Tag Archives: Silverdale

Lymphedema – Not even a mom can love it. … fight it, yes – with all that is in her – and dads fight too.

Lymphedema – Not even a mom can love it. … fight it, yes – with all that is in her – and dads fight too.
Lymphedema is alive and well in Kitsap County. I have it, many folks have it and many of us know nothing about it other than it is progressive and painful.
Retired Dr. Halligan of Doctors Clinic, Silverdale knows about Lymphedema and how to treat it.
Compression stockings are a key to making lymphedema manageable and the rightful passing of the upcoming bill will allow those who cannot afford the cost of it thereby saving taxpayers related costs of this dreaded disease.
Harrison Wound Care Center is packed with folks with wounds – some of them lymphedema…a few stories on that to follow soon.

To be sure of the wording, I’ve copied the following small portion directly from the Lymphedema website.

Dean sez...Please help others help themselves.
Dean sez…Please help others help themselves.

XXXX
“About The Bill
For the most current information about the bill, scroll to the bottom of this page.

Congressman Reichert, our lead bill sponsor, and advocates from his state of Washington
Why This Legislation Is Needed
Currently, Medicare, and consequently many other policies, does not cover one of the critical components of lymphedema treatment, the medically necessary compression supplies used daily in lymphedema treatment. As a result, many patients suffer from recurrent infections, progressive degradation in their condition and eventual disability because they cannot afford the compression supplies required to maintain their condition.
Although this legislation relates specifically to a change in Medicare law, it would set a precedent for Medicaid and private insurers to follow. States have already recognized that coverage for comprehensive treatment is essential and cost saving, and are beginning to require that private and state plans provide this coverage. Lymphedema treatment mandates have been in effect in North Carolina since 2010 and in Virginia since 2004, and several other states have similar legislation pending.

Medicare’s failure to cover compression treatment supplies stems from the fact that these items cannot be classified under any existing benefit category in Medicare statute (law). The Center for Medicare Services (CMS) does not have the authority to add or redefine benefit categories, only Congress does, hence the need for this legislation. This is explained in more detail in a written exchange between our bill sponsor, Congressman Reichert, and former Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius. Click here to read their correspondence.
What This Legislation Would Do

The Lymphedema Treatment Act (LTA) will improve coverage for the treatment of lymphedema from any cause by amending Medicare statute to allow for coverage of compression supplies.

Specific goals of the LTA are as follows:

to provide comprehensive lymphedema treatment coverage, according to current
medical treatment standards;
to enable patient self-treatment plan adherence by providing necessary medical supplies
for use at home, as prescribed for each patient (including gradient compression
garments, bandages, and other compression devices);
to reduce the total healthcare costs associated with this disease by decreasing the incidence of
complications, co-morbidities and disabilities resulting from this medical condition.

The HHS Secretary has confirmed that a change in statute is necessary to allow for coverage of compression supplies. (See section above for details.) The Lymphedema Treatment Act will amend Sec. 1861 [42 U.S.C. 1395x] of the Social Security Act to enable coverage of these items under Durable Medical Equipment.

Details surrounding coverage, such as allowable quantities, etc., are not something that is written into statute. Matters of this nature are determined by policy decisions made after the legislation is passed. This allows flexibility to adjust policy as needed in the future, without having to pass new legislation.

Additional Information about the Lymphedema Treatment Act

Our current bill sponsors are: Representative Dave Reichert, WA-8 (lead sponsor); Representative Leonard Lance, NJ-7 (co-lead); Representative Earl Blumenauer, OR-3 (co-lead); and Representative Bruce Braley, IA-1 (co-lead). To read press releases from these offices about their introduction of the bill click here.

A complete list of current cosponsors can be seen here.

A PDF of the actual bill can be viewed and downloaded here.

A “scoring” report for the Lymphedema Treatment Act can be read here. A “score” estimates the federal costs that would be incurred by implementing a piece of legislation. A document explaining this report, as well as related FAQ’s, is available here.

Resources for Sharing Information about the Lymphedema Treatment Act

To download an information packet appropriate for sharing ONLY with members of Congress and their staff, click here. (Please ensure that you thoroughly read and understand this document yourself before sharing it with congressional offices. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to Contact Us. Remember that our Advocacy Handbook is full of helpful tips, such as talking points and FAQ’s. )

To download a facts sheet appropriate for sharing with the general public, click here. Additional ways in which you can help spread awareness are outlined on our Increasing Awareness page.

How you can help
#1 PRIORITY – Contact Your Members of Congress!
Six Easy Ways To Increase Awareness
Join Your State’s Grassroots Advocacy Team
Lymphedema Lobby Days in Washington, DC
Use Our Advocacy Handbook
Tell Your Lymphedema Story
Visit Our Cafe Press Store
Donate Financial Support
Our Newsletter
Sign up to receive updates on the progress of the bill and how you can help each step of the way. To view past issues click here.

Current Status
Check the status of the Lymphedema Treatment Act in Congress and view the list of cosponsors.”

fhttp://lymphedematreatmentact.org/about-the-bill/
Thanks for listening – thanks for helping… Sharon O’Hara

Lung Health Screening – FREE – Spirometry Test – Silverdale Costco – YES!

Hi Guys … I’m back with joyous news…

Lung Health Screening – FREE

Silverdale, Mickelberry Road

Pharmacy Phone:   360-308-2118

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Start time:  10:00am

End time:  3:00pm

http://content.costco.com/Images/Content/misc/pdf/HealthWellnessClinicSchedule.pdf

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“Oh, no!  I can’t breathe!  I should have gone for an early detection Spirometry test at Costco in Silverdale!”

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Here it is – tomorrow at Silverdale’s Costco – FREE!

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Thank you, Costco – for the early warning testing to avoid COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) – now I’m playing basketball without worry of smothering lungs!

Please – get checked.  You do not want COPD – ever.  I promise you…get checked tomorrow.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130401111549.htm

Thanks for listening….  familien1@comcast.net

Stay tuned for more Northwoods – I’m a little late … familien1@comcast.net

Sharon O’Hara  

Northwoods – Silverdale – Physical Rehabilitation – Good-by – Hello

 

I’m telling my recent Northwoods story backwards, my outpatient, twice-weekly rehab ends at the Northwoods picturesque, characteristic salt-water rehab pool and into a new beginning.

Other than my first solo horse-packing trip into the Cascades and living through a host of learning experiences, I have seldom learned so much in one week as during my stay at Northwoods, a five star rehab center just north of Silverdale. 

I hope to progress as I should, working out at home and/or in a commercial pool.  The primary goal here is to rebuild the muscling around my arthritic bone on bone left hip in order to pedal a recumbent trike.

One of Northwoods rehab specialist, Jeff, actually got me RUNNING in the chest high water, coming down on my left foot without the old debilitating pain…muscle building safely in the water. 

Incidentally, the second time I ran in the water I felt so Tarzana that when Jeff asked me to sit on the water stool for a series of other exercises; I made a surprising running leap for it… and slammed into it or would have if I’d got that far. 

I began the jump too far out and the side effect was a gut wrenching, breathtaking laugh – so hard I ran out of air and had to focus hard to stop laughing.  COPD is not for sissies – nor are fancied, imagined, graceful gazelle leaps of joy that I could put weight on that left hip. 

Good Physical Therapists cause little moments of joy for the patients they guide into better fitness as we work into better health.

Northwoods has many good or great physical therapists – I am talking a little about some of the people and my latest experience as a patient in one of two Kitsap County five-star rehab centers.

For information, I didn’t qualify for insurance coverage since I had only been at Harrison overnight for observation, yet encouraged by Harrison’s sharp good-by, good luck doctor,   Dr. Mathew Coates the next day,  I decided to give it a couple days…and stayed over a week.17-IMG_2429

This is the entrance to the Red Barn dining room leading to access to the salty rehab pool.

Antiques – some early Kitsap County settler and his family plowed ground with this nifty tool and a couple good horses – or, maybe it is a thresher – a hay cutter. 


Note the wonderful old artifacts displayed everywhere in the “red barn “ – take a gander at  the two-woman saw on the wall above the staircase. 

Open for dining 13-IMG_2419

 

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These wonderful items are displayed on the way to the ladies changing room and the pool.  10-IMG_2413

On my way out, dinner guests coming in…hubby waiting for me to go home    Gorgeous quilts on the upper, left wall

Door to the pool

Roomy shower – kept spotless

                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                     

The first dressing room/ladies room leading to a pool that I have seen decorated with real hand-worked framed quilt squares on the wall. 06-IMG_2406

Kristi, left, following Jeff’s exercise plan had me run as fast as I could to the end of the pool – stop and walk backwards to the other end and repeat the run…got me laughing when I spotted her ‘running’ alongside.  She moved through the water like a prancing parade horse – head bobbing, smooth and graceful while I plowed through the water using my arms pulling forward – feeling plow horsey running through the deliciously warm water.  Kristi asked why I was laughing.  Her first time running through water, she said, when I told her.  She has a wonderful spirit and I howled…and did not tell her Jeff saved his energy and did not run alongside when he instructed me to run. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Patients need the lightness of spirit and humor with the serious work they do helping put us together again,…we’re sort of like HumptyDumpty and they help us get back together again and teach us how to apply our own glue.Kristi and Shayla 04-IMG_2394 01-IMG_2374

Thanks Shayla, (PT) and Kristi (PTA) – What a great job you do for us!

Thanks for listening … Sharon O’Hara

Part 1 of 4

 

Meet a new look in medical office decor and manner…Does it matter?

Today I walked into a new to me medical office in Silverdale.  The Master’s Orthotics & Prosthetics reception room is a charming, comfortable; friendly place overseen by as friendly and pleasant a receptionist as any I have met anywhere.  Her name is Ariel.

The homey atmosphere, colors and furniture was a clear invitation to sit down and visit.  However – it was their sign on the wall that startled and fascinated me into asking if I could take photos of it, their reception room and receptionist.  They probably think I kissed the Blarney Stone, but humored me and gave permission.

Of all the years I have visited doctor/medical offices – I have never entered one so instantly welcoming and cheerful, including a mention of God.

Over the past few years, I have thought about God a lot and appreciated seeing their public mention of Him.   Look – what do you think?

Should Medical Offices strive for patient/client cheery, soothing colors and comfortable furniture in their reception room?   I vote yes.

The sign designer and artist was Adria Hanson of Hanson Studios.

Meet Ariel.  She even let me stand at the desk to fill out forms…what a welcoming friendly place.

Meet my husband’s feet and part of the reception room.  Comfortable – so comfy looking I had almost talked myself into sitting down when they called me.  Just as well.  I might not have gotten up again.

Thanks for reading.  Sharon O’Hara <COPDandOtherStuff2@gmail.com>

Part 4 of 4, Harrison Home Health CareDoes a tumor mean cancer?  This week.

 

Dr. Halligan and Harrison Medical Center Angels, Part 2 of 3

Our recent tragic killings and deaths make me doubly grateful for the incredible people and treatment I received from our hometown hospital and staff at Harrison Medical Center.

Those of us who have been patients there over a length of time know Harrison’s greatest assets are in their staff.  Their nurses and aides, many named Elizabeth and one each named Joseph and DanielJoseph is notable for nursing skills and his uncanny ability to find anything….even a bridge….as in my missing two-tooth bridge.  He found it in a little container with “?” on the lid.

Nurse Elizabeth on 3N is only one example of innovative, creative thinking.    

 

Look at the contraption she put together to take the pressure off the bottom of my left calf to lessen the pain of the open weepy lesions and help it heal faster. The devise worked so well that when I was shifted down a floor they wheeled me downstairs right on the bed.

Nurse Sylvia on 3N brought me the Kitsap Sun newspaper every morning she worked.  I always knew she was on shift when I awoke and spotted the Sun on my bedside tray.  When I was moved to the private room on two – her spirit lifting thoughtful placing of the Kitsap Sun on the bedside table continued and never failed to make me grin in thanks.

A complication was the UW positive testing for MRSA.  You do not want it – hospital visitors do not want you to have MRSA either.  Gowning up and wearing rubber gloves to visit a friend in the hospital might well cut down on regular hospital visits.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0004520/, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mrsa/DS00735  

Dr. Halligan, Doctor’s Clinic in Silverdale, treated my leg daily in the hospital…he never failed to continue his daily treatment and re-wrapping of my lower left leg. 

(I am hoping to go home tomorrow from rehab at Martha & Mary’s Rehab Center in Poulsbo.  I have not been home in 8 weeks).

More later.

Thanks for reading…. Sharon O’Hara

Dr. Halligan and Harrison Medical Center Angels, Part 1 of 3

I am writing this from a hospital bed on the cancer floor at Harrison Medical Center in hope someone will take note what edema can and may do to those who ignore it.

Also, I’m writing in heartfelt thanks to Dr. Halligan, Internist/Surgeon at Silverdale Doctor’s Clinic who saved my life and leg recently by taking over failed treatment for my Lymphedema/Cellulitis/Edema filled legs and painstakingly, day after day treated and changed leg wraps.

Dr. Halligan patiently explained my left leg needed debriding to remove the dead skin, much as burn victims and he couldn’t tell what was under the surface dead skin or how deep the dead tissue went. This four-month pain riddled sleep deprived patient gratefully lay in a bed at Harrison Bremerton 23 hours a day, 7 days a week. Four weeks total this Thursday.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, I am moving to a rehab place for rehabilitation and further healing.

I battled without success since early September the Cellulitis/Edema in my left leg until my right leg reddened with infection and edema and began the water blisters that experience taught would lead to lymph fluid running down my lower legs, scalding the skin it touched and spreading the poison…

Chris Goss, MD, my lung doc at the University of Washington Medical Center straightened out the Restless Leg Syndrome medication problem so I could sleep if the pain eased.

Edema patients  – PLEASE – check out the following photos of the latest rise and fall of my edema filled legs and ask yourself if ignoring edema is worth it.

Dr. Halligan – thank you!

More next time on Harrison Medical Center’s Angels in disguise.

….thanks for reading.  Sharon O’Hara

Thanks for reading…Sharon O’Hara

Suquamish – Re: COPD – the beginning. Pain – the end.

Thank you for taking the time to write, Suquamish – and you are young at only 52 to have COPD.  I’m sure there are other young ones with COPD who live to be retired and ancient without adding more diseases.  They keep moving as best they can, get good medical care, an exercise program and good nutrition too can overcome almost anything.

What does your doc say about the x-rays?

The pain is in my lower legs – not lungs and I’m one of those COPDers who gathered all these other medical conditions after COPD.

Venous Stasis Dermatitis – Lymphedema – Cellulitis – when I’m not careful enough about sodium and wearing support stockings.  This time though, thanks to Mellissa’s teaching and my husband’s help they didn’t swell, crack open and leak for about a year and a half.  The condition is chronic but I learned more good lessons to keep this from happening again through checking labels more carefully on everything I eat or drink.  Moreover, this too will pass – so will the pain.

The neat thing Suquamish – you gave me another idea.  You are young.  There have to be other people out there who would gladly give living with COPD and heart worthy tips to other COPDers.  Working full time, you probably aren’t able to attend the monthly afternoon Harrison Medical Center/Better Breathers educational classes at Harrison Silverdale.  However ….

Would you be interested in an evening support group of like-minded people who not only have lung or heart disease they are living life to the fullest in spite of it and want to share what has worked for them?

We should have such a support group in Silverdale. No gloom & doom – no cost – just patients sharing what works for us.

What do you think?  Would Tuesday evenings from 7 – 8 pm work for you?  Occasionally we could have speakers willing to donate their time to help educate us too.

Suquamish – Thanks for reading my posts and hope they haven’t been gloomy and doomy for you or anyone – I didn’t meant them to be.  This pain will pass when my lower legs get ‘normal’ again and I take proper care of them – including the support stockings and no more high sodium diet sodas.

I’m open to any suggestions for a meeting place that will allow COPDers (lung and heart folks) to meet on a monthly basis in the evening for an hour…

BTW:  I may be moaning and groaning about pain from my legs but it doesn’t change my plans to make a recumbent trike trip next summer from here to the other Washington for COPD.

Thanks… Sharon

One Response to “COPD – the beginning. Pain – the end”

  1. Suquamish Says:
    November 2nd, 2011 at 4:11 am

I am sorry Sharon, I guess I am following in your footsteps. The VA gave me a chest x-ray and it had a white spot on my lung. They told me to see my health provider (Group Death) I mean Group Health. They put a clip on my nipple to rule out the phantom shadow on the lung. Too bad the clip and the white spot both showed up in different areas. Group Health never diagnosed it at COPD. But a couple weeks ago when I went in Urgent care and underwent a breathing treatment the noted COPD in my health chart. I had another chest xray because of the pain you stated in your post. I guess it is just the muscles that got strained. I guess there weren’t any fractures or they would have been noted. I hope you take care of yourself Sharon, I enjoy reading your post on Kitsapsun.com. I would like to learn more about COPD from someone affected by it. I wonder how much longer I will be able to work. I am just a young guy at 52.
Read more: http://pugetsoundblogs.com/copd-and-other-stuff/2011/11/01/copd-the-beginning-pain-the-end/#ixzz1cbDldPN6

 

Governor Christine O. Gregoire’s Proclamation – COPD Month November 2011

Governor Christine O. Gregoire has proclaimed November 2011 COPD Month.

Thank you, Governor!

 

What low, no cost plans are in place for November’s COPD Month?

What plan of remembrance and activities does the medical community who serves COPD plan for patient/public awareness events during November 2011?

World COPD Day is Wednesday, 16 November 2011.

What medical groups have activities for COPD recognition, education and early detection Spirometry testing for the citizens of Kitsap County?

Harrison Medical Center’s partnership with the Better Breather’s Lung Support Group meets monthly in the Harrison Silverdale’s Rose Room.

Harrison Medical Center and Hazelwood YMCA in Silverdale have a superb lung/heart patient rehab agreement – what are they planning for November’s COPD Month 2011.

I am walking, triking or riding a scooter in recognition of World COPD Day 2011.  More later.

Thanks for reading… Sharon O’Hara

Update to my Kentucky medical story and a flip side of the same coin

Update to my Kentucky medical story and a flip side of the same coin.

I spoke too soon on my belief that the American Medical Association would be interested in my comments about a Medicare patient and a doctor in a small town in Kentucky – but a “Kentucky Medical Complaint” Google search brought up some answers.

Update in my friends Kentucky case – she, as of Saturday, 24 September 2011 had not heard from the doctor for test results.  She called the local hospital where the cardio tests (2) were performed and told the results were in and she could pick them up.

She called the doctor’s office yesterday and told the PFTs were normal and the heart tests were normal too.  What justified the cardiac tests when the PFTs were normal?

Why would the PFT procedure be so different in a small town in Kentucky than in the rest of the nation?  Is the 29 days it took to wait for the doctor results due to a state raising fast horses and s l o w doctors in general or specific to one doctor in one small Kentucky town?

Having dependence on Medicare/Medicaid and being old, poor and trusting should not be a factor in a doctor’s way of making a living off the patients through unnecessary testing and no follow up contact with the patient.

The plus side is that she now has the physical test results of her lungs and heart but not a clue what they mean.  When she called the doctor’s office this time, she was told the results of the PFT and cardiac tests were ‘normal’.

Why did the doctor order cardiac testing if the Pulmonary Function Tests were normal?

I called the doctor’s office this morning, Monday, 9/26/11 and asked several questions including why the doctor didn’t call the patient in 29 days to give her the test results and was told that it can take two or three weeks to get the results and another week for the doctor to review the results.  My friend the patient was told two weeks.  When I asked why the cardiac tests were ordered when her PFT was ‘normal’ – BEFORE he spoke to the patient - I was told to call back later to speak with the office manager.

I was told if my Kentucky friend wanted to know the meaning of the test results, she should call and make an appointment with the doctor.

Fast horses and slow doctors in a small town in Kentucky – doesn’t seem right to me.  Are other seniors on Medicare/Medicaid being ill treated by this doctor? 

Are most Kentucky doctors as seemingly indifferent to their senior patients by failing to give test results in a timely manner and ordering cardiac tests without apparent need – or just this one based on my own PFT experience?

The flip side of the coin is the unfair treatment of the medical profession by Medicare and Medicaid.

I wrote the following in answer to a Letter to the Editor, Kitsap Sun:

“Well…health care costs...not one post has mentioned WHY doctors don’t take Medicare or Medicaid. The fact is physicians and the health care industry is the only profession in this nation that PENALIZES the doctor and health care businesses!

Any other business in the country can set their price and people pay it or go elsewhere. Not so the physician. Medicare and Medicaid pay only a fraction of the set price per service of each doctor.

Why should doctors take patients that COST them money to see them…they LOSE money.

If a plumbing business could take ten calls during the business day – why would they take a call from someone that will not pay their full price for the service?

Some doctors DO TAKE MEDICARE/MEDICAID patients and I for one – am grateful mine do.

I will mention here that I saw a medical devise recently that cost Medicaid/Medicare about nine thousand dollars per patient that has one. For a patient to buy it outright it cost about twelve thousand dollars.

If that isn’t outrageous enough for you – my opinion of the value of the devise – it MIGHT be worth one thousand dollars TOPS.

In my opinion, what seems to be happening in some cases is that the health care folks have tacked outrageous prices on cheap junk to make up for the low Medicare/Medicaid set prices.

Who loses? WE DO! The taxpayer AND the patient.”

Read more: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/sep/19/letter-to-the-editor-state-shouldnt-cut-more/#ixzz1YsPjzSZ4

http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/sep/19/letter-to-the-editor-state-shouldnt-cut-more/

Speaking of a medical determined momma squirrel in Silverdale…

Thanks for reading… Sharon O’Hara

Good Sleep Health and Sleep Apnea – Tomorrow!

Good Sleep Health and Sleep Apnea

Speaker:  Jess Lackey of Pacific Pulmonary Inc.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

1:00pm – 3:00pm

Rose Room – Harrison Silverdale

1800 NW Myhre Road – Silverdale, WA 98383

 

Better Breathers Support Group

“Our Better Breathers support group encompasses community members and their caregivers who live with chronic respiratory disease and lung disease. Better Breathers is designed to provide support, education, networking, and tools to improve the daily lives of those living with these health conditions.

 

We welcome any community member with asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, sarcoidosis, asbestosis, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis and the many more lung diseases affecting our population, pediatric or adult.

Please email or call if you will need assistance with parking at the meeting.”

Contact: Pamela O’Flynn   – 360-744-6687 –  respiratorycare@harrisonmedical.org

****

My sleep apnea story in short form:  Some ten years ago the Sleep Study and bi-pap machine enabled me to get back into a bed after a few years of sleeping in a chair…I could not breathe lying down so had to sleep in a recliner chair…comfortable though it was, it was not a bed.

During this last year after an at home study I discovered my saturation numbers hit the basement while sleeping – bottoming out into the low 70’s.  100 is normal and nobody knew it…who knows how long that went on?

One of the questions I will be asking tomorrow:  Why don’t the c-pap or bi-pap machines monitor the patient’s blood/oxygen level during sleep to alert the doctor there is a problem.  Hint: After a length of time without oxygen, brain cells die.  http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001435.htm

During sleep how low can the blood/oxygen levels go and for how long before brain cells die?  Personally, I want to hug and cherish my brain cells from a distance and keep them going as long as possible.

A sharp Harrison Medical Center ER doc caught a problem and had me put on a concentrator that gathers oxygen from the room and bleeds it into my bi-pap – leading to better sleep.  Except when the RLS bounces me right out of bed to move my legs and walk around.

Ignoring Sleep Apnea can lead to serious stuff – we need to be aware.

Tomorrow is the opportunity to ask the questions and have fun at the same time.

Refreshments!

See you Wednesday!  If anyone needs a ride, let me know.

Following are photos of my concentrator connected to the bi-pap and connected to the facemask that goes over my nose and blows air into my airway.

Some folks say the c-pap and bi-pap is too noisy.  I call it the sweet song of life.

Thanks for reading… Sharon O’Hara