Decrease Your Risk of High Blood Pressure

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High blood pressure (HBP) or hypertension is a condition that makes the heart work harder than it should under normal conditions. It’s a clear sign that something is wrong and your body’s way of telling you that you need to take action. If left untreated it scars and damages your arteries. It can lead to heart attack, a stroke, kidney failure, eye damage, heart failure and even fatty buildups in the arteries. The fatty buildup in the arteries is a condition called atherosclerosis. High blood pressure is known as the “silent killer”, because it has no symptoms and can come as a surprise to those that are diagnosed with it.
In order to decrease your risk of high blood pressure it helps to understand what exactly it is. Blood pressure is recorded with two numbers, your systolic and diastolic ratios.
When you doctor checks your blood pressure he is looking for these two numbers.
The systolic number, or top number in the ratio, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats.
The diastolic number, or the bottom number, measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats.
Your blood pressure rises with each heartbeat and falls when you heart relaxes between beats. The normal reading for blood pressure is usually less than 120/80 mm Hg.
The numbers are generally evaluated as follows:
• Normal: Less than 120 systolic and less than 80 diastolic
• Pre-hypertension: 120-139 systolic or 80-89 diastolic
• Hypertension: 140 or higher systolic or 90 or higher diastolic
• Hypertensive Crisis: higher than 180 or higher than 110 diastolic
Signs You Are At Risk for High Blood Pressure
• An increased risk of developing high blood pressure if more than 20 pounds overweight
• Family history or genetic predisposition for high blood pressure
• High intake of salt
• Reached menopause
• A particular abnormality of the arteries. This is a stiffness or lack of elasticity in the tiny arteries. This is usually a symptom of individuals who are obese, do not exercise, and have a high use of salt.

Ways to Decrease Your Risk of High Blood Pressure
• Healthy diet that is low in salt, saturated fats, cholesterol and alcohol.
• Stay or become physical active. Being active and losing weight are highly beneficial in lowering your numbers.
• Your doctor my recommend purchasing a blood pressure monitor so you can check your numbers to stay on track with your program.

After a lot of research about high blood pressure and diabetes, I came across a system that individuals that have these problems along with under conditions will certainly be interested in. It involves breathing techniques and lifestyle changes that can easily be adopted to lower high blood pressure and the stress that causes it along with other exciting benefits.  You need to check this out. Click Here!

Be sure to come back to Caregiversclinic.com for more information on health related topics and care giving tips and products to make your life easier and more fun.

 

Lowering Risks for Heart Disease for Type II Diabetics

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Last year when diagnosed with Type II Diabetes I was advised to keep my blood sugar consistent in order to stay healthy and not be at risk for heart disease. To do that I was advised to cut out sugar and salt, eat healthy, especially vegetables, eat low fat protein, exercise more and cut back on carbohydrates. I’ve done a lot of research on the subject of “blood sugar” and how to control it. Some of the suggestions are easier than others, but mostly they are “do-able” and much healthier for a Type II Diabetic. If you are struggling with this as I am I have a few suggestions that may help.

First, cut back on calories and fat intake. One way to cut back on calories and fat is to re-think our cooking to accommodate a healthy Type II diabetes diet. A Type II Diabetic must find a way to manage blood sugar. In the process we may lose weight and improve our nutrition and health. So I’m constantly looking for new healthier meals and ways to adjust old favorites.
When focusing on management of blood sugar, it’s best to think about controlling carbohydrate portions. It’s also important to watch fat intake and calories. Low fat diets are beneficial in helping reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and fasting blood sugar levels. A low fat diet helps to keep weight down and can reduce the risk of heart disease.
“Watching calorie intake is also important to maintain a healthy weight and good blood-sugar control. Remember, all fats are among the foods highest in calories.
To curb fat and calorie intake, try these tips:
• Pay attention to portion sizes. “Measure your portions when cooking and in servings.
• Reduce the sugar in your recipes. You can usually get away with ⅓ less than called for. You can also use an artificial sweeteners or flavor with spices like vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg.
• Cook with fresh ingredients. Don’t purchase packaged foods, which tend to contain a lot of salt.
• Always choose lean meats, skinless poultry, and fish. Bake, broil, or grill instead of frying.
• Trim away all visible fat from meat before cooking.
• Try cooking in water or steaming vegetables.
• Season foods with fresh or dried herbs such as onions, garlic, and peppers instead of salt.
• Rinse canned vegetables and beans before eating to wash off some of the salt.
• Add more veggies to meals to increase the fiber content and make you feel fuller on fewer calories.
• Cut back on grains, pastas and pizza.
Above are some of the ways, to help keep “blood-sugar” in control for a Type II Diabetic. I’m sure there are many other ways as well, but the suggestions above will give you a good start to eating well, feeling full, controlling your blood sugar and not feeling deprived. Eating the right things in the right combination can help you avoid or lower high blood sugar, lower high blood pressure, and lower high cholesterol which all increase the risk for heart disease.
I’ve recently learned about a video that’s called “Restore My Blood Sugar”. Since I do a lot of research on this topic and I have a personal interest in the subject I decided to give it a listen. What they say is amazing and certainly worth a try if you struggle with high blood sugar as I do. I’m going to try it myself. If you suffer from blood sugar issues too or know someone who does that it could help, it’s certainly worth listening to. Click on the link to get more information.
Click Here!
For more information related to staying healthy and being a caregiver refer to: http://caregiversclinic.com

Coping with Caregiving

Coping with Caregiving Book

I’ve just reviewed this outstanding book on coping with care giving and highly recommend it to those of you that are caregivers for a loved one so you won’t suffer from care givers burnout.  This is a health and self help guide just for you.

As you know, illness and accidents can leave someone with a physical or mental disability.  That person is no longer independent and has to rely on a loved one or get professional help for day to day living.  No longer being independent leads to a sense of loss to the disabled and a sense of burden to the new caregiver that is suddenly cast into this position.

Many people who suddenly become caregivers are not prepared.  They have a whole new set of responsibilities to deal with in addition to their everyday job and responsibilities.  This book will help you with all your concerns as a new care giver.  It can be a big help to you.  Click Here  or Get it today!   You can find it on the Amazon Carousel on the right.

 

What Our Nails Can Tell Us About Our Health

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Almost everyone loves to go to the nail salon to have a pedicure and manicure. It’s such a wonderful feeling to have someone pamper you and make you feel beautiful.  But did you know that your nails (fingernails and toenails) can tell us about our health?   The shape of our nails can tell us if our health is in trouble, and if even if we have a disease and what that disease might be.

Our nails are made up of keratin, the same as our hair.  Look at your fingernails, you can see blood vessels under your nails. This is normal.  What if you see colored lines, ragged chewed up nails, pink clubbing nails, spooning of your nails or what if they appear unusually white? Your nails are telling you something.

The appearance of these signs by your nails can indicate disease.  For instance if your see colored lines in your nails, it could be a sign of Lupus, heart disease or even lung disease.  Pink clubbing nails could indicate heart disease. Anemia can make your nails appear whiter than normal.  An iron deficiency could cause spooning of your nails, but it could also be due to aging or excessive washing.  Nail biting could mean anxiety or mental problems.

If you have a “gel manicure”, exposure to the ultraviolent light could cause melanoma.  Take precautions and try adding suntan lotion to your hands after soaking them for your manicure.  Some salon’s now have gloves to cover your hands except for the fingernail so when they use the ultraviolent machines to dry your nails, your hands are protected.

Did you know that it’s better to have a dry manicure than to soak your nails to soften them for your manicure? It’s been suggested that when filing your nails to file them from the outside corner to the center on each side of the nail.

A good way to keep your nails and cuticles in good condition is after your bath or shower, gently push the cuticles back so you don’t have problems with overgrown cuticles and hang nails.

If you are suffering from toenail fungus, which is extremely difficult to get rid of I’ve found a system that you should try.  There is a quick and easy nail fungus removal routine that provides step by step instructions to permanently get rid of nasty fungus. Click Here!

Be good to your hands and feet and watch out for these signs.  Enjoy your manicure but watch out for these signs and go to your doctor if you see any of these signs.

For more articles about staying healthy, stay tuned to http://caregiversclinic.com.  We care about you.

Disabled Husband to the Rescue

 

 

Hubby to the Rescue MG_1250Yesterday while quickly brushing my hair to go to meet a friend, my hairbrush caught my earring and it flew out of my hair and down the bathroom sink drain.  I could see it down there, but couldn’t retrieve it and had to leave it for later when I got home.  My sweet husband, who was paralyzed 3 years ago in a kitchen fall came to the rescue this morning.  His progress is amazing and he’s gained most of the use of  limbs back except for his right side.  But he pulled out his tools and with a little help from me was able to retrieve my diamond earring.  Proving to me that even if you are disabled, you can still be a “Knight in Shinning Armor” to your wife.  Thanks Vic.

BlueHost Website


Many of my followers have asked me who I use to set up my website and the website hosting company.  I use WordPress and Blue Host.  For those that would like a great deal, Blue Host is  running a 4th of July sale this weekend!  Now is the time to buy your domain and get a great web host site.  I couldn’t be more pleased with the services I receive and the price is just right.  If you are starting a new site or need to find a great web site you should really check out Bluehost.  The sale is on now so don’t put off this great opportunity.   If you miss the sale, you still can receive great prices from BlueHost. Click here to receive the special

Here are the details: • Bluehost 2014 “4th of July” Sale • Special 3.95/mo Promotional Pricing • Starts Friday, July 4, 2014 @ 12:01 a.m. MDT • Ends Monday, July 7, 2014 @ 9 a.m. MDT

 

Subliminal Messages for Weight Loss

 

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Have you ever wished that you could just “wish” your weight loss to happen instantly?  I know I have.  You probably have too.  I’ve wished I had the willpower to stay motivated and stay the course.  Most of us just don’t possess that kind of willpower.  Well here’s the answer to what we’ve been wishing for.  This promotion offers 8 Newly Produced Subliminal Health & Fitness Messages on Videos that you will fall in love with.

You will INSTANTLY possess the complete willpower, motivation, and unstoppable desire to achieve anything you can dream of.  You will get The Benefits of Working out WITHOUT Working Out!  You will Feel RELAXED and LOVE more deeply than ever before!  It’s a FREE Download.

It’s a fact that 99% of the time anyone who views these scientifically produced videos sees immediate results.

These remarkable videos include subjects for easy health and fitness, a sexy body shape video, manifesting your spiritual health and fitness, warm-ups, million dollar thoughts and profitable confidence. 

As a caregiver, you need to take care of yourself as well as your patient.  If you are not a caregiver and just need help with willpower and weight loss this is a must.  Hurry get your video’s today.

Click Here to get your copy of the video today.

Social Security Disability Action Plan

Did you know that 70% of people that apply for Social Security Disability Benefits are turned down?  But if you know “how” to fill out the applications, you have a much better chance of being approved.

If you are disabled and need to apply for disability benefits, before you send in your applications, I recommend a book written by a lady that has handled disability applications on a daily basis.  Loretta Crosby has processed adult Social Security Disability and SSI claims in two southeastern states and knows what the staff needs in order for you to prove you are disabled.  She knows the qualifications that you need to pass before you will be granted benefits.  She will show you the best way to answer the questions.  Ms. Crosby has written a book that outlines a “9 Step Plan,” that will guide you in applying for Social Security Disability Benefits.

You will be getting advice from an ex-Claims Examiner to guide you through the process.  Don’t wait if your need these benefits, get this book today to make the applications much easier, faster and more likely to be approved.

Click Here to see the Social Security Disability Action Plan TODAY

CAREGIVER OF THE YEAR

Lisa Barr Kazmierczak was named the 2010 Mary Steibel national CAREGiver of the Year from Home Instead Senior Care. Lisa tells her story of compassion, love of caring for seniors and being a CAREGiver.

This is a lovely story about a young woman that truly has a care giving spirit.  I love hearing about people like this and it’s wonderful to have people like Lisa to care for us.  Please watch the video, it’s a heart warming experience.

Read more about the 2010 caregiver of the year Lisa Barr Kazmierczak at:
http://homeinstead.com/caregiver/Page…

Diabetes and Eating Healthy

Coffee Heart jeAzr-bl3-145x145If you are diabetic like me, you know how important it is to eat healthy.  Making smart decisions about what you eat every day is important.  If you are new to this, try making a journal and count your carbs.  Below are a few simple guidelines to help you eat better and stay healthy.

o  Eat healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats (example poultry and fish) and beans.  Beans have a lot of protein.

o  Eat as many vegetables and fruits that you want

o Eat whole grains

o Limit your intake of saturated fats, cholesterol, salt and sugar

o Try to balance your activity (that nasty work “exercise”) with the number of calories you eat.

Go on the web and look up diabetic recipes.  There are tons of delicious, diabetic-friendly recipes for you and your family to enjoy.  I found a chicken recipe I’m going to try tonight for dinner.  Good luck.

 

Caregivers Quotes

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Today, while doing some research, I came across a terrific U-Tube Website called Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center that had short videos with inspirational quotes for Caregivers called Monday’s Mojo for Caregivers.  If you get a chance you should check it out.

As a Caregiver myself, I can relate to the ups and downs of being a caregiver and I found these little video’s very inspirational and I’d like to share some of these quotes with you. Granted they won’t be just like the video, but you get the idea.

One suggestion was to use music to lift your spirits.  I find this to be true.  When I listen to music that I enjoy, it does give me a lift in my life.  It makes me happy and I feel good.  If I’m down it helps bring me back up.  Try putting together a list of songs that you like and download them to your phone, your Kindel or computer (where you have easy access to them) so you can listen to them during the day.  You don’t have to be “down” to enjoy them either.  Any time is the right time to listen to your music.

Other suggestions were to think “positive” thoughts.   As a caregiver you know that every day is not going to be a great day, but if you stay positive, don’t put yourself down and even “pat yourself on the back” once in a while, life will be better for you and for the person you care for.   Stay true to yourself and be the best person you can be.  Be helpful and honest in your care and your feelings.  Life is good, and you make it better by being there for someone who depends on you.

In my next article I plan to put together a list of songs that I personally like that you might like too.  So, stay tuned for that.

 

 

 

Elliptical Machine vs Walking Machine

 

Ellipitical Training 11wellaskwell-tmagArticleI was on Twitter this morning and found this interesting article by Gretchen Reynolds, “Ask Well:  Walking vs. Elliptical Training, April 11, 2014”, comparing taking a two-mile walk to a two-mile run on an elliptical machine.  Since I prefer the elliptical machine to walking on a treadmill machine because of my cranky knees, I thought just maybe I should read this article.  Ms. Reynolds findings are that they are similar in some respects and quite different in others.  The findings are stated here:  “According to a number of recent studies, elliptical training results in greater activation of muscles in the buttocks and thighs than walking does, and less activation of muscles in the calf.”  Elliptical training also places greater strain on the lower back than walking because of how the muscles are being used which should be a consideration for people with back problems.

Elliptical training is also less weight bearing and the percentage of someone’s weight striking the ground is less with this training.  It seems to help people that suffer from sore joints but is less helpful in improving bone health than walking.  But if you are looking to burn calories, walking and elliptical training are essentially the same.

How you exercise is up to you and your capabilities just do what you can and what best suits your comfort zone.

Caregivers Wear Green

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Wear Green for Caregivers

Wear Green for Caregivers

#caregreen  Denise Brown at @caregivers on Twitter has a lovely idea for all Caregivers to wear Green on Friday, April 11 to show support for all the caregivers out there.  I’m not sure if many of you are aware how isolated and lonely a caregiver can become, but it’s true.  Many times people are so involved in helping the disabled (not that they don’t deserve it), but the caregivers is kind of out of sight, out of mind.  That is unless you are a caregiver, then you know exactly how this feels.  By all caregivers wearing green on Friday, April 11, 2014 you will be recognized as a caregiver and hopefully it will help you and others to strike up a conversation and make new friends.  We all need more friends, right?  It can also help you connect with other family caregivers and give you a social outlet you didn’t have before.

So let’s all help Denise spread the word about “Because You Care, Wear Green on April 11″:

You could share this post on your social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest).  Maybe you feel like writing a letter to the editor of your local paper. In your letter, you could share your care giving experience, what challenges you face as a family caregiver and your wish that others wear green on April 11. Feel free to include a link to this post  ow.ly/vBYAF and join me on Twitter.  Look for Twitter.com/ldiannemier  Let all your friends know so we can all become one big happy community.

I’ll be wearing my green on Friday, April 11, how about you?  BTW, you don’t have to be a caregiver to wear green that day, your support will be greatly appreciated and you’ll make new friends too.

Will the A1C Test Be the New Standard to Diagnose Diabetes?

The A1C Test is currently a monitoring tool for diabetes but experts now say that the hemoglobin A1C test can diagnose diabetes too.  The accuracy and scope of the A1C test led an international committee of diabetes experts to suggest at the American Diabetes Association’s 2009 annual meeting that the A1C test may be a better diagnostic tool than the blood glucose tests currently being used and, based on study results, should be put into practice quickly.

The following is a short overview of an excellent article I saw by Krisha McCoy, MS at @EverydayHeath on Twitter.  The article was medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH. If you want the complete article you can find it by following it on Twitter @EverSenior-couple-41ydayHealth.

Currently the hemoglobin A1C test is given twice a year to people with diabetes to monitor the risk of complications.  It offers a clear picture of the patient’s blood glucose profile.   Now a panel of diabetes experts have suggested using it not just to monitor diabetes, but also to help diagnose this condition.  I think this is a great idea and would like to see it implemented in the future.

The following is an explanation of how it works.  Hemoglobin is the part of your blood that carries oxygen from your lungs to your body’s cells. The A1C Tests the amount of glucose that adheres to hemoglobin cells in your blood.  Miraculously our blood essentially keeps a 120-day record of a red blood cell’s life span, hence of the glucose that has stuck to the hemoglobin. The A1C test result is an average of those amounts, measured in percentages.

For most people that do not have diabetes, a normal A1C test result is a score of 6 percent or lower. The goal for diabetes patients is lower than 7 percent.  A score of 7 percent or higher could indicate problems and a higher degree of risk for developing complications of diabetes.

Essentially the A1C Test is an indicator of how well you’ve been able to control your blood glucose levels. The more glucose that sticks to the hemoglobin, the higher your A1C test will be. The test tells your doctor if you have been diligently taking your prescribed medications and following your prescribed diet and lifestyle changes.  If uncontrolled, diabetes can lead to many serious complications like heart disease, circulatory problems, and even blindness.  If it’s too high then you will have to make some changes to your life style and consult your doctor to ensure good health in the future.

8 Healthy Habits for Diabetics – Be Heart Healthy

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Did you know just by taking small steps to manage your diabetes you can have big results?  Here are a few things we can all do to develop healthy habits and take charge of our health.

  • Eat healthy but don’t deprive yourself.  Adjust your meals to reduce sugar, salt and carbs.  Balanced meals are the key ingredient to keeping your blood sugar where it needs to be.  An occasional splurge is ok, just sticks to your medications and recommended number of carbs.
  • Lose Weight, you don’t have to lose lots of weight, even a small amount, say 5-10 pounds can have great benefits in controlling your diabetes.
  • If you are diabetic or even pre-diabetic, test your blood sugar.  It’s recommended to aim for 70 mg to 130 mg before meals and less than 180 mg two hours after eating.  You will need to have your A1C tested about every 3 months.  It measures your average blood sugar over the 3 month timeframe.  It’s recommended that the AIC should be at or below 7 percent.
  • Exercise or at least stay on the move.  We’ve all hear the old saying “A body at rest tends to stay at rest”, therefore a body that moves reaps huge rewards.  Exercise helps lower blood sugar, prevents heart damage and depression and of course helps with weight loss.  Strive for at least 30 minutes of exercise a day.  Walk, run, dance, garden, play ball with the kids.  Get out there and move.  If you have to, start slow and work up, the benefits far outweigh being a couch potato.
  • Learn about the issues.  If your doctor hasn’t already suggested you take diabetes educations classes, ask about them.  They helped me a lot.
  • Check your insurance coverage.  Diabetes medications can cost a bundle.  Your insurance at work may help pay for it or your employer may have a flexible spending plan that can help with the costs.  If you have Medicare Part B, it will pay for supplies, including blood sugar monitors and test strips.  If you don’t have these options, check with your doctor or social worker.  They may have access to free samples and reduced price prescription programs.
  • Watch for warning signs like skin infections, foot sores, bloody gums, blurred vision and tingling in your hands and feet.  These are sure signs of high blood sugar and can lead to serious problems down the road.  Don’t wait until your next office visit, go to your doctor and tell him about your symptoms right away.
  • Stay positive, think good thoughts and feel good about yourself that you are doing all you can do to stay healthy.

Caregiver Relaxation Tips

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I just finished reading an article on Twitter by Renata Gelman, who is the Assistant Director of Clinical Services, Partners in Care and an affiliate of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY).   Renata offered excellent #caregiver relaxation tips to help caregivers relax and decompress from all their responsibilities.

Nurses as caregivers easily relate to home health aide and family members caring for a loved one as a never ending 24/7 job.  Caregivers are at a high risk for fatigue, depression, stress and even physical ailments because they take too little time to take care of themselves.

Below is the short version of the five tips suggested in Renata’s article.

  • Breathe – Take a few minutes each day to just breathe deeply.  Just close your eyes and focus on your breathing.  It will give you inner peace.
  • Eat foods that help you relax.  Vitamin C helps reduce stress and returns blood pressure to normal.  Other stress-reducing foods are avocados, nuts, salmon and oatmeal.
  • Exercise.  Light sessions of physical activity every day can have great effects and help with your workout goals.  Stretching is good as well as resistance training with weights or exercise bands.  I personally like the stretching and exercise bands.
  • Listen to music.  I know from experience that just listening to music driving home from work helped me relax.  I would listen to classical music and it helped me relax from a stressful day, but just five minutes of music that you like can help you de-stress.  Try listening to music while cooking or cleaning house and enjoy your favorite tunes.
  • Focus on the task you are currently doing.  You will have many jobs throughout the day.  Juggling them can be overwhelming.  Try writing them down and focus on one task at a time.  When the task is done, you can cross it off the list.  This will help lower your stress and give you a feeling of accomplishment.

If you want more information on this topic, Renata had themes songs for caregivers and suggestions for time management skills in her article.  Look her up on Twitter under Visit Partners in Care

Recharge Your Brain in 10 Minutes

 

 

 

Man relaxing 116635708-300x200 I just read an article on how to recharge your brain in just 10 minutes. If you are like me and sometimes just “feel fried”, too tired to go on and finish what you are doing Kat Clark’s article on April 8, 2013 from Men’s Health suggests ways to help with this issue. The article suggest you go outside, maybe take a walk in a tree-filled park or leafy courtyard. It seems to ease stress. If you continually work non-stop it can cause your brain to become exhausted. But if you walk outdoors, even for a short time, your brain recovers, according to author Jenny Roe, Ph.D., an environmental psychologist at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. It seems to reduce our stress levels. By just going outside for your lunch break, sitting in the sun or taking a brief walk in the nearest park you will feel better and stress will disappear. It was suggested if you can’t leave your building, to just look out the window, it can help. I know that when I worked in an office with no windows and I didn’t get outside for a short break, I became depressed. After that, I insisted on an office with a window or at least near one that I could glance out once in a while. It helps with stress and fatigue and even anger and depression. So be sure to take a break, look out the window once in a while or take a short walk around the block to recharge your brain. Such a simple solution, you should try it.

Tips to Cope with Dry Mouth

#Drymouth

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Dry mouth is caused when there is reduce saliva flow in the mouth. There can be many reasons such as asthma, depression, obesity, nausea, hypertension, incontinence, urinary track infections, combination of prescription drugs, even epilepsy drugs.  Many times decongestants and antihistamines used to treat allergies can cause dry mouth.  To feel better try some of the following suggestions to help with this problem:  Try using an alcohol free mouthwash.  Use a humidifier to increase the moisture in your bedroom or your home. Drink plenty of water to keep your mouth moist.  Suck on sugar free hard candy, avoid salty foods, eat soft moist foods such as soups or broth, avoid caffeine such as coffee and tea, avoid alcohol because it increases water loss and avoid acidic drinks such as fruit juices.  Hope these tips help.  Maybe you have experience this problem, let me know if you know of even better ways to cope with this problem.

How to Deal with a Grumpy Diabetic

 

Grump

Grump

 

Do you live with the character Grumpy from Snow White?  I do, well not all the time, only when he’s really hungry.  I’m a caregiver for my husband, who became disabled when he fell in the kitchen.  He’s much better now, but he has Diabetes too.  Did you know that Diabetics need to eat about every 4-5 hours so their blood sugar remains constant?  If their blood sugar drops too low they could go into a coma and die, if not treated promptly, it could go too high and they could stroke out.   Either way, not a good outcome.  So when he’s Grumpy, it’s a sign to me that his blood sugar is out of whack and he needs to eat something right away.  I just read an interesting article on Caring.com by Paula Spencer Scott and Carol O’Dell with strategies how to cope with Difficult People.  It gave me some insight of how to help my husband when this happens, in addition to feeding him.  Granted, not every Grump is diabetic, so it’s helpful in many other situations too.  I’ve paraphrased their strategies below but they get all the credit for these excellent suggestions.  I was glad to know these tips.  I think you will be too.

1.   Give the grump a little acknowledgment.

When someone is in a bad mood there might be hurt feelings behind a scowl.  Try kneeling down, look them in the eye and give them a hug or a pat on the hand and say, “I know you are having a rough day”.  “What can I do to make it better?”  Maybe they are scared or just lonely and need someone to talk to about their feelings.

2. Shake up the status quo.

To change the mood, sometimes it helps to change the scene. If they’ve been cooped up all day inside, try taking them outside or for a short walk or short drive.  Get up and walk around, go to another room in the house.  Make something new for lunch or go out to eat if you can.  Suggest they take a bath and get dressed up.  Of course, this will probably require extra effort on the caregiver’s part, but it just might be worth it.

3. Tease or flirt away a challenging moment.

Try kidding them, or teasing them a little.  React in a lighthearted way: “Oh, come on, Mr. Sourpuss, let’s see if you still hate me after breakfast.”  Of course you know your loved one best, and what kind of humor he or she might respond to. But a little ribbing can sometimes help them see his or her mood for what it is.

4. Tune out a bad mood with music.

You don’t have to call attention to the grumpiness, try putting on a CD or radio station playing light upbeat music that you know they enjoy.  Research shows that our very heart rates react to lively upbeat music.   This means that its power to lift someone’s mood may be partly biological.   I believe it is, I know it gets me in a much better, feel good mood.

5. Coax the blues away with treats.

Try offering a treat that helps the issue at hand, perhaps a bouquet of flowers, a favorite cup of tea, a special movie to watch together.  If you offer to engage in a favorite activity you might be able to barter for a little cooperation from them from time to time.   Sometimes, seeing you make the effort is enough to soften some grumps and some sweet-talking can surely help.

Hope you find these suggestions helpful with your “Grump”, I certainly did.  Have a great day!

 

Symptoms of Diabetes


Discount Diabetes Supplies!

Do you have diabetes?  Have you had a physical or been tested for diabetes, or even high blood pressure, high blood sugar or cholesterol?  It’s unfortunate, but many people that actually have diabetes or any of these other systems are undiagnosed.  Many adults wait beyond the optimal time to be diagnosed and fend off these diseases.  This article will be designated to the symptoms of diabetes.  I think we would agree that it’s hard to take measures to fend off a disease if you don’t know you have it.  More of us need to learn about diabetes and pre-diabetes and to take action to prevent ourselves from becoming diabetic.

Our bodies need food or fuel for just about everything we do.  We get most of that fuel from glucose which is sugar.  Everything we eat, especially carbohydrates and proteins are converted into glucose.  Glucose enters the bloodstream and enters the brain, muscles and liver.  “Blood sugar” is the term doctor’s use when they check our “blood glucose” levels.

In order for muscles to receive glucose from the food we eat, insulin must be present.  Insulin is a hormone that the body makes naturally in the pancreas.  Insulin regulates whether glucose enters your muscle cells for movement and physical output.  It also performs the essential task of removing potential toxins from our bodies. Hence glucose and insulin both have very important roles in our bodies.

RISK FACTORS

 Below are a few of the risk factors that make it more likely that a person has pre-diabetes and a greater likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes:

  •  Overweight or obese
  • 45 years old or older
  • Family history, you have a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes

 

SYMPTOMS

 If you suspect that you have diabetes, it is essential that you are pro-active and have testing done to determine where you stand.   Obesity is a top risk factor along with family history for diabetes.  Talk to your doctor about screening and testing for diabetes.  Be aware that the longer beta cells are exposed to high blood glucose levels, it’s more likely those cells will suffer permanent damage.   That’s why it is critical to determine if you have diabetes and don’t know it yet.

Below symptoms of diabetes are listed for Type 1 or 2 that you should be aware of:

  •  Increased fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Irritability
  • Blurry vision
  • Unusual or unexplained weight loss
  • Frequent infections of the skin, urinary tract, or vagina
  • Poor wound healing
  • Tingling in the hands and feet

In conclusion, You are the best judge of whether the above symptoms are new to you are if there are other factors that may cause them.  Be sure to consult your doctor about them.

Doctors might use the term pre-diabetes in your case.  It you are diagnosed with pre-diabetes it’s a call to action.  There are many lifestyle changes you can easily make toward controlling diabetes for yourself or a loved one.   For example, learning how to combine proteins, carbs and diary in your diet along with developing good exercise habits, are great ways to get started.

There are many healthy ways to take care of ourselves.  With today’s medical statistics it is essential that we know the symptoms of diabetes and to take action to prevent or at least control this disease.  If you have diabetes be sure to look at the Total Home Care Supplies attached to this article for all your diabetic needs at great savings.  I’ll write more about Type II diabetes in my next article, so be sure to check back soon.

 

Have a Beautiful Complexion, Avoid Chronic Skin Conditions

 

Every woman wants a beautiful completion and the older we get the more we want to keep that beautiful completion.  I know that I try to eat healthy foods, wash my face every day and at night before I go to bed and use cleansers and moisturizers to keep my skin soft and supple.  Just like you, I want to feel good about myself and having a beautiful completion does just that.

I’ve also had a few problems along the way, like Rosacea and Contact Dermatitis.  They’re not pleasant but we can work to make them go away as quickly as possible. 

If you are continually blushing, you could have rosacea.  It’s a chronic skin condition that most often affects fair-skinned adults between 30 and 60 years old.  Rosacea occurs when facial blood vessels become stimulated and dilate.  This causes the skin to redden and blush easily.  I had a mild case of Rosacea and had spots on my cheeks that just would not go away.  You can also have other symptoms such as acne breakouts, eye irritation and thickening of the skin on the nose.  The best thing to do to avoid flare-ups is to avoid triggers, such as staying out of the sun, and avoiding hot drinks, spicy foods and cold or windy weather.  The best medication to treat the symptoms is a topical medication or oral antibiotics. 

Another skin condition is contact dermatitis.  It is a form of eczema.  There are two types of contact dermatitis, irritant or allergic dermatitis.  Most people contract the irritant type.  The allergic type can be caused by many substances such as latex or preservatives.  This condition can cause fluid-filled blisters, thickening red dry skin and it itches like crazy.  The best treatments are anti-itch lotions with steroids.

I’ve found a great product that I think you will like too, The Anti-Aging Serum Hydrocollagen that I’m promoting on this site.  Give it a try, I think you will be very pleased with the results and be sure to let me know how you like it.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR & HAPPY JANUARY 2014

I don’t know about you, but I made my annual “lose weight resolution” again this year.  I’ve been eating healthier and going to the gym to exercise.  I’ve even started going to a few of the exercise classes that are offered for free at the gym.  Gold’s Gym is practically across the street from me so it makes it really easy to go there and very hard to say it’s not convenient.

My added incentive this year is that I was recently diagnosed with diabetes which means I have to be sure my blood sugar stays in a certain range.  I already knew I had high blood pressure.  So, I needed a healthy diet that would help me fight my high blood pressure and keep my blood sugar in control.  I came across the DASH diet listed on the website entitled “Health and Wellness” Diets.  It listed a whole bunch of wonderful diets to pick and choose from.  I chose the DASH diet since it met my criteria to not only help me lose weight, but to help lower my high blood pressure and blood sugar.  This diet is similar to the TLC Diet, Mediterranean Diet, the Mayo Clinic Diet and the Vegetarian Diet.  Some of which I was tempted to try too.

According to the article a healthy eating pattern is key to deflating high blood pressure.  The diet consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy and avoids sweets, red meat and limit salt.  What’s important is the diet includes nutrients such as potassium, fiber, protein and calcium which help fight off high blood pressure.   This sounds perfect for me.    I can eat the foods that I normally eat but in the right combination to control my blood pressure and as a bonus, I’ll lose weight too.  I’m sending for the book right away.  If you want to learn more about the right diet for you, Google the website Health and Wellness Diets and choose the right diet for you.  Let’s get healthy together this year and please come back and visit my site at:  http://caregiversclinic.com

 

Dash Diet Book

 

 

2014 Happy New Year

2013 VPS Christmas Party

Hello Folks,

How was your holiday?  Mine was great!  I would like to take this time to wish you a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.  I’m looking forward to this coming year and to hearing from you about health issues you would like to discuss with me.

Have you ever thought about how you would handle situations as a caregiver to the disabled during the holidays?  Hopefully, you don’t find yourself in this situation, but if like me you do, I would like to share a few things with you.  The holidays are a very special time for us, and even if you are disabled, you want to join in the fun.  As the caregiver to my husband, I want to make sure he gets to enjoy the occasion with the family just like everyone else.

As a Type II diabetic that takes insulin he needs to watch his diet.  It’s ok to indulge in a few special dishes, but he has to be careful about sugar spikes and especially lows.  His blood sugar tends to drop unexpectedly and it goes quite low.  This is a concern to me.  It’s best to keep the blood sugar at an even, constant range.  Too high and too low are not good.  The best thing to do, in my opinion is to eat healthy most of the time, with a little protein and lots of low carb vegetables.  Drink water instead of soda and try to exercise some every day if possible.  I like to be prepared if we go out.  I take a low calorie granola bar or apple with us in case his blood sugar drops.  Another good thing to do, if you are overweight is drop some of that extra weight.  It won’t be easy, but just keep at it and it will happen.

Vic is disabled because he fell in our kitchen on Valentine’s Evening in 2011.  He broke his neck and was paralyzed.  After surgery, a long hospital stay, and a lot of physical therapy he is now mobile and can do many things for himself.  He cannot drive, and needs help dressing and tying his shoes.  He uses a cane to walk because his right side has not completely come back, it may never come back.  But he is a lot better off than others who suffered this kind of injury and we feel very blessed that he has come this far.   This brings me back to my point about enjoying the Holidays/Christmas Season with a handicapped person.  We were invited to my camera club Christmas Party which we enjoy very much.  Last winter was a very cold season.  We had ice and snow storms and it was difficult to drive and walk on the streets and sidewalks.  Since I drive everywhere now, I try to be careful about where I park to make it easier for him to get in and out of the car.  Yes, we take advantage of the handicapped spots when available.  What a blessing they are.  However, in an ice and snow covered road in a housing development, I have to be concerned about this.  We try to leave early so that we will be able to park close to where we are going.  If possible, I drop him off near the door and park the car as close by as I can.  The problem is if I can’t drop him off, he needs help in maneuvering the street or sidewalk.  Caution is essential, not only for him but for me too.  We take our time and walk slowly so there are no falls.  I have to think about myself at this time too, because if I fall and hurt myself, who will assist my husband.  Thankfully, we made it to the party and had a great time with our friends.  When it was time to leave, many of our friends, help me get Vic back to the car safely and the drive home was uneventful.  I’ve attached a photo of the Vienna Photographic Society (VPS) members at the party that the VPS President took in his lovely home.   I just want to share what great friends we have.

Low Blood Sugar

Last night just as we were preparing to go to bed for the night my husbands blood sugar dropped below 50.  If you don’t know what that means, let me explain.  The normal range for a diabetic is 70-120, with 100  as optimal.  Most diabetics will experience a quezy feeling, feel light headed or disoriented and have the “cold sweats”.  They need to immediately have a glass of orange juice or piece of candy or anything to bring their sugar level back up.  They could go into a coma if the blood sugar drops too low and die.  It’s a very serious and scary thing to happen.  Fortunately Vic and I know the symptoms and quickly get him something to eat or drink.  Diabetics have been known to die in their sleep because they did not wake up.  The key is to monitor your blood sugar and make sure it’s in the target range. Our one bad experience, when we were not prepared, caused Vic’s accident that left him handicapped for life.  If you have been diagnoised with diabetes or even pre-diabetes make sure you don’t experience these symptoms by taking good care of yourself by eating a healthy diet and exercising.  If you have diabetes, check your blood sugar regularly, lose weight (it really helps) and take a walk every day or at least do an exercise that you like as often as you can.  It’s your life, the only one you will ever have, so be kind to yourself and stay healthy.

Personal Grooming – Finger Nails and Toe Nails


http://www.priceangels.com/9-in-1-Portable-Stainless-Steel-Manicure-Set-with-PU-Leather-Zipper-Case-s785511.html 9 in 1 Portable Stainless Steel Manicure Set with PU Leather Zipper Case

As a caregiver I find that the disabled need help with many simple tasks. For example, clipping their finger nails and especially their toe nails. It’s even more important if the disabled is diabetic. Diabetics must take good care of their feet because they may not have much feeling in them and their feet could easily become infected if not taken care of. This can become quite a chore for them if they have a disability that limits reaching or holding anything. They may need help to wash their feet, put lotion on them, or even chip them. This is one of the many tasks that I perform for my husband.

We found out the hard way that a cut on the foot or toe can easily lead to an infection or gangrene. My husband lost a toe a couple of months ago because a small scrap on his toe led to a bacterial infection that ate part of the bone in one of his toes. The toe had to be removed so that the rest of the toes and foot could be saved. My advice to diabetics is “wear shoes” at all times, make sure your feet are clean and dry and keep the nails manicured.

I found a product on line that helps with this little chore and thought I would share it with you. You don’t have to be diabetic to want to look and feel your best and this manicure kit is great for everyone.
FREE SHIPPING, Big Discount with code: PAEN2013

October is “birthday” month in my family!

October is the month that this family celebrates birthdays.  First was my husband’s mom, Eleanor would have been 90 this year.  Unfortunately we lost her in April, but we remember her with love.  Next, my husband, Vic turned the big  “7” “0”!!! Wow that was a stunner!, I’m trusting you read my last post and saw the cake and balloons to celebrate.  Now, it’s my son Victor’s turn to celebrate his birthday on Oct 18th.  Since he lives pretty far away we will celebrate with Skype.  What a great invention, especially for family’s that can’t get together on special occasions.  Here are a couple of pictures just for fun.  We don’t feel like we are a handicapped family right now. 2008 Ellie Thanksgiving Anna & Tony 2008_2672 copy

The Party!

The party was a great success, with lots of friends and family to help us celebrate.  Vic was in great spirits and everyone was having a really fun time.  It’s nice to have a little moral builder once in a while and this certainly took the cake.  BTW, here’s the cake along with the birthday boy and baloons.

Vic BD Cake 0672 Vics Baloons 0694 The BD Boy 0685

Caregivers injury!

Now I’ve done it.  Vic went with a friend to help his brother Gary, get some of his belongings to take to his new place and I needed to do some quick shopping.  When I got back, my doggie, Bosco, loves to run out into the front yard when I open the garage door.  Since he’s a big dog and could knock down the little kids in the neighborhood, we try not to let him run around.  I started calling him and he came barrelling down at me.   He ran into me with a lot of force. I thought he broke my middle finger on my right hand at first.  It may just be jammed, but right now it hurts.  Took some Aleve and iced it, now I’ve made a home made splint.  Hope it’s better tomorrow and “hubby” doesn’t need to much help from me.  I need to be typing my article, but it may just have to wait a bit!Bosco Mier July 2008Bosco on the deck!

Went to the doctor last week to get the verdict on my finger since it was taking to long to heal.  Of course he took x-ray’s and yes my finger is broken.  I have to wear a splint for 4 weeks and go back in Nov for a re-check.  I should have gone to the doctor right away.  Lessons learned here, go to the doctor everything else can wait until you’re back!!!

 

Getting ready for a neighborhood yardsale

Hello,

For the first time since I’ve lived in this neightborhood, I will participate in the neighborhood yards sale.  I’ve been working all day to pull out things and tag them for sale.  The good part is my husband picked up my “cleanup fever” and is doing his part too.  He’s a little slower, but he’s been a big help.  Hope all goes well and we move alot of this “stuff” out of the house we collected for years, you know what I’m talking about, my stuff, his stuff, the kids stuff, in-law stuff, parents stuff.   You know the saying, “One man’s garbage, another man’s treasure”.  Hope it’s true on Saturday.  Stay tuned!

 

Boys night Out!

Oh what fun, my hubbie got to go to the Nat’s Game with his buddy, John (The Washington Nationals Baseball Team for those of you who don’t know who that is).  It was a fun night for him and a “relief” night for me.  I went to my camera club competition and visited with my friends that I hadn’t seen all summer.  As a bonus, I won two Honorable Mentions tonight for my images on children.   It’s really nice for friends and family to give the caregiver a little time to themselves once in a while and to not feel guilty that they weren’t watching over their family member or client.  Thanks John.  You’re the best!

 

Funny story at the beach

Vic on the beach at OBX

Vic on the beach at OBX

 

 

 

Thought I’d share a funny happening on the beach.  I have to admit I didn’t think it was funny at the time, but now when I look back at it and am telling my friends about it, it really was comical and we learned a great lesson.

We got a late start to the beach that day.  Everyone slep later than usual, I think because of all the sun and not being use to being outside for long periods of time.  Nevertheless, we were all in good spirits and decided to go down to Teach’s Point.  John, my daughter’s husband, was convinced that the fishing was going to be really good there, as he had talked to several locals and they recommended it.  Do you know that you have to lower the tire pressure in your tires in order to drive in the sand on the beach and drive slower, but not stop or you can get stuck.  Of course, that makes sense, but I’d didn’t know that.   So we did what we had to do and finally arrived at out destination.  It was beautiful there with the white sand and bluegreen water, and it really came to a point.  The ocean was coming into the point from several different directions and it was interesting to watch.  The beach had a nice long shore line, but it wasn’t very wide.  Above the shore, there were steep hills, trees and scruffy bushes, not fit for walking.

We walked all the way down to the point to set up John and Cliff’s fishing gear and our beach equipment, you know chairs, towels and coolers.  We had to have a sturdy chair that sits up for Vic because he has a hard time getting in and out of chairs, so recliners, are out.  Vic uses a cane that fits around this upper arm and has a handle for his hand so he can lean to his left to pull himself up.  His right side is still not back to normal and he can’t put much weight on it.  Attached is a picture of him in his chair at the beach.

The day was so nice and we were enjoying ourselves so much that even though we knew the tide was coming in we stayed a little longer than we should have.  Soon we discovered the shore line had disappeared and was covered with water.  Rember, I said it wasn’t very wide.  There was no way Vic could climb the steep hills or walk through the scruffy bushes so we had to make our way through the water to get back to the car.  I was trying not to panic, because I knew it would be hard for Vic to walk through the moving water, and I had to carry our supplies back to the car.  We trughed on very slowly, Vic had to stop several times and even though the gear was getting heavier and heavier, I couldn’t put it down and I couldn’t leave him on his own.  I was afraid he might fall and not be able to get up.  I kept thinking, I cannot let my husband drown.  As I struggled to keep an eye on Vic and carry our gear as the waves kept crashing on us, my flip-flops got stuck in the mud and I stepped out of one of them.  There I was running after my shoe before the ocean could claim it, trying to keep him on his feet and keep the gear from getting wet. I must have been a funny site, as Vic was laughing at me.  I quickly accomplished my mission and we finally made our way back to the car.

What a relief.  He was exhausted.  I was exhausted and thrilled that we had made it back safely.  All I could think about was he had fallen twice on the beach and I had to have help to get him back up and in his chair.  I wouldn’t let this incident spoil his fun and enjoyment of the beach.  We would just play it a little safer the next time.

The thing about going on vacation with a person with disabilities is you have to plan and think about the unexpected and how you will handle it if something happens.  A sense of humor helps too when things don’t go as planned.  And it goes without saying, hands-on experience is a great way to learn, as we did that day.

 

Added Facebook friends

I just learned how to add my facebook friends to my website.  Hope you all enjoy the blog.  If you have any questions or want to share information, please feel free to do so.  Just wanted you to know if you need any medical supplies, there is a great connection on my site that offers $5.00 off through September.  So if you need something, it’s the time to get it.  Thanks.

 

Back home from the beach

Outer Banks, NC Sep 2013

Outer Banks, NC Sep 2013

View from the top deck_0559

We got back home Saturday, sun tanned and exhausted.  After all the sun and packing the suitcases and food and carrying it all down three stories of stairs, then driving home for 6 hours WE were exhausted.  I think I could have slep for days.  All I wanted to do was get some rest and much needed sleep.  I’ve attached a couple of pictures of the Outer Banks just so you can see for yourself how beautiful this place is.  We really enjoyed our vacation, but it was really nice to get home too!

 

Fun on the beach

Vic at the Beach_0575 Vic at OBX_0620

Our vacation at the beach continues to be a really nice time with the family.  Of course there are a few “bumpy” moments, but that’s to be expected when lots of people are together, especially family and all the quirky goings on.  The skies are a beautiful blue, with fluffy white clouds.  The temperature is about 87.  All but a few of us are sleeping late after a fun day on the beach, swimming, and fishing.

The house we are staying in is  a huge 3 story house on stilts and enough parking for 4 big cars.  It backs up to the canal and is really VERY nice.  It has everything you could need except a blender, so John went out and bought one so he could make Margarita’s.  They were delicious.

We went down to “the point” yesterday which was beautiful and had all this fishing gear, a big tent and lots of chairs.  We stayed too long and had to wade through the waves to get back to the car.  It was tough, but we made it.  Vic was a bit of a challenge though.  He fell 3 times yesterday, once when coming down the outside stairs from the house and twice at the beach.  I was lucky I had big strong folks around to help me get him back up.  He wasn’t hurt, just his pride.  We got back exhausted, but happy.  Dinner was cheeseburgers on the grill and then a wonderful fluffy bed.  Awwww!

Labor Day at the Beach

We had a great day at the beach in the Outer Banks in NC.  It was sunny and rainy and clear and wet.  It was great to be with family.  The dogs were having fun playing in the sand and beach.  The guys are still fishing and we may have a shark in the inlet behind our beach house.  Hope your day was good too.

 

 

 

Getting ready to go on vacation…

We’ve decided to take a last minute vacation with our family.  We are going to the Outter Banks in NC.  Lots of packing to do for hubby and myself.  Since we are taking the dogs too, we have to pack for them too.  Let’s see, his clothes, my clothes, swim suits, medicine, cosmetics, hairdryer, food, drinks, wine, water, snacks, dog food, dog snacks, dog leashes, bed linens, towels, sun screen, chairs.  Am I forgetting something?  I probably am.  Guess who gets to carry all this stuff?  Yes, we have to take our own food, etc, because it isn’t a hotel, it’s a rental home so you bring what you think you are going to need for the trip.   No, he can’t carry anything, because he only has one working arm and he needs that to hold his crutch in order to walk.  Oh well, I’ll be able to sit on the beautiful beach and soak in some wonderful sunshine.  What’s better than that?

Talk to you in a couple of days once we get settled.

 

Life after therapy

Our life is ever changing. Vic’s mother passed away in April and his brother has moved again. We work on Vic’s therapy ourselves and have plans to get him driving himself again one day. Right now, I have to do all the driving. For the most part it’s not too bad, but sometimes I wish he could drive himself to his doctor appointments or just to the grocery store. It would be nice to get him back in therapy for a little while to see if he can recover even further. I don’t want him to accept his condition as is. I’m selfish, I want more, I want my husband back the way he was. I want to be able to enjoy our retirement, to travel and do fun things. Sure we can still do these things; it just takes a tremendous amount of planning and my attention to the little details for us to enjoy the trip. Just getting into a car is a hassle for him. When we fly to our destination, I make sure he has an aisle seat sitting in the direction he can best use his left hand to get up. Of course a wheelchair is a necessity for walking long distances. Our financial situation is totally different today. We use to have two incomes, now we have social security and renewals payments from his clients. His disability insurance ended this month, August 2013. It’s “tuff “ to make ends meet. We are working on ways to generate a new source of income. Of course, we want to be able to go out to dinner with friends once in a while and take a vacation. So we are careful with our money these days.

About me

I was born in Thomasville, N.C. and moved to Northern Virginia as a young girl when my father decided to go to George Washington University to become a Patent Lawyer.  After graduating from Mount Vernon High School in Alexandria, VA, I studied at the Corcoran Art Gallery for a year before I met and married my husband, Victor.  After a few years of being a stay at home mom, I decided to go back to school and eventually earned a B.S. in Business from Strayer University and a Professional Photography Degree from the New York Institute of Photography.  I have been active in the Vienna Photographic Society for many years earning Photographer of the Year on several occasions and was a principal photographer juried into the Lorton Workhouse Foundation in Lorton, VA.  During this time I also worked full time as a government contractor to the Navy and enjoyed traveling to many foreign countries and within the United States.

Vic and I have 2 grown children and 3 grandchildren, that live all over the U.S., including  San Francisco, CA; Miami , FL; and Yuma,  AZ as well as  internationally in Singapore and Japan.

Before Vic became disabled, Vic’s elderly mother came to live with us.   Eleanor was very frail, legally blind and very hard of hearing.  She lived with us for 5 years before her care became a 24/7 job and she had to be put in a nursing home.  The Miers were frequent visitors to the Nursing Home and I even continued to do Eleanor’s weekly laundry for her because she loved to look her best.

After Vic’s accident that paralyzed him,I eventually had to retire from my contractor job and became a full time caregiver for my husband. This incident, along with being a caregiver for Vic’s mother is the reason for this website/blog.  Caregiving is not something most people are prepared for, it’s just something that happens and you try to make the best of it for the person you are caring for and for yourself.

 

The long story how I became a caregiver to my husband

Vic in happier times, before his accident

Vic in happier times, before his accident

I’d like to begin with a little background of our lives so you can see this story from a caregiver’s point of view.  At the time of the accident, I was working full time as a government contractor at the Navy Yard in Washington D.C.  My job included “tight” deadlines and lots of meetings and travel.  My husband, Vic, was an insurance agent and had his own business with his partners.

Vic’s mother had lived with us for 5 years.   In the beginning it was not a big inconvenience, she was fun and we had lots of good times sharing our lives and family events with her.  At this point in time, I was the main caregiver for my mother-in-law.  She was diabetic and we monitored her medications, her shots and her food.  She used a walker and a wheelchair, but was relatively mobile and alert until she began having bladder and urinary problems and was hospitalized several times.  It became a 24/7 job to take care of her and we eventually had to move her to a nursing home.  It took a couple of times of placing her to find the right nursing home, but we persisted, eventually placing her in a wonderful nursing home that met all her needs.  As a bonus for us, it was just a 5 minute drive from our home.  (Below Grandson Alex with Great Grandmother Ellie).

Vic's Mom, Eleanor with Grandson, Alex

The day of the accident…

Moving on… the weekend before Valentine’s Day 2011, Vic’s brother, who is also disabled from a car accident and had many physical and mental problems because of it, was moving from his apartment to an Assisted Living Home.  Since I had to work, Vic and our daughter and her husband went down to Richmond, VA for the weekend to get him moved to his new home.  They got home late and exhausted that night.  The next day, we were all ready to “unwind” and enjoy Valentine’s Day with a nice dinner and a glass of wine.  A lot had been accomplished and were happy to have his brother settled in his new home.

 

That night, Vic’s blood sugar dropped.  He’s lucky that when this happens, he wakes up.  We should have used foresight and had a snack by the bed to quickly bring his blood sugar back up, but we were not prepared.  It was about 1 o’clock in the morning and he didn’t want to wake me, so he went downstairs to the kitchen to get some orange juice or a snack.  I woke up when I heard him calling me in a weak panicky voice.  “Where are you?”  I yelled.  “Down here, down here”.  I ran down to the kitchen, where I found him impelled in the aisle in the kitchen between the stove and the dishwasher.  His neck was sitting on the broiler drawer handle on the stove and his feet were stuck on the dishwasher.  Our four dogs were jumping up and down in excitement and there was broken glass (the wine glasses) all over the floor.  I quickly put the dogs out and went to help my husband.  I called 911 right away and then called by daughter, who lives close to us.  Everyone was there in just minutes.  The fire department is just minutes from our home, so they quickly secured Vic’s neck and put him on a stretcher to take him to the hospital.

We rushed to the emergency room where we met Dr. John Hamilton, who was the Chief Surgeon for spinal cord injuries at INOVA Fairfax Hospital.  Vic was in BAD shape, our options were not good, he would die if we didn’t do something immediately.  Since dying was not an option we wanted to think about, we carefully listened to what our choices were.  Vic would have to have surgery, but there was a chance he could be paralyzed for life with traditional surgery or we could do an experimental surgery that might restore the use of his limbs.  We opted for the latter and Vic was rushed into surgery.  Six long hours later, the doctor advised us that the surgery was a success but; only time would tell us if he would fully recover.  He’s made it this far.  (Below our Grandson, Theo visited Papa and Great Grandmother Ellie at the Nursing Home).

Theo visits Papa & Great Grandmothr Ellie 2011

Vic spent weeks in intensive care and then 5 months in various hospitals.  He was transferred from INOVA Fairfax Hospital to INOVA Mount Vernon Hospital in Alexandria for physical therapy (best in the area) and eventually to Fairfax Nursing Center (at my request) so I wouldn’t have to drive back and forth taking care of my husband and checking in on his mother.  By the way, I was still working full time while all this was taking place and had four dogs to come home to whenever I could get there.  All this was taking a toll on me and I was very weary from all the traveling back and forth to work and hospitals.  It was about a 30-45 minute drive home from the hospital through heavy construction.   I was getting home very late every night.  I was so afraid I would fall asleep driving home.  Somehow, I stayed alert long enough to get home safely.  My nerves were on end.  I could retire in November when I turned 66 so I was hanging on until I could put in my papers at work.  I retired on 31 December 2011 and gave a “sigh of relief” that I could “just” take care of the Vic and his mom and not worry about my job too.  Below, Vic and I are having fun at my retirement party.

Loma and Vic at Retirement Party-DSC02811

Caregivers Blog

This blog is for caregivers of people with disabilities.    It’s written by a caregiver to give support, advice and encouragement.

Hello, my name is Loma.  I’m a young 67 year old caregiver with a disabled husband.  I am starting this blog because I feel there are others like me that need support and encouragement in our lives.

Lomas Image for PMI_9166

My story begins on 15 February 2011, just after a Valentine’s Day celebration dinner with my husband.   My husband, Vic, who is diabetic, woke up in the middle of the night because his blood sugar was low and went downstairs to the kitchen to get some juice to elevate his blood sugar.  Short version, he tripped and fell backward as he opened the refrigerator door.  When he fell he hit the back of his neck on the broiler handle on the stove.  He was instantly paralyzed.  Fortunately, I’m a light sleeper and I heard him calling out to me.  I called 911 and he was quickly whisked to the hospital and had surgery that same day.  The prognosis was not good.  Our choices were not good.  We elected to have experimental surgery and prayed that Vic wouldn’t be paralyzed for life or worse, die on the surgical table.   We were lucky, he lived.  So my story as a caregiver for my husband begins…

Caregivers Survival Guide

If you unexpectedly find yourself in the position to be a caregiver to someone it can be quite overwhelming at first.  I’ve found just the book to guide you and answer the hundreds of questions you have and to put to rest your fears.   This book can help.

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