Some Insurance carriers are now paying for an annual consult with your pharmacist, no cost to you. Just as you would sit down with your physician, you sit down and speak with your pharmacist for about 20-30 minutes. Appointments are scheduled and questions are answered. Your pharmacist is a wealth of information. Most all have gone to school for six plus years and receive comprehensive training on diet, lifestyle, and medication management. Do you have questions about what supplements to take with your prescription medication, what side effects to look out for, or what is a healthy exercise regimen? Ask your pharmacist and ask if this benefit is included in the benefits you pay for. Use your resources! Knowledge is power. We are here to help you be your healthiest!
I decided upon this field because I care about you. I always thought the "care" part was always about just that but I've experienced that often it is not. As a pharmacist, we do the same thing if we fill 50 vs 500 prescriptions, or at least you take an Oath to. To me its all about caring for the individual. To others its about a number. " Why are we treating people like cattle herds?" says Dr. Eric Topol, M.D. You are merely a number in some instances and this number designates the "life" of your care. I hope to change this aspect. I hope others choose to change. Character counts. If we categorize value and define a hierarchy of care based on numbers then we as a society have a real problem. Big business is not health. Health is humanity. Demand quality. Demand health "care". Its time to take a stand. Individualized choices! I choose to care about your health. To your health!
You are not defined by a job nor are you defined by perception. Follow all your interests and detours in your path; and trust me you will come up more complete than yesterday. I had a photo shoot today for my agency. I dabble in fit/print modeling and though it is hard work and a challenge (beyond what most think), I have become more balanced because of it. I don't put myself in a box. Don't let others or yourself either. Living life and saying YES! Mind, body, and spirit. Trust the process. Love and light....to your health!
If so, a few important tips:
I had a young woman tell me she was scared to go back to her doctor after experiencing an allergic reaction in my pharmacy. I asked her why and she said that she didn't want to be a pain.
If you feel this then maybe you need to switch primary care physicians. Secondly, if you feel this, please examine why. A kind physician will empower you but the real power exists WITHIN! People will inevitable treat you how you treat yourself. You deserve care, quality, and respect. Everyone is worth it! Life isn't meant to be easy, its meant to give you opportunity to grow. Accept the challenge! My beautiful patient did go back to her doctor and felt great after doing so. She left me smiling (even with a rash covering her arms and face). Harm avoided and no harm done by going back.
To all those single young women out there: You have all you need WITHIN. To people everywhere: YOU are worth it!
“Your self-worth has nothing to do with your craft or calling and everything to do with how you treat yourself.”—Kris Carr
Do you take oral contraceptives? If so, do you know that there are several medications that can decrease the effectiveness of birth control? I've found that many do not, even when this prescription comes from the same doctor. Please be sure to ask your pharmacist! (And read your patient information leaflets!)
Iron is necessary to ensure oxygen delivery to every cell in your body. Do you have low energy? Feel tired? Have trouble sleeping? Are you replenishing your iron stores to ensure you have oxygen for times of stress and illness? I do not have to explain why our bodies need oxygen. Low levels can manifest slowly as headaches, sexual dysfunction, irritability, swelling of the tongue, brittle nails, and lack luster hair to just name a few.
Iron can be obtained from your diet. Some examples of dietary sources include: red meat, lima beans, kale, spinach, watermelon, beets, prunes, clams, almonds, and chlorophyll. Check with your doctor if you need further supplementation.
Keep in mind just like any food you can consume it but are you absorbing the necessary nutrients? The tannins in tea, polyphenols on coffee, phosphates in soda, and calcium if taken within two hours of an iron supplement all impair iron absorption.
You subsequently can also increase iron absorption by combining foods rich in vitamin C (tomatoes, peppers, green veggies, citrus fruits) with iron rich foods.
I routinely boost my iron stores. Sometimes in the winter my lips crack in the corners. When I consciously increase my iron intake, I am able to avoid this. Women especially need to be aware of the benefits of iron very month. Your immune system will thank you. Prevention is the treatment!
One other tidbit I wish I knew earlier is if you aren't ensuring oxygen stores you will burn carbohydrates first instead of fat during exercise as it takes less oxygen to burn carbs. If you are exercising for weight loss ensure your body has plenty of iron.
Oxygen, oxygen, oxygen! The key to optimal wellness :)
A bit of information, to your health! Explore Iron! Questions welcome!
As I listen to this song by The Fray, I'm reminded that we all this ability. Whether its a simple smile, a dollar, or just the act of listening; be THERE, be PRESENT! Everything takes a moment. Everything is a choice. Be a moment for someone.
A patient at work told me today, as I passed her leaving work, "Thank you for just showing you care, it really meant a lot". I had to think about what I did, but I do believe it came down to just being PRESENT at the moment she was describing. Simple acts...the best PRESENT one can give. We are all powerful beyond belief!
You might just save a life....Blessings for a beautiful evening, all of you!
What are the side effects? Are there drug interactions? Do I take this with food? Do I refrigerate? How do I tell if I'm allergic? How does it work? Can I drink alcohol? Where can you find all this information? On that leaflet we give you with your medication at the pharmacy. Look for it. Do you read it? Or do you choose to throw it away? Don't ask me to discard the packaging and leaflets because I won't. I choose to empower you. We give it to you for a reason. Afterall, it's your body. Take a moment to read that leaflet. It just may save your life.
"You never see a crash till its head on..."
I overheard a conversation today, on my day off from the pharmacy, about how the pharmacist didn't even smile when she picked up her prescription. Let me ask you one thing, have you ever worn a white coat? Do you understand the amount of responsibility a pharmacist holds on their shoulders every day they go to work? Enough to know that if one pill gets into the wrong bottle, a medication overdose isn't caught, or a doctor's handwriting is misread that one error can kill you. We, as pharmacists, are not allowed even one error. We must be 100% every hour, every day. There is a lot on our minds, including, yes, YOUR health and well-being. So, if the pharmacist provides you with the correct medication, in the correct dose, for the correct indication, please don't sweat it if the pharmacist didn't smile at you that day. Who goes to the pharmacy for emotional support anyway. There are other doctors for that. We care about you but please understand what it means to do our job. Until you have put on a white coat, don't judge. We provide a professional service in a retail environment where less help and greater pressure exists today. Know what service that is and help us help you. If you don't like the service, find a pharmacist you do like! In love and respect and in service to your health! We do care about you.
"While lifestyle changes can really help bring your cholesterol down, Wong says that not enough people give them a real chance." (Nathan D. Wong, PhD, director of the heart disease prevention program at the University of California, Irving)
"The problem is that both patients and their doctors like immediate results," he tells WebMD. "Lowering your cholesterol with exercise and diet is just not like that."----'High Cholesterol Treatment -- What Works? Safe, effective treatment for high cholesterol isn't hard -- but it can be confusing. Get the facts.' WebMD Feature
Do you ask your doctor about diet and lifestyle changes when a medication is prescribed for you? There are options. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits with you. Just ask.
Many need "a pill" and many don't. Look at the big picture, be patient, and see beyond the quick fix. Most indications include diet and lifestyle as treatment options before medication or in conjunction. Cholesterol is just one example.
One of the most common questions I am asked at the pharmacy by young women is "what can I take for anxiety that is natural?". There are options. People do ask. Listen to you body. You are not the only one. Simple diet and lifestyle changes can make a big difference. Then if you still require medication, at least you have explored your options. Anxiety medications can have side effects, drug interactions, dependency, and contraindications. Know what you are putting in your body. More to come...
Do you ask your doctor questions about the prescriptions they write for you? An impromptu survey reveals that 75% of those presenting a prescription at the pharmacy do not know how to take the medication prescribed. Before you leave your doctor appointment, make sure you know what is prescribed, how to take it, and ask questions.
Yes, we are well trained at reading physician handwriting but YOU must be your own advocate. Take ownership of what's going into your body; you will lessen the chance of error. Those patients who are empowered protect themselves.
One of the first questions we are trained to ask you is "how did your doctor tell you to take this medication". Not only does your answer to this question ensure the correct the drug, dose, and schedule for your body, but it helps us help you. If pharmacists recorded every time they had to call a doctor for clarification on a prescription, this number would reach to space and back several times!
Pharmacist are just as responsible for a prescription as your physician. We take this seriously.
Be empowered and become a vital part of YOUR own healthcare team.
Post-13th Hour Pharmacy Walk
Dr. Jessica Lewis
A Balanced Life