Healthcare Administration Archives

prescription-drugs

Prescription drugs have done wonders for the field of medicine. They’ve healed suffering patients and relieved chronic pain, in addition to causing serious health risks and side effects that inevitably caused them to be pulled from the market. Many of the so-called “miracle drugs” of our lifetime proved to be more dangerous than the original condition itself. Here are 10 prescription drugs pulled from the shelves and why:

  1. Vioxx
    In 1999, Vioxx was the most heavily marketed pharmaceutical in the world. A potent arthritis pain killer, Vioxx, promised to improve the lives of millions of aging baby boomers suffering from the terrible pain of arthritis and an aggressive marketing campaign made Vioxx an overnight sensation. However, this success soon turned into a nightmare for manufacturer Merck when reports of increased risk of heart attack and stroke began to pour in. The drug was retired in 2004, and has since been linked to over 27,000 deaths.
  2. Thalidomide
    Thalidomide was a popular morning sickness medication prescribed worldwide under several different brand names throughout the 1960s and 1950s. The FDA, however, refused to approve the drug due to possible safety concerns. The drug was soon linked to catastrophic birth defects around the world. This regulatory success by the FDA was instrumental in shaping the drug approval process in the United States. The rest of the world, including 13 highly developed nations, was not so lucky.
  3. Rezulin
    From its inception, Rezulin, intended to treat diabetes, was clouded by controversy. A leading FDA physician, Dr. John Gueriguian, cautioned that Rezulin could be dangerous and urged the FDA not to approve the drug. The FDA responded to his warnings by firing him and discarding his report. Soon after its approval, Rezulin was linked to sudden liver failure and over 390 deaths.
  4. Duract
    The FDA had a plan for Duract, a pain killer that had already been shown to have potentially fatal side effects if taken longer than prescribed. The plan was simple: add a warning label that urged patients to take Duract only as prescribed. The problem was that patients did not follow this warning. After 68 deaths were linked to Duract it was pulled from the shelves.
  5. Redux
    In the 1980s, Redux, commonly known as “Fen-Phen,” was a revolutionary diet treatment that helped users drop pounds and keep them off. The drug would later be linked to over 100 deaths due to heart valve disease brought on by continued use. The drug was removed by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in 1997, but not before extensive litigation cost the company billions of dollars in settlements and damages.
  6. Zelnorm
    This treatment for irritable bowel syndrome was perhaps best known for its strange marketing campaign showing women with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome written on their stomachs. The drug was widely prescribed and eventually approved for men before it was linked to increased risk of heart attack and stroke and pulled from the shelves.
  7. Seldane
    In 1985, Seldane was introduced as the first non-drowsy antihistamine. However, not long after its initial release, Seldane was shown to be highly cross reactive with other prescription drugs, over the counter medications and even foods such as grapefruit juice. Seldane was retired as other less reactive drugs entered the market, but the problems associated with its cross reactivity led the FDA to mandate extensive initial testing of chemical interactions before a drug could win approval.
  8. Propulsid
    Propulsid was a successful heartburn medication used in the treatment of severe gastric reflux. In 2000, however, it was linked to severe heart rhythm abnormalities and over 80 deaths. It was pulled from the market shortly thereafter.
  9. Posicor
    Posicor’s approval as a treatment for cardiovascular disorders came with a list of three other medications that could cause deadly drug interactions if taken simultaneously. Needless to say, this list grew immediately, and Posicor’s benefits were soon outweighed by its list of over 25 potentially fatal drug interactions. It was replaced by safer alternatives and voluntarily removed from the market in 1998.
  10. Reglan
    Reglan is widely prescribed acid reflux treatment that only recently has been linked to a terrible disorder called tardive dyskenisia, which can lead to uncontrolled movement and permanent disfigurement. The FDA has applied its “black box” warning to Reglan, and numerous lawsuits have been filed in connection with Reglan’s devastating side effects.

10 Recession Proof Healthcare Careers

RNs

During bad economic times, the medical field has always been a secure place to be. However, the current recession has led to some major employment changes that have given some healthcare positions an upper hand. Here are 10 recession-proof healthcare careers:

  • Medical and Health Services Manager
    Medical and health services managers, also known as healthcare administrators or healthcare executives, plan, direct and oversee the delivery of healthcare in entire facilities or specific clinical departments. Medical and health services managers have withstood the recession because all healthcare settings need management and direction.
  • Registered Nurse
    Despite the recession, registered nurses are still in high demand. People will continue to get sick, if not sicker, during bad economic times, causing a growing need for generalized and specialized registered nurses to treat the ill. Registered nurses are also needed to balance the expanding population and increasing life expectancy of the elderly. RNs have great job security, favorable pay and plenty of room for advancement opportunities.
  • Physicians and Surgeon
    Despite the health care reform and changes to the health care system, physicians and surgeons have maintained their spot as a recession-proof career. Physicians and surgeons are the most direct leaders in health care, and will continue to be needed because of their expertise, knowledge and training in treating the ill.
  • Physical Therapist
    Physical therapists have withstood the recession because of their specific training and specialized area of care. People have continued to seek physical therapists’ services because of chronic pain, injuries and rehabilitation needs.
  • Dental Hygienist
    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, dental hygienist is one of the fastest growing occupations today. Even in bad economic times, people will still need teeth cleanings, oral exams and dental services, in which the dental hygienist is a big part of.
  • Pharmacist
    Pharmacy is another area of health care that has survived the recession. Along with treating the ill, pharmacists are needed to administer medications to those who are sick. Their specialized training and knowledge in pharmacology makes them an important, irreplaceable aspect of the health care system.
  • Physician Assistant
    Physician assistants have a less obvious, but extremely important role in the health care system. They are responsible for providing diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive healthcare services under the direction of a physician, as well as recordkeeping, interpreting laboratory tests and taking patients’ medical histories. Physician assistants have survived the recession because of their importance to physicians and delivery of effective health care.
  • Occupational Therapist
    Like other specialized therapy services, occupational therapists have withstood the recession because of their specific training in treating patients with mentally, physically, developmentally or emotionally disabling conditions and helping them perform tasks in living and working settings. With the growing understanding of disabilities and physical conditions, more people are seeking the care of occupational therapists who can help them learn or regain everyday living and working skills.
  • Health Educator
    The field of health education continues to be an important factor of the health care system. From educating the community on health care topics to teaching medical students, health educators play a direct role in health care awareness and preparing future health care professionals.
  • Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor
    Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors have survived the recession because of their specialized area of care. As people become more aware about addiction and behavioral disorders, they have begun seeking professional treatment to help cope with their condition, therefore, increasing the need for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors.

10 Diseases You Didn’t Know Existed

Most of us are fortunate enough to live healthy lives without having to worry about the perpetual symptoms of a debilitating disease. Even if you happen to suffer from a common disease, chances are you’ve encountered opportunities for treatment and peers that are enduring the same journey. But have you considered what it would be like to have overgrown fingers, or undeveloped facial nerves that hinder you from making facial expressions? How would you react to being just one of hundreds of people in the world with the same disease? Below are 10 diseases you didn’t know existed, but you’re lucky not to have.

  • Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome (Ondine’s Curse)
    People who suffer from CCHS are unable to involuntarily breathe sufficiently during sleep. It’s acquired at birth or during severe trauma to the brain stem. In the most serious cases of the disease, people are unable to sleep because they would die. Typically, this occurs among newborns, but there have been cases where the disease progressed from minor to life-threatening – those people are required to use ventilators.
  • Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome

  • Fields’ disease
    Just two people in the world suffer from Fields’ disease, making it the rarest in the world. It was discovered in four-year-old Welsh twins – Catherine and Kirstie Fields – who exhibited signs of progressive muscular deterioration. At the age of nine, they were unable to walk on their own and perform simple tasks like writing. During the process, their brains and personalities have remained normal. Because such a disease has never before been treated, doctors are unsure of what to expect in the future.
  • Fields’ disease

  • Microcephaly
    Microcephaly sufferers have smaller-than-normal head circumferences because their brains either failed to develop properly or stopped growing. Typically, the condition starts in the womb during early fetal development and it’s caused by genetic abnormalities, foreign substances like radiation, or excessive exposure to drugs and alcohol. The disorder can result in severe mental retardation, or just minor disability.
  • Microcephaly

  • Kuru
    Kuru appeared in New Guinea during the 1950s, affecting the Fore people in the highlands. The cause of the disease was cannibalism; it was a tribal ritual to devour the tissues of dead relatives. Symptoms included tremors and slurred speech because the cerebellum was primarily affected. In its most severe stages, sufferers lost the ability to stand and eat on their own, became comatose, and died six month to a year after they were initially infected.
  • Kuru

  • Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria
    Roughly one in four million newborns suffer from Progeria, which is a genetic condition that causes rapid aging. As babies, they maintain a normal appearance, but as they grow older, they develop bulging eyes, protruding ears, small chins, thin noses and poor skin. Their arteries harden, increasing their chances of enduring a heart attack or stroke. People with Progeria typically live until their early-teens, though some can live until the age of 30.
  • Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria

  • Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva
    Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva is the ossification of connective and muscle tissue, resulting in the loss of mobility. People with FOP often become unable to open their mouths, which hinders their ability to speak and eat independently. Further injuries to areas affected by FOP can cause more rapid ossification. FOP sufferers typically have deformed big toes, and sometimes uncharacteristically short thumbs. First signs of the condition occur during early childhood when it affects the shoulders and neck.
  • Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva

  • Moebius Syndrome
    Nobody knows the exact cause of Moebius Syndrome; a disorder that inhibits movement of the facial muscles. Sufferers are unable to make facial expressions or control their eye movement and blinking. First symptoms are apparent after birth when the baby isn’t able to suck. Eventually, they experience problems feeding and swallowing. It’s estimated that roughly 30 to 40 percent of people with Moebius Syndrome have Autism.
  • Moebius Syndrome

  • Proteus Syndrome
    The rare condition – just 50 cases worldwide – was named after the Greek god Proteus, who could change himself into any shape he desired. It’s characterized by atypical growth of bones and skin, resulting in an asymmetrical body. Gigantism of certain limbs and overgrown fingers are typically observed in sufferers. There are just more than 50 cases reported worldwide, and all of them have been isolated occurrences within different families.
  • Proteus Syndrome

  • Porphyria
    Porphyria occurs when there’s an excess buildup of porphyrins in a person’s body caused by an inherited mutation. During attacks, sufferers endure cramping and abdominal pain, problems with the nervous system like seizures and personality changes, and blisters, swelling, and itching when their skin is exposed to sunlight. Visible scarring is common after the slow healing process of the skin. Another peculiar result of Porphyria is red or brown urine.
  • Porphyria

  • Morgellons
    People who are diagnosed with Morgellons disease experience crawling and biting sensations under their skin, rashes and sores, severe itching, lesions and the presence of black, blue or red fibers on their skin. Additionally, they may suffer from short-term memory loss, severe fatigue and behavioral changes. Specifics about the disease are unknown. In fact, it isn’t widely recognized within the medical community, and research is just now being undertaken.
  • Morgellons

10 Classic TV Doctors

house_doctors_mihc“I’m not a doctor, but I play on one TV.” Those words from soap actor Peter Bergman in a 1986 ad for Vicks cough syrup are still some of the most memorable in commercial history, but they also emphasize just how big a role these fake doctors have played in our lives over the years. Medical shows, whether drama or comedy, have always been popular, and the doctors at their core have become some of the most-loved and recognized TV characters of all time.

1. Cliff Huxtable (Bill Cosby, “The Cosby Show”)
Cliff Huxtable was the amiable and bemused center of his household, always ready to deliver advice when he wasn’t at the hospital delivering babies. Bill Cosby’s most indelible character helped the show run for eight seasons from 1984-1992, and it was one of the biggest shows of the 1980s.

2. Doogie Howser (Neil Patrick Harris, “Doogie Howser, M.D.”)
The preternaturally gifted Doogie Howser breezed through school to become a doctor at 16, which meant he had to grapple with the trials of being a teen while also dealing with the adult pressures of the medical world. The show made Neil Patrick Harris a household name, and he’s been in the spotlight ever since.

3. Philip Chandler (Denzel Washington, “St. Elsewhere”)
This NBC drama had its share of young stars on the rise, including Mark Harmon and Howie Mandel, but it was Denzel Washington’s turn as Dr. Chandler that brought an interesting depth to the show and helped catapult Washington to fame.

4. Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce (Alan Alda, “M*A*S*H”)
Adapted from Robert Altman’s 1970 film MASH, the long-running TV series was a slightly softened version of the black comedy about doctors in the Korean War (an obvious allegory for the then-current war in Vietnam). Alan Alda’s Hawkeye Pierce acted as the show’s anchor, using humor to deflect the tragedy around him. The series finale was the most-watched program in American history until the 2010 Super Bowl.

5. Doug Ross (George Clooney, “ER”)
“ER” ran for 15 seasons and rotated a huge number of actors through its cast, but initial star George Clooney was the show’s definining presence early on. Doug Ross was a caring pediatrician willing to break the rules to help people. He left the show during its fifth season.

6. Marcus Welby (Robert Young, “Marcus Welby, M.D.”)
Robert Young’s friendly family doctor first appeared in a movie-of-the-week in 1969 before returning as a series later that year and running through 1976. The themes are dated now, but his character remains one of the most indelible TV doctors of the era.

7. Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson, “Grey’s Anatomy”)
“Grey’s Anatomy” has been popular since its 2005 debut, and a big part of that is the supporting work of Chandra Wilson as Dr. Miranda Bailey, whose tough persona helps shape the younger doctors.

8. Julius Hibbert (Harry Shearer, “The Simpsons”)
Always chuckling and seemingly indifferent to the ups and downs of life in Springfield, Dr. Hibbert, a spoof of Cosby’s Huxtable, is one of the most enduring and hilarious characters on “The Simpsons,” and a fan favorite. (Plus he’s the long-lost brother of Bleeding Gums Murphy, and how cool is that?)

9. Leonard “Bones” McCoy (DeForrest Kelley, “Star Trek”)
“He’s dead, Jim.” Leonard McCoy was a staple of the original “Star Trek” TV series and later film franchise, known for his dry humor and comic pessimism. He even put in an appearance in the pilot episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

10. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie, “House”)
Hugh Laurie was a well-known comic actor in his native England before his performance as the grizzled Dr. House brought him stateside recognition. House is a tough man, but not without compassion for his fellow doctors and for the sick and suffering. The series has remained popular even after six years on the air.

10 Facts About Health Care Reform

Health_Care_Rally_MIHCIt can be tough to find straight-forward, honest reporting in today’s heated political world, especially when it comes to hot-button issues like the recently enacted health care reform. Stories that big generate so much coverage that it’s hard to keep it straight. Who’s lying? Who’s telling the truth? Who’s just crazy? Here are ten facts — actual, black and white facts — about health care reform to get you started on the road to truth. This reportage comes from FactCheck.org, a nonpartisan, nonprofit project from the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, and PolitiFact.com, a Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking group at the St. Petersburg Times.

1. Health care reform does not mean a “government take-over.” This is one of the trickiest misconceptions about the reform bill. The new law does not place hospitals or doctors under government control, nor does it mean the government will cover all costs. Major things like Medicare, Medicaid, and the insurance you get from your employer won’t change. What’s happening is that the government is creating private exchanges to help people compare prices on insurance policies, and its offering subsidies for poorer families to help them buy insurance. That’s it.

2. Your premium will probably stay the same. For people in the individual market, who do not get their insurance from an employer, the cost of premiums might rise or fall depending on what level of coverage they choose; for example, the greater access to coverage might lead to a bigger plan being purchased. But most Americans get their insurance through an employer, and for those people, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the cost of premiums will hold steady, and mightt decline by a small amount (up to 3 percent).

3. Most abortions will not be federally subsidized. The new law says that a woman receiving federal subsidy money must use her private money to pay for an abortion unless it’s in an instance of rape, incest, or to save the mother’s life. Neither side of the debate is thrilled with the set-up — one group claims that denying funds for a legal medical service is wrong, while the other points out that it’s only elective, non-life-threatening abortions that aren’t federally funded — but the truth of the matter is that the number of abortions would likely stay level.

4. Illegal immigrants aren’t covered. Congressman Joe Wilson became briefly famous for shouting “You lie!” during a joint session of Congress in which President Obama said that health care reforms wouldn’t cover illegal immigrants. But the president’s statement is true: Only legal immigrants will be eligible for the federal subsidies being offered. Anyone here illegally isn’t eligible.

5. You have to have health care. By 2014, everyone must have health care coverage or pay a fine. For many workers who receive coverage through their employers, nothing will change, but for others, they will need to purchase insurance from private companies. However, subsidies will be available for lower income families to help them afford the insurance. Those who don’t have it will pay a fine of $95 in 2014 that will rise to up to 2.6 percent of income by 2016.

6. Pre-existing conditions are a thing of the past. Starting immediately, children under 19 can’t be denied health coverage because of a pre-existing condition, and by 2014, no adults can be denied coverage for their pre-existing conditions. Additionally, children can remain dependents on their parents’ plan until they turn 27.

7. Rescissions are also gone. A rescission is the legal unwinding of a contract, and in health care contexts, it means cancellation of coverage. However, from now on, people with insurance won’t lose their coverage because they get sick.

8. Regulation of insurance companies will increase. For instance, preventive care must now be offered to all.

9. Medicare patients will see some price reductions. The so-called “doughnut hole” is a gap in prescription medication costs for seniors, and the health care reforms address that by offering a $250 rebate to help people on Medicare pay for prescription drugs. In 2011, those on Medicare will be able to receive a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs to help lower their expenses.

10. Congress has to abide by the reforms. Despite claims by opponents, members of Congress must obtain insurance like the rest of us. The new law includes a Republican amendment that members of Congress take themselves out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan and purchase coverage from private exchanges in 2014.

15 Rare and Awful Diseases You May Not Know

There are many diseases all around us and all over the world. Some we know quite well such as cancer, however there are many that we don’t know. Here are 15 weird diseases that you may not have ever heard about.

1. Trichotillomania: weird-diseases-1
A person who suffers from this strange disease has urge to pull one’s hair out. Whether it is body hair, scalp hair, beard hair, eyelashes, nose hair or eyebrows. Abnormalities in the natural brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine may play a role in causing this disease.

  

  

  

 

2. Stendhal Syndrome:weird-diseases-2
This disease causes people who have it to experience dizziness, rapid heartbeat, confusion and hallucinations when exposed to large amounts of beautiful art work.

 

 

 

 

 

3. Capgras Delusion:weird-diseases-3
A sufferer of this disease becomes convinced that a family member generally a spouse has been replaced by an identical looking imposter. Victims of this awful disease regularly report that their loved ones or significant others are being impersonated by other people. Sometimes in severe cases, this has led to the victim assaulting who he or she believes is the imposter, but is actually the relative or spouse in question. Some victims even second guess their own reflections in the mirror!

 

 

4. Pica:weird-diseases-4
This disease generates an urge to consume things other than food. Sufferers eat materials such as paper, clay, dirt, glue, coal, even feces and lint. Medical researchers have tenuously connected Pica with a mineral deficiency, however experts haven’t yet nailed down a real, firm cause or cure for this strange disorder.

 

5. Cotard’s Syndrome:weird-diseases-5
Those who suffer from this disease feel that they are dead and non-existent. The sufferer may also feel that he/she lost his or her blood or internal organs; the patient even feels that the internal parts are putrefying. It can show up due to mental illness and is also associated with depression.

 

 

 

 

 

6. Congenital insensitivity to pain:weird-diseases-6
There has been over 100 recorded cases in the United States of people who report the lack of painful sensations from things like pin pricks on their skin. The cause? A gene mutation which happens in the synthesis of a certain sodium channel associated with the neurons which control the reception and transmission of pain stimulus. Although this disease may sound advantageous, think again! People without pain sensations usually die early deaths from simple injuries, such as small cuts which others would feel and take care of. By contrast, individuals with congenital insensitivity to pain cannot feel such things and can actually suffer significant blood loss due to them.

 

7. Moebius Syndrome:weird-diseases-7
Annually, some 300 children in Europe are found to have Moebius Syndrome, a rare disease characterized by the lack of developed facial nerves as well as the subsequent lack of facial expressions. The main cause is totally unknown to medical researchers, however the effects are serious. Individuals with Moebius Syndrome are often seen sleeping with their eyes open. Additionally they cannot smile, frown, move their eyes in a lateral direction, or even control their blinking.

 

8. Alice in Wonderland Syndrome:weird-diseases-8
Clinicaly know as Micropsia, Alice in Wonderland Syndrome causes victims to have a malfunction in how their brain processes visual data, despite the lack of any problem with their eyes. As a result objects, other people, animals, and so on are percieved by the victim as being much smaller than they actually are. Victims have reported looking at dogs and seeing them as the size of mice, or looking at people who are very tall however seeing them as much shorter. The disease got its name from the fact that Lewis Carrol (the author of Alice in Wonderland) was considered to be suffering from it.

 

9. Elephantiasis:weird-diseases-9
Elephantiasis (or lymphatic filariasis) is typified by individuals with grossly enlarged legs or arms. The cause? Parasitic worms such as the Wuchereria bancrofti and B. timori which get transmitted by mosquitoes. Approximately 120 million people have some kind of elephantiasis throughout the world, and of them 40 million have it to a severe extent. The scary aspect of this disease is that the symptoms may take years to show themselves even after the initial infection. This is due to the fact that an infected female misquito can inject the worm larvae into a person’s bloodstream, where they will reproduce and spread prior to becoming visible in the form of symptoms like enlarged arms, legs, breasts, and genitals.

 

10. Werewolf Syndrome:weird-diseases-10
Abys DeJesus led doctors to conclude that she had “Human Werewolf Syndrome”, at just 2 years old, when she grew patches of dark hair on her face. Very simply, the explanation for the name is the fact that individuals who have it look very much like werewolves. Rumor has it that two brothers suffering from the disease in Mexico were offered a part on the X-Files, but turned it down!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Necrotizing fasciitis (Flesh-eating bacteria):weird-diseases-11
Necrotizing fasciitis is a nasty strain of the more common Strep bacteria that causes Strep throat. When inflicted, the strain feasts on the soft tissue present in the subcutaneous level of your skin. There, it kills all skin and flesh in its path, causing it to literally rot away. In extreme cases, necrotizing fasciitis can consume entire limbs or very large and visible patches of skin! Worst of all, it can enter your body through minory injuries such as cuts and bruises.

 

 

 

 

12. Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva:weird-diseases-12
Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva is an incredibly rare disease of the connective tissue. A mutation of the body’s repair system causes fibrous tissue (including muscle, tendon, and ligament) to become ossified when damaged. Many times, injuries may cause joints to become permanently frozen in place. Surgical removal of the extra bone growths can cause the body to “repair” the affected area with more bone. Children born with FOP characteristically have deformed great toes, perhaps missing a joint or simply presenting with a notable lump at the minor joint. The first “flare-up” that leads to the formation of FOP bones usually occurs before the age of 10.

 

13. Progeria: the 80-Year-Old Children:weird-diseases-13
Progeria is caused by a single small defect in a child’s genetic code, yet it has devastating and life-changing consequences. On average, a child born having this disease will be dead by the age of 13. While they see their bodies speed through the normal process of ageing they develop striking physical symptoms, often including premature baldness, heart disease, thinning bones as well as arthritis. Progeria is incredibly rare, there are only about 48 people living with it in the whole world. However, there is a family that has five children with the disease.

 

 

 

14. Blaschko’s lines: strange stripes all over the body:weird-diseases-14
Blaschko’s lines are an incredibly rare and unexplained phenomenon of human anatomy which was first presented in 1901 by German dermatologist Alfred Blaschko. Being neither a specific disease nor a predictable symptom of a disease, Blaschko’s lines are an invisible pattern included in human DNA. Many inherited and acquired diseases of the skin or mucosa manifest themselves according to these patterns, creating the visual appearance of stripes. The reason for the stripes is thought to derive from mosaicism; they don’t correspond to nervous, muscular, or lymphatic systems. What makes them even more amazing is that they correspond quite closely from patient to patient, usually forming a “V” shape over the spine and “S” shapes over the chest, stomach, and sides.

 

  15. Exploding Head Syndrome:weird-diseases-15
Those who suffer from this disease experience a very loud noise as if it’s within his/her own head like an explosion. Typically this happens within several hours of falling asleep although not due to a dream. Patients may feel fear and anxiety associated with increased heart rate. Some physicians suggest that there’s a relationship with stress and extreme fatigue.

 

 

 

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10 Resources to Toilet Train Your Cat

catThere are tons of great resources on the web for learning how to toilet train your cat and that is exactly where I turned when my family brought our latest edition home from the breeder.  So, we are just beginning the process of trying to toilet train Giggles (kids named our kitten Giggles), but I’ll keep you updated on our progress.  For now, here are the resources I came across in my search:

WebSites/Blogs:

http://www.karawynn.net/mishacat/toilet.html – Karawynn Long is a designer (and writer) that lives in Seattle.  She published this excellent article that talks about easing your cat onto the toilet which just makes a lot of sense.  It’s a simple concept that just takes patience but is what we are going to try first with Giggles.

http://www.wikihow.com/Toilet-Train-Your-Cat – WikiHow has an entry for toilet training your cat and again stresses the importance of patience.  They also mention that having a separate toilet to dedicate to the cat is certainly helpful.

http://www.mingusmingusmingus.com/Mingus/cat_training.html – Charles Mingus is one of the most important figures in twentieth century American music and an amazing bass player.  He put together this quick and simple set of instructions for toilet training a cat.

http://www.petsdo.com/blog/how-toilet-train-your-cat – PetsDo.com is a resource for all pet owners.  They actually sell a system for toilet training your cat.  It looks pretty interesting, but their step-by-step instructions have definite value even if you don’t opt for the kit (I’m not going to get it unless my kit-less approach doesn’t work, but you already know that).

http://cats.about.com/od/litterboxproblems/a/toilet_training.htm – About.com is a great resource for just about anything you want to learn about.  They have a great article here on litter training versus toilet training that deserves some consideration.

YouTube Videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I79-BnwbE_g – Another video of going from the litter box to the toilet with common household items and no kits.  This is actually the video to accompany Karawynn Long’s website.  It’s great!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p943wK0tSWQ – How to Toilet Train Your Cat offers everything you need to know to toilet train your own cat in your own home. No fancy gadgets or programs to purchase.  It’s 5 minutes and well worth a watch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4wka4aKtZE – How to Potty Train Your Cat – shows you how to get your cat to take care of their business on the potty (it’s pretty humorous too).  Just to warn you, they are selling a kit but you can at least leverage the concepts (the kit is pretty cool).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFc7h3UpER4 – Learn How to Toilet Train Your Cat – really shows different cats doing their business more than anything and is sort of gross from that perspective.  However, at this point any ideas are helpful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTvJrlgOyeg – Teaching Cats How to Use the Toilet uses a slightly different approach with different equipment but is fairly similar to Karawynn’s approach.  It is really a mixture of all of the above.

Okay, I’m not sure I can handle too much more of the websites and videos.  I am going to just have to begin this adventure myself with Giggles and see how far I can get without going crazy.  I think the challenge is really for us humans to have enough patience to get through the whole process without caving in and going back to the standard litter box and pooper scooper.  Thanks for bearing with me while I shared this with you if any of you can offer some advice please leave a comment below.  Thank you!

Top 20 Blogs About Knitting

knitWarm woolen mittens and cashmere sweaters to cuddle up in come to mind when I think about knitting.  Handmade knitted hats or knitted clothes for the family dog are all ideas that can be found on the following blogs.  Do you have questions about how to knit one and purl 2?  Answers to all of your questions can be found on the following Top 20 Blogs about Knitting.

  1. Start-knitting.blogspot.com For those beginning knitters this is a great place to start your journey into the knitting world.  This blog teaches you beginning stitches and how to cast your stitches on and off of your needles.
  2. Theknittingblogbymrpuffythedog.blogspot.com Whimsical is how I would describe this blog.  She teaches us how to make the cutest teapot cozy and knitted flowers in a pot along with adorable hats.
  3. http://knittedgems.com/ Learn to knit pillow covers as well as scarves and other wearable art.  You might have to go back into the archives a little on this blog as the blogger just had a new baby.  So if you love baby pictures and baby stories mixed with your knitting projects this is the blog for you.
  4. Knittingdragonflies.blogspot.com Ever wanted to dye your own yarn to match your project?  This blogger goes over the details involved in doing just that.  Plus a great project for a hat with reindeer on it.
  5. Divaknitting.com/blog More advanced projects can be found on this blog such as a cable knit sweater.  This blogger goes into detail about how to get the sweater even and looking like a sweater you’d be proud to wear.
  6. Susyranner.blogspot.com Knitting projects from sweaters to socks can be found on this blog.  The photos found in these knitting projects are great and very helpful in completing and understand the projects.
  7. Dreamylilac.blogspot.com While not a very current blog she does have adorable projects for dogs that are worth a look if you are interested in knitting clothes for your pets.  It’s a lot cheaper to knit for your pet versus buying something and you can custom design it to be what you want and to fit your dog well.
  8. Knittingnonpareil.blogspot.com I picked this blog because she is current and she has a great pattern for knitting helmet liners for soldiers.  So if you knit and have some free time and want to do something for the soldiers make some helmet liners.  They are great for winter sledding as well if you just want to make one.
  9. Coolshahs.blogspot.com Check out this blog for a very pretty cardigan sweater and a great hood-style hat great for the teenager in your life.  She even has some chunky mitten to match.
  10. Queerjoe.blogspot.com Great knitting projects on this blog including a scarf among other things.  Great information on spinning your own yard from wool if you’ve ever wanted to do that.
  11. Gumdrop.typepad.com/knitting While this blogger doesn’t post consistently she has some great projects for baby shoes and stuffed animals that are well worth checking out if you are needing a baby gift made from the heart.
  12. Masondixonknitting.com I love this knitter’s dry sense of humor.  She also makes these great knitted bottle and can cozies.
  13. Knittingincolor.blogspot.com A prolific writer this blogger shows patterns for gloves and mittens in various patterns and styles.  Not to mention hats and scarves to match.
  14. Knittingmusing.blogspot.com Check out this blog for the cutest baby sweater and baby hat.  This isn’t your normal hat either it has two tassled points almost jester like in it’s adorable shape.
  15. Knittingnonni.blogspot.com A great blog for beginning knitters there are projects like pot holders and afghans.  She also shows some great baby booties.
  16. Childsfamily.com/knitting A very busy lady this blogger does a bit of everything.  She is training to run a marathon and likes to cook and share recipes as well as knitting.  She travels and works various shows and is an accomplished knitter and has several great projects in the works.
  17. Knittingbythesea.blogspot.com Many great projects in her archives as well as getting to read about her life and how she works knitting into it.
  18. Knittingbloggyblog.blogspot.com Great information and projects using circular needles.  She also makes the cutest hand warmers that are like fingerless gloves or mittens.
  19. Quiltingandknitting.blogspot.com What do you do once you’ve finished knitting a project?  This blogger shows you how to block the sweater to shape it correctly.  Read more information on this technique.
  20. Shandehknitting.blogspot.com A knitter since 1993 this blogger explains many different projects for various skill levels from beginner to more advanced projects like an infant gift set.

30 Sites About the Poisons Around Us

poisonThere are many different poison threats around us including some plants, foods, and things that we come into contact with on a daily basis.  Really the only thing we can do to avoid accidental poisoning is to be as knowledgeable as possible about the subject.  As a representative of the healthcare profession it is incredibly important to make people aware of these dangers so they can protect themselves and their families.  Accordingly we compiled this list of sites that cover various different aspects of poisoning.  We hope this gives you a great start on becoming much more aware of the poisons around us.

  1. http://www.poison.org/ – This blog is for the National Capital Poison Center which aims to help people from being poisoned. They know that it usually takes quick thinking in order to prevent someone from getting killed from some poisons.
  2. http://www.drugsandpoisons.com/ – Drugs and Poisons is a gossip site where you can hear different rumors circulating in the pharmaceutical world. Although the topics tend to be rather deep and scientific, if they simplified them some it would make it easier for the general public to understand.
  3. http://poisons.co.nz/ – Poisons Prevention talks all about the dangers of poisoning. Here, you will learn more about several deadly substances and will definitely feel more prepared to properly handle the poisons around you.
  4. http://www.poison-ivy.org/ – Poison Ivy is an organization that discusses how important it is to avoid coming into contact with this infamous plant. There are pictures, facts, and stories that talk about poison ivy to raise the general awareness of it.
  5. http://www.ohsu.edu/poison/ – This blog is from Oregon Health and Science University. Because they are also a school they do a great job of combining teaching, healing, and discovering poisons along with everybody else.
  6. http://www.poisonprevention.org/ – Poison Prevention is an organization that wants to promote poison safety and awareness in our communities. Poisoning results in a lot of accidental deaths and injuries and they are hopeful that some reminders and tips will help address this problem.
  7. http://www.georgiapoisoncenter.org/ – For the people of Georgia, Georgia Poison Center is a place where you can find treatment for posioning. The blog has an overview on different types of poisons and they offer free educational information to help avoid an accidental poisoning.
  8. http://www.poisons.ie/ – Poisons is the information center of Ireland that talks about the subject. The blog lists the hazards of coming into contact with poisons as well as provides antidotes to the curable cases.
  9. http://www.toxinz.com/ – For a complete database on poisons, Toxinz is the site to go to. You can learn of first-aid treatments and critical care for someone who was poisoned but hasn’t made it to the hospital yet.
  10. http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/ – Having pets can be hard, especially when they get poisoned by something you’re not even aware of. To help pet owners get through these difficult times, Pet Poison Helpline was started to give you information on pet poisoning and how to avoid and treat it.
  11. http://www.calpoison.org/ – California Poison is a blog made to offer free advice to people who are susceptible to poisons. Children can be lured by the color of substances or just general curiosity and quickly find themselves in a critical poisoning situation.  Find out how to avoid that here.
  12. http://www.hpa.org.uk/ – This blog is complete with useful information on health. Not only do they have topics such as poison but other as well like diseases and chemicals that are taken. You get some professional insights and learn quite a bit about healthcare in the UK.
  13. http://www.chw.edu.au/poisons/ – This poison information center would really help everyone in case they deal with getting poisoned later in life. There are tips on preventing poison, first aids, and data sheets available to those interested.
  14. http://poisonivy.aesir.com/ – Poison Ivy includes lots of facts about poison ivy, poison oak, and sumac. You can read general information about each of them and their various remedies. They also have a great FAQ if you find yourself needing some additional help.
  15. http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/ – You can watch for cases of food poisoning outbreaks and policies in the Food Poison Journal. The blogger himself is knowledgeable about the topic so he provides readers with what he knows.
  16. http://blog.plantpoisonsandrottenstuff.info/ – Plant Poison and Rotten Stuff has a wide variety of topics. Poison is only one of them. There are posts about viruses and deadly diseases that give us an idea of what dangers are lurking in the world
  17. http://food-poisoning-blog.com/ – If there’s a blog you want to go to in search of news on food poisoning, this blog is it. Food Poisoning talks about viruses that cause poison, including salmonella and noroviris.
  18. http://www.about-salmonella.com/ – To learn more about the salmonella virus, you can visit Salmonella at About.com. Here, you can read through things like the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of this disease caused by food poisoning.
  19. http://www.poisonivycure.net/ – This is one of the most comprehensive poison blogs there is. A large number of sources about poison ivy can be found here as well as the symptoms caused by the plant like blisters and rashes.
  20. http://www.foodborneillness.com/ – For information about food poisoning, a blog called Food Borne Illness might help you. They have a wide range of subjects that mainly focus on diseases coming from food via bacteria. There are also news and updates on the topic.
  21. http://www.foodpoisoningblog.org/ – News concerning food poisoning can also be found here. Food Poisoning Blog talks about the various outbreaks and information regarding food poisoning.
  22. http://www.nzhealth.net.nz/ – New Zealand Health is a site that offers useful data that can help people that are suffering from poisoning. The site has general articles about other topics as well ranging from drugs and herbs to spiritual healing.
  23. http://barfblog.com/barfblog – There are hundreds of posts in Barf Blog. They all talk about diseases, food, and various things related to poisons. It goes very deeply into the topic and offers more resources at each level.
  24. http://www.about-shigella.com/ – Shigella is a less common diagnosis. Still, it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Reading About Shigella will give you tips on how to prevent this disease from happening to you. As people say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  25. http://www.foodpoisoning.com/ – Most people don’t know much about food poisoning, which is why several websites have been created to fill that void. Food Poisoning is one of them. The site teaches you about food safety, your legal rights on the matter, and answers tough questions about food poisoning.
  26. http://www.about-hepatitis.com/ – Hepatitis A is a form of food poisoning that’s caused by eating something raw which contains bacteria. For more information about this common yet disturbing illness, you can go to Hepatitis at About.com.There, you can learn more on the topic and how you can avoid getting it.
  27. http://www.foodpoisoningprevention.com/ – Food Poisoning Prevention is your online guide to avoid getting poisoned. Although most cases of food poisoning don’t kill people, the experience is usually very painful. It’s better to prevent poisoning by reading and applying the information available on this site.
  28. http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/ – Wrong Diagnosis makes sure that you know all about the disease you have. The site covers a large number of topics so you can really learn a lot here. Included in this blog is information about various poisons.
  29. http://foodpoisoning.pritzkerlaw.com/ – Food Poisoning Law Blog was started by a lawyer who’s very much experienced in the field of poison. This blog is his way of sharing his insights on the recent outbreaks in the US.
  30. http://www.marlerblog.com/ – Marler Blog is a blog written by yet another lawyer. He is an expert on food poisoning and has both taken and studied many cases for several years.  In his blog he breaks down current policies and current events related to food poisoning.

Top 20 Needle and Thread Sewing Blogs

Woman SewingI’ve often wondered why people sew?  Often times sale prices are so good on clothes that it actually costs more to sew them yourself.  However, one thing I have discovered is that when you sew your own clothes you can have the color or pattern you want and not whatever is the popular color this season.  You can also make them fit if you don’t happen to fit into the mold that manufacturers use when they make clothes.  And sometimes I think it’s just that sewing is fun and people just enjoy the act of creating something hand made.  If you are one of those people or wish you were check out these Top 20 Sewing Blogs.

  1. Blogforbettersewing.com This is a great all around blog.  There are tutorials for creating things that will help you in your sewing such as covered buttons.  She also has a feature where once a week she will report on what is happening in fashion.  There is also a story explaining how best to take accurate measurements.
  2. Blog.craftzine.com/archive/sewing In a time when everyone is trying to recycle a new term has been coined called “upcycling”.  This new term has been showing up everywhere.  This blog has great projects where you can make something new and fabulous out of something like a man’s shirt.
  3. Sewing.org/scripts/blog A great project for making a cozy sweatshirt into a cardigan is included on this blog among many other projects that might get your creative juices flowing.
  4. Blog.jennys-sewing-studio.com There are many video demonstrations on this site.  Information about the latest in sewing machines is also a priority on this blog.  Check out which machines are embroidering now.
  5. Heatherross.squarespace.com This blog is part of a blog tour where you can go from blog to blog and check out similar project done in different ways.  She has written her own book so she knows what she is talking about.
  6. Lazygirldesigns.com/blog The lazy girl in this blog is Joan and Joan has her own line of patterns.  She also has a lot of craft friends that share projects such as quilted bags and zippered toiletry bags.  Many fun projects can be found on this blog.  Check it out.
  7. Forums.fabric.com/blog She is the self proclaimed “Fabric Maverick” and I have to agree because one of the articles I saw was a detailed description of making a swimsuit.  That is not a project for the faint of heart.  Check out her other fun projects and she sprinkles in the occasional recipe because even sewers have to eat sometimes.
  8. Sewingmachinereviewer.com If you are in the market for a new sewing machine don’t buy until you’ve checked out this blog.  Read all about different machines as well as what makes each of them stand out.
  9. Needlenthread.com This blogger has been around for a while.  She has archived sewing articles going back to 2006.  Take some time and browse through her stash.  She has videos of various embroidery stitches so if you have a pattern that calls for a certain stitch that you don’t know how to do this is a great resource.
  10. Stacysews.com Stacy sews clothing and does a fabulous job at it if her pictures are any indication.  She will soon be making pajamas and lounge pants.  If that sounds fun to you please check out her blog.
  11. Off-the-cuff-style.blogspot.com Another true artist with a sewing machine.  This blogger helps her readers with difficult steps in various patterns.  If you are having troubles with a certain technique check out her archives and see if she has covered it.  If it’s not there I’m sure you can e-mail her and ask.
  12. Thesewingdivas.wordpress.com This blogger works in a theater and makes fabulous costumes.  They are doing Suessical so you can imagine how fun and fab the costumes will be for that.  She shows us how she made and the finished product of a sparkly coat with tails.  How fun is that?
  13. Pinkchalkstudio.com/blog This blogger has her own fabric business.  She talks about balance in her life.  I think we can all relate to finding a balance between work and what we love to do.  It is difficult for this blogger because the two things are closely related.  Read her blog to see how she’s managing to run a business and quilt for fun.
  14. Capital-sew-and-sew.blogspot.com The blogger explains it best by stating that she wants to nurture the next generation of sewers, knitters and crocheters and to re-engage those who have stitched in the past and want to start again.  She has great articles about white house fashions as well as sewing projects.
  15. Sewcraftyhouston.com/index.php/blog Not just sewing on this blog.  She has many different types of projects, but what I often see is that people who sew often do other fun crafts as well.  See the fun sewing projects as well as videos on bottle tumblers.
  16. Junie-moon.blogspot.com A very interesting and unique blogger shares her life as well as her love of sewing.  Her recent project was a complete set of kitchen linens that were all matching for her sister’s 50th birthday.  Such a thoughtful idea for someone so close.
  17. Kids-sewing-projects.com If you are looking for a way to introduce sewing to your child this might be the blog for you.  She includes kid level projects and complete instructions.  The projects are fun and would appeal to children.
  18. Blog.ericas.com Great tips and tricks to be found on this blog.  How do you hold down small pieces of fabric so you can sew them?  Find out this blogger’s solution to this problem among other tips.  This blog leans heavier toward quilting, but she makes bags and other smaller projects as well.
  19. Blog.sewserendipity.com I love the title of this blog.  It’s so fun and spunky.  That describes the blogger as well.  She has many fun photos to share as well as short projects if you are looking to sew, but you don’t want something too hard or too involved.
  20. Chloeweil.com/blog Great projects for the home.  This blogger has a pattern for making your own fitted sheets.  Various other projects like a box bag and the most adorable cupcake pincushions that you’ll ever see.
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