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, July 31, 2016

Booklet Review: Information Booklet for Families in Crisis

This is a good little booklet for families who might have a family member in need of psychiatric hospitalization.  It explains the process of being put on a hold including 5150 (72-hour hold).  This means a psychiatric placement for up to 72 hours, but not often that long, 5250 or 14-day certification for Intensive Treatment.  EPS is the program in Santa Clara County where most individuals on a hold go, until they are either able to go home, or certified for longer placement.  CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) is the program with police officers in Santa Clara who are trained to deal with mental health emergencies.  Family members are allowed to provide information to psychiatric providers, or CIT officers.  This information should be accurate.  Common terms are Danger to Others (threatening to hurt others), Danger to Self (threatening to hurt oneself), Gravely Disabled (so ill the individual cannot take care of his/herself).

This booklet is put out by Santa Clara County Behavioral Health

Pamphlet Review: Suicide: How faith Communities Can Provide Hope and Promote Healing

This is an interesting pamphlet form Mental Health Ministries and distributed by National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.  We here so much about suicide, 1,000,000 people attempt suicide.  In the United States this accounts for 36,000 deaths annually.  Risk factors include previous attempt, depression, alcohol or drug abuse, family history of suicide, physical illness or chronic pain.  Most people who complete a suicide give some warning, either giving away possessions, impulsive purchase of a firearm, or obtaining other means of killing oneself.  As an individual you can acknowledge the pain of those who are in need, talk to them and listen, don't be afraid to ask if someone is contemplating suicide, ask if they are seeing a therapist or taking medication, help them get help or to a safe environment.  Do not try to argue someone out of suicide.  Let them know you care and they are not alone.  As for the faith community there is a need to talk openly about suicide, and provide information.  Mental illness is a treatable illness, no a moral or spiritual issue.  Be aware of local resources and hotlines.  In Santa Clara County the line is 1-855-278-4202

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Trauma: Signs of and Tips for from Mental Health First Aid

 The things to watch for are that some one has passed through a traumatic event, anger, sadness, hopelessness, withdrawal fatigue etc.
I thinks asking how you can help is important, talk as an equal is important, don't interrupt, don't trivialize, connect with resources if the person wants help, get help for suicidal or other risk behaviors.

Reflective Practice Guides

I have been to a couple of trainings involving reflective practice.  One was with Kristie Brandt who also provided a work book.  I wanted to share a couple thoughts from the trainings, because I think they can add to anyone’s experience.  These I think are fundamental principles of reflective practice and supervision.
They are both in the book, "Facilitating the Reflective Process.  We don’t learn from experience.  We learn from reflecting on our experiences," T. Berry Brazelton MD
"Treat others the way you would like them to treat others."

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The New American Plate

I must admit, this plate does not look very appetizing to me.  I am more a fruit kind of guy than broccoli and squash.  However meat and rice is good.  I love watermelon, and berries, and green beans and peas.

Legumes and whole grains 
There you have it, the new American diet as presented by the American Cancer Society.  The most important thing here is to control your portion sizes.  And you can never forget about exercise.  In fact how active you are should determine your portions.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Summer Safety: Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets can be nasty.  They can sting over and over.  The build paper nests made from wood and saliva.  It is a good idea not to provoke them.  Swinging or arms will not deter them.  Instead cover your face and walk away.  Do not try to approach their nests as they are known to swarm and will defend their nest.  Prevention is best.  Keep lids on trash cans, eliminate standing water, clear dirty dishes immediately, cover sugary drinks, hand traps away from where people will be.  If stung use soap and water, cover with a bandaid, watch for signs of allergic reaction (breathing issues).  If you are sensitive, go to the doctor immediately.

Health Tips: Smoking

SMoking can make you sick and shorten your life.  If you quit you will be healthier.  There is help to quit.
1-800- STOP-NOW  1-800-NO-BUTTS

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Everyday Health: 8 Habits that Spell Disaster for Diabetes

So here we go, a list of items from Everyday Health and how I am doing with regards to the same.  These points are specifically directed to Type II Diabetes:
Eating Three Big Meals a Day:  I guess I have this half down.  I eat three big meals a day, and then I have snacks in between as well.  Maybe that is the worse.  Portion control is my key.  I love food, and tend to eat too much.  I am having challenges with my weight lately.
Skipping Breakfast: I don't skip breakfast.  However breakfast is usually cookie and fruit because it is is always rushed trying to catch the train.  I usually grab something to eat in the car on the way to the station.  People who eat a big breakfast, and a small dinner have better sugar numbers.
Sleeping Too Little--or too much:  I use CPAP, and my goal is 6.5 hours CPAP sleep per night.  I rarely get this much sleep.  I usually go to sleep at 11 and get up at 5, which is 6 hours.   This article suggest 6.5-7.4 hours per night as optimal for A1C levels.  I usually sleep some on the train to work, but I think for me CPAP sleep is the important measure.  Even on weekends I tend to sleep a little later, but also stay up later, evening things out.
Neglecting Your Dental Health:  A good mouth is good for everything.  Because diabetes effects your ability to fight bacteria, flossing regularly is even more important.  Before going to the dentist this last time it had been about three years since I had been.  Not a good idea.  Also my flossing skills need to improve.  I floss when I get stuff stuck in my teeth, like popcorn or meat.  However I have a new sonic tooth brush and I am pretty regular with that.  However the dental people said that did not excuse me from flossing.
Not Appreciating the Role of Stress:  Stress starts a hormonal reaction that makes it harder to control blood sugar.  I noticed this when I burnt myself.  My blood sugar levels were out of control.  They are doing better now however.  I good do better with stress reducing habits, meditation, prayer and scripture reading.
Ignoring Depression:  Being a mental health worker you would think I would have an eye on this one.  I do not think I have depression at this time.  However increased exercise (calisthenics) may be in order to fight depression.
Striving for Perfection:  Healthy lifestyle may include giving up the quest for perfection.  This article says maybe we over-test for blood sugar, which can lead to obsessing over our blood sugar number.  For my part, I try to test when the result will be low, about three hours or more after having eaten.
Putting Off Health Care Appointments:  Speaking of which, I need to get ahold of the diabetes clinic as I am overdue for foot examination.  I have my PCP pretty much in line now after going through a couple changes recently as my doctor changed clinics and I didn't want to change.  Then I had another doctor I only saw once before she left as well.

Story of Overcoming Addiction

Here is a story from the Manteca Bulletin about overcoming drug addiction and the help of HOPE Ministries in Manteca.  This is very good.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Zika Virus Basics

Zika virus is a mosquito born illness.  A mosquito becomes infected when it bites someone who has Zika virus.  It can also be transferred through sex or mother to new born baby.  Most Zika infection is not very serious, flu like symptoms.  They may have joint pain, rash, fever which may last for a couple weeks.  Zika illness during pregnancy can transfer microcephaly to the infant.  This is a serious brain disorder.

Things to prevent Zika Virus includes wearing long sleeves when in places with Zika virus, stay where there is air conditioning and window screens, take steps to control mosquitoes, Use Environmental Protection Agency approved insect repellants.  Mosquito netting can be used for babies.
If you suspect you have Zika virus get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, take medicines like acetaminophen to reduce fever and pain, do not take aspirin, talk to your doctor if you are taking other medication.

Vapes: Myths and Realities

Are E-cigarettes or Vapes harmless?  Not really.  They produce a water vapor which contains nicotine and perhaps other harmful drugs.  They still deliver nicotine and low levels of other toxins and chemicals.  As E-cigarettes are not regulated you never know how much you are getting.  Can E-cigarettes help you  quite smoking?  Some people may switch, put switching is not quitting.  They are not approved by the FDS as a way to quit smoking.  Are E cigarettes addictive?  Anything which contains nicotine is addictive.   To quite call 1-800-NO-BUTTS.

Child Abuse and Alcoholism: Is there a Connection?

These are my thoughts about an article appearing in Parenting on the Peninsula, April 2016 written by Rayne E. Golay.
The article sites studies which show that college students with PTSD have a greater chance of over using alcohol.  From their the author assumes that the PTSD is caused by child abuse.  I think it is important to realize that misuse of alcohol effects more than just you.  Alcohol, or other drug use increases the incidence of child abuse and neglect.  Parental alcoholism is often a factor in children being placed in protective custody.  When Sheri and I were foster parents, the majority of the children who came to our home was the result of parental alcohol or drug problems.
If you are having issues with alcohol or drugs, it is important to seek help.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Food Temperature Safety

This fridge sticker is pretty specific.  Under 41 or over 135 are safe temperatures for food to prevent growth of bad things.

Burn Safety and Burn Center Nurse Manager

Please be mindful of the season and take care.
On Monday, June 27th, SCVMC teamed up with officials from the Santa Clara Fire and Sheriff's Department and the San Jose Fire and Police Departments to improve public awareness about the danger of illegal fireworks.  Our own Jill Sproul , RN, Nurse Manger of our Burn Center joined other County leaders at this Community event held at Vasona Park in Los Gatos. Jill provided the following advice to members of the Santa Clara Community:
    • "The staff at the Burn Center at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center have been treating pediatric and adult burn patients for the past 46 years.  Every 4th of July season we treat several patients with burn and blast injuries as the result of illegal fireworks.
    • Despite our prevention efforts few people understand the associated risks, lifelong effects and devastating disability that occurs after a burn injury.
    • In addition to life threatening injuries, years of rehabilitation, burn injuries can cause disfigurement and loss of function.
    • After working in Burn care for 26 years I can tell you people do not think it will happen to them.
    • As a burn survivor myself from a gasoline explosion I sustained as a child- I am here to tell you burns do not discriminate and it can happen to you.
    • According to the National Fire Protection Agency, Emergency rooms across the country will treat thousands of people over the next few weeks due to fireworks related injuries.
    • This time of year we also see an increase in camp fire related injuries, BBQ accidents and burns sustained from covering hot coals at the beach.
    • Our goal this year at the Burn Center is to have no fireworks related burn injuries, as EVEN ONE is too many.
    • We ask that you help us in preventing burn injuries by not participating in the use of illegal fireworks. Our hope is that you and your families have a safe and injury free Fourth of July Holiday!