Aging Well in the Gorge September 14th 2022

Well, this hasn’t been a good week! On Saturday, the 3rd my cough started worsening, and to be safe I decided to take a COVID test. I wasn’t worried. I haven’t been infected with COVID and I didn’t even get it when my wife was sick from COVID. I figured my immune system was one part of my body that was working to full capacity. But you know where I’m headed. I did test positive! And it has been a very uncomfortable eight days: constant coughing fits, tiredness, loss of appetite.

I think I have finally turned the corner, but it has thrown my fine-tuned writing routine out the window. And worse, I kept telling myself if I’m too tired to write I can wait till the next day and the next day. And now here I am. I need to submit the column by Sunday which as I’m writing is tomorrow!

But I made it! And although this week’s topic is not one you would normally have on your list of conversation starters, it is important because it does affect many of us.

You may have had a “Gotta go, Gotta go!” moment – and from own my personal experience it can be embarrassing when you don’t make it. If you experience incontinence, you’re not alone. An estimated 32 million Americans have incontinence,

But what can you do? I found the report “Better Bladder and Bowel Control, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School” that you can access on the Internet. It offers a regular bladder workout that can tame incontinence without surgery. See what you think.

Doing more bladder training can go a long way toward helping with urinary incontinence. In simple terms, this workout strategy involves learning to urinate on a schedule and doing pelvic muscle exercises.

Here’s a step-by-step bladder-training method.

Keep a diary. For a day or two, keep track of the times you urinate or leak urine during the day.

Calculate. On average, how many hours do you wait between visits to the bathroom during the day?

Choose an interval. Set your starting interval for training so that it’s 15 minutes longer.

Hold back. On the day you start your training, empty your bladder first thing in the morning and don’t go again until you reach your target time interval. If the time arrives before you feel the urge, go anyway. If the urge hits first, remind yourself that your bladder isn’t really full,

Try pelvic floor exercises (also called Kegels), or simply try to wait another five minutes before walking slowly to the bathroom.

Increase your interval. Once you are successful with your initial interval, increase it by another 15 minutes. Over several weeks or months, you may find you can wait much longer and that you feel the urge less often. After four to eight weeks of improvement, you can reward yourself with a glass of wine before you start another diary.

Brain Tease. A man was walking in the rain. He was in the middle of nowhere. He had nothing and nowhere to hide. He came home all wet, but not a single hair on his head was wet. Why is that? Too easy again?

The two stars of the 1951 critically acclaimed film African Queen were Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart. I received correct answers from Jess Birge, Margo Dameier, Lana Tepfer, Rebecca Abrams, Donna Mollet, and Rhonda Spies this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And last week I missed Patty Burnet and Margo Dameier.

It has been almost 40 years since the “Where’s the Beef?” commercial was televised and since then it has become a popular catchphrase. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what fast food chain introduced the phrase in 1984? And for bonus points what presidential candidate used the phrase in a 1984 Democratic presidential debate?  Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788, or send it with a Dave’s Combo.

Well, it’s been another week, coughing and sputtering. Until we meet again, as I’ve learned, it’s always a risk thinking it won’t happen to you.

I saw this Kurt Vonnegut quote on a t-shirt hanging in the Kurt Vonnegut Museum in Indianapolis that speaks to the value of art. “Practicing an art no matter how well or badly is a way to make your soul grow.”

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