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December 20, 2017

Tis the Season

The Holidays should be a happy time of year, but sometimes Mother Nature throws us a curve ball.  This year she has decked our halls with balls of flu like illnesses that caused our schools to shut down two days early and lots and lots of people to get sick. It is likely to get worse for Lawrence County before it gets better. Kleenex boxes and flu medicines might just be the most welcome items for Santa to put in our stockings. If anyone has ever been really sick at Christmas it is a terrible feeling to sit down at the holiday table and prefer a bowl of chicken noodle soup over the festive fare.  Since Santa does not control this, there is no difference if you have been naughty or nice- the flu is gonna getcha regardless.

Ok, doom and gloom time is over. There’s got to be a way to fight back and protect your Holidays- Right?  Yes there is!  There are very simple, commonsense ways to stay healthy so you can enjoy the months of paying off your credit cards for your gift giving generosity.  Let’s take a look at them.

 

  WASH YOUR HANDS! You have heard this over and over again. The reason why is because it really works. Vigorous washing with plenty of soap and water works wonders against the flu and other flu-like viruses. So every time you venture out to a store or public place be sure to wash your hands before or directly after you get home.

  

  LIMIT YOUR PUBLIC EXPOSURE. You can’t get sick unless you come into contact with someone else who is sick.  Plan your outings wisely. Try to include as many of your “absolutely have to” stops in one trip.  Avoid unnecessary crowds. Maybe it would be best to wait and see that new film until most of the people watching it with you aren’t  illness spreading time bombs. Avoid kisses and hugs and in your face contact with anyone who you suspect might be sick. Yes, that means it is a good idea to retire the mistletoe this year.

 

PUT YOUR WASHING MACHINE ON OVERTIME. Viruses can hide in 

clothing, towels and any type of fabric. If you go out for the day try to change your clothes as quickly as you can when you get home.  Think of how bad you would feel your loved ones got sick because you let them hug and interact with clothes that could make them sick. Change your hand towels as often as you can and if someone in the household is already sick, give them a separate hand towel to use.

 

  KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR FLU-LIKE SYMPTOMS. There is a big difference from the flu and a cold. The flu makes you exhausted, feverous, headachy, and just plain more miserable than you can imagine. If you suspect that you might be coming down with the flu it is important to seek medical attention right away. Tamiflu is available prescription to combat the effects of the flu virus, but it must be taken at the onset of the illness in order to work. Once you are down and out with the flu it is just something you have to ride  out

The holidays do not have to be lost due to some creatures that you can’t even see. Be smart and be prepared. With a few simple precautions and a slight change of routine you can be healthy enough to watch your loved ones be disappointed with the gifts you bought them and wish your in laws knew how to smoke a turkey instead of the usual oven bake. The holidays are a rare time during the year to get some extra time off from work and to enjoy friends and family. Don’t waste your holiday delirious in bed watching everyone else having fun.   

If you need more advice in how to stay healthy over the holidays please contact the nursing staff at the Lawrence County Health Department at 606-638-4389.

Ron Enders, PhD.
Preparedness Coordintor, MRC Coordinator

 

December 15, 2017

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 14, 2017) – Members of Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and Rep. John Sims' medical cannabis task force on Thursday discussed the concepts of a legislative proposal for the 2018 legislative session. The legislation is anticipated to be bipartisan.

 

Members of Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and Rep. John Sims' medical cannabis task force Members of Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and Rep. John Sims' medical cannabis task force

"In the weeks since we announced this effort on medical cannabis, I've heard the stories of Kentuckians in every part of the state – countless veterans, single parents, grandmothers, Parkinson's patients, and many more," said Grimes. "The stories are real and heart-wrenching. This moment is a gut check for Kentucky. Every elected official has a duty to stand up now and work toward giving people access to medicine that can help them, and I'm hoping every one of us will."

The Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine reports that opioid overdose deaths have fallen by 25% in states that have legalized medical marijuana. The Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine reports that opioid overdose deaths have fallen by 25% in states that have legalized medical marijuana. Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia.

The Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine reports that opioid overdose deaths have fallen by 25% in states that have legalized medical marijuana.

In Kentucky, where the 2014 veteran suicide was 10% higher than the national average, many veterans and their physicians say that medical cannabis is the most effective treatment for chronic pain and PTSD. Numerous veterans attended the meeting, the task force's second.

The members also heard from Laura from Scott Co., the mother of a young woman who committed suicide earlier this year. She said her daughter suffered from a disorder that medical cannabis could have helped.

"I'm here for my daughter. I know that if she had had access to medical cannabis, she may be alive today," she said. "I am a personal testament to the benefits of medical cannabis. While dealing with my daughter's death, I have been prescribed high dosages of anxiety medicines, the side effects of which are life altering. CBD oil has helped me cope. It's a natural treatment and I am now completely off those other medicines. In my daughter's memory, I won't stop working until other Kentuckians can have real access to medical cannabis."

Besides benefits for PTSD, significant evidence exists showing marijuana counters side effects of many other illnesses and diseases, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Crohn's disease, and hepatitis C.

Grimes reiterated her call to Kentucky's cities and counties to back medical cannabis legislation.

"Medical cannabis can help their citizens. Many are veterans who fighting physical and mental illnesses, get care and relief they need. The people it can help are friends and neighbors. We see them in the grocery store. We go to church with them. This issue has a face and a name for our local officials."

Officials from Maysville and Mason County, which have recently taken official action in support of legalization legislation, attended the meeting. The localities passed a resolution in support of Maysville resident Eric Crawford, a constituent of Rep. Sims and member of the medical cannabis panel.

Crawford was in a car accident as a young man that left him with debilitating pain and paralysis. He displayed the dozens of prescription pain relievers, including narcotics, he had been prescribed and have many adverse side effects. Crawford said he experiences the most relief with cannabis.

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The medical cannabis task force includes members of Kentucky's medical community, including doctors, nurses and medical administrators, as well as representatives from law enforcement and state agencies with regulatory oversight, medical marijuana advocates, and military veterans.

 

December 1, 2017

Prizes and gift cards to win!

 

Date: 12-06-2017

New national immunization laws set

In addition to immunizations already required for school children to attend public schools, state law will require Hepatitis A shots for all students and a meningitis booster for those 16 and older, beginning with the 2018-19 academic year.

While that sounds like plenty of time, that's not necessarily the case for the Hepatitis A vaccine, which comes in a two-part series. The shots must be given six months apart.

Lawrence County Health Dept. director Debbie Miller said today that she and her staff are encouraging parents to start the series of shots asap.

Lawrence Co. Health Dept. director Debbie Miller said today that parents should sign up for the new immunizations as soon as possible.Lawrence Co. Health Dept. director Debbie Miller said today that parents should sign up for the new immunizations as soon as possible."The new immunization requirements go into effect July 1, 2018. All children from 19 months through 12th grade who attend daycare, primary or secondary schools will be required to have completed the two-part Hepatitis A series prior to the start of the 2018-2019 school year," Miller said.

"The Hepatitis A vaccine is given in two doses with a minimum of six months between doses. Our nurses are encouraging clients to start the series now," Miller added.

Kentucky's new immunization guidelines were adopted before the recent Hepatitis A outbreak.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended the Hepatitis A and meningitis vaccines for schoolchildren for some time, she said.

"Regarding the Hepatitis A outbreak in Kentucky, there have been no cases reported in Lawrence County or any of our surrounding counties,Miller told The Lazer.  "The majority of the cases are in the Louisville area. We are participating in weekly conference calls with Kentucky Department for Public Health as they monitor and respond to the outbreak."

Other states have already adopted (these immunization guidelines), Lile said. Kentucky officials updated the state's standards in June to become compliant with national recommendations.

To complete the Hepatitis A two-shot series by the time school starts, students should have their first shot by Feb. 1, Lile said.

School districts want all students to complete the Hepatitis A series before starting school, but will accept students who have had their first shot only -- on a conditional basis, said Wendi Kozel, DCPS district nurse. After the first shot's six-month waiting period ends, students will have a two-week window to get the second Hepatitis A shot before their immunization certificate becomes invalid.

Kentucky allows medical and religious exemptions for vaccines, Kozel said. Every student must provide one of three certificates -- a current vaccination record, medical exemption or religious exemption -- to start the school year.

"As a reminder, good hand washing with soap and water is one of the most important steps we can take to keep from getting sick and from spreading germs to others," Lawrence County's Miller said.

For more information on when to wash your hands and how to wash them properly, visit https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html.

By Renee Beasley Jones
The Messenger-Inquirer

Lazer Editor Mark Grayson contributed to this story

 

Faces of Hope 

Charles McCall before and afterCharles McCall before and after

 

Our 64th spotlight in the FACES OF HOPE: WE DO RECOVER series will focus on Charles McCall’s story, Everything Happens for a Reason.

     

My name is Charles McCall, and I live in Ironton, Ohio. I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio with my mom and siblings until I was 15.  At that time I found myself in trouble and came to Ironton to live with my dad and my grandmother, “Ms. Elma”, who played a major role in teaching me how to live life the right way. It would just take some years and lots of tears to use apply those lessons to my life.  I’ve been through a lot situations and I can say I am blessed to be here. After moving to Ironton, I learned to live a normal life with my dad and grandma. They taught me how to work and go to school.

I eventually graduated from Ironton High school and went into the Navy. While I was in the Navy I began to drink heavily. There are times I can’t even remember where I was and what I had been doing. I really loved my time in the Navy. It made me feel proud of myself, something I had struggled with growing up. The birth of my firstborn was the deciding factor of coming home from the military. The relationship with his mom didn’t work out, and that’s when I began to drink heavily again. I worked multiple jobs over the years and would drink when I got off. At times, I would stay up all night and just go to work the next day. I started smoking weed and eventually started selling it to support the habit I created. That’s when I met my two youngest kids’ mom and began a spiral downward. Not thinking I had a problem at all, I functioned normally and even attended college to try to become a teacher. I worked at a kids’ center that I really loved and enjoyed. It felt good to help the kids that were there. I eventually got fired for something I felt was unjust. It angered me, so I began to sell more drugs and smoke more weed. I convinced myself that I could make more in a day doing wrong than I could working any job. Pretty soon selling weed turned into selling cocaine and more and more money. Bigger risk was a norm to me. I always told myself that I was already set up, so I might as well go big.

I eventually got caught. I’m the first to say that was a blessing. I was sentenced to 9 years in state prison. While I was locked up, a change in me occurred. I took a program called the Harvest Program. It’s an AOD (Alcohol and Drug) program at Lancaster Correctional Facility. I had a facilitator that had a big impact on me. He was a four-time felon that got his life together and went back to school to get his degree so that he could help others like him. I still use the tools I learned there today. My kids were also a driving force behind my change. It killed me to see their faces as they were about to leave visits. My daughter was born after I was locked up, so I watched her grow from visits to visit. One day she was old enough to say, “Come on Daddy”. All I could do was look at her and say, “Hopefully soon”.

I made a plan and after doing six years, I was released early. I came home in 2013. Again, I was blessed enough that my aunt, who is a retired prison guard, let me stay with her until I could get on my feet. It was really difficult at first. I had to wear an ankle bracelet for six months. It was $105 a week. After doing six years, it felt impossible and I thought I would go back to prison. I can say that I was blessed to have friends and family that helped me out until I was able to land my first job. It was in no way easy, but I told myself that I was not going back.

My first job was working with a really good friend remodeling apartments, laying carpet, and other odd end jobs. It was a big step in helping me maintain my payments for my ankle bracelet. I eventually got a job thru the CAO, with the help of my Military representative, doing flood relief cleanup on river banks and creeks in the Lawrence County, Ohio area. I never stopped putting in applications everywhere, because that job was just a seasonal six month job. A month after starting the flood relief job, I got a job at a place called McSweeny’s. I worked there for three years until I was laid off due to lack of work. We made snow plow blades and drill bits for oil, gas and coal companies. Again, I can say that was a blessing in disguise. I was laid off for fifteen months. I hated going to the unemployment office and unemployment checks were not enough. I started selling purses, shoes and other accessories to bring in money for the household. It caught on so quick that I made a Facebook page and I started mailing Purses and shoes out to other states. I still felt like that wasn’t good enough.

I came home from putting applications in online at the unemployment office and sat down. I looked my girlfriend in the eye and said there has to be a better way. I was waiting on replies from various companies I really wanted to work for in the drug and alcohol field. I felt I could do well in helping others. I told my girlfriend that I wanted to come up with a website that people like myself can go on and ask questions from people like myself. Questions like, “How do I start a small business?”, “How do I get in a union?”, “How do I get into school?” All the way to “How do I get help for drugs and alcohol?” The hardest part was coming up with a name. A few bounced around and was kind of lengthy. Finally, with the help from my girlfriend who is one of my biggest motivators and supporters, we came up with #PMOP (People Motivating Other People). I thought about everyone who motivates me, and decided to get t-shirts made for them. After people started seeing the t-shirts, everyone asked where I got them and if they could get one. I eventually started selling them. I’ve sent them as far as California, Indiana, Virginia and other places.

More and more people started messaging me because they could relate to my story and felt I was in to something big. People would message me and ask for advice about things and ask how I was able to do the time I did and get out and get my life together. The first thing I would say is “People, places and things”. I believe in brutal honesty, and I’ve learned that people respect that. One guy I now consider a really good friend messaged me. He said he had been watching me and my Facebook page. He said he was in the Army and got out and was in a rut. He said I motivated him into doing something he’s always been afraid of doing and was going back to school. I told him that that motivation has always been there. Sometimes you just have to see others do things to help you see you can do it too. That’s the whole thing about #PMOP. It’s so simple, but can impact so many people. All you basically have to do is live your life the best way you can in a positive way and you can inspire and motivate people without even knowing. It was a different feeling for me. I was used to negative attention from others. It was weird, but felt good to know people were watching me for the good I was doing.

#PMOP is so much bigger than me and my story. Pretty soon people were buying shirts and giving them to people who motivated and inspired them. One girl had breast cancer and fought it until she beat it. She is helping motivate others to fight too. Another girl teaches Yoga and other aerobic classes and got one, because she motivates others to be healthy. The different things and situations go on and on. That’s why I said it’s bigger than me. I eventually, with the help from my girlfriend, started sponsoring basketball tournaments, doing nonperishable food drives that we would donate to the local food banks, sponsoring Cheerleading groups, sponsored a gifted young lady that need help with funding that was going to get her to run in the Jr Olympics. We helped bring a documentary called “I’m Not Your Negro” to Movies 10 in Ashland for a private viewing. Over 120 people showed up and it was a huge success.

Over and over people ask me why I am doing all the things I have done and continue to do. I respond the same way every time. I say “I had a hand in the direction this Tristate area went before why can’t I have a positive influence on how it goes now.” I never gave up on finding a good job. I actually have an amazing job I’ve been at for almost seven months now. I work for Toyota, up in Buffalo, West Virginia. I’ve learned that nothing happens overnight. It takes consistency to achieve all of the goals you set. I tell people all the time, set goals in your life. Once you reach those goals, set more. You might even surprise yourself how far you really can get in life.

My life changed for the best December 18th, 2007. Some people look at me like I’m crazy when I say that, because that’s when I was arrested. I look at it like that was God’s way of saving my life. In May I will have been home five years. I couldn’t imagine a better life to live now. I don’t have to worry about looking over my shoulder or wondering who just got busted or who’s snitching anymore. I’ve bought my first house ever. I have an amazing woman in my life, I have custody of my kids, and I try to always keep a positive attitude about life. People ask me how I always stay so positive. I respond back and say “$18”. They look at me with a puzzled face and ask what I mean by that. That’s when I tell them, that’s what I got paid a month when I was in prison. Everyone has a bottom. I reached mine quickly. Everything I loved was yanked from me. I actually learned humility and became the man I am now. That was a very humbling experience that I needed to go through to grow as a person. I’m not saying everyone should be locked up, because prison doesn’t change anyone. You have to want change for yourself first. That’s with anything in life.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please call Addiction Recovery Care at 606.638.0938 or visit them on the web at www.arccenters.com.

 

There is hope. There is help.

SOMEMRSEP