Finally, I’ve got something positive to write about.  My Parkinson’s is rapidly                                                     progressing and my gait disturbance has seriously limited my ability to enjoy life. I realized that the majority of my blogs involved loss of abilities which I called the “Used tos”.  No matter how hard I tried to be uplifting and positive, depressive thoughts crept in and disturbed some of my readers.  So, I added writing to my “used to” list.

Nighttime driving had become one of my “Used tos”.  On my list of ailments was cataracts and cataracts make night time driving difficult.  I’m happy to tell you that my cataracts have been replaced with high tech intraocular lenses and my vision has improved remarkably.  I “used to “ wear glasses but now can read tiny print without difficulty.  Removing a “Used to” feels great!  By the way, if Biden can forgive college loans, he can pay for the high tech lenses.  Unfortunately, most elders cannot afford the enhanced vision associated with the newer lenses.

As a young man, I played Bridge and Maj Jong.  Since moving in to a 55 and older community, I’ve started playing both again.  Take 2 more items off my “Used to” list.  I think that I’ll start writing again and start working on improving the rights of handicapped individuals in airports across the country.

I think I’ll develop a “Can Do” list!  While my “Used to” list will continue to grow, my “Can Do” list will serve as a counterbalance. Feel free to send me suggestions for “My Can Do” list.  

Here’s today joke: An old man shuffled slowly into an ice cream parlor and pulled himself gently, painfully, up onto a stool… After catching his breath, he ordered a banana split. The waitress asked kindly, “crushed nuts?” “No,” he replied, “Arthritis.”


As some of you know, I am large enough to apply for my own zip code. Looking for inspiration, I reviewed some of my old articles today.  I came up with this one from  May 1, 2013

An article published on KevinMD today asks the question, “Why don’t our patients do what we tell them?”  While the author lays out a completely plausible explanation of why patients ignore the doctor’s advice, I think the “my brains a whore” scenario is much more likely to be the culprit.

When you get right down to it, doctors advise patients to do thinks they don’t want to do!  Why would I advise you to cut sweets out of your diet if you weren’t eating them in the first place?  Why would you be eating large quantities of sweets if you didn’t love them?  Life is hard enough without giving up your double chocolate, hot fudge covered delectable desert, isn’t it?  Who, in their right mind, would turn away from their lover?

The real question should be, “Why should our patients do what we tell them?”  You have to have a pretty good reason to give up that piece of “to die for” cake!  Maybe if we explain to our overweight, diabetic, hypertensive patient that the piece of hot fudge covered cake literally is “to die for” or at least represents an admission ticket to the cardiac ICU, it would make a difference.  The skeptic in me says it won’t make a difference.

That little whore of a brain will do whatever it takes to get what it wants.  “Segal doesn’t know what he’s talking about.  He’s a reactionary!  Besides, I’ll start dieting May 1st.  Well, maybe June first.”

Meanwhile, I will continue to try to find novel ways to explain to my patients why they must give up things that they love (cigarettes) and do things that they hate (exercise) in order to be healthy.  Unfortunately, most patients don’t realize how much they love health until they have lost it!

“I know smoking that cigarette makes you feel good.  I know you love (it) her.  I also know while she may look beautiful to you, she has the equivalent of AIDS.  She will steal your health from you.  The next time you pick one her up, fondle her and start to put her to your lips, recognize her for what she is, a diseased divining rod guiding you to an early grave.”  Now that’s reactionary!

HERE IS TODAY’S JOKE: Ate salad for dinner! Mostly croutons and tomatoes. Really just one big, round crouton covered with tomato sauce. And cheese. Fine, it was pizza. I ate a pizza.


Ever noticed that being happy can be hard work?  I have.  For the most part, my patients were hardworking individuals and led blessed lives.  Most of them have jobs, homes, family, and food on their tables.  Their Blessing Lists were full.

So why do they have to work so hard to be happy?  There are lots of reasons to be unhappy.  Sometimes, my patients were sad because they or their spouse were married to their jobs and not their families. I addressed this issue in “Another Kind of Affair”.

Sometimes, they were unhappy because they didn’t have “enough.”  Did I tell you the story about the identical twins that lived identical lives and had identical fortunes?  One of the twins had “everything” and was a happy man; the other had “enough” and was not happy!  It’s often a matter of attitude.  Even though the twin with “enough” had the same things his brother with “everything” had, he wanted more.  What he was missing was an attitude of gratitude for what he had!

Sometimes, life is going fine and illness strikes you or a loved one.  When illness strikes, you really have to work hard to maintain any degree of happiness!  When I Iaid out my “Wellthy” lifestyle plan for a patient, I asked him/her to establish five retirement funds:   a financial fund, a physical fund, a nutritional fund, an emotional fund, and a spiritual fund.  I told him that, to be truly “Wellthy,” he needed to make deposits in each of these funds on a regular basis.  I warn him that putting off deposits in any of these funds could spell catastrophe.

When illness suddenly strikes you or a loved one, the deposits you’ve made in your emotional and spiritual funds will provide the assets you need to draw on to maintain “happy.”  Remembering the good times spent rather than regretting time wasted is essential.  In “Don’t Delay the Happy,” I wrote, “sometimes there are no more ‘one day.”  Enjoying every day and saving memories will help you get through those days where no amount of work will maintain your “happy.”

I often told my patients that “spirituality” is the glue that holds a “wellthy” account together.  According to Wikipedia, spirituality can be defined as “an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.”[2] Spiritual practices, including meditationprayer, and contemplation, are intended to develop an individual’s inner life.”  It’s that inner life and the understanding of the essence of his/her being, that will help sustain your “Wellthy” plan through sickness and loss. 

Yes, being happy often takes work.  As in any endeavor, having a game plan helps.  Make your Blessings List and read it night and day.  Make sure those you love know you love them.  Invest in your “Wellthy” accounts on a regular basis.  And, most of all, don’t delay the happy!   

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