I have read articles about herd immunity and I understand the concept. But, boots on the ground, should I worry about my vaccinated son occasionally playing with a partially vaccinated 4-year-old and a completely unvaccinated 2-year-old? We're all pretty mindful of staying away when the children show signs of illness. I am interested in both medical information and how other parents have navigated this potential risk.
I can idly finish a bottle of wine. How do I not? [more inside]
Questions around experimental procedures, health insurance, incommunicative doctors, and trying to advocate for someone who resists advocacy. I've broken down my big questions with some supporting info below. [more inside]
It's my understanding that the atmosphere at the Dead Sea has a higher concentration of oxygen than the sea level norm because of the extremely low elevation (roughly a quarter mile below sea level). My question is: what does it feel like to breathe this air? Is it refreshing? Does it feel thicker than air at sea level? Are there any objective medical findings associated with long-term exposure to oxygen at this concentration? Many thanks in advance.
It's a new year and there have been a lot of articles about diet, nutrition and exercise around the internet lately. Most seem to be based on hearsay, personal anecdotes or scientific studies of extremely small samples - as do most Google results when I try to search for a current 'scientific consensus' on what a healthy diet and exercise program looks like. Can any one point me towards an evidence backed report that covers these topics and is accessible to a layman?
Hello. I need your opinion on going back to school. I currently work in healthcare in a hospital lab as a technician. I make good money don't get me wrong but I would like more responsability, more clinical diagnosis and treatment related job. I want to interact with patients and be a more important person than just a lab tech. I am thinking nursing school or physician assistant school. Please tell me the reality on the field, which one job gives you more satisfaction: pa or rn?i am 27, almost married,no kids, no house. I have a bachelor in biology/ medical technology. Do you think the rn to nurse practitioner is a better option than the physician assistant?
Things just keep getting worse and I don't know what to do. Please see extended explanation. [more inside]
I have a close family member who I am somewhat estranged from. But he has some needs that I have the skills to help with, and I want to help. Help me help him. [more inside]
I would like to start eating less. [more inside]
In week 4 of a cough they say I just have to wait out. What can I do to speed things along here? [more inside]
My wedding is coming up in a few months and I want to find some small things I can do to reduce my spare tire before I walk down the aisle. [more inside]
A friend of mine (let's call her "Sarah") came over for dinner at my flat last week. Some way through the meal (just after the first bottle of wine was finished) she told us that her partner had recently been tested for a very serious medical condition. She then said that she "hadn't intended to talk about it". She will have recently received the results of this test, and I'm wondering whether it's appropriate to ask her what the result of the test was. I care a lot about Sarah and her partner (who is an incredibly warm and wonderful person), but I don't want to intrude. On the other hand, I don't want to be unsupportive. A few details are below the fold. [more inside]
My doctor sent me for a colonoscopy due to family history. The clinic gave me some paperwork saying it would be completely covered unless they found something, and then it would be $250. They didn't find anything. I lost the paperwork. Now they're sending me bills for $3100. [more inside]
Hello all, I was laid off from my job in July and went to Europe for a few months. Now that I am back in USA, I tried to sign up for affordable care act via www.mahealthconnector.org/ only to find out this site is the reincarnation of the devil. I cannot finish my application for this health insurance because I get stuck on a page that requires me to put in my employer info. Now since I am unemployed I obviously do not have an employer. This site literally will not let me complete the rest of the application without entering a whole bunch of information on my current employer which does not exist! How on earth do people without jobs apply for this?? Does anyone else run into this frustrating issue? Is there any other health insurance I can sign up for?
YANAD - but I went and saw a doctor and I'm still a little confused about things! The medication isn't helping and the symptoms aren't "standard", so is this reflux or something else? [more inside]
I am lost on how to proceed with my life/diet. Because #1 - There are many positives to eating strict #2 - There are many negatives to eating strict. [more inside]
I have long-running case of depression and generalized anxiety disorder, with plenty of childhood triggers. I do see a therapist but due to the holiday schedule, I won't be seeing my therapist for a few weeks. I want to do some work by myself, because crying to sleep nearly every night is getting exhausting. I want my subconsciousness to chill out and be less triggered. I want tips, stories, and resources. Difficulty: I live with my parents, and I get triggered by them. [more inside]
Which healthy grocery items/nutritional supplements/dietary interventions have you found to be worth the splurge, and how/why? [more inside]
Can you recommend a decent psychiatrist in DC, within a 1-mile radius of either Farragut North or Farragut West (i.e., near K Street NW)? I have Cigna, however I am willing to go out of network. Thank you in advance. [more inside]
I have a tendency to automatically dissociate from/"forget" things that are stressful or anxiety-provoking. How can I better focus on these scary things so that I can better address and resolve them? [more inside]
I am totally paralyzed with indecision about the health insurance options I have at work this coming year. Halp! High deductible plan with an HSA vs tried-and-true HMO. [more inside]
Hi Mefites. I'll be starting an online medical coding and billing course in January ( given by the AAPC), after graduating from a relatively well respected state school with a psychology BA in May and finding out far too late in the game that it would leave me with nil in terms of job prospects. After building up quite a bit of credit card debt and deciding that man cannot live on Hulu and Facebook alone, as I've been doing for six months, I decided to look into opportunities that required relatively little training to get started with, and happened upon medical billing, something that seems to fit me quite well. I'm tempering my enthusiasm however, because no amount of Googling seems to give me a clear sense of my path once the course is over. Help? [more inside]
I am a grown-ass woman who fails utterly at hydrating herself. I would love any and all suggestions to help me drink more water regularly. [more inside]
I am on the hunt for a review, overview, listing of, or any other compilation of sorts that you may find explaining all the different American quality indicator systems in health care, specifically nursing if you're that good. AHRQ, ANA, NDNQI, .... but a more inclusive list and description of all their individual quality outcome management recommendations. I've been searching for days and haven't really found exactly what I need or want. Thanks!
Should I be concerned about my recent lab results? [more inside]
I have had quite a lot of medical expenses this year - much of it not covered by insurance. I will speak to my accountant about tax write offs. Is there anyway to get reimbursed for any of the following out of network: blood tests (expensive tests) phone consultations dr visits vitamins travel time Thank you in advance
How do I get better at not ignoring all the positive emotional work I've done when suddenly being triggered in a high-stress low-functioning situation? [more inside]
One of my oldest friends just died and I'm feeling serious Crohn's pain starting to creep up again, threatening my remission. Everything in my life right now is stressful and exhausting, and I know that if I do nothing I will have a full-bore flair on my hands by thanksgiving. I need help finding a health resort/ wellness retreat on the East Coast - optimally between DC and Boston. My wealthy uncle says money is no object, so my only real stipulation is somewhere that isn't too scary/isolated for a young woman alone. [more inside]
Basically, complete the following sentence: “Now that you’re exercising all the time, you should_______________________.” [more inside]
After a nightmare MRI experience sometime in 2011 I found out that I have a cervical disc herniation on c3, c4, c5, c6. The pain was so severe that I was unable to move my neck to right side without feeling like I was going to pass out. Now that I've gotten my first coritsone shot and feel alive, I would love to work at gym on strentheting my cervical discs so I can beat this problem and avoid having to marry cortisone shots for the rest of my life. What are some excercise machines and workouts I can safely use to strengthen my neck without damaging it further? [more inside]
I watch many people who I care a lot about suffer from depression. I would sincerely do anything to help them, and do whatever I can think of: conversations, little notes and random texts, hanging out, offering help with thinking through options if they want it, etc. But, as someone who is lucky to not have 'been there', it's hard to know when I'm crossing a line and what's really needed. In fact, I think most of my efforts translate to "I know you mean well, but..." even though I'm also one of the few people these friends go to when things get bad. On top of worrying and trying to help, I also spend (probably too much) time thinking about what they're going through and what would be most helpful. It's exhausting for me and stressful, but it's personally not an option not to care. I end up internalizing this stuff and it affects my normal activities, even though at the end of the day, I'm not the one suffering. I want to be as good a friend and resource as possible to these people I truly care about and also want to avoid falling victim to anxiety or depression myself because of it. Any tips from either the 'been there' - depressed and knows what's helpful - perspective or the sincerly-caring-friend side of this equation would be much appreciated. Thanks.
I posted this question back in May, about my father's strange (and awful) behaviour that seems to be driven by some kind of illness. Things have not improved. Part of me says, "you should be there for him, it's your dad and he's obviously ill"; another part says "he's behaving like a monster, cut him out of your life." How do I determine which part to listen to? [more inside]
My son dislocated his shoulder and may require surgery. I am looking for an excellent surgeon in Manhattan. [more inside]
We get a lot of kale from our CSA, and we pretty much know it's headed for the compost. Have tried many recipes that turn out nasty -- kale chips that won't dry, sauteed kale that's too bitter to choke down, etc. -- and have yet to find anything that gets us excited to use this vegetable, no matter how healthy. (Yes, I do make some green shakes, but one bunch in the freezer can fuel me for a year on that front! We have 3-4 bunches in the fridge right now.) I should say that the one exception was a recipe called "Carolina kale," which involves some stewed tomatoes and cumin, but our experience after making it a few times is that we love it on day 1 but then never want to touch the leftovers, so then that feels like a waste too. So, metafites, convince me that kale is fit for human consumption! wow me with your best, genuinely delicious, kale recipes, before it's compost time again!
I'm a 35-year-old, gay male (in Silicon Valley) who is looking to jump back into the dating pool after a long absence. A bit after reading this post on Truvada for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) I thought I might be a candidate for it. I talked to my primary care doctor and although he though it as worth looking into, he didn't have any experience with Truvada and referred me to an infectious disease specialist. Unfortunately my experience with the specialist wasn't great; I felt like he dismissed the idea of PrEP almost out of hand and without really discussing my concerns or possible HIV risk factors. ... [more inside]
My 19 yr old son has decided to drop out of college after this semester to find himself. The problem is he is without a plan and I believe very depressed. He has been to a therapist in the past and has an appt to see the therapist next week. In the meantime he has called us sometimes crying and saying he doesn’t understand why he is in college. snowflake inside [more inside]
For the first time, I have a choice of health insurance plans at a new job. I sort of understand the differences and benefits of each, but am feeling some serious choice paralysis. [more inside]
I'm constantly tired to the point of not being able to get out of bed until early afternoon, napping frequently and generally feeling lethargic, apathetic and kind of nauseous. I finished a contract job 5 weeks ago & assumed my tiredness was a result of wrapping up the project. Then I went on a very chilled 3 week holiday and put the exhaustion on return down to jet lag. I've seen my doctor and my bloodwork is fine. My diet is decent, minimal alcohol, one coffee a day, so I'm fairly sure this is a psychological thing. I take an SSRI for anxiety but was actually talking to my doctor about tapering off as I've been really well for the past year. Physically, it feels like the bout of depression I had four years ago, but my mood isn't low (more flat) and I don't feel hopeless, just like everything's a massive effort, even helpful things like exercise and socialising. Obviously, YANMD, but has anyone else been there? What can I do to shake this?
The fact I never liked the "traditional" forms of exercise never bothered me before. That is, until it recently dawned on me activities like going to the gym or running might be the only options I have left. But, with sensitive knees and shins from growing quickly and the residual effects of childhood asthma still occasionally inhibiting my ability to do cardio, these activities seem more foreign than ever. What can I do? [more inside]
What other options are there besides pre-med? [more inside]
I am quitting coffee; too intense on my stomach. Is it the caffeine? Does caffeine in tea operate differently? Looking for some good alternatives, besides the usual Green Tea. But getting a health benefit is always good.
Testosterone helps my fatigue, but I have difficulty with the side effects. Explain to me the mechanism by which testosterone increases energy levels so that I can think sensibly about options and understand what this tells me about the cause of my problem. [more inside]
Would I be penalized for not having health insurance in the US for three months while changing jobs? [more inside]
For the past few years I have been giving myself tendon injuries in quite a few of my joints... elbow's, knee's, and achilles mostly. I'm been slowly becoming more active for several years now, following an achilles injury that didn't quite heal up for 4 or 5 years. In my late 30's... I know, I'm shedding quite a bit of my invincibility at a steady rate now. As I said, I keep hurting myself. Mostly when I ramp-up the rigor, or try something slightly different at the gym. I have a pretty long and gentle warm-up and stretching routine, I don't think I really go for an increase too quickly, and only work out every other day or so... but various tendons disagree, at different times, and for different reasons. Based on the frequency and degree of pain/discomfort/etc, and how careful I am about not doing too much too quickly, I think frequency of injuries are out of the norm. Here's the nut of what I really want to know: What’s the best kind of doctor (already tried my GP) to see about this? It's hampering some of my hobbies and reasonable ambitions quite a lot, so I want to start finding more aggressive help/tests/advise. Who can help from a whole body perspective? Yes to yoga, and learning all kinds of stretches. Looking for more than a PT at this point. Thanks all!
I recently started on adderall for ADD-type issues, and I've got some questions about the effects it's having. I intend to bring them up with my psychiatrist when I see him next, but that won't be for a few weeks and I think it would still be valuable to get some outside perspective, especially from people with first-hand experience. A lot of this has to do with sexuality. Questions and details within. A bit long-winded. [more inside]
The fan above my stove broke. I cook on the stovetop often, I've heard that the smoke from cooking could cause health problems down the road - but it's all anecdotal evidence. I've tried looking up some concrete information online, but what I can find is sparse. I'm opening the windows at the moment, but it's going to be too cold to do that soon. Is a fan necessary, or is cooking smoke not as bad as it's cracked up to be? Anyone else not using fans?
I have had a recurring bacterial vaginosis and yeast infection for over a year. I treat it, it goes away, and a few months later, it's back. To make matters more complicated, I don't have the typical symptoms. What originally lead me to think something was up is that I have to pee constantly, so I thought I had a UTI (which I have never had before). Turns out, I had a vaginal infection, and no UTI. It's been a year of this and I'm getting really frustrated. I'm seeing my ob/gyn next week about this, so I am not looking to metafilter as a substitute for medical advice. I want to know if there's anything I should be discussing with my doctor that I haven't already, or if I should be pushing for a referral to a specialist. More details and TMI below. [more inside]
My friend took their child to the ER for a psych evaluation. There are mistakes in the report from the hospital. Should they bother to address them? [more inside]
Is there a way to make my brain more "fuel" efficient? [more inside]
I run a program that directs people with HIV and at risk for HIV infection to research they might qualify for. We are co-sponsoring an event for providers in the HIV field. We would like to hand out swag mugs, but we have no idea what to say in such a small space. [more inside]