Saturday, May 24, 2008

I've given birth to.....

.... a new blog :-)

I've been blogging over at the b5Media network since December when I began working on Help My Hurt. That blog is doing very well and I was given the opportunity to take on a new one - on pregnancy. This one is called the Womb Within. This blog is about health and related issues in pregnancy, with a bit of fun.

I thought it would be interesting to work on something like this although I am in no way, shape, or form, in the family way myself. I had children 16, 19, and 21 years ago - I've done my bit.

I do hope that you'll stop by and check out my new blog and spread the message to anyone you know who may be able to use the information. We'll be having guest bloggers (I have a doula who has already given me her first few posts) and lots of giveaways. One starting this coming Monday or Tuesday.

Here is a sample of what is going on over at Womb Within:

Having a kidney transplant may not mean you can’t have a baby
My own pregnancy stories
Could your cell phone be harming your unborn child?
Prenatal care - what is it?
When did you announce your pregnancy?
Womb Within has its very own doula

Today at Help My Hurt:

Constipation - a very painful problem
Chronic pain fact
Video: What is an MRI?
Study finds Amitiza effective in managing chronic pain from IBS-C
Does whiplash cause chronic pain?

News for Today:

Life exists after teen motherhood: StatsCan
Sexual performance aid could be dangerous: Health Canada
More education needed about schizophrenia in teens years: experts
FDA warns mothers about nipple cream
High blood pressure patients advised to use home monitors
Lifestyle Changes Can Keep Diabetes at Bay for 14 Years
Patch Form of HRT Poses Less Clotting Risks Than Pill Does
Falls are leading cause of injury deaths in senior citizens

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sensational health news headlines tick me off

I wanted to use a word much stronger than tick but I resisted.

We all know that studies can often be adjusted to suit certain purposes and news stories. We also know that not all journalists, reporters, and bloggers know anything about medicine or health, but they write on it anyway. That's not the problem though because many of them can research properly and learn as they go along. But, unless you know how to read a study, it's easy to make mistakes in interpreting them. I do know how to read studies and I still err that way from time to time. Of course, then there's the publications that are there just for the readers and numbers, rather than providing actual facts, rather than insinuated ones.

So, what happens? We get sensationalist headlines that freak people out but make for great reading. The latest one though, has be fuming because it is a very important topic: blood donation. I read this morning "Teen donors plagued by complications". But, when I clicked on the link, the story only said how many teens were donating and how many had "complications" according to their age group. That was it. No story on what those supposed complications are.

It doesn't take much digging to find out that the supposed complications are fainting and bruising. Falls from fainting and injuries from the fainting are included in the "complications" of blood donation. So, for this, we deserve news headlines of complications plaguing teens if they donate blood? Give me a flipping break.

In my opinion, those complications of fainting are probably easily solved. Teens think they're invincible. They'll go out and run a few miles, if that's their habit, even after giving blood and being told they shouldn't. I know when I was 18, I was told, no exercise after giving and what did I do not 10 minutes later? I ran up five flights of stairs to my class. Not a smart move. But that particular faint had nothing to do with giving blood, it had to do with my own stupidity.

Ok, maybe teens do faint more and bleed more - I'm not going to deny that, but geez, do we really need such fear mongering? Don't we have enough?

Now - on a more serious note. If you have a chronic illness or look after someone who does, you may be interested in a document a friend of mine has drawn up that can keep track of your latest health care, including medications, doctor's visits and so on: Here’s help to keep your medical records straight

Today on Help My Hurt:

Friday funnies - May 23
Fracture hip risk calculator for seniors
Here’s help to keep your medical records straight
Chronic pain fact
Energy saving isn’t just for power, it’s for health too
Out in the sun a bit too long?

News for Today:

Home blood pressure monitor can be great monitoring tool, group says
Sports-related knee injuries more severe in girls than boys: study
Diet, exercise reduce diabetes risk over long term
Antidepressants not linked to birth defects: study
Coffee before cereal boosts blood sugar: study
Virtual biopsy can tell whether colon polyp is benign without removal, researchers say

Becoming part of a blogging community

One of the last things I expected, when I began blogging, was to become part of a community. While I hoped to have a community come together to read my own blogs, I didn't think that I had a community to be part of - that of bloggers. Seems I was wrong.

This blog has become quite well ranked in terms of certain search phrases (I'm shocked at how often it turns up for topics regarding hip fractures and the elderly, for example) and this has led people to contact me and start up conversations. Help My Hurt has brought me together with fellow bloggers through the b5Media network and other bloggers have contacted me, leading me to other blogs.

Because I focus a lot on pain, I've been chatting with other pain-related bloggers, particularly migraines. One blog that I like, The Daily Headache, is a popular blog with a forum where people can chat. Kerrie, the creator and host of the blog is not well and is taking a much-needed, much-deserved break. However, when you maintain a popular blog that people depend on for information, it's hard to take that break for a few days, let alone several weeks.

Kerrie asked for help so I volunteered. Two of us will be maintaining her blog in her absence so she can rest up and get better. I was a bit embarrassed to see the first post she scheduled from me was a post on what is happening over at Help My Hurt, but that's what she wanted to do. And, that's what I'm learning that bloggers do - they help each other and they send people to other blogs so that everyone can benefit from the knowledge out here in the Wild West called the Internet. I can't replace Kerrie but I sure hope that I can keep her baby going and she can rest without worrying.

I'm very shy - who'd have thought I'd find myself as part of another community? I like it.

Today (and yesterday!) on Help My Hurt:

Video: How irritable bowel syndrome affects you
Family history may play role in shingles
Press release: New Guidelines for the Management of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis
Chronic pain fact
Where you sit affects extent of whiplash
Poll: Do you use a cane?
Women with back pain - have you checked your bra?
Can my headaches mean I have a brain tumor?
Video: Endometriosis
Out in the sun a bit too long?

News for Today (and yesterday)

Survey Debunks Myths About Teen Sex
Regimens: Aspirin More Beneficial if Taken at Night
Preemies more likely to have major birth defects
Caffeine intake in pregnancy not linked to premature birth
First-born asthma starts in the womb: study
Coffee before cereal boosts blood sugar: study
Study Finds Strong Social Factor in Quitting Smoking
Weight, lifestyle factors tied to urinary symptoms
More on Chantix, the stop-smoking drug

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

problems with blogger today

Sorry folks, I'm having problems with blogger today. I was going to write about brain tumors but can barely get this post out. If you want to learn about the signs and symptoms of brain tumors, you may want to pop over to Sorry, can't link it - Blogger won't let me.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Do medical dramas affect patient reactions?

I've written this before: I'm a huge fan of the TV show, House, and Hugh Laurie (as well as the other characters). I don't take the show seriously or it would drive me nuts. Like last night's episode where Amber was left on the stretcher in ICU all the time without any side rails up, even when they turned her on her side... (oops, I'm getting side tracked...)

But, something did occur to me last night after the show ended. Spoiler alert if you've taped the show and are going to watch later. Do not continue reading!

It turns out that Amber took amantodine for her flu symptoms and this normally wouldn't cause any raised eyebrows. But, she and House were in a bad bus accident and Amber's kidneys were destroyed. As a result, she couldn't metabolize the amantodine and she ended up dying.

In all seriousness, would this affect how some people may feel about taking a medication like that? My 19-year-old daughter right away questioned me about how this could happen. I told her that the chances of being in a bus accident and destroying your kidneys right after taking a dose of amantodine are rather small - but anything is possible, I guess.

I have to give the show's writers credit. What a topic and what a season ending.

Today on Help My Hurt:

Men with chronic pelvic pain receiving too many antibiotics
10 professions that cause chronic pain
Mucositis: a painful side effect from cancer treatment
Video: Sprained ankle
Only 2 more days: book on medicinal marijuana
Reminder: Ask the expert: back pain

News for Today:

Blood pressure high in certain ethnic groups: Ontario study
Veggie Pride Parade urges 'Give Peas a Chance'
Mobile phone danger to unborn child: use could cause behavioural problems
What you may not know about your cholesterolNintendo shows us how wii can get 'fit'
Delayed adverse effects may occur following injection with cosmetic skin fillers
Family history may be associated with susceptibility to shingles
Study: Doctors not always sure when to treat BP in people with diabetes
Drug brings relief for many IBS patients who experience constipation

Monday, May 19, 2008

Holiday weekend in Canada

It's the third Monday in May so it's a holiday weekend here in Canada. Holiday weekends seem to be like magic - they do a soul good to have that extra day off to look forward to and the shorter work week.

Oddly enough though, some people get sick when they get back to work, be it a Monday morning after a regular weekend or after a long weekend. It could be because they party all weekend or change their sleeping habits. Or it could just be stress from going back to work. Researchers have found that the stress can start on Sunday night because people start thinking about going back to work and what needs to be done.

How do you spend your weekend - if you have a Monday to Friday job?

Today on Help My Hurt:

Ask the expert: back pain
5 pain-related websites/groups for you
Painful fibroids
Top 5 posts from blogs around the channel: Stolen from Diabetes Notes :-)
Video: Arthroscopic knee surgery
Webinar: Complementary Therapies for Pain Management
Pain is affected by level of empathy
What time do you take your pills?

News for Today:

Mastectomies for early-stage breast cancer rise after MRI: study
Sperm banks reminding men about forgotten deposits
Men at increased risk of death from pneumonia compared to women
People with obstructive sleep apnea at risk for cardiac stress on airline flights
Mother's prenatal stress predisposes their babies to asthma and allergy
For children with sickle cell disease, lung disease is part of the package
Treatment of obstructive sleep apnea with CPAP may lower blood pressure
Factors In Delaying Or Declining Total Knee Replacement Surgery
Parents use cough medicines on toddlers under two despite the warnings
Survey: Few Know Stroke Symptoms

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I had a great post all typed out

And it disappeared into cyberspace. argh!!

Empowering women in pain

For Grace, a website dedicated to helping women in pain has that as its tagline: Empowering women in pain.

Women often are undiagnosed and undertreated when it come to pain. Although we've come a long way, some doctors are still unwilling or unable to see that women are different from men in terms of how they feel pain and why they feel pain.

Cynthia Toussaint is the founder and inspiration for For Grace, after having lived with reflex sympathetic dystrophy for 25 years - undiagnosed for a good many of them.

She has spearheaded the Inaugural Women In Pain Conference: Gender Matters, which will be held in Duarte, CA on May 30, 2008:

"For Grace is partnering with Southern California Cancer and City of Hope to hold the first annual Women In Pain conference. We have assembled a world-class roster of speakers/presenters, along with performers/artists, who will educate and inspire women in pain and their health care providers."