Thursday, July 31, 2008

Less money, more health


….Edward Jardini, MD, a family practice doc in Templeton, CA, has written How to Save on Prescription Drugs: 20 Cost-Saving Methods.

…Each year, people under 64 fill an average of 10 prescriptions a year. Over 64—that’s 28.

..As we all know, these can get pricey. One glaucoma medicine costs $1 a drop and yet people put in way more than the one drop the eye can hold.

…He recommends a medication review in light of this economy. This is a special visit to the doc just to discuss medications and prices.

…He also advises patients not accept those free samples, because they can run out and then you are tied to an expensive drug (the ones they leave samples for).

…Don’t ask for those advertised meds, he also advises. You may get them, and they may not be right for you.

…Also don’t accept drugs with ER or CD on the name. These are expensive drugs whose patent has been extended by making them Extended Release or Continuous Delivery.

…This means it’s soon to go generic, but has not done so yet.

…All this can be discussed in your med review.

…Right, readers? Right?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Packin'


…The first thing HA says to pack is FOOD! She was stuck in Spain once in a hotel with no room service, sick, and all she had was her peanut butter crackers. Sure came in handy!

…Real Simple has some other no doubt advertiser-fueled suggestions. First, Sephora.com has a travel kit for $48 that replicates a good hotel. A hook to hand on the door, a mirror, mesh pockets..HA really has no idea why you need these things. You will be eating the crackers.

…Boscia.net has products for a facial—all those countries sliding underneath you are so drying. Bring olive oil, soap, cream. Creamy. You won’t even smell like a salad.

…A glossing kit. Never go anywhere unglossed. Frederick Fekkair on Sephora is all about the glossing. Not to be confused with flossing—bring that, too, though.

…In packing, burp your bottles. This is plastic bottles. Open, give a little squeeze and clap the cap back on.

…Wrap glass perfume bottles in shoes—shoes aren’t just for feet anymore. Put plastic wrap over the opening of shampoo and other gooeys, then cap. Be extra careful with self-tanners—they stain like mad.

…Remember, under security rules, you only get a one-quart, resealable bag..and no more than 3 oz of anything inside it.

…Don’t forget those teenies in the drugstore—those sample size or travel size bottles.

...Crackers, people! Travel smart.

...Any other ideas?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Row, row, splash


…The Red Cross says if you plan to go out on a boat, learn to swim. This is good advice, although many sailors of yore figured swimming would not help them much way out on the sea and never learned. Don’t be retro.

…The Red Cross has swimming lessons—HA's kid took them. Everyone has.

…Alcohol and boating don’t mix any more than driving and drinking do. Yet, people do it. Half of drownings are booze-involved.

…Use Coast Guard-approved life jackets—there will be a label. Kids must always wear one!

…Tell people where you are going—a float plan. Be sure to say how long you think you will be gone.

…Take a boating course. You paid too much for that boat—not to mention your family—to lose it. The RC gives lessons, as do the US Power Squadron, Coast Guard Auxiliary, and US Sailing.

…Watch the weather. Electrical storms and boats—not so much. Pull in lee of the shore if you can when lightning strikes.

…And out here in AZ and elsewhere, don’t swim up under houseboats where carbon monoxide may be insidiously collecting under the lip of the boat. People die from that.

…Regularly. All the time. Dead as anything.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Just an insured old lady


…HA’s 90-year-old mother took a header and opened a cut in her forehead. Her pulse was also too slow from a fourth BP med her doctor insisted on adding 72 hours before.

…Her caregivers called 911. HA and her sister drove over immediately. The paramedics gave them the “if it were my mother look” and they reluctantly agreed to take her to the Emergency Room for stitches.

…What ensued was a 48-hour nightmare. First, she could not just get stitches. Over six hours, she got a chest x-ray, CT scan, blood work, urinalysis, and other tests.

…She was so parched, she begged for water hour after hour. An ice chip. Anything. No! What if she threw up? First, she was not getting surgery. Second, what if she were? People never eat lunch and then get in a car wreck?

…She suffers from dementia and begged for water again and again. No water. No vaseline for her lips, no chapstick, nothing.

…What about the stitches? This seemed unimportant. About Hour 9, a doctor peeked at her, she needed to be admitted to the hospital, he said. Sure, she could have water—or a sandwich, would she like a sandwich? After nine hours!

….Finally, a medical student looked at her cut—said it didn’t even need stitches, but the student threw in two for practice. The numbing medicine hurt like mad!

…That night nearing midnight, there was no bed. Sure, HA could take her Mom home against medical advice—didn’t she want to take good care of her, though? Finally, they said they had a “sitter” who could watch over her in the ER and then upstairs when she got to her bed.

…After 11 PM, HA left. At 6 AM, HA called. Her mother had never left the ER. No bed, no sitter. Liars!

…HA’s Mom was also sort of weird, raving, etc. Turns out they had drugged her. She was there for too many drugs and they drugged her!

…When she got the bed, she was out cold. HA could not take her out of there then. So she assured herself the sitter would be there.

…Two hours later, she called—the sitter had been assigned to another patient.

…HA and her sister went back to the hospital (1.5 hour round trip). They called a nurse registry and found someone to come sit with her all night. Hire your own nurse in the hospital? What’s strange about that?

…HA’s Mom had been laughing and joking, then she went to comatose almost, then wan and weak. And HA and her sister sat there most of the time and could not make the proper decisions to make it stop. Should they have said no to her doctor on the fourth med, no to the paramedics, no to admitting her, which?

…They would have had better luck getting her out of jail.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Pisces pedi


….Ack, new trend. Letting fish eat the dead skin off your feet. Apparently, this started in Turkey (where they may be a little bored).

…HA used to go to a lake every summer—it felt really weird when the translucent, gray minnows nibbled her toes.

…Now you can pay for this.

…At one salon in Virginia, 5,000 people have had their toes “attended to” so far.

…The fish are known as “doctor fish” (garra rufa).

…Women are raving. Calluses—gone completely!

…After the fish nibble, the operator rubs off the rough spots. About 100 fish attack, er, groom, each time.

….HA can think of some great maggot and pirhana jokes, but will spare you.

…HA’s dog Jim licks the shower water off HA’s legs. Does that count for animal-assisted hygiene?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Economy good for shrinks


…HA sometimes gets so freaky over this weird economy and creepy election, she feels like she needs to lie down—on a couch. At night, she counts dollar bills jumping over a fence every time the air conditioner cuts on.

…Marilyn Elias, USA Today, says Americans’ mental health is indeed suffering right now.

…Demands to see a therapist are up 20%.

…Hair-trigger tempers, spousal abuse, insomnia, petty ailments abound.

…People want to retire and now can’t. A third of those who do seek therapy cite the economy as the reason.

…Experts advise setting aside a time to worry…but this can be easier said than done.

…And to HA, the problem is, will a new president solve anything? Or will we worrying about how that didn’t solve anything?

…What do you think, readers? Should we take a gallon of Prozac and hope for the best?

…Or just cowboy up and take ‘er one day, or half day, at a time.

…(You knew HA would never let you take that Prozac, right?)

…HA recommends escape. She personally likes books on CD (see http://chandlerazoo.blogspot.com for some reviews and recommendations). They can zip you right into another world.

…And sometimes put you to sleep, too.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Why older people pick at food


…HA and her sister are always watching their Mom’s weight. After a lifetime of being a perfectly normal weight and thinking she was fat, their mother is losing a couple of pounds at age 90. The hunt is on for tasty treats Mom will like or used to love.

…When you pass age 50, you have half as many taste buds. Some meds make food taste weird or yucky. We also don’t smell as well, making food less attractive. If teeth have been replaced or all not healthy, chewing can also be a pain.

…According to a story by Mary Meehan in the Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader, most seniors need 1,600 to 2,000 calories a day. That’s a lot of ice cream or crackers.

…When you get older, metabolic rate does slow, but older people need to keep eating.

…Ideally, seniors should be taking in 1-/12 cups of fruit, 2 cups of veggies, 5 ounces of whole grains, three servings of dairy and 5 teaspoons of fat. Don’t forget the fiber!

…Seniors may not make it to the store that often, so fill the freezer with frozen fruits and veggies.

…Keep peanut butter on hand. Whole wheat crackers are fine with this.

…HA’s Mom also likes a fruit smoothie or better yet, chocolate syrup and some frozen yogurt swirled up in the afternoon. Popcorn is also a welcome snack, or some nuts to nibble on.

…Women, especially, may be sick of making the meat-potato-veggie-dessert thing everyday, so both sexes can enjoy a lavish “tea” of wine or seltzer, and protein and veggie snacks as a meal.

…You don’t even have to be old, for that matter.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Staycations--serious fun


…HA is like the woman in the commercial who says she hasn’t had a vacation since third grade, but this stay at home thing…really?

…With gas soaring into the stratosphere and the airlines sizing you up for the hold, what’s a body to do?

…HA has heard of pitching the tent in the backyard or even in the house.

…S’mores made over a candle? Worse yet, in the Viking?

…Watching feral cats instead of bears or moose?

…The wading pool with the one deflated ring instead of the ocean?

…Disney World instead of Europe…wait, that one costs.

…In the Wall Street Journal, Mary Pilon talks about a woman who staged a trip to Japan in her Bronx apartment. She pulled out the bonsai and called for sushi.

…One guy even started a business to make people’s homes “hotel-like.” He provides Do Not Disturb signs, little soaps and shampoos, and presumably some kind of locked bar full of tiny liquor bottles. Room service comes from a local restaurant.

…But who makes the bed in the morning, huh? Well, he does. Wakeup calls and maid service come with it.

….OK, whew, great mattress, then what? Count the feral cats in the yard?

…HA supposes there probably are local attractions everyone as a native has never checked out. She did an article once on attractions in DC—and had to go to a ton of places for the first time.

…It was kinda fun.

...If you never leave, you save on kennel fees. You probably won't get Montezuma's revenge.

…As for Do Not Disturb—this comes too late for HA. She is already disturbed.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Don't feel the power


…Ah, gangsters and chain saws…what a match.

…But, yes, power tools are dangerous, despite the home improvement shows depicting hunks casually passing wood into saws or spranging walls with a nail gun while flirting with the interior designer.

…Dr Tedd Mitchell (as he likes to be called) writing in USA Today Weekend
(June 27, 2008), tells a pretty undetailed “personal” story of rushing into a tree cutting job as a kid and “ending up with chain saw cuts on both legs.”

…Yup, gotta respect power tools.

…First, he recommends, maintain tools properly. Make sure they aren’t broken.

…Use only attachments provided by the manufacturer.

…Never remove the safety guard.

…Store power tools in locked cabinets.

…Concentrate on what you are doing (no flirting).

…Point the sharp edge away from your body.

…HA thinks a little lesson on use from someone at Home Depot would be good or go on the internet for tips. (Check out that picture—don’t do that.)

…A finger, much less a hand, is a terrible thing to lose.

…PS Also wear shoes while using the power mower.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Stranded at the airport


…Sharon McDonnell (NYT, July 15, 2008) talks about what to do if you get stuck at the airport overnight—which is happening more as flights get scratched and overbooked.

…Getting the airline to stand you to a hotel is also becoming rarer.

…You know, said one interviewee, that if they are charging for a bag, they aren’t paying for a hotel.

…One guy has created what he calls the Mini Motel—a one-person tent, with air mattress, pillow, reading light, alarm clock and pillow ($39.95).

…If you are going to be spending the night, quick buy water and food, was one piece of advice. Those shops close.

…Pack towels or something for a pillow (one for under the hips, one commenter said, because the floor that way is more comfy than those stupid chairs).

…If you are stuck all day—go outside. Even sight see. But at least get some air.

…Bring cards—someone will play with you.

…Or you can check out www.sleepinginairports.com.

…Nighty-night, don’t let the pickpockets bite.

…Forget HA—she is just bitter because she never goes anywhere—now they call that a staycation.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Locking in a habit


…According to a story by Charles Duhigg, NYT, July 13, 2008, an anthropologist named Val Curtis, now director of the Hygiene Center at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, had spent years trying to get people in the developing world to wash their hands with soap.

…Turns out, soap is a hard sell.

…So she turned to some big companies to teach her how to make people like soap just like these companies made them like Pringles and Speed Stick.

…Look at toothbrushing, Curtis says—this was made into a habit. Relentless advertising does this.

…Yet some developing world ad campaigns were having the opposite effect than the one desired. Antidrug messages reminded people of the weed in the drawer, condom ads made them think of sex.

…To promote the handwashing, Curtis lassoed in Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Unilever. Ghana was the target country.

…In Ghana, half the people already washed after using the restroom or before eating—but they didn’t use soap.

…Mothers didn’t see deadly diseases like deadly diarrhea in their kids as related to cleanliness. And many did use soap when something disgusting was on their hands. By the same token, though, they didn’t want to associate their kids with something disgusting.

…Paradoxically, the toilet was not an object of disgust—it was better than the privy.

…So the ads showed mothers and kids leaving the john with weird purple stuff on their hands and contaminating everything they touched. They sold disgust—but soon soap began to sell, too.

…Now, 13% more people there use soap. Soap before eating—up 41%.

…They say do something for 3 weeks and it becomes a habit. And not just in Ghana.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Befriend a farmer today


…HA loves farmers’ markets, even though she hates cooking. They smell earthy and interesting.

…Ashley M Rueff, writing in the Arizona Republic (July 11, 2008), talks about community-supported agricultural programs.

…These are nearby farms that are “owned” by consumers. The farmers sell shares to families. One had 225 members, another almost 1,000. Each family pays $25 a week for the farmer to plant, grow and harvest.

…The downside (for some) is that you have to eat what “your” farm produces for weeks at a time. It takes creativity, one member said, to do things with all the eggplants and radishes.

…HA still thinks a trip to the farmers market might also be good—to save money and get fresh eats.

…A hundred bucks a month for say four months…isn’t that a lot of lettuce, so to speak?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Splat--at least we're saving on crate washing


…HA lives almost next door to Wal-Mart, truth be told. And now it’s getting a food section. Or will have one in a year or so. Will she remain loyal to her “old” store?

…Maybe…if what they say about Wal-Mart milk jugs is true. Wallies and Costco have gone to a different bottle and people are not charmed.

…In a story by Stephanie Rosenblood in the NYT (June 30, 2008), one interviewee said she HATED the thing.

…It spills everywhere, said another.

…Kids can’t pour.

…Apparently whether these stack well in the factory is not compelling to customers.

…Where is my old milk? I want my old milk! People are having a fit, according to this story.

…One store gave out cookies to get the people to try it. Many had to leave it on the table and tip it toward the cup.

…One woman liked the “fridge fit” (it went in the door).

…Jug-makers say eliminating water and soap bills to wash milk crates needed to stabilize the rounded jugs results in huge savings. The process is also quicker—from cow to shelf.

…Have you tried one?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Beer--key to civilization


…Every time HA thinks George Will is fast-tracked to assisted care, he comes up with something interesting.

…Latest example: His column on how beer is the reason well…why you exist to read this.

…He was disturbed by the intention of a Belgian brewer to take over Anheuser-Busch (incidentally from HA’s hometown, St Louis), and especially by the observation that despite the economy, beer sales were not declining.

…Well, DUH!

…He quotes from a book titled The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic—and How it Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Steven Johnson. The epidemic was cholera…and this is where Will gets drifty again—the connection is the search for potable water is key to survival.

…But to Will, the kicker was Johnson’s contention that instead of making water potable, many civilizations drank alcohol instead.

…Beer! Then wine.

…This Johnson guy jauntily remarked that dying of cirrhosis in your forties was better than dying if dysentery in your twenties.

…Deliberate manufacture of alcoholic beverages, Johnson contends in this book, allowed people to group together in towns. Over time, he says, some people became the “fittest” and developed enzymes to handle the alcohol, others did not and could not hold their liquor, as it were.

…Most of us today, he says, come from those guys—the ones who could drink.

…He also extends this hypothesis to more sequestered tribes, such as Native Americans and aborigines, who supposedly did not pass this enzyme thing along.

…This swooping genetics lecture aside, Will quotes Ben Franklin, who said, “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

…Now, God is involved. Oh, well…cheers!

Friday, July 11, 2008

What's for dinner?


…We are recessed. We need to be healthier. Organic? Packaged. Fresh. Microwave or not? Is barbecue poison? Time to go vegan?

…Look for the label and as someone said in the NYT blog the other day, if it has a label, don’t eat it.

…We are broke. We need to stay alive! What to do, what to do.

…Well, we don’t want our urbanized, sluggish bods to be spawning off free radical cells that steal electrons from healthy cells, destabilizing them. So we need at least to eat foods rich in antioxidants.

…Yeah, yeah—this idea has been around awhile. And it means fruits and veggies!

…WebMD lists red kidney beans, small red beans, pintos, blackberries, blueberries (esp!), cranberries, strawberries, and broccoli are great AO foods. Also cooked artichokes, cooked russet potatoes, prunes, sweet cherries, apples (gala, Red Delicious, and Granny Smiths), and pecans are rich in AOs.

…AOs give off their spare electrons to the free radicals, which stops the bad process.

…Sounds simple. Now for the money to buy all those blueberries.

…Oh, and all that makeup containing AOs? It works to eat them instead of troweling them on—makes your skin look great.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Fat, fat, fat--everyone's favorite


….Our pal Tara Parker-Pope, late of the Wall Street Journal, and now with the health blogger-in-chief job at the New York Times, loves obesity—as a subject. Almost daily, you can get in a rumble over there!

…Check this out… http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/07/09/should-doctors-lecture-patients-about-their-weight/

…Should doctors lecture their patients about weight? In this particular episode of “As the World Eats” at the Times, a physician said he was giving up on nagging on Subject A. Whew. Where does he live?

….This, of course, was followed by megabytes of comments about weak fatsos, personal accountability (yes, check in at the fat desk), how many resources obese people “gobble” up, how they lost weight why couldn’t anyone, eat less--exercise more, it’s simple, it’s impossible, it’s just the self-loathing, some doctors are fat, and on and on.

…Apparently the great American public (or the NYT reader part of it) thinks they have a handle on this.

…Another good resource that came this week is an issue of The Prepared Patient (www.cfah.org/hbns/PreparedPatient/current.cfm). In this one, the idea is posited that overweight people need fewer lectures and more medical care.

…If weight is the first issue doctors hop on, they may miss something else.

…Fearing lectures, people may ignore symptoms and dodge the doc, too. One interviewee said this was “medicalizing body size.”

…Some doctors hate to even touch larger people. Studies show they order fewer tests for them (hey, they won’t be around long, why bother). They don’t have the right size equipment (speculum, blood pressure cuff). Certainly those little paper towels they give you to cover yourself with are a joke.

…One interviewee recommended trying to find a doctor who treats gay, lesbian and transgendered people—they “get” diversity.

…HA is leaning toward creating a new medical specialty (revenue stream, docs!)—preventivist. These docs can lecture, have nurses call you, send out diaries, schedule copaid weight-ins, whatever—if you want it!

…Otherwise, when a fat person comes in, treat the problem.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Hard times in Surf City


…We have talked about how high gym fees are driving people to exercise out on the free hiking trails.

…Now, Gilliam Flaccus, Associated Press, says surfers can’t afford to drive to the beach.

…Air fares to follow the waves are also becoming prohibitive. Bookings to such locales as Sumatra are way down.

…Even surfboards contain petroleum products. Almost everything does. Some boards have doubled in cost to $750 or more.

…This used to be one of the fastest-growing sports. But now, surf shops are down a third, with smaller, family-owned operations wiping out sooner.

…Even the biggies may have to raise prices because of the cost of producing boards even in such places as Thailand.

….But surfers are a resourceful lot—now they “surf” the internet to see (via webcams) what the waves are like. They used to drive around, of course, looking for big sets.

…Check out www.surfline.com. Even if you can’t afford to ride, you can look at the water and see what’s firing.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Helping school keep your kid alive


…Writing in the East Valley Trib (July 5, 2008), Christina Vanoverbeke talks about a Chandler AZ woman, who wants her kid to return from school alive. He is extremely allergic to certain foods.

…She worries because her son is the quiet type and might not ask for help if his air cut off.

…She and some other parents formed the Phoenix Food Allergy Network to advocate for better school guidelines on watching out for allergic youngsters.

…At present, 2.2 million kids suffer from these dangerous conditions and the numbers are rising (docs are not sure why).

…There was a bill in the AZ state legislature to require schools to do guidelines and also to train personnel to administer life-saving epinephrine shots.. The bill failed, but the resolve remained.

…The group then turned to the state to do a book of guidelines. School nurses got the book in the fall.

…At the national level, Senator Chris Dodd’s daughter has such allergies and he is sponsoring S. 1232. A similar bill has already passed the House.

…At the local level—maybe similarly to what is happening at your locality—the jurisdictions are working out plans to be compatible with one another.

…Check out www.phoenixallergynetwork.org.

…Some kids are so allergic to peanuts, for instance, that touching a handrail where a sticky kid has left peanut butter smears can almost kill them.

…Oh, and one important factor—Tell the school if your kid is allergic. This is vital.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Bar codes not a cure-all


…When you go into the hospital, you get a wristband and are identified with a bar code just like a can of tuna.

…The idea is to match you to bar codes on medicines you take or that are given in your IV or with blood products. This was designed to reduce medication errors.

…Some scientists the Universities of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have now studied this, according to Josh Goldstein, writing in the Philadelphia Inquirer (July 1, 2008).

…They spent years looking at the system in five hospitals and found that not only did this not cut errors, but efforts to sidestep the system might have caused other problems.

….There has to be a safety mindset, they concluded, not just a computer rolled up near the bed.

…In 2006, 400,000 medication errors occurred, and 9,000 people died.

…About a third of the nation’s hospitals have this technology and the rest are working to get it.

…But, say insulin is in a fridge on a different floor. A busy nurse may copy the bar codes on her floor so she can get the insulin—far from the bedside.

…Or if a patient is contagious or the room full of equipment, the computer may be left in the hall and the nurse not hear if it beeps an objection to what is being given. Or the computer batteries can die.

…About 4.2% of the time, the nurse overrode the scanner because the wristband was damaged.

…The scientists urged the hospital administrators to see how these systems really worked—you know, stand at bedsides and watch.

...Yes, leave your office, check in with the real world.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

New wrinkles in botox


…Are you one of The Frozen?

….Botulism in your burger—bad. Botulin in your face—good?

…Jane Brody (NYT, July 1, 2008) says even the mildest medicines (which does not include deadly toxins) can have side effects—and thus botox is now exhibiting some, too.

…This stuff weakens muscles—if you eat it, it can weaken the breathing muscles—uh-oh.

…It was first deliberately put into people in the 1970s to relax strabismus, an eye disorder that causes double vision. Since then, it has eased tensed or spasmed muscles in many bodily locations and can even ease migraines.

…Then someone noticed that the relaxed eye muscles were accompanied by relaxed lines between the eyes.

…The FDA does look at adverse effects reports on this—most of which come from the medical, not cosmetic, uses. But these are submitted voluntarily and don’t differentiate between poor technique, wrong dose, or a hazard of the drug itself.

…It has long been known that the toxin can get to adjacent muscles and make eyes droop, for instance. But now some reports of pneumonia or swallowing difficulties have surfaced.

….As HA has advised before, don’t stick poison in yourself without careful consideration.

…Then think some more.

…Oh, and by the way, how come doctors have a fit if you don’t lose weight or gain it back, but don’t care if you get all wrinkly again—isn’t it all repeat business?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Softening on soap


…Recently HA bought some Castile soap. (Remember that one? HA tends to geeze some days.)

…Or Ivory—someone told HA it keeps the fleas off her dog…Didn’t 99 and 44/100ths percent “pure” mean all fat and lye? But hey, if it keeps fleas off.

…HA uses soap—even on her face. Someone pick up that beauty queen over there—this is supposed to be a no-no.

…Now, uber-dermie Joshua Fox, MD, a spokesman for the American Academy of Dermatology, says soaps are OK—just make sure you get one right for your skin type.

…For oily or acne-prone skin, Fox sez choose a soap with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, which dries up zits.

…For dry skin—go superfatted, with shea butter, glycerin and Vit E.

…Sensitive skin? Get hypoallergenic and don’t scrub.

…You are normal? Really? Well, OK—there are tons of soaps for you. Soothing lavender or soap with oatmeal to ease off dead skin cells.

…Chapped, weathered skin—shea butter or soaps with aloe vera.

…On your body, don’t use deodorant soap if you don’t stink…scented is different..some scents are nice.

…For hands, don’t always grab the antibacterials. Just lather for 30 seconds.

…Soap should only be used once a day on the body, twice on the face. Try rinsing. And stick with warm, not hot water.

…And ye shall be flea-free forever.

…Oh, never mind.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Don't try this at home


…Fourth of July coming up—time for the obligatory article by doctors saying don’t blow yourself up.

…HA always thinks—how silly. Then she remembers stepping on the hot ends of sparklers with bare feet as a kid.

…In the olden days, HA’s dad used to shoot off a little cannon his dad got during the Spanish-American War. The police always came as the BOOMs started—then stayed to play with it. (Police were way more fun in those days.)

…HA’s brother was obsessed with fireworks—started accumulating in April. He became a cop!

…HA’s Dad also used to put ladyfingers under a heavy skillet and blow it into the roof of the carport over and over.

….Now, back to the doctors and the blowing up thing.The unfunny American Burn Assn says 10,000 people get hurt by fireworks each year.

…The so-called safest, sparklers and little firecrackers accounted for half of the injuries. They reach 1200 degrees.

…But of course, you may want to play with these anyway—so some advice. Only adults should light them. They have lived long enough, probably. Even adults should wear glasses or protective eyewear.

…Light them in wide open places, no dry grass.

…Have the water hose nearby.

…Don’t relight a dud. Come on, you know you want to. Don't.

…Don’t drink and ignite stuff.

…Remember, fireworks were designed for war. “Rocket’s red glare”? Remember that one?