Sue Spitulnik

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts



A Family Matter

Healthcare decisions for yourself and others you may have to make choices for are better done before anyone gets sick. I recommend having a straight talk with your spouse and children, or parents, or whomever you want to know what you want and don’t want done when the time comes. Talking about these matters when you are of sound mind, and not in pain, will make the discussion easier on everyone.  Continue reading “A Family Matter”

You Can Help

National Donor Day focuses on five different types of donations:  Organs – Tissues – Marrow – Platelets – Blood.  Many nonprofit health organizations sponsor blood and marrow drives and organ/tissue sign-ups across the nation. Approximately every two seconds, there is someone in the U.S. who needs blood, which translates to the need for over 41,000 daily donations.  In the United States, more than 120,000 people are waiting for a life-saving organ donation. [courtesy National Day of Calendar] Continue reading “You Can Help”

Eat Real

According to the National Day of Calendar, Food Day aims to help people “Eat Real,” which is defined by them as “cutting back on sugar drinks, overly salted packaged foods and fatty, factory-farmed meats in favor of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and sustainably raised protein.” Continue reading “Eat Real”

Breast Reconstruction Awareness

So far I am one of the lucky ones. I have not had to deal personally with the emotional journey of breast cancer. It is still easy for me to say aloud what treatment I would choose if I had to, but a very close RN friend of mine has told me, “When it happens to you, the diagnosis does funny things to your head.” Continue reading “Breast Reconstruction Awareness”

Thank You to the ER Nurses

Have you ever been to the emergency room? Probably. Think about your nurse a minute. I know, you are thinking about how long you spent there. Ignore that for now. My point is they have to be all around aware, ready for anything. There might be a bee sting allergic reaction in one room, a broken leg in another room, a heart attack in the next , and another patient that can’t breath for some unknown reason in the following. The ages of the people they care for is also all over the place. I’d say they deserve a major portion of respect and thanks just for dealing with the variables. If they can do it with a smile and show some empathy they get an extra couple of gold stars. I would add more accolades if they take the time to explain what they are doing or can answer questions in lay terms without seeming rushed. Continue reading “Thank You to the ER Nurses”

Enjoy the Fresh Air

No this isn’t going to be a recollection about how I walked more than a mile to school, in the snow, uphill both ways…… I’m sure you have heard your grandparents or parents tell that tale a time or two. I lived seven miles from my school (K-12 all in the same sprawling building) and had to ride the bus every day. It was a treat for me when I would stay overnight with a friend in the town my school was in and we could walk home. I don’t remember the distance, but I do know it took of forever, not because it was so far, but because we were talking, looking at flowers, petting dogs, and goofing off. It was fun especially after sitting still all day in class. I never did that very well, still don’t. Continue reading “Enjoy the Fresh Air”

Healthy is Better

According to the National Day of Calendar this day of Women’s Health and Fitness will be celebrated at hospitals, recreation and senior centers, parks, health clubs and schools. Since I don’t frequent those places, I haven’t heard of any events in my area. Continue reading “Healthy is Better”

Be Happy

For most people happiness happens naturally. I can look out my window and marvel at the colors of the flowers, enjoy dewdrops glistening on leaves, and know it’s going to be a sunny warm day in western New York. I can hear my cat purring in the chair next to me and watch the chipmunks outside running around on our wood pile. Both things make me smile. I sometimes think about the reality of how a human body works and the solar system keeps moving. These miracles we take for granted give me reason to be happy. Continue reading “Be Happy”

Give the Gift of Life

National Minority Donor Awareness Week was created to increase awareness of the need, especially among minorities, for more organ, eye and tissue donors.  It is also a time to honor minorities who have donated and to encourage others to register as donors. Continue reading “Give the Gift of Life”

Healthy In and Out

This is the first ever National Avocado Day. I’ll share what the National Day of Calendar tells us so you can get an idea of how one of these national days is “born”.

Model Meals founded National Avocado Day at the peak of California avocado season, on July 31. Model Meals is a meal delivery service established in 2015 by Camille May and professional curve model Danika Brysha. The company works with local organic growers and farmers to create whole food-focused menus, encouraging sustainable agriculture and healthy eating. Whole30 approved, gluten-free and Paleo-friendly, a huge part of the Model Meals lifestyle is avocados, whether that’s in a dish or to have on the go. Danika and Camille famously carry “purse avocados” for a midday dose of healthy fat and vitamins. Model Meals is even gearing up to launch a service specifically for avocado delivery called AvocaGO. Obviously passionate about this superfood, Model Meals wanted to celebrate it to the fullest, and the idea to create its own holiday was born. Continue reading “Healthy In and Out”

Use Sunscreen

It’s National Don’t Fry Day. This is another title that got me. I expected something about cooking, good thing I know enough to read further. It’s also National Heat Awareness Day so the days go hand-in-hand. In western New York state this is the long-awaited weekend people go to the lake to open up their summer cottages. If Mother Nature co-operates, the weekend is warm or hot, lots of cobwebs disappear, the beds are made, picnics happen and summer neighbors see their friends.

I remember doing this as a kid. I would sit in the un-air conditioned school room with the sweat dripping under my arms from about the first of May. We couldn’t wait to go to the lake. My summer was spent making a labyrinth of roads on the pebbly beach to “drive” trucks and construction equipment toys around. (We sifted the sand from the pebbles in order to get a smooth surface to make the roads.) We spent hours in the lake, trying to swim above the weeds that felt like monsters trying to grab our legs. We also didn’t step on the muddy lake bottom if possible because we were sure to come out with a leach/bloodsucker attached to our foot. Thinking about picking one off still makes me cringe. Our cottage had no running water or indoor plumbing. There was a pump in the kitchen to get water for washing and cooking and a two-hole outhouse in the woods that I hated to walk to in the dark.  We carried drinking water in jugs from home and did the laundry at a laundromat. Those were the days! Fun for me as a kid, a lot of work for my mother, though I didn’t know it at the time.

I don’t remember using sunscreen as I was never one to get a sunburn. I do remember being so darkly tanned my heritage could be questioned. Thinking back, the city kids tended to use sunscreen, us country kids couldn’t be bothered. I’m lucky to have the gene for good skin. All the hours in the sun haven’t affected my appearance and I’ve been lucky to never have a skin cancer scare. I know other people who have not been so fortunate.

This is the start of Memorial Day weekend in the U. S.. Please take a moment to remember all the fallen military that gave their lives for our country. Freedom isn’t free. And please, if you are going to be out in the sun, do yourself a favor and use sunscreen. Skin cancer kills a lot of people.


Stop Smoking

It’s National Kick Butt Day. If you live in a household where sports are important and you read the day, your mind might go to “win the basketball game”, as it is March Madness time. Wrong. It’s talking about kicking the smoking habit.

I smoked from 1970 till 1984 and there are still days I would like the comfort of lighting a cigarette. I tried many times before I was successful at quitting. I have a friend that quit eight months ago and every time we are together, she says, “I miss my best friend.” As she tells her stories, I don’t see her cigarettes as her friend, but as a companion to bear any emotion, good or bad, that she was having. I get it. I did the same thing.

I have a family member and a close friend that cough all day long and are still smoking. They each assure me they don’t want to quit. I watch them light a cigarette to celebrate, to drown their sorrows, and to alleviate stress. I get it. Sometimes I want to join them. BUT, when I hear them cough, I feel sorry for them. Give it up already, or kick that butt, I want you around as long as I am.

I grew up in the day that smoking was socially acceptable. All the movie stars had cigarettes in their hands in the movies, the advertisements on TV had people smoking, and the bars and bowling alleys were a blue fog when you walked in. We thought nothing of it. Then the health risks started being discussed, then emphasized. Now, I have become so used to not smoking that just smelling the residue on someone’s clothing is disagreeable to my nose. I think that’s a good thing.

If you are still smoking, please consider taking this day seriously and kick the butt habit, if not for yourself, for the loved ones that want you around a good long time.


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