Saturday, May 18, 2013

NAMI Walk - Met old friends and a very nice police officer

Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, PA, is the beautiful lushly green setting for the NAMI walk, which head honcho Carol Caruso estimated drew 800 or 900 people.
Here's Carol and husband Jerry. Carol has been having some serious health issues but she looked wonderful and felt good, she said.

I bounced into the walk with my pal Ron Abrams - who carried the New Directions banner. I picked him up in the parking lot of Abington Prez, promptly at 8:50 am, after a terrible nite's sleep.

Whenever I have to get up early - 8 am - I can't sleep properly, but did get a lot of reading done.

In this week's issue of the New Yorker, there's a fascinating and scary story "The Walking Alive." Author Susan Orlean does all her writing on a treadmill desk that goes 2-3 mph so she can easily type and make phone calls.

What dyou think?

She quotes Dr James Levine, the leading researcher in "inactivity studies" at the Mayo Clinic's Scottsdale AZ campus. You wouldn't believe the host of ailments he opines will hit you if your job has you sitting for more than 20 minutes at a time, when your legs "go into hibernation." 
Joining the New Directions triumvirate is Jill and her two adorable small dogs, one of whom is named Amy.
Crowd shot. Tables were lined up promoting various organizations and giving prizes, like at the dentist's office, promoting themselves. I got plenty of pens.

There was a Janssen table. I mentioned that for many years Janssen, makers of Risperdal, used to publish our Compass. I said I used to drive up to Titusville, NJ, and Ed Quispe used to print it. Peg Forrestal gave the okay. The folks at the Janssen table knew of Peg.

These drug companies are housed in veritable palaces.

Did I ever tell you I wrote a letter to founder Paul Janssen (1926-2003) ? He lived in Belgium. I wrote him on New Directions stationery and thanked him for discovered the antipsychotic Haldol, which was the first drug I was given for my manic episode and psychosis back in 1984.

Clark Bromberg runs one of the best community mental health centers - Montgomery Central, it's called, with an excellent after-work drug rehab program. His daughter Hilary and my daughter Sarah went to Abington Friends together.

Eric Goldstein, on the right, has the enormous responsibility of running the Montgomery County Office of Behavioral Health. Eric said he enjoyed coming out to our group several years ago and suggested we invite him again.

Great idea, Eric!

Nancy Wieman, the deputy secretary, I saw later on. She was sitting on the ground, having had an infrequent bout of vertigo, and was awaiting an ambulance.

Nancy Wieman is a real champion for mental health.

So is Fred McLauren, who I booked to speak in September. Read his impressive bio.

Fred McLaren

We were walking and talking quite a while. I wear a backpack when I walk cuz I keep my diabetes supplies inside, among other things, so I pulled out a lil notepad and jotted down his email address.

He's gonna give a talk about the WRAP program. Ada will be so happy about it. Fred has two grown children and works at both MCES and Temple University Psych Rehab Program.

Dave Mauermann of Horsham Clinic. Dave is one of the very nicest men I've ever met.

He bought one of our Mental Health Awareness Magnets for $10.

Dave, I said, the worst problem I had about coming to the walk is deciding what to wear.

I chose well, a light sweater, which, if need be, I could remove to reveal a ..... sleeveless blouse.

The rain held off. A couple of raindrops was all.

Also saw Abby Grasso of Brooke Glen Behavioral Health. I did my practicum for my master's degree there in its former incarnation Northwestern Institute. It was an eye-opening experience. They had a special unit for teenagers who had been adopted. Here's a post last May I wrote about Abby - very interesting - when we met for lunch at Pho and Beyond.

Jana Nogowski, who contributed four stirring poems to our Compass. She's a jogger. I was walking fairly quickly when Jana walked up to me and said Ruth Deming.

My first thought when I saw her, all in green, was not that she was Kermit the Frog, but was that I won't know who she is b/c there were some other people whose names I couldn't remember.

"Jana!" I yelled and we hugged.

I'm a sucker for little ones.

Here are mine own.
Photo: When did she get so big?
Hello, Grace, hope to see you this weekend.

Photo: Mom Mom and Max!

Here's Max, 6 weeks, with Mom-Mom. I'm Bubby, Jewish for grandmother.

The dude abides.
Just swiped another pic of Max from FB.
Good action shot of Carol Caruso, man with water bottle, and young man on phone. Modern-day America.

Saw Shelly and Bill Quigley, daughter Brandy, the Morrisons, Debbie Moritz of NAMI Bucks, and was looking for Janet Taylor but she never materialized. 

I saw the Kirk Family - Betsey, Will and Raineigh. Betsey and I are planning to go paddleboating at Lake Galena in Doylestown.

Met up with Margaret, Chong and Maggie and were gonna meet them for lunch at the Blue Bell Diner.

A bunch of us walkers ate there a couple years ago, including last week's  new bride Tracey Riper, who ordered a Belgium waffle with strawberries and whipped cream. How come I remember things like that?

So Ron and I are driving to the diner. Neither of us was terribly hungry, but I couldn't find the place, and were pretty hungry when we finally got to the crucial intersection of 202 and 73.

There's a Fire Truck Parade down Route 73, where the diner is located.

I got outa the car and asked a police officer, How can I get to the diner.

I'm afraid to you can't, he said. The diner closed two years ago.

We ended up at

Colonial Quy-Bau right in Willow Grove near Nature's Harvest Health Food Store.

We enjoyed the food. I had two appetizers - chicken and peanut sauce on sticks - and vegetable spring rolls. Ron and I split tirimisu - which means 'pick me up' in Italian for dessert.

Went straight to my stationery bike for half an hour - oh, my aching tush - which always lowers my blood sugar. When you're en bike, the best thing to do to distract yourself is to talk on the phone.

Margaret of the jazz trio Margaret, Chong and Maggie, had called to say, "What happened?"

And now, if you'll excuse me, I'll ......


  1. Sounds like such a good day!

    I can see that some people are thankful for Haldol but I have seen a couple of people have terrible reactions to it. My husband, an RN in a hospital, wants a tee shirt that says, "I love Haldol".

  2. i took several antipsychotics - haldol, risperdal and finally navane when i had bipolar. haldol caused the most side effex. i didn't need 'cogentin' for the other two. oh, actually, i took inderol as a side effect medicine when on risperdal