POTPOURRI :

This page is for entertainment and informational purposes only and is not intended to recommend specific treatments.


THE HARRISBURG HOSPITAL NURSES' ALUMNI ASSOCIATION WILL BE CLOSING DOWN EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 31, 2023.


Attention all graduates of the Harrisburg Hospital School of Nursing show your pride and remembrance of your school by purchasing a tee shirt, sweatshirt, cardigan or other item of apparel with the Harrisburg Hospital School of Nursing emblem embroidered on it. These items are available through a Pennsylvania business at a reasonable price plus shipping. If you are interested in how to contact this business, please call the Association phone number at 717-412-0230. We will return your call with the requested information. 


2023

January/February:

A chronic cough is one that lasts more than eight weeks. It can be embarrassing if you are in public and can't stop coughing. It can interrupt you sleep. Finding the cause and getting an effective treatment is not always easy. Coughing is the body's way of clearing your airway of food, mucus and harmful gasses. It keeps the breathing tubes open so you get enough oxygen. Coughing happens when something irritates the cough receptors. A signal is sent to the brain and the information is processed and a cough is coordinated in response. Reasons for coughing vary. It may be a response to choking on a drink. A chronic cough may be from smoking, certain heart or lung diseases, cancer or from medications. GERD may trigger coughing. An upper air way cough could come from postnasal drip and sometimes it is from Asthma. 
To find the cause may require tests such as lung function tests or lab tests on the mucus or a bronchoscopy. Treatments may include medications such as Neurontin, Gralise or Lyrica. Physiotherapy and speech and language therapy may be used to teach you to resist and prevent the urge to cough. Measures can include drinking water, inhaling steam, avoiding caffeine and alcohol and breathing through your nose. It may be necessary to see a specialist such as a Pulmonologist , Allergist, Gastroenterologist or an Ear, Nose and Throat physician for further treatment.for further information go to the Mayo Clinic or Web MD websites.


March/April 2023:

As we age it becomes even more important to make sure your home is safe. This means it is difficult sometimes to decide what to get rid of and what to keep.  For some people it may be necessary to seek professional help from an organizational expert. Clutter can affect your physical and mental health. Clutter can create tripping hazards and fire hazards. Stacks of paper can cause you to misplace important bills, contracts or items needed to file taxes. Extensive clutter can cause a person to be embarrassed enough to want to keep people out of your home. It may seem like an overwhelming task. Remember to start slow. Start with one stack of paper at a time. Sort into trash and items to keep and file. You could start with one kitchen or dresser drawer. Ask for help from a family member or friend. When it comes to treasured items such as something you made in ninth grade shop class, take a picture of it and put it in a scrapbook. You still have your memory of it, but not the actual item.  Hire a professional if you are really stuck on what to keep and what to give away. There is help online from a place such as ICD (challengingdisorganization.org) . YOU TUBE is another place to find videos on the process of reducing clutter in your home. Once you get rid of the clutter, curb your hoarding instincts. If you purchase a new cookie sheet, get rid of the old one. Clear out the closet of clothing you no longer wear and donate it. Sort your mail daily and get rid of junk mail and envelopes you don't need.  Good luck!


May /June 2023:

Are there really foods that keep you healthy? Food labels can be confusing. What does multigrain mean versus whole grain or reduced sugar versus no sugar added? Your best bet is to read the nutrition facts on the ingredients list. First healthy eating includes scaling back on added sugars.  No sugar added means no sugar of any kind was added during the production of the product. Sugar free means the food has less than 0.5 grams of total sugars per serving/  The American Heart Association recommends women have no more than 25 grams of added sugars a day; men, no more than 36 grams. Food may still have sugar substitutes, like stevia, sucralose or monkfruit.  You also want to reduce salt ( Sodium) in your diet. Again low sodium or very low sodium can be helpful. It mean a low sodium food has 140 mg or less per serving.  Some foods have natural sodium.You want to increase your intake of whole grains. You want to look for 100 percent Whole Grains. High fiber foods are fruits, vegetables or legumes. Aim for 28 grams per day. Another thing to do to help stay healthy is to limit pesticides. Organic foods are verify they are produced without harmful chemicals or fertilizers.  For more information go to CR.org/pesticides.


July/ August 2023:

 You can develop shingles if you previously had chickenpox. Some people may not know if they had chickenpox, especially if if happened early in their life or it was a very mild case or no symptoms at all. It is best to assume you had chickenpox if you grew up before 1995 when the chickenpox vaccine was approved. The virus that causes chickenpox does not leave your body. It lies dormant in nerve tissue near your spinal cord.Your immune system keeps it under check. When your immunity is weak the virus can reactivate. This can happen naturally, as you age. Shingles usually appears on one side of the body along one nerve pathway. You don't catch it from other people. Although someone who isn't immune to chickenpox can develop it by touching another person's open shingles blisters. It is important if you develop singles to avoid contact with pregnant women , newborns and people with weakened immune systems. It appears as a painful rash on one side of the torso, but can appear anywhere including the neck, head or face. The pain can start before the rash. You may also feel burning, tingling or itching. Shingles can involve the nerve near the eyes which may lead to blindness. Treatment usually involves a prescription antiviral which can speed the healing and alleviate pain. OTC drugs can be taken for pain.The vaccine, known as Shingrix decreases the risk of developing shingles by 97% for those under age 70 and 91% for those 70 and older. For more information go to Mayo Clinic.com