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
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
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
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
The hazards of raw cookie dough
Just in time for the cookie-baking frenzy of the holidays, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a consumer warning about the health hazards of eating raw cookie dough.
This didn’t seem like new news to me. We’ve all heard for years that we shouldn’t eat raw cookie dough because eggs can carry the Salmonella bacteria.
But this new warning is not about the eggs. It’s about the flour.
Raw or uncooked flour may harbor an even worse bacteria—Escherichia coli, aka E. coli.… Continue reading
An ambulance ride is often a hidden (and costly) expense
Kaiser Health News just published an article about patients being stuck with outrageously high bills for ambulance rides.
One patient got a $3,660 bill for a 4-mile ride. Another was charged $8,460 for a trip from one hospital that could not handle his case to another that could.
Several years ago when my husband ended up in an emergency room (long story—read my About page), he needed to be transferred to another hospital that was about half a mile away.
The ambulance ride for that short trip cost close to … Continue reading
Target BPs are much lower
Last week the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiologists (ACC) published new guidelines in the diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure.
What are the new numbers and what do they mean?
Many people will be surprised to find out they now have “elevated” high blood pressure, which could be a reading as low as 120/70, or Stage 1 hypertension at 130/80 rather than 140/90 (the old threshold).
The new blood pressure guidelines are:
- Normal: Under 120 over 80
- Elevated: Top number 120-129 and bottom less than 80
- Stage 1: Top
… Continue reading
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.
… Continue reading
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