Friday, February 29, 2008

Not feeling chatty today

I woke up with a migraine - there are few pains as intense as a migraine. Mine feel like there's a knife in the back of my left eye.

Migraines are so intense and affect lives of so many people, you'd figure that there would be more research and more treatments that really work for the severe ones. I've had people suggest to me that I take a few extra-strength over-the-counter meds because they work for them. Lord, if OTC meds worked for my migraines, I wouldn't have a thing to complain about.

Do you have migraines? How do you cope?

News for Today:
Nfld. researchers find gene behind sudden and deadly heart condition
Certain vitamin supplements may increase lung cancer risk, especially in smokers
Hormone replacement therapy appears to have no effect on risk and severity of rheumatoid arthritis
Suicide rates among young Scottish men fall by over 40 percent
Kidney transplant survival rates in kids on rise: report
U.S. issues reminder to avoid soft bedding in baby cribs

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Do you have a pain story to share?

Do you have chronic pain or a story about pain that you would like to share?

As some of my regular readers know, I also have a blog called Help My Hurt, which is about pain. We talk about causes of pain, management, treatment, prevention, news releases, and whatever else may come up. We have a few giggles too, with our Friday Funnies.

Every Monday, we have a feature called Company's calling. This is an interview with someone who has chronic pain or is living/helping with someone who does. We've heard from people who have back pain, knee pain, endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, and so on.

Do you have a story to tell? Would you like to be interviewed for the feature? If so, please email me at sesesi(at) (take out the (at) an replace it with @) .

You can check out previous features (the site looks funny now, there's something wrong with the servers, but you can still access it):
Company’s calling - a mom’s pain gone undiagnosed and unmanaged
Company’s calling - back pain
Company’s calling - a journey with fibromyalgia
Company’s calling - the road to a diagnosis for endometriosis
Company’s calling - living with migraine pain
Company’s calling - living with the pain of interstitial cystitis
Company’s calling - 6 weeks of pain so far
Company’s calling - a guest discusses living with pain

News for Today:
Hormone replacement therapy appears to have no effect on risk and severity of rheumatoid arthritis
U of Minnesota study finds thalidomide shows promise for treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer
Chewing gum -- the new post-operative medicine
Does gingko biloba affect memory?
Drug-resistant TB at all-time high: WHO
Neurofeedback may decrease autism symptoms: study
All kids 6 months and older should get flu shot: U.S. panel
No proof of heart risk from Nexium: Health Canada
Experts Are Concerned Court Case May Scare Off Potential Organ Donors
Robot as good as real dog at easing lonely hours

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Oops, got busy...

I forgot to post today. I don't think that has happened before. To my regular readers - I'm sorry!

It's been a busy day with lots of non-writing stuff going on and then this evening I was fortunate enough to attend a local PWAC meeting (Professional Writers Association of Canada), where I was able to chat with other Montreal-area writers and learn some great tips from them. I hope I was able to offer some interesting tips myself.

Writing is such a solitary career when you work for yourself that I think some of us tend to forget that there are people out there. This may seem odd, because even as a freelance, work-from-home writer, we have contact with people all the time. We communicate with editors and clients, with sources if we do interviews, and even other writers, but most of that is by phone and email, leaving the face-to-face contact missing.

Many people are very surprised that I'm very shy - going out and meeting a group of new people is *not* on the top of my list of things to do on a Wednesday evening. And yet, I want to do that, as much as I'm afraid to. But I did go, and I'm glad. I only realize after I've done something like this that I do need it and I should go out of my way more often to make these connections.

I went from working as a nurse, where you are always with other people and always dealing with strangers, to working alone and rarely talking to anyone I didn't know really well - just by circumstances. I enjoyed the meeting. I hope the next one isn't too far off.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Eye corrective surgery - I'm against it

This story caught my eye yesterday: LASIK failure toll can be high.

I know many people who have had this procedure done and each and every one of them is thrilled with the results. None of them have any problems or any regrets. I won't even look into having it and I'm against it. Why am I against it even though all the people I know have had good results? Because accidents can and do happen. Because bad results can and do happen.

I know that for some people, wearing glasses can be a problem, either for work or for other reasons, but to me, Lasik surgery is something that is not necessary in most cases. It's a cosmetic procedure (in my opinion) that carries risk of error and infection. And I only have one pair of eyes; I'm not willing to risk them.

Would I love to be able to go without my glasses? Absolutely. But I can't wrap my mind around the potential problems. I know the risk is very low, but for something that isn't medically necessary, why should I take the risk at all?

I hope that those who do have problems are able to get the problems resolved somehow.

Don't forget to check out
Latest posts include:

- Resources for Caregivers
- Physio may help women overcome painful sex
- A live without pain isn't a good thing
- Women's reaction to pain different than men's


News for Today:
Antibiotics overused in nursing home dementia patients: study
Acne may prevent people from participating in sport and exercise, says research
GP's databases could identify tens of thousands with undiagnosed diabetes in UK
Hormone therapy increases frequency of abnormal mammograms, breast biopsies
More elderly Americans are living with heart failure
Doctor knows best: take-charge patients have poorer outcomes
LASIK failure toll can be high

Monday, February 25, 2008

Off-label use of medications

We often hear the term "off-label" use of medications - but what does it mean?

Drugs that are used according to their approvals are being used on-label. Doctors are prescribing them for illness, disorders, etc, for which the country's licensing body said that they could be used for. Off-label use comes when doctors find out, usually accident, that a certain drug will also help another problem. So, they may be treating problem A with drug XYZ, but then they see that problem B is also cleared up. As more and more doctors find this, the news spreads.

As more documentation happens, the licensing bodies will often agree to the off-label use.

This press release about Avastatin is a good example: Off-Label Avastin Use for Wet Macular Degeneration.

Avastatin is a treatment for various types of cancer. Officially, the on-label indication is for colon and lung cancer, but doctors have been using it off-label for breast, prostate, kidney, head and neck, pancreatic, ovarian, and liver cancers, with very good success.

If it can help millions of people save their eyesight, how amazing is that?

News for today:
America's 50 best hospitals 2008 released by HealthGrades
Do patients with inflammatory bowel disease receive optimal care?
Even moderate fitness levels lower stroke risk: study
FDA Panel OKs 3 New Flu Strains for Next Year's Vaccine


Don't forget to visit Help My Hurt to learn and read about pain-related health issues.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Naps dangerous??

This is so not good news for me, the champion napper. I adore my naps. Naps are my Happy Place. Naps are good for me, aren't they?

Not according to this article, Daytime Dozing Might Raise Stroke Risk.

Ok, so it's not the napping that's dangerous - it's the reason why you may need to nap. That makes sense though. So, if you're a nap lover like I am, maybe we need to look into this to be sure that there isn't a medical reason why we nap.