Health

Archive for May, 2009

YOUR CHILD’S HEALTH/THE WIDER WORLD: BABYSITTERS

While a small baby can generally be taken out with you, there will come a time when you will want or need to leave him in the care of someone else. As he gets older, taking him out, especially at night, will be disruptive to his routine.

Sometimes members of the extended family may be able to take care of the baby on a regular basis. Alternatively, there may be an older sibling who can perform this task. It is difficult to specify at what age a child can be entrusted to look after his or her sibling(s). It depends on a number of factors such as the maturity and personality of the older child, the number and ages of the younger siblings that will be looked after, how long the parents will be gone, and so on. It is unlikely that a pre-adolescent child will have the maturity to be able to take responsibility for younger children on a regular basis.

Often you will need to seek the services of a babysitter.

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OUR MARITAL HEALTH/SEX AND PROBLEMS OF DAILY LIVING: TEN C’S OF WORKING AND STILL BEING SEXUAL

Dr. Susann Kobasa researched what she calls “psychological hardiness.” She found that men and women who showed commitment to their own development, felt control over their life, and continued to be challenged by changes in their day-to-day life enjoyed a degree of psychological, even physical, immunity to stress. My interviews supported this, and I extended her “three C’s” to “Ten C’s of Working and Still Being Sexual.” Here is the list as it evolved from the couples’ interviews. You might want to score yourself on a 0-10 points system for each item, with 10 indicating that you are near perfect on a given item and 0 meaning you don’t enjoy or manage that aspect of working at all.

1 Are you challenged by your work? When problems occur at work, do you feel excited and activated rather than overwhelmed and helpless?

2. Have you maintained a balance between commitment to work and commitment to self, including family, life, loving, and sexuality?

3. Do you have a sense of control over your work and family life? Does that sense of control allow you to feel that you are running you instead of being run by things and events?

4. Do you feel competent at work and still maintain a feeling of competency at home? There was a direct correlation between feelings of competence in bed and at the desk or counter at work

5. Have you maintained a sense of concern for your job and those persons you service? Are you still concerned for the job you do? Some people deal with work stress by adopting an “I could care less, I put in my time” approach that only worsens their stress and may affect their sexual life as well

6. Have you maintained your ability to communicate at work and home both professionally and intimately? Some people spend all their communication energy at work, leaving little for intimate exchange with the spouse.

7. Do you feel a sense of connection between work and home? To be healthy, life must be an intergrated system. Are you able to integrate working and loving, sharing feelings about both in both places? Being a “completely different person” at work than at home is one clear symptom of increasing stress and an ineffective strategy of adjustment to one place or another.

8. Are you careful both at home and at work? If you find that you are having several little accidents, forgetting your turn-off on the expressway after driving the same way for years or slamming your finger in the same kitchen drawer, you are showing signs of poor balance between work and loving. Are you aware of being careful?

9. Do you have a feeling of being complete at the end of the day? Things are never done, but you should have a feeling of closure when the day ends instead of thinking about tasks left undone or new tasks coming up.

10. Would your colleagues and your family, particularly your spouse, describe

you as cheerful? Is your report of “Good Morning!” when starting the

day at work or home a greeting or a ritual? “When I walked into work,”

reported one of the wives, “Sam came up and said, ‘Hey, a smile is the

one curve that straightens everything out.’ He’s lucky I didn’t straighten

his mouth out with a punch.” Are you more cheerful than this wife?

Happiness and the desire to be intimate are interconnected.

Any less than 80 total points, and work or career is probably getting in the way of a super marital sexual relationship.

All ten C’s are needed for super marital sex, so practicing them at work and in daily living is necessary if they are going to be present in marital intimacy. Here is the same list presented as the C’s apply to super marital sex. Use the same 0-to-10-point scale and see how your scores compare.

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SUPER LOVE FOR SUPER SEX/LOVE-MAP LANDMARKS: HOW WOULD YOU BRIEFLY

DESCRIBE THE FEMALE SEX ROLE?

The female sex role is just as stereotyped as the male’s among the people interviewed in this sample. How about you? How do you view the female sex role, personally view it, not intellectually think it should be?

“Simply stated, I’d say women are emotional, essentially the caretakers of the family. They are stronger psychologically, more mature, and have to sort of nurture men along,” reported one wife.

“Well, women are really inferior copies of men. They have their own strengths, but they are not up to men in most things. They are really just a little short of men in most things except having and raising kids,” reported one husband.

Both male and female sex-role expectations influence the love maps of both genders profoundly. Talk these roles over with your partner. Your sex role is how you behave sexually in our society and your sex or gender identity is how you feel, your sexual self-concept. Both are the result of love-mapping, and the gender identity is the capital city, the control center on the map.

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VARICOSE VEINS – GENERAL INFORMATION

The essential defect when a vein becomes varicose is a breakdown in this valve system — not only in the superficial veins but also in the communicating channels between the deep and the superficial veins.

This vein, then, becomes distended with blood and becomes lengthened and tortuous.

Those small dilated veins which may appear on the thigh or on the foot are not varicose and are not amenable to treatment.

Prolonged standing and the wearing of tight garters or underclothes, especially the panty-girdle, all contribute to the formation of varicose veins.

As well, there is an heredity factor, with some people having an inbuilt weakness in the vein and its valves.

When the pressure inside the abdomen is raised, such as with pregnancy, the enlarged womb may press on the abdominal veins and lead to varicosities in the leg.

Apart from their appearance, varicose veins may cause aching in the legs and, eventually, because of the pressure effect, pigmentation and thinning of the skin in the lower leg.

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ELECTRO-CONVULSIVE THERAPY

A form of medical treatment which has been greatly criticised is electro-convulsive therapy (ÅÑÒ, or shock treatment).

This was first used in medicine more than 40 years ago. Although effective, its exact mode of action still is not understood.

ÅÑÒ is used for depression, particularly in involutional melancholia, in the severe depression of the elderly, or depression as part of an affective disorder such as manic-depressive psychosis. It may also be used in the depression accompanying schizophrenia.

This form of treatment once was regarded as unpleasant. (An electric current is applied to the head and this induces a series of convulsions like an epileptic fit).

Now, ÅÑÒ is easy to administer and regarded as acceptable to patients. An injection given directly into a vein contains a quick-acting general anaesthetic combined with a muscle relaxant drug.

The patient is unaware of the muscular spasms, which are reduced to a minor twitching.

Consciousness is regained quickly and usually there are no after-effects beyond a temporary loss of memory.

This amnesia becomes more marked with more treatments and sometimes the person cannot remember what went on in hospital over the two to three weeks of his stay. Memory function returns to normal, however, when the treatment ends.

There is no doubt that ÅÑÒ is effective, especially in severe depression. In the elderly it may be safer than using drugs. At times it may be life saving.

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YOUR CANCER, YOUR LIFE – INCISION AND EXCISION BIOPSIES

‘Incision’ means cutting out part of, ‘excision’ means cutting out the whole of an abnormal area. This can be done with scalpels etc in the form of a mini-operation or with special forceps and other instruments designed to neatly nip off a tiny sample. Such instruments are available for taking specimens from internal lesions through endoscopy tubes. Because of this, endoscopy is a very useful type of test—we can see the abnormality and get a specimen from it in the one procedure. In many cases, these specimens are from spots which, in the past, could only have been biopsied at a full scale operation. Endoscopy can be uncomfortable, Wit it’s certainly much safer, simpler, more convenient and less painful than an operation!

As I explained in the previous section, if lesions can’t be reached through the skin or by endoscopy, an operation may be necessary to get a specimen. As with every type of specimen that consists of only a small fragment of the abnormal area, incision biopsies are only helpful if they are positive, that is, give a definite diagnosis. A negative biopsy can only rule out cancer when the whole lesion is removed and examined under the microscope. An excision biopsy may be recommended whenever a conclusive diagnosis cannot be made using the other methods I have described. In the case of enlarged lymph nodes, it is usually best to remove one completely anyway. This is because lymph node conditions can be diagnosed much more accurately and reliably when the pathologist can see the pattern of the whole node and not just a few cells from one part of it.

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BONE METASTASES – X-RAYS AND BONE SCANS

Cancer in the bones can also cause the release of large amounts of calcium into the blood. This can cause nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, metallic taste in the mouth, constipation, muscle weakness, excessive thirst and the passing of large volumes of urine.

Again, there are a number of other possible causes for high blood calcium levels which your doctor would have to consider.

If bone secondaries are suspected, X-rays or bone scans, or both, may be necessary. X-rays of a bone secondary may show a weakened area which looks darker than the normal white bone, because there is less calcium in the affected spot. Sometimes, however, the nearby normal bone reacts very strongly to the presence of cancer cells, producing a calcium-rich area that looks whiter than the normal bone. After successful treatment, healing bone secondaries can also look like this. In some cases bone secondaries do not show up on normal X-rays at all. Quite a lot of bone has to be destroyed before they can be seen. A CT scan of the suspected area is more sensitive, and may be positive when the plain X-ray looks normal.

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POISONING – CONCLUSION

Do not try to think of an antidote such as weak acid like vinegar or lemon juice, for an alkaline substance. Give large quantities of milk, which can dilute the poison and delay absorption.

This advice also applies to volatile substances like kerosene and petrol where vomiting might lead to the inhalation of fumes which could damage the lungs.

If you have small children in your house or likely to visit you, I would ask you to do three things after reading this article.

FIRST, check your phone book and see where the Poisons Information Centre number is listed, so you will be able to find it in a hurry.

SECONDLY, please see that all substances such as drugs or chemicals are in a secure place. If you don’t have a locked cupboard, get one.

THIRDLY, put on your shopping list for this week a bottle of Syrup of Ipecac from your chemist.

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FAT LOSS: EATING DISORDERS

Summary of main points.

• Obsession with dieting and weight control can lead to eating disorders.

• There is no evidence that educational efforts to reduce obesity increase eating disorders in a community.

• The main eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia.

• These exist in about 1-10 per cent of the female population. Anorexia and bulimia are currently not common in males though they certainly occur.

• Disordered eating patterns for bulking, as in body building, are more characteristic of males.

• Eating disorders as a side effect must be considered in any fat loss programming.

Any discussion of weight control or fat loss programs would not be complete without a consideration of eating disorders. These may be an inevitable consequence of the idea that we can sculpt our bodies and ‘will’ our minds to accomplish any ideal without any apparent downside. The move towards a ‘perfect’ body is exacerbated by images portrayed in the media and by careers or professions, such as gymnastics and dancing, where an extremely slim or lean physique is required. However, whilst an unrealistic body ideal is a trigger for eating disorders, there is no evidence that initiatives to reduce obesity in the community per se, have this effect. Eating disorders have been reported in the literature for hundreds of years, well before the time of the modern obsession with weight.

The two main disorders to be considered here are anorexia nervosa, and bulimia. Because these are specialty areas of study, the discussion here is necessarily brief and directed towards the practical implications for fat loss leaders working with clients who may manifest these problems.

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THE G.I. FACTOR: WITH A WAVE OF THE FAT WAND…

The other undesirable aspect of the modern diet is its high fat content Food manufacturers, bakers and chefs know we love to eat fat. We love its creaminess and mouth feel and find it easy to consume in excess. It makes our meat more tender, our vegetables and salads more palatable and our sweet foods even more desirable. We prefer potatoes as French fries or potato crisps, to have our fish battered and fried and our pastas in rich creamy sauces. With a wave of the fat wand, bland high carbohydrate foods like rice and oats are magically transformed into very palatable, kilojoule-laden foods such as fried rice and toasted muesli. In fact, when you analyse it, much of our diet today is an undesirable but delicious combination of both fat and quickly digested carbohydrate.

What’s wrong with our way of eating?

? The modern diet is too high in fat and therefore not high enough in carbohydrate.

? The carbohydrate we eat is digested and absorbed too quickly because most modern starchy foods have a high G.I. factor.

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