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My life is a crazy, unpredictable, jumbled mess of fun. Each day creating adventures and stories that will last a lifetime 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Utah's Toxic Air

Before the almost full foot of snow that's dropped in the last two days, we had Toxic Fog. A thick heavy layer of smog, fog and pollution.


It hard to tell due to the large amounts of white, but its around 3 feet, yes its a four foot fence but it slopes down. Its hard to describe and depending on drift, my yard has anywhere from 2 1/2 to 3 feet. We have more snow inbound tonight and tomorrow so we will see what we end up with.
The rest of this post will be on last weeks issue of Toxic Fog ;). Hope you enjoy my rant.

New's Quote, 
The icy fog has smothered the Salt Lake Valley for several weeks and trapped lung-busting soot emitted in the city underneath.
The level of pollution in the city is now the highest in America according to the Environmental Protection Agency and medical experts are now urging residents to stay indoors.

And


The greater Salt Lake region had up to 130 micrograms of soot per cubic meter on Wednesday, or more than three times the federal clean-air limit, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Utah regulators are working on a set of plans to limit everyday emissions, including a measure to ban the sale of aerosol deodorants and hair spray that contain hydrocarbon propellants. Those plans, however, will take years to show results.
Snow cover amplifies the phenomena called a temperature inversion - Salt Lake City was a foggy freezer box Wednesday at 18 degrees, while Park City basked in sunny 43-degree weather. The warmer air aloft acted like a lid on the frigid valley air, leaving it with no place to go.
For weeks, industrialized cities in northern China have been dealing with bouts of sickening smog several times more toxic than Utah's. But by U.S. standards, Utah's pollution index is off the charts with readings routinely exceeding a scale that tops out at 70 micrograms a cubic meter. The EPA sets a standard for clean air at no more than 35 micrograms.

News links on our Toxic Air.
Daily Mail - Utah's Toxic Fog make's UK's newstands - great photos of the fog.
Fox 13 - Attempting to make it sound better
Fox 13 - Our government not really making any changes - trying to leave cleaning the air up to using public transportation. 
Fox 13 - Utah Mom's for clean air trying to get government legislators to pledge to a more active role in cleaning Utah's Air.
Utah Mom's For Clean Air - How did I not know about this group until now?

So while the snow has in fact "cleaned" the air for us once again, the simple fact of the matter is any time the air "settles" (still air, dry air ect) we get inversion. That by itself is still nasty to breathe. Add in varying factors and voila Toxic fog/air. 
The main problem is that even if this legislative session makes and creates real air changing laws and ideas, it will be years until they are implemented and even more until they are effective. 
It can be another 10 years before we see cleaner air on a full time basis. 
So what do we do in the mean time?

I for one am looking into buying special masks for Asthma and Allergy. (links at bottom of post) Since my daughter Prissy has sever Asthma and hayfever, buying washable, re-usable masks is key.
I will also pick one up for my son and I - not sure if hubby will agree to wear one or not even though he also has asthma.
We may look silly for the first year or so - however, if things continue the way they are we may be at the forefront of a new fashion. At least locally.

How about you? IF you live/lived in a polluted area what measures would you take?
 
Links to masks

Here are the top two I am looking at
For the kids (latex free & washable)
and others

Sunday, January 27, 2013

One Long Day

The day started early. My BFF picked me up bright foggy and early. Utah is having toxic fog, smog and inversion the last few days - its horrible!
We went downtown to the new salt lake Library where the Utah Autism Coalition was meeting. They are getting ready for the coming legislative session.
For those that don't know Utah has the highest amount of Autistic kids in the nation and yet we still don't make sure that they all qualify for health care!
The UAC is trying to get a bill passed that will allow people with Autism to receive the treatments or meds they need.
Now many people say that this is too expensive. NOT helping is too expensive. With the proper help 70-80% of the kids can grow up to hold jobs, take care of themselves and be all in all, "Normal".
Without help of any kind only 2-6% make progress enough that they will be able to care for themselves as adults.
Helping them now will save taxpayers a fortune in long term care. Not to mention that the numbers of Autism continue to grow!

Next up in the day my hubby went with my BFF to see if he could fix her grandmothers shower - long story short - Nope.

She returned, dropped him off and mentioned that she had the rest of the day off!
My husband and her husband agreed to both watch the kids and give us the day for a girls day!
We went and watched Les Miserables! It was amazing!
We cried for almost 3 hours straight!
Then we went out for dinner at our favorite place (at the moment) Iggy's!
Yummy!
We spent the time talking back and forth both about the movie and about Autism. Her two amazing children have autism, so this is a subject near and dear to us.

Before going home we ran by the store, grabbed a few groceries.
When I got home it was almost time for the kids to go to bed.
I started to help them with their bedtime routine.
Right before Prissy went to brush her teeth I sent her out of the bathroom to take her night asthma mends... That's when the crap hit the fan!
My daughter started screaming!
I mean bloody murder, terrified screaming!
Hubby ran from the living room and me from the bathroom.
My daughter had her EPI Pen, sticking out of her FINGER!

HINT: if you look up EPI Pen in finger on the internet they will tell you MANY times to NOT put an EPI Pen into your finger!!!!

This is a needle that is meant to go through blue jeans into your thigh! Its long and its sharp!
Not to mention the medicine is life saving, but dangerous! It is not meant to go any where near your fingers!

We ran to the ER.
Alright, I didn't run, but I did drive like a crazy woman!

Note: my hubby and I had both tried to pull it from her finger, to prevent the releasing of more medicine... it wouldn't budge.

The ER Dr. gave us the option of numbing the area before pulling it free - to which I reminded him that she is allergic to Lidocaine. He told Prissy tough luck and yanked the needle free - pulling it from the bone!
We had to x-ray the finger to make sure that it didn't cause a bone fracture.
Thankfully it didn't.
We have been very blessed!
The EPI medicine didn't not release into her finger because the needle pierced the bone.
It didn't fracture or hurt nerves or veins.
Again we are blessed!
She will be fine.

On the way home I bought her a finger brace to protect the weakened bone and we will need to watch it to make sure it does not get infected over the next few days.

So the day was a great girls day, the night a bad night with Prissy!


Friday, January 11, 2013

SNOW!

Powder, tires or men, snow is fun, cold and a pain in the bum!

Yesterday it snowed. 10-12 inches of snow depending on the drift from 3 pm to Midnight. If you are a person who loves to ski, you have the money and can leave whatever you are doing... now would be the time to head for Park City, Utah - this is the best Powder Snow - its so light and flaky!

Its also a huge pain in the bum to shovel! You pick up a scoop - its light and flaky - it dribbles slowly off the side of the shovel... as I said beautiful, crystal clear, sparkly, powder snow that is annoying as heck!


See that large snow plow? Yeah it was stuck in front of my house for five minutes! Better than the Magna Senior Center van that was stuck for almost 15 minutes in front of my house before getting help from two men - one a Salt Lake County employee!
Me on the other hand - after calling and confirming that there was no snow day granted and the kids did still need to go - I went dug out the car and then voila! I remembered my BFF gave me a car with brand new snow tires!
 SCORE!
Yeah I wrote her and thanked her again and she keeps telling me to stop! I don't think I am ready for that yet I a still just so happy that I had better traction than half the other people on the road! And that I have a car - did I mention that I have a car?

Then because school wasn't cancelled I went to the PTA meeting! Another mom has joined up and I am so happy! Thank you Tera for braving the insanity!
We are lucky we have a very involved school and lots of people willing to help out making the PTA an easy fun place to be.

Can't wait for my hubby to be home and safe for the weekend!



Thursday, January 10, 2013

Blizzards and Family


Its a blizzard out side so I tell the hubby its his turn to get the boy. 
He says, "I wouldn't know where to get him."
I say, "What would you do if I break my leg or get in an accident?"
He says, "Drive carefully!"

So I went and got G'man in the snow, car's sliding all around, half the cars are driving without their lights on.
Visibility is 20 feet max.
I get there, get the boy, clean the car off again - as it was covered again in the 3 minutes it took to get him.
On the way home I'm yelling at all the cars that are driving like idiots. 
Then a large WHITE truck is driving toward me I can barely see it at 10 feet away because aha! it doesn't have its lights on!
Yeah they win the prize - the your the dumbest idiot on the road prize, lets drive in a blizzard, in a white out, in a white car without our lights!
Brilliant.

Two hours later when its time to pick up Prissy from the after school program... yeah hubby does it.
I take the photos above, go back inside and get comfortable. 3 minutes later hubby calls me to come out side to help him get the van out of a snow bank!
Luckily he only got stuck the once, but he did have to take the long way to pick her up.
Now finally my whole family is home and safe!
As of this moment we almost have a foot of snow in just 3 hours! Most of it being dumped in the last hour in a half.

As for the hubby health update

Yesterday - hubby saw the new doctor. The CT was a much clearer photo, he has ONE kidney stone its not 11.8 instead its 8.8 and its not obstructing anything. So its not causing the pain.
Doctor thinks its due to hubbies weight and previous back surgery. 
Not (like the other doctor) that the surgery area is having issues ie a screw loose, but that due to his having fused the lower sections of his back and still being over weight that the vertebra above the surgery area is now also being pulled out of alignment and may need another surgery.

Today - hubby (before the snow storm) hubby went for an MRI with contrast to check his back.
So we will see soon if its his back or if we are still searching for answers.
Thankfully this doctor seemed much more tuned in. 

Also if you live in an area like or near mine you might want to try a new family favorite recipe
Oven Chili Cheese Dogs - check it out!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Hubby's Heath Update

And why I hate Doctors...

So we've fired his most recent doctor and today we are giving our current clinic their last shot at being in charge of my husbands health.
Two months ago my husband started to have intense back pain. Having had both a back surgery AND kidney stones in the last 10 years we had to submit to several different tests to determine the cause.
An Ultra Sound revealed that he had stones in both Kidneys - one as large as 11.8 mm.

Since a stone over the size of 6 mm can not pass on its own we know we have two options - one where they break up the stones with sound waves and allow them to pass in smaller forms. - Two surgery.
The doctor wanting a clearer photo of his kidneys sent him for a CT Scan, yesterday he went in to get the results of the CT Scan.

She didn't have it, didn't look for it, didn't remember asking him to get it. She also thinks he may have gall stones since his liver levels are still off.
Meanwhile, he is having severe diarrhea  vomiting and is starting to get dizzy.
So to re-cap possible liver failure, possible kidney failure, possible gall bladder issues.
No tests, no help from the doctor, and no surgery scheduled - in fact the doctor still somehow thinks that it maybe a screw loose in his back (from his back surgery) despite the fact that we KNOW he has several large kidney stones.
Does she have any plan on dealing with them? Nope.

Yeah, we fired her and complained about her lack of professionalism.
Today we try again.
We are also looking for an internal medicine doctor who will stay up on his Kidneys, Liver and other functions.
Today we will find out what the scan shows, make possible future plans or appointments.

Friday we have an MRI scheduled for his back - this way we can check to make sure everything is still in place correctly back there and allow the doctors to focus on his Kidney Stones.

I am frustrated.
Tired.
Grumpy.
Worried.
Stressed.
Aging quickly.

Now I am going to find something, somewhere that will help me to calm down - chocolate and tea hasn't touched it! (yes that is truly depressing)
Also my happy pill is not working so approach with caution.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Elderly Abuse

Elderly Abuse and why we should be ashamed.
Mama & Grandma out to eat

Many states are still working through their laws - some only have physical and sexual abuse to an elderly. Other's abuse is confined to care centers. This is very important, please check your state laws and see how well they protect their elders.

My state, thankfully, will go after ANYONE who will try to harm or exploit an elderly person, even intimidation of an elderly person is illegal here - not only illegal, but you can be tried and found guilty of it.
After reading through many different state laws, I have to say that I am proud of my state!

My sister, Grandmother and myself
1. What is Elderly Abuse?

Elderly abuse can be anything from physical abuse, emotional abuse to taking advantage of trust to steal from them.
Visit NCEA home - National Center on Elder Abuse
If you suspect elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation,  Click Here for state reporting numbers, or telephone
the Eldercare Locator at
1-800-677-1116.

2. Who can turn in an Abuser?

Someone who knows either the Elderly person OR the Abuser. Family members, medical personal, clergy, social workers... anyone.

3. Can you be sued for turning someone in for Elderly Abuse?

NO. On the website listed, it clearly states that you need to report SUSPECTED abuse. They investigate and will determine whether or not its worth pursuing. You do not need concrete evidence to call in. This means you are not at fault if they are proven innocent.
In fact in a few states NOT reporting suspected elderly abuse is itself a Crime.

4. What is the punishment for Elderly Abuse?

This to me is kind of fun. A person found guilty of Elderly Abuse will be tried for whatever they are found guilty of - physical abuse, theft, embezzlement PLUS taking advantage of an elderly person.

By Utah State Laws - Terms and Definitions.

Exploitation:
(iii) unjustly or improperly uses or manages the resources of a vulnerable adult for the profit or advantage of someone other than the vulnerable adult;
     (iv) unjustly or improperly uses a vulnerable adult's power of attorney or guardianship for the profit or advantage of someone other than the vulnerable adult; or
     (v) involves a vulnerable adult who lacks the capacity to consent in the facilitation or furtherance of any criminal activity.
     (b) A person is guilty of the offense of exploitation of a vulnerable adult as follows:
     (i) if done intentionally or knowingly and the aggregate value of the resources used or the profit made is or exceeds $5,000, the offense is a second degree felony;
     (ii) if done intentionally or knowingly and the aggregate value of the resources used or the profit made is less than $5,000 or cannot be determined, the offense is a third degree felony;

Intimidation:
means communication conveyed through verbal or nonverbal conduct which threatens deprivation of money, food, clothing, medicine, shelter, social interaction, supervision, health care, or companionship, or which threatens isolation or harm.
If done intentionally or knowingly, the offense is a second degree felony.

Harm: 
means pain, mental anguish, emotional distress, hurt, physical or psychological damage, physical injury, suffering, or distress inflicted knowingly or intentionally.
Same fines and laws as stated above apply.

Deception means:
     (i) a misrepresentation or concealment:
     (A) of a material fact relating to services rendered, disposition of property, or use of property intended to benefit a vulnerable adult;
     (B) of the terms of a contract or agreement entered into with a vulnerable adult; or
     (C) relating to the existing or preexisting condition of any property involved in a contract or agreement entered into with a vulnerable adult; or
     (ii) the use or employment of any misrepresentation, false pretense, or false promise in order to induce, encourage, or solicit a vulnerable adult to enter into a contract or agreement.

These are just a few of the terms and fines as laid out in the Utah State Law.

Why should we be ashamed?

Ask any adult about elder abuse. Financial exploitation and they can tell you of at least one person who they KNOW to have exploited or have been exploited.

In my family we (the family) allowed "minor" emotional exploitation of my grandmother. I am very deeply ashamed that it went unreported for years.
Why? Because my grandmother started a cycle that we didn't know when or how to break.
She wanted her family to come to her for help.
Two people took advantage of this.
Her daughter and her daughter's daughter.
It started out as grandma helping because she could - because she wanted to.
It ended with her being pressured to change her will.
There are ways to protect yourself or your family member when the times comes - power of attorney is one way, but it has to be complete.
My uncle had power of attorney and yet my cousin was still able to get my grandmother to change her will without his knowledge - this is where you need to make sure to have all your T's crossed and your I's dotted.
Found out that she (grandma) left the money in a hidden trust before my uncle was made her executor.

My grandmother after her stroke
Why did we allow it to continue after it reached unhealthy and emotional levels?
Because my cousin and my aunt were leaches - they sucked small amounts from her. Nothing "worth" going to the police over. Nothing that would put my grandmothers financial future in danger.
Still the fact remains that grandma was taken from and pressured from those two to often to count. The rest of family treated my grandmother with respect and love.
Does this sound like Placating?
Good because it was and I am ashamed.

The fact is that we never want to prosecute family. We never want to have to step in and say ENOUGH.
We want it to magically work out. It doesn't.
Take a stand, get informed, protect yourself and your loved ones.

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