There’s a pill for that

Today’s society seems to rely on a pill or medication for everything, with many doctors quick to write a prescription to get their patients out the door.  Everything from acne, anxiety, mood swings, constipation, mental decline and insomnia to Attention Deficit (ADD), high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, asthma and more is treated with medication instead of researching why the problem exists in the first place.  Fixing the symptoms instead of fixing the underlying issue is what I call a “band-aid fix”

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Reasons like an unhealthy lifestyle, poor diet, lack of exercise, increased sugar and GMO consumption, reliance on man-made drugs, as well as sensitivities to foods and environmental toxins are often overlooked because they take too much time to pinpoint and change.  It is faster and more convenient to pop another pill.

Today we are finding out just how dangerous these prescription drugs can be.   Throughout the years it has been common for high school and college/university students to experiment with alcohol and drugs.  The relaxed to euphoric feelings and reduction of negative emotions associated with their use is enticing.  What the users often do not realize is that both alcohol and drugs depress the nervous and respiratory systems so too much of either can diminish that euphoric feeling or buzz pretty quickly.

The problem today lies within the type of drugs being used as well as the combination of drugs and alcohol.  Painkillers such as Fentanyl and Percocet are a prevalent choice because they are readily prescribed, easy to get (often from household medicine cabinets) and result in a quick buzz.

  • Fentanyl is an opiate, prescribed for moderate to severe pain (often for cancer patients) but is fifty to one hundred times more powerful than morphine, and up to forty times more powerful than heroin.
  • Percocet is prescribed for mild to moderate pain, but in addition to the opiate oxycodone, Percocet contains acetaminophen (aka tylenol) which is toxic to the liver.  Alcohol use alone causes liver stress and damage; adding Percocet to the mix can cause complete liver failure, coma, and death.

If the availability of stronger drugs isn’t enough of a problem, counterfeit drugs such as Fentanyl-laced Xanax are popping up in communities everywhere adding unknown lethal chemical compounds in unknown doses to the mixture.  These synthetic versions, often produced in China, shipped to Mexico then smuggled into the USA and Canada, are readily available in large amounts on our streets. They are causing a rampant amount of overdoses causing liver and respiratory failure and often leading to death.

Here in Kanata, a local dad is bravely speaking out about his own struggles with his daughter’s addiction.  Going a step further, he is organizing meetings for parents to talk about and find ways to deal with this growing nightmare.   A local teen is speaking up too on the attraction and dangers of counterfeit drugs.

On a national level,  perhaps some of the money raised recently (annually) through the Bell Let’s Talk could be set aside to remove the band-aid and get to the root of this problem with our youth.

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Thyme in a bottle

Thyme is a natural herb that has been used for centuries due to its medicinal and disinfectant properties.  This article by Healthy Food House reminded me of the many uses for thyme that I knew about, plus many I had never heard of.

 

In my home,  I use a product from the MELALEUCA line of products, called Soluguard, whose main ingredient is thyme.  I use my “thyme in a bottle” as a disinfectant on countertops, floors, walls, shower stalls, door knobs, and more.  It is a wonderful alternative to toxic household cleaners.  It also makes a great deodorizer (from garbage cans to stinky boots, shoes and sporting equipment) and stain remover all over the house.

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In the garden, I use my thyme in a bottle to disinfect plant pots and to keep bugs from eating my plants.  It also makes a great disinfectant and skin soother on any cuts, scratches, stings and rashes I get from working in gardens all day.

My thyme in a bottle is amazing!

First grandchild born on Family Day

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What better way to celebrate Family Day than to welcome our first grandchild into our family?  The parents were expecting to get a phone call scheduling them for an induction, but their baby had his own plans. Our grandson arrived this morning (very) shortly after a race to the hospital in the middle of the night.  I guess the baby wanted to beat the rush hour traffic LOL.

The complications I talked about in a previous post are still a factor, but hopefully under control.  CHEO, (Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario) where the baby has to stay for monitoring over the next few days, is next door to the hospital mom delivered at so she and my son can spend as much time as possible with their new baby.

Grandma’s coat and boots are ready at the door, just waiting for the all clear sign to go visit!

Happy Family Day!

Trash Nothing

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I recently became acquainted with a cool website aimed at preventing our landfills from getting filled up with reusable stuff. Here in Ottawa,  Trash Nothing lets you post ads for things you want that someone might have kicking around their home or for things you have collecting dust in your home that you want to get rid of.  It’s a win/win situation, recycling at its best.  Items are not sold or purchased; they are given or received for nothing.

For example, a few weeks ago we replaced the air vent covers in our home.  I posted an ad for the old vent covers on Trash Nothing and several people responded.  I dropped off the vent covers to an appreciative recipient.  Simple.

Sign up today and get rid of your old stuff.  Or, have a look at the items in the offered category to see if there is something you could use.

 

Anger, laughter and your immune system

 

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It has been said that one minute of anger weakens your immune system for four to five hours, while one minute of laughter boosts your immune system for over twenty-four hours.   I’ve read these statements several different places recently; I believe scientists are on to something.

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Think about it for a minute.  When something or someone angers you, your blood pressure rises, your heart races, and you get a sick feeling in your stomach.  I know I do.  But did you realize that the sick feeling you get can manifest into something more sinister if it persists?  The sick feeling spreads throughout your body, causing stress on all of your organs.  It has been scientifically proven that stress has been linked to many health conditions and disease states.

Conversely, after a good laugh, you feel great and stress or tension is relieved, improving your mood, your outlook, and even your physical appearance!  I posted an article about the scientific benefits of laughter a while back.  Yesterday, when chatting with a dear friend,  I was reminded how anger can cause stress; inspiration for today’s post.

If you find yourself in any relationship that evokes prolonged and unresolvable anger, angst, tension, stress, or sadness, move on and let it go before you cause any permanent damage to your health!

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Find a purple bin to donate used clothing to BBBSO

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Did you know donations of used clothing has become a competition?  Many organizations (charitable and otherwise) have contracts with distributors to make money from your donations of clothing and small household items.  This is not a problem when the proceeds fall into the right hands, to be used for the right reasons. Unfortunately, there are those that prey on the opportunities intended to promote generosity and compassion for the less fortunate.  Donation bins are popping up everywhere, and not always in approved locations.  If not approved and supported by the City of Ottawa, they will be removed.

If you wish to keep reusable items out of our overflowing landfills and support a non-profit organization that provides mentors to at-risk youngsters in our community, check out this option.  The Ottawa branch of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Association (BBBSO) is spreading the word and dropping off their distinctive purple bins to collect donations of old clothing. These PURPLE BINS are approved by the City of Ottawa, maintained and monitored by the BBBSO, with all proceeds going to the BBBSO.

There are many ways you can support the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program.  Individuals can donate money or donate time by mentoring a youngster.  The emergence of the purple bins in Ottawa has now made it even easier for individuals and organizations to provide support in our community.   Organizations can organize a clothing drive or apply to have a purple bin (maintained and monitored by BBBSO) at their location.

The Big Brothers and Big Sisters program has always been somewhat of a tradition in the Sliter (my maiden name) family.  My cousin was the first executive director and co-founder at the Cornwall branch for many years.  My brother, nephew and I have all mentored several youngsters.   My nephew is the past president and on the board of directors here in Ottawa.  He also drops off purple bins to approved locations:

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Check out the purple bin link above for details on how you can get involved in this wonderful cause.  You may start a family tradition!