Gary Goldstein knew he hit rock bottom when he woke up one morning after he robbed a dry cleaner just to pay off his mounting drug debt. He said to himself, “I can’t go through life like this, I have a college degree, I can make a better life for myself,” which he did — after the six-year stint in the can, that is. Once out, Goldstein sobered up and wrote “Jew in Jail,” an inspirational book about his struggle. To maintain his resolve to stay sober, he joined the Coney Island Hospital Chemical Dependency program — and he’s been sober for four years now. “My motivational speeches to the community high schools and at Rikers Island help me out immensely,” he said. “One of the tenets of the group and the one that I live by every day is ‘You can’t keep what you have unless you give it away.’ ” Our pal, Gary, also credits his family for sticking with him through thick and thin. Now he’s giving motivational speeches, paying it forward and taking it one day at a time, to offer up a few common drug abuse cliches (hey, it’s what we’re good at!).
Kids of all ages
Puppetry Arts is raising funds to present two public performances of the new musical “Anthropomorphic.” Through the use of large body puppet spiders, animatronic dragons and actors in masks, the production, which is scheduled for next June, relates the story of Wesley, a young gay teen who takes his own life. “We want the project to mean something to the audience, and not just be theater for the sake of theater,” writer and executive director Tim Young told Standing O. Puppetry Arts is also casting for musicians, the role of conductor and performers to take part in the project.
As the cold winter months arrive, our good friends at Visiting Nurse Service of New York sent us 10 tips to keep seniors in tip-top shape and out of the hospital. We’re getting up there, so we’re really just publishing this for ourselves!
• Always keep your scheduled appointments with doctors. Even if you’re feeling, fine don’t neglect the visit.
• Manage your medication. Don’t forget to take what you have to take, when you have to take it.
• Get an advocate. Choose a friend or family member who can accompany you and be your voice when you can’t be.
• Maintain your independence. It’s OK to ask for help, but you need to keep up with your activities and hobbies.
• Don’t be afraid. Ask your doctor or care provider, “What?” if you don’t understand something.
• Be firm, calm and organized when you give your health professional a rant. It’s your body and you know it better than anyone else.
• Have a plan. Always be prepared and you won’t be left out in the cold.
• Don’t hide complaints from your health provider. Every little symptom has a meaning.
• Ask, listen, and do. When the doctor gives you instructions, plan to stick to it.
• Keep calm. Learn to manage your anxiety.
And we’ll add one, too — have a great holiday season!
For helpful hints visit www.vnsnychoice.org or call (855) 282-4642.
A pint of red to go
The students at St. Edmund Preparatory HS always give their all, but their blood, too? It seems so. More than 60 units of red cells and 98 units of whole blood were collected during a recent blood drive at the school. Faculty, staff and even past grads came to roll up their sleeves and give, give, give.
St. Edmund Preparatory HS [274 Ocean Ave. at Avenue T in Marine Park, (718) 743-6100].
Reach reporter Joanna DelBuono at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-2523.