Monday, August 8, 2022

Healthinfo Island Displays and Exhibits for August 2022

You can teleport to any of the eight displays and exhibits using the SLURLs in this blog post. Click on the poster with the same name as the title of the poster set, and you will get a notecard that contains all the text of the posters plus descriptions of the images. 

If you click each poster, you will get a message with additional information and live links.

Central Pavilion of Healthinfo Island

Check out the calming breathing exercise on the back wall!

ICU Psychosis

Boredom or Burnout?

August 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day

Yo! Hangover, Dude!

The Vinegar Effect

Sugar, Fructose, Fruit

What is Neuropathy?

What is Spasticity?


Thanks to Virtual Ability members Mook and Anna for assistance with the posters this month.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Is Your Pet Scared of the Vet?

Cat in an appropriate carrier

Although most pets don’t mind, or may actually enjoy, their trips to the veterinarian’s office, some are frightened and may become aggressive or hide from their owners. Here are some strategies to reduce your pet’s fear.

If your pet will ride in a carrier, let him or her get used to it inside the house first. Set it on the floor and leave it there for the pet to explore for a week before its first use in the car. Pad the bottom of the carrier with a fleece blanket. This is more comforting than a towel, and a lot more comfortable than bare wires. Some pets get so acclimated to their carriers that they will sleep inside them at home.

Be sure your pet is used to riding in the car with you. Ensure that your pet is comfortable. Preheat or precool the car so that it is a reasonable temperature. If your pet is riding in a carrier, cover the back and sides of the carrier so only the front is open to avoid excessive visual stimulation. 

If this is your pet’s first car trip, or if he or she is excessively nervous, practice small trips. Perhaps just back out of the driveway and return to the garage, with a treat at the end of the very short trip. Then extend the car ride gradually. A pet in a carrier can be taken through a drive-through. A pet on a leash might like to accompany you on an errand at the pet store. The idea here is to associate being in the car with a joyride, not just with a trip to the vet.

When you have arrived at the veterinarian’s office, the waiting room can be very traumatic for some pets. There are lots of strange people and other animals. The various smells and fear pheromones can upset some animals with nervous temperaments. So, limiting the time you spend waiting inside the office can help as your pet will be able to stay mainly in the familiar comfort of your car. Will the receptionist text or phone you when it is your pet’s turn to be seen?

Did you know that music can help calm pets down when you get back home from a vet visit? Try quiet calm classical or reggae, which many animals prefer. The reader’s voice from books on tape can also be relaxing. 

Don’t put off your pet’s necessary care just because they are afraid of the trip to the veterinarian’s office. It’s as important for our pets to have regular medical checkups and care as it is for ourselves.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Two Quick Tips on Choosing Healthy Foods

  • Include more fiber, protein, and healthy fat in your diet.

Fiber has many functions in your digestive system. Dietary fiber is important for preventing and relieving constipation. It can also help you lose weight and lower your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.

Fiber is often found in the skin of fruits and vegetables. This chewier layer helps you absorb sugar more slowly. It is not digested, but passes intact through the digestive system.

Protein has many uses. In the digestive system, proteins break down into amino acids that the body can then use to grow and repair itself. Proteins also act as enzymes, antibodies, and hormones. Some proteins are structural elements in the body.

Protein does not have to be from meat or fish. It is also found in nuts, seeds, and legumes. Eating plant-based proteins isn’t just for vegans and vegetarians.

Healthy fats are used by the body to provide energy, as insulation and padding, and to aid in nutrient absorption and hormone production.

Avocado, coconut oil and olive oil are all healthy fats. On the other hand, manufactured fats such as clear oils, and hard fats such as lard and butter, are not healthy, so avoid or restrict those in your diet.

  • Avoid foods that are sweet, white, or fluffy. These are typically over-processed and low in nutritional value.

Sugar is common in sweet foods, including candy, cookies, pastries, fruit juices, and even fruits. While fruits in moderation do provide healthy fiber, vitamins and minerals, don’t overdo them.

White packaged foods often are processed and packaged, and are full of sugar, salt, and preservatives. White vegetables such as cauliflower, turnips and parsnips, however, are healthy additions to your meals.

Fluffy foods to avoid include white bread, popcorn, and mashed peeled potatoes.

Eating healthier foods will lead to better overall health. Gradually implementing these two tips will improve your diet and increase your well-being.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Call 988 for Mental Health Emergencies in the U.S.

People with mental health conditions may experience mental health emergencies. These are often signaled by changes in thought, mood, or behavior. The person may be at risk of harming themself or others.

Family members, friends and coworkers who are close to the person experiencing the mental health emergency may notice some of these signs:

  • agitation
  • difficulty accomplishing activities of daily living
  • extreme grief
  • extreme mood swings
  • isolation (or lack of social support)
  • paranoia
  • self-harm
  • substance abuse
  • suicidal ideation (or thoughts of death)
  • traumatic experience
  • troubled relationships
  • violence

The US now has a National Mental Health Hotline to help with these situations.

Call 988 to contact a trained counselor who can either offer coping strategies or referral to additional resources. The call is free and will support persons in crisis or those who care about them. It is managed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

It is expected that 988 will be as easy to recall during a mental health emergency as 911 is for other emergencies.

For more information: