Monday, November 3, 2014

Top 10 November Awareness

National Alzheimer's Awareness Anyone who has experienced this disease first hand knows how frustrating it can be for the person who has Alzheimer and their caregiver, who many time is the spouse and and aging adult as well.  It is exhausting.  The National Day of Candle Lighting to remember those who suffer or who have suffered is the weekend of November 7 - 9.  You can check back but to date there does not seem to be a local event but that doesn't stop you from lighting a candle of your own.  I have seen this done on Facebook.  So many people have witnessed this disease first hand.  November 18 is National Memory Testing Day and several locations are offering "free" testing. Look for a location near you. There are locations in our area, check them out now and arrange a ride now. The Alzheimer's Foundation of America also has information for caregivers and other dial in support teleconferences. They also offer a good explanation on the difference between Alzheimer's and dementia.

National Stomach Cancer Awareness Stomach Cancer is the one cancer I have had a front row seat to.  I can't say it is the worse, they are all pretty bad but the day my father went in for the routine exploratory surgery to see what was going on, our whole family got the shock of our lives.  The tumor was inoperable and my father was given 6 months to get his affairs in order.  Can you imagine the devastation?  Not mine, I am still shocked by the entire process, but can you imagine, you got 6 months.  My father was always stubborn, he got 9. Some days were good, others not so bad, the last month it was brutal. Three of his four brothers died of cancer within 18 months. It makes you wonder. There is a lot of good information on the American Cancer Society website about stomach cancer.  If you have symptoms press your doctor to be tested.  My father was not properly diagnosed until it was too late. There are recommendations to lower your risk.

National Lung Cancer Awareness According to the American Lung website, smoking is a main cause of small cell and non-small cell lung cancer, contributes to 80 percent and 90 percent of lung cancer deaths in women and men, respectively. Men who smoke are 23 times more likely to develop lung cancer. Women are 13 times more likely, compared to never smokers. The Great American Smokeout is the third Thursday in November.

American Diabetes Awareness The American Diabetes Association website is an excellent source of dietary recommendation under the Food and Fitness section including recipes and ways to get active and start moving.

C O P D Awareness Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States. This statement on the National Heart Ling and Blood Institute made me curious of the Top 10 leading causes of death in the United States. That list will be provided tomorrow.

Epilepsy Awareness My first encounter with another with epilepsy was when I was in high school.  We took public transportation to get to school and someone had a epileptic fit. That is what they called it many years ago, today I would imagine an episode would be more correct. One of the passengers on the bus took a comb out of their purse and put it in this persons month so they wouldn't swallow their tongue.  I confess I know nothing more about this disease but seizure can happen. So if you would like to see what you know about the disease you can take a quiz on the Epilepsy Foundation website. Interestingly the first thing it says under Facts is, "You can not swallow your tongue during a seizure it is physically impossible".   If you don't know about the disease, start with "What is Epilepsy".

Crohn's and Ulcerated Colitis Awareness Crohn's and colitis are two different forms of IBD (irritable bowel disease).  Here is a link to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. It is a very informative website to start with your questions but it should never substitute for a visit to the doctor. There are ways to manage this condition. If you suspect that is your problem seek help.  It is out there. You can also find out about a local event hat is coming up in Philadelphia, "Take Control: Managing IBD Decision", December 9 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. Click on the Take Control link for more information.

Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month It says on the American Cancer Society website that there is no real known cause of Pancreatic Cancer but it does list some of the risk factors and also symptoms.

Pulmonary hypertension is the tightening of the arteries. There are several types and causes you can read more about it at but if you are anything like me if you read too much eventually you might think you got it. The Internet can be so convincing. It is best to seek professional medical treatment if you have concerns.

Vote on November 4. Every one has an opinion. This is one of those rare times when it counts.

Give Thanks 

Sunday was "Daylights Savings" did you remember to change ALL your clocks and batteries in you smoke detectors?

Spring forward, Fall back.

I have to say it was a banner year for trick or treaters at my house. We went through 7 of our 8 bags of candy and a bag of snack sized UTZ pumpkin pretzels. One kid picked up the small bag of pretzels and said, what exactly is this?

Show of hands

Who had a candy bar or two or three, while passing the bowl this weekend?

No worries, it is a natural behavior when the child within comes out.

November already oh my!

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