World Health Day, April 7

At-World-health-dayWorld Health Day is celebrated yearly on April 7 by all countries that are involved with the World Health Organization.  The World Health Organization, also known as WHO, held the first world health general assembly in 1948.  It was at this meeting that it was decided to celebrate World Health Day on April 7.  World Health Day began being celebrated in 1950.

The intention of World Health Day is to draw specific attention to a different health issue each year.  Here is a listing of a few areas of health that have been spotlighted on World Health Day; 2013 Healthy Heart Beat, Healthy Blood Pressure, 2005 Make Every Mother and Child Count, 2004 Road Safety, 2001 Mental Health Stop Exclusion Learn to Care, 1997 Emerging infectious Diseases.  By being aware of the topic of World Health Day and looking into what WHO is trying to teach you may save yourself or someone else.

What can you do on April 7th?  Find out what the World Health Day topic is, do some research and see if it affects you, your family or your community.  Many people go years without taking proper care of themselves.  Use World Health Day to do a check list of where you and your family are standing with your health.  If you’re a woman, are you getting your mammograms done as you are supposed to?  If you’re a man, are you getting your prostate checked as you are supposed to?  It is probably safe to say that women do a lot better with their breasts then men do with their prostates.  Guys the whole thing takes less than minute, man up.

Yearly blood work should be done on everyone.  Diabetes is rapidly becoming a major health crisis.  Are you at risk?  Do you know if you know the factors that would make you at risk?

Inventory your diet.  Are you eating well?  Can you do better?  Can you afford not to do better?  No one needs to say again that obesity is a major issue in The United States.  World health Day is a great day to make some changes towards a healthier lifestyle for both you and your loved ones.

Eating healthy, proper care of your skin, eye exams, dental exams, driving with your seatbelt on and your cell phone off, exercise, and strong relationships all make for a healthy person.  A Happy World Health Day can also mean a happy you.

The post World Health Day, April 7 also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

My Journey To Health, Depression

depression-632I am very depressed today.  I thought this column would be about something completely different, but I just can’t write it.  Not now.

I took a psychological evaluation test yesterday and it was not a fun thing to do.  Basically among some really general questions like “would you like to be a journalist?” they hide other questions.  These questions consist of things like, “Do you often wish you were dead? Or “There are people that are trying to steal my thoughts and ideas.”  They were true and false questions which is why the last was a statement.

All in all I got to do a gut wrenching list of all the things I think are wrong with me.  The test was over 500 questions.  And it has left me pretty beat up.  Actually I still have around 100 questions left.  I just couldn’t do it anymore.

I know this is not much of anything today, but I promised you the good things and the bad and lately it has been a run of bad.

I spent most of the day in bed.  I feel lost and alone.  I really don’t know what to do.  I am hoping a good night’s sleep will begin to take away the pain I am feeling, but I I don’t know if that will happen.

I have said it before, at least I think I think I have, that sometimes all I can do is make it from sunrise to sunset and this is one of those times.

Through this the best I can do is sit on my hands and hope that somehow something good will happen.  But I just don’t see this as possible.

As a Christian I believe that Jesus is with me all the time, that, he indeed, lives in me.  But during these times when I would most wish him to make his presence known, he seem further away.  And I don’t underrated that.  How can a God who goes to the cross to save us, leave us alone when we hurt so much?

Sometimes I think I am losing my faith.

So I wait, alone, in the hope that this will lift sooner than later.

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

My Journey To Health, The Staff

IanMcKellanAsGandalfinTheHoWizards carry staffs and through them they channel their power.  It is the same with doctors.  They need a large staff in order to make you healthy.  Today’s post is all about a doctors staff.

When you go to the doctor’s office, it is never a one man show.  First you report to the receptionist, from there you may be escorted to an exam room by a nurse or a medical assistant.  Once in that room that staff member is going to take time with you to check your vital signs and go over your medications and other relevant information.

If blood work is taken the staff reaches out beyond the office to labs where the tests are done.  X-ray technicians and other hospital or lab based personnel will then be part of the doctor’s magic staff.  Almost everything your doctor does, he does with the help of someone else.

If you are chronically ill in any way it is a good idea to get to know these people.  The receptionist that welcomes you to the office and makes your appointments for you on the phone is just as big a part of your care as your doctor himself.

Be kind to these people, learn their names, remember your manners and say please and thank you.  These people in their own way have as much to do with getting you well as the doctor.

I can honestly say I really love the staff at the doctor’s office I go to.  Because of my many visits there I feel like they are part of my family.  I’m glad I know as much about them as I do because they add much to my life.  I like to know when they’ve been on vacation and if they enjoyed themselves.  I like to know about their children and their spouses.  And I enjoy treating them as kindly as I can because the kindness comes back around.  And because they are really good people.

If you can afford it remember your doctor’s staff during the holidays.  Send a card or bring some cookies or a box of chocolates.  Let them know that what they provide is important to you.

There is another group of people that many of us do not fully appreciate and yet they play a vital part in our health care, your pharmacist.  Your pharmacist is vital to you as well and deserves the same respect you give your doctor.  This applies to if you fill your prescription medications through the mail, or if you go to a pharmacy.

If you go to the pharmacy, the same rules apply as the doctor’s office.  Get to know your pharmacist.  He or she has a wealth of information at their finger tips and can tell you more about a medication than most doctors can.  The pharmacy staff is just as important and vital to you as your doctor’s staff.  Treat them with the same respect.  The opportunity to chat with them will not be very long, but everyone appreciates being remembered and called by their names.  A holiday gift here is not inappropriate.  People that serve you should know they are appreciated.  When you are kind to others it is almost inevitable that kindness will be come back to you.

A doctor is not a wizard and his staff will not magically make you well, however the staff at his office, in the hospital, in the lab, all play a part in your well being.  Never forget that or over look it.  And always remember your manners.  These people work hard for you.  Remember that.  You may enter a doctor’s office really sick and may not be able to say please or thank you, but you can control yourself enough to not give anyone a hard time while you’re there.

The doctor’s staff is as powerful as any wizard’s wand.  Learn that one rule and it will serve you well.

The post My Journey To Health, The Staff 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.

My Journey to Health, Short and Sweet

wishes-nighttime-spectaculaToday’s column will be short…and sweet.  It hasn’t been a good day and I hope to be asleep as early as possible.

Today I went into one of the worst depressive battles of my life.  It didn’t last long but it hurt a lot.

I got up at 6:30 and walked the dog.  I knew I was dropping within the hour and by 8:30 all I could do was lie on my bed and stair ahead feeling nothing much more than emotional pain that came from nowhere.

Around 9:30 my father came in the room and told me some news that I was not ready to hear.  It wasn’t bad news at all, but it was upsetting for me.  I put on a face, encouraged him, and as soon as he was gone the tears started to come.  Now I was depressed and dealing with a legitimate emotion at the same time.

The tears and pain continued throughout the day.  I contacted my small group leader and he encouraged me as best he could.  I was relieved someone knew what was happening.  Not long after I sent out a group e-mail asking for prayer and some folks got back to me quickly support doesn’t take it away but it makes it a bit easier to bear.

At 3:00 I called my psychiatrist.  By that time I could not form sentences, I was stuttering and crying at the same time.  I didn’t know what else to do and was getting ready to take myself to the hospital or find someone who could take me.  I tried to write this column but what came out of me was not worth reading.

Around four o’clock I “officially” went to bed.  If I slept there would be no pain, I had slept well the night before so I wasn’t sure I would sleep at all.  But I did.  At 6:30 the phone rang and I answered it.  It was a friend calling to see how I was.  I told him about the day, but I began to realize something was different.  I didn’t want to say anything.  I didn’t trust it.  I hung up and realized I was really me again.  Emotionally I was working well.

And so it is now.

This was a battle and a win, a new win at that.  Never had I had this type of depression lasted this short a time.  Never would this column have been written before.  The only real difference was that I reached out to many people who on my behalf prayed for me.  Believe when I tell you it was not something I could do for myself.

One more thing, something I want to reiterate every chance I get.  If you ever feel like you are going to harm yourself or others GO TO THE HOSPITAL!  I don’t want anyone who reads these columns to ever find themselves in a place where they won’t go.  I want you alive.  So do many others, even at the times you can’t believe that in any way.

The post My Journey to Health, Short and Sweet also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

My Journey to Health, Maple, A Question and an Update

sugarmaple_treeI love maple syrup.  Not the Mrs. Butterworth pancake syrup, but real straight from the tree maple syrup.  It just tastes better than the others and there is more that you can do with it and it is better for you.  The reason I say this is because I did some shopping today at my local market and in the health food section they had a new drink, Maple Water.

There was no question I would buy this.  I didn’t want to as 12 ounces was 2.99 and that is expensive, but I found it again in the already chilled section and the compulsive part of me won.

Maple Water is the maple tree sap not boiled down for syrup.  When maple syrup is made the trees are tapped with a little spigot and the sap from the trees drips into buckets when the buckets are full they are brought to what I believe is called a sugar house.  There it is boiled down into the syrup you find in the market.  So Maple Water skips the boiling down part and is bottled and sold.  And it’s really good.

I have one small issue and that is the cost.  Since the Maple Water skips the boiling down step and goes right to market it should cost less, but it costs more.  I guess this is the American way.  However if they made the cost less I would buy more, but for now it will be an occasional treat.

In the last column I wrote about exactly what I was going through during a depressive episode.  It did pass yesterday, but unfortunately I can feel it trying to come back while I type.  It may stay where it is and it may get worse or better, I never know.

One question that was asked in the comment section below the last column was, “where was God in all of this?”  I am a Christian so I believe in God and Jesus, but to answer the question, I don’t know.  God seems to disappear when I get in to deep depression.  Mentally I know he’s is there but emotionally he is not.  I pray and ask for help but those prayers seem to bounce off the wall.  I believe, however, that this is why God has placed us in community.

Community is not your town, though it can be, it is more the place that you feel you belong.  The Amish understand community, they help each other out.  A barn needs to be built the whole town goes and builds it.  In our world though we then to have look hard for community, it does not come naturally in our culture, but it should.

I think when you are ill mentally emotionally or physically ill you have to be able to rely on the community around you to help you.  If you belong to a church, ideally this should be your community, the people you can rely on to help to get you through the hard times whatever they may be, and they can rely on you also.  Community is never a one way street; it goes back and forth from every door of the people that belong to it.

I think that is where God should be when I am in a depressive episode, it does not always work out that way, which is why, if you have read my previous columns, you will see me asking emotionally healthy people to reach out to those that are not emotionally healthy on a regular basis.  They need, OK, we need your help.  God dwells in His people and that is where God has to be when I am in a dark place.

Now for a quick update.  Yesterday was the one month anniversary of going off sugar.  Because of the multiple issues with my feet and leg I have not been able to exercise much. I never really described the feet/leg issues.  Both of my feet have no feeling in them at all on the bottom.  The tops are not as bad but are still numb.  My right leg goes completely numb when I stand for more than a half an hour.  After walking for about a half an hour both of my feet swell up, and before you ask, no I am not diabetic, and yes my sugars are checked regularly

I went to see the neurologist that has been following me yesterday.  He is working with my feet and leg as well as my hands, which have slight to violent tremors.  I am scheduled for a second EMG this coming Monday to find out what can be done about my feet and leg.  An EMG was done about a year ago but the results were not conclusive.  The tremors are treated with medication but it does not work all of the time.

While at the Doctors I was weighed.  As you may remember my weight at the beginning of this journey was somewhere between 370 and 390, yesterday I was 360.  So going sugarless has made a difference.  Physically I, in general, feel better.  My mind is certainly clearer now.  So, on the whole I am better than when we started.

The post My Journey to Health, Maple, A Question and an Update also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

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