Monthly Archives: December 2016


New Year’s Resolutions for Your Health

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Every year, people set New Year’s Resolutions—however, only 8% of them are actually successful! [1]
What are the most commonly set New Years Resolutions? It won’t surprise you that a lot of people focus on their health: losing weight, staying fit and healthy and quitting smoking are all in the top 10 goals people set for themselves in 2015 [1] However, one of my favourite quotes is “Who says it has to be the new year to start a new year?” (Cars and the Pixies [Happy New Year], by The Rocket Summer). Why not get a jump start—and a successful one?
  • Dream right: A resolution that is too big will be hard to tackle, and one that is too small may not feel significant enough to be motivating!
  • Break it down: Break your goal into manageable steps, and make yourself a schedule for when you want to reach which part of a goal. If your goal is to become more fit, what does that mean? How far do you want to be able to run or how many kilos do you want to be able to lift? Create a progression to show how you will get there.
  • Choose things you can control: Many people want to start a new relationship or “fall in love”—well, those things are pretty fate-based, no?! If your goal includes management of a chronic illness, consider what is actually achievable. If it is testing your blood glucose more often, that is a perfect goal—increase gradually until you get where you want to be. However, other health goals that are not solely about your behaviour may be more difficult to achieve—such as getting off allergy shots.
  • Determine who can help: Find an accountability partner, and seek advice from people who want to see you successful, as well as your doctor if needed, before you start. Let the people who are important in your life know your intentions—it’s harder to falter if you’ll have to admit it later!
One consideration of a resolution for your health is to get a medical ID bracelet or necklace, or update the one you have if you need to. We offer discounts for those who are updating their current ID to reflect their needs—contact us for more information! Now, that’s a short and sweet resolution that you can be successful at!
Happy New Year from all of us at My Identity Doctor!

Festival of Winter Walks: Safe steps

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Walking is one of the easiest and most accessible physical activities. Less stressful on your joints than running, unlike cycling it doesn’t require any equipment (maybe a pair of decent runners!) and you can start at any age. December 17 to January 8th is known as the Festival of Winter Walks, to get more people in Britain exploring the outdoors—even in the winter. Staying safe when outdoors—especially when things get potentially slippery—is of course the most important consideration when maximizing on your winter walks!
  • Take anything with you that might be needed for a medical condition—inhalers or medications like nitroglycerine for heart disease, a blood glucose monitor and glucose for hypoglycemia—whatever you typically need to prepare for activity outside of the house.
  • Dress warmly and in layers—including gloves or mittens and a hat. Non-cotton socks will often keep your feet driest.
  • Wear shoes that “grip”—removable spikes may be added to running shoes, just ensure that your feet are warm enough!
  • Wear a medical ID bracelet or necklace—just in case!
  • Tell a friend or family member where you are going, your planned route, and when you will be back—or better yet, walk with a buddy! It’s more fun. Always explore new areas with a buddy, or preferably a group of people.
  • Carry a cell phone with you in case of emergency (or, in case you fall in a slushy puddle and would rather get a ride home! ;) .)
  • Take a small amount of money with you in case you need it, for a taxi or bus fare—or, even in case you run into a friend and decide to grab coffee!
There are lots of great places to explore. Keep these tips in mind to ensure your travels—no matter how near—are safe ones. Winter may not feel like the best time to explore your neighbourhood, but between holiday lights, snowscapes and more, it can seem like a whole different world than the summertime!

Healthy Holiday Gifts and Gift Giving Ideas

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It’s the time of year again where we are celebrating the things that matter: family, friends, and usually, good food! No matter what holiday you are celebrating this December, gifts are likely a part of it, even if not the focus of the festivities. Here are some things to consider when buying a gift for the special people on your list

December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month. Read more about toy and gift safety on our US Awareness Blog—this goes for kids, adults and pets!

  • Soap is often seen as a healthy gift—for people with asthma, cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, some allergies, and other sensitivities, scented products may not be a good choice. Consider asking people who you’d like to get this type of a gift what their favourite scent is… If they say none, then you know!
  • Fitness equipment, if desired by the recipient, can be a fun way to encourage someone to become more active. Ensure that this is a goal they are working on, and that your gift will go to good use!
  • Be mindful of food related gifts, as many people have allergies, sensitivities, or intolerances to a variety of foods. Check in with the recipient first before you put your hard work into making a special treat for them!
  • We all know how important sleep is to our health: while everybody’s pillow preferences vary, consider thinking outside-the-box and getting a gift card to a bedding and pillow store so that your loved one can replace their current pillow, which should be done every two years—important for back and neck health, and to promote a good night’s sleep to stay healthy and avoid illness!
  • And of course, our personal favourite, a gift card to My Identity Doctor. Jon and his elves (I mean, staff!) are already very busy for the holiday season, but a gift card is an easy way to ensure people you love with health concerns or allergies stay safe. Because engraving is so personal, the recipient (or a parent/caregiver) should always choose their own engraving—this makes a gift card a great choice! Contact our shop owner, Jon—he would be thrilled to help you arrange this!
The holidays are a time for fun—so keep things fun and simple for everyone with gifts that respect the needs of all of your recipients needs—and safety!

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

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While you may not realize it, you likely encounter people with disabilities often in your daily life—and not know it. Not all disabilities are visible. December 2nd is the Untied Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities. What kind of disabilities are out there?
  • Physical/Mobility Conditions that affect a person’s ability to move. Often these conditions can be visible if the person uses a wheelchair, mobility scooter, cane or crutches, or has a prosthetic limb. However, some physical disabilities are not visible and may include fatigue, limited range of motion, and more.
  • Vision Wearing glasses is not the same as having a visual impairment. People with visual impairment have low vision or vision loss that is not corrected by wearing glasses. This can range form being visually impaired to being totally blind—most people who are visually impaired, are not totally blind. You can likely spot a person who is totally blind as they may be using a long white cane, or a guide dog, but may encounter someone who is visually impaired and not even know it—they may use a cane sometimes or not at all.
  • Hearing Many people who are Deaf (a person who cannot hear—the capital D signifies the person’s desire to be part of the Deaf community, as opposed to simply being deaf) do not consider being Deaf a disability, and rather it is to them much like simply speaking another language (sign) and being bilingual (English and British or American Sign Language). However, some people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing (the more commonly accepted term for “hearing impairment”) do consider their hearing loss a disability.
  • Intellectual People with ID are extremely variable in their abilities, independence, level of required care, communication abilities (verbal vs. non-verbal) and understanding—and more. [1] It is important to realize as well that people with ID are often very smart, they just may convey this differently than we are used to!
    In the UK, these are often referred to as “learning disabilities”, although more groups are moving toward the use of the term Intellectual Disability (ID) to clarify the difference between diagnoses such as autism, Down Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, and more, including not-specified causes of ID.
  • Learning Learning Disabilities or Difficulties (different from ID) often include Specific Learning Disabilities, including dyslexia (reading problems), dyscalculia (maths problems), dysgraphia (motor-coordination and planning problems affecting learning and writing), and more. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may also to some be classified as a Learning Disability, as well as those that are Not Otherwise Specified. Learning Disabilities may require school or work accommodations, and different self-accomodations or home strategies to compensate for the LD—most people with a LD have average or above average intelligence.
  • Psychiatric Symptoms of psychiatric disorders can impact people’s lives significantly. When there is a profound impact on a person’s ability to learn, work, communicate or perform self-care, a psychiatric condition—such as anxiety disorders, major depression, bipolar disorders and schizophrenia. Accommodations may be required in work or school settings—mental health conditions may be disabling themselves, or side effects of medications may cause or contribute to disability. [2]
  • Neurological Some neurological disorders, such as cerebral palsy, Parkinson disease, or stroke, can cause disabilities that impact both the brain and body. These disabilities may not only vary greatly among people, but they can also vary from time to time for the same person—such as with energy levels, environment, ad so on. [3]
Disability is far more than meets the eye—this International Day of Persons with Disabilities, be aware and celebrate the diversity of people in our communities. For varying reasons, it may be important for people with disabilities to wear medical ID jewelry—for example, due to a co-occurring seizure disorder, communication need, or medications being taken.
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