wellness

A Personal Experience with Hospice Care

Thursday, 29 July 2010 10:11

By Becca Harber

I spent two months with my mom in Colorado before she died from advanced cancer at the end of last year. I’d never been a daily caregiver, never witnessed, day by day, anyone dying, never been with someone at the moment of death or ever had anything serious about which to negotiate with my sister and brother. I learned a lot, including in retrospect, as a caregiver who had no mentors or personal guidance about taking care of myself in relation to my mom or our relationship in the limited time that existed. I’m deeply grateful that Mom, at 84 and with tumors in 80 percent of her liver, chose to live what was left of life without medical cancer treatment, life support or hospital time, instead, signing into the local hospice’s services, which offered enormous support at home and a final six days in Boulder/Lafayette’s Hospice Care center. 

Mom only learned she had cancer at September’s end, and by December’s, she was dead. She only felt sick for 35 days. I arrived in early November, when she didn’t feel or look sick, to stay with and support her. We attended an “End of Life Advanced Directives” workshop at Hospice Care that first weekend. This was crucial regarding what happened later. We learned about medical life supports that most terminally ill people receive and their actual impacts. Did you know that of everyone, frail, robust, young or old, that receives in-hospital CPR, only 15.2 percent survive, including people who are left brain dead or damaged? If frail, with multiple health problems or terminally ill, only 2 percent survive. As the presenting nurse said, “Usually you’re in the ER, spread-eagled, naked, with about 15 people nearby while you receive convulsive electric shocks. I’m not going to go like that.” Neither was my mom. The nurse also explained that when someone is dying, they typically lose appetite, then lose interest in food, and eventually water, because the body is shutting down. IVs for feeding/water tend to make dying people bloat and feel more uncomfortable, because they can’t process those substances any more, sometimes bringing death sooner. 

Read more: A Personal Experience with Hospice Care

 

Rootwork Offers Mother Nature's Healthcare Plan

Thursday, 01 July 2010 21:35

By Luka Starmer,
GreenLeaf Intern

amanda-rootwork-smAmanda David is one of GreenStar’s coolest members. She is vivacious and always laughing — positive vibes emanate in a ripple effect, her compassionate heart at the center. Pair those traits with her green thumb and anyone can see the conduciveness of her chosen life path. She’s the magician behind Rootwork Herbals, a line of herbal medicines and remedies sold at GreenStar.

In her words, the principal aim of her business is “to continue serving the local community by providing quality herbal remedies that give folks a more sustainable option for their health care needs, and to continue honoring plants by lovingly tending, harvesting and creating good medicine with them.” She does just that.

Read more: Rootwork Offers Mother Nature's Healthcare Plan

Sleep Challenges: Getting at the Root of the Problem

Thursday, 01 July 2010 21:21

By Anne Salazar Dunbar, 

Master Herbalist

One of the biggest challenges for a health practitioner is insomnia. Not only because so many people have it, but also because the reasons for insomnia vary greatly.

There are some great natural herbal products available these days to help folks get to sleep, or go back to sleep. Generally speaking, these products are band-aids that are not addressing the underlying issue. However, because sleep is so important to overall health, using these herbal sleep aids can be very helpful, until the real problem can be discovered and resolved.  Herbal sleep aids tend to nurture and support the nervous system, and for the occasional bout of sleeplessness, that is usually all you need. But with chronic insomnia, one needs to delve deeper into the causes. 

Read more: Sleep Challenges: Getting at the Root of the Problem

 

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Cold Outside? Bask in Bubbles!

Anna Stratton,
Wellness Manager

Deep-Steep-BBFight the winter chill with a long, hot bath — we've got all kinds of great things to put in it: bubbles, salts, and oils.

Time to pamper yourself after a busy December! Why not spend this coldest of months soaking your cares away in a hot bathtub? New to our shelves this winter is Deep Steep, featuring both affordable and luxurious bubble bath. Pour a couple of capfuls into a tub and get ready to bask in bubbles! You may want to try more than one of the available scents: Passionfruit-Guava, Lavender-Chamomile, and Grapefruit-Bergamot. Are you aware that we've got a great little bulk section for body care? Bring your own container (or use one of ours) and scoop some espsom salts or Dead Sea salts for a detoxifying soak, or fill up a container of almond, jojoba, or Haitian black castor oil, to add some much-needed moisture to your skin during harsh winter conditions. Bring kindness into this cold, dark time of year by adding a bit of luxury to your routine self-care.

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    Trees are such a ubiquitous part of our local landscape that it is all too easy to forget their essential involvement in our lives. It was for this reason that the first Arbor Day was celebrated in 1872. Each state chooses the date for this holiday to coincide with the optimal season for tree planting. In New York, Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April, which this year falls on April 27. While it is largely overshadowed by Earth Da...
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