Does your emotional well-being improve with age? When are you happier: morning or the evening?

Research has shown that happiness in older years is generally higher. In a 2014 study conducted by English and Carstensen (see reference below), older adults reported more positive emotions in low arousal positive emotions (low arousal states are defined as: happy, content, calm relaxed) during the entire day vs. younger adults.  Younger participants felt more negative in the evening.

There was little age difference in those who were in high arousal negative emotions (high arousal negative states were defined as: anger, anxiety or sadness).

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Figures from the Engilsh and Carstensen article referenced below.


So the research does seem to  support that “we are more mellow as we age”.   Think about your emotions, are you happier in the morning or evening?  Are you happier than you were when you were younger?   It good to be us, isn’t it?

#Runmyownrace …and it wasn’t pretty

I was scheduled to run a 10K this morning.  Piece of cake, I thought.  Bottom line, I did not run the race and when I tried to “run my own race”, it did not go well….here’s the scoop from head to toe.

  1. Head/cognition: I had all of my running gear ready to go (belt, sports beans, hat, bib – check that box).  Problem was – I was riding my bike to the run (approximately 10 miles from my home).  Night before: tires checked, bike bag placed with running gear, lights charged (pretty dark in the morning).  Looks good, yes?  One piece missing: bike lock. It usually sits in my bike basket in it’s proper place. Half way to the run, I realized I did not have the lock – ok, the nice guy at the info desk yesterday told me that have bike valet at the race and would give me a ticket (he did qualify that I was the first person that asked about riding their bike…. Hmmm). So I took my chances and low and behold – bike valet was places to “lock your bike in”.  What I feared – so, instead of risking bike theft, I figured, OK, ride home and run the 10K – no problem…
    1. Learning: Always put things in the same place and put them back when you use them. Have a check list, especially for when you go your usual routine.
  2. Heart: I was pleased to see that I was getting some good exercise riding my bike.  My Garmin watch linked to my iPhone told me my heart rate was in the 140s going up hills and back down to the low 100s on the straight away. Goody!
    1. Learning: the fact that I did have an elevated heart rate with good recovery (all good) demonstrated that I was just not having a scenic lolly gag bike ride. I was trying to get to the race.
  3. Stomach: Had my usual pre morning muffin… Nice flax seed with carrots and raisins.  I figured, this would hold me for a 6 mile run, I even had some sports beans and yogurt covered raisins in my pack (oh yeah, there was a 10 mile bike ride before the run, duh).
    1. Learning: Proper fueling is important for every race and oh yes, don’t forget EVERYTHING you are doing (bike ride included).
  4. Legs: Ah yes…

Here is a little tidbit I found that hit the nail on the head. Rubber Legs!!  Gumby – thScreen Shot 2017-10-15 at 3.25.45 PMat was me.

“When you work out harder or longer than you are used to, your muscles must adjust to the increase in intensity. Exercising causes slight damage to your muscles, which encourages them to increase in both size and strength as they heal, John Ivy notes in his book, “The Performance Zone.” If you injure your muscles more extensively than normal activity causes, your legs may feel rubbery when you first end your exercise session. Rubbery legs are more likely to occur when you increase the intensity or duration of your workout. It also can happen if you do activities that primarily require the use of your legs, such as running or riding your bike.”


Overall Lesson: Don’t wing it – have a better plan.

Making Time to Really Listen to Your Patients

I read a very interesting article in Harvard Business Review that healthcare providers and patients should read.  The link to the article is below.

A great quote from the article is below:

When doctor and patient join forces, the team dynamic dismantles the harmful hierarchy. Both members of the dyad can rely on each other because neither owns all the data that matter.

Another reason to have good information to share with your healthcare provider, so you can spend the time in meaningful conversation.


Splain it to me Lucy: Articulating your medical condition is as easy as putting on your reporter’s hat

Yesterday, after completing my 16th ½ marathon (I began running 6 years ago. My time for this run was not very good – but I had not trained for the run – I will elaborate more next post) my friends and training partners were talking about our health (yes, that seems to be a common topic when you reach 60).  My one friend stated that he had a “funky heart rhythm”.  When I probed a bit further about what was a funky heart rhythm, he was not able to articulate what that meant and shrugged it off.

Putting on my healthcare professional hat, I began thinking ….What if I had a patient that I was meeting for the first time and they told me they had a “funky heart rhythm” and that they had been see in the emergency room for this problem – but it was “nothing”.   My Sherlock Holmes hat would have to dig to try and find what that meant and determine if it is important. (lots of time used to try to figure the mystery out and it could be important or not important)

Is it not our responsibility to know what that “funky” means?  Could it be a life and death piece of information to know? Maybe,or maybe not –  so how do you “splain it?   bill-wegener-280985

Let’s break it down and use a reporter’s techniques:  Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?


Here is an example  (please note, this is just an example)


  1. Who – that’s easy – it’s You!

  2. What – I had a problem with my heart, my doctor said it was xyz

  3. Where – It was discovered during a stress test

  4. When – in 2001

  5. Why – I was having a stress test because I was feeling skipping in my heart and my doctor thought I should have a stress test to find out more.

  6. How –  (let’s change this to NOW) They told me it was just some premature atrial beats and it should not cause concern.  I haven’t had a problem since.

It helps to have the descriptor of what it was, even if you don’t know the medical term. This will make the questions that are asked and the direction your healthcare provider takes much easier.  Even better – have it written down in your wallet.

example: I have premature atrial contractions (PAC’s)  which were discovered in 2001 via a stress test, there was no treatment and no medications were required.  My doctors checks this periodically.

Interesting Factoid:

The 5Ws + H formula has been attributed to English rhetorician Thomas Wilson (1524-1581), who introduced the method in his discussion of the “seven circumstances” of medieval rhetoric:

Who, what, and where, by what helpe, and by whose,
Why, how and when, doe many things disclose.

(The Arte of Rhetorique, 1560)



International Day of Older People 2017

Did you know that October 1st was International Day of Older People?  It was voted by the United Nations General Assembly  as a resolution on  December 14, 1990.  Of course these resolutions are considered non-binding, but what we can we as individuals do to bring attention the the International Day of Older People. Discussion about the “silver tsunami” occur, but how do we get a swell of attention or just make a small difference as an individual.  We have the opportunity and should take advantage of our voices and wisdom of older people.  Yes, sometimes it is difficult.

Isn’t it ironic that an “older person” on the International Day of Older Persons and just one day before the International Day of Non-Violence committed one of the most heinous crimes in the United States again innocent people.

We as older people should take this opportunity to help others pause and reflect on life, respect, and kindness. After all these years, we should have some wisdom to share, yes? Instead of sitting and doing nothing, take this opportunity to do one random act of kindness, give one pearl of wisdom and also to reflect on these other “Day’s recognition” – We all matter and our issues matter.

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September is Healthy Aging and Afib Awareness Month

Did you know that September was HealthyAging month AND Afib Month… Who knew and should we care?

To start out, to age in a healthy manner – you must be AWARE of your health.  According to the Heart Rhythm Society,  more than 2.5 million American adults and 4.5 million adults in the European Union are impacted by Atrial Fibrillation and that A Fib is responsible for 1/3 of the hospitalizations for disturbances in cardiac rhythm.

Knowing potential triggers (see below) is important and part of knowing how to live healthy.  Again, my husband is a good example and had many of the triggers that were cited in the article, What are the Triggers for Atrial Fibrillation (link below). 

Do you know your triggers and do you know the signs and symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation?



Here is the link to the article titled “What are the Triggers for Atrial Fibrillation”

More to come on AFib, but always, if you have questions, feel fatigued, rapid heart beat, etc – please contact your physician.  AFib can lead to stroke – so pay attention to YOUR Health.

Hope you had a wonderful HealthyAging September!!!

I’ll Do It Later

How often do we say, I’ll do it later?   That could mean changing the batteries on your smoke detector, getting gas in your car or tending to your healthcare.  Wisdom says, if it only takes a short time, just do it and be done.hourglass-1703330_1920

My husband is a great example of the “I’ll do it later” philosophy, and today was a good lesson.  Background: we moved approximately 500 miles from our previously home in Northern California about 1.5 years ago (we were commuting back and forth for approximately 4 years, while I kept my job up north and my husband worked part time there as well). We kept our health care providers and dentist that had treated us for the best part of 10 years.

With moves comes the usual disruptions: finding and establishing a relationship with a bank, locating your favorite restaurants, finding a good place to get your car serviced, and probably most important, identifying your medical and dental care providers.

We are both relatively healthy and in our 60’s, so what’s the hurry – no pressing issues.  We are good about our dental care, so that was an easy check (cleaning and some minor teeth repairs). Dermatologist was reasonably easy, we asked a neighbor who they went to and got an appointment in a short period of time (not my experience when living in Northern California, that was like getting an audience with the Pope.  So new dermatologist: my husband had a little “thing” on his shoulder – turned out to be melanoma.  Got that taken care of, now on the 6 month watch list. Check!!!

So what about the “general medical stuff”?  Well…. Finding a primary care provider is not so easy.  Their practices are full and getting an appointment is challenging. Getting all of your “stuff” from your previous care providers (your lab results, x-rays, etc.). That takes more time so ” I’ll do it later”.

Today is later!  My husband got his flu shot last week (good start, plus he had to for work), got pretty sick the day after – cold/flu symptoms and then really started feeling poorly through the weekend and into the workweek on Monday.  Symptoms: heart rate was erratic,  shortness of breath walking up the stairs, and generally “not feeling good.”

As all good healthcare people, we pulled out our tools.  First – check out the funky pulse rate with my Kardia, by AliveCor  to get an EKG.  It’s an app with a bolt on device that is on the back of my phone (I have had problems with rapid heart rate while I run and I was trying to rule out SVT – but that has already been discussed in a previous blog).  Lo and behold – A Fib, with accompanying higher than normal blood pressure.

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The dilemma is now – no primary care provider and no cardiologist.  Do you go to the emergency department or wait it out?  My husband called the cardiologist office where I was seen a bit ago.  As of this posting, we are still waiting for a “scheduled time” for an appointment.

Moral of the story… Don’t do it later.. do it now!  That is why houses burn down, cars run out of gas and people die. So here we wait – ED or appointment???