Sunday Spiritual Support Call at 11 am (MST)

Join us for spiritual support during this time of immense change. Life will give us times that are as hard as stone, but it also gives us moments between the rough that are filled with beauty and softness. Join us in an open discussion on the blossoms and stones in each of our lives and what we do with them. Please see blog for more information on this theme. We will be discussing and sharing our blessings and struggles during this time.

Here is Zoom Information for call:

Lynsie Buteyn is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Bridges to Faith discussion on Blossoms and Stones
Time: Apr 5, 2020 11:00 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/946357004?pwd=V3lUcDFKc0JwOHdVYVcyUlNQNDBqZz09

Meeting ID: 946 357 004
Password: 070766

One tap mobile
+14086380968,,946357004# US (San Jose)
+16699006833,,946357004# US (San Jose)

Dial by your location
+1 408 638 0968 US (San Jose)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 253 215 8782 US
+1 301 715 8592 US
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 946 357 004

Join Us On Zoom for Art Journal Wednesday April 8th

Art helps our emotional and spiritual body speak when words feel inadequate. Symbols bind us to a universal language of humanity’s struggle. Together these form Bridges to Empowerments’ Healing Notes Project: using art, learning, and sharing to form a circle of care and kindness

Join us every other Wednesday from 5:30-6:30 pm through zoom so that we can create art together and share our stories and experiences. All you need is an art journal, a pencil, and colored pencils or paints of your choice. No artistic talent needed or desired, and no need to make every session, each session is its own thing. First session starts April 8th! Please see below for details on how to join

Hi there,

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Apr 8, 2020 05:30 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://zoom.us/meeting/register/upwvduCqpzIsIxEOIk7UN6QscYucB7M6PA

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Blossoms and Stones

My sister told me a story about an outdoor project she did with her kids to take a brief escape from Covid-19 indoor blues. After hearing it, we talked about how this story could be a metaphor for working one’s way through crisis. I asked to share her story as an illustration of some of the concepts I teach for moving through crisis. Life will give us times that are as hard as stone, but it also gives us moments between the rough that are filled with beauty and softness. It is ultimately up to us what we do with the blossoms and stones within our lives. My sister is a person who moves through the rough in life with love. The type of person who helps everyone around her to feel more love despite what is going on around them. I see how she is now teaching her children to do the same as they use the stones and blossoms in life to create a life full of love.

Here is her story: After too much time stuck inside with my four kids with nothing but chores, CNN, and Facebook to look forward to, I felt my body become overcome with feelings of anxiety. Anxiety that one of us would become infected. Anxiety that if I failed to disinfect something properly, I would be putting a loved one at risk: all these thoughts terrified me and I started to cry. As the tears flowed, I realized no amount of chores would change that my son will miss his graduation or that my toddlers won’t get all the preschool memories I wanted them to have because my state, like many others, is on lockdown from Covid-19. As the warmth of the sun started to envelope my body, I watched my two and four year old laughing as they collected blossoms that had fallen off the cherry tree in our backyard.  I thought why am I sitting here in fear instead of taking this time to play with my kids? I wiped my tears away and joined them outside. As my daughter brought me blossoms, I said to her “how about we make some art with all these pretty blossoms.” As we placed stones and blossoms into different designs, I thought, these pieces of nature are like the moments of our lives, we can use them to create more love or more sadness. It was then that I decided to use the time that COVID-19 was giving us to be together to be a time of creating moments of love. I still have some moments when I cry at night with fear, but then I remember all the experiences I have gotten to share with my children during this time that I, otherwise, would not have had. In this moment, I feel connected to all my ancestors that struggled to overcome times of adversity. They had to make the same choice to spend their moments focused on the rough or hardness within life or the simple beauty that we each can find within our own backyards.

Tips for Getting Take-Out Food In The Time Of COVID-19

Today’s tip is laced with good news. Do you like eating out? Do you miss your favorite restaurants? In the time of COVID-19, you can still often dine on your favorite foods at home. Although restaurants are closed to the public, many are still cooking for take-out and sometimes will even deliver. Ordering food from them is a great way to help your local restaurants stay in business during this time. If you are nervous to eat food prepared by someone else in the time of COVID-19, you are not alone, I am one of them. However, experts have stated that they believe there is very little risk of becoming infected through food because your gastric juice would kill the virus even if it was in your food. But, a lot still remains unknown and the risk is not zero. Plus, we if you are reading this, chances are you are in a group of people that are at risk if you get this disease and maybe low risk is not good enough for you. I’ll be honest I’m uncomfortable with anyone I don’t trust preparing my food in this time. It is up to you what level of risk you want to take, but here is what I do to decrease risk even more while not sacrificing my favorite foods to dine in on. Any prepared food I take into my house, I empty out of its to go carton into a pot or microwave/ oven safe dish. I then throw away the container, wipe up any counter areas the outside container touched with a disinfectant, and then wash my hands for while completing the happy birthday song twice. I then reheat the food in the microwave, oven, or stove. In the microwave at least a minute. On the stove until it boils or the oven on low heat unit warmed but not burnt.

COVID-19 Tips

COVID-19 tip for the Immune suppressed and high risk, or just those that don’t want to get sick.

Did you know hydrogen peroxide kills COVID 19? Here are some tips

  1. Wash your fruits and vegetables in 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide to a gallon of water and let soak for 20 minutes. Then rinse.

2. You can also make a disinfectant cleaner that is not too harsh if sensitive. Put hydrogen peroxide full strength in a spray bottle to disinfect. You can add essential oils for scent

Downsizing Resources for Seniors to Help Guide Them Through the Process

By Andrea Needham

Downsizing Resources for Seniors to Help Guide Them Through the Process

Downsizing is oft-recommended for seniors, and for some very good reasons. Moving into a smaller home packed with the living features that you need in a city like Denver can take much of the worries and responsibilities of maintaining a larger one out of your hands. Moreover, it can also provide opportunities to stretch your retirement dollars, so you can maintain or even improve quality of life. Here’s how you can get started.

Planning the Transition

Healthcare Costs for Seniors

Get to Know Denver’s Housing Market (Homes Sell for $423k on Average)

Paying for Long-Term Care Using Your Home Equity

Choosing the Right Home

Nine Reasons Aging in Place May Not Be Right for You

Differences Between Senior Housing and Assisted Living

Tips on How to Start Your Senior Living Search

Closing a Chapter

The Ultimate Checklist for Seniors Downsizing

Preserving Keepsakes While Downsizing

Find Affordable Storage in Denver, Starts at $1

Making the big move

Need Help Downsizing? A Senior Move Manager Can Simplify Your Move

The Cost of Moving in Denver ($600 to $1,638 on Average)

How to Adjust After Moving to Independent Living

The success of your downsizing efforts starts with having the right mindset to see it through. Having the right resources to guide you isn’t all that bad as a bonus, either. So, keep your eyes on the prize and heed these tips. Your quality of life in your golden years depends on it!

Photo via Pexels

The cost to states that did not expand medicaid

Research  shows that 14,000 people would be alive if states that refused to expand their medicaid had done so. If  states were to fully expand Medicaid, the benefits would include:

  • Additional lives saved per year: 14,361
  • Additional infant lives saved per year: 141
  • Additional early-stage cancer diagnoses per year: 5,034
  • Reduction in uninsured opioid-related hospitalizations per year: 17,577
  • Additional bankruptcies prevented per year: 1,517
  • Reduction in families’ accrued medical debt: $6.8 billion
  • Money kept in families’ pockets from less costly credit per year: $2.1 billion
  • Savings to communities from enhanced public safety per year: $7.7 billion

If you have a pre-existing condition your healthcare is under attack

If you are one of the 50 million American with a pre-existing condition, your right to be insured is under attack. The Trump administration is seeking to invalidate the pre-existing condition protections within the Affordable Care Act ( ACA).

27% of adults under age 65 have a pre-existing condition could be uninsurable in the next couple years. In fact, as reported in forbes, before the ACA was passed, a 2010 study showed that 42% of people aged 50-64 had were unable to buy health insurance in the individual market, had to pay much higher premiums, or had their conditions excluded from being covered. The GOP is arguing that the ACA depends on the individual mandate to make premiums affordable, so taking that part of law away invalidates the entire law. It is true that what makes insurance affordable for all is to make sure everyone is covered. The current health care system does not work when insurance companies have to insure people with health problems at an affordable rate if only the sick get coverage. This is why when the GOP voted to take away the mandate to buy healthcare, it was a fiscally irresponsible move that would break the healthcare system instead of fix it. Because of the Tax Cuts and Job Act that eliminated the individual mandate to buy health insurance, insurance plans are set to increase between 15%- 30% in 2019. Worse, it you were counting on savings from the new tax bill to pay for your increased health insurance costs, the tax policy center found that the average American in the coming years will lose their savings from the new bill and and get a tax increase of $30.00. Meanwhile the tax bill adds 1.4 trillion to the national deficit and in 2019 alone, 3 million will become uninsured, raising costs for the remaining people who are insured. We need all our politicians to come together to fix this situation.

Alternative therapies that may help with pain and addiction

Many of our readers have chronic health conditions that require pain management, but  are often hesitant to use narcotics to control pain because it could lead to addiction. Kimberly Hayes writes on some alternative ways to help with pain management and addiction recovery.Untitled.png

For many people who struggle with addiction, recovery is a long road that has more than one treatment option. It can be difficult to know which option to go for, however, especially when you are also coping with a mental health disorder or a physical health issue. Some methods are meant to be used as complementary treatments, such as art therapy in conjunction with talk therapy; others are alternative treatments, which means they take the place of a method that has already been used.

 It’s essential that you talk to your doctorabout what might be best for you before trying anything new in part because a new treatment method could interfere with your recovery rather than helping. It’s also important to do some research on all the various techniques that have been studied in relation to substance abuse recovery and educate yourself on them before making a decision.

 It is important to note that many chronic pain patientsare prescribed opioids by their doctor as a way to treat their pain. Subsequently, opioids also decrease feelings of depression and anxiety, providing relief for both the body and mind. According to addiction expert Marc J. Romano, “Individuals often find the both the physical and psychological effects to be desirable, which increases risk of ongoing use, increased tolerance, and subsequent dependence,” Romano says. If the idea of becoming addicted worries you, it is important that you talk with your doctor. When used correctly, pain medication offers wonderful benefits. However, there are other natural waysto treat pain such as exercise, diet, meditation, and yoga.

 If you are currently in recovery, keep reading for some great tips on how to get started and what to avoid.

 Relaxation techniques

 

One of the common factors in substance abuse is stress and/or anxiety, which can lead to an individual looking for a way to relax and forget about their worries. Relaxation techniques can include massage, acupuncture, yoga and meditation, among others, but you can try anything that makes you feel good in a healthy way.

 Diet and exercise

Diet and exercisecan be huge factors in recovery. Eating well and getting daily exercise can help you feel more confident, boost your mental health and keep you fit and active, all of which can keep you on a positive path of change after a period of substance abuse. Look online for sample menus and make a shopping list that will be easy to stick to at the grocery store and plan out a workout routine that you can maintain. Sometimes, inviting a friend along on a workout can make it more fun and therefore easier to stay motivated. For more information on making your recovery a success, click here.

 Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness can help you focus on the present and reduce worry and anxiety, and it’s often done in conjunction with yoga and/or meditation. Learning how to narrow your focus can help you cope with stress in the moment and make healthy decisions, which can trickle down to other aspects of your life, including your relationships, your ability to maintain a career and your self-esteem and confidence.

 Art therapy 

Art therapyhas been used for years to help individuals battle various addictions and disorders and has been so effective, in part, because it allows you to relax, focus on the present moment, and release stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions in a positive way. Talk to your doctor about art therapy and its many benefits and think of ways you can get creative; painting, dancing, acting, singing and even cooking are all great ways to relieve stress. Try a few different things to see which ones you like most, and ask a close friend or loved one to do it along with you. 

 Going through addiction recovery is a hard job for most, and there’s no one right treatment for everyone, so it’s important to try various methods until you find out what works for you. Keep communication open with your doctor, friends and family to ensure you’ll have support when it matters most.

 

Kimberly Hayes enjoys writing about health and wellness and created PublicHealthAlert.info to help keep the public informed about the latest developments in popular health issues and concerns. In addition to studying to become a crisis intervention counselor, Kimberly is hard at work on her new book, which discusses the ins and outs of alternative addiction treatments.

 

 

In Last Minute Shopping Support BTPE Through Season of Smiles

It only takes a second to switch over to Amazon Smile when you shop, but it makes a big difference to us. Our #SeasonOfSmiles is here because every time we go into a hospital to do art therapy with patients struggling with serious medical conditions, donations from amazon smile help us to provide art supplies and card stock that patients use to create cards that go to other sick patients. In the circle of caring that Bridges to Patient Empowerment creates, patients use their art therapy to support others in a similar situation. That way patients don’t have to go through their worst moments in life alone. With them during their toughest moments is a card full of support from someone else who has been in a hospital bed. As patients share their stories, insights, and hopes with one another through art and inspiring words, they hold each other in the palm of their hand with each medical challenge they face, making the journey of illness a little easier. Please support our charity while you shop using link smile.amazon.com/ch/46-3858114 

How the Opioid Crisis Is Creating a Crisis for Chronic Pain Patients

Article by Daniel Permenter  from The Mighty

I have been diagnosed fibromyalgia, panic disorder, insomnia and quite a few other conditions for five years now. I have experienced a lot and have struggled to find the help I need to make it through my day-to-day routine, much less when life throws me curveballs. I have tried and put into place all manner of methods of managing my conditions. I have changed diet, put in a modified exercise regiment and adjusted my life to fit my condition. I also take prescribed opioids.

News outlets have been reporting on the “opioid crisis” that has arisen. They talk about the real effects on people’s lives. They talk about the families being torn apart with the misuse of the drug. They are representing every side of the issue. Except mine.

I, like many others with chronic illness, rely on the use of these drugs to lead a somewhat regular life. Understandably, we do not represent all responsible opioid use. However, we do regularly get added to the group of people who abuse opioids. The news loves to report the numbers of total users or the max number of prescribed people in U.S. Using these numbers, all kinds of data can be thrown around as to the approximate number of abusers. I am not ignoring the rising numbers of opioid-related deaths. I fear that too many people are caught up in the panic and it is hurting the people who need the help.

I have recently changed pharmacies due to the national response. CVS has come out to say they will not prescribe more than a week’s worth of an opioid to cut down on the number of pills in the public. This hurts in several ways. I now have more co-pays to look forward to paying. I now have the stress of going to the pharmacy once a week instead of once a month. I get to be faced with the pharmacy techs who judge me on my condition. They have to evaluate what I take, how many I take and how often I take it to ensure I am doing everything correctly. It can feel humiliating and debilitating.

It can also lead to them to refusing to fill a medication. When I was first being diagnosed, I had a tech tell me I couldn’t have any more medication, even though I was taking them as prescribed. I have also been through the panic of not being able to see the doctor in time or canceling my appointment so I end up running out before I can get the help I need.

It is so tight now. My new doctor has a new form I had to fill out saying I have to bring all my meds into the office each visit and be subjected to random pill count checks. To quote a friend, “This is victim shaming.” We are not getting the prescribed medications from a drug dealer. We are getting these medications from a licensed doctor who has examined, poked, prodded and run tests to find out what can help. We are not using these pills for recreational use. We are using them so we can get out of bed and live a somewhat normal life and have a job.

This is a crisis. My crisis. My own personal war inside me. I have to fight to get help. I have to fight to get time to go to the doctor each time. Taking off work to go see a doctor takes a lot of time and most jobs are not forgiving. I have to look at what I have and ration. I have several medications that are “as needed.” Do I take them now when I am having a rough day or do I save them in case I have a worse day? Why do I have to choose? Who is speaking for me? For us? I am only one small voice on a small platform. I am speaking up. Don’t forget us in the crisis.