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For Your Well Being: Happy as . . . ?

August 21, 2008, Vol. 6 Issue 14

Dear Friends,

Is it really back to school time already? Yikes. Between the pervasiveness of the Summer Olympics on television, a houseful of family visiting last week, and the late arrival of sweet corn at my local fruit stand, I’m feeling a little off-center. Meantime, my husband – in his usual good-natured manner — is just a little let-down. He just mailed the WebKinz cat and mouse, retrieved from under the air mattress, back to granddaughter, Emma. They left at 4 a.m., so if there wasn’t something left behind, that would be a surprise.

According to a new study from the University of California, I’m not the only woman who is lamenting life’s incongruities. Most interesting, I read about a study observing that “women start adult life happier than men, but end up less happy.” If you need proof that the women in your community NEED these women’s events you sponsor, check out this scientific study. It seems that early on, women are more likely than men to be in unions, and this makes for greater fulfillment of both family life and material goals. But it doesn’t stay that way. As they age, women are less likely to be in unions, and their sense of happiness declines. Well, maybe, maybe not. It helps if the guy is good-natured. I’m lucky that way.

Meantime, some of you are sending kids off to college. Have you thought about your kids’ health info? Sure, it’s hard enough letting them go, but holding on to their health ID, is the wrong thing to do. Here’s some great advice from our speaker and ABC news health correspondent, Dr. Marie Savard.

Dr. Marie Savard: How to Save Your Kids From College Health Hazards

I remember that we started school in late September my freshman year at Michigan State University, well after Labor Day. I vividly recall getting a flat tire on the way from Bay City, Michigan to East Lansing. My parents’ station wagon was loaded – I played the harp and it was taking up the major space in its case with everything else packed around it. So, you can imagine what happened when we had to unload everything on the side of the highway to get to the spare tire!

This all came to mind when I read Dr. Marie Savard’s article about the importance of sending our kids off to school armed with their personal health information and tools. I don’t recall anything of the sort, and I’m sure my folks would have prioritized this, had it surfaced. As the first-born off to college (and anxious to fly), I was preoccupied with the important things – posters, bedspreads, dorm decor, etc.

“Knowledge can mean survival when it comes to our children knowing their medical histories and seeing that their tests and shots are up-to-date,” Dr. Savard says. “As so many young kids are now getting ready for college, this is the time to remind parents and kids alike how important it is that you pack your medical knowledge along with your computer, new bedding and wardrobe.

“As you are about to send your son or daughter away from home and your watchful eye this fall (perhaps for the first time), there are some important questions that you need to answer:

Are they up to date on all their medical needs and appointments?

Do they need any last-minute immunizations or shots?

Do they have their medical histories with them? Do they know and understand their own medical histories?

Do they know the importance of taking a health buddy as another set of “eyes and ears” with them to student health or the emergency room if they get sick?

“Whether your child is leaving home for school, for a new job or to get married, their medical information must go with them,” Dr. Savard advises. “You can no longer watch over their health as you have done since they were babies.

“When your child gets sick, he or she will be seeing a new doctor, often in a student health setting, without your advice and support. Eighty percent of what a doctor relies on to make an accurate diagnosis comes from your child’s medical history. Research has shown that even kids with serious childhood illnesses can’t recall the specifics of their past medical histories — and not knowing can be hazardous to their health and jeopardize their care.”

For Dr. Savard’s tips on preparing your children for leaving home and teaching them to take charge of their own health, reply to this e-news and write KIDS in the subject line.

“I also recommend that everyone should carry a wallet card summarizing this information,” she says.

Dr. Savard is an internationally recognized internal medicine physician, expert on wellness and patient empowerment, and author of How To Save Your Own Life, The Savard Health Record and The Body Shape Solution to Weight Loss and Wellness. She is also an ABC News medical contributor. Her most popular topics are, “The Shape Of Your Health: Harnessing The Power Of Body Shape To Promote Waist Loss And Wellness” and “How To Save Your Own Life: Empowering People To Manage – And Take Charge – Of Their Healthcare.” To bring Dr. Marie Savard to speak in your community, visit our website or call us at 503-699-5031.

Olympic Frenzy

I’m not an Olympic fanatic, yet if you can’t beat it, join it, right? It’s what’s happening in the world (and dominating the news) in August of 2008. I wonder, of course, which Olympic champions will show up as great speakers? In health and wellness, there have been some greats like Peggy Fleming and Scott Hamilton, who have enjoyed the Olympic limelight, and when it came to their personal cancer challenges, they’ve not only survived, but used their celebrity status to advocate for fundraising and survivor support.

I heard on NPR this week that the discussion (question?) regarding the bikini attire of beach volleyball players has everything to do with comfort – sand and sweat, getting stuck in all the wrong places. They said that bikinis allow the players more freedom of movement than one-piece suits. Runners, they noted, who also sport brief clothing, don’t have the same challenges of sand and sweat. Hmmm, according to TV, it appears to have everything to do with camera angles.

Well, heck, I’m probably just jealous, wishing my knees worked that well and any part of me was as taut at those athletic young women. I never have liked games like volleyball, where balls are catapulted toward me. For that matter, after taking beginning golf three times, I decided hitting balls away from me was a lost cause as well. I guess I’ll stick to trekking up mountains, paddling down waterways, and tackling a tame cross country trail, as soon as my two new upgraded knees allow me to do those things again.

Until next time, take care of yourself, for your well being and those you love.

Yours truly,

PLEASE NOTE: The information shared in this e-news is designed to help you make informed decisions about speakers and the programs they offer. It is not intended as a substitute for any treatment prescribed by a doctor. If you suspect you have a medical problem, seek competent medical help.

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