THE ROOT ISSUE
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AN ENGAGEMENT RING & A GORILLA SUIT: A Story of True Love
As millions of people scour the busy stores for gifts to shower their sweethearts with on Valentine’s Day, I decided I’d like to take this month to share the amazing (albeit slightly unbelievable) story of how I proposed to my beautiful wife, Liz. When most people imagine a marriage proposal, they might think of a romantic setting with perfect lighting, a couple staring longingly into each other’s eyes, and a strapping young man down on one knee asking the love of his life the most important question she will ever hear. My story goes just like that... well, kind of. 26 years ago, I took a semester off of school at Colorado State to prepare for the Dental Admissions Test (DAT). Initially, my plan was simple: meet a lot of girls, do a lot of skiing, and take the test at the end of it all. Looking back, I can say that I did do a lot of skiing, I did take the test, and I did meet one girl — the girl. “I WANTED MY PROPOSAL TO STAND OUT AND BE A MOMENT WE COULD ALWAYS REFLECT ON FONDLY, SO I CAME UP WITH (WHAT I THOUGHT WAS) A FOOLPROOF PLAN.”
to go skiing instead. One day, my buddy and I decided to hit the slopes at Grand Targhee in Southern Idaho. After a great day of skiing, we were driving back when we came upon this long patch of roadway covered with several feet of snow and nothing but potato fields lining the horizon. Suddenly, I lost control of the car and started fishtailing. If you’ve ever been in a near accident, then you know the feeling when time slows down. For me, I felt like I was spinning for at least a couple minutes, and in that time, I fearfully watched my life flash before eyes. The only thought I remember having was, “I can’t die surrounded by potatoes!” Once the car finally halted, I took a deep breath and told my friend, “I gotta get back there and meet that girl.” Four months later, I decided I was going to ask that very same girl to be my wife. I know four months isn’t a long time to get to know someone, but what can I say is when you know, you know. I still remember calling up my mom after our first couple of dates and telling her, “Mom, she’s the one.” I wanted my proposal to stand out and be a moment we could always reflect on fondly, so I came up with (what I thought was) a foolproof plan. I went to a costume shop, spent hundreds of dollars on a gorilla outfit, asked my buddy to dress as an animal trainer, had my poet friend write up a romantic poem, and finally, I got a ring.
It was the end of the semester, so Liz and her roommates were having a big get-together when they heard the buzz of their doorbell. My Steve-Irwin-dressed animal trainer said, “I have a special message for Elizabeth Hunt.” As she timidly approached the doorway, she came face to face with none other than a Scott-sized gorilla. My animal trainer said, “Liz, Bobo here has a gift for you.” So I turned down the hallway, knuckle-walked down to my pile of gifts, and returned with a single rose. “Bobo has another gift for you.” Still in character, I brought her a box of chocolates. “Bobo has one final gift for you.” I handed her a small box. As she opened the box to peer inside, I ripped off my gorilla mask, ready to declare my deepest feelings to the love of my life through groundbreaking poetry. Unfortunately, after staggering around as Bobo, I was out of breath and the once eloquent poem came out as, “I want to swing on a vine with you. Will you be mine?” Luckily for me, Liz saw through the mumbling, hairy, and panting gorilla knelt before her and simply said, “yes.”
– Dr. Scott Lowry
Liz’s roommate had been trying to set us up on a blind date, but as young college guys have the tendency to do, I kept blowing her off
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Our ancestors were deeply connected to their natural environment, mostly because their survival depended on it. With no Whole Foods available, those who could best track a mammoth, find water, and forage for edible plants kept themselves alive and passed on their genes. Given our history as hunter-gatherers, it’s no wonder contact with nature provides us with several health benefits. AMEMORY BOOST In a University of Michigan study, a group of students were asked to take a memory test that involved repeating numbers back to researchers. Next, researchers separated the students into two groups. Group A took a walk around an arboretum and Group B walked along busy city streets. Afterward, they were asked to take the memory test again. Group A, the students who had walked in the arboretum, performed 20 percent better on the memory test. Group B didn’t show any marked improvement. Additional research has corroborated the memory-enhancing effects of nature. AMOOD BOOST Observing the benefits nature has for cognitive function, scientists wondered what effects it might have on individuals diagnosed with depression. In one study from the University of Essex, participants with major depressive disorder reported an improvement in self-esteem and mood after spending time in nature. Exercising while in nature resulted in even more of a mood boost for participants. A WALK IN THE WOODS IS THE PRESCRIPTION
A CALMING EFFECT Research also shows that spending time in nature reduces stress. In a study conducted by Chiba University in Japan, participants spent two nights in the forest. Researchers evaluated their levels of stress hormones during and after this period and compared it to their normal work days in the city. Across the board, participants’ stress levels were much lower during the days spent in the forest and for several days afterward. Today, we’re less connected to our natural environment than our ancestors were. Modern comforts and technology mean we don’t have to go outside to get our food. But nature is still accessible and you don’t have to go far to find it. In many of the studies, even minor exposure to the outdoors, like adding plants to your home or looking out a window during work, showed health benefits. This winter, find ways to bring a little more nature into your life each day. Your brain will thank you.
TIME TO PICK UP A NEW HOBBY! February Marks National Bird-Feeding Month
Just when the cold winter weather seems like it might never let up, the first signs of spring appear in the form of your favorite feathery friends returning to your yard. Depending on both the species and the weather, many wild birds return to their hunting grounds as early as February to mate, lay eggs, and begin the long preparation for the next journey south. Unfortunately, the birds that return in February often face a difficult time due to the temperatures and lack of available food. Feeding Month when he read a resolution into the Congressional Record. He said, “Feeding wild birds in the backyard is an easy hobby to start and need not overtax the family budget.” He predicted that backyard bird feeding would provide both parents and kids an entertaining, educational, and For this reason, on Feb. 23, 1994, John Porter proclaimed February as National Bird-
inexpensive pastime and a much needed break from today’s frantic lifestyles — all while helping the wild bird population. Porter was exactly right! In the years since his proclamation, organizations and families all over the world have enjoyed the peace and relaxation afforded by watching the birds, as well as the educational aspect of pinpointing different species. To that end, here are three tips for keeping these winter birds happy: FEEDERS You can attract multiple types of feathered friends to your backyard by buying specific types of feeders. Different birds prefer different feeders, and certain feeders are made for a specific type of feed. HEATED WATER This February, add a heated bird bath or fountain to your yard. This will provide an essential resource to
your feathered friends, and you will likely attract more birds, as they gather in areas where they can find reliable food, shelter, and water. COUNT BIRDS During National Bird- Feeding Month each February, the National Audubon Society coordinates the Great Backyard Bird Count. Birders from around the world count their flying friends to help gather data online. Scientists then use this data to create an online citizen science project and gain a better understanding of bird migrations, populations, and any fluctuations year over year. And it’s free for participants!
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SLEEP APNEA AND VALENTINE’S DAY
How Your Valentine Can Help With Sleep Disorders Sleep Apnea Awareness Day was created in honor of Helen Marie Bousquet, a patient who is believed to have died from undiagnosed sleep apnea, which sadly resulted in respiratory failure. Her son, Brian Evans, began advocating for greater awareness of sleep apnea in her memory. Due to Brian’s efforts in conjunction with the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety, April 18 was chosen to commemorate the research that followed Bousquet’s passing and to continue spreading awareness about this lesser known but dangerous sleeping disorder. While April is still several months away, our team here at Greeley Endodontics thought the month of February would be a particularly suitable time to spread even more sleep apnea awareness. Generally speaking, sleep apnea goes undiagnosed for a long time. It can’t be detected during routine doctors’ appointments, and there’s no blood test to find it. In fact, most sufferers don’t know they have any issues because the irregularities usually occur while they’re sleeping. Often, it is the bed partner or a family member who diagnoses sleep problems. Those loved ones you celebrate every Feb. 14 — the same ones who might roll you over in the middle of the night due to your loud snoring — could potentially diagnose a sleeping disorder in its early stages. WHY? VALENTINE’S DAY! YES, WE KNOW IT SOUNDS STRANGE, BUT LET US EXPLAIN.
The most obvious sign of the potential onset of sleep apnea is loud and sudden snoring. Not everyone who snores has the disorder, but nearly everyone who has the disorder snores. Some other noticeable signs are:
Gasping or choking while sleeping
• Being extraordinarily sleepy throughout the day • Sudden awakenings during the night • Insomnia • Frequent headaches • Depression • Excessive weight gain
If your spouse or family member has noticed constant irregularities in your sleep pattern, you should make an appointment with a sleep expert or reach out to Dr. Lowry for more diagnostic information.
SPICY SALMON TARTARE
Inspired by Epicurious
• • • •
1 8-ounce boneless, skinless salmon fillet
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh cilantro, minced 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh chives, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 1/4 teaspoon lime zest 1/4 cup cucumber, seeded and finely diced
1 1/2 teaspoons grapeseed or vegetable oil Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste Crackers or chips, for serving
1 1/2 teaspoons jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced 1 1/2 teaspoons shallots, minced 3/4 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1. Place salmon in freezer for 20 minutes to make slicing easier. 2. Meanwhile, prepare other ingredients for mixing. 3. Thinly slice salmon into sheets and cut sheets into strips and strips into cubes. When finished, you should have 1/8-inch cubes. 4. In a mixing bowl, combine salmon with all other ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. 5. Garnish with chips or crackers and serve.
AQUARIUS ARROW CANDY CHOCOLATE
HEART LEAP LOVE PISCES
ROSES SWEET VALENTINE YEAR
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE An Engagement Ring & A Gorilla Suit: A Story of True Love PAGE 1 3 Ways Nature Improves Your Health February Is National Bird-Feeding Month PAGE 2 How Your Valentine Can Help
With Sleep Disorders Spicy Salmon Tartare PAGE 3 Three Cheers for Chi Chi! PAGE 4
A Quadruple Amputee Who Inspires the World CHI CHI THE RESCUE DOG In our darkest moments, it can be hard to believe joy can be found again. But one amazing dog proves that no matter what happens, through love and patience, we can make the world a better place. Chi Chi is a golden retriever who was found in a dumpster by an animal rescue group in South Korea. Badly injured and left in a garbage bag with her legs bound together, the only way to save Chi Chi’s life was to amputate all four of her legs. As she recovered, the call went out to find a family who could care for a dog with serious medical needs. As a quadruple amputee, just getting Chi Chi’s prosthetics on so she could go outside in the morning would be time-consuming. Fortunately, Elizabeth Howell from Arizona saw a video about Chi Chi’s plight online. “She stole my heart,” Howell said, taken by how Chi Chi was still wagging her tail despite her injuries. After seeing Chi Chi’s perseverance and her will to live, Elizabeth and her family took on the challenge. There were struggles as Chi Chi learned to trust people again, but with time, Chi Chi found peace and joy with her new family.
“She exemplifies resilience and forgiveness and willingly shares her love and compassion in abundance,” Howell has said. “Her sweet-tempered and gentle spirit opens people’s hearts and her perceptive spirit senses where her love is needed.” Chi Chi’s vet has called her a “miracle dog,” referring both to the fact that she survived losing all her legs and to the joy she brings to the world. Today, Chi Chi is a registered therapy dog, offering strength, love, and support to those who need it most. She visits VA hospitals, assisted living facilities, and children with disabilities. To celebrate her journey of survival, courage, and love, Chi Chi was honored with the American Humane Hero Dog Award in 2018. You can follow the adventures of this brave, loving canine at Facebook. com/ChiChiRescueDog.
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