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.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Diabetic Podiatry Appointment for Fat Feet

I visited the podiatrist last week.  I have very fat feet, as well as diabetes.  I had a blister under a toe, and the podiatrist informed me it was likely because of my shoes.  I walk quite a bit every day with commuting.  She suggested New Balance shoes because they have side sizes.  Honestly, I usually have to buy shoes too big to get them on my wide feet.  I did go to Big Five and get a pair of New Balance, and after wearing them in they are a much better walking shoe than my Vans.  The other bit of advice was to trim my nails shorter.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Article Review: Facing Up to Sexual Violence

facing Up to Sexual Violence, unattributed, Utah State Magazine, Spring 1027.
This article in the Utah State Magazine talks about the major issue on campuses nation wide of sexual assault incidents, and the efforts of universities to deal with this crisis.  Over 300 universities across the nation are under investigation by The Department of Education Office of Civil Rights as a result.  Utah State has also has its problems.  This article deals with what is happening now to address the issue.  One of the issues is how to address the problem while allowing for confidential reporting.  Utah State has initiated two campaigns, "Consent Is" and "I Will".  As part of the4 "I Will" campaign 4000 students have pledged to do whatever they can to stop sexual violence, and create an environment that is survivors are supported.  It is estimated third parties help prevent over one million acts of sexual violence annually.  This effort wants to get people past being bystanders to stepping in when a crime is taking place.  First the individual must recognize that a crime is taking place.  They must agree that sexual crimes are intolerable.   The pledge is, "I will step in and stop sexual assault."
The "Consent Is" campaign is an educational program to make sure individuals have consent before engaging in sexual activity.  You cannot get consent when the partner is wasted, high or incapacitated.  Consent should be verbal.  Consent can by withdrawn, Consent is mutual.
Recommendations, or things being put into place are, a centralized oversight, educating about reporting options, ensure staff comply with reporting obligations, improve record keeping, improve relations with law enforcement, continually reevaluate.

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Ambulance Down in the Valley (Prevention)

I think this is the social worker in me that likes this poem.  I came across it while participating with a community group looking at teen pregnancy in Roosevelt, Utah.
A Fence or an Ambulance
[A poetic case for the value of prevention]
'Twas a dangerous cliff, as they freely confessed,
Though to walk near its crest was so pleasant;
But over its terrible edge there had slipped
A duke and full many a peasant.
So the people said something would have to be done,
But their projects did not at all tally;
Some said, "Put a fence 'round the edge of the cliff,"
Some, "An ambulance down in the valley."
But the cry for the ambulance carried the day,
For it spread through the neighboring city;
A fence may be useful or not, it is true,
But each heart became full of pity
For those who slipped over the dangerous cliff;
And the dwellers in highway and alley
Gave pounds and gave pence, not to put up a fence,
But an ambulance down in the valley.
"For the cliff is all right, if you're careful," they said,
"And, if folks even slip and are dropping,
It isn't the slipping that hurts them so much
As the shock down below when they're stopping."
So day after day, as these mishaps occurred,
Quick forth would those rescuers sally
To pick up the victims who fell off the cliff,
With their ambulance down in the valley.
Then an old sage remarked: "It's a marvel to me
That people give far more attention
To repairing results than to stopping the cause,
When they'd much better aim at prevention.
Let us stop at its source all this mischief," cried he,
"Come, neighbors and friends, let us rally;
If the cliff we will fence, we might almost dispense
With the ambulance down in the valley."
"Oh he's a fanatic," the others rejoined,
"Dispense with the ambulance? Never!
He'd dispense with all charities, too, if he could;
No! No! We'll support them forever.
Aren't we picking up folks just as fast as they fall?
And shall this man dictate to us? Shall he?
Why should people of sense stop to put up a fence,
While the ambulance works in the valley?"
But the sensible few, who are practical too,
Will not bear with such nonsense much longer;
They believe that prevention is better than cure,
And their party will soon be the stronger.
Encourage them then, with your purse, voice, and pen,
And while other philanthropists dally,
They will scorn all pretense, and put up a stout fence
On the cliff that hangs over the valley.
Better guide well the young than reclaim them when old,
For the voice of true wisdom is calling.
"To rescue the fallen is good, but 'tis best
To prevent other people from falling."
Better close up the source of temptation and crime
Than deliver from dungeon or galley;
Better put a strong fence 'round the top of the cliff
Than an ambulance down in the valley.
-- Joseph Malins (1895)

Sunday, April 2, 2017

April: Alcohol Awareness Month

This is an article from Infomail for valley Medical Center
Alcohol Awareness Month
The Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Prevention Division wants you to know the April is Alcohol Awareness Month.  Did you know that drinking too much alcohol increases people's risk of injury, violence, drowning, liver disease, some types of cancer, and causes an all-told 100,000 alcohol related deaths every year?  the good news?  We can all do our part to prevent alcohol abuse and take action to prevent it, both at home and in the community.  For more information about Alcohol Awareness Month visit www.ncadd.org.
Below are a few ideas on how to prevent alcohol abuse:
Be careful using alcohol as a reward to deal with life pressures, find other ways to handle stress and unwind
Encourage friends and family members to make small changes, like keeping track of their drinking and setting limits
Choose a day or two each week when you will not drink.
Limit the amount of alcohol you keep in your home
Don't drink when you are upset
Make a list of reasons now to drink excessively
Talk with underage children in the home about the risks of alcohol
Keep a well-balanced life



Friday, March 31, 2017

Pamphlet Notes: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

This is a pamphlet from National Institute of Mental Health.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is when someone has to recheck and recheck things.  Not the once or twice which is normal, but over and over.  It can include ritualistic behavior as well.  Thoughts and actions associated with OCD get in the way of daily life and cause distress.
Signs and symptoms to look for:
Repeated thoughts about things, such as fear of germs, intruders etc.
Do the same rituals over and over.
Can't control unwanted thoughts.
Don't get pleasure form the rituals, but momentary relief.
Spend at leas one hour per day on the thoughts and rituals.
The cause of OCD is still not known however there is a genetic component.
OCD responds to both psychotherapy and medication.  A preferred psychotherapy is cognitive behavioral therapy.  CBT teaches someone how to control their thoughts.  Antidepressants also are helpful when taking under a doctor's direction,
Lastly combined psychotherapy and medication are also useful.



Article Notes: A Parent's Guide to ADHD

This article points out that most children have some problem with attention from time to time.  However in cases of ADHD this problem is an ongoing issues.  However kids with ADHD can focus very well when the topic interests them, they have great energy and can be very creative.  There are three types of ADHD, Hyperactive, Inattentive and Mixed.  Although we need to avoid overgeneralization, boys more generally have hyperactive, which is noticed and diagnosed earlier.  Girls for the most part have Inattentive type, which is not noticed until later, and study habits are more important.  Mixed is when a child has characteristics of both types.  Medication treatment are two types, stimulant, which is short acting, and non stimulant which last longer.  Non medication strategies can also help.  Incorporating exercise into the child's day, keeping homework sessions short or breaking up homework, using a timer, trying to do so much homework in an allotted amount of time, staying positive, goal setting, letting kids practice working independently.
Article was written by Sarah R. Cheyette MD and published in Bay Area Parent.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Pamphlet Review: Depression


This is a pamphlet from the National Institute of Mental Health.  It is a pamphlet for lay people, how to determine if they have depression and whether to get help.  Signs of depression include feeling sad; feeling hopeless, anxious or guilt; loss of interest in favorite activities; feeling tired; not being able to concentrate; overeating or not wanting to eat; thoughts of suicide or attempts; aches, pains cramps, digestive issues.
Some of depression is genetically caused, but it also has an environmental component.  Sometimes genes play a role in resilience, and ability to recover from hardship.  Depression either causes, or is caused by subtle changes in the brain.
The first step for treatment of depression is to visit a doctor or mental health worker.  Depression can respond to medications, psychotherapy or both.
For those in Santa Clara County on MediCal, the number to call for assistance is 1-800-704-0900