Why It’s NOT Rude to Refuse a Ride from Stranger

Are you a woman (or teen girl) who thinks you’d appear rude if you refused to get into a stranger’s car when he offers you a ride?

There will always be women and teen girls who accept rides from strangers pulling up alongside the curb and offering, “Hi, would you like me to drive you to wherever you’re headed?”

I will never be able to wrap my head around this (pardon the cliché). Young women have been known to accept rides from strangers in beautiful weather. Sometimes their destination (home, work, school, a friend’s house) isn’t even that far off—only a few blocks away.

No sprained ankle, no heavy rucksack causing back pain with each step, and plenty of time to arrive at the destination—yet these girls and women get into that enclosed metal chamber with a person they’ve never seen before.

I have heard of women accepting a ride from a stranger (and the stranger is always a man) because they believed they’d appear “rude” if they declined. And you have to ask yourself just how common this reason is, being that often, these offers of rides occur in perfect weather, when the young woman is only a short distance from her destination.

I decided to find out what Dr. Carol Lieberman thought of this. Carole Lieberman, M.D., is a forensic psychiatrist and author of Bad Boys: Why We Love Them, How to Live With Them and When to Leave Them.

Dr. Lieberman has a very interesting take on this odd phenomenon. She explains,
“Some young women (and teen girls) accept rides from strangers because they don’t want to ‘appear rude’ or ‘hurt his feelings.’ These women are making this dangerous choice because of unconscious feelings that they have 
about their fathers.

“Most have fathers who were not there for them, either emotionally or physically. Typically, they have been abandoned by their dads and are longing for a father figure to pay attention to them and take care of them. 

“When a man offers such a woman a ride, she puts aside logic, her awareness that accepting a ride would be risky and, instead, feels flattered, appreciated, and overwhelmed by seeing that there is a man who seems to care for her, unlike her dad. 

“A smaller number of women don’t want to ‘hurt his feelings’ because they feel sorry for, or guilty about, their dad. Perhaps their dad is ill, unemployed, depressed or died when they were young. They want to be nice to this stranger 
because it feels like helping their dad.”

If you disagree with any of this, here’s a little experiment: Think of a teenaged girl you know who is extremely close to her father. Her father is a strong person, very connected with his daughter—who’s the apple of his eye. He’s the type of dad who eagerly bursts into the house after coming straight home from work and right away wants to see his daughter, and couldn’t care less about “going out with the boys to unwind” after work. His daughter will never outgrow being his princess. And she just ADORES him. He’s her hero. She worships him.

I don’t know about you, but I’m struggling to picture this girl getting into a stranger’s car after he comes alongside the curb and offers her a ride. It’s like accepting dog food when you know there’s steak at home for you.

I’m particularly having difficulty imagining her getting into that car in the name of not appearing rude. What on earth!

Okay, I’m sure there are some teen girls/women who are slaves to the “rude” thing without it having to do with their fathers.

For example, let’s take a young woman who, all throughout her childhood, was micromanaged by an etiquette-obsessed mother, scolded if she forgot to say “thank you” to a stranger who helped out with something, and was bullied by her controlling mother into always being prim and proper.

I can easily see this young woman slipping into that car out of fear she’d come off as rude if she didn’t.

But no matter how you slice it, something just isn’t right when a young woman, teen girl, any-age female or even male accepts a ride from a stranger. Usually this happens in good weather and when the passenger is not in pain walking.

I’m sure that some of these men who offer rides to strangers are innocent and only trying to be “nice.” But it certainly raises red flags when these nice men offer rides only to young, attractive, able-bodied women, while there are certainly many other women who are finding it more difficult to walk, such as one who’s obese or who’s senior-aged. Why don’t these “nice” men offer THEM rides? Why don’t they offer other men rides?

Normal Black Line Under Fingernail vs. Melanoma Streak

A doctor explains the differences between a melanoma black line under the fingernail and a normal one.

“Splinters or dark streaks under nails can occur when microscopic areas of bleeding happen and allow blood to settle under the nail,” says Dr. Joel Schlessinger, MD, board certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon with a private practice in Omaha, NE, and founder of LovelySkin.com.

“This also occurs in psoriasis where nail deformities are common,” he continues.  “A dark streak or area of the nail with dark discoloration can be a sign of melanoma and should be evaluated if there is no reason that trauma could have caused it.  The dark streak from melanoma is due to actual cells being grown in the nail area or under the nail.”  

What’s going on when the cause is benign?
“If the cause of nail streaks is benign it is usually from trauma or psoriasis or simple heredity.  Many individuals with skin of color have longitudinal nail streaking or dark streaks over the nails and sometimes it is difficult to determine if they are benign or not.”

How are melanoma streaks in the nails different in appearance from benign streaks?
Dr. Schlessinger explains, “Hutchinson's sign in melanoma is the presence of a dark streak along with color changes to the skin just before the nail starts.  This is a very concerning sign and usually is best addressed by a biopsy of the nail bed or, at the very least, evaluation by a dermatologist."

Melanoma lines under the nails tend to be thicker than the harmless splinter-like lines that many people get. Melanoma streaks may be thick enough to look more like bands than lines. They will also progress, whereas the normal thinner streak that was never there before will eventually disappear.

Dr. Schlessinger adds, “The colors can be anything due to nail thickness and different areas where moles can originate.  The most usual causes for nail issues, however, are trauma and hereditary issues.  Make sure to tell your doctor if you have had trauma or if your family has these issues so they can evaluate you thoroughly.”

A benign area of pigmentation can actually cause a “pseudo-Hutchinson’s sign,” but if you see this sign, it’s not for you, the patient, to diagnose. See a dermatologist who will have it biopsied.  

Does a Bleeding Mole Always Mean Cancer?

“While a bleeding mole is something that should be evaluated, this is not always cancer and usually just is an irritated mole, especially if it was in the way of scratching,” says Dr. Joel Schlessinger, MD, board certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon with a private practice in Omaha, NE, and founder of LovelySkin.com.

“However, if you continue to have bleeding, it should definitely be evaluated, as a dermatologist can remove the mole and keep it from happening in the future.  At that time they will see if it is at risk for cancer.”

The removed mole should be biopsied, even if the doctor says it looks normal (other than for the bleeding).
  
Dr. Schlessinger also explains, “Melanoma can bleed just as other skin cancers such as squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma can.  They bleed due to fragile skin that occurs when the normal pattern of skin regeneration and protection is disrupted by the cancer.  This is a serious symptom so it is important to consider being evaluated if you have any bleeding mole.

“Usually melanoma isn't even detected in very small moles, but it is impossible to say if a mole is good or bad based on size alone.”  

Itchy Small Blisters on Fingers: Cause, Solutions

Here’s what you should do and avoid if you have itchy small blisters on your fingers, says a dermatologist.

If you see “blisters” on your fingers and they itch, these may not be the typical blisters that result from a burn.

“Itchy small blisters on the fingers are often simply a condition called dyshidrotic eczema, a form of dry or irritated skin,” says Dr. Joel Schlessinger, MD, board certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon with a private practice in Omaha, NE, and founder of LovelySkin.com.

“It is important not to pick at them or open them up, as that can result in more issues and prolonged irritation,” says Dr. Schlessinger.  

“Instead, try to moisturize them or use a topical steroid if available such as 1% hydrocortisone (www.LovelySkin.com/FixMySkin).  This can result in improvement, but if there is a continued irritant such as handwashing, detergents or a contact allergy to rings or clothes, these will have to be avoided to allow the area to improve.  

“Many times I am asked what the 'water' or 'fluid' is inside of the blisters.  This is only serum (a form of infection or trauma-fighting fluid) that is sent to heal the area.  Opening up the area or washing it away delays healing, so it is best to avoid unroofing the blisters.” And no matter how much they itch, do not scratch.

Causes of Excessive Sweating On Face, Neck, Head

A dermatologist explains what might cause excessive sweating on your face, neck and head that doesn’t correspond to any intense physical activity or heat.

“Excessive sweating is usually caused by a certain type of nerve on the sweat glands that leads to sweating out of proportion to what is necessary to maintain our regular temperature,” says Dr. Joel Schlessinger, MD, board certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon with a private practice in Omaha, NE, and founder of LovelySkin.com.

“Some sweating is absolutely necessary but there is a point where it becomes too much!  Generally, this happens on areas such as arms, hands and feet (and underarms, of course), but some individuals have it all over,” including the face, neck and head.  

Dr. Schlessinger adds, “This is a different type of sweating that can be caused by the same unregulated nerves, or other conditions such as menopause, obesity, diabetes, pregnancy, high thyroid levels, Parkinson's disease, lymphoma, gout and various infections.  

“If these are concerns or if you have uncontrolled sweating it may be a good idea to see your physician.
  
“The most common form that I see is when it is associated with menopause.” When an woman has menopausal hot flashes, she can have excessive sweating on her face, head and neck, but usually, the flash of sweating will occur elsewhere as well, rather than only on the face, head and neck.

Also, says Dr. Schlessinger, menopausal sweating disappears shortly after the hot flash begins.

“Hyperthyroidism is also commonly associated with sweating,” he says, and a blood test can check for this condition. 

Burning in Stomach after Gallbladder Surgery: Doctor Explains

There are MANY causes, says a gallbladder surgeon, of stomach burning after the surgery, and thus, many treatment approaches.

Sometimes, a person who had gallbladder removal surgery reports a burning in the stomach. This has many causes and is called post-cholecystectomy syndrome.

“Post-cholecystectomy syndrome (PCS) is a complex of heterogeneous symptoms including persistent abdominal pain and dyspepsia [burning sensation] that recur and persist after cholecystectomy,” explains Akram Alashari, MD, abdominal surgeon and critical care physician, Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Florida.

“PCS is defined as ‘early’ if it occurs in the postoperative period and ‘late’ if it occurs months or years after surgery."

What causes the burning in the stomach?
“The symptoms of pain and dyspepsia referred to as PCS can be caused by a wide spectrum of conditions, both biliary and extra-biliary. About half of the patients with PCS are found to have biliary, pancreatic or gastrointestinal disorders, while the remaining patients have extra-intestinal disease.” The term extra refers to beyond the intestines, or beyond the bile ducts for “extra-biliary.”

Dr. Alashari says that the biliary causes of PCS include:
Biliary injury, retained cystic duct or common bile duct stones.

“Late PCS can be due to recurrent common bile duct stones, bile duct strictures, an inflamed cystic duct or gallbladder remnant, papillary stenosis or biliary dyskinesia.

“Biliary dyskinesia refers to motor forms of sphincter of Oddi dysfunction. Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction can be evaluated with sphincter of Oddi manometry.”

Dr. Alashari names the following causes for extra-biliary PCS:

Irritable bowel syndrome, pancreatitis, pancreatic tumors, pancreas divisum, hepatitis, peptic ulcer disease, mesenteric ischemia, diverticulitis or esophageal diseases.

Extra-intestinal causes, says Dr. Alashari, are: intercostal neuritis, wound neuroma, coronary artery disease or psychosomatic disorders.

Treating Stomach Burning after Gallbladder Surgery
Dr. Alashari explains, “Treatment for PCS is tailored to the specific cause of the symptoms. Diagnosis of the underlying problem causing PCS usually requires imaging to look for retained or recurrent stones or identify a bile duct leak, stricture or transection.

“This can be accomplished in most cases with ultrasound and/or computed tomography (CT) scanning followed by direct cholangiography or magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP). MRCP provides a noninvasive alternative to direct cholangiography for evaluation of the biliary tract.”

Prevent Gallbladder Attacks with Five Food Types

A gallbladder disease expert recommends five foods in particular that will help prevent gallbladder attacks.

“There is often a history of fatty food ingestion one hour or more before the initial onset of pain,” begins Akram Alashari, MD, abdominal surgeon and critical care physician, Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Florida.. “The episode of pain is typically prolonged (greater than four to six hours).”

Five Dietary Changes (Foods) that Can Help Prevent a Gallbladder Attack

Dr. Alashari explains, “The observation that deficiency of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is associated with the development of gallstones in guinea pigs prompted investigation of the relationship between ascorbic acid levels and gallstones in humans. The benefit of ascorbic acid may be related to its effects on cholesterol catabolism.”

#1. Right away you may be thinking whole oranges, but the following fruits have higher vitamin C levels: raw acerola juice (1,600 mg per 100 g serving), raw guava, orange juice, grapefruit juice and raw kiwi. Green and red peppers are loaded with vitamin C.

#2. Dr. Alashari explains, Coffee; moderate coffee consumption was associated with a reduced risk of symptomatic gallstone disease in a cohort study involving 46,000 male health professionals who were followed for up to 10 years.

“Subjects who consistently drank two to three cups of regular coffee per day were approximately 40 percent less likely to develop symptomatic gallstones during follow-up.

“The benefit was even greater in those who drank four or more cups per day (relative risk 0.55). In contrast, decaffeinated coffee was not protective. A similar benefit from regular coffee was noted in a cohort study involving 81,000 women.”

#3 and #4. Dr. Alashari says, “Vegetable protein and nuts. The Nurses' Health Study identified increased consumption of vegetable protein in the context of an energy-balanced diet as a protective factor for cholecystectomy.

“Comparing the highest with the lowest quintiles of intake, the risk was reduced by about 20 percent (relative risk 0.79, 95% CI 0.71 to 0.88), with a significant dose-response relationship. There has also been an association of reduced risk of gallstone disease in men associated with the daily consumption of nuts.”

Examples of high protein plant foods besides nuts: green peas, quinoa and beans.

#5. Dr. Alashari says to help prevent gallbladder attacks, eat more foods with poly- and monounsaturated fats.

He points out that these beneficial fats “inhibit cholesterol gallstone formation in animals. Whether diets rich in these fats reduce the risk of gallstone disease was evaluated in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, a large cohort study of male health professionals begun in 1986.

“After 14 years of follow-up, the relative risk in those in the highest compared with the lowest quintile of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat consumption were 0.84 (95% CI 0.73-0.96) and 0.83 (95% CI 0.70-1.00), respectively.

“This suggests that a high intake of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats in the context of an energy-balanced diet is associated with a reduced risk of gallstone disease in men.”

To help avoid gallbladder attacks, eat such foods as salmon, albacore tuna, cod and halibut, and olive oil and avocados. 

Can CT Scan Detect Colon Cancer?

If you have colon cancer, would a CT scan show it? "CT scans are adept at locating pathology IN the abdomen or outside of the bowel,” says Sander R. Binderow, MD, FACS, FASCRS of Atlanta Colon & Rectal Surgery.

Dr. Binderow continues, “CT is very good for solid organ disease -- liver, spleen, kidneys.  It can show metastatic colon cancer that has spread to the liver.

“Colon cancer, however, starts inside of the bowel.  CT is notoriously unreliable for polyps or early stage tumors.  It can show large, more advanced cancers or masses.”

So for instance, my father went to the ER complaining of significant lower abdominal pain and a persistent feeling of constipation. The doctor ordered a CT scan and at some point, she commented that it would be good news if the scan did not show an “obstruction,” as this could possibly be a malignant mass—having originated as colon cancer but having infiltrated outside of the colon where a CT scan would pick it up. (Turned out my father had diverticulitis.)

And even if a mass does indeed show up on a CT scan…this doesn’t mean it’s malignant.

Dr. Binderow explains, “If a CT is suspicious for a colorectal cancer, the next immediate step would be a colonoscopy -- which again is the best test to evaluate the colon and find colon cancer."

In the absence of a CT scan, if you’re just wondering about colon cancer and would like to get some initial screening for it, you may consider Cologuard, which is a non-invasive screening test for this disease. Cologuard uses the latest advances in stool DNA technology—detecting the altered DNA from abnormal cells in a stool sample which could be associated with cancer or precancer.

Cure Golfer’s Elbow with Two Simple Exercises

Here is how I cured stubborn golfer’s elbow: just two exercises.

I had golfer’s elbow for many months and months that didn’t respond well to rest, avoidance of offending activities or massage.

I cured my golfer’s elbow (medial epichondylitis) with the following two exercises: the farmer’s walk and the deadlift.

My golfer’s elbow was such that if I deadlifted only 60 pounds, I could feel the aggravation in the tendon. So I started at 40 pounds—which felt “clean.”

I began farmer’s walks with just 10 pound dumbbells, because at 15 pounds, I kind of began “feeling it.”

The Deadlift
This article will explain how to use the deadlift to cure golfer’s elbow, rather than also explain what this (or the farmer’s walk) is (that’s a whole separate article’s worth of content).

Before employing the deadlift for your therapy, make sure your form is PERFECT. Practice with a light bar or even wooden pole. Once you know exactly what you’re doing, then find the amount of weight that enables you to do eight repetitions without feeling any hint of the golfer’s elbow—none of it even tapping on your door, so to speak.

Yet at the same time, this weight should be close to that threshold in which you would begin feeling the tendon problem tapping at your door. If you can “feel it” at all, reduce the amount of weight!

Do five sets, eight reps, with two minutes of rest in between. Avoid all offending activities, whether it’s golf, certain weightlifting exercises, household tasks, yardwork, what-have-you.

Do the deadlifting twice a week, with days separating each session. Every few weeks, add 10 pounds. If the golfer’s elbow taps at your door, back down on the weight load—go back to what you’ve been doing. Never increase by more than 10 pounds.

As you can see, at this rate, it will be a LONG time before you’re deadlifting 135 pounds. Do not let this discourage you.

More than two years ago I could not deadlift 60 pounds without “feeling” my golfer’s elbow. At the posting of this article, I can deadlift 225 pounds for three reps WITHOUT feeling any hint of the golfer’s elbow.

It seemed like forever that I was using a barbell of less than 95 pounds, but I’m sure glad I just stuck it all out. I increased the rest time to three minutes once I got over 100 pounds.

Farmer’s Walks
Because 10 pounds in each hand is so light for this exercise, I did it nearly every day. Once I got up to a 25 pound dumbbell in each hand, I reduced it to three times a week.

Simply walk for about two minutes. If you can “feel” the golfer’s elbow, use lighter weights.

Increase the dumbbell weight no more frequently than once a week, and do so with two and a half pound increments.

I went from 10 to 12 to 15 to 17 to 20 to 22.5 to 25. It took a long time to get up to 25, because—and I can’t say this enough—you must use a weight load that’s below the threshold, but close to it.

I can now carry a 70 pound dumbbell in each hand without feeling the slightest hint of the golfer’s elbow.

Ancillary Exercises for Curing Golfer’s Elbow
Don’t rely on just the deadlift and farmer’s walk. At some point, you’ll want to reintroduce other offending exercises, namely the lat pull-down and the seated cable row.

START LIGHT. If you’re deadlifting 135 for reps, don’t assume you can just jump into a 120 pound seated cable row or 135 pound lat pull-down.

The motions of these two new exercises involve a different pattern of muscle recruitment, and thus, even if you can deadlift 150, a lat pull-down of only 75 might aggravate your golfer’s elbow.

Do not use a wide grip on the lat pull-down. Use a medium overhand and underhand grip with the long bar, as well as using a V attachment. Apply the same principle outlined earlier: Work below the threshold, and very, very gradually increase weight—and I mean gradually. Do eight reps, five sets, a few minutes in between sets.

For the pulley row, use a V attachment and apply the same principle.

Be patient and your golfer’s elbow will be cured.

Can Microscopic Colitis Spontaneously Resolve?

If you’ve been diagnosed with microscopic colitis, you’re no doubt wondering if this inflammatory bowel condition can go away on its own, or spontaneously resolve. After all, half of all cases of microscopic colitis present with sudden onset diarrhea; diarrhea is the hallmark symptom of this benign condition.

I was diagnosed with microscopic colitis several years ago, not long after a bout of sudden-onset, watery diarrhea that didn’t seem to want to go away. Diagnosis of microscopic colitis is confirmed with a tissue sample of the large colon, obtained via colonoscopy, and then examined under a microscope, hence the name “microscopic colitis.”

My gastroenterologist told me that the condition would “resolve on its own in a few weeks.”

Less than three weeks after the diarrhea and changed stool appearance began, I started noticing that my stools began looking less abnormal, and that the diarrhea was less frequent. I attributed this to consumption of a probiotic, kefir.

I also speculated that I had had the microscopic colitis for quite a while and never knew it (this is possible, as the symptoms of a very mild case can be masked by a high fiber diet, since a high fiber diet can cause near-daily and even daily bouts of diarrhea, and I had had a high fiber diet).

However, enormous anxiety, triggered over the diagnosis of a brain tumor in my parents’ beloved dog, was the suspect in what triggered the flare-up of the pre-existing, low-grade microscopic colitis -- if that’s indeed what I had had all along.

I just can’t believe this was a coincidence; the anxiety and stress (I loved that dog!) was horrendous, which included battles with my mother and brother over how to properly feed the dog during his alternative treatment, and sleepless nights as I lie awake in my parents’ house, heart racing as I dreaded hearing the tell-tale sounds of yet another seizure. (I was taking care of the dog because my parents, let’s just say, weren’t exactly a prime choice for this, which included frequent injections.)

My gastroenterologist’s nurse, prior to my colonoscopy, told me he had diarrhea for two weeks as a result of his divorce. Diarrhea doesn’t necessarily mean microscopic colitis, and again, microscopic colitis must be confirmed via large-colon tissue biopsy.

In the few weeks following my colonoscopy (which was a few days after the dog was euthanized), my symptoms diminished and everything returned to normal. And I kept drinking the probiotic. (I had moved back home a few days after the colonoscopy.)

However, I stopped drinking the probiotic when I moved into my parents’ home again to help take care of my father after his back surgery. Seven days after his back surgery, I took my mother into the emergency room for shortness of breath and vomiting; she was discharged with a diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Two days later she was back with chest pain, and was admitted to the hospital because a blood test showed a slight elevation of the heart-attack marker troponin. The next day she underwent a quintuple bypass surgery with mitral valve replacement after an angiogram showed extensive coronary blockage.

And if the stress from suddenly being told your mother will be undergoing a 7-hour surgery because a heart attack was imminent isn’t enough, then imagine the stress of what happens after coronary bypass surgery: the possibilities of complications and the arduous recovery process.

Did all this stress bring back my microscopic colitis?
I had one bout of diarrhea, but nothing else out of the ordinary. And I continued not drinking the probiotic. The emotional stress was unspeakable, as there were bumps along the post-operative road, and my father’s back surgery didn’t seem to have resolved his problems.

Over the weeks following my mother’s coronary bypass surgery and all the stress it brought me, my microscopic colitis never recurred. Seems as though the microscopic colitis spontaneously went away, so far away that even this new era of stress was not able to resurrect it.

So perhaps my doctor was right when he said that the microscopic colitis would “resolve on its own.”

However, many people with microscopic colitis who post in online forums report that the condition is ongoing, chronic, and for many patients, there is no truly effective treatment.

For some individuals, microscopic colitis is more than just an annoyance; episodes of diarrhea can be numerous throughout the day, immediately follow meals, and the condition can also be accompanied by abdominal cramps or pain.

So, can microscopic colitis go away on its own? Can it spontaneously resolve? In at least one case, yes. In other cases, it’s chronic.

How to Cure Feeling Old from Menopause

There is ONE thing that women in menopause can do to cure the feeling of “getting old” as a result of this change in life.

Hey, I just don’t know how a woman can feel old due to menopause when she can step into a gym and deadlift 225 pounds for reps.

Now that amount of weight may seem as far from you as the moon is, but I can say the same thing about deadlifting 135 pounds: How can menopause make a woman who can deadlift 135 feel old?

The deadlift is one of the most effective strength training moves, regardless of one’s goal. It’s fantastic for fat loss, shrinking the stomach, toning the legs and arms, strengthening the back, curing certain kinds of back pain, improving overall neuromuscular function and so much more.

So how does this relate to feeling old from menopause?

The thing about this multi-joint or compound exercise is that it enables you to lift a LOT of weight. Not only that, but it does NOT require balancing or other movements that can put a self-conscious woman on edge—such as trying to steady oneself on a balance board or coordinate pushing dumbbells overhead while stepping onto a bench and sticking out the other leg.

The deadlift is as simple as pie. ANYONE CAN DO IT. It’s not like the pushup, where women struggle and become discouraged, or the pull-up, where women rely on spotters to help them up and then feel defeated.

ANY WOMAN CAN DEADLIFT.

But don’t let the simplicity of this exercise fool you. It’s one of the most effective exercises for crushing calories, improving fitness, strengthening the back and knees, and improving the ability to do other exercises.

Because the deadlift involves simply that of picking a barbell off the floor and then straightening, then lowering it with control, the potential to pick up impressive amounts of weight is very real.

The ability to pick something very heavy off the floor simply contradicts that of feeling old—even if you’re suffering from other symptoms of menopause such as thinning hair, hot flashes and fat gain.

There’s just something magical about knowing you can hoist heavy objects off the floor that makes you feel YOUNG and VIBRANT, not old and haggard.

Deadlifting heavy amounts of weight has the startling ability to carry over to everyday tasks of daily living. Picking up and carrying babies, even heavier preschoolers, will no longer be tiring. Housework and yardwork will be a breeze. Helping someone move will no longer make you ache the next day. Nor will shoveling snow.

The best cure for feeling old from menopause is to become proficient with the deadlift. Start out with a light bar and do not get discouraged when your wrists become fatigued. It will take time to develop the endurance and strength in the muscles that control wrist action. Don’t use gloves; they’ll cheat you of developing grip strength.

Do not rush. MASTER CORRECT FORM FIRST. There are different ways to deadlift—too much information to go into for this article—but the bottom line is that you will find out what style works best for you.

However, it’s a universal phenomenon that the “mixed grip” makes handling the barbell more efficient for anybody, so you’ll want to get used to that.

Are you feeling blue about menopause? Feeling old? Start deadlifting. I can’t say this too much.

Caregivers to Elderly: How to Lift Mother off Floor

When I was a caregiver to my elderly mother, I was always easily lifting her 130-pound body off the floor.

My Experience As Caregiver to Elderly Mother and Lifting Her off the Floor
Following quintuple bypass surgery, mitral valve replacement and a pacemaker implant, my mother developed a mysterious condition that disrupted her blood pressure and/or blood vessels (none of the doctors had an answer).

This condition caused her brain to gradually begin losing oxygen (blood flow) whenever she exited a chair (or bed) to be on her feet. Within seconds to about two minutes, she’d begin passing out, but the passing out was gradual, rather than the sudden fainting that “drops” someone in an instant.

Because it was gradual, there was time for cognitive changes to manifest over the seconds to few minutes, stripping her of insight into what was happening. This was combined with general non-compliance (refusing to alert me every time she exited a chair).

As a result, I couldn’t let her out of my sight or else she’d ultimately lose consciousness and fall—risking catastrophic head injury. I had to walk right behind her.

The gradual passing out was inevitable, and my mother, becoming increasingly disoriented and belligerent (from the oxygen deprivation to her brain), would eventually show signs of imminent loss of consciousness.

At this moment, I’d place my arms snug under her armpits, as I was always behind her during these incidents. The junction of my upper and lower arms was up against her armpits. Feet about shoulder width apart, I’d then “sink” her butt to the floor (keeping my low back arched and dropping into a half squat). At this point she was out of it, unable to contribute to the “sinking.”

Often, this bizarre malady caused her legs to stiffen, so instead of her legs bending as I “sunk” her, they remained rather straight and stiff as I placed her on her butt. If we were in crowded corners, this was tricky.

If you’re wondering why I didn’t just hold her upright till the spell passed, it’s because these slow-motion orthostatic hypotensive episodes were determined to run their course. Had I held her upright, she would have completely lost consciousness, and I’d have to then sink her anyways. Why wait till complete loss of consciousness?

Sinking my mother to the floor had to be done gently and with control…the way a weightlifter controls the lowering of a barbell.

Once she was on the floor, she’d regain her wits, but was too weak to get up on her own. I had to lift her back up to her feet.

In case you’re wondering why I didn’t just sink her into a chair instead of the floor, this is because her mental state was too altered to respond to a directive to sit in a chair—her mental faculties were impeded.

Due to the stiff, unbending legs, getting her butt square into a chair was difficult. I’d actually tried this initially, but had trouble aiming her butt into the nearest chair, so I decided, why not just sink her to the floor—wherever we were when one of these episodes occurred.

They occurred outdoors frequently when she got out of the car. I’d sink her on grass, cement and inside stores, then lift her back up.

As a caregiver, how did I easily lift my elderly mother from the floor?

Half squat (almost)
She’d be sitting on the floor, back and head resting against my legs for some moments while the blood was restored to her brain. But despite regaining her wits, she was too weak to get up, so I’d position my arms under her armpits and be in a position that resembled a fusion of the start of a deadlift motion (see photo above) and a half squat.

My legs and glutes powered me up, but so did my middle and lower back, though the lower back contributed only in terms of stabilizing my spine rather than force production.

I kept an arch in my lower back, making sure my back did not round, and simply straighted up, like performing a barbell “back” squat and deadlift hybrid.

Once my mother was on her feet, she could be up on them as long as she liked; the orthostatic hypotension would occur only one time after every time she rose from a seat.

I just described technique, but what about the strength to lift an elderly person from the floor without much effort?

I did this all day long and in the middle of the night, and once found myself straddling the toilet, my back facing the wall, my mother sitting on the seat in front of me, after she began passing out while on the seat (the result of exiting a chair to use the bathroom; I had followed her, anticipating the slow-motion passing out). I never knew when I’d have to sink her and then lift her off the floor, but I was always physically prepared.

Effortless lifting of an elderly person off the floor will come to anyone who’s been training heavy with weights for a good amount of time. Though 130 pounds doesn’t seem like much, this is entirely too heavy for most female caregivers, and even some men would struggle with this—possibly straining their back in the process and/or experiencing exhaustion.

I felt I could lift her off the floor even if she weighed 150, because my body had pre-existing training with the deadlift.

"The sumo deadlift would be THE exercise I would recommend to caregivers to be prepared for situations that would require the possibility of getting someone off of the floor," says Dr. Chris Hardy, DO, a former Navy physician, co-author (with Marty Gallagher) of the book, “Strong Medicine” (DragonDoor Publications, April 2015). "The wide stance and body mechanics of this exercise make it the most applicable and valuable for this type of situation to allow effective and safe lifting of a person from the floor."
Sumo deadlift; source: menshealth.com

If you don’t train with weights and currently are not a caregiver to an elderly mother (or father), I urge you to take up the deadlift, back squat (or dumbbell squat) and leg press—so that if one day you do become a caregiver to an elderly parent, you’ll be ready. 

Go heavy and hard once you master proper form.

Additional exercises that will prepare you to lift an elderly person off the floor include the bent-over dumbbell row and heavy weighted walking lunge.

If you’re currently a caregiver to an elderly parent and don’t train with weights or have been lifting only light weights, then start lifting heavy and take up the aforementioned exercises, particularly the deadlift.

Being an lot taller than the elderly parent, whom you’re a caregiver to and trying to lift off the floor, is not a pass on training with heavy weights. Though being taller adds a degree of biomechanical assistance—it’s pretty much worthless if your “posterior chain” muscles are out of shape (middle and lower back, butt and hamstrings).

Additional information: Complete Guide to Caregiver Workouts