Conflict of interest

How refreshing it was to watch the two part BBC programme ‘The Doctor who gave up drugs’ it certainly was thought provoking and revealed such blatent clash of interest between the medical profession, drug companies and producers of non-cow’s milk! Dr Chris Van Tulleken showed just how our children can be helped with alternatives to drugs for such issues as AHD and teenager depression including mindfulness.

Friends know that I am anti-drugs so it comes as no surprise I would agree with his findings. However, it does disappoint and alarm me that GP’s seemingly dish out anti-depressants to children and the bereaved when counselling and emotional support is the safer bet. I know some parents will scream and say unless you are living with a child with these challenges you have no idea..but I would rather not put a child’s life and well-being at risk. The second part showed how some teens were suicidal after their dosage of certain anti-depressants being increased and that is not just coincidental.

It was extremely worrying to see Dr Tulleken’s visual presentations in terms of the sheer volume of drugs our children are taking as well as the horrendous amount of Calpol we are administering to babies and young children.

Today I am not ranting just concerned but maybe more so that the documentary revealed how drug companies and babymilk manufacturers fund Doctors’ educational conferences where their products are certainly marketed well…if that isn’t a conflict of interest then my name isn’t Manning!

Dementia Action Week

Regular lovely followers will  know that I like to help with dementia awareness and this week it is Dementia Action Week. An extract from one of my articles follows:-

Benefits of communication for people with dementia

We are all aware of how dementia changes people’s lives and those around them. I won’t talk about worrying statistics but what I can recommend is seeking as much help and advice as possible. Sadly for those loved ones who might be the main carer they may just stumble upon a few leaflets in the doctor’s surgery but do not find time to explore just what is actually available.  I thoroughly recommend carers, friends and family to contact The Alzheimer’s Society – leading the fight against dementia. Please check out their website as they have an amazing library of extremely useful literature which is readily accessible and free. www.alzheimers.org.uk.

My theme for a Christmas project 2017 was  ‘Love, Kindness and understanding’ and I see these three ingredients as vital for helping those who are fighting this challenging and cruel disease on a daily basis.

The Alzheimer’s Society’s National Helpline is: 0300 222 1122

 

Struggling with dementia

Yet again I feel compelled to rant about the lack of support for families with a loved one facing the challenge of dementia. It is like a form of bereavement as partners and children see their loved one seem to disappear beyond recognition.

As a carer it is so very difficult to have any resbite and so often the carer becomes ill and emotionally drained. After all they are not trained experts but are sent away from a doctor’s surgery with very little knowledge or information on how to communicate with somebody who is living in a very scary if not frustrating world. Too often dementia patients are taking to day centres where they may not actuualy want to be, it can be intimidating and perhaps one-to-one interaction would suit them better so seek help from a professional locally to you.

For those that are struggling please seek help and remember the Alzheimer’s Society have great information available and all free. If you are looking for a new charity/cause to support then please put this illness on your list.

Stroke awareness

I was pleased to see ‘Call the midwife’ this week featured a young mother who suffered a stroke. Any awareness is useful as knowledge is of course power in life. What a great deal of people do not realise is that strokes can happen at any age it’s not just the elderly. However, often elderly people may suffer a slight stroke (TIA) in their sleep and on waking just feel ‘unwell’.

Our family are stroke aware as we lost our Dad age just 44 to a massive cerebral haemorrage. I also had a slight stroke in my early forties though cause was never discovered.  I do as much as I can to raise awareness with stroke symptoms and just as importantly the stroke charities which do such great work supporting stroke suvivors and their families.

The Stroke Association have local support groups and quality information which can prove so useful when having to meet and discuss your situation with medics. Please visit their website:-

http://www.stroke.org.co.uk

 

Christmas Tree Festival

For my local followers just reminding you all to find time to visit St Saviour’s St Albans Xmas Tree Festival which starts Saturday 16th opening at 12.00.

This is a beautiful event held at one of my favourite local churches entrance is free but donations are welcome. From the 16th -23rd there will be a number of events held with something for everyone and all ages. The Cafe is open all week until 4.30 daily. Aside of the various day time activities and craft fair please check for services on their website http://www.ssaviours.org

The wonderful display of trees is all sponsored and decorated by local charities and organisations. This year my own tree (jointly sponsored with Visual Merchandising) is to help raise awareness for Dementia and the Alzheimer’s Society, so if you manage to get along you will find our tree in the Lady chapel.

 

What’s under the surface?

A lot of my friends and colleagues have ventured into pastoral type roles the past few years and recognise the importance of the support they give more often than not as a vocation to our struggling teens.

Modern life is a stressful path for our students aside of the stress of exams they have a lot of what many may see as self-imposed pressure via modern media. However, the emotional pain runs deep for many who suffer with various forms of peer pressure, cyber bullying and body conscious issues.

I am reminded today how we cannot always notice the signs as it is difficult to help somebody who is doing everything they can to hide their feelings. The following simple example explains a lot!

Think of a flower and its roots: The flower is things you can see happening  – what people say and do.  The roots are things you can’t see  – what people feel and think!

Delve deeper, ask the questions and give your children the platform to share they are our most precious gift.

To those in education holding the purse strings invest in our youth they are the future! We need more funding in pastoral departments not staff cutbacks.

Breast Cancer Awareness

My regular and lovely followers know that I like to help charities and causes with awareness and October as we know is breast awareness month. Today is, I am told,  ‘wear it pink‘ day for the Breast Cancer Now charity. I hear and I obey and I am suitably attired in pink.

For my own family we are very ‘aware’ of breast cancer having lost my maternal Nan and Aunt to this particular cancer and had my own scares. I will say however, that for all of us, every week, month should and must be breast cancer aware and regular examination is crucial – as with many types of cancer the earlier we discover anything untoward the better chance we have of maybe beating the odds.

For anyone caring for a loved one with any type of cancer ensure you get any support that is available for both your loved one and yourself.

Make the most of everyday and make it count.

Purrfect night sleep

Those of us who are animal lovers all know that our pets are upset by severe weathers or stressful situations. My she cat Maisy is fretting after my daughter’s return to university so along with plenty of attention I use a plug in calmer.

This week of course the strange weather has unsettled my furry family and a little bit of wind picking up outside last night set Maisy off as I was getting in to bed. After ten or fifteen minutes of trying to settle her I decided to put the plug in calmer on using the landing socket.

Well last night I had the best night sleep in a very long time, my daughter informed me that I am high on cat nip! Close friends have re-confirmed their long term suspicions I am indeed ‘the crazy cat lady’ Come to think of it maybe that’s why I’m growing whiskers…and I never have liked the hoover!

For my male and science guru followers: Why is it that Scientists can perfect space travel but still we await a silent hoover…funny that eh?

P.S. Today’s disclaimer: I am not personally recommending that any humans use products meant for animals…or vice a versa!

 

Dementia awareness

It has been my privilege to work within the field of dementia and follow on-going research into this particular challenge that so many families are facing on a day to day basis.

As with any medical condition research is vital and the Bio Medical Research Centre at UCLH London support training and resources for research including dementia. Please read their excellent interview with Jonathan Schott on their website link follows:-

http://www.uclhospitals.brc.nihr.ac.uk/news/world-alzheimer%E2%80%99s-month-qa-dr-jonathan-schott

 

image001 research logo

 

Positive healing

Some years ago I attended a patient recovery meeting held at my local hospital. The staff and speakers made it quite clear that the ratio for recovery lies 20% with surgeon and 80% with patient. I will clarify by saying it was said with regards to hip and knee operations but I know it applies to far more and not just in terms of operation recovery.

If exercise is part of the recovery journey then we must do it, if rest is recommended for other treatment then we should take heed too. However, I am in no doubt, and due to own personal experience, that positive healing comes from within and how we use our mind to heal the mind and the body is vital.

Positive healing may come to us via those that love us and help us when we are suffering physically or mentally, and, the medical experts… not forgetting our wonderful nurses who tend to our practical and emotional needs when in hospital. Often a few kind words and positive approach will register far more than the pain killers.

Over the past ten years plus I have had amazing support and treatment from a London hospital and my specialist has an incredible positive presence. A few minutes of speaking with him one feels better, based on trust, his expertise and his approach to his patients.

When we are ill we are all at our most vulnerable and that is when we really truly appreciate how we are treated and supported. However, the most important person in our endeavours to be well and strong is of course ourselves. Applying mindfulness, being positive, but realistic in our step at a time recovery will enable us to achieve our goal.

Keeping fit and positive in mind will always help us to recover from any illness or help us come to terms with any limitations that illness may bring, it should be preventative rather than cure. However, if we are struggling it is better to be honest and talk to those that can help…but only if they know.

A Dr  uttered a few simple words to me once ‘you will get through this‘ and he was right I did. But his faith and positivity have never been forgotten.