Convulsions – First-Aid Measures

Convulsions, or to use a common, although distinctly un-medical term, “fits”, often result in well-meaning bystanders doing more damage than good owing to erroneous and outdated beliefs. Let us clear these misconceptions and watch out for the correct first-aid measures to be taken.

Convulsions may have several causes, such as idiopathic (cause unknown) epilepsy; brain damage resulting in mental abnormality; a hit or an injury to the head, resulting in epilepsy at a later stage; tumours; kidney or liver failure; an over-indulgence in alcohol and narcotics or their withdrawal in chronic cases; and the abrupt withdrawal of epileptic drugs.

A convulsion has four distinct phases:

Aura: the patient receives warning of an oncoming attack. This may be in the form of an abortive attack characterised by jerks or certain sensations – including, sometimes, pain – which, from past experience, he can recognize as warning signals.
Tonic: The limbs stiffen, the jaw is clenched tightly shut, the patient may also foam and drool at the mouth.
Tonic-clonic: This is probably the most easily recognizable phase, characterized by shaking or jerking motions of the body. They may be localized in one area or may occur all over the body. The patient may lose control of his bowels and his bladder, resulting in his passing stools and urine uncontrollably.
Postictal: This is like the aftermath of a storm. The patient remains drowsy and unsure of himself. He may be in a semi-conscious or even unconscious state for some time.

The actual duration of these phases is variable. However, the first stage usually last from between a few seconds to a minute, while the last stage lasts from anything between a few minutes to a few hours.

WHAT TO DO:

The first step is to take the patient away from immediate danger to himself such as sharp or hard objects; busy thoroughfares; the exits of running buses or trains; a balcony or swimming pool edge.
Get him to lie down, placing his head to one side in order to prevent vomitus from entering the lungs (this could cause aspiration pneumonia).
If possible, put a folded handkerchief in his mouth between his front teeth, to prevent him from biting his tongue. But, on no account should you put your finger or any hard object into his mouth. With the unnatural force of the convulsion, he could bite off something like a stick and choke on it.
Loosen clothing so as to facilitate breathing (this may not be possible if an attack has already begun).
Give him ample space.

DO NOT

Restrain the patient, as he may cause you bodily harm. Let the attack tide over in its own time.
Feed or attempt to pour water into the patient’s mouth (a common mistake, especially when dealing with babies – water is considered the universal reliever for most medical emergencies!)
Attempt the “onion in the mouth” or the “sleepers” routine. (if the patient recovers in a few minutes, you may feel these traditional methods have ‘worked’, whereas the fact is just that the convulsions has worked itself out).

WHEN IS THE ATTACK DANGEROUS?

When several attacks occur in a row, immediately summon medical help as an anti-convulsion injection and other treatment will be called for.

After the seizure:

Get the patient to lie down if he is not doing so already.
Usually the patient feels sleepy (the fourth phase). If so, let him drowse off.
Keep his head well on one side as suggested before.
Only after the patient has returned to normal should he be given anything to eat or drink.

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This Is The First Thing You Should Do If You Have A Blood Clot In Your Leg

So, you’ve got a blood clot in your leg. It’s a heavy sentence that causes a lot of worry about one’s health. Blood clots are nothing to take lightly, but it is important to know that if your doctor indicates that you’re dealing with a blood clot in your leg, you need to be focused on hearing what the next steps are in addressing the issue.

Maintaining your focus when you know you’re dealing with a blood clot in your leg is easier said than done. Your first inclination will be to get online and look-up something on the more popular medicine sites & see what you’ve got to look forward to. Unfortunately, you’re getting a very incomplete picture. What’s more, the levels of misinformation that exist out there can lead you to make poor decisions about your health, and that’s never good. Contrary to what you may have heard, a blood clot is not an immediate death sentence.

If you suspect that you have a blood clot in your leg, here’s the first thing you should do – go to the emergency room immediately. The emergency department of your local hospital is trained in getting right to work, which means you won’t be wasting time in your treatment.

It’s important to know that blood clots don’t just happen such as what one might experience in a thrombotic storm, a condition in which more than one blood clot occurs in a short period of time. These clots occur in different and sometimes unusual locations. It’s aggressive, difficult to treat, and there’s not much information out there to go on.

When you head to the emergency room, be sure to have a record of the medicine you take and the reasons why you take it. Physicians will want to know the ins and outs of what you’re working with in terms of medication, which can inform them as to the best course of action for your treatment. Also, have a working knowledge of your family medical history. It may seem like overkill, but every bit of information is helpful.

You’re going to be dealing with a number of medical professionals in the emergency room. Doctors, nurses, CNAs, and more will be coming in and out of your space. You’ll also have a lot of information zipping past you. Do not hesitate in asking as many questions as you want. You have the right to be informed about what is happening and why.

The time will come when it must be determined if you’ll be admitted to the hospital for further treatment or sent home. The truth is that every patient is different, which means that there’s no real definitive answer. That said, doctors will usually err on the side of caution so that you can receive the “all clear” before heading home. The last thing you’d want is for something potentially dangerous to be missed.

Being told that you have a blood clot in your leg is not something anyone wants to hear, but the best thing you can do is not panic. If you suspect you have a blood clot in your leg, get to the emergency room. Once there, it can be a little scary, but focus & be an active participant in your treatment.

Seven Days of Solitude, Silence and Water Fast

I recently came back from my own private silent retreat. Over the couple of silent retreats that I have done in the past few years, I have experienced the powerful value of this kind of work. Besides the obvious like switching off from the daily routine, the duties of work and the constant demand of raising children, there is a whole other dimension to it.

I stayed in our off-road, super cool camper on a farm in Robertson, a remote place in the mountains of Cape Town, South Africa. I was nestled in a gorgeous valley with a pristine lake, where I swam daily.

My intention was to experience seven days of solitude and silence, and to water fast, while I was writing my upcoming book “Unapologetically Me”. This is my own private inspirational story of how I dropped guilt, shame, judgment, and blame and became a self-realised, switched on and vibrant woman.

I aimed to close all the exits to the external world so that my energy kept circulating within me, without distractions.

I wanted to sit with my self and watch my inner sky, with the space to notice the patterns of my thoughts and the growing emptiness arising in between them. I wanted to clear and crystallise my mind and my body so that I could become an open channel for the words to flow through me.

The silence part of it, I deeply cherished and I enjoyed the privilege of rooting deeper into my being – listening to the sounds of nature.

As a storyteller, I love talking to people and a retreat is a great occasion for revitalisation. The water fasting was the most challenging part. I had to take each day as it came, being totally present in the current moment and surrendering to the discomfort.

There is a powerful quality of higher spiritual connection when fasting and that was a great motivator to keep me going.

I feel that it is important at times to explore life out of our comfort zone and I chose to select my ways.

I have noticed that people who are too attached to their comfort zone often get shaken out by spirit in a form of an illness, an accident, loss of job, etc.

It is in this uncharted territory of the unfamiliar that our soul gets to expand and explore new qualities of the self.

I am grateful for the opportunity to witness my courage, resilience and utter trust in the guidance that I receive.

A Healthy Lifestyle Is Not a New Year Resolution, It’s a Discipline

A healthy lifestyle from the start will decide how you will be in your midlife and beyond. However it won’t happen unless you make the right choices. Work out, eat healthy, sleep well and you will set yourself on the path to success. After about 40, most people have achieved biological adulthood, which is a nicer way to saying you have boarded the slow train to your inevitable mortality. You will start to realize the slow and gradual decline in your response to bodily activities and the resulting resistance in your bodily functions.

Eating unhealthy processed food, irregular sleep pattern and inactivity create low level inflammatory response in your body. This inflammation gradually increases overtime, contributing directly to the germination of every major disease plaguing mankind – obesity, diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease, just to name a few.

The first and foremost thing to focus on is Nutrition – what you eat. Add lots of green leafy vegetables, whole grains, organic poultry, dairy and fruits in your daily diet. Keep your body hydrated. Drink plenty of water and raw fruit juice as fluids help keeping body temperature low and removes toxins through perspiration (sweat) and excretion (urine). Keep a balanced share of carbohydrate, protein, good fats and minerals. These small changes in your diet will contribute to your overall wellbeing. Cut back unhealthy fats from your diet slowly and target on stopping to consume them completely. Unhealthy fats include: dark chicken meat, poultry skin, fatty pork cuts, beef and lamb and high-fat dairies include whole milk, butter and cheese. Common ways to cut back on unhealthy fats are listed below:

Instead of frying meat, Bake / Grill / Broil it. Don’t forget to take the skin off before cooking chicken or turkey
Instead of butter and cheese on bread, use low fat spreads or slices of tomatoes on it to enhance the flavour
Instead of scrambled eggs, eat boiled / soft-boiled eggs. Garnish with a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste best
Instead of using sugar in patisseries and desserts, use organic honey to satisfy your sweet bud and stay healthy

When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, the importance of sleep is worth discussing. Get yourself adequate sleep, because internal healing and tissue repair happen only when you sleep. Sleep deficiency contributes to an increased risk of cardio-vascular disease, kidney disease, brain damage etc. Sleep deprivation lowers the metabolic rate of your body, which is linked to weight gain. Studies show that sleep deprived individuals have higher levels of Ghrelin, the hormone which stimulates appetite and lower levels of Leptin, the hormone which suppresses appetite. Hence, good sleepers tend to intake fewer calories.

The last, but definitely not the least is the importance of regular exercise when it comes to a healthy and active lifestyle. No matter which age group you belong to, it is advisable and wise to include a minimum 30 minutes of workout / physical activity of moderate intensity such as running, brisk walking on most, if not all days of the week. As humans, we spend far too much time in our synthetic environment, disconnected from the outside world. This disconnect poses a serious threat to our health and general wellness. Think of your body as a complex machine, which houses equally complex parts (bones) and sub systems (organs) inside. If you let it sit idle, the parts and the sub systems will lose movement capability and eventually get rusted. A few tips to incorporate exercise in your daily routine:

Prioritize physical activity
Make it fun
Get a partner
Keep a track of results
Set milestones

All these factors put together, will bring noticeable change in your lifestyle and wellbeing. Some changes will happen quickly, some will be gradual. But overall, you will feel the positive change in your health – mind, body and soul.

The Health Benefits of Biophilia

Biophilia refers to the love that a person may have for nature and all the natural processes that take place in nature. Biophilia suggests that all individuals are connected to nature as a result of their genetics. The connection between individuals and their natural surroundings is created as a result of thousands of years of surviving in an agrarian setting.

Biophilia was first brought to the scene by psychologists Edward Wilson in the 80s after observing how modernization and urbanization were causing people to lose their connection to nature. As technology continues to become commonplace in today’s contemporary society, the importance of Biophilia today cannot be overemphasized.

Why is Biophilia important and relevant today?

Stress-related diseases such as anxiety and depression, as well as other health disorders such as stroke, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases can be diminished if individuals increase their connection to nature. The increasing pressure brought about by technology leaves us little time and opportunity to recuperate the mental and physical energy that we utilize throughout the day.

Incorporating elements if nature directly or indirectly to your physical environment has demonstrated through research to have a considerable effect in helping to reduce stress levels, your blood pressure, stabilize the heart rate, increase productivity and lead to a general feeling of improvement in your wellbeing.

The health benefits of Biophilia

When you nurture your soul in nature, it can have a significant impact on your mind, body, and soul. Some of the benefits of Biophilia include:

Combat the effects of urbanization

Biophilia is important today because as the contemporary world continues to become more urbanized, it has emerged that integrating Biophilic features into our day to day lives can help to combat the effects of urbanization. Biophilic components are designed to mimic patterns, colors, textures and forms of nature, which can be practical since half of the world’s population will be located in urban centers.

Improved health

Increasing biophilic elements in the workplace and at home has shown to benefit one’s health. For instance, having a large window that can offer individuals views of nature can result in improved rates of recovery from stress and faster recovery from anxiety and depression. Views of nature can also lead to increased concentration levels and it can have serious implications for healing.