3 Must-Have Health Screenings for Women

I just received an email from a blogging friend over at Diva Cafe.  She went for a routine colonoscopy…and they discovered precancerous polyps.   

I went for my first routine colonoscopy when I turned 50…and a couple of years ago I had my second…they usually tell you to have one at age 50…and, if everything looks good, another ten years later.  I will tell you that the prep stuff I had to drink the night before the first time was yucky!  The prep stuff a couple of years ago was much better.  The actual procedure was a piece of cake…they give you something so you think you are sleeping and then you don’t remember anything…perfect!

How about the rest of you?  An annual routine check-up with a family doctor should be on every woman’s calendar.  Also, a mammogram (first at age 35 or so for a baseline reading and then, if all is ok, check with your doc as to when and how often you should have the next ones.  In addition, a Pap smear and, as I just mentioned, a colonoscopy at age 50.

  • Are these exams fun?  NO!  But not having them could impact your life very seriously!
  • Find doctors you are comfortable with…ask friends who they go to and, if your insurance allows, schedule appointments with them.
  • If you don’t have the money for them, check with community organizations…for many people these exams are free or at a very low cost.
  • Try to schedule the annual routine exam first (maybe around your B-day or the first of the year so you will remember to do it).  Your family doc may have to write referrals or lab orders for the other tests, depending on your health insurance.

Moms often get so caught up with caring for their children and their home; they tend to put themselves last.

But your health is paramount…if you get sick, who is going to take care of your family? 

So please, take care of yourselves!

What other important check-ups should moms have?  Please share!

Top Five New Year’s Resolutions for a Dynamic 2012

 

English: Two New Year's Resolutions postcards

Image via Wikipedia

The New Year is almost here!  Have you thought about your New Year’s resolutions yet?

The great thing about the New Year is that it gives us the opportunity to make a fresh start.

You can make broad, sweeping resolutions like EAT HEALTHIER or you can make more specific resolutions such as I WILL AVOID EATING FAST FOOD.

“To insure good health, eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness and maintain an interest in life.” William Londen

Based on William London’s practical advice, here are five resolutions that will result in a happier, healthier, more dynamic 2012.

1.      Eat Lightly: many of us eat too much of the wrong things…nutritionists recommend eating six small meals a day instead of three big ones.  In addition, make every meal count by using more fresh foods instead of highly processed ones. 

2.      Breathe Deeply: It’s definitely hard to find the time to exercise, especially when you work, take care of a home and family and have lots of other things that take your time and energy.  However, moving at least 30 minutes a day will provide great health benefits…and make you feel more positive.  Dance while you clean the house or take a walk while listening to great music.  Get together with a friend and exercise together with a new tape in your living room if you don’t have the time or money to go to a gym.  In addition, take time every day to meditate and be still…even if it is just for 5 minutes.  It will refresh and renew your spirit.

3.      Live Moderately: This rule applies to all aspects of our lives…eating, drinking, sleeping, surfing the Internet.  If people would get enough rest…and eat, drink, exercise and pursue all other activities in moderation, the soaring medical costs in this country would decline.  The cells in our bodies repair themselves during restful sleep…and people tend to gain weight if they are sleep deprived.

4.      Cultivate Cheerfulness:  Doesn’t it lift your spirits when someone greets you cheerfully, in a store, on the street or on the phone?  Thinking and acting cheerfully does have a positive effect…on EVERYONE!  Cultivating cheerfulness does not mean ignoring problems or pretending that everything is rosy when it is not.  If something is troubling you, please share it with someone who cares about you.  Set in motion steps that will change the situation.  If it is a situation that can’t be changed, join a support group or ask for help.

5.      Maintain An Interest In Life:  Isn’t it amazing to see elderly people who get college degrees after they have retired from a life-long career?  Or middle-school children who raise money for other children in a village that is situated thousands of miles from where they live? How can you maintain an interest in life?  Read a book about something you always wanted to find out about; volunteer in a local school or hospital; reach outside your normal routine to help someone.

Are these goals on your list?  Do you have others?  Do share!

If you are a parent of a young child, please add another goal for 2012.  Strong reading readiness skills and a positive self-image will help your child succeed in school. 

 

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Is the Tooth Fairy Leaving Money Under Your Pillow?

Do you remember putting a baby tooth under your pillow at night and waking up in the morning with eager anticipation to see how much money the tooth fairy had left in place of that tooth?

Do your children carry on this tradition?

I remember those loose baby teeth, hanging on by a thread, my tongue pushing them this way and that.

I remember going to sleep wondering what the tooth fairy would leave for me.

I remember the joy when I discovered a quarter under my pillow.

But as adults, losing teeth is not an event that calls for celebration!

How can we keep our teeth in good health?

Dentists recommend that you:

  •        Brush your teeth twice a day
  •        Floss daily
  •        See your dental care professional at least once a year
  •        Limit snacks, especially sugary ones

Do you have a favorite brand of toothpaste or mouthwash?  The shelves in the grocery and drug stores are loaded with many different brands of toothpaste, mouthwashes and other products used for oral hygiene.  How do we know which are good for us and which can actually harm us?

 

Parents have an especially important job when it comes to helping their children make good oral hygiene a habit.  Even before children have teeth, they can be brushing their gums with a very soft brush with a very small head.  Keep toothpaste out of reach, as well as any other oral care products.  If toothpaste is used, the parent should put it on the brush.  Make up a brushing-our-teeth song and sing it while your child brushes.  Before bedtime and also after breakfast are two important times for young children to brush their teeth.  Pediatricians often recommend that parents use a clean soft damp cloth to wipe off a very young child’s gums and teeth.  Check with your pediatrician or dental care professional for more tips that will keep your child’s mouth and teeth healthy.

Brushing teeth should become an established part of your child’s bedtime routines.  Another important part of that routine is the bedtime story.  There are so many books available…which ones should you choose?  For summaries of 100 picture books every young child should hear, you can pick up a copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking, now at more than 50% off for a limited time only on my website or on Amazon.  Give yourself and your child a gift this holiday season that will build self-esteem, develop literacy skills and strengthen the parent-child connection long after the wrapping and ribbon are thrown away.

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