My Journey To Health, Doctors 101

Lucy-PsychToday I decided to write doctors 101, which I should probably apologize ahead of time to all my friends who are doctor for having the audacity to write this.

This is going to seem fairly simple to some of you, but for others it will help.  I have found a lot of confusion out there regarding the terms we are going to discuss.

First the MD.  MD stands for medical doctor.  A medical doctor is the one who takes care of you when you’re sick.  At this point in time I have 4 medical doctors.  The first one is my Primary Care Physician, otherwise known as a PCP.  In the past we would use the term family doctor, I have no idea why that changed.  Your PCP takes care of your general health.  A cold, the flu, and your regular aches and pains, blessed is the person who only ever sees a PCP.

We need to take a break hear now and add the PA or The Physician’s Assistant.  A PA can do the things a doctor can do only he does them under the immediate supervision of an MD.  In reality I am not sure how this works in the office.  I, however, see a PA and I have a high respect for him.  He treats me well and thinks of alternatives to regular meds which sometimes really help.

Next you have the specialists.  We are no longer in the days of the Wild West.  Where your town had one doctor and he helped you with your cold and set your broken leg.  After a certain level of treatment your PCP may advise you to see a specialist.  I have three, 1, a podiatrist for my feet, 2 a neurologist for my brain and 3 a psychiatrist for mental health issues.

Now let’s take a look at the PHD.  The PHD is a doctor of philosophy and as many as there are subjects under the sun you can have a PHD.  You can have a PHD in English, Math, Botany, Theology, Religion; Music the list is really endless.  I see one PHD and that is my Psychologist.

As mentioned above a Psychiatrist is an MD and he is.  A psychiatrist takes care of the medical side of emotional and mental illness.  He supplies the medications you may need such as anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds.  I have found that there are two types of Physiatrists.  The first you see for a very brief time, they quickly checks your meds against how you are feeling and alter them accordingly.  These psychiatrists are usually the ones you will find that are covered under your insurance.  The second talks to you for a longer period of time and then alters the meds.  These you will rarely find covered by insurance.

A psychologist is different as he does not provide you with medication but instead helps you with what is now popularly come to be known as Talk Therapy.  Talk Therapy is the type that you see depicted in cartoons where the patient is laying on a couch and the doctor is sitting there taking notes.  This differs from Peanuts where Lucy has a psychiatric both and she sits on one side and Charlie Brown sits on the other.  As Lucy only charges five cents I doubt this is much of an issue.

Talk Therapy, in reality. takes place in a pretty relaxing atmosphere.  There can be a couch present but mostly people sit up and talk.  Comfortable chairs are usually available though I can think of one instance where the office was pretty Zen oriented and had two chairs and wall hangings.

The PHD is going to set up his or her office according to their personal choices as well as the type of therapy that they do.  There are many types of talk therapy.  One where you do just talk and the PHD takes notes and listens rarely giving advice, but giving you the opportunity to figure stuff out on your own.

The other will be more active in the conversation and will challenge you while you are speaking as well as help you set goals.  This is the type of psychologist I see.  He was the doctor that had me come off sugar identifying it as an addiction.

Here is the key with all doctors, both MDs and PHDs.  YOU ARE THE BOSS.  If one of your docs isn’t treating you well, go to another.  This is especially true with the psychologist and psychiatrist.  The guy that fixes your leg can be an ass personality wise, but if he is an amazing surgeon, keep him.  You only deal with him for a short time.

With a psychologist or psychiatrist it is very different.  This becomes a real relationship in your life.  You have to like someone that you have to trust with all your deepest feelings and secrets.  Some will even allow a phone interview before you come in for an appointment just to see if the two of you are a good match.  This relationship may be very short term or long term, but you gotta like and trust the guy, if you don’t, or the relationship goes south, fire him or her.  It is your right to do so.

With talk therapy there are also therapists.  These mostly have master’s degrees.  My first experience was with a therapist and he was brilliant.  He gave me two pieces of advice that I now pass on to you.  The first, is a therapist is not a paid for friend.  You are there to accomplish something together then part company, this is not a person who you hang out with.  The second is, if your therapist and you decide that you are to do something, do it.  If you don’t or you don’t have a very good reason for not doing the work, you are wasting the therapist’s time and your time as well as your money.

One final thought.  Medical Doctors and Doctors of Philosophy work equally hard at earning their degrees.  They, as I understand, get there through different processes, but the time and energy spent are probably about equal.  I want to take a second to pause and salute those who have made this achievement in their lives.  Many of them gave as the benefits that we have today in the 21st century, and those that follow will play a key roll in building a better tomorrow.

The post My Journey To Health, Doctors 101 also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Burger King Announces Plans To Add Hot Dogs To Their Menu

Burger-King

(PCM) Burger King has revealed that they are now looking to capture another crown and have announced plans to add flame-grilled hot dogs to their menu beginning on February 23rd. With the launch, Burger King restaurants will serve hot dogs in more restaurants than any other restaurant chain in the U.S.! The company feels that it is a natural fit for their brand and when the hot dogs were offered in various test markets, they performed very well with consumers.

The new Grilled Hot Dogs will be a permanent menu items for Burger King restaurants.  The Grilled Dogs will be available in both the Classic Grilled Dog and the Chili Cheese Grilled Dog. The Classic Grilled Dog is a flame-grilled hot dog made with 100% beef topped, with ketchup, mustard, chopped onions and relish, served on a fluffy baked bun. The Chili Cheese Grilled Dog is the same beef hot dog topped with warm chili, shredded cheddar cheese and served on a fluffy baked bun. Both are sold separately or as a combo meal.

To get workers excited, Burger King even enlisted Snoop Dogg and Charo to star in training videos for making the hot dogs, however those training videos are not made for public viewing, but only for internal use. Something tells us those will leak out sometime in the near future!

The post Burger King Announces Plans To Add Hot Dogs To Their Menu also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

NATIONAL PEPPERMINT PATTY DAY (February 11th)

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(PCM) Today we showcase the delicious mint and chocolate combo that’s been inspiring wintery-fresh sensations for generations of candy lovers.

Though variations on the dynamic choco-mint duo have long been available by commercial confectionaries, perhaps the most well-known is the York Peppermint Patty, first manufactured in 1940 in York, Pennsylvania.

It isn’t clear why February 11th is set aside to celebrate the candy, other than perhaps its proximity to a certain romantic, chocolate-friendly holiday.

Contrary to popular belief, comic strip artist Charles Schultz did not intend his character, Patricia “Peppermint Patty” (the beloved tomboy of the Peanuts’ gang) to be associated with the patty candy. Though Ms. Patty was socially refreshing (the pants-wearing, athletic girl from a single-parent family was created in response to the feminist movement of the late 1960s), Schultz claims it was a bowl of classic peppermints that inspired her name.

However, the Peppermint Patty has inspired various cocktails involving – you guessed it – combinations of mint- and chocolate-flavored liqueurs. Sounds delicious! Maybe we should all pour a glass tonight and toast to York, PA and Charles Schultz. Happy National Peppermint Patty Day!

The post NATIONAL PEPPERMINT PATTY DAY (February 11th) also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

My Journey To Health, A Trip to the Doctor’s

frodo-and-samI had a trip to the doctor’s yesterday and it wasn’t very good.

I have said more than once that I have several issues with my feet.  Yesterday I went to a New Doctor’s office to have some test run, specifically an EMG.  EMG stands for  Electromyography the test involves receiving several small electric shock to your muscles.  They even you use small needles in the test as well.  It is more uncomfortable than painful.  An EMG is a diagnostic procedure to assess the health of muscles and the nerve cells that control them (motor neurons).  Special thanks to the Mayo Clinic.

The test showed that there were definite problems with my feet and legs and what those problems may be, but not the cause and so there were really no answers.  The test can show the cause, but not with me.  This was not encouraging at all.

The doctor did uncover some definite issues.  My feet have the same tremors that my hands do.  On my left foot, when the electricity ran through the nerves my big toe would react.  On my right foot nothing happened at all.  The rest of the test results appeared on a graph sheet which I did not see and couldn’t have interpreted if I had.  The end result was still no answers.

There were a lot of guesses.  Maybe it’s my vascular system, but it is more likely to be a neurological problem.  It was my neurologist that sent me for the test.  I didn’t find this encouraging.  The worst part was that it was time for more testing, at another hospital with another doctor using different machines.  The depression which had come back proceeded to get worse.

It is extremely hard to hold on to hope with stuff like this, so much of my health issues seem to be unsolvable.  The anti-depressants don’t really work.  The anti-tremor medication works until I get a little nervous and then just stops.  At church on Sunday I was in a kneeling position with my head bowed and my jaw started to shake like there was an earth quake in my mouth.  But no one knows why.  This is more of a report than anything else but I don’t want to leave you with all bad stuff so let me close with these words from Samwise to Frodo in The Lord of the Rings.

“I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened?
But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. Because they were holding on to something.”

The post My Journey To Health, A Trip to the Doctor’s also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for the Romantics, Foodies, Athletes and More

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas
There’s still time to buy (or make!) your loved one a Valentine’s Day gift they will remember long after the chocolates are gone. Sure, a box of chocolates and flowers are always appreciated (especially roses and chocolate-covered anything), but step outside the box a little and show your Valentine how much they mean to you with a gift that’s unique and special for them.

For the romantic:

Candles, chocolates, flowers…you know the deal: Romantic women love the most traditional of Valentine’s Day gifts, but that also means you better not forget, and you better be romantic about it! Instead of waiting for a table at an expensive restaurant, go all out and have a romantic dinner for two at home. The more effort you put into it the better, so set the mood with candles, roses, and of course, a homemade dinner for two.

For the foodie:

Foodies are fun and easy to please – as long as it tastes good! If you’re talented, or even mediocre in the kitchen, whip up something that will amaze your Valentine’s taste buds and touch their heart with your effort. Whether it’s an exquisite three-course dinner or a simple dessert like cheesecake or creme brulee, it’ll be a Valentine’s Day your sweetheart won’t forget.

Afraid you’ll burn down the kitchen? Melt some chocolate in the microwave and start dipping! The higher quality the chocolate, the better it’ll taste, so forget Hershey’s and other 99 cent bars. Make homemade chocolate-covered strawberries, bananas, apricots, pretzels, or whatever you’re Valentine fancies. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

For the athlete:

Working out can get ugly, and that may pose a serious fashion faux pas for the most stylish of gym rats. Sure, you can always give her more sports bras, workout tees, and other not-so-sexy gifts, but unless you can find heart-print sports bras and socks, or go for an all pink ensemble, none of that is very Valentine’s Day appropriate. And let’s face it, it’s not always easy to pick out clothes for women.

Instead, go the tech route! Bring out her stylish side with some fashionable, yet functional ear buds! chicBuds Arts are the latest new fashion accessory for the music-loving, workout-obsessed fashionistas – and we absolutely love them! The cord is actually printed in either zebra, leopard or graffiti designs. And unlike regular earphone cords that wrap together to form a tangled mess, these feature no-mess flat cords. Perfect for working out without looking like a tangled, hot mess, and a gift that your fitness and/or music-loving Valentine will love.

Let’s not forget about the spa. A couples massage is a great idea for any couple on Valentine’s Day, but will be especially appreciated by an athlete. Strapped for cash? You know where we’re going with this…pull out the lotion or oils, light some candles, and go to work on your loved one’s over-worked bod.

For the sentimental:

Nothing will touch your sentimental sweetie more than a personalized gift. Have something engraved, whether it’s a jewelry box, wine glass, or even a custom phone case! You can create a case with a photograph of you and your significant other, displaying your love right where everyone can see it. So sweet!

Or go all out and start a scrapbook for your lady (or man!). It’s not as hard as you’d think – just go to a craft store and pick out the basics: a scrapbook and it’s accompanying paper, stickers, pens, etc. Then print out anywhere from 10-15 photographs, and you’re on your way to a beautiful, creative display of your love. What sentimental, romantic Valentine wouldn’t love that?

For the professional:

Initialed cuff links are a great gift for the business man in your life, as is a new briefcase, wallet, or even a nice watch – just stay away from the heart-printed ties and boxers.

For your guy, from the hot and camera-ready:

This may not be for the shy, timid, or body-conscious…but it’s definitely a gift that your man, and even you, will appreciate for years to come. Grab your VS lingerie and find the nearest “boudoir photography studio.” That’s right – take a professional, sexy picture for the man in your life. Women who have done this LOVE it, and say it makes them feel more confident and sexy than ever before, and even see themselves in a whole new light. “I never knew I could look like that,” says one woman.  Some professional photographers will even do house calls, so you can feel better about posing in the comfort of your own home. Give it a try!

The post Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for the Romantics, Foodies, Athletes and More also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Starbucks Unveils Special Valentine’s Day Themed Drinks

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(PCM) What says love more than coffee and chocolate? Seriously, can it get any better than that!

As Valentine’s Day nears, Starbucks invites customers to get together with loved ones and friends to try three new chocolate beverages. Beginning February 8 , participating Starbucks stores in the U.S. and Canada will offer a trio of Starbucks Molten Chocolate beverages through February 14. So, definitely be sure to get your love a sweet treat before they’re gone!

Check out the delicious varieties below:

Molten Chocolate Latte: Chocolaty chips are melted into espresso, then topped with steamed milk combined with bittersweet mocha sauce. This latte is finished with mocha and espresso-infused whipped cream and an espresso mocha drizzle. It’s available hot and iced.

Molten Chocolate Frappuccino® Blended Beverage: Coffee with rich mocha sauce and chocolaty chips blended with milk and ice. This beverage is finished with mocha and espresso-infused whipped cream and an espresso mocha drizzle.

Molten Hot Chocolate: Bittersweet mocha sauce and chocolaty chips melted into steamed milk for a smooth and creamy taste. Mocha and espresso-infused whipped cream and espresso mocha drizzle tops off the beverage.

Totally on our way to Starbucks now! Yum!

The post Starbucks Unveils Special Valentine’s Day Themed Drinks also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

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