Jun 022015


What is Lymphedema

Lymphedema is a disorder that affects the lymphatic system. This condition can have some serious consequences, but unfortunately the diagnosis of these problems is highly subjective. There is no standardized test and every case is different. Usually a doctor must collect a body of evidence and weigh each variable before coming to a conclusion.

Below are the most common means in which lymphedema is identified.

Size Increase of Body Parts

A common trait associated with this illness is the swelling and enlargement of body parts. Normally doctors look for about a 10% volume increase. An arm or a leg that increases in diameter by two or more centimeters is suspicious. While this may seem straight forward, taking accurate measurements of body parts is problematic. Torsos, abdomens, hands, and feet all have irregular shapes. To complicate matters, it can be impossible to determine what the normal size should even be. Without a precise measurement of original dimensions, it cannot be determined that there is any true swelling at all.

Symptoms Survey

In addition to the swelling and size increase associated with this illness, skin color may change around the affected area. It may become sore or sensitive. Patients may experience tenderness and decreased range of motion. In some instances, it can feel warmer to the touch. While some of these symptoms are acute in certain cases, they don’t all have to be present. In fact, symptoms may be so mild that the patient does not even recognize the problem. There are products developed by many companies to help those suffering with the symptoms of Lymphedema.

Bio Impedance

Some doctors will measure the fluid levels in the surrounding tissues to balance their analysis. Higher levels of fluid indicate a problem with the lymphatic system. While this method helps to clarify the conditions, it is not actually FDA approved. Doctors must consider all factors in each case and rely on their best judgment and expertise.


This imaging system can map out and reveal much about a patient’s lymphatic system. The information obtained using this procedure can do more than just spot areas suspected of lymphedema. This equipment is complicated and requires special training to analyze results accurately. If more basic tests have not led to a conclusive diagnosis, the use of one of these devices may become necessary to clarify the matter.

Do you or someone you know live with lymphedema?  What has your/their experience been like?

Jun 012015
*Sponsored – All opinions are those of an FCS Team Member

life credit company living loans


Cancer knows no boundaries.  It’s the most feared word to come out of a doctor’s mouth.  It’s the hardest word in the world for a patient to hear.  Granted the treatments for cancer have come oh-so-far, but those treatments come with a price tag.  A price tag that one often can’t afford – often robbing people of all their resources.

Luckily, when my father-in-law was told that he had cancer, three times now, he had good insurance.  Some of the treatment expenses weren’t covered though.  Like the PET scans that he had to undergo twice, at a tune of over $3500 for each one – weren’t covered.  And luckily he had retirement funds to tap into – of course at a price for doing so – to help with those expenses.  But what if he hadn’t?

Seriously, what if he hadn’t?  Being married he and his wife made way too much money to qualify for financial assistance through the treatment centers.  State assistance programs couldn’t be tapped into for the same reason.  There are so many cancer patients that fall into this category.

That said, should one find themselves in need of financial assistance – especially those that don’t have good medical insurance, or the elderly that aren’t able to pay for a Medicare Gap policy, there may still be a way to pay for expenses through tapping into their life insurance policy.

The company called the Life Credit Company assists one in doing just that.  They provide individuals with what are called Living Benefit Loans.

life credit company living loans

About the Life Credit Company

We are a licensed consumer lender that provides unique financial solutions to the cancer community. In December of 2012, we launched the Living Benefit Loan Program, which has already delivered over 15 million dollars of funding and improved the lives of countless individuals.

How Can the Life Credit Company Help?

The Life Credit Company provides Living Benefit loans through tapping into one’s life insurance policy to cancer patients and those with other serious medical conditions.  Furthermore, one does not lose their life insurance and their beneficiaries remain the same.  Loan proceeds can be used by the borrower for any purpose without restriction.

Criteria for a Living Loan

If one has at least $75,000 of coverage and has been diagnosed with cancer or another serious medical condition, you may qualify for a life insurance loan.

How Much Money Can They Loan?

A Living Benefit loan makes it possible for cancer patients to receive up to 50% of their life insurance policy’s death benefit today without any loan payments or incurring any out-of-pocket expenses.

Example – if you have $100,000 of coverage, they can loan you up to $50,000 secured solely by your policy.

How is the Loan Paid?

The Living Benefit Loan is repaid from the policy’s death benefit proceeds with the remainder going to the insured’s family.

Future Premiums are Paid

They even cover all of the policy’s future premium payments.

Life Credit Company Perks

  • A FREE No-Obligation Consultation
  • No personal liability
  • Quick Loan Approval – Loans are approved within 3 days upon receipt of a completed application
  • Types of Policies accepted – term, group, universal, FEGLI, variable and whole life insurance (to name a few)
  • One’s credit doesn’t matter – there are no credit checks
  • No spending restrictions – one can pay off bills, consolidate bills, take a vacation

Read Testimonials of Cancer Patients Who Used This Service

What are your thoughts on Living Loans?  I think that they are a great alternative when in need.  I’d much rather lose part of my life insurance benefit over losing my home or having to take out a personal loan to repay the debt incurred from a medical illness.

Of course, everyone’s circumstances are different, and before jumping into anything, it’s important that one is fully educated on all the details of a Living Loan and how it would effect their financial situation.

What are your thoughts on these Living Loans?

May 012015

Places to Look for QR Codes that Offer Discounts

QR Code discounts

QR codes are versatile. Some companies use these “magic” tools to offer savings on all kinds of products you already buy. This post aims to help you find QR codes that will save you money and time while you mystery shop. By putting a little extra change in your pocket, QR codes can make you smile!

What Kinds of Things Can You Buy for Less with QR Codes?

Retailers have fallen in love with these great codes. The list of available deals grows daily, and the types of things on which you can save money are already quite varied.

Right now, you can use a QR code to save money on:

  • Toys
  • Video games
  • Food
  • Jewelry
  • Clothes
  • Appliances
  • Movie tickets
  • Many things

Go to your favorite retailer’s website. They may have a QR code you can download and use to save money at one of their locations.

Who Uses QR Codes to Save Money?

It is likely that most people you know with a smartphone have used a money-saving QR image. Those people include:

  • Moms
  • Dads
  • Thespians
  • Teachers
  • Smart office managers
  • Personal trainers who like cheese
  • Your plumber
  • Dancers
  • Prancers

To find codes that save you dough, all you have to do is know where to look.

Where Will You Find Money-Saving QR Codes?

As discounts with QR codes become more popular, you will be able to find them many places. Consider these ideas:

  • At your grocer, look for a sign posted near the entrance that might have a QR code for savings
  • Some retailers mail valued customers promotional QR codes periodically, and you can sign up to receive those mailings
  • If you network for business, you will notice some business cards feature QR codes that may save you money on products and services
  • Anytime you see a print advertisement, it may contain a QR code that will save you money. As with many things, you will find more QR codes when you begin seriously looking for them. These little wonders are all over the place!

How Much Money Can You Save?

In truth, the amount you actually save by using QR code discounts will depend upon your individual choices. Some QR codes offer deep savings. Catch a company at the right time with the right code, and you could find yourself paying less than half of the an item’s retail price. That is a definite bargain!

Get Busy!

Now that you know the “why and how” of saving money with QR codes, do not waste time. Find the codes you need to pay less for the things you already buy. You might even find a code that makes it possible for you to “splurge for less” on something you have wanted to own for a long time.

Happy deal hunting!

This contribution comes from Sentry Marketing Group, a mystery shopping and survey company in Dallas. They blog about mystery shopping, surveys, promotions, and foodservice trends.

Looking to generate your own QR Codes that offer discounts?  Check out this post.

May 012015

4 Ways to Renovate Furniture

4 ways to renovate furniture

Let’s face it. Everyone everywhere is always trying to find a way to save a few bucks, whether you’re trying to cut back on your grocery expenses or even find ways to save on a wedding. No matter what it is you’re trying to do, there’s always a way to get it done.

The same goes for renovating and updating furniture. Instead of going to the store to buy a new bench or table for your home, consider renovating an older one. There are plenty of ways to upgrade furniture that will provide the same end result and cost a lot less than buying new. All it will take is a little patience and some hard work. So if you want to renovate some of your furniture, the following are a few great options to help you do so.

1. Paint

Painting is one of the best options to upgrade furniture, and it’s very cheap to do. A gallon of paint will run you anywhere from $10-$20, which is much less than buying a brand new piece of furniture. Plus, paint is great for a variety of different textures, so you can use it on wood, brass, or even vinyl. When painting furniture, you want to make sure you buy the right paint, as some are better for materials such as vinyl than others.

If you are renovating wood, make sure that you sand down the item before applying new paint, as this will help the paint stick better. You may want to apply more than one coat too, just to be sure it’s even. If you are putting the piece of furniture somewhere where there is moisture, such as in the bathroom, you may want to place some polyurethane on it to seal it. This will keep water or moisture from damaging the hard work you just did.

2. Stain

If you are working with wood, you can also opt to stain an item in order to give it a new look. You can buy stain from your local home improvement store, which again will cost anywhere from $10-$20, or you can even make your own stain. For example, you can add steel wool to a bottle of vinegar and let it sit for a few days. Then, rub this new mixture on the wood and stain it with your own homemade creation. There are different ways to make different stain colors, so
just try a variety of different items and determine which color you like best.

Again, like with painting, you want to make sure you sand the furniture before staining. If the furniture already has stain on it, you’ll want to sand it down all the way, otherwise the new stain on top of the old stain will not come out the way you want it. When staining, you should also remember to wear rubber gloves and old clothes, as getting stain on your skin or clothes is very hard (and sometimes impossible) to get out.

3. Upholstery

If you have a piece of furniture that uses fabric, such as a couch or chair, then you can always opt to reupholster it instead of buying new. Go to your local fabric store and find the color, style, and material you like best, and then buy enough to cover your piece of furniture. If you have never reupholstered before, you may want to start small by doing a cloth dining room chair or a small accent chair before tackling a couch. Once you do one, the rest will come easier. Also, if it
ecomes too hard for you to do, there are plenty of companies out there who can do it for you.

4. Material

Sometimes renovating a piece of furniture means giving it a completely new facelift with different material. For example, you may want to cover a dated dining room table with some tile, a granite countertop, or even some hardwood to give it a new look. It doesn’t matter what type of material you want to use, just make your decision, learn how to do it, and then go for it. Sometimes the more creative you are with a piece, the better the end result will be.

Do you like to do DIY projects like these?  I get right into them.  I’m able to get a new look, and at the same time, I save so much money!

Mar 212015

3 Tips on Looking for a Good Rabbit Vet

rabbit vet

When looking for a vet, you may not realize that you have to put forth time and effort to match yourself with your best option. But the health and wellness of your rabbit is dependent on your ability to work with the most experienced veterinary care available.

Just because someone is a veterinarian doesn’t mean they have the experience or comfort working with a rabbit. You need to find a veterinarian who knows how to care for your vet, so that you can feel at peace that your pet’s best interests are at play. Here are 3 tips on looking for a good rabbit vet in your neighborhood.

  1. Get referrals from other vets. It is strongly encouraged that what you to do is call a handful of vets in your local area. Ask them whom they refer clients to when dealing with rabbits or other exotic pets. If they all say the same name, then you know you have a good vet on your hands. If they all say different names, we suggest that you get a new sampling from other veterinarians. A veterinarian will not actively recommend another colleague without knowing fully well that this colleague has the reputation and expertise to perform his job professionally.
  2. Ask screening questions. After trying out our suggestions above, you likely have one or two candidates with whom you can move forward. But your job is not done, not yet. You now should ask screening questions of your choices to make sure you move forward with someone you’re comfortable with. Questions may include how many rabbits are seen each week, what diet the vet recommends a rabbit be fed, what they recommend to prevent GI stasis, and what continuing education seminars they attend.
  3. Don’t make quick decisions. Many people choose a vet based on proximity to their home. But that’s not ideal at all. It may be convenient, but your rabbit deserves better than that. Be sure you take the time to get to know the vets throughout your community and choose the one who can best treat your rabbit.

Not all vets are able to work with rabbits, so be sure that you find the select few who have an expertise with this type of animal. We encourage you to visit Unusual Pet Vets to learn how they can help you with your exotic animals, including rabbits.

Do you own a rabbit? Do you take it to the vets?

Mar 092015

Headaches Caused by Muscle Spasms – Feels Like a Migraine but Isn’t

muscle spasm headache

There are many types of headaches.  There are many causes of headaches.  If you’ve been wondering why migraine medication isn’t working for you; could you possibly be suffering from headaches caused by muscle spasms?  As a sufferer of these types of headaches for nearly 20 yrs. now, I’d like to share my experience.

You see, I used to wake with a major headache every day that went on for months on end.  I would’ve welcomed someone taking a drill to my head to relieve the pressure and pain.  I would still welcome a drill to my head if I manage to set one off today; however – I now know enough of what I need to do to make them go away.

So what sets the muscle spasm headaches off (for me)?

  • Simply sitting down in a chair
  • Anything that requires the use of my upper back muscles/lower neck muscles (painting, shoveling, carrying grocery bags, lifting heavier items such as boxes)
  • Squatting
  • Not sleeping with my neck-support memory foam pillow
  • Sleeping/lying down too long
  • Not getting up from my desk every 30 minutes or so
  • Sewing at my sewing machine
  • A new desk chair that doesn’t set the same as the old one

How I got to be where I am today:

My OB-Gyn took me off birth control.  That did nothing for me.  So I went to see my primary care physician.

After seeing my primary care physician and being given all kinds of drugs that did pretty much nothing other than make me sleep, sleep, and sleep; I was sent to see a Orthopedist.

He performed many types of tests, including a nerve test.  He had no answers for me.  I was then sent to see a neurologist.

The neurologist performed a battery of tests.  She gave me different medications.  Back then, Imitrex was new on the market. She gave me a script for home injections but made it clear to me that if I wasn’t experiencing a true migraine that the injections wouldn’t do a thing for me.  And that they didn’t – other than to cause me anxiety every time I needed to stab myself.

She then ordered a Cervical Traction Device where you fill the bag with water, hook the strapping up to your neck/head and dropped the bag, which is hung over a doorway.  That device actually felt pretty good…seriously!  I would ask to be hooked up to that whenever someone was around to help me.

Amongst seeing all the docs – I frequented the ER for relief more than I want to think about.  I was given Stadol Nasal Spray on more than one occasion.  I loved that drug, but it wired me so much that I couldn’t sleep.  Severe sweating became an issue.  The drug was addicting.  At the onset of it wearing off, I needed more.  I wanted more.

Had I stayed on that drug I would be a full-blown addict of it.  You see, shortly after coming off it I learned that the drug was more addicting than cocaine and heroine…no wonder I wanted more!  That was my first experience as to what it would feel like to be addicted to a drug and it wasn’t a good feeling.

Then for some reason I needed to go to the chiropractor.  I was telling him about the headaches.  He said, “I can help you.”  Really?  Let’s do it!  He worked on my neck.  I went back every couple of weeks for adjustments and over a few visits I had some relief.  I could now tell where the headaches originated from – the left side of my neck.

The muscles from the top of my left shoulder upward into the neck and side of the head…I could feel them ache/throb (at the time, I had no idea that a feeling like that was considered spasming).  Though, the relief wasn’t 100%.  He suggested I invest in a memory foam pillow with neck support.  I got one!  That’s how badly I wanted to get rid of all the pain.  The pillow did help a bit; though – I was still waking every morning with a headache that would proceed to worsen as the day went on.

So I went in to tell my physician what I was doing.  She suggested I try taking 800 mg. of Motrin and 10 mg. of Flexeril, along with an ice pack to my neck, when I first felt the muscles spasm.  Well – go figure!  That worked!  I finally got them under control to where the headaches were tolerable and not as frequent.  At a follow-up appointment she suggested I take 10mg. of Flexeril when I went to bed at night – to see if that would keep them at bay longer.  Sure enough – it worked!  I no longer awoke with a headache.

Nearly 20 yrs. later, I’m still doing the same regimen.  I take the meds at the onset of feeling the muscles spasm, use my pillow, and if I can’t get the pain to subside to where it’s tolerable – I take another Flexeril (muscle relaxant) and lie down with an ice pack.  I still frequent the chiropractor.

Once in a blue moon – like every 6 months – I will suffer with one that keeps me down for a day or so.  If I find that I am feeling a lot of tightness within my neck muscles day after day – I know it’s time to see the chiropractor again.

I will tell you that when I was experiencing the headaches – I had given up hope on ever getting any relief.  I thought I was doomed with living the rest of my life in major pain.  Now I look back and think about how I had helped myself by seeing all the specialists, along with running my mouth to the chiropractor and listening to my body.  Sometimes it really does take a village to make things work out for the better.

Do you suffer from headaches that feel like your head is ready to explode in which migraine medicine doesn’t do much for them?  Maybe you’re having headaches caused by muscle spasms too.

Mar 052015

Save Money and Energy With A Few Easy Tips



It’s no secret that heating your home when it’s cold outside can cost a fortune if you aren’t careful. However, if you’re tired of watching your home energy bills rise once coolers temperatures hit, you don’t have to sit back and let it happen. Instead, you can save yourself some serious money while also reducing the amount of energy your home consumes during the fall and winter by taking a few simple steps.

Cover Up Drafty Windows

Have you ever walked by a window and suddenly felt a cold pocket of air graze your skin? To prevent this from happening, tape clear, plastic film to the inside of your windows during the winter months. When you do this, make sure that the plastic is adhered tightly to the frame of the window to reduce infiltration. Additionally, you should consider putting up insulating drapes on the windows that still feel drafty even after you get done winterizing them.

Lower What You Pay for Warm Water

If you broke down each component of your energy bills, you’d probably be surprised as to how much water heating adds to this total. In the majority of homes, obtaining hot water can account from anywhere from 14 to 25 percent of their total energy consumption. To reduce what you pay for warm water, lower the temperature on your water heater to the warm setting. While this will help you save money, it will also help you avoid scalding your hands.

Pay Attention to the Temperature

Like many other people, keeping your home nice and warm during the fall and winter is important to you. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to pay a fortune to make it happen. When you’re at home, keep your home at a temperature that is comfortable, but not overly warm or cool. When you go to bed at night or before you leave your home for the day, set back your thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees.

Maintain Your Heating System

If your heating system isn’t working efficiently, you could be paying extra to heat your home and not even know it. Even before the leaves start to turn colors, call your HVAC technician over and have him or her take a look at your system. While he or she is there, ask him or her about what you can do to maintain your heating system throughout the winter and how to prevent your system from suddenly breaking down in the middle of an extremely chilly night.

Use the Power of the Sun

The best part about the energy that comes from the sun is that it’s 100 percent free. Use this to your advantage by letting the sunlight in to warm your home during the day and closing your drapes and blinds completely when it starts to get dark outside to prevent draftiness.

Keep in mind that these are just a few of the ways you can reduce energy consumption and what you pay for heating during the fall and winter months. If there are any other energy-saving strategies you like to use, make sure that you add them to your overall plan when the temperatures outside start to drop.

Living in New England, we have to find all ways possible to save money and energy on these bills.  Do you have other tips that you’d care to share?

Mar 052015

Tips from Sleep Number on Resetting Your Sleep Clock

daylight savings time sleep number tips

Daylight Savings Time brings about a lot of changes.  In the Spring – we see longer days.  In the Fall – shorter days of daylight.  It’s a great time to remember to replace your smoke detector batteries and fire extinguishers.  And don’t forget to change the clocks!  Yes, I’m bad at the last one – sometimes it’s weeks before they all get changed.

Though, I think the worst thing about Daylight Savings Time is how it messes our sleeping up.  I am not bothered too much by it – but let me tell you as far as my kids – it’s a two-week battle getting them back on track.  Of course, the teen doesn’t believe mom knows what she’s talking about; therefore she comes home from school exhausted wanting to take a nap.  I let her – because if I don’t – life isn’t all that much of a pleasure.

There are proven facts of what can help one with resetting their sleep clock.  These tips from Sleep Number from Sleep Number’s new sleep survey on resetting your sleep clock may be just what you need if you suffer from the change.  The teen – she’s going to be reading these – maybe she’ll listen to Sleep Number (mom can only hope).

o    15 more minutes According to new national sleep survey from Sleep Number, over half (54 percent) of the respondents don’t feel they are getting enough sleep to be at their best. And when we lose an hour of sleep due to DST beginning, that sleep loss is even more evident. To make the time adjustment easier, don’t boil the ocean; start going to bed 15 minutes earlier than the night before… do this for 3-4 days.

o     Live in the future. On Saturday, live your life as if it’s already an hour ahead. For example, drink your last cup of coffee at 11 am (because that is really noon). Since caffeine has an approximate half-life of 6 hours, you don’t want to consumer caffeine after noon as it may impede your sleep.

o     Put down the screens. Survey results indicate that people who use devices in bed are more likely to feel they don’t get enough sleep (51 percent). Always make a screen-free zone about an hour before bedtime, which gives the eyes and mind time to relax before getting shut-eye (and allows the sleep hormone melatonin to trigger sleepiness). People in the Western region of the U.S. are the biggest tech-in-bed offenders, with 66 percent of respondents bringing devices to bed.

o    Monitor sleep to improve it. Fifty-eight percent of people wish they knew more about how to improve the quality of their sleep, yet only 16 percent actually monitor their sleep (versus 41 percent who track exercise and 43 percent who track diet). And, women are more likely to focus on improving their sleep compared to men. Sleep Number’s SleepIQ technology offers a simple solution to those who want to know better sleep.

Visit the Sleep Number site to read more helpful tips on resetting your sleep clock.

*This post is brought to you by Sleep Number
Mar 042015

CarPET Scratch Stopper Saves Your Carpets from Cat Claws

CarPET Scratch Stopper

As an owner of 13 cats, with owning an upwards of 27 once, I know the destruction that their claws can bring to a home.  Though we don’t have any expensive carpets in our home; the furbabies still like to claw the carpets to sharpen their claws.

We do have a couple of low-pile sample carpets that are strategically placed in the home and we have area rugs.  They do like to claw those – which works for me because I don’t want them clawing the furniture.  The rug in the living room is their favorite though, as far as clawing goes.  I also don’t cut their nails for the mere fact that they go outside.

Though from past experience should we ever decide to put carpets throughout our home; we’d need to invest in several of these CarPET Scratch StoppersCarPET Scratch StoppersAs you can imagine, there are many times when one of our cats will get shut into a room.  They hate being confined and start clawing at the floor, the casing, the door – all in attempts to get out of the room.  Then of course, there are the times when they want to get into rooms – especially when I’m in one with the door shut.  They do the same thing until I get up to let their furs in.  With our flooring as it is now, I don’t have to worry about any destruction being done to the floor.

Cats hate being shut in – the first photo above really says it all.  The CarPET Scratch Stopper is the perfect solution for saving those expensive carpets from claw damage – seriously carpets aren’t cheap to replace.  Sometimes it just makes sense to put out the expense to save something from such damage.

Connect with CarPET on Facebook and Pinterest – if you like cats – you’ll like being a part of their social networks.

This was brought to you by AdvertiseWithBloggers.com and CarPET Scratch Stopper.
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