Saturday, May 17, 2008

I completely forgot yesterday

How easy it is to get lulled into a routine.

For the past couple of weeks, I've been getting my post ready the night before and setting it so it publishes in the morning. Before that, I always wrote them in the morning. On Thursday night, I was too tired so I told myself that I'd do my post in the morning. Well, I forgot. Didn't take long to get out of that habit, did it?

Speaking of habits, I have an unhealthy habit of chewing my lower lip to shreds. It gets very sore and I can't eat or drink anything acidy or sour when I've massacred it like I often do.

Any suggestions on how I can stop it?

Today (and yesterday!) at Help My Hurt:

Would you get the shingles vaccine?
Considering cortisone injections for arthritis pain?
And what does this mean for people with chronic lower back pain?
Wii aerobics proving a success
Problems from sprained ankles can last
Friday funnies - May 16
Can an artificial hip squeak?
Pain posts from around the channel
Using visualization to manage your pain

News for Today:

Mastectomies for early-stage breast cancer rise after MRI: study
Vitamin D deficiency linked to poorer breast cancer outcomes: study
Pharmacists unhappy about new morning-after-pill availability
Chemo of no benefit to some colon cancer patients
Music significantly reduces high blood pressure in hypertensive patients
New test spots autism signs in 9-month-old infants
HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, May 18, 2008FDA Stresses 2 Drugs' Birth Defects Risk

Friday, May 16, 2008

Squeaking hip replacements?

Squeaking hip replacements? Who'd have thought? It's true though. Some people with ceramic hip replacements are experiencing squeaking (Can an artificial hip squeak?). Despite the obvious concern that there might be something wrong, the annoyance can be a major factor.

I can only imagine how self-conscious someone may feel if their hip is making a squeaking sound whenever going up and down the stairs or even while having sex - if your partner isn't laughing too hard, that is.

It reminds me of the concern that people had about setting off metal detectors if they had joint replacements. Once, when I was traveling in a group to Calgary, one of the women was pulled aside because she had set off the metal detector. It turns out it was her underwire bra. I still smile when I remember the scene. Good thing she had a good sense of humor.

I do hope they find a solution for squeaking hips though - it can't be fun to live with.

Today on Help My Hurt:

Friday funnies - May 16
Can an artificial hip squeak?
Pain posts from around the channel
Using visualization to manage your pain
Sex & chronic pain - the two can go together

Today's News:

Canadian researchers make autism diagnosis at 9 months: study
Vitamin D levels linked to breast-cancer prognosis
Aspirin does slash the risk of a heart attack - but only if it is taken at night, say experts
Older Americans Urged to Get Shingles Shots
ASH: Blood Pressure May Be A Laughing Matter
Recovering Stroke Patients at High Risk for a Fall

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Overworked nurses?

I was reading some comments recently about how a patient's family had an unpleasant experience with lazy nurses. She said that every time she went by the nursing station, the nurses were sitting there, ignoring everything else that was going on around them.

I can't presume to guess what was going on in that particular situation, but I can offer some plausible explanations:

1- the nurses were trying to get their mountain of paperwork done before the end of their shift
2- they were having a mini-conference about a particular patient or situation
3- they were sitting for the first time all shift
4- they had arranged for someone else to cover for them with the patients so the nurses could get some desk work completed

There are more explanations but those are the first ones that pop up. Of course, it's entirely possible that it's not any of those, but I find it hard to believe that a whole ward's staff would be sitting at the nursing station, ignoring the needs of the patients around them.

I remember once hiding in an office, trying to get a bite to eat during a particularly busy shift. It was technically my break time, but I only had time to sit down for a few minutes. That shift, that break, a patient's husband tracked me down to the office I was in and demanded that I care for his wife, as she needed something. He didn't want to hear that I was on my break. He didn't care that I hadn't eaten yet, he didn't give a flying ****** (his words) that I needed to sit down for a few minutes. His wife needed me and that was all that counted.

Rather than argue any further, I did go, only to find out that whatever it was his wife "needed" was something that absolutely could have waited until I got back in 15 minutes or the nurse who was covering for me was ready to deal with it.

I'll be the first to say that there are situations where the nurses are wrong - but I do wish that people would realize what it was that nurses do do and that nurses are humans too.

Today at Help My Hurt:

Sex & chronic pain - the two can go together
More pain and depression stuff
Rolfing - what is it?
Medication to relieve pain from painful bunion surgery promising
Enthusiastic exercise = post exercise pain?
Press Release: Office initiative reduces headaches, neck & shoulder pain over 40%
Chronic pain study in CA looking for participants

News for Today:

Overworked, unsupported nurses more likely to report drug errors
Doctors told to check up on heart device patients
Five mistakes women make at the doctor's office
Too Much Water Raises Seizure Risk in Babies
Newborn Hearing Screening Important for Development

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The power of blogging

I'm often amazed with power of blogging, but yesterday, I was touched by how my words can make a difference in someone's life.

Not long ago, an Internet friend of mine died. She was a wonderful woman who touched many hearts and her death was so unexpected and painful to those who knew her and loved her. I wrote a tribute to her on Help My Hurt and it was read by a lot of people.

A short while ago, her childhood friend wrote a comment - she said she grew up with my friend and often wondered what happened to her when she left her childhood home and she wanted to be put in contact with family if possible.

Yesterday, this wish became a reality and the friend was put in touch with an extended family member. I sincerely hope that this connection and communication will answer questions and provide some closure.

Today on Help My Hurt:

You don’t have to be older to have osteoporosis
Is there such a thing as a "pain personality"?
Don’t like the freezing in your mouth?
Concussion keeps Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo from more games
Tai Chi may help elderly with knee osteoarthritis
Acupuncture, myofascial trigger therapy treat same pain areas

News for Today:

Heavy pot smoking could raise risk of heart attack, stroke
Beta blockers before surgery increase risk of strokes, heart attacks
High blood pressure and cholesterol linked to eye disease
Desk jobs could double the risk of potentially fatal dvt, says new study
Girls, young women can cut risk of early breast cancer through regular exercise
Glaxo says cervical cancer vaccine works for longer
Top 15 Causes of Death in the U.S.
Drugs for Restless Legs Syndrome Have Downsides

Study reverses earlier finding

A little while ago, I posted over on Help My Hurt about how people who take ibuprofen may lower their risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Well, guess what? Now we're told that isn't so.
According to the article, Celebrex and Aleve show no benefit for Alzheimer's patients, the idea that the drugs could help reduce inflammation in the brain and slow down Alzheimer's progression just didn't pan out.

So, the next time I report study findings, I just might add this disclaimer, "the study is presented as published in the reported journal. However, keep in mind that we may find out next week that this study is wrong and has been superceded by a study that claims the opposite. That newer study, however, could be proven inaccurate further down the road so, you might as well believe whatever it is you want to believe."

What do you think?

Over at Help My Hurt today:

Blog Carnival: Living with pain
Depression and chronic pain
Using a cane may delay knee osteoarthritis progression
People with diabetes at risk for arthritis
Today is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day
Is kyphoplasty right for your back pain?

News for Today:

Celebrex and Aleve show no benefit for Alzheimer's patients
If stressed, men more likely than women to crave alcohol: study
Tourist died on Via Rail train from fatal blood clot
Physical activity more likely to prevent breast cancer in certain groups
Women who breastfeed for more than a year halve their risk of rheumatoid arthritis
Vision therapy appears to improve visual function in macular disease
High blood pressure, high cholesterol may be associated with retinal vascular disease

Monday, May 12, 2008

A bit of a twist for today's post - great blogs

Writing is my work life now, it's how I earn my living and I enjoy it thoroughly. One thing that is very important as a freelance writer is connecting with others. Because of this, I belong to a group called Freelance Success. One of the members thought of a Blogathon, which has participants posting every day for the month of May.

For my regular readers, this may explain my weekend posts. :-)

So, here is the list of the posters who are participating in the blogathon. You'll find some really interesting blogs here if you would like to explore:

  • Bike with Jackie

  • Carl's Liver Transplant

  • Champion of My Heart

  • Choose Your Words Wisely

  • Christie's Corner

  • Claudine M. Jalajas

  • Down the Shore with Jen

  • Embrace Adventure

  • Film Gecko

  • Fit in Real Life

  • I'm Too Young to be a Woman This Old

  • The Lacrosse Blog

  • The Lean Green Family

  • Living in Season

  • Only Laura

  • Parenting by Trial and Error

  • Peace of Mind Organizing

  • Politophile

  • The Renegade Writer

  • What Came Down Today

  • WordCount

  • Today on Help My Hurt:

    Don’t forget: book on medicinal marijuana
    MIRZA surgery for carpal tunnel
    Sally Field speaks out about osteoporosis
    Diabetic neuropathy pain may be relieved with lacosamide, study says
    Broken wrist: Blue Jays outfielder Vernon Wells
    Hamstring injury for Detroit Pistons’ Chauncey Billups
    Men get osteoporosis too - screening guidelines
    Flector anti-inflammatory patch for strains and sprains
    Finding a practitioner of complementary or alternative medicine

    News for Today:

    25 years after HIV discovered, vaccine search goes on
    Train quarantine the new normal of disease surveillance
    That Must Be Bob. I Hear His New Hip Squeaking.
    Newer Prostate Cancer Treatment Similar to Traditional Surgery (HealthDay)
    Problems spur FDA caution on insulin pump
    Canada orders vitamin D study

    Sunday, May 11, 2008

    We're 1 year old!

    This blog is 1 year old! Imagine that. No, I can't imagine that.

    When I posted my first blog entry last May, I had no idea what I was going to be writing about or what direction I'd be heading in. I knew I wanted to write about health issues, maybe a few writing posts, but other than that, I was just winging it.

    It's really interesting to see what are the most popular posts. The two that get the most hits are the one on the elderly and broken hips and spelling tricks. Two very different posts but very, very popular.

    Most of my readers find my blog through Google and I get a kick out of seeing some of the search strings they use. At least once a week, I get something along the lines of "hot nurse picture." uh, no... that wouldn't be me. :-)

    I almost gave up the blog a few times over the past year. Once it was because I felt I had nothing really to offer and a few times because I felt like no-one was getting any value out of it, despite the number of visits I get. (I'm averaging about 250 per week)

    On the other hand, regular reader Terrie points out that she likes my news story lists and I know I have other regular readers like Old Wife and Crabby, among others. So, I must be doing something right.

    So, what's coming up for year 2? More of what I'm doing now, I guess. My regular writing and clients are keeping me busy and I'm enjoying my life so much. I adore my work now and the freedom that my freelancing gives me - even if the stress does get to me sometimes because of deadlines and my fears that I may have taken on a bit too much.

    My Help My Hurt blog is proving to be immensely popular and I'm very proud of that one. So proud of it that I'm taking on a new challenge, a new blog on pregnancy that is set to go live in about two weeks, also for the b5Media network. It will be called the Womb Within. I'm really excited about that one because there is so much I can write about pregnancy, from the serious to the inane.

    So, on this day, I would like to wish the mothers who are reading, Happy Mothers Day. I'll be going up to the cemetery with my husband because it is also the fifth anniversary of his father's passing. While there, I will visit my brother's grave. I buried him in a plot not far from my FIL so he would never be alone - that was a hard, hard time for me, and still is sometimes.

    After that, we're meeting my oldest son for lunch. He moved out in January and is experiencing life on his own. He and his room-mate have a great little first apartment. At 21, he's enjoying being out on his own, working and going to school. I'm very proud of him. My middle one, my 19-yr-old daughter has just begun a great summer job with the federal government and she's studying in the co-op program (finance) at a local university. She's going to go far, that one. And, my "baby", my 16-year-old is getting ready for his high school graduation next month. He's excited about the next stage of his life too. I am for him; there is so much opportunity and he has so many chances to do what he wants.

    Thank you for visiting my blog and reading what I have to write.