Month: September 2015

“Friday Night Shout Outs” is for the soul……& Periscope!

Is everyone on Periscope yet? If not, it’s a free app that you download to your smartphone that allows you to hear and see live video chats from people that you follow. It also allows for you to text and have questions answered and interact in real time. Very cool. So if you haven’t joined yet, consider doing so. I am on there under the name “docswiner.” I plan to do weekly posts entitled, no superwoman Saturdays, which should be fun, about different medical topics or whatever tickles my fancy that day.

I just posted one this weekend, entitled “Friday night shout outs and shoulder pain!” The most important part of it was explaining what Friday night shout outs is to everyone. It’s a game that my husband and I created for one another early on in our relationship. We figured, in most relationships, we are bogged down by daily drama, work, stress… you name it. However, your loved one always likes to hear sweet nothings from you to sweeten up your relationship, so why not set out a specific day of the week, every week, to make sure you let them know why you appreciate them. This is good for the ‘good feeling’ hormones, like your endorphins and your adrenaline, to get things moving, if you know what I mean! It can be as simple as, “Thanks for taking out the trash, Honey”; or “Thanks for buying me a new car,” if you’re that lucky, but remind your spouse how much you need and appreciate them. My husband, who I consider to be a bit of a love expert himself, always tells me how much a man needs to feel needed and appreciated on a regular basis. It’s usually their ‘love language,’ if you are familiar with that book. So, why not set aside that day, where you are speaking positive things into, and about, your relationship, to make sure it remains happy.

We all know what an unhealthy and unfulfilling relationship can do to our health, with all the stress that it brings. So, hopefully you have chosen a worthy and deserving partner to be with, and if not, changes may need to be made. It’s okay to let someone go, if you know that the both of you can be happier either alone or with someone else. Don’t stay in an unhealthy or toxic relationship for any reason, and that includes for the children. Children can tell when things are tense and sad in a relationship, and that does not help them to form healthy loving relationships when they grow older, so spare everyone and move on two different environments that will help everyone to be happy. We all know what stress does to the body, by now, especially if you have read my book, because I see it on a daily basis as a family doc.

High blood pressure, migraine headaches, constant tension and muscle pain, can all be negative effects that we carry around and not even realize are affected by things going on in our lives.

So take note, and then do something about it.

Stay happy and healthy, Dr. Swiner.

PS. Go download the Periscope app now and follow me!

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My recent interview with j-jane.com on why I wrote the book

Take a look either on www.j-jane.com, a wonderful site dedicated to women inspiring women, or see it here. Thanks to Jessica Stern for the highlight!

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How did you choose the life you lead and was it a conscious decision?

I think I was encouraged as a child to choose a career and lifestyle that was going to be a positive one and an enjoyable one. My faith in God and my parents’ focus on our faith early on definitely helped the decision to live the life I live. I’d like to think it was a mixture of nature and nurture in choosing the life that I now lead… and favor from Jesus!

Why did you select your area of medical expertise? And what is the most challenging aspect of working in the healthcare field?

I always thought I would have been a Pediatrician from the time I was in High School. After getting into med school, however, and being exposed to different fields, I learned I had a love of OB-gyn medicine. The lifestyle, stress, and hours OBs kept, though, were deterrents. At the end of my 3rd year of med school, I did my Family Medicine rotation and had my “a-ha” moment. It was the perfect mix of seeing babies and their families, from the cradle to the grave, along with the option of delivering babies, if I wanted to. I haven’t turned back yet.

The most challenging aspect is the burden of taking care of those who don’t want to take care of themselves. Doctors, the good ones, often care more about patients than they do about themselves. It’s very frustrating, also, to be forced to have to see patients with extremely complicated medical histories in 15-20minutes in order to meet standards and see as many patients as possible to make ends meet. This is why many doctors are getting out of medicine nowadays.

What inspired you to author the book How To Avoid Superwoman Complex?

I wrote it both because of the interest I had in the topic myself as a new wife and mother with a full time job and because of the need to do something different in medicine. To be able to reach a broader audience and broaden my horizons a bit was important to me after close to a decade of practicing medicine and seeing patients day in and day out.

Do you feel women or society in general apply this enormous pressure on women to do it all? Let’s face it— men are not writing books about work, family, guilt, balance.

I think we’ve just been conditioned to do all and to take on the burden of the world all while sitting pretty and handling it. We often do this to ourselves also. We have to give up this idea of having to do everything for everyone, and then forgetting about “us” in the process.

Americans struggle with preventative health. We have high rates of diabetes, cancer and heart disease. What is your best advice to prevent disease?

Know your family history, exercise regularly, and have a reasonable diet.

What has been your greatest obstacle in life and how do/did you navigate it?

Losing my mother about 8 years ago, and working through my Faith and therapy to heal from it.

What has been your greatest life lesson learned to date?

To learn to be happy and joyful in the face of adversity and challenges. It’s an ongoing process.

What is your best advice on how to live a graceful life?

Pray, rest, laugh and love often. Smile a lot!

I scheduled my mammogram.

Remember the previous post, “So,  I decided to have a mammogram?” Just wanted to be a woman of my word, and follow up  to let you know I scheduled it in a couple of weeks. I might do some live video to document it all! Who knows? Stay tuned….

Bumpy roads.

I’m sitting right now on a plane, on a bumpy road, trying to control my nerves. We’re apparently flying over some weather related bumpiness, the pilot explains, which should calm down soon. I’ve never really been a fan of flying. I’m not quite to the point of needing Xanax, but I have a cocktail or two and listen to music (listening to Foreign Exchange, “Better”, at the moment to keep me easy) to distract me. Not sure if it’s working. So, opened up Microsoft Word and started writing.

This weekend, we attended the No Fear Ladies’ Conference in Oklahoma City, OK, my first time, and we had a great time. My college friend and sorority sister, Wyjuana Montgomery, did a wonderful job for her 2nd year as the leader and hostess of this empowering event. I met Bernnadette Stanis, better known as “Thelma” from Good Times, and many other wonderful, enthusiastic women who were ready to make their next move in life or in their career. We talked about a variety of topics, but most of all, we discussed fear.

Wyjuana, a speaker/preacher (yes, I’m claiming it) in her own right wrapped up the day’s event by asking us the question, “Are you a grape or are you wine?” How deep this was! What she meant was, were you content with staying where you are currently, risking being stagnant, or were you ready to be picked and possibly stomped, all in an effort to be fermented and perfected, and then made into a finer product? It made me think about the times I’m most afraid…..like now on a turbulent plane ride.

Anxiety can affect us in a variety of ways, and cause a variety of physical symptoms. Some of us feel palpitations, sweaty palms, headaches, insomnia, jumpiness in our legs, numbness/tingling, or chest pain. Sometimes, we can use deep breathing techniques and prayer to help calm ourselves. Sometimes, seeking professional help and talking to your doctor or therapist is the way to go. Medications, when necessary, are helpful, in combination with behavioral changes. Get the help when you need it.

But for me, right now, while I’m on this plane, I’m going to see the metaphor in this for life. Even though at times life may be bumpy, we have to remain positive, flexible and open to change. So, I’m going to breathe easy, sit back, say a prayer (and maybe have a cocktail) and enjoy the ride. Onward and upward, y’all!

Love,

Dr. Swiner