Osteoporosis: Signs, Symptoms and a Plan
Wow, it's hard to describe the week and half we've all had. The barrage of smoke, news, and stories of those who have lost their homes, businesses, and even friends and family, is overwhelming to say the least. In addition to the fires up north, we had a tragedy closer to home on Tuesday night. Our next door neighbor's house went up in flames in the middle of the night. It was started by a space heater. It was awful. My neighbor, Dora, lost her life in the fire. My heart goes out to her family. The neighborhood did rally around the family to try to help in whatever way we could. And I have to give it to the Oakland Fire Department. They were got here so quickly and managed to evacuate three other adults and two children. The loss of life though weighs heavy and the devastation of that night has been at the forefront of my mind. When I think of these poor people up north who have lost their homes, businesses, friends and family - whole neighborhoods up in smoke, it's overwhelming.
I have noticed this week in my office that almost everyone is in more pain than usual. I think it must be due to the excess stress and the smoke. Both are causing more inflammation in our bodies. As always, I'm trying to figure out how to help my patients feel better and now how to help our neighbors in the north. Below is a list that I think can help.
Giving not only helps those in need, it helps us to feel better by activating the pleasure centers in our brains. It's a win-win. I dropped off eight bags of supplies to nearby St. Paul Towers on Friday. Being there and talking to some of the seniors really did help. They generously took in 80 displaced seniors last week. Thanks so much to all of my patients who brought by blankets, clothes, and toiletries. The folks at St. Paul's were very thankful and so sweet. But let's face it, the thing the people who've been affected by fire need the most is money. Here's a list of great charities that need money to help those in need.
- Sonoma County Recovers
- Redwood Empire Food Bank
- United Way of the Wine Country Relief Fund
- Redwood Credit Union North Bay Fire Relief Fund
- East Bay SPCA
Do you have some free time or can you make some? Here is a list of groups that are asking for volunteers:
- Sonoma County Recovers: Volunteers needed to sort and distribute supplies that have come in.
- Redwood Empire Food Bank: Volunteers needed to distribute supplies and provide warehouse support for all the donations coming in.
- Epicenter Donation Site: Volunteers needed to sort and distribute clothes to evacuees.
- East Bay SPCA: Foster parents are currently in high demand, as East Bay SPCA took in many displaced shelter pets from North Bay.
- Donate Blood or Volunteer with the Red Cross: Blood donations are always needed in time of crisis.
Prepare Yourself for a Disaster
If you've been glued to your radio or tv this week like I have, then you've heard the stories of the people who barely escaped the fire. One family said they had five minutes to leave their house and they spent the whole time searching for their keys. Over and over I've heard that it's a good idea to have a "Go Bag" near the door that you can grab and run. Here's what you should put in it:
- Car keys - yes extra car keys are expensive these days but they could save your life.
- Important documents - try to have these scanned and loaded up to the cloud so you can always access them. But if you must have paper, at least put them in your Go Bag. You never know when you're going to have access to the internet during a time of crisis.
- Water, food, cash, clothes, first aid kit... Here is a complete list you can download.
Try to Reduce Your Stress
Stress is at an all-time high for many of us. Between the hurricanes, the President, and now the fires, on top of any personal issues we're going through, many of us are under way too much stress. Here are some ways to keep that to a minimum.
- Exercise. While there's smoke outside, it's probably best to move your exercise routing indoors. But don't scrap it. Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress and help you feel better.
- Meditate. Meditation is proven to be one of the most effective ways to keep anxiety at bay. Click here for a link to my blog on recommended guided meditations.
- Get together with friends. Being able to talk about the things that worry us with people who are going through the same things helps us feel like we're not alone. Grab lunch with a friend, volunteer with a neighbor, or even throw a fundraising party for your favorite charity.
- Find time to escape and do the activities you enjoy. My family and I drove to Santa Cruz last weekend to get some much needed fresh air, spend time at the beach, and ride some roller coasters. There's nothing like a roller coaster to help you forget your troubles.
Hang in there everyone. Remember, I'm here for you if you need me.
All the Best,
Dr. Carolyn Finnegan
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