November is American Diabetes Month. According to the American Diabetic Association, nearly 30 million children and adults in the U.S. are diabetic with another 86 million having pre-diabetes,
putting them at risk for developing Type II diabetes. It’s not just a simple inconvenience of having to watch what one eats. Diabetes can lead to several other health problems. Diabetes doubles your risk of heart attack and death from heart disease, is the leading cause of kidney failure, and the leading cause of blindness in working age adults. The rate of amputation for someone with diabetes is 10 times higher than a non-diabetic. About 60% of diabetics have some nerve damage that can lead to chronic pain, digestive trouble and sexual dysfunction. You can help prevent development of diabetes by good nutrition, maintaining a healthy weight and exercise. Please see diabetes.org for more information and healthy recipes.
November is also National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other intellectual abilities serious enough to
interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases.
Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging, although the greatest known risk factor is increasing age,
and the majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older. But Alzheimer’s is not just a disease of old age. Up to 5 percent of people with the disease have early onset Alzheimer’s (also known as
younger-onset), which often appears when someone is in their 40s or 50s. Alzheimer’s has no
current cure, but treatments for symptoms are available and research continues. Although current
Alzheimer’s treatments cannot stop Alzheimer’s from progressing, they can temporarily slow the
worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s and their
caregivers. Today, there is a worldwide effort under way to find better ways to treat the disease,
delay its onset, and prevent it from developing.
November 22 is International Survivors of Suicide Day. One suicide is too many, and we have
certainly seen too many in our community. There are normally some warning signs, such as talking
about killing ones self or having no reason to live, feeling like a burden, feeling ‘trapped’ or in pain.
Some behavior that you might see would be increased drug or alcohol use, withdrawing from
community, acting recklessly, giving away possessions, computer searches on ways to commit
suicide. A person who is considering suicide my sleep a lot more or a lot less, display depression,
irritability or rage. On the other hand, a person who has exhibited behavior that may be suicidal
may become suddenly happy or peaceful because they have made the decision or have a plan.
Please post the following number in your home in an obvious place, like the fridge: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) This is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You never know who may be in your home who needs that information. If you are having these feelings or know someone who is, please reach out by calling that number, calling Pastor Michael or me. You are loved more than you know. Yes, even you.
Christy Friedel, R.N.,
Parish Nurse, Spiritual Director