Health Care Tips You Need to Know – Preparing for the Unexpected

A few days after Christmas, I received a phone call from a relative. They were calling to let me know a family member was in the hospital after suffering a heart attack. What was so shocking was the hospitalized family member was only 53-years-old and had just been at my house for the Christmas holiday!

Just a few days ago, my family member had seemed perfectly healthy and now he was in the hospital recovering from stent procedures to correct blockages in his coronary arteries. Why tell you this story? — Because it is a real life example illustrating an important point. No one can accurately predict when they might have a medical problem, what it will be or how serious it might become. Medical problems can happen to any of us, at any time. The question you need to ask yourself is, “Are you ready today, if a medical problem happens to you or a loved one?” The following questions and tips are listed to help you decide just how prepared you are.

  1. Do you have a physician you see regularly? Everyone needs to have a doctor they can call on, even if you are generally healthy. Regular visits to a doctor can help discover problems patients may not even know they have (like high blood pressure) and allow a relationship to develop so the doctor can be familiar with your history even before you have a serious medical problem. It is much better to have a doctor who knows you before an emergency or serious medical problem develops. They can help coordinate your care and help you get in to see specialists sooner if that’s what you need to do. If you don’t have a doctor you can call tomorrow, then this tip needs to be high on your priority list!
  2. Do you seek care early when a problem develops? This is so important to do! Seeking care early can greatly improve your prognosis (how well you will do). Everyone has heard this, but do you do this? My relative did! He went to the emergency room before his condition became irreversible. He is now home recuperating and learning what else he needs to modify to reduce his chances of having more cardiac problems. If he had not sought care early, his story might have had a very different, potentially fatal outcome. So, if you think you have a medical problem, you probably do. Don’t delay – get care as early as you can.
  3. Do you have a patient advocate? Everyone needs to have a patient advocate before they need one. For minor problems you may be your own best patient advocate. For serious matters you need someone else (family member or friend) who can help you look out for your best medical options. Patient advocates can help in so many different ways. They can be an extra pair of ears to listen at appointments, help you make tough decisions, transport you to appointments, help you research your particular medical problem, etc. If you don’t have one yet – get one as soon as possible. Don’t wait until you have an emergency to choose someone to help you.
  4. Do you have an updated medication list and/or health history? Does someone besides yourself (like your patient advocate) know where it is? This can be a great tool to share with all your medical providers (doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc.), but it needs to be updated as your medical situation changes (new medications started/new diagnoses received, etc.). Giving all your medical providers the same updated information can help prevent medication errors and be a great help in diagnosing potential problems.
  5. A medication list should include the following information: the name of the drug, the strength, the form (pill, liquid, etc.), how often it’s taken and how long you have been taking it. This list should also include any bad reactions you had to medications or any drug allergies you have. A health history should include information about any medical diseases, illnesses or medical problems you have. It should also list information about past hospitalizations, surgeries, blood transfusions, or medical problems that run in your family. You can always ask your doctor for a copy of their standard health history form you can keep at home.

  6. Do you wear medical alert jewelry if you have a serious allergy or ongoing medical problem? If not, you should! Medical jewelry gives emergency workers a way to know about your medical problems even if you are unconscious. Sample information might include: latex allergy, penicillin allergy, diabetic, etc. Your doctor can help you decide the best words to have engraved upon the jewelry. You can find out about companies that create medical alert jewelry from your doctor or pharmacist, or you can visit http://www.medicalert.org or http://www.AmericanMedical-ID.com.
  7. Do you routinely get copies of all your medical records (tests, letters, etc.) and keep them in a binder with all your other medical information? If you don’t, you should! Don’t rely on, “no news is good news”. Having copies of all your medical tests allows you to double check the results against what your doctor has told you. It helps ensure your test results were actually read. Ask your doctor’s office if you have any questions about your test results or medical conditions.
  8. Do you share the same/updated medical information with all your medical providers (doctors/pharmacists/nurses, etc.)? As mentioned above, make sure you share your medication list (including prescription medications, supplements, vitamins, over-the counter medications) and your health history with all your providers. Also, don’t forget to repeat the information as often as you need to. For example, if you have a latex allergy and are in the hospital, don’t expect everyone coming in to treat/help you to read your chart. Make sure everyone understands you have a latex allergy before they touch you. This includes the food servers, assistants, technicians, nurses, doctors, etc. You would be surprised how many times allergies are overlooked, even when it’s recorded somewhere.
  9. Do you ask questions and get answers? This tip is so, so important! Long gone should be the days when patients are afraid to ask the doctor questions. Unfortunately, some patients are still hesitant to ask questions for a variety of reasons. The harsh reality of today’s medical care is if you do not ask questions, you risk suffering from medical errors or not receiving the care you deserve. The best advice is, “Get over it – you have every right to ask questions of your doctors and medical providers!” Keep asking questions until you understand the answers. Seek additional opinions (second/third etc.) as needed until your instincts tell you you’re where you should be.
  10. When it comes to your health care, do you double check everything you can? It is well worth the time. By acting as your own, or a loved ones, “health quality control manager” you can prevent many medical errors. The best part is you don’t have to have medical training to be able to do this, just a lot of patience and persistence. Asking questions and double checking everything you can is the best way for you or a loved one to receive the care you deserve.

If you can answer “yes” to all nine questions, good for you – you are prepared for the unexpected medical problem! If not, then please make the time to update or make the changes necessary for your situation. Remember, it’s your health and no one will look out for yourself or a loved one like you can!

Proper Health Care for Babies

Babies are blessings. That is why most people become excited when a new baby joins the family. This is not only felt by the parents, but also by the family members around. It is only natural that you’d want to take care of your baby and give the best to them. That is why, it is very important that you provide your baby with proper health care.

Health care for babies does not only pertain to following check-up schedules or having them get their required vaccination shots. It also involves on how you handle your baby on a daily basis, giving them baths, taking care of their skin care needs, etc.

When you are taking care of an infant or a newborn baby, here are some things that you might need to know about:

1. Keeping their umbilicus clean and free from infection – During the first days to the first week of life, your baby’s belly button will look like a stump, since this is where the umbilical cord was cut. However, you should treat this area as wound. You should keep it clean and dry until the stump falls off. It is important that you clean it during baths and when you change the baby’s diaper. If it develops a foul smell and/or has pus like fluid coming out, you should refer this immediately to a doctor, since these are signs of infection.

2. Baby skin care – Babies have very sensitive skin which will react adversely to chemicals. When giving your baby a bath, you should make sure that you use products that are mild and safe for your baby’s skin. You should also keep your baby’s skin moisturized by using natural oils, rather than commercially sold lotions and creams. You should also avoid using petroleum jelly. Though it was used a lot for baby care in the past, you should use milder products. Remember, the more natural the contents of the products that you use, the better it is to use for your baby.

3. Holding your baby – For first-time parents, it is very important that you learn how to hold or carry your baby correctly. You can ask the health care providers in the hospital on how to properly hold your baby. You should hold your baby gently. Avoid shaking your baby, even during the times when you might become frustrated when he/she doesn’t stop crying. Shaking your baby is not advisable.

Also, you should provide support for the baby’s entire body, especially along the neck and the head. The neck muscles of babies are not yet well-developed, so they are unable to support the weight of their own head. You should hold and cuddle your baby as much as possible, as this will also help create a stronger bond between you and your baby.

4. Giving your baby appropriate food or formula – Your baby will require milk most especially in the earlier months. Make sure that you provide him/her with a milk formula that is appropriate for his/her age. Some babies may have trouble digesting certain formulas, as characterized by diarrhea or hard stool. The safest and most recommended way to feed your baby is through breastfeeding, as it allows your baby to get the nutrients that he/she needs without any risk of indigestion and other problems.

Horse Health Care For Roach Back Horses

Fezzywig, my gentle giant adopted warmblood gelding with the roached back, is definitely feeling much better. He has had a ton of bodywork and been given my special nutritional Horse Goo until it’s coming out the other end (yes, during the cleansing process he is a bit “methane-powered”).

He’s also running around like a wild man with my other gelding, Walker, and doing flying lead changes with ease in the pasture. Oh yes, and he also managed to take down the gates twice and cruise our little town once. But being the gentleman that he his, he came right home on his own!

Horse Health Care: 3 Things to Do for the Roach Backed Horse

So Fezzywig is definitely feeling better, but he’s nowhere near totally healed, and I have learned a lot about the horse health care needs of these kinds of horses. I have been in constant communication with my veterinarian, good friend, and font of holistic horse care wisdom, Dr. Madalyn Ward. Between my consults with her and my daily interaction with Fezzywig, I’ve learned the following:

1. Roach Back Horses Don’t Use Their Backs Properly

This is no big surprise because their backs aren’t formed properly. A horse with a roach back has some developmental difficulties. For instance, Fezzywig hates to have his stifles adjusted with Bowen-type moves, or any kind of serious physical maneuvers. He loves energy work on his stifles, which doesn’t involve moving any parts of his stifle around. He has also started getting “stuck” in his stifles occasionally, where it takes him a minute to figure out how to move his back leg from straight to bent. Dr. Ward tells me this is because the bodywork is changing the way his spine and haunches are formed, so he has to “relearn” how to use various parts of his body.

Because Fezzywig has not been using his back muscles and hindquarter properly because of his roach back, he has probably been propelling himself around using his hind legs from the stifles down. In other words he was not using his back muscles or his rump. This explains why he is having so much trouble with his stifles. They are probably perpetually sore. In addition, when he move his back legs, his joints make a sound like similar to that of sticky tape being “unstuck” from something. It is most likely that all that improper use of his hind legs has affected those joints.

To help alleviate the pain in his stifles and hind leg joints, I’ve been doing the following:

  • feeding him extra wheat sprouts, which are great for joint issues
  • beefing up his mangosteen juice and blue-green algae to speed healing
  • rubbing DMSO and castor oil on his leg joints
  • doing a little energy work on every hind leg joint at each feeding

He seems to like all of this extra care and his stifles are already less sore. In case you are wondering, castor oil is an old Edgar Cayce remedy that works well on joints. I have to mix it with DMSO because castor oil is very thick and does not penetrate through hair and skin very well. The DMSO helps it penetrate.

2. Roach Back Horses Might Have Bony Backs So They Need Backing

When I knew I was going to bring Fezzywig home, I immediately went online and did a bunch of research on roach back horses. Most of the horses I saw had the typical roach, a humped back, but that was it. I didn’t see a single picture of a horse with a bony back, a back where the lumbar vertebrae literally stick up, like pointy spires. Yikes, what does that mean?

I posted frantic requests for help to the Horse Health Forum. I wanted to know what all those spiny ridges meant. The answer? It means that Fezzywig does not have any muscle development over those vertebrae because (surprise, surprise) he hasn’t been using his back or hindquarter properly. Whew!

To take care of this and help Fezzywig develop proper muscle over his hindquarters and spine, I have started backing him. Backing him will help him learn to use his hindquarter properly, and will also help him develop muscle in the right places. I will eventually back him in circles to develop some lateral muscles as well. We’ve already started the backing exercises. He has no trouble with them although he has no clue why we keep doing it! Luckily, he’s a pretty willing fellow, and will do almost anything for food.

3. Horses Who Have Suffered Trauma Need Special Help to Heal

My last question to Dr. Ward was this: Fezzywig has been in his roach backed pose for so long… what I more can I do to help him shift out of this paradigm and into a healthy stance?

Her answer? herbs. There is this new herbal product that apparently helps horses who have suffered trauma (physical, mental, or emotional) to “break the mold” and shift into a new healthier paradigm. In scientific terms, it helps them shift out of the sympathetic nervous system. A horse like Fezzywig has basically been in a traumatized roach back state for so long he has been operating from his “fight or flight” sympathetic nervous system, which does not promote healing. The Eleviv will help him shift back into his parasympathetic nervous system, which is associated with healing, rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation.

So Fezzywig is now getting, in addition to the beefed up Horse Goo, two capsules of these herbs a day. Fezzywig loves it. He tries to eat the syringe. I take that as a good sign.

So that is what I have learned so far about the best horse health care methods for roach back horses. Fezzywig’s posture continues to improve, and he is running and playing more than ever (as evidenced by the cruise around the neighborhood).

How Can I Provide the Best Health Care For My Cat?

How can you provide the best health care for your cat? There is a confusing array of conflicting information about and it can be hard to see who you should believe.

There are two areas that I believe are always trustworthy:

1. Always go back to basics and then work up from there.

2. Listen to your inner wisdom. It’s there. You just have to access it and learn to use and so trust it.

So let’s look at what the basics of cat health is.

First much of it is about diet. A diet can make or break anyone, including your cat. If you go back to what cats evolved on, you’re be providing the most natural, the most nutritious cat food which totally satisfies them on all levels – physical needs, nutritional needs, mental health and happiness as well as other benefits such as clean teeth and healthy gums.

Second, a natural cat has free access to a clean and comfortable environment, with shelter from the elements but free access to natural sunshine, has as much freedom as is possible where you live, and a loving family.

Third, holistic health care, especially homeopathy, provides for better natural health than do medical drugs and vaccines. Homeopathy works by stimulating the immune system to work better. This is in stark contract to drugs and vaccines, which work by suppressing the immune system.

Inner wisdom is not something that is encouraged, or even recognised, in our very materialistic world. But it’s there, waiting for you to connect with and tap into its uses. It often comes as a feeling, or a desire to do something, which comes out of the blue. Frequently your mind comes in and argues with the logic and you end up doing what your mind tells you.

However, by realising this happens, you are then able to respect and use the feelings, rather than the logic. When you trust this, from experience, then you’ll be able to cut through all the hype and know what is best for your cat. Women are often more able to, or more easily do this than men, but men can. Learn to trust you, nature and what your cat tries to tell you.