medical monday: diverticulosis

Hello, and welcome to a very wet Medical Monday! I am having issues with my pool that are getting on my nerves. I have never had issues with it being nice and clean, and clear until last week. I am assuming it has something to do with the dreadful heat. Anyway, that is not what we are here to discuss. For the month of August I have decided the topic will be Diverticulosis, and Diverticulitis. At least once a week I will do an educational post on these two topics. They very much go together. This post may contain affiliate links.

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What is Diverticulosis. Diverticulosis is when you get small pockets, or pouches in the colon or intestines. Think of them kind of like tiny balloons. For whatever reason it is more common in men than women. These tiny sacs or balloons can hold waste products that moves through the intestine, and can become infected. As with any infection inflammation will occur causing pain, and that is when you get Diverticulitis. But, today we will focus on just Diverticulosis.

The tiny pockets form when the inner layer of the Digestive Tract pushes through weak spots in the outer layer. Almost like a Hernia does, if you have ever had a hernia. Most of the time these pouches will form in the left side of the colon, but you can get them anywhere in the intestines.

Diverticulosis is more common as we age. It is rare to get it under age 40, but some people do.

You may already know what I am going to say next. Studies show that a low Fiber Diet is most likely the predominant risk factor for Diverticulosis after age. Countries where eating fruit and vegetables is abundant, there is very little Diverticulosis possibly even in the over 60 age group. I will discuss this more in another post. If you would like to see what the pouches look like in the colon, watch the short video below. It is age restricted so you will need to click it to go to Youtube and watch it.

What are the symptoms of Diverticulosis?

  1. Some people have no symptoms at all until the pouches become inflamed and they have pain, usually in the lower left side of the abdomen.
  2. A change in bowel patterns. For example you may be very regular with no issues, but all of a sudden you are constipated. Or your bowels become more frequent and loose when that is not your normal.
  3. You may also experience cramping or bloating.

How is Diverticulosis diagnosed?

  1. Since most people experience no symptoms, or have vague symptoms they relate to something else, Diverticulosis is picked up by other exams you may have as Preventative Care such as a Colonoscopy, or Sigmoidoscopy. They can also be seen via a CT Scan, or Barium X-rays. If you have vague symptoms such as bloating and cramping, and are over age 40 talk to your doctor about having one of the diagnostic exams above. You do not want these pouches to rupture, especially if infected, trust me!

Most people do not need treatment for Diverticulosis other than preventative to prevent the pouches from becoming inflamed, infected or rupturing. Talk to your doctor, but most experts at this stage will inform you to eat a high fiber diet with lots of fresh fruits and veggies. This will keep your stool soft, and moving freely through the intestinal tract hopefully eliminating the pouches from becoming filled with waste and becoming infected. Try to get most of your fiber from whole grains and veggies, as the sugar in fruit can be inflammatory. Nuts and seeds are also good for fiber, but ask your doctor first because they can actually complicate Diverticulosis. If you smoke, quit smoking. If you have other dietary restrictions, or take medications, be sure and discuss with your doctor before you make any major changes to your diet.

If you would like to use a Health Coach to help you meet your Health Goals, hit me up! I am accepting new clients at this time. Use the contact form below to message me and I will email you with dates for a phone meet and greet. The meet and greet is free and should not last longer than 15 minutes. After that you will decide if you would like to hire me as your coach.


It’s Your heart Attack! Dealing with difficult people

Welcome to Thinking on Thursday! As I complete my Mindfulness Certification it becomes more clear that the only way to deal with difficult people is to control our own responses. There are difficult people everywhere. I would say in the work environment is where you would encounter difficult people the most. But, it can also be in families, friends, or just in the general public. There are two videos below. The first one is very good in talking about why we should learn to deal with difficult people. He very frankly states because it is your heart attack. We have all heard the phrase, stress kills. Stress management is a very important skill to have. Stress manifests in other ways besides a Heart Attack. Stress can cause stomach pains, ulcers, headaches, high blood pressure, missed work days, productivity issues and so much more.

Difficult people are everywhere. I encounter them all the time at work. I have been a nurse for 34 years and I have worked with all types of personalities. But, one must also take into account that they themselves may be a difficult person. I know I can sometimes be perceived as difficult, because I am persistent and ask questions. But, I am not trying to be difficult. I am just looking for answers to whatever I am passionate about at the time. I have had to learn to control this behavior of my own to build better and stronger relationships. Self awareness is the first step to any good relationship. Sometimes it is just an immaturity issue and other times it is a personality, domineering, manipulative type of issue.

So, what makes a person a difficult person?

1- It is all about them. They tend to be dramatic, loud, demanding and yes persistent. They tend to be the person who shares their whole life story, and it is similar to a soap opera. The whoa is me, poor me, type of person.

2- They never give favors without payback. They will always expect something in return for a good deed. There is no random acts of kindness for this type of person.

3- They live in a pity party. This goes back to the poor me, whoa is me, type of person. They are always a victim if you will. They are very skillful at manipulating others.

4- They whine, complain and gossip. This type of person is never going to be happy no matter what you do. I am sure you know at least one type of this person. They are in everyone’s business and make it a point to gather information from everyone, and anyone. They will later use any info gathered for their own advantage. This is a truly toxic type of person.

5- Last but not least the person who lives in their own little world of make believe. There is little reality to how they perceive the world.

Now, with all that said all of us can fit into these labels at one time or another in our lives. We can all be difficult and it all comes down to how we perceive the world and others, and then react to those perceptions.

So, how to deal with difficult people and avoid the stress, tension, conflict and yes even a Heart Attack?

1- Be self aware to how you are reacting to the person that is being difficult. Take note of your heart rate, breathing pattern, sweatiness, tension or any other reactions you are feeling. Take a deep breath and clear your thoughts. Be sure you are not making it worse by your reactions. This is hard, I know. How we react to people is just as important as their behavior.

2- If you need to take a time out, or walk away, do so. You can say I will be back in a minute. Or if it is something you can just walk away and ignore do so.

3- Deflect or distract away from the behavior or conversation.

4- Restate back to them what they are saying, but in a different way. Such as I am sorry you feel like, whatever it is. Or did I offend you when I did this? What have I done to offend you? Etc Good communication keys are vital to any relationship.

5- Try to see their point of view, or perspective, without agreeing with them if it is something you can not agree with.

6- Ask them to consider a time out, or walk away, if they continue to escalate.

7- Set boundaries and stick to them. This is especially difficult in the work place. I am often told I am not friendly enough at work because I do not share my family life beyond basics with anyone. I believe work relationships be exactly that work relationships, not personal relationships. This just keeps the boundaries clear especially if you are in a management, or supervisory role. My coworkers know they can talk to me about anything they need help with, but that it will be professional, not personal.

8- Don’t be part of the problem. What do I mean? If a difficult person has provoked you or said things about you, don’t retaliate. Don’t return their favor by doing the same. If you are being harassed, or bullied, however, then you need to follow the chain of command at your work place and make sure it is in the written record.

The two videos below are excellent and further explore this issue. Never think that you are not being difficult too. It often goes both ways.

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What Is A Virus, and What Happens if You Get Covid?

I have decided that each week I will be posting about updates, and info about this Coronavirus, or Covid 19. If you are out of work and you can work from home, check out Coursera’s free contact tracing course. Once you get the certificate you can apply for contact tracing jobs. As someone with CKD, and considered moderate risk at my stage, I need a backup plan for bedside nursing. Of course I hope the coaching on this blog takes off, but that is not certain enough right now. I completed the course and have started applying for contact tracing jobs.

Tomorrow I will be making some updates for my available services, and policies on this blog. Watch for my last post later this week, on the topic of a Plant-Based diet and this time phosphorus. You can see the other posts in the archives.

Below are two videos. The first one explains the basics of a Virus and how they replicate and work. The second one is Coronavirus and Covid19 specific, and is quite interesting.

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Efficacy of Face Masks!

Happy Thursday, everyone. This post was intended for yesterday, but yet again my internet went out for most of the day. This was after weeks of issues with the internet. Almost everyone in my area uses the same provider and it is getting quite old.

At any rate, if you are living on Planet Earth, then you know about Coronavirus also called Covid19, and the controversy around wearing face masks. At my house we wear face masks everywhere, and have decided that for most of our purchases we will not be shopping at stores where face masks are not used. Now, every now and then we have to, but for the most part we are not shopping at these places. As scientists continue to learn more about the virus the efficacy of wearing a face mask becomes more apparent. Below is a short video, that is new and shows how well different face coverings do, or do not work. Now, I have said that face masks should be handed out by Public Health and I stand by that. However, it appears that stitched cloth masks are the most efficient at containing the virus from spreading through the air. They are also washable and reusable. There are also two links below for you to read more on the issue, further than the short video. Most places are now selling face masks. I bought some on Etsy that I needed for my daughter for an upcoming wedding. If you are interested in buying a face mask with my art work on it, you can visit my Redbubble page. Face masks are new on Redbubble and I am still updating my current art work to be included. Most gas stations seem to be selling the paper face masks.

Please wear a face mask. Protect yourself and others.


Cytokine Storm and Covid-19

If you follow the medical news you have probably noticed that there is a lot of talk around something called a Cytokine Storm and how it is possibly the cause of the worst symptoms for Covid-19 patients.

As the country, and the world starts to re-open it is even more imperative for people to protect themselves from getting this horrible virus.  Of course, the best way to do that is to stay at home as much as possible.  If you already have chronic inflammation or a chronic illness, you are already going to be at a higher risk of getting Covid-19.  I tried to pick the easiest to understand sources for you to watch and read to learn about what a Cytokine Storm is.  It is a normal response to a germ, but the storm part is the abnormal part and the part that does all of the damage to the organs of the body.

Please watch, and stay home and safe if you can.  If you would like to ask questions, I will try my best to answer, but a lot of it is very clinical.  I am especially interested, as someone with CKD, to the lab tests that may catch the beginnings of a Cytokine Storm.  I will be keeping them in mind to talk to my doctor about it.

Don’t forget to sign up for my free distance Reiki session. Learn more here.


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Wellness Wednesday: How To Monitor Your Family for Coronavirus

Before I get to the main topic of this post, I would like to make a few updates.  I had every intention of expanding this blog in 2020 and aggressively monitoring my Health Coaching business.  However, with everything going on with this novel virus, I have decided to postpone spending any money on new projects for this blog.  It just does not seem prudent at this time.  However, I am still accepting clients for the business, I am just not spending money on advertising and other programs.  I also am continuing with my education.  I just signed up to take a Mindfulness certificate class.  I had started one before but was not happy with the layout of the class.  This will also distract me from all the negative stuff in the media.  I already offer Reiki, Guided Imagery plus several one on one coaching options.  If you are interested in learning about any of them, use the contact form at the end of this post to message me.

I have already discussed disinfecting our home, good handwashing technique and social distancing, and how we are incorporating all of those things in our daily lives.  Now I have added a few more things to help me monitor for any Coronavirus issues in our family.  Why am I doing that?  Well, most importantly because I still have 3 working adults in my home, and acting quickly should any illness show up is very important.  As you know, if you read this blog, I have CKD.  It is vitally important that anyone who gets sick be isolated and monitored very quickly.

1-  The first, and most important thing I have now started is monitoring everybody’s temperature every single day.  A fever of 100.4 is the very first sign that something may be wrong for this new virus.  I have a forehead thermometer, but you can use any thermometer you choose.  If you take a temperature via the armpit mode, you will need to add one whole point to the result you get.  So, if an armpit temp is 99.6, adding one point would make the temp 100.6  On top of a temperature, a cough, new confusion, chest pain, and bluish lips are signs of this new covid-19 virus.

2-  We do not generally wear shoes in the house, but I have now started having each working adult clean the bottom of their shoes with a Lysol wipe as soon as they are in their car from a workday.  Eventually, we will run out of Lysol wipes, and I will have to consider how to continue this action.  All shoes are left on the front porch in the sunlight to help kill germs.  I work in health care, so I am also cleaning my car after each shift, ie the steering wheel and door handles.

3-  I am washing clothes with a 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide to disinfect clothes.  I put the hydrogen peroxide in the bleach option of my washing machine.

4-  If anyone gets a cough or other symptoms, we are staying away from others in the house just to be safe.  We are practicing social distancing at our workplaces as much as possible.  We will self-quarantine at home away from work if any of us get the symptoms of Coronavirus.

5-  If you need to learn how to keep a loved one in isolation, and care for them to not infect others, read about that here.

6-  I do not sew, but I do crochet.  I have crocheted a face mask and then added a cotton liner on the inside to use with my family if we need it.  You can see the image below.  This type of homemade mask is not certified to be used in medical facilities, but if you can sew and can make some for your family, it might be prudent to do so, as they are very hard to come by at this point.  I will make about 10 or so, as I can wash these, disinfect them and re-use them.  Obviously, I am hoping it does not come to need to use these.

7- If anyone in my house gets Coronavirus I will instruct them on using a garbage bag over clothes to care for the sick person.  If you can get gloves that is probably not a bad idea either, but be sure and only buy what you need.  Hoarding and buying up supplies that healthcare workers need will help no one in the long run.  If they get sick and can not care for sick people, who will do it?  Be prepared but don’t be greedy and selfish.

Be safe and take care of yourself.  Be kind to others.


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Are You Stressed Out From Coronavirus and Social Distancing?

It is a stressful time right now.  I assume it is probably going to get more stressful.  I am a nurse, and I have CKD, so I feel like I am gonna get whammied.  On my page where I list all of my active plans, way down at the bottom under number 6 is an option for Just Text, Call or Face to Face.  I figure this is a good time to promote that plan.  It is a great way for people to get to talk to someone about their stress, concerns, or just need to vent to a friendly person.  This is not free, but my prices are reasonable.  If you are interested in learning more, or to purchase this plan, or any plan, use the contact form below to send me a message.  A meet and greet, via email, is required prior to the purchase of this plan.



Why You Should Be Disinfecting Your Home Every Day!

On Monday I posted about the difference between sanitizing and disinfecting.  If you read that post then you know that sanitizing does not remove all germs, especially stubborn germs.  I have CKD and I have been disinfecting my home every 24 hours.   Generally, during flu season I would do this every 5 days or if we had company.  However, now in light of this new Novel Coronavirus in order to stay safe, I am doing it every day.  I do it when I get home from work in the late evening.  If I am off I do it after my family has come home from being out and about.  I use alcohol, bleach or hydrogen peroxide.  I only use hand sanitizer when out and about and don’t have easy access to soap and water.  I will do another post on how hand sanitizer.  Soap and water are still way better for hand washing than any other option.  You see I don’t mention Lysol.  While Lysol can be effectively used, you have to use one wipe for each area you clean and it has to be left to dry before touching.  This can be very costly if you are staying up with it every day.  I do use Lysol to clean the bottom of my work shoes when I get in the car at the end of my shift, and shoes are not allowed to be worn in the house.  I have also instructed my family on washing hands with soap and water as soon as they come home, not touching their face, and other good handwashing etiquettes.  They already knew this, but now I am reminding frequently.  I am practicing social distancing as much as possible and being mindful not to touch my face when out in public.  Be sure you follow the directions completely on whatever disinfecting agent you decide to use.  I clean sinks, toilets, countertops, tabletops, and chairs,  and handles every single day.  I am not hoarding, but I am mindful of making sure I have enough supply of bleach, alcohol and hydrogen peroxide.  We do keep some hand sanitizer on hand just in case we need it for when we are in the public.  But, like I said I prefer handwashing with soap and water.  We have stockpiled a little bit of extra soap.  We don’t really take any prescription meds, so we don’t have to worry about that.  Hopefully, illness or quarantine will not come to our home, but I feel prepared if it does.  Financially would be a little more tricky as I do not receive sick pay at my job, but my husband does.  We homeschool, so don’t have to worry about that either.  The links below will give you good reading material on disinfecting with different products.  If you decide to use bleach it only stays stable for about 24 hours, so don’t mix up too much or it will just need to be wasted.  Also, be aware that alcohol is a great disinfectant for viruses but not so much for bacterias.


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Tips on Tuesday: Learn To Wash Your Hands the Right Way

If you have a chronic illness, like me, then the doctors on the news are giving you no comfort when they say old people and people with underlying chronic illnesses are the ones getting the most serious illness from this new virus in the news.  That brings me no peace of mind, love, kindness or caring.  If you are young you will be fine, some of them have actually said that.  How awful!  At any rate, my point is most people do not wash their hands enough, or correctly.  When I was in nursing school handwashing was a huge part of our training.  You had to do it right, in all ways to pass this skill.  The video below goes through it in an excellent way.  The only thing I wish she had said was that if your hands get dry and cracked, then hand lotion should be used to help the healing process, as germs can enter into that cracked skin.  Watch the video, and practice the technique, it may just save your life or someone you love.  I will be doing more posts on this new virus topic because it is super important for people who have CKD.


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Wellness Wednesday: Antibiotics Why Less is More

I really like the video below.  These videos were created to help laypeople understand medical issues in a simpler way.  Infectious germs are becoming more and more resistant to antibiotics.  A lot of this is due to the overuse of antibiotics and people not taking the full course subscribed to their antibiotics.  When you are prescribed an antibiotic take all of it, do not leave any, or save it for another infection.  If I need an antibiotic, which thank goodness is very rare, I ask for a culture to be done to be sure the proper antibiotics are being prescribed.  This does mean you will have to wait a couple of days for the results to come back, but it is better to target the correct organism.  Watch the video to learn more.

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