Saturday, December 27, 2008

Health care, tanking economy, and many worries

If you live in the United States, you may be one of the millions who have substandard or no health insurance. And, if you're in fear of losing your job or you have lost it, you may be heading that way soon.

According to an AARP survey on baby boomers and healthcare issues, "Nearly two out of ten adults age 45 and older are not very confident that they will be able to afford medical care in the coming year." The survey showed that 9% of respondents were not very confident and 10% weren't confident at all about affording health care, not a very encouraging result.

If the economy continues down its troubled path, these healthcare concerns will only worsen. I have heard some other points of view though, a glass half-full type of vision of what's happening. Some people are saying that a poorer economy will see people eating in more with healthier foods, rather than the huge high calorie, high fat, high salt foods that often come through the fast food restaurants. A slower economy may mean less expensive activities that can be replaced by hiking, cycling, or other outdoor activities. Socially, people may get together more as visiting family and friends becomes an entertainment alternative. So, maybe not all is bad. If we can keep healthier, we can keep our health costs down somewhat.

As a Canadian, I don't understand the strong opposition to having the government step in and help control healthcare costs and provide universal coverage for all and I feel very badly for those who have to make such tough decisions as to what is more important: eating or going to the doctor.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Don’t feel sorry for me because I’m working over Christmas

I celebrate Christmas and I have a loving family. I have my husband, my three young adult children, a sister, and in-laws with whom we can and do spend lovely holiday time. But I don’t begrudge working special holidays like Christmas and I rarely ever did. Of course, I’d rather not, but it is what it is and being upset over it wouldn’t change anything.

I can’t say that there’s something magical about working Christmas, because I don’t think there is. It’s a job, it’s work and it has to be done, whether it’s 3 o’clock in the morning or it’s December 25th. But the reason I don’t think it’s the end of the world is because December 25th is one day out of 365 and if you can’t be with your family on that exact day, who is to say that you can’t celebrate it before or after?

If you’re of faith and celebrate the birth of Christ, you can do so privately in your thoughts and, while it’s not the same as being in a church with your peers, God knows where you are and what you’re thinking.

If you celebrate a secular Christmas, the day shouldn’t be a big issue. Sure, traditions are nice, but should our lives be so centered on tradition that our heart breaks if we need to make an adjustment?

I read of a young woman who was absolutely furious that a few family members were going to spend Christmas day with another relative, a command performance, she called it. She was so angry that her tradition of the past seven years was being destroyed that she was going to call that relative to give her a piece of her mind. Is this the meaning of Christmas?

The woman had her family to celebrate on Christmas day for seven years. Does life change because on the eighth year, the plans change and she sees them another day? Is that what Christmas is supposed to be about? Your way or no way at all?

No – whether you celebrate Christmas or some other holiday, or even if you just enjoy the time of year, it is but a day. And the Christmas spirit is one that we should always carry with us and it allows us to love and celebrate with those around us, no matter when we are with them.

So, don’t feel sorry for me because I’m working on Christmas day. I’ll see my family on Christmas Eve. I’ll see them on Christmas night. And while you and they are enjoying Christmas day, I’ll be doing my bit to try to help others who also can’t be at home.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Concerned about Santa's health?

Have you ever considered Santa and his health? After all, he's older than old, not exactly in the best of physical shape, and he eats so many cookies that I wonder about his blood sugar and cholesterol.

Because of this, I wrote a letter to Santa expressing my concern. Maybe you can add to it too: Santa is a Senior too!

News for Today:

Piven's Doc: Stop Him From Eating Fish

Toronto doctors develop method to preserve lungs for transplants

Woman fainted from sandwiches, doctors report