Measles and the anti-immunization movement

Measles and the anti-immunization movement

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Hello GlobalMusic4 Life Fans! I hope this finds you in good spirits and somewhere comfy. Please share this blog with your friends and get back to me on your opinion on the topic. I imagine I shall be revisiting it soon.

“To be or not to be, that is the question” at least according to William Shakespeare or Thomas Middleton or whoever wrote that stuff. I have been researching measles and immunizations and the pros and cons for about a month now and I have come to the conclusion that there is no conclusion. Doctors, lawyers, parents, and more importantly, children, are all in the middle of this new but old controversy. Old because people have taken issue with giving people shots since people first got shots. New because of the small wave of measles cases popping up in America and in Western Europe in the last few years have pro vs anti shot folks boxing it out even louder.

They say “that which does not kill you makes you stronger”. (I don’t know who said it I will look it up in master quotes next library visit) The thing is, who wants to risks their life or their child’s life on a chance to be stronger? I certainly don’t. A lot of parents don’t. Who gets to decide what’s good for you? One of  the problems with a democracy, or republic or whatever it is we have… ok one of the problems with having a government controlled system is that what is good for the many dictates what’s done to the few.

If you don’t want to get chickenpox, you can get an immunization shot for the chickenpox. If you don’t want to get shingles because you have already had chickenpox, well there is a shot for that too. However, if you are worried about the side effects of the medicine, even if it is a one in a million chance of getting them, who has the right to force you to do it? Hmm let’s think about that.

Well I first started looking into measles about three months ago and put it off. Then a month ago, I decided to write about it. First I hit the usual suspect, the internet. Bastion of modern knowledge that it is, it didn’t give me all of the true information that I wanted.

Let’s make it clear, I am no doctor. I am not a journalist. I am a web blogger. However, I do like to give people good quality information, albeit kind of tongue in cheek. Therefore, I hit the local medical school libraries. I went to the University of Chicago, Rush University, and University of Illinois’ medical libraries.  Besides the whitepaper information on all things measles, I really enjoyed speaking with the locals.

Now these are intelligent folks. I am not speaking with high school drop outs and teens; I am speaking with doctors and nurses. These are the people in the frontline of this issue. Most of them were parents or at the minimum parents of the future.

I asked simply: Hey doc, do you believe in giving kids their shots, in immunizations? What are your thoughts on the whole measles scare thing? I left more confused than when I came in.

There were hushed tones, folks pulling me to the side, asking was I a journalists? Was I a government worker of some kind, did I work for Public Health or the CDC? Naw, I am just a blogger with an itch. I actually had to show some of them my blog in an effort to get them to take me “unseriously”. I wish I had my “I’m with the illuminati “ or “Homeland Security – the series”  t-shirts on. It would have set the mood.

Want to hear what they said? These are 1 percenters and the like? There was a 50 -50 vote. Yes, 50% of the doctors and health professionals I spoke with do not believe in shots. Shit! What the what? We can’t get 50% of the public to come out to vote! I do not like those numbers. They scare me. They burst my little pro – shot cocoon of happy thoughts.

Ok, here are my lists. My fans require it – all 100 of them so here you go.

Measles: Signs

  1. Red bumpy rash
  2. High fever
  3. Soreness in eyes
  4. Fatigue
  5. Often have ear infections
  6. Can lead to Pneumonia or even encephalitis

Contagious

  1. 4-5 days before the rash
  2. 4-5 days after the rash
  3. Spread via touch, sharing of fluids, coughs, sneezes
  4. The virus can hang suspended in the air in droplets of phlegm or other body fluid for up to three hours

Gross! That means an infected person can sneeze and you come by and breathe in the germs an hour later —uggghhhh

Outbreaks

It is kind of the stuff a good virus horror flick is made of

In Bosnia and Philippines over 17,000 cases since 2008*

*probably more, some folks did not report the disease

Outbreak at Disneyland in California!

Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, NY

Outbreak in the rich suburbs of Seattle WA

Outbreak in Berkeley, California

Outbreak among the Amish in Ohio

23 outbreaks in America in 2014 and we have almost hit the same numbers in 2015 and its only March!

 

Yes, I too can see the movie version. The innocent student from afar comes to America, gives the virus to everyone on the plane, everyone at her school, and suddenly it mutates and all heck breaks out.

I am making light of a very touchy subject I know. We use the word outbreak for only a few cases. I am talking less than 700 in the USA in 2014. However, measles is one of the most contagious diseases there is. And in 2000 America declared it a dead disease. Well, it is obviously a zombie disease because it is back and the cases are growing. So far we have 873 in America… for 2015, now some of those may be from 2014 that are newly reported, I do not know the real numbers.

So what to do? Back in its hay day, measles killed 1 in 1000 afflicted. Not a biggie out of 700 people, unless of course that one is your baby.  With modern medicine, the fatality rate would probably be even lower.

So again, who gets to decide? The government? A child’s parents? Who gets to say what you have to do with your body?

In several Ohio, California, and New York school districts, children were being sent home if they were not immunized and had proof. Does the government have the right to say get a shot or no tax payer funded free education for you! There are people who refuse to give their kids shots because of religious reasons. At what point does the kid get a right to say getting measles, mumps or rubella would totally suck, give me the shot? On the flip side, if your kid is immunized, should you worry about the sick child, after all, your kid can’t catch it – right? Hmmmm

Why do I ponder on this and why should you? Well because if you can read this, you are old enough to have gotten a host of shots by now. They start at 6 months? We take them all the way to graduate school. There have been studies saying they caused autism that have found to be flawed. However, there is a group of parents that would swear on a stack of bibles, and well, have, in court, that their kids were perfectly healthy until getting shots and then viola! They became autistic. I have always read that kids with autism are born with it and you may not notice it until you see they are developmentally delayed. However for parents who had perfectly healthy acting kids at 3, 4, 5 years old to suddenly have the kid become autistic, it does beg the question, what else could have done it?

And are you willing to risk your child’s life on whether or not it may or may not affect him or her?

It’s not like the TV isn’t flooded with commercials with law firms offering big bucks to folks whose lives were turned upside down by some medicine that was previously touted as safe.

So what side are you on? Who can you trust? What to do? There are a lot of folks who would rather risk getting a comparatively rare contagious disease over putting what they consider poison, or unkosher, or unholy, or just unnatural in their bodies or the bodies of their children.

I have spoken with Doctors who are for and against it. I even spoke with PH.D candidates in pharmaceutical chemistry. These are the folks who actually make this stuff up with the help of a host of bio geneticists and immunologists and etc. etc. They are on the fence as well. Some even falsify their kid’s records so they don’t have to get the shots.

It’s not just measles. There has been a movement to avoid all immunizations. Measles is the current hot topic. However there are people walking around who haven’t received shots for mumps, rubella, oral polio vaccinations, etc. There are groups of folks so adamantly against immunizations they home school. They go to court; they do whatever they can to avoid immunizations. It is not just poor or uneducated, it is rich and very educated, it the very religious, the conspiracy theorists, and just folks who are scared. They rather risk getting a deadly disease than take a shot.

One guy at the University of Chicago said it is like taking a pain medicine. Sure it may relieve the pain. However, if you believe the pain will go away eventually anyway and you could bear it, why risk all of the side effects of the pain meds. I had to think on that. As a chronic pain sufferer for years, I have often opted for the pain. Sounds goofy huh? However if I know once I get home and put heat on my back and sit for a while the pain will subside, I chose not to dope up with medicine that clouds my thinking, impairs my driving, and makes me nauseous.

I only go there when the pain is blinding. Do we want to wait until the pain from preventable disease is so outrageous that we all run and get boosters and shots for the kids? Pain is like art it is subjective. But does a parent have a right to tell little Jimmy its ok if you may be laid up with this disease and miserable, I chose to make you risk it? Does the government have the right to rally to little Jimmy’s side and say we are now mom and dad get the shot? Are we all really little Jimmy in that there is something out there bigger than us, with power over us, that can make life changing decisions for us with no real say from us at all? We can’t all live off the grid in the middle of nowhere and avoid everyone and everything, we live in a society. That society, in many ways, controls us.

Scary stuff huh? Children and their health is no laughing matter. Adults get these illnesses too.  Most folks born before 57 are thought to have natural immunity to measles and unless they work in specific trades, may not have been inoculated. If their grand kid comes home with a contagious disease he may recover, their chances are slimmer.

So for me, I will get my shots. If I get to go overseas again I am getting shots for everything. I will take my chances. I do not want malaria, African sleeping sickness, or anything else I can possibly avoid.

I also don’t want to be on a plane, at work, anywhere – with folks who may have preventable illnesses. Immunizations are not 100%. Sorry they are not. They are more like 95% especially if the bottles weren’t kept at optimal temperature during travel or your immune system is suppressed.  It’s like using a condom. Ok you may get something bad anyway, stuff happens. However you are asking for trouble without one. I would rather we are all walking around 95% covered which lessens everyone’s chance of that 5% kicking you in the butt. Someone 0% covered is a recipe for trouble. And yes, you have a right to your body. And, no it is not fair for me to get a vote. However, unless you have the cash to buy a house in the middle of nowhere, 100% off the grid, (which is impossible in America, even the guys in the Alaskan wilds got clothes and buckets and mail on occasion), you do not have the right to put others at risk.

Don’t curse me out. It is just my opinion. I am perfectly willing to greenlight research on the efficacy and side effects of all immunization drugs. I don’t believe they are 100% safe or effective but they are what we have. Aspirin and water have side effects. Peanuts can send the wrong person to the grave. We have to use what we have at the moment and work hard to make it better.

What is your take on immunizations? Yes or No and why? It can be anonymous… Tell me about it, I am at Ms.Melissa@melissaweblog.com

 

Be healthy be happy be there for each other,

Love and Light,

Melissa

 

That feeling… like someone kicked you in the back

That feeling, like someone kicked you in the back?2015-02-01 00-42-09.584

It may be kidney stones. Kidney stones can be a minor little nuisance or a major problem requiring surgery. It depends on the size and location of the stone, the health of the individual, and how quick the problem is caught.

Your kidneys are awesome

When you think about your kidneys you generally think of two things: protect them in a fight and well… urine. The kidneys are so much more.

  1. Kidneys filter waste from blood – the blood not the water you drink, not directly
  2. They create urine ( I know you know but it’s on my list so I had to say it)
  3. They help regulate calcium metabolism
  4. They help regulate electrolyte metabolism
  5. Kidneys help regulate salt
  6. Kidneys help regulate potassium
  7. Kidneys help with the body’s acid balance
  8. Kidneys create chemicals that stimulate red blood cell production which helps regulate blood pressure

So as you see, kidneys have a lot of work to do. Yes you can live with one really healthy one but two are best. I say don’t mess with the architect’s design but I would also hand one over to my sister or brother readily.

Kidney Stones

Are fun! –Ok I am being silly. I apologize to anyone who has ever had them. They are painful and “passing a kidney stone” is the closest many men will ever get to the pain of childbirth. They develop from an overload of salts and minerals in the kidneys.

Causes:

  1. Hereditary risk factors – no one knows the gene per se but they do run in families often
  2. Low water intake, dehydration
  3. High salt and mineral intake … the jury is still out in regards to calcium over load but when the liquid ( water) and the minerals do not have the right balance, crystals form resulting in stones
  4. High blood pressure
  5. Obesity ( a risk factor more than a cause like HBP)
  6. Excessive protein diets
  7. For some, high Oxalate foods like : Chocolate, tea, dark leafy greens, oranges, tofu, instant coffee, sweet potatoes, blue berries, blackberries, These are healthy foods but there is a certain group of people who need to be more careful in over doing them. Remember, everything in moderation so the body can regulate it. No berries only diet or anything outrageous like that. If kidney stones run in your family, ask your doctor about a blood test that can see if you have a high amount of the precursors in your blood.

Signs:

  1. Pain in abdominal area, lower back and sides of back ( see doctor that is a sign for several serious illnesses)
  2. Pain in groin
  3. Frequent or painful urination
  4. Bloody urine
  5. Vomiting and nausea ( usually accompanied by pain in groin or back)

Kidney stones can be as small as a small piece of salt ( which still hurts by the way) to the size of golf ball ( extreme case) They are usually just a few millimeters  or less and even then may require surgical procedure to remove.

Treatment:

  1. Sometimes the doctor just makes you increase you fluid intake to wash them out, maybe with muscle relaxers ( for ureters the tubes where urine leaves the kidneys) and pain meds
  2. Sometimes the doctor can go up the ureter ( I will not be graphic) and use a tool to grab the small stones
  3. Surgery through small incisions in the back
  4. Extracorporeal Shock wave therapy – shock waves!!! It sounds cool as heck but it can leave bruises, cause internal bleeding, and really hurt

So if you have the signs, go in for a checkup. Ask your family has anyone in the family had kidney stones and let your doctor know. The doctor may do a CT scan, X-ray, or ultrasound to see the stones. They may also do urinalysis and blood analysis to see the mineral content of your body. These tests are simple and for the most part not very invasive. The quicker you see why that pain is with you the better off you will be.

Have you ever had a kidney stone? What happened? Let me know!

I am at MsMelissa@melissaweblog.com

Love and Light

Lissa

 

Let me clear my throat….

Let Me Clear My Throat…fam house fun 010

Who sang that in a song?

It was an old school rap.

Ok I will look it up later.

It is cold and flu season and hooray! I haven’t gotten sick yet but between my vitamin c and teas and oranges and zinc… I should be covered. Are you? What are you doing to protect yourself? I hate being on the train because everyone around me is coughing. They did not get the memo where you cough in the crook of your arm and not in your hands. You know the hands that touch everything on public anything? I am not a germaphobe, but geesh.

Let’s chat about coughs. Yes I know you are an expert but hey, since we are both here.

Issue number one. What causes you to cough? If you said cooties, you are only partially right.

The biggest contributors are:

  1. Smoking cigarettes
  2. COPD Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease ( oddly enough a lot of these folks smoke)
    1. Including emphysema
    2. Chronic bronchitis
  3. Acid reflux
  4. Flu and Common Cold ( viruses not bacteria)
  5. Sore throat, chest infection ( can be viral or bacterial)

 

All of these warrant a trip to the doctor. However if you have a little cough due to, let’s say shoveling snow without a scarf for 2 hours. You can do a little home therapy before sliding down to the local internist.

 

Issue two… what to do or use before getting the hard stuff ( pharmaceuticals)

  1. Cover throat with warm towel and sit down and relax
  2. Cover nose and mouth with warm and moist towel and breath in warm moist air
  3. Warm , not hot, green or herb tea with a tablespoon of brandy, rum, or whisky no milk
  4. Vicks vapor rub on your neck, chest, and under your nose with warm clothes on
  5. A cool humidifier is good after maybe a little steam ( face over sink of hot water cover head with towel for five minutes, breath in deeply, a little eucalyptus leaf and mint leaf in there is awesome, but Vick’s vapor rub is handy in a pinch)
  6. No milk or milk products, many say they help produce mucous
  7. No or very little sugar or starchy foods, warm tea, broth, a little lean meat for protein
  8. Warm water with lemon and orange peels in it (unless your throat is sore then ouch…)
  9. Fresh ginger and peppermint in hot water, made like a tea with the cover over it for five minutes to release the natural oils into the water
  10. Licorice root tea
  11. Spoonful or raw, organic honey
  12. Thyme infused herbal tea
  13. Honey, pepper, in mint tea ( I haven’t tried this… drinking pepper? Hmm only fresh cracked 1 tsp to four cups but still)
  14. Turmeric, warm water and honey

 

A cough that hurts your chest when you cough and one that last more than a day or can’t be calmed within a few hours is cause for concern. I always say check with the doctor first and if she says it’s just a cold then look up home remedies. Most of these you have to go to a natural foods store to find but raw organic honey, lemons, turmeric, Vick’s vapor rub, and green tea are all over.

If you want more specific information on natural remedies, speak with a naturopath or herbalist. They can tell you what the proper “recipes” are for the various natural home remedies are.

 

Issue Three: Prevent problems

 

The best defense is a good offense. (Sorry that last Super Bowl has me whacky) Prepare for the worst. Just like you buy salt before the snow, get a few remedies and home health aides before you need them.

A vaporizer, cool or warm, is good. Bottled water is a good idea if you tap is funky, while vitamin C and Zinc lozenges are tasty and handy and come in sugar free. Just make you a list of stuff to just put in the house. Nothing elaborate or expensive is needed. You know if you have kids and they walk to school in the snow, to have cold and flu medicine and herbs ready.

 

One should also dress properly for the weather in layers, cotton or material designed to wick sweat away from the skin on the layer nearest the body is recommended. Ok and you should try hard to not smoke or at least not smoke in the house. The kids and the animals don’t want to suck in that poison. Yes, children do get infections from second hand smoke. And eat healthy food high in nutrients so that your body has the energy to fight off diseases. These are all basic no nonsense things you need to do.

 

Ok I found the song, it was by DJ Kool and Biz Markie with Dougie Fresh, can’t get it out of my head

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54yIMKjG048

 

Here is a new song set by GlobalMusic4 Life founder Kiki Hurt, Check it out and buy it. The funds help support yours truly J  Do me a favor and share the link with your friends!

http://globalmusic4life.com/store/?ms_collection=searching

 

We sell our music and books directly to make them more cost effective and eliminate the 50-75% taken by middle men.

 

What do you do to avoid a cough and cold in the winter? Any remedies I need to know about?

Let me know!

I am at MsMelissa@melissaweblog.com

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MS common symptoms for uncommon disease

MS: Common symptoms for uncommon disease

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Happy Friday GlobalMusic4 Life Fans! We made it through another week in one piece hopefully. As the sun shines into my office I am delighted by the sounds of the kids next door at the church playing outside. It seems like a nice spring day. It is not though; it is 34 out and very far away from my happy to be outside temperature range.

 

Things are not always what they seem. Sometimes on the weekend I take care of my friend’s kids to give her a break. She loves them but three screaming me me’s are enough to drive you to drink Gatorade.

My friend has MS, or rather multiple sclerosis. I am her go to babysitter when her symptoms flare. They can be in remission for months and then out of the blue “wham!” It is very inconvenient to say the very least. However she is lucky, she has a good support system, including yours truly.

 

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that can strike a person at any age. On average the diagnosed age is 29. It is often hard to initially diagnose and a true diagnosis requires the assistance of several specialists. These may include your internal medicine physician of family doctor. Neurologist, Neuro-ophthalmologists, and radiologist are all part of a good treatment team.

 

What is MS?

MS is an autoimmune disease. The current belief ( it is still being studied) is that an event happens in the body, maybe a severe viral attack ( Epstein Barr may be one of the culprits) and the T cells in the white blood cell group, over react. They cross the blood brain barrier and cause harm to nerve tissue by removing the fatty coating on nerves called myelin. This causes a certain type of micro scarring. This stops the nerves from sending and receiving messages properly. This affects the central nervous system… brain, spinal cord, and eyes. Yes, that pretty much covers the body. No one knows definitively what exactly causes MS, they do know there are genetic predispositions to it and many sufferers also have low vitamin D.

 

Symptoms:

The symptoms vary from patient to patient which is one of the reasons it is hard to diagnose often.

The severity differs as well. Although women account for 70% of MS patients, men get the more severe forms more often. Scientist are not sure why.

  1. Muscle spasms and pain ( may stay or come and go erratically )
  2. Joint Pain and muscle pain
  3. Cognitive issues, many patients have problems with memory
  4. Fatigue beyond what is expected for their normal activity
  5. Incontinence
  6. Constipation
  7. Frequent urgency to urinate
  8. Visual problems due to demyelination in the optical nerve bundle
    1. Sudden loss of vision
    2. Uncontrollable eye movements
    3. Double images due to weak eye muscles
  9. Muscle weakness
  10. Sexual problems
    1. Loss of desire
    2. Trouble achieving orgasm where there was problem before
    3. Reduced sensation
  11. Depression

 

Wow, that is a lot. Those symptoms can cover a host of other diseases. The best way to diagnose is to rule out other ailments and then have an MRI. MS often leaves brain lesions that can be seen by a radiologist.

 

Types of MS

There are four main types.  However 85% of the people with MS have relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. They have periods where certain symptoms will flare up and then go into a period of remission. The other types are secondary progressive where symptoms get worse over time. Primary progressive MS is where symptoms slowly worsen over time. The last one is the worse but only affects about 5 % of the MS sufferers. Progressive relapsing MS is where the disease’s symptoms quickly get worse and often never go into remission. Most of these sufferers are men.

 

What to do? Can your prevent MS?

No, there is no known prevention. It has been know to run in families but is not a genetic disease like sickle cell anemia. People with low Vitamin D have a higher chance of developing it. The human body needs a little UV light for natural vitamin D. Between sunscreen and living and working inside, many Americans have low vitamin D and have to supplement it. MY personal opinion is nothing takes the place of a 30 minute walk in the sun. Obesity and smoking are also risk factors.

 

Treatment and outlook

The outlook for MS is not horrible… there is no cure or preventative medication. There is however, increasingly more effective treatments to help MS patients deal with their illness better. Many MS patients feel diet and exercise help with their symptoms as well. ( Hey I blog for GM4L, I have to do a shout out for healthy eating and exercise) There are a number of natural therapeutic treatments to help with different symptoms. Usually the focus is on pain reduction and muscle control.

 

There is currently research going on in conjunction with scholars looking to find treatments for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other diseases. The goal is to figure out how MS is triggered and to stop that trigger. Another goal is to figure out how we can ad the myelin back to the damaged nerve bundles or generate new ones all together. The work is ongoing.

 

On a good note, my friend has had it for 12 years and she seems to be getting better. Her remissions lasts longer and her flare ups are not as severe and life altering. When she was first diagnosed it took the doctors three years to come up with MS. Now the same professionals can diagnose someone within weeks. That is a major thing. The sooner you are diagnosed the sooner effective treatment can begin.

She is doing better and I can send the little darlings back to her and her husband.

 

Are you or a loved one battling MS? How long did it take to diagnose? Let me know!

I am at MsMelissa@melissaweblog.com

 

Love and light,

 

Melissa

99 problems….

99 Problems….

…and a bitch is actually one of them

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Ok, happy snow day fellow GlobalMusic4 Life fans. Shout out to those of you in beautiful, sunny states too! Don’t think you are safe. It snowed in Hawaii this year. That means no one is safe! Ha!

 

Ok about the title, here is the situation. I want a new dog. I really want a new dog. It’s like having a new boyfriend only the dog pretends to listen and if it isn’t faithful, neuter him! Ha-ha, ok yes I am feeling quirky and I will tell you why.

 

I had a loaner dog. What is a loaner dog you say? It is a dog that you foster temporarily to see how you get along. Plus the shelter was a no kill shelter and filled to the rafters. So as my tongue in cheek title suggest, it’s a girl dog. She is a cute little black doggie. She is so affectionate. She could be called clingy.

I never had a dog before but I have lived in places where others had dogs so I thought it would be ok.

 

It was not. That black bitch was crazy.

Wow.

 

Ok puppies can be trippy. They pee all over. I am still finding where urine and other fun items are in hidden spots. Scratches on the wooden doors are all over. She chewed on stuff that I don’t even remember having. She howled, whined, and had the audacity to hide the TV remote! Ok I am glad she didn’t eat it. Maybe she thought it was a new age bone? I found it in the kitchen behind the fridge.

The only reason I even looked back there is because she had urinated on the fridge and I had to move it to clean the floor.

 

Marking the fridge? Really little doggie? Oh well, at least you didn’t open it first. I am a glass half full kind of girl.

 

Ok, after two weeks of insanity, I took her to a doctor. Duh, right? I did mention I never had a dog before. It turns out, just like every mom of every psych patient in written history, it was all my fault.

 

First, she should have been crated. I thought crating was mean and she would appreciate being able to walk around while I was gone. Yes it sounds dumb even as I write it. Puppies like her should be crated because the little scamps get into everything.

 

Secondly, I fed her wrong. I am sorry but those little cute watery eyes begging me for some of my grilled chicken made me give in. Ok no table food with exotic spices for doggy. Check.

 

Thirdly, and this is super funny. You won’t believe me but I will tell you anyway. Ready?

The darn dog was allergic to me.

I know right? What? As much as I scrub, shave, condition, wash and wax – you would think that your favorite blogger was hypoallergenic. No, apparently, I have cooties, Dang! I loved that darn dog.

 

Apparently dogs have allergies to people. Not people per se, but my doggie liked to lick me. I take a lot of supplements and a few meds and they come out of my skin. The doctor said to forbid her to lick me in any way. I said come on, I don’t let her lick my face, that’s gross, but not even my hand? Nope, the doctor said she should not come in contact with my skin. The combination of whatever I was ingesting or rubbing on my skin is making doggie sick. She had an allergic reaction which made her want to chew a lot more and drink more water and urinate more than normal.

 

I said ok so no touching my skin and we are all good? That’s going to require crating because she sleeps with me and sneaks and licks me in my sleep. ( She has never peed in the bed, go figure)  The doctor said it may be something in the house as well. My home is 105 years old, it could be anything from lead paint somewhere that she nibbled remotely, a tiny bit of whatever she licked off the floor, who can tell.

 

So officially, the little black doggie is allergic to me. I told the shelter and the woman blessed me out. Dang lady, I was trying to help but it is what it is. She said someone will pick up the dog in a week. Ummm, I am making the doggie sick she needs to leave now. Who knows what a week with my crazy toad skin will do to the little dear.

After a full ten minutes of the facility manager telling me I was a liar in 50 different ways, I took a breath and took the high road. I gave her the doctor’s number and name and told her I was bringing the doggie over right then and there. Let the doctor tell her the situation. I love the little doggie but she has cost me socks, sneakers, a universal remote, and the vet bill was similar to the last time I went to the emergency room.

Upon reaching the shelter, the manager looked at me sheepishly and apologized. She then promptly asked me to take a different dog to replace the one I was bringing back. No thanks. The dog and I were both sad, maybe if I get off some of my supplements and puppy proof the house better, I can revisit the dog idea.

She was adopted. She is in a home with little kids and a big yard. Yes I know, glass half full. But at that time it was half full of pee. That was supposed to be my dog. Dang.

 

OK, let’s talk about the medical aspects of this little story. This is a “mediciney” blog after all.

Allergies to dogs are super common. Many over the counter remedies can help. However, Benadryl for life seems like a lot to me. We are usually allergic to dander. That is dry skin flakes I believe. However, people can be allergic to the urine, saliva, hair, or feces. There is no hypoallergenic dog. No, the president’s dogs are included. Some are better than others but everything with skin that sheds can generate an allergic response.

 

Thirty two percent of the homes in America have dogs. Some neighborhoods are loaded with them while others have very few. Dog dander can be anywhere, even if dogs aren’t present. It’s almost like spider webs. You may not see the actual spiders but you know they have been there somewhere… Well dog allergy sufferers may sneeze because of the dander on their friend’s favorite sweater or in area where a dog just walked.

 

Dog allergy symptoms:

Sneezing around dogs or where dogs have been

Itchy eyes that get red and puffy

Coughing

Stuffy and runny nose

Skin rashes

 

Dog allergy treatments:

Allergy shot

Steroids: Flonase, Nasonex

Antihistamines: Allegra, Claritan, Nasacort, Zyrtec

Decongestants: Sudafed, Allegra –D

 

How to avoid the allergies or minimize them if you have a dog;

Wood floors or floors that are easily dusted with a swifter and mop – something that actually picks up the dander and allergens

Leather, pleather, or smooth furniture; easier to clean

For fabrics: keep the dog off! Ok we both know that is impossible, just vacuum often

Do not sleep with dog

Do not let dog lick you (you can be allergic to saliva)

Do not let your skin come in contact with dog urine or feces

Keep dog’s hair trimmed and cleaned ( yes for some this is expensive)

Keep dog’s rest area clean and away from your rest area (no sleeping in your room or in the kitchen or front room or bathroom… maybe the extra room or basement if it is nice)

 

Take the medicines in the morning before the symptoms occur, play with Fido to your hearts content! And then change your clothes and wash your hands and face. (Yes I know you didn’t let her lick your face, but you rubbed her belly. Are you SURE you didn’t touch your face afterward? We do it often and unconsciously)

 

So go out and enjoy the dogs. I still want one but maybe I will have it tested before I get too attached. That and buy a crate.

 

Do you have a crazy doggie? Has he or she seen a vet? Tell me about it!

 

I am at MsMelissa@melissaweblog.com

 

Love and Light,

 

Lissa

 

Fight Cholesterol

Foods that help you fight cholesterol

Ok, you have to eat healthy across the board but these supposedly help. Ask you doctor on your next checkup.

We all know someone who has been told they have high cholesterol. It is often overweight people but news flash visually healthy looking folks get Hypercholesterolemia. Hypercholesterolemia is a disease caused by your family genes and your diet.

High cholesterol affects everything. Why everything? It affects the flow of blood because it clogs your arteries. That causes high blood pressure, which can leave to a heart attack.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypercholesterolemia

 

Can you avoid it? Maybe. What you can do is live a healthier lifestyle and chose your food better.

These foods are said to help:

Garlic: Yes your Italian granny was right it is good for so many ails

Spinach: Green veggie that you can eat raw…

Green tea: Apparently there is a reason why people in certain areas of the world live to be super elderly, its good stuff

Soy: Ok be careful, some people overdo this… it helps with female hormone replacement and some ladies don’t need that added effect. It is a meat substitute so yes a soy burger instead of a greasy burger helps your diet.

Beans: Soluble fiber, high protein

Avocados: Good oil !

Salmon; Great protein and another food rich in “good oil” I believe they are referred to as Omega 3 fatty acids. Hey look it up, I am no scientist! The best is wild caught salmon. For those days when a tofu burger will make you pop, here is a fish that is meaty and tasty.

2 types of margarine: “take control and benecol” have ingredients to help lower cholesterol. Hmmm I think I rather have some salmon and spinach with a green tea chaser. However if you must have a butter substitute and you are worried about your cholesterol levels – go for it.

Dark Chocolate: It is chocolate and good for you! Enough said!

 

Talk to your doctor and get your cholesterol levels checked out annually, 2 times a year if you have a family history of high cholesterol. If you have it, do not freak out. More exercise and a healthy diet, along with new medicine will work in concert to help you.

Know anyone with high cholesterol? Have you fought the battle against cholesterol and won?

Let me know! I am at msmelissa@melissaweblog.com

I am listening to: ICU by GlobalMusic4 Life https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/icu/id767428582?i=767428624

Love and light,

Melissa

redshadesuop.jpg

Heart Attack Snow

Heart Attack Snowfam house fun 007

Ok fellow GlobalMusic4 Life lovers; it is that time of year for many of us. Snow is upon 70% of the country here in America. To that 30% who live in the sunshine states, “raspberries!” You’ll get yours when the storm season hits. We all must pay our dues to Mother Nature. Whether it is fighting the rare hurricane, mud slides, earthquake scares, tornados, etc., that moody gal will do as she darn well pleases.

Here in the Midwest we are in the heat of the snow season. I have to go out and shovel. Yes I have a bad back, yes the old knees are not what they used to be, and no the little boys who used to do it for me don’t think my hard earned ten’r is worth their time. I salt, I push, I shovel, and I bemoan Mother Nature, go inside to hot tea and a hotter bath and prepare for more fun the next day.

This is HEART Attack Snow season. Yes, it starts out light and fluffy and pretty. He kiddies want to stick their eager little tongues out to taste it. Mom’s quickly brush it off the cars on the way to pick up the kiddies from wherever. Men laugh and quickly shove it out the way and go on about their way. No big whoop right?

Wrong. I am in the Chi… aka Chicago and like many Midwest and eastern towns, our weather likes to toy with our emotions. We had three school days off because of cold weather. It was warm ( uh 40 is warm for winter) then cold, snowed, then rain, then more snow. Oh the fun! Slush froze then got covered with heavy fluffy snow, and then we got a wind chill of under 20 for one or two days. Didn’t I say Mother Nature was a trip?

Heart attack snow is just what you think it is. The thick heavy, wet stuff that is hard as heck to move. Every year many folks actually have a heart attack or suffer exhaustion form snow removal.  It doesn’t require that you are a 70 year old man with a bad heart. Studies have shown that younger, healthy men have a hard time of it too.

When breathing in cold air your blood vessels become tighter.  That means poorer circulation. If you stand still for a while, it is worse because movement gets the blood flowing. There are ample cases of otherwise normally healthy folks becoming ill shoveling snow.

Risk factors: If you are overweight and out of shape, maybe snow shoveling isn’t the activity for you. People with diabetes should be careful, especially those with nerve neuropathy in their extremities, they may not feel when their toes and fingers are too cold. People with high cholesterol are at risk because blood vessels clogged up in the beginning will get even worse with the cold. The same can be said of people with high blood pressure. Cold air and physical exertion for a long period of time can lead to; well it can lead to death or illness.

Sorry the young and healthy will have issues too. Studies have shown that just ten minutes of shoveling snow that is heavy can make blood pressure in young (20-30) men up to 190 where it should be @120 or lower.

So what to do? The snow needs to be moved, period and you have got to do it.

Well there are steps to take. Step one bribe a kid. If that doesn’t work look at these:

  1. Cover nose and mouth so that you are breathing in warmer air
  2. Use legs not back when lifting
  3. Try to push and shove the snow when possible. I push it and then use my legs to nudge it out of the shovel. Rarely do I actually do old school shoveling. All of the snow doesn’t need to be in a perfect pile just moved to the side so people can walk in front of my home.
  4. Use a broom to sweep steps when possible or a rake covered with a plastic bag and just push or pull it off the steps, be careful and use the banister or carefully walk down the steps and rake the snow toward you and push it to the side at the bottom.
  5. Dress in layers, make sure you have warm gloves with padded fingers
  6. Limit outside to 10 minutes at a time; don’t get over exerted or too cold.
  7. Take your time, this is snow and it will fall again. Hence it is a marathon not a sprint. You want to move 4 inches of wet and white supremo from a 100 foot front walk covered in ice in 10 minutes? Stop playing. Take your time and do it slow. Start in the middle and push to the edges.
  8. No caffeine infused drinks. I am talking about coffee or hot tea with caffeine. They constrict the blood vessels, no booze either. Hey about some warm milk? Put down your middle finger please. These are just suggestions. I say these things because I care. If you want a hot toddy do it when the job is done not on one of your warm up breaks.
  9. Invest in snow blower with a few neighbors if it snows regularly, and you like your neighbors. It is a win win for the block.
  10. Don’t bother to salt if you have super subzero temperatures. Look at the bag, some salts only work at 5 degrees or higher. Get a salt that goes to -20 or etc… probably at a hardware shop not the cheap stuff at the grocery store.

Signs you have gone too far:

  1. Dizziness
  2. Chest pain
  3. Neck pain
  4. Arm pain
  5. Pain period …
  6. Tingling in toes, nose, or finger tips get warm quick, frostbite is real and in an elder or diabetic it can come quick and require removal of frostbitten body part
  7. Any shortness of breath
  8. Nausea

Bottom line: Take it slow and careful. Snow removal is part of the winter exercise program given to us by Mother Nature. Take the kiddies out, make it fun. Let them stomp the snow down where it is soft and low. Let them sweep it up. Take ten minutes of responsible family fun and then in to warm up! (maybe a little dance in the warm air to keep the blood flowing like on the wiggles!) After an hour of back and forth, call it a day and enjoy some hot cocoa! Yes you may put a splash of rum in it.

How is the winter weather treating you? Let me know! I am at MsMelissa@melissaweblog.com

Love and light ! ( and warmth!)

Lissa2014-11-27 14-51-25.958

Sickle Cell Anemia

Learning about Sickle Cell Anemia2014-12-13 13-29-05.915

 

Hello GlobalMusic4 Life Fans! Over here at GM4L we have been enjoying the holidays and working on new projects for this upcoming year. We hope your holidays were splendid as well!

Today I am discussing sickle cell anemia. I usually reserve my little blog to ailments that you can avoid or that you can develop. However today I would like to do this one. I feel it is important to know about illnesses even if you cannot get them. We need to learn what others are going through and how to help them as well as ourselves.

Did you know there was more than one form of sickle cell anemia? Me neither. There are five major variations with the most prevalent being HbSS. This is the one with a life expectancy of @45 years. Some live longer some shorter as with any disease. There are the milder forms, Hb C, Hb E, Hb beta thalassemia, Hb SC (one parent with SS and one with C) and Hb O. Although sickle cell anemia is prevalent in those of African descent, in America 1 in 12 African Americans has the recessive gene in their family, 1 in 100 Latinos, and 1 in 5,000 people of Arab and North African, and Mediterranean descent. Because of the different racial groups mixing, there are many cases of people having the gene from different groups.

Beyond HbSS, the other sickle cell anemia disorders have a significantly higher life expectancy. The age of 65 is the mean, which is only ten years younger than the general population.  With great health habits, light exercise, regular doctor’s visits, and close attention to what happens to your body, a person with the disease can live longer than the averages and enjoy their life.

Sickle cell anemia is an anemia. It is a genetically based disease that is recessive in nature. To have it wholly, one must have two parents with the gene. Usually this is diagnosed with an infant and if the parents know they are carriers can be test via amniotic fluid. The gene affects the production of hemoglobin which makes the red blood cells red and enables them to carry oxygen throughout the body. Normal, healthy blood cells are flexible and round. In HbSS sickle cell anemia, the cells are rigid, crescent shaped and low in iron and heme and therefore oxygen. The sickle shaped cells get stuck in small blood vessels and cause a myriad of health problems. The anemic cells live, on average 20 days whereas normal blood cells live 120 days. Less oxygen and a significantly shorter life span are what HbSS offers its sufferers. With the other sickle cell anemia’s the blood cells can be a bit more flexible, oddly shaped but more useful.

Sickle Cell Syndrome: Crisis

Crisis equals pain! That seems rudimentary. However pain is the body saying this is where the problem is. People who suffer from sickle cell anemia may have pain anywhere in their body. The chest, abdomen, joints, bones, and extremities can all be affected. Problems with the spleen can lead to more infections. Problems with the small blood vessels in the eyes can have a negative effect on vision, even blindness.

Sickle cell anemia patients also deal with swelling of the hands and feet, priapism (swelling of the penis), gallstones, and skin ulcers. In severe crisis, the symptoms of a stroke may occur! Weakness, sudden numbness, confusion, blurred vision, trouble walking, and weak muscles in arms, legs, and feet. This is again due to the clogged up blood vessels and lack of blood flow and oxygen. When this happens patients have to be hospitalized.

What to do?

There is no cure for sickle cell anemia. However, there are more and more effective treatments becoming available. These include bone marrow donors in severe cases, blood transfusions with a supplement to lower the excess iron, light exercise to help the joints and stimulate blood flow, and oxygen treatments.  Gene therapy is an exciting new treatment where the gene that encourages fetal hemoglobin production is introduced. Then of course there are a variety of pain medications and vitamin supplements, particularly folic acid. Sufferers are also told to avoid extreme weather shifts, too hot like Arizona in the summer or too cold like Chicago in the winter. The point is to keep the body at a mid-point so a crisis does not develop.

Why should you care if you do not suffer from this? The same reason you care about prostate cancer if you are a female or ovarian cancer if you are a male. We need to know so we can empathize, assist, and help keep our loved ones and community healthier. Sickle cell patients may need assistance when in crisis, women and men may need genetic counseling so they can avoid their offspring being ill. (Carrying a two recessive genes), and sometimes just someone a little knowledgeable about their medical condition to talk to.

Do you have a friend or family member with the sickle cell anemia gene? How do you know? Do not assume anything based on race or ethnic group, it is genetic and can be carried from generations past. Have you ever had your genes tested for any genetically based condition? Tell me about it! I am at MsMelissa@Melissaweblog.com

 

 

Currently, my sponsor, GlobalMusic4 Life Inc., is having a crowdfunding campaign on Fundly.com. Our goal is to reach 1 million dollars. That is a huge goal. We are feeling quite big! However our job is big. The goal is to pay off expenses and put give away 200,000 copies of Dr. Kiki Hurt, M.D.‘s book Save Your Own Life: Mini Medical School. How the body works; When to seek medical attention. GlobalMusic4 Life is a 501(3)c nonprofit so donations are tax deductible. Dawn M. Joseph co-authored the book and put in great pictures and tables with an easy to read layout. We are currently selling it on Amazon, itunes, and google play as well as the GlobalMusic4 Life website.  Sells are not brisk, it’s not a book about freaky sex like 50 shades, or about a fantasy world like Harry Potter (both great books, I loved HP, JKR is my hero) but it is a great book.

“Save Your Own Life” contains basic information you should know about the human body, hospitals, medical specialties, and more. In the back there are tables where you can type in important medical data. You have space to type in current and past doctors, surgeries, allergies, cardiac device information, and much more. The book is listed as 24.99 on Amazon and google play (to cover the money they charge to sell them) and 8.99 on itunes and www.globalmusic4life.com The proceeds will benefit GlobalMusic4 Life Inc. The softbacks will be available soon. However for instant gratification, the .pdf, iBook, and android app version are available for immediate download.  I did this and just printed out the tables and wrote the info on them. That way any new doctor or health care practitioner has instant access to my information. I also typed in information on my iPad and android tablets (You know I love tech)

See the links below. I even have a video with me showing the publisher’s copy of the book.   Check out the links and if you have questions, contact me at MelissaMitchell@globalmusic4life.com

 

Love and Light,

Melissa

Links:

My fundly: https://fundly.com/melissaweblog-new-book#

GlobalMusic4 Life crowdfunding fund raiser

https://fundly.com/globalmusic4-life-health-education

 

Me showing Save Your Own Life.. on Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3laDZOxlqM

 

For the pdf to your pc: (cheapest cost, buy it here and just donate the extra for a tax deduction)

http://globalmusic4life.com/store/product/saveyourownlife/

 

For itunes ( iBook)

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/save-your-own-life/id914307539?mt=11

 

Want to just donate? Paypal = GlobalMusic1@aol.com

Or for my fundraiser: Funwoman1@aol.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!!

Happy Holidays Merry Christmas Happy New Years!!!!hiya

Ba humbug! I am going to my sister’s home for Christmas dinner. The running joke is its funny because she is Buddhist, but hey her kid likes it and let’s face it little Miss has developed into a really good cook.

And she is into all the homemade, organic, do it from scratch stuff. It’s like once a year my mom comes to life and hooks me up. Well not this year; not exactly.

Hello GlobalMusic4 Life fans! Hope the weather is nice where you are at. Last time I looked it was snowing in Hawaii and warm in Chicago. (Come on, that’s a little funny, you just know there is some pissed off Midwestern family there saying What the *&^%%^&*!)

This year I start year two of my “healthy lifestyle” That is code for diet. I fell of the wagon because I am kind of a scrooge at holidays but I am back on track now. I get moody and it’s also the time of year were I pinch pennies in anticipation to tax season. Add a broken romance, crazy clients, slow paying clients (I would rather have a crazy one who paid on time) and lack of clients; I was full of self-pity and holiday goodies. I did not do horrifically, but I had moments.

I am back on track now. Later on today I will go somewhere with succulent roasted fresh ham (no salt or water pumped in, organic as a pig can be) turkey that is juicier than any I have seen since, well my mom, and all of the accoutrements that come with Christmas supper. Greens, corn bread, hot fresh rolls (Pillsbury is for punks! Hers are homemade) And then there is dressing, peas and rice, beans and spicy rice, cheese with a little macaroni, cake, pies, uggggh…… excuse me I need a moment.

Ok, here is the game plan. Maybe it will help you too. I get a big plate!  Whoa that is against the rules! I am a rebel, bite me weight watchers and Jenny Craig, I want a big plate. However, ¾ of the plate is salad and greens no meat, ¼ is turkey and a taste of ham, macaroni and cheese, and raw onions and tomato salad in apple cider vinegar. No dressing, bread, fried anything, and no second chances. I drink a glass of water before I start, I think I’ll have a glass of water with a splash of orange juice with my meal. One bite of food equals one sip of water.

Yes there will be dessert. Chocolate rum balls are rum and chocolate infused chocolate cake dipped in magic shell chocolate. I am not into liquor so one slowly enjoyed with water or hot tea no sugar will be cool. It is about ¼ the size of a cupcake, but I am not kidding myself the rum and chocolate are very naughty!

The key is to not indulge in the fattening stuff. Enjoy the people, Drink water like your life depends on it and eat super slowly. It is ok to say no more. It is ok to not “clean your plate” The poor kids of the world will not be fed if I stop myself from pigging out.

Even with my holding back from all the goodies I want, I am still going to be over my calories for the day. So the plan is to go home at a reasonable time. No late night, I work tomorrow. Plus I want to get up early, have some oatmeal or a protein bar and then hit the gym. I may have it all to myself but I know I am a lazy lima bean and I have to just wake up and go. If I start work on my computer or go to making calls or do anything else I will look up and the day will be gone.

I also plan to burn a few calories by embarrassing my nephew by boogie dancing, albeit very poorly, for a few hours in the front. Dancing, water, sleep, exercise: that’s how I will stay on track. How are you going to stay on track? Or will you say bump it; I will diet on the 1st? Ok please don’t do that, you can gain 5 pounds between Christmas and New Year’s. The leftover turkey dressing cranberry sauce sandwiches with mashed potato chaser left overs are dangerous.  Not to mention the goodies that are left over and stuff that folks bought.

So instead of wine or cookies or my rum balls, I am bringing an extra table and chairs! I just pray she don’t kick me out before I taste the ham. I just saying…

Tell me about your Christmas! I am at MsMelissa@melissaweblog.com

 

Love and Light!

Melissa

Anemia

Anemia: Condition vs Disease2014-11-01 14-59-47.287

Good Morning GlobalMusic4 Life fans! It’s a cloudy and crisp day out and I have been very over dramatic and ill. Everything that goes in seems to want to come out! A bad reaction to a strong medicine, I believe. Ugggh. I was thinking about a good topic for this week and I have done some research on Anemia. You always hear people self-diagnosing themselves as if it was a cold but it is something very serious. Let’s look at it briefly. I am not a doctor but we can discuss the basic facts.

First, is Anemia a medical condition or a disease? Well in a way it is both. It can be a condition stemming from different diseases and maladies within the human body. It can also be a disease in and of itself like sickle cell anemia.

Anemia is a condition in the body where there is a short supply of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a very important protein in red blood cells. It transports oxygen from the blood to the cells of the body. It can cause dizziness, shortness of breath, irritability, headaches, fatigue and chills. It affects 3.5 million Americans.

The three main causes of Anemia are: blood loss, lack of healthy red blood cell production (sickle cell syndrome)and high rates of red blood cell destruction ( for example with cancer)

Causes that are common include:

  1. Heavy period
  2. Pregnancy
  3. Ulcers
  4. Colon polyps or cancer
  5. Inherited disorders like sickle cell anemia or Thalassemia
  6. Aplastic Anemia ( can be inherited or acquired)
    1. Can be from radiation therapy
    2. Poison
    3. Some medicines
    4. Certain infections
    5. Inherited
    6. Unknown
  7. G6PD deficiency ( causes hemolytic anemia, 1 in 10 African American males may have it)
  8. Low vitamin B12 or low folic acid/folate ( a B vitamin used to make and maintain new red blood cells, particularly important for early moms.
  9. Low Vitamin C : Helps body absorb iron

Common treatments:

  1. Increase oxygen intake
  2. Raising red blood cell production
  3. Raising hemoglobin levels
  4. Increase iron levels through medicine, diet
  5. Chelation ( used to combat lead poising in kids)
  6. Antibiotics
  7. Hormones ( to combat heavy menstrual cycle)
  8. Synthetic Erythropoietin to stimulate red blood ell creation
  9. Bone marrow donations
  10. Blood transfusions

Food that helps combat Anemia:

  1. Leafy green vegetables like spinach
  2. Red meat and liver
  3. beans and tofu
  4. dried fruit like prunes and raisins
  5. chicken and fish
  6. fortified foods
  7. Citrus, strawberries, cabbage, broccoli

 

Note: too much iron and folate are bad for you. Remember I always preach balance! Read the daily recommended amounts on nutritional levels.

Common types of Anemia:

  1. Sickle cell ( genetic)
  2. Pernicious Anemia ( low b 12)
  3. Iron deficiency anemia ( the most common)
  4. Aplastic Anemia ( rare: low red blood cell count)
  5. Hemolytic ( red blood cells are broken up, can be like Thalassemia which is inherited vs

Leaky heart valves and other medical conditions

  1. Idiopathic anemia ( unsure of one singular case)

Can one totally avoid anemia?

Sometimes we have the symptoms of what we think is anemia and worry ourselves over nothing. Chills and headache could mean the flu. One cannot totally avoid anemia however with the right diet and a good annual physical with blood work can help you find out early if there are any problems.

I believe the key to being healthier longer is a well-balanced diet and exercise. I am trying to do it but it will be awhile before I undo years of bad behavior. I know I will never be perfectly fit or perfectly knowledgeable. My goal is to aim for it as good as I can get. Being better not perfect is the goal.

 

Do you know of anyone with anemia? Have you ever been told you are anemic? Tell me about it!

I am at MsMelissa@melissaweblog.com

 

Eat your veggies!

 

Love and light,

Melissa