felt the need to be near her at all times, he felt lost when she was not near him. The doctor allowed him to get up and walk with the nurse and that helped his body and mind to get stronger. His wife told him what happened. Cardiac arrest – his heart stopped while they were in the bedroom. She saved his life.

He thought about it, wondering about his miraculous survival and wondering if what he was seeing and experiencing now was real. He remembered science fiction stories and parallel universes. His imagination was playing out different versions. What if he was really in the other universe and just didn’t know, did not see the subtle differences?

Finally the doctors allowed him to go home. His kids came to help. They all walked to the car helping and supporting him on the way. As they drove he was looking at the buildings, the streets, trying to notice if there was anything different, strange about what he was seeing. He could not see any differences from what he remembered but he still was not sure. He thought that memory loss would prevent him from noticing anything different.

It took him a while to get used to normal life again. Some things were hard. Especially at night. He could not sleep normally in bed and in the dark room. Panic and anxiety were choking him. He would get up and walk, try to sleep in his chair, on the couch. Drink some tea. Trying to calm himself. He could not sleep close to his wife or hug her in bed – he did not have enough air. He would sit in his chair and count hours, waiting for the morning to come. Pills helped some but he had a hard time getting up in the morning. He felt better during the day. And all this time since he woke up, there was a nagging feeling, almost subconscious, about being in coma, still laying in hospital bed, about the reality of this world. What if all his life after cardiac arrest, life after death, is just his dream? And if it is true, what difference does it really make? After all, we don’t really know what reality is.

But as time passed he was getting used to the daily routine. Company of friends, spending time with kids and grand kids. And his wife, his life companion, always by his side. Almost back to normal. But he still has a hard time planning ahead. When THIS happened he did not feel, he did not know what happened to him Until he woke up 3 days later in the hospital. What if he had not woken up? He wouldn’t even know that he lived and died. But… How does he know he is really alive? How do we know what “really” being conscious is? Do we realize that in deep sleep a dream is not “real”? The spring came. Birds, the sun, the flowers. Thunderstorms and winds – he lives in Chicago after all. All this can end without warning, in the blink of an eye. And that scared him. But he tried to push away the thought. The weather was great. The Botanic Garden was waking up from winter slumber. It is a different atmosphere in such places, maybe because a certain type of people go there. Bright blue sky and, emerging fragile and yet unstoppable, the awakening of all kinds of plants. It soothes the soul. He was just wondering around with his wife with nothing in particular on his mind.

He tried to look around. Small dim lit room. Clicking noises, something humming. Flickering. His bed – metal, like a hospital bed. Hospital? What the hell? Window to his right. It was dark outside. He saw his wife looking at him. “Where am I, what is going on? Why?” Often we do not remember our deep sleep dreams. Maybe there is a reason

Dream and reality.

Realities


April 10, 2016

second chance.

Anna saved my life.

Friday morning, February 26

As usual we woke up at around 8am and started our morning exercises.

I opened my eyes, looked around.

I am in a hospital bed. Plugged into some machines, tubes attached to my body.

Anna, my wife standing at my bed.

I am having a hard time remembering, but Anna told me that in our bedroom while doing exercises I dropped on the floor, my heart stopped.

The whole hospital reality seemed like a bad dream, or more accurate, like my twin in an alternate reality.

I could see familiar faces, friends and relatives in the room.

Nurses constantly coming, doing something with the equipment, checking my blood pressure.

I know I was talking to visitors, nurses and doctors. But all this seems so distant, unreal and foggy.

I remember looking through large windows, the road, cars passing by – all this surreal, distant, foreign.

Every time I would open my eyes, I saw Anna in the room. That helped me to cope, to stay in this reality.

Nights were worse because it was dark, Anna would try to sleep on the couch in the room. Machines were humming and clicking on the sides of my bed. I could not turn on my bed being hooked up to these machines. Nurses would come in every couple of hours doing something around me.

Plus I had hiccups that would not stop. Nurses gave me some medicine and that helped a little.

Because of the catheter, that I don’t remember, I needed to pee pretty often and Anna would bring the dish (don’t know the name) and I did my best.

As days went by I started to feel more real and alert and Anna told me what had happened.

Not all of it. (I don’t want to know the details). Just that I dropped dead in the bedroom and she called the ambulance and did CPR while waiting for the paramedics.

My wife, My Anna saved my life.

Anna told me that the ambulance came in five minutes. First the paramedics used a defibrillator while I was on the floor in my bedroom. They did CPR in the car and used the defibrillator for ten minutes till they got to the emergency room.

My heart started to beat in the hospital. All together my heart did not work for twenty minutes.

After 4 days in intensive care I was transferred to a regular hospital room.

After a couple of days in that general room I was allowed to take walks in the corridor with the nurse.

That helped me to feel a little better.

There was a TV in the room. I remember watching it, half dreaming. The sound was off and I sometimes was not sure what I was watching. But it helped the time go faster. It has been a strange mix of dreams and reality. For me the whole affair is still not totally real.

To think that me being alive is just a lucky coincidence, makes me think of how the world would look without me. And I know that the world would not change.

And the fact that I am alive is close to a miracle. If at that time Anna had not been in the same room, or paramedics had arrived five minutes later, I would be dead – permanently.

So is there a reason for me having a second chance? What is my task? What do I have to accomplish?

What crossed my mind is maybe I had died and I am now in a parallel universe. So I was looking for some slight differences in what I see around me but did not see any.

What is strange is, the doctors don’t know why my heart stopped. Two weeks prior I had an annual checkup and it did not show any problems.

After a week in the regular hospital room my cardiologists came in the room and told us that I could go home. So with Anna’s help I got dressed and we walked outside to the car. While I was riding home I looked around – I did not recognize the surroundings.

I forgot to mention that I do not remember anything about being in the IC room. Later I read that if the brain starts to die, short term memory goes first.

But I am glad that I am back home. I was still weak but being at home helped.

But there was another problem – my fear of sleep. Was that anxiety or my subconscious memory of the ICU room? The first week I slept on the couch, half sitting up. I was terrified of lying down, of a dark room.

So every evening I was in a panic at the thought of going to bed.

But it is getting better. Finally I was able to stay in my bed all night. The dimmed light in the bedroom was on.

And I was laid my upper body high on two pillows. Still sometimes I would wake up and have an anxiety attack. I had to get up and walk around for a few minutes before I was able to go back to bed.

My doctor suggested Tylenol PM in the evening and I think it helped. Little by little I started to sleep better. I still need some light in the bedroom but hopefully that will pass.

I feel my pacemaker in my chest. I was told it will take some time to adjust.

I cannot say enough about people around me. My family, friends and relatives from all over the world. My older daughter Inna e-mailed updates to everybody.

My attitude changed somewhat. It is hard for me to do any long-term planning. But I realize that for all of us the future is unknown. And we all have to live with that.

So, my friends, hopefully my life will get back to normal. But I will never be the same. I was on the other side.


March 30, 2016

Joys of sunbathing

Live longer!

Life is impossible without sun. Sun created life on Earth. It cannot be bad for us. And people feel it and enjoy sunbathing.

Sunbathers live longer (and avoiding the sun could be as dangerous as smoking).

Vitamin D from the sun’s rays is essential for the healthy functioning of our body and immune system and staying in the shade all the time could be a recipe for premature death, researchers from the Karolinksa University Hospital in Sweden have discovered. https://wddty.com/news/2016/03/sunbathers-live-longer-and-avoiding-the-sun-could-be-as-dangerous-as-smoking.html

Sunbathing also reduces blood pressure, cuts the risk of heart attacks and is more likely to prolong life than shorten it. Dermatologist Dr. Richard Weller, whose team conducted the study, said: “We suspect that the benefits to heart health of sunlight will outweigh the risk of skin cancer.”

The big discovery is that when skin is exposed to sunlight, a compound called nitric oxide is released in blood vessels that helps lower blood pressure. The team’s risk assessment comes from the estimate that heart disease and stroke linked to high blood pressure kills 80 times more people than skin cancer in the UKhttp://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/health-benefits-sunbathing-outweigh-skin-1874870

Don’t go crazy! Everything in moderation.

One cannot trust every bit of advice that “learned” people give because in a few years this advice will change to something totally opposite. Please use common sense and do everything in moderation.

Even if sun is good for you, don’t spend hours in the sun because it will burn your skin. Start with 15 minutes per day and then increase the amount of time a little bit every day. But I would not advise spending more than a couple of hours per day, regardless on how long you have been adjusting to the sun.

Kids need sun exposure

Life is good!

Sunscreens

“Then there’s the issue of potentially harmful ingredients. The Environmental Working Group recommends avoiding sunscreens that contain oxybenzone, which can behave like estrogen in the body and retinyl palmitate, which may speed the development of skin tumors exposed to sun.” http://www.treehugger.com/health/summer-skip-spray-sunscreen.html

Enjoy life, enjoy the sun and please stay healthy, my friends. And please try not to use sunscreen.


Statistics

Diseases of the muscles and bones are among the most common of all human afflictions, affecting all ages, but becoming more prevalent with years. Government surveys indicate in the United States approximately 33% of adults currently suffer from troublesome arthritis with symptoms of swelling, limitation of motion, or pain. Approximately half of all people over 65 years report having arthritis. The regions of the body most affected are the neck, lower back, hip and shoulder. https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/health-science/featured-articles/articles/diet-only-hope-for-arthritis/

Importance of Exercise.

By Dr. Mercola

‘Osteoarthritis is a degenerative form of arthritic joint disease, characterized by loss of cartilage in the joint. It also has an inflammatory component. Osteoarthritis is a frequent cause of disability among seniors, affecting 20 million people in the U.S. Alone. While osteoarthritis typically involves the distal joints on your fingers and toes, knee and hip osteoarthritis is also common, the latter of which is the focus of this article. Contrary to popular belief, if you have osteoarthritis then exercise is absolutely crucial to your well-being. Unfortunately, many with joint pain shun exercise. According to previous research, over 40 percent of men and 56 percent of women with osteoarthritis don’t even get 10 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity per week. Less than 13 percent of men and less than 8 percent of women met the guideline of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity, low-impact activity per week.

According to the lead researcher, “The fact that so many people with arthritis are inactive should be a wake-up call to physicians.”Indeed, if physicians could instill the importance of exercise to their arthritis patients, many would benefit immensely.” http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2016/01/08/hip-osteoarthritis-exercises.aspx?e_cid=20160108Z1_DNL_art_1&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20160108Z1&et_cid=DM94409&et_rid=1304096219

Physical therapy is beneficial. People with arthritis often have stiff joints — largely because they avoid movements that can increase pain. By not moving arthritic joints, however, the stiffness and pain only get worse. Therefore, people with arthritis often benefit from physical therapy http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/physical-occupational-therapy-devices

Obesity. More than two-thirds (68.8 percent) of adults are considered to be overweight or obese. More than one-third (35.7 percent) of adults are considered to be obese. More than 1 in 20 (6.3 percent) have extreme obesity. Almost 3 in 4 men (74 percent) are considered to be overweight or obese.  Arthritis rates are more than twice as high in obese people as those who are normal weight, because the extra weight puts more pressure on your joints. This can not only lead to osteoarthritis, it can also make the condition exponentially worse.

Dangers of medications. Many people think that over-the-counter pain relievers must be harmless because they are available without a prescription. But repeated use of these drugs can damage your stomach, kidneys or liver. http://www.mayoclinic.org/arthritis-pain-medications/expert-answers/faq-20058391

So what do you do to prevent arthritis and to deal with it if you have it already?

Just by watching TV arthritis drug commercial you have an impression that there are more harm than good from using the drugs that pharma is pushing. Just listen to possible side effects.

35 drugs we could find that have been recalled from the US market since the 1970s, some that had been in use since the 1930s. A sample of advertisements for only some of the drugs are included because there is a scarcity of ads for withdrawn drugs online due to manufacturers removing ads for withdrawn drugs as part of the agreement to no longer market the drugs.” http://prescriptiondrugs.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=005528

Natural remedies summary

Move, exercise. Swim if you can, walk, do yoga (the best you can).

Try physical therapy

Healthy diet: avoid: milk, sugar, fried food, too much red meat, too much salt, processed food, smoking

Eat more colorful vegetables, fish(like salmon), whole grain, use good virgin olive oil, nuts(walnuts, cashew), drink green tea(not in tea bags-loose leaves). Pay attention on results. Different people react differently to foods. So experiment.

Loose weight

Maintain positive attitude

Barkan pain relief ointment

Barkan 100% organic ointment

I also suggest this natural ointment: BARKAN Joint and arthritis pain relief cream-a 100% natural product from The Dead Sea.
A mixture of herbal extracts & essential oils in palm oil, including Lavender, Italian Helichryse,  Ylang ylang, Sage, White willow, Oregano, Feverfew, Fig leaves, Winter Cherry, Wintergreen, Myrtle, Thyme, & Juniper. BARKAN soothes aching, swollen joints & small muscle areas. http://www.amazon.com/sp?_encoding=UTF8&asin=&isAmazonFulfilled=&isCBA=&marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER&orderID=&seller=AZCNBULPSP767&tab=&vasStoreID=


November 30, 2015

The last leaf

Holding on

I am looking through the window

All is gray, wet and cold.

Droplets bombard the glass.

Black tree skeleton on the low heavy gray sky

Air is mixed with water dust and feels cold even from inside.

It makes my room feel warm and cozy.

Anticipation of winter in the air

Nature is ready for a long slumber.

Sleepy trees are shaking off last yellow and brown leafs

I noticed a single leaf

Still there, clinging to the black branch

Refusing to let go

Autumn

Autumn

The last leaf, it looked cold and lonely

The tree doesn’t want it anymore

But for the leaf it is so hard to let go

It was born there

There is a desperate hope, an illusion

The last leaf

It does not want to die

It does not know-it is dead already

But the tree knows.

The spring will come again

It will wake up to a new bright sunshine

Sun will paint the sky blue

Eagerly anticipating summer

The tree will grow new leafs, a new beautiful coat

The last leaf does not know that it is dead already

It is holding on

It feels that the Universe will end if it let go.

A gust of wind

The leaf falls now indistinguishable from from others

Nobody noticed this drama except me

Life goes on

Nothing changed in the universe

There will be another stubborn leaf next fall


October 11, 2015

An expanding nation

There are many reasons we have an obesity epidemic in our country. Many can be controlled. Lifestyles, parenting, food. But most of all education and parents accepting responsibility for their children health. Parents should not be afraid to be tough sometimes.

Frog in the water

“Slow changes over time in anything we see every day become invisible and can be ignored – which is great for the aging wives among us but not so helpful for frogs or children whose parents who should be taking notice so something can be done about it.”

“So if nearly everyone is obese then bizarrely no one is.” http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/obesity-is-now-so-normal-that-parents-can-t-see-it-in-their-kids/

Parents and kids.

Odds ratio analyses found children were 2.1 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.6, 2.8) times more likely to be obese if only their father was obese, 1.9 (95% CI: 1.5, 2.4) times more likely if only their mother was obese, and 3.2 (95% CI: 2.5, 4.2) times more likely if both parents were obese.

I don’t know about you, but it makes me sad when I see little children who are obese guzzling down a soda, munching on a huge bag of potato chips, or eating junk food. Often times the parents are also eating the same foods as the kids. http://www.dianecarbonell.com/do-obese-parents-equals-obese-kids/

Poverty and obesity

National data indicate that obesity rates increased at all income levels between 1971 and 2002, but the poor did not necessarily experience the largest increases during this time period (Chang & Lauderdale, 2005).

According to one recent nationally representative sample, obesity prevalence was higher in lower income and education groups, but the rate of increase in obesity over two decades was faster for higher income and education groups (Singh et al., 2011). For instance, between 1992 and 2008, obesity prevalence increased by 42.3 percent for the lower income group compared to 88.5 percent for the higher income group. http://frac.org/initiatives/hunger-and-obesity/are-low-income-people-at-greater-risk-for-overweight-or-obesity/

One in three kids eats fast food daily.

Researchers found that kids and adolescents ate an average of 12.4% of their daily calories from fast food. Kids ages 12 to 19 ate twice as many calories from fast food restaurants as children ages two to 11. In total, close to 34% of children and adolescents from ages two to 19 ate fast food on a given day.

http://time.com/4035490/fast-food-kids/

Political correctness gets in the way

The problem that emerges when we start to substitute euphemistic phrases for scientific terminology is that we start to de-emphasize the seriousness of the problems. For example, for people who do not like the stigma of being called “anorexic” should we just say that they are “too skinny.” Some people do not like the stigma of being a cancer patient. Should we just say they just have “really bad cells?” What about people who don’t like the stigma of major depressive disorder? Should we just say the have “the blues?” Should we tell patients they have “unhealthy sugar” instead of telling them they have diabetes mellitus? Where does it stop? http://blog.medfriendly.com/2011/10/little-johnny-is-obese-political.html

My politically incorrect conclusion.

Overweight kids are at risk! Their health, their future is at risk. Our country’s future is at risk.

So pardon my language but fat and lazy parents should get off their fat and lazy butts and take control of their lives and of lives of their children. It takes effort and education. And tough love. And sometimes your feeling are hurt. And your children feelings also. And it’s OK. Better for your health and well being.


August 10, 2015

My in laws need a temporary stay in a nursing home.

So my wife and I went there to check it out

Sadness and despair enveloped me

The hopelessness and emptiness of human shadows.

These people are swimming in the river Styx

The river to the underworld.

Figures in wheelchairs.

Slumped and motionless

Their faces, their eyes empty

These people are not here anymore

They, their souls are in transition

Suspended half way

Away from our world

Being carried by the river’s current

Such a depressing feeling

This place is trying to get hold of me

To pull me in it’s deadly current

These people lived long lives

Long lives nearing the end

Lives full of hopes, ambitions, desires.

Lives outside these walls

Now just ashes left

Remnants of lives fully lived

Ashes floating away

I feel sorry for them, afraid

And I cannot help wondering

What awaits me?

What the future holds?

Will I become a ghost of myself?

Slumped in a wheelchair, helpless

No will to go on

The thought scares me

These people

Why go on?

But what are the choices?

Are there choices?

Who is to decide when it is time?

Will I end up like this?

Held up in this world by loved once?

But soon we left the nursing home and we are back among the living

We better live every day I thought

Live it the best we can, do something, enjoy every day.

While we can

We don’t know what the future holds.

Greek myth a river in Hades across which Charon ferried the souls of the dead

[from Greek Stux; related to stugein to hate] http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Styx


June 18, 2015

Ella ZibitskerBy Ella Zibitsker.

We often think about weight problem as a stand-alone issue that can be easily resolved by either dieting or/and exercising. And sometimes it’s true, we can lose some pounds by eating less or adding some exercises to our daily routine. And then we gain it all back. So, why most of us cannot keep the weight down for long period of time? And the bigger question is, if overweight is an indication of poor health, should we focus on health first?

I found the answer in George Oshawa’s famous quote: “The principle without the technique is useless; the technique without the principle is dangerous.”

For me, macrobiotics provides a concept based on over 4,000 years of Traditional Chinese Medicine and techniques developed by George Oshawa, Michio Kushi, and Herman Aihara, as well as many of their associates and pupils. Macrobiotics is not another diet, it’s a lifestyle based on 4 principles. It stipulates that if you want to stay healthy or heal you should:

  1. Live in tune with nature
  2. Balance the yin and yang in your diet and life, and avoid extremes of either
  3. Eat locally and seasonally
  4. Eat the diet right for you, and understand the law of change

I watched many people following these principles to improve their health and inevitably losing weight. Some lost 30-40 pounds in just 3-4 months. And by changing the lifestyle they managed not only keep the weight down but to create extraordinary health. That’s the result we should expect and work for.

After reading Michio Kushi’s book “The Macrobiotic Way”, I realized that this is the only way to regain health back. For me changing my lifestyle by adopting these principles was a matter of life and death. You see, 17 years ago I was diagnosed with terminal cancer and wasn’t offered any treatment. I dived in to the world of macrobiotics, met Michio, did everything he told me, completely changed my lifestyle and 9 months later was clear of cancer. Since that time my health improved and so did the weight. I lost about 20 pounds and never gained them back. Hundreds of people turned to macrobiotics as a last resort, but more and more people started thinking about staying healthy and practice common sense lifestyle that is based on the above 4 principles.

If you’re completely satisfied with the way you are – great, but if you don’t maybe you should re-examine the principles and techniques you are using. They might be useless or dangerous. I encourage you to discover and explore the world of macrobiotics and create a life full of energy and enjoyment.

For more information, contact me directly at (847) 682-4794 or visit our website, www.StartMacro.com.

To read more about macrobiotics, Yin/Yang, and balanced lifestyle here are some websites among many others: www.kushiinstitute.org, http://www.sacredlotus.com/go/foundations-chinese-medicine/get/yin-yang, http://wholesomebalance.com/Macrobiotics.html.


Comment to Wall – E Nation

Author: DeadSeaLife
June 9, 2015

Laub SusieBy Susan Laub

Obesity Epidemic in America

(comments)

Nathan, Thanks for posting your thoughts about the problem of obesity in America…and I will repeat that morbid obesity is a serious health problem in our country. Being overweight is a condition that I can personally attest to as I was 40 pounds overweight in high school. Fortunately, for me, I was able to reach my ideal weight in college. But the psychological problems with being “fat” (not a politically-correct term) remain fresh in my mind. The low self esteem, feeling of being mocked, social isolation, depression – these are just a few of the problems that can occur, to say nothing about the health risks associated with the problem. I think that obesity is an illness, a problem that needs to be identified by the person who is overweight. Otherwise, we remain in a constant state of denial.

Perhaps the present efforts to “normalize” this problem (and even to exalt it) is a reaction to all the media that says, in order to be beautiful, you must be thin. Research has shown that the epidemic of anorexia in teenage girls is ostensibly due to the pressure felt during these years of “fitting in”, being “normal”. It is an attempt to also be beautiful and desirable. We have subsequently learned that the serious problems with anorexia have mostly to do with being in control and remaining small (a dependent child).

The pendulum has swung to the other end of saying and thinking that obesity is OK…it is not. All efforts to the contrary keeps the problem entrenched. There are two issues with the “normal” American diet, I believe, that perpetuate the problem. The first is our craving of sugar…carbohydrates that have little nutritional value and lots of calories. I’m not saying no carbs, I’m saying smaller portions. Our craving of sweets is like an addiction to anything…drugs, alcohol, cigarettes (another drug), gambling, sex, etc. When we experience pleasure, that pleasure-center in our brain is stimulated and we then want more, much more, of that same pleasure. Consequently, in order to achieve a healthy diet and pattern of eating, we must go through a period of “withdrawal”. This can be done…it just requires some patience and resolve.

The second problem has to do with our “normal” portions of food. We have successfully super-sized practically everything we eat; e.g., “all you can eat” diners and restaurants, 20 oz. sodas (with free refills) and carbs, carbs and carbs! A traveler from England was commenting on the things she liked and didn’t like about Chicago. She had heard about our larger portions before she arrived, but she couldn’t believe her eyes when she actually saw it. I think the food industry is also at fault for putting corn syrup in practically everything we eat. And, finally, I believe our problem with obesity must be addressed through education, poking at the denial we use to justify our bad habits and by closing our mouths!

About the author. 

I went off to college and, for the first time in my life, I felt that I was in control of my life. My mom, bless her heart, always tried to help me lose weight. But her methods enraged me…she would restrict me from eating what my sisters could eat, usually sweets and desserts. My family would have pie or ice cream for dessert and I would be served canned fruit cocktail. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate fruit cocktail…I hated being the only one who was different restricted, all the time.
So in college, I decided to impose my own restrictions when eating and I began to exercise. I did lose weight and I think subconsciously, I wanted to show my mother how I succeeded where she failed. My self-esteem and body image were the reason I chose to lose weight and clearly I wanted to manage it myself. I learned something that helped me when I became a parent…you can’t control the behavior of your children…all you can do is to help mold it and provide some direction.   Susie.


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