“N o S tinkin ’ T hinkin ’”
MY GRANDPA’S APPROACH TO A LIFE WELL-LIVED
Vital Care Patients ENTER TO WIN Find the misspelled word in this newsletter and call (623) 544-0300 for your chance to win a $10 gift card! CALL (623) 544-0300 Contest is for past and present Vital Care PT patients only. around him experienced the same zest for life that he did. No matter the situation, he managed to look at the bright side. In fact, he would always say, “No stinkin’ thinkin,” a phrase he repeated to all of his grandkids to keep us from whining pessimistically. I really try to keep an optimistic attitude, and my hope is to convey that positivity to my patients. In most cases, when someone walks through our office doors, they are suffering from a great deal of pain. Pragmatically, my job relies on my ability to properly diagnose and treat people’s ailments, but I can only help a patient through recovery if I consider their emotional perspective first. When a patient comes to me in pain, it is my job to help them focus on the positive aspects. Recently, I started wondering where my emphasis on positivity came from, and I believe I’ve traced it back to the source: my grandpa, Dean Lufkin. My grandpa always had a smile on his face, and he worked hard to make sure that everyone
My grandpa grew up on a farm in a small rural town in Iowa. He liked to joke that he was the valedictorian of his class. However, he went to school in a
a lot of support, primarily because my husband needed to stay in Phoenix. While my husband and I agreed that a long-distance arrangement was a possibility, some of our family members believed it would put a strain on our relationship. In fact, one relative asked me, “Do you want
an education or a divorce?” When I approached my grandpa with my dilemma, he simply said, “You need to think of the distance from a different perspective. When
one-room schoolhouse and was the only student in his graduating class. Soon after high school, he and my grandma were married, and they had my mom shortly after. When my mom was still a baby, he decided that they should move across the country to Arizona. To this day, I’m still not entirely sure what prompted the move, but whatever it was, it was a great decision. He started his business, Lufkin Construction, right when Phoenix started growing as a town, so his company
you get to see each other after a week apart, it’ll be like a honeymoon every weekend.” This one conversation symbolizes my grandpa’s approach to all of life’s complexities. To him, there was always a silver lining, a positive way to view each situation. Because I’m writing
“He liked to joke that he was the valedictorian of his class because he was the only one in it.”
this newsletter, you all know that I ended up following his advice; I went to PT school, and I am gearing up to celebrate my 22nd wedding anniversary this December.
stayed lucrative for years. You can still walk through several of the stores, churches, and hospitals he constructed — he even helped
In both my clinic and my life, I’ve always striven to embody my grandpa’s valuable perspective. I take my job seriously, but I don’t let the stress that comes with business ownership overcome me. I push my patients to reach their goals, but I encourage and support them along the way. And I understand that life has its downsides, but if you look hard enough, you can always find a break in the clouds. I owe it all to him. –Andrea McWhorter
with several buildings on the Northern Arizona University campus, where I went to school. I always thought it was really cool that I could take a class in a room he had made with his own hands. My grandpa influenced my educational path in other ways too. When I initially decided to go to physical therapy school in Flagstaff, I didn’t get
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P lan Y our F amily ’ s C hristmas C aroling P arty HERE WE COME A-WASSAILING
In some families, caroling is an annual event, while others stick to watching the characters sing at the end of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” If you want to make Christmas caroling part of your holiday traditions, we have some tips to help make your outing the best ever. PLAN EARLY Calendars fill up fast around the holidays, so if you want to include people outside of your household in your caroling party, send out invitations early. You don’t want your caroling gathering to be a bust because all your guests had other plans. HAVE SONGS PICKED OUT Will your caroling group perform classics like “Silent Night” or something silly like “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”? Get everyone on the same page, print out sheet music, and practice before the big night. DRESS FOR SUCCESS Some carolers wear matching scarves, while others go out in full Victorian-inspired costumes. Whatever dress code you decide on,
dress for what the temperature will be after dark. You don’t want your caroling to get cut short because of frostbite. If you are caroling outdoors, add reflective tape and flashing lights to your clothing so your party can be seen by passing cars. DON’T MAKE EVERYONE SING One of your kids may be ready to rock around the Christmas tree, but what if another would rather get coal in their stocking than sing in public? That’s okay! Nonsingers can still participate in caroling by ringing silver bells or handing out candy canes at the door. BRING GIFTS Small goodies like bottles of cider, homemade Christmas cookies, or candy canes are always sure to spread holiday cheer. KEEP THE PARTY GOING! After a night of singing your heart out, everyone deserves a treat. When you get back home, enjoy some traditional wassail or hot chocolate. Warm up, enjoy leftover cookies, and spend time with your loved ones.
I n M emory of E ric T aylor
All of us here at Vital Care Physical Therapy are sad to report the loss of our team member and dear friend, Eric Taylor. Eric was a decorated scholar, a veteran of the U.S. Army, a hardworking Physical Therapist Assistant, and a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. Eric attended Virginia State College and earned his BA in hotel and restaurant management before joining the Army, where he was stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado for four years. Shortly after, Eric graduated cum laude with distinction from Western Institute of Science and Health. Throughout his career as a Physical Therapist Assistant, Eric worked in several clinics in California and Arizona, and any patients who worked with him consistently praised his gentle but enthusiastic encouragement. Eric positively impacted every person that he met, and he will be dearly missed.
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ON THE THIRD DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: S everal D ays of B ack P ain Here at Vital Care Physical Therapy, the majority of ailments our team treats are related to back pain or sciatica. In fact, studies show that at one point or another, approximately 80 percent of the U.S. population is affected by issues related to their sciatic nerve; we’ve certainly found that to be true at our clinic. In most cases involving sciatica, the pain stems from arthritis, pelvic issues, or herniated disks, but as the holiday season rolls around, the causes of this condition become increasingly more widespread. Holiday stress, increased prolonged standing required for baking, cooking, wrapping presents, and waiting in lines at crowded stores, along with the extra lifting, carrying, and reaching required to decorate the house are all contributing factors to back pain flareups during the holiday season. During the month of December, Americans find themselves rushing to pack gifts in the car so they can join the thousands of other drivers weaving in and out of traffic — all with the hopes of making it to Christmas Eve dinner on time. Patients with pre-existing back pain often notice that the more time they spend in the car, the more they suffer from backaches. To make matters worse, the odds of getting into an accident exponentially increase as more drivers share the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, for example, rear-end collisions are some of the most commonly reported accidents in the timespan from October through January. While all accidents are tragic and often physically painful, this type in particular triggers back pain more than any other. In this way, people who already suffer from chronic back pain experience worsening conditions as a result of their holiday travels, and their risk for more severe injuries is heightened due to the sheer number of drivers on the road. If you know you are going to be hitting the road this holiday season, there are some ways to help prevent your sciatica from flaring up. First, give your lumbar the proper support by placing a rolled-up towel near the small of your back. Second, be sure to take breaks from driving, and allow yourself to stretch when you can. Last, move your seat as close to the steering wheel as you can without making yourself uncomfortable — being close to the wheel will help prevent slouching. If you’ve tried all these tips and are still in pain, don’t hesitate to give our office a call at (623) 544-0300.
B uttery R oasted C hestnuts
• 2 pounds fresh chestnuts, unpeeled • 2–3 sprigs rosemary • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste
• Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Heat oven to 450 F. 2. Place a large sheet of foil on a rimmed baking sheet. 3. On a large, flat workspace, place chestnuts flat side down. Using a sharp knife, carve an X on the rounded side of each chestnut. 4. In a large bowl of hot water, soak chestnuts for 1 minute. 5. Pat dry and transfer to a medium bowl. Add rosemary, butter, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Toss to coat and transfer to baking sheet. Arrange in a single layer. Gather the edges of the foil together, leaving an opening at the top.
6. Roast until peels curl up, about 30–45 minutes. 7. Transfer to a platter and serve while hot or warm.
Inspired by Bon Appétit
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My Role Model PAGE 1
The Ultimate Christmas Caroling Checklist
In Memory of Eric Taylor PAGE 2
Buttery Roasted Chestnuts
How the Holidays Hurt Your Back PAGE 3 Everything You’ll Need for an Ugly Sweater Christmas PAGE 4
UGLY SWEATER PARTIES
A Fun Trend You Can Easily Follow!
What Exactly Is an Ugly Sweater Party?
It’s speculated that the first ugly sweater party took place in Vancouver, Canada, back in 2001. Since then, the trend has become one of the most popular holiday party themes. Come Thanksgiving, you’ll start to see racks in all types of clothing stores lined with hideous sweaters. If you’re ready to jump on the ugly-sweater-party bandwagon this Christmas season, here are a few things to keep in mind. Ugly sweaters come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. You can head to H&M or a local thrift store to pick one up. However, if you have a sweater that’s been cozied up for years in the back of your closet or a drawer, now’s your chance to give it new life. Arm yourself with a hot glue gun, thread, and needle, and patch Santa, Rudolph, or Frosty on it. And let it be known that an ugly sweater isn’t complete without sparkles, beads, and sequins galore. Your Very Own Ugly Sweater
It’s rather simple — slip on your favorite Christmas sweater, gather all your friends and family members, make sure there are plenty of refreshments and games, and you’re guaranteed to have a top-tier party. A few ugly-sweater-themed games that should be on the agenda include an ugly gift exchange, which is similar to the white elephant exchange, except with the gaudiest gifts you can find; an ugly photo booth, complete with terrible, tacky props; and, of course, an ugly sweater contest. This is the only time of year when slipping into a lurid red sweater with a stuffed Santa sewn on the front is considered trendy. So adorn yourself in the frumpiest, tackiest sweater you can find, and have some fun this December!
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