Friday, October 30, 2009

Another note

On another note, I'll have updates from Sophie's big 2-year-old birthday party last week (I'm trying to figure out how to do short videos from longer videos), and I'll have some Halloween pics soon too. It's been wicked busy at work, and Tim's been working late for a project, so I haven't had a lot of time this week. More complete update coming next week, I promise!

Note of the day

Just saw this on Yahoo, and thought I'd pass it along--my last comment about flu shots, I promise (and I finally found someone that has them--I'm getting mine today!)

When moms get flu shot, baby benefits too: study

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Travel

I just booked a trip to Salt Lake City for work. There's a collaborator there who is going to teach me a technique that will hopefully help me finish up my project. The city looks like a beautiful place, and the university overlooks a large, undeveloped expanse of wilderness. I won't have time for sight-seeing, since the whole point of the trip is to get as much work done as possible, but I'm excited that I get to venture out to a new city.

It reminded me of another trip that involved lots of travel and not a lot of sight seeing:
It's been over three years since Tim and I drove with my sister to her new job in California. Yes, the white dots were the stops; we foolishly attempted to drive from Cleveland to Amarillo, Texas, in one day. I guess it wasn't an attempt--we did it, but it wasn't fun. And Missouri is still dead to me. The rest of the trip was nice (except for the emergency stop in Gallup). We visited family in Phoenix, and I really loved how beautiful the Southwest was (but man, it was HOT!).

Someday, I'd like to fly out to New Mexico and drive around the west/Southwest. I don't see too much of a need to see the middle of the country--I'm sure it's nice and all, but I do live in Ohio, and it didn't seem that different. Someday, when I make non-student money, Tim and I actually have vacation time, and our current/future children are either old enough to enjoy the trip or are out of the house, we'll take a long vacation. A girl can dream...

And my sister's still out in CA, although she's thinking of going even farther west. What's farther west than California? Japan. Yep, she wants to teach in Japan. No matter what you think, we are genetically related--she's the adventurer, and I'm the homebody. I just live vicariously through her adventures, and she gets to hear about poopy diapers and time outs from me. Maybe that's why she wants to move farther away...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mis-information

I am somehow now involved in an online pissing match with someone I don't even know on Facebook. It started off that a mutual acquaintance mentioned he was unsure about the swine flu vaccine. By the time I saw the post, a person had posted that the swine flu is made up and the vaccine is more dangerous than the disease. I tried to nicely state that, scientifically, that isn't the case, and she went nuts. I'm so tempted to ramp things up--there's been so much misinformation about the vaccines that I almost lose it every time I hear people spread lies. But, I've decided to just stop checking Facebook for a while. I'm trying to be the calmer, if not better, person.

Just last week, I was driving home, and this stupid shock jock radio host (who I only listen to in order to get traffic reports on the tens) had on an osteopathic practitioner (disclaimer: I have no inherent problems with osteopaths) who claimed that cancer was a vitamin imbalance, modern medicine does nothing for disease, and the flu and H1N1 vaccines were completely unnecessary and even dangerous because of the link between vaccinations and autism/other diseases (which she didn't elaborate on).

First, that autism link is anecdotal, and clinical trials have not shown a correlation. Second, she used bad statistics to say that more people will be hit by lightning than die from swine flu. While, at the time, about 300 people had been confirmed to be killed by H1N1 in the US (that number has risen), if this becomes an epidemic, that number isn't static. As another caller pointed out, that's like saying that since AIDS deaths in the early 80s only killed a few hundred people, it wasn't a public health concern.

I'm still thinking that this H1N1 won't be a massive killing machine, or at least not much worse than seasonal flu (I believe the statistic is that 36,000 die from seasonal flu every year--I'll try to confirm that), I think it is completely irresponsible to fear monger about the ingredients in the vaccine. Give people the proper information and let them decide for themselves! I'm on the list for both the seasonal and the H1N1 shots here. I can't make anyone do anything, but telling them that they'll suffer harm from the inert ingredients is unconscionable. Misinformation makes me crazy, and yet it is such a huge part of what I see every day. I'm lucky enough to work with well educated, scientific minds (for the most part). People are generally rational. Not the case in most of the rest of my world.

I feel that whole cliche, "with great power comes great responsibility." I'm lucky enough to have received (and I continue to receive) a medical education--I feel as though it's part of my job to stop the flow of bad information. I just can't take it too personally when I'm not successful every time.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Busy, busy, and an update coming soon, I promise. Till then, I've been pretty skimpy on the pictures. Here's Sophie's school picture, which we just got back today. And they were able to photo shop out her black eye--hooray!