Denise Dances: A Return to Perfect Health - Body, Mind & Spirit!

Friday, September 12, 2008

"On Going Green..."

This will be a "re-print" of an article I just read on changing lifestyles due to the high cost of living. The Best of the Worst by Sue Halpern "One day last spring, while bagging my family's usual load of groceries..., I was handed...the cash register tape for $112.65 -- which is to say that I had just spent more than a hundred dollars on food that would not get my three-person family to the end of the week." "Welcome to inflation...recession...worry." "...I had planted vegetable gardens before, but this one was different. It felt protective. My retirement account may have lost 18% of its value...but red bell peppers..and mesclun....and organic broccoli...were still...in my future." "Competence is reassuring. Self-reliance is, too. And it's money in the bank when you can fix your own vacuum, bake your own bread, change your own oil, can your own tomatoes. (Well, I wouldn't go that far)....{sic}. "Still, too much self-reliance can be too much of a good thing...when ...Robert D. Putnam wrote his book, 'Bowling Alone,' he observed that Americans had become increasingly isolated from one another -- too busy doing their own things to join service organizations or know the names of the people who lived on either side of them." "...I spent some time in Portland, Maine, talking to folks who had set up something they called a 'time bank,' where people traded what they knew and what they could do for what they didn't have and what they could use. A couple of hours raking leaves might get them an appointment with an acupuncturist or math tutoring for their teenager. And tutoring that teenager might get the mathematician a bushel of ripe tomatoes or a rototiller for an afternoon." , and the rewards went far beyond whatever goods and services were distributed. People who might never have known each other -- a refugee from Sudan, for instance, and a local physician -- met as equals." "It was an economy that relied on the diversity of needs and wants and skills, not on money "People who had little in the way of material goods were able to secure them. Friendships arose and trust was built, so that when an elderly widow got sick, there were people to drive her to the hospital and people who volunteered to feed her cats and people who stopped by with bunches of wildflowers and people who collected her mail. The worst of times was also the best of times." "I think of the time bank often these days as I watch prices rise and houses get repossessed and corporations lay off more workers in a single day than lived in the town where I grew up. It suggests a map for the uncharted territory ahead: Capitalize on your resources -- the ones that have nothing to do with money; know your neighbors, share what you know and what you have -- even time is a currency." "...It just may be that...paring down demanded by a reversal in fortunes will be more satisfying and fulfilling than what came before...I see more and more people riding their bikes to run errands....taking public transportation or carpooling..." "...the townsfolk are getting to know one another better, people are more fit, they are slowing down..., they are sending less carbon into the atmosphere." "My neighbors, who have no choice but to stop and smell the flowers, are finding, much to their surprise, that they are sweet." OK. So what does this mean for my current lifestyle? I just want to share with you for a moment what I have been doing in the way of "going green" and "community time banks." (1) Summer 2007 and 2008 June through October "The Growing Season" Weeding and watering the front gardens at the housing complex where I live. I call it "the suburbs," in New London, just outside the city. These city apartments have beautiful gardens landscaped throughout the grounds. I have volunteered my evenings for the past two summers, to help weed and water the front flower gardens, and mulched trees, shrubbery and grass. The residents consist mostly of seniors. There are very few of us who have the time, the strength, the youth and who are willing to do this physical work. But I enjoy it very much. I find that the seniors who are homebound can sit outside and enjoy the beautiful scenery. And it is good work experience for me, as I ponder my future in Landscape Gardening. Also, I don't have to drive. I can just step outside to go to my job!! And I am able to work alone, which is what I do best!! In exchange for living in a safe, quiet place and not paying a high rent. (2) September 21, 2008: "It's National Ballroom Dance Week At Shoreline Swing's monthly swing dance, there is a one-hour lesson before the dance, before the band starts. If I go for the lesson, at least part of it, I will be able to help the newcomers learn the basics of the East Coast Swing. In exchange, I will have some potential new dance partners. I am very patient in helping new students learn to dance, one on one and I have a lot of experience in this. Not to mention that this is something I love to do!! (3) Summer / Fall 2008: "Turkey at the Beach!" Bring my own turkey sandwich lunch to Ocean Beach and go for a long walk on the Ocean Beach Boardwalk, where the renovations should be complete by Christmas. I went nuts when the entire boardwalk was closed in the winter of 2006 and I wasn't able to go for daily walks there. Indeed, I lost my health. (4) Fall 2008: "Back on the Chain Gang" I need to get my bike chain fixed as soon as possible in order that I may become even more green. I could then ride my Trek mountain bike to Ocean Beach, instead of driving! (5) 2008-09 +: "Check Out Your Local Library" Have you ever heard of a library card?? a friend once asked. So, yeah, I do have one. I just used it to sign out a book, a brand new hardcover, by Luanne Rice, "Last Kiss." It would cost about 25.00 in the store. I read an article about this local writer who lives in both NYC and Old Lyme, CT in the New London Times. She writes about a beach community in Connecticut where she grew up. As well as a sense of familiarity to me, this novel also deals with a tragic death the local community is dealing with. So, it's about death and mourning, which "appealed" to me. (The topic of death always appeals to a writer! :) (6) 2002-09: "Don't forget the Used Bookstores" Another good source for books is the Book Barn, used book stores in Niantic, CT, on Main Street and upper West Main Street, about a mile apart. I've enjoyed reading many Nora Roberts romance and murder mysteries from the Book Barn and now enjoy the books by Kathy Reichs, which are very well written murder mysteries. Watch the parking at the upper location. I almost hit someone while backing out today!! The place is becoming more popular, attracting out of towners.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Newsworthy: "A Clip Show"

Mental Illness Linked to Short Life "Antipsychotics and obesity could be factors." By Marilyn Elias USA Today Thurs., May 3, 2007 "Adults with serious mental illness treated in public systems die about 25 years earlier than Americans overall, a gap that's widened since the early 90s when major mental disorders cut life spans by 10 to 15 years." "About 60 % of the 10.3 million people with serious mental illness get care in public facilities, 90 % as outpatients....illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression...3 out of 5 die from mostly preventable diseases." "Obesity...little excercise...newer type of antipsychotic drug, on the market for 18 years that can cause drastic weight gains, promoting diabetes and heart disease...contributing to deaths from cardiovascular disease." "Mentally ill ...patients often aren't good health advocates for themselves...great difficulty getting appointments....THE PUBLIC HEALTH SYSTEM IS UNDERFUNDED AND IT'S GOTTEN WORSE OVER THE YEARS." "Medical needs of the mentally ill are least likely to fall through the cracks when psychiatrists and primary care doctors practice in the same facility, according to a 2003 report from the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. But integrated clinics are quite rare says Bazelon policy director Chris Koyanagi." "Sometimes...disregard medical symptoms of the mentally ill, chalking them up to the patient's disorder," says "Kenneth Duckworth of the National Alliance on Mental Illness."

"Many struggle for decades to overcome mental illness....and after all that struggle, it's particularly cruel to think that you would die young."

Natchaug Expansion Benefits Area's Young Mental Patients

Hospital has sites in Groton, Montville, Norwich

by Judy Benson

Day Staff Writer

Sun, Dec. 20, 2007

"The private, non profit hospital provides psychiatric care for both adults and children at its main hospital and at outpatient centers throughout eastern Connecticut."

"The expansion, though modest, adds enough beds to enable Natchaug to care for 100 more children and teenagers each year...which would meet about 98 per cent of the need."

"The hospital currently has 12 beds for youths, with an average stay of 10 to 15 days."

"Patients often have to stay in hospital emergency departments, waiting for a room to become available at Natchaug."

"About 500 youths are admitted to Natchaug each year during a psychiatric crisis."

"Youths admitted to Natchaug first undergo a medical exam to determine if any underlying health issues may be contributing to their mental health problems."

"The expansion not only fills a need for more patient beds, but also provides much needed space for staff to meet with patients and families."

"We're thrilled about it," said Peter Smith, medical director of chidren's and adolescent services at Natchaug."

Healthcare Reform: Imperative, Not Optional

By Bruce D. Cummings, President and CEO, Lawrence & Memorial

April 18, 2008

"Devoted the greater part of an afternoon visiting with members of Connecticut's Congressional delegation to press our concerns about the increasingly fragile conditions of hospitals and of physician's practices, and the need to prevent further erosion in Medicaid and Medicare funding -- both of which already pay doctors, hospitals, and home health agencies less than what it costs to care for patients insured through those programs; both of them targeted by the Bush administration for hefty cuts; neither of them sustainable in their current incarnation."

"Overall, the convention as well as our meetings with our delegation had a rather somber, almost funereal tone."

"The new model should cover everyone, regardless of socioeconomic circumstances or pre-existing health conditions."

For more information, go to:

http://www.healthtransformation.net/ for the specifics of Gingrich's approach or

Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon's website, under "The Healthy Americans Act."

Diabetes Denial

Health Report by Kelly Griffin

AARP

Nov. & Dec. 2005

"Five million Americans have this disease and don't know it."

"Though early diabetes may have no symptoms, possible warning signs include excessive thirst and urination, daytime fatigue, and blurred vision."

"The most common test for diabetes may not be the most accurate one. The fasting plasma glucose test...is relatively cheap and easy, and it's recommended by the American Diabetes Association."

"But some studies suggest this test my miss up to half the people with type 2 diabetes...the body's tissues gradually become less able to use the hormone insulin to take in glucose from the blood for fuel."

"Type 1 diabetes, in which the pancreas stops producing insulin, is usually diagnosed by young adulthood."

"...the first sign of type 2 diabetes is high blood sugar after meals, also called postprandial hyperglycemia. Only later in the disease does blood sugar remain high after hours of fasting."

"That's one reason many early cases..go undetected."

"More sensitive is the oral glucose tolerance test...it's more expensive and more of a hassle than the fasting test, which is partly why some experts...oppose its widespread use."

"But many other experts...consider it to be the gold standard for diagnosing diabetes."

"Medicare provides for 10 hours of diabetes training in the first year and two hours of follow-up training each year after that."

Work Can Profit from Less Stress

by Anthony Cronin

The Day

June 10, 2007

"Work related stress is taking a toll on business -- and on us."

"Dagle, a fitness expert and owner of Fit4You Fitness Center..in Groton, syas any type of program that can prevent stress and keep employees healthy simply makes sense."

"Wellness -- ranging from eating well, to exercising, to getting enough sleep -- also helps with our stress-induced lives."

"Stress in the workplace is really a bottom-line issue. Stressed out employees aren't the most productive folks -- and no company wants that."

"Health care expenses are higher for those who report high levels of stress...increasing at alarming rates...low employee morale, health complaints and plenty of job grumbling."

"Intervention is necessary to...end the problem or...limit effects on employees."

"An evaluation may be necessary to determine how to...minimize stress in the workplace."

Depression: Many Workers Have a Secret

by Tammy Joyner

The Day

Cox News Service

Sunday, July 15, 2007

(Atlanta) -- "Except for her husband and some other family members and close friends, no one knew about her depression."

"There's a stigma...people look at you differently, like (you're) a crazy person...stigma...it's a disease, just like cancer."

"Unlike many other illnesses, depression remains largely a societal taboo that affects twice as many women as men."

"Nowhere is that more evident than in the workplace. Depression costs U.S. business at least $44 billion a year in absenteeism, lost productivity and direct treatment costs, according to Mental Health America, an Alexandria, Va. based non-profit."

"People have insurance but mental health coverage is not on parity with other medical coverage, says Ellyn Jaeger, director of public policy and advocacy for Mental Health America of Georgia."

"Mental health benefits get short shrift, even though depression is a leading cause of workplace disability worldwide."

"Compounding the problem can be the environment at many companies, where many employees are working extra hard and feeling overwhelmed."

"Depression is one of the key obstacles preventing some working women from being successful at work, according to a study....by the American Medical Women's Association and...Mental Health America. "

"The pressure of work is one of the most common reasons for depression...in some cases, it has derailed careers."

Until next time,

Denise

(It's a beautiful day and I've spent most of it indoors, horror of horrors!! That's how important it is for me to get my message out there!!)