Friday, February 16, 2018

Danger: This Flu Season Is for Real!!

If anyone has seen the news, this year’s flu season is one of the worst on record. Every state in the United States, except Hawaii, is reporting larger numbers of flu cases this year. We are seeing record hospitalizations for influenza than just about every year and is rivaling the swine flu outbreak several years ago. This year’s flu strain, H3N2, is particularly dangerous since the flu vaccine for this season seems to be less effective. Once diagnosed with influenza, how do we combat the symptoms to ease their effects and get the rest to help our bodies recuperate?

I Thought Flu Is Harmless?

Most people consider the flu a relatively benign malady and they would be right. The standard demographic that is affected by influenza is the elderly and infants/babies who don’t have a fully developed immune system yet. Others that are in the at risk demographic are those with underlying health issues such as COPD, immune system issues, or any other health issues that can compromise our respiratory system or other body parts. Normally the vaccine is based upon particular flu strains that show up in the southern hemisphere during our summer time. Unfortunately, this year’s deadly strain (H3N2) is not effectively killed by this year’s flu shot. What’s more dangerous this year is the fact that relatively healthy adults are being affected severely and deaths are being reported at an alarming rate. It’s not the flu that can kill you, but the other issues such as pneumonia that can turn sepsis caused by influenza.
Himalayan Chandra Extra Strength Saline Neti Spray Alka Seltzer Plus Cold And Cough TabletsBoiron Oscillococcinum Cold And Flu Quick Dissolving Pellets


The influenza virus attacks your respiratory system which includes your nose, throat, and lungs. Often the symptoms mimic those of the common cold, but with the flu the symptoms are more severe and come on much faster. It usually starts with a runny nose, sore throat, and maybe even sneezing but can quickly escalate to dangerous effects. The Mayo Clinic says common symptoms of influenza include:
  • Fever over 100.4°F (38 C)
  • Aching muscles
  • Chills/sweats
  • Headache
  • Dry, persistent cough
  • Nasal congestion/sore throat
The flu virus is transmitted by air droplets that are suspended in the air when an infected person coughs. It is when you directly inhale these droplets or touch a surface that has been contaminated and touch your mouth that you contract influenza. People are contagious typically from a couple of days before symptoms surface and roughly 10 days after.

Finding Relief

Once influenza symptoms have appeared and you are in an at risk demographic you should see your doctor immediately. The one course of treatment your doctor may prescribe is an antiviral prescription medicine such as Tamiflu. These can diminish some of the symptoms and duration of the flu virus. There are methods for alleviating the symptoms on your own that can make you rest and more importantly get a good night’s sleep. They include:
  1. Kaz Vicks Electric Personal Steam Inhaler: With congestion comes difficulty breathing and the soothing relief of moist steam can help alleviate this problem. This steam inhaler allows warm steam to enter your nasal passages and lungs to temporarily give relief from coughs and congestion. This lessens mucus production and soothes your nose and throat which can help minimize coughing and the associated headache coughing can cause.

  2. Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold and Cough Tablets: Since many of the symptoms of the flu are similar to the common cold, these effervescent tablets dissolve in water and can provide temporary relief from sinus pressure, head and body aches, and nasal congestion. As someone who has worked outdoors during the winter season, I can attest to their effectiveness. By alleviating some of these symptoms, you can get more rest and sleep to allow your body to overcome the flu virus.
  3. Boiron Oscillococcinum Cold and Flu Quick Dissolving Pellets: Minimizing and reducing the symptoms of influenza can expedite healing. These sweet tasting pellets dissolve on your tongue and don’t require chewing or swallowing of a pill/tablet whole. Symptoms such as body aches, fever, chills, and fatigue can all be lessened with these pellets and they have no known interactions with other medications. These are recommended for those aged 2 and up and work best when flu symptoms first appear.
  4. Himalayan Chandra Extra Strength Saline Neti Spray: The use of a Neti pot is an old world remedy for congested nasal passages. This spray is designed to naturally assist and facilitate breathing relief without the need of pouring water into your sinuses. It uses a natural, sterile saline solution that is sprayed in a fine mist into your nose which opens nasal passages and keeps your nose moist. It can help you breathe better and get more rest.
  5. Hero Nutritional Products Slice Vitamin C: It’s a well-known fact that vitamin C helps our bodies avoid and/or recover faster from cold and flu symptoms. These adult gummy vitamins help support the immune system which is our own body’s defense mechanism again foreign dangers such as the influenza virus. It uses a potent blend of toxin fighting antioxidants, vitamin C, and pomegranate to jumpstart our immune system to fight the flu.
  6. Burts Bees Honey Throat Drops: One of the most common symptoms or effects of the flu is a sore throat caused by a persistent cough or postnasal drip. These throat drops use 35% pure honey and cooling menthol to soothe the throat naturally. Honey has been a natural remedy for centuries and can now allow you to get the sleep you need without being interrupted by a nasty, persistent cough.
Burts Bees Honey And Pomegranate Throat DropsHero Nutritional Products Slice Vitamin C

This year is a particularly nasty flu season. You should start every flu season with the flu vaccine even if it is not 100% effective. It can help jumpstart your immune system and diminish any symptoms and longevity of the flu. Be sure to see your doctor if you develop symptoms and are someone with underlying health issues that may make the flu especially dangerous. Be vigilant and safe!!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Properly Use the Invacare Mariner Rehab Shower Chair

By Kevin Cleary

Use the Invacare Mariner Rehab Shower Chair properly to safely and securely shower daily and maintain proper hygiene for those with limited mobility.

A daily shower is something that many people take for granted, but for those with limited mobility being able to safely shower daily can be a treat. Nothing will make you feel better than a nice warm shower to start the day. The question is how do we help those with limited mobility enjoy an invigorating daily shower? The Invacare Mariner Rehab Shower Chair answers that question and provides a sense of daily normalcy to those with mobility issues.

Benefits of a Rehab Shower/Commode Chair

Besides the soothing, relaxing effects of a warm shower, there are medical benefits to being able to shower daily. Our body’s largest organ is our epidermis (skin) and a lot of its functions are dependent upon our skin to be clean and pliable. Especially during the cold months of winter our skin can get dry and itchy to say the least. The problem arises when our skin gets dry and is susceptible to breakdowns such as sores or pressure ulcers. These can lead to more serious issues like infection which can be difficult to deal with down the road. In addition to the ability to shower, this rehab shower chair also has the ability to be used as a commode chair. Our body needs to expel waste and regular toileting can be made easier with this rehab shower chair. Also, our skin does not like to be in contact with urine or fecal matter and a shower daily helps minimize this danger. This 2-in-1 feature not only is extremely convenient, but it is economical at the same time. This shower/commode chair can easily be manipulated by those who have the upper body dexterity to maneuver their own wheelchair due to the 23 inch wheels or can be used easily by a caretaker or family member by opting for the 5 inch caster wheel.

Ease of Use

Any piece of medical equipment is only as good as the user’s ability to easily operate it. One of the options the Invacare Mariner Rehab Shower Chair offers is a choice between 23 inch treaded urethane tires or 5 inch caster wheels. During a side transfer, the armrest can be raised and the user can transfer easily from the side over the 23 inch urethane wheel. Those who may have a more difficult time transferring may opt for the 5 inch caster wheel, therefore facilitating a simpler, easier transfer. This is due to the fact that the top of the 23 inch wheel sits just above the seat level and the 5 inch caster eliminates this obstacle. The Invacare Mariner Rehab Shower Chair is simple to use and is portable as well. The problem of transporting this chair while traveling has been solved due to its ability to fold. To unfold the chair, simply push down on the cross braces until fully unfolded. Attach the pail holder to the frame by inserting the four hooks into the holes on the frame and place seat onto frame and lock into position by pushing down. Ready to go!! To fold, basically reverse the process. Simply start by raising the armrests and removing the seat by firmly pulling up, remove pail and holder, and fold chair by pulling up on cross braces. In order to empty pail, simply remove from holder and empty into toilet. The user can even mount the seat sideways for easier access for personal hygiene.                                                        


In order for this shower to be effective it needs to fit the user properly. The Invacare Mariner Rehab Shower Chair is available in two seat sizes: 16 inch and 18 inch seats. These two sizes can accommodate the majority of shower/commode chair users. There are subtle differences between the two sizes. For instance, the 16 inch seat chair weighs 39 pounds whereas the 18 inch seat chair weighs 41 pounds. The seat to floor height in the 16 inch option is 22.5 inches and be 18 inch version is 22.75 Inches. These are small differences but they may make all the difference for you. Both versions can handle a weight capacity of 300 pounds and have an over the toilet clearance height of 20.25 Inches. You can work with a physical/occupational therapist to determine which option is better for you. Compare the below measurements between the 16“and be 18“options:

Options 16 Inch     18 Inch
Overall Chair Width 24.5 inches 26.5 inches
Overall Back Width 16 inches    18 inches
Overall Chair Height 39 inches  39 inches
Seat Width/Depth 16/16 inches 18.25/18.25 inches
Depth over Toilet 26.5 inches    26.5 inches

The Invacare Mariner Rehab Shower Chair not only makes the reality of enjoying a shower a realistic possibility, but it adds the simplicity of adding a commode chair to the equation. This not only make this mobility aid economical, but it eliminates the need for a transfer from a commode chair to a shower chair. The two sizes options make this piece of equipment adaptable to just about anyone who may need it. Make your life easier with the Invacare Mariner Rehab Shower Chair!!