Monday, October 31, 2005

Falling Up

Normally, this time of year is a downer for me. As soon as the days start getting shorter, the seasonal affective disorder kicks in. But this is the second year - maybe even the third - that I've felt great. My husband and I went to a bed and breakfast in Madison, Ohio. We went to a winery Saturday night and a tavern on Sunday, spending some good together time together. My life, my mental state, my marriage all seem surreal to me when compared to my past life. I can remember walking at lunchtime when the trees were brilliantly colored, the sun shining and thinking what a beautiful day and feeling worse than dead inside. What a very long way it has been. The secret is perseverance - never, ever give up or give in. Gratitude goes through me like waves. My life is more than I could have imagined and the reason it happened this way is my husband. God must have answered not only my prayers, but all the prayers of all my friends and family when he brought us together.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Are hurricanes bad for the economy?

Wondering how the country's economy is doing after all this disaster? Who knows? There's a different story depending where you look. I found this and that . There's more than two sides to this story - it depends on who and where you are. Displaced? Unemployed? Everything you own destroyed? Wrong place at the wrong time. Own energy stock? Work for a reconstruction company? Don't live in the south? Could be good. How do individual people's economic state add up to a country's economic state? I'm not an economist. I hope that people remember when they are breathing their sigh of relief that a hurricane victim still needs help getting their life going again.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Friday, October 14, 2005

Mental Health Parity

When the body is ill, that illness is covered by insurance. The brain is a part of the body. Actually, the most important part if you consider stories such as Terry Schiavo's. The brain controls the rest of the body physically and houses the intellectual and emotional. We live in our brain, but if it gets sick, my insurance company makes me pay 3 times as much to see my 'brain doctor' as it does my family doctor. Plus there is a limit as to how many visits per year I can go to the psychiatrist or psychologist.

Why? My guesses:

  • Insurance companies claim diagnosis is too objective e.g., no blood tests.
  • Stigma - mental illness affects behavior and that can be scary.
  • The misconception that it is not a bona fide illness even though it is widely accepted in the health field as biological and/or genetic.

Mental illness can be fatal by suicide. Most mentally ill are not criminals, although most criminals have a mental illness. People with mental illness want to get better, feel good enough to work and take care of their families, and be treated with the same respect that cancer, heart, and diabetes patients get treated.

Some states have mental health parity. Ohio does not. Does yours?

Beacon Journal 10/07/05

Mental illness deserves to be treated like any other ailment.
Ohio has won a five-year, $14-million federal grant to help transform mental health services. Gov. Bob Taft announced the award Monday. The grant was worth notice. It is another step forward in what is proving to be a long and difficult road: ensuring that mental illnesses are treated with the same urgency and level of care as other diseases.
Critical to this goal is providing health insurance coverage on a par with the coverage for other physical ailments. On Tuesday, a state Senate committee suspended hearings on a bill that seeks to do just that. Once again, on the question of parity in mental-health coverage, the Statehouse is dragging its feet, presumably analyzing the potential impact, a pattern of legislative zeal that has killed one parity proposal after another during the past 18 years.
The inaction has not been for lack of awareness that mental illness is devastating. Or that effective treatment enables most patients to lead productive lives. Or that inadequately addressed, mental illness exacts a heavy toll on the health-care system, social services and families. An estimated 30 percent to 40 percent of children in the child welfare system have a mental illness diagnosis. Among the homeless, 30 percent have a serious mental illness, as does 40 percent of juveniles in the justice system.
Senate Bill 116 proposes coverage for mental illness comparable to that for other conditions. The bill is limited to mental illnesses that are biologically based (such as schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive, bipolar and depressive disorders). Further, the bill nods to businesses, its staunchest opponents, exempting those that show the coverage would raise the cost of their health insurance by more than 1 percent.
Taft has opposed mental health parity bills on the grounds they impose costly mandates. In this instance, a separate bill to cover equipment and supplies for diabetics has become the convenient obstacle that could snuff the parity bill. The shame is Ohio pays a heavier cost for the failure to act.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

This is Pop!

This is Pop!

Among lots of other interesting web pop culture stuff, great links to Lost , my favorite new show. I had to rent Season 1 to catch up on missed episodes.

Ancient Library

Ancient Library

This site is from the guy who does, a site you can catalog your library so easily. Just type in the title of your book, select it from the list and it's on your list with all the info.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

mocove on 43 Things

mocove on 43 Things

43things made the world a little smaller. This link shows how my husband and Chuq met at a Red Cross shelter in Louisiana while volunteering.

Animal Planet :: Panda Video Cam

Animal Planet :: Panda Video Cam

On Monday, October 17th, the National Zoo will name the baby panda cub. According to tradition, panda cubs are named on their 100th day. Check out the site to see pictures of the cub's exams and videos of the vets taking care of him reporting on his progress.

Monday, October 10, 2005

OK, time for something useful or interesting or both. Today was painting class. We are working on mountains. The class is in acrylics and I've been taking it for a year at

Sunday, October 09, 2005

My first post on my first blog. I will need some practice with this plus navigating around.