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Health & Diet



   MeiDei  This is a touchy subject but will try to make it passable. My son gets medical supplies for various needs one of which is catheter kits. He uses a special kind of only two manufacture. We have had two different kinds (also one use only but without the catch bag- just the tube, gloves, betadine ) he can't use sent to him, still sealed in their original packing and untouched. The sender won't take them back, the VNA can't take them either, both concerned with lawsuits, as is the local hospital; so only the option is to trash them & I find that wasteful [we're talking big money here] ... I'd be happy to send them to anyone that can use them. To keep confidentiality you can email me at MeiDei@comcast.net to learn of the details & make arrangements. They've already been paid for so there's no charge there. Most insurances cover these, but when you run low and the shipment is late it's comforting to have extras on hand. I also have individual packeted Betadine swabs (antiseptic ) that I discard weekly, with great distress, that I'm willing to save up & share.
19 hours ago .




   BirdsNest  Hagar was much better today, talking and joking for our visit. Other friends stopped by, he was really glad to see them. They are moving him out of ICU to step down.
Yesterday at 19:59 EST .



   MeiDei  Good news indeed! I'm sure that made you feel better too.
Yesterday at 07:19 EST .

  2 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Thanks Mei. Today he is agitated and confused. Wonder why?? They have played musical rooms with him since last Tuesday. I cannot go see him today so I am in the garden, well not right this minute, there are 2 friends that said they would stop by after their appts. in Hampton. He seems genuinely pleased when someone stops by.
19 hours ago .


   MeiDei  I think he's experiencing the highs and lows of medication & room changing can be maddening - not to mention confusing. Restore yourself today for any challenges ahead.
Prayerfully, Mei.
18 hours ago .

 1 person like this.



   BirdsNest  You are right, he has been on a merry go round of room changes. No familiar faces. All you can press-the-button drugs. They clamped off the ng tube-if he doesn't get nauseous or vomit then it can come out. I am glad not to be there for that removal. I have been in the garden or outside all day. 84F and it is bloody hot. Had to move plants into the shade and water them again. Looks possible we could get a T-storm, I will have to gather up the little ducks from their outdoor playground to the inside playground. And make sure the baby chicks with mommas are in secure enough shelter for wind and rain.

Thanks, Mei for being a beacon of light, you have your own challenges.
15 hours ago .




   BirdsNest  Hagar's surgery date is May 26. We have to be at the hospital at 5:30am, we live about 90 minutes from the hospital, guess I will stay up all night.
May 16 at 16:24 EST .

   7 people like this.



   BirdsNest  I have had oodles of folks volunteering to drive across the Bay with me to visit Hagar in the hospital, but once they all found out we have to be there at 5:30 am no one has spoken up. I did not figure anyone would want to do it, not a problem, Hagar can drive us over and I can drive back by myself. I am a big girl. That's really early to start the day out, we will leave here around 3:30am just to be on the safe side. They sometimes have delays in the tunnels during the night-that's when they do major maintenance work. That way we won't be late. They have some blood work to do that morning. Fingers crossed everything goes well and he gets back on the road to a healthier person. Right now he is tired, worried,& has no appetite. And I am a crazy woman.
May 18 at 21:53 EST .


   MeiDei  My prayers go with you.
May 19 at 00:16 EST .

  2 people like this.



   NotaBene  Prayers for Hagar and for you BirdsNest. You both have been through a lot. Hope the surgery is successful. Please let us know. God bless.
May 25 at 11:36 EST .


   BirdsNest  He survived surgery, but the tumor had advanced more than they had anticipated. Breached the wall of the colon to the liver and even small intestines. 4 hr surgery plus a 4+ hr recovery, I finally got to see him sometime after 5pm. cannot go today, have so much garden work to do and I am emotionally wiped out. The garden work will help me to wash out the stress from my body. He will have to have chemo, but somewhere in the chat with the surgeon I heard the word "terminal" and I just stopped listening.
May 27 at 10:00 EST .


   MeiDei  You did the smart thing Bird, you're a strong woman and we're here for you to keep hope alive; our prayers for Hagar & you continue.
May 27 at 19:24 EST .


   BirdsNest  Today he is in ICU with a blood clot in his lungs. I spent a couple of hours watching him sleep and speaking to him when he woke up briefly. He recognized me. That was nice.
Saturday at 22:13 EST .

 1 person like this.



   MeiDei  I'm glad they caught the clot before he was sent home, that's a blessing.
Yesterday at 10:16 EST .




   Bettijo  For the last five or six years I have been having pain and a loss of motion in my left shoulder/arm and three orthopedic doctors have said I needed a shoulder replacement. I said "no, no, and no." It has gotten worse and I have tried everything; cortisone shots (help temporarily ), OrthoVisc shots (painful and no help at all ), acupuncture, PT, and now pain meds which I hate to take. Has anyone had shoulder replacement or know anything about it? My rheumatologist said it is very much like hip replacement which I had last March. One joint replacement a year is more than enough for me! What do you think? PS. I will be 81 next month.
May 9 at 07:42 EST .

   5 people like this.



   Balogreene  Betti, if you can stand the surgery, do it. My mom has always said the moment she woke up from her hip replacement, was the moment the pain ended. The only pain was that from the surgery.

Mom has huge problems with surgery (it first surfaced on that hip replacement ). When she is anesthetized, her bowel stops functioning for days on end (Ogilvie's syndrome ). She needs her other hip replaced and is rightfully frightened of the side effects. But, she still insists, the first hip replacement, and subsequent knee replacement solved the pain problem.

Do it!
May 14 at 18:34 EST .




   Bettijo  Choosing a Healthy Frozen Meal
Did you know that the average American eats 6 frozen meals a month? The market is estimated at $9 billion in annual sales.

The first TV dinner appeared in 1953 under the Swanson brand. It was presented as a solution for busy moms who had begun joining the workforce and could no longer spend hours in the kitchen. The dinner included turkey, corn bread and gravy, buttered peas and sweet potatoes. It cost $0.98.

This was the beginning of a revolution. Combining an entree and two sides in a three part aluminum container that could be heated, eaten from, and then discarded proved to be a great convenience for consumers.

To this day, convenience is top reason reason people buy frozen dinners. The industry has updated its products based on additional considerations, including nutrition. These days, "healthy" formulations as well as ethnic variations are the biggest category drivers

The "healthy" frozen food trend began in the mid-80's when the CEO of Con-Agra suffered a heart attack. Upon returning to work, he could not find a frozen entree that his doctors would approve. Thus was born the Healthy Choices brand. The FDA regulates the use of "Healthy" in food marketing, so these meals are required to contain less than 480mg of sodium.

While we like to encourage people to prepare their own dinners, Frozen dinners are not going away any time soon. So if you want the convenience of a TV dinner, please invest just a moment to choose the one that is the least detrimental to your health:

1. Start by checking the serving size and the calorie count. Some meals boast a low calorie count, but then your ealize that the meal is toddler-sized

2. Next, check the sodium level. Anything higher than 1000mg is totally crazy (almost half the daily allowance of 2300mg ) . Look for sodium lower than 600mg, and ideally less than 480mg. For example, Hungry Man Classic Fried Chicken has 1600mg of sodium(! ), while Lean Cuisine Shrimp and Angel Hair Pasta boasts only 590mg.

3. Look at the fats and saturated fats. The Hungry Man dinner has 59g of fat (90% of your daily value ), 13 of which are saturated. Needless to say, if the trans-fats are anything besides zero, don't add the product to your shopping cart.

4. Most frozen dinners include a fair amount of preservatives such as BHT (possible carcinogen ), polysorbate 8, artificial colors, and propylene glycol (used in your car's antifreeze ). For example, a Kid's favorite - Kid Cuisine Frozen Dinner, Bug Safari, Chicken Breast Nuggets - contains no less than BHT, Sodium Phosphate, Yellow No. 5 , Yellow No. 6, Red No. 40, Blue No. 1, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, and Disodium Phosphate. Try to avoid these preservatives if possible.

5. Sugar is a very popular ingredient in frozen meals, often as a replacement for fat in low-fat dinners. Sugar will appear under many names and forms, but an easy Sugar will appear under many names and forms, but an easy
May 8 at 17:18 EST .

   2 people like this.



   Bettijo  but an easy way to get the total is to look at the nutrition label and see how many grams are reported per serving. Every 4 grams of sugar are equivalent to 1 teaspoon! As an example, the aforementioned Kid Cuisine Frozen Dinner contains 18 grams of sugar, or 4.5 teaspoons worth
May 8 at 17:19 EST .

 1 person like this.



   BirdsNest  Growing up frozen dinners were outlawed in our house. My dad hated them. Mother would buy them and sneak them when Dad was working late at the restaurant. I just now realized.....we ate dinner as a family every night, after dinner Dad would go back to the restaurant and stay til Midnight. I never really gave it much thought. I guess we weren't so dysfunctional after all.
May 8 at 20:47 EST .

  2 people like this.



   Balogreene  We ate dinner together every night as a family. Daddy was always home by six, and we had dinner. On rare occasions he was out of town, or had to work late, but 90% of the time, it was a family dinner. If daddy was out of town, we went out for Mexican (in the '60's ). But, altho I remember tv dinners, I don't remember having them.
May 8 at 22:09 EST .

  2 people like this.



   MeiDei  The fastest meal I make is Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp. Into boiling water goes the pasta & the shrimp - same cooking time.
Then I peel the shrimp return to pasta & add a sauce; either sweet & sour or General Tsao's or whatever is opened and needs finishing off - toss & into a big bowl.
May 9 at 00:31 EST .

  2 people like this.





   Bettijo  Five Superfoods that Jesus Ate Regularly
Food was not easy to come by before the agricultural, industrial, and technological revolutions of the last few centuries. But, before that time, civilizations were able to grow and prosper for thousands of years. In Nazareth and Jerusalem circa 2000 years ago, life was still mostly agrarian. During the time of Jesus, malnutrition was an annual threat. A dry winter meant less food for an entire year. Several years of drought would lead to mass migrations.
Plants, animals, and people adapted to the region, and as we all know managed to write some of the most exciting chapters in the annals of humanity. So what did Jesus and countrymen live off in the ancient land of Israel?
1. Olive oil – Olive trees are very resilient and can survive years of poor water supply while reliably providing a harvest every fall. Some trees live to be hundreds of years old. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats (the good fats ). It is also anti-inflammatory and tastes great on a salad. It goes without saying that back in the day all olive oil was extra virgin and cold pressed.
2. Wine – Grapes grew in abundance in the foothills of Jerusalem and while they had a very short season, wine lasts for years. Besides its religious function and great side effects, red wine contains antioxidants called resveratrols. These may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of good cholesterol and protecting against damage to blood vessels.
3. Fish – Jesus may have walked on the water, but underneath him the Sea of Galilee (actually, it’s a lake ) was teeming with freshwater fish. Fishermen could rely on a relatively stable supply of fish, which are a great source of lean protein, and beneficial omega-3 fats.
4. Pomegranate – Pomegranate trees grow well in Mediterranean climates and produce what is arguably one of the sweetest fresh superfoods of the ancient world. (They did not have blueberries or strawberries ).
5. Figs – Fig trees tend to grow near water sources, and are hardy enough to withstand blazing summer heat and cold winter nights. The fruit can be eaten fresh or preserved by drying. Dried figs were traveler’s food. In either configuration, figs are rich in virtually every nutrient in the book, including fiber, calcium, vitamin A, and B vitamins. They are also good for constipation.
Merry Christmas everyone! Here’s to a happy and healthy holiday for all.
GET FOODUCATED

   May 8 at 07:43 EST .

   7 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Figs......a memory.
May 8 at 20:48 EST .




   BirdsNest  I have a mountain of paperwork to take to Hagar's appt tomorrow. Medical records from all of the doctors. I have read through some of it. Even a colour picture of the tumor, nasty bugger it is. Saw PCP yesterday, just a follow up and to tell him to expect to hear from the surgeon. Surgeon wants to chat with him and the prostate cancer doc and probably the gastro doc too. Tomorrow will be another busy day with an appt w/ neuro doc here and then a trip across the bay to the surgeon. Not looking forward to that. Today I am bone tired, from rushing around all day.
April 28 at 08:30 EST .

   13 people like this.



   MeiDei  Hope all went well & ended on a more positive note.
April 29 at 20:39 EST .

 1 person like this.



   BirdsNest  Still waiting for a date for surgery. Hagar says he is fading....
May 8 at 20:49 EST .

  3 people like this.



   Bettijo  I have Hagar on my prayer list. God bless!
May 9 at 07:46 EST .

 1 person like this.





   BirdsNest  Wednesday is the day we go to the surgeon for the colon cancer. The local rural health clinic gave us 2 passes for the bridge tunnel for Wednesday($13 each way ). That helps alot. They can offer up to 2 round trip passes per week. I will ask Hagar's doctor if the or the hospital can help also.
April 20 at 20:18 EST .

   12 people like this.



   MeiDei  You'll be in our thoughts - good luck.
April 21 at 19:02 EST .

 1 person like this.



   BirdsNest  As luck would have it the doctor did not get the records til we were done in his office and that was after they had called here(local doctor ) twice. We called to the local doc on Monday to remind them to fax the records-okay we will. Needless to say the surgeon was pizzed off. I am disgusted and let the local office know. Two different hospitals. Another appt next Wednesday. Risky operation because of Hagar's previous ops-appedicitis, triple A, and hernia repair. He is exhausted and I am stressed.
April 22 at 19:11 EST .


   MeiDei  Consider yourself hugged ... glad you made it OK through the BayBridgeTunnel.
April 22 at 20:27 EST .

 1 person like this.



   Bettijo  Will keep you in my prayers.
April 22 at 21:07 EST .

  3 people like this.



   StarFire  I'm so sorry to hear about this. I had several colon surgeries in `99. The first was with a doctor who (like your first doc ) was not "comfortable" doing the rest of the surgeries. I went to a colon rectal surgery specialist I knew in Dallas. Having a competent, confident doctor is a big part of the treatment.

Also, remember to make some time to take care of yourself. I'll be praying for a good outcome for both of you.
April 26 at 22:26 EST .

 1 person like this.



   BirdsNest  Thanks every one. StarFire it is good to see you posting, gift us with a bit more of your time.
April 28 at 08:32 EST .


   StarFire  Anything I would have posted lately would have been a pretty sorry "gift". I had a bad case of frustration with politics, the economy and bad weather. A few days of sunny, cool weather has helped immensely.
May 1 at 15:31 EST .

 1 person like this.



   Bettijo  Star: We ALL are suffering from a bad case of frustration over politics the economy, government in general. So "gift" us with your thoughts.
May 9 at 07:48 EST .

 1 person like this.





   MeiDei  Just want Bird & Hagar to know we're still thinking of them prayerfully.
April 10 at 05:50 EST .

   15 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Thanks Mei, we need LOTS of them.

Hagar has been diagnosed with both Prostate and Colon cancer. The first one is being treated with hormones right now. After the colon surgery and recovery they will begin 9 weeks of radiation. We saw that doctor on Wednesday. Monday we got hit with the news of the colon cancer, it is such that it could close off the colon so it is high priority. Talked to a surgeon on Monday. The gastro doc that performed the colonoscopy took us into his office before the appointment with the surgeon to tell us of the results of the biopsy. The surgeon looked over Hagar's file, asked lots of questions and told us he did not feel comfortable doing this surgery so he told us to contact a doctor at another hospital. We were shocked. So he has to go to Va Beach for an appt on the 22nd to meet with another surgeon in another hospital. We were not that impressed with the local guy anyway, but the trip to Va Beach will cost plenty each day in gas. I can get help from some organization on the toll issues, but I am not sure if they pay for each trip back and forth. The last time he was hospitalized I went back and forth for 10 days.
I am anxious about this and doing my best to be supportive because he really needs my energy-he has none of his own. So far the cancer is localized, none showing in the bones or liver. For that I am thankful. So if any of you have an extra few seconds a day to offer up a prayer, it is really needed here and we appreciate it immensely. Thank you all.
April 10 at 07:26 EST .

  4 people like this.



   MeiDei  Talk about stress ... you have got to find some humor, it enhances faith. Remember this, the doctors in CYA mode always tell you the worst, they have to. If they say 20% bad - think 80% good - don't go to the dark places, keep negative thoughts & people out. Load up on vitamins.
Radiation is the easy part of cancer treatments - you just lay there, [you feel nothing] & think positive. There's a good lotion for skin irritation [doesn't mean there will be any] called Aloe Vesta 2 - ask the nurse/doctor for it before radiation. Right now Hagar is run down because his body has been silently fighting this, he will feel better after surgery & radiation. I think radiation is a daily thing, so ask to speak to a good social worker at the hospital - there may be local accommodations for you to take advantage of. Or there may be a radiation center in your area, I'm sure you will find a way to make this less intrusive on your time, energy & finances - the prayers will include those concerns. Lead the way Lord.
April 10 at 09:14 EST .

  3 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Mei, thank you So much for the tips, they will be helpful. The cancer center is local(10 miles away ) so that part of that particular treatment will be local. And the staff is top notch.

The Va Beach trips will be the hairy ones...19 miles of bridge/tunnel and I HATE tunnels. We can likely get the tolls taken care of, several sources on both sides. The hospital usually helps out with that, but locally I know we can get some help with that. The last time he was hospitalized the hospital had rooms that you could rent for $30/night. Different hospital, I am unfamiliar with it. Hagar had his appendix removed from that hospital soon after they opened(1964 ). As I said his appt is not til the 22nd so we have no clue how much time he will need to be there or anything. Just that it is imperative that it be taken care of as quickly as possible. With the animals and the garden I will have to juggle my time. No one can feed the parrots, that's just my rule. I can always feed them pre dawn hours and they are good for the day. I can get someone to feed the chickens but I don't think that would be necessary, may need to have someone come to close them up at night-don't want the owls to be snacking on them. If I get the big chickens pen covered, may not have to worry about that. We shall see.

Thanks for the prayers....
April 10 at 13:35 EST .

  5 people like this.



   Bettijo  Bird, my prayers are with you and Hagar. As I have said before, I am a colon cancer survivor (year 2000 ). If one must have cancer, colon cancer is one of the best kinds to have. If the cancer is contained in the colon (mine was stage 3 ) then the doctors take out about 12 inches of colon (which you never miss ) and you are good to go. Fortunately, my cancer was located on the right side of the large intestines and they took out a chunk including my appendix (side benefit ). If it is on the left side it can be more probmatic. My father had prostate cancer which he survived. Please keep us posted, you know we care.
April 11 at 22:30 EST .

  4 people like this.



   Surfhut  Bird and Hagar, you are in my prayers.
April 12 at 08:30 EST .

  4 people like this.



   Balogreene  Bird you are in my prayers. Hope and pray it is the slow-growing kind of colon cancer. A lot of doctors don't feel comfortable doing the surgery. You are much better off going to someone who does. I also hate that trip through that tunnel, but it is better than coming from the North (or are you? ).
April 12 at 18:52 EST .

  5 people like this.



   BirdsNest  We are on the Eastern Shore of VA. So we travel south to Cape Charles, get on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and travel to Va Beach. I am a white knuckle driver in the tunnels and I am not too keen on the road parts of the bridge especially if there are boats catching fish. It's the other drivers I worry about, I am watching the road and praying to get to the other side. I have no desire to admire the water or the boats.; I think the local surgeon realized this surgery is out of his skill set, just wish he had not wasted an hour of our time with his questions and back peddling. At least we can get a good surgeon in VB and it is a bit easier to get to than the hospital in Norfolk. Hagar's cancer is aggressive, that is why the doctor wants to expedite the surgery to prevent it from becoming an emergency situation.
April 12 at 20:42 EST .

  4 people like this.



   Gerty  Just learning about your situation, Miss Birdie. I will pray for you both---that the Holy Spirit will give you the courage to weather this trouble.
April 13 at 18:27 EST .

  3 people like this.



   MeiDei  We deliberately ventured across the Bay Bridge Tunnel shortly after it opened and spent a long weekend in VA Beach .. that would have been in 65 or 66. Today, being less adventurous, I'm not a fan of bridges or tunnels so you have my sympathy Bird.
April 14 at 23:00 EST .

  4 people like this.



   Balogreene  If I knew what to say, I would say it. Prayers Bird and Hagar, just prayers.
April 20 at 19:20 EST .

  2 people like this.





   BirdsNest  Next week Hagar has a colonoscopy scheduled, locally. No 45 minute drive to MD. The doctors we have had are really nice at this hospital, the nurses for the most part are top notch. Except for the PICC line nurse, Hagar still wants to smack her. From that point I am hoping we can get situated with better health for him, he is in such pain from his back, our EMT friend says it is the prostate cancer. We are just hoping it isn't anything more sinister.
March 26 at 20:20 EST .

   13 people like this.



   MeiDei  Thank you for the update, I had been wondering. My son has a PICC line in for the next 5 weeks with an IV drip. It's not pleasant having it put in - managing the tube, etc. is another thing but a minor inconvenience. My prayers are with you both.
March 27 at 22:13 EST .

  4 people like this.



   Escaped commieny  Prayers from Florida. The colonoscopy itself is painless, you are asleep, it is the day before prep that is a yuck. Get Popsicles and a good book for the throne room. No Red, but blue, green, yellow OK. I told them I get headaches not eating so they scheduled me at 6 am and let me double the drinking junk dose. DH had his done a year ago Oct. but he reads in that little room all the time anyway. My Point Don't Worry. Plus as I mentioned we went through the prostate cancer business too. He opted to just have it removed, my buddy John spent a year on radiation and some sort of (gold ) pellets and he is fine.
March 28 at 10:33 EST .

  6 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Thanks for the prayers, Mei. Prayers back atcha for what you and your son are going through. Stressful.

EC, thanks for the tips, I do have chicken broth ready and boxes of jello, gingerale, and will get some popsicles this weekend. Tuesday will be a stay-at-home day.
March 28 at 16:02 EST .

  6 people like this.



   Escaped commieny  They said Clear liquids, so check on the chicken broth. And any Jello must NOT be red, it messes up the scan. Stick with lemon, lime type stuff. I know ! the Big guys hate that stuff, but it's only one day. At least the Popsicles make you feel like you are chewing something. I went through the whole bag !
March 28 at 18:45 EST .

  4 people like this.



   Bettijo  I may have mentioned this here before. Forgive me; age forgetfulness. I had colon cancer surgery in 2000. For the next five years I had a colonoscopy every year; then every other year for five years; then every 3rd year for five years....I gave up and quit. I figured if the cancer had not returned in 14 years, I was pretty safe. Besides, at my age, (paraphrasing Hillary ) what difference, at this point, does it make!
March 28 at 19:44 EST .

  9 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Colonoscopy done, 1 polyp removed and discovery of a tumor. Surgery may be scheduled. Doctor was busy all day in surgery so we will wait to see what he decides next. Blood work done, waiting for them to look it over. Not a very good day.
April 1 at 20:55 EST .

  5 people like this.



   Balogreene  Bird, in a long, complicated story, a friend of mine had a tumor found in her colon. She told us what kind of cancer it was. We looked it up and discovered she wouldn't live a year! Her husband, in his typical manner was not worried, and didn't know what the doctor had said. It turns out, that type of cancer has two variants, one is very fast acting. Her kind is very slow acting. Even though they took out more than enough of her colon, they said had they left it, she wouldn't have lived long enough for it to grow (and she was only 50 ).
I guess the thing is, until you talk to the Doctor, and get treatment options, relax and breathe. You will need it, no matter what.
April 3 at 19:42 EST .

 1 person like this.



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