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Showing posts from August, 2013

Food Allergy in the Spotlight

Food allergies.  They seem to be everywhere, lately.  We hear most about peanut allergies, but we humans can be allergic to pretty much any food.   Some foods are more likely to cause allergies, which are often referred to as the "Top 8":  Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Wheat/Gluten, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Fish, and Shellfish.  Food allergies are on the rise in the US, but the answer to the logical question "Why?" remains elusive.  One raging debate is about how we produce food in this country, en masse, to feed the masses quickly and cheaply.  Another, related debate, is the use of genetically modified crops (GMOs) that go along with the more potent pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides we use to minimize crop losses.  I'm not going to get into all of that today.  Rather, talk a bit about the social and psychological impact of food allergies.

But first, announcements!
The Discovery Channel will air a documentary, “An Emerging Epidemic: Food Allergies in America,” on Saturd…


Recently there was a big hub-bub about ostomies in the news. Not an everyday occurrence, right? So I figured I would educate our readers, just in case they hadn't heard about it. As someone currently with an ostomy, I am forever grateful to the life it allows me to live and the freedom it gives me to do all the things I love. Without it, I was miserable, and life is a 180 now. 

Now for the drama: July 5th, the Cincinnati news reported that the local police department was using pictures of people with ostomies to attempt to “scare” teens from gun violence. Their logic was that if we show kids a potential consequence from getting a gunshot wound,  that they might just “think about their lifestyle.”  The kicker was the statement by the Lieutenant office who stated about potential gun violence injuries: "You're not killed, but you're walking around with a colostomy bag and that's just not the way to get a girl's attention by limping down Warsaw Avenue with a colost…

Bucket Lists

Ever since Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson got together and made that movie The Bucket List it seems like most everyone has used the phrase when talking about things to get done in life before we die.  I know I'm guilty of doing so, and because I'm kind of OCD-ish I speak of things on my bucket list categorically.  Like, I have a restaurant bucket list, a travel bucket list, and a professional bucket list.  I'm sure there are others, but you get the point. There's even a website,, to help you track the 10,000 things you should do before you die.  Really.

This summer I ventured into a new professional territory when I took a part-time consulting job with a company that contracts psychologists with skilled nursing and assisted living facilities.  They were looking for someone to cover for another psychologist going on maternity leave.  Prior to taking on this new role of geropsychologist, I'd only worked with a handful of people over the age of 6…

Acceptance: Part 2

In my last post, I wrote about Acceptance as it relates to life with a chronic illness.  I apologize for the delayed follow-up, Steph and I moved our Oak Park office at the end of July and, well, you all know how moving goes.

I talk a lot about acceptance with my clients, and it can be a tricky topic to broach.  Think about it.  Here I am, captain psychology, suggesting to people with sometimes horrible illnesses to accept their situation rather than try to fix it.  I should clarify that acceptance doesn't mean not seeking the best care and treatments, but being able to determine when you've done all that you can to regain as much health as possible versus continuing to fight.
Fight.  We hear that word a lot in the chronic illness world.  It's a pretty strong theme in our culture in the United States, and when we're diagnosed with something like cancer, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis we're automatically transformed into Rocky Balboa.

We do know that acceptance can …