SCHOOL SHOOTINGS, IT’S COMPLICATED

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LET’S TALK ABOUT…SCHOOL SHOOTINGS—IT’S COMPLICATED!!! Another school tragedy in our neighboring town of Roseburg: 10 dead, 9 injured.
Often, when other past similar incidents are mentioned, the 1998 Thurston incident is skimmed over. This is not okay. Four of our teens died, and 25 others were injured. It is important for us to remember each and every one of those students. Did you know any of students involved?
The Mayo Clinic defines “Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. “

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The students, staff, emergency responders, and many in our community, continue to have PTSD. If you know someone that was involved in the Thurston incident, be sure to reach out to ask them how they are doing.
Incidents like this stimulate immediate passionate discussion about parenting, mental health, parenting. A transcript from an 2000 OPB Frontline “Chronology of (the shooter’s) life and events leading up to the horror of May 21-22, 1998”. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/kinkel/kip/cron.html):

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PARENTING:
Bill and Faith Kinkel appeared to be loving, vigilant parents to both their son and daughter. They appeared to be an “Ozzie and Harriet” family. Their son started acting out as early as the second grade, Bill and Faith used due diligence trying to find the bases for his behavior utilizing school systems, private mental health professionals, and the justice system. They reached out for help. They did their best as parents. They were good people; good parents.

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MENTAL HEALTH
Second grade: Parents reached out to the schools to have him tested for a learning disability; he did not qualify. “They were told that he scored above the 90th percentile on the intelligence test, and an average on the neurological screening test.”
As his behavior continues to escalate he becomes part of the juvenile system; parents take their son to a professional psychologist. The psychologist dealt with their son’s anger issues, “extreme interest in guns, knives, and explosives” and the possibility of bringing harm to himself or others. The psychologist found “no evidence of a thought disorder or psychosis”, he diagnosed him with “Major Depressive Disorder”; recommended to the family physician that the son be prescribed Prozac (he took it for three months.). After nine sessions, the psychologist and parents thought he was doing well enough to discontinue treatment. Shortly after, while watching the news about the Jonesboro school shootings on TV school monitors, a friend reported that they both said “Hey, that’s pretty cool.”

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GUNS:
The arguments include better gun control, 2nd amendment rights, and how easy it is to get firearms:
7th grade ordered some “how to build bombs” books; later gives a talk on “how to make a bomb” in speech class.
8th grade begins his secret gun collection with the purchase of “an old sawed-off shotgun from a friend”.
June 1997: Bill accompanies son to buy a 9mm Glock, using his own money.
Summer 1997: Without either parenting knowing, he buys a .22 pistol from a friend.
September 1997: Dad buys his son a .22 semiautomatic rifle.
May 19,1998: Buys a stolen .32 caliber pistol from a schoolmate.

May 20, 1998: Buys another stolen .32 caliber Beretta semiautomatic pistol, loaded with a 9 round clip.

May 22: Following the incident the police reported an arsenal of firing arms in the attic and had to detonate bombs deliberately set in the home before his parent’s bodies could be removed .

Obtaining firearms was not a problem for the 1998 young Thurston shooter.

The mental health system could not find anything seriously wrong with him that would deny his second amendment rights.

And, he came from a good family with loving, on-top-of -things parents.

School shootings are really complicated to discuss and to find a solution to stop them.

Of course, it is just my opinion.

Glad we talked.

OPINION


Springfield Times

“Ask MAx” is published weekly in the Springfield Times, Springfield, OR. You can subscribe to the Springfield Times at http://www.springfieldtimes.net/.
_________________________________________________________________________________

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This column is reprinted on the internet at HealerToday.com. You can comment on this article and make suggestions for future columns, at maxfabry@HealerToday.com.

Or, snail mail your topics to Lifestyle Changes, PO Box 1962, Eugene, OR 97440.

Lifestyle Changes

 

ASK MAx: TRENDS IN SUBSTANCE ABUSE!

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LET’S TALK ABOUT…LATEST NEWS AND TRENDS IN SUBSTANCE ABUSE!!! As a member of the National Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC) I receive a monthly newsletter keeping me updated with the latest news about addiction and recovery. It is one of the resources I consult when writing my column. Once per month I am going to update all of you with the highlights.

Regarding the OPIOID EPIDEMIC:

At a recent “Turn the Tide RX” tour, US Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, stressed that the opioid epidemic crosses all socioeconomic, religious, gender, race, and age. He identified “3 forces” that got us to this epidemic:

First, prescribing practices: “The challenge for many clinicians has been that they lack the training to treat pain effectively and the support to identify and treat addiction. In July, Murthy will be sending a letter to approximately 1.2 million opioid prescribers urging them to change their own habits;” he wants clinicians—no matter their specialty, “to be trained in treating addiction” the same way they “are taught to diagnose and treat issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure.”

“We need to recast opioid addiction as and illness.”

Secondly, difficulty getting immediate treatment: “There is a dearth of treatment facilities available, so even people who want help have a difficult time accessing it. There are 2.2 million people who have prescription opioid addiction, but treatment options are accessible to only half…What we really need to do is ensure people living with addiction they have access to treatment.”

Finally, the general perception is that people with an addiction are bad people. “We need to take away the stigma around addiction and mental health (being) a character flaw or moral defect…so people seek treatment.”

Murthy also encouraged providers to only use opioids as a “last resort” and to consider using more alternatives. Examples of “alternatives”: acupuncture, message, laughing gas, trigger-point injections, music therapy, ultrasound, energy healing, and meditation.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND SUICIDE

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An article in the “Psychiatric Times” by Mark Ilgen and Felicia Kleinberg reported “Individuals with a substance abuse disorder are almost six times as likely to report a lifetime suicide attempt than those without a substance abuse disorder….Among those with an alcohol use disorder, greater severity of recent drinking is associated with the greater likelihood of suicide attempt and suicide mortality.”

Now a 2016 research study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, indicates “alcohol dependent individuals show greater risk of suicide in evening hours. The study found that there is a circadian pattern of peak and nadir in the incidence of suicides in alcohol dependent individuals.

“Subjects who consumed heavy amounts of alcohol had a peak incidence of suicide at 9 PM, and a low around 5 PM. In contrast the peak incidence was around 12 PM for those individuals who did not drink, or drank moderately, and a low at 4 AM.

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The world of addiction and how it is being treated has finally started merging into the 21st century of medicine and behavioral health. As a professional substance abuse counselor I believe it is part of my ethics to keep the public informed of up-to-date information. I am grateful that NAADAC provides me with the information to disseminate to my readers.

Glad we talked about this. Of course, it is just my opinion.

OPINION


Springfield Times

“Ask MAx” is published weekly in the Springfield Times, Springfield, OR. You can subscribe to the Springfield Times at http://www.springfieldtimes.net/.
________________________________________________________________________

healertoday-logo-sm

This column is reprinted on the internet at HealerToday.com. You can comment on this article and make suggestions for future columns, at maxfabry@HealerToday.com.

Or, snail mail your topics to Lifestyle Changes, PO Box 1962, Eugene, OR 97440.

Lifestyle Changes

ASK MAx:RECOVERY SET BACKS!!!

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LET’S TALK ABOUT…RECOVERY SET BACKS!!! When a loved one enters a residential treatment program , families let out a deep breath and embrace the possibility of “hope” for change.

What is the expected “change” that brings them this “hope”?

Family members have said:

“At last, (they) are going to stop using.”

“I will finally get my son back.”

 

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Believing that life will normalize by completing a residential program, whether 28 days or 3 months, is false “hope”.  Actually, completing a program is just the foundation for the real work.

While in a residential program, a “safe” environment is provided that is not the same as everyday life. Residents don’t go to work, they don’t have to deal with family issues, they don’t create life outside of recovery—they are in an artificial bubble. They are being protected from reality.

The work of “recovery” begins once residential treatment is completed. “Recovery” is about “healing” all aspects of life.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) suggest that treatment programs provide tools to:

-Stop using

-Stay drug free

-Be productive in the family, at work, and in society

 

Traditional residential treatment focus on “stop using”.  NIH “Medical detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change-long term drug us.”

Woman crying at group therapy

Individualizing healing programs can be crucial. “Treatment should include both medical and mental health services…Follow-up care may include community-or family-base recovery support systems.”

 

New treatment programs include evaluation and treatment for co-occurring mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. “To be effective, treatment must address the individual’s drug use and any associated medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal problems.”

 

If healing from addiction could be accomplished by a 30 day treatment program, the rate of “relapse” would not be as high as 70% (NIDA: depending on type of addiction). An effective program will recognize that “relapse serves as a trigger for renewed intervention.”

 

Twelve Step programs are commonly recognized as a long term behavioral approach for addressing the evolution of recovery through personal experience, 1:1 support, and sheltered social activities. However, 12 steps programs do not replace professional therapies that address co-occurring mental issues, family dynamics, or life changes.

 

National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimates 7.9 million adults in the US had co-occurring disorders. “People with mental health disorders are more likely to experience an alcohol or substance use disorder.”

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Relapse is a knee jerk reaction to responding to a challenging life issue. Professional behavioral approaches provide new life tools to modify and increase life skills needed to handle stressful circumstances and environmental cues that trigger familiar addictive behaviors.

 

Examples of professional therapies include client centered approaches: cognitive-behavioral therapy, contingency management interventions/motivational incentives, community reinforcement approaches, family behavior therapies.

 

Depending on age, length and quantity of use, family support, and co-occurring disorder, the process of healing could be a year, or, ongoing throughout life. Healing from addiction is not only about discontinuing use; it is about changing thinking to live life to the fullest.

 

Family prepare: successfully completing a residential treatment program could be a red herring that creates a false “hope” reality.

Glad we talked about this. Of course, it is just my opinion.OPINION_____________________________________________________________________

healertoday-logo-smYou can comment on this article and make suggestions for future columns at HealerToday.com. Or, snail mail your topics to Lifestyle Changes, PO Box 1962, Eugene, OR 97440.

————————————————————————-

Springfield Times

Ask MAx” is published weekly in the Springfield Times, Springfield,OR. You can subscribe to the Springfield Times at http://www.springfieldtimes.net/.

———————————————————————–

            Learn more about MAx Fabry at www.LifestyleChangesCounseling.com

Lifestyle Changes

 

 

ASK MAx:THE OPIOD EPIDEMIC!!!

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LET’S TALK ABOUT…. THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC!!! In April I wrote a column about “DRUG EPIDEMIC” (040716). Many of my readers are pointing to “those addicts” on the streets responsible for the epidemic.  It would be easy to let “those addicts” take the fall for the “drug epidemic”, BUT, everyone needs to know that the epidemic includes mainstream.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “The United States is in the midst of a drug overdose epidemic….Deaths from drug overdose are up among both men and women, all races, and adults of nearly all ages.

The population of the US is in a LOT of PAIN. There is a pill for that.

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The class of drugs known as “opioids” are “pain relievers”. “Pain” can be anything from an annoying cough, to a broken limb, to the side effects of getting off “pain killers”.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) clarifies this class of highly prescribed drugs “…include hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin, oxycodone (e.g., Oxycontin, Percocet, morpine (e.g., Kadian, Avinza), codeine, and related drugs.” “Hydrocodone” products are the most commonly used for painful conditions including denal and injury-related pain; morphine before and after surgical procedures; codeine and diphenoxylate (Lomotil) for mild pain including to relieve coughs and severe diarrhea.

NIH “Overdose deaths from opioids, including prescription opioids and heroin, have nearly quadrupled since 1999. Overdoses involving opioids killed more than 28,000 people in 2014. Over half of those deaths were from prescription opioids.”

I pulled five of my recent files involving young men under the age of 25 addicted to opioids (primarily heroin). Three of the five started using opioids as a result of adolescent athletic injuries. Thanks to good family insurance, they entered a first class residential program and were able to reverse their addiction within two to three years of completing their program.

The other two cases were introduced to opioids as a result of searching for a peer group. State insurance paid for each of their “recovery” programs. Neither has ever battled their demons. Both continue to live on the streets. One recently told me that “…staying high is how I survive out there…”

CDC stats: Prescription opioid use varies according to age, gender, and ethnicity:

  • Older adults (aged 40 years and older) are more likely to use prescription opioids than adults aged 20 – 39.
  • Women are more likely to use prescription opioids than men.
  • There are no significant differences in prescription opioid use between non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks.

What do we need to do to improve the way we treat pain and to reverse this epidemic?

The CDC is recommending that Physicians:

  • Determine when to initiate or continue opioids for chronic pain.
  • Diligence with opioid selection, dosage, duration, follow-up, and discontinuation.
  • Assess risk and addressing harms of opioid use.

 

Individual recommendations:

  • Be proactive with your personal medical care, or, take an informed advocate to your medical appointments.
  • Learn alternative ways of managing and preventing pain.
  • Become informed about the origins of your pain and be willing to discuss your concerns with your provider.

 

The OPIOID EPIDEMIC is NOT limited to “those street people”…it could be you, me, our parents, our children…..

Glad we talked about this. Of course, it is just my opinion.OPINION_____________________________________________________________________

healertoday-logo-smYou can comment on this article and make suggestions for future columns at HealerToday.com. Or, snail mail your topics to Lifestyle Changes, PO Box 1962, Eugene, OR 97440.

————————————————————————-

Springfield Times

Ask MAx” is published weekly in the Springfield Times, Springfield,OR. You can subscribe to the Springfield Times at http://www.springfieldtimes.net/.

———————————————————————–

            Learn more about MAx Fabry at www.LifestyleChangesCounseling.com

Lifestyle Changes

Ask MAx: HEALTHY (SOBER) ACTIVITIES!!!!

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LET’S TALK ABOUT…HEALTHY (SOBER) ACTIVITIES!!!! Around year two for people that have lived a lifestyle of addiction and unhealthy behaviors start asking “Ok. I am not using any more. I have given up having people with addictive behaviors in my life. NOW what do I do to have fun and meet other healthy people???”

This is not a rhetorical question. People in recovery are moving from an unhealthy culture, to a totally different culture that involves healthy living, healthy friendships, and healthy habits.

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Changing from one culture to the other is equivalent to anyone of us being dropped in the Siberian Russian Far East where people only speak versions of  the Yukaghir language—no English. Because we would have to, first, learn the language, it would take us a very long time to adjust to the cultural changes.

Committing to a stressful cultural change creates a vicious cycle that could be viewed as a red flag for relapse.

Dr. Darryl Inaba, author of “Uppers, Downers, All Arounders”, “…the human hormonal stress cycle is interrupted by addiction creating uncomfortable feelings from any stress…The addicted body is unable to regulate stress or turn off the discomfort caused by stress in its normal way with its own regulatory hormone (cortisol) thus keeping the person with addictive disorder in a stressed out state.”

A “normally” functional brain, undiluted by substance abuse, seeks out things that benefit one’s life.

It would seem logical that focusing on minimizing stress during this part of a recovery process would lead to a successful healthy life transition.

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“Doug” has been a substance abuser since he was 15 years old, he is now 40 years old. After three years of working on healing his mind, body, and center from addiction and addictive behaviors, he is preparing to attend a family reunion. Here are some of the steps he took to prepare for this day:

-100% committed to change;

-reached out to find someone knowledgeable enough to guide him through the process of addiction recovery AND life transition;

-worked on changing his thinking errors by learning about the debilitating health, social, and relationship factors of substance abuse, and relearning his healthy cultural language;

-started regularly working out with the guidance of a trainer to rebuild muscle mass nearly destroyed by abusing his body over 25 years;

-worked with a nutritionist to learn to replenish the nutrients depleted by substance abuse;

-identified how and what he used to reset his center—his moral compass;

-learned stress management techniques to prevent falling backward.

 

Doug did all of this to retrain his brain to its normal function “..to seek out and continue exposure to things that benefit one’s life.”

 

Stress reduction methods that worked for Doug included:

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-learning Tai Chi to keep the body in balance;

-learning meditation to keep the mind disciplined for positive thinking;

-defined what sets his moral compass and regularly checked in with himself that he is always doing “the right thing”.

 

When Doug walked through the door for the reunion, the relatives weren’t focused on his great haircut, his fashionable clothes, or his expensive suit—they were focused on his positive energy, confidence, and healthy presence.

 

Glad we talked about this. Of course, it is just my opinion.OPINION_____________________________________________________________________

healertoday-logo-smYou can comment on this article and make suggestions for future columns at HealerToday.com. Or, snail mail your topics to Lifestyle Changes, PO Box 1962, Eugene, OR 97440.

————————————————————————-

Springfield Times

Ask MAx” is published weekly in the Springfield Times, Springfield,OR. You can subscribe to the Springfield Times at http://www.springfieldtimes.net/.

———————————————————————–

            Learn more about MAx Fabry at www.LifestyleChangesCounseling.com

Lifestyle Changes

 

 

Ask Max :ATHLETES AND ABUSE OF DRUGS

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LET’S TALK ABOUT…ATHLETES AND ABUSE OF DRUGS!!! I have a close family member that was part of the US Gymnastics Olympic Team by time he was thirteen years old. That was about the same age that he started using heroin to “manage (his) pain”.  For the next 25 years, gymnastics, dreams of becoming an Olympic winner, and being a successful healthy adult went by the wayside as his heroin addiction took over his entire life.

In my private practice when a client in his twenties comes in addicted to drugs, I ask “Did you play sports in school?” If followed by “Yes”, I sit quietly listening to their young sports careers being side swiped by the search for pain relief following sports injuries that required a physician’s care—including opioid pain medications.

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Athletes are part of the OPIOID EPEDEMIC–starting from childhood through professional sports.

Michael Phelps, eight-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer, prescription drugs;

Darryl Strawberry, four-time World Series baseball champion, cocaine and alcohol use;

Andre Agassi, tennis’ eight-time slam winner, abuse of crystal meth

Todd Marinovich, high school football “Robo quarterback”/professional dreams shattered by abuse of cocaine and heroin;

Theo Fleury, Rangers hockey great, risked it all for battled cocaine abuse,

Lamar Odem, Lakers two-time basketball championship winner, almost died from a drug overdose in 2015.

The point is: SPORTS ADDS TO THE OPIOID EPEDEMIC!

There is a poignant story in the June 22, 2015, “Sports Illustrated” magazine documenting the story of young HAC-zRoman2 starting with his Little League career through his professional  dream years, ending with the tragedy of increased drug abuse through it all. A read for all parents encouraging sports without life skills.

There are several reasons children are encouraged to get involved early in sports. Among the reasons:

 

  1. “Healthy” recreation; being in the “popular” crowd;
  2. Parents living vicariously through their children;
  3. It is a way out of poverty.

The problem is, these young people are subjected to the abusive physicalness of sports, but, lack the mental preparedness to cope with the stresses that come with the commitment.

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A five year old, garbed in a uniform that outweighs him, struggles to get his little body, in the big suit, to the “line up”. Three other little people land on him. Coach starts yelling “Get up! Get up! Let’s go!” The little guy gets up, walks to his dad on the sideline and says “I don’t want to do this!” His dad responds “Suck it up. Go on, get back out there!” The little guy, not wanting to disappoint dad, returns to allowing his body to be abused.

More than likely, this scenario ends with a young man already suffering physical distress and using drugs and/or alcohol to relieve his pain. BUT, dad is still gloating about his son who started to play as a “little guy” now being considered for the pros.

Sports are, in fact, provides good lessons toward being a successful adult. The important factor often overlooked is teaching children how to take care of their bodies, and, to allow them to express their limits.

Let’s, as a society, look more closely at how sports are adding to the OPIOID EPIDEMIC, and how we can create both successful sports and healthy athletes.

Glad we talked about this. Of course, it is just my opinion.OPINION_____________________________________________________________________

healertoday-logo-smYou can comment on this article and make suggestions for future columns at HealerToday.com. Or, snail mail your topics to Lifestyle Changes, PO Box 1962, Eugene, OR 97440.

————————————————————————-

Springfield Times

Ask MAx” is published weekly in the Springfield Times, Springfield,OR. You can subscribe to the Springfield Times at http://www.springfieldtimes.net/.

———————————————————————–

            Learn more about MAx Fabry at www.LifestyleChangesCounseling.com

Lifestyle Changes

 

 

STAYING HEALTHY THROUGH THE SUMMER!!!

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LET’S TALK ABOUT…STAYING HEALTHY THROUGH THE SUMMER!!! When I was 14 years old, against my parents’ wishes, I went with my “boyfriend” to Atlantic City for the day. Even though it was very hot that day, the sun was hidden behind a dense fog that hugged the shore line. I was too naïve to understand that this scenario would ruin my entire summer because of “sun poisoning” on 80% of my body that put me in the hospital for five days, forced me to stay out of the sun for the rest of the summer, and lost the respect of my mom and dad for wearing a “two piece bathing suit” that allowed the widespread exposure.

 

For many, summer is the time to escape work, travel, and make wonderful memories with our family and friends. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers these valuable tips to stay healthy this summer:

“-The SUN’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. The hours between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Daylight Saving Time are the most hazardous for UV exposure outdoors in the continental United States.

CDC recommends easy options for protection from UV radiation—

Be sure to choose and apply your sunscreen wisely:

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– Apply a thick layer on all parts of exposed skin using a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15 before you go outside, even on slightly cloudy or cool days.

-Sunscreen wears off; reapply if you stay out in the sun for more than two hours and after swimming, sweating, or toweling off.

Check the sunscreen’s expiration date; it has a shelf life of no more than three years, but shorter if it has been exposed to high temperatures.

 

Avoid heat stroke and other sun related illnesses by monitoring your body temperature.

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“Muscle cramping might be the first sign of heat-related illness, and may lead to heat exhaustion or stroke. Here is how you can recognize heat exhaustion and heat stroke:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Weakness
  • Cold, pale, and clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting

Don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1 or other medical help for advice.

Cold water being poured into a glass.

Whether the sun is shining, or not, the simplest and best prevention tool to have on hand to stay healthy is WATER!! Approximately 60% of the body is water; every part of the body, including the brain, needs adequate hydration to optimally function.

-75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated even without being in the sun;

-Even MILD dehydration will slow down one’s metabolism as much as 3%;

-A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory;

-The average adult usually require 8 to 12 8-ounce glasses of water per day.

 

Wish I had known at 14 years old that lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue-makes it easy to fall asleep in the sun!

 

Glad we talked about this. Of course, it is just my opinion.OPINION_____________________________________________________________________

healertoday-logo-smYou can comment on this article and make suggestions for future columns at HealerToday.com. Or, snail mail your topics to Lifestyle Changes, PO Box 1962, Eugene, OR 97440.

————————————————————————-

Springfield Times

Ask MAx” is published weekly in the Springfield Times, Springfield,OR. You can subscribe to the Springfield Times at http://www.springfieldtimes.net/.

———————————————————————–

            Learn more about MAx Fabry at www.LifestyleChangesCounseling.com

Lifestyle Changes

 

 

 

 

ASK MAX: PET IMPORTANCE

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LET’S TALK ABOUT…PET IMPORTANCE!!!! I recently received an invitation to a “Pet Shower”. Really?

Yes, my friend is getting a brand new puppy, due to be weaned away from its mother in July. One of her other friends is hosting a shower to welcome the little pup to its new home and mother.

I understand my friend is now of that age where she has given up on having children and realizes, as all of us that know and love her, clearly understand that her dogs are her children.

There was a time in our history that owning a pet was considered a luxury—keeping an animal just for companionship was for the wealthy. For the common class, animals were usually practical: cats to catch mice; dogs to herd livestock, hunting, or outside watchdogs.

Red/Golden English Cocker Spaniel, 5 months old

When I moved from Southern California to Smokey Mountains, North Carolina, I arrived with my beautifully bred, very expensive, red cocker spaniel, Cognac. We were the talk of the mountain because we actually kept our dog inside! And, “..who names their dog “Cognac?!”  (If you read that with a Southern draw it is funnier.) That was in the 1980’s.

According to LiveScience.com, “Americans are crazy about their pets and the obsession is at an all-time high…two-thirds of households have at least one pet, and they’re considered treasured family members.”

Post World War II brought the suburbs, which made room to keep animals, AND, provided markets for many new trendy businesses: veterinarians with expensive surgeries, pet cemeteries, doggy daycares, organic pet food, fashions for every occasion and weather. Today, Hallmark even makes cards for pets and companies allow pets to work.

Why do people want pets? The number one reason is simply for companionship.

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Web.md reports that pets are good for our health:

  1. A healthier heart
  2. Stress soothers
  3. Social magnets
  4. Better mood, more meaning
  5. Benefits for baby’s immune systems
  6. Social Support for Autistic Children

I understand my friend will be registering at various places: PetSmart, Target, Macy’s. She said that she would really like to have a bed for her new one. Of course, there are plenty of online pet stores to choose a gift. Along with the usuals: amazon.com, petsmart.com, google.com, don’t forget:

            -barkpost.com offers “30 Gifts for People Who Love Dogs More Than Humans

-pinterest.com has “Gifts for their pets and their owners

-dodoburd.com wants you to choose from “51 Pawsome Gifts for Dogs & Dog Lovers

 

Barkbox.com offers “Special BarkBoxes with all-natural treats and super fun toys — paw-picked around a new theme each month!” Starting at $35 for one month to $249 for 12 months—this might be the perfect gift for a gloating grandma.

 

Oh, here is a good gift to consider from fireflies.com: matching pajamas for the entire family, including your pet. Hmmm.

 

I am not allowed to have a pet where I live. If I could have a pet, I might consider a Vietnamese Miniature Potbellied pig; I would name her “Nicole”, buy little dresses for her, attach bows to her ears, and take her to my friend’s dog shower which is going to be a bar-b-cue.

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Glad we talked about this. Of course, it is just my opinion.

OPINION


Springfield Times

“Ask MAx” is published weekly in the Springfield Times, Springfield, OR. You can subscribe to the Springfield Times at http://www.springfieldtimes.net/.
________________________________________________________________________

healertoday-logo-sm

This column is reprinted on the internet at HealerToday.com. You can comment on this article and make suggestions for future columns, at maxfabry@HealerToday.com.

Or, snail mail your topics to Lifestyle Changes, PO Box 1962, Eugene, OR 97440.

Lifestyle Changes