Pharmaceutical Prescriptions ~ Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should!

pharmaceutical drugs, prescription medication, cancer

pharmaceutical drugs, prescription medication, cancer

I got pretty irked with the system the other night. Which system? The medical-pharmaceutical system.

Shocking, I know.

I believe there’s a staggering level of  overuse and abuse of this system. I believe that the irresponsible way this system is utilized is THE reason the health of our country is worsening with each passing year.

I think people go to “The Doctor” far too much. The symptoms I hear people go to the doctor for just boggle my mind. I think people take far too many drugs. I think doctor’s prescribe far too many drugs. I think pharmaceutical companies produce too many drugs… and create far too many new “conditions” that “require” their drugs.

Yada yada.

The system ain’t goin’ anywhere anytime soon.

It’s up to us to be smarter consumers.

It’s up to us to take care of our own health, and reserve the use of the system for true emergencies and crisis care… because that’s where it at least has the potential to shine.

Not the case with the treatment of serious, chronic, degenerative illness. Certainly not the case with the prevention of these illnesses. And don’t even kid yourself that the system could possibly help you achieve “health”.

Taking responsibility for our health doesn’t go over real well with a large segment of the population.

So, the cycle of chronic illness, and the financial damage that results, shall continue.

Anyhow, I’ve uttered a few times in recent years, that I believe pharmacists play a critical role in the current “healthcare” system (sickness care is the accurate term).

Far too many times, I’ve heard of patients being stopped by a pharmacist who has caught the fact that this patient has been prescribed duplicate drugs by multiple doctors.

Gee, I’d hope that a doctor ~ someone who has taken an oath to protect the patient ~ would have caught this before prescribing yet another drug, but, sadly, that’s often not the case.

Relax. I’m sure your doctor is great and would never let this happen. It’s everyone else’s doctors!

But the other day, the pharmacist my dad goes to for advice (Lord help me) made a big mistake, in my opinion.

Let’s back up.

One year ago, my dad began using a catheter as a result of the effects of metastatic prostate cancer. Within a week or two, he began showing signs of a bladder infection. He ended up doing some lab work to confirm, and was prescribed antibiotics.

Nothing unusual so far.

I’m not even sure how this all unfolded, but I remember Dad saying his symptoms had improved a few days later… and then we let it go after that.

I made the assumption that “the system” would take care of it. After all, it was a ‘simple’ infection.

I can be naive when it comes to trusting the system, too, evidently.

Nobody followed up with my dad. He finished the  antibiotics and felt better. Not perfect, but better. He still had some symptoms, but he just assumed they were normal.

I dunno’. Hard to check on the details of someone’s bladder infection when you live in another country!

So, he had no follow up testing. No follow up doctor’s appointment to confirm that he was out-of-the-woods. Nothing.

When he told me he felt warm, then cold, then shaky, then light-headed, and so on, I had to make some calls and shake the system into action.

It wasn’t until I started making calls that I found out he had been left on his own.

Ultimately, his body hadn’t cleared the infection. It was now stronger and more gnarly than it originally was. Dad ended up with a serious kidney infection that wasn’t even ‘caught’ until after we almost lost him and he was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

Amidst my fear and deep concern at the time, I seem to recall being a bit irked then, as well.

Fast forward to the present.

He just started using a catheter again a couple weeks ago. Guess what? Yep. Signs of infection within a few days, off an on.

I said, make an appointment with your family doc to get some testing and get on it right away this time!

So, like any good parent, he ignored me.

He waited a week. Then, went to see his “good friend”, the pharmacist.

My father is a very difficult man for me to raise.

After Dad shared his symptoms with his Pharm Friend, he told Dad,

“You need an antibiotic… usually, it needs to be prescribed … BUT, wait! Let’s see if I still have your prescription on file FROM A YEAR AGO… that would save you a trip to the doctor and the lab!”

Well, isn’t that convenient?! How thoughtful.

Are you kidding me?

Remember earlier I said that I think people go to the doctor far too frequently? Yeah, well, this would have been a time to GO TO A DOCTOR… NOT a pharmacist!

The Pharm Friend explained that, by law, it’s perfectly fine for him to take a prescription that’s previously on file and re-fill it… without any consent from a doctor needed.

Sounds perfectly safe to me.

You know, just because you can do something, doesn’t always mean you should.

Where is the common sense in this one?

I know it saves a visit to the doctor and laboratory. So, it costs the system less, right?

Not if he winds up in the hospital again. Or, worse.

So, this time around, we have NO testing ahead of time at all. Silly me. I thought we were supposed to confirm a bacterial infection prior to taking antibiotics. No doctor is even aware of Dad’s situation, so there sure as heck wouldn’t be any follow-up scheduled to see how he’s doing.

I had to explain this all to my dad the other night on the phone when he told me what was going on.

Imagine, trying to speak in a calming, sweet, nurturing voice to my dad… while I’m internally steaming and disgusted by the utter lack of common sense and responsibility Pharm Friend displayed… and also, as nicely as I possibly can, scolding my dad for not following common sense protocols!

Dear God. Is it just me? Or have these people completely lost their minds?!

This is not good for MY health, let along my dad’s.

So, I gave Dad a very clear action plan. (It has to be simple, short, and ultra-clear because years of drugs, cancer treatment, poor lifestyle choices, and chronic stress have done a number on his memory.)

I said:

“Call your family doctor in the morning. Make an appointment for this week. Make sure you have lab work done. Make sure you are scheduled for a follow-up, that includes more lab work,  within 2 weeks.”

“Oh, and stop going to your drug-pusher friend for health advice.”

Seriously. If you go to a pharmacist for any type of “health” advice, what do you think his recommendations will be??

Want better health and function? Ask someone else. Ask better questions.

Since many folks don’t seem ready to shake loose the notion of medicating themselves for every little thing – not that a bladder or kidney infection is a little thing by any means – we encourage people to take responsibility for one critically important piece of this drug puzzle.

Always ask, “What’s the exit strategy with this medication?”

You should not be on a drug forever.

Either it “fixes” the cause of the problem, or it doesn’t. (Good luck fixing the cause of a chronic health problem with a drug.)

In the case of an acute infection, the exit strategy is extremely critical. Obviously.

Or, at least it should be obvious.

Don’t assume. I learned that lesson the hard way!

If we start completely leaving common sense out of this drug equation, we’re sunk.

 

The soap box is now being returned to its resting place. :)

 

 

Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a leading authority figure in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud (home schooling) mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.comhttp://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline and http://Twitter.com/DrMomOnline.

Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen and Dr. Marc in an Investigative & Functional Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at info@drmomonline.com or http://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline. Highly successful personalized distance programs are available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stupid Is As Stupid Does ~ Adding Toxic Chemicals is Rarely the Solution

IMG00443-20130515-1025

 

 

I’m irked. When I come home and see this sign on my tree… it rattles my chain.

(I LOVE to come home and see the lake… I love to wake up and see the lake… I love to have dinner by the lake. I recognize my blessing to be able to live here. This, however, irks me.)

Each year for the last half dozen or so, the vast majority of residents on our lake have voted to apply chemical treatment to the lake in order to kill the people… I mean “weeds”.

Ever heard of moving off the lake and gettin’ yourself a swimming pool? Just sayin’.

I’d like to point out that our lake is known around this neck-of-the-woods to have one of the best weed harvesting programs. Similar to a tractor/harvester land version, we have two weed harvesters that chop weeds that, in turn, get recycled to local farms where they’re used as fertilizer.

Why the need for chemicals??

 

“Ewwww… weeds are GROSS!!”

Seriously. I’ve got the name of a real good pool guy.

 

There’s NO talk of the consequences of this very dangerous, very ignorant, very short-sighted thinking.

This is the same type of thinking that makes us think that more drugs, more surgery, and fewer body parts (Angelina Jolie??) are the answer to our health problems. Stupid.

Poison the lake and… what happens to the people who swim and play in it? The pets and wild animals that frolic and swim in it? The fish and aquatic life that live in it? The people who consume the aquatic life that lives in it? The people who eat the vegetables and fruit that get watered with water from the lake?

No. Don’t be silly. “It’s perfectly SAFE. We’ve done studies, missy. Besides, the toxins are diluted.”

Oh. I feel better.

Thank you, and I’ll have a side of “diluted” chemotherapy to go.

 

In the meantime, the posted signs tell me it is NOT safe to swim for 2 days. BUT, it is not safe to use the lake water on any vegetation for much longer… like 4-6 weeks longer (according to the email that accompanied this notice). Particularly in the case of vegetation that might be consumed, of course.

Submerging oneself in the poisoned water will be juuuust fine in a couple days… but applying it to other living things? NO way!

And before any of you wise guy chemist types try telling me that this particular chemical isn’t that bad… wait! There’s more!

We are the lucky recipients of multiple applications of a variety of weed killers throughout the summer! Ah, yes… this is just the first chemical cocktail of the season!

Umm… hello? Is it just me? Where are those hidden cameras… somebody MUST be setting me up for this!!

Oh, and by the way… I’ve still got major weeds by my swimmin’ hole every year since you started this brilliant plan of yours. What say you?

AND, just to make this whole process even more interesting and fun, ever since we started (directly, intentionally) poisoning our lake, you’ve really pissed off the fish!! (excuse my colorful language, please.)

Fish used to like to eat those plants in the lake. They don’t so much like them anymore… and I’d imagine there’s less of those plants, if your chemicals are doing what they’re supposed to be doing.

So now we’ve got nippy little fish with attitude here.

My children are SO very appreciative. Adds a new thrill level to all water activity around here!

I’d find it incredibly interesting to study the trends of physiological effects in humans and pets around the lake as this process unfolds. How will it change the rates of cancer here? How many skin conditions will directly result? Gastrointestinal? Reproductive? And so on…

There are always consequences to our actions and choices… good and bad. Always.

“Stop it right there, young lady. We told you, it’s perfectly SAFE! We are the experts.”

OK. Time will tell.

In the meantime, I’m saving up for a pool.

(However, I can’t put that too close to the other side of our house… because that’s where they regularly spray the road with chloride to control the dust!! Puh-lease… I know it sounds bad, kinda’ like carcinogenic and stuff… but, trust, me… it’s perfectly safe!)

Feel free to join me in the loony bin!

 

(Oh, and by the way, if you happen to be those families I’m watching out in the lake right now who are enjoying your tubing and skiing… you might want to get your kids outta’ the water before they grow a third ear off their elbow, or somethin’ wacky.”

 

 

Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a leading expert in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud (home schooling) mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.comhttp://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline and http://Twitter.com/DrMomOnline.

Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen and Dr. Marc in an Integrative Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at trombley68@gmail.com. Distance programs are available.

 

 

“Honey, Not Tonight… I Have A Headache!”

couple on beach

 

 

The whole, “Not tonight… I have a headache”, or “I’m too tired” scene has probably been played out on screen and in books since the beginning of the entertainment industry!

 

Why?

 

Because it strikes a chord with so many of us!

 

OK, so, there are times when those lines are uttered because your spouse has been acting like a big fat jerk… and it has nothing at all to do with how you’re feeling physiologically.

 

Or, so I’ve heard…!

 

But, there’s a very real physiological reason much of the time.

 

Yes, it most certainly can be summed up as “our hormones are out of whack”.  After all, there are very natural fluctuations in our reproductive hormones. But, there’s often even more to it than that… and calling someone “hormonal” is a massive over-simplification. (Plus, it might earn you a sock in the nose!)

 

Remember me talking about the physiological stress response here in years past? Essentially, it’s the cascade of events that results from changes in our brain chemistry – our stress hormones. These events can be physical, mental, and emotional.

 

Stress isn’t the bad guy.

 

We’re built to adapt to stress perfectly with this physiological stress response.

 

The problem is, we’re designed for perfect adaptation to brief, acute periods of stress… not so much the long-term, chronic stress that so many folks face.

 

Think of the fight or flight response. Perfect if we need to rescue a child who’s about to run into the street in front of an oncoming car. Imagine all those sensations you’d feel in that moment, and all the reactions taking place in your body at that time.

Now, imagine those types of reactions going on… and on… day in and day out.

 

The chronic stressors like, job dissatisfaction, financial stress, relationship stress, parenting issues, toxic stress from medication and toxic food, stress from sedentary living, stress from excessive “screen time”, environmental stress, stress from having too much on your plate, and so on. These are the chronic stressors that can really wear us down.

 

While we continue to produce excessive stress hormones in response to our chronic exposure to stressors, our bodies respond negatively over time.

 

We see negative repercussions across the board: in our immune system, cardiovascular system, digestive system, metabolism, brain function, sleep patterns, moods, increased perception of pain… AND our sexual and reproductive systems.

 

It’s no wonder at all that many folks have about zero desire when it comes to romance! We’re wiped out, stressed out, and exhausted! (Oh, and we may very have a headache!)

 

Hollywood pokes fun at this predicament many couples find themselves in. But for many, it’s no laughing matter. Obviously, this imbalance can lead to even more serious relationship issues, and our self-confidence can take a nose dive.

 

Popping a little blue pill won’t do a thing to deal with the underlying cause of the problem. When we’re chronically stressed (and toxic), a very NATURAL response by the brain and body is shut down our innate desire to connect physically with another human!

 

It’s like an instinctual alarm going off in your body… “Warning! Warning! System under attack! Too much stress… too exhausted… not enough ‘feel-good’ hormones… too much pain… NO INTEREST IN REPRODUCING AT THIS TIME!!”

 

Sure, sometimes it’s a quick fix. Get caught up on some sleep, start exercising regularly,  lay off the alcohol, take a little vacation, or start taking some fish oil to balance out some of your brain chemistry. Sometimes you need to dig a little deeper to discover the real causes of the imbalance.

 

(If you’d like help with ordering the right “functional” laboratory tests to accurately identify what’s lurking beneath the surface, let me know. I can easily help you with that.)

 

Whatever the exact cause (or combination of causes, most likely) in your case, I’d recommend you tune in to Sean Croxton’s free informational summit week that’s focused solely on sexual and reproductive health from a natural perspective.

 

It’s called the SexyBack Summit and features some key authority figures in this field of health who can offer immediate help.

 

(Sean is the man behind Underground Wellness – an excellent resource for health-seekers.)

 

Sean has put together some pre-event videos to give you a taste of what’s to come in the Summit. You can watch one here that’s about the effect of stress on your sexual function.

 

Like I said, if you’re struggling with chronic stress and its nasty myriad of complex effects on your body and mind, you might need even more help on an individual basis – especially when it comes to proper diagnosis of the problem.

 

Either way, I’d check out the Summit, apply what works for you… and go from there.

Please share with others… and let me know if you have any questions!

 

Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a leading expert in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud (home schooling) mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.comhttp://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline and http://Twitter.com/DrMomOnline.

Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen and Dr. Marc in an Integrative Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at trombley68@gmail.com. Distance programs are available.

Our 2012-2013 Home School Curriculum

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Teacher's Pets!

I never thought I’d ever write a post about what we do for home school… because other home schooling families seem WAY more organized and “with it” than us!

However, this year, in our fifth year of home schooling, I finally realize, “Hey, we’ve actually made this thing work… even without perfect schedules and a perfectly organized home!”

Really, the reason I’m writing a post about what we use for our home school curriculum is two-fold:

1) I’ve had several people ask. Usually they ask when I’m right in the middle of something else and I don’t have much time to go into it all… or remember it all! I figured if I write it down, I can just show them.

Efficiency. I like it.

2) I also figured, if I write it all down, someone will hold me accountable to it come November when I’m potentially falling off track… or when I’ve forgotten all the curriculum investments I’ve already made!

Before I tell you what we use for our home schooling, let me clarify a couple things. First, we don’t use ALL these things every single week. With some of them, I ‘float’ in and out of as needed… or as I remember!

(See reason #2 above!)

Also, as any teacher would tell you, our list is never complete. Wherever and whenever an opportunity or tool for learning presents itself, I’m on it. I would anticipate, and hope, that this list would grow as our school year unfolds and I add more to their educational experience.

By the way, we have two lovely children that we home school. A 10-year old girl who does primarily 5th and 6th grade work, and a 7-year old boy who does a tiny bit of 2nd grade work, but mostly 3rd and 4th grade.

What We’re Using for our Curriculum:

Math:

Our primary curriculum is Saxon Math. I throw in Math-U-See for my son, too. Both kids supplement with Time4Learning and IXL, mostly to keep them occupied when I’m working. I also occasionally add some Life of Fred for my daughter.

Language Arts:

Bob Jones University Writing & Grammar – rather self-explanatory! I also like Time4Learning for various grammar-ish lessons. “Grammar-ish” is not a word they teach, in case you were wondering.

The kids (especially my daughter) write in their journals regularly.

For more literature-based work, we use Moving Beyond the Page units – usually 2 or 3 per semester. I also have a running list of classic literature that we read together and discuss. Right now, it’s The Odyssey.

Once in a blue moon, I’ll get in the mood for some traditional spelling lessons. Not too often, though. I correct their spelling in their journals, if necessary. I once read that kids who read a lot are usually great spellers because they’re exposed to so many words through their reading. Since we sign out (and read) dozens and dozens of book from the library each week, I figure we’ve got the reading and spelling thing covered for the most part!

We use Handwriting Without Tears, too.

Science:

This is a hodge-podge of fun! I use the monthly kits from Magic School Bus as part of a foundation to build upon. I also rely heavily on local nature centers and science-based programs that we attend in our area. We’ll research the topic in advance, listen to the experts, then have follow-up discussion and note taking.  We do several field trips each month.

I also refer to the curriculum from R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey. We utilize Discovery Education streaming for lots of science supplementation (as well as history, geography, etc.) The kids LOVE to watch Beakmans’s World episodes on Netflix. I have them take notes on the subjects discussed in each episode. (My son would prefer to dictate to his mother! Who wouldn’t?!)

Finally, my kids would tell you that their life is an ongoing science lesson, having two parents deeply vested in the world of health, physiology, nutrition, movement science, brain function, metabolic recovery, etc. etc.! We talk nutrition, exercise, anatomy and physiological function on a daily basis.

If I ever feel like I might be missing something, I just sneak a peak at our state standards to remind myself what I’m supposed to make sure these people of mine are learning about!

History:

We love Story of the World and all the accompanying literature recommendations. I also use Veritas history cards and system, as well as their literature recommendations. Our library people hide under the desk when they see us coming!

Again, the kids love Netflix options like Liberty’s Kids to help them with history. We have Mike Huckabee’s videos and will soon be acquiring the Drive Thru History series on America… and hopefully more to come.

Geography:

Geography kind of falls in place with much of our history studies, but I’ve also added some more American-based geography through the Scholastic “Which Way USA?” maps and books on each state. We’re also continuing our study (“tour”) of the National Parks, as well as a tour of national monuments and landmarks. Sounds like a lot, but it’s just a nice, light way to continue to reinforce American geography.

I also let the kids play on websites like SheppardSoftware.com – they have some great geography games and quizzes that have really helped the kids.

Grandpa makes sure they’re learning some Canadian geography and social studies along the way, too!

Here’s a really fun thing we did last year to help us dive into geography and “world studies” in a different way: we chose a favorite “famous” person of the kids’ – Justin Bieber – and we followed his World Tour. We’d print maps and educational info from EnchantedLearning.com to learn about the countries he was visiting… AND we’d follow his mother-approved posts on Facebook and tweets on Twitter to keep it fun and engaging for the kids. It was a fabulous bonus that Mr. Bieber made his own videos and commentary of beautiful cultures along the way. They LOVED this… and I loved having Justin Bieber’s help! We’ll see who’s on tour this year!

I also have Mapping the World by Heart that we haven’t actually used too much just yet.

Foreign Language:

We have Rosetta Stone for Spanish. The kids have also taken French and Spanish through our local home school group classes, as well as online through CurrClick.

Memory Work :

I’ve finally made this a “formal” part of our home schooling curriculum this year. Each child has their memory binder where we’ll add their memory work throughout the year. Some of the categories are: famous quotes, famous speeches, national anthem, prayers & scripture, Presidents, states/capitols, etc.

Keyboarding:

We use the Mavis Beacon program.

Computer:

The kids have used Time4Learning for years, as well as other mother-approved educational (and some for purely fun!) websites.  We’ve taught our daughter basic functions for creating and saving her work in Word. It’s our son’s turn for that this year, as he is becoming adept in keyboarding now.

They’re also both starting to work on their own websites/blogs. My daughter will begin helping behind the scenes in our office this week with some computer work –  basic data entry and running reports. Maybe I should start planning my retirement!

Home School Connections:

Once a week, the kids attend home school classes with a bunch of other home schooled kids. They’ve taken some great classes through this program in the past: engineering, literature discussion, foreign languages, world cultures, physics, phys-ed, etc. This semester they’re taking more literature discussion, the 50 states, geology, pioneer days in Jamestown, science – light & electricity, engineering – how bridges & roads are made… neat stuff! They love it!

Physical Education:

At home, we incorporate movement into each day. The trampoline is still the most popular form of exercise for the kids, but their scooters and bikes are a close second. We go on walks, go swimming (for as long as we can), the kids do Just Dance on Wii for “break time”, play catch or frisbee…

As far as outside the home, this fall both kids are in gymnastics. Soon, they’ll back to skating, and hopefully, our son can add karate.

Art:

We use Mark Kistler’s program… not too regularly, though.

Performing Arts:

In the past, the kids have been involved with productions through our church. That’s coming up again soon… we shall see if it comes together this fall or not!

 

So, there you go. That’s what we’re using as our main outline this year.

 

Need Help Making Healthier Choices? Contact me to get your own copy of The Healthy School Days Menu!