Just in Time for New Year’s Resolutions: FoodSmarts!

You made a new year’s resolution to eat healthier. The National Stroke Association’s app FoodSmarts can help.

FoodSmarts is designed to help you manage all your nutritional needs in a simple, easy-to-use tool. Users log in and create a profile that includes their various food preferences and health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and/or stroke disease. Healthy eating habits are critical for those who have had a stroke, and are key in preventing stroke.
FoodSmarts is accessible online at foodsmarts.stroke.org as well as via a mobile app. Online accounts sync with the mobile app, which is available in the iPhone and Google Play stores.

With FoodSmarts you can:
• Search for recipes, ingredients and grocery items that match personal dietary restrictions and food preferences
• Connect with friends and family members to learn about their nutritional needs and preferences
• Connect with a personal Registered Dietitian or Nutritionist for advanced guidance
• Add family recipes, create meal combinations and check the nutritional content of your favorite dishes
• Find restaurant dishes that meet the special nutritional needs of family members
• Build a personal library of food favorites
• Automatically manage weight loss goals when meal planning and dining out

Through a partnership with FoodCare®, registered dietitians are able to provide advanced nutrition guidance to make using FoodSmarts? even more personalized.

Try it out!

I’m Back! Wait,I fell terrible. I’ll be back the next day.

(This is how I want to be viewed.) But as I began my routine on January 2, I didn’t feel quite right.  So, I decided to go back to bed for 30 minutes.  I woke up at 11:30am and I just couldn’t concentrate on ANYTHING. I went to my computer and I just stared at the emails.  Nothing seemed to connect. Have you had that happen to you?

I looked at Jill and she seemed even worse. Jill said that we should take a sick day.. and I agreed.  We both slept the rest of the day and through to next day…but I did wake up for meals. For example, at lunch, I flank steak and Cranberry juice. She just had a glass of water.

The next day, I figured I was going to be better and I would get started. On January 3, I felt even worse. I couldn’t keep my eyes open and I just wanted to sleep.  Jill, felt a bit better. again, I awoke just for meals.

What about January 4th? I work up, and I felt ok.   I was finally able to get back to my emails and get started on a few things I had on my plate.  Now, at 6:45pm Thursday night, I will start writing my blog…3 days late!

Just for laughs, here’s what my iPhone tracked leading up to the event.  I  started to fell sick late Monday afternoon:

For stroke patients, rating scales predict discharge destination

Note:  I will take off the remainder of the year and begin again in January.  Happy Holidays!!!


Stroke survivors with higher scores on widely used outcome measures are more likely to be discharged home from the hospital, while those with lower scores are more likely to go to a rehabilitation or nursing care facility, reports a paper in the January issue of The Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy (JNPT). The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.

Standardized rating scales can help to support decisions about discharge destination for stroke patients leaving the hospital, according to the analysis by Dr. Emily Thorpe, PT, DPT, and colleagues of Walsh University, North Canton, Ohio, under the mentorship of Dr. Robert S. Phillips, PT, DPT, PhD, NCS. “These results provide a framework with which to start the plan of care and discharge process in acute and sub-acute settings,” the researchers write.

Outcome Measure Scores to Predict Stroke Discharge – Pooled Evidence Analysis

In a systematic research review, Dr. Thorpe and colleagues identified nine previous studies of the relationship between standardized outcome measures and discharge destination in patients with stroke. Five studies–including more than 6,000 patients–provided evidence suitable for analysis of pooled data, called meta-analysis.

Meta-analyses assessed the predictive value of two outcome measures. Four studies evaluated the Functional Independence Measure (FIM), which assesses the level of assistance needed to perform daily tasks. The FIM is commonly used in hospitalized patients with a wide range of conditions. Two studies used the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), which is specifically designed to assess stroke severity and resulting disability. (One of the studies included both measures.)

Both rating scales were good indicators of the discharge destination for stroke patients, according to the meta-analyses. For each one-point improvement in the FIM score (on a scale from 18 to 126), patients were about eight percent more likely to be sent home from the hospital, rather than to a rehabilitation or nursing facility.

On both the FIM and NIHSS, patients who scored in the “above average” range were 12 times more likely to be discharged to home. In contrast, patients with “average” scores were 1.9 times more likely to be discharged to a care facility.

Patients with “poor” scores on the FIM and NIHSS were 3.4 times more likely to be discharged to an institution. For this group, the discharge destination was more likely to be a skilled nursing facility, rather than to an inpatient rehabilitation center.

Interdisciplinary rehabilitation services are crucial to help stroke patients toward regaining their functional ability and lifestyle. With the aging population and increased spending for stroke management, it’s more important than ever to provide efficient care for patients recovering from a stroke. About 20 percent of stroke survivors require institutionalized care beyond three months; many patients need continued assistance after they return home.

Outcome measures such as the FIM and NIHSS are widely used to assess the functional abilities or clinical condition of stroke patients. However, it has been unclear how scores on these rating scales are related to discharge destination.

The new analysis provides evidence-based data to support critical decision-making about discharge destination in stroke patients. “Findings from these meta-analyses are consistent with common sense practice: the better a patient’s outcome measure score, the greater the likelihood of home discharge,” Dr. Thorpe and coauthors write. The results show the “quantitative impact” of outcome measure scores on discharge decisions.

The researchers emphasize that rating scales such as the FIM and NIHSS are just one factor to consider in determining the best discharge destination for each individual patient after a stroke. Dr. Thorpe and colleagues conclude: “Ultimately, standardized outcome measures should be further used and studied among the post-stroke population to improve healthcare policy and compliment clinical judgment in the task of recommending discharge destinations for patients to receive the necessary care for achieving their optimal function.”


Click here to read “Outcome Measure Scores Predict Discharge Destination in Patients With Acute and Subacute Stroke: A Systematic Review and Series of Meta-analyses.”

My Gift








                   2016                                                                2017                                                                                                                                                                                                In 2016, the gift from my son was this travel game of bocce. We had just done our backyard last year, so this gift was meaningful because we put in a bocce court.  It made me laugh because I could now play bocce whenever I went!

In 2017, he gave me a 1.75 bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream.  My thought process: I am becoming more important with him.

When I was in college, my dad just became plain stupid. I couldn’t imagine listening to anything he said to me…and I let him know it.  I’m not proud of that, just honest.  After I graduated and I was working, it amazed me how smart my father became.  He started to make a bunch of sense!

My son Tom, is in ROTC and will be joining the army when he graduates; this makes me extremely proud of him. I THINK I am becoming LESS stupid an maybe starting to make some sense. That is what the 1.75 bottle of Baileys Irish Cream meant to me!

We will see. Next year, possibly a shirt?

Fact: Up to 80% of strokes can be prevented!

Has that caught your attention?  It certainly caught my attention!

While not all stroke risk factors can be controlled, some can.  One of the risk factors that you can control is Atrial Fibrillation, commonly called AFib. This is a heart condition that causes your heart to beat abnormally. However, AFib is tricky—you may not be aware that you have it.

Amy Herron
Senior Coordinator, Programs
National Stroke Association


It is FINALLY over…

Sorry I didn’t write sooner; I was just overwhelmed with my clean shaved face!  I made a donation to the National Stroke Association and I will give to the Salvation Army (when ever I see them collecting) in December.

So far, I am doing as I promised. But I have to get something I don’t normally carry…money…so I can keep my promise of the season.  Promises are important to keep. This may be a BIG month for my donations, but it is important. Believe me, my cash donations are not large. I am doing with a little less this month because I believe it is important.  Why?  Because I didn’t shave for a month and it made me realize the MANY people have it worse off then me.

If you are up to it and NOT a female, try going unshaven next November. I can’t tell you what a difference it has made in my life.

It is over in 24 hours…




                   Before                                                      After        

What’s the difference between Movember, No-Shave November?

Let it grow! November is a popular time for men to sport facial hair as part of No-Shave November or Movember.

The beards are starting to appear.No-Shave November and Movember are underway and, while both are monthlong campaigns that involve growing out your facial hair to raise awareness for men’s health issues, they are not one in the same.Here is what you should know about the two mustache-related movements.

No-Shave November

The official No-Shave November movement encourages men (and women) to donate the money they would have otherwise spent on shaving-related products and services to the American Cancer Society.

National Beard and Moustache Championships

“The goal of No-Shave November is to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free,” the website says.

The guidelines for No-Shave November are not cut and dried

“We understand people have different circumstances, such as a dress codes at work, that require you to remain well groomed, therefore we do not impose any rules,” the site says.

Dashing mustaches


On the other hand, Movember is championed by the Movember Foundation, which was started in Australia in 2003.

The organization donates the money it raises to projects and programs related to prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s mental health issues.

Mo Bros, as participants are called, agree to grow and groom a Ron Swanson-worthy ‘stache and “use the power of the moustache to create conversations about men’s health and to raise funds” for the causes the organization supports.


What You Should Know About The 6 Early Warning Signs Of Alzheimer’s Disease

Lately, the fear of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is scary…mainly because they say it is hereditary!  Meredith Rodgers put together this article and the infographic to guide people going through this.


There is a form of dementia that results in cognitive and memory loss. According to Alzheimer’s Association, AD is one of the leading causes of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of patients diagnosed with dementia. Dementia is a serious condition that leads to loss of memory and intellectual reasoning which can affect one’s daily life.

Alzheimer’s disease usually results in the death of brain cells, which leads to the decline of memory and cognitive function over a period of time. Initially, patients with this condition are likely to have problems remembering things and mild confusion. In late stages of AD, it can worsen to the point that the patient is unable to converse or reason with people. Patients with Alzheimer’s require full-time support and care from their families and friends so that they can go on with their daily life. Support provided could involve helping them dress up or assistance during meal times.

The main factor contributing to Alzheimer’s disease is aging. As you age, this disease tends to get more severe. Most people who have this condition are above the age of 65. However, it is not normal for older people to have Alzheimer’s disease as they age. About 200,000 citizens of America experience early onset of Alzheimer’s disease while still in their 40s or 50s.

It is difficult to diagnose the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease because doctors don’t look for warning signs in young people. Thus, doctors may wrongly diagnose symptoms of Alzheimer’s for stress. For a successful diagnosis to happen, a comprehensive health evaluation will need to be carried out by a doctor. It is not yet known what causes the early onset of AD. However, scientists believe that specific rare genes that are inherited could play a role. Even though Alzheimer’s disease has no cure, patients with this condition can take treatment to reduce the progression of the disease. This might help them live a happy and fulfilling life.  

Early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease

It is normal for people to forget stuff, for example, where you placed the keys. However, if this happens too often, it could be an early warning sign of AD. Most of the time people who have problems remembering things also experience difficulty in communication, focus, and reasoning. If this happens to you or your loved one, you will need to visit a doctor for medical evaluation. A doctor will perform a thorough evaluation to try and identify the root cause of your memory problems. If successfully diagnosed, Alzheimer’s patients may commence treatment to help improve their quality of life. The following are the most common early signs of AD which you need to look out for.

  1. Memory loss

Difficulty remembering stuff like names or new information is an early warning sign of AD. Initially, your short-term memory will be affected but with time, you may have problems with your long-term memory as well. Hence, you might find yourself having problems remembering important events that happened in your life. In addition, it is common to find people with memory loss asking the same question repeatedly. This is because they cannot store information in their memory.

  1. Problems communicating

This is another early warning sign of Alzheimer’s. People with AD normally have problems finding the right words to explain their themselves. Therefore, it can be hard to chat with someone with Alzheimer’s disease.

  1. Difficulty conducting routine tasks

If you have Alzheimer’s disease, you might find it difficult doing routine tasks like cooking or playing a game like chess. Doing tasks that seemed obvious before might seem a challenge to do them now.

  1. Personality and mood change

You may experience changes in mood such as depression as an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s. Also, this condition may result in personality changes, for example, going from being a shy to outgoing person.

  1. Difficulty solving problems 

If you have problems making decisions or solving problems, it could be an early sign of AD. For example, you might find it hard to follow a recipe or pay your bills. Also, you might find yourself placing your stuff in the wrong place. For example your cell phone in a fridge.

  1. Apathy

That means you might lose interest in activities you used to enjoy, including your hobbies. If you used to like going out and having fun with friends, now you might find it less amusing. Also, you may find yourself spending less time with your loved ones.

If you experience one or more of these symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have AD. However, you should not just ignore symptoms like memory or cognitive problems. The best thing to do is to visit a doctor so that they can determine if your signs and symptoms are as a result of Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer's Disease Signs and Symptoms

Alzheimer’s Disease Signs and Symptoms, courtesy of GeriatricNursing.org

I received this touching note. Are you turning 60? Read This!

I just amazing received this beautiful note.  Maybe I am thinking the right things?


I just read your post.  Sounds like you are asking the same questions many, many people ask when they turn 60.  There are no magic answers.


Have you ever thought that one gift your stroke gave you is time? Time to do your blog, time to be a grandfather, time to be a caring father,  time to volunteer, time to have quality time with your wife, time to exercise,  time to do presentations, time to pray, time to help Jill around the house, time to have fun, travel, etc.


Perhaps you need to think of yourself as retired……not unemployed.  Is this the life you planned and worked so hard for all those years.  No, but does real happiness come from our jobs or from  our personal relationships.  Only you can find your answer to that question.


Perhaps God has some plans for that time………another door to open…….other paths to follow.   If you ask, he will help you open the door.


The journey is the secret……..not the destination.

From someone still asking the same questions……..

I woke up again…and I am still 60!

I can’t stop thinking about this!  I am still 60 years old.

In reflecting… I had good intentions, but I haven’t helped anybody achieve their dreams. I look at this as a failure in life…if I can’t help others.

Now I am 60 with nothing to show for it…and I don’t have much time left!  But at least now, I am going to savor each moment with the time I do have left.

I asked my wife of 28 years: what happened to my big dreams? She answered that question with a kiss. Isn’t she a great wife?

I would like to give back to other struggling entrepreneurs. Can I show them how to succeed in sales? I have been out of sales for 10 years (a stroke thing). Do I still have what it takes?? I would like to do the things that people really want: all the ins and outs of sales. I would like to help them…no compensation…but with the fact that I was doing something nice.

Where do I start? Please call or write to me.