Health Check Ups For Dads

He is busy, he is a workaholic, he is constantly on his toes and keeps a tab on each member of the family. From the start of the day, until late evenings, he hardly ever relaxes, and yet, seems to be in the pink of his health. But in the midst of all his duties and family time, somewhere down the line he tends to ignore those off and on cold and coughs, backaches, chest pains and blood pressure fluctuations, which if ignored for long, can turn into bigger problems later on in life. And then is all the work stress, worth it, if it takes a toll over his health?

Well, it’s high time our dads looked at their health alongside their business and work, and maintained a balance. Especially after the age of 50 as has been found, bodily functions start slowing down, causing myriad health problems. And as our dads won’t voluntarily go for health checkups, it is pertinent, that they be taken by us, even if it takes away an hour or two of their “precious” time at work, because at the end of the day, there can be no compromising with health.

Below is the list of the most essential tests that would judge your father’s health and physical fitness. These tests are to be taken by all those who are above the age of fifty, independent of the presence of any ailment or disease.

Important Health Checkups

* CBC – ESR Test

Complete Blood Count (CBC) test diagnosis a patient for anemia, infections or other medical conditions.

How is the test conducted: The test is conducted by taking a sample of blood from the patient’s arm by a needle. CBC test doesn’t require any test preparations. Moderate pain after drawing the blood is normal.

Erithrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) test is used to find out any condition related to inflammation in the body. It is always done with other tests, as only ESR test doesn’t help in finding out the proper cause of the problem. It helps in finding out diseases like T.B, thyroid problems, anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatic fever and other inflammatory conditions.

How the test is conducted: The test is conducted by taking a sample of blood from the person’s arm by a needle. Moderate pain after drawing the blood is normal. Just like the CBC test, ESR test doesn’t require any test preparations.

* Lipid Profile Test

Lipid profile test is a group of tests that are done together with blood test and these examine the risk of heart attack, stroke and hardening of arteries. The lipid profile includes total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides. People who have low levels of high density lipoprotein, suffer from diabetes, hypertension and are at high risk of developing heart diseases.

How is the test conducted: A person needs to fast for at least for 9 to 12 hours before the test. The test is conducted by taking a sample of blood from the person’s arm by a needle. Moderate pain after drawing the blood is normal.

* Blood Sugar Test

This is done to mainly check the sugar levels in the blood. High blood sugar can give rise to problems like diabetes, nerve damage, kidney problem, cardio vascular diseases and eye problems along with the weakening of immune system. It is very important test for people suffering from diabetes, so that they keep a tab on their blood sugar level.

How is the test conducted: The person is asked to fast overnight. The test is conducted by taking a sample of blood from the person’s arm by a needle. One more blood sample is taken after lunch, to check the blood sugar level before and after fasting. If blood sugar level before fasting is less than 110mg/dl and post fasting levels is less than 130 mg/dl then it indicates that the person is a non diabetic and the blood sugar level is normal.

* Kidney Tests

Kidneys help to separate toxins, minerals and waste products from the blood. People with diabetes and high blood pressure are at a high risk of developing kidney problems. In the kidney tests, blood urea nitrogen, serum creatinine and creatinine in blood and urine levels are checked which are responsible for proper functioning of the kidney. Your doctor might ask you to stop medication if you are taking any medicines so as to get the correct results from the test.

How is the test conducted? In the kidney test various tests are conducted, blood and urine samples are taken to find out how the kidneys are functioning. The test is conducted by taking a sample of blood from the person’s arm by a needle and for the urine test, the person is asked to give his urine sample. Kidney tests help in diagnosis of conditions like kidney failure, liver failure, dehydration etc.

* Liver Tests

In liver tests, the liver enzymes levels of Serum Glutamic-Pyruvic Transaminase, Gamma-Glutamyl Transpeptidase, Serum bilirubin, Alkaline phosphate and Serum protein are checked which can lead to early diagnosis of various diseases.

How is the test conducted? No special preparation is needed for this test. The test is conducted by taking a sample of blood from the person’s arm by a needle to perform various tests. Liver tests help you in knowing if you are suffering from any disease of the liver.

* ECG Test

In electrocardiogram test, electrical activity of the heart beat is recorded. This test helps to

check the overall health of the heart.

How is the test conducted? A person has to remove his clothes and lie down on the bed. Various electrodes are attached to the body on various standardized locations. Some medications can affect the result of the test; hence it is necessary to inform the doctor about the medication. ECG test helps in finding out the heart rhythms, to find out if the blood flow to the heart is proper and if any damage is caused to the heart muscles etc.

* PSA Test

Prostate Specific Antigen test helps in diagnosis of the proper functioning of the prostate. It also helps in detecting the cancer of the prostate gland which tends to enlarge in old age.

How is the test conducted? The test is conducted by taking a sample of blood from the person’s arm by a needle. The test displays the levels of prostate specific antigen in one’s blood.

Besides the tests mentioned above, there are other tests that must be carried out for particular ailments the patient may be suffering from.


* Your dad needs to visit a dentist at least once every six months.

* Also, he needs to be taken to an ENT if there is something that is irritating him either in the nose or the ear or the throat.

* And a regular eye check- up is advisable.

So for once let him occupy the centre stage and give him the attention he deserves. Regular health checkups will ensure that your father remains the pillar of the family.

Recovery of Your Health after Cesarean Section

If a baby was born with help of Cesarean section, this means that his first cry – is a special miracle. But you need to recover as soon as possible after this operation to enjoy happiness of maternity.

First days after Cesarean section are most difficult. Such small things, like turning sideways, coughing, taking a deep breathe or reaching a bed is so difficult for you now.


During the first day after operation a new mother is in intensive care, where a nurse and anaesthetist take care after her. They take her blood pressure, pulse rate, temperature, value level of uterus contraction and intensity of vaginal secretions, urination.

A nurse changes bandages in the area of postoperative stitch. After taking epidural or spinal anesthesia a woman should stay in bed from 3 to 12 hours. She should get up little by little, without haste, sudden moves and surely in presence of some medical staff or relatives. She can sit on 2nd-3rd day after operation.

To feel more comfortable after operation, you just should follow these advices:

Turning aside

1. It will be easier for you to turn from back to side, if you, first of all, bend your knees so that your feet would set against a level you are lying on.

2. Set you feet against this level and raise your hips so that to draw yourself up from shoulders to knees.

3. Turn your hips aside and pull down them. Then turn an upper part of your body to the same direction.

So, you are lying on side. Such method saves your stitches from damage and prevents your elbows from painful rubbing against bed-sheets.


If you were given general anaesthetic during operation, you need to cough to get rid of slime that accumulated in your lungs.

Use a simple technique called “woof” to clear your throat without painful sensations. Regardless of its ironic name, it is really effective and recommended by experts.

1. You need to strengthen stitches with your hands, small pillow or tie them up with a towel.

2. Now take a deep breath, filling your lungs completely.

3. Next action – full breath, sharply, but accurately – drawing inside your belly, but swelling it.

4. Utter a sound, resembling “bow-wow”.

5. Repeat several times during an hour, especially if you feel gurgling or sobs in your thorax. If your thorax is clear and you get up regularly, there is no need to do this often.

Going up and walking

A nurse will help you getting up firstly after your doctor’s permission. While doing this you may feel weakness and dizziness. Don’t be frightened! This is natural, as you just have had a cavernous operation! Regardless of whether you were given general anaesthetic or epidural anesthesia, feeling of weakness while first raises is inevitable.

Now, having raised firstly, think that most difficult things are in past already, and your first raising already means that you are on your way to recovery and it will pass smoothly and quickly.

Do the following exercises to get up:

1. Turning on side, allow your legs lean over edge of a bed and move to a sitting position.

2. Sit for a while and do moves with your legs.

3. When you are ready, pull your feet down and stand up (surely with someone’s assistance). Try to stand as straight as you can. This will not damage your stitches, even if it seems they are stretching.

4. Once you get used to standing, make a small step.

Every time while getting up, you will notice that it becomes easier for you.

Now try to increase duration of your walks little by little. You just should not forget to think:

– I’m a good girl. I grow stronger with every step. Each move approaches my discharge.


They appear after any operation on abdominal cavity. A reason of this trouble is slowing down of intestinal activity as a result of operation.
Following exercises will help you to cope with wind:

– deep breathing;

– swinging in an arm-chair (if you suffer from wind at home already);

– exclusion of food and drinks causing wind from postoperative ration.


Another delicate topic – is possible difficulties with urination. They may appear only after catheter in ureter, anesthesia and operation on abdominal cavity.

Don’t worry, drink more liquid, try to urinate in shower or bath. If you cannot urinate by yourself, you still need catheter to empty urinary bladder.


Day 1st.

A woman can drink non-gas water, acidulated with lemon juice. Taking into account the fact that usually a drop bottle is used after operation, during first day a mother receives all nutritive materials directly in blood channel.

Day 2nd

On the 2nd day after Cesarean section a woman is transferred from intensive care to a post-natal ward. A diet after Cesarean section resembles a diet after any cavernous operation. Square food is excluded – during this period you need to spare organs of alimentary canal to the maximum.

Day 3rd and later

Food ration should be varied little by little. On the 3rd day after operation you may include a non-fat chicken broth, minced boiled meat, cotton cheese or meat puree or soufflé, porridge in your menu. The whole ration is divided into 5-6 meals. You can drink not very sweet tea, not thick kissels, compotes, dog-rose extract. A usual quantity of food during each meal is 70-100 mL.

The first independent stool should fall on 3rd-5th day after operation. After this you may return to food, which you ate during pregnancy, but taking into account restriction, recommended for nursing moms. You know, milk appears by this time as a rule.

Normalization of stool and preventive measures against constipations:

– moderate physical activity,

– enough quantity of vegetables and fruits (especially prunes) in your ration. During this period there are already no peculiarities of nutrition for women, who gave birth with help of Cesarean section.


There is a possibility of first feeding in operating-room yet, under condition that you were given local anaesthetic, and rules of hospital allow such feeding. However, you will have to wait a little with feeding, in case you were given general anaesthetic or your baby requires medical treatment.

Try to take your baby off children ward, as soon as you recover. You need to remember that certain physical factors make a baby’s putting to breast difficult.

Even fear may become a reason of first unsuccessful feedings. Moreover, milk may come later (on the 5th-9h day) because of the fact that you were given general anaesthetic and restriction of usage of remedies that contract uterus, lack of necessary hormones, secreted during natural childbirth. However, your baby needs breast milk so much!

Remember these rules

– Require your baby to put him to your breast right after delivery or after you recover from anaesthesia. But don’t expect a real feeding from the first putting to breast, as you both still need learning a lot.

– Ask for your doctor’s support, if you face doctors’ or nurses’ prohibition to feed your baby in post-natal ward, moreover, if delivery passed well. They should bring your baby to you for breast feeding.

– Most often they use medicines, compatible with breast feeding in maternity hospitals after Cesarean section, however, nurses still frighten mothers with harmful medicines, especially antibiotics. Ask your doctor which preparations are prescribed to you, and whether they are compatible with breast feeding. Write down names of these medicines.

– It may happen that during time, meant for feeding, your baby will be sleeping. Wake him up, regardless of the fact that it may seem unethical. When he awakes, start feeding at once. The main is your wish to start and continue feeding. Processing of milk depends on 2 factors a lot: your confidence that you can feed your baby and a baby’s sucking activity.

– Whenever they bring your baby to you for feeding, put him to breast surely, even if he is sleeping: babies can suck even half asleep.

– Be patient. Don’t worry, your baby will not be hungry, as new-born babies’ need in food is small. First of all, your baby needs love and caress. Cuddle him to yourself. He will “remember” your heartbeat and “recognize” you.

– If a baby turned out to be with you only on 3rd day and is kept separately still:

While staying in a ward separately from your baby, draw off both breasts – it is better to do 8-10 short 5-minute attempts, every 2 hours, excluding night break from 24.00 to 6.00. Your baby has just been born, and there is little colostrums produced still – according to its natural need. So 5-10 g you draw off – are enough. And it is impossible to draw off everything. Don’t torture yourself. Put colostrums in a bottle, it should be kept out of fridge during 8 hours, under room temperature. While the first opportunity give colostrums to your baby, it is better to do it using a spoon, putting a baby on your elbow, so that he would lie half-vertically on it.

If they bring your baby to you according to a schedule, keep also 6-8 decantations, excluding night break. As a rule, every second feeding is ineffective, because a baby is given supplemental feeding, and he got used to suck from a bottle. If a baby was sucking breast actively in a correct position during feeding, you can treat this date as a decantation. If he sucked inertly, draw off breast after feeding.

– While every date with your baby you should concentrate not on the quantity he sucks, but on the way he takes breast.

– Put your baby to both breasts surely during one feeding, for better stimulation of lactation. Do this until you feel considerable flood of milk, which may begin on the 2nd-5th day after they started bringing your baby to you regularly.

– Feed your baby only when he is calm. Otherwise he will not be able to find and catch a nipple. If a baby is crying strongly, cuddle him, waggle and calm down. Then give him breast. To reduce postoperative lethargy, put a pillow under your baby while feeding, lying on your side. With time a pain of stitch will pass away and you will feel only joy while feeding your baby.

You are at home with your baby!
Don’t get nervous, if you face troubles feeding your baby. You should start feeding being calm and relaxed as possible as you can. Learn thinking of nothing that may make you sad or disturb.

Moreover, psychic tension can reduce excretion of milk twice.

– Invite a consultant on breast feeding to learn practice and technique of breast feeding (you need to learn putting, removing your baby to/from breast correctly, making yourself comfortable, feed in different positions, feed lying and sleeping with your baby, draw off correctly, if necessary),

– Put your baby to breast every 2 hours before consultation on breast feeding, regardless of whether he is sleeping or not, excluding night break from 22.00-24.00 to 4 am.

– Take your baby in bed with you, as soon as you go to bed and sleep with him during whole night.

You nutrition during pregnancy

While breast feeding you need to include in your daily ration at least 500 mL of milk, kefir or curdled milk, 50-100 g of cotton cheese, about 200 g of meat, 600 g of vegetables (it is better to insert different vegetables separately), 1 egg, 300-500 g of fruits (quantity should be increased little by little), 35 g of butter and 20 g of vegetable oil.

You should exclude alcohol and food, causing allergy off your ration: honey, citruses, strawberry, chocolate, canned food, cooked meats. You need to drink enough liquid. It is also recommended to recommence taking of vitamin-mineral complexes for pregnant and nursing mothers, as necessity in vitamins and minerals are still as high, as during pregnancy.

It is desirable, that someone would help you at home, so that you could devote your time to recovery and arranging of breast feeding. 2-3 months later you will already be able to do special exercises to gain elasticity of belly, slenderness of legs and beauty of breast.

Anyway, now you are a MOTHER! Proud, but tender and loving. Flap above your cosy home and cover it carefully, as now your happiness is concentrated here – happiness of maternity!

Caricature Drawing For A Happier Retirement

What began as a hobby, has become a full-time obsession. I refuse to refer to drawing as a “job”, that would defeat the original purpose of what I do.

It started as a search for some part-time way of augmenting Social Security. I needed enough additional income to keep the wolves away and facilitate my being able to focus exclusively on art; the fulfillment of a life-long dream.

For the past three years, I have been making the transition from my previous life as a mental health counselor to that of a semi-retired caricature artist. It has been one heck of a trip, but well worth the time and effort.

I feel very comfortable saying to one and all that I have now made it to where I had always wished and hoped I could someday be. My list of art clients number in the many hundreds and include orders from not only nearly every State in the Union, but also from a dozen foreign countries as well. I have divested myself of the stressful routine of being a full-time counselor, working at a busy community-based mental health facility. There are no more staff meetings, schedules or mountains of paperwork to deal with. I now spend my days at home in my studio, listening to vintage rock’n roll music and creating caricatures from photos people send me.

I’m not getting rich, but I am comfortable and, more importantly, much more at ease with myself and the world. I have succeeded in making retirement a truly “golden” experience that has rejuvenated my spirit and replenished my hope for the future.

I strongly encourage anyone who is contemplating what to do with themselves in their later years, those who do not necessarily see themselves fishing or playing golf until they’re planted, to consider a similar course. Turn your hobby or latent passion into the means to a happier, more productive retirement.

For me, it was art and caricature drawing. Whatever it is you’ve always wished you could do, remember: If not now, when?