Healthy Stories

Pruning our lives

It’s difficult for me to cut down a pretty plant, even if it is suspicious. But I learned a lesson when I planted one particular tree a few years ago.

I thought it would grow tall next to a wooded area in our yard. Instead, one day a vine draped itself over the branches of my tree. It was pretty, so I thought I would let it grow.

I didn’t pay much attention to the tree and its new friend because it was at the corner of the lot, and I wasn’t around it that much.

So the summer went, people came an...

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Take care of yourself

Wouldn’t it be sad if you had to wait until the people you love died before you began to take care of yourself?

I met a 65-year-old lady named Pat this week who said that is what happened to her. She has lost 680 pounds in the last seven years and 280 in the previous two years.

“Wow, that is a lot of weight, I told her. What made you decide to lose the weight, and how did you do it”.

“Well, when my second husband died, I thought it was time to take care of myself, she said. So I took care of my f...

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Lumpectomy vs Mastectomy

Two days before I had surgery to remove a malignant tumor from my breast, I had a panic attack. I didn’t know whether to have a mastectomy or a lumpectomy.

My doctor wanted to do a lumpectomy, but I have friends who have lived through this awful decision and chose to have a mastectomy.

Research shows that lumpectomy plus radiation to treat women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer offers the same survival rates as a mastectomy. However, a lumpectomy has a slightly higher risk of recurrent cancer.

Still, some w...

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Turn on the light

My nine-year-old grandson understands the Coronavirus pandemic, where it started, and how it has affected his world. Recently, when we had our Zoom visit, he said that most people dying from the virus are older. I remembered once when he asked me if his Papa and I were old. So, I thought I’d find a way to assure him we were OK.

“I’m writing a story on how light helps us to see better in the dark,” I told him. “Are you afraid of the dark?”

“Sometimes, when I think I see something...

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Eye Contact

My friend laughed when I told her how persistent my dad was about making eye contact when speaking to or listening to someone.

I hated it when he said, “Look at me when I’m speaking to you.” The rule wasn’t just when he needed my attention. It was when anyone was talking to me.

“You know, Deana, when babies are born, making eye contact with them is their first connection with the people who love them, ” my friend said.

She’s right. Eye gaze is one of the most exciting mil...

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Changing the way we do education

My daughter asked if I wanted to participate in our grandson’s Zoom Video classroom assignment. So, of course, I said, “Yes, but what can I do?”

At 10:AM each morning, he participates with his classmates and teacher in their online classes.

“I would like for you to have a 25-minute class at 9:30 AM to prepare him for his school morning,” she said.

I thought for a moment, and she continued. “The children usually have guidance counselors in their schools, but they are not a part of the o...

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Our family and social distancing

Our children live in three states, and we are hours away from each other. This week our youngest son needed some medical supplies, and we offered to drive them to him.

He was worried about our travel and being in contact with us because he is still working around many people.

After a lot of conversation, we finally decided to meet halfway because he knew if we drove to his city, I would need to see our grandchildren. But, like other grandparents, we are not doing that during this time of social distancing.

On the way dow...

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Do You Need to Self Quarantine During The Coronavirus?

If you or your family member have been exposed to the coronavirus you need to self quarantine yourself.

I recently published "I'm Not Afraid of the Coronavirus, and You Shouldn't be Either" on my Morning Coffee Beans website.

In the story, I tried to cover everything about what the coronavirus is, how to protect ourselves, and what to do if exposed to the virus.

My point was to help people not to be afraid but instead to be informed.

However, a reader sent me another perspective of why people are still afr...

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I am not afraid of the Coronavirus

I am not afraid of the Coronavirus; you shouldn't be either. However, when we overreact to epidemics and other perceived risks in our lives, we become less attentive to the different threats that are far more likely to harm us, like the flu.

Fear is like being in a dark room and hearing a noise that frightens us. The way we remove that fear is to turn the light on or, in this case–get the facts.

When we understand the Coronavirus and learn how to protect ourselves and our families and what to do if we have been in...

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National Wear Red Heart awareness

Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in America, and the five most dangerous words associated with chest pain are: “Maybe it will go away!”  

In this story, I would like to give you two examples of how dangerous those words are.

It doesn’t feel like a heart attack.

“Something doesn’t feel right. I feel anxious, and my jaw is aching a little,” my sister said.

She said she was experiencing slight shortness of breath. I suggested she go to the emergency room...

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You’re Almost There….

"When it was over, I lay spent and exhausted on the cold, hard earth…never to be ranked with the average and mediocre..." This is a quote from one of our late presidents; my daughter sent me when I was toiling with one of life's many problems.

She continued with, "In essence…I am a winner and will not say it's over until I have given everything. Until there is nothing left in me to give. That makes me special and unique." I keep these words close to my heart and remember them when I struggle or want to feel my childrenR...

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Breast Cancer Awareness

If you find a lump in your breast or underarm area, you should see your doctor immediately.  The good news is that most lumps are noncancerous.  Sometimes they will go away on their own, which is why your doctor may schedule a return visit for three to six months.

However, sometimes the lump or change in breast tissue may be cancer.  You must go to your follow up visit.  If, at any time, you feel like you need a second opinion, you should probably get one. My friend, Jill, did, and she is alive today 21 years later. My sister, Juanita...

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Happiness is How We Treat Our Families

Think for a moment about how we treat our friends. We laugh with them, share good times, listen to them, and always try to be fair. We comfort them when things are going bad, and we would never interrupt them or allow ourselves to be distracted while talking to them.

We treat our coworkers with respect and would not dare tell them to shut up or accept a kind gesture without saying thank you.

But how do we treat our spouses and children when we get home away from the view of people who admire us?

Recently, I went ...

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Why it’s Important to Show Kindness

I recently read a story about a man who bought a brand-new car with an area in the back to accommodate his large, furry dog. Then, not too long after purchasing the car, he had it washed in an upscale, expensive car wash.

Afterward, however, the man noticed that the back portion of the car was still filled with dog hair. He felt ripped off because he had paid a significant sum for the wash and became upset. He complained to the staff but to no avail.

They restated their policy was to “not vacuum the trunk.” Obv...

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What’s the Best Thing That Happened Today?

“I had a bad day, Nana,” my grandson, Donovan, said to me on the phone once when I called him after school. He was only four years old at the time, and he went to Head Start.

“Why did you have a bad day,” I asked him. “Cause I couldn’t do nothing right at school,” he answered as though it had been on his mind all evening. “What did you do wrong, Donovan?” “I couldn’t do good on my speech,” he said.

I reminded him of all the incredible things about h...

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Friday the 13th

When you woke up this morning and realized it was Friday the 13th, did you hesitate and think, “Oh no, everything is going to go wrong today!” Many people do.

Some people don’t get out of bed or leave their houses all day. Some hotels do not have a 13th floor and streets from 12 or 12A to 14 to avoid using the number 13.

The reasons for ducking out of sight on Friday the 13th can range from battles between mythological gods to Adam and Eve being cast out of the Garden of Eden on Friday.

Even to the Last...

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There is More to His Story

When I was a writer in South Texas, one of my first assignments was to accompany Fort Worth students to cover the International Science Fair. Each day, with my laptop, slung over my shoulder, I walked to the convention center to observe and interact with the students to write about their reactions to being a part of an international event.

Walking by the park near the convention center, I noticed a homeless man lying on a bench. I couldn’t help but gaze longer than I should, and feel a need to sit down next to him and talk.


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Do You Hear What I Hear?

The first time my husband received a cross-over hearing aid, he was astonished when we stepped outside the doctor’s office. “Do you hear that,” he asks? “What?” I asked. “The wind,” he said. “I can hear the sound of the wind.”

Most people take hearing for granted until they lose it. My husband is deaf in his left ear due to a severe injury he sustained as a child. He lost much of the hearing in his right ear when he served in Viet Nam.

A crossover hearing aid on your deaf e...

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Learning How to Help Your Child With ADHD

“When I was in the first grade, I had trouble concentrating and doing my work, and what added to this problem was that I have a disorder called ADHD (Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder), and I didn’t know it. I was always hyper, out of control, and getting in trouble. I also had a temper problem. Because of this, I set a goal to improve. The school put me in a program called 504 (to receive extra help), and I also started to take medication. I finally got to the point where I reached my goal. Now I’m in Pre-AP (hono...

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Looking in the Mirror

A curious mouse visited a carnival that was in town. Some tents contained attractions the likes of which he had never seen. The mouse entered one tent filled with thousands of mirrors in various shapes and sizes.

He ran from one to another, fascinated by all the curious mice smiling back at him. Finally, he thought, “This is a wonderful place, full of many happy mice. I will come here as often as possible.”

As he left the tent, he came upon another mouse. “Guess what?” he exclaimed. “I’m not ...

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Threatening our Children Causes Many Problems

The little girl ran from one side of the waiting room to the other, almost tripping the adult walking by. Her mother tried to stop her, but the three-year-old ran out of her reach. When she finally got back to her seat, she stood up and began jumping up and down dangerously close to the edge of the chair.

The frantic mother told the child to sit down or she would not get a treat when they left. It didn’t work. When all other negotiations failed, the mother seemed to have had enough. She said to the child with exasperation, ̶...

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Health Fears are Often Unexplained and Overblown

Our daughter was always afraid of the dark when she was little. She would see these monsters looming over her bed or swaying in the night and cry out to us. Her dad or I would go into her room and turn on the light. Then we would show her that the monsters were just pieces of furniture or the curtain moving in the wind of an open window. “See, if you turn on the light, it’s not so scary, is it?” he would tell her.

Just like the scare we’ve had with the coronavirus this last year, she had a scare during ...

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He That Endures to the End

I could barely distinguish the blurred image of two people moving down the road from a distance. A police car with its headlights on low beam followed close behind them.

All the other runners had completed the 10K run and sat around the outdoor tables at the Valley Race Park, eating lunch and drinking cold drinks.

“We asked them if they wanted to ride to the finish line, ” the officer beside me said. But they said no; they wanted to finish the run.”

Looking down the road, I could see two people persiste...

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If You Love Me, Buckle Your Seat Belt

I hated to start our evening with nagging, but when our daughter drove up in front of the restaurant, I noticed she wasn’t wearing her seat belt. “Sweetheart, you should wear your seat belt,” I said. “Sure, mom,” she laughed.

Like most moms, while we were having dinner, I felt compelled to give my usual lecture about the danger of not wearing seat belts.

When we started to leave, it was raining, and I felt anxious about her driving back to her college dorm on the wet, winding roads of East Tennesse...

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Taking Care of Yourself

The flight attendant stood at the front of the plane mechanically, giving safety instructions for the flight. It was apparent that she could probably give those same instructions in her sleep because she had done it many times.

 I had heard them many times before, but something she said caught my attention this time. “In the event of an emergency, the oxygen mask will drop from overhead. Put the mask over your nose and mouth. If you are traveling with a small child or an infant, put your mask on first, then help the child.”...

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