Dr. Susan Mathison
"Dr. Mathison to OR 6" blared over the speaker system one morning. Heeding the call, off I went to do a routine ear procedure I've done thousands of times before. I use a special microscope to inspect the ear and deep within the canal, to the eardrum and beyond. But on this occasion, I struggled with the microscope and made numerous attempts to position and focus it. "What is wrong with me today?" I wondered.
As science advances, so does our understanding of our bodies and how they work. We've come to realize that getting to a healthy personal weight involves a lot more than eat less, move more. Our metabolism is more like a complex chemistry experiment than a simple math equation. Two important factors in the big scheme of hunger management, food intake, energy balance and natural weight management are leptin and ghrelin. These names always remind me of little gremlins or ghosts, and the upcoming Halloween candy feast surely wreaks havoc with their functions.
I hope you had time for a summer road trip with wide open spaces, vast starry skies and new experiences. And as you headed toward home late at night you may have been beckoned by the orangey glow of your town or city awaiting your return. As you pulled into the garage, you may have taken one last look outside before you started to unload the car and return to life as usual. In your tired and wistful state, you may or may not have noticed ... where did all the stars go?
My son went back to school a few weeks ago, and his classroom is filled to the brim with books. One of his first tasks was to choose two books to put at his desk. When I pick him up, I'll ask about homework, and he'll retort, " I ALWAYS have homework, Mom. I always need to read books."
Though I grew up in Fargo, I never spent much time outside of the city. Most of our relatives lived in Minnesota, and not far off the major thoroughfares. When I moved back to North Dakota after residency training, I met new friends who lived in more rural areas. I noticed a curious phenomena. There was a lot of waving going on. "Who's that?" I'd ask as we met another car or truck or tractor along the road. "I don't know," was the answer. "Then why do you wave?" I'd ask. "Just because."
As I read the Parade section in last week's Sunday Forum, the headline of an advertisement caught my eye: Vinegar is like a Drugstore in a Bottle. Because I actually "prescribe" vinegar for certain conditions, it piqued my curiosity. Certain types of vinegar have been touted as a wonder cure for hundreds of ailments since ancient times, and the ad listed almost every one of them.
Summer vacation is winding down, and our thoughts turn to backpacks instead of beach balls. Despite the waning days of warm outdoor play and wake-boarding, we still need to think about sun protection. In addition to slathering on sunscreen (I prefer mineral-based blocks with zinc and titanium), you might find extra ways ways to protect your skin in the fridge or pantry or medicine cabinet. Research shows that certain foods and supplements can enhance your skin's natural protection ability and minimize sun damage.
Confession: I've watched more than one Hallmark Christmas movie this past week. I never knew they had a Christmas in July movie extravaganza! The movies are classic fairy-tale love stories with an extra twist of holiday spirit, and I'm quite embarrassed that I got sucked into the drama. But I did ... and it was kind of nice to live in a fairytale for a short time. How did they come up with this theme "Christmas in July?"
I came across a wonderful quote from the online newsletter, Elephant Journal. Happiness is the new rich. Inner peace is the new success. Health is the new wealth. Kindness is the new cool. Around the same time, I reconnected with Kaia Roman. I quoted her in a previous article about mindfulness for kids at school. She has a new book coming out next week "The Joy Plan: How I Took 30 Days to Stop Worrying, Quit Complaining, and Find Ridiculous Happiness."
Most of us suffer from an occasional headache. There's the sinus headache, the weather headache, the TMJ headache, the stress headache, the PMS headache, the over-tired headache, and of course the dreaded migraine headache.