splash

Welcome to Ask Gail – a place to share questions and answers about what matters to us most: family, friends, community, health, peace, books, favorite resources, what feeds our soul… Ask Gail is also where we can create and share very important information like “Gail’s Guide to Going to the Hospital” and “Gail’s Storm Checklist.” Stay tuned for more…

 

You Are Viewing HEALTH

My hands are now blessed…

Posted By Gail Ostrow on May 4th, 2010

This week is National Nurses Week, and yesterday I attended an event at Norwalk Hospital, created by my friend and dharma sister Meg Burdett. Called “Nourishing the Nurses,” Meg gathered healing arts practitioners to offer chair massage, Reiki, singing bowls, acupressure, yoga instruction, reflection & intention writing, and even a labyrinth—all to remind the nurses to practice self-care.

The most moving part of the day for me was when I stood in front of Carol Bauer and her assistant Elaine Sleath, my hands held in prayer position above a beautiful white shell-shaped bowl. Carol asked me what I do. I said I am a teacher. She then poured warm water over my hands and asked G-d to bless these hands that labor for others and shape young minds and hearts. Her words washed over my heart as the water over my hands.  Her blessing was so intimate and immediate that I felt it flowing from the universe through her into the water and onto me.  And I wept.

Blessing of the Hands

What exactly is palliative care?

Posted By Gail Ostrow on April 16th, 2010

Palliative care is the umbrellas under which hospice is but one facet; palliative care is NOT hospice care.

  • Palliative care is a simultaneous care model that begins with diagnosis of a serious, chronic, or terminal illness
  • Curative (life-prolonging) and palliative care can exist concurrently.
  • Pain IS a medical emergency and must be managed as such.
  • Pain is physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and existential.
  • There are only c. 3000 palliative care doctors in the US.
  • There are only 4 hospitals in Fairfield county with palliative care teams.

Click here to go to the getpalliativecare.org web site.

Posted in HEALTH, WHO KNEW?
Comments Off on What exactly is palliative care?

Cancer vaccine made from your own tumor cells…

Posted By Gail Ostrow on October 29th, 2009

Hadassh Medical Organization in Jerusalem is one of the few research hospitals running long-term vaccination projects using vaccines made from patients’ own tumor cells.  Who knew?

Click here to visit their web site and learn more.

Posted in HEALTH, WHO KNEW?
Comments Off on Cancer vaccine made from your own tumor cells…

The way we die now…

Posted By Gail Ostrow on September 24th, 2009

Here is a voice of reason if we can stop the rhetoric and fear mongering and listen.  Spending less money on often unnecessary and painful procedures in the last six months of life means paying more for hospice aides and palliative care—especially for those who want to be at home rather than in the hospital that can rob our loved ones of dignity and quality of life, and bankrupt our health care system.

Click here to read this short excellent blog post.  If you have aging parents or an ill spouse or friend, get help and begin the conversation.  It’s never too early but it may be too late if you wait.

Comments Off on The way we die now…

Good for the soil–good for the soul…

Posted By Gail Ostrow on August 9th, 2009

Imagine table cutlery and cold cups made from corn.  Or “paper” plates made from cane sugar.  Well, Compostable Goods  is dedicated to increasing the knowledge and availability of compostable and biodegradable products.  Click here to learn more and browse the many products they sell; who knows, the next party you throw may be a “zero-waste” event!

Posted in HEALTH, WHO KNEW?
Comments Off on Good for the soil–good for the soul…

OUR veterans struggle with PTSD and more…

Posted By Gail Ostrow on August 9th, 2009

Veterans, family members and concerned friends should know that help is only a toll-free phone call away. Through an agreement between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the V.A. contracted with the federally financed National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) in July 2007 to establish the nation’s first suicide hot line for American military veterans.

More than 10,000 callers a month are now using this service. It is free, confidential and available 24/7.

Posted in HEALTH, WHO KNEW?
Comments Off on OUR veterans struggle with PTSD and more…

Recipes for Health: Tomato & Avocado Salsa

Posted By Gail Ostrow on May 12th, 2009

Serve this rich-tasting salsa with fish or chicken, or on its own with soft corn tortillas and a sprinkling of queso fresco or feta.  Very much like a “crude” guacamole.
(more…)

Posted in HEALTH
Comments Off on Recipes for Health: Tomato & Avocado Salsa

Proposed universal health care for CT…

Posted By Gail Ostrow on May 6th, 2009

The healthcare4every1 Campaign is the statewide educational and advocacy campaign uniting residents, businesses, and organizations committed to quality, affordable health care for everyone.  Coordinated by the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, the campaign seeks to build public and political support for the achievement of universal health care in Connecticut.

Click here to find out more about this plan.

Posted in HEALTH
Comments Off on Proposed universal health care for CT…

What are you paying attention to right now?

Posted By Gail Ostrow on May 5th, 2009

In her new book  Rapt:  Attention and the Focused Life, acclaimed behavioral science writer Winifred Gallagher makes the radical argument that the quality of your life largely depends on what you choose to pay attention to and how you choose to do it. Gallagher grapples with provocative questions ”Can we train our focus? What’s different about the way creative people pay attention? Why do we often zero in on the wrong factors when making big decisions, like where to move?” driving us to reconsider what we think we know about attention.
(more…)

Posted in BOOKS, HEALTH
Comments Off on What are you paying attention to right now?

DNA Test Outperforms Pap Smear

Posted By Gail Ostrow on April 27th, 2009

New York Times, Published: April 6, 2009

A new DNA test for the virus that causes cervical cancer does so much better than current methods that some gynecologists hope it will eventually replace the Pap smear in wealthy countries and cruder tests in poor ones. Click here to read the full article.

Posted in HEALTH
Comments Off on DNA Test Outperforms Pap Smear