Living Outside the Stacks

Navigating through life away from the library


World Health Day: Ask Your Doctor These Questions to Stay Safe

You guys know that ‘m a big advocate of taking care of yourself and making sure that your healthcare needs are met. Most of the time when I talk about that, I speak in terms of breast care, working out, or just taking time to be alone. One of the areas of self care that is just as important is ensuring that you are taking any and all medications as prescribed.

I have to admit, there’ve been times when I’ve been negligent when reading the directions on headache medicine or cold medicine because I assume that I’ve taken it before, so I can take it the exact same way again. Not true. All medicines are different and they all interact with each other {and with your bodily} differently.

Tips for Handling Your Medication {Living Outside the Stacks}

April 7th is World Health Day and I was asked to share my tips for how to handle medication safely. Although I’m not a healthcare professional, I am an advocate for women’s health, which is why I agreed to write this post.

Whether we’re talking about prescription medicines or over-the-counter medications, there are several basic questions you need to ask your doctor or pharmacist before going home:

1. How often do I need to take this?

Some medications need to be spaced apart in order to maintain their effectiveness, keep the dosage level, or prevent possible overdose. It’s important to know if medication needs to be taken every hour, four hours, or twelve hours.

2. Are there any foods or other medications that made impact the effectiveness of the drug?

Grapefruit is one of those foods that tends to interact negatively with many medications. You’ll want to check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if there are any other foods or juices you should avoid while taking your medication.

3. Where should I store my medication?

Some medications need to be refrigerated, while others can be stored in a cabinet. Either way, ALL medications need to be kept out of reach of little hands.

4. What should I do if there’s an accidental overdose?

Sometimes accidents happen and there may be an overdose, make sure you know how to act quickly to avoid permanent injury or death.

5. Are there any possible side effects?

All medications have side effects, some are worse than others. Make sure you talk to your doctor to find out if there are activities you should avoid such as driving or operating heavy machinery.

You can also sign up to receive Patient Safety Alerts by clicking here. This handy tool will send you real-time recall and safety alerts according to the type of prescription drug or medical device you use!

Check out the infographic below for more tips on how to safely handle medications:

Tips for Handling Your Medications {World Health Day}

Do you feel rushed during your exams? How do you ensure that all of your questions get answered?

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}



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Life After Kids: Get Physical

Life After Kids - Get Physical {Living Outside the Stacks}

“Mommy, Brandon’s getting me wet!”

I look at my daughter with disbelieving eyes. “B-b-b-but you’re in the pool,” I stammer. Then I look at my son and half-heartedly reprimand him, “don’t get your sister wet.”

I think his 4-year-old eyes are mocking me.

I wanted nothing more than to go back inside to the way-too-cold discomfort of the air conditioned living room and relax, but when you become a mom your needs are sometimes secondary to the wants of your kids. Especially in summer, when they want to not get wet in the wading pool.

I was never an athletic person. Or an outdoor person, for that matter. People who knew me in high school were flabbergasted to find that I’d joined the Army. I was the girl who’d turned getting out of gym class into an art form. In fact, I was so bad at PE that a couple of my high school phys ed teachers actually asked my mother to ask me to drop their classes. Seriously.

Then I had kids and gained weight. Then I had Thyroid Cancer and gained more weight. Then I woke up one day and needed to do something. I didn’t know what, I just knew I needed to challenge myself. So I signed up to run a 5K, which I ended up walking and not running. Long story short, I temporarily lost my vision in one eye and running was near impossible for me.

I hadn’t really run a day in my life, except for those half-hearted attempts in high school that helped me squeak through class with a “C” because the teachers liked me. And the forced Army runs because, well, Army. I’d been a non-running civilian for almost 4 years by then. I used to say: “Even if someone was trying to kill me, I’d only walk really, really fast.”

Skip ahead a few years and the desire to run hit me again. This time, I signed up for a C25K program with the city parks and recreation division and, lo and behold, a runner was born. There were no freak blindnesses to contend with, no sprained ankles, no achy knees… Just me, my headphones, and the pavement.

Best feeling ever.

Over the years, my daughters have joined me on various run/walks but running/walking/slogging continues to be a thing that I enjoy doing just for myself. And, honestly, by myself. I like running with a group but I also like the solo aspect. When I put on my headphones, I tune out the world. I listen to praise music and, for that 30 minutes or so, I’m focused on my stride and mentally singing praises to God.

Yes, I still struggle with my weight. Yeah, sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation to get out there. And, no, I don’t always run the entire route but I’m out there and I’m taking care of me.

Physical activity, no matter what it is, is key to making it as an empty nester. Think about it, this is the time for you to go out and explore the world, you know, see the things you want to see. How fun is that if you get winded trying to enjoy it? Not very.

Are you physically active? What do you do to stay healthy?


Life After Kids: Find a Hobby

Life After Kids Find A Hobby {Living Outside the Stacks} #EmptyNest #Marriage #Parenting

“Jazmine’s mom…”

I look at the little hand tugging at the hem of my shirt, smile, and respond.

For the past 22 years, I’ve been “______’s mom”, “Tony’s wife”, or some variation there of. I will always be their mom and I will always be “Tony’s wife”, but I’m also “Daenel”. Daenel is who I was when I came into this world and Daenel is who I’ll be when I leave it. Somewhere in the middle, I became this person whose identity was dependent upon the people I was caring for. Now I’m at that time in my life when I should be remembering who I was and discovering who I want to be.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a journalist. I wanted to tell stories and change the world. I wanted people to read my words and think I’ve got to fix this… I don’t think I ever really lost the desire to tell people’s stories; I just changed the way I needed to tell those stories. When I was raising my kids, those stories were told with the voice of a mother who wanted to encourage her children to explore the world around them while still staying safely nestled in her arms. Gosh, there’s so much conflict in being a mother.

Now that my kids are exploring the world on their own, it’s time for me to get back to the art of storytelling. Only now I’ll be using my camera.

Making pictures is cathartic for me. And frustrating. But I enjoy it. I like that there’s a moment – good or bad – that has been preserved. There’s something about having an image in my head and then seeing it come to fruition.

Burfordville Covered Bridge Bollinger Missouri {Living Outside the Stacks}

Fungus {Living Outside the Stacks}

There’s also something to be said for those candid moments.

Little Boy with Attitude {Living Outside the Stacks}

Life After Kids Coffee {Living Outside the Stacks} #EmptyNest #Marriage #Parenting

I’ve found that having a hobby is one of the easiest ways to stay in touch with who you are as a person. The act of doing something that you enjoy because you want to and not because you have to is renewing. There are no expectations, you’re not meeting anyone’s needs but your own. For a half hour or so, your focus is on making yourself happy and doing something that you enjoy.

Trust me when I say that this time that you take for yourself will not only make you a better {and, dare I say, more interesting} person, but it’ll also make you a better wife, and, yes, mother.

What did you want to be when you were a kid? Now that you’re older, have your dreams changed? Have you found a new passion? How are you maintaining or creating your identity?

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}



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