The Governments Axing Of Lifeline

I was chatting to a friend via Facebook this morning. My friend is one that dedicates some of his time (voluntary) to Helpline.

Helpline provides free 24 hour health assistance for people
with issues such as depression, bullying and suicidal thoughts. I am keen to perhaps get involved in the future.

So, this morning he told me that the Government is withdrawing funding, so Helpline only has enough money to run for another 6-12 months. This was a real surprise because New Zealand has some of the highest suicide rates in the world.

So Helpline is doing everything possible to stay afloat. The New Zealand Government has very much increased the amount of money put into roading. Our road toll is far to high.

Here is some statistics for you. If you look at current figures, the Government is putting over $600,000 per person saved from road death or serious injury – about 900 people over 10 years. In that time, based on current figures , over 5000 may die from suicide . I know it’s not really a positive conversation, but these are obviously the facts. So you would think that they would be prepared to invest more money for them wouldn’t you ?

Government says it has increased mental health spending by 300 million over the last 7-8 years, which is an impressive figure. They say that helpline will be replaced with other resources, but will these resources be able to fill this role ?

Only time will tell I guess… I’ll watch this space.

Click here to watch the piece on “Seven Sharp” – NZ Current Affairs Show

Positive Attitudes About Aging

It’s kinda funny that everyone wants to live a long life but the idea of getting old doesn’t really appeal to anyone. It’s a bit contradictory don’t you think ?

Maybe we could say that life is like wine, it becomes better with age. But there are good things about all stages of life. I now think about my teenage years and think how sweet it really was. Back then it was stressful with things like school work and popularity. Some of these things I now realize are so silly.

I guess we can’t do much about aging. I do find it hard to believe that 40 isn’t that far away for myself ( I’m 35 ). It’s a bit scary, because it seems like I just left school. The last 15 years have really flown by. I used to think how I was only a third of the way through my years, but I guess I’m a bit further down the track now.

It’s up to each of us with some aspects of aging. There are some out there that look much older than they are. How do you feel about aging ? I read in a magazine that people that have a bad attitude towards aging have a slower walking speed and worse cognitive abilities than ones positive about aging. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT ?


I do look forward to the years to come though. I love my children but I do think about them getting older. I’m not saying I wish they were turning 18 tomorrow. As they get older they come more independent. As I have said in recent posts, our youngest will be at school next year. I’m exciting for her and myself.

It’s often said that people don’t reach their best until their later years. That’s true in some instances. Think of the histories most successful people. I look forward to that myself. We also have the ones in their early twenties, maybe even late teens that have reached unbelievable success.

In today’s society, T.V , magazines and social media have altered the way we look at getting older. Well, social media is where it’s at because of young ones. Technology is what the world is all about. I recently watched on 60 minutes how dangerous technology is. That’s true. It’s exciting but also frightening. If we aren’t careful, many will end up unemployed. During the discussion of this on 60 minutes, they talked of a McDonald’s restaurant been run by robots. FREAKY !!

So, try to keep a positive attitude and look forward to what is yet to come !!


Obesity…..a frustrating issue !!



Obesity continues to be an issue all around the world. A big part of this is our children. I have talked about obesity before. It frustrates me. The media talk about steps that need to be taken / why obesity is a problem. As with so many things, it always seems to come back to the government. Some think that if there is a problem , it is always up to the government to sort it out.

Continue reading “Obesity…..a frustrating issue !!”

Magnesium & Epilepsy

Have you ever heard of Magnesium as a treatment for Epilepsy ?

                                                                                     Doing a google search, I see that there are a few articles / bit of info about Magnesium and nuts-73914__180Epilepsy. One would have to have a chat with the doctor first before they jumped in boots and all. But if you were to eat a few foods high in Magnesium, I don’t really see the harm. There is a difference between what we are eating and the medication we are taking. Our eating is a way to keep it all natural.


Continue reading “Magnesium & Epilepsy”

Qualifying for SSD with an Invisible Disability






The concept of disability is an interesting one, mostly because when people think of disability, they think in terms of the physical inability to do things that come naturally to most people, without some sort of aid. However, there are disabilities that cannot be seen as such, and yet they impact as much on the sufferers as those that suffer from ‘seen’ disabilities. These are often referred to as hidden or invisible disabilities, and limit the earning capacity of the person who suffers from these unseen conditions.

Conditions for Qualification

In order for a person suffering from an invisible disability to successfully qualify for a social security disability, or SSI claim, there are certain conditions that must be met. These conditions are very straightforward.

First, you must have worked in jobs that are covered by social security. Basically, you have to have worked long enough in order to qualify for SSD. Besides that, your employment must have been recent, and self-employment is covered by this as well. The reason for this is that your Social Security work credits are determined by how much your yearly income was. Each year is about 4 credits. The number of credits you require will depend on the number of years you have worked, as well as your age when you stopped working. Second, you must have a medical condition which actually meets the definition of disability as specified by the SSA. According to the Social Security Administration, this means that you are unable to work. You would most likely qualify if you are unable to do the same work you did before you incurred your disability, and are unable to adjust to another type of work. Additionally, if it is clear that the disability has gone on or is expected to go on for a year or more, then you would probably meet the conditions.

What are invisible disabilities?

Many people with invisible disabilities either do not realize that they are suffering from hidden disabilities, or do not consider themselves as such, and so there are many people who would ordinarily qualify for SSD that do not apply. The problem might stem from the fact that society at large, and some Social Security officers, that find it difficult to accept conditions such as extreme fatigue, chronic pain or sleep disorders as disabilities. However these are invisible disabilities. According to the Center on Disability Studies, other conditions which fall into this category include:


– Asthma

– Epilepsy

– Diabetes

– Traumatic Brain Injury

– Psychiatric Disabilities which include bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder   major depression, etc.

– Chronic fatigue

– Learning Disabilities (LD)

– Attention Deficit-Disorder or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD)

Common Factors with Invisible Disabilities

Although there are so many invisible disabilities, they do have certain things in common. Chief to them is the fact that the disability is not ‘seen.’ Another thing they have in common is that there are often no visible supports; sufferers do not have the support of wheelchairs, canes, hearing aids or other support aids used by people with ‘typical’ disabilities. What is true about such disabilities is that they are often permanent and those who suffer from them have to cope with them on a daily basis. In order to qualify for SSD, there has to be documented evidence on the disability. In most cases, the sufferer is dealing with some sort of physical or emotional pain as well. There should also be evidence that this disability has been managed through medication or behavior.

Are you living with an invisible disability that no one seems to understand?


WRITTEN BY – Amy Patterson –


No More Fizzy Drink !!!


Fizzy drinks…..I drink my fair share, but I don’t think I do too bad. I know people who drink alot more than I do. I have written about my addiction to drinking V.  Well, not quite an addiction, but V is a drink I enjoy and health wise I would be better off without.

In the media this week ( here in New Zealand ) , there has been discussion about schools banning fizzy drinks and restricting drinking to just water. Sounds like a good idea to me. Our kids, aged 4 & 6 , only really drink water. They sometimes get the treat of orange juice, but because it’s always been this way, we never hear too many complains about it.

We always seem to be hearing about our children. But isn’t it a parent job to make these decisions ? I really get sick of everyone thinking the government is responsible for everything. Shouldn’t your kids be your responsibility ? If you decide to have children, you need to take responsibility !!! You are the parents, not the government. it’s up to parents to make decisions.  People seem to blame the government for everything. If you decide that your children shouldn’t have fizzy drink, then take action.

My answer to this is “Everything In Moderation” . It is O.K to drink some fizzy drink, alcohol, eat some takeaways…… you know what I’m talking about.These sort of things. Most people enjoy these things and that’s fine. But , just don’t have too much.

New Zealand is evidently the 3rd most obese country in the world. I’m surprised by this. But, what is classed as obese ? How are you puthick-373064__180t into this category ?

Obesity is measured by BMI ( body mass index ). An equation is made using ones height and weight. It doesn’t really take much to be classed as obese. Some of our greatest sports stars are supposedly obese.  I guess they would be full of muscle though and muscle weighs more than fat.

Looks like I have gone off the topic of Fizzy Drinks !!! In the last week , a Fizzy drink tax has been put in place in the U.K. So, should NZ have a Fizzy Drink tax as well ? That was a question of the week. My view is NO, we don’t need one. Why ? well, it won’t raise the prices much. Things like this should come from people taking action, not pricing.

So, I’ll continue to enjoy my fizzy drink in moderation.

Moderation is the key to many things.












ALERT , ALERT !!! Medic Alert


So, Medic Alert ….

Medic Alert is a way your information is kept about your health issue. You wear a wristband / bracelet or something around your neck. On there is what health issue you have, plus a pin number. Do you have something like this where ever you live in this big wide world ?

So say something happens and you end up in the arms of Medical staff, they can look at Medic Alert and see why whatever happened may have happened. Perhaps they will discover there are some drugs you can’t take. I know a few people that wear Medic Alert for this reason. Of course, mine is for my Epilepsy. One thing we haven’t done is kept my info up to date. I should go through my doctor and get things signed off. This would be what medication I take, etc. My medication has changed many times over the years.

I  always wear mine around my neck. I have worn a wrist band a few times, but it annoys me a bit. I guess it is something you’d get used to.

I recently received an email from Medic Alert. They were asking me to fill in a survey about my experiences . The main question was whether I had had any experience of medical staff missing my Medic Alert / not taking notice of it. This has happened to me several times.

I had a seizure ( turn) one day when I was picking my son up from school. Even though I probably would have been fine, some thought I was having a heart attack. So, the Ambulance arrived. Did they see my Medic Alert around my neck ? NO !! Don’t you think they should have looked for it ?

So from the look of the survey, it sounds like there has been other people go through this. We pay a yearly fee for my family to be covered for Emergency services like this. I think we pay about $90 a year.  Without this , it would pretty much cost that for using their services just once. So it’s good it covers all 4 of us.

Our Ambulance service comes from St John . They rely heavily on donations/ fundraising  from the public. Perhaps the government could assist them a bit more.



Inside-Out Health

 by Daniel M. Christensen



One thing is sure – life is funny.

It has a way of making us feel like we’re on top of the world one moment and completely worthless the next. For me, sometimes these two feelings happen during the same day. I have found, however, that how I feel inside is a direct reflection of what I feel on the outside. Without going full-on Confucius here, I simply mean that if I am healthy and putting great things in my body, I exude greatness. The other day when I ate an entire large pizza in one sitting? Not so much.


I have come to realize that nutrition, health, and fitness are more important than I ever realized. Here’s some things that I have learned on my continuous journey.





I recently read an article that stated “What you eat today doesn’t matter.” Rolling my eyes, I was about to click out of it in order to watch some more funny pet videos, but the next sentence actually caught my attention. “What you eat this month does.” There is a lot of wisdom in that. Our long-term habits determine our health, attitude, relationships, and really, the fullness of our lives.


For example, if I eat right every day but once every couple of weeks I splurge, it’s not that big of a deal. No, I am not advocating having over-the-top “cheat days” or anything of the sort. I guess it’s just nice to know that your body forgives you and has a way of purging sudden changes in diet. Cultivate healthy habits and your body will thank you. Your mind will thank you.


I’ve tried many different foods to achieve these habits. Remember, each body has different nutritional needs, and our individual tastes also come into play. For example, I usually choose Bison meat over beef, simply because it tastes similar and is nutritionally superior (more protein, less fat, less calories, more iron, etc). Quit forcing yourself to eat things that you absolutely hate. Like snap peas. They are seriously the worst. I instead opt for carrots, cabbage, spinach, asparagus, and other slightly more edible plants. This variety gives me some long term options that are sustainable. Think of your own and make a plan based on what is feasible for you, not just a short-term “cleanse” or fad.




What Counts is on the Inside


No, I don’t sell beauty products, why do you ask? But seriously, the physical nature of our bodies and even brains can affect our mental state as much as just trying really hard to have a good attitude. As we worry more about what’s inside our bodies, we’ll eventually develop a healthy glow on the outside. Our attitude and confidence will come to match it as we improve and reach our goals.


Your body deserves to feel good. It deserves to be active. It deserves to be fueled with good food.

So be healthy, you deserve it.



Author bio: Daniel M Christensen is a thinker and a dreamer. He thinks at night when he should be dreaming and dreams at work when he should be thinking. Either way, it makes for an entertaining blend. He blogs about random things just to get them out of his head.


Junk Food

Tackling Obesity

Junk Food


The number of overweight youngsters has increased dramatically over the last thirty years. Obesity has currently surpassed smoking as a pathological state. If action is not taken,Obesity is probably going to continue throughout lives. We do not want our kids to be having shorter lives than ourselves. After we scrutinize technology, it’s as if it’ll be the opposite. Ones on the improve , and the other is going down hill.
Obesity will bring several issues like Diabetes and Cancer.
So, what steps ought to be taken ? Is Education the solution ?
Parents have to take a look and see that everything we eat has an impact.
Education is a component of the solution, however alot more can be done. A part of the answer for Smoking has been the adding of a tax, which means  higher costs. This could be a deterrent from purchasing some food . Some countries have goals of been smoke-free by an exact date. Sound Optimistic ?  New Zealand goal is to be smoke free by 2025. It seems like a big ask, but smoking continues to decline. We all know that setting goals is the best way to reach targets. More information needs to be in place within the food market and on food packaging. This can lead to better decisions.
At times it looks as if Government is bringing up children, not parents. Parents need to be responsible when feeding their children.  Parents are of course the biggest influence in a  child’s early years. Habits can last a life time.
Children are not as active as they were in the past. Technology has modified the way many spend their time. How much time do your youngsters spend on the computer or with a tablet. Look at activities 30 years ago. Everyone was taking part in a lot more sport and generally just more active. Sport could be made more accessible, fees could be brought down.


Tackling Obesity may begin as early as in the womb.

At what level is the mother-to-be weight at ?
How much weight should she gain throughout gestation ?
Should she be eating additional food for her baby ?
How long should breast feeding last ?

Everyone needs to be eating their fruit and vegetables. How often do you have takeaway’s ?

Advertising is part of the problem. Adverts need to be limited  and also at the right times. In some countries, Alcohol has been taken  away from the television screen. Maybe the same action could be taken for some foods. EG : McDonald’s.

When you see that McDonald’s advert, do you desire a Big-Mac ?

It’s up to individuals to make the right decisions. Are you making the best ones ?



Epilepsy Blog Relay : Will My Children Have Epilepsy ?


This post is part of the Epilepsy Blog Relay™ which will run from November 1 through November 30. Follow along and add comments to posts that inspire you!



Many people around the world are wondering if Epilepsy is genetic.  Here we’re going to discuss this in detail.  It’s not uncommon for people to be curious about this during their child rearing years.  The last thing a potential parent wants to do is pass on their health issue to their offspring.  We’ll also discuss the likelihood of doing just that.  Understanding the facts goes a long way in helping to uncover the myths surrounding this condition.

Epilepsy can be passed down from generation to generation.  That doesn’t mean a person’s children are guaranteed to have it.  It simply means that their likelihood of having Epilepsy increases.  This is true if the father of the child has Epilepsy.  It should be noted that if the mother has Epilepsy, the likelihood of the child having Epilepsy is slightly higher. A woman should question the medicated she is taking, whether there is a chance of that effecting her baby. I have recently learned about Foetal Anti -Convulsant Syndrome. FACS occurs when an anti-convulsant drug, such as Epilim, is taken by a mother during pregnancy.  It crosses the placenta and through the developing fetus. But, once again, not all woman on these medications will have a child effected by FACS.

I don’t think Epilepsy should prevent  a couple from considering starting a family. But, everyone’s case is different and health professionals can give advice.  It should also be noted that a sibling is at higher risk of Epilepsy if their brother or sister has it.  With this said, the risk is still fairly low.  While it’s definitely higher than in the general population, the risk is minimal and shouldn’t stop anyone from considering expanding their family.

You should also note that Epilepsy is not contagious.   You can’t pass on Epilepsy through a hug or a cough.   No one should ever be concerned about contracting Epilepsy from someone else.  It simply isn’t possible and any concern is based on irrational thoughts.

Epilepsy can also be caused by brain trauma.  If this is the cause of Epilepsy, then it’s not genetic and therefore can’t be passed on.  This is a common form of Epilepsy. Any traumatic head injury can be the catalyst for Epilepsy.   Those who repeatedly have their head hit are at higher risk of developing Epilepsy. Head protection when riding a bike, or playing some sports is a must.

Never lose sight of the fact that Epilepsy and seizures can be treated.  While this is a serious condition, millions of people around the world live productive lives with it.  Always make sure to take your medication as prescribed.  A close relationship with your doctor is a must when having this condition.  It’s the best way to make sure that it’s under control.  You’ll also be able to bring up any concerns you may have in regards to passing it on to your children.

I have a 6 year old son and a four year old daughter. Being a Stay At Home Dad, I am responsible for them most of the time. We have now reached a stage where my son understands my Epilepsy and knows what steps to take if I have a complex partial seizure.

I developed my Epilepsy during Puberty. No one in my family has Epilepsy. All tests ( MRI & EEG ) I have ever had have never shown any reason for it, so I wonder why. We all wish for the best health for our family. I do think of my children developing Epilepsy. Lets hope for the best.

NEXT UP: Be sure to check out tomorrow’s post at for more on Epilepsy Awareness. For the full schedule of bloggers visit



Foetal Anti - Convulsant Syndrome

Foetal Anti – Convulsant Syndrome



What is that you may be thinking ..

FACS can occur when anti-convulant Medication is taken during pregnancy. The medication crosses the Placenta and through to the developing Fetus.

FACSs refers to 3 different syndromes. These are –

  • Foetal Valproate Syndrome
  • Foetal Carbamazepine Syndrome
  • Foetal Hydantoin Syndrome

FACS can be diagnosed by a specialist when a mother to be is taking Anti – Epilepsy Medication during pregnancy.

The of type of drugs to think about are –

  • Epilim
  • Tegretol – Carbamazepine
  • Dilantin  – Phenytoin

Some of the possibilities are

  • Spina Bifida
  • Visual Difficulties
  • Lower IQ
  • Small size at birth
  • Attention and Memory problems
  • Slow Development

I have seen many questions about Medication and Epilepsy. It was interesting to hear this information. I have always thought the possibilities of these type of problems due to Epilepsy were pretty small. As I said, not all woman taking this type of medication will be affected, but sounds like they are a possibility.

I have often though that it wasn’t anything to worry about. I did think about this sort of thing when becoming a father. I was glad we didn’t have any problems getting pregnant. We have 2 healthy children.

People can be on these drugs for types for Medical issues other than Epilepsy, such as Mental Health.

For more information , take a look at the following website – FACSNZ

Top 13 Essential Vitamins and their Functions

Balanced and Healthy Diet

The main aspects to consider when selecting a healthy diet are portion control and balance. There is a saying “to eat the rainbow”. This comes from the fact that the more colourful fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins. So should the diet consist of a wide variety of colourful veg and dark leafy green then almost all vitamins are supplied.


When selecting portions, a handy guide is to use amounts you are familiar with. Such as a an amount of meat the same as the palm of your hand, 2 fistfuls of vegetables and a thumb sized piece of fat. This will ensure that you are getting enough food at each sitting to both satisfy your appetite and meet your nutritional requirements.

Most people can get enough vitamins by following that simple advice. However, old age, lifestyle habits such as smoking, and conditions such as pregnancy may require additional intake amounts. Therefore, it may be important to include the recommended supplements for health and vitality. Otherwise, following a diet plan is the only way to ensure that you are getting sufficient amounts of these essential vitamins.

Different Types of Essential Vitamins

There are 13 different types of essential vitamins required for normal body function. They are classified into two categories namely: Water-soluble and Fat-soluble vitamins.

  • Water-soluble- They include vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, Biotin, and Folate. They are not stored in huge amounts in the body and the excess is lost in urine. Aim to get a reasonable amount of these on a daily basis.
  • Fat-soluble- Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, and K. They are stored in the body and, therefore, should be consumed in little amounts since extremes could cause health problems.

Functions, and Food Sources of Essential Vitamins

Vitamin A (Retinol)

Vitamin A has antioxidant properties which help improve immune health by maintaining healthy mucus membranes and fighting diseases. It helps build strong teeth and bones, prevents Alzheimer’s disease, heart diseases, arthritis, and age-related muscular degeneration problems. It also reduces wrinkles and fine lines associated with aging by rejuvenating the cells.

The dietary sources of Vitamin A include milk and dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, butter, eggs, fish liver oils, beef, kidney, chicken, leafy vegetables, pumpkins, carrots, sweet potatoes, and fruits like mangoes, peaches, winter squash, apricots, and cantaloupe.

RDA: Men: 900mcg Women: 700mcg

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Vitamin B1 helps convert food into energy. It’s essential for healthy skin, hair, brain, heart, and for normal nerve functioning.

B1 helps prevent kidney stones, Beriberi, heart diseases, and indigestion. It’s especially crucial for elderly patients who are at a risk of Alzheimer’s.

Sources include pork chops, ham, liver, dried beans, nuts, and seeds.

RDA: Men: 1.2mg Women: 1.1mg

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

This vitamin helps with energy production in the body by enabling conversion of food into energy. It also helps the body use other B vitamins properly. It’s needed for healthy eyes, hair, skin, blood, brain. It improves the body’s metabolic activity, boosts the immune system, and promotes the health of the nervous system.

Vitamin B2 comes from whole grains, dairy products, soybeans, meat and poultry, liver, eggs, and mushrooms.

RDA: Men: 1.3mg Women: 1.1mg

Vitamin B3 (Niacin, nicotinic acid)

This nutrient also helps convert food into energy and is important for the nervous system, digestive system, skin health, hair, and brain. It helps with indigestion, reduction of weakness, heart disorders, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, skin disorders, migraines, and diarrhoea.

Niacin occurs naturally in foods and can also be made by the body from the amino acid tryptophan with the help of B6. It’s found in a wide variety of foods including meat, poultry, whole grains, mushrooms, potatoes, and peanut butter.

RDA: Men: 16mg Women: 14mg

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

Biotin helps convert food into energy and synthesizes glucose. Also, it can help break down some fatty acids. It allows the body to use proteins, fats, and carbohydrates from the food consumed. Its helps improve metabolism and treats skin disorders.

It’s found in whole grains, non-fat milk and yogurt, sweet potatoes, peanuts, almonds, eggs, liver, poultry meat, organic meats, and fortified soy milk.

RDA: Men: 30mcg Women: 30mcg

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

It helps the body make good use of proteins and glycogen. It also helps form haemoglobin which carries blood in the body. It improves sleep, moods, and appetite. It also boosts the immune system. The only vitamin deficiency known to cause or worsen seizures in infants is a deficiency of vitamin B6. Some doctors may also try vitamin B6 in older children with difficult-to-control seizures, but there is no solid evidence that it will be helpful.

Most people do not get enough of this nutrient. It’s mainly found in foods such as meat, potatoes, bananas, poultry, liver, soybeans, lentils, nuts, bran, oats, chickpeas and sunflower seeds.

RDA: Men: 1.3mg Women: 1.3mg

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

B12 helps improve body metabolism, synthesizes red blood cells and keeps the nervous system healthy. Deficiency can cause anaemia. The vitamin is only found in animal food sources such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, milk and other dairy products.

RDA: Men: 2.4mcg Women: 2.4mcg

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)

It helps convert food into energy and also makes lipids and haemoglobin. Deficiency causes burning feet and neurological problems. It’s commonly found in whole grains, mushrooms, broccoli, tomatoes, avocado, and poultry.

RDA: Men: 5mg Women: 5mg

Folate (folic acid)

It’s vital for new cell creation. It helps prevent birth defects when taken during pregnancy, reduces heart and colon cancer risks and offsets breast cancer risks among women who consume alcohol.

It’s mainly found in asparagus, spinach, okra, broccoli, legumes like chickpeas and black-eyed peas, tomato juice, and orange juice.

RDA: Men: 400mcg Women: 400mcg

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

It’s generally an antioxidant that promotes healthy teeth and gums, improves the body’s ability to absorb iron, boosts the immune system and maintains healthy tissues. It’s abundant in citrus fruits, broccoli, potatoes, bell peppers, spinach, tomatoes, Brussel sprouts, and strawberries.

RDA: Men: 90mg Women: 75mg: Smokers: An additional 35mg

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for good bone health as it increases the amount of calcium and phosphorus absorbed in the body, making bones and teeth stronger and healthier. It also helps protect against infections by boosting the immune system health. Dietary sources include milk, fish, eggs, organ meats fish liver oils, and rice beverages.

RDA: Men: 10mcg Women: 10mcg

Vitamin E

It helps maintain a healthy immune system and other body processes. It also acts as an antioxidant and protects cells from damage. It’s found in vegetable oils, leafy green vegetables, avocados, some nuts, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, and wheat germ.

RDA: Men: 15mg Women: 15mg

Vitamin K

This nutrient activates proteins and calcium essential for blood clotting and also helps prevent hip fractures. It can be found in liver, broccoli, spinach, sprouts, kale, eggs, collard, and other leafy green vegetables.

RDA: Men: 120mcg Women: 90mcg

Author Bio:

Alex Morgan – Currently studying in Dublin, Alex is a career writer, by choice! Versed in a number of subjects he mainly specialises in tech, education, health and fitness and gaming; of the video variety. He posts on a number of blogs and websites and harbours desires to begin a great novel, but struggles creating character names – Look for the epic fantasy “Tom the Barbarian” on shelves soon.

He can often be found on twitter under the handle @Al_Exical. He finds it comforting to talk about himself in the third person.

Brain Train

November !! An Exciting Epilepsy Month

Bring on November !!

We’ve got some Exciting Epilepsy things coming up in November. In a few days here in my home town,  we have The Brain Train. The Brain Train is an event to really learn the facts, ins and outs of Epilepsy. We have some exciting speakers coming like my past Neurologist . People will really be able to have their questions answered by simply putting their hand in the air. People really do need to learn the facts. There isn’t enough public knowledge of Epilepsy. It’s also an opportunity for people with Epilepsy to realise that they are not alone.


Brain Train

So, next……Our Car Boot Sale !!

The New Zealand Epilepsy Foundation Support Group – Waikato .This is our group/board here in my home town. On the 8th of November we are having a Car Boot Sale.  So, bring your Car or Ute along, pay a small fee and see if someone else is interested in a few things you no longer require. We’ll have the BBQ going, so it should be a productive morning. It’s exciting for us to get these events going. As we all know, actions speak louder than words.


Car Boot Sale


I am also taking part in a November Epilepsy Blog Relay .  Every day in November, someone will put forward a blog post around the subject of Epilepsy. There are a few subject within the subject of Epilepsy. My post will be about Genetics. Is someones Epilepsy Genetic ?  Or are they the only one in their family with Epilepsy. I know for myself I’m the only one with Epilepsy. I’m also the only one in my family not wearing glasses.  You never know what your gonna get.


Living Well With Epilepsy


It’s fantastic to be involved in all 3 of these activities. I love the feeling of being involved, working with others, making a contribution. Together everyone achieves more.

Breast Cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer

The National Breast Cancer Foundation reports that each year an estimated 220,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 die. While the number of breast cancer related deaths have decreased in the past 20 years, the number of women diagnosed remains high. One in eight will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and it continues to be the second leading cause of death among women. While there is still no cure for cancer, awareness and early detection prove to be helpful in increasing the likelihood of extending life and even survival.

Educate, Inform, & Inspire

October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month and all women, young and old, should know how to perform self exams, a helpful tool in early detection. Additionally, women can help by educating other women in their lives, such as family, friends, and co-workers, on the benefits of early breast cancer detection. While self exams should be performed regularly and year round, take the time this October to inspire and educate those around you.

Who is Most at Risk?

Unfortunately, breast cancer is not preventable and some women are prone to developing it over others. However, there are lifestyle habits (or changes) that can help you reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. Remember, whether you are in your 20’s or in your 70’s, it’s never too late to change your lifestyle. According to the Mayo Health Clinic, here are some ways to reduce your risk of breast cancer:

  • Limit alcohol consumption and don’t smoke tobacco
  • Lose weight, maintain a healthy weight, and stay physically active
  • Breast feed your infants
  • Limit your duration of hormone therapy
  • Avoid environmental pollution and radiation

While lifestyle habits can greatly affect your chances of developing breast cancer, your chance may be linked to your genes. Risk factors may vary from woman to woman, but self-exams and mammograms can be integral detection tools.

Breast Self-Exam

Breast self-exams are a self-checkup that women do in the comfort of their own homes. Although it’s not completely accurate, it is free and can help to save a woman’s life. Many women struggle with being comfortable performing a self-exam, but with regularity women should be able to notice changes and report them to her doctor. A breast self-exam is easy to do, but should not be compared to anyone else’s as all breasts are different. One woman may have normal “lumpy” breast tissue while another may have none. If you are hesitant to “get to know your breasts” talk with your doctor or with a friend; it’s time to take charge of your health.


Self-exams are also important because your breasts could change a lot between annual checkups and the time your reach the age of mammograms. Many older women talk about the “dreaded” mammogram, but it’s an important tool in detecting any changes within the breast that could indicate breast cancer. Mammograms are scheduled for women who are over the age of 40.

Another great way to monitor your breast health and reduce your risk of dying from breast cancer is have a honest and open discussion with your doctor.

Matt Rhoney is an avid reader on trending topics and a writer in his spare time. On the beautiful coast of North Carolina you will usually find him catching up on the latest news with locals or on the beach surfing, kayaking or paddle boarding. He loves to write pieces on health, fitness, and wellness, but often writes about families and safety.


No More Topiramate !!


Yes, that’s right, no more Topiramate.

Tomorrow is my last day of Topiramate. I’ll then just be taking Levetiracetam and Lamotrigine. I have been in the process of cutting down to 2 drugs since my visit to the Neurologist in mid July. Each month I took 25 less. I was at 50 mg twice a day.

So, will this make a difference ? Who knows. I haven’t really been the best lately. At the end of last week, I had turns 4 days in a row. But it’s all emotional. What I mean by that is that most of the time I know why my turn happened, what brought it on. If we look at the year so far, I was better in the first half.

Here is my number of turns month by month.

  • January – 3
  • February – 3
  • March – 4
  • April – 4
  • May – 6
  • June – 6
  • July – 4
  • August – 6
  • September – 4
  • October ….so far – 5

So, has the small increase got anything to do with medication ?  I don’t think so. We’ll have to wait and see. I’m still keen on seeing a Hypnotist. I did speak to one a while ago. He said they weren’t allowed to see the likes of myself, that they could be held accountable for anything that happens. There is a Hypnotist that advertising that she can relieve stress, confidence…. all types of emotional stuff. I’ll think I’ll give her a call sometime.

Let’s see if no Topriamate makes a difference. I’ve been on it for a very long time !!


Exercise … Just Do It


How do you feel about the word “Exercise” ?

Some people feel excited about the word “Exercise” . But, not everyone feels this way.  There are some that really dislike the word. They may fear it.  The thing is, not all types of Exercise works for everyone. That means there is no correct way to Exercise . This is also a good and bad thing. Maybe you have the thoughts like “Where do I start, what am I going to do.”

Remember what Nike says ? “Just Do It”. So, do anything you like !! Experiment with a few different things and find something you enjoy and think is going to be effective. NikeDo you like running or Walking ? Do you like Cycling ? Do you prefer to be in a Gym ?

You don’t have to do a huge amount of exercise for it to be effective. 5 minutes a day can be enough.   There is nothing better for you than simple movement.

I am often shocked by the short distances people travel via bus. I take the bus a couple of times a month, but this is due to not having a license. When I do use the bus service, it’s a decent distance I travel. Walking gets better and better the more you do it.

The human body is a fantastic machine. I think it’s better than any technology we have created. Your body can adapt to many types of stress is placed upon it.

Exercise & Bus Travel

Fitness & Exercise can lead to one of the best medicines there is, and that is Self-Esteem. There is nothing better than feeling good about yourself. I think that leads to more Motivation. That’s how it has very much been for me in the past and present.

Helping Your Teenager Stay Active and Healthy with Cancer

by Matt Rhoney

The long journey from being diagnosed with cancer and going through the treatments is a life altering one. For a teenager who has been used to physical activity and boundless energy, the experience is one that can be filled with frustrating moments. If your teenager is recovering from cancer, physical activity and exercise in moderation can help speed up that recovery. The level and rate of activity will not be like during the pre-cancer days, but it should not be ruled out completely. Here are a few tips on keeping your teen healthy and active while undergoing cancer treatment.

Healthy Exercises for Cancer Patients

Several studies have found that regular exercise and physical activity helps cancer patients in fighting the cancer, and also helps to keep it away once they are healed. There is no doubt that rest is important and necessary however, research shows that if you are able to incorporate some form of regular physical activity that can be largely beneficial both to health and spirit.

Too much rest and very little exercise works against the body because it weakens the muscles and can lead to unhealthy weight gain or increased feelings of fatigue.  Your child’s exercise routine should not be too strenuous so that they do not use up all their strength. Get the doctor and cancer team involved in planning physical activities that can be safe for your particular case. Exercise during and after treatment should be incorporated in a safe and responsible way, along with activities your teen already enjoys. Cancer should not be allowed to erode your child’s quality of life.

Paying Attention to a Healthy Diet

Diet is a major part of cancer treatment and is important to help fight the disease, and also to maintain the health of the patient. Nutrition is one of the major weapons to be used in this battle. However, one of the effects of cancer treatments is loss of appetite and weight loss. It is important to try to maintain a healthy weight during the treatment phase. Modern cancer care includes nutrition therapy that explains how to eat healthy. Encourage your teen to embrace healthy eating habits so that their body is in the right state to fight cancer.

Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle

It is crucial to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If your teen lived a sedentary lifestyle before being diagnosed with cancer, now is the best time to change that. Focus should also be on healthier eating habits. Here are a few general recommendations from the Mayo Clinic:

  • Exercise regularly, but start slowly.
  • Eat more vegetables and fruits – at least 2.5 cups of fruit and vegetables daily.
  • Choose healthy fats.
  • Eat healthy carbohydrates such as whole grains, legumes and fruit.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Cut down on alcohol.
  • Quit smoking.

Although cancer is more common that we would like, it is possible to beat cancer. There are many survivors who can testify to that fact. Adopting a healthier lifestyle can give you the ammunition you need to fight one of the greatest battles of your life. Encourage your teenager to make these lifestyle changes. Most importantly, always stay positive and keep your spirits high, regardless of the circumstances.

Are you or your teen battling cancer? What tips can you share for staying healthy and active pre and post treatment?

Matt Rhoney is an avid reader on trending topics and a writer in his spare time. On the beautiful coast of North Carolina you will usually find him catching up on the latest news with locals or on the beach surfing, kayaking or paddle boarding. He loves to write pieces on health, fitness, and wellness, but often writes about families and safety.

V Drink

Does V Drink = Seizures ?

How many out there with Epilepsy think about what they eat or drink ?
Do you really think what you eat or drink effects your seizures ?
I think it probably does, but what extremes do you want to go to.
Yes, I think we all know that Alcohol is something to keep away from.
I do keep away from Alcohol. I have the odd drink here and there, but it would only equal one drink a month…..if even that.

As we know, fruit , veges and water are the keys. The world is becoming more and more obese every day. Our household has veges at least every 2nd night.

In July and August, I had 4 turns ( seizures ) each month. But there is something that could be contributing to this. I have a drink of V once a week. I have being seeing this as my little treat. V is a drink that is very high in Sugar.

V contains –

Sucrose, Guarana, Caffeine, B Vitamins, Taurine   drinking V

It’s interesting to read up on these ingredients. We all know that everyone should be careful with their Caffeine intake. I have never been a coffee or tea drinker. I do have a milo / hot chocolate with my breakfast, but that’s pretty much it. I’m sure you know someone that has many cups of tea or coffee every day.

I have read that energy drinks can interact with medication, so this could be the case with myself. I have tried to go by the policy of moderation. Moderation is the key to everything. This is why I only ever have one V drink a week. I don’t like paying for them either, but we have to treat ourselves occasionally. I feel a bit guilty sometimes for spending the $3-4 dollars (NZ) the V costs. I usually buy 500 mls.

I haven’t had a V in about 10 days now. So, I’ll try and completely stop drinking them. We’ll see if this has any effect on things.

Life is so much about routines and habits. I think you can look at so many things like this. There are so many things that people start , then they can’t stop. This can be from smoking and drinking or even children needing their teddy bear in bed at night. Crazy comparison ? My wife says it is. I say that because there are times when our son has come in to us in the middle of the night because he can’t find his teddy. I think if children weren’t given soft toys when they are first born, they would be fine without them.

I have already discussed drinking tea and coffee. I never started in my early or late teens, so I don’t do it now. It’s all about starting things. If you never start doing certain things, you won’t find yourself having to stop.

Sorry if you find a few things I said sound rather bizarre.

All the best

Daffodil Day

I pretty much had a day to myself yesterday. This was great because this rarely happens. My daughter goes to Kindy in the mornings 4 days a week, and Fridays are pretty boring days. We used to go to Mainly Music. You take your kids along and have a dance to lots of kids songs. But, the Mainly Music we went to is no longer running. We have been to another a few times with some friends, but Claudia ( daughter) has decided she doesn’t like it. I shouldn’t really let her get her own way, but I can’t really be bothered with the performance it can sometimes bring on. Next year, with her turning 4 just before Christmas, she’ll be going to Kindy 5 days a week.

So, the day to myself !!  I had some things I wanted to do in town, so I asked my Mum if she could look after Claudia for the day. So, that happened and they dropped me off in town. It is so nice to have some time to myself. On the rare occasion that my wife and I don’t have the kids with us in the car, it feels so strange that they aren’t there. I find myself looking to the back seat. You so feel like there is something missing because the kids aren’t there.

In town, there were many stands selling flowers for Daffodil Day. What is Daffodil Day ? It’s a fundraiser for Cancer. It is a pretty big deal here in New Zealand. It’s like an annual event. There is a lot of publicity around it, and it has some big sponsors. There were many stands selling Daffodils and many people had a Daffodil pinned to their shirt. It was almost like every 2nd person.

So, whats my point ?   It’s great to see how well people respond to raising money for Cancer.  My heart goes out to anyone affected by Cancer . We all know it would be heart-breaking.  But, how would people respond if the same number of stands were raising money for Epilepsy ?  Probably not as much.  😦   I have sold purple ribbons for Epilepsy on a couple of dates. When I did this, it’s very obvious there is very little public understanding when it comes to Epilepsy.  I so wish Epilepsy was up there with Cancer, but the public are just poorly informed.

This is why it’s great to be involved in the New Zealand Epilepsy Foundation. The goal is for the public to be much better informed , and people with Epilepsy be much more supported.