Welcome to Part 3 of May Awareness! Hi Guys and Gals!
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May is Better Sleep Month by the Better Sleep Council. Did you know 90 million Americans have their sleep disrupted by snoring? The Better Sleep Council has so much information on getting better sleep. They even have a quiz to help you determine what type of mattress would suit you best. Check it out here!
May is Correct Posture Month by the American Chiropractic Association.
According to the ACA, “Good posture helps us stand, walk, sit, and lie in positions that place the least strain on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement and weight-bearing activities. Poor posture can lead to excessive strain on our postural muscles and may even cause them to relax when held in certain positions for long periods of time. For example, you can typically see this in people who bend forward at the waist for a prolonged time in the workplace. Their postural muscles are more prone to injury and back pain.
May is Huntington’s Disease Awareness Month.
A condition that leads to progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the brain.
Rare (Fewer than 200,000 cases per year in the US)
Treatments can help manage the condition, no known cure
Often requires lab test or imaging
Can last several years or be lifelong
Family history may increase the likelihood
Urgent medical attention recommended
May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Learn more at the Lupus Disease Foundation.
A tick-borne disease caused by bacteria Borrelia Burgdorfer.
Very common (More than 3 million cases per year in the US)
Treatment from medical professional advised
Requires lab test or imaging
Can last several days or weeks
Transmitted through tick bites
Many people with early-stage Lyme disease develop a distinctive circular rash at the site of the tick bite, usually around three to 30 days after being bitten. This is known as erythema migrans. The rash is often described as looking like a bulls-eye on a dartboard.
Some of the common symptoms are as follows:
Symptoms of late-stage Lyme disease:
- Numbness in hands and legs
- Short term memory loss
Finally, but not exclusively, May is the awareness month for Neurofibromatosis. The Children’s Tumor Foundation website has so much valuable information on this incurable genetic disorder (s). They have a superb resource library. NF can cause tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. You can donate, volunteer, and advocate by visiting their website for more information.
Oh boy! May is chock full of awareness issues we can explore! Due to the vast amount of days, this post will cover only a few, with a brief description and where you can find further information. These are the links culled from around the web.
- May Is Better Hearing & Speech Month a time to raise awareness about communication disorders and available treatment options that can improve the quality of life for those who experience problems speaking, understanding, or hearing.
- It’s American Stroke Awareness Month. This one is close to my heart. My dad and other relatives have had strokes before they passed. Not so pretty. A stroke happens when a blocked artery (ischemic stroke) or leaking or bursting of a blood vessel (hemorrhagic stroke). Some people may have only a temporary disruption of blood flow to the brain, known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA), that doesn’t cause lasting symptoms.
Arthritis Awareness Month was highlighted in a former post. You can read about it here. Also, check out my resources and learning area to see how you can volunteer or donate.
- Food Allergy Month. Food Allergy Awareness Week provides a unique opportunity to help raise awareness of food allergies and anaphylaxis. Each of us works in our own way to raise awareness of food allergies and anaphylaxis. When we all work together and focus our efforts over the course of one week, it amplifies our message and reaches many more people than anyone of us could do alone.
- Global Employee Health and Fitness Month. May is Global Employee Health and Fitness Month (GEHFM), an international initiative that prioritizes health and fitness in the workplace. It’s the time of the year when organizations should reflect on what they are doing (or not doing) to help their employees live healthy lifestyles.
Oh, and there are more, we’ll explore them in a later post. What else can I tell you about these? Let me know in the comments.
May is a huge awareness month. I’ve written about arthritis, an important topic for me, but there are also many other important illnesses we should also be talking about.
is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease that is 100% fatal. You can help change the facts.
(From alsa.org) ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. A-myo-trophic comes from the Greek language. “A” means no. “Myo” refers to muscle, and “Trophic” means nourishment – “No muscle nourishment.” When a muscle has no nourishment, it “atrophies” or wastes away. “Lateral” identifies the areas in a person’s spinal cord where portions of the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles are located. As this area degenerates, it leads to scarring or hardening (“sclerosis”) in the region.
To read all about ALS, please see http://www.alsa.org/about-als/what-is-als.html
You may donate to the ALS Association,1275 K Street, NW Suite 250; Washington, DC 20005 – see ALSA.org
Borderline Personality Disorder
In May of 2007, the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEABPD) organized hearings before congress to educate legislators about Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). A year later, in April 2008 the U.S. House of Representatives declared May as Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month. *1 –https://evolvetreatment.com/blog/may-is-borderline-personality-disorder-awareness-month/
Five Quick BPD Facts
- Over 14 million Americans suffer from BPD.
- More people have BPD than schizophrenia and bipolar disorder combined.
- People with BPD commit suicide at 400 times the rate of the general population
- BPD is more common in women than in men.
- BPD is the 3rd leading cause of death for young adult women between 15-24.
5.9% of the adult population has BPD, they commit suicide at an alarming rate, and women are especially vulnerable to the disorder. That’s why we have Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month. To raise awareness and awareness, end the stigma around the condition, and encourage people to get the help they need.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) BPD is:
“A mental illness marked by a pattern of varying moods, self-image, and behavior. These symptoms often result in impulsive actions and problems in relationships. People with BPD may experience intense episodes of anger, depression, and anxiety that can last from a few hours to days.”
Mental Health –
a great website for this is https://www.mhanational.org/mental-health-month. This website is chock full of great information! As a member of a family who knows the importance of observing mental health month, I urge you to learn as much as you can. Another partner, NIMH, has offered up some additional informative websites
I’ve had fibromyalgia since my late 20’s. As I’m 59 now, that’s 30 plus years of dealing with the pain and nerve ending never-ending soreness and pain. Add a bit of arthritis, and disc degenerative disease and it makes for the perfect “How will I ever get through this day” type of day.
So how did Fibromyalgia day come about?
Reading from the National Fibromyalgia Associaton website:
It all started here at the NFA back in 1998, when our founders, Lynne Matallana and Karen Lee Richards, set out to get as many cities, counties, and states as possible to proclaim May 12th as Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.
They mailed out over 100 proclamation packets to individuals and support groups across the U.S. with suggestions on how to approach political leaders about the importance of creating awareness for this virtually unknown illness. That first year, Lynne was able to get the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to officially proclaim May 12th as Fibromyalgia Awareness Day (L.A. County includes 88 cities). Approximately 25 other jurisdictions across the country did the same.
The next year, about 150 proclamations were done. In the first 5 years of Awareness Days, there were over 2,000 proclamations in cities, counties, states, the U.S. Senate, Congress, and even at the White House, thus officially making May 12th National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. The trend continues to this day and many thousands of Awareness Day proclamations have been made all over the world. That means that each of the entities that have proclaimed an official Fibromyalgia Awareness Day recognizes that FM is a legitimate life-altering illness, and they support the under-served population of people living with it by calling for more research and new treatments to help improve their quality of life.
May 12th is a day to remember how far we have come, from the days when almost no one had even heard the word “fibromyalgia,” to today when almost everyone has heard of it and knows someone who lives it. It is also a day to celebrate yourself for the fibro warrior you are, or the fibro warriors you support. You are part of this thriving community that was one of the first truly disruptive organizations to make a difference in how the world treats people in pain.
To celebrate the 20th National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, create your own event or fundraiser in support of the NFA. Click here for the NFA’s guidelines and tips to help you get started. May 12th is just around the corner—let’s spend it together!
For more on the history of Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, check out this page on the NFA website.
What is Fibromyalgia / Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.
I hope this explanation helps you with a bit of knowledge about Fibromyalgia.
|Amidst the global reality of Covid-19, this graduation season looks very different. Most seniors are wrapping up their final year virtually and commencement ceremonies are up in the air. Graduates can’t be with their friends, teachers, mentors, or all of their loved ones to properly close this chapter. But despite these challenging times, Minted is still here to help celebrate the hard work of 2020 graduates with Announcements, Digital Party Resources, Cards, as well as Custom Photo and Art Gifts
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*Note: When you click the links in this post, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
Well, it’s Wednesday and I’m hurting.
Nothing like a change in the temperature to take my body from feeling like an 8 or 9 to a 0. My back hurts, the backs of my legs hurt, my head is throbbing. No, I don’t have the Corona. The culprits today seem to be my disc degenerative disease, arthritis, and fibromyalgia. Each one of these runs into the other, so I can’t say for sure what parts of my body are crying out from exactly which one, I only know that I’m hurting and wishing there was something I could do about it.
Now, of course, the temperature probably has nothing scientifically to do about it, but that being so, I know when the weather changes for the worse, or there is some upcoming bad weather or colder temperatures, I hurt more.
◆ If you don’t know what (DDD) Disc Degenerative Disease is, Spine Health at spine-health.com has a good overview.
◆ For Fibromyalgia, a good website to check out is https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/fibromyalgia.htm as well as
the Mayo Clinic site at https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fibromyalgia/symptoms-causes/syc-20354780.
◆ Did you know that Arthritis is the number one disabling condition in the world? https://www.arthritis.org/. I can tell you that no person in my family has escaped its cruelty. It’s painful and irritating.
What’s happening due to COVID 19:
Because of COVID 19, my ablation surgery for my lower back had to be postponed, so each day that goes by the pain in my lower back continues to get worse. There is nothing I can do about that so I’m forced to do whatever I can use whatever I have to make things better. No amount of Ibuprofen seems to make much difference. While it soothes the pain in the short term, it doesn’t last that long. My prescription medications don’t last a full four hours either, and none of my medication choices completely remove the pain.
Which leads to:
I bring out the heating pad. This soothes. I bring out the ice. It numbs. Within minutes afterward, back comes ye ole pain. Ouch. But during the time it’s working it’s so nice. Other ways to ease body pain from these conditions are listed next. One thing I don’t have but want is a leg lift pillow. A Leg Lift Pillow Wedge gently lifts the knees to provide outstanding support and comfort for your lower back when lying down. The special wedge design eases stress on the spine, correcting posture and aligning the spine to help decrease arthritis back pain.
So what else is helpful for these conditions? Here are seven which one can try:
This form of Chinese medicine involves inserting thin, small needles through the skin at specific acupoints on the body. It is designed to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue, improve blood flow and activate the body’s natural painkillers. Research suggests that it can help relieve pain, and it is used for a wide range of other complaints.
Good for osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, low back pain, neck and shoulder pain, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome
￼Gentle manipulation with moderate pressure has been shown to reduce joint pain and stiffness, and even improve range of motion. However, timing is important. Listen to your body. Massage may not be as helpful during a very active flare when joints are especially tender and sensitive.
Good for osteoarthritis, low back pain, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis
Tai chi is a Chinese practice that combines gentle flowing movements, deep breathing, and meditation. It has been shown to not only reduce joint pain but also improve range of motion and function, as well as feelings of well-being. The Arthritis Foundation offers a Tai Chi DVD specifically created for people with arthritis.
Good for fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis
Yoga is an Indian practice that uses deep breathing, meditation and body pose. It has been shown to decrease joint pain and stiffness, as well as improve relaxation and reduce stress. The Arthritis Foundation offers a Yoga DVD specifically created for people with arthritis.
Good for fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, low back pain
Losing one pound removes four pounds of pressure on swollen, painful joints. Maintain a healthy weight by combining a balanced diet with regular physical activity. Make sure you choose food from the five important food groups (fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains). Try to do 30 minutes of low-impact exercise five days a week.
Good for osteoarthritis
Physical therapists can provide various ways to reduce strain and pressure on painful and swollen joints. These include manual therapy and counseling on proper positioning and body movement. They can also recommend assistive devices such as braces and splints to support joints and shoe inserts to relieve stress on the lower extremities.
Good for all forms of joint pain (back, knee, shoulder, hand, wrist, ankle
These gels work by stimulating sensory nerve endings in the skin, and the body responds by reducing pain signals through the nervous system. Voltaren Gel and capsaicin cream are two options, but a trip down the drugstore aisle can offer even more options without a prescription. Some Hemp options may also work, just make sure you stay away from the THC.
Good for osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.
What products or services have you found that are helpful for arthritic conditions or Fibromyalgia? Let me know in the comments.
Happy Easter, Everyone!
Since most of us are quarantined in our home due to COVID 19, on this Easter weekend, we could take some time to reflect on some of these awareness items for the month of April.
April is Autism Awareness Month. Limb Loss Awareness Month, Parkinson’s Awareness Month, and Stress Awareness Month. This post addresses briefly what these are and gives you resources for more information as well as how to volunteer your time, make a donation, or get involved in other ways.
⁃ Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by difficulties with social interaction and communication, and by restricted and
You can volunteer, donate, or fundraise at Autism Speaks. Check here for the ways: https://act.autismspeaks.org/site/SPageServer/?pagename=walk_volunteer&wmenu=sec_abt_walk
• Limb Loss
⁃ What causes limb loss?
⁃ Reasons for Amputation
⁃ The most common is poor circulation because of the damage or narrowing of the arteries, called peripheral arterial disease. … Other causes for amputation may include Severe injury (from a vehicle accident or serious burn, for example) a Cancerous tumor in the bone or muscle of the limb. Feb 5, 2020, WebMD
And of course, some people are born missing limbs.
You may read more at:
You can volunteer with the Amputee Coalition here: https://www.amputee-coalition.org/work-with-us/
• Parkinson’s Disease
⁃ Parkinson’s Disease. Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder that leads to shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with walking, balance, and coordination. Parkinson’s symptoms usually begin gradually and get worse over time. As the disease progresses, people may have difficulty walking and talking.
Read more at https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/parkinsons-disease.
And, volunteer here: https://www.parkinson.org/ways-to-give/more-ways-to-give/volunteer
– Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. Stress is your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand. In short bursts, stress can be positive, such as when it helps you avoid danger or meet a deadline. May 5, 2018
If you are experiencing high volumes of stress, sometimes giving, volunteering is the way to go. Psych Central has a wonderful article. Read it here: https://psychcentral.com/blog/how-volunteering-can-help-your-mental-physical-health/
A weighted blanket or duvet would be a perfect addition to your stress relief arsenal, a nice gift for someone living with autism, Parkinson’s, and even for someone living with limb loss. Try something from Weighted Evolution. They have three different options to choose from. and come in several colors. They’re premium bamboo weighted blanket that’ll improve sleep, lower anxiety and increase well-being. Check them out.
Another great idea for stress relief is a good mattress. Take a look at this Layla mattress offer. Who doesn’t love a sale?
Spring Sale a $300 DEAL – $150 OFF MATTRESS + 2 FREE PREMIUM PILLOWS, $30-$50 off accessories. Buy More. Save More with Layla.
My family and extended family have personal connections to limb loss, Parkinson’s, and most definitely stress. Won’t you please take a few moments to think about who in your family, a circle of friends, or acquaintances who deal with any of these issues. Your donation of volunteering time, money, or purchases really makes a difference in the lives of those who deal with these every single day. Won’t you get involved?
Note: Some links in this post are affiliate links. I get a small commission if you click and purchase. Purchasing through this website does not affect your pricing.
Psoriatic Disease, indeed heartbreaking. In my family alone, we often suffer from psoriatic disease. This is one especially important to me. Do you know someone who deals with psoriatic conditions?
If you’d like to help in any way, email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can volunteer, or to make a donation.
While the hard work made by incredibly talented individuals have made real strides toward our mission to cure psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, we’re far from done. ~ Randy Beranek, CEO of NPF