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Preamble: The Ol’ Doc series provides illustrations of lifestyle changes related to a particular love relationship, of which three are the most significant; Person-God (P-G), Husband-Wife (H-W) and Parent-Child (P-C).

JP comes from a closely knit family. As a child, religion was a major force in his life. While serving as an altar boy, he dreamed of becoming a priest.

Football captured most of his attention in high school. At age 17, his mother took him to a physician for the required sports physical. During grade school, asthma had been a health challenge. Now, at 17, he was having significant shortness of breath.

Quite Amazing

It’s a time of miracles and wonderment. When a woman is ‘with child,’ she is often willing to adjust many aspects of her life. Women are amazing! While pregnant, they will stop smoking, eat more fruits and vegetables, cut out alcohol, and even exercise!

Why are so many women willing to pursue a healthier lifestyle during pregnancy but not after surviving breast cancer--even though a better lifestyle has been shown to decrease the risk of cancer recurrence? What about survivors of heart attacks? Considering that they have only one heart, it seems they would be motivated to develop healthier habits--but this is seldom the case.

There are good reasons why pro-life supporters want mothers to see a real-time sonogram of their baby before scheduling an abortion. As soon as a woman knows for sure that she is pregnant, she begins falling in love with her baby. While there are exceptions, this is the rule.

Flu Shots are Evil? Really?

Recently we published a PositiveTip dealing with how to protect yourself from influenza. Later the same day, I received a scorching email message from a very zealous, but misguided health enthusiast. I will share just a part it (without any edits): 

“There is not one ingredient in the ‘flu’ coctail of toxins that would help the immunity to protect us from ‘flu’! ‘Our’ own immune system keeps us safe/healthy... Not not not list of poisons/toxins ! ???Why???? Are you not not promoting the 10 natural laws of health reform from our creator? Ha?” 

This kind of rhetoric is saddening! It demonstrates a haughty, angry attitude rooted in misinformation and bold falsehoods. It defies current evidence-based knowledge on the topic.

Sleep Apnea

Man with sleep apnea disturbs his wife

“Yeah, I snore a lot. Champion snorer in my family. So what’s the big deal?”

Apnea means “without breath.” If apnea continues for four minutes, you will die. It’s a big deal. If apnea occurs while you are sleeping, you will not know it. Fortunately, your body has warning systems and mechanisms that will try to correct the problem, but only after 30-45 seconds of “without breath.”

Lessons from Looking for a Used Car

A Mechanic Performs routine maintenance.

A few years ago our family was looking for another car. The budget dictated that it would be a used one. I knew which make and model I wanted. After scouring the local ads, I narrowed the choices to two possible vehicles. After calling each owner and discussing the price, mileage, options, and conditions, I made appointments to view them.

As I approached the first address, my heart leapt with joy! In the driveway was a freshly washed, sparkling automobile that looked like it had just come off the assembly line--instead of being 3-4 years old. I actually drove right past the house, doubting that I had the correct address!

After verifying the address and turning around, I drove back, parked, and walked toward the front door of the house, looking with excitement at this perfect automobile. Inside and outside it was in mint condition.

Self-restrained Children become Successful Thin Adults

Children taught self-restraint by their parents at an early age reap many benefits as they grow older. In a classic study- 4-year-old toddlers were tested to see if they could delay gratification.  

A child would be put in an empty room with one marshmallow or cookie on a plate set before them. The children were told that if they waited and did not eat the treat right away, they would receive two treats as soon as the adult came back in the room—usually after a delay of 15 minutes. 

The Power of Motion

What would happen if we started putting our bodies in motion each day? What would happen if we stopped sitting so much, depending on so many conveniences, and rather used our own bodies to complete our tasks?

We often don’t realize the amazing power in moving our bodies! Regular movement provides the solution to many of our daily physical ailments. If we started moving intentionally at least 30 minutes per day (brisk walking, biking, playing a sport, fitness classes, etc.) we would notice free benefits right away:

What Was My Doctor Thinking!?


“Clarice, good to see you again. Welcome back.” Dr. Wilson pulled up his roll-around stool to the edge of the exam table and patted Clarice’s hand. “What can I do for you today?” [How long since I saw this patient?]

“Actually, I just needed a refill on my blood pressure prescription.” Clarice checked her watch. “But your nurse wouldn’t okay the refill ‘til I came in to see you.”

“Well, I haven’t seen you in . . . how long were you in Vermont?” Dr. Wilson flipped through the medical record in his hand. “You’ve been gone four years. [Nurse’s note: BP=185/100. When did you get the diagnosis of hypertension? That’s not on my disease list.] How’d you know you have hypertension?”

Grass Eaters?

I recently saw a graphic which had several panels, each with a caption under it. The first was labeled, “What others think I eat!” and pictured a field of grass. The seoncd said, “What my boss thinks I eat!” and pictured a bed of daisies. The final panel was labeled, “What I really eat!” and pictured a sumptuous table of delicious vegetarian food.

It is certainly true that over the years there has been much misunderstanding about what vegetarians eat. While a relatively small percentage of the population follows a vegetarian dietary pattern, this group has grown rapidly in the last few decades.