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                                  DISABILITY AWARENESS
    “Now God gives us many kinds of special abilities, but it is the same Holy 
Spirit who is the source of them all. 

     There are different kinds of service to God, but it is the same Lord we 
are serving.  There are many ways in which God works in our lives, but it is 
the same God who does the work in and through all of us who are His.  The Holy 
Spirit displays God’s power through each of us as a means of helping the 
entire church.” 1 COR 12:4-7 

          How does the Holy Spirit display God’s power through you?   
     Is it that you have been given the ability to give wise advice?  Have you 
been called to teach or to heal the sick?  Are you the peacemaker?  Maybe you 
are one who can get others to work together?   
     Have you considered the gifts of the people celebrating with you at Mass? 
God’s power is readily apparent in those who lead our Masses- our priests and 
deacons share the gifts of the Holy Spirit with us through the celebration of 
Mass.  God has given a special gift to parent-teachers who volunteer to lead 
the children’s liturgy.  He has blessed some parishioners with a love and 
talent for music and they bless us through our choir.  Others share their time 
and talents by serving, lecturing, or becoming Eucharistic Ministers.  Maybe 
you've even thought about the gift of those who serve us all by cleaning or 
decorating our church.
                     What about the people in the pews?
     The Holy Spirit displays God’s power through all of us who are His. 
Can the Holy Spirit display God’s power in a boy who doesn’t have words to 
sing?  The answer to this is an obvious “Yes!” when you sit next to a certain 
young Good Shepherd parishioner during Mass.  Because of a disability, this 
young man does not share the gift of speech that so many of us take for 
granted, but that doesn’t mean his presence at Mass is any less powerful.  The 
boy draws such immense joy from the music that it resounds through his 
movements and clapping to the many people around him when the choir leads the 
way.  He teaches us that God’s power is sometimes silent or garbled. That 
makes it no less perfect. 
     In the same way, is the Holy Spirit displaying God’s power through the 
man who finds his way to the front of church even though it is necessary that 
he use a walker to move his disabled body?  Perhaps the power is in the 
miracle of having survived a childhood illness.  Maybe the power is found in 
the determination it must take to daily persevere despite the limitations his 
body sets before him.  That determination undoubtedly has a ripple effect on 
those who see this man at Mass each week.     
     There are many ways God’s power is recognized through people with and 
without disabilities.  Have you ever been inspired by the young man from our 
parish that bags groceries at a local store and always has a ready smile?  
Maybe your inspiration comes from the giggle of a certain teenage girl who 
likes to lean against her mom and dad during Mass; yes, she leans partly for 
balance, but perhaps mostly she leans because it’s a source of entertainment 
and joy for her…and others around her.   
     By celebrating Mass together, by belonging to this parish, we are all 
able to share our gifts and our disabilities. We give and we gain by becoming 
part of God’s church. 
     Look further in 1 Corinthians 12; Paul goes on to say that “our bodies 
have many parts, but the many parts make up only one body when they are all 
put together.  So it is with the body of Christ.  Each of us is a part of the 
one body of Christ.  The Holy Spirit has fitted us all together into one 
body.” (verses 12-13)  “He has made many parts for our bodies and has put each 
part just where he wants it.” (verse 18) “And some of the parts that seem 
weakest and least important are really the most necessary.”  (verse 22) 

     March is Disabilities Awareness Month in the state of Indiana.  And, 
given that adults and children with disabilities represent slightly more than 
19 percent of Indiana’s population, disability awareness is important for all 
of us.  Led by the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities, 
the goal of Disability Awareness Month is to increase awareness and promote 
independence, integration and inclusion of all people with disabilities.  
Please visit the council’s website at www.in.gov/gpcpd for more information.   

     Free Your Mind and Embrace God’s Power in Yourself and in Others 
This month, take some time to reflect on your own gifts and disabilities.  
Give some consideration to how God may be calling you to use one of your 
gifts/disabilities to reflect His power.   

                              REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1-2.
Most people think recycling is a modern concept introduced in the early 70’s.  
In reality, recycling has been around for centuries.  Even in Roman times 
bronze items were melted down for perpetual reuse.  Today when products can be 
produced and bought very cheaply, it often is more convenient to simply throw 
away the old and purchase new.  It’s this culture of “disposable” goods that 
has created a number of environmental problems.

Between 1960 and 2007 the amount of waste each person creates has almost 
doubled from 2.7 to 4.6 pounds per day.  According to the EPA (Environmental 
Protection Agency), it is estimated that 80% of American daily waste is 
recyclable, yet our recycle rate is only 28 %.  

See if you knew the following facts regarding trash and limited resource usage 
in America today.

•Americans use 2.5 MILLION plastic bottles every HOUR!!!!

•Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 
1,000,000 sea creatures a year and have formed the Great Pacific Garbage 
Patch.  This floats somewhere between San Francisco and Hawaii, is twice the 
size of Texas, 80% plastic, and weighs approximately 3.5 MILLION tons!!!

•Recycling one aluminum can will save enough energy to run a TV for 3 hours.

•Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild our entire commercial fleet 
of airplanes every three months.

•Recycling one ton (about 2,000 pounds) of paper save 17 trees, two barrels of 
oil  (enough to run the average care for 1,260 miles), and  4,100 kilowatts of 
energy (enough power for the average home for 6 months).

•Each American normally uses about 70 gallons of water each day.

•The life span for commonly discarded litter: 
	glass bottle……..appx. 1 million yrs. 
        Plastic 6 pack collar…….450 years
	Aluminum Can....200-500 years 
        Plastic Jug………………70 years
	Steel Can……….50 years   
        Degradable Plastic bag…10-20 years

                What can I do?  REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE!!!  
Living in the city limits, participate in the curb side recycle program and 
get yourself a blue container.  Outside the city limits, collect your 
recyclables and dispose of them at collection sites.  Collect aluminum cans 
and bring to Good Shepherd back parking lot.  Did you know this collection 
raises money for the school?  Remember to remove the tabs off the can and 
collect separately.  Good Shepherd collects the steel tabs and the proceeds 
are given to St. Jude’s Children Hospital.  

Together as a community WE CAN REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE and impact our world….. 
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1-2 and we 
are responsible for it!!!!!


There is a lot of talk about influenza (the flu) at this time every year as 
it is a serious,contagious disease. Each year in the United States, on 
average, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized and 36,000 people die from 
seasonal flu complications.   

                      TOP 9 THINGS TO DO ABOUT THE FLU 

1.The most important thing to do is PRACTICE GOOD BEHAVIOR! 
We must each be concerned not only about our health, but also our neighbors’ 
health.  Please use good judgment to prevent the spread of the virus.  You 
don’t know if the people you might expose have a chronic illness, are 
pregnant, or may be going home to a child with a serious health condition. 

2.Take time to GET A FLU VACCINE.
Seasonal Flu vaccination is very important for people at high risk of serious 
flu complications, including young children, pregnant women, those with 
chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart or lung disease, and 
people 65 years and older.  It is also important for health care workers and 
other people who live with or care for high risk people to prevent giving the 
flu to them. 

3.COVER YOUR NOSE AND MOUTH with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the
tissue in the trash after you use it. 

4.WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN WITH SOAP AND WATER, especially after you cough or 
sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective. 

5.AVOID TOUCHING YOUR EYES, NOSE, OR MOUTH. Germs spread this way. 


7.If you are sick with flu-like illness, the CDC RECOMMENDS THAT YOU STAY 
HOME for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, except to get medical 
care (your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing 
medicine).  Keep away from others as much as possible. These precautions are 
to keep from making others sick. 

8.Visit the CDC WEBSITE (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/) to find out what to do 
if you get sick with the flu and how to care for someone at home who is sick 
with the flu.

9.TAKE FLU ANTI-VIRAL DRUGS if your doctor prescribes them.


                            BILLIONS SPENT EVERY YEAR!!!

With the recent economic problems, we have been hearing the word “billions” 
in terms of bail-outs and bonuses received by corporate executives.  What you 
may not realize is that Americans also spend billions every year purchasing 
skin care products with the hope of erasing wrinkles, eliminating age spots, 
and treating itching, redness and flaking. The cheapest and easiest way to 
prevent these problems, and keep your skin healthy, is to avoid sun exposure. 

A sunburn or suntan is a sign that the skin has been damaged; it is not a 
sign of youth and health. Sun exposure also increases your risk of developing 
skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the United States.

There are some very simple steps to take to protect you from the harmful 
effects of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays:

~  Stay out of the sun, especially between 10AM and 4PM when rays are the 

~  Use sunscreen that is broad spectrum, water resistant and has an SPF of 15 
or higher. Apply 30 minutes before going outside. Use sunscreen during all 
seasons whether the day is sunny or cloudy.

-Apply sunscreen generously to all exposed skin. This amounts to 
approximately 1 ounce for adults. Don’t forget the ears, back of neck, and 
bald spots.

-Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and every hour if swimming or sweating.

-Some makeup includes SPF but it does not contain enough to prevent sun 
damage. Use sunscreen under makeup for best protection.

~  Wear lip balm with SPF of 30.

~  Wear a hat with a 6-inch wide brim to protect your head, face, neck, and 
ears.  A baseball cap does not offer enough protection.

~  Wear sunglasses with a 99-100% UVA and UVB protection. This includes both 
adults and children.  Sun exposure to the eyes can lead to cataracts and 
other eye problems.

~  Wear loose, light-weight, long-sleeved shirts and long pants made of 
tightly woven material.

~  Check your skin monthly for moles, birthmarks, and spots. Report any 
change in color, ize, shape, or texture to your doctor. Have a yearly skin 
check when you have your annual physical exam with your doctor.

~  Don’t use tanning beds. They cause the same skin damage as the sun does.

~  Don’t forget to protect your children. Children younger than 6 months 
should not be exposed to the sun. Children over 6 months of age need a 
sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. They should begin wearing sunglasses 
at age 1. Teach them and others these important tips, as we receive 25-80% of 
our lifetime sun exposure by age 18. 

If we would follow these guidelines the rate of skin cancer in the United 
States would dramatically decrease, we would be healthier and we could spend 
those billions in a more worthwhile way!

Submitted by Kristi Wahl, parish nurse
Sources: FamilyDoctor.org, NIH MedlinePlus Fall 2008, American Cancer Society

                            Signs and Symptoms of Cancer
What are signs and symptoms?

A sign is a signal that something is not right in the body. But signs are 
signals that can be seen by someone else -- maybe a loved one, or a doctor, 
nurse, or other health care professional. Fever, fast breathing, and abnormal 
lung sounds heard through a stethoscope may be signs of pneumonia.

A symptom is also a signal of disease, illness, injury, or that something is 
not right in the body. Symptoms are felt or noticed by the person who has 
them, but may not be easily seen by anyone else. For example, weakness, 
aches, and feeling short of breath may be symptoms of pneumonia.

Having one sign or symptom may not be enough to figure out what's causing it. 
For example, a rash in a child could be a sign of a number of things, such as 
poison ivy, measles, a skin infection, or a food allergy. But if the child 
has the rash along with other signs and symptoms like a high fever, chills, 
achiness, and a sore throat, then a doctor can get a better picture of the 
illness. Sometimes, a patient's signs and symptoms still don't give the 
doctor enough clues to figure out the cause of an illness. Then medical 
tests, such as x-rays, blood tests, or a biopsy may be needed.

What are some general cancer signs and symptoms?
You should know some of the general signs and symptoms of cancer. But 
remember, having any of these does not mean that you have cancer -- many 
other things cause these signs and symptoms, too. If you have any of these 
symptoms and they last for a long time or get worse, please see a doctor to 
find out what is going on.

Unexplained weight loss
Most people with cancer will lose weight at some point. When you lose weight 
with no known reason, it's called an unexplained weight loss. An unexplained 
weight loss of 10 pounds or more may be the first sign of cancer. This 
happens most often with cancers of the pancreas, stomach, esophagus, or lung. 

Fever is very common with cancer, but it more often happens after cancer has 
spread from where it started. Almost all patients with cancer will have fever 
at some time, especially if the cancer or its treatment affects the immune 
system. This can make it harder for the body to fight infection. Less often, 
fever may be an early sign of cancer, such as blood cancers like leukemia or 

Fatigue is extreme tiredness that does not get better with rest. It may be an 
important symptom as cancer grows. It may happen early, though, in cancers 
like leukemia. Some colon or stomach cancers can cause blood loss. This is 
another way cancer can cause fatigue.

Pain may be an early symptom with some cancers like bone cancers or 
testicular cancer. A headache that does not go away or get better with 
treatment may be a symptom of a brain tumor. Back pain can be a symptom of 
cancer of the colon, rectum, or ovary. Most often, pain due to cancer is a 
symptom of cancer that has already spread from where it started 

Skin changes
Along with cancers of the skin, some other cancers can cause skin symptoms or 
signs that can be seen. These signs and symptoms include: 
•Darker looking skin (hyperpigmentation) 
•Yellowish skin and eyes (jaundice)
•Reddened skin (erythema)
•Itching (pruritis)
•Excessive hair growth 

Signs and symptoms of certain cancers
Along with the general symptoms, you should watch for certain other common 
symptoms and signs which could suggest cancer. Again, there may be other 
causes for each of these, but it is important to see a doctor about them as 
soon as possible.

Change in bowel habits or bladder function
Long-term constipation, diarrhea, or a change in the size of the stool may be 
a sign of colon cancer. Pain when passing urine, blood in the urine, or a 
change in bladder function (such as needing to pass urine more or less often 
than usual) could be related to bladder or prostate cancer. Report any 
changes in bladder or bowel function to a doctor.

Sores that do not heal
Skin cancers may bleed and look like sores that do not heal. A long-lasting 
sore in the mouth could be an oral cancer. This should be dealt with right 
away, especially in people who smoke, chew tobacco, or often drink alcohol. 
Sores on the penis or vagina may either be signs of infection or an early 
cancer, and should be checked by a doctor. 

White patches inside the mouth or white spots on the tongue
White patches inside the mouth and white spots on the tongue may be 
leukoplakia. Leukoplakia is a pre-cancerous area that is caused by frequent 
irritation. It is often caused by smoking or other tobacco use. People who 
smoke pipes or use oral or spit tobacco are at high risk for leukoplakia. If 
it is not treated, leukoplakia can become oral cancer. Any long-lasting mouth 
changes should be checked by a doctor or dentist right away.

Unusual bleeding or discharge
Unusual bleeding can happen in early or advanced cancer. Blood in the sputum 
(phlegm) may be a sign of lung cancer. Blood in the stool (or a dark or black 
stool) could be a sign of colon or rectal cancer. Cancer of the cervix or the 
endometrium (lining of the uterus) can cause abnormal vaginal bleeding. Blood 
in the urine may be a sign of bladder or kidney cancer. A bloody discharge 
from the nipple may be a sign of breast cancer.

Thickening or lump in the breast or other parts of the body
Many cancers can be felt through the skin. These cancers occur mostly in the 
breast, testicle, lymph nodes (glands), and the soft tissues of the body. A 
lump or thickening may be an early or late sign of cancer and should be 
reported to a doctor, especially if you've just found it or notice it has 
grown in size. 

Indigestion or trouble swallowing
Indigestion or swallowing problems may be signs of cancer of the esophagus 
(the swallowing tube that goes to the stomach), stomach, or pharynx (throat). 
But like most symptoms on this list, they are most often caused by something 
other than cancer.

Recent change in a wart or mole or any new skin change
Any wart, mole, or freckle that changes color, size, or shape, or that loses 
its sharp border should be seen by a doctor right away. Any other skin 
changes should be reported, too. A skin change may be a melanoma which, if 
found early, can be treated successfully. 

Nagging cough or hoarseness
A cough that does not go away may be a sign of lung cancer. Hoarseness can be 
a sign of cancer of the voice box (larynx) or thyroid gland.

The signs and symptoms listed above are the ones more commonly seen with 
cancer, but there are many others that are less common and are not listed 
here. If you notice any major changes in the way your body works or the way 
you feel -- especially if it lasts for a long time or gets worse -- let a 
doctor know. If it has nothing to do with cancer, the doctor can find out 
more about what's going on and, if needed, treat it. If it is cancer, you'll 
give yourself the chance to have it treated early, when treatment works best.

More information check with your American Cancer Society
Feb. 2012

                               “Oh, By the Way”

I love being a Family Practice Physician.  I get to see people every day for 
a variety of issues.  School and sports physicals, annual check-ups, managing 
chronic conditions, OB visits, and well baby checks are some of the scheduled 
appointments.  “Acute” issues include fever, headache, cough, fatigue, and 
pain just about anywhere.  My day is structured to give adequate time for 
what people say they would like an appointment for.  The acute visit “to make 
sure I don’t have strep throat” is shorter than the annual exam for someone 
with diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

By the end of the appointment, I like to review what we have discussed, 
clarify the plan for further investigation or treatment, and arrange for a 
follow-up appointment with myself, or a specialist if needed.  As I’m saying 
goodbye, often I hear, “Oh, by the way…”, or “One thing I REALLY need to talk 
to you about is…” or “My wife/husband/child/parent made me PROMISE that I 
would ask you about…”  At this point, I’ll sit back down and listen to the 
issue.  Most of the time, it’s very serious and deserves my time and 
attention. However, now in my mind are the other patients who are waiting, 
and part of me wishes that the patient would have mentioned this issue 
earlier so that I could triage our time together more appropriately.

I believe there are many reasons for the “oh, by the way (OBTW)” phenomenon.  
It may be embarrassment, fear of the unknown, or a very personal matter that 
someone has never discussed with a physician before.  You may have other 
reasons if you have brought up an OBTW issue yourself.  As I said, the issues 
are often serious.  Someone may break down crying and confess they are 
terribly depressed and considering suicide.  Women may be struggling with 
pain during intercourse, and men with erectile dysfunction. A loved one may 
have a drinking problem.  Fear of your spouse’s verbal or physical 
aggression. Chest pain, blood in stool, a breast lump, and concerns about 
infidelity or sexually transmitted diseases are other common OBTW issues. 

I know it takes guts to bring up these highly personal issues, and that’s why 
I listen. Patients are normally relieved just getting it off their chest 
(kind of like the Sacrament of Reconciliation?) While I will take some time 
to address the issue when it is brought up, I suggest that it be brought up 
early in an appointment so that your physician can address it as fully as 
possible.  If you are coming in for a cholesterol follow-up appointment but 
really want to talk about depression, then let’s talk about the depression 
symptoms first and reschedule an appointment to address cholesterol later.  
If you have your baby in for a 6 month check-up but really are concerned 
about your spouse’s abusive behavior, give me an opportunity to let me help 
you by telling me what’s on your mind early in the appointment.

Please don’t tell the front desk when you call in for appointment that you 
just need your blood pressure checked when what you really need to talk to me 
about is the chest pain you had last week that may have been a heart attack.  
For highly personal matters, tell the clerk who answers the phone “I have a 
personal issue I want to discuss,” as that at least allows your physician’s 
office to allot a more appropriate amount of time for your appointment. 

	Serious health issues can be confusing and frightening. My partners 
and I truly desire to help people, as do most physicians I know, and one way 
to help us help you is to bring up those “oh, by the way” issues first.

Submitted by Bill Blanke, Family Physician and Good Shepherd Parishioner
Pamphlets are available at the Health Ministry Bulletin Board in the Narthex

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Last Modified: Friday, February 21, 2014
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