Facing end-of-life choices
There have been a lot of news stories in recent weeks about a young woman, Brittany Maynard, and her choice to end her life with support from Oregon’s Death with Dignity law.
Diagnosed with advanced brain cancer, Ms. Maynard actually moved with her husband to Oregon so she could establish residency and take advantage of the law.
She originally planned her death for last Saturday, November 1. Last I heard she was thinking of rescheduling, because she was still finding joy in living. I don’t know if she ended her life or not on Saturday, but when … Continue reading
Two things happened last week that reminded me you can never be too careful in our health care system, especially when medications are involved.
Large pharmacies oversee hundreds of prescriptions every day. Add that to numerous phone calls, glitchy computers and impatient customers, and mistakes are bound to happen.
Protect yourself with a few simple steps at the counter:
Check the name on your prescription
Or, a tale of two patients (with the same last name)
My 84-year-old mother called me on Friday afternoon in a bit of a panic. She had just returned from visiting my brother on the … Continue reading
Use it or lose it
There are several pieces of advice for helping prevent or delay age-related dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Don’t smoke
- Eat healthy, heart-friendly foods
- Challenge your brain
Keeping your brain active and fit can be especially fun and rewarding, as it usually involves learning something new. Examples of good brain-stretchers are:
- Learning a foreign language
- Learning to play an instrument
- Learning to dance, especially a complicated dance such as ballroom or folk dancing
- Playing games
I love to play games. Board games, card games, word games or video games. You can play with others, which also … Continue reading
Phillips’ Colon Health probiotic—”bloated” claims?
One of my favorite websites to look at on occasion is Truth in Advertising.
From their website:
Each year, American consumers lose billions of dollars as a result of deceptive marketing and false ads. These run the gamut from blatant lies and fraudulent scams to subtle ploys intended to confuse and mislead. Not only do these tactics impact us as consumers, but a mind-boggling amount of money is misdirected in our economy as a result of deceptive marketing. All too often, companies with quality goods and services lose out to businesses premised on false
… Continue reading
This is an addendum to yesterday’s post about Ebola. I wish I had seen this first, because really he says it all. In only 3 minutes. FN
Two months ago I posted that I was not concerned about an outbreak of Ebola in an American city. By “outbreak” I mean a rapid spread of the virus resulting in many people becoming ill and dying, as is happening in West Africa.
I stand by that belief.
However, listening to and reading the non-stop media coverage of Ebola in the US, I can understand why so many are verging on panic. Mainstream media is designed to “sell” news rather than inform the public, and fear is a powerful motivator when it comes to selling something. I’m … Continue reading
Natural does not mean safe
I read an article the other day about a man who developed a nasty rash after taking kava kava, a popular herbal supplement for stress and anxiety. He was also taking a prescription anxiety medication, Celexa (citalopram), which may have contributed to the bad reaction.
The article warns, with good reason, that herbal supplements are not necessarily safe, and may interact badly with other supplements and medications.
Always tell your health care provider if you are taking any over-the-counter herbs, supplements or vitamins!
Kava kava in particular, I think, highlights the problem of herbal … Continue reading
Exploring the “unreasonable, unsustainable” and “immoral” costs of treatment
If you or a friend or a family member have been impacted by the outrageous price of cancer drugs ($100,000 or more/year), take 15 minutes to watch this segment from a recent episode of the news magazine “60 Minutes.”
Heck, watch it even if you don’t have cancer because everyone is affected by the skyrocketing costs of all drugs, not just those that treat cancer. Health care prices go up, health insurance premiums, deductibles and copays increase, and taxpayers pay out more for Medicare and Medicaid.
Related post: The cost … Continue reading
Two things in the media caught my attention last week.
First was a pretty funny bit of pseudo-investigative journalism on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show. Titled “The Pharmaceutical Drug Epidemic”, it showed correspondent Michael Che probing for answers to this country’s very real (and unfunny) epidemic of prescription narcotic (oxycontin, percocet, vicodin) abuse and overdose deaths.
Yes, he puts a humorous spin on the story, but in true Daily Show style he also hits a few … Continue reading