The Day I Met God

And Other Short Essays


Andrew Kuzyk

Copyright 2016 by Andrew Kuzyk 

 

Young hand holding old hand.

The Day I Met God

 A little boy recently wanted desperately to meet God. He knew it was a very long journey to where God lived, so he carefully packed his little red suitcase with snacks, a six-pack of Soda and he started on his long journey. He could not help but wonder what color God's beautiful eyes would be? Brown, maybe ocean blue or marble green?

When he had traveled about three blocks or so, he happened upon an old woman in the park. She was sitting on a park bench quietly feeding some nearby pigeons. The little boy sat down next to her on the bench and carefully opened his red suitcase. He was about to take bite from his snack when he noticed that the old lady looked hungry, so he offered her a snack. She great fully accepted it and smiled at him. Her smile was so pretty that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered her a soda. Once again she smiled at him. The boy was truly delighted!

The two of them sat there all afternoon eating snacks and smiling, but they never said a word to each other.

As it grew darker, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave, but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old woman and gave her a warm embrace. She gave him her biggest smile ever. When the little boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the surprised look upon his face.

She asked him, "Honey, What did you do today that made you so happy?"

He quickly replied, "Mom, I had snacks with God today in the park." Before his mother could respond back, he added, "You know what Mom? She's got the most beautiful smile I've ever seen!" 

Meanwhile, the old woman, also radiant with joy, returned to her home. Her son was stunned by the look of complete peace on her face and he asked her, "So mother, what exactly did you do today that made you so happy?" She then replied, "Well, I ate a snack and shared a soda in the park with God." But before her son could respond back to her amazing experience, she added, "You know what?, He's much younger than I expected"


Will American Voters Take Trump Seriously In November?

We are blindly driving down this dead end road of a man, who quite frankly isn't fit to be president in shear terms of the basic abilities and mindset to accomplish the task. It's not simply that it could be a person that Hilary Clinton could destroy electorally, but imagine if Hillary slips on a banana peel and this radical thinking individual actually were to become president?

There it is: The only thing worse than electing Hillary Clinton president is the possibility of not electing Hillary Clinton president of the free World. As if to prove this point, Donald Trump staged a 95 minute meltdown apparently brought about by the incredible strain of making four campaign apprearances in four days. Trump said he would "bomb the s---" out of areas controlled by the Islamic State...He accused Hillary Clinton of "playing the woman's card", and stated Marco Rubio is "weak like a baby."

Trump signed a book for an audience member and then proceeded to throw it off the stage. He spent more than 10 minutes vehemently attacking his chief rival, Ben Carson, calling him "pathologically damaged" at one point. All but vanished was the candidate's recent bout of composure and self control out on the campaign trail. An hour and 20 minutes into his speech, people who were standing enthusiastically on the risers behind Mr. Trump sat down. The applause came less and less as Trump speared Carson with deeply personal language, a complete sense of discomfort seemed to settle in on the crowd of 1,500 or so.

Many people visibly shook their heads with angst or whispered to the people sitting beside them. Ben Carson wrote in his autobiography as a young man, he tried to stab a friend...only the blade was stopped by the friend's belt buckle. Trump said he absolutely doesn't believe Carson is telling the truth and further questioned how a mere belt buckle could stop a knife blade. He stepped away for a moment from the podium and acted out how he interpreted such a violent attack would occur, with his own belt buckle flopping around him.

Despite all this, Ben Carson did quite well in the polls, Trump stated in disbelief. "How stupid are people?" Trump said. "How stupid are the people of this country to believe this "crap?" I recall many people wondering just how Donald Trump would handle things if the time came when he began slipping in the polls. I do believe we have our answer folks. It is simply way too much for his super sized ego to process, and the self discipline he has shown is utterly shattered. It is difficult to imagine how Trump would act if he ever had a genuinely stressful job, like, um, you know?

For months now, all the other candidates have been simply shaking their heads and grumbling, "I'm actually losing to this guy?" Perhaps now Donald Trump knows just how they feel. You really can't blame them for that. Trailing Trump is quite enough to force anyone to doubt their own personal sanity.

Are Women Are Losing The Diabetes Fight?

The world's women are badly losing the battle against diabetes as the number of people estimated to be living with the disease has now soared to a new record of 382 million this year, medical experts said on Friday. The vast majority have type 2 diabetes, the type linked to obesity and lack of exercise. The diabetes epidemic is spreading rapidly as more people in the developing world adopt more Western, urban lifestyles.

The very latest estimates from the International Diabetes Federation are equivalent to a global prevalence rate of 8.4 percent of the total adult population and compares to 371 million cases in 2012. By 2035, the organization predicts the number of diabetes cases will have soared by 55 percent to 592 million cases.

"The battle to protect the population from diabetes and its disabling, life-threatening complications is simply being lost," the federation said in the sixth edition of it's Diabetes Atlas, noting that related deaths from the disease are cumulative to 5.2 million a year or 1 every sixty seconds. Individuals who suffer with diabetes have inadequate blood sugar controls, which can easily lead to a wide range of serious medical complications, including severe damage to the eyes, kidneys and heart. If left untreated, diabetes can easily result in premature death.

"Year after year, the statistics seem to be getting worse," said Dr. David Whiting, an epidemiologist and public health authority at the federation. "All around the entire world we are seeing increasing numbers of people developing diabetes." He indicated that a strategy involving all segments of our society is required to vastly improve the diets and promote healthier lifestyles in all countries.

The federation now calculates diabetes already accounts for annual healthcare expenditures exceeding $548 billion and this number is likely to rise to 627 billion by the year 2035.

Disturbingly, an estimated 175 million of diabetes cases are as of yet undiagnosed, therefore an incredible number of people are progressing towards diabetes complications that they are completely unaware of. Most of these individuals live in low and middle income countries with far less access to medical care than in the United States, Canada and Europe. The country with the most diabetic cases overall is China, where the heavy case load is expected to rise to 142.7 million cases in 2035 up from 98.4 million at the present time.

The highest prevalence of diabetes rates are found in the Western Pacific, where more than a third of adults in Tokelau, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands are already suffering from the disease. The Pharmaceutical industry has developed a wide range of medicines over the decades to counter diabetes, however many diabetic patients still struggle to control their blood sugar levels adequately, leading to a continued search for improved treatment.

Tickling Can Actually Improve Your Health

Laughter is truly the best form of medicine, right? Now, it appears, tickling actually helps to relieve pain, according to a new Swedish study: "Basically the signals that tell the brain that we are being stroked on the skin have their own direct route to the brain, and are not blocked even if the brain is recieving pain impulses from the same area. In fact it's more the opposite, that the stroking impulses are able to deaden the pain impulses,"says Line Loken, postgraduate student in neurophysiology at the Sahlgrenska Academy. It now seems that humans are hard wired for tickling.

Pain signals cannot block skin impulses of someone stroking our skin. Tickling overcomes pain - it deadens the pain stimuli. Inquiring minds should that being slowly tickled, touched or strokes activates specialized nerve fibers in our skin. Pleasurable feelings are produces by our brain by these nerve fibers called CT nerves (C-Tactile). The longer and greater the frequency of stroking (tickling) - the greater the physical and mental pleasure response. But you cannot self-tickle, the sensations (emotions) must be created by another. Our brain prevents us from tickling ourselves. Why? The human brain can distinguish between expected and unexpected sensations.

Tickling is 90% triggered by unexpected sensations. Your brain knows (somatosensory cortex) who is doing the tickling - you or a stranger? An example of an expected body sensation is feeling (pressure) of your fingertips while typing on the computer keyboard. Unexpected is a stranger tickling your foot with a feather. The affect of tickling, according to Alan Hirsch, M.D. lasts up to 12 hours.

There are many scientifically proven benefits of smiling, tickling and laughter as blood circulation produces up to 12% more oxygen and glucose (energy) for body and mind when you smile or laugh often. Speed of brain functions: up to 15% higher for optimal cognition. When tickled blood pressure is lowered up to 10% based on how many smiles and duration of our daily laughing. Physical and mental pain is reduced up to 50% and your healing rate increases by a surge of Endorphins.

Well, some interesting spas are taking that saying to a new level of experience with the opening of tickling spas, the first opening in the country of Spain. CosquilleArte, which recently opened in Madrid, now offers half-hour and hour tickling sessions for $35 and $45 respspectively in its treatment rooms, where clients can lie down on a comfy massage table...and be tickled. The name of this particular spa, CosquilleArte can be translated to "tickle yourself" or "tickle art" Time.com stated.

"My dad used to tickle me to get me to go to sleep, so it's always relaxed me," owner Isabel Aires, who helped develope the tickling treatment with two trained massage therapists. "One day I just thought, why can't I pay someone to do this, in the same way as I pay for a relaxing massage?" "There is no school for tickling", she said. "We simply had to invent it ourselves." With an environment much like many other day spas, the treatment takes place in a darkened room, with soothing music playing and a hint of incense in the air, Time's Lisa Abend reports.

The client lies down lightly draped with a warm, soothing towel and then the sensual tickling, first with fingertips drawn along the relaxed body, then a delicate feather and so the tickle massage begins. "We use a variety of strokes, therapist Lourdes Nieto told Time.com "If someone is extra ticklish, we may press firmer. The idea is to completely relax them, not to stress them out in any way." Abend, while extremely ticklish, confirmed that the treatment was in fact very relaxing and reported that everybody seems to leave happy and hooked on tickling.

Writing this article led me to think, as I have a hundred times before, how much the physical touch can give comfort: the delicate stroking a mother gives to her child, the gentle rub on the back of someone who is grieving. Touch has great value, it communicates so much; it makes us all feel good, when done properly of course. Our human bodies respond to it. I don't know how widely known this is, but from those who have experienced tickling as relaxation, have learned the trick that, if your partner is having problems with reaction to physical pain, light stroking or tickling, especially along the midline of the body, can help immensely.

Tickling stimulates the hypothalamus, which is part of the human brain that controls our body temperature, hunger and sensual behavior. Many people therefore find being tickled and touched a sexual turn-on. If both parties are game then tickle away. Using a sleep mask or blindfold can actually enhance the sensations of touching and double the pleasure enjoyed. The soles of the foot contain concentrated bundles of nerve endings, over 200,000, which make the feet very sensitive and receptive to foot rubs or tickle rubs.

I have personally observed this to be true for myself and others I have touched. Most everyone is ticklish in some way, whether all over or just in a small "tickle spot". One doesn't have to usually have to look far to find a spot on most people. Tickling and caressing cause many reactions making most of us laugh, smile or feel physical pleasure. Some people like tickling for the way it creates bonding and brings us together, while many others enjoy it in more intimate settings. Whether you are being intimate or simply being relaxed, tickling can certainly reduce you to a more relaxed and or enlightened mood. Non-consensual tickling should never be administered on any individual.

Newborns Hooked On Heroin

The number of babies born dependent upon drugs is skyrocketing amid what physicians are labeling an American opioid epidemic.

The number of drug-dependent newborns rose 500% between 2003 and 2013, Reuters reports. In the state of Maine, which finds itself at the center of the heroin epidemic - nearly 1,000 infants have been born with a drug dependency in 2015. "It is a crisis. It is an epidemic," Dr. Lauren Jansson of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine told Reuters. "The opioid crisis in this country is continuing to expand exponentially, and we're seeing more and more of these infants."

Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a group of problems that occur in a newborn who was exposed to addictive opiate drugs while in the mother's womb. Neonatal abstinence syndrome occurs because a pregnant woman takes opiate or narcotic drugs such as heroin, codeine, oxycodone (OxyContin) methadone or buprenorphine. These and other substances pass through the placenta that connects the baby to its mother in the womb. The baby becomes addicted along with the mother.

At birth, the baby is still dependent on the drug. Because the baby is no longer getting the drug after birth, symptoms of withdrawal may occur. Symptoms often begin within 1-3 days after birth, but may take up to a week to appear. Diarrhea, fever, irritability, seizures, slow weight gain, vomitting and sleep problems are just a few possible symptoms of (NAS). A newborn in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Tufts Medical Center in Boston was given morphine to ease his withdrawals. He was in the hospital for three weeks. The jerking movements this baby boy had were symptoms of opiate addiction.

His 32-year-old mother asked not to be identified. "I felt guilty, and I felt bad, because I felt like, that it was my fault," she told CBS News. "Because of my drug use." "When you look at these babies it can break your heart, because they are very, very irritable, inconsolable, they are crying, they have tremors," said Chief of Newborn Medicine at Tufts, Dr. Jonathan Davis. Davis said this problem is growing incredibly fast. "The average cost of a baby who goes through withdrawal is approximately $53,000 in the United States compared to only a thousand or two with a normal newborn," he said.

Every 25 minutes, 1 baby is born suffering from opiate withdrawal. Doctors are just beginning to study the long-term effects of babies born as addicts.



Man Fights To Keep World's Only Pizza & Cookie-Eating Pet Gator

COCONUT GROVE, Fla. While most of us would be absolutely terrified at the sight of a huge alligator lurking around, one Florida man is battling local authorizes simply to keep one at home. David Van Buren is requesting Florida wildlife officials to permit him to keep his 50 year old, cookie-pizza eating, pet male alligator in his possession.

Although extremely rare, this is by no means the first time he has had to plead to state authorities to keep his pet alligator. Fox News had previously reported the state took the 13-foot gator (named Gwendolyn) because they told Van Buren it was simply too large to roam in his Coconut Grove garden.

Van Buren has raised the huge reptile for most of his life, since he was only 9 years old. He even took his pet to college with him! Van Buren simply wants to live peacefully, feeding Gwendolyn the alligator his beloved cookies and pizza. Obviously, this isn't your typical swamp-dwelling alligator here.

In order for Gwendolyn to continue swimming in his backyard pool, Van Buren will have to make some changes to his property, according to the local wildlife officials. The continuing courtroom battle made headlines around the country.

Van Buren said Gwendolyn is healthy and unable to escape his confines. He said he'll take any measures necessary to keep his beloved pet alligator. Local fish and wildlife officials stated the best outcome for Gwendolyn is to actually stay with David, because the alligator is so used to living with him.

OBESITY: THE WAR IS ON

Obesity is a disease, however the U.S. health care system does not treat it like one, say physicians who regularly treat obesity. From a public health standpoint, the lack of a consistent clinical strategy for treating weight gain means coverage for obesity isn't imminent. Public policy must be established first.

My wife is obese due to heart desease, severe asthma, and the fact that both her knees must be surgically replaced. Due to lack of health insurance, nobody will even see her. Medical insurance coverage for folks with her pre- existing medical conditions is rediculously high. She is disabled and has no income. This is a woman who used to walk 5 miles a day and go to the gym 3 times a week.

Most successful treatment of overweight and obesity is akin to tackling a severe chronic illness. It requires som

A detailed study presented at Obesity Week, a collective meeting of such healthcare professionals, interviewed more than 10,000 people about their insurance coverage and employer support for obesity related services and discovered:

* 85% are not covered for obesity related drugs.

* 78% are not covered for physical weight management programs implemented by medical professionals.

* 77% are not covered for obesity surgeries.

* 73% are not covered for treatment by a registered dietician.

Insurance coverage for obesity treatment was a bit more common among those (17%) who indicated their employer sponsored wellness programs with incentives based upon weight and or body mass index. However, even among those individuals, more than two thirds had no coverage for medicine or surgery, the survey uncovered.

The survey was administered by Theodore Kyle of ConscienHealth. Mr. Kyle chairs an advocacy committee for the Obesity Society, a group presenting the healthcare professionals that treat obesity.


THE ZIKA VIRUS IS HERE

Buckle your seat belts because the dreaded Zika virus has arrived here in the U.S.! Local mosquitoes in Florida are now carrying and transmitting the virus to humans. Although the number of cases is small at the moment, the Zika virus tends to spread very quickly. In announcing this alarming discovery during a media press conference Friday morning, Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, added a stern warning: "This is not just a Florida issue. It's a national issue -- we just happen to be at the forefront."

All of the Zika cases are located in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, and the Florida Department of Health confirmed the active spread of this dangerous virus may be occurring in one specific area of Miami.

The virus is linked to microcephalic and other serious birth defects. Zika spreads to humans primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus), however it can also be spread during sex by an infected person. Most people with Zika won't have any resulting symptoms, but for those who do, the illness is usually mild to moderate. There is much to be concerned about here, as the widespread Zika outbreak in Puerto Rico is exploding at an alarming rate, with the number of people infected jumping by nearly nine times between February and June, according to a report released by the CDC.

State officials have been responding quickly with aggressive mosquito-control measures and a community-wide search for additional Zika cases. Because the virus has devastating consequences for a human fetus, the CDC strongly recommends that pregnant women and women considering becoming pregnant postpone travel to Zika-affected regions. Lyle Petersen, manager of the Zika response team, said the agency expects "there may be additional cases of 'homegrown' Zika in the coming weeks."

Gov. Scott said Florida officials continue to "put every resource available into fighting the spread of Zika in our state," adding that Florida has been preparing for this type of situation for months.

"We know this virus is most detrimental to expectant mothers," he stated. "If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant and live in the impacted area, I urge you to contact your OB/GYN for guidance and to receive a Zika prevention kit. I also ask every Floridian to take proper precautions by eliminating any standing water and wearing repellant." The risk of a local Zika outbreak has prompted the Food and Drug Adminisration on Wednesday to direct all blood collection centers in Miami-Dade, Broward and surrounding areas to stop accepting blood donations until the blood can be properly tested for the Zika virus. Florida already has 386 Zika cases, more than any other southern state. Of those cases, 55 involve pregnant women to date. Miami-Dade county has 99 cases, the most in the state of Florida.

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