Thursday, March 16, 2017

Readers Digest Interview 2

Healthy decisions you should make during your lunch break

As a nurse, I get a very short lunch break but understand the value of making every minute of my day count.  Below are some great preventative exams that you can easily fit into your luck break so don't neglect your health!

1 Pap smears: while guide lines are changing regarding the frequency of Pap smears, they are an important test you don't want to miss.  Even if you are of an age where you have “graduated” from Pap smears it is still a good idea to have regular pelvic exams to check for vulvar and other vaginal cancers.

2 Mammograms: most ladies of child bearing age should have an annual mammogram for early detection of breast cancer. Most breast cancer is treatable when detected early. Don't forget the self exams.  Most easily done in the shower.  Feel the breast in small circles for lumps or bumps.  Also visually inspect for any dimpling of the skin or drainage from the nipple.  Early detection saves lives

3 Dental visits are important for more reasons than pearly white color.  A dentist will inspect and clean your teeth but also exam your mouth for any oral cancers.  Especially if you are a smoker, vape or chew, yes I've met women that do.

4 Eye exams don't take very long and ensure you have good vision for driving, reading and other daily tasks. Checking for cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration on a regular basis can ensure you have healthy eyes as you age and that you can enjoy the normal activities of daily living for a long time.  Don't skip it! And oh, the frames they have now. So many stylish frames, with glare protection.  Your glasses can be a great fashion statement.

5.  A good foot exam is very important especially if you have diabetes.  Tell your doctor immediately if you have burning, tingling or numbness in your feet.  Visually inspect your feet for calluses or breaks in the skin that can cause infection.  I see patient every day that lose a toe or Part of their foot because they had neglected the numbness in their foot and couldn't feel a skin break that quickly became infectious.

6.  Know your numbers! Have your annual bloodworm drawn.  Checking your blood sugar, cholesterol, thyroid, urine, vitamin d and vit b12 are all great tools to check your overall health.  A good phlebotomist can draw you in just a few moments and you’’ll be able to return to work in a flash.

Make your lunch break count!!!

Readers Digest Interview
“Debunking trusted home remedies that actually harm instead of help”

1. Are all natural health remedies safe?

Generally speaking, most home remedies are pretty harmless.  Whether they are actually effective is another matter. However, you can't assume that ALL natural health remedies are safe.  People still equate the word “natural” with safe and that's not always the case.

2. Are there any people who shouldn't use a home remedy (i.e children, elderly, sickly etc)?  If so, then why not?

Absolutely.  Those with compromised immune symptoms should seek immediate attention when illness sets in vs. attempting a home remedy first. With a compromised immune system they may have less reaction time than a healthier patient.  Pregnant ladies should never use a medication or home remedy without discussing it first with their doctor, for the obvious reason of having a baby on board.  And certainly patients with several co-morbidities should avoid home remedies.  When a list of medications gets beyond 3-4 meds, even vitamins and over-the-counter supplements can render diabetic, hypertension, cholesterol or thyroids meds less efficacious. This “stacking” can cause interactions of their own.

3. Can you give an example of a possible complication from using a home or natural remedy

Often we see complications arise when people suddenly or radically change their diet to loose weight or improve memory.  Eliminating entire food groups or eating only one thing for days or weeks at a time can do more harm than good.  Complications can range from headaches to dizziness or constipation

4. What are three home remedies that you believe are more harmful than helpful

Trying to clean ear wax out of your ear with cotton swabs.  A small amount of ear wax is normal and helpful to the ear, but sticking cotton swabs into the ear canal just pushes and compacts wax deeper into the ear, which can lead to diminished hearing. I can't tell you how many ear lavages I've performed to remove the cotton tip that unexpectedly came off the cardboard stick once shoved far enough into an ear canal

Certainly you should never take a medication/supplement  on the advice of someone other than your doctor or pharmacist. Important and well intentioned people in your life like you’re your hairstylist, gym trainer or massage therapist mean well but again they may not be familiar with your medical diagnosis and current medication list.
I've seen people put bleach on their skin in attempt to stop a rash or insect bite.  Harsh chemicals can actually produce burns on the skin, penetrating several layers deep. I'm short, Don't do that.

Some home remedies patients swear by, that I can't endorse or refute:
A teaspoon of vinegar for acid indigestion
Putting a bar of soap at the foot of the bed to stop leg cramps
Using the warm air of a hair dryer to stop an ear ache
Rubbing butter on a burn
Urinating on a jelly fish sting
I could go on, but that's another story :-)

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Chonda Pierce

So I went to see this funny lady last night.  And what a surprise when she started singing!!!  I had no idea she had such a beautiful and strong voice.  That's was just an extra treat!! Fun night with my sister, Laurie and some fun girls.

If you ever get a chance to attend an Ash Wednesday service, I highly encourage you to do it.  There is something so beautiful about humbling yourself and receiving the ashes, reminding us that we won't live forever and from dust we came, and to dust we shall return.

For me, Lent has always touched my spirit in a stronger way than even Advent.  The ashes remind me that to dust I will return and the cross reminds me there is victory over death thru the blood of Jesus.

May this Lenten season be a wonderful time of reflection for you too !!