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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Lyme Disease

The weather is lovely and has all ready found us in the woods, at the river and enjoying life outdoors. We have also on more than one occasion found those little blood sucking ticks on us. We have an important task that when we come back home to check for ticks and make sure none have found their way home with us. Perhaps this is why I feel that it is so important to help draw awareness to the issue of Lyme disease.

The CDC states that there are more than 300,000 cases of Lyme disease in the U.S. each year.  Lyme disease gets its name from the place it was first discovered in Lyme Connecticut. Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium that is transmitted to people through the bite of infected black legged ticks. Symptoms of Lyme include headache, fever, fatigue and a skin rash. 

Lyme disease is detected through lab testing, watching the symptoms and most often the physical rash and location where one lives and if a tick bite took place. 

Problem occurs when the Lyme disease remains untreated and travels to the nervous system, heart and joints. Antibiotic treatment is often the most successful. 

Prevent Lyme disease by 
insect repellent
pest management and landscaping
checking and removing ticks which transmit not only lyme disease but many others as well

Removing the tick as soon as you notice it and doing it the proper way is the most important part of preventing Lyme disease. 

How NOT to remove a tick:

  • DO NOT squeeze the tick
  • DO NOT pour kerosene on it.
  • DO NOT rub vaseline on the tick.
  • DO NOT use a smoldering match or cigarette butt.
  • DO NOT smother the tick with a cotton ball soaked in dishsoap.
  • DO NOT twist the tick.
To remove a tick properly use fine point tweezers, grasp the tick as close to its mouth as possible and gently pull the tick straight up and out.

Enjoy life out there but be careful and check for ticks

shared at inspire me monday

Friday, May 29, 2015

May Is Arthritis Awareness Month

Arthritis awareness month occurs in may. If you have arthritis or know someone who does then you know that it is full of pain and can often lead to disability. It is the most common cause of disability in the U.S. There are more individuals that suffer from arthritis than either back problems or heart trouble. For the past 15 years arthritis leads the list of most common disability. While many speak of arthritis as a single infliction the truth is there are over 100 different forms of arthritis. 

Arthritis does not discriminate and affects both men and women of all ages, races, ethnic groups and cultures. In the USA arthritis is the most common cause of disability.  Arthritis limits life in function on a daily basis which leads to absenteeism and frequent visits to the drs. Many individuals who suffer from arthritis may eventually become home bound. Pain, swelling , joint stiffness and constant aching from joints are all symptoms of arthritis. Arthritic pain occurs because of damage to the joint from disease, daily wear and tear of joint, muscle strains caused by forceful movements and painful joints and fatigue.

Many suggest that those that suffer from arthritis to be active. Moderate low impact physical activity helps to reduce the pain and improve function. Mood and quality of life for adults with arthritis can be improved by getting out there and enjoying a bit of life and be prepared for what comes their way. Pain, mood fatigue and the ability to move can all be factors of the life of someone who suffers from arthritis knowing that there will be good days and bad days and what to do when help is needed is also important. 

I watched my father suffer from arthritis and the pain that went along with it. His struggle to find the right medication, the days that he would not be able to move easily, the pain where he would simply cry. My father died in middle age and had suffered from arthritis most of his life. I was personally diagnosed with juvenile arthritis and have dealt with it throughout my life Now I watch my sons and daughter suffer from arthritis. My boys both have gout and my daughter has rheumatoid that causes great pain. My hope is one day through awareness that there will be a cure or more help for this painful disability  

Thursday, May 28, 2015

I have worked as a nurse aide for over 20 years and on day shift. Sleep has become a valuable resource to me but one that I do not always find. I am very interested in this holiday celebrated in may. The holiday for better sleep that encourages individuals to establish better sleep patterns. 

Sleep is very important for good health. The Better Sleep Council wants to draw awareness about the benefits of better sleep and the fact that poor sleep can easily disrupt our lives. Sleep is just as important to good health for the body as diet and exercise. Without enough sleep the body will struggle with blood pressure and stress hormone production. The body often becomes stressed when it does not get enough sleep. Poor concentration, mood swings, irritability, stress and a weakened immune system are all symptoms of poor sleep. A habit of poor sleep can lead to serious problems such as narcolepsy, insomnia, restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea. 

While there are a great variety of reasons why sleep may be a problem many times it is caused by stress and worries. People stress over elder care, childcare, family conflict, personal relationship problems, financial worries are all anxieties that can decrease sleep. Like wise physical symptoms such as pain, excess sweating, persistent need to urinate, noise and light all can strain sleep as well. Simply being a woman often leads to less sleep as shown through studies. Feelings and emotions such as depression and anxiety are often the cause of sleep disturbance as well. 

It has been shown that stress can elevate blood pressure, heart attack and stroke are all problems that can occur from poor sleep and the stress it leads to.
For those who suffer from poor sleep can find many resources. There are counselors who can help with the stress of poor sleep. Relaxation techniques may be taught to counteract the effects of stress. 
Experts believe that 7.5 and 8.5 hours of sleep a night is what many believe is optimal sleep. It is believed that 6 hours of deep refreshing sleep is more beneficial than 8 hours of light interrupted sleep.

A few tips to get better sleep:
establish a consistent sleep schedule. Going to bed the same time every time will help establish this schedule. 
prior to going to bed start relaxing by limiting stimulating activities such as exercise and work. Do something relaxing like listening to music, watching tv or reading. 
The environment you sleep in should be dark, ventilated and with appropriate temp. My husband must have a dark area with a fan running. Many suggest removing the tv or computer from the room you sleep in. 
healthy life style with exercise and diet included can help with better sleep. It is best not to drink alcohol or caffeine at bead time likewise nicotine should be removed.

References and Links:

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Make Your Own and celebrate grape popsicle day

Today is grape Popsicle day. My grand-daughter Princess the grand-daughter of purple and pink welcome this day with open arms. I do as well granted that I can make my own. I know I know the supermarket is full of grape Popsicle and many other varieties as well. I think it is fun to get in the kitchen with the kids and one of the easiest recipes I know is for grape popsicles. They are the same cold, icy treat that will cool one down after spending time outside.

To make these yummy frozen treats
pick up a gallon of your favorite fruit juice for purple Popsicle day we will want to use grape juice. If you want you can add sliced fruit to the juice as well. This will just add a bit of texture some may like and others not so much. Now take some of those small paper cups and place a craft stick in the middle to provide a handle when frozen. Freeze the juice mix for 2 to 3 hours or until it is solid.

asthma and allergy awareness month

Allergies are defined as abnormal reactions to normally harmless substances. Whether the allergens enter the body by being inhaled, swallowed or coming in contact with the skin does not matter. Symptoms of allergies include running nose, itchy eyes, watery eyes, sneezing, itchy skin and more. 
Some of the most common allergies include pollen, mold, dust, foods, animal dander, insect bites, insect spores, viruses and bacteria.

Many including my own children and I suffer from what is considered season allergies. Hay fever that brings on itchy, watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing seem to accompany allergy reactions. While these can be intolerable at times there are more serious allergy reactions as well. Allergies can bring on symptoms such as absent mindedness, dizziness, trouble swallowing, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, skin rashes, vertigo, vomiting and serious health issues.

The human body is strong and often learns to adapt to its environment and defend itself. The human body creates antibodies that help the body. Histamines is a well known antibody that the body creates to protect itself. However, if the bodies immune system mistakenly recognizes a foreign substance to be harmful when in reality it is not then the body can overproduce the histamine which leads to other problems. This overproduction leads to sneezing, stuffy head, sniffing, stuffed up head, red and watery eyes all symptoms that many with seasonal allergies develop. Our family develops these symptoms and because many members also have eczema the little red itchy rash will develop around this same time as well.

Many allergy sufferers use prescriptions or over the counter medications to help control these symptoms. The problem with these medications is that while they control the allergy symptoms they do not control the source of allergy. There are many products on the market to help you protect yourself and family from allergies that are in the environment.

other ways to help protect yourself from allergies
saline nose spray helps clean out your nostrils in the morning and night. Help clear out any allergens that might be in your nostril. Taking your allergy medication is important but it often wears off over night and the pollen spores are out and about and interrupt your allergy symptoms over the night.

keep in mind that the highest pollen count occurs between 5 am and 10 am. If you suffer from seasonal allergies these are peak hours where you should try to stay indoors. Mid afternoon is the best time to go out and about in peak season.

For those who suffer from allergies may not want to open the windows during warm weather but turn on a fan or the a/c.

keep the carpet clean  allergens can be tracked in and stored in the carpet in the form of spores. When these spores are disturbed they can be breathed in.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Happy Birthday John Wayne celebrate with a casserole

Happy Birthday John Wayne, in my opinion, if there were a few good men like you then this world would be a great place

check out this recipe

'John Wayne Casserole'
Source: Adapted from Mississippi Magazine


2 pounds ground beef, cooked and drained
1 (1.25-ounce) packet taco seasoning
4 ounces sour cream
4 ounces mayonnaise
8 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cups Bisquick
1 cup of water
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (4-ounce) can sliced jalapeno peppers


1. Heat oven to 325. Brown ground beef and add taco seasoning and water, according to packet instructions; set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, 4 ounces of cheddar cheese, and half of the onions; set aside.

3. Stir Bisquick and water together to form soft dough. Pat dough on the bottom and one-half-inch up the sides of an 9 x 13 in. greased casserole dish.

4. Saute remaining onions and bell peppers until slightly tender.

5. On top of biscuit mix, evenly distribute ingredients in the following order: ground beef, tomato slices, green peppers, onions, jalapeno peppers, sour cream mixture and end with remaining shredded cheese.

6. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until edges of dough are lightly browned.

Mental Health Awareness Month.

May is mental health awareness month. For the past 20 years I have worked with individuals who in one way or another have had their lives touched by mental health. Currently working in a behavioral center where the individuals have few relatives or friends that come to see them. This makes workers like me many times their only car providers. Mental health is as important as physical health. In order for everyone to be their best we all must be both physically and mentally healthy. Many times I have personally see individuals crumble mentally from stress in their lives, mental illness which can be both hereditary and environmentally established and substance abuse When this happens though we must know that there is help available and we should not be afraid to reach out to those who needs us. We should all be aware of those that we love and keep in contact with friends, family members and co-workers constantly offering support.

Life offers us challenges in marriage, parenting, financial and losses in life. Short time counseling as well as long term counseling as well as residential is available. Mental health is something that we often hide and is very hard to discuss. It is important that we find help when needed in order to take care of ourselves. It may just save our life or someone we know and love