Stop by the Friends of Sky Meadows Farmer’s Market for tasty preserved products, heirloom vegetables, eggs and more. Pick from seasonal vegetables grown in Sky Meadows’ authentic Kitchen Garden, July through September. Grab a dozen eggs from the park’s flock of Barred Plymouth Rock hens. All donations for products benefit the Friends of Sky Meadows and help fund agricultural programs at the park.
To learn more about the Friends of Sky Meadows, visit friendsofskymeadows.org.
Prolonged Grief Disorder: The Tug-of-War Over Medicalizing Mourning
Is it Time to Acknowledge PGD as a Distinct Medical Condition, or Does Doing So Medicalize a Universal Human Experience?
Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD) is a term gaining traction in mental health circles, igniting an intense debate on the boundaries of medicalizing human emotions. Classified as an enduring, intense form of mourning, PGD affects those who find it challenging to resume a regular life after a loss. But as mental health professionals weigh the pros and cons of acknowledging PGD as a distinct diagnosis, society must question whether the path to understanding our emotional complexities should be a medicalized one.
PGD is no fringe condition. Estimates suggest that between 10 and 20 percent of those grieving a loss may be wrestling with the disorder. Symptoms are heartbreaking: a continuous yearning for the deceased, a preoccupation with the lost one to the exclusion of almost everything else, difficulty coming to terms with the loss, and an overwhelming sense of purposelessness.
The crux of the controversy is whether grief, a universally experienced emotion, should be classified as a disorder. Skeptics argue that doing so medicalizes a fundamentally human experience, one often necessary for emotional growth. “It’s like saying sadness or happiness could be conditions needing treatment,” notes Dr. Alice Thompson, a psychologist skeptical of the PGD diagnosis. Critics worry that if we label grief as a disorder, we risk pathologizing the natural, albeit painful, adaptive process.
On the flip side, advocates for recognizing PGD argue that it is a unique form of suffering necessitating specialized care. By acknowledging it as a distinct condition, clinicians can tailor specific therapeutic interventions. “We’re not trying to pathologize grief,” says Dr. John Williams, a proponent of PGD recognition. “We’re trying to identify when grief becomes so persistent and debilitating that it interferes with daily life.”
Tipping the scale in favor of its inclusion, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) introduced Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder (PCBD) in March 2022. The move, however, has not ended the conversation but has intensified the discourse among professionals. While some see the inclusion as a win for patient-centered care, others view it as a Pandora’s box, setting a precedent for medicalizing a wide array of human experiences.
The debate over PGD exemplifies a broader discussion in the healthcare industry: Where do we draw the line in medicalizing human emotions and experiences? While the recognition of PGD or PCBD in official medical manuals may provide solace and tailored treatments to some, it also prompts serious ethical questions about the potential for over-medicalization in mental health. Regardless of where one stands, the dialogue around PGD serves as a pressing reminder that as science advances, so too must our ethical considerations.
The Mystery of Sudden Hearing Loss: Causes and Solutions
Transient Hearing Woes: Often a Simple Cause and Remedy.
Imagine waking up one day and discovering that you can’t hear anything from one ear. While sudden hearing loss may evoke anxiety, understanding its common causes and treatments can be reassuring. More often than not, the culprit is something simple and treatable.
Loud music and noisy machinery have always been stigmatized as potential threats to our auditory health. However, when it comes to an abrupt loss of hearing in one ear, other factors come into play.
The primary offender? Earwax. Although it’s a natural and essential part of our body, excessive ear wax can seal off the ear canal, leading to pronounced hearing loss. A quick visit to the doctor can resolve this. Doctors at the renowned Mayo Clinic emphasize the importance of disclosing any prior ear surgeries or eardrum complications, as this can influence the cleaning method employed.
Another potential cause is the malfunction of bones in the middle ear. These bones might become immobilized or disjointed due to infections, diseases, or even a sharp blow to the head. These tiny bones play a crucial role in transmitting sound vibrations. When they aren’t functioning properly, hearing can be affected. However, an otolaryngologist, a doctor specializing in ear disorders, can typically address these issues.
Furthermore, a rapid buildup of fluid in the middle ear is a prevalent cause of sudden hearing loss. Such accumulation can be triggered by changes in atmospheric pressure or a lingering cold, affecting the eustachian tubes, which are responsible for equalizing air pressure in the middle ears. A malfunction in these tubes might lead to fluid retention, inhibiting sound transmission. If you suspect this is the issue, a doctor’s appointment is essential.
In rarer cases where no apparent cause can be discerned, the reason might be a viral infection. In such scenarios, healthcare professionals may prescribe steroids to expedite the recovery process.
Sudden hearing loss, while alarming, is often rooted in straightforward causes that can be quickly addressed with the right medical intervention. It’s essential to remain vigilant about any changes in one’s hearing and promptly consult a healthcare professional when concerns arise. With timely care and understanding, hearing can be restored and worries alleviated.
The Versatile Frontier of Mesotherapy: More than Just Skin Deep
From Aesthetic Corrections to Pain Management: Unpacking the Medical Marvels of Mesotherapy.
In the world of aesthetics and corrective medical procedures, mesotherapy is fast becoming a household term. Originally pioneered in France in the 1950s, the technique involves injecting small amounts of medication directly beneath the skin. But mesotherapy’s application extends beyond mere cosmetic corrections; its potential for treating a range of medical conditions is continually expanding.
For those pondering a mesotherapy treatment, the process is relatively straightforward and usually requires no special preparation. During the session, a medical professional will inject small quantities of a specific substance—be it hyaluronic acid, vitamins, or enzymes—directly under the skin using either a fine needle or a specially designed injection gun.
Dr. Jennifer Williams, a board-certified dermatologist at ReNew Aesthetics Clinic, likens the sensation to “tiny insect bites” but assures that the discomfort is minimal. The length of each session varies, depending on the number of injections needed. One of the major selling points of mesotherapy is the quick recovery time, often allowing patients to resume their normal activities almost immediately.
Mesotherapy’s most publicized use is undoubtedly in the realm of skincare, where it promises to minimize signs of aging and even eliminate cellulite. However, the versatility of this technique extends to a wide array of treatments. Dr. Samuel Lerner, a renowned orthopedic surgeon, has employed mesotherapy in managing osteoarthritis and sprains, emphasizing the treatment’s capacity for targeted delivery of medication.
Furthermore, mesotherapy has shown promise in treating tinnitus, venous insufficiency, and even hair loss. Dr. Emily Foster, an audiologist at ClearSound Clinic, states, “The localized treatment of mesotherapy makes it a compelling option for tinnitus patients who have found little relief from other treatments.”
As with any medical procedure, selecting a qualified clinic is crucial. Most reputable medical aesthetic clinics offer consultations for prospective mesotherapy patients to assess the treatment’s suitability for their specific conditions. This preliminary appointment can also help allay any apprehensions and clarify what results to expect.
Whether you are looking to rejuvenate your skin, combat hair loss, or seek relief from chronic pain, mesotherapy offers a minimally invasive solution. Its growing range of applications could mark it as one of the most versatile medical techniques in modern medicine. The beauty of mesotherapy lies not just in its cosmetic applications but in its broader medical possibilities, positioning it as a treatment worth considering for multiple ailments.
Blue Ridge Wildlife Center Patient of the Week: Mourning Dove
How is a juvenile dove different from other songbirds?
Last week, this little one was the unfortunate victim of a cat attack. Upon admission, this patient was having trouble breathing and multiple puncture wounds were found over the hips. They were in otherwise good condition and well hydrated—signs mom was taking great care of them prior to the attack.
Mourning Doves grow incredibly quickly, which is why renesting a healthy fledgling with their parents is so important when possible—they’re learning a lot and ready to be on their own within just a few short weeks.
This baby will have to grow up under human care due to the extent of their injuries. There are many babies of various species everywhere still, unable to fully fly or run, and are at great risk of predation in general. This is one of many important reasons that cats should be kept indoors.
Mourning Doves are not like other songbirds we often receive. They are in the family Columbiformes, which only includes pigeons and dove species.
They’re characterized by short, stocky bodies and the presence of a crop, which is a muscular pouch off of the esophagus that holds seeds, allowing them to digest slowly.
They also have a gizzard (“second stomach”) that helps grind up these hard seeds, with the assistance of small rocks (“grit”) stored in the organ.
Because this species almost exclusively eats seeds, babies are fed something called crop milk which is produced in the lining of adults’ crops and is regurgitated into the crops of babies.
In rehabilitative care, nestling doves are fed a slurry that mimics the nutritional composition of crop milk until they are ready for seeds.
Thankfully, after just one week, this dove has grown quickly and figured out how to use our “seed tube” to feed itself, allowing us to be more hands-off, which is always the goal in rehabilitation! (Click here to see it in action!)
We expect this bird to be ready for outdoor conditioning in another week or two and released shortly after that.
Looking for an easy way to help native wildlife? Become a monthly BRWC donor! For as little as $5/month, you can provide year-round, sustainable support that helps us fulfill our mission.
UPDATE: McDonald Trial Conclusion — So Close and Yet a Month Away
(UPDATE: According to the 10th Western District of Virginia federal website, Judge Elizabeth K. Dillon has set aside the week of Monday, October 23, through Friday, October 27, for the criminal trial of former FR-WC EDA Executive Director Jennifer McDonald to resume and run to conclusion. As reported below, involved attorney expectations are that the trial could be turned over to the jury for deliberations on the 34 criminal indictments the defendant faces within two to three days once the trial resumes. The prosecution will call its 57th and final witness when the trial is reconvened. The defense is then anticipated to only call one or two witnesses before resting and heading the trial into closing arguments.)
After a second week (Sept. 19 to 22) and an additional day, Monday, September 25, lost to the “unexpected health issue” or “unexpected circumstance” referenced at a motions hearing last week, the federal criminal prosecution of former Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Director Jennifer McDonald was again put on hold on Tuesday, September 26. And with the defendant again the only principal absent at the defense or prosecution tables, and no court official and none of the 15 jurors and alternates missing, the smart money “in Vegas” or at Charles Town’s Hollywood Casino is on McDonald as the focal point of that unexpected “health issue” or “circumstance.” In fact, it might be recalled that in the wake of one of her arrests, while her prosecution was initially at the state level, McDonald had to be transported from jail to a hospital for medical care, believed to be heart rate or blood pressure related.
In fact, during an 8:30 a.m. motions hearing, defense counsel forwarded a motion for a mistrial due to the repeated delays and uncertainty on a time frame moving forward at trial. Lead prosecuting attorney Sean Welsh countered the mistrial argument, citing case histories and circumstances of longer delays in which mistrial motions were denied. Welsh also told the court he didn’t feel the defense had “proved anything beyond speculation” to justify a mistrial, including any “cumulative” negative impact on jurors from delays.
After the hearing was closed to the media or the public several times to let personal variables of involved parties not be made public, Judge Elizabeth K. Dillon posed the alternative of “briefly suspending the trial” and resuming it as an alternative to a mistrial. Dillon said she would take the defense mistrial motion “under advisement.” However, the effort to pin down a coming week in which to continue the trial, which appears to currently be delayed for an unknown amount of time, seemed to indicate the judge preferred the alternative to declare a mistrial.
Prosecutor Welsh pointed out how close the trial likely is to being completed and handed over to the jury for deliberation. He noted the prosecution team had called 56 witnesses to the stand, with just one remaining to be called. He forecast that it now seemed the defense would call only one witness, with closing arguments possibly coming within two days. The defense witness list has been cited at two, with a third potentially to be added. The defendant is not anticipated to take the stand.
The initial motions hearing convened at 8:30 a.m. was recessed at 9:34 a.m. until 11 a.m. when the jury was instructed to report to court Tuesday. Reconvened at 11 a.m., the hearing was again closed for a time as the court queried jurors on their prospective plans for the coming weeks under consideration for restarting the trial without the current day-to-day uncertainty it would proceed. A time frame of two to six weeks was cited for reconvening the trial if a decision to suspend was reached. However, the prosecution wondered if additional relevant information might not be helpful in pinning down how soon a restart might be feasible. When Welsh proposed such input, possibly by subpoena, as early as the following day, Judge Dillon called that scenario “highly unlikely.” The court adjourned at 11:30 a.m. with no clear path forward apparent.
So, a decision on how this trial will proceed and when, and possibly even if it will proceed, is currently on hold pending additional information to be received by the court. And apparently, as noted in the above “Update” that information was received late Tuesday afternoon, September 26, with the trial now poised to resume on Monday, October 23, at 8:30 a.m.
As previously reported, after inheriting the case from two state prosecutors’ offices on August 25, 2021, a federal grand jury handed down 34 federal criminal indictments on a variety of charges, including bank fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and aggravated identity theft against the former FR-WC EDA executive director.
Forum Reaction: Real Issues Plaguing our Community, Part 1
While I was unable to attend the Chamber of Commerce’s sponsored candidate forum due to travel issues, I was hoping to catch a glimmer of hope in the recorded session, watching the candidates read their prepared speeches without offering any potential solutions to the problems, both perceived and real. For this installment of the Real Issues Plaguing Our Community, I want to focus on Shenandoah District Candidate for Board of Supervisors John Stanmeyer.
Being relatively fresh off the Board of the “re-constituted” EDA, I am astonished that Stanmeyer, or any other candidate for that matter, is campaigning under the guise of “ensuring that EDA-like fraud never happens again.” Well, I hate to tell Candidate Stanmeyer that he missed that ship years ago, and statements like this are no better than the typical campaign rhetoric of “wanting to improve County-Town relations” that candidates use as a crutch when they have no other platform or offer of solutions to the immediate issues.
If Stanmeyer is serious about his candidacy, I would like to know his solution to how he is going to address the $20-million-dollar deficit that both the county and town governments are morally obligated to because of the co-overseen fraudulent activity. There is no shortage of understanding that the EDA’s liabilities far outweigh the value of any assets it possesses. But how are you going to bridge the political divide, navigate the legal intricacies, and bring these issues to closure? There is a high probability that this deficit will land on the backs of the taxpayers, both town and county. How is this going to be reconciled? This is a real issue plaguing our community.
As you are an economist by education, I would love to understand your calculus on the matter.
Gregory A. Harold
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