COPD and Other Stuff

This is a patient-to-patient blog to exchange information and resources...from COPD to Arthritis to Cellulites to Sarcoidosis to Sleep Apnea to RLS to Psoriasis to Support Groups to Caregivers and all points in between.
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Posts Tagged ‘medical care’

Quality of Life Can Mean Pedaling For Life

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Medical patients, bicycles, bicycle paths, exercise – all share a common thread…like a slow deep breath of sweet, life-sustaining air. Quality of Life makes life worth living.
Quality of life means different things to different people, a loved bed ridden patient and a physically active patient can and do share a quality of life.

The grandmother of my best friend in grade school was bedridden and lived with the family I spent much of my non-school time with. Mrs. O was a complete and treasured member of the family. The oxygen tanks were set up in her room and she entertained visitors – us, many times throughout the day as we ran in to tell her about the latest horse fall or dog and piglet tale. She always had time for us. Sometimes the doctor was there and we could not visit, but most of the time, she was our person to visit throughout the day and evening.
Mrs. O was always busy with her hands mostly working on the latest crocheted doily. She was a cherished and vital member of that family and I still have a doily she gave me all those years ago. To be fair and complete the picture, Mrs. O’s daughter-in-law was a stay at home mom and they also had other assistance many families do not have today.

Mrs. O was unable to get out of bed in those days, but she would have rejoiced with the folks who live in Portland that Portland’s bike plan was approved when the “Portland City Council unanimously approved the $600 million 2030 Portland Bicycle Plan yesterday. A major goal of the plan is to have 25% of all trips in the city be by bike by the year 2030. A highlight of the plan includes adding 700 miles to Portland’s already extensive bikeways network.”
The point is people flock to areas that cater to our human need to move, to exercise for quality of life – outside a gym.

We spend millions of dollars on hospitalizations and medical care that might well be avoided if we placed more emphasis on keeping patients moving and educated, not shoving them into wheelchairs and scooters, but getting them into rehab and teaching them how they can best help themselves into a quality of life.

My favorite way of transportation and exercising for fun is the recumbent trike. Unfortunately, Kitsap County is notorious for its dangerous roadways for bike riders and does not have a very bike user-friendly reputation.
Bainbridge Island is the one Kitsap County exception where the voters are health conscious and knowledgeable enough to know that the dollars they put into bike paths (and schools) today will save them an untold amount of otherwise spent health cost dollars tomorrow.

I am working hard in physical therapy to work around my bone on bone hip and rebuild muscle to get me back on my trike and riding. I have a bike trip to make this year and I hope the route I am taking is a bike friendly one.

Congratulations to Portland’s health conscious voters and city council – may your wisdom rub off on us here in Kitsap County.

http://www.ecovelo.info/2010/02/12/portland-bike-plan-approved/

More later… Sharon O’Hara


Unhealthy Excess Fat Is Worth $1,298.

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

Oh Fat Ones!

A few comments and a challenge.
Be aware that a move is afoot to tax soda pop as a primary reason this nation is top heavy with obese folks causing increased Health Care costs. The idea is that the extra 12-cent or so tax will cut down on the fatty folks buying soda thus we would lose weight and need less medical care.

It is strange the authorities do not look elsewhere to find better high calorie items to increase tax. Perhaps they could take a hard look toward chocolate covered donuts, Prednisone, Big Macs, a Frosty, French fries, Sara Lee pastries, Colonel Sanders chicken, ChezeIts, Butterfingers, Almond Roca, Hershey bars and other high calorie waist expanders rather than look toward soda pop as the blimp builder.

Drug addicts can hide their addiction, drunks too.
The public, until caught, does not see the human predator. Most people can hide addiction or criminal ways from public view until caught.
Not so, the fatties of the world. They have no place to hide. The fat of the obese is up, down, front, back, and everywhere.

The public judgment is there, as well. A recent study according to two Mayo clinic nutritionists, Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D. showed the evidence of obesity stigma.

The “July 2008 “International Journal of Obesity” …study developed a tool that could be used to measure bias, and to also rank biases from being a strong bias relative to others that are weaker. The three targets of bias that were chosen to measure and compare were: obesity, homosexuality, and Muslims. …The authors chose these three because each are widely known minority groups — …, they are documented targets of discrimination.

What emerged was that that there was strongest prejudice against obesity, followed next by bias against homosexuals, and then against Muslims. (If you wish to see the statistical details and strengths of the rankings you may access the using the link below.)

Laws and other protective policies have been put into place over the years to discourage — even punish — discrimination against race, gender, sexual orientation, and religion. It is pointed out that there is widespread documented evidence of weight bias in employment, educational, interpersonal — and yes — in medical settings. However unlike these other targets, no laws or protective policies are in place to discourage or punish bias against obesity.

The study concludes that weight bias is significantly stronger than bias against homosexuals and Muslims. It also concludes that much more research is needed in the area of prejudice and its causes and solutions.
For now, at the least, don’t you think social advocacy is needed to decrease the disproportionate attitude — and acceptance — of bias toward obese individuals? The authors — and I — applaud the efforts and progress made in protecting other minority groups against prejudice and discrimination. And, I also agree with the authors that “it is unacceptable that the obesity stigma is still so pervasive, strong and under recognized.”

It is time to prove – again – that most patients, if educated to what may well be their medical future if they do not change personal habits WILL make the changes needed to avoid future medical conditions.
After smoking forty years, I quit and discovered the true meaning of addiction and a gut-wrenching craving to smoke.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/comments/MY00586_comments#post

Losing the excess pounds will not change the lung diseases or add a lubricant between the bones of my left hip…but it will make a difference for one or more of the other medical conditions.

I am committing here publically to begin the Dash Diet http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/hbp/dash/new_dash.pdf on Thursday, September 24, 2009.

Women100 pounds or more overweight are welcome to join in the weight loss quest to the healthiest we can be through good nutrition, fewer calories and exercise.

I will meet with anyone interested, weekly or whatever works to make the goal for better health AND for the challenge that the first of us to lose the 100 pounds and keep it off for six months will win $1,295.

We can work out the details.

The beginning is Thursday, 24 September 2009. My plan is the Dash Diet but yours can be anything your doctor approves. Let me know…and change our health lives. It is time to take those lemons and make lemonade.

Can I do it this time? I bet I can.

http://www.wiredprnews.com/2009/09/14/obesity-a-focus-of-health-care-reform_200909145726.html

More later… Sharon O’Hara


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This is a patient to patient blog to exchange information and resources...from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) to Arthritis to Cellulites to Sarcoidosis to Sleep Apnea to RLS to Psoriasis to Support Groups to Caregivers and all points in between. Written by Sharon O'Hara.

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