A Short History of Birth Control in the United States

Human Rights March for Equality – Source Library of Congress

Overview

Our mother was born in 1916, the same year the first birth control clinic opened in New York. She was a human rights activist and voting advocate until she died at the age of 89.

We received advocacy genes from both of our caring intelligent parents who were self-educated strong individuals raised in poor loving families. They encouraged hard work, independence, and broad horizons. Being females was not a detriment in their eyes but through the years, we have found it a struggle in a man’s world and have personally faced discrimination.

A review of contraception history and factors related to women’s rights is important because so many young men and women today matured during a period when many rights were established. That time has changed. Women gained the right to vote one hundred years ago, a right more important today than ever.

Women, and men who care about them–not to control their bodies and lives but support their independence, have entered a new era of activism.

The Supreme Court actions that overturned Roe v. Wade forces all women into a negative economic and personal rights environment. Contraceptive rights have reverted to the 1800s with religious patriarchs even mandating a child-victim of incest, or victims of rape, carry a resulting conception to term.

Source Samantha-Sophia Unsplash

THEN

In 1848, a conference attracted three-hundred women and men who met to gain women the right to vote. It took seventy-two bitter years of activism, hunger strikes, arrests and fighting obstruction for women to prevail. Congress finally passed the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution giving women the right to vote in 1920.

While early activists fought for a woman’s right to vote, another group of feminists spent their lives helping women obtain sex education and access to birth control. One of those women, Margaret Sanger, grew up in a household of poverty with ten siblings. Her mother had eighteen pregnancies.

In 1902, Margaret began working as a nurse, and later a midwife. She cared for chronically pregnant poor women living in the tenements of New York who begged her for information to help stop unwanted pregnancies.

Sanger’s book, Motherhood in Bondage, contains hundreds of letters from hopeless women across the country imploring her to help them limit the number of children they bore. Most of them wrote of being married as teenagers and bearing a child each year. One 43-year-old woman with nineteen children had begged her doctor for contraceptive information, only to be told to be careful. Stories included child-mothers escaping poverty to marry, and having a child before their thirteenth birthday. One, married at age fourteen, had fourteen living children, many miscarriages, and failing health due to multiple pregnancies and poverty.

The women’s plight incited Margaret’s actions, but by talking about birth control she risked imprisonment under the Comstock Act of 1873. That draconian law made it illegal to discuss, produce, print or use the U.S. Postal Service to mail any literature or product pertaining to the body related to birth control and venereal disease, rampant before the age of antibiotics. Anatomy textbooks being sent to medical students were prohibited and confiscated. Doctors failed to educate women about ovulation and contraception because they could be jailed for discussing the topics.

Anthony Comstock, the influential politician and religious zealot who became a U. S. Postal Inspector, considered Sanger’s pamphlets on sex education and clinics providing contraception advice to be obscene and pornographic. His imposed religious views set medical education and U.S. public health back decades.

After her arrest for publishing and distributing contraceptive information, Margaret fled to Europe under an assumed name to avoid prosecution that could have carried up to a 45-year sentence. She studied methods of contraception in the Netherlands and returned to open the first U.S. birth control clinic in New York City in 1916. She and her sister Ethel Byre, also a nurse, provided contraceptive information and treated 486 patients in ten days, before the NYPD Comstock Vice Squad swept in to arrest the nurses and patients.

Ethel nearly died in jail during a hunger strike to raise awareness for their cause. Margaret was sentenced to the penitentiary for thirty days and upon release, reopened her clinic in protest. She founded the American Birth Control League in 1922 that eventually became Planned Parenthood of America.

Margaret Sanger’s desire to help women fueled her lifelong activism to teach contraceptive methods and advance sex education. The Catholic Church considered Margaret an enemy and opposed her work, but she had seen what continual pregnancies had done to her devout mother and others in poverty producing huge families.

Support and fortunes of philanthropic people like International Harvester heir Katherine McCormick, John D. Rockefeller, and Margaret’s second husband, oil magnate James Noah Slee, fueled her campaigns for birth control and research for an oral contraceptive. Sanger and McCormick both lived to see the success of their efforts when the FDA approved the first oral contraceptive, Enovid, in 1960.

In 1972, the Supreme Court finally struck down the last of the oppressive Comstock law that restricted doctors from prescribing oral contraceptives to unmarried women ending nearly one hundred years of Comstock tyranny.

Source Gayati-Malhotra Unsplash

NOW

More than sixty years after the epic moment in 1960 making birth control pills available, women are fighting the same old battle, the right to self-determination and contraception.

Some legislators at the national level have vowed to defund Planned Parenthood clinics across the United States. Those who fight to defund the clinics and legislate reduced contraceptive availability and education are antiabortionists. They vehemently attack clinics that provide abortions, leading to violence, bombings, and terrorist murders of healthcare personnel.

Planned Parenthood provides healthcare to both men and women, education, contraceptives, treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, and they offer fertility consultation.

Comprehensive sex education and free contraceptives reduce unplanned pregnancies and abortions. Why would those against abortion defund Planned Parenthood clinics limiting access to education and birth control, thus increasing the need for abortions?

Abortions have been a legal right under U.S. law since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973. That decision deemed abortion a fundamental right under the U.S. Constitution. Roe, (a pseudonym to protect her privacy) was a single pregnant woman who brought a class action suit against the constitutionality of Texas laws that made abortion a crime except to save the life of the mother. District Attorney Wade provided the state’s defense. The historic decision overturned the Texas law and held that a woman and her doctor could choose abortion in earlier months of pregnancy without legal restriction, and with restrictions in later months based on right to privacy.

Any adult has the right to make personal decisions based on their religious views. However, our founding principle of separation of church and state in the U.S. means no one as the right to impose their religious views on others.

Broad availability of birth control education and contraception has been shown to reduce unplanned pregnancies and reduce the need for abortions. In spite of this fact and the desire of most citizens in the United States, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in this month. Their 2022 sweeping judgement not only removed a woman’s right to make personal healthcare choices, it broadly affects autonomy in every sphere of existence. The partisan justices also tainted the Court and destroyed the established framework of the United States of separation of church and State.

The next blog will provide an overview of Reproductive Biology for men and women, then related topics from the booklet will follow. If you are interested in following the Lipstick Logic blog, please subscribe by providing your email.

Thanks for stopping by.

Betty and Bev, The Lipstick Logic Sisters

A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE

LIPSTICK LOGIC BLOG

Statement of Purpose

Lipstick Logic ™ LLC was founded in 2008 to provide education and health conferences for women. This blog was developed as a way to reach a larger female audience with a wide range of science-based health topics. With woman’s rights having been set back 50 years due to Roe v. Wade being overturned, our focus on women’s issues and health seems even more important.

A new day has dawned for women in America. Freedom of choice can no longer be taken for granted. The Supreme Court ruled against a woman’s right to have an abortion. Although some states will continue to provide education and abortion services, many states are pursuing legal changes to terminate women’s rights, criminalize their actions, imprison practitioners, and even track a woman who might leave her state to obtain needed healthcare elsewhere.

Several years ago, Dr. Betty, a specialist in internal medicine, wrote a primer on contraceptive issues and related biology. Over the next several weeks, this Lipstick Logic blog will provide updated information from that primer.

CONTRACEPTION is a broad topic. Even if you have had a child and have grown up in an age where options for women’s reproductive rights were rights, you may learn new information to share with other women, your daughters, granddaughters, and the men in your life.

ORAL MEDICATION FOR ABORTION will be our first topic. It is a safe option if chosen early in pregnancy. But, if you live in a state that has banned abortions, this medication will not be available to you. Always consult with your private physician regarding your situation and any medical concerns you have.

If you are interested in reading researched, science-based information regarding women’s health and human rights, please join us by subscribing to this blog.

Everyone woman of voting age must vote to protect her rights and freedom.

Betty and Bev, The Lipstick Logic Sisters

Author Note – Betty Kuffel, MD FACP

This science-based publication is a quick reference to understanding the natural processes of reproduction and contraceptive choices available today. Information related to sexual assault and sexually transmitted disease is also included.

My desire is to provide information for informed choices and make this publication widely available to all ages. Reproductive and contraceptive education is known to reduce unplanned pregnancies and the risk of sexually transmitted disease. The need for abortions can also be minimized.

The information is current at the time of publication. Individualized guidance must be obtained from your health practitioner or pharmacist.

Make informed choices. The effects of what you do today will be with you the rest of your life.

If men got pregnant, there would be safe, reliable methods of birth control.

They’d be inexpensive, too.

Anna Quindlen, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist

 and bestselling novelist

ORAL MEDICATION

ABORTION OVERVIEW

The 1973 Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade legalized ending a pregnancy during the first twelve weeks following conception. Prior to the legalization, women were forced to go to untrained abortionists, or aborted themselves using all sorts of objects including knitting needles and rug hooks. Often, they died of hemorrhage and sepsis from infection.

In 2000, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first oral medication to induce abortion, (RU-486).  A newer, lower dose drug, Mifeprex (mifepristone), is also available. The FDA lengthened the duration of time it can be used to 70 days (10 weeks) of gestation. The time is calculated from the first day of the woman’s last menstrual period.

  • Mifepristone blocks progesterone cell receptors, a hormone important in maintaining pregnancy. It is used in combination with misoprostol to complete the abortion.
  • Misoprostol softens and dilates the cervix and induces uterine contractions to expel the products of conception. There will be significant cramping and some bleeding when the abortion occurs. A follow-up visit with a practitioner is recommended.

Following the advent of birth control pills, improved education and more options for contraception, pregnancy rates fell, as did the number of abortions. There are still times when women decide to end a pregnancy, however, the current Supreme Court ruling makes it illegal to end any pregnancy even those resulting from violent rape or incest.

Procedure:

* Patient receives counseling, signs an agreement form, and is given a copy of the FDA Mifeprex (GENERIC- mefepristone) Medication Guide.

Note: Cost is markedly reduced from the approximate cost of $100/pill, to $14.00 using WebMDRx.

* A certified healthcare provider dispenses the medications.

* Mifepristone, 200 mg, is taken by mouth.

* 24-48 hours later, misoprostol, 800 mcg, is taken as directed.

This method is 98% effective. If the abortion is incomplete and some tissue is retained, such as remnants of the placenta, a procedure may be necessary to remove the tissue to stop bleeding and infection. See www.fda.gov/drugs/ for detailed information.

EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION

THE MORNING AFTER PILL

Emergency Contraception (EC) can be used to reduce pregnancy risk following unprotected intercourse. When taken early and correctly, the medication is usually effective following a rape or unexpected situations such as a broken condom. EC must be used soon after intercourse and will not be effective if pregnancy has already occurred.

Rape

If you are raped, Emergency Contraception is recommended to prevent pregnancy. This medication is usually provided in the Emergency Room if the victim seeks medical assistance and a rape exam to collect forensic specimens. Medication to prevent sexually transmitted diseases is also given to victims.

Note: An emergency contraceptive prevents pregnancy. It does not cause an abortion. This treatment will be unavailable in many states under the new Supreme Court ruling that overturned the Roe v. Wade right to privacy and abortion.

Progestin

The “Morning After Pill” has many forms: Plan B, One-Step, My Way, and others. They are available over the counter, without a prescription. There were no point-of-sale restrictions prior to overturning Roe v. Wade. Many states still allow use of this medication.

Progestin is a hormone that stops or delays ovulation and is best taken within three days of unprotected intercourse. It will not end a pregnancy. Talk with a pharmacist for information and side effects. Cost: ~$40.

Ulipristal (Ella)

This prescription medication delays or prevents ovulation. It can be taken up to 5 days after unprotected intercourse. (It is thought to be more effective than either progestin-only or a combination hormone pill containing both estrogen and progestin.) Cost: ~$40-$60.

Combination pills

These pills contain both estrogen + progestin., taken in two doses and result in delayed ovulation. For dosage, consult with a physician or pharmacist. More information may be found at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/morning-after-pill/about/pac-20394730 Cost ~$30

Copper Intrauterine Device (IUD)

If you are overweight or obese, effectiveness of EC pills is reduced. Insertion of a Copper IUD is effective and provides contraception for ten years. IUDs must be inserted by a health practitioner. More information will be provided later on IUDs. Cost is variable. Placement may be free at Planned Parenthood clinics.  

Patriarch Patrol

Religious ultra-conservatives and entitled men of the United States are removing rights from half of the U.S. population yet remain untouched in this era of severe suppression and control of women. The Comstock Act of 1873 named for Anthony Comstock the influential politician and religious zealot, imprisoned nurses and doctors for helping women by educating them about their bodies and contraception. One-hundred-fifty years later, austere laws against women’s rights are ready for enactment across the country.

Handmaiden.2

We are returning to Motherhood in Bondage. The book published in 1929 contains hundreds of letters from hopeless women across the United States crying for help to limit the number of children they bore. One 43-year-old woman with nineteen children had begged her doctor for contraceptive information only to be told to be careful.

It’s happening again. Women are being stripped of their rights. Doctors and nurses are at risk for imprisonment for providing healthcare for women. Even contraceptive insurance coverage for women is being blocked by some employers. We must legalize OTC contraceptives and morning-after pills in all states.

Handmaiden

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it will change the face of America. By removing female autonomy, we join countries around the world where women have no rights. It took women 100 years to obtain the right to vote, now it’s time use that right. To make change and gain control, women and men who love them must come out in droves to vote for protection of women’s rights and defend our democracy by voting out the all the conservative patriarchs.

Please vote for women’s rights.

Bev and Betty

Two Logical Sisters

Surviving the COVID Winter

Are you running out of ideas on how to live happily in your chosen den until the COVID deluge subsides? I look at the situation like a job without stressful deadlines. Being retired from medicine has its value. I no longer work but continue to read medical information every morning in many specialty areas and the latest science of COVID-19.

Here is what I have done to stay focused, healthy and survive the latest variant virus:

  • Vaccine: get the immunizations and boosters recommended by experts at the CDC and avoid false information from unreliable sources. Socially distance and wear N-95 masks.
  • Keep a schedule. Focus on goals for future months in warmer weather and when the virus wanes.
  • Get up early. Watch sunrise. It’s a great way to start the day with a cup of coffee. Clouds are beautiful and constantly changing like a flickering campfire.
  • Stay up very late (or take a nap and set the alarm) to watch meteor showers or Northern Lights. https://earthsky.org
  • Take early morning drives with the dogs, coffee, classical music and find photo ops.
  • Bake bread. I have tried many cinnamon roll recipes and finally adapted one to suit my likes. It’s easy to eat a whole pan in a couple days, so I don’t do that very often.
  • Exercise at least a half hour every day so you can eat those cinnamon rolls and not gain weight.
  • Take up Yoga. It’s good for your mind and body (Buy a yoga DVD or find a class on YouTube until you feel comfortable in a class after Omicron subsides.)
  • Reading some new books or rereading some classics. Here is a good book for healthy living, Keep Sharp – Build a Better Brain at Any Age, by Sanjay Gupta, MD.
  • Do something you have been putting off like improving your health and diet. Check out the Mediterranean diet (my choice for years). Add the 5/2 method for weight control. My book Your Heart gives an overview but there are many online sources.
  • Write. Keep a diary. Start a memoir. Do you have a book in your head telling you the story needs to be written? Now is the time. Try NaNoWriMohttps://nanowrimo.org Finish the first draft of a book in a month; I did on my own that last February. After many rewrites and critique partner improvements, I finished the novel last month. It’s my 8th book in ten years.
  • Join a writing group. I have been a member for decades and recently past president of https://authorsoftheflathead.org  A of F meets weekly at FVCC and with many classes on Zoom.
  • Grow some plants. I make ICU rounds in my sun room checking on plants that need medical interventions. I am currently enjoying a blooming Hoya, an orchid, a little lime tree and a gigantic avocado I grew from a seed.
  • Do some home improvements and de-clutter. Get out a paint brush. Change a room. Clean a closet. Take a few loads of clothing and unused clutter to charity. Recycle electronics (Best Buy and Staples take many items at no charge.)
  • Take an online art class. I’m taking classes with https://boldschool.com. There are many YouTube online art classes.
  • I’ll end with another cure for COVID social isolation, Vaxine. She is our German Shepherd mix, adopted from the shelter a month ago. The joyful 2-year-old learns quickly. She is funny, smart, loving and pesters our 12-year-old Lab, Gracie.

Healing through Art

The past year of spreading COVID-19 left many people in the United States and around the world with emotional and economic challenges. If you need something to lift your spirit and interrupt negative thoughts, an art project might be the answer. Decades of research reveal creative activities decrease blood pressure, improve memory, and lower stress.

You don’t have to be a painter or sculptor. The healing power of art comes in many forms; numerous activities produce health benefits. If you are interested in painting, but not sure what to paint, visit your local art center for ideas or check out YouTube art tutorials. Take a class in the comfort of your home. If you are not the painting type, consider other art forms. How about singing or learning to play an instrument? Do you have a guitar or some other instrument lying dormant? Dust it off and reteach yourself to make a little music.

Writing prose and poetry, gardening or nurturing house plants – all can improve emotional health and well-being.

Exercise is an important component in stress reduction and health, take a walk and bring a camera. If you are up with the birds, share the experience by taking photographs of the ever-changing sunrise each morning. If you like to sleep in, take sunset photos on your evening walk.

In The Healing Power of Art, an article written by art therapist Megan Carleton at Massachusetts General Hospital, she stated, “Once people engage, they often realize they are having fun and the time passes faster.” If your days seem long, an art project can provide a positive distraction and a connection with family members or friends.

You don’t have to be in the same room to create and share art. Five women, three Lipstick Logic sisters and two of our friends living thousands of miles apart, in Minnesota, Montana, and Hawaii, are creating art together. The pandemic has kept us apart physically but close in spirit via the internet.

While talking to each other we realized we were in a slump and needed a good challenge to jump start our energy to get us over the pandemic finish line. Knowing we each loved art, we came up with the 2021 plan called “An Artsy Challenge.” We will share a piece of art at the end of each month.

Why not join us?

Call a few friends or create art projects with your kids. Come up with your own Artsy Challenge for the year ahead. Knitting, baking, mosaics, paint by number, creating with clay – the list goes on. Any new endeavor has the power to shift a person’s mind and energy in a positive direction. Having others join your group will help you stay committed and connected. Creating something new is inspiring and transformative. Heal yourself through artistic expression.

We would love to learn about or see your finished projects. And we all hope your happiness factor improves by simply adding art and camaraderie to your life.

Betty, Bev, Brenda, Christina and Chieko /Lipstick Logic Artsy Challenge Members

COVID-19 LOGIC

MASK UP

COVID-19 deaths in the past year approach half a million, surpassing heart disease as the highest annual cause of death in the U. S. These killer diseases are markedly different.

Coronary heart disease evolves over years of bad lifestyle choices and underlying inherited disorders. You can get COVID-19 and possibly die by not wearing a mask and simply standing near a SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus-infected person. This highly contagious acute respiratory disease is airborne, and the virus spreads easily from person to person. Choices made throughout a lifetime help prevent coronary heart disease, but simple actions taken right now can prevent COVID-19 and save lives.

The viral disease may be mild, but perfectly healthy people, young and old, have died from it. Increased age and younger citizens with pre-existing diseases, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease asthma and any immune suppression have increased risk of serious COVID-19 illness and death. These factors increase the need for hospital care, oxygen support, and make the risk of death higher.

PREVENTION IS BEST

FOLLOW THESE CDC GUIDELINES TO DECREASE RISKS FOR COVID-19:

AVOID CROWDS.

WEAR A MASK IN PUBLIC.

STAY AT LEAST SIX FEET APART.

AVOID TOUCHING YOUR FACE AND NOSE.

WASH YOUR HANDS & USE SANITIZER FREQUENTLY.

GET YOUR VACCINATION AS SOON AS YOU ARE ELIGIBLE.

CONTINUE TO WEAR A MASK IN PUBLIC EVEN AFTER BEING VACCINATED.

MASK GUIDELINES

Wearing a mask does not mean pulling a bandana or neck gaiter up over your mouth or walking around with a mask only covering your mouth. To be effective, masks must cover both the nose and mouth, fit against your cheeks, and be secured beneath your chin. You must breathe through the fabric without gaps along your cheeks.

Recommended masks: disposable surgical, 2-ply cotton fabric masks, N95, NK95.

Most effective protection is to wear a fabric mask over one of the other selections.

(N95 masks are still in short supply and must be preserved for frontline workers.)

Avoid being near anyone who is not complying with these practices.

Watch for updates from CDC.

LipstickLogic.com

Betty and Bev

COVID AND YOUR HEART

February is Heart Health Month

 

Each year the American Heart Association designates February as Heart Health Month to raise awareness and encourage health style changes to lower risks. Heart disease caused by narrowed coronary arteries has been the major cause of death in both women and men around the world for decades. This year, rising Covid-19 deaths will skew statistics and within this high death rate are many who have underlying coronary artery disease.

Covid-19 typically impacts the respiratory system but may progress to other body parts including the heart. Older people who developed heart disease over a lifetime are at increased risk when infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19 illness. But the virus can also attack young healthy hearts.

Some survivors with no underlying heart disease who did not require hospitalization still developed heart complications. Heart muscle inflammation (myocarditis) and heart failure (decreased pumping ability) occur in some. Heart failure results in shortness of breath, ankle swelling and decreased exercise tolerance.

A Mount Sinai Health Systems study of 3,000 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 showed a high number with heart injury. Thirty-six percent showed elevated troponin levels indicating heart muscle damage. Rising blood troponin correlated with a higher risk of death. Even patients with mild heart muscle injury had a 75% higher risk of death than those with normal troponin levels.

Most people who test positive for COVID-19 experience mild symptoms, require no hospitalization, and experience a full recovery. Systemic effects from the infection are variable but include blood clotting disorders and nervous system involvement. An overwhelming immune response, called a “cytokine storm” results in cellular damage and shock in some patients. But many older people with chronic diseases such as diabetes, kidney and lung problems have complicated courses. Reduced oxygenation that can be severe may evolve to irreversible lung damage.

Post COVID weakness and exhaustion require a cardiac workup. It is important to seek medical attention for chest pressure, shortness of breath, and palpitations (irregular heartbeat). If your heart rate is abnormally slow, fast, or irregular, make an appointment to see your doctor.

 

The workup will involve the following: a history of your symptoms, underlying risks such as diabetes, high blood pressure, known heart disease, medication list, and activity level prior to COVID-19 infection. Common evaluations include physical exam, chest X-ray, ECG, and an echocardiogram.

Contact the American Heart Association for general heart health guidance and follow CDC recommendations for protection during the pandemic. For personal safety and the safety of others, masks and social distancing are essential. Consult your healthcare provider or local health department to register for a vaccination as soon as possible. Follow safety precautions and always wear a mask when you leave your home.

Lower stress with education. Know your risks and take action.

American Heart Association

CDC COVID information

Save lives and protect your heart.

Lipstick Logic Sisters Betty and Bev

 Amazon link

Holiday Greetings from Lipstick Logic

Lipstick Logic Sisters

Lipstick Logic Holiday Greetings and Recipes

Last year at this time few were aware of the new coronavirus that would threaten world stability. But in early 2020, our world changed forever with a pandemic of disease and death. Lives were lost and for some of those who survived infection, their lives were forever changed.

The prospect of effective vaccines brings hope for a brighter future. In the meantime, we have followed science but stayed close to those we care about through Zoom, Skype, video cell calls, social media, emails, and plain old phone calls.

Being less mobile meant more time at home to focus on projects we’d put off for years. Indoor and outdoor home improvements occurred, along with lots of cooking with our favorite restaurants closed. We won’t be gathering with family or friends and sharing food this holiday but are sharing with donations to food banks and charities and will share some of our easy tasty recipes with you.

Best wishes for a wonderful peaceful New Year.

Lipstick Logic Sisters: Betty in Montana and Bev in Minnesota

Click on the Holiday Greetings link below to print the recipe PDF.

Molasses Oatmeal Bread
Huckleberry Scone dough
Huckleberry Scones
Janet’s Biscotti with Gloria and Tim’s Wine

Holiday Greetings from Lipstick Logic

Blueberry Muffins
Pike Bay Cass Lake MN
Big Mountain 2020

React Like a Zebra

Sharing a blog from Montana Women Writers

https://montanawomenwriters.com/2020/04/06/react-like-a-zebra/

 

Montana Women Writers

Betty cowboy hat prairie.1

By Betty Kuffel

When you lie in bed worrying about things out of your control and unable to sleep, consider the concepts of stress reduction in the book Why Zebras Don’t get Ulcers by Robert M. Sapolsky. The acclaimed Stanford University professor of biology and neurology is a wizard at explaining how stress can make you sick and what you can do to understand and calm the physiological symptoms.

If you begin writing a list of topics that stress you, Dr. Sapolsky says to stop and think like a zebra. zebra headThey survive frequent acute physical distresses and react quickly to save their lives. We, too, have the ability to adapt suddenly in emergencies, but are challenged by sustained chronic concerns about food, lodging, and money, etc. In humans, the real problem occurs with social and psychological disruptions. That is where we are right now, enclosed for safety from an encroaching…

View original post 359 more words

Stay Healthy, Stay Home

Uncertain Times

Since the writing of our last blog, most everyone’s daily life patterns and concerns, including ours, have changed dramatically.

Honestly, we have been so preoccupied trying to keep up on the latest Covid-19 news, we haven’t felt like writing, but we want to encourage you to do everything you can to stop the spread of Covid-19.

We personally have abided by our governors’ Stay Home mandates and the CDC’s guidelines and have encouraged our family members and friends to do the same.

Staying home can seem restrictive, and yet, from everything we read and hear from reliable medical sources, social distancing is one of the easiest and most effective measures we can take to do our part to stop the spread of this pandemic virus. We have tried to use our Stay Home time creatively.

In fact, we have engaged in some amazing acts of cleaning – like sorting through 30 years of old papers and documents. And, after three weeks of confinement, our closets, floors and kitchen cabinets have never looked better. Cleaning is what we do best when we feel stressed. Engage in activities around your home you have put off due to a lack of time. Time is one thing you have right now, consider it a gift. Create, clean, wash the windows, read something other than the news.

We encourage you to focus on activities you like to do, but also practice acts of kindness wherever you can both within your family and toward others, including your pets who feel your anxiety. Take daily walks but remember to wear masks whenever you are away from home. Stay connected with family and friends through phone calls, texting, Instagram photos, Facebook and online face-time visits. Reach out to others, especially those confined at home alone with no spouse, significant other or children to help occupy their time. Write a letter to someone you know who is confined to a nursing home.

Using online services to order your groceries with curbside pick-up is an excellent way to practice social distancing. If you don’t have online grocery ordering options, be sure to wear a face mask to protect yourself and the safety of front-line grocery staff who are still working to stock shelves and serve customers.

No one is working harder right now that the medical community. We want to thank every doctor, nurse, and healthcare provider from the bottom of our hearts for their dedication in helping those who need their care and expertise. This is a painful situation facing not only the United States but the world.

The outcome depends on each of us to do our part.

Electronic hugs to you.

Betty and Bev

A photo taken before the days of social distancing.

 

By changing lip colors, a woman can change her appearance. By making new choices, she can change her life.

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