When my husband’s hip and thigh pain prevented us from taking walks together, and then confined him to reclining on … Read More→
By Judy Kirkwood
By Judy Kirkwood Editor's note: October is Breast Cancer Month. This article is ThirdAge's contribution to awareness about a form of breast cancer that is seldom discussed and is underfunded even though a third of patients have it. Read on for the courageous story of one of those patients and learn how easy it can be for you to help the cause.
By Judy Kirkwood “The most important thing about me was that for quite a chunk of my life I was divorced. It was a fact that stayed with me even after I remarried. I have now been married to my third husband for more than 20 years. But when you've had children with someone from whom you're now divorced, that split defines everything; it's the lurking fact, a slice of anger in the pie of your brain.” Nora Ephron
Sleep is one of our most ordinary but important activities. If we don’t do it “right,” we can suffer. Snoring, the partial blockage of your airway, has been linked to some serious health issues, including heart disease, diabetes and weight. And the more serious sleep apnea – a condition in which your airway can be completely blocked from anywhere to five to 50 times an hour – can be life-threatening. And in both cases, you’ll probably be plagued by dangerous drowsiness the next day, affecting everything from driving to your job.
By Judy Kirkwood For me, the sixties are more fabulous than the fifties. For one thing, beginning at age 59 1/2, as a sneak preview, you can access your IRA savings – if you have any -- with no penalty other than the regular tax (do it before and you’re hit with an additional 10 percent penalty). At age 62 you can apply to receive early Social Security benefits. At 65, we have Medicare and can perhaps drop our expensive healthcare insurance if we’ve been paying privately – depending on who is elected and what happens in Congress.
By Judy Kirkwood Debilitating back pain is the second most common reason Americans visit the doctor. But who should you see when you have back pain and what do you ask? Having treated thousands of patients, Dr. Burak Ozgur, a combined ortho-neuro spine fellowship-trained double board certified neurosurgeon based in Newport Beach, California, shares his thoughts.
Addiction & Substance Overuse
By Judy Kirkwood The problem of older adults abusing prescription and illicit drugs hasn’t gotten enough attention says Dr. Gaya Dowling, acting chief of science policy branch at NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse). “When we think of drug abuse, we think of young people,” says Dowling. But there has been an undeniable rise in the number of patients over 50 who require intervention and treatment. Many more remain in the shadows, undiagnosed.
By Judy Kirkwood An estimated 12 million Americans suffer from the painful nerve disorder of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). We’ve heard the term so much that it might start to seem as if CTS is simply something you should live with. But investigators are working on new ways to prevent and cure it.
Mental & Emotional Health
By Judy Kirkwood Horrific events like the shootings in a Colorado movie theater and a Sikh temple in Wisconsin affect not only those directly or peripherally involved, but also many people who only hear about them on the news. “Such events leave most of us feeling vulnerable, helpless, sad and anxious,” says Linda Ligenza, a consultant to the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare. These killings, unlike those in war, happened in ordinary and familiar settings. This could have been me, we think.
By Judy Kirkwood If you've ever felt , or witnessed, the unimaginable despair and sadness that accompanies seeing a loved one with Alzheimer's, there could be good news for you. A new feature documentary, “Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory,” demonstrates the power of music to awaken and revive those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia--and to bring them closer to being themselves once more..
Overactive Bladder (OAB) & Incontinence
By Judy Kirkwood If you experience the urge to urinate day and night, even though you just went to the bathroom, you may have Overactive Bladder (OAB). A collection of urinary symptoms, the most prominent being an uncontrollable urge to urinate even though the bladder isn’t full, OAB affects millions of Americans. Although up to 40 percent of American women and 30 percent of men have been identified with OAB, there may well be more people who suffer from it because people don’t like to discuss this kind of problem.
Earlier this year I completed a six-week trial of acupuncture to see if it would banish the pain in my butt from Piriformis syndrome, an inflammation of the sciatic nerve. It didn’t fix that, but it did do something else that I hadn’t experienced with massage or chiropractic treatment (and certainly not with ibuprofen). And I did feel better.
By Judy Kirkwood I’m doing Pilates machines workouts by the process of elimination. I’ve tried and given up just about everything else. For the last year, my friend’s words have echoed in my guilt chamber: “Just pay the money and do Pilates machines classes. They work!”