Friday, February 27, 2009

Good night, sleep tight, don't let....

the bedbugs bite!

Bedbugs are making a comeback and they're being found in the nicest of places. Ick.

When my daughter was younger, we did a good bit of traveling for her dance competitions. We stayed at the lower end of the chain places for the most part because traveling isn't cheap - that's for sure. There were horror stories passed among the moms and we all hoped for the best when we ventured out to yet another competition.

But bedbugs? Ick.

The good news is that they really aren't a health hazard. The bad news? They're Ick. They bite. They itch, And they hitch-hike a lift back to your place if you're not careful.

How do you tell if your bed has bedbugs? They hide in crevices, so check the seams of the mattress and box spring, where the mattress meets the headboard, and even in wallpaper seams near your bed.

If you suspect you have bedbugs, the only way to get rid of them is with a professional exterminator. The good news is that this is usually very effective. If you're visiting somewhere and don't want any uninvited critters coming home, put your luggage, coat, etc, on a hard surface like a dresser or table, not the bed, chair, or carpet.

If you're bitten, there's not much you can do. The bites are itchy, like mosquito bites, but they will go away. As far as we know, bed bugs don't carry diseases, so take care of the bites as you would any other.

Ok, now I'm grossed out for the day.....

News for Today:

Car-Crash Death Rates Depend on Where You Live in U.S.

2nd Md. Teen's Death Also Blamed on Flu; Officials Urge Shots

Grand chief encourages First Nations to donate organs, tissues

Today at Seniors Support:

Video: A Parent’s Wish

Hobbies like reading or knitting may reduce memory loss

Today at Cancer Commentary:

New tool guides doctors to save cancer patients’ fertility

Breast cancer? Yoga may help you

Today at Womb Within:

A new source for people with cancer worried about fertility

Check your vitamins for iodine - you need it!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Preventing repetitive stress injuries from computer work

I learned a while ago that some people are more prone to tendonitis than others. Guess which group I fall into? As a result, I'm always trying to find ways to prevent bringing on new pain. Sometimes I'm successful, sometimes I'm not.

When it comes to working on the computer, I try to vary what I do to avoid having the same motions all the time.  I have a MacBook that I carry around the house. When I work at my desk, I have it hooked up to a keyboard and when I'm elsewhere in the house, I use the unit itself. What I did find last year is that if I use the computer for too long at the kitchen table, I develop excruciating neck pain - to the point that I can't move. It took me a while to put the two together, but when I stopped using the computer in the kitchen for a few weeks, the pain eased off and disappeared altogether after a while. Huh.

Anyway, all this to say, I've tried different styles of mouses (mice?) and trackballs, to help my hands. I loved my big trackball until I found that it messed up my thumb. That was unexpected.

Fast forward to now. Last month, Wacom sent me a Bamboo pen and tablet to test out in place of a mouse. I know many people use - and really like - the Bamboo for art programs and designing, but the idea of using it instead of a mouse was intriguing. So, that's what I'm doing now.

I set it up last month but didn't really use it too much because it takes some getting used to. I kept going back to my mouse, but this weekend, I started to use it more. I'll keep track of my progress and do a review after I've used it for a good length of time. So far, I like it although I still find it a bit awkward. I imagine that will lessen in time.

What do you use? A mouse? Trackball? Something else?

In Today's News

Vitamin D tied to muscle power in girls

New Advances May Treat Stroke Faster, Better

Woodworkers Lend Skills to Injured Soldiers

Shift and blue-collar workers more likely to be obese: StatsCan

Brain injury raises epilepsy risk for years: study