Covid Cases on the Rise in Midwest

Sigh.

As a Midwesterner, it's incredibly frustrating to watch Covid case numbers rise around this region while so many people refuse to get vaccinated. I have loved ones who go tanning, drink, smoke and more who say they don't know what's in it, or that it hasn't been around long enough, for them to even consider putting it in their bodies. The irony is completely lost on them, and sometimes I fear they're lost to me within these weird cult-like groups they're forming.

I say that because no amount of reasoning will reach them. I'm being specifically told, "Nothing you can say will change my mind." Why? Because YouTube said it was unsafe, magnetic, microchipped... Yes, these same people are attached to their phones. I know. It's unreal. I'm trying to wrap my head around it and convince them to get vaccinated, but it's like convincing them to not vote for Trump: a lost cause.

How are the rates doing in your area? Those green regions are looking more and more appealing to me...

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New Moms Are Meant To Have Help

Not so in the Western world...

Throughout history, humans have known how much labor is involved in not only delivering an infant but how much exists afterward--especially during the years of baby and toddlerhood. That's why some countries offer support for new parents with services that help with chores or childcare while parents do anything from chores themselves to work or even sleep, because new parents often get very little.

Not so in the Western world. I remember being a new mom doing it all by myself, despite the fact that plenty of people wanted to hold my baby as soon as we came home, take selfies and... that was it. I finished school, worked full time, cared for my infant with special needs all from home and took on even more responsibilities--caring for an older relative, homeschooling a sibling. My doctor says I did a lot of damage to myself not sleeping, and I often hallucinated or had laughing fits that lasted fifteen minutes or longer I couldn't stop. Yeah. That's not cool.

That's why full-service post-partum support services like this one are so vital. While it would be wonderful for extended families to step in and help provide what new moms and dads need, the reality is that most do not. Post-partum support helps prevent the damage that I did to myself. I have disabilities to this day that stem from those years. Those could have been prevented had I had help or even known how to ask; at 22 I sure didn't know how to do that.

What support services exist where you life? Tell us about them in the chat.

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Medicine Fails For People With Uteri

It impacts so much of society.

I'll never forget when I first learned how large my clitoris was. It wasn't from looking at it because most of it is inside the body. We barely even learned what it was called in high school but as an adult I learned that it was enormous, wrapping around my uterus and functioning much differently than I'd ever heard. A complete anatomical diagram of it wasn't released until 1981 and medical texts ignore it still, leaving groups of people like these to come up with all kinds of misconceptions about sexuality, like people with uteri not "naturally orgasming."

I don't know what's worse: admitting that you have no clue how bodies work or that you're willing to have sex with someone knowing they won't derive pleasure from it. I suppose the latter is.

Bodies of uterus-owners are not well understood even today. Even articles like this one fail to include the multiple genders who own these bodies. Many doctors' offices refuse to address trans people by their pronouns and names, deadnaming them instead and causing further complications for care--not to mention pain and stress. Black uterus owners receive the worst care and are often not believed when they speak of their pain. Medical students actually believe myths like the one that claims Black people have thicker skin! This is false. 

How do we catch not only the medical community but society with how bodies work? Comprehensive sex ed is definitely needed, but reaching people beyond middle school might be more challenging. How do you think we can change this ridiculous problem that costs so many lives?

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Medical Urban Legends

Share the ones you've heard!

Although I'm a lover of urban legends, I'm not a lover of anti-vaccine rhetoric that puts us all in jeopardy. So let's skip those "theories." Instead, let's share some of the oddest medical legends that we've ever heard of.

Between all of the podcasts, blogs and books out there on medical history, you're bound to run into some kind of myth or legend at some point. One that I heard recently postulated that Jack the Ripper was actually a midwife! The theory is that she would have been able to run around all bloody without question, and that she'd have easily fit in. Honestly there's not a lot of hard facts to support it, if any, but it's a fun theory in a case we'll probably never solve.

What is your favorite medical urban legend? Share it in the chat.

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Telehealth in Times of Covid

Have you used it?

Every few weeks lately, we receive a flyer about different types of Telehealth available to us through our insurance. This is a revolutionary development that could help make services more accessible and affordable to people across the nation, and I hope it takes off. Years ago we argued for more telemedicine in a college debate and seeing it coming to fruition is exciting.

No, you may not be able to get a broken bone mended with a telehealth appointment, but you could get seen and a prescription written without an in-person visit, which could save you time, transportation costs and even the germs from an office visit. You could see a therapist, get advice on a number of medical issues and be more likely to make your appointment if it's from home.

Do you use telehealth services? How did they help?

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Typing Via Imagination

This is revolutionary!

Scientific findings that seem similar to the fictional science of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind make me so uncomfortable. The idea of accessing one's unconscious mind rings of 1984 to me so much. But sometimes this technology has the potential to be life-saving, such as in this case where a man has been able to type by using his imagination.

The man, who was paralyzed, is able to picture handwriting with his imagination and have them appear on a screen with a 95% accuracy. This is an incredible development that could help so many people communicate, improve lives and increase accessibility! 

Have you heard of any other revolutionary medical developments this week? Share them in the chat.
 

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Pfizer Approved For Ages 12 And Up

How is your state rolling out teen vaccines?

My 15-year-old has been chomping at the bit to get vaccinated. It's pretty hard not to when all of your friends are slightly older and have been vaccinated already. So you can bet the joy is flowing now that the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for everyone aged 12 and up.

But how is your state rolling it out? My state has no plan that I know of, which is normal for us. The vaccine hasn't been handled in a very organized fashion where I live, although now it's at the point where most people seem to know where to get one. I called my kid's pediatrician and the line was busy all. Day. Long. I'm guessing other parents are eager, too.

How is your state handling the vaccine for teens? Share your tips and experiences in the chat.

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It's Masturbation May!

The benefits of masturbation are extensive and should be part of all health curriculum.

It's Masturbation May, a holiday created to celebrate sexual health and honor U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders, our first Black woman surgeon general, who advocated for including masturbation as part of sex ed back in 1994. Oh, if only! Dr. Elders, we'll forever be grateful for your work and hope that every teen gets comprehensive sex ed someday.

The benefits of regular masturbation are numerous. People who masturbate may have fewer illnesses and injuries, greater confidence, have more orgasms and other benefits. Masturbation is a great source of stress relief and enhances your mood by providing you with a shot of dopamine, a pleasure hormone. This would be great information for teens and young adults especially, but it's important for all humans to know just in case they'd like to reap these benefits. 

Remember when we talked about sex ed in school? Yeah, I don't remember much beyond pregnancy and STD prevention myself. Growing up in a rural area, I think anything beyond that was pretty much forbidden, let alone teaching about the possible benefits of sex. It's rather unfortunate since so many people are growing up not learning anything helpful about it, living dysfunctional sex lives and not reaping its many benefits.

Today I even saw a post circulating the Internet of a man who thought that vagina owners experienced pleasure during pap smears! This is the kind of misunderstanding that needs to be addressed in a comprehensive sex education program, which every teen should receive to become a healthy adult. And before you say the parents should provide this education, may I ask how they are supposed to when they don't know themselves? 

How are you spreading sex ed knowledge or celebrating the month? Share the facts and info you share or find in the chat.

 

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Tis the Season of the Second Shot

How did yours go?

While my next shot isn't until next week, I'm enjoying this new sense of camaraderie people have over... vaccinations. It's like being in school again comparing how our arms feel. Did you get it? When are you getting it? Which one did you get? I have even seen people become fans of whichever company's shot they received! While that's a bit of a stretch for me, I say why not celebrate rapid science before our eyes?

We already discussed effects of the first shot and since mine is coming up I'd love to hear how your second one went. I was one of the rare people who had some annoyances both after and a week later! Neither were stay-on-site worthy. I just had redness, swelling, heat, burning and flu-like symptoms for a coule of days after, but then a week later I had "Covid rash" that was pretty similar to the first one but lasted about a week! I did get Moderna. These results have been rare (or just not reported much), but doctors say they are harmless and may even indicate that your body's really working hard to learn and fight the virus. So... woohoo? Go body? 

How did your second shot go? How are you doing? Hopefully we'll get herd immunity in no time. While I still mourn all of the people we've lost, I really look forward to making this country much safer. 
 

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Tinnitus Relief

What do you use?

As a teenager, my then-boyfriend and I saw a commercial for a tinnitus relief product and scoffed. Why would your ears ringing be such a big deal that you would need medicine to deal with it? Karma got me for that one. I've now had tinnitus for almost two years and I can confirm that it can drive you nearly insane. I've even read about people who take their own lives because of it. Mine is always there, and it gets louder when I'm stressed or anxious. It's like a piercing, constant noise--think of the sound an old TV made when it went out combined with a cicada and that's kind of what mine sounds like. I understand that it can vary by person.

Why is it so stressful? When you hear something constantly that is not really there, it is incredibly stressful. Think of the times you may have had this happen, but picture it happening constantly, never experiencing soundless quiet. I really miss the sound of quiet. So I've been using sound therapy to help with mine and my favorite relief method so far is through the sound of running water. There are playlists of this on Spotify and YouTube that help me so much. Some people say they don't help, and I'm so sorry if they don't work for you, but they are definitely worth a try.

What do you use to handle your tinnitus? Share your sources of relief in the chat.

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