Tag: Health

We Need More Public Restrooms

Cities also lose their livability, and open defecation becomes a threat to public health. Americans have painstakingly built new norms about dog owners picking up after their pets, but we’ve gone backward with human waste.

Meanwhile, it’s not just the homeless who suffer. Taxi drivers, delivery people, tourists and others are out and about all day, navigating a landscape that seems oblivious to the most basic of needs. The same is true of parents out with kids.

Americans have had tumultuous debates about transgender use of restrooms, but we haven’t adequately acknowledged a more fundamental failing in Democratic-run and Republican-run cities alike: the outrageous shortage of public restrooms generally.

America Is Not Made for Anatomically Correct People
As Biden pushes for an infrastructure package, let’s fix our scandalous lack of public restrooms.
NYTIMES

From the comments:
“I guess all I can add to this piece is my personal remedy which I use in NYC, that being I find easily accessible restrooms on the ground floor of large hotels. It probably helps to dress like you might be a guest at the hotel, as you walk into the lobby.”

Drug Use in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO — In early 2019, a formerly homeless man named Tom Wolf posted a thank-you on Twitter to the cop who had arrested him the previous spring, when he was strung out in a doorway with 103 tiny bindles of heroin and cocaine in a plastic baggie at his feet.

“You saved my life,” wrote Wolf, who had finally gotten clean after that bust and 90 days in jail, ending six months of sleeping on scraps of cardboard on the sidewalk.


Drug overdoses killed 621 people in the first 11 months of 2020, up from 441 all last year and 259 in 2018. San Francisco is on track to lose an average of nearly two people a day to drugs in 2020, compared with the 178 who had died by Dec. 20 of the coronavirus.

“If we didn’t have Narcan,” said program manager Kristen Marshall, referring to the common naloxone brand name, “there would be no room at our morgue.”

San Francisco struggles to stem ‘horrific’ uptick in opioid overdoses, drug abuse
Rachel Scheier
Los Angeles Times

Socialists and billionaires in presidential politics. Open Source, Christopher Lydon

The New Red Scare
“The winter round of the presidential race goes to Bernie Sanders, not so much for winning the most votes from Democrats as for coining the key word, the big theme for 2020, which is: billionaires! Not just the billionaires on the ballot and billionaires backstage, it’s billionaire-ism coming to be the argument of this election in a country at odds more and more about money. We’re used to anger, right and left, but suddenly there’s alarm in the air – at MSNBC, the Democrats’ TV network, the bold march of Bernie’s anti-billionaire army reminded Hardball‘s Chris Matthews of the Fall of France to Hitler in 1940. It’s scary, and there’s a pick of scarecrows in this race: the Plutocrat; the Democratic Socialist, and the President.

This was wake-up week among the Democrats nominating a presidential candidate. Some woke up cheering that Bernie Sanders looks like the choice of the people. Some woke up screaming in horror that the rebellion against the Clinton era is real, that their party has been dying for four years, that the end is near. The sound of battle has gone raw, with survival at stake, not just egos.”

Radio Open Source

For Her Head Cold, Insurer Coughed Up $25,865

Alexa Kasdan had a cold and a sore throat.

The 40-year-old public policy consultant from Brooklyn, N.Y., didn’t want her upcoming vacation trip ruined by strep throat. So after it had lingered for more than a week, she decided to get it checked out.

Kasdan visited her primary care physician, Roya Fathollahi, at Manhattan Specialty Care, just off Park Avenue South and not far from tony Gramercy Park.

The visit was quick. Kasdan got her throat swabbed, gave a tube of blood and was sent out the door with a prescription for antibiotics.

NPR, December 23, 2019

The system at work.

Seattle Nurses Strike

Susan Walker, a nurse in the day surgery department, joined dozens of others picketing outside the Ballard hospital. She said this was her first strike in 41 years as a nurse, but chronic short-staffing means she has to work on her day off every two or three weeks.

“We have to come in on our days off constantly to take care of patients,” Walker said. “It’s very disruptive to your life, but you feel sorry for your coworkers so you bite the bullet and come in.”

The labor action called by SEIU Local 1199NW, which represents 7,800 workers at Swedish, is one of the largest hospital strikes in the U.S. in recent years, and it comes amid both a national shortage of nurses and a trend of hospital consolidation.

Gene Johnson, Associated Press abcnews

Nurses strike in Seattle this week for safe staffing. from r/nursing

‘I never had stress’

“As far as I am concerned, stress is a manufactured thing,” Dr. Ellsworth Wareham told CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta in 2015 as part of a Vital Signs special on blue zones.

Wareham was 100 years old at the time and still mowed his front yard.

“I never had stress,” said Wareham, a life-long Seventh-day Adventist. “I have a philosophy: You do the best you can. And the things you can’t do anything about, don’t give any thought to them.”

A heart surgeon by trade, Wareham assisted in surgeries until he was 95 years old, and told Gupta that he would still be able to operate at the age of 100.

Sandee LaMotte, What this sunny, religious town in California teaches us about living longer

The Brain-Gut Connection

The ENS is two thin layers of more than 100 million nerve cells lining your gastrointestinal tract from esophagus to rectum.

What Does Your Gut’s Brain Control?
Unlike the big brain in your skull, the ENS can’t balance your checkbook or compose a love note. “Its main role is controlling digestion, from swallowing to the release of enzymes that break down food to the control of blood flow that helps with nutrient absorption to elimination,” explains Jay Pasricha, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Neurogastroenterology, whose research on the enteric nervous system has garnered international attention. “The enteric nervous system doesn’t seem capable of thought as we know it, but it communicates back and forth with our big brain—with profound results.”

The ENS may trigger big emotional shifts experienced by people coping with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and functional bowel problems such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, pain and stomach upset. “For decades, researchers and doctors thought that anxiety and depression contributed to these problems. But our studies and others show that it may also be the other way around,” Pasricha says. Researchers are finding evidence that irritation in the gastrointestinal system may send signals to the central nervous system (CNS) that trigger mood changes.

“These new findings may explain why a higher-than-normal percentage of people with IBS and functional bowel problems develop depression and anxiety,” Pasricha says. “That’s important, because up to 30 to 40 percent of the population has functional bowel problems at some point.”

via Johns Hopkins

Redditors in health care – What is something you never thought you would have to tell another grown ass human?


Redditors in health care-what is something you never thought you would have to tell another grown ass human? from AskReddit

A couple instances come to mind.
1) Don’t have sex 6 hours after you delivered a baby.

2) Coffee creamer is not the same as infant formula. Please do not feed your day old newborn International Delight.

3) Probiotics are different from antibiotics. Probiotics do not cure syphilis.


Patient had been referred to my pharmacy by his physician for an OTC enema. The guy was not the sharpest tack, and apparently either his physician did not explain it well or the guy didn’t listen, but our conversation went like this:

Pt.: So I drink down this whole bottle and then I’ll hafta shit?

Me: No sir, this is an enema. It is used rectally.

Pt. (confused): So what’s that mean, I don’t hafta drink the whole thing?

Me: No sir, you’ll lie on your side and insert the applicator tip of the bottle into your rectum and squeeze the contents into you bowel. You’ll then remain lying on your side and hold the enema in until you feel the urge to have a bowel movement.

Pt.: You tellin’ me I gotta stick it up my ass!?

Me: Yes sir, this is an enema and it is used rectally. There are detailed instructions and diagrams in the box.

Pt.: FUCK YOU!

And he stormed off. That was the last I saw of him. Not sure if he thought I was messing with him or what, but I hope he eventually got to shit.

Harvard Study: 60% of Bankruptcies Caused by Health Problems

A new study finds that more than 60% of personal bankruptcies in the United States in 2007 were caused by health-care costs associated with a major illness. That’s a 50% increase in the number of bankruptcies blamed on medical expenses since a similar study in 2001.

In an article published in the August 2009 issue of the American Journal of Medicine, the results of the first-ever national random-sample survey of bankruptcy filers shows that illnesses and medical bills contribute to a large and increasing share of bankruptcies.

Consumer Affairs, Truman Lewis