Aging Well in the Gorge December 8th 2015

When you’re sick or feeling some kind of physical discomfort, do you ask yourself, Should I make a doctor’s appointment? Should I wait and see if it gets worse? Or is it serious enough that I should go to ER right now?
After I broke my hip, I waited a day thinking and hoping I had just bruised my muscle or bone. But the next day, when suddenly in the middle of the Center’s parking lot I couldn’t put any weight on my leg, I knew it was time to drive myself to the hospital – after I figured out how to get to the car.
But there are situations when you should be less optimistic and a little more expeditious than I was. In an article for UC San Diego Health, an academic medical center in San Diego, Scott LaFee identifies the following ten medical symptoms that you shouldn’t ignore.
1. Chest pain: Extreme discomfort that feels like squeezing, pressure or tightness. May be accompanied by pain radiating down an arm, nausea, vomiting, sweating or difficulty breathing.
2. Shortness of breath: A sudden feeling that you’re breathing faster than usual, without obvious explanation, and without good effect. Worsens when you lie flat or exert yourself. Wheezing or gasping.
3. Sudden intense headache: This is head pain unlike anything you’ve felt before, peaking in seconds or minutes.
4. Unexplained weight loss: Losing more than 5 percent of your body weight without trying in less than six months.
5. Unusual bleeding: For example, rectal bleeding or black or tarry stools. Or bloody vomit.
6. High or persistent fever: Anything 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher warrants an immediate trip to the doctor, without exception. A low-grade fever (somewhere around 100 degrees) for several weeks with no obvious cause should also be checked out.
7. Sudden confusion: Or inexplicable changes in personality, aggression or an inability to concentrate.
8. Swelling in the legs: Persistent, accumulated fluid (edema) in the extremities.
9. Sudden or severe abdominal pain: Centralized around the belly button. Sharp and unexpected.
10. Flashes of light: Bright spots, flashes or other visual disturbances.
There can be many reasons for these symptoms – some life threatening and others more benign. If you want to learn more, I have posted the entire article on the Center’s website,, under the HEALTH tab.
When the snow arrived last Wednesday, followed by rain that decided to come early dressed as ice, it made it difficult to get around town. And so not to encourage folks to take unnecessary chances, the Center was closed on Wednesday and Thursday causing several events at the Center to be postponed to this week.
One was the presentation by John Brenne, Project Director for the Foster Grandparent Program, who decided driving from Pendleton wasn’t the best idea. But he has been rescheduled to speak at the Center at 1:00 on Wednesday, December 8th. As a quick reminder, the Foster Grandparent program places adults age 55 or over in schools to help young children become better readers. A unique benefit of being a Foster Grandparent is you receive a non-taxable stipend of $2.65 to cover volunteer expenses.
Also Thursday Night Bingo was canceled which means this coming Thursday you still have a chance to win $1000 if you blackout on the last game in 60 numbers or less. I’ll bet you someone goes home with an extra $1000 for Christmas shopping. And for those who want a bite to eat, they’ll be serving Johnny’s special Hamburgers with Potato Salad.
For the Tuesday Night Music and Dance on December 15th, the Simcoe Boys will be performing. Music starts at 6:30, everyone is welcome and donations are always appreciated.
The name of the 1960’s television series featuring special agents 86 (Don Adams) and 99 (Barbara Feldon) was Get Smart. (The winner of a free quilt raffle ticket is Don McAllister.)
This week’s “Remember When” question is from one of my favorite holiday movies. In the 1942 film Holiday Inn starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby sang what became the best-selling single of all time. What was the name of the song? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with the 1942, 78 rpm release of the song on Decca records.
Well, it’s been another week trying not to slip and slide away. Until we meet again, don’t let fear spoil the season of peace.

“Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.” Dale Evans

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