“…happiness exposes results that not only are surprising but reinforce things we should have known all along: like the fact that having flowers in the house really does make us happier. As the instructor of “The Science of Happiness” at Harvard Medical School and the director of the Program in Aesthetics and Well Being at Massachusetts General Hospital, Nancy Etcoff is uniquely qualified to solve the mysteries of contentment.
“Skewering the popular wisdom that beauty is a social construct, this Harvard psychologist argues that we ogle such features because they radiate the health and fertility our species needs to survive.”
Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords spoke for the first time since she was shot in the forehead, her
spokesman said Wednesday, yet another significant milestone in her recovery from a traumatic brain injury. A true testament to her dogged determination to get well and all of the positive energy being sent her from thousands of well wishers and her loving family.
Giffords first spoke within the past few days and is speaking “more and more,” spokesman C.J. Karamargin said Wednesday. He didn’t know what her first words were, but said at breakfast one morning she asked for toast.
“She’s working very hard and it’s paying off,” he told The Associated Press. “We’re elated at this. We always knew Gabby is a fighter and that she’s not going to let this thing win. And you know, every day is proof of that.”
Six people, including a 9-year-old girl and a federal judge, were killed in the attack outside a grocery store where Giffords was meeting with constituents. Thirteen people, including Giffords, were injured.
Other news organizations, including Politico, earlier reported that Giffords had asked for toast and was able to speak.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Giffords’ husband Mark Kelly said his wife had her appetite back and was eating three times a day, “even though it’s hospital food.”
“It is hard to believe that only one month has passed since Gabrielle was shot,” he wrote. “The doctors say she is recovering at lightning speed considering her injury but they aren’t kidding when they say this is a marathon process.”
He said “there are encouraging signs every day,” pointing to her renewed appetite.
“Your prayers are being heard, so don’t stop,” he wrote.
Kelly, a NASA astronaut, said last week that he expects his wife to be well enough to be at his space launch in two months.
The space shuttle Endeavour will leave April 19 for a two-week mission to the International Space Station, and Kelly will be on board leading a veteran, all-male crew. The mission will be Endeavour’s final flight and Kelly’s fourth.
Dr. Gerard Francisco, who is treating Giffords at a rehabilitation facility in Houston, said Tuesday that he hopes the congresswoman can make enough progress to attend the space launch, but said it’s too early to say.
Like the old TV show said give me the simple life, Beatitudes in Phoenix, AZ. allows its patients like Ms. Nance, 96, afflicted with Alzheimer’s, “to sleep, be bathed and dine whenever she wants, even at 2 a.m. She could eat anything, too, no matter how unhealthy, including unlimited chocolate.
And she was given a baby doll, a move that seemed so jarring that a supervisor initially objected until she saw how calm Ms. Nance became when she rocked, caressed and fed her “baby,” often agreeing to eat herself after the doll “ate” several spoonfuls.
Dementia patients at Beatitudes are allowed practically anything that brings comfort, even an alcoholic “nip at night,” said Tena Alonzo, director of research. “Whatever your vice is, we’re your folks,” she said.
Once, Ms. Alonzo said: “The state tried to cite us for having chocolate on the nursing chart. They were like, ‘It’s not a medication.’ Yes, it is. It’s better than Xanax.”
It is an unusual posture for a nursing home, but Beatitudes is actually following some of the latest science. Research suggests that creating positive emotional experiences for Alzheimer’s patients diminishes distress and behavior problems.”
In desperation medical people are trying many different non-drug approaches to their care.There is no effective medical treatment for Alzheimer’s yet, most dementia therapy is the care giving performed by families and nursing homes. Some 11 million people care for Alzheimer’s-afflicted relatives at home. In nursing homes, two-thirds of residents have some dementia. Caregiving support training a priority
Caregiving is considered so crucial that several federal and state agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, are adopting research-tested programs to support and train caregivers. This month, the Senate Special Committee on Aging held a forum about Alzheimer’s care giving.
“There’s actually better evidence and more significant results in caregiver interventions than there is in anything to treat this disease so far,” said Lisa P. Gwyther, education director for the Bryan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Duke University.
The National Institute on Aging and the Administration on Aging are now financing caregiving studies on “things that just kind of make the life of an Alzheimer’s patient and his or her caregiver less burdensome,” said Sidney M. Stahl, chief of the Individual Behavioral Processes branch of the Institute on Aging.
Techniques include using food, scheduling, art, music and exercise to generate positive emotions; engaging patients in activities that salvage fragments of their skills; and helping caregivers be more accepting and competent.
Caregiving at Beatitudes in Phoenix, AZ. takes on a wholistic individualized tender loving care, hopefully more organizations and institutions will follow this model.
Anna Kasper, who took care of nursing home patients, delivered pizza and cleaned offices, had a warm giving personality.
Connie Culp, (Seen on the right.) who waited tables and painted restaurants and shared her time and good will with people before a tragedy nearly took her life. Connie has became the recipient of the first successful near-total face transplant in the United States.
She rose above life’s challenges, and kept her sense of humor no matter how rough things got. This gift has helped her recover.
In a groundbreaking transplant Cleveland Clinic doctors performed a face transplant in 2008.
Anna Kasper’s family made the announcement to give Anna her place in medical history.
Connie’s life after her surgery.
“Connie’s like Anna in a lot of ways,” says Ron Kasper, Anna’s husband, “…enjoyes life, smiles lots and has a great attitude even after everything she’s been through.
Saturday the two families met for the first time.
It was great how much the two clans had in common.
Both are very nice people.
Ron and his son remodel homes and paint for a living.
Connie Culp and her husband had a painting business and remodeled their home together.
The Kaspers had a grandchild who was about a year old at the time of the transplant.
Connie did, too.
The two women were born 14 months apart.
Their skin color is incredibly similar.
Their blood type, identical.
It was Ron and the couple’s three children who agreed to donate Anna’s face back in December 2008, the day after Anna collapsed and died on her back porch.
Their son, Ronald, now 21, found Anna slumped over at the bottom of the back steps she was purple. Paramedics revived her on the way to Lakewood Hospital, but tests showed what the family already knew. The 44-year-old woman was brain dead.
The family folowed Anna’s wishes.
In life she shared her time, money and many things with other people. In death her organs and tissues continue to give life to others.
However, no one was prepared for the call from a specialist from the Cleveland Clinic, who called the house to ask for Anna’s face. The family only took minutes to agree.
Anna wished to be cremated, so there wasn’t going to be an open casket. And that Anna was already an organ donor and her face bones, muscles and other tissues were a perfect match. This was a miracle in itself.
“But the overriding factor was we knew it was what Anna would’ve wanted,” says Ron, his voice breaking as he fights back tears.
“My mom would say, ‘Hell if I can’t use it and somebody else can, they can have it,’ ” Becky says.
No doubt Connie needed a face. In 2004 her common-law husband shot her in in the face, Connie was so disfigured, children ran from her and called her a monster.
Her nose was missing. So was her right eye, her lower eyelids, her upper lip, her top teeth. She had to breathe through a hole in her throat and eat through a tube. Most of her vision was gone.
On Dec. 10, 2008, surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic spent 23 hours removing skin and muscle, veins and arteries, teeth and bone from Anna and sewing them onto what remained of Connie Culp’s face, surgery that changed her life.
Connie, 47, has been thanking her donor from the moment she stepped out on the public stage in 2009, never able to name her because she didn’t know who she was.
Today she can.
Neil Lantzy, Cleveland ClinicBecky Kasper hugs Connie Culp after meeting her for the first time Saturday. Becky, her brother, sister and father agreed to donate her mother’s face to Connie after Anna Kasper died of a heart attack.
Connie doesn’t look like Anna because their bone structure is different.
“But I can definitely see the resemblance in the nose,” Becky says. “I know she’s smiling down on this, that she’s very happy.”
More than 50 people benefited from Anna’s donated organs and tissue.
“All of life is a journey; which paths we take, what we look back on, and what we look forward to is up to us. We determine our destination, what kind of road we will take to get there, and how happy we are when we get there. From A Little Book of Happiness”
Never, did I dream that on a trip to the Sunflower Market in Tucson, AZ., I would meet a such a friendly determined courageous and positive woman.
I was simply browsing in an isle as this woman rush past me with her cart and labeler. The isle was narrow with displays, she excused herself as she breezed by me to work a few feet from where I was. She was so intent on her work, I commented that she looked like a woman on a mission. She agreed.
This woman exuded positive upbeat energy like a generator.
I told her it was refreshing to talk with someone that seemed to be happy to serve people. She said, “You know last week there was someone in the store that told me how awful the world was.
I responded, “You know I’m so happy and grateful for all I have my boyfriend and I love each other. Even though we face these challenges:
“…Erik has been battling kidney failure,( I.G.A. Naprothy; Berger’s Disease) for over two years now. I am giving him hemodialysis at home every day in a pleasant- positive environment.
Our house is in foreclosure, because all our money is going towards his care, bills, and he has not worked in a long time.
Our insurance has told us that we must do the transplants at a hospital outside of Arizona , the hospital needs to have a five star rating, there are none in Arizona.
The medical doctor told us he will need a double transplant – kidney and liver. “
Erik’s dialysis nurse Suzi Wood who has been such a huge help and inspiration to both of us threw this whole ordeal is retiring. We honestly wouldn’t be where we are in our health and mind set without her in our lives. We are so grateful for her support.”
The Good News
The medical doctor told us he will need a double transplant – kidney and liver, but the good news is going on the two organ wait list usually takes less time to get the transplants.
The foreclosure has been extended, so we won’t have to move at the end of the November.
Foreclosure is not the worst thing that could happen. When we move we will make better financial choices and get a place to live that does not require the upkeep this one does.
Sunflower Market where Barbara works has totally supported her. If she needs to leave to go with him to doctor or do the dialysis, they say do what you need to do, we’ll see you later.
I have so much to be thankful for and happy about.”
I arranged to meet this couple together outside of work. At the interview, I was greeted by two very upbeat people that talked about going to NASCAR over the weekend. It had been two years since Erik had been able to attend the NASCAR event. His health is finally stable! Never would I guess they were facing so many daunting life threatening challenges.
Erik Ringquist is 43 years old and looks in good shape. He was captain of his Jackson , Minnesota High football team. He stays home now and does most everything there as he awaits the word from the Denver Hospital to come up for their testing.
Erik attributes his positive attitude to his father, Allen Ringquist, for never letting him quit and always giving him a good work ethic, and to his football coach, Tyrone Wacker, who also put strong values and a strong “never give up” attitude in Eriks’ head.
His devoted mate, Barbara Barger is 45 years old and works full time at Sunflower Farmers Market and has learned to be a dialysis tech and helps Erik stick the 15 gauge needles in his upper arm each day to begin the hemodialysis treatment that lasts about 3.5 hours.
In my interview with them, I asked Barbara if she had two wishes what would they be?
She replied “I would want Erik to be healthy and to have the most skilled doctors for his transplant team and through his recovery.
What would be your second wish? What would you want for you?
“I want world peace; I don’t like war.”
Complementary Medicine Association and all our readers wish you both the best. We will update you on their progress.
In the photo above they are holding a gift from the Coca Cola company of a gift of a cap and T-shirt signed by their favorite NASCAR drivers and sent to them with best wishes for a successful placement on the transplant list and a speedy replacement of the challenged organs.
“Where you now stand is a result of thoughts and feelings that you have offered before, but where you are going is a result of your perspective of where you now stand. – Abraham-Hicks” quoted on Positive Quote site by Laura on November 22, 2010
If ever the winds of fate, the blessing of the heavens, good luck -call it what you like, but this is one very blessed child.
A French good Samaritan saved a Parisian toddler from certain death this week. The toddler fell from a seventh story apartment window into the arms of a stranger below. This stranger is a medical doctor and was alerted to the fall by his son.
Thanks and praise goes out to the doctor and his son for saving the child’s life. The little girl was playing unattended with her siblings when she fell out the window.
After a checkup at the local northern Paris city hospital, she was released. Amazingly, she did not even get a scratch!
World Care and our efforts in providing humanitarian assistance to the local community and abroad. Here are a few World Care updates.
Tools for Schools 2010 -People Helping People
World Care, Tucson, Arizona has provided disadvantaged Southern Arizona students and financially strapped teachers with the supplies necessary to begin a successful school year.
World Care Teacher Days allowed teachers from multiple districts to request school supplies for their classrooms and pick them up at our headquarters. 138 teachers received school packs, alleviating the need for them to purchase supplies with their own money, which has become a common problem in education during this financial crisis.
School administrators also utilized Tools for Schools to gain materials for all of their teachers and students. 1,939 pounds of supplies were picked up by principals to be given to teachers and students at their schools. In addition to the supplies donated to teachers, World Care also assembled student school packs. The supplies were organized at our headquartersand 199 pounds were distributed to students grades K-12.
In July and August, World Care also donated 67 refurbished computers to schools and low income students.
Tools For Schools has supplied this year:
School Pack Recipients:
Total= 3,772 lbs.
Thanks World Care for your continued support of people in crisis whether in ‘AZ or the world.
It is not known who replied, but there is a beautiful soul working in the “dead letter” office of the US postal service.
Our 14 year old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my 4 year old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so she dictated these words:
Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her You will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.
We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.
Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, ‘To Meredith’ in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, ‘When a Pet Dies..’ Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey &Meredith and this note:
Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away. Abbey isn’t sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don’t need our bodies in heaven, I don’t have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.. Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I’m easy to find, I am wherever there is love.
In The Market Square in Brussels late summer hosts the creation of the magnificent design of its flower carpet has drawn inspiration from 18th century French patterns. Locals and tourists alike find this magnificent work of art breath taking. Local TV and the city host special music and light shows to accompany the carpets display for three days and four night.
The world’s largest Savonnerie carpet
The name of this famous French workshop comes from the establishment where it was founded in 1627 by Louis XIII, on the current location of the Palais in Paris. At that time, continuous wars had led the kings of France to relocate the prestigious craft on their territory. Henri IV had even simply prohibited the import of foreign tapestries as of 1601.
This 2008 carpet was inspiration from Persian, Caucasian or Turkish patterns. The designs of French carpets adopted a style of floral and plant patterns, mixed with royal and, inevitably, Christian symbols. The fleur-de-lys, for example, depicts the Holy Trinity with its three petals. It had been adopted by the kings of France since the Middle Ages, and exalted by the Bourbon dynasty all the way to Spain. The particular, eight-pointed cross of the Templars refers to the cosmic balance, the resurrection and the New Testament. The Savonnerie craftsmen that created the original patterns excelled in the precise and delicate way they practiced their craft.
Arranged by craftsmen on the cobblestones without any soil, nearly one million fresh begonias are used is created this living 300 square meter ( 3229.17 sq. feet) carpet every other year in the Market Place in front of the Grand Place in Brussels. The next creation will be hosted in August of 2010.
No camera image or video can reproduce the splendor of this work of art. Thank you for making our world more beautiful for supporting and creating the annual beautiful work of art.