While the holiday season is in the air, the nights are getting longer, the days are getting shorter, and people are gearing up to decorate their homes and yards with Christmas Cheer! This is also the season when cases of the flu start creeping up causing issues for all.
Kids are carrying germs and viruses around to each other in their classrooms and while playing together outside. Though there are people who just never seem to get sick, most of us are not that lucky. As hard as any of us try, we just can’t always prevent becoming ill but we can get ready for the flu season by being prepared!
Getting Ready At Home:
Let’s face it, no one wants to run off to the store and stock up on cold medications when they are not feeling well. The best alternative, be prepared before you become ill. Have your cabinets and medicine cabinets stocked with remedies for colds, flu symptoms, and long-lasting congestion.
Some symptoms of the flu include headaches, stiff muscles, and chills can be treated right away if you are prepared ahead of time. Have extra bottles of Advil or Tylenol on hand, make sure you know exactly where your thermometer is located. How many times have you felt you or one of your children are running a temperature but you can’t remember where you placed it! Make sure everything is running properly on batteries for your digital thermometer or digital heating pad. If you need a new model, search online, you will find a large range from standard thermometers to digital as well as plug-in heating pads to battery operated.
Always make sure you have plenty of tissues, toilet paper, paper towels, and napkins. If you have a runny nose, have boxes of tissues that are made with moisturizers to prevent the painful raw effects from red noses. Make a list of other medications that will help you through the flu season including cough suppressants and lozenges, cough drops and syrup. Don’t forget to add Aspirin to your list! Aspirin is excellent for reducing fevers as well as limiting aches and pains.
Make sure you have pulled out all the winter blankets and comforters to stay warm before, during, and after the flu. When you or a family member feels horrible, there is nothing like a warm blanket to help soothe the pain.
Stock Up On Comfort Foods:
So, you are lying around on your couch and wished you had a nice cup of chamomile tea but you forgot to add it to your shopping list. There are several comfort foods that should be in your pantry or kitchen closet ready for those suffering from the flu.
While racing around stocking up on medications, don’t forget your comfort foods. Grab some boxes of different kinds of tea, whether herbal or not. Just make sure you have a food supply that fits everyone’s individual tastes. Many doctors advise staying away from caffeinated teas as they can cause dehydration but again, this is up to you. 518
Replace sugar in your tea with honey. Honey has proven for centuries to contain many medicinal properties from soothing a sore throat to suppressing a severe cough. The taste of honey is also very soothing when you are not feeling well.
This is also the perfect time to stock up on soups. Soup is an amazing food when you need food but solid foods just seem out of the question. This is especially true if you have a sore throat or swollen glands. Whether your favorite soup brands or a broth, you should have a good supply in your pantry.
If you are someone who loves making homemade soup, start cooking now. You can make a large stew or chili and then put them in separate containers in your freezer. Although it is recommended that you keep the level of spices down to a minimal, especially chili, a little spice might just help break up congestion!
There are many who believe that if you or a loved one suffer from strep throat, the answer is garlic! This might be a little too drastic for some as it is very potent and your breath might be a little too much for everyone else. If you like garlic, try brewing a garlic tea with hot water, garlic cloves, and honey.
Garlic has many medicinal properties from help with high blood pressure to high cholesterol. It is low in caloric intake, high in Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, nutrients, manganese, selenium and fiber.
There are times that sleeping is just not an option but unless you have entertainment to turn to, you are going to bored out of your mind! Whether you are the one who is sick or one of your kids who will be house-ridden for a while, entertainment is a must.
You can sign up for various movie options online such as Netflix or watch your favorite shows on television. Whether you are into comedies, mysteries, or classics from the 40s, there are movies everywhere for everyone’s specific taste.
If you are someone who prefers to read, go to your local bookstore and stock up everyone’s favorite authors for those days of woe!
There are other times when movies and books just won’t cut it! If you are crafty, find some nice projects to take on while you are under the weather. Possibly crocheting or knitting is something you really enjoy being involved with. Others, who are grown up kids, grab some coloring books that will suit different age groups.
Take Care Of Your Health:
The bottom line, you can prepare yourself for this season by fighting off germs and viruses ahead of time. Again, it’s easier said than done but some people are really good at dodging the flu bullet. Keep your living quarters clean and disinfected. Use disinfectants that fight off bacteria, viruses, and germs such as Lysol or Clorox. Wipe down counters, door knobs, bathroom appliances, etc. Vacuum regularly to pick up dust mites and other airborne creatures. Have a good supply of antibacterial soaps placed in your kitchen and baths.
Make sure you and your family get enough sleep, which will build up your immune system. Eat fruits and veggies for added nutrients.
Also, make sure your phone is within arm’s reach so you can call friends and complain about how lousy you feel!
Emergency rooms and medical clinics are facing new challenges as the baby boomer population is aging. By 2030, studies have shown that 6 out of 10 people in this age group will develop various medical issues. Here are some of the leading medical conditions that senior citizens are dealing with.
Falls are one of the most common accidents that senior citizens encounter leading to other problems. If you or someone in your family falls, chances are there will be other issues from broken bones to a head injury. It’s really important you get to a urgent care in San Diego as soon as possible to get a thorough examination. Falls are actually preventable unlike certain health issues so make sure your home or apartment is fitted with devices to prevent falls such as hand rails in the shower or tub. Senior citizens can lose their balance due to a weakened back or unsteady legs or suddenly become dizzy, with some safety measures installed, falls can be preventable.
Chest pains can be caused by a number of reasons but are quite alarming when it happens to older people. Pains can be caused by anything as minor as acid reflux to a high-alert heart attack. If you or a loved one is experiencing chest pains it’s extremely important to get to your doctor or hospital in a timely manner. There are many other issues that can cause chest pain so it’s important a doctor diagnoses what has happened and hopefully give you some peace of mind or understand you have a serious situation that must be treated immediately.
Pneumonia or other upper respiratory infections are common and can be very serious in older adults. Some symptoms are coughing, shortness of breath and even confusion. In most cases, it’s advisable you get yourself or family member to the emergency room as soon as possible.
In older people, abdominal pain can be caused by a number of issues such as an infection, dehydration, digestive problems, or more serious conditions. It’s always wise to visit your doctor for an examination to determine what’s going on.
If a senior family member has a stroke, there is no time to waste. You must act very quickly and call for an ambulance. Strokes can prevent the flow of oxygen to the brain and further damage to the body. Symptoms to watch out for include slurring of speech, loss of motor skills, a loss of vision, weakness, and paralysis.
It is very important that if you or a family member suffers from any of these symptoms you should get to a walk in clinic or an emergency room before contacting your family doctor. Once there has been an examination and diagnosis, the doctor will be able to recommend the next step or what treatments will be applied.
As baby boomers continue to age, they are facing more physical challenges and must be aware if their body is trying to tell them something. No one enjoys aging, but it’s a fact of life and in order to live a long and happy one, medical treatments are going to pop up from time to time. You should know your medical options when your doctor is not available, such as local urgent care clinics vs emergency rooms.
If you have chronic pain, you’ve probably asked around for pain treatment options that might be more effective. In your research, you might have heard of something called a “nerve block.”
There are different types of nerve blocks, varying by the location and intensity of pain. Remember that chronic pain is defined as pain lasting longer than three months. If this describes your pain, and doctors haven’t been able to offer much in the way of a pain solution, a pain management clinic—where nerve blocks are often an option for treatment—might be what you’ve been looking for.
What are nerve blocks?
The goal of a nerve block is pretty clear from the name of this treatment: to block pain signals from nerves. For many, chronic pain is derived from an autoimmune disease, arthritis, an old injury, or another source (usually nerve related). In these cases, there is no specific cure, and a patient’s only option may be to simply manage the pain.
Good thing there are pain management specialists! Many medical companies exist solely to develop pain treatment options, which are in turn provided to the general public through doctors and pain management clinics.
A nerve block, then, becomes an appealing option. This treatment option functions as a local anesthetic or anti-inflammatory treatment, depending on the cause of pain. Nerve blocks are usually administered via injections with the aim of “turning off” the pain signal. Your physician will use image guidance to pinpoint the exact location of the nerve for better results. This type of pain relief is temporary and often administered to the spine, neck, legs, or buttocks.
Diagnostic Nerve Blocks
Diagnostic nerve blocks are used to discover the nerve sending the pain signals. In a diagnostic nerve block session, a doctor injects anesthesia in one section of skin where they think the pain might be originating. After the injection is complete, they allow time to determine how much the pain has decreased. If the pain is still present, they will inject another site, repeating the process until the pain has significantly decreased.
Diagnostic nerve blocks may take a little time in office, but once a patient shows significant improvement in pain levels after injection to one place, the patient can then plan to receive additional nerve blocks or a radiofrequency ablation to this area in the future without having to repeat a diagnostic session.
Sympathetic Plexus Blocks
It might sound funny to call something inside the body “sympathetic”—it’s like we’re personifying tissue and organs. But that’s not the case at all. The sympathetic nerves are bundles of nerves that run the length of the spine from the neck to the tailbone. These nerves run pretty much all of the body’s organs. Keep in mind that a plexus is defined as “a network of…interlacing blood vessels or nerves,” which is how the sympathetic nerves can be described.
When it is determined that pain signals have been transmitting through these sympathetic nerves, a sympathetic plexus block can be helpful. A sympathetic plexus block is a type of nerve block that seeks to stop the pain signals in these nerves. The plexus block is usually administered with local anesthesia, a needle, and x-rays to determine the exact location of the pain-causing nerve.
Medial Facet Joint Blocks
Facet joint blocks involve injection of anesthetic in order to numb a nerve, just like any nerve block. The important thing about this type of nerve block is its location. The name of this type of block is derived from both the medial branch nerves and the facet joint, where the medial branch nerves send pain signals from injured facet joints—located in the neck or back—to the brain.
Usually a medial facet joint block is injected into one of the small joints which can be found on either side of the vertebrae in the spine. A lumbar facet joint block, for example, is injected into a facet joint on both sides of the lower spine. If more than one joint is involved, you may receive more than one injection. This type of block is common for patients with arthritis in their lower backs.
Do I need a nerve block?
The only way to determine if a nerve block is for you is to talk to your doctor and pain management specialist. If you have chronic pain that might be related to nerves near the spine, a nerve block might very well be within the realm of possibility for your treatment.
Do you suffer from chronic pain?