The Weight Loss Counter Revolution

betterPeople frequently tell me that they have difficulty with exercise.  They don’t know where to begin.  They don’ t have gym memberships or, if they do, they don’ t know what to do when they get there.  They don’t have time.  These and many other excuses prompted me to come up with a four week challenge to help people get started on the path to improved fitness.  The challenge will involve four different easy, at-home, no equipment workouts to be done every week for four weeks.  Each of the workouts is timed and the goal of the challenge is to improve your time over the four week period.  This is a challenge where the only person you compete against is yourself.  

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Hello everyone,

MERS CoV = Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is an illness that affects your respiratory system. It is caused by a type of virus called coronavirus.  Symptoms can be mild to severe. Incubation on average onset of symptoms is 5 – 6 days, lasting 2 – 14 days.

Origin:  A cousin to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).  May be transmitted to human from camels, bats or goats.

Cases:  MERS was first reported as earily as 2012. It has been mostly found in countries in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Yemen.  According to medical research studies, recent reports of MERS have been documented in parts of China, African and few cases in United States.

Causes/Effects: Viral infection of human lungs and airway.

Medical Cure:  There are no cures or a vaccination for MERS.  There are no antibiotics known to treat viral infections such as MERS.

Research:  Much is still being discovered about MERS such as immunosuppression causes related to the increased morality; viral treatments and a possible vaccination are also being research.  Like most viruses, MERS usually have to run its course. Symptoms may be treated under the care of a physician.  Currently laboratory protein specific neutralizing antibody testing in mice is being tested for treatment in humans with MERS.

Diagnosis:  Sputum sample, chest x-ray, blood tests, nasal/throat swab, stool sample and any other tests ordered by physician and Infection Control staff.

Clinical Presentation:  Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) may accompany MERS and also include fever, shortness of beath, usually productive cough, gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases kidney failure and pneumonia.  If MERS infection is spread throughout body, septic shock can occur and death may occur due to the complications of organ failure causing a fatal drop in blood pressure that may be irreversible.  This is more apparent in immunosuppressed older adults and children under 12 years old.

Mortality:  In some cases the symptoms are severe and can lead to death. 4 out of 10 persons reported with MERS have died.  Most had underlying medical condition such as at risk person with cancer, diabetes,chronic heart/ lung disease, weakened immune system, and kidney disease.

Hospital: Isolation/Quarantine:  “Droplet Precaution” with “N95 Mask” appropriate fitting or the respirator “space suit” with patient placed in private negative air flow rooms.  Nurses and physicians will ask about recent travel,  medical history,  and inquire about where, when, who and how one may have been exposed to MERS including foods eaten and any possible exposure.  questions are important

Some Great Preventative Tips:

  •  Good handwashing/hygiene often
  •  Facemask if you must go out in pubic (e.g.doctor’s office, grocery, pharmacy).
  •  No kissing.
  •  Stay away from sick people.
  •  Take care to cover your coughs sneezes in disposable tissue or into the inside of your elbow.
  •  Make sure you are given appropriate vaccinations when traveling out of United States.
  •  Clean your environment with antibacterial and antiviral cleaning products regularly, especially in kitchen and bathroom, and during flu season.
  •  Healthy diet.
  •  Physically fit.
  •  Positive attitude with meditation/prayer.
  •  Stay home and keep children at home if fever greater than 101 degrees F.

Treat Symptoms: Prescriptions and OTC (over the counter) medications such as Advil, certain herbal teas (e.g: green, lemon tea) for your symptoms prescribed by physician. Make certain allergies to medications are mentioned to physician.  Rest to recover.  Fluids to prevent possible dehydration such as water, and a healthy diet.

Question:  Should air travel persons in and out of United States to “hot spots” be checked at an airport medical area for fever and other sympptoms?  Should travelers including flight attendants be given face mask, disposable gloves and education?

Please consult your physician and/or licensed care provider for any questions and concerns.  This article intent is to share information only not to diagnose or for treatment of any medical disease or illness. 

“Live Life Healthier” – The HealthyCross staff.

The Human Rights Warrior

Photo credit to my son Sevrin Photo taken by (and used with permission from) my son Sevrin at his high school sailing team practice.

As I write this, there are seven teens asleep in my basement.  My son and his friends came back from their high school dance in high spirits last night. Laughing and joking loudly, they boisterously descended on my kitchen, devouring everything within reach (even some chips that I thought I had hidden pretty well).  These guys were the human equivalent of an invading colony of army ants, foraging insatiably through my refrigerator.

Now these boy-men are dead to the world, asleep in a puppy pile on my basement floor.  And I have to be honest – I am loving every single thing about these teens.   In fifteen plus years of parenthood, I have grown accustomed to – perhaps, in some ways, inured to – the many and diverse aspects of wonder in…

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What is Clostridium difficile?  It is better known as C-difficile or C-diff.  You may have heard of this illness here lately on the news.  However, this is not a new illness.  C-difficile has been around for decades affecting those patients in long term hospital settings.  According to 2010 statistics C-diff has increased in frequency most prevalent in hospital patients whose average hospital stay was long term. Because C-diff spores are shed in stool, these spores can live in the environment and on surfaces for months.  In hospitals these patients are to be confined to a private room and placed on Contact Isolation precautions.  However, recent news reports of C-diff has occurred outside of the hospital or after discharge with the risk of spreading the infection to caretakers and communities.

Diagnosis of C-difficile

  1. C-difficile has to be diagnosed by proper collection of stool sample. After the laboratory receives the specimen, evaluation of stool sample through specificity, special chemical agents, toxigenic culture, and other microbiological screening can determine presence of C-difficile. The time it takes to make a final diagnosis can take a few days as it is slow to culture.

Signs and Symptoms of C-difficile are:

  • Diarrhea may be with a mucus or blood in the stool occurring 3 or more times a day for 2 or more days. Severe cases will have watery diarrhea 10 – 15 times a day.
  • Fever
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Nausea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss

Complications are:

  • Dehydration
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Sepsis
  • General system inflammatory response
  • Kidney, gastrointestinal disease
  • Increase incidence of fatality especially in elderly.

If any of the above signs and symptoms apply to you or your love one, especially if you are on antibiotics, please contact your licensed healthcare provider or physician as soon as possible.

Appropriate Treatment for C-Difficile

Mild to moderate treatment includes stopping antibiotics being given for other purposed if possible.  Otherwise, treatment usually begins with Metronidazole or Vancomycin for mild-to-moderate infection for the recommended duration of time prescribed by physician.

Recently, research has found new variants and strains which can make infection difficult to treat or longer use of treatment. What makes this infectious bacterial nuance difficult to treat is that C-diff is sticky.   Therefore, it is imperative that healthcare workers as well as those in community use preventative measures listed below:

  1. Use strict hand hygiene initiatives such as good hand washing with warm water and antimicrobial/antibiotic/antiseptic soap rubbing hands vigorously up to 60 seconds making sure to wash entire hands, fingers, nails, and dry each thoroughly with disposable paper towels. This is especially important after using the toilet and before eating, and before and after patient care or those who have contracted C-difficile.  Research has found that alcohol hand gels alone are not effective to prevent spreading C-difficile due to gels being sticky.
  2. Use at least 0.5% chlorine solution or bleach and water based mix disposable wipes on environmental surfaces in contact with person. Disposal of toilet tissue and wipes into trash or flushing are essential.
  3. Soiled undergarments and laundry to be washed in warm soapy water separate from other laundry. Disposal type undergarment should be discarded in plastic trash bags.
  4. Education regarding C-diff and how it is spread including any healthcare professionals, family and friends who have contact.
  5. Early detection.

The intent of this article is for basic information purposes only. It is not to diagnosis or treat individuals. please contact your physician or primary healthcare provider.

Public awareness of “superbugs” has increased in the United States and it affords healthcare professionals an opportunity to educate the general public and patients who look forward to receive what we have to give which is one of the most important goals of The HealthyCross.

Live Life Healthier!

 Vickie RN BSN

Join us on social media and look for more health care information coming up soon at The HealthyCross website.

Agreed the future of health and technology has begun, and will be the future. Good post.

Psyche's Circuitry

Picture by Helen Weinstein

A great essay from the Wall Street Journal on the promise and challenges of the smartphone revolution in healthcare – from mobile physical exams, to merging day-to-day health data from wearables with medical records. A key – and underdeveloped – innovation here will be to integrate health tracking with mobile therapies. This transformation of healthcare – both physical and mental – is going to happen, and it is up to us, as patients and professionals, to make sure that it is done right, with the privacy and well-being of the individual as top priorities.

I’ve been interested in some emerging companies, like Mana Health, that are on the cutting edge of this revolution because they are solving the problem of how to effectively merge clinical data with health data collected in the daily lives of patients, and directly empowering patients to have a clear voice in their healthcare and greater collaboration with doctors.

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Measles a New Epidemic?

Lately, there has been a resurfacing of a disease that has caused some anxiety in healthcare in the United States.   Recently, an outbreak of measles has made the headline news in case you have not heard.  These cases are believed to have originated in California at Disneyland and has grown to 95 cases reported recently by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), from January 1 to January 23, 2015, 68 people from 11 states were reported to have measles. Most of these cases are part of a large, ongoing outbreak linked to the Disney Park in California. On January 23, 2015, CDC issued a Health Advisory to notify public health departments and healthcare facilities about this multi-state outbreak and to provide guidance for healthcare providers nationwide.

The United States experienced a record number of measles cases during 2014, with 644 cases from 27 states reported to CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). This is the greatest number of cases since measles elimination was documented in the U.S. in 2000. The U.S. experienced a record number of measles cases last year, with 644 infections from 27 states despite being largely eliminated in 2000 according to the CDC.

We can understand the increase of questions and concerns regarding recent cases of measles.  We would like to share some information that can be helpful to our readers.

Measles – Measles is a highly infectious viral illness. The virus lives in the mucus of the nose and throat of people with this infection.  This disease is spread by physical contact, coughing and sneezing.  In addition, infected droplets of mucus can remain active and contagious for around two hours. This means that the virus can live outside the body – for example, on surfaces and door handles.  It usually takes  7 and 18 days (average of 10-12 days) to develop symptoms after being infected. (This is called the incubation period.) You are infectious and can pass it on to others from four days before to four days after the onset of the rash.

Measles – Once a person is infected with the virus, the virus multiples in the back of your throat and in the lungs. Then spreads throughout the body.  Listed below following are the most common symptoms of measles:

  • Usually a runny nose is first sign, a high temperature (greater 101 F), and sore eyes (red and inflammation).
  • Small white spots usually develop inside the mouth a day or so later which can persist for several days.
  • A harsh dry cough.
  • Tiredness, lack of energy, and aches and pains are usual.
  • Diarrhea, nausea and/or vomiting is common.
  • A red/discolored blotchy rash normally develops about 3-4 days after the first symptoms. It usually starts on the head and neck, and spreads down the body. It takes 2-3 days to cover most of the body. The rash often turns a brownish color and gradually fades over a few days.
  • Children are usually the sickest and most miserable for about 3-5 days.  Afterwards, the fever breaks and diminish, and then the rash begins to fade.

According to studies of diseases,most children are better within 7-10 days. An irritating cough may persist for several days after other symptoms have gone. The immune system makes antibodies during the infection. According to medical research, these antibodies fight off the measles virus and then provide lifelong immunity. It is therefore rare to have more than one bout of measles.

Clinical Picture – Some people mistake rashes caused by other viruses for measles. Measles is not just a mild red rash that soon goes. The measles virus causes an unpleasant, and sometimes serious, illness. The rash is just one part of this illness.  Clinical complications of measles include:

  • Infections of the airways, such as bronchitis and croup cough
  • Laryngitis (inflammation of the voice box).
  • Ear infection causing earache
  • Conjunctivitis (eye infection/pink eye).

Intervention – Immunizations have come a long way.  Sometimes, we may not realize how important vaccinations are to protect us from diseases that can make one very ill or be fatal.

One year before the introduction of the measles vaccine in 1962, there were 481,530 reported cases nationwide. In 2004, there were 37 cases, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That number has been creeping up steadily each year.

The CDC recommends all children get two doses of MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. The agency and most other medical organizations state that the vaccination has led to a 99 percent reduction in cases of the measles in the U.S.

Measles can be a deadly disease

Check with your clinician or physician to make sure immunizations are up to date, age appropriate and your physical condition warrants getting vaccinated.

It will also be very important to wash hands regularly and thoroughly, use disinfectant wipes to clean surface areas regularly, keep yourself clean and use disposable products, use face mask to cover nose and mouth when in contact with infected persons and when infected person leaves confinement of room, air purifier in room or home where infected person will spend most time, drink clear liquid fluids, healthy bland soft foods, fruit, veggies,soups, and what taste good and healthy. Children may enjoy a frozen fruit pop, or sliced apple/apple sauce for example.  Contact your doctor or nurse immediately for concerns or questions such as high fever (greater than 101 F), diarrhea (liquid stool that are more than 5 – 6/day), nausea/not eating or drinking, or vomiting. Call 911 for emergencies and listlessness (fatigue, slow to respond or difficult to alert).

  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be taken as directed to ease aches and pain, and fever.  Keep the child cool.
  • Antibiotics do not kill the measles virus (or any virus) and so are not normally prescribed. They may be prescribed if a complication develops, such as a secondary bacterial ear infection or bacterial pneumonia.

Prevention – root of taking care of our body to maintain health and wellness.  This begins with better nutrition or fruits and veggies high in vitamins and minerals, drink healthy fruit/veggie juice and plenty of water daily.  To prevent spread of disease/illnesses stay at home if fever greater than 100 F, wash your hands regularly during the day especially after being in/using public facilities.  Wash for at least 45 seconds to 1 minute and dry thoroughly with disposable paper towel, antiseptic gels and foams are acceptable.  Some are nicely scented too.  Being healthy includes physical activity, prayer and mediation.  Get enough sleep at bedtime to replenish and refresh.

High Risk Findings –

According to the CDC:

  • The majority of the people who got measles are not vaccinated.
  • Measles is still common in many parts of the world including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa.
  • Travelers with measles continue to bring the disease into the U.S.
  • Measles can spread when it reaches a community in the U.S. where groups of people are not vaccinated.

The Healthy Cross takes care to compile and provide current information to our readers. Our goal is health and well being across one’s life span.  If you or your loved believe you have come into contact with an infectious person contact your physician immediately to receive treatment.  Consult with your physician about a MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) titer if you are not sure you were vaccinated as a child.

Live Life Healthier!

The Healthy Cross Staff

  • Guidelines on Measles, Health Protection Agency (2010)
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2015               


Any publications contain the opinions and ideas of The HealthyCross™ and its author. Publications in print or electronically are distributed with the understanding that the author(s), appceteraMD, The HealthyCross™, publisher and all constituents is to provide information only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other licensed health care providers, article(s) herein is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical condition(s), including any information content on or in any information form contained on or in any product, label or packaging. You should not use the information for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. You should consult with a licensed health care professional before starting or changing any medical regime, medication, diet, exercise or supplementation program,and/or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.  © Copyright 2015 by The HealthyCross™ All rights reserved.

Thankful Thoughts

Well, it’s the time of the year when the weather gets cooler and the leaves turn into beautiful different colors of reds, yellows and variations of greens. Most Americans look forward to Thanksgiving Day with family and friends.

Thanksgiving for a believer is a special holiday set aside to give thanks and celebrate God our Creator for blessings and gratitude for your harvest. Thanksgiving is usually celebrated with family and special friends who gather together for prayer, fellowship and a traditional feast. The fourth Thursday in November is recognized by most people in the United States. Most Americans will serve turkey and dressing, cranberries and all the trimmings as a traditional feast.

What Thanksgiving mean to believers across the world? It is interesting to read and speak with people in others in parts of world, who may lack many resources we use every day, celebrate and give thanks for what little they do have, to go to school, in many cases rations of food, and other freedoms and also to participate in praise and worship with the threat of harm, hurt or being killed. Some of us take those freedoms for granted. For some, Thanksgiving is celebrated with fasting, prayer and communion and for others huge festivals and feasts and special religious ceremonies.

Another part of being thankful in this Thanksgiving season is the part of giving. One thing to be mindful of, especially for the believer, is to have the attitude of giving everyday throughout the year. Give out of your heart to the suffering. Also, give thanks to God for whatever is going on in your life great and not so great at any time. Well, what about a roof over your head though it may not be your dream home? What about clothes and food? What about loved ones and memories? Aren’t you thankful for the prayer, hopes and dreams of so many possibilities that can come your way?
These are some things to provoke one to think and remain prayerful and hopeful expecting God to move on your behalf. You can begin to find peace in what and why we of being thankful. Seasons change nothing last forever. We all are moving and in constant change hopefully for the better.

We all can find something, someone or some situation to be thankful. Well, if you are reading this you are alive. Thank Him for the gift of life. He gave His Son for you in the name of Love. His gives mercy.
Thessalonians 5:18; Matthew 5: 13 – 16; Colossians 3: 15 -17; Romans 8: 28 and Romans 3:21 – 26.  (Holy Bible KJV).

Help to Prevent Salmonella

The best way to thaw a frozen turkey is in its wrapper in a refrigerator according to turkey weigh in pounds on a tray or in cold water in a kitchen sink making sure the cold water stays cold! The rule of thumb is to thaw in the refrigerator per pound per hour. For instance, for every 5 pounds of turkey thaw 24 hours. Many turkeys have a label suggesting thawing times.
In preparing a cleaned and seasoned turkey, place turkey breast side up in a turkey roasting pan tucking the wings under shoulders, and add about 2 cups of water to bottom of pan. Place aluminum foil loosely over the turkey and tuck loosely around the edges of the pan set timer on oven according to roasting time instructions and temperature. Allow for the last l hour for browning of the turkey to a golden brown basting with a prepared basting glaze or melted margarine. Make sure turkey is done by checking the thermometer probe and the instructions. Most turkeys come with a thermometer and instructions times to roast unstuffed versus stuffed turkey.

Approximate Turkey Cooking Times:

UN-STUFFED TURKEY
4 to 8 pounds………….1-1/2 to 3-1/4 hours
8 to 12 pounds…………….2-3/4 to 3 hours
12 to 14 pounds……………3 to 3-3/4 hours
14 to 18 pounds……………3-3/4 to 4-1/4 hours
18 to 20 pounds……………4-1/4 to 4-1/2 hours
20 to 24 pounds……………4-1/2 to 5 hours

STUFFED TURKEY
8 to 12 pounds…………….3 to 3-1/2 hours
12 to 14 pounds……………3-1/2 to 4 hours
14 to 18 pounds……………4 to 4-1/4 hours
18 to 20 pounds……………4-1/4 to 4-3/4 hours
20 to 24 pounds……………4-3/4 to 5-1/4 hours

After serving the turkey wrap any remaining portions in foil or place into sealed container and refrigerator as soon as possible to prevent bacteria and spoiling.  Ideally, this may be done right after last portion is served.

Common signs and symptoms of salmonella infection within 8 – 48 hours are as following:
Abdominal discomfort such as cramping, pain or tenderness
Nausea/vomiting/diarrhea
Chills/fever
Muscle pain

… and Intervention:
If you believe you or a loved one has contract the Salmonella infection contact Urgent Care as soon as possible. For the young children and the elderly may need to visit Emergency Department as soon as signs and symptoms manifest.

  • Prevent dehydration by drinking 8 – 10 glasses of clear liquids a day.
  • Replace lost electrolytes with sports drinks.
  • Eat several small bland meals per day include thin soup, broths, potatoes, applesauce, low citrus fruits such as bananas.
  • Also contact the person or restaurant responsible in preparing the meal immediately.

Vickie Draper for TheHealthyCross.com

Please visit our website for upcoming insightful healthcare information.
Live Life Healthier!

To help prevent spreading of disease, increase hand hygiene, minimize contact, containment of infection, and seek medical treatment.  These are basics, but essential for health and well being.  What will be next, gloves, gown, and mask?

Stay healthy!

Sara in Peace Corps Guinea

I wanted to share some of my favorite photos of my time in Guinea. 

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Thanks for sharing.
This will help educate many.
Be safe and prayerful.
Thanks for what you all do!

Sara in Peace Corps Guinea

Today volunteers in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia received the information that we will be sent home for an undetermined amount of time as a cautionary move against the rising risk of Ebola.

Electron micrograph image of the Ebola virus. Electron micrograph image of the Ebola virus.

Friends and family back home are overjoyed at the news, but volunteers in-country are stumbling around in a state of shock. Projects that have taken months of sweet-talking the authorities, grueling grant applications, planning every step of the way have to be left now – postponed indefinitely. Bags must be packed. Close of Service dates for volunteers preparing to leave will be moved up. Pre-service training has been stopped dead in its tracks for the recently arrived group of volunteers. Somehow, we must all find the words to explain to our friends and host-families the harsh truth that we are leaving and don’t know when we will be back.

The…

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