A friend sent me this via Facebook, and I wanted to share it with all of you because it’s funny and so true!
Gone Too Soon
Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve been working on my WIP and working at the day job this week. I’m just plugging along and hoping I hear some good news soon. 😊
My neck and back are so much better. The pain is gone although I can still feel it when I move just right. Since the pain’s gone, my attitude is better, and I may even begin to workout again. Slowly but surely. I don’t want to go through that again. It’s been two months, and it has been a long two months.
I had another post planned for today, but I found out about Taylor Hawkins passing away from the band The Foo Fighters. I became acquainted with him when I watched a documentary about one of my favorite bands, Rush. He oozed positive energy when he talked about the members of Rush, and I liked the relationship he had with the band. You could tell they were great friends.
I was sad to hear of his passing because he was so young and full of energy and talent. Maybe because he’s younger than me, it made me think of my own mortality. I feel like I have so much more I want to do with my life and when a younger person passes away, it reminds me that the clock is ticking.
I recently just learned he had a variety of drugs in his system when he passed. We don’t know yet if that contributed to his death, but I have a feeling it did. He just did too many. What a senseless loss.
It feels like we’re losing too many people to drugs and suicide, and I’m in no way saying Taylor’s death was a suicide. However, one of the drugs in his system was an anti-depressant. I’m not sure why he was taking it, but it does make me wonder what if he was depressed. It’s hard to believe, he was a successful musician, and loved by many, but then I think about Anthony Bourdain and Robin Williams. Depression can be organic, meaning a chemical imbalance in the brain. We are losing too many amazing people to this disease.
But I wonder if drugs are the answer to this mental health issue. In my humble opinion, shouldn’t we make sure we’re getting a balanced diet, enough sleep, and enough exercise before we resort to drugs? (This is not a criticism of Taylor in any way shape or form by the way.)
If we did that though, we’d have less time to devote to our passions. Exercising takes up a lot of time. But if our passions aren’t healthy, are they really our passions?
These are the questions I ask myself when something like this happens. I want to be there for my family. It’s the most important thing to me and I know that many people feel that way. To do that, we must take care of our bodies.
I know Rock and Roll is a demanding career, and you probably don’t need to exercise on the days you’re doing a show, but in my humble opinion, you can have a healthy diet and get enough sleep while you’re touring. You just have to set up your schedule that way. After all, you’re a precious commodity. As fans, we should allow our idols down time to regroup and take care of themselves. Just some random thoughts while feeling sad over the loss of Taylor. RIP Taylor Hawkins. You will be missed.
What are some of the ways our entertainers can take care of themselves while on tour? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!
Thank Goodness for Gilda’s Club!
Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today with a Gratitude Post. Yes. I’m so grateful for Gilda’s Club right now. I called them after I received my diagnosis and I found out what an incredible organization it is. Here’s their facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/gildasclubgr
First of all, they told me they serve free meals Monday through Thursday. This amazed me. What an awesome organization and it’s not just for the cancer patient it’s for the whole family. This is for everyone not just those families who don’t have the greatest insurance or no insurance at all. This just warmed my heart that someone thought about this.
They also have support groups for not only the cancer patient, but also a group for the spouses as well as a group for the children. I’m definitely going to try to get my hubby and kids to go. I think it would be good for them.
However, that’s not the main reason I’m grateful. They put me in touch with someone who has gone through the same exact thing I’m going through now. When we spoke, it was after I had received the “education” portion from the nurse about the drugs I’m going to have to take. Now the education was important, but it created a lot of anxiety for me.
I grew anxious because someone close to me had passed away from Ovarian cancer after fighting it for ten years. So, the image that came to my mind was her and how she was toward the end. She was very weak and wasn’t able to walk on her own.
This scared me. Therefore, when I spoke with the person from Gilda’s Club she calmed my fears and I will be forever grateful to her for that. (Thanks Ginger!) She told me that she was nauseated but able to work although I should expect fatigue. I won’t be able to do as much as I used to.
She also told me the side effects of some of the drugs she took. This was very helpful because they were the same drugs that I’m going to have to take and the debilitating effect that I was expecting is not the reality. So that eased my mind.
In closing, I’d like to say if you ever find yourself stricken with this disease please look for a Gilda’s Club in your area. It will help you. I guarantee it.
Parents Beware! Synthetic Pot is on the Rise
Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. While I was at the Laundromat washing a couple of comforters, they won’t fit in my washing machine at home, I happened upon an article in Time Magazine about synthetic pot.
The title sparked my interest, “The Rise of Fake Pot.” To get a glimpse of the article click here: http://time.com/57167/rise-of-fake-pot/
The gist of this article claims there’s a new drug in town and it’s not heroin, cocaine, or even marijuana. It’s synthetic marijuana and the reason it’s so scary is that it’s for sale legally as Botanical Incense. It also goes by the names Herbal Incense and Potpourri.
This synthetic marijuana originates in Asia,is transported to the USA, and sold in convenience stores and gas stations. It comes in heat-sealed foil packets. Users smoke the Potpourri and it acts on the same receptors in the brain as THC.
In fact, this synthetic drug is even more hazardous to your health than the real stuff. Why? Because it contains toxic chemicals that cause severe reactions such as seizures, strokes, cardiac arrest, and kidney and brain damage.
Read what happened to Emily Bauer here: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/miracle-progress-teen-near-death-synthetic-marijuana-article-1.1456099 She smoked the stuff for two weeks straight and had multiple strokes that left her paralyzed and partially blind.
The scary thing about all of this is the fact it’s unregulated and sold legally. Your child can stop at a gas station and pick up as many foil packets that he or she wants.
The problem with regulation is regulatory agencies don’t know how to regulate it, because it’s only dangerous if someone ingests it. To make matters worse, manufacturer’s state on the packet, it’s not for human consumption. Therefore, they’re covered legally if someone dies from ingesting their product.
Right now, there’s a push to legalize marijuana and this is muddying the waters even more for those regulatory agencies. According to this article, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/05/28/e-cigarette-poisoning.aspx?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=poisonings-from-e-cigarettes-and-synthetic-pot-are-surgi the legalization of Marijuana would obliterate the synthetic drug market. Why would teens need all that toxic, synthetic crap when the real stuff is available?
Hmmm…makes you think, doesn’t it? Parents and Educators need to be aware of this drug. It has long lasting, harmful side effects that can derail a young teen’s life.
What are your thoughts on Synthetic Pot? Should we legalize the real stuff that’s actually safer? Please leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!
The Price of Fame
Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I want to discuss the price of fame. It seems to me, in the last couple of years there have been a number of accidental deaths due to overdoses. I blame fame for the deaths of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Heath Ledger, and Michael Jackson.
The reason I blame fame is simple. When you become famous, your privacy’s gone. To me, an outsider looking in, everyone wants a piece of a celebrity. Reporters hound them. They take pictures of their families when they’re having some down time. Just going to the market becomes newsworthy and photographers follow them for the one shot that’s going to make millions. How would you feel if you were running to the market in your sweats, to get your kid some cough medicine, and a mob of photographers were chasing you?
All of this because they’re a great actors or musicians. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to meet George Clooney or Brad Pitt. I’d also love to sit down with Steven King and the members of Rush just to get to know them and pick their brains. However, I would never dream of camping outside their homes just hoping for a picture.
That’s where fame turns ugly, when reporters and photographers make money off a famous face, boundaries get blurred and violated. I understand how some celebrities get so angry; they get into physical altercations with the reporters and photographers who follow them.
Not only do celebrities have to deal with paparazzi following them, they also have to deal with the pressure from the industry. Pressure to look good all the time. Pressure to be better than their last stellar role or album.
It seems like, when you’re a celebrity there’s no time to relax. They work ungodly hours to get a scene right or adhere to a tour schedule. That’s when the need for medication rears its ugly head.
They need it to keep them awake and then they need it to help them sleep. It turns into a vicious cycle. After a while, they’re hooked and in some instances, they need to take more of it to get the same effect.
Their dependency spirals out of control and they’re taking stronger and stronger drugs. In my opinion, this behavior leads to addiction to drugs such as meth and heroin.
So, instead of attaching labels to these people and assigning blame, why don’t we solve the problems that create the addictions in the first place? Why don’t managers create a schedule that allows our celebrities to maintain their health? Why don’t we pass laws that keep the paparazzi away? I know it sounds like a simplistic solution to a complex problem, but it would be a start.
Of course, then there would be the reporters screaming about free press and the public’s right to know, but what about the celebrities’ rights? Don’t they have a right to privacy as well?
Thanks for reading my post today. If you would like to share your ideas regarding this post, leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!
My thoughts on “Breaking Bad”
Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you today! I’m back talking about one of my favorite TV shows, “Breaking Bad.” Last night was the season finale and I must say it was awesome!
I have to admit when I first started watching the show I thought it was going to be one that glorified drug use. I was a little skeptical about whether I was going to enjoy it or not.
“Breaking Bad” is the story of Walter White, a chemistry teacher diagnosed with cancer. He needs big money to pay for his cancer treatments, so he starts manufacturing Meth. Since he’s a chemistry teacher, he knows about chemical reactions, which means he knows how to cook it. His product ends up being 99% pure. With that kind of purity, his product becomes a hot commodity in the drug world.
In the beginning, Walt is just a “nice guy” who has been screwed over. He has been screwed over by his former business partners and by the insurance company that won’t cover his cancer treatment. Walt is a victim. We identify with him and want him to win. We want him to win even when he turns into Heisenberg. The reason for that is because we’ve all been victimized in some way and we want to seek revenge on our tormentors. When Walt transforms into Heisenberg, he becomes victorious, beating the bullies of society. So, even though he’s a bad dude, we still like him. This is a story of what can happen when horrible circumstances force people to make choices they wouldn’t normally make.
This show is probably one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time. It depicts the story of Walter White’s transformation from mild-mannered high school teacher to drug king pin. It’s the story of the destruction of his family.
I think it’s an accurate portrayal of what the drug trade is really like. There’s nothing glamorous about it. It’s violent and scary. Drugs destroy families and lives. If the DEA doesn’t catch you, your competition will kill you.
It’s a tragic tale. Walt has to say good-bye to his family and disappear. In the end, he has no one. I don’t want to spoil the ending for anyone who had to DVR the show last night, so that’s all I’m going to say about the end.
I know this show is violent, but I wonder if it wouldn’t be a bad idea for high school students to watch it. It shows the unglamorous side of meth addiction, the sores, the repetitive behavior, and the rotted teeth in all their glory.
It also depicts a realistic portrayal of what a Meth dealer’s life is like. The constant war over territory, the constant anxiety about being caught, and the lies that have to be told to protect your cover. It’s an incredibly stressful situation.
“Breaking Bad” does illustrate the “big bucks” that a drug dealer can make. However, it doesn’t glorify it. It depicts the difficulty a dealer faces when he needs to get the money laundered and what does happen when the DEA catches a dealer. All that money he made goes straight to the government not his family. The show illustrates that the drug trade is a no win situation for anyone, whether you’re a user or a pusher. Everyone loses in the long run.
So there you have it. I will miss this show. It was quite an education and I would recommend getting the DVDs and watching the show with your teens. It’s an excellent way to educate them about the realities of both drug use and the drug trade.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my post! I’d love to hear from you so if you’d like to leave a comment about your thoughts on the show, please do! I’d love to read them!
I’d like to thank Television without Pity.com for the use of this photo. For more pictures click the link below:
The Drug of Choice among Students Today
Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’m back today after a couple of weeks of Blog Hops and Giveaways. It’s good to be back chatting with you!
I was at a Writer’s Group meeting last Saturday. Here’s their website. http://grandrapidsregionwritersgroup.blogspot.com/
We meet the second Saturday of every month and during lunch, I chatted with a teacher about my Coming of Age Novel I’m writing. While we talked, the conversation turned to the new drug of choice in schools these days.
I was shocked when I learned it was heroin. I was under the impression the drugs of choice among high school and college students were either alcohol or marijuana.
Of course, my next thought was…why heroin? I don’t know about you, but just hearing the name scares me. I’ve heard it’s highly addictive and the withdrawal symptoms are horrendous. Theories as to why are listed below and I got the information from this article:
1) Today’s heroin is purer than that of the past, allowing users to easily hide their habit as they can snort or smoke it rather than inject the drug;
2) It delivers much of the same effects as legal painkillers, such as Oxycotin;
3) Is much cheaper – as little as $5 a high
This explains some of it, but when I was a teen (many moons ago) 🙂 heroin was scary. I wouldn’t touch the stuff. Unfortunately, in today’s day and age, heroin has lost its stigma. Teens are taking it even though they know about the addictive properties of the drug. In addition, many who go through the withdrawal symptoms and get clean end up going back on it.
Of course, this didn’t make sense to me. So I did some further research and found this article: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/alphabet-kids/201006/heroin-use-among-suburban-teens-grows-because-its-no-big-deal
According to this article, being a junkie is no big deal. Heroin seems to have made its way up the social hierarchy. It used to be a drug associated with poverty and homelessness. Now teens are seeing its use growing among their peer group.
It’s that old mentality of if my friend thinks it’s okay, then it must be. Couple that with the overwhelming need to fit in and you’ve got a lethal combination. Heroin isn’t scary anymore.
Unfortunately, heroin use is on the rise across the nation. These are not isolated incidents in New York or Chicago. I’ve found articles about it in states like Indiana and Texas as wells as New York and Illinois.
We’ve all heard the teen years are filled with risk taking behaviors. This article certainly supports that claim: http://www.soberliving.com/blog/why-is-teenage-drug-abuse-on-the-rise
It states, teens have a sense of entitlement and invulnerability that makes them take more risks. Couple that with the fact heroin is much easier to get than alcohol and again you’ve got a lethal combination.
So, what can you do if you suspect your teen has an addiction? You can all this number: 1-866-323-5609. They will be able to help you. Here’s their website: http://www.soberliving.com/
Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my article. I’d love to read your thoughts on the subject, so please leave a comment.
“Side Effects” the Movie that inspired this Post on Human Drug Testing
Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’m taking a break from discussing teen issues today and talking about a movie I saw. I went to see “Side Effects” a couple of weeks ago. It was a great movie with an awesome twist toward the end. I enjoyed it and the movie started me thinking about the new drugs that deal with psychological issues that are available on the market today.
Now, I’ve never taken a drug for depression or anxiety so I have no first-hand knowledge of what some of these drugs can do. But this movie raised some concerns for me. I asked the question, how do we know what the side effects of these drugs are? How do we test for them?
So, of course, I did some research and this is what I found: A new drug has to go through three phases of testing before it is considered safe for the market and all drugs have to be approved by the FDA.
Phase One: This is where the drug is tested on animals. After the company does this type of testing they must fill out a “New Drug Application.” This application is then reviewed by the FDA and a local Institutional Review Board. If the application is approved, the review board (made up of scientists and non-scientists in hospitals and research institutions) moves forward and sets up a clinical trial protocol. This protocol describes the type of people who can participate in the human testing of the drug. The people tested in this stage are healthy humans and they are paid for their participation. The emphasis in this stage is safety. Researchers are looking for any negative effects the drug has on healthy individuals. If no major health concerns appear they move on to Phase Two. The number of participants for this phase range from twenty to eighty people.
Phase Two: This is the phase where they test the effectiveness of a drug while still keeping an eye on safety. They want to see if the drug actually works on the conditions or diseases it’s designed to help. The number of participants for this phase range between a few dozen to about three hundred. If there is evidence that there is a positive effect from the drug the researchers move on to Phase Three.
Phase Three: In this phase they gather more information on effectiveness and safety; testing the drug on different populations and different dosages. They also combine the test drug with other medications to see if there’s any negative reaction. The number of people tested in this phase range from several hundred to three thousand.
After this phase the sponsor of the new drug must fill out a New Drug Application. This is the formal step needed to seek approval from the FDA to market any drug in the United States. If approved that Clinical Trials are set up and these trials are what take so long. They can take several years to complete. For more information on the New Drug Review Process please click this link. http://www.fda.gov/drugs/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm143534.htm
It takes several years for a drug to appear on the market. As I researched this I grew concerned. Who are these companies testing the drugs on?
Since these companies are paying individuals to be human guinea pigs there isn’t any criteria to become a test subject. Therefore, I concluded that the test subjects are usually the poor or uneducated or young people who need the money, like college students.
What happens when drug testing goes horribly wrong? As parents we need to teach our young people to value their health and not take it for granted. I know that drug testing is essential and I don’t fault modern medicine for finding new cures, but testing a new drug can be very dangerous for the volunteers. The risks are too great in my opinion. So, what are we to do?
I have an answer. 🙂 But you knew I would didn’t you? Where can we find human volunteers? My answer is why don’t we look for volunteers in our prison system? We’ve got a number of individuals who are either serving life sentences or on death row. They would be benefiting society and drug companies wouldn’t have to pay them. Maybe that would also bring the cost of the drugs down, which could ultimately bring down insurance rates for health insurance. Hmmm….makes you think doesn’t it?
One may argue that prisoners don’t fit the criteria of a healthy individual. Well…that is a point but my response to this arguement is…most prisoners eat better than our poor and uneducated. Sadly…they are probably healthier than many of our current volunteers.
Is it considered cruel and unusual punishment? I think not…because it is on a volunteer basis. In my opinion, doctors would be able to monitor the subjects in a controlled environment, which would make monitoring the side effects of the drug easier and more accurate. 🙂 This would protect our college bound youngsters, the poor, and uneducated who have done nothing against society.
What do you think? I know this sounds a little extreme…but then you’d have to see the movie to understand my concerns. I’d love to hear your thoughts on my opinions. 🙂 Do you think this would be feasible?
***I want to thank www.fda.gov for some of the information provided in this post.