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American Association of Poison Control Centers
SANTA ANA, Calif. — Sitting in a booth at the La Palma Chicken Pie Shop in Anaheim, Calif., takes you back to a time long before Starbucks.
Medical researchers and nutritionists long have touted the health benefits of black coffee, antioxidant-packed teas and dark chocolate. (Mark DuFrene/Contra Costa Times/MCT)
By Jessica Yadegaran
You wouldn't know it by looking at me, but I'm a recovering addict.I don't have needle marks on my arms. I don't have a DUI on my driving record. I don't have an honest businessman chasing me down to repay a gambling debt.All I did was give up caffeine for Lent. I'm not going to pretend my addiction was as hard to kick as some of those others. But those first few days confirmed caffeine became an addiction for me.Mood swings? Oh yeah, I had them. Headaches? There were massive ones that made me want to cry. Soreness? My entire body seemed to reject the lack of caffeine.As is the case with any good addict, most people didn't know the extent of my problem. I'm a fairly laid-back person with a relaxed delivery in my speech. I'm known for being calm under pressure, so people didn't necessarily see the signs.The only sign you needed to see was the 2-liter of pop under my desk every day. My coworkers snickered, but most didn't realize I'd finish that by 2 p.m. and buy a 20-ounce version from the vending machine to hold me over for the rest of the day.They really giggled when I began bringing in the store brand knockoffs to save money. I argued I'd rather pay 78 cents per day than $1.50 per day for essentially the same soda.According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest's site of caffeine content, I drank nearly 250 milligrams of caffeine per day. That's a 6-ounce cup of espresso every day. Jolt Cola, a popular drink in my teen years, had 72 mg of caffeine per can, meaning I consumed the equivalent of three and a half cans of Jolt per day.This kind of addiction can be dangerous. Aside from that desired boost of energy, doctors say caffeine brings elevated heartbeats, headaches, depression, increased blood pressure and frequent urination. Once piece of research even suggested people who drank diet cola were 61 percent more likely to have a stroke.With that in mind, I elected to give up caffeinated beverages for those 40 days before Easter. I believe in self-sacrificing something that's almost part of your personality for Lent. I walked around all day with my green mug of that sweet nectar, so I thought it fit the bill.I shared some notes along the way on Twitter:March 9: “Halfway through my first day without caffeinated drinks. Water doesn't taste nearly as good as Diet Dr Pepper.”March 9: “Awful headache right now. Can't hardly think. Not in a very good mood either.”March 10: “Feeling a bit tired on my second day caffeine free, but the headache's not as bad as yesterday. Perhaps the worst is over.”March 11: “Headaches are mostly gone in my third day of being caffeine free. Unfortunately, not seeing the cost savings as I'm snacking more.”March 12: “I've turned to lemonade and root beer in my quest to be caffeine free.”March 13: “Daylight saving and being caffeine free are messing with my brain and how tired I ought to be. It might help my sleep schedule though.”March 17: “Accidentally drank a sip of caffeine today. Have to watch labels on cream soda if you're trying to be caffeine free.”March 23: “Surprising advantage of being caffeine free: I fall asleep easily and wake up before the alarm rings now. Maybe advantage is the wrong word.”Since then, I haven't noticed any lingering effects of withdrawal. I've grown used to hydrating myself with actual water. I've cut down on the snacking, which was just a substitution for my habit. I've actually lost a little bit of weight from the experiment.I recognize Lent ends next week with Easter. Friends, family and coworkers keep asking me if I'll continue my caffeine-free ways after the 40 days of self-sacrifice does. I'm really not sure yet. I enjoy the benefits of not being hooked. On the other hand, I've given caffeine up two times before, and obviously that didn't hold. You can comment on this column at www.LimaOhio.com.
Timothy Leary noted that “psychedelic drugs cause panic and temporary insanity” in people who have never tried them. The same can be said of Four Loko, the drink federal regulators banned amid a nationwide fit of hysteria about “a toxic, dangerous mix of caffeine and alcohol” that Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., warned was “spreading like a plague across the country.” A fruity, bubbly, neon-colored plague.
Wisconsin calls itself America’s Dairyland, and anyone who travels there soon learns the unofficial state motto: “You want cheese on that?” In the old days, it tried to discourage the use of nondairy spreads. You could buy margarine, which is naturally white, and you could buy yellow food coloring. But you could not buy margarine that contained yellow food coloring.
LIMA — “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged),” which opened Friday night at Encore Theatre, was like CliffsNotes on a caffeine buzz: a wacky, out-of-control lesson in literature in two acts.
We need to change the illegal status of marijuana.Today, a record 50 percent of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized, according to a recent Gallup poll.Marijuana is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco, a fact emphasized by our Surgeon General 50 years ago. There has yet to be reported a fatal case of acute marijuana overdose. Perhaps the worst thing you can say about pot is that it may bring on symptoms of schizophrenia before they would have appeared otherwise.Rather than totally legalize marijuana, we should create a new category of things neither legal nor illegal. Call them quasi-legal.Alcohol was illegal from 1920 to 1933 because it was increasingly abused, but its prohibition was unenforceable and its availability from criminal sources provided enormous revenue to criminal gangs. Alcohol remained legal for medical treatment during Prohibition. It is clear that most prescriptions for it were not entirely motivated by medical need. These prescriptions remained popular for a decade or so after Prohibition — pharmacists wrapped the product in brown paper and the customer did not have to be seen by his peers to be buying booze.A similar phenomenon is taking place today with medical marijuana. But this is not a long-term solution anymore than it was for alcohol if only because of unfair pressure on physicians.Making marijuana “quasi-legal” would mean that it could not be advertised, but users would not be prosecuted. Other drugs that should be on this list include cigarettes, alcohol, and caffeine. (There is not much serious harm from the use of caffeine, but it is habit forming. Mountain Dew now “contains more caffeine” without even mentioning the quantities. So-called power drinks, promoted to enhance athletic performance, contain egregious amounts of caffeine, again with the quantity unspecified.) We might also consider other items for the “quasi-legal” category, such as gambling.And if we were ever to get serious about reducing the consumption of unnecessary fossil fuel, we'd put jet skis, snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles in this category, too.Meanwhile, we urgently need a new approach to the “Drug War.” It supplies criminal elements with enormous revenues, creating a corrupting influence on society comparable to bootlegging during Prohibition.Spending obscene amounts of money jailing nonviolent addicts (as opposed to drug dealers) is not a public health measure. These moneys would better be spent on treatment of addictions.Some of those jailed for long periods for simple possession of marijuana could actually be good citizens or even good parents, if they were not in jail. (Note: Marijuana does not foster violence in users as does alcohol.) So let's end the futile criminalization of marijuana use.Let's recognize that the American public opposes it.And let's consider sensible ways to categorize the drugs and products that may not be good for us but that we'd be foolish to outlaw.Get updated when The Lima News posts news opinion pieces by liking Lima Opinions on Facebook.
As I read about two brave soldiers fighting on the front lines for our freedom, I thought of the Lima hospitals' policy of employing only nonsmokers. How ironic that soldiers are risking their lives for our freedom, which is being compromised here.Should St. Rita's Medical Center and Lima Memorial Health System decide to employ only healthy staff, they would need to go a few steps more and rid the hospital of other unhealthy problems such as salt, sugar and caffeine. The hospitals might be missing out on highly qualified medical personnel over their own policy. I wonder if our hospitals could even survive, let alone be so extravagant, if they chose only patients that make healthy choices.
Police calls as of 9:23 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 26 from the Allen County Sheriff’s Office and the Lima Police Department:
The combination of heat and humidity cause the body to struggle to maintain a normal temperature. The stress can cause heart and other medical problems.
LIMA — The coffee shop under construction and under wraps at St. Rita’s Medical Center will soon provide a whole latte happiness for caffeine lovers. A full-service Starbucks will open in March in the new main lobby, hospital officials announced Thursday. It will join the 15,000 Starbucks in 43 countries around the world.This Starbucks is special, said Linda Chartrand, director of media relations. It is only the second store to open in a hospital.Both St. Rita’s and Starbucks share a commitment to quality and customer service, Chartrand said, along with a commitment to contribute positively in the community.The popular coffee shop is an extension of the vision for the new main lobby of the hospital, President Jim Reber said.“In addition to providing state-of-the-art health care, we wanted to provide a non-medical destination for the community,” Reber said. “One of the best compliments we received during the open house was that this doesn’t feel like a hospital.”Much of the new construction in the lobby and patient tower included improving places for family members to visit and decompress while visiting patients, such as a new chapel, cafeteria and lounges, Reber said.The shop will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The hospital will provide designated parking spaces near the main entrance for easy access, Chartrand said.
Snow on my nose and a half-chewed-on mitten;
LimaReed Aaron Blair, 84, of Lima, died at 3:35 a.m. April 27, 2012, at Lima Convalescent Home.He was born Aug. 26, 1927, in Lima, to Harold and Bessie Overfield Blair, who preceded him in death. On Dec. 22, 1951, he married Normalee Jordan, who died Jan. 5, 2004.Mr. Blair served as a U.S. Navy seaman second class from 1945 until 1946 and was a veteran of World War II. He was a graduate of South High School, Lima. He had worked at BP Oil (Lima Refinery) as a crane operator for 40 years. He was a member of the First Evangelical and Reform Church. He was a member of Garrett Wycoff Lodge 585, Free and Accepted Masons, where he had served as worshipful master. He also was a plural member of Lima Lodge 205 Free and Accepted Masons and a 32nd degree member of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Dayton. He was a former member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1275, Lima. He enjoyed all Masonic lodge functions and assembling picture puzzles. He loved caffeine-free diet Coke and enjoyed playing pinochle, euchre and bingo.Survivors include a son, Jeffery H. (Traci) Blair, of Lima; a daughter, Holly (Daniel) Watters, of Lima; two grandchildren, Erin Elizabeth (Andrew) Gall and Adam Dale (Jennifer) Watters, both of Lima; two stepgrandchildren, Tori Lynn (Robert Freuh) and Michael Jerred (Sadie Thomas) Decker, both of Lima; a great-grandson, Jordan J. Watters; and four stepgreat-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by two brothers, Ross Blair and Floyd Blair; and three sisters, Grace Basinger, Erdene Workman and Imogene Foster.Services will begin at 10 a.m. Monday at Chamberlain-Huckeriede Funeral Home. The Rev. Ed Rhinehart will officiate. Burial with graveside military honors will be in Memorial Park Cemetery.Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. today and from 9 to 10 a.m. Monday at the funeral home, where Masonic services will be at 8 p.m. Monday followed by a Scottish rite ring service.Memorial contributions may be made to Lochhaven Assisted Living, 1650 Allentown Road, Lima, OH 45805; or St. Rita's Hospice, 959 W. North St., Lima, OH 45805.Condolences may be expressed at chamberlainhuckeriede.com.
LimaReed Aaron Blair, 84, died at 3:35 a.m. April 27, 2012, at Lima Convalescent Home.He was born Aug. 26, 1927, in Lima to Harold and Bessie Overfield Blair, who preceded him in death. He married Normalee Jordan, who preceded him in death.Mr. Blair was a graduate of Lima South High School. He had been a crane operator at BP Oil Co./Lima Refinery, for 40 years. He was a Navy veteran of World War II, serving from 1945 to 1946, as a seaman 2nd class. He was a member of First Evangelical and Reformed Church. He was a member of Garrett Wycoff Lodge 585 Free & Accepted Masons, where he had served as worshipful master. He was also a plural member of Masonic Lodge 205 F&AM and a 32nd degree member of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Dayton. He had been a member of Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks Lodge 54 and a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1275. He enjoyed all Masonic lodge functions and putting picture puzzles together. He loved caffeine-free Diet Coke and enjoyed pinnacle, euchre and bingo.Survivors include a son, Jeffery H. (Traci) Blair, of Lima; a daughter, Holly (Daniel) Watters, of Lima; two grandchildren, Erin Elizabeth (Andrew) Gall and Adam Dale (Jennifer) Watters, both of Lima; two stepgrandchildren, Tori Lynn (Robert Freuh) Decker and Michael Jerred (Sadie Thomas) Decker, both of Lima; a great-grandson, Jordan J. Watters; and four stepgreat-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by two brothers, Ross and Floyd Blair; three sisters, Grace Basinger, Erdene Workman and Imogene Foster.Services will begin at 10 a.m. Monday at Chamberlain-Huckeriede Funeral Home. The Rev. Ed Rhinehart will officiate. Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery, with military rites.Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday and one hour prior to services Monday at the funeral home, where a Masonic service will be held at 8 p.m. followed by a Scottish rite Ring service Sunday.Memorial contributions may be made to Lochhaven Assisted Living, 1650 Allentown Road, Lima, OH 45805; or St. Rita’s Hospice, 959 W. North St., Lima, OH 45805.Condolences may be expressed at www.chamberlainhuckeriede.com.
By Julie Deardorff
Christmas is one of the most festive times of year, but it is also the most dangerous holiday for your pet. With the holiday decorating, baking and shopping, we tend to get side tracked and forget about our four-legged companions. Candy, plants and decorations are irresistible to pets, often resulting in an emergency trip to the veterinarian. Trust me, the last place you want to spend your time and money during the holiday season is with me at the emergency clinic. Here is a list of some of the most common hazards pets may face during this time of year.
I have to admit that this has a certain appeal:
OTTAWA — Angel Bonner waited for the teacher to emerge and promptly asked what he wanted from the coffee cart.One of the only verbal students in Jill Radler's autistic class at Ottawa-Glandorf High School, Angel takes charge, pouring the coffee, handing over a brownie and saying “thank you.” “It is fun,” the junior said later Thursday. When Angel isn't with the coffee cart, classmates can push a device that asks teachers what they want. Teacher Jill Radler started the Learn and Serve Cart program a few years ago. She'll be able to continue next year thanks to a $500 grant from Friends Business Source, of Findlay. It will help purchase a new coffee maker and other products.Radler, who works though the Putnam County Educational Service Center, was one of five to get a “We Reward Innovative Teaching Endeavors” grant. Wapakoneta High School teacher Michelle Knippen also received a grant.The seventh- through 11th-grade pupils make the coffee and various snacks. They make their way around the high school, knocking on doors and offering teachers something sweet or caffeine-laced to help them through their days. The cart is much more than this. It is a way for the school's autistic pupils to meet other teachers and work on communication and other skills.“It is a great opportunity for kids to get out into the school,” Radler said. “This is a great way for them to work on their social skills and functional life skills.”The cart comes around once every week or two. It is filled with various treats and beverages. Brownies were the popular treat Thursday. The program teaches math, cooking and social skills, Radler said. It also gets students acquainted with the rest of the school.“We are a self-contained classroom, so a lot of the kids do not get out, so this is a really good opportunity for them to get out into the school and get the interaction,” she said, adding that it also helps to boost their self-esteem.The students bring a donation bowl with them for teachers to help out the program. Geometry and pre-calculus teacher Ann Hughes almost always gets a water and snack mix. The mix Thursday was popcorn and M&Ms. She greets one student with a hug.“I think it is a wonderful program,” she said. “I have just loved it. I have learned now to interact with students with autism, and that just helps me so much.”While other students don't get to browse the cart, Hughes said the program is good for all students in the school. “It gives them an awareness of people with different disabilities and that we respect them as you respect any person,” she said. “That is a valuable lesson for all of our kids.”You can comment on this story at www.limaohio.com.
Seeing all of the “miracle” diet products on infomercials can make a person wonder whether anything can actually promote weight loss.
One of the advantages to living in Ohio is that we get to experience the fullness of every season. There's no doubt, right now, that the fullest of summer is beating down on this part of the country.For the record, it only — only? — got up to 99 degrees Thursday in Lima. The official temperature in Lima hadn't been that high in almost 23 years. Temperatures elsewhere in the region easily topped 100. Yes, hot days are part of summer — but we're getting it particularly bad for a northern Ohio July. And, while there's going to be a slight break from the stifling heat — all the way down to the 80s through early next week — these recent scorchers are scheduled to return late next week.Borrowing from several sources, including tips offered Wednesday in The Lima News, some reminders for when it gets this hot:• Drink plenty of liquids, two to four cups every hour. Avoid drinks that have caffeine, alcohol or sugar.At the same time, avoid extremely cold drinks. Not only do you risk brain freeze, but those extremely cold drinks can cause stomach cramps.• Limit your exposure to the sun during the hottest parts of the day.• Eat light. Foods like proteins that increase metabolic heat production also increase water loss, The (Anderson, Ind.) Herald Bulletin reports.• Keep your shades pulled and your blinds closed during the day.Save household chores for morning and evening hours. None of us really needs to be told not to mow the lawn in the middle of a 90-degree-plus afternoon.• If you can, try using a fan or a small window unit air conditioner instead of the central air. This might not seem all that important when the temperature is pushing 100 degrees, but you'll appreciate this tip when you get your electric bill.• Look for ways to beat the heat. The Lima News offers a whole host of ideas on the front page today — and for any budget. There's the free splash pad at Lima's Faurot Park. Community pools abound around the region. And we're sure the retailers would love to share their air conditioning with you as you did some shopping in their stores.• As is the case anytime we have extreme weather of any sort, check on your elderly neighbors and family members, as well as others who have difficulty taking care of themselves.Remember that the heat has us all operating on shorter fuses. We all could stand keeping control of our tempers as the temperature shoots up.• Don't take your dog with you if you plan to go in a store. Leave the pooch at home — with plenty of shade and water, if he's an outside dog.Soon enough, we'll all be complaining about how cold it is and how we hate the snow. In fact, winter starts Dec. 21 — not even five months away.
LIMA — Most weekends might bring in six to 10 calls about broken air conditioners. But with 90-plus degree temperatures, this past weekend proved far busier for the John P. Timmerman Co.
LIMA — Drinking water in the United States is the safest in the world, and news reports about pharmaceuticals in the water shouldn’t cause panic, those responsible for local water treatment said.A five-month Associated Press investigation found a vast array of pharmaceuticals — antibiotics, mood stabilizers and sex hormones among others — in drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans in 24 major metropolitan areas across the country. The concentrations of these pharmaceuticals are tiny, measured in quantities of parts per billion or trillion, far below the levels of a medical dose.Utilities directors interviewed by the AP insisted their water was safe and local officials backed that up, saying the news reports could unduly scare people.“It would be premature for anyone to start worrying and not having faith in their public water supply,” said Mike Caprella, Lima assistant utilities director.The reports may prompt action from one group. The Ottawa River Coalition will consider the costs and feasibility of testing of caffeine, one of the drugs found in the AP study, at some of the 20 established testing points in the watershed this summer.Coalition coordinator Beth Seibert has long been concerned about pharmaceuticals’ affects on aquatic life, but admits she didn’t give the rest of the cycle, those rivers and streams providing drinking water, much thought.She said her group acts on information.“We won’t overreact. We’ve always been an organization that operates on sound science,” Seibert said. “I found it fascinating, because we know this is a highly medicated nation. You have to wonder what impact it’s having on the community.”Testing for the presence of drugs is expensive and sometimes not possible, said Brent Hamel, Wapakoneta water treatment superintendent, who called the AP series “extreme.”“We don’t have labs locally to run those kinds of tests,” Hamel said. “We’ve communicated with other municipalities, trying to find places to have it done. It’s something we’ve been discussing as part of our source water protection plan.”Ottawa water treatment plant superintendent Melissa Babcock wasn’t familiar with the AP stories, but pointed out the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t mandate for pharmaceuticals.“I can’t imagine there would be enough of it in the water for concern,” Babcock said.When Caprella started treating water many years ago, the water was tested for 15 substances.“Now it’s 180. I just hope people are not unduly concerned. We’re always trying to make the water better. Technology is always getting better and we’re able to test for things we didn’t know about before,” Caprella said. “My family drinks this water, too.”