Saturday, March 29, 2008

Women, Aging and Vision Loss

As the baby-boomer generation comes of age, conditions affecting vision seem to be getting more attention in doctor's offices around the country. Roughly 200,000 cases of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) get diagnosed each year, a disease that affects women more frequently than men.

Age-related macular degeneration is the number one cause of vision loss in adults ages 60 and older. It affects the macula, the section of the eye that focuses on fine detail. As a result, AMD causes the loss of sharp, central vision which is necessary for normal, daily tasks such as reading and driving.

“Macular degeneration does affect women more often than men, as shown in many of our large studies,” explains Larry Singerman, M.D., of the Wills Eye Institute in Philadelphia.

Age is the greatest risk factor for AMD. Because women tend to live longer than men, AMD is more prevalent among women. Aside from age and sex, other risk factors include:
• Smoking
• Obesity
• Family history
• Race

Caucasian adults are more likely to lose vision from AMD than African Americans.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends a comprehensive eye exam every one to two years for seniors over the age of 65, and every two to four years for adults between forty and 65. AMD can be diagnosed at a routine eye exam
There are also warning signs associated with AMD. If you experience any of the following vision symptoms, contact an eye care specialist:

• Lines or edges that appear wavy or distorted;
• Blurry faces or difficulty seeing colors;
• Dark or empty spaces that block the center of your vision;
• Difficulty reading fine print or reading road signs from a moving vehicle; or
• Difficulty seeing at a distance or during twilight hours.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Diary of a Mad Female Baby Boomer

I can never pass up posting a great email---compliments of my good friend Kathy Walsh. Maybe Tyler Perry will consider this title for his next movie.

Dear Diary,

For my birthday this year, my daughter (the dear) purchased a week of personal training at the local health club for me.

Although I am still in great shape since being a high school football cheerleader 44 years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try.
I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer named Belinda, who identified herself as a 26-year-old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear.

My daughter seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started! The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.

Started my day at 6:00 a.m. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Belinda waiting for me. She is something of a Greek goddess -- with blonde hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!! Belinda gave me a tour and showed me the machines. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which she conducted her aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring! Belinda was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time she was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!

I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door.
Belinda made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air then she put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. Belinda's rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT! It's a whole new life for me.

The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn't try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot.

Belinda was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. Her voice is a little too perky for early in the morning and when she scolds, she gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying. My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Belinda put me on the stair monster. Why the Hell would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Belinda told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. She said some other shit too.

Belinda was waiting for me with her vampire-like teeth exposed as her thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn't help being a half an hour late; it took me that long to tie my shoes.
Belinda took me to work out with dumbbells. When she was not looking, I ran and hid in the restroom. She sent another skinny bitch to find me
Then, as punishment, she put me on the rowing machine -- which I sank.

I hate that bitch Belinda more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anemic, anorexic little cheerleader. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat her with it.

Belinda wanted me to work on my triceps. I don't have any triceps! And if you don't want dents in the floor, don't hand me the damned barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich. The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher.

Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?

Belinda left a message on my answering machine in her grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing her made me want to smash the machine with my planner. However, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the Weather Channel.

I'm having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year my daughter (the little shit) will choose a gift for me that is fun -- like a root canal or a hysterectomy. I still say if God had wanted me to bend over, he would have sprinkled the floor with diamonds!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Who's to Blame when Young Black Men Kill?

For nearly two weeks, the top story in my neck of the woods has been the brutal killing of a University of North Carolina senior named Eve Carson. By all accounts, this was a lovely young woman who was destined for great things.

Police have now apprehended two suspects in the case and, sadly, to no one's surprise, they were both African-American.

I used to be one of those people who said, “Never give up on a child because they all have potential.” I don’t say that anymore because there are young people out here who fear nothing and would harm you at the drop of a hat. There are young people out here who’ve never learned anything about respect, morals, values and what it means to be a law abiding citizen.

My daughter's boyfriend was gunned down the day after Christmas 2005 for taking up for his little sister who was being harassed by some boys on the city bus.

I’ll never forget that day. I was sitting in the newsroom waiting and hoping for something to happen because it was a slow news day and you can tell only so many “Shopping after Christmas” stories. Then I heard about the shooting at the mall on the police scanner. The first thing I thought was to call my daughter. She was at home safe. She said she knew her boyfriend was going to the mall so she was going to call him to see if he knew anything about it. I then called one of my girlfriends to tell her to stay away from the mall because there was a shooting out there. We were joking about the craziness of having a shooting at the mall. I then called some of my police contacts to see if I could get any inside information---before any of the other stations could find out anything. That’s when I learned that the young man who had been gunned down---shot in cold blood---MURDERED---was my daughter’s boyfriend, Quan. My daughter must’ve found out around the same time because when I called home I could hear her crying hysterically in the background. It was a surreal moment in time.

Do I blame this juvenile delinquent for killing an innocent young man on December 26, 2005? No---I blame his mother and grandmother and if you saw them on the day of the suspect’s first appearance in court, and the 'behavior" they displayed, you’d know why.

Some parents say there's nothing they can do with their children because they've gotten out of control. Try telling that to the loved ones of the victims who have been senselessly gunned down by that "out of control" behavior.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

If Children Can Drink Wine, Why Can't a Baby Boomer Smoke Pot?

This story is courtesy of the Winston Salem Journal Newspaper:

If children can drink wine during Holy Communion, then Robert George Henry insists he should be able to smoke marijuana without being hassled by the cops.

Henry, a baby boomer from Fannettsburg, Pennsylvania, claims he is a rolling-paper-carrying member of the Hawaii Cannabis Ministry, a denomination devoted to the use of marijuana as a sacrament.

His right to smoke marijuanja for spiritual enlightenment is therefore protected under the Constitution, the 47-year-old claims in a motion that will prompt a legal battle in Cumberland County Court.

Henry is asking a judge to dismiss drunken-driving and marijuana possession charges filed by state police on grounds that his drug use is a constitutionally protected religious practice. On Tuesday, the judge postponed the case until April 16.

Could it be he is just reminiscing about his days as a member of the Drugs, Sex and Rock-n-Roll generation?

Saturday, March 01, 2008

A Little Boomer Humor for Your Day

This funny story came to me from one of my "Boomer" friends and I wanted to share it with you:

A man and woman had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other, except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.

For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover.

In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife's bedside.

She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totaling $95,000.

He asked her about the contents. "When we were to be married," she said, "my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll."

The little old man was so moved, he had to fight back tears. Only two precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness.

"Honey," he said, "that explains the doll, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?"

"Oh," she said, "that's the money I made from selling the dolls."

A Prayer.......

Dear Lord, I pray for Wisdom to understand my man;

Love to forgive him;

And Patience for his moods;

Because Lord, if I pray for Strength,

I'll beat him to death, because I don't know how to crochet.

Thank you and have a great day!