Friday, July 25, 2008

Foreclosure turns to suicide

It has all the elements a tragedy - of the how one of life's goals - owning a home - can turn into loss of life and a family torn apart.

My colleague, Kristen, over at b5media where I have my two other health blogs, wrote about a woman in Massachusetts who committed suicide hours before a bank was going to foreclose her home. She felt that there was no other way out.

I'm not going to rant about how idiotic and greedy business practices led to this horrible foreclosure business - but I am very sad about the broken dreams, broken promises, and now - lost lives - that result.

For sure, the people who took the no-cash down loans likely had stars in their eyes. But our society places so much value on owning a home, on owning property, that you almost can't blame people for trying to reach that measure of success. As a result, the world crashed around some of these homeowners. This Massachusetts woman is likely not the only victim, not likely the only person who died over this debacle.

Suicide is so painful to those who survive. I know. I've written it before - my brother committed suicide at the age of 35, over three years ago now. It still hurts terribly. I can only imagine the pain this woman was in and I can only imagine the depths of her despair.

Here is Kristen's post. It's worth reading, I think: Massachusetts Woman Facing Foreclosure Kills Herself — Suicide Note Tells Family to Use the Life Insurance Money to Pay the Mortgage.

Today at Help My Hurt:

You’ve likely seen this headline: Fentanyl Killing People!!
ABCs of pain: Y is for…
Back pain doubled in UK - computers blamed
Camera in pill diagnoses teen’s Crohn’s disease

Today at Womb Within:

ABCs of pregnancy: N is for…
Baby Emergency Handbook - Review and give away
Safety tips - baby cribs
Some people need to take baby naming a bit more seriously
Sex ed, pregnancy and type 1 diabetes
Mom and babies playing in the sprinkler - non human!

News for Today:

Combo Therapy Boosts HIV Life Expectancy
New software may help save preemies
Energy drinks linked to college students' risky behaviour
Omega-3s may hinder wound healing: study
Giving an additional early vaccination may reduce measles outbreaks
Study shows emergency physicians have good first instincts in diagnosing heart attacks

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Viagra counteracting antidepressant side effects in women?

Most of us have heard the negative stories of the side effects of antidepressants. Some can make us gain weight, while others make us lose our sex drive. Some really unlucky ones get both, the extra weight and the lost sex drive. Unfortunately, these side effects are enough to drive some women away from taking the medications - even if they’re badly needed

Could it be that Viagra can come to our rescue? That tiny blue miracle pill that was invented so men didn’t have to go sex-less? A small study was done (only 98 premenopausal women) that showed the women who were taking antidepressants and Viagra were more likely to experience an orgasm than those who didn’t. Unfortunately, the researchers didn’t see any changes in the desire to have sex.

While this may be hopeful for some people, the idea of taking a drug with such potential side effects seems, to me, to be a bit risky.

Today at Help My Hurt:

ABCs of pain: X is for…

Broken hearts do lead to chronic pain

New guidelines: rheumatoid arthritis treament

Prone to kidney stones? You may want to hold the iced tea.

Today at Womb Within:

ABCs of pregnancy: M is for…

Cat fight over birthing techniques and safety

Classical music announces Ottawa newborns

News for Today:

Female Sexual Dysfunction: A Real, But Often-Overlooked Medical Condition

Severe Peanut Allergy: Epi-Pens Should Be Carried At All Times

New food labels aimed at allergy sufferers

Soy may water down little swimmers: sperm research

UK Agency Urges Doctors to Cut Antibiotics

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Loud music + beer = heavier drinking

Going for a night out? Enjoy the bar scene? Like to dance? We all know to be careful and watch our drinks, that’s become a fact of life now when you’re out clubbing - and we know not to drink alcohol and drive - but did you know that the louder the music is, the higher the risk that you’ll drink more than you plan on?

We’ve all been in a place at one time or another where the music is just too loud. You can’t do much but dance or drink - and there’s only so much you can dance. So, unless you plan on text messaging each other all evening, the only alternative is to drink. Who wants to shout to have a conversation?

Now, this is something we all know already - so what do researchers do? They spend time and money researching it. After all, if it’s not researched, it can’t be true, right?

According to a study published in the Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, researchers changed the volume of music in a bar from the typical 72 decibels to loud at 88 decibels and then watched patrons as they drank beer while the music was average and then again when it was louder. Granted, they only watched men, so we can’t assume the same is true for women, but the researchers did find that the men drank more beer and each beer was consumed faster with the louder music than with the average level music.

All joking aside, this is interesting because there is a problem with drinking, particularly among younger males and if music plays a role in this, perhaps if women are having parties or get-togethers, they can be more aware of this connection. As for the women themselves being affected - while it might not be scientific, if the reasons for drinking more and faster are because you can’t really do anything else, it is quite possible that the outcome is the same.

Today on Help My Hurt:

ABCs of pain: W is for…

Scotland and its high rate of multiple sclerosis

Numbing gel eases pain from mammograms

The pain of pleurisy

Epilepsy and migraine drug Topomax investigated for birth defects

Today on Womb Within:

ABCs of pregnancy: L is for…
It’s pregnancy blog carnival time again!
Home birth: Angela’s water birth story
Exercises to prepare for labor
Does your doctor help you feel comfortable about your pregnancy?
Epilepsy and migraine drug Topomax investigated for birth defects

News for Today:

Day care babies gain more weight: study
AIDS Among Latinos on Rise
Kidney Patients Less Likely to Get Heart Attack Meds
Laser outshines skin products, study finds

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I'm off into the people world today

No working in my jammies today. I'm off into the people world to interact with real live humans, rather than through email and - if I'm lucky - the telephone. I'm going in to be shown the ropes for a temporary assignment I took on, using my nursing background. It's an office-type job providing care and teaching to employees in a large organization, something that is just up my alley, I think.

Some people wonder about the health of working from home and living a hermit-like existence. To tell you the truth, for some people, it is likely not a good choice, but for others - it's perfect. But, even us hermits have to get out of the house once in a while, so this looks like it's a great solution. They need a nurse, I need to get out. A match made in heaven. :-)

Monday, July 21, 2008

10 most popular posts here

I check my stats for this blog every day - it gives me an idea of how many people are stopping by, from where, how they're finding their way over, and what posts they're reading most often. Sometimes the popular posts surprise me but obviously they must strike a chord with someone.

Here are the 10 most popular posts since I started the blog over a year ago:

  1. Broken hips in the elderly can lead to death
  2. Kristin Armstrong - Olympic cyclist and osteoarthritis
  3. Bone marrow transplants - would you be a donor?
  4. Is it a brain aneurysm?
  5. Do medical dramas affect patient reactions?
  6. Keeping seniors cool in the heat
  7. Are your joints a weather barometer?
  8. Cancers below the waist
  9. Spelling tricks
  10. Fainting - not a pleasant experience

Today at Help My Hurt:

ABCs of pain: U is for…
Pain Facts & Figures
Chronic burning pain in your mouth?
ABCs of pain: T is for…
How you feel pain
5-minute neck exercises
5 most popular posts this week
ABCs of pain: S is for…
Living with pain can be costly

Today at Womb Within:

Don’t let pregnancy be an excuse to get out of shape
ABCs of pregnancy: I is for…
Pregnancy + Fiber = lower chance of preeclampsia?
ABCs of pregnancy: H is for…

News for Today:

Kids Can Have Strokes Too, AHA Warns
Weighing Risks Of Removing Ovaries
'Why not just talk about it?'
Eye solution could harm users: Health Canada
Counterfeit Oral-B toothbrushes recalled for choking hazard
Drug restores speech in Alzheimer's; experts worry