How to Eliminate Candida Yeast Infections From Your Baby Safely

It is hardly surprising that many people do experience Candida yeast at some point in their lives. There are those who get it once and never again but there are also those who have regular bouts of this annoying and irritating condition. The symptoms are very obvious. You will see redness and feel itching and burning. In the case of a vaginal infection you will see a thick white discharge. In the case of a penile infection it is the foreskin that becomes red and itchy.

Another place that is common for an infection of Candida yeast is the mouth. This is the area that commonly becomes infected in toddlers and babies but adults are also prone to a mouth infection. The sign of a mouth infected by Candida yeast is a white covering on the tongue or inside of the cheeks. There may also be raised bumps on the tongue. If this infection is not treated it will spread to the throat and also make its way down the throat. The higher the level of Candida yeast the worse the symptoms and the sufferer could even end up with a very sore throat and especially when swallowing. This is not good for a baby or toddler dependent on drinking milk for regular feeds.

In order to help prevent a yeast infection in babies and toddlers it is important to exercise a high standard of hygiene. The child should be bathed every day and the mouth kept clean. Bedding, clothing, toys, bottles and pacifiers and anything else the baby uses should be sterilized every day.

More and more mothers are relying on home remedies and natural products to cope with keeping their children healthy. Ayuvedic practitioners regard constipation as a cause for yeast infection in babies and toddlers. The haritaki herb is used to get rid of Candida yeast. It is also recommended that ghee (clarified butter) is given to the child in tiny amounts to lighten digestion and get the bowels and tract moving.

An old home remedy is simply to soak a piece of soft clean cloth or cotton wool in glycerin. Wrap it around your finger and gently cleanse the inside of the baby’s mouth and tongue to rid it of the yeast infection. This can be done daily until the infection is gone. It is recommended it be done every now and then to make certain the mouth stays clear of a yeast infection.

It has been noted that babies and toddlers who drink from a bottle are more prone to outbreaks of Candida yeast infections in the mouth. One theory is that it happens when a bottle is not properly sterilized. In breastfed babies it is possible for the mother to contract a yeast infection on her breasts and nipples. This can be passed on to her baby. It is just as important for a mother to keep a high standard of hygiene and to make sure her breasts and nipples are kept clean. Drying off properly after showering is essential in keeping yeast infection at bay.

Using uncomplicated and natural ingredients and easy practices of personal hygiene is far healthier than subjecting mother and baby to either over the counter products loaded with harmful chemicals or prescription medication.

Which STDs Can Be Cured?

Quite a lot of times I have heard anecdotes of people avoiding STD tests because they’re scared of knowing for sure that they have a sexually transmitted disease. They’d prefer to stay in the dark, but while there may have been a twisted logic to this some years ago when little could be done about sexually transmitted diseases, nowadays it makes no sense at all.

Some STDs can be cured, and there are ways of managing the symptoms of others to ensure they’re barely a hindrance any longer. In the case of the diseases that there are cures for, delaying over a test and treatment can cause irreversible damage to the body, so regular STD tests are all important.

Here are the diseases that can be cured, followed by those that can be managed:

STDs with Cures

The sexually transmitted diseases that can be cured are all bacterial infections: Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and Syphilis. All three can be ‘silent’ and must be tackled quickly to avoid irreparable damage.

– Gonorrhea is tackled with a course of antibiotics or antimicrobial, but if left alone can result in Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, scarring to the urethra and infertility.

– Chlamydia is tackled by a week on doxycycline or a single dose of azithromycin, but can cause damage to the reproductive system in women and infertility in men.

– Syphilis is tackled with a course of penicillin (or alternate antibiotic for those with allergies), but this will not tackle any of the damage done to the eyes, brain, nervous system, joints, heart or bones in the later stages of the STD. Untreated Syphilis can even kill the patient.

Bear in mind that in all these cases, a cure does not mean the sexually transmitted disease cannot be caught again!

STDs with Manageable Symptoms

Beyond that, currently no major STDs can be completely cured. The good news is that the symptoms of other diseases can be managed once their presence is known via a STD test:

– Although Hepatitis C has no cure, the symptoms can be so minor as to not be noticeable. It can develop into a chronic condition that can cause serious liver failure though – if your doctor knows about this, the situation can be monitored and treatments offered to prevent it from becoming worse.

– Though some strains of genital warts can lead to cancer, the majority of them are harmless – just unsightly. The treatment provided won’t destroy the virus – which can remain in the body for years – but will remove the visible symptoms, which are often the main source of transmission.

– While it’s well documented that there is no cure for HIV and AIDS, certain antiretroviral treatments can dramatically improve both quality of life and life expectancy. As with many of these, an early diagnosis is vital for maximum impact.

– Most Herpes sufferer will find outbreaks uncomfortable, but rarely dangerous. However, if they have been diagnosed then episodic and suppressive antiviral therapy can be administered to control the attacks.

Many people work with the principal that ignorance is bliss when it comes to STDs – they’d rather not have to confront the truth and would prefer to live with doubt. The bottom line though is that many STDs have no symptoms and can be doing irreparable damage to your body for all the time they’re left untreated. A simple cure can get rid of Syphilis, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia, but it can’t undo the damage! If you’re in doubt, then stop delaying and book a STD test today!

Hemorrhoids Or Piles – Why, What & How to Stop

Haemorrhoid or commonly known as piles in simple words are the swollen blood vessels which develop inside or outside the anus (The opening at the lower end of the alimentary canal through which solid waste is eliminated from the body). These swollen vessels can cause pain & irritation & it can bleed or become infected, causing discomfort. As they are situated in such a sensitive position, that is the reason why they are painful. The veins in this area swell causing irritation when bowel movements pass from them. Hemorrhoids vary in size and can occur internally (inside) or externally (outside) the anus.

Hemorrhoids are very common. Piles do not pop up overnight, they develop slowly over time. Hemorrhoids are a chronic condition – but they are treatable. They are said to be more common in countries where the diet has traditionally been more processed and low in fiber. They are usually caused by years of straining on the toilet because of chronic constipation.

Hemorrhoids can be either internal or external, and patients also can have both types. Hemorrhoids that occur in your rectum are called internal hemorrhoids. It develops in the back passage, 2-4cm above the rim (opening) of the anus and those that occur around your anus are called external hemorrhoids. They look like one or more firm grape-like swellings.

Symptoms may include blood in the stool or on the toilet paper, incomplete bowel movements, rectal itching, persistent feeling of moistness in the anal area and a soft lump at the anal opening. Hemorrhoids are an extremely common problem, especially in western countries, where surveys suggest that as much as half of the population over 40 years of age may suffer some form of mild to severe discomfort from them. The most common symptom is fresh bleeding while passing stool. But bleeding can be a symptom of other digestive diseases too, like colorectal cancer. The doctor will examine the anus and rectum to look for swollen blood vessels that indicate hemorrhoids and will also perform a digital rectal exam with a gloved, lubricated finger to feel for any abnormalities. Hemorrhoids which have become very enlarged and painful may require surgical removal.

Hemorrhoids may be caused by more than one factor. Despite being examined in several studies, the development remains unclear. Some of the common causes of hemorrhoids are straining due to constipation, diarrhea, pregnancy, prolonged sitting, being overweight, cirrhosis, being overweight, or lifting things that are too heavy. Hemorrhoids may cause a feeling of ‘fullness’ in the rectum and it is tempting to strain at the end to try and empty the rectum further. So do not spend too long on the toilet which may encourage you to strain.

Hemorrhoids are common during pregnancy due to increased blood volume, increased pressure in the rectum/anus due to the weight of pregnancy and constipation.

Treatment for hemorrhoids includes herbal medication, anal cream and diet. Minor hemorrhoids, pain, itching, burning and inflammation can be brought under control with anti-itch creams and high-quality extracts specifically formulated for relief of symptoms. Eat only fresh fruits and vegetables like prunes, pineapple, bananas, and papayas.

Make this a regular practice. Eating the right amount of fiber and drinking 8-10 glasses of fluid result in softer, bulkier stools. Hemorrhoid sufferers should strictly limit time straining during bowel movement. A little bend sitting position is recommended to avoid the strain. Sitting in a shallow bath of hot water for 15 minutes several times a day, will reduce the pain. On the other hand sitting on hard surfaces for long stretches of time can also contribute to the development of hemorrhoids. Applying ice pack can also help relieve pain and swelling in severe case. Fiber helps to soften stools making their passage easier. Eat whole wheat bread that has high fibre content. Wearing tight clothing and underwear will also contribute to irritation and poor muscle tone in the region and promote hemorrhoid development. Avoiding red meat is something you may need to consider if you get hemorrhoids. Red meat is one food that is very tough to digest and can lead to difficult bowel movements. Avoid chocolates and spicy foods. You are the best judge about the effect of certain foods on your body and you need to take a call on the foods that may cause your body harm. Avoid prolonged sitting and/or standing at work or during leisure time. Take frequent short walks.

Finally, you will find that in some cases if the cause is removed the piles may disappear.

Top 10 Solid Examples of Pavlov Classical Conditioning in Action

What’s Pavlov Classical Conditioning?

This theory can be defined as a form of associative learning that was first demonstrated by Ivan Pavlov, a Russian psychologist. Since Ivan Pavlov founded this theory with his breakthrough research techniques, it’s also known as “Pavlov classical conditioning.”

More Explanation On Pavlov Classical Conditioning

The typical procedure for inducing this theory involves pairing an unknown brand, things, words, and music repeatedly together with some other stimulus that you know already automatically elicits positive feelings or emotions. Let me enlighten you with more examples of classical conditioning theory in action if you’re still blank.

10 Solid Examples Of Classical Conditioning In Action

  1. Pairing a popular music together with the products in advertisements to generate positive feelings and liking towards the products
  2. Christmas music played in store may trigger the sweet memories and the habits of giving and sharing in a consumer’s mind and thus will persuade he or she to enter the store
  3. Political candidates try to appear in TV with patriotic background music to elicit the patriotic feelings of the voters
  4. Consistently advertising a product on exciting game shows may result in the product itself generating an excitement response.
  5. Guys tend to associate themselves with anything that the girls like in order to create a good impression in their mind and eventually win their hearts.
  6. Girls may tend to symbolize themselves as a “sex symbol” to instantly attract the guys to approach them to start a relationship.
  7. People who receives chemotherapy often vomit during or shortly after the procedure.  After several chemotherapy sessions, people begin feeling sick at the sight of the treatment room.
  8. The sight of food will make you hungry.  Soon every time you go into the kitchen, you will feel hungry too.
  9. Whenever you see a scary movie, you will always eat a box of thin mints. Now you will find that just seeing thin mints makes you feel scared.
  10. If you met a new person who is an excellent cook, after a few superb meals you will find yourself liking that person very much.

Top 10 Guinea Pig Care Mistakes Or How To Extend Your Piggie’s Lifespan

Guinea pigs, originating from Peru and Bolivia, are wonderful pets – cute, social, yet inexpensive and relatively easy to take care of. However, most beginner guinea pig owners don’t know much about the animals. In fact, guinea pigs, like other small rodents, are rather delicate and an illness contracted for instance by a cold draft can be fatal for them within a very short period of time.

The most common mistakes made by inexperienced guinea pig owners include the following:

10) Wrong cage placement. Both too hot or too cold temperatures are bad for guinea pigs. They can easily get heatstroke at temperatures of above 90F (30C), but can also freeze at temperatures below 70F (10C). Drafts are to be avoided as well, since they can cause pneumonia.

9) Mistakes when handling. The correct way to pick up and hold a guinea pig is by placing one hand below the body, with the thumb around a front leg, and supporting the weight with the second hand below the hindquarters. A guinea pig should never be pulled by the fur or by a leg.

8) Not clipping nails. This should be done regularly, at least once a month, since the nails grow and get in the way of the guinea pig. If a long nail breaks, it may lead to infections and abscesses.

7) Using a wire mesh bottom cage. This is not a good idea with guinea pigs, since their small feet slip through the mesh and get irritated by the metal, causing foot sores and an illness called bumblefoot. A solid floor cage with a soft bedding like pelleted paper is much better.

6) Placing a boar and a sow together without being prepared for the consequences – a bunch of little guinea pigs. If not neutered, male and female guinea pigs put together will in all likelihood mate and cause offspring. Breeding guinea pigs is in general not recommended if you are not fully aware of the consequences.

5) Not making the house guinea-pig-proof. There are numerous danger in a typical household for a guinea pig on the loose. The most obvious ones include anything that moves – be it people, doors, things that can fall down, or anything that can squeeze a guinea pig. Another one is cables – guinea pigs chew everything in sight, and electric cables are not very good food! Green plants are another potential threat to guinea pig health – a lot of them (such as ficus or azalea) cause food poisoning if chewed on.

4) Not cleaning the cage regularly and often enough. Guinea pigs are clean animals and feel miserable in a dirty cage. Bad hygiene is also often the reason for infections and various serious diseases. A guinea pig cage should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a week (better twice), with the whole

bedding renewed. Food bowls and the water tube should be cleaned daily.

3) Not providing enough space and exercise. A sight seen very often is a guinea pig hunched in the corner of a small cage, barely moving from that spot all day. Combined with unrestricted dry food access, this is a sure way to make a guinea pig overweight and thus significantly reduce its lifespan. For guinea pigs, the same basic principle applies as for humans – leaner is better. A healthy guinea

pig should feel firm to the touch, not soft and wobbly. Methods to ensure that your guinea pig is in good shape and not overweight include enough space (at least 3-4 sq.ft for an adult guinea pig), toys to play with, regular exploration forays outside of the cage, and restricted food access (for instance, feeding twice a day).

2) Incorrect bedding. Wood shavings in particular, although very frequently used, are not a good bedding for guinea pigs. They can cause foot sores, injuries to the cavies’ delicate eyes, and wood dust which often accompanies shavings causes respiratory (lung) problems. Some kinds of wood, such as

cedar or redwood, also contain oily components that can also cause allergies and illnesses with guinea pigs.

1) Improper food. This is probably the most frequent cause of illnesses and deaths among pet guinea pigs. In particular, feeding a lot of moist vegetables such as lettuce can cause diarrhea, which can be lethal for a guinea pig within one or two days. Insufficient access to water (for instance, failure to notice that a gravity water bottle’s ball was stuck and the guinea pig cannot drink enough) leads to dehydration and is also quite dangerous. Providing water in open bowls instead of a bottle can lead to contamination with droppings and bedding material and various infections as a result.

IBS Treatment – What Have Bananas And Apples Got To Do With IBS?

When someone talks about bananas, one thing comes to mind – energy food. The reason for this is because we often see the tri-athletes gorging on this before and during their race events.

Well, it is a known fact that it contains three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose – combined with fiber. The sugars give us the instant and sustainable energy. Research has shown that just two bananas can sustain one for a vigorous 90-minute workout. But for an IBS sufferer, it is the insoluble fiber that we are interested in. The abundance of insoluble fibers helps in relieving constipation without the need for laxatives. So keep a banana or two in your daily diet. One banana has 16% of the fiber, 15% of the vitamin C, and 11% of the potassium we need every day for good health. Bananas are unique because it helps in both IBS constipation and diarrhea. A few (no more than 2) large bananas a day provide the fiber to promote bowel movement. Eating more bananas a day can help stop diarrhea. Bananas have other benefits as well.

  • For anemic patients, bananas are high in iron, which helps in the production of hemoglobin – the foundation of blood. This is especially important to women when they have their menses.
  • For high blood pressure and stroke sufferers, bananas are high in potassium but low in salt. Research, has shown that potassium reduces blood pressure. In one research, keeping bananas as a regular diet can reduce the risk of death by stroke by as much as 40%.
  • For heart burn patients, bananas have antacid properties. Gulping down a couple of bananas provide relief in heart burn patients.
  • For ulcer sufferers, bananas coat the lining of the intestines, thus providing relief for over-active ulcers. A banana’s antacid properties will reduce acidity in the stomach as well.
  • For mosquito bites and warts. Forget your creams, just use the banana skin and rub some on the mosquito bite. It not only provides irritation relief, but reduces inflammation as well. Keep the inside of the banana skin on the wart by using plaster and see the wart go away.

Tips: Do not take bananas late at night. When you take bananas, also take lots of water after that if you want to prevent constipation. Apples are also unique because they are both beneficial in the treatment of constipation and diarrhea. Uncooked apples are good for constipation. On the other hand, baked apples are good for diarrhea as the cooking process softens the cellulose and provides bulk to stools. For the best IBS treatment, apples should be peeled. The sugars in apples are harder for the body to digest. And what the body can’t break down, it pushes out. So apples are a natural laxative. Personally, I find combining bananas and apples into a drink is even more effective as a constipation relief, so here is a recipe for one IBS constipation relief drink. Banana, Apple Lassi (Yogurt drink) Combine two fruits with natural laxatives and digestion booster properties, and you get one of the best IBS constipation treatments. Yoghurt builds ‘good’ bacteria in the gut. (Caution: if you are lactose intolerant, do not take yoghurt made from milk – then use soya yoghurt)

Recipe

1. Use natural unflavored yoghurt (about 3 tablespoons). if you are milk intolerant, skip this and just use water or soya yoghurt.

2. 2 ripe, peeled bananas. Use 1 banana if you want to reduce the banana fragrance in the drink.

3. Peal an apple and cut into pieces and put in a juicer. Use the apple juice.

4. Add about 1 cup of cold water in a blender. Pour in the yoghurt. Pour in the apple juice and add in the bananas

5. Give the blender a spin so that they are mixed up.

6. Drink immediately. To keep, refrigerate. Drink this on a daily basis either early in the morning. Not only will this drink give you a boost the entire day but it keeps the gut well and bowel movement consistent.

5 Simple Signs to Tell if It is Acid Reflux or Heart Pain

Chest pain can be a very scary, serious issue. If you are one of many Americans at risk for heart disease, it can be even more frightening. But sometimes chest pain isn’t heart related, it is a digestive issue.

Heartburn, or it’s more serious cousin acid reflux, affects millions of people everyday. The symptoms of both heart problems and acid reflux are very similar, but the treatment is obviously very different. It’s easy to mistake one for the other because the esophagus is located behind the heart in the chest cavity.

Identifying the real problem when you have chest pain is very important. Here’s a few things to look out for. But remember, when in doubt see your health care provider.

1. Burning in the throat due to stomach acid. This is an extension of the heartburn pain caused by acid reflux. Pain caused by stomach acid regurgitating into the esophagus and mouth is due to acid reflux, not heart problems.

2. Chest pain that begins or increases with exercise is more likely due to a heart problem. Acid reflux symptoms don’t change with physical exertion. The heart experiences stress during physical exercise that can manifest potential problems within.

3. Coughing, wheezing, breathing problems, acid regurgitation, bitterness in the mouth: these are all signs of acid reflux disease. The acid entering the esophagus is to blame for each of these symptoms, some of which can be very pronounced. Pregnant women seem to be prone to heartburn during the last two trimesters where a growing fetus crowds the space the stomach normally occupies. For these women, and others in high risk groups, understanding their propensity to heartburn is also important. For example, some pregnant women with chest pain find themselves in the hospital thinking they are having heart attacks, when in fact they are having very serious acid reflux. Again, knowing you are susceptible to acid reflux can help you identify the cause of your symptoms.

4. Numbness or tingling in the arm or arms can be a symptom of a heart attack, and is generally not a symptom of acid reflux. Obviously these symptoms are serious and should be treated immediately by a health care professional.

5. Increased pain after meals is usually a symptom of acid reflux disease. Overeating or bending over after eating can exacerbate the problems, which are not heart related. The extra acid a stomach releases to digest food is to blame for the increased discomfort after meals. While these acids are effective in helping the digestive process, they can be very detrimental for those who suffer from acid reflux disease.

Acid reflux disease and heart disease do share some of the same symptoms, but with careful attention and the help of a health care professional, you can determine which of these issues is causing your chest pain.

Acid Reflux Cure – Effective and Permanent Natural Treatment

Excess acid present in the stomach which regurgitates into the esophagus called as acid reflux, it is caused by many reasons and effective and early treatment to cure it permanently protects from serious complications it can initiate in human body. Excess acid once in sometime or for few minutes in a day may not be serious issue to health as acid is an important part of the digestive system but frequent occurrence of excess acid and it regurgitation in esophagus is problem which requires serious attention. Frequent acid reflux can damage esophageal lining which makes swallowing difficult; it causes dry coughing, chest pain with heartburn, chronic cough which can even initiate asthma and sinusitis.

Like other health disorders even it is not caused due to one single reason hence for permanent and effective treatment one has to identify the root cause of the problem and treat it with the use of remedies which provide immediate relief as well as help the body in preventing recurrence of the problem. Diet, life style and eating habits including type of food one eats and digestive disorders, all can contribute singularly or collectively to promote acid formation and acid reflux.

Sometimes none of the above reason may be responsible for acid reflux; it is just that particular food is intolerable to the digestive system which creates the problem. To eradicate such problem a food diary shall be maintained to identify the problem creating diet. Medicines can also cause acidity particularly diuretic medicines like the ones taken for high blood pressure, diabetic patients also suffer from excess acid due to high sugar content in the blood.

Water consumption in sufficient quantity should be ensured not only for countering acid reflux but also for good over all health, increased intake of fruits like guava, apples, melon, avocado, papaya, figs, banana, cucumber and pear are very good at keeping digestive system smooth and controlling acid secretion. Eating small and regular meals in place of large two or three meals is beneficial. Spicy and fried food shall be avoided along with tea, coffee, alcohol and beverages.

Drinking cold milk with minimum amount of sugar is an instant remedy for curing acid reflux as it helps the body in digesting the excess acid and regulating gas in the stomach. Consuming apple cider vinegar two teaspoon mixed in a glass of water also works as effective treatment for curing the problem of acid reflux. Fennel seeds are good mouth freshener and also very good digestive aid; it also prevents excessive acid formation.

Tea made up of lavender seeds and aniseeds is also very beneficial in curing acid reflux and it can be used instead of traditional tea for maximum benefit, one teaspoon each of these seeds can be mixed with a glass of water and boiled for few minutes, later after cooling and straining the mixture it shall be consumed. Ginger is an excellent herb for all sorts of digestive problems including acid reflux. Ginger tea, a piece of ginger consumed after meals or use of ginger in cooking or in raw form in salad can be of immense help and a permanent treatment to cure acid reflux.

Causes and Symptoms of Blood Transfusion Reaction

What is this Condition? Transfusion reaction accompanies or follows intravenous administration of blood components. Its severity varies from mild (fever and chills) to severe (acute kidney failure or complete vascular collapse and death), depending on the amount of blood transfused, the type of reaction, and the person’s general health.

What Causes it? Hemolytic reactions (red blood cell rupture) follow transfusion of mismatched blood. Transfusion with incompatible blood triggers the most serious reaction, marked by intravascular clumping of red blood cells. The recipient’s antibodies (immunoglobulin G or M) adhere to the donated red blood cells, leading to widespread clumping and destruction of the recipient’s red blood cells and, possibly, the development of disseminated intravascular coagulation and other serious effects.

Transfusion with Rh-incompatible blood triggers a less serious reaction within several days to 2 weeks. Rh reactions are most likely in women sensitized to red blood cell antigens by prior pregnancy or by unknown factors, such as bacterial or viral infection, and in people who have received more than five transfusions.

Allergic reactions are fairly common but only occasionally serious. Febrile nonhemolytic reactions, the most common type of reaction. apparently develop when antibodies in the recipient’s plasma attack antIgens.

Bacterial contamination of donor blood, although fairly uncommon, can occur during donor phlebotomy. Also possible is contamination of donor blood with viruses (such as hepatitis), cytomegalovirus, and the organism causing malaria.

What are its Symptoms? Immediate effects of hemolytic transfusion reaction develop within a few minutes or hours after the start of transfusion and may include chills, fever, hives, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, tightness in the chest, chest and back pain, low blood pressure. bronchospasm, angioedema, and signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, shock, pulmonary edema, and congestive heart failure. In a person having surgery under anesthesia, these symptoms are masked, but blood oozes from mucous membranes or the incision.

Delayed hemolytic reactions can occur up to several weeks after transfusion, causing fever, an unexpected decrease in serum hemoglobin, and jaundice.

Allergic hemolytic reactions typically don’t cause a fever and are characterized by hives and angioedema, possibly progressing to cough, respiratory distress, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, vascular instability, shock, and coma.

The hallmark of febrile nonhemolytic reactions is a mild to severe fever that may begin when the transfusion starts or within 2 hours after its completion.

Bacterial contamination causes high fever, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and, possibly, shock. Symptoms of viral contamination may not appear for several weeks after transfusion.

How is it Diagnosed? Confirming a hemolytic transfusion reaction requires proof of blood incompatibility and evidence of hemolysis. When such a reaction is suspected, the person’s blood is retyped and crossmatched with the donor’s blood.

When bacterial contamination is suspected, a blood culture should be done to isolate the causative organism.

How is it Treated? At the first sign of a hemolytic reaction, the transfusion is stopped immediately. Depending on the nature of the person’s reaction, the health care team may:

o monitor vital signs every 15 to 30 minutes, watching for signs of shock

o maintain an open intravenous line with normal saline solution, insert an indwelling urinary catheter, and monitor intake and output

o cover the person with blankets to ease chills

o deliver supplemental oxygen at low flow rates through a nasal cannula or hand-held resuscitation bag (called an Ambu bag)

o administer drugs such as intravenous medications to raise blood pressure and normal saline solution to combat shock, Adrenalin to treat shortness of breath and wheezing, Benadryl to combat cellular histamine released from mast cells, corticosteroids to reduce inflammation, and Osmitrol or Lasix to maintain urinary function. Parenteral antihistamines and corticosteroids are given for allergic reactions (arlaphylaxis, a severe reaction, may require Adrenalin). Drugs to reduce fever are administered for febrile nonhemolytic reactions and appropriate intravenous antibiotics are given for bacterial contamination.

Understanding Dementia and Functional Limitations in the Elderly

Dementia in the elderly can produce significant deficits in functional abilities, which can affect their ‘independence’ and ‘safety’ living at home, especially if living alone. This can include: difficulty tending to basic self-care needs such as hygiene, bathing, dressing, etc.; difficulty with taking medications on schedule everyday; preparing and eating adequate meals; increased risk for falling due to incoordination, weakness and poor safety awareness; difficulty with communicating skills, etc. Dementia can also cause a change in personality, psychosis and delusional thinking; and a host of other problems, both subtle and obvious.

Although most people are familiar with Alzheimer’s Dementia (AD), there are also other forms of dementia that can affect older adults. This includes vascular dementia, multi-infarct dementia, Lewey body dementia, and Frontotemporal dementia. People with other primary disorders, such as Parkinson’s or stroke, may also develop some form of dementia at some point. Dementia is usually classified as mild, moderate or severe. When AD is diagnosed in someone who is younger, say 65 years of age, the progression tends to be quicker and more severe than in someone who is 80 years old and only recently diagnosed with the disorder. A CT scan can often reveal if there are any significant areas of atrophy in the brain, sometimes related to multi-infarct or vascular dementia.

It is important to know what type of dementia the person has and if they should be taking any medications for the disorder. Often, older adults at home will not seek out a physician or neurologist to get an accurate diagnosis and receive the proper medication, which can make living at home more difficult; both for the person and the caregiver, if there is one.

One of the hallmarks of AD is the difficulty with language and communication skills. Those with AD may have difficulty expressing themselves and communicating with others. Withdrawal and decreased socialization may occur. They may become depressed due to a recognition that their mental abilities have diminished. Sometimes the physician will prescribe an anti-depressant that may also alleviate some of the symptoms of their dementia.

Some of the cognitive components required to perform functional tasks include: adequate long and short term memory, appropriate insight and safety awareness, sequencing skills, ability to stay focused on a task, sufficient judgment and problem solving abilities, and higher level ‘executive function’ abilities. Executive function refers to our ability to plan and execute a series of tasks in order to produce a desired outcome. It is a complex mental ability which integrates the various cognitive skills; which people with dementia have difficulty with. For example, baking a cake requires the ability to preheat the oven, gather and mix all the ingredients in the proper amount, know when the oven is hot enough, know when the cake is done, and safely removing it from the oven at the correct time. Someone with dementia may have difficulty with many of the functional components required to do all of these steps in the correct order to produce the desired outcome.

When mental abilities have diminished, seniors are at a greater risk for declining physical health. Declining physical health related to cognitive deficits can occur due to poor eating habits and malnutrition, poor hygiene and self care skills, a greater risk for falling, not taking prescribed medications daily, not monitoring blood sugar levels – if diabetic, and a host of other health-related problems.

Some basic home adaptations for safety can include: hand rails on the stairs, well light rooms and stairwells, grab bars in the tub/shower, keeping toxic items out of reach or locked up, no throw rugs, low profile carpeting, no clutter in the walking paths of the home, limit carrying of items up and down stairs – such as laundry, taking away car keys to prevent them from driving if that is an issue (this is often a difficult issue to address for those with dementia), obtaining an ID bracelet if they are prone to wandering, a gate to prevent them from going down into the basement, and other adaptations as needed.

For those with mild to moderate dementia who live at home, here are some tips that may be helpful for the individual and the family / caregiver (the level of care will be dictated by the severity of the dementia):

  • It is important that the individual receive a proper diagnosis, which can be obtained from a neurologist, and that sufficient medication is provided. It is vital that a caregiver look after them and insure that medications are taken daily. If there is no family who can help, then maybe someone from their church or local senior center can be entrusted to help. Also, the local Agency On Aging can have someone look into their well being if there is no family member who is responsible for them.
  • Have medications dispensed from a daily pill organizer. This way a caregiver can make sure that each day’s medications are taken. Daily phone calls from someone familiar with the person can then check up on them and remind them, if they live alone.
  • Have meals-on-wheels provide at least one hot meal each day. This may not always be sufficient, but it can help insure that some nutrition is provided.
  • A local home care agency can provide a ‘house sitter’ to stay with the person each day and help out with daily chores. They are available for as many hours as needed. This can sometimes be expensive, but a lower rate can sometimes be given when they are employed for a certain amount of hours each week.
  • If the person is becoming incontinent, have them wear snug fitting disposable briefs with elastic leg bands. This will prevent accidents from ruining clothing. Have them on a toileting schedule of every two to three hours during the day. At night, a wet alarm on the mattress can be used to remind the person to change out of wet clothing.
  • Provide plenty of physical activities, such as daily walks. This is not only for their physical well being, but it has been shown that daily walks provide mental stimulation as well.
  • Have the person participate in mentally stimulating activities daily, such as board games, card games, etc.; tasks that require interaction and a bit of problem solving. Watching television is the least stimulating for those with dementia, but sometimes that is all they wish to do. The problem with television is there is no interaction or response required from the viewer, which is the same issue with young children. The person needs to be engaged with the environment in order for it to be sufficient as mental stimulation.
  • Allow the person to do as much of their own self-care, as possible; such as washing, grooming, etc. Some people with dementia enjoy using their hands and holding items; things that can be manipulated, etc. For a retired mechanic, maybe nuts and bolts could be used, for a housewife who enjoyed sewing or knitting, maybe a ball of yarn could be used. There is no limit to what can be tried; as long as the items are not sharp, could be swallowed easily, breakable, etc.
  • Be aware that those with moderate dementia often become more agitated in the late afternoon, and they should not be over-stimulated during this time frame. Sometimes a nap will help calm them. Even a change in medication intervals may help keep them calm in late afternoon.
  • Be aware that medications can affect their level of arousal. Let the physician know about any side affects which are affecting the person’s ability to function. Cognitive medications need to be at a certain level (titrated) in order to be effective. Too little medication will not help them and too much may produce undesired side affects.
  • Consider joining the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. They are a great resource for the client and family/caregiver.

The Heart Un-Healthy Western Diet

“God sendeth and giveth both mouth and meat.” Thomas Tusser

“The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined. If beef is your idea of `real food for real people,’ you’d better live real close to a real good hospital.” Dr. Neal D. Bernard, MD

The ‘Western’ Diet is a ‘meat-sweet’ diet. This diet is high in red and processed meats, sweets, fried foods, refined grains, and desserts. And after almost a century, it has finally become clear that this diet has become a serious threat to our health.

Obesity is primarily related to excessive caloric intake. The meat-sweet diet of USA has resulted in sixty-five percent of adults aged 20 y being either overweight or obese. Unfortunately, the numbers are increasing and the estimated number of deaths ascribable to obesity growing. The western diet is strongly associated with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer. Cardiovascular disease is the cause of 38.5% of all deaths in the US. Almost 65 million Americans suffer from cardiovascular disease. The second leading cause of death is cancer in the US. It is estimated that one third of all cancers (25% of all deaths ) are related to diet and obesity. Other chronic diseases strongly related to and influenced by the western diet are hypertension (50 million Americans), diabetes (11 million), elevated cholesterol (37 million) and osteoporosis (7.2 million) and osteopenia (39.6 million). Hip fractures greatly increase the mortality, and osteoporosis plays a major role in this disease.

Indications of the dangerous nature of the western diet started emerging almost a century ago. In 1916, Dutch physician De Langen published a study of showing the higher cholesterol levels of Dutch immigrants as those of the native Javanese. This almost double cholesterol level was associated with metabolic diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, obesity, and nephritis. In 1950’s, Keys and coworkers found that cholesterol levels and coronary heart disease mortality rates were high in United States and Finland, while being low in Japan and southern Europe. They attributed this to the substantial differences in the dietary patterns – an early indication that the ‘Western” diet was heart unhealthy.

In 1958 a major scientific study called the Seven Countries Study, involving 12,763 men between the ages of 40 to 59 years began. These countries were the United States, Finland, the Netherlands, Italy, Greece, the former Yugoslavia, and Japan. Over a period of 25 years, about 6000 men died, of which 1500 men died of coronary heart disease. Populations with the highest consumption of animal food groups, with the exception of fish, had a much higher 25-year coronary heart disease mortality rates, when compared to populations with the highest vegetable, grains, fish and wine consumption. During the start of the study, the consumption of milk, potatoes, butter, and sugar products was very high in Finland. Netherlands had a similar but lower consumption pattern. Meat, pastry and fruit consumption (meat-sweet diet) was high in the United States. The Italians ate a lot of cereal and drank moderate amounts of wine while bread consumption was high in the former Yugoslavia. Greeks consumed high amounts of olive oil and fruit, while the Japanese were fond of fish, rice, and soy products. Heart attacks… God’s revenge for eating his little animal friends. -Author Unknown

How did the western diet emerge? The Western diet developed gradually over the last 200 years and was mainly a result of industrialization. In the prehistoric times, milk intake was limited to mother’s milk as it was impossible to milk wild animals. “The human body has no more need for cows’ milk than it does for dogs’ milk, horses’ milk, or giraffes’ milk.” -Michael Klaper, MD, author of Vegan Nutrition: Pure & Simple. With domestication of cows and other animals and subsequent ability for refrigeration, a whole host of dairy products became a staple of the western diet. The mechanized steel roller mills and automated sifting devices of today remove most of the germ and bran of the cereal grains, leaving mainly the endosperm as flour. The recent production of high fructose corn syrup greatly increased refined sugar consumption. Industrialization also produced more atpical vegetable oils for consumption that are high in trans fatty acids, as is seen in margarine and shortening. Salt intake is very high in the United States. Unfortunately 90% of the salt in the typical US diet comes from manufactured salt that is added to the food supply, and not from salt added while cooking or from the table.

“Meat, which contains cholesterol and saturated fat, was never intended for human beings, who are natural herbivores.”William C. Roberts, M.D. and Editor in Chief, American Journal of Cardiology, vol. 66, October 1, 1990. Unlike meat from wild animals or pasture raised cattle, 99% of all the beef consumed in the United States is high in the unhealthy saturated fatty acids and n-6 fatty acids and low in the beneficial n-3 fatty acids. This meat is mainly produced from grain-fed, feedlot cattle. “The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined. If beef is your idea of `real food for real people,’ you’d better live real close to a real good hospital.” -Neal D. Barnard, M.D.

The western diet is also deficient in micronutrients (At least half the US population fails to meet the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin B-6, vitamin A, magnesium, calcium, and zinc, and 33% of the population does not meet the RDA for folate), is conducive to an acidic body status (fish, meat, poultry, eggs, shellfish, cheese, milk, and cereal grains are net acid producing, whereas fresh fruit, vegetables, tubers, roots, and nuts are net base producing.), has less potassium (Industrial periods caused a 400% decline in the potassium intake while simultaneously initiating a 400% increase in sodium ingestion ) and fiber (refined sugars, vegetable oils, dairy products, and alcohol, are all devoid of fiber. Refined grains contain about 400% less fiber when compared to whole grains, and the former represent 85% of the grains consumed in the United States). These are all detrimental to the health, especially cardiac health. Because normally with Western cuisine, you’ll serve vegetables separate from the meat, so kids will eat the meat and never touch the vegetables. Martin Yan. Vegetables and fruits are mainly side dishes or desserts in the Western Diet.

More die in the United States of too much food than of too little. -John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society. The western diet has also become an excessive calorie diet, resulting in the obesity epidemic in the western world, with all its health consequences. Americans eat 3,770 calories a day, and have the highest per capita daily consumption in the world. This is more than a Canadian at 3,590 calories or an Indian at 2,440, according to data from the UN Food and Agricultural Organization. Unfortunately switching to diet sodas does not help – a recent report has shown the diet soda drinkers may be more prone to the dangerous metabolic syndrome.

When combined with inactivity and smoking, the western diet has become lethal. So cut down on red meat, especially beef and change to a prudent heart healthy diet. So, as an old English Proverb warns: don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.

How Does Stress Affect The Circulatory System

The circulatory system comprises the heart, lungs, arteries, capillaries and veins.These are some major organs that have a host of responsibilities for keeping the body alive. In terms of the circulation, these organs move oxgenated blood throughout the body and return deoxygenated blood to the heart. Oxgenated blood keeps all the other organs and the body as a whole functioning normally.If the circulation is affected this knocks on to the other organs like the kidneys, liver, brain and others. The circulation, as the name suggests, keeps the body ticking over.

Cardiovascular disease is the general term for diseases of the circulatory system, commonly the heart, arteries and veins.

It is well documented that stress has a substantial affect on the heart. Some of this stress can be good for the heart. Physical exercise, like going to the gym or playing squash, can put the heart under a degree of stress that is, generally agreed, to be beneficial provided the heart is not already suffering from any disease.

The bodys’ way of dealing with a stressful situation is to prepare the body, including the cardiovascular system, to deal with this situation. Adrenaline, norepinephrine, cortisol and cortisone are increased and passed throughout the body via the blood. This gives the body a sudden boost of energy that can be used to fight or flee from the perceived stressful situation. This will cause the heart pressure to go up. In most cases this is necessary but if this stress is prolonged or chronic then the heart is forced to work harder for longer. This can seriously affect the heart. Long term high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks or strokes.

It is also believed that the stress hormones make blood thicker and stickier in preparation for any potential wound or injury. The thicker blood can clot easier and thus stop blood flowing out of the body through the wound. In chronic stress that does not result in a cut or wound this could cause blood clots to form within the bloodstream and impact blood getting to and from the heart which leads to strokes.

Thicker blood also makes the circulation of blood to the extremities of the body harder thus hands and feet could be more susceptible to cuts and bruising and take longer to heal if stress is prolonged.

These are just a few of the areas were stress can impact the circulatory system. Blood keeps all the organs of the body alive thus there is many more illnesses that could be attributed to poor circulation in some way. In most cases the circulatory system is robust and can work effectively in varying extremes. Chronic stress pushes the circulatory system above these tolerances and changes how it operates. This has health consequences unless a strategy is implemented to manage the stress.

Why Rent a Luxury Vacation Home Rental Versus a Hotel?

In this article, we aim to provide an educational means to understanding how to save a considerable amount of money when traveling with a family or large group. In the case study below, we’ll show how Ultimate Luxury Rentals vacation homes in Tucson, AZ have saved the vacationers coming to the area time, money, privacy, and a “home away from home” feel.

First off, you may be wondering, what is a luxury home rental? Well, we will get to that later in the article. Let’s start with some of the reasons people are now renting these vacation homes as opposed to

Many vacationers choose to rent a vacation homes for a variety of reasons. Economics is one of the primary reasons. A vacation home can replace 2-4 hotel rooms at a fraction of the cost. Vacationers can eat their meals at home or even cook up their favorite meals on the barbecue. Our average vacation rental customer saves over $2000 in a 1 week stay. Privacy is another major consideration when choosing a vacation rental home over a hotel or resort. Many vacation homes include enclosed back yards with private heated pools and spas. Guest can enjoy their gathering of friends and family without interruption. Amenities are probably the main reason vacationers continue to rent vacation homes year after year. Many vacation rentals offer amenities that are superior to many upscale hotels and resorts. Pillow top mattresses with sateen sheets, plasma TVs, free wireless Internet, pool or game tables, fully stocked gourmet kitchens, private heated pools and spas and some of the most spectacular city and mountain views in town.

In addition to the home itself, the destination you choose has its own attractions and amenities. Continuing with our case study of luxury homes in Tucson, Arizona, here is a little history of the Old Pueblo and some of the history that attracts people to this particular destination.

With its mixed cultural heritage and international population, Tucson’s traditions span centuries of habitation from prehistoric Indian cultures to recent immigrants from all over the world. Today Tucson has become a destination for many visitors particularly those looking to rent a vacation home in Sonoran Desert of Arizona.

True to its Old West beginnings, Tucson’s first inhabitants roamed the area hunting mammoth and bison between 12,500 and 6,000 B.C. Following them were the Cochise , who built pit houses and used stone tools, and the Hohokam, who began farming the valley in 300 A.D.

In 1692, Spanish missionaries arrived in the valley to find the Indian village S-tukson (“black base”). In 1775, the Spanish built an outpost, the Presidio of San Augustin.

By 1804, some 1,000 people lived in the adobe village – mostly Spanish, Mexicans, and Native Americans who made their living raising crops and livestock. After the Mexican Revolution of 1821, Tucson became part of Mexico.

Looking for a southern rail route, the U.S. negotiated the Gadsden Purchase with Mexico in 1854 and Arizona became a U.S. territory. In 1867, Tucson became the territorial capital for the 10-year period, which accelerated civic progress.

In 1885 , The territorial legislature approved $25,000 to build the University of Arizona. The city continued to grow rapidly, reaching 7,000. Around the turn of the century, Tucson began attracting thousands of tuberculosis victims seeking a cure in its dry climate. In 1912, Arizona became the 48th state to enter the union.

Fueled by Industries and tourism, the population of Tucson grew rapidly – at one point welcoming 1,000 newcomers each month. By 2000, the population had reached 800,000.

Vacation rental homes in Tucson, Arizona offer a wide range of choices to visitors from all over the world. Many different neighborhoods comprise the city and offer vacationers a large selection of accommodations and activities.

The Tucson Mountains are located approximately 8 miles west of Interstate 10. The proximity to Interstate 10 makes day trips to Phoenix, Tubac, and Nogales Mexico very convenient. Some of the most desirable luxury vacation rental homes in Tucson Arizona are located in this area. These vacation homes boast some of the best city and mountain views in the state. Most of the luxury vacation rentals are located on acre plus lots with private pools and spa and offer an experience that is one with nature. Vacation rental customers may have the pleasure of seeing many of the desert’s wildlife such as the javalina, coyote, bobcat and a wide variety of birds such as hawk, dove, quail, and the state’s official bird, the road runner . Vacation rental guests will also have a wide variety of attractions such as the Sonoran Desert Museum, Old Tucson Studios, Wildlife Museum, Gates Pass, and the Saguaro National Park West. The west side of town appeals to the business traveler as well. Many of the Ultimate Luxury Rentals vacation rentals are located less than 10 minutes from the Tucson convention center. These homes’ locations put you in the heart of the most beautiful desert in the world, the Sonoran Desert. During the first 2 weeks in February, The TCC is home to the Tucson gem and mineral show the largest gem and mineral show in the world. Parents of University of Arizona students choose west side vacation homes because they are very convenient for visiting their child during the holidays or celebrating a graduation.

The Catalina Foothills is the largest mountain range in the valley and a well sought after area of town for visitors looking to rent a vacation home in Tucson AZ. Several upscale resorts and spas have made the Catalina’s their home. The Catalina foothills area has a wide variety of restaurants as well as upscale shopping at La Encanta and St Phillips Plaza. For those looking for hiking and site seeing, the Catalina area offers the Sabino Canyon Recreational Park. For vacation visitors looking to escape the summer heat (temperatures average 20 degrees lower than the city), you can take a 25 mile drive up to the top of Mt Lemmon. The Tucson vacation rentals located in this area consist of a large selection of luxury vacation rental condominiums and single family vacation homes on ½ acre lots with excellent mountain and city views.

Oro Valley has been one on the most rapidly growing areas in Tucson. Many of the vacation rental homes and condominiums are new construction and offer very upscale accommodations. There are many fine restaurants to choose from as well as some of the best golf resorts in town. The is only disadvantage to renting a vacation home in Oro Valley is the traffic. Traveling to and from Oro Valley at the wrong time of day can be quite a chore. Travel times to other areas of town such as the Tucson mountains and the east side can take up to 45 minutes or longer.

As you can see for this particular destination, there is an entourage of amenities, attractions, scenery, and history. In order to make the most of your trip, it would obviously be to your benefit to have extra funds. Luxury vacation rentals are a win-win option for your trip. Aside from your destination, they are certainly something to look into. Obviously you’ll want to find the best deal with the most credible provider of luxury rentals.

Still curious what is a luxury rental? Ultimate Luxury Rentals is a starting point for you. With over 7 years in the luxury home rental business, they have continued to provide the highest quality of homes and services to customers worldwide. Visit them at Ultimateluxuryrentals.com and get a first hand look at homes in Tucson, AZ, Taos, NM, and Costa Rica!

Communication and Personal Growth – 5 Key Factors For Growing Yourself and Connecting With Others

How well you communicate is an indicator of your personal growth. The better you can connect with others, the more you will want to take on situations that stretch your self-development. The more “on purpose” conversations you have, the more you will seek opportunities to learn and grow.

All conversations come with some level of risk attached. Some conversations, such as an exchange between you and your dry cleaner, may carry little risk. Compare this to asking your boss for a raise or confronting a challenging client where you have at stake, and you’ll realize that higher risk conversations naturally increase your self-growth. The more frequently you engage in “higher risk” conversations the more you’ll feel confident and empowered to act on your own behalf.

Consider these five factors of effective communication:

Intention: Communicating with an honest and true intention is not as easy as it sounds. You’ll need a great deal of self-awareness to notice if your intention is purely for your own gains even if it is shrouded beneath the cloak of helping others. Consciously observe your conversations for a period of time and notice your true intentions.

Empathy: Much has been said about the ability to be empathic or the ability to vicariously experience the feelings of another. The truth is that without this component communication becomes hollow and lacks energy. It is the energy of empathy that promotes self-growth. Truly empathic exchanges can provide new insights and isn’t that the basis of personal growth?

Confidence: The ability to rely upon yourself, to own all that you know and to own all that you don’t, is the basis of self-confidence.This type of pure self-assurance is not “knowing it all” but rather the inner strength to declare what you don’t know but are willing to learn. The confident person says “tell me more.” The more you learn and put to good use the more you escalate your own development.

Engagement: Though engagement is a common business buzz word today with respect to involving employees, engagement is the key to avoiding misunderstandings. In a conversation it is more than active listening. It is the ability to integrate the interpretation of messages between parties. Your message may sound different in your listener’s mind than your intended message and vice versa. Engaging your listener means both holding their attention and interacting like a set of aligned gears.

Patience: It takes time to develop effective communication just as it takes time to develop personal growth. It takes fortitude to become proficient at handling difficult or higher risk conversations. Allow yourself the freedom of patience.

Take the challenge and increase the frequency of conversations that have more at stake and enjoy the rewards of becoming a more confident communicator.

Pancreatic Cancer – Living From Diagnosis to Death – The Diary of a Cancer Patient’s Daughter

One of the hardest things to do in life is to live once you’ve been told you are going to die. It’s as if life speeds up after you receive knowledge that your days are ticking away on a finite clock that you have no control over. One important thing that I learned while experiencing the devastating affects of Pancreatic Cancer with my mother as she fought this distressing disease is that it is crucial to focus on the time that you have rather than on the time you don’t have. To me this article is a condensed version of the Diary of Cancer Patient’s Daughter as I explain what living with Pancreatic Cancer is like from diagnosis to death as I framed the picture of my mother’s experience in my mind.

I hope and pray that you receive something out of these words birthed out of pain that will bring you peace and help you or your loved one with a Cancer diagnosis live a little longer and happier in spite of the sad reality you are facing. There are 7 D’s in this Cancer Diary that can help you manage the physical and mental aspects of this awful disease. Remember that what you don’t do in the Cancer Crisis is just as important as what you do.

Entry # 1: The Diagnosis:

My mother Joyce was 66 years old when she was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer during the summer of 2008. Though all Cancer is bad, Pancreatic Cancer is considered one of the worst because it is the most difficult to diagnose. The reason is that the symptoms mirror digestive problems as the disease hides in the depths of the digestive system. My mother had chronic pain in her stomach and though she went to the emergency room several times receiving numerous tests and ultra sounds the doctors kept telling her nothing was wrong with her and sent her home every time. Initially they thought it was a problem with her gal bladder which is a common misdiagnoses in the case of Pancreatic Cancer.

Her Father Boyce whom she was named after died of Pancreatic Cancer 20 years earlier, but the chance that she could have that very same thing never occurred to her or anyone else in our family. If Cancer runs in your family, especially Pancreatic Cancer, I would advise you to have regular screenings for this disease as early diagnosis is a key to survival. One of the most deadly things about Pancreatic Cancer is that because it is so hard to diagnose most patients don’t receive their diagnosis until they are already in Stage 4 of the Cancer when there is practically no hope.

The symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer include: abdominal pain and pressure, jaundice, nausea, loss of appetite, depression, weight loss and weakness. My mother had all symptoms except for jaundice. Just because a person is missing a common symptom doesn’t mean they don’t have Pancreatic Cancer. The most common procedures used to diagnosis this brutal disease are: Ultrasonography, CT Scanning, Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancretography, Endoscopic Ultrasound, MRI, and Cholangiogram Percutaneous Transhepatic. I’m pretty sure my mother had all of these tests done and it can be very draining to endure such experiences, however it is vital in obtaining a diagnosis. The results of her diagnosis showed that there was a tumor on her pancreas blocking the flow of bile from her liver, as well as, the flow of enzymes from her pancreas. In her case the tumor was wrapped around a blood vessel and surgery to remove the tumor was not really an option. Very few surgeons in the country would have been able to successfully perform the surgery and her chances of survival would have been slim to none. Even if she had of had the surgery her quality of life following it was questionable. This surgery is commonly known as the Whipple Operation and removes a large part of the pancreas, the duodenum and a portion of the bile duct

What do you do in this situation? You make the choice to live the best life in the time that you have which is undetermined and different for everyone. Suck every drop of joy out of life you can as quickly as possible. If we could turn back the clock and do it all over again the one thing we would do differently is have annual screenings for the disease conducted because had we done that my mother might still be alive today. What you do in time can determine the time you have on this earth.

Many people allow the hands of time to cover their eyes to what they don’t want to see. Open your eyes today and if you have not been diagnosed with this disease begin to use preventative measures such as a healthy diet, exercise, and regular checkups with your doctor.

Entry # 2: Denial:

We were in such disbelief after receiving the diagnosis we failed to take immediate action locked in the paralysis of our new found reality. One thing Cancer does not give you is time. That big devil called denial must be dealt with. I can still hear my mother saying, “I can’t have this…not me!” You must come to grips with what you have in order to get a grip on the situation. Sometimes I think of Cancer being more of an accident of health rather than a mistake of nature. All you can do with a mistake is wish that it never happened but accidents can be prevented. Maybe this is a little optimistic since Cancer tends to creep in like an unexpected thief to steal your most prized possessions. Even so, optimism is always stronger than pessimism and it merely means that our powerful spirits encased in a fragile frame of flesh chooses to live.

Even people with diseases such as drug addiction and alcoholism must come out of denial before they recover. I know Cancer survivors and they are the same people that came out of denial and dealt with the disease. You will never take action in regards to something you don’t believe.

Entry # 3: Drugs:

We live in a pill popping nation where there is a drug for every situation. One of the main problems with drugs is that they mask symptoms but fail to provide a cure. Drugs do their best to cover up the Cancer until the victim is covered with earth in a coffin. I keep hearing rumors that there is a cure for Cancer but the medical and funeral industries are making too much money off of the disease to release the cure. I don’t know if that is true but it sure makes sense.

Though drugs were diagnosed to help my mother one of the first things we did which is extremely important for Pancreatic Cancer patients was to have a stint put in. Stints were inserted into the tubes leading from her liver and pancreas to help them function and this helped her to live a better life. In some cases, depending on the size of the tumor, it is very difficult to insert stints but there are several alternative methods and procedures to accomplish the same effect. If you have a good doctor he will inform you of all options. If you have a doctor that doesn’t tell you all the options; get another doctor.

My experience with a mother with Pancreatic Cancer perfected a hatred in me for Morphine which is the pain medication my mother was put on. Since the pain caused by the Cancer is so intense our options were limited and we wanted my mother to be able to live out her days as pain free as possible as I think anyone would. The Morphine altered her mind, changed her personality, and caused aggression and paranoia. The effects of the Morphine put the family in pain while relieving my mother’s pain.

At times it was as if she was out of her mind and it nearly drove us out of ours. She no longer trusted the people that loved her and many times would forget what she was saying in the middle of a sentence. The family told her many things over and over again and she wouldn’t do them and always forgot what we told her. To me Morphine kills a person before they die. It kills their ability to convey the essence of who they truly are. There are alternatives for pain relief drugs but I don’t know how much better they are since we only dealt with Morphine.

It amazes me how Patrick Swayze filmed a television series with Pancreatic Cancer refusing to take pain medications so he could concentrate on and accomplish his work. I remember hearing him speak about preparing hours in advance of his shoots to be mentally and physically prepared to accomplish every task in pain. I think drugs such as Morphine make a person die faster because it arrests their mind. In the movie the Matrix if you’ve ever seen it, Neo is doing the jump program with Morpheus and falls. When he comes out of it he is bleeding and makes a statement to the fact that he thought it wasn’t real and Morpheus tells him that the mind makes it real and that the body cannot live without the mind. If you are mentally incapacitated, how can you make a conscious decision to fight for your life?

A glimmer of hope came to us while dealing with the madness of the Morphine which is an alternative pain treatment that Cancer patients can receive that deals with injecting alcohol around certain nerves to block the feelings of pain. My mother had this procedure done but said that it didn’t work. To this day I don’t know if the treatment really didn’t work or if by the time she had it she was

already addicted to the Morphine and the pain she felt were the pangs of withdraw.

Unfortunately Morphine was only one wave in the ocean of drugs we had to deal with. There were digestive enzymes that had to be taken prior to eating, beta blockers, heart medication, anxiety medication, insulin for the diabetes caused by the shut down of the pancreas, medication for indigestion, vitamins, blood thinners for blood clots and so many medications we had to make an Excel spreadsheet just to keep track of them.

One of the effects of the disease that had to be dealt with was extreme swelling of the abdomen and feet to the point where diuretics were prescribed, fluid draw procedures had to be performed by using a needle to draw the fluid from the abdomen and as for the feet; only house shoes could be worn. I found out that the swelling was caused by the Cancer mainly due to the body’s reaction to the tumor and to the lack of protein in the blood disabling the bloods ability to hold fluid.

The things that a person goes through with Cancer are almost endless. Every part of the body is affected; especially the mind, the will, and the emotions. Based upon the experience I encountered with my mother a couple of other crises we had to press through was the C Diph infection causing chronic diarrhea causing contact isolation that is almost like quarantine to be implemented. My mother could barely eat and we had to put on hospital gowns and gloves to be in the room with her or even come in contact with her.

An episode we faced with internal bleeding caused by the rupturing of blood vessels was very traumatic and hospitalized my mother after she passed out from weakness with her eyes rolling back in her head due to the extreme blood loss. Blood was in her bowels and blood transfusions had to be issued in order to get her blood count back up to normal which is usually 14 and hers was almost half that. Had we not sought medical attention for her at that time she could have died. So that you can recognize this, the symptoms are usually extreme weakness and black loose bowels. I experienced the same thing when I was four years old and diagnosed with acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis.

We tried chemotherapy which is extremely hard on the body, killing the good cells along with the bad. Chemotherapy is like infusing your body with a poison in order to get rid of another poison. For some people it works but sadly to say in the cases of Pancreatic Cancer it is rarely effective. I am not a doctor and therefore give no medical recommendations as to how to treat Cancer of the Pancreas but in my own personal opinion and experience through observation I would say if possible, find a better way.

There are alternative treatments, natural remedies, and experimental treatments. A Cancer patient can seek studies that are being conducted for the type of Cancer they have and in many cases when they become a part of the study they can receive free or very low cost experimental treatments. One day one of these experimental treatments might be the answer. My mother used an experimental chemotherapy that was available but it was too hard on her heart. One of her smaller tumors did disappear but that wasn’t enough to save her.

Chemotherapy can carry such side effects as nausea, vomiting, and decreased white blood cell counts. Historically, Chemotherapy has not been effective in the treatment of Pancreatic Cancer, but there are more up to date treatments that use an FDA approved agent called gemcitabine which has helped to shrink some tumors for Carcinoma of the pancreas.

At one point we went to see a naturalpathic doctor specializing in alternative Cancer treatments that knew of a treatment that had proved to be effective for Pancreatic Cancer. The name of the treatment is Intravenous – Lipoic Acid/Low-Dose Naltrexone Protocol. There are various articles and information on this treatment for you to research and intelligently consider.

Our problem with the treatment was that one of the drugs prescribed for it that could only be filled at a compound pharmacy blocks the affects of opiates and since my mother was on Morphine for pain a known opiate she plunged into a chronic pain episode that caused her to lose coherency from the pain and go to the emergency room where the only thing they could do to relieve her pain was to give her a drug strong enough to sedate her and completely knock her out. It was a tremendous setback in her treatment. The opiate blocking drug was supposed to be a very low dosage that should not have negatively affected her so if this particular treatment is chosen I would do extensive research and make ample preparations before trying it.

When you are personally dealing with Cancer or know someone close to you that is, you will find out quickly that everyone has a product to sell you that they claim has cured someone from Cancer. Maybe they have and maybe they haven’t. Again, I remember watching an interview with Barbara Walters and Patrick Swayze when he said something to the effect of, “If you had a miracle cure for Cancer you would be rich and everyone would know you so just shut up.” We tried several products and ordered everything we thought could make a difference or be a cure. I’m going to share with you two things that you can buy on your own that we didn’t get a chance to try because we found out about them too late. I don’t know it they work, but its worth a try as anything is when you or someone you love is dying.

You can search YouTube and find videos on the banking soda Cancer treatment and you can search the Internet to find articles that specifically discuss the use of asparagus to treat Cancer. There is so much more I could say about different treatments and drugs but instead of going on and on about this subject I will instead give you a few helpful hints.

Helpful Hint #1: If you are strong enough to do it, aerobic exercise helps Chemotherapy patients by ridding the toxins in their system from Chemotherapy through sweat. I read an article once about a lady with Cancer that felt too sick to do aerobics when her coworkers kept inviting her to class because they didn’t know she had Cancer. She started the classes eventually and felt sick at first and then started feeling better. She sweated the toxins out and one year later was teaching the class Cancer Free.

Helpful Hint #2: When a Cancer patient’s veins are to the point where it is extremely difficult to draw blood or administer IV medication a Central Line which is a port for IV and medication inserted into the jugular vein by ultrasound can be good. I witnessed the pain of my mother as she was poked multiple times with attempts to draw blood and insert IV’s. Save yourself this pain with a Central Line.

Helpful Hint #3: Keep a positive attitude and laugh as often as possible. The Bible says that laughter doeth the heart good like a medicine. Sometimes simple laughter will do more for a Cancer patient than any drug. Laughter heals and it makes a person’s time on this earth more enjoyable. Talk about funny memories from the past with family and friends and laugh, laugh, laugh! You deserve it! Mental support is important. Encourage, speak positive things, and most of all be there for the person that you know that has Cancer. Cancer and all the things a person goes through with it are scary. I coached my mom and encouraged her and told her she could make it when she didn’t think she could. Encouragement in love can add time to a Cancer patient’s life. Ask lots of questions and gain as much knowledge as possible. If a drug or treatment you or a Cancer patient you know is on doesn’t seem right; talk to the doctor about it because there is always an alternative.

Entry # 4: Disappointment:

Normally in life there are disappointments. When you already have a disappointing disease, disappointment can be magnified. What do you do when the Chemo doesn’t work? How do you react when the miracle cure you found out about doesn’t cure? How do you deal with setbacks that surface along the way? What you do is keep going, keep trying, and don’t give up. It is important to express disappointment and acknowledge it as long as it doesn’t take you captive. Just having the disease is disappointing, not to mention all of the obstacles encountered while dealing with the disease. Disappointment is not only experienced by the Cancer victim but by the family and friends that love that person so much.

I was working on my MBA when my mother was diagnosed with Cancer. Since she was already in Stage 4 of Cancer when she was diagnosed we found out shortly after the diagnosis that the Cancer had spread to her lungs and other areas of her body. I can remember the day I found out about that. I started crying at work and couldn’t stop and had to leave the office. I know what it feels like to try and hold tears in and there is nothing you can do to keep them held in your eyes. I know what it is to cry until your stomach jerks in and out and snot comes out of your nose and you feel like throwing up. My mother was my best friend and because of that I am well acquainted with disappointment.

I always wondered how the people with these miracle stories that publish these books about overcoming Cancer did it. Their methods worked for them with no doubt but my mother was in such a bad state she couldn’t even do most of the things these books said to do and that was so disappointing. I wished I could speak with these people personally just to ask them…HOW? How did you do it?

One of the greatest challenges faced was that my mother was a Minister and Pastor and she had a lot of people praying for her as she even believed for her own healing. Father Yah (God) is a healer but He doesn’t always heal and there is always a question of why for those that are not healed. Dottie Olsteen the wife of the late Pastor John Olsteen of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas now pastured by Joel Olsteen at one time had terminal Liver Cancer. Dottie gathered together the healing scriptures from the Bible and began to speak them over herself three times a day like a medicine prescription and was totally and completely healed.

Why her and not my mother? I don’t know. Maybe Yah (the name for almighty God the Creator in Hebrew) was ready for my mom to come home with Him. All I can tell you is that disappoint can and will come in many forms. The best cure for disappointment is to overcome with an attitude of thankfulness, accepting that you don’t know the reason for all things but you do know that there is a reason and a purpose for all things. Stay positive while keeping your mind and spirit open to whatever might happen. Disappointment comes when something other than what you expect or anticipate happens. With Cancer you have to be prepared for the success or failure of anything and everything. Be encouraged; you are stronger than disappointment. Don’t let it catch you off guard but be prepared for it. Know that for every disappointment there is a triumph on the other side.

Entry # 5: Diet:

Anyone with Cancer should reconstruct their diet to contain the foods that fight against and can even cure Cancer. Eat and drink substances that are non-acidic, alkaline, and highly concentrated with antioxidants. Research to find Cancer healing foods.

One of the most important things to do is to drink a lot of water. Water is the source of life and the human body is mostly composed of water. There is an author that wrote a book called, “You Aren’t Sick You’re Just Thirsty” talking about the importance of water and its affects on the body.

Diet is a rough subject with Pancreatic Cancer because you can know all the right things to eat and not be able to consume them. The affects of the disease on the digestive system makes it very hard to eat and drink. The patient may lose their appetite and even if they do have an appetite, once they eat it can make them feel sick. Pancreatic Cancer sabotages the digestive system.

One thing that helped us was some information we found on dill pickles that assists in the digestion of food. In many instances when someone with Pancreatic Cancer or other digestive problems eats a dill pickle with each meal it helps to counteract the digestive problems so they can eat in comfort and keep the food down for nutrition to the body.

There are also drugs available to enhance the appetite, but if dill pickles can also be eaten with every meal that should help greatly as well. Since Pancreatic Cancer patients have difficulties in eating and tend to lose a lot of weight, dietary supplements such as protein shakes are suggested which are ingested easier with the use of a straw. Peanut butter can be added to the shakes to increase the calorie content and nutritional value of the shake. Another suggestion is to eat very small meals all throughout the day. The Cancer patient may not feel like eating but in order to live they must FORCE themselves to eat. Lack of food and liquid can kill quicker.

Vitamin D fights Cancer and freshly juiced vegetable juices containing the juice from green leafy vegetables can be extremely helpful especially when drank right after juicing when vitamin content and living substance is at a high level. The external diet is also important which consists of Epson salt baths that help to heal and release toxins from the body.

We all know the saying, “You are what you eat.” Eat what is alive and it will help you stay alive. The first 3 letters of the word diet is the word die. Don’t let what you are eating kill you. Since Cancer patients many times have to give up foods they love in order to live, it is great if the family can conform to their diet in support of their dietary efforts. Some foods make Cancer grow like simple sugars. Cut the sugar out of your diet and use a natural alternative like Stevia to sweeten foods. Stevia is a naturally sweet leaf that is available in powder and liquid form to sweeten foods and use in recipes. I am a big Bible reader so I love that Stevia is a leaf because the Bible says that the leaves shall be used for the healing of the nations. Other well-known artificial sweeteners can actually be poisonous to the body so be careful with them and avoid them if possible.

Entry #6: Death:

Even when you know someone is going to die, nothing really prepares you for the affects, effects, and real life reactions to that death. Everyone’s experience is different, and I will share my personal experience with you hoping it will help you in some way. I can remember my mom looking at me one night and saying to me, “I’m dying!” I didn’t know what to say back because even though I knew she had Cancer and death seemed inevitable, I refused to accept the fact the she was actually going to die.

We took her to the hospital on a Thursday and the very next day they wanted to send her to hospice. Hospice is a great and awful place all at the same time. Great due to the care and support and painless exit for the patient from this world they provide. Awful because you know that it is the last place you will be with the one you love. Hospice facilities are very comfortable and they give you a chance to say goodbye even if you don’t want to. No one does. Please know that you aren’t the only one going through this; neither are you the only one that has ever gone through this.

Counselors are provided, as well as, chaplains for spiritual support and prayer. You will receive a booklet explaining the death process which helps you know when death is near. During this process, give the Cancer patient a lot of love, comfort and support, and make sure you yourself get ample food and rest. Speak to your loved one while they are responsive and even after they are in a drug induced comma because they can still hear you. Be sure not to be selfish and release them to pass on so they won’t linger on in suffering. That is all I will say about the hospice experience as you will learn more as you are actually in it. This is the time to meet with the funeral home and make preparations for the funeral and burial. You won’t want to do this, but it is necessary and will help smooth out the process. Overall, hospice is a place to say your final goodbyes.

Entry # 7: Debt:

My dad only had enough life insurance to cover my mom’s funeral, and this is not recommended. The moment a Cancer diagnosis is in place get as much checkup free insurance as you can get. For some reason the bill collectors don’t understand the word death, and you can be stuck with bills that increase your sorrow after your loved one is gone. You will need a living will for your patient to be able to make medical decisions for them and you also need a power of attorney to deal with their accounts way before a death experience is upon you. You may have to handle business matters that they can’t deal with while they are still alive and after they have passed on.Also make sure a will is in place so you don’t have to deal with probate. Some accounts are easily closed after death simply by submitting a copy of the death certificate to the creditor and it is important to see if insurance is in place to pay off accounts upon death such as mortgages.

I have shared my heart, soul, and intimate personal experience with you in this article to the best of my ability. It should not take a crisis such as Cancer for us to become mortgage and debt free but if something such as Cancer arises I know that being mortgage and debt free can be one less worry. Work to reduce or delete your debts as much as possible. My dad would have more freedom and options today had his house been paid off when my mother passed. In addition to medical bills there were some prescriptions that cost $800 for a 10-day supply after our prescription benefits ran out. Death and sickness know nothing of the extra financial burdens that can increase and extend sorrow.

You will feel the pain of your loss for awhile and it will be absolutely unbelievable for a very long time, but you will get through it. Remember the good times, look at pictures of life, and hear the voice of your loved one live on in your mind and spirit forever. I wish you abundant peace. If you would like to find out how to get a copy of the book I’ve written in hopes of helping people deal with the loss of a loved one, please call or email me.