Health

Cover Your Ankles

No, I’m not channeling a Victorian governess, telling you to be modest.

It might only be me, but if any part of my legs or feet is exposed to cool air, I get sinus congestion and a runny nose. If I don’t take steps, it progresses to a sinus infection.

Although I realize it’s a personal idiosyncrasy, I mention it because it took me years to put the cool legs together with the respiratory symptoms, and maybe someone out there could benefit from the idea.

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Less Expensive Prescriptions

Big stores like Walmart, KMart, etc. offer common generic medications at $4 a month.

Some grocery stores that have pharmacies offer some meds, like antibiotics and metformin, for free. In the southeast, it’s Publix. Elsewhere, other stores do the same. It can’t hurt to ask.

Systolic Blood Pressure

All my life, the top and bottom numbers of my blood pressure have related to each other in a normal way: 117/73, 120/80, 125/82, like that.

Then I got pancreatitis and stopped cooking with garlic. I never ate mass amounts, but normal amounts regularly. When I had to stop eating it, I developed Isolated Systolic Hypertension: the top number when high but the bottom number didn’t. Turns out garlic contains a compound that improves the elasticity of blood vessels, thus contributing to normal systolic blood pressure.

Once I figured this out and resumed eating modest amounts of garlic, the top number came down again. My pancreas doesn’t much like it, but I feel it’s worth it to keep my pressure normal.

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/author/mariebrack

https://sampler1blog.wordpress.com

 

Horrendously Expensive Medications

The latest email from http://www.stretcher.com includes an article from a subscriber who couldn’t afford the $280 (!) co-pay on a prescription. He remembered those TV ads about how the manufacturer “may be able to help.” He called and explained his situation. They gave him a coupon for a month’s worth free. Since his was an acute condition, this was enough to get him through.

It can’t hurt to ask!

 

The Three Second Rule is not for Eye Drops

The eye drops bottle is not kidding when it says “Do not touch the tip of the bottle to your eye or any other surface.” Not even for a fraction of a second.

My frugal instincts led me to continue to use the (nearly full!) eye drops after they touched my eye and all it did was make the conjunctivitis worse. Because the bottle became contaminated in that less than a second in which it touched my eyeball, and I was just dripping germs back into my eye every day.

Throw it out.

 

It’s not the Sodium, It’s the Balance

All my life I had low-normal blood pressure, except when exposed to petrochemically-based fragrances and grooming products, then it spiked. The fairly low blood pressure was fine and dandy, until I got where it wasn’t safe for me to cook anymore. I switched to frozen dinners (mainly Marie Callender’s – they don’t taste fakey like some brands). I noticed my blood pressure started running a bit high. Not horrible like the petrochemical spikes, but too high for complacency.

Prepared foods often have higher levels of sodium than scratch cooking, and high sodium intake is often associated with high blood pressure. So I Googled around and learned, or re-learned, that part of managing sodium levels is not just reducing sodium, but balancing it with potassium.

The sites I found talked about eating potassium-rich foods like peas and bananas. There’s only so many bananas and peas I’m going to realistically eat. Eating them did lower my pressure some, but not enough, and I knew I’d eventually drift away from eating that way. So I bought some potassium tablets and added them to my weekly minder pill-keeping-track-thingy.

Well, wow. Within a few days my pressure was back to my normal 117 or so over 73 or so. I think I’ll take the potassium tablets maybe five days out of seven instead of every day, because there is such as thing as TOO MUCH potassium. If you take too much it can cause irregular heartbeat and even cardiac arrest.

Adapted Neck Brace

The bones in my neck are pressing on nerves and sending electrical zings into my head. The chiropractor recommended a neck brace. I ordered one on Amazon, but it was too short for my neck. Rather than buy another, I spent $3+ at Walmart on rectangular pieces of Velcro and made an extension.

The brace makes me hold my neck in correct alignment, and provides some support for my big ol’ (brain-filled) head, so my neck isn’t under as much pressure.

 

 

 

Marie Brack is the author of Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely. It’s available on Amazon.com in both Kindle and paperback versions.

Kindle preview: https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B00HQKOQBG&asin=B00HQKOQBG&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_gITAxbZWT7SRJ

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=marie+brack