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Guest Post: Doctor Poetry

By Brenda Butka, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University and Director of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation at Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation HospitalButka_Brenda-profile

You’re a doctor.  What is this poetry-writing thing?   People wonder, though are usually too polite to put the question quite so baldly.  Poetry?  A pretty pointless way to spend one’s time, isn’t it?  Shouldn’t you be out saving lives?  Or something?

What good, really, is a song, or a painting?  Why pick a blue-glazed platter when a cheap plastic one will do?   All I can really say is that beauty, arranging things in an interesting way, creating useful or intriguing patterns, is simply something humans do, an essential part of being who we are.

As physicians, we are extraordinarily privileged, instantly taken into the lives of patients, their friends and families, often in very sad and tragic times.   We see human bodies, inside and out, and hear how people make do, how they tell their stories, how they cope—or don’t—with loneliness or disability.  We have our own stories to tell, inside the hospital and at home, living in this brilliant and fractious world.

So why do doctors do creative stuff?  Because that’s what human beings do, and, lord knows, we have a lot to be creative about.   So why poetry?  Well, for no good reason.  I just like words, the jangling sounds and rhythm of words, the meanings we stretch between them.  I just do.

 

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Guest Post: The Thanksgiving Turkey

By Patsy Watkins MPS, CFCS

Family & Consumer Sciences Agent, UT/TSU Extension, Williamson County

Thanksgiving is a festival harvest holiday meant to celebrate and be thankful for whatever you feel you’ve been blessed with (good health, family, friends, raises, completing a goal, etc…).  And in its current form, Thanksgiving is filled with wonderful (and delicious!) traditions, such as watching the Macy’s Day Parade, or football games, and cooking a giant feast with cranberries, stuffing, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, and the famous Turkey.  4255257070_f1ce2e9dd3_zOne tradition associated with the turkey is the wishbone (which all turkeys and chickens have), where two people each take hold of the ends of the bone, they make a wish, and pull!  Whoever has the larger part of the bone gets their wish. Turkey for Thanksgiving has become such a famous tradition that Thanksgiving is even sometimes called “Turkey Day.”  Each year, the President of the United States pardons a live turkey at a White House ceremony, allowing the turkey to live out the rest of its life on a farm.

Having a cooked turkey is a staple tradition of Thanksgiving but there are some important things to know when cooking your Thanksgiving bird this year.turkey

  • Allow approximately 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds when thawing your turkey in the refrigerator.
  • When thawing in cold water, allow approximately 30 minutes per pound and change the water every 30 minutes.
  • When roasting your turkey, set the oven temperature no lower than 325° A whole turkey is safe to eat when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F measured with a food thermometer.
  • Always wash hands, utensils, the sink, and anything else that comes into contact with the raw turkey and its juices.
  • For fresh turkeys, allow 1 pound of turkey per person, buy your turkey only 1-2 days before you plan to cook it, keep it stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook, and do not buy fresh pre-stuffed turkeys.
  • For frozen turkeys, allow 1 pound of turkey per person and keep frozen until you’re ready to thaw it. Turkeys can be kept frozen in the freezer indefinitely; however cook within a year for best quality!
  • When storing your leftovers, discard any turkey, stuffing, and gravy left out at room temperature longer than 2 hours, 1 hour in temperatures above 90°F. Divide leftovers into smaller portions and refrigerate in shallow containers. Eat refrigerated leftovers within 3 to 4 days after initial cooking.

Sources:

Kids National Geographic

www.fsis.usda.gov

Guest Post: Flu Prevention

By Patsy Watkins MPS, CFCS

Family & Consumer Sciences Agent, UT/TSU Extension, Williamson County

Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others.stop flu

All types of flu have similar symptoms that include:
•A 100°F or higherfever
•Coughing or sorethroat
•A runny or stuffynose
•Headaches and/orbody aches
•Chills
•Fatigue
•Nausea, vomiting,and/or diarrhea

In general, the flu is worse than the common cold and a test can determine whether you have the cold or flu.

Everyday steps that can help stop the spread of germs are washing hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub; avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth; get plenty of sleep and exercise, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy foods; and cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

Getting Vaccinated each season is the single best way to prevent the flu. The people who should get vaccinated are people who have certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease, pregnant women, and people who are 65 years or older, and everyone 6 months of age or older should get the vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people get vaccinated as soon as the flu season vaccine becomes available because it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu.

 

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