Posts tagged with: Conditions and Diseases

“If you do not fight, you will not win.”

Stones
Image by Fr Antunes via Flickr

A recent message from my young adult pastor really moved me spiritually, but it also has had an effect on my life outside of my faith in Christ.

John Mark reminded us, in the war of life, “if you do not fight, you will not win,” and it struck me that this comes into play with our health, too – especially those with chronic illnesses. If you choose to “give up,” you can never actually “win.” If you choose to educate yourself, give yourself material to fight with you can learn the best methods to “fix” the problem. While you may never have a cure, you can find treatments, support and other options besides giving up.

When I heard that I might have fibromyalgia, instead of just accepting it and moving on knowing that I have an incurable syndrome, I did a ton of reading. This reading lead me to believe I *didn’t* have fibro! I approached my doctor, encouraged him to do some more studying of my body and he realized that I was right. What I do have is ankylosing spondylitis, which is no more curable or stoppable than fibromyalgia, but I know now different treatment methods. I chose to fight, I will choose to win.

I just wanted to encourage you today to keep that line in mind … “if you don’t fight, you will not win.”

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Nasal allergies

1. How appropriate that I choose a picture of a pollinated flower for this post.
2. I have seasonal nasal allergies.
3. They have set in.

I could go into some deep history about my nasal allergy issues, but my first clearest nasal allergy related memory is in fifth grade. Mrs. Simshauser’s classroom was on the edge of the track/football field and it was a warm spring day in Southern Oregon. We had the windows open, and someone began to mow the field. My sneezing started soon thereafter. After about sneeze number seven, I started keeping a penciled tally on my desk. At sneeze 52 (yes, fifty two sneezes!) my teacher sent me out of the room to the office. I got sent home because of my allergies.

For years I was treated with Benedryl – I grew up in a house without health insurance – going to the doctor becuase my eyes were itchy and my nose was runny was unnecessary. By high school I had developed a resistance to Benedry so I had moved on to Tylenol Allergy stuff. It worked as well as it could, but between April and June, I was known to have an entire box of Kleenex stuffed in my backpack along with my books and pens.

Since then I have lived in Linn County, Oregon – the grass seed capital of the world and wandered my apartment with Kleenex stuffed up my nose to prevent it from dripping all over. I have tried prescription and over-the-counter medications for my allergies, but nothing really touches them. Until last year.

Last spring I was able to create my own concoction of prescription and OTC medications (with approval of my doctor, no worries there!) to stave off my seasonal nasal allergies for the most part. With a few nightly squirts of Nasocort and a pill of generic Zyrtec, I was able to go through the day without sneezing on clients or having to wander my bank branch with Kleenex shoved up my nostrils.

While this may not be the “easiest” way to treat nasal allergies (there are tons of methods out there, some of which I will address later this week), it works for me. As my allergies have started affecting my daily life again (I’m wandering my apartment with a pink and brown box of Kleenex) I’m heading to the store to stock up on some nose spray and some generic Zycam to make this nose stop running!

What do you commonly use to treat your seasonal nasal allergies?

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Christians with Chronic Illness

Chronic Pain Barbie
Image by Migraine Chick via Flickr

When people ask me to describe myself, this is how it goes: “I’m a Christian bank teller, I also write health articles for websites. I read, I write, I watch a lot of TV and I listen to a lot of music. I also have chronic pain including migraines and arthritis in my back.”

Thanks to Diana at Somebody Heal Me, I now know that there are tons of other Christians with chronic illnesses out there, and I have found a new support network. She recently shared about a Christians With Chronic Illness Blog Carnival that I never would have thought to search for on my own! Talk about a boost for my soul!

From what I can tell so far, Chronic Illness and Pain Support seems to be a great blog that provides just what it says; Christian support for those of us with chronic illnesses and pain! I’m excited to be a part of the following and hope that I’ll be able to get involved in future carnivals!

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Sex education versus abstinence only education

Photograph showing rolled up condom
Image via Wikipedia

I am a Christian woman.
I support waiting to have sex until a person is married.
HOWEVER, I know the majority of people do not believe the way that I do.
I fully believe in educating the majority – those who choose to have sex outside of marriage.

My long-term goal is to go into HIV/AID education prevention … internationally … in places where sex more often than not happens before, after, during and outside of marriage. I want to work in HIV/AIDS prevention with communities and cultures where condoms are taboo. I want to work with women who feel as though they have no say in their own sex life. I want to educate these women on the fact that they have a choice. They can fight.

I recently watched The Education of Shelby Knox on NetFlix (onDemand … oh how I love thee!) and connected so deeply to Shelby’s motivations and goals that I would like to meet her in person to speak with her, to hug her, to offer her my full support as a woman a decade older than her. This week’s goal is to find a way to reach her and let her know that I fully support the works she is involved in to see what else I can do to further the mission that we both share. One of the quotes, from the movie (that I stayed up until 1am to finish!) that clearly resonated was: “God cannot use blind followers.” My eyes are open wide, and I hope that yours will be, too.

Just because I am a Christian woman does not mean that I believe you can’t TEACH sexual education. Abstinence only education does not work – it has been proven time and time again. Abstinence education ALONG with condom and other forms of birth control use on the other on hand has been shown to reduce teen pregnancy, reduce the rate of sexually transmitted infections (STIs/STDs), but still, it is rarely taught within the public education system. This needs to change.

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Umbilical hernia

A sculpture of a Hindu yogi in the Birla Mandi...
Image via Wikipedia

As you’re reading this right now, I’m either still in surgery for or recovering from an umbilical hernia repair surgery. Not quite the way that I wanted to spend my Tuesday, but it has to be done. The pain was unbearable and annoying and eating only worsened it. People have to eat and most people like to do it without pain. Plus, the hernia-induced bloat made my pants so uncomfortable that this will all be worth it in the end!

I’m having a

Benefits of Minimally Invasive (Laparoscopic) Repair

* shorter operative time
* less pain
* shorter recover period

I’m dealing with a “minimally invasive (laparoscopic) hernia repair” which will then be reinforced with mesh and secured with tacks. Yes, tacks. Gross, right? Three small (well, one is 12mm and the other two are 5mm) incisions will be made, I’ll be filled with carbon dioxide gas, and a camera with a light will be stuck inside me to close and attach the mesh. Ick.

The next few posts have been pre-posted, so hopefully you enjoy the rest of the yoga moves for women! Be well!

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Extended side angle pose

Sticking with some great back stretching and posture-enhancing ideas, I’m bringing you the extended side angle pose today.

“The spine is responsible for sending messages throughout your body, and when you’re hunched, the pathway isn’t as smooth,” says Alison West, Yoga Union Center for Back Care and Scoliosis co-director.

Stand with your feet about four feet apart and turn your left foot out about 90 degrees.
Extend your arms, palms down, at shoulder height.
Bend your left knee until it’s over your ankle.
Flex from the waist to the left and place your left hand outside your left foot. (Can’t reach the floor? Place your elbow on your knee or your hand on the inside of your foot–as shown below–­instead.)
Reach your right arm over your ear and turn your chin toward your right armpit.
Look up and take five slow breaths.
Return to standing and switch sides.
Repeat 3 to 5 times.

New to yoga? Do the move with your back against a wall. “Using the wall takes the balance component out of it,” West says, “so you can concentrate on lengthening your spine and rolling your chest open.”

I can attest to the beauty of this move. I live with chronic back pain (thank you ankylosing spondylitis) and this both stretches my spine and invigorates me! I absolutely recommend this move!

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Take the stairs!

Camondo Stairs
Image by marielito via Flickr

I’m sure you’ve heard, time and time again, that it’s better to take the stairs than to stand for 30 seconds on the elevator. However, did you know how much better it is for you?

In a recent study published in the European Heart Journal, for 12 weeks, about 70 hospital employees used the stairs exclusively at work. Improvements were clearly shown:

8.6% increase in lung capacity
1.7% loss of body fat
1.8% decrease of waist circumference
2.3% decrease of diastolic blood pressure
3.9% decrease in LDL (lethal) blood cholesterol

Look what you could do for your body in 3 short months!

Take the stairs!

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Motivation to exercise

~ FALLinter ~
Image by ViaMoi via Flickr

Working at WEGO Health has given me the opportunity to meet new people and really see where my health interests lie. It’s also recently given me a kick in the pants to start working out again! Shannan recently created a new Fit Group and I jumped right in. She has been motivating all of the ladies in the group (no guys yet!) to get up and get moving. Her recent post about What motivates you to exercise was incredibly insightful and I wanted to share it with you!

Last week I worked out three times – alternating walking and jogging, and it’s doing me some good already! I’ll share part of my comment here, too, since it’s general fitness stuff about me.

I have been exercising mainly to keep my body loose and limber. Dealing with chronic pain daily my doctors told me that even walking everyday would help me relieve some of the constant pain. I did it religiously over the summertime (sunshine!) but once winter hit, I slipped up and stopped. Now I’m back to three days a week (whee!) and I’ve been sleeping better and not hurting as much, so something is working.

I know, in the near future, my mindset is going to change from doing it to relieve the pain to doing it because I crave it. That’s how I’ve been before and know/hope it’ll be again.

I took your advice from the group and started out slow. I walked and did a little running last week and while I was sore, I don’t feel like I pushed myself too hard. I am going to be trying the Jillian Michael’s Shred DVD this week and know that it’s going to kick my butt, but all my friends are doing it, so I want to, now, too.

I think ya’ll should go check out Shannan’s blog Living a Whole Life and tell her why you’re exercising! I think ya’ll should ALSO join WEGO Health and jump into the Fit group to meet some amazing women who will motivate you to get moving!

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Death Threats 10

Neutrophil engulfing anthrax bacteria. Cover c...
Image via Wikipedia

The number ten killer of killer in women is blood poisoning, otherwise known as septicemia or sepsis.

Septicemia occurs when bacteria or toxins get into the blood stream. Sometimes this occurs during surgeries or it can happen when you break your nail way into the quick. If bacteria are able to get into your blood stream and reproduce, they then have a body-highway of vessels to travel and infect.

Statistics show that sepsis often occurs from pelvis, abdomen, urinary tract or lung infections. Sepsis is a serious, life-threatening infection that progresses quickly if not treated and cured.

Most of the time these infections aren’t preventable, but there are ways to protect yourself from illnesses that weaken your immune system, which then leave your body open for a slew of more deadly infections.

*If you have a serious infection, of any kind, seek medical attention. Signs of infection include swelling and warmth around the area, irritation, pain and redness.
*Wash your hands. Kill the bacteria before they have a chance to get into your system!
*Get vaccinated. Ask your physician if you’re missing any shots, and be a big girl and get them if you haven’t! Keep your tetanus shot up to date, too!
*Change your tampon every six hours and don’t use “Super” absorbency tampons.
*Urinate after sexual intercourse – it will “rinse” bacteria from your urethra. After urinating, wipe from front to back.

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Death Threats

Ciel... c'est l'automne...!!!
Image by Denis Collette…!!! via Flickr

I recently stumbled upon a great list of the top ten health-related killers of women. I’m going to spend some time deconstructing and expanding on the list!

1. Heart disease
2. Cancers
3. Strokes
4. COPD – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
5. Alzheimer’s disease
6. Injuries
7. Type 2 diabetes
8. Flu
9. Kidney disease
10. Blood poisoning (septicemia or sepsis)

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