PATRICIAANN46's SparkPeople Blog PATRICIAANN46's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Ear Wax Q: I use cotton swabs to clean wax out of my ears. But the box label warns me not to. What's the harm? <BR> <BR> A: Swabbing out the wax can irritate or injure the delicate lining of the ear canal, causing itchiness or bleeding and increasing the risk of ear infection. If you have lots of wax, swabs can push it deeper into the ear canal, where it compacts and hardens. That can cause hearing loss, dizziness, or pain. Moreover, poking anything into your ear canal can damage the eardrum.... Sat, 2 May 2015 15:29:18 EST Update........ On March 27th, 2015, I was diagnosed with Spinal Stenosis (Primary), Low Back Pain, Degenerative Disc Disease, Degenerative Spondylolisthesis, Radiculopathy (Lumbosacral region), Neurogenic Claudication, and Chronic Pain. <BR> <BR> I was given three choices of treatment. Physical Therapy, Epidural Steroid Injections in my back around my spinal cord, or Surgery. <BR> <BR> I opted to begin with Physical Therapy and started my sessions on Friday, April 4th. The first session was an evaluatio... Fri, 1 May 2015 18:37:06 EST An Oldie But A Goodie You may have read this before, but it ALWAYS makes me laugh, so I am showing it to you again. Have a great Thursday. <BR> <BR> Q: Where can single men over the age of 60 find younger women who are interested in them? <BR> A: Try a bookstore, under Fiction. <BR> <BR> Q: What can a man do while his wife is going through menopause? <BR> A: Keep busy. If you're handy with tools, you can finish the basement. When you're done, you will have a place to live. <BR> <BR> Q: How can you incre... Thu, 30 Apr 2015 11:06:41 EST Blueberry Bonus Blueberries may help lower blood pressure and make arteries more flexible. <BR> <BR> Researchers randomly assigned 48 post-menopausal women with prehypertension or hypertension (high blood pressure) to eat a daily dose of freeze-dried blueberry powder or a fake blueberry powder made of sugar, maltodextrin, and artificial colors and flavors. The dose of freeze-dried blueberry powder (22 grams) was equivalent to one cup of fresh blueberries. <BR> <BR> After two months, systolic blood pressur... Wed, 29 Apr 2015 10:48:08 EST The Haircut Blessed are those that can give without remembering, and take without forgetting. <BR> <BR> One day a florist went to a barber for a haircut. After the cut, he asked about his bill, and the barber replied, "I cannot accept money from you, I'm doing community service this week." <BR> <BR> The florist was pleased and left the shop. When the barber went to open his shop the next morning, there was a "Thank You" card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door. <BR> <BR> Later, a cop comes... Tue, 28 Apr 2015 10:49:17 EST A Fact You Won't Soon Forget........ Researchers for the Massachusetts Turnpike authority found over 200 dead crows near greater Boston in a relatively short period last Fall, and there was concern they may have died from Avian Flu. <BR> <BR> A Bird Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and, to everyone's relief, confirmed the problem was definitely NOT Avian Flu. The cause of death appeared to be vehicular impacts. <BR> <BR> However, during the detailed analysis it was noted that varying colors of paints appeare... Mon, 27 Apr 2015 12:13:07 EST The Children's Sermon....... While the Priest was presenting a children's sermon, he asked the children if they knew what the Resurrection was. <BR> <BR> Now, asking questions during children's sermons is crucial, but at the same time, asking children questions in front of a congregation can also be very dangerous. <BR> <BR> In response to the question, "What is the Resurrection," a little boy (Charlie Baumann) raised his hand. <BR> <BR> The Priest called on him and the boy said, " I know that if you have a Resurrecti... Sun, 26 Apr 2015 14:04:00 EST Who Wants To Be A Millionaire????? A contestant, Sally, on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" had reached the final plateau. <BR> <BR> If she answered the next question correctly, she would win $1,000,000. If she answered incorrectly, she would pocket only the $25,000 milestone money. <BR> <BR> And as she suspected it would be, the million-dollar question was no pushover. It was, "Which of the following species of birds does not build its own nest but instead lays its eggs in the nests of other birds? <BR> <BR> Is it: <BR> ... Sat, 25 Apr 2015 20:16:14 EST A Nun And Some Warm Milk In a convent in Ireland, the 98-year-old Mother Superior lay dying. The Nuns gathered around her bed trying to make her last journey comfortable. They tried giving her warm milk to drink but she refused it. <BR> <BR> One of the Nuns took the glass back to the kitchen. Then, remembering a bottle of Irish Whiskey that had been received as a gift the previous Christmas, she opened it and poured a generous amount into the warm milk. <BR> <BR> Back at Mother Superior's bed, they held the gla... Fri, 24 Apr 2015 20:34:46 EST Hmmmmmmm......... And yet another day has passed and I did not use Algebra once........... <BR> <BR> Very Interesting.......... <BR> <BR> <em>211</em> Thu, 23 Apr 2015 21:20:13 EST I Can Relate......... There are definitely days when this is so true. <BR> <BR> You're getting old when you don't care where your spouse goes, just as long as you don't have to go along. <BR> <BR> <em>224</em> Wed, 22 Apr 2015 11:40:37 EST Some People.......... Some people just need a sympathetic pat......... <BR> <BR> On the head......... <BR> <BR> With a hammer!!! <BR> <BR> <em>18</em> Tue, 21 Apr 2015 23:15:39 EST Ohhhhhh Noooooo!!!!! Don't worry about avoiding temptation. <BR> <BR> As you grow older, it will avoid you........ <BR> <BR> <em>24</em> Mon, 20 Apr 2015 20:09:27 EST Slow Down......... My husband shared this with me today....... <BR> <BR> A man has reached old age when he is cautioned to slow down by his Doctor instead of by the police. <BR> <BR> <em>24</em> Sun, 19 Apr 2015 19:22:34 EST Should I Do This Or Should I Do That?????? Old age is having a choice of two temptations and choosing the one that will get you home earlier. Isn't that the truth?!?!? <BR> <em>102</em> Sat, 18 Apr 2015 17:53:21 EST Maturity........ How Mature are YOU??????? <BR> <BR> We're ALL mature.............. <BR> <BR> UNTIL.........someone pulls out BUBBLE WRAP!!!!! <BR> <BR> I will admit that I cannot leave it alone and must POP EVERY BUBBLE!!!!! <BR> <BR> <em>20</em> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 21:15:02 EST Just Be Patient........ Madonna is 55, her boyfriend is 22. <BR> <BR> Tina turner is 75, her boyfriend is 40. <BR> <BR> JLo is 42, her boyfriend is 26. <BR> <BR> Mariah Carey is 44, her husband is 32. <BR> <BR> Still single??????? <BR> <BR> Relax. Your boyfriend is not born yet. <BR> <BR> <em>211</em> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 20:17:34 EST Aging......... AGING seems to be the only available way to live a longer life........... <em>24</em> Wed, 15 Apr 2015 16:44:23 EST When I Get Old........ When I get old, I'm going to move in with my kids, hog the computer, pay no bills, eat all the food, trash the house, and when asked to clean, pitch a fit like it's killing me!!!!! <BR> <BR> <em>20</em> Tue, 14 Apr 2015 18:30:58 EST My Train Of Thought.......... I've reached an age where my train of thought often leaves the station without me!!!!! <BR> <em>198</em> Mon, 13 Apr 2015 12:59:00 EST My Last Words......... When I die, I want my last words to be, "I left a million dollars under the..............." <BR> <BR> <em>246</em> Sun, 12 Apr 2015 16:16:02 EST Where Did It Go? My brain is like the Bermuda Triangle. <BR> <BR> Information goes in and then it's never found again. <BR> <BR> <em>198</em> Sat, 11 Apr 2015 09:44:03 EST Yippee! Yippee!!!!! I woke up!!!!! <BR> <BR> Why retirees are always so happy.......... <BR> <BR> <em>334</em> Fri, 10 Apr 2015 15:44:13 EST Of Course........... Of course I talk to myself!!!!! <BR> <BR> Sometimes I need EXPERT advice. <BR> <BR> <em>58</em> Thu, 9 Apr 2015 13:53:30 EST Science Takes On Death A longevity pill that helps everyone live to 100 or older is years off. But Bill Gifford, who surveyed the scientific landscape (and put his own body under the microscope) in his new book, Spring Chicken: How to Stay Young Forever (or Die Trying) (Grand Central Publishing), found a few substances that might help us cruise past the usual 80-plus mark. <BR> <BR> RAPAMYCIN has been found to extend the lives of both healthy and cancer-stricken mice and is currently approved by the FDA for suppr... Wed, 8 Apr 2015 20:16:49 EST CHOCO-CHUBBY? Chocolate eaters weigh less than others, say some studies. That has fueled media reports claiming that chocolate somehow keeps you slim. <BR> <BR> New research suggests otherwise. <BR> <BR> Researchers tracked roughly 107,000 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 for three years. Compared to those who ate a serving (1oz.) of chocolate candy less than once a month, women who ate chocolate one to three times a month gained an average of 1.7 pounds, those who ate chocolate one or two times a we... Tue, 7 Apr 2015 18:18:56 EST The Emotional And Social Benefits Of Exercise In addition to biological effects, exercise has positive emotional and social effects that can help you deal with stress and depression. Regular exercise can help you: <BR> <BR> *** Gain Confidence---When you're feeling stressed or depressed, you often feel powerless. Learning a new exercise, setting and meeting activity goals, and rising to new physical challenges can increase your sense of control and confidence. Engaging in regular exercise allows you to regain some of this sense of s... Mon, 6 Apr 2015 15:14:25 EST What Is Your Favorite Easter Memory? This one was easy for me, because it meant so very much at the time it happened. I was six years old. My brother was 2 and my Mom was taking total care of us because my Dad was in Korea. He had been in World War II and we thought that he was finally home to stay, when he was called back to fight in the Korean War. My Dad was a radioman on a destroyer and he was badly needed. Apparently, there weren't that many guys who had that skill and there was no doubt that he would be gone again. H... Sun, 5 Apr 2015 11:53:52 EST Balance Training At Home If you don't have the time or inclination to pursue structured balance training, don't fret. You can achieve better balance by incorporating many balance exercises into your daily activities. In fact, a study that compared people who engaged in balance-enhancing activities whenever the opportunity arose with people involved in a structured balance training program found that while both groups achieved greater balance and strength, the first group did slightly better. In addition, more peop... Sat, 4 Apr 2015 10:56:10 EST I'm So Excited!!!!! I talked to the girl who will be my Physical Therapist, and she gave me the go-ahead to do the exercises that we began in December. I did them the entire month of January, but then the back pain became worse, so she advised stopping them until we knew more. After seeing what is wrong in the MRI, she feels that we can continue them, but that I will have to start out slowly. So..........I did the exercises yesterday and when I woke up this morning, I wasn't in pain like I was before............ Fri, 3 Apr 2015 10:07:23 EST How Is Your Balance????? Balance Exercises: <BR> <BR> A number of studies have shown that certain simple exercises can markedly improve your balance. You can do these anywhere as long as you have something steady to hold on to, such as a kitchen countertop or sturdy chair. Exercises might include shifting your weight from one foot to the other, standing on one foot, walking heel to toe, or purposely lifting your leg forward and holding it for a second as you walk ahead in a straight line. <BR> <BR> As your balanc... Thu, 2 Apr 2015 17:42:19 EST It Was A Very Good Day Our 7 year-old Grand-daughter, Elizabeth, has Spring Break this week, so we kept her with us today. The temperatures are in the 70s today, and it is beautiful!!! When Elizabeth arrived, the first thing she wanted to do was to play in her tree house. My husband had cleaned it out and made sure there weren't any bees nesting in it. The house is about 10' off the ground. It has a porch, sliding windows with screens and even a stained glass window. She decorates it herself and it is HER dom... Wed, 1 Apr 2015 20:35:30 EST Taking Sleeping Pills Wisely Sleeping pills can at times be an effective component of sleep therapy. However, they need to be used cautiously, especially by older adults. If you plan to take sleeping pills, follow these steps to do so safely: <BR> <BR> **** Work with your doctor or pharmacist so that you are prescribed the lowest effective dose of the drug, and for the shortest amount of time possible to achieve goals of improved sleep. <BR> <BR> **** Stay within the prescribed limit of your prescription. Don't ta... Tue, 31 Mar 2015 16:20:40 EST ARRRRGH!!!!! I called the Physical Therapy Clinic suggested to me by the Nurse Practitioner, only to find out that it IS NOT covered by my Health Insurance Provider. Now I have to start from scratch and find someone who IS covered!!!!! <BR> <BR> Oh well..............I will be with my Grand-daughters at 4PM, so the day is getting BRIGHTER. <BR> <em>67</em> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 14:16:48 EST Tuning Out Tinnitus QUESTION: Is there any cure for chronic ringing of the ears? <BR> <BR> ANSWER: That depends on whether a cause can be found. Tinnitus, or ringing or other noises in the ear, can result from almost any ear problem, from infection to hardened earwax. Rarely, it can stem from an acoustic neuroma---a benign tumor of the acoustic nerve---or from Meniere's syndrome, an inner-ear disorder characterized by ringing, reduced hearing, and dizziness. Several drugs may also bring on ringing, namely... Sun, 29 Mar 2015 21:08:30 EST What A Great Way To Spend A Saturday....... I left home about 8:30 this morning and drove to our oldest son's home. Our DIL and our seven year old Grand-daughter, Elizabeth were waiting to take me to a dinner theater about 90 miles away. This was my Birthday present. We arrived at the dinner theater about 10:30 and made our way through the gift shops. I won't be with them for Easter and told Elizabeth to pick out what she would like for her Easter gift today. This way, I knew that she would choose something she REALLY wanted. The... Sat, 28 Mar 2015 22:03:52 EST Now I Have Some Decisions To Make This morning I had 3 standing x-rays taken of my spine, filled out four pages of forms, and then met with a Spinal Nurse Practitioner for an hour and a half. She showed me the results of my MRI and all of my x-rays. I have a narrowing of the spinal cord (Spinal Stenosis) in the lower lumbar region. As a result of the narrowing, nerves are being pinched. We talked about Physical Therapy, Steroid Shots into my spine, and Spinal Surgery. <BR> <BR> After discussing it with her and also ha... Fri, 27 Mar 2015 18:30:05 EST It Pays To Be The Squeaky Wheel........ Late yesterday afternoon, I received a call from the Orthopedic Surgeon who I had the appointment with on March 9th. He read the results from the MRI that I had done on March 12th and conferred with other Orthopedic doctors on staff who are more familiar with spinal issues. He mentioned that I definitely have bone spurs on my spine which are pressing on nerves. He also said that the Spinal experts would be calling me soon to set up an appointment. After waiting so long to have the MRI rea... Thu, 26 Mar 2015 15:50:20 EST Have Any Of You Had This Happen To You? I have had pain in my lower back and in my left hip since July of 2014. My Primary doctor thought that it was bursitis and recommended PT and a topical anti-inflammatory. This helped some but by the end of October, it had intensified. I had x-rays taken of both my hip and spine. Further PT was recommended, and it did help for about a month. On March 9th I had an appointment with an Orthopedic Surgeon who took more x-rays of the left hip. After examining the x-rays, he told me that he di... Wed, 25 Mar 2015 12:57:12 EST Get Out Of The Car!!!!! This is a true account recorded in the Police Log of Sarasota, Florida. <BR> <BR> An elderly Florida lady did her shopping and, upon returning to her car, found four males in the act of leaving with her vehicle. She dropped her shopping bags and drew her handgun, proceeding to scream at the top of her lungs, "I have a gun, and I know how to use it! GET OUT OF THE CAR!" <BR> <BR> The four men didn't wait for a second threat. They got out and ran like mad. <BR> <BR> The lady, somewhat sha... Tue, 24 Mar 2015 13:16:15 EST What Does A D.O. Do????? My Primary Doctor is a D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy). I have wondered (and asked her) what the difference is between a D.O. and an M.D.. <BR> <BR> The difference between a D.O. and an M.D. is as follows: A D.O. receives a medical education that's basically equivalent to that of an M.D. (doctor of medicine). Osteopaths are trained and licensed to perform all aspects of traditional medical care---including diagnosis, drug prescription, and surgery. In fact, they can specialize in virtually ... Mon, 23 Mar 2015 15:30:15 EST Seniors And Computers As we SILVER SURFERS know, sometimes we have trouble with our computers. <BR> <BR> I had a problem yesterday, so I called Eric, the 11 year old next door, whose bedroom looks like Mission Control, and asked him to come over. <BR> <BR> Eric clicked a couple of buttons and solved the problem. <BR> <BR> As he was walking away, I called after him, "So, what was wrong?" <BR> <BR> He replied, "It was an ID ten T error." <BR> <BR> I didn't want to appear stupid, but nonetheless inquired, "An, I... Sun, 22 Mar 2015 16:07:24 EST It's Just Not Worth It!!!!! We went out for dinner with friends last night and I ate more than I should have!!!!! The food was delicious, but it was too rich. I do much better with more basic dishes and should have known better. Today I am suffering and have had NOTHING to eat except no-salt crackers and water. I just can't get away with the occasional binge anymore!!!!! <BR> <em>24</em> <em>15</em> <em>29</em> Sat, 21 Mar 2015 18:38:23 EST Sharing The Many Virtues of Spark People This morning, I received a phone call from our Health Insurance Company. I am enrolled in a Health and Wellness program sponsored by them and they call me every 2 or 3 months to check on my progress and answer any questions I may have. Today, I told them about Spark People, and shared all of the ways that my health has improved because of the SP offerings. The woman who called was VERY interested in the variety of ways that our health issues are covered. She was IMPRESSED!!!!! She is awa... Fri, 20 Mar 2015 12:42:34 EST Don't Mess With A Clean Freak Two policemen call the station on the radio. <BR> <BR> "Hello. Is this the Sarge?" <BR> <BR> "Yes." <BR> <BR> "We have a case here. A woman has SHOT HER HUSBAND FOR STEPPING ON THE FLOOR she had just mopped clean." <BR> <BR> "Have you arrested the woman?" <BR> <BR> "No sir. The floor is still wet!!!" <BR> <BR> <em>40</em> Thu, 19 Mar 2015 17:57:43 EST When To Drink Water QUESTION: I have heard that it's more important to drink water at certain times of the day than at others. Any truth to that? <BR> <BR> ANSWER: Probably not. It's true that your body needs ample water each day from food and beverages to maintain proper function. But there's no evidence that drinking it at specific times---say, first thing in the morning, to "activate your organs"---correlates with better health. If you don't drink enough fluids, it might be helpful to drink water at ce... Wed, 18 Mar 2015 12:23:24 EST Twin Children Of Different Mothers........... When my mom was pregnant with me, one of her closest friends was also pregnant. On March 17th, they both went into labor and delivered my Bestest Male Friend and me. We were born just one hour apart and were in the same nursery for almost a week. (They kept new Moms in the hospital longer back then) We also went all the way through school together and for one year of college. The only time we have been separated was when he was in Viet Nam and I was living in Green Bay with my husband. W... Tue, 17 Mar 2015 14:45:36 EST What Color Rice? QUESTION: I've seen black and even purple rice in the grocery store. Are they healthier than white? <BR> <BR> ANSWER: Any whole-grain rice---including black, brown, purple, red, wild, and half-milled---contains more fiber, iron, and vitamins than white rice, which loses much of its nutritional value in the refining process that strips it of its outer (bran and germ) layer. Recent research has linked an as-yet unnamed compound in that layer to reduced blood pressure and a lower risk of cl... Mon, 16 Mar 2015 16:55:41 EST I Have To Share This With You.......... The other day, my DH and I and our oldest son and his wife and two daughters, were all coming home from a day-trip in their van. Elizabeth loves to play games when we are all together, and decided to play "Hum That Tune!!!" Last summer she took a Spanish class during summer school and learned numbers and letters in Spanish that were put to two different sets of music. I have heard both of these songs many times as had her parents. After Elizabeth had hummed her tune, her Mom said that she... Sun, 15 Mar 2015 20:29:21 EST Grandmother A sweet Grandmother telephoned St. Joseph's Hospital. She timidly asked, "Is it possible to speak to someone who can tell me how a patient is doing?" <BR> <BR> The operator said, "I'll be glad to help, dear. What's the name and room number of the patient?" <BR> <BR> The Grandmother in her weak, tremulous voice said, "Norma Findlay, Room 302." <BR> <BR> The operator replied, "Let me put you on hold while I check with the nurse's station for that room." <BR> <BR> After a few minutes, the ... Sat, 14 Mar 2015 20:35:58 EST