Preparing for Surgery Part1

Facing surgery can be a frightening experience. You may be having questions, fears, and doubts. Research suggests that people who prepare mentally and physically for surgery have fewer complications, less pain and recover more quickly than others.
This episode is to guide you through the preparation process for surgery.

While emotional preparation is a necessary, preparing physically is also important for a successful surgical outcome. In the 2 weeks before your surgery, you should:
Stop smoking and alcohol drinking.
Eat a healthy diet.
Avoid aspirin, vitamin E, multivitamins, or other medications that interfere with blood clotting for a week before your surgery. Discuss it with your health care provider before stopping any medication.
Exercise regularly.

Some days before surgery, you’ll be asked to attend a pre-operative assessment, which may be an appointment with a nurse or doctor. You’ll be asked questions about your health, and some medical tests will be carried out.
Make sure that you inform your doctor about all the medications, vitamins and herbal supplements you take.
You’ll be given clear information on:
whether you need to stop eating and drinking in the hours before your operation
whether you should stop taking your usual medications before going into hospital
what to bring with you into hospital
how long you’ll be statying at the hospital
If your doctor has instructed you to fast before the operation, it’s really important that you don’t eat or drink anything – this includes light snacks, sweets and water. You need an empty stomach during surgery, so you don’t vomit while you’re under anaesthetic.
If you take insulin because of diabetes you’ll still need to avoid eating and drinking before surgery, but make sure your medical team is aware of your condition.

You’ll need to remove all body piercings, make-up and nail polish before your operation. This can help to reduce unwanted bacteria being brought into the hospital. Also, the doctors will need to see your skin and nails to make sure your blood circulation is healthy during the opeartion.

If you’re staying in hospital, you may wish to pack a hospital bag.

You may want to check with your hospital about their policy on the use of electronic devices during your hospital stay.

Let your surgeon know if you develop a cough, cold or fever a few days before surgery. They’ll advise whether your operation can go ahead.

You should avoid certain foods and dietary supplements before surgery.
having food in your system may cause nausea and vomiting, which can be dangerous. Some foods may complicate intestinal surgeries or cause diarrhea. In addition to this, Your doctor or surgeon will give you diet advice prior to surgery.
The night before your surgery, you should only drink beverages you can see through. Your body will digest these drinks quickly so your digestive system is cleared for surgery. Avoid juice with pulp, coffee with cream, cola and milk.
While fibrous foods are normally healthy for your body, you should not consume them prior to surgery. Fiber takes a longer period of time for your body to break down and your bowels need to be cleared out before surgery. Avoid high-fiber foods such as whole-wheat pasta, oatmeal, whole-grain bread, beans and lentils, artichokes, peas and broccoli, raspberries, pears, apples and oranges.
Your doctor may recommend that you stop taking any supplements one week before surgery.

Bartholin Gland Cyst

When I was a teenager, I had very little information about my body. My mother was too shy to open up and talk to me about my sexual develeopment. There was no Internet, and no books available to answer my questions.
One morning I was washing my body, them I usddently stumbled upon a very strange pea sized swelling right at the opening of my vagina. I was 14 or so. I was mortified. I was scared to tell my mother. I spent days trying to figure out what I’d done wrong, or thinking maybe I had cancer!

It turned out to be a Brtholon cyst.
What are the Bartholin glands?
The Bartholin glands are two small organs under the skin in a woman’s genital area. They are on either side of the folds of skin (labia) that surround the vagina and urethra. Most of the time, you can’t feel or see the Bartholin glands.
The Bartholin glands make a small amount of fluid that moistens the outer genital area, or vulva. This fluid comes out of two tiny tubes next to the opening of the vagina. These tubes are called Bartholin ducts.
What are Bartholin gland cysts?
If a Bartholin duct gets blocked, fluid builds up in the gland. The blocked gland is called a Bartholin gland cyst. These cysts can range in size from a pea to a large marble. If the Bartholin gland or duct gets infected, it’s called a Bartholin gland abscess.
Bartholin gland cysts are often small and painless. Some go away without treatment. But if you have symptoms, you might want treatment. If the cyst is infected, you will need treatment.
What causes a Bartholin gland cyst?
Things like an infection, thick mucus, or swelling can block a Bartholin gland duct and cause a cyst.
Infected Bartholin cysts are sometimes caused by sexually transmitted infections (STIs). But they can also happen when you don’t have sex.
What are the symptoms?
You may not have any symptoms if the Bartholin gland cyst is small. But a large cyst or an infected cyst (abscess) can cause symptoms.
Symptoms of a cyst that is not infected include:
A painless lump in the vulva area.
Redness or swelling in the vulva area.
Discomfort when you walk, sit, or have sex.
Symptoms of an infected cyst include:
Pain that gets worse and makes it hard to walk, sit, or move around.
Fever and chills.
Swelling in the vulva area.
Drainage from the cyst.
How are Bartholin gland cysts diagnosed?
You may find a Bartholin gland cyst on your own. Unless it is causing symptoms, you may not know you have one.
An abscess is diagnosed based on signs of infection, such as fever or swelling, and pain in the vulva area.
In some cases, especially if you are older, your doctor may remove the cyst to make sure that it isn’t cancer or another problem.
How are they treated?
Some Bartholin gland cysts go away without treatment. You can take a nonprescription pain medicine to relieve pain. To help healing, soak the area in a shallow, warm bath, or a sitz bath.
A sitz bath is one in which the hips and buttocks are put in water. It is usually used to promote healing and symptom relief around the bottom, such as for hemorrhoids, or genitals, such as for pain following childbirth.
There are different types of sitz baths to choose from, many of which can be purchased at medical supply stores. A common type is a basin that fits on a toilet seat and is filled with water.

Don’t have sex while a Bartholin cyst is healing.
If the cyst is infected, it may break open and start to heal on its own after 3 to 4 days. But if the cyst is painful, your doctor may drain it. You may also need to take antibiotics to treat the infection.
To keep the cyst from closing and filling up again, your doctor may put a small drainage tube with a small balloon at one end inside the cyst. The balloon is inflated inside the cyst to keep the cyst open. After the gland has healed, the tube and balloon are removed.
For severe cysts that keep coming back, you may have surgery to remove the Bartholin gland and duct.
There is a procedure called marsu-pia-lization in which a pouch is created by making a cut over the cyst and stitching the sides together. This allows the cyst to drain.
Don’t be scared of your bartholin gland.
All the best.

Hypertension

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated.

Hypertension usually does not cause symptoms initially, but sustained hypertension over time is a major risk factor for many deadly complications. Why?

when there’s too much pressure on the walls of the blood vessels, they might end up bursting somewhere in the body causing severe damage to the surrounding tissues.
Hypertension is classified as either primary (essential) hypertension or secondary hypertension. About 90–95% of cases are categorized as primary hypertension, defined as high blood pressure with no obvious underlying cause, except maybe the unhealthy lifestyle. The other 5–10% of cases are categorized as secondary hypertension, which is due to an identifiable cause, such as chronic kidney disease, narrowing of the aorta or kidney arteries, or an endocrine disorder.
If you ignore your blood pressure because you think symptoms will alert you to the problem, you are taking a dangerous chance with your life. Everybody needs to measure their blood pressure on a regular basis, and to prevent high blood pressure from developing.

So, are there any warning signs for hyertension?

There’s a common misconception that people with high blood pressure, will experience symptoms such as nervousness, sweating, difficulty sleeping or facial flushing. The truth is that hypertension is very often a symptomless condition.

You should not try to evaluate your symptoms in an attempt to self-diagnose high blood pressure. Diagnosis should only be made by your doctor.

Headaches or the lack of headaches are not reliable indicators of your blood pressure. Instead, please work with your doctor and know your numbers.

Except with hypertensive crisis, nosebleeds are not a reliable indicator for hypertention. If your nosebleeds are frequent (more than once a week) or if they are heavy or hard to stop, you should talk to your doctor.
Keep in mind that nosebleeds can be caused by a variety of factors.

A variety of symptoms may be indirectly related to HBP but are warning signs that need medical assessment. For example:
Blood spots in the eyes
Floaters in the eyes are not related to high blood pressure. However, an ophthalmologist may be able to detect damage to the optic nerve caused by untreated HBP.
Facial flushing
Facial flushing occurs when blood vessels in the face dilate. While facial flushing may occur while your blood pressure is higher than usual, HBP is not the cause of facial flushing.
Dizziness
Sudden dizziness, loss of balance or coordination and trouble walking are all warning signs of a stroke. HBP is one of the leading risk factors for stroke.

When blood pressure readings rise to dangerously high levels (systolic of 180 or higher OR diastolic of 110 or higher) you may notice obvious symptoms. In addition to extreme readings of blood pressure, if you experience:
Severe headaches
Severe anxiety
Shortness of breath
Nosebleeds
This is called a hypertensive crisis, and emergency medical treatment is needed.

Prevention
Much of the disease burden of high blood pressure is experienced by people who are not labeled as hypertensive. Lifestyle changes are recommended to lower blood pressure, before starting drug therapy. Mainly:
maintain normal body weight for adults (e.g. body mass index 20–25 kg/m2)
reduce dietary sodium intake to engage in regular aerobic physical activity such as brisk walking (≥30 min per day, most days of the week)
limit alcohol consumption to no more than 3 units/day in men and no more than 2 units/day in women
consume a diet rich in fruit and vegetables (e.g. at least five portions per day);
Effective lifestyle modification may lower blood pressure as much as an individual antihypertensive drug. Combinations of two or more lifestyle modifications can achieve even better results.
Resistant hypertension
Resistant hypertension is defined as hypertension that remains above goal blood pressure in spite of using, at once, three antihypertensive medications belonging to different drug classes. Low adherence to treatment is an important cause of resistant hypertension. Resistant hypertension may also represent the result of chronic high activity of the autonomic nervous system; this concept is known as “neurogenic hypertension”.
What are the causes?
Resistant hypertension has several possible causes, including one or more other underlying medical conditions. In addition to treating RH with medications, doctors typically investigate secondary causes, such as:
Abnormalities in the hormones that control blood pressure.
Artery-clogging plaque in blood vessels that nourish the kidneys.
Sleep problems, such as obstructive sleep apnea.
Obesity and heavy alcohol intake.

If undiscovered, hypertension can be a serious health problem. Get your blood pressure checked on a regular basis, and stick to a healthy lifestyle to prevent it.
all the best.

Tips for Healthy Eyes

When you’re seeing well and have no irritation, it’s easy to forget about going to the eye doctor. Often, if you wait until you notice an eye problem, it can be too late.
I have 7 tips to help you protect your eye health.

1. Get Regular Eye Exams
Children should have their first eye exam between the ages of 6 and 12 months, then regular eye exams at school age. It’s important to detect visual problems that could impede a child’s ability to learn.
Adults, especially those over 40, should have yearly eye exams, particularly to prevent age-related ocular conditions including macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma.
2. Let Your Eye Doctor Know Your Health History
Be sure your optometrist or ophthalmologist knows about what’s medically relevant. There’s a connection between illnesses in the body and eye issues. Hypertension, blood pressure and diabetes can all be detected by looking in the back of the eye.
3. Control the Air Quality in Your Home or Office
In the winter, the heating systems in homes and offices create dry air. Consider using a portable humidifier to keep the air moist, which will help prevent eye irritation caused by dryness. If you have a pet, keeping their hair off areas where you sit or lie down, like couches and chairs, is important as well. Pet hairs can track in other irritants from outside that can cause inflammation in the eyes.
4. Give Your Eyes a Break from the Computer Screen
Taking the following steps to protect your eyes:
Make sure your glasses or contact lenses are adequate for computer use.
Some people may need glasses to help with contrast, glare, and eye strain when using a computer.
Position your computer so that your eyes are level with the top of the monitor. This allows you to look slightly down at the screen.
Try to avoid glare on your computer from windows and lights. Use an anti-glare screen if needed.
If your eyes are dry, blink more.
Every 20 minutes, rest your eyes by looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds. At least every 2 hours, get up and take a 15-minute break.
5. Eat Right for Your Eyes
Dark leafy greens and dark berries can protect against macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of vision loss in people over 60. Foods rich in omega-3s, like walnuts and fresh cold-water fish, can reduce inflammation in the blood vessels of the eye.
6. Protect Your Eyes
Wear sunglasses with 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. And protect your children’s eyes as well. Clean your contact lens case: After you put in your contacts, be sure that the case is empty of all solution: Dump it out, then rinse and dry the case before you store your lenses in it again. This will prevent bactria from growing in it. Choose good quality makup and never use it inside your eyes. Throw away mascara 3 months after the opening date.
7. Be Prepared While Travelling
While flying, your eyes might feel dry. If you are a frequent traveller, be ready with eye drops (artifical tears)
If you waer glasses or lenses, take an extra pair of lenses and your glasses, just in case. And while you’re on vacation, avoid swimming with your contact lenses, to avoid the effect of chemicals and bacteria in the water on them.

All the best to you.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
There are many of options for psychotherapy, with different treatment approaches working best for different conditions.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage several psychological problems by changing the way you think and behave.
CBT will not remove your problems, but it can help you deal with them in a more positive way.
The concept of CBT is that your thoughts, emotions, physical sensations and behavior are all interconnected. Negative thoughts cause negative feelings can can lead to negative actions, and that can trap you in a vicious cycle.
In CBT, problems are broken down into five main areas:
-situations
-thoughts
-emotions
-physical feelings
-actions
Then showing you how to change these negative patterns to improve your feelings and and actions.
Unlike some other talking treatments, CBT deals with your current problems, and will not focus on your past. It looks for practical ways to improve your state of mind on a daily basis.
CBT has been shown to be an effective way of treating a number of different mental health conditions: for example depression or anxiety disorders, OCD, panic disorde, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), phobias, eating disorders, sleep problems, problems related to alcohol misuse. CBT is sometimes used to treat people with long-term health conditions, such as chronic

What happens during CBT sessions?
You will usually have a session with a therapist once a week or once every two weeks. The course of treatment will take an average of 10 sessions, with each session lasting 30-60 minutes.
During the sessions, you will work with your therapist to break down your problems into their separate parts – such as your thoughts, physical feelings and actions.
You and your therapist will analyse these areas to work out if they are unrealistic or unhelpful and to determine the effect they have on each other and on you. Your therapist will then be able to help you work out how to change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours.
Common CBT interventions include:
– Setting realistic goals and learning how to solve problems learning how to manage stress and anxiety
– Identifying situations that are often avoided and gradually approaching feared situations
– Identifying and engaging in enjoyable activities
– Identifying and challenging negative thoughts
– Learning to become aware of feelings, thoughts
The eventual aim of therapy is to teach you to apply the skills you have learnt during treatment to your daily life. This should help you manage your problems and stop them having a negative impact on your life – even after your course of treatment finishes.
Types of CBT
CBT can be carried out in several different forms, including:
– Individual therapy – one-to-one sessions with a therapist
– Group therapy – with others who wish to tackle a similar problem
– A self-help book – where you carry out exercises from the book
– Acomputer program – known as computerised CBT (CCBT)

If applied correctly, CBT can change your life.

Best of luck

Child Talking Back

Child Rage

Bed Wetting

Why Kids Lie

Kids aren’t born knowing that lying is bad. It’s something they have to figure out. They gradually understand and learn that  there are social rules, mainly by watching us adults constantly, to see what they are supposed to do, and do the same. Being honest, and understanding the concept of lying are things that kids grow to aquire.

Children go through cognitive and bahvioral phases:

  • From birth to 3, they find themselves in a confusing world. What seems to us like “lies” are either mistakes or an expression of fear. Their reaction is often influnecd by our tone of voice. “Did you break the glass?” said angrily is likely to get a “Not me” response. The angry tone in the adult’s question scares them. They just want to make things feel safe again by “lying”.
  • Children from ages 3 to 7 are in the phase where they can’t really tell the difference between fantasy and reality. They often live in their fantasy worlds where they have imaginary friends who might have done things! We don’t want to shut down their creativity, but we do want to help them sort out when it’s appropriate to tell tall tales and when it’s not. We should not get angry at them for telling us that a green crocodile at the cookie. A better idea would be to go along with the story and go look for that crocodile under the bed, then see how the story develops from there. Use humor at this phase.
  • From ages 5 to 10, kids gradually develop an understanding of what it means to lie. If they’ve been raised in a home and neighborhood and school where there are clear rules about the importance of telling the truth, they will do their best to tell the truth. They want to be “big kids”. Encourgae their sense of trust and self-confidence, and they will behave without lying.
  • Over 10? They know perfectly well when they are stretching the truth or outright lying.

Other reasons for lying: Social issues overlap with developmental ones. The older kids get, the more likely one or more of these reasons factors in:

  • Mistakes. Sometimes kids lie without thinking and then dig themselves in deeper.  If you sense that your child is lying, do not show extreme anger or it will get worse.
  • Fear.   When the adults in a kid’s life are dangerous (violent, irrational, or overpunishing), kids get so worried about the consequences to fessing up to a misdemeanor they try to avoid it altogether.
  • To get out of doing something they don’t want to do.  They don’t like doing math, and they claim to have finished their math homeowork.
  • Not understanding when it’s socially appropriate to lie and when it isn’t. They don’t know why we lie about social compliments for example. They get confused.
  • As a way to fit in. They lie to win peer approval. They lie to cover for each other and cover their tracks when they’ve done something they shouldn’t.
  • Parental limits that are too strict. When parents won’t allow them to gain some independence, teens almost have to be devious to grow normally.
  • They inevitably try out what they’ve observed at home and are often stunned when parents don’t see them as simply doing as the adults do.
  • An indication of an emerging mental illness like conduct disorder or pathological lying. Usually there is more than one symptom besides the lying. These are the kids who often become so adept at it, they lie whether they need to or not. It’s a reflex, not a considered manipulation.

Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a neurological learning disability that causes difficulties processing language. it occurs in children and adults with normal vision and intelligence.  

Dyslexia is found in 1 in every 5 people. It’s a lifelong condition that has no cure. However, most children with dyslexia can succeed in school with tutoring and specialized education programs. Psychological support also plays an important role.

Children with dyslexia are often mislabeled as ‘lazy’ or ‘stupid’ because of their lack of performance in school and in life. This is a misconception, since many people with dyslexia have an above average IQ.

To put it simply, in the brain of a person with dyslexia, there is  glitch in the ‘word analyzer’ and its connection with other parts of the brain.  

Dyslexia is caused by a problem in the brain’s ability to translate images received from the eyes into an understandable thought. It takes a person with dyslexia more time to figure out word meanings.

So, let’s try to imagine the world from a dyslexic person’s point of view. A person with dyslexia has trouble interpretting letters or words in the correct order, shape, and direction.

Here what a dyslexic person may experience:

The letters and numbers may appear reversed, mirrored, upside down, or sideways. So, s/he might confuse the letters (q and p) & (d and b), or (n,m,v,w) and the numbers (10 & 01). The word “dill” could appear as “llib.” Also the numbers (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, & 9) could be confusing to read and write.

While distinctive numbers (0,8) are easy because they look the same on both sides, also lower case letters (i, o) and uppercase (H, I, O, X) are typical in shape and therefore not as likely to be confusing

People with dyslexia might also see the letters correctly, but would be unable to sound out words; that is, unable to connect the letters to the sounds they make and understand them

Other people with dyslexia might be able to connect the letters and sound out words, but are unable to recognize words they have seen before, so that they find themselves coming back to read the same passage over and over again, in attempt to understand what they are reading.

some might process the letters and words as if they are all crammed together

Some might be processing the words as if they appear completely backwards, such as the word “bird” looking like “brid”, or “God” looking to them like “dog”

Another group may be seeing the letters and words like normal, but getting a severe headache or feeling sick to their stomach every time they try to read for prolonged periods

There are different types of dyslexia: ‘dysphonetic’, ‘dyseidetic’ and ‘dysphoneidetic’.

In Dysphonetic dyslexia, also know as “auditory dyslexia”: the person has difficulty connecting sounds to symbols, and might have difficulties sounding out words; spelling mistakes would show a very poor grasp of phonics.

The ‘dyseidetic’ person on the other hand has great difficulty with whole word recognition and spelling. This type of dyslexia is also called “visual dyslexia.”

There is also the “mixed dyslexia” or “dysphoneidetic dyslexia”. This is the most severe form of dyslexia because it involves both types of coding functions: the child can’t read (decode) and spell (encode) words either eidetically or phonetically

Dyslexia can also make mathematics, especially the algebraic forms, an especially difficult challenge. This type of dyslexia is known as “dyscalculia”, which is defined as the inability to calculate equations due to poor mental math and memory skills. Signs of dyscalculia in adulthood would include: Poor mental math, difficulty handling money, making change

Failing to notice math signs and symbols (+ = – x )

Doesn’t remember the basic math operations like addition and multiplication tables

Poor sense of direction, trouble reading maps, telling time, understanding schedules

Mistakes in working with numbers – reversals, substituting other numbers and leaving numbers out

Trouble learning musical concepts or following directions in sports.

So how is dyslexia diagnosed?

The Dyslexia Determination Test (DDT)  

Avoid confusing dyslexia with intellectual disabilities, developmental disorders or autism.  It is common however that dyslexia would be assciated with other disorders like ADHD.

I wish you great health!

Alyaa Gad