Wednesday, April 29, 2009

H1N1 Novel Influenza

My employer is the state department of health. We have been preparing for public health emergencies such as an influenza pandemic for many years. Some key points to remember include: You can't get this influenza by eating pork products. Washing your hands and using hand sanitizers can help you avoid getting sick. And if you are feeling ill, running a fever, coughing or achy, stay home away from others and call your doctor. We have been calling it H1N1 Novel Influenza rather than swine flu in order to take the heat off of pigs. This could be devastating for the pork industry.

I am very proud of my colleagues at the health department. In the past they have cracked many stubborn cases of foodborne illness, tracing the origins to peanuts and serrano peppers. They are a world class group of scientists and professionals who take their jobs very seriously and they work very hard to protect the health not only of this state but of this country.

This could turn into a serious situation. Around 36,000 people die from influenza every year in this country. With a flu pandemic that number could skyrocket. In 1918 hundreds of thousands of people perished from the Spanish flu. You can read more about it here in Wikipedia. The current strain is of the same subtype, H1N1, as the 1918 outbreak, but it is a strain that has never been seen before and that is why it has been given special attention.

It is important to be cautious yet remain vigilant about this outbreak. There is valuable information on the Centers for Disease Control's website.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Grey's Anatomy

If you watched Grey's Anatomy tonight you might have noticed a lot of purple. It was to support the Alzheimer's Association.

Last week I ordered a Move shirt from them.

We had an absolutely gorgeous day today. It was 85 and sunny. And I thought of Mom, of course. The last time it was this warm was on Labor Day 2008. A weekend of struggling for me and Mom. She was immobile and I was exhausted from caring for her. So much can happen in a short period of time. Remember to stop and smell the roses in life. This moment is our only guarantee.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tonight I found a video clip that I had filmed of Mom with my Flip video camera back in 2007. It is so cute and it reminds me of her goofy side. I miss her so much. She and I used to have goofy, good times like this all the time and I miss them. Even so, it makes me smile and remember good times with her before the Alzheimer's ravaged her brain.
videoTonight is the premiere of "The Alzheimer's Project". I hope Annie is having a good time and her Mom is doing fine at the spa. I can't wait to see the documentary even though I know it is going to be painful to watch. I'm sure I will go through many kleenexes.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Susan Boyle - Singer - Britains Got Talent 2009 (With Lyrics)

It seems that the embedding feature has been disabled, probably by the producers of 'Britain's Got Talent' So instead you need to click to see the video on Youtube. It's well worth it.

Fairy tales CAN come true! This is a heartwarming story and I love the look on Simon's face when he realizes that she is an amazing singer! Bloody fantastic, I hope she goes all the way and wins the contest.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Today was the first day of the year where we could actually be outside without jackets. It was a beautiful day weather-wise. I kept wishing that Mom was here to enjoy this lovely day with me. She would have celebrated the warmth and unofficial end to winter with me. As I sat outside on our patio I thought of her and shed some tears.

I had a very nice Easter. My friend invited me to join her at 'the orphan's holiday' and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The orphans are all people who are from out of state or who are students. I felt comfortable right away with this group. And I even received an Easter basket for the first time in many, many years. It made my first Easter without Mom a little bit easier and I'm grateful to them for thinking of me and including me in their celebration.

I love animals in case you already haven't figured that out from my previous posts. They always greet you with such joy and happiness, they make you feel like at that moment you are the most important person in the world. The are never judgmental and they are always glad to see you. They give true, unconditional love. Tonight I saw my neighbors and their dogs. These dogs always greet me with such love and happiness. It makes me feel good. My cats are my blessings. I love them so much.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Wildcat Easter Egg Hunt

This sanctuary is in Minnesota and does an awesome job of caring for wildcats that have been abandoned or surrendered. Hopefully someday people will no longer be allowed to purchase or own these beautiful cats.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Alzheimer's Project

In May HBO will broadcast a documentary in four parts called The Alzheimer's Project. The producers had contacted me last August during the time we were preparing to place Mom. They wanted to know if we would allow them to film us during that time. After giving it careful thought we decided not to participate; it would be too painful. As it turns out, we would have shown that the best laid plans often go wrong. The program will air May 10th at 9pm. You can watch the trailer by clicking on the Alzheimer's Project link below. I've watched it and it brought tears to my eyes especially when they showed a woman's progression based on how her looks and demeanor changed. It reminded me of Mom in her last few months. Had we participated it would be so painful to watch. It will be painful to watch anyway. I also found that you can pre-order the DVD on Amazon. I miss my mom.

My sister told me something that Mom said one of the last times they were together. She thought I would be offended so she had never told me about it. Mom, in one of her lucid moments, told my sister that she didn't understand why I couldn't keep the clutter under control in our house. This is classic Mom for me and rather than being offended I was thrilled that my Mom was still in there. My sister said she felt the same way, thinking 'my mom is still in there after all'. Love you Mom :)

Alzheimer's project