A patient, we’ll call him John, called my office several years ago, frantic over the behavior of his son Aaron. “My son thinks there are helicopters circling our home, following his movements,” he said.
At my office the next day, dad was frantic. Aaron, who appeared disheveled and preoccupied, presented his experiences in a matter-of-fact style. He was certain some authority had singled him out to be placed under surveillance. He had no insight into the psychotic nature of his thinking.
Florida lawmakers are doing something they haven't done in years: adding money to state programs.
The recession sent the state into multi-billion-dollar budget shortfalls that led to big cuts in education and state government payrolls.
But this year, lawmakers have money to play with. Gov. Rick Scott has proposed a budget of more than $74 billion for the fiscal year that starts in July. That's about a $4-billion increase in spending over the current year.
Once upon a time, nurses were not allowed to take blood pressure – only the doctor could do that. Times change.
But they haven’t changed enough. For 19 years, nurse practitioners in Florida have tried to get the right to practice to the full extent of our education and capability, which includes prescribing scheduled substances. So far, our efforts have been fruitless.
Steve Augello lives in Spring Hill Florida, just outside of Tampa. Like a lot of dads, he always made his 17-year-old daughter, Alessandra, check-in with him when she was out. Augello also had a rule.
“You weren’t allowed to have that cell phone out while you’re driving,” Augello remembers telling Alessandra. “I even tested her a few times I called her when she was driving and it always went right through to the recorder.”
PortMiami is undergoing a massive expansion project, which includes deepening the channel for larger cargo ships, building a tunnel for tractor trucks and connecting the port to the Florida East Coast railway tracks.
President Barack Obama will be visiting PortMiami Friday to talk about the economy. Gov. Rick Scott, meanwhile, is asking the federal government to repay Florida for the money it has spent on port improvements.
Although Scott often criticizes the federal government for spending too much, he says this is different.
My dedication to legalizing medical marijuana results from personal experience. My daughter has epilepsy, and although she was always compliant with her medication, she continued to have occasional seizures. When she moved to California for her job, and had yet another seizure, she met with a neurologist, who recommended that she join a medical marijuana dispensary. That was in 2000. She has not had another seizure since.
But she cannot come home to visit us in Florida. Because of our marijuana laws, she cannot legally maintain her doctor-recommended medical regimen.