New Mothers – 10 Health Tips for Women After Delivery

December 29, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

This video features 10 health tips for new mothers. These recommendations are based on expert clinical guidelines published in UpToDate online version 19.3, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. This video was produced by Nicholas Cohen, MD in 2011.

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

Sleep and the Cancer Patient

May 20, 2008 by  
Filed under CANCER

sleep.jpgInsomnia is considered one of the most serious side effects of cancer.

45% to 50% of all cancer patients deal with disturbances of sleep.

The sleep cycle consists of four stages, going from light to deep sleep and finally REM (Rapid Eye Movement). The sleep cycle takes about 90 minutes. Per SleepDex, “infants spend almost 50% of their time in REM sleep. Adults spend nearly half of sleep time in stage 2, about 20% in REM and the other 30% is divided between the other three stages . ”

Are you getting enough sleep? A typical adult needs about 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. Many people say they only need five hours of sleep a night, but researchers have found that this is true of only about 10% of the adult population.

The typical cancer patient has many valid reasons why their sleep is being disturbed.

Causes of sleep disturbances in cancer patients:

  • Chemotherapy and other medication side effects
  • Pain
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Lower GI problems such as constipation or diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Interruptions of sleep in the hospital
  • General fatigue
  • Stress

Are you sleep deprived? sheep.jpgFind out. Test your reaction time at Sheep Dash.

Read more

Caregiver’s Corner–Get HELP

March 21, 2008 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

While college students plan their parties and high school students consider their weekend options; while your coworkers give thought to what movie they’ll see this weekend and family members consider how they might celebrate Easter, your plans remain the same. 

Whether you have dinner with family, attend a religious service or plan to stay home, one thing is constant.  You are a caregiver.

And there is at least one characteristic that is common among almost all caregivers, we are stressed and we need HELP.  You will rarely find a caregiver who says, “I’m all set, I have all the help and support I need.  My family readily chips in and I get a break whenever I need it.”

So, let me give you some practical suggestions as to how to get some much needed help:

ASK–I know that your brother should know that you take care of mom all week and that you need a break on the weekends.  But he didn’t renew his subscription to “Mind Reader Today,” so his skills have gotten a bit rusty.  Besides, you make it look easy and you seem to have everything under control.  So let him know that you need some help. 

BE SPECIFIC–“I could use some help you know” is not a request.  It’s a statement yelled in anger, frustration or desperation.  Or, it’s  breathed under your breath, either way, it still does not express what you really need. Try these specific requests and see how they work out:

  • John, would you sit with mother on Saturday morning from 9 to 1?
  • Mary, would you please prepare lunch for mom on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays?
  • Mike, would you be willing to give mom dinner on Tuesday evenings?
  • Linda, I know your schedule is tight. We are all stretched.  If I give you advance notice, would you handle taking mom to the doctor (or wherever)?

GET MOM OUT OF THE HOUSE–This one depends on what stage of Alzheimer’s you are dealing with.  Senior centers and Adult Day Care programs are excellent options.  They provide:

Opportunities for your loved one to socialize

Skill appropriate activities

Opportunity to get exercise 

A much needed break for YOU

In addition, many provide transportation to and from the center as well.

YOU GET OUT OF THE HOUSEConsider paid help.  I have only one older brother.  At the time I was caring for my mom, we did not live in the same state.  So, I was pretty much on my own 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  It was a formula for disaster and depression.  Eventually, I hired someone to come in and help out.  On occasion, my husband or a church member would hold the fort down while I took a quick breather.

It was during my caregiving days that I buried superwoman along with her big red “S,” blue spandex and red cape flying in the wind.  I suggest you have a ceremony right now, let the superman/woman thing go. It’s a great cartoon, but doesn’t work in real life.

If you want to serve your loved one well and for the long haul, learn to ask for help and take care of YOU. 

Assignment–Get some HELP!

Caregiver’s Corner…Get Some REST

March 14, 2008 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

Dear Caregiver,

It’s Friday and the weekend is coming.  If you’re like I was there is no such thing as a weekend, the days just meld together into one v-e-r-y long day.  Your activities may be a little different, but at the core it’s all the same, whether is Saturday or Wednesday, you are a caregiver.   Alzheimer’s doesn’t take a break and the byproduct of working around the clock is stress.

I can remember being so tired and frustrated, I just wanted to get in bed, cover my head and cry.  Of course, I had a young son, so THAT was not an option.  I do recall that my son was at a friend’s house one day and I did climb into the bed, but I was so tired and had so much to do that I couldn’t rest.  My mind flitted from one to do item to another and finally I got up.  Honestly, it felt wrong and I felt guilty for resting in the middle of the day.  Never-mind that I had been up till the wee hours the night before; never-mind that I was an emotional wreck because I was watching my favorite girl, my mom, slip away right before my eyes.  Did I mention that I had a toddler at the time?  I just needed to give myself permission to r-e-s-t.

My friend. No, I don’t know you, but we are bound together because we are caregivers, so you are my friend.  I want to give you permission to r-e-s-t and I want you to give yourself permission to rest.

 Today, and every Friday, I plan to remind you of what an awesome thing you are doing.  Caring for your loved one is an amazing sacrifice and your corner of the world is a better place because of the work that you do.

Your husband may not be able to say thank you.  Your wife may express her frustration with outbursts of crying, but you are appreciated and loved for what you do.  So, for those who can’t articulate it, please accept this THANK YOU on their behalf.  You have worked hard and will continue to work hard, maybe even harder as time goes on.

I know I am stating the obvious, but YOU ARE NO GOOD TO YOUR LOVED ONE IF YOU ARE BURNED OUT. 

So, this weekend’s suggestion is to get some REST, physical rest and mental rest.  I know it’s tough, there are errands to run, meetings to attend and people to see. Just think about it.  When is the last time you slept in?  Can you recall when last you curled up in bed (or your favorite place) with a good book?  Even if it means that you sit in your car, with the seat reclined (in a safe place of course) or lock your bedroom door for a couple of hours, p-l-e-a-s-e get some rest.

Assignment:  Look for a family member, neighbor, church member, community organization that can provide you a break for a few hours a week.  Consider senior centers and adult day care programs as well.

Have a restful weekend,


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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.