Blessed Assurance: Success Despite the Odds

by Jacquie Lewis-Kemp, Author & Health Coach for Living life with diabetes and organ transplants, rather than limiting life because of them.

Browsing Posts published by Jacquie Lewis-Kemp

Kidney Transplant

 

For those awaiting Kidney Transplant, listen to these transplant experiences and prepare for your own.  For those who are donors or are potentially donors listen to this wonderful series of second chance at life stories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Gift of Life

A transplant is an amazing gift that deserves to be honored in every way possible. This means making a commitment to protecting your transplant.

 

 

Help Prevent Transplant Rejection

As amazing as your immune system is, it unfortunately can’t tell the difference between a harmful germ and a life-saving transplant. For this reason, you must take immunosuppressants to prevent your body from attacking your new organ. Taking them diligently, as intended for you by your doctor, is one of the most important ways you can help ensure the long-term success of your transplant.

Help to Prevent Skin Cancer

In addition to increasing your chance of infection, your immunosuppressants may increase your risk of cancer—particularly, skin cancer. In fact, compared to the general population, transplant recipients are 65-250 times more likely to develop non-melanoma skin cancer and 2-8 times more likely to develop melanoma skin cancer.1 Fortunately, it’s easy to learn the signs of skin cancer and the steps you can take to lower your risk. Visit the Your Skin page under the Healthy Body section of TransplantExperience.com!

Help Prevent Infection2

Because your immunosuppressants work to suppress your immune response, you may be at increased risk for developing certain infections. For certain infections, vaccines provide a critical line of defense against this possibility of infection. If you are currently living with a transplant, keeping up with your vaccinations will help you fight new and changing viruses. Early vaccination pre-transplant is key to fighting certain infections well into the years post-transplant.

Vaccines come in either live form or inactivated form; some (eg, flu shots) are available both ways. Administration of live vaccines post-transplant is considered risky, and usually not recommended; ideally, you will have completed them at least four weeks prior to your transplant procedure. Depending on the amount of time scheduled before your transplantation, you may wish to work with your doctor to develop an optimal vaccination strategy. If necessary, inactivated vaccines can be administered after your transplant procedure, along with your annual post-transplant vaccinations.

(reprinted from Transplant Experience eNewsletter Inspire, November 2011)

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Holiday Remembrance

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Haley Funeral Directors' Tree of Remembrance

What better way to thank the families who have entrusted their loved ones with the

Haley Funeral Directors service than to adorn the funeral home Tree of

Remembrance with photos of their loved ones.

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Diabetes is a patient managed disease. While doctors measure blood glucose and average glucose levels over 3 months (HbA1C), they are measuring in order to give you, the diabetic patient, feedback on whether your efforts are working to control your diabetes. Doctors also check for long term complications and whether other treatment is necessary to avoid the long term complication or to treat them. Beyond those activities, doctors really cannot control diabetes–only you can.

Let me say it again, DOCTORS CANNOT MANAGE YOUR DIABETES!  Your actions and your commitment to managing this complicated disease will in large part determine your health. The best endocrinologists, internists, specialists and educators cannot control your diabetes, only you can.

But don’t get me wrong, physicians are absolutely key in your diabetes management system. Your best source of how well you’ve been managing your diabetes is likely from your physician. While that information is about past performance, your doctor should recommend ways to improve your glucose control, whether it is diet changes, exercise changes or medication changes.

Another source of good coaching is from diabetes educators who perhaps have more time to teach strategy and technique for glucose control. Education is always key whether you are talking about diabetes or technology–understanding leads to better ability to control.

Having said that, take it upon yourself to map out a way to control your glucose levels as you navigate the sticky road through the holidays. Plan how you will handle company parties, charity functions, family gatherings, and full days of non-stop shopping. Overeating is not the only complication of the season. Forgetting to eat, or not having access to a healthy meal is another. And that is why planning is key.

Also, don’t forget to get some exercise. Unless we’re winter sports fans, it is easy to become sedentary and work behind a computer all day and watch television all night. Plan some exercise, even if it is walking from the back of the mall parking lot, doing laps at the mall or marching up and down a flight stairs in your home or at work 7 times!

Burn those carbohydrates by dancing!

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Holiday drinking while diabetic. Helpful or harmful? Truth is that it is a complex issue.

It certainly depends on a diabetic’s understanding of how alcohol affects the body and how well the diabetic can control his or her glucose levels.

 

Test your knowledge and follow these guidelines from dLife this holiday season.

http://www.dlife.com/diabetes/quiz/showQuiz.html?quizId=20&utm_source=Foodstuff-20111115&utm_medium=eNewsletter&utm_content=Foodstuff-newsletter&utm_term=Focused&utm_campaign=dLife-eNewsletter

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The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) will gather friends and supporters at the MGM Grand Detroit—Grand Ballroom on December 3, 2011 for the 7th Annual Kidney Ball.  The event, which features the theme “Motown Magic” every year, will include a night of live music, great food, cocktails, and an after party, all making it the most fun charity event in metro Detroit. Last year’s Kidney Ball raised over $500,000 for the NKFM’s many programs and services that help more than 900,000 Michigan residents living with chronic kidney disease.

 

The spectacular evening, which attracts more than 700 of metro Detroit’s givers and shakers, will begin with cocktails at 6 p.m. and a fabulous dinner served at 7:30 p.m. There will also be an exciting live auction along with an expansive and unique silent auction.  Guests can also enjoy dancing and listening to the soulful sounds of the Jerry Ross Band after dinner.  Jim Vella, President of the Ford Fund, and Vivian Pickard, President of the GM Foundation, will serve as the Honorary Chairs of the 2011 Kidney Ball. Blanche Mack and Myra Moreland will be this year’s Event Chairs.

 

The evening wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of the Kidney Ball Presenting Sponsor, Meijer, as well as the many other sponsors and supporters of the event.“With so many challenges in our state things are not likely to get easier for people with kidney disease.

“Supporting the 2011 Kidney Ball can continue to help make their lives better,”
said Dan Carney, President and CEO of the NKFM. “We invite everyone to take a
step back into the Motown era and support an organization whose mission truly
is to make a difference.”

Tickets for the event are $250 per guest and can be purchased by calling the NKFM at 800-482-1455. More information about the event is available at www.kidneyball.org or you can get regular updates from the NKFM (including Kidney Ball updates) at www.facebook.com/KidneyMI.

 

The NKFM, voted “Best Managed Nonprofit” of 2003 by Crain’s
Detroit Business, and rated a 4-star charity by Charity Navigator, is a 501(c)3
nonprofit organization established in 1955. Since its inception, the NKFM has
led the fight against kidney disease and has increased awareness of the
critical need for organ and tissue donations. The mission of the National
Kidney Foundation of Michigan is to prevent kidney disease and improve the
quality of life for those living with it. The NKFM is widely known for
providing more programs and services to more people than any other region or state.

Motown Kidney Ball
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Wolverines For Life!

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Ray Kroc Biography

 

Claim to Fame: Founder of McDonald’s
Dates: 1902
Date of Death: 1984
Diabetes Type: Unknown

Raymond Albert Kroc, born on October 5, 1902, was an American entrepreneur, most famous for significantly expanding the McDonald’s Corporation. Ray Kroc was a believer in lifelong self-improvement long before it was a popular topic. It was this belief that inspired him on the day he first encountered the concept that would change his life and the way America eats. Despite facing a number of personal obstacles, including diabetes and arthritis, Kroc had a dream that would not quit.

When Kroc saw his first McDonald’s restaurant at the age of 52, he immediately saw its potential to revolutionize the food service industry. Working with Dick and Mac McDonald (who founded the original restaurant in 1940), Kroc built McDonald’s from a single eatery into one of the most universal symbols of our nation’s success.

Dubbed the “Hamburger King”, Kroc was included in the TIME 100 list of the world’s most influential titans of industry, and amassed a $500 million fortune within his lifetime. He passed away on January 14, 1984, just days before the McDonald’s Corporation sold its 50 billionth hamburger.

(source: dLife.com)

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The final risk in our three part series on the long term use of prednisone, is that of Osteoporosis. Tips to reduce that risk include:

Eat and drink milk, yogurt, sardines, orange juice, green leafy vegetables, calcium with Vitamin D supplements, soy products, salmon, nuts & seeds, reduce salt, sunshine (best source of vitamin D).

To get the most out of your bone-boosting diet, you’ll want to do regular weight-bearing exercise. This includes any activity that uses the weight of your body or outside weights to stress the bones and muscles. The result is that your body lays down more bone material, and your bones become denser. Brisk walking, dancing, tennis, and yoga have all been shown to benefit your bones.

(Sources: Encyclopedia.com, Medscape Today, WebMD, Net Doctor.)

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Diabetics are particularly prone to grow vision threatening cataracts. Transplant patients also have an increased risk of developing cataracts  because of the anti rejection drug Prednisone. Because Prednisone is a necessary part of our lives, here are some tips to prevent or reduce the risk of developing cataracts:

Eat foods high in antioxidants, including garlic, onions, beans, vegetables, celery, seaweed, apples, carrots, tomatoes, turnips and oranges.

Reduce or eliminate refined sugars (particularly white sugar, but also fructose, sucrose, fruit juice concentrates, maltose, dextrose, glucose and refined carbohydrates). This includes “natural” drinks that contain a lot of sugar, including fruit juices. Even milk sugar, lactose, found in all dairy products, can contribute to cataract formation, as it destroys gluthathione and Vitamin C in the lens.

Drink eight glasses of water per day. Adequate water intake helps to maintain the flow of nutrients to the lens and to release wastes and toxins from tissues.

Healthy Tips

  • Avoid microwaves. Radiation leakage from microwave ovens is a direct cause of cataracts, so avoid constant peeking into the open door window while you cook. In addition, food proteins exposed to microwaves can become toxic to the lens that is made mostly of protein.
  • Wear 100 per cent ultraviolet blocking sunglasses and a hat, since ultraviolet light from the sun can cause damage to the lens of the eye.
  • Many synthetic chemicals and pharmaceuticals can cause cataracts. Steroids, for example, taken internally or applied to the skin, are a typical cause of cataracts because they block the normal metabolism of connective tissue of which the lens is composed.
  • Cigarette smoking causes about 20 per cent of all cataracts. Men who smoke more than a pack a day increase their risk for cataracts by 205 per cent. For female smokers, the risk of getting cataracts increases 63 per cent. Quitting without supplementing the diet with additional vitamins and minerals doesn’t seem to eliminate the increased risk for almost ten years, probably due to smoking having depleted antioxidant levels in the eye.

(Sources: Encyclopedia.com, Medscape Today, WebMD, Net Doctor.)

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