c9: (Default)
"Every $1 invested in fluoridation saves approximately $38 in dental treatment costs, according to the C.D.C. The cost of a single filling averages $140, and that’s only the beginning. Through the years, a filled tooth is likely to require further repairs and maybe even extraction and replacement with a bridge or implant costing thousands of dollars.

None of this, however, has quelled the controversy over the safety of fluoridation, which dates back to the first studies in the 1940s. In addition to being labeled a Communist plot and an unconstitutional form of mass medication, fluoridation has been accused of causing a host of medical horrors: heart disease, cancer, Down syndrome, AIDS, allergies, Alzheimer’s disease, mental retardation, osteoporosis and fractures, among others.

None of these supposed risks has ever been established in scientifically valid studies. The only proven risk, a condition called fluorosis, which results in white and sometimes brownish markings on the teeth from too much fluoride, rarely results from a normal intake of fluoridated water."

Read the full article here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/23/dental-exam-went-well-thank-fluoride/

(and city Councillors in Toronto and Calgary and elsewhere who like to cut costs by scaremongering about fluoride? I'd like you to shut it, please.)

Update: Learn more about fluoride history and controversy here: http://www.anzhealthpolicy.com/content/4/1/25 
c9: (Earth)
The Toronto Star recently published a map showing where the city would be hosting A(H1N1) vaccine clinics for the public. I sent this to all the Toronto employees at my company as an FYI. I got a response from a colleague (who I don't know very well at all) and we engaged in some back and forth debate on the vaccine and vaccines in general. I recommend reading from the bottom, so you get the full conversation. If you're interested in other links or have found other resources, please feel free to post.

Update: fixed broken links (even the ones I think are garbage), and name is changed to protect the other party.

the full email trail )
c9: (Earth)
Fascinating look at local food options and how the big chains can't/won't offer them due to cost, paperwork, cost, auditing ability, cost, and did I mention cost? Remember that your decisions in a grocery store are your vote: if a company is selling more organic stuff, more local stuff, less chemical stuff, they will react to that. Check out how the organic section has grown in your store in the past few years!

Buy-local push prompts Ontario grocers to go independent [CBC.ca]

Five Sobeys grocery stores in southern Ontario have left the Sobeys chain so they can offer local meats and produce -- I just wish they were closer to Toronto!

We do have an independent meat store a couple blocks from our house (Fresh From The Farm) which we're going to try visiting more often (and they do online ordering!) plus we just signed up for Front Door Organics which will deliver local produce right to our house on a schedule we set at a pretty good cost. Fun!
c9: (Earth)
Living in North America, it feels a bit like HIV and AIDS are old news. Not completely -- being connected with the queer community means you're still seeing discussions, news, and People With AIDS regularly, but it's been shunted off into a "manage it with drugs, no big whoop" column quite a bit. I have friends who have lost their friends to HIV, but I've never gone through that myself. Even a play I saw recently (Sky Gilbert's "I Have AIDS" - interesting and challenging!) approached it from this angle, not the 80s or early 90s angle.

Living somewhere else in the world, of course the situation is much different. This gripping 10min talk from TED is worth watching.

c9: (Default)
Fascinating article on polyamory.

Let's assume your relationship is a refrigerator. One day, a problem arises in your relationship--the refrigerator quits working. You walk into your kitchen, there's a puddle on the floor, and all your frozen pizzas and ice cream are a gooey mass in the bottom of the freezer. There are a few things you can do at this point, once you've mopped up the mess and scraped the remains of last night's lunch out of the fridge. One solution is to fix the refrigerator; another is to replace it. A third solution is to leave the refrigerator exactly where it is and change your life around the problem--"From this day forward, I will bring no frozen or refrigerated foods into this house." - http://ping.fm/dBTNc
c9: (Banging my Head)
Yikes. This sounds dangerously tempting, especially when I need to write a half dozen certification exams in the next six months.

Boxes Day

Dec. 26th, 2007 07:49 pm
c9: (Banging my Head)
I remember when I used to type crap into this journal all the time. I also remember when all my friends didn't regularly post the exact same phrase in their journals. *dramatic sigh, etc*

  • Still healthy. I went to the internal medicine specialist clinic a couple weeks ago and they poked and prodded, and then decided on more blood work and a CT scan. In fact they misdiagnosed something** it seems, at least according to my regular doctor. I hope they find something to explain the weirdness, and I also hope it's incredibly minor. "Eat more broccoli," they'll say. "No," I'll reply. They asked me to track my temperature each day over the holidays too, so I bought a digital thermometer to do so. I'm very consistently between 35.3 and 36.7 degrees. (I check before and after sleeping, so my body is kinda shut down at the time.
  • Still working for the back-medication-sounding company**. Moving out of recruitment and desk work a bit in 2008, back to teaching more. Somewhere between 50% and 75% seems to be the thought of my boss, but somewhere between 40% and 60% is my plan. Lot of benefits, including better compensation (to be determined) and plans to work with the IT team on internal programming and testing projects. Could lead to some fun stuff and a completely different area. Biggest benefit: getting to play with exciting new technology*** again. Should all happen in February or so. This company has a habit of dragging things out****, so who knows.
  • Christmas has been fun. My parents are taking [profile] 1_2_ready_go  and me to Hawai'i January 9th, so we planned to skip their house for the holidays and just do New Brunswick. We flew to Saint John on Sunday, and flew back this morning. Quick trip! Nice to get down there though, as I haven't seen Vin's family in a couple years. My mom is a little insistent about us visiting though, I think because of my health, so we're going to head up there on Saturday for the night. Another quick trip, but at least the travel time is shorter.
  • Bizarreness Bulletin: We will be in Hawai'i January 9-18*****. I recently learned that my boss, our Toronto Branch Manager, and some local friends will be there at that time too. A little creepy. 
* just a rash
** according to Sarah
*** also Vista, unfortunately
**** research our press releases for a depressolarious laugh
***** Kona for six nights (staying here) and Honolulu for two nights (staying here). Just for the shopping in American dollars. I know!

Health Woes

Dec. 1st, 2007 03:22 pm
c9: (Towel)
Short version: bitch bitch whine whine I'm probably fine.

Long version: about a month ago I started having some weird symptoms such as headaches, migraine headaches, fatigue, loss of appetite, and night sweats. The night sweats were the only consistent symptom beyond a few days at a time. I can deal with everything else, but I've never had night sweats before (we're talking soak the sheets and my pyjamas multiple times each night) so it kind of freaked me out.

Once they'd been around for six days I went to the clinic, and they did some blood work (Nov 20). The results came back inconclusive -- a couple oddities, but nothing really off and nothing that explained my symptoms. So a second round to confirm the first tests and also look at a couple things more closely (Nov 27). Results on this (Nov 30) came back inconclusive as well -- some of the previous oddities were gone, but others remained. So I was sent for an ultrasound (around the corner, had to wait only about 30 minutes!) which -- you probably guessed this already -- was inconclusive, and I've been referred to a specialist clinic at St Michael's downtown.

"Have you ever seen the show House?" said my doctor. I rolled my eyes. Apparently this specialist clinic is sort of in the figuring weird stuff out category, not specializing in one area. Whatever.

Meanwhile I've been exhausted because the night sweats continued for 18 days straight. The last couple nights they weren't as bad though, with only one change of pyjamas required each night. Then last night the spell was broken: an entire night of sleep! No stupid sweating! So I'm very hopeful that whatever weird alien infection I've gotten from too much time enjoying the TTC or whatever has started to falter and I can get back to regular life. Because fuck this is exhausting to deal with.

As a side benefit of all this though (find that silver lining!) I have updated blood work for all over, I have ultrasound results, I have updated STI test results, so I can enter 2008 completely confident that I'm just plain old average without any specific troubles. :-)

(the doctor is open, friendly, seems knowledgeable -- plus he knows when to ask for help -- and he's young, so I think I'll stick with him. Plus my mother the nurse has reviewed everything I've been going through and has been providing advice, and my ever-loving husband [profile] 1_2_ready_go has been gently encouraging record-keeping and smart questions so I feel very well taken care of. Woo!)

Now back to procrastinating while Vincent is at work. I used spray foam to fill a few holes in the walls so that's good. But now I need to find something else productive that still prevents me from going outside (brr!) to rake leaves.

Edit: I should have specified that I've covered a lot of ground with the docs already, and this post isn't really a plea for ideas, it's just me bitching. :-)


Nov. 18th, 2007 05:18 pm
c9: (Global Warming)
Something appears to be wrong with me. I've been getting night sweats suddenly in the middle of the night for the last week, with last night being the worst so far. I am not impressed, FYI.  Last night I soaked through the bedsheets and my pyjamas twice each, over about four hours.

I found a useful list of causes for night sweats on the internet. I'm sure it's dependable and an acceptable substitute for an actual doctor.
  1. Menopause
  2. Idiopathic hyperhidrosis
  3. Infections
  4. Cancers
  5. Medications
  6. Hypoglycemia
  7. Hormone disorders
  8. Neurological conditions
I think I'm pretty safe on most of these items, but I'm worried about number 6. I think that everybody in North America is going to end up diabetic in their lifetime based on the horrid lifestyle we've built for ourselves, and (although it might be psychosomatic) I've managed to convince myself that I respond strongly to blood sugar variations. I have no actual evidence or testing for this mind you. So obviously that's where I would start. Tonight I plan to have a slightly sugary snack before bed, just to see what happens.

(and yes, I'm aware of the difference between hyper and hypo glycemia, except I do mix them up often. I'll let a real doctor get involved when I think it's time to pick one.)

(original list here)
c9: (transit)
  1. I still love this icon. If you live in Toronto or use our streetcars, check out www.mynewstreetcar.ca to sound off on what you want to see in the new ones!
  2. Vincent is sick with strep throat, as am I. However, he's brand new to it, whereas I'm on day four of antibiotics. Learn more about strep throat from the medical experts of wikipedia!
  3. I'm flying to Winnipeg today for a 2-day class. Back Wednesday. I hope my husband will be OK, I feel guilty leaving him home sick.
  4. I just opened a new bank account for the money I'm collecting for our family reunion. *Another* plastic card to carry around. Woo!
  5. While I'm waiting for my flight, having free internet would be wonderful, but neither YYZ nor YWG have free internet. Grrr.
c9: (Trees)
Paul Wells raises a simple question that I don't have a good answer for: if we consider food and water and health care all essential to life, why is there no government monopoly over food and water, but there is over health care?

I strongly support the idea of government-paid-for and you-can't-buy-better health care, but I'm very interested in hearing arguments that make me rethink my position. Mostly, I'm concerned that:
  • Groups of people screw stuff up (in government we call this bureaucracy and red tape, but it exists in business too) but in government the overall goal is different than in a business (very roughly: "help" instead of "profit").
  • A business is legally obligated to make money for shareholders, while governments don't have that restriction. This is not a bug, it's a feature.
  • A so-called two-tier system (where the rich folk can buy faster care) would cause the better medical professionals to go where the money is, and then the care would worsen in quality and speed for the rest of the population.
So anyway: does this mean that I should support socialized food and water in addition to medicine? I don't know. But it's interesting to think about.

I haven't seen SiCKO yet, but hope to soon. I'm not really the target audience though.

August 2015

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