My job is very physically demanding and hard on the body. We lift human beings, and some a not light. If you do it wrong, you can get hurt. Sometimes they move when we are transferring them.
I have a family history of arthritis. I can have achy muscles and joints.
Here are a few things that I do for pain, and some things that you can do as well.
Disclosure: You should always consult your doctor, and not replace any advice with doctors.
I use a foot spa machine, that has bubbles, and I put epsom salt in it, and soak my feet, and let the machine do its work. I love it for my aching feet. I walk all day long. I walk on average 6 miles at work.
See here I am sitting and blogging as we speak, with my feet in the foot spa machine:
I also use insoles for my shoes. It makes a huge difference.
I have a massage chair. I bought it on Ebay, 5 years ago, for around $400. It helps a lot! I would imagine that I would be in a lot more pain without it!
I’m sure these neck, and foot massagers would be great, but I haven’t been able to buy them yet:
Soak your bones in the hot tub or in the bath at home with epsom salt! Heat opens up the blood vessels which brings more blood to the area, which relieves pain!
Eat a healthy diet. Junk food causes inflammation!
Streching works wonders for pain! I use a stretch band for my legs and back, and I do some other stretches.
Lifting weights is great! It makes your muscles stronger and helps you avoid injury. Being active or doing cardio is helpful as well.
If need be, always consult your doctor if you have health problems before you start a new exercise.
Those are tips that I have to manage my pain from my job.
As many of you know, I work in healthcare as a caregiver for the elderly, for years! There are plenty of germs circulating throughout the facility when you are work, and caregiving is very hands on. You touch many germs when you are providing care, and when you clean up their dirty dishes, get their trash, gives them showers. I wear gloves, but we are so busy, sometimes we forget.
I’ve had pneumonia twice, plenty of bronchitis, stomach bugs, and cellulitis. I think getting exposed and sick, helps build your immune system, but let’s face it, getting sick is miserable, and no fun. Who has time to be sick, and the money to miss work?
I’ve done plenty of research on how to stay healthy, especially during the winter, when it is more common to get sick, because everyone is gathered inside together, spreading germs.
Number one is the obvious, you’ve heard it many times, but wash your hands. Every time we have a meeting at work, they tells us about the importance of hand washing. But think about it, you have a germ that can possibly cause sickness on your hand, and you can possibly wash it away. Wash your hands with friction, for 20 seconds, and get your nails, and under your nails. It is important! Wash your hands after you go out and after grocery shopping. Turn the facet off with a paper towel. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water isn’t available. Use hand sanitizer after washing hands.
Exercise! Finding time to exercise! Get’s out blood flowing, our T-cells circulating, red and white blood cells circulating, and our immune system, and every system in our body working. For example, if your lungs are strong from exercise, it’s easier to fight off a cold. Exercise can flush bacteria out of our lungs. Exercise reduces stress, and makes your immune system stronger by boosting antibodies.
Thirdly, managing stress, practicing self care, enjoying life, having fun, and making time to unwind. Stress can reek havoc on the immune system, especially chronic, long-term stress. You can read about it more here: https://www.apa.org/research/action/immune Take care of yourself, and manage stress.
Fifth, get out in the sun, and get some vitamin D. The sun gives us vitamin D, naturally. Use sun block if needed. Even if it is winter time, it is still beneficial to go out and get your vitamin D.
Sixth: Drink plenty of water. I watched a scientific video, a long time ago, about how fluids help our cells that fight off sickness circulate!
This is what I’ve learned from my research, sick in bed, wondering what I did wrong…
I’ve noticed when I’ve had colds I would drink 3 airborne tablets a day, and it would help, airborne tablets are loaded with vitamin C, which is good for your immune system.
If you have a proper diet, you are most likely getting all your vitamins and minerals and don’t need a supplement. You can go to your family practice doctor, and ask them to test your vitamin D. When you go in for a yearly physical, and they take your blood for a complete blood count, the test is insightful, and can give you an idea if you are eating well, and are healthy and so on. Always consult your doctor for medical advice. This is just what I’ve found helpful for my research. It got sick right before Covid, and I haven’t even had a cold once! I am so blessed. I even cared directly for Covid patients.
After having my second child, I found out that I had gum recession, which is called periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is where they measure your recession in millimeters. Gums don’t grow back, so I didn’t want this disease to get worse. This disease can also increase your chances of having a stroke or heart disease, if you don’t treat it or take care of your teeth.
I brush my teeth for at least two minuets with Paridontax toothpaste. Brush your teeth in circular motions, but not too hard.
A water flosser can help you get those spots that regular flossing cannot reach. It can get bacteria and food, before it turns into plaque. It can help with gingivitis and periodontal disease, which is irreversible, since gums do not grow back. It can prevent gum disease and bleeding of the gums.
It can get hard to reach places due to bridges, caps, and so on. It can help prevent cavities. It shouldn’t replace regular flossing though.
I started using a water flosser, when I found out I had periodontal disease, sever gum disease, since I had my daughters. I wanted to do everything to prevent my gum disease from getting worse.
I have worked as a caregiver for 13 years, and I have seen so much. I have cared for many people with dementia.
My first experience with dementia was with my Great Grandmother who lived to be 97. When she was around 95, she started wondering around at night, and she lived on a lake in Florida. How scary is that to have your Grandmother doing that. Luckily nothing happened. She came out to Colorado so that my family could take care of her. I was only 15 or so. She was telling me, that she “lived on the lake, and it was right outside the door”, and she was in my living room. For a minute I was scared, then I thought about it and realized she has Alzheimer’s. My great Grandma forgot who I was, and thought I was one of her sisters. I had to play along, this is sad for a child. Anyway, she remembered who my my Grandmother was, her daughter, which tells me that she was stuck in like the mentality that she was about 30 years old. She would make me laugh saying “oh my daughters on the phone with one of her friends again, that’s all she does”. I would go visit her and she would be crying, that tells me she could possibly have lewy body dementia. I’m not a doctor though, I’ve just had classes, and have worked with it forever.
Before dementia, my Great Grandma was an incredibly awesome, successful, hardworking person! Strong physically, strong willed, full blooded German, hearty person. My Uncle said I take after her. She had my Grandma during the depression, they opened their own electrical business, in Chicago, worked hard, survived the Great Depression, and made it! They sold their business many years ago, and you can see their business logo in Chicago, “Jemison Electric”, to this day. They helped my Dad be successful and gave him an opportunity to have an electrician apprenticeship. My Grandma would work sun up to sun down, took care of the business, cooked and cleaned, and helped take care of her 4 Grandchildren. To see her forget everything was devastating.
My Grandma had encephalitis (swelling of the brain) when she was 40 or so. This partly caused dementia early in life. We noticed her not being able to care for herself. I stepped in right away because I had been a caregiver and a medicine passer for 2 years already. I was only 21 years old, a baby. But taking care of one family member, is so much easier than 40 patients. Yes, it was sad. I had to shower, clean, feed her, do her medicine and vital signs. She was upset about this because she knew something was wrong with her. This is the bad part about this stage of dementia, know that there is something wrong, feeling trapped, and not being able to do anything about it. She never ever forgot who I was, I am so grateful. I grew up with her within a few blocks distance. She had several strokes, It looked like she had vascular dementia. I got pregnant and couldn’t take care of her, I had guilt. She lived in a memory care unit for a company that I work for now, I don’t really like this company, I think they are too cheap with their residents. Luckily my Dad, Aunt, and I would go in there and feed her and so on. I was with her the day and minute she died, and am happy that she didn’t die along.
What is dementia? It’s an umbrella term for several different kinds of dementia. In a training I was told there are 100 dementias, I don’t have time to look up if that’s true.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. It makes up 60-80% of all the cases of dementia. Alzheimer’s is disease, dementia is not. When a person has Alzheimer’s, their brain is shrinking and deteriorating . They forget how to walk, eat, and eventually swallow, and they die. On average people live 4-8 years, but depending on certain factors, they can live a lot longer. Alzheimer’s is just one from on dementia under the umbrella term.
Other common forms of dementia:
Lewy body dementia: Decline in thinking, reasoning, and functioning in day to day life. Lack of controlling emotions, a lot of crying, possibly aggression. Hallucinations. Lots of falls
Vascular: Decline in thinking skills, oxygen deprived brain.
Parkinson’s Dementia: Declining of thinking and reasoning, that can happen within one year of diagnosis.
Frontotemporal dementia: Effects personality, language, and movement.
There are three stages of Alzheimer’s, Early, middle, late, or beginning, middle, end.
In the beginning, people are aware of their short term memory loss. They are frustrated, this is hard to watch as a caregiver. They commonly lose things, forget the name of something, can’t find the right word to say, have trouble organizing and planning, having trouble managing finances. If you have a little trouble like this, because you are busy and tired from a demanding life, this is normal you are not getting dementia! This happens all the time, not just when you have an extremely busy demanding life like I do. When you have beginning stage you cannot handle an extremely busy life.
In the middle stage cannot remember where you live, your phone number, may get lost. This is when it gets scary for loved ones and caregivers. Personality changes. Not oriented with what day it is. May become incontinent , cannot control bowel or bladder.
End or late stage: Total dependence on caregiver. Not oriented in time in place. Cannot remember even what happened 5 minutes ago. Highly susceptible to getting sick and infections. Can just forget everything and not know who their family members are.
There are also 7 stages, but I don’t have time to get into this.
All in all this is a very devastating disease. It is like losing your loved one with you loved one still there. It is hard to connect with them. They know you are there, do not lose hope. The brain deterioration with this disease and what happens due to this disease, is so sad. The person that you once knew is almost gone.
I’ve gained 30 pounds while we were on lockdown during Covid. I mean the gyms and the rec center, let alone anything was opened. I couldn’t even go hiking. I got lazy, and got some well deserved rest. I mean my life is hectic. It was a nice break.
I’m 200 pounds and not happy about it.
I’ve changed my eating habits recently, and I started working out almost every day.
When I had my second born, I lost 80 pounds after she was born. I was only 25 years old. I just threw myself into working out and it didn’t phase me. I told myself that I needed to do this. I just started jogging, and doing intense cardio. I was motivated then, and I am motivated now.
Here is the catch. I am nearly 40 years old! Things are not the same! I am also a caregiver in assited living, and I have to lift these residents. One weights as much as I do. It’s doing a number on my body. Also arthritis runs in my family. My Mom is in her 60’s, and she is almost crippled by it.
So this morning my leg had a horrific pain, on the top of my thigh. It wasn’t a cramp, I probably pulled a muscle. I stretched it out. I never had pain like this in my life. I couldn’t believe it, I guess I thought I was invisible. I have a high pain tolerance. It takes a lot for me to complain. This pain was comparable to child birth. I made it to 7 cm dilated, before I had an epidural and my husband said I didn’t show any sign of pain. I also got ran over by a truck on my knee when I was 11. I am tough, and really don’t complain. But today, I couldn’t believe how painful!
I definitely have the motivation to work out and lose weight, but I need to ease into it. I need to remember to warm up, cool down and stretch. I am not a Spring chicken anymore. I am a busy working Mom, and I have a hard time fitting a workout into my schedual, so I just do my workout in a hurry. I am going to have to have a different approach before I end up hurt and not able to work. I cannot afford that.
Importance of warming up before you work out: Not warming up your muscles before you workout leads to a sports injury which includes, sprains, and bruises. Start slow when warming up and then increase the intensity. Examples of warming up are marching or taking a 5-10 minuets brisk walk. A warm up gets your blood flowing to your muscles and gets you ready to work out. It also prevents muscle soreness, and injury.
Cool down: Cooling down helps your body recover from the work out. To cool down, you can walk slowly, or exercise slowly for 10 minuets.
Stretching: Stretching is very beneficial. I have back pain, and stretching helps so much. I believe I wouldn’t even be employed at my job, if I didn’t stretch. Stretching keeps your muscles flexible. It also increases the movement of your muscles. It brings blood flow to the muscles, decreases tightness, and decreases sports injury.
This little bump in the road is not going to stop me from losing weight, and being heathier.
I love swimming. It is a great way to cool off in the summer. It is super fun. I’m been an advid swimmer since I was 6, and took swimming lessons. I have back pain from my job but the water takes the weight off your joints so it is great exercise for someone with arthritis.
Some health benefits of swimming are:
It’s a full body work out
Takes pressure off your joints. Supports 90% of your body weight.
Improves your heart health
Makes you stronger and tones muscles
Gives you energy
You don’t break a sweat!
Strengthens your lungs!
Good option for asthmatics, people with M.S. or that are disabled.
Helps you sleep
Refreshing on a hot day!
Getting Vitamin D from the sun! Use sun block if you need
I eat oatmeal for breakfast every morning with milk and a banana. No sugar though. It gives me energy, and keeps me full. It helps me lose weight. My husband says it has too many carbs, but it works for me! Oatmeal is one of the healthiest food that you can eat. Just remember portion control.
There are always health benefits of eating oatmeal.
It lowers cholesterol
Helps you lose weight
Lowers blood sugar
Protects against heart disease
Loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
Gives you energy and helps digestion
Can help with skin conditions, and is found in skin care products.
Help your immune system since they contain zinc and selenium