Saturday, May 30, 2009


So this summer L and I will be letter boxing. Some new friends introduced us to the concept and I am very excited about it. I love a good treasure hunt. L named out team: FAST BREEZE. She put together our letter boxing kit and we are thinking about hiding some also.

Wanna learn more, surf over to

Today we searched for 3 letter boxes here in the area and we found 1, played in two parks and really enjoyed the wonderful spring day.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Coffee Calories

The first cup of coffee I ever had was in Germany in 1990. My host family drank coffee every day for breakfast. My host brother liked to go to the cafe for coffee, mainly espresso or cappuccino. It was served in cute little cups with butter cookies. When I first drank coffee, I would add sugar to it. Either these natural sugar cubes or some raw sugar. In Germany they serve the coffee with Kaffe Sahne, or cream. Sometimes it is more like evaporated milk.

Today we drink decaf and even though I avoid dairy, I use a bit of half and half. It just seems right. The fake coffee creamer is well fake. I love the decaf at Northstar. I think it is the best coffee in the city.

Tonight I was watching some tv and both Wendy's and McDonalds have frozen calorie laden coffee drinks. Wendy's a coffee toffee whipped frosty and McDonalds some kind of mocha (which classically is hot chocolate and coffee and in Europe it is not all that sweet.)

Am I the only one who finds it ironic, that as bikini season is upon us, both of these restaurants roll out super sweet, high calorie beverages? Not that I will be running out to try either of these confections any time soon.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

11 minutes

Today I ran 2 miles, each in about 11 minutes. This is my average, although I have not been running regularly. At the time of the half mara, I clocked anywhere between 9:45 and 10:30. (not that I managed that the day of the race - lol!)

I have decided to try and train for the half mara this year... H is running again and I want to as well. I think if I start now, I can build up my ankle and my endurance and I hope to beat my last time.

We'll see....

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A differnt point of view

It is no secret, I have been seeking alternative therapies and supportive care for my food issues. Modern medicine has little to offer me, short of do not eat the things that make you ill. Good plan and advice really, but what about the symptoms and the malaise which follows accidental exposure. My tummy does not unknot itself overnight. In retrospect this last exposure I think highlighted an ongoing and accumulating issue... one that had been building up and I was just not as plugged in as I usually am.

Having a stomach and intestines tied in knots is not fun.

So I have sought out some different remedies and I think they are working. Would time have done the same? Maybe? Do I feel better today? Yep!

So when I read about the young boy in MN, who is forgoing cancer treatment - proven treatment, I am left unsure of how I feel. On one hand, I think everyone should have the right to choose their own treatment plan. He is a young adult. The details of the case were murky.

I think this case though cast much doubt on natural providers and that is unfair. These "non" medical remedies and treatments have merit. Supportive care has merits.

I feel very present in my body. I credit YOGA and my desire to feel my best. I listen to my body. I feel connected to my body. I very likely have a chronic and have had a chronic auto-immune disorder from childhood. Much damage has already been done to my tummy and intestines.

My hope is by watching my diet and exercising and managing and supporting my body, I can do no more harm and hopefully my body will be well enough supported to heal itself. I believe that is possible. I believe we can heal.

For many traditional doctors, it is about treating. For me it is about supporting. How can I best support my immune system. How can I best support my body.

I think certainly there are quacks out there - some went to medical school and other did not, but I also think there are many highly training alternative practitioners, who bring much to table. I also think if we can get to a point where we are present in our bodies and free our minds, amazing things are possible.

Slug Bug

E and I were driving in the car yesterday. We play the slug bug game. He is getting really good at it.

Yesterday he yells out, "Slug bug, I am not sure what color that is, but it is mine!"

It was some odd shade of purple...

Go E!

Open Letter to CEO of Mt. Carmel CEO

This is: Claus Von Zychlin
President and CEO
Mount Carmel Health System

And this open letter is for him!

Dear Mr. Von Zychlin:

I want to bring some issues regarding my mother and her health care to your attention. According to your website you preside over:

the second-largest health care system in central Ohio. Our more than 8,000 employees and 1,500 physicians utilize state-of-the-art facilities, advanced technologies and the latest procedures to accomplish our mission of healing patients’ minds, bodies and spirits, and improving the health of the communities we serve.

I would like to point out that the 8000 employees you have are receiving substandard service and care from your Health Plan. I am going to tell you a story.

My mother has thyroid cancer. A rare form of thyroid cancer. One that has caused us to exhaust normal avenues, avenues within your system. Two very well respected doctors in YOUR SYSTEM agreed that she would need to seek care out of network. Here begins the issues. If we could get proper care in your system we would, trust me, we are not really having a good time struggling thru this minefield.

Aetna, your chosen provider, to act as administrator of your own self insured insurance plan in my opinion offers substandard customer service - to both the participants and the provider.

From the time of the 1st referral, almost 18 months ago up to and including yesterday visit to our Thyroid cancer specialist at OSU/The James, we have been treated shabbily and it has been a circus of phone calls upon phone calls, upon faxes and I wish the issues ended there.

The referring physician should not have to make multiple phone calls and be subjected to hurdle after hurdle. Sadly this has been our experience, the reps on the phone either cannot or will not listen and are unable (a training issue I believe) to think critically and ask appropriate questions. Under normal circumstance a specialist would not refer to another specialist - but this is not a normal circumstance. The reps need to be trained for both.

Furthermore, we should not have to start this process from ground zero each and every time we request a renewal, the referring physician should have a single point of contact to call. Someone trained to speak with highly trained and specialized physicians. Your providers deserve that and your employees also. As a client of Aetna - you should be demanding the highest level of service for your employees and your Medical providers.

In addition, we had approval to go to the hospital for some high level radiation and at the 11th hours something went wrong - there was a miscommunication. The reps at Aetna had not crossed their t's and that of course became our problem, which we had to involve two physicians and we almost had to scuttle this treatment due to YOUR insurances plan lack of attention to detail. That was embarrassing, my mother works for the 2nd largest hospital system in the city and their insurance plan is administratively substandard.

Whilst speaking of substandard let's explore your lab and film rooms inability to follow direct physician orders. Orders written in bold print on the form or prescription notice. As part of Aetna's approval for out of network treatment, we have to have all CAT scans and MRIs and Lab work addressed within your system. Which we understand, is a significant cost savings. It makes wonderful fiscal sense. IF YOUR SYSTEM COULD HANDLE FOLLOW THROUGH! The orders clearly state that the results are to be faxed to the physician ORDERING the test at OSU. Those labs and scans are useless unless they make it to the physician requesting them.

After a 6 week fight to get the approval to see the doctor yesterday, we get there and yep - no labs results and no scans and no notes from the radiologist who read the films. Are you kidding me? So we waited an additional 1 hour, while his staff tried to track them down at Mt. Carmel. How embarrassing. The lack of attention to detail is astounding. How can your labs and other departments be trusted to see to in-patient care when they are this sloppy with my mother's care?

I had both of my babies at your St. Ann's location. Going forward, I plan to seek care elsewhere. Your hospitals in ability to follow simply instructions is questionable. Your health plan is not customer/associate friendly.

I will say we involved KS in benefits and she did get a process outlined for us - for the doctor to use every time we need to get approval. I am not convinced that this is not going make the process smoother, I am not convinced that this is not going to once again be a pain, more stress than my mother needs. My mother is trying to be a committed employee and stay as healthy as possible.

Before you write this letter off as being from some writer who likes to read her own writing, I will point out I am 1/2 way thru my MBA and I spent almost 10 years at a large financial services company. I have sold benefit plans - I understand how the ins and outs work. I know that you are not getting what you pay for OR PERHAPS you are. Perhaps it is your hope, as a method of cost savings, that if you make this process SO INCONVENIENT that employees will just stop the process. The problem in OUR case - it would mean a death sentence for my mother.

I know medical insurance is expensive for both the employee and the employer. Containing costs is important - HOWEVER as a medical company - shame on you for potentially trying to cut costs at the price of your employees' health and mental well being - the same employees entrusted with caring for the community. The hypocrisy is appalling and I am writing this letter to make you aware. It is my hope that you take a role of leadership and DO SOMETHING TO MAKE IT BETTER for the very people who represent you day after day, shift after shift.

I welcome dialogue on at THOUGHT'S FROM THE EDGE, feel free to contact via this blog.

All the Best!

Cancer Live Update

Yesterday was a great day - unless you were the well documented tumors in my mother's lungs. The day glow cocktail my Mom imbibed in February did its job! There are no new tumors and the existing ones are smaller or the same! Awesome!

The grand poopba is pleased. He praised our efforts with the Low Iodine Diet. Yeah!

So the next steps are monitor those tumors, so Mom will have blood work and an MRI and a CAT Scan. We head back to see the poopba around Halloween. The Day-Glo cocktail is still working and will continue to for a few months. He wants us to wait and we will take it as it comes.

The hope all along was/is that the Radio Iodine (Day-Glo cocktail) would do exactly what it has done. Then we continue monitering, until her bloodwork or scans indicate that the tumors are growing or new ones have cropped up!

So in October we will know - was the lull in growth - a short or possibly long term accomplishment. If/When those bad boy start growing again - then we would consider clinical trials and chemo... the chemo is a rough deal and right now - mom is working, feeling ok and if the tumors will just hang and not grow - then chemo offers - experimental chemo does not have much to offer in terms of net gain.

So all around - a great outcome.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


H and I went out last night. We had an Indian Feast and then H suggested we go shopping. We have not gone fun shopping in a long time. In truth I did not need anything, but he suggested we look for something I liked.

We looked at washers and dryers at the Great Indoors. Our front load is one of the first on the market and seven years old, so we are pre-shopping, knowing it may give out and wanting to be on top of our choices.

Then H picked me out something at Ann Taylor Loft, last year everything was print there and this year all solid colors and then he went to the new Forever 21. It is huge at Polaris and in the new outdoor section of the mall there.

I have been clear about my lack of success with the maxi dress. I have tried them on everywhere... with limited success! I even went the route of trying them on at Macy's and Nordstrom, under the theory that more expensive would mean better cut and better quality. Not so much. I had given up.

H talked me into trying on a few at Forever 21 and I am pleased to say, that i found one. It fits nice and it looks nice.

It was a nice relaxed evening and as H said as we drove home, now you have something to wear next weekend, when we go out!