Partners

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As an RN with 35 years of hands-on experience, I publish with a focus on health and wellness.  This posting will have a slightly different twist.  I will talk about IPV: intimate partner violence.  This describes anyone who experiences violence at the hands of a spouse or partner.  An article in American Nurse Today (March,2017) describes this issue as having serious health consequences.  Since IPV is physical or sexual violence or stalking and psychological aggression, including coercive acts, by a current of former intimate partner, some professions also use the term “domestic” violence.  This term however, is more inclusive and can also include child and elder abuse.

When a former loving relationship turns violent, devotion can be frightening, disturbing or even deadly.  The approaching signs of IPV are not often easy to detect.  Social isolation seems to be a hallmark for abuse.  The abuser initially tries to isolate the victim from any form of help or rescue.  This can involve monitoring the partners cell phone usage or physically restricting their social interactions.  The CDC (Center for Disease Control) states that IPV affects one in three women in the U.S. over their lifetime.  However, this issue is not limited to females.  The CDC also publishes that men experience IPV in 1of 4 relationships.

The U.S. Justice Department defines sexual assault as: any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.  Local police departments have similar definitions.  The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force states that women ages 14 to 46 years (childbearing age) are at increased risk.

Remember that intimate partners know each other well.  Therefore, when a victim tries to reach out for help, they are often shielded from health providers by the abuser.  If someone is reporting abuse, there is usually abuse.  Approach the situation with a non-judgment attitude and set the stage for a trusting and open relationships.

There are many intervention tools.  If you have a friend or family member who you suspect is experiencing Intimate Partner Violence – speak up, say something.  Keeping silent is not an option.  Silence will only continue the abuse.  Contact, and partner with,  someone who can help resolve the situation.

If you are the victim of IPV, it is a scary situation and can be a potentially deadly condition.  However, there are a few safety tips: make an emergency contact list, compile finances for urgent needs, have spare house and car keys available, talk with your neighbors, have access to your drivers license, birth certificate, bank account #’s, insurance policy #’s, and marriage license.

There are national resources available if needed:  National Domestic Violence Hotline 800.799.7233 – Stop Abuse for Everyone, 1.503.853.8686 – National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, http://www.ncadv.org

Intimate partners should be loving, caring and supportive – violence is not part of the agreement.

 

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Ingredients

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I was overly hungry this particular afternoon.  The busy day offering little opportunity for normal meal times.  My blood sugar level must have been low because not only was I dreaming of something hot and steamy but also quick and juicy.  The vision of a popular food chain that specializes in cooking chicken to perfection, immediately pop into my brain.

Having previously eaten at this restaurant, I knew that there was one item on the menu which stood out as dreamily delicious.  My decision was made.  I headed to lunch with my mouth watering anticipating the delicacy.  Ordering the item only increased the flow of my oral saliva.  I sat at the table and slowly unwrapped the warm, doughy, flaky, moist biscuit.  As the aroma whiffed through my pulsing nostrils, there was only one movement left to perform to make this the most delicious “little bite of heaven” ever.

A small squeeze of warm honey melting down onto the flaky, moist biscuit would remedy my hunger pangs.  Picking up the accompanying honey packet, I noticed that it felt lighter in weight than I remembered.  Since I was half-hypnotized by hunger,  my lulling state almost prevented me from examining the packet.  I read the ingredients in shock – the honey packet didn’t contain any honey.  It was branded as “honey sauce” – 57% fat, 17% protein and 26% carbs.  Honey was not listed as an ingredient on the packet.

It almost stopped me from eating my biscuit.  When did this change?  Why didn’t I know?  When was the last time I read the ingredients?  I quickly realized that I couldn’t answer any of these questions.  Not only was I disappointed but felt that I had lost trust in an established institution.  It was a sad moment.  I sat in the restaurant and sadly ate my, now cold, biscuit without any honey.

Choices Along the Way

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In a publication of Web MD (Nov/Dec 2017), a review of facts indicates that healthy choices made during our regular daily routine help us to remain more vigorous and tend to assist us in aging more gracefully.

Your odds of living longer are increased by 50% if you have a strong social network.  Volunteering decreases your blood pressure by 40%.  Students who spend more than 5 hours a day using their smartphones have symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.  Swapping saturated fats for healthy fat will lower your risk for heart disease.  People who experience chronic back pain find relief by performing regular yoga exercises.  Cooking your food at home helps you eat fewer “empty” calories and helps to save at least $100 a month. 1-7 young people ages 12 to 20 binge on alcohol.  That’s four drinks in 2 hours for females and 5 for males.  DRONES can deliver an AED to a person in need faster than an ambulance.  People who eat fried potatoes (chips, hash browns, tater tots, fries) 2 – 3 times a week are 11% more likely to die than those who eat them one once a month or less.  Men now account for 40% of the 40 million Americans who are caregivers. Men tend to be reluctant to seek out support for themselves in the caregiving process.  If you get a good night’s sleep you feel better.   Frequent exercise can slow the aging process by 9 years.  It does this by lengthening the telomeres – the protein caps on the ends of our chromosomes.  Healthy eating lowers the risk for obesity.

These are all choices we can make along the way.

 

 

Fingerprints

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Fingerprints are generally described as: impressions forming a pattern made by pressing the tip of a finger on a surface taken for the purpose of identification, (Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus). We are familiar with the physical prints used to determine identification.  Such information is gathered when public agencies determine someone’s true persona or we need to prove our own identity.

Forensic marks, small pieces of nature that we interact with in our daily lives, also leave a trail for others’ to follow when attempting to analyze our interactive history.   If we touch a flower we pick-up and deposit bits of the pollen.  When we walk through the woods we crunch a variety of leaves on the forest floor.  These bits and pieces of debris attach to our shoes and socks and eventually fall off onto other places on which we place our shoes, i.e. bedroom rug, kitchen floor, car mats, gym equipment.  They tell everyone that we have been walking in the woods.  This evidence can even pinpoint the types of trees and flowers that were growing in the area.

There are also psychological fingerprints that we leave on others’ lives when we interact with them.  These imprints don’t fade from the lives that we touch.  The consequences of these interactions, these fingerprints,  linger after we communicate with the people in our lives.   These ripples of our interactions are like a shower that rains down evidence of our emotions, feelings, actions, motives and hidden agendas all of which tells, anyone who is astute enough to examine the debris that is left from the exchange, what our true intentions are when initiating the encounter.

Tracing this psychological evidence is a science.  Matching the ridges of physical fingerprints is a science. Analyzing the impressions is a specialty.  Your prints on others’ lives are lasting whether they be physical, forensic or psychological – it’s your job to make them either famous or infamous.

Patents

pexels-photo-263337.jpegPatents are an official documents conferring a right or privilege.  This document secures to the inventor a term of years exclusive rights to the invention.  According to a report by PHARMA there are a number of prescription drug patents set to expire in 2018.

The National Pharmaceutical Services, the FDA’s Orange Book, Drugs.com, and The Center for Biosimilars lists over 26 nationally known brand name medications that are targeted to “go off patent” in 2018.

As we all know, there is a high cost related to medication today in the field of health care.  So, how much money is actually involved in this process?  The EvaluatePharma – World Preview 2017, Outlook to 2022 report, states that $194 billion (that’s billion) in brand-name sales are at risk during this period.  The companies that patent and sell these medications will probably forfeit $31 billion (that’s billion) in sales.

As you go to your medical provider this year and he/she writes you a prescription for medication, take a moment to ponder on the “behind the scenes” industry connected to the words written on that little piece of paper.

Medications, and the patents for them, are a big business.  It doesn’t matter if they are targeted toward generics, pain relief, easing respiration, erectile dysfunction, curing cancer, biosimilars for autoimmune diseases or diabetes management all are researched, developed, marketed, distributed, patented and sold by someone.  They are targeted to you and your medical provider to improve the quality of life.  Use them wisely but remember that there is a business behind the benevolence.

PENTIMENTO

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Pentimento – the Italian word meaning “repeat or change your mind.”  It’s appropriate for this time of year.  This idea suggests that you leave your stumbles for other to see – not for the achievement of perfection but for the creation of something better.

The artist Anwar Matisse used this idea in his drawings until a satisfactory design developed.  By practicing re-solution (to resolve yourself), drawing over or retracing our past lives as Matisse did with his art, we begin to see a pattern.  Whether we like or dislike the pattern depends on what we see in the drawing. This time of year is perfect to make resolutions if we don’t like the pattern.   This process is a return to our short comings chronically trying to solve ourselves knowing that we will never be perfect.  We make peace with ourselves, our past and our future.  By holding this thought in this moment we possess re-solution in our hands – it’s ours, it’s fantastic.  It’s a big, bright orb of our possibility.

So, when you view the giant, silver, sparkling ball as it falls in New York Time Square for the countdown into 2018, just imagine that it’s your Pentimento.

Holiday Wishes

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The key seems to be finding just the right greeting for just the right person or occasion.  Happiness, friendship, peace, good will, joy, giving, blessings, gifts and tradition are just a few of the more popular words that tend to be associated with well-wishing at this time of year.

Instead of trying to sort through and match up all of these glittery, joyful sentiments, I decided to send all of them out to everyone for my HOLIDAY WISHES!!!

Circadian

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circadian rhythm

The cycle flows just like the Colorado.  A google search (12-2017) of the term circadian reveals a definition of: a cycle 24 hours long with fluctuations in biological and psychological processes.  This cycle systematically varies over the course of each day.

Research by Frank A.J.L. Scheer, PhD, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Medical Chronobiology Program at Brigham & Woman’s Hospital in Boston suggests that metabolism is based on this cycle.

The process of revolving “light” and “dark” throughout the day influences rhythms regulating the function of certain organs within the body.  This is obvious during a 20-week study in Spain that examined when people eat their largest meal of the day.  Evidence from this study shows that some people may lose weight easier if they eat a smaller meal at night.  It seems that it’s not only important what we eat but when we eat.

It may be that when we eat a large meal in the morning our metabolism increases.  However, eating more calories in the evening may store the extra calories as fat.  This idea is suggested in an article “Mealtime Matters” – Arthritis Today – February, 2018. p.20.

Listening to your circadian keeps you healthy.  Just like a healthy river nourishes the land.

Back Story

20171203_135958Walking through the lobby of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas is a wonderland this holiday season.  The botanical garden offers a stunning array of holiday designs to fill both your eyes and heart with imagination.  Playful childhood memories flow easily and swirl around the festive chamber evoking feelings of joy and happiness.

Passing through the garden I fine myself breathing easily and walking slowly – I am relaxed.  The visual scene that awaits me is unexpected.  Ceilings are not something that I normally view when walking into a room.  So, entering the registration lobby of the hotel offers an opportunity for a new visual view point.  Looking up my eyes, first glance at and then, intimately examine an unexpected visual buffet.  Viewing the ornate glass art work covering the ceiling immediately stimulates my brain – flowers and colors everywhere.

The obvious “draw” is the elaborate holiday display in the botanical garden of decorated trees and festive pixies celebrating the season which I have initially enjoyed.  What I didn’t expect is the additional kicker of viewing the invigorating aloft design – it has always been there, I didn’t really see it.  I have previously walked through the hotel lobby and viewed the design but this time I’m engulfed in the artwork.

Obviously, viewing the holiday display put me at ease.  When I’m in a relaxed state I’m open to new possibilities.  Situations that I previously encountered now offer new plausible ideas.  The back story is that I’m more effective when I interact in a flexible state of being.