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A Medication and Vitamin Review Can Save Your Life and Money

Vitamins

My father is on a ton of medications for his heart, lungs and circulation. Part of this sentence of endless pill popping is his own fault for not taking better care of his health or listening to the doctor when he was told to stop eating so much red meat, ice cream, potato chips and candy. But 25 percent of his prescriptions were actually his doctors’ faults. I say “were,” because I discontinued them. Yep, me, the RN, said “you’re not taking these.”

After a month-and-a-half of my dad being in and out of the hospital, I was steaming. The one doctor that I talked to a couple times was condescending and never put my father on a monitored floor when he was admitted. With my father’s heart history, I knew that was a bad call and would catch up with him quickly. How exactly do you put a patient with an extensive cardiac history on new meds and see what those new meds do to the heart rhythm, which is already irregular, without putting the patient on a monitored floor? Jackass. I tried to put my foot down, but my parents both said “the doctor knows what he’s doing.”  Uh huh. Okay. Don’t call me too early in the morning when you’ve called the ambulance — I’ve got coffee in hand about nine.

So yes, this practice caught up with my dad, twice, with irregular heart rhythms that made him so dizzy that he collapsed and with a hand so swollen from side effects that my mother was worried the skin would burst. After two ER visits, with the squad called (yes, early in the morning before 9), I took a bunch of my medical reference books and the tablet to my parents’ home and spent more than two hours going over every prescription in my father’s daily regime. I’m still shocked at the ineptitude of his physicians in prescribing meds that fucked up his heart medications’ effectiveness.

It’s been a month and he is walking better, is in far less pain, has no dizziness or irregular heart rhythms that he didn’t already have, and his vascular doctor said the circulation in his legs is much improved. The hell you say.Thank you, garlic.  Yes, I took him off drugs and a couple of vitamins and replaced them with herbs. The vitamins weren’t awful, they were just too high in potency and were part of the reason he was in pain…. that Vitamin B6 is a temperamental thing and can cause joint pain in high doses.

Had I not done the medication review, he might have died. Two of his newer prescriptions were counteracting the effectiveness of his heart meds. It’s no wonder he ended up on the floor. Had I not done the vitamin review, he may have been put on more medications to manage his pain. He didn’t need more of anything. He needed less. Patients don’t usually know that a medication review MUST be done anytime that a new medication is prescribed. If a patient has more than one prescription, the possible interactions and side effects MUST be checked frequently because side effects can occur at any time as a drug builds up in the body. A medication review can be done by any nurse, but is best done by one who also knows and understands vitamins, herbs and nutrition. Why spend money on medications when you can eat some celery? (That’s effective for inflammation and arthritis, by the way.)

I Was a MacGyver Nurse

English: A roll of silver, Scotch brand duct tape.

I saw the title of the article below and almost spit coffee on my screen. What nurse isn’t a MacGyver nurse?

I worked the night shift for years and let me tell you, you come up with some pretty inventive workarounds when you can’t get the supplies you need or the person with the key to the shortage area, who is also unfamiliar with the shortage area, can’t find the thing you need, but you know damn well, it’s in stock, but you’re “not allowed back there!”

I know the article is about slightly more technical workarounds, but I can’t tell you how many times I thought, “if I only had a glue gun or some duct tape I could build what I need.” Nurses are nothing, if not inventive. Pill cups and urinals get used for a lot more than simply their intended purposes. 😉

http://www.healthleadersmedia.com/content/NRS-297084/MacGyver-Nurses-Build-Their-Own-Solutions

Walk this Way…

English: Workout room.

I know it’s been awhile. I took time out to get involved in local theatre, see lots of productions, get my daughter on track to visit colleges, start my graduate degree application and generally just learn to relax a bit more.

Now that that’s handled, it’s time to be mean again. Well, I’ll ease into it anyway… I’m still all relaxed and mellow from a nice summer. But don’t expect it to last, my lovelies!

Let’s start with EXERCISE. Do you hate the word as much as I do? Yeah, probably. That’s why I keep a pedal thingy under my desk, so I’m always working without realizing it. BUT, if you don’t have one of those thingys, you can still walk.

When Christmas decorations start showing up in the stores, it’s time to get proactive about those holidays pounds that will surely creep up on you because God only knows that next month begins the feasting, and the easiest workout to keep the pounds off is walking. You’ve been doing it all your life, so you’re already an expert. Think of it that way.

YOU ALREADY HAVE MAD SKILLS WHEN IT COMES TO THIS!!! 

It’s also the least expensive workout you can do, and the following links teach you how to do it better.

I like the easy, breezy tone, of this first one, and I’ll be incorporating some of the ideas into my walking routine.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/08/the-art-of-the-perfect-wa_n_4017552.html?ref=topbar

For this next one, I’ve done the walking/jogging backwards thing and even the side gallops – note, start slowly with the side gallops until your feet get comfortable with the movement. But, this video take treadmill walking to a whole new level and it_is_awesome!

Bookmark this site to watch on your phone or tablet the next time you’re at the gym! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/08/treadmill-whole-body_n_4039718.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living

You’re going to be walking later today anyway, or even in a minute or two…. so take a longer one. Add a few minutes to it. See? You’re already working out.

 
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