Popular Posts

Sunday, September 26, 2010

With euthanasia, ‘choice’ is a lie

With euthanasia and assisted suicide, the proponents of “choice” are rather naïve.

A favourite of euthanasia proponents is the autonomy/choice argument. When not used as mere buzz words, autonomy and choice are truly signs of the rational spark that differentiates us from our pet birds and rabbits. Yet though autonomous, no man is an island.

As part of the universal human family, both the way we choose to live and the way we die does have an impact on others. This is never truer than in the case of suicide… Across the globe, the suicidal jump off bridges every day. And from erection of safety barriers to provision of emergency hotlines, every effort is made to stop them.

To read more, click on the title above......

Friday, September 24, 2010

Featured Condtion/Disease: Epilepsy

We are featuring a childhood/infant disease or condition informational post every other Friday.  Today's topic is Epilesy.


Epilepsy is a condition of the brain that makes children have recurring seizures. A seizure is caused by a sudden change in the brain's normal electrical activity (similar to the way the lights flickering in a house because power lines are shaken during a storm). The brain uses electricity, too, and can be interrupted briefly.
Seizures can look very different. Some children have just one type of seizure, others more than one type. Some ways a seizure can affect a child:
  • Causing a short time during which the child can't use one of the senses (ability to taste, feel, see, hear or smell).
  • Causing a child to go unconscious for a short time or just sit staring into space for a time.
  • Causing convulsions.
While seizures are a part of having epilepsy, having a single seizure doesn't mean a person has epilepsy. High fevers can trigger seizures that go away when a child's temperature goes down.
Epilepsy is not a mental disorder. Nor does epilepsy generally worsen with time. Sometimes epilepsy goes away after several years. Despite most often being a chronic condition, children can live normal lives with the help of anticonvulsant medications (anti-seizure drugs).


Seizures are the main sign of epilepsy. A child with a seizure might:
  • Seem to be daydreaming or not paying attention.
  • Suddenly stop while talking or doing something and stare with a blank face, followed by rolling eyes and fluttering eyelids.
  • Suddenly go stiff (especially the arms and legs).
  • Make a crying sound.
  • Have increased saliva (drooling).
  • Shake a leg/arm or whole body repeatedly, with or without blacking out.
  • In extreme cases stop breathing.
After the seizure your child may have many different reactions:
  • May feel sleepy and confused, or upset.
  • Have a headache.
  • Feel sick to stomach (nausea) or throw up (vomit).
  • May slur speech or be hard to understand for a little while.
More Information

To get more information about Epilepsy, click here.

*Most of the information provided here is from the Teach More/Love More site, click here to visit their site.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Low Vision & National White Cane Awareness Days

The Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind is hosting two events in the upcoming month:
Low Vision Awareness Day
October 5, 2010 (Tues.) from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Seventh Day Adventist Church
7333 Dairy Road
Zephyrhills, FL
(Gall Blvd. and Pretty Pond Road)

This event is open to persons who have experienced vision loss, their families and friends, and to organizations wanting to learn more about how to help clients with low vision gain and maintain independence.


National White Cane Awareness Day
October 15, 2010 (Fri.) from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Delta Woods Park
3400 Deltona Blvd.
Spring Hill, FL
(US 19 and Forest Oaks Blvd.)

Activities include a walk in the park, free picnic, games and more!
White Cane Awareness Day is held annually to educate drivers and to keep walkers with visual impairments safe. It is open to the public and everyone is invited!

The Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind is a non-profit organization that provides vision habilitation and rehabilitation and adjustment to blindness services to people of all ages who have experienced vision impairment. Their mission is to provide blind and visually impaired persons with the skills needed to achieve their maximum independence through independent living classes, orientation and mobility training, job readiness training, Braille, and adaptive computer training. Lighthouse services are provided at no cost to clients and their families.

Further links provided by the Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

ADHD & Pesticides Connection?

Protecting Children from Pesticides

A study in the journal Pediatrics associates the potential of exposure to pesticides with cases of ADHD in the U.S. and Canada. An estimated 4.5 million children ages 5 to 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD in the US alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Research indicates that exposure to pesticides used on foods such as frozen blueberries, fresh strawberries and celery, appears to be a potential contributor in increasing the chances that children will be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.

In the ADHD study led by Maryse Bouchard, researchers at the University of Montreal and Harvard University studied the levels of pesticide residue in the urine of more than 1,139 children ages 8 to 15, 119 of whom were diagnosed with ADHD. The children with highest levels of diakyl phosphates, the breakdown products of organophosphate pesticides, were 93 percent more likely to have the disorder than those with undetectable levels. The exact causes of ADHD are still unknown. Bouchard stressed that while her analysis is the first to peg pesticides as a potential contributor to ADHD, the study proves only an association and not a direct causal link.

Developing Healthy Habits

Washing fresh produce before eating is a healthy habit. You can reduce and often eliminate residues if they are present on fresh fruits and vegetables by following these simple tips:

    * Wash produce with large amounts of cold or warm tap water, and scrub with a brush when appropriate; Either use a vegetable brush or clean cloth to scrub firmer produce like melons and cucumbers.

    * Some people swear by vinegar, and use one part vinegar to three parts water. This is great for removing bacteria, and may help break down wax, too.

    * There are many commercial fruit cleaners available on the market, some of which are made up of 100% natural produce – normally some form of citric acid. These claim to remove wax, pesticides and 99.9% of bacteria (including e.coli, salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, etc). If you avoid the ammonia-based products, and opt for these natural ones, they are safe, leave no smell or taste.

    * Remember to use a dry clean cloth or towel on your produce after to remove further pesticides.

    * Peeling fruits and vegetables is often the best way to substantially reduce the pesticide load, especially from apples, which are the most contaminated of all the fruits and vegetables. Pears, nectarines and peaches can also be peeled, as can many vegetables.

    * Throw away the outer leaves of leafy vegetables such as lettuce and cabbage.

    * The best way to avoid pesticides and herbicides in our food supply is to buy organically grown food.

- Shielding kids from pesticides: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- The 12 most contaminated foods : The Dirty Dozen 

* * *

Friday, September 10, 2010

Featured Condtion/Disease: Jaundice

We are featuring a childhood/infant disease or condition informational post every other Friday.  Today's topic is Jaundice.


Jaundice is the yellow color seen in the skin of many newborns. It happens when a chemical called bilirubin builds up in the baby’s blood. Jaundice can occur in babies of any race or ethnicity, regardless of skin color. Low levels of bilirubin are not a problem, but a few babies have too much jaundice. If not treated, high levels of bilirubin can cause brain damage and a life-long condition called kernicterus. Yet, early detection and management of jaundice can prevent kernicterus. At a minimum, babies should be assessed for jaundice every 8 to 12 hours in the first 48 hours of life and again before 5 days of age.


Ask your pediatrician to see your baby the day you call, if your baby
  • Is very yellow or orange (skin color changes start from the head and spread to the toes)
  • Is hard to wake up or will not sleep at all
  • Is not breastfeeding or sucking from a bottle well
  • Is very fussy
  • Does not have enough wet or dirty diapers

Get emergency medical help if your baby
  • Is crying inconsolably or with a high pitchIs arched like a bow (the head or neck and heels are bent backward and the body forward)
  • Has a stiff, limp, or floppy body
  • Has strange eye movements
More Information

To get more information about Jaundice, go here.

*Most of the information provided here is from the CDC site, click here to visit their site.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Medicaid Area Offices Accommodate Hearing Impaired

Medicaid Offices for Hearing-Impaired Beneficiaries

The Florida Association of the Deaf, Inc. (FAD) recently published a press release on Florida Medicaid Area Offices for beneficiaries who are hearing-impaired and need access to Medicaid services.

Florida Medicaid, a form of health insurance, is a state and federal partnership overseen by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). Thirteen Medicaid Area Offices are set up throughout the state dedicated to assist beneficiaries. Each area office has a contact person and telephone number to help those beneficiaries who are hearing-impaired.

Medicaid Areas Office Contact Names and telephones numbers are listed here, alphabetically, for Pasco and the surrounding counties:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Hernando: Area Number 3B, Tommy Ellis @ 352-840-5735
Hillsborough: Area Number 6, Scott Henjum @ 813-350-4830 &
Dondra Smith @ 813-350-4846
Pasco: Area Number 5, Gayle Ninis @ 727-552-1925
Pinellas: Area Number 5, Gayle Ninis @ 727-552-1925
Polk: Area Number 6, Scott Henjum @ 813-350-4830 &
Dondra Smith @ 813-350-4846
Sumter: Area Number 3B, Tommy Ellis @ 352-840-5735
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Beneficiary Services are free. You can call or have a family member call for you. To learn more about offerings and assistance, click here to view ACHA's Beneficiary Services section.

Pasco and Pinellas counties are represented by Medicaid Area Office Number 5. For more details, click on either (1) the AHCA Area Office map, or (2) MyFlorida Medicaid link. Then choose "Area Number 5".

Additionally, a few groups and links that provide support for the disabled:
Florida Association of the Deaf, Inc. (FAD) - provides services and important information about Medicaid and interpreters. Follow FAD through Facebook, or Twitter at deaFAD.
Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc. (FTRI)- offers Florida Relay Service (711), providing a connection link with those who use standard telephone equipment
Florida 2-1-1 Network - dialing 211 is easy access to community human services information, with either a landline or cell phone, and available to every person in Florida.

Deaf Services Bureau - assistance for those in West Central Florida.
Florida Medicaid Program - Medicaid information provided through the Florida Health Finder Network web site.
Florida Health Finder - web site that connects Floridians with health care information.

Information has been provided by FAD inc., ACHA, and FTRI.