Friday, June 27, 2008

Relaxing and taking time for yourself

Life moves so fast for us that sometimes we find it hard to take time to really enjoy what we have around us. I know I'm guilty of that. But taking time to recharge is a necessary part of staying healthy.

In Montreal, festival season has begun. It's the International Jazz festival right now and it's huge. People come from all over the world to participate and to watch. There are many free outdoor shows and there's really no excuse not to go and take in a show. So, in all these years, why have I not done that?

Coming soon with be the Just for Laughs festival. Another huge event in Montreal. You have to love their URL: :-) Several well known comics in the US were first noticed during performances here at Just for Laughs. So... again.... how come I've never gone to a show? This one I do have a bit of an excuse - the comedians I'd like to see are in shows that are either too expensive or they sell out too fast for me to get tickets. My idea of humour doesn't involve having swear words or obscenities for laughs. If you have to swear to get a laugh, then you're not funny to me. So, that cuts out a lot of shows I'd like to see.

There are many other festivals and events in Montreal that make living here an entertainment adventure. What treasures are available where you live? Do you take advantage of any of the offerings?

Today at Help My Hurt:

Friday funnies - June 27

Gastric bypass/kidney stone connection?

American Pain Foundation Advocate to Participate in LIVE Radio Show June 27

Can migraine pain be zapped away?

Today at Womb Within:

Video: Fetal ultrasound

Maryland parents: Heads up

Law enforcement discrimination against pregnant employees

Major differences between hospitals when it comes to maternity care

News for Today:

Coffee seems to protect against liver cancer, study reveals

Diabetics experience memory loss after high-fat meal

Fewer Kids Suffering from Rotavirus This Season

One in 10 had "silent strokes": study

Sudden loss of hearing might be an early sign of stroke

Using Omega-3 Fatty Acids to Treat Depression During Pregnancy

Interactions Between Antidepressants and Tamoxifen

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Life's routines

Are you routine-oriented? I am, sometimes to the point of being too much so. It used to be I'd write my blog entries for this blog first thing in the morning; then I started doing it the night before. Once that routine settled in, if I was too tired at night - I'd forget in the morning. When I remembered later in the day, I would figure it was too late to bother. And so it goes. That's what happened yesterday. Come noon, I figure, any regulars who check out the blog probably stopped by already.

Are routines like that good for us? I remember reading that people with dementia can cope longer and hide symptoms longer if they have a very strict routine they follow. Routines like that are drilled in and people don't have to think about them, they just do them automatically.

But routines can go "bad" too. I know that there are certain things that I need to do in certain order or I don't feel right about it. Not obsessively so - but it just doesn't seem right. Ok, maybe a bit obsessive. But when does a routine go from beyond being a helpful part of life to being an obsession? Obviously, the first answer is if the routine begins to interfere with your life and your every day activities, but what about the more subtle ones? When can people recognize if maybe they need to lay off the routines for a while?

Today at Help My Hurt:

Can migraine pain be zapped away?

Video: Yoga for Your Pain

Wednesday musings

A helpful tip - taking night time pills

Study Finds Oral Cannabis (Marijuana) Ineffective In Treating Acute Pain…

Can children get CRPS?

Creaky joints - sounds like an old-age rock band, doesn’t it?

Anesthesia causes more after-surgery pain?

Yes - infants do have pain and we need to learn how to gauge it

Today at Womb Within:

Some antidepressants OK during pregnancy

Pregnant Pause

More women with diabetes having babies

Pregnant women - preventing and managing blood clots

What is amniocentesis?

Not all physicians agree with the AMA’s position on home birth

Preventing Teen Pregnancy: Start Early

News for Today:

U.S. announces recall of 320,000 cribs

Drinking less reduces overactive bladder symptoms

States Shun Funds For Abstinence Education

There was no Pregnancy Pact - Pregnant Gloucester Teen Speaks Out

CDC wants artificial turf fields tested for lead

More than 1 in 4 deliveries in Canada are C-sections, society says

Parkinson's drugs increase risk of impulse disorders

Glaucoma procedure now available at Mayo Clinic aims to prevent further eye damage

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Are you artistic? Do you live with pain?

If you live with chronic pain and like to create - be it writing, drawing, quilting, any medium really, here is an interesting way to help express how pain affects you: The American PainFoundation (APF) and The Health Central Network, Inc. are looking for entries for their second "Pain and Creativity" Exhibit.

The goal is to have creations that represent how pain affects your life. It's an interesting exercise and I would love to see what comes out of it. Here are the instructions from the press release if you are interested in learning more:

To be considered for the exhibit, online submissions must be entered by September 15th. Quilt submissions must be received by August 15th.

Online entrants can contribute poetry, prose, video or a digital photo of artwork with a paragraph describing the artwork and how it represents the entrant's personal pain experience. Entries can be submitted online at

Submissions for the Pain Quilt, a reflection of the quilt-block maker's journey with pain, should be original 10" by 10" block or blocks that are made of fabric, or with a foundation of fabric.

Other media (beads, fibers, feathers, etc.) may be used for embellishment. The blocks may be pieced or appliqued, by hand or machine. They may be traditional or of original design. Blocks must be unfinished and unquilted; entrants are asked to leave at least 1/4" on all sides of the square for the seams that will join the squares together.

Send quilt blocks directly to the American Pain Foundation, 201 N. Charles Street, Suite 710, Baltimore, MD 21201-4111. The blocks will not be returned to the maker, and will become the property of APF. The finished quilts will be exhibited at the APF's annual celebration and awards dinner
and will be used for fundraising purposes.

If this interests you and you plan on entering, could you share that you've entered and perhaps the story behind your entry? I'm not a poet, so I don't think I'll be trying that, but I am a very prolific quilter so I may try to design a quilt block for the project.

Today at Help My Hurt:

Think pain meds are hard to get here? Try getting some in Uganda

People with arthritis not taking their medications - and a poll

How to find free health/medical care in your area

Today at Womb With:

Can you/should you apply for a job when you’re pregnant?

VBAC: vaginal birth after Caesarian - worth the risk?

Alcohol and pregnancy

UK: Abortions for under-14 girls have soared by 21%

News for Today:

Ovarian symptoms check with blood test improves detection, study finds

Low vitamin D levels linked to higher risk of death

Consults: Heart Disease Without the Symptoms

Paradox Discovered About General Anesthesia: It Can Increase Post-Surgical Pain

Doctors take a stand against home births

Infant Pain May Be Underestimated

Top Food-Safety Misconceptions

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin dead of heart disease

So many people dying lately of heart disease and celebrities are no different. Tim Russert, political newsman died not long ago of a heart attack and yesterday, 71-year-old George Carlin died. Apparently, he had had heart disease for a while, so it's not the surprise that Russert's death was, but it still seems to be a shock to Carlin's fans.

Heart disease is not always preventable, but it is often manageable. So many of the risk factors for heart disease are self-induced lifestyle choices like smoking, eating unhealthy diets, and not exercising enough. And yet, for some reason, that message is just not getting across. Is it because heart disease is something that happens to "someone else?" I don't know, I see family members of people with heart disease living dangerously. I even see healthcare professionals that care for people with heart disease living dangerously. What gives?

Today (and on the weekend) at Help My Hurt:

How to find free health/medical care in your area

Press Release: Pine bark significantly reduces menstrual pain

Help My Hurt housekeeping

Topical NSAID As Effective As Tablets For Knee Pain

4 helpful brochures and hand outs about CRPS

Herbal treatments and anesthesia

6 tips for taking medications

Strength training may help women with fibromyalgia

Ear infections in children: Get the facts

5 ways to prevent injury outside the home

More talk about Tiger Woods’ knee

Migraines - myth or fact?

Knee pain bring Tiger Woods down for the season

10 ways to prevent injuries in your home

Today (and over the weekend) at Womb Within:

Are prenatal classes really needed?

Pregnant women and cats

Pregnancy pact making news all over the world

Sex during pregnancy

1% of newborns in US now test-tube babies

Morning sickness – does everyone get it?

Gains in U.S. infant mortality rate stagnating

STD, urinary tract infections may be bad combination for birth defect

5 stages of "your baby is growing"

Have you been put on bedrest?

What is prenatal care and why is it important?

Did group of teens make pact to get pregnant?

Other comments on the AMA home birth issue, Ricki Lake, and midwifery

News for Today:

Normal weight teens who think they're too fat have poor quality of life: study

Symptom screening plus a simple blood test improves early detection of ovarian cancer

Clostridium difficile closes hospital ward