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Archive for November, 2012

That Time of Year Again

Posted on: November 29th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

We all know the feeling. That tired, fatigued feeling, followed by a sore throat or fever, finally culminating in a congested nose and a bad cough. That’s right, it’s cold and flu season again, and while they both presently very similarly, it is important to know the differences between the two.

Wash your hands, avoid touching your face and get a flu shot to resist getting the flu or catching a cold this season.

While a cold can be gotten over in a few days, the flu can develop into pneumonia or another complication that can result in a hospitalization. Here’s how to tell the difference between a cold and the flu:

Colds- take a few days to develop, some sneezing, little chance of headaches, a sore throat, usually no fever or chills, minor aches and pains, mild fatigue, a hacking cough that produces mucus, nasal congestion and mild chest discomfort.

Flu- develops quickly, more sneezing, high probability of headaches, no sore throat, presence of fever and chills, severe aches and pains, severe fatigue, a dry cough with little to no mucus, no congestion and severe chest discomfort.

The treatments for colds and flus are somewhat similar in that antibiotics don’t work in treating either one since they are both viruses. For colds, extra liquids and rest, as well as nasal saline and symptom-reducing medicines can help lessen symptoms and make things bearable. Flu symptoms can be treated with anti-virals such as Relenza and Tamiflu, though these are only effective if started within 1-2 days of symptoms showing up.

At LA Medical we advocate cold and flu prevention techniques to help keep yourself and your loved ones healthy. This means washing hands, avoiding touching your eyes or face a lot and covering your sneezes. We also recommend getting a flu shot to keep yourself protected against the flu.

We hope you and your loved ones stay healthy this cold and flu season, and if you have any home medical needs that come up, please do not hesitate to call us. Stay healthy!

Colder Weather vs. Arthritis

Posted on: November 27th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

Have you ever known someone who says they can predict bad weather coming on because their knees or other joints hurt? While it may be hard to believe that joint pain can be a predictor of colder or inclement weather, many people who suffer from arthritis or osteoarthritis report more pain in their joints when the temperature drops.

The colder weather and drop in atmospheric pressure can make pain from arthritis and other conditions worse.

While the winters are never really that cold here in southern California, temperature may not have anything to do with the increase in pain and discomfort. Rather, it has more to do with the barometric pressure in the atmosphere that accompanies a front of colder weather. In a few studies, patients put in pressure chambers with lower barometric pressure felt more aches in pains.

So, if you or a loved one suffers from achy joints because of arthritis or osteoarthritis, there are a few things you can do to help relieve the pain this late fall and winter from the lower temperatures and pressure.

The first is to obviously dress warmly. Even in the relatively warm Los Angeles winters, the cold can still creep up on you during a day out. Dress in layers that are easy to take off or put on. Remember: it’s better to have too many clothes than not enough. Staying physically active indoors also helps. You can do yoga or other simple home workouts, or try walking around the nearest mall a couple of times.

Warm water can be your best friend as well. Swimming in a heated pool or soaking in a hot bath keeps your joints and muscles relaxed. A little extra vitamin D can go a long way, too. Since vitamin D is created by our bodies when we are in the sunlight, we can be lacking during the fall and winter. A vitamin D supplement helps bones to absorb calcium, decreasing the amount of pain caused by the many forms of arthritis.

If the pain is bad enough, you may need a mobility device to help you get around. LA Medical provides canes, rollators, walkers, wheelchairs and power mobility products for those that need them. We hope you stay safe and mobile as the temperature drops, so contact us if you have a need for a mobility device!

Count Your Blessings

Posted on: November 22nd, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

No matter what holidays you celebrate, there is no wrong time to recognize the blessings in your life and be thankful for them.

With the busyness that this time of year generates, it is often difficult to keep sight of the many blessings and great things we have in our lives. We can get so caught up in things we don’t have, or what others do have that we want, that it is hard to remember the simple things. With that in mind, here are a few ways to stay thankful on a daily basis, no matter your health or position in life.

  • Relax- it’s hard to be thankful when you’re stressed or angry. Take a moment to step back and relax so that you can…
  • Live in the moment- stop worrying about what has happened or what might happen and focus on enjoying where you’re at this very minute. Keep this saying in mind: “The past is history, the future a mystery, but today is a gift which is why it is called the present.”
  • Start with your senses- what amazing things are you seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting or feeling that are in front of you right now? These are the little things and they shouldn’t go unnoticed.
  • Laugh and be lighthearted- have fun in your everyday life, whether it’s laughing with friends, playing with your children or showing affection to someone special. Don’t be the person who takes life too seriously.

Thankfulness can help us avoid stress, anger and other feelings and emotions that can negatively affect our health. Whatever holidays you celebrate this time of year, LA Medical encourages you to focus on the wonderful people and things you have in your life and be thankful for them.

Children: Life’s Precious Gift

Posted on: November 20th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

There are certain things, events and people in life that are placed above all others in importance and how happy they make us. One of those things is having children. From the moment they come into our lives they are the most precious thing that we will ever have. While they may frustrate us to no end at times, we still love them unconditionally.

Our children provide us with great joy and wonderful moments throughout our lives.

Today, November 20th, is a special day for children. It is Universal Children’s Day, a day established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1954 to promote the welfare of children across the world. With this in mind, LA Medical encourages all parents, no matter the age of their children, to do something special for their child today or this week.

It can be something simple, such as sending your college-aged child a care package in the mail, or taking your little ones for ice cream or hot cocoa. There are many things to do with your children around the Los Angeles area, from natural science museums and indoor play places to outdoor tours and scenic horse rides.

This day can also be a good time to discuss with your partner any health issues with your children, whether they need to be taken in for shots, a yearly checkup or finally getting health insurance for them. While they may not think that planning out a visit to the doctor is great for them, Universal Children’s Day is all about your child’s health and making sure they have what they need to grow up strong and successful for the future.

Again, LA Medical encourages you to celebrate with children and their families all over the world today in honor of Universal Children’s Day. Whatever you do, just remember that it is all about promoting your child’s well being and treasuring how precious they are to you.

Holiday Landmines

Posted on: November 15th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

From November through the New Year, there are many occasions that bring family and friends together to celebrate and be with each other. And what is usually at the center of these gatherings? A large meal. These meals tend to be an abundance of high fat, high carbohydrate foods that are rather tasty, but not so great for our bodies.

The many holidays in this part of the year can be challenging to manage for diabetics.

This is especially true for diabetics, who constantly have to be aware of what and how much they are eating to keep their blood sugar in balance. So, how can diabetics make it through the holiday season safely without needing to skip out entirely on the festivities?

Ask for diabetic-friendly dishes- these are your friends and family, so simply ask whoever is coordinating the food and drink for a diabetic-friendly menu. They will more than likely be willing to oblige.

Do not go to dinner hungry- not eating earlier in the day only to eat monstrously later can be disastrous for diabetics. Your body cannot handle all the carbohydrates at once, so think of it as a regular day with a special meal later. Eat normally, go for a walk and keep tabs on your blood sugar just like you usually do.

Portion control and tradeoffs- there’s no need for three helpings of the main dish when there is so much other good food in front of you. Limit your portion sizes, and make tradeoffs when necessary. Go for mashed or sweet potatoes, a roll or a serving of stuffing, and so on.

Following these tips will help you to keep your blood glucose levels in balance and your energy level high enough to enjoy the good times with your family and friends. Whatever holidays you celebrate, we at LA Medical hope that you enjoy every minute of the time you spend with your family and friends over the coming weeks.

Wheelchair Maintenance at Home

Posted on: November 13th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

We all know that our vehicle needs regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly and to prevent it from breaking down. The same can be said for manual wheelchairs. Though they do not look like very complicated pieces of equipment, manual wheelchairs do have quite a few moving parts that need proper care. Luckily, most of these maintenance items are easy enough to be completed at home by you or a helpful loved one.

There are many easy but necessary wheelchair maintenance items you can do at home.

The first day that you have your wheelchair, be sure that you and your loved one or caregiver read through the owner’s manual to learn how to fix common problems. It is also recommended that you apply some car wax to the frame of the wheelchair for easier future cleaning. You should also wipe down the chair daily with a clean damp to helps keep dust, dirt and other grunge from building up.

From there, it is mostly weekly checks on various parts of the wheelchair. The nuts and bolts should be inspected each week to make sure they are tight enough because loose bolts can lead to other major problems with the wheelchair.

Another vital maintenance item to keep an eye on is the folding mechanism if the wheelchair is collapsible. The folding mechanism needs to be lubricated often to prevent damage and ensure good performance. The frame should also be checked often for cracks, and the wheels should be checked to make sure they are not bent or out of alignment.

As a general rule, if you feel like it has been awhile since you have done a maintenance check up on your wheelchair, today is a good time to do one. Most owner’s manuals can help with any problems that you encounter, however if you feel like your wheelchair is outdated and needs to be replaced, LA Medical carries a wide variety of manual wheelchairs in lightweight, standard and transport options. Just let us know how we can help with your wheelchair needs!

Caregiving from the Heart

Posted on: November 8th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

It is quite possible that you see many family caregivers every day without knowing it: the guy who sits next to you at work, the young woman who always rings you up at the grocery store or the cashier at your bank. Family caregivers are people of all ages who decide, whether out of compassion or necessity, that their chronically ill or physically disabled family member or friend needs their support. They are selfless individuals that put the needs of their “patient” above their own. For these 65 million amazing people, November has been dedicated as National Family Caregiver Month.

Family caregivers provide compassionate and efficient care for their loved ones.

Family caregivers provide a unique perspective for patient care. Since many of them are with their loved one for a large part of the day, family caregivers best know the medicinal , treatment, dietary and other needs of their loved one. This makes them very important in the care process despite the fact that most family caregivers do not have a medical background.

That is where the National Family Caregivers Association comes in. Providing educational materials to family caregivers across the country, the NFCA works to promote family caregiver issues, celebrate the efforts of family caregivers, educate family caregivers about self-identification and increase support for family caregivers during the month.

The best way to celebrate National Family Caregiver Month is to join the NFCA; family caregivers can join for free! You can also go here to see how you can spread this month-long celebration to others in your community.

At LA Medical Retail, we recognize the importance of family caregivers in our community. The work of these self-sacrificing individuals drives us to better serve all of our customers. Many of the products that you see in our online catalog help to make the care provided by family caregivers more efficient and easier. We are proud of all the family caregivers in our community and hold you all in the highest regard. Thank you all!

Appreciating the NPs

Posted on: November 6th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

There are more than 155,000 nurse practitioners (NPs) in the United States, and chances are that if you or a loved one has had a hospital visit recently you came in contact with one of these medical professionals. Being able to diagnose and treat both physical and mental conditions, nurse practitioners see wide varieties of patients and are a versatile tool in a hospital. To appreciate the countless hours of vital medical support these professionals provide, National Nurse Practitioner Week was established earlier this year and was set for Nov. 11-17.

Nurse practitioners provide quality, patient-focused care and are a vital part of any hospital.

What makes nurse practitioners so important to the health care system in the United States? At a time when the shortage of health care providers is a national news topic, nurse practitioners provide high quality, comprehensive, patient-centered care to millions of Americans. NPs are licensed and highly educated medical professionals, with most having master’s degrees and many having their doctorate degrees as well. This solid foundation of education allows NPs to be very flexible and have a variety of specialties ranging from adult and family to psychiatric and geriatric.

The main goal of Nurse Practitioner Week is to raise awareness among Americans of the amazing things that NPs are doing. With over 600 million visits to NPs happening every year in the United States, they really are a vital part of the health care system. LA Medical would like to encourage everyone to find ways to help shine the light on these vital people for this week.

You can invite local and state authorities to visit your favorite NP’s practice site, obtain a proclamation from your mayor, governor or other authority for the week or write an editorial to your local news paper. You can also visit the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners website (http://www.aanp.org/) to find all sorts of resources for this week.

Nurse practitioners do so much for us and our loved ones. It is time to repay the favor and show them how much we appreciate them!