Thursday, October 15, 2009

Beyond Being Aware

“Doctor’s Office”
“Yes, I’d like to make an appt, please.”
“Sure. Your last name?”
“First Name?”
“Hmmm…..have you ever been here before?”
“Of course…. Well, I missed my annual appt this year in 2009 which is why I’m calling, but…..Hmm…I think I was there last year….
“Hmm….What was your name again?”
(annoyed) “What about looking under something else, like my date of birth?”
“No… wouldn’t be under that…”
“Well, I’ve been coming there for the past 20 years so I’ve got to be in your system.”
“Has it been more than two years since you’ve been here?”
“No…I would not miss my annual appt two years….one maybe…but not two….at least I don’t think I would...….has it been two years?”
“We switched to electronic medical records two years ago and some of our old charts didn’t switch over. I can’t find you anywhere in our system so it must have been at least two years since you’ve been in.”

I couldn’t believe it. Me! MISS ‘Can’t we just all be healthy’……MISS, ‘We need to take care of these bodies because they are the temple of God’……MISS, ‘Get out and take a walk why don’cha!’ It turns out that my last annual gynecology exam was in December 2007! And my last mammogram was January of 2008! It is now October 2009! Shame on me! Before then I never missed a year of having both! What good is it to eat right and exercise on a daily basis, if I don’t take care of me in every other way? What good would it be for us to become more aware of breast cancer this month and never exam our breasts on a regular basis? What good would it be for us this month to learn that some of the little known breast cancer warning signs are: 1) a change in your nipples, 2) redness, swelling or bruising, 3) sore armpits, and 4) discharge, (SHAPE magazine, Oct 2009) if we never pay attention to our bodies? What good would it be for us this month to learn that, 1) body fat boosts your risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, and, 2) women who walked briskly for 30 minutes a day 5 times a week reduced their risk of breast cancer by 20 percent, (Weight Watchers magazine, Sept/Oct 2009) if we act like we are afraid to sweat? What good would it be for us this month to learn that we should “Eat a plant-based diet, which has been shown to help reduce the risk of breast cancer; fill your plate mostly with vegetables, fruits and whole grains,” (FITNESS Magazine, Oct 2009) if we refuse to eat a variety of foods? As we become more aware of breast cancer this month, let’s find ourselves still doing something about it NEXT month and the month after….and the month after. Beyond being aware. What will that look like that to you?

Candy Craze!

I took two tootsie rolls out of my co-worker’s candy dish. It happened so quickly….I don’t even remember thinking about it and deciding to take them but there they were in my hand as I walked away. This must be how an ex-drug addict or former alcoholic must feel when she is tempted by the thing she has now been free of for quite some time; and no one is around. Oh, the memories. I used to eat 5-10 tootsie rolls as my afternoon sugary treat about twice a week; sometimes three times. The women at the Gift Shop in the hospital next to where I work always knew what I was coming to buy. If I missed a day they wondered if I was O.K.. No, this wasn’t many years ago. This was just last year! I would eat one slowly as I walked back to my office. Then I would hide the others on the side of my desk where no one else would see them so they wouldn’t ask me for any. What a rush! What a feeling! It seemed like so long ago….. and now here they were…two tootsie rolls in my hand…..Would I eat them now? Or, would I save them for a treat for later? Would I chew them slowly, savoring every taste? Or, would I chew them quickly? But wait? I thought I broke that habit? I thought my new motto was, “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” (I Corin 6:12) Could I eat just two and be satisfied or would I need more? Perhaps two would be enough this day, but would it be the beginning of the poor habit all over again and the next day I would find myself taking a trip to the Gift Shop? All of a sudden, before I knew it, just as quickly as I had picked them up and put them in my hand, I threw them in a trash can! A trash can with a top on it! I didn’t want to be trapped again; trapped by the sugar rush. I was enjoying my freedom. As you find yourself surrounded by lots of candy this time of the year, just remember, “Candy has a high glycemic index (GI), which means that it causes a high rise in blood sugar levels after ingestion. This is chiefly a concern for people with diabetes but, but could also be dangerous to the health of non-diabetics. (Wikipedia). Also, you may be surprised at the calorie content of some of your favorite candies- even the small packages: Hershey Kisses – 26 calories and 8 g carb each kiss; M&Ms plain, fun size, (18g), 88 calories and 12 g carb; M&Ms peanut, Fun size (18g), 93 calories and 11 g carb; Tootsie Rolls, 50 calories and 10g carb, or Midgee tootsie roll, 23 calories and 7 g carb; Reese’s Peanut Butter cup, miniature, (about 9 grams each) 44 calories and 5 g carb per cup; Snickers Bar, Fun size (17 g), 80 calories and 10 g carb; York Peppermint Patty, regular small patty, (14 g), 53 calories and 11g carb. ( Yep! It may feel like a candy craze these days, but will you be crazy enough to give into it or just a little crazy and stop when you know you have enough? “….To thine ownself be true”…..