Wednesday, 14 March 2012

No smoking day

I hadn't realised that more Scots give up smoking in March than in January...but I am sure it has something to do with the extra bank holiday at New Year in Scotland!

Today is No Smoking Day
It is great to have a day when there is national support for those folk who really want to stop smoking. I have blogged about stopping smoking before and the services available from Barnton Pharmacy, so this time I wanted to tell you about my friend Debbie.

Debbie has always smoked - well for 33 years to be exact. For as long as I can remember I have not known Debbie without a fag in one hand and a large G&T in the other. Up until fairly recently Debbie was definitely a "contented smoker". No amount of lecturing, cajoling or any other sort of nagging would have persuaded her that giving up the fags was a good idea. She had tried many times without success and had tried patches, gum and all combinations of nicotine replacement.

Determined to change things a couple of years ago, Debbie found a gym which was working for her, bought a bike and she was fitter than she had been for years! The next thing to tackle was smoking. The next quit attempt was going to have to be different. ......So what was different?

This time Debbie discussed her smoking with her GP and a course of Champix was prescribed. This, together with great determination, planning and an even better reward system (beauty treatments, days out with the girls, champagne - whatever works!) means that this No Smoking Day Debbie has been smoke free for EIGHT WEEKS!!!! This is even more incredible if you know her husband is still smoking, but there is another story altogether!

Debbie is feeling and looking great! She can now run for 30 minutes without stopping and for the first time in 33 years she watched her beloved Newcastle United play Sunderland without caving in to nicotine (it was a draw in the end, I believe). There is even talk of a climb to the top of Ben Nevis in May!

Apart from being a true success story for Debbie, this tale is for anyone who has tried to give up before and gone back to the fags. Most people have to fall off the wagon a few times before giving up for good. It is for those of you who are "contented smokers" and for those of you who have tried every product available before.....try again!

If Debbie can do can you!

Saturday, 10 March 2012


We are always looking for new services to offer our customers which complement what we do at Barnton Pharmacy.

We are delighted to now be able to offer reflexology appointments with  Gwen Scott. Gwen trained in 2008 by the Bayly School of Reflexology and is a member of the British Reflexology Association
Reflexology, the modern name for an ancient therapy, was first practiced by the Chinese in 3000BC and also the Eygptians-around 2300BC.
Who benefits from Reflexology?Reflexology is suitable for people of all ages and may bring relief from a wide range of conditions including:
  • Back pain
  • Headaches
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Digestive disorders
  • Sinusitis
  • Depression
Reflexology promotes restful sleep and generally gives an uplifting sense of well being
Here's what Hazel had to say about her first session with Gwen at Barnton Pharmacy: "Just had my reflexology session. It was both relaxing & hopefully beneficial to my (apparently many) ailments in my decrepit ageing body! Highly recommend to you all" 

Gwen works at Barnton Pharmacy every Monday. A relaxing  hour long session costs £30. If you would like to book an appointment, please call the pharmacy on 0131 339 3449

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Ovarian Cancer - What to look for

March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Ovacome, the ovarian cancer support network has teamed up with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in an effort to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer and the importance of early diagnosis.

I hadn't appreciated that 6500 women are diagnosed every year with ovarian cancer. Because it is hard to detect and diagnose, in 75% of cases the cancer has spread by the time it is diagnosed.

Ovarian cancer is hard to detect because its signs and symptoms are similar to other more common and less serious conditions such as IBS.

The three most common symptoms of ovarian cancer are:
  • Bloating of the abdomen which does NOT come and go
  • Eating less and feeling fuller
  • Abdominal and pelvic pain most days
  • Tell your GP
These symptoms form the basis of the ovarian cancer BEAT campaign. In addition, some women may also experience
  • urinary frequency or urgency
  • changes in bowel habits
  • extreme fatigue
  • unexplained weight loss
Women over 50 who have not had children are most at risk, as are those using HRT and those with a family history of ovarian or breast cancer.

Many women have not heard of ovarian cancer or believe it can be detected during a cervical smear. It can't and in fact there is no screening programme for ovarian cancer.
However, weith early detection, it can be treated with very good outcomes.

If you are worried at all about your symptoms or want more information about ovarianc cancer and its early detection, consider asking your pharmacist for advice, speak to your doctor or contact the Ovacome support line on 0845 371 0554

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Colic and sleep deprivation!

Little M

Looking back, my firstborn son was a dream when it came to feeding.
I found breast feeding easy, little G would take his fill, then fall into a contented sleep. I was a worried mum, though. I remember worrying about how much milk he was getting, whether I was eating the right stuff and how would I know if I was doing the right thing.

Little G is now a strapping, stroppy 3 year old and his baby brother little M is a completely different creature when it comes to feeding. Breast feeding is going well, but is never ending! M is a hungry boy and never seems to be off the breast. He scoffs and scoffs and then wants more, but several minutes after a feed his beautiful face contorts in a red uncomfy gurn, and he lets out a noisy shout to let everyone know he's uncomfortable. He squirms his scrawny legs and contorts himself in all sorts of positions until he manages to free himself of the offending wind from one end or the other. It looks horribly painful for him and in the middle of the night it sounds horrible and keeps us all awake!
Drummer G

I promised myself that second time around I would try not to worry so much about weight gain, feeding and doing the "right" thing according to the current thinking from health visitors, midwives and other well-meaning advice-givers.

So this time round we have tried the dummy very early despite mild concerns it will cause "nipple confusion". It hasn't, but it has given mine a rest, and allows M to get rid of some sucking energy.

We have also tried infacol. Once again, I had my reservations. Could it really work? After all, there is not much to it, but I am a complete convert. The writhing is almost over, or certainly much diminished and M can dine at the milk bar without us having to worry about what is coming next.

You never know, we might even get a complete night's sleep one of these days!!!

Photos: G and M at their current stages....mainly for my benefit.