Gloria Ferris

one woman’s view from a place by the zoo in the city

What wearing Red Means To Me

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Red has always been a favorite color of mine since a good friend convinced me that as a redhead I could wear it proudly. Years later, the red in my hair has faded and much of it is replaced with gray, and today I wear red for a very different reason.

Today is Wear Red For Women to raise awareness of the threat of heart disease to us. It seems it is as good a day as any to share my own personal journey with my heart. 

On November 17, 2008 I went out to dinner with friends for a celebration and 21 days later I woke up in the MetroHealth Cardiac Intensive Care Unit unable to talk, walk or fend for myself. This next part of the story was told to me by family and friends. I have no recollection of any of it. My husband tells me that when the paramedics arrived I was as limp as a noodle. One of them commented that this was the worst case of flu they had seen this year.

They put me in the ambulance and took an EKG. That paramedic didn’t like what he saw and said go! go! go!. Luckily, we live five minutes from MetroHealth so that when I began to scream “Help me! Help me!” the people I needed came running.  

During the next five days, I had three cardiac arrests, three strokes, and two stents finally placed successfully. But, then it was a time of wait and see. My cardiologist explained to Tim and our daughters that there was nothing more that could be done-if they tried I certainly would not survive.  That was the day that a DNR was placed at my bedside.

When I woke up I had missed my daughter’s birthday, my baby granddaughter and her parents who had celebrated Thanksgiving with friends and family who brought it to the hospital, days of friends sitting by my bedside reading to me, telling me stories, and holding my hand. And, I had missed my wonderful family being told that I had a  negative 17 per cent chance of surviving and if I did survive I would probably end up spending the rest of my short life in a rest home.

But as you can see I beat insurmountable odds and I am here today to tell you don’t be like me, don’t rationalize away the signs like me. When your normally low blood pressure begins to climb, when you become so fatigued by afternoon that a two hour nap becomes routine, when you have flu-like symptoms off and on that linger for weeks, a sense of impending doom that becomes overwhelming, when you dread walking to the end of your street or when climbing the stairs causes shortness of breath and a pounding heart go to the doctor. Be smart, be proactive, be a partner with your body. Acknowledge that these subtle changes that seem to come and go have become part of your routine. You know your body be its friend not its naysayer. When it begins to tell you that your “normal” is not normal, listen to it.

Here six signs of a heart attack. Remember that a woman’s signs are often not the classic signs of those experienced by men. Remember that most tests and  treatments are based on studies conducted by men for men.

· Chest pain or discomfort. Chest pain is the most common heart attack symptom, but some women may experience it differently than men.

· Pain in your arm(s), back, neck, or jaw.

· Stomach pain.

· Shortness of breath, nausea, or lightheadedness.

· Sweating.

· Fatigue.

My symptoms included a knot in my back.  There was no elephant sitting on my chest.   My RIGHT arm felt like a band tightening and tightening. And then the band, moved to around my chest.  I thought I had the flu-I was chilled, my teeth chattered. Twenty minutes later I was burning up, sweating, throwing up and so weak I could not stand.  My husband stood over me telling me he was dialing 911. I was insisting we should wait a few more minutes because I was starting to feel better.

I am lucky my husband didn’t listen to me. I am supremely fortunate that I live minutes from a Trauma 1 hospital that sees it all and knows that quick reaction is often the difference between life and death. And I am extremely blessed with a family and friends that have faith and believe in the power of prayer.

But I am hear to tell you that this is certainly not the way to take control of your health.  Do it when you aren’t in crisis mode. Do it when you feel those subtle changes happen. Don’t rationalize away symptoms. Move forward. Make a doctor’s appointment. Find out just what is going on in that body that has worked  so hard for you every single day of your life.

Don’t be like me.  

Written by Gloria Ferris

February 5th, 2016 at 6:56 pm

Posted in general

Pinwheel Kids to open in former Sunbeam space – The Heights Observer

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I wasn’t aware of this—this news piece dates from 2013. This used to be the best place to buy things for little kids. This is Tim’s old neighborhood; he used to live on Ashurst.

There is a quaint little cluster of shops in Cleveland Heights on Fairmount Boulevard, between South Taylor and Queenston roads. One of them, Sunbeam–A Shop for Children, has been offering clothes and gifts for children in the Heights at this location for nearly 17 years, and in the community since 1915.

Earlier this year, Vocational Guidance Services (VGS) Sunbeam Board, the nonprofit organization that ran the shop, decided it was no longer within its mission to run a retail shop and announced it was closing Sunbeam. The board is redirecting its awareness-building and fundraising efforts to special events and activities, such as Fiesta on 55th and its holiday boutique. Members of the Sunbeam’s board of directors will continue to provide support to VGS, but without the shop.

Fortunately, longtime manager Janet Nelson decided to purchase the store and carry on its tradition. “It was a bit scary,” she said, “but I have 30 years of experience and many loyal customers.”

Pinwheel Kids to open in former Sunbeam space – The Heights Observer

Written by Gloria Ferris

September 15th, 2015 at 6:56 am

Posted in general

New I-Open Blog Articles Featuring We’ve Got A Problem Bring Out The Fine China by Cavana Faithwalker

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Mine is the third blog article mentioned by Betsey in this morning’s email:

 

Hello I-Open Friends!

I wanted to share our latest #Blog articles with you:

We’ve Got A Problem Bring Out The Fine China by Cavana Faithwalker
Why is brainstorming rolled out like fine china for special occasions? Suppose brainstorming was the new problem solving? Let’s rethink the brainstorm definition and see what can be used daily.

A Short Story About Brainstorming by Tom Romito

Cavana Faithwalker’s thoughtful analysis on brainstorming (above) brings to mind a similar story about my own experience as a facilitator assisting community change.

Engaging The Community In New Ways by Gloria Ferris

This story outlines how groups of individuals can strengthen engagement to generate transformative solutions and self-directed, empowered communities.

Join us! Become a member or make a donation by clicking on a link below:

Thank you! Happy Innovating!

Betsey Merkel

Co-Founder & Director

I-Open Directors

The Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open)

Email info@i-open.org

Website http://www.i-open.org

PS: Would you like to learn about I-Open’s Entrepreneur University launching Spring 2016?

Add your information, check your interest and we’ll add you to our growing network list! Go Here.

PPS: In case you missed it, read our #1 story last week Diversity For Growth by Richard T. Herman. Richard makes the case for ushering in a new conversation about immigration as an economic driver of population growth, entrepreneur attraction and American job creation.

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New I-Open Blog Articles Featuring We’ve Got A Problem Bring Out The Fine China by Cavana Faithwalker

Written by Gloria Ferris

September 1st, 2015 at 8:01 am

Posted in general

1.5 Million Missing Black Men – The New York Times

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This article is quite sobering. Be sure to look at the age band tables that show when the disparity begins and how it widens.

1.5 Million Missing Black Men – The New York Times

Written by Gloria Ferris

July 2nd, 2015 at 2:21 pm

Posted in general

If You Have a Question about What and How to Recycle in Cleveland?

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One Simple Act Cast Sheet explains what is and what isn’t acceptable.

 

http://www.city.cleveland.oh.us/CityofCleveland/OneSimpleAct

 

Reading the cover page tells you no need to bag your recyclables, just use the blue container.

Click on How to recycle correctly and there are the do’s and don’ts.

A few months ago we were told “no plastic bags” and  many neighbors including my husband thought that meant not to “bag” the recyclables in plastic.  I told them “no” plastic bags are not acceptable. We still need to take them to the grocery store. Now many grocery stores will not accept them.  We are trying to shift our thinking to toting organic and reusable bags back and forth to the market.  When we shop a the West Side Market, this is not a problem since we having bringing our own bags for 30+ years.

For some reason, we constantly walk out without them when going to Heinen’s.  Now, we are being overrun by the many options of “what to buy” when we forget. I am hoping that soon, very soon we can remember them. The other option is to keep them in the car, but then the car will be overrun with “totes.

 

Again,  here it is in black and white.  Plastic bags &  wrap, plastic toys outdoor furniture and PVC piping a re on the “don’t list.

Written by Gloria Ferris

June 14th, 2015 at 4:02 pm

Posted in 44109,Environment

Tagged with , ,

Please Bring Clarity to this “Class Divide” article

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Channel 19 shared Stephen Ohlemacher’s Associated Press article Report: SOcial Security overpaid nearly half on disability. citing a government study which says Social Security overpaid nearly half of those on disability.

The copyright says : Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.  Therefore, I am not sharing, but you can find it most anywhere-ABC NEWS, CNN, AOL just Google Stephen Ohlemeyer social security.

Here are my questions: Who was overpaid, why were they overpaid and how has this been corrected?  From personal experience I am flummoxed to see that these overpayments seem to be made year after year.  In my opinion, this kind of reporting does little else expect put fuel on the fire of “class divide” between those who fund and those who receive. Where is the outrage for those charged with administering these funds? Why are corrections not placed into the programming to “catch” these mistakes?

In my mind, this type of article does more to promote a "class divide" instead of shedding light on how a government agency with so much technology at its beck and call cannot figure out the "right" benefit to give. Making it so funders and recipients alike are left with inadequate data.

For a short time in 2009, I received disability payments. It took just 6 months to get approval on what I would receive, when I would receive it and how long I would receive it. The government wanted to divide it into 3 payments. I asked to have it in two since I had already waited six months. After submitting expenses for those six months, I received the first of two payments. It was cut and dried. I have a friend who receives payments as well. Each year adjustments are made- the first in January when her check is increased- this year it was $10. In July, her rent is recalculated-it will go up $2; therefore, she will be able to use the $8 to pay the increase in her phone bill because she is still forced to keep a land line for life line (the discount has expired because supposedly soon she will be able to have a cell phone instead). With this kind of micromanaging which is neither here nor there, I just want to know HOW the government has overpaid these people for supposedly years.

A study is cited but I have been unable to find a link to that specifically. The article says ”according to a government watchdog”.   The next sentence says “in all, Social Security overpaid beneficiaries by nearly $17 billion, according to a 10-year study be the agency’s inspector general.  Who is the government agency and who is the inspector general?  Lots of questions, few answers. 

 

This link is provided: http://www.ssa.gov/disability/

Written by Gloria Ferris

June 7th, 2015 at 12:44 pm

Coloring Makes the World Go Round

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So glad that coloring is seen as acceptable for adults. I believe those of us who know what is important already had the advantage.

When I was blue as a kid or things just weren’t going right as a kid, my Aunt Dadie would say we need to get out the crayons and coloring books. After an hour of spending time coloring with her never saying a word, I usually forgot what had been making my world less than perfect.  I did the same for my daughters and now we all do it for my granddaughters. Coloring soothes the soul and rebalances the world.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/14/mandala-coloring-book_n_7057932.html

 

and consider buying this coloring book  “Coloring Flower Mandelas”

 

I am think there should be a coloring book of nautilus chambers soon.

Written by Gloria Ferris

April 14th, 2015 at 5:42 pm

Posted in art,design

The Whys and Wherefores of “I Will Buy Your Insulin Test Strips”

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For months,maybe years, my husband Tim and I have been seeing signs plastered on utility poles that say “I will buy your Insulin Test Strips” around the neighborhood with a proliferation of them around the MetroHealth Campus.

Today, I finally thought to ask my Facebook friends to help me out with the reason why. Thanks to those friends and others I now know a bit more of the story behind the signs. It appears there is a black market for insulin test strips. Some diabetics may need to test 5 to 10 times a day to help them control the disease. It would be my supposition that some one needing to test that frequently may be what is called a “brittle” diabetic but may be not. According to my sources, it is not uncommon for these test strips to bring $1.00 a piece on the black market.

So, who sells these test strips on the black market? Apparently, many people do-relatives of people who have died, criminals who steal them from friends, neighbors and relatives who need them, and others who should use the test strips themselves but find the reselling of them too lucrative to pass up. Imagine my surprise to find out that this black market item is as lucrative as prescription  pain medications.

There is a bit of misinformation out there that I believe needs to be cleared up-“Medicare and Medicaid patients can get all they can use for free”.  I have a friend on Medicaid whose doctor requested that she get the number of test strips needed to enable her to test twice a day. Medicaid denied the request allowing her one a day. Now, Medicaid usually follows the lead of Medicare guidelines so although I do not KNOW what medicare allows or does not allow, I do know that not every Medicaid patient gets whatever amount they need and if I were a betting person I would probably bet that Medicare probably has strict guidelines as well.

I understand that Medical Mutual is a company that will ship strips, glucose tabs, and other testing stuff quarterly if you sign up for one of their programs and you dot the i’s and cross the t’s just so. I am sure other insurance companies have similar plans, but many of them, as some of my sources say, are very expensive.  There is also the option of going to the company involved directly. Pharmaceutical Company Foundations will often supply prescriptions and supplies to people who do not qualify for other help in getting the medications they need.

 

But back to the issue at hand, the unsuitability of these signs on utility poles in my neighborhood.  Kate Dupuis, an employee of the Stockyard, Clark-Fulton and Brooklyn Centre Community Development Office has declared war against the unsightliness of these signs as well as “Free Roofs”,”We Buy Houses Cash”, “Poor Credit, No Credit We Have Cars”.  Take a photo of the sign, its location, the utility pole number if possible, and email it to Kate at kdupuis@dscdo.org.  She is compiling a list to bring to the City so that action can be taken against the parties responsible.  There is a fine for each sign posted. If we can multiplying the number to make the fine significant, action can and will be taken.

Somehow, a black market for test strips seems so wrong given the recent event of a 36 year old man dying because he was unable to buy insulin when needed because his prescription expired.  http://www.wkyc.com/story/news/health/2015/02/11/emergency-insulin/23276399/  We live in a messed-up world, and it is up to us to change it.

Overused, but no less true .    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

–Margaret Mead

Written by Gloria Ferris

February 16th, 2015 at 8:41 pm

PUBLIC MEETING: Aragon Ballroom

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PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE

ZONING APPEAL

Aragon Ballroom

3179 West 25th Street

Thursday, January 22nd at 6:00 pm

At Lincoln West High School 3202 West 30th Street

Park and enter from the NORTH parking lot

The owner of Aragon Ballroom (Ali Faraj) would like to renovate the historic building as an event/conference center. The use will be allowed if it doesn’t negatively impact the neighborhood.

 

I would suggest anyone living near the West 25th corridor, whether it is close to the Aragon Ballroom or not, should attend this IMPORTANT meeting. Since this will be the FIRST MAJOR renovation along a street where MANY upgrades and changes are planned, we need to do this right and the COMMUNITY should be included.

Among other things to be considered is a PARKING variance. Rumor has it that already an agreement with Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the owners has already been struck. My question why isn’t the vacant lot on West 25th Street very close to the venue considered for parking? When the corridor booms a well placed parking lot should be in the mix, correct? The area surrounding the ARAGON is VERY residential and how will on street parking be handled?

If the seminars and business activities do not meet expectations, what type of “entertainment” will the venue book? What type of liquor permits will be requested? A lot of questions need to be asked and answered. Solutions need to be found for the community’s concerns.

An historic preservation of a building is only ONE of things to be considered here and should not be used as a smoke screen for the very real impact on the surrounding community.

Please consider taking the time out of your very busy lives to attend.

 

Written by Gloria Ferris

January 21st, 2015 at 3:37 pm

Talking Points for First Energy PUCO Hearing January 20, 2015

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First Energy PUCO Hearings – Talking Points
• Roughly one in three Ohio households, 1.4 million in all, are considered cost burdened by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development standards, paying more than 30 percent of their annual income on housing and utilities combined. Ohio families can’t afford a monopoly power plant bailout.
• According to the 2013 Home Energy Affordability Gap Report, more than 300,000 Ohio households pay over 30 percent of their annual income just on their home energy bills alone.
• FirstEnergy is asking the PUCO to permit its subsidiaries, Ohio Edison, Toledo Edison, and Cleveland Illuminating Company, to buy from FirstEnergy’s own power plants, at a premium, instead of from the PJM wholesale market where they are required to buy – as part of the deregulation FirstEnergy itself petitioned for.
• If this bailout goes through, consumers will be on the hook for FirstEnergy’s bad business decisions – at a projected cost of over $3 billion over fifteen years.
• If the ESP is approved, FirstEnergy would realize a revenue surplus of around $2 billion over operating costs for the fifteen year arrangement.
• FirstEnergy is fudging the numbers. To get an Electric Security Plan instead of a Market Rate Offer, FirstEnergy has to show a cost savings for customers. But even though they’re asking for a three year ESP, they’re claiming customer savings not over three years, but over the life of the 15 year power purchase agreement bailout they want. And even those numbers are wild speculation.
• When FirstEnergy’s own projections are limited to the 3 year span of the actual ESP, instead of the 15 year extended rider they’re seeking, FirstEnergy’s own projections indicate a $400 million net ratepayer loss.
• FirstEnergy’s proposal is anticompetitive. Getting this bail out would mean that FirstEnergy can undercut more efficient producers in the wholesale electricity market. Driving out those producers will limit energy choice.
• FirstEnergy says efficiency upgrades are costly, but they want these subsidies because they are losing out in the wholesale market – to wind and natural gas.
• Because with this rider, FirstEnergy recovers its full “cost” of generation, the rider would create an incentive for FirstEnergy to inflate its costs, which are not totally transparent to the PUCO.
• FirstEnergy is saying this plan will save customers money in the long run – but if that’s true, why don’t they want to take the risk and realize those cost savings for themselves? They’re asking PUCO to force customers to take a risk they’re not willing to take themselves.
• FirstEnergy has successfully petitioned the PUCO not to release cost and revenue figures so the public can learn the full story. If this plan really will benefit consumers, then what do they have to hide?
• FirstEnergy is asking the government to enforce a monopoly. Even though customers may want to choose a different supplier, those served by FirstEnergy power lines would still have to pay the surcharge – even though this surcharge is for subsidizing unprofitable plants, not for grid maintenance.

Written by Gloria Ferris

January 6th, 2015 at 9:26 pm