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All posts for the month May, 2011

Is There An App For That?

Published May 30, 2011 by glaumland

I just got a new phone, one of those kinds that you can have apps on. Not one made from fruit, more like a little robot. You know, one of those that has an age limit on figuring out how to use it.

I still haven’t figured out how to answer a phone call without hanging up on the caller. Oops! Sorry! (Leave a message and I do know how to call back.) And if you touch it in the wrong places it makes all sorts of weird beeps at you, as though I were physically harassing my phone. Harumph!

But I do have a GPS-thingy now so I should be able to get to places I’ve never been before. And I have a beeper to remind me to take my medicines. And I can see texts messages and email. The camera/camcorder has great resolution with tons of storage. I’ve found some games and some trivia apps (name that president, international countries & their flags, name that periodic element, name that letter from the Greek/Russian/Hebrew alphabet…all for free).

I have an Adobe viewer and a micro-Office program. That’s tremendously helpful for school and work-related items. Unlimited internet with lots of weather information – a must for this time of year. I especially like the little weather show that occurs when my phone comes on…if it is raining a little wiper cleans the screen. How cute is that?

My favorite apps though so far are my Kindle viewer and Google Sky. The Kindle (free version for phone) ‘clouds’ with my laptop Kindle (free version for laptop) so I can keep up wherever I am. And there are lots of good, free books out there (many classics). I’m reading Ben Franklin’s Autobiography – what a really interesting man.

Google Sky is pretty cool. It figures out where I am with the GPS thing and shows me the stars and constellations that are overhead. Then as you turn different directions it rotates the display. So totally awesome, and beats using flashlights and books.

Next I’ll be looking for the apps that make the kids do their chores or change their attitudes. I’m sure they won’t be free, but a peaceful summer would be worth any price.

Until next time…

The REAL Medi-scare You Should Be Worried About

Published May 30, 2011 by glaumland

This is something I’ve been watching and worrying about for a while and I’m glad to see that this topic is finally getting some press. No, it’s not the Mediscare that the Democrats are talking about, but it is something to be concerned about. Very concerned.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_MED_HEALTHBEAT_DRUG_SHORTAGES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-05-30-07-41-58

There are a myriad of reasons that this would occur, some will blame the economy, red-tape, legislation. In fact, I think that those reasons have added to the medicine shortage. But from my point of view, the biggest problem is that larger drug companies are buying out the smaller companies. The supply of cheaper American-made generics is losing out to the production of brand-name heavily promoted drugs.

Two examples…

First example? Plain old eye lubrication ointment. Nothing special about this stuff – it’s petrolatum that is ophthalmic grade. But in the last six months the price of a little tube had quadrupled. But you can still get it, if it isn’t on backorder. And that’s just the stuff without any medication in it.

The next example – injectable medication for treatment of heartworm positive dogs. The old stuff was economical and effective (an injectable arsenical compound), although treatment could always be dangerous and deadly (you know, the Old Lace kind of poison). But I can say I never lost a patient, thanks to zealous attention to changes in patients’ medical conditions and some luck. Unfortunately, this drug was made by a small company that got bought out by a big drug company (one of those Pharma’s) that had produced a new (and only FDA approved) heartworm treatment. Here’s their MO: buy up the little company, have the EPA declare the factory a hazardous waste site due to the presence of arsenic, and start selling the heck out of your new drug. The problem? There isn’t enough of the new drug manufactured to treat all of the heartworm positive dogs, and you can only get their drug if you can pass their compassionate care guidelines.

Less available and more expensive, and sounds like a giant conflict of interest. I do think that drug companies do need to have a profitable business plan and reap the benefits of years and $$$ put into research (and we only see the successful drugs). But new business plan of getting rid of the small competition is going to bite us all in the rear.

All of those $4 drugs from Walmart are available because Walmart purchases on such a large scale and because they are willing to take a loss to get you inside the store. Good for them, good for you as an individual, but not so good for the drug industry. No Profits + No Protection = No Products.

Many of the generics now are being purchased from overseas suppliers, especially in India and Asia. Although this is good for their economies and global trade, consumer beware! Many of these medications are not what they seem – they can have different quantities of medicine or look different from how they are normally distributed – possibly not being as effective as usual. But worst of all, they can be adulterated, meaning they can have toxins or other compounds present in them that may actually be detrimental to the patient taking the medicine.

With my fibromyalgia I’m on a lot of meds, and I’ve noticed that certain meds seem to act different from bottle to bottle. Is is me? Or is it the meds? I’m starting to wonder…

Don’t be afraid to question your doctor and your pharmacist to make sure you are getting good quality medicines, preferably made in the USA. Your health may depend upon it.

Don’t be afraid to bring this issue up to your representatives…your future health may depend on it. Don’t take my word for it, do your own research.

Until next time…

 

Parenting Help From Oscar Mayer

Published May 25, 2011 by glaumland

Little Boy is in one of those phases where it seems like he is a bottomless pit. Well, not quite bottomless…he fills up in about 5 minutes but then he’s hungry 1 hour later. After filling up on fruit and bowls of cereal, his next favorite is sandwiches. Especially turkey sandwiches.

We get the kind of lunch meat that comes in the little round plastic packages where the bottom peels off. We always stock up when there’s a sale.

Then last week the unthinkable happened…we ran out of turkey. I offered to make Little Boy a bologna sandwich and he said he didn’t like bologna. Yeah, right. Who doesn’t like that lunch meat processed from bits and pieces of different farm animals? Yummy!

So I decided to make him a sandwich, and while I was constructing the sandwich it popped into my mind to sing the bologna song. You know…

My bologna has a first name, it’s O-S-C-A-R…

My bologna has a second name, it’s M-A-Y-E-R…

Oh, I love to eat it every day

And if you ask me why I’ll say

‘Cause Oscar Mayer has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A.

Little Boy was intrigued by the song, so I had to sing it a couple of times until he learned the words and the tune. And by that time the sandwich had been eaten.

It was a great Mom moment thanks to Oscar Mayer. And if we ever have a problem with hot dogs, I’ve already got a plan.

Until next time…