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UPDATED 10.25.19

Aging Well in the Gorge October 16th 2019


Remember when it was considered rude to question your doctor? Back then you would ask “Doc what should I do?” and he (when doctors were generally men and women nurses) would tell you and you did it. But the relationship between doctor and patient has changed - for the better.

Today the relationship has progressed where the doctor gives you advice and YOU decide in consultation with your doctor what to do. But this puts more responsibility on you. You are no longer a backseat passenger. You are now helping drive your medical care.

In the video presentation, “4 Questions You Should Always Ask Your Doctor”, neurosurgeon Christer Mjåset points out in the United States, an estimated thirty percent of all medical spending does not add value to your medical care and is unnecessary.

To avoid unnecessary treatment, he suggests asking your doctor these four questions.

1. "Doctor, is this really necessary?" A basic question - but seldom asked. The problem is that unnecessary procedures burden an already over stressed medical system. A good doctor will sometimes say “no”, but the sensible patient also at times will turn down an opportunity to get diagnosed or treated – which is difficult when you want something to be done.

2. "What are the risks attached to this operation?" There is no medical procedure or operation that is without risks. I remember Dr. Stanley speaking at the Center ten years ago explaining joint replacements and the risks. His advice - don’t do it unless your condition is affecting your quality of life.

3. "Doctor, are there other options?" Alternatives may be just as effective. Recent research has shown in some circumstances there is no difference between the effect of operating on the knee and regular physical therapy.

4. "And what happens if I don't do anything?" Doing nothing is always an option, but you should know the consequences.

By asking these four questions, research has shown that one out of five individuals will change their mind about what to do - and according to Mjaset benefiting an already overstressed health care system while keeping you in the driver’s seat when making decisions about your medical care.

This sounds like a way to get into the Halloween spirit. The Gorge Winds Concert Bands presents its October Spooktacular Concert, Sunday Oct. 27th, 7:00 pm at The Dalles Middle School. And if you dare, wear your Halloween costume! Suggested donations are: Families $20; General Admission $10; Senior Citizens and Children 13 -18 years old $5; and for Children under 12 admission is free.

As we head into the second half of Gorge Happiness Month, here are this week’s suggestions for things to do to help increase your happiness. Oct. 17 – Leave a kind note in an unlikely place; Oct. 18 – Pet a cat or dog; Oct. 19 – Take a nap; Oct. 20 -   Make plans for something to look forward to; Oct. 21 – Have a conversation where you listen more than you talk; Oct 22 – Look at the sky; and Oct. 23 – Walk or drive a different route.

The name of the CBS comedy broadcast from 1962 to 1971 that told the story of a poor backwoods family from the Ozarks who moved to California after striking oil was the “Beverly Hillbillies”. And the family was the Clampetts. I received correct answers from Becky Roberts, Barbara Cadwell, Rhonda Spies, Jerry Phillips, Darcy Long Curtiss, Darlein France, Virginia McLain, Elaine Lee, Lana Tepfer, Mary Collins, Alse Mattos, Lucille Stephens, Cheri Brent and Claudette Potter this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And last week I missed Betsy Ayres.

This week I’m raising the ante with a question I think you’ll find more challenging. Westerns were a popular genre on television, but by the middle of the 1970’s after Bonanza, Gunsmoke and this series were cancelled, it marked the end of the traditional Western era. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the Western series originating on radio in 1930 and broadcast on television from 1952-1970 featuring true stories of the American West and hosted by various actors including Ronald Reagan? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with a box of Twenty Mule Team Borax.

Well, it’s been another week, watching the leaves turn. Until we meet again, the older you get the more complicated life seems.
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“Don’t let your mouth write a check that your tale can’t cash.” Bo Diddley

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