Friday, June 6, 2008

Great news! Montreal man is matched for bone marrow

On May 27, I wrote about the importance of bone marrow registry and donation (Bone marrow transplants - would you be a donor?).

In the post, I mentioned that a Montreal writer, Emru Townsend, was in a holding pattern while waiting for a match to help him recover from leukemia. Emru's wait was made more difficult because of his ethnic background as the son of African-Caribbean parents. African-Americans and Canadians are very under-represented in the bone marrow registry.

The good news is that Emru has found a match: Montreal man finds ethnic bone marrow match.
We do still have to wait and see if the procedure is completed, because there will be some nail biting, I'm sure, until it's all done. The donor has the right to back out at any time for any reason. That's what happened to a friend of mine a few years ago. Let's hope that doesn't happen in this case.

Now for the reality check: there are so many people like Emru waiting for a bone marrow match and some may not ever get the chance that it looks like Emru is getting. Please consider registering for and donating bone marrow.

Today at Help My Hurt:

Heroes actor Jack Coleman spreads the word about women and pain

Working on getting a good night’s sleep

Could your daily drink reduce arthritis risk?

Following Kristin Armstrong’s ride to the Olympics

Today at Womb Within

Video: Epidural

Your baby is growing - the final weeks

Keeping clean and green during pregnancy (and beyond) - a review and a contest

News for Today:

Sleeping in bed with parents dangerous for baby, report warns

High-protein, high-dairy diet prevents bone loss: study

Lack of vitamin D may cause juvenile diabetes

Short, high-intensity exercise just as good for heart

1 in 5 adolescents are not sufficiently protected against meningitis C

High cholesterol may up Parkinson's disease risk

We're all to blame for staying mum on mental illness

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Green cleaning healthier?

Do you like contests? Do you believe that using "greener" products leads to a healthier environment? I'd like to hear what you think.

While I do believe that using less toxic products will be better for both the environment and our health, I wonder if that ever will become the norm? Do you watch what you buy in order to protect your health and your environment?

I'm holding a contest over at Womb Within, giving away a gift pack of non-toxic cleaners from Seventh Generation. The package is worth 40.00 and includes kitchen and household cleaning products.

I received some of their products for review and liked them, so if you're interested in having a look at what the products are about and entering the contest, head on over to the post: Keeping clean and green during pregnancy (and beyond) - a review and a contest,

Today at Help My Hurt:

Is osteoporosis drug Fosamax linked to a rare type of fracture in the femur?

Pain help for people with head & neck cancer

FDA reviewing some arthritis drugs

Today at Womb Within:

Keeping clean and green during pregnancy (and beyond) - a review and a contest

How did you name your baby?

News for Today:

Kylie Minogue's breast cancer leads to screening spike in young women: study

Exercising teens have lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer: study

Brief, intense exercise benefits the heart

Nearly 1 in 5 teenagers admit eating problems, but anxiety is a bigger problem than appearance

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Are your joints a weather barometer?

We hear it a lot: "my knee/hip/ankle/wrist hurts so there must be rain coming" - or we hear some variation thereof. But - is that really true? Can humans tell the upcoming weather by pain in their joints?

According to this article, Rainy Day Pain, which I found through Truemors, yes, it's true. The article says, "joints have sensory nerves called baro-receptors which respond to changes in atmospheric pressure. Like when the barometer moves from dry to rain."

For me and one of my oldest friends, it's our migraines that tell us about barometric pressure, but with all the sprains and few breaks I've had, I don't yet have the ability to tell the weather with my joints. And I'm quite happy with that, thank you very much!

How about you?

Today on Help My Hurt:

Painful dry mouth from medications

Angelina Jolie sets a good example - she’s taking care of her feet, reducing foot pain
Tuesday musings
Life changes after a knee replacement, but don’t expect miracles

Today on Womb Within:

5 interesting posts from the around the ‘net
Video: Hints for babyproofing your home
Dads and doulas
Your baby is growing - finishing the second trimester

News for Today:

Sleep deprivation takes toll on health
Antimicrobial wipes can spread bacteria in hospitals

Study Finds Link Between Amphetamine Abuse and Heart Attacks in Young Adults

Black Athletes' Hearts May Differ from Those of Whites

3 million now receiving life-saving HIV drugs

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Monday, June 2, 2008

I'm back....traveling is so dehydrating

Portrait of a businesswoman peeking around a corner in an office setting
served by

I flew back from Winnipeg yesterday and I've been fighting what I call a "low-grade" headache since Sunday and the way it's feeling behind my left eye, I'm afraid it may be morphing into a migraine some time today.

When I woke up on Sunday morning with this headache, it felt like one you get when you've had a bit too much to drink the night before - not enough to get drunk but enough to affect your body. The thing was though, I hadn't had anything to drink.

Later that day, I realized it was dehydration. I'm really not good about drinking water and I'm in a constant state of dehydration. I just am not thirsty and don't think to drink fluids. I'll get into a kick and do really well for a few days, but then I revert to my regular habit of having very little to drink throughout the day. I know that this is not good at any time, it's particularly bad when you travel.

Airplanes are horribly dry and most hotel rooms are too. On the plane back yesterday, I spoke with a flight attendant who was chugging from a huge water bottle. She said that the need to drink water was drilled into them during their training and now it was just a habit.

So, this headache is my own fault and even though I know it's from dehydration, I'm still not able to drink enough fluids to get my body back to where it usually is, let alone where it ought to be. I'm just not thirsty and forcing myself to drink doesn't work. How weird is that?

Today on Help My Hurt:

Have chronic pain? You can still have sex.

An extra back pain question answered

Today on Womb Within:

Press release: Is tap water safe for expectant mothers?

Health issues for teen moms

News for Today:

Kids' cancer rates highest in U.S. Northeast: report
Bunk beds pose danger to kids, older teens: study
Seemingly healthy kids are vitamin D deficient: study
Long-term marijuana use linked to brain abnormalities
Earlier diagnosis giving Alzheimer's a new voice

Odds and ends

I'm still in Winnipeg - seems like a nice city but because of the weather, I didn't see a whole lot of it. In fact, I'm sorry to say, I didn't see much at all. I'm heading back to Montreal this morning so that chance is lost. I'll have to come back for a real visit.

One interesting thing I learned was during a presentation here on Friday night. I learned about the Canadian Museum for Human Rights that will be built here in Winnipeg. I encourage you to check it out, whether you are Canadian or from anywhere in the world.

It was only fitting that we learn about this because the PWAC (Professional Writers Association of Canada) theme was Human Rights - Human Writing. As writers, we can make such a difference in this world. I don't think that many of us realize the power our words can have.

Some people reading my blog, I know, want to be writers. They dream of being writers. If that's what you want to do, I encourage you to stop waiting for people to say you can do it, but to go ahead and do it.

Those of us who can read and write in whichever language we're most comfortable are among the most privileged. I cannot even imagine what it must be like to not be able to communicate by the written word. I'm honoured to be able to do it and I'm honoured that I have been able to make this my life.

Today on Help My Hurt:

Company’s calling - a different type of visitor

2 sources for dealing with pain at end of life
Interstitial cystitis may be connected to autoimmune disorders
2 types of shoes that cause foot pain
Breast reduction surgery to help back pain
10 things people do when they have pain

Today on Womb Within:

Prevent drownings (plus a DVD give-away)
Guest post: Baby-friendly baby showers
Last installment: What is a doula?
Weekly celebrity pregnancy round-up
Pregnancy over age 35
New test: can identify baby’s sex as early as 8 weeks’ gestation
Your baby is growing - months 4 and 5
Emergency! What to do if a pregnant woman chokes

News for Today:

Testosterone gene could offer men competitive edge in sports: study
Old-school asthma inhalers to be phased out in U.S.: FDA

Smoothies and juice may do more harm than good

For People With Down Syndrome, Longer Life Has Complications

6 natural cures that actually work

Playing golf may increase life span