Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Funeral Planning with Burial Insurance

Burial insurance, also known as final expense insurance is life insurance with a specific need: to cover funeral expenses. Policy face amounts typically start at $6,000.00 and can be written up to $25,000.00. Face amounts are customized to your needs. At the time of application, you can decide what is best for you and the face amount may be adjusted accordingly. Your policy will cover the extra incidental expenses associated with funerals. Typically, those incidental expenses are not considered until it is too late.

Final expense insurance is not just-in-case insurance as with health insurance, auto insurance, flood insurance, etc. Death is the final chapter in life. We don't know when it will call upon us. The likelihood of death happening is 100%. Preplanning alleviates loved ones of having to make difficult decisions or to face financial concerns during a very emotional time.

If you just don't want to think about death and have not come to terms about your own mortality, here is something to consider. Throughout your life you earn a modest wage to provide food, clothing, shelter and medicine for yourself and family. The cost of living has increased, you want to cut corners and consider not buying any more insurance.  You might think it is burdensome. You might think it is worthless to you. Some day when your life ceases to exist,  your policy will come alive and get to work. Through your policy, your final expenses will be paid. Your policy will take away financial concerns. Your preplanned policy will give you peace of mind.

Trisha M. Pacenti RN,BSN

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What is a stroke?

Stroke is a cardiovascular event. Stroke happens when blood pressure is chronically high. Provided your not in the hospital and suddenly develope high blood pressure. High blood pressure causes a whole cascade of chemical events within the cardiovascular system, which over time causes cardiovascular disease. Irregular heart beats: arythmias alter blood flow which can form clots. These clots will form on the inside of the vein or artery and impede blood flow. The restriction of blood flow will increase the force of blood within the vascular system leading to clot dislodgement. This clot will then travel to the brain. At which time, stroke occurs. Brain cells will begin to die.

Historically, individuals who experienced a stroke had no idea of what was about to happen to them. With that being said, the best action you can take is to be pro-active. Prevent a stroke by living a healthy lifestyle. A few check points to help you get on track:

1. We know high blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke. Know your numbers. Go for your annual physical exam. Your goal is to have a low systolic with a lower diastolic within normal range. Discuss the range with your doctor.
2. Learn if you have a regular heart rhythm and rate. You can find out by having an EKG. Discuss this with your doctor.
3. Do you have diabetes? Diabetes has damaging effects on blood vessels leading to atherosclerosis: hardening of the arteries. This hardening causes restriction of blood flow.
4. Blood tests: lipid panels. This will tell you the amount of fats traveling through your blood system. If your cholesterol level is high, work to lower it. Again, fats will cause a clot.
5. Smoker? Smoke constricts the blood vessels thereby increasing blood pressure and damaging the inner wall of blood vessels, the heart, lungs, etc. Remember, once the pollutants from cigarette smoke enter your blood stream, those pollutants are carried throughout your body..not just the lungs. Simply put, quit. There are plenty of resources out there to help. You can start by visiting
6. Maintain a healthy weight. Eat foods that are nutritionally sound. A balanced diet incorporated with daily exercise will decrease your chances of stroke. Your doctor is the best resource for you to learn about sound diets and exercise. Discuss this with him/her.

Stroke symptoms include sudden weakness, one-sided face droop, slurred speech, difficulty in speaking, visual changes, headache, dizziness, unstable gait.

While genetics, race and age cannot be controlled, you still can reduce your chances of stroke by making a few simple lifestyle changes you can control. 

Good health,
Trisha M. Pacenti RN,BSN

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pancreatic Cancer

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. With that in mind, pancreatic cancer is the most deadly form of cancer. It occurs most commonly among black males. Prognosis is poor with most patients dying within 1 year diagnosis. Scientific evidence suggests that pancreatic cancer is linked to inhalation or absorption of carcinogens that are then excreted by the pancreas. Examples are:  cigarette smoke, high fat and high protein intake, food additives and preservatives, industrial chemicals. Other predisposing factors include chronic pancreatitis, diabetes, and excessive alcohol intake.

Pancreatic tumors are almost always adenocarcinomas (epithelial cells found in glandular tissue). Signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer may include:  dull, intermittent epigastric pain in the early stage leading to continuous pain that radiates to the right upper quadrant, nausea and vomiting, rapid, profound weight loss.

Treatment consists of total removal of the pancreas, combination of medicines, radiation and or chemotherapy. To learn more in depth about pancreatic cancer visit . Be pro-active. You can do your part by changing the factors you have control of. Every day you wake up presents another opportunity for you to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Good health,
Trisha M. Pacenti RN,BSN