Thursday, December 14 2017
If you have just read part 1, You will have learned: how heat can affect those who are vulnerable or sick or with an ostomy; what are the different heat related illnesses to look out for; what are the symptoms of the heat illnesses; and lastly, how/what to do under each situation.
NB: It is important to remember that this is just an informative guide only and I am not a nurse or doctor, and any individual circumstances or advisement is based on each person's own circumstances. If you have questions to follow it up with your team.
So in this Part 2, I will be sharing tips to help you be more prepared for the weekend
But just in case you haven't read part 1 yet, basically here in Australia we are preparing for an extreme heat wave which will occur over the weekend and most of Australia will be experiencing temps of 35'c-45'c+.
I have an ostomy, ileostomy to be exact, I also have other chronic co-morbid health issues/illnesses and take various medications which put me at higher risk of sun related illnesses.
I started writing this post a couple of years ago but never finished it in time for it to be relevant, so I am finishing it ahead of this weekend, I only hope it might help someone to be more informed of their own circumstances and to know what to do.
Also keep in mind anyone you know who might be at a higher risk of suffering with the heat, it could be a neighbour who is elderly and lives alone, or it could be checking in on a friend, just to make sure they are doing okay - as the heat can affect many in different ways.
Part 2: Being prepared and tips to surviving the heatwave
I thought it might just be helpful to share different tips to help you get through the heatwave, if you have your own be sure to comment.
Tip #1: Never leave kids or pets alone in a car
Even on a "cool day" this is a no-no. While the temp outside might only be 25'c the temps inside that car can be 55-70'c! It can rise 40 degrees hotter than the outside temperature, so imagine how hot it would be on a day during a heatwave.... scary to think. The damage it can do is increase a child's body temperature, which could lead to brain damage... not to mention what it does to pets too.
I have seen videos and experiements where a chef has cooked a lamb while inside a car, to a vet documenting what it is like in a car. I do not suggest trying it out yourself, there are plenty of videos and information out on the interwebs about the consequences to leaving pets or kids in cars, which can be deadly.
A child left in a parked car under those conditions for even a few minutes can very quickly become distressed, dehydrated and can die from organ failure. If you see anything, you need to act quickly. If you wait, it can be too late.
What to do if you see a child or pet in the car?
You don't have to be an NRMA member to call for roadside assistance if it is in less urgent circumstances. Because of the grave danger involved, the NRMA drops everything to respond immediately to calls where a child is locked in a car.
For pets: Visit Just 6 minutes, a site by the RSPCA which outlines that it takes only 6 minutes of a dog left in a car to die. Here is a factsheet of pet first aid if you can rescue the pet from the car and can wait until the owner arrives. Call 000 immediately and ask what you're legalities are if you can smash the window. But some states you can receive a $200k fine and imprisonment for leaving a pet in the car.
Tip #2: Have plenty of water
You should drink two to three litres of water a day even if you don't feel thirsty.
Tip #3: Have electrolyte replacement on hand
Also important if you don't have an ostomy but have gastro or vomiting bugs during a heatwave too. Hydrolyte is an electrolyte drink which also comes in the form of icypoles too and can be found from most supermarkets or chemists.
Tip #4: Stay cool
If you are outdoors try and find a nice shaded tree and be sure to keep hydrated.
You could also use one of those battery operated hand held mist fans Kmart have them for $5-$10, or a spray bottle with water in it to help.
A cool tip, get it (lol) I have one of my heatpacks in a zip lock bag and in my freezer. This turns into a cold pack and means I have a cool option too. I get my heatpack/cold packs from Chatterbox City.
Tip #5: Keep plenty of drinks in the fridge prepared
Tip #6: Have ice packs or blocks in the freezer
Tip #7: Keep blinds drawn
Tip #8: Wear light summery clothing
Tip #9: Be sun smart and sun safe
Tip #10: Reapply sunscreen often
Tip #11: Don't lie in the sun exposed
Tip #12: in case of a blackout
Tip #13: Open the house at night or evening if a cool change is forecast
Tip #14: Pets or wildlife
Fill a kids clam pool sand pit thing with water and put in the shade and let your dog cool down when he needs to.
Tip #15: Keep your body cool but not freezing
Tip #16: Check in on those at risk
Tip #17: Watermelon
Tip #18: Foods
Tip #19: Wearing a stoma cover
Tip #20: Mashmallows
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I hope that you have found these 2 posts helpful on how to prepare for a heatwave with an ostomy, I know they have been long posts but there was a lot of information I needed to share with you. These posts do not replace the information of that of your nurse or doctors, it is a guide to help inform you of the risks and tips on getting through the heatwave safely.
Please be sure to seek medical attention if you require it and don't delay, heat related illnesses are deadly serious.
More Links through my research:
If you have another tip, be sure to let me know in the comments below. To read part 1, click here
Thursday, December 14 2017
NB: I am not a doctor or nurse, I am sharing information through my own experiences and also that of various credible sites online. The heat and how it may affect you can differ based on personal health issues, so please do speak to a professional regarding how to be safe in Summer based on your own needs. I am sharing the advice I have found and learned in the hopes it may help you to have a better awareness of how to prepare and endure the heatwave.
Here in Australia, we are 14 days into our Summer. We had a fairly non-existent Winter where we live near in northern NSW, and it honestly felt like a mild Summer. I don't recall having to wear a jumper at all and some nights we needed the air conditioning on. But temps were always around 30'c, it was so dry and warm that our grass and plants were rather dead looking - thankfully, after a lot of water and work, the lawn and garden are thriving.
But it did make me worry about the sort of heats and Summer to prepare for, and if going off the predictions for this weekend - I had a right to worry.
So this weekend, particularly Sunday and Monday, most of Australia will be experiencing temperatures ranging between 35'c to over 45'c, we are told this could be the first of many extreme heatwaves we'll need to prepare for this Summer.
..... 14 days in to December, this is going to be a long hot Summer!
Part 1: Knowing your risk and what to do
I know you're probably thinking, "big deal just go to the beach, no biggie" - well it actually is a big deal, especially to those vulnerable in the community which includes:
During heatwaves you can be at risk of heat related illnesses such as heat stroke, dehydration, overheating or hyperthermia, heat cramps. Heat can also worsen health conditions too. During this time the extreme heatwaves can attribute to bushfires or power outages (blackouts) too, so it is important to be prepared.
Summer and heat realated health issues and illnesses need to be taken seriously as it can lead to deaths, heart attacks, strokes and more.
How does having an ostomy put me at risk during a heatwave?
Then add in sweating and extreme heat to the mix and you're more susceptible to becoming dehydrated and suffering due to the heat. Aside from drinking plenty of fluids, also drink electrolyte drinks such as sports drinks or even icypoles filled with all of your delicious minerals and vitamins. Be sure to ask your stoma nurse or dietician what else you can do to help.
With the dehydration issues aside (I will share signs to look out for below) heat can also affect your stoma, such as: by your bag not adhering to your skin properly, using tapes/boomerangs these can help to secure your bags; you might get a heat rash, I know in Summer I get a heat rash where my bag sits against my stomach, I find wearing stoma covers helps with the irritation; Your output might be more watery due to dehydration, so have some marshmallows or gastro stop/immodium to thicken your output. Just remember your spare stoma kit and supplies if you do go out, just incase you happen to have a leak.
It is important to also keep in mind (during the heatwave) that if you are outdoors, doing any strenuous activities such as sports or gardening with an ostomy, you are at risk of heat cramps too. I will explain more about heat cramps below, but essentially due to excessive sweating the body loses water and salts (electrolytes) and when the salts in the muscles get really low these cause cramps. If your electrolyte levels are at risk of being low consider avoiding activities that might put you at risk of heat cramps, at least until you are rehydrated and the weather is as normal as it will be during Summer.
So what is dehydration and what are the signs to look out for?
NSW health says the symptoms/signs of dehydration to look out for are:
So what should you do if you or a loved one are dehydrated? NSW health offers this advice:
So what are heat cramps and what are the signs to look out for?
NSW health says the symptoms/signs to look out for are:
So what should you do if you or a loved one are suffering with heat cramps? NSW health offers this advice:
So what is heat exhaustion and what are the signs to look out for?
NSW health says the symptoms/signs to look out for are:
What to do -FIRST AID- according to NSW health:
So what is heat stroke and what are the signs to look out for?
NSW health says the symptoms/signs to look out for are:
What to do -FIRST AID- according to NSW health:
I know that this is a long and comprehensive guide on the signs and symptoms pertaining to heat related illnesses and what to do in terms of First Aid, in the next post (part 2) I will talk about being prepared and tips for enduring the heatwave.
Again, I am no health professional, I have only done 2 years of Nursing, but I just wanted to put as much information out there from reliable sources to help you be more informed when it comes to the heat and Summer... especially with an ostomy or any health issue, which can make your risk heightened. Please seek medical attention and don't delay, also remember to slip slop slap!
Please be safe and be mindful of how your medications can affect you with the heat, speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you are worried.
Friday, November 03 2017
Recently, I was asked to be the Australian writer and contributor to OstomyConnection.com which is a site dedicated to being a hub on all aspects of ostomy life.
I was asked to write an article on:
Despite there being approximately 44,000 Australians living with an ostomy, it can at times feel frighteningly lonely and friendless, especially if you live in remote or rural areas of Australia (like myself).
When I was 21 (in 2012), I was told that I needed a permanent ileostomy due to early stages of bowel cancer. I didn’t know anyone to help me understand ostomy life, especially my concerns as a young person (moreso, a young female) and navigating/living a fulfilling life. So I sought out a local stoma support group but at the time there was a 40 year age gap with the nearest age to mine, which made me feel more alone and unable to relate to them or their lives.
So .... I turned to the internet - particularly social media - in a desperate search for proof that a life can still be lived with an ostomy. At the time there weren’t many bloggers or people publicly sharing their life with a stoma, so it was hard back then to find “your people” or someone who just got you and could completely empathise with you.
Today, Instagram has a community of over 800 million users!
That is 800 million chances to find your community that you want to connect with or to be inspired by…. After all, a friendship is born at the moment that one person says to the other “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
One of the perks of social media is the ability to connect people and to help them feel less alone and isolated.
Whilst I know that there are thousands of Aussie Ostomates on Instagram, here are my top pick of 20 fellow Aussies that I know you’ll not only find relatable and awe-inspiring through the lives they lead, but that you’ll also love. Each contribute vastly to ostomy life.
I look forward to bringing you many more articles.
You can read the post here https://ostomyconnection.com/news-and-culture/20-ostomates-in-australia-to-connect-with-on-instagram
Saturday, August 29 2015
When it comes to gift giving and finding the perfect personalised gifts, I seem to have a nack for finding those perfect gifts that will have people talking about, especially if there is a story behind receiving the gift.
Originally, I was planning this post to promote in the lead up to Father's day... but as this is now only a week away I realise it could be best represented as a general gift guide for Christmas (which someone reminded me yesterday was only 119 days to go), for a birthday coming up or for Father's day whether it was a belated 2015 gift or planning ahead for 2016.
Either way, I have sourced some pretty awesome gifts that I know any dad or husband would love and appreciate.
BEST OF ALL these are made here in Australia by small businesses and some are even handcrafted/handmade. I love supporting the little guys in business, who are working hard to support their families and helping us all to add something unique to our lives.
Here is my list of 10 personalised gift ideas your dad or husband would love!
#1. Personalised Chopping Boards | Miss Bold Design $35 + shipping
Miss Bold Design also has a range of other boards perfect gifts for your mum, nan, friend, or as a wedding gift personalised with their name and the date of their wedding.
Current turnaround: Please note that personalised boards will be created after September 12th, 2015
The range of Quote/name prints available at Ollie's Room are a perfect gift to not only brighten up a room, but pop it in a fram and you have a special keepsake!
❖ Each print can be personalised with a name or custom writing* and can be personalised with 2 colours.
Available in the following Sizes:
Turnaround: As each print is individually personalised and professionally printed by our printing company, delivery times to you can take 2-3 weeks (approximately). If you wish to purchase express postage. Please contact us before ordering.
The Man Stand is the perfect gift for any guy who needs a place to store those things he only wears when going out. The Man Stand doubles as a iPhone or iPad dock and will keep all his things ready to grab when walking out the door.
❖ Store (& Charge) an iPhone or iPad.
The Stand is adjustable and can be set at different heights for reading or watching movies. The Stand also folds flat so he can take it away on holidays or business trips.
Excludes accessories shown in picture for demo only, the demo images show Non-Personalised Man Stands. Non-Personalied Man Stands are $33 + shipping.
Turnaround: Include a personalised message on your Man Stand, see their Fb page for examples. Please allow 7-10 days for personalised products.
If you've got some beautiful photos of your children and want to create the ultimate personalised and keepsake gift, then look no further, as I have found the solution... Zelsk! Based in Brisbane they ship all over Australia.
Some of their unique gifts pictured include (and not limited to):
Turnaround: Orders and the online store is closed until 7th September 2015, but like their fb page to be kept up to date when the store re-opens and their exciting new rebrand too.
Heat packs are a perfect gift for Dad, Grandpa or your husband. Created in a range of designs (pictured). Available in one size – approximately 28x19cm!
Personalise it on the front with any name (eg. Dad, Grandpa, Uncle, Poppy, etc) you’d like in and as these are printed on both sides and the pattern wrapping seamlessly all the way around, you can add a personal message on the back with who the heat pack is from!
The heat bag is made entirely of 100% cotton. Filled with raw long grain rice, and organically dried lavender. A beautiful, soothing & divine scent to smell, as well as staying warmer for much longer.
Easy to use and quick to heat up! Perfect for aches, even lovely to pop into bed to take off the chill. Lavender is calming so will enhance a great nights sleep. Or to chill – Put in a small plastic bag & pop into the freezer. It won’t freeze like a block of ice, instead the grains of rice become super cold & very pliable.
Turnaround: As these are all individual and personalised, they are made to order, please allow approximately 3-4 weeks from the date of order for delivery.
The 10 most awesome personalised gift ideas for Dad continues after this image.
Give your gift the WOW factor by ordering your very own wrapping paper which comes in a range of sizes starting at 43cm x 1m and ranging to 43cm x 5m lengths of paper.
Some product information at a glance (see their website for more detail):
Current turnaround: Orders are shipped next business day excluding Australian and Vic Public Holidays.
Show Dad how much you care on Father’s Day, his birthday or Christmas with a laser-engraved 500ml Beer Mug! Have his name and a special message engraved for a personal gift your Dad will love and no doubt cherish.
Each Beer Mug or Beer Stein is professionally laser engraved with your selected artwork or custom image. Best of all, all artwork is completed free of charge with unlimited revisions!
Turnaround: Your gift will be on its way to you in only 5-10 working days, even faster if it is urgent.
Current turnaround: This will be shipped approx. 1-2 weeks from the time of order
Does an important man in your life love playing the guitar? If so this personalised metal guitar pick is not only the perfect gift but a unique keepsake as well.
Available in your choice of:
If you're looking for the pick on it's own and not on the keyring, LOVEnCherish have a range of metal picks with and without key fobs. Pricing varies on design, but a sentimental gift that will be loved and cherished over the years to come.
Each pick can be personalised too with a name or date.
Turnaround: Orders are processed in order of date of payment received. Regular custom orders take up to 2-3 weeks to be made and are then posted out via registered post (Australia only).
#10. Custom Torch Light Stubby Coolers | Kool4U Stubby Coolers $TBC
Current turnaround: Please note that orders take approx 7-10 working days to complete + shipping timeframes, see their website for more information!
I hope you've enjoyed finding some new products and businesses to browse, I know I already have some of these gifts in mind for the important men (my pop, uncles, brothers, and of course my hubby) in my life.
The main drive behind this post was a rather personal one. In the lead up to Father's Day this year, I (like every year since my dad passed away) felt a bit sad. But this year I decided I would do something different and I decided I would go searching for items I would have bought for my dad if he were still with us; and with those products and businesses I found, I would then pay it forward by doing a little gift guide for dad and promoting these businesses.
Disclaimer: The businesses I featured above were businesses I have come across through my own findings and thought they were pretty awesome not to share. I simply wanted to create a gift guide to help with buying gifts for your husband, dad or grandfather (even your brother too).
Tuesday, July 07 2015
We are so lucky here in Coffs Harbour that there is an abundance of restaurants and cafe's open early in the morning right through until after lunch and often serving all-day-breakfast, and then there is almost as many places open serving dinner. There is a lot of variety to choose on depending on what it is that you like to eat and your budget. We also have some very beautiful surrounding towns not too far from Coffs and have some great shopping and local attractions.
The 'Clog Barn' offers the most delicious pancake stack for approx. $13, while the Twisted Sisters Cafe at the Jetty has an area for the kids to play while you catch up with friends over a well deserved coffee and cake. The food is pretty great too and they have a range of locally made products available to purchase as well, locals supporting locals is great!
Have you ever been on holidays and you actually WANTED to cook? Well... Me neither (lol)
I know how frustrating it is though, when you want something yummy and fulfilling for dinner, are on holidays and you have no idea on the best places to eat OR the places that offer GREAT meals at affordable budget friendly prices.
That's why I thought that I would do this post, and help share my part of Australia as a local with those who might be on holidays and visiting Coffs Harbour and the Coffs Coast and/if you are a local who is wanting to know where they can dine for under $11!
Here is my list of 11 places to eat for under $11.
Breakfast with a view
Plenty of parking available, and only a stones throw from the beach to go on a stroll after Breakfast.
If you're in Sawtell, or wanting to go and have breakfast somewhere, take the drive out there. Only a short drive from Coffs and some of the most beautiful beaches and views from the headlands and lookouts. While you're there stop by the Wholly Cow cafe and take advantage of the awesome $10 bacon + egg burger and coffee deal. Friendly staff and I just love the vibe you get when you walk through the doors.
Lunch for under $11
Hogs Breath Cafe $9.90 lunches available Monday-Friday, and these are pretty big meals! My husband loves the smoked BBQ beef wrap which comes with the delicious curly fries, while I like the grilled chicken and ranch burger with curly fries.
This would be my favourite Chinese place to go to for lunch or dinner in Coffs, and they have beautiful lunchtime specials for just $9.95 including fried rice or crispy noodles. Located in Park Ave across from Woolworths.
There is this quaint and homely little cafe about 20-30mins drive from Coffs Harbour situated in the village of Bellingen or as the locals know it as 'Bello'. The Black Bear Cafe situated on Church St, is home to the $11 Friday Pieday specials where you'll enjoy a locally baked pie, salad and a tea or coffee. What a bargain at $11!
The Plantation Hotel, on the highway in the heart of Coffs would be our regular place to eat with their $8.50 lunches and dinners, and it is such a good atmosphere with Tuesday nights being family nights and entertainment for the kids, and the kids can even make their own pizzas! I love their chunky battered fries they serve too.
There is this great and unique venue in Coffs down on the Jetty strip called element bar created within a modern/rustic/urban industrial space and is the place to be. With not only a great selection of food at a great price, they also have a range of drinks and cocktails to suit every preference along with amazing LIVE music.
While there are a lot more restaurants and cafes in the area than the 11 places I mentioned, this is a list of my top 11 choices for eating out in under $11, and if you have your own recommendations within the local area, please feel free to comment these below.
I feel blessed to live in such a beautiful area of Australia, and I hope that you find this guide to affordable places to eat while on holidays useful. Be sure to stop by the Solitary Islands Aquarium, and the Dolphin Marine Magic and get a kiss off of a Dolphin!
I highly urge you to head to the Woolgoolga headland during winter and see how many whales you can spot as they migrate north.
It won't take you long to fall in love with the Coffs Coast!