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Are you at the End of your Rope?

By       Message Kenneth Briggs     Permalink    (# of views)   2 comments

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At the end of your rope? Going to school, starting a new job, writing for OpEdNews, marrying, raising a family, being promoted, growing old, and facing illness can all be stressful. Managing a chronic illness can also be stressful as I found out last Friday. Friday morning at about 6 A.M. I found myself lying on the floor next to my bed. I was surrounded by EMTs and Firefighters, unable to talk in any recognizable language, I was making a series of weird sounds but could understand the questions being ask of me. I had no idea about how I got there or why until the questions led me to believe that I was experiencing an extremely low blood surgar episode for the first time in my life, certainly since I had been using insulin since 1980. Soon the sugar the EMTs were feeding me intravenously took hald and I could speak enough English to answer their questions. Yes today is Friday, I live at 7---D------. Convinced that they were using the right treatment they packed up and asked me several times if I wanted to go to the hospital, receiving a "no hospital" each time. They left and my wife and son took over. My son had done the right thing and told my wife to call 911. Which she had done and they had responded with everything necessary. Now comes the hard part, dealing with the aftermath. First question, how did I come to have too much insulin in my system?

Was stress involved? It might have been. The symptoms of stress may vary from person to person, but some general signs are: chronic fatigue, change in appetite, increase in alcohol, drug, or cigarette use [I’ve only had one or two drinks since I quit "cold Turkey" in 1980, I’ve never used drugs and I quit smoking tobacco 17 months ago], change in bowel or bladder habits, body aches and pains not caused by exercise, change in sleeping or waking patterns, and change in behavior or emotional patterns. So, I would guess that stress was not involved.

Taking care of yourself starts with recognizing the unhealthy ways you may deal with stress[for example, drinking too much alcohol or eating unhealthy meals]. You can then try a healthier approach.

Following are some of the ways you can reduce the effects of stress on your life:

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Exercise for at least 30 minutes at least 5 times a week

Do something just for yourself. Getting a new haircut or having a therapeutic massage can do wonders when you’ re under a lot of stress.

Recognize the things that upset you and try to develop a positive attitude toward those. you cannot avoid.

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Simplify your life. Don’t try to do too much. Set goals you can achieve . Learn to say "no".

Develop methods for relaxation, for example talk with supportive people, take up a hobby, listen to music, watch movies, take walks.

Try not to "self medicate" with food alcohol or over the counter medicines. Covering up a problem can make the stress even worse.

Learn to use relaxation techniques, such as mental imaging , diaphragmatic breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation.

Get adequate, regular amounts of rest and sleep [6 to 10 hours a night]

Eat a healthy diet.

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Drink less coffee and alcohol.

Use positive thoughts and humor to overcome negative thoughts. Rent a comedy from a video store. Share it with friends and laugh your stressors away.

Seek professional help for dealing with especially stressful events in y our life.


1. Kenneth Briggs, M.B.A., Personal Experience, October 19,2007

2. Phyllis G. Cooper, R.N., M.N., Stress Management, Real AgeTips of the Week, October 22,2007




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An OEN Editor. Born-03/20/1934, BA Pol. Sci.-U of Washington-1956, MBA-Seattle U-1970, Boeing-Program Control-1957-1971, State of Oregon-Mental Health Division-Deputy Admistrator-1971-1979, llinois Association of Community MH (more...)

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