Operating Room Nursing – What it Takes to Be an OR Nurse

“Are you crazy! Why do you put up with this? I’m done.” This is the response I have gotten from many nurses after their first 3 months in the OR. Operating Room nursing is not for everyone. The hours can be grueling, the stress overwhelming and the work exhausting.

Why then do I love it so much? Am I crazy? OK, maybe a little…it’s kind of prerequisite for working in an OR. Exhaustion becomes a way of life. You learn to eat when you can, drink when you can, sleep when you can and go to the bathroom when the opportunity arises.

You get stuck in a little room with 3-5 other strong personalities for hours on end. (More if you are a teaching facility, and have residents and med students present.) If you are the circulating nurse, you will need to orchestrate the actions into a cohesive whole. If you are the scrub nurse, you are on the front line any time something is missing or wrong.

Every second counts. You must be extremely efficient and be able to prioritize wisely. What needs to be done immediately, what needs to be done soon, and what can wait a minute. When to stop everything and when to hurry it along. How to do three things at once, and do them correctly. Decisions…Priorities…Multi-tasking, these are your challenges every moment.

Dowdy Dress Code

Did you want to look nice at work? Maybe the OR is not for you. Everyone has the same blue hair and we all wear masks. I have worked with people for months and not recognized them in a store. “Oh, I’ve never seen you in clothes before!” is a common greeting between OR people. Another is, “So that’s what you look like with hair.” You should see the looks you get from innocent bystanders when you are greeted this way.

The dress code is pretty rigid in an operating room. First, lets discuss jewelry. Jewelry is a nest of dirty, harmful, downright killer germs. Bet you never thought about what was growing in that dark, warm space under your wedding ring! Rings, bracelets and watches need to be removed.

Necklaces can break and fall into the area being operated on (what we call the wound). Please remove all necklaces. Same thing goes for earrings, please remove them or you can cover your ears with your cap to keep them enclosed. Sounds sensible, but it really makes hearing harder.

I guess belly piercings would be OK to leave on, they are covered. I almost forgot these…they weren’t very popular back in the day.

Lets discuss nails next. Nails are another place that harbor all those murdering germs. Especially those lovely fake nails and wraps. Get them off! Keep those nails natural, clean and no longer than 1/4 inch. Standards have changed slightly in the past few years, now you can have polish on your nails, but make sure it is not chipped! Chipped nail polish can fall off into places we would rather it not go!

How about our scrubs. Nowadays, you see all these scrubs that are almost fashionable. What a breakthrough in nursing. Forget all that in the OR. We must change each morning into scrubs supplied by the facility…these are the ones that look like you are wearing a sack.

So…fashion divas…Run!

Technical Aspects

There are literally thousand of pieces of equipment you will learn to operate and troubleshoot. The number one troubleshooting technique of an operating room nurse is…turn it off and turn it on. Surprisingly, it is number one because it usually works.

We learn to operate the multiple operating room beds. We call them tables between ourselves, and beds to the patients. Who ever heard of operating on a bed? There are the regular tables used for most procedures. There are fluoroscopy tables used when you need to x-ray the body. There are spinal tables and fracture tables. Some of these look like torture equipment!

OR nurses also operate various lasers, warming devices, cautery units, anti-embolism units, cameras, light sources, drills, suction units, monitors, blood transfusion devices, positioning devices, I won’t bore you with the entire list, I think you get the idea.

In the operating room, technical skills are as important as people skills. Equipment necessary to the procedure has to function and function correctly. Many pieces of equipment can harm the patient if not functioning correctly. The surgery may have to halt at a crucial moment if something is not working. All equipment needs to be checked prior to starting.

Instruments, Instruments, Instruments

“Why don’t you try the threader from the Mitek anchor set?”, I asked. “What the heck is that?!”, the doc answered.

OR nurses need to know the names and location of thousands of instruments. There are instruments that are used by most specialties, but also specialized instruments used by one or the other. There are instruments for General surgery, Orthopedic, Podiatry, Plastics, Vascular, ENT (ears, nose & throat), Eyes, GYN/OB, Laser, Endoscopic, and on and on.

Thinking outside the box is a skill of the experienced OR nurse. You need to think of new ways to use old things constantly. Every person is different inside, literally! No two operations are the same. Sometimes what you usually use, doesn’t work…creativity is a must!

Let’s Wrap this Up

I didn’t realise I had so much to know and do as an OR nurse! I didn’t even touch on the personalities you encounter. As I said before, OR nursing is not for everyone.

You need to love a challenge, have high energy, be able to think on your feet and hit the ground running. Doctors yell at you every time something is missing or something goes wrong. You are the unseen nurse. No-one remembers your care, because they were asleep for it.

You need to have a very strong ego, everything will be your fault the instant it happens. Later, you may get an apology…but in the instant you just let them rant. I was taught that one of the ways I perform my job as patient advocate is to let them yell. It was explained to me this way, better they yell at me, than their hands shake in the wound. Much better! Let them get it out!

However, it is also the only place in nursing that has such instant gratification! Some-one’s gallbladder is making them sick, take it out there, they are cured. The baby will die if it is not delivered now, take it out there, the baby lives.

Although the docs yell a lot, they learn to depend on you and respect you more than if you were a floor nurse. They perceive you as being smarter, more reliable. You are challenged every day. You learn something every day. It is an ever changing, never static or dull, environment. You have to BE there mentally and physically 100% at all times. As I say, not for everyone, but I seem to thrive on it.

Prior to becoming an OR nurse, I never stayed in the same place for longer than 3 years (and that only twice). Things would become boring, same old, same old. That is never a day in the OR! I have been in the OR for 15 years and still love it.

So Similar Yet Different – Can You Tell Between Herpes And Shingles?

Many people attach negative associations to the term ‘herpes’. In fact, there are small differences between shingles and herpes, which produce variations of the identical infection.

The sexually transmitted disease, genital herpes, normally occurs when a person has unprotected sex with numerous partners but it can occur in anybody who has had sex even if only once and their partner has the infection. Genital herpes is caused by the HSV (Herpes simplex virus).

There are almost 100 different types of herpes which affect humans – genital herpes or HSV-2 is only one, while other highly contagious herpes infections can be transmitted via casual contact.

For example, HSV-1 generally causes oral cold sores and may be contracted from infected people through sharing eating utensils or drinking glasses, a casual kiss or having skin to skin contact like wiping a child’s mouth if you have tears or saliva on the tips of your fingers.

Research shows that about 98% of healthy people carry and shed the HSV-1 virus without having an active outbreak. Research reveals how highly contagious it is and also how prevalent it is.

The cytomegalovirus is a herpes virus which causes flu like conditions in adults but may have devastating effects on unborn children.

Herpes varicella-zoster causes chicken pox in children. Prior to vaccine development, family and friends held ‘chicken pox parties’ so that children between 4 to 6 years were infected to prevent them contracting the disease when they grew older when it became a bigger health risk which could result in permanent damage and even death (in their 20’s and older). It produces greater discomfort and pain in older people while lasting longer.

Herpes varicella-zoster will most likely lie dormant for many years after an initial infection and has the potential to reactivate in certain conditions. The reactivated virus causes Shingles which is most common in people over 60 years old who may have considerable stress levels, younger people whose immune systems have been compromised, recipients of organ transplants, cancer victims or effects of medication on immune systems.

Shingles infection mostly presents in the body’s trunk or buttocks alongside specific nerve dermatomes and stays on one side following a specific nerve bundle pathway. Shingles and herpes differ in that shingles is not commonly reactivated a second time after healing (provided the person’s immune system is not compromised) while herpes can reoccur many times.

Shingles is normally painful and often clears on its own requiring supportive pain treatment. Herpetic neuralgia occurs sometimes when the pain does not disappear as the skin clears. It can cause nerve pain which is severe and difficult to control and treat.

Using a Body Girdle For Back Pain and Posture

Do you often find yourself experiencing some discomfort when it comes to your back? Well it can be caused by various things. Here are some tips to help you relieve your backpain and finally live a more comfortable, happy life.

Posture problems: do you have bad posture? This could actually have been developed as early as your younger years, it’s actually pretty common to see a lot of people who have bad posture and do not even do anything to correct it. Some people think that it is really not a big deal, since they’ll live even with bad posture and all anyway. However, bad posture is very bad for your bones especially in the long run, which is why you need to correct it now. It’s really not that hard, in fact it only takes some getting used to. Eventually you’ll be able to see – and feel a remarkable difference not only in your appearance but that your back pain is finally gone.

Avoid carrying too much stuff in your bag: while big bags have been very much in fashion in recent years, it does not mean that it won’t prove to be a problem to your back as well. People with big bags – especially women, have the tendency to fill their bags to the brim, making it too heavy to carry. There are also some women who are actually so used to carrying so much stuff around that they don’t even realize that it’s just too much weight for their body to carry. Huge shoulder bags can put a strain on your shoulders while hand bags and tote bags can make your arms ache after awhile. As much as you can, do try to limit your daily baggage to just your essentials. You don’t really need to have a bunch of cosmetics hogging up space in your bag – unless you are actually a makeup artist. Try your best to learn to prioritize only the essentials and you’ll soon see and feel the difference once the heavy load that you’ve been carrying on a daily basis has lessened and you are able to move around with much ease.

Sitting in front of the computer all day: can also lead to major back pain especially if you don’t even take breaks while doing your tasks. This is actually very common especially for writers who can go on and on for hours when they are in the mood to write. After awhile though, one will already be able to feel the tension building up on his or her back. Do make time for a quick break in between assignments, stretch and move around a little to prevent tension from building up on your back.

Kashmiri Kahwa Tea – An Introduction To Tea From Kashmir

It was a very cold day in Delhi and I was suffering from a bad sore throat. This was the time when I first got the taste of Kashmiri Kahwa. I never tasted tea in my life and was hesitant to consume it. However, I was amazed by the simple way it was prepared and given to me. I was instructed by the lady to drink it as soon as possible once it was prepared. The moment I drank it, I felt somehow relieved and liked the taste of it. Consequently, I learnt about this beverage and its varieties. First of all, I would like to share the recipe of Kashmiri Kahwa.

Ingredients Required

  • Water – 3 cups
  • Saffron – 8-10 strands
  • Almonds – 8-10
  • Cinnamon – 2 one inch long pieces
  • Green cardamoms – 2
  • Sugar – 1/2 spoon
  • Honey – 1 tablespoon
  • Tea leaves – 1/2 tablespoon

Steps For Preparation

  • Boil water in a kettle.
  • Add cinnamon pieces into the water.
  • Add crushed green cardamoms.
  • Add saffron strands into boiling water.
  • Let them boil for sometime.
  • Add tea leaves. This is optional by nature.
  • Grate the almonds.
  • Add the grated almonds into the boiling water.
  • Brew the tea for sometime.
  • Add sugar or honey as per requirement.
  • Keep stirring with the help of spoon after every few seconds.
  • Pour in a cup and consume it.

This is the recipe for Kashmiri Kahwa. It has many medicinal values because of saffron, cinnamon, green cardamoms and almonds. One might find enough discussion about them all over the internet. I would not like repetitions here. However, I would be introducing about them in separate articles. Nevertheless, I would like to mention that this Kahwa helps in growing the glow of the skin, cleansing of the digestive system and helps in fighting against the cold and sore throats.

I started consuming it on regular basis either without the tea leaves or sugar. Very soon I discovered that Kashmiris sometimes add thin slices of green apples. This adds the taste and flavor to the kahwa. Sometimes even crushed walnuts are added along with the almonds. I wanted to experiment something from my end also.

Before I might share the new Kahwas of mine, I learnt that it is also called Mughal Chai or Mughal Tea. It is derived from the fact that Mughal Emperors consumed it lavishly in their daily lives. Apart from this, another main reason for this name is because of the ingredients that are used in its preparation like almonds, walnuts, saffron, cinnamon and cardamoms. These dry fruits and spices are usually used or consumed by royal families rather than the common individuals living in the society.

The basic recipe of kahwa remains the same. It is only the usage of certain fruits or spices makes it different from each other. I would like to enumerate each one of them one by one and they are the following:

  1. Addition of Green sour apples into the kahwa. One should not add sugar. Honey is optional and depends upon the individual. However, it tastes better with honey also.
  2. Kahwa might be prepared only with water, cinnamon and honey. This is the simplest preparation of kahwa.
  3. Saffron is also optional. If one is using it, then one might add black pepper also. In that case, there is no need to add sugar and tea leaves.
  4. I also prepared kahwa with dried apricots also. It is also awesome. Rest of the ingredients remain the same.
  5. One might even add de-seeded dates. In such a scenario, there is no need for the addition of sugar or honey. One might avoid using either of them.
  6. Dried cherries or apples or raisins are also good substitutes and are natural sources of sugar.
  7. Add aniseeds to the Kahwa. This gives new flavor to it.
  8. I added all varieties of crushed dry fruits like pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts, almonds, cashew nuts, pieces of dried apricots, dates, pieces of raisins, etc. to the kahwa. Placed it in refrigerator. Whenever I wanted to consume it, either for myself or for someone else, I used to take it from the refrigerator and poured it into long glasses. This has to be served chill.
  9. In case I wanted to drink it as tea, I used to brew it once again and pour into cups. This was served to guests.

After many interactions with many natives of Kashmir, I realised that there are at least 36 varieties of kahwa. They are different from district to district of Kashmir. These were varied not in the taste, but also in their ingredients. Each one of them has its own distinctive flavor, smell and taste.

Calcium Carbonate for Treating Anxiety

Calcium Carbonate otherwise known as or Cal Carb, Calcium Carbonate, Oyster Shell, Mother of Pearl or Carbonate of Limeis is the mineral that all sea shells are made of, and is not too different from the calcium in human bones. The homeopathic remedy is made only from Oyster shell with the mother-of-pearl removed. They are then triturated with lactose sugar and what remains after the thorough and very careful preparation is calc carb.

Its chief action is cantered in the vegetative sphere, impaired nutrition being the keynote of its action. It is very often used to treat the symptoms of depression and hypothyroidism.

The profile of the Calc Carb person will be the shy and sensitive type. These people are rather contemplative in nature but have an easily agitated side to them. They will become excitable in the face of cruelty as they have no tolerance for it. They tend to be forgetful in nature and often lack energy, and may even come across as clumsy. They rely on security quite heavily throughout their daily lives.

Calcarea Carbonica is indicated for people who suffer from anxiety and phobias. The following symptom are often treated with the remedy fear of failure, restlessness, anxiety, night sweats, obsessive or compulsive behaviour or related feelings and emotions, acute or chronic disturbances in sleep, forgetfulness, confusion, low-spirit.They tend to be worry warts and need constant reassurance and often drive their close friends and family to distraction by talking too much about their problems and concerns.

When ill they can become extremely lethargic and tend to self pity. The smallest exertion can leave them weak often close to collapse. They cannot stand the cold but if they overheat just a little it enervates them to the point that they must rest.

Calcarea Carbonica can be taken whenever there is a lack of Calcium in the body and one of the chief indications is Discharges that smell sour.

Apart from emotional symptoms this homeopathic remedy is often used to treat a variety of other problems including.

  • Stomach acidity
  • Menopause – helpful to a woman with heavy flooding, night sweats and flushing (despite a general chilliness), as well as weight gain during menopause.Bronchitis – especially after a cold. The cough can be troublesome and tickling, worse from lying down or stooping forward, worse from getting cold, and worse at night.
  • Pituitary and thyroid dysfunction
  • Constipation – often feel more stable when constipated, and experience discomfort and fatigue when the bowels have moved
  • Eczema – suited to people who are chilly with clammy hands and feet, and tend to develop eczema and cracking skin that is worse in the wintertime.
  • ear infections that result in discharge that is sour in smell
  • Tonsillitis
  • Eye infections
  • Malnutrition
  • Neuralgias
  • Anaemia
  • Gallstones – the abdomen may feel swollen on the right and be very sensitive to pressure, with cutting pains that extend to the chest and are worse from stooping
  • Backache – useful for low back pain and muscle weakness, especially in a person who is chilly, flabby or overweight, and easily tired by exertion
  • Joint or bone pain
  • Fractures that are slow-healing
  • Some digestive problems
  • Slow bone or teeth development.
  • During periods of physical exertion
  • Mouth ulcers – when infants and small children have recurring canker sores
  • Thrush – this remedy is indicated, burning and itching feelings may occur both before and after the menstrual period. Discharge from vaginitis is milky and acrid or thick and yellow.
  • Acne -with frequent pimples and skin eruptions is chilly with clammy hands and feet, easily tired by exertion, and flabby or overweight
  • Varicose veins – veins that hurt while the person is standing or walking may respond to this remedy.

Factors/Conditions that make the symptoms worse

  • Cold
  • Damp
  • Exertion
  • Climbing stairs or hills
  • Before menstruating

Factors/Conditions that improve symptoms include

  • Warmth
  • Rest
  • Dry Weather
  • Mid day

Calcarea Carbonica is sometimes used in combination with other homeopathic remedies or in herbal tinctures to produce the desired effect.

Gallstones In The Liver Can Cause Disorders Of The Bone

Although bone is the hardest tissue in the body, it is, nevertheless, very much alive. Human bone consists of 20 percent water; 30-40 percent organic material, such as living cells; and 40-50 percent inorganic material, such as calcium. Bone tissue contains many blood and lymph vessels and nerves. The cells responsible for balanced bone growth are osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Osteoblasts are the bone-forming cells, whereas osteoclasts are responsible for resorption of bone to maintain optimum shape. A third group of cells, known as chondrocytes, are in charge of forming cartilage. The less dense parts of the bone, called cancellous bone, contain red bone marrow, which produces red and white blood cells.

Most bone diseases occur when bone cells no longer receive enough nourishment. Gallstones in the liver usually lead to lymph congestion in the intestinal tract and, consequently, in other parts of the body. Good bone health results from the sustained balance between the functions of osteoblast and osteoclast cells. This delicate balance becomes disturbed when nutrient supply is deficient and thereby slows the production of new bone tissue by osteoblasts.

Osteoporosis results when the amount of bone tissue is reduced because the growth of new bone does not keep pace with the destruction of old bone. Cancellous bone is usually affected before compact bone is. Compact bone makes up the outer layer of the bone.

In generalized osteoporosis, excessive calcium is reabsorbed from bone, thereby raising the calcium levels of blood and urine. This may predispose a person to form stones in the kidneys and, possibly, suffer renal failure. Gallstones in the liver substantially reduce bile production. Bile is essential for the absorption of calcium from the small intestines. Even if the body received more than enough calcium foods or food supplements, a shortage of bile would render much of the ingested calcium useless for bone building and other important metabolic processes. In addition, the presence of gallstones in the liver raises the level of harmful acids in the blood, some of which are neutralized by calcium leached from the bones and teeth. (Something similar happens when a person drinks cow’s milk. To neutralize the high phosphorus concentration of ingested milk, the body uses not only the milk’s calcium but also calcium from the bones and teeth.)

Eventually, the body’s calcium reserves become depleted, diminishing bone density or bone mass. This may lead to bone and hip fractures and even death. With more than half of all women over age 50 already affected by osteoporosis (albeit only in industrialized nations), it is obvious that the current approach of taking hormones or calcium supplements is a shot in the dark; it in no way addresses the imbalance in the liver and gallbladder caused by reduced bile output due to gallstones.

Rickets and osteomalacia are diseases that affect the calcification process of bones. In either case, the bones become soft, especially those of the lower limbs, which are bowed by the weight of the body. The fat-soluble vitamin D, calciferol, is essential for balanced calcium and phosphorus metabolism and, therefore, healthy bone structures. Insufficient bile secretion and disturbance of the cholesterol metabolism, both of which are caused by gallstones in the liver, lead to vitamin D deficiency. Lack of sufficient exposure to natural sunlight further aggravates these conditions.

Infection of bones, or osteomyelitis, may result when there has been a prolonged lymphatic obstruction in the body, especially in or around bone tissues. Consequently, blood-borne microbes gain unhindered access to bones. As we know, infectious microbes only attack tissues that are acidified, weak, unstable, or damaged. The microbes may originate from gallstones, a tooth abscess, or a boil.

Malignant tumors of the bone can occur when lymphatic congestion in the body and the bones, especially, has reached extreme proportions. The immune system is depressed, and malignant tumor particles from the breasts, lungs, or prostate gland can spread to or develop in those parts of the bones that have the softest tissue and are more prone to congestion and acidification, that is, the cancellous bone. Bone cancer and all other diseases of the bone indicate lack of nourishment of bone tissue.

Such diseases usually defy treatment unless all gallstones in the liver are removed and all other organs and systems of elimination are cleared of any existing congestion as well.

Type 2 Diabetes – The Effect of the Medicinal Herb Sumac on Blood Sugar Levels

Sumac is used as a medicinal herb in traditional medicine. Investigators at Iran University of Medical Science in Tehran and several other research centers in Iran and the United states, studied the effects of this medicinal herb on Type 2 diabetes.

Their study, reported on in the Iran Journal of Pharmacology Research in the fall of 2014, included 41 participants diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes…

  • 22 participants received 3 grams per day of sumac powder, while the other
  • 19 were given a placebo for 3 months.

It was found the blood sugar levels and HbA1c went down in the sumac group while remaining the same in the placebo group.

From these results it was concluded the sumac herb could possibly lower blood sugar in many people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Edible sumac is a different species from the weed that causes an itchy rash – edible sumac berries are known for their tart, fruity flavor. Their red color imparts a bright appearance to foods. According to Nancy Guppy, Registered Dietitian, the tart flavor of sumac comes from vitamin C.

Try making a chickpea salad according to a recipe from the website thekitchn.com. You will need chickpeas, garlic cloves, black pepper, red onion, Sumac, chili powder, Italian parsley, lemon, olive oil, pomegranate syrup, and sprigs of fresh mint. Or make a tofu and veggie dish with a recipe from KBlog.LunchBoxBunch.com. It calls for broccoli florets, oyster mushrooms, safflower oil, firm tofu, sumac, tamari, minced ginger, chili powder, and (sugarless) maple syrup.

From alfez.com/moroccan_lebanese_cuisine/recipes/middle-eastern/middle-eastern-vegetarian-recipes/sumac-fattoush.html comes a recipe for a traditional Fattoush salad with olive oil, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red pepper, radish, onions, parsley leaves, mint, lemon juice, and sumac.

Sumac powder can be found on the spice aisle of many grocery stores and in most Middle Eastern stores. Several sources also offer it online.

Edible sumac is drought resistant and grows in all 48 contiguous states in the USA. It can be grown as an ornamental plant as well as for its fruit. Many people forage for edible sumac, which can be easily distinguished from the poisonous species which produces white or yellow berries in contrast to the purple-red berries on edible plants. A pink lemonade can be made from the berries. Pick a few clusters of berries and add them to cool, not hot, water. Allow the berries to soak until the water turns pink, which can take from 20 minutes to 2 hours. Add sweetener and enjoy.

Childhood Obesity – A Serious Problem

‘A fat body makes a lean mind’, said someone. And you certainly don’t want that to apply to your child. So here’s the wake-up call- Childhood obesity has taken epidemic proportions in the United States. It is today the most common pediatric medical problem in the country. In an era of fast foods and video games, preventing your child from becoming obese is a challenge.

It’s quite alarming to note that a study conducted earlier this year, by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention shows that about 32 percent of children were overweight, 16 percent were obese and 11 percent were extremely obese. Obesity also seems to be more prevalent among boys than girls. With the problem reaching crisis proportions even junk food makers have expressed that children should be steered toward more healthful choices. So what are the causes of childhood obesity and how can you prevent it?

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them”, said James Baldwin at the California Child Obesity Conference in 2003. Children themselves are not entirely responsible for the problem. Adults have a big share in it too. Parents need to develop healthy lifestyles to encourage healthy lifestyles in children. Also, most parents do not spend enough time with children to encourage physical activity everyday. Consequently, children spend most of their time playing video games or watching TV, growing up to be couch potatoes.

Junk food and soda have been primary contributors too. A study conducted by the Kaiser Foundation, a nonprofit organization, found that effect of junk food ads was more on 8-12 year old children, as they are unable to distinguish between ads and TV programs. This age-group is exposed to approximately 21 junk food ads per day. Therefore there is a need to prevent junk food ads during TV programs aimed at children. But before blaming TV ads or junk food manufacturers, here’s what you can do to prevent your child from becoming obese:

  • Make your child aware of the ill-effects of eating junk food and the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables.
  • Encourage your child to participate in a good amount of physical activity everyday. Make them exercise.
  • Monitor their TV-viewing habits and ensure they don’t spend too much time in front of the TV.
  • Develop a healthier lifestyle and act as a role-model to your child, because your child imitates you.

It’s time to give this some serious thought, because childhood obesity can cause major health problems like type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia (disruption of the amount of lipids in the blood), chronic inflammation and Hyperinsulinemia (excess levels of circulating insulin in the blood). It can also cause cardiovascular diseases at later stages. Childhood obesity can be very difficult to cure, since children who are obese are prone to obesity throughout their lives. So think about it. It’s in your hands to make your child lead a healthy life!

Scalp Infections – Symptoms, Causes & Natural Options For Fast Relief & Treatment

There are many definitions and symptoms commonly described as “scalp infections”. There are in fact quite a few quite different reasons why your scalp may be sore, itchy, inflamed burning red or infected. If you are like many people with chronic scalp issues – it may be driving you completely up the wall and not knowing what it is or how to treat the problem effectively after many unsuccessful attempts to eliminate it can make it seem far worse – like you are never going to get to the bottom of the problem. Well that need no longer be so! It can be simple to diagnose and treat it now and for good.

So if you are dealing with any of these symptoms lets first identify the problem and then some of the underlying causes.

Firstly, if you want to get to the root of your problems, so to speak, you need to be able to identify what your problem actually is. Of course, many scalp infections & conditions look alike, so here is a brief description of some of the most common scalp conditions:

  • Red Burning Itchy Scalp
  • Dandruff
  • Ringworm
  • Dry Scalp
  • Scalp Dermatitis
  • Eczema of the Scalp
  • Scalp Psoriasis
  • Folliculitis
  • Stress Related Itching
  • Red burning itchy scalp can be characterized as any tingling,burning, prickly, and sensitive to the touch or a fiery hot sensation. Often associated with an allergy, sunburn, chemical burn (sensitization of the scalp),or fungal infection.

    Dandruff as most of us know is the process of continual shedding of skin cells on our scalps. Often the cause of dandruff is simply the result of toxins, pollutants and products that have built up on the scalp particularly products like silicone- a cheap commonly used artificial shine enhancer in conditioners sold in supermarkets.

    When the natural balance of our scalps is disturbed, this creates the perfect environment for the yeast fungus Melassezia Globbosa to move in and thrive. This is when the natural process of shedding our cells gets a little out of hand resulting in an unsightly condition known as “Seborrhoeic Dermatitis” (fancy name for dandruff) and we see the highly visible tell-tale signs of flaking and crusting.

    The accompanying itch and urge to scratch are often made worse by the multiplication of the fungal yeast pityrosporum-ovale (having one big party on your scalp). Another follow on effect of this is that the relentless scratching by the sufferer can cause small lesions which weep and ooze or become infected resulting in scalp infections.

    Lumps bumps and sores are also common when the scalp is highly irritated or sensitivity has been aggravated. Candida can be an underlying cause of yeast infections of the scalp.

    Ringworm of the scalp (tinea capitols) is a superficial fungal infection of the scalp. Scalp ringworm is caused by mold-like fungi called dermatophytes. Ringworm infection occurs when a particular type of fungus grows and multiplies anywhere on your skin, scalp, or nails. It is far more common in children and symptoms include red, itchy patches on the scalp, leaving bald areas. The skin might itch and be red and peel or be scaly, have swollen blisters or a rash (that can spread) and looks like black dots. The rash is highly contagious. It is normally treated with over the counter products containing miconazole, clotrimazole, or similar. Sometimes prescription anti fungal skin medications, such as ketoconazole are needed to clear it up. There are also products direct from nature’s factories that can aid the healing process and act as natural antibiotics, although it must be said that ringworm is an aggressive fungus which needs to be monitored closely and treated accordingly.

    Dry scalp can feel “tight”, a sensation that is sometimes accompanied by flakiness. It is often the result of natural oils being stripped from our scalps by the frequent use of shampoos, hair dyes and or other hair products.

    Dermatitis of the scalp (Seborrheic dermatitis) is an inflammatory disorder affecting areas of the head and body where sebaceous glands are most prominent. It can vary from mild dandruff to dense flakey and greasy scale. Once again it is often an accumulation of toxins and products built up on our scalps that our body is trying to rid itself of.

    Eczema of the scalp similar in appearance to Seborrheic dermatitis but instead has the name Atopic dermatitis.

    Scalp Psoriasis commonly occurs on the back of the head however multiple areas of the scalp or the whole scalp may be affected. Scalp psoriasis is characterized by thick silvery white scales on patches of very red skin and can extend slightly beyond the hairline. Scalp psoriasis, despite being partially hidden by the hair is often a source of social embarrassment due to flaking of the scale and severe ‘dandruff’. Scalp psoriasis may be extremely itchy or on occasion have no itch symptoms. It can also cause temporary baldness on the affected areas. It is a common, chronic, inflammatory skin disease and is associated with increased risk of melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma.

    Folliculitis of the scalp is a superficial bacterial infection of the hair follicles. It is characterized by pustules around the hair follicles and symptoms include painful brushing of hair and tenderness when rubbing your scalp around the hair follicle sites. Treating with antibiotics for the particular bacteria is the usual course of action but can eventually cause resistance to the antibiotic used. Options include applying Evoclin Foam which is topical. Folliculitis is commonly caused by staph bacteria which also reside inside the nose and sinus cavity. Natural oils such as tea tree and lavender have good antibacterial properties and can also be used to treat this condition.

    If you have a bump or lump under the skin (commonly a lump behind the ears with no broken skin or rash developing, then this could be a cyst. Cysts are liquid filled pustules which can be painful when they become infected. If you have such symptoms I recommend seeing a doctor to be safe. Doctors can also treat cysts with antibiotics if they have become infected or incise them as a further but uncommon procedure if the antibiotics are not sufficient.

    Stress Related Itching Stress can contribute to or worsen scalp itching as it plays havoc with our immune system and hormones which have an effect on production of sebum from your sebaceous glands. Although it can contribute to the problem it is still somewhat of a myth. It may appear that you have a”stress rash”, but it is more likely that the problem was already there in a less noticeable way, then aggravated by increased stress levels making it harder for your body to deal with the problem on its own and eliminate the problem. Many of the treatments below include stress relieving properties – like Lavender oil for example which calms the mind and soothes the body.

    Solutions – what YOU can do about it

    Going to your doctor may be the best way to get an accurate answer to diagnosing your problem, but I understand that many of you may have already done this, been prescribed some form of medication of cream (even “heavy duty” cortisone based ones where the cortisone potency may need to be increased after time).

    Often the problem either doesn’t go away from the start – or seems to subside but comes back with full a vengeance later leaving you wondering with more unanswered questions and a VERY unhappy scalp! Well the good news is if you don’t like using these expensive and often impotent products- or even want to help them along you can use natural remedies and essential oils known to be super effective anti-bacterial busters such as tea tree oil for instance to inhibit or stop the growth of the infection and assist healing/re balancing of the scalp.

    Something that is also important to understand in curing scalp conditions and scalp infections – a factor that is missed by so many doctors, and something not disclosed by companies who sell hair products and treatments is the number of people who are allergic or sensitive to commonly used ingredients in shampoos, dandruff treatments and other hair products. In fact MOST hair products (as many as 90%) contain at least one ingredient that is used in engine degreasers, another is a common ingredient in antifreeze.

    These ingredients are cheap to produce foaming agents that make shampoo foam up, and do a fantastic job of stripping dirt and oily build up from hair. Problem is that they sometimes do SUCH a good job that they remove all of the natural oils and sebum from the scalp thus removing the scalps natural against bacteria etc. Another little known fact is that the most common ingredient (Sodium laureth sulphate) is used to induce skin irritation in test patients by drug companies to test the effectiveness of their itch relief skin creams. When first produced and for year’s afterwards manufacturers did not know that skin was not a barrier but an absorber of ingredients & that they caused skin irritation in so many people.

    So sometimes the beginning of a scalp condition can have originated from something as simple as an imbalance to the skins (scalps) sebum or an allergy to an ingredient that can easily be rectified.

    Like your immune system, if your skin has an opportunity to rebalance itself and not be subjected to “incoming foreign matter” and the daily stripping of its natural oils that further aggravates the problem you can allow your body to re balance and heal itself. Obviously buying products that do not strip your hair and scalp is an obvious step in the right direction.

    Fortunately there are a lot of manufacturers such as Aveda and Akin (Purist Company) who know what consumers are suffering from these issues so have addressed this problem. They have applied this knowledge to produce some amazing products with all of the benefits of natural ingredients, with none of the side effects at a price we can afford (Akin especially). It need not be difficult, nor expensive to make these choices and a move to healthy hair and scalp long term.

    So yes you can eliminate harsh shampoos containing sodium sulphates and go for natural Sulphate and paraben free shampoos that contain ingredients such as macadamia, wheat germ or jojoba oils. These oils mimic our natural sebum to some extent to help to re moisturize and nourish our scalp.

    Then there are lavender, rosemary and tea tree oils which contain antibacterial, healing properties. Neem oil great for its antiquing and stops itching. You can apply these topically to your skin for fast relief, to assist healing as well as looking out for shampoos with these natural ingredients in them.

    Lavender calms the skin (as does chamomile tea cooled and used as hair rinse).

    As well as buying quality shampoos containing these ingredients, you can

    create your own combinations of remedy or remedies to soothe your scalp.

    You can also help it along by using natural remedies to treat your scalp such as this scalp treatment containing natural oils to assist healing, detoxify and stimulate hair growth: (Add to

    water (4 parts water 1part oil) and spray onto scalp and you can add to your shampoo and conditioners also).

    Oils To Relieve Itching: Lavender, German Chamomile and Eucalyptus Oils

    (Mixed together and dabbed locally on effected areas has a soothing effect).

    Neem oil is also a very good dandruff preventative which can be added to any of the formulas detailed below and is excellent for psoriasis and eczema & scalp infections.

    Scalp massage with lavender oil (not scented – the real oil) is another

    wonderful way to relieve the tension from a sore scalp as well as treat the

    issue. It also helps to re grow hair and repair the damage done to your

    follicles by chemicals in shampoos causing thinning hair. (Lavender is known to stimulate hair growth too).

    There are many more powerful scalp remedies you can use to treat your scalp as well as many shampoos that are excellent value, contain no nasties to aggravate your scalp and hair follicles. It can be really simple to treat scalp problems by treating yourself to your own pampering session using natural oils to help heal your scalp infection. And then be kind to your hair and scalp by using only products that nourish your hair and scalp such as Aveda or Akin brand shampoos. You can assist the healing process and help restore balance back to your scalp and you hair will appreciate and reward you for it too by becoming less brittle, stronger and shinier.

    As with all natural remedies please patch test first. It is not intended for this information to replace a doctors medical advice, so please see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. The responsibility of obtaining doctors diagnosis and using remedies is yours.

    How to Get Rid of Cold Sores Fast – 5 Simple Techniques

    Cold sores are caused by the herpes virus and are commonly transmitted by direct oral or genital contact where sold sores are present. It is an extremely common virus that the majority of the population will be exposed to at one time or another, though a lot of people do not show any signs or symptoms, such as the usual cold sores around the lips.

    Herpes can also be transmitted during birth with potentially fatal consequences for the child. Clearly, this is no laughing matter for expectant or soon to be expectant mothers.

    The usual time-frame for healing cold sores is one to two weeks. Even though the virus stays in the body for life, there are ways to be sure the virus remains dormant and to do away with recurring outbreaks. You can get rid of cold sores safely and permanently without any drugs.

    To prevent cold sores, follow these steps:

    1. Avoid close contact with people who have cold sores! This goes beyond kissing people who have cold sores. If someone who has cold sores touches their lip and then handles something that you handle, there is a chance for you will get cold sores if you touch your face.

    2. Avoid exposure to extreme temperatures. Harsh winds and intense sunlight can cause cold sore outbreaks.

    3. Use lip gloss with sunscreen This tip falls in line with the previous one. Lip gloss that contains sunscreen will help protect against flare ups.

    If you already have cold sores, you have a few viable options to cut back on recovery time and reduce outbreaks. Follow these steps to get rid of cold sores:

    1. Drink lots of fluids Lots of water and fruit juice will help reduce the time it takes for cold sores to recede.

    2. Use teabags You can put teabags on your cold sore area. There is a chemical in tea bags that act against the virus and help stop any further inflammation.

    3. Use Witch Hazel – Witch Hazel is an herb that grows naturally in North America, Japan, and China. An extract of witch hazel is used for various medicinal purposes, including stopping the effects of cold sores. You can likely find it at your local health food store.

    4. Use Salt – Small amounts of salt applied to the affected area will help do away with cold sores in a matter of days.

    5. Use aloe vera – Aloe vera is a very effective remedy for many skin ailments. It will help the reduce the pain and irritation of cold sores.

    Using these 5 techniques in tandem will do away with your cold sores in a matter of days for most people.

    Soap Nuts to Treat Eczema & Psoriasis

    Soap nuts have a long history when it comes to treating skin conditions such as eliminating freckles, erasing fine lines, and ridding cracks in the skin. Soap nuts have been used for generations in India to treat eczema and psoriasis effectively and in the past few decades have been used in Europe with very positive results. The best thing about using soap nuts is that they are safe and effective for people that are allergic to even the mildest form of astringents or cleansers that are purchased in the stores. In most cases, even the cleansers that are labeled allergy free or for sensitive skin can be damaging to sufferers of eczema and psoriasis. Soap nuts have also been used in the United States for people who have been diagnosed with these skin conditions.

    Soap Nuts for Eczema?

    It has always been recommended that people with skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis should not use any type of cleansers on their skin. This is almost impossible considering that cleansers are in just about everything that is used commonly around the household and it is said that people who suffer from these types of skin conditions should try to avoid anything labeled as a detergent or soap. Soap nuts are among the list of herbs and minerals in Ayurvedic shampoos and cleansers and they are used in Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for eczema and psoriasis. Eczema affects both males and females alike and age is not a factor. Common symptoms of mild eczema can include dry, hot and itchy skin but more severe forms of the condition can result in the skin becoming raw, broken and bleeding.

    Helping Eczema & Psoriasis

    Rather than having to resort to prescription medicine to treat your eczema and psoriasis, first try ground soap nut husks as they provide a totally natural chemical free detergent for treatment. Soap nuts are recommended for babies and for people who develop allergies to conventional washing products, as they contain no allergenic substances. This is extremely important for those who suffer from skin disorders because many times the clothes that are being washed can trigger the skin condition and cause it to worsen. Soap nuts are all natural and have no smell to them which is the main reason that they are so successful in ridding skin disorders and preventing future outbreaks.

    Soap Nut Studies

    Many studies have proven that some people who have eczema have had their problems diminish after switching to soap nuts as a laundry detergent and as a skin cleanser. Soap nuts lead to stable soapy foam when they come in contact with water. Saponin’s can replace conventional chemical detergents such as sodium laureth sulphate that are becoming increasingly unacceptable to the consumer due to fears concerning the safety of the chemical. Naturally occurring, Saponin’s provide the foaming agent necessary in shampoo or shower gel that are gentler on the body and more environmentally friendly. According to Professor C. Kamaswara Rao of the Department of Forests Environment and Ecology of the Government of Karnataka, the biggest environmental benefits of the soap nuts in conjunction with prevention and elimination of skin conditions is through its anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties.

    Can Beer Make a Vaginal Yeast Infection Worse? What You Must Know About Alcohol and Yeast Infections

    Can beer make a vaginal yeast infection worse? The answer is yes, it can, and there are a few things you should know and understand about a yeast infection.

    Can beer make a vaginal yeast infection worse and why? Yeast infections are caused by the candida fungus. The candida fungus is natural in all of our bodies just as yeast is. We also have natural micro organisms in our bodies that help to keep the yeast in check and maintain a natural balance. Our diet often times will throw this balance off, creating a yeast infection. Taking antibiotics as well as steroids can also create a yeast infection.

    The reason the answer to can beer make a vaginal yeast infection worse is simple. The candida fungus needs a living host, you. It also thrives in a moist, dark, warm place, such as your genital area, and this is true for men as well as women. This fungus feeds on yeast, sugars, carbohydrates, and starches. All of which are in alcohol, including beer. Yeast and sugar are two large ingredients in alcohol and beer is packed full of carbohydrates. That’s why beer makes us fat.

    The fungus feeds on this sugar and the other ingredients in alcohol and beer. The ingredients found in alcohol are also found in other foods which can also make your infection even worse. You will need to get rid of extra amounts of sugar, carbohydrates, yeast, and processed foods in order to help get rid of your yeast infection. It is best if you stay away from alcohol completely until you cure yourself.

    While you are suffering from a yeast infection, it is best to avoid alcoholic beverages of all types. Because beer can make a vaginal yeast infection worse. Once you have cured the yeast infection, you can again drink alcoholic beverages. Understand though, you must take a look at your diet and completely get your system back in balance. Over the counter and prescription drugs will only fix the yeast infection, not the root cause of the infection which is an imbalance in your system.

    Sinus Problems Caused by Cat Allergies

    Cats are adorable because of their fur and friendliness. However, cats may give you problems especially if you are allergic to them. You might be experiencing cat allergies yet there is no way that you are going to move out your pet from home. This might be a problem but dealing with your cat so that you can prevent allergies that may cause serious problems like sinus problems may be accomplished with a little diligence. If ever you have found out that you are allergic to cats, then you must make a move to prevent serious problems. There are many symptoms accompanied with a cat allergy like itchy water eyes, sneezing, runny nose, headache and sinus problems. Therefore if you are going to keep your cat at home then you are going to need to moderate these symptoms. However, there are instances that may be life threatening and will mean that it is time that you have to find a new home for your cat.

    You must be reminded that along with these symptoms a cat allergy may cause serious problems such as sinus infection which is a painful and disturbing disease. So, as much as possible, it is better that you determine if you are allergic to cats before it is too late. You must be aware of the symptoms of cat allergies which include infection, eye swelling, itching, and redness of the eyes, post nasal drip, rashes, itchy skin, popping or plugged ears, coughing and hoarseness of voice. At seldom instances, there might be shortness of breath, reoccurring bronchitis, wheezing that may increase if you are exposed to dusts and dirt. These symptoms of cat allergies are closely similar to symptoms of sinus problems. Often times, people mistake the cause of the allergy. Actually, the allergy comes not from the cat but from the perfumes that is used for cats like litter. Cat allergy is actually caused by allergens usually the sebum secreted by your cat. So it is not on the cat’s hair that results in the allergy but rather on the protein that is on the dander and these are tiny particles that easily move around.

    So how can you prevent sinus problems caused by a cat allergy? There are various ways to do this. The first one is the use of HEPA filters. These are placed in each room of your home and a vacuum with HEPA filters will help as well in the reduction of allergens from cats. Also, it will be a good choice if you are going to keep your cat spayed or neutered which reduces the sebum level which is produced by your cat. Furthermore, you might as well change the carpet on your floorings which makes a great difference because your carpet traps not just cat dander but also dust mites and may be a host for other allergens. You must also bathe your cat regularly and cover your mattress and pillows using tight casings which also help. Be reminded that half of the day is used for sleeping so, it makes sense to keep your cat out of your bedroom and you could as well use allergy vaccines which are designed to desensitize you.

    Be aware that sinus problem may bring you life threatening problems, so, if you are thinking about your health but you find it difficult for you to let your cat out of house, then you must follow these tips.

    Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

    Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a mild but highly contagious viral infection common in young children, which spreads from person to person because of unwashed hands or contaminated surfaces. Common symptoms include fever; sore throat; rash and blisters on the tongue, mouth, palms of the hand and soles of the feet; headache; fatigue; irritability; and loss of appetite. Infection most commonly occurs because of coxsackievirus and is commonly seen in child care settings. Infected adults may not exhibit any signs and symptoms of the disease.

    The Ayurvedic treatment of hand-foot-and-mouth disease is aimed at treating the symptoms and preventing complications like viral meningitis and encephalitis. Medicines like Tribhuvan-Kirti, Laxmi-Narayan-Ras and Maha-Sudarshan-Churna are used to treat fever. Headache and sore throat can be treated using medicines like Sitopaladi-Churna, Talisadi-Churna, Triphala-Guggulu and Sukshma-Triphala. Fatigue can be treated using medicines like Arjunarishta, Dashmoolarishta, Shrung-Bhasma and Laxmi-Vilas-Ras. Irritability can be treated using Sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentina), Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi), Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Khurasani ova (Hyoscyamus niger) and Jayphal (Myristica fragrans). Loss of appetite can be treated using medicines like Shankh-Vati, Laghu-Sutshekhar, Vishwa (Zinziber officinalis), Pippali (Piper longum) and Chitrak (Plumbago zeylanica).

    Rash and blisters in the mouth and on the hands and feet can be treated using medicines like Maha-Manjishthadi-Qadha, Saarivadi-Churna, Gandhak-Rasayan, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu, Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Haridra (Curcuma longa), Daruharidra (Berberis aristata), Rakta-Chandan (Pterocarpus santalinus), Usheer (Vetiveria zizanioidis), Patol (Tricosanthe dioica), Patha (Cissampelos pareira) and Nimba (Azadirachta indica). These are more effective when combined with a local application containing Manjishtha, Saariva, Haridra, Chandan (Santalum album) and Mandukparni (Centella asiatica). Other medicines like Panch-Tikta-Ghrut, Yashtimadhuk-Ghrut and Shatadhout-Ghrut can also be used for local application. Medicines like Tapyadi-Loh, Ekang-Veer-Ras, Maha-Vat-Vidhwans-Ras and Bruhat-Vat-Chintamani can be used to prevent and treat meningitis and encephalitis.

    Most patients suffering from this condition usually recover in 7 to 10 days. It is important to maintain adequate oral rehydration of the affected children. Prevention of this disease is equally important, with the adoption of good hygienic measures and the temporary isolation of infected and contagious people.

    How to Deal With Depression the Easy Way

    Depression is an unsound mental health condition that spares nobody. Depression can alter a persons actions and can easily be seen by the way he does the things he usually does. It can affect sleeping and eating habits, as well as how he thinks and deals with others. This mental condition is often behind a persons pessimism and sudden loss of self-assurance. A person afflicted by depression isolates himself from his social network.

    Depression changes a persons social skills and makes it hard for him to relate with other people. The person will eventually develop pessimism and become short-tempered. His hopelessness will become visible by the way he interacts with other people. When this is already happening, one must know on how to deal with depression.

    Many people do not know how to deal with depression. It was perceived that depression is just a normal episode in our everyday life. Knowing how to deal with depression must always begin in figuring out the signs of depression. Various perceptible indications of depression are weight loss or gain, changes in the usual appetite, insomnia or excessive sleeping, low self-esteem, feeling of insignificance and desperation, loss of interest in the activities he is fond of doing, short-tempered, loss of focus, short attention span, chronic low energy, obvious cynicism and melancholy. When these are being manifested by somebody you know, that person might be down with depression.

    All of us must find out how to deal with depression. This will help in the swift recovery of the person tormented by depression whether it is you or somebody that is valuable to you. As soon as you figure out that the person in suffering from depression, you can help them get the available treatments in the market. These will also help you and educate you on how to deal with depression. Here are some ways you can help a person suffering from depression.

    a. Foster compassionate relationships. Love and support from the patients social circle is important in curing depression. Seclusion is one of the most noticeable signs of depression, when seclusion takes place the link and interaction with the social network ends. Steady contact and activities are imperative in helping a person recuperate from depression. It helps deflect the persons attention and thoughts away from constructiveness.

    b. Do not abandon yourself. Take care of yourself by doing the things that you take pleasure in. Help yourself and do not just depend on others in helping you pull through from depression. The will to get out of that state is very critical. This comprises not just the mental but the physical and emotional facets as well. Allot appropriate hours for sleep, watch your diet by eating the right foods and treat yourself often.

    c. Engage in habitual exercise. Exercise generates endorphins. Endorphins are chemical matters that are being produced by the pituitary gland when a person needs to stop pain. These chemical substances are believed to be tied to production of hormones that makes people happy and in control with their sense of being.

    d. Throw away Pessimism. The pessimism destroys all hopes left in a person and results to heavier depression. Instead of brooding in negativity, indulge yourself with positive energy. Surround yourself with people who will bring positive aura in your life. Think of beautiful thoughts by thinking only of positive things. Become more productive and not destructive. When you are depressed you also affect other people negatively.

    Depression is not impossible to cure. The first step in how to deal with depression must always start with acceptance. Accept that you cannot do things by yourself and that there are things beyond your means. Do not lose hope, it is always the last thread that keeps man from succumbing to depression.