Health Is Vital

Health is taken for granted, until you can't any more. In this blog I hope to put down on paper some of the articles I come across and want to remember, about health. I will be personalizing these articles to apply to me. I am diabetic, over weight, have high blood pressure and tinnitus, so these are the things you will find here. I will include nutrition, exercise, and holistic health, and many other ideas. I work in the health profession, particularly mental health, and have an interest in suicide prevention; so these topics will also be covered in this blog. Please, if you are suffering reach out. Our county health and crisis line is 1-855-278-4204.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Black Widows

This flyer is from Santa Clara County Vector Control. 
Black Widows live under buildings, under rocks and in woodpiles and dense vegetation.  The can also be in storage sheds, under patio furniture and in dark hidden corners.  We use to have them in Cupertino, in the outside tool closet.  Bites cause mild to sever pain.  The can also cause muscle spasms, increased blood pressure and difficulty breathing.  For most people, symptoms will subside after a couple days.  Fr children and elderly medical attention should be sought.  A cold pack will lessen the pain.  Bites can be prevented by being alert moving a wood pile, shake out clothes that have been stored, dust and vacuum where spiders may hide, clean clutter in the garage, seal cracksk in windows and doors.
We also have tarantulas in our area.  They are shy and rarely bite.  When they do their bite is similar to a bee sting.  Brown Recluses are not in our area.  False Widows have mild venom. 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Diabetes, Ten Mistakes in Monitoring Blood Sugar

This list is provided by Everyday Health.  I also document how I am doing as others may have the same issues.
1. Getting the wrong Meter.  Mine was given to me by the doctor so no issue here.  It works. 
2. Getting a meter not covered by your insurance.  See number one.  Mine was selected for me so it was covered.
3. Setting up the incorrect time and date.  I have no idea how to do this.  The staff at the diabetic clinic do this for me.  recently on a visit the meter was all off and the had to fix it for me.
4. Testing at the wrong time.  This is a big one for me, because I try to only test when I haven't eaten for three hours.  Sometimes it is hard to do.  Diabetic nurse says I should test first thing in the morning for sure.  I don't always get that done.
5. Not getting into a routine.  I am out of my routine.  I use to always test blood on the train ride home from work about five minutes before exiting the rain.  I am currently out of my groove.  Even when I am in a groove, I have difficulties on the weekend when I do not go through my regular routine.
6.Not cleaning our hands before checking you blood sugar.  This is something I had not really considered.  However I had worried about it a couple times.  However it makes sense.  Washing hands before measuring can give a more accurate reading.
7. Misusing you testing supplies.  Check the expiration dates of the test strips, and avoid reusing the lancets.
8. Testing your fingertip.  The fingertip is the most sensitive part of the finger.  Better to test on the side where it is not so painful.  Also best to change fingers so one isn't over used.
9.  Not staying hydrated.  If you are dehydrated  it can change your numbers.  I had never thought of this.
10. Not tracking your results.  I have never done this, other than what my machine does.  The office of the diabetic nurse use the monitor to get a recent record of my numbers.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

When You Fear Someone May Take Their Life

This pamphlet is from The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  It is not big on graphics and pictures, but very good on the information provided.
90 percent of people who commit suicide are suffering from a treatable mental disorder including: depression, bipolar depression, alcohol abuse or dependence, schizophrenia, post traumatic stress, drug abuse, eating disorder or personality disorder.  Most of these disorders are recognizable and treatable.  Another telling sign for suicide risk is past attempts.  Access to easy means is also a risk factor. 
Things that could signal risk for suicide include suicide threats or threats to hurt others, looking for means to commit suicide, talking or writing about death and suicide plans.  Other warning signs include withdrawing form family and friends, increased alcohol or substance use, engaging in violent behaviors and acting reckless. 
If someone mentions they are suicidal it should be taken seriously.  Be willing to listen.  If you see signs don't be afraid to ask if the person is considering suicide.  Don's try to argue the person out of suicide. 
Seek professional help.  Persons contemplating suicide sometimes don't think they can get help, but there is help available.  In an acute crisis do not leave the person alone, remove means for suicide--fire arms, pills, knives, etc.  Take the person to a crisis center, or lacking this to the nearest hospital.  9-1-1 is always an option; as are suicide prevention lines.  1-800-273-8255 is a national hotline.  Santa Clara County the hotline is 1-855-278-4204.
Persons with suicidal thoughts often hesitate to seek treatment.  You can support them in seeking treatment.  Also medications have side effects and you can help them through this.  It is also important to stick with treatment.  The first medication is not always the right medication.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Salt Lake's Answer to Homelessness

What do people think of Salt Lake's answer to homelessness.  The ask that you not give to panhandlers, but to organizations that help the homeless.  I wonder if it has had any effect on the homeless.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Reflective Leadership: Reflective Supervision

Attended this training while I was doing the supervision curriculum.  It was presented by Maretta Juarez.  Just a few ideas I gleaned from the training.  "We do not learn from experience...we learn from reflecting on experiences" John Dewey.
Reflection is:
Stepping back from the immediate, intense experience to think about what it really means.
Examining our thoughts and feelings about experiences. 
Important skills include self awareness, careful observation and flexible responses.  Elements of reflective practice are relationships and development, parallel thinking, awareness, perspective taking, not knowing and collaborative stance.
Intended impact of reflective practice are: improved outcomes, improved program quality, improved clinical practice, and reflective practice and activities.

Holiday Stress, Mindfulness and Holiday Tradition

Helpful Holiday Resources
The holidays can often be filled with stress and pressure, leading to fatigue and withdrawal. It may seem ironic that the holiday season, which is supposed to cheer us up and bring us together, ends up stressing us out. Why does this happen? Well, our brains are hard at work trying to help us survive the chaos of the busy season. So, we’ve put together some helpful holiday resources to help you manage and even enjoy the holidays!

Be Mindful
  • One way to break the cycle of stress is through mindfulness. Mindfulness is about being interested and paying attention to what is happening in our bodies and minds in any one moment. By being aware of our experiences, rather than distracting ourselves and pretending we are not facing anxiety, we can learn to address our feelings as they come up.
  • We can train our brains to reduce anxiety that can disconnect us from our family and friends. We can even tap into the very process that drives behavior: our natural reward-based learning system. Here’s how: instead of fighting our brains, or forcing ourselves to try to not be anxious during the holidays, be mindful and really pay attention to what you are doing.
  • Curiosity is a powerful tool for taming stress and anxiety. What happens when we get curious? We notice that the feelings of stress and anxiety are simply made up of body sensations—and that these sensations come and go. We notice what is happening in our experience from moment to moment – a deeper level of mindfulness. By substituting the behavior of distraction, worry, or comparison with curiosity, we’ve hacked our brain’s reward-based learning process. Curiosity feels good and is readily available – it’s just a matter of tapping into our own capacity and noticing the reward right in that moment.
So, in preparation for the holidays, take a few moments every day to train your brain to be mindful. Whenever you notice that you’re beginning to get stressed or anxious, take a moment to be aware of what’s happening in your body and mind right in that moment. Be curious.
Credit: (Judson Brewer)

Define Your Holiday Traditions
  • Talk to older family members or friends – Ask relatives about past holidays and events. Reviving these memories could link generations together and revive forgotten traditions.
  • Savor edible traditions – Food is an essential part to many holidays, and the sense of smell is powerfully connected to memory. The wonderful aromas of decadent desserts or delicious dishes evoke memories of special days. Ask family or friends to share their favorite recipes to keep the memories going.
  • Recall family origins – Research the traditions and foods of your ancestors, and find ways to incorporate them into your own celebrations. Members of your family will gain a sense of their own unique heritage that can be preserved for future generations.
  • Record new memories – Keep traditions alive and remembered by keeping a “holiday journal”. Immediately after the holidays, briefly note how you celebrated, who was there, what you ate, where you went, etc. and capture a few moments on camera – but be sure to enjoy the moment as well!
  • Keep it simple – Traditions should be fun, and not overly time-consuming or expensive.
This year, take a few moments to define your family’s traditions and make a special effort to preserve them. Your family and friends will thank you for it!