1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Money (There's the Rub): Florida's PIP Reform Drives Away Massage Therapy and Other CAM?

Word is out. Change is afoot for massage therapy in Florida. One has to wonder who or what, besides Governor Rick Scott, is the force behind PIP reform in Florida, that may be driving massage and other CAM (complementary alternative medicine) therapies right off the road and out of town. In an effort to curb fraud, lawmakers in Florida recently passed legislation that puts the brakes on a law instituted in 1972 to protect people injured in automobile accidents. That law was a good idea at the time, helping people who might not otherwise have access to health insurance, but let's be realistic. A lot of stuff has happened in the last 40 years, and not all of it has been good.

Granted, there has been a feeding frenzy in the lawyer-infested waters of insurance claims, but let's not throw the baby out with the bath water. There's nothing wrong with trying to reform legislation in order to prevent unlawful activity. It's not right, though, to potentially stigmatize massage therapy any more than it already is. Licensed practitioners in Florida and elsewhere have worked diligently for many years to overcome certain preconceived notions about the profession. Thanks to movies like At First Sight, people tend to get the wrong idea with regard to therapists' ethics and integrity. Please understand, licensed massage therapists (not masseurs and masseuses, thank you very much) are not looking for love in all the wrong places when they lay their hands on you--at least the ones I know aren't.

Now that the PIP reform legislation has passed, this therapist wonders what the future holds for massage therapy and other types of CAM, which are still paddling along outside of the medical mainstream. My daughter, also a licensed therapist, works for a clinic that provides massage therapy and other treatments for people injured in automobile accidents. She has told me that many of the patients she encounters have never had massage therapy before their visit to the clinic. They can't afford to go to a spa, and if they have health insurance at all, it normally doesn't pay for massage. Why doesn't it? Massage therapy has a proven track record for helping the body heal (click this link to the Touch Research Institute's website). And not suprisingly, more hospitals than ever before are recognizing the benefits of CAM, not only for the patients but also for the bottom line.

As Hamlet might say, there's the rub. Money is once again at the root of it--the initial PIP, the push for reform, and the ultimate change in policy. It seems that the medical mainstream wants to get its hands back in the pie. Yes, hospitals used to offer massage on a regular basis once upon a time. It was a routine part of nursing care. I'm not sure why it went away. Was the pharmaceutical industry to blame? Or did too many Hollywood movies cast it in a bad light? Whatever the reason, word needs to get out about the many benefits of massage therapy, and I'm not referring to the ones related to money. So, here goes... Word.

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Tile Tale: I'm Not Grout-chy!

On Monday, while driving to our new-old home, I was listening to a radio program about negativity in social media. Some communications professor was touting his latest book, of course. It reveals how users of social networking sites like Facebook or Blogger are losing the ability or willingness to be forthright or honest with other people. We don't want to offend or drive people away, i.e., lose followers. They might think we're ranting or grumpy if we say something negative about someone or something. But what if it helps someone else avoid making a mistake? Here's a tile tale. You decide if it's a rant or something helpful:

Last week, SAM and I came home (yes, we're back in our own home--for good, I hope) to bring some stuff we didn't want the movers to handle: paintings, mirrors, glass tops for tables, SAM's fragile minerals, my German china... We park the stuff at the house and head to Pensacola for another item on our to-do list: new floor coverings. Our first stop is a dead-end. Lumber Liquidators (SAM is so tired he keeps calling them Liquid Lumberdators) has moved its location but has neglected to relay that information on its website. Okay, so we head to Davis Highway, apparently the hotspot (I want to say Mecca but don't want to offend:) for floor coverings. We find Liquid Lumberdators right across the parking lot from another flooring outlet. The one salesperson on duty has five or six customers clamoring for service so we go across the parking lot to the other place. A nice young man there spends about an hour showing us the many options we have to choose from: tile, vinyl, carpet, or wood? We narrow it down to tile and carpet, and he gives us a reasonable estimate. Still, there's one more place we want to visit. American Carpets. "Open 8 to 8 so don't be late." I don't know how many times I've been annoyed by that TV commercial. It is 6:30, though, and the nice young man is probably wanting to go home for supper. We haven't seen anything we're just wild about in his showroom. Can we get back with you?

A few blocks north on Davis Highway, and the lights are still on at Amercian Carpets. It's true! They really are open 'til 8. We wander around the showroom, and SAM finds the tile. It's Italian porcelain, and it's beautiful, I must admit. Now we're in business. Another estimate, somewhat higher than the other one, but we're all about that Italian tile now. We find some carpet to match it that will go in the bedrooms, and get down to the nitty-gritty of making arrangements for installation. We tell the salesman we're on a tight schedule. Can we get this done by Monday, March 5? He steps aside to confer with his boss, and yes, it can be done! We pay the deposit and sign the agreement. Before we leave, the salesman warns us that there will be a bit of a mess to clean up. How big of a bit? Some dust on the walls and cabinets. Okay, I can handle that. Thursday afternoon, he calls to say there will another $200 added to the bill for fixing some cracks in the concrete floor before the tile is installed. Okay, do it. We can't have cracks, now, can we? Fast forward to Monday.

I'm already a nervous wreck from driving for three hours with a cat who does not like car rides. I've left SAM behind with the movers still loading up the truck. They will be unloading here bright and early Tuesday morning. I get to work with the vacuum and mop. The cat is underfoot. I have just a few hours to spare before SAM arrives with his pickup truck of more stuff to unload. While I'm mopping, I notice some air bubbles in the grout, pieces of grout missing, and chunks of dried grout stuck to the tile, the wall, the cabinets. The quarter-round trim looks uneven. There are places where it should be, and it's missing. Dust is everywhere. I finally give up cleaning when SAM arrives. What's the point? The movers will be here in the morning, and there will be more of a mess then.

Tuesday morning, and the movers are here as promised. What a great crew! Nothing is broken, and they are so patient with me while I try to decide where I want certain pieces of furniture. All of the boxes go in the living room, please. One of our neighbors stops by to welcome us back and admire the new tile. Are they planning to come back and seal the grout? What? You mean it still has to be sealed? A quick call to our salesman confirms it. But we have all of our stuff here now. I'm whining, and SAM is not happy about the prospect of moving all of those boxes into the bedrooms. He's also not pleased with the holes in the grout and the crappy looking trim. Fast forward to Thursday.

The tile installer and his helper arrive late in the afternoon to inspect their handiwork and face the homeowners' wrath. No, we're not mad now. We're over that part already. Just make it right, please. Another $165 to seal the grout? Sure. We're familiar with this song-and-dance. In fact, it's so familiar I wonder if anyone else has heard it before? No? Well, have a listen and learn from our tile tale. It's really not a rant, and I'm not grout-chy. Honest! I prefer to call it Grout Chi. Thanks for the energy boost, American Carpets. I hope it won't be added to our bill.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Wind in the Garden: It's All Good, Right?

"Awake, O north wind; and come, thy south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out." Song of Solomon 4:16

Thanks to Charles H. Spurgeon's writings, among other things, I'm gradually coming to grips with this transient life. If we have to move every year or so, then so be it. I will try to find something good in it. Really, I will. After 32 years of wedded bliss with the same man, I should know by now that his intentions are honorable and unselfish. He wants what's best for all of us. I have faith in him because I have faith in Him.

I honestly don't know how people make it through each day without some kind of faith in Someone greater than themselves. What carries them through the rough spots in life? The dark valleys. The storm that blows through and destroys everything in its path.

There was a storm system yesterday that cut right through the heart of this country. We had some tense moments, wondering if friends and loved ones back in the Midwest were all right. A phone call or two, and we can be at ease, knowing that they are safe and sound. How simple it is to "reach out and touch someone," eh? Apparently, it isn't for some people. They're like "a garden locked up...a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain." For reasons unclear, you're a distant cousin to them instead of a sister. A skeleton in the closet, perhaps. Phone calls and e-mails to them remain either unanswered or not reciprocated. Blood is thicker than water? If it keeps relationships at a standstill, stagnant, not flowing, who needs it?

The tree house, this temporary place we have called "home" for the last year, will be home to some other family soon. We will miss it, the view of the spring-fed lake, the long walks up and down the scenic hills and roads surrounding it. But we will miss the people we've come to know here even more. Good neighbors and friends, all of them.

Sunset, February 29, 2012, on Lake Tallavana