Many of us who live in New England have probably experienced superficial frostbite or frostnip, as it’s sometimes called. Your skin feels like pins and needles and may be pale and numb. Ignore it and stay out a little longer and your skin will feel hard and frozen. If you get out of the cold at this point, when your skin thaws it will probably turn red and blister, but hopefully, you won’t have any lasting damage.
If frostbite goes deeper, your skin will become white, blue or blotchy and the tissue underneath will be hard and cold and have no feeling and if deeper tissue is frozen and blood vessels are affected, you may also have damage in your tendons, muscles, nerves and bones. In the worst-case scenario, tissue dies (gangrene) and amputation may be necessary to prevention infection.
Mom is 88-years-old now and lives in a memory care facility. Her sweet tooth is going just as strong as she still is. The problem is she will sometimes eat one candy bar after another, to the point that she’s not hungry for a regular meal. One day a caregiver mentioned that my mother seemed a bit lightheaded that morning and she noticed a pile of candy bar wrappers in the wastebasket beside her chair. It was nearly empty the night before.
Lee, who’s in her 60s, thought she might have thyroid cancer a few years ago when a CT scan she had for something else showed a lump or a nodule on her thyroid. Further testing came back suspicious for papillary cancer, the most common type of thyroid cancer. “Suspicious” doesn’t automatically mean cancer, but Lee’s odds were 60 to 70 percent. The next step was surgery to find out for sure.
If your parent can’t drive any more, finding transportation in your community can seem like a daunting task. Lisa Corson, the Help Line coordinator at the Maine Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, urges people to try and plan ahead. When she takes a call from someone, it’s often after the elderly person has stopped driving and the family is in a bit of a crisis mode.
It was heartbreaking. The moment he saw his wife, John would begin pleading with her to take him home. He had dementia and was living