Saturday, May 3, 2008

A rare Saturday edition - some "link love"

Most other blogs I read do a link love thing regularly so today, I'm doing a rare Saturday post with some link love of my own.

There are many good blogs about migraines and here are some of the ones I think are good reads. I can't take credit for gathering them all in one place though. Although I knew about quite a few of these, the entire group is listed in the blog roll of

Abi's Migrainous Wanderings

Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy

The Carmelite's Habit

The Daily Headache

Doc's Cluster Headache Journal

Down the Rabbit Hole: The Journey of a Migraineur

Free my Brain from Migraine Pain

Her Life In A Nutshell

Migraine Chick

The MAV Experience

The Migraine Girl

Migraine News Network


My life with migraine

Putting Our Heads Together

Rhymes with Migraine

Somebody Heal Me

Weathering Migraine Storms

Friday, May 2, 2008

Fainting - not a pleasant experience

This story caught my eye while I was trying to decide what to write about today: More kids fainting after shots, CDC reports .

As a former champion fainter, I can really understand what it feels like to be in that position. I fainted many times as a child and teen. I could have fainted many more times had I not realized what was about to happen and sat down. For a few of my more memorable faints: I fainted in church, a store, a hospital and school. In the church and store, it was because I was standing for too long and it was hot. In the hospital, it was because I was standing too long, it was hot and I was watching my older brother get bandages changed on his face because of a severe dog bite he'd sustained a few days before. In school, believe it or not, it was because I took out my newly inserted pierced earring. I got *so* queasy that I passed out.

The faint I understoood the least was the one in the hospital. I was the one who found my brother when half his face had been bitten off (literally) and the blood was just everywhere. I didn't faint then. But, that must have been the adrenalin, because I sure fainted hard in the hospital a few days later.

The passing out is bad enough, but it's the danger you put yourself into. For example, in the school, I fainted right at the top of the stairs. One or two more steps and I would have gone right down them. The thing was, I remember it very clearly still, I knew I was going to faint, but I was trying to will myself not to. A lot of good that did. I banged up my jaw really badly with that one.

I learned my lesson with that particular episode. Ever since, if I start getting that feeling that people are talking to me but they sound really far away, I start getting a bit of tunnel vision and a weird pit in my stomach, I know it's going to happen if I don't sit down right away.

Fainting itself isn't usually serious. I still, to this day, can't stand for long periods if it's warm. I will - guaranteed - start to feel faint. I also still, despite being a nurse, have a very queasy stomach for things. I remember having to put my daughter's earrings in her ear for her when she broke her arm. You know what? Just thinking about it is making my stomach feel weird. Odd, I know!

But, even though fainting isn't usually serious, if you do faint, you should at least get checked by a doctor to make sure that there isn't anything serious causing it. As for the fainting itself, if you start to feel faint, don't be silly, don't try to will it away like I did - it won't work. Sit down, drop your head and take deep breaths - don't hyperventilate, but take deep, slow breaths, until you feel right again. And for heaven's sake, please, please, don't try to drive if you feel faint. It's not worth the risk.

Today at Help My Hurt:

Friday funnies: first Friday in May

Ortho week: What happens during hip replacement surgery?
Help My Hurt and Mental Health Notes blog connection
11 health observance months for May

News for Today:

Measles Outbreak Rises to 64 Cases, Most Since 2001
Intensive care traumatic for children, study says
Alzheimer's Disease Risk Factors May Be Gender-Specific
Tree-lined streets linked to reduced asthma rates in children
Early treatment of stomach infection may prevent cancer
Remote monitoring improves heart failure patients' health, may reduce hospital readmissions
Obesity worsens impact of asthma
More kids fainting after shots, CDC reports

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Breast feeding rates rising

"Breast is best" is the mantra for breast feeding advocates and they have worked hard at promoting the message. This work does seem to be paying off, according to a US government report released this week.

The numbers showed that 77% of women breast fed at least at first, even if they didn't continue. This means that the infants most likely received the vital nutrients in the colostrum, the first liquid excreted by the breast before the milk "comes in."

There was a significant increase in breast feeding rates among African-American women from 36% in the mid-90s to 65% today. Mexican-Americans raised their rate from 67% to 80%, and among whites, the rate rose from 62% to 79%.

Not all women are comfortable nursing or can nurse. The women who aren't comfortable nursing may benefit from extra help and teaching to make them more comfortable. However, as important as breast feeding is, it's equally important not to judge a woman who chooses not to. The important thing is that the infant bond and be loved - the method of feeding is, ultimately, up to the parents.

Today on Help My Hurt:

Driving for long periods with a painful back
Ortho week: joint injuries
Marijuana for Migraine?
Ortho Week: 4 announcements on various arthritis meds

News for Today:

Incubator may alter a baby's heart rate: study
Aspirin may reduce breast cancer risk: study
Alzheimer's drug shows benefits in mild cases
FDA Approves Amitiza for IBS-C

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Discoverer of LSD dies at 102

Albert Hoffman, the chemist who discovered LSD - and likely changed the world in terms of recreational drug use - died this past Tuesday.

While natural hallucinogenic drugs have existed since humans figured out who to use them, LSD may have changed the face of drugs and drug use. The intense and powerful effect of the drug made it highly popular. Many people used the drug and moved on, but many lives were also ruined through addiction, overdose, and death.

If Dr. Hoffman hadn't discovered LSD, someone else would have somewhere down the road, but I do wonder how different things might have been if it hadn't have been found.

Today on Help My Hurt:

Ortho Week: 4 announcements on various arthritis meds
What timing for ortho week: my son broke his finger
11 posts on children and pain
Ortho Week: Most common fractures
More ortho stuff: diabetes meds increase fracture risk
Fosamax, osteoporosis drug, may cause heart problem

News for Today:

People often share prescription medicine: survey
LSD inventor dies
Post-menopausal hormone therapy increases stroke risk: study
Breastfeeding reduces risk of cot death by third: study (AFP)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Should we stop being so protective of our kids?

There's more news today about how letting our young children go may be better for their health than trying to protect them from everything.

There has been research, for a while, that showed children who lived with animals and in farm situations had lower rates of illnesses like asthma. This research seems to be getting more backing. In this article, Hair of the dog fights allergies, researchers found that children who were exposed as young children to dogs had a lower incidence of allergies.

In another study, one that is more interesting, researchers have found that children who are exposed to others in groups such as daycares or preschools have a lower incidence of childhood leukemia (New analysis finds daycare attendance early in life cuts childhood leukemia risk by 30 percent).

I've written posts in the past about how we are going overboard with protecting our children; maybe I'm not so wrong.

Today at Help My Hurt:

And the winner is….
Enjoying a break? A smile for you
10 Help My Hurt posts on back pain
Ortho Week - Muscle cramp fells Cristian de la Fuente
Another celebrity ortho injury: Kenny Chesney

News for Today:

An aspirin a day could keep diabetes at bay: study
Colorectal cancer drug to be sold in Canada
Gene therapy may alleviate blindness, study shows
Osteoporosis drug linked to irregular heart beat
New analysis finds daycare attendance early in life cuts childhood leukemia risk by 30 percent
Tight blood pressure control not enough to temper kidney disease in African-Americans
Osteoporosis drug Fosamax linked to heart problem
Exercise related to lower heart disease risk in overweight women
More Broken Bones With Actos, Avandia
CDC Says One-Fourth of Toddlers Behind on Vaccinations
Homemade spacers may be as good as commercial type
Hot flash: Hot flashes can last for years in some
Study: Blood substitute increases risk of death
Hair of the dog fights allergies

Monday, April 28, 2008

Organ transplants - none if you smoke medicinal pot?

There's a news story ab0ut a man who smokes legally-prescribed medicinal marijuana and desperately needs a liver transplant. However, the hospitals involved are refusing to put him on the waiting list because he smokes pot. The fact that it's medicinal pot that he is smoking BECAUSE he needs the transplant is totally being ignored. One institution said that he could be considered if he didn't smoke for 6 months and the other said that he had to go through a 60 day detox program.

Now, there are many who say this particular person is in this situation because of his own doing and the situations that led him to this. Whether this is the case or not, I believe the story goes much deeper. To me, it means that if you or I, who may not have led the type of life as this man, could be denied lifesaving surgery because of "the rules."

If I am smoking medicinal pot because of the pain and discomfort caused by a need for an organ, pain and discomfort that will go away if the transplant is successful, would I be denied because they won't do transplants on someone who smokes pot?

I do understand that there are limited resources. There was a story on the news last night about how improvements in trauma care is actually keeping people alive who might have died a decade ago and become organ donors. In the whole scheme of things, not that many people sign their organ donor cards either, so we're looking at a serious shortage of donors. But is the "no pot" before surgery realistic if it's medicinal pot?

Today at Help My Hurt:

Preemie pain eased with skin contact
Lumbar supports for low back pain? Wait.
Use medicinal marijuana? Forget about life-saving transplants then
Ortho week begins at Help My Hurt - Joints
7 Links for pain medication safety
Create a pill card to help remember
New medication for opioid-induced constipation
Help My Hurt getting set to host first Living With Pain Blog Carnival

News for Today:

Diabetes diagnoses before motherhood have doubled: U.S. study
Critics concerned about BPA in dental fillings
European Commission grants full approval of HIV protease inhibitor, tipranavir (Aptivus®)
New rheumatoid arthritis drugs work better than standard anti-inflammatories, study suggests
Monitoring AIDS treatment by physical symptoms is effective
Elderly More Likely to Battle Sleep Disorders
Survey suggests 65% of women in the US could have an eating disorder