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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Deplorable. THE Brooke Astor, 104 years old, living in hell on Park Avenue

Poor Brooke Astor. Why is this happening to her? I'd rather have love than money, damnit.

--from the NY Daily News, July 25, 2006

Vicious court battle rocks the world of Manhattan's one-time society queen

Society queen Brooke Astor is living a twilight hell because of son Anthony Marshall, court papers say.

According to court papers, Brooke Astor, 104, lives in wretched conditions in Park Ave. building.

-->Brooke Astor, the patron saint of philanthropy and society in New York, is being forced to live her remaining days in wretched, uncharitable conditions, according to court papers filed by her grandson.

Astor, now 104, is allegedly being kept inside her dilapidated Park Ave. duplex by her only child, Anthony Marshall - who controls her $45 million fortune, yet refuses to spend money for her care.

The stunning blue blood family feud emerged from court documents obtained exclusively by the Daily News.

According to court papers, Marshall:

--->Cut back on everything from her doctor visits to the brand of makeup she uses.

--->Won't give Astor a hospital bed fitted with rails, even though she has fallen from her bed.

--->Ordered her aides to not buy certain medicine at the drugstore because a weaker version is available for less on the Internet.

---> Wouldn't allow nurses to buy his mother a new outfit for her 104th birthday.

The grandson, Philip Marshall, is seeking to immediately remove his father as legal guardian, and replace him with Annette de la Renta, the wife of Oscar de la Renta, and JPMorgan Chase Bank.

Philip Marshall charges that his grandmother is a victim of "elder abuse" - and he's got some influential people on his side.

A trio of prominent New Yorkers - former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Chase Manhattan Bank CEO David Rockefeller and Annette de la Renta - have filed affidavits in support of the grandson.

Astor's 82-year-old son landed at Iwo Jima during World War II, is a former intelligence officer with the CIA, a former diplomat and a Broadway producer with his wife, Charlene. The pair have won two Tony Awards.

Reached at his E. 79th St. apartment, Anthony Marshall, who pays himself $2.3 million as Astor's caretaker, according to the papers, declined to comment.

"No, I don't want to comment. You said it is shocking and I agree. I don't think I should comment. It is a matter that is going to be coming up in a court of law and it should be left to the court," Anthony Marshall said.

He said a hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 8, putting one of New York's first families on display.

The massive court filing details everything from Astor's bland diet - which includes pureed peas, carrots, liver and oatmeal prepared by an "unmotivated cook" who replaced her French chef last year - to her medical care.

According to the papers quietly filed last week, Anthony Marshall has had Astor's weekly doctor visits cut down to once a month, and has ordered the staff not to take her to an emergency room or call 911 if she is having a medical emergency without contacting him first.

The grandson went to court because his father, who is supposed to be overseeing the care of Astor, "has turned a blind eye to her, intentionally and repeatedly ignoring her health, safety, personal and household needs, while enriching himself with millions of dollars."

"My grandmother is one of the great philanthropists of our time," Philip Marshall said in an affidavit. "The sad and deplorable state of my family's affairs has compelled me to bring this guardianship action."

Astor - who still receives about $2 million a year in income from her late husband Vincent Astor's trust - suffers from significant memory loss, skin cancer, chronic anemia, heart problems, spinal stenosis, among other ailments, and has broken her hip twice, according to court papers.

"Her bedroom is so cold in the winter that my grandmother is forced to sleep in the TV room in torn nightgowns on a filthy couch that smells, probably from dog urine," according to the affidavit.

Astor, who is one of 33 women to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor, "has devoted her life to making the world a better place," according to Philip Marshall. She has given away $200 million to city charities alone.

Yet, according to her grandson's court filings, this is what her life has come to:

Although Astor had always used Estée Lauder cosmetics and face creams, her head maid, Mily Degernier, who has worked for Astor for 35 years, has instructed that a "cheaper brand" of makeup be used and that Vaseline be used instead of face cream.

A prescription for Astor's anemia, Procrit, which costs about $1,000 a month, was stopped for no medical reason.

An enzyme supplement, CoQ10, to promote a healthy heart, and which may help in Astor's battle against cancer, which costs $60 a bottle, was stopped at the instruction of Charlene Marshall, Anthony's wife. She then told the aides to buy the medicine off the Internet, a diluted version that costs $26 for three bottles.

When an aide's request for two air purifiers - needed for the dust-filled apartment - was denied, they were bought by de la Renta.

When a request for hair bonnets and no-skid socks was denied, Astor's nurses bought them themselves.

Astor apparently has not seen her beloved dogs, Boysie and Girlsie, in six months because they are kept locked in a pantry to keep them from damaging the apartment.

Anthony Marshall, Astor's son from her first marriage, repeatedly has refused to open up Holly Hill, her 75-acre estate in Briarcliff Manor, Westchester County, this year, even though Astor has said she wants to die there.

While Astor has a nurse on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the staff has been cut back. She used to have two aides on duty at all times, according to an affidavit filed by one of her nurses, Minnette Christie.

Astor's physical therapy has been cut from three to two times a week over the protests of the therapist.

While the apartment was once filled with art, figurines and fresh flowers, according to court papers, "which gave Mrs. Astor great pleasure," some of the art and figurines have been removed. Floral arrangements have been replaced with one or two bouquets from the local Korean market.

Although Astor was known for being always impeccably dressed, she is now reduced to wearing torn nightgowns and old clothes because her son won't buy new ones.

Philip Marshall said her old clothes are too tight because Astor is not as flexible as she used to be, and the nightgowns are rough against her sensitive skin so the staff turns them inside out so that the smoother surface is against her skin.

"New clothes would be good for her spirits," he said in the affidavit.

Another aide, Pearline Noble, said that despite Astor's concern about her appearance, her son has ordered that her manicures and pedicures be cut to once a month, that a scarf Noble had used to cheer Astor not be worn because of a $16 cleaning bill, and that her hair dye be eliminated. Instead, Noble said, she now pays for the hair rinse out of her own pocket.

"The staff that works for Ms. Astor really loves her. It breaks our hearts to see that she is not being cared for by her son in an appropriate way at the end of her life," Noble said.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Been There, Done That, too, Carnie -but go fer it, girl!

I had my bypass on Feb. 28, 1985. Like Carnie's it was a success, and I lost around 140 lbs. (137). Then I got pregnant which was a license to E A T. And regain the weight. But from 1989 until now, I stayed THAT___ F A T.

But I had no trainers, or coaches, or certainly no wonderfully exploitive "PR-SHOWBIZ-Q-Rating-let's see warts and all to get (me) to claw back in the spandex spotlite- shows like VH1's CELEBreality[TM] to get involved in and voila! GREAT BOD after baby! MASS LOVE! I'll cut an album! TEE VEE appearances! More publicity than I can gorge into my tiny mouth! YES! YES! YEeeeeees!"

((((Oh, I LOVE THIS TOO! Watching another human train wreck, this reality show biz stuff. Yeah, like the midget having the love affair with show biz blowzy blonde in the voyeur-house...ooh!))))

But I am dealing with the addiction "between the ears" that caused the ___F A T this go-round. I think Carnie will with CelebREALITY[TM] Part 4.

Here's Miss Carnie, no longer the poster child for the gastric bypass like I was in 1988, no more speaking engagements....she gains the weight back after having baby Lola, then can't ....lose it...and half just hangs on....she is human after all... This is exposure and exposure is still exposure, is still EXPOSURE. Go fer it, girl! Go get another 15 mins!



Carnie Wilson talks about joining VH1's 'Celebrity Fit Club 4' cast

UPI News Service, 06/20/2006 - Carnie Wilson may have lost 20 dress sizes following gastric bypass surgery, but the new mom picked up some pounds when she got pregnant with daughter Lola.

She has lost 65 of the pounds she gained, but with 40 left to get rid off, Carnie seeks professional help by being on the fourth season of "Celebrity Fit Club," Entertainment Tonight reported Tuesday.

"I may be this person known as the spokesperson for gastric bypass, but I have struggles and challenges too. I'm only human," said Wilson.

"It took me nine months to lose 15 pounds," she said. "That was really frustrating. Then you just want to give up. It was one step forward and two steps back."

When she was approached about doing VH1's "Celebrity Fit Club," she decided it might be the answer to her weight struggle.

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Monday, July 24, 2006

"Four of every ten patients who undergo weight-loss surgery develop complications within six months, the federal government said (July 23rd)


Well, I may have have died on the table. I am glad I chose another path, and the "Huckabee" way. God is my co-pilot on this one. I am powerless over sugar, flour and large amounts of food that I would be triggered to eat if I go for the refined stuff. If more people who weigh 300+ accept this, they will no longer turn to the knife. WE CAN DO IT! -- Abbe Buck, PR flack, on a mission, I think (smile)

New York Times: Officials Cite Obesity Surgery Complications

WASHINGTON, July 23 — Four of every 10 patients who undergo weight-loss surgery develop complications within six months, the federal government said today.

The number of such surgical procedures has been rising rapidly, along with the incidence of obesity, which now afflicts about 30 percent of adults in the United States, health officials said.

Obesity surgery is helping thousands of Americans lose weight and reduce the risk of diabetes and other life-threatening diseases, said Dr. Carolyn M. Clancy, director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a unit of the Public Health Service. But she added, “This study shows how important it is for patients to consider the potential complications.’’

Many of the complications were so serious that patients were readmitted to hospitals or visited hospital emergency rooms within six months.

In a procedure known as bariatric surgery, doctors reduce the number of calories that a person can consume and absorb. One of the more common techniques restricts the size of the stomach and the length of the intestine, where nutrients are absorbed.

Federal researchers found that complications from obesity surgery significantly increased costs.

Over all, said William E. Encinosa, an economist at the health research agency, medical costs averaged $29,921 for obesity surgery and six months of follow-up care. For patients who experienced complications, the costs averaged $36,542. And for those with complications that required readmission to a hospital, the average costs were $65,031.

Prior studies found that 10 percent to 20 percent of patients had complications while they were in the hospital. In the new study, Mr. Encinosa said, federal researchers found that 39.6 percent of patients had complications within 180 days of surgery.

The most common complications included vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal hernias, infections, pneumonia and respiratory failure, as well as the leaking of gastric juices caused by imperfect surgical connections between the stomach and the intestines.

Joanne Kayser, a retired New Hampshire state employee, said she weighed 320 pounds when she had bypass surgery in 2003. “The operation went well,’’ she said in an interview. “It reduced my food intake. After the surgery, I lost 60 pounds.’’

But Ms. Kayser, now 64, said: “My incision did not heal for seven months. I could not exercise, and I stopped losing weight. The incision became infected, and I had to have surgery by a wound-care specialist. In addition, after four months, I developed a hernia, a bulge in my tummy.’’

Bariatric surgery often alleviates conditions that occur with obesity, like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. That was the case with Ms. Kayser, who said she no longer needed to take diabetes medications because her blood sugar levels were under control.

Dr. Philip R. Schauer, president of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery, estimates that 175,000 to 200,000 weight-loss procedures will be performed this year, up from 47,000 in 2001. The number of people receiving the operation “may be less than 1 percent of those who need it,’’ said Dr. Schauer, who is director of bariatric surgery at the Cleveland Clinic.

The government study was based on insurance claims filed with health plans offered by 45 large employers in 49 states. The data included information on 2,522 weight-loss operations in 2001 and 2002.

Dr. Schauer said that surgical techniques and the quality of care had improved, so patients were less likely to suffer complications. In 2001 and 2002, he said, “there were not a lot of standards for doctors and hospitals getting into the field of bariatric surgery.’’ Since then, he said, the society has adopted standards, and some hospitals that specialize in the procedure have been designated “centers of excellence.’’

In addition, Dr. Schauer said, more than half of the operations are now done with a technique known as laparoscopic surgery, which requires only tiny incisions. This approach sharply reduces some types of complications, he said.

In the cases reviewed by federal researchers, 85 percent of the patients were women.
Dr. Schauer suggested several reasons: “Women have a somewhat higher incidence of obesity. Women seek medical care more than men. And obesity is more socially acceptable in men than in women.’’

But he also said: “Obesity is more deadly in men because they are more likely to have secondary effects of obesity like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.’’

Arthur G. Richards, an insurance agent in Portland, Ore., said some insurers were refusing to pay for obesity surgery and its complications. Such complications can lead to lawsuits, even when doctors meet the prevailing standards of care. Mr. Richards said his company was developing special insurance policies that would pay doctors for treating foreseeable complications.

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