The “AND THEN CAME TANGO” fundraiser hosted at The Painted Table on Feb. 27 and 28, 2015, which benefited the Bulldog Pride Club and Bulldog Pride Fund at Fresno State raised more than $10,000. Special thanks to The California Endowment for its generous support.The Bulldog Pride Club is the booster or fundraising club, while the Bulldog Pride Fund (BPF) is the endowed scholarship fund. The BPF was established in 2006 under the auspices of the Fresno State Alumni Association with one simple mission: “To support students at Fresno State.” By this fall, its $360,000+ endowment will have provided 41 scholarships valued at $75,000.Please “like” our BPF Facebook page – – where we’ve posted more than 25 photos in an “AND THEN CAME TANGO” photo album. Comments are welcome, too.A sincere thank you to all of the sponsors, donors and attendees for their support of and investment in our scholars. All are successfully assisting in making Fresno State students’ educational dreams become a reality.

# # #NOTE: The Theatre for Young Audiences will present two FREE performances of “AND THEN CAME TANGO” on April 11, 2015 at 10am and 2pm. Performances will take place in the Woods Theatre located in the Speech Arts Building on the Fresno State campus. Details: 559.278.2216.

Trans the MovieYou are invited! Screening of "Trans" the movie TOMORROW (March 14th) @ 6:30PM at the Community United Church of Christ (5550 N. Fresno St.). There will be a panel and Q & A discussion following the film. Snacks and concessions will be available for purchase at this event.

Below is a description of the film:

"TRANS" is an up-close and very personal journey into the transgender world through the memorable stories and the unusual lives of a remarkable cast of characters.

It begins with the story of Lt. Commander Christopher McGinn, a Navy flight surgeon selected by NASA to serve on two space missions. But, upon her discharge from the armed forces, Chris McGinn would set out upon a different mission…from which she was never to return.

Now Dr. Christine McGinn is able to tell her own amazing story, (picked up by the media on both MSNBC and the Oprah Winfrey show) and provide an entrance into a complex and dramatic world that is "TRANS."

Please R.S.V.P. on Facebook at


As the song says, "it's that most wonderful time of the year..." but if you are buying gifts for the techies in your life, it's also one of the most trying times as you decide what to buy them, how much you want and need to spend and whether or not you can afford everything they want and if not, what to do about it. That said, here are a few of our suggestions, starting off with one we'd bet you will be shocked to read: Do not buy an iPhone or any phone for a gift.

Why not? As much as we adore Apple and proudly use our iPhone 5S, the issue with anything attached to a contract (most phones) is, well, that contract. If you buy say an iPhone for someone, you will need to know if they are AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile or even have a contract existing. You also will need to sort out all the rest and you will commit them (or you if it's a family member on your "family plan") to at least two veal's with that phone. If you simply MUST buy them an iPhone, instead may I suggest an Apple gift card with the suggestion they buy a phone with it or go shopping with you the day after Christmas?

That said, there are a lot of other possible tech gifts... For one, I'd love one of the new and much lighter — since I use mine to read newspapers — iPad Air's. These shave about a third off the weight of the older iPads and they have faster processors, a lot better retina displays and more. They are, however, it needs to be said, pricy so don't plan to put one under the tree of every friend you have (unless you have a lot of spare cash, in which case please come sit next to me!) iPad Air starts at $499 for the 16 gig version, but to be brutal, I'd ask Santa for at least a 32 gig ($599) because you will just not be able to fit all your movies, TV, books, newspapers (including this one) and more on that smaller version. Trust us, we know!

If you do not need the very latest and greatest, you can get the older iPad for $399 or the mini from $299 so there is hope for the big heart but small wallet techie givers out there.

Also (and this is heresy but hey I am realistic here) while I am an Apple devotee, there are pads, tablets and their ilk from under $99. Just beware if you do buy one of the less-known (ie: off) brands for someone as a gift that none of them come with AppleCare and that a lot of the warranties are pretty much worthless if you do not know who's backing them up. Be sure that you have a back-up plan if you buy something that's lesser-known. I suggest buying from a reputable store (Best Buy, Costco, etc.) which will stand behind their product if it fails. Not that the off-brands are any less fun than an iPad, but do be aware they have fewer available apps and less computing power than an iPad. You do get what you pay for to a certain extent.

So what if your budget doesn't allow for a tablet? Well do not despair. Everything from jump drives (They can be had for under $10 these days.) to headphones (from $8 or $9 to up, up and up) are nice options. There are also hook-up cables, extra chargers and small devices which fit well into that Christmas stocking. Just be 100% sure that if you pick one of these smaller items your intended recipient has the ability to use it (ie: no pc gadgets if they are Mac or Mac items if they are pc) and that it's something they want and will use. In short, as with all gifts, hang onto the sales or gift receipt and make sure you buy from somewhere established and know their return policy.

Other ideas?

Mz. Pink,

I am a lesbian from a small town. Not only are there very few of us here who are my age, but the ones who are here aren't full-blown lesbians. That being said, my on-again-off- again girlfriend always goes back to the same guy when we break up. While she does this I sit and wait for her to come back.

I love her, but when is enough enough? I want to be with her and I give her many chances and she always comes back to me but why does she run to this guy when we break up? Why does she tell me I'm all she ever wants and needs and then leaves to go be with a boy? I'm heartbroken. I don't have any other options to run off and be with anyone else because of the size of our community and I don't know if I would, even if I had the chance. If we break up I will see her over and over almost every day so how do I do this? How do we break up and make it stick?

Small town problems.

Every day of our lives, we make assumptions. We assume that the people we encounter regularly will behave in the manner to which we are accustomed. We assume that if we take care of our cars, they will get us to where we want to go. In fact, we need to make assumptions to bring order to our world. But in some parts of our life — such as investing — assumptions can prove dangerous.
Of course not all investment-related assumptions are bad. But here are a few that, at the least, may prove to be counter-productive:

—"Real estate will always increase in value." Up until the 2008 financial crisis, which was caused, at least partially, by the "housing bubble," most people would probably have said that real estate is always a good investment. But since then, were all more painfully aware that housing prices can rise and fall. That isn't to say that real estate is always a bad investment — as a relatively small part of a diversified portfolio, it can be appropriate, depending on your goals and risk tolerance. But don't expect endless gains, with no setbacks.

—"Gold will always glitter." During periods of market volatility, investors often flee to gold, thereby driving its price up. But gold prices will fluctuate, sometimes greatly, and there are risks in all types of gold ownership, whether you're investing in actual bars of gold or gold "futures" or the stocks of gold-mining companies.

—"I can avoid all risks by sticking with CDs." It's true that Certificates of Deposit (CDs) offer a degree of preservation of principal. But they're not risk-free; their rates of return may be so low that they don't even keep up with inflation, which means you could incur purchasing-power risk. Again, having CDs in your portfolio is not a bad thing, but you'll only want to own those amounts that are suitable for your objectives.

—"The price of my investment has gone up — I must have made the right decision." This assumption could also be made in reverse — that is, you might think that, since the price of your investment has dropped, you must have made the wrong choice. This type of thinking causes investors to hold on to some investments too long, in the hopes of recapturing early gains, or selling promising investments too soon, just to "cut their losses." Don't judge investments based on short-term performance; instead, look at fundamentals and long-term potential.

—"If I need long-term care, Medicare will cover it." You may never need any type of long-term care, but if you do, be prepared for some big expenses. The national average per year for a private room in a nursing home is nearly $84,000, according to a recent survey by Genworth, a financial security company.

This cost, repeated over a period of years, could prove catastrophic to your financial security during your retirement. And, contrary to many people's assumptions, Medicare may only pay a small percentage of long-term care costs. You can help yourself by consulting with a financial professional, who can provide you with strategies designed to help cope with long-term care costs.

You can't avoid all assumptions when you're investing. But by staying away from questionable ones, you may avoid being tripped up on the road toward your financial goals.
On another topic as we get set to wrap up the year, if you've been around long-time investors, you'll probably hear them say, ruefully, "If only I had gotten in on the ground floor of such-and-such computer or social media company, I'd be rich today." That may be true — but is it really relevant to anyone anymore? Do you have to be an early investor of a spectacular company to achieve investment success?

Not really. Those early investors of the "next big thing" couldn't have fully anticipated the tremendous results enjoyed by those companies. But these investors all had one thing in common: They were ready, willing and able to look for good opportunities.

And that's what you need to do, too. Of course, you may never snag the next big thing, but that's not the point. If you're going to be a successful investor, you need to be diligent in your search for new opportunities. And these opportunities don't need to be brand-new to the financial markets — they can just be new to you.

For example, when you look at your investment portfolio, do you see the same types of investments? If you own mostly aggressive growth stocks, you have the possibility of gains — but, at the same time, you do risk taking losses, from which it may take years to recover.

On the other hand, if you're "overloaded" with certificates of deposit (CDs) and Treasury bills, you may enjoy protection of principal but at the cost of growth potential, because these investments rarely offer much in the way of returns. In fact, they may not even keep up with inflation, which means that if you own too many of them, you will face purchasing-power risk. To avoid these problems, look for opportunities to broaden your holdings beyond just one or two asset classes.
Here's another way to take advantage of opportunities: Don't take a "time out" from investing.

When markets are down, people's fears drive them to sell investments whose prices have declined — thereby immediately turning "paper" losses into real ones — rather than holding on to quality investment vehicles and waiting for the market to recover. But successful investors are often rewarded when they not only hold on to investments during declines but also increase their holdings by purchasing investments whose prices have fallen — or adding new shares to existing investments — thereby following the first rule of investing: Buy low.

When the market rises again, these investors should see the value of their new investments, or the shares of their existing ones, increase in value. (Keep in mind, though, that when investing in stocks, there are no guarantees; some stocks do lose value and may never recover.)

Instead of looking for that one great "hit" in the form of an early investment in a skyrocketing stock, you're better off by seeking good opportunities in the form of new investments that can broaden your existing portfolio or by adding additional shares, at good prices, to your existing investments.

These moves are less glitzy and glamorous than getting in on the ground floor of the next big thing - but, in the long run, they may make you look pretty smart indeed.


“We need to talk." Possibly the worst four words in the human language. No one wants to hear this brief and ominous statement, because more often than not, it’s leading to a break-up.

Everyone has suffered through at least one break-up in their lives. The reasons people part are as varied as stars in the sky — they cheat, they realize that they are unhappy, they realize a relationship is harder than they thought and they don’t want to put in the effort or they merely grow apart. No matter what the reason or who you are, it’s never easy. Sure, we lie through our smiles and say it's no big deal as we hide behind our armor, but beneath the facade of tanned muscles, expensive clothes and feigned self-confidence that make it seem like we’re living our lives like nothing has happened, the broken, splintered hearts lie bleeding.

It could be a relationship of ten weeks, ten months or ten years — the razor-sharp sting is still there. When a relationship ends there's not only the grief from losing someone who is important to you, there is also the pain of seeing all the visions of your life together disappear. Your future is suddenly empty. When two people connect, their lives become entwined. Now, seeing your life stretch ahead of you without your partner means its time to start over.

In the beginning there's the empty hope of denial as you think that maybe it isn’t really the end. Maybe you are just going through a rough patch and any minute now the phone will ring or the text will chirp and you will realize that it was nothing but a silly misunderstanding. But the phone remains silent, mocking you with its blank glass stare. So, maybe you should call or text, right? But when you do, there's no response. That’s when the empty rooms start to close in on you as you wander them like a ghost, the heavy weight of the truth pressing harder and harder on your heart.

Then, the "if only” stage starts. If only I had paid attention to the little things. If only I hadn't been afraid to show my true feelings. If only I hadn't worked so much. If only I could have one more moment, one more kiss, one more chance. But it’s too late. When the cold reality that the relationship is lost forever finally sets in, that heavy pain in your heart spreads and crashes over you like a wave, dragging you down into the darkness.

The stage that comes next is the worst. Days (weeks? months?) pass as you lay in bed staring at the ceiling or the television, seeing but not really seeing, walking through the motions of your life like a wraith until you move to the second tier of this stage. This consists of listening to the saddest songs you can find and crying uncontrollably at the lyrics that remind you of happiness past, the miserable present and the empty future. Fix You by Coldplay is a good choice. My Immortal by Evanescence is also gut wrenching. Someone Like You by Adele is practically perfect. Whatever you prefer, it seems there are more songs about breaking up and being crushed by love's cruel touch than there are songs about the giddiness of falling in love.


One of my two partners doesn't take anything unless the doctor insists. The other takes whatever he’s told and then adds all manner of what he calls "herbals” to his regimen. I fall somewhere in the middle.

Its taken awhile, but I have finally managed to get the one of us who will try most any herbal to provide the doctor with a list of his herbals — which run from Valerian Root for his problems sleeping to Cat s Claw which he says helps fight off the effects of a case of Lyme Disease he got from tick bites some years ago.

Do they work? Maybe, according to the experts. And does the doctor need to know if you or I or my partner takes these herbals? A definite yes to that because those herbals can affect your body and other prescriptions you might have to take. Some of them can even be deadly with the wrong combination of prescription and even over- the-counter drugs.

The truth is, however, that very few healthcare professionals in the United States like answering questions about natural medicine products — the proper name for what my partner calls "herbals". Chances are if you've asked your doctor about herbal products, they probably resisted answering the question and told you to ask your pharmacist. Afterall, pharmacists are supposed to be the experts about medicines, right? Problem is that most pharmacists don’t like answering questions about herbal products any more than the doctors do. Why is that? How could it be?

First off, herbal products are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). That means anyone can market, package and distribute these “medicines” and sell them to you and me supposedly to "fix" or "cure” most any ailment we have.

But wait! There's a notice on the bottles and it says right there that the FDA calls these dietary supplements, not drugs, so it’s the law, right?

Well The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) classified herbs as "dietary supplements” and not “drugs," but all that means is that the FDA is not required to regulate them. [So then why are some naturally occurring plants, like marijuana, regulated by the government? The answer is that marijuana is currently classified as an "illicit drug" and not a "dietary supplement" or a "medicinal ding,” so it is over-seen by a division of the government called the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) though even that is currently changing with several states "legalizing” pot for "medicinal use,” and others for "recreational purposes, though that’s a story for another day.].

But back to those other roots, oils and herbs... Manufacturers of herbal products can make claims about their product’s supposed safety and efficacy, but the claims don’t have to have any scientific evidence to support them (unlike claims made about drugs). The only stipulation is that manufacturers cannot claim that their herbal products diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases. For example, a company can say that their product "improves your mood” but they cannot say that it "treats depression.” Just look on most any bottle and there’s a politely worded FDA-required statement which says exactly that — that the FDA had not guaranteed or tested the product. In other words: it's the maker's word against yours and your doctor's if that herbal will treat, help or do anything positive. And it's your responsibility not to let it harm or kill you with an interaction to something your doctor did prescribe.

TransTakingChargeAbstr-250x250In the 1950s and 1960s, the United States saw a cultural shift in its approach to civil rights. African-Americans and their allies finally stood together and demanded change. The movement killed segregation, ignited debate about interracial marriage and helped pave the way for equality among races in the United States. Some argue that battle is still continuing.

In 1969, the Gay Rights movement took off after the Stonewall Riots. Forty-Five years later, same-sex couples can legally wed in 17 states (and counting) and more government agencies are granting domestic partnership benefits. But there’s a segment of society that has patiently waited in line for its turn to fight for equality. And that time could be now.

Transgender Americans are finally getting noticed. But that battle for equality could be a good decade or two behind the Gay Rights push. Has the gay community left the transgender community behind, or are the two linked communities actually separate, fighting very different battles?

Authored By David Thomas Moran – See the Full Story at Watermark


firstaidcrossAuthor’s Note:  The following information is compiled from multiple sources including:  The Mayo Clinic, the American Medical Association, the American Red Cross, and the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians.  The information included in this article is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any serious medical condition.  In the case of all emergency situations and medical conditions, it is absolutely essential to seek the advice of a licensed medical professional.  All opinions stated in the article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GayFresno, its owners, entities, affiliates, or subsidiaries.


“Put a little butter on it!”  This phrase is commonly heard in the south just after someone has burned himself on a hot pan.  It’s just one of the many “old wives’ tales” associated with first aid.   In many cases, there tends to be some truth to the tales, and in others…well, they can do more harm than good.  Over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed a good deal of “first aid” advice flying across my Facebook feed in response to a few of my more accident prone friends hurting themselves.  Some of the advice was medically sound, but most of it wasn’t on par with current first aid standards.  Please understand that I’m not saying that someone must run to the emergency room for every scrape, cut, and burn, but what I am saying is that you can hurt yourself more if you don’t know what you’re doing.  There are many things you can do at home to handle minor first aid situations.  I’d like to take the time to address someone of those instances, dispel a few myths, and give people a better understanding of how to properly handle the situation.  And now, on with the show…

One of the most common first aid situations in the U.S. revolves around minor burns.  Whether it’s from touching a hot pan or oil splatter, people seem to burn themselves quite often.  An average of 3 million people seek medical attention for burns each year, but that pales in comparison to the number of people who treat burns at home.   In a recent poll, it was determined that, over the course of a year, 78% of the population of the United States will sustain a minor burn and will not seek medical treatment for it.  There are 2 problems with this. Most people don’t know when to seek medical attention and when to handle it at home, and most people do not know how to properly treat a burn.  A minor burn (one that does not require emergency medical attention) is less than 3 inches in diameter, does not break the skin, even if it blisters, and does not involve substantial portions of the hands, feet, face, groin, buttocks, or major joints.  If the burn covers a larger area or causes the skin to crack or slough off, seek medical attention immediately.  Do NOT pop “water blisters.”  If you determine this to be a minor burn, then move on to treatment.   Some of the myths surrounding first aid treatment for burns include:  butter, vegetable oil, egg whites, vasoline, frozen peas, and ice packs.  Stop for a moment and consider what happens when you heat butter or oil?  It melts.  We fry things in it.  Does it really make sense to use that on a burn?  Egg whites?   Do you know what happens when you heat up an egg? It cooks.  Vasoline is very oily and can fall into the same category as vegetable oils and butter.  Cellular degradation occurs faster below 90 degrees, so cooling the area with ice packs or other frozen materials is not recommended.   To properly treat a minor burn, place the burned area under RUNNING, cool (NOT cold) water for 10 to 15 minutes or until the pain lessens.  If it is impractical to use running water, then immerse the burned area in cool water for the same length of time.  Once the pain has lessened, gently blot the area dry.  You may now apply an over-the-counter burn cream, such as Aquafor (similar to vasoline, but not the same) or Bacitracin, and cover it with non-stick, sterile gauze.  Don't use fluffy cotton or other lint-ridden materials. You should wrap the gauze loosely to avoid putting pressure on burned skin. Bandaging keeps air off the burn, reduces pain, and protects damaged skin.  Most people don’t have burn creams in their medicine cabinets, and if you happen to be one of those people, there is something you can do.  Always begin with the cool water treatment.  Once you get to the burn cream and bandaging step, if you don’t have the proper first aid materials, you can apply a layer of common yellow mustard to the burns that DO NOT immediately blister.  The vinegar in the mustard will reduce bacteria of the affected area, and there are some natural pain relieving properties of mustard seed.  This should be temporary though and used as a secondary option.  Use the proper materials whenever possible.

Another common injury, especially for those of us with children, is minor cuts and abrasions.  This is the most common type of minor injury.  My grandparents would swear by alcohol and a red liquid called Mercurochrome.  Those treatments burned like crazy, and quite honestly, I’d had rather just bled to death.  Then of course, there were always the “boil it out with peroxide” comments, followed by “Just let it breathe. It will heal faster.”  *BZZZZ* We’ve heard these things all of our lives, but there isn’t a lot of truth in them.  Before we get into the first aid, we need to define what a “minor cut or abrasion” is.  It’s not as clear cut as you would think.  Consult a physician for any cuts and abrasions near or on your eyes, nose, mouth, genitals, or feet (especially if you are diabetic.)  If the cut bleeds heavily, has jagged edges, gapes open, is more than ¼ inch deep, or reveals fat or muscle tissue, seek medical attention.  If you cannot adequately clean the wound (removing all dirt and debris) or the wound was caused by a rusted object, call your doctor.  Deep puncture wounds should always be looked at by a licensed medical practitioner, especially if you have not had a tetanus shot in the last 5 years.  If the wound was caused by an animal or human bite that breaks the skin or the injured area feels numb, go straight to the ER.  Now, I’m sure your thinking, “I’ve had injuries like that before, and I didn’t go to the doctor. It was just fine.”  That may be true, but that doesn’t mean it was the best course of action.  In most cases, the cut itself isn’t nearly as concerning as the related infections that can occur from improper treatment.  Nails, thorns, bites (animal or human), and cuts from household objects contain microbes (fungi, bacteria, parasites, etc.) that can cause SERIOUS and LIFE THREANTENING complications.  Don’t play with your health.  Now that we’ve established “minor,” let’s talk about those pesky myths.  Substances like alcohol, iodine, mercurochrome, and what not are painful and unnecessary.  Peroxide can actually damage healthy cells in the area of the wound, which will slow healing and could lead to other problems.  All of those chemicals are harsh and can irritate the wound.  First, flush the area with cool, running water removing as much dirt and debris as possible.  You may use a mild, anti-bacterial soap on the area as well, but be sure to rinse the area thoroughly afterwards.    Next, it’s time to stop the bleeding.  For minor cuts and abrasions, blood loss is inconsequential and is secondary to cleaning (First aid for more serious injuries with heavy bleeding is different.  For this article, we are only talking about minor issues.)  You do not want to apply pressure to minor cuts and abrasions that have not been properly cleaned, as you can cause debris (like gravel and glass) or metal shards to become further imbedded in the surrounding tissue.  A small amount of bleeding is necessary and helps to clean the wound.   Minor cuts typically will stop bleeding on their own, barring certain medical complications like hemophilia.  Small cuts to the head, hands, feet, and genitals will often bleed more than cuts to other areas of the body due to the number of blood vessels in those areas.  The face is the drama queen of the body.  It bleeds a lot.  If the bleeding does not stop on its own within a few minutes, apply gentle pressure to the CLEAN wound with a clean cloth or sterile gauze.  Hold the pressure steady.  Don’t raise the cloth or gauze to check on the wound, because that could cause the wound to start bleeding again. If blood seeps through the dressing, just put more on top and keep applying pressure.  It should stop bleeding in 2 to 3 minutes in most cases.   If the cut is on your hand or arm, you can help slow the bleeding by raising it above your head.  If it the blood spurts, go to the ER!  A squirty cut is not a happy cut.  Once the wound is clean and the blood has stopped, it’s time to cover it up.  Remove any dried blood around the wound (not on it) with a moist, clean cloth.  Don’t blow on it.  There are microbes in your breath.  Apply a thin layer of antibiotic cream (like Neosporin or Polysporin) to the area.  (Some of these can cause a rash.  If it does, remove the ointment and stop using it.)  Apply a clean, sterile bandage.  Make sure that the gauze or pad is large enough to cover the entire wound.  You don’t want adhesives sticking to the injury.  Change the bandage once per day.  Keep it covered.  Letting it “air out” can allow infections to set in.  Keeping it covered will reducing scarring, prevent infection, and allow the body to heal naturally.  Once there is no longer a risk of infection, you can stop using the bandages.  Be aware that some “pus” will occur, even without an infection.  Yellowish pus seen at the beginning stages of healing is normal and is a sign that the body is creating a scab to begin repairing the area.  Thick green pus or pus that has a strong, foul odor can be a sign of a serious infection, and you should seek advice from your doctor.  I will also add that ripping off tape or Band-Aids is NOT best.  This can reopen the wound.  Instead, rub the edge of the bandage with water to release the adhesive.  It will come off painlessly.  Most minor cuts will completely heal in 2 weeks (5 days for the face).  If a cut doesn’t scab over, becomes swollen, or does not show signs of healing in that time, you should see your doctor.

The last of the more common minor injuries are those involving muscles and joints.  We’ve all had them.  Shin splints, twisted knees, sprained ankles, jammed fingers, and stubbed toes.  There are TONS of myths surrounding these types of injuries:  everything from “COLD ONLY!!!” to “Just yank it lose” and “Keep running!”  Since these injuries involved the musculoskeletal structure, continued use of the affected limb or joints with only make it worse.  Jerking and yanking on joints is not a good idea for non-medical folk.  Broken bones should always be treated by a physician.  Don’t, for the love of all that is good, try and set a bone yourself.  You can break it worse, set it wrong, or push bone fragments into the tissue, and possibly perforate an artery.  Just don’t do it.   Let’s take a moment and define some things.  A sprain involves the ligaments of the joints that hold one end of a bone to another.  A strain involves the muscle tissue and tendons (the connective tissue that holds muscle to bone).  Twisted knees and ankles are sprains, while shin splints and pulled muscles are strains.  Believe it or not, jammed fingers and stubbed toes also fall into the category of sprains, though they are typically caused by impact injuries that compress the joints.   In the cases of sprains and strains, the average person is more concerned as to whether or not the bone is broken.  The truth is, unless it’s a compound fracture and you can see the broken bone, you really can’t tell without an X-ray.  Suspected broken bones can be determined by answering the following 3 questions.

                1.  Did you hear or feel a snap/pop in the injured area?

                2.  Are you having extreme difficulty moving the injured limb?

                3.  Does the injured part move in an unnatural way?

If you answer yes to any of those questions, GO TO THE ER.  The pain from sprains and strains can mimic the signs of a broken bone, but it’s always best to be safe.  If however, you are certain you are dealing with a minor strain or sprain, we treat them all the same way—with RICE!  Not rice like the grain though.  RICE is an acronym used for the treatment of strains and sprains: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Rest the injured area for a minimum of 24 hours.  Apply ice for 20 minutes at a time with 20 to 40 minute breaks between icings.  LIGHTLY compress it with an elastic bandage (like an ACE bandage) for a minimum of 2 days.  Elevate the injury above the level of the heart.  All of these things help to reduce swelling and pain.  You should NEVER apply heat to a sprain or strain during the first 24 hours.  Heat will cause an increase in swelling and pain.  If after the first 24 hours, the swelling is gone, but you are still experiencing discomfort, you may alternate between heat and ice for a few hours.  For impact injuries like jammed fingers and stubbed toes, it is best to wrap the finger or toe to an adjacent finger or toe to help with stability.  Don’t yank on it or try to “pop it” back into place.  It will do that on its own.  Expect bruising to occur with these types of injuries.  In the case of shin splints, DO NOT keep running.  Shin splints are caused by the muscle tearing.  If you keep running, you will only make it worse.  If you cannot stand or walk, if the pain and swelling persist longer than 48 hours, or if you lose feeling (goes numb), seek medical attention immediately.

So folks, save the butter for biscuits.  Remember to CTC! Cut the crap, and “Clean! Treat! Cover!”  Use RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.  And seek medical attention if you have any doubt about your health or injuries.

As an addendum to the article, I’d like to offer some advice on home first aid kits.  Cheap kits are available at most major stores, though they can sometimes be lacking in their overall supply.  While many of them will have bandages, gauze, ointments, and swabs, they often do not contain cold packs, syringes, elastic bandages, or anti-bacterial soap.  You can make your own first aid kits for a little more money, and tailor them to your needs.  You can make them for your vehicle and home.  Purchase a small Rubbermaid tote or Lock-Tite box from your local department store.  They come in a variety of sizes.  Fill them with items that can help you treat minor injury and store them in an easily accessible place that everyone in your family knows about.  Items to include are: elastic bandages (ACE bandages) of varying size, a variety pack of Band-Aids, Bacitracin, Neosporin, Aquafor, anti-bacterial soap, non-stick gauze rolls and pads, self-adhering medical tape, a 10 mL syringe without the needle (for flushing), a small bottle of artificial tears, saline solution, a cold pack, a small pair of scissors, tweezers, and latex gloves.  You’ll be better for it!  Be safe!


church1-250x250Conservatives have been flailing this month to recover control of their “religious liberty” talking points after the country turned on Arizona for its “license to discriminate” bill, leading up to Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto Wednesday afternoon. Groups like the Heritage Foundation, the National Organization for Marriage, the Family Research Council, the Cato Institute, and Focus on the Family all came to SB 1062's defense, arguing in various fashions that it would do nothing to promote discrimination against LGBT people. At the forefront of this media effort was the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which not only helped draft Arizona’s bill, but provides legal counsel to individuals who engage in such discrimination.

By doubling down in response to the backlash, these groups have sent a clear signal that the fight over “religious liberty” is far from over, even if Arizona proves to have been a turning point. Here’s a look at the rhetoric they’ve used over the past two weeks to suggest that “religious freedom” somehow requires the privilege to refuse service to the LGBT community — in particular, marrying same-sex couples — and why it doesn’t hold up.

What Is “Discrimination”?

At the core of this discussion is a fundamental disagreement about what “discrimination” is and what “discrimination” is not. It’s no secret that stories of bakers, florists, and photographers being punished for refusing service to marrying same-sex couples is what motivates these bills; proponents admit as much. But they don’t actually think of that refusal of service as discrimination.

Authored By Zack Ford – See the Full Story at Think Progress