In "Curious George: Medication Alternatives"

In addition to the diet and exercise advice, which I follow moderately well when not under stress, but which unfortunately I seem unable to follow when stressed, there is pretty good research evidence for B12 supplementation, and supplementation with Omega 3 fatty acids (especially in the form of fish oil-- but be sure to buy guarenteed mercury free). The best research, which is still pretty small scale, points to about a gram of EPA (an ingredient in fish oil) daily. I don't know the dosage for B12. Over my lifespan, I've had eight major depressive episodes lasting over a year each, as well as lots of dysthymia. I am under a huge amount of stress right now, but am doing well on just my regular antidepressant (which usually fail me under stress) and a fish oil supplement. Good luck.

In "Curious frustrated George"

I would go with something similar to what Melinika suggests. The issue isn't what you or you nephew believe or don't believe, the issue is that he's hurting your feelings with his behavior. As difficult as this converstaion might be, I would try something like this: "I have something very serious to discuss with you. Are you listening carefully? Okay, good. When you talk about God and the afterlife and hell, it makes me think of my son, X, and how I can't be with him right now. It makes me very, very sad. I love you very much, but when I'm sad its hard to play with you, because I just want to sit and cry (or whatever you really feel when he talks that way). I know you want me to go to Heaven, and I know you want me to be able to be with my son, X, when I die, but that's for me and God to work on. For now, I need you to stop talking about God and Hell and that stuff, so I won't be so sad when I'm with you. Can you do that for me?" If he says yes, make him promise, then when he breaks his promise, which he will, because he'll forget (7 year olds are like that), just remind him gently, "Remember, that hurts my feelings, and you promised you wouldn't do it anymore". If he says he can't stop talking about God and so on to you, listen attentively to his reasons, address them as best you can, but then say, "If you can't stop hurting my feeling this way now, then we need to work on that. You need to learn how to stop. So until you learn how to stop, I'm going to do X when you hurt my feelings by talking about God and hell". X is whatever consequence you have decided on in advance. The consequence should be small, but not negligble, and something there is no doubt you have the right to do, such as turning away and not speaking to the kid for 5 minutes. If the nephew cannot promise outright, and you are going to need to use a consequence, you should tell the parents about the problem and the consequence. In that discussion too the problem is not their faith or your lack thereof, but your feelings and how the nephew's behavior makes you feel. Anytime they bring up religion or your soul, the answer is, "I want you to know I'm really touched by how much you care for me and want the best for me, but that's between me and God. The problem right now is that all this talk makes me very, very sad, and makes me miss my son". Good luck.

In "Medical George: Underweight"

Kenshin, I so feel your pain. I'm pretty fat, thanks to Celexa (I don't recommend it unless you're also severely depressed); but my 7 y.o. son is unhealthily underweight and has been since 6 months old. All that talk about "just eat more" is so annoying after the first two weeks or so. All you healthy-weight people out there, just imagine being forced to eat when you feel absolutely stuffed, and then doing it over and over, six meals a day forever. Now you understand the problem better. Its impossible to eat much more than your body wants consistantly over the long term. Here's somthing that's a giant pain in the butt that we're about to try: a gluten-free (oat, wheat, rye), casein-free (milk protein) diet, and if that doesn't work, an allergy/intolerence elimination diet. I have no idea if this will be helpful to us or you, but I hear good things about it and both you and my son have some signs of at least possible casein intolerence (apparently gluten, casein, and soy share extremely similar protein structure, so if one is a problem, all may be). Supposedly GI symptoms can be dramatically decreased and appetite increased by getting rid of foods that contain ingrediants that it may not be obvious you're intolerent to, but are. If you're interested in finding out more about this, e-mail me, or google gfcf diet. Most of the sites have an autism focus since many autistic kids do great eliminating gluten and casein, but it supposedly works good for some non-autistic people too-- especially those with IBS, depression, and/or fibromyalgia (two out of three of which I have, so I should probably try it too). Good luck.

In "Bowling for Calvin"

BTW, I have found myself strangely thankful to Harris and Klebold for the ripples that their horrible, horrible act has produced. Because of Harris and Klebold my son's school teaches social skills (including anger management, impulse control, relaxation techniques, & the "golden rule") as a regular part of the curriculum during his "Health" block. It has a strict no-teasing policy, and a zero-tolerence for violence policy. Yes, I've read about situations where policies of this nature have gone too far. But from the perspective of a mom whose child is almost certain to be the target of bullies if they are allowed to flourish, I'll be eternally grateful (in a way that mankes me feel squeemish and guilty) that Harris and Klebold's terrible act makes it less likely my own flesh and blood will ever be pushed to do something similar.

Did any of you guys actually read the articles? I'm only through two of them so far, but he doesn't seem to be claiming Calvin & Hobbes and the Columbine shooters have anything whatsoever to do with each other, so all the above snarky comments totally miss the point. As far as I can tell so far, the author's thesis is that human beings are complicated, with difficult complex motivations that we all share, from the most seemingly innocent (Calvin & Hobbes) to the most seemingly guilty (the Columbine shooters). He seems to be trying to re-humanize Harris and Klebold, and as far as I'm concerned, that's all for the good.

In "Curious George: Wisdom Teeth"

That link is great, btw.

chimaera, apparently, you are correct. My bad: don't take the tylenol, take the motrin. I'd swear my NP recommended tylenol as one of the ones to take to keep imflammation down, but perhaps I misremember, or perhaps she is poorly informed. That seems weird though, because then if you're taking a -cet drug (which is what is most frequently prescribed), you can't take motrin too, because of the liver issues? So then you're missing all the anti-inflammatory goodness? I'm confused.

Also, for quick recovery, I agree about the icing schedule, and, more importantly, you should be taking an anti-inflammatory medicine around the clock for several days, maybe up to a week (that means take it as often as recommended, 24 hours a day, even if you're not in pain). Common anti-inflammatories are tylenol (acetominophen- every 6 hours around the clock), motrin (ibuprofen- every 8 hours around the clock), and aleve (naproxyn- ask your dentist, I think its every twelve, but it might be every 24). Many narcotic pain meds have anti-inflammatories included in them (darvocet, percocet, tylenol #3), but some do not (oxycodone, darvon, demerol). Ask your dentist or pharmacist if your med has one, and supplement with tylenol, motrin, or aleve if it does not. Don't use tylenol, motrin or aleve at the same time as your narcotic if it does have an anti-inflammatory, or you'll box your liver. If you're not in pain, you can skip your narcotic (in fact, doing so will help you recover faster), but don't skip your anti-inflamatory. So, for example, if you only want one percocet (which is 5 mg of oxycodone and 325 mg of tylenol), take one 325 mg tablet of tylenol with it. If you don't want any percocet, take two tylenol. If you want two percocet, don't take any tylenol. The goal is to have a full dose of anti-inflammatory on board.

I've always wondered-- when people say "general" anesthesia when discussing dental surgery, are they talking about real honest-to-God "general" anesthesia? The kind where they stick a tube down your throat and the anestheseologist does the breathing for you? Because death is an occasional complication of that. If that's what "general" is for dental surgery, I vote for local, purely on safety grounds. Also, people puke a lot less with local. I've only had one wisdom tooth out, but it was impacted. I had local, and it was a completely benign experience. I only took motrin afterwards, and was fine. On the other hand, having four out could be four times as bad if they all turn out to be impacted, so I wouldn't turn down the post-op drugs. Honestly though, I would only ever have general if there were no alternative.

In "Uh, guys, it's a film. These are, and I know it's a long word, charicatures."

I enjoyed The Incredibles, but the more I think about it, the more it pisses me off. The one moment that really jarred me was when Mr. Incredible was so rude to the pathetically nerdy young kid who will later grow up to be Syndrome. It seemed very out of charcter for a hero, and I assumed there would be a lesson later for Mr Incredible about not being needlessly rude to people who aren't as super as he is. Maybe the kid would even get to be his side-kick later or something. But no, the kid turns into the bad-guy out of jealousy and anger, and we're supposed to be happy when the Incredibles later dispatch him. We all see the world through the lens of our experiences, and I can't help seeing that scene through the daily rudeness people needlessly inflict on my wonderful, but very nerdy, autistic son. Like Syndrome, he'll never have what it takes to be a superhero's sidekick. In fact, he even has a "syndrome". (Why'd they pick that name anyway? I'm betting it's a joke about how everybody wants to blame their average-ness on having some kind of "syndrome" or other these days instead of just admitting they're stupid, or lazy, or nerdy, or whatever. Ha-ha, very funny.) Much-disparaged phrases like "everybody's special" were designed to make life more tolerable for kids like my son, and what the heck is wrong with that? People who already have lots of advantages, like the Incredible family, really don't need my sympathy at the expense of people who are less cool, less powerful, and less lucky, like Syndrome (and my son). So honestly, the Incredibles, though they are basically nice super-people, can go screw. I'm with fuyugare. Though Syndrome is very poorly developed, he represents ordinary people, and as such, represents us.

In "Just"

smallisn bear wrote:But if I just get a sore throat or something and need some antibiotics, do I have to worry about the doctor giving me some crazy shit because some drug rep took him out for steak? Yes, smallish bear, you do. Vioxx was mostly prescribed for arthritis, but also for other moderate level pain that "normal" people get, like chronic back pain, bursitis, etc., until it turned out to cause heart attacks. Estrogen replacement therapy was prescribed for menopause, until it turned out to cause strokes and cancer. Many drugs that are frequently prescribed for everyday ailments have cheaper, equally good alternatives, but doctors don't prescribe the alternatives much because the drug reps convince them that the expensive ones are better. For example, gastric reflux will respond well in most people to Pepcid (over the counter, cheapish, though not generic), but doctors usually prescribe a PPI right away now, even though most people probably don't need one. The problem is systemic, its just that the SSRIs are a particularly egregious example.

I really appreciate that you posted on both sites, because I want to comment, but don't have a MeFi account. My best friend is a nurse practitioner. She gets me thousands of dollars worth of free samples from "her" drug reps of the 2 expensive drugs I take, so I'm personally grateful for that, and shouldn't throw any stones, I guess, but I gotta say, the drug reps have her totally taken in. I can't have a meaningful conversation with her about medications, even though we're both nurses, because she believes anything the drug reps tell her. She thinks Vioxx should still be on the market, and thinks SSRIs for kids are the cat's meeow, even though all but Prozac tested no better than placebo with 4 times the suicide risk. It's sad, and really makes me see there's much greater power in those pens and sticky pads than any reasonable person would imagine.

In "Curious, George: Graves Disease"

Two of my friends have Graves diseaese. They both had their thyroid irradiated and take synthroid long-term. Neither has any serious issues except the need to keep their meds adjusted. They both remark that they know they need a med adjustment if their hair starts to get thin. Otherwise, no problems.

In "Mandatory Health Screening for all kids"

This is all over the autism boards I subscribe to. The parents are uniformly against it, and we're generally huge advocates of early (voluntary) screening and treatment. I hate to agree with Phyllis Schaffly on anything, and I hope this bill is being mistrepresented, but if its anything like what she claims, its a terrible and dangerous idea.

In "Jane Says..."Oh, and I did get to Spain, by the way," "

Wow, thanks, moneyjane. That song is so beautiful, and has always made me so sad. To paraphrase flagpole, this article is as close to a happy ending as real life gets.

In "Yasser Arafat: "clinically dead"?"

On the BBC, I just heard the hospital spokesman say Arafat is "alive", but his condition has grown "more complicated", and he has been moved from intensive care to a ward "more suitable for his needs". It don't get more intensive than intensive care, so my guess is that "his needs" are for him to die comfortably, it having been decided he's impossible to save. I'm guessing his move was to a ward with a palliative care room-- a nice comfy home-like room without so much scary-looking medical stuff, where the emphasis is on patient comfort and emotional support to the family, while the patient dies. The compassionate and clinically accurate terminolgy used in the hospitals I've worked at over the years for Arafat's most likely condition is "circling the drain" or alternatively, "PBAB" (pine box at bedside), or "waiting for the celestial consult" or "getting ready for his transfer to ward X".

In "Curious George: Dog losing his clawnails"

path, I had to laugh at your comment because it reminded me of my favorite cat, who passed away several years ago. It is indeed true that long-term steroid use usually shortens the lifespan. My cat had to go on steroids for severe eczema. We didn't expect her to live that long, though she was fairly young and otherwise healthy. We were super nice to her in her "last years". She just kept living and living... The steroids made her super-fat, but we said, "What the heck, she's gonna die soon anyway, might as well let her eat whatever she wants". The steroids also made her unnaturally happy. She used to loll around purring with her tongue hanging out. Eventually she turned 18. Yes, eighteen. She got cancer. We called the vet. He said, in astonishment, "That cat's still alive!?" There wasn't much that could be done about the cancer. It was terminal. We started being even nicer to her. Long story short, she lived three more years, to the amazing age of 21. So I recommend being super-nice to your cat, pretending each day is your last together, and hopefully she will grow into extreme old age, steroids and all. Back on topic, I know nothing about dogs, or your dog's illness, dxlifer, but I recommend the same treatment. I am very sorry to hear about your dog's pain, and I hope he feels better soon.

In "Curious George: Vasectomy"

Speaking seriously, every day for a month should be more than sufficent, if you can manage it. If you can't quite keep up that pace, just wank off as often as you can. Really though, if you do it everyday and there's still little guys left over, those are some seiously tenacious little, um, f**kers.

In "Emancipate yourself from mental slavery."

Btw, musingmelpomene, it sure would be convenient to be able to park in those first few spaces right next to the front door of all the stores in the country. Why should a few physically handicapped people be allowed to inconvenience me by getting those parking spaces reserved to them by law? If they were "decent human beings", they'd roll their chairs a few extra feet or have someone drive them to the store so they could be dropped off at the door, right?

Overly loud TV makes krebs jr hyper and excitable, and increases his self-stimulatory behaviors-- particularly vocalizing constantly. This actually doesn't bother him at all; he likes being hyper, excitable, and making both communicative and noncommunicative noises constantly. But it drives mommy-krebs absolutely crazy. However, the TV actually affects me much more than it affects him. He's somewhat hyper, excitable, and a noise-maker anyway. But I try to be calm, attentive, and not too irritable most of the time, and loud TV just destroys that for me. If I'm alone, I can deal. But when I'm with krebs jr I really need to not be irritable and nasty. Nevertheless, I'm not saying no one should ever watch TV around me. I don't mind TV in bars and restaraunts. I know its part of the entertainment experience there, and musingmelpome is right in that context. I can always pick a quieter restaraunt next time. What drives me crazy is TV in settings where I am essentially a captive audience, and what drives me especially crazy is TV in settings where I'm a captive audience, my son and I both have to be there, its playing something no-one in their right mind would want to watch anyway, like paid infotainment programming, and the situation is stressful in nature even without the TV. Doctors offices are the prime example of this. Another place I think that remote could be useful is at the gas pump, where they sometimes have little TVs installed in the pump itself so you have to watch advertisements while you pump your gas. Sure, I can go somewhere else in that context, but does anybody actually want to watch ads while they pump their gas, or would I being doing a favor for everybody by turning the dang things off?

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