Feb 022015
 
Assisted Typing on the iPad

25 Years Later He Typed “I love you” to Me via Assisted Typing

words 1st assisted typing session

This was one of several assessment tests performed. The word was first spoken by the iPad. Then 3 boxes 3/4″ square appeared randomly on the screen containing one letter in the word. When a word was spelled correctly – it appeared on the screen with a check mark. He got them all! The last one was completed – we were just too excited to see that he got all 5 words correct…thus no check mark.

A monumental day happened on January 22, 2015.  My severely disabled, soon-to-be 31-year-old son with spastic quadriplegia diagnosed after a brain hemorrhage from an attempt to remove a brain tumor at 3-weeks of age – he typed his first sentences in nearly 25 years – 25 years later and he typed “I love you” to me!  Read on to see how this day transpired.

This all came about where I had said to the Physical Therapist who was working on his wheelchair back in Nov. 2014 – I wished Facilitated Communication never stopped.

You see, back roughly 25 years ago our school district implemented Facilitated Communication.  If you’re unsure what that is – it’s now referred to as Assisted Typing and consists of a person who assists an individual with disabilities in typing.  They help control the arm/wrist movements so that the individual has an easier time in pointing to the letters they want to use to spell their words, forming sentences, if they wish.

My son – who had a very limited vocalized vocabulary at the age of 6, did very well with facilitated communication.  Sure – not every word was spelled correctly – for instance “milk” was “mlik” but he got his point across.

The problem – the school district stopped any use of facilitators as there were too many individuals typing that they had been abused and/or sexually abused.  Many superiors didn’t believe that these individuals were making the complaints themselves – but rather – the facilitator stating that was what was typed out and then reporting the incidents.

And that, my friend, ended Facilitated Communication for all individuals in our state unless they could facilitate their own typing 100%.  Sure I could have continued on with the facilitating myself, but when there’s a crap load of individuals working with a child – it’s rather hard.

Back when it was known as Facilitated Communication, and my son was involved with it, typing was limited to a sheet of paper with the alphabet/numbers on it; though some individuals had smaller typing devices – but not many.  There weren’t many to be had.  They were expensive at that.  However, through the years – devices have evolved to where there are many, including the iPad.  And, they renamed Facilitated Communication to Assisted Typing.

So back to where I spoke with the physical therapist.  She stated that maybe this could all become a reality again.  That the company she works for had received a grant where a Speech Therapist who is extensively trained in Assisted Typing was working with individuals in the here and now; and if I’d like, she’d see if the therapist could fit my son in.  Wow – are you kidding me?  Please do!

An appointment was set up for him to be assessed to see if he was a candidate. Let me tell you, he ACED that assessment. He was assessed with the use of an iPad, and though considered legally blind (he has optical nerve damage in his left eye from a brain hemorrhage), he did an incredible job.

He spelled sight words – 6 of them – when asked to (above). He saw the dots that he had to tap so that they would go off sounding like a firecracker and then disappear from the screen. He was asked to pick out words on a grid – he got 98% of the words correct.

Now onto the next session – session #2.  This session I had no idea what to expect.  The therapist started out with asking him to pick out words again.  He did that very well.  Now, this is very hard for my son.  The muscle control and focusing for a long period of time (> an hour) – really wears him out.  In fact, after the first session – he fell asleep while we conversed devising a game plan.

In seeing this, the therapist decided to cut the second session short.  BUT FIRST – she wanted to see what he could do using the keyboard on the iPad.  Mind you – the keyboard that pops up is small – the letters are small and a plastic overlay was placed on the keyboard portion of the iPad to make touching the correct letter easier.

But… guess what?  Take a look:

Assisted Typing on the iPad

He was asked to spell his name with her assisting his movements and he did just that.  BUT – before the therapist could ask him to type something else – he began to type a word.  That’s the “get…and he continued on to finish the sentence.

Baffled – baffled at what he was trying to say is an underestimate of what was going on here.  None of us (his sister and his day support person was with us) had no idea what it was he was talking about.  Sure we have a dog – but she’s 90 lbs – he’s not putting her in the dresser.

So the therapist tried to pinpoint where any of us would find this ‘puppy’ because – yes two of us went looking!  Was it a Barney Tape that had a puppy in it?  Was it an Elmo tape?  That’s where the N n y n comes in.  Then he went off on his own accord again – typing out the “doesn’t mean its there.”

The joke was on us…seriously!  Duh – he stated to us “Get into my dream”  why were we even looking for a puppy somewhere?

Lastly he was asked by the therapist – “Is there anything you’d like to say to your mom?”  Without hesitation, he began to type again.  And this my friend is where you see the “I love you.”

I stood there crying, hugging this child of mine, that had never had been able to express “I love you” other than when he spoke “I O U.”  Did I/we really know that he knew what that meant?  NO!  No idea.  The “I O U” could have been part of his vowel repertoire he spoke since learning his vowels from the Wheel of Fortune show he started watching when he was 4-5 yrs old – for all we knew.

So I am letting the world know that January 22, 2015 will go down in history for me.  For him.  For those who were with us and witness the Assisted Typing session that day.

I was never so proud of this child of mine that I was told would be a vegetable when he was an infant.  Proud – proud that he remembered what to do with the pointer finger…what to do with that keyboard. Crap!  That keyboard doesn’t even come close to the paper with the ABC’s in alphabetical order he used 25 yrs ago.

I had no idea he knew where the letters even were on a real keyboard.  I had no idea he knew what a period was and where it went.  I had no idea he knew how to form a complete sentence – with punctuation.  Do I give a crap about the rest of the sentence structure?  Absolutely not!  Not the spelling of any word.  Not there being any capitals.  Not there being any apostrophes.  I don’t care!

And as I type this – I am in tears.  What else has he wanted to say all these years?  Assisted Typing – we are on a roll – and this child of mine – his voice will be heard completely now.

If there’s one thing that I could say to any new parent with a child that has health issues of any caliber – do NOT EVER give up on yourselfon your child.  For that matter – any child/adult that has experience adversity involving the brain.  Miracles do happen!

Thanks for letting me share this monumental Assisted Typing day with you – seriously, miracles do happen.

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Nov 202014
 
how to get pregnant faster

How to Get Pregnant Faster

how to get pregnant faster
Sex is definitely involved in getting pregnant, couples often time it too much. They wait for special dates to gauge the likelihood of fertility. However, getting pregnant really boils down to having sex often, without stress, and although for the intended purpose of getting pregnant, having fun in the process. If it’s not possible to do every day, try for every other day.

The average woman has her monthly cycle every 28 days with her menstrual cycle lasting an average 5 days. This means that ovulation would begin 14 days from the first day of the menstrual cycle. This is the time that a woman is most fertile. However, sperm can survive for a few days. The more sex is initiated, the greater the chance of pregnancy.

When a woman is releasing an egg from her ovaries, a hormone called luteinizing hormone is produced and is present in the urine. Ovulation kits measure the level of this hormone to determine the level of fertility. The “surge” is the highest level of LH in the urine; however, women should begin testing for this days before this occurs, which is roughly day 10 after the initiation of a menstrual cycle.

Women can also determine their fertility by their vaginal discharge, which will become thicker during ovulation. A natural indication of ovulation is to monitor cervical mucus. This involves monitoring monthly discharge for about a couple of months to discover a pattern. For women waiting to get pregnant and to simply monitor health, regularly check toilet paper, wipes, underwear and pantyliners for discharge. Mucus will become thicker with progesterone and thinner with estrogen.

Regularly take vitamins. It’s never too late or too early to take folic acid. It is advisable for girls to take folic acid because they will need it later in life if they become pregnant. It is also advisable that women take other vitamins. Be sure to get the recommended amount of calcium and other nutrients the baby will need. Whatever the mother does not supply through her diet to the baby will be taken from her body. When the baby needs calcium, a mother can experience brittle teeth and bones if she is not regularly taking calcium. For more information on which vitamins to take, click here.

Try not to stress too much. Stress can inhibit pregnancy. Have fun spending time with a partner and welcome what will come in its own time.

Do you have any tips on how to get pregnant faster that you’d like to share?

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Nov 192014
 
advanced probiotics

Number One Nutrition Advanced Probiotics Review

advanced probiotics

I’m bringing you this Number One Nutrition Advanced Probiotics Review that couldn’t have come at a better time for me.  For the past 9 weeks I have lived a nightmare from having an abscessed tooth.  Now mind you, I take good care of my teeth but this one tooth – seemed to think I needed to experience a nightmare.

I lost a huge filling in it back about six months ago.  This filling was one that probably has been in my tooth for 35 years.  That said, the dentist did all she could to try to save this tooth by refilling it.  The problem lied where the filling broke away from the inside close to the nerves in the tooth and when she went to fill it again – she said it may not work.  She didn’t know if she could clean the area out well enough to have it not cause problems for me down the road.  Never though, did she indicate that I would have such a horrible experience if the filling didn’t work.

One Thursday I woke up with an egg on my face. In less than 24 hours the tooth abscessed to the point that the swelling was headed for my neck area – which when that starts to happen – one NEEDS help right away.   If the swelling gets to your airways – your breathing can be blocked and there’s a huge chance you’ll go sepsis.

To make a long story short – I was given 3 regimens of oral antibiotics AND 6 days of IV antibiotics. The area was opened, cleaned of bad tissue, and irrigated three times after the tooth was pulled.  Note – I could have opted for a root canal – but that won’t ever happen in this lifetime.  Research is discovering that root canals can be the cause for underlying diseases, including MS.

Now – if you have a good physician who prescribes you antibiotics – he/she will tell you to get yourself a good probiotic to take in conjunction with your antibiotics. The ER physician did just that and ironically, I had told her that I had been taking them the past couple of weeks.  She was thrilled to hear this.  But what I didn’t know is that I should have been taking a higher dosage than the two prescribed on the bottle during the time I was taking the antibiotics.  Ideally, I should have been taking 100 Billion CFU’s daily. I also learned that one should be taking the probiotics 2 hours after the antibiotic.

The probiotic that I was taking prior to the tooth event was the one I am writing this review on.  It’s the Number One Nutrition Advanced Probiotics sold at Amazon.com.  This particular probiotic has 10 Billion CFU’s (colony forming units).  I am led to believe this product has done its job.  Throughout the weeks of antibiotics and now about 3 weeks of being off them – I have yet to develop any diarrhea, which is what antibiotics can do to people.  Antibiotics can also cause C-Diff colitis which is where your intestinal track is stripped from good bacteria from the antibiotics – it’s contagious, can be life threatening, and causes severe diarrhea.

What Exactly are Probiotics and How can They Help You:

what are probiotics

probiotic facts etc.

From those images – you can take that they are good for us.  Before these came out on the market – doctors recommended eating yogurt with live cultures.  Then it was suggested to get acidophilus.  Now we have probiotics that are a step up from those older suggestions.

If you follow Dr. Mercola – he has written many articles on probiotics.   Here is an excerpt from one of Dr. Mercola’s articles that really stood out to me:

The latest research on probiotics’ influence on your genes only serves to further support their role in your overall health.

For instance, beneficial bacteria have a lifelong, powerful effect on your gut’s immune system and your systemic immune system as well. The bacteria play a crucial role in the development and operation of the mucosal immune system in your digestive tract. They also aid in the production of antibodies to pathogens.

Friendly bacteria train your immune system to distinguish between pathogens and non-harmful antigens, and to respond appropriately. This important function prevents your immune system from overreacting to non-harmful antigens, which is the genesis of allergies.

Probiotics can even help to normalize your weight. One study found that obese people were able to reduce their abdominal fat by nearly 5 percent, and their subcutaneous fat by over 3 percent, just be drinking a probiotic-rich fermented milk beverage for 12 weeks.

As you can see, probiotics perform a wide variety of functions, which renders them useful and beneficial for a number of health concerns, some of which are still being uncovered. And because adding probiotics to your diet is so easy, by way of cultured foods and/or supplements, it’s one step I highly encourage you to take on your journey to optimal health.

I’m good on the idea of eating cultured foods.  I’d rather take the supplement.  And even though I believe I am out of the woods from side effects of the antibiotics – I will certainly continue taking probiotics.  You only have one body and it has to be you to take care of it.

Perks of the Number One Advanced Probiotics

The Number One brand comes with complete confidence in their product and is safe for kids:

  • ENJOY AN UNPRECEDENTED 200% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE – I am SO confident you’re going to love your #1 Probiotics that I have decided to add an unbeatable double guarantee! If, AT ANY POINT IN TIME, you decide you are not fully satisfied with your #1 Probiotcs, simply let me know and I will refund every penny of your purchase. On top of that, I will also send you a brand new bottle free of charge! No questions asked.
  • #1 PROBIOTICS WORKS! Doctors everywhere say probiotics are “Essential” to the body. Many will even say that taking probiotics in pill form ensures that you consume the right probiotic strains and the right recommended dosage. Taking probiotic pills saves you from consuming excess dairy and sugar, which are present in many probiotic foods.
  • RELIEF FROM DIGESTIVE DISTRESS! Do you suffer from digestive discomfort? Bloated belly? Acid reflux? Fatigue? Do you want to improve your immune system and manage your weight? If you answered “YES” to any of these, try Number One Probiotic. Two capsules a day with a light meal and you are on your way to a healthier life! Our product is made with TOP QUALITY ingredients, is 100% safe and has no known side effects. Made in the USA at a FDA approved manufacturing facility.
  • MORE THAN JUST DIGESTIVE Improvement! Did you know that the GI tract is responsible for 80% of the immune system`s health? When we improve the digestive function we are also giving a great BOOST to the IMMUNE SYSTEM. Fighting off the bad bacteria present in the GI tract will also help the body to fight off INFECTIONS. Bringing balance to the Intestinal flora will also alleviate digestive discomfort, inflammation and BLOATING.
  • THE BEST VALUE! We offer the same or better benefits as the more expensive brands BUT we believe EVERYONE should benefit from taking the highest quality probiotics. We have the BEST VALUE probiotic out there! Other brands may have inferior products for a lower price or the same product for a lot more money. TRY NOW! You have NOTHING to lose and EVERYTHING to GAIN.

Do you see the last bullet…THE BEST VALUE?  When I was undergoing all those antibiotics it was said to me – you can get a good probiotic that does not cost a lot.  Honestly, I have been very pleased with this probiotic.  It’s a 100% all natural probiotic being 100% Vegetarian with no known side effects.

I experienced no side effects and quite honestly – I couldn’t help but wonder if I’d be the exception to their claim.  My stomach has not liked me for 30 years…to the point where I’ve begged them to take the unit out. There’s so many things that I just can’t ingest without making me nauseated or plain not feel good.   Surprisingly, I did not have any issues with the Number One  Advanced Probiotics at all!  I am counting on it protecting me from developing C-Diff, which technically, still could happen from all the antibiotics I had been given…but I remain hopeful that I won’t.

Get Social with Number One Nutrition

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Do you take a probiotic?  Share your experience with us.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Nov 112014
 
careconverstations
This post is brought to you by Global Influence.

Planning Your Aging Parents Care

Open up the care conversation with the resources found at CareConversations.org

Join the #CareConvo Twitter party with @Resourcefulmom on 11/12 at 8 PM ET. RSVP link: http://resourcefulmommy.com/14363/care-conversations-twitter-party/

 

careconverstations

It’s inevitable.  As we age – our parents are aging with us.  With that aging comes a lot of issues that need discussion.  There will come the time that you or another family member will need to start the conversation on what their wishes are for when they can no longer care for themselves at a 100% capacity.   Now is a great time to start the planning your aging parent’s care.  This is where you may find careconversations.org a helpful resource for you to tap into.  It’s all about planning and preparing.

There are many resources available today that weren’t around 30 years ago. There’s in-home care (LNA’s/CNA’s), respite services for their caretakers.  There’s skilled nursing home care and assisted living homes.  An adult daycare may be an option for your situation.  Maybe you just need someone to come in for personal care.  And then one may just need some rehabilitation care.

With their being so many options out there now – family members need to be informed as to what best fits the needs of the aging parent and their family, based on circumstances at hand.  Although if your parent has been hospitalized – often times the hospital will make the recommendation as to what they see as being the best solution for the patient and their family.

For example – my mom is extremely independent and in her late 70’s.  She recently experienced a huge blood clot in her leg, which landed her in the hospital.  She had been out of commission for nearly a month and it was recommended that she go to the rehab center once released from the hospital.  This was done so they could make sure before she went back home (where she lives alone) that she could dress herself, prepare meals (nothing spectacular soups, sandwiches etc.) and walk about with duramedical equipment, such as a walker and cane.  Her staying with one of us children wasn’t an option for her.  The accessibility into our homes wasn’t there; nor was the availability for her to have round the clock care.

Mom stayed at the rehab center for two weeks before going home. Once home, visiting nurses went in daily to make sure she was taking her meds, eating, and bathing.  They would draw her blood so that she didn’t need to go out every day.  After so long the visits become more infrequent until they finally stopped.  Family members checked in on her daily.  Now she is able to get out and about safely, but always carries a cell phone with her in case she needs to call call my brother, 911, the neighbor, or myself.

A combination of services were used for mom’s care.   And with there being so many options available, often times families are overwhelmed with all of them.  What do they mean?  Which option is best for our loved one?  Where do I go to set the services up?  This is where careconversations.org can help you make an informed decision.

 

It’s never too early to have a care conversation with the aging parent(s).  If they are of sound mind to help in the decision making process – they will be much more open to the different options that are available to them.  Guide them to the Care Conversations website – let them read what’s available.

Lastly, find out before they can’t make their own decisions if they have Advanced Directives in place.  If they don’t, encourage them to do so.  I know the last thing I want is to be kept alive on life support UNLESS there is a good chance that I could survive and would be able to live a good quality of life.  And yes, one can put in place stipulations when making out their Advance Directives.  It’s all about planning and preparing.  Planning and preparing their care, their finances, their advanced directives.

Visiting the planning and preparing section at Care Conversations can help you with this overwhelming, emotional, but necessary decision making process.

Do you have an aging parent?  Have you had a care conversation with them?

 

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Oct 312014
 
how to choose the right vitamin

sponsored

How to Choose the Right Supplements or Vitamins

how to choose the right vitamin

When one is trying to make a change to their diet, they often need to take supplements.  It’s so very important that you know how to choose the right supplements or vitamins. The supplements that one takes are often very specific to one’s condition.  There are also many different combinations of certain supplements and vitamins, that one must do their homework before ingesting them.

When one is doing their research or gone to the doctor, one must make sure they are searching for the exact item they need.  For instance – if your doctor prescribes you Vitamin D3, you’re going to want to get that rather than Vitamin D2.  There is a significant difference as to how the body reacts to each of those.

Let’s take a look at process one would benefit from before making a purchase:

The Search

When one is trying to learn more about supplements, one must make sure they search for the exact supplement or vitamin that was recommended.  One will often find supplements with their being different combinations and one will be able to compare these products before making a purchase. 

The Brands

With their being so many brands of each supplement, it is best for one to take the brand that they prefer. When you do not know which brand to pick, you should make sure that you are reading reviews on the sites to see what you can extract from those reviews. These reviews will help you make wise decisions and you can stick with those brands for many years to come.  That said, it is imperative that you read between the lines with online reviews.  One never knows if someone left a review for the wrong product or if they have been paid to write a review.  It’s pretty easy to tell from reading a review, just by the tone of the review, which is an honest review and so forth.

The Combinations

When one is taking more than one vitamin at a time, one needs to make sure that they are taking the combinations correctly. You need to purchase the proper dosages and you need to make sure that you are going to feel comfortable with these combinations.

There are times when some supplements do not respond well to each other or with prescription medications.  It is best for the user to research the combinations on the site before buying.  This is imperative.  Just because it’s suggested for you to take Ginkgo, you may already be taking a prescription medication that does not work well with Ginkgo.  A simple web search as Ginkgo with Nexium will bring up a lot of results that you need to read.

Dosages

The dosages for every vitamin must be chosen carefully for everyone’s safety. There are many vitamins that must be taken in small dosages, and there are other vitamins that must be taken at a higher dosage. When one chooses the right dosage, they are more likely to get good results.  A perfect example of this – my son was prescribed 1000 mg. of Vit. D3.  When he went to have his blood drawn – his Vit. D level wasn’t in therapeutic range.  The doc wanted him to continue taking that dosage, when I said – that doesn’t make sense – his level was low on that dose.  She agreed and we bumped it up.  In fact, I bumped it up to 5000 iu 4 times a week.  I did my research beforehand though.

Every person who is taking vitamins/supplements must make sure that they are taking them in the right way.  Some may require that they be ingested with food, others may work better on an empty stomach.  Then there are some that need another supplement to be taken along with the chosen main supplement in order to get the best results.

All in all – vitamins and supplements can offer a lot to the human body.  Most can be had fairly cheap and make you feel a lot better over the course of a month or two.

Do you take supplements/vitamins?  Do you take the time to research them?  Do you take the time to be informed?

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Oct 192014
 
decorative contact lenses
“I wrote this review while participating in an Influencer campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. and received a promotional item from Mom Central to thank me for participating.”
decorative contact lenses

What You Need to Know about Decorative Contact Lenses

 

You have only one set of eyes in your lifetime – that’s it.  Having your eyes checked regularly is important.  If corrective lenses are needed so be it.  For those who don’t care for glasses – there’s always the option of contact lenses.  That said, contact lenses require a bit more care and work vs. putting on a pair of glasses.

My teen is one of those who has to wear corrective lenses and has for many years.  I knew enough to start getting her eyes tested by an optometrist at a young age, since her dad and I both have the need for corrective lenses. I actually needed glasses long before anyone ever caught on that the cause of my poor schoolwork and constant headaches were because I couldn’t see – starting in the second grade.

Come the 5th grade – my vision had deteriorated so fast that the corrective lenses prescribed were very thick.  As I aged, I really wanted to try contact lenses but because my vision was so bad – I would have had to wear hard lenses.  The hard lenses came with there possibly being a lot of complications for me – so I went without.  Then, soft lenses became available and I just had to try them.

I fell in love!  I hardly ever wear my glasses anymore because I can see so much better with the contact lenses.  Plus – my self-esteem rose not having to wear those thick corrective lenses.  So when my daughter hit her teen years – I asked her if she’d like to try contacts.  She hemmed and hawed over the thought for a long time before telling me that she would like to give them a try.  At that time I made sure that she knew that there was work involved, as she’d have to properly care for them.  She agreed she would.  Good enough – let’s give it a try – and that we did.

decorative contact lenses

 

decorative contact lenses

 

With that all said – she was taught by the tech on how she MUST care for her lenses.

There’s absolutely no turning back if you damage your eyes from being irresponsible where contact lenses are concerned.  In which, this leads me to wanting to talk a bit about decorative contact lenses.

Decorative Contact Lenses

decorative contact lenses

They seem to be the rage during Halloween but have become even more popular over the years with teens especially, wanting to change their eye color like they change the color of their hair.  Okay – sure they are appealing.  Sure they will give your eyes a different take for the world to see.  But….

The Statistics:

Halloween isn’t the only time of year that people try contact lenses without a prescription.  According to the American Optometric Association’s 2013 American Eye-Q®consumer survey, 17 percent of Americans have worn decorative contact lenses that don’t provide vision correction as part of a costume or for other cosmetic purposes. Of those individuals, 24 percent purchased them without a prescription from a source other than an eye doctor.

What You NEED to Know:

Purchasing Traditional or Decorative Contact Lenses:

A contact lens is a medical device and in the United States, all contacts lenses, even purely cosmetic ones, require a prescription from an eye care professional. However, come the fall, many children, teenagers, and even adults begin to think about “who” or “what” they want to be for Halloween. And, a number of them are
tempted to complete their look with decorative contact lenses bought without a prescription.

The Importance of Year-Round Eye Care Hygiene:

 Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., manufacturer of ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses reminds us – especially teens – how important it is to practice safe contact lens wear and care – from obtaining contact lenses via a prescription from a licensed eye care professional, to practicing good hygiene habits when
inserting/removing contact lenses as well as the importance of following wearing and replacement schedules, proper lens care, and disinfecting routines as directed by your eye care professional.

The Protocol for Contact Lens Use (Traditional and Decorative Contact Lenses):

The Do’s and Don’ts of Eye Care Safety

Follow these tips to make sure that you are wearing and caring for your contact lenses safely and effectively.

It all starts at the sink!

decorative contact lenses

The teen washing her hands before handling her contact lenses

DO:

  • Wash and rinse your hands thoroughly with a mild soap and dry with a lint-free towel before handling your lenses
  • Put in your contacts before you put on your makeup or any costume paint.
  • Remove lenses immediately if  you experience eye discomfort, excessive tearing, vision changes, and redness of the eye or other problems and promptly contact your  eye care professional
  • Always remove, clean and disinfect your lenses according to the schedule recommended by   your eye doctor

DON’T:

  • Wear another person’s lenses
  • Wear lenses longer than the time frame recommended by your eye doctor
  • Rinse your lenses in water from the tap or expose them to any water—such as swimming or showering—while wearing them
  • Use anything aside from recommended solution by your eye doctor, such as saliva,to lubricate your lenses

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FROM ACUVUE ON TRADITIONAL AND DECORATIVE CONTACT LENSES:

  • To educate yourself more – visit Healthy Vision & Contact Lenses
  • Keep track of your individual contact lens replacement schedule with the ACUMINDER® Tool, a free service that sends an automatic reminder via email and/or cell phone text message on when to replace contact lenses, when to order new lenses and when to schedule an eye exam. Registration is free and open to all contact lens wearers

Do you wear contact lenses?  What about decorative contact lenses?  How do they work for you?

 

 

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Oct 062014
 
medwatch

YES!  There is a place to report adverse side effects of medications!

Report Adverse Side Effects

Medications – we’ve all been on them at one time or another. When they are prescribed an informational sheet is given to you explaining the side effects, drug interactions, and other pertinent information. Over-the-counter medications have labels telling one how to take them and what to watch out for, etc.

So we read up on the medication and begin taking them until we discover that that med is creating more havoc with our body than one wants to think about. One then find themselves saying – this just shouldn’t be – I want to inform others and FDA of what this med did to me. Well, guess what? You can do just that!

What is MedWatch?

MedWatch is the FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program and the place to go to report adverse side effects of medications whether they are prescription drugs or over-the-counter meds, supplements, food/beverage, medical devices, and more. It’s a place to get your experience and voice heard.

Outlined below is what you can and can’t report on the site. However – go to the MedWatch site to get the links of where you can report the “What Not to Report to MedWatch” topics.

What you can report to FDA MedWatch:

  • Use the MedWatch form to report adverse events that you observe or suspect for human medical products, including serious drug side effects, product use errors, product quality problems, and therapeutic failures for:
  • Prescription or over-the-counter medicines, as well as medicines administered to hospital patients or at outpatient infusion centers
  • Biologics (including blood components, blood and plasma derivatives, allergenic, human cells, tissues, and cellular and tissue-based products (HCT/Ps))
  • Medical devices (including in vitro diagnostic products)
  • Combination products
  • Special nutritional products (dietary supplements, infant formulas, and medical foods)
    Cosmetics
  • Foods/beverages (including reports of serious allergic reactions)

What Not to Report to MedWatch: (see the MedWatch site for links to topics below)

  • Vaccines: Report vaccine events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)
  • Investigational (study) drugs: Report investigational (study) drug adverse events as required in the study protocol and send to the address and contact person listed in the study protocol.
  • Mandatory reporting by regulated industry – Drugs and Biologics & Devices
  • Reporting on Dietary Supplements
  • Reporting on Veterinary Medicine Products
  • Reports FDA Does Not Handle (e.g. CPSC, FTC, State Health Departments) and Where to Send Them

As you can see from the list above – one doesn’t have to be taking a prescription med to be able to file a report. You could be taking a supplement and find yourself wanting to make a complaint on the side effect that you’ve experienced.

And remember – just because there’s no concrete evidence of the side effect you’re experiencing doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. No two bodies are the same in any way, shape, or form. Our chemistry makeup is all unique to each of us. Thus, we can all have a different experience when taking a medication. So don’t be afraid to get your issue heard.

The other piece to note is that clinical trials of a medication is just that – a trial. It doesn’t last for years or decades. It also doesn’t consist of every computation out there of what each individual takes for medications at the same time as a drug causing one an adverse effect. For instance, one may be on Nexium, Flexeril, and Prozac – yet the trials don’t include people taking all of those meds at one time and/or for the length of time someone may by on them.

Filling out a MedWatch Report

Filing a report is extremely easy on the MedWatch site. First chose the “Report a Problem” icon and then choose “Consumer/Patient” Icon. From there – answer the questions and fill in, in your words, what you experienced. Four thousand (4000) characters are allowed to get your point across. It’s very important that you list all the details you can. Take the time to do that – it only helps the FDA understand the complaint better and could save others from having the experience you did.

The MedWatch site is full of useful information aside to being able to report adverse side effects of medications. Educate yourself on the site – you may need to reference it one day.

 

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Sep 022014
 
US Food Desert Map

Have you ever heard the term ‘Food Desert”?  There is an estimated 23.5 million people that live in food deserts in the US and Canada.  It’s actually quite disturbing that, we, as a country, have people who are unable to obtain the proper nutrition due to location and economic status.

US Food Desert Map

U. S. Department of Agriculture

So what exactly is a food desert?

As defined by the USDA:

Food deserts are defined as urban neighborhoods and rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. Instead of supermarkets and grocery stores, these communities may have no food access or are served only by fast food restaurants and convenience stores that offer few healthy, affordable food options. The lack of access contributes to a poor diet and can lead to higher levels of obesity and other diet-related diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.

 

That said, food deserts have to meet two criteria to be considered a food desert per Census tracts:

The first being:

They qualify as “low-income communities”, based on having: a) a poverty rate of 20 percent or greater, OR b) a median family income at or below 80 percent of the area median family income; AND

The second being:

They qualify as “low-access communities”, based on the determination that at least 500 persons and/or at least 33% of the census tract’s population live more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store (10 miles, in the case of non-metropolitan census tracts).

 

Why is it that you need to be educated on food deserts?

Just as there are countries that are full of malnutritioned individuals and have little or no food, so do we right here in the US & Canada. The sad thing is, is that quite often people will criticize over-weight children and adults – not thinking twice about how these individuals may possibly be suffering from malnutrition.

And although we have more resources to help our own (food stamps (SNAP), WIC, food pantries, automobiles etc.) than other countries may not have, the foods that are available to those in food deserts receiving benefits are often from little stores that don’t get fresh food/meats in often, or at all. The foods these individuals are often faced with are packaged foods that don’t hold the nutritional value that one’s body needs.

In recently coming across a Facebook group thread where someone was criticizing others for buying a lot of cereals and other boxed meals…I was a bit taken back and thus the reason for this post.  This individual had no idea of the circumstances this other person faces every day.  No idea where they live .  No idea how far a real grocery store exists in their area.  No idea what their finances were.  No idea if they had transportation to make it to a traditional grocery store.  And – no idea if these people lived in a food desert – yet were criticizing what they fed their family.

This person also was criticizing others by saying these foods cause diabetes and parents shouldn’t be feeding their kids cereals, Hamburger Helper, and foods of the like.  Okay – well, I’m in total disagreement with that (that’s my opinion), as diabetes is not brought on by those factors alone.  Diabetes goes deeper than that.  Granted these foods don’t help, but what is one to do when there aren’t many choices to choose from, if they were to be a victim of a food desert?

And should it be that the people she were criticizing lived in a food desert – those individuals are faced with more than just diabetes.  They are faced with multiple vitamin deficiencies.  Heart issues.  Being overweight (malnutrition often presents itself as one being overweight).  Thyroid disease.   Yet – all these people are trying to do is survive. Survive with a basic necessity some people take for granted.

I urge you to learn more about food deserts.  Everyone needs to be educated on these.  Visit the USDA’s website:  https://apps.ams.usda.gov/fooddeserts/foodDeserts.aspx (Look to the right of the page for more resources to read).

If you are reading this and live in a food desert – we’d love for you to share your experience with us.  What is most challenging for you?  What is frustrating for you?  How do you manage?

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Aug 222014
 
teatree oil review

australian tea tree oil review

If you’re not familiar with Tea Tree Oil you might just want to take the time to familiarize yourself with this wonderful organic home remedy.

Tea Tree Oil comes from the Melaleuca tree.  The leaves of the tree are put through a process to extract the oil.  In turn, this oil, which has antimicrobial properties (anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral) – is a fabulous natural medicinal alternative.

Tea Tree Oil has so many uses.  I’ve personally cured ringworm, cleared up cold sores, healed a huge burn on my arm from bacon fat (no I’m not going to tell you that the burn didn’t hurt when putting the oil on – but once that hurt went away a short few minutes later – I couldn’t feel that burn unless I pressed hard on the area).

Other uses for Tea Tree oil are (many more not listed):

  • Skin care – acne, facial toner, moisturizing face wash, body scrub, deodorant, eczema
  • First Aid – ringworm, staphylococcus, MRSA4
  • Household cleaning – from soaps to cleaning the bathroom
  • Hair care -shampoo, dry scalp, cradle cap
  • Aromatherapy – air fresheners, massage oils, reed diffusers
  • Dental care -toothpaste, mouthwash

Is all Tea Tree Oil the same?

The answer to that is no.  Some companies add additives that can reduce the oil’s properties.  A pharmaceutical grade is always your best option.  You’ll also want to make sure that the tea tree oil is a dark colored bottled that is air-tight.  It needs to be stored away from sunlight and air as much as possible, so that its effectiveness isn’t compromised.

Here’s the back label of Apothecary Extract Tea Tree Oil:

australian tea tree oil review

Do you see where it says – “Gas chromatography tested?”  That’s an important piece of information if you’re wondering about the quality of the tea tree oil you’re looking to purchase.

If you don’t see this on the packaging – you can ask the company/supplier you’re buying from for their gas chromatography report and to compare it to the ISO standards found at http://www.teatree.org.au/standards.php. Don‘t be surprised if you can’t be provided with these test results though. It’s said that these tests are expensive to perform and some companies would rather you not know what is in their product.

That said, you know you’re getting a quality product when you purchase Apothecary Extracts Australian Tea Tree Oil.

Side Effects of Tea Tree Oil

One can be allergic to tea tree oil just as with anything else. The best way to determine if you’ll experience any side effects – do a skin test on your arm or leg by rubbing the oil on an area no bigger than the size of a nickel.  If you don‘t experience any skin irritation or other side effects, you should feel confident that you are not allergic to tea tree oil and can begin using it.  If you find yourself having a slight reaction after testing it – you’ll want to stop using right away, or try mixing it with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or almond oil to dilute it.  Whatever you do – do not ingest any tea tree oil.

How does the Apothecary Extracts Australian Tea Tree Oil Rate?

I’ve written about the use of tea tree oil in the past (read that post here); and although the brand I used was not this one – you’ll find this one to be equivalent to the one that I was using.  The scent of Apothecary Extracts Australian Tea Tree Oil is that of what I’m used to using.  The oil has the consistency of what I’ve used in the past.  The smell is the same.  It arrived in a dark colored bottle (the one you see above), which is mandatory for keeping its potency.

Shortly after receiving the bottle, which couldn’t’ have come at a better time since we had just finished our last bottle, I came down with a cold sore.  These are common for daughter and myself.  I immediately went to the Apothecary Extracts Australian Tea Tree Oil and began putting it on the sore.  Within just a couple of days – the sore began to dry up.  The itching went away shortly after applying the oil.  So I can tell you that the Apothecary brand works the way I would expect it to.

Our home always has a supply of tea tree oil and black salve on hand – that’s not an option, but is mandatory.  We believe in these products 110%.  The Apothecary Extracts Australian Tea Tree Oil will be a staple in our house from now on.  There are just so many brands out there it’s hard knowing which brand you can trust.  That said, in reviewing this particular brand, I learned a lot and have much confidence in the product.

The Perks of Purchasing the Apothecary Extracts Australian Tea Tree Oil

When you purchase this brand’s tea tree oil – you will receive an eBook with many recipes on ways to use the oil.  The eBook also touches base on the history of tea tree oil. The bottle I received was a 4-oz. bottle and this will last us a very long time.  Not only that – the price of the 4-oz bottle of Apothecary Extracts brand – is one of where you’ll be getting more for your money.

You’ll find the Apothecary Extracts Australian Tea Tree Oil at Amazon.com

Are you a tea tree oil user?  What do you like best about the oil?

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Related Post:

TEA TREE OIL…have you ever tried it?? It’s fabulous!

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