When It’s Not Fun For Everyone …

Well, we have made it to July 4th weekend. And many are planning celebrations for the holiday. If you are one of those people, it’s important to remember that the usual activities aren’t fun for everyone. I don’t mean these are boring. I mean they can result in medical emergencies. Let’s talk about that …


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most large-scale fireworks displays have been cancelled. Which means that many will attempt to do their own. Fireworks effect many medical conditions. As beautiful as they are, fireworks release pollutants into the air. This in turn impacts our air quality. In fact, some of the chemicals dispersed by fireworks, such as aluminum, barium, cadium, dioxins, and rubidium, are radioactive and known carcinogens. For anyone, of any age, this can be a problem. Conditions like Asthma, Bronchitis and COPD can be worsened by breathing the particulate matter or PM in the air. Even smaller fireworks that are used at ground level (Sparklers, Firecrackers) can expose individuals to metallic fumes and create breathing difficulties. Fireworks can also have an impact on people who live with Hypertension, Heart conditions, Anxiety, Epilepsy and PTSD. They’re notoriously unsettling for pets, too.

Food can also cause problems, whether you are planning a backyard barbecue or a picnic. Look at your menu. Have you thought about your guests? Do any of them have food allergies? If the answer is “yes”, then make sure you have another option available. Diabetics will be happy to see fruit like fresh watermelon, on the table. Maybe, a crisp tossed salad? Carbs raise their blood-sugar. And nobody wants to serve food poisoning at their get-together. So, here’s a few tips to help avoid that: 

  • Avoid cross-contamination. Keep raw foods and cooked foods separate. Clean your work-surface after each use.
  • Without refrigeration or a heat source, perishables should not be left out more than two hours.
  • Always keep COLD food cold by using a cold source such as ice or frozen gel packs. Keep hot food HOT, at or above 140 °F, on the grill or in insulated containers,a cold source such as ice or frozen gel packs. Keep hot food HOT, at or above 140 °F, on the grill or in insulated containers.
  • Packing drinks in a separate cooler is strongly recommended, so the food cooler isn’t opened frequently.
  • If you plan to marinate meat and/or poultry for several hours or overnight prior to the event, make sure to marinate them in the refrigerator.
  • To ensure safety, leftovers must be put in shallow containers for quick cooling and refrigerated to 40 ⁰F or below within two hours.

Last, but certainly not least, avoid large gatherings. It just isn’t safe, during a pandemic. Keep your get-togethers small. Nowadays, less really does equate to more. Practice social distancing. Wear face masks. You might even consider giving the patriotic-print ones as party gifts/favors. Yes, this is a short-notice for that idea. But many retailers are advertising them. They are available, just like flags, balloons, paper-goods, etc. So, decorate your home … your yard … and do it with a mask on. When it’s not fun for everyone, it’s not much of a celebration. Period. Take a moment to think about all of those you’ve invited to your July 4th festivities — make a list of their names and phone numbers. As morbid as this may sound today, if someone develops COVID-19 next week … your guests will need to be notified. That list will come in handy. 2020 remains, even in our moments of celebration, unusual.

Happy Fourth, y’all! Stay well!



Reference Links: 




Fireworks, Triggers, PTSD, and Veterans

Wrap up your celebration with fireworks, not food poisoning


*Photo by Stephanie McCabe on Unsplash

Giving The Gift Of Life …

My cousin was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes, before he started kindergarten. He tried to exercise, to eat healthy, to take his medication, etc. For the most part, he did well. He enjoyed sports, went to college, built a career, married, raised a family, etc. Nothing, including Diabetes, held him back. But, by age 46, his luck had changed. It was clear that he was losing the battle with heart disease. Doctors told Allen that he needed a heart transplant to survive. The news fell on our family like a ton of bricks. Months later, he received the news — a match had been found. For him, as with thousands of others, it was truly the gift of life.


At any given time, approximately 4,000 people are awaiting a heart transplant.  Some are children. Even infants have undergone the surgery. Why they need a new heart varies, from patient to patient. But the severity of their health situation is the same. They are all fighting to survive.

After decades of research and medical advances, heart transplant surgery still carries risks. But it also has a good success rate. About 85% of patients will survive the first year, after surgery. And 75% will live at least 5 years. Younger patients (age 55 & under) have a 50% chance of surviving a decade or longer. Most of these recipients (over 80%) return to normal living, i.e. working, swimming, cycling, running, etc. As I said, it is truly the gift of life.

If you are already an organ donor, let me say, “Thank you.” For those who may be curious about organ donation, or interested in becoming a donor, please visit https://www.donatelife.net/types-of-donation/heart-donation/ for more details. You can register to become a heart donor, in just a few minutes. It isn’t difficult. If you choose to become an organ, eye, and tissue donor, your decision can make a difference in the lives of more than 75 people! Over 90% of Americans support organ donation. Unfortunately, less than 60% are registered to be a donor. Let’s change that …

Make February of 2020 the month that you chose to give the gift of life!



Reference Links:






Heart Donation: Everything you need to know

*Photo by Melissa Askew on Unsplash