Dear Annie: Usually active and energetic, I will be turning 80 in the spring. How I dread that birthday! Once my favorite season, spring now haunts me.
A fine artist, a painter, I still have dreams of finding a house to buy – one where I could hang my paintings and invite people in to see them. I’ve been looking for several years. I’m finding that houses are either in undesirable locations or too expensive.
I never married and have rented and lived in apartments for many years. But I want to have a garden and be more involved and attend more activities.
I feel younger than I am, and people have told me that I look younger. Is it too late, I wonder, to have such goals? – Young at Heart
Dear Young at Heart: Go for it and buy your first home. Why dread spring? You feel and look like a spring chicken. You may have to make some compromises when it comes to the location of the home, but at least it will be your own house. You really are only as old as you feel, and you sound youthful and excited about new adventures, such as cultivating your own garden. People are living much longer these days, so passing 100 years old is not out of the question. You could enjoy your house for 20-plus more years!
Why the dread on your birthday? What a huge milestone 80 is. Congratulations and happy birthday. What ages people – and causes unhappiness – is seeing the glass as half-empty instead of half-full. You already made it to 80 and are in good health and have what sounds like a great career as a fine artist. Go show off your art to your friends and shine bright!
Dear Annie: I’m writing to you because of a disturbing fact that my dentist revealed to me. I’m about to have some major work done in my mouth. I am a person who lives as close to an organic life as possible, so I wanted to be reassured that nothing harmful is going to be left behind in my mouth. I asked my dentist, “So, there won’t be any plastics with BPA in them put into my mouth, right?” Bisphenol A has been taken out of all plastic bottles and toys because of government regulations. Imagine my shock when the dentist said, “We still use plastics with BPA in them.” On a follow-up visit with a periodontist, I asked him the same question, to which he replied: “Your dentist was right. We are allowed to use plastics with BPA in them. It’s a discussion that more people should be having with their dentists,” because not as much money is spent on researching dental patients as is being spent on other types of research.
How could this be?! Isn’t it illegal to put BPA into plastic consumer products? How is it OK for a dentist to leave a plastic product in your mouth that will leach BPA slowly into your bloodstream 24/7?
Please tell people to confirm with their dentists that they do not want products with BPA left behind in their mouths. My dentist, fortunately, respects my opinion and has promised me that he can build the prosthetics for my mouth without using any BPA plastics in them. Please tell everyone to ask the question. Maybe we can make a change happen. – Pass on the BPA, Please
Dear Pass on the BPA: Thank you for bringing this fact to my attention. If any dentists out there have experience with this, I would love to hear from them.
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