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Hamptons Teen: CALL ME OLD-FASHIONED, but I’m Just a DAD
I have become increasingly aware and worried about the relaxed attitude of illicit drug use among teens in the Hamptons and beyond. But what are our teenagers to think? They see a more relaxed and accepting attitude regarding the use of marijuana due to the reduction of legal penalties and the sale of marijuana for recreational use in multiple states. This is in the news and has become a part of their realities.Happy Group Of People
What our teenagers do not realize is the increased documentation about the effects of marijuana on the teenage brain. We know that the development of the brain is very fluid until or between the ages of 21-25 years old. The way in which the brain is wired is open to impact by this and other drugs. I am not a prude nor am I unaware of the opportunities, interest, curiosity and pressure to smoke weed. A lot of us did it when we were young. But this isn’t our father’s (and mother’s) weed no more. The THC (active ingredient that produces the high) content is many times more concentrated in today’s marijuana than in the weed our generation smoked. Many ‘brands’ of weed are genetically improved to the form of designer status. Consenting adults should have the option of doing whatever they want to do but it is imperative to fully inform our teenagers of the risks inherent in smoking pot.
I have the same concerns about smoking cigarettes and underage drinking that I have towards smoking weed and I feel to some extent, these are a more insidious and risky behavior that is impacting our teenagers. I cannot tell you what is the percentage of teenagers smoking and drinking but I feel it is over 50% of the population. Maybe I’m old-fashioned but if you were to ask both of my daughters (18 and 25), I still harp on the need to show restraint and to use some forward thinking concerning their future plans and how use and abuse can derail their goals. Believe me, they get tired of ‘the talk’ but I continue just the same. Am I being successful… I don’t know but I hope so. They lead their own lives, much of the time out of my view but I do what I do anyways because I must! I have no illusions, I can’t protect them all the time, nor should I or will I try. I will tell them the real deal, give them the tools to make good decisions and pray for the best.
EVERYONE has my permission to warn me if they think my child’s behavior is a risk to them and I do not care if they don’t like it. If your kids have come to my house, they may have heard some rendition of ‘the talk’ as a natural inclination of mine to be protective and proactive towards the friends of my children. My kids have probably warned them to expect it sometimes. AGAIN, I don’t care. I will not preach or teach but this is a part of the way we conduct business in our home. I will not stop!
Now don’t get me wrong, I remember being a teenager and doing LOTS OF STUFF. I will not be a hypocrite and tell them to ‘do as I say and not as I do’. But the risks of life long impacts secondary to social media and ‘selfies’ of illicit behavior that can follow them FOREVER…there are no do-overs anymore. Society can be very unforgiving. We did not have to face these risks. Remember, the definition of a teenager is filled with doing DUMB THINGS. But it is this risk taking and feelings of invincibility that makes them so powerful and dynamic. It will be hard to convince them of the dangers because they LIKE danger!
One more trend that I am seeing; the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs (PED’s). The use of Human Growth Hormone and steroids among teenage athletes has increased exponentially. Kids want to look better and perform better and they are getting access to and using these drugs more and more. The lifelong effects of these PED’s and the health impacts are so pronounced and damaging that it is imperative that parents and adults of teenage athletes inform them of the risks. Encourage your school teams to educate their athletes of the dangers and make it part of their athletic curriculum.
From me to you….JUST BEING A DAD

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Hamptons Wellness: The Benefits of Ginger: Ginger is widely used throughout the world for treating loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting after surgery, nausea resulting from cancer treatment, flatulence,stomach upsetcolicmorning sickness and motion sickness.

Some people find ginger helps them with the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection, bronchitis, cough, menstrual cramps, arthritis and muscle pain.

In some parts of the world, ginger juice is applied to the skin to treat burns

GINGER: Nausea, upset stomach…When I was pregnant with both of my daughters I have really bad morning sickness and I was nauseous all the time, literally until they were born. This is why they are 6 1/2 years apart and why I only have 2.

Some say drink Ginerale & Saltine Crackers but the sugar from the gingerale made me feel sicker…Ginger Tea is the Best..Treat yourself to a cup of piping hot ginger tea, a healthy drink that’s great for digestion. Why go out and buy old tea bags when you can easily make your own homemade ginger tea at home using fresh ginger? Here’s how to make the tastiest ginger tea you’ve ever had!

Home-made Ginger Tea
Recipe Type: Tea
Cuisine: Liquid
Author: Vanessa Leggard
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Home-made ginger Tea…piping hot ginger tea, a healthy drink that’s great for digestion
Ingredients
  • 4-6 thin slices raw ginger
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups water
  • juice from 1/2 lime, or to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp honey or agave nectar, or to taste
Instructions
  1. Peel the ginger and slice thinly to maximize the surface area. This will help you make a very flavorful ginger tea.
  2. Boil the ginger in water for at least 10 minutes. For a stronger and tangier tea, allow to boil for 20 minutes or more, and use more slices of ginger.
  3. Remove from heat and add lime juice and honey (or agave nectar) to taste.

9 Terrific Benefits of Ginger

  •  Eat fresh ginger just before lunch to stoke a dull appetite and fire up the digestive juices.
  • Ginger improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body.
  • Ginger clears the ‘microcirculatory channels’ of the body, including the pesky sinuses that tend to flare up from time to time.
  • Feeling airsick or nauseous? Chew on ginger, preferably tossed in a little honey.
  • Ginger helps reduce flatulence!
  • Ginger helps with Tummy moaning and groaning under cramps? 
  •  Ginger, with its anti-inflammatory properties—can bring relief. Float some ginger essential oil into your bath to help aching muscles and joints.
  •  Chewing ginger post-operation can help overcome nausea.
  • Stir up some ginger tea to get rid of throat and nose congestion. And when there’s a nip in the air, the warming benefits of this tasty tea are even greater

Hamptons Wellness: The Benefits of Ginger:

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Young women CAN and DO get breast cancer. It is estimated that more than 250,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40 or younger are living in the U.S. today. While breast cancer in young women accounts for a small percentage of all breast cancer cases, the impact of the disease is significant.

Studies show that Advance Breast Cancer is becoming more common in younger women…New research finds almost a tripling of advanced or metastatic breast cancer among women ages 25 to 39 between 1976 and 2009. -Women with no history of breast cancer will not get their 1st Mammogram until age 40…Should these young women be encouraged to get mammograms earlier than 40 even if there is no family history of breast cancer?

The results are potentially worrisome because young women’s tumors tend to be more aggressive than older women’s, and they’re much less likely to get routine screening for the disease. In the United States, the incidence of breast cancer with distant involvement at diagnosis increased in W25-39 year-old women 1976- 2009. No other age group or extent-of-disease subgroup of the same age range had a similar increase. For 25- to 39-year-olds, there was an increased incidence in distant disease among all races and ethnicities evaluated, especially non-Hispanic white and African American, and this occurred in both metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. Incidence for women with estrogen receptor–positive subtypes increased more than for women with estrogen receptor–negative subtypes.

January is National Thyroid month
UPDATE: JANUARY 7TH 2016: It has been 4 years since I was diagnosed with Graves Disease and I am feeling great. For many months I was not feeling great, but thanks to my brainiac 16 year old who told me I needed to stop using sea salt and use regular salt with iodine, it made a huge difference in how I felt. My eyes would hurt, my skin felt rough and I was extremely exhausted. I have limited my intake of Broccoli, cabbage, kale and Brussel sprouts.. Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage, can interfere with the production of thyroid hormone, particularly people who have an iodine deficiency. Digesting these vegetables can block the thyroid’s ability to absorb iodine, which is essential for normal thyroid function. People with hypothyroidism may want to limit their intake of broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, turnips, and bok choy. Cooking the vegetables can reduce the effect that cruciferous vegetables have on the thyroid gland.
I also increased my daily water intake, decreased my sugar and started exercising.
Click on the following links: 9 Foods to Avoid With Hypothyroidism

thyroidGreetings Hamptons MouthPiece Readers.…January is National Thyroid Disease awareness month…Something that I was completely unaware of until it was brought to my attention. I decided to share my story with many of you. Three years ago I started going to the doctor complaining of various symptoms, hair breakage, hot flashes, chest pains, odd sleeping patterns, weight gain. Each time I had test they all came back negative and over the years, everyone was tired of me complaining about not feeling well and I thought they thought I was seeking attention. Last year  I was finally diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism and an uptake scan determined I had Graves disease. Initially I was scared because I was unsure what that meant then I felt an odd sense of relief because this had been going on for over 3 years with no diagnosis and therefore I thought I was loosing my mind and stopped complaining to my doctor that I was not feeling well.

It has been almost 1 year since I was diagnosed and most of the time I am doing better than before I was diagnosed but my levels are consistently off and it is important to be in-tuned with your body and when you are not feeling well. When my levels are off, my medication will not function correctly and I will start to administer some weird symptoms like cold flashes, heartburn, sleepless nights, unexplained blotting, and my teeth start to hurt.

My advice to you is pay attention to symptoms that you are experiencing, when you go for physical examinations and your thyroid levels are slightly off and you are having some of the symptoms I mentioned above, pay attention. I would suggest you seek  an endocrinologist, this is their area of specialty, don’t wait because there are solutions and you do not have to wait the 3 long years I did without being properly diagnosed. For more information on Thyroid Disease and Graves Disease click here: 

East End Endocrine Associates – Riverhead, NY, (New York) are fantastic and have taken great care of me.

Medical billing fraud usually begins with a letter. Today I brought the mail in as usual, but unexpectedly Kurt opened up what was soon discovered to be a bill from a medical provider that we used. Kurt as usual handed the bill over to me and said “what is this, you take care of this.” He does not keep track of these things and as in most families I (the wife) am the record keeper and bill payer. I reviewed the bill and was SURPRISED to see that I was being charged for the entire procedure, even though I was informed that our Health Insurance company would be responsible for the claim. I immediately called the service provider to inquire why I was receiving this bill and I was told by the medical provider that our health insurance company indicated that we had not met our deductible. I told the medical provider that we do not have a deductible and that prior to the procedure being done we were informed by the medical provider that they accepted our insurance and a copay was requested and paid. The medical provider indicated that they were an In-network provider, thus the acceptance of the co-payment.
Kurt and I were outraged by getting a SURPRISE bill because we were told that this was an in-network procedure. Outrage then turned to action. I am fortunate and so are you, my readers, because one of Kurt’s areas of expertise is executive level preparation and training to detect fraudulent medical billing practices. Kurt is trained to implement complaints, appeals and grievance procedures with medical insurance companies, including HMO’s ,MCO’s and other managed long term care plans (MLTC). shutterstock_306283364
These are the 10 steps that have been taken to date to resolve this issue of what we consider to be fraudulent medical billing.
1. Call the Medical Provider and dispute the bill (claim).
2. Call your health insurance provider complaint department:
• Their purpose is to try to resolve any complaints you have with both in-network and out-of-network providers. You as the consumer have a right to make a formal complaint and to request an appeal of any medical bill that you feel misrepresents any procedure that was done, including overbilling or any allegation of fraudulent billing. Kurt recommends that you formally request of the complaint/grievance representative that they document this encounter as a formal complaint/grievance.
3. Ask for the Complaint/Grievance Representative’s employee identification number. You have to be able to document the person, date and time you logged your complaint.
4. Clearly inform the complaint/grievance representative of your allegation of fraud and or problematic billing.
5. Documentation becomes more complete if you include these simple steps:
• Always try to complete documentation requirements by answering the following questions: Who, What, When, Where, How and Why, (the why is often the most difficult and most subjective). If you prepare your documentation to answer those questions you can be confident that 95% of your documentation requirements will be accurate and fulfilled.
6. Get the reference number for your complaint.
7. There are different levels of grievance complaints that you can request from Standard to Emergency Expedited levels. The health insurance carrier is required to respond in a specific time frame based upon the level of complaint that you have made. Anywhere between 45 days to as little as 24 hours of turn around time back to the consumer.
8. The Health Insurance carrier may recommend that you to follow the ‘Information for Members in New York Insurance Plans: Emergency Services and Surprise Bills’
Click on link for steps to follow: Info_ Mem_NY_InsurancePlans_EmergencyServices_SurpriseBills
9. DON’T PAY THE BILL! If you feel you have been fraudulently billed or have been surprised by a bill
10. ACT IMMEDIATELY, DO NOT WAIT!

Our next steps; we are going to follow the Emergency Services and Surprise Bills protocol. We may choose to contact the NYS Attorney General Office to inform them of our allegation of Medical Billing Fraud if we need to take that step. This will be contingent on whether or not this SURPRISE bill is resolved appropriately. Stay tuned!

Special thanks to Kurt H. Leggard, R.N. who helped co-write this article. Kurt is a Registered Nurse, Consultant and a specialist in Long Tem Care, Medicaid Services and Heath Care Grievances, Complaints and Appeals.

New York State Department of Health Medical Fraud Link: www.health.ny.gov