Monday, March 10, 2014
My knees are bad--and my balance--so I sort of creep around. This is pretty feeble, honestly.
Wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, canes, and crutches are becoming more functional everyday.
Do you know what a rollator is? It's a lightweight walker with larger wheels and a brake.
Power chairs are getting more portable.
Forearm crutches are more popular.
And for people with lower leg, ankle or foot problems, there are knee walkers--like a platform for your injured limb.
Physical therapists know all the ins and outs of these. A young person with a temporary disability will have different needs than an older person with permanent impairments.
Sometimes insurance covers only the basics--but you often can rent or get loan of a device. Check out Community Information and Referral Services--cir.org.
Some municipalities also offer "adaptive" services--such as special swimming and golfing. You can even go white water rafting.
Well, maybe YOU can.
Friday, March 07, 2014
The term preferred by medical professionals is Emergency Dept (or ED), but most people say Emergency Room (ER), and I am most people.
First, this is not just a handy place to go where you can get tests done in the same place and then get advanced treatment if you need it. Often, people who go to the ER are disdained as drunks or freeloading illegals--yet doctors SEND their patients there. Urgent care centers send patients there. Some ERs have urgent care centers.Yes, they have to treat you regardless of ability to pay--but this is somewhat limited if you have no insurance..
If it's a weekend (which we call the Black Hole) or at night or if pain is horrible, we go to the ER. Most people there have insurance--ERs count on those with insurance to pay much of the freight.
ERs are infamous for their wait times. We have waited up to 13 hours with our elderly mother--during that time, they won't let you have water or food sometimes, it's problematical. Now, hospitals have put in check-in technology--sort of like an appt. You can even get phone apps for this. This way, even though it's an emergency, you can wait at home until closer to your appt. This is a problem, though, because chest pain really needs to be evaluated fast.
When you go, bring a list of your meds. Write it down now and put it in your wallet. You could even create a "go" folder--meds, doctor, people to contact, allergies, past medical history. Some people put a note on the fridge for paramedics to find the folder. I have never seen a paramedic check.
Try to get someone to go with you. This is especially important if you are old. Sorry to say, older people get shunted aside in ERs--I have seen it happen a dozen times.
Three other hints--leave the curtains or door open--this keeps you in the mind of the staff. And, two, if you have a choice, go at shift change--7 AM is good.
Three, if you are on Medicare and are kept in the ER for "observation," be sure you are admitted and not in some limbo status. If you are not admitted--the bills will tumble in like mad.
Bills come in anyway--some docs in the ER may not be on your plan. The hospital may not even be on your plan. It's a crapshoot.
So make sure the ER is your last resort, not your first.
Thursday, March 06, 2014
Former elite athletes also scored worse on depression, fatigue, and sleep scales.
The researchers concluded that Div I athletes may sacrifice their future health-related quality of life for a short career in college.
This is based on questionnaires completed by 232 male and female former Div I athletes and 225 male and female non-collegiate athletes. These were also compared to a similar chunk of the general population, which also seemed to do better in later life.
---Former Div I athletes were twice as likely as non-athletes to report activity limitations in daily activities and exercise.
---67% of the athletes reported a major injury and 50% had chronic injuries--this was 28% and 26% for non-athletes.
--A third of non-athletes had performed with an injury--this was 70% for college athletes.
Since Div I sports are not really found throughout life, the researchers advised, it's important for athletes ti find appropriate activities to stay active.
Does typing count?
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
This according to Matthew Zirwas, director of the contact dermatitis center at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center.
Apparently these contain a chemical preservative that irritates a lot of people. The stuff was even named Allergen of the Year in 2013.
And just when you think--if it's mild enough for a baby, it must be OK.
Well, it could be the baby, too, has wipe rash, not diaper rash.
The docs say if you think you are allergic, stop using the wipe for a month. A week or two is not enough time to tell.
The Zirwas guy is an allergen detective of sorts--he even found something on escalator hand rails that was bothering people. People travel from all over to ask him what's up.
Allergen of the Year, huh. Wouldn't want these chems to get a swelled head.
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
You can also control how fast everything grows with adjustable lighting, nutrient supply, and amount of water.
It also tells you when to add something.
Since veggies lose half their goodness a week after being picked, growing them in the kitchen is healthier.
Now for the bad news--this is just a prototype--you can't buy it yet. But it might get you thinking about a community garden.
And, of course, thanks to our "buds" in the MJ biz, there are hydroponic growing systems out there--maybe not as smoking cool, but out there.