Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Local Honey to Fight Allergies? and as an Anti-Oxidant, Anti-Microbial and Anti-Inflammatory

Lynette and a giant bee at the 2015 NewYork City Honey Festival on the Boardwalk at Rockaway Beach.  We had the opportunity to meet local beekeepers and taste dozens of varieties of honey.

HONEY!! Just the word conjures up images of Winnie the Pooh, tea with honey, Middle-Eastern pastries like baklava soaked in it, and teaspoons of it soothing a sore throat.  I used to have it in my tea every day -- I have -- at minimum -- a cup of anti-oxidant green tea and at least a cup of black tea later in the day.  For a long time growing up, I associated tea and honey with an upset stomach.  But then I became a sort of tea connoisseur.  I remember a throat lozenge called "Honees" that I loved, because in the middle it oozed out real honey;  I bought them even when my throat wasn't sore. Mmm those things got me through my first winter as an airline reservationist.  But I digress.

I am a serious allergy sufferer. I mean all day, every day.  I pop a Zyrtec every morning and use nose sprays, and on some occasions I even have to add a benadryl if my eyes puff up or my skin breaks out in hives.  A walk in the woods means extra medication.  The beach is the best place for me, according to my old allergist, a venue-restriction that suits me perfectly.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I live for the beach.

So, I am learning that local honey can help alleviate allergies because it is derived from the honey made from the flowers near where you live.  Watch this video from ABC-TV NYC Eyewitness News.

It's important that the honey be local. The video talks about Andrew's Honey, which is based in NYC.  So if you live in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn or the Bronx, click on the above link and find the honey produced in a rooftop hive in your neighborhood.  If you don't live in NYC, go to a local farmers' market or general store that sells local honey for your area.  I haven't tried it yet, but I am planning to order the "Forest Hills Honey" which is closest to my home.  I will try anything.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Cheers and Jeers: Teenager with Disability Meets NY Yankees and "X-Files" Mulder Perpetuates Bad Stereotype

By Unknown - created in Adobe Illustrator by user SixFourThree, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7888984

CHEERS!! to the MLB NY Yankees
A North Carolina high school senior traveled to New York yesterday to fulfill a lifelong dream: to see his Major League Baseball idols -- the New York Yankees -- play at Yankee Stadium.  This was made possible by his classmates.  But he got more than he expected, because he got to meet the team members in person.  Watch this video or read the story from ABC Eyewitness News in New York City

Fox Broadcasting Company - US logo for The X-FilesMoviePosterDb.com (December 6, 2009). Retrieved on September 18, 2012.

JEERS!! to Agent Mulder of "The X-Files" [actually, the writers]
Talk about things that make you go "Grrr".  A character on a popular TV show with a cult following like the global favorite "X-Files" perpetuating the stereotype that People with Disabilities [PWDs] can be excused for a substandard work ethic, is deplorable.  What's even worse:  there are still employers who won't hire a PWD because they think a PWD can't do a job as well as an able-bodied hire or won't be reliable and dependable.  We won't even get into the statistics and studies that show that PWDs tend to be more productive and reliable than their able-bodied counterparts.  And, there are still HR people out there who are afraid to hire PWDs because there is a bigger likelihood they will be sued, or because making certain accommodations will be too costly.  Although I am not in the job market like much-younger PWDs, I have suffered enough attitudinal barriers to allow me to appreciate how difficult those barriers must be when they are barriers to earning a living and enjoying independence rather than depending on public assistance!  

Check out this article about "Attitudinal Barriers" we PWDs face and how they can affect every area of our lives, but especially the right to earn a living on the website of the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability. If you are a PWD, you will nod at prejudices you recognize; if you are able-bodied, you might see attitudes listed that you never realized existed in yourself -- if you are prepared to admit it.  And, ask yourself, if you were to substitute the words "African-American", "Hispanic", "Gay" or "Woman" in place of PWD, would these attitudes be okay?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Inclusion: Do You Avoid Inviting a Friend With a Disability to a Holiday Celebration at Your Home?

Holidays can be lonely times, especially for People With Disabilities.  I know that holidays are very depressing for me because most of the time I am forced to sit at home with a caregiver.  Read my post about "Visitability" [March 30, 2017] to learn about challenges many of us have to face when other people don't have  accessible homes.  But sometimes the barriers are more subtle. Many times, the host or hostess just feels uncomfortable about some disabilities.  But the excuse I hear most often is "I don't want [the PWD] to feel bad if other guests make [the PWD] feel uncomfortable" or they are afraid someone else will say something hurtful.  It's unbelievable in this day and age, but I still have neighbors who can't look me in the eye, ask my caregiver about me while I am right there or just avoid me. there is still so much fear around disability. Indeed, I have attended many gatherings where I could feel the discomfort of other guests toward me.  But, if just one guest leaves the get-together with a more enlightened attitude toward PWDs and realizes there is a HUMAN BEING sitting in the wheelchair, I have accomplished something.  As a PWD, I just have to decide whether I want to go, and risk a little discomfort, or sit at home isolated.  I have learned two things over the dozen+ years as a PWD: first, this excuse of fearing hurt to the PWD is usually no more than just that -- an excuse -- and reflects the discomfort of the host/ess.  the second thing I have learned is that the experience is often not as uncomfortable as I imagined.  I have learned that my speech problems and using a device with a text-to-speech app, present a new challenge for almost anyone.  including me in the conversation is a skill that has to be learned; as time goes on and PWDs survive longer and move about with more independence and inclusion, there will be more awareness from the able-bodied about how to relate to us.

Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi is the President of RespectAbilityUSA, a non-profit organization working to empower PWDs to achieve the American dream. she has written an article entitled "10 Tips For Including People With Disabilities in Purim and Passover".  But don't let the title dissuade you if you are not Jewish.  You can apply these tips to any holiday, religious or not -- Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, New Year's Eve or Independence Day [or just an informal barbecue].   There are ways to prepare guests and head off any awkwardness.  And including a person with a disability in a get-together might just enlighten and dispel myths about PWDs, while bringing a PWD out of isolation.  I can attest to the fact that after becoming disabled, I suffer from isolation and loneliness during most holidays, because I am excluded from most get-togethers these days.  Christmas 2016 and Easter 2017 were much brighter this year for the first time in a dozen years, due to a friend's inclusion of my presence at her celebrations.  I was so grateful. After reading Ms. Laszlo-Mizrahi's article, able-bodied readers should make an effort to include a person with a disability at their next holiday [or any] gathering.