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Kirk D. Jacobson, M.D.

Internal Medicine, Diabetes Mellitus

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Take time for family and stay well in the process

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IMG950565 cropI am the luckiest grandfather in the world! My four “carefully planned” children have given me eight (soon-to-be nine) grandchildren. I just visited my oldest daughter, Molly, and her five children in Grafton, Wisconsin. It’s always great fun to see them.

Molly’s five children include Bryson, age 11, who is quite the basketball star; Cooper, age 10, who is a mathematical genius and can tell you stats on all the sports — he is amazing; Layla, age 8, who’s the only girl and a true princess — she’s also quite the gymnast and loves to show off her tumbling skills; and the twins, Holden and Griffin, age 6, who most certainly are not identical twins like their grandfather, Kirk, and great uncle, Kraig, or twin uncles David and Doug. These two are polar opposites in every way! Holden has a dark complexion, dark hair and eyes, while Griffin has a very light complexion, with blonde hair and blue eyes. And their personalities couldn’t be any more different. Holden is quiet and always has a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face. Griffin, on the other hand, is the free spirit — full of curiosity and the most likely to follow me around whenever I’m doing “projects” around my daughter’s home. He is a visual learner, and can take things apart and put them back together, even at his young age. They are all unique, excelling in their own areas of interest and passion. I am truly amazed and impressed with each of them.

But none of this should come as a surprise, after watching my daughter (who just celebrated her 39th birthday) and her husband, Rich, parent these five children. With incredible patience and persistence they’ve guided them to their individual strengths and interests. It is always fun to watch your children become parents and see them experience the struggles of parenthood — it brings back wonderful memories.

During my visit, I was able to watch all kinds of sports activities, from basketball, gymnastics and soccer to baseball and softball. The kids are constantly on the go! I also participated in homework and school activities.

And oh, boy do they have appetites! I was amazed by what good eaters they are and impressed with the food choices they’ve been given. Mealtime is probably the quietest time of the day!

So, with all this wonderful activity going on, there were several things my wife and I did to stay well.

Grandchildren at these ages have all kinds of viruses, which are slightly different than the ones we are used to here in Oregon. Because of that we often come home sick. To minimize this, we give ourselves extra time at the beginning of the trip and at the end of the trip to rest up, usually a full day at either end, by staying at a hotel. When we’re staying with them, we try to end each day when the kids go to bed, usually around 8:30 or 9 p.m., then “sleep in” in the morning, as well.

We’ve found that late spring and early fall are the best times to travel, and the least likely times to get sick. But it is always worth it to see the kids and grandkids — nothing could be more fun!

Next up, we’re planning to visit my son, Doug, his wife, Lea, and their three kids. I’m so looking forward to it!

I hope all of you are enjoying this warm weather with your family, as well. Family time is a great way to stay healthy and happy!

Dedicated to helping others, Dr. Kirk Jacobson has spent 30 years treating adults and children. Board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, he has a special interest in diabetes treatment and education.