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.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

**Diabetes and Burnout

This article entitle "On the Rebound" in the Web MD Diabetes magazine for Winter 2015 by Erin O'Donnel is the basis for this blog.  This article deals with sliding in maintaining your diabetes regimen.  What with blood checking,  and controlling carbs, and exercising, and medications, it can be a bit daunting.  And nobody is perfect.  Thinks to remember:
1) Check in with your team.  Who is it that supports you in you diabetes management.  If you have a diabetes educator now is a good time to check in.  They can help with meal planning, or other modifications to get your diabetes under control.  Check-ins can lead to positive change.
2) Don't be too perfectionistic.  Perfect control does not exist.  Blood levels fluctuate, and won't always be in the perfect range.  It is part of diabetic life.
3) Focus on victories.  Victories are there.  maybe it is an evening walk, or avoiding a late night carbohydrate intensive snack.  By focusing on the victories, you can then add maybe an extra walk per week or some small step.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

**Diabetes and Stress

I picked up a Web MD magazine when I was in Walgreens, and found two articles on diabetes and stress.  The first, they studied people who were stressed and found their brain areas governing self control were turned down or turned off, so they ate more sweets and junk food.  The stressed the people by having them hold one hand in ice water for three minutes.  This is a known stress producing stimulus.  Then they presented them, as well as a control group, to a buffet with junk food.  MRI scans showed less activity in the self-control portion of the brain among those who were stressed compared to those not stressed.   Those who had the ice water bath were more likely to give into temptation as well.
The second article, written by Gina Shaw, tells that stress and diabetes and wreak havoc on your hormonal system.  Stress also makes one less likely to take care of their self.  Diabetes, for the most part, is a self-care illness.  You monitor you carbohydrate and calorie intake, you exercise or not.  It is all a person choice.  When there is lots of stress, it is less likely someone will take care of their self.
Stress relievers:  Breathe; deep breathing from your diaphragm will help send oxygen to your muscles and reduce stress, set yourself up for success.  Having healthy snacks available is good, but also a way to monitor your exercise and remind you to be active.  Then finally, having an understanding of your stress signals, so you know when to be on the alert and when to take action.
I have just gone through a period where by diabetes was not under control.  This was after I b urned myself.  It makes me wonder if the two things are related.  I had numbers over 300--a few not good outliers,  but have finally gotten my fasting blood sugar below 200, averaging about 175.  Some readings have been as low as 140, which is unheard of for me.  However, the doctor threatened me with insulin.  I don't want to go there so I have no choice but to watch my intake, and get plenty of exercise.

**Want to Quit Smoking? 1-800-NO-BUTTS

This is a California cost free phone line for smokers who want to quit.  They have a confidential one-on-one phone counseling services.  In addition the refer to local programs, and offer self-help materials.  Nicotine is a hard addiction, so they admit not everyone is successful, however there is no rule against trying again, and sometimes it takes multiple tries to give up the smoking habit, but persistence will pay off.  They have many different languages available.

Friday, February 26, 2016

**Crisis Intervention Team

Mental Health in the county where I work has done some innovative things for mental health/ police officer cooperation.  One of those things is the mental health department provides training for police officers who want to become certified as Crisis Intervention Team officers.  At this time there is not an active mobile mental health team for adults, and consequently the police are called upon to do mental health interventions.  However the crisis intervention team officers are provider an intensive training to help them with mental health consumers.  This started with San Jose Police Department, but has now spread to all of the police department through out the county.

Monday, February 22, 2016

**Book review: Outliers: The Story of Success

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell, Back Bay Books, New York, 2008.

This is a different positive thinking book than any I have found.  The bottom line of this book is that the reasons for someone to be successful can be illusive; however he did say 10,000 hours is key.  Those who have become successful have spent 10,000 hours perfecting what they do, whether it is computers, or a sport, or music, or lawyering.  It takes time for those success thoughts to rise to the top.  However it says sometimes the thing that gives us those hours can be by chance, the year we were born, the month you were born, your way of getting experience etc.  It also sounds like he takes President Obama's opinion, "You didn't build that."  So in the end, I don't know what to think of this book.  Although the story of the Beatles and Bill Gates were very interesting.  I also like the bit about the Chinese and hard work.

Friday, February 12, 2016

**Self Care is Vital

An article in the Bay Area Parent magazine has me thinking about self care.  This was also part of the training I attended this week.  What are you doing to take care of yourself.  We all work hard, but what do we do at work, and after work to take care of yourself.
At the training some things mentioned were exercise, having a pet such as a dog or cat to pet and reflecting to improve.
The article by Cindy Kaplan gives some specific ideas.  The article is geared towards parents of children with special needs, but we all need to take care of ourselves.  These are some thoughts I have about the article:
1. Remove yourself from the situation, lie down on the ground.  Lying down gives you a different perspective,  this could be similar to remembering our place in the world and is a technique to do this.
2. Put on some classical music.  Music can bring down the stress or tension in a situation, if the music is conducive to do this.  Hard rock with the steady third beat harder, and rap music with lyrics that excite and arouse won't do this.  But classical music will.  If classical music isn't your think, easy listening will also bring emotional levels down.
3. Stop outside and look at the sky.  Again this is a grounding strategy to remember the wonder of things and our place in the universe.
4. Give yourself permission to table a discussion.  This is a hard one for me sometimes, but I have taught time out as a way to not avoid, but discuss things at a better time.  In our training it was emphasized that being able to say, lets hold that for a moment and look at it in more detail, are good strategies for reflecting.
5. Light a candle.  A change of mood, and the process of doing something can bring stress levels down.
6. Express yourself creatively.  How often can we put things into paper through art or  writing.  Dance and music also give a chance at creation.
7.  Breathe.  take time to focus on breathing, and allow yourself to breathe deeply.  This is a good way to soothe over stressful situations.  You can breathe pains and stress away.  Recently when I burnt myself, when I remembered to breathe the pain was much less.
A few self care techniques should be in everyone's repertoire.  Also you should frequently ask yourself, What am I doing to take care of myself?