All posts by Pat Gustafson

SHINGLES

There is a vaccine called Zostavax which can greatly reduce the number of Shingles outbreaks a person would otherwise experience. Shingles is a painful rash consisting of blisters that run along nerve pathways. Each outbreak lasts from 2-4 weeks, and the pain can be quite severe. In some cases, the pain lasts a month or more after the blisters disappear. <!–split–>

Only people who have had chicken pox can get shingles. The virus that causes chicken pox does not go away – instead it hides in nerve cells that are located near the spinal cord. In most people, the virus will simply be dormant (inactive), but as people age and their resistance weakens, the virus can “come to life.” When it does, the virus multiples and damages these nerve cells, and that is what causes the pain. The first symptom a person will usually have is pain, itching, or even a tingling on one side of the body or face. Then the virus travels to the skin causing blisters. To make matters worse, some people progress to post herpetic neuralgia, which is severe, chronic pain that lasts long after the initial outbreak. Post herpetic neuralgia causes a great deal of physical and emotional suffering, because even clothing or a cool breeze touching the area can cause pain.

Major risk factors for developing shingles are advancing age and reduced resistance. Shingles cannot be passed on to another person, but the virus could be spread by direct contact to someone who has never had chicken pox and give them that disease.

Half of all people who reach age 85 will experience shingles. Because people are living longer, there is a need for a vaccine of this kind. This vaccine was only tested on people over 60  years of age, so it is currently not approved for anyone under 60. While it only prevented half the number of expected outbreaks, for those who did have an episode, the pain and general discomfort was reduced by 60%, as compared to the placebo group. The study revealed few serious side effects. The good news is that even a person who has had an episode of shingles can get the vaccine and reap the befits of its protection.

And more good news: the percentage of people who developed post herpetic neuralgia was reduced by two-thirds. The vaccine is not a treatment for anyone with shingles or post herpetic neuralgia, it’s meant as a preventative.

The Merck pharmaceutical company predicts that this vaccine can prevent 250,000 cases of shingles a year, and greatly reduce the severity of the symptoms in another 250,000. In the U.S., there are over 50 million people over 60, and 95% of them had chicken pox as a child. All these people will be at risk for developing shingles! The initial study followed vaccinated people for 4 years, and will continue to follow these patients to determine how long the befits of the vaccine lasts before a booster is needed.

Your Parish Nurse, Kara

For more information, check out: www.webmd.com and www.nih.gov.

©J. Witucki, RN, BSN 2009

Tim’s Tidbits

It is hard to believe the spring season is here, March Madness is winding down, and Easter was this past Sunday. It seems like just last week we were celebrating Christmas. But time marches on and so do we. <!–split–>

The Easter celebration is a big part of the Christian’s life. Without the death and resurrection of Jesus, we would not be the recipients of such wonderful gifts known as salvation and eternal life. For it is only through the resurrection that we experience new life: a new life in Christ.

We know the entire Easter story, but imagine if you had been one of the disciples living the story. Would you have reacted as the disciples did? Would you have believed Jesus if he proclaimed that he was about to be handed over to the officials, die, and come back in 3 days? They didn’t quite understand, and I would venture a guess that if any of us were in the same position, we would act the same way.

We live today as Easter people, living in the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. He is a living and loving Lord. We experience the evil forces trying to destroy our faith, trying to rid the world of Christianity, trying to denounce the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In John’s gospel we read that Jesus is the true light coming into the world shining in the darkness. But people have tried to extinguish the light of Christ through hatred and fear, material stuff, manipulation, betrayal, rejection, seeking someone other than Jesus.

As we studied in our Lenten study on the Lord’s prayer, we live in a world created by God, living by God’s principles, receiving the food we need for our physical bodies as well as our spiritual bodies, seeking God’s forgiveness for past sins and protection from future evils. And we give him praise for all this.

In essence, we are not extinguishing the light but keeping it shining. Let us go into the world letting Jesus’ light shine in our life to light the way for someone else.

See you Sunday, if not before –   Pastor Tim

The Call: The Life and Message of the Apostle Paul

Sunday Morning’s – Wesley Hall  –  9:00-10:00 am

   Adults And Youth Invited!

What would lead a  1st century rabbi to travel thousands of miles by sea and by land, to be beaten, imprisoned, and ultimately beheaded for his faith? It was a call – a call to turn the world upside down. This is the story of the Apostle Paul. <!–split–>

No one, except Jesus, has had a greater influence on Christian faith than Paul and “his witness defines what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ.”

Paul’s letters include some of the most beautiful passages in the Bible, and some passages have led to great controversy. The Rev. Adam Hamilton will bring us messages by videos filmed in the places where Paul took his missionary journeys and will help us come to grips with Paul’s words for us today. The topics include:

  • Called To Follow Christ
  • Called To Go
  • Called To Suffer
  • Called To Love
  • Called To Give
  • Called To Be Faithful

Come and find out about Paul’s call, and be inspired to hear and follow your call!

Welcome!

We want to welcome our new parsonage family to Bethel Wesley. The Rev. Tim Gossett (with his wife Myra) arrived in Moline on July 1st to begin serving as our pastor. According to Tim’s bio, his white  hair makes him look older than he is, as he is only 59 years young. The Gossett’s have been married 37 years and have 2 grown children – Adam (29) and Melissa (27). They also have 3 grandchildren – Cameron (8), Lucy (5), and Lucas (2). Tim has one brother who lives near Elgin.  His two sisters and his parents are deceased. <!–split–>

Tim is a second career minister. In his first life, he graduated from SIUC with a BS in accounting and worked as a financial accountant for 20 years. For his second life, he attended Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, and graduated Course of Study from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston.

He has been active in the United Methodist Church his entire life. He has held various offices within the church leadership, sang in the chancel choir, and played in the handbell choir. He was called to ministry while attending a Certified Lay Speaker program and as he states – the rest is history!

Tim’s hobbies include cooking and crocheting. Myra holds a CNA certificate and is planning to continue that work in the QCA. She has one sister, one brother, and her father still living.

Ice Cream Social

Sunday June 28 – 4:30 – 6:30 pm

Tickets Available At The Door

Adults $3 or  Children (10 & under) $2 – Includes pie or cake, ice cream & beverage

Also available:  Sloppy Joe or Polish Sausage – $3; Hot Dogs – $2

Come & Enjoy!

Sunday Brunch

On Sunday, June 21 there will be a “Farewell To Flo” brunch from 8:30-10:15 am in the Activity Center. Please stop by to eat and to thank Pastor Flo for her ministry and to wish her well in her new appointment.

Annual Conference

“Healing the Circle”  (2 Corinthians 7:10) will be the theme for the 2015 Annual Conference in Peoria June 10-13. We will gather to worship, pray, learn, and care for the business of the Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference. Pledges and offerings for Making Dreams Possible (African University scholarship endowment) will start the conference. <!–split–>

A focal point of the 2015 Annual Conference will be the Act of Repentance Service for the Healing of Relationships with Native Americans and Indigenous Persons to heal the soul of our church, our people, and the land. Two keynote speakers will help us understand the history and need for healing. This could apply to any broken relationship and its healing. Other highlights or the 2015 Annual Conference will be the Ordination Service, the Memorial Service, and the Service for Retirees. There will be reports and important legislation to consider.

Are you interested in attending for the whole session or a day or two? Bethel Wesley has a suite reserved in a close-by  hotel and there is room for YOU. Please let Pastor Flo know if you are interested.

We are asked to collect items for book bags for Native American reservations. Please contribute by bringing any of these items by June 7: *spiral notebooks (8×10.5 inches, 70-80 pages, 1 subject), *stick-style pens (blue or black, no advertising), *box of 24 crayons, *pair of blunt school scissors (rounded tip).

Vacation Bible School

This year we will combine with Riverside United Methodist Church (712 16th Street, Moline) for Vacation Bible School.  The dates are Monday-Friday, June -22-26, from 6-8 pm.  The theme is “Journey off the Map.”  Registration forms are available at the church.  Sign up early!

Aging Well

“Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.”  (Isaiah 46:3-4)

Everyone knows that as we age, our minds and bodies decline, and life inevitably becomes less satisfying and enjoyable. Everyone knows that cognitive (mental ability) decline is inevitable. Everyone knows that as we get old, we become less productive … well, everyone, it seems is wrong! A growing body of scientific research shows that, in my ways, life gets better as we get older… <!–split–>

A Wall Street Journal report notes, “contrary to the stereotype of later life as a time of loneliness, depression, and decline, a growing body of evidence indicates that our moods and overall sense of well-being improve with age.”

Let’s debunk some of the common myths ….

MYTH # 1:  Depression is more prevalent.  Research indicates that emotional well-being improves until the 70’s when it levels off. Older adults tend to focus on positive rather than negative motions and memories, because they tend to prioritize emotional meaning and satisfaction: older adults tend to be happier, less anxious, less angry, and tend to adapt well to the circumstances.

MYTH # 2: Cognitive decline is inevitable.  As we age, our brains undergo structural changes, and neurons that carry messages becomes less efficient, causing concentration and memory slip (this begins around the age of 30!) But recent discoveries indicate that – barring dementia – older adults perform better in the real world. Cognitive tests often underestimate the true abilities of older adults; while in the real world, most of what we do is based on the knowledge we have acquired, and older adults who are tested in familiar situations show few of the deficits that crop up in laboratory tests!  (Learning new skills – learning to quilt, use an iPad, or take digital photos – help us to improve memory and processing speed.)

MYTH # 3: Older workers are less productive. Workers 55 and older make up 22% of the U.S. workforce, up from 12% in 1992. The majority of academic studies shows “virtually no relationship between age and job performance.” In fact, some studies show that older adults have a performance “edge” because they seem to know better how to avoid serious errors (experience, plus judgment).

MYTH # 4:  Loneliness is more likely. As people age, their social circles contract, but friendships tend to improve with age … we know who our real friends are! Older adults report better marriages, more supportive friendships, less conflict, and closer ties with members of this social networks than younger adults and fewer problematic relationships that case them distress. They have learned to eliminate those people from their social circle whom they feel less close to and maximize the time with close partners who are more emotionally satisfying.

MYTH # 5:  Creativity declines with age. Studies dating back as far as the 1800’s show midlife as the time when artists and scholars are most prolific. Historians and philosophers may reach their peak output when they’re in the 60’s, while conceptual artists tend to do their best work in their 20’s-30’s. Experimental artists requires a few more decades to reach full potential, improving with experience. Think Mark Twain, Paul Cezanne, Frank Lloyd Wright, Robert Frost who all relied on wisdom, which increases with age.

MYTH # 6: More exercise is better!  When it comes to improving health and longevity, exercise is key, but a growing number of studies show that more is not always better. In research published in 2013 scientists at institutions including Iowa State University, found that long-term strenuous endurance exercise may cause “overuse injury” to the heart. Their recommendations: stick to a moderate workout of no more than 50-60 minutes of exercise daily, and take at least one day off each week. Current guidelines suggest 30 minutes of moderate exercise – walking at a good pace – 5-6 days a week still promotes health without the risks of injury that strenuous exercise may inflict. Doing it with a walking partner gets you out, gets you active, and affords you the social contact that it as important as loose limbs!

For more information, go to www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/secrets-of-aging-well by Marla Lichtsinn, RN, MPA, FCN, Parish Nurse    (permission granted to reprint)

Your Parish Nurse, Kara