Posted in Awareness

Arthritis Pain Do’s and Don’ts

Arthritis pain:

The Do’s and The don’ts

Will physical activity reduce or increase your arthritis pain? Get tips on exercise and other common concerns when coping with arthritis symptoms and arthritis pain.

Arthritis is a leading cause of pain and disability worldwide. You can find plenty of advice about easing the pain of arthritis and other conditions with exercise, medication and stress reduction. How do you know what will work for you?

Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you figure it out

Basics

Whatever your condition, it will be easier to stay ahead of your pain if you:

• Learn all you can about your condition, including what type of arthritis you have and whether any of your joints are already damaged

• Enlist your doctor, friends and family in managing your pain

• Tell your doctor if your pain changes

Everyday routines

Pay attention to your joints, whether sitting, standing or engaging in activity. When we have pain the last thing we want to do is move but often what we should be doing.

• Keep your joints moving. Do daily, gentle stretches that move your joints through their full range of motion.

• Use good posture. A physical therapist can show you how to sit, stand and move correctly.

• Know your limits. Balance activity and rest, and don’t overdo it.

In addition, lifestyle changes are important for easing pain.

• Manage weight. Being overweight can increase complications of arthritis and contribute to more arthritis pain. Making incremental, permanent lifestyle changes resulting in gradual weight loss is often the most effective method of weight management.

• Quit smoking. If you smoke stop. It’s not that hard , I quit smoking and so can you. Smoking causes stress on connective tissues, which can increase arthritis pain.Smoking also slows down the healing process as well as it’s a nasty stinky habit.

Exercise

When you have arthritis, movement can decrease your pain and stiffness, improve your range of motion, strengthen your muscles, and increase your endurance.

What to do

Choose the right kinds of activities those that build the muscles around your joints but don’t damage the joints themselves. A physical or occupational therapist can help you develop an exercise program that’s right for you.

Don’t just go start jogging if you have knee problems or lifting weights if you have back and joint issues.

Always consult your doctor before doing anything!!

Once you get the ok.

Focus on stretching, range-of-motion exercises and gradual progressive strength training. Include low-impact aerobic exercise, such as walking, cycling or water exercises, to improve your mood and help control your weight.

What to avoid

Avoid activities that involve high impact and repetitive motion, such as:

• Running

• Jumping

• Tennis

• High-impact aerobics

• Repeating the same movement, such as a tennis serve, again and again

Medications

Many types of medications are available for arthritis pain relief. Most are relatively safe, but no medication is completely free of side effects. Talk with your doctor to formulate a medication plan for your specific pain symptoms.

What to do

Over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) can help relieve occasional pain triggered by activity your muscles and joints aren’t used to — such as gardening after a winter indoors. But not everyone can take certain medications again talk to your doctor.

Cream containing capsaicin may be applied to skin over a painful joint to relieve pain, do not use if you have a scratch, cut or open wound. Use alone or with oral medication.

Consult your doctor if over-the-counter medications don’t relieve your pain.

What to avoid

• Overtreatment. Talk with your doctor if you find yourself using over-the-counter pain relievers regularly.

• Undertreatment. Don’t try to ignore severe and prolonged arthritis pain. You might have joint inflammation or damage requiring daily medication.

• Focusing only on pain. Depression is more common in people with arthritis. Doctors have found that treating depression with antidepressants and other therapies reduces not only depression symptoms but also arthritis pain.

Physical and emotional integration

It’s no surprise that arthritis pain has a negative effect on your mood. If everyday activities make you hurt, you’re bound to feel discouraged. But when these normal feelings escalate to create a constant refrain of fearful, hopeless thoughts, your pain can actually get worse and harder to manage.

What to do

Therapies that interrupt destructive mind-body interactions include:

• Cognitive behavioral therapy. This well-studied, effective combination of talk therapy and behavior modification helps you identify — and break — cycles of self-defeating thoughts and actions.

• Relaxation therapy. Meditating, doing yoga, deep breathing, listening to music, being in nature, writing in a journal do whatever helps you relax. There’s no downside to relaxation, and it can help ease pain.

• Acupuncture. Some people get pain relief through acupuncture treatments, when a trained acupuncturist inserts hair-thin needles at specific points on your body. It can take several weeks before you notice improvement.

• Heat and cold. Use of heat, such as applying heating pads to aching joints, taking hot baths or showers, or immersing painful joints in warm paraffin wax, can help relieve pain temporarily. Be careful not to burn yourself. Use heating pads for no more than 20 minutes at a time.
Use of cold, such as applying ice packs to sore muscles, can relieve pain and inflammation after strenuous exercise.

• Massage. Massage might improve pain and stiffness temporarily. Make sure your massage therapist knows where your arthritis affects you.

What to avoid

• Smoking. If you’re addicted to tobacco, you might use it as an emotional coping tool. But it’s counterproductive: Toxins in smoke cause stress on connective tissue, leading to more joint problems.

• A negative attitude. Negative thoughts are self-perpetuating. As long as you dwell on them, they escalate, which can increase your pain and risk of disability. Instead, distract yourself with activities you enjoy, spend time with people who support you and consider talking to a therapist.

Wishing you a pain free day

Deb

Posted in Gardening

Homegrown

 

Just like meditation gardening is an age-old practice that engages the body, stimulates the mind, and uplifts the spirit.

Gardening and just getting my hands in the dirt are relaxing for me.

I feel connected to the earth more, and its as if my soul is just happier, I feel more balanced, its hard to explain but let’s say I really feel great when I am planting and playing in dirt.

I don’t always get to play in the dirt because I’m in an apartment. So I often have a container garden ,small raised garden just to feel and have it look more alive and pretty and I will plant flowers out at my parents grave as well as other family members that have passed on.

My husband helps me a lot at the cemeteries because with my bone issues and knee problems I cannot even kneel on my one knee.

At some point we plan on getting a house again, we’d love 1-3 acres in the country preferably, my husband also loves gardening ,planting, lawn work , being outside.

Gardening has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety,lower blood pressure and  that can help ward off diseases associated with inactivity, it can keep also your mind sharp and happy, and can help you sleep better at night. And save you money at the grocery store.

So now imagine the added benefits of planting a small medicinal herb garden as well, when you’re growing your own herbs for your own herbal remedies. The benefits of gardening then become limitless!

We Always Loved Planning Our Garden

When planting outdoors, it’s important to consider a few factors beforehand:

  • Will you be planting directly into the ground or will you use raised garden or containers?
  • What is your soil like? Does it need to be amended? Will your herbs have good drainage?
  • At what angle and at what time of day does the sun hit?
  • What is the hardiness zone in your growing area? Will your plants thrive in your climate?
  • How often will your herbs need watering? Who can water for you if you’re out of town?

Before getting your hands dirty, consider the size and space you have make a few sketches, keeping in mind how tall or wide a plant will grow once it’s in full bloom. (For example, plants in the mint family love to spread, so make sure they have enough room to grow.)

Make sure you plant for your climate.

If you’re enthusiastic about medicinal herbs, you may be tempted to jump right in and plant a whole garden at once.  If so, more power to you! But really start out smaller, if you’re new to herb gardening, it’s always smart to start slowly with just a few plants to get started. That gives you some room for error, so you can study how much light they’re getting, the soil, and how much watering needs done. Be smart an plan.

And having a fruit and veggie garden is also a fantastic way to eat cleaner, healthier and save money while enjoying the benefits of getting your hands dirty.

“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.” — Alfred Austin

Planting your herbs

Healthy plants are born from healthy soil and healthy seeds. If you notice that your soil shows no signs of growth, moisture, or earthworms, you may have to amend it with some organic compost and well-composted manure before planting.

Manure is Mother Nature’s ultimate fertilizer, but sometimes it can make the soil dense and clumpy. Don’t be afraid to add a little sand to your mixture to help encourage good drainage. Herbs don’t like wet feet!

Recommend Strictly Medicinal SeedsFedco Seeds, and Seed Savers for their vast selections and sustainable practices.

Herbs are usually ready to plant once the threat of frost has passed. Once you are ready to plant your seeds, prepare your soil beds with a light raking, making sure to level the soil and remove any rocks or pebbles larger than a gum ball. Then, using your thumb or the handle of a spade or a rake, indent the soil with small holes, spaced to account for their growth. For smaller herbs, 2” spacing between seeds generally works, but for sprawling plants like mints, you’ll likely need more space. Make sure to ask your gardening store specialist or research online ahead of time for optimal results. Then, cover the seeds with a light coating of soil and water them. You can expect sprouts within a couple of weeks.

Most herbs—but certainly not all—prefer 6-8 hours of sunshine per day and well-drained, slightly alkaline soils. Oftentimes, more sunshine results in a higher concentration of essential oils within the herb, making some medicinal herbs more potent. While many herbs prefer the conditions of a dry, Mediterranean climate during the growing season, there are others that thrive in the cool, shady forests, sometimes in acidic soils. Make sure to research which plants are ideal for your garden before you start.

 

garden

 

Best plants for your garden

Every garden has its own unique conditions. Below, is a link to a chart with some veggie plants and when to plant.

Plant chart  

 

Also of favorite medicinal plants to get you started on the right foot, but make sure to make your herb garden your own.

But remember herbs can be dangerous, so before you try them medically talk to your Doctor and an Herbalist or Naturopath because interactions can occur.

Planting your herb garden

Herb Chart

And Please Do NOT Use pesticides !

Posted in Memorial Day

Memorial Day 2020

Memorial Day 2020
Remembering Those Who Served Our Great Country and Lost Theirs Lives That We May Be Free To Live and Enjoy Ours
Thank You

I am the fallen soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine.
Remember me.
I am the one that held the line.
Sometimes I volunteered. Sometimes I went because I was told to go.
But when the nation called – I answered.

In order to serve, I left behind the family, friends, and freedom that so many take for granted.
Over time, I used different weapons: a sword, a musket, a bayonet, a rifle, a machine gun.
Often, I marched into battle on foot – countless miles – across whole continents. I had little water and even less food. But it did not matter. We had a job to do.
Other times, I rode to battle on horseback or in wagons; sometimes on trains; later in tanks or Jeeps or Humvees.
In early wars, my ships were made of wood and powered by the wind.
Later they were made of steel and powered by diesel fuel or the atom.
I even took to the air and mastered the sky in planes, helicopters, and jets.
The machines of war evolved and changed with the times.
But remember that it was always me – the warrior – that had to fight our nation’s enemies.

I fought at Lexington and Concord as our nation was born.
I crossed the Delaware on Christmas day in 1776. Freedom was on our side.
I defended The Chattahoochee river in the War of 1812. I would stand again.
In the Civil War, I fought with my brothers – and against my brothers – at Gettysburg and Shiloh and Bull Run. I learned that we must never again divide.
In World War l, I marched on the Marne and held the line at Belleau Wood. The War to end all wars, they called it. I just called it hell.
In World War ll, I fought everywhere: from the beaches of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge, to the sands of Iwo Jima and the hell of Guadalcanal. I stood against tyranny and kept darkness from consuming the world.

In Korea I landed at Inchon and broke out of the Chosin Reservoir. They called it the forgotten war – but I never forgot.
In Vietnam, I went and I fought in the Mekong Delta and at Ia Drang and Khe Sanh and Hamburger hill. Some say my country waivered. But I did not waiver. Ever.
In the recent past I have fought in Grenada, Panama, Somalia, and other desperate places around the globe.
And finally I have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Baghdad, Fallujah, and Ramadi.
In Kunar, Helmand, and Kandahar.
As technology advanced, I used night vision goggles and global positioning systems and drones and lasers and thermal optics.

But it was still me, a human being, that did the work.
It was me that patrolled up the mountains or across the desert or though the streets.
It was me that suffered in the merciless heat and the bitter cold.
It was me that went out, night after night, to confront our nation’s enemies and confront evil face to face.
It was me.
Remember me. I was a warrior.

But also remember:
That I was not only a warrior.
I was not just a soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine.
Remember also: that I was a son, a brother, a father.
I was a daughter, a sister, a mother.
I was a person – like you – a real person with hopes and dreams for the future.
I wanted to have children.
I wanted to watch my children grow up.
I wanted to see my son score a touchdown or shoot the winning basket.
I wanted to walk my daughter down the aisle.
I wanted to kiss my wife again.
I wanted to grow old with her – and be there to hold her hand when life grew hard.
When I told her I would be with her until the end – I meant it.
When I told my children I would always be there for them – I meant it.
But I gave all that away.
All of it.
On that distant battlefield, on some god-forsaken patch of dirt, amongst the fear and the fire and the bullets.
Or in the sky above enemy territory filled with flak.

Or on the unforgiving sea where we fought against the enemy and against the depths of the abyss.
There, in those awful places: I held the line.
I did not waiver and I did not hesitate.
I: The Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine.
I stood my ground and sacrificed my life – my future, my hopes, my dreams.
I sacrificed everything – for you.
This Memorial Day, remember me: the fallen warrior.
And remember me not for my sake – but for yours.
Remember what I sacrificed so you can truly appreciate the incredible treasures you have: Life. Liberty. The pursuit of happiness.
You have the joys of life, the joys that I gave up, so that you can relish in them:
A cool wind in the air.
The gentle spring grass on your bare feet.
The warm summer sun on your face.
Family. Friends. And freedom.
Never forget where it all came from.
It came from sacrifice: The supreme sacrifice.
Don’t waste it. Don’t waste any of your time on this earth.
Live a life that honors the sacrifice of our fallen heroes.
Remember them always. And make every day… Memorial Day.

Posted in Cake, Chiffon Cake, Orange,Lemon,Line

Traditions- Traditional Chiffon Cake

Every spring and summer my grandmother made a delicious chiffon cake her recipe called for 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar , but I cut the powdered sugar back to 2/3 of a cup and then I tried swerve and use it.

Swerve is a sugar substitute I bought the one for powdered sugar and loved it.

Chiffon Cake
5 extra large eggs or 7 regular size eggs
2/3 cup powdered sugar or sugar-free version swerve powdered sugar
3/4 cup of oil
3/4 cup of any juice. orange, lime , lemon
3/4 tsp baking powder
zest from the fruit – orange, lemon, lime
1.5 cups cake flour.(sifted)
I like King Arthur brand Cake flour.

In one bowl Beat whites with half sugar til really stiff and glossy
In another bowl beat the yolks, oil, juice, flour, other half of sugar, baking powder for 3-4 minutes.
Add the zest and gently fold egg white.
Pour into an UNGREASED ANGEL FOOD BUNDT PAN.

Tap pan on counter to release air bubbles.


Tip pour mixture on one side of pan and let it flow around on its own or you will trap big air bubbles.
You can then even it out with a spatula.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit

About 1 hour.


Touch test only for doneness
Don’t pierce the cake to test at all as you will cause this cake to deflate.

Once baked immediately invert angel cake pan over and leave in pan for at least 3 hours.

Cake must be completely cool.
Cut sides with knife to loosen off sides and run skewer around mid cone.
Tip then slide knife around bottom of tin. Put on plate.

It’s a delicious and light cake. You cannot use a normal pan and do not use nonstick spray

It needs to use sides to stick and rise. When inverted(upside down)
It stretches cake so it doesn’t collapse

 

You can top with powder sugar or leave it plain which is how we like it plain.

You can also makes glaze

1/2 cup powder sugar 2 teaspoons orange zest and 2-3 tablespoons orange juice mix and drizzle over cake.

Enjoy

Tips

If you go sugar-free you can substitute swerve version of powdered sugar
You can make your own cake flour
 
Make Cake Flour at Home
  1. For every 1 cup of all-purpose (AP) flour, remove 2 tablespoons of AP flour.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch for every 1 cup of AP flour. Basically you’re replacing the 2 tablespoons of AP flour taken out.
  3. Sift 3-5 times and it’s ready-to-use cake flour.
1 cup cake flour = 120 grams

 

Orange 🍊

 

Posted in Arthritis, Awareness, Hearing Loss, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Link-Between Hearing Loss and RA

When we think of hearing loss, you may associate it with your loved one who’s always asking you to repeat yourself, or the friend who may struggle to follow conversations.

Hearing loss is often caused by exposure to excessive noise and is even linked to the natural aging process. But did you know that hearing loss isn’t just caused by your loud job, or the blaring music at the concert ?

Along with lesser known causes of hearing loss like smoking and diabetes, a recent study found a link between hearing loss and rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory disease that affects many seniors, though young people can also suffer from the disease. Around 1.5 million Americans have RA, and this number continues to rise. RA is an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system turns against the body. Rather than protecting the body from sicknesses by warding off viral and bacterial infections, the immune system attacks the joints, causing swelling, inflammation, and pain. RA can damage cartilage and tissue around the joints, disform the joints, and even damage the bone. It becomes painful to move the affected joints, and leads to reduced mobility, and difficulty performing normal daily tasks.

Linking Hearing Loss and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Clinical trials looking at the links between hearing loss and arthritis found far higher rates of hearing loss among those with arthritis. Those with RA were more likely to have sensorineural hearing loss, hearing loss associated with the ear and not the brain. Delicate cells in the inner ear are damaged in this type of hearing loss, and once these cells are damaged, they don’t regenerate. You’ll be unable to hear certain sounds in the environment, since the cells in the ear responsible for those sounds have been destroyed.

A 2006 study found that around 43% of those with RA had hearing loss! And a study from the Mayo Clinic, reported that even though they weren’t able to detect measurably higher rates of hearing loss among those with RA, their patients with RA were far more likely to perceive that they had hearing loss.

 

How does RA Lead to Hearing Loss?

Researchers are still unclear on the how rheumatoid arthritis and hearing loss are linked. However, it’s clear that RA can attack other body systems, not just the joints, so the cells in the ear can also be affected by this disease.

Another link could be the drugs used to treat the pain that goes hand in hand with arthritis. Many studies have found that common pain killers, such as ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) can cause hearing loss. Even taking these pain killers two or more days per week was linked to worse hearing health, while those who took pain killers six days a week had a 24% higher risk of hearing loss than those who didn’t take pain killers. Those suffering from RA often take a lot of painkillers just to get through the day, and these drugs are known to reduce blood flow and deprive the cells in the inner ear of the oxygen and nutrients they need to survive.

Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis

While doctors can’t cure RA, they all agree that treating the disease as soon as possible is essential for good health outcomes. Treating RA stops inflammation, prevents further joint damage or deformity, and relieves pain. It also improves overall well-being by allowing for increased mobility and physical function. Treatments include medications to ease symptoms, as well as to reduce inflammation and slow joint damage.

Self-management is also important when it comes to RA, and your doctor will help you be proactive in managing the disease and maintaining your overall quality of life. Eating well, exercising often and resting, using heat pads, and learning relaxation techniques all play a role in self-management.

Treating Hearing Loss

If you’ve been struggling to hear, and think it may be linked to your RA, call your local hearing center.

May is Arthritis Awareness Month

Posted in Awareness, Bone Health, boredom, covid19, Eat Healthy, exercise, Health, Healthier, Heart Health, Life

Trying To Protect Our Health & Becoming Unhealthy

Another day of self-isolating, which means it’s potentially another day of sitting indoors restlessly taking yet another Zoom class, practicing social distancing from the frig.

Prolonged sitting is an unavoidable reality for many. And with us spending more time inside, as the pandemic continues, it’s inevitable that we’re spending even more time being sedentary.

We are staying home more we’re trying to protect our health but all this sitting, eating , isolation is making us unhealthy in other ways.

Excessive sitting can lead to depression, chronic pain and increased risk of physical injury, according to research. That’s why it’s important for us to become aware of our sitting habits and do what we can to counteract them now before we conform and resort to eating , boredom as our new norm and then your pants won’t fit.

I understand its hard to stay home, we end up sitting around, but hey you don’t have to.

Check out the links below

Stay safe-Stay healthy-And use caution and practice social distance when heading out

 

Here is a great Link about Sitting and the Dangers

https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/ss/slideshow-sitting-health

 

I really like videos of Bob and Brad – Leslie Sansone and Shaun T

 

7 Necessary Stretches for the Inflexible! Complete Beginners Flexibility Routine by Bob and Brad

https://youtu.be/W0thJZtUgrA

 

Stretches – Daily Stretch Routine for Beginners Using a Towel and a Chair.

https://youtu.be/2x8O_mpvY68

 

Basic Beginner Cardio Workout

https://youtu.be/_7yB-UcF3-s

 

10 minute Cize work out – Shaun T

https://youtu.be/TmzgZoY7O1A

 

Walk Away The Pounds 1 Mile | Walk at Home – Leslie Sansone – 1 mile at home

https://youtu.be/ECxnTuzZ614

2 Mile Walk – from the 4 Mile Power Walk Workout – Leslie Sansone

https://youtu.be/p2ggHwtb-Zg

img_2955

 

 

 

Walking at Home American Heart Association 3 Mile Walk – Leslie Sansone

https://youtu.be/DYuw4f1c4xs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Awareness

Isolation Is Normal For Many Disabled

All around the world, governments placed their citizens into various forms of lock-down as the COVID19 virus spread fast throughout the world.

Suddenly, and for the first time in a very long time, huge populations are coming face to face with a feeling of what its like being excluded from normal life and a sense of isolation, as individuals with the virus, and those in their households, are quarantined in homes and hospitals.

Many asked to remain home unless its essential to out, many workers are now laid off. This is devastating and at times depressing for so many, but what many don’t realize is this sense of isolation and detachment from “normal” life isn’t a temporary phase for many disabled.

They aren’t waiting out the lockdown for normality to resume. For a large percentage of the population, including the elderly and many of the 1.3 billion people living with a disability from child to adult worldwide, this daily experience of isolation and exclusion is unfortunately the norm.

Many of those living with a disability will not be able to go back to “business as usual” after the pandemic has cleared:

This is their usual. But their usual must change with this pandemic, because for far too long, people living with a disability have been excluded from daily life.

If suddenly many can work from home why cannot the disabled? Many companies snarled at employees working from home often leaving those immune compromised or the disabled just out of luck when wanting to remain in the workforce.

And right now, amid this pandemic, we must not forget the specific needs of people with disabilities. In 2020, it is deeply worrying that, once again, in a time of crisis, I see many cases where the specific needs of the disability community are being overlooked. As we design systems for the future, it is important we do not repeat the wrongs of the past – or the present crisis.

Example : Many disabled use at home delivery grocery services regulary- once this pandemic started suddenly disabled could not rely on logging in to get groceries in a couple days: sometimes all the slots were taken for up to 2 weeks.

Noone made any special accommodations for them or seen that their needs were met.

Same with the extra unemployment check stimulus many received not just their standard unemployment you not just got unemployment you they received an extra 600.00 a week or every two weeks: Yet the disabled who get a mear 450.00 to 1300.00 a month received nothing else weekly or monthly. Many said they made more on unemployment than working because of that extra kick . Yet again the disabled are left out.

Thankfully, everyone did receive the 1200.00 stimulus as a one time help which was appreciated.

 

But the disabled still in the long run got screwed, often they seem to be overlooked, the government could have put an extra 600.00 a month or more in their account like they did those who were unemployed getting it a week.

I noticed there were no sales, so everything cost more except gas for the car. Food prices were up, and good luck finding many needed household items.

Right now, we must not forget the specific needs of people with disabilities. In 2020, it is deeply worrying that, once again, in a time of crisis, I see many cases where the specific needs of the disability community are being overlooked.

As we design systems for the future, it is important we do not repeat the wrongs of the past – or the present crisis.

There is a business incentive to recognize the value of the market of those living with a disability, but there is an even stronger moral and societal imperative that this exclusion ends now.

The majority of people have now experienced what mass social exclusion feels like, and we cannot “unknow” what we know about how it feels to be isolated.

We now all know the pain of isolation and exclusion , unable to see family, friends, coworkers, classmates as we plan for our future, we must insist on no one being left behind.

 

 

 

Posted in Awareness

Orzo Salad

Orzo Salad

Ingredients

For Dressing:

3 teaspoons lemon zest about (1 1/2 lemons)

8-9 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 to 3 lemons) 

1 medium clove garlic, grated fine

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed 

1/2 to 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt 

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

For Salad:

1 large red, yellow or orange bell pepper, diced into small dice

1/2 large seedless English cucumber, watery pulp scooped out and discarded, diced (about 1 1/2 cups) 

1/2 small red onion, finely chopped (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup) 

1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained 

1/2 cup diced plum tomatoes

1/2 cup pitted and halved Kalamata olives 

1/2 to 1 cup lightly toasted chopped walnuts -I like our on the small but not too fine side.

1/4 cup pine nuts lightly toasted

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint 

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley 

Cooking pasta

When pasta water comes to boil add orzo stir, then add 1 tablespoon Kosher or Himalayan salt 

1 pound dried orzo 

Cook 8-9 minutes tops drain in colander do not rinse

While orzo is warm add all veggies and dressing and stir,stir,stir.

Refrigerate at least 1 hour then add feta.

I usually add it as it’s served in case some don’t like feta.

4 ounces brine-packed Greek feta, crumbled (optional) 

Note

if you don’t like feta skip it or add a cheese you do like -Parm-Romano-or none at all

Posted in Awareness

Covid19 – Facts When Immune Compromised

 

After more than two months of major societal changes, including strict stay-at-home orders in most states, the closing of U.S. borders, and shutting down non-essential travel and non-essential businesses, many parts of America are beginning to ease restrictions and open back up. With so much uncertainty around the coronavirus (including an ongoing lack of testing and a vaccine months or years away) this news continues to worry patients with chronic conditions who may be at a higher risk for coronavirus complications because of their age or co-occurring health conditions.

Managing a chronic disease such as inflammatory arthritis is stressful enough without having to worry about the ongoing spread of COVID-19.

CreakyJoints spoke with multiple rheumatologists and infectious disease experts to provide information that is specific to this community.

We will update this story as critical information changes.

Coronavirus By the Numbers

Doctors and researchers are continuing to learn more about this novel (new) coronavirus named “coronavirus disease 2019” (“COVID-19”).

Here’s what we do know: The coronavirus outbreak, which originated in Wuhan, China in 2019, has moved its way around the world, with a total of more than 3.5 million detected cases around the world so far and nearly 250,000 deaths.

According to the latest data, the U.S. now has more than 1.2 million confirmed cases across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. There have been more than 71,00 deaths linked to coronavirus in the U.S.

While daily cases and deaths have been steadying or declining in many areas of the country, there continue to be spikes and hot spots in others. Public health experts are worried that the loosening of social distancing practices and businesses starting to reopen could lead to another prolonged increase in cases as the summer season begins.

 Coronavirus Risks for Inflammatory Arthritis

Are people with inflammatory arthritis more susceptible to the coronavirus or at a higher risk of complications like pneumonia?

“We don’t yet have data available to quantify this risk at this time,” says rheumatologist Jean Liew, MD, a senior fellow at the University of Washington in Seattle, although research on how the coronavirus is affecting rheumatology patients is underway.

In guidance recently issued from the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology, the authors state:

“To our knowledge, there is currently no evidence identifying risk factors of poor outcome with COVID-19 that are specific to rheumatic disease … risk factors of poor outcome with COVID-19 include older age and select comorbidity such as chronic lung disease, hypertension, cardiovascular disease (CVD), chronic kidney disease (CKD), obesity and diabetes mellitus, conditions frequently overrepresented in patients with rheumatic disease.”

In other words, based on what is known right now, age and comorbidities seem to be bigger influences on poor outcomes from COVID-19 than having an inflammatory condition alone.

How Inflammatory Conditions Affect Your Immune System

It is important to understand how inflammatory conditions like arthritis affect your immune system.

First, when inflammatory arthritis is not well-controlled (not in remission or low disease activity) your immune system tends to focus on attacking your own body rather than outside threats (like the coronavirus).

This can make you “immunocompromised” and might increase your chance of COVID-19 complications, but more data is needed.

Second, some of the medications used to manage arthritis and inflammatory conditions modify the function of the immune system, which can make patients more vulnerable to infection in general, though more research is needed to understand how various medications affect COVID-19 risk specifically.

Third, many rheumatologic patients have other risk factors or underlying health issues linked to coronavirus complications, such as older age, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and obesity.

“[The coronavirus pandemic] is certainly concerning for everyone, especially those who are immunocompromised,” says Nilanjana Bose, MD, MBA, a rheumatologist at the Rheumatology Center of Houston in Pearland, Texas. “We need to exercise more caution and be more alert with these patients.”

The CDC Definition of High-Risk Patients

The CDC defines the following groups as high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19:

  • People aged 65 years and older
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, serious heart conditions, severe obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, liver disease
  • People who are immunocompromised from cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune-weakening medications

If you have risk factors that place you at a possible higher risk for coronavirus complications, it is natural to feel ongoing worry and anxiety as the pandemic ensues. These tips can help.

How to Stay Healthy During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Here is what you should do to stay safe and healthy during the coronavirus pandemic.

1. Know coronavirus symptoms

According to the CDC, symptoms usually appear within two to 14 days of being exposed to the virus. People with COVID-19 can have a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe, and new symptoms have been added since the beginning of the pandemic:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat

Keep in mind that because coronavirus symptoms can vary from mild to severe, you shouldn’t necessarily panic if you develop any of them.

Call your rheumatologist or primary care doctor right away to determine next steps. Do not go to see your doctor or an urgent care center in person without calling first so they can advise on precautions, where to go, and how to arrive safely.

Many patients with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases have concerns about coronavirus symptoms possibly overlapping with those of their underlying chronic conditions.

Read more about coronavirus symptoms in autoimmune and chronic illness patients.

2. Understand how coronavirus spreads

“Coronavirus is a respiratory illness and spread very readily through close contact,” says William Schaffner, MD, a professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee— for instance, if an infected person coughs or sneezes less than six feet away from you.

Some studies suggest that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms, which is why the CDC now recommends wearing cloth face masks in public.

Coronavirus may also be spread through an airborne route, which, according to Johns Hopkins, means “that tiny droplets remaining in the air could cause disease in others even after the ill person is no longer near.”

You may also contract coronavirus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, and then by touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. According to a study by the National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University scientists, published in The New England Journal of Medicinecoronavirus is detectable on the following:

  • Aerosols: up to three hours
  • Copper: up to four hours
  • Cardboard: up to 24 hours
  • Plastic and stainless steel: up to two to three days

3. Stop the spread of germs

Washing your hands (for at least 20 seconds with soap and water) is the hands-down (pun intended) winner when it comes to preventing the spread of germs. Here’s a video from the World Health Organization that shows proper hand washing techniques.

The CDC also advises such commonsense measures as:

  • Avoiding touching your mouth, nose, and eyes
  • Avoiding people who are coughing and sneezing
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Practicing social distancing, which includes staying at least six feet away from other people and not gathering in large groups
  • Wearing cloth face masks in public places

4. Stay home as much as possible

Even as stay-at-home mandates become lifted across the U.S., the CDC continues to urge people at higher risk of COVID-19 complications to stay home as much as possible. If you do need to go out — to go to a doctor appointment or pharmacy — wear a mask and practice social distancing.

Grocery stores are best avoided if you are at higher risk, so utilize online grocery delivery service or curbside pick-up or ask a family member or friend to pick up essentials for you.

Continue to avoid unnecessary errands.

5. Maintain healthy lifestyle habits

The same lifestyle habits that you follow to help your immune system to function optimally are important for staying well during the coronavirus pandemic.

Another thing to keep in mind is to avoid taking “immune booster” supplements, says rheumatologist Doug Roberts, MD, an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of California Davis Medical School. “Some of these may interfere with the immunomodulating effects of your DMARDs [disease-modifying medications].”

It is always a good idea to get your doctor’s approval for any over-the-counter supplements.

6. Maintain your usual medication regimen

The biggest concerns among patients with rheumatologic and inflammatory conditions throughout the coronavirus pandemic have had to do with medications and their potential effects on infection risk.

Medications commonly used to treat inflammatory arthritis and related conditions, including corticosteroids, DMARDs, biologics, and JAK inhibitors do modify the immune system, but many questions remain about their impact on COVID-19 specifically.

There is not yet definitive evidence whether certain medications are causing worse outcomes for patients, or, on the flip side, are even possibly protective against COVID-19 complications.

The most important message is this: You should not stop taking any medications or adjust your dose of any medications without first talking to your doctor.

In general, if you don’t have COVID-19 and are stable on your current regimen, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) recommends that you stick with the following medications:

  • Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine
  • Sulfasalazine
  • Methotrexate
  • Leflunomide
  • Immunosuppressants (such as tacrolimus and cyclosporine)
  • Biologics
  • Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

The guidance suggests that patients on corticosteroids should take the lowest possible dose to manage symptoms because they can increase your risk of infection, even more so than other types of disease-modifying medications.

If you are exposed to COVID-19 or have a known coronavirus infection, your doctor might suggest you stop certain medications while you fight the infection and then resume them once you have recovered.

Never make any changes to your medication regimen without first discussing them with your doctor.

7. Stay in touch with your doctors and manage your chronic conditions

It is important to make sure your inflammatory conditions are well-controlled. Arthritis that is flaring means that your immune system may be less able to fight off infection.

If you are experiencing pain, fatigue, or other symptoms, contact your doctor. Many doctors are utilizing telemedicine appointments to see patients, so you may not necessarily need to see your doctor in person.

Read more about how practices are implementing telehealth.

If your doctor wants you to come for an in-person visit, know that offices have dramatically changed their environments and systems to ensure safety for patients (as well as for their doctors, nurses, and staff).

You can ask your doctor’s office about their rules. Many changes including taking patients’ temperatures and checking for coronavirus symptoms upon arrival, ensuring social distancing in waiting rooms or eliminating waiting rooms altogether, and limiting the number of patients in the office at one time — not to mention disinfecting measures and personal protective equipment (PPE).

The bottom line for now: The coronavirus has certainly dramatically changed all of our lives and continues to raise concerns for those who may be at a higher risk for infection and complications. For now, keep this advice in mind to stay healthy, safe, and calm:

  • Practice social distancingand good handwashing and hygiene habits per public health guidance
  • Take care of your mental health and wellness with stress management, healthy eating, and physical activity
  • Remain on your current medications and never stop or change a medication without talking to your doctor
  • Stay in touch with your doctor and keep your appointments (either in person or telemedicine)

Get Free Coronavirus Support for Chronic Illness Patients

Join the Global Healthy Living Foundation’s free COVID-19 Support Program for chronic illness patients and their families. We will be providing updated information, community support, and other resources tailored specifically to your health and safety. Join now.

Sources

 

SUSAN JARAMORE FROM AUTHOR

 

immune3

 

Posted in Awareness, covid19, Isolation, Loneliness, Stay Home

Loneliness Is At An All Time High

Millions of Americans are beginning to work from home as part of the nationwide fight to limit the spread of COVID 19.

Such a widespread shift may exacerbate feelings of loneliness and social isolation. Americans suffering from loneliness and social isolation are 30% more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke than individuals with strong support networks, and all age ranges are affected.

Health insurance providers have been focused on addressing the effects of social isolation and will continue to implement innovative programs to support Americans during these uncertain times.

Younger Americans may be especially at risk to loneliness and social isolation as the transition to working from home continues

There was a 2020 study from Cigna found that 79% of Generation Z (18-22 years old) and 71% of millennials reported feeling lonely, compared with only 50% of baby boomers. And 61% of all Americans reported feelings of loneliness, the Cigna study discovered.

Successful programs range from making regular check-in phone calls to enrollees to utilizing technology like Skype and Facetime to connect individuals with far-flung family members. The goal is to increase an individual’s sense of connection with the outside world, and health insurance providers are investing in solutions that can be tailored to the specific needs of enrollees.

One of COVID-19’s harshest ironies: Just when we need each other more, we’re being forced apart.

Faced with the necessity of social distancing as COVID-19 continues to spread, Americans can take some simple steps to ameliorate their loneliness and others.

  • First, spend at least 15 minutes each day talking with or writing to a loved one.  Just 15 minutes doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but when done consistently that small amount of time can make a big difference in how connected we feel,
  • Second, find ways to serve others. “We can call a neighbor …and check on them to make sure they’re doing okay. We can drop food off to somebody, Facetime family have Zoom meetings.
  • Third, We can write to people to just let them know … that we know, that they are going through a tough time and that we’re thinking of them. These are small but powerful ways in which we can seek to serve others.”

Actions like these can be especially valuable for elderly and those who live alone.

Such efforts combat the chronic loneliness that can pull one inward and insidiously chip away at one’s sense of self.

Serving others shifts the focus outward and reminds people of their own value and ability to contribute to the world.

 

So how do you deal with the isolation, or loneliness?

Feel free to comment below.

 

Thanks for Stopping By God Bless You and Prayers We All Remain Healthy

Deb

xx-o

 

 

Today’s Song

Hallelujah – The Rome choirs Lavinium and SingUp! are meeting virtually in this quarantine time to sing together Leonard Cohen’s Halleluja.

 

 

 

Posted in Awareness

Grocery shopping And Covid19

As I attempt to

grocery shop for us and my 92 year old mother in law during this new covid19 pandemic gods remains a necessity during this pandemic,how do we shop safely.

Although your grocery store may be temporarily out of certain products, like toilet paper paper towels disinfectant there are no nationwide shortages of food for now.

 

To help protect yourself, grocery store workers, and other shoppers, it is important to keep a few things in mind:

1. Prepare a shopping list in advance. Buy just 1 to 2 weeks-worth of groceries at a time. Buying more than you need can create unnecessary demand and temporary shortages.

2. Wear a face covering or mask while you are in the store. Some stores and localities may require it. Check your state, county or city guidelines for any other requirements.

3. Carry your own wipes, or use one provided by the store to wipe down the handles of the shopping cart or basket.

4. If you use reusable shopping bags, ensure they are cleaned or washed before each use.

5. Practice social distancing while shopping – keeping at least 6 feet between you, other shoppers, and store employees. Keep your hands away from your face.

6. Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds when you return home and again after you put away your groceries.

7. Again, there is no evidence of food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19. However, if you wish, you can wipe down product packaging and allow it to air dry, as an extra precaution.

As always, it is important to follow these food safety practices to help prevent foodborne illness:

7. Before eating, rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten. Scrub firm produce with a clean produce brush. For canned goods, remember to clean lids before opening.

8. When unpacking groceries, refrigerate or freeze meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, and other perishables—like berries, lettuce, herbs, and mushrooms—within 2 hours of purchasing.

9. Regularly clean and sanitize kitchen counters using a commercially available disinfectant product or a DIY sanitizing solution with 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) unscented liquid chlorine bleach to 1 gallon of water or 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water. WARNING: Do not use this solution or other disinfecting products on food.

10. Always keep in mind the basic 4 food safety steps — Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill.

Food is a source of comfort, sometimes it can become a source of weight gain if we go to food to feed our emotions so make sure you still move and get exercise as well as nourishment for you and your family – especially now .

It’s just common sense also remember flu season kills many across the world as well. So if nothing else become cleaner more mindful but don’t let any fear of covid19 control you.

Posted in Awareness

Happy Easter

Easter is my favorite holiday because of the significance it holds for me as a Christian.

It is the day we remember the rising of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It’s the day he triumphed over the grave, saved us from our sins and gave meaning to our world. Without his rising from the grave, all the rest of it would be meaningless. He triumphed over death and gave us life!

It may seem like the world will never be normal again.

But it will

It’s still a joyous time of the year.

Our savior has risen- Hallelujah

This Joyous Time of Year

May the glory

and the promise

of this joyous time of year

bring peace- health and

happiness to you

and all those you hold most dear.

And may Christ,

Our Risen Savior,

always be there by your side

to bless you

most abundantly

and be your loving guide.

Happy Easter

💕

Deb