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a word for Lent – Comfort

Georg Handel was a barber-surgeon in northern Germany in the 17th century. Barber-surgeons were physicians in medieval Europe who only performed surgery, often treating wounds from war injuries. Eventually, surgery and barbery became separate occupations.

 Comfort for God’s People

 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem  and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed,
    that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.

 

A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

man standing in a road
photo from Lightstock.com, stock photo site, an affiliate link 

Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low;

the rough ground shall become level ,the rugged places a plain.

 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Isaiah 40 (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

“every valley”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. also quoted this scripture passage in his iconic “I have a dream” speech. Read about it here-

Remembering Dr. King’s dream

The Handel family

Georg Handel was a barber-surgeon in northern Germany in the 17th century. Barber-surgeons were physicians in medieval Europe who only performed surgery, often treating wounds from war injuries. Eventually, surgery and barbery became separate occupations.

I’m glad his son, George did not follow his father into medicine. Instead George Frideric Handel studied music and eventually composed his masterpiece , Messiah, first performed in 1742, and which  millions of people have listened to or sang since then.

Listen on Apple Music – an affiliate link , the commission supports this blog

HANDEL'S MESSIAH- A SOULFUL CELEBRATION album cover

We usually associate  Messiah with Christmas, but Handel wrote it to be performed at Easter. He drew the words of the songs from Scripture, choosing passages that tell the story of God sending Jesus to earth to redeem His people.

sharing words of faith, hope, and love

I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Thanks so much.

                              Dr. Aletha 

"faith, hope, love" each word written on a card, strung on a line with clothes pins
Lightstock.com graphic; find it at this link

Should your family receive vaccinations? YES

This coronavirus pandemic is serious. We don’t yet have a vaccine or effective treatments. To protect ourselves, our familes, and our entire communities we should all be practicing social distancing until advised otherwise. Please review these guidelines to prevent spead of this disease.

2020 vaccination recommendations from the CDC

These charts show 2019 guidelines but there were not major changes for 2020.

With a few exceptions for medical reasons I believe all adults should discuss vaccination with their physician and be immunized for any diseases for which they are at risk.

And I recommend that parents do the same for their children and adolescents.

RECOMMENDED ADULT IMMUNIZATIONS 2019
RECOMMENDED CHILD AND ADOLESCENT IMMUNIZATIONS 2019

questions to ask about vaccines and the immunization process include.

  • What contagious diseases is a person likely to be exposed to?
  • What are the risks of those diseases?
  • What are the risks of a particular vaccine for that person?
  • What are the risks versus benefits to other people?
  • What else can we do to prevent an infection?

Infectious disease control methods

The  developed countries  have eliminated or controlled many of the environmental sources of contagious disease by manipulating our environment.

  • indoor plumbing
  • water treatment facilities
  • screens on windows
  • air purification
  • wear gloves to prepare food
  • inspect restaurants
  • signs in public restrooms reminding us to wash our hands.
Hand hygiene saves lives.
Hygiene remains vital to infection prevention even when immunizations are given.

However, we haven’t eliminated another source of infectious disease- other humans.

Rarely do we isolate or quarantine people with infections. Most of us have gone to work, school or social events with symptoms suggestive of infection- a cough, runny nose, upset stomach- putting our friends and colleagues at risk.

This coronavirus pandemic is serious. We don’t yet have a vaccine or effective treatments. To protect ourselves, our familes, and our entire communities we should all be practicing social distancing until advised otherwise. Please review these guidelines to prevent spead of this disease.

15 DAYS TO SLOW THE SPREAD

RESOURCES FOR understanding COVID-19

an electron microscope image of the coronavirus
used with permission, CDC.GOV

Tips from your Family Doctor

CDC-Coronavirus Disease 2019

exploring and sharing the HEART of health

Thanks for reading and sharing this important information about protecting the HEART of health.

I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Thanks so much.

Dr.  Aletha 

Here are some affiliate links you may find helpful. Thanks for considering and using, which helps me fund this blog’s mission-to share the HEART of health.

This post contains affiliate links which, by paying a commission if used for a purchase, help me fund this blog and share the HEART of health around the world.

These may be good options as long as we need to stay in our homes.

a way to exercise at home

a way to get medical supplies delivered

a source for food if you don’t have local delivery

Spring/Summer Banners

homeschool resources

PLAY & LEARN PRODUCTS ON SALE! Save Up To $100 OFF Plus Free Shipping On Orders Over $99!

March Sadness-how COVID-19 has changed 2020

In 2020 we’ll be thanking doctors for tackling this new and largely unknown disease that just a few weeks ago we knew little about. Since then we’ve learned it’s name, it’s genetic make up, symptoms, how it spreads, and complications, and slowly learning what does and does not work, and how to contain and stop it.

Daylight Saving Time-March 8

Most of the United States changed to Daylight Saving Time on Sunday March 8 2020. However, since then, not much else has been the same due to the pandemic caused by the novel Coronavirus that began in China at the end of 2019.

Your body has probably adjusted to the time change by now but  WebMD offers these tips to make the change easier.

St. Patrick’s Day-March 17

Of course you know that March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day. Cities around the world have cancelled their St. Patrick’s Day parades-Dublin Ireland, New York City New York, Boston Massachusettes, and Chicago Illinois.

Not only is the parade in Chicago cancelled, but also the tradition of dying the Chicago River green. Fortunately, I have this photo from a previous year taken by my son who lives there.  

The Chicago River is green on St. Patrick's Day
photo of the Chicago River dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day by Ryan Oglesby

Welcome Spring.

We will welcome the  first day of Spring, March 20,  in the northern hemisphere, with the occurrence of the vernal equinox. I don’t think the virus can stop that, but may make it less enjoyable. Many families are cancelling or limiting their spring break vacation plans. Even Disney World is closing all of their parks.

This link to The Weather Channel explains what the vernal equinox means.

graphic of the earth explaining equinox and solstice
original source not known

 

National Residency Match Day

March 20 is also Match Day. No, not the kind of match you light fires with.

It’s the day graduating medical students find out what residency program they will join through the National Resident Matching Program , which “matches” them with available positions in residencies all over the United States.

Why should you care? This matching process determines who will care for our medical needs in the next 30-40 years; our family physicians, internists, pediatricians, general surgeons, obstetricians, dermatologists, psychiatrists, and the multitude of other medical specialties. Most doctors will continue in the same specialty their entire career, although some  switch after a few or many years.

For those graduates who match to a residency, especially if it is their top choice, it is a day for celebrating with family and friends, almost like a graduation. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 outbreak many medical schools are scaling down or even cancelling festivities this year, disappointing after 4 years of long hours of study and hours of tiring clinical work.

 

Match Days Cancelled, Pared Down Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

THE SURPRISING NEW DOCTORS CARING FOR YOU
photo from Lightstock.com, graphic created with Canva

Read this previous post about the new doctors who will care for you

National Doctor’s Day

March 30 has been designated National Doctor’s Day in the United States. You may not have heard of  a day to honor doctors.

HONOR A DOCTOR-MARCH 30

The first Doctors’ Day observance was March 30, 1933, in Winder, Georgia. The idea came from a doctor’s wife, Eudora Brown Almond,  and the date was the anniversary of the first use of general anesthetic in surgery.

The Barrow County (Georgia) Medical Society Auxiliary proclaimed the day “Doctors’ Day,” which was celebrated by mailing cards to physicians and their wives and by placing flowers on the graves of deceased doctors.

In 1990, the U.S. Congress established a National Doctors’ Day first celebrated on March 30, 1991.

In 2020 we’ll be thanking doctors for tackling this new and largely unknown disease that just a few weeks ago we knew little about. Since then we’ve learned it’s name, it’s genetics, symptoms, transmission, and complications, and slowly learning what does and does not work, and how to contain and stop it.

RESOURCES FOR understanding COVID-19

CDC-Coronavirus Disease 2019

Tips from your Family Doctor

 

March Madness- college basketball tournament

Even people who don’t follow basketball regularly, get excited about March Madness-when college football teams vie to be named the National Champion. Sadly, that has also been cancelled this year, along with other amateur and professional sporting events. Even the Summer Olympics is in question.

statues of runners passing a torch
at the U.S. Olympic Training Center at Colorado Springs Colorado, photo by Dr.Aletha

 

 

exploring the HEART of health

I invite you to follow Watercress Words on Facebook where I share links and occasional posts about the current status of COVID-19.

I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Thanks so much.

 

                              Dr. Aletha 

 

 

a word for Lent – Rest

My Lent series features scripture songs from Handel’s Messiah- originally written for Easter, not Christmas

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

 Matthew 11 (NIV)

11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:
    He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
    he gently leads those that have young.

Isaiah 40(NIV)

a lamb standing in tall grass
photo credit -LIGHTSTOCK.COM, affiliate link

Easter-and Messiah

We usually associate  Messiah with Christmas, but Handel wrote it to be performed at Easter. He drew the words of the songs from Scripture, choosing passages that tell the story of God sending Jesus to earth to redeem His people.

Handel’s Messiah has three acts, so many performances and recordings of Messiah use only the most popular songs, since the entire work is lengthy. This article will tell you about some of the songs you may already know including two that I have used in this series.

Exploring the HEART of faith, hope, and love

I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Thanks so much.

Here are some affiliate links you may find helpful. Thanks for considering and using, which helps me fund this blog’s mission-to share the HEART of health.

                              Dr. Aletha 

World Vision – Sponsor A Child Today. Help give children a better future. Sponsor a child through World Vision and change a child's life and community for good. Lent & Easter 2020 Resources at Cokesbury. Everything you need to prepare for Lent & Easter. Studies, altarware, paraments, and more. Valid through 3/31. Shop Now!

6 things you need to know to get through the flu season-update

When I first published this post, I didn’t know these same basic recommendations would also be helpful to fight a new and possibly deadlier infectious disease-COVID-19, caused by a different respiratory virus, the Coronavirus, which has spread all over the world beginning in December 2019 and now into the spring of 2020.

Influenza vs Coronavirus

When I first published this post, I didn’t know these same basic recommendations would also be helpful to fight a new and possibly deadlier infectious disease-COVID-19, caused by a different respiratory virus, the Coronavirus, which has spread all over the world beginning in December 2019 and now into the spring of 2020.

At this time, most of these points also seem to apply to COVID-19, except unfortunately, number 3; there is no vaccine and probably won’t be for many more months.

1. If you think you have the “flu”, you probably don’t.

To many people “the flu” is any respiratory illness characterized by  fever, cough, congestion, fatigue and aches. That term has become so nonspecific even we doctors use it that way. But flu should refer  to influenza,  one of many viruses that cause respiratory illness.

The other viral respiratory illnesses  are

  • rhinosinusitis, aka “colds”, upper respiratory infections-URIs,
  • bronchitis,
  • pharyngitis,
  • pneumonia.
The human respiratory system
The respiratory tract including the nose, sinuses, mouth, throat, trachea, bronchi in blue and the lungs (pink). Infections can involve the breathing organs from the nose all the way down to the lungs. (photo complimentary from Pixabay

2. If your doctor thinks you have “the flu”, you probably do.

Prior to the  “rapid flu” test, we doctors diagnosed influenza by the characteristic symptoms,  exam, and knowing there was an outbreak in the community. The test is helpful for confirmation but not 100 % accurate, and likely the Coronvirus test is not either.

3. The best way to prevent influenza is by vaccination.

The World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) ,the National Foundation for Infectious Disease and  other reputable medical organizations recommend vaccination against influenza.

People refuse vaccination because they believe it is ineffective, unnecessary, dangerous, toxic, unnatural, subversive, and who knows what else.  I don’t think I or anyone else are going to change their minds.

My family and I always get vaccinations which have successfully protected us without side effects or adverse reactions. There are risks, just like there are with any medical procedure, or lots of other things we do in life. In this case we have decided the benefit outweighs the risk.

If you don’t want a “flu shot”, just say no. Your doctor doesn’t need or want to hear a speech; we’ve already heard them all.

4. Stay away from others if you are sick.

It’s not a coincidence that influenza outbreaks coincide with the American holiday season (approximately November through January). So to protect us all,

  • Stay home if you are sick, and ask your family, co-workers and employees to do the same.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing; use your sleeve, not your hand.
  • Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Wash your hands frequently, thoroughly, and long enough.
  • Wash frequently touched surfaces with disinfectant.
Hand hygiene saves lives.
a common sight now in public restrooms

5. If you do get sick, don’t ask your doctor for an antibiotic. It will not help. 

Antibiotics attack bacteria. Influenza and 99% of all respiratory illnesses are due to viruses.

There are antiviral drugs that will “shorten the duration and severity of symptoms” by 1-2 days, if started early. The effectiveness is uncertain for an illness that will resolve within 10-14 days regardless. But if it gets you back to school or work a day earlier, it may be worth the cost-they are not cheap drugs.

Otherwise, the treatment is“symptomatic” or “supportive” care:

  • Rest; eat and drink as normally as possible; extra fluids if running a fever 
  • Non-prescription cough/congestion /pain/fever meds

Acetaminophen for aches and fever

Lozenges for sore throat, cough, and congestion

Breathing moist air with the use of a humidifier  helps with cough and congestion

(the previous are affiliate links. )

6. You can die from influenza, but you probably won’t.

People die from complications of influenza, and infants, young children and the elderly have greatest risk.The most common fatal complication is bacterial pneumonia, infection in the lung. Influenza can also attack the nervous system causing brain inflammation (encephalitis and/or meningitis) and paralysis in the form of Guillain Barre syndrome .

an xray of healthy lungs with no signs of pneumonia.
Healthy lungs with no signs of pneumonia.

Persons with chronic illnesses like diabetes, lung disorders, depressed immune systems and cancer are at greater risk of complications and should always consult a physician if feeling ill. If you are not sure if you fall into that category, ask your doctor.

what you really need to know

We should all take influenza and COVID-19 seriously; consider my suggestions, talk to your personal doctor, keep up with recommendations from your local public health professionals, and do your part to keep your family and community well.

Here are some previous posts about infections .

Get Smart About Antibiotics

“Most common infections, such as colds, flu, most sore throats, bronchitis, and many sinus and ear infections, are caused by viruses and do not respond to antibiotic treatment. “

6 smart facts about antibiotics

“You may think of antibiotics as safe, harmless drugs with no potential for serious effects.  Usually antibiotics are well tolerated and safe. But serious side effects are possible, though infrequent.”

Sorting out sinusitis

“If you have a bacterial sinus infection with more than mild symptoms, an antibiotic may relieve symptoms and help you recover sooner. “

exploring the HEART of health

I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Thanks so much.

                              Dr. Aletha 

Here are some affiliate links you may find helpful. Thanks for considering and using, which helps me fund this blog’s mission-to share the HEART of health.

World Vision – Sponsor A Child Today. Help give children a better future. Sponsor a child through World Vision and change a child's life and community for good.

A word for Lent-Light

Handel used the lyrics from a preacher Charles Jennens, who wrote out the whole piece as a collage of Bible verses designed to tell a story about the Messiah.

9:2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;

on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.

60:1 “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.

 
2 See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you.
 
3 Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
 
woman raising arms arms to the sky in a glow of light
photo from the LIGHTSTOCK.COM  collection, an affiliate link 

Isaiah 

 THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.
 
 

Handel’s Messiah

We usually associate  Messiah with Christmas, but Handel composed it to be performed at Easter.
 
HANDEL'S MESSIAH- A SOULFUL CELEBRATION album cover
 
 
 
 
 
 “Handel used the lyrics from a preacher  Charles Jennens, who wrote out the whole piece as a collage of Bible verses designed to tell a story about the Messiah.
 
In some cases Jennens copied verses from the King James Version of the Bible directly, and in other cases he abridged or modified the wording of the Bible verses somewhat to fit into something that could be set to music and sung. He also decided to change the “point of view” in a couple of places.
 
Rather than quoting Jesus’ words about himself directly, for instance, he made a few changes so that the singers are singing about Jesus rather than portraying the role of Jesus.”
 
quoted from wheatwilliams.com
 
 

You may also enjoy this post –

“Georg Handel was a barber-surgeon in northern Germany in the 17th century. Barber-surgeons were physicians in medieval Europe who only performed surgery, often treating wounds from war injuries. Eventually, surgery and barbery became separate occupations.”

sharing the HEART of faith, hope, and love

I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Thanks so much.

Here are some affiliate links you may find helpful. Thanks for considering and using, which helps me fund this blog’s mission-to share the HEART of health.

Lent & Easter 2020 Resources at Cokesbury. Everything you need to prepare for Lent & Easter. Studies, altarware, paraments, and more. Valid through 3/31. Shop Now! World Vision – Gift Catalogue. Give a gift that will make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children and their communities. Shop now.

Dr. Aletha 

Health tips for spring you can use now

Remember it’s Spring forward and Fall back to Daylight Saving Time. Your body will tell the difference until your sleep cycle adjusts; I know mine always does.

Remember it’s Spring forward to Daylight Saving Time

Most of the United States will change to Daylight Saving Time on Sunday March 8, 2020.

So you will either be going to bed an hour later than usual, or awakening an hour earlier.

Either way, your body will tell the difference until your sleep cycle adjusts; I know mine always does.  WebMD offers these tips to make the change easier.

And if you have persistent problems with sleep, consider the tips in this post.

Expert advice to sleep well every night.

a bed with ornate headboard
photo by Dr. Aletha- at the Hemingway House, Key West, Florida

Welcome Spring

We will welcome the  first day of Spring, March 20,  in the northern hemisphere, with the occurrence of the vernal equinox. The amount of daylight we enjoy will continue increasing until the summer solstice, the day with the most hours of sunlight.

This link to The Weather Channel explains what the vernal equinox means.

graphic of the earth explaining equinox and solstice
original source not known

 

At this link, I tell you how to stay safe and well this spring and summer.

Spring health risks to prepare for now

a dogwood tree in bloom
In Oklahoma, dogwood trees bloom in the spring.

exploring the HEART of health through spring and summer

 

I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Thanks so much.

 

                              Dr. Aletha 

Here are some affiliate links you may find helpful. Thanks for considering and using, which helps me fund this blog’s mission-to share the HEART of health.

 

Specialists World Vision – Sponsor A Child Today. Help give children a better future. Sponsor a child through World Vision and change a child's life and community for good.