Aging Well in the Gorge August 30th 2016

After last week’s column, I received a phone message from a friend I’ve known for a long time (I could say an old friend, but these days I try to avoid to avoid using the word old) reminding me of the risks associated with taking statins.

It was a good point. Statins, as is the case with most every prescription drug, do have side effects that every person who uses them should know. But it is always important is to weigh the benefits against the risks for any drug.

We all know that too much cholesterol in your blood increases your risk of heart attacks and strokes. And research shows that statins block a substance that your liver needs to make cholesterol which causes your liver to remove cholesterol from your blood – which is a good thing. But there are side effects.

According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the most common complaints of taking statins is muscle pain causing mild discomfort, but it could be severe enough to interfere with your daily activities. Statins can also cause mild to severe liver damage; increased blood sugar levels which may lead to developing type 2 diabetes; and some people have developed memory loss or confusion. If you think you’re experiencing any side effects from taking one of the different types of statins, it is important you talk to your doctor. Your doctor may be able to come up with an alternative treatment plan.

We all react to drugs differently, so know the possible side effects and always consider both the benefits and the risks. And in the case of statins, they can reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke, and even though the risk of life-threatening side effects is very low – they do exist. It’s your choice.

You may have noticed, it’s back to school time – a time for drivers to keep an eye out for youngsters walking to school. And doesn’t it also bring back memories of walking to school in your new clothes, with your used books, notepads, Scheaffer pens and no. 2 pencils; and sitting at your wooden desk with that round ink well in the corner. They were simpler days. 

If you want to get in the back-to-school spirit and learn something new, here are three going-ons you might want to check out. Columbia Gorge Genealogical Society’s presents “Non-Population Census Records” on Saturday, September 10, 2016 (; ODOT historian, Robert Hadlow presents “Remember, Restore, Reconnect: The Historic Columbia River Highway,” Friday, September 9, at Columbia Gorge Discovery Center (; and a 2-Day Beginner Pastel Painting Workshop with Karen Watson on September 10th and 11th at The Dalles Art Center (

This is the last week I’m going to pester you to send in your favorite grandchild experience, because the entries have to be submitted by Saturday, September 3rd. Mail them to the Mid-Columbia Senior Center at 1112 W 9th Street, The Dalles, 97058 or email them to

Even though Grandparents Day is on Sunday, September 11th, the Center is celebrating the importance and joy of being a grandparent at the Grandparent Pancake Breakfast sponsored by Flagstone Senior Living on Saturday September 10:00. This is the Center’s first year of what is hoped to be an annual tradition – and I already have some ideas for next year.

There is music every Tuesday at the Center and on September 6th, Andre, KC and Tom will be playing for your listening and dancing enjoyment. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00 and ends when there’s no one left on the dance floor. Everyone is welcome and donations are always appreciated.

The movie that starred Charlton Heston; and was the highest-grossing film of 1959 and winner of a record eleven Academy Awards was Ben-Hur. (This week’s winners of a quilt raffle ticket are Sandy Goforth and Ed Anghilante.)

This week’s “Remember When” questions is about one of network television’s longest running and most beloved prime time game shows which broadcast from 1950 – 1967. What was the name of this game show that consisted of the four panelists trying to guess the occupation of a guest contestant? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it in an object “bigger than a breadbox”.

Well, it’s been another week, laughing at my own mistakes before anyone else can. Until we meet again, remember no one ever died of laughter.

“Grandmas are moms with lots of frosting.” Author Unknown

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