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Publication: Fifty & Furthermore
Never Too Late

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FIFTY & FURTHERMORE - Thursday, January 11, 2007

"I'm Dr. Dorree Lynn, founder of FiftyandFurthermore.com. 
Growing older can be a time for creative and passionate 
living, and I will apply my years as a psychologist to 
help you with the challenges and wonders that come with 
this new life stage."
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Hello and welcome to FIFTY & FURTHERMORE! 

If you would like to make a comment or ask me a question, 
please email me at the address below and as always, I will 
do all I can to provide you with the advice you seek.

As I always say, "life is too hard to do alone - reach 
out!"

Dr. Dorree Lynn, Psychologist


Please send questions and comments to: 
email Dr. Lynn

Question:

Hello Dr. lynn, I really enjoy reading your column. I use 
to drive all over the roads, free as a bird, no inhibitions. 
About a yr. ago I suddenly got dizzy, fearful, and just 
about made it to work while driving. Panic set in and It 
took all my will power to get back home. The closer to home 
the more relaxed I became. My mind was saying get to the 
safe place. I have fought this for a yr. and can drive up 
to town about 6 miles away, but no further. If my husband 
is with me I can drive to our business to work, if I am 
alone, forget it. I can always drive home, but not "away" 
as I seem to feel . I have tried all types of self help, 
talking with God as my co-pilot, but can't get my act to-
gether. Please help me with some common sense ideas. I 
once called a hypnotist, but cancelled. I do not wish to 
speak of some things I will take to the grave with me and 
was afraid I might do that while hypnotized. Why am I so 
afraid of driving alone somewhere? I feel like a prisoner 
inside myself. I loved going and browsing in stores or 
taking country rides but unless my husband drives or takes
me I can no longer enjoy life "outside" the confines of 
home. Thanks for allowing me to  open up my head to you. 
I willl look for your advice in your column.
signed, Home Alone

Answer:

From what you have written, it sounds as though you may 
have experienced a panic attack while driving to work 
that one day. Panic attacks can occur for a variety of 
reasons (or often seemingly no reason at all), but often 
sufferers will associate the panic with a situation or 
object present at the time of the first attack. In your 
case, driving away from your home may now be the signal 
in your mind that panic is to follow - and thus it does. 
Without knowing more of your history or any other 
possible medical conditions, I cannot diagnose this, just 
speculate. What I do recommend is that you make an 
appointment with a professional in your area who can 
better assess your issue and start you on the path to 
recovery. What information you give a psychologist about 
your past is under your control, but I would urge you to 
find someone with whom you feel comfortable enough to 
share any information that may play into your anxiety and 
thus be a factor in the treatment of it. You have made a 
big step in admitting this problem and trying to overcome 
this. It is certainly possible to get over this fear, but 
the longer you allow the fear to control your life, the 
more work it will take to reverse it. Now is the time to 
act. You can do it.

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The following is a story that illustrates both history 
and reaching out. I hope it makes you smile like it did 
me! ~Dr. D

MEXICO, Mo. - Ray Heilwagen has his wallet back, 62 
years after he lost it in France during World War II. 
Late last year, Heilwagen received a call from Stephen 
Breitenstein of Palatine, Ill.

"He said, 'Did you lose a billfold?' and I remembered I 
did," Heilwagen told the Hannibal Courier-Post. "Then he 
said, 'I found it and will send it to you.'

"I could hardly believe it."

Breitenstein's father, who also served in France during 
World War II, recently died. Digging through his father's 
possessions — ironically on Veteran's Day — Stephen 
Breitenstein found the old wallet. He figured his dad 
found it during the war and brought it home, hoping to 
find the owner. Not knowing how to do so, he left it in 
a drawer for more than six decades.

Using the Internet, Breitenstein tracked down Heilwagen. 
After their phone conversation, he mailed the wallet to 
him.

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"He sent it to me, and I received it in very good order," 
Heilwagen said. "It had everything in it — (French) francs 
and pictures and my original Social Security card and some 
receipts."

The wallet also included an article from the Courier-Post 
(Heilwagen grew up in Hannibal) that his parents had mailed 
to him during the war.

Heilwagen served with the Army's 79th Infantry Division of
the U.S. Army, which was in combat in France from their
arrival in July 1944 until he was injured and hospitalized 
that November with a leg injury. He received a Purple Heart 
and a Bronze Star.

"We were in combat continuously, every day almost," he 
recalled. "We were in a battle and received small arms 
fire, then a German mortar came in and exploded. It blew 
me into the river, and I had about five pieces of shrapnel 
in my right leg."

As medics helped him in the field, Heilwagen recalled 
pulling out his billfold to look at pictures. The next 
day, he was taken to a French hospital, where the shrapnel 
was removed.

"They were getting ready to ship me out to another hospital, 
and I looked for my billfold, and it was gone," said 
Heilwagen, who was later discharged and returned to 
Missouri. He retired after a 39-year career with 
Southwestern Bell Telephone.

As for Breitenstein, "I was impressed that a stranger 
would go to such trouble to locate me and return my 
wallet," Heilwagen said.

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     For more insight and advice from Dr. Lynn visit:              
fiftyandfurthermore.com

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          GopherCentral's Question of the Week

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this week's GopherCentral.com Question of the Week.

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Question of the Week

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