Archives by: Marie Elium

Marie Elium

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About the author

Marie Elium spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter in Virginia and Ohio before switching to freelance writing when her two children were young. The kids are now Millennials, but writing continues to be one of her favorite endeavors. Marie was named editor of Northeast Ohio Boomer and Beyond magazine in November 2015 and is a graduate of Miami University. Marie can be reached at [email protected]

Marie Elium Posts

One, Two, Three and Breathe

Health & Wellness May/June 2018

Mind Health

By Judith Macek

  1. What is an effective or healthy way to cope with stress?
  2. Whether it’s physical or mental, stress is a pressure or demand on the body, and if you’ve ever experienced rapid heartbeat, headaches, nausea, insomnia, muscle tension and/or difficulty concentrating (to name a few symptoms), then you’ve most likely wined and dined with stress.

Although stress is typically associated with negative terms like pain, pressure, trouble and worry, realistically it’s not always negative or unhealthy. Everybody has an optimal positive stress level, which is called eustress. This motivates us to get out of bed and keep up with our responsibilities, while the unhealthy one, christened distress, may shift us into overdrive.

Imagine waiting in the doctor’s office with nothing to do. Yawning follows because the mind is bored, and hypostress (not enough demands) sets in. Conversely, if you’re running late, can’t find your keys and traffic is heavy, then you experience hyperstress. Stressors result from demands we place on ourselves (internal) or demands from surroundings (external). Whatever the source, the body’s first response is short shallow breaths.

We can either learn to control the breath or the breath controls us. One healthy effective way to cope with stress is with a breathing technique. Before beginning to practice this skill, pay attention to your breathing patterns.

A healthy breath fills the lungs and distends the diaphragm. It can be helpful to place a hand on your belly to feel if it rise and fall with the breath. One breathing technique to try is to draw a slow breath in through the nose while counting to three, fill the lungs and diaphragm, and then slowly exhale through the mouth counting to four. Repeat this three times. If three rounds don’t suffice, repeat the process. If counting to three isn’t comfortable, try four- or five-second inhalations.

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Editor’s Note: My Terrifying Summer

Editor's Note May/June 2018


Our theme for this May/June issue is “Inside the Great Outdoors.” Summer is my favorite time of year, and I spend a lot of time outside enjoying the sun, the heat and yes, even the humidity.

The best part about being outside are the plants and trees that change daily — sometimes hourly if you’re watching closely. I start most mornings in my flower beds with a walking tour in my pajamas, drinking coffee and pulling an occasional weed. I go back in the evenings, usually spending an hour or two tinkering.

The worst part about being outside is the animals — snakes, specifically; horses more broadly.

Animals fall into three categories: Animals I Love, Animals I Don’t Like, and Animals That Terrify Me. Dogs, birds, cats, turtles and bees are in the Love It category. I’ll toss in amphibians and most farm animals, reptiles, insects and mammals.

Fleas, lice and yellow jackets are in the Don’t Like category. I haven’t experienced bed bugs, but I’ll go ahead and throw those in there, too. I’m guessing I wouldn’t like them very much.

During my first trip to the Spicy Lamb Farm (our cover story), the dynamic owner Laura Minnig introduced me to her horses, casually warning that one “tends to eat clothes.” That’s just one of my issues with horses.

I’ve given horses a chance — lots of them. It’s never worked out. They’ve kicked me and thrown me. One gave me a concussion. I don’t trust animals that are so intuitive that they sense my fear — at least that’s what their owners always tell me. I’ve been married to a dear man for 32 years who isn’t half that intuitive.

Because it was chilly when I visited the Spicy Lamb, I didn’t see a snake. I know they’re there.

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Elder Care Solutions for the Sandwich Generation

Legal May/June 2018


By Kabb Law

What and who is the Sandwich Generation? It’s group of people mostly between the ages of 40 and 65, who are “sandwiched” between the obligations of bringing up their own children, a job and caring for aging parents.

What are the problems? They include stress from financial, legal, care and family dynamics, and pressure from the responsibility of providing for parents and the loss of parents’ financial assistance. The result for caregivers may be family arguments, higher health costs for themselves from stress, illnesses and substance abuse.

What are some solutions? Open communication on aging, driving and finances. Get legal documents in place. You can prevent caregiver burnout by finding solutions early and building a support network. If it is difficult for a child to have “the talk” with elderly parents, seek out professional services to be a facilitator. Good planning will allow you to be free to manage the sandwich and enjoy the process.

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Ask the Orthopedist: When Hands Aren’t Very Handy

Health & Wellness May/June 2018


By Scott M. Zimmer, MD


Why do I have numbness in my hand at night?


If you ever need to “wake up” your hand and wrist at night because they feel numb and tingly, it could be a result of pressure on the median nerve in your wrist or a condition called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). This condition is the most common cause of numbness and tingling in the hand.

If pain is interfering with your ability to get a good night’s sleep, you may be able to make a few simple changes in your sleep routine before seeing a specialist. The easiest thing you can do is wear a wrist brace to bed. This will keep you from compressing the nerve that is causing you pain.

You may also want to think about the position of your arm when you sleep. Propping your arm up on a pillow may help symptoms, while sleeping with your hand under the pillow will likely worsen the pain. Anti-inflammatory medication can ease symptoms but should be used under the care of a physician.

CTS can be associated with a variety of medical conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, alcoholism, obesity, diabetes and hypothyroidism. In most cases, there is no associated medical condition. Some other daytime symptoms include numbness and tingling when driving or holding a device or book for an extended amount of time. It is common for both hands to be involved, although one side may be worse than the other. Over time, some might experience decreased grip strength.

It is important to see an orthopedic hand specialist to get the proper diagnosis before any permanent nerve damage occurs. There are several clinical tests for CTS they conduct, including manual compression on the nerve and a test for loss of strength and muscle.

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Go Ahead, Take the Grandkids and Enjoy These Local Animal Encounters

Fun Grandparenting May/June 2018 Outdoors
You like your grandkids. Grandkids usually like animals. Why not combine the two and have a few animal encounters this summer with the little ones? We've got a starter list to get you going in the right direction. Here's to a summer of fins, feathers and fur. ...
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The Spicy Lamb Farm: The Wild, Woolly World of Life in a National Park Farm

Featured May/June 2018 Outdoors Travel Volunteerism
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a national park? How about farming in one? The Minnig family is doing both, and loving it. They own The Spicy Lamb Farm and are embracing a wild, woolly life that's a pocket of energy in a bucolic setting. ...
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Living, Working & Adjusting with Parkinson’s

Health & Wellness May/June 2018 Things to do
Moving Day Cleveland is June 23 at Wade Oval. This celebration of movement will have not only a walk around the Oval, but also a kids’ area, resource pavilion, and two movement pavilions featuring different ways to get moving. Research shows that increased movement helps PD patients manage their symptoms. ...
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Travel Assurance: Communicate with Confidence Abroad

May/June 2018 May/June 2018 Technology
Making simple changes in your settings also minimizes the chance of getting expensive charges when communicating with friends and family back home. Additional options such as video chat enhance your ability to communicate. ...
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