It’s easier than you think!
The other day I watched in horror as a friend with mild cold symptoms swallowed two extra-strength Tylenol (acetaminophen) tablets with a large swig of NyQuil.
If he had followed with a double whisky, I would have suspected a suicide attempt.
“What are you doing?!” I shrieked, and grabbed both bottles from him. “You just swallowed a massive dose of acetaminophen!”
“Really?” he replied, without much interest. “Hmm.”
Does anyone read the labels on over-the-counter (OTC) medications?
“Look!” I stabbed a finger at the warning label on the back of the NyQuil bottle.
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Fear-mongering and clickbait
While sipping a glass of wine with dinner last night, my ears perked up when I heard a teaser for NBC Nightly News: “New report links even light alcohol intake with increased risk of cancer.”
Oh, boy, I thought. Here we go again.
I don’t like network news because of this kind of lousy health reporting (I just wanted to see local election returns). Again and again, research is taken out of context or blown out of proportion simply to use as clickbait. Argh.
My favorite health news website, Health News Review, agrees with me, and … Continue reading
November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month!
I am a huge supporter of hospice and palliative care, but I think it’s underutilized in our health care system.
My father, before he passed away two years ago, had the benefit of hospice care for a few weeks before his death. My husband’s family also received support from hospice when his father passed away four years ago.
I’ve found in my own experience that doctors often wait for the patient or the patient’s family to bring up the topic of hospice. That’s why it’s important for everyone to … Continue reading
Traditional and expensive
This week I received a letter from my health insurance company. My plan’s benefits will remain the same, but the monthly premium will be 21% higher.
That means health insurance for me and my husband now officially costs more than our mortgage. And it’s just a bronze-level plan with a $7,000 deductible (each)!
I really feel for other families receiving similar letters about similar rate hikes. Some families will have to make a difficult decision—will health insurance in 2018 be just too expensive?
There are alternatives to traditional health insurance policies, and I’ve posted about them before. … Continue reading
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month
October has become the month to pressure women to Buy Pink! and schedule their annual mammograms.
But I’d rather see more women informed about the effectiveness of annual mammograms (not as much as you might think).
And I’d like to see more care providers drop the paternal attitudes and really have a conversation with women about the pros and cons of screening mammograms, and how (or if) this diagnostic tool should be used to meet their health care goals.
I’ve written many posts on this topic, so please check them out!
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Brown bag your meds to a local pharmacist
Are you or a family member taking multiple prescription medications? Are you taking them along with several other over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and supplements?
If so, you might want to take advantage of this one-day event.
Saturday, Oct. 21, is the first ever National Check Your Meds Day, sponsored by Consumer Reports and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and supported by pharmacists in the community.
Why is this event an important health service?
Consumer Reports explains:
With half of Americans regularly taking prescription medication—four, on average, according
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Higher drug prices = higher health costs
Soon we’ll be finding out how much our health insurance will cost next year. Premiums are set to rise by double digits across the country.
Related post: Premium increases for 2018. Ouch
While uncertainty about the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is partly responsible, insurance companies put the biggest blame on the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs.
Why are prescription drugs so expensive? To understand the problem in less than 2 minutes, watch this YouTube video…
As the video points out, Medicare can’t negotiate lower … Continue reading
The health care debate rages on.
Atul Gawande, one of my favorite physician-authors, wrote an article on this topic last week in The New Yorker magazine.
He spoke to residents in his home state of Ohio and posed the question, “Is health care a right or a privilege?” He listened to their stories of unexpected illness, lost jobs and medical bankruptcy. Yet none of them thought their health insurance should be free—just fair and affordable.
In our current crazy quilt system, those who do best are the very poor and the very rich. The majority of us, myself included, are … Continue reading
In response to last Sunday’s tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas, I’m re-posting this information about Stop the Bleeding, a program to educate lay people to respond to emergencies and control bleeding. If you haven’t already, take a first aid class! You might save a life. FN
Surgeons want the public to learn this skill
I taught first aid classes for the American Red Cross for many years. To control excessive bleeding, we showed students how to apply pressure directly on a wound, or at pressure points in the groin and upper arm.
We did not teach how … Continue reading
Fast treatment can save a life
Last weekend I spent a day in the emergency room, sitting with a friend who suffered a heart attack.
Thankfully, he survived to tell his story. And after talking to him, and listening to what the doctor said about the severity of the heart attack, I know he was a very lucky man.
Lucky because shortly after he started having heart attack symptoms, someone recognized them and immediately called 911. And that saved his life.
Not only did it save his life, but early medical intervention (a balloon angioplasty and stent) lessened the damage … Continue reading