Dr. Susan Mathison
My grandma Agnes met my grandpa at the roller rink. They later married and moved to Pelican Rapids. I remember her wrists decorated with rubber bands "to help her remember," she said. The drawer in the kitchen contained thousands of rubber bands, all saved, none new. My grandpa was a barber and never met an auction sale he didn't like. His garage was a marvel, full of junk treasure. He could replace every part in his car at least five times over.
I had the privilege of chairing the recent Dakota Medical Foundation annual meeting. DMF is a Fargo-based regional health foundation started along with Dakota Hospital back in the 1960s. When the hospital was sold in the late 1990s, part of the proceeds came to the foundation, which has had a major role in improving the health and wellness of our communities.
I hazily remember back to high school biology (Hi, Mr. Larson! So grateful to you!) as we were learning about the structures of cells: the nucleus, the cell membrane and a few floaty things outside the nucleus. One of these floaty items was usually depicted as maroon in color, had wavy membranes inside and was shaped like an oblong capsule: the mitochondria. I learned it had something to do with ATP and energy production. Its significance seemed minute in terms of other cell functions.
As a doctor, I've had the honor of helping to save a few lives. Some have been trauma cases in the ER, a few have been long-term saves in the clinic, but the most memorable have been surprises. A young man collapsed while playing the annual Thanksgiving family tag football game in the field next to a small town North Dakota community center. Thanks to many CPR/AED trained family members, and LifeFlight, he lived. I was on the mouth-to-mouth part of the equation. He graduated on time and with high honors from college and now has a lovely wife and a great career.
I hope you had time for a summer road trip with wide open spaces, vast starry skies and new experiences. And as you headed toward home late at night you may have been beckoned by the orangey glow of your town or city awaiting your return. As you pulled into the garage, you may have taken one last look outside before you started to unload the car and return to life as usual. In your tired and wistful state, you may or may not have noticed ... where did all the stars go?
My son went back to school a few weeks ago, and his classroom is filled to the brim with books. One of his first tasks was to choose two books to put at his desk. When I pick him up, I'll ask about homework, and he'll retort, " I ALWAYS have homework, Mom. I always need to read books."
Though I grew up in Fargo, I never spent much time outside of the city. Most of our relatives lived in Minnesota, and not far off the major thoroughfares. When I moved back to North Dakota after residency training, I met new friends who lived in more rural areas. I noticed a curious phenomena. There was a lot of waving going on. "Who's that?" I'd ask as we met another car or truck or tractor along the road. "I don't know," was the answer. "Then why do you wave?" I'd ask. "Just because."
Summer vacation is winding down, and our thoughts turn to backpacks instead of beach balls. Despite the waning days of warm outdoor play and wake-boarding, we still need to think about sun protection. In addition to slathering on sunscreen (I prefer mineral-based blocks with zinc and titanium), you might find extra ways ways to protect your skin in the fridge or pantry or medicine cabinet. Research shows that certain foods and supplements can enhance your skin's natural protection ability and minimize sun damage.
Confession: I've watched more than one Hallmark Christmas movie this past week. I never knew they had a Christmas in July movie extravaganza! The movies are classic fairy-tale love stories with an extra twist of holiday spirit, and I'm quite embarrassed that I got sucked into the drama. But I did ... and it was kind of nice to live in a fairytale for a short time. How did they come up with this theme "Christmas in July?"
Most of us suffer from an occasional headache. There's the sinus headache, the weather headache, the TMJ headache, the stress headache, the PMS headache, the over-tired headache, and of course the dreaded migraine headache.