Tag Archives: friends

New website keeps loved ones informed during surgery

Just mentioning the word surgery can send chills down a person's spine. Whether it’s a simple appendectomy or a more complicated procedure, going under the knife can be frightening for both patients and families alike. Now, a new website, MDconnectME.com, is helping to settle the nerves of friends, significant others and family members all across the globe. The website, which is free to use, was designed to allow family members to stay informed while their loved one undergoes an operation. Before surgery, patients make a list of people to notify during their procedure, which grants their doctor permission to send previously-typed notes like, “Ann is now heading into the operating room for surgery,” throughout the day. These messages can be sent through text or e-mail. MDconnectME.com is now being used throughout the country at centers such as Mount Sinai Hospital, Johns Hopkins, and UCLA. For more information, go to MDconnectME.comsource : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/12/new-website-keeps-loved-ones-informed-during-surgery/

Woman paralyzed after mosquito bite

A British woman was temporarily paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair for four months after being bitten by a mosquito in Australia, the Sun reported. Days after being bitten, Natasha Porter, a 23-year-old from West Sussex, England, was unable to lift her arms. Soon after that, she was paralyzed from the neck down. Initially, doctors suspected Porter was having an allergic reaction. But Porter was eventually diagnosed with a condition called Guillain-Barré syndrome, which doctors believe was triggered by the mosquito bite, according to Nature World News. The syndrome causes the body’s immune system to attack itself. “I was so scared,” Porters said. “I remember feeling guilty, because I knew I was going to have to call my parents. I was thinking, ‘How do I call them up and say I might be dead in a few hours?’” Gradually, Porter began to regain feeling and has now made a full recovery – and plans to continue travelling the world. “I don't want to waste any time anymore, and I hope I have become a better person. I just want to live as much as I can, spend as much time with my friends and family, just enjoying my life,” Porter said. Click for more from The Sun. Click for more from Nature World News.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/05/woman-paralyzed-after-mosquito-bite/

Study finds Facebook helps users ‘Like’ themselves better

Spending a few minutes peeking at one’s Facebook profile reportedly elevates a person’s self-esteem but reduces their ambition to excel, according to researchers. The University of Wisconsin-Madison study that unearthed these social-media phenomena seemingly employed a controversial cognitive test to arrive at its findings, and also discovered the Facebook-borne ego boost lead to diminished ambition, or the desire to excel on subsequent cognitive evaluations. The study, “Self-affirmation underlies Facebook use,” was published in the June issue of the Journal of Media Psychology and was conducted by a team led by Catalina Toma. Toma is a UW-Madison assistant professor of communication arts. “Most have a very large audience of friends and they selectively present the best version of self, but they do so in an accurate manner,” Toma told ABC News of typical Facebook profiles. “We had people look at their own profiles for five minutes and found that they experienced a boost in self-esteem in a deep, unconscious level.” The study employed the widely-used, but still reportedly controversial Implicit Association Test, which requires participants to make snap word-based associations, reportedly said to reveal intensely personal truths, and ones about which test-takers may not even be aware on a conscious level. Also, the study correspondingly uncovered a tenuous correlation between the Facebook-induced self-esteem boost derived by those who briefly viewed their profile and the study participants' motivation to excel on a simple mathematical test taken afterward. “Facebook gives you a real good image of yourself, but you then don't have to look for that in other ways,” Toma reportedly said. “Your motivation to perform well might be reduced because you already feel really good.” According to the Toma team’s abstract, the study shows  “that Facebook profiles are self-affirming in the sense of satisfying users’ need for self-worth and self-integrity, “ and  “that Facebook users gravitate toward their online profiles after receiving a blow to the ego, in an unconscious effort to repair their perceptions of self-worth.” Click to read more on the Facebook study.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/02/study-finds-facebook-helps-users-like-themselves-better/

How to become a morning workout person

Even if you're an early bird, getting up before the sun rises to go sweat your butt off can be seriously daunting. The good news: It's possible to become a morning workout person (with relatively little pain). Just follow these steps Pack a Bag Every night when you get home from work, put your dirty gym clothes in the hamper and set aside a crisp, new exercise outfit. Having to dig through your dressers drawers at 6 a.m. is no fun. It's much easier to have an outfit ready to go, so you don't have to fully wake up before you get dressed. Force Yourself Out of Bed Move your alarm clock across the room. That way you can't sleepily snooze-button your way through your morning sweat session. By forcing yourself to jump out of bed to silence the dreaded buzzer, you're forcing yourself to wake up quicker. And once you're already up... might as well go work out, right? More: Rev Your Metabolism in 8 Minutes Have a Light Snack Eating a full meal in the morning before your workout can make you feel sick. Instead, try something light (half a pita, a banana, etc) before your workout (so you're not starving), and then another light snack after. Skip the Booze Sure, a glass of wine (or two) at dinner can be a great way to unwind, but even small amount of alcohol can make you sluggish in the morning. If you do end up having a drink with friends the night before, just make sure to drink extra water before you go to bed. Otherwise, you could be dehydrated during your routine. More: The Worst Drinks At The Supermarket Go to Sleep Early Once you start getting in to the routine of waking up early, you will automatically start going to bed earlier. In the beginning, however, you will need a little coaxing. Try this: Celestial Seasonings' Sleepytime Extra tea as bedtime drink. It contains valerian, trusted as a natural sleep aid since the days of the Greeks and Romans because of its mild sedative properties.  Make Friends After the initial two months of keeping up a morning workout routine, it can be easy to slip up and “forget” to go to the gym for a week. Something that will keep you motivated? Making friends at the gym who will help you stick to your routine. Set regular gym dates with a friend, or get to know another gym-goer who you know will be looking for you in the mornings—works like a charm. More: How to Motivate Yourself to Work Out Plan Your Routine Here's something that'll make early-morning gym-going much easier: Make a plan the night before. Either sign up for a spin class, or have your entire exercise routine mapped out. Bring any of our printable workout guide for inspiration. They guarantee a super intense workout—and visible results, fast!source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/24/how-to-become-morning-workout-person/

Soulumination: Non-profit photographs terminally ill children for families

In 1996, Lynette Johnson, a professional photographer, was approached by her sister-in-law Sally Elliot with a difficult request.  Elliot’s daughter and Johnson’s niece, Lanie, had been stillborn and Elliot wanted Johnson to take a picture of her before her funeral. “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Johnson, 59, based out of Seattle, Wash., told FoxNews.com.  “But I’m so glad I did it.” The memory of the experience stuck with Johnson, and a few years later, while shooting pictures for a wedding, the bride mentioned to Johnson that she worked for the palliative care unit at Seattle Children’s Hospital.  Johnson immediately thought back to her niece and offered to come by the hospital to take pictures for the patients’ families. “I just blurted out I would do this free of charge,” Johnson said. “It seemed like the least I could do to give back to the community.” What started as a small favor quickly blossomed into a thriving non-profit photography initiative called Soulumination.  Through the enterprise, Johnson and other volunteer photographers take professional photographs of children under the age of 18 who are facing life-threatening conditions, providing families with lasting keepsakes and “an enduring, positive record of the child’s life.” Initially, Johnson was the non-profit’s sole photographer, taking photographs of children in the greater Seattle area.  But since Soulumination’s inception, the organization has now grown to encompass more than 40 photographers and over 120 community volunteers, who help serve families across the country. “We don’t just take their photos; they get beautiful handmade albums too,” Johnson said. “But every person who is at the shoot gets their own personal one.  The mother even gets a bracelet with the child’s photo she can wear.” Johnson has now photographed hundreds of patients, including children with terminal cancer, heart disease, issues stemming from premature birth, Tay-Sachs disease and severe seizure disorders. When she first started Soulumination, Johnson said many of her friends and family would express amazement at how she was able to surround herself with such grief and pain.  But while it’s been emotionally difficult at times, she and the others continue the project without hesitation. “Once you do it, the sadness and grief in some ways feel almost unbearable, but almost every photographer says, ‘Yes, that was hard, but I’ll do it again,’” Johnson said.  “There’s just no doubt about it; it’s the right thing to do.” Johnson said that every family she has worked with has had a positive experience with the photo shoots, and not one parent has ever expressed regret over having pictures taken.  She noted that some families were hesitant to have the photographs done, as they felt it meant they were stepping into the dying process of their children.  However, Soulumination has photographed many children who do survive their illnesses. The photographs are more about honoring the individual than saying goodbye. “It means a great deal to us all,” said one Seattle mother whose daughter has been battling leukemia since 2003.  “Mainly to have the images and see [our daughter’s] expressions captured…It gives me a sense of peace to hang her and [her sister’s] pictures and make them a part of our world as it is now. So when it changes it will be there.” Soulumination operates purely on outside donations and the unpaid skills of the organization’s many photographers.  Johnson said that their work generates a fair amount of monetary contributions from people they come into contact with at the hospital or through photo shoots. She recalled a time when she took photos of a young teenage girl named Sidney, who suffered from a terminal brain tumor.  A few months after Sidney’s funeral, Johnson said she received a thick envelope in the mail. “It was a handmade card from Sidney’s mother, and she explains it’s from the last time she took an art class with Sidney,” Johnson recalled. “There was also a check in there for $1,200, and she said it was Sidney’s savings account and she knew she wanted me to have it so we could service other people. We have hundreds of heart felt ‘Thank You’s’ like that.” Johnson vows to keep Soulumination running as long as possible, and she said she has spoken with other photographers interested in starting similar initiatives in other states – and even other countries.  According to her, the project’s success must be credited to the many people who have graciously donated their money and talents to help preserve the legacies of so many children. “I’m proud of it, and I’m unbelievably thankful for the photographers,” Johnson said.  “We’re a little group that started and has now blossomed into something with national attention. The loss of my niece, which was so devastating, in her memory this thing started that will offer hope to people all over the world.”source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/23/soulumination-non-profit-photographs-terminally-ill-children-for-families/

7 tips to stop your summer weight obsession

With summer approaching, you might spend time preparing for swimsuit season. Rather than dreading this time of year, here are some tips to begin to practice appreciating your body so you can enjoy the sun. 1.   Accept your weight. You may think the more you fight your weight, the more you’ll succeed in losing weight. This simply isn’t true. Accepting doesn’t mean not taking steps towards changing your weight, it means not letting your weight hold you back from your life. If you’re waiting until you lose weight to apply for jobs or start online dating, your weight is going to weigh you down. Do what you care about now. 2.   Go on a weight-talk diet. It’s tempting to ask your friends if you’ve lost weight, ask them about what they’re doing to lose weight, or discuss together who you think needs to lose weight. There is way more to talk about than weight. When the topic comes up, practice moving the topic to something more fun! 3.   Only visit your scale once a week. Weight fluctuates within six pounds on any given day depending of what you’ve had to eat and drink. Rather than checking your weight compulsively and worrying you gained weight after you ate a big meal, only weigh yourself once a week and make it at a set time, like 8 a.m. Monday mornings. 4.   Go shopping.   If you are in between sizes and your clothes are uncomfortably snug, you will constantly remember you’ve gained weight and eat to cope with this negative feeling. I’ve seen a lot of clients feel better and eat better by wearing clothes that fit. Buying clothes your size is not giving up, it’s being practical. 5. If you compare, be fair. It’s weirdly tempting to compare yourself to the thinnest person you see or a celebrity you admire. Yet, this is so unfair and sets you up to feel inferior and obsess further. Rather than compare yourself to someone remarkably thin or fit, compare yourself to every eighth person you see. Better yet, don’t compare. When you notice you’re judging yourself in comparison to someone else, remind yourself that’s a judgment and let go. 6. Eat regular meals. Many people who struggle with obsessing around food get caught in this cycle: Overeat --> limit what they eat to make up for the indulgence --> feel hungry --> overeat. Rather than get caught in this cycle of feeling too full then feeling too hungry, eat three meals and two snacks. If you ate too much for breakfast, eat a normal lunch; this will prevent you from skimping on lunch and splurging on dinner. 7. Relax your face when you look in the mirror. One of the ways to improve your body image and stop engaging in negative thoughts about your appearance is to relax your face and body when you look in the mirror. There’s a facial feedback loop and the facial expressions we make solidify how we feel. Research on Botox shows people whose facial muscles are paralyzed experience less intense emotions. One way to relax your face is to ever so slightly lift the upper corners of your lips. If you don’t want your daughter to learn to grimace in front of the mirror, become a role model for self-acceptance.Jennifer Taitz & is a licensed clinical psychologist based in New York City. She is the author of End Emotional Eating: Using Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills to Cope with Difficult Emotions and Develop Healthy Relationship to Food. Visit her website drjennytaitz.com to learn more.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/14/7-tips-to-stop-your-summer-weight-obsession/

Student with cerebral palsy named prom queen

In many ways, Desaray Carroll is a typical high school teenager. She texts nonstop, hangs out with her friends, goes to the movies and out to eat. The 19-year-old Coahulla Creek High School student is surrounded with a family and friends who love and support her, so much so they campaigned for the student body to elect her prom queen a few weeks ago. Everyone except Carroll seemed sure she would win. But after a lifetime of being picked on for being different, she never thought she could be the same as those around her. “At my old school, I got made fun of,” she said. “I didn't want to go to school. It was really hard. At one point I quit school, but I came back.” Carroll has cerebral palsy, a disorder that affects muscle tone, movement and posture. People with cerebral palsy can have exaggerated movements, rigidity of the limbs, involuntary movements, unsteadiness while walking or any combination of those symptoms. She struggles with her speech — though after a few minutes with her, she becomes easier to understand — and movements on the right side of her body. So going from the person being picked on to the point of quitting school to being given a title that comes with such an implication of popularity seemed like a stretch for her. When her name was called out on prom night announcing she had been named prom queen, Carroll was naturally and genuinely shocked. “I didn't believe it,” she said. “I really like it here. They don't look at me like I have cerebral palsy.” Carroll's friends and her teachers said they believe it is a great testimony to the student body at Coahulla Creek. “Their heart is in the right place,” said Josh Swiney, Carroll's math inclusion teacher. “They've been around her and wanted that for her. She's awesome.” Andy Toth, a sign language interpreter of the school and adviser to the sign language club, of which Carroll is a member, said he knew the student body was rallying for Carroll. “I prayed all weekend she'd get it since I couldn't vote,” Toth said. “She is a perfect pick for it. We've got a good student body. They're not caught up in stereotypes. We realize what's real.” As a very young girl, Carroll fit in with other children, including her foster family. “She was accepted by them, and they love her,” said Jennie Byars, Carroll's foster mother, who became her legal guardian in 1997. Byars had four children naturally, has adopted several and has even more that refer to her as “mom,” including Carroll. “I didn't want her when they first called me,” Byars said. “Then I thought, 'Why am I doing this if I can't help the ones that really need it?' When they brought her to me (when Carroll was 16 months old), I saw a handicapped child. But then I saw a girl with a lot of determination. She bonded with us quickly. After a couple of weeks, I didn't see her as handicapped.” Byars and her late husband, Slim, encouraged Carroll's independence from an early age. “I tried to let her do what she could,” Byars said. “They wanted to give her a walker, and I said, 'No. She doesn't need one.' They wanted to give her a board to talk for her, but I wouldn't let them. We treated her like one of the kids. I tried not to limit her. You have a tendency to want to coddle her, but she didn't want you helping her.” Byars spent many hours taking Carroll to physical therapy and working with her to make sure she could walk and talk and live a normal life. Byars believed in her daughter, pushed her where she needed to be pushed, and comforted her when she needed to be comforted. “Her therapist said she was stubborn, but I said she was determined,” she said. “If she hadn't been determined, she wouldn't be where she is now.” As a child, Carroll could only walk on flat surfaces, not inclines. But she used a mulch pile to learn to walk on an incline. “She was determined, struggled, but she climbed that mountain — in more ways than one,” said family friend Nancy Reynolds. Carroll says many things in her life have been hard. “But it could be worse,” she said. “It's hard talking, but when people get to know me, they understand me better.” She can't even pull her hair back in a ponytail because she doesn't have full use of her right hand. She knows she's made it as far as she has because of the support from her foster parents. “They've been there for me,” Carroll said. “I'm lucky to have them.” When Carroll hit middle school, she faced bullying. Her friends sat at her side talking about how they were all bullied throughout middle school and into their early high school years. Zenaida Torres remembers other students being especially mean to Carroll. The two became friends passing each other in the counselor's office where they went to talk through the problems they each faced. Three years ago Slim Byars died. Jennie Byars was diagnosed with stomach cancer soon after. (She recently had a PET scan, which came back clean of cancer.) Carroll hit a really hard time facing so many trials in just a few years. “She was really a daddy's girl,” Byars said. “These last two years (when she enrolled at Coahulla Creek), she has really come out of her shell. The kids are great. They're more accepting here.” Carroll said she changed her outlook on life and those who were mean to her after her dad died. That's when she found a strong faith in God. “I know God won't put me in anything I can't go through,” she said. Now if a student picks on her or if she's having an especially hard day, she simply “doesn't let it bother” her. She has been inspired by Nick Vujicic, a motivational speaker and author who has no limbs. He is a reminder to Carroll that she is not the only one who faces struggles or who is different. Her hope and positive outlook serves as an inspiration to not only the student body and faculty at Coahulla Creek, but to many who have met her. “Today I had a bad day,” Torres said. “She sends me excerpts from Nick Vujicic's book. It helps me a lot. Even though she had a bad day, she never got sad.” Carroll is someone Savannah McCraw looks up to and thinks more people should become friends with. “We had some classes together,” she said. “A lot of people are too shy to talk to her. I decided I wanted to get to know her. She's really an awesome friend. She always knows how to make me feel better.” Even if Carroll is having a terrible day, she is sweet and kind to everyone. “I never hear her say anything mean about anyone,” McCraw said. “You can never tell if she's having a bad day.” Carroll may struggle with some everyday tasks, but she possesses many traits her friends don't. “She's able to do stuff we're not able to,” Torres said. “She stays strong. She has people here that love her and support her.”source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/13/student-with-cerebral-palsy-named-prom-queen/