Friday, October 24, 2014

This year's Halloween warnings

First, let me say I don't think all the nutty fears of weirdos putting razor blades in candy have ever materialized. People set their hair on fire with this every year--they take candy to be x-rayed--and nothing comes of it.

Maybe you could keep the kids from eating the treats while out on the streets--and check it over in the light--but calm down.

The really scary part, says Loyola pediatrician Bridget Boyd, MD, is pedestrian safety.

Tell the kids where they can go--which streets, how far--and drill them on it. They must use sidewalks and crosswalks.

Usually, here in AZ, the parents are with the kids, I have noticed. Kids can go alone if they can follow directions and read a map, know the neighorhood, know how to call 911, and know their own number.

This will be about junior high age.

If you child has a nut allergy be very careful of what they eat.

If a costume is black or dark, be sure it has reflectors on it.

Make sure the costume is short enough so kids can walk without tripping.

No scary contact lenses.

No candles--even in pumpkins--use battery-operated.

I know this sounds like a buzzkill-but Halloween is so much fun, it's hard to kill the buzz completely.

Boo!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The doctor hunt is on

My doctor is no longer taking my Medicare Advantage plan. Oh, goody.

I liked this guy and rarely see a doc more than once. He is a Physician Assistant, too, not even a medical doctor.

My plan has two networks of doctors--I called the networks and tried to get lists of docs within 10 miles of me. They tried to turf me back to the plan, but I persisted. Each had four docs or physician groups.

Of that eight, five had either mistreated me in the past or my sister or my late mother. One doctor had a reprimand from the Medical Board for not recognizing a heart attack.

Of those two, one was another name for the group I had--that no longer wanted me.

So that left one.

At this point, I called my broker. He is going to see if I can change plans to one my PA takes.

So that is in play.

Are we having fun yet?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Some hospitals more likely to recommend C-section

According to Angela Davis, writing for CBS Minnesota, says researchers at the Univ of Minnesota and Harvard have looked at C-sections nationwide, and whether you get one depends more on the hospital than your medical condition.

They checked out childbirths at 1,300 hospitals in 46 states. The likelihood of C-Section varied between 19% and 48%.

In other words, a woman could walk into one hospital and stand an 11% chance of surgery and that same woman in another hospital could have a more than one in three chance of a section.

You may know your doctor, but you probably don't know your hospital's take on C-sections. You need to ask.

I remember my pre-delivery classes--they joked that if you didn't read the chapter n C-sections, you would end up with one.

I didn't read it--and I did.

But I also had huge fibroids--the baby could never have gotten out. They apologized for not seeing those on the sonogram.

Yeah, cool.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

You have my permission to skip a workout day


Who am I kidding? I am too crabbed up to work out in my old age--but if you aren't, it's still OK to skip.

Yet may people don't want to break up their momentum--they feel if they skip they may lapse.

Elizabeth Quinn wrote about this on About.com. Rest days are critical to performance, she says.

Some reasons for this are psychological--but most are physical. Muscles need time to repair and rebuild.

Too few recovery days can lead to overtaining syndrome.

The body needs to adapt to the stress of exercise for the real training effect to take place.

If you don't let the tissues knit (the tiny muscle tears) and fluids to be replaced, you can feel kind of sick, stales, depressed, and not do as well with each form of exercise.

Yes, alternating strength and aerobic can help, but you also need to knock off sometimes.

Short-term recovery is at the end of a session, but long-term recovery must be built in a year's schedule, Quinn says.

Key to the short-term, especially, is getting enough sleep.

What if a day off turns into three days or more...Catch yourself and start anew.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Don't overdo the acetaminophen for kids

Acetaminophen--Tylenol in branded form--is a parents go-to medication. Yet, every eight minutes a child experiences a medication mistake in this country.

And it's the parents' fault.

A new study in Pediatrics shows parents are quick to dose kids with over-the-counter meds.

Liquid OTC preparations are as common as food now.

But they are medicine--and they can be dangerous.

Tylenol posts a safety chart and the FDA says, as of 2008, kids under age 2 should not be given OTC cough and cold medications.

Some advice a la Mayo Clinic: Be sure your child needs the medicine--a low fever can burn out an infection--why push it down right away?

Often the child is fussy or even hysterically uncomfortable--things can get chaotic. One common event is to dose the child twice.

Don't.