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?

Gordon,

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……..

Good News – Bad News

Posted by Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter

While progress is being made in reducing the number of stroke deaths, it seems that more people who experience these brain attacks have significant stroke risk factors, a new study reveals.

The rates of high blood pressure, diabetes, abnormal cholesterol, smoking and drug abuse have all been on the rise in stroke patients over recent years, the study authors said.

The study included over 900,000 people hospitalized for stroke between 2004 and 2014. Each year, prevalence of high blood pressure went up by 1 percent, diabetes rose by 2 percent, high cholesterol went up by 7 percent, smoking increased by 5 percent, and drug abuse jumped 7 percent, the researchers found.

“The risk of dying from a stroke has declined significantly, while at the same time the risk factors are increasing,” said researcher Dr. Ralph Sacco. He’s a professor of neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

“We are not exactly sure why these increases are occurring,” Sacco said.

It’s possible that doctors are getting better at diagnosing risk factors. Or certain lifestyle factors may play a role, Sacco suggested. These include obesity, lack of exercise, poor diet and smoking.

The increase of drug abuse among younger patients is especially concerning, he added.

Although the increases in risk factors were seen in all racial and ethnic groups, increases in high blood pressure among blacks and diabetes among Hispanics stood out, Sacco noted.

He stressed that patients need to know their blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. “There are great medications that can be used to treat those conditions,” Sacco said.

“We need to go further in controlling risk factors, like diet and exercise,” he advised.
According to Dr. Salman Azhar, director of stroke at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, “The challenge now is to prevent strokes, and if they have had a stroke, trying to prevent a second stroke. This is where the importance of these risk factors comes in.”

The responsibility to reduce risk factors lies with patients, but also with the community, he continued.

“It’s up to communities to provide access to better food and places to exercise. We have a responsibility as a community and a health system,” Azhar said.

The 922,000 people included in the study had been hospitalized for an ischemic stroke, which is caused by a blocked blood vessel in the brain. These are the most common types of stroke.

The number of stroke patients who had one or more risk factors increased from 88 percent in 2004 to 95 percent in 2014, the findings showed.

For hospitalized stroke patients during the 10-year study period, high cholesterol rates more than doubled, from 29 percent to 59 percent, and the rate of diabetes went from 31 percent to 38 percent.

In addition, high blood pressure rates increased from 73 percent to 84 percent, and the prevalence of drug abuse doubled from 1.4 percent to 2.8 percent. Also, kidney failure increased each year by 13 percent, and plaque buildup in the carotid (neck) arteries rose by 6 percent each year, the investigators found.

Dr. David Katz is director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center in Derby, Conn. He said the improvement in stroke survival “suggests we are relying on advances in treatment while neglecting prevention.”

Katz, who is also president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, said, “Treating disease is never as good as preserving health and vitality. This study is a precautionary tale of the questionable and costly choices we seem to be making as a culture.”

The report was published online Oct. 11 in the journal Neurology.

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

How Did I Do at University of Portland?

 

 

 

 

First thing: I spoke THREE times in one day; I have never done that before!  This was another milestone for me.

I love the University of Portland because I can deliver the same speech, varies ways, to test certain things out.  But THIS time, I delivered the SAME speech, the same way, to all three groups to see if there was any variation in the way certain people view my presentation.

You would think if I didn’t do anything different, all threes groups would behave the same way.   WRONG!  Each of the three groups behaved differently!

To me, I was blown away. How could three groups be so different?I gauge the groups by the laugh I get at the beginning.  If they don’t laugh, I know it will be a tough group.

All three group responded the same way to my questions before I ask before the speech.  I thought if I started with these questions, I would urge them to listen.

I worked up to my first laugh:

I was a young, healthy, active, non-smoking, non-drinking- mostly non- drinking – normal cholesterol man,….. just like this guy! (point, Laugh)

 

 

 

 

 

There were no laughs!   I looked at Jill, thinking I didn’t say my line write.  Nope…I said it correctly!  So I continued on, with maybe a chuckle  or two at a few points. Then at the end, they asked a bunch of questions!  Were they the same group that heard my talk?

Then I had the second group.  They REALLY loved the picture!  I had to wait before I could continue because they were laughing so much!  When the end came, they didn’t ask ANY questions…but they stated to thank me…and we had to give another book to someone who didn’t look like she was paying attention but she was actually moved by my talk!

The third group had a few chuckles.  They asked a few questions at the end.  You never know what kind of impact you will have on a group until the very end of the talk, when they are leaving the room.

It must be tough being a stand up comic!

Stroke at 30??

Stroke at 30-something: You Can Come Back.  The Right Attitude, Therapy and Caregiver Support is Vital to Successful Rehabilitation

Stroke survivor Jessica “Jess” McNair can joke about it now—one of the reasons, in fact, she is convinced that it’s her sense of humor that helped her recover from a series of strokes this year. At 32 years old, Jessica experienced what doctors described as “cascades of multiple strokes” resulting from irregularly formed arteries in her neck. The event left the San Rafael, Calif., resident unable to walk, talk or care for herself.  The prognosis was bleak and Jess’ team of doctors predicted she had a five percent chance of living.  Her road to recovery started with a grueling schedule of occupational, speech, and physical therapy.

“I had overwhelming amounts of denial from the very beginning,” said Jess describing her first reaction to the news given to her at the hospital. Although Jess was preparing to move to London and bartending to save money, she doesn’t see herself as a victim: “I consider myself strangely pessimistic in an optimistic way.”

This is where Jess’ older sister Kate comes in.

The Caregiver’s Life is Changed

No individual or family is ever prepared to fulfill the role of a full-time caregiver. Looking back, Kate recalls that both her and Jess were overwhelmed with emotion. “We were both crying, but immediately started joking,” says Kate who feels that maintaining a good sense of humor is a necessary coping skill for everyone – but especially for stroke survivors. “When I walked into the hospital I told her that there are other ways to get a day off – you don’t have to have a stroke!”

A fulltime sales professional, wife, and expectant mother at the time, Kate knew early on that she had to deal with the situation personally. The then 34 year-old recalls the vagueness of the doctors and nurses in answering her questions, which emphasized how important it was for her to take control of the situation. Shouldering the responsibility of work and the physical demands of pregnancy, Kate now had the added role of primary caregiver to her younger sister.

Thankfully, Kate was able to rely on her husband and friends who helped deal with insurance companies, meal preparation, and physical therapy.

“There was a lot of planning. We had to plan how to watch her. It was pretty scary and the frustrations were there,” Kate remembers.

When it came to working as a team, Kate recalls Jess’ determination, “She was really determined. We would make a diary and everyday have these little goals.” This helped support the efforts of her rehab.

A Great Rehab Team

For stroke survivors, rehabilitation options depend on the severity of their stroke, their level of disability, and the intensity of rehabilitation exercises they are able to endure. The goal of rehabilitation is to improve the survivor’s function so that they can regain independence and live life without relying on a caregiver.

Upon suffering a stroke and calling the ambulance herself, Jess was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at Marin General Hospital where she had two more big strokes. She was then accepted to the rehabilitation program at California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC)—Davies Campus while she still had a tracheotomy. At the time, Jess couldn’t speak or make a noise. Through their sisterly-bond, Kate was the only person who could read her lips and understand her. “I guess you could refer to me as a vegetable at that point—I was not moving at all,” Jess points out. This marked the beginning of her three-month stay at CPMC’s inpatient rehabilitation facility, before being transferred to their outpatient program.

“I had three amazing people working with me—I call them my heroes,” referring to her occupational, physical, and speech therapists with whom she remains friends to this day. During her recovery, the skilled professionals got her standing up and walking again with assistive technology such as the EksoGT™, a wearable exoskeleton that helped train her body to walk with a proper gait, and an electronic stimulation machine that enabled her to relearn vocalization.  With these devices, both Jess and Kate noticed improvement, providing Jess the much needed confidence and motivation to continue her therapy.

A Time for Independence

Jess is still in recovery and has been able to regain some of her independence with the help of Kate and her army of “heroes.” The sisters, who will be separated in the upcoming months due to Kate relocating to Minneapolis, feel that this experience has brought them closer and made their relationship stronger.

“Before, we were close – we saw each other on an everyday basis, but now our bond has been reinforced. Silly arguments don’t seem to matter anymore,” mentions Jess.“I love her—she’s one of my most favorite people on earth. I feel like I’m abandoning her, so I’m going to miss her a lot, but I am confident in her progression,” Kate adds.

Jess is maintaining her positive attitude and currently focusing on regaining enough independence to be able to make the move to London.

To encourage others on their own personal comeback journeys, Jess and Kate recently participated in a podcast. The podcast is available through Connected Social Media, Ekso Bionics and iTunes.

To learn more about the advanced exoskeleton technology Jess used during rehab, visit Ekso Bionics.

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.

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.

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.

The Saturated Fat Myth and Heart Disease

By Helen Sanders

For many decades now mainstream medical advice has been that saturated fat is bad and should be lowered at all costs to prevent heart disease. Surely then there must be strong evidence that saturated fat is a primary cause of cardiovascular problems? Actually there isn’t.

Let’s look at the saturated fat myth, how it relates to heart disease and why low-fat diets, along with recommendations to replace meals containing saturated fat with more high carbohydrate foods, can lead to obesity and related diseases like diabetes.

Heart Disease and Saturated Fat

Approximately one third of all deaths in the USA are attributed to heart disease and health organizations like the American Heart Association advise that less than 7% of your daily calories should come from saturated fat.

But is there any solid scientific evidence that saturated fat causes heart disease or is it a myth perpetuated by old and long since discredited research?

Saturated fat healthy

While it has been observed, in some short-term studies, that increasing the amount of saturated fat eaten can also increase blood cholesterol levels, longer-term studies do not show a strong association between blood cholesterol and saturated fat intake. There is also ample evidence in recent years that cholesterol is not the dietary villain it’s been made out to be.

We actually produced three quarters of the cholesterol in our bodies ourselves and it is a vital component of a well functioning body.

Only one quarter comes from dietary intake and for most people increasing saturated fat from healthy sources like free range eggs, grass fed meat or coconut oil will not increase blood cholesterol long-term as your body simply lessens the amount it makes.

For a detailed breakdown of why cholesterol and saturated fat are not the cause of heart disease for most people, read Chris Kresser’s excellent four-part serieson the subject.

Studies on Saturated Fat

A 2009 study entitled ‘A systematic review of the evidence supporting a causal link between dietary factors and heart disease’ conducted a detailed examination of all the cardiovascular disease studies on Medline that met their strict criteria of good science and optimal research methodology.

This wide-ranging investigation found “strong evidence… of protective factors” for “an increased intake of vegetables, nuts and a Mediterranean-style diet” but “insufficient evidence” of an association between reducing dietary saturated fat and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

They did however find “associations of harmful factors, including intake of trans fatty acids and foods with a high glycemic index or load.” The pages on What Is Margarine? and Cutting Carbs to Lose Weight have more details on reducing these harmful factors in your diet.

Another large-scale meta-analysis of all the recent studies of the association between saturated fat and cardiovascular disease found “no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD (coronary heart disease) or CVD (cardiovascular disease).”

Heart disease Saturated fats

​How the Saturated Fat Myth Leads to Weight Gain and Disease

While the mainstream medical community slowly comes around to the likelihood that its assumptions about heart disease, cholesterol and saturated fat may well have been a myth based on bad science, many cardiovascular experts are becoming vocal in their criticism of the saturated fat dogma.

Cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra said recently in the British medical Journal that recent studies “have not supported any significant association between saturated fat intake and risk of CVD.”

He also says that in the USA, the percentage of calories coming from fat has declined from 40% to 30% in the past three decades, yet obesity has rocketed. He believes the reason for this is that food manufacturers “compensated by replacing saturated fat with added sugar.”

Dr Malhotra concludes with, “It is time to bust the myth of the role of saturated in heart disease and wind back the harms of dietary advice that has contributed to obesity.”

In response to the same article, Professor David Haslam of the UK’s National Obesity Forum said: “It’s extremely naive of the public and the medical profession to imagine that a calorie of bread, a calorie of meat and a calorie of alcohol are all dealt in the same way by the amazingly complex systems of the body. The assumption has been made that increased fat in the bloodstream is caused by increased saturated fat in the diet, whereas modern scientific evidence is proving that refined carbohydrates and sugar in particular are actually the culprits.”

Even more scathing of mainstream medicine’s view of saturated fat is an excellent new investigation by the ABC’s Catalyst program called the Heart of the Matter. I’d highly recommend watching this video to understand just how saturated fat was demonized in the first place and what really causes cardiovascular disease.

Ultimately, the saturated fat myth looks to be an idea based on bad science that has remained dogmatically accepted and strangely persistent, despite a lack of any real evidence.

Large meta-studies in recent years have found no strong correlation between saturated fat intake and heart disease (unlike stress, sugar, smoking, trans fats, lack of exercise and several other factors), and yet this drive to reduce saturated fat in our diets has been damaging.

It has millions of people around the world on statin drugs to reduce their cholesterol (now the most profitable drugs in history), with questionable benefits and many side effects.

It has vilified healthy cooking oils like virgin coconut oil, in favor of highly processed and inflammatory vegetable oils, themselves now been linked to cardiovascular disease.

It’s led to low-fat versions of everything on the supermarket shelves, usually a simple switch from hunger satiating fats to hunger promoting sugar that increases the risk of diabetes.

And, despite the irony, eating less fat has definitely made people in Western countries fatter, as processed, high glycemic carbohydrate foods overtook more traditional meals with their higher saturated fats.

Do you still believe in the saturated fat myth? I be interested to hear different opinions and studies, but I would ask that you look at those listed on this page, and especially the Catalyst Heart of the Matter program above and see what the cardiologists and other cardiovascular specialists have to say about saturated fat and heart disease.

The event was FANTASTIC; I Wasn’t

I felt GREAT. Now, after 9 years, I would wake up at 8:00am and got to bed at 11:00pm…and I wouldn’t even have to take a nap!

My friend, Keith, invited me to this event to raise money for stroke survivors and caregivers. I had a few minutes, so I looked at their mission:

To assist stroke survivors and their caregivers through the utilization of rehabilitation technology, research and treatment of the stroke disease process; and to provide support with community integration for daily life, recreational and vocational pursuits

This signified what I was doing. Keith was a  stroke survivor and he thought I should hear about this. He was right: I purchased tickets for Jill and I.

We got there at 7:00pm and everybody was SO NICE.  We enjoyed wine for an hour and then we sat down for dinner.

Mara, one on the organizers, spoke briefly, thanked everyone and said why we were all here.  I thought to my self:  I feel blessed to be included!

We had two of the courses. But now something WAS wrong.  My wife ask me if  I wanted to leave. I looked at her and said “No, I feel great.”  But I didn’t feel great…but  I thought it didn’t show.  I didn’t remember much from that time on; I guessing it was 9:00pm.

I sat there but I don’t know what happened.  A little after 10:00pm, my wife could tell I was in trouble.  She quickly dragged me out.

The next phase was a blur. I remember walking up the next morning in my bed.  I didn’t know how I got there.  The last thing I remember was a leaving the night before.

Could it be that I was drunk? I had 2 glasses of wine in two hours followed by a few glasses of water.  So, No.

I think the MESSAGE was great, but maybe I should waited another couple of years before attending again. I hope the other attendees didn’t see me leave. It was kind of embarrassing!

Portland Stroke Walk … #pdxHeartWalk

On Saturday, I volunteered for the 2017 HeartWalk in Portland Oregon. When they started,  they used to have 120 people attend.  Now, they get over 7000 people attending the walk!

This year, Jill could’t help me; she was talking care of our grand daughter Stella!  What about me? I was in charge on giving the t-shirts out to people who got over $100 in donations.

People who survived a stroke got a hat.

I REALLY enjoyed this tip from OHSU.

And our course, there was the magnet.

Want to what it WAS really like? Click on PDX HEART Walk  now.