Jersey Shore Journal

Jersey Shore Journal - Life and Times at the Jersey Shore

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Can We Talk? Health

Can We Talk? Hi Lovelies…Hope you are all surviving Winter and are counting the days til Spring…then Summer!

This time every year I get my yearly check up at the doctor and blood work, see my gynecologist for a Pap smear and get a Mammogram (for early detection of cancer, don’t forget self exams too). I also see my dermatologist twice a year to check for Skin Cancer since both my parents have had Malignant Melanoma. Changes in moles can kill you and early detection is key! Don’t forget sunscreen SPF 15 or higher, a hat and sunglasses. Many clinics and hospitals offer free screenings. Why not call and ask?

Over the counter dermabrasion, moisturizers and drinking lots of water are necessary for good skin health. (I am not a trained medical person at all so please take this article as my opinion and always check with your dr… is also a great resource for info)

I recommend keeping your own health file because as we get older we forget what year we had certain things and they all run together…Memory, ADD?... I also keep a list of all the medications I take.

Your blood work tells a lot about you…your cholesterol…blood sugar…I am a firm believer in Prevention, eating healthy and exercise. I have been doing a 3 mile walk video ON DEMAND…lifting weights and stretching are also good. Sweets and fats in moderation. I am trying to limit my red meat intake.

For breakfast – Oatmeal or All Bran (for regularity)& OJ Coffee/green tea – Lunch and dinner- Salads, salmon, tuna fish, low fat yogurt, evoo, fresh fruits and vegs, apples, blueberries, broccoli, carrots, beets, avocados, almonds and walnuts. Benefiber in water or pill is another way to help with regularity. I enjoy eggs for protein in moderation.

I take 1200 calcium & D, important for strong bones and warding off osteoporosis, a multi vitamin, fish oil to help fight high cholesterol and heart disease. A baby aspirin may help prevent a stroke. Check with your doctor. A bone density dexascan helps track your bone health.

I take meds for High blood pressure and low thyroid… High blood pressure can be a silent killer. Low thyroid can produce slow metabolism and make it difficult to lose weight.

We are blessed to have excellent health insurance and one of the best doctors in our area. When I have needed treatment for a breast cyst, stomach pain from diverticulitis and concern of a blood clot I have been able to have an MRI or Cat Scans the same day. We have the best health care in the world but costs continue to skyrocket. Hopefully the Supreme Court will rule Obamacare unconstitutional and new reforms including tort reform will begin to be debated.

Exercise even walking is so good to burn calories and help your circulation, important for a healthy heart, and keeping weight off is good for your knees and to prevent varicose veins. Calf Stretching can prevent planter’s fasciitis.

Dental and eye health are also important. As I get older I realize the importance of flossing, because the plaque that is allowed to remain on your teeth and gum area begins to corrode your teeth and may result in needing your tooth to be pulled and then the expense of an implant $3,000. or root canal and a cap. Also VERY EXPENSIVE. I have been blessed to have Lasik surgery so I no longer need to wear glasses, but you need to check for glaucoma and cataracts.

Have you ever had a migraine? They can be debilitating. I have not had one in about 10 years, but my triggers were lack of sleep, PMS, allergies/sinus headaches, red wine or champagne and my doctor said that being hormonal does play a role. I got a migraine when I was in Western Canada and also at the Grand Canyon. (The time change and lack of sleep were triggers there.) I used to take Imitrex spray to combat my migraines.

No health discussion can be complete without talking about cigarette smoking. Whatever you have to do to quit smoking, do it! Stop today…it is never too late. I have heard some discussion that anti depressants might help people quit smoking. Talk to your doctor. I think people should even be hospitalized to help them quit or go to rehab. The same with drugs or alcohol…If you sense you have a problem or your life is out of control talk with your doctor. We should never drink to cover our problems but face them head on. Drinking along with some medications is very dangerous so please talk to your doctor.

That is where counseling and mental health issues are important. I strongly believe depression is 100% treatable. Medication can help with imbalances in the brain and talking to someone, either a counselor, minister or trusted friend is a start. Anxiety, Insomnia and restless legs, in the world we live in are understandable as well. Some things are genetic, and we should never be embarrassed about admitting a weakness. Without a good night’s sleep, we lack the energy to face the day and lack of sleep over a period of time is very bad for our health. Journaling is a great way to put your thoughts down and get them off your chest. Spending time in quiet contemplation and praying are important in my life.

I also believe in rating your mental health and any pain issues. On a scale of 1 to 10…10 being the worst…how sad are you? How anxious are you? How much pain are you in? If you chart this, it is a good way to communicate to your doctor how you are feeling. “The Feeling Good Handbook” is a great book as well as “Brain Lock” for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

When you turn 50…it is time for a Colonoscopy. It is such an important test and if anything (a polyp) is detected it can be removed right on the spot. It is a rite of passage for all those turning 50! Do all you can do to stay healthy for yourself and your family!

Have you survived menopause? Well it’s coming ladies...Hot flashes, restless sleep, moodiness…lowering the temp in the bedroom one degree and wearing lighter pjs helped me. What have you found to work?

I’ll end with the “S” Word…Sex…so important for our overall health and a healthy, vibrant marriage too. Putting your marriage at the top of your list is very important, even before the kids.

Please remember “Every day is a gift” and teach your children“Hugs are better than doing Drugs.” Please let me know if I have missed something that you have been dealing with or something that has really worked. Hugs, Jennifer aka Gigi

FYI- CPR & Signs of a Stroke

Signs of a Stroke Call 911 Immediately

Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body

Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding

Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes

Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

Hospitals can not turn you away.


  1. Love the cig pic... hey.. would you like to work with me.. you're pretty good!

  2. we all know what is right to is the challenge to do it all the time...or at least most of the time..Sweets are my downfall too... and staying at home I am temped to cook something decadent...especially after reading food bogs, watching the food network or Rachael Ray...but adding exercise at least i am burning some cals...

  3. we all know what is right to is the challenge to do it all the time...or at least most of the time..Sweets are my downfall
    too... and staying at home I am temped to cook something decadent...especially after reading food bogs, watching the food network or Rachael Ray...but adding exercise at least i am burning some calories!

  4. Really informative post today!! I even learned about the calf stretches preventing fasciatis! I didn't know that and had it for 3 years!! Thanks for the good tips!!

  5. Hi Donna, Glad you enjoyed the post! We want to stay healthy for all our grandchildren!!

  6. Hi Jennifer,

    Wow what a informative covered so many crucial elements to staying vital and fit for a good long time!
    thank you for this post

  7. thanks Bunny! you are a survivor and a real inspiration!