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A couple of ways to help yourself


Thu, Jul 2nd, 2009
Posted in Commentary

In cases of emergency medical services there is often a degree of confusion even when there are alert knowledgeable relatives and friends at the scene. This is especially true about two things, medications and, to a lesser degree, end of life directives.

Those people on medications of any kind should have a list that is readily available to family and emergency personnel. You should ask your doctor or clinic to print out a list for you. Many departments at Mayo print out such a list routinely and ask the patient to check it for completeness. They normally will be happy to print out a list for you to take home.

It doesn't stop there. You should be sure to add any over the counter medicines such as cough medicine and antihistamines and so forth that you start after the list is made out. You should add the date started and try to remember to cross out the medicine and add the date stopped for all discontinued medicines including over the counter medications.

Place the list in a large envelope and label it with large letters. Use something like red or orange crayon or ink to label it. Use large block letters. You want it to be found easily.

Even if you have a live-in relative or friend, they may not be around when emergency people need to have the information. A good place to put the envelope is taped to the refrigerator. This was recommended when I was doing emergency service run report critiques. and I assume it is still taught to EMTs.

Placing another copy in the medicine chest of the bathroom is also a good idea. I've seen a lot of EMTs and first responders look there for the medicine bottles. People keep nitroglycerine in their pocket and medicines they take more than once daily in the kitchen (sometimes in the strangest places).

If you have someone who is likely to be about and willing to help you, give them a copy as well.

Do not assume you will be able to tell the EMTs about your medications. Even the most sophisticated healthcare worker, when faced with a possible life threatening event, is often not a reliable source.

You should check the list often. When you pay your utility bill each month is a good reminder to think of changing the list if you started a new vitamin or over the counter drug. Every time your doctor orders a new medicine or changes the dose, ask for a new list to be printed.

Medical directives for end of life care seem to create lots of confusion. Their purpose .....
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One Moment Please: Open enrollment

Thu, Jul 2nd, 2009
Posted in Commentary

On the cover of the June 29, 2009 issue of the Fillmore County Journal, we ran a story about the impact of open enrollment on Fillmore County.

Without a doubt, this has had an influence on school budgets and interaction between area schools, ..... 
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Retire, already

Fri, Jun 26th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

I thought eight years of Dick Cheney's sneer was about ten years too many. Now, it seems, he can't find his way home to Wyoming, a place where only the antelope listen.

Then, my compassionate side kicked in. Having seen industries shut down ..... 
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One moment, please: Sizing me up...

Fri, Jun 26th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

It's become pretty apparent to me that people are trying to size me up, pondering how I'll approach political issues.

I have received e-mails, phone calls, and anonymous hand-written letters (with no return addresses on the envelopes) - and ..... 
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Why Congress needs institutionalists

Fri, Jun 26th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

It takes all kinds of people to make the U.S. Congress work. The ambitious and the laid-back, loners and consensus-builders, partisans and aisle-crossers - all have their place. In these highly politicized times, though, there's one type who is part ..... 
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One moment, please... Serving Fillmore County

Mon, Jun 22nd, 2009
Posted in Commentary

As I have visited with Fillmore County residents and business owners, I have arrived at the conclusion that if our masthead says "Fillmore County Journal," then we need to do our best to make sure every household in Fillmore County receives our news ..... 
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Make weatherization plans for winter now

Fri, Jun 19th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Planning to make your home more energy efficient for winter is probably not on the top of your agenda for things to do in June. This is a time for leaving windows open over night to let the cool air in, allowing us to wake to a cacophony of birdsong ..... 
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Wild Ethics

Fri, May 29th, 2009
Posted in Commentary



The cyclist, earphones in his ears, zooms by me, looking neither right or left, intent on speed and endurance and I wonder why he bothers to bike on this section of the Harmony / Preston Trail that runs along Camp Creek where fish swim and ..... 
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A religious conversion: I don't think so

Fri, May 29th, 2009
Posted in Commentary



This week the American Health Insurance Plans organization (insurance trade organization), along with 5 other health care groups, notified the administration they were on board for healthcare reform. The one caveat they have notified the adm ..... 
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