Friday, July 18, 2008

Not a clue what to write about

It's Friday morning - hot, muggy. We had severe thunderstorms for what seems like hours and more to come if we're to believe the weather forecasts. I love thunderstorms. I don't know what it is about the booming and banging and lights flashing - but I love them. Even at 5 in the morning, when I'd much rather be sleeping since I only went to bed around 2.

I never used to stay up that late but I've found that I work best in the evening and at night. Who'd have thought? Maybe those years of working nights had a bigger effect on my than I realized.

Speaking of working, I'm rejoining the nursing world in August for 14 days. I was asked to work in a large organization as the company nurse while there's is off on vacation. So, for 6 days at the beginning of the month and 8 at the end, I'll be out in the world face-to-face with people. What a concept. :-)

Today at Help My Hurt:

ABCs of pain: R is for…
Make your own heating pad/rice bag
The “Accidental Addict” myth

Today at Womb Within:

Video: Yeast infections during pregnancy
Pregnant sex can be fulfilling - or not
Video: weeks 37 to 40 (or 42!)
Disaboom: Disability and Pregnancy, Part 4—Week 17
ABCs of pregnancy: F is for…
Obesity epidemic spreads to pregnant women
Ectopic pregnancy: a visitor shares her story

News for Today:

New Stroke Guidelines for Children
Mississippi remains most obese state, CDC reports

Study: Sleeping too much raises women's stroke risk
Many Women Struggle With Uncontrolled Blood Pressure

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Finding the right place for Mom or Dad's long-term care

Do you find yourself in the position of looking for a new home for an aging parent? This is usually a task that most people would rather not have. There's so much invested in "placing" a parent in a nursing home or long-term care facility.

Of course, the best time to start looking is when there's no urgency. Too many people end up scrambling to find care for a parent when they're stressed and in a rush, and they could quite possibly not make the right decisions.

Rather than repeating what's already been said, I recommend you have a look at this news story. It is geared towards Canadians, but it has good advice for everyone who finds that they're in this situation: Nursing homes: What to look for in a long-term care facility

Today at Help My Hurt:

ABCs of Pain: Q is for…
Music’s soothing effects - and an iTunes give-away
Could oxygen be the answer to migraines and cluster headaches?
Researchers say custom-made insoles relieve arthritic foot pain

Today at Womb Within:

ABCs of pregnancy: E is for…
“Teenage pregnancy” stigmatizing, prejudicial concept
Pregnant women may be better avoiding nut products
Video: weeks 33 to 36 - the first half of month 9
The mothering instinct of animals

News for Today:

Canada among top countries for surviving some cancers: study
Pathologists get new guidelines in wake of botched breast cancer tests
Heart disease stalks depressed women
Teens have hard time giving up cigarettes, study says
Injured teens can be impaired by depression, stress
Whole or 2% Milk for Weaning Babies? The American Academy of Pediatrics Weighs In

Fourteen Reasons You're Not Sleeping

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

World's first test tube baby, Louise Brown: 30 years old

I did a write up on this over at Womb Within (Louise Brown, world’s first test-tube baby turns 30 years old) yesterday but I think it bears repeating. This miracle - a successful pregnancy from in vitro fertilization (IVF) was the first and she was a news sensation. I remember the debates and the discussions about whether her birth should ever have occurred. There were dire predictions from some camps, but if I remember correctly, the opinion was more supportive than critical.

Certainly, IVF plays a huge role in reproductive medicine 30 years later. There's no longer an issue of if it should be done (in terms of ethics) but if it could and should be done in terms of financial and emotional toll it can take.

There remains the debate as to whether public funds should be put towards this type of health care and whether the inability to bear children is truly a medical problem.

While those questions remain, Louise Brown's place in history is undeniable. She and her sister Natalie, who is now 26 and was also conceived via IVF, are both mothers of their own naturally conceived children. In fact, Natalie's place in history is that she is the first IVF baby to have a child of her own. Happy birthday Louise!

Today at Help My Hurt:

ABCs of pain: P is for….
It’s Blog Carnival time at Help My Hurt
Write up on Women in Pain Conference: Gender Matters
A blogger tells how leg pain signaled ovarian cancer
Have you ever heard of Sever’s disease? Hint: It affects children
ABCs of pain: O is for…

Today at Womb Within:

ABCs of pregnancy: D is for…
No “best method” agreed upon for Cesarean sections

Baby safety - playing and eating - and a give away from PlaySkool
Have you been told you can’t have a VBAC?
Video: month 8 of pregnancy - you’re getting there!

News for Today:

As they get older, kids do less exercise: study

Contests To Quit Smoking Don't Work In Long Run
Ladies, give your breasts a rest, research saysHuntington's trigger found, could help with treatment
Rule that kids shouldn't swim after eating a myth

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Could this be an effective treatment for anorexia nervosa?

While it's not a cure, there's hope for a treatment for the horrible disease of anorexia nervosa and it's as simple as an older medication that's been used for another illness for quite a while now.

The cause or causes of anorexia aren't understood yet, but it's certainly much more complicated than many think. As researchers delve into the possibilities, they found that in one study, 34 women who were receiving treatment for their disease responded well to a medication called olanzapine (Zyprexa). Olanzapine is usually used for the treatment of schizophrenia.

In this article, Drug helps anorexia patients gain weight, feel happy, the writer discusses the results of the study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

If this proves to be an effective treatment for anorexia nervosa, this could change many lives.

Today at Help My Hurt:

Kidney stones and global warming?
July Headache Blog Carnival - How Spirituality Helps Us Cope with Migraine Disease
Press Release: Headaches on the Job Prevalent, Painful and Costly
Efalizumab for Psoriasis May Trigger Psoriatic Arthritis

Today at Womb Within:

ABCs of pregnancy: C is for…
A blogger discusses Angelina’s c-section
At Disaboom: Disability and Pregnancy, Part 3—Week 16
ABCs of pregnancy: B is for…

News for Today:

Low-Sodium Advice for Asthmatics Should be Taken with a Grain of Salt
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
Sex infections in young up again
Diabetes makes people more vulnerable to TB, study says
Study Measures Normal Hair Loss In Men
Cellphone use potentially risky for kids, teens: health agency

Monday, July 14, 2008

Is being pregnant and delivering still considered an illness?

I need people to settle something for me - are pregnancy and labour and delivery still considered to be an illness in the United States?

I know that there are women in the US who save their sick days so they can have a half-decent maternity leave. As a Canadian, where we have had generous maternity leave policies for a while now, especially in Quebec, this is so foreign to me. But, when I learned of the American Medical Association's (AMA) stand on home births, I really had to wonder.

First, I have to point out that I, personally, did not want home births but I fully support the right of a woman and her partner to decide what they feel is right for them. I am, however, a huge, huge advocate of midwives, something that is very slow to be mainstream here in Canada.

In this day and age of patients become more aware of their own health care issues and options, it seems so wrong for the one more natural of functions, childbirth, be taken out of the patients' hands. It's as if we're back in the days of the doctors being men, patting the little lady on the head, saying "there, there mum, we'll take care of everything for you."

To better understand what I'm talking about, I invite you to visit my pregnancy blog, Womb Within, where I have two posts that discuss this. The first one, Tsk, tsk Ricki Lake, discusses how the AMA didn't like Ricki Lake's documentary on the topic and yesterday's post, MANA editorial regarding “AMA Seeks to Deny Women Choices in Childbirth” is a published editorial from the Midwives Alliance of North America (NAMA).

What do you think?

Today at Help My Hurt:

ABCs of pain: N is for…
Hormone therapy after menopause may increase risk of gall stones
ABCs of pain: M is for….
Aching shoulders? Article here about causes and treatments
Are growing pains real?
Ease lower back pain with at-your-desk stretch
Have cold sores? What are your tricks?

Today at Womb Within:

Celebrity pregnancy: Angelina Jolie has her twins
African American women more likely to bear premature, low-birth-weight infants
Video: month 6 of pregnancy - end of 2nd trimester
Book on postpartum depression: “The Smiling Mask”
Video: month 5 of pregnancy - more than half-way there!
Top 10 posts at Womb Within this week

News for Today:

10 Machines You Must Avoid at Your Gym
Famed Heart Surgeon Michael DeBakey Dead
Cellphone use potentially risky for kids, teens: health agency
Sideline rage -- sports parents go berserk
Colorectal cancer screening rates still too low
Why time off is time well spent for your health