Get out and run.
Do not worry about the rest.
Make running a lifestyle. A daily habit, like brushing your teeth. If you run 300+ days a year, every year, for several years, good things will come your way. Start now. Doesn’t matter if you are 16 years old or 66.
If you want to be a decent runner you must get out and run; the rest is just noise.
Get the running in first— that is the foundation. Then: Eat mostly good stuff. Get enough sleep. Stretch if you want to— or don’t. Lift if you like lifting. Cross-train if it makes you happy. Wear minimalist shoes or big bulky ones, whichever you prefer. Listen to music when you run, or not. You can carry water with you on a long run, or you can go without. If you want to do a core routine, then do it— but first you must get out and run.
Run on trails, or streets, or on a treadmill, whatever works for you. Run slowly. Run quickly. Run up hills. Run in the rain. Run in the snow, the heat, the cold. Run into the wind. Run on the days that you do not feel like running. Run on the days that you can’t wait to get out and run. Run with friends. Run alone. Run races. Run in the country. Run in the city. Run in parks. Run when you feel happy. Run when you are depressed. Run when you have a ton of energy. Run when you are feeling like shit. Run when you feel good. Run in the morning. Run at night. Run before work. Run after work. Run.
"Pharmacy Etiquette Phacts - Pharmacy Phone Calls
As promised in yesterday’s post, today I am addressing the abundance of phone calls that patients of corporate-owned pharmacies often receive.
Let me start by saying this - no one working at the store level of a corporate-owned pharmacy is going to argue with you that the phone calls can get a little excessive. Having said that however, they are designed to be a service to our patients and sometimes the trade-off for the courtesy call or text when your prescription is ready is that you will also get refill reminder or allergy awareness (or various other coutesy) calls as well.
Here’s a helpful hint: actually LISTEN to the message you receive. I know that sounds completely asinine, but you would be amazed at the number of people who show up to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription because they received a refill reminder call and just assumed that since it was the pharmacy calling, there must be something ready. Most of the time in that case, the pharmacy staff can go ahead and fill the prescription, but it always astonishes me how rude people often get in that situation, when they are the one who didn’t listen to the information they were provided.
"Yes, yes, very good," you may say, "but they never say what medication it is, so how am I to know?". Well, here’s the thing: we can’t. Due to the privacy laws enacted as a part of HIPAA, we are very limited in the information we can leave on a message or share with anyone other than the patient or their legal guardian. (Keep in mind that means spouses and children over 18… we understand that you may take care of their medication for them, but legally we are not allowed to give you certain information. We aren’t trying to be difficult, we’re trying to not lose our jobs.). But while the message may not include the drug name, it should still give you an indication as to the reason for the call. Perhaps there is a prescription ready, or perhaps it’s a reminder that you are due for a refill. All you’re required to do is listen, and if for whatever reason it’s not clear, call your pharmacy for clarification instead of making assumptions.
Bottom line: If the phone calls annoy you, just talk to your pharmacy staff about your options. Since most of those phone calls now are automated, it may be an all or nothing sort of deal, and it may require you to make an ‘opt out’ phone call to corporate, but we understand your frustration and will do what we can to make you happy. The key word there though was TALK… not shout, berate, degrade or otherwise poorly treat your pharmacy staff, because generally speaking we have nothing to do with them and no control over them. Also keep in mind that if you choose to assume your phone call means you have a script ready instead of actually paying attention to the content of the message, you forfeit your right to get mad when you have to wait for said script at the pharmacy.”
" Pharmacy Etiquette Phacts - Phone Numbers
It really is in your best interest for your pharmacy to have a good contact number for you. And by good contact number, I really mean your cell phone number, not your home number. Allow me to explain why…
Lets say you have an appointment with your doctor and they fax over a prescription for you at the conclusion of your appointment. Your pharmacy receives the fax and it tries to fill it, but your insurance company requires prior authorization from the doctor (a process which generally takes anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks). So the pharmacy staff calls the number in your profile to let you know that they’ve contacted the doctor to begin the prior authorization process, but since the number you provided is your home number, you don’t get the message because you’re still on your way from the office and end up making a stop for no reason.
You drop off a prescription and inform the pharmacy staff that you’ll be back in an hour to pick it up. As they begin to fill the prescription, they realize that it’s for a medication that they do not have in stock. So again, they call the number in your profile and leave a message, but since you are out running errands and not at home, you did not get the message that your medication will not be in until tomorrow and end up making a stop for no reason.
There are a plethora of reasons that your pharmacy staff might need to get in touch, and in many cases when they are unsuccessful, you are the one who ends up inconvenienced with either unnecessary trips to the pharmacy additional wait time once you’re there.
Bottom line: If you don’t like getting phone calls - and we know, especially with corporate-owned pharmacies, they can get overwhelming (more on that topic tomorrow) - that’s 100% your prerogative. However, please keep in mind that if you do choose to withhold your best contact info, you will at some point experience otherwise avoidable delays at the pharmacy.”
" Drug Pacts - Tramadol
Hear ye, hear ye, tramadol-takers of the world!!
As of tomorrow, August 18th, the DEA is reclassifying tramadol (trade name Ultram) as a schedule IV controlled substance.
So what is tramadol and why do I care, you might ask.
Tramadol is a non-narcotic pain reliever that the DEA has decided carries sufficient enough risk for dependence and/or abuse to have been reclassified as a controlled substance. It’s worth noting that states have the option to be stricter with medication than the federal guidelines mandate and there are a number of states which have already made this change with tramadol. As of tomorrow, however, the new classification will be national.
What does that mean for you?
Well, nothing really if you are not currently taking the medication. Tuck it in the back of your mind for future reference should you ever be prescribed this drug and move on with your life. For individuals who are currently using tramadol as a continuous pain treatment however, you may notice some changes. Different pharmacies may be handling the transition differently, so the first thing to do is to check with your pharmacist (not your doctor) to find out how they are handling it. They may require you to reach out to your physician for a new prescription, or they may have a process in place to handle that for you. Regardless, communication is the key.
Second, understand that there is now a stricter set of guidelines regarding the prescribing and dispensing of the medication. These will vary state to state, but in IN for example the prescriptions will expire after 6 months, rather than 12. You may now be required to show ID when picking up the medication where in the past that may not have been required. Your pharmacy also will not be able to loan you any should you run out before your doctor has authorized additional refills.
Bottom line: Just keep in mind that, like with any big transition, there will be a period of adjustment for all involved parties. The best way to avoid a disruption in your therapy is to be proactive. Don’t wait until you are almost out to ask your pharmacist if you will need a new prescription. Ask now, so that you will have time to communicate with your healthcare provider before you run out of medication. “
Side note: drugs containing hydrocodone (i.e. Norco, Vicodin, Vicoprofen) will soon be considered a class II drug. I believe by the end of the year it will be a narcotic.
" Drug Phacts - Antibiotics (part 3)
Or… When antibiotics are appropriate and when they are not.
I don’t mean to insult anyone’s intelligence here, but since this is a much bigger problem than it has any right to be, I’m going to lay out some basics:
Antibiotics are drugs which are designed to either kill or prevent the further growth of BACTERIA. Bacteria are different from viruses. Antibiotics, therefore, are completely and totally useless against viral infections. Going back to the war analogy from yesterday’s post, trying to treat a viral infection with antibiotics is like sending in troops with tranquilizer guns to fight an army of robots… It. Just. Won’t. Work. Additionally, taking antibiotics excessively is another contributing factor to the increasing amount of antibiotic-resistant bacteria we are encountering, which (also as discussed yesterday) is a big deal.
So! What to do? As we get closer to fall and the impending season of the flu and the cold (both of which are caused by VIRUSES), the best thing you can do is to take preventative action. Get a flu shot and be smart about germs. If you come down with a cold, buy some zinc lozenges to help knock it out a little quicker, drink lots of fluids, and resign yourself to a few crappy days. If you don’t feel better after a week or so, by all means go see your healthcare provider to determine if you may have a secondary infection, but do not go banging on your doctor’s door for antibiotics at the first sign of a sneeze. You aren’t doing yourself (or anyone else) any favors.”