Fear of the Backhand

I’ve finally got some semblance of proficiency with regards to one of my most problematic shots in tennis. I’ve been toiling with practicing that shot since time immemorial but it seems to always have escaped me. Many matches have I played, with good results mind you as the percentage of wins I got way outnumber the losses, and it would have been much higher if I manage to be truly adept with my backhand returns.

All of my friends and several people who I played with regularly, know of this particular problem of mine, and in between teasing me and generally making me do that shot, they always beat me with it. I know I should have already gotten better with it, what with it being thrown at me every chance they get, but it remains as my sort of Achilles heel in tennis, the one thing that separates me from the club trophy that I have always longed for.

It was not always this way with my backhand as I was pretty good with it way back when my daddy used to teach me the sport. He sort of passed his passion for tennis to me and I gladly embraced it. We played and played every chance we got, all the while teaching me the basics of the sport, and it truly felt blissful for me to get inside the court, be it grass or clay and even hard paved courts never escaped my attention.

I think it’s really all on my mind this thing with my backhand shot. Maybe a couple of misses here and there sort of solidified in my mind that it was actually a hard shot, something I would miss eventually, and so I always did. I figured that out during one practice game with my best friend a couple of days ago. We were joking around the court while we were playing and kept talking about stuffs. It was only after the game when I realized that I have been doing my backhand returns quite nicely and haven’t missed a single one. Keeping my mind busy about other things seems to do wonders and not really thinking about missing it sort of did a lot of good. So it must really be the mind that is at work here.

Anyways, I’ve got the services of a local coach to teach me more about the shot and also the proper form and positioning for it, to give me the best chance of a successful return. All day we worked on nothing but the backhand shot. He gave me several drills to perform repeatedly so that I would familiarize myself to every nuance of the shot. He told me that repeatedly doing it will develop muscle memory and enable me to do it without thinking too much.

I was dog tired after our session that I even forgot to drink in between routines. I also have this middle back pain that sort of announced itself before we ended our practice. I can’t point out exactly where the pain was coming from as it felt like it keeps changing its location. Generally it’s lower left back pain and must have been the result of too much twisting I did in performing my drills. Maybe it’s some form of cramp or a muscle strain, didn’t know muscle memory included that much muscle pain lol, so much for that, anyways it’s all worth it.


Who Is Anna Chakvetadze?

Born to a Russian mother and a Georgian father, Anna Chakvetadze was a professional tennis player who retired from the sport in September 11, 2013, because of a persistent back injury. During her career high, she was ranked No. 5 in the world in the women singles.

Anna was born on March 5, 1987 in Moscow. Growing up, she was not very interested in sports. Instead, her past time used to be playing the piano. She only began playing tennis when she was eight years old after her mother introduced her to the sport. She joined a tennis club then, and four years later, won her first trophy in a city competition.

A big break came for Anna in 2001 when she won a nationwide champion in Russia, at the age of 14. But she was still hardly recognized in Europe at that time. She then started to clinch for several junior titles in Scandinavia and Baltic countries. Most of her opponents were two years older than she was and were surprised to be defeated by a girl with a long and blond braided hair. Her braid later on became a part of her image as her WTA women’s tour unfolded.

Her parents fully supported Anna in her tennis career. She traveled with her father in all of her WTA tournaments. Her dad even allowed her to take classes from Chris Evert-Lloyd, a 1970s tennis star.

In 2003, an important leap in her career happened when she made it to the Wimbledon Junior Tournament finals. In 2004, she also got a chance to join the US open where she made it to the three qualifying stages. She was able to defeat some of the biggest tennis stars during that time, including another Russian player Anastasia Myskina. According to her, the US Open gave her more confidence and strength for her future career. In 2004, she ended being on the 33th place of the World Top 100 best female tennis players.

In 2006, Anna also defeated a number of top tennis celebrities including Anna Ivanovic and Elena Jankovic. And in September of the same year, for the first time, she has won her WTA title in Guangzhou in China. She won again another WTA title after one month during the Kremlin Cup in Moscow after defeating fellow top Russian players Nadia Petrova and Elena Dementieva.

2007 marked the peak in Anna’s career. During that year, she had four WTA winnings. She won one in Australia, one in the Netherlands and two in the United States. She even made it to the quarterfinals of the 2007 Australian Open and Rolland Garros in Paris. However, her dream of playing in a grand slam finals did not come true that year. But despite that, she received her highest ranking that year for being ranked No. 5 in the top 100 WTA in the women singles.

In the spring of 2008, she won her last victory in a WTA tournament held in France. After that, her career saw a series of flops and eventually, she decided to retire in 2013.

Bunions Aren’t Forever

I have a friend whom I find so weird. Her name is Pattie. She always wears shoes even when we are in the beach on weekends. I was supposed to ask her about it before she showed me the reason behind it. She has a bunion and a bunionette otherwise known as tailor’s bunion on both feet. She is embarrassed by it and so frustrated that she can’t enjoy our beach weekends with friends. I made her feel a little better when I told her that my mom also has it and I also shared how she managed to deal with it permanently. She wanted to ask my mom personally so she’s going to drop by my house after school this Monday.

what causes bunionsMy mom felt bad for her as they were talking. Pattie told her that it’s making her uncomfortable, thus damaging her self-esteem. It is also making her stressed and depressed at the same time. She asked my mom what causes bunions and my mom readily answered all of my friend’s queries non-stop. She even offered to refer my friend to her podiatrist if she wants to know more.

Bunions are hard to deal with if you have self-image issues. You will be more careful not to show your feet to anybody else, so you always feel anxious. Bunions are a bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. It is often red and painful because it presses against the shoes when you walk. Studies contradict whether bunions are hereditary which are aggravated by shoe use or it’s just from wearing ill-fitting shoes. You can also develop bunions overtime if you have arthritis. Small bunions, however is called a bunionette and grows on the side of the fifth toe.

Primary treatment for bunions is changing your shoes which have more room for the toes to breathe. You can try buying paddings at pharmacies to put between your bunion and shoes. You can a wear a bunion pad and shoe inserts to try to realign your toes. For more advanced bunions, you can try buying splints for bunions as they have been proven to aid bunions and relieve pain. Soaking your feet in lukewarm water for a few minutes may help lessen pain. You can use non steroidal inflammatory drugs such as Naproxen which might help to alleviate pain. For a more permanent and drastic approach, you may opt to have surgery but before you do that, you need to consult a podiatrist first to have a detailed examination and be sure to exhaust all available and proven techniques before you result to surgery.

Bunion surgeries are also called bunionectomy, it is the process where the surgeon shaves off excess bone from the big toe and then realigns them with the remaining toes. Most surgeries are successful in aligning the toes straight but it doesn’t guarantee that it is free of pain. Podiatrists say it also has something to do with the way we walk. Follow up surgeries and certain exercises are sometimes needed to prevent further pain and complications.

Ankle and Foot problems

I always play tennis every weekend with my family and friends. It’s not just a sport for me but also a way to widen my circle of friends. Every week, I meet people with the same passion as mine.   We were playing doubles and we were on the third set. Our friend, Lisa had sprained foot, which was very unfortunate. She was a tough opponent as we had a back and forth game.   I hit the ball hard with my forehand then she tried chasing the ball down the line then she tripped. I managed to get to my cooler fast to get some ice for Lisa. She said her foot was okay and she just needs to ice and rest it.

I just played singles with my husband. Then 30 minutes later, he had an ankle injury. Now, that was the sign to go home. This is going to be a very unlucky weekend. I got my twins and racquets then my husband fetched the car in the parking lot. We got home and I told my husband to ice his injury quickly. During dinner, he told me that the pain is manageable, but his foot has a tingling sensation and it was a little numb. I told him I’ll bring him to the doctor first thing in the morning. The doctor examined his ankle and feet and asked him to go to Radiology for an X-Ray. After a few hours, we got the result and there were no fractures. The doctor said his foot needs to be elevated for better blood circulation. I’m so happy when I learned that his injury wasn’t serious.

Blood vessels leak fluid into the tissue that surrounds the joint when a sprain occurs. Bruising may also be seen when there is trauma as the joint was taken beyond its normal range of motion. The most common ankle sprain occurs on the lateral or on the remote portion of the ankle. This is an extremely common injury which affects many people during a wide variety of activities. Meanwhile, tingling feet are a pins and needles sensation which can be also called as paresthesia. It is a very common symptom that can be mild or severe, temporary or chronic. Normally, it is caused by the pressure on the nerves, which in turn can be caused by crossing your legs or sitting on your foot for too long. This kind of tingling goes away soon after the pressure is relieved.

Athletes and sports hobbyists alike suffer sprains and tingling feet from time to time. It’s because some ignore the importance of proper stretching before undergoing any physical activity. We should enhance and improve our balance, flexibility and build stronger, leaner muscles. Try to practice stretching before and after any kind of physical activity and always try to be in shape when playing sports and not the other way around. Our bones, joints and feet always have the burden of carrying our weight, we must lessen that burden to minimize the risk of getting an injury.

4 Common Tennis Injuries

Tennis is perhaps one of the most popular sports in the world today. Its popularity is also propelled by heated rivalry in the court by elite male or female tennis players who have gained millions of fans worldwide.

One of the undeniable truths about the tennis is that whether you are a beginner or an elite player, you could suffer from common tennis injuries. Long-time players of this sport are able to attest to that. By knowing and understanding these common injuries, you can be prepared to take extra precautions to avoid them.

1. Sprained Ankle

Many popular tennis players such as Roger Federed, Andrew Murray and Andy Roddick have suffered from a sprained ankle in the past. This injury is normally caused by a sudden sideways movement which players normally perform while playing. This movement causes the ankle to be twisted, resulting to damage of the ligaments and other surrounding tissues. In most cases, the damage results into bleeding of the tissues, which in turn causes the ankle to swell. This type of injury can be severely painful.

To prevent a sprained ankle from occurring, some tennis players use an ankle brace. However, if you already have that, it is also important to observe the PRICE protocol, which stands for Protection, Rest, Ice (should not be applied directly on the skin), Compression and Elevation.

2. Shoulder Pain

Various tennis strokes performed by players can greatly stress the shoulders. That is why shoulder pain is also a common injury among tennis players. In particular, many players suffer from shoulder bursitis, which is an inflammation that affects a fluid sac called bursa. This condition causes extreme pain every time the arm is raised.

To prevent this kind of pain, you should give attention to strengthening your shoulder muscles and keeping them flexible. There are certain exercises that can help you achieve it. If you are suffering from this condition, your first line of treatment is to apply ice pack on the affected area to reduce inflammation.

3. Calf Strain

Calf strain is an injury affecting the calf muscle group found at the back of the lowermost part of the leg. This muscle group becomes very active when a player has to make a sudden or quick move to catch the opponent’s shot.

Increased intake of carbohydrates and fluid within the last 48 hours before your game is one way to avoid calf strain. The PRICE protocol should also be administered to people suffering from this condition.

4. Stress Fractured Back

The lumbar spine can also be fractured as a result of stress while playing tennis. This is characterized by lower back pain, which can be eased by resting and exacerbated by activities that stress the back. It normally develops when the back is stressed during serving.

To avoid having a fractured back, it is important for players to be careful not to overload the back during service. Core stability exercises can help strengthen the back and avoid this injury. A person suffering from this condition may be required to completely rest from playing tennis for at least six weeks until the fractured bone is completely healed.

Most tennis players are already aware about these common injuries, but many aspiring players are not. It is important to be aware and proactive about these injuries so that you can prevent them from happening to you.

Pimple Talk

Today I will talk about my acne problem which sort of reared its ugly head back up again. I thought I was particularly over with them as I am not anymore the teenager that I once was, and having them now, really is somewhat of an insult on my age, not to mention being particularly hard on the face and stuff. They are really going to get it from me this time, as I am now better equipped than I was back then, when I was only a nonsensical teenager who just screams when I happen to have a pimple.

I have nodular acne, the type of pimples that seem to live their life underneath the skin of the face and the only thing that makes you say that they exists, are the red swellings visible atop the skin, and the sometimes unbearable pain that they eventually bring, even to the slightest touch. What’s more, nodular acne often leads to the formation of cysts which sometimes contain pus or blood, or even both if you are unlucky enough.

Pimples, or acne for that matter, forms when there is blockage in the hair follicles that is scattered all throughout our skin. The blockage may be dead skin cells, dried up sebum, or it can also be foreign objects minute enough that they can fit themselves on the follicle opening. When the follicle is closed, the sebum which lubricates our skin and performs other bodily duties cannot express itself outside and become stuck inside the blocked opening. Bacteria may then seep inside the follicle and form an infection of sorts, and that is what we commonly refer to as a pimple.

Pimples are naturally occurring and the best way to treat it is to just leave it alone to run its course. Although several drugs and creams have been developed to combat this affliction, like the salicylic acid peel who seeps through the skin and cleans it, eventually sloughing the top layer of skin to be replaced by a new layer, all they tend to do is hasten, if not worsen, the process. The thing most recommended by doctors to do, is to just routinely wash your face with regular soap and water to remove debris that may block the pores. The creams that were created to artificially do this sometimes add to the damage and may also cause pimple formation because of their chemical content.

As with me, I think I have acne again, most probably because my hormones are raging once more as it is already that time of the month for me. Adding to it the fact that smoke from nearby wildfires tend to make the air more polluted, hence additional debris on the face which may cause these buggers to form. I also am wont to forget washing my face regularly and must start to take that into consideration one of these days.

Pimple occurrence once it starts only needs time and cleanliness to help bring it to its conclusion. Hot towels covering the face works wonders for me and is my go-to treatment process when I happen to have pimples. Plenty of fluid intakes coupled with enough rest are always good for anything, much less pimples. So the minute you get a pimple, do not immediately poke at them, even if they are urging you to. Just leave them be and they will just go away on their own.

Always Drink Water

What do kidney stones feel like? I’ve been asking myself that thing for two days already and still haven’t got my answer yet. That’s silly, I know. Asking myself a question I don’t really know the answer to is kind of weird to say the least. I think it’s time I consult someone about it, probably even surf the internet about it instead of thinking about it and plucking down answers from the wind, who is none the better for it. I am nuts sometimes.

Anyways I got this pain in my back that has been bugging me since that last practice I had with my swing coach. It was a particularly hot day when we last met and the drills were intense as it was for the improvement of my backhand shot. It was a very productive day and I learned a lot from it, I also brought this pain in my back as well.

So I did get to work yesterday to find out what this pain in my back really means. It’s generally on the left lower side of my back but sometimes it goes to the middle and on to the right side of the back. From what I know about human anatomy, the particular organ of the human body that is located in those areas is the kidneys. So maybe I had kidney stones or something, and I decided to read more about it.

Kidney stones, according to several sources I found in the internet, are sort of tiny crystals that accumulate in the kidneys, which in time then binds together and form a larger crystal, or stone for that matter, and that is when a person having them begin to exhibit problems with their health, particularly if the stone goes to a place in the kidney where it obstructs the flow of liquids there.

They said that symptoms of kidney stones include:

  • Sharp pain coming in waves on the back which usually radiates downward to the groin area
  • Inability to find a comfortable place which makes a person to tend to always shift position constantly
  • Sometimes there is nausea and vomiting
  • There is a frequent urge to urinate but little urine usually pass when you have kidney stones
  • Low grade fever with accompanying chills
  • Cloudy colored urine, sometimes with blood when it’s already in an advanced stage

Well with regards to those symptoms, I’m not yet sure if I really do have kidney stones as I am just experiencing the pain in my back. I did read also of several home remedies for kidney stones and I’m planning to do some to somehow be safe from ever developing such.

Included in the remedies are partaking in less salt in the diet, drinking of water diluted apple cider vinegar, lemon and olive oil concoctions, dandelion root extract, baking soda, Uva Ursi herb amongst other things. But the main point that these websites have in common, is that they espouse the drinking of water regularly to those who are suffering from kidney stones. They say that drinking lots of water may induce the breaking down of the stones and also facilitate their eventual flushing from the kidneys.

I immediately remember not drinking water during my training session, even when I was already drenched with sweat, on a very hot summer afternoon. Maybe that was what really caused this pain that I am feeling right now. Okay water get ready for me as I’ll be coming to get you as soon as I finish with this post. I’ll also make sure to set an appointment with our GP just to be sure. Hope water eventually takes care of it.

Nervous Wreck

Have you ever been so much worried by something in your life that it really seem that the world is closing itself on you and you really can’t do anything about it? Kind of like you are drowning in a sea of Jell-O and no matter how much you try to reach the surface, you instead fall deeper into it. Well I had experienced that feeling a couple of days ago that was brought about by an event that I wouldn’t want to happen again anytime soon if I can help it.

One of my twins began crying uncontrollably and kept pointing at his tummy. It started late afternoon so we really couldn’t go to the doctor anymore and the hospital, never mind the hospital as it seems to be light years away from our place, although we did consider going there when it escalated later that night. Yep, our family doctor did entertain our call but it wasn’t any much help either as he really needed to see my son personally to know what he is suffering from. He just told us relatively basic things to do to somehow alleviate the pain among other things.

An anxious mommy is probably the tamest thing you could describe me during those moments as I was a mess, both physically and emotionally. I didn’t know what to do. Those suffering from anxieties like phobias, PTSD’s, OCD’s or relationship anxiety didn’t have anything on me when I’m like this as I was already panicking. Imagine your son in great pain and you can’t do anything to help, that could prove to be the death of me. Maybe I should really take supplements for anxiety as it is beginning to get the better of me. I can’t think straight, I can’t plan on what I should do in those situations. All I do is immediately go into emergency mode and panic myself to exhaustion.

Anyways, later that evening when all hope seems lost and we were all getting ready for the long drive to the hospital, my son passed gas. Yep he farted alright, and smiled after that, can you believe that? Turns out he was constipated after eating too much mashed potato earlier that day, which was his favorite by the way. So all that fuss was about nothing at all and there I was sitting in a corner, totally spent like an almost burned up candle, albeit a little bit happy and relieved to know that my son was going to be alright after all.

I’ve really got to remedy this anxiety thing of mine as I don’t really want to die young because of it. I heard of several natural things like echinea, holy basil (ooh holy, might work on me), lemon balm, kava root, ginkgo, rhodiola, beer and wine among other things, the two latter ones seem a bit familiar and I wouldn’t mind taking them as medicine, better them than some over the counter drugs, which may make me a worse mess than I already am now.

Summer Time Skin Care

My twins and I frequent malls lately because I often forget to buy some things in the grocery. I have the habit of listing them but I always lose them due to different reasons. I bumped into Krista, an old friend of mine back in grade school. Time really flies as we both have careers and families now. She’s working as a dermatologist downtown. I told her I’d like to have coffee with her but I have my twins with me so we just exchanged numbers. We had coffee a week later and chatted about our lives then and now. It was fun reminiscing the old days with her. We started to have a serious chat when we talked about her work. She shared that the sun’s rays now are stronger than when we were kids. I was shocked with all her stories about the cases she dealt with like removal of stretch marks on breasts. She even offered me a free consultation and discount for treatments.

One thing that really stuck on my mind was her patient who had second degree sunburn. I didn’t know that it can be that serious. I need to take care of my skin better.   Second degree burns occur when you have a long and repeated exposure to UV rays which can result in the destruction of elastic fibers in the skin, which causes it to sag and wrinkle and damages blood vessels. It has blistering and swelling effect to the body which is really painful. Burned area appear wet, shiny and may sometimes appear as white and discolored in an irregular pattern. Compared to the first degree that only lasts for a while, the second degree may have a lasting damage which is more fatal to our skin and overall health.

When dealing with newly burnt skins, rinse the burnt skin 20 to 30 minutes with cool water to stop the burning. Refrain from applying toothpaste as it will further aggravate the wound. Instead, gently apply an anti-biotic ointment and then put fresh clean bandages. Application of antibiotic ointments should be twice a day until the wound heals. Wound dressing should also be changed twice or thrice a day depending on the gravity of the burn. Daily cleaning of wound is also encouraged to remove dead skin cells to accelerate the healing process. Never pop the blisters so as not to have the possibility of secondary infection because blisters gradually come down as it heals.

Prevention is always better than cure, it’s better to take a bit longer to apply a sunblock rather than enduring so much pain when you get burnt. I’d rather buy some sunblock instead of buying gauzes and burn ointments. Get a good brand of high SPF grade sunblock and apply an hour before you go out. You can reapply the lotion every hour or once you observe that the lotion is thinning because of perspiration. You can also use Zinc Oxide on areas that have been repeatedly burnt. Remember to stay away from the sun’s rays between 10am until 3pm when the sun’s rays are extremely hot.

Stretch Marks, Unsightly yet Inevitable

I am proud of my body amid all of its seeming flaws and imperfections, all its aches and pains, and all of its pimples and pock marks in between. I love my body even though I’m sort of on the tipping point between being fat and being just alright as I have my two kids to show for it. I’m also not a bit worried about it as I am relatively an active kind of person to begin with and all it takes is a couple of rounds of tennis to bring my body up to speed, and up to form.

The only thing I am particularly careful about, no worries or anything, are the unsightly stretch marks on the belly which I got when I was still pregnant. Besides, carrying two not so really small boys in the belly does tend to make anybody’s belly stretch so hard, that you would think it would explode at any moment. It was fine when the twins were in there, but the moment they got out caused a little bit of a mess to say the least.

My body was left with stretched out skin in the belly area that didn’t stretch back to their original form. The doctors said that they will, eventually, in time, but I really doubt that from happening. I was then left with a sort of a melted beer belly that hung in front of my pants, which eventually needed a little bit of imagination to conceal. It was very hard to look at and very hard to have as it was an alien thing to me.

I have tried many things for it, to somehow lessen it a bit or something. I have tried moisturizing creams, Retin-A, Lextrin, glycolic acid, vitamin E oil, egg oil (whatever that was), and even tried several combinations of them to no avail. Name it and I’ve probably tried it at one time or another. Next thing on my agenda are laser treatments on the area as someone said to me that they actually work well in removing stretch marks.

But the thing I will not dare try is the surgical option with regards to stretch mark removal. I think they call it abdominoplasty or something, tummy-tuck for us laymen I suppose. It involves removing excess skin by way of slicing (ugh) them from your body and sewing the remaining flaps together. Talking about them sounds so gross already, what more if you got do it in person. I would more likely prefer placing a tattoo over stretch marks than having it operated on.

So how to remove stretch marks really? I’ll tell you what I’m up to now. Maybe it will work or maybe not, but I thought pretty much about it and came into the conclusion that exercise was really the answer. I have begun an exercise regimen which consists of various kinds of sit-ups and crunches targeted to that specific area on my belly, which I hope and pray, will at least make the skin in the area taught enough to re-stretch the stretch marks there. If not, then I’ll just let them be and move on to much more important things. As I said earlier, I love my body stretch marks and all.

Wrong Doctor’s Order

My husband Robert has been frequently getting sick because he is working 12 hours for five days a week. Sometimes, he even does his work at home on weekends and I’m really concerned about it because his body is getting weaker each day as he’s always coming home with common colds, flu and even sore throats. This has been ongoing for a month and I told him that he should be tested so we’d know his real condition. He has been taking Vitamins every day, but it still isn’t enough.

Dr. Kumar is a family friend and a neighbor so I asked Robert to drop by the hospital and see him. The doctor was surprised when he saw Rob. They had a quick chat about their families and then eventually led to the talk about why my husband was there in his office. The doctor advised that he needs to take time off from work, even for just a week. He added that a nice whole week without thinking about anything else, just chilling at a beach might be a perfect vacation that will rejuvenate my husband’s body. He was also prescribed antibiotics to be taken for just a week.

Rob told me what the doctor told him and he was seriously thinking about it and I was glad that he listened. I suggested he call up some of his friends for a get together, which he did. He told me that they plan to stay at a friend’s house that just got divorced and they are going to relive college memories there. I laughed and reminded him to relax and not be stressed too much.

After a week, He came back and he looked revitalized. He shared that he doesn’t have sore throats or any kind of problems anymore and he plans to keep on taking his antibiotics. I asked him if the doctor told him when to stop and he forgot about it. He also told me that he had fun with his friends and it was really nice seeing them again. Weeks passed by and he still seems lively, but I spoke too soon. He told me that he developed red rashes on his penis coupled with a burning sensation when urinating. He quickly told me that he is faithful and I know that he is. I am just worried that he’s sick again.

I accompanied Rob to Dr. Kumar’s office and told him what happened to my husband. The doctor asked very detailed questions about the things that he did after he came down his office last time because it was a new symptom that wasn’t related to the prior ones. He then found out that my husband developed a yeast allergy, you can read more at www.lifewithallergies.net, because of the wrong use of antibiotics. Prolonged use of antibiotics can rid the body of the good ones, allowing the normally-occurring yeast to take over which happened with my husband. I was a bit angry at my husband, but at the same time, very worried. The doctor shared that there are many precautions to be done and he has to avoid foods that have anything with sugar, anything with alcohol, almost all fishes, dairies, fatty oils and anything corn as it will just complicate it with more corn allergy symptoms.

I hope Rob learned his lesson to always remember the doctor’s orders. Next time he goes again for a checkup, I’ll make sure that I can come along so I’ll know what he can and can’t do.

Summer Project

Ever since the summer season started, I’ve been hooked all day tending and fixing our backyard. It’s a lot of hard work, but I’m enjoying it. Rob even bought me a huge sombrero to fend off heat. I’ve hired a babysitter to watch over our kids. My husband and I talked about putting up a Treehouse and we need to replace our old, rotten fence with a steel one. I’ve already taken out most of the weeds. Maybe in two weeks time, I will be finished with putting up new shrubs and bushes in the yard. I’d love to plant in more trees for better shade, but I still need to talk about it with Robert on what kind of trees I am going to plant.

Last week, I noticed that my scalp was itching badly. I looked at it in the mirror and found out several scabs on scalp. I thought that it’s just dandruff so I used a shampoo containing ketoconazole, which is an antifungal. I used it for a week and it wasn’t working. I told Rob about it and told me that if it was just dandruff, it should have been gone by now, but it didn’t go away. Rob and I decided to consult a dermatologist about my condition because it has been hounding me for the last few weeks. We went to the nearest clinic and luckily, there were no patients in line. We talked to the receptionist and she gladly booked us for the hour. Minutes later, a patient walked out of the doctor’s office. The receptionist called us and instructed us to go inside. The doctor introduced herself as Dr. O’Neal. I shook her hand and told her about what brought me to her clinic. She put on a new pair of gloves and examined my scalp with a big magnifying glass with bright lights on it. She also put alcohol in a ball of cotton and she cleaned my scalp. She told me that I have scalp folliculitis, like the ones described by experts here, and it needs to be treated immediately as I don’t want it to progress further.

Dr. O’Neal prescribed me a weeks worth of antibiotic and an antifungal cream. She mentioned that I should continue using the anti dandruff shampoo that I had as it may help my scalp recover faster. She advised me to avoid being under the sun too long with a hat because the heat is trapped inside the scalp. She also reminded me to take frequent baths if it’s humid as it can help lessen the risks of another inflammation of the scalp. She added that I can also take antihistamine medicines, if the itchiness still does not cease.

Rob and I went home and he was sorry that it happened to me. I told him that it wasn’t his fault since I was the one who wanted to make a backyard project this summer. He told me that he’ll try to help me every weekend to lessen the load from me and I’m very thankful about it.

Smoking Kills

Rob’s mother, Sherry, has been smoking since she was in college. Rob has been bothered by it as he constantly asks her mom to quit whenever they see each other. He often tells her that there are many diseases out there related to smoking like lung cancer, emphysema, bronchitis and even pneumonia. There are also other diseases which posts risks because of smoking like hypertension, asthma and ulcer. He even reminded her to have a dental checkup as she has many nicotine stains on her teeth. Her mom just laugh it off whenever her son does that. She told me that it is just tough love and I agreed. I asked her how many sticks she can consume in a day and she told me that she used to smoke two packs a day, but now as she’s getting older, it’s just a pack a day. I was shocked that she thinks it isn’t much.

Many smokers are having a hard time to quit entirely as cigarettes contain nicotine which is very addictive. It will really take time and lots of effort to really quit for good. It is suggested to quit gradually so as not to have withdrawal symptoms such as frequent headaches, sudden mood changes, nausea, fatigue or even depression. Smokers also need help from their families. Just showing them the much needed support will boost their morale and will make them continue what they have started.

One Sunday morning, we got a call from Rob’s dad that her mom was experiencing cough, shortness of breath, fatigue and lots of mucus production on her throat. He shared that it has been ongoing for almost a month and he wanted us to know that they’re planning to get her examined by a good pulmonologist in our local hospital. Rob and I offered to come because we want to show our support to her mom. The doctor asked her mom to make deep breaths while he’s listening to his stethoscope. He also asked her to go to the laboratory to have a sputum test and a chest x-ray. He also told us that we have to wait for a few hours for the results. He added that her symptoms points to either bronchitis vs. pneumonia. We were relieved to know that her condition is treatable, but at the same time, we are worried about her health.

After a few hours, Sherry was just sitting quietly while we were talking about the possible treatments that her mom might undergo. The doctor knocked on the door and told us that she has bronchitis. He prescribed her a weeks worth of antibiotics to be taken after meals. He advised her to drink lots of water to help the sputum buildup to soften and eventually, be excreted with her coughing. He also mentioned a lot of alternative bronchitis remedies like taking up yoga and meditation as it both focuses on deep breathing that strengthens the lungs and allows more oxygen to enter to facilitate better lung function. He also added that Sherry should try to quit smoking because it will further aggravate her condition.

Taking care of Bunnies

Lionhead bunnies are gaining popularity as pets here in United States, United kingdom and other countries. They originally came from Belgium. Breeders crossed a miniature Swiss Fox and a Netherland dwarf which developed the “mane” gene. They are called Lionhead because they have large hair-like lion over their heads. They normally weigh around 2.5 pounds to 3.75, has a solid, moderate build with a short, broad and well-rounded body. Usually, their head, neck, chin and ear are covered with thick covering of fur reminiscent of lions.

There are two types of manes namely the single and the double maned. Double maned has much thicker hair which goes up to around the shoulders as well as a wool skirt along their tummy and backside. They will shed most of the skirt for about 6 months. However, the single maned has hair around the head and ears and their skirt is typically less compared with the double maned. Double manes generally have so much fur as this can show up on their faces, ears and sides. Generally, single manes lose much of their manes by the time they mature. They have a very wide selection of color as they are available in Opal, Lynx, Chinchilla, Fox, Sable Marten Blue, Chocolate, Lilac, Siamese Sable, Siamese Smoke Pearl, Sable Point, Tortoise Shell, Agouti, Chestnut, Smoke Pearl Marten, Silver Marten, Squirrel, Tan, Otter, Orange, Fawn, Steel and Black.

bunny breeds

Lionheads are very lovable pets as they are very energetic, playful, sweet, cuddly and docile. They’re very timid and hesitant to go near you at first but once you earned their trust, they’ll love and crave the affection and attention of their owners.  They are easy to take care of because they just need water, high quality rabbit foods, hay and high-fiber food diet such as lettuces or carrots. It is very important that you give them hay to help prevent wool block and keep them getting overweight. You can occasionally give them deserts like raisin or a slice of banana or apple. Do not feed your rabbit too many fruits, as they are high in sugar and can cause diabetes and dental problems. However, baby lionheads need high fat, high protein diet to thrive. Don’t feed the babies under 5 months anything but food and hay. Make sure they always have fresh water to drink. Let them out to play twice a day to have a form of physical activity. You can buy or build them a play yard to have a place to run.

Regular grooming and an occasional trimming are imperative to avoid their fur from being tangled. Brush all the fur on the rabbit’s back and sides from time to time to remove loose hairs. Check the rabbit’s teeth to see if they have overgrown teeth or discharges on their eyes and ears. If they have one, take your pet to the veterinarian. Regular nail trimming should also be part of the grooming routine. Just a reminder, rabbits don’t need baths because they find it very stressful. Just do spot cleaning instead if necessary.