Oct 222014
 

Guest Author: Dr. Joseph Christiano

Living Beyond Your Chronic Pain

Pain! What is it good for – absolutely nothing! That is a take from the song back in 70’s – War! What is it good for – absolutely nothing!

The irony is, chronic pain is actually a battle that hundreds of millions of people face today.

To be accurate, pain has a lot of worth. Pain is our body’s natural alarm system or mechanism that says something is wrong, damaged or broken and needs repair. When we twist an ankle or break an arm, the condition sends to our brain a very intense signal – pain! It can cause one to wince, bite their lip and even shed some tears. This type of pain is referred to as acute pain.

Acute pain can be a forerunner to chronic pain in many instances. Acute pain needs to be tended to immediately. Generally speaking the first line of defense is to reduce inflammation. Once the inflammation is reduced, the pain signal to the brain starts to lessen and in a very short period of time, no pain is felt. But, what about pain that lingers for more than a few weeks, or even a few months? This is referred to as chronic pain.

Chronic pain can make someone a prisoner of the war they’ve been in battle with for years. Unlike acute pain, chronic pain can become a consistent part of one’s entire life. Because I have personally struggled with chronic pain for most of my life, I know firsthand what it feels like to break free from pain.

When I try to explain what chronic pain feels like to others who have no pain, it’s hard for them to relate. So, I often use the analogy of someone pinching your skin with their fingers or worse using a pair of vice grip pliers and never easing up. Chronic pain is constant, unrelenting and debilitating.

So how can one expect to thrive when suffering with chronic pain? Continue reading »

Oct 212014
 

Do you have a swimming pool or spa somewhere on your property? If so, it is essential that you have the right sort of fencing in place. This will not only prevent children and pets from accessing the area without supervision, it will ensure that your home complies with the law and that you avoid a fine. Each state has different laws, so we have focused on pool fencing laws for Victoria.

Unfortunately, drowning is the most common cause of preventable death in Victoria for children under the age of five. The presence of pool fencing reduces the risk of drowning to about a quarter of the risk of drowning in an unfenced swimming area. While fencing certainly is effective, parents and other adults should always supervise young children in the area.

When is fencing required?

As of the 1st of May 2010, all new swimming pools must have fencing that extends around all four sides. Homeowners who are installing a pool or spa are required to do the following: Continue reading »

About Anne Mehla

I have experience in writing content on several topics including home improvement, internet and online business, real estate, automotive and much more.

Oct 212014
 

These days most of the people are paying attention to their bathrooms to give them an elegant look. This can be done by installing a frameless shower screen. One of the main benefits of the frameless shower screen is that you have various designs and styles to take your pick from. You will definitely find something that matches your décor, and without spending a fortune. Frameless shower screens are best for providing a chic look in your shower enclosure.

Shower Screen

some very useful information about frameless shower screen which can give you more ideas about your bathroom design

These are definitely taking the place of sliding doors showers in the near future. Here are some good reasons why:

  • Visually Appealing: Most of these screens are highly appealing in terms of their appearance. They offer more visual space without having any frames, and this is why they make the bathroom look bigger than what it really is. Their clean but invisible lines offer a contemporary touch that is extremely desirable.
  • Unlimited Options: Frameless shower screens offer almost innumerable options. The screens can enhance the look of almost any bathroom out there. You need not be resigned any more to the dull sliding doors when these screens can be custom made to accommodate almost any shower room scheme. These products open like a standard door, and some types of these screens can even be retractable. You may choose a frameless shower screen style and design that offers the required appearance while making the most of the available space that you have to work with. These frameless screens will replace the ancient sliding doors primarily because there are so many choices available.

Frameless Shower Screen Continue reading »

About

I am blogger and passionate about writing on various topics like technology, Home improvement, automotive and health. My main aim is to provide useful information to reader.

Oct 202014
 

http://www.shmirshky.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Ellen_Dolgen_Menopause_Monday.jpgMost of you are used to getting a Pap smear during your annual visit to the gynecologist, but now some health authorities are recommending the age-old Pap be replaced by a new test designed to detect cervical cell abnormalities just about the time they start up.

So, although the Pap test, which has been the gold standard for diagnosing cervical cancer since the 1950’s is still around, there might be something new on the horizon. You might be asking yourself, ‘why,’ since the National Cancer Institute says the Pap, named after Greek doctor Georgios Papanikolaou, has helped reduce certain cervical cancers by up to 80%.

The NCCC (National Cervical Cancer Coalition) says that cervical cancer is very preventable and in fact can be prevented through early diagnosis and appropriate treatment of certain cells that become abnormal when impacted by the human papillomavirus (HPV); this is a process which begins long before the actual cancer develops. The Pap has been the topline test for HPV, but there are other, perhaps even better, options to spot the troublesome cells in women starting at an earlier age, according to one government agency.

The FDA has recommended a replacement screen to detect gynecological cancers, suggesting that the Pap is soon to become a thing of the past. Does this mean that the days of lying on your back, scooting your bottom down to the end of the table, putting your feet in stirrups and waiting for the swab might be coming to a close? Not necessarily. Continue reading »

Oct 152014
 

Beautiful home décor and mesmerizing interiors surely rejuvenates the look of boring and dull spaces. If you want to give a domestic look to your house, then it is very important to plan out the whole layout and take care of every aspect of the flooring decoration. You should be extremely organized in your approach for that. One of the aspects to take into account here is the flooring accessories. Make sure that your accessories are contemporary, durable and sophisticated. If you want to recreate a serene and tranquil ambiance, you can look at the floor water fountains which are available in vertical and pillar designs. These create a lively environment in the house. The various kinds of finishes in which these accessories are available include:

Flooring Accessories Box Hill

  • Slate
  • Bronze
  • Copper
  • Painted
  • Textured stone
  • Stainless steel

Floor fountains are flooring accessories which are perfect for homes that come with large living areas and ample space wherein you can install the cascade for visual display. If the water feature is thrilling and high quality, it can offer a new look to the interiors of your home. You can choose from a variety of models, shapes, designs and sizes. Some of the designs that are most appealing and the ones that you can choose from are mentioned below: Continue reading »

About Melissa Hamler

I am Melissa Hamler, an experienced and professional blogger. I love to write blog on various topics, like: automotive,home improvement, business, health etc.

Oct 132014
 

http://www.shmirshky.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Ellen_Dolgen_Menopause_Monday.jpgMenopause is not for weaklings. Dealing with symptoms is at the top of the list, especially with hormones sending you on a wild ride. Hot flashes, insomnia and foggy brain are but a few and just when you make up your mind to explore hormone replacement therapy, you read about possible effects on your heart.

Many of you know that heart disease is the number-one killer of women in the U.S. and that might have you wondering what impact HRT will have on your own cardiovascular health.

Like many things in life—it’ all about timing.

Put Your Heart Into It

In 2010, the National Institute of Health released results of a 15-year study called the Women’s Health Initiative, which addressed cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and cancer as it relates to menopausal women on hormone replacement therapy or HRT.

That study discovered that replacement hormones might elevate the risks of stroke and heart attacks in older women. However, most of the study’s participants were long past the start of menopause, or their last period. Why is that important? Because conversely, women who go on HRT within four years after their last period do not generally suffer negative effects on their cardiovascular system, according by Dr. S. Mitchell Harman, director of the Kronos Longevity Research Institute. He was the lead investigator for the KEEPS (Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study) that examined whether starting HRT sooner after the onset of menopause reduces the risks of cardiovascular disease and also whether there is a difference between oral and transdermal application of the hormones.

Dr. Harman discovered:

  • Neither transdermal nor oral estrogen treatment significantly accelerates or decelerates rate of change of carotid artery intimal medial thickness (CIMT) in healthy recently menopausal women.
  • Both estrogen treatments have some potentially beneficial effects on markers of CVD risk, but these differ depending on the route of estrogen delivery with improvements in LDL and HDL cholesterol seen with oral and reduced insulin resistance with transdermal.
  • No significant effects were observed on rate of accumulation of coronary artery calcium.
  • Women reported significant relief of vasomotor hot flash symptoms with either form of estrogen

Dr. Harman stated post-study that, “Four years of estrogen treatment in healthy recently menopausal women is unlikely to worsen risk of cardiovascular events and is therefore a relatively safe strategy for relief of menopausal symptoms.”

Different Points of View

Dr. Joseph Raffaele, former assistant president of medicine at Dartmouth Medical School and co-founder of the PhysioAge Medical Group, believes KEEPS is a good start, but that much more research is in order. He points out that just a tiny percentage of the women in the study had any significant coronary calcium at all: 85% of the women had a coronary calcium score of ‘zero.’ The 15% who did have calcium buildup showed an improvement with both the estrogen and estradiol treatments.

“The problem with the WHI study was that its 16,000 subjects were on average too old and too unhealthy to provide meaningful answers to women considering hormone replacement as they enter menopause,” says Dr. Raffaele in a recent blog.

“The problem with KEEPS was the opposite: its subjects were on the whole too young and too healthy (to show significant improvement), especially for a study that only lasted four years. The researchers should have either used a broader cross-section of subjects or made the study much longer to measure how hormone replacement affects measures of atherosclerosis.”

“KEEPS was not worthless,” says Dr. Raffaele, “The news of the announcement focused on the positives: that hormone replacement safely improves menopausal symptoms including hot flashes and night sweats, depression, diminished libido and bone density.”

“That’s reassuring to women and should help continue to reverse the decade-long misinterpretation of the WHI data that led many physicians to advise against HRT.”

However, Dr. Raffaele says additional research should include a base of at least 5,000 subjects of varying ages and baseline cardiovascular health, and that those women should be followed for 10 years.

This opinion is echoed by Dr. Josh Trutt who says, “In the WHI trial, the women were NOT recently menopausal and were at relatively higher cardiovascular risk: on average 62.5 years old and either overweight or with high blood pressure. The women in KEEPS are a decade younger and overall healthier, and on estrogen for a shorter time period. It would have taken a very powerful effect to show a benefit in this group.”

Dr. Raffaele points out that just a week after being disappointed by the KEEPS trial report, a new Danish study demonstrated very positive results for recently menopausal women who went on long term HRT.  The study appeared in the British Medical Journal. He further explained that in healthy women (such as KEEPS studied) you need to follow them for a longer period of time to show benefit. The Danish study followed them for over ten years. This is key to answering the question KEEPS couldn’t answer:  Does taking HRT in early menopause decrease the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease?  The answer is a resounding ‘yes.’  These Danish women had over a 50 percent reduction in combined heart attacks, heart failure and death.  Remarkably this reduction started to accrue very soon after initiation of therapy. The cardiovascular benefit occurred without any increase in cancers of any type, including breast cancer for which there was a non-significant reduction in comparison to placebo.  Nor was there a significant increase in blood clots or pulmonary emboli.”

However, Dr. Raffaele does point out that the study used 2 mg of oral estradiol, a relatively high dose, and a progestin that is not commonly used in the US for HRT.  This study didn’t compare different types of estrogens or routes of delivery: for example, whether transdermal estradiol instead of oral, or micronized progesterone instead of norethisterone acetate, would have had better or worse effects on cardiovascular disease or cancer.

After My Own Heart…

Where does that leave you? Consider your options; discuss HRT with your menopause specialist taking into account your own personal health background. This will help you and your specialist weigh the risks and benefits to fit your personal needs.

With a family history of heart disease, I went on bioidentical HRT early in my menopausal journey. My sleepless nights and brain fog went away in a hot flash! My vaginal dryness and crashing libido resolved. All the numbers in my Lipid Panel are normal and my calcium deposit score is 0. HRT restored my feeling of well-being and I know in my heart of hearts that this was just what I needed to do!

Suffering in Silence is Out! Reaching Out is In!

Oct 102014
 

Have you ever seen a ride on mower deal advertised and thought to yourself that the price or offer was too good to be true? It is important to keep in mind that this is often the case and that the deal could end up costing you a lot more in the long run. In this article, we have shared some stories of when mower offers haven’t been all that they were cracked up to be.

Story #1

In this first story, the homeowner was adamant that they only wanted to spend a few hundred dollars on a brand new ride on mower. They came across a store that was fully online and, after reading some of the reviews on the website and checking out the range, they decided to make a purchase. The postage turned out to be almost as expensive as the mower itself, it took close to three months to arrive and it looked like a cereal box toy when it did.

What did they do wrong? While there is nothing wrong with shopping online, it is always recommended that you purchase from a company with a physical store location. It is also recommended that you look to third parties for accurate, unbiased reviews; those on websites are often altered or picked for their complimentary comments.

Story #2

In this second story, the homeowner was looking to purchase a ride on mower for the first time. They did some online research and knew the model they were interested in before visiting a store for one of the major brands. The homeowner liked the look of a machine, so they bought it with no questions asked. The very first time they used it, the mower encountered a serious issue and completely blew the engine.

Continue reading »

About Anne Mehla

I have experience in writing content on several topics including home improvement, internet and online business, real estate, automotive and much more.

Oct 102014
 

Why Do Seniors Fall?

So they can learn to get back up… no wait. That’s a quote from The Dark Knight and even though I think it’s intended to be figurative, many seniors don’t get back up despite their desire to.

That’s how serious the situation is.

Google it and you’ll find some hair-raising statistics about seniors and their falls. Falls result in broken hips and broken legs; some result in deaths, others result in hours on the floor, waiting for someone to find them. Some falls take seniors to the emergency room and into surgery. The recovery time (on average) is a year and some never recover. It’s scary and finding out why seniors are having these falls makes it all the more frightening.

Why Seniors Lose Their Balance

Seniors fall for numerous reasons:

  • Deterioration of muscle and bone
  • Waning senses
  • Medications

Deterioration of Muscle and Bone

As we get older (and by older, they [the experts] mean middle-aged and onwards), our bodies naturally start to deteriorate. For instance, an average person’s muscle mass decreases by 1% every year after middle age. In addition, our bones become more porous, weakening their overall strength, and making them more susceptible to breaking.

This plays a huge part in seniors losing their balance, which inevitably leads to a fall.

Many adult children have a hard time understanding this concept because they think their elder will only be hurt if it’s a fall on a hard surface (like tiles in a bathroom) or from a high point (like the stairs), but plenty seniors have fallen on carpet and broken a hip – it surprises even them. Continue reading »

About Derek Hobson

Derek Hobson is a writer and educated humorist based in Seattle, WA. If laughter is the best medicine, he fancies himself a pharmacist.

Oct 092014
 

Most people are concerned about the security of their homes as well as organizations. Therefore, they opt to install clear security doors in order to ensure security. Clear security doors are unique installations that ensure the security of your home. These doors are made with improved technology which has taken these security doors to another level when it comes to appearance and strength. These security doors are of different types, like stacking, bi-fold, and hinged. These doors possess unique designs and styles which eliminates the need for additional cross bars through the middle of the door to meet the safety standards as security doors. They look superb in any home design, offering a wonderful and airy feeling within, a contemporary look and peace of mind so that you can open your doors without the fear of being burgled.

Clear Security Doors

The sleek and smooth frames of the clear security doors are available in contemporary colors to suit your décor. The clear doors also have a 3 star energy rating.

How the Security Doors are Made

  • The mesh and frame are cut to the required size for creating a custom product that fits your home
  • The sheet contains a fold which is created around the whole of the perimeter of the sheet
  • A molded PVC sheet is adjusted to the fold to create a barrier that prevents the aluminum frame from being in touch with the stainless steel sheet in order to prevent a reaction
  • The stainless steel sheet is fitted with a powder-coated frame that is clasped together with high-powered aluminum corner stakes
  • A 5 mm thick aluminum locking bead is wedged between the frame and the PVC molding so that everything is locked in place

This process differentiates the clear security doors from all other products and offers more strength and durability. Other security doors do not last as long because they are made with inferior manufacturing procedures. The doors and screens are pressed from a flat or single sheet of steel and locked in an aluminum frame without screws or rivets. A collection of small holes, of around 2 mm, provide protection from intrusion and eliminates the need for having insect screens. The powder coating of these security doors is made with a special formula which offers additional protection against airborne particles.

Continue reading »

About Melissa Hamler

I am Melissa Hamler, an experienced and professional blogger. I love to write blog on various topics, like: automotive,home improvement, business, health etc.

Oct 082014
 

heforsheYou don’t need to know me well to know that I don’t gush over political or social movements spearheaded by celebrities.

Look, I get it, celebrities ensure widespread outreach and can help promote a cause in the same way that getting a big brand company to appear repeatedly in your movie ensures funding. It makes sense.

Still, actors are actors, and whenever I see a commercial with a face I recognize, I feel manipulated. However, Emma Watson’s recent UN speech about gender equality got me thinking. It got me thinking about the role of men and – due to my field and passion for senior care – it got me thinking about the role of elderly men in need of help.

The HeForShe Movement

One of the unarguable benefits of social media and the internet is being able to know what is happening at all times.

(Being a bit of a history buff, it comes as a stark contrast to 200 years ago when Andrew Jackson won the decisive battle of New Orleans in 1815… except this was the war of 1812… which technically ended in 1814 –news didn’t travel very fast.)

However, being made aware of topical movements, whether or not I agree with them, at least keeps me thinking on a day-to-day basis. Acts, movements, and revolutions do not operate independently anymore, everything is connected; everything is symbiotic. So when I hear of a movement like HeForShe, it causes me to think about how it affects senior care. Continue reading »

About Derek Hobson

Derek Hobson is a writer and educated humorist based in Seattle, WA. If laughter is the best medicine, he fancies himself a pharmacist.

Oct 062014
 

http://www.shmirshky.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Ellen_Dolgen_Menopause_Monday.jpgRalph Waldo Emerson once said, ‘the only way to have a friend is to be one. ’ This time of life, as you transition through menopause, that it becomes equally important to look out for your very own self—especially when it comes to taking care of your health.

Most of you probably go for annual mammograms, but currently the experts disagree as to when and how often you should take pictures of your ‘breast friends.’

The American Cancer Society (ACS); the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and the US Preventive Services Taskforce (USPSTF) have issued varying guidelines on mammography screening, so I sought clarification from Dr. Anees Chagpar, Associate Professor of Surgery (Oncology) and Director of The Breast Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven.

Her generous expertise will help us take care of our friends in need that have served us well through puberty, breastfeeding and let’s face it—first base.

First Date

This year alone, nearly a quarter of a million new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed. It is estimated that 40% of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump through self-exams.

Many of you received your first pink rose at the breast cancer screening facility around age 40. This is because before the age of 40, women’s breasts are often too dense to see through. In addition, breast cancer is rare in women under 40 so exposure to radiation at a young age is not warranted. This turning-point magic age of 40 is something the ACS and NCCN still recommend, although the USPSTF does not: Continue reading »

Oct 032014
 

RoboCare in Elderly HousingOne of the most interesting developments in the senior housing and elder care industry is RoboCare. In many ways, RoboCare is robotic assistance in the form of robot assistants.

Now, you’d be hard-pressed to find an industry where people are NOT trying to make robots to make things easier/faster, however, with senior care, it’s a little bit different. RoboCare is innovation out of a genuine need.

The Baby Boomers are retiring and many are referring to this as “The Quiet Crisis” or “The Silver Tsunami” – although some consider the latter a discourteous term. This is an issue because fewer people are getting involved in nursing or senior care careers. Add to this fact that some waiting periods (for senior homes) exceed a year, and the picture becomes clearer; seniors need care and there are fewer places and less people to provide it.

Enter Robots

Currently, there aren’t robot butlers running about seniors’ houses, but that’s the endgame. Perhaps the most famous is Honda’s ASIMO on display at Disneyland, which currently holds the title of the world’s most advanced robot – able to climb and descend stairs.

However, there are many interesting developments for numerous other purposes. HERB is intended to be a fully functioning robot. As of now, they have a mechanical arm that’s dexterous enough to help elders who are confined to a wheelchair and need to eat or shave.

That’s not all though… Continue reading »

About Derek Hobson

Derek Hobson is a writer and educated humorist based in Seattle, WA. If laughter is the best medicine, he fancies himself a pharmacist.

Oct 012014
 

If you are lucky enough to have a backyard that is reasonably well isolated from the noise coming from the street, you can extend the sanctuary that your house provides to outdoors. There is almost nothing as relaxing as kicking back in your backyard, but just like you can use it for quiet contemplation or spending time with your family, a backyard can be the ideal location for socializing and indulging in a bit of decadence, of course provided that you’ve taken the time to decorate and arrange it accordingly.

Layout

If you plan on entertaining often and having a lot of people over, you have to consider the logistics and make the most of the (usually) limited space that you have to work with. Fixed backyard elements, like a patio, gazebo, grill or anything along that lines will dictate where people will gather, so the most important part of organizing your backyard is identifying these points, and making sure that passage between them is unobstructed. When you have a general idea of where people will hang around, or where you want them to hang around, you can start adding additional elements.  For instance, if you have a flower patch that you think people might enjoy being close to, you might want to place a bench there.

Outdoor Dining Area

Most backyards already have a patio, but, depending on the climate in your area, you might want to convert that patio into a comfortable dining area. If your patio is covered, having an outdoors refrigerator might help keep the people’s spirits up during the warmer days, but considering the size of most patios, it might be difficult finding room for both the refrigerator and a dining table. Check out this page for inspiration. Continue reading »

About Lillian Connors

Lillian Connors is an avid blogger and home improvement enthusiast keen on doing various DIY projects in and around her house and passionately writing about them. She is also an online marketing consultant, closely cooperating with numerous businesses from all over the globe.

Oct 012014
 

There are two fears seniors have when adult children (typically) discuss the idea of moving their loved ones into an elderly care community:

  1. Fear of Death
  2. Fear of Being Trapped

Typically, a senior needs to overcome the first before ever being faced with the second. So let’s break these down – since, you need to, if you’re ever going to get your elder the help they deserve.

Fear of Death

The fear of death is natural and it’s an almost universal fear. To quote the late Steve Jobs, “Even people who want to go to heaven, don’t want to die to get there,” but we will all die. It’s no surprise that many turn to religious based elderly care communities. Even assisted living facilities that are nondenominational offer transportation to spiritual services for seniors; others host ceremonies and/or sermons on campus.

That said, browse the internet and you’ll find that the number one reservation seniors have with elderly care communities is that they feel it puts them closer to death. They feel like they’re giving up, that they’re admitting they’ve come down to the tail end of their lives…

But here’s the thing, elderly care communities don’t put seniors closer to death. If anything, seniors are likely to live longer due to the on-call nurses and security. Elderly care communities prolong life – and a quality life at that.

As part of the Concierge Care Advisors, I’ve spoken with seniors that quit going upstairs (in their own home) because they are no longer able to or even afraid to. Moving into a community where they are safe and can go wherever they want (with assistance or because the home is modified) is an improvement. Continue reading »

About Derek Hobson

Derek Hobson is a writer and educated humorist based in Seattle, WA. If laughter is the best medicine, he fancies himself a pharmacist.

Sep 302014
 

Family Caregivers and Senior Care“Am I willing to be a father?”

When my wife and I were still engaged, it was a question often asked of myself.

I mean I suppose she was doing the asking, but I caught on (relatively) quickly. Afterwards, I could answer that question… but unfortunately, it was the wrong question.

Am I willing to be a father?” Yes, but “Am I prepared to be a father?” Now that’s a far more difficult question.

Caring for a newborn and caregiving for the elderly have a lot in common – not to say they’re the same, but there are similarities (as well as differences).

And a key similarity is the difference between “willing” and “prepared”; a discrepancy that plagues first-time fathers and family caregivers alike.

Caring.com, a company that specializes in “helping the helpers” by providing personalized assistance for family caregivers, released their annual Usage and Attitudes Survey. Among many other things, surveys determine how many hours a week caregivers spend on their loved ones and what those tasks entail. The results are likely to shock a “willing” – albeit “unprepared” – caregiver. Continue reading »

About Derek Hobson

Derek Hobson is a writer and educated humorist based in Seattle, WA. If laughter is the best medicine, he fancies himself a pharmacist.

Sep 292014
 

I was in my car and on my way to discuss mindfulness to a group of unemployed professionals when I started thinking about new points to add to the presentation. Ten minutes later I realized I had driven past my stop. This is a perfect example of not being mindful!

Mindfulness is an elusive and often misunderstood word. Mindfulness is simply being in the present moment. It requires that you discipline the mind and practice.  Why should you be mindful? When your life goes south, being mindful can help you get on track again. Mindfulness requires that you move away from busy behavior. This is a problem for many boomers when under stress–if you lose a job or have other losses in your life (money, home, partner).

Suggestions from our book, Upside: How to Zig When Life Zags:

“The American way of life leads you to believe that doing nothing is a bad thing. It suggests that value is only found by being productive or busy every moment. Inspiration for making change doesn’t come on demand but by allowing time to pass without activities. Sometimes you will be inspired when you least expect it, or when you feel bored.” Continue reading »

About Bonnie Michaels

Bonnie Michaels is an expert in work-life balance, life’s transitions and happiness. She provides solutions for individuals and businesses around the globe through her consulting, workshops, speeches, media appearances and writing. She has co-authored Solving the Work/Family Puzzle, A Journey of Work-Life Renewal: The Power to Recharge & Rekindle Passion in Your Life, Upside: How to Zig When Life Zags and the Ebook, The Happy App: A Process for Boomer Bliss

Sep 292014
 

http://www.shmirshky.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Ellen_Dolgen_Menopause_Monday.jpg“Not tonight dear. I have a painful vagina.” Say what? If you’re making excuses to avoid sexual intimacy with your partner due to vaginal pain, you owe it to yourself (and your partner) to treat it.

“The big O” does not mean “the big Ouch.” Recapture the rapture in bed.

Pain during intercourse is called dyspareunia (Say what?). If you’re experiencing pain during sex, you could be suffering from vaginal atrophy (VA). Vaginal atrophy is a thinning and inflammation of the vaginal wall. VA occurs when estrogen levels drop. Estrogens, produced by the ovaries, maintain the structure and function of the vaginal wall, elasticity of the tissues around the vagina, and production of vaginal fluid.

Unfortunately, like the rest of your menopausal body, your vagina is aging too.

Hot flashes, sleeplessness, memory loss and weight gain get top billing when it comes to menopausal symptoms. But vaginal discomfort is every bit as difficult and critical to deal with as those symptoms. Vaginal symptoms can negatively impact not only on your relationships and sexuality, but can affect your quality of life and self-image.

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you could have VA:

  • vaginal dryness
  • sex-induced pain or bleeding
  • itching
  • soreness or irritation
  • painful or burning urination
  • incontinence (involuntary urination)
  • pain when touching the vagina

Continue reading »

Sep 242014
 

aggressive man and meditation womanMany times in my life, people have made caregiving for seniors analogous to caregiving for babies. There are some times where that analogy holds true: cooking and feeding your elder, helping them with incontinence, changing their clothes, and so on. But that analogy breaks down when you’re struggling day after day caring for seniors with dementia.

Usually it’s dementia, but it could be any number of cognitive problems. The side effects include mood swings, tempers, confusion, frustration, loss of balance, aches, and the list goes on. Dementia symptoms – and the many diseases that cause it – result in angry (often violent) seniors. The situation may not get physical, but the violent verbal tyraids are more than enough to send shivers down any caregiver’s spine. It’s not just mean, it’s personal.

Here you are, a caregiver – a person who has made sacrifices to take care of your elder – and here they are, accusing you of slipping drugs in their breakfast, never loving them and only thinking of their money, and (suffice to say) ruining their life.

The first few outbursts might be easier to bounce back from, but the consistent attacks on your character can eat away at you until you’re at the breaking point as well. Continue reading »

About Derek Hobson

Derek Hobson is a writer and educated humorist based in Seattle, WA. If laughter is the best medicine, he fancies himself a pharmacist.

Sep 222014
 

http://www.shmirshky.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Ellen_Dolgen_Menopause_Monday.jpgDid you know that September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month? Ovarian cancer strikes about 3 percent of women.

The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2014 about 21,980 women will receive a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer and approximately 14,270 women will die from ovarian cancer.

Although early cancers of the ovaries generally cause no symptoms, they list the most common signs and symptoms as:

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
  • Urinary symptoms such as urgency (always feeling like you have to go) or frequency (having to go often)

Remember, be your own advocate for your health and pay attention to your body. You need to know what’s normal for you. If you are concerned, contact your medical professional. Continue reading »

Sep 182014
 

If you are in need of a boiler for home heating purposes, you might have been stumped by the many choices available. While there were traditionally very few choices, advancements in technology have meant that you have an important decision to make when selecting a boiler for your heating system. In this article, we have outlined the four main types that you can choose from, as well as the advantages of using a boiler to keep your home warm.

Home Boiler

Types of Boiler

While there are several different types currently on the market, we have outlined the four most popular here:

  • Gas – This is the most common unit available today. They are not only extremely efficient, they are also quite durable; breakdowns are rare and repairs aren’t required very often. They come in three standard forms – conventional, combination and condensing – each of which offers a number of benefits.
  • Electric – This is a boiler that is slowly gaining popularity, especially because electricity is considered to be more efficient than gas. They have a slimmer housing, which means that they take up less space and can fit in more awkward spaces. They also don’t emit carbon dioxide, which makes them environmentally friendly.
  • Oil – This is a unit that is slowly losing popularity because oil prices are known to fluctuate wildly. While oil is considered more efficient and reliable than both gas and electricity, it is a non-renewable source of energy. Many people are steering clear of oil in favour of more environmentally friendly choices.
  • Solid Fuel – This is the least common boiler available today. They have traditionally used coal as a fuel source, but newer models use biofuels (such as wood pellets or burnable pellets that are made of recycled materials). As the environmentally friendly factor becomes more known, more homeowners will turn to this type.

Continue reading »

About Anne Mehla

I have experience in writing content on several topics including home improvement, internet and online business, real estate, automotive and much more.

Sep 172014
 

Even though cranes are incredibly useful across a number of industries and for a number of applications, it is important to remember that they are potentially dangerous pieces of equipment that must be kept in optimal condition. The used crane operator is actually responsible for inspecting and maintaining the machine in a safe condition, so what sorts of inspections and maintenance needs to be undertaken to ensure that this is the case?

Pre-Operation Inspection

It is essential that a routine inspection be undertaken before a used crane begins work each day. This can be completed by the operator and includes:

  • A visual inspection of the machine’s structure (to pinpoint cracks, deformities and worn or loose components);
  • An inspection and test of all operating and emergency controls (to ensure that they are working as designed);
  • An inspection around and underneath the crane to ensure it is adequately supported (particularly if it has been left overnight during bad weather);
  • An inspection of wire ropes and rigging equipment; and
  • An inspection and test of personal protective equipment.

Continue reading »

Sep 152014
 

http://www.shmirshky.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Ellen_Dolgen_Menopause_Monday.jpgWhether you’re in perimenopause, menopause or are postmenopausal like me, one thing is certain: things are not at all like they used to be.

Hot flashes, anxiety and sleepless nights are part of the package and I’m the first to admit it can be hard to handle. That’s why as I turn 61 this month I’m giving myself the gift of self-compassion. After all, living a joyful life and by extension being kind to others depends upon how kind you are to yourself.

Part of this new normal of being postmenopausal is that I’ve learned to pay closer attention to my own needs. Traveling down this road through the jungle of menopause, I’ve adapted by becoming more self-reliant, making me feel more fulfilled. That’s very different from how the menstruation journey began years ago.

A friend of mine swears that the Miss Deb booklet left on her bed by her mother was the best dollar her mom ever spent! It was a pamphlet for ‘little girls who would mature soon and pretty much took the onus off her mother having the ‘birds and the bees’ talk.

Perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause are far more difficult to comprehend, and even Miss Deb wouldn’t be able to explain their ins and outs in a small pamphlet. One thing is for sure—charting your own destiny can be extremely liberating providing you first lighten up—on yourself! Have some self-compassion. Continue reading »

Sep 082014
 

http://www.shmirshky.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Ellen_Dolgen_Menopause_Monday.jpgAs we get older, it seems like our visits to doctors become more and more frequent. An ache here, a pain there. Truth is, one way to reduce the number of doctor visits in perimenopause and menopause is to actually schedule a few crucial medical tests. That way, you can nip any pending medical conditions in the bud and get on with your, “I’m-not-gonna-let-this-hold-me-back” life.

Please note: This is not intended to be medical advice. Consult your menopause specialist about the best course of action to take, as every women has unique needs.

Did you know that menopause symptoms can mimic those of other conditions? According to the North American Menopause Society, these symptoms are similar to those of thyroid disease, for instance. Depending on your medical history, it may make sense to undergo medical tests to rule out such conditions.

Am I really in menopause?

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels are sometimes measured to confirm menopause. Because these levels vary, you can’t rely on a single test. If, after several tests, your FSH blood level is consistently 30 mIU/mL or higher, and you haven’t had your menstrual period for a year, you’re probably a member of the menopause club. Note: If you’re using certain hormone therapies (such as birth control pills), an FSH test is not valid. Some doctors prefer to test the Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) levels instead, because they are not affected by birth-control pills. During menopause, AMH levels are decreased. Continue reading »

Sep 072014
 

Natural gas represents a combustible mixture of hydrocarbon gases that is odorless, colorless and shapeless in its pure form. The typical “rotten egg” odor that we can smell is actually an odor added by utility company (called mercaptan) to help us detect leaks.

What is Natural Gas?

Natural gas is often mistaken for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). Nothing could be further from the truth: natural gas is nearly forty times lighter than air, while LPG gasses (as propane, for instance), are in actual fact heavier than air. What this practically means is that propane gas gathers in low places, whereas natural gas rises and collects in high places.

Hazards

If natural gas starts leaking, it may present different hazards, such as fire, explosion and asphyxiation (due to the fact that it displaces oxygen in a confined space), so it can easily bring your life in peril. When it comes to its combustibility, natural gas cannot burn by itself, i.e. it has to be mixed with air to ignite. But in order to do so, it also needs an ignition source, such as a match, lighter or pilot light, or in certain cases, an electric arc from a motor, light switch or even old doorbell. Continue reading »

About Lillian Connors

Lillian Connors is an avid blogger and home improvement enthusiast keen on doing various DIY projects in and around her house and passionately writing about them. She is also an online marketing consultant, closely cooperating with numerous businesses from all over the globe.

Sep 072014
 

http://ellendolgen.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/MMSep7.jpgSeptember 7th is Grandparents Day!!!!!!!!!!!! On August 8th in Seattle, Washington, our daughter Sarah and her husband Sol, brought a beautiful pink bundle of joy into this world. I am now a Grandma! Now, I understand why grandparents go on and on, bragging about their grandchildren.

I’m proud, and not the least bit embarrassed to be a Grandmother. I don’t think that being a grandmother ages me. In fact, it’s just the opposite! When I hold my Granddaughter Aviva in my arms and look into her eyes, I feel overjoyed and energized. (The fact that I’m not the one getting up in the middle of the night to feed her may help account for that!)

I didn’t make up Grandparents Day just so I could have an excuse to brag about Aviva. (Who needs an excuse?!) National Grandparents Day originated with Marian McQuade of Fayette County, West Virginia. She wanted to champion the cause of lonely elderly in nursing homes. She also wanted grandchildren to tap the wisdom and heritage of their grandparents. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter, proclaimed that National Grandparents Day would be celebrated every year on the first Sunday after Labor Day.

So, getting back to my granddaughter…. Actually, most of my conversations these days somehow end up back on the subject of Aviva. I guess I could blame it on my menopausal, forgetful mind, but the truth is I wake up each morning anxiously awaiting a morning text flooded with pictures of her sleeping, or a mini video of her bath. Yesterday we had lunch together, thanks to FaceTime!!!

You know, it’s interesting how our instincts kick in. As parents and grandparents, we go into protector mode when it concerns our babies. Even my daughter and son-in-law’s dog, Jazz (their 14 year old Golden Retriever), is jazzed about the baby and eager to protect her.

When I became a mother for the first time in 1980, there was no “use and care” manual that came with a newborn. Most of us just winged it. However, today’s parents do have the Internet and even apps to help them prepare for and cope with the responsibilities of parenthood. But no website or app can teach you how to love your child. That simply comes with the territory. The flood of love and tenderness that is unleashed with the birth of a baby is beautiful to watch and share.

My daughter, Sarah, created a blog to share her pre-Mommy thoughts and feelings. I was so proud of how honest she was about her pregnancy. She shared the good and the difficult times. I had her blog made into a book for Aviva. I think it will be wonderful for her to read her Mommy’s thoughts while she was growing inside of her. I titled the book, Smiles Curls and Baby which is the name of Sarah’s blog. By sharing our own stories we help others.

Welcome to the world, Aviva! I hope you will help to make it a kinder, more caring and gentle place. Grandma is going to encourage you to embrace your role as a female in this world. Learn the delicate balance between cherishing your femininity and embracing your power to do anything that you set your mind to. Oh, and yes, I shall teach you to be prepared for perimenopause and menopause…….but for now I need to teach you spa etiquette. You aren’t supposed to poop during your bath.

While Sarah and Sol are sleepless in Seattle, I stare at her lips, tiny fingers, every sound on the videos and rejoice that I have finally joined the Grandparents Club. I am madly in love!

Gotta go – time to book my next trip to Seattle!

Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN!