Barbara Brennan-West RN
Hondo FUMC, Wesley Nurse
Telehealth &Visit by Appointment
Hours: M-F 8am – 5pm


We are currently without a Wesley Nurse. Janet Crain retired on August 2, 2019. 

Greetings Friends/Congregation of Hondo FUMC, Many of you have already heard that I will be retiring effective August 2, 2019.  I have been a registered nurse for 44 years, and I feel that it is time to move to the next phase of my life, whatever that happens to be!  I plan to spend lots of time with my grandchildren, attending their school functions and sporting events—from class parties to school pro-grams, football, cheerleading, basketball, volleyball, softball, track, jujitsu—the list is endless.  I will probably have to find a part time job to buy gas for my car! On a serious note, God has been so good to me and I know how blessed that I am!  I thank Him every day for his gift of Jesus Christ, and for his promise of everlasting life.  I have been blessed throughout my career and especially by my time here at Hondo FUMC, and I thank you all for your Christian love, support, fellowship, and encouragement.  I feel so blessed here in Hondo, and the people here have been so friendly, that I just decided to make it my permanent home!  I do want to especially thank Carolyn Muennink for all the volunteer hours that she spent in my office helping me with my various projects.  When I was first told I was selected for the Wesley Nurse position here that I was inheriting a volunteer, I was not too sure how I felt about that.  I have always been accustomed to doing things by myself, the way that I wanted them done…….but, I quickly fell in love with Carolyn.  She offered so much encouragement, had great ideas, was a tremendous help, and is now a dear friend and mentor.  Hondo FUMC is so fortunate to have her here as a loyal and faithful servant. I also want to thank all the members of the Hondo FUMC Health Committee, past and present, during my time here. Again, they provided endless support and encouragement, and I have been told many times by other Wesley Nurses that I am so lucky to have had such a loyal and supportive Health Committee (not all of them do)—and I know it!  Thank you past Health Committee chairpersons—Bette Wooten, Ken Hanson, Vicki O’Keef, and present chairperson, Jan Weems.  Thank you past Health Committee members—Chris Kailipaka, Jan Barton, Sandy Hutson, Louise Meyer, Jackie Murrah (Medina Valley UMC), Janet Cook (Medina Valley UMC), and Shirley Hodges (Medina Valley UMC).  The present Health Committee under the chairmanship of Jan Weems, includes Nola Hanson, Carolyn Muennink, Vicki O’Keef, Jeannie Hart, Bette Wooten, Ruth Blanton, and Pastor Everett McCarley (Medina Valley UMC).  The Health Committee worked closely with Tricia Boll on several church outreach projects and her passion for the community is inspiring to us all. I was very careful to try and not leave anyone out, but if I did, please accept my sincere apologies. I will miss seeing Shannon Rothe every day.  You all know that she is the “man” behind the wheel that keeps everything running smoothly!  She was always ready to listen to my ideas and offer suggestions…. and correct the typos in my newsletter articles!  I cannot thank her enough for her support and friendship, and I am so fortunate to have worked alongside her in this ministry.  I know that it will not be very long before you will have a new Wesley Nurse in the beautiful office that the church has provided.  I have no doubt that you will all embrace her/him as you have embraced me and the Wesley Nurses before me.   Many Blessings and in Christian Love, Janet Crain RN

Beat the Heat!
Anyone, even young and healthy individuals, can succumb to heat-related illnesses when they are unable to get cool. The body normally cools itself by sweating, but when humidity is high and sweat does not evaporate quickly, body temperature can rise rapidly. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs. Other factors that increase risk include age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use.
Heat exhaustion is a relatively mild form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. It’s the body’s response to an excessive loss of the water and salt contained in sweat. Those most prone to heat exhaustion are the elderly, people with high blood pressure, and people working or exercising in a hot environment.
Warning signs of heat exhaustion include:
*Heavy sweating
*Muscle cramps
*Nausea or vomiting
*Skin may be cool and moist
*Pulse will be fast and weak
*Breathing will be fast and shallow
If heat exhaustion is untreated, it may progress to heat stroke. Seek medical attention immediately if symptoms are severe, or if the person has heart problems or high blood pressure. Otherwise, help the person to cool off, and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or last longer than one hour. Cooling measures that may be effective include the following: cool, nonalcoholic beverages;rest; cool shower, bath, or sponge bath; an air-conditioned environment; lightweight clothing
Heat stroke is defined as core body temperature of more than 105° F and brain dysfunction. It occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature. The body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106° F or higher within 10-15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.
Warning signs of heat stroke vary but may include the following:
*Rapid, strong or weak pulse
*An extremely high body temperature (above 103° F or 39.4° C, measured orally)
*Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
*Throbbing headache
If you see any of these signs, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency. Call 911 while you begin cooling the person. Get the person to an air-conditioned area, or at least a shady area, and cool them rapidly using whatever methods you can, for example: place ice packs on areas such as wrist, neck, armpits, groin, back Immerse the person in cool water, or apply cool water, such as in a tub or shower, from a garden hose or by sponging water on. Fan the person vigorously.
Suggestions for staying cool:
*Find air conditioning
*Cut back on strenuous outdoor activity. Exercise during the early morning or late evening hours when heat and ozone levels are at the lowest levels of the day.
*If you must be outdoors, try to limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. Rest often in shade or air- conditioning so that your body’s thermostat will have a chance to recover.
*Drink plenty of hydrating fluids (avoid alcohol). Increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. (If your health care provider generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot.) Avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps 
*Replace salts and minerals, which are lost through heavy sweating. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. However, if you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your health care provider before drinking a sports beverage or taking salt tablets.
*Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Dress infants and children in cool, loose clothing and shade their heads and faces with hats or an umbrella.
*Avoid sunburn, which affects your body’s ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. It also causes pain and damages the skin. Limit sun exposure during mid-day hours and in places of potential severe exposure such as beaches. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) along with sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels) 30 minutes prior to going out. Continue to reapply it according to the package directions.
*Do not leave children or pets in cars, which can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly.
*Take showers or baths or go swimming.
For the complete information contained in this article, visit, pick up some handouts at the health display in the Fellowship Hall, or see me in my office. Blessings!
Eating–and Cooking–for Healthy Blood Pressure

About 29.5% of adults in Texas have hypertension.  Individuals with hypertension have increased risk for type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and chronic kidney disease.  Lifestyle modifications such as healthy eating, regular exercise, smoking cessation, and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption are key behaviors for chronic disease management. 

One of the ways to lower our risk for high blood pressure is to limit the sodium (salt) in our daily diet. Total sodium consumption should be less than 2,300 mg. per day, which is one teaspoon of salt. However, the ideal limit for most adults is 1,500 mg., especially for those who are 51 and older, African American, or for those who already have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease. We consume much more sodium than the recommended amount in our diet. High intake of sodium can increase our risk for high blood pressure, which increases the risk for heart disease.  BE SODIUM SMART

~Try cooking with less salt or cut salt from recipes in half. Salt is the most commonly used seasoning because it is cheap, flavorful and easy to use. ~Store the salt shaker in a cabinet, not on the counter or table. Avoid adding salt to the water when preparing pasta, vegetables, or rice.
~Eat less fast foods and frozen dinners and try to prepare more meals at home. We can learn to prepare vegetables without using too much sodium, or salt. We just need to evaluate our recipes and cooking methods and learn to use new methods or different seasonings.
~If using canned or frozen vegetables, look for ones that say “no salt added” on the label. As a general rule, frozen or canned vegetables in sauces are higher in both fat and sodium. If using canned vegetables with sodium, drain the vegetables and rinse with water to decrease the amount of sodium left on the vegetables.
~Get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and choose fresh meats, poultry, and seafood when possible. Processed meats, fish, canned foods, prepared meals, snacks, sauces and condiments may contain added sodium. Cutting back on these foods may help to decrease sodium in our diets.
~Compare product labels and buy low sodium, reduced sodium, or sodium-free versions of your favorite foods. For snacks, you can select no sodium or reduced sodium options such as unsalted popcorn, unsalted nuts and seeds. ~Use herbs and spices to flavor your foods without adding sodium. Try adding citrus fruits, nuts, dried fruits, garlic, onion, pepper, lemon, lime and ginger to flavor your food. ~Season your foods with vinegar, fruit juices, flavoring extracts, fruit peel or chopped vegetables rather than salt, seasoned salts, monosodium glutamate (MSG) or soy sauce. ~Limit condiments such as mustard, ketchup, soy sauce, tartar sauce, horseradish, etc.
Sandy Kunkel, Medina County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension agent, and I are partnering to present the program, “Cooking Well for Heathy Blood Pressure”.  The program is a series of 3 interactive classes with research-based information and healthy recipes cooking demonstrations. The classes will be held on Tuesdays, March 19, March 26, and April 2, at the Hondo Church of Christ.  The time will be from 1:30-3:30 pm, and pre-registration is required by March 11.  There are flyers available in the Fellowship Hall.  The classes are free and open to the public.
The information for this article was taken from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension “Cooking Well for Healthy Blood Pressure–Lesson 1” curriculum.   For more information, pick up a flyer from the health information table, or see me in my office
Janet Crain

Health & Fitness

on Tuesday & Thursday

 in the Fellowship Hall
Walk Aerobics
9:00 am
Sit & Stretch
10:00 am
Heart Disease:  It Can Happen at Any Age
Heart disease doesn’t happen just to older adults. It is happening to younger adults more and more often. This is partly because the conditions that lead to heart disease are happening at younger ages. Did you know that on average, U.S. adults have hearts that are 7 years older than they should be!  Since 1963, February has been celebrated as American Heart Month to urge Americans to join the battle against heart disease.  Since February is Heart Month, it’s the perfect time to learn about your risk for heart disease and the steps you need to take now to help your heart. Heart disease—and the conditions that lead to it—can happen at any age. Heart disease kills an estimated 630,000 Americans each year. It’s the leading cause of death for both men and women. In the United States, the most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD), which can lead to a heart attack. You can greatly reduce your risk for CAD through lifestyle changes and, in some cases, medication.  High rates of obesity and high blood pressure among younger people (ages 35-64) are putting them at risk for heart disease earlier in life. Half of all Americans have at least one of the top three risk factors for heart disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking). Many of the conditions and behaviors that put people at risk for heart disease are appearing at younger ages:
High blood pressure. Millions of Americans of all ages have high blood pressure, including millions of people in their 40s and 50s. About half of people with high blood pressure don’t have it under control. Having uncontrolled high blood pressure is one of the biggest risks for heart disease and other harmful conditions, such as stroke.
High blood cholesterol. High cholesterol can increase the risk for heart disease. Having diabetes and obesity, smoking, eating unhealthy foods, and not getting enough physical activity can all contribute to unhealthy cholesterol levels. Smoking. More than 37 million U.S. adults are current smokers, and thousands of young people start smoking each day. Smoking damages the blood vessels and can cause heart disease.  Other conditions and behaviors that affect your risk for heart disease include:
Obesity. Carrying extra weight puts stress on the heart. More than 1 in 3 Americans—and nearly 1 in 6 children ages 2 to 19—has obesity.
Diabetes. Diabetes causes sugar to build up in the blood. This can damage blood vessels and nerves that help control the heart muscle. Nearly 1 in 10 people in the United States has diabetes.
Physical inactivity. Staying physically active helps keep the heart and blood vessels healthy. Only 1 in 5 adults meets the physical activity guidelines of getting 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity.
Unhealthy eating patterns. Most Americans, including children, eat too much sodium (salt), which increases blood pressure. Replacing foods high in sodium with fresh fruits and vegetables can help lower blood pressure. But only 1 in 10 adults is getting enough fruits and vegetables each day. Diets high in trans-fat, saturated fat, and added sugar increases the risk factor for heart disease.
3 Ways to Take Control of Your Heart Health
You’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to your heart. Learn how to be heart healthy at any age. Don’t smoke. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, seek assistance to quit. Manage conditions. Work with your health care team to manage conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. This includes taking any medicines you have been prescribed. Make heart-healthy eating changes.  Eat food low in trans-fat, saturated fat, added sugar and sodium. Try to fill at least half your plate with vegetables and fruits, and aim for low sodium options. The information for this article was taken from the website:  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) For more information, pick up the handouts from the health information table, or see me in my office. Blessings, Janet Crain    
Winter Wellness–8 Ways to Fight Colds and Flu!
Cough, sniffle, aaachoo! Cold and flu germs have some crafty ways of getting around!  Often these viral villains take to the air. They spread by airborne droplets when someone coughs, sneezes or even talks. They can also land on surfaces — and hitch a ride when you touch them with your hands.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older is the single best way to avoid getting influenza. But there’s more you can do. These stay-well strategies can help keep you and your family from getting — or passing along — a cold or flu bug:
  1. Hit the sink. Be sure to wash your hands regularly to remove any germs. A good, thorough scrubbing is key. That means for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water.
  2. Have sanitizer at the ready. Soap and water aren’t always available. So keep hand sanitizer in your car, your bag or tote, and your workspace too. Look for products that contain at least 60 percent alcohol.
  3. Be hands-off! Try to limit how much you touch your face. Germs can enter your body through your eyes, nose or mouth.
  4. Cover that cough. Make it a habit to cough or sneeze into a tissue or the crook of your elbow. Teach kids this trick too.
  5. Keep your distance. As much as possible, try to avoid close contact with anyone who’s ill. If you do get sick, stay home until you’re better.
  6. Wipe ’em out. Regularly clean surfaces you touch often — such as keyboards, phones, remote controls, door handles and countertops. Use soapy water and a household disinfectant.
  7. Share not. Remind your family not to share items such as cups, silverware or toothbrushes.
  8. Build a strong defense. When you take care of yourself, you help your body fight off illness. So be sure to get plenty of sleep. Choose healthy foods — and get regular exercise (talk to your health care provider before beginning a new exercise routine).

A little extra effort on your part can greatly diminish your risks of getting the flu this winter. The information for this article was taken from the UnitedHealthCare website:  For more information, pick up the handouts from the health information table, or see me in my office. Blessings, Janet Crain  

It’s Your Life—Treat Your Diabetes Well! 
  November is National Diabetes Month. There isn’t a cure yet for diabetes, but a healthy lifestyle can really reduce its impact on your life. What you do every day makes the difference: eating a healthy diet, being physically active, taking medicines if prescribed, and keeping health care appointments to stay on track.  More than 30 million people in the United States have diabetes, but 1 out of 4 of them don’t know they have it. There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant, which can put the pregnancy and baby at risk and lead to type 2 diabetes later).  With type 1 diabetes, your body can’t make insulin (a hormone that acts like a key to let blood sugar into cells for use as energy), so you need to take it every day. Type 1 diabetes is less common than type 2 diabetes; about 5% of the people who have diabetes have type 1. Currently, no one knows how to prevent type 1 diabetes.  Most people with diabetes—9 out of 10—have type 2 diabetes. With type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t use insulin well and is unable to keep blood sugar at normal levels. If you have any of the risk factors below, ask your doctor if you should be tested for diabetes. The sooner you find out, the sooner you can start making healthy changes that will benefit you now and in the future.  Type 2 diabetes risk factors include: ¨ Having prediabetes (blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes). ¨ Being overweight. ¨ Being 45 years or older. ¨ Having a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes. ¨ Being physically active less than 3 times a week. ¨ Ever having gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds You can lower your risk for developing type 2 diabetes by losing a small amount of weight if you’re overweight and getting regular physical activity. A small amount of weight loss means around 5% to 7% of your body weight, just 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person. Regular physical activity means getting at least 150 minutes a week of brisk walking or a similar activity. That’s just 30 minutes a day, five days a week. People with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are at higher risk for serious health complications, including:  heart disease and stroke, blindness and eye problems, kidney disease, and amputations due to damage of blood vessels and nerves.  But controlling your blood sugar levels can help you avoid or delay these serious health complications, and treating complications as soon as possible can help prevent them from getting worse.  Living with diabetes has its ups and downs, but healthy lifestyle choices can give you more control over them. And more control means fewer health problems down the road and a better quality of life now. The information for this article was taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website:   For more information, pick up the handouts from the health information table, or see me in my office.

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