A Message from our Chairman The SuperPharm brand is celebrating a significant milestone – our 10th anniversary. Along with smiles and celebration, there has also been some reflection. Thinking back over the challenges and achievements of the past decade, three groups must be recognised and appreciated. We simply would not be here without our employees, the men and women who come to work everyday, ready and excited to serve those who come through our doors. There are many special team members who have embraced the tagline of SuperPharm, ‘Everything you go to a Pharmacy for – and more’ and make it their mission to be the “more”, helping in whichever way they can. If you ask those employees how we made it to ten, they say it’s all about… our customers. We have been thrilled to see communities across Trinidad embrace our brand. Our stores have been the answer countless times for those who need to pick up something but can’t get out of the car (a sleeping child in a car seat, a dog along for the ride, or one of a myriad of unique situations we’ve seen) and use the convenience of our drive-thru, or simply that it was after 6pm when many retail stores are closed. Our opening hours, our drive-thru, and our product mix are all designed around the fact that more and more people are working long hours and living a more active lifestyle, and therefore seeking options that are more convenient and in keeping with their needs. From the very beginning, with the opening of our first store in Westmoorings, we have strived to meet these needs, and we thank our customers for supporting us. Of course we would also like to thank our suppliers, most of whom have been with us from the start and who have stood by us. We appreciate your support and look forward to building even stronger partnerships. Speaking of looking forward, growth is a big part of our next chapter. We have plans to be of service to even more communities. There are more details on that in ‘The Story of Superpharm’ on Page 6. I hope that you enjoy that article and many others throughout this commemorative publication, which was designed, like our stores, to have something of interest for every age and stage of life. Looking forward to the next ten years, Christian Mouttet Chairman 4
Concept - J.P. Agostini Editor - Sophie Wight Advertising Co-ordinator - Doreen Hamel-Smith Graphic Design & Photography - Kevin N. Ramoo Contributors
- Sophie Wight - Adrian Cordner - Gregory Arneaud - Dr. Jamie Morton-Gittens - Dr. Kevin Francis DVM - Shana Bhajan - Dr. Patricia Sealy - Kimlin Harrilal - Gabrielle Lambie - Ivory Hayes - Kimberley Ford - Nadine Geoffroy - Leigh Cabral DMD - Sharlene Gittens
Printer - Caribbean Print Technology Ltd. Special thanks to all our Suppliers and Stakeholders who have made the first 10 years of SuperPharm a resounding success. We hope that you enjoy this token of our appreciation.
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The Story of SuperPharm - 6 Family Communication in the Modern World - 8 Whatever You Do, Don’t Skip Sunblock! - 10 The Uncivil War of Manscaping - 12 Last Minute Gift Ideas for Practically Everyone in Your Life - 14 But Does It Make You Happy? Real Advice for Real Relationships For the Love of Chocolate A Dozen Ways to Satisfy that Craving - 18 How to Potty Train Triplets - 20 One Box of Hair Dye Away from the New You - 22 SmARTy Pants Kids How Creativity Boosts Brain Power - 24 Red Lips Done Right - 26 Are you at Risk for Developing Diabetes? - 28 Daycare Nose, The Run Down - 30 Why Print Your Pics? - 32 Avoid Meds Mixups - 34 9 Lies Trinis Tell Themselves in Their 30s - 36 Don’t Panic, It’s Just a Fever - 38 Fitness Supplements... Magical Elixir? - 40 It Might Be More Than Snoring - 42 Dating After Divorce Considering the Kids - 44
The First Time I Bought... - 46 Kids’ Birthday Parties Classic Games making a Come Back - 48 Prescribed it? Take it - 52 Just One Tick - 54 Great Gift Wrapping - 56 Mummy’s Teeth Can Affect Baby’s Teeth… - 60 8 Ways to Stop Feeling Old - 62 Late Night Dinner Rescue - 64 When Your Friend Is Depressed… - 66 You Could Be A Pharmacist - 68 7 Most Random Things You Didn’t Know You Could Get @ Superpharm - 70 Nails By Design-er - 72 Prostate Cancer is No Joke! - 76 Bath Time is Learning Time Too - 78 Stop Eating Your Way Toward Chronic Disease - 80 Waste Not, Dump Not - 84 80 It’s an Oral Presentation - 86 The Skinny on The Skinny Line - 88 Generic Drugs, Really the Same? - 90 My Ovaries are Poly-what? - 92
The Story of SuperPharm The year was 2005. Shurwayne Winchester took Road March with ‘Dead or Alive’, Prince Charles married Camilla, ‘Wedding Crashers’ was big in the box office, Pope John Paul II passed away, the Soca Warriors were on their way to qualifying for the World Cup, and the very first SuperPharm opened in Westmoorings, Trinidad.
SuperPharm was designed to take that focus to a whole new level for T&T. Extended opening hours weren’t enough, the stores would also be open on holidays, and on those days the hours would not be limited. SuperPharm is open until 11pm, 7 days a week, 364 days a year. That 365th day? Christmas Day.
The story of SuperPharm starts with the desire by enterprising local entrepreneurs to push the industry forward, and to do that in a simple but revolutionary manner… put the needs of customers first. As SuperPharm Limited’s Chairman, Christian Mouttet, said “Being available and open when it is convenient for our customers, as opposed to when it’s convenient for us.”
Locations were carefully selected to ensure that they were convenient for the communities in which they operated. Parking was given priority. Mr. Mouttet admits that sometimes SuperPharm parking lots can be crowded, but they are certainly a big improvement relative to what was available in the market before, considering that a lot of retail locations had limited parking, or were located on high streets where there was no dedicated parking at all.
Mr. Mouttet describes the initial research period for the store, conducted by the initial investors, as a lengthy and detailed process. US-based consultants were brought in where certain expertise was not available locally in the areas of store design and layout, but also brand strategy and product selection. Consultation brought up many questions. The main one was, “What should SuperPharm be to customers?” As the process continued everyone came to understand that to be valuable to a community, the stores had to be about convenience. Mr. Mouttet is firm on this point, “Value is about more than price, and we were able to focus on convenience as the key to adding value.” 8
Another important aspect of convenience was putting together a larger variety of products, to be much more than a pharmacy. The comparison of SuperPharm to big box US-based pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS is not unfounded, the similarity is by deliberate design. Team member Keitia Emmanuel excitedly recalls what it was like being on the floor from day one in that first store, “Opening day was crazy as you saw the faces of the media and ministers as they entered the building for the first time. Everyone was wowed.”
SuperPharm Westmoorings had an impact on everyone who walked through the doors, and also on everyone who discovered the final aspect of convenience – the drive-thru window. Ms. Emmanuel knows that all too well, “I worked in the store as a pharmacy technician for a couple of years, mostly on the night shifts. The night shifts were hard but fun, you’d be amazed to see what people came to buy at those late hours. We even had customers drive up to our window placing KFC orders only to realise they got into the wrong drive-thru line. There was not one night that passed where a customer did not bring a smile to your face with their requests.” She is not the only staff member who enjoys serving customers. Team members are of course selected partly based on people skills, but SuperPharm has made specific, significant investment in training staff on good service, so that they can bring out their best. Mr. Mouttet says, “I think a large part of the success of the business from the very start was about trying to attract the best people that we could, but then not just deploying them into the workplace but having them go through training to understand the business, and how to interact with customers at that level of service that we want to offer.” He feels that for the most part SuperPharm can be proud
of their service record. He admits that Trinidad presents a somewhat difficult labour market, but recognises that as just a challenge they have to deal with. Staff training, in service and many other areas, quite obviously benefit SuperPharm’s customers, but team members also report it benefitting their own personal development as well. One of the store supervisors, Donnel De Four, says, “I started off trying to figure out my career path and ended up finding a whole new path of discovery. SPL has helped me create a long-term plan to be where I am today. Thank you for keeping me motivated and understanding my purpose.” Her experience reflects an early management policy of listening to employee contributions. Dhristee Mansingh, SuperPharm Westmoorings’ Store Manager, remembers feeling included from her first day at orientation, “The people that I interacted with were all so pleasant. They treated you with respect and spoke with you as though your input in the company was and will always be very important.” And Ms. Emmanuel reports, “The way upper management interacted with you made you feel like you were part of the decision-making process of the company, as well as family. I was hooked from that day forward.” Continued on Page 94
Family Communication in the Modern World
A survey of 2,000 British parents commissioned by Toshiba revealed that a full 44 percent admitted to calling their partner or children from within the same house, with 33 percent of that group saying it was because they were too lazy to find them and talk to them. A far more informal study done in T&T finds similar results; just that Whatsapp and Facebook are the communication media of choice more often than actual phone calls. So there isn’t even a voice exchange sometimes. Before anyone starts fear mongering, it’s important to recognize that the inclusion of technology in communication doesn’t necessarily mean the weakening of family structures. As with all communication methods there are opportunities, and things to be mindful of.
Age Appropriateness There’s debate about what age is appropriate for children to own their own cellphone, computer and/or other communication devices, including gaming systems that allow users to compete with other players via the internet. There are no rules to lay down, just know that each family should not be passive about the decision to allow a child access to a communication device. That device gives him or her access to you… and to a lot of other people you might not want influencing your child. Can that child gatekeep for him or herself? It is recommended that a certain level of monitoring goes on. Many parents demand to know their child’s phone password for example, and spot check messages and call history. There is also debate on what level of monitoring is appropriate as children get older. 10
Embrace Tech Parents, whatever you do, please do not decide that communication technology is just “not for you”. An old brain is no excuse to deliberately cut yourself out of the way the modern world works, especially not when it comes to your family and not in this area of communication. It’s just too important. No Eye Rolling! Mom’s questions are lame. Probably. Dad needs it explained on six different occasions before he starts to get it. True. But as one internet meme put it, these people taught you how to hold a spoon, so… No Substitute Text based communication will be of tremendous use to you and your family for nuts-and-bolts communication. Things like, “Honey do we need bread?”, and “Mom gymnastics got cancelled, come for me at 2.30 today”, but it’s not going to cut it when it’s time to have detailed discussions, or when someone is being emotional. At those times, use technology to help you to connect in person, arrange when and where you will meet face to face to talk. Offline Appointments Schedule them. Use google calendar if you are that deep down the rabbit hole, but take family time seriously. You can choose to engage in a tech-based activity together, like watching a movie or playing a video game, but remember to communicate before and after, with lots of discussion, commenting, and planning for next time. Be Available Parents and children. It’s easy to fill our lives these days with information so readily available on outside activities, and communication with friends at our fingertips, but you’ve got to be there for your family on a regular basis. You have to CREATE opportunities for communication with one another, not just wait for a request. The simplest suggestion is to have family dinners, at a table, where everyone is required to attend… no phones… even dad. Typos, Autocorrect, Intonation It is a lot easier to take something the wrong way over text-based messaging. Give your loved ones the benefit of the doubt, but also establish rules for what is appropriate messaging and what is not. Certain slangs, abbreviations, and altered spellings should be no-nos to avoid tension. Be a Role Model Parents, and older siblings, the younger ones will likely model their communication styles on you. Know that. Show them how to keep it clear and classy. 11
Whatever You Do, Don’t Skip Sunblock! You know that getting too much sun isn’t good for you, so you probably already wear a sunscreen when you’re at the beach, lounging by the pool, or playing sports, but exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from common everyday routines need to be considered too.
You may be surprised to learn that normal activities can add up to 20 hours of UV exposure each week. Including; • Walking to your car on a cloudy day • Sitting under a tree at the park • Driving to school or work in the morning • Working near a window
How much? One ounce of sunscreen is about the size of a golf ball.
Make sunscreen part of your daily routine. Go with SPF 30 or higher on exposed skin. If your skin is sensitive, use sunscreens containing the minerals titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Remember to reapply often, after swimming, perspiring, or using a towel. Ladies many sunscreens can be applied under makeup. There are also cosmetics and moisturizers that contain sunscreens.
Make it Count with the Right Amount One ounce is considered the amount needed to properly cover the exposed areas of an average, adultsized body. Mists or sprays should be applied slowly and evenly until the product is visible on the skin. Keep in mind that using too thin a layer of sunscreen may result in a lower SPF than the label indicates. 12
You see them on the sunblock label, take time to properly understand UVA & UVB rays UVA RAYS Can pass through window glass and penetrate deep into the layers of the skin •
Contribute to premature signs of aging, including fine lines and wrinkles
Can play a part in the formation of skin cancer with frequent or intense exposure
UVB RAYS •
Penetrate the outer layer of skin, causing damage to skin cells
Are the primary cause of sunburn
Can play a part in the formation of skin cancer with frequent or intense exposure
Front Lines Ears Nose Mission = Eradication. These require highly specialised tools, or skills with tiny scissors. But do not, repeat, do NOT skimp on the front lines. If you don’t engage these areas, you will ultimately lose the war. Combat Zones Back Buttocks Mission = Smoothness. Let’s be honest, sometimes you need to call in Special Ops, aka salon professionals. Any attempt at shaving or smelly creams will likely result in discomfort and/or visible disaster. Minor Scuffles Armpits The Danglies Mission = Trimmed. If only because these hair fields make you stinkier. You can do this with simple tools at home. Just clean up afterwards for the love of Pete. Monitor for Insurgents Brows Chest Beard Moustache Mission = Not crazy. We can appreciate the manliness that chest and facial hair bring, but keep it under control. Lumber-chic is a thing, Unibomber-Chic is not. Heavy hitters at the gym will probably consider their growing pecs as insurgents and send ‘Chest’ up to the Combat Zone, as hair does a great job of hiding gains. And for brows, get advice first but generally ensure there are two of them. Peace At Last Arms Legs Mission = Nada. Yup, just let ‘em be for the most part. If you want to trim, we won’t complain, but go too far and you’d better take up competitive swimming as a cover. 14
The Uncivil War of Manscaping
When the whole manscaping trend surged, there was the tendency to go overboard, leaving lots of guys hairless… pretty much everywhere. You are a man, not a pre-pubescent boy. Men, in this war, avoid getting wounded by identifying the battle fields, and arming yourself with the right weapons for the tricky terrain each field presents.
Weapons of War
Conair Personal Grooming System
Wahl Home Pro
At Home Waxing Kit
Your nose needs this. And if you like to craft sideburns, or a jaw line with your beard where otherwise a double chin would dominate, get it and use it.
Even if you plan on waxing, you need to trim first. It says it’s for haircutting but it’s flexible enough for trimming.
Only if you have mad skills, or a significant other with mad skills, or a pain fetish. It’ll work for that too. All available in store.
Last Minute Gift Ideas for Practically Everyone in Your Life
Last minute could mean the week of someone’s birthday, or the day before their birthday, or you’re on the way to their birthday dinner… yeah… assuming the worst, and that you care enough to spend upwards of $150 on the person, this one’s for you.
Flowers. For when you aren’t very close to someone, or a gift is not expected, it’s a classy touch. This could be gender biased, your call. Now if you’re going all-out, flowers can also be like a gift appetizer, the fried calamari to the larger wrapped package. Wine. Unless the person is not of drinking age, or doesn’t drink at all, wine is not just a perfectly acceptable gift, it is a very appreciated one! There are several bottles to chose from, and you could consider adding an accessory, like wine charms. Home Décor Item. As long as they’ve moved out of mom’s place. Picture frames are safe, so is glassware. But there are always special, seasonal items that are a bit more unique. Browse, You’ll find something. Tons of choice when it comes to baby gifts. For younger children more practical gifts are great, but you should stick to fun stuff for 9 months+, because by then parents probably have everything they need. After 2 years old the child is able to appreciate a gift him/herself too. Fail safe… stuffed toy. Book. Check out the magazine rack, it might be gold for you if you’re last-minute gift shopping. That’s because there are actual books over there too. If he/she is a romance novel fan, you are all set. Or perhaps a collection of Archie comics will turn into the most talked-about gag gift of the night. Kitchen appliance might not seem like an ideal gift, but the Ninja Blender rises above all other blenders because it’s kind of like a tech gift at the same time. It’s also a pop gift, as in everyone wants one! So unless the person has it already, it’s peachy for everyone over the age of 15. Chocolate. We’re not suggesting you put a bunch of budget bars in a gift bag. No, the kind in a fancy box, with a variety of flavours. Very likely it’s an indulgence the person probably hasn’t had for a long time, and shouldn’t gifts be things the recipient wouldn’t buy for themselves? Personal Care Kit. Do not, repeat do NOT put hygiene items in a gift basket. No deodorant. Shampoo and bath gel are only a good idea if they are part of a group along with lotions of the same scent or something. A couple bottles of nail-polish from an upmarket brand could do nicely.
*Don’t forget to wrap it! Wrapping paper and gift bags are right there too! 16
But Does It Make You Happy? Real Advice for Real Relationships
“Why are you doing that?” and “Why are you doing that now?”, are two pretty common questions in my relationship. My fiance and I are very different in the way we like to get things done. He likes to do things at appointed times. I like to do them right away. My ADD means it is more than likely I will forget to do something if I put it off, plus I’m anticipating that life will just get in the way. If I have the time now, I want to do whatever it is now. For him, time is precious and moments of peace are to be savoured, not sacrificed to ‘what-if’. We’re both sane people, no one is technically right or wrong, but this kind of mis-match caused problems for us time and again. Until the day I responded to those questions with, “Because it makes me happy.” He had been watching TV while I hauled boxes out to organise, and was feeling guilty for not helping/angry that my actions were making him feel guilty though he’d told me he would help later. “Happy?” he responded. It sounded ludicrous to him but the fact was that if I ‘relaxed’ on the couch next to him, I would have been completely tortured thinking about the boxes. I would have felt time slipping away second by second. I would have harboured just as much resentment toward him for stopping me, as he would have harboured toward me if I forced him to stop watching and help me right away. That’s the thing about modern relationships, you still have to be two people developing on your own. You can do things alongside each other, instead of with each other, and still grow together as a result. You can also be supportive by allowing each other their space (or their method). The crux is to check yourself every time you think the other person should be following your example. This is going to be difficult for me when we are in our own home, with our own dishes in the sink. I will wash those dishes right away, but I suspect he will let them gather until critical mass… Anyway, the day I told him that ruthlessly organising junk would make me happier than watching a marathon of whatever was on NatGeo that day was also a day that got me thinking about happiness. Relationship discussion is always filled with advice on creating special moments, and date nights, and saying I love you, when the truth is that ‘I love you’ does not rest on special moments (they are nice, sometimes necessary), but on lovers facilitating each other’s happiness in a million mundane moments everyday. Facilitating does not mean creating happiness for each other. It means looking for ways to understand how you can set-up (or get out of the way of) each other’s efforts to create his or her own happiness. In the same way that it’s probably more effective that 18
government doesn’t exactly create jobs, but create infrastructure that allows others to create jobs instead, the Ministers of Marriage in the Republic of Your Relationship should do the same, just replace ‘jobs’ with ‘happiness’. I guess I’m siding with Republican sentiment for this metaphor, but you just can’t CEPEP your relationship for a lifetime. Disrespect toward each other’s happiness could also be at the center of several failed relationships I have seen. Perhaps not consciously, some people seem convinced that their partner will come around to their way, even their entire lifestyle, once he or she sees how much better it is. If that partner is still mis-matched after some time, more time maybe identified as the medicine. The reality is the medicine must be self-administered. Either you see that this relationship will not work, that you cannot be close to someone who behaves in whatever way, or you support them in the same way they should support you. To a certain extent this even applies to dangerous behaviours in a partner. Repeat, certain extent. If a partner is facing addiction, for example, it is not advisable to facilitate their addiction because it makes them happy, but to discuss with them if their deeper desire is to be free of it or not. That discussion must be as open and non-judgemental as possible so that realistic plans are made for the future. Possibly including plans to separate. Last year my fiance admitted to me he was not yet ready to embark on a particular life goal with me. I told him that I absolutely could not wait any longer to pursue it. It was a discussion that could have easily resulted in separation. I told him I would continue going for it with no expectation that he should be contributing, and no judgement if he did not. Last week I achieved it on my own. I was worried that he would feel negatively, and it would bring up insecurities about where he is with his own life goals, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. He told me that seeing what I had built made him proud of me. In that moment, that very mature moment, I allowed myself to be proud of me too. I felt the rush of achievement, and also relief. Now I know I can share the joy of this with him without emasculating him. I think he understands that, of course, I didn’t really achieve it on my own. Throughout the stress and struggle, he understood that I chose it and supported that choice. He helped me be happy. My kind of happy. Does your partner do that for you? Maybe more importantly, do you do that for them? Their kind of happy? You might need to find out. So the next time your partner is about to do something that makes no sense to you, ask, “But does it make you happy?” 19
For the Love of Chocolate! Bet you didn’t realise there are 30+ chocolate and chocolate flavoured items available in SuperPharm. That’s consumables only, the air fresheners and face scrubs don’t count! It’s true. Here’s a little taste of the possibilities, pun intended.
1 Ice Cream
Share-able tubs for family dinner, single serving for a treat, or a pint… for ultimate indulgence while watching a Nicholas Sparks story on Netflix. There’s even a non-dairy version.
There’s more variety in cookies than anything else, local and international. Oreo’s got Chocolate Cremes and Pepperidge Farms is pushing the choco-limits with Soft Baked Dark Chocolate Brownies!
3 Chocolate Covered… whatever
Want chocolate but not TOO much chocolate? There’s chocolate covered fruits, nuts, even pretzels.
You could connect with your inner child and go for the lunch-kit sized chocolate milk drinks, or grow up 20
A Dozen Ways to Satisfy that Craving
a little with a shake. There’s even a chocolate protein shake, check the fridges.
perfect for dessert at work. Serving for one. Add water and zap in the microwave.
5 Pudding The goo-iest option by far!
Nutella has been joined by Peanut Butter & Co.’s ‘Dark Chocolate Dreams’ and ‘White Chocolate Wonderful’. A way to inject chocolate into breakfast? Yes, please.
Cereals marketed to kids will often fall on chocolate to entice, but the grown ups have some good stuff too. Like Special K’s Chocolatey Delight.
8 Cake/Brownies There’s the ready-made kind (hello Kiss cakes), and the box mixes, but Betty Crocker’s Warm Delights Molten Chocolate Cake is especially
Traditional on ice cream, or in a cold, coffee drink, but you’ll be surprised how well it sweetens tomato-based sauces too.
10 Bars A good old fashioned candy bar, or a protein bar, or a granola bar with chocolate chips. Choices within the choices! 11 Rice Cakes If you’ve never had one… try it. Yes, there are some serious chocoholics out there, but for you, it just might be all you need. 12 Fine Chocolates Russel Stover to the rescue. They make a great gift, especially to yourself.
How to Potty Train Triplets (If she can manage three, you can handle one)
Almost every parent has an embarrassing story or two about potty training their little one (too often brought up years later in front of new boyfriends and girlfriends). It’s just a fact. Despite what some people may try to tell you, potty training is not usually easy on anyone; mom, dad, kid or carpet. If you are facing it with trepidation, here is how mom of TRIPLETS, Sharlene Gittens, aka “Mom3” handled it recently.
How did you know they were ready? And were they all ready at the same time? I was potty trained by 9mths, so we thought that early was the way to go. About a week after their 1st birthday, I looked at my bill for Pull-Ups and started to think of all the beautiful things mommy could buy with that extra $768 per month, so it was potty training time! I bought 3 potties, 2 toilet seats, read some books and I was ready. Well, much to my dismay I was ready and they were not! Did you train them together or separately? All potties lined up in the bathroom or on plastic in their bedroom. Three children- 3 different personalities. One is like mummy, one is like daddy, and the other is a hybrid! I started training them together, however I was sadly mistaken. I realised that each would be ready at their own pace based on their personality • One of my daughters was very diligent with it, caught on quickly and loved rewards, so she was very interested. In three days she was ready to go out without Pull-Ups confidently. • My other daughter was neither here nor there about this potty training thing! She would be consistent for a few days and then there would be a few accidents on other days. She also did not like using any other toilet but hers at home, so she did not want to go when we were at a public place. Once I realised this I purchased disposable toilet seat covers, and she felt a sense of comfort. That solved her major issue.
Did they compete with each other? One of my daughters is very competitive, so she wanted a lot of stickers, the large stickers, and more stickers than anyone else. My son was not competitive about potty training at all, he was very concerned about playing and watching television. And then there is the third who did not care about the stickers or additional play but about singing and dancing with Mommy and her siblings! Did you need three potty seats? I purchased 3 potty seats, but mostly used 2 and the toilet. Is it three times the mess? Nope! Four, five, six times the mess! While guiding one you have no idea what the others are up to! Either being helpful, mischievous, or just being a toddler. Was it better to be flexible or be firm? A combination was better. Some scenarios needed me to be firm, like wanting to use the bathroom after being asked several times, and just as you leave the driveway. In some scenarios I needed to be flexible, like not wanting to use a public rest room, or having an accident while sleeping. It really differed based on the child and the scenario. Did it take forever? It seemed like forever because I was in a hurry to get it done, and gave in to the expectations of my family members, friends and society. But when it’s done, it’s done!
• I ran behind my son for weeks, then one day he just watched me and said, “Mommy, I am going to use the toilet”. It took him almost 3 months. And the rest is history for him. Did you use rewards? I used stickers, smiley faces, Dora, Diego, Cars, princesses - you name it! I bought stickers at a wholesale store just for the potty training adventure. Large stickers were for an absolutely great day (like no accidents in the playgroup, outdoor activities or church). I cheated a bit, like when one may have done very well and another may have had one accident. One daughter liked singing the pee-pee song and doing the pee-pee dance, so she actually wanted to use the potty so we could sing and dance with her. For my son, the most active of the 3, I played his favourite DVDs, Diego or Curious George, or gave him extra time with his favourite toys, or headed to the park.
One Box of Hair Dye Away from the New You What if the gateway to a whole new life is a box of hair dye? A staggering percentage of women report that they have chosen to dye their hair right before making some life changing decision. This from a very informal study (I asked about 20 women I knew), none the less, when you notice a woman in your life make a change to her tresses, take note and monitor her movements. Chances are she’s about to end a relationship, change jobs, start a body transformation program, move, or… something. For some reason the fear we all get before major events in our lives is buffered by taking on a mini event first. It empowers us to see that we’ve made it through this smaller, less challenging change. But it has to be a major mini event (if that makes any sense) or else it doesn’t count. Hair maintenance dying is not what I’m talking about, no gray touch-ups or just taking it a shade lighter, I mean going from blonde to black, or adding purple streaks maybe. The relationship we have with our hair is deeply connected to our identity, our hair represents us no matter what outfit, or situation. The style we choose speaks volumes, and the colour… well, the bolder you go, the louder the message that you aren’t beholden to corporate life. Super cool if you DO have a corporate job by the way. So full support to experimenting with this wildly significant part of your being, BUT… don’t treat it like a Good Friday Bobolee either, unless you are okay with a full buzz cut to get rid of damage every now and then. Read the Instructions This is so duh. Be a Dirty Girl Seriously. Protect your scalp with its own natural oils. Dye your hair on the second or even third day after washing. Try It On First If you are going to go drastic, try on a wig first. Avoid that shock after the rinse. Get Enough Bad news if your strands fall below your chest, you are going to need two boxes at least. No Swimming For two weeks or risk messing with the colour. New Shampoo Don’t use regular hair products after. Get those formulated to protect hair colour. Know when to Go Pro For example, if your hair is already dyed, you probably can’t lighten the colour at home. 24
SmARTy Pants Kids How creativity boosts brain power
Channeling the seemingly endless energy of a child can be a very daunting task. Caregivers get exhausted just doing the basic stuff of feeding, bathing, changing/training, and playing, so activities that involve more extensive clean up are sometimes avoided. Moms, dads, grannies, grampas, nannies, and babysitters, you’ve got to get into craft! There are way too many benefits for bonding, fun and brain development! Bilateral Coordination Colouring, drawing, cutting; these all require a child to use both of their hands together. Getting these skills honed early is a serious benefit as they grow, and it reaps rewards when the time comes for forming letters in school, learning to tie their shoelaces, and someday… texting (for some ‘someday’ is coming soon). Fine Motor Coordination To trace a line, to colour in the lines, to cut a pattern, or even mix something together in a bowl, a child engages fine motor coordination. Watch and see how they become less messy eaters when you craft regularly. 26
Also the more they practice, the more accurately they can execute the creativity from their heads into reality, which will just make them more excited to do more! Self Control Activities that require things to dry in particular teach patience. That’s great because teaching a child patience is difficult. Opportunities to show them that by waiting you get a good result are invaluable, and you can work on tantrums associated with early lack of understanding by crafting at home, instead of at the passport office (maybe). Flexibility Things don’t always come out perfectly, and sometimes you might not have the right shade of pink. Children are forced to deal with the imperfections of real life in the more controlled crafting environment. A more flexible child is happier, plays better with others, and finds ways to become even more creative. There is opportunity in limitations. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention, so let’s see what the little ones invent once they realise they have a challenge to overcome.
Self Esteem By selecting crafts that are age appropriate you are giving your child the opportunity to experience the feeling of accomplishment. Unlike the accomplishment of taking steps, or finishing a meal, arts and crafts have a trophy at the end – the art or craft itself. It is a finite thing the child can look at, hold and show to others. Pride in a job well done is a great thing to introduce to your child at an early age! Bonding The time you spend together will be something you treasure someday (when they are too embarrassed to even be seen with you, OMG) and your child is likely to remember it fondly as well. Remember to have fun! A couple craft ideas to get you started (there are literally thousands more to be found through simple internet searches): Greeting Cards A home made card is usually a great thing to receive! It can be a special experience making it too because you discuss with your child who it is for, and what that person would like. Fold a piece of poster paper in half and decorate. There’s so much more than just pencils, markers, paint and crayons. Foam, felt, paper, photos, or even fabric cut-outs can be stuck on, trace words with glue and add glitter (glitter glue is an option too). You can use stencils or stamps, buttons, yarn, leaves. Endless opportunities! Popsicle Sticks Puzzles The objective is to cut a photograph into strips and stick them onto popsicle sticks so they make up a simple, but personalised puzzle. Kids are thrilled to be in on the making, and afterwards the puzzles are very handy for taking to restaurants that aren’t so kid-friendly. Plus, when it involves faces of people they know (including themselves) children just love how funny it looks when a piece is missing. Print out a photo your child loves. On the back of the photo use one popsicle stick as a guide to draw lines. Then (you might want to do this) cut the photo into the strips. Glue. Stick. Dry. Play! Hand Up Just got markers or crayons? No problem. Trace your child’s handprint and then challenge them to use it to create some thing else, like maybe a chicken with the thumb as the head and the other fingers as feathers. Brown Bag Birds Puppets are always a hit because they are fun to make, and play with afterwards. Instead of socks (which are hard to stick stuff onto without a glue gun), use brown paper bags as the main body of the puppet. Then add stuff on to create bird puppets by fashioning beaks, eyes, wings, tummies, etc out of construction paper, foam, felt, magazine pages… whatever you’ve got! 27
Red Lips Done Right Red lips have been a trend off and on for decades, and it’s fairly easy to understand why it keeps coming back. For starters, it’s not just a trend, it’s a legit beauty hack. The right red brightens your complexion, and emphasizes your eyes. Also, the perfect application can be mastered quite easily. It’s not like pesky eye makeup that looks great on the left eye, but not the same on the right… you’ve just got one pair of lips versus 2 eyes, thank goodness. But for every red lipped vixen, there’s another who looks like an eight year old who found mommy’s make up.
BUY RED RIGHT • Do your base, brows, and eyes at home exactly how you would wear them with red lipstick. • Your ideal shade depends on your skin’s undertones, which many find difficult to determine. As a general guide; Blondes look best in shades of red with a yellowbased undertone, Brunettes and Redheads want a blue-based red, while those with more auburn colouring can experiment with warm-based tones. • Experiment in-store to find your shade. Try at least 3 kinds; mauve to begin, then a cool medium red, then a deeper colour, like cherry. • Don’t trust the light in the store, go outside for natural light. • Photos don’t lie, use that camera phone! 28
• • •
APPLY RED RIGHT Scrub and soften first. Use a lip brush for beautiful finish. Only use lip liner if it is the exact same colour. Visible liner is 90s and OVER, best to skip it. If you are under 30, first put Vaseline on AND around your lips, then remove everything around the lip line with a clean cotton bud for a more professional finish. If you are older, first put a little concealer around your lip line with a fine brush to prevent seeping. Avoid getting any on your teeth. After applying, put your finger in your mouth, purse your lips around it, then slowly pull it out. Check yourself often, it will fade, or smudge at some point.
STILL NOT RIGHT? • Wrong shade, back to the store • Your eyes or brows aren’t strong enough. Sad, but for some it’s true. • You’re wearing too much other makeup. • You have acne scars, redness or a breakout. Red lipstick will highlight those flaws, abandon ship if you can’t achieve good coverage. • You have a round face and thin lips. Try face contouring and a nice, full set of false lashes. • You’re trying to pull off too much gloss during the day. Stick to matte when the sun is out, and always matte for work. • You’re not working the contrast. The more dressed up you are, the less intense colour you need.
Awwww, you’re too sweet! No, really… Are you at risk for developing diabetes? by Ivory Hayes - Health Educator So what is “Sugar”? When we use the term “sugar” locally we are usually referring to a condition known as Diabetes Mellitus. There are two major types of this condition, but most times when referenced in this way it is the more common of the two, Type 2 Diabetes, that is usually meant. The term “Sugar” makes sense because in this condition there is more glucose (sugar) than usual floating around in the blood. Our bodies use glucose as a form of energy but for some reason people with Diabetes Mellitus cannot get the glucose out of the blood and to the parts of the body that require it. Translating from the foreign language that is Medical Jargon to just English, Diabetes Mellitus is characterized by the following: • A high amount of sugar in the blood over a long period of time (chronic hyperglycemia) • Difficulty in converting food into energy (metabolism) • The above resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both. Ok, so that sounds simple enough right? But if you were really paying attention, your next question would obviously be “I’m sorry what? Insulin? What’s insulin?” I should give you a gold star for paying attention, but let me just explain. Insulin is a hormone, made by an organ in your body called the pancreas. Insulin’s job is to act as an usher of sorts and the guest of honour to be accompanied by insulin into the cells of the body is glucose. For most cells of the body glucose can only enter if insulin is present. You would recall earlier we said that glucose is used as a source of energy by the body. It should now make sense to you why that friend of yours who has “Sugar” is always so tired. No, they’re not just lazy! The cells in 30
Usually if someone refers to you as, “such a sweetheart”, you find yourself returning the compliment with a smile as wide as the Northern Range, and blushing more than a teenage school girl (yes the men as well). But should that compliment be interpreted literally, you may be more confused than amused.
their body just can’t get the glucose they need to function because it (glucose) is too busy doing backstrokes and floating around in their blood. Moving forward with that sense of understanding, let’s talk about the things that may put you at greater risk for developing and controlling Diabetes. What are the Major Risk Factors for Developing “Sugar”? 1. Genetics and Family History - Research has shown that if your parents or siblings have Type 2 Diabetes you are more at risk for developing the condition as well. But before you run off to the pharmacy and start taking medication, understand that an “increased risk” is just that. A trigger would need to be present to translate that risk into a reality and most times the culprit can be found in the list below. 2. Obesity - To be more specific that beer/big belly that some of us love to model around on Maracas and Store Bay significantly increases the likelihood of developing Diabetes. Having a waist circumference of more than 88 cm in women and 102 cm in men is considered obese. 3. Sedentary Lifestyle - Contrary to popular belief watching a marathon of your favourite show on TV or Netflix does not constitute physical activity but does increase your risk of developing Diabetes. 4. Unhealthy Diets - You know yourselves, because somehow they managed to convince us that the bigger the combo, the fatter the fat and the more sugary the content, the better the meal. But that old adage that says “everything in moderation” not only goes a long way but will ensure that your life does as well. So to wrap up, let’s do a little quiz just to make sure that you understood everything clearly. Can you name at least 3 things that you think can reduce your risk of developing Diabetes? (Just because I like you, and really want to help you live well, I’ve listed 3 of them for you below): 1.
Pay attention to your weight, and weight management
Eat a healthy diet- high in fibre and vegetables, low in saturated fat and refined sugar.
Now go forth and live well! 31
Daycare Nose, The Run Down Runny noses abound in daycares, from the plainest to the poshest, clear to green mucus is peeking out from those widdle whiffers. Don’t freak out, be practical and deal with it, whether it’s allergies, a bacterial infection (sounds scarier than it is), or just the common cold.
Daycare Selection. Aside from other basic concerns, the daycare can be full, but not so packed that children do not have enough personal space, especially at nap-time. You should see tissues and wipes in full view, and easily accessible at all times at the facility. Ask questions! Ask how often the toys are cleaned. It should be daily, with a germ-killing product like Lysol spray. Ask how eating utensils are cleaned. It should be after every use, especially in between children, but best practice is for each child to have their own, labelled utensil. Ask how often staff wash their hands. It should be very often. Ask how often time is spent outdoors. It should be as often as possible. It Starts At Home Talk with your toddler about hand washing, that mucus is “yucky”, how to sneeze into his/her elbow, and how to throw away used tissues in the bin. Mind you, not so much that you start your child on a path to becoming a hypochondriac. Monitor A child with a runny nose but otherwise feeling fine isn’t of great concern. The cold should run its course. Mucus going from clear to green is expected (that’s just the defensive white blood cells entering the mucus and giving it colour), but usually it also gets thicker and in smaller amounts. If it doesn’t, pay attention, it could be turning into a sinus infection. Consult a doctor if your child’s behaviour changes (sluggish, irritable), a rash develops, a fever over 102 degrees, develops pain (including earache) or difficulty breathing. Allergy Testing If runny nose turning into sinusitis becomes common, then consult your pediatrician about possible allergy testing. 32
Why Print Your Pics? Film cameras were, and still are, devices that take love and learning to operate well, which is why photography was reserved for professionals and serious hobbyists for a long time. The photographs they produced were printed by a process that also required love and learning to look good. Then cameras went digital and opened up that once expensive and technical profession/hobby to everyone with an interest in recording memorable moments. Then Smart-phone cameras came along and opened it all up to everyone with an interest in recording every second of their lives, including what they had for breakfast. These days, it’s no longer complicated to take, and even edit photos using a digital device, then display them on social media, and access them with multiple electronic devices. As a result, many of us take as many photographs in one month as the average Trinidadian would have taken over his or her lifetime, just half a century ago. While digital photography has been a largely celebrated development, there have been a couple casualties. For example, it’s rare to find thick photo albums in family living rooms these days, and the scrap-booking craze of the early 2000’s has all but died out. While it may be more cost effective to 34
store photos online, or on hard drives, it’s just not quite the same to swipe through a Facebook album as it was to flip through grandma’s spiral-bound album. Also, your cousin can’t un-tag herself from grandma’s album which makes it much funnier when her new boyfriend comes over for the first time. You know grandma’s bound to take him through every page herself. Jokes aside, there are good reasons to print your pictures. Okay, maybe not all of them, but the process of sorting, selecting, printing, and archiving is making a come-back. Don’t call it a temporary trend, there are good reasons behind it. You might have all your photos stored on your computer’s hard drive, or on an external hard drive, and backed-up on the cloud, but consider this… obsolescence. Just imagine trying to access your documents from 1994 today. Just where would you insert that floppy disk? I guess for the things that were really important you would convert from storage device to storage device as the years go by. BUT… we take so many pictures these days that conversion is likely a massive project, that you’ll probably put off again and again, because you know, you’re busy, and then one day you’ll realise that you might have missed the boat. Possibly literally, bye bye to the boat pics.
You also might be assuming that the digital photo file formats aren’t going to change. Jpegs are going strong, and have been for at least three decades, but at the rate improvements are made you could be facing incompatibility someday. Look up ‘software rot’ to understand more. Your online storage solutions really aren’t absolutely safe either, they are about as safe as say… Myspace. Any company can go bankrupt, tech ones seem even more vulnerable with the pace of progress these days. You’re thinking these arguments sound a little extreme, and that a person with more tech knowledge would roll their eyes. Well, Vint Cerf, the vice president of a little tech outfit called Google is concerned about this too. Speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual conference, he said that the 21st century could become a second “Dark Ages” because so much data is now kept in digital format, future generations would struggle to understand our society because technology is advancing so quickly that old files will be inaccessible. Hey, Google guy said it! While not as extreme as “you might lose it all forever”, next up I want to quote the writer/photographer Tamra Heathershaw-Hart. She put it well when she blogged, “I have family photos that I treasure because of the back of the photo, where there are notes in my dad’s handwriting – every time I look at these prints I hear his voice talking about some of his childhood memories. You owe this same experience to the next generation by printing your photos!” The wider extension of that sentiment is the way it feels to hold an album or scrapbook put together by a loved one, or ancestor. The whole collection had time and thought put into it and that is meaningful. It’s a gift to the family members you look at it with,
and an even greater gift to the family members you won’t be able to look at it with. You know… because you won’t live for centuries, but your photos can! And can we go back to the thought and time thing? Creating an album, or a scrapbook, can be a thoroughly modern bonding experience for your family. Deciding which ones to print, coming up with the captions, selecting the books to store them in, placing them in there… do it together. Also decide together which ones should be framed, and which ones should be given as gifts. Oh, little side note about physical photo albums, if you get into the habit of doing them you will be way less tempted to put your entire life online for all to see. Honestly, some stuff should probably be kept private, like the baby bath pics. Please, the internet can be a dark, scary place, do not post images of your naked children. Privacy filters or not. All of these points apply to regular Joes and Janes, but if you’re someone who takes your photography even a little seriously, then you absolutely need to print your pics to understand what looks right. Monitors aren’t trustworthy. And when framed and hung a photo can look different too. You need to test out how an image is going to look within the real world, break it out of the screen! Get comfortable with seeing your work in physical format, it will inform your process in the future. Bottom line, if you love it, then ink it (or carbon it, or whatever), it’s not a hassle at the photo kiosks in SuperPharm, and staff members are happy to help. There are editing options, like making images black and white, and cropping. Be selective if you want, or go crazy, you’ll find it’s not so expensive either. Happy printing.
Visit http://superpharm.lifepics.com to upload and edit your pics for printing. Then pick them up and pay at the SuperPharm location most convenient to you.
Avoid Meds Mixups With consultation from Nadine Geoffroy, Senior Pharmacist, SuperPharm Gulf View
If you’ve been prescribed a daily medication you probably already know how important it is to stay on schedule, if you have more than one daily medication you probably already know to doublecheck if you should take them together or not, and if you have to take more than one medication in different amounts, on different days you probably already know that it’s pretty easy to get confused. It’s not weakness to recognise that you need a system to keep you on track, it’s just smart. Also, it’s a good idea to keep track of how you feel day-to-day so that your doctor can assess your needs over time, because they may change. Talk to your doctor about starting a medical diary. If using a spreadsheet on a computer intimidates you, a hand written table is fine. Make columns for medication name, dosage, frequency, side effects you experience, allergies, expiration date, refill date. You definitely don’t want to run out, so make a note on a calendar to refill about a week before you anticipate running out. Many people find it helpful to keep medication in sight where they will be when they need to take a dosage. This works well for those who get so involved in activities they tend to forget everything else. This does not work well for those who have children, or a mentally impaired person who could easily access the medication. One tactic is to keep everything on one tray that can be picked up and stored on a high shelf when kids come over. Remember keeping medication out of the reach of children is essential. You should also be careful as some 36
medications may not work as effectively if not stored correctly, such as away from direct sunlight or away from moisture. Some people need their medication to be portable, because they just aren’t going to be home all day. A pill box with different compartments that you can close tight and take with you could be your solution. Tie in organising your day’s worth of meds with another morning activity like brushing your teeth so you don’t forget to take them. As in all things, a support system is important. Get a buddy; a grandson, a friend, a nurse, someone who will check in on you, who maybe uses technological organisation solutions. Or if you’re a techie yourself, an app for your phone, tablet or computer like ‘MediSafe Meds & Pill Reminder’ can help. The best ones actually involve your support team so they know to ask when it appears you’ve skipped a dose. At SuperPharm, we are ready to be a part of that support team too. Patients’ refills for required medications are currently saved in our computerized system in order to facilitate future collections. All patients need to provide is their name and the medication they would like to have refilled. We can also help in making sure that your collection experience is pleasant and convenient, feel free to call first so that your refills are prepared ahead of time, ready when you arrive.
9. “I take my health seriously” Is that why you destroyed a box-a-dead at 4am after a full night of drinking on a Thursday? Ok, maybe you aren’t that bad (though some of you read that like, “yeh last week was crazy eh”), but we have a scarily high rate of diabetes in T&T, and alcohol culture everywhere you turn. While it might seem that we have a strong culture of fitness as well, actual fitness is only achieved by a relatively small niche. Some of you have gym memberships you haven’t used in 3 or more weeks, but you keep paying as if the gym were a noble charity. Speaking of charity… 8. “If I had more money I would donate more”
Bull. You could donate now. It doesn’t have to be a lot. In fact, if you start with small amounts now you will be far more likely to continue doing it in increasing amounts as your income grows. If you don’t start now, chances are you will be a sporadic, under-donator your entire life. That includes the most valuable donation you can give by the way, your time. Which ironically, you probably have more of now than you will later.
7. “I’m an adult, my parents should just get off
my back” Because you are a pillar of stability? A leader of industry? Many Trinis in their 30s are still dependent on their parents for some things, be it Sunday lunch, or rent money, and with that comes concern. It’s perfectly healthy for mom and dad to want to be a part of your life even if you are completely independent anyway. Also, in your 30s you are going to start going to funerals as well as weddings, maybe it’s time to see that the people who brought you here won’t always be around to bug you.
6. “Property prices must fall eventually, I’ll just rent until then” Ha! Dream on. The demand for housing just grows and grows. On top of a growing population, many people believe there’s a parallel economy of shady money fueling the high price of land in T&T, and there are also cultural shifts to consider. In decades past, people married earlier and moved straight from mummy and daddy’s house to the marital home, but now there’s years of renting in-between for many people. Landlords have emerged to service those years, and investment property buying has contributed to housing demand. And once the market accepts a price, it tends to set. If you’re waiting to buy a home it’s because you’re broke. Stop fibbing. If you’re one of those renters, oh boy, start to investigate how much more your mortgage would be compared to your rent ASAP. 38
Trinis Tell Themselves in Their 30s
5. “I don’t spend too much time on the internet”
But you do. You scroll through your feed first thing in the morning, after all, your wake-up alarm is on your phone. You do it in between tasks at work. You take your phone to the table at restaurants. You watch multiple online videos a day. You surf the net while on the throne. Try to limit your screen time to a certain percentage of your day. Decide and stick to it.
4. “Politics don’t affect me”
Psshhhhttt. Around the world most people become fully aware of how important it is to pay attention to local politics in their 30s. Though more young people should get politically active, it’s understandable how paying relatively few tax dollars in your teens and twenties can prevent you from caring that much. When income ramps up, when property buying starts, you’d think Trinidadians would know who their local councillor is, and what the philosophies are of government leaders, but sadly many, many, many Trinis tell themselves that it’s of no use and they are powerless to affect change in their communities. Deep down, you know it’s a lie right? Politics affects taxation, surrounding infrastructure, your freedoms, and… everything! You could pay more attention, you could voice your opinion, and you could get involved.
3. “I’m still cool” Um. Have you met an eighteen year old lately? You are not cool. You do not know what’s up. If you do know what’s up then you probably don’t have anything very important taking up your time – like a job or a family. PS - Following Kim Kardashian on Instagram is not a free pass to “cool”, some grandmothers do that these days. 2. “I want to be cool”
Um. Have you met an eighteen year old lately? Are they really cool? Heading out to all the fetes marketed to younger cliques, wearing the latest fashion trends made for younger bodies, using the lingo developed by younger minds… In fact, it’s time to realise that there was never really such a thing as “cool”, as if the whole world was a Hollywood movie set in a Los Angeles high school. It’s not.
1. “I have lots of time to have a family”
Look, if you aren’t ready – you aren’t ready, but remember that there will never be a perfect time, and being an older parent can be difficult. From conception to dealing with teenagers, to your children being in a better position to care for you someday. It’s not that you have to get on it in the next five minutes, but to say you have lots of time isn’t true. 39
Don’t Panic, It’s Just a Fever Fevers can send parents, especially new ones, into crisis mode with medication, phone calls, internet searches, cool baths, various herbal concoctions and even emergency rooms. Before you stress out, which by the way your child is guaranteed to notice, you should definitely breathe, and remember a couple things. Numero uno… it’s a fever, not a coma. urinating; those things indicate it’s doctor time right away. It’s also good advice to consult a doctor if the fever seems totally isolated, with no explanation for what could be infected, or if the child is under 3 months old.
Technically a fever is a sign that your child’s body is in good working order, it’s fighting an infection, and as Avery Hurt from Parents Magazine says, “Most of the bugs that cause a fever -- such as a cold, the flu, a stomach virus -- aren't dangerous and are treatable at home”. The rush to get rid of a fever is a little misguided, as illness-causing germs just love our bodies’ normal temperatures. If we don’t want them to enjoy their stay, we should make the climate less hospitable. Henry Bernstein, MD, chief of general pediatrics at the
Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York goes even further to say that, "Fever makes many parents do whatever they can to bring their child’s fever down into a normal range. Fever is not a danger itself; it usually is a benefit". The main focus is to just make sure your child is comfortable and behaving normally. That means your child should want to play, talk, and eat as usual. Lethargy, irritability, vomiting, seizures, a sore throat, ear or stomach pain, or pain when
Fevers still need to be monitored to ensure they don’t get too high. Here’s a guide for what’s not acceptable according to the American Academy of Pediatrics: Age Under 2 months 3 to 6 months Over 6 months 40
Call Your Doctor 100.4° F 101° F 103° F
Most parents who see that a child is fighting an infection, but can be treated comfortably at home, will choose to use a fever reducer, both to ensure the fever does not get into a dangerous range, and to keep the child happy. However, despite a recent Archives study that found alternating doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen is more effective than using just one… don’t do it. Mixing meds is confusing and makes it more likely that you will overmedicate your child. Please also read the labels of any other medications you are considering to treat other symptoms to avoid double dosing acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Also, you should never "eyeball" the dose. Follow the instructions on the bottle, and use the dropper that came with the package whenever possible. Fever medications are sold in different strengths, so the dropper for one bottle might not be right for another. When in doubt, don’t panic but call your paediatrician. If only to give you peace of mind so that you can be the supportive parent your child needs.
Fitness Supplements... Magical Elixir? By Adrian Cordner, Personal Trainer
“Drop 25lbs in two weeks”...“Feel energized with just one drop of this orange liquid”...“Instant weight loss”... and so many other claims geared towards the ego, vanity and our desire for the quick fix to better health care everywhere. Turns out these claims, as unbelievable as they appear to be, do have some merit. If the “magic time frame” is removed and the “instant” is defenestrated (lol, yeah big word I know... thrown out the window) then 25lbs can indeed be dispensed with, and more energy most certainly can be attained.
The range of supplement brands now being offered has exploded and leaves many bewildered as to what they really need. Coupled with claims of movie star-like results, one can only imagine the frustration when none of those claims are realised. The human body is TEN TIMES smarter than its owner (the conscious you) thinks it is. Your body does not care what you wish to look like in a suit, dress, shorts, bikini or any other vanity-based paraphernalia. As part of its list of primitive survival directives (i.e. sleep, thirst, hunger, etc.) proper and adequate nutrition is at its core. Your body understands nutrition at a cellular level on a stupendous scale, everyday billions of cells are destroyed and rebuilt based on a need for proper homeostasis or balance. And this balance hinges on the availability of proper and adequate nutrition as to allow the synchronous functioning between systems. 42
Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats aka MACRO nutrients form the foundation upon which ALL systemic functions occur. Micro nutrients such as zinc, copper, iron, selenium, potassium, and sodium can be considered the rivets that help hold the harmonious mathematical equation that is your body in check. So where do supplements come in? Do we need them? Proper and adequate nutrition (nutrition that has the correct balance of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, dairy and vegetables) should always be a priority. A supplement is just that... a SUPPLEMENT... an addition to an already established adequate and balanced diet. It’s not a magic bullet, a piece of fairy godmother candy, or wizard’s potion. It’s a compliment to good wholesome food, and it is within this context that supplement selection should be scrutinized. Within the last decade more and more light has been thrown on the negative aspects of sugar and its effect on overall health. Since sugar forms part of supplement products such as protein shakes, protein bars, meal replacement drinks, weight gain formulas, one should always be mindful as to how much sugar is being consumed per serving. Many products have now adopted a “less than 1.5grams to 5grams per serving” standard, however there are still those that exceed this acceptable mark in an effort to maintain taste appeal. Caveat emptor!
Protein is another nutrient with numerous studies regarding its essential roll in maintaining skin, muscle, vital organ tissue repair, and though the jury is still out on suggested requirements for sedentary, semi sedentary and athletic individuals, when it comes to protein supplements, 24grams per serving and up is considered acceptable. Protein supplements are derived from (a) milk (b) animal (c) soy (d) vegetable primarily, with milk-based protein heading the list because of its availability in the form of WHEY and CASIEN isolates. Again let me reiterate, a proper and adequate diet should always be your priority. Fats as a supplement come in many categories : Fish oil, Vitamin E, Lecithin, Medium Chain Triglycerides and though their molecular structure may vary, they still remain essentially fats. This means they are still very capable of contributing to your overall fat content. If your total L.D.L: (low density lipoprotein) otherwise known as bad cholesterol is high and you’re diagnosed with coronary complications or arterial blockages due to plaque build up, it would be wise to consult your doctor before consuming any of these products. As mentioned before the allure of the quick fix via a tablet, pill, powder or tasty brightly coloured liquid should never replace a sensible diet. Another area in which this nutrient violation occurs is in the WEIGHT LOSS category. With obesity on the rise and humans wanting the best of both worlds, (a hot slamming body made from a 2pc, fries and a couch) the “tactic” of just taking a supplement is very appealing to many. Weight loss products should be used with caution. Some contain stimulants that increase the heart rate, others diuretics which cause frequent loss of water via urination and sweat which may cause dehydration and cramping, while others incorporate high fiber and laxatives which may result in temporary intestinal malfunctioning, leading to things like hemorrhoids. Given these issues the question is, do they really work? The answer is yes, however one must first read and become informed about which product is being considered. KEEPING IN MIND THAT IT IS A SUPPLEMENT TO BE USED WITH AN ALREADY ESTABLISHED SENSIBLE EATING REGIME. Many argue that supplements aren’t needed, that food should be all we need *fait accompli*, however between hectic lifestyles, cost of maintaining a healthy eating regime and availability of required foods, investing in supplements may not be such a bad thing after all. The decision still rests with you, my one piece of humble advice is BE INFORMED! There are numerous web sites dedicated to honest, un-biased reviews that sift through the hype of existing and emerging products. As a potential consumer, GET THE FACTS. 43
It Might Be More Than Snoring By Gregory Arneaud, Respiratory Therapist
“I just had to let you know how wonderful it was to wake up this morning and to feel totally rested and energized. I must admit that I was a little doubtful that there would be such a notable difference so soon, but I am just beginning to realize just how much I was missing by not having true deep sleep”. Michele Clark- Diego Martin.
If you are tossing and turning all night due to your sleep partner’s loud snoring, you are not alone, but you probably already know that. Probably you complain about it among friends, who tell you stories of their own and now you’ve taken the common-ness to mean you should just accept it. But your bed partner’s snoring is not only annoying, it can be dangerous. Loud disruptive snoring with episodes of choking and gasping for air can lead to more serious health problems. Millions of people who snore suffer from a life-threatening disorder called ‘Sleep Apnea’. That’s when an individual’s airway temporarily collapses during their sleep, preventing or restricting breathing for ten seconds or more. This sleeping disorder starves the body (heart & brain) of oxygen during sleep. What makes it worse is that the bedside partner of the person suffering from sleep 44
apnea is also affected and prevents them from getting good quality sleep. Poor sleeping habits can contribute to relationship problems by jeopardizing physical intimacy and/or causing irritable mood swings. If you’re tired and irritable you’re also more likely to have disputes that can result in a sleepless night… on the sofa. Sadly enough, most cases of “Sleep Apnea” go undiagnosed or untreated due to lack of awareness. Untreated Sleep Apnea increases your risk for developing harmful medical conditions like Diabetes, Heart Attacks, Heart Failure, Stroke, High Blood Pressure, Weight Gain (Obesity) and Sexual Dysfunction. If you already have been diagnosed with any of these conditions your risk of having Sleep Apnea increases significantly.
It’s estimated that almost 40 million Americans alone suffer from Sleep Apnea and it contributes to over 100,000 severe motor vehicle accidents per year. Based on statistics approximately 2 out of every 5 persons in the US suffer from a Sleep Disorder. Based on these calculations Trinidad’s population of nearly 1.4 million people could have roughly 300,000 people at risk of this life threatening condition and not even know it. “Since purchasing my CPAP machine I have had the best sleep ever. For years, I tossed and turned every night for as long as I can remember and woke up so tired the next morning. I swore that my body roamed around all night. My CPAP machine has given me a new lease on life. I wake up full of energy everyday and no longer tired”. Charmaine Kumar- Diego Martin. If you answer “YES” to any of these questions you could be suffering from a potentially hazardous sleep disorder. 1. Do you often snore at night? 2. Do you wake up choking or gasping for breath? 3. Do you suffer from Obesity, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure or Heart Disease? 4. Do you feel tired throughout the day? If so, you should be screened for having a sleep disorder. You should contact your doctor immediately and ask about sleep disorder testing. The test can be performed in a hospital or sleep lab, but studies have indicated that people sleeping in their own environments provide more accurate data for diagnosing and treating sleep disorders. In T&T, a company like Island Sleep Diagnostics can provide at-home sleep testing equipment. Their website www.FreeISDSleepTest.com has more information on sleep disorders, and you can get your more detailed Epworth Sleepiness Test Score. Don’t wait to investigate, you don’t have a time machine to go back and reclaim all your unrestful nights, take it seriously and deal with it now. 45
Dating After Divorce Considering the Kids
You thought navigating relationships was complicated when you were a teenager, but try jumping back into the socialising scene postdivorce in T&T. Added to the regular issues of communication, finances, compatibility, you’ve often got to pass the family test. What’s more nerve wracking than your new boyfriend/girlfriend’s mother? Try his/ her daughter! Seriously, think of how you used to mess things up. Now enjoy rationalising that you were young and stupid. You can’t do that anymore. You’re the adult now, and children need to be taken into consideration at every step of a relationship, even when (especially when) you aren’t sure if it is a relationship yet.
Recognize You are not ever going to be as important as these little people. You can be very important, but never as important, and that’s okay. It’s actually pretty good. It means the person you’re interested in is emotionally in-check, and will likely be able to prioritize you when appropriate too. Be Patient Even if your new interest wants you to meet the kids right away, you should be very cautious. It is confusing and unfair to children to have a person be identified as important one day, and then gone the next day. Give it time. Make sure the relationship is serious enough. Ninety days (like a home inspection warranty) or even more. This can be difficult to accomplish in a small society like ours, where you may run into each other frequently, or may know them already, but at least make the effort to not reveal the budding romance. Big or Small You might be tempted to treat bigger children with less sensitivity, but even older teens can be affected emotionally by observing a parent’s romantic relationships. Once you’ve slipped into an important role, you become a role model. Whether you like it or not, you are now being looked up to, so act like it. 46
Know Both Parents The other parent deserves to know you. It is recommended that you meet him or her BEFORE you meet the children. Making that step will ease the concerns of the other parent, like if you are looking to replace them, if you have wildly different child rearing philosophies, if you will be critical of them, or if you are going to be a positive influence on their child. If you avoid the other parent you will likely end up causing tension in your interests and the children’s lives, and that’s not a good deal for anyone. Don’t Be Too Cool You might want to come across as nonthreatening, and fun. Hold on. That’s fulfilling your need for acceptance. Stop, take a breath and now be the person they actually need. That person is cool, but also safe, and contributing to the structure children thrive on. Don’t take the ‘friend’ thing too far. Rules Learn the rules. Accept that what the parents have decided must be honoured. To a certain extent, have your own rules for how you should be treated too. Don’t be inconsistent with any of them. Don’t try to sneak your rules in over time. You can’t let things slide and expect to get them back on track later. That’s just not how it works. Be There It really does take a village. You might have the opportunity to be the person that’s not exactly mom or dad who’s around at a moment when they are in need, for advice, to share an accomplishment, or a sorrow. Be there. Listen. Look for cues to understand how important something is to the child and take their feelings seriously. Do this right, and you could become a valuable confidant over time. Be Honoured Chances are you are going to love these children. They are a product of a person you’re into after all. To have the opportunity to share someone’s childhood is beautiful. You will create memories, bonds, and they will influence you too. Often people lament at how complicated the situation is, but make sure you see how precious that situation is too. 47
The First Time I Bought... It doesn’t matter that Trinidad has significantly loosened up attitudes about condoms over the past decade or so, there can still be a pretty high level of awkwardness presenting them to the cashier. We asked around about this significant ‘first time’ in the lives of many and the answers were, well… hilarious. *Names changed to protect the embarrassed George “My first pack of condoms cost me about $200, because I didn’t want anyone to see that’s all I came for, so I filled up the basket with all kinda ting; shampoo, a loaf of bread, a magazine, a sweet drink… thinking back the cashier must have been real confused what I was going home to do with all this at midnight” Jamie “My boyfriend was too embarrassed to do it, so I did it. It wasn’t that big a deal. Bought it at a gas station, after Coconuts” Marvin “In those days they didn’t keep them where you could browse eh, they were behind the counter and you had to ask. Everytime I went in there was always a set of people around and I kept chickening out. Then this one day I passed, and it was empty, right! I went up to the counter and asked for condoms. The lady asked, “what kind?” Well, I didn’t know. That’s when my mother’s friend walks in. I panicked and told the woman never mind. I was going to leave, almost reached the door, when the woman says, “Young man, yuh forgot yuh pack of gum”. She hands me a small black plastic bag with a pack inside. Guess she was used to the scenario” Sean “People know me as a jokes man. I played it differently to most of my friends. I went in, went straight to the line, got to the top, asked the cashier for size large, and a KY, and a 5 hour energy, and turned around to see my math teacher behind me” 48
Kidsâ€™ Birthday Parties
Classic Games making a Come Back
Once upon a time, in a nearaway land, there were no fast food outlets with colourful playgrounds, birthday party packages, and convenient (but letâ€™s face it, fattening) food. Parents would host birthday parties at home with eats made in their own kitchen, and carefully prepared activities. These days many parents admit that the clean up afterwards is the worst part, but otherwise the charm of a traditional kids birthday party is back. For just about any theme, Pinterest projects abound for the food and dĂŠcor, but the games remain variations on classics. Take note, it has to be age appropriate. Ages 4 and under generally do not have the attention span to play these games, and certainly by SEA age the thrill of them is gone, but if you are within the window then you really should consider doing it at least once.
Pass the Parcel
The Prep Wrap the prize. Then wrap it again in a different paper. Again. As many times as you can until you don’t have different paper left
The Prep Set up the chairs or bumps in a circle or a line. There should be as many chairs/bumps as players… minus one
What You Need 1. A prize 2. At least 5 different kinds of wrapping paper, newspaper, etc is fine 3. A way to play (and stop) music
What You Need 1. A prize 2. Chairs (if the players are tall enough) or small throw pillows/ cloth squares/tiles – we will call them ‘bumps’ 3. A way to play (and stop) music
How it Works Players sit in a circle and while the music plays they pass the parcel around. Stop the music at random times and whoever is holding the parcel gets to remove a layer of paper. Go until the last layer is removed, the player who unwraps that final layer wins!
How it Works When the music plays kids walk/dance/run around the set up. Stop the music at random times and they must find a seat immediately. One person will not be able to sit and they are ‘out’. Remove a chair/ bump and go again, until there is a winner! Potential for Disaster Fights over chairs/bumps. This one needs to be properly referee-ed.
Potential for Disaster 1. Too few or too many layers, try to do as many layers as at least 2/3 of the number of players 2. Ripping off more than one layer at once, try to put your seams in a different place layer to layer 3. Same kids getting a chance over and over, try to have your music-stopper cheat a little bit. Players will be so into watching the parcel they won’t notice
What You Need 1. A prize 2. A leader The Prep Nothing How it Works Players stand in front of the leader aka Simon (you can change the name to suit your theme), and follow instructions whenever “Simon says” comes first. If the leader gives a plain instruction whoever follows it is out. Play until you have a winner! Potential for Disaster Disagreement, another one that needs referees 51
Egg & Spoon Race
What You Need 1. A prize 2. Eggs 3. A race course that can be easily cleaned, driveway is ideal 4. Spoons 5. A finish line; rope/ribbon, or chalk for appropriate surfaces The Prep Boil the eggs, one for each player. Decide your course length based on the ages of players How it Works Players are given their egg and spoon at the starting line. The egg balances on the spoon, and players must cross the finish line with it still balancing. If the egg drops mid-race they must pick it up, re-balance, and re-join the race from the point where it fell Potential for Disaster 1. A huge mess… boil the eggs 2. Salmonella poisoning… boil the eggs 3. A tie, have a second round with the winners, this time they have to hold the spoon in their mouth!
Pin the Tail on the Donkey
What You Need 1. A prize 2. A picture of a donkey, or whatever fits with your theme 3. Double sided tape to stick it up on a wall 4. A blindfold 5. ‘Tails’ 6. Tape to make the tails stick The Prep Stick your picture on the wall AT KID HEIGHT. Prepare a tail for each child How it Works Hand out the tails. One at a time, blindfold the player, spin him/her around three times to create slight dizziness, then point the player in the direction of the picture where he/she must stick their tail. The most accurate player wins! Potential for Disaster 1) Forgetting which tail is who’s, write names on them before the game gets going 2) Bigger kids cheat by feeling for other tails, make them go one handed, or remove tails each time and write names where they were instead
Prescribed it? Take it By Dr. Jamie Morton-Gittens
Typical scenario: a patient comes in for their clinic appointment with a blood pressure reading of 210/105 (target blood pressure is about 130/80). When asked if they are having any symptoms such as headache, neck pain, dizziness or nausea the answer is normally no. While this is an unwanted event in any clinic, what may be surprising to most is that this is an almost daily occurrence in the CANCER clinic where I work. Let’s put that into perspective; people hear a diagnosis of cancer, and immediately think it is a death sentence, but are fine walking around with an absurdly high blood pressure oblivious to the risk. The fact is that the mortality rate from deaths associated with heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and chronic kidney failure (of which hypertension is a main contributor) is higher than the risk of dying from cancer. So why is there such a blasé attitude with respect to managing medical conditions and avoiding serious complications by simply taking a few pills?
“I don’t want to take so many pills”. The number of prescribed medications might seem overwhelming and excessive, but with proper patient education the reasons behind polypharmacy can be better understood and go a long way towards improving compliance. For instance, diabetic patients are usually placed on lipid lowering cholesterol medications as well as anti-hypertensive agents even if these are in the normal range. And the reason is this; being diagnosed with diabetes is equivalent to having a heart attack. The risk for a fatal heart attack, stroke or kidney or heart failure is dramatically increased. In order to reduce the incidence of these occurrences other risk factors need to be reduced, to levels much under the norm. In fact, studies have shown that good control of blood pressure seems to be more important than even good blood sugar control in reducing the risk of complications. “I only take my tablets when my pressure is high”. There is a reason that high blood pressure is called the silent killer. There is no direct correlation between having an elevated blood pressure and feeling unwell. Sometimes symptoms may be present at only a mildly elevated reading, and other times there may be absolutely no warning signs as in the story above. The only way to know if one’s blood pressure is elevated is to check it consistently. And bear in mind that this is certainly not the goal of anti-hypertensives. They are to be used as a preventative measure to maintain a normal blood pressure, not to correct a blood pressure that is already at a critical level. This exposes the patient to a high risk period of possible complications such as a major heart attack or stroke; and the yo-yo effects of this type of blood pressure manipulation also negatively impacts on the kidneys, eyes and other vital organs.
“I have a touch of sugar”. It needs to be made quite clear there is no such thing as “a touch” of diabetes or high blood pressure. There are unambiguous guidelines as to the diagnosis of these conditions and what acceptable levels are so that we may initiate medications at a time when the risks from the disease outweigh the potential side effects of the medication. Either you are diabetic or you are not. Either you are hypertensive or you are not. There are patients that are pre-diabetic or pre-hypertensive for whom a period of controlled diet and increased physical activity may revert them to the normal range. However this is usually more effective in those who are grossly overweight or who are already indulging in poor lifestyle habits. Many of these conditions have a hereditary factor and can manifest even in the fittest patients. Once your doctor has initiated medication for either of these conditions, more often than not you will have to continue them for the rest of your life. Without complete acceptance of a diagnosis compliance will be severely compromised and lead to disastrous effects. “I don’t feel good”. Yes there are side effects from all medications, but this is no reason to abandon treatment totally. The way to address this is to return to your doctor so that dosages may be changed or even medication switched so that treatment is tolerable. Through a period of trial and error the right and effective combination of medicines will be found. The fact remains, there is a reason why doctors go through numerous years of training and why billions of dollars are spent worldwide annually in drug research; these drugs work. They work at reducing the risk of death from these conditions, they work at reducing complications that arise from uncontrolled disease, and they work to help us to stick around for a longer period in a better state of health so that we can enjoy our lives to the fullest. 55
Just One Tick
A silver sedan pulled into our carpark, a man , his wife and the cutest little girl jumped out. She looked very sad as they brought in a Rottweiler that looked like he was not having a good day. As they entered the waiting room, the little girl pointed at her dog and said. “Hi, I am Suzie and this is Sampson.” Sampson was a big fellow and was the same age as Suzie, 7 years old. They got him when Suzie was born. He was Suzie’ s dog and her best friend. Suzie’s mother explained that Sampson stopped eating a few days previously and that he was slow and lethargic a few days before that. He had lost a lot of weight and was just not being himself. He was usually fed a nutritious chow and apparently he and Suzie had frequent tea parties where he would be given a lot of snacks! I found this information quite alarming and explained to Suzie’s mother that snacks are dangerous for dogs as their system cannot tolerate them e.g. chocolates, onions, grapes, chewing gum. 56
by Dr Kevin Francis DVM
Upon examination he had a fever. A blood sample was taken and a complete blood count done. It was revealed that Sampson had an infection, anemia and a very low platelet count. “The CBC doesn’t look good!” I said in a solemn voice “These signs point towards a serious condition that affects many dogs, it is caused by tick infestation. They transmit a few blood borne parasites that bring about what we call Tick fever!” “Tick fever!”- Suzie’s mother exclaimed, “Sampson doesn’t have any ticks, he is always in the house! A matter of fact the last few weeks I saw one tick and removed it!” I informed her that you only need one tick to contract tick fever, and Tick and Flea control is very important as many dogs have the disease sub-clinically but don’t show signs until their immune system becomes compromised with some other ailment. Tick fever is very serious and in many cases dogs can die, even with treatment.
At this point Suzie burst into tears and started wailing. Her father who was silent so far bundled her up and carried her back to the waiting room. “Doc, Sampson cannot die, I don’t know what Suzie would do without him, they are so close. He is her best friend! You have to save him” said her mother sadly.
environment are actually on your pets, which means for every flea or tick you see on your pet there are many more in the environment. •
I told her that the treatment for the condition is a prolonged one that lasts 2-3 weeks of which he would have to be hospitalised for the initial part of the treatment. “Do whatever is necessary!” she pleaded. Two weeks later when Suzie came to pick up a lively vigourous Sampson, the look on her face was priceless. I told Suzie’s mother, “ You could have lost him. It was just one tick. Ticks and fleas are both carriers of serious pathogens and are both very dangerous to the health of your pet and your family!”
Less than 1% of fleas and 1-5% of ticks in your
Each Adult female flea can lay upwards of 5,000 eggs in her lifetime, while each adult female tick can lay upwards of 10,000 eggs in her lifetime.
Allowing strays into your environment can cause re-infestation of your environment and make your fight useless.
Fleas have a greater tendency to bite humans because they do not attach themselves to their host for their blood meal so they jump off and
Tick and Flea Fast Facts •
bite if given the opportunity.
Tick eggs and Flea eggs and larvae are very resistant to chemicals and thus are not effectively
Treating your pet and not the environment or
killed by common domestic insecticides. The
vice versa, is a sure way to continue having your
other stages of the life cycle are readily killed.
tick or flea problem
Great Gift Wrapping
A well wrapped gift is a pre-present. Beautiful presentation is a joy to the giver who creates it, the recipient who appreciates it, and any random viewer who admires it. And it doesn’t have to be that difficult to execute. One gift at a time. Don’t feel too pressured to do something completely different for every gift, that’s just going to become completely overwhelming, especially at a time (like Christmas) when you have 5 or more gifts to wrap all at once. Pick a design element you really like, and plan to execute it with slight variations when you think it’s necessary. It will also help you manage materials if you don’t need lots of different things because there should be less left over when you’re done.
You could just stick to really, really beautiful paper. Simple is A-ok if you are using quality paper. In fact, when the paper is gorgeous it might be better to not have bows and garnish compete too much. Even simpler than that is gorgeous ribbon tied directly onto a gift box. Disclaimer: it has to be a nice, clean, new, unstained, uncrumpled box. On the other hand, if you want to make a real statement then the biggest opportunities come when you use brown paper. Yes, the kind your mom covered your school-books with. Minimalist gift wrapping designs using brown paper are all over the internet, with stamping, drawing, and folding projects for the adventurous. Brown paper is 58
undeniably rustic so using raffia, burlap and elements of nature work well. Feel free to mix it up a bit by adding glitz to the woodsy feel, jewels, metallic ribbons, glitter and even sequins blend really nicely. That’s partly because shiny or not, metallics are neutrals too. Not that you have to avoid colour. When your base is brown, the easiest way to incorporate colour is to stick to a monochromatic palette but play with the textures of your ribbons and decorative trinkets. Speaking of trinkets, one of the hottest new gift wrapping trends is to use brown string and… buttons! You can loop the string through the button holes to stabilise before tying too, just brilliant! Disclaimer again: Has to be pretty big buttons, the extra one that comes with your work shirt won’t work, sorry. Another hot new-ish trend is to use two layers of different wrapping paper (usually solid colours) and create cut outs on the top layer. It’s as cool as origami but no where near as technical and frustrating.
To accomplish it make sure you have an Exacto-knife, a steady hand and a little patience. Wrap the first layer, then wrap the second layer. Decide where you want your cut outs to show then unwrap that second layer. You should be able to see where the creases were to guide you. Make your cut outs while the paper is not on the package (or else you could destroy the whole thing, including the actual gift) then re-wrap. The card you attach can also be a way to get creative. You can buy the best, or decide to create your own. You could cut up and re-use old greeting cards as tags, convert pallet sticks, even use leaves. But you should definitely recognise that the card holds the biggest opportunity for adding sentiment to the gift, not just making it prettier. The best card idea might utilise the photo printing option at SuperPharm. Print a black and white version of a photograph of yourself and the person you are gifting. What you write on the back won’t need to include “to” and “from”, instead all the space can be dedicated to a heartful message. The card may end up being even more precious than the gift.
STORAGE & TROUBLESHOOTING
Novices always seem to have issues with measuring enough paper. It’s either too much or too little. You’ve got to place your package on the paper’s edge, then roll the paper all the way around the gift to see just how much you need. Make a pencil mark, then do it again from the perpendicular edge. Now you can cut the perfect sized piece. If your ribbon has creases, you don’t necessarily have to toss it. You can de-crease ribbons with a flat iron, but BE CAREFUL and work quickly. No fires! If the ribbon is all synthetic materials especially, it will be highly flammable. While wrapping many gifts you always seem to misplace the scissors… or the tape… where was the pen again? Get it together! Buy a bathroom shower caddy and put everything in it’s place on it. Almost every caddy has compartments and hooks that are perfect for gift wrapping materials. If you make sure to always put things back you will always be able to find them. Even if it is 2am Christmas morning and your ponche crème headache is pounding. When it’s time to pack it all away (until the next birthday, christening, anniversary, house warming, wedding, mother’s or father’s day) you should be careful. Too often your gift wrapping paper and ribbon becomes unusable due to improper storage over time. Keep
ribbons together and neat with a binder clip. Keep rolls of wrapping paper together by cutting open cardboard rolls from used kitchen paper towels and sliding them around the wrapping paper tubes. Some people repurpose pringles tins to help store the rolls upright, genius! But if you don’t even have the space at the back of a cupboard to spare, maybe you can spare the ceiling space at the top instead. Wrapping paper isn’t really that heavy so easily inserted hooks to let you stretch wire will give you a kind of shelf. Gift wrapping morphs from a chore to a joy once you’re doing it the way that works for you, but if all else fails… gift bags. Done.
Mummy’s Teeth Can Affect Baby’s Teeth… and it’s NOT just Genetics by Leigh Cabral, DMD
Congratulations! You’re having a baby! There is so much to take into consideration for you to give your baby the best possible start in life, all while your hormones have you on a roller coaster ride of emotional and physical changes. But don’t forget the important role that your oral health can play in your pregnancy and in your child’s life. Many expectant mothers are unaware of the implications of poor oral health for themselves, their pregnancy, and/or their unborn child.
Pregnant women have increased levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone which increase the risk of swollen, uncomfortable, bleeding gums – a condition known as pregnancy gingivitis. If left untreated, this inflammation may eventually affect the bones and ligaments that support the teeth and hold them in place (the periodontium). In the long term, periodontitis may cause loss of bone around the teeth, tooth mobility and eventually tooth loss. Increased tooth mobility has been detected in pregnancy even in women with healthy gums and supporting structures. Relaxin, a hormone that helps in the preparation of the birth passage way, may also relax the fibers that help support the teeth. The inflammation 62
of the tissues in the mouth may be further exaggerated by a build-up in bacteria and plaque due to poor oral hygiene. The consequences of periodontitis in pregnant women may be severe. Research shows links between periodontal disease and adverse outcomes in pregnancy including premature deliveries, low birth weight babies, and preeclampsia. Well supported theories suggest that the bacteria and the chemicals that they release in the mouth may enter the expecting mother’s blood stream and aggravate inflammatory responses in the placenta. Unlike bones which act as calcium reservoirs throughout your life, once your teeth are fully formed they do not absorb and release calcium. Research has shown conclusively that no calcium is lost from your teeth
to help with the development of the baby. Tooth loss during pregnancy is a result of poor oral care, not a result of pregnancy itself. Morning sickness – nausea – associated with some pregnancies causes repeated exposure of acid to the teeth and may cause erosion. Acid also lowers the pH of the mouth making the environment more favourable for cariogenic (cavity causing) bacteria. Additionally, your oral health during and in the first few months after pregnancy may also affect your child’s life-long risk of tooth decay/dental caries, more commonly known as cavities. When an infant’s 1st tooth erupts there is now a “home” or a substrate for cariogenic (cavity causing) bacteria to live on. Through normal care-giving functions, mothers transmit their bacteria to the mouth of their child. If a mother has a very high incidence of cariogenic bacteria in her mouth around the time when her child’s primary teeth are first erupting, then it is very likely that the child’s mouth will be colonized by these bacteria and the child will have increased incidence of dental caries throughout life. The vertical transmission of cariogenic bacteria from mother to infant is well documented.
Basically, good home care during and immediately following pregnancy is important for both your health and the health of your baby. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride containing toothpaste and use dental floss. Remember, you can expect your gums to bleed more than normally while you are pregnant! Reducing your intake of sugary, cavity causing foods is also important. Furthermore you should see your dentist for a cleaning, a check-up and a consultation during your pregnancy, ideally at the beginning of your 2nd trimester. Any teeth that are broken or have holes should be evaluated for treatment to reduce the cavity causing bacteria in your mouth and thus reduce your child’s risk of caries. Some women avoid the dentist during pregnancy because of a misunderstanding that treatment may be dangerous to the developing baby. There are precautions that need to be taken when receiving dental treatment during pregnancy, but your provider is thoroughly trained for this and ultimately has you and your baby’s best interests in mind. Talk to your dentist about these concerns so that you have the correct information to make educated decisions about dental treatment during your pregnancy.
8 Ways to Stop Feeling Old We all age, everyday, unrelentingly. It’s a fact of life. However, too many of us past a certain age are sitting around concentrating on lost youth, wallowing in self-pity, and reminiscing. There’s life to be lived yet. Ready for a kick start?
Keep it Moving The irony of exercise! You get energy from something that makes you tired, and less aches in the long run from something that immediately pains you in the short run. Do something physical that you enjoy. Have a reason to get out there and do it on top of/in spite of the exercise. Like, being in nature (walking) or being social (walking group). Pamper Yourself You deserve a massage, or a facial, or a pedicure. These things are immediately rejuvenating, with real health benefits, and are, well, fun! Call Your Friends Don’t lose them. Who cares if they haven’t called you in ages either? Pick up the phone and press numbers. Make plans, follow through on those plans. Go Back to School Maybe the first time around you were practical about your education, you became qualified in something that made sense for the economy of your day. Now go learn whatever you are really interested in, art history… permaculture… learn to fly! Turn to Technology You will be shocked at the choices you have to fill your time with entertainment these days. Not 64
just things you watch either, games! Every kind imaginable. Every book you’ve ever wanted to read is probably available through tech too. Get your grandchildren to help you, or if you already know how to Google, go for it! Get a Pet Study after study shows how caring for an animal has numerous health benefits. It could be the various kinds of focus it requires, and the brain exercise switching from task to task, or just the loving connection, but whatever the reason a pet is definitely recommended! Volunteer Some of the things on this list require a little cash. This one doesn’t, no matter the state of your finances you have TIME. Volunteering yourself physically is a win for the organization of your choice, and for you. Stay Involved with Family Go to family events, and host some too, but do NOT become the default babysitter. It can be a trap! Make sure everyone knows that you are not home everyday, and that you do have a life. Also do not turn yourself into the family servant at gatherings. If you can, be the host of gatherings and delegate food production to others. Soon everyone will be calling you the glue of the group and you will have four times as many Christmas presents.
Late Night Dinner Rescue It happens way too often, especially to young professionals, after putting in extra hours at the office you get in the car and realise that the supermarket just closed, and unless you want to spend big bucks at a restaurant, you have to turn to fast food. There goes your new monthâ€™s resolutionâ€Ś Well, SuperPharm knows and SuperPharm cares. Here are a few dinners you can make even if you have absolutely nothing in your pantry, because everything in them is available at SuperPharm.
Low Carb Easy Cheesy Tuna Casserole YIELD: 4 LARGE, 6 SMALL PORTIONS INGREDIENTS: 1/2 pound short cut pasta, such as Barilla Plus Farfalle 1 pack frozen broccoli 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 cup diced onion 1 jar prepared alfredo sauce 2/3 cup milk 2 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided 2 cans water packed tuna salt & pepper, to taste 1 cup frozen peas DIRECTIONS: Bring large pot of water to rolling boil, add salt and stir in pasta. Cook 3 minutes and then pour in broccoli pieces. Cook until pasta is al dente and broccoli is soft. Drain and set aside. Sprinkle in salt and pepper. Pour in alfredo sauce. Pour milk into the now empty jar of alfredo sauce, replace lid and shake to remove any excess. Uncap and pour into pot. Sprinkle 2 cups of cheese into sauce and stir until cheese has melted and sauce is smooth. Pour in cooked pasta, broccoli and frozen peas. Stir until everything is well mixed and coated in sauce. Splash in a little milk if sauce seems too thick. Smooth the top and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Remove from heat and cover to melt cheese OR stick pot under hot broiler for 1-2 minutes or until cheese is brown and bubbly. Serve hot.
Deconstructed Burger Meal YIELD: 2 PORTIONS INGREDIENTS: 2 individually packed 1/4lb burger patties 2 hand-fulls of frozen onion rings (size of hand doesnâ€™t matter) 2 frozen hash-brown patties 1 Lindaâ€™s Garden salad Salt & Pepper 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon Mrs Dash seasoning of your choice 2 teaspoons garlic-butter (optional) DIRECTIONS: Foil a baking sheet and place hash-browns and onionrings in oven as instructed on packaging. Mix olive oil, Mrs Dash and salt & pepper to taste; pour over thawed burger patties (patties thaw quickly if packs are placed under running water). Put your skillet on medium heat; place burger patties in for 4-5 minutes per side (medium to medium-well). Let burgers sit for about 5-7 minutes when done. Now you are ready to plate your meal; this is when you can add your teaspoon of garlic-butter to your warm hash-brown patties.
When your Friend is Depressed… by Shana Bhajan
According to the (WHO) World Health Organisation, depression afflicts over 121 million people worldwide, and that by 2020 depression will be the leading cause of disability, and suicide the number one cause of death. If you think that sounds improbable, remember that in the United States there has been a 400% increase in psychiatrists prescribing antidepressants since 1988, and right here in Trinidad and Tobago, a study of secondary school students between the ages of 13 and 19 found that the prevalence was as high as 1 in 4. Be concerned if your loved one... • Doesn’t seem to care about anything anymore. • Is uncharacteristically sad, irritable, short-tempered, critical, or moody. • Has lost interest in work, sex, hobbies, and other pleasurable activities. • Talks about feeling “helpless” or “hopeless.” • Expresses a bleak or negative outlook on life. • Frequently complains of aches and pains such as headaches, stomach problems, and back pain. • Complains of feeling tired and drained all the time. • Has withdrawn from friends, family, and other social activities. • Sleeps less than usual or oversleeps. • Eats more or less than usual, and has recently gained or lost weight. • Has become indecisive, forgetful, disorganized, and “out of it.” • Drinks more or abuses drugs, including prescription sleeping pills and painkillers.
So what can you do? First educate yourself. Depression is a common, and often severe, clinical condition. Understand that ‘feeling down’ can be more serious than it seems, and they may not be able to just ‘feel better’, or ‘look on the bright side’. Be there for them, but know that they may need more help than you can give – from a professional, someone trained to know what they are experiencing and what may be best for their wellbeing. Although you are not a psychologist you can be a warm listening ear. You can practice mindfully hearing them without judging their feelings. You should also have a support ‘team’ of others who care about the person so someone can always be there when you can’t be. And please, take care of yourself. Don’t empathise to the stage of bringing yourself down as well. It is common for friends and family of those suffering with depression to feel any number of emotions such as helplessness, frustration, anger, fear, guilt, and sadness. These feelings are all normal. It’s not easy dealing with a friend’s or family member’s depression. It can become overwhelming.
DISCOVER YOUR PATH TO WELLNESS.
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Automatic Arm Blood Pressure Monitor
Triple Shiatsu Massage Cushion with heat
Neck & Shoulder Massager with heat
Shiatsu Foot Massager with heat
Percussion Action Handheld Massager
*Source: The NPD Group. January 2014 â€“ December 2014. Retail Tracking Service.
You Could Be a Pharmacist
By Dr. Patricia Sealy, PharmD, PhD, RPh
Congratulations are extended as SuperPharm celebrates their 10th Anniversary, which coincides with the 20th anniversary celebrations of the School of Pharmacy (SOP) in the Faculty of Medical Sciences (FMS), The University of the West Indies (UWI). Prior to Trinidad and Tobagoâ€™s independence in 1962, the British Medical Council established the Medical Board of Trinidad and Tobago which was responsible for the training and registration of pharmacists. The Pharmacy Board of Trinidad and Tobago (PBTT) assumed responsibility for the training and registration of pharmacists under the PB Act 77 of 1960 through an apprenticeship diploma-/certificate-programme. In this programme, students worked under the direct supervision of a pharmacist at hospitals and clinics of the Ministry of Health (MoH) and at retail pharmacies, while attending formal classroom sessions 3 hours daily for 2 days per week at the Extra-Mural Department of UWI. Students attended classes on a full-time basis during the final year of the certificate programme. In 1995, the FMS assumed responsibility for training pharmacists. The intake of students has increased from 14 then to a range of 60 to 100 at present. Students undertake 4 years of tuition to earn the Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy (BSc Pharm) degree. The first class graduated in 1999; five hundred and ninety eighty (598) students have graduated to date. While the majority of students are Trinbagonians, students from other Caribbean (Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Grenada, Jamaica, and St. Vincent) and extra-regional countries (Botswana, Canada, England, and the United States) have also graduated from the program. 70
Experiential training begins in year-3 of the programme as the Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) where students spend 3 hours per week during one semester in the community pharmacy setting (at selected private sector retail pharmacies, SuperPharm included) to: gain a rudimentary understanding of the operations of a computerized pharmacy, and appreciate the intricacies associated with filling a prescription and the extended services (blood pressure and blood glucose testing and monitoring, pregnancy testing, etc.) offered by most pharmacies. The IPPE entails a combination of observation, application of knowledge, feedback and assessment between the student and the preceptor. This practice of shadowing qualified pharmacists nurtures in students the ability to problem solve; correctly fill and dispense prescriptions; and communicate effectively, confidently and intelligently with other members of the healthcare team (physicians, nurses, other pharmacists) and/or patients. The Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) is scheduled in year 4 of the curriculum. The APPE ensures that the classroom knowledge is transferred effectively to â€œhands-onâ€? clinical skills in a variety of pharmacy practice settings: private sector (retail pharmacies, SuperPharm included) and public sector institutions (hospitals and health centres). The APPEs are designed to allow students to develop skills (creation of care plans) in pharmacy practice by working alongside experienced practitioners at all levels of the healthcare system. This fosters a team approach to pharmacy practice among
faculty members and healthcare practitioners in the training of pharmacy students in Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Care. Pharmaceutical Care is a patient-centered, outcome oriented pharmacy practice that requires the pharmacist to work in concert with the patient and the patient’s other healthcare providers to: promote health, prevent disease; and assess, monitor, initiate and modify (with the approval of the physician) medication use to assure that drug therapy regimens are safe and effective. The goal of Pharmaceutical Care is to optimize the patient’s health-related quality of life and achieve positive clinical outcomes within realistic economic costs. The graduates possess the knowledge, professional skills, attitudes and behavioural patterns necessary to address the medication-related needs of the society and to promote advocacy and leadership in the profession. The PBTT is responsible for the transition from graduate to registered pharmacist. The graduate must satisfactorily complete an internship that is assessed by the supervising pharmacist rather than by a standardized licensure examination. Further, newly registered pharmacists are required to practice for at least one (1) year under the direct supervision of a pharmacist before being eligible for independent
practice (without supervision). Consequently, training to become an independent practicing pharmacist in TT takes five and a half (5½) years of study. The majority of graduates practice as pharmacists in the public (hospitals and health centres of the Regional Health Authorities) and private (retail pharmacies) health sectors, while others assume corporate managerial positions at chain establishments (SuperPharm included) and the industry (drug representatives). A minority filter into the USA, England and Canada after successfully passing the Foreign Equivalency Pharmacy Licensure Examinations to practice in those jurisdictions where the minimum level qualification for pharmacists is the Doctor of Pharmacy (USA), Masters of Pharmacy (England) or BSc. Pharm (Canada) degrees. Fewer enter academia and/or pursue graduate school to read for the Doctor of Philosophy degree at their alma mater or university abroad. The SOP, therefore, prepares graduates to function consistent with international standards. Dr. Patricia Sealy is a lecturer at the School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies (St. Augustine Campus) located at Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Champs Fleurs.
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Most Random Things You Didn’t Know You Could Get @
Not every SuperPharm carries the exact same stuff, each store is stocked with the needs of its surrounding community in mind. That being said, some of your needs are pretty random. • Pet Cologne No way your furry friend is going to get called “the smelly one” in the pack. Just look at the model on the label. Fresh. • Fast Flats The vast majority of women at a wedding will tell you, “My feet hurt”. Who knew there was a solution? These are ballet flats which are small and flexible enough to fit into a regular sized clutch, for when she decides to give up. Genius. • Home Drug Test It may have never occurred to you that an at-home test for Marijuana, Cocaine, Opiates, or Methamphetamine would be in demand, but it turns out to be popular for pre-job interviews. Then there’s this review, “Used it on my lying bf and he came out guilty! I recommend it”. • Veterinary Liniment Gel It’s not so random that SuperPharm would stock products for pet care, but horses? Wellllllll… actually it seems that the reason certain SuperPharms need to keep it in house is because many people use it for human muscle pain. Still weird to see it on the shelf. • Hot Iron Cleaner A dirty iron isn’t such a hot topic, but SuperPharm’s on top of it anyway, or maybe it’s in stock because apparently it’s also the best for cleaning motorcycle exhaust pipes. • OMG-M The letters might stand for ‘Oh My God – Male’. Yes, really. As this is a G-rated publication. Go ahead and re-interpret the name with your mind set to R-rated. So that’s all we will say. They’re behind the pharmacist’s counter. Ask. They won’t judge. • Garlic Growth Base Coat Eh? Who wants garlic nails? Turns out it’s great for lengthening and strengthening. 72
Nails By Design-er For a high end, local perspective on what’s a fad and what’s plain bad we asked some of our best homegrown designers to recommend the manicure to best compliment their latest looks.
SEW LISA “Bright red, but not long and claw-like. Some nail art if possible, but must be so well done that it can’t be mistaken for poor taste” Designer Lisa Gittens
ADRIAN FOSTER “Modern French manicure, classic meets creative” Designer Adrian Foster
CLD “Nude nails but not the square tips, too last decade” Designer Charu Lochan Dass 75
RYAN CHAN “Combine trends! You don’t have to commit to a nail style for long and they move fast. Negative space and metallic strips are my favourite atm” Designer Ryan Chan
THE LUSH KINGDOM “Take the colour from the clothes and work it in to your French manicure. Using metallics or neutrals with bold shades takes it away from the 80s. It’s not about matching, it’s about adding more of what you love.” Designer James Hackett
Prostate Cancer is No Joke! By Kimlin Harrilal
You are more likely to hear a joke about a man getting a prostate exam, than a man getting prostate cancer, which is a shame because prostate cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer in men in Trinidad and Tobago. According to the National Cancer Registry from January ‘98 to December ‘07 there were 13,100 cancer deaths in T&T, and most them were men, 7,158 of them to be exact. The highest per cent (38.1 or 2,726 men) was from prostate cancer, followed by bronchus and lung cancer. Despite these startling statistics and available screening, prostate cancer continues to have high mortality rates in T&T. Cancer is… Just in case you’ve never really thought about what cancer really is, cancer begins when cells in a part of the body start to grow out of control. Cancer cell growth is different from normal cell growth. Instead of dying, cancer cells keep on growing and form new cancer cells. In most cases the cancer cells form a tumor. Prostate… what is that again? The prostate gland makes fluid that forms part of semen. The prostate lies just below the bladder in front of the rectum. It surrounds the urethra (the tube that carries urine and semen through the penis and out of the body). Prostate cancer begins in the prostate gland. Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chance of getting a disease. Different cancers have different risk factors. Some risk factors, such as smoking, can be changed. Others, like a person’s age or family history, can’t be changed. 78
Many people with one or more risk factors never get cancer, while others with this disease may have had few or no known risk factors. While we do not yet know exactly what causes prostate cancer, we do know that certain risk factors are linked to the disease. •
Age: Prostate cancer risk goes up as men get older.
Race: In the US, African-American men are more likely to get prostate cancer and die of it than men of other races.
Geography: Prostate cancer is most common in North America, north-western Europe, Australia, and the Caribbean, and it is less common in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America.
Family history: Men with close family members (father or brother) who have had prostate cancer are more likely to get it themselves, especially if their relatives were young when they were diagnosed.
Gene changes: Some inherited genes seem to raise prostate cancer risk, but they account for only a small fraction of cases.
Diet: Men who eat a lot of red meat or high-fat dairy products seem to have a greater chance of getting prostate cancer.
Obesity: Some studies have found that obese (very overweight) men may be at greater risk of having more advanced prostate cancer and of dying from prostate cancer, but not all studies have found this.
Lower Your Risk The exact cause of prostate cancer is not known, so it isn’t possible to comprehensively prevent most cases of the disease. However there are things you can do that might lower your risk, such as: • • •
Eating at least 2½ cups of a wide variety of vegetables and fruits each day. Being physically active for at least 30 minutes daily. Staying at a healthy weight.
Signs and Symptoms Men with early prostate cancer often have no symptoms. The cancer may be found with a screening test such as a PSA blood test or a digital rectal exam. But more advanced prostate cancers can sometimes cause symptoms, such as: • Problems urinating or holding in urine • Trouble having or keeping an erection • Blood in the urine • Pain in the spine, hips, ribs, or other bones • Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet • Loss of bladder or bowel control
If you are exhibiting any of these symptoms, it’s important not to panic and investigate by getting tested. There are other conditions that can cause many of them, just don’t wait to find out the cause. Can Prostate Cancer be Found Early? There are often no early prostate cancer symptoms and this is why screening is important for men 40 years and over. The test used most often for screening is the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test. Another test that can help find prostate cancer early is when a doctor checks the prostate with his or her finger (a digital rectal exam or DRE). If prostate cancer is found as a result of either one of these tests, it has probably been found at an early, more treatable stage.The Trinidad and Tobago Cancer Society advocates that early detection is the best prevention. The Society provides both PSA and DRE screenings for men at our clinic located at 62 Rosalino Street in Woodbrook. Screening can be provided via our mobile services to organizations upon request made to our Mobile Coordinator.
Want to make an appointment? Call the TTCS toll free at 800-TTCS (8827) for more information. REFERENCES- Adapted from the American Cancer Society (ACS 2014).
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Bath Time is Learning Time Too
Research reveals that routine touch and massage by a parent or loving caregiver are critical to a baby’s growth and development, communication and learning. Which means that bath time is an opportunity for much more than just hygiene.
• Playing with bubbles can help your baby develop hand-eye coordination. • Playing music and singing songs during bath time can stimulate parts of the brain responsible for memory, while playing certain types of music can stimulate parts of the brain responsible for visual imagery. • Talking back and forth with your baby during bath time can help with language development. Studies show infants who are spoken with more have larger vocabularies by 24 months of age. • Splashing in the water during bath time can help teach your baby about cause-and-effect. • Studies have shown that babies bathed with a scented bath product (compared to those who were not) displayed 30% more engagement cues with their parent after bath time. • Routine massage before or after bath time is a perfect opportunity for skin-to-skin touch. It’s shown to improve a baby’s sleep quality and quantity as part of a bedtime routine.
Establish daily rituals with your baby across a variety of activities to stimulate baby’s senses and provide opportunities for him or her to learn, think, love and grow. 80
Stop Eating Your Way Toward Chronic Disease
By Gabrielle Lambie, Nutritionist
Chronic, non-communicable diseases or ‘lifestyle diseases’ are long-term diseases that are not contagious and highly preventable. The four leading causes of death in Trinidad and Tobago are all chronic diseases – Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Malignant Neoplasms (Cancer) and Stroke. The prevalence of these diseases has been steadily increasing over the last 20 years, and diseases such as Obesity and Type-2 Diabetes are more frequently appearing in younger age groups. For an individual suffering with one of these non-communicable diseases, quality of life is reduced for extended periods, life expectancy is reduced and medical expenses are high. The treatment of these diseases can be complicated and expensive, for our country and for individuals. The old adage ‘prevention is better than cure’ holds true, and as a nutritionist I know that your eating habits can make a big difference in doing just that. KEEP YOUR WEIGHT IN CHECK Obesity is not only a chronic disease , but it also increases the risks of developing several other chronic diseases including Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, several forms of Cancer, and Stroke. In people already suffering from these diseases, the chances of dying from the disease or developing another life-threatening chronic disease (called a co-morbidity) increases the more overweight or obese the person is. In short, preventing or correcting obesity is one of the most effective ways of ensuring you never develop a chronic disease. 82
• Control snacking and choose healthy snacks • Don’t binge eat • Consume more home-cooked meals • Engage in moderate intensity exercise for at least 40 minutes most days of the week • Avoid energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods like sweetened juices and sodas, refined carbohydrate products and highly processed foods MAKE YOUR CARBOHYDRATES WHOLEGRAIN Wholegrains provide fibre, plant-based protein, vitamins and minerals, and a variety of phytochemicals that all help to improve health. Studies have shown that a diet containing adequate amounts of whole grains reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases because they: • Lower cholesterol • Help regulate blood sugar • Redistribute fat • Help control weight • Lower blood pressure • Are a good source of vitamins and minerals • Reduce inflammation markers How can you tell if a product is actually wholegrain? Here are a couple tips: • Look for a ‘whole grain’ stamp from the Whole Grain Council which means that a portion contains at least half a serving of wholegrain. • The wholegrain form of the grain must be one of the first three ingredients listed on the label. • Just because bread is brown does not mean it is wholegrain - some breads are coloured with molasses or brown sugar or even artificial colourings. Read the ingredient lists and label to find out if wholegrain flour was used to make the bread
A LITTLE OF THE RIGHT FATS GOES A LONG WAY When it comes to lowering your risk of chronic disease, the type of fats consumed is important. Saturated Fats and Trans-fats are the fats to be wary of and avoid. These types of fats have been shown to increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and some cancers. Saturated fat is found mostly in dairy and meat products. Trans-fats are even unhealthier than saturated fats. They were first formulated through a chemical process called partial hydrogenation in order to improve certain characteristics of vegetable oils (shelf life, stability, spreadability etc). To check food for trans-fats, read the ingredient list on the label, if the list contains any ‘partially hydrogenated’ or ‘hydrogenated’ fats or oils, there are trans-fats in the product. Remember that food companies are allowed to list ‘0g trans-fat’ or ‘trans fat free’ as long as the product has less than 0.5mg per serving of trans-fat. That may seem like a small amount but even in such small amounts; trans-fats can be harmful. So check the ingredient list to be sure. Foods with trans-fats include margarine and packaged baked goods like cookies, biscuits, crackers, cakes and pastries. So, what fats are ok? Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats. Studies show that when saturated and trans-fats are replaced by unsaturated fats there is a decreased risk of developing chronic diseases. These healthier fats are found in foods such as fatty fish (tuna, salmon, sardine), avocadoes, flaxseed, olive oil, nuts such as walnuts and almonds, most vegetable oils (palm oil is actually high in saturated fats and should be avoided). When looking for ‘low fat’ foods, opt for foods that are naturally low in fat. Products that have had fat removed through processing often have artificial flavourings, sugar and other sweeteners and other artificial ingredients added to them to make up for the flavor and texture lost from the fat removal. 83
ENJOY FRUITS AND VEGETABLES Fruits and Vegetables help reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases by providing the body with dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants. Everyone should aim to consume 4-5 servings of fruit and 4 to 5 servings of vegetables per day. How much is that exactly? For someone consuming 2000 calories a day that equals about 2 cups of fruits and 2.5 cups of vegetables a day, including green leafy vegetables. MIX UP YOUR PROTEIN SOURCES Remember that protein is not only found in meat and dairy products, but other naturally low fat sources like legumes, whole-grains and some vegetables. Aim to get at least 1/3
- ½ of your daily protein intake from these
alternative sources and you will benefit from the added advantage of all the micronutrients and dietary fibre that they come with. CONTROL YOUR SODIUM INTAKE In Trinidad, Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death. High sodium intake greatly increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and stroke and has been shown to lead to hypertension. Daily sodium intake should be limited to less than 1.7g per day and salt consumption should be restricted to less than 5g per day. In addition to adding less salt to your food as you cook, limit the amount of pre-packaged foods you buy and consume and
‘low-sodium’ or ‘no salt added’ option where possible.
A major advantage of preparing
your own meals is that you have total control over not only how much salt is used but also ingredients such as oil and sugar. Making these changes to your diet, along with engaging in regular physical activity will help you live a longer, healthier life and give you so much less to worry about! 84
Waste Not, Dump Not
Whether or not you participate in recycling programs available in T&T, you should definitely make an effort to identify your hazardous household waste and NOT dispose of it down your drain, or in your day-to-day dustbin. Sending out certain items, even empty containers, can be harmful to garbage collectors (example, constant exposure to fumes), to garbage trucks (example, explosions from popping aerosol cans), and ultimately pollute the ground and ground water. Knowing how much of our country’s garbage ends up in dumps and not proper landfills, (was the ‘La Basse’ ever lined to prevent seepage?) citizens should take this seriously. We must not only look to our government to set up regulations, but do our part as responsible individuals. Look at Labels •Poison •Toxic •Corrosive •Volatile •Flammable •Inflammable •Danger •Explosive •Harmful •Caution •Warning •Combustible 86
You might already look at labels before you purchase to decide if you want it in your home or not, but look again before you throw it away. Those warning words on a product label are there to alert you to the hazardous nature of the product, and mean that when the time comes, you should dispose of the product with special care. Top Offending Items Batteries You might think that they’re small, so they can’t be that harmful, but batteries contain metals like alkaline, zinc, nickel and cadmium, and consider how many are used every day. Electronics TVs, DVD players, laptops and printers. You get it. Light bulbs Many contain a little bit of mercury, so they’re not safe to throw in the regular trash. Used Engine Oil The oil drained from your vehicle contains arsenic, chlorine, lead, sulphur, zinc, copper, benzene, toluene, phenol, chlorinated hydrocarbons and polychlorinated biphenyls. Yuck.
Smoke detectors These need to be replaced just once a decade, but when you do, take care. Photoelectric smoke detectors can be taken to any electronics recycling facility, but Ionization smoke detectors actually emit a small amount of radiation, so they should be mailed back to the manufacturer (after you’ve removed the batteries). Cosmetics Most aren’t hazardous but some like nail polish remover and hairspray are flammable and/or full of chemicals that don’t belong in a landfill. Paint Water-based paints aren’t hazardous but oil-based paints contain a number of chemicals that have special disposal needs. If there’s enough paint still in the can consider donating to a nonprofit like Habitat for Humanity. Contact Lenses *Special mention This one is tricky. The big concern is that these plastic polymers could end up in our waterways where animals will eat them thinking they are food, horrible and all
too common. So do NOT flush them down the sink or toilet. This is one item that you should throw away in the trash! Treat them as you would any plastic container that cannot be recycled. Store Correctly Too Minimise your risk outside of disposal too. Always monitor the use and storage of products with potentially hazardous substances. First of all, follow any instructions for use and disposal provided on product labels (of course). Never store hazardous products in food containers, as tempting as an old ice cream container is, try to keep them in their original containers and never remove labels. Do NOT mix leftovers, or with other products. Incompatible products might react, ignite, or explode. Not Gonna Be Easy Safe disposal is available in Trinidad, though not through SWMCOL, you will have to pay for it. Green Engineering will do it for companies that generate hazardous waste in bulk, but for households you can check Piranha International, they have drop off facilities at their Couva location for a fee.
It’s an Oral Presentation Your mouth is pretty important. It’s the point of entry for food, drink and sometimes air. It’s the point of exit for your speaking voice. Eyes may be the windows to the soul, but that makes the mouth the dining/living/TV room.
Oral Hygiene is basically actions to keep the mouth and teeth clean to prevent common dental problems, such as dental cavities and gingivitis. Regular teeth brushing and cleaning between teeth helps to keep gums and teeth healthy resulting in the reduction of gum disease and tooth decay. The use of mouthwashes, cleaning of the tongue, eating a healthy diet by limiting the use of sugary drinks and foods, and smoking cessation will improve oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene helps to reduce the buildup of plaque and tartar. •
Dental plaque is a soft whitish deposit that forms on the surfaces of teeth. It forms when germs (bacteria) combine with food and saliva. You can remove plaque by good oral hygiene. Tartar (calculus) is hardened calcified plaque. It sticks firmly to teeth. Generally, it can only be removed with special instruments used by a dentist or dental hygienist.
Children should be taught good oral hygiene as young as possible and have regular checks by a dentist, ideally between six months and one year old. Some of us will have specialized issues, but most of us need to know the basics: 88
Teeth Brushing Brush your teeth at least twice a day using a soft-tufted brush and a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Spend at least two minutes brushing, covering all areas (the inside, outside, and biting areas of each tooth) in a circular motion. Pay particular attention to where the teeth meet the gum. Flossing… or not Cleaning between your teeth aids in plaque removal from hard to reach places (inaccessible by tooth brushing). Dental floss is commonly used to do this. However, some studies suggest that small interdental brushes may do a better job than floss. The aim is: • To clean the sides of the teeth where a toothbrush cannot reach. • To clear the spaces between teeth (the interdental spaces) of debris. Mouth rinses Many dentists believe that twice-daily brushing with a fluoride toothpaste provides enough fluoride for cavity protection. But if you’re prone to cavities, you can use a fluoride mouth rinse in addition to brushing and flossing your teeth. Mouth rinses containing fluoride are very effective in the control of dental cavities and are especially useful for those wearing orthodontic bands. Anticavity rinses with fluoride have been shown to fight almost 50% more of the bacteria that causes cavities. Teeth should be as clean as possible before applying an anticavity/ fluoride rinse in order to gain the full benefits of the fluoride in the rinse. The proper way to rinse 1. Take the recommended amount, as instructed by your dentist or following the instructions on the container. 2. With lips closed and teeth slightly apart, swish the rinse around with as much force as possible. 3. Swish around for at least 30 seconds, though one minute is ideal. 4. Spit the rinse from mouth thoroughly. 5. Do not rinse, eat or smoke for up to 30 minutes afterwards as this will reduce the effects of the mouthwash and its fluoride effectiveness.
Available at leading pharmacies and fine health food stores nationwide.
Distributed by H&J Enterprises Ltd. Tel: 662-5419
The Skinny on The Skinny Line You don’t want to be smokey all the time. A daytime look usually requires a more straightforward approach, so leave the smudgy drama for the club later. Precise, skinny liner is the best way to be dramtic but professional. Your hands may shake at first, but it’s time to start practising with a fine tip liquid liner because you almost never get as sharp a line with a pencil. Plus you’ll be sharpening at least once during application if you don’t go liquid. Add to that, liquids and gels can last all day while powders and pencils can fade, and migrate to other parts of your face, and into fine lines, and just no no no… Three Steps to a Fierce Cat Eye • Gently pull eyelid to the side to tighten lash line • Lay applicator flat on the roots of the lashes because you will get more control than using the tip • Glide the liner across the lash line from inner to outer corner, winging up as you get to the edge of the eyes Sounds easy right? Well, the first time you try it you will probably get very frustrated. If that’s the case, go get a spoon. Yes, a spoon. Lay the stem against your temple so that it touches the outer corner of your eye, and the edge of your eyebrow, to help you trace a wonderful straight line on your lid (don’t go too high!). Then use the round part of the spoon to create a crescent you can fill in. Again use the edge of your eyebrow, but this time the spoon won’t connect with the outer corner of your eye because.. well, it’s curved. Trace again. Fill in! 90
Generic Drugs, Really the Same?
Generic vs Brand-name comes up pretty often in every pharmacy around the world. If youâ€™ve been sticking to your brand name drug(s), and have never inquired about a potentially cheaper generic version, take a read.
A brand name drug is a medicine that is discovered, developed, and marketed by a pharmaceutical company. That company has filed for a patent to protect against other companies making copies and selling the drug. The patent may last for five to twenty years, allowing exclusive selling rights to its original company. A generic drug is identical -- or bioequivalent -- to a brand name drug in dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality, performance characteristics and intended use. After a drug patent expires other companies, or the original company, can manufacture and sell a version of that drug. It still has to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration(FDA) of the United States*. Generic drugs tend to be a lot cheaper than original brand names since the company making them did not have to undergo the same vigorous procedures (such 92
as drug testing) as the brand-name drug developer did. As a result, generic drugs have become a popular choice for both physicians and patients. At SuperPharm Limited we offer a few choice generics from reputable companies. We choose to supply generics registered with the Trinidad and Tobago Chemistry, Food, and Drug Division, an arm of the Ministry of Health that acts as our local FDA. We only purchase from registered suppliers to ensure that our patients receive high quality medication. As a SuperPharm pharmacist I have prescribed generic drugs with successful outcomes. I have used them myself too. I recommend a generic drug when patients inquire about cheaper alternatives, as long as the drug is from a reputable company and has good reviews among users. As for filling prescriptions, a generic substitution will be made only after consulting with the prescriber.
By Kimberley Ford, Senior Pharmacist SuperPharm Valsayn
Patients have mixed views on generics, some want strictly brand names while others consider a generic once the physician or pharmacist approves. Some say “if it does the same thing for cheaper….no problem!” while other patients refuse generics complaining of negative side effects and frown upon where it is manufactured. Some are suspicious that these drugs are not FDA approved, or may be counterfeit drugs. But the ultimate question is, are generics equal to brand-name? Well, a generic that is FDA approved has the same high quality, strength, purity and stability as the brand-name drug it is based on. So, would you choose a generic drug?
* The FDA is a federal US agency responsible for monitoring, trading, and safety standards in the food and drug industry. 93
My Ovaries are Poly-what?
By Dr Catherine Minto-Bain, MRCOG Medical Director, Consultant Gynaecologist and Fertility Specialist
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) likely affects between four to fifteen per cent of women of reproductive age. In PCOS, the ovaries produce multiple small cysts, sometimes causing difficulty in producing eggs (ovulating). Most women with PCOS are diagnosed as teenagers after issues with weight gain or body hair, or wildly irregular periods. Others are diagnosed later when seeking fertility advice, or even later when routine tests for high blood pressure discover problems with blood lipids (fats). No two people are the same. Many suffer only mildly irregular periods, mild excess hair, and a little weight gain, but others have major difficulties.
Studies show that people with all the features of PCOS have increased risk from heart disease, are predisposed to high blood pressure, blood fat problems, and type 2 diabetes. You don’t actually die of PCOS, but the associated burden of early heart disease is potentially grave. PCOS isn’t preventable, but you can work to minimise future health risks and manage symptoms. So see a doctor if I think I have PCOS? You should, but there’s no need to do so urgently. Equally there is no need to suffer symptoms in silence when simple measures may provide a great transformation. Your doctor will usually first arrange for some screening blood tests. To confirm PCOS they will also check some hormones. You may be asked to have a pelvic ultrasound scan to look for cysts on the ovaries. 94
What are the treatments? Weight loss If you are overweight with PCOS, weight loss is very important for fertility, long-term heart health and general well-being. Drug therapies The birth control pill helps regulate the menstrual cycle and may also help with acne and unwanted hair, but may not be suitable if you have any history of deep vein thrombosis or a strong family history of blood clots. Clomiphene citrate is useful in women who are trying to but not getting pregnant. There is a small risk of multiple births and it shouldn’t be used for more than 12 cycles. The main side effect is headaches. We don’t know exactly how, but Metformin (formulated to treat type 2 diabetes) reduces the amount of sugar put out by the liver, promotes weight loss and increases the frequency of successful ovulation from polycystic ovaries. Side effects include gastrointestinal upset, flatulence, diarrhoea and bloating. Gonadotrophin injections are forms of the brain hormone that stimulates the ovaries. They increase the chance of a multiple pregnancy. Treatments for excess hair Many simply choose shaving, waxing, bleaching or electrolysis. Finasteride and Flutamide creams which block production of testosterone in the skin are coming soon, while Vaniqa (Eflornithine cream) is already available. Do not use any of these creams if you are trying to get pregnant. Surgery During the 1950s-1960s researchers found that removing large portions of the ovaries (a ‘wedge resection’) sometimes improved some PCOS symptoms. That kind of procedure may lead to infertility and early menopause, so today a less invasive surgery involving gentle burning of the cystic areas in each ovary helps to increase fertility in PCOS women who have not responded to medications. It is not suitable for women who already have low egg levels, it could just make that worse. More information is available at Trinidad & Tobago IVF & Fertility Centre
Continued from Page 7 SuperPharm’s long service employees seem to be in agreement that it is a special place to build a career. Roshanee Shah Gittens, Store Manager of SuperPharm Gulf View, who started out as an Assistant Store Manager in May 2005 says, “SuperPharm gave me the opportunity to balance my personal life and my professional life. I have grown stronger spiritually, emotionally, and physically in both my job and family.” Her mantra is to see obstacles as opportunities, and it has served her well. She is proud that she has trained 90% of all the SuperPharm store managers. It’s actually a bit emotional to hear her say, “This gives me a feeling of success because despite challenges, I did something to help grow the business.” More than a few employees have shined during their time at SuperPharm. Dhristee Mansingh was not hired as a store manager; she came in as an associate, “I always share with my new team members how I started, and that where I am now did not just happen overnight.” Ms. Mansingh moved from Associate to Cashier, learning data entry after encouragement from management. Soon after she became Lead Cashier, then Store Supervisor, and at that point she said she started to really believe in herself. Today she is the Store Manager of the Westmoorings branch. Her climb up the corporate ladder is no mystery when you hear her say, “You must be able to face challenges that come your way. I took feedback in a positive way. I held my head up with a smile and I worked on my weaknesses.” Being flexible with employees who show potential has also been key in developing the business. Back when she was still an in-store Pharmacy Technician, Keitia Emmanuel, found that she missed the excitement of selecting and purchasing new items for the stores. So she started going to the head office on her days off to assist in any area. An opening soon came in the department she longed to work in, but she was hesitant to apply as she did not possess the requirements needed for the post. That was when she decided that she wanted to work while furthering her education to ensure that she would have the qualifications the next time an opening came up. SuperPharm thought she was on the right track. She was transferred to the head office in the accounts department as a data entry clerk while going to school on weekends. It was difficult, but she wasn’t alone, “My HR Manager and the Corporate Pharmacist encouraged me to push towards my goal. In a little less than a year a position was available for a Category Assistant and I was the first candidate to be interviewed. I was so grateful to be given that opportunity even though I had not completed my degree yet. I’m pleased to say I am 96
now the Category Manager for Health Care. I’m truly grateful to SuperPharm for seeing the potential in me and I’m also grateful for all the managers who guided and encouraged me to make my dream a reality.” Mr. Mouttet knows of many examples of store managers going above and beyond to serve, and not just to paying customers. He remembers receiving a phone call about an explosion next door to SuperPharm Maraval in February 2015. As photographs began coming in to his phone via whatsapp, he began to digest the seriousness of the situation and attempted to call his store manager. He wanted to tell her that she and the staff should try to help, “Take whatever you need and give it out to whoever needs it, drinks, medication, bandages, don’t worry about it we’ll take care of it later.” Interestingly enough, by the time he was able to get through, the manager along with the Senior Pharmacist had already taken that initiative, “They didn’t wait for someone on top to say this was what you should do. They understood that our pharmacy would have many of the things that would be needed.” SuperPharm staff helped as much as they could that day until the fire services told them they needed to close up and head out. Mr. Mouttet admires the initiative his staff showed during a very scary situation, “Tremendous credit to them for having the courage to say I don’t need to get permission to give away medication or drinks. I know this is the right thing to do.” Mr. Mouttet gets philosophical discussing the future of the brand. He sees that there are certain brands over the past 20 years that have been transformational for the nation, and he feels that SuperPharm is one of those transformational brands, “People say to me that they can’t remember what they did before SuperPharm. When you accomplish that, the next hurdle of course is how you stay ahead of the game because your competitors improve their product offering, their opening hours... we now have to continue to serve current needs, but also anticipate future needs, while growing in communities in which we don’t currently operate.”
Itâ€™s not just about putting stores every so-many kilometers away from each other. Communities that would appreciate a SuperPharm in their area are assessed by more than geography. For example, if you removed some of the trees between the newest store in Diego Martin and SuperPharm Westmoorings you would likely have a clear view of each other, theyâ€™re that close. However it was observed that many visitors to the Westmoorings location were coming from Petit Valley and Blue Range so the decision was made to go just that much deeper into Diego Martin. The decision was validated even during construction with residents plainly asking them to hurry up and open!
enjoy a greater level of convenience, service, and variety across the nation. In fact, the SuperPharm model may have inspired other retail industries, like supermarkets, to step up their game. All that, and the brand only just achieved double digits?
Happy 10th Anniversary SuperPharm!
Including Diego Martin, SuperPharm has eight stores open right now, but further expansion is in the cards. They are in negotiation for certain locations, and actively seeking others. Mr. Mouttet is candid about the possibility of regional expansion as well, freely admitting it is something they are considering, but he knows that there is more than enough to be done in the national landscape before stepping outside of T&T. As was said in the beginning, the story of SuperPharm starts with the desire by enterprising Trinidadians to push the industry forward. Ten years later, it has. Customers
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