Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Getting Older and Forgetting Who You Don't Like!

My mom is moving. To a senior apartment in a fabulous place. It has a movie theater, a fine dining restaurant, a cocktail hour bar. She’s moving from a 2300 square foot 3 bedroom, 2 full bath townhome. She’s downsizing but to a much nicer place with lots of social activity and more.Although we’ve never, really, gotten along for all my or her life, she thinks (or needs to believe) we are best friends now. She’s constantly telling me “I don’t know what I would do without you.” And, because we’ve never (and still don’t) get along all that well, I tend to think she’s only saying that because there is no one else in the family who can, or will, help her. I have a sister who doesn’t and hasn’t done anything to help her in years. The only other person who helps her is my son who, conveniently, lives 7 miles away and can fix “stuff”. Thank goodness because her *stuff* isn’t the only stuff that needs help; I’m always first or second on the list of “help me, please?”Point being is I think when we get older and more help-less we may tend to believe those who help us (even though we may not really like the helper’s) are our favorite(s). When it comes to being an older person and all alone? Does our idea of “love” change, depending upon how much help we need?I have an ex-sister-in-law who is 62 years old. She’s living with her son and daughter-in-law and has been for almost 4 years. After a year of living in her current situation after her divorce (living with her son and his family was supposed to be temporary) she ended up living at her son’s place longer than planned and taking care of his and his wife’s 2 children, thus the total of 4 years now. She’s seeing an 82 year old man and surprised me a couple of weeks ago with the statement “I think I might marry him.” I was a bit shocked as she had sex with him, maybe once (said it was fabulous - ?) and hasn’t stayed overnight at his home but once or twice in a year since having great sex with him. I’m of the opinion that she, too, is only hanging out with the guy because she’ll be leaving her son’s soon, this Spring, when the last of the 2 kids will be in school full time.Need. Neediness. Confusing love with need or easiness. Is this what happens to us when we get desperate? Or is this what happens to us when we get old? Or both?

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Hospital Germ Is On The Warpath

I'm publishing this article from the November 2014 issue of the AARP Bulletin. I've never heard of this bug before, "C.diff", and that it can only be eradicated by bleach. So, start wearing white and mix up a little bleach and water and carry it with you. I think Clorox has wipes with bleach in the wipes - this way you can wear whatever color you want! Hate those bleach dot stains..........

Grace Voros was 85 and enjoying life, watching her family grow and taking romantic walks with the man she fell in love with 61 years ago, when she took a minor fall. She went to the hospital for an x-ray, where tests confirmed she had no broken bones. But while there, she contracted an infection no one in the family had ever heard about, “C. diff,” and died.
C. diff, short for Clostridium difficile, is raging through hospitals, infecting hundreds of thousands of patients a year. The bacteria contaminate every surface, including bed rails, bed tables, nurses’ uniforms, privacy curtains, faucets and call buttons. When patients touch these surfaces and then pick up food without washing their hands, they ingest the germ. Any patient taking antibiotics who ingests C. diff is in danger of developing severe diarrhea, leading to dehydration, inflammation of the colon and even death.
Routine cleaning isn’t enough to protect you from C. diff. Researchers at Case Western Reserve and the Cleveland VA Medical Center found that after routine cleaning at a hospital, 78 percent of surfaces were still contaminated. To kill the germ, you need to use bleach.
When surfaces are not properly disinfected, the results can be deadly. At Thomas Jefferson Medical Center in Philadelphia, three consecutive patients occupying the same room came down with C. diff. One died.
Staffs at many U.S. hospitals are woefully uninformed about what to do. One study reported that 39 percent of medical personnel didn’t know that C. diff could be spread on stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs and other equipment. About two-thirds of medical staff were unaware they should clean their hands with soap and water, because alcohol sanitizers don’t kill this superbug.
What can you do to protect yourself? Insist that everyone treating you clean their hands before touching you.
Clean your own hands thoroughly before eating. Do not touch your hands to your lips. Do not place your food or utensils on any surface except your plate. Ask family to bring wipes containing bleach to clean the items around your bed.
When you leave the hospital, assume any belongings you bring home are contaminated. Do not mix clothes from the hospital with the family wash; wash with bleach. Regular laundry detergents do not kill C. diff.If you are visiting someone in the hospital, be careful about eating in the cafeteria or a restaurant where the staff go in their scrubs or uniforms. These uniforms could be covered in invisible superbugs. More than 20 percent of nurses’ uniforms had C. diff on them at the end of a workday, according to one study. Imagine sliding into a restaurant booth after a nurse has left the germ on the table or the seat. You could easily pick it up on your hands and then ingest it with your sandwich.Poor hospital hygiene and lax practices such as wearing scrubs in public are putting all of us at risk. That’s why I founded RID, the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths, so that other families won’t have to go through what Grace Voros’ family suffered.
This article was written by Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York.