Category Archives: Uncategorized

Up and Down .. Adventures in Hypertension

Week Blood Pressure
1 145/90
2 148/88


A change but not what I was hoping for.

This past week I changed my diet by making absolute sure I get 5 servings of fruits and vegetables (2 of fruit and 3 of veggies). Easier said than done. I tended to waiver between having more fruits one day and more veggies on another.   I changed the foods I ate but still drank the same amount of water. My body absorbed the water differently.. or not at all. Let’s just say I went through a lot of toilet paper.

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HYPERTENSION LESSON #1

At this weeks meeting we had a doctor come in and give us the low down on what hypertension is.

For those of you who don’t know, Hypertension is the medical term for having high blood pressure. Your blood pressure is the measure of the force of blood against the walls of your arteries. It tends to rise and fall throughout the day but when there is constant elevation over a long period of time  it’s called high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is bad. It causes the heart to work too hard and can lead to hardening of the arteries (a term call arteriosclerosis). This in turn can cause heart disease, stroke and other stuff.

What exactly is that fraction?

Systolic/ Diastolic

Systolic = the pressure exerted on the heart when it beats

Diastolic = the pressure on the heart in between the beat, or when relaxed.

What is a normal blood pressure reading?

Below 120/80.  Yes, I said it..below.

What are some of the causes of hypertension? 

Not in order of importance..

  • Genetics
  • Obesity/Overweight
  • Sedentary behavior (not moving)
  • Too much salt intake (how much salt is too much? Over 2400 mg per day.)
  • Too much alcohol
  • Tobacco

Can you feel when your blood pressure goes up?

I am sure you heard someone say..”Man I’m stressed..my blood pressure is up” or “You making my blood pressure go up!” Well they are lying!! Okay it might be true, but they don’t know it. You can’t feel when your blood pressure goes up. This is why they call hypertension the silent killer. Many people feel that since they  ‘feel okay’ that they can put off doing something about their high blood pressure. What they don’t know is prolonged stress on the heart exerts cumulative damage that can cause serious complications.

There are some symptoms of elevated blood pressure, but those manifest when something bad is going to happen right away. Dizziness, blurred vision, chest pain or severe headaches. Signs of a stroke or heart problem. You don’t want to wait until then. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure take steps to control it and stay on top of it. Don’t wait until it’s too late!!

What are ways to treat Hypertension?

If you have been diagnosed with hypertension and your doctor gives you instructions or prescribes medication..LISTEN TO YOUR DOCTOR. Take the medication. Follow the diet recommendation. Do whatever they tell you to do. You are paying the person..listen!!

Other methods that don’t involve medication:

  • Lose weight: If you lose 10-20 lbs you can lower your  number by 5-20 points.
  • Dietary changes: If you reduce your salt intake to 2.4 grams you can lower your systolic pressure by 2 pts
  • Physical Activity: You can potentially drop your number by 4-9 points by increasing your movement..

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After the lesson we did our physical activity..which almost caused me to dislocate my shoulder..but bygones.

Homework for this week: READ “Spiritual Guide to Good Health” by Stephanie Davenport.  Ms. Davenport is our Health Ministry Program Coordinator. If you are interested in a copy, let me know and I will comment on how to get one for you. I am sure she has extra. ;)

Next week- NUTRITION LESSON.

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Your turn!! COMMENTS? QUESTIONS? New information that I didn’t add? Chime in and let me know. I am always down to learn something new!!

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Community photo of the week: A photo of Mayor Quan taking a photo – Oakland North : North Oakland News, Food, Art and Events

Jean Quan using her smart phone to take a picture during April 30th's District 2 Town Hall in Oakland.

Oakland North, chose my photo of Mayor Jean Quan as the “Community Photo of the Week”! I’m so honored. :)

Community photo of the week: A photo of Mayor Quan taking a photo – Oakland North : North Oakland News, Food, Art and Events.

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Oakland’s Proposed Budget: not as simple as A, B, C

De La Fuente addresses the audience at District 2, 4, 5 Oakland Community Budget Forum

This afternoon I was fortunate to attend a budget hearing sponsored by city Councilmembers Pat Kernighan (District 2), Libby Schaaf (District 4), and Ignacio De La Fuente (District 5) and attended by  interim city administrator Lamont Ewell and someone from the budget office named Sabrina. (I didn’t get her last name..sorry). Former candidate for Mayor Joe Tuman was there.  Sanjeev Handa, the Oakland Fire Chief and representatives from Oakland Rising, Make Better Oakland Now, APEN and more.

This meeting was an open forum that allowed members of the public to ask questions and give suggestions on the direction the Councilmembers should take in figuring out a budget by June 30th, the last day to balance the budget.

In case you weren’t aware, Oakland is projected to lose $58 million for the year 2011-12 and another $76 million for 2012-2013. Ewell said that this shortfall is not unique to Oakland. The nation, the state and other local cities are dealing with a shortfall this year.

There are three budget proposals under consideration. Click here to download description of the budget (2.4 MB) by Jean Quan’s office, and a simple one page scenario (45 KB) of possible cuts from each budget scenario.

Quickly:

Budget A, cuts to the budget across the board resulting in reduced services in areas such as Senior Centers, Police, Fire, Libraries (leaving only 4 branches open), Parks and Rec (closing afterschool rec programs, swimming pools) Public Works, and arts. (Shaving $58 million)

Budget B, pending contributions from city employees such as Police, Fire (which command 64% of our General Fund) we will have a small amount of cuts. (Shaving $28 million).  Please note, according to the Councilmembers, all the unions and city reps are at the table ready to negotiate contributions, so this option is plausible.

Budget C, pending the passing of a $80 per year parcel tax (which would require a 2/3 vote via a special public election that would cost $800-900, 000), as well as contributions from city employees, there will be a small amount of cuts. (+ 11 m).

These simple scenarios don’t mention the other liabilities that Oakland has to pay for, including a $138 million debt that we borrowed to cover the salaries of city employees to keep police, fire and libraries open and a $1. 6 million deferred payment of city maintenance (ie street maintenance, park clean-ups etc). Finally, we need to make a huge payment to Police and Fire Pensions ($483 million I believe).

Yet there are limited ideas in how to generate new revenue.  There is  a proposal to sell the Henry J Kaiser Center to the redevelopment agency which will add $29 million in revenues, and a vague proposal to reduce the city attorney office by 15%.

Each Councilmember gave their opinion on the situation:

Schaaf apparently in support of Budget Scenario B, talked about how minimal the cuts would be in this scenario.  The most painful cut in Scenario B is the elimination of 25 workers in Public Works. Libraries would not be closed and we would keep all our fire stations, although some employees would work flexible and part-time positions.

De La Fuente, who mentioned twice that he was pro union, was disappointed that there seems to be no other options. There is no changes in this budget scenario, and no guarantee that anything will get better. De La Fuente wonders why other groups like business associations or the Chamber of Commerce has not submitted budget proposals. (I didn’t know that they could..interesting) De La Fuente also suggested that the city go back to the basics: we need to cut things that are not essential but cost too much to maintain, such as the Montclair and Chabot Golf Courses.

Kernighan didn’t really give much of an opinion on either except to say that she was glad to be able to hear from the city of Oakland and looked forward to answering our questions.

So what did Oakland Residents Say? Some highlights: (each Councilmember had a chance to answer the questions)

  • Q: Why can’t the city workers contribute more? Does the City Council make contributions? Can we force the Police to make contributions, since they have not already (the Fire Department has started contributing) A: City workers already have started making cutbacks with furlough days, and yes the City Council has started making employee contributions. Yes, we can force Police to take furlough days if they do not negotiate.
  • Q: Does the city have to choose one budget scenario over another? Can we plan for B but shoot for C? A: No, they don’t have to choose just one budget scenario, they can mix and match as to what is best for the city.
  • Q: If we shut down city services like the libraries, police and fire department, animal shelters, and Children’s Fairyland will that not make the city less attractive to newcomers? Who would want to live here?A. Kernighan- yes. We are in a Catch 22, and it is something that the board must consider when going forward.

    Joe Tuman listens as the Council responds to his questions.

  • Joe Tuman: Q: Of the FTE’s to be cut, how many are going to be transferred, or just plain lost? How did the Mayor reach the $80 flat tax rate? Is the selling of the Kaiser Center legal? A: Yes some of them are transfers, but don’t know how many yet. Apparently there was a poll by Quan, (Joe mentioned that no one has seen this poll even the city administrator– interesting), but apparently this was an amount acceptable to poll respondents. Yes, the City Attorney did say that selling of the Kaiser Center is legal.

Oakland Rising Suggestions:
- instead of a flat parcel tax, adjust tax rate in accordance with personal income
- allocate future resources fairly
- come up with long-term and sustainable ideas, instead of making cuts in order to balance the budget
- Maintain the city attorney staff
- come up with alternative revenue ideas
- enforce existing laws and collect full taxes owed to the city- such as business taxes on renters and foreclosure fees.

Schaaf mentioned that:  some other alternative sustainable revenue sources would be to open up labor contracts for renegotiation. Also to change our commitment to paying Police and Fire pensions. Finally to create a rainy day fund for Oakland, similar to the one San Francisco has.

Pamela Drake representing the Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club mentioned that the group is for the parcel taxes because 1. It is better to spread the pain around instead of cutting key city jobs, 2. Better than increasing parking fees, 3. It’s cheaper than a month’s worth of Netflix.

What do you think?

Participate in the budget process!

Attend more City Council Budget Meetings:

  • Thursday, May 26th, 5:30 pm
  • Tuesday, May 31, 5:30 pm (tentative)
  • Thursday, June 2, 5:30 pm (General City Council Meeting)
  • Tuesday, June 21, 5:30 pm (General City Council Meeting- anticipated final passage of budget)

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Filed under City Council, Oakland, Politics, Uncategorized

Birther Movement- 1890′s Racism in 2011

I originally had a blase’ attitude about Donald Trump asking for Obama’s birth certificate. I was sad that he gave in, but I figured that this controversy has gone on too long and that this was something he had to do to avoid the mistake John Kerry made.

But then, I started to pay attention to the Twitterverse reacting to his surrender. (Yes, Twitter is better than Google in getting the latest news). There are a lot of links to articles  and videos being passed around, but this video of Rachel Maddows segment on the issue that  @Questlove posted from the blog VIDEO: “Show me your papers!” « The Goldie Taylor Project I think says it all.

I have been watching “Celebrity Apprentice” this season and getting all into the fight between Nene, Star Jones and LaToya Jackson. I was fascinated but disappointed in their behavior. I am now a little disappointed in myself for watching and giving this man an audience. :(

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Funny Fitness Fridays Episode 5: Bacon Prevents Hair Loss

Funny Fitness Fridays Episode 5: Bacon Prevents Hair Loss.

Jack in the box video is hilarious. FYI: I ate a lot of bacon when I was young. ;)

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I’m BACK

Okay, so I have been gone. Almost a year, huh? Or maybe sooner.

However so much has happened in my public health life, that I have been busy. I apologize.

I will be relearning how to use the internet, so since this is my practice site- I will update this more often. :)

What I can’t believe is that people have been looking at this anyway. On May 16th this site was viewed 9 times.

I hope it was helpful. :)

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