Health Is Vital

Health is taken for granted, until you can't any more. In this blog I hope to put down on paper some of the articles I come across and want to remember, about health. I will be personalizing these articles to apply to me. I am diabetic, over weight, have high blood pressure and tinnitus, so these are the things you will find here. I will include nutrition, exercise, and holistic health, and many other ideas. I work in the health profession, particularly mental health, and have an interest in suicide prevention; so these topics will also be covered in this blog. Please, if you are suffering reach out. Our county health and crisis line is 1-855-278-4204.

Sunday, June 25, 2017


Colonoscopy if a same-day procedure which allows a doctor to look at your colon and part of the small intestine.  A colonoscope is inserted and the doctor slowly examines the colon looking for polyps, cancer, or other issues.  The procedure includes removal of any polyps.  These are then tested for cancer.  
Guess who went in for the ten year colonoscopy.  This is my second. The actual experience isn't that back as the give you something to make you sleepy.  I slept through most of it, but also watched some on the monitor.  However that pineapple stuff you have to drink is just terrible.  Orange would be a better flavor.  It was at the end of each glass that the stuff would gag me.  Or if I paused while drinking it I would gag.  I had the just try to chug the stuff as best I could.  I just received the report and now they are recommending every five years instead of ten.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Seven Statements that Hurt People with Anxiety; My Reaction

Seven Statements that Hurt People with Anxiety if an article  This article gives seven hurtful statements, and in each case gives an idea of what to say instead which will lead to a helpful rather than hurtful relationship.
1. You have a lot to be grateful for.
2. You Should_____.
3. Everything will be OK.
4. Just be happy.
5. It's all in your head!
6. What do you have to be anxious about?
7. There are people with much bigger problems.

There is a great lesson here.  As I read the statements, I am convinced I can do better around others.  This article is a keeper and I suggest you clic on the link to read it.

Monday, May 29, 2017

13 Reasons Why: Should Parents Be Concerned About This Netflix Series?

Here is a very good article about the !3 Reasons Why series from 700 Children's by John Ackerman Phd..  It contends that this film does not take adequate safeguards against suicide contagion, which is sometimes a problem with young people.  It concludes with a graphic portrayal of the suicide, which is confusing and can lead vulnerable individuals to copy cat suicides.  It also portrays suicide in a romanticized fashion.  The main character, Hannah Baker, blames her suicide on those around her, in an almost vindictive manner.  In truth, people who commit suicide are not able to blame others because they are dead.
There are a couple flaws, this article contends.  Someone in emotional crisis does not take the time to make videos to explain why people are the cause of their suicide.  they lack the energy as well as the time to do this.  Secondly, it appears to say that suicide is the natural consequence of the things in Hannah's life.  While bullying, sexual assault, failure to see the signs, starting rumors, etc or tragic and painful; they do not have to lead to suicide.  They are not the cause in the end of a completed suicide.  Also the series seems to say, that only in making a big decision, will others feel your pain.  This does not have to be the case.
The makers of this series may say that bringing increased attention to suicide out weighs any increased risks.  They do not.  However there are suicide prevention resources available for those who want to become involved.  There are also crisis lines for those who wish to reach out: 1-800-273-8255. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Talking Points: 13 Reasons Why

I don't do this often, but thought it important to deliver the message in this flyer from the Jed Foundation.  You can click on the header for the original location. |
13 Reasons Why is a fictional story based on a widely known novel and is meant to be a cautionary tale.
You may have similar experiences and thoughts as some of the characters in 13RW. People often identify
with characters they see on TV or in movies. However, it is important to remember that there are healthy
ways to cope with the topics covered in 13RW and acting on suicidal thoughts is not one of them.
If you have watched the show and feel like you need support or someone to talk to, reach out. Talk with a
friend, family member, a counselor, or therapist. There is always someone who will listen.
Suicide is not a common response to life’s challenges or adversity. The vast majority of people who
experience bullying, the death of a friend, or any other adversity described in 13RW do not die by suicide.
In fact, most reach out, talk to others and seek help or find other productive ways of coping. They go on to
lead healthy, normal lives.
Suicide is never a heroic or romantic act. Hannah's suicide (although fictional) is a cautionary tale, not
meant to appear heroic and should be viewed as a tragedy.
It is important to know that, in spite of the portrayal of a serious treatment failure in 13RW, there are many
treatment options for life challenges, distress and mental illness. Treatment works.
Suicide affects everyone and everyone can do something to help if they see or hear warning signs that
someone is at risk of suicide.
Talking openly and honestly about emotional distress and suicide is ok. It will not make someone more
suicidal or put the idea of suicide in their mind. If you are concerned about someone, ask them about it.
Knowing how to acknowledge and respond to someone who shares their thoughts of emotional distress or
suicide with you is important. Don’t judge them or their thoughts. Listen. Be caring and kind. Offer to stay
with them. Offer to go with them to get help or to contact a crisis line.
How the guidance counselor in 13RW responds to Hannah's thoughts of suicide is not appropriate and not
typical of most counselors. School counselors are professionals and a trustworthy source for help. If your
experience with a school counselor is unhelpful, seek other sources of support such as a crisis line.
While not everyone will know what to say or have a helpful reaction, there are people who do, so keep
trying to find someone who will help you. If someone tells you they are suicidal, take them seriously and
get help.
When you die you do not get to make a movie or talk to people any more. Leaving messages from beyond
the grave is a dramatization produced in Hollywood and is not possible in real life.
Memorializing someone who died by suicide is not a recommended practice. Decorating someone’s locker
who died by suicide and/or taking selfies in front of such a memorial is not appropriate and does not honor
the life of the person who died by suicide.
Hannah's tapes blame others for her suicide. Suicide is never the fault of survivors of suicide loss. There
are resources and support groups for suicide loss survivors.
If you're struggling with thoughts of suicide... Talking points by:
Text START to 741-741

Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Discovering My Self-Worth after Teenage Pregnancy

This films presents a short interview from a girl who struggled with self worth after teen pregnancy.  It was when she realized Jesus could heal that she started feeling better about herself.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Wellness Tips for May is Mental Health Month

Wellness Tips for Mental Health

We’re midway through Mental Health Matters Month. These last two weeks we’ve shared ways how you can help others. This week we focus on how you can care for your mental health and wellness.
Taking momentary breaks throughout the day offers many benefits. One study stated that outdoor activities have been shown to alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, stress, depression, and also improve cognitive functioning andcreativity[1].

Here are a few tips to help you restore your mental health, which also contributes to improved work performance and higher levels of satisfaction:

·         Get moving. Light exercise 3 days a week improves happiness and work productivity.
·         Go outside. 20 minutes of sunlight can help your mood, concentration and sleep.
·         Get together with friends or family. Studies suggest that social support networks help you deal with stress and may even help you live longer.
·         Play games. Keeping your mind active by doing things like playing new games can alleviate depression, especially as we get older.

How do you practice self-care?

Looking for inspirational ideas on self-care? Check out these interesting TED Talks.

 [1]Wolf, K.L., and K. Flora 2010. Mental Health and Function – A Literature Review. In: Green Cities: Good Health ( College of the Environment, University of Washington.

This came to me at work and I thought I would pass it along.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

13 Reasons" Why Not to Watch"

This film came up at a meeting I was attended.  there were crisis counsellors there, who shared anecdotally that crisis calls have gone up among teens since this movie came out.  In other words, suicide attempts were more frequent, but not necessarily completions.  Many people are concerned, and mental health professional are suggesting to watch this as a family, rather than allowing youth to watch it alone.  there are too many misconceptions about suicide.  This is a common expression:
“'We are concerned about our children watching this series without adult supervision because it romanticizes and sensationalizes the idea of suicide,' Lisa Brady, superintendent of schools in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., wrote in an email to parents." (From article by Catherine Saint Louis.)
On the other side of the equation are those that say it gives a good depiction, and provides a talking board.  However the National Association of School Psychologist advise teens who have a history of suicidal thoughts to avoid this series all together.  Crisis and suicide workers agree.  
If one child completes a suicide as a result of watching this film, that is one too many.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

May is Mental Health Month from Rene Santiago

 Message from RenĂ© G. Santiago 
May is Mental Health Matters Month. Our Behavioral Health Services Department has been leading efforts to help reduce the stigma around mental health. Stigma is when someone views a person in a negative way just because they have a mental health condition. Some people describe stigma as a feeling of shame or being judged by someone else. Fighting stigma is key to getting people the care they need and preventing suicides. 
Last year the department conducted a successful campaign geared towards middle aged men, the group with the highest suicide rate in Santa Clara County. The Suicide Prevention communication work group used research to learn what messages and images would work best. This was important to reducing the stigma around seeking help for mental health issues. During the campaign the percentage of calls from these men to the Suicide and Crisis Hotline doubled. Because it was so successful, the campaign is set to run again. 
The department is also working on a number of initiatives to encourage youth in our community to seek help. Since young people text more than make phone calls, a text crisis line will be added to Crisis and Suicide Hotline services. A social media campaign to young people will also be launched this summer. It’s a bit of a myth that more people attempt suicide in the winter and over the holidays. Unfortunately, suicides are attempted by all groups all year long. 
Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. 1 in 5 Americans will be affected by a mental health condition in their lifetime and every American is affected or impacted through their friends and family. To help anyone in our community access services for themselves, family or friends, the department will be implementing a one phone number point of entry. This will go a long way in helping people get to the services they need. 
Suicide is the second leading cause of death of youth ages 15-24 and the 10th leading cause of death for all Americans. These numbers demonstrate why these activities and so many other initiatives taken on by our Behavioral Health Services Department and their partners are so important to the health and well-being of our community. 

You can help to reduce stigma and raise awareness about the importance of mental health. When you are posting or tweeting, spread the word by showing #MillionsLikeMe. You can also learn more about collaborative efforts at 

Santa Clara County: Universal Coverage for Children

Renee Santiago is the directory at Valley Medical.  He presented this to everyone about initiatives in Santa Clara County to make sure all children have insurance.  He reports that as access to medical services has improved for children, so too has the health of children.  

 Message from RenĂ© G. Santiago 
In 2001, the Board of Supervisors made Santa Clara County the first county in America to insure all low-to moderate-income children. Last week, our Board reviewed and accepted a report documenting how children are doing currently and since 2001. The good news is that children and youth of Santa Clara County have nearly gained 100% universal coverage since 2001. Additionally, they are reporting improved access to care and prevention, and overwhelmingly their self-reported health status levels are in the positive of ‘good’ to ‘excellent’ health. This is sound policy and decision-making at its best. 
In Washington, D.C., there is much public debate about repeal, replace, and/or repair of national health reform. We certainly need to continue to be active and informed about these discussions because of their likely impacts. Nonetheless, we also need to keep in mind that our core values, decisions, and behaviors are ultimately critical to our success of “Better Health for All.” 
Children and youth are our future. In Santa Clara County, they represent one quarter of the County’s total population. They are Latino (36%), Caucasian (about 1/3) Asian (another 1/3), and African-American (2%). Some of the good news from the report: teen birth rates are declining; fewer youth are involved in the juvenile justice system; and, kids are getting the immunizations they need before they go to kindergarten. 
However, the assessment by our public health department also revealed persistent gaps and disparities. These include: 9% of the children in our community live below the federal poverty line with 17% of African American and 16% of Latino children living below the line. Although the high school graduation rate for all children stands at 84%, the rate for Latino students is lower at 71%. Also, many communities still experience difficulty navigating an often complex system of health and other services. 
Access, affordability, and reliable care and treatment will continue to be a primary focus for all of us regardless of what happens at the federal level. For those reasons, our public health team, community leaders, and other stakeholders identified key strategies to improve the health and well-being of every child and youth in our County. These include: 
● Supporting efforts to stop bullying and violence among children. 
● Supporting expand quality, affordable childcare and quality universal preschool. 
● Expanding and improving access to high-quality medical and dental services. 
● Expanding healthy food nutrition programs. 
● Increasing high-quality, affordable housing. 
● Addressing structural racism that contributes to inequitable outcomes. 
● Adopting universal developmental screenings for all children. 
Our challenge going forward will be to continue making progress at the same time we manage the risks of ‘repeal and replace’ of the Affordable Care Act. It is vital that we continue to improve access, be a cost effective and efficient health system, and ultimately maintain our “eyes on the prize” of Better Health for All. Achieving these goals will be more important than ever before. 
If you need to have a “light” moment about why this is important, check out SCVMC’s new marketing plan featuring little ones born at the hospital cheering us on 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Smile for your Health

This poem was in an old Legacy: International Society: Daughters of Utah Pioneers.  I find it very cute, and motivational.  Wouldn't the world be a better place if we all passed on a smile or a bit of humor rather than a grumpy old face.

Smile for You
Smiling is infectious; you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too.
I passed around the corner and someone saw my grin
When he smiled I realized I'd passed it on to him.
I thought about that smile, then I realized its worth,
A single smile just like mine could travel round the earth.
So if you feel a smile begin, don't leave it undetected
Let's start an epidemic quick, and get the world infected!

Smiling won't cure everything, but I think it may make a difference.  Sometimes you have to go with the flow, and just smile.  

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Diabetic Podiatry Appointment for Fat Feet

I visited the podiatrist last week.  I have very fat feet, as well as diabetes.  I had a blister under a toe, and the podiatrist informed me it was likely because of my shoes.  I walk quite a bit every day with commuting.  She suggested New Balance shoes because they have side sizes.  Honestly, I usually have to buy shoes too big to get them on my wide feet.  I did go to Big Five and get a pair of New Balance, and after wearing them in they are a much better walking shoe than my Vans.  The other bit of advice was to trim my nails shorter.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Article Review: Facing Up to Sexual Violence

facing Up to Sexual Violence, unattributed, Utah State Magazine, Spring 1027.
This article in the Utah State Magazine talks about the major issue on campuses nation wide of sexual assault incidents, and the efforts of universities to deal with this crisis.  Over 300 universities across the nation are under investigation by The Department of Education Office of Civil Rights as a result.  Utah State has also has its problems.  This article deals with what is happening now to address the issue.  One of the issues is how to address the problem while allowing for confidential reporting.  Utah State has initiated two campaigns, "Consent Is" and "I Will".  As part of the4 "I Will" campaign 4000 students have pledged to do whatever they can to stop sexual violence, and create an environment that is survivors are supported.  It is estimated third parties help prevent over one million acts of sexual violence annually.  This effort wants to get people past being bystanders to stepping in when a crime is taking place.  First the individual must recognize that a crime is taking place.  They must agree that sexual crimes are intolerable.   The pledge is, "I will step in and stop sexual assault."
The "Consent Is" campaign is an educational program to make sure individuals have consent before engaging in sexual activity.  You cannot get consent when the partner is wasted, high or incapacitated.  Consent should be verbal.  Consent can by withdrawn, Consent is mutual.
Recommendations, or things being put into place are, a centralized oversight, educating about reporting options, ensure staff comply with reporting obligations, improve record keeping, improve relations with law enforcement, continually reevaluate.

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Ambulance Down in the Valley (Prevention)

I think this is the social worker in me that likes this poem.  I came across it while participating with a community group looking at teen pregnancy in Roosevelt, Utah.
A Fence or an Ambulance
[A poetic case for the value of prevention]
'Twas a dangerous cliff, as they freely confessed,
Though to walk near its crest was so pleasant;
But over its terrible edge there had slipped
A duke and full many a peasant.
So the people said something would have to be done,
But their projects did not at all tally;
Some said, "Put a fence 'round the edge of the cliff,"
Some, "An ambulance down in the valley."
But the cry for the ambulance carried the day,
For it spread through the neighboring city;
A fence may be useful or not, it is true,
But each heart became full of pity
For those who slipped over the dangerous cliff;
And the dwellers in highway and alley
Gave pounds and gave pence, not to put up a fence,
But an ambulance down in the valley.
"For the cliff is all right, if you're careful," they said,
"And, if folks even slip and are dropping,
It isn't the slipping that hurts them so much
As the shock down below when they're stopping."
So day after day, as these mishaps occurred,
Quick forth would those rescuers sally
To pick up the victims who fell off the cliff,
With their ambulance down in the valley.
Then an old sage remarked: "It's a marvel to me
That people give far more attention
To repairing results than to stopping the cause,
When they'd much better aim at prevention.
Let us stop at its source all this mischief," cried he,
"Come, neighbors and friends, let us rally;
If the cliff we will fence, we might almost dispense
With the ambulance down in the valley."
"Oh he's a fanatic," the others rejoined,
"Dispense with the ambulance? Never!
He'd dispense with all charities, too, if he could;
No! No! We'll support them forever.
Aren't we picking up folks just as fast as they fall?
And shall this man dictate to us? Shall he?
Why should people of sense stop to put up a fence,
While the ambulance works in the valley?"
But the sensible few, who are practical too,
Will not bear with such nonsense much longer;
They believe that prevention is better than cure,
And their party will soon be the stronger.
Encourage them then, with your purse, voice, and pen,
And while other philanthropists dally,
They will scorn all pretense, and put up a stout fence
On the cliff that hangs over the valley.
Better guide well the young than reclaim them when old,
For the voice of true wisdom is calling.
"To rescue the fallen is good, but 'tis best
To prevent other people from falling."
Better close up the source of temptation and crime
Than deliver from dungeon or galley;
Better put a strong fence 'round the top of the cliff
Than an ambulance down in the valley.
-- Joseph Malins (1895)

Sunday, April 2, 2017

April: Alcohol Awareness Month

This is an article from Infomail for valley Medical Center
Alcohol Awareness Month
The Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Prevention Division wants you to know the April is Alcohol Awareness Month.  Did you know that drinking too much alcohol increases people's risk of injury, violence, drowning, liver disease, some types of cancer, and causes an all-told 100,000 alcohol related deaths every year?  the good news?  We can all do our part to prevent alcohol abuse and take action to prevent it, both at home and in the community.  For more information about Alcohol Awareness Month visit
Below are a few ideas on how to prevent alcohol abuse:
Be careful using alcohol as a reward to deal with life pressures, find other ways to handle stress and unwind
Encourage friends and family members to make small changes, like keeping track of their drinking and setting limits
Choose a day or two each week when you will not drink.
Limit the amount of alcohol you keep in your home
Don't drink when you are upset
Make a list of reasons now to drink excessively
Talk with underage children in the home about the risks of alcohol
Keep a well-balanced life

Friday, March 31, 2017

Pamphlet Notes: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

This is a pamphlet from National Institute of Mental Health.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is when someone has to recheck and recheck things.  Not the once or twice which is normal, but over and over.  It can include ritualistic behavior as well.  Thoughts and actions associated with OCD get in the way of daily life and cause distress.
Signs and symptoms to look for:
Repeated thoughts about things, such as fear of germs, intruders etc.
Do the same rituals over and over.
Can't control unwanted thoughts.
Don't get pleasure form the rituals, but momentary relief.
Spend at leas one hour per day on the thoughts and rituals.
The cause of OCD is still not known however there is a genetic component.
OCD responds to both psychotherapy and medication.  A preferred psychotherapy is cognitive behavioral therapy.  CBT teaches someone how to control their thoughts.  Antidepressants also are helpful when taking under a doctor's direction,
Lastly combined psychotherapy and medication are also useful.

Article Notes: A Parent's Guide to ADHD

This article points out that most children have some problem with attention from time to time.  However in cases of ADHD this problem is an ongoing issues.  However kids with ADHD can focus very well when the topic interests them, they have great energy and can be very creative.  There are three types of ADHD, Hyperactive, Inattentive and Mixed.  Although we need to avoid overgeneralization, boys more generally have hyperactive, which is noticed and diagnosed earlier.  Girls for the most part have Inattentive type, which is not noticed until later, and study habits are more important.  Mixed is when a child has characteristics of both types.  Medication treatment are two types, stimulant, which is short acting, and non stimulant which last longer.  Non medication strategies can also help.  Incorporating exercise into the child's day, keeping homework sessions short or breaking up homework, using a timer, trying to do so much homework in an allotted amount of time, staying positive, goal setting, letting kids practice working independently.
Article was written by Sarah R. Cheyette MD and published in Bay Area Parent.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Pamphlet Review: Depression

This is a pamphlet from the National Institute of Mental Health.  It is a pamphlet for lay people, how to determine if they have depression and whether to get help.  Signs of depression include feeling sad; feeling hopeless, anxious or guilt; loss of interest in favorite activities; feeling tired; not being able to concentrate; overeating or not wanting to eat; thoughts of suicide or attempts; aches, pains cramps, digestive issues.
Some of depression is genetically caused, but it also has an environmental component.  Sometimes genes play a role in resilience, and ability to recover from hardship.  Depression either causes, or is caused by subtle changes in the brain.
The first step for treatment of depression is to visit a doctor or mental health worker.  Depression can respond to medications, psychotherapy or both.
For those in Santa Clara County on MediCal, the number to call for assistance is 1-800-704-0900

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Training: Confidentiality and Ethical Issues in Treatment

Attending this training in February.  It was mandatory.  This training presented the requirements of confidentiality with regards to HIPAA but also 42 CFR, which sets standards for confidentiality with regards to substance abuse issues, and are much more strict generally than HIPAA.  Where our department (mental health) is now integrated with the substance abuse services, this was an important training.  We no longer call ourselves mental health, but behavioral health.  This training helps understand why people working in the substance abuse field sometimes respond the way they do, which can be very frustrating.  The statement is "I can neither confirm or deny ..."  sometime it gets in the way of screening an individual for services, but that is the way it is and there is a reason for the laws.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Thin Commandments were presented on KSFO the other morning by Dr. Mark Freed and I was impressed.  I would like to lose weight without trying.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

**Watch Your Step

Surviving Suicide

Surviving suicide when you are young is important, because there is still a whole life ahead of you.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring.  Interesting how she felt suicide was the only option.

Living with Depression

This is a story of depression presented on the Mormon Channel.  Depression has two components, physical and emotional.  Often times, without first treated the physical causes of depression, it is very difficult for someone to make the needed changes to tackle the other issues.  However, talk therapy is known to help with depression.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Documentary Review: Paper Tigers: Trauma

It been some time since I watched this, but I meant to write about it.  Paper Tigers is a movie about Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, Washington.  This is the school for those who are not making it in regular school, either due to legal or behavioral or emotional issues.
The basic philosophy of the film are that children have been subjected to complex trauma.  toxic stress or trauma can threaten brain development.  This can harm health, lead to erratic behavior.  The behavior is not the kid, but a symptom of what is going on in their life.  You have to unconditionally love them, and believe that their behavior might be out of their control.
Sant Clara County has used this movie as an introduction to their efforts to take on trauma and make a difference in the lives of others.  I must admit, as I watched I was amazed at some of the worker the teachers and counsellors were doing.  How could they stay focus and not become reactive to some of the stuff the kids were dong.
The new ad campaign for VMC

Fellow Employees:

As many of us know from the direct experience of our family, friends, and loved ones, the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center plays a pivotal role in the health and wellbeing of the entire county community.  Over 8000 of our fellow county employees are delivering outstanding patient care day in and day out, in addition to leading-edge research and medical innovation, with centers of excellence in burn treatment, diabetes, trauma, rehabilitation, childrens and womens health.  Its one of the many shining examples of what makes those who live and work in Santa Clara County proud.

For the first time in its 140-year history, the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center is launching an advertising campaign to raise awareness of the fact that our public healthcare system is providing the highest levels of medical care to all segments of our county community.  Our campaign messages will be promoted in commercials, radio, transit shelters, billboards, cinemas, the San Jose Airport, on VTA buses, print ads, and the Internet (you can view the TV ad here).  As youll see, the campaign features a provocative "go public" theme, which conveys our public foundation while illuminating themes familiar to many who live here in the Silicon Valley. 

In a very real sense, Go Public applies to us all in whatever capacity we serve on the County of Santa Clara team.   We will be doing more to promote all that we do as we move forward, proudly conveying, as the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center has just done, the value we provide to our community.  

Jeffrey V. Smith M.D., J.D.
County Executive

Monday, February 27, 2017

Visualization and Weight

Does it help to visualize yourself skinnier.  I have been writing over and over my target weight for the year.  If I write the weight enough, will my body naturally force me to do the things I need to do to get to that weight.  That is my hope.  It may take more than that, but at least it is a start.  I notice there is a book on this topic, called the Gabriel Method.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Veritas School Emergency Response Steps

I am glad someone thinks about these things ahead of time.  When the recent happenings it might be a good time to come up with family emergency plans, where to meet, who to call, whether you can post something on line?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Risk of Static Shock and your Car

This warning advises doing two things, releasing static electricity before fueling by touching your hand against a metal surface.  Second it strongly suggests not reentering the car after you start fueling.  I am very good at the second, not so good at the first.  I am not sure how frequent this problem is; but it must happen.  Even one accident, if it involves yourself is too many.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

No smoking, No E-Cigarrettes

I have never seen a sign like this before.  This is at Mental Health Urgent Care courtyard.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Pamphlet: How to Eat Healthy

This pamphlet from Krames Fast Guides promotes the My Plate method of eating.  This is the current dietary standard promoted by the government.

Other ideas I gleaned for healthy eating, Drink water throughout the day, don't skip breakfast, wait 10 to 15 minutes before reaching for seconds, you don't have to clean your plate, reduce salt, lower your sugars, decrease calorie intake while increasing exercise for weight loss.  store food properly and check the labels.  Leftovers should be in the fridge within two hours after the meal.  Check expiration dates.  Avoid dented or rusted jars and cans.  Wash lots while cooking to avoid cross contamination.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

**Motivational Book: Skill With People

This is an interesting booklet by Les Giblin which I have from my Amway days.  It talks about how to be good a selling, but the principles can apply to many other situations.  It is written by Les Giblin.  He points out that people would rather talk about themselves than about anything else.  The focus of interactions should be on what the other person has to say.  It talks about the need to praise, but it must be sincere and it should focus on the act and not the person.  In like fashion criticism should be made in privacy, should start with a compliment, should be impersonal (focus on the act not the person), should supply the answer (the right way to do it), ask for cooperation, criticize each offense only once, and finish on a friendly note.  In dealing with people a grateful attitude is also essential.  Mean it when you say thank you, and say it clearly and distinctly, thank people by name, and look them in the eye when you thank them.  This little pamphlet is a good thing to consult frequently to keep you brain in the right place in working with others.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Train Safety from VTA LIghtrail

I am always preaching train safety.  It is a big enough problem in Argentina that a common good bye was "Que no te pise un tren"  "Don't let a train run over you."  SO this is good advise.

Living Well with Diabetes

Living Well with Diabetes, Krames fast Guides, Krames staywell 2000.
This pamphlet hits on the basic important health considerations for someone with diabetes.  As always, I like to add my personal observations.
Monitoring Blood Sugar: TO take control of your blood sugar, you have to know what is going on.  Daily monitoring with a monitor is important.  Also long range monitoring is important with the use of the A1C lab teat.
Treating Highs and Lows:  You have to monitor to know if you are having a high or low.  A little sugar will treat a low.  There are also glucose tablets.  I don't often have this problems.  Treating highs is more difficulty.  It could mean cutting back on carbohydrates, could mean increasing exercise, or lastly extra medication.
Taking Medication:  I take pills.  I have never had to take insulin which is usually injectable.
Staying Active:  Walking I have found is the best way to keep blood sugar low.  With walking good shoes are important.  Also drinking plenty of water is a must.

Healthy Eating:  It is important to eat carbohydrates, but in moderation.  Balance meals between 1/2 vegetables, 1/4 carb and 1/4 protein.  Serving size is important to watch.

Caring for feet with daily self foot exams and regular podiatry check ups.  Good foot ware is also important, and avoid going bare footed.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Pamphlet: Healthy Aging

This pamphlet simplifies the topic of healthy aging with the above topics.

Staying Fit:  This involves being active most days by getting in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise.  This should be a lifestyle of working in the yard, walking etc.  Your activity should include stretching, strengthening and aerobic activity.
Healthy Diet includes eating a variety of food, balance what you eat with physical activity, less saturated and trans fat, more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, limit sugar, moderate salt, and if you drink, moderation only.
Mental Wellness:  This is keeping your mind active.  The more active, the less chance of memory loss.  It is more necessary however to keep things in their place so you can find them, read regularly and play games, regular physical exercise will also help.  Depression can set in at an advanced age.  Stay in contact with friends and have a regular routine, in the winter try to get sun.
Medication Use:  Use medication wisely.  This includes talking to your doctor and learning about the drugs you take.
Tests and Checkups:  Regular tests should include blood pressure, cholesterol, osteoporosis and colorectal cancer.  For women mammogram and Pap test.  For men prostrate cancer test.  Other checkups include teeth and gums, hearing and eye exam.
Preventing Falls:  Some ideas are to put things lower, wear good walking shoes, secure flooring, keep cords away from areas frequently walked, install handrails on both sides of the stairs, and secure the bathroom with suction bathmats, etc.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Mandated Reporter Training

After an incident at the hospital where two doctors were fired, as they each assumed the other had made a CPS report for a physical abuse situation, and the perpetrator eventually killed the child; mandated reporter training has become an important part of our business.  This training really makes you think as a mandated reporter.  Our training was presented by Jane Smithson J.D.

I really like her the definition of why you report.  It is not only for the safety of children, which is important enough; it can also be the catalyst for a family in trouble to get they help they need.
Much of the training revolved around when a child abuse report is needed in a sexual situation, which are sometimes mutual.  The light didn't turn on for me until I realized that statuary rape is not necessarily child abuse, although it could be reported to the police.  In this situation that would be a parent who would need to report.  A child abuse report is warranted based on the age difference of those involved.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Second Hand Smoke

Second Hand Smoke and Apartments, Condos and townhouses: What You Can Do About It, California Department of Health Services.
Second hand smoke can be deadly.  This pamphlet estimates 53,000 American deaths annually and 4,700 in California.  The chemicals from cigarettes can kill, and they can linger for a long time.  It is much worse if there is a smoker in the home, with the gases locked inside.  However in close living quarters the smoke can come from outside the home.  This pamphlet suggests talking to smokers, having  non smoking apartments, No Smoking in common areas such as laundries and recreation areas, and effecting repairs to keep smoke out.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Immunizations for Adults and Seniors.

Center for Disease Control, California suggests three immunizations for adults.  After age 50 it suggests an annual influenza shot.  Even if you have no previous issues with the flu, as our immune system grays we need additional protection.
Immunization for pneumonia is suggested after 65 years of age.  This is generally a once a life time immunization.  It is also recommended for those with chronic health conditions.
Lastly tetanus is important for those over 50.  This immunization should not be administered more than every ten years, unless you have sustained an injury.
It is important to keep a record of all you immunizations.  The timing for some is dependent on when you last received a shot.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Magazine Article: Self-regulation and Stress Coping at the Foundation of Resilient Recovery

Self-regulation and Stress Coping at the Foundation of Resilient Recovery by Stephen Sideroff, Phd, Counselor: the Magazine for Addiction and Behavioral Health Professionals, October 2016.
I found this article very fascinating.  It is presented in two parts really.  The first is how childhood effects someone's vulnerability to addiction and relapse.  "High levels of early childhood stress alter and impair neural mechanisms of self-regulation and functioning."  He is mostly talking about attachment issues, and how impairment in attachment "impairs endorphin brain circuitry" which in turn makes it more difficult to self-soothe.  It is also partially why stress can lead to relapse in adults.  Substances become a substitute for self soothing.
The second part of the article deals with the model for self regulation as a way to teach individuals how to self-regulate rather than turning to drugs.  This is a nine-step process.  It focuses on three areas, relationships, balance and mastery and engagement with the world.  This concepts are presented as things to learn:
1. Relationship with Self.  Being able to have positive and loving self-talk is essential.  Much of the author's work involves relearning this internal script.
2. Relationship with Others.  Healthy relationships should have a ratio of at least twenty positives to one negative.  He suggests relationship with less than a five to one ratio may need to be discarded.
3. Relationship with Something Greater.  This of course is the core of 12-step programs.
4. Physical Balance and mastery.  Relaxation techniques should be a part of any recovery program.  Being able to be at peace with yourself is essential.
5. Mental or Cognitive Balance and Mastery.  The perspective of an addict is frequently flawed.  Maintaining a positive attitude is essential to recovery.
6. Emotional Balance and recovery. Emotional reactivity negatively impacts resilience.  A brain is easily high jacked by reactivity.  A four step guide: 1) Become aware of emotions and accept them. 2.)Sit with emotions and recognize what they are about and whom they involve. 3) Expressing emotions in the contest of acceptance.  It is ok to be sad or angry about past events.  however it is not always possible to change the past.  Sometime accepting reality is needed.  4) Let go.  Once a feeling has been expressed, it is important to let go, and not continue to expect the impossible.
7. Presence.  This is about our ability to be in the moment.  This also deals with how you project into the world, which is charisma.  This can involve a change of posture.
8. Flexibility.  Flexibility is the ability to adapt.  Awareness of patterns is essential to being able to confront them, and adapt other ways of coping.
9. Power: The Ability to Get Things Done.  This is having realistic expectations, and setting goals, but understanding new learning is a growth process.  Having more power leads to more freedom, and less dependence, and then increased confidence in one's self.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Article: Eat to Reduce Belly Fat

This article is form the email stream "Living with Diabetes from Everyday Health.  I was looking for the easy fix for my belly fat, however this article basically says there is no easy fix.  However it does say that to lose one to two pounds a week then you should eat 500 to 1000 less calories per day.  Now that is a big goal.  Here is the exact quote, "To reduce weight in this area [the midsection], it's important to go on a diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains, and to reduce portion sizes and therefore caloric intake.  It points out how belly fat can lead to problems such as heart disease and type II diabetes.  In terms of exercise, it suggest cardiovascular mixed with resistance training to build muscle.  

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Monday, January 9, 2017


RSV Respiratory Syncytial Virus is related to the common cold.  Most children or adults do not have serious symptoms from the virus other than those of a cold.  However there are some who are particularly vulnerable.  this includes small babies up to ten weeks, babies born prematurely, infants with lung conditions and infants whose immune system is compromised due to a medical condition.  The virus results in trouble breathing, rapids breathing, cough, refuses to breast feed, and dehydration.  If your child is very tired, breathes rapidly, or has a blue tint to lips or fingernails medical attention should be sought.  Although there is no medicine for this virus, symptoms are treated and monitored.  This may include oxygen, medicines to open the air passages, and fluids.  RSV is also highly contagious so washing hands frequently is necessary.
Picture from Kids Health

Suicide Prevention: LivingWorks

This is a pamphlet from Living Works entitles Imagine a suicide-safer community.  It then describes several training programs provided by this program:  these include: esuicideTALK, suicideTALK, safeTALK.  This program has as its objectives training people to move beyond brushing over suicide, being able to recognize those who are suicidal, and applying steps to connect people with help when they are suicidal.  The other programs are ASIST and suicideCARE

Saturday, January 7, 2017