Home Authors Posts by Valerie Paxton
On the road, in the air, or when you arrive, these popular travel products can make your holiday or winter travel a little easier. They also make great gifts!
The Allegro family wishes you safe and comfortable travel this holiday season. And, as always, we thank you for your business.
Want to save some money on your next family vacation? Check out these 15 Money-Saving Travel Tips.
A flu vaccination is still the best way to guard against the flu but some people should get it and some shouldn’t. If your defenses are low, the CDC highly recommends you get the shot.
Who Should Get Vaccinated
Children between 6 months and 5 years old
Women who will be pregnant during flu season
People over 50
Anyone with a chronic condition such as diabetes, asthma, heart problems or blood disorders
Anyone with a weakened immune system from HIV/AIDS, long-term steroid treatment, or cancer treatment with X-rays or drugs
Residents of long-term care facilities such as nursing homes
Those who work in health care, take care of elderly people or care for children up to 5 years old should also get the shot. If you have a medical condition that could cause higher risks from the flu, then you should get one too.
Everyone else needs to just assess their situation and decide. If you work in the community, live in a dorm, travel to the Southern Hemisphere between April & September or anytime to the tropics or anywhere with tour groups, then you might consider it. Anyone who wants to reduce the chances of catching or spreading the flu – go ahead and get one unless you fall into the “don’t get a shot group”.
Don’t Get Vaccinated If:
You have any life threatening allergies
You have a severe egg allergy (the vaccine is grown in eggs)
You have ever had Guillain-Barre Syndrome (actually, you may be able to get one but ask your doctor first)
You are ill at the time the vaccine is administered
Even if you get the shot, it is not 100% effective, nor does it work against all flu strains. The vaccine researchers just don’t know what kind of bug will show up every year despite their best forecasts. Only about 1/3 of the population even get the shot.
Whether you get vaccinated or not, everyone should try to avoid spreading germs. Here are 10 Easy Ways to Prevent Colds & Flu and some Cold & Flu Essentials to give you a fighting chance.
These really are easy things to do, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t. If you’re one of them, don’t come crying to me when you get the sniffles.
I know germs are hard to avoid even in the best circumstances, especially if you . . . um . . . live on earth . . . with people. But hey, we can all give it our best effort. Sure we can. Spread the love and teach your darling little germ lockers to keep their germs from roaming too.
1. Wash your hands well and often – not OCD often, but you know what I mean. Enough to get rid of the germs. And try to avoid touching things in public places, like door handles. I am getting really good at not holding onto the banisters in public stairways and escalators. Not that you should try that. I’m just sayin’…
2. Don’t touch people who are sick. That means you can’t kiss them either. No butterfly kisses or Eskimo kisses either. Air kisses are fine, just don’t get too close and maybe hold your breath. Colds and viruses are passed most commonly through the hands, and through rubbing the eyes, nose and mouth. If you’ve been around people, especially sick ones, try not to touch yourself unless your hands are clean.
3. Clean your house. I know, it’s gross, but just do it. Or get someone else to do it. Be sure to tell them to clean surfaces like doorknobs, handles and stairway handrails. And tell them to not sneeze all over the place.
4. Stop eating crap. Eat your greens. Drink lots of water. A well balanced diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables will boost your immune system and water helps you function better.
5. Exercise every… single (yes, that’s what I said)… day. You don’t have to go all crazy like you’re training for a marathon but just do something every day. Make it fun! Wooppee! Seriously, moderate daily exercise is a huge part of overall health, and will help your immune system fight illness.
6. Take vitamin supplements. Every morning I take a multivitamin with antioxidants, calcium, fiber tablets, Holy Basil (reduces stress & cortisol) and Glucosamine w/Chondroitin. I’m not sure how they work, but I’m convinced they keep my immune system strong. They say that taking Zinc and Vitamin C helps too.
7. Consider getting a flu shot. I got one once but only because I was standing where they were giving them for free. Regardless, it’s still our best weapon against the flu. Who needs a flu shot and who doesn’t?
8. Always get at least 8 hours of sleep. Whatever you’re doing instead of sleeping isn’t more important, I guarantee it. On the other hand, if you’re sleeping, like, 10 hours every night then you need to get a life. Staying rested and relaxed will lower your risk of getting sick. If you feel a cold coming on, stay home. If you have to go out, do us all a favor and cover your mouth when you sneeze and don’t touch anyone or anything… and don’t breathe either. On second thought, don’t go out.
9. Reduce your stress and I promise your immune system will improve. Here are 15 Stress Tips that Could Save your Life.
10. Even if you don’t get sick, chances are someone you live with will. Avoid the midnight run and stock up on a few Cold & Flu Essentials
We care about you. Thanks for your business. Now, go do some jumping jacks, drink a glass of water, eat a piece of fruit and wash your hands. Go on, git.
Stock up on everything you need to go to battle with colds and flu this season.
Allegro has every type of vitamin C you can imagine, including 250, 500 and 1000 milligram tablets, capsules, chewable tablets, liquid and drink mix for fast absorption. Check out the super popular Emer’gen-C Packets.
And, get your zinc here! Zinc is found to assist the immune system in fighting off illness. Echinacea is an herbal supplement that can stimulate immune system responses. It is also thought that the combination of echinacea and goldenseal can help relieve the symptoms and reduce the duration of the flu and the common cold. A good multi-vitamin can give your body’s defenses the kick they need to ward off colds.
Keep the air in your home clean and pure with an air purifier. Choose from several manufacturers offering filter based and ionic purifying, for many room sizes. Cleans smoke, pet dander, dust and even bacteria from the air.
When the weather turns cold and we turn on the heat in our homes, the dry air can affect our health. To prevent dry skin, cracked lips, itchy eyes, sore throat and even sinus headaches, a humidifier adds much needed moisture to the air. You can also go for a humidifier and ionic purifier all in one!
And, keep hand sanitizers handy, to kill the germs and bacteria that spread cold and flu. Supersize your efforts with Viraguard hand wipes and disinfectants.
If the flu does catch you, sooth your aches and pains with moist heat. Allegro has every type of heat wrap you can imagine. Moist heat packs have been the chosen treatment for thousands of doctors for years! It penetrates deep into tissues to relieve soreness, and make aching muscles feel better. Comes in several shapes and sizes for different parts of the body.
And, for the latest in pain relief, Light Relief Infrared Therapy offers another drug-free alternative. Infrared light therapy works by emitting energy in the infrared spectrum to provide temporary relief of minor muscle and joint pain, to relieve stiffness, relax muscle tissue and temporarily increase local blood circulation.
Keep an eye on illness with a new thermometer. Choose from ear, underarm, oral, rectal and disposable thermometers with digital or standard display. Take your baby’s temperature the easy way, with a pacifier thermometer. It only takes a minute and a half, and even beeps when the fever is high.
For flu symptoms and painful congestion, pain relievers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin can help.
Stuck in bed? Make yourself comfortable! A new specialty pillow may be just what you need. Allegro has contour pillows, the latest in head and neck positioners, and cervical pillows. And, to chill out a fever and bring relief to your achy head, try the Chillow Pillow. Activate it once and it brings a fluid-cool sensation every time you lay on it. You will not know how you got along without your Chillow Pillow. I have one and I love it.
Avoid midnight trips to the store this cold and flu season. Stock up on everything you need to make your family healthy and happy in Allegro’s Cold & Flu Season Category.
Get a laugh and some good advice with these 10 Easy Ways to Prevent Colds & Flu.
And last but not least, Do You Need a Flu Shot?
Co-Owner Valerie Paxton and Director of Product Management Dave Williams of AllegroMedical.com are featured in this major television news story on Fox Channel 10 News in Phoenix on November 5th. The story is about Breast Cancer Awareness, where the donations go and the affect of pink products. See Dave Williams’ wife April’s moving account of her fight against breast cancer. I’m not sure how long the link will last, so catch it while you can!
Is Buying Pink Making a Difference?
Thanks to all of you who promote PINK. Every bit of awareness helps. Keep in mind that donations from the sale of Allegro’s Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Shower Chair and Pink 4 Wheeled Rollator go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation to help save lives by increasing awareness of breast cancer through education and by providing mammograms for those in need.
As always, we appreciate your support and your business. Have a great day!
The textbook definition of stress boils down to “if you’re alive, then you’re stressed”. So, if you say you’re not, then you’re either lying or dead.
Everyone experiences stress and responds to stress differently. How you handle it depending on your physical and mental health at the time. What totally stresses you out might not even faze the next guy.
So, how do you know if you have too much stress, or badly managed stress?
If any of the following situations sound familiar, and you experience them frequently, then you may be headed for some serious health problems.
You think you “function just fine” on 5 or 6 hours of sleep
You brain won’t shut off and you toss and turn all night
You get an overwhelming feeling of dread as you wake to face the day
You have frequent obstacle course dreams, treadmill dreams, repetitive dreams or worry dreams
Your shoulders and/or back are in knots, but you think “that’s normal”
Your face is pinched and your jaw is set and your eyes are squinting. Try something. Relax your face and see what happens. See? Ahhhh…
Your head feels like its going to burst open or pop off due to a massive headache or migraine
You can’t poop or you’re pooping all the time
You constantly worry about getting a horrible disease
You feel nauseous and you’re retching in the a.m. – every day, or just sometimes…
It seems you’re always sick, or getting sick, or just getting done being sick
You’re finding a lot of hair in the shower drain
You get zits
Your eyes or lips twitch
You don’t have the energy you used to, and you don’t know why
You break out in hives
Your hands shake. Are they shaking now?
You’re fidgety – tap, tap, tapping or bouncing or jiggling. Stop it!
You bite your nails
Your chest gets tight and it’s hard to breathe
Your throat gets small and it’s hard to swallow
You pick your lip or chew the inside of your cheek
You grind your teeth
You clear your throat a lot (phlegm stress)
You feel lost
You’re gaining weight but you’re not eating more than usual
You’re eating everything that’s not nailed down
You’re eating junk food or fast food
You’re not hungry at all and can’t imagine eating
You’re losing weight because you don’t have the time or energy or desire to eat
You decide your friends are no longer your friends
I love you. I hate you. Leave me alone. Don’t leave me.
You stop being a good friend/mother/wife/husband because you’re too busy
The blame game is the only game in town
You say things like, “I’m sorry I’m taking everything out on you”
You’re late for everything
You BURST OUT crying in the grocery store
You’re hyper-critical of the ones you love the most… and of everyone else
You say really hurtful and inappropriate things
You BURST OUT laughing at a funeral
You can’t stop yelling at your husband or your kids
You want to punch something
You throw a ping pong paddle at your friend while giving them the double bird, screaming “I hate you!”
You find the ice cream in the pantry the day after you unload the groceries
You leave your keys in the car…or the freezer
Simple math is hard math
You’re looking for your glasses and they’re on your head
You think everything would be better if you just have a drink… or 5
You smoke too much pot. Is that possible? Kidding…
You think one more little Valium couldn’t hurt
You don’t smoke but you want a cigarette anyway
You spend $1000 on a feather bed but you can’t pay your rent
You’re convinced you’re going to die a pauper
You’re clumsy – you trip over, run into, drop and spill things
You’re avoiding work or friends or events
You’re go, go, go all the time
Thoughts swirl around your head and you fixate on things
You not only sweat the small stuff but you also… um…sweat
You hide from the world in inappropriate places where you can “just be yourself”
You don’t take care of yourself because you’re too busy
You’re having health issues
You stress about stress
If some of these things sound just a little too much like you, or someone you love, then it’s time to take action to reduce the stress.
We all experience short term stress once in a while, things like taking a test or giving a speech or trying something new – things that make your heart pound or your palms sweat. As soon as the event is over, though, the physical signs disappear quickly, usually before resulting in serious health consequences.
Then, there are those guaranteed stressors like losing a job, getting married, having a baby, getting divorced, changing jobs, buying a house…. Again, these are usually manageable in the short term but you should definitely incorporate some stress relieving activities to get you through the rough spots.
The real scary problem is your prolonged or long term stress. The constant daily pressures that you “just live with” can be the path to disease and even sudden death.
Here are 15 Stress Tips that Could Save Your Life. Be sure to consult with your doctor as well.
There are also some really great stress reducing products to help you stay on track. Here are Allegro’s 10 Most Popular Stress Relief Products.
Another thing I highly recommend is monitoring your blood pressure at home. It’s super easy and takes, like, a minute.
Hey, we care about you, so do the right thing and take care of yourself and the ones you love. Besides being your one-stop shop for medical supplies we can help you find products by medical condition, including stress. See All Stress Management Products.
As always, we appreciate your business.
These are all things that I made a priority a few years ago. I stick to them like glue. Since I started using these stress management techniques my outlook on life, my mood, my feelings of well-being and most importantly my health have improved drastically. I hope it can help you too.
1. Exercise. Even a little bit of exercise relieves tension like nothing else. You don’t have to go to the gym or even do anything structured or super strenuous. Walk around the house, the neighborhood, up and down the stairs (or even 1 stair). Get a pedlar exerciser or some hand weights and use them while you’re watching TV. Get a yoga tape or DVD and make it the first thing you do every morning and the last thing you do every night. See your doctor first if you have health issues. See All Exercise Products
2. Get out of the office. You’re not doing yourself, your customers or your boss any favors by working 10 hours a day. Besides, life’s too short.
3. Go to bed in time to get 8 hours of sleep every night. Just do it.
4. Take a vitamin with antioxidants. I also take Glucosamine with Chondroitin and MSM for my joints. If you have high blood sugar, consult your doctor before taking Glucosamine.
5. Get certified to SCUBA dive and do it as often as possible. Just thinking about it brings my stress level down.
6. Stop eating crap. Go to a nutritionist. Having a sound eating plan will help reduce your stress.
7. Stop dieting. It’s so stressful. Your diet is “what you eat” not “what you do”. Cut the portions if you have to. Have a protein shake for breakfast. When you need some cake, take a bite or two, just not the whole slice. Your body will fight to keep the weight on if you’re stressed.
8. Get regular massages and pedicures. Don’t think of it as a treat, but as a necessity.
9. Don’t lose yourself to your husband/wife/kids/job. Force yourself to go out with the girls, or play an instrument, read books, take classes, get involved in a charity that you love.
10. Learn to say “no”. Try it a few times and you’ll realize that the world doesn’t come to a screeching halt. People will respect you for it.
11. Stop worrying about what other people think. You’d be surprised at how much you’ll relax when you realize that you don’t have to be perfect, or dress perfect, or have a spotless house.
12. Have more sex.
13. Relax as hard as you work as hard as you play. I used think balance was all about playing as hard as I worked. So wrong. You have to add ‘relax’ to the mix.
14. Stop working when you’re on vacation. Leave your computer (or anything else you’re constantly typing stuff into) at home if you have to. Just put it down and walk away. Bliss.
15. Do an honest inventory of the situations, events and people that stress you out. Decide whether they are energy givers or energy zappers. Eliminate or avoid the energy zappers.
Don’t know if you’re stressed? Take the Stress Test!
Here are Allegro’s 10 Most Popular Stress Relief Products.
See All Stress Relief Products.
Take care and as always, thanks for your business.
1. Spa-N-A-Box Portable Spa
2. ergoBead Hand Exerciser and Stress Ball
3. Deluxe Handheld Shower Massager
4. Yoga Starter Kit
5. The Original Backnobber II See all Pressure Massagers
6. Soothe-A-Ciser Pillow
7. Cobblestone Mat
8. Spine Worx Back Support Alignment System
9. Stress Buster Ball
10. Free Standing Kick Bag
Don’t know if you’re stressed? Take the Stress Test!
Shop by Medical Condition. See All Stress Relief Products
The Allegro site is chock full of great products for wheelchair users but now you can find a specific selection of products in Paraplegia: Shop by Condition.
Click on “Paraplegia” under the Shop by Condition tab (home page) anytime to see a comprehensive list of Allegro’s most popular paraplegic products including shower chairs, transfer benches, cushions, catheters, daily living aids, safety products, wheelchair accessories – you name it.
Thanks to everyone on the Allegro Experts Network who helped me put the list of products together, along with suggestions from our own Product Manager and Allegro veteran, Mike Benge – a 15-yr. paraplegic with impeccable taste in products and places to work.
Special thanks to Allegro fan and Expert Network member “Del Huffman from Tennessee” for his recommendations.
I have been a T-8 Paraplegic for over a quarter of a century; the result of a motorcycle accident. It seems I have tried every medical supply and every type of medical equipment out there. I am more than pleased to possibly help someone ‘cut to the chase’ with what works and is best for the difficult life we must endure in the “Wheel-World.”
As a male with a spinal cord injury, I find the UltraFlex External Catheter, by Rochester Medical, to be the best there is. Also, the Conveen Leg Bags, 800 ml, compliment the caths as the ultimate set for urological supplies. What is best about these items? They are durable, non-irritating to the skin, odor-free, and one can’t tell you even wear them! All of this is important to a person with modesty, as life can be embarrassing at times given our circumstances…
Allegro’s Bisacodyl Suppositories, USP 10 mg. are the most effective available, and very inexpensive too. The glycerin ones are not even close to the bisacodyl in effectiveness.
All of Allegro’s shower chairs are great; I have used several. Depending on the level of injury, the back rest height, and non-slip legs, (rubber tube caps) are excellent for a safe, and relaxing shower. I live alone, and am very active so I need the best products to help me be independent, and on time! I am a full-time college student, majoring in Social Work, I coach basketball, am involved in ministries, and work part-time too. I am very clean and organized. I know that exercise, cleanliness, and a positive outlook are key to a wonderful life of independence and joy.
All the folks at Allegro are always ready to help you and they carry all of the coolest merchandise available you will ever need! From wheelchairs and parts, to hygiene products, there is so much out there and life is what you make it.
Character is measured by what it takes to stop you; adversity with composure is my motto!
A big Allegro “Thank You” to Del! What a guy. If anyone else has suggestions about products that other paraplegic or active wheelchair users would enjoy, please email me. I’m at vpaxton (at) allegro (no space) medical dot com. You’ll have to decipher this on your own, as I have to be cryptic to avoid spammers using my email address.
Live Well. -v
Whether to use heat therapy or cold therapy for arthritis pain depends on the type of arthritis and the type of pain you are experiencing. Since everyone experiences and responds to pain differently, you should discuss a pain management plan with your doctor. You may have to try several things to see what works.
When to Use Ice to Treat Arthritis Pain
According to Dr. Kevin Sperber, Board Certified Pain Management Specialist at Columbia University,
“As a general rule of thumb, ice is best for soft tissue musculoskeletal injuries such as bruises, sprains or acute trauma. Cold therapy may also be beneficial if you experience a flare of pain after activity. Cold acts as an analgesic by numbing the sore area and can also drastically reduce swelling and discomfort.”
Traditionally, doctors recommend cold packs be applied for only 10-20 minutes at a time. With prolonged application of cold you could hurt yourself, especially if you have sensory problems or impaired vascular circulation in your hands and feet.
When to Use Heat to Treat Arthritis Pain
Therapeutic Heat is more commonly recommended for arthritis pain because it relaxes tendons and ligaments thereby increasing flexibility and decreasing pain. Heat also increases blood flow and improves joint range of motion.
So why the debate over hot or cold? Dr. Sperber says that for acute injuries (sprains, strains, etc.) just about everyone recommends ice, but for chronic conditions, like arthritis, both cold and heat can help reduce inflammation, so it may come down to whichever feels better to you.
As for how heat should be used, there are competing problems. The trick is to get enough heat into the tissue, for long enough, without burning your skin. For example, hands heat up fairly easily because the tissue is not “deep”, but for deep tissue pain, in the hip for instance, you may need to apply a lower temperature for a longer time. There are specific products that address these issues and each product comes with recommended time usage guidelines.
Most Popular Cold Therapy Products:
- Frozen Gel Cold Packs. Save your frozen peas and use a pliable, reusable “ice pack” instead. ColPaC makes them in lots of sizes and shapes. Keep ice packs in the freezer and they’ll be ready whenever you have a flare-up. Remember to use layers of dry terry toweling between the cold pack and your skin.
- Biofreeze. This topical pain reliever is highly recommended for temporary relief of arthritis, tendonitis and fybromyalgia. You can order it in a tube, roll-on, spray or gel pump.
Most Popular Hot Therapy Products
- Portable Inflatable Whirlpool Spa. Get the benefits of a hot tub without the expense of installing one. The ultimate in heat therapy, relaxation and pain/stress relief, portable whirlpools are highly recommended by arthritis pain sufferers. They can be placed indoors, outdoors, on your patio, on your deck, in your RV, in your condo or your apartment. We recommend the Spa2Go or the Spa-N-A-Box because they are easy to assemble (20 minutes) and there is no special wiring or plumbing needed.
- Infrared Heat. Sometimes deep penetrating heat is the best thing to reduce your arthritis pain. The Thermotex Infrared Heating Pad TTS Platinum model is the most popular although there are other Thermotex therapy systems available. The TTS Platinum is a nice portable size (17” x 15”) and has adjustable straps so you can fit it comfortably almost anywhere on the body.
- Light Relief Light Therapy. This hand-held device provides topical heating to elevate and/or maintain tissue temperature wherever it is placed. My grandmother uses it to relieve joint pain and she loves it. One of our Allegro customers used it to relieve pain in her dog!
- Paraffin Bath. Dip your hands, feet or elbows in melted paraffin wax and let the intense heat spread through your stiff arthritic joints for fast acting, drug-free therapy. The best one on the market is the Therabath PRO Paraffin Bath. This unit is large enough to accommodate your hands, feet or elbows but small enough to fit on your countertop. It includes hospital grade paraffin with your choice of scents.
* Moist Heat. Arthritic and rheumatic pain is often relieved with moist heat. Moist heat increases blood flow, soothing inflamed joints and increasing flexibility. We suggest the Theratherm Digital Electric Moist Heating Pad, the Thermophore Automatic Moist Heat Pack or the Thermophore Arthritis Pad. There’s also a Therabeads Moist Heat Mitt that you wear on your hands.
- Arthritis Gloves. These specially designed arthritis gloves provide mild compression and warmth for your hands. Heat increases circulation which reduces aches and stiffness. Some people wear them day and night. They have open fingertips so your can feel, touch and grip.
Thousands of Allegro Medical customers have found relief with these products. So can you. Order yours today.
Check out all of our hot/cold therapy products or go to our Arthritis category to see all arthritis products.
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