Catnap 101

Filed Under All Posts, Cathy Fischer, Health | 17 Comments

painting of woman sleeping in hammock
Gustave Courbet, The Hammock, 1844

Cathy beholds the benefits of the siesta and the true meaning of beauty rest

I was talking with my BF Leslie—an acupuncturist by trade and a healer by nature—when she told me how in her practice she finds that midlife women don’t allow themselves enough time to de-stress, decompress, pamper, or just relax. She also pointed out that this non-stop lifestyle eventually leads to all kinds of disease.

Hmmm. Women doing too much? Imagine that. It is my experience that this overdoing syndrome is passed down from generation to generation (martyr much?) So what to do about it? How do we recharge and reboot without it taking too much time or costing too much money?

One word: CATNAP! Yes, I believe that just might be the cure to what ails us.

According to an article in The Boston Globe aptly titled “The Lifesaving Potential of an Afternoon Nap,” a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine concluded that “napping was more likely than diet, physical activity or [not] smoking to lower the incidence of heart attacks and other life-ending heart ailments.” A 20-minute nap or brief non-REM sleep (no more than 45 minutes) enhances concentration, alertness and memory, elevates mood and can sharpen motor skills.

Beauty rest is not just the name of a mattress and napping is not just for vacations or cranky children. Read more

My Lovely Bones

Filed Under All Posts, Politics, Prudence Baird | 22 Comments


A doctor’s prognosis brings Prudence Baird face to face with her “inner old lady.”

I love my town. What’s not to love about a place where the local doctor goes by his first name (Dr. Walter) and hand-writes notes to his patients?

Recently, one of Dr. Walter’s letters arrived in the mail. I recognized the familiar scrawly handwriting that could only belong to a doctor.

“What’s in the letter from Dr. Walter?” asked my husband.

“I have no idea.”

“Shall I open it?” he asked, ripping open the envelope. “Oh,” he paused. “You have osteoporosis.”

Surely my husband wasn’t talking to me?

I quickly looked around for Sally Field.

Moi, osteoporosis? A flying nun’s disease? An old lady’s disease? How could this be? Read more

Wigging Out

Filed Under All Posts, Cathy Fischer, Courage, Health | 23 Comments

Breast Cancer update: I had donated my breasts to science last June, got new ones (no they’re not bigger), went on Tamoxifen and thought I was back to the “new” normal. But, things have changed. I’ve since decided to go the chemo route, based on second and third opinions, and to cover all my bases. I’ve had one treatment thus far and, as predicted, my hair started falling out precisely two weeks after my first chemo blast. I kept a diary of sorts: from hirsute to hairless, in just three days.

Hair Fall-Out: Day One

I’m taking my wig for a test drive today. My hair is starting to come out. It’s much shorter, since I cut it a couple of weeks ago to the nape of my neck; so it’s not as bad when I see a sink full of hair. But, it’s no frickin’ picnic.

I’ve long been a shedder. Lots and lots of hair: hair to spare. How long until bald patches happen? When do I go for the military buzz cut? When my part resembles parting of the Red Sea?

I put the La Charme wig cap on my head. I pulled the nylon (as in pantyhose) cap down over my face, and looked like I was ready to rob a bank. I really didn’t want to draw that much attention to myself on my first outing, so I pushed it back, which reminded me of the actresses of days gone by—Gloria Swanson, Garbo, those true glamour girls of Hurrell’s Hollywood portraits. I was ready.    Read more

Breast Cancer: My Big Pink Protest

Filed Under All Posts, Cathy Fischer, Health, Rants | 15 Comments

The White House pinked

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past couple of weeks, you probably are well aware that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Every three minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. With one out of every eight women in America diagnosed with the disease, either you or at least one friend or relative you know has had it.  I became “aware” of my breast cancer on May 23, this year. It was the day my life changed.

Most of my friends and family know, but I haven’t wanted to blog about it. I really don’t want to be the poster child. When my friend Ilana sent an email with the subject line that said, “Free Yoga Classes for Cancer Survivors,” I thought, why is she sending that to me? Oh yeah, right.  Read more