My talk….

As I was preparing to write about my experience and ask for a reference letter, I got this note from Ken Kolosso.  I have to tell you, I was impressed with what he said, but even MORE impresses with the timing.  The event was just a week ago and I already had a reference letter!

Do you know how long it takes me to get a referral?  Not 1 week!  I have a rule: the second that a referral comes in, I will post it.

Meeting Ken’s 2 teams was an experience.

We arrived in Omaha at 11:35 PM…and still got an Uber driver (love that service). We got checked in,  jumped into bed by 1:30pm and was up at 5:30am to get ready for the trip…only 4 hours of sleep.  I don’t have to tell you this: I NEED my sleep…and so does Jill!

We got up and meet Dylan at the lobby. He arrived early; I have to admire that trait in him. Dylan, my navigator, rented a Ford Expedition so we went in style.  He set cruise control at 81 and we FLEW…for 1.5 HOURS!

We got there early…so I had time to set things up. Case in point: when they introduced me, I usually open up my speech by attempting to tie my tie. I totally blanked out and got  right into my speech. The audience didn’t know about the sequence, so that was ok.  But then I got to a slide, and couldn’t remember what I was supposed to say.  What felt like 2 minutes…was probably a few seconds; I flubbed a little. I said I would do better at the speech tomorrow.

Then, we had to wait, as the other presenters gave their talk.  During one part, I just couldn’t keep my eyes opened for a part of it; I kept dozing off.  I felt bad for the speaker; I just couldn’t help it. I wanted to say something, but he left as soon as he was done.

This time, we went to bed at 10:00pm!

We got up and met Dylan at 7:15am (again, he was early) and we made it there in record time:  28 minutes.  The speech the next day went GREAT.  A portion of Ken’s quote:

After hearing from Gordon and Jill, people will come away inspired and truly blessed.  Financial advisors will have a renewed passion and desire to share the need for disability insurance (aka income replacement insurance) when doing holistic planning for their clients.

I feel blessed to have meet Dylan and Ken; they were fantastic to deal with and I feel honored to have worked for them.

Another reference!

In September 2017, I invited Gordon and Jill Vigianno to speak to 70 of my financial advisors at our regional meeting in Nebraska.  What an impactful story we heard!  We saw and heard, firsthand, how a disability can strike at any time.  In Gordon’s case, this was a massive stroke that nearly killed him on his 51st birthday.  If it wasn’t for his disability coverage, the Viggiano’s would have been financially ruined.

Gordon and Jill have experienced great hardship and many trials since Gordon’s stroke, but their perseverance, faith and love for one another helped them conquer these great storms.  After hearing from Gordon and Jill, people will come away inspired and truly blessed.  Financial advisors will have a renewed passion and desire to share the need for disability insurance (aka income replacement insurance) when doing holistic planning for their clients.

The book they distributed following their presentation, Painful Blessings, written by Jill is outstanding.  I started reading and couldn’t put it down.  I finished it in one night!

Ken Kolosso, ChFC® , CLU® , MBA
Managing Partner
Nebraska Region
Thrivent Financial®

Take a Stand Against Sitting Too Much

Posted by Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter

Days spent sitting for hours may increase your risk for an early death no matter how much you exercise, researchers say.

In a new study, people who sat the most had twice the risk of dying over a 4-year period as people who sat the least. But taking a break every 30 minutes to get up and walk around might help decrease the risk, the study authors said.

“What’s most troubling is it’s like I exercise in the morning and I think I’m good, but in addition to exercise I should also be mindful of not being sedentary for long periods throughout the day,” said lead researcher Keith Diaz. He is an associate research scientist at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.

It’s more than exercise, Diaz said. “You have to do more. You have to move, you have to get up often and break up your sedentary habits if you want to have the lowest risk of death,” he explained.

Many people sit for up to 10 hours a day, he noted. Earlier studies that have reported a link between sitting and an early death have relied on people telling researchers how long they sat in a day. This new study, however, actually measured sitting time using a hip-mounted accelerometer that tracked movement, and correlated it with the risk of dying during the study period.

Diaz cautioned, however, that this study only shows an association between sitting and an increased risk of early death. It can’t prove that sitting causes the risk, due to the study design.
Exactly how prolonged sitting might be related to an increased risk of early death isn’t known, he added.

“There is evidence that suggests, but does not prove, that it could be about how our body handles blood sugar,” Diaz said.

“We think it’s through a kind of diabetic pathway. When our muscles are inactive, they are not using blood sugar, and we know that blood sugar can wreak terrible consequences on our body. Poor blood sugar control is thought to be one of the ways sitting increases one’s risk for heart disease or death,” he said.

Standing up from your desk and walking around for a few minutes every half hour could be an important behavioral change that might reduce the risk of premature death, Diaz suggested.  The report was published online Sept. 11 in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

Dr. David Alter is an associate professor of medicine at the University of Toronto. He said, “We don’t yet know what the ideal solutions are to remedy the risks associated with sedentary behavior.”
It’s not just about avoiding sedentary behavior or prolonged bouts of sedentary behavior, said Alter, who wrote an accompanying journal editorial.

“It might require a combination of exercise, light activity and frequent movement breaks,” he said.
What’s almost certain is that the solution will require folks to track their activity and inactivity, Alter said.

“Just like weight-management strategies, we will need to monitor how much time we spend sitting, moving and undertaking exercise in a much more deliberate way than we have perhaps thought previously,” Alter said.

For the study, Diaz and his colleagues reviewed data on nearly 8,000 U.S. adults 45 and older who had participated in a previous study. The participants wore a monitor that kept track of the amount of time they were seated.

The researchers found that in a 16-hour waking day, the participants sat a little more than 12 hours. The average was 11 minutes at a stretch.

Over an average follow-up of four years, 340 participants died.
Spending more time sitting for longer periods increased the risk for an early death, regardless of age, gender, race, weight or how much one exercised, the researchers found.

Those who had the lowest risk of dying were those who didn’t sit longer than 30 minutes at a stretch, the findings showed.

“If we are to sit for prolonged periods at a time—more than 30 minutes at a time, and for many hours per day—more than 12 hours per day, our risk of death is high,” Alter said.
“That risk is reduced if we exercise at least 150 minutes per week, but not entirely eliminated,” he concluded.

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Truth about Atrial Fibrillation

 

2425.png

The Truth about AFIB

Your heart beats more than 100,000 times every day. However, not all heartbeats are the same.

Your heart may beat abnormally—it may flutter and beat fast. If so, you might have a heart condition called atrial fibrillation or AFib. AFib is the most common heartbeat disorder but AFib can be tricky— you may have it and not even know.

Fact: Medical experts estimate that 15% of strokes are a result of untreated AFib.

During National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month we are raising awareness about this serious health condition and its strong connection to stroke. Don’t let AFib overwhelm you. Take control. Act.

The first step to take charge of your health is to learn more about AFib:

  • Know the Signs and Symptoms
  • Discover Treatment Options
  • Access Resources and Tools

This September don’t take your heartbeat for granted.

AFIB and Stroke

In action,

Amy Herron
Senior Coordinator, Programs

 

Stopping Statins After Stroke May Raise Risk of Another

Stroke survivors who stop taking cholesterol-lowering statins are at increased risk for another stroke, a new study finds.

Researchers studied more than 45,000 ischemic stroke survivors who were prescribed a statin within 90 days of leaving the hospital. Ischemic stroke is caused by blocked blood flow to the brain. It is the most common type of stroke.

Compared to those who continued taking statins, patients who stopped three to six months after their stroke were 42 percent more likely to suffer another stroke within a year, and 37 percent more likely to die from any cause.

There was no increased risk of another stroke or of death during the study period among patients who continued taking statins at a lower dose, the investigators found. Statins help prevent cholesterol from building up in the arteries.

The study was published Aug. 2 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

“Based on our findings of this large group of patients in the ‘real world,’ we believe that statins should be a lifelong therapy for ischemic stroke patients if a statin is needed to lower the patient’s cholesterol,” study lead author Dr. Meng Lee said in a journal news release. Lee is an assistant professor in the department of neurology at Chang Gung University College of Medicine in Taiwan.
Even though the study included patients in Taiwan, the results should apply to patients in the United States and other countries, according to Lee.

“Discontinuation of statin treatment in patients with ischemic stroke should be strongly discouraged in any stage—acute or chronic—of stroke,” Lee said. “Shifting to low-intensity statin therapy could be an alternative for stroke patients not able to tolerate moderate or high-intensity statin therapy in the years following a stroke.”

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Another milestone!!!

You would not think putting on sunglasses would be that tough.

But it is!

I just got back from a weeks vacation visiting my brother and his wife.  I took the clip on sunglasses with me… and had to get in front of a mirror each time to put these on.  If I didn’t, the following would occur:

I was in front of a mirror MANY times. But on day 3 of my vacation, I did it!

I know it doesn’t sound like much, but I was impressed.  I also got my brother to admit HE was impressed.  Wait…did I say anything to him? I don’t remember.  The effects of a stroke!

Avocados ARE healthy!

I PERSONALLY don’t eat them…but her is a tip from people that DO eat them.  Plus, this is from a neighbor of mine!

Spotlight on Healthy Avocados

Healthy fats are critical for our brains, and avocados are a great choice! They are so much more than a great source of healthy fats though. They are packed with nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants. In fact, they have twice as much potassium as a banana.

Benefits
The antioxidants (carotenoids) in avocados have important roles in cell function and support our body against vascular, inflammatory and neurological damage. The fats in avocados actually help us to absorb these antioxidants. In fact, foods that contain carotenoids such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and leafy greens, are low in fat and but by adding in avocado you improve the antioxidant absorption anywhere from two to six times.

How to Open
Many nutrients are located right next to the skin, so it is better to peel the skin off instead of scooping out the avocado. To get the pit out, first slice the avocado in half lengthwise then firmly strike the pit with the heel of a chef’s knife. Then gently twist the pit to dislodge and lift it out. Then, with the pit stuck to the knife, rest the pit against the edge of the sink or a bowl and gently pull. The pit will slide right off.
How to Eat: Guacamole
Serves 4-6

Ingredients – rough estimates
2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and smashed
1 fresh lime, juiced/squeezed
1/2 cilantro bunch, leaves roughly chopped
1/4-1/2 onion, diced small
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced & let rest for ten minutes
1/2 tomato, diced
Salt

Directions: Place smashed avocados in a bowl. Add the juice of 1/2 of the lime, about 1/2 of the chopped cilantro, 1/4 of the diced onion, 1 clove of the minced garlic, and the tomato in a bowl. Stir, sprinkle with salt to taste, and add more ingredients as you deem necessary. Serve as a dip, on eggs, or on toast. When you bring guacamole to a party, it’ll be an instant hit every time.

Also, if you leave out the avocado, you can make pico de gallo salsa!

Let her know how it turns out.

Christa Knox, MA, MScN, is a stroke survivor and holistic nutritionist in Portland, Ore. Visit Christa’s website BrainFoodForThought,com.

Can you push me?

 

Normally, this blog is about my recovery and all the things I now do TO recover.  9 years is a long time, so I will show you another reason I am happy to be alive:  I can’t believe I am so in love with my granddaughter.  She is truly the best thing in the world! As I was pushing her, I thought I heard her voice say “higher!”  Maybe next time….

 

Can I eat with my RIGHT hand?

You may think: Sure…it has been 9 years. You just assumed  that I was eating with my right hand.

The first picture seem like I have it nailed.  Now look at the SECOND picture:

YIKES!  My hand eventually becomes CLENCHED on my food and I have to use the OTHER hand to release.  But now, I am working on it EVERYDAY.  I am going to NJ to see my brother and I want to amaze him with my new “trick.”   What do you think?

If that fails, I will just amaze him with my driving! No wait, that is NOT a good idea.  How about answering open ended questions?  I can’t do that either.