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Archive for category: Solutions For Living

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Time to Donate

Do you find or make time for television, personal reading, social media, meditation, exercising, or hitting the spa?  Then perhaps you can find time in your schedule to donate blood.


As a health care professional I am reminded daily that blood is a lifesaving resource.  In fact, it is likely that most, if not all, of my clients were a blood recipient at their time of injury.  Yet, according to Canadian Blood Services there is a problem.  As per their website, less than 4% of Canadians donate blood, while over 60% of people are eligible to do so.  Reasons for non-donation include people having a fear of needles (a legitimate an insurmountable problem for many), but most people simply say they “don’t have the time”.  Yet, Canadian Blood Services has estimated that as early as 2014 they will have a blood crisis as loyal and repeat donors (mostly seniors) will start exceeding donation age and will become recipients making the already large gap between low supply and high demand even larger.  This gap will be worsened by the baby boomers over the next two decades.  It is time the next generation takes on this important responsibility.


This Friday, June 14th, is World Blood Donor Day.  As someone that has never donated (under the category of “no time”) I have since realized that I make time for other things that I consider less important, so it is time for me to become a donor.  I am doing this for several reasons.  One, I have memories of my grandfather, a war veteran, wearing his red blood-drop pin.  I always noticed his pin, worn proud on his lapel, and the thought of becoming a donor reminds me of him.  Two, I have no fear of needles and can make the time because this is important to me.  Three, Canadian Blood Services has made this easy – there is a donation center less than 5Km from my home and I was able to book an appointment online.  Four, as a parent I want to model this behavior for my children.   And five, I recently lost a client who told me that he needed 14 units of blood at the time of his injury and this was a “record”.  His passing has motivated me to finally make the time for this important contribution. 


My plan?  Take a book, relax, and take an hour to myself while giving back at the same time.  Based on my blood type after donating I will give myself a big A.  

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"You Only Get One Brain; Treat it Well!"

Concussions are a hot topic in sport.  Yet the management of these continues to vary.  It is now felt that if someone sustains a head injury during sports, they should not return to the game and should be checked by a professional.  Take a look at this article about concussions and the changing guidelines for treatment.  In the article, an expert, Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, states:  “If in doubt, sit it out,” and points out the important fact that “you only get one brain; treat it well!”
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Just Get Er Done

Often I am asked by others how I balance the many aspects of my busy life.  My answer is that I just “get er done”.  In fact “get er done” is a mantra I use regularly to motivate me to knock things off my list.


For example, if I am driving and realize I will arrive at my destination 20 minutes early, often something (or several things) will pop into my head about how I should spend that extra time (stop into the bank, drop by the post office, grab that birthday present, stop at the store for some fresh veggies etc.).  Then, my head starts negotiating with itself (“no, just keep driving and you can check email for 20 minutes in the parking lot”, or “I don’t feel like doing that right now”, or “I don’t need that present until next week anyway”).  Really, we can talk ourselves out of anything (mostly healthy eating, getting out of bed earlier, and exercise), but success comes from being able to hear through the noise to make the best decision. 


In my case, when my head is conflicted by the devil and angel arguing on my shoulders, I apply the mantra:  “Julie, just get er done”.   Every time I say this, it springs me into action. 


I remember watching a You Tube video by Mel Robbins that clearly explained that thoughts are just thoughts and to turn them into action, we need to attach a physical component.  We have five seconds to turn a thought into an action or it won’t happen.  So, when hearing the alarm, we have five seconds to throw off the covers and put our feet on the ground, or the “thought” of getting up will turn into the action of not.  Same with the thought of exercising:  if, within five seconds of thinking “I should go for a good walk” you have not gotten up and moved towards putting your runners on, chances are another thought will tell you to stay put. 

So, turn those thoughts into action.  Use mantras and physical responses to your thoughts to just “get er done”.  

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Aches and Pains From Technology

Are you attached to your smart phone, tablet or e-reader? In this “Health Minute” from CNN Health some potential health risks are revealed regarding our reliance on technology.  Ways to reduce the risks are also discussed.  Check this out to ensure you are taking care of yourself while still enjoying modern day conveniences.

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Eat Well, Live Well With Spinal Cord Injury

A new book called “Eat Well, Live Well with Spinal Cord Injuries”, written by a nutritionist with a spinal cord injury and an Occupational Therapist specializing in neurological disorders, discusses the connection between diet and spinal cord injury.  Check out this article explaining how a proper diet can help to reduce complications from spinal cord injury and improve overall health.