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Married – and Lonely

My heart has been breaking. I’m sure it’s nothing new, but I’m hearing it a lot lately. Middle-aged and older women who are married – and desperately lonely.
As a gynecologist I’ve heard these sad comments from women I’ve seen just in the past couple weeks.
Don’t let that happen to you! Here are a few suggestions:

Things growing

5 Tips For Growing Up

Have you ever grown up in some significant way when everything was easy?
Probably not.
There’s the cliché that says, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” I don’t believe that’s always true. Sometimes trauma can stunt our growth: child abuse, rape, severe poverty, and others.
I DO know that the times when I’ve grown the most have definitely been some of the most difficult.

Growing Up Is Hard To Do

Our little granddaughter is a month old. Is there anything more precious? We’re told Madelyn will be the last one, so we as her grandparents treasure each moment just a little more.
A newborn baby is a full-time job. Mommy and Daddy do it gladly – at least most of the time! But their biggest job is working themselves out of a job, helping her grow to become thoughtful, loving, wise – and independent.
Growing up emotionally, relationally, and spiritually is often harder than growing up physically.

7 Things to Check when Not Feeling Good

I’m feeling good today.
But there are certainly days when I don’t feel good. Something’s definitely off. Occasionally it’s immediately obvious what’s wrong, but other times it’s frustrating to just feel bad and not be sure why.
We can’t expect to feel good every day. That’s just life.
Here’s my checklist for when things are looking bad, and most of the time it will help determine why I’m not feeling good.

Dealing with Desire: Sex and Spirituality

“It” has been the vehicle for some of the best experiences human beings can have, and also some of the most traumatic and painful.
You’d think with all the downsides sex has brought, all the trauma, shame, guilt that so often have accompanied sex, that we’d shy away from it. But for the most part we keep going back for more.
If our desires are built in and divinely created, then it’s what we make the object of those desires and how we try to go about trying to get them met that can be at fault.
So what do we do with our desires? I offer these thoughts:

Doctor, Doctor: Ignoring the Symptoms

I could probably use her real name: she’s been dead over 20 years. I met her one night in the emergency room during my residency training. She had been bleeding for months, and finally became so weak that she allowed her family to bring her to the hospital. She hadn’t seen a doctor in years.
Periodically it’s a good idea to do a mental check of the different areas of your life, and see if there are symptoms you might be ignoring. Symptoms that need to be dealt with before they get worse, and before the problem becomes deadly.

The End of Healthcare As We Know It?

I’m frustrated – in case you couldn’t tell from the title.
Our country has the best scientific innovation in the world. The rapid explosion of knowledge in genetics, pharmacology, bio-medical engineering – just to name a few – are enough to make anyone’s head spin.
And yet we aren’t living much longer. We aren’t living any healthier. And we spend about twice as much on healthcare per person as our friends in any other country.
I believe our country is rapidly moving toward a two-tier system in healthcare.

Hot Flashes, Power Surges, Grey Hair – and Wisdom

I’m getting old!
That’s a very subjective statement. I don’t feel old. And I do subscribe to the adage “You’re only as old as you feel.” Do I guess I’m not old.
As a gynecologist I speak with many middle-aged women about very personal things. Passing through the menopause transition is sometimes very emotionally challenging. Although freedom from the risks of pregnancy is usually a welcome change, issues of body image, desirability, mental and physical health, and multiple life pressures are difficult for many of them to manage.

A Big Enough Reason

Making a change is hard. Habit, routine, addiction, convenience, or a thousand other reasons keep us doing the same thing over and over again, even if it’s terribly unhealthy. Or dangerous. Or even deadly.
It takes a big enough reason to endure the anxiety, setbacks, difficulty, or even pain that may be involved in making a lifestyle change. Sometimes that reason is positive, where the outcome you wish is enticing enough to work hard for. Sometimes that reason is negative, where the pain of remaining where you are is big enough to force a change.

Food for the Soul: Learning to Feed Yourself

We get hungry! And it starts from the day we’re born.

A newborn baby needs to be fed every 2-3 hours. They are completely dependent on others for the timing, quantity, and quality of the food they receive.
Later a child learns to feed themselves. Food preferences develop, and we have an increasing control over how much food, what kind of food, and when we eat. Eventually everything about what we eat is our own choice.
Food for the soul is just like that. When we’re immature we are dependent on others for any stimulation, human communication and connection, and spiritual nurturing we receive. Eventually we need to learn to feed ourselves.
Three things you need to consider in learning to mentally/emotionally/spiritually feed yourself:

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