Double Amputee has Mom with Alzheimer’s

danvance_120On Christmas Eve 1995, diabetic Dan Adragna was admitted to a clinic in Santa Cruz, California. Over the next few days, he would have double pneumonia, kidney failure, an emergency tracheotomy, and his heart would stop four times. After being in a coma seven weeks, he learned doctors had amputated both his legs mid-calf. Over time, he learned to walk using artificial legs while recuperating at his parents’ home.

Not long after, he was taking a college course in “abnormal psychology” and started noticing something wasn’t quite right with his mother.

“She liked taking hour-long walks,” said 56-year-old Adragna in a telephone interview. “Then her walks starting lasting 90 minutes and she’d explain it away as her taking a ‘detour.’ Then she began admitting she was getting lost. Then one day at the grocery store, she had to call home to say she couldn’t find her car. She was in tears.”

At first, Adragna’s family members attributed her behavior to age, but by 2000 a doctor had diagnosed her with Alzheimer’s disease. Seven years later, Adragna’s parents moved closer so he and his wife could help with care.

Today, his 78-year-old mom lives in a care facility. He said, “She has virtually no short-term memory and is almost nonverbal. It’s impossible to have a conversation with her. I can trigger maybe one word out of her when I’m there and maybe get her to smile, but only if I bring up something she thought was funny in the past.” His mother still walks unassisted and feeds herself with some prompting.

For work, Adragna is the Sacramento area director for Joni and Friends, a faith-based nonprofit helping families affected by disability. He gave advice to people whose parents have been recently diagnosed: “Be educated as much as possible about Alzheimers. For me, being educated helped remove the fear of the unknown and helped me know what to expect. Also be sure to visit with the (affected) person the first few years after diagnosis much as possible while that person is still aware and can have a conversation. One thing my mother really enjoyed was looking at old photographs and we cherished those times.”

As for his faith, he said, “It gives me an eternal perspective because I know I’ll be seeing my mother again (after she dies). That has helped me have an unexplained calm and peace.”

Contact: danieljvance.com [Palmer Bus Service and LittleGiantFudge.com make this column possible.]

Double Amputee has Mom with Alzheimer’s

danvance_120On Christmas Eve 1995, diabetic Dan Adragna was admitted to a clinic in Santa Cruz, California. Over the next few days, he would have double pneumonia, kidney failure, an emergency tracheotomy, and his heart would stop four times. After being in a coma seven weeks, he learned doctors had amputated both his legs mid-calf. Over time, he learned to walk using artificial legs while recuperating at his parents’ home.

Not long after, he was taking a college course in “abnormal psychology” and started noticing something wasn’t quite right with his mother.

“She liked taking hour-long walks,” said 56-year-old Adragna in a telephone interview. “Then her walks starting lasting 90 minutes and she’d explain it away as her taking a ‘detour.’ Then she began admitting she was getting lost. Then one day at the grocery store, she had to call home to say she couldn’t find her car. She was in tears.”

At first, Adragna’s family members attributed her behavior to age, but by 2000 a doctor had diagnosed her with Alzheimer’s disease. Seven years later, Adragna’s parents moved closer so he and his wife could help with care.

Today, his 78-year-old mom lives in a care facility. He said, “She has virtually no short-term memory and is almost nonverbal. It’s impossible to have a conversation with her. I can trigger maybe one word out of her when I’m there and maybe get her to smile, but only if I bring up something she thought was funny in the past.” His mother still walks unassisted and feeds herself with some prompting.

For work, Adragna is the Sacramento area director for Joni and Friends, a faith-based nonprofit helping families affected by disability. He gave advice to people whose parents have been recently diagnosed: “Be educated as much as possible about Alzheimers. For me, being educated helped remove the fear of the unknown and helped me know what to expect. Also be sure to visit with the (affected) person the first few years after diagnosis much as possible while that person is still aware and can have a conversation. One thing my mother really enjoyed was looking at old photographs and we cherished those times.”

As for his faith, he said, “It gives me an eternal perspective because I know I’ll be seeing my mother again (after she dies). That has helped me have an unexplained calm and peace.”

Contact: danieljvance.com [Palmer Bus Service and LittleGiantFudge.com make this column possible.]

Science is Hatching at MTRS

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ – Students at Mother Teresa Regional School will be getting some hands on experience with the life cycle.  On October 1st, 12 eggs will be arriving from Quiver Farms and students will be responsible for caring for the eggs while waiting for them to hatch.  This annual experience is loved by all of the students.  The chicks will hatch within a week and then students will care for the chicks until they are picked up and returned to the farm.

mtrs_ying_chick

In addition to chicks, Mother Teresa Regional School is taking part in the Trout in a Classroom program for the first time. This hands-on program will help teach the students about the importance of coldwater conservation. Through the process of raising brook trout from eggs to fingerlings the children will learn about the importance of clean, cold water, not only for the brook trout they are raising, but also for the other organisms, including people.

mtrs_kathleen_chick

On October 16th , volunteers will be picking up our tiny eggs from Pequest Trout Hatchery and then visiting our school and bringing with them our tiny brook trout eggs. Together we will distinguish the viable eggs from the nonviable eggs. A non-viable egg will be cloudy in color, while a nice healthy egg will be clear. We will be raising these trout eggs until May and then together we will release them into the Hockhocksen Brook in Tinton Falls. We are looking forward to this great educational experience.

mtrs_chicks_hatching

Mother Teresa Regional School is a preschool through eighth grade Catholic school serving students in the Bayshore area. For more information or to see videos of our hatching chicks and growing fish visit mtregional.com.

Science is Hatching at MTRS

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ – Students at Mother Teresa Regional School will be getting some hands on experience with the life cycle.  On October 1st, 12 eggs will be arriving from Quiver Farms and students will be responsible for caring for the eggs while waiting for them to hatch.  This annual experience is loved by all of the students.  The chicks will hatch within a week and then students will care for the chicks until they are picked up and returned to the farm.

mtrs_ying_chick

In addition to chicks, Mother Teresa Regional School is taking part in the Trout in a Classroom program for the first time. This hands-on program will help teach the students about the importance of coldwater conservation. Through the process of raising brook trout from eggs to fingerlings the children will learn about the importance of clean, cold water, not only for the brook trout they are raising, but also for the other organisms, including people.

mtrs_kathleen_chick

On October 16th , volunteers will be picking up our tiny eggs from Pequest Trout Hatchery and then visiting our school and bringing with them our tiny brook trout eggs. Together we will distinguish the viable eggs from the nonviable eggs. A non-viable egg will be cloudy in color, while a nice healthy egg will be clear. We will be raising these trout eggs until May and then together we will release them into the Hockhocksen Brook in Tinton Falls. We are looking forward to this great educational experience.

mtrs_chicks_hatching

Mother Teresa Regional School is a preschool through eighth grade Catholic school serving students in the Bayshore area. For more information or to see videos of our hatching chicks and growing fish visit mtregional.com.

Reward Offered in Connection with Manalapan Bias Incident

FREEHOLD, NJ – A $2,500 reward is being offered by the Jewish Federation of Monmouth County toanyone who provides information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the person or personsresponsible for the anti-Semitic vandalism of a number of properties in Manalapan, Acting Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.

During the overnight hours of September 5 through 6, several residents in the Monmouth Heights development in Manalapan awoke to find red swastikas and other hateful graffiti spraypainted throughout their residential community. The bias graffiti was painted on road signs,sidewalks, vehicles, utility boxes and fences.

Anyone with information about this incident should contact Detective David D’Amico ofthe Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 732/620-2307 or Detective Thomas Mantle of theManalapan Police Department at 732/446-8385.

Reward Offered in Connection with Manalapan Bias Incident

FREEHOLD, NJ – A $2,500 reward is being offered by the Jewish Federation of Monmouth County toanyone who provides information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the person or personsresponsible for the anti-Semitic vandalism of a number of properties in Manalapan, Acting Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.

During the overnight hours of September 5 through 6, several residents in the Monmouth Heights development in Manalapan awoke to find red swastikas and other hateful graffiti spraypainted throughout their residential community. The bias graffiti was painted on road signs,sidewalks, vehicles, utility boxes and fences.

Anyone with information about this incident should contact Detective David D’Amico ofthe Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 732/620-2307 or Detective Thomas Mantle of theManalapan Police Department at 732/446-8385.

The Bible Centered Vision

george_hancockstefanIn the book of Proverbs we find this verse: Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (Proverbs 29:18, King James Version) In a newer translation we have a slight modification: Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law. (New International Version)

In a political election year, we hear a tremendous amount about the vision of the candidates.  Candidates present and defend their vision and try to destroy or belittle the vision of their opponents.  In a year in which we are told that the negativity will increase in comparison with other years, and that the public at large is convinced by the negativity of the campaign and enjoys it and is persuaded by it, having a biblical centered vision is getting more difficult.

One of my colleagues, Dr. Ron Sider has written an analysis of the vision that President Obama and Mr. Romney has.  The title of the article is: Obama vs. Romney: Does God Have A Preference? He has analyzed their platforms on major positions such as economic justice, the sanctity of human life, peace-making, marriage, creation care and sexual integrity.  After analyzing their position, he came to the conclusion that as a Christian seeking the mind of God he cannot make a decision yet.  He will watch the debates, he will read extensively, he will pray and then he will vote.

The American history is developed in imperfect visions. The Puritans and Pilgrims had a vision to create a new country that will reflect justice, but their justice did not extend to the Indian tribes whose land they have invaded.  The vision that Lincoln had was to free the slaves, even though for some people’s preference he was too cautious and vacillating.  Both President Wilson and Roosevelt had doubts and opposition to involving the American troops in the World War I and World War II respectively, but historians argues that without our participation, most likely the war would have gone in

the other direction and in the later war fascism would have won.

When I study the vision that our Presidents have had since President Kennedy,

I concluded that the one who knew the Scripture the best was President Jimmy Carter.  I have heard him teach a Sunday School lesson, preach a sermon and give a theological speech before the Baptist World Alliance.  Yet, I came to the conclusion that some of his biblical connected positions did not produce long range results because he rarely had surrounded himself with people who appreciated his biblical vision and  who were willing to implement it.

While in many aspects the American public has forsaken its connections with the Scriptures, it is undeniable that on the international scene, we are still the nation whose moorings/foundations are the most biblical.  Compared with the French and British and other Western nations in which the Bible at one point was important and legislative, we have remained the most connected to that history.

I pray that the vision of the person that will become the next president will be centered in the Word of God. This person could shape the future of the nation for many years to come.  If the vision is not biblically centered, people will cast more restraints, but the casting of godly restraints may produce future ruin for us and for the generations to come.

The Bible Centered Vision

george_hancockstefanIn the book of Proverbs we find this verse: Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (Proverbs 29:18, King James Version) In a newer translation we have a slight modification: Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law. (New International Version)

In a political election year, we hear a tremendous amount about the vision of the candidates.  Candidates present and defend their vision and try to destroy or belittle the vision of their opponents.  In a year in which we are told that the negativity will increase in comparison with other years, and that the public at large is convinced by the negativity of the campaign and enjoys it and is persuaded by it, having a biblical centered vision is getting more difficult.

One of my colleagues, Dr. Ron Sider has written an analysis of the vision that President Obama and Mr. Romney has.  The title of the article is: Obama vs. Romney: Does God Have A Preference? He has analyzed their platforms on major positions such as economic justice, the sanctity of human life, peace-making, marriage, creation care and sexual integrity.  After analyzing their position, he came to the conclusion that as a Christian seeking the mind of God he cannot make a decision yet.  He will watch the debates, he will read extensively, he will pray and then he will vote.

The American history is developed in imperfect visions. The Puritans and Pilgrims had a vision to create a new country that will reflect justice, but their justice did not extend to the Indian tribes whose land they have invaded.  The vision that Lincoln had was to free the slaves, even though for some people’s preference he was too cautious and vacillating.  Both President Wilson and Roosevelt had doubts and opposition to involving the American troops in the World War I and World War II respectively, but historians argues that without our participation, most likely the war would have gone in

the other direction and in the later war fascism would have won.

When I study the vision that our Presidents have had since President Kennedy,

I concluded that the one who knew the Scripture the best was President Jimmy Carter.  I have heard him teach a Sunday School lesson, preach a sermon and give a theological speech before the Baptist World Alliance.  Yet, I came to the conclusion that some of his biblical connected positions did not produce long range results because he rarely had surrounded himself with people who appreciated his biblical vision and  who were willing to implement it.

While in many aspects the American public has forsaken its connections with the Scriptures, it is undeniable that on the international scene, we are still the nation whose moorings/foundations are the most biblical.  Compared with the French and British and other Western nations in which the Bible at one point was important and legislative, we have remained the most connected to that history.

I pray that the vision of the person that will become the next president will be centered in the Word of God. This person could shape the future of the nation for many years to come.  If the vision is not biblically centered, people will cast more restraints, but the casting of godly restraints may produce future ruin for us and for the generations to come.

As Fall Begins, Mosquitoes Still Active

Protect yourself and help reduce the mosquito population

FREEHOLD, NJ  – As the mosquito season continues Monmouth County residents should take precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites and eliminate backyard mosquito habitats that allow for the spread of mosquito-borne diseases such as the West Nile virus.

“Right now, many of Monmouth County’s mosquito problems are being caused by the Asian tiger mosquito that grows in man-made containers of water,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the Monmouth County’s Mosquito Extermination Commission. “This mosquito is a very aggressive biter and is one of the few mosquitoes that bite throughout the day and night.”

Asian tiger mosquitoes can grow in containers as small as a bottle cap. Sometimes finding the sources can be very time consuming. 

“The good news is that Asian tiger mosquitoes do not travel more than a few hundred yards from where they hatch,” said Douglas Guthrie Sr., Superintendent of the county’s mosquito control program. “If you can eliminate all locations on your property where water collects, you can reduce your Asian tiger mosquito population and breeding locations for other species, too.” 

The commission also emphasizes that homeowners should check that their window and door screens are in good repair, and that their property is free of water-holding containers such as cans, buckets, tires, flower pots, wheelbarrows and toys that create areas where mosquitoes can breed.

“Residents need to be vigilant in protecting themselves and reducing the places where mosquitoes can increase their population,” Arnone said. “It is also important that residents follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendations for personal protection.”

The CDC recommends that people can reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes and, as a result, lower their exposure to insect-borne diseases by following some simple steps:

  • When outdoors, apply insect repellent following the label instructions, especially for use on children
  • wear long sleeved shirts and long pants whenever possible
  • avoid outdoor activity at peak mosquito times – dusk and dawn

The CDC also recommends the use of repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) or picaridin (KBR 3023) or IR 3535.  Products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (p-menthane-3,8-diol) provide better protection than other plant-based repellents but fall short compared to products containing high concentrations of DEET.

“You should choose a repellent that provides protection for the amount of time you will be outdoors,” Guthrie said.  “Repellents with a higher percentage of an active ingredient, like DEET, typically provide longer-lasting protection.”

The Mosquito Extermination Commission routinely tests various county sites to monitor mosquito breeding and activity including the presence of West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE V).

The mosquito samples collected as part of the Commission’s surveillance program are transported to the New Jersey State Department of Health and Senior Services laboratory in Trenton where they are tested for the virus. This is part of a statewide Vector Surveillance Program that is funded in part by the State Mosquito Control Commission and administered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s, Office of Mosquito Control Coordination. The data gathered from this collaborative effort are used by the Commission to target specific areas for additional treatment.

“Professional mosquito control is always guided by the surveillance, giving you the most efficient and effective results for your efforts,” Tony Acquaviva, Mosquito Commission entomologist said.  

Residents who find dead birds should call their local or regional public health departments to report the finding. Birds in the corvid family, consisting of crows, blue jays, and grackles, that do not have obvious signs of injury or decay can be collected by heath officials and submitted to the State Health Department laboratory for testing.

“I have every confidence in the professionalism and dedication of the Commission’s employees to provide quality mosquito control,” Guthrie said. “I also recognize the fact that we can’t eliminate all mosquitoes. Therefore, it is important that citizens follow the CDC’s recommendations for personal protection and help us reduce mosquito habitats.” 

If you know of any potential sources such as unmaintained pools, a yard with many containers or buckets, or a foreclosed property, please contact the Monmouth County Mosquito Commission.

You can complete an online request form at www.visitmonmouth.com/mosquito or call 732-542-3630. Specific information will help our inspectors respond to your request.

For the latest information on mosquito control and mosquito-borne disease activity in Monmouth County, residents can log onto the Commission’s website at www.visitmonmouth.com/mosquito. 

The most up-to-date mosquito control information can also be heard on the Mosquito Commission’s hotline at 732-578-1600.

As Fall Begins, Mosquitoes Still Active

Protect yourself and help reduce the mosquito population

FREEHOLD, NJ  – As the mosquito season continues Monmouth County residents should take precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites and eliminate backyard mosquito habitats that allow for the spread of mosquito-borne diseases such as the West Nile virus.

“Right now, many of Monmouth County’s mosquito problems are being caused by the Asian tiger mosquito that grows in man-made containers of water,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the Monmouth County’s Mosquito Extermination Commission. “This mosquito is a very aggressive biter and is one of the few mosquitoes that bite throughout the day and night.”

Asian tiger mosquitoes can grow in containers as small as a bottle cap. Sometimes finding the sources can be very time consuming. 

“The good news is that Asian tiger mosquitoes do not travel more than a few hundred yards from where they hatch,” said Douglas Guthrie Sr., Superintendent of the county’s mosquito control program. “If you can eliminate all locations on your property where water collects, you can reduce your Asian tiger mosquito population and breeding locations for other species, too.” 

The commission also emphasizes that homeowners should check that their window and door screens are in good repair, and that their property is free of water-holding containers such as cans, buckets, tires, flower pots, wheelbarrows and toys that create areas where mosquitoes can breed.

“Residents need to be vigilant in protecting themselves and reducing the places where mosquitoes can increase their population,” Arnone said. “It is also important that residents follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendations for personal protection.”

The CDC recommends that people can reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes and, as a result, lower their exposure to insect-borne diseases by following some simple steps:

  • When outdoors, apply insect repellent following the label instructions, especially for use on children
  • wear long sleeved shirts and long pants whenever possible
  • avoid outdoor activity at peak mosquito times – dusk and dawn

The CDC also recommends the use of repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) or picaridin (KBR 3023) or IR 3535.  Products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (p-menthane-3,8-diol) provide better protection than other plant-based repellents but fall short compared to products containing high concentrations of DEET.

“You should choose a repellent that provides protection for the amount of time you will be outdoors,” Guthrie said.  “Repellents with a higher percentage of an active ingredient, like DEET, typically provide longer-lasting protection.”

The Mosquito Extermination Commission routinely tests various county sites to monitor mosquito breeding and activity including the presence of West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE V).

The mosquito samples collected as part of the Commission’s surveillance program are transported to the New Jersey State Department of Health and Senior Services laboratory in Trenton where they are tested for the virus. This is part of a statewide Vector Surveillance Program that is funded in part by the State Mosquito Control Commission and administered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s, Office of Mosquito Control Coordination. The data gathered from this collaborative effort are used by the Commission to target specific areas for additional treatment.

“Professional mosquito control is always guided by the surveillance, giving you the most efficient and effective results for your efforts,” Tony Acquaviva, Mosquito Commission entomologist said.  

Residents who find dead birds should call their local or regional public health departments to report the finding. Birds in the corvid family, consisting of crows, blue jays, and grackles, that do not have obvious signs of injury or decay can be collected by heath officials and submitted to the State Health Department laboratory for testing.

“I have every confidence in the professionalism and dedication of the Commission’s employees to provide quality mosquito control,” Guthrie said. “I also recognize the fact that we can’t eliminate all mosquitoes. Therefore, it is important that citizens follow the CDC’s recommendations for personal protection and help us reduce mosquito habitats.” 

If you know of any potential sources such as unmaintained pools, a yard with many containers or buckets, or a foreclosed property, please contact the Monmouth County Mosquito Commission.

You can complete an online request form at www.visitmonmouth.com/mosquito or call 732-542-3630. Specific information will help our inspectors respond to your request.

For the latest information on mosquito control and mosquito-borne disease activity in Monmouth County, residents can log onto the Commission’s website at www.visitmonmouth.com/mosquito. 

The most up-to-date mosquito control information can also be heard on the Mosquito Commission’s hotline at 732-578-1600.