Advantages & Disadvantages

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Here are some Positives and Negatives of having a cast, a.k.a. the use of only one arm
(+ = positive, – = negative):
– A cast in 90* weather ain’t fun because you can’t scratch inside [and no, I didn’t resort to knitting needles].

–> + People help you when they see a cast.

– Your fingers, etc. get swollen if/when they are not elevated.

–> + You acquire a new appreciation for ice.

– Opening things is a serious challenge.

–> + You start thinking of new inventions.

– Typing is hard and takes a long time.

–> + Thank goodness for speech recognition software.

– Lifting things using your fingers is a no-no.

–> + With a cast, there is a broader surface to balance things on next to your body.

– There are a lot of things you now can’t do which gives you

–> + an appreciation for all the things you are usually able to do and used to take for granted.


The Mental Health Journey, Pt. 1

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Is it crazy if you see a therapist or counselor? Why that word, why “crazy”? Sometimes I think all those who do not think they need counseling in this life are the “crazy” ones. If you think you can make it through this life alone, without some sort of help, YOU are crazy.

Life is not easy, for anyone, and there are those who need a little extra outside help to get through it. And one should not be looked down upon or think less of oneself if one chooses to get such help. Those who think they do not need even a little help are not always helpful or understanding to those of us who do.

We’re often told, “It’s all in your head.”, or “You’re just lazy.”, “I have felt sad too.” or “Snap out of it!” As you may have guessed, none of these phrases are supportive or helpful. Think of some of the other words that are used to describe someone who is a little “off” and imagine what it would be like to be labelled as such.

For the millions among us who are living with a mental illness, we are thought to be crazy. I choose not to say, “suffering from” mental illness because I do not want to put more of a negative spin on it than already exists. This is due to the already unfortunate prevalent stigma, the stigma that says we’re crazy, among other things.

The rest of the world thinks we’re crazy, or dangerous, or lazy, or insert (mostly negative) adjective of your choice. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are often among the most thought-ful ones. There is a lot going on between our ears. Our thoughts are just not always the most positive or uplifting or constructive, for us personally.

Our attitudes are usually reserved for ourselves alone. Our judgments are most often inwardly focused. And we are our own harshest critics. We share this with others around us, also harsh self-critics. Unlike those around us, we often can’t easily escape the possible downward spiral such negative self-criticism causes. Therefore, we need to “get out of our own heads” which doesn’t always seem easy or even possible.

A Purpose for Pill and Prescription Bottles

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One day, I was minding my own business, scrolling through what friends had posted on Facebook and there it was. There among all the cat videos and friend updates was an interesting and thought-provoking video article. Now I am certainly not saying that my friends don’t post interesting things, much to the contrary. But somehow this one struck me, perhaps because it involved recycling and reusing things.

This article was about sending old prescription bottles to Malawi. It seems that when people in this African country have to get pills and prescriptions, they often have had to carry them in their hands because there are not bottles available. And I don’t know about you, but lately I seem to be collecting prescriptions, and bottles at what seems to me an alarming rate. Perhaps a harbinger of things to come, but I digress.

An organization called the Malawi Project set about collecting and shipping off used prescription bottles, and, between March and November of last year, they managed to send over 2 million bottles. The Post Office was running two and three pickups to the main facility outside Indianapolis. The organization finally stopped operations around Thanksgiving with final shipments going out earlier this year for last-minute donors.

Malawi, one of the least developed African nations, now has over 2 million pill containers, given by people who would otherwise have considered them trash, or perhaps something to be recycled. These are particularly useful and ultimately life-saving items and chances are they will be used over and over again by people in this impoverished country.

Something as seemingly simple and everyday as a pill container could indeed save, or at least change someone’s life halfway around the world. It truly proves the adages that “little things mean a lot’ and “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

As mentioned in the website listed below (under Resources):

“Though the Malawi Project’s initiative has ended, there are plenty of other ways that you can clear out your collection of orange containers and still help people in the process.

*Peel the labels off and send your pill bottles to an international outreach program, such as Matthew 25: Ministries or Samaritan’s Purse (the latter of whom are looking for everything from hospital gowns to lightly used defibrillators, in addition to medicine bottles).

*Contact an animal hospital or ASPCA near you to see if they could use some pill bottles stock for pet medicines. (And remind me to tell you that story sometime about my chinchilla’s morphine addiction.)

*Reach out to your local community health center or homeless shelter to find out if they’re accepting donations. Because as cool as it is to think of your used medicine bottles making a difference all the way across the world, you might have neighbors who could use the help as well.”

I think I will continue minding my own business, with Facebook and other outlets, because it may lead to other ways to help other people improve their lots, their lives and their outlooks.

Resources :