Archive for the 'Health' Category

My bald patch covered with WHAT?

Everyone has one or two family members who are balding. If your family is genetically predisposed to male pattern baldness, maybe you have alot more. Historically men have gone to some pretty crazy lengths to conceal their thinning domes. Have a look at these few famous (and not so famous) examples:

Three men who have had problems with balding

The flamboyant Elton John opted for the tried and tested toupee. Steven Segal had a hair transplant to restore his hairline (hair was taken from the back of his head and planted at the front). But who is the last guy and what’s on his head?

Well according to the website of Australian leading hair transplant surgeon Dr Ray Woods that is a picture of “Justin?, one of the world’s first patients to undergo chest to scalp hair relocation. In a marathon procedure where Dr Woods removed and relocated each individual hair follicle one by one, Justin’s hairline was slowly reconstructed – from his chest hairs. And it grows. Quite alot actually.

Two years on it looks something like this:

Two years after chest hair transplant
Remarkable! I, for one, didn’t realize chest hair could grow that long. Which made me wonder if there were other doctors out there transplanting body hair.

I stumbled across transplant surgeon Dr Jeffrey Epstein who speaks on his website about transplants involving the “central chest or pubic triangle?. Does this strike you as odd? I can’t help but wonder: if a doctor offered to treat your baldness by to moving your chest, abdominal, or (heaven forbid) pubic hair to the top of your head would you want to go ahead with it? Would you feel okay with having your short and curlies groomed and on full display for the world? Or could you think of better things to spend the estimated $20,000 plus cost on?

Posted in Health, Hair loss | No Comments »

Controversy surrounds cancer vaccine Gardasil

I’m angry that the world’s first cervical cancer vaccine, Gardasil, is causing a splash of alarmist headlines with its introduction in Australia. The vaccine, developed by leading immunologist Ian Frazer, is being administered to 230,000 Australian teenagers in a $400 million federal government initiative.

Gardasil prevents cervical cancer by immunizing against the sexually transmitted human papilloma virus, known to cause 70 percent of all cervical cancers.

Headlines such as “girls collapse after cancer vaccine? have been frontpage news in Australia warning of side effects such as dizziness and nausea. One Melbourne based social commentator went so far as to suggest in today’s Herald Sun newspaper that the vaccines rollout is just a revenue raiser for the medical profession and urging parents to keep their children from the queue.

That particular article by Neil Mitchell annoyed me as it dramatized a small number of girls who fainted (a common happening to adolescent girls after any injection) but failed to recognize the hundreds of Australian women who die from this preventable disease each year. Heaven help the parents who follow this man’s advice blindly.

I was happier to read the response of “Anne? an immunization nurse who spends her working days administering Gardasil, amongst other vaccines, to school children. While she couldn’t count the hundreds of children (particularly the girls) who have fainted, cried, or reported bizarre non-physical reactions to all injections she has given – she had never seen a child who hadn’t recovered. Her daughters were first in line for Gardasil, and moaned about it as school children do. But they knew how lucky they were.

Ironically the young women who need the vaccine most – those in the poorest nations where cervical cancer diagnosis and treatment is inadequate at best– remain the least likely to receive it with the cost estimated at a prohibitive $300 to $500 a pop. Kudos to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation though, who announced last year $27.7 million funding to research methods of introducing Gardasil in developing countries.

Here in the prosperous U. S. of A. only Virginia has passed legislation for compulsory vaccination with Gardasil. Governor Rick Perry of Texas faced an abrupt end to his proposal to vaccinate schoolgirls with the senate blocking him last month. Other states haven’t made it even that far. NewScientist reported some conservative groups believe the vaccine will encourage sexual activity in adolescents by reducing their risks of catching sexually transmitted disease. To me, limiting access to Gardasil for that reason would be like limiting the availability of condoms. While that sort of thinking continues I expect it will be sometime before there will be a nationwide approach to cervical cancer prevention.

In the meantime 15,000 American women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year. Personally I want to see Gardasil introduced as a free compulsory vaccine for all school aged girls across America.

What do you think? Would you have your precious daughters at the front of the queue or are you not convinced?

Posted in Uncategorized, Health, Health Care | 1 Comment »

Fat Suit

It always happens.  I get to my parents’ house and eat like a five hundred pound football player.  It’s pretty disgusting.  But, I can never seem to stop myself.

I spent the whole week the kids were gone reintroducing myself to a more familiar style of eating (you know, more familiar than the stuff your face when you get a chance and eat your kids’ leftovers style that most most moms live by).  I was eating very balanced snacks and even more balanced meals - and ONLY when I was hungry.  As a very busy mom with several other jobs, I find myself eating meals that I don’t want just because I know I won’t have time later.  It makes for a lot of random weight gain and even more weight loss.  So, I spent the week letting my body tell me what it needed - I listened very diligently and found myself feeling good and healthy and energized.  Now, the worst of two eating worlds have collided:  I am back with my kids (cooking three squares for them and helping them eat it all AND the typical overindulgence that always comes with visiting my mom and dad).  I feel so gross.

With the chocolate brownies innocently lying around staring at me, urging me to take just a nibble to the decedent pot of Hoppin’ John that my mom made New Year’s day getting better and better by the day in the refrigerator, I just can’t stop myself.  Top off the complete imbalance of food to people ratio with my unnaturally sensational love of food and eating and you have one big mess.  And one big me.

Granted I haven’t actually gained any more weight than like a pound or two.. And, I know, there are some of you out there looking at my skinny picture on the right and rolling your eyes.  But, come on.  Any woman out there reading, thin or not, knows how awful it is to not fit into your pants in the morning after a pan of pecan brownies with mint chocolate chip ice cream on top was shoved in your mouth the night before.  It’s feels as dirty as waking up in a stranger’s bed with no clothes on and a flask of whisky in your hand.  Not that I know what that feels like.  I would just imagine that it would be about the same.

So.  That’s where my holiday has taken me thus far.  Over-indulgent and feeling fat as a hiefer.  Happy f#@*! New Year to me and all my fat rolls.


Posted in Lifestyles, Healthy Eating | 1 Comment »

I’m back!

Well.  Well.  Well.

So the kids decided, after all, that a Disney Post Christmas extravaganza was in order.  We got back from delivering them to my parents last night.  I must admit, the drive home felt like I was reversing some kind of law of physics - the fact that I was driving in the opposite direction from my kids was the most unnatural feeling I have ever had. 

But they are knee deep, as we speak, in Little Mermaid and Buzz Lightyear heaven.  I talked to them this morning and they sound like they are having a blast!  Which was exactly what I needed to hear - it is hard to sleep without them in the house.  But, the fact that they are having an adventure with their Nana and Papa eases my mind greatly. 

So then.  What to do?  John and I are all alone - we slept in and ate breakfast in bed.  So many things that we could do with the rest of our holiday but, really, we both seem content to be home and dig into one another.  Since I was a single mom when we met, it is always painfully obvious to us - when we get a chance to be alone - that we never actually dated, in the traditional sense of the word.  We never got to indulge in one another the way other couples do.  Sure.  We had a good time, but always with the pretense that there was a sweet boy at home waiting for me (which meant our evening usually ended at 10pm).  We never felt slighted, it’s just that at times like these, we really realize that we never got to really revel in that new relationship splendor.  And, now that my mind is at ease with the kids being safe and happy, we are able to.  We are able to enjoy what we really love about each other and remember why it is we fell in love.  I hope you’ll excuse me this week if I end up being syrupy sweet about everything, but I have a feeling I won’t be able to stop myself. 

Posted in Marriage, Healthy Living | No Comments »

What’s Worse than Having the Flu?

Having the flu with the Doodlebops song stuck in my head.


This is pure torture.

Posted in Poison | 2 Comments »

One Whole Week… Are You Serrrrrious?

I have divulged to you my plans (or unplans, as the case may be) to stay home for the holidays - and not commit ourselves to hauling ass all over Tennessee, Alabama and Florida, crammed in a car for eight hours with two kids (and two grown ups) who want more than anything just to be home with their own tree and presents and friends and Christmas dinner, just to appease my mom. Everyone else understands - they have all admitted that they would never entertain the idea driving 8hours during the holiday season with kids. Everyone but my mom. She did it with us when we were kids - no matter where we were in the world, she made sure that we picked ourselves up out of our relaxing holiday and loaded every present, package and suitcase into our minivan just so that she could be near her parents for Christmas. It was crazy. And, I have decided that it is not how I am going to spend my holidays with my kids anymore. I say “anymore” because I tried - for the last six years I have felt obligated and was never prepared to face the insurmountable guilt that I knew my mom would hash out. Buckets of guilt would be slung my way - with precise aim.  It’s a gift of hers. Everyone’s gotta be good at something, right?

In her defense, though, these are her only grandkids. They mean the world to her and she means the world to them. But, when I gaiged how excited my son was to stay home, the decision was final. I broke the news to her in, probably, the least sensitive manner I could have mustered. Not intentionally - it just happened that way. I said it very casually and as if it weren’t a big deal - because, once we had made the decision, it wasn’t a big deal. To us. Her reaction was very similar to what I would imagine it would be had I told her that I was secretly a stripper and John was a full time pimp down in the lower east side of Nashville. Appalled. I gave her some time to work it out. After a week, she called and said that she and dad had decided that they, if it was alright with us, wanted to pick the kids up the day after Xmas and take them down to Disney World. I know part of the reason is she wants the kids to be around her family for a holiday - and that Disney World is a guise for that. But, hell, I’ll take it.

And, the she said “We’ll be back on New Year’s Eve”. Wait. That’s a whole week. Hold. On. Just. A. Damn. Minute. I’m torn. Half of me (the half that wants to feel like a cutloose and fancy free 29year old) is jumping for joy and spinning cartwheels out on the sunlit, dewey front lawn. The other half (you know, the mom part that can’t imagine her kids away from her - flying down the highway at warp speed with her half deaf father who can barely see through his five inch long old man eyebrows and her junk food addicted mother [godbless’em]) is flipping out and damn near an anxiety attack about it.

A week. That’s a long, looooong time. John, of course, is already counting the hours of sleeping in that a week without the kids amounts to. I, on the other hand, will probably wake up every morning at 630am wishing that a little boy would climb in my bed and warm his toes on my belly and that I could hear a two year old in her crib singing a morning song to herself.. Being a mother is quite certainly one of the most beautiful forms of torture on this planet.

Posted in Uncategorized, Daily Living, Holidays, Vacation and Travel, Mental Health | No Comments »

What is Happening to Me?

A little known fact about me.  I once helped liberate fourteen animals from a labratory that was affiliated with a major drugstore chain.  It was all very covert and nondestructive.  We saved fourteen animals and gave them good homes.  I hope I don’t go to jail for admitting this online.  It was many, many years ago and I was very young - certainly wasn’t the master mind of the operation.  But I went.

My point in divulging any of this to you is because my identity (if you haven’t noticed from previous blogs) is becoming somewhat illusive to me these days.  I don’t care to be a fist raising activist or someone who is righteously ethical - though that was an outfit I wore for many years.  But, where is the line?  How do we creep into being a reasonable adult with a balanced perspective about their lifestyle without entirely becoming a sell out?  My fear is that I am not becoming “balanced” but lazy. 

I have started taking long walks in the morning.  530am is my target rising time - though it is hard to get out of bed before 6am.  During these long walks alone, I have been thinking.  Thinking about my past.  Thinking about my present.  Obsessively thinking about my future and what kind of person I am turning into.  I have also started to think about who I am not any longer.  Everyone around me seems so pleased to know that I have “loosened up” - I eat fish, I wear leather, I had turkey for Thanksgiving, I drive something very similar to a small SUV (alright, it is a small SUV..), I let my kids watch TV now (only PBS but, still…).  I am far from a perfectionist - seriously.  I never adhered to a “no-TV-vegetarian-econocar-driving” lifestyle because I was a perfectionist about my lifestyle.  Admittedly, I did it out of guilt.  I couldn’t bear having any responsibility for destruction of any kind and, when I had kids, I didn’t want them to be comfortable living an overindulged, destructive lifestyle either.  So, what gives?  What switch got flipped in me?  Am I being lazy or just figuring out how to work within the constraints of the society around me? 

I guess, mostly, I just want to know why I can’t turn it off.  I see all these people, every day, living so simply and easily.  They glide through their day,without even an inkling of a thought for their actions and behaviour.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be like that, I just want to find a middle ground.  Somewhere, there has got to be a middle ground.

Posted in Lifestyles, Daily Living, Mental Health | No Comments »

I Get Dizzy Just Watching…

I have two sets of friends who each have three kids.  They are brilliant and capable women.  I never thought I would be able to have two kids and somehow I pull it off, sometimes moderately well.  I think something takes you over when you have kids and you just act instead of thinking of acting.  When I watch these women, with their brood of children and their insanity just a boat ride away, I feel nothing but complete admiration for their strength.  Aaaaaaand a huge dose of relief for the fact that I don’t have three kids.  As much as going from an only child to two children is a shock - going from two to three seems maniacally deranged.  You’re outnumbered and, when you’re outnumbered, it seems you live in a complete state of cyclical dizzyness that is gaining control, losing control, taking deep breaths to maintain control, gaining control, losing control, taking deep breaths……..

So.  To keep myself from being faced with something I don’t think I will ever be capable of - I have started to think about serious (not just whimsically basing it on the moon cycle) birth control.  Until my husband gets the snippity snip (soon!) we are having to change our ways to insure that our perfectly numbered family and my moderately stable sanity doesn’t get rocked.  Check it out in our health section.

Posted in Lifestyles, Health, Sex | 2 Comments »

Same as It Ever Was…

Well, we made it through our weekends of identity searching.. Of course, I had no idea that we were searching for identities this weekend but, something along those lines happened.  Joseph discovered that he really doesn’t care about football (even though he was completely stoked about it as he left Friday) or tailgating (whew!!) and I discovered that, given enough time in the day, I become unyeildingly productive and return to my inherent artistic temperments. 

If you have children, find a way to be alone for a weekend.  I did my share of going out and catching up with friends (until 4am!.. god what was I thinking?  I’m not 20 anymore.. I was in much pain the next morning).. But the best part were those moments when I was completely alone.  I relished every moment.  I highly recommend it.

Aside from the obvious self reconnection that can occur from such a weekend there are also huge (huge!) benefits to your marriage.  I missed my husband. A lot.  He missed me.  A lot.  We have been (ahem.. literally..) inseperable since he got home.  Again, I highly recommend it. 

And, today, we’re back to the grind.  There is laundry to do, articles to write, magazines to edit, baths to give, dogs to walk, bills to pay…. But we do it, today, with renewed energy and admiration for ourselves and one another.  All that just from one little weekend away from it all.  It’s enough to keep you going for a long time to come. 

Posted in Daily Living, Healthy Living | No Comments »

Somebody Stop Me..

I have grown accustomed to the fact that, since having children, my body has somewhat become it’s own creature.. Changing and evolving (if you can call it that) into something that I have little control over.  I have grown used to the feathery stretch marks on my belly and have become thankful that they aren’t as bad as some of my friends.  I have dealt with the fact that I have nursed two children and, well, the ladies are a bit tired these days.  There isn’t a lot of “perk” to my jiggle and jerk, if you know what I mean.  I’ve eased into all of these things and thought that I was doing pretty good.

Somehow, as I crouch toward thirty, some scary things are happening to me.  Widening type things.  Things that have nothing to do with producing children.  My body is spreading.  All over the place.  Of course, I’m the only one to notice.  So far.  I can admit that most of it is in my mind - but some of it is not.  And that’s more than I can handle. 

Here’s the thing.  I’m not an jazzercizer.. I don’t really “do” exercise.  In fact, I hate pointless exercise and think that people who go to gyms are weird.  Can’t explain it - I just get annoyed with exercise.  I know this about myself.  No big deal.  I am still very physically active, nonetheless.  I live a very energetic life.  Really.  I do.  Exercise isn’t my problem.  I know what my problem is and I can’t (don’t want to) fix it.

It’s food.  I love it.  I mean, I love it like most people love sex or drinking or - name your addiction.  Seriously.  If you want me to be somewhere, just dangle a carrot in front of me - if food will be there, so will I.  And, here I am, two days into the flu and it’s in front of me and even though I feel like dog shit, I want to eat it.  I love it.  Love. It.

My adoration of food has never been a problem.  Until tonight.  I caught a glimpse of my spreaded out ass today in the mirror.  Sure I was wearing my “sick” pants (a very old and very saggy pair of sweat pants that are far from flattering) but, still.  It looked gross.  And, I know that my love of eating is the cause.  Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t have an actual addiction.  I just love food.  I love cooking it, smelling, picking it out at the farmer’s market, reading about it, planning meals..  

So, what’s a girl to do?  The Dr. Weil trial is going well but, since I have been sick all week, it is hard to be following a health regimen.  All I have felt like doing is sleeping (and eating, somehow).  Perhaps if I keep following it, I will develop a better sense of balancing foods I adore with foods I should eat to age “gracefully” and without the mom butt creeping up on me as fast as it is. 

Posted in Healthy Eating, Healthy Living | No Comments »

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