The Daily Quote: Facing Difficulty

perseverance

There are two kinds of people.

The first type of individual seems to experience a lot of ‘ups and downs’ in life. They often feel like they have ‘bad luck,’ or can’t seem to ‘catch a break.’ This person is often stressed by life changes and may suffer from depression. This person may do a great deal of praying, but it is usually for money or relief of a stressful situation. They often feel like their prayers go unanswered. It’s common for this type of person to feel and exude a sense of hopelessness, powerlessness, and victimization in many aspects of their life.

Then, there’s the type of individual who, when faced with difficulty, buckles down, holds tight to their faith & focus, & trudges on. This person’s disposition is seemingly disconnected from adversity or negative outcomes. This individual has a set attitude & outlook that doesn’t depend on day-to-day events, luck or misfortune. This type of person often prays for patience & the ability to cope with whatever situation they are facing. Acceptance is a common mentality, along with perseverance. This person doesn’t feel victimized or plagued by ‘bad luck’ when bad things happen; they see it as part of the journey. This individual turns their experiences into life lessons, & often, in retrospect, sees blessings in their difficulties.

I try to be the latter type; the person who faces difficulty with a positive attitude. The one who smiles in gratitude for an easy day, and likewise smiles in gratitude on a difficult day – knowing that God is teaching me something or improving me with whatever challenge I am facing.

Which type of person are you?

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – Bible (James 1:2-4)

“How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for his affairs are all good, and this applies to no one but the believer. If something good happens to him, he is thankful for it and that is good for him. If something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is good for him.” – Hadith (Narrated by Muslim, 2999).

The Daily Quote: A Selfie Side-Effect

“…experts say the rise in selfies, including group shots, has given rise to an unwanted, invisible, louse photo-bombing otherwise perfect pictures.”

As a school nurse, I see lice quite regularly. They are pesky, relentlessly returning critters that give even the bravest Moms the heebee-geebees. Even in the nicest schools, in the wealthiest of families, I sometimes find cases worthy of a third-world country in the heads of the most charmingly-dressed little girls.

Lice do not discriminate.

And now, older siblings & even adults are contracting them. I have come to realize that after a certain age, Parents do not see their children up close. Much less, rummage through their hair.

I have seen lice crawling in a child’s head from 3 feet away.

Lice crawl from one strand of hair to another. They cannot jump or fly. Selfies provide the perfect opportunity for lice to spread quickly from one person to several. Cases have increased, nationwide, among teenagers without siblings, & adults.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention provides information on lice & treatment options, as well as many other diseases & conditions.

Some popular over-the-counter lice treatments are:

Treatment typically involves a shampoo, combing out & picking out nits (eggs) by hand, & repeating the process. It is necessary to search the hair & pull out nits daily, in addition to shampoo & leave-in treatments, as nits can still hatch after treatment.

You can also find professional lice treatment services in your community. Some are located in salons, & some will even come to your home & guarantee their services.

 

The Daily Quote: Allahu Akbar

“Attackers in Paris and Mali shouted the phrase “Allahu akbar” before firing shots and killing people. “Allahu akbar” translates simply to “God is greater.” Muslims explain how misuse of the phrase has affected their lives in the U.S.

They discuss the media sensationalism, religious extremism, Donald Trump and fascism, and their cultural adjustments because of the backlash.”

Lisa Biagiotti, Contact Reporter, LA Times

Source: The Misuse of ‘Allahu akbar’ and how the phrase has been co-opted by terrorists

The Daily Quote: A Diamond

“A Diamond is just a piece of Charcoal that handled Stress exceptionally well.” -Unknown

I’ve been spinning my wheels lately. I’m completely burnt out. Physically, mentally, emotionally, creatively, & even spiritually.

I do not feel like a diamond. I am neither sharp nor polished. I feel frazzled. Rough. Sluggish. Foggy. Sad. Tired. I am working so hard, but accomplishing very little because I can’t seem to give 100% toward anything.

“Have you ever felt like your life is just on auto pilot and you’re just constantly doing and going and moving and working and accomplishing and basically sacrificing your thoughts for constant activity? If that’s you, then you need to stop. You need to pause. You need to breathe. You need to think about the things you’re doing.”

I stumbled across this article about burn out. So if you are going through it, too, I highly encourage the read.

Source: Of Health: Taking A Mental Break

The Daily Quote: The Monster that is Depression

ominous

“I can sense it coming on, slowly. I can stand on my front porch & see what’s out ahead of the storm. I can watch the enormous, mile-high black clouds rolling in. There are days of near-darkness before the storm even reaches me”. – Anonymous

“It’s like watching yourself be swallowed by something, seeing its teeth & throat open up & watching yourself be eaten, from the bottom up, inch by inch by inch. I’m screaming inside for days, as I feel myself being swallowed by the monster that is Depression.” – Anonymous

“Slowly, over the course of a few days,  I become like a cardboard cutout of myself. My colors start to fade to beige-brown, & the shape becomes less & less human. This blank, flat, beige-brown piece of cardboard drags itself through my day, raking its edges ragged, soggy & dirty from dragging the ground. It is all that is left in my place. It doesn’t experience feelings. My emotions become jumbled & numb. My thoughts as well. I barely function for weeks, until finally, my normal form begins to return.” – Anonymous

There is a great article called, What Does Depression Feel Like? that accurately describes some of the real, non-clinical symptoms of people experiencing depression. Here is a list from the article:

  • Things just seem “off” or “wrong.”
  • You don’t feel hopeful or happy about anything in your life.
  • You’re crying a lot for no apparent reason, either at nothing, or something that normally would be insignificant.
  • You feel like you’re moving (and thinking) in slow motion.
  • Getting up in the morning requires a lot of effort.
  • Carrying on a normal conversation is a struggle. You can’t seem to express yourself.
  • You’re having trouble making simple decisions.
  • Your friends and family really irritate you.
  • You’re not sure if you still love your spouse/significant other.
  • Smiling feels stiff and awkward. It’s like your smiling muscles are frozen.
  • It seems like there’s a glass wall between you and the rest of the world.
  • You’re forgetful, and it’s very difficult to concentrate on anything.
  • You’re anxious and worried a lot.
  • Everything seems hopeless.
  • You feel like you can’t do anything right.
  • You have recurring thoughts of death and/or suicidal impulses. Suicide seems like a welcome relief.
  • You have a feeling of impending doom – you think something bad is going to happen, although you may not be sure what, and/or…
  • You have a very specific fear that torments you constantly.
  • In your perception of the world around you, it’s always cloudy. Even on sunny days, it seems cloudy and gray.
  • You feel as though you’re drowning or suffocating.
  • You’re agitated, jumpy and and anxious much of the time.
  • Your senses seem dulled; food tastes bland and uninteresting, music doesn’t seem to affect you, you don’t bother smelling flowers anymore.
  • Incessantly and uncontrollably into your mind comes the memory of every failure, every bad or uncomfortable experience, interview or date, like a torrent of negativity.

If you are living with Depression, you know that not all people have the same symptoms, but you can relate to one thing for sure; you don’t want to suffer at the mercy of a disease or be labeled & judged because of a diagnosis. You are who you are. Depression is not who you are; it affects your ability to be who you are. It affects your ability to cope with normal daily situations & responsibilities. It affects your ability to love & be loved.

Depression is both mental and physical. It can be caused by physical & emotional trauma. It can also be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. Therapy and/or medication can help. Not all people suffering with Depression become suicidal. Some people experience chronic physical symptoms like fatigue, weakness, widespread pain, & headaches, as well as changes in mood & anxiety.

What is Depression?

What Causes Depression?

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK

 

 

The Daily Quote: Snort, Sniffle, Sneeze…No Antibiotics, Please!

It’s that time again – cold & flu season!

As a school nurse, I treat a variety of illnesses & injuries on a daily basis. My door has been a turnstile of ick, sick, & yuck lately. Seasonal allergies, indoor allergies, & cold & flu viruses are rearing their ugly heads…all at once!

My students (and teachers) are miserable. And to tell you the truth…so am I. Sneezing. Sniffling. Runny noses, sinus pressure & headaches, ear aches, coughing, mucus, wheezing, rumbly tummies, chills & fevers, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea…the list goes on.

One important fact remains…

Any and/or ALL of these symptoms can be caused by viruses. Why is that so important?

Because antibiotics do NOT work on viruses.

slapping-batman-virus-meme

Examples of illnesses caused by viruses are:

  • Influenza (the flu)
  • Gastroenteritis (stomach flu)
  • RSV
  • Croup
  • Chickenpox
  • Most rashes
  • Many coughs

Antibiotics do not kill viruses. Treating these illnesses with antibiotics is ineffective & leads to antibiotic resistance. Some viruses, like the flu, pneumonia, & chickenpox can be prevented by getting vaccines.

Some illnesses that do require antibiotic treatment include:

  • Strep throat
  • Pneumonia
  • Many ear infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Sinus infections

How do we treat viruses, if we can’t kill them with antibiotics???

We treat the symptoms while the virus runs its course.

  • Rest – your body may need extra sleep and/or naps while it is fighting an infection.
  • Hydrate – drink plenty of fluids (non-sugary/non-caffeinated).
  • Treat fever, pain, and/or inflammation – Medications like Ibuprofen can treat all 3 of these symptoms. Read packaging & instructions carefully, as some over the counter medications contain more than one medicine.
  • Treat cough & mucus – a different cough medicine should be used for productive cough, to help clear mucus from the airways. A cool-mist humidifier will also help keep mucus thin & soothe irritated nasal passages & throat.

Click here for different types of cough medications & when to use what

  • Treat nausea/vomiting/diarrhea – Replenish electrolytes with Pedialyte or a similar electrolyte solution. Drink water & other clear liquids. Eat light until your stomach feels right. 
  • For the flu, your doctor may recommend you start taking Tamiflu as a treatment, to possibly lessen symptoms & shorten the course of the virus.
  • Non-medicinal treatments – There are a variety of ways to alleviate symptoms that involve no medication at all.
    • Warm compresses – for ear pain, stiff neck, head ache, & body aches
    • Warm soak – for body aches
    • Salt water gargle – for sore throat
    • Ginger root tea (honey optional) – for sore throat, cold, flu, & inflammation
    • Turmeric milk tea – calming, creamy, warm drink, thought to be effective in treating cold & flu symptoms. Turmeric & the flu.

 

Here’s a cute video released by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) just for fun:

The Daily Quote: I Get It

“The difference between ‘I know’ and ‘I get it’ is that you know what you have to change but you don’t get why you have to change it. Aim for ‘I get it.’ – Mariana Pan

Source: Get this

One of my biggest pet peeves growing up was having to do something without being given a reason why. “Because I said so.” was a favorite of my parents. I struggled with math; algebra in particular. I often asked my teacher why we needed to learn algebra. It wasn’t out of disdain, but rather out of my personal desire & need to operate with a purpose. It was a tool that facilitated my learning. The teacher took it as an insult, & therefore avoided me completely. I barely scraped by with D’s on my report card.

Years later, elbow deep in college algebra & panic, wondering if I would ultimately fail at a career in nursing because of my debilitating fear of algebra, I finally “Got it.”  My head spun with the realization. It wasn’t so much about the numbers & letters; it was the thought process.

If my teacher had only told me that algebra was preparing me for critical thinking skills, I would have had that ‘Eureka’ moment years earlier. Before the D’s on my report card, the tears, & the anxiety that sent me to the school nurse during math class.

The mental road blocks I had suffered likely would have cleared almost immediately, had I understood that algebra was teaching me how to think; to problem solve, to delve into multi-level problems & to follow through an extended thought process. Remembering the values ‘a’ & ‘b’ represented & solving for ‘x’ were just a game. It was a class for brain development. Learning formulas & being able to apply them to different problems, learning to render a mathematical equation from a word problem, apply a formula, & find the answer…it was all mind games. It was not worth the tears. Knowing this now, as a Mother, before my children venture into learning math – LIFE IS GOOD. 🙂

The question my children most often ask me, at four & six years old, is, “Why…”

This question is so vital to every aspect of their development. I have only a few times caught myself in mid-sentence, spewing out the answer given by generations & generations of Moms & Dads before me,

“Because I said s….”

I have made it part of my duty to try to always give them a reason why they are doing something. I remember how much easier it was to learn something, remain motivated, follow directions, or just do what my parents asked me to when I knew why I had to do it; when I could see the big picture. When I teach them something, or when they come home from school with new knowledge, I don’t just want them to ‘know’ it, I want them to ‘get it.’ With a smile. With confidence, empowered with reason & motivation. They are not robots; they are people.

Life is so much sweeter when we ‘Get it.’ 🙂