Try Natural Medicines for Hay Fever

I have a student in one of my grade school classes who is very fond of math. I know it is somewhat a kind of aberration, as children don’t particularly like math, but she does really like it. I always see her intently listening to whatever I am explaining, be it on the board or in their books that the school issued. She always raises her hand, never skipping a beat, either for discussion or to ask something that she wants clarification on, and you can clearly see that she is very much into it. And she also has high grades to match her enthusiasm, and I believe she got the math award in her class last year, and is already a candidate for it this year. But the problem with her, is that she is frequently absent in class.

She has Allergic Rhinitis, also commonly known as hay fever. No she is not particularly allergic to hay or have a fever most of the time, hay fever is a condition or disease, which typically resembles a common cold with its variety of symptoms such as sneezing, runny, itchy nose and blocked sinuses. Hay fever is caused by the body’s response to allergens in the air, particularly pollen from trees, plants and grass.

Hay fever is a very common disease and is treated by drugs such as Anti-Histamines and steroids. Although the medicines used to treat hay fever is very efficient, it only addresses the symptoms of the disease and not the source of it. Allergy testing is very vital, to know on which items you are allergic to, and consequently avoiding such things, is basically the crux of the treatment of hay fever. Strengthening of the body’s immune system is another vital avenue towards its cure. For hay fever, the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” really rings true.

I had talked to her a couple of times, asking if she was alright or if she is feeling well, sometimes she tells me that it is difficult to breathe, sometimes she complains of fluid in lungs and the hard effort that is needed to bring it out. I also always consciously try to call her in class to answer something, because she often gets sleepy with the medicines she was taking. Medicines for hay fever, always almost contain anti-histamines, which main job is to suppress the production of histamines in the body, but an undesirable side effect of them is drowsiness.

I am also planning to talk to her parents and suggest about the values of natural antihistamine. Maybe it can help with her being sleepy all the time and allow her to concentrate more. Many types of food contain natural antihistamines, typical everyday foods such as garlic, ginger, parsley and even vitamins C and sea-foods contain enough of the compound, that regular consumption of them is as effective as taking medicines. I am just waiting for the correct time to discuss it with them. Hopefully they will give it a try.

Help Me Decide

I almost stepped on a dog today. I was so busy getting to my car, carrying bundles of construction paper to be used in another fun school project, and there were too many people at the mall scurrying around, when the unthinkable almost happened. It was a small dog, no bigger than my shoe, with very fluffy hair that you would mistake it for a bag or something. It was the cutest thing!

Talking with the gracious owner of the dog, who also immediately accepted my apologies, saying that it was bound to happen and that it was also her fault, because her dog was meant to be carried in crowded places, I found out that the dog was a Teacup Pomeranian.  Teacup because it was a tiny variation of Pomeranian dogs, which originally hails from Europe, and is already small to begin with, so just imagine the size of her dog.

They were at the mall to see the vet and to have her pet checked for dog ear infection. The owner said that her dog was always shaking her head and kept on scratching it, as if trying to get something out, and that she had checked it and noticed a bad smell coming from the ear. Freaked out about it, that was when she decided to go to the vet to have it checked out. The dog seemed quite alright as it wiggled around in her grasp and kept playing with the buttons on her shirt, but hey, what do I know about her dog anyway, and I’m not about to smell his ears to really find out, so I just took her word for it. We both said goodbyes and went our separate ways.

I keep on thinking about her dog while driving home. The image of that cute little Pomeranian cuddled beside me or playing with things around my desk is very tempting. It also has been a while since we have had a pet in our house, and I think it’s about the right time to have one, or maybe not.

I thought about how little it would eat and how easy it would be to bathe and care for. Not to mention the joy it will bring to the kids both at home and at school. I can almost picture their eyes, wide with amazement and wonder, and how they would love holding and playing with it. I really would love to have one.

But I also thought about how hard it would be to care for such a little dog. Being very little means that it is also very fragile, a fall while carrying it or an accidental step, like what I have almost done recently, could give it injuries more certainly than a bigger, normal sized dog. Improper handling by kids, who surely would love to hold it, could also bring harm to it. The many risks involved in caring for one, would surely reflect with the high cost it would require from Pet Health Insurance, also came to my mind.

Maybe it was just infatuation, I told myself. Maybe it was really not the right time for it, said the other side of my head. But my heart tells me that I would love to have one. Which do I follow?


Pets for Show and Tell

Today we had our Show and Tell in class and it was a success. I told the kids to bring whatever it is they wanted to class, and explain a little bit about it. It can be anything, from a simple rock, a painting of theirs and even their pets, provided that they tell a brief history about the item that they brought, where they got it from and also how important it is to them. I also warned them not to bring anything dangerous or illegal as they would get punished if they did so.

I know they are a little bit old for this activity, already at middle school, but I thought it would be nice to repeat it, if only to further hone their skills in public speaking and boost their confidence in it. It is also nice to know each students insights about different things, as you can visibly tell it from the way they speak and the kinds of words they are using, and it is not so much for their academic learning but for their personal growth as well.

And judging by the weird sounds and numerous pet cages around, it would be safe to say, that most of the students brought their pets with them. To be exact, there were three mini dogs, two cats, five spiders, a snake and a hedgehog; I thought to myself about how chaotic it would be, if any one of them ever escaped from their cages. I understand the choices of cats, dogs and to some extent, and just for shock factor, snakes and spiders, but to think that some of these kids got hedgehogs as pets, amazed me a little. Hedgehogs are almost non-social animals that prefer to rather be by themselves than to interact with humans. So I was very curious about the kid that brought it, and also silently thought to myself, that if I were his classmate, I would eventually ask him of where was the fun in that?

Time did come for that particular boy, to explain why he brought the hedgehog with him that day. He began by asking the class if they are familiar with the video game called Sonic the Hedgehog, which he says was his favorite game when he was younger. He then showed his pet hedgehog and declared to the class; this is Sonic. He said that he was so enamored with the game, that he eventually asked his parents to buy him a hedgehog, and he got his wish. He added that at first, he was disappointed with Sonic, as he was so slow moving, and was the direct opposite of the fast hedgehog that was featured in the game, but then, eventually came to love him because of his “lazy ways”, which he said, reflected to his own personality.

He then said “Sonic” in a loud voice, and the hedgehog he had brought with him curled into a prickly ball, which elicited several oohs from the class, mine included. He then picked Sonic up and blew wind into the hedgehog, and amazingly, it resumed normal form, and was met with loud applause from his classmates. He then closed his presentation by talking about how he himself builds his own hedgehog cages, with just a little help from his dad, and how he takes care of Sonic by himself. He eventually returned to his seat with a big smile on his face.

I was smiling too.

Pointers on How to stop Breastfeeding

There comes a time when a breastfeeding mother has to stop feeding her child from her breasts. Its either the child has already grown and is past the prescription time for breastfeeding or that a problem has occurred that necessitated its abrupt termination. Either way, there are several methods a mother can use, both natural and artificial, to help her in this situation.

But before you stop breastfeeding, you must first know what to expect, when you go through the process of weaning your child from your breasts. There are several sources, that you can easily get hold of, for this kind of information, like your family doctor, a friend who has past experience in breastfeeding, or even the internet, where you can find answers to whatever qualms you have. But I would like to briefly state, that the hardest and most difficult part of how to stop breastfeeding, is the effect it has on your baby.

mother brest feedingMy co-teacher has had troubles weaning her child from breastfeeding. Apart from having her period while breastfeeding, which is not normal as menstruation commonly, does not start until the cessation of breastfeeding, she had also suffered from Thrush, a yeast infection which can be passed to the baby, and had to stop breastfeeding. It was terribly hard on her baby adjusting to the sudden change. She even said that her baby became somewhat emotional to what had happened, and at first, also refused other forms of feedings such as with baby bottles and baby cups. It is understandable for the baby to feel that way because not only had he lost his mother’s milk, but also the routine comfort time he had with his mom during feeding. It was an arduous time for both of them but they eventually adjusted.

Generally, the stopping of breastfeeding is rather quite simple. Make up your mind and set a date on which you will start weaning your child form your breast. When that date comes, start to lessen your breastfeeding sessions with your child. If for example, you regularly breastfeed about 8 times a day, then make it only seven sessions after two days, six sessions after another two days, then five and four, until you eventually get to zero breastfeeding sessions in a day. During that time, it is vital to replace your lost breastfeeding sessions with feeding from a baby bottle, so that your child will not miss out on needed nutrients. It also serves as familiarization of your child to the bottle which will become his source of feeding from that time hence.

When you discontinue breastfeeding, you may suffer from breast soreness, plugged milk ducts and even breast lumps due to the fact that you are still producing milk. It is recommended to have warm showers to at least relieve the pain and soreness in your breast. The wearing of a tight fitting bra also helps the process as well as using nursing pads, to prevent breast milk from ruining clothes, as you may still experience milk leakage for several weeks. Also be aware that your breast may sag from the cessation of breastfeeding, it is normal and does not have anything serious meaning to it. If problems persist or if you are experiencing something out of the ordinary, trust your instincts and immediately consult a doctor.

Choosing a Dog is Hard

My family agreed with me about getting a pet. But instead of the Teacup Pomeranian that I was raving about, they gave me a choice between a Bichon Poodle and a Yorkie Poodle. They reasoned that the tiny Pomeranian, although the cutest thing, will eventually be harder to care for, owing to its very small size. Small things, they said jokingly, tends to get easily misplaced and lost, even sat on unknowingly or kicked for that matter. I almost debated them for the sake of the Pomeranian, but I remembered what had happened between me and that kind of dog last time we came in contact, I almost stepped on one.

Browsing on the internet to find what each dog looks like, and each ones particular characteristics, I found myself eagerly clicking through websites, combing thoroughly, each bit of information, whether big or small, about the two dogs. Like a child who was promised a pet, I was going bananas in anticipation over which dogs I would choose.

Both of the dogs are wonderful but are relatively high maintenance. The two of them share the poodle as the common mix which means both will have fluffy coats that will not shed but also needs to be groomed often to avoid the matting of their hair. They are described as intelligent, friendly and are always eager to get attention. Both are hard to get housebroken due to their small bladder size, which eventually needs to be emptied frequently, sadly at any place they are currently in, when nature comes calling. Although both dogs share many similarities, they also have distinct differences between them. The Bichon Poodle is more gentle mannered than the seemingly always high strung Yorkie Poodle. The Yorkie is a little bit easier to train than the Bichon but are so very noisy, always yapping around, compared to the more sedate Bichon. With regards to their color, Bichons usually is white and the Yorkie is more on the darker shades of brown and black, oftentimes mixed.

Going through their pictures, they seem to look very much alike, and it really seems like choosing between only one breed of dog as you can’t really tell the difference just by looking at them. Anyways, I’ll know which one I will eventually like when I get a chance to see them in person. Maybe I will even take whichever is the first one that is presented to me. I love dogs very much, there is something about them being so loyal and friendly towards us humans, that it provokes us, especially me, to return the favor and love them back. The type of breed they have doesn’t matter anymore when you see their soulful eyes looking straight through you, you just feel like taking the first one you see, that is, if it’s not growling or something.

I’m so excited, I just can’t hide it, I know, I know, I know, I want you. It’s a song silly. I’m singing because I’m very happy today. Want to know why?

Take your Hips Seriously

hipI had to teach extra classes this week because one of my co-teacher was down with a torn labrum hip, not that I’m complaining about it or something, but the injury she suffered was a bit unexpected, to say the least. She was an active person, running every day and does not miss her schedules at the gym. She looks so healthy that you will even mistake her for a gym instructor or any person working, or related to, fitness activities. Imagine the shock we had when she suddenly fell into a heap while we were climbing the stairs to the second floor. She had to be helped up and carried, because one movement from her legs is enough to send her crying in pain.

A quick visit to the emergency room validated what was feared. After undergoing an impingement sign test, a test wherein her hips are flexed 90 degrees and also turned inwards, she was diagnosed as suffering from Acetabular labrum tear, labrum tear in simple English, and had to be admitted for the day as her agonizing pain is still needed to be addressed.

A labrum tear is a tear of the cartilage that encircles the hip socket. The acetabular labrum cartilage helps secure the head of the thigh bone or femur inside of the hip socket and provides strength to the joint, while the labrum is a kind of connective tissue that is wrapped around the edges of the hip socket. A tear in this area means the head of the femur will not be secured within the hip joint, thus movement coming from the area causes pain and even a limitation of mobility from the joint.

There are many causes of tearing of the cartilage in the area, the doctor said, with the most common reason being an injury or trauma suffered by the patient in and around the area of the hips. Abnormal hip movements coupled with weak muscles in the hips causes labrum tears. Other causes are the structural abnormalities in the hips that are inherent or inborn, like suffering from hip dysplasia as children makes one more at risk from labrum tears, and lastly, the execution of repetitive movements, especially those not within the normal range of motion, using the joint and its surrounding structures, also causes the condition.

Treatment for the affliction consist of prescribing pain and anti-inflammatory medicine coupled with strictly enforced immobility of the area involved during the first phase of treatment. Anterior hip precautions also suggest the avoidance of putting weight to the area. The succeeding stages consist of physical therapy, especially pertaining to normal range of joint motion, and the strengthening of the muscles within the hip and leg areas. Another treatment alternative, although not recommended, said the doctor, is going through the surgical route, wherein the labrum cartilage may be removed or refastened to the bone, depending on the severity and location of the tear.

All I can say to myself was wow, realizing so many things can happen, to such nondescript part of the body, scared me a little. It made me realize how mortal we are, and also reminded me to be aware, and take better care of myself, as I really, really don’t want that to happen to me.