Health

If You Forget, Does It Mean Alzheimer's?

If You Forget, Does It Mean Alzheimer's?

Recently, I couldn’t recall the first name of someone I’d known for years. It didn’t take more than a few seconds for me to grab it, but why did it take even that long? I should have known it instantly. It scares me that I didn’t because my mother has Alzheimer’s disease.

X-ray Vision For Maine Health Care Providers

X-ray Vision For Maine Health Care Providers

I was once an x-ray tech at Maine Medical Center. I didn’t have x-ray vision, but I was skilled at aiming a beam of radiation at the appropriate body part. When I first started my training, we developed the x-rays by hand. I still remember the smell of the chemicals in the darkroom. It was a big deal when we switched to automatic processing, but we’d still have to go into the darkroom to unload the film from the cassette and feed it into the processor. Patient’s x-rays were kept in large brown envelopes in the radiology department’s file room. When space got tight old films were carted off to a storeroom someplace else in the hospital.

Bookish people have BETTER social skills?

Bookish people have BETTER social skills?

Who would have thunk it?  All this time I've been holed up with a book, I'm getting better at appreciating other people?

Cool!  Read on.....

No Longer a Safe Driver. What Should You Do?

No Longer a Safe Driver. What Should You Do?

 

Even when it was becoming clear that my 83-year-0ld mother should no longer be driving because she seemed increasingly confused, I waffled. Her doctor said she should give it up because she was having memory problems and her reaction time was slower than normal. I still hesitated. It was the one thing she enjoyed more than anything else — she loved driving aimlessly through neighborhoods and down country roads. Every yard sale along the way beckoned to her and she would often return with a trunkful of treasures. Her car was her refuge, a place of solitude and an escape from worry and stress. I just hated to take that away from her.

Deadly Insect Stings

Deadly Insect Stings

Last summer Ricker Hamilton was out mowing his lawn and got stung in the leg by a wasp. Most of us would be supremely annoyed and might have to endure some pain, itching, and swelling for a few hours. For Ricker an insect sting is a life-threatening situation. It was his third encounter in 20 years and in terms of how quickly his body began to react, the scariest. “Luckily,” Ricker told me, “my son was with me and knew what to do.”  Read more.

Prostate Cancer: Should You Get a PSA Test?

Prostate Cancer: Should You Get a PSA Test?

This week the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) announced its  final recommendation against PSA screening for prostate cancer for men of all ages. In 2008 the same panel had recommended against PSA screening for men aged 75 and older, but said the evidence was inconclusive for younger men. Since then, the USPSTF reviewed new evidence on the benefits and harms of PSA testing and the benefits and harms of treating localized prostate cancer. It concluded that, "The harms of PSA-based screening for prostate cancer include a high rate of false positive results and accompanying negative psychological effects, high rate of complications associated with diagnostic biopsy, and — most important — a high risk for overdiagnosis coupled with overtreatment." Read more.