Just wanted to let you know I've started another blog, called "Medicana." I have put the link to it over on the side on my links list.
I haven't talked about it yet here but I have always been a raging hypochondriac. Both of my parents were in medical writing and I was exposed to medical information early on. In addition, I had a baby sister who died at 4 months old when I was just under three myself. She had a congenital heart defect that, at that primitive time in the 1950's, was not able to be corrected surgically when she was still so small. Now she would have lived. Although I was so very young, I still remembered my sister being there and must have understood that when she was no longer there that something bad had happened to her. So perhaps that was the beginning of the hypochondria. I had the same heart defect she did (a hole in the ventricles of my heart) but it was much smaller and has now closed up.
I've always been fascinated by medical information and as I've mentioned previously, love all those shows like "Medical Mysteries," "Mystery Diagnosis," and of course, "House." I lust for the Tuesday New York Times that has the Science Section, and read the health-related part thoroughly each week.
It always amazes me when I talk to people about diseases or conditions and find out they know so little about them. This can be a danger if something does go wrong and they end up in the medical system without the necessary knowledge to deal with it. In these days of managed care, you really need to be your own advocate and not take "no" for an answer when you consult a doctor. Often they are too busy to really listen to you and you may get sent home with a pat on the head or a useless prescription when you have something seriously wrong.
The only way to deal with this is to do your own research, understand what you might be dealing with, before even going to the doctor. Then you know the questions to ask.
So the purpose of my new blog is to inform readers in a lighthearted, easy to read way, about various diseases and conditions. I'll write about common ones, but also not so common, or just plain ghoulishly fascinating, medical conditions. Have you ever heard of the Guinea worm? It gets into your system as a larva and when it becomes a grown-up worm it has to come out. It does this by coming out through your skin, causing a nasty looking boil. The way to get it out is to grab it by the head and pull. Is that gross or what? I read about that in my 1982 Merck Manual, which was my only source of information back in those days, since there was no Internet to browse. Luckily the Guinea worm does not exist in New Jersey so I've never had a sore on my arm and thought it was the Guinea worm. If Guinea worms did exist in New Jersey undoubtedly I'd be convinced that I had it.
So, if you have any interest in medical conditions or diseases of any kind, please check out Medicana. My first entry is on Appendicitis! Enjoy!