858-876-2548

Life of a Peace Corps Volunteer – Episode 221

Life of a Peace Corps VolunteerToday, I will be sharing with you some insights from my interview with David Jarmul, the author of “Not Exactly Retired”. His book discusses the trips he took within the United States and with the Peace Corps. But today we will focus on his Peace Corps tour. You will also get to know if you're too old for the Peace Corps and what to expect if you sign up.

It's Not Too Old to Start

David Jarmul started his Peace Corps trip at 63. He went to Nepal with his wife a few weeks after he left his job and spent two months even in areas where westerners rarely go. They went off a few months later to serve for over two years in Eastern Europe in a little country called Moldova.

While they were here, they were able to apply for Medicare at the American Embassy in Athens, Greece. The Peace Corps has an administrative director in the country where they were serving it. They guided him and his wife through applying for Medicare before they were about to turn 65. He mentioned that nobody joins the Peace Corps to get rich. It shouldn't be the reason to join it. But from a financial standpoint, this is a good way to make a transition from paycheck to the next phase of retirement since the Peace Corps covers all your expenses. They pay your way over as you get free medical and dental care.

Peace Corps is a Good Way to Make that Transition

Peace Corps has its own doctor and a medical team that is really excellent. They were able to receive good medical care. This covered them until shortly after they finished their service and was able to transition over to activating Medicare. He mentioned that this is a real nice benefit but not the reason to do it, but it turned out to be a good way to make that transition.

It's Been Always David Jarmul's Dream to Join the Peace Corps

Probably you are all wondering why David Jarmul and his wife joined the Peace Corps. David had a high-powered job at a university. According to him, it was pretty stressful, but he loved his job and colleagues. It has always been their dream to join Peace Corps and as they hit their 60s; They made this dream come true. Since traveling has always been their passion, they went on a trip within US and then Nepal. He said he wanted to move on to the next chapter of his life and so they had a series of adventures, which he feels the best thing they ever did.

They felt fortunate enough living in United States, but wanted to go some place where they could be useful. He became the librarian while his wife an English teacher. Here they felt really useful, and they made dear friends. They learned a lot and ended up feeling the way most Peace Corps volunteers do when they finish, which is getting much more than they give.


You'll Meet New Friends

David Jarmul and his wife Champa were able to make friends from all over United States through volunteering in the Peace Corps.  According to him, it was a joy, and it's one of the great things about it. Some of their friends even consider this experience as a way of making the most out of their lives. They never regret the 2 years they spent volunteering in the Peace Corps as their family are very supportive of them because they knew that this was in their hearts, something they have always wanted to do.

It was during one of their trips in the United States when they were able to meet their old friend Linda. It was she who opened up everything about Medicare and Social Security that are good to have. That they need not to wake up at 85 and say that they should have done this. It's like whatever you want to do, think constantly about it and try to make it happen. So everyone's have to find what it is they want. For David and his wife, their theme is to go for it and embrace the next phase of their lives.

How the Peace Corps Started

Former president John F. Kennedy established Peace Corps in 1961. It is a non-political, non-religious organization, which has gained bipartisan support from Democrats and Life of a Peace Corps VolunteerRepublicans. Here, volunteers could learn as much as they could about the country they went to. They try to live their culture, and share theirs too, and try promoting world peace. It sounds trite, but it's actually what every volunteer is doing all around the world. It's ordinary people in other parts of the world forming bonds with each other as human beings, and for David, this is the wonderful thing.

They were able to introduce new things to the people especially for the students such as robotics and coding and have designed the libraries. They have joined some competitions and gained awards for these. For them, these are really gratifying to know that your hard work is paying off, but most importantly that they have embraced it and made it their own. But their main goal is to empower people in the community, share their skills, and help train them to try new things and continue, which give them a good feeling when this happens.

About Our Co-Host

David Jarmul was the head of news and communications at Duke University for many years before walking away to pursue a new life of service and adventure with his wife, Champa.

His book, Not Exactly Retired, is receiving rave reviews and tells the inspiring story of a couple who steered off the main highway of the American Dream to reinvent themselves. The world was calling, and so were their hearts. They left their home to wander around the United States and Nepal and then serve as Peace Corps volunteers in Moldova, in Eastern Europe.

Not Exactly Retired is a book for anyone seeks inspiration about how they, too, might pursue adventure, serve others, and embrace the next phase of their lives.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Not Exactly Retired: A Life-Changing Journey on the Road and in the Peace Corps
RockYouRetirement.com/VPN

This post of Retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on https://RockYourRetirement.com

Covid-19: How Well is Our Economy? – Ep 220

Covid-19: How Well is Our Economy?I know that we don't normally talk about money on the Rock Your Retirement Show, but in today's falling stock market due to the Covid-19 outbreak, you probably have questions.

Joe from The Stacking Benjamins Show was kind enough to come on the show to tell us what we should be doing right now.

What’s very frightening is that some people you see talking online and not the health stuff, but just in money forums. Those people said, Oh, this goes into a depression. Do you keep investing? Is everybody okay? I just want to sell everything. That's awful and nearly as awful we could maybe talk about this too is when do I quote back the truck up and start buying everything? All those for different reasons are scary places to be.

I can understand those feelings. Because I've lost a lot in the stock market since this pandemic has been going on.

We’re Still Not in a Depression

You saw the tremors around the start of March a little bit. The last few weeks have been nothing short of depressing. And It has been depressing, but we're not in a depression.

We won't know that for a while. Because just to get to recession territory, we have to have two quarters in a row of certain levels of negative GDP. And so we won't even know if we hit a recession till we get to the six-month mark. So I think people worried about depression are a little premature. Jumping the gun a bit.

The Economy Has to Continue

I know that if the economy is going to continue; The economy has to continue on the back of companies. And these companies are publicly traded. And so if the economy is going to continue, the stock market has to rebound. It's not Voodoo. It's not magic. The stock market has to rebound at some point for the economy to continue. This is going to pass.

Don't make decisions when you're emotional. Work from an investment policy statement that you created when you were not emotional and go back to that guide today and go No, no, this is what I said I was going to do and just keep following that.

What Joe Wouldn't Do Right Now

Somebody was talking to Joe on Twitter about buying Delta Airlines. Their point was obviously airline stocks are super low. And they said the government's not going to let them go under because it's an essential service. Even we had the president on recently talking about the fact that airlines and cruise lines are things that we want to make sure do well.

Going back to just not that long ago, history 2007-2008. Joe remembers them talking about Delphi won't go under, General Motors won't go under. All those companies declare bankruptcy. Also, the Lehman Brothers. Before the biggest analysts that follows them said, they're too big to fail. The government will not let Lehman Brothers go bankrupt. The person who ostensibly knew the most that weren’t in the company, and they still went. That is why you should not bet on Delta Airlines right now. And that's not negative to Delta Airlines.

Don't think that these companies that have no customers right now won't seek bankruptcy protection. That's what bankruptcy protections there for exactly.


They Are Worrying Too Much About the Economy

They're worried about the economy. So they want to let people go out, but what's going to happen is more people are going to get sick and then the economy will be shut down longer..

Take your medicine, get rid of it. It's like we tell people when they have credit card debt when they come to see people like you or I. Let's take care of this problem now, I know you want to do the sexy stuff, like, get into investing, talk and whatever. But you know we're going to do, we're going to cut up the credit cards. We're going to learn how to do an all-cash lifestyle. We're going to get an emergency fund, and people like Wow, that sounds boring. It is, but let's get rid of this part. So we can do the fun stuff, but do it for a long period of time.

We Can Get Through this By Doing Nothing

We've had a crisis before, we've always come through it over and over again. The math says, stick with what you were doing. Don't make any drastic changes. But the problem is, we as people are very emotional. For some reason can't, we don't want to do it. We don't want to believe in math.

Joe said there's a reason for that, though. With regard to finances, it's better fixed by doing nothing. We are doers as people, right? I got to put a bandaid on it; I got to do this thing; I got to fix this thing. I got to make this better. We apply effort, and things get better. The second law of thermodynamics is things tend to fall apart. Everything is trying to fall apart. Finance, If it's good to begin with, and we leave it alone, we're going to do better.

Fidelity did a study. It's been a little while ago now. But they looked at all of their retirement accounts. And they looked without looking at names. They just looked at how the different accounts did right percentage-wise, the best performing accounts of all, as a group where people who were dead.

We Will Find a Way to Rebound if we have a Financial DepressionHow Well is Our Economy?

We don't have the fundamental structural problem now that we had back 2007-2008. And if, if this goes away quickly, and Americans continue to do business and shop and save the way they did just a couple of months ago. It will rebound. Now, if it goes long term, we will have companies then go bankrupt. And we will have maybe structurally People work different, people shop different. As an example, people might shop online even more.

If this passes, if we just restart where we were, people go back to the way they were. The economy's not 2007 2008. So this is a whole different beast. It's not comparable.

Disclaimer: If you get an email from the CDC, please don't open it. Most likely it's a computer virus. And you probably don't want to catch that on top of everything else that's going on in your life.

About Our Co-Host

Joe Saul-Sehy is the co-host of the award-winning “Stacking Benjamins” and “Money With Friends” podcasts, which focuses on earning, saving and spending with a plan.He is a former financial advisor (16 years) and represented American Express and Ameriprise in the media. He was the “Money Man” at Detroit television WXYZ-TV, appearing twice weekly.

You can find him at StackingBenjamins.com

Mentioned in This Episode:

MedicareQuick.com/Checklist
Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
RockYouRetirement.com/VPN

This post of Retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on https://RockYourRetirement.com

COVID-19 message to our listeners

Covid-19Today's message is about how to stop the spread of COVID-19 and how we are changing the show a bit to deal with this crisis.

Transcript below:

Hi, I’m Kathe Kline, the founder of the Rock Your Retirement Show. I’m recording this special episode on Sunday, March 22nd 2020,  and it’s regarding COVID 19.

If this is the first time you’ve listened, understand that today’s show isn’t our normal type of show.  I wanted to talk with you and share some things about this crisis that we are in throughout the world.

Last week I sent everyone on our email list a note about my thoughts.  My husband, Les, and I went on a 9-day cruise that returned on March 15th.  We had already made plans to stop at Costco on the way home to pick up our normal items because we live 2 hours away from a Costco.

You already know that all Hell had broken loose and there was a shortage of toilet paper.

Before I continue, I want to say something about toilet paper.

If you were one of the people who stocked up on it, or if you were one of the people who were concerned that you didn’t have enough, I just want to point out to you that you’ll use much less toilet paper if you spend $100 on a Bidet.  You can spend more money if you want warm water or a blow dryer, but you might want to order a basic bidet converter online and have it delivered.  I’m serious.  If toilet paper is important to you, make your life easier by using less toilet paper.  It’s cleaner too.

OK, rant over.

I know that it’s scary.  We’ve lost a ton of money in the stock market.  Maybe you have too.  So I’m going to be bringing on at least one guest to talk about how to protect ourselves.

We're going to talk about the financial side of how to invest in a bear market, how to handle the fact that a recession is almost inevitable, how to prepare for a possible layoff, and tips for being more productive if you're working from home.

  • If you haven’t retired yet, what should you do?
  • Were you planning on moving overseas?  Joining the Peace Corps?  Which has brought everyone home?
  • Were you planning on using Trusted House Sitters to become a nomad?
  • What about living on a boat or RV?  How will COVID 19 affect those plans?
  • Have you discussed the risk with your spouse, your children, and your parents if they are still living?  Your parents are at great risk.
  • So is my husband, Les.  Not only is he 76 years old, but he is also surviving cancer.  He can’t afford the exposure to the disease, and neither can I due to my own health issues.

I have other family members who are cancer survivors as well.  You likely do too, or at least know some cancer survivors.  Do you worry about them?  I know I do.

What can we do to help?  We’ll be having those discussions as well.

On Friday I paid my cleaning lady to clean my house, but I didn’t have her clean.  On the ship, I gave extra cash tips to my room steward.  Yes, I’m feeling poor with the stock market decline, but I’m trying to be generous.  We all need to be generous right now.

You probably know or come across hourly workers and people who rely on tips for a living.  These service workers are in a serious economic bind right now.  I’ve already had one person tell me that her husband got laid off and they are losing their insurance.

Of course, I’m helping them get on Medicare because they are old enough to do so, but I want to be able to help in other ways too.

I’ve learned from one of my Facebook groups that there are people stranded all over the world that were doing house sits.  The sits got canceled, and now they have nowhere to stay.  People are stepping up with their spare rooms to assist.  This warms my heart.

If you have a spare room and would like to help, I can put you in touch with the group.  Let me know in the Facebook Group that you want to help and I’ll connect you.

If you are listening and haven’t joined our Community yet, go to RockYourRetirement.com/Community for instructions.  It’s free and now is the perfect time to come together.

I don't know how many of these episodes we’ll have.

I’m thinking that I’ll create them as I can.  I have my mom staying with me now, and I’m not sure how long it will be.  She lives in Washington State and we are preparing for them to shut down Seattle airport.  JFK in New York was shut down, so Seattle, which has a higher death rate at this recording, is probably close behind.

No one knows how long it will take to get back to normal.

Because the information we’re talking about is so critical to get out there, I’ll likely not be editing much.  We might not include the intro and outro music.  We might not edit at all.

These COVID 19 episodes will be here to serve the purpose that radio originally served, which is to communicate through audio in times of crisis.

But the world is changing around us very rapidly, and I want to respond quickly.

We still plan on releasing a normal episode every Monday morning as long as we can.  I’ve told you before that I batch the episodes.  That means I tend to record several in one day, and then they all get edited and released over time.

But I can’t do that with these COVID 19 episodes.

My intent is to do both, but honestly, it depends on my time.

The first thing I’d like to do is thank all the healthcare workers who are working to heal those who are ill.

Many of us have the luxury of staying home, self-isolating.  But that’s not the case with many of our healthcare workers.  They are putting themselves in harm’s way to help us through this crisis. I have many former clients who were in that business.  I’d like to thank you all personally, but of course, that isn’t possible.  So please accept this as my Thank You for what you are doing.

I am certain that some of my listeners and guests have already been exposed to the COVID 19 virus.  I want to let you know that I’m here virtually supporting you.  I’m also supporting those people who have yet to be exposed by staying home.  Les and I have been self-isolating since March 15th.  When must go out to say, collect my business mail, or pick up food that we’ve ordered, I go in and Les waits in the car.  I wear gloves and a mask.

This is because I’m assuming I’ve already been exposed.  You should assume that you’ve already been exposed too.

We’ve all heard that it takes 14 days to know if you’re sick.  I’m hoping that you are taking that seriously.

I’m also assuming that at least one of our guests has been exposed.  We have had guests who travel and live in other countries.  Our guests are adventurous.  I’m praying for all of them and I’m praying for you too.

There is a podcast that I listen to called Afford Anything.  Paula Pant is the host.  Several of her guests have been affected by COVID 19.  One of them is a firefighter in the city of Austin.  She’s responding to 911 calls without the proper protective equipment.  She’s putting herself at risk every day.

I’d like to thank our first responders too.

Paula is the reason I’m recording this episode.  She created one for her listeners, and I used it as a template to talk with you.

My listeners are different than hers as she talks to the FIRE community.  We’ve brought that up before in earlier episodes.  The FIRE community is generally younger than my audience.  They’re generally math nerds.  They live and breathe personal finance.  That’s not what this show is about, but I love listening to shows about FIRE.

You may or may not know that I was a full-time financial advisor until 2015 when I stopped taking new clients and cut my existing clients from about 2000 to about 20.  So that’s probably why I’m so fascinated with the FIRE community.

Although I’m not a math nerd, I know what an exponential curve is.  I believe that we are currently at the beginning of an exponential curve.

When you look at it on a graph, that start of that curve looks linear.  If you're living through an exponential curve, then at that start of that curve, your experience might feel linear. It might feel like the virus is spreading one person at a time.

A lot of people seem to be dismissing how dangerous this virus is.  When I went to pick up my groceries today, I was the only one wearing a mask and gloves.  No one seems to be concerned.  People are still playing golf and pickleball where I live, even though all the other amenities have shut down.

You probably saw on the news that the beaches in Florida were packed with people.  No one seemed to be worried about the spread of this virus.  One kid said that nothing was going to stop him from partying.

I feel like this kid might be spreading the disease to my dad, who lives in Florida.  He’ll be 80 this year and is compromised.  If he gets COVID 19 I’m sure he won’t survive.

One thing Paula said in her episode was that much of the Florida population is comprised of brave World War Two veterans.  These are our parents.  She said grandparents, but then she’s much younger than I am.  But what she said resonated with me, and that is we need to come together, if not for our sake, then for theirs.

And for their sake, we need to do everything in our power to not let this spread.

When you can see that on the horizon is an exponential curve, I hope you see that it's time to take drastic actions.  If you wait until you can see the curve, then it’s already too late.

Assume that it's already in your community; assume that you already have it that you are asymptomatic.  Assume you already have it, and you don't want to spread it to others and make every decision from that framework. That’s what Les, and I have been doing.

The problem that we are having right now is that in the absence of testing, and in the absence of information, people are defaulting to the assumption that they don't have it. And as a result, they're going out and they're spreading it to others.

So we need to switch the default setting we need to default to the assumption that we have it because coronavirus has a long incubation period it can be asymptomatic for two weeks.

How many people have been accidentally infected before those who test positive realize that they have it?

I watched the governor of my state and the head of the state’s health department.  She said that they were not going to try to notify anyone who’s likely been exposed anymore.  What that means to me is that you need to assume you’ve been exposed.  Default to assuming you’ve been exposed.

Don’t panic about it, don’t hoard, but assume you’ve been exposed.  Stay home so that we can slow down the spread of this awful disease.

Please don’t go to the ER or hospital if you don’t need to.

If you got my email, you saw that Medicare is covering the tests.  Some Medicare Advantage plans are waiving co-pays for teledoctors.

And if you don’t have access to a teledoctor, you can go to http://MedicareQuick.com/TELEDOC to get a plan for under $20 per month.

I will earn a small commission if you use that link.

If we don't take radical steps to flatten the curve, our hospitals will soon be overwhelmed.

And on my end, to the best of my ability to the maximum ability that I have the power to do so I am committed to using this platform to first flatten the curve.

And second, of course, I will be opening up this podcast to discuss more financial topics during this crisis.

Because finances are extremely important.

Money gives you the ability to access food and shelter and medicine.

Money is a tool that helps you financially deal with crises. And so we're going to talk about how to invest what to do with your retirement accounts.

I plan to talk about your Emergency Fund.  Do you have enough?  What happens if you get laid off, and you weren’t ready to retire?

How can you help your friends, neighbors, and family members who are struggling…

And if I can communicate just one message, if you learn one and only one thing for me, in the entire time that you listen to this entire podcast, please stay home, flatten the curve. There is nothing that I can say that is more important than those five words. Stay home, flatten the curve if you can.

Stay home as much as you possibly can.

If your boss is not letting you, but you have the type of job that could be done from home.

Speak up, protest band together with your colleagues. Because we all need to come together to defeat this. I know that it's called social distancing or social isolation.

If there are workers or providers who it used to come into your home, maybe you have a house cleaner who comes every two weeks, maybe you have a hairdresser.

If you are ceasing to use those services right now, continue to pay them. It was in your budget already, you already planned on paying those bills. You already planned on paying that hairdresser or that house cleaner.

So keep it up. So that way they don't have to go out there and expose themselves to serious risk for the sake of making up that lost income.

And you've been doing that for years and as time has gone on, you've gotten to know this person reach out to them.

Check on how they're doing, see if they need any help.

And if it feels appropriate to do so, consider giving them a gift, a giant tip, no strings attached, they don't have to do any new work in order to get this tip.

That’s what I did with my housekeeper.  She didn’t want to take the money, but I insisted.  I said it was a gift.

If you have friends or neighbors who are worried about how they are going to adjust to these new changes. Look into non-monetary ways that you can help them out.

Could you batch cook a whole bunch of dinners for them and leave it on their doorstep? Could you offer to walk their dog for them? Of course, donations of money are wonderful.

Money is not the only gift that you can give. That’s what our show has been about.  There's also your time.  You might be going through your attic or boxes since you now have more time than ever.  There might be some things you can give away.   After disinfecting them, of course.

But whatever you can safely and comfortably give. This is the time when we all have to come together in ways that don’t involve actually being together.

Because that's the thing about dealing with a virus that grows and spreads exponentially.

Every Day Counts. Every Day Counts.

So to the best of your ability to do so stay home, encourage others to stay home. And for those others, if staying home, presents an economic hardship, do whatever is in your power to share your resources with them.

I would love your help.  Come over to the Facebook community and post a comment.  Start a thread.  Say something uplifting.  We could all use it right now.

So thank you in advance for going above and beyond your call of duty. Thank you for staying home. Thank you for looking out for your neighbors.

Thank you for being part of the effort to flatten the curve.

We are being called to come together and patriotically sit on the couch and binge-watch Netflix.

This the service that this nation needs from us right now, this nation and every nation because this threat is worldwide.

This is the biggest global event since World War Two. And we all must join the efforts of hanging out in our living rooms binge-watching TV.

Thank you for listening.

Thank you for staying home.

Thank you for coming into the Community and being an inspiration.

I’ll see you next time, on the Rock your Retirement Show.

Why Firefighters Are Better Pain Specialists – Ep 218

Why Firefighters Are Better Pain SpecialistMost often, pain is classified as being acute or chronic. Pain can persist for days, months, or even years after an initial injury and can be difficult to treat. People with pain may experience anxiety, sleeplessness, and depression, all of which can compound the problem. In the first episode, we discussed what happened to me and how I could have dealt with my pain a little bit better. The second episode, we discussed how well our health system treats pain and last week we talked about pain myths and misconceptions, and I have been dying for this last episode where Dr. Kevin Cuccaro will give us the secret of why firefighters are better pain specialist than actual pain specialist.

We Are Behind the Science of Pain

Dr. Kevin Cuccaro said that the way they practice, teach, and talk to their patients is literally 50 to 60 behind the science of pain. That was difficult to overcome when it was Dr. Cuccaro going through that process and recognizing why people don't seem to get better with these pain injections.

Why is it that when doctors do more injections, they seem to lead to more injections? How come people have an injection and say they're better and yet the medications all seem to change or it seems like the pain move somewhere else. So, they went to get back pain injections in their back and now they have neck pain and they get injections in their neck and they get shoulder pain then they get the injection in their shoulder. They weren’t getting better. That was what started Dr. Cuccaro's journey when it came to actually going back to the research and science of pain. It also influenced him to be a better pain specialist.

Why Firefighters Are Better Pain Specialist

There are at least 3 major contributors that create or construct pain. You have that sensory aspect that's the sensation coming from the body. And then you have that cognitive element which is the attention, the beliefs, and expectations you have. The final element is the emotion, the memory mood, and the meaning that is associated with that sensation. All 3 of those components come together to construct and experience pain. Which means for any pain in any moment and any time to truly understand it, you have to be thinking on those 3 dimensions.

That becomes very difficult to explain to people, and it's difficult to think because we don't perceive our world that way. We think in cause and effect. That's the way the brain wants us to think because it's a survival-based mechanism. But, there's a community out there that has to think in 3 dimensions all the time to do what they do which is a public service, and that's the firefighter community.

What Makes Them a Better Pain Specialist?

You don't just go out there and say well we could throw water on it let's throw some more water on it let's keep throwing water on it and hope it gets better. Instead you go what's the fire in front of you, what's the therapy or what are the major contributors that I need to target with my therapies and so because firefighters are already thinking in 3 dimensions, with a little bit of basic pain science because they're already thinking in 3 dimensions they would be better pain specialist than pain specialists in most clinics out there because they already have the thinking down because they understand that pain is just like fires and the fire is similar to pain and has those 3 elements.

Fire TriangleWhy Firefighters Are Better Pain Specialist

Fire triangle is a tool that firefighters use in order to fight fires and because fire is a dynamic process and in fire, there are always no matter how complex or simple the fire is there's always 3 elements that are that are there.

You have the fuel source. You have the heat element and then you have the oxygen supply and it is only when you have all 3 of those that come together that you construct fire in so what firefighters know is if you can see a fire and start deconstructing it into these 3 elements in seeing how these elements change or what the different contributors are you now know how to how to fight that fire and so there are some fires that you would not like most fire you put water on now what are water does is actually keeping the heat element of it and as it decreases the heat; It interrupts that process.

But there are some fires that you would not want to put water on. So if you have an oil-based fire, if you throw water on an oil-based fire, what happens? It kinda explodes, right? What firefighters recognize is that you can have different fires with different construction, but if you recognize what that these 3 elements are now, you can fight these fires effectively.

A Pain Specialist View

Fire has fuel, oxygen, and heat. Pain has sensation, cognition, and emotion. If you understand how those different elements can change and be in flux and can really be different within seconds or minutes, now we can recognize that every pain is unique but we can deconstruct it in those 3 key contributors and now we can start targeting those 3 key contributors safer and more effectively.

All pain is real. All pain is pain but what I think or what I say sometimes if people can get upset out is I do say pain can get better. Now whether you’ve had it for 40 years or you’ve had it just for 5 minutes. Pain can get better and how we typically will get better through things that aren’t typically prescribed or procedures that are done or surgeries.

About Our Co-Host

Dr. Kevin Cuccaro is a fellowship trained specialist and expert on the science of pain, trained in anesthesiology at The University of Chicago. After that, he completed his fellowship in Pain Medicine at the University of Michigan. Later road he served as associate program director of the Naval Medical Center San Diego’s Pain Medicine Fellowship program. If you’ve never been to San Diego you should go, it’s a beautiful place. He focuses on creating solutions for pain and pain-related topics important to healthcare systems, clinicians and the public.

For more information about Dr. Cuccaro, please visit KevinCuccaro.com or StraightShotHealth.com

Mentioned in This Episode:

MedicareQuick.com/Checklist
WhyWeHurt.com

This post of Retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Misconceptions About Pain – Episode 217

Misconceptions About PainPain is whatever the patient says it is. Pain is a very personal experience and varies greatly between people. Many people have misconceptions or misbeliefs about pain in children. These myths have lasted even though there is now evidenced to support that they are not true. There are a lot of misconceptions out there, about pain. And we touched on them a little bit last week, one of those is that our doctor can fix us.

What Are Those Misconceptions?

The idea that we can be fixed or the idea that pain can be chopped out, cut, poked, or drugged out of us, is a huge misconception. And that tends to come from this idea again that pain oozes out the body like pus. It’s easy to understand that, right?

We believe that if I poke you in the leg with a knife, that makes pain travel like little pus from that knife cut into your brain. Then, it would make sense that we would be like “Well, oh someone must interrupt the flow of the pain pus.”

Pain Generator

If there was something in your back, body, shoulder, or whatever, and that was where the pain generator was, it would send the pain signals up to your brain. That’s not simply true. Because any pain in any scenario, you have both nerve information coming from the body, they're not called pain signals but nerve signal. And there are a lot of nerve signals that go up to the brain but you still have to have those brain related aspects.

You need to have that cognitive element and that emotional component to construct and experience pain. Dr. Kevin Cuccaro would say that the biggest misconception about pain really is the idea that pain equals damage. Or that pain comes from the body unadulterated, flowing like pus, instead of recognizing that pain constructed in the brain. That’s all pain, acute and chronic.

It doesn't mean that when you're experiencing pain that is not real, it's a hundred percent real. But that hundred percent needs an awake and alert brain in order to make it.

Misconceptions on Military People

By watching all these TV shows about the military and spies, people that have learned they can be tortured and still won't give up the information. Maybe that's because they've trained their brain to maybe put the pain somewhere I mean they're still feeling pain.

These people are still feeling a sensation. We kind of touched on this in the first episode. There are three key contributors that you construct and experience a pain. You have the sensation that comes from the body. Then you have that cognition which is like the thoughts and anticipation and appraisal of that sensation. And then you have the meaning that we get to that sensation, and people who have been trained, the military is a great example. They have gone through something like survival training and know what to do under torture.

They still have sensations, and they still can have intense sensations. In fact, they're more likely experiencing pain but what they've been able to do is because they understand what is occurring and they've learned a skill set to survive in that scenario. They have more perceived control and less uncertainty with it. So it is likely that they're not experiencing as much pain in those scenarios.

7-Day Limit on OpioidsMisconceptions About Pain

When it comes to acute prescribing, the reason a 7-day limit was usually picked had nothing to do with pain. In fact, Dr. Cuccaro’s personal experience is that most healthcare systems are pretty pain illiterate. But the reason that 7-day window was picked was because if you look at how acute the timeline for what we call an acute opioid prescriptions, somebody who's never been on opioid before. Taking an opioid, after 3 days, we start seeing increased risk of long-term dependency or what people refer to as addiction, people becoming dependent on this medication, and those tend to escalate even higher after seven days. So, the reason that number was picked was not because of the misconception on pain but because of risk reduction strategies, for addiction in long-term harm.

Misconceptions about pain linger among people. Pain is a hard thing to measure. It comes and goes as it pleases, and the result is that people just have to find a way to manage it the best they can. Just because someone said their pain is improved doesn’t mean it may not bother them months or even years down the road.

About Our Co-Host

Dr. Kevin Cuccaro is a fellowship trained specialist and expert on the science of pain, trained in anesthesiology at The University of Chicago. After that, he completed his fellowship in Pain Medicine at the University of Michigan. Later road he served as associate program director of the Naval Medical Center San Diego’s Pain Medicine Fellowship program. If you’ve never been to San Diego you should go, it’s a beautiful place. He focuses on creating solutions for pain- and pain-related topics important to healthcare systems, clinicians and the public.

For more information about Dr. Cuccaro, please visit KevinCuccaro.com or StraightShotHealth.com

Mentioned in This Episode:

MedicareQuick.com/Checklist
WhyWeHurt.com

This post of Retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Healthcare System and Pain – Episode 216

Healthcare System and PainLast week, my guest co-host, Dr. Kevin Cuccaro, and I had an interesting discussion about me and my pain. If you didn’t hear it, I was taken to the emergency room by ambulance because I could not get out of bed due to pain. Today’s episode will talk about how well healthcare systems treat pain.

How Our Healthcare System Is Treating It

Dr. Kevin Cuccaro said that our healthcare system is good for acute episodes. If you are in an accident, having an acute heart attack, or go cut open, our healthcare is good on treating that. The whole system is designed to round it. But what we are not good at is anything that has been around for a while, the chronic conditions. We’re not good at doing preventive care so that you won’t have a heart attack in the first place. If you have pain for a long period, we’re pretty atrocious in taking care of that.

Is It Always the Doctor’s Responsibility to Fix Us?

For a long time, people have been taught that if there’s anything wrong with you, go see your doctor and then they’re going to do something to make it go away. And that comes from health systems, comes from public warnings, and the pharmaceutical industry.

There are only 2 countries in the world that have direct to consumer advertising and that’s the United States and New Zealand.

What do those ads tell you? They “diseasify” symptoms, meaning we as humans are not meant to be in one state all the time. We have good days, bad days, sad days, and so on. That is normal for us, having a normal emotional spectrum. But the pharmaceutical industry likes to start taking these things to another level rather than normal behavior, and then they will say you need a drug for it.

Hypnosis in Pain

Hypnosis involves learning how to use your mind to manage anxiety, unpleasant physical symptoms, and certain habits or behaviors. It is another tool that can be used to help patients cope with pain.

Hypnosis as Dr. Kevin Cuccaro would say can be extremely powerful. What it does is it allows your body to relax and learn things quickly. Also, to be open to suggestions and to focus your attention on things specific to you. There’s a lot of potential for hypnotherapy.

For this kind of therapy, you need to know what you’re doing with them because you need to understand what it is you’re treating.

Pain Mastery

If you understand pain, we know it is about protection as we talk about in the first episode, not punishment and it has information coming up from the body and the brain. TherePain are these 2 other divisions that are as important as well, the attention, the cognitive aspect, the thoughts, the beliefs behind it, and then emotions, which is the meaning, the mood, and the memory associated with it. Now we can start honing on these contributors that are involved in how this pain comes together in a more effective manner.

Pain is the body's warning system when you are sick or injured. It leads people to take action, a good thing, and has been important in humans' ability to evolve and survive.

When it comes to pain, the more that you feel that there are things that you can do to help yourself when it comes to pain, the less pain that you tend to experience. If you understand that pain is a protector, and as we increase threat, we increase pain. The more control or sense that you perceive, the less threat that you tend to see.

About Our Co-Host

Dr. Kevin Cuccaro is a fellowship trained specialist and expert on the science of pain, trained in anesthesiology at The University of Chicago. After that, he completed his fellowship in Pain Medicine at the University of Michigan. Later road he served as associate program director of the Naval Medical Center San Diego’s Pain Medicine Fellowship program. If you’ve never been to San Diego you should go, it’s a beautiful place. He focuses on creating solutions for pain- and pain-related topics important to healthcare systems, clinicians and the public.

For more information about Dr. Cuccaro, please visit KevinCuccaro.com or StraightShotHealth.com

Mentioned in This Episode:

MedicareQuick.com/Checklist
WhyWeHurt.com

This post of Retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com