The ABCs of Health Literacy
When we sleep, we are in another world, so to speak. Either we go somewhere in our dreams or we just sign out of our conscious world for a while. Wherever it is that our minds “go” when we sleep, it doesn’t seem as if we and our bodies are doing much during the “trip.” (Well, except for those vigorous sleepers and folks who sleepwalk or sleep talk.)
But, even though we don’t fully understand all the happens to our bodies when we sleep – or even exactly why we sleep – we do know that getting or not getting a good night’s sleep has a huge impact on our regular, waking selves.
The Harvard Women’s Health Watch summarized some of the best benefits of a good night’s sleep in a nice, short, six-item list (more…)
Hal couldn’t have yawned any larger. If he had, he might have split the corners of his mouth wide open. He was so sleepy that he could hardly see straight. He kept rubbing his eyes, yawning, stretching. Geez…if he could only catch a little more sleep. Double geez…this was just the end of first period!
“Told you, bro,” came the quip from behind. Hal’s little brother, Sal, walked up grinning almost as widely as Hal had just been yawning.
Hal glared at him, though it was a pretty weak glare. He could barely summon the muscles to give a really good glare.
“Shut up, short stack,” said Hal in a tone that was almost more of a whine than a reprimand. Hal leaned against the nearest locker as Sal just kept on grinning.
Just then, Moshe D walked up from Sal’s left looking about as cat-dragged-in as Hal did. This made Sal’s grin go one step broader. “Whoa…Moshe D…man, you look ragged,” (more…)
Most people think of “x-rays” as the pictures that doctors take when trying to “see” something inside their bodies. This common usage is correct, but x-rays (or x-radiation) are actually a type of electromagnetic energy. They act a lot like the rays of light we are accustomed to seeing except their energy waves are much, much shorter.
X-rays – the pictures – have been helping doctors see inside the human body for over a hundred years. They have helped find broken bones and strange objects hidden inside people. They’ve helped diagnose pneumonia and asthma and heart problems. They uncovered strange growths and cancers. They’ve helped us understand the inside of the human body in ways we had never been able to before their discovery.
X-radiation has been used to treat medical conditions for almost as long as they’ve been used to take pictures. At first, they were thought to cause no damage to human tissue in small doses and in large doses the harmful effects were thought to be only temporary. (more…)
Straining, squinting, craning his neck forward…none of it seemed to help. Hal simply could not see the face of the girl who had just waved at him from across the park. As she disappeared behind the row of bushes which lined the grassy commons, he said to his brother, Sal, “Man, I need my Superman x-ray vision glasses.”
Sal peered at him with a quizzical look and said, “Dude, you don’t need x-ray vision glasses. Like I keep telling you, you just need glasses glasses.”
Hal slapped at Sal’s upper arm and responded, “I do not!”
“Yeah?” queried Sal. “OK, so who was that PYT who just waved at you?”
“Right…like you could see her,” answered Hal.
“Sure could,” said Sal. “Plain as day.”
“Nuh uh,” replied Hal. “No way you could make out her face from clear across the park.”
“Could to,” answered Sal. “Wanna know who it was?” he asked.
Sheepishly, Hal looked at his little brother and said, in a much less argumentative voice, (more…)
Coaches often use the phrase “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’” to emphasize the importance of group effort. Any good team is truly made up of partners, members who see the value of working together as more important than any of their individual glories.
As far back as our human history can be judged, people have always found that teaming up brings benefits. We are a communal people. We work together, play together, pray together, and look for ways to increase our connectedness via technology. In short, we are a “tribe.”
Why then is it that people so often feel alone when it comes to health issues?
Whether it’s a physical or mental health issue, you’ll often hear people say they feel alone, as if they are the only person on the planet who has such feelings (more…)
Hal sat under the cool shade of his favorite Weeping Willow. He looked out upon the park’s small, but well-kept pond. A mother duck was leading her six ducklings across the serene water, gliding along almost effortlessly. (At least, it appeared effortless on top of the water, but he knew those little duck feet were churning away like mad under the surface.)
As he watched them sail across this tiny “sea,” he heard his little inner voice wondering about his recent mishap and thinking, “I feel so alone, so left out.”
He looked down at his still-throbbing right ankle, now wrapped in gauze and guarded by a black plastic contraption that looked like the back half of a black cowboy boot. (Well, sorta.) He could see, in his mind’s eye, the twist it took and the odd shape into which it formed when he had fallen. It had been an ugly sight and he shivered just thinking about it. It wasn’t broken, but it was a really bad sprain. He’d be out for weeks.
Now his basketball buddies were off at the regionals playing for a shot at the state title while he sat here, looking at ducks. He had fallen that morning, just messing around with his brother, Sal, playing a little one-on-one in their driveway. Unfortunately, that was also the morning they were leaving for the tournament. He was still in the emergency room when the team took off. He wondered, “Why did this have to happen?” Now the team was off to the tourney and he wasn’t. He felt so very alone. (more…)