Health

When Children Bring Bugs Home

Children bugs home

There is so much excitement when your child start school.  They embark on this new adventure in their life.  But parents brace yourself – with school comes a guarantee that your child will pick up a bug and bring it home.

School is a breeding ground for all sorts of bugs. Spread via personal contact, transmitted through contaminated surfaces and airborne droplets.

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Fat Thighs, Flabby Arms {Hormones influencing weight gain beyond 40}

fat thighs, flabby arms {hormones influencing weight gain beyond 40}

Perusing through old photographs brought back memories of when I was skinny. Those were the good old days. The reality is I will never look like that again. As a child, I was super skinny with no fat thighs or flabby arms and certainly no hormones that had an influencing effect on my weight.  I was never weight conscious and I could eat what I wanted without gaining any wait.  Very active in playing netball and could easily clock in a good 8 – 10 hours of sleep.

Remembering that my weight annoyed the dressmaker who made my matric ball dress.  My waist size would be smaller every time I went for a fitting. Resulting in the dressmaker having to make the necessary adjustments. As a shy and very naive teenager, I would just smile and accept the criticism of my skinny shape. It didn’t bother me at all. Life was then carefree and my weight was certainly not an issue.

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Good night, sleep tight

good night sleep kids

Saying good night, sleep tight kids happen at 19h30 at night in my house.

Our kids retreat to their rooms at 18h00 and are in bed by 19h30 Sunday to Thursday. Yes this is not a typo and you are reading the times correctly.

Fridays and Saturdays are an exception then they can stay up late.

Please don’t judge, this rule works for us.  So, each to their own.

Implemented three years ago, this rule is working well.  They display discipline when it comes to their bed time routine.  Touch wood, no tantrums has been displayed regarding this issue as yet.

Their bedtime routine

We have come up with “quiet time” which starts at 18h00.  During this time they can read or write but must be in their own rooms.

At 19h30 they are tucked in and saying their prayers, followed by the usual saying good night, sleep tight and sweet dreams.

This is something that I am very strict on during the week.  And I will not budge or divert from this time.

Believe me by 19h45 both of them are fast asleep. It just shows you how tired they are.

Why they go to bed early

Let me explain why they go to bed early. Ou girls have a very early start to the day. They wake up at 05h30 during a school week and we leave home for the latest 06h30 to do the school run.

Our children are past that stage where they take afternoon naps.  They have a full 13 hour day since the time they wake up in the morning.  During this time they need to focus at school, come home to do their homework and have play and family time.  Without napping in the afternoon, this is a real long day without any rest.

Children need at least 10 – 12 hours of sleep during the night.

Sleep is extremely important for growth and development. During sleep the body releases growth hormones which helps them grow.

Getting enough sleep is vital for their health as it boosts their immune systems.

They need to have optimal concentration at school and not getting enough sleep at night will hinder this.

Enough sleep gives them energy to participate in sporting activities and will prevent unnecessary injuries.

Not getting enough sleep leads to moodiness and behavioural problems.  Adequate sleep helps manage these emotions.

This also leaves quality time for my husband and I to connect and catch up on what happened during the day and have a meaningful adult conversation.

Remember as mentioned before, this routine works well for our family.  We believe that quality sleep = happy kids = healthy kids. Whatever your kids’ sleep routine is, I hope it works well for you.  Sleep tight and sweet dreams.

My first mammogram

first mammogram

What my first mammogram experience was really like

Turning 40 last year, I was all ready to embrace this new milestone.  I also knew that it was time to undergo a mammogram.  My gynaecologist scheduled an appointment for my very first mammogram.

She managed to book me in for a 09h00 appointment on 8 August 2016.  I was instructed not to wear deodorant, powder or perfume on the day of the screening. Apparently this leaves a shadow on the X-ray.  I’ve heard so many negative stories about how painful it is.   With that in mind, the procedure scared me.  Nevertheless, even though fearful, I adhered to the appointment as it was for my best interest.

After completing the paper work, the radiologist directed me to the changing room.  I had to remove all my clothes from the waist up and covered myself with a white robe.  Four ladies sat in the waiting room waiting for screening.  Everyone seemed so tense with their eyes just focused in the magazines they were paging through.  And I must be honest the suspense was killing me.  The four ladies screened before me, received their results, got dressed and left.

Then it was my turn.  The radiologist was friendly.  She explained the procedure and ensured me that should I feel discomfort at any time I need to tell her.  So many thoughts rushed through my mind at that moment. What if they detect an abnormality and how will I deal with it? I also looked at the machine and from what I imagined based on stories I heard, it would be metal plates that will squeeze and squash the living daylights out of your boobs.  This machine was different though and there were no metal plates in sight – to my delight of course.

The radiologist positioned me in front of the machine.  Checking my comfort levels at all times.  Before proceeding; she explained the procedure to me.  My left breast was first placed between the two plastic plates.  The top plate came down and compressed my breast for detailed imaging or should I rather say X-ray.  She took three images of each breast. I swear the screening of both breasts didn’t even take 5 minutes and it was pain free.

After examining the images, the radiologist couldn’t get a clear view of any abnormalities. I then had to go for an ultrasound.  At that moment, I started to panic as to why they couldn’t see anything – once again so many things raced through my mind.  Something had to be wrong that I need to go for an ultrasound.

The doctor performing the ultrasound explained that I have dense breast tissue and they couldn’t make a clear analysis from the mammogram images. Although dense breast tissue is normal, it is very difficult to detect breast cancer via a mammogram and therefore the risk of having cancerous lumps is higher as you can’t easily feel it with self-examination.

I kid you not, the ultrasound was more painful than the mammogram.  The ultrasound probe pressed my breasts, making it extremely painful.  Long story short, the results were clear and both my breasts were normal.

I wouldn’t have been aware that I have dense breast tissue if I didn’t go for a screening. Knowing what I know now, I will not hesitate to make my next mammogram appointment.  I suggest that if you never had one, make an appointment immediately.  Don’t let your own fears stand in the way of your health and don’t believe everything that you hear about mammograms.  Your experience might not be the same as someone else’s.  Get screened, early detection can save your live.

This is a third post focusing on women’s health.  If you haven’t read my other posts on this feature, please have a read Love your heart and Know your numbers.  You might find Are you covered? an interesting read as it links up with previous health related posts.

Know your numbers

 

Know your numbers

It is important to know your numbers in terms of health numbers

Continuing from my previous blog post on Love your heart, I indicating that during the month of August a few posts will focus on Women’s health issues.  Know your numbers is not exclusive to women and is of utmost importance to men as well.

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Love your heart

 

Love your heart

Ways to love your heart and keeping it healthy

August is Women’s month in South Africa and we are celebrating all you wonderful women.  Women are no longer the less visible gender.  But saying that, do we often place focus on ourselves and our wellbeing.

Therefore, I’ve decided that during the month of August a few of my blog posts will focus on women’s health issues. Love your heart places focus on cardiovascular disease.

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