There are many things we can be grateful for.

COVID-19 Update


There are many things we can be grateful for.

Every Thanksgiving when the children were little, we brought out this “turkey” and had the kids (and adults) write what they were grateful for on “the feathers”. Thanksgiving is traditionally a time most of us associate with gratitude. We are all called to show gratitude more than once a year and it has been shown that a daily gratitude practice can actually enhance our lives. Today it is very popular to teach that a daily gratitude practice can enhance our lives. Many studies show that people who consciously and regularly count their blessings tend to be happier and much less likely to suffer from depression. Dr. Brené Brown tells us “Without exception, every person I interviewed who described living a joyful life or described themselves as joyful actively practiced gratitude and attributed their joyfulness to that practice.” People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they're thankful for experience more positive emotions and shift attention from toxic emotions, such as resentment and envy. You can express gratitude to yourself, thank someone else for something they said or did that made you happy, or write down your positive thoughts in a letter or journal – they all work to help you start feeling more grateful and appreciative of the good things in your life.

We are both very grateful that we have managed to get vaccinated, have now had our boosters, and have managed to avoid a COVID infection! We have to all remain vigilant as a potential fifth COVID-19 surge threatens to strike this winter. Average daily coronavirus cases have risen by 14% over the last week but less of an issue in highly vaccinated parts like OC and Worcester. The pandemic is not over. Improved antiviral medications are coming out to decrease the severity of infection with the COVID virus. Pfizer has asked US officials to OK a promising COVID-19 pill which cuts hospitalizations and deaths by 89% among people infected with COVID. To be maximally effective, the pills must be started within 3 days of the onset of symptoms. The US has pledged to manufacture over a billion doses of the coronavirus vaccines this year to help vaccinate not only Americans but others around the globe.

FUN FACT: Moderna and Pfizer, between them, are grossing more than $1,000 each second, bringing in $65,000 each minute! But back to gratitude, we are grateful that they invested brainpower, time and money initially to come up with a successful vaccine to save us from many more deaths.

As discussed above, people who have a daily gratitude practice are more likely to be happy and grounded. It is natural for someone grateful for the good things in their life to take care of their health – and to avoid morbid obesity! Twenty five years ago, it was rare to have a patient walk into a plastic surgeon’s office after substantial weight loss. But these days, we routinely see patients who have lost in excess of one hundred pounds. Three quarters of the massive weight loss patients we see did so with the assistance of bariatric surgery – such procedures have been designed to either decrease the size of the stomach pouch or some variety of “bypass” which shunts food down the intestines quicker without absorbing as many calories. An appreciable number also have experienced massive weight loss with lifestyle change, diet, and exercise. Congratulations all around for the health changes they have achieved! Either way, patients can be left with enormous skin excesses. Abdominal walls can get stretched with pregnancy or obesity. Modest skin excess can be removed with a tummy tuck (anterior abdominal wall skin removal), but the patients we see who have lost in excess of one hundred pounds will usually have a circumferential skin excess. In these patients, the incisions are carried 360 degrees around the lower body and a large skin wedge is excised from the entire lower trunk, from the front, sides and back. Such patients get a new lease on life and are usually very grateful for their improvement – some of the happiest patients we see!

Male in his mid 40’s following massive weight loss, before and after a body lift.   (actual patient of Dr. Bunkis, your results may vary)

Male in his mid 40’s following massive weight loss, before and after a body lift.

(Actual patient of Dr. Bunkis, your results may vary)

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