Wednesday, October 31, 2012

American Diabetes Month


A Day in the Life of Diabetes

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By Terry Orr

I am a type 2 diabetic and try to follow my doctors’ advice by eating, exercising and taking my medications – key word of course it trying – although doing a better job these days.  For any of you who are, know family and friends or are a good candidate for having diabetes – help them anyway you can and talk with your doctor to get yourself on the right track.  This is the first of six diabetes-related articles we will be posting this month.

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A typical day for a diabetic begins with:
  • Checking your weight;
  • Check your blood sugar;
  • Check your blood pressure;
  • Taking your medications;
  • Morning exercises (always seems to brighten my day);
  • Eating a healthy, diabetic-friendly breakfast;
  • Walking and climbing stairs when possible;
  • Have a small healthy snack mid-morning;
  • Get up from your desk, stretch and walk a little (I used my normal restroom breaks to accomplish this many days);
  • Eat a well-balanced and nutritionist lunch (Frequently, I would leave my desk and walk down several flights of stair to eat in the café and return the same way afterwards);
  • Walk (when the weather was nice, a couple of my friends and I took a nice walk outdoors before returning to the office – a wonderful break in routine);
  • Try and have a stress-free commute home (If you can use mass transit – it is very helpful);
  • Exercise (frequently after getting home and checking on everyone – do some stretching and light exercise before dinner);
  • Spend time with the family;
  • Enjoy a light and healthy dinner;
  • Walk around the block once or twice (often with the family and chat along the way – nice way to spend some family time); and
  • Go to bed early enough to allow you to get eight restful hours of sleep.


Sounds simple – but totally unrealistic for most of us – but you would be surprised with a little effort how you can blend these activities into your daily routine.

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Here are just a few of the recent statistics on diabetes from the American Diabetes Association (ADA):
  • Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.
  • Another 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
  • The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $174 billion.

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The Toll on Health (Fact Sheet)
  • Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults.
  • The rate of amputation for people with diabetes is 10 times higher than for people without diabetes.
  • About 60-70 percent of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nerve damage that could result in pain in the feet or hands, slowed digestion, sexual dysfunction and other nerve problems.

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From the good people at CDC they offer the following information on important steps to take to control diabetes:
  • Talk to your health care provider about how to manage your blood glucose (A1c), blood pressure, and cholesterol.
  • Stop smoking and do not use any other tobacco products.
  • Get a flu vaccine. For those with diabetes, type 1 and type 2, it is important to ask for the "shot" version. Talk to your health care provider about a pneumonia (pneumococcal) shot. People with diabetes are more likely to die from pneumonia or influenza than people who do not have diabetes. CDC recommends that everybody aged 6 months and older get a flu vaccine, including family members of people with diabetes.
  • Reach or stay at a healthy weight.
  • Make sure you're physically active. Plan for 2 hours and 30 minutes each week of moderate physical activity, such as walking quickly or gardening, or 1 hour and 15 minutes each week of vigorous physical activity, such as jogging or jumping rope. Add muscle strengthening activities on 2 or more days each week. Physical activity can help you control your weight, blood glucose, and blood pressure, as well as raise your "good" cholesterol and lower your "bad" cholesterol.


Obesity is a Major Risk Factor.  Being overweight or obese raises your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

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Other risk factors for type 2 diabetes include the following:
  • Age 45 or older
  • Developed diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes)
  • Have a parent, brother or sister with type 2 diabetes
  • Are not physically active
  • Belong to certain racial or ethnic groups. African Americans, Hispanic/Latino, American Indians, and some Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at high risk for type 2 diabetes.

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People with diabetes are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year. Fast Facts from CDC:
  • People with diabetes are three times more likely to die from flu complications than people without diabetes.
  • Death rates from pneumonia and influenza among African-Americans with diabetes are double the death rates among whites with diabetes.

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References and Links:

Halloween


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By Diane Forrest

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Today is Halloween, or All Hallow's Eve as it is referred to in other parts of the world.  Tonight is the night when kids dress up in costumes and go door to door shouting out trick or treat?  This was one of my husband's favorite holidays.  He loved sitting at the door with his dog Snoopy by his side handing out candy to all who came.  If they were extra cute, he would always give them more candy.  In fact every year we would run out of candy, and I would run get some more, only to come back home and get no more children.  But luckily, the candy never went to waste!  When my husband became bedridden, I would open the door so he had a direct site to the front door, and was able to see the kids in their costume.  In fact, the last picture I took of him was on Halloween, wearing his devil horns.  He passed away 10 days later.





Halloween is celebrated with haunted houses, church festivals, family parties with apple bobbing  popcorn balls and candy apples. It is also a night of mischief and many "tricks" are played.  This year appears to be a messy night with the bad weather in the Eastern parts of the country.  Hurricane Sandy is already providing the Tricks.  Check back to the article on Halloween safety, and be sure to stay warm and dry tonight.


Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

October is Pregnancy and Infant loss Awareness Month

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By Nurse Diane

Nearly 30 years ago, a friend of mine lost his daughter not long after she was born.  He has 6 more children, and still grieves for the baby he lost.   Over 50 years ago, my husband's parents lost a child after 3 months.  He was born with a hole in his heart.  My husband never met him; he died before my husband was born, but he still talked about him, and put flowers on his grave every time we went to visit his mother.  A member of my church had a son who committed suicide.  A few days later his wife learned that she was pregnant.  The day before the scheduled c section, there was no heart beat detected.  She was rushed to the hospital for an emergency section, but it was too late.  The baby had died.

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According to October15th.com, when a child loses his parents, he is called an orphan, when a spouse loses a mate, he is called a widow or widower.  But, there is no word used to describe a parent who has lost a child.  This month serves to recognize the loss that so many parents share, and offer support to these parents.  Sometimes the world forgets about the grief that is encountered all around us. Sometimes, we just dont know what to say, or how to act with people who have a loss in their family.



This Month is Pregnancy and Infant loss Awareness Month.  For tips to show your support and encouragement, visit this site: http://www.october15th.com/ .

Here are some other ideas on how to share your support:
  • Cook a nice dinner or bake something special for your friend or loved one who has suffered a loss.
  • Plan a balloon release in a park or at a church.
  • Write a poem, or read a poem or quote from your favorite author.
  • Light a candle at home or at church, or plan a candle-lighting ceremony.
  • Spend the day with your friend or loved one. See a movie. Take a walk.
  • Plant a tree or decorate a special garden stone in honor of the child(ren) lost.
  • Send a card. It doesn’t have to say all the perfect things. It just has to say “I’m thinking of you”.

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Just once I wish I could have spent a late hour rocking you in my arms.
Just once I wish I could have gently lain you in your crib.
I wish I could have changed a diaper, chosen an outfit for the day,
given you a bath, soothed your skin with lotion...
Just once I wish I could have heard you cry out
in loneliness for me, spent time alone with you.
Just the two of us, strolled you proudly through the shopping mall.
Just once I wish I could have heard the words:
"What a beautiful, healthy baby boy!"
Just Once.
-- Author Unknown--

SIDS Awareness Month

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By Nurse Diane

When I was pregnant with my son, I was young and had no experience around babies. I had moved in with my parents when he was 6 weeks old, and it had been 20 something years since my mother had been around any babies.  Her sister who had four of them by that time, was an expert, so we waited a few months til she came to visit before we even put him in water to bathe him.  Before that time, I had just been washing him off on a big sponge pad for babies.   I never even put him in real clothes until he was several months old, instead dressing him in gowns that tied at the bottom.   We also placed him in bed on his stomach, believing that putting him on his back was bad for him.  Thinking that sleeping on his back would cause his tongue to block his airway.  Now we know that putting him on his stomach was the worst position to put him in.

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The reason this is bad is because stomach sleeping can increase an infant's risk of "rebreathing" his or her own exhaled air, particularly if the infant is sleeping on a soft mattress or with bedding, stuffed toys, or a pillow near the face. In that scenario, the soft surface could create a small enclosure around the baby's mouth and trap exhaled air. As the baby breathes exhaled air, the oxygen level in the body drops and carbon dioxide accumulates. Eventually, this lack of oxygen could contribute to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

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SIDS is the unexplainable cause of death for infants between the ages of 1 month to one year of age. Some of the other causes of SIDS include:
  • Being around cigarette smoke while in the womb or after being born;
  • Sleeping in the same bed as their parents (co-sleeping);
  • Soft bedding in the crib;
  • Multiple birth babies (being a twin, triplet, etc.);
  • Premature birth;
  • Having a brother or sister who had SIDS;
  • Mothers who smoke or use illegal drugs;
  • Being born to a teen mother;
  • Short time period between pregnancies;
  • Late or no prenatal care; and
  • Living in poverty situations.


Almost all SIDS deaths occur without any warning or symptoms when the infant is thought to be sleeping.  Ways to prevent SIDS include:
  • Place the infant on the back to sleep;
  • Keep soft fluffy material away from the crib;
  • Allow infant to sleep in the same room as parents, but not the same bed;
  • Offer a pacifier after one month of age to prevent interference with breast feeding; and
  • Don’t keep the room too hot.

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October is SIDS Awareness Month.  For more information click on this site: http://www.cdc.gov/features/SidsAwarenessMonth/

Monday, October 29, 2012

National Candy Corn Day

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By Terry Orr

Talk about your SUGAR HIGH – for generations, kids have been getting that high from these tasty morsels.  They are so small – it is difficult to pass up getting a few sitting in your candy dish.
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According to Punchbowl.com - Did you know that candy corn has been around for more than 100 years and has never changed its look, taste, or design?

George Renninger of the Wunderle Candy Company created candy corn in the 1880s. It was made to mimic a kernel of corn and became instantly popular because of its innovative design. It was one of the first candies to feature three different colors!

For those Chocolate Lovers
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And according to Wikipedia -Candy corn is made primarily from sugar, corn syrup, wax, artificial coloring and binders.[2] A serving of Brach's Candy Corn consists of nineteen pieces, and contains 140 calories and zero grams of fat.  The top branded retailer of candy corn, Brach's, sells enough candy corn each year to circle the earth 4.25 times if the kernels were laid end to end.

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All of my grandchildren, nieces and nephews love Candy Corn – so we keep a good supply on hand, especially around Halloween time.


Internet Day


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By Terry Orr

The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite (often called TCP/IP, although not all applications use TCP) to serve billions of users worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of millions of private, public, academic, business, and government networks, of local to global scope, that are linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries an extensive range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents of the World Wide Web (WWW) and the infrastructure to support email. (Source: Wikipedia)

Vint Cerf
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News to me was finding this article The Internet Was Actually Invented in 1934 [Video] on The Inquisitr.  The concept of the Internet was invented by a Belgian Information Expert named Paul Otlet.  Vinton Cerf put together a system for routing data in packet s around the globe called TCP/IP and is often referred to as the Father of the Internet.

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Looking back at the past two decades on how the Internet has impacted our lives – how will our lives be impacted over the next decade?
  • Netscape
  • Yahoo
  • Google
  • Smart Phones
  • Smart TV’s
  • Social Media
  • Blogging
  • Webinar’s

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It is all so fascinating – learning the new breakthroughs in technology and new and improved means of using the Internet.

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References and Links:


Sunday, October 28, 2012

World Psoriasis Day



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By Nurse Diane

There is a commercial on TV where a man is serving food from a mobile trailer.  As he is handing out the order, the sleeve on his shirt raises up and you can notice red patches on his skin.  He is embarrassed, and then it cuts away to a medication to cure the condition.  Psoriasis is a common skin condition that causes skin redness and irritation. Most people with psoriasis have thick, red skin with flaky, silver-white patches called scales.  It can occur with anyone, but it is usually more common if other family members have it.  People get it from the ages of 15 to 35 years of age, and it is not contagious.

Treatment is to control the symptoms, and this is usually done with topical creams, and in more severe cases, pills or injections.  Psoriasis is a life-long condition that can be controlled with treatment. It may go away for a long time and then return. With appropriate treatment, it usually does not affect your general physical health.

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Today is World Psoriasis Day.  According to http://www.worldpsoriasisday.com/ it is an annual day specially dedicated to people with psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis. Conceived by patients for patients, World Psoriasis Day is a truly global event that sets out to give an international voice to the 125 million people with psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis. The goals for the day include:
  • Raising awareness: to let people with psoriasis know that they are not alone and to raise the profile of this devastating skin disease and the misery it can cause. To dispel myths about the condition, such as the mistaken view that psoriasis is contagious.
  • Improving access to treatment: to encourage healthcare systems, governments, physicians, careers and all those responsible for psoriasis care to allow psoriasis sufferers access to optimum therapy. For too long, psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis has been low priority. They are debilitating diseases and must move up the healthcare agenda.
  • Increasing understanding: to provide information to those who are affected by the condition as well as the general public in order to educate people about the condition so that they can discuss it more openly and confidently.


Building unity among the psoriasis community: to provide a platform from which patient voices from around the world can speak as one and be heard by key decision makers.

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For more information visit the site: http://www.worldpsoriasisday.com/

National Chocolate Day


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By Diane Forrest

It's been a while since we talked about chocolate; however...let me reassure you it has never been far from my mind.  As most of you know, I love chocolate!  I keep a supply at hand at all times.  If I should happen to run out, my boss will certainly notice!  He must have a sixth sense bout that, or it could be my change from Dr. Jeckle to Mr. Hyde??

Oh Yum!
Recently I made my mother some chocolate éclairs for her birthday, and had some chocolate cake at a wedding anniversary reception.  Then I went to purchase some Halloween candy that was on sale.  I waited 5 days before sneaking a piece out.  Then after I opened the 100 piece bag, I decided just a few little pieces a day couldn't possibly hurt.  Then a friend of mine sent me the above picture of the cupcake she got for her granddaughter.  I could feel the chocolate demons starting to rise.

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Today is National Chocolate Day.  This means you can feed your chocolate demons with no guilty feelings at all.  With Halloween around the corner, there are bags and bags of candy on sale, or you could stop for a chocolate milk shake or piece of pie.  This is one occasion you sure don't want to miss, so enjoy your chocolate!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Wild Foods Day



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By Diane Forrest

Many years ago you couldn't run down to the grocery store or restaurant and fill your kitchen or stomach with food.  People would have to go to the woods and lakes for their meals.   This was the hunter and gatherer time period.  These days’ people mostly hunt and gather for enjoyment.  You can tell when hunting season starts because my local newspaper starts publishing pictures of hunters with their game.  My stepson belongs to a hunting club, and when he is home from work, he will take his family to the camp and spend time in the woods hunting for deer to stock his freezer with.  He and his wife hunt for sport, not out of necessity as in the old days.

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Not only are you able to hunt for meat, but you can also find other food in the wild, such as roots and berries, mushrooms and greens.   If you want to go grocery shopping in nature, the first thing you need to know is what is edible, and what is not.  The ability of identifying plants and berries is becoming a lost art much like many other talents passed down from older generations.  Before gobbling up some leaves I would suggest you invest in a book to be able to identify these plants.  Organizations such as the Boys and Girl scouts of America teach how to identify safe plants, you can also check with your local forestry commission.

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Learning about what nature provides is very satisfying and could possibly help you survive if you are ever lost or trapped in nature.  Plants are also useful with medicinal care, and made me think of this story.

I have an earache:
  • 2000 B.C. - Here, eat this root.
  • 1000 A.D. - That root is heathen. Here, say this prayer.
  • 1850 A.D. - That prayer is superstition. Here, drink this potion.
  • 1940 A.D. - That potion is snake oil. Here, swallow this pill.
  • 1985 A.D. - That pill is ineffective. Here, take this antibiotic.
  • 2000 A.D. - That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root.


I was recently watching a segment of Blue Ribbon Hunter.  It's a little video article that is published on yahoo.com every week or so where the host visits different festivals or restaurants across the country.  This episode was about the road kill festival.  The food prepared there was from critters people had hit with their car.  Click here to see the different foods they prepared:
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http://screen.yahoo.com/the-roadkill-cook-off-30784538.html;_ylt=AnnneErsSKm8UKGIUOjJNTRZc0Iv;_ylu=X3oDMTJkbWozbmJ0BG1pdANVUFAgUmVsYXRlZCBWaWRlbzIgV2l0aCBWaWV3IENvdW50cwRwa2cDaWQtMzA3ODQ1MzgEcG9zAzYEc2VjA3ZjX25hdgR2ZXID;_ylg=X3oDMTFoOTlpZTNlBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdAMEcHQDdmlkLWdhbGxlcnk-;_ylv=3

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Today is Wild Foods Day.  Why not spend the day hunting and gathering in the woods or waters in your area.  You will be able to find some food and it will be a lot stressful than fighting the crowds and standing in line at the grocery store, and the foods will be preservative free.

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National Sarcastic Awareness Month 2012

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By Terry Orr

Sarcasm
sar·casm  (särkzm) n.

  1. A cutting, often ironic remark intended to wound.
  2. A form of wit that is marked by the use of sarcastic language and is intended to make its victim the butt of contempt or ridicule.


They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and here are a few thousand for your reading enjoyment.

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