Thoughts expressed here are my own, read at your own risk

Violent metaphors

Standard of care.

In light of recent outbreaks of measles and other vaccine preventable illnesses, and the refusal of anti-vaccination advocates to acknowledge the problem, I thought it was past time for this post.

Dear parents,

You are being lied to. The people who claim to be acting in the best interests of your children are putting their health and even lives at risk.

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This poor family has a loss that will never be filled, and the suffering many of us will thankfully never experience. I am a registered nurse and my partner is a firefighter/ paramedic. We both have living wills and DPOAs, and have talked at length about circumstances in which they may need to be used.


By Mike Appleton, Weekend Contributor

“We strongly believe that the order that let to the termination of life support is in complete contradiction to Texas law that was enacted to protect pre-born babies just like the Munoz child. The courts have failed this baby, the attorneys who should have defended Texas law has failed this baby, and the hospital has failed this baby. May this tragedy serve as a wake-up call to our society, lest others wrongly fall victim to this dehumanizing utilitarian view of life and death.”

-Operation Rescue, Press Release, January 26, 2014

“It never occurred to us that anything in the statute applied to anyone who was dead. The statute was meant for making decisions for patients with terminal or irreversible conditions.”

-Thomas Mayo, associate professor of law, Southern Methodist University School of Law (quoted in Fort Worth Star-Telegram, January 24, 2014)

When Tarrant County district judge…

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Health & Family

Basic meditation, the practice of doing nothing and being tuned in to your own mind at the same time, can be frustrating at first. But research shows it reduces stress and increases focus. Here are some simple steps to get you started. They are adapted  from Full Catastrophe Living, 2nd edition, by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.,  professor of medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School where he founded the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Clinic.

Learn more about mindfulness, mediation and how finding peace in a stressed-out, digitally dependent culture may just be a matter of thinking differently in Kate Pickert’s cover story, “The Mindful Revolution.”  Join TIME for as little as $2.99 to read the full article


Meditation tips: sit cross-legged, notice your breath

Meditation tips: don't judge yourself or try to ignore distractions

Illustrations by Brown Bird Design for TIME

More Tips for Being Mindful: 

WEAR A WATCH   You’ll avoid picking up your phone to check the time and won’t…

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Shot of Prevention

Last night I read an article on the CNN Health pages that would haunt me in my sleep.  It was entitled Woman with flu miscarries, battles for her life.

A young married couple, Chris and Leslie Creekmore, both shared symptoms of the flu earlier this month.  While Chris was able to recover, his wife Leslie, who was 20 weeks pregnant, was admitted to the hospital on January 11th.

In researching tips for a healthy pregnancy, the couple came across a recommendation to avoid the flu vaccine in the first trimester.  Since their OB-GYN agreed, stating that he was wary of giving flu shots during the first trimester, Leslie had planned to get vaccinated on January 13th when she went in for her 20-week ultrasound.  Instead, she succumbed to the flu and was put on a ventilator that day.

She has since been unconscious, suffering a miscarriage, a collapsed lung and a surgery to receive extracorporeal membrane oxygenation therapy which provides heart-lung bypass support and circulates blood through an artificial lung back to…

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Shot of Prevention

I could hear it clearly from across the auditorium.  A distinctive cough in a very small child.  It was painful to my ears and I brought a sinking feeling to my heart.  My daughter glanced over at me, alerted by the same sound, and we both mouthed those two horrible words…”whooping cough”.

In 2012 48,277 people were diagnosed with a bacterial infection known as Bordetella pertussis.  Also known as whooping cough, pertussis can cause severe coughing that can last for weeks or even months.  It is spread through droplets in the air and is extremely contagious.  In fact, when someone in the house has it, virtually everyone else in the house that is not immune will also get it.

In children pertussis is often identified by the “whooping” sound that is heard as they desperately try to catch their breath between coughs.  The coughing spells can be so bad that it’s difficult to eat, drink, sleep or breathe for weeks…

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I have close family with AD. I am thankful for the continuing studies and hoping for more early detection and treatments. This is a disease that is far more painful for the family as the person they once knew fades away.

Health & Family

Sleep patterns and markers in spinal fluid may hint at the first signs of the neurodegenerative disorder.

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