Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Well Wishes for the NEW YEAR!!


I can't believe it's been an entire month (practically) since I've written. This was not by choice, I swear. I have about 6 drafts started and almost ready to publish.... but they haven't been due to the Holiday buzz, the crazy work and travel schedules and last but not least - our malfunctioning modem and router issues. UGH!

So finally, after hours of Todd patiently holding, calling Comcast and troubleshooting galore... hopefully we'll stay in business! :)

We had a WONDERFUL Christmas together here in D.C.. It was actually a little weird at first. We did all of our family visits before Christmas weekend and I didn't have to work on the holiday. It was wonderful waking up Christmas Eve to each other, casually having a nice breakfast and coffee, taking in the peace that surrounded D.C. on our 10 mile run and knowing we didn't have to rush off to someone's house for all the hustle and bustle that's become an expectation for us. It's not that we don't enjoy our family time, but when you spend more time in the car than with each side of the family.... it's more and more difficult to do (I don't even like thinking about the madness it would be with KIDS!). We realized this summer with our move, we wouldn't be able to take the time off of work that would allow us to be in NC over the holidays to see everyone we want and need to be with. So we made adjustments and split the visits over Thanksgiving and Christmas. What a difference it made. We in no way spent as much time with our family and friends as we wanted to, but we did what we could with the time we had.

Christmas Day was also a nice calm day for us. We slept in and then went to church. We haven't found a home church here in the DC area yet. My work schedule and Todd's training schedule haven't given us a whole lot of Sunday's to join in on fellowship.... but, thankfully, we had Christmas Sunday together to fellowship with the kind and open hearts of Clarendon Presbyterian Church. This small church was breathtakingly beautiful. Small and quaint, but gorgeous. I'm not sure how old the structure is, but the sanctuary is gorgeous. I think there were 10 of us total there Sunday morning. We sang together, read the Christmas Story, and shared our favorite memories as families from Christmases past. It was casual, kind, and  a beautiful way to start our Christmas morning.

I'm thankful we had the opportunity to join this church family in their Christmas morning service. We will certainly be back for a "traditional" service to meet and greet a few more faces!

I hope that each of you had a special and wonderful Christmas holiday celebrating the birth of Christ.

There will be much more to come in 2012. Todd and I have lots of goals for this year... mostly around running/fitness, professional development, financial and as a couple, but all are exciting! :) And yes, as always, I do have a goal to do MUCH more through and with this blog.

Hugs and Happy Holidays friends!! :) I love you all!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hope For HIV

I found this great article published by the CDC today for World AIDS day, December 1st. As a nurse, I'm always amazed at how little patients (those with AIDS, those without and their care providers) know about the disease. I don't know HALF as much as I should know about the disease, but after meeting my first AIDS patient while in nursing school.... I've always been intrigued. AIDS is not the scary disease that everyone thought only "gay men" got in the 80's. AIDS is now the scary disease affecting everyone - men, women and children of allllllll races and sexual orientation.

Learn. I don't want another patient telling me "I think I have AIDS... can you test me?" and when I ask them appropriate questions regarding exposure and/or symptoms... they don't know.

So, in an effort to help protect you, society, alllll healthcare providers and myself. Get to learning! Don't ignore the topic. It's out there whether you like it or not. Help keep everyone safe. (and this goes beyond just using a condom!)

You can find more about this article here.

New Hope for Stopping HIV

Testing and Medical Care Save Lives


Too many people don't know they have HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). About 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the US but about 240,000 don't know they are infected. Each year, about 50,000 people get infected with HIV in the US. Getting an HIV test is the first step to finding out if you have HIV and getting medical care. Without medical care, HIV leads to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) and early death.
There's new hope today for stopping HIV in the US. Medicines (antiretroviral therapy or ART) can lower the level of virus in the body. ART helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives and also lowers the chances of passing HIV on to others. However, only 28% are getting the care they need to manage the disease and keep the virus under control. To help stop HIV, get tested. If you have HIV, get medical care and work with your health care provider to control the virus and not pass it on to others.
Learn what you can do to prevent HIV through testing and medical care.


Many people don't know they have HIV or take all the actions to control it.

Testing: More people need to be tested for HIV.
  • 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the US.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 people (about 240,000) don't know they are infected.
  • Getting an HIV test can lead to getting the medical care needed to stay healthy longer.
  • People who don't know they have HIV have a higher risk of serious medical problems and early death.
  • People who don't know they have HIV can also pass the virus on to others without knowing it.
  • Youth and adults should get tested to learn their HIV status.
  • People who are at greater risk for infection (have more than one sex partner, inject drugs, or are men who have sex with other men) should get tested once a year or more often.
Treating: Many people with HIV do not receive the medical care they need.
  • Lowering the amount of virus in the body can keep a person with HIV healthy longer.
  • Keeping the virus under control with medicines greatly lowers the chances of passing HIV on to others.
  • Only 28% of all people with HIV know they are infected, get regular medical care, take ART and have the HIV virus under control.
  • The number of people with HIV who get AIDS has decreased over time because of advances in medical care and ART.  Still, more than 16,000 people with AIDS die each year.
  • Public health professionals and health care providers should help people with HIV make sure to get regular HIV medical care and take their medicines.
Prevention Counseling: Only 45% of people with HIV getting medical care received prevention counseling from their health care providers in the past year.
  • Prevention counseling teaches patients how to stay as healthy as possible and prevent passing HIV on to others.  Prevention services include STD testing and treatment services, drug rehab, assistance in notifying partners, housing assistance, financial assistance and other services.
  • People with HIV should get prevention counseling and services as a part of regular HIV care.
  • People with HIV whose virus is controlled still need prevention counseling and prevention services regularly. 
Graphic: Route to Healthy Living with HIV and Preventing New Infections

HIV care in the United States

1.2 million people are living with HIV

What Can Be Done

Icon: People

Everyone can:

  • Lower risky sexual behavior by not having sex, having sex with only one partner who you know is uninfected, or using a condom every time you have anal, vaginal, or oral sex.
  • Ask your doctor for an HIV test.
  • Get medical care as soon as possible if you have HIV, to stay healthier longer and to keep from passing the virus on to others.
  • Get tested if you live in a community where HIV is more common.
  • Get tested once a year or more often if you have more than one sex partner, inject drugs or are a man who has sex with other men.
Icon: US Government

US Government can:

  • Develop guidelines for health care providers on testing and medical care.
  • Educate health care providers and the public about the importance of HIV testing and medical care.
  • Fund programs that support effective HIV prevention services and medical care.
  • Identify and track differences in medical care, illness and death across different groups of people.
  • Help meet the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, including getting all people with HIV into care. (see /www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/onap/nhasExternal Web Site Icon
State and local health departments

State and local health departments can:

  • Fund programs that support effective HIV prevention services and medical care.
  • Create programs and policies to test people at risk for HIV early and often.
  • Provide information about where people can get an HIV test such aswww.hivtest.orgExternal Web Site Icon.
  • Educate people about the benefits of HIV testing, regular care, and treatment.
  • Get people who have HIV infection connected to HIV medical care.
  • Promote HIV prevention counseling and services as a regular part of care.
  • Support community actions to prevent new HIV infections and help people with HIV.
  • Help meet the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, including getting all people with HIV into care.
Icon: Health care providers

Health care providers can:

  • Offer their patients an HIV test as a regular part of medical care.
  • Offer their patients STD testing and treatment services.
  • Prescribe ART as needed for patients with HIV and make sure the amount of virus is as low as possible.
  • Make sure people with HIV continue getting HIV medical care.
  • Provide HIV prevention counseling to patients on how to protect their health and avoid passing the virus on to others; refer to other prevention services (for example, partner counseling) as needed.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Motivational Monday: Inspiring a change for the better

While checking out videos online I found this one. It's incredible. (a little long, but worth it)

Roger is the gentleman in the video. He started his journey to a happier, healthier man right before he turned 47 years old and weighed in at 276.6 pounds. He simplified his purpose to three goals:

1.) Health - changing his way of life in regards to diet and exercise to loose "a significant amount of weight".
2.) Passion - to RUN the Boston Marathon
3.) Love - to help save the life of his niece, Julia, and for the love of his wife, Mary.

What I love about his message is his FOCUS and that he didn't put a "time commitment" on his goals. He did what he could, when he could, and continued to push towards his three goals.

According to some of the video summary and other info I could find. Roger did exactly what he set out to do. He also ran the London marathon this past April. Julia is also still living.

Don't make excuses. Roger proved that finding a PURPOSE to drive you towards your goals, you will be successful!

Have a great week friends! :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Workout Wednesday: ABS!

I couldn't remember my last abdominal workout move I shared with you guys, so I thought I'd share one of my favorite (FREE) programs with you at the same time!!

Exercise TV! Most cable companies offer this channel on-demand FREE to it's users. You can also check them out online for free videos, workout plans, dvd's, etc. I'm waiting for the day my running pal, friend and worlds most inspiring training/coach, Katie Wade, gets a gig with Exercise TV too!!

This ab routine is only two minutes - but take the time to give it a try! You've probably spent longer stalking people on facebook this morning.

Walk Fit

This weekend we had the luxury of enjoying a slow morning, sippin' our coffee (or hot tea in Tall boy's case), eating our oatmeal, and watching the news (or reading it on the ipad) before we set out for a long run.

Our local news always has a health and wellness segment that I usually make fun of. It's just done poorly or they have this older gentlemen who's way too buff to be his age (think 70's with padded sweat suit... yes, it's weird). But this time they had on a former football player of the Washington Redskins, Darrell Green. No, I had never heard of him before (I only knew he was with the Redskins b/c of the color of his uniform in the video!). I still know nothing about his professional career... but I am in LOVE with this new program he has launched.

The program is called Walk Fit Health Nation. It's a simple (but awesome) tool to motivate and track your steps each day... but it's even more than that! For about $80 for the year, a price you can't beat, you are given a digital pedometer that uses wireless technology to sync your walking stats (speed, amount, and times) to your computer and on the website. There is an entire network of participates who compete locally and nationally for their stepping goals (everyone is asked to set a minimal goal of 5,000 steps a day, aprox. 2 miles) and "top stepper" awards. Members are able to cheer and encourage other members as well.

I think this tool is a wonderful motivating tool for those trying to be more active with small changes. I know not everyone can just get up and try to start running. But we all walk!! Yes, some of us better than others and some of us, due to weight and/or knee issues, may only want to make walking easier. I also think this program is wonderful for those who don't work, stay at home, or have a job that keeps them "chained" to a desk more than they're aware of.

Who knows, maybe this program is just what some of my readers need. Not a gym, not a trainer, not the latest workout craze... but something that allows them to see, measure and track how much work they're doing, how much weight they've lost without all the fancy gadgets and gizmos.

The easiest way to improve ones health is simple: GET MOVING. The easiest way to get moving: WALK! Research also suggests that if we walk at least two miles a day, we can cut our chance of premature death nearly IN HALF!!

What do you all think? Anyone going to bite? Anyone brave enough to start walking for their health? :)

Remember to find your reason and STAY focused. You won't fail if you put your mind to it, share your goal(s) with your support group, and GET MOVING! Stop wasting time. You've got a life to live! :)

Tomorrow isn't guaranteed. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Motivational Monday: How Bad Do You Want It?

Wow. I found this message sooooooooooo POWERFUL. Seriously - EVERYONE has to hear this message. (Please share it with your friends and loved ones.)

I had flashbacks of the old school church revivals I would go to as a young lady in the mountains of North Carolina.... it was THAT powerful. Soul moving powerful. Mind changing powerful.

The video is motivating (but not the purpose), but the MESSAGE. "Whoooooo!" (Shamekah Henderson, I said that JUST like you would during our work outs!) It makes you want to give it all up for a taste of success.


REMEMBER: "When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you'll be successful" 

Like the narration insinuates, what are you willing to give up?  

Your TV time?
Working at home?
A clean house?
Sitting in traffic?
Bad knees?

Go ahead. Walk out in to the water. How bad do you want to be successful? 

Real Bad?!? :) 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Motivational Monday... but on Thursday

A few weeks ago, I had the PLEASURE of running with and cheering on my friend Lori while she ran the Marine Corps Marathon (her 3rd). No, I've never run a marathon myself. The training involved and my way too competitive side have always been my excuse.... well, honestly it was for my safety initially. 

After running a nasty stress fracture into the neck of my right femur during my collegiate running career... I knew it was probably best for me not to get involved in something that could potentially put be back in that miserable place in my life. I spent nearly 3 months hauling myself around a college campus on crutches w/o any weight bearing on my leg, no running and only being able to swim with my legs tied together like a freakin' mermaid. It was awful

I love the sport of running way too much to EVER let it be taken out of my life again because I simply worked too hard, too fast. Hence the reason I've REALLY avoided marathon training. Plus, I'm just not sure I'm up for that torture. 

Until now. :) 

Running with Lori and Todd for 10ish miles during the MCM was amazing. Watching all those faces come across the finish line was refreshing. Seeing so many wounded soldiers running alongside us proved to me that I really am stronger, physically and mentally, than I give myself credit. I also learned that maybe my time has also come. Of all the friends (as well as my 32 girls on the run) I've encouraged and cheered through several 5k's, 10k's, half and full marathons....They've all finished and gone on to do MORE!  

I think I'm closer than ever to making the commitment. I know I said 2011 was the "year of the marathon" for me in my new year "resolutions"... but we're already in November. I won't be running one by Christmas... so maybe this Spring?

Any other takers? We can plan a marathon extravaganza weekend together!!! 

Happy Running! - a. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Workout Wednesday: High to Low Chop

This week I was looking for a new move to try in my workouts and I came across this one: 

The High to Low Chop
Anna Kournikova demo's the move for Biggest Loser Fans
I've done this move many times in many forms.... but in recent months I have forgotten all about it! So, I've pulled it from the muscle memory bank and tonight in our gym workout, I'll be sure to rock it. :) 

Give this move a try. You can use a cable cross machine, a medicine ball, kettle-bell, a dumbbell, or even a heavy book. Just be sure you use enough weight but not TOO MUCH that you can't get the full range of motion. Your arms will get tired, but you shouldn't have so much weight that you can't get a FULLLLLLL extension at the top of the move. Be even on each side and do at least 15 reps/side.... eventually when you've mastered the move you can increase your reps as well as your speed. 

You'll work your entire body in this bang out move... shoulders, lats, glutes (make your squat LOW!), and talk about your core!! This is really a do it all move and since you're working so many muscles at once, your heart rate will also climb and help you burn up some major calories. 

Have fun! :) 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Gaining to Lose

***Warning! I'm really getting up on my "roost" this morning.***

This morning in my post-run-sweaty-get-up, I was in the kitchen packing Todd's lunch and fixing his breakfast while watching the Today Show. First off, it's kind of nice to have Brian Williams co-hosting with Ann the morning... but then, once I started to tune out the chit-chat, I heard an interesting story. They were talking about a lady named Steffany Sears (202 lbs) and her struggle to qualify for bariatric weight-loss surgery and that ultimately she ended up binge eating to GAIN weight to "qualify" through her insurance company for the surgery!!


I literally screamed. THIS IS JUST ABSURD!

Not that she got the surgery.... entirely. I know several individuals who've had this procedure done. Some were very successful, others... not so much.  You guys know by now, I'm not a hater of "fat people". I'm just a dedicated lover for a HEALTHY person. So, I have MANY issues with this story.

1.) Steffany had already LOST weight on her own. She had been trying. Working. Struggling to lose the weight on her own. Then - she just gave-up and gave in to her insurance company's stupid "rules" (All of which can be broken mind you! I negotiated with insurance companies in a past life, you just have to be overly diligent.).

I'm not even really sure if this process couldn't be considered insurance fraud if you think about it... hmm...

2.) Insurance companies need to change. Why aren't they offering programs and opportunities to reward their policy holders for HARD WORK and proper diet management!? Come on - THOUSANDS of people do it on their own every year.... Why aren't these insurance companies on the side of the policy holder?! (ugh - don't even mutter the fact that it's all about $$. I'll probably come hit you or something. ha!)
3.) I'm even more frustrated with Steffany that she didn't fight for herself more. She is her own best advocate and she let an insurance company dictate what she does with and for her body.

I'm so tired of lazy.

I'm tired of lazy people who don't want to get up, get out and get moving for their own good. I'm tired of hearing stories like this where it's "easier" to gain weight to have SURGERY! I'm tired of lazy doctors who won't help navigate their patients to resources that can help. I'm tired of lazy insurance companies who will do nothing to help the insured. I'm tired of our society being so lazy, so unmotivated and unwilling to change policies for health and health care. (no - I'm not talking "Obama-care")

Why are we so lazy!?

Why would anyone want to sit around and whine about their weight and do NOTHING to change it. Don't tell me it's because fruits and veggies and other "healthy foods" are so "expensive". That's crap. Yes, they can cost more than what you're used to spending on processed foods and simple sugar and carb loaded "goodies"... but you're certainly going to save a whole lot of money (and tax payer dollars) from decreased hospital visits and medical/pharmaceutical expenses.

I don't know about you - but I'd rather spend a little more each week at the grocery store, eat well and LIVE well instead of struggling for months and spending weeks in the hospital.

*** I will slowly descend from my roost now.... ***

This is apparently Steffany's Before & After shots. I stole this from her story online.

I'm proud of Steffany for her overall weight-loss... and I hope she keeps it off. I hope she doesn't resort to bad habits and laziness again and ruin all the hard work she and her medical team have done. I hope she has a wonderful support system to sustain her efforts. I hope she is exercising and eating well to keep what she's got working for her. I hope she isn't suffering psychologically with her new self (like MANY bari-patients do). I hope she LOVES herself. 

Most importantly, I hope my readers are inspired to work hard on themselves. Don't give in to lazy. Don't go the "easy way". Don't give-up.

You have much to gain as you lose.

Keep up the good work friends.
Love - a.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

If Barbie Were a Model

I found this interesting article about Barbie. Take a few minutes and learn how this "role model" of my childhood (and many others) has probably shaped the perception of the female body image.

Interesting. The last quote almost makes me want to cry. Ladies (and gentlemen), we really need to start telling the young ladies in our lives how beautiful THEY ARE!!!

(Matthew Rolston/O Magazine)
The plastic surgery a model needs to look like Barbie

by Piper Weiss, Shine Staff, on Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:54am (Matthew Rolston/O Magazine)
Here’s a breakdown of what she'd need done to be the kind of doll women aspire to: a brow lift, a jaw line shave, rhinoplasty, a cheek and neck reduction, a chin implant, scooped-out shoulders, a breast lift, liposuction on her arms, and tummy tuck, which would also have to be sculpted as if it were lined in whale-bone from the inside. And that’s just the half of her.
Halchishick doesn’t actually need or want any of these procedures. She’s proving a point: just because our distorted image of how a body should be is medically attainable, that doesn’t mean it should be attained.
We know that Barbie’s body is anatomically impossible. So why are we still trying for it?
Every day a new plastic surgery promise emerges: scooped-out backs, rear-end lifts, sculpted kneecaps. If it’s possible, it’s suddenly necessary. But what exactly would you have to go through to get the 'perfect' Barbie body? In the latest issue of O Magazine, model Katie Halchishick becomes the human diagram.

Posing for photographer Matthew Rolston, her glamorous, Marilyn Monroe-type features are surgically outlined according to Barbie's proportions.

And if you doubt that anyone actually wants to look like Barbie, meet Cindy Jackson, a 55-year-old woman who’s had 52 cosmetic surgeries to look like her plastic idol."This is the way I should look,” Jackson told Good Morning America. "It's evolution. It's medical progress." There's also 10-in-one-day record-holder Heidi Montag, and a revolving door of on-screen personalities who look more like each other and less like human beings by the day. 
Not everyone would call that progress. “The number one wish for all teenage girls is to be thinner,” said Halchishick, a former Ford Model who now mentors high school students about body image issues. “They think what makes a girl beautiful is skinny with big boobs, perfect hair, perfect make-up.” 
Last year a total of 13.1 million body parts were surgically altered. Five percent of patients were under the age of 20.
Halchishick, who co-founded the website Healthy is the New Skinny, doesn’t place all the blame on surgery or a pint-sized rubber and plastic doll. She believes change has to start in schools, as well as in the fashion industry. “Girls want to know how to lose weight so badly, and the schools don’t want to talk about it, because they’re worried they’ll develop a complex,” she told The Gloss in March.
“There need to be models to show [girls] to wish for more.” She now heads up her own modeling agency for women with natural figures. She’s also campaigned to get plus-sized designers into New York Fashion Week. But her spread in O magazine, the first nude pictorial they’ve ever featured, has been the most buzz-worthy. Accompanied by an essay by writer Amy Bloom, the photograph is intended to make women rethink their body image ideals. But it hasn't had that effect on everyone. When one 15-year-old girl saw this photo of Halchishick, her first thought was of her own imperfection, according to a blogger for Healthy is the New Skinny. “I thought if a girl as pretty as that has to change so much to be perfect, it made me wonder how much more I’d have to change.”

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

E!'s Giuliana Rancic reveals she has breast cancer

Okay - So, in my obession with "junk tv" I have fallen in love with Giuliana and Bill Rancic. Well, that's a lie.

I first fell in love with Bill when he won the first Apprentice show *sigh*... He was just the total catch in my eyes.... then he got married and together Giuliana and Bill started their reality show. I think they are such a cute couple. Together they have shared their struggle to conceive through IVF with the world and it's many highs and lows.

Todd asked me last night if I had heard about Giuliana's diagnosis with breast cancer (of course I hadn't yet, since I had been at work all day) and I almost wanted to cry. Cancer was pretty much the undertone of my entire day yesterday from patients, their family members, friends, and my own loved ones. Then to hear that Giuliana also had this nasty disease?!

Ugh. It's just disgusting. I'm so over cancer.

Take a few minutes to watch Ann Curry's interview with G. Giuliana's very brave, but you can tell the news is still fresh and the wound hurts... yet she is so hopeful. I did cry. I won't lie. My thoughts and prayers are with G and her hottie Bill. I wish them both the best!

E!'s Giuliana Rancic reveals she has breast cancer

Monday, October 17, 2011

Motivational Monday

I thought this was AWESOME. I see the tears and the sweat every week with my GOTR team. But despite the tears, the sweat always pays off more. Wait 'til you look in the mirror after your first 5k/half marathon.... you'll never see yourself more beautiful than you are then! 

Sweat works miracles. Sweat is proof you've worked hard. Sweat is evidence you're making a change. 


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Just a "Little Heart Attack"

I'm on a women's health kick again. 

Especially when I think about my mom. Honestly, this video is how I see it happening to my mom (and many others). Okay, it's a touch dramatic.... but the point it made. Or it should be. 

I keep asking (now I'm more like TELLING) my mom to take a breath. Relax. Quit saying yes to EVERY damn person that asks you to "help" do something in exchange for a few bucks.... She's too worn out and face it, she's getting too old for that crap. Heart disease is terrible on either side of the spectrum for me. It's bad on her side, but toss in all the other risk factors that compound the matter and she's practically a ticking time bomb. 

Yes, it freaks me out a bit. Yes, I don't want anything to happen to her or any of my parental figures for that matter... but Mom is the one who's worked like she's a "single mother" my entire life. Mind you, she's been remarried for ohh.. ummm 13 years now?! "Ain't NOTHING going to slow her down", apparently

Anyway, Ladies. Enjoy this reality check moment. We aren't as invincible as we think we are... so be prepared. Know the signs. Know the symptoms. Know what to do and DO IT. No waiting. No lollygagging. It's not going to get "better"... Get to the hospital (and please don't drive yourself!)!!!

Make it your mission to make sure the women you love know. I did. :) 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Rethink Breast Cancer

So, it's October. 

I should have had a post about breast health WAY before now but of course, like many, I'm also a slacker when it comes to checking my breasts for changes... regardless what month it is. 

In honor of promoting breast health, in a fun and entirely NEW way, I give all my ladies this:

Now, isn't that motivation to be a bit more responsible about our breast health!?!?! :) 

Thanks to Pam for finding this gem and thinking of ME! Enjoy my friends. Share the love and let me know if you actually download the app.... I'm interested to hear about it! 


Friday, October 14, 2011

A Nurses Wishlist...

Now, I know this sounds ridiculous: a nurses' wishlist. Blame the Pollyanna optimist that I tend to be if you must, but I'm quite sure I speak to everyone for every nurse out there when I say this.... well almost:

1.) I wish for more hospital transportation assistance - day and night. It's damn near impossible to get help during the day moving a patient from the ICU to another room... imagine the night shift.
2.) While on transportation: I wish ICU transfer's trumped all other's in the hospital. We don't move 100 people in/out a day, but when we do move someone, it's likely an urgent matter for the person who needs to come in. OH, and if we can't get a "Resource Nurse" for the critical care department... maybe just a few to float around the hospital to help turn, transport, go to procedures etc...
3.) I wish for compliant Dialysis patients. I know it has to suck having dialysis. It's probably eternal torture waiting and waiting and waiting for a kidney transplant... BUT DO WHAT YOUR DOCTOR/NURSES SAY! There are just reasons for fluid restrictions, low sodium diets and regularly scheduled dialysis appointments. Not going to dialysis because you "don't feel like it" is pure stupidity... emergent dialysis isn't a picnic and practically drowning in your own body fluids has got to be freaking SCARY! Why do so many KEEP doing it?!
4.) Also - take care of your fistulas.
5.) Go to the bathroom when your nurse asks if you need to go. Likely, we have time to help you now.... not 15 minutes from now when you finally call out asking for help. Yes, it's kind of like when you make your kids "go" even when they say they "don't have to go".... something will always come out. Usually. 
6.) Keep a record of your medications. This includes dosage and frequency. Also, it's nice to include herbals too. You never know if we're going to need it. 
7.) While you're healthy and of sound mind, make a living will and designate a Power of Attorney (POA) and/or Healthcare Power of Attorney. Especially if you're not married to this person. Legally, your next of kin is your decision maker whether you want them to be or not if you don't have LEGAL documentation authorizing someone else. Just do it. I know you think this won't happen or you won't need it... but this lack of documentation creates a mess for everyone involved. 
7a.) If you're gay and living in a state that doesn't yet recognize gay marriage, DO THE PAPER WORK! 
8.) I wish for online scheduling.
9.) I wish for 6 week scheduling.... 6 weeks ahead.
10.) Smile. Say thank you. Be kindThis is for everyone. Patients. Doctors. Nurses. Transportation. Dietary. Pharmacy, etc .... we're all a team. We all work hard. 
11.) I wish for Computerized MARS.
12.) Keep your weight in check. Yes - the BMI calculation works too. Yes, I'm strong... but I'm certainly not strong enough to move 100kg of flaccid body weight up and around a bed alone. So if you would like to be moved regularly, watch your weight and keep it within HEALTHY levels please.
13.) I wish Starbucks delivered to the nearest hospital every afternoon between 1 and 4pm and for the night shift-ers, when they close the stores.
14.) Better yet, I wish family members would ask their nurses more often if we too would like a cup of joe to sip on when they go to get theirs. :)
15.) I wish for more nursing education assistance.... for higher ed and/or unit based. 
16.) Free water bolus' for each nurse every 2 hours. This chronic dehydration mess we're all in at work is making us grumpy and wreaking havoc on our skin. 

Love, Your Nurse

Okay... well, that's all I've got for now. Fellow nurses: Feel free to add on......

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Workout Wednesday: Forward LUNGE

Okay - Everyone loves great legs and a tight toosh.

So, if you want those things... Lunges HAVE to be a part of your workout routine. There are MANY forms of lunges, but we'll start here:

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips. Step forward with your right leg and slowly lower your body until your right knee is bent at least 90 degrees. Push back to the starting position and repeat with your left leg. That's one rep.

Eventually, try doing Walking Lunges. You can even add light weights. Just always remember to keep your head up, your CORE STRONG and ENGAGED, and your knee never goes over your big toe.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Motivational Monday

We all have those days where we don't "feel like" doing our workout. But today isn't one of them. GET OVER IT. Face it. One day, you might not be able to get out of that chair without help. Hell, you might not even be able to walk. Get up and get OUT THERE doing what you CAN do! :) 

God gave us this body to keep it. If you don't use it, you will loose it. 

Here's to a successful week Friends!! :) You CAN DO IT! 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pour me a cup... maybe two.

Well, it took me a few years AFTER college to develop a love for good coffee. I still have just as much soy or almond milk as coffee usually... but regardless, I love it and now can't imagine my life without our Keurig. Saw this article regarding five benefits of coffee... besides productivity and alertness. :)

And it's better while you sip your coffee as you read. Enjoy!

Delia Lloyd

5 Reasons to Drink Coffee
Posted: 10/7/11 08:45 AM ET
Ever have one of those mornings where you wake up, jump in the shower, turn on the radio and hear the best news you've gotten in ages?

No, not world peace, but close.
Apparently, coffee is now good for you. It holds a host of physical -- not to mention psychological -- benefits which scientists are only now beginning to appreciate.
In a household where our espresso machine holds a hallowed place, this is definitely grounds for rejoicing. I haven't been this excited since I learned that sugar made a comeback.
So hear ye, hear ye: Five reasons to drink (more!) coffee:
1. It reduces depression in women. This just in. A new study out of Harvard University shows thatwomen who regularly drink coffee -- the fully caffeinated kind -- have a 20 percent lower risk of depression than nondrinkers. This comes on the heels of previous research showing that the risk of suicide decreases with increased coffee consumption.
2. It lowers the risk of lethal prostate cancer in men. But it's not just the ladies who will benefit from more java. In another study out of Harvard (what are they drinking there? ahem!), men who drank six or more cups per day had a 60 percent lower risk of developing the most lethal type of prostate cancer, and a 20 percent lower risk of forming any type of prostate cancer compared to men who did not drink coffee. Given that prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, that's nothing to sneeze at.
3. It may protect against head and neck cancers. A study from the University of Utah showed that people who drank more than four cups of coffee a day had a 39 percent decreased risk of cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx combined, compared with those who didn't drink coffee. Regular consumption of coffee has also been linked to a lower risk for brain tumors, reduced rates of colorectal and endometrial cancer, as well as liver cancer and cirrhosis.
4. It may ward off Alzheimer's disease. Several studies looking at how caffeine affects brain development in mice have confirmed that caffeine significantly decreases abnormal levels of theprotein linked to Alzheimer's disease. When aged mice bred to develop symptoms of Alzheimer's disease were given caffeine -- the equivalent of five cups of coffee a day -- their memory impairment was reversed, according to a report issued by the Florida Alzheimer's Disease Research Centre. Should these results be replicated on humans, it might suggest coffee as an effective treatment for this disease, rather than just a protective strategy.
5. It appears to stave off diabetes. Numerous studies have shown that coffee may be protective against Type 2 Diabetes, although the precise mechanism is not well understood. An analysis in the Archives of Internal Medicine, for example, found that people who drink three to four cups of coffee a day are 25 percent less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who drink fewer than two cups. In the U.S. alone, nearly 24 million children and adults -- nearly 8 percent of the population -- have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease and accounts for about 90 to 95 percent of these cases.
Whether these studies will prove robust in coming years -- or be cancelled out by some of caffeine's adverse effects on things like sleep and high blood pressure -- remains to be seen.
But I'm going to blithely hedge my bets and carry on enjoying my cuppa (or two).
Latte or Cappucino?
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