Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Medical Insurance and Bill Management Tips

Medical insurance and bill management can be among the most frustrating aspects of cancer care for you and your caregivers. Most hospitals and clinics will provide a patient services representative to assist you. Identify these individuals and seek their help whenever necessary. Here are some additional things you can do to help:

Get a copy of your insurance policy and find out exactly what your coverage includes. Your employer or insurance company can help you with this.

Call your health insurance provider to clarify any questions that you have. Also make sure you are aware of any possible coverage issues before you start treatment.

Talk to your health care team to request that insurance coverage of any procedure, test, or treatment be verified prior to your receiving them. If your health care team is unable to provide this service, they should be able to identify an alternative resource to assist you.

Keep careful records of all your covered expenses, claims, denials, and appeals throughout the claims process. Do not throw away any correspondence.

Take notes during your conversations with insurance representatives. Include their names and job titles. Keep these notes with your records. If you think the representative is wrong, ask to speak with his or her supervisor.

If you have a claim that has been denied, talk with your health insurance provider to find out what steps you can take to appeal.
Insurance terminology can be confusing, especially during a time when you are focused on your treatment and goals of therapy.

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Friday, November 30, 2007

Anger Management Lessons

It could be a reaction to incompetence, unfairness, and work overload. It could
be from a thousand daily cuts that bleed your enthusiasm for your job. It could
be one major incident — a layoff, a demotion or someone else’s promotion.
So you blow your top at work.

Wrath is one of the original seven deadly sins — but in today’s workplace, displaying anger is just not acceptable.
Being tagged as a screamer used to be a sign of macho, a signal that you were demanding better performance. Sadly, it worked. Who wants to bring up a controversial work issue with a colleague who has a reputation for exploding? That has radically changed. One of the key requirements for management candidates these days is an ability to stay calm and focused even in the most tumultuous circumstances. Anyone still yelling over daily work issues is considered a liability.

“More and more companies are recognizing how an angry person negatively affects their workplace,” said W Barry Nixon, executive director of the National Institute for the Prevention of Workplace Violence, USA. Studies show that people get angry once or twice a week on average, with men getting more intensely angry and women staying angry longer, according to W Doyle Gentry, author of Anger Management for Dummies.
And contrary to stereotypes, younger workers display more anger than older ones, because people have better control over their emotions as they age.

Know when to rein it in.If you don’t know quite why you are angry, you cannot get rid of the anger. And if work is making you angry, the situation is going to get worse, not better,
unless you take action. You need to uproot the sources of your anger, disable those triggers and then practice new patterns of behaviour that do not include exploding at others.
“How we deal with anger is a learned behaviour — it is not innate. Sometimes we need to ‘unlearn,’” Nixon said, adding, “If an individual has challenges, they ne-ed one-on-one coaching.”
You also need to beware of “righteous anger” — you may be right on a certain topic, but the effects of your outburst will linger long after everyone has forgotten the issue itself.

When you’re the target
Anger comes out in all different ways, including verbal abuse, bullying, sabotage and physical violence, all of which can affect your ability to do your job. Retaliation from you is only going to escalate the problem. Your company has a legal obligation to prevent a hostile workplace, so if going to your supervisor about a colleague’s anger doesn’t solve anything, go to your human resources department. “In a company that listens to employees and takes their concerns seriously, HR is the place to go to,” Nixon said.

know your anger:
• Sometimes anger is tied to a specific time — Monday morning, Thursday afternoon, tax season, back-to-school season. This is your subconscious at work — listen to it!
• Monday morning anger: You find no pleasure at work. Time to look for another job, another company or even another industry. Note: This is anger, not ordinary Monday-morning moodiness.
• Thursday afternoon anger: You dislike one major part of your job, which boils over at a certain time every week. Maybe there are ways this task can be done more efficiently, maybe it’s an impossible task to begin
with — or maybe someone else could do it, possibly better than you.
• Tax season, back-to-school time: You like your job but dislike its heavy-pressure moments. You cannot eliminate all of the last-minute stress, but more intensive preparations could make the time go smoother. — Agencies

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Natural Remedy for Athelete's Foot

Normal, healthy feet will not usually "catch" athlete's foot left in a shower by someone else. Our bodies have "good" bacteria that fight off "bad" bacteria. But, if you use antibacterial soap on your feet, many of the good bacteria are killed, allowing the bad bacteria of athlete's foot left in a shower to take hold on your feet. The more you use antibacterial soap, the more the athlete's foot will worsen. Instead, regular use of plain old soap and water will allow the good bacteria to remain so you never get athlete's foot from someone else - or allow the good bacteria to multiply more and more so they kill the athlete's foot you may have already. (Every time you use an antibacterial soap or cleaner, some of your germs mutate. Eventually, these germs will be mutated so much that the normally efficient antibiotics we have now will not kill them.)

To Cure Athlete's Foot

Tea Tree Essential Oil is very effective "medicine" for skin problems, including bacterial infections and fungus. Put a few drops of tea tree oil on the areas affected by athlete's foot four times a day. Once the problems seems to be all cleared up, continue treatment for another two to four weeks to be sure you've caught it all. You can also use this for treatment for nail fungus.

You can get a spray for easy application of tea tree oil, in several forms. One of these sprays is EO Lavender & Tea Tree FootSpray. The tea tree oil has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties and soothes burning and itching. Lavender is excellent for relief and healing of pain and itch. Or you could use FOOTherapy Foot Lotion .

You can also soak your feet in tea. Fill a large bowl with a quart of boiling water and add six tea bags. After the tea has cooled enough to be comfortably warm, soak your feet for a half hour or an hour. The tannic acid in tea kills some of the fungus and is soothing for painful, itchy feet.

Or, soak the feet in warm salt water for ten minutes until the problem is under control, although this might hurt on cracked skin.
It is also helpful to pour natural apple cider vinegar on infected feet. After allowing the vinegar to dry, rinse the feet with water and dry them thoroughly.

Using baking soda as a powder on your feet and between your toes after you shower and dry your feet and toes thoroughly is helpful. These things should be done every day until the athlete's foot is gone and continued for at least a month afterward.

Acidophilus contains good bacteria. You can eat three servings of acidophilus yogurt (not just any yogurt) each day or taking acidophilus in supplement form. Some available are Acidophilus Tablets, Children's Chewable Acidophilus Tabletschewable acidophilus, Acidophilus Strawberry Liquid, and Children's Acidophilus Powder. Use the yogurt or supplements until the symptoms have been gone for two weeks. But, you can use either continuously as prevention.

After a shower or bath, dry off completely. Then use a hair dryer on low setting to dry your feet, especially between the toes. Any remaining moisture is enough to allow fungus to flourish.

Wash your socks in hot water to be sure the germs on them are killed. Or, you can "cook" your clean socks in the microwave oven for a few minutes.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

How Pepper is beneficial for Your Health

Called The King Of Spices, Pepper has been around 4,000 years and has been causing problems for most of that time. Discovered in West India, it was a medium of exchange. It was a tribute paid to cool down people like Attila the Hun, but mostly it was responsible for opening up the world and starting the spice trade and creating empires like the British, the French, the Dutch...
Nomadic Arabs took it from Malabar Coast in South West India to the Phoenicians, who took pepper to the Western world. The Greeks came next when they discovered monsoon winds and cut the voyage from the Mediterranean to India from two years to one.
While the Greeks used pepper for medicinal purposes, the Romans went wild with pepper and a special market The Via Piperatica was opened.
With the crusades, pepper started coming into Europe with frequency through Venice and the Venetians could name
their price for the spice. Then came the turn of the Portuguese led by
Vasco da Gama and their pepper prices rivaled the Venetians.
Which is when everyone got into the act.
East India companies were formed. The Dutch East India company, The British East India company and The French East India company. The result? The price of pepper went down. But not enough.
Dock workers weren’t allowed to have pockets or cuffs to prevent them
from hiding a peppercorn or two. Rent could be paid in peppercorns and at times it was more precious than gold. Families put pepper
in their daughters dowry and down-on-their-luck nobles married beneath their class for pepper.
Christopher Columbus set off to find pepper in the New World and came back with chilies, which he and through him everyone called peppers, a confusion that exists to this day.
Pepper come in four colours depending on their maturity. Black pepper, whole red peppercorns sold dried — very strong and pungent. Green pepper, unripe peppercorns sold dried or pickled in vinegar or brine — less pungent and more fruity.
White pepper, ripe peppercorns with the outer husk, removed by rubbing in salt water — less spicy and particularly suitable for seasoning white sauces. Grey pepper, a mixture of black and white pepper.
Several dishes take their name and character from pepper — the steak au poivre or steak with pepper sauce, the German Pfefferkuchen (gingerbread, literally pepper cake) and the Dutch ‘pepper pot’ (a spicy ragout of mutton with onion). Whenever a recipe states ‘adjust the seasoning’, salt and pepper are added at the discretion of the cook.

Pepper is required in practically all savoury dishes, whether they are served hot or cold. Whole peppercorns are used in court-bouillons, marinades, and pickles: crushed pepper for grills, forcemeats, and hashes: and freshly ground pepper for salads and cooked dishes.
A ‘turn of the pepper mill’ produces a very spicy fresh seasoning whereas a ‘pinch of pepper’ gives a more
discreet flavour to sauces and stews. Green peppercorns are used in specific dishes, such as fish terrines and avocado salad.
A cautionary tale to end the pepper trail. Apicius, a well-known Roman gourmet, wrote 10 books on the art of cooking most of his recipes including desserts, ended with “Sprinkle with pepper and salt”. Apicius’ banquets drove him bankrupt and rather than not give parties, he committed suicide.
But even after 4,000 years, there is an imperfection.
I have yet to come across a pepper grinder or shaker that works for any length of time. Perhaps 4,000 years is not enough for pepper perfection.

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