I have been living with a chronic health condition for twenty years. Next weekend I am celebrating a friend's forthcoming nuptials at a weekend retreat. This involves spending a lot of time in the company of strangers - unfortunately my condition has flared up recently which means I'll have to tell these strangers that a) I may become unwell and b) how to deal with me if I become unwell. Help me figure out how to deal with this without committing any social faux-pas. [more inside]
A close relative whom I love dearly is having triple bypass surgery soon. He lives too far to drive (USA, on the opposite coast). I'd like to do something nice for him, and my first thought was flowers. It was suggested that this might be morbid, and I can see both sides. I'm seeking opinions and other cheery ideas if you have them. [more inside]
This very dark, very tiny mole on my thumb has me in a tizzy. Is a month too long to wait to see a doctor? [more inside]
Help! Own a condo; HOA told us the wood porches would be painted this week after a spray wash. Workers just began to spray bleach everywhere on the wood to kill black mildew (wood was untreated after porches built 4 years ago). Concerns: 8 months pregnant asthmatic (me), our partly-tamed feral cat who spends much time on the porch, and a host of plants. I just watched as bleach misted down from the above porch coating everything on my porch. Help! [more inside]
I would have a 5 day gap between my new job's health insurance and ending my ACA health insurance. Should I buy another month of ACA or risk the 5 day gap? [more inside]
My 87 year old Dad is awash in medical bills. He'd like not to spend most of his time filling them out. Is there the equivalent of an accountant, but who fills out medical paperwork? Where would I find such a person? (He's in New York City.)
I have been experiencing terrible bouts of depression and anxiety for the past four months or so now. I also have turbulent mood swings, ranging from being content in the morning, and scornfully miserable in the afternoon. I'm not certain what is causing all of this. I'm not an emotionally stable person; always unhappy and anxious. I have lost all desire to fulfill my hobbies, which includes: writing, reading, watching documentaries, deep conversations, watching old films, debating, poetry, social activism, and learning knowledge in general. I do not think I'm intellectual or socially exciting enough, therefore I have abandoned all of my hobbies. [more inside]
A year ago, I was involved in a car accident that was not my fault. Now, in exchange for being released from any future liability for injuries relating to the accident, the other person's car insurance has issued a check directly to me. For $10k. This feels too good to be true--is it? [more inside]
I'm moving into the field of health care policy and I don't have a strong background in this area. I'd like some recommendations for books that will give me a broad foundation and also some that are interesting and specific to timely health issues. [more inside]
Dear AskMeFi, If I were to become a licensed psychotherapist (MFT, LMHC, LPCC; not a PsyD clinical psychologist), would it be within my legal scope of practice to help my patients using holistic traditional Eastern Asian therapies such as meditation, bodywork and body therapies, medicinal herbs, lifestyle guidance, etc? How about if I were to get a second credential or license? Rather... how *could* I make it legal, if there is a way to do so? Practice different modalities on different days? Lots of waivers? [more inside]
Asking for a friend: help me find a psychiatrist or better yet a mental health outpatient clinic in NYC that takes Medicaid HealthPlus and doesn't have insanely long wait times. [more inside]
My husband (5'8, 205 lbs, 39, South Asian) was diagnosed as pre-hypertensive after several months of high blood pressure readings. After a couple years going soft Paleo to great success for my partner & me, I'm finding myself totally confused by the opposing DASH diet and trying to figure out what to do to improve his health. [more inside]
I have hormonal imbalances like crazy, mostly related to PCOS (with some bonuses). I feel better when I eat organic vs. nonorganic, could this be possible, or am I psyching myself out? [more inside]
Hi MeFi, So a bit of a weird situation here. I was laid off in 2013 and at the end of that year I applied for Obamacare. It took FOREVER to get the application going since the website was awful so long story short, it's early 2014 and I get a job with full benefits. I completely forget about the application for Obamacare and it's now January 2015 and I received a letter from CeltiCare Health saying 'hi, here's your coverage card. you are now insured with celticare...' So now, technically, I have two coverages? One from my employer and through Celticare? How does this work? Should I call Celticare and let them know I already have insurance? What benefits are there to having two? Legal or not? Thanks for your help!
I've been getting these blotchy raised patches around my mouth for about 6 years. I've shown photos of them to allergists, dermatologists, and specialists, and nobody can tell me what they are, though I've been treated for a host of things that don't quite seem to get rid of the blotches entirely. Today another one showed up and I got a clear photo of it. What is it? [more inside]
So as part of my (New) New Year's Resolution, I'm going to be doing the Men's Fitness 7% Body Fat Nutrition Plan. It's a more involved nutrition plan than I've done before, and it involves six meals a day, four of which I'll have to bring with me to the office. I'll be doing a ton of advance prep, of course, but how do my fellow office drones/fitness geeks on mefi organize and prep and store their food when they're going to the office every day and have to deal with four or five meals before going home? [more inside]
I recently had knee replacement surgery and it went fabulously! I have not been active in years and years due to the knee pain, and the set up of my home and habits reflect this. [more inside]
I work late one night a week. What's best - getting up the next morning at the time I usually get up, or sleeping for 8 hours? [more inside]
I’m wondering if there’s any academic or research value in the papers my mom kept, documenting her struggles to get a long-term care insurance provider to honour their contract. [more inside]
Imagine a 50-year-old, 5'4", 300-pound woman with no diabetes or other medical condition. She suddenly has no access to food, but plenty of water. What symptoms might she have after one day, two days, a week, etc.? [more inside]
I am going to have a health insurance gap between October 31 and December 23rd. That is a time period less than 60 days, and I hear there is a COBRA loophole, and I would like advice about it. [more inside]
I recently noticed visible blue veins in my legs. Ahh! Relatedly, I think, I've been working at a standing desk for 7-8 hours a day for the last few months. I love it. But now I'm concerned about some cosmetic and health risks I may be taking on by doing so. Are there ways to mitigate the harm (?) I'm doing? [more inside]
I'm trying to incorporate more exercise in my life by walking more, but is this necessarily better when all the increased walking is done in high heels? [more inside]
A friend of mine is looking for advice on how to get her Downs Syndrome son to eat after an incident of near choking a few months ago. [more inside]
Well now I'm firmly in the camp of "anxious parent" but here goes. How much food should my kid be eating? He's 7 months old, is about 20 pounds, on formula and some solids. Details below. [more inside]
I'd like to make adjustments to my diet in an effort to overcome my chronic joint inflammation and poor circulation. [more inside]
I've heard that consuming products that have been smoked can increase cancer risk. I've recently started to regularly drink several cups a day of Lapsang Souchong, a smoked tea. I am an ex-smoker so I am concerned that my risk for certain cancers is already elevated. I am having difficulty finding information on if there are any potential cancer risks from drinking this tea and if so, if they are significant enough that I should consider cutting back the amount I am drinking.
I have been with my partner for over 5 years and know his family fairly well. A little over a year ago his brother's one year old daughter was diagnosed with cancer. His daughter, whom I consider as a niece even though my partner and I are not married, has now been battling cancer for over a year. It appears to be quite aggressive. When my sister-in-law calls to give me updates about their daughter's condition (or vice-versa), what can I say to be supportive and express that I care? More details inside. [more inside]
I'm struggling with my routine as I am new to work life, details inside. [more inside]
Today I had the glorious experience of removing a ton of stainage from my teeth with activated charcoal. However, after obtaining a huge bottle I am left curious - what else is it good for? [more inside]
Last year I replaced the cedar decking from my deck and kept the old decking, thinking it might serve for a fencing project. Now I want to use some of it to build gates for said fencing project, but first want to clean it up and make it pretty. It's mildewy and such, but nothing that a good coarse grain sandpaper won't fix. However, I'm worried that the dust created by such a project might be especially nasty. Am I taking my life into my hands power sanding 40 or 50 boards? What kinds of reasonable precautions should I take? Renting a powered full face mask is probably beyond my budget...
I'm looking for a relatively fine-grained source of health and environmental data for Contra Costa County, CA. County-by-county is no good, and even city-by-city isn't that great. I'd like to see it by block if possible (zip code would be useful). Anything that fine-grained would be fine: cancer rates, mortality rates, air quality, etc. [more inside]
I have recently entered a fairly strict diet and workout regimen. I feel like it is healthy, but am worried about the damage I may have done to my body and metabolism. Help me decide on my next steps. [more inside]
I don't always poo every day, but I would like to. What should I be eating? [more inside]
I am doing physical therapy exercises at home and need to time reps -- like 10 seconds to hold a stretch, then relax for 5 seconds, repeat 10 times. Another stretch: hold for 30 seconds, relax for 5 seconds, repeat 10 times. What's the best Android app for this? (by "best" I am including simple. I don't need a complicated app for weightlifters that's going to confuse me with all kinds of other information) Cheap = Best
I want to get fit because it would help my health long-term, but exercising more than a gentle walk makes me sick short-term, so I am stuck. I have specific restrictions on what I can do because of stroke risks, and expect to continue to frequently fall ill. I would like new ideas and especially advice from others with chronic illnesses that fluctuate on how they handle exercise. [more inside]
How did vitamins get their names? Like, why is retinol "vitamin A," ascorbic acid "Vitamin C," etc.? Do the letters have any significance?
I have had some weird blood test results lately. My doctor is not sure what it's from, but said that worst case scenario would be leukemia. She wants me to see a hematologist but the soonest available appointment is till over a week away. I have always suffered from pretty severe hypochondria/health-anxiety/whatever, and the fact that my doctor mentioned the L word, and the uncertainty and waiting, not to mention the absolute worst timing, is killing me. I can barely work or sleep. [more inside]
Could a specialist on the other side of the country still be considered in-network? [more inside]
Asking for a friend: What's a good knee wrap for warmth and support? I've been treated for patella tendonosis. I'm a middle-aged man in Seattle. It doesn't get very cold here, but even below 50 degrees, my knee starts to ache. Looking for a way to keep the knee joint nice and warm, and extra support for the tendon. Thinking of buying this knee wrap. Anyone have first hand (first knee?) experience? You are not my doctor. You are not my physical therapist. My dog will be happier if I can take her for longer walks.
What happens to the drinking water I swallow? All I know is that it goes down my throat to my stomach, and then my body does its thing. Can you go into greater detail for me? For example: What positive effects does the water I drink have on my mouth, my throat, my stomach and other parts of my body? How does the stomach process the water? Where does the water go after my stomach? How does what's in the water get from my stomach to the necessary parts of my body? What's in water that my body needs? What parts of my body benefit the most from the water I drink? Feel free to answer other relevant questions that I've overlooked.
After a year of half-assed solo weight lifting. I've decided to take the green's advice and tie my fitness to a specific activity. I'm thinking of joining a rock climbing/crossfit gym in my area. I've never been a member of a gym before (except during college), and I don't really know what to look out for and pay attention to while checking it out during the free trial. [more inside]
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.
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.
I would like to start eating less. [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]
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?
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]