Aging Well May 22nd

How many drug ads can you tolerate during the evening news? Boniva, Paxil, Celebrex, Fosamax, Lunesta, Nexium, Paxil, Vesicare – describing how they will improve your health and well-being. And the ads have to mention all the possible side effects: nausea and diarrhea; dry mouth and sweaty palms; incontinence and constipation, sleeplessness and drowsiness; bad dreams and bad luck. But what do you really know about these miracle drugs?

Before you take any medication be a smart consumer and educate yourself first. Check out the Planetree Health Resource Center or the website MedlinePlus hosted by the National Library of Medicine where you can find trusted health related information. But the best option is to ask your healthcare provider: your doctor, dentist or pharmacist, so you can get the best results and prevent dangerous combinations of medicines.

But what should you ask? Here are ten questions from the “Educate before you Medicate” presentation that was held last week at the Center.

1) What is the name of the medication and what is it supposed to do? Basic stuff but often overlooked. 2) When and how do I take it? Make sure you understand the instructions. 3) How long do I take the medicine? Always finish your medicines unless otherwise advised by your healthcare provider. 4) Does this medicine contain anything that can cause an allergic reaction? Don’t forget to describe any pass reactions you have had to medications. 5) Should I avoid alcohol, any other medicines, foods and/or activities? You don’t want any unexpected reactions. 6) Should I expect any side effects from this medicine? Also find out who you should call if you experience any of the symptoms or have questions. 7) What if I forget to take my medicine? For some medicines missing even one day can be important. And never double your medication without consulting your healthcare provider. 8) Is there a generic version of this medicine that can be prescribed? A way to save money when the cost of prescription drugs can be prohibitive. 9) How should I store the medicine? Always keep medicines away from heat, light and moisture. 10) Is it safe to become pregnant or breast feed while taking this medicine? Probably not a problem for any one reading this column!

No drug is perfect. It is always a balance between the benefits and the side effects. But it is your body, so don’t hesitate to find out more about the medications you are taking.

I need to make a correction from last week. Next week’s Tuesday Lecture is about Whooping Cough and not the newly identified Whopping Cough: a cough caused by breathing in too many excessively large hamburgers in an exceedingly short period of time.

But on the 29th at 11:00 Jenny Tran, a local pharmacist at RiteAid, will explain more about the ral Whooping Cough (Pertussis) and how to protect infants, who are most at risk, by creating a “cocoon of protection” around them to keep them safe. Consequently, vaccinations are highly recommended, especially for grandparents and babysitters. Contact your local pharmacist to learn more about the booster shot (Tdap) to protect yourself and the babies in your life.

It’s the Jazz Generations performing at the Center tonight. And next week on the fifth Tuesday “For the Good Times” will be playing. We’ll pull up the rugs and push back the tables so you can dance to your heart’s content or till your legs wear out. Music starts at 7:00, everyone is invited and donations are suggested.

There were many folks who called or emailed the correct answers to last week’s “Remember When” question. But no one remembered the “Day the Music Died” as well as Steve Bungum (the winner of a free Saturday breakfast) whose home in Iowa was ten miles from where the plane crashed carrying Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and J. P. (The Big Bopper) Richardson.

But the answer to this week’s question occurred more recently – only forty years ago. In May and June of 1972, who organized and directed the Watergate burglaries of the Democratic National Committee headquarters? Email your answer to the, call 541-296-4788 or include it with a case of Teflon plumber’s tape.

Well, it has been another week, listening to a digital world with transistor ears. Until we meet again, when it seems like you are constantly taking one step forward and two steps back, put a little swing in your hips and just imagine you are dancing.

“When you to the end of your rope – tie a knot in it and hang on.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

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