Lessons From an Air Cast Boot

invertedbootIn early September, I limped into my doctor’s office and described the muscle spasms in my right calf that had morphed into excruciating ankle pain. While speaking, my mind raced through possible remedies: physiotherapy (my preferred choice) or anti-inflammatory medication (I would grit my teeth and endure the nausea and upset stomach).

“You’re having problems with your Achilles tendon,” he said after inspecting my calf and ankle. “The boot will do the trick.”

“Excuse me?”

“An Air Cast Boot,” he said while writing out a prescription. “You can pick one up at the Home Health Care Center across the street. Wear the boot for four to six weeks and your tendon will be back to normal.”

“What if I just rest and take it easy for a week? Maybe take some Tylenol 3…or something stronger?”

“Do you want to limp for the rest of your life?”

Continue reading on Karen Ingalls’ blog.

The Power of Other People’s Prayers

prayer1When good friend and colleague Ann Melnyk offered to help, she was surprised by my response.

“I’d appreciate your prayers and positive thoughts.”

And she wasn’t alone in that respect. Once they heard about my cancer diagnosis, friends and relatives offered to prepare meals, drive me to appointments, buy groceries and run errands. But I didn’t really need that kind of help. For starters, I could keep very little down and was nauseated by a long list of foods. If I even caught a whiff of tomatoes, garlic, onions or other strong food odors, I would have to run to the nearest bathroom. As for driving me to treatments, I found it easier to book a driver through the Canadian Cancer Society, especially on those cold, blustery days when the roads were treacherous.

But prayers were different.

Continue reading on the Faith and Hope Blog.

A Theme Song for Cancer

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Searching for a bible reading was the farthest thing from my mind during that first month after receiving the diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer. Between appointments and all sorts of tests—biopsy, bone density, ultrasounds—I had very little time to do much else. Once the chemo treatments started, I was barely able to focus on my dwindling list of daily tasks. Continue reading at Jessica Jefferson’s blog.

Loving My Chatty Matty Coffee

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When good friend Fil Derewianko gave me a gift certificate for Planet Bean, I decided to treat myself to Chatty Matty coffee, a delightful blend of lightly roasted and dark roasted beans. This popular blend is only one of the many certified fair trade and organic gourmet coffees available at Guelph’s popular roastery.

Like many Guelphites, I am impressed by Planet Bean’s vision and mission to create the best tasting coffee. Their innovative business model measures success, not only in financial terms, but also in their ability to improve the health of the planet and advance organic production. It is not surprising that they now have three different locations in the city.

While I don’t consider myself to be a heavy coffee drinker, I do enjoy my three cups every morning, well within Health Canada’s recommendation of no more than 400 mg of caffeine each day.

And I love hearing the health experts discuss the many wonderful benefits of this dark brew.

  • In their book, The Happiness Diet, Dr. Drew Ramsey and Tyler Graham state that coffee improves memory and reflexes, reducing the risk of developing dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and depression.
  • According to Dr. Peter Martin, Psychiatry/Pharmacology Expert at Vanderbilt University of Medicine, coffee consumption reduces the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and mortality rates from heart attacks.
  • Dr. Oz proclaimed coffee to be one of the most beneficial weapons in the war against cancer. Coffee is high in antioxidants and has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body.

Healthy Choices Wellness Show

 

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As I wandered through the lobby and large conference room at the Delta Guelph Hotel, I could feel the positive energy emanating from the holistic practitioners and vendors. I enjoyed chatting with all of them and made several connections which I intend to pursue.

Some of the highlights…

  • Friend and fellow writer Sue Ricketts enthusiastically demonstrated the Nordixx Pole Walker.  An hour’s workout can burn between 600 and 900 calories.
  • Energy therapist Lisa Wilvert offered a short Tibetan Singing Bowl Workshop and Meditation.
  • Dr. Renee Paradis described the organic anti-aging facial that she offers at her clinic.
  • Susan Nash, Owner and Director of Body Innovations  provided an informative seminar: What your high heels are doing to your core? She also described the different classes–Pilates, Yoga, Specialized–offered at Body Innovations.
  • I was so  impressed by the entrepreneurial couple who owns Pure Organic Foods that I bought their Organic White Royal Quinoa Grain.

The Joy of Yawning

According to the authors of the book, How God Changes Your Brain, yawning is one of the best-kept secrets in neuroscience.  Dr. Andrew Newberg and therapist, Mark Robert Waldman believe that yawning should be integrated into all exercise and stress reduction programs.

Brain-scan studies have shown that yawning activates the precuneus, a tiny structure in the folds of the parietal lobe. The precuneus plays a central role in consciousness, self-reflection, and memory retrieval. This is one of the hardest hit areas by Alzheimer’s and other age-related diseases. Yawning also helps regulate the temperature and metabolism of your brain.

Evidence has shown that yawning helps individuals on military assignment perform their tasks with greater accuracy and ease.  And Olympic athletes yawn before performing.

So, if you want to maintain a healthy brain, yawn…

  • When you wake up.
  • When you are confronting a difficult problem at work.
  • When you prepare to go to sleep.
  • Whenever you feel anger, anxiety, or stress.
  • Before giving an important talk.
  • Before you take a test.
  • While you meditate or pray.

You may have to fake six or seven yawns before a real one will emerge.

On the Sunny Side

It is easy to be negative at this time of year. The mornings are dark, the weather is unpredictable, and winter is just around the corner. The excuses are endless and, if we’re not careful, we’ll stop exercising and slip back into bad habits.

In their book, So Stressed, authors Stephanie McClellan and Beth Hamilton suggest countering the following negative thoughts with more positive messages:

I’m too exhausted even to think of moving.
I always have more energy after I exercise.

I’m just so slow.
When I started, I was out of breath very quickly. I may not be a speed demon, but I have really built up my endurance.

My whole body hurts from that last workout.
If I stretch well or take a hot bath, my muscles will be warmed up, and I’ll be feeling no pain once I start moving.

I had to skip three days because I had a virus. It’s impossible for me to stay with it. Something always gets in the way.
Each day is a new day, and I can pick up where I left off.

It’s miserable out, so I think I ‘ll just sleep in this morning.
It’s raining too hard for me to enjoy my walk. I think I’ll try that new yoga DVD.

This was the most stressful day at work in a long time. I think I’ll make myself a drink.
I haven’t been this stressed out in a long time. I bet a good workout will help me burn off this tension.