ADVICE FOR YOUR BUCKET LIST

Do you know what a bucket list is? Most people think it is a list of things you want to do before you die. A typical guess is people want to visit a particular place before dying. Based on an unscientific poll about bucket lists, that is not a bad guess. Travel appears to be a frequent bucket list ambition.  Anne is an American who is proud her ancestors lived for centuries on the group of small islands in the English Channel between the southern coast of England and mainland Europe.

REDUCE STRESS, INCREASE ENJOYMENT FOR A HAPPY 2018

Family caregivers provide practical assistance and enhance the quality of life for frail seniors who might otherwise require placement in a long-term-care facility. Typically, caregivers are spouses or adult children, many of whom are seniors themselves. Their role involves physical, psychological, emotional and financial demands. It can be a heavy load.  If you are a caregiver, consider the following strategies for not only surviving but thriving in the year ahead.

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DISCOVER A LOVE OF LIFELONG LEARNING

Curiosity, exploring interests and engagement are a few crucial ingredients to healthy and happy longevity. Enrolling in a class just for the love of learning is a great way to do this. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Kentucky offers educational and enrichment courses, forums, shared interest groups, trips and more for adults age 50 years and older. Membership for the full year is $25; summer programs are at a prorated fee.

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SOURCES AND RESOURCES:


 Mayo Clinic. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. www.mayoclinic.org

WebMD. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Health Center. www.webmd.com/chronic-fatigue-syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is the most common name used to designate a significantly debilitating medical disorder or group of disorders generally defined by persistent fatigue. CFS is often accompanied by other specific symptoms that persist for at least six months, according to the Mayo Clinic. This disorder is known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), post-viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS), chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS) and other terms. Biological, genetic, infectious and psychological mechanisms have been proposed for the development and persistence of symptoms with this disorder.


Persons with CFS may report a wide spectrum of symptoms that sometimes have a psychological etiology. These symptoms may include muscle weakness, increased sensitivity to light, sounds and smells, orthostatic intolerance, digestive disturbances, depression and cardiac and respiratory problems. Clinical researchers suggest as many as 75 percent of people with CFS experience migraines. Most migraines in ME/CFS are undiagnosed. Other symptoms of CFS include post-exertion malaise, unrefreshing sleep, widespread muscle and joint pain, sore throat, cognitive difficulties and chronic, often severe mental and physical exhaustion in a previously healthy, active person.


Fatigue is a common symptom in many illnesses, but CFS is comparatively rare. Estimates of its prevalence vary widely, from

CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME

from seven to 3,000 cases for every 100,000 adults. Some national health organizations have estimated more than 1 million Americans and approximately a quarter of a million people in Western Europe have CFS. The disorder occurs most often in adult women. Quality of life is particularly and uniquely disrupted in CFS.


The Mayo Clinic (www.mayoclinic.org) notes the cause of CFS is currently unknown, although there are many theories ranging from viral infections to psychological stress. Health care professionals recognize CFS may be triggered by a combination of factors. There is no single test to confirm a diagnosis of CFS. Because of the complexity of this condition, when CFS is suspected, a variety of medical tests may be needed to rule out other health problems with similar symptoms. Treatment for CFS focuses mainly on symptom relief and may include medication and psychological interventions. CFS may also be treated with physical exercise, according to the Mayo Clinic.  

DR. THOMAS W. MILLER, PH.D, ABPP

Thomas W. Miller, Ph.D., ABPP, is a professor emeritus and senior research scientist, Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention, University of Connecticut; retired service chief from the VA Medical Center; and tenured professor in the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky.

more articles by dr thomas W. Miller