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February 25, 2010

Why there is no CARE in health care

There was a vocal health care discussion on the Facebook comments section of a picture a good friend posted, and it just irks me that no one is really talking about the problem.

Health Care and Health Insurance are two, diametrically opposed systems with one common goal.  Money. In the US our care is governed by the insurers.  Health insurance companies are in business to make money.  Not help grandma get end of life care, or to make sure Bobby gets his braces.

As a matter of fact, the way that they MAKE money is to NOT pay for either one of those things.  To put the choices of our well being into the hands of ANY entity whose sole purpose is money will insure that the only moment we will see them care is when it is fiscally responsible.  And it is NEVER fiscally responsible to give money away.

Ever. They give away just enough to make sure that people don't leave and go to another insurer who is willing to accept just a little more risk by giving just a little more money away.

On the other side of the coin, we have a for-profit health CARE industry, whose sole purpose is to MAKE MONEY!  Hospitals and medical entities make money ONLY if we are sick or traumatize.  There is no profit in that model for preventative care.  None.  Why?  Because if you aren't obese with high blood sugar and coronary disease, then they won't be able to charge you for heart medicine, cholesterol medicine, heart surgery, diabetes management, etc, etc, etc....they can't make any money off of you.  If they endorsed that you eat less food of higher quality, move at least 30 minutes a day, NOT smoke...EVER and actually BE healthy rather than treating the symptoms once you AREN'T healthy, they wouldn't make any money.

That isn't to say that all doctors are bad, on the contrary.  They are the warriors who work in an industry that has no interest in seeing them succeed in curing and preventing.  Just cutting and prescribing.  And they weigh that on their conscience every day because they, too, need food on the table and braces for their kids.

The only people who don't want a health INDUSTRY overhaul are the ones who get paid or who already get it free (some fall into the BOTH category).  They are the insurers, the hospitals, the drug companies and the politicians; and they, my friends, have EVERYTHING to lose if we, the (un)insured and (un)cared for actually get a system that is a health CARE system.  They have everything to lose and they are the only voice at the table.  Not one of them is there negotiating for with our voice. 

I’m not saying that for profit is bad.  Capitalism is one of the main things that drives continuous improvement through competition.  I long for the day when our system actually either a.) let’s capitalism work in the industry or b.) abolishes it completely and makes it illegal to turn profit on the health and care of ANYONE.  Right now, you have a system that is part mob protectionist racket (You can’t sell insurance here in THIS state…unless we get out cut), part clinical lab trial (I bet your six year old can name at least one heart or erectile dysfunction drug), part Dr. Frankenstein (What, you want to lose weight?  Here, we’ll cut you open and staple your stomache) and part jabba the hut (What with your stomached stapled, you won’t have to move at all).

Take your health and your health care into your own hands. Get informed and please, please, please understand the motives of the entities that control your insurance and care.  Eat less food, eat food of higher quality, MOVE (run, play lift, skip) and most importantly CARE.  If YOU don’t care (about your health, your money and your future) then why the hell should anyone else, dirty politician or otherwise?

Posted by Chuck Charbeneau at 10:28 AM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2010

"it's tooth with a TH"

Julia cut her first tooth today. My baby is growing up fast.

Posted by sla5150 at 8:52 PM | Comments (0)

February 23, 2010

rough day

Rachel and I had a rough day today. Just about anything that could go wrong did.

Yo, here is my make mommy feel better picture...

Posted by sla5150 at 9:54 PM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2010

new shoes

Rachel is growing so fast. It was time for new shoes again.
stride rite sneakers
new Stride Rite kicks

Posted by sla5150 at 9:42 PM | Comments (0)

Mom and Baby

Julia at almost 6 months

Sara 6 mo
me at 6 months

Posted by sla5150 at 9:39 PM | Comments (0)

I'm Back

I’m back into a more mellow swing of things as of this week for the foreseeable future.  And by more mellow, I mean at least a little more time for me.  Burning 65+ hours a week for 7+ weeks in a row took its toll on me.  Stress levels were up, I gained 9 lbs, I lost my rythm around health and fitness and even though I was in Chicago, I was only able to see a couple of shows the entire time I was there.

The new role is different at this point, and I’m involved at the beginning of the work, rather than being low level zip lined onto a burning ship to try and fight the fire, sail it to shore and still convince everyone that everything is going just fine.  It also has me working in Minneapolis again, which has a few other benefits.

First, I’m closer to home, which doesn’t seem like much, given that I’m still gone all week, but being a 2 hour car ride vs. three hours total travel by plane (6 by car in a real pickle) –  IF there is a flight, and IF there are seats on it – is a big deal.  Not to mention that Sara’s brother and his family are here, which means that her coming up to visit me isn’t out of the question once the glacier decides to receed.

Of course, with a more stable work environment, I can plan to be at the gym, and there is no place better than CrossFitMN in Edina to recapture my work out rythm and shed the final 25lbs of fat I’ve been dreaming of.  I asked to rebaseline myself today (not out of fear of the AMRAP that was on the board, I SWEAR!!!)

    Baseline #1 (6:44)
  • Row 500m
  • 40 Squats
  • 30 Situps
  • 20 Pushups
  • 10 Pull ups

6:44 is faster than the last time I did it (8:04) and a MUCH better time than I thought I was going to put up, given the last few months that I’ve had.

Today was also my first real CrossFit workout wearing my Vibram Five Fingers, and they did not disappoint; as soon as the workout started, I forgot they were there.  Granted, this wasn’t an intense lifting or running WOD, so there’s still research to do.  I haven’t worn them running a significant distance yet, but as things get warmer here in the great white north, I’m sure Damian will oblige my curiosity and invite me to run my self into the dirt on several, soul liberating occasions.

Finally, I’ll hopefully get to return to Improv.  I’ve offered to Sub for any of the current teams that need a stand in coach for the current round of Six Ring, and if all else fails, I can get out to the theatre for a $1 show.  How sweet is that?

Posted by Chuck Charbeneau at 6:05 PM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Grandma

four generations
four generations - Thanksgiving 2009

Posted by sla5150 at 7:05 AM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2010

Rachel's favorites right now

1. She loves to "play outside to play!"
2. eating popcorn
3. taking things from her sister
4. projects especially if they involve paint
5. the song "She Was the Prize" by Gaelic Storm

It's hard to pick a top 5 because Rachel is so passionate about so much. She takes swimming and gymnastics lessons, talks highly of her friends from playgroup, and is lucky enough to have Megan come over on Wednesdays. She likes to do Yoga with me, loves to help around the house, and loves pancakes almost as much as her daddy does. She's really a special girl.

polly dolly in the sling
Rachel with her baby in the sling

Posted by sla5150 at 8:34 PM | Comments (0)

things I wouldn't want to parent my 5 month old without

1. my parents - They've been a huge help with both kids and housework too. Thanks Mom and Dad!
2. Family Resources - I love that I can get a break on Tuesdays and Fridays.
3. my washer and drier - diapers, diapers, diapers
4. lanolin - for her chapped little thumbs
5. my sling - now that Julia is working on some teeth she needs more attention and cuddles.


Posted by sla5150 at 8:14 PM | Comments (1)

How's your health (by County)

County Health rankings have been releaesd over the last few days (and the page then slashdotted, so _if_ it loads, it loads slow).  I was actually suprised to see that Wisconsin, as a whole, is better than most, and La Crosse County is near the top (meaning LOWER BMIs) in the state as far as Obesity (26%).  That being said, that’s still one in four people.

Find your county, look at the stats, figure out what YOU can do to help improve the health of your community.

Posted by Chuck Charbeneau at 11:33 AM | Comments (0)

February 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Elizabeth!

baby E and Uncle Chuck

Posted by sla5150 at 2:16 PM | Comments (1)

February 8, 2010

First Law, Warrior Frame of Mind and Podcasts

My fitness, or relative lack of it in the last few weeks, can be directly defined by Newton’s First Law.  I have great velocity, but am easily effected by the outside forces in my life.  When I started CrossFit I had friends there to do it with me, and had great results.  Even when I transitioned to working out at home, I was on a great roll and turned quite a few heads with my workouts at the Y.

Cut to the death march that was this project.  I’m just not motivated to work out after 15 hour days, I eat poorly because I can’t prep my food and my sleep is stressed and short.  It’s not an excuse, it’s just the truth. And to overcome this truth, I’ve tried to create another outside force on my current state.

So, I’ve improved the home gym (and have more on the list to be ordered with the tax refund), I’m back to eating paleo (Walking through Whole Foods truly makes me happy), I scheduled time for the gym on my calendar so that people can’t schedule time with me and I’m dedicated to engaging my brain as well as my body to focus on fitness and health at least once a day. 

Because today was a travel day I used the time to read and listen to podcasts.  On the reader I’ve found what appears to be an excellent companion to Dan Milman’s Way of the Peaceful Warrior in Rudy ReyesHero Living.  It really is a different path up the same mountain as Socrates’.  Rudy’s experience with enlightenment was much more brutal, but no less revealing and motivating than Dan’s.  His point of view is ringing clearly with me right now and I’m going to have to reread it and take notes, but for now I’m just ‘listening’ to the what he has to say.

I’ve dumped the tech podcasts from my iPod for the immediate and am focusing on my health (mental and physical).  I’m listening to both CrossFit Radio, as well as the Science2Health podacast (which used to be the “Fitness Rocks” podcast) and while I have a couple more on there, these two are mostly complimentary so I’m just sticking with two messages for now.  I got through two of each of the podcasts as well as another forty or so pages of the book during my travels today, and they helped me to think and focus on a couple of things that have been bugging me mentally lately, including how I go about goal setting and how much I really am focused on being healthy not just for me, but for my kids. 

This isn’t about resolutions or weight loss, it’s about my frame of mind and squaring it with the reality of my chosen profession and it’s subsequent lifestyle. 

 - Newton’s First Law (
 - Way of the Peacefule Warrior, Dan Milman (
 - Hero Living, Rudy Reyes (
 - CrossFit Radio 99 (
 - CrossFit Radio 100 (
 - Science2Health 001 (
 - Science2Health 002 (

Posted by Chuck Charbeneau at 11:22 PM | Comments (0)

February 7, 2010

my three (and a half) year old

So I just finished reading the book Your Three Year Old: Friend or Enemy. It's from a series of books by Louise Bates Ames on child development. Some of the examples are outdated but the child development information is right on. One of the major points in the series is that children go through periods of balance and turbulence. The half year period tends to be a more turbulent time emotionally and physically as kids develope. As one parent educator explained to me it's like building a tower of blocks. You have three blocks stacked up and the half-year comes along and knocks them down. Okay, so they have to be picked up and restacked but they don't always go back in the same order.

Although Rachel is not quiet 3 and a half she is already started her turbulent period. She has a hard time expressing herself. She stumbles and stutters and trails off mid-thought. Rachel has regressed in potty training which has been difficult but not unusual with a new baby at home. She is stubborn, anxious, contrary and insecure. She has trouble sleeping, has nightmares and is afraid of the dark. I go from felling extreme frustration with her to feeling complete sympathy for her. She's having a hard time and I try to keep that in mind when she's doing something that drives me up the wall.

Rachel is very bright, perceptive, loving, energetic, charismatic...I could go on and on. She really is a delightful person and I have to remember that when things get difficult. I'm very happy that I have a parent group that I can talk to about it. There are many moms that can relate and give good advice. I've also been blessed to have Fran Swift in my life. She has made me feel more confident as a parent. Fran understands child development so well that she almost has a smile on her face when I say I need to talk to her because we're at a half-year. She's very reassuring.

I'm starting a new book: Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. This book, like the child development series, has already put me more at ease. I can see that this book and the class I'm going to take based on the book are going to do a lot to improve my relationship with my spirited child.

a sip of mom's tea

Rachel 3 1/3 years old

big sister

Posted by sla5150 at 7:06 PM | Comments (0)

February 3, 2010

Yet another argument for Fish Oil

There is an interesting article today picked up by several news sources that talks about the effectiveness of Fish Oil against psychotic mental illness.  I’ve searched for a couple of years for the fish oil that I can take (I have a sensitivity) and finally found one at GNC (triple strength, no less).  Even before I got involved with CrossFit and read Dr. Sears I had been told by several trainers that I should be taking Fish Oil, but because of my sensitivity (ok, ok, I puke, are you happy?) I was taking the next best thing, Flax, but at much lower doses (it has been shown to have negative effects on hormones in menat the mega dose level) and only recently have tried fish oil again at the suggestion of a CrossFit coach, who pointed me at several well filtered and rated (How Fish Oil is Rated) oils.

Fish Oil has been proven to have significant positive impact on several fronts, including Heart Disease, Stress, ADHD, Chronic Inflamation, and now, psychosis.  Although there is one study (200 patients) that showed that a portion of heart patients with Ventricular Tachycardia or Ventricular Fibulation had a higher than standard deviation for more complications while taking fish oil than did the control group, if you AREN’T in this group, start. 

And just think…now there’s a lower risk that you’ll have that psychotic break you’ve been so concerned about. 


Posted by Chuck Charbeneau at 12:20 AM | Comments (0)