Tuesday, September 29, 2015

'We get knocked down, but we get up again'

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed and broken. We are perplexed because we don’t know why things happen as they do, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.
What do the words "crushed" or "broken" mean to you?

Physically, grapes are crushed to make wine; a window can be broken by a baseball. But what about people?

Paul wrote to the Corinthians about the human condition - you can't ignore that troubles abound. Good, decent people can have health problems. Hard workers can find themselves unemployed. Those seeking friends might find themselves - in human terms - alone.

But we are not really alone. God never abandons us.

Does that mean all the world is just rainbows and flowers? Of course not. Humans - with both good intentions and bad intentions - have made many, many messes in this world. We get through this precisely because God never abandons us.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

'In his word I put my hope'

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.
Hope. My hope. Your hope.

We've all been there, haven't we - waiting, even reluctantly, in hope? Maybe you're waiting now in hope.

Lately, I've had some disappointments and concerns. Knee still bothers me. Other strange, unexplained lower leg pains, twinges and cramps. A friend seems to be having serious personal issues - yet to be explained. And more.

There's only so much I alone can do about any of these or others. Instead, I wait; my whole being waits. In hope.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

This must be a high priority item - to save lives

Photo from Doug McCaughan via Flickr
Chances are, you have high blood pressure or you know someone with high blood pressure.

Chances are, you know that high blood pressure is the leading cause of strokes.

Now, it's even clearer that even tighter control of high blood pressure is a key to stroke prevention:
"Our results provide important evidence that treating blood pressure to a lower goal in older or high-risk patients can be beneficial and yield better health results overall," said Dr. Lawrence Fine, chief of the Clinical Applications and Prevention Branch at the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. "But patients should talk to their doctor to determine whether this lower goal is best for their individual care."

Thursday, September 17, 2015

And the answer to the aspirin question is ...

Photo from Open Knowledge via Flickr
Those who are trying to prevent a stroke might feel like a ping pong ball.

There's been a bit of back and forth about who should take an aspirin every day to prevent strokes or heart attacks. Now, it seems we're now told that adults in their 50s should take aspirin daily:
Updated guidelines issued by the US Preventive Services Task Force recommend daily low-dose aspirin for the prevention of heart attack and stroke among adults aged 50-59 who are at high risk for cardiovascular disease. ...

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

What people can't see can still be real

Photo by Allan Ajifo
I can relate to this. I have no physical signs from my stroke. But I certainly felt the affects of aphasia (click here to read more about aphasia). Most are now gone, but for some these "hidden disabilities" are more long term.

Here's a relevant look at “hidden” disabilities after stroke:
Williams said she thinks that her disabilities aren’t taken as seriously as physical challenges.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

'Our dwelling place' - but so much more

Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.
A dwelling place. I've been thinking of dwelling places a lot these days:
  • With my wife, planning and considering some home projects to protect the investment we've already made in our home.
  • Been helping to prepare a home for one of my daughters.
  • Feeling proud of the accomplishments of my eldest daughter in improving the dwelling of her family.
But "dwelling" is so much more. This Psalm excerpt isn't talking about buildings. There's so much more.

When we feel lost from shelter, when we feel out in the open when the world's storms hit - God is our dwelling place. There, we find shelter. There, we can find peace and security.

Find your dwelling place - not the physical one, but the one that is so much more.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Cold is not cool - but winter is coming...

As a born Southerner, I am not a cold weather person. Cool is cool. Cold, however, is not.

And as cool weather is on the horizon now that it's September, it's good to know about recent research about the link between cold weather and stroke risk. While the studies don't prove that cold weather causes strokes, it's worth it to stay mindful about staying warm this winter and be sure you stick to your prescribed medications.

Here's a link and a snippet of the story about how cold weather may up risk of stroke, severe heart attack for some:

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Stroke and the aging brain

Photo by Allan Ajifo via Flickr
I'm a runner and occasionally refer to the book "Running Until You're 100" by Jeff Galloway.

But that sort of assumes I'll be around and can find my way around a running course at that age. That might be a challenge - one recent study suggests that a stroke ages a brain by eight years:
University of Michigan researchers analyzed national data from more than 4,900 black and white Americans aged 65 and older who underwent tests of memory and thinking speed between 1998 and 2012.