Parish Nurse Health Tips for Jan. 7, 2018

Health Tips for Jan. 7, 2018

Joy, peace, blessings and wholeness to you during Epiphany!

Here we are at the beginning of a new year on the calendar.  I don’t find many calendars in the stores that tell us much about the season of Epiphany in our church year, so I want to share with you one of the monthly articles in “Seasons for Wholeness, Volume 3 by Ruth Dankanich Daumer”.  I feel it is a perfect guide for us as we work toward wholeness in our life in the busy world we occupy during our time on earth.

Epiphany: Christmas is for us! Immediately after Christmas, the church celebrates the season of Epiphany which lasts until the beginning of Lent.  The word Epiphany means “to make known” and during this season we celebrate the full measure of God’s glory in the birth of Jesus.  The day of Epiphany (January 6th), also known as “Twelfth Day,” concludes the Christmas season and opens to us the revelation of God’s unending mercy, love and faithfulness!  With Epiphany, the Church recognizes the visit of the Wise Men (guided by a great light in the night) and the revelation of God in Christ not only to the Jews, but now also to the Gentiles.  In many ways Epiphany shouts out that Christmas is for us!

Epiphany: A Time of Lights: it continues the lights of Christmas and concludes with the revealed light of Jesus’ Transfiguration.  The true Light of the world has come to us and destroyed the darkness that lives in our human heart.  Health care practitioners use light (such as lasers) to diagnosis and treat certain illnesses.  Our Lord uses His Light to judge and heal our human condition.  We look forward to more light in our days as our winter gives way to the light of spring and new growth.

Epiphany: Living in and Reflecting the Healing Light:  One of the Old Testament Lessons for the Epiphany season is taken from Isaiah 42:1-7.  These words describe beautifully living a spirit filled life.  God has called and enabled each one of us to be His lights in our dark world as we “…open the eyes that are blind, to free the captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.”  We are both recipients and reflectors of God’s healing Light!  First, we need to make sure we are in a right relationship with God.  Eyes can be blinded both physically and spiritually and cause darkness to overshadow the light.  Second, our great God can use us to help others see and feel the light of His love as we care for them.  We are called to free the captives and release those who sit in darkness.  People can be imprisoned by their own sin, death and the power of the devil.  Third, we can speak God’s word of grace and healing acceptance to others and invite them into a relationship with ourselves and our faith community.  The darkness of our lives can only be overcome when we see the Baby of Bethlehem in the face of every precious person He has created (Matthew 25:35-40)

I pray that we daily use the gifts we have been given, to care for people during a time of need.  His encouragement comes with these words, “…Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)

Let’s begin our walk in His light knowing His love for us and feeling His strength as we share that love with others.

Cynthia Rutan RN, Parish Nurse at Peace Lutheran Church and School


Parish Nurse Health Tips 12-17-2017

Parish Nurse Health Tips 12-17-17


Oh, the weather outside is…creating some health problems that I feel warrant a reminder.

Ice: Icy sidewalks and stairs are a FALL waiting to happen (and has happened already to some).  Do be very aware of black ice that is very slow to melt away on shady steps and driveways.  Wear shoes with good gripping soles, use extreme caution and hold on to hand rails or use a cane or walker.  Don’t hesitate to have someone help you carry packages if you are a bit unsteady. I was very pleased that the helpers at Fred Meyer were out helping some folks get their purchases safely to the vehicles and saw one young man rescuing a young mom from a fall while she was juggling a baby and packages and slipped on an icy spot.  We can be helping angels, too.  Our parking lot is slippery and slanted just enough to be a challenge when icy season is here.  Thanks to our helping angels we are preventing falls by lending a hand to folks getting in and out of vehicles coming and leaving worship.

Air quality issues: We are experiencing some intermittent air stagnation issues.  Although this clears some with rainy periods, it is still an issue that will be part of our winter time and we need to be mindful of limiting exposure time as much as possible.  If you have inhalers, make sure they are with you, because the environment in one area of our county can be totally different in another, and leaving the rescue inhaler at home can really cause breathing issues without warning.  Check with your care provider for advice on dealing with this if you are unsure.  Things like using the air recirculation setting in your car rather than outside air can help reduce pollution issues.  Don’t be too proud to wear a mask if it will help prevent respiratory issues.

Flu season: The health department reports and increase in cases of flu in our area.  Since many are out shopping, attending parties, involved in seasonal sports events, etc., our exposure to the virus is greater.  Dress warmly, cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and wash hands every time you might have sneezed or coughed into your hand. Carry a purse size hand sanitizer for times when you aren’t near a sink to wash.  Avoid rubbing your eyes after sneezing or coughing to help prevent eye infections that can be very uncomfortable.  Wash, wash, wash!

Taking care of our body can sometimes seem like a full time job that cuts into the “fun times”, but it has been given to us as a gift to care for, and we pray that God will be pleased with our efforts!

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. 3 John 1:2 (ESV)

Joy to you in this beautiful season of preparing for the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace


Parish Nurse Health Tips for Dec. 10th

Parish Nurse Health Note 12-10-17

I have had the opportunity to visit many in our faith family recently who have had to be in a health care facility. During the Christmas season, though, these visit take on a different feeling. The world outside the facility is full of music, shoppers, special family activities of baking goodies, wrapping gifts, decorating and more. The care centers and hospital environment works hard to create Christmas in decorating, and the music and special seasonal activities help to address the feeling of being in a health care facility.
One thing I have always noticed is the wide range of feelings that seem to surface when a sickness or other health event happens during the holiday season. When a loved one is away from home and can’t be involved physically in the preparations of Christmas, the feelings of sadness, loneliness, even anger tend to surface. Depression is so common, and one person stated to me that “I feel like I am outside looking in at my favorite time of the year and the family has forgotten me.”
In my conversations during the visit, we talk about what ways we can view the holiday season of Christmas while in a hospital bed or recovering from a recent health event that limits ability to “do the usual things”.
We spend time reminiscing about past celebrations, Christmas programs of childhood, even the recent years of holiday events. We share together the Christmas story of the birth of Christ and how the family must have felt as they journeyed to Bethlehem away from home and in unknown environments. We celebrate our memories of the traditions of the past years, and we find hope in the strength and peace of our faith as we visit and share memories and prayers.
Bringing an ornament, a small tree, a special book or song, or other things of past Christmastimes is a wonderful way to create memories of joy and peace even away from home. A manger scene ‘stick on decoration’ in a hospital room on a mirror can change the whole environment in a second. A wreath on the door of a shut-in home can create feelings of warmth and love and remembrance.
I hope that all of you are taking a few minutes each day to pray for those who are not able to be home for Christmas. If I can help in any way, please contact me.

Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace Lutheran Church and School

Parish Nurse Health Tips for 11-26-17

Parish Nurse Health Tips 11-26-17

Our week just completed seems like a roller coaster ride to me!  We began with an amazingly wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner in the parish hall fellowshipping with our faith family and friends from out of town and from our mother church, Community of Christ at Memorial.  The weather turned a bit blustery and definitely cooler, health issues for some became a major issue, and I’m sure you get the picture.  We are in the frenzy of the retail Christmas season and shopping, cooking, sewing and travel has begun in earnest.  Shopping observations gave me a picture of holiday behavior: carts full of sweets and items to create them, the toy section of stores was full of children singing the chorus “I want______.” I’m sure you know that song by heart! Conversations among folks were focused around finances, how big a gift to get, how many toys, and what the neighbor is doing with lights, etc.  Several times I have heard, “Oh well, I will work on my weight after the holidays.”

The impact on our health – physically, emotionally, and spiritually is profound.  Our health is something we seem to take for granted, until it starts to become a problem.  God has designed each body so that it is a finely-tuned instrument that is the most resilient on earth.  It can endure broken bones, severe illness (cancer, stroke, neurological issues and more), constant pain and serious mental health issues.  God has provided us with a fantastic “owner’s manual” that tells us how to operate the human body. That manual is the Holy Bible, a book that is filled with instructions for proper maintenance.  It is His Word, and in its pages, He reveals many basic principles for good physical, mental and spiritual health.  Proverbs 3:1-2, 8 (NIV) says: 1My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 2for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. 8This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.  I pray that during this Advent season we will remember to study His words in that owner’s manual, and remember to take God with you everywhere you go, especially when you go shopping!

My newsletter article for December contains a website address to a “Random Acts of Kindness Christmas Calendar.”  I have some copies for those who don’t ‘do computers’.  See me!

God be with you in your walk to our Lord’s birth.

Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace Lutheran


Parish Nurse Health Tips for 11-12-17

Parish Nurse Health Tips 11-12-17

Last week the time change triggered a flood of conversations with the parish nurse!  Topics ranged from “It is so time consuming to change clocks”, “I am having trouble getting a normal sleep schedule when it is dark so early,” to issues relating to darkness or shortened days.  Let’s spend a minute in review.

The leaves are falling, the time says ‘fall back,’ the fall season always reminds us of, yes, you guessed it, FALLING.  Just as October is Fire Prevention awareness, fall season is a great time to review FALL PREVENTION.    Here are some reminders for simple fall prevention tactics:

🍃 Make sure lighting is adequate on walkways, hallways, stairs, etc.

🍃 Remove rugs that skid or that might be trip hazards

🍃 Wear properly fitting shoes that won’t cause you to trip or turn your ankle

🍃 Slow down!

🍃 Check out the surroundings when it is dark – curbs, toys, holes, etc. are trip hazards.

🍃 Wear clothing that is not going to wrap around your ankles or arms in a way that causes you to be unsteady

🍃 Don’t be shy about using a cane or walker!  Broken hips or shoulders are painful consequences of a nasty fall from losing your balance.

🍃 Be aware of wet walkways that can freeze as the temperature drops.

I am sure you can think of more tips, the cue here is: THINK!

We had a chance to clean up our worship and school properties yesterday.  Now let’s take a look at what we can do around our personal life surroundings.  Make it a priority!  Be safe!  Take care of the wonderful body that God has given to you!  Reach out to help others do the same!

Our Lord, Jesus Christ gives us life and we have the blessing of living it to His glory.  Let’s get started on a path that will improve our health physically, mentally and spiritually.  God bless and keep you safe from harm and danger, and help each of you walk His ways to His glory.

See me if I can be of help to you in improving your lifestyle.

Cynthia Rutan, RN,  Parish Nurse at Peace


Parish Nurse Health Tips 11-05-17

Parish Nurse Health Tips 11-05-17


Today is the “time” to “catch up” on the many chapters of this busy fall season, did you notice the attempt at humor? Time change always creates a bunch of problems, both good and not so good, in our daily routine.  Our body rhythm has adjusted finally to daylight savings time, and now we have to fall back.  Let’s look at the fall season from a healthy perspective to see what is in store for our busy season ahead.

The time change event will generate some sleep/wake issues in some as well as will the longer period of darkness that blankets our continent for the winter months.  Many folks have varying degrees of adjustment with symptoms of S.A.D. or Seasonal Affective Disorder, a type of depression that begins and ends at about the same time every year.  It manifests with low energy for some, sleep problems, difficulty concentrating, and loss of interest in your usual activities.  Some complain about oversleeping, appetite changes, and weight gain.  For most folks, it’s a temporary thing, a seasonal thing, and some simple changes such as making your environment sunnier and brighter, add a long walk during the day to soak up some light and sun, and add exercise to your daily routine.  Don’t forget that we have the morning walk opportunity at Peace in the gym or outside on dry days that help with fellowship, exercise and light exposure!

This past week I was the victim of a fall Upper Respiratory bug that hit hard and required medication and some days of rest and isolation to prevent spreading it to others.  It seems appropriate that we take a few minutes to remind ourselves about getting the flu vaccination.  I also want to add a few tips to help prevent the virus spread.

😷 Avoid close contact with those who are sick, and stay home when YOU are sick to help prevent the spread.

😷 COVER YOUR MOUTH AND NOSE WHEN YOU COUGH!!!!!  Cough into your arm, not your hands!

😷 Wash hands often, and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

There is more info on the Kitsap Health District website and I will post their article on my bulletin board for you.

This week we also observe a very special day for our community, Veterans Day, which we will observe next Sunday, November 12, in the church. If you are a Veteran, please consider wearing your uniform next Sunday.

Be well in the Lord!

Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace Lutheran Church and School


Parish Nurse Health Tips 10-29-17

Parish Nurse Health Tips 10-29-17

In recent weeks we have seen a change/difference in our Sunday worship and church activity participation.  Fall activities have begun in many families for some the schedules sometimes make it a challenge to include Sunday worship or weekly Bible study or other church related outreach activities. The pace seems to speed up for us as we try to find room for everything we want to do. How can we fit it all into our life and still not be on STRESS OVERLOAD?

Today is a wonderful day to begin actions to ‘reform’ our thinking, our faith growth, our personal spiritual growth.  Reformation that began with Martin Luther can continue with us.  Secular activity pace is beginning to pick up and it can sometimes greatly influence how we practice our faith.

I shared some thoughts a year or so ago to help us think about how we are focusing our faith habits, and I’d like to share them today again to “kick off”  (I’m a football fan!) the Advent season just around the corner.

A prescription for “Self – Image:  Improving our Vision” that seems appropriate to share as food for thought on how you can improve your spiritual health.

  • Refocus your vision with God at the center and everything else in increasing distance from Him…Draw this as a map & plot your stressors
  • Stay grounded in God’s Word and in prayer every day: It WILL improve your vision!
  • Guard against negative self-talk, and when you do, restate it in words God could agree to
  • Build intimacy with others
  • Invest yourself in the work that matters, be involved in serving others
  • Periodically look in the mirror and see what God sees: A precious redeemed child!
  • Speak a word of affirmation to others.

I’d love to hear your stories of self image vision improvement.  Email me or put a note on my desk!

Thanks be to God, there is a way to improve our vision…by being grounded in His Word!

Isaiah 55:8

Cynthia Rutan, Parish Nurse at Peace