Category Archives: Howard Baker, RN BSN

Howard Baker, RN BSN – Medical Insights

Healthy Summer Reading

Howard Baker, RN BSN
Howard Baker, RN BSN

With summer well underway, it’s a good time to get a head start on reading ideas. In 2012, unemployment / under-employment continued to be a problem, causing economic uncertainty with the loss of health benefits, and Obama Care seems to create more questions than answers for many Americans. The reading list will not solve unemployment nor answer your questions on healthcare but, I guarantee an eye opening and exciting read from the books listed below. Support your local library by asking if they have these books available for loan. Every year Library Journal (LJ) publishes a list of the best consumer health books. Highlights from the 2012 list are as follows:

Teresi, Dick. The Undead: Organ Harvesting, The Ice-Water Test, Beating-Heart Cadavers—How Medicine Is Blurring the Line Between Life and Death. Continue reading Healthy Summer Reading

Healthy Summer Swimming

Howard Baker, RN BSN
Howard Baker, RN BSN

Memorial Day typically marks the start of summer vacations as many of us flock to the water’s edge. Swimming has many health benefits which makes it one of the most popular sports in the United States. This time of year always takes me back to when I was a child and would go swimming with my grandfather. The sounds of laughter and conversations around the pool and lake always take me back to a time that was seemingly without danger or concern. As a child it seemed to me mom was more concerned with the unknown—unseen dangers such as snakes, sharks, diving, and drowning. I am sure my mom had many concerns I never knew about or have blocked from my memory. WOW, how the years change us!

It seems all too often the sounds of playful splashes and laughter are shadowed by the news of a child drowning. Child safety takes on a whole new Continue reading Healthy Summer Swimming

A New Year’s Resolution

Howard Baker, RN BSN
Howard Baker, RN BSN

Can you believe it’s time to bring a close to 2012 and ring in 2013? It seems like only yesterday we were setting goals and making New Year’s resolutions for 2012. I have to admit this holiday season has been one of the most stressful and I welcome the official close of the year as we ring in the New Year. 2012 saw its fair share of devastating storms, senseless shootings, and celebrity deaths, Whitney Houston, Phyllis Diller, Larry Hagman, Andy Griffith, Neil Armstrong, and Dick Clark to name a few.

A New Year’s Resolution of losing weight, exercising, or to stop smoking are all great—but, have we kept those well intended resolutions made after a holiday season of overindulging in comfort foods, endless parties, and shopping? I searched my brain for the perfect New Year’s Resolution until my head hurt, and as I looked up to see my dog Skyler staring at me—it was like eureka! It came to me my 2013 New Year’s Resolution would be, to be more Continue reading A New Year’s Resolution

A Christmas Story

Howard Baker, RN BSN
Howard Baker, RN BSN

A Christmas Story
I started reading Christmas stories to groups when I was only 5 years old. I guess I’ve always had a knack for storytelling because as I stood before my brother’s 3rd grade class and read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, I didn’t realize that the book was upside down. Although my telling of Clement Clarke Moore’s story was not verbatim, nonetheless, its spirit and meaning were very much alive. Because, you see, the spirit of Christmas resides in the hearts and minds of children; written words will never express the true meaning of Christmas that lives within us.

As a child I can remember our family going to the hospital cafeteria so that we could eat Christmas dinner with my mom when she was at work. Therefore, I am confident that I have had more holiday meals in a hospital than I have at home. That experience gives me an eccentric feeling of belonging to Continue reading A Christmas Story

Suffering Up By 56%

Howard Baker, RN BSN
Howard Baker, RN BSN

Human suffering is all around us and people seem to be suffering more every day. In my childhood memories I seemingly cannot recall specifics about suffering, was it because as child I could not recognize suffering, was I simply sheltered from the suffering around me—or did we live in a happier time. Suffering goes back to biblical times so we know suffering has always been part of life. Without sorrow could there be happiness—would we know the joy of laughter?

Suffering is all around us every day and it knows no boundaries of age, wealth or health. For the teenager who suffers from acne or the disappointment of being dumped before the prom, their pain is real and just as devastating. The person who loses a job and suddenly faces Continue reading Suffering Up By 56%

Suffering Up By 56%

Howard Baker, RN BSN
Howard Baker, RN BSN

Human suffering is all around us and people seem to be suffering more every day. In my childhood memories I seemingly cannot recall specifics about suffering, was it because as child I could not recognize suffering, was I simply sheltered from the suffering around me—or did we live in a happier time. Suffering goes back to biblical times so we know suffering has always been part of life. Without sorrow could there be happiness—would we know the joy of laughter?

Suffering is all around us every day and it knows no boundaries of age, wealth or health. For the teenager who suffers from acne or the disappointment of being dumped before the prom, their pain is real and just as devastating. The person who loses a job and suddenly faces unemployment in a down economy, or a spouse files for divorce—what if all Continue reading Suffering Up By 56%

Halloween’s Lucky 13 to Safety

Howard Baker, RN BSN
Howard Baker, RN BSN

The thought of Halloween fills my head with mysterious haint tales and russet leaves blowing across a path, with the eerie sights of carved pumpkins glowing in a mist of flickering light. Halloween is filled with ghosts and goblins running amuck in search of tricks and treats. The fall air fills with sounds of mischievous giggles and laughter as they mix with the smell of scorching pumpkins on a cool, crisp night. Ooh, the magic of Halloween! Suddenly, giggles and laughter cease when a child lies motionless on the cold, dark pavement—the result of an accident caused by a Halloween distraction. Had I only changed one thing—giggles and laughter would still fill the night.

Halloween safety is a must and we all play an important role in keeping ghosts and goblins safe. Use the Halloween Lucky 13 steps to a safer and happier Continue reading Halloween’s Lucky 13 to Safety

All Lacquered Up

Howard Baker, RN BSN
Howard Baker, RN BSN

I often reminisce of the many rich lessons my grandmother taught me growing up and reflecting them in my writings. Even on her deathbed those in her midst could not help but join in the laughter and lighthearted conversations she was known for. The conversations I remember most during this time were the jovial laughs and references to her well-manicured hands and feet. See, the day before she died she had had her weekly manicure and pedicure but, this time she had added a rhinestone to the already bright and shiny ruby red fingernail polish. Her toes sparkled almost as bright as her personality with laughter and wit at every turn. With gel polish all the rage, I have to wonder what humor my grandmother would find today about nail polish lasting two to Continue reading All Lacquered Up

Healthy Summer Reading

Howard Baker, RN BSN
Howard Baker, RN BSN

With summer well underway, it’s a good time to get a head start on reading ideas. In 2011, unemployment continued to rise, causing economic uncertainty and the loss of health benefits for many Americans. Every year Library Journal (LJ) publishes a list of the best consumer health books. Highlights from the 2011 list are as follows:

Barken, Frederick M., M.D. Out of Practice: Fighting for Primary Care Medicine in America. Cornell Univ. ISBN 9780801449765. Barken, a retired primary-care physician and health policy instructor at Ithaca College, fairly examines and critiques the current health-care model. The problem: insurance companies and government Continue reading Healthy Summer Reading

You Are Invited to Come See What All The Buzz is About

Howard Baker, RN BSN
Howard Baker, RN BSN

Berea Online’s own Health and Wellness Columnist Howard Baker, RN invites you to Come See What All The Buzz is About!

Rodan + Fields Dermatologist are committed to offering real people real results with their skincare. And while everyday skin conditions can be complex, the solutions dont have to be. Thats why our Products are based on a philosophy of Multi-Med® Therapy—using the right medicines and active cosmetics, in the right formulations, in the right order.

Beauty editors are raving about an incredible new line of products from the Doctors who created Proactive® Solution. These clinically-proven products Continue reading You Are Invited to Come See What All The Buzz is About

Rosacea and a Princess

Howard Baker, RN BSN
Howard Baker, RN BSN

A few weeks ago, a nurse at work was experiencing a flare-up of rosacea. For the first time I saw firsthand not only the physical pain—but the mental anguish and frustration she was experiencing from the lack of an effective and coherent plan of care to treat this common skin disease. My friend had been treated by several dermatologists using several treatment options all with varied success. She tried prescription medications, and changes in diet both with dismal results.

Rosacea is a common skin disease often beginning with a tendency to blush or flush more easily than others. Rosacea can cause more than redness and because of the number of signs and symptoms of rosacea they have broken it into four sub types.

1.) Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea: Redness, flushing, and visible broken blood vessels (spider veins), swollen skin, skin may be very sensitive and may Continue reading Rosacea and a Princess

So You Want A Tattoo?

Howard Baker, RN BSN
Howard Baker, RN BSN

It seems tattoos are graduating from the stereotype of being only for carnival workers, sailors, and bikers. Tattoos are and have been moving into the mainstream of our society. According to a USA Today survey 24% of people 18 to 50 years old sport at least one tattoo. The art of tattooing dates back to 3300 B. C., and even has biblical mention. No matter your view on the art of tattooing—it is shared by Kings and commoners, prisoners, sailors, and sweethearts.

With the number of tattoo parlors popping up all around, you could be the proud owner of a new tattoo in just a matter of a few hours. I think it is wise to mention that tattoos are much easier to get—than to get rid of. So, some food for thought on choosing the right tattoo artist, the procedure, safety, and Continue reading So You Want A Tattoo?

Would You Wrestle An Alligator?

Howard Baker, RN BSN
Howard Baker, RN BSN

Would you jump in a pen and wrestle a half crazed alligator? Probably not! Well, March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in the United States. The sad thing is that in 60% of the cases, colorectal cancer is preventable with routine screenings.

So, who is at risk for colorectal cancer? You are considered to be at average risk if you are 50 years old or older with no other risk factors. Men have an average lifetime risk of colorectal cancer of about one in seventeen; whereas, women’s risk is about one in nineteen. People at higher risk are those with a close family member such as a parent, sibling, or child who has had the disease, or those who have had colorectal cancer or precancerous polyps. Race also plays a significant role. Blacks are more likely than any other racial Continue reading Would You Wrestle An Alligator?

Indoor Tanning and Your Skin

Howard Baker, RN BSN
Howard Baker, RN BSN

If you are like me spring is dancing in your head, with sounds of birds singing to the wonderful sights and smells of grass greening and flowers blooming. Ahhhhh—spring is in the air and all around us, what a welcome time of year. Spring usually affords us a much needed break from winter and school, sets the stage for bathing suits, sun and tanning beds. It seems everyone wants to be the first to tan as we race for beaches, mountains, and fields to enjoy and feel the sun tanning our skin.

The other day as I traveled through town I could not help but notice tanning store lobbies full of customers waiting to tan. Even despite warnings from dermatologist and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the risk of indoor tanning we still insist on browning our bodies. Indoor tanning has Continue reading Indoor Tanning and Your Skin

My Heartbeat Goes To The Dogs

Howard Baker, RN BSN
Howard Baker, RN BSN

As a nurse I am a strong proponent of organ donation, and I am an organ donor myself. When you see organ recipients and their families, you are able to conceptualize the magnitude that organ donation has on both the donor and the recipient. From a donors viewpoint you know that you have made someone elses life better, stronger, and have made the ultimate humanitarian gift – life. The recipient is often given a new freedom in life and is better able to enjoy the things most of us take for granted.

I usually do not write about animal health, but if we stop and think about health and the health of our pets they really do inter-relate. Our pets become part of our family, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Continue reading My Heartbeat Goes To The Dogs

New Years Resolutions Recycled

Howard Baker, RN BSN
Howard Baker, RN BSN

The holiday season brings excitement, cheer, and joy to me and my family as we kick off the holiday season with Thanksgiving. The season seems to go full steam ahead with endless comfort foods, family gatherings, and social commitments that last about forty days until we bring it to a close by ringing in the New Year. Most of us kick off the holiday celebrations by overindulging with all the things that bring us joy like our favorite foods, entertainment, and shopping. Holidays can leave us feeling sluggish, depressed, as we bring a close to the season. During the holidays we usually pack on a few extra pounds, expands our waist lines, and about the time we think we can get a little rest—we jump back into life as we try to catch up on job, school, and family as fatigue settles in.

As many of us are running out of holiday cheer and the realities of the season merge with our expectations, we find ourselves searching for the perfect New Years Resolution. The timing for setting such an important goal comes at the worst possible time—we are tired and feeling guilty for overindulging yet, most Continue reading New Years Resolutions Recycled

A Christmas Story

Howard Baker, RN BSN
Howard Baker, RN BSN

I started reading Christmas stories to groups when I was only 5 years old. I guess I’ve always had a knack for storytelling because as I stood before my brother’s 3rd grade class and read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, I didn’t realize that the book was upside down. Although my telling of Clement Clarke Moore’s story was not verbatim, nonetheless, its spirit and meaning were very much alive. Because, you see, the spirit of Christmas resides in the hearts and minds of children; written words will never express the true meaning of Christmas that lives within us.

As a child I can remember our family going to the hospital cafeteria so that we could eat Christmas dinner with my mom when she was at work. Therefore, I am confident that I have had more holiday meals in a hospital than I have at home. That experience gives me an eccentric feeling of belonging to Continue reading A Christmas Story

Loving the Skin Youre In

Howard Baker, RN BSN
Howard Baker, RN BSN

As Old Man Winter ushers in the holidays he brings with him a blitz of overeating, socializing, shopping and decorating and a little self-neglect. Last week I hurried to winterize the car, lawn, and house making sure all were protected from the winter cold. As I readied myself for holiday decorating I realized I was neglecting myself—my skin. My hands were cold and chapped and as I applied hand cream it dawned on me—we often winterize everything but ourselves. Here are a few tips to help protect and winterize the skin youre in.

Moisturize: Our skin can become dry and brittle as the dry winter air depletes our skin of needed moisture. Daily moisturizing is important and different skin types may require different moisturizers. Cream-based moisturizers are usually better than lotions for normal to dry skin types. Choosing the right soap is also an important part of keeping your skin clean and moisture in balance. I recommend using fragrance-free, moisturizing formulas, and avoiding deodorant soaps which may irritate your skin. For best Continue reading Loving the Skin Youre In

Halloweens Lucky 13 to Safety

Howard Baker, RN BSN
Howard Baker, RN BSN

The thought of Halloween fills my head with mysterious haint tales and russet leaves blowing across a path, with the eerie sights of carved pumpkins glowing in a mist of flickering light. Halloween is filled with ghosts and goblins running amuck in search of tricks and treats. The fall air fills with sounds of mischievous giggles and laughter as they mix with the smell of scorching pumpkins on a cool, crisp night. Ooh, the magic of Halloween! Suddenly, giggles and laughter cease when a child lies motionless on the cold, dark pavement—the result of an accident caused by a Halloween distraction. Had I only changed one thing—giggles and laughter would still fill the night.
Halloween safety is a must and we all play an important role in keeping ghosts and goblins safe.

Use the Halloween Lucky 13 steps to a safer and happier Halloween:

1). Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft, blunt, and flexible to prevent injury. Continue reading Halloweens Lucky 13 to Safety

Healthy Patriotism

Howard Baker, RN BSN

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of my grandfather. I remember walking through the mountains listening to him tell stories about his service in the U. S. Army. He often reminisced of a small boy who would approach him on the streets of Europe asking for food. My grandfather’s chest would swell with pride and his eyes with tears as he talked about giving the boy his food rations. The stories of my grandfather were not of self-pride and gratification, but more about his pride of being an American and his service to his country.
A few weeks ago, as I drove through North Carolina in what used to be the furniture capital of the world; I noticed cranes with wrecking balls tearing down factories where once people worked. Driving though Chattanooga Tennessee you see graffiti on the walls of old factories where once people went to work with pride. As a teenager I can remember standing on the streets of Continue reading Healthy Patriotism