Samuel Kojoglanian, MD, FACC, FSCAI

One moment of silence. One moment of sheer hell. And one moment of unspoken torture. John a 60 year old salesman was with his wife and 2 grandsons as they were decorating their Christmas tree. The music blasted with “Santa Clause is Coming to Town”, the kids raced around the living room and John was in good spirits. Bad news is usually one phone call away, or one second away. While singing along, John was unable to move his right arm. He wanted to tell his family, and knew exactly what to say, but was unable to verbalize his thoughts. His grandkids thought he was kidding, and his wife told him to stop playing.

Once they figured out he wasn’t joking, the music was shut off. The running came to a dead halt and the decorating took a back seat.

The following hours and days were spent in the hospital with a barrage of imaging studies. A stroke out of nowhere had come to town and now resided in John’s body. A time of celebration was put on hold, and John’s health took center stage.

John is getting better because he sought medical attention immediately. His tenacious attitude is essential to his recovery, and during my visits with him, we both decided that there will be some major changes in our lives next year.

1) Listen more; talk less (even a fool is considered wise when he shuts his mouth, Proverbs 17:28)

2) Give more; take less (“saving” is hoarding, giving generously is therapeutically healing your own soul)

3) Walk more; eat less (seriously, the third slice of pizza is just wrong)

4) Help more, expect less (helping others can heal your depression)

5) Pray more, worry less (God made the universe; He can handle the little world of yours)

6) Praise more, complain less (see the good in the midst of the bad)

7) Forgive more, be offended less (forgiveness doesn’t change the facts, nor does it demand reconciliation, it just sets you free)

8) Smile more, frown less (a cheerful heart is good medicine, Proverbs 17:22)

9) Take more time out, stress less (I think it’s time to hit the golf course)

10) Love more people, love less things (people can disappoint, but things can’t love you back)

For some one minute is a short time. For John that minute felt like eternity. How will spend your next minute? May we experience hope, joy and peace in our lives in the coming year as we tweak some things, more or less!