I have two vivid memories of my daughter’s birth last year. One, the event itself; the other, my never-squeamish, six-foot-three-inch husband suddenly going pale and squatting on the floor with his head between his knees, just minutes before she entered the world. Luckily, he was back on his feet in time to witness the birth.
My husband’s wooziness took us both by surprise. After all, here was a male who, only six months before, had unflinchingly pasted my bloodied forehead together with bandages after I had a spill on all icy sidewalk. He joined a motorcycle club! But feeling faint is a common reaction to physical and emotional stress. In my husband’s case, he had been standing for at least six hours of my labor, and he was probably over-whelmed at tile prospect of seeing childbirth for the first time.
One in three of us will pass out at some point in our lifetime. Doctors often can’t pinpoint a cause, because by the time help arrives (if it’s called in the first place), the person is usually fully recovered. So it’s chalked up to a “spell”–end of story.
But sometimes fainting can be the first sign of a serious disorder. Here, what women need to know.
FAINTING HAS A …
As a little girl singing in a Texas church choir, Etta Moten could never have Imagined herself one day appearing on the Hollywood screen. She could never have pictured herself becoming one of the first black women to perform at the White House. And she certainly never thought she’d star on Broadway in a legendary opera. Or be partly responsible for a movement.
“I just loved to sing,” she says with a shrug. At 96, Etta lives in a large Victorian on Chicago’s South Side with her daughter Site. She’s dressed in purple velour with gold hoop earrings, and has a fresh manicure. She’s surrounded by a lifetime of awards, honors, and artifacts from her travels throughout Africa, but points out none of these. Instead, she calls attention to her father’s college diploma.
“That’s real sheepskin,” she says, explaining that her father, a “free Negro,” went to a Texas theological college and became a minister. “He knew Latin and Greek,” she boasts. “He believed in education. That came first.” He would even send Etta’s mother to get her college degree. And as for Etta, an only child, the girl with the gorgeous contralto voice, she too should become a scholar, according to her father.
“But I wanted to get married,” …
Judi Conaghan assumed she’d done everything possible to keep her five children safe. She’d covered the electric outlets, installed cabinet latches, and put all household chemicals out of reach. It’s a health thing, after all. But there was one hazard the Wilmette, Illinois, math teacher had overlooked: window screens.
On a warm October day last year, her two-year-old son, Brian, was happily bouncing on the bed next to an open window when he tripped and fell against the window screen. The weight of his body knocked the screen out of the window, and the little boy tumbled to a concrete driveway 15 feet below. “I ran out the front door, expecting the worst,” says the 36-year-old mom.
To Conaghan’s enormous relief, her toddler was conscious when she found him. But he was crying hard–and covered with blood. Doctors at Children’s Memorial Hospital, in Chicago, discovered that he’d suffered a broken leg as well as facial fractures. After a five-day hospital stay and two months in a leg cast, Brian made a full recovery. Conaghan, however, was horrified when she was told that the accident could have been avoided. “The doctor said window screens are designed to keep bugs out, not to keep kids in,” she says.
Conaghan did …
There ought to be a law.
When it comes to protecting kids, there are all kinds of laws, from federal regulations to local ordinances. But the states play a key role in making life safer for our smallest citizens. Some states have been aggressive in creating new legislation covering children–and others haven’t.
To see which states are doing the best job, we analyzed data compiled by the National Safe Kids Campaign, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the National Conference of State Legislators, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, and the National Program for Playground Safety. And we focused on laws that are actually saving kids’ lives–laws, for example, that mandate the use of car and booster seats in automobiles and ensure that cyclists wear bicycle helmets.
Here are the five states that are doing the most to make child safety a priority:
No. 1 California From requiring pool enclosures to setting standards for playground equipment, California has the most laws on the books to protect kids. And it was out in front early on–California was the first state to make helmets mandatory for cyclists, in-line skaters, skateboarders, and …
Like all newlyweds, Melissa Fey and her husband, Andy, shared dreams of exotic vacations and ambitious life plans when they married five years ago. Unlike most couples, they are well on their way to realizing those goals. They have vacationed in Germany, where Andy was raised, as well as in Jamaica and Alaska, and the couple recently bought a house in a suburb of Portland, Oregon. “I haven’t worked in a year, and we still have money in our savings account,” boasts Melissa, a stay-at-home mom.
The Feys’ secret? They believe in “living below your means,” the latest trend in financial fitness. And they’re not alone. An Internet search for the phrase turns up more than 19,000 hits. One of the most popular message boards on the Motley Fool’s personal finance Web site is devoted to LBYM. And the For Dummies series of how-to books just published Frugal Living for Dummies.
LBYM starts with the old premise that a penny saved is a penny earned. But it’s less about deprivation than about living a good life on less. As one devotee puts it, “It’s not that I can’t spend because I don’t have the money. It’s that I don’t spend because I choose not to.”
The intangible rewards of those …
I quilt but I haven’t always done this. The cutting and piecing, stitching and embellishing started about the time my marriage was unraveling as fast as a hem on a cheap dress. I tried to calm a frantic anxiety with simple pleasures: baking bread, planting gardens, making jam and quilting. My first quilt was crib-size and made entirely by hand. It is a homely thing with a top made of nine simple blocks, each a traditional pattern with names such as Wild Goose Chase, joined by sashing and bordered all the way around. Inside, there is a thin layer of batting and a backing of solid green cotton. The actual quilting, the stitches that bind the fabric sandwich, are uncertain; they are too long and uneven and meander wildly along cross-hatched lines of indelible ink. The rosy pink fabric has faded to fleshly beige and the mossy green has the scruffy faded look of tundra lichen. A quilter whose work I admire–even stitches, sharp points, good color–called it the ugliest quilt she had ever seen and said if it were hers she’d throw it away or put it in the dog’s basket I laughed because she was right Still, when I tacked the last thread, I felt a flush of …
New approaches to treating autoimmune disease are producing some of the most promising results in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. Edward Keystone, director of the Centre for Advanced Therapeutics at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, has played an important role in examining the use in Canada of a number of genetically engineered drugs that appear to work faster, show as much improvement (if not more) and appear to make patients less susceptible to infection than traditional immunosuppressive drugs, such as methotrexate and cortisone. “The patients have shown significant improvement in the early studies. There is less pain, less stiffness and less swelling. On average, patients improve within a few weeks and are substantially better within three months,” says Dr. Keystone.
Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common of the destructive autoimmune diseases, affecting about 300,000 Canadians, of whom about 70 percent are women. The disease, which is generally more dangerous and debilitating than osteoarthritis, causes the joints and connective tissue to become inflamed and deteriorate. “Patients with rheumatoid arthritis die 12 years sooner on average than the normal population,” says Dr. Keystone, also a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto.
The new therapies, which are currently being tested in clinical trials in Canada, the U.S. and Europe, are much …
Snoring is one of the most annoying and problematic problems on the planet. It is exacerbated by the fact that the snorer is the only person who is NOT affected by the snoring. Or are they? Snoring is occurring in half the households in America. Half! It is believed to be a major contributor to obesity.
If you are sleeping next to someone who snores, the implications for your mental and physical health can be disastrous, and in some cases you arenâ€™t even aware of how profoundly it affects you. If you’re in this situation, you have a higher chance of experiencing mental illness, depression, anxiety, weight gain and heart conditions.
For the snorer, itâ€™s even worse. It is possible their snoring is the dangerous condition called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when the snorerâ€™s airway collapses entirely during sleep. This creates a dangerous lack of oxygen to the brain and body. When the brain is alerted that the snorer is no longer getting oxygen, it will wake the person snoring and they will gasp for air, fall asleep and do it all over again. This can happen anywhere from a handful of times, to hundreds of times during the night. The result, sleep and oxygen deprivation. And unfortunately, this leads to deadlier conditions by way of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and more.
Thankfully for us, there are wonderful and amazing anti-snoring devices available today, such as those reviewed at snoringmouthpiecereview.org. If you are lying next to someone who snores, please have them evaluated for sleep apnea by a qualified professional. If that is not possible or you are looking for a solution now, then I highly recommend the Good Morning Snore Solution. It is clinically proven to reduce or completely stop your snoring.
To better understand how this mouthpiece works you need to understand the causes of snoring. When a person sleeps, the muscles and tendons in their nose, tongue, neck and throat tend to relax. This can cause a blockage or in some cases a Read the rest of this entry »
For people like Barb Couves, a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis–or another of the 50-odd autoimmune diseases–spelled a lifetime of debilitating illness. Now, North American research is changing all that.
Three years ago, Barb Couves hit rock bottom. It was just after spring break in March 1995 when Couves, then 45, suffered her second major multiple sclerosis attack in eight months. “My right leg was so weak I couldn’t stand for long,” she says. Her speech was also affected and she felt so tired she could barely move. But the most devastating effect was on her attitude to life.
An elementary and junior high school teacher who lived with her husband and two teenagers in Olds, Alta., Couves had fought valiantly to cope with the terrifying array of stop-and-start symptoms that result when the body’s immune system starts destroying the insulating tissue in the brain and spinal cord. After her first attack on the ski slopes at age 34, she was given the standard drug treatments for her symptoms. But these did nothing to stop the relentless course of the disease.
“I had to kiss my career away,” says Couves, who hated the fact that she could no longer participate in the activities she loved. As her morale plummeted, her …
If you’ve ever doubted the value of dreams, consider this: Elias Howe credits a vivid dream with helping him invent the lockstitch sewing machine; some prophets and great authors are also said to have been inspired by their dreams.
What’s that? You’re not planning to create large machinery, major world religions or timeless works of art this week? That doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of your dreams. Looked at properly, they can assist you in everyday life–by shedding light on your inner and outer worlds and giving a truer sense of how you feel about the things and people around you. They might even help you solve problems.
There’s a new tool on the market that makes the dream-interpretation process a lot easier. In her new book, All About Dreams (HarperCollins), Gayle Delaney shares a technique she calls the dream interview. The purpose of the four-step process is to ask yourself questions that “explore the dream images and reveal their metaphorical similarities to people and situations in the dreamer’s life.” Translated, that means to figure out how things in dreams relate to your life.
Anyone can learn the language; dream reading is fun and a terrific way to spark up a boring conversation. It takes a little …