I don’t like drug ads
As I sat in a doctor’s waiting room, I picked up the latest issue of WebMD‘s healthy living magazine. I leafed through the pages looking for a recipe I saw highlighted on the cover.
What did I notice instead? Drug ads.
I counted them: 13. Some were for supplements (elderberry gummies, really?), but most were for prescription drugs.
These ads typically need 3-4 pages to list all the information required by the FCC. The entire magazine is only 93 pages; that means more than 30% of this magazine devoted to improving health is advertising … Continue reading
Protect yourself with a flu shot
Flu season is reaching its peak. Hospitals have been overwhelmed with patients and are running out of spare beds.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is reporting widespread, epidemic-level flu activity in almost every state.
The bad news is that this year’s flu strain, H3N2, is especially severe, and the flu vaccine is not a great match 😕
But the good news is that if you haven’t already gotten a flu shot, it’s not too late. We might be seeing the worst of it right now, but flu season can last another four or … Continue reading
If you are one of the millions of people suffering under our broken healthcare system, take heart.
Industry leaders who recognize your pain actually exist, and are trying to help.
Changing the system is a huge and thankless task, because the bulk of the industry is profit-driven and resistant to giving up the status quo.
But these individuals and groups are using different ways to connect with increasing numbers of people, and they are becoming louder and stronger.
Will it be enough? Time will tell.
If you’re interested in knowing more about the problems in healthcare and what you can … Continue reading
Baby, it’s cold outside!
Most of the headlines over the last few days have focused on the arctic “cyclone” and brutally cold temperatures affecting a big chunk of the US.
Low temperature records are being shattered. Many states are reporting wind chills of -30°F or less.
That’s not just cold—that’s life threatening.
Outside my house, in Seattle, the weather is a pretty seasonal 40°F. And rainy. Lucky us.
But anyone struggling with these super cold temperatures needs to take care. Here are a few tips for avoiding, recognizing and dealing with hypothermia and frostbite.
Hypothermia, or low body temperature, … Continue reading
Happy New (Calendar) Year!
It’s a new calendar year, and that means many people will have a new health insurance plan. Or last year’s insurance will have been tweaked with a slightly higher deductible or copays, or an updated list of “in-network” providers.
This is a good time to sit down and become familiar with your health insurance benefits, so you aren’t taken by surprise when you actually need to use your insurance. Being sick or injured is awful enough without feeling blindsided by your insurance company.
This is the first year in several years that my health insurance has … Continue reading
And save money on healthcare!
I’m writing this post on New Year’s Day. Typical of the day, I’m also pondering a few questions.
What did I learn last year about staying healthy? What have I done well in my quest to be healthier and save money? What can I do better this year?
As so many of us know, healthcare is unreasonably expensive. My goal the last few years has been to exercise more, eat sensibly, and stress less. By staying healthy I avoid unnecessary trips to the doctor and save money. Last year my biggest health expense was an … Continue reading
My husband’s beloved older brother passed away on Christmas morning.
Many people might think a death on Christmas Day would taint the holiday, bringing up an unpleasant and unwelcome memory year after year.
But we believe future Christmases will actually be more special and meaningful, and we can feel this way because my brother-in-law not only lived a purposeful and rewarding life, but he died a good death.
What is a good death? In my mind, it’s about being at home, as comfortable as possible, and surrounded by friends and family. In my last moments I want to see what … Continue reading
Avoid the emergency room
Fridays, weekends and holidays are always bad times to get a doctor’s appointment, and many people end up in an emergency department. Which costs a lot of money, even for those with health insurance.
What can you do to decrease your chances of needing emergency care or other expensive healthcare over the holidays?
An emergency physician recently posted some good tips on the healthcare blog KevinMD, and I’ve included a few of my own.
- Refill your prescription medications before the holidays.
- Participate in winter activities, such as skiing or ice skating, safely. Use recommended safety equipment.
… Continue reading
Would you know what to do?
I wasn’t planning on writing about this topic today, but disasters don’t work around my editorial calendar.
I live in Seattle, and early yesterday (Monday) morning, a Seattle-to-Portland commuter train derailed while speeding across Interstate 5. Several of the train cars actually fell off the overpass, hitting cars on the freeway below.
Last I heard, at least 6 people were dead, and over 70 injured.
During the chaos that followed the accident, several train passengers and car drivers immediately stepped up to help others.
I’m always impressed when ordinary people—not trained emergency professionals—are able … Continue reading
This is my week for buying gifts for my family. I try to get everyone something that I think will not only bring them pleasure, but better health 😊
*I have to include a disclosure here that this post contains affiliate links for Amazon. That said, I’m not trying to make any money with my blog, so if you can find these products for better prices elsewhere, great!
Last year my gift list included a lot of books and items for the sleep deprived, new parents, aging relatives and future nurses. Those are still great gifts, so take a look.… Continue reading