Thursday, 2 February 2017

Brain Tumor Research

This is a charity shout-out to get some support for Brain Tumor Research. Get ready for Friday 31st March 2017 and dig out your best looking hats for Wear A Hat Day and raise awareness for this much needed medical research.  

Brain Tumor Research is drastically underfunded compared to other forms of Cancer Research and only receives approximately 1% of government funding. The scientists and researches working with this disease are in desperate need of more funding to help them end the threat to our health - just like the good folks working on breast cancer leukemia and other forms of cancer.

Symptoms of a Brain Tumor:

As with many cancers brain tumors have multiple symptoms, especially as they can affect you in different ways depending on where in the brain the tumor is developing.

Common Symptoms:

  • Headaches, Vomiting and Nausea: as the tumor grows it will increase the pressure inside of the skull (also called intracranial pressure) causing these symptoms get worse/more frequent in time
  • Visual Disturbances, Confusion and Fits: these symptoms are also triggered by increased intracranial pressure and will continue to get worse as the tumor grows
  • Loss of balance or co-ordination
  • Numbness or weakness in one or both sides of the body
  • Personality changes: these range from irritability to a complete overhaul in day-to-day emotions, i.e becoming introvert when you were previously out-going, changes in senses, i.e. tastes changing, sensitive skins, stomach upsets, audio problems.
There are also a number of more complex symptoms that may manifest when the tumor is developing in a specific area of the brain, please see Further Symptoms Of A Brain Tumor for more information.

Please do not be alarmed if you experience these symptoms as they are all related to other common illness and ailments. The symptoms described above will be persistent and your doctor will need to rule out any other illnesses, however if you suspect something is wrong the ask for a referral to get it checked out. As with many diseases early treatment is preferable.  

How Can I Support Brain Tumor Research

As with any charity or research awareness and funding are key to developing treatments, support, and in the near future hopefully a cure. Any support that you can give is appreciated by those who need it most. So what is it you can do to help?
  • Register for a Wear A Hat Day fundraising pack and get your colleagues, school or community involved
  • Donate: there are many ways that you can donate on their website
  • Attend one of the many events that happens throughout the year
  • Become an activist and help support the campaigning process
  • Check out the Fundraising page and see if you want to participate in any of the events
  • Spread the word about Brain Tumor Research as many people will be able to at least raise awareness 

More  Information

Monday, 30 January 2017

Car Insurance Premiums and Disability

My car insurance was up for renewal this month and low and behold my premiums had gone up yet again so I did some shopping around on a couple of comparison websites to try and find a better deal. After a lot of searching and calling up various insurance companies I made the decision to stay with my current provider and accept that my premiums have gone up.

Why Did My Car Insurance Premiums Go Up? 

Well, if you're a previous visitor to my blog then you'll know that I have an on-going Deep Vein Thrombosis that lives in my left leg and I'm at a greater risk of clotting due to Heterozygous Factor V Leiden (see below for more information). Now, having spoken to multiple insurance companies it turns out that due to my age, existing medical conditions, and adapted automatic drive vehicle (plus a few other factors) the insurance company needs to make sure that they are going to recover their costs should I be involved in an accident - this seems a fair point.

As it turns out my premiums have increased by approximately 14% (around £5) per month and a good chunk of that was to do with inflation anyway, and I can easily manage that which is why I have avoided any extra hassle by staying with my existing provider. Before I accepted any changes to my policy I did check on the following points:

What Should I Check For If My Premium Has Increased?

  1. One of the first things you should do is to check your policy documents and see if you are required to inform your provider of any changes to your medical status. Assuming you do then they will tell you if your current situation may increase your premiums.
  2. Make an appointment with your GP or family doctor and assess whether or not your medical needs will have any impact on your driving. If they do then you'll work with your doctor and insurance company to reach an agreement. If your medical needs do not impact your ability to drive then your doctor can issue a letter to your insurance company(s) confirming that you are fit to drive.
  3. Have a second conversation with your preferred insurance company and advise them that your medical needs have been assessed. Assuming that you are fit to drive your car insurance premium cannot be increased on this aspect alone and you should be treated like any other driver, however if your vehicle has been specially adapted then you may have an increased based on the vehicle, not yourself.
If your insurance company tells you otherwise my recommendation is to seek the advice from your lawyer or use any of the services offered by the Citizens Advice Bureau or local disability charities.

Final Tips

DO make sure you do have a good shop around and don't be afraid to ring up companies and discuss your individual needs with them. Most places are more than happy to do this as you are a potential customer bringing in revenue.

DON'T be fooled by an insurance company specifically catering to disabled drivers as you'll often find that their insurance premiums are higher anyway. If you feel one of these companies can provide you with a competitive service make sure you double check your policy details before purchasing so that you definitely don't get caught out. 

More Information

Saturday, 21 January 2017

World Cancer Day

As February is rapidly approaching I just wanted to spend a moment to spread the word about World Cancer Day which is happening on the 4th February 2017. In the last few years I have lost a handful of family and friends to cancer. Through the support of the amazing people at Marie Curie and the Cancer Research team the blow of having cancer was softened. However, there's never enough time to spend with someone when the diagnosis is terminal which is why Cancer Research needs all the help they can get.

I appreciate that given the current economy you may not be able to afford monetary donations but please remember that they are always happy to accept goods at their local shops (each donated bag is usually worth £25) and there are plenty of free fundraisers and other volunteer options available to you.

Please take some time to check out the Support Us area of their website to see how you can help, or simply spread the word.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Really Good At Yoga Or Is It Your Genetics?

Are you more flexible than the rest of your friends and family even though you're not doing yoga every day? Well, you may have a hyper-mobility condition which is determined by your genetics and it's called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. This condition can cause all sorts of problems such as wear and tear on your joints, dislocations, pain, rashes and lots of other nasty symptoms. 

If you want to find out some more information then take a look at this article called What Is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. It's going to give you a lot of useful information on getting the right diagnosis and treatment for your condition.

Friday, 12 July 2013

At Home Treatments For Constipation

If you're suffering from constipation then you're going to be suffering from a lot of discomfort and maybe some embarrassment too. There are plenty of products available over the counter but determining which one is the best for you can be fairly difficult, especially if you don't know much about constipation. 

Don't fret though, it's best to get help sooner rather than later otherwise you'll end up having to go to the doctor with a very embarrassing problem and may need a procedure to manually have a bowel movement. If you're a little embarrassed about going to the pharmacy to talk about the different types of products you can check them out at this website: What Are The Best Stool Softeners For Constipation? You'll be able to find out all the different types of stools softeners to ease constipation and also how they work to your advantage too. 

Just remember that you'll need to read the manufacturers guidelines and if you are taking any other medications you'll also need to make sure that the stool softeners don't react badly to those you're already taking.