Category Archives: Health

Mind, body, spirit, soul, whatever relates to the body and our overall wellbeing.

Alegria Shoes – Plantar Fasciitis Relief at Alderman Farms

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MyUTube912 A Home for my Many Hats

Introducing my official YouTube channel, MyUTube912-A Home for my Many Hats. I have had a YouTube channel for quite some time. My videos have always been personal like sharing how I was doing with a weight loss goal or something to that effect. Now, I am taking this many steps further. I help people in so many ways, and this will actually help me keep everything in its place.

Let me tell you what you can expect from my channel.

1. Margie’s Cottage Kitchen – videos regarding the Cottage Food business, tutorials, feedback from questions or requests posted under the ‘Discussion’ link

2. How To – Videos that teach viewers how to do a wide variety of things. It could be anything from setting up a YouTube account to how to use a product recently purchased.

3. Baby love – funny videos of my baby as he does all those cute things that babies do.

4. Encouragement/Support – videos that will encourage people, support a noble cause, speak against injustice, send a message to public leaders, etc.

I will be using my YouTube channel to do “good,” and would love to have your support. Please click through to my channel, watch the trailer, and “Subscribe” to my channel. Thank you so much!!!

Kitchen Explosion

Now I have your attention! Yes, my kitchen has experienced an explosion of my interest. When I was in the workplace full-time, I was out of the kitchen full-time. If you read my last article, you know that I am home full-time now (read the article for details on why). To my husband’s delight, I have a new found love for my kitchen. Yes, it’s a bit too small, but as long as I’m the only one in it, it’s just fine for me. Get in my way though, and I lose interest because of bumping into each other at every turn.

So what has gotten my attention and brought such love into my kitchen, great food and being home full-time with my son ! Of course there are several things that brought me around to that realization…the discussion of DIY items with my friend (which made me think of making my own bread, butter, jelly and more), the successful attempt at making a pound cake from scratch

My cake–from scratch! ๐Ÿ™‚

(Taste of Home, Million Dollar Pound Cake), the purchase of a couple of All-Clad pans at a bargain price, and being introduced to Cook’s Illustrated magazine and America’s Test Kitchen videos on YouTube. Yes, that’s a lot I know, but one led to another. In a matter of days, this had all happened. It all started from that one conversation with my friend. It’s amazing what contemplation will do.

I have since baked another pound cake (same type) for a church function, and made indoor pulled pork by following a Cook’s Illustrated recipe. Can you say, AWESOME. I realized if I continue on this path, there will be a weight gain issue in our home. I was fortunate to find that Cook’s has a healthy recipes cookbook. They take many of the same recipes and work through them to make recipes that result in the same taste but with fewer calories and fat. That is a win, win in my opinion!! I was excited to learn that I can still love cooking without having to give up truly good food, using tried and true recipes, and participating in the fun of cooking led by America’s Test Kitchen. I’m so excited!!

So what’s exploding at your house?

Scammed, Exploited & Bled Dry

I work with an elderly and/or disabled population. I grow more and more frustrated with our government’s tolerance of scams every day. The position that I have isn’t available to everyone. I work with 70 clients. The rural area in which I live has a large elderly population, so what about the others? Who helps them? I know what the answer SHOULD be–their family, but do we really see that anymore?

I want to share with you what I do, so you can know what things you can do for those who are elderly or are in a fragile state either mentally, physically, emotionally, etc. I also am going to list my top frustrations, so you can watch out for them for those in your life.

What do I do? I am a service coordinator.

What is a service coordinator? A service coordinator is someone who works with a specific population (generally low-income–mine are elderly and/or disabled) to assist them in gaining access to programs that may assist them in staying in their apartment for as long as they can safely do so alone or with assistance. The goal–to increase self-sufficiency and independence avoiding the need to go to a nursing facility.

Where do you find service coordinators? Well, we may be called different things in different locations, but mostly, you will find us in HUD subsidized, low-income housing apartment complexes; however, some locations have independent social workers who provide the same type of services as well–this is not typical.

Who benefits from such a program? Everyone. First of course, the client benefits from having someone who is able to assist them with identifying programs to help their very limited income to stretch, helps advocate for them if their family is not involved, and helps to fight off those who attempt to exploit them, which is a growing problem. Next, nursing facilities benefit. Nursing home facilities are beyond capacity which puts a strain not only on that system, but also on tax payers who assist in keeping many of them open. Finally, tax payers benefit from my position. In helping the resident remain self-sufficient and independent in their home, it helps to alleviate those stresses to the nursing facility, and we benefit in a reduction of tax dollars spent to house those who do not have a place to live and place pressure on hospitals and other medical providers.

Top frustrations. My top frustrations leave me asking the question, how do elderly or otherwise fragile people protect themselves from such things without immediate family assistance or someone who does the same type of work I do? I’m afraid the answer to that question is that they get exploited, abused, and scammed with government officials turning their head.

1. My all time frustration is automated phone systems that are so complicated to use that even someone with an advanced degree has to sit down and think their way through navigating the system. Now, once someone has reached a point where they don’t comprehend as quickly as they used to, using an automated phone system becomes an impossible task. I have had my clients sitting in my office with me after trying this on their own, and I call to sit laughing hysterically (in a crazy way not a funny way) at the result of our “following instructions.”

My all time favorite was the Georgia Department of Labor whose system had gone LOCO. Literally, they would respond in Spanish when I would spell an English name and choose English as our option. This is the kicker. THERE’S NO OTHER OPTION! You can’t speak to a representative, so what? You’re just not able to handle your business. This call took over an hour to make an address change or request a verification of income. To me, that is just ridiculous.

The IRS, oh you have to love them. I waited 45 minutes, no exaggeration, to speak with someone regarding a client’s account. While we were speaking, the call disconnected. I called back and had to wait ANOTHER 45 MINUTES! Once I received another operator, I asked if I could give them my phone number in the event we were disconnected again. Their answer? No, I would have to just call back. Guess what, the call was terminated AGAIN! We ended up just waiting for the IRS to send a written notice. Needless to say, I was a very angered taxpayer that day, AND my client felt their concern had not been resolved (indeed it had not been). I thought phone systems were supposed to make doing business…easier. (yeah…for who)

2. My next biggest frustration is legalese. When someone applies for a service like social security for example, why can’t they just get a letter than says, Congratulations, you got social security, or you did not get social security? Instead they get a multiple pages of legal speak. Blah, blah, blah…”I think it says you didn’t get social security, and if you want to appeal their response call this number (then see #1 of this frustration list).”

Medicaid works the same way. Lots of blah, blah, blah and the result is the client is completely confused and calls to ask their Medicaid worker what the document actually says. This is a great idea except for the fact that they seldom EVER answer their phone (except for one super great one here in my area–Buff–you know who you are). So what do they do? They can’t understand it. It’s literally like reading another language. Why can’t we tell lawyers that they need to write in plain English, and why can’t we get a “Press 1 for plain English” or “Press 2 if you’re a lawyer and prefer Klingon?” I have had clients in my office, crying, fearful they will lose their medical benefits when in reality, the document was actually good news. THAT’S JUST A SHAME! Why not hire a focus group to help you develop a plain, English form to use?! And before anyone starts writing me about people using Medicaid that shouldn’t, most of the people that I work with or am referring to with this post are people who need the assistance, AND Medicaid is a program you will be glad is around if you ever find yourself disabled.

3. My next frustration, SCAMMERS. I despise scammers. To me, you’re a pretty low, excuse for a human if you have to con someone who is elderly, fragile, or unable to defend themselves against you. Now, there are the jerks out there who pretend to be Medicare and make their documents look just like Medicare to get the client to sign up for some type of medical plan that they don’t need, could terminate their Medicare, or just charge Medicare for supplies the client doesn’t really need (this is fraudulent on the company’s behalf), but because the form appears important claiming they need to “respond by X date or you’ll lose this benefit,” the client follows the instructions for fear they will lose their medical coverage. This type of scam will impact Medicare as a whole (including future recipients because it drains the system).

Then there are the mega-jerks who are huge, companies like phone companies, cable companies, etc, who KNOW that they can sign someone up for maximum services without them saying anything about it because they think they HAVE to have it that way. Yes, those are the ones I end up on the phone with, door closed, vocal volume increased, and blood pressure elevated, saying, THIS SURE LOOKS LIKE YOU’RE TRYING TO SCAM SOMEONE TO ME! “Oh no, it’s not a scam. They said, ‘yes’ we have it recorded.” DEEP BREATH. My next question, “Are you recording THIS call for quality assurance?” “Yes, we are.” “Excellent, because if you don’t remove all of these unnecessary items from my client’s account, I will be in contact with CNN, NBC, ABC, FOX and everyone in between not to mention I will wage a personal social media campaign against you stating that you take advantage of those who are easy to exploit!” “Ma’am, we’ll be happy to take care of whatever the problem is and even roll back the charges.”

The Cold Hard Facts

Well reader, this is all well and fine, but when I hang up with this company, I have helped one person. One starfish. And yes, it made a difference to THAT ONE, but what about all of the others? What about your grandparents? Have you seen their phone bill? Are you sure they aren’t paying $60-70/mo, when they seldom EVER make a phone call? Are you sure they aren’t signed up for unlimited long distance when everyone lives on the same block or they never make a long distance call?

Are you sure they aren’t paying for internet service when they don’t even have a computer, and couldn’t turn one on if they did have one? If they do have internet and use the service, are you sure they are signed up for a level that is appropriate for them and not some super-server that needs mega download and upload speeds? What about cable? Do they watch the weather channel 24/7 and pay for full cable when they could save a lot of money signed up for only basic cable?

The Corporate Benefit

I know it doesn’t seem like much, but do you realize that over the course of a year, these types of overages can end up equaling over $1,000 or more dollars a year and that is a conservative number. For most low-income, that is more than they get in a month and in some cases, two months. Multiply that by the MILLIONS of elderly/disabled using the service. Calculating just 1 million elderly, that could add up to be over a billion dollars in overages–CONSERVATIVELY–because we know there are more than a million people who fight with this internationally.

This list can go on and on with every company they pay money to. Everyone needs someone who cares enough about them to say, “Hey, have you checked your bill lately to see if you have only the services you need? Or have you spoken with the company to see if they’ve reduced the cost of your plan–because they won’t tell you they did. You have to call them and ask for them to review it.”

Buyer Beware?

I’m all for capitalism, but I take issue with the “buyer beware” type mentality. Why can’t we be a society that says, “This is the service we provide. Let us ask you some questions to see what you need and no more.” Why do we have to be a people of leeches, sucking people dry just because they let us. To me, that is injustice. Now, I personally am able to look over my account and notice these things, but there are people who just don’t think the same way I do (and one day, my abilities may waiver). It’s not that they aren’t just as intelligent. It’s that they just don’t see things as obviously. Why should they be taken advantage of for that reason?

I save my clients money all the time by reviewing their bills and making suggestions for how they can save money. The population that I am speaking of will generally be living on less than $1,000/month. A lot of them will only get $697/month. Look at your mortgage. Now look back at their monthly living amount. I’m not asking for programs here. I’m asking for our legislators to give these people a chance to actually live on what they make. Ignoring these frustrations cause people to be confused and accept more service than they actually need. They might not need nearly as many programs if leeches wouldn’t bleed them dry.

What you can do

Have a family discussion about this topic. It’s good for everyone to be reminded to review their bills. Call your grandparents or those in your family who may have problems that would limit their ability to defend themselves against such tactics. CARE FOR THEM because the companies they owe money to most likely WON’T.

A Nerd’s Celebration

ImageThere is only one thing a nerd loves better than learning–learning for FREE. As an absolute, total nerd myself, I can tell you that learning about this website totally got me excited!!

“A free world-class education for anyone anywhere. The Khan Academy is an organization on a mission. We’re a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere.

All of the site’s resources are available to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology. The Khan Academy’s materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge.” – from Khan Academy website>About Us

Wow, you should see all of the topics they have to choose from. I now know what I can do with any “extra” time that I have. haha, extra time….funny.

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Wives Tales: Part 2 The Verdict

21 Weeks Gestation

In a previous post, I shared with you that friends of mine performed a “wives tale” gender test on me. This is the test that includes a needle on a string, and if the needle moves in a circle, it’s a girl. If the needle moves back and forth, it’s a boy. Their test predicted I was having a girl, while a former Army Ranger instinctively predicted a boy (and had not been wrong in at least 6 years).

Well, I went this past Friday for what is call the “Anatomy Sonogram.” This is when the ultrasound tech will identify all the body parts and check blood flow, count fingers and toes, etc. Our child wasn’t being shy at all apparently because as soon as she received the first image, she shared that we were having a boy. I was glad there was no hiding or guessing. It was obvious and clear according to her trained eye (as mine had NO idea what she was looking at without the little arrow. Hopefully, he’ll outgrow the need for thatย  arrow.)

21 Weeks Gestation

 

Also, as a follow up to the Googling post about Hertz (more specifically Carl Hertz), I thought I would update the sonogram photos to show the progression in growth since the last photo which was at 13 weeks gestation. The top left photo shows the profile of our son. It’s clear to see the eyes, nose and mouth. I am so proud! ๐Ÿ™‚

Next to the right, we have a 3D image of our child with his right hand up by his face, his legs are pulled up in front of him and his left hand on the far side. In one version of this photo, it appears he may have been sucking his thumb, while this photo doesn’t show that as clearly. This is more than a mother merely showing excitement about an expectant child. The excitement that I feel is also about the advancement of science and technology that permits us to even see these images. How wonderful is that?! As a country, we do need to continue to focus on the areas of math, science and technology. Who knows what future images could produce.

Ultrasound conducted at Women’s Health Group of Brunswick, GA.

Old Wives’ Tales: Do you believe them?

Tonight was an interesting night at our small group Bible study. After Bible study, the ladies in the group wanted to take guesses at what the gender of my baby is (we’re supposed to find out March 2 for sure).

Initially, some ladies were saying, “it’s a boy.” All of the guys said it is a boy, but maybe that’s just a “guy thing” (although one claims to have never been wrong in like 6 years).

But next comes the strange part–a needle. Yes, a metal needle on a string. Hesitantly, I submitted to these ladies’ “scientific” testing ;). It’s a girl one would shout, then, NO IT’S A BOY. More than not the needle indicated by circling round and round that the baby is a girl. They did a control test with a non-pregnant person to confirm that the needle remained still.

So what do I know now? That it could be a boy or a girl. ๐Ÿ™‚ I guess we will find out on Friday which team wins.

So what are your thoughts? Do you believe the wives’ tales?

Don’t Ignore Your Heart! Take Care of You!!

Leading Causes of Death in Women (2008)

Of the women who died in 2008, one in four women dies from heart disease. It’s the #1 killer of women, regardless of race or ethnicity. It also strikes at younger ages than most people think, and the risk rises in middle age.

Number of Deaths* – Heart Disease, 305,630
Number of Deaths* – Stroke, 80,620
Number of Deaths* – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, 71,760
Number of Deaths* – Lung Cancer, 70,070
Number of Deaths* – Breast Cancer, 40,590
Number of Deaths* – Diabetes, 35,210

Click here to learn how to Lower Your Heart Disease Risk

To learn more, visit www.hearttruth.gov

Numbers of deaths are based off the most recent data available and rounded to the nearest tenth.
*National Center for Health Statistics
Unpublished NHLBI tabulation of 2008 mortality data.

ยฎ The Heart Truth, its logo and The Red Dress are registered trademarks of HHS.

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