Thursday, September 13, 2018

WSD 2018: World Sepsis Day 13 September 2018

Today is World Sepsis Day.

Sepsis is when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs.
Recovery from sepsis can take a long time, so if we can recognise sepsis sooner then we can start treating it sooner.

In most cases it is curable and even preventable but all around the world between 6 and 9 million people die from it every year.  That is shocking.

It is often caused by seasonal infections and flu and it can be caused by most types of microorganisms: bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites...

... being clean and hand washing and making sure surfaces are clean can help prevent sepsis.


Some cancer-fighting agents (chemo-therapeutics) and some drugs used to treat severe rheumatism, gastro-intestinal illnesses, or to suppress the body's rejection of an organ transplant can we can all immune systems and make us more susceptible to it.

Immunising as an early intervention can also help.

Identifying Sepsis

Below are some of the symptoms:
S:  Slurred speech or confusion
E:  Extreme shivering or muscle pain
P:  Passing no urine (in a day)
S:  Severe breathlessness
 I:    It feels like you're going to die
S:  Skin mottled or discoloured

SEPSIS in Children

If your child is unwell with either a fever or very low temperature (or has had a fever in the last 24 hours), just ask: could it be SEPSIS?
  - Has a ‘fit' or convulsion
  - Looks mottled, bluish, or pale
  - Has a rash that does not fade when you press it
  - Is very lethargic or difficult to wake
  - Feels abnormally cold to touch
  - Is vomiting repeatedly

  - Hasn't had a wee or wet nappy for 12 hours 

Any child who is breathing very fast might have SEPSIS. 
Call 999 and just ask: could it be SEPSIS?

Any child under 5 who is not feeding might have SEPSIS. 

If you're worried they're deteriorating call NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47 or see your GP.

Monday, September 3, 2018

September is Alzheimer’s Awareness month

September is Alzheimer’s Awareness month

During September organisations work in a focussed way to help create a dementia friendly community that is supportive and inclusive of people with dementia.

Dementia Friends

A Dementia Friend is someone who learns a bit more about what the experience of living with dementia is like.  They then use this understanding to help support one or more people they know with dementia, point out how we can all help people who are living with dementia or spread the word so that more people can understand what living with dementia can be like.

I am a Dementia Friend and I found becoming one very informative. 
It has helped me to better understand some of the older people in my family.
I have helped people to understand why their older family members do the things they do and how they can better support them.

Dementia Cafes in Cardiff

Cardiff Hubs & Libraries service will be holding their regular Dementia Cafes throughout Alzheimer’s Awareness month.  

Canton Library holds their café on the last Wednesday of every month from 2.30 - 3.30pm.

Central Library Hub hold theirs on every first and third Thursday of the month, 11am – 1pm, in the fourth floor meeting room.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

5 things to diffuse back-to-work anxiety

1. Let people know you're not going to be around

This may sound obvious but it is something that is easy to forget.

If you have a calendar that others can see, make sure that you block the time you are away out on your calendar so that other people can see that you are going to be unavailable in advance.

Set your Out of Office (OOO) message letting people know that you are away, when you are due back and who they can ask the questions that they would otherwise ask you when you are away.  This way other people will know that you're not ignoring them and save them from getting annoyed.
You can prepare the message in advance and switch it on before you leave.

2. Block out admin-time for when you return

When you have been away it can take time to settle and catch up with all the messages that have been sent to you while you were away. 

Purposely block out some time on your first day back, ideally in the morning, to allow you to catch up on your e-mails and bring yourself back up to speed.  This will reduce the likelihood of you getting stressed.

3. Break it down

Avoid feeling overwhelmed by taking an overview of the things you need to work through.
Create a to-do list. 

  • Which tasks have the tightest deadlines?
  • Which tasks you can complete simply and quickly?
  • Are there any 'quick wins' where doing one task will make the others easier to complete?  
  • Are there any that need to be carried out in sequence?

Be realistic about how long each task is likely to take and set time aside. 
If other people have insights that can help you, ask them for help.

4. Feel refreshed

Make sure you don't stay up too late the night before you go back to work.  Avoid drinking anything containing a lot of caffeine after 8pm because that can really disrupt your sleep pattern.  Allow yourself to get some decent rest.

5. Run on good fuel

On your first day back stay hydrated.  If you reach straight for the coffee keep it balanced my drinking also drinking plenty of water. 

Coffee is a diuretic - there'll be more liquid going out than in, so keep it topped up!

A lot of people find that eating something containing protein in the morning helps to give them stamina - they don't get hungry again as quickly and it helps them to keep their mind sharp. 
Protein is used by our bodies for repairs.

Are there any tips that I have not mentioned that work particularly well for you? 
Please share them in the comments below.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The physical and emotional affects of stress

Stress can feel horrible, especially when it is ongoing.  It can really wear us down.  The problem is that when we feel stressed we often don't sit back, take note and realise the affect it is having on us until it's already pretty bad.  By then it is already wearing us down.

Below are some of the typical signs of stress that tell us we have been trying to maintain and be strong for too long and that the situation we find ourselves in is taking its toll:

Physical and emotional signs of stress

Physical manifestations:

Emotional manifestations:

  • Bruxism:
    Jaw clenching, teeth grinding, chewing at side of mouth, mouth ulcers
  • Changes from ‘typical’ behaviour
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Facial expression
  • Hair greying, hair loss
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Increased need to urinate frequently
  • Insomnia
  • Lack of appetite / comfort eating / eating disorders
  • Less concerned about appearance
  • Looking pale, tired, ‘washed out’
  • Muscle tension in face neck, shoulders and back
  • Pacing, walking of adrenaline
  • Palpitations
  • Panic attacks
  • Poor time keeping
  • Posture ‘closed off’, withdrawing, avoiding eye contact
  • Raised veins
  • Reduced patience, angry outbursts
  • Reduced productivity
  • ‘Release’ behaviours:
    hand wringing, nail biting, hair pulling, scratching, scramming, nail digging, self-harm
  • Seeking to be prescribed medication
  • Self-medication (alcohol, comfort eating)
  • Short term memory, ‘drawing a blank’
  • Speaking quickly
  • Supressed immune system:
    Skin flare-ups, psoriasis, eczema, cold sores
  • Tearfulness
  • Tension headaches
  • Addictions
  • Attention seeking, needing to re-establish sense of connection
  • Being emotionally over-sensitive
  • Bullying, being bullied
  • Catastrophizing
  • Denial, deceiving self and / or others
  • Feeling helpless
  • Feeling isolated, loneliness
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Loss of humour
  • Low mood, diagnosed depression
  • Mania
  • Memory loss, short-term memory and longer term ‘blanking out’
  • Mistrust in others not to let them down, scepticism
  • OCD rituals, controlling over the areas in life they can
  • Paranoia
  • Procrastination
  • Self-depreciation
  • Shutting down, catatonic
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Suicidal intention, with or without a plan
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Tearfulness, crying
  • Withdrawal, emotional and social

Photo of Emma
(This is me in my friend's garden)
I offer counselling for helping people deal with the things that bring them stress, anxiety and/or depression.  I help them to improve their self-esteem and boost their emotional resilience.

I also offer non-invasive complementary therapies, where you remain fully-clothed, to help with the physical aches and pains that can affect your sleep, your mood, your day to day life and your general well-being.

If you would like find out more, please visit my main website at

WSD 2018: World Sepsis Day 13 September 2018

Today is World Sepsis Day. Sepsis is when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs. Recovery from sepsis c...