Blogging 101: The Tenacious, Courageous Writer

WordPress has a great program called Blogging 101. Even though I’ve been blogging there is so much I can learn. I’m terribly behind. I’m having issues with some of the technical things.

Usually, I write in the morning and my cat MeMe has been very time consuming with go out, come in, feed me, not that that!, where are my special cookies?, let me out, let me in.

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So every time I sit and collect my thoughts she is having another crisis. Half of this issue will be over in a month of so when we can open the windows again and turn off the air conditioning. I can’t wait.

Barney, my almost 18 year golden retriever, is very dependable. We have a schedule and we stick to it and I know what I have to do to get him settled in. Go out in the morning, eat and hang out on the couch.

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About an hour later it’s time to poop. I get ready for work. He makes himself comfy on the couch. When I leave the both them sleep on the bed. Sometimes I come home and he is on floor because MeMe has commandeered the bed. Why? Because every cat needs a king sized bed.

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Yesterday our assignment was to go to one of classmates blogs read and comment.

This blog I really resonated with was this one.

http://dsmcknight.com/2015/08/11/the-tenacious-courageous-writer

She wrote:

“This is where courage comes in.  Whether we are blogging or working on a novel, we have to release our words, our thoughts, and ideas to the world.  We are literally exposing our inner-selves.  That is scary.  There’s no invisible shield to protect us from the scrutiny of our readers.   Unfortunately, some of those readers aren’t going to like what we have to say – and that’s okay. What’s important is our reaction.  We must refuse to be intimidated.  We must be tenacious.  Writing is our art. It is the way we express ourselves.  It is as important as the air we breathe.”

When I started to make film people would say something like “What gives you the right to do that?” An odd question. Sometimes I get the same question about my blog. Most of my friends know it’s important to me to educate people. Some will like. Some will not. Once I hit publish I’ve said my piece. It’s gone out to the universe. It’s finished. I’ve said what I needed to say and I can move on.

Thank you DS Mcknight for inspiring me.

blogging 101

blogging 101

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It’s More Than Just a Sock

Guest Blog:

It’s More Than Just a Sock

by Darcy Flierl

It’s a sleepy, over cast Saturday morning and today I will be volunteering at our local mall to spread the word about the important impact having family meals can have on your children.   My first words to my husband before my eyes even open, “Do you think if I get more tattoos on my ankle that I’m going to look really dumb when I’m 70”?

I recently decided that I was going to get a “sock” on my ankle. A “sock” which I was mistakenly calling a “Sleeve”, which would have been correct, if I were referring to my arm, is basically a tattoo that occupies the location of your socks. Throughout the years I’ve gotten a few tattoos to mark important moments in my life, with the exception of the “Stork carrying a baby” AKA “Ink Blob” located on the left side of my tummy, all my body art is on my ankle. Oh, and by the way ladies, those of you considering getting a tattoo on your stomach and wanting to one day have children, it’s NOT a good idea.

I have my 22 year old Tie Dye Butterfly that represents my favorite Grateful Dead Song.IMG_8627 I’ll never forget waking up to my mother and grandmother trying to wash it off of me in total disbelief and the comments that followed. “Darcy, only bikers and whores get tattoos!” and “ Now you will never be employable!”.   I think they were truly scared for my future and that I had possibly ruined my life. Never mind the years of skipping school, drinking, and a variety of other potentially life-altering behaviors….. that tattoo was certainly going to be the end of my potential.   Fortunately, I’ve never been one to buy into other people’s opinions or fears. A couple years later while struggling through college, before Jerry Garcia had even died, I remember looking at that tattoo and having a melt down over the fact that one day I was going to be old and wrinkled and so would my butterfly. This even happened before I had any idea the future fate of my stork!

I was traumatized enough to wait another decade before getting anymore art. It was the year after my grandmother, and step father had died, the tragic and unexpected loss of my best friends son, and the cancer that had stolen the life of a good friend , and I found myself in Thailand, processing all this loss. My favorite number was 9, and I had discovered 9 was the lucky number for Thai folks. It meant, “If you fall down, you get back up and you keep walking”. So, of course, one day after a cup of coffee and a thai massage, I was in a thai tattoo studio getting my number 9 and the word associated with it, imprinted neatly next to my butterfly.

Fast forward another decade, the day I told my daughters father I wanted a divorce……. How did I cope with the fear, the adrenaline, the anger, the sadness, the loss……………. Welcome the Otter to my ankle. IMG_8616The otter is a loving and playful mammal whom has ability basically to rip your eyeballs out with its claws. For those whom believe in spirit animals or totems, otters entice you to ask yourself if you are “having enough fun?”, they are fearless and ferocious and make excellent friends. After 11 years of feeling like a caged bird, I was ready to BE the otter!

The next year, my friend whom I had traveled Thailand with had just become certified to practice permanent make up. She brought her tools to South America on a trip in which we were both going to visit my mom. So, one night when my daughter and mom fell asleep, I convinced her to let me be her first tattoo. It’s likely I was her only tattoo.   This was my final and probably my most meaningful tattoo. It was another number, 1312, with the 3 being a Hindi “OM” symbol. “Om” for me is the sacred symbol and sound of GOD, and 1312 was the address of my childhood home. It was the home that all my childhood memories reside. It was the home that I sat next to my grandfather for weeks until he transitioned to the next place and where I did the same for my grandmother. It was the home that was going to be my daughter’s one day. It was the family home that got caught up in my divorce and cost my mother, my daughter and me more pain than just the loss of a financial investment.

Yesterday, I sat in the planning meeting for today’s big event. I was asked by a committee member, “What are you going to wear today” and half jokingly replied, “I don’t know, but I’m going to attempt to hide my tattoos”.   I realize now, my tattoos are the story of my pain and my joy and I’m not going to hide them today, or tomorrow. Fortunately, my mom and grandma were wrong about one thing, I am totally employable and on occasion, even employed. I think after volunteering today, I might even take the time to add to my story.

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Darcy Flierl is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Addictions Professional, and Certified Yoga Teacher currently offering individual and family psychotherapy in Stuart, Florida.  She also enjoys teaching in the Human Services Department as an Adjunct Instructor for Indian River State College and is Consultant for Non Profits along the Treasure Coast.

She has held board positions on for a variety of local and statewide agencies from the Department of Juvenile Justice’s State Advisory Group to CHARACTER COUNTS! and others.  Darcy has received a variety of awards for her community work such as;  Soroptimist’s Rising Star Award, the Community Champion Award from the United Way and for community advocacy from the Tobacco Free Partnership and was a 2013 Nominee as a Woman of Distinction.

Besides working to make Martin County a healthier place, she donates her time doing River Advocacy for the Indian River Lagoon and raising awareness about many issues effecting young people and families.  She treasures her time with her husband, and children attending local events and enjoying Martin County’s recreational opportunities.

For more information about Darcy you can visit her website at:  www.darcyflierl.com

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Managing caregiver stress and preventing burnout.

Managing caregiver stress and preventing burnout.

Why is managing stress so important?

http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/effects-of-stress-on-your-body

Stress that continues without relief can lead to a condition called distress — a negative stress reaction. Distress can lead to physical symptoms including headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and problems sleeping. Research suggests that stress also can bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases.

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How does stress affect the immune system?

Stress can make up ill as it affects out immune system.

http://www.apa.org/research/action/immune.aspx

“For stress of any significant duration – from a few days to a few months or years, as happens in real life – all aspects of immunity went downhill. Thus long-term or chronic stress, through too much wear and tear, can ravage the immune system.

The meta-analysis also revealed that people who are older or already sick are more prone to stress-related immune changes. For example, a 2002 study by Lyanne McGuire, PhD, of John Hopkins School of Medicine with Kiecolt-Glaser and Glaser reported that even chronic, sub-clinical mild depression may suppress an older person’s immune system. Participants in the study were in their early 70s and caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease. Those with chronic mild depression had weaker lymphocyte-T cell responses to two mitogens, which model how the body responds to viruses and bacteria. The immune response was down even 18 months later, and immunity declined with age. In line with the 2004 meta-analysis, it appeared that the key immune factor was duration, not severity, of depression. And in the case of the older caregivers, their depression and age meant a double-whammy for immunity.

Emerging evidence is tracing the pathways of the mind-body interaction. For example, as seen with the college students, chronic feelings of loneliness can help to predict health status — perhaps because lonely people have more psychological stress or experience it more intensely and that stress in turn tamps down immunity. It’s also no surprise that depression hurts immunity; it’s also linked to other physical problems such as heart disease. At the same time, depression may both reflect a lack of social support and/or cause someone to withdraw from social ties. Both can be stressful and hurt the body’s ability to fight infection.

Managing stress, especially chronic or long-term stress (even if it’s not intense), may help people to fight germs. When burdened with long-term stressors, such as caring for an elderly parent or spouse with dementia, health can benefit from conscientious stress management.

Finally, the newest findings on social stress underscore the value of good friends; even just a few close friends can help someone feel connected and stay strong. Social ties may indirectly strengthen immunity because friends – at least health-minded friends — can encourage good health behaviors such as eating, sleeping and exercising well. Good friends also help to buffer the stress of negative events.”

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Preventing and dealing  with caregiver stress.

I first want to clarify what I mean when I say “caregiver.” I’m talking about the main person who is doing the hands on care. The wife, husband, mother, father, daughter, son or other people who is the number one person caring for someone.

Lot’s of people interface with caregivers. We do as nurses. You do as friends, family and neighbors. We get to go to the house, spend an hour, do our assessment, say what we think and then leave the person behind to deal with this on their own.

My general attitude is everyone is different, every one has different coping skills and styles. It’s our job as nurses, friends, families and neighbors to be accepting and to be helpful. Everyone copes with this differently but the needs still remains the same.

The one point I always try to make is this: This will end and at the end of the day when you have to make peace with yourself and move on in your life will you being to look back and say “I did everything I could and I am at peace.” I think the best way to get to that place is not getting burnt out.

The most important thing that a caregiver can do for themselves is to make sure they leave time for themselves and do something, even if its the littlest thing, every day. Being a martyr is a sure road to burnout and feeling like your stuck in a situation.

I know it hard. Sometimes there is no one around to relieve you and you feel like this is on your shoulders. Some places have great resources and some places have next to none.

In this day and age unless you can afford it there’s not a lot of help out there and if there is the older person living by themselves they get addressed first before the person with a caregiver. (Unless the person is under Hospice)

I thought instead of just googling I’d ask my friends first what they thought. So here goes. Some of these folks are in the medical field and some are or have been the main caregivers for a family member.

This is what they had to say:

Carol said “Get help!”

I know that’s a tall order sometimes. Many people can’t afford help. The first thing you should do is call your Elder Hotline. Our number around here is 866-684-5884. There is a process and it takes a while  to this so don’t wait until you need something. Do it now so by the time you need it the information is there.

Call the local chapter of the appropriate disease and see if someone can come out and talk to you about the disease and what is available to you. Often they have respite set up and know everyone who is available.

Call your church or temple and ask if there is anyone available to help. Many times they will mention this at services and people will volunteer.

Lisa Ray said

“#1 Take care of yourself first and foremost … it may sound selfish but it is not. If you are not emotionally and physically healthy then you can’t help the other person. #2 Ask or pay for help. Don’t turn away help … accept the gift. You are not the only one that can care for your loved one. Let other family members become involved in the care. Or pay someone to help. #3 Don’t take the mean things they say and do personally. They are sick and realize they have lost much of their independence, this is an expression of that frustration #4 Join a support group… you will learn things from others & help others with your experiences. #5 This also goes along with #2 Get out of the house and have fun, stay in contact with your friends, don’t become isolated.”

Aimee Said:

For sure don’t become isolated. I broke free finally in June and took a long weekend to myself and went to Missouri and met up with some other ladies. It didn’t go over well but he survived it. Never had been away without him. I never let him play that card. He tries often but when there is something he wants to do he finds a way. Take time for yourself and do whatever it is you love to do. Meet up with friends, take that trip and take care of yourself. And try not to stress (easier said than done) about that next scan or blood test. It is what it will be and I can’t change that.”

Susan said:

“Take time for yourself. While helping with my father’s cancer and death I would get their local paper (very small town) and circle garage and estate sales.  Then I would steal away for a few hours every Friday to treasure hunt. Try to keep some of your own little routines and hobbies going during this time. It was fun to share my finds and create memories with my parents while giving me something else to focus on.”

Irene said:

You must have someone to come in to give the caretaker a break from the emotional roller coaster

Eileen said: Have a network of friends or support group to support you the caregiver.

What is caregiver burn out?

http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/heart-disease-recognizing-caregiver-burnout

“Caregiver burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude — from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned. Burnout can occur when caregivers don’t get the help they need, or if they try to do more than they are able — either physically or financially. Caregivers who are “burned out” may experience fatigue, stress, anxiety, and depression. Many caregivers also feel guilty if they spend time on themselves rather than on their ill or elderly loved ones.”

What Are the Symptoms of Caregiver Burnout?

“The symptoms of caregiver burnout are similar to the symptoms of stress and depression. They include:

  • Withdrawal from friends, family, and other loved ones
  • Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed
  • Feeling blue, irritable, hopeless, and helpless
  • Changes in appetite, weight, or both
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Getting sick more often
  • Feelings of wanting to hurt yourself or the person for whom you are caring
  • Emotional and physical exhaustion
  • Irritability

What Causes Caregiver Burnout?

Caregivers often are so busy caring for others that they tend to neglect their own emotional, physical, and spiritual health. The demands on a caregiver’s body, mind, and emotions can easily seem overwhelming, leading to fatigue and hopelessness — and, ultimately, burnout. Other factors that can lead to caregiver burnout include:

  • Role confusion: Many people are confused when thrust into the role of caregiver. It can be difficult for a person to separate her role as caregiver from her role as spouse, lover, child, friend, etc.
  • Unrealistic expectations: Many caregivers expect their involvement to have a positive effect on the health and happiness of their loved one. This may not always be realistic.
  • Lack of control: Many caregivers become frustrated by a lack of money, resources, and skills to effectively plan, manage, and organize their loved one’s care.
  • Unreasonable demands: Some caregivers place unreasonable burdens upon themselves, in part because they see providing care as their exclusive responsibility.
  • Other factors: Many caregivers cannot recognize when they are suffering burnout and eventually get to the point where they cannot function effectively. They may even become sick themselves.

I’ve heard many people say to me “She was the mother and I was the child now i’m the mother and she is the child.’ It may feel that way but it not. Your still the child taking care of your mother.

More Ways to Prevent Burnout.

  1. Find someone to talk to. There is always someone to talk to and sometimes just saying things out loud can make you feel better.  If you have a computer there are many Facebook groups that you can join and speaks to others. In this day and age if you join a local support group online you can also benefit from the other member’s knowledge of resources.
  2. Be realistic about your loved one’s disease.

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/caregiving-stress-and-burnout.htm

A list much like the the one my friends made above.

  1. Ask for help.
  2. Give yourself a break
  3. Practice Acceptance: Focus on the things you can control,find the silver lining,avoid tunnel vision.
  4. Take care of your own health: Exercise, meditate, do yoga, eat well and don’t skimp on sleep.

Cyndi Lenz is a psychiatric home health nurse in the Treasure Coast.

I’ll miss you Jon Stewart! Here is some advice for you. Don’t listen to anyone’s advice.

I’ll miss you Jon Stewart! Here is some advice for you. Don’t listen to anyone’s advice.

A long time ago in a galaxy far away when I lived Boca and my son was a teenager I got turned on to the Daily Show. At the time I was pretty addicted to C-span which I got up and watched every morning.

Every evening my son, Adam, watched the Daily Show and one night I sat down and watched and never stopped. The only good thing about Jon leaving is I’m step closer to getting rid of my cable.

http://news.yahoo.com/factbox-jon-stewart-stamped-mark-u-political-pop-160439441.html

Goodbye C-Span. Hello funny and deal able politics!

Here are some milestones of his tenure on “The Daily Show”, whose influence on American life is much larger than its small nightly TV audience.

– Stewart took over as host in January 1999

– “The Daily Show” won 18 Primetime Emmy Awards

– Stewart hosted the Oscars twice, in 2006 and 2008

– “The Daily Show” Twitter account has 3.7 million followers

– The regular TV audience for nightly broadcasts of “The Daily Show” is about 1.5 to 2 million people, or less than 1 percent of the U.S. population

– A 2004 Pew Research Center poll found that 21 percent of 18-29 year olds cited “The Daily Show” as their regular source of political news.

– Stewart helped launch the careers of Stephen Colbert, Larry Wilmore and John Oliver

– Prominent “Daily Show” guests included U.S. President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden, former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, science fiction writer Kurt Vonnegut and numerous celebrities.

– Favorite targets for satire included Fox News, Bill O’Reilly, former U.S. President George W. Bush, Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, the Tea Party, Obamacare, the 24/7 news cycle of cable TV news.

– Jon Stewart topped a July 2009 Time magazine poll as the most trusted U.S. newscaster, with 44 percent of the vote, ahead of NBC’s “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams.

– Some 200,000 people attended Stewart and Colbert’s “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., days ahead of 2010 U.S. mid-term elections.

– In 2014, Stewart released his first movie, “Rosewater,” which he wrote and directed, about the real-life detention in Iran of Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari. The movie won a Freedom of Expression award from the National Board of Review.

– Stewart, 52, hosts his last edition of “The Daily Show,” on Aug. 6 with fellow comedians Amy Schumer, Louis C.K. and Denis Leary as his guests.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Eric Walsh)

Jon is going to go live on a farm in New Jersey with his wife Tracey Stewart who just wrote a book called “Do unto Animals!”

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http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/trending/Jon-Stewart-buys-New-Jersey-farm-to-create-animal-sanctuary-post-Daily-Show.html

The couple recently bought a farm in New Jersey with the intention of providing a home for farm animals rescued from cruelty, and in November, Tracey purchased Adopt a Farm Animal sponsorships for all of their Thanksgiving guests. Even their children are living the Farm Sanctuary life, with Tracey noting that “promises of animal shelter visits in exchange for completed homework are the norm in the Stewart household.”

Stewart, of course, has long been an animal-rights advocate, with that aspect of his political identity creeping into Daily Show segments such as in his skewering of Chris Christie’s support of gestational pig crates (and in a follow-up), or the recent interview with Farm Sanctuary co-founder and president Gene Baur.

Tracey, Stewart’s wife and a Philly native, is also a prominent animal-rights supporter, with a book on the subject, Do Unto Animals, slated for an October 2015 release. She also runs magazine Moomah, which dedicated its most recent issue to living a vegan lifestyle.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/trending/Jon-Stewart-buys-New-Jersey-farm-to-create-animal-sanctuary-post-Daily-Show.html#X3kowlv0fPBW0GHZ.99

As an experienced  advocate, golden rescuer and author of the Florida all Breed Rescue Book  I offer you the following advice:
1. Don’t tell anyone where you live. There’s nothing like waking up with a dog tied to your mail box. In your case you go to get the mail and there is a pig there with note. Or someone comes to the house in the middle of your mother’s birthday party demanding you adopt one your foster’s to them.
2. Love the people that bring your their animals no matter what. Sometimes it hard. Do it. Better off with you then in some horrible situation. All the people I adopted to were always supportive of me but the one’s that I helped to place their pets without judgement always kept in touch and were always supportive.
3. Read Nathan Winograd’s “Redemption”. Know the history. There’s no one better or fairer.
4. Then go forward and create your own philosophy. No rules. You create a rule it gets broken every time.
5. Do what’s right in your heart and not other peoples. If you think politics is crazy you’ve seen nothing yet. Someday’s you’ll wish you had that desk to hide under. Other’s are filled with joy and happiness.
6. Don’t give up your vision to other people. Everyone is an expert. Don’t listen to anything but your own hearts.
I’m sure there is more but this is the big picture.
We wish you only the best!

When will our medical community step and do something about people getting sick and dying in the Indian River Lagoon

When will our medical community step and do something about people getting sick and dying in the Indian River Lagoon?

I just want to say THANK YOU to our TC Palm reporters and also to Eye on Miami for actually paying attention to this issue and being a supportive voice and advocate for our Indian River Lagoon.

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Three years ago we were talking about this. Before I even got involved in the water but doing research for a potential documentary I read reports about people going into the water and getting sick and dying. Then when we got organized and starting talking to each even more information came forward. One of our local citizens has been collecting data but there is really nothing that is out there and a part of our hospital system and health department.

Here is Robert Lord from Martin Memorial talking about our unhealthy water at our rally last year.

Our friend, Cliff Barnes suggested we called it Lagoon water born flesh rot disease after Gov. Scott.  I said “Rick Rot.” Some people said “Rick Scott Rot.”

Some one even invented this.

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(Here is the website https://www.facebook.com/PrepConsultantsPC/app_410312912374011?hc_location=ufi)

Last year this happened.

http://www.tcpalm.com/news/indian-river-lagoon-bacteria-killed-fort-pierce-man-in-2014_97423759

Bill Benton went swimming in the Indian River Lagoon on a Saturday afternoon. He was dead by Tuesday, a rare fatality from Vibrio vulnificus bacteria.

The bacteria occurs naturally throughout the lagoon year-round, but infections increase in summer, according to researchers at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce.

Benton was among seven people who died from Vibrio vulnificus in Florida in 2014. It’s unknown whether Vibrio vulnificus is to blame in the July 20 death of Port St. Lucie resident David Trudell, two days after a fin fish punctured him while fishing in the lagoon. Doctors attributed his death to the incident, but did not determine what type of bacteria it was.

Then this happened.

http://www.tcpalm.com/franchise/indian-river-lagoon/health/bacteria-from-indian-river-lagoon-fish-fin-puncture-kills-port-st-lucie-man_79674879

We all knew what it was.

“A 65-year-old Port St. Lucie man died Monday, two days after being stuck by a fish fin while fishing in the Indian River Lagoon.

David John Trudell died from a blood infection as a result of a bacteria that entered his body because of the fin prick, said Treasure Coast medical examiner Dr. Roger Mittleman.

The type of bacteria could not be determined, Mittleman said.”

Why were there no blood cultures drawn at the time?

Then it happened to one of our own River Warriors. Because our friend Gayle posted the above article our friend Barb took her husband Bruce to the ER.

She wrote this

Took Bruce to the ER yesterday for an infected left leg. He had a sore on his knee on Monday, went in the IRL on Wednesday. We took several church families out on our new catamaran and anchored off Sailfish point (near the Walgreen house). Of course they all jumped into the IRL from the deck of the boat.

Yesterday Bruce’s knee and leg was black and swollen, hot to the touch and oozing. He had a fever. He NEVER complains of pain but I forced him to the ER. GOOD thing. The doctor thinks it is a blood infection from the bacteria from the IRL water on Wednesday. We will get the culture back on Monday to see what the bacteria actually is.

Gayle Ryan’s link to the TC Palm article regarding the local man who died within two days of a fish fin puncture bringing in bacteria from the IRL into his system, probably saved Bruce’s life. I wouldn’t have taken a closer second look at Bruce’s knee had I not read her article link. The doctor lanced and drained the “volcano” the size of a grapefruit on his knee. His whole leg was swollen and hot to the touch.

Today Bruce’s leg ‘s swelling is down and it is not throbbing anymore. He is on Bactrim and Keflex. Doctor said he was so correct to come into the ER when he did, could have become so dangerous to Bruce. Thank you Gayle Ryan.”

It looked like this.

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Here’s is a great piece from our friend at Eye on Miami.

http://www.eyeonmiami.blogspot.com/2015/07/floridas-water-crisis-impacts-compound.html

“This post on Face Book should remind Miami that the current water crisis is not just one in a series of crises: it is a cumulative event where impacts are compounded. The mismanagement of fresh water resources in South Florida is mainly to benefit the big campaign contributors to state legislators and to Gov. Rick Scott. Big Sugar.

In a just world, state legislators would be made to swim in the Indian River Lagoon, then see how much they like gambling with people’s water to benefit their patrons.”

You got that right  Mista Gimleteye!

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A friend of mine asked me if I would go on the news. I said no. This is not about me. What I will say is our local Health Department and People running the hospital need to read the newspaper. Then they need to come up with a plan to alert the physicians in the area and come up with some sort of tracking system and people need to be warned before they go in the water.  I know that everyone has a lot on their plates but this is something we have to do. What if I didn’t know any of this and my grandson had a cut and I took him in the lagoon and he died?

You can check the salinity level

http://www.tcpalm.com/franchise/indian-river-lagoon/health/worried-about-vibrio-check-salinity-levels

“Water quality sensors in the lagoon and its tributaries can’t detect the deadly bacteria’s presence, but the salinity level is a good indicator of whether there’s Vibrio. The bacteria can’t live in saltwater, but thrives in stagnant, nearshore, freshwater — particularly near rainfall runoff discharges.”

Really so the millions of gallons of freshwater discharges have nothing to do with that? Really?

SFWMD and ACOE you need to be aware. After all we have begged you to fix the issue with the discharges. It comes down to one thing: Salinity of the water. So besides all the other damage that you do we can add killing people to the list.

So we know this

http://www.tcpalm.com/franchise/indian-river-lagoon/health/cuts-are-key-to-infection-by-indian-river-lagoons-deadly-bacteria_66884711

“Healthy people who boat, fish and swim in the Indian River Lagoon are not likely to get a potentially deadly bacterial infection, especially if they take certain precautions, according to a researcher conducting a premier study of Vibrio vulnificus.

It’s people with cuts and weak immune systems like the elderly, infants, alcoholics, diabetics and those with other long-term illnesses who are at most risk and need to take the threat most seriously.”

HEALTHY PEOPLE ARE NOT LIKELY TO GET AN INFECTION! NOT LIKELY.

But

“The people most likely to get it — in this order — are: lagoon fishermen, seafood processors and waders or swimmers.”

http://www.tcpalm.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-health-officials-must-improve-tracking-reporting-of-waterborne-illnesses_15574383

And the longer this vacuum persists, the greater the threat to Treasure Coast residents who swim, boat, wade, paddleboard and fish in the waterway.

“The bacteria, which is also found in estuaries like the St. Lucie and St. Sebastian rivers, occurs naturally and is not linked to pollution, Barbarite said. Quantities vary depending on climatic conditions.”

But it is connected to the Salinity of the water which also is what kills everything else like our oysters. So by forcing millions of  gallons of fresh water down the river into the lagoon the salinity is changed.

“Most likely in spots near freshwater discharges.”

“29.5 percent of cases resulted in deaths (2004-13)”

People affected: Those with Alcohol Abuse, Liver Disease, Diabetes, Heart Disease

I can’t wait to see the spin. Because just two years ago we were assured there was nothing wrong with the water.

http://www.tcpalm.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-health-officials-must-improve-tracking-reporting-of-waterborne-illnesses_15574383

“and the longer this vacuum persists, the greater the threat to Treasure Coast residents who swim, boat, wade, paddleboard and fish in the waterway.

Two recent incidents — one fatal — have ratcheted up the importance of identifying the microbial culprits, case by case, and establishing cause-and-effect relationships between exposure to tainted lagoon water and bacterial infections.”

“Health officials and health care providers need to get ahead of the issue. Given the fact doctors don’t have a protocol for testing or reporting waterborne illnesses, it’s easy to see why so many questions remain unanswered.”

It should be standard procedure for doctors to report all suspected cases of waterborne illnesses to the Florida Department of Health.

Moreover, this information needs to be collected in a database. Over time, this knowledge may reveal trends that prove beneficial in protecting lagoon aficionados and treating those who contract waterborne infections.”

http://www.floridahealth.gov/about-the-department-of-health/about-us/mission-and-vision.html

MISSION :

To protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

VISION :

To be the Healthiest State in the Nation

VALUES (ICARE) :

I nnovation: We search for creative solutions and manage resources wisely.

C ollaboration: We use teamwork to achieve common goals & solve problems.

A ccountability: We perform with integrity & respect.

R esponsiveness: We achieve our mission by serving our customers & engaging our partners.

E xcellence: We promote quality outcomes through learning & continuous performance improvement.

” Salt is the key to safe water.”  by Tyler Treadway

I’ll post the link when I can find the article. According to Gabrille Barbarite death are rare but how do we even know this if no one is reporting or logging water born illnesses?  So I would refraise  that to ” We have no earthly idea how many people have gotten sick from the Indian River Lagoon.”

“Some areas of the lagoon are safer than others.”

You can check the LOBO and Kilroy water sensors.

http://sea-birdcoastal.com/lobo

http://www.oceanrecon.org/cfiles/kilroy_manateepocket.cfm

But keep in mind salinity can change with rain or out going tide.

What do we need now?

Our local lawmakers need to all talk to our health departments and our hospitals and doctors and urgent cares and come up with some kind of reporting system.

Warnings need to be posted for people with immune system disorders, alcoholics, people with liver diseases, diabetes, heart disease , the elderly and infants etc. We have this information now. We have a duty to warn people.

Our wonderful Dr Edie Widder from Orca said in this piece that she suspects these cases have gone unreported for years. She also said she does not think that clinics and doctors are not taking the time to culture the bacteria. How hard is that? One Agar plate zoom zoom zoom done! Or a blood culture. 2 second blood draw.

The world has gone a little wild and we have seen it up close and personal this past year with our legislators. Lets not let this  happen with the people are suppose to be taking care of us. I’m sure there is a grant out there that someone can get to do what needs to be done and there are plenty of volunteers in the medical field that would be willing to help.

If we don’t speak up nothing will be done.

Where do we start? Please add your suggestions to this blog post!

Let’s make this happen.

Atrazine: It brings bad things to life!

We spent a lot of time talking about the discharges to our rivers from Lake O. We talked fertilizer. We have a fertilizer ban.

We really don’t talk about pesticides and herbicides and they are everywhere.

Invisible to us.

Today I want to talk about Atrazine.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atrazine

“Atrazine is a herbicide of the triazine class. Atrazine is used to prevent pre- and postemergence broadleaf weeds in crops such as maize (corn) and sugarcane and on turf, such as golf courses and residential lawns. It is one of the most widely used herbicides in US] and Australian agriculture.]It was banned in the European Union in 2004, when the EU found groundwater levels exceeding the limits set by regulators, and Syngenta could neither show that this could be prevented nor that these levels were safe.

As of 2001, Atrazine was the most commonly detected pesticide contaminating drinking water in the United States.Studies suggest it is an endocrine disruptor, an agent that can alter the natural hormonal system. In 2006 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had stated that under the Food Quality Protection Act “the risks associated with the pesticide residues pose a reasonable certainty of no harm”, and in 2007, the EPA said that Atrazine does not adversely affect amphibian sexual development and that no additional testing was warranted. EPA´s 2009 review concluded that “the agency’s scientific bases for its regulation of atrazine are robust and ensure prevention of exposure levels that could lead to reproductive effects in humans.” EPA started a registration review in 2013.

The EPA’s review has been criticized, and the safety of atrazine remains controversial.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16967834

Int J Occup Environ Health. 2006 Jul-Sep;12(3):260-7.

European Union bans atrazine, while the United States negotiates continued use.

Abstract

“Atrazine is a common agricultural herbicide with endocrine disruptor activity. There is evidence that it interferes with reproduction and development, and may cause cancer. Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved its continued use in October 2003, that same month the European Union (EU) announced a ban of atrazine because of ubiquitous and unpreventable water contamination. The authors reviewed regulatory procedures and government documents, and report efforts by the manufacturer of atrazine, Syngenta, to influence the U.S. atrazine assessment, by submitting flawed scientific data as evidence of no harm, and by meeting repeatedly and privately with EPA to negotiate the government’s regulatory approach. Many of the details of these negotiations continue to be withheld from the public, despite EPA regulations and federal open-government laws that require such decisions to be made in the open.”

PMID:
16967834
[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
http://www.nrdc.org/health/atrazine

Banned in the European Union and clearly linked to harm to wildlife and potentially to humans, the pesticide atrazine provides little benefit to offset its risks. In 2009, NRDC analyzed results of surface water and drinking water monitoring data for atrazine and found pervasive contamination of watersheds and drinking water systems across the Midwest and Southern United States. This May 2010 report summarizes scientific information that has emerged since the publication of our initial report and includes more recent monitoring data.

Approximately 75 percent of stream water and about 40 percent of all groundwater samples from agricultural areas tested in an extensive U.S. Geological Survey study contained atrazine. NRDC found that the U.S. EPA’s inadequate monitoring systems and weak regulations have compounded the problem, allowing levels of atrazine in watersheds and drinking water to peak at extremely high concentrations.

The most recent data confirms that atrazine continues to contaminate watersheds and drinking water. Atrazine was found in 80 percent of drinking water samples taken in 153 public water systems. All twenty watersheds sampled in 2007 and 2008 had detectable levels of atrazine, and sixteen had average concentrations above the level that has been shown to harm plants and wildlife.

Given the pesticide’s limited usefulness and the ease with which safer agricultural methods can be substituted to achieve similar results, NRDC recommends phasing out the use of atrazine, more effective atrazine monitoring, the adoption of farming techniques that can help minimize the use of atrazine and prevent it from running into waterways.”

http://www.panna.org/resources/specific-pesticides/atrazine

Atrazine in drinking water

“Atrazine is one of the most widely used herbicides in the U.S., and is found in 94% of U.S drinking water tested by the USDA — more often than any other pesticide. An estimated 7 million people were exposed to atrazine in their drinking water between 1998 and 2003.

The highest levels of contamination are in the Midwest where it is widely used on corn fields. USGS monitoring shows drinking water concentrations typically spike during the spring and early summer as rains flush the freshly applied herbicide into streams — and into local water supplies.

Data from the EPA’s Atrazine Monitoring Program show that atrazine levels in drinking water can spike above the legal limit of 3 parts per billion in some U.S. water supplies. Although the EPA bases its limit on an annual average (not seasonal peaks), the monitoring results reveal alarming levels of human exposure.”

In Florida

http://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/eco_risk/atrazine_geer03abs.html

To determine the distribution and concentration of atrazine at south Florida sites, multiple water samples were collected from several canals/ditches at each of two agricultural sites every two weeks from February through June, 2002 . Adult toads were collected from two sugarcane agricultural areas Canal Point (CP), and Belle Glade (BG) as well as from a University of Miami pond/canal (reference site with little to no atrazine use or agricultural input) during April-June 2002. Adult Bufo marinus were collected from these three sites: Canal Point (N=55), Belle Glade (N=50), and University of Miami (N=24). Body weight, length, and coloration were recorded, blood was collected, and gonads were removed and weighed. This species is sexually dimorphic, with females having a mottled appearance and males having a solid coloration. Sex was identified as follows: the presence of ovarian tissue and absence of testicular tissue = female; presence of testes and absence of developing eggs, oviduct, and ovarian tissue = normal male; and presence of testes with developing eggs or oviduct or ovarian tissue = intersex . Macroscopic identification of additional testicular anomalies included: segmented testes, abnormal shaped testis, twisted or curled testes, and multiple testes. Gonads from each individual that had testicular tissue were both macroscopically and histologically examined. Blood plasma was analyzed for phospho-lipoprotein (an indirect measure of vitellogenin) and estradiol and testosterone concentrations were analyzed using RIA procedures.

DSC_0020

Children at a water park in Belle Glade directly across from a huge sugar cane field.

DSC_0014

Playground at Pioneer Park in Belle Glade directly across from a huge sugar cane field.

Atrazine levels were highest at Canal Point during March, but were highest at Belle Glade in February. B. marinus tadpoles were potentially exposed to atrazine concentrations as high as 20ppb during development at Canal Point and 26ppb at Belle Glade during 2002. Toads collected from the nonagricultural /reference, University of Miami, site exhibited the characteristic gender-specific pattern which correlated to subsequent gonadal morphology and histology. However, all toads collected from both agricultural sites, Belle Glade and Canal Point, exhibited the distinctive female pattern, although subsequent gonadal morphology and histology demonstrated male, intersexed, and female toads. The frequency of males exhibiting “testis abnormalities” was not significantly different among sites. The frequency of intersexed animals was significantly different among sites: 39 percent and 29 percent of the individuals at the agricultural sites, Canal Point and Belle Glade. No individuals from the non-agricultural/reference site were intersexed. The types of abnormal female tissue found in association with testicular tissue varied between CP and BG. Plasma sex steroids did not differ between intersexed and normal males. However, plamsa phospholipoprotein (an indirect indicator of vitellogenin was increased in intersexed males to levels which were similar to those for vitellogenic females.

Sugar cane in Belle Glade

Sugar cane in Belle Glade across from Pioneer Park

The purpose of this preliminary study was to determine if animals found in sugarcane exhibit reproductive abnormalities similar to those seen in African Clawed Frogs exposed to atrazine in the laboratory. The incidence of testicular anomalies, other than intersex were similar across sites. However, the incidence of intersex was increased for both agricultural sites as compared to the non-agricultural/reference site. Nonetheless, Bufo marinus adults were active and breeding at all sites. Data suggests that agricultural exposure, including exposure to atrazine, may explain the differences in the percent of intersexed individuals and length of oocytes between Canal Point and Belle Glade sites. However, we can not conclude that atrazine is responsible for these abnormalities, since other agricultural chemcials are likely present at both sites. In addition, water quality analyses were not conducted for the non-agricultural/reference site (University of Miami) and exposure to atrazine at this site is unknown. The University of Miami site is expected to have low levels of atrazine, but is probably not atrazine free. Further research should be conducted to determine whether atrazine is capable of causing the effects we have documented in B. marinus under controlled laboratory conditions as well as expanded field studies of these and other sites. Nonetheless, these results indicate an increased incidence of intersex in toads exposed to agricultural contaminants. The implications of these data to future and ongoing restoration is unknown, however, a redistribution of water resources in the greater everglades ecosystem could result in additional exposures for amphibian populations in this sensitive ecosystem.

Contact: Timothy S. Gross, USGS-FISC, 7920 NW 71st St., Gainesville, FL 32653., Phone: 352-378-8181 Ext 323, FAX: 352-378-4956, Tim_s_gross@usgs.gov”

A Million people a day are exposed to Atrazine. Atrazine is used in sugar cane fields.  Read this or watch the videos and weep.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrone_Hayes

In 1997, the consulting firm EcoRisk, Inc. paid Hayes to join a panel of experts conducting studies for Novartis (later Syngenta) on the herbicide atrazine.[1][3] When Hayes’ research found unexpected toxicities for atrazine, he reported them to the panel, however the panel and company were resistant to his findings. He wanted to repeat his work to validate it but Novartis refused funding for further research; he resigned from the panel and obtained other funding to repeat the experiments.[1][3]

In 2002 Hayes published findings that he says replicate what he found while he was working for EcoRisk,[1] that developing male African clawed frogs and leopard frogs exhibited female characteristics after exposure to atrazine, first in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)[4] and then in Nature.[5][6]

In 2007, Hayes was a co-author on a paper that detailed atrazine inducing mammary and prostate cancer in laboratory rodents and highlighted atrazine as a potential cause of reproductive cancers in humans.[7] At a presentation to the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in 2007, Hayes presented results of his studies that showed chemical castration in frogs; individuals of both sexes had developed bisexual reproductive organs.

In one of the 2005 e-mails obtained by class-action lawsuit plaintiffs, the company’s communications consultants had written about plans to track Hayes’ speaking engagements and prepare audiences with Syngenta’s counterpoints to Hayes’s message on atrazine. Syngenta subsequently stated that many of the documents unsealed in the lawsuits refer to “ideas that were never implemented.”,

The Bookshelf by Darcy Flierl

Guest Blogger. Please enjoy the incredible writing of Darcy Fileri

The Bookshelf

by Darcy Flierl

Who would think a silly, made from plywood, spray black painted bookshelf, could mean so much? I’ve had it since I was 17 years old. It was given to me when I was provided my own “half a house” in our residence. I had my own bathroom, bedroom, TV room and living room furnished with a very cool papason couch and chair. I even had a private entrance.

I can see the room in my mind’s eye. The coffee and end tables, black granite and iron décored, were heavy and stable. They had been my parents at one time. My mom had acquired them while working at a furniture store, several years before I was born. She enjoyed decorating my room with a spree at Pier 1 Imports. She found this great table with a book shelf as its base and even found a bookshelf tapestry to match it. I really miss the large green hand carved fish that sat firmly on one of the granite tables. I often wonder which move I decided I know longer needed it? I have a vague recollection of a fin breaking and being glued back on and then breaking again and just giving up on it.

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