Awareness For February

Awareness For February

  • Boost Your Self-Esteem
  • Children’s Dental Health
  • Heart and Stroke
  • February 2 – Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • February 4- World Cancer Day
  • February 6 – International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation
  • February 11 – World Day of the Sick
  • February 12 – Sexual and Reproductive Health
  • February 12 – Breast Implant Illness
  • February 14 – Congenital HeartDefect – (Canada)
  • February 15 – International Childhood Cancer Day
  • February 20 – World Day of Social Justice (Recognized by the UN) (International)
  • February 22 – National Heart Valve Disease (U.S.)
  • February 28 (29th in a leap year) – Rare Disease Day

Free Disability Awareness Calendar. Click the Calendar! Scroll down!

Disability and Loneliness

Disability and Loneliness

Over half of disabled people report feeling lonely. I am one of them. I left the work world in 2012 on disability. My condition continues to deteriorate and keeps me away from social interactions (pre-COVID 19), and family gatherings. Since COVID 19, things are worse. Totally quarantined due to a lowered immune system, my outings consist of only those pertaining to medical visits which are necessary and can’t be done via telehealth.

What friends I had have disappeared from my life. My current life revolves around the family members inside of my home. I miss out on anything fun or stimulating and if I could I probably wouldn’t enjoy myself for long. My stamina is low, and my pain levels are high. I know I am not alone. I would like to find a way to communicate with others with the same problems, but the online forums seem lonely as well as typing on a screen to a faceless “other person” seems fruitless. I don’t think I’d like it as much as I feel I would some days, and fear I’d start and never go back. The connections are too meaningless and most people only want to complain. I do enough of that myself.

Lost friendships are a painful reminder of what my illness has cost. It hurts to feel lonely. Creating a blog that no one cares to read-only makes me feel lonelier. I know there are ways to combat loneliness. I can increase family ties or find new friends. I deserve to remain connected to those I love. By reaching out, thinking ahead, and recognizing my needs, perhaps I can find happiness and a greater sense of social connection again.

 

May – A Huge Awareness month

May – A Huge Awareness month

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.

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ALS

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

  1. Over 14 million Americans suffer from BPD.
  2. More people have BPD than schizophrenia and bipolar disorder combined.
  3. People with BPD commit suicide at 400 times the rate of the general population
  4. BPD is more common in women than in men.
  5. 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

 

May is Arthritis Awareness Month

Definition of arthritis by Merriam Webster: inflammation of joints due to infectious, metabolic, or constitutional causes alsoa specific arthritic condition.

Everyone will at some point-in-time in their lives discover arthritis in their own bodies. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, it is the number one cause of disability in the United States! Today, one in four people has arthritis in this country. There is no cure, but arthritis can be somewhat managed by following your doctor’s recommendations for pain medications, exercise, and diet. Still, arthritis is a painful condition. I have osteoarthritis and can attest to its disabling effects and the pain associated with arthritis.

Get Involved

Arthritis Foundation:

“When you join the movement, you become part of the answer. No matter how you want to give back, we have the right opportunity. Take part in an event. Advocate on behalf of others with arthritis. Form meaningful connections and Live Yes! locally or online. Take a moment today and join our community of champions to help those with arthritis live their best life.

 

Join our army of more than 150,000 Advocates and Ambassadors and help us make positive changes on Capitol Hill.

Every gift to the Arthritis Foundation will help people with arthritis across the U.S. live their best life.

When you join the movement, you become part of the answer. Our events and volunteer opportunities allow you to form meaningful connections and find ways to give back

Strong, outspoken, and engaged volunteers will help us conquer arthritis. By getting involved, you become a leader in our organization and help make a difference in the lives of millions.

The Arthritis Foundation designates the Partner of those companies that demonstrate the highest level of commitment to help people with arthritis.

Connect locally or online with a community of people like you. Find support, learn, and grow in a trusting caring environment. Our community has special places for parents and young adults, too!

Research is needed to find a cure and better management systems. Since it affects everyone at some point, that research should be important to you.

With so many working from home due to COVID 19 (coronavirus), here are a few tips and products to help with your home office:

  • Your computer screen should be just below eye level. You can use books, or try a computer stand.


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  • Arthritic hands do better with a mouse


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  • Don’t cross your legs while sitting, use a footrest, and keep your feet on it.


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  • The right amount of light will keep you from hunching over. Add a bright lamp.
  • Using voice recognition software, and/or a headset will help you avoid the literal pain in the neck.
  • A standing or treadmill desk can also be helpful, but make sure you’re dividing time between sitting and standing.

 *Note: When you click the links in this post, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

What’s Good for Pain

What’s Good for Pain

Hi Everyone,

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.

My Conditions

◆ If you don’t know what (DDD) Disc Degenerative Disease is, Spine Health at spine-health.com has a good overview.
https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/degenerative-disc-disease/what-degenerative-disc-disease.

◆ 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:

Acupuncture

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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

Massage

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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

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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

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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

Weight Loss

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 Therapy

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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

Topical Gels

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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.

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