Hospitalist – Does your hospital have your family doctor follow you in the hospital or the new “Hospitalists”?

When our doctor’s office sent out a notice that from now on they would not see us when we were hospitalized due to the hospital requiring them to use hospitalists, I was not happy.  I had to do some research into exactly what a hospitalist was and what the whole idea behind it was.

When looking it up, here is the description I found:  Hospitalists are physicians whose primary professional focus is the general medical care of hospitalized patients. Their activities include patient care, teaching, research, and leadership related to Hospital Medicine.

I did not want a stranger taking care of me, especially if it was serious enough that I was in the hospital.  I wanted a doctor who knew my history and would talk with me about what was going on and what would be the best treatment for me.  How could a stranger do that?

Would a ‘hospitalist’ have that connection with me that my doctor has? Would they spend time with me, explain things to me? I had doubts.

I even went so far as to change doctor’s offices so that I could be with a practice that did not go along with this new practice.

Unfortunately, our hospital has bought out almost every doctor’s office in our town so I had no choice but to accept it.

However, after thinking it through and living through a dangerous bowel perforation which required weeks in the hospital, I have come to the conclusion that ‘hospitalists’ are not a bad thing.

If your doctor is called to the hospital in the night to care for a critical patient and spends most of the night fighting to save their life, how exhausted are they going to be the next day? Will that mean that the care his patients get that day is not the best it could be? And, what if he gets called back that night? This could be a never ending battle which would not be good for the patients or the doctor?

The bottom line is that the ‘hospitalists’ have your files so they can be up to date with all the important information so it is not likely they will miss anything that is vital for your health. They are able to come to your room for consultation day or night as that is their only job.

They can get in touch with your doctor in case there are any questions.

The only negative I can see is that if you are in the hospital for over three or four days, you will then get a different ‘hospitalist’ as they have to have down time. I think our local hospital has 6 ‘hospitalists’ that cycle through. Unfortunately, I saw all of them of during my visit.

So, bottom line:

You are not seeing your doctor but your are seeing a doctor who is not exhausted and will see you for at least 3 – 4 days. That doctor can be in contact with your doctor at any time if needed. The ‘hospitalist’ can order any tests or meds needed immediately without having to wait while a nurse tries to get through to your doctor causing delays in your care.  I think it is a good practice.

Sometimes you have to admit when you are wrong.

Sleep Apnea – What Your Doctor Might Ask To Determine IF You Need A Sleep Study

As I mentioned in the earlier post, there are several different things your doctor will look at to determine whether he/she wants to test you for sleep apnea.   Some BUT NOT ALL are:

Weight  – If  your BMI (body mass index) is higher than 25, you are at a greater risk of sleep apnea.   This is not always the case as slender people have been know to have it.

Age – Although sleep apnea  happens at any age, it is more common among adulthood to middle age.

Male versus Female – Men have a higher chance of having sleep apnea but the risk increases in women during and after menopause.

High Blood Pressure – This is another thing the doctor will take into consideration as it is common in people with sleep apnea.

Does someone in your family have it? – Believe it or not, this is a heritable condition.  However, that is possibly due to inherited traits like weight and physical features.  Of course, some of this could be due to chosen habits like exercising and/or eating.

Family history – Sleep apnea is a heritable condition. This means that you have a higher risk of sleep apnea if a family member also has it. Inherited traits that increase the risk for sleep apnea include obesity and physical features such as a recessed jaw. Other common family factors – such as physical activity and eating habits – also may play a role.

Headaches – Another possible hint is headaches, especially morning headaches.

If you go in for any surgeries, they will go through a sleep apnea questionnaire which checks on most of the top symptoms.  Naturally they will want to know about snoring, waking up tired, gasping during sleep, etc.

If you have several of the above, your doctor may order a sleep apnea test.  There are a couple basic ways to test for sleep apnea.  In the next post, we will look at the differences between them.

Sleep Apnea – Is It Serious? What are the symptoms?

 

 

I have heard someone say that sleep apnea is not an actual medical condition.  THEY ARE WRONG!  I know for a fact that this condition is a killer and it is not just older people. I know someone who died in his early twenties.  His new wife woke up beside him to discover him dead.  He had not wanted to wear his machine because it was uncomfortable.

I agree that in the beginning those machines suck.  At least to me, mine did.  I did not like having something on my face at night.  I hated being connected to the hose so that when I turned over I had to drag it along with me.  It just plain sucked.  BUT, I am still here to complain about it!

There are many varieties of sleep apnea.  There are many different symptoms your doctor might consider including:

1,  Snoring – this can be as dramatic as the kind when you stopped breathing for a few seconds and then snort awake.  I think most of you have seen/heard this happen. The person is basically snoring, gasping and almost choking.  But, it doesn’t have to be that dramatic to still be sleep apnea.

2.  Sleep problems – either having trouble going to sleep or staying asleep.  Insomnia can be caused by stress but it can also be sleep apnea.  It is possible that the person’s brain is aware that they are not breathing right while asleep so it keeps waking them up.

3.  Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat.  People with sleep apnea may be mouth breathers in a effort to get enough air in.

4.  Weight gain or excessive weight.  Sleep is critical for weigh maintenance (or loss) as our bodies produces leptin which tells us to quit eating.  So, when we are not sleeping, we are not getting enough Leptin so we tend to eat more.

When we don’t get enough deep sleep, our bodies produce an excessive amount of a hormone called ghrelin.  Ghrelin tells our bodies that they need to eat.

Not enough sleep also cause problems with insulin.  It makes our bodies insulin-resistant, which  then causes additional insulin production.  When too much insulin is produced, the body craves unhealthy foods.

So, lack of sleep hits us with too little ghrelin,  not enough leptin an insulin-resistance causing us to want to eat.

However, not all people with sleep apnea are heavy set.

5.  Being sleepy during the day or waking up exhausted.

6.  Being forgetful or not being able to concentrate.  Sleep apnea makes it hard to focus.  It can be extremely hard to learn in school or on the job.

7. Not sleeping can lead to depression, irritability, and impatience.,   Chronic fatigue that people with sleep apnea  experience can develop into full-blown depression.  Irritability and impatience are also common symptoms because the mind is unable to focus on everyday tasks.  An inability to focus initially leads to feelings of frustration, which later morph into short, but powerful, bouts of irritability and impatience.  There are studies that have proven a direct link between sleep apnea and mental problems.

Of course, there are many other symptoms and you do not have to have all of these.  If you have any of these it might be time to talk with your doctor.  There are also several other things your doctor will look at but that is for another post.

I will make more posts to explain what the doctor may do to help decide if they want to do a sleep study (home or in the hospital).  I will also discuss how the tests goes in either place.

 

DO IT NOW!

do-it-now

 

I have been struggling with thinking time is short lately.  No, I don’t think I am dying or being depressed but I need to get moving on things i want to accomplish NOW.  So, I am making some serious changes and will be documenting the successes and failures here.  I hope they might inspire some of you to do the same.

Young Living Essential Oils – Ningxia Red – Drink To Your Health

Here is my daily health routine. Ningxia Red….a shot in the morning. I have had bad winters the last several years with colds, etc. so decided to give this a try. Several friends have said it has prevented them from getting sick along with better concentration. I can use both! As you can also see, I do have a few oils but my morning oil is lemon in my ice bottle. I should mention the white tube looking things are filters for my diffuser I hook to my USB port.

It is much cheaper to buy Ningxia Red than all the over the counter and prescriptions I have had to take! Very anxious to see if it works as good for me as it does for others!

https://www.youngliving.org/lifesalesson

Add a daily shot of NingXia Red® to your diet to enjoy the benefits of this powerful, whole-body supplement. This sweet and tangy drink’s formula includes wolfberry, which is touted for its health benefits. Also featuring plum, aronia, cherry, blueberry, and pomegranate juices and extracts, Young Living’s NingXia Red is packed with superfoods to support overall wellness.

In addition to these antioxidant ingredients, NingXia Red’s formula includes pure vanilla extract and Lemon, Orange, Yuzu, and Tangerine essential oils for a great-tasting, healthy treat.*

Young Living NingXia Red benefits include support for energy levels, normal cellular function, and whole-body and normal eye health. A daily shot of 2–4 ounces helps support overall wellness with powerful antioxidants.*

750-ml bottles of NingXia Red are Halal and Kosher certified.

NingXia Red Uses
Blend NingXia Red into your smoothie, acai bowl, or morning juice as part of a quick, convenient breakfast.
Chill and serve NingXia Red to family and guests at gatherings and celebrations when you’re looking for a healthy alternative to sparkling drinks.*
Treat children to this tasty drink instead of sugary sodas or juice cocktails.
Combine with NingXia Nitro for a nourishing drink that also supports cognitive wellness.*
Add a drop or two of your favorite dietary essential oil for an extra flavor boost! Try Peppermint, Thieves®, Cinnamon Bark, or Grapefruit.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Young Living products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Ningxia Red (PDF)

How to Use
Drink 1-2 ounces 2 times daily. Best served chilled. Shake well before use. Refrigerate after opening and consume with in 30 days. Do not drink directly from the bottle. Do not use if the seal is broken.
Ingredients
Proprietary NingXia Red Blend 29g Ningxia Wolfberry Puree (Lycium barbarum), Blueberry Juice Concentrate (Vaccinium corymbosum), Plum Juice Concentrate (Prunus domestica), Cherry Juice Concentrate (Prunus avium), Aronia Juice Concentrate (Aronia melanocarpa), Pomegranate Juice Concentrate (Punica granatum) Proprietary Essential blend 50mg Grape (Vitis vinifera) seed extract, Orange EO (Citrus sinensis), Yuzu EO (Citrus junos), Lemon EO (Citrus limon), Tangerine EO (Citrus reticulata) Other ingredients: Tartaric acid, natural blueberry flavor, pure vanilla extract, malic acid, pectin, sodium benzoate/natural stevia extract.
Supplement Facts:

Serving Size:: 1 fl ounce (29.5 ml) Servings per container:: About 25 Calories: 20 Total Carbohydrates: 5g Dietary Fiber: <1g Sugars: 2g Sodium: <5mghealth-routine

Scams Hurting The Elderly! – Protect Your Loved Ones!

Just imagine what you would think if someone called and said that your child/grandchild was hurt and you needed to send money right away!  What would you do?  I would be reaching for my purse.  BUT, this is how some people are scamming others.

Or, they may say that you owe the IRS money and there is an arrest warrant out for you, your utilities are going to be shut off, your house auctioned for back taxes, etc.

These people will call with things that threaten the things most important to youyour family, your home, your freedom.

It is sad to say that we have to become jaded and not believe all the things we see, read or hear.

My mother would believe most anything.  It was not that she was not smart, she just believed in people.  She donated a LOT of money to veteran’s charities without checking to see if they were legitimate.  Why would she, no one would lie about something like that, she use to say.

So, how do we protect our friends or families that are not as jaded as we are?  Good question.  I started by going through mom’s mail before I gave it to her.  That is illegal, you say?  Yes, tampering with the federal mail is illegal.  It just happened that some of it fell in the trash before it got to mom’s table.  She was getting at least 10 “give me money” letters on average every day.  I also sent letters to many of them telling them to stop but it didn’t help.

Mom has been gone almost 3 years and I still get mail saying that she agreed on the phone to give them $10.00 or something like that.  CREEPS!

Mom was a very caring person.  She was raised in a time when everyone helped each other without questioning them.  Unfortunately, those days are gone. 

We would go through the remaining mail and sort out what she needed to do something with and what she wanted to throw away.  She still gave to some groups that were legitimate but not as many as before.

What about those frightening phone calls?  Those would be harder to handle.  We finally got Mom a call identifier and answering machine.  I told her if she didn’t know the number, to let it go to the answering machine.  Generally I have found that scams, “sales” calls, etc. hang up after 4 rings.  So,  we told mom to not answer the phone till after 4 rings.  Not really a problem because it usually took her longer than that to do it anyway.  Unfortunately, her answering machine could only be set to answer after 4 rings too so sometimes, we would have to call, let it go to voice mail and then call right back.  She would then be at the phone and could see our numbers.  On a side note, we do not answer our home phone till after 4 rings so have told family and friends to just let it ring.

Although it is good to sit people down and explain to them that there are bad people in the world, it is harder sometimes with someone who might be forgetful.  I would talk with mom about the latest scams in the news but knew the best way to get around them was to not let them get in contact with mom.

Bottom line, keep on eye on those you love.  Talk about how some people are taking advantage.  IF you can, help with their banking.  Keep on eye on their accounts.  With e banking now, it is easy to supervise from a distance.

You have to give people their dignity to make their own decisions but yet be able to protect them from the people in the world that would hurt them.  Very hard to do.

WHAT STEPS HAVE YOU TAKEN THAT WORKED/DIDN’T WORK?

 

 

Aging – Does It Scare You?

I was in a conversation with a couple of friends who are all in their fifties and sixties.  We got to talking about health issues and the future.  One asked me why I wasn’t afraid of what was to come.

I had to really think about it.  Although I do worry from time to time about health issues, I plan on enjoying every minute I can and prefer not to waste it worrying.  As someone said…we are in the downhill slide of our life so why not enjoy it!

Although recently when a friend became ill, it made me think. I am one of “the older generation”.

A friend had told me a long time ago that is really made her think when she was filling in a form and it asked her age.  She had to go up to the next age bracket and it bothered her.  Of course since then we have been up several brackets.

All the posts I made in the beginning were about my parents age people basically.  But, now it becomes about my generation.  Everything I said for them applies to us also.  All the legal documents, family decisions, etc.

As we get older time goes by faster.  It just makes sense.  When you are five, you have only lived 1/20th of you life.  When you are 50, you have lived half.  (I know, I am planning on living to be one hundred in these examples.

So, should you let death scare you?  I don’t think so but I think we all have to be realistic and know that it is coming.  Make plans, live the way want, enjoy what you want you, say the things that need to be said, etc.

Don’t be afraid!

 

That Dreaded “D” Word – DIET

When I use to hear that word, I just shuddered.  You mean eat all that stuff that had no flavor, no sugar, no fun?

But, diet is now a way of life for a lot of people.  If you stop to think of it, our ancestors did not eat like we do and they had a much more active life than we do.  So, basically, we are going back to the way it was when life was simpler.

There are so many diets out there that I wouldn’t even think of saying what the right one was.  Some people do the no carb one, some do the vegan one, some do the one where nothing can come out of a box.  You have to research and pick the best one for you and your lifestyle.

I recently went through several of my fast food store’s websites so that I could pick the least harmful thing to eat.  It might really surprise you what sandwiches are actually less calories than that salad you were going to eat.  I made some notes in a little book I keep in my purse and then when I know I am going somewhere I can check it out and make a wiser decision.  I can’t wait until I am in line and then hold the line up while I am trying to read the calories on the order board.

Another thing that just stunned me was portion sizes.  I thought we had been eating somewhat healthy until my nutritionist showed me plastic models of what 1 serving was.  I think everyone would be shocked.  Just google it some time.  I think we were eating at least 2 – 3 times more pasta than what we should have been.

I am not going to sit here and tell you that we have made all the life changes we need and now are down to the correct weights.  That would be a BIG lie.  We are making small changes which include portion control.  I even bought one of those sets off Amazon where it gives you different size and colored containers so you know how much of each type of food you should eat.

But, bottom line, we probably all could stand to lose some weight.  We all have different reasons.  For me it is about the fear of someone having to take care of me at my current size.

Losing weight gets harder the older you are. So, for us, the time is now.

So, if you pass that overweight woman walking or riding a bike while you are driving your car, just remember, at least she is off her tush and trying to do something about it.

 

What diets of lifestyle changes have you made to become healthier?  Share with us your knowledge so we can all become healthier.