I took a week away last weekend from blogging for the best of reasons.
I had the privilege of supporting my daughter and son-in-law in the labor and delivery of my granddaughter.
Although I have taken on this support role a few times before, never has it been for my daughter, and this was a unique moment for us all.
The result was the most precious of gifts.
“A baby is God’s opinion that life should go on.”
Here is that opinion, at 6 days old…
Grab Bag Postcard Post:
I don’t know about you, but I LOVE receiving mail that:
A) I’m not expecting
B) Isn’t addressed to “Occupant”
C) Doesn’t have to be paid
D) Isn’t from a government office or a lawyer
And I bet all your friends, family and loved ones are like me… so make us HAPPY!
Use the Instagram app on your iPhone or Android to take pictures and send a REAL postcard with the added Postagram app (both Instagram and Postagram are free…. and Postagram comes as an app or can be used on your computer at Postagram.com). Click the photo to link to Postagram.
Not only does it send a very cool black postcard with your picture and personal message, but the recipient can then pop the picture out and save it! Cost is 99¢ per postcard…. payoff is worth WAY more than that.
Grab Bag Contrast Caution:
If you have had or are contemplating any radiology contrast studies using iodine, you might want to be aware of this possibility, an issue I just read about through PeoplesPharmacy.org. While there may be a low incidence of occurrence, if it’s you, it’s 100%.
Q: To diagnose my appendicitis a few years ago, I had a CT scan with contrast. When my energy didn’t return after the surgery and my weight started dropping rapidly, I underwent tests that resulted in a diagnosis of Graves’ disease.
I was facing losing my thyroid either by surgery or radiation when, for no apparent reason, I began gaining weight and my thyroid tests came back to normal.
Evidently either the radiation or the iodine used in the contrast CT caused a temporary hyperthyroid condition. If I had not taken a longer time than usual to decide between surgery and radiation, I would not have a thyroid and would be on medication for the rest of my life.
Could the iodine or the radiation have caused this?
A: A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine (Jan. 23, 2012) suggests iodine-containing contrast material used in CT scans and cardiac catheterizations is linked to a higher risk of thyroid disease. Either hyperthyroidism (Graves’ disease) or hypothyroidism might develop.
People undergoing imaging tests with contrast should have their thyroid function carefully monitored afterward.
Grab Bag Depression Session:
You may have heard the news this past week showing some amazing results for severe depression with a drug called Ketamine, a drug that is used in veterinary medicine (the common term “horse tranquilizer” is Ketamine), as well as for human analgesia and anesthesia, and is often used recreationally .
Here is an excerpt from an article on the topic, written by Dr. Keith Ablow, a Johns Hopkins-trained psychiatrist and media contributor on the topic:
More data is now available—this time from the Ben Taub General Hospital in Houston, Texas—suggesting that the “club drug” ketamine can rapidly relieve symptoms of major depression.
Ketamine, or Special K as it is known on the streets, when used illicitly, can cause feelings of unreality and hallucinations. Its side effects—even when given in a medical environment (where it is given intravenously)—can include psychotic experiences, bladder problems and heart problems.
The truly astounding benefits reported by some of the depressed patients in Texas (and previously reported by researchers at Yale University), however, mean it is time to ramp up research into whether intravenous doses of ketamine, administered by doctors, will prove to be a very powerful new tool in fighting major depression and, perhaps, other conditions including panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Ketamine is turning out to provide windows of hope into the future for people who have struggled and seen only darkness for months or years. Some of these patients have not benefited from psychiatric medications or even from electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Some of these patients were contemplating suicide and were relieved almost instantly of the desire to end their lives. They feel hopeful, again. They feel motivated, again. And the relief from a single dose of ketamine can last for weeks. This opens up the possibility that those who were hostage to nearly unbearable suffering could have the weight lifted from their shoulders by seeing a doctor for a weekly dose, or even a dose every two weeks.
It is possible that experiencing a period of well-being for a week might be enough, in and of itself, to give patients hope and keep them moving toward recovery.
Potentially even more important than the discovery that ketamine seems to work as well as it does, researchers at Yale have already identified the chemical pathway and a key enzyme involved in the way that ketamine actually restores connections between brain cells. This enzyme, called mTOR, is critical in the synthesis of a protein nerve cells need to repair the fluid-filled “touch points,” called synapses, at which they exchange chemical messengers. Knowing this means that studies should be undertaken to see whether ketamine can also prevent relapses to depression in those who have recovered, or worsening of depression in those who have moderate symptoms.
Grab Bag Brain Game:
I think we’ve done this one before, but it’s been a long time. This is a series of 20 timed sensory challenges. Interesting…
Grab Bag Funny Stuff: