Friday, April 29, 2011

Spring words

(yes, this is a rerun, but it bears repeating--IMO)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dealing with ambitious folks

I've been working with someone new for the past month and I'm not proud of how their behavior is affecting my own. One of our kindergarten sessions has a student who requires a one on one aide. Since he was ill for a long period of time, his first aide could no longer afford to hang in limbo without a paying job. When he returned, a new aide was hired. Both my teacher and I initially were thrilled with the new person. Her charge requires minimal care, so she's available 96% of the time to help other students. She's a self starter, sees where there's a need, hones in and takes care of it.

Lately, I've begun to feel like she's trying to catch me out at not doing my job. This shouldn't be a problem and I worry it's my perception (as opposed to reality) that's making me feel this way. She reports things to my teacher instead of letting me know I've forgotten something. Plus, she's competitive and will often take over one of my daily tasks that I consider to be my job. I imagine it can be difficult to see where one job begins and ends, if you were a go getter.

The nagging, irritating, little voice in my head tells me that her desire to have a job (just like mine) is making her behave this way. My sensible voice is trying to talk the other voice off the defensive ledge. "Keep smiling. Soldier on. Just keep doing your best and let it roll off your back. She'll be moving on soon. Oh and don't forget to smile."

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tire Iron and Tamale

Justin Horner, a graphic designer from Portland, OR, tells his story about how he was saved by the tire iron and tamale. (His story starts at the 2 minute mark and ends somewhere around 6 minutes)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dr. Oz - on "bath salts"

Some weeks it takes me awhile to work my way through Time magazine. So it wasn't until today that I read the following article. I felt behind the times. I've never heard of bath salts, but I hope Oregon follows the 4 U.S. states plus Britain, Finland, Australia, Germany, Denmark and Sweden  that have made it illegal for shops to sell it.

"I checked my disguise in the mirror: a ski hat and sunglasses did a good job of concealing my identity, even if I did look absurd. Normally I would have shared a laugh with my staff about this, but what we were doing that day was hardly funny. A few blocks away, at a . . . " (click here to read entire article.)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Historian Howard Means new book on Johnny Appleseed--NPR

These are the kind of stories I eat up. :)  It's a great interview with the author of the newest book on Johnny Appleseed, complete with excerpts.

"On a raw March evening in 1845, an old man knocked at the door of a cabin in the Indiana wilderness. His name was John Chapman.

Most nights, Chapman slept outside under the stars. But that day he had walked 15 miles through snow and rain, and for once he wanted shelter.

Inside, Chapman curled up by the fire with a bowl of bread and milk. Some stories say he read the Beatitudes to his hosts. Others just say ... (click here to read the entire article)"

Friday, April 15, 2011

What I need to believe

It's true, I have Pollyanna tendencies with a pinch of realist, fatalist and skeptic tossed into the mix.
I really believe that whatever happens with our schools (nationwide) that it will be temporary. Or maybe I have to believe it. Recovery takes time and yes, there are often things that are never recovered.
Although, I can remember thinking (a few decades back) that our schools were going down the tubes, but here we are with labs full of computers, quality music program still intact and the beginning of a healthy lunch movement. Changes I never thought possible.
The current economic struggle being wrestled with in our area school board meetings is not a local phenomenon. It's happening everywhere. I don't believe that jumping ship is a solution. And while getting involved can be a way to work toward a solution, it's also an opportunity to gather with other like minded folks in a collaborative effort to put all that brain power to work. Don't leave. Get busy. Or maybe you'll spend your entire life leaving and perhaps never finding what you seek.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Northern Lights from a National Park in Norway

Terje Sorgjerd shot 22,000 pictures of the northern lights from a National Park in Norway, near the Russian border. He transformed the photos into a time lapse video:

The Aurora from Terje Sorgjerd on Vimeo.

To see more, click here

Monday, April 11, 2011

Adaptive Competence - NPR


Gerontologist Mark Lachs says one of the keys to a long, healthy old age is the ability to keep moving forward after life's inevitable setbacks.

One question I get asked a lot is, "How old is your oldest patient?" Answer: 109.

The next question is usually something like: "What nursing home is he or she in?" Answer: She is living at home, with all her marbles, profoundly engaged in the world around her.

The last question: What is this lady's fountain of youth? A thousand calories a day and an hour of yoga?

No, Helen Reichert likes chocolate truffles. Her favorite beverage is Budweiser. And ... (click here to the story in it's entirety)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

"You Are Here" - Radio Lab

Loved this story from "Radio Lab". And I thought I had no sense of direction!
(explore this website if you get lost easily)

"When Sharon Roseman was five years old, something strange happened. She was playing a game with her friends, and when she took off her blindfold--she didn't know where she was. She was lost on her own block, in her own backyard. For most of her life, Sharon feared it was all in her head, and kept her troubles a secret. Until she saw something on TV that led her to get in touch with Dr. Guiseppe Iaria, who helped her find a diagnosis...and a friend with the same condition. And Sharon's story begs the question--how do we know where we are? What does it take to be able to walk down the hall, or down the block, and back? Jonah Lehrer explains the very recent science that's helping unlock how our brains make maps from moment to moment. Along the way, Karen Jacobsen, who calls herself "the GPS Girl" (her voice can be heard in GPS units in millions of cars around the world), helps Jad and Robert navigate the episode's twists and turns."

Friday, April 8, 2011

Blame it on April

"April come she will
When streams are ripe and swelled with rain;
May, she will stay,
Resting in my arms again."
~Paul Simon

I could blame it on April, but really--eight days in and the grey days/rain haven't been too bad.
Thank goodness!
I'm gloomy enough without the added dreariness of the weather.
Perhaps it's just a brain that needs weeding, just like our flowerbeds.
I haven't been blogging much because of the morose train of thoughts going through my head.
Like what?
Like . . . what would happen if something happened to N and I. Or will we ever be able to take a 2 week vacation again. (Who could've guessed the two of us would be caretakers for our youngest child.)
I imagine all the sad things happening in the world right now aren't helping.
Yeah, gloomy ponderings with no definite answers.
I thought by writing it down it might clear my head a bit.
And now to practice one of the techniques I learned in a great little book, "How to be Sick".
{breathe in the gloom and doom and breathe out an appreciation of spring's beauty}
Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Following links and finding something of value

The subject of chronic pain is something I think about daily. I spend hours each month trying to think of a way to communicate to others what it's like (from a care giver's point of view). I fall short every time. During a search this afternoon, I happened across a medical website with a discussion about pain management. I was impressed with what this woman wrote. She said it so well. Especially in comparison to the majority of the doctors who came across as being more concerned with how managing patients' pain affected them.

Janet Peterson, Chronic Pain Patient- Oct 06, 2010
"I am an expert in pain management. Approx 8 years ago, I was in what I consider quite a bit of pain, for you MD's, that's about an 8. Over the last eight years, I have gone from having L-3&4 bulging, to T-12/L-1 herniated. This has progressed to the present where I have 5 herniated discs. T-8 thru T-12/L1 to be exact. I gauge a 10 on the pain scale as having a limb torn off, or an injury that a combat soldier would be subject to. I spent 39 hrs in labor that resulted in a c-section. So, the highest my back pain has gone, in "my" scale was an 8. A 20 yr old that's never had child, or been injured in any way is going to gauge theirs very differently. I "live" at about a 6 on the pain scale. That is with fentanyl patches and lortab for break through pain. I have been at the max dose of neurontin for the last 4-5 years. The MRI results for each time my pain moved or increased was my ONLY "proof" that there really was something wrong, as back pain is so easy to fake evidently.
I think the training in pain management should only be done by patients that have chronic pain, and it should be required at all levels of a training, including required CME. Yes, there is pain science, but you're speaking of "management" of something that is still light years away from being totally understood in the scientific community. There is a HUGE resource out there in this subject that is rarely tapped, and that is the patient. Us. All of us, not just one or two, here and there. No, we don't have an alphabet behind our names, but we are still the experts. We may have a myriad of ways of that management, but that's where the real answers are to this serious and life changing condition.
Do I still smile at people if my pain hikes to an 8, yes I do. After years of living with pain, you better be able to still smile, or you're in real trouble. There will always be addicts. There are measures a doctor can take to protect themselves in this area, very good measures. Yet it is my understanding of the laws put in place, that those addicts are not supposed to affect my being able to receive the appropriate and needed treatment. However, from all that I read on this subject that seems to be less and less the case as the "experts" try to fix addiction, by placing more and more regulations on the chronic pain patient. These are two separate conditions, stop trying to deal with one by how you treat the other."