semiotic_pirate: (speak your mind)
Today was the big day of reading through all the warnings and possibilities about my coming surgery - laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy aka LAVH. Warning: the link has a series of black and white drawn diagrams showing the procedure, step by step. It is very interesting, but may trigger squeamish feelings in some.

I got a bit of a surprise, though. I had expected to pay the surgeon's fee upfront at the appointment; however, I hadn't received any bills for my prior visits leading up to this appointment. They hadn't issued a bill, but they did have my "outstanding balance" listed in their system. Yeaaaaahhh. So, instead of the $2,300 I expected, it was over $3,000. Eeek!


At work - although I confronted my manager with the industry's going rate for my position and what I think I'm worth ($20K more than what I'm currently paid) they only tacked on $700 to the raise they'd originally offered last week. So. I'm officially and earnestly looking for a new job. I've asked for years to go out with the loan officers on site visits and going to Lender Meetings, etc. Only got to my first one this past fall, and only b/c it was acting as a site visit for the whole department: "Since we're going anyway, I guess we can take you to the lender meeting the day before." I've been given signs that there really isn't any upward movement possible, and that I'd have to chase after and find any kind of continuing education/training for myself (and then convince someone it's worth paying for.)

At this point, I'm thinking of taking the entire four weeks leave (UNPAID LEAVE AT THAT) as proper leave and not trying to work from home the latter three weeks. Let them realize the amount of work that I was doing while I was there by not being there to do it. The only problem with that is that I then shove the brunt of dealing with that workload to my coworkers. A matter of balancing the potential of said coworkers "blaming" me for taking recovery time and me teaching management the lesson of my value.

I'm open to any suggestions all of you may have in this matter.
semiotic_pirate: (Pirate_Main_Icon)
Just in case any of you were left on tenterhooks and don't also follow me on Twitter...

Let me put your minds at ease. The biopsy came back (two days later) with benign growth. There was celebrating in my house and the people who have my back at work were very supportive in their being full of good thoughts and encouragement.

So, although I will still be getting the LAVH surgery, at least it will just be for pain and heavy bleeding associated with uterine fibroids instead of a continuous state of panic and uncertainty. I'll still have ovaries (so no need for HRT or a potential crash menopause) but everything else is coming out. Yay!

Regardless, I think my new doc is fantastic and proactive and all the other good things you can say about doctors that actually care about the welfare of their patients.

semiotic_pirate: (speak your mind)
I recently tweeted about my discovery of PSSD. I'm putting the information I've gathered here for informational purposes. While doing this, I will wonder how many later-in-life realizations of an Asexual Identity can be tracked back to the use of SSRI antidepressants.

I'd like to start with this site, which is acting as a figurative mirror for what had been an entry in Wikipedia. One wonders how/why/who got it taken down. Below the first cut is the text from the former entry, as it appears on the above site.
Wikipedia Mirror )
There are stories of recovery from PSSD and possible methods to induce recovery, both of which are talked about here. This makes me wonder if any of the other side effect from SSRI use are potentially permanent as well. Like emotional blunting.

If you've experienced the symptoms of PSSD, or other potentially SSRI related symptoms (both while taking and after you've stopped taking) you can report it here and print out a form to bring to your doctor with the results.

If you're looking for a place to talk about PSSD with other people, there's a forum here, which has another virtual mirror site of the Wikipedia entry. Another forum, with a section for PSSD appears here, with research papers about PSSD appearing here. Mentions of PSSD does still appear in various places on Wikipedia, but it doesn't have its own entry, except in Dutch.

Note that other drug groups that are known to affect sexual function, e.g. Birth Control Pills (especially those that use progestins that have an androgen.)

I definitely feel like I exist in a world in which Doctor McCoy would exclaim about our barbarity in how we treat our diseases and illnesses.
semiotic_pirate: (SVU flashlight-search)
Anyone who has done any running at all (training, military, track, whatever) has heard of the dreaded lactic acid. We were told it was bad, that it built up in your muscles and made them sore, that it would fatigue you. Not so! All those times at the end of track practice years ago when after we had finished stretching we would all line up with our legs propped against the wall while lying on the ground was misguided. Mitochondria yet again, throws us for a loop.

May 16, 2006
Lactic Acid Is Not Muscles' Foe, It's Fuel

Everyone who has even thought about exercising has heard the warnings about lactic acid. It builds up in your muscles. It is what makes your muscles burn. Its buildup is what makes your muscles tire and give out.

Coaches and personal trainers tell athletes and exercisers that they have to learn to work out at just below their "lactic threshold," that point of diminishing returns when lactic acid starts to accumulate. Some athletes even have blood tests to find their personal lactic thresholds.

But that, it turns out, is all wrong. Lactic acid is actually a fuel, not a caustic waste product. Muscles make it deliberately, producing it from glucose, and they burn it to obtain energy. The reason trained athletes can perform so hard and so long is because their intense training causes their muscles to adapt so they more readily and efficiently absorb lactic acid.
Read more... )
semiotic_pirate: (Default)
Found this article while sipping my mug of Chamomile tea... very weird, but I'm loving it.

Chamomile Tea May Have Medicinal Value
By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDayNews) -- Chamomile tea, long touted as a cure-all for the sick or the stressed, may relieve a wide range of health problems, including colds and menstrual cramps.

Elaine Holmes, a chemist with the Imperial College London, and her team used German chamomile, also called manzanilla, whose flowers and leaves are brewed as a flavorful tea. Fourteen volunteers each drank five cups of the tea daily for two weeks.

"There have been many studies on the effects of individual ingredients of chamomile in animal models, but there have been very few studies on the effect of chamomile on human metabolism so far," Holmes said.

Daily urine samples were collected and tested before, during and after the study. A significant increase was found in urinary levels of hippurate, a breakdown product of plant-based compounds known as phenolics. Some of those have been associated with increased antibacterial activity, and this might explain why the tea seems to fight infections associated with colds, the researchers said.

Drinking the tea was also linked with an increase in urinary levels of glycine, an amino acid that has been shown to relieve muscle spasms. That might be why the tea seems to ease menstrual cramps, the researchers said. Glycine also can act as a nerve relaxant, perhaps explaining the tea's sedative value, they added.

Holmes' group found that the levels of both hippurate and glycine remained elevated for up to two weeks after the subjects stopped drinking the tea, so the compounds might work their magic for some time. Oxford Natural Products, a pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and technology company, funded the study.

The report appears in the Jan. 26 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

In other research, scientists have found that tea may have anticancer properties and may help lower cholesterol, among other health benefits.

"Other types of tea may work as well," Holmes said. "We don't know as yet." The chamomile appears to be altering the gut microflora, which leads to an increase in urinary hippurate and glycine, she explained.

"One of the most interesting findings was that the effect of the chamomile tea lasted at least two weeks after the volunteers had stopped drinking the tea," she noted.

The findings are probably a true reflection of the science, said Hasan Mukhtar, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin who has studied green tea and its role in stemming the spread of prostate cancer.
semiotic_pirate: (Default)
I did a research paper on embryonic stem cell research back in 1997 for a Biology paper - it was at least 15 pages long. I've been watching this technology very closely, the possibilities are enormous. ::fascinated::

Point: I do not suport the use of fetal brain tissue... pluripotent embryonic stem cells, yes, which they could find a way to differentiate into cells similar if not identical to fbt.

Technique for replenishing missing neurons called a milestone, but not yet ready for humans
Betterhumans Staff
1/3/2005 6:20 PM

Read more... )


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