About Stemcells and Happiness

smile

So I have been taking the nutritional supplement Laminine a couple of weeks now and how am I finding it?  It hasn’t been earth shattering but I have become a believer.

Because I had polio as a young child, I was left with a slightly crooked back, I have been in pain on and off most of my life, always needing a chiropractor. My pain was never of a degree that I talk much about it or that I cannot be (sometimes quite spectacularly) productive, but it has always been there in the background.  Sometimes you may have noticed that I limp when I am tired and this makes me crotchety. With the early muscle atrophy from the polio as I have aged, I don’t have the muscle reserves that most others enjoy.

With Laminine it is not that the pain has gone away although I do feel something positive happening in my body and there is some hope that over time the stem cells may even handle the muscle atrophy from the polio. That seems possible to me as this is clearly a breakthrough product. Yet in this tight economy I would not stay on Laminine just for the hope of a future improvement in my muscles. No, that is not why I am already so completely committed. It is all about what I am experiencing with the product right now.

I have been feeling a very satisfying sense of well being – as though the stressors in my life have gone away or that somehow I handle them better. Nothing spectacular – just a good sense of what suddenly seems to be a good life. There has also been a distinct increase in energy. I am sleeping better and it is deep healing sleep. And Laminine is  purely nutrition – no side effects.

I was at the cashier at Trader Joe’s yesterday, a young guy named Daniel. He was excited. He said I made his day. He said it was so good to see a really happy person. I was positively exuding good vibes. Hello? He was actually talking about ME!!!

As my mood improves and my crotchetiness goes away, thanks to Laminine, I think my husband is finding this to be a great investment. I feel the benefit; his life gets better. – Lynn

 Quote for the Week 

Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of good conscience, good health, occupation and freedom in all just pursuits. 

Thomas Jefferson

The Day the Volunteers went on Strike

Why we write these blogs

Excerpt from “Politics IOU” by Ella Bevan

Liberty in the medical sector in Shadow City, was evaporating like a mist on a summer morn.

The cost of medications had skyrocketed until they reached a level higher than what the average man could pay. Big Pharma had decided that they would have to find someone to pick up the exorbitant tab. When electronics also entered into the field of medicine with its expensive diagnostic machines, one after another hospital (all in deep fiscal trouble)  began to fail. All over the nation (and especially in Health Care) the numbers weren’t  adding up.

Health Care endangers LIberty

 

Nice Government Men, all with the best of intentions (and an eye on the next election) had legislated that all the hospitals had to treat anybody who arrived at their doors in Emergency; whether citizens, whether they had the funds or the insurance or not.  Indigents and illegals quickly took advantage. The hospitals were being forced  into free service = free fall. It was a medical fiscal cliff.

Rith, the Director of Volunteer Services in Shadow Community Hospital was a woman whose good looks were understated. She loved her volunteers and she loved the hospital for her job gave her the opportunity to help others. She had known her hospital was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and that the Board of Directors had sacked the old CEO and appointed a new and younger corporate leader. This didn’t phase her for the hospital did not have to pay her volunteers.  Because Rith was popular and a good organizer, her Auxiliary was able to pick  up several vital  hospital functions that had been dropped after the recent layoffs.

She didn’t like the new man; this new pompous CEO, but who was she to say? She was content to stay out of the limelight, do her job and do it well. She figured that in the end it would all come out alright. There were sick people and an aging population and they all needed help. The need was not going to go away.

She walked along the slate pathway through the exquisite rose garden past the patio, giving her fundraiser Ginsee a cheerful wave.  The new CEO had banished her fundraising events from the front lobby to the patio, and she knew that the Auxiliary-Pledge, usually a very generous gift to the hospital, would be about half this year.  The volunteers were just not getting the support from the hospital that they deserved.

Rith had almost reached the entrance to the hospital when she saw or rather heard the commotion. What was going on?  She could see her seventy-five octogenarian volunteers parading in a long line in front of the newly remodeled hospital entrance.   Some volunteers were behind walkers, some were leaning on walking sticks, and many were in power-wheelchairs or on scooters. Everybody was there; Rith had not seen such a turn-out of her volunteers before. It was something else! They were holding up (or trying to hold) big, heavy, aggressive, bold signs.

“NO FREE LUNCH, NO FREE WORK!”

“WE WANT OUR VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION DINNER”

“WE DEMAND AN AUDIT OF OUR CONTRIBUTIONS”

“WE ‘RE THE PINK LADIES AND DON’T THINK WE’RE YELLOW!”

“THIS AUXILIARY IS ON STRIKE”

“Yes I get that,Pearl!” said Rith, breaking into a run.

Pearl, the diminutive Auxiliary president, was out in front leading the parade.

“Did you call me, Rith?” she inquired demurely, having left the line and coming up quietly next to Rith.  Pearl was just shy of five feet, and she could almost fit under Rith’s left elbow.

“What on earth are you up to?”

“Can’t you see? We are on strike!”

“Volunteers don’t strike,” said Rith through clenched teeth.

“Pearl! Get back here; we need you to lead us!” yelled a gray haired volunteer who was doubled up with laughter. She had not had this much fun, not in her full seventy years.

Pearl skipped back to the front of the line and took her position as the leader of the pack. She picked up her megaphone and yelled: “Don’t you ever dare take us for granted again!” She was proudly leading them, all four foot eleven of her, their new, feisty  president, firm and resolute! Rith penetrated the inner line and pulled out Jay, the vice president; she pulled him out by his last four gray hairs. Usually she could depend on this intelligent man for stability and sane solutions.

“Jay, Jay what on earth are you doing?”

“We’re striking,” he said mildly looking up at her.

“That I can see! What situation precipitated it?”

“You know how it has been. It began to get bad after the hospital was bought out.”

“Yes, I do know all about that, but Jay, there must have been something, one big thing that upset you’ all?”

“There was no Volunteer Appreciation.”

“No Volunteer Dinner?”  Rith was astounded. She had left it all organized before her trip.

“He canceled it. “

“Who canceled it?”

“The new CEO and he also canceled our free cafeteria lunches.

Rats! This was trouble; big trouble! This CEO was typical of a new class of manager coming in dedicated to cutting costs, looking good to the share-holders and making a tidy profit, rather than dedicated to good organization and to good healing.

“Jay, you know that volunteers don’t strike.”

“Yes that is what I told Pearl,” said the placid, little man.

“And what did she say?”

He blinked his eyes, “She said: “Don’t be such a wimp, Jay, do you want him to walk all over us?”

“She said what?”

“What could I do?” He looked up at Rith, eyes wide.

“For heaven sakes Jay, there are going to be consequences.”

“Really?”  Rith hoped she was not too late to calm the waters.

She walked off to find the new CEO, who was, as she well knew, the real culprit here; this new CEO brought in to save the hospital money. With volunteers all you had to work with, was their willingness? Did he not understand this?

She knew that her volunteers loved their annual event; they had been planning a dress-up party with a fashion show! They had even chosen their outfits and they were going to do the modeling themselves. This type of event was right down Pearl’s alley and she had drummed up much excitement in her followers. She had even arranged that the clothing the volunteer models were going to show would be donated by a few local clothing stores.  These ladies were all on a fixed income so this meant a lot to them.   Hot skies above, after all the volunteers had done for the hospital, why deny them this little night of pleasure?  Did this new CEO have any idea how much her volunteers saved the hospital?  They worked the front desk, they manned the phones, they handled the backroom paperwork, and they even conducted valet parking!  It was going to take some damage control, and she hoped that she was not too late to save the day.

Back in front of the hospital entrance, she found the supercilious man confronting Pearl. His fat shoulders and head were thrust back which showed his pot-belly to disadvantage. He and Pearl were in loud dispute, no he was the one shouting and she was listening, ominously quiet. The man stood, smugly satisfied that he had stopped the procession; he was into stopping.  He stood encased in self-importance, so typical of the impeccably coiffed new generation of managers, turned out by colleges far removed from the demands of real life and real people.

Little Pearl was standing her ground in front of him, intense, courteous to a fault, but Rith knew she had not stopped being trouble.  She could see it in the cleft in the little raised chin. Rith began to run again.

“Pearl! Pearl! Please stop this!”

Power wheel chairs began to close in on the CEO from every direction.

Volunteer in wheelchair going fast

The CEO, backed off and spun round. Then he saw Rith and exploded.

“You are fired!”  he spat out.

Rith blanched. She knew he was not going to change his mind; could not change his mind.

“And you, er you, you,” pointing at Pearl with his whole body shaking, “you, you little impudent snippet , you, you, right now, you get right off my campus! “

The man, he was the Man turned and stomped off.

The volunteers went into shock. This was something they hadn’t predicted and had not wanted. They had all loved Rith, each and every one of them.  They began to disperse slowly, beginning to realize what they had done.. Rith watched them go, watched them all leaving her. They had been everything to her; they had been her life, for nearly a decade.

She turned around slowly, not quite sure where she was going to go, or what she would do.

~~~~****~~~~

Politics IOU will be up on Kindle at the beginning of February. Meanwhile you can read the story for free at www.ellabevan.com

Should one Give Thanks during Hard Times.

Thanksgiving Day is when we get together to share and to give and to remember. 

Indian on boardIn times of prosperity giving thanks comes naturally, or does it?  I can recall many a Thanksgiving Day when what we did mostly was eat far, far too much.

Nowadays we tend to look back to times when our house was worth more, our savings had not been leeched out of the stock market, our children could still afford to pay their student loans, and all adult family members had a job and were working. Is it any wonder that we ask if there is anything for which we should give thanks?

Should one give thanks During Hard Times?   You bet! There are still things over which we do have control; our bodies, our minds, and our home and our family.

Traditionally we share our Gratitude Lists at Thanksgiving. What are you grateful for? Here is my list:

  1. I am grateful for the clean public bathrooms in America (been reading a book about dirty China)
  2. I am grateful for the incredible job Kern County does with its roads.  On a scale of 1-10 it is a 12. Los Angeles County with far more in taxes is only a 3.
  3. I am grateful for the amazing weather we enjoy. It seems global warming works in our favor. Our weather is mild and gentle even as winter approaches. Some people lose and some people gain with climate change and the answer may well be time for those on the East Coast in harms way to re-locate to PMC. 
  4. I am grateful for my new neighbors. They have seven children, all home schooled and such clean fun.
  5. I am grateful for our new store at the Flying J Plaza on the I-5 mid-way between Los Angeles and the Bay area. (great half-way stop) It is working out far better than we ever anticipated.
  6. I am grateful for my health and for my hair which at age seventy  is still its natural color.
  7. I am grateful for Trader Joe.  Even in the hard times to go there is a joyous experience
  8. Most of all though I am grateful for that feeling of goodwill after a joyous Thanksgiving feast.

Bliss!

cat passed out

Faith & Gratitude

The grateful mind is focused on the positive so it attracts good things.to it.

  • You can concentrate on the bad like hurricanes, and the homeless, or you can be grateful for your family, your work, your creative home making  and the good weather in California.
  • You can gripe about the dysfunctional political system or you can be glad that all those horrible attack ads have gone away and that we have another four long years to learn to work together to solve our problems. This is a wonderful country for which I for one am  truly grateful.

Should one give thanks During Hard Times?  Yes indeed.  Making gratitude an art and a skill and  something to teach your children will come back to you as a benefit.  We can even remember to be grateful when bad things go away and yes, they always do.

Quote for the Month 

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. 

William Arthur Ward.

 

Helping your Parent’s Move into a Retirement Home

This is a big event, like getting married or having a baby.

Moving on

I talked with a man in our store last week who had traveled all the way across from Vegas to help his aging father move into a home.

“You are a good son,” I said.

“Today,” he said, “I would agree with you!”

It wasn’t the time of the traveling that had stressed him out, it was sitting with his Dad while he helped him sort through his things which went on for nearly a week. The father had to decide what to take with him and each item was a momentous decision!  Then the next day the old man would change his mind or forget they had handled that item.

“So were you patient? “ I asked.

“Yes I was patient,” he twinkled, “I was really, really, really patient.”

When an elderly parent moves from a home they have lived in for many years it can be a stressful and a highly emotional time. It is a big transition and there is loss and always some grieving.

“Then you are a good son,” I said and I could see that he was.

In early September we often visit Retirement Homes.  I have been amazed at the level of luxury provided by these facilities.  Typically we deal with the Activity Director, officially the Director of Lifestyles. Let me ask you whether at any time in your life you have ever had a Director of Lifestyles at your beck and call, all yours and just to entertain you?

What astounded me was that these homes are not all that expensive; they are in the same degree of rent that my kids are paying in the city. Admittedly I was looking at a five star facility in Bakersfield.  So if your parent’s are able to afford a good retirement home and are outgoing, know they will have a grand old time: they will play Bridge, Bingo, participate in Water Aerobics and this in a pool heated to 85-95 degrees – there is always something going on. Understand that it is only the change that is hard on them.

An excellent idea to help them through these times is to pull out the old photos. Go through the album with them. Notice which ones they like.  Take a child with you so that they can absorb the old family history and stories. Encourage Dad or Mom to talk about the pictures. Each one will have a story. Select the favorite photos and have them made into a collage or two or three. With a collage you can even select a favorite saying like “The Handsome Patriot”  There is not much that they will be able to take with them if they are going into a small suite of rooms. Photos are the one thing that will give them a sense of continuity and connect them to their old life.

Change is hard on older people, but with their family helping them through the transition and their precious memories still with them, it will make it easier to settle down happily into the golden years of their life.

Quote for the Week

Wherever you go, go with all your heart. ~Confucius

Beating Death by Volunteering

Age (or threat of death) could not dim those hazel eyes, filled with so much  life and intelligence.

“So what stands out in your volunteering as a special moment?” I asked.

She smiled.  “At the gift shop late one night,” she said, “I had almost closed when a big Spanish family came, maybe six or seven people. They were so happy I was able to relate to them. Their attitude  made it worthwhile for me to stay the extra 15 minutes or so.”

“How much did they spend? “ I asked.

“Over a hundred dollars,” she said proudly.

Volunteering

Taking Responsibility

Then she looked up at me, her hazel eyes laughing as she made sure I got the right importance. ” Money is not important.  I get much more out of working here than they could ever, ever pay me.”

“Do they pay you?” I asked.

“Of course not, but being a volunteer allows me to be part of something worthwhile.”

This was her story: She had had cancer and it had spread to her liver. She followed the standard therapy guidelines, surgery and chemotherapy but she had decided she was not ready to die.

“I just wasn;t ready to die,” she said.

So she made a strong decision to live and within days was given a chance to be a part of a special study for a new cancer drug which saved her life ,  no side effects..

“Yet you didn’t go back to work?” I watched her count out the change, far faster than I could ever do and I also keep a store.

“There are parts of my brain were impaired by the chemo.” she said, ” I may not be perfect but I decided I would still function and contribute. See here, this machine tells me exactly how much change to give. . . ”

Not just beautiful, not just intelligent but also practical.

I admired her.

 Weekly Quote 

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”
-Albert Schweitzer