Steve Chittock

Sutter Coast clinical dietician leaves position after auto injury

I've been a clinical dietitian and certified diabetes educator at Sutter Coast Hospital since June 2005. September last my husband and I were hit head-on by an uninsured driver in Grants Pass. Last week, with heavy heart, I resigned my position as my injuries haven't healed.

As I rolled around the hospital in my wheelchair to say my good-byes, I was deeply moved. You may not realize what an incredible group of people have dedicated their lives to being there when you need them. Next time you're cared for by a health-care professional, stop and think of how much effort went into gaining their skills and the continuing education they undergo to maintain them. Few professions have their work so critically scrutinized. And don't forget the people - housekeepers, cooks and engineers - who keep the hospital running. All these are orchestrated by a management who must get the many pieces to work together.

So next time you see a health-care provider, stop and think about the journey he or she traveled to be at your service; be grateful, not just for what they do today, but for making the journey to be there for you.

To my patients, I've learned so much from you. I feel honored to have witnessed unending courage to fight to overcome illness. I've been even more inspired by those who stepped through that thin veil that separates this life from the next.

I offer the community two suggestions. First, remember personal knowledge is power. Chronic diseases like diabetes cause vast suffering when things go wrong, but good self care requires education and support. We need good outpatient education programs for diabetes, heart disease and weight management to meet the needs of both the newly diagnosed and those old timers who face new challenges as diseases progress. A growing and aging population and a vastly more complicated health care system place increasing burdens of education and case management on the patient and his family. Coming together to advocate for a community response, especially on behalf of increasingly younger chronic disease sufferers, will make individual efforts more effective.

Second, take a minute and look at your auto insurance. Don't be penny wise and pound foolish. Make sure you have as much uninsured driver coverage as you can afford. In a split second you could be facing tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost income.

Margie Godwyn

Crescent City

Conversations built on hatred make life less pleasurable for us all

It's a time, more than ever in the past, it seems to me that left and right should be struggling to get along. For better or worse, we need cooperation in our effort to find solutions to our nation's unprecedented problems.

Instead, our talking mouths are spreading hate, criticism, fear and confusion.andensp;Reminds me of the days of Hedda Hopper's Hollywood - the great gossip artist running amok attacking anyone she didn't like and destroying a lot of nice people. At the same time she was making it harder for Hollywood to earn survival money from the most experienced and beloved actors, who were really the largest money earners.

Today I tune in a political talk show host, and what do I get ... men and women, but mostly men, gossiping about what the president's wifeandensp; is wearing - anything to dig deep, and gather a few more minds for the political party. No, I'm probably not the one to make these thoughts known -I've done my share, but I rationalize that that was in better times when we all thought that our nation would survive despite our attacks on people we didn't agree with.

Certainly I'm not encouraging Pollyanna behavior, we need constructive talk from anyone and everyone.andensp; But, for example, early this morning I head a man saying that by 2011 America would experience a civil war, political left against right. Conceivable?

Today it seems like we must have 30 or more people spewing hate over the air.andensp;

Fortunately, I'm in my 80s, and I find myself hoping that all of this will soon be over - but real life tells me that conversations built on hatred, result in a life for all of us that feels less valuable, less pleasurable and more harmful.andensp; It is a kind of nicotine or some other drug, I think, people who spread all this worsening hatred are making big money, getting recognition and rewarded.

Also I think, it meets a need so many of us have to just vent our own unhappiness. How sad.andensp;We are citizens of a beautiful land.andensp;Is it not interesting also that many who complain the loudest are among those who plead that we must love Christ and emulate him - or as my wife might say -emulate her?

Walt Morse

Crescent City