Your Good Health
By Paul G. Donohue,
is Homonymous Hemianopsia?
DONOHUE: Please explain the meaning of
"homonymous hemianopsia." I am a senior
and a diabetic. Does it have anything to do with
either? -- J.B.
Hemianopsia is a loss of half the visual field.
For example, a person can see from the center to
the right but not from the center to the left.
Homonymous (hoe-MON-uh-mus) indicates that both
eyes have the same defect.
Head trauma, brain
tumors, strokes and a few other conditions cause
such a vision loss. Diabetes and aging are not
Sensitivity and Celiac Disease
DONOHUE: Nowadays there is such a to-do about
gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. Which
comes first? -- F.G.
sensitivity and celiac disease are different
names for the same condition. Gluten is a protein
found in wheat, barley and rye. People with a
sensitivity to gluten develop an inability to
absorb nutrients, causing diarrhea and weight
loss. Gluten acts like a poison to their
avoidance of those grains and gluten.
You can call the
illness celiac disease, gluten sensitivity,
gluten enteropathy or sprue -- whichever strikes
DOLLARS AND SENSE
Arent Always Upfront With Fees
The law says that
banks and other financial institutions must
provide consumers with information about account
fees and terms before an account is opened. This
doesnt always happen.
Accountability Office recently released a report
on a study done to determine whether it was easy
for consumers to get that information before
opening an account at a banking institution. The
At 20 percent of
the institutions, they werent able to get
any information. The same situation applied at
more than 30 percent of banking institution Web
sites: The information wasnt available.
This leaves a lot
of consumers facing surprise fees -- and
increases. The cost of items returned for
insufficient funds and for overdrafts has gone up
11 percent since 2000. Stop payment order fees
rose 17 percent. Fees on returned deposited items
went up 29 percent. In 2006, we paid over $36
billion in bank fees.
Here are some ways
to keep track of the fees your bank charges:
statement every month and read any leaflets
enclosed. Buried in other information might be
your notice that there is to be an increase in
your bank fees, including an increased minimum to
keep a no-fee checking account or a newly
instituted fee to speak to a teller on the phone.
Ask if you can
combine checking and savings totals to qualify as
your "minimum balance" to keep your
When you use the
ATM at a bank thats not your own, check the
screen for the required disclosure of the fee.
Dont sign up
for overdraft protection unless you share an ATM
card with someone and youre not scrupulous
about writing down every transaction. Have
overdraft you if makes you feel safer, but
dont use it.
individual needs to assess whether a bank is
right for you. If you live on your ATM card, look
for a bank that doesnt charge a fee if you
use its machine. If you write a lot of checks,
look for a bank with free checking.
23 different types of fees charged by banking
institutions. Check the site to become familiar
with the variety of fees your bank can impose.
FROM START TO
By Andrea Renee
Wyatt, M.S.S., C.S.C.S.
Sabotage Your Workouts
Q: I have found
that although I like to exercise, most of my
really close friends do not. We do almost
everything together, but when I mention that
Im going to the gym or walking around the
block after work, they are totally uninterested.
This leaves me alone to work out, and I find
myself either shortening my workouts or not
exercising at all. I know this only hurts me, but
I wish they would join me so we could get in
shape together. Do I need new friends, or is
there a way to work through this?
A: Lack of support
is one of the main reasons people have difficulty
reaching their fitness and nutrition goals. Often
overlooked, support from family and friends plays
a huge part in how successful youll be in
totally committing to and maintaining a healthy
lifestyle. Since developing a healthy lifestyle
is the ultimate goal, you might need to get new
friends. However, this does not mean you have to
lose the old ones.
to, family and friends can sabotage your fitness
journey by not recognizing the importance
youve placed on it. You might assume that
they know or understand your goals, but its
more likely they just never thought about the
toll their involvement -- or lack of involvement
-- has taken on your desire to exercise.
closest family and friends of your goals and what
you have committed to in order to reach them can
begin to help them acknowledge how you need their
support. This may or may not encourage friends to
join you at the gym, but it will let them know
that exercise is important to you, and that you
will continue to take time out of your schedule
to work out.
After talking to
your friends, you may find that although they
support you 100 percent, they still have no
desire to work out. This is perfectly all right,
but now its time to find exercise partners
who share your desire to help fill that void.
Theres nothing wrong with having friends
whom you identify with at the gym.
to someone at your gym who uses the same type of
cardio or strength equipment or who attends the
same group exercise class as you and develop a
gym buddy. This friendship does not have to
extend outside of the gym, but while at the gym,
you can make arrangements to meet up for a class,
or save each other a treadmill, or even hire a
personal trainer together. You also might find
someone at work who likes to walk, and set up a
time to walk at lunch or after work.
motivation and encouragement are major
ingredients for having success while trying to
meet fitness and nutrition goals. Your new friend
in the gym and your friends at home are all part
of the support system you need to develop and
maintain a healthy lifestyle. Continue to be a
positive example for your friends who dont
want to work out. You never know, one day they
might finally ask to join you.Always consult a
physician before beginning an exercise program.
Moments In Time
On April 1, 1700,
English pranksters begin popularizing the annual
tradition of playing April Fools jokes. In
keeping with the fun in 1957, the BBC reported
that Swiss farmers were experiencing a record
spaghetti crop and showed footage of people
harvesting noodles from trees.
On April 4, 1812,
President James Madison fires an economic salvo
at the British government and enacts a 90-day
embargo on trade with England. The embargo did
little to forestall war: The British refused to
cease harassing American ships, prompting Madison
to lead America into the War of 1812.
On March 31, 1889,
the Eiffel Tower is dedicated in Paris. At 984
feet tall, the Eiffel Tower remained the
worlds tallest man-made structure until the
completion of the Chrysler Building in New York
On April 5, 1931,
Fox Film Corp. drops John Wayne from its roster
of actors. Wayne had played bit parts, but failed
to impress the studio. In 1939, Wayne finally had
his breakthrough in "Stagecoach." Wayne
went on to play in dozens of movies, including
"True Grit," for which he won an Oscar
On April 3, 1956,
Elvis sings his first RCA recording,
"Heartbreak Hotel," on NBCs
"Milton Berle Show." By April 21, the
song had become Elvis first No. 1 single.
On April 6, 1970,
Sam Sheppard, a doctor convicted of murdering his
pregnant wife in a trial that caused a media
frenzy in the 1950s, dies of liver failure. After
a decade in prison, Sheppard was found "not
guilty" in a second trial in 1966. The
"Fugitive" television series and movie
were rumored to have been loosely inspired by the
112 Ring a Bell?
Where were you
from 1962 to 1974? Do "Project 112" or
"SHAD" ring any bells? If so, the
Department of Defense and Veterans Administration
might be looking for you ... sort of.
begun in 1962, was to test the vulnerability of
ships to attacks with chemicals and to assess the
risk to service members. SHAD (an acronym for
Shipboard Hazard and Defense) was conducted on
ships, while Project 112 was conducted on land.
Accountability Office has released a report
detailing its observations of the efforts of the
DOD and VA to hunt down military personnel who
were involved and who might have health issues
due to exposure to major chemicals. The report
uncovered lots of snafus, specifically:
The DOD followed a
narrow set of criteria in looking for the names
of military personnel, didnt adequately
supervise the contractors doing the work and
didnt turn over every stone in their hunt.
The GAO report
took the VA to task as well: It has sent
notification letters to only 48 percent of the
names it got from DOD, and hasnt used all
the resources available to it to hunt for
addresses of the rest. (The VA used credit
bureaus instead of Social Security or the IRS.)
If you want
helping determining if you took part in the
tests, theres a special phone number at the
DOD -- call 1-800-497-6261, or see
fhp.osd.mil/shad. If you want to talk to somebody
at the VA, call the Special Issues Helpline
1-800-749-8387 or see www1.va.gov/shad. Be sure
to click on the links for the Clinic Pocket
Guides, too, as they have a wealth of information
about when, where and what chemicals were used,
as well as the ships involved with the tests.
To real the full
GAO report, go to
Indoors with Blooming Branches
Its time to
start thinking spring. Feel the fresh energy of
the new season by taking a nature walk with your
family. Help the kids observe the changes taking
place around them by pointing out the buds
growing on bushes and trees. Then bring branches
indoors to bloom and create a cheery centerpiece.
Step one: Clip
tamarack, weeping willow, silver-maple, apple and
box-elder branches work well for this activity.
Help your children clip off a few branches (they
should be about 20 inches long) with garden
Lay the branches
on a hard, flat surface and let the kids pound
the cut ends with a hammer. This will help the
branches absorb water and will encourage the
blooms. Set them in a sturdy vase or a pitcher
filled with water. For extra fun, arrange them in
a water-filled jar, and place the jar inside a
clay pot you paint yourselves.
Step two: Paint a
Choose a clean
clay flowerpot that is wider and slightly taller
than your jar. Set it on newspaper and let your
child paint the outside of the pot with tempera
paint or acrylic paints. When the paint is dry,
set the branch-filled jar in the clay pot. Fill
the gap between the jar and the pot with moss.
New leaves and blossoms should appear on the
branches in a week or two.
If your child has
a spring birthday, tie brightly wrapped candy or
party favors to the branches to make special
"blooms" for the party guests to take