Saturday, July 12, 2008

Just a test post

Hi folks, just a test post. I've been trying out various blog editors and today it's scribe fire that I'm checking out. I think I like it, but I want to see how it looks in this particular blog.

And now, for the obligatory photo to try out the images:

My greyhound, Dee

Friday, July 11, 2008

Me? Funded by a pharma?

One of the interesting things of writing blogs is the reaction that some people have to some of your posts. I like comments and I like them whether they agree with me or not. My only "rule" is that you must be polite. However, I do reserve the right to respond in the way I do. :-)

What brought this about? I wrote a post on the myths of narcotics and opioids over at Help My Hurt (Narcotic and opioid myths - it’s time to smarten up) because there are many misconceptions about the medications. Using narcotics to manage pain is a real necessity for many people who live with chronic pain. That's not to deny that there are problems with the medications, but it's also important to debunk the myths that keep people from taking the medications, no matter how badly they may need them.

Does that put me in the pocket of pharmas? Hardly. I can give them as much criticism as I can throw at them. But I also believe in helping people by providing information, whether others like it or not.

Today at Help My Hurt:

Botulinum toxin A injection may help some types of chronic headaches

ABCs of pain: J is for…

Ticks that cause Lyme disease found in new regions across Canada

Narcotic and opioid myths - it’s time to smarten up

A readers asks us about interstitial cystitis, IBS and vaginal bleeding

One in 250 children in United States has some form of arthritis

Today at Womb Within:

Stupid things said to a pregnant woman

Public school programs for teen girls

Mood swings - is there a way to avoid, or at least minimize them?

Video: month 3 of pregnancy

News for Today:

Melanoma Rates Increase Among Younger Women

Risks of Suicidal Ideation and Behavior with Epilepsy Drugs Reaffirmed

Medication error puts most vulnerable at risk

Why men are more at risk of diseases caused by blood clots than women

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Remembering to take your medications

Do you have trouble remembering to take your medications? I'm one of those people who has a very difficult time remembering - even just one pill a day.

I'm very routine oriented, so if I set up a routine, it works well for a while. But, then for some reason, it stops working. I've tried calendars, reminders on the computer, leaving the pills by my toothbrush - you name it I've tried it. I just constantly fall into not remembering.

I remember someone once saying to me that obviously the pills weren't important enough to me to remember. That was incredibly harsh and untrue. I know how important my medications are and I try hard to remember, I just end up forgetting.

So - what are your tricks for remembering to take your medications?

Today at Help My Hurt:

Today at Womb Within:

News for Today:

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Trying to keep fit in hot weather?

Those of us who live in more northern parts of the world tend to celebrate and appreciate hot summer days with fervor. We like to spend a lot of time outside and enjoy what nature has to offer us.

Winter routines of exercising in the house or gym often are replaced with cycling, jogging, walking, blading, and just about anything else you can think of doing outside. But, is it such a good idea when the temperatures are soaring and the humidity factor is heading towards "sauna"?

Experts say that when the temperatures get so high, we really should be limiting our exertion outside. This is even more important if you live in an urban area where smog can be an issue. But if you are going to exercise outside, there are some precautions you can take:

  • Increase your fluid intake
  • Don't push yourself to break records
  • Listen to your body and stop if you need to
  • Consider doing part of your routine inside in an air conditioned environment

Be careful. Staying fit is a wonderful thing, but not at the expense of affecting your health because of the heat.

Today at Help My Hurt:

Evaluating treatment risks
FDA warning: certain antibiotics can harm tendons

A fractured testicle? Pity poor Diamondbacks’ catcher Chris Snyder

Today at Womb Within:

Researchers working on test for ectopic pregnancies

Older dads = riskier pregnancies?
Video: the first 4 weeks of pregnancy

News for Today:

Uncommonly Big Hearts May Not Harm Athletes

Sex at 70 better than ever before: Swedish study
How To Make Your Medicine Cabinet Eco-Friendly
New technique may allow more cancer patients to preserve their fertility

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Are our seniors receiving proper treatment?

As the population in North America ages, are our seniors receiving proper health care? What do you think? What have you seen?

I don't think they are. I feel that they are often brushed off, not taken seriously and not given the time they need to visit and speak with healthcare professionals. One study, about respiratory diseases and the elderly, has found the same thing. According to the press release, Guidelines for care of elderly patients ignored, ' "Slightly less than 22% of older adults with asthma or COPD received bronchodilator inhalers. An even smaller minority received one or more lung function examinations during the year and 18% were not vaccinated against influenza". ' The authors do point out, however, that those who smoked also had a lower rate of receiving treatment. So - is it a combination then?

Today at Help My Hurt:

Cancer pain: your rights

Chronic migraines and vitamin D?

ABCs of pain: G is for….

Effects of West Nile virus

Radio show: What is multiple sclerosis

10-year battle with Lyme disease pain

Today at Womb Within:

Can a Caesarian section raise your risk of stroke?

Surrogacy still stigmatized, but attitudes changing

Radio show: Kosher and Halal vitamins for pregnancy

Nicole Kidman has a daughter

The menstrual cycle explained in the 50s or 60s

News for Today:

More Mid-Life (and Older) STDs (

Keeping a Food Diary Doubles Diet Weight Loss

Ultraviolet Light Therapy Is as Beneficial for Darker Skin as Lighter Skin

More sex means less chance of ED for older men

Confused in the ER? You're Not Alone

Health Canada warns against use of 13 foreign health supplements

6 Of Every 100 Patients Die In Hospital Due To Adverse Drug Reaction

Monday, July 7, 2008

Anger towards doctors

Sometimes, I'm really surprised at how angry some people are towards the healthcare community, and doctors in particular. While I can completely understand how people can be angry or frustrated with *a* doctor or a few doctors, to paint the whole profession as incompetents who are in it only for the money seems to me to be quite the over reaction.

One person commented, over at Help My Hurt, about how doctors "like diabetes and heart disease for which they do not have to think. (and even then they screw up)." Is that really a fair assessment?

For people with undiagnosed and non-treated properly chronic conditions, it may seem that doctors are not willing or able to help them. I've been fairly lucky in that most doctors I've had to see have been really good about providing me with the care I need - although there have been some times when I was wondering about if a doctor believed me or if he or she was competent enough to be doing the job.

But, as a nurse, I've seen doctors go way above and beyond the call of duty to help patients and their families. I've seen doctors fight the odds to help patients and I've seen doctors leave because they can't help patients, and the can't take it any more.

So, is the anger towards the medical profession misdirected or reasonable?

Today at Help My Hurt:

Ice cream headaches: "No need for abstinence"

Radio show on Crohn’s disease

Lyme disease

Today at Womb Within:

1 boy - 3 mothers

Pregnancy after infertility

Can depression during pregnancy be identified?

Video: What are doctors looking for with ultrasounds?

Child experts want NBC to cut "The Baby Borrowers," reality show

Pregnancy myths - busted!

News for Today:

Newborn Vitamin A Reduces Infant Mortality

Addressing Maternal Depression: Opportunities in the Pediatric Setting

Topical Oral Syrup Prevents Early Childhood Caries, Study Shows

Treatment Delays Result In Poor Outcomes For Men With Breast Cancer

Mothers and fathers of twins report more mental health symptoms than parents of singletons

Note to pediatricians: Taper meds in kids with stable asthma

Slow exercise (not fast) is better for menopausal women