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Articles in this column:

The World's Greatest Drugstore

by Gary W. Diekmann, D.C.

Dealing with Obesity

by Don Grothe, Retired School Counselor, Author of children's books

The World's Greatest Drugstore

by Gary W. Diekmann, D.C.


It seems like every day we are bombarded in the media with stories of another great discovery, or an advertisement of a new drug promising to relieve our ills and restore health. Some praise these results; while others, like myself, wonder why God's divine wisdom forgot to include these drugs in our bodies!

   But seriously, did you ever consider that the greatest drug store in the world is your own body? It manufactures every medicine you need: antibiotics, insulin and pain-killers; chemicals to alter your blood pressure, heartbeat and moods; hormones to regulate growth, blood chemistry and digestion; and hundreds of other drugs, many of which science has yet to discover. They are all there inside of you--if you supply your body with a good diet of raw materials to create these chemicals, then exercise to allow your cardiovascular system to deliver the proper nutrients to your cells and to eliminate the waste. Of course, rest is another part of the formula for health, as it allows the body to relax and affect repairs to itself.

    To sum it all up, your body knows what it needs, in specific doses that are right for you, and at the precise time. It's called PROPER FUNCTION. No synthetic drug has its own intelligence, to go specifically to one area of your body without affecting somewhere else. This is where the term "SIDE EFFECTS" originated. The next time a doctor prescribes a drug for you, ask him three questions:





   Listen to what he says. If he doesn't have the time to answer your questions, find another doctor who does. Remember that all healing comes form within. I see this proven every day, from my own patients. Allow your body to function properly, without interference, and keep a positive mental attitude in whatever you do. Be dependent on your own internal drug store, not the one of the corner.


Dr. Gary W. Diekmann

is a Chiropractor

in Phoenix, Arizona



1802 East Thomas Road  Suite 16

Phoenix, Arizona 85016


Dealing with Obesity

by Don Grothe

retired school counselor


One of the major problems facing the nation today is obesity. It runs rampant though all ages, but is particularly alarming in the case of children. One of the major problems is that of inactivity. Whereas most children used to engage in active sports or games, sitting in front of computers or TV's has become the major form of entertainment.

   The first  step is realization. When we look in the mirror or at our mates or children, we must accept the fact that that there is a problem, if, indeed, one exists. We kid ourselves by saying:  "We're just getting older", "What's a few extra pounds?", "People look better with a little meat on their bones", or "I'm healthy, so what!". Most of us are probably guilty of these types of thoughts.

   If one wants to change, he must accept the fact that it won't be easy and probably won't be much fun. Second, an organized plan need to be put in place. There are two basic causes of obesity. One is diet and the other is exercise, or rather, lack of exercise. When our bodies take in more calories than they spend, the result is stored fat. You can look for the "magic diet" and there are thousands of them out there (some are so weird they are laughable), but the basic thing about eating is to eat properly. That means eating lots of fruits and vegetables, some meat, some starch and some sugar. If you deprive yourself of a favorite food, you feel cheated. Go ahead and eat that candy bar, ice cream, potato chips or popcorn, but limit the amount and the frequency.

   Be aware of your eating habits. Are you a nibbler? Most of us are. You can nibble 1000 calories a day with very little effort and not even be aware that you are doing it. Make a list of everything you eat and be honest about it. So basically, it helps to count your calories. Any dietician, doctor or weight loss program can tell you how many calories are realistic for your age, height and body type.

   Next is exercise--expending calories. It is usually agreed that walking is the best all-around and most simple form of exercise. It costs nothing and is not that difficult or unpleasant. A 2 mile walk three of four times a week will work wonders and usually takes only 45 minutes each time. If you're a really physical type and want to lift weights, run miles, do aerobics, or bicycle 10 miles, you probably aren't reading this article.

   It's important to get the whole family involved, not only in healthy eating but in exercising. It's hard to enjoy a salad while everyone else is eating pizza. So one night, everyone eats salad and the next night pizza. That's an oversimplification, but what I'm saying is obvious. Get the family involved in games. Kickball, touch football, shooting baskets and playing tag all expend a lot of energy and are also fun and relationship-building. The catch is to lure the kids away from the TV and video games. It's interesting that even board games and cards can burn calories if you get excited and involved in hollering, high fives and laughing.

   When all is said and done, you must: (1) Be honest about your weight. (2) Accept the challenge to do something about it. (3) Try to enlist the cooperation of the whole family. (4) Eat right and be aware of what and how much you eat, including the dreaded nibbling. (5) Get enough exercise to more than make-up for the calories.

   Simple. As for me, I'm going to start next week, or maybe next month. What's a extra 10 pounds? Okay, so it's 20.


Don Grothe's Book,

Fernbaugh, My Hero

is the story of a character who is "different' saving the day

Don Grothe also has other books with a message for children.


Articles in this column:

MRSA Bacteria

by Elissa Thompson, MSW, LCSW

Author of Tryin' Ryan

How to Help Children Who Have Hereditary Disorders Thrive

by Don Grothe, Retired School Counselor, Author of children's books

MRSA Bacteria

by Elissa Thompson, MSW, LCSW

Author of Tryin' Ryan


Parents beware, there is a dangerous predator lurking around childcare centers and playgrounds. The culprit is invisible and is responsible for the deaths of 7 children in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Houston. The predator is MRSA, Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureaus.

   MRSA is a type of bacteria that are resistant to many antibiotics. About 25-30% of us have some type of staph bacteria in our noses but we are not infected by it. MRSA gains entry into the body through openings in the skin such as cuts, abrasions, bug bites, and boils. The infected area may become red, swollen, painful, and pusfilled. 

   If you or your child has a skin infection that isn’t responding to normal in-home treatments, contact your physician immediately. A culture of the infection can confirm the presence of MRSA and determine the best course of antibiotic treatment. In most cases, if the wound is drained and treated with antibiotics that are still effective, the healing process is fairly quick.  Bactrim and Vancomycin are considered effective treatments, however, Vancomycin Resistant infections have recently been reported.

   As with any illness, there are risk factors that should be considered.  A major risk factor is location and if you live in a highly infected area you or your child are at a greater risk of contracting MRSA. According to the Arizona Department of Health, 3,654 cases were reported in 2004.  Although it is an alarming 62.7 persons per 100,000, (up 281%) it is important to note that MRSA cases became subject to mandatory reporting in 1997. The peak season for MRSA is November thru February when the presence of dust and rainfall averages is higher.

   Other risk factors include but are not limited to recent hospitalizations or surgery, and day care centers and/or households in which persons come into contact with health care or childcare workers. MRSA is most commonly found in people with weak immune systems such as those living in health care facilities.  However, community forms of MRSA continue to be on the rise.  In such cases, it is likely spread in prisons, sports teams, and gyms.

   MRSA prevention is possible and the CDC recommends that families do the following:

  • Keep your hands clean by washing with soap and water.  Athletes, children who play sports, and those attending gyms should shower as soon as possible after all workouts.

  • Keep cuts and abrasions clean and covered with proper dressing (bandage) until healed. This is especially important while engaged in physical activities and sporting events.

  • Avoid contact with other people’s wounds or material contaminated from wounds including towels, sheets, clothing, and sports equipment.

   To prevent continued spread of MRSA and other resistant bacteria, talk to your doctor about alternative treatments for cold or flu symptoms instead of antibiotics.  There was a time when resistance to antibiotics meant that one could be treated with a few types of medication in order to effectively treat an infection.  Now, the consequences are more serious and children are becoming seriously ill and even dying.

    As someone who is currently recovering from MRSA, I can attest to the pain and frustration that this illness can bring.  I have agonized for days about the source of my infection and have yet to identify one possibility.  As a mother, I felt an overwhelming sense of responsibility to protect my child from myself.  I did load after load of laundry, bleached and alcohol coated my floors, toilets, and sinks all in an effort to keep whatever was in me away from him.

   About 7 days into my ordeal, the antibiotics were not effective and my wound required packing to prevent the skin from closing over the infection. My mom was kind enough to drop me off at the 7am appointment while she and my son waited in the car. A short time later, I emerged from the doctor’s office with tears in my eyes and a limp in my step. Slowly, I made my way to the car. On one occasion, I had to lie on my stomach in the back seat to avoid the excruciating pain.

   After that visit, while resting on the couch, my son approached me while holding his favorite dinosaur, its lower body wrapped in toilet paper. “Mommy,” he said while carefully unwrapping a piece of the tissue. “Dino’s hurt too”. 

   This was the moment I realized that my almost three year old son was experiencing the secondary pains of my fight with MRSA.  He missed his “mommy” and all the things we were used to doing together.  That was two weeks ago and today we were able to swim for the first time since the MRSA invaded our lives.  Although the infection is in its clearing stages, my doctor has recommended that I remain on Bactrim for the next 45-60 days.  I am truly grateful that this was just a temporary disruption to our lives.  But I am also saddened by the reality that many other families will be affected by MRSA and some will have a more permanent impact. 

   To learn more about MRSA in your community, search online for MRSA and/or visit your area’s department of health website.


Elissa Thompson's Book

Tryin' Ryan

How to Help Children, Who Have Hereditary Disorders, Thrive

by Don Grothe


Karl Mendel was a genius in his study of inheritance. Through his work many predictions are possible about the offspring of plants, animals and humans. Sometimes something goes astray and that is called a mutation. When this occurs in humans the results can be very difficult to accept and it presents many problems.

   For normal-sized parents who have an extremely small child, a children with white hair, a deformed foot or no fingers, to name a few, the results of mutations are very painful for the parents, and, of course, to the child. The results are usually rejection and ridicule, since seeing things are are different can cause uneasiness or even fear in others. As parents, we have all experienced a child being made fun of for the way he talks, for the clothes he wears, or for not being invited to a party. Imagine the magnitude of having a child with severe deformities...a special child. What can we, as parents, do to soften the pain that is due to come? First, and foremost, we must not indulge in pity. It is perfectly acceptable to cry or hit the walls in frustration privately, but the child must see a smiling face, full of acceptance and love as much as possible. Encourage the child to use and develop the talents he or she has whether they are in art, music, sports, woodworking or writing. Doing one thing well can develop self-confidence to a large degree!

   Teach the child to accept limitations and not live on false hopes. The operative word here is "realistically". A positive , optimistic view is needed and be balanced to accept what is possible and what is not. This is not an easy task, since all of us can be more than we are and we certainly don't want to discourage a children from being the best that they can be. Howe4ver, setting unrealistic goals is not in anyone's best interest. This, of course, is a daunting task, since we have all witnessed success that was far beyond any expectations.

   The other thing that needs to be taught and encouraged, is independence. We do this by allowing a child to fail by encouraging him to try new things and to use his imagination. Entertaining oneself is an important things for all children to learn, and especially important for a child with special challenges since he will undoubtedly be more isolated than other children. Above all, parents of special children need to be there to express encouragement and acceptance, and, of course, love, love, love. This is true for all children, but these very special children often need more patience, more attentions and, yes, even more love. This is a daunting challenge for parents whose lives have already been turned upside down.

   Lastly, parents must take time each day to distance themselves from the constant reoccupation of raising a special needs child. It does not help the child or other in the family  if parents offer themselves as sacrificial lambs on the altar of total dedication. Take time to laugh, to dance, to sing, to love and to pursue other interests and not feel guilty in the process. Your child will benefit , as will those around you. There are rainbows to see, music to hear and new experiences to be enjoyed. Embrace them.










Over 5,000 Ideas

for Tots through Teens 

MotherLodeCover.JPG (116195 bytes)

Mother Lode

The Ultimate Collection of Ideas for Keeping Kids Busy

by Kas Winters


A workshop for busy parents on a budget

A note about SAFETY

Whenever children are playing, working or doing anything at all, they need to be supervised. Adjust any activities to the age and abilities of the child. Pay attention to the materials, tools and location of the activity. Put thought into safety before the fun begins. If there's one thing I've learned from years of overseeing children's activities, it's that there's always something that a child will think to try that never occurred to me. So the key is to make things as safe as possible and then watch them the entire time.









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