Sunday, June 28, 2015

Keeping it Simple with Water

This past week I had an opportunity to write a guest article for our local newspaper, the Blytheville Courier News.   I opted to write about the simple steps of hydration. I am still trying to find some balance in life and in my role of nurse practitioner, nursing educator, entrepreneur by keeping things simple are important to me.
Drinking water is simple, easy and inexpensive. Yet, so many people I see in my practice drink sweet tea, soda or energy drinks instead of water.
Every cell in your body needs water. That is why it is important to drink enough fluid.  Did you know that muscle consist of 75% water, your brain consists of 90% water, bone consist of 22% water, and blood consist of 83% water. If you do not supply your body with enough water your brain cannot function well, this can even cause a headache or a migraine.
As we approach summer and temperatures above ninety degrees, you should be aware of the symptoms of dehydration such as, dark urine, dry skin, thirst, hunger, and fatigue.
Dehydration can make you feel tired, become constipated, have muscle cramps, a headache, irregular blood pressure and even kidney problems.  Becoming more than twenty percent dehydrated can put you at risk for death. 
We lose water through sweating, exhaling, and urination. In hot weather, you tend to lose more water through sweating, in cold conditions, you tend to urinate more.  When you are ill, like with flu and diarrhea you tend to loose fluid.
How much water should you drink in a day to avoid dehydration?  We have all heard we need to drink eight glasses of water a day, but in reality there is no clear-cut answer to how much water to drink per day.  Water intake depends on several factors like your health condition, your activity status, the climatic conditions, physical size, your weight, and your environment.  
Here is your challenge using the formula below on an average day determine if you are drinking enough water to be healthy. 
Your weight is 150 lbs.  Divide you weight by 2 – the result is the amount of water in ounces you should drink every day. 150 ÷ 2 = 75 (you should drink 75 ounces of water per day). 

So, have you had enough water today? 
~ Connie ~

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Ending My Unproductive Time on Social Media

This week has been another challenging week.  I have struggled all week to minimize my sleep debt, find some time for me and keep the rest of my life balanced.  
I have been focusing on identifying ways to minimize wasted time in my day.
In thinking about how to improve my productivity I found some interesting statistics.The average employee will spend 12% of the working day using unproductive applications, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. This amounts to 65 hours a month, which have not been used productively, according to data analyzed by Desk Time
According to other research, people in the U.S. check their Facebook, Twitter, and other social media account 17 times a day, meaning at least once every waking hour, if not more 
I am no exception - when I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I grab my phone and check Facebook
 or twitter. 

Why do I use diversion to support procrastination?  Maybe it is human nature to avoid things we don't want to do??? Maybe I am lazy? Maybe it is just that I am more interested in social media than the things I need to do? 

Either way - social media is impacting how I use my time. 

So - I am making an effort to limit my time on Facebook by not opening the app at work except at lunch. I am not grabbing my phone first thing in the morning.

I would love to know how you handle social media. Do you find social media taking up productive time? How do you limit your time on social media?

Monday, June 08, 2015

On a Journey with My Best Friend

I am married to my best friend - and we have been on a journey for 20 years.  This journey hasn't always been easy - we have raised 5 kids, bought and completed rebuild a home, faced retirement and health issues, rescued a few dogs, opened a business and loved each other unconditionally.
The Big Man spent 25 years as a police officer, he is now the City of Blytheville Building Inspector and is the Justice of the Peace for Mississippi County District 8. Besides me, he loves his guns, hunting, food, our children, dogs (he is allergic to cats). 
He literally walked into my life.  We meet at the park running. He doesn't know it but, I almost quit running that night.  Being competitive I thought I had to keep up with him - all 6'3 inches of him with my 5'2' frame.
He loves my children as his own, accepted my houseful of dogs, learned how to trout fish, bought me a tractor and chickens.  Has supported me during my 18 years of formal education.  Helped me loose weight, meet the military weight and physical fitness standards and supported me during my time in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps Reserves.  He has been my biggest cheerleader as I struggled to open a free health clinic and my own family nurse practitioner office.  He has shielded me from mice and even used a live trap to trap the mice and relocate them rather than kill them so - I would not cry and feel guilty about killing the mice.  He is beside me everyday on this horrible journey of dementia my dad is taking us down. He has laughed at me, made me laugh and cried with me. He has prayed with me and for me... he is my everything.
We never go to bed mad - we always say I love when leaving each other or ending a phone call.  I can't imagine this journey through life without him....I am so glad you stopped by my blog today to meet my best friend. I would love to hear about your best friend.
~ Connie ~

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Dementia Sucks

Living with a family member that has dementia is difficult, there I said it!  
Dementia sucks!
In August of last year my then 86 year-old father came to live with us.  He was beginning to have some memory issues.  The issues were starting to impact his life - he was a risk when driving, he was starting to have anger issues, he did not always remember to eat or to take his medication.  He had started having difficulty managing his finances.
 Ready or not we drove to Texas and brought him to our home in Northeast AR. This was a big move for a man who was born and raised in Texas and never had any plans of moving out of Texas.

The first few months we adjusted.  The Big Man and our youngest son pitched in and we established a routine for providing care for Pops.
Routines are important for people with dementia.  Structure helps keep things constant which minimizes the confusing that occurs with dementia.
But, we were not prepared for the feelings that come with watching a vibrant independent person loose their ability to be able to recall dates, memories of their life, or complete simple daily task.
Life will never be the same - it is like loosing someone you love, yet they are still standing right in front of you.
Next week we are headed to the geriatric specialist - I know there is nothing we can do to stop this demon called dementia, but maybe we can slow the process down?? maybe we can find a way to accept what the next months or years may hold??? maybe we can find ways to make Pop's life less forgetful???

Dementia sucks!  Over the next few weeks I will be sharing information on dementia on my business blog - Connie's Family Practice  stop by and check out what I learn as Pops and my family fight the demon Dementia.