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Archive for February, 2008

Healthy Living: Motivation, Dieting, Yoga, and (hopefully) Success

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 25, 2008

Healthy Living: Motivation, Dieting, Yoga, and (hopefully) Success – by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer Health and Wellness)

Successful Healthy Living – How I’ve change my life through motivation, dieting, and yoga.

Well, not really. It sounds like a good plan though. The truth is…I have no motivation, I haven’t been able to stick to a diet in years, and yoga is just another four letter word to me. When if comes to healthy living…I’m slowly but surly becoming the poster child (middle-aged woman) for unhealthy living.

So, I started this post thinking I might find some motivation to stop eating so much ice-cream and cookies. And then I came across this…

Big Fat DealDiet Motivation!

We all know there are people who bitch at their fat spouses for gaining weight, and gym owners who berate and shame fat people. And don’t forget random people on the street who yell things and throw garbage at the overweight and obese. In case that just isn’t motivating enough for you, we now have the talking “diet tile” that you put on the floor in front of the fridge.

Humiliation every time I take a step toward the refrigerator? Not exactly what I had in mind.

I do like the idea of changing my goal from losing weight, to living healthy to 100.

Diet PulpitChanging My Goal

I am changing my goal officially (see near top of right side bar under photo) from a goal of healthy weight of 140 lbs to a long term goal of Living Healthy to 100 and beyond.

Who wants to join me in setting their goal for a Fabulous, Awesome, Tenacious and Healthy life (a.k.a. F.A.T. Attitude) instead of worrying over numbers on the scale?

It’s an excellent idea. But, who am I kidding? I couldn’t even make it to 30 being healthy, and now (don’t tell anybody) I’m even older than that. I know…It’s hard to believe.

As I continued to surf the BlogHer Health and Wellness blogroll, I came across this post on yoga…

Sister SkinnyWhat’s Up With Yoga

So, anyone want to convince me yoga is the perfect thing for me right now? Want to tell me why you love it? Or have you (like me) had some not-so-fantastic experiences with the whole thing? I’m curious about the general yoga consensus among our readers…(see 40 comments on yoga)

And then, I remembered reading this interesting post…

Frances Ellen SpeaksHatha Yoga Or A Pedicure

I got it into my head that I should try yoga. Pretty much, the only things I know about yoga are, it’s a form of relaxation, it helps with flexibility, it’s good for one’s balance and it doesn’t require me to bounce around too much.

I had one problem with the yoga class; it’s held at my local hospital for the 55+ gang on Tuesday evenings and, as it happened, I had an appointment to get a pedicure last Tuesday. Pretty much, what I know about pedicures is it’s a form of relaxation, your feet and legs receive a massage and it, too, requires no bouncing.

Hmm. What to choose, what to choose…

What would you choose? A pedicure is sounding pretty good to me right now. I guess I’m not doing so great in the “motivation” area. And, isn’t that the only way I’ll ever be successful in my quest for health living? I know. I know. Maybe I’ll start being motivated on Monday.

For even more on yoga…

Yoga Chickie

Yoga Gumbo

What I really want to know is…

Can I do yoga while sitting on the couch with my lap-top? It sure would be nice if I could lose weight doing that too.

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
CatherineBlogs, The Political Voices of Women, Care2 Election Blog

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Posted in about me, blogging, BlogHer, body image, chronic illness, dieting, food, Health, heart disease, life, lifestyle, my life, self-help, weight loss, Women, women's health, yoga | 6 Comments »

Universal Healthcare, Medicaid, and Cancer

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 19, 2008

Universal Healthcare, Medicaid, and Cancer – by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer

I’m not sure how much we really needed a study to determine that uninsured people are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer too late to be treated successfully. In most cases, a person actually needs to see a doctor to be diagnosed with a disease. So, is anyone surprised to find out that poor, uninsured people, aren’t going to the doctor? I didn’t think so. The only thing this study does do, is underscore the healthcare crisis we are currently facing (with 47 million Americans uninsured), and the need for all Americans to have access to quality healthcare. However, in order to prevent this study from being used as an argument for some type of universal healthcareMedicaid has been thrown into the mix.

Here is an example from The New York Times, of how the news of this new study is being reported…

A nationwide study has found that the uninsured and those covered by Medicaid are more likely than those with private insurance to receive a diagnosis of cancer in late stages, often diminishing their chances of survival.

Cleverly, someone decided to throw a monkey wrench into this study, by comparing having no insurance at all, to having Medicaid. I say “cleverly”, because without that little snip-it of information, this study would appear to be the perfect argument for universal healthcare. But now some can argue, that Medicaid is a government program that isn’t working…So, how could the government ever be capable of implementing a healthcare program that would work?

From WebMD

Researchers say the findings should have important implications for the nation’s health care system and policy decisions about health care reform.

Here is what Jude, from First Draft thinks, in a post titled “Two Americas“…

Now, this might not be the biggest revelation ever, but it seems that people who don’t pay a lot for their health care get lesser-quality care. I can hear the wingers already screaming that this is obviously a failure of public insurance, as private insurance leads to better care.

I admit, I know very little about Medicaid, but when you dig a little deeper into the reporting of this study, it appears there is more to the “Medicaid” aspect then meets the eye.

This study seems to find that having Medicaid is still better than being one of the 47 million that are uninsured…

Results showed that uninsured patients were 90% more likely and Medicaid patients were 40% more likely to be diagnosed with stage II than stage I disease compared with those who had either private insurance or Medicare (difference not significant between the two latter groups).

And, are the Medicaid patients in this study mostly from nursing homes? If so, this study on Medicaid and nursing homes seems to indicate the problem is more to do with the actual care being given in nursing homes, and less to do with being insured with Medicaid.

A study in the January 2008 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests that Medicaid patients in nursing home care receive limited cancer services. While the prevalence of cancer in nursing home patients is 1 in 10, according to Dr. Bradley and coauthors this population has received little attention in outcomes research.

The report concludes that nursing home patients had a preponderance of late or unstaged disease, high mortality with a few months of diagnosis, low hospice use, and very little cancer-directed treatment, even among patients with early stage cancer where treatment can alleviate symptoms.

I’m pointing these discrepancies out because – If this study is really going to be used to help determine our country’s healthcare policy, then we need to understand a few things. Most importantly, that the problems facing Medicaid are much different than the problems facing any plan to insure the uninsured. In other words…Don’t use statistics on orange trees, to determine whether or not to grow an apple tree.

Also see:

Health Insurance only for the Healthy — If 47 million uninsured Americans is not high enough a number of vulnerable people who often do not visit the doctor soon enough to receive an early cancer diagnosis leading to a higher cancer survival rate, Blue Cross of California is looking to increase the number of uninsured — with the help of doctors.

Sweet Surrender — C is for CANCER

Anyway, I still don’t know what this post is really about, I guess it could mean different things to different people. If you have good insurance it may mean one thing…but if you have a parent in a nursing home, or are uninsured yourself, probably something totally different. What does this information mean to you? Will these issues have any affect on how you vote in November?

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
CatherineBlogs, The Political Voices of Women, Care2 Election Blog

Posted in BlogHer, cancer, chronic illness, family, Health, life, news, opinion, political, Politics, thoughts, universal healthcare, Women | 1 Comment »

Healthcare Reform: A Tour Around Health and Political Blogs

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 11, 2008

A Tour Around Health and Political Blogs, that are taking on the issue of healthcare reform. — by Catherine Morgan (cross posted at BlogHer and CatherineBlogs)

With more and more people becoming uninsured in our country, healthcare reform is becoming an increasingly important issue.

Voters are interested in knowing where the candidates stand on the issue of healthcare. Now you can find health bloggers and political bloggers addressing healtcare reform. Here is a quick tour around some of these bloggers talking about the issue of healthcare and healthcare reform.

From Maggie Mahar of Health Beat

As for issues, if voters are concerned about healthcare, “they probably don’t perceive too much difference between Clinton and Obama,” says Blendon, who is also a professor at Harvard’s School of Public Health. “I think they believe that either Democrat will try to do something big. Healthcare won’t become an issue until the general election.”

But in November’s general election, healthcare will be at the center of the debate, Blendon declares. “John McCain now appears to be the front-runner among the Republicans, and if, in November, he turns out to be the party’s candidate, he will not see providing health coverage for everyone as a priority for his administration,” says Blendon.

“Nor will Republican Congressmen view universal coverage as something that their constituency wants.” As I noted in a post last week, polls show that “the majority of Independents and Republicans are not convinced that health care is a “fundamental right.”

So an election that pitted either Clinton or Obama against McCain would become, in part, a referendum on healthcare reform. Who would win? “Again, it would be very close,” says Blendon. “We’re in a hostile environment for Republicans, but McCain is stronger than his party.

This is from Danieldoo

Where do the candidates stand on this life changing issue? One place to look would be health08.org. This is a site put together by the Kaiser Family Foundation, who claims to be non-partisan, non-profit, private operating foundation.

If you want to know who is pushing the candidates then you will want to swing by Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease.

Another grassroots organization fighting for healthcare reform is Americans for Health Care. Here you will also find a comparison of the candidates, along with updates and ways to take action.

The New York Times also has a candidate comparison, which still includes folks that have dropped out, in the Election Guide 2008. I am not sure how up to date this one is, you know how those political beings change direction mid stream more often than not.

The American Academy of Family Physicians has the candidates positions on health care under the policy and advocacy section of their website.

WebMD even got in on the fun with a page devoted to Health Matters in the 2008 Election.

From TPM Cafe

Should you care about the flap over healthcare “mandates”? Does it really tell us anything about whether Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama is more likely to deliver healthcare reform?

In yesterday’s New York Times, Paul Krugman said “Yes.” He pointed out that Clinton’s plan favors mandates that would require everyone who can afford the premiums to sign up for healthcare insurance. Low-income and lower-middle income Americans who cannot afford the premiums would receive subsidies from the government, just as they do in Massachusetts.

My Relationship With Breast Cancer

It’s certainly no secret that an election year is upon us. I say this over and over – one person can make a difference! One voice can echo, and cause other voices to rise in unison. As we face the election of new officials it is important to raise our voices so that our healthcare needs are met. We need to make certain that each and every person has access to quality care!

Also See:

Sassafras Mama on thoughts on healthcare reform

Our Bodies, Ourselves

Cold Coffee – Healthcare Reform: A Macro Viewpoint

What do you think about the healthcare issue? Will this issue affect your presidential vote?

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
CatherineBlogs, The Political Voices of Women, Care2 Election Blog

Posted in blogging, BlogHer, Health, opinion, parenting, political, thoughts, universal healthcare, Women, women's health | 1 Comment »

Gardasil For Boys Too?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 4, 2008

This is from Mir at BlogHerGardasil’s Back in the News:  Boys Now Need It, Too?

There’s been a lot of talk here at BlogHer about Gardasil, over the past year or so. I wrote about it a year ago, trying to articulate my feelings on it as a mom to a daughter who would soon be eligible for vaccination. Catherine Morgan has kept her finger on the pulse of the matter with multiple posts, including pointing out that several young girls have died within hours of receiving the vaccination.

My initial optimism was, perhaps, premature.

In the meantime, various states have been discussing mandating the vaccine, or trying to, with varying levels of success. (Check out Vaccine Awakening for a good explanation of what recently happened in the Virginia legislature.)

And now there’s this — HPV-caused oral cancer is on the rise in men, prompting Merck to seek government approval to make Gardasil available to boys, as well.

READ FULL POST AT BLOGHER

Also See:

What is Not Being Reported about the Merck Cervical Cancer Vaccine

Ten Reasons Why HPV Vaccine is ‘Murky’

Gardasil:  The Three Faces of the HPV Vaccine

First Update

Second Update

Third Update

Posted in BlogHer, cancer, cervical cancer, daughters, family, Gardasil, Health, kids, news, opinion, parenting, political, teens, vaccines, viruses, Women | 2 Comments »