Posts tagged with Health Care + Policy

Good Night My Friends, Good Night

On Feb. 5th, as people turned excitedly to the news, or filed slowly to form lines to participate in the political caucus system of our great nation, clouds carrying killer storms formed quickly and wrecked havoc in several states. Many people were killed and numerous more were injured. The following is a tribute to those who lost someone they knew and loved:

Snow flakes, falling fluffy and light,

Strike upon my heart as weights

Each one heavy and hard.

Blood drips from my soul

As tears from eyes should fall

These other storms,

Darkness swirling on the horizon

Too early to be night,

Contrast sharply with

The layering of white

Across our land.

People weep, mourning

Loved ones who disappeared

Too quickly from their sight,

Now awakening to the light of morning

And a plight an entire nation shares

Good night, my friends, good night


Carol the Coach’s Dream About Oprah: We Can Help

Whether they're large, small, black and white, or in color, we all have them - dreams. They're what a large part of our waking and sleeping lives are about. They keep us going in the bleakest of times and give us something to focus and strive towards. Some people simply dream, never taking the smallest of baby steps towards making their dream(s) materialize. Others create through their dreams - allowing and encouraging themselves the ability to let the subconscious slip over them; envelope them, understanding that we can trust ourselves to know what is right for us. Still others deny any dreams.

I met Carol the Coach, as she's referred to in the Indianapolis area, when I began flying to and from Chicago to pursue my dream of becoming a Life Coach. (I wanted to work with people who had lost someone to suicide or homicide by helping them stay connected with their loved one by fulfilling that individual's dream.)

Carol Juergensen Sheets (LCSW PCC CSAT Motivation Speaker) is a mighty name for a woman of such small stature, but it suits her powerful spirit and her ability to dream large. Carol has already accomplished more than most of us hope to dream for. She is a columnist for Indy Metro Woman, The Daily Journal, Indy Sports-The Men's Magazine and Healthy Living with Teresa Tanoose, and she hosted a weekly hour talk show from 2007-2009 "Sex, Love, and Relationships". But Carol has a new 'old' dream. She has been contacting Oprah to no avail for eight years in an attempt to promote, "Group Work for Woman" which is Carol's dream to change the lives of women one step and one woman at a time.

I found out about Carol's dream a few days ago and thought it'd be fun to help her achieve her dream. You can help too! Carol will be coming on throughout the day and evening (between client sessions) to explain more and to answer any questions. Carol says it's been implied that since she is no "Barbie Doll" she doesn't stand a chance. Carol's response, "Dr. Phil is no Ken!" Let's prove 'them' wrong and give Carol our support. Carol has until the end of July 3rd to make her dream come true.

What are your dreams and which ones have come true? What is the most extreme thing you've been willing to do to make them come true?


Reminder to submit science fiction September - excerpt, “The Poet - That Madman”

"Lattw Niwamh moved smoothly and confidently to the front of the packed auditorium. The poetess had given readings of her poetry so many times previously that it caused as much excitement as her morning cup of caffeine free tea. She didn't begin to realize until hours later, having removed her dramatic bright red lipstick, sheer foundation and deep magenta eye liner with matching mascara, as she climbed into bed that evening, that the poetry she had read that day was not her own.

At the exact same instant, another poet, Lyiem Kensocdin, crossed and uncrossed his legs impatiently. He was old fashioned. He was as computer savvy as any of the upcoming poets of the day, but he preferred to sit with his bottle of scotch on the balcony overlooking the courtyard where women and girls in multicolored skirts and peasant tops sashayed far below. Sometimes he could catch the faint odor of their perfumes as they mingled together and made their way to where he sat.

He felt frustrated; he'd been trying to write a poem that he couldn't seem to push out of his mind all day. It wasn't until he closed his eyes for a brief moment that it became clear what he was going to write. He was delighted with the final product - it had flowed out of him as a vessel; the way poetry is supposed to come. It was good, really good and he was excited to share it with his mistress of the past six months - Lyiem went through women like most men consume wine or cigars.

He rang Lattw on his iPhone. No sooner did he begin to recite his poem when she joined in, completing word for word everything he had just written.

What they didn't know, but were about to find out, was that every poet in the world had just written the same poem. There would be many more to come, but where were they coming from. Were they a message from God delivered through the poet to the masses in order to save humanity, or were they something more sinister? Perhaps, they were simply another sign of the poet - that madman."

The previous paragraphs are from my science fiction piece, "The Poet - That Madman"

Rules for the contest:

Submit your original science fiction short by August 1st to (or via ljworld at random)

Your submission must not be longer than 999 words, but it can be shorter.

There will be a panel of five judges from varied backgrounds. Please submit one story only.

Prizes include gift certificate to Borders (supplied by our Fiction 500 winner Roe), and a $50.00 gift certificate to your favorite restaurant.

Top winning stories, along with names of the author, will be published online during the month of September.

Have fun - make it 'unreal'!


Tickling the Old Ivory - Piano Solos

We've been playing solos from our favorite performers and songs. So far, we have had the guitar string us along and we've had the doldrums beaten out of us by the old drums. Today, sit back, smile and show your ivory! We're going to share our favorite songs that include a piano solo - it might even be an instrumental.

There are a lot of fabulous performers with multiple talents - some play all the instruments we've discussed, but there are several who really stand out as stand up piano players.

Please list one song choice per post and do include the performer's name, link for easy listening and any memorable experiences you have to share about your choice of performer or song.

Did you grow up with a piano in your home? Were you forced to practice?

It seems many performers got their first love for music seated on a piano bench surrounded by family. Who is your favorite piano player?


“I Love You…But Not Enough To Ruin My Life” - Mike Calzone . What lines do you wish you’d created?

So I'm sitting in R bar (Treasure Island, Florida) a couple of weeks ago and I'm with my cousin Janelle. I've mentioned her before - she's the Angie Dickinson blond who has men approach her and ask if they can buy her dessert if she'll dance with them.

She's a natural beauty, vivacious and lots of fun. She doesn't have to resort to fluffing long auburn hair and propping her breasts up in catchy low cut, red t-shirts. We order our favorite - which has switched from crunchy grouper to crunchy catfish - and we decide to split it since we always know she'll be bribed with dessert later.

The entertainment for the evening is Mike Calzone. I'd heard him play a couple of years previously at the same location and am happy because he's good, real good. Not only does he play other people's material nicely, but he interacts well with the audience and writes his own material. It isn't long before I notice the black t-shirts hanging close to where he performs on a make-shift stage.

The shirts have the eye catching (and self identifying phrase), "I Love You...But Not Enough To Ruin My Life". I realize that not only must I own one of those shirts - I also wish I'd written the saying.

Here's what Mike has to say about his catchy phrase - "One night as I'm getting ready to start performing,... the owner of the bar asks me how 'we're' doing. I said, 'I love her, but not enough to ruin my life'. The light goes on in my head and I keep hearing it over and over. I sat down and wrote the song in 5 minutes."

The song he is talking about has the title I'm referring to and is a catchy, bluesy number. Mike had a chance to visit with us during break, but he had a rough break recently, literally. He was hit by a car while riding his bike and had surgery the Monday following the performance I saw.

Here's where the blog topic comes in. What sayings have you heard that you identified enough with that your eyes turned green with jealousy and you said to yourself, "Damn, I wish I would have written that line!"

Thanks, Mike, for letting me share your great line. We wish you a speedy recovery and hope you're writing plenty of new material to perform once you're back on your feet.


Lawrence Arts Center’s Film Intensive Workshop - Friday and Saturday Nights: “Mariachi Estrella” and “The Only Good Indian”

It's nice to be reminded how fortunate we are living in Lawrence, Kansas. Not that I tend to forget all the wonderful things about our community - well, except maybe after a long, brutal winter and I'm vacationing in Florida at the time.

One of the coolest things about our city is that there is always something going on. There's always something I want to see, do, or participate in. Most of the time it isn't a matter of what to do, but rather which function takes precedence over all the other choices.

Tonight is an easy choice for me though. "Mariachi Estrella" - the documentary about the first all female mariachi band, who also lost four members in the 1981 Hyatt Regency Hotel disaster - and "The Only Good Indian " are both playing Friday and Saturday evenings at the Lawrence Art's Center as part of their Intensive Workshop for Film. The cost is $8.50 for both films and $5.50 for the documentary only. Showtime starts at seven p.m.

Rain or shine, I'll be there. I look forward to discussing both films tomorrow and Sunday with the rest of you who attend the event.

It's even more exciting for me since Marlo Angell, a member of our Citizen Journalism Class three years ago, had a major part in putting "Mariachi Estrella" together. Congratulations to Marlo - I did forget to ask one thing though; do they sell popcorn at The Lawrence Arts Center?


To Screen Or Not - Recent Developments On Sunscreen

I'm a screener - a person of fair skin who applies sunscreen each morning regardless of the season, a person who burns within a matter of minutes in direct sunlight. I burn so easily, that two people handed me a tube of sunscreen with an SPF of 70 written on it the first day I was in Florida this past week.

I've had enough bad burns that I tsk tsk when I see a negligent parent; care giver of child, neglect to keep sunscreen slathered on their child, outside with no hat, no shade within sight. There should be laws against such abuse. Aren't those parents aware how much more likely the child is to get cancer after just one bad sunburn?

I went to my dermatology office just a few days ago - frightened enough by a friend's recent diagnois of melanoma that I thought it time to have that slightly annoying patch of dry skin on the bridge of my nose checked. I was glad I did - it was precancerous.

Hot news the past couple of days: FDA cover-up of knowledge that sunscreens containing vitamin A, retinol and retinyl palmitate actually speed up skin cancers. A supposed half of the 500 products listed promote skin cancer and only 39 of the 500 were 'safe'.

Additionally, there is discussion that sunscreen products containing oxybenzone are obsorbed into the skin making it possible for them to enter the bloodstream. It reportedly messes with hormones. Another negative ingredient: nanosized titanium dioxide is connected to neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Huntington's diseases.

To screen or not to screen, to trust the FDA or not, check out your skin care products, read what you can on topic, make your own decision, but please don't let me catch your baby with a sunburn or a tan. You'll recognize me - I'm the pale redhead.


Mother’s Day in Lawrence - little hands to big hearts

With children of all ages strategizing the perfect gift for mom for Mother's day, Sunday, May 9th, take a tip from a dear old mom herself and relax, stop sweating the small stuff.

While we may wish and expect something big, like a trip around the world or the world's largest ruby, from the person responsible for making us a mother, our children can generally do, or give, no wrong - just don't dare forget us!

Favorite gift items for Mother's Day years past: home made, heartfelt and anything made from their hands.

Plaster hand print molds, puff paint hand prints on an apron, flowers made from traced hands (cut out, roll inward starting with the thumb, tape at the bottom, then bend each finger backwards so they look like flower petals), or a last minute card, a child and their hands can't go wrong.

Know thine Mother and to her passions be true.

If your mom loves fiction, consider local author Jean Grant's novel, "The Burning Veil," at Raven Bookstore.

More of a poetry buff? You can't go wrong with a book by Mary Oliver.

Art enthusiastic?

How about a Tim Forcade photograph or a Stan Herd painting?

Too pricey - then a trip to The Nelson Art Gallery in Kansas City (10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - free admission) might be a perfect way to make mom feel special.

If your mom is more of a creative writing mom, with avant-garde thinking and experiences, then tickets at Liberty Hall for Burroughs' documentary Sunday evening at 8, (tickets are $8 a pop and go on sale at noon) may be your winning way into Mom's heart!

Give Mom a hand around the house, lend a hand with making her a special meal, or just extend a hand to hold.

Little hands grow larger but they're always loved by mom.


Do It For Ralph - Do It For You

I'm like most people in that I thought diabetes had very specific warning signs - and lots of them. After hearing about my friend Ralph's horrific experience this morning via email, I realized I had much more to learn about diabetes and maybe you do as well.

Ralph is in his mid fifties, a black male, friendly, intelligent, outgoing. He's the type of person who would appear at your side upon news that your father had been killed in a homicide; a time when everyone else didn't know what to say, he did know and he stood beside me, he stepped up to the plate. I've never forgotten what a terrific friend he became at that time in my life and, although I'd lost contact with him over the years, it didn't hit any less hard when I received news this morning about the horrific effects of a silent killer.

Ralph woke up Tuesday morning blind. He was subsequently taken to a hospital and complained Wednesday morning that he had no sensation in his legs - he was rushed into surgery where it was discovered he had multiple blood clots throughout his legs and pelvic area. His blood sugar was close to 800 when he arrived at the hospital. Ralph didn't have any warning signs of type two diabetes, which isn't uncommon. He had not been tested for it. Now he is fighting for his legs as well as his life.

I couldn't think of anything else to do for Ralph (I am sending thoughts and prayers his direction), but I knew he wouldn't mind that I told you about him and ask you to take the time to be tested for diabetes. It takes just a few minutes out of your day, but it can save your life.

Following lists include symptoms of diabetes - please remember some people (particularly with type two) either experience no symptoms or they are slight enough to be ignored.

Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms

* Frequent urination
* Excessive thirst
* Extreme hunger
* Unusual weight loss
* Increased fatigue
* Irritability
* Blurry vision

Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms

* Blurry vision
* Cuts or sores that are slow to heal
* Itchy skin, yeast infections
* Increased thirst
* Dry mouth
* Need to urinate often
* Leg pain

When was the last time you were tested for diabetes? If you are a diabetic, how well do you manage your condition?


Go Ahead: Position Me - One Last Time

What's trending now? Okay, so it may not exactly be trending, but I've always wanted to be on the cutting edge of a trend - in this case, the posing edge. I read recently about a guy who was making waves in the funeral circuit by choosing to be posed riding his motorcycle at his final viewing. I guess riding his motorcycle was his big love in life and it was appropriate for people to see him for the last time as he rode off into the life hereafter.

That news item gave me pause to consider not only my biggest loves in my life, but what I would choose to leave as a final viewing impact on those I love. I asked one friend how she'd like to be posed at her viewing and, without pause or hesitation, she said, "Eating a chocolate bar." Now that's really knowing oneself!

I have many loves and interests, so which one would I narrow it down to? I could be posed at a computer desk; ready to blog about what I see when I go through that final doorway and into the beyond. I could be posed as the contortionist I've always admired. Imagine a loved ones reaction as they walked through the doorway and found me standing there to greet them with my body twisted pretzel-like and my face, with a huge grin on it, positioned between my legs! But, after much deliberation, I believe the position most suited for me at this stage in my life would be posed "Running Naked With iPhone"

How about you? How would you like to be positioned that one last time?