How will you stay health in your 3rd chapter?

The Third Chapter – how do you plan to write yours?

How will you stay health in your 3rd chapter?
Are you ready to plan your third chapter of life to preserve your health?

The Third Chapter has become the popular term for life past about age 60 thanks to Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot and her book by this name.  Your 3rd Chapter is where you leave your legacy, focus on what is most important, and do some things you couldn’t do during the peak of your career.

Big 3 – Third Chapter Options

  1. You can do nothing and continue to work. As a local lawyer recently stated, ‘They can pry my dead body from behind my keyboard.’
  2. You can just let the final third happen. Some people leave the office, go home, watch a lot of TV, and drift along until their health fails and they pass.
  3. You can plan and make this the best chapter yet.

Reasons to plan

  • Fulfill those dreams – What have you been putting off until you had the time, resources, and freedom to do them? I just talked with a family where the wife has been dreaming of a trip to Cuba.  For much of their lives that was not possible. Now he has retired, Cuba is open to visitors, she found a deal, and they can finally say ‘Yes’ to this opportunity.
    • If he was still working or even just going to work to maintain his comfortable schedule, they might have missed this chance.
    • If no planning had been done, they would still be talking about going to Cuba someday.
  • Intentionally get a handle on your health – Bad habits, work stress, limited time, and distraction can be risky for your long-term health. One of the earliest plans with the biggest return on investment in retirement is your health.  Proactive assessment and action now can prolong the healthy, active part of your third chapter.
    • While working, especially in high demand careers, many men ignore their own health in favor of the health of the company.  Then, they experience a rapid health decline.
    • Doing nothing will continue risky habits. Our current healthcare system is reactive.  Once you get sick, injure yourself, and find yourself declining, then the healthcare system kicks in.  You don’t want to wait for this to happen when you have this chance to proactively avoid or delay all of that.
  • Make this the most rewarding chapter yet! – With planning and intention you can make a mark on the world. Your years of collected skills, interests, and perspectives can make you invaluable in a role to address some issues in society.  Explore your interests.  What breaks your heart?  You now have the bandwidth to do something about it.
    • While continuing to work you will be disappointed that no one is doing anything to fix the societal problems that bother you most.
    • If you do nothing, your disappointment will grow.  As a result, that can lead to harmful negativity or complacency.

Retirement Wellness Strategies

This is what we do and why we do it.  Let’s talk today about taking a proactive approach to planning your third chapter!

You can reach Michelle at michelle@retirewellness.com, calling 410-472-5078, or check out the website at www.retirewellness.com.

BIBLICAL APPLICATION

God has plans for us in each chapter of life.

Job 12:12 ESV

Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days.

[Now, I’ll admit, I try to think of someone else much older than me when I read ‘old age’ in many translations of the Bible.  But, I think that is a translator’s term for having years of experience.]

The wisdom of years is highly respected in the Bible and in most cultures and historically in the US. I think this an important piece of our foundation that is now slipping – respect for your elders and care for your aging family members.

Proverbs 23:22 ESV

Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.

Ephesians 6:1-3 ESV

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”

Years of accumulated experience brings perspective, skills, and a deep wisdom that comes from mistakes, successes, complete failures, adversity, and overcoming.  In particular, to see how God pulls you through over and over again leads to a deeper faith that He’ll do it again.

Job 32:7 ESV

I said, ‘Let days speak, and many years teach wisdom.’

Psalm 90:12 ESV

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Titus 2:2-3 ESV

Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good,

Psalm 71:18-19 ESV

So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come. Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you?

I am so excited to see what can happen when people with years of wisdom and accumulated skill apply those to needs in society.

I’ll end with this quote on our bulletin at church today by Hugh Halter:

‘The convictions we need to rally around should be about life giving, community, transformation, holistic personal growth, sacrifice, beauty, blessing and world renewal.  Who wouldn’t want to be part of a people committed to something that brings personal meaning and makes the world a better place?’

This is how I see meaningful retirement.

Blessings,

Michelle

 

 

 

When the simple is complex

When Something so SIMPLE is NOT so simple – Tylenol®

When the simple is complex
When simple pain meds aren’t so simple

How often have you reached for simple acetaminophen (brand name Tylenol®) in your life? It is the go-to remedy for so many symptoms. It will reduce a fever, help with a headache, and help with general aches and pains.

Note, acetaminophen is the generic name. The generic version works just the same as the brand Tylenol® version. It is sometimes abbreviated APAP. So, Tylenol® = acetaminophen = APAP.

#1 treatment of osteoarthritis

Do you have arthritis? I know I do. Most of us (about 90%) have osteoarthritis. This is a condition where the cartilage coating our joints has worn away. There is now pain where bone is rubbing against bone. Your main symptoms are usually pain when you use the joint, stiffness, weakness (from your tendency to use it less), and crackling sounds.

I know I can no longer sneak up on my teenagers when I climb the stairs. My gravely sound in my knees is easy to hear.

The American College of Rheumatology, the main group of specialist doctors who treat arthritis, recommends acetaminophen for osteoarthritis.

Safer than NSAIDs (ibuprofen = Motrin®, Advil®; naproxen = Aleve®, Naprosyn®)

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used for pain. They treat pain in a way just like acetaminophen, and they also help with inflammation.

There are three big risks associated with these that I want you to know about:

  1. They can be hard on your kidneys. Be sure your doctor and your pharmacist know that you take these, how much you take, and which ones you take. They will monitor your kidney function and likely ask you to stop taking them if your kidneys show signs of injury.
  2. They can be hard on your stomach. Your risk of stomach ulcer goes up when you take these. ALWAYS take them with FOOD. If you develop stomach pain, more indigestion, reflux, or burning, tell you doctor.
  3. They can raise your blood pressure. This in turn can increase the stress on your heart. If you have high blood pressure or a heart condition, talk with your doctor and pharmacist BEFORE choosing to take an NSAID.

Risks of acetaminophen – not so simple

Acetaminophen is safe, but not completely safe. It has some risks. The biggest risk is when we take too much. And taking too much, is VERY EASY to do.

Sometimes people don’t realize that Tylenol® and acetaminophen are the same thing. When in pain, they take both thinking they are different medicines.

Many opioid pain medicines contain acetaminophen (APAP). Here are some examples:

  • Percocet® (oxycodone and APAP)
  • Roxicet® (oxycodone and APAP)
  • Endocet® (oxycodone and APAP)
  • Norco® (hydrocodone and APAP)
  • Vicodin® (hydrocodone and APAP)
  • Lortab® (hydrocodone and APAP)
  • Lorcet® (hydrocodone and APAP)
  • Tylenol #3® (codeine and APAP)
  • Tylenol #4® (codeine and APAP)

Many cough/cold/flu medicines also contain APAP. Some examples are:

  • Contac Cold & Flu
  • Theraflu
  • Alka Selzer plus Cold
  • Vicks Sinex
  • Comtrex

Too much acetaminophen in a day can damage your liver. The most that should be taken in a day is 4,000 mg (8 Extra Strength 500mg tablets). A group of experts is supporting a change so people use 3,000 mg or less. This will decrease the chance of people taking too much if their combination medicines have some ‘hidden’ acetaminophen.

The other important factor is alcohol. It is best to not drink alcohol when taking acetaminophen. Both make the liver work hard. Each can damage the liver when the liver is overworked. It can hurt your kidneys, too. If drinking while taking acetaminophen, please not every day and not beyond 1-2 drinks.

For more information about best use of acetaminophen, contact us at www.medsmash.com/contact, 410-472-5078, or michelle@medsmash.com. We can assess all of your medication regimen to screen for hidden acetaminophen.

BIBLICAL APPLICATION

Oh my, isn’t this also true of our Christian walk? The rules are ‘simple’ – Love the Lord your God and your neighbor as yourself.

Love, love, love!

It is good for you, it is good for others, it’s so simple!

I can give a list of the people I have hurt, offended, taken for granted, or overlooked in the last day or two.   I get distracted, frustrated, caught up in work, or frazzled. There is no excuse. My intention is to spend each day expressing God’s love. And, each day, I fall short of my well-intentioned goal.

Paul describes his own struggle with this in Romans Chapter 7.

Romans 7:14-25 NIV (underline emphasis mine)

We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.  For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law;  but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.  What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?  Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[d] a slave to the law of sin.

Why can’t we follow this simple rule of love?

Living in love means turning away from fear and selfishness*. We are so hardwired to think of ourselves first and foremost. It is a true choice (sometimes a very difficult choice) to put other people first. True love as demonstrated by Jesus is not selfish.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Can you imagine our world if we all lived in perfect love, as we were designed to live? Can you imagine each person you see treating you with love and respect? Can you imagine a world without conflict?

It is coming!

Blessings,

Michelle

* This is a reminder of a book I have been recommending that addresses this conflict between fear/selfishness and love. The God-Shaped Brain by Timothy R. Jennings, MD.