Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Take a Break: Make a Banner

So who doesn’t enjoy a "pick me up" banner? It can definitely brighten someone’s day. Make one for a friend’s birthday, or just to celebrate the summer. There are lots of websites where you can download free letters. Some come with the banner shape while others don’t. Before you start printing, think about the paper you might want to use. Scrapbook paper works in most printers, though some will need to be cut to size. Below are various links (all with free downloads).

 Party Banners and Garlands from Chicfetti Parties Lots of variety here and different designs 
 Free Printable Letters for Banners: Includes the alphabet plus symbols and characters 

Not interested in today’s activity? Check out the Take a Break Pinterest for lots of Take a Break ideas. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Negative Treatment of Medical Provider Impacts Care

Have you ever lashed out at a medical provider? Did you apologize or did you figure they would probably understand?

Again and again I hear stories about how “I told her (him) off,” meaning how a patient or family member voiced their anger about a situation with the medical provider. In any number of cases, such as when the provider was actually correct, the treatment was successful, or the person was no longer in pain or anxious, I’ve asked whether they’ve apologized to the provider for lashing out. It’s not uncommon for them to say, “No, but they understand as probably other patients do that;” or “I was in a lot of pain.” In fact, a lot of people, including administrators, other providers as well as patients and caregivers think provider abuse just goes with the territory.

Since 80-97% of healthcare providers experience verbal abuse by their patients, this is a serious issue. No one gets use to being trashed, no matter how understanding they are of the situation, or how many times their colleagues tell them “don’t take it personally.” As one nurse wrote about a patient who said, “That hurt, you stupid bitch,” “his hostile comments felt personal, and they devastated me emotionally. 

Patients who verbally abuse their providers not only change how the providers responds-research indicates that quality of care is actually reduced in these situations-but it also is a reason why nurses and other providers leave the field.

What you can do:
• Think before you speak.

• Apologize if you have said something or acted inappropriately or hurtful.

• If you are frustrated with your provider-maybe you conflict about treatment or don’t like their personality- change providers. If that’s not possible, work with a neutral third party to try and resolve conflicts.

• Get in touch with what is upsetting you and making you lash out.  Do you feel vulnerable or powerless? Are you angry with the situation you are in? Has someone said something you find objectionable or do you have a justified reason for being upset with your provider? Situations where you feel frustrated lead you to say things you may not ordinarily say. By lashing out, you could loose a really good provider unintentionally.

• If you know you are more apt to say things when you are in pain, scared, anxious or when taking certain medications let your provider know in advance.

• Recognize what upsets you about a given situation and try not to take it out on other people.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Take a Break: Design a Room in 3D

This is so much fun. Go to Homestyler  and design your dream room/house. You can create 2 D and 3D designs. Add furniture and more. When you’re done, you can even share with family and friends. Perfect activity for a boiling hot summer day when you’d rather be lounging by the air conditioner.

Not that wild about this particular home designer, check out 10 other options at Design a Room Online. 

Not interested in today’s activity? Check out the Take a Break Pinterest for lots of Take a Break ideas. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Journal Watch July 2015


• Hyperbaric Hope for Fibromyalgia Sufferers: Women who suffer from fibromyalgia benefit from a treatment regimen in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, according to researchers. Hyperbaric oxygen chambers that expose patients to pure oxygen at higher-than-atmospheric pressures. Plos One 

 • Why Chronic Pain is All In Your Head: The first longitudinal brain imaging study to track participants with a new back injury shows that the more two sections of the brain related to emotional and motivational behavior communicate, the greater likelihood a patient will develop chronic pain. Researchers were able to predict, at the beginning of the study, which participants would go on to develop chronic pain based on the level of brain interaction. Nature Neuroscience 

• Promising new NSAID-Derivative May be Well Tolerated by Chronic Pain Sufferers: Long-term use of naproxen (ALEVE), a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), is often prescribed for chronic pain conditions such as osteoarthritis. However, because of NSAID-related gastrointestinal problems including stomach and intestinal inflammation and ulcers, many are unable to tolerate ongoing use. A new study finds that a naproxen-derivative may provide both symptom relief and gastrointestinal protection. American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 

• Improving Sleep Quality Has Pain Control Benefits: Sleep disruption appears to be associated with altered pain processing and central sensitization, according to research. For the study, participants with knee pain were recruited from the community with eligibility being age 45 to 85, African American or non-Hispanic white and knee OA based on American College of Rheumatology criteria. Subjects completed sleep questionnaires and experimental pain applications. The Journal of Pain 

• Most Uses of Medical Marijuana Wouldn’t Pass FDA Reviews: An international meta analysis of dozens of clinical trails for medical marijuana for 10 conditions concludes there is very little reliable evidence to support the drug’s use for most of the conditions. The exceptions are those with chronic neuropathic pain or cancer pain and muscle spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis. In both cases, the panel found that there was “moderate-quality evidence” to support its use in such patients. Trials testing the pain-relieving effects of medical marijuana in people with fibromyalgia, HIV-associated sensory neuropathy, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and other conditions did not show that it worked. This was also true for treating depression, anxiety disorder and psychosis and to reduce eye pressure in glaucoma patients. “Low-quality evidence” was found for medical marijuana in relieving nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients, appetite stimulant in HIV patients, assist with insomnia and other sleep disorder and reduce tics of people with Tourette Syndrome. One of the things the studies showed most clearly is that people who use medical marijuana had a “much greater risk” of side effects, including serious problems like kidney, liver and psychiatric disorders. The most common adverse effects included dizziness, confusion and disorientation JAMA

• Cannabis May Be Used To Treat Fractures: A new study explores another promising new medical application for marijuana. According to the research, the administration of the non-psychotropic component significantly helps heal bone fractures. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 

• Approved Orkambi to treat cystic fibrosis in patients 12 years and up.
• Announced intention to take enforcement against companies that manufacture and/or distribute certain unapproved prescription ear products (otic products) labeled to relieve ear pain, infection and inflammation.
• Investigating the safety of using codeine-containing medicines to treat coughs and colds in children under 18 years because of the potential for serious side effects, including slowed or difficult breathing.
• Strengthens Warning of Heart Attack Stroke Risk for Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (e.g. Motrin, Advil, Aleve). The warning does not apply to aspirin.

• Bad Neighbor May Make You Age Faster: Researchers looked at more than 2,900 people in the Netherlands and found that those living in neighborhoods with high levels of noise, crime and vandalism were biologically 12 years older than those of similar chronological age living in other areas. Plos One 

• Even Light Activity Can Boost Seniors’ Health: Researchers reviewed information from a U.S. national survey done between 2003 and 2006 and found that high amounts of low-intensity workouts provided significant benefits for people older than 65.
Light activity includes things such as walking, slow dancing, household chores and leisurely sports such as table tennis. Seniors who did 300 minutes or more per week of light activity were 18 percent healthier than seniors who didn't. They also had less body fat and smaller waists than their less active peers. American Journal of Health Promotion 

• Weight Loss Surgery May Beat Diet, Exercise as Type 2 Diabetes Treatment: In a small study of obese patients, weight-loss surgery was better at keeping type 2 diabetes at bay than diet and exercise alone, researchers report. JAMA Surgery 

 A Healthy Body Often Equals a Healthy Brain: People who want to stay sharp as they age often turn to brain teasers, puzzles and games, figuring correctly that they'll lose it if they don't use it.
But a healthy body is also key to maintaining a healthy brain, and that's something many people tend to overlook, experts say. Alzheimer’s Association 

• Diabetes Rates Fall in Neighborhoods with Healthy Food, Parks and Gyms: A new study found that the risk of developing diabetes was 12 percent lower in neighborhoods with access to healthy foods. The researchers also found a 21 percent reduced risk of type 2 diabetes in areas with greater opportunities for physical activity. JAMA Internal Medicine 

• Men with “low Testosterone” Have Higher Rates of Depression: Researchers found that men referred for tertiary care for borderline testosterone levels had much higher rates of depression and depressive symptoms than those of the general population. Science Daily 

 Lung Cancer Patients Who Quit Smoking Live Longer: Lung cancer patients live longer if they quit smoking around the time of their cancer diagnosis, a new study finds. Those who quit smoking shortly before or after they learned they had lung cancer lived an average of 28 months. Those who continued to smoke lived an average of 18 months. Even patients with advanced lung cancer gained extra survival time if they quit smoking. Journal of Thoracic Oncology 

• Young Women Opting for “Very Light” Smoking: While overall smoking rates are falling in the United States, a new study points to one exception: Young women who often opt for "very light" smoking. The study defined a very light habit as smoking five or fewer cigarettes a day. "Even light smoking can triple the lifetime risk of heart disease.” Preventing Chronic Disease 

 Secondhand Smoke Tied to Raised Stroke Risk: New research suggests that exposure to secondhand smoke may increase nonsmokers' risk of stroke by nearly one-third. American Journal of Preventive Medicine

• More Exercise equals More Fat Loss for Older Women: Canadian researchers found that postmenopausal women who got five hours of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise every week -- double the normally recommended amount -- lost significantly more body fat within a year than women who exercised less. JAMA Oncology 

• OJ, Grapefruit Slightly Raise Melanoma Risk: A study of more than 100,000 U.S. adults followed for about 25 years found that those who regularly consumed orange juice or whole grapefruit had a higher risk of developing melanoma, compared to people who avoided those foods. Journal of Clinical Oncology 

• Vitamin B12 Supplements Questioned for Older Adults: Taking vitamin B12 supplements does not benefit neurological or cognitive function in older people with moderate deficiency of vitamin B12, research has shown for the first time. Am Journal of Clinical Nutrition 

• Omega 3 Supplements Show Promise for Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment: A very small study (n=12) found that people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) saw clearance of the hallmark amyloid-beta protein and reduced inflammation in neurological tissues with use of omega 3 supplements and antioxidants. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology 

• More Evidence a Healthy Diet Can Lower Risks of Heart Disease, Cancer: Eating a healthy diet was linked to lower death rates from heart disease, cancer and other diseases among low-income adults living in the southeastern United States, a new study reports. PLOS Medicine 

• Only 1 in 10 Americans Eats Enough Fruits and Veggies: Just 13 percent of U.S. residents consume one and a half to two cups of fruit every day as recommended by federal dietary guidelines. Less than 9 percent of Americans eat two to three cups of vegetables every day as recommended, the report showed. MMWR 

 Low Chance of Obese People Recovering Normal Body Weight: The chance of an obese person attaining normal body weight is 1 in 210 for men and 1 in 124 for women, increasing to 1 in 1,290 for men and 1 in 677 for women with severe obesity, according to a new study. The findings suggest that current weight management programs focused on dieting and exercise are not effective in tackling obesity at population level. American Journal of Public Health 

• Dairy Products Boost Effectiveness of Probiotics: The success of probiotics for boosting human health may depend partly upon the food, beverage, or other material carrying the probiotics, according to research. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 

• Can Smartphones Interfere with Pacemakers: Another study suggests that smartphones should be kept a safe distance from implanted cardiac devices like pacemakers and defibrillators, in the rare chance that signaling "interference" occurs. European Society of Cardiology 

• Under the Tongue Hay Fever Pills Offer Little Benefit: Under-the-tongue pills for hay fever sufferers provide little symptom relief and often come with bothersome side effects, new research finds. JAMA Internal Medicine 

• Aspirin Use Common Among Americans with Heart Trouble: About seven in 10 Americans who’ve had heart disease or stroke regularly take aspirin. MMWR 

 Antidepressant, Painkiller Combo May Raise Risk of Brain Bleed: Taking both an antidepressant and a painkiller such as ibuprofen or naproxen may increase risk of a brain hemorrhage, a new study suggests. BMJ online 

• Ultrasound Accelerates Skin Healing, Especially for Diabetics and the Elderly: Healing times for skin ulcers and bedsores can be reduced by a third with the use of low-intensity ultrasound, scientists have found. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 

• Americans’ Risk of Dying from Cancer is Falling: The risk that any one American will die from cancer -- the cancer death rate -- is going down, regardless of sex or race, a new government study reports. However, because the United States has a growing aging population, the overall number of people dying from cancer is on the rise, officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. Preventing Chronic Disease 

 Menopausal Women at Lower Heart Risk Than Men of Similar Age: Menopause is commonly considered a risk factor for heart disease, as the protective effect of estrogen declines. However, in a new study, researchers found that postmenopausal women had a lower risk of dying from heart attack than did men of similar ages. Journal of the American Heart Association 

• Online Symptom Checkers Often Miss Diagnosis: Automated online "symptom checkers" that seem to offer patients a quick opportunity for self-diagnosis provide the right diagnosis in only about one-third of cases, a new analysis reveals. The investigation also found that online medical checkers are about as accurate as primary care physician phone services that offer patients advice on whether or not a condition requires urgent care. They are pretty good at effectively directing people with an (emergency) situation to seek some kind of appropriate care, and to do so quickly. BMJ Online 

• Consumer Reports Takes Liquid Detergent Pods off “Recommended” List: Consumer Reports said that it has removed liquid laundry pods from its "recommended" list because of the dangers they pose to small children. They also urged that the convenient laundry aids be avoided altogether in homes where children younger than 6 years of age live or ever visit.

• Health Care Access Improves with Expansion of Obamacare: While more Americans have health insurance following the expansion of the Affordable Care Act, Hispanic adults have realized some of the biggest gains in access to medical care, a new government report shows. Approximately 34 percent of Hispanic adults were uninsured in 2014, compared with 41 percent in 2013. NCHS Data Brief