September 10, 2010

The Best Years

Posted in Breast Cancer, Cancer, Family, Women tagged , , , , , , , , , at 6:33 am by Liliana

The birthday girl

The birthday girl

My grandmother lived to be ninety five years old. Throughout the years, whenever she talked about people who happened to be her age at that particular moment, she would make a comment – “they are enjoying the best year of their lives!”

For my grandmother, every year of one’s life was the very best year.

It took me a long time to understand what she meant, but I think that I am getting there.

Many years of my life were painful and difficult and did not seem enjoyable at the time. My mother suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. My sister almost died from pulmonary embolism. My family in Yugoslavia  lived through tragedy, violence and hardships. I was sick with cancer.

But when I look back on all this, all these misfortunes, together with all the joys, construct a picture of my life. I would not be who I am without them. I hope that I have learned from them to be a better person.

One thing I do know – I am much more compassionate, accepting and kind. To my family, friends, strangers, the world around me. And to myself.

Today I am fifty one years old. Happy birthday to me!

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May 28, 2010

Aches and Pains

Posted in Health tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:56 am by Liliana

Aches and Pains

Aches and Pains

All of us have aches and pains (whether we are young athletes or simply getting older) and most of the time we shake them off, move around and try to feel better.

There are certain symptoms, though, that you should not ignore. They might be signaling something more serious, so pay attention to your body. No need to panic, but be honest with yourself. Consult your doctor if you have concerns about any of these symptoms.

Problem: Intense pressure or creeping pain in your chest; or pain that is spreading from shoulder to jaw could indicate a blocked blood vessel that may be prevented from carrying oxygen to your heart.
Response: Call 911 and take a full-strength aspirin (325 mg.)

Problem: Numbing pain in your lower back, starting in the buttocks and extending down your legs might indicate a herniated or slipped disk.
Response: Call your doctor and make an appointment.

Problem: Tingling or fiery pain in your feet could indicate nerve damage and is one of the symptoms of diabetes.
Response: Call your doctor and request a blood sugar test.

Problem: Extremely acute pain in your head could signal a ruptured blood vessel or brain aneurysm.
Response: Call 911 right away. A CT scan should be performed to check for hemorrhaging.

Problem: Pain and redness in your leg muscles, not unlike muscle cramps, could be deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – a blood clot that forms in your legs. It the clot breaks free if could travel to your lungs and cause pulmonary embolism.
Response: Call 911 or your doctor right away. An ultrasound should be performed immediately to check for blood clots.

Take good care of your health. Best of luck.

Disclaimer: Please consult your doctor before making major medical decisions.