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Happy Healthy Fourth of July

The Fourth of July was always a fun time for my family. From the moment we woke up in the morning until we went to bed at night, there was something fun planned all day on the Fourth of July. Yes, my family started the day off with a plan. We usually knew what was happening and the order in which it was going to happen. Here are some tips for you to plan to have a happy, healthy Fourth of July. Image courtesy of 1. Remember the water. Many Fourth of July activities happen outside at parks, picnics, carnivals or even outdoor vacation areas. Like any other summer day, it's important to stay hydrated and make sure that water is available for family members and pets. Even if you aren't participating in the family softball or volleyball game, simply sitting in the sun all day can make you dehydrated. Dehydration can make you feel tired, give you a headache, and may even make your muscles feel sore. The best drink choice for hydration is water. 2. Cook and cool

Summer Water Safety

A few years ago, I attended a seminar called "Traumas of Summer."  Several different topics were covered including mechanism of injury, biking safety, accidents in children, and even emergency response. However, the part of the training I remember the most, the part that is still the most vivid in my memory were the horrifying images when people did not practice water safety. The state trooper who ran the session showed picture after picture of people who had been caught in boat rudders. Their bodies were mangled almost beyond recognition. The rudders had turned their bodies into almost human sausages. The sad part is that those events happen on the waters in our state and around the country every day. The accidents may be prevented if people practiced more water safety. Photo by Jeanette R. Harrison 1. Wear a lifejacket. Some people think that when boating, "I'm a good swimmer, so I don't need a lifejacket." You may still need a lifejacket. What

Don't Forget the Sunscreen

I'm sitting here now red-faced, wishing that I, in fact, had not forgotten the sunscreen today. The weather where I live was not particularly hot, although it was sunny with very few clouds in the sky. I felt my face was hot when I stopped by the fountain to splash some cold water on my face and head and to take a drink. It wasn't until I looked in the mirror, red-faced with white circles around where my sunglasses had been, that I realized I forgot to put sunscreen on my face. Now, I will get to spend the next few days with a sunburn, and the summer with a "who is that masked woman" tan on my face. I do use a moisturizer on my face every day that has SPF 15 protection. That is the minimum sunscreen protection that is recommended for sunscreen. I also use the same moisturizer on my lips for sunscreen protection. I find that it works better than lip balms or lipsticks, which tend to rub off easily, clog the pores in my lips, or exacerbate cold sores or mouth blisters

Race Day

After months, actually make that years, of walking every day and challenging myself, I finally registered for a race. I was happy to have registered at least. That's the first step to any goal is to decide to do it. As race day started getting closer and the forecast looked stormy, I thought to myself, "I might not do the race. I might have to stay home." A few minutes of introspection, and I told myself I had to do it. If the race was going on, I had to be there. I owed it to myself. I wasn't going to be "that person" who says she is going to do something and then never does. I woke up early the morning of the race. Technically, my dog woke me up at 5:00 am because he had to do his business in the yard. I woke up, pulled my hair back, and let my rat terrier and my pomchi out into the yard. Even in the early morning, they were running and playing. When they came back in, I went back to bed for a few minutes. At 5:45 my alarm went off. I was excited, my hea

Sexual Assault and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

In one of my former roles, one of my duties was to collect sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) lab findings, determine if the treatment had been given, notify the patient if the treatment had not been given,  and report the findings and data to the health department. I also provided data management and training support to the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) program at a Level I Trauma Center. The specific training support I provided was for STDs. When a person is sexually assaulted, the perpetrator is highly unlikely to have any care or concern about the health and well-being of the victim. The perpetrator is not going to tell the victim, "Can you hold on a second, while I put on a condom?" Instead, whatever possible STD the assailant has, the victim is at risk of contracting. STDs transmission is a hidden epidemic since it is often a taboo topic discussed. The top reported infectious diseases in the United States today are chlamydia and gonorrhea - both STDs. A

Creating Floating in the Sea: A Collection of Poetry

One of the first big papers we were assigned in my healthcare management course in graduate school was the evaluation of whether management was an art or a science. Of course, management is both an art and a science, and managers are artists and scientists and social scientists and philosophers and educators. Management is not one-dimensional. As such, managers themselves are not one-dimensional, either. Years after I had finished my graduate program, I learned that the professor who had assigned the paper was himself an artist - a painter. Although I wrote as a hobby, I never considered myself that creative. Several members of my own family were artists, but drawing was not in my DNA. I created pictures with words and wrote "stories" as my family called, although my writing really fell more into the realm of descriptive narratives and poetry. Last year, I decided I was going to read more. I had always enjoyed reading, and I felt like I was falling behind in the popular l

Week 14: Keep On Walking

This week's post is a little late. I wanted to wait for the end of the Billion Steps Challenge and National Public Health Week so I could see how we ended up with the challenge. If you have been following along with the walking goals from Week 1, you will know that we started off with 1,000 steps a day for five days a week. Each week, we incrementally increased those goals by 1,000 steps. Finally, this past week, we reached 14,000 steps. I must admit, however, that I did hit 15,000 steps this week, simply because of the path I take while walking. As a result, the HHWWalkers, ended up number 56 out of 350 teams. That means we performed in the top 16% of walking teams, just by incrementally increasing our steps every week by 1,000 steps. Now that the Billion Steps Challenge is over, the real challenge begins. That challenge is to keep on walking. Over the past several months, we have walked in the cold, in the rain, in the sunshine, in the wind. We have walked in living rooms, base