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Posts Tagged ‘health’

      For many people…the culture of our times demands that we saturate ourselves with massive amounts of information.  However, even computers have limits on how much data they can store; come on!  But, this culture of “need to know” is getting to the point of being ridiculous when it comes to celebrities or public figures.

      Steve Jobs is the founder of Apple, Inc and is the Chief Executive there.  There has been alot of concern about his health over the last few years when it was disclosed that he had surgery for pancreatic cancer.  His form of pancreatic cancer was treatable through the surgery…it was not the most severe form of pancreatic cancer, which is often fatal.   Still there have been many who have speculated on his health.

       Steve appeared to have lost considerable weight over time recently.  Rumors abounded about his ability to run the company.  People were getting nervous; after all, business is business…right?  Let’s get our priororities straight, lest some investors or some such get too nervous and pull out their financing…making things too unstable.  The board at Apple has released it’s own statement pledging it’s own support of Steve Jobs, as it’s CEO.  What more does anyone need to know?

         Steve Jobs released a public letter today addressing some of the concerns.  He evidently felt that he needed to quell some of those rumors; because in the letter, he says that he has been suffering from a hormonal imbalance that was robbing him of protein that his body needed to function healthily.  This was discovered through very sophisticated blood tests that his doctors performed.   This  imbalance appears to have been the cause of the lost weight and it will take some time to regain that healthy weight.   He says that he has already begun the relatively simple treatment to restore the balance in his body.  These things take time.

          Steve also says, that is all he is going to say about the issue; except, that he will be the one to decide when and if he can no longer fulfill his duties.  That is as it should be. 

           I feel that he disclosed what he felt was necessary to satisfy those who would alledge that he wasn’t up to doing the job anymore, without disclosing more information than the public needed to know.   After all doesn’t Steve Jobs, as well as John Q. Public, have a right to privacy of their health issues?

update:  Today, January 14, 2009, it was announced that Steve Jobs is taking a medical leave of absence as his medical situation is more complex than was understood last week.  He will be on leave until June of 2009.  Apple’s chief operating officer Tim Cook will fill in for Steve Jobs until then.

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         Dr. Susan Love has started a massive undertaking to understand the complexities of breast cancer by organizing an army of women.  She has partnered up with the Avon foundation to get an army of women to sign up to do research on a large  cross section of women to get accurate information on genetic links as well as environmental links to help the medical community understand breast cancer better…so that we can more effectively treat and PREVENT breast cancer.  Check them out: http://www.avoncompany.com/women/avonfoundation/overview.html

        She made an announcement on Good Morning America with Robin Roberts (cancer survivor) interviewing her in October of 2008.  You can see the interview here: http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=6118891.  

           I sort of envision an army of women all decked out in pink camouflage uniforms as they take up the challenge.  Breast cancer has stolen too many wonderful people from our world.  We have lost sisters, mothers, friends, lovers,aunts, daughters, grandmothers; as well as sons, daughters, fathers, uncles, grandfathers and friends!   If we can understand how it starts…then we will be able to figure out ways to prevent it.  If we can prevent it…maybe we won’t have to subject our loved ones to such difficult times during treatments.  It is a win-win situation.   You can learn more about Dr. Susan Love and about breast cancer by going here:  http://www.dslrf.org/breastcancer/content.asp?L2=1&SID=119

        Many people want to help…but, if they dont have money to give; they may say how can I possibly help?  This is an excellent way.  You can sign up to be a part of the army.  If nothing else….you can get information to help arm yourself in the war on breast cancer.  You can go here to sign up:  http://www.armyofwomen.org/  Surely you would like to see an end to breast cancer as we know it!

See possibly related stories here:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/08/27/stand-up-to-cancer/ or, https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/triple-negative-breast-cancer/

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     As a Christian I am struggling with the line between fear and faith.  My parents are both cancer survivors.  However, right before Christmas they both had tests done that have come back with suspicious results.

       I listen to my mother say that she is not going to get worked up until she talks with the doctor about the results.  In general, I agree with that.   My mother is pretty much a positive thinker, which is a great thing.

         My father is cut out of a different cloth.  He automatically thinks negatively; he can’t seem to help it.  His mind goes to the worst case scenerio.  It is experience related…he has had the worst case scenerio happen to him before…so he just expects that to be his luck.   Both mom and dad will be meeting up with their respective cancer doctors before the first week of January is over.

          I am a product of both of my parents.  I am at times a positive thinker….and at times, automatically hit the negativity zone.  I don’t like it that that is true; but, it is honest.  I work hard attempting to focus on the positives.

           The problem is…fear.  I fear hearing the situations that they are facing will possibly return them to the medical world of tests, surgeries, treatments, complications, and hospitalizations.  This is a world that is both isolating and overwhelming, with people.  🙂  I realize that that sounds contrary….but, it isn’t.  

     You are surrounded with people in the medical field….this specialist, that oncologist, the anestesiologist (sp?), the radiologist, the pharmacist, the dietician, the family doctor, the nurses, the insurance company…the list goes on and on.  The isolation comes when you must seperate yourself from the general population because of the possibility of infection.  The isolation that the patient feels when heading in for the surgery or the treatment…no-one else can do those things for them.  It is in isolation that fear takes root and does it’s dirty work.  Discouragement can set in…thwarting all of the good and positive things that are at work in the healing process.

     The thing is, once you have been a survivor…your history can limit treatments.  It can also be eye opening to the types of situations you may be facing this time around.  My mother has  developed conditions that can be life threatening, since the last time around.  Both my mother and father had difficult side effects and complications from their various treatments, in the past.

     I am a firm believer that God is in control of everything.  I don’t claim to understand the mind of God.  But, i know that he allows things to happen that are very difficult to go through.  If left to our own devices…most human beings would opt out of the difficult things and shoot straight for the easy path…myself included.  My head knows that much can be learned during these hard moments in life…that God has things for us to gain in those moments.  I know he has things to be accomplished during those moments…he puts people in our path for us to connect with and to share with.  We will do our best to bring glory to his name throughout.  For he is worthy of praise in all things.

        So, I will work at praying that God will have mercy…that he will guide and direct us as we face these additional challenges.  I will ask for wisdom, clarity, patience, faith, courage, strength, healing, financial blessings, and any area of lacking; that we may need to overcome in the face of these trials.  

       What i am thankful for, is that we don’t have to pray for love or sharing; or, willing family members to help out.  We are blessed in those areas.  We are a family that knows how to support one another; and, whoever is in need around us, at the time.   Roomates have often been the recipients of the overflow of our big family.  There have been roomates that had no one to look out for them…they were alone in their journey.  My family is nurturing in nature.   I am thankful for that compassionate part of our family. 

     I am thankful for those in the medical community who also have compassion, skill, knowledge and who are sensitive in the way that they go about promoting healing to their patients and their family members.  They are our allies in the war that has been declared on our loved ones..they are on the front lines of battle trying to help our loved ones to have a full and healthy life; so we pray for all of them who will have contact with us.  We respect their skill and dedication.

     We have so much to be thankful for…and, we are.  Are we greedy to wish for health and financial blessings to meet the demands put on the family as we go thru these things?  I don’t think so.   I know that God has a purpose; I pray that we realize it and make the most of it as he would desire us to do.  I am just selfish enough to wish, as Jesus did on the cross, that this cup would pass from out of our hands; if God so desires. 

         Again…the line blurrs between faith and fear that these medical challenges may not pass from us!

           

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       Oprah has been discussing her frustration with her recent weight gain over the last two years.  This has been an ongoing problem for Oprah (and many others as well) year after year.  Weight gain/weight loss cycles are hard on the body and even harder on the psyche.  No one needs to pile on the negative comments…because the person going through it beats up on themselves enough!  That is part of the struggle.

        The thing is…the up and down roller coaster ride is not one that most people willingly “decide” to get  on.  One day they have struggled to gain control and lose the weight.  They have focussed on the issues at hand and have overcome the struggle. 

          Then, before they know it…they go on about their daily lives and boom…they find themselves back in a position of being overweight and out of shape.  Because in the course of living…they have gone back to old patterns of lifestyle; because, it is easy to slip back into the comfortable way of doing things, without even realizing that you are doing it.

         The thing is…being overweight is a bit of an addictive problem.  Whether it be smoking, drugs, alcohol or sexual addiction; eating too much is a food addiction…food is tied into holidays and traditions, lifestyle, emotional rewards and punishments; as well as, behavioral patterns. 

            Eating sensibly has to be combined with a proper amount of physical exercise to balance the nurtritional needs equal to the calorie burn to achieve a maintained weight.   If you eat more calories than you burn…the weight accumulates.  Health issues start to arise and you feel less like exercising.  It becomes a vicious cycle…one that must be stopped before serious health issues affect the person in  the quality of their life.

            In reading comments that some posters have left on the news websites that ran with the story about Oprah’s weight issues…there were those who were supportive and those who were not. 

          Those who were not…tended to be supremely over-critical about her weight, her money, her media savy as well as her political alliances.  Those who were supportive expressed compassion for her and her battle.  Many had been through it themselves in the past or were also in an ongoing situation with their weight.  It makes her real and approachable because often times, the public views celebrities as people who have it all at their fingertips…someone people often put on a pedastal.

           It is a bit frustrating when you think about all of the shows that Oprah has done about weight loss, healthy dieting, lifestyle changes, cooking healthy meals and snacks only to still be in the same position years later.  She is not the only person to do so though.   

            It is a bit discouraging to think that someone who has “all the money in the world” to hire chefs, personal assistants, personal shoppers, and dieticians is still unable to keep it all together in the weight loss department.  That makes those viewers who have less money and resources, who struggle with weight management,  feel less able to be in control.  In reality, a person who struggles with weight issues is in the same predictament no matter how much money they have.  Their self confidence and body image play a big part in their ability to control their weight. 

            Like it or not, Oprah has built a following through years of hard work on her television show as well as her movies and publishing ventures.  Oprah has developed what most business people and marketers are dying to figure out how to procure…it is called customer or viewer loyalty.  This is a great tool to help both Oprah and her viewers to encourage one another and motivate one another in reaching their goals and maintaining them.

            There are those critics who say that Oprah overshares information about her life…and maybe that is true and maybe it isn’t…but, when you stop and think about it…Oprah knows herself well.  Maybe by speaking her version of personal truth and honesty about her weight…it is her way of holding herself accountable once again.  I for one, wish her luck and good health!

           

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       I don’t know about you but hearing about the elderly being abused makes me mad.  Yesterday on my home television station there was a terrible story about a elderly woman who was allegedly abused by her own son. 

       She was left on her couch allegedly for approximately three weeks without medical help.  She was so weak from lack of food and fluids that she could not even get up off of her couch.  Her home was so filthy with her own waste that the emergency workers and police who checked on her, became violently ill in the front yard of the home.  It sounds as if the woman’s social security checks were being cashed regularily though.  The news reports say that the woman allegedly did not have a shower/bath for up to one year! 

       The poor woman has had to have surgery…her home was in such disrepair that it was condemned by the authorities.  Where in the world has respect for life gone?  This is a failure of our culture to fail to make sure that all of our older friends and relatives are nurtured, cherished and protected.  Sometimes, the elderly deal with memory issues or mental illness; this is an especially important circumstance to get social workers and medical personel involved with, especially if they don’t have a close supportive family system in place.   It would be bad enough if this was an isolated case in our country; but, it is not. 

         Everyday the elderly are abused and neglected in their homes, in medical facilities, in nursing homes and on the streets.  It is an outrage.  Yes, the elderly require time and attention.  Yes, it can be difficult for the caregiver; as they are loosing their independence and ability to do many of life’s chores on their own and often they resent that fact; however, it is important to take loving care of our elders.  Time is short and spending time with your loved ones is special.   You can never get that time back with them once they are gone.  The difficult and challenging times will pass.   The elders in your community have many memories and experiences to share; take advantage of that time with them to store up knowledge and memories.

         Just showing some caring and concern for the elders can make a difference in the quality of life for them.  Offer to do a kindness for them such as pick up their mail for them; or walk their dog…take them to medical appointments, or grocery shopping.  Some tasks are too difficult for an elderly person who is unsteady or has medical issues; like, going up and down stairs to do laundry or shoveling their walkways or raking leaves.  

         We all will be elderly one day if we are blessed to live long enough.  Please, check up on your elderly neighbors, your parents, your friends; visit with them and help to relieve their loneliness.  If you see someone abusing or neglecting an older person (or any person for that matter) get involved…call the authorities!  You never know…you could be saving a life.   If you suspect elder abuse report it:  http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/ncearoot/Main_Site/index.aspx

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       People are funny; when things get tight…their fists often get tighter; but not always.  This year, like no other year in recent memory, people are hurting.  They are hurting in many areas financially.  Many have lost their homes, their jobs, their savings…along with medical coverage.  It is a difficult time for many in our nation.

        Most everyone has something that they have been blessed with that they no longer use.  Those things that you have been blessed with and no longer use just might be terribly useful to someone else.  Have extra blankets (or sleeping bags) in the closet or attic that you have no use for?  Someone else has need for them; donate it to a shelter, a church, or an agency that gives to those in need.  Don’t forget places like the Salvation Army or Goodwill.  Let’s challenge ourselves to find ways to have a positive impact on those around us.

         What about checking out deals, when you grocery shop, that make use of buy one get one free…then, donating that extra item to a food pantry?  In fact, things people often run out of and have a hard time replacing are necessities such as laundry soap, shampoos/conditioners, toothpaste, dish soap, toilette paper; when money is limited…having those things donated to a food pantry can really be a big help.  Maybe you have a baby or toddler that has outgrown their diapers or pullups…and you have a partial package left; donate it, don’t let it set on a shelf somewhere unused.  What good are those items doing sitting there collecting dust?

          Do you have warm clothes that either don’t fit, things that aren’t your style; or, perhaps you just have an extra set of clothes that you could pass along?  What about coats or boots, mittens or hats/scarves?  Items such as these are desperately needed in colder temperatures and climates.  The fall and winter weather is unforgiving if a person is not sheltered and dressed appropriately for cold temperatures.  Children and adults are both in need; so, please check your closets and storage areas for things that you are not using.

          Here is another idea; have you had a tree fall on your property that you would like removed?  Offer it to those who heat their homes with wood for free…just for the taking.  Wow…how wonderful to get it removed and bless someone else with the wood who could use it to heat their homes. 

          So you say…you don’t have anything physical to give.  How about donating your time or possibly a service like raking leaves/shoveling snow for an elderly person who you know isn’t able to do it for themselves?  Maybe you could offer to get their mail so they don’t slip on the snow and ice or offer to run some errands for them.  There really are so very many ways to help another person who is in need. 

          Think about the homeless who are living on the streets.  Do you perhaps have a shelter or tent that is not going to be used in the near future?  Can you live without it?  Find an agency or charity that will use it to house those folks who cannot or will not live in a shelter.  We have many veterans and run-aways who live under bridges and tunnels all around this nation.  Is a tent or a shelter from your basement or garage an ideal place to live?  No but, it may just keep someone safer from the extreme elements, temporarily, until they can get back on their feet.

           Are any of these suggestions going to cure the ills our nation is facing; probably not…but, it may just help communicate caring to someone who is feeling desperate and alone.  Think about what you can do to help someone who has it a bit worse than you and yours.  Your donations could mean the difference between life and death for someone; and it doesn’t have to cost you more than a bit of compassion for others!

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        Here is a story that illustrates the breakdown of American business.  Jim Crosby and his sister Linette are in a fierce and immediate battle to save their family owned mint farm business.  They are to be foreclosed on, any day now…they need to sell bottles of mint oil to save their business.  They are located in St. Johns, Michigan.  Michigan is one of the hardest hit states when it comes to the economy.  People here are struggling to hang on to the most basic necessities of life…this family only wants to be able to continue to provide a service to their customers…both old and NEW!  It is their dream to be able to continue marketing their mint oil.

         Their business has been owned by their family members since the early nineteen hundreds.  This is their legacy…and it needs an influx of cash, today.  You can visit their website ( http://www.getmint.com)  and help, to try to save an American owned business.   In a day and age where American business owners are moving out of the country left and right, to get cheaper labor and make more of a profit; it is nice to be able to support a company that has stayed in America while producing their product.  If you use mint oil for cooking, baking, tea, health aid, air freshner…or any other use…please buy from this company and help them stay in business…but, don’t dawdle…they need cash now to stay in business.  The bank that is planning to foreclose on them…could take their bottles of oil and they could take the equipment needed to continue producing the oil…thereby, putting them out of business.

         We have to make a stand for some kind of return to common sense…producing in America, selling in America and buying in America…this is how we build a strong infrastructure in the country once again.  You can build up business, jobs, and housing markets by keeping American’s working.  You want to strenthen the economy?  Stop buying everything from other countries (because it’s cheaper) and start supporting American owned and operated business that produce quality products.  The job or business that you save just might be your own!

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