• GREAT TRUTHS ABOUT LIFE, THAT ADULTS HAVE LEARNED:
  • 1.. Raising teenagers is like nailing Jell-O to a tree.
    2.. Wrinkles don't hurt.
    3.. Families are like fudge . . . mostly sweet, with a few nuts.
    4.. Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.
    5.. Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.
    6.. Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.
  • GREAT TRUTHS ABOUT GROWING OLD
  • Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
  • Forget the health food. You need all the preservatives you can get.
  • When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you're down there.
  • You're getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.
  • It's frustrating when you know all the answers, but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.
  • Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.
  • Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone
  • Would you like the telephone number of the support group nearest you? John Leaman of the Asthma and Emphysema Self Help Group in New York says that his organization can help you out. Just call (212) 777-5581 and he will try to help you. Patient support groups are wonderful and we recommend them for everyone.
  • Have you quit smoking? Are you planning to quit December 31st at the stroke of midnight? The University of California, Berkley Wellness Letter had a few interesting facts about the effects of smoking that will make you glad that you quit the weed or, hopefully, strengthen your resolve to do so.
  • Lung Cancer: This remains the biggest cancer killer of both men and women (except Hispanic women)
  • The incidence of lung cancer in men is declining, as is the mortality rate. And while the incidence in women has leveled off, the death rate is still increasing---because so many women started smoking after the 1940s.
  • How can you guard against cancer? If nobody used tobacco, the total incidence and death rate from cancer (all kinds of cancer) would fall by about one third! It is a tragedy of our time that so little has been done to eliminate tobacco use.
  • Cholesterol levels: Smoking lowers HDL (the good cholesterol) by an average of 5 points and increases total cholesterol. Even secondhand smoke can lower HDL!
  • Fruit: A recent Dutch study showed that eating fruit such as apples and pears may reduce the risk of lung disease, even after smoking and other factors were taken into consideration.
  • Do you remember that last month we told you that hand washing was one of the most effective things you could do to protect yourself against flu as well as anthrax? Also reported in the letter was a large study of Naval recruits which found that washing their hands at least five times a day cut the rate of respiratory illness by 45%!
  • THE FOUR STAGES OF LIFE:
  • 1. You believe in Santa Claus.
    2. You don't believe in Santa Claus.
    3. You are Santa Claus.
    4. You look like Santa Claus.
  • If you want another reason to feel good about living in good old USA, you should listen to Dr. Rich Casaburi, who came back from a meeting in Greece with some interesting information. This meeting was held on the island of Kos, birthplace of the father of modern medicine, Hipocrates; it was devoted to exploring the advances made in treating COPD.
  • There was a lot of discussion of "practice guidelines" for diagnosing and treating COPD. It seems that there is pretty good agreement among the "experts" as to how to diagnose COPD and the best drugs to prescribe for COPD patients. But surveys have been conducted here and in other countries that show that many physicians have not been listening to the message. A substantial portion of COPD patients has apparently been misdiagnosed as having asthma. This seems to be a major problem in Great Britain. Even for those correctly diagnosed, there are wide differences among countries in how the disease is treated. If you lived in Italy, you would be more likely to be treated with theophilline (now considered a third line drug) than with an inhaled bronchodilators. If you lived in Germany, you would find that cough and cold preparations are the most commonly used drugs to treat COPD patients. In Great Britain and on most of the European continent, inhaled corticosteroids are prescribed to the vast majority of COPD patients…even though expert opinion is quite divided on their value. In many countries, long acting beta-agonists (like Serevent) and anticholinergics (like Atrovent) are not commonly prescribed. In the United States, we still have a long way to go in making sure that general practitioners are fully up-to-date in their diagnostic and prescribing practices. But the land of the free also happens to be the home of appropriate medical care for COPD!