My Turn: Personal stories by Health section readers
My Turn is a forum in which readers can recount a personal health or fitness experience.
March 1, 2012
When my 14-year-old niece Lindsey died last year, my friend Mary took it personally. Although separated by decades, Mary Schnack and Lindsey Stewart shared a common menace: cancer.
February 20, 2012
I am the woman who passes a mirror and shifts her gaze away. I am the woman who wears oversized clothing to mask the extra 20 or 30 pounds of weight that don't register on my scale. I am the woman who takes the picture rather than appear in the photograph. I am the woman who has had her eyes done, face lifted, collagen and Botox — more than once.
February 27, 2012
"You have malignant melanoma," the dermatologist told me. But that wasn't the worst of it. The worst part was that thepathologist's report had been in my chart for over a year and my dermatologist had never told me.
January 30, 2012
My name is Bob, and I know what it's like to be flat on your back for more than two months.
January 9, 2012
I like to help people. Tell me what's wrong, and I'll take on anyone and anything to try to make it better. Then news came about a boy, and everything changed.
January 9, 2012
For years, a picture of Dr. Francis Collins, torn from the pages of a 1989 issue of Newsweek, held fast to our refrigerator door. Two red magnets placed him in the middle of Little League schedules, school rosters and Citizen of the Month certificates.
January 9, 2012
Imagine yourself in a country where nobody speaks your language. It becomes a necessity to rely on your other senses and hone your powers of observation. You welcome the times when you can "fill in the blanks" and get the gist of a conversation. Each situation is stressful: Will you be a participant or an observer?
January 9, 2012
Alzheimer's disease brought us together. The illness resulted in a relationship of greater intimacy and closeness than I ever could have imagined.
January 2, 2012
By all accounts, Americans are becoming heavier. The number of people deemed to be obese continues to grow. The remedy is obviously proper diet and exercise, but getting enough exercise is not always easy. People need incentive, and I've got one to suggest.
January 9, 2012
I was baptized at Our Lady of Hypochondria Church.
November 28, 2011
1:51 PM EST, December 19, 2011
When my family doctor called five years ago with the news that my PSA levels had spiked, I hung up the phone and did what all of us do. I panicked. I thought, "So this is how I'm going to die."
October 10, 2011
There are very few specific details I remember about my experience with lung cancer, though it was just eight years ago. But there are some moments I will never forget. It has been difficult for me to put those into words; now, my words are needed only to point out a handful of scenes from the new movie "50/50" that artfully convey situations and emotions I could never quite express.
October 17, 2011
My doctor recently suggested that a diminishing number of my white blood cells might signal a serious condition. After eliminating all the usual suspects, he referred me to an oncologist. I wondered whether anyone is ever happy to see the doctor whose office resides in the Cancer Center?
October 31, 2011
Martina McBride, thank you for singing a song for breast cancer husbands. We really appreciate it, and you are absolutely right, we need to live up to the title: "I'm Gonna Love You Through It."
October 3, 2011
There is dancing today in the radiation waiting room. Upright and youthful-looking despite his lined face, the smiling man jitterbugs with any woman who accepts his courteously offered hand.
September 19, 2011
There was a cake with my mother's name spelled out in buttercream, small gifts and a song. The guests included 20 men and women suffering from Alzheimer's disease and dementia who lived in the secure wing of my mother's new home — a nicely appointed assisted living facility with art on the walls, gentle hands, crafts and music.
July 25, 2011
I sat across the table from Chuck, marveling at his robust good health. We'd just been to see a play — and instead of looking pale and pinched after it ended, he stood up, clapping wildly through the last curtain call.
September 26, 2011
When people ask about my father's death, I always respond the same way: "Except for the fact that he died, everything was perfect."
September 12, 2011
When I was 22, my boyfriend "Jim" asked me to take a little exercise class with him at the local junior college. At the time, I had no idea that this simple request would mean so much to me 28 years later.
September 5, 2011
The man in the picture is not a pirate.
July 18, 2011
June 26 marked the seventh month since my diagnosis of Stage 3B non-small cell lung cancer. Life expectancy from date of diagnosis, with treatment, is 12 to 18 months. So I'm a little shy of halfway there, if we're going by the more optimistic figure. Of course, statistics are only statistics, not a finite rule applied to everyone fighting cancer. A number of people survive far beyond that bleak prognosis; I've met some who've passed the seven-year mark, a few even making 10 years and beyond. But that's rare.
August 22, 2011
Rumi said it best: "Grief can be the garden of compassion." I spotted this quote as I sat in my garden grieving over the sudden death of our 26-year-old daughter.
June 20, 2011
In the last four years, my 42-year-old husband has had three mountain biking-related surgeries. He's had more busted fingers, dislocated shoulders and other injuries than I can recall.
July 11, 2011
Autism is an environmental disorder — at least in some cases. Just as lead paint chips can cause learning disabilities and radon in the basement can cause lung cancer, certain chemicals and other outside influences seem to help set autism in motion.
June 27, 2011
You would have to be in solitary confinement to have not seen that TV commercial for the iPhone that tells you that "if you don't have an iPhone" you can't download music, you can't pay for your coffee, can't easily purchase an airline ticket....
May 2, 2011
"They shoot horses, don't they?" I was panting heavily. My daughters looked bewildered. Obviously, my reference to the 1969 movie — wherein Jane Fonda nearly dances herself to death during a marathon — utterly escaped them.
June 13, 2011
In case you were wondering, being the parent of a 2-year-old child who can't walk, needs oxygen and has a feeding tube protruding from her belly is a strange experience. It certainly wasn't a part of our master plan.
May 9, 2011
"Nobody in our family has a flat stomach, Carolyn," my dad stated authoritatively. A scientist, he generally gave us The Last Word on Every Subject. I looked up from my rounded belly. "Well, I still wish mine were flat," I told him as we sat at the table after dinner, nibbling as we talked.
March 28, 2011
I am now almost finished with my journey of medical treatment for breast cancer. I have been given examinations, explanations and expectations; I have gone through and successfully recovered from surgery; I have just completed a schedule of radiation therapy; and I will now be starting on a special prescribed medication.
February 7, 2011
My dog saved me.
February 7, 2011
It was 4:05 a.m. on Oct. 29, 2009. I heard my wife, Dianne, say, "I think I'm having a heart attack."
May 23, 2011
I was deeply shaken to learn I had hypopharyngeal cancer. As a physician, I had access to my hospital's laboratory results, so I took a shortcut: Rather than wait for my surgeon to call me, I looked for my name in my hospital's pathology laboratory log book.
November 15, 2010
My last words to you, June, were a lie.
September 6, 2010
I have always had an obsession with knowing what will happen next. I check weather.com on a nightly basis and have a predilection for scanning the TV listings so that I can plan my Sunday afternoons accordingly.
August 30, 2010
In my junior high home ec class, I liked the emphasis on precision we were taught: Use a butter knife to level off the dry ingredients in a measuring cup, and never pour salt into a measuring spoon over a bowl of already waiting ingredients.
April 25, 2011
According to Resolve, the National Infertility Assn., one in eight U.S. couples of child-bearing age is diagnosed with infertility. Two long years ago, my husband and I unfortunately found ourselves in this category. It's been a heartbreaking journey ever since.
August 23, 2010
Fifteen years ago, I gained the dreaded "freshman 15" — times two. I packed on 30 pounds in what felt like a blink of an eye. Sophomore year, things were going to change. I adopted a Spartan regime: limiting my calories and fat intake, emulating Greg LeMond on the stationary bike and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the weight room.
August 16, 2010
Medical science has determined that one cannot separate mental and emotional health from physical well-being. Which one of us hasn't suffered the bodily reaction to stress — felt the heart race when running late to an important meeting at work or experienced an adrenaline surge during a freeway delay?
August 9, 2010
I completed the Pasadena Marathon six months ago. I am 68 years old, 5 feet tall and have short, chunky legs. A stranger would consider me to be a "little old lady," as in the song, "the little old lady from Pasadena."
July 19, 2010
When I stood on the starting line of the Los Angeles Marathon this spring, my main objective was to beat my husband. This was to be John's first marathon and my 10th.
August 2, 2010
I have always loved helping people achieve their fitness goals, whatever they may be.
May 10, 2010
My name is Bob and I'm an exercise coward. I've tried to stick with various exercise programs but always failed until I reached 71 and my Kaiser internist prodded me into an honest shot at losing weight.
June 28, 2010
For many, Yellowstone National Park is a place where nature gives a lifetime of memories — the beauty of the landscape, the wildlife and the geysers. For me, Yellowstone is a reminder of a turning point in my life, one that resulted in a death sentence. It's a memory I'd rather forget.
May 10, 2010
When I open the freezer, out spill industrial-sized bags of spinach, blueberries and chopped bananas from Costco.
1:34 PM EDT, April 26, 2010
About 10 years ago, during Healthy Heart Week, I took a stress test on a treadmill. After an extremely short time, I almost vomited and fainted, in that order.
May 31, 2010
I always aimed to keep the doctor away, following the American Heart Assn.'s now-outdated low-fat, high-carb diet. Because I couldn't make heads or tails of the trends in dietary supplements, I sought a nutritionist.
April 19, 2010
I slept very well last night. Getting a good night's sleep doesn't always come easy when the day's work is closer than it should be, when too much time has been spent behind a desk, or when everyday worries assail the quiet of the night.
May 24, 2010
Suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome meant I was exhausted all the time. I felt like I had cotton candy where a brain should be.
May 17, 2010
Don't you dare diet: Don't even consider it, or you'll want to pig out.
May 10, 2010
"I haven't done this since the eighth grade, so be gentle with me." Those were my first words to William, a personal trainer, at our first session.
May 10, 2010
I was five years into trying to conceive when I received the diagnosis that stopped my quest: premature ovarian failure. The only option for pregnancy would be donor eggs, and that was beyond our financial means and our level of acceptable medical intervention.
April 12, 2010
My fourth-grade teacher called me "the teeny weeny girl with the teeny weeny voice." My dad delighted in telling about the time he came upon a group of kids playing house in our backyard. He overheard one of my playmates find out I was the mom and comment in disbelief, "That runt the mother?"
February 1, 2010
My husband left me. He didn't mean to, but he did.
January 18, 2010
When I get anxious, I call Jeff. He sits at a government desk in an old, dilapidated building at a large state mental-health complex that has everything from an inpatient hospital to a facility for northern Nevada's criminally insane. Like most mental health nurses, he's a busy guy, fielding phone calls from hundreds of patients, many homeless, some disoriented, all desperate.
May 10, 2010
"Do you have a boyfriend?" he asked me. He was about 84 years old and interested in a date.
January 4, 2010
I didn't always love to run, even though I've been a runner for well over 20 years. It was all I could do to slog through three miles of uninspired, unenthusiastic task running. And then . . . it all changed.
January 18, 2010
My blood test results arrived in the mail last year -- and I was shocked. My report, with total cholesterol listed at 248, contained a handwritten note from my doctor in the margin: Come in to see me for medication.
September 28, 2009
Many people who don't protect themselves from the sun may never get skin cancer. And certainly, you can roll the dice if you wish. But there are things I now do regularly to protect myself from it. I don't have to remember to do them; they're automatic. I was never this careful before my husband died of the disease. That tragedy was my motivator. But maybe I could be your motivator -- if you know a little bit about what my husband, Jerry, went through and what I went through as his wife.
March 22, 2010
Whether it was a boyfriend, health goals, personal time or beautiful views, one senior has tried to find a reason and a plan to get or stay in shape.
October 26, 2009
Ask the average healthcare worker about the biggest problem in diabetes care today and he or she will probably tell you that it's getting patients to "control" their blood sugar levels.
April 5, 2010
Symptoms of weakness and nausea were afflicting me, sometimes disabling me for hours at a time. So I went to an internist, who ran a series of tests, which turned up nothing.
December 28, 2009
I'd always had a vague feeling that my mother needed to be aware of skin cancer. A redhead with creamy-white freckled skin, she was at higher risk than darker-skinned people. Years earlier, Southern California's beaches had represented pure heaven for her as a young woman who'd immigrated to Los Angeles -- a life far away from New York's gritty streets, cold winters and oppressive summers. Baby oil and the "healthy" glow of a tan were her standard summer fare.
December 7, 2009
"Don't you wish you had just slapped her in the hospital?" a good friend asked me after my daughter had recovered from a four-year battle with anorexia.
March 29, 2010
"I really want to try cross-country skiing!" pleaded my daughter as we headed toward the airport ladies' room to change clothes so we could hike to the "M" behind the University of Montana and reward ourselves with sweet potato fries on the "hip strip" in downtown Missoula.
January 11, 2010
Last night at dinner, my 6-foot-tall husband looked down at my plate and said, "You eat more than I do."
June 1, 2009
A year ago I was diagnosed with COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a catch-all label for many different breathing problems. My particular situation is that my lungs are compressed and cannot expand sufficiently to provide needed oxygen.
May 18, 2009
A little, light torture, anyone?
October 19, 2009
As we have grown older, my husband and I have developed hearing problems: For me, hearing requires more effort, while he cannot hear sometimes in spite of any effort.
May 4, 2009
It does take a village. . . .
May 4, 2009
On a trip to the art museum, my son, my husband and I stopped in the cafeteria for lunch.
October 5, 2009
One afternoon in 1978, when I was 24, I lay down in my apartment and decided to "face reality." It's a term I had just read in a Self magazine, and I decided to give it a shot.
May 4, 2009
Whenever I heard the phrase "broken ankle," I assumed the subsequent events: cast, crutches, cast off, bit of limp, back to normal. I never considered the possibility that the ankle supports the full weight of the body. In short, the anklebone is not only connected, it had better be well-connected.
May 4, 2009
Our king-size bed used to be such a symbol of fun for me, and not just for the reason you might think.
May 4, 2009
I like doing nothing.
May 25, 2009
Every morning I get out of bed slowly and shuffle off to the bathroom to take my pile of pills, including a pain medication that has been vilified to the extent that I shudder to speak its name (to borrow a little from Harry Potter).
April 13, 2009
This isn't an easy subject for me, but it's one many will relate to. I have rheumatoid arthritis. Thanks to the wonders of medical science and a doctor who worked with me for five years to get my "Molotov cocktail" just right, I am, for the most part, in remission.
April 6, 2009
I'm impatient by nature. But I thought I had learned how to remain still in yoga classes, coaxing calm and patience from an overactive mind. I thought I learned patience when my daughter was born 2 1/2 weeks late. But I didn't really learn anything until my mom was diagnosed with renal cell cancer.
March 30, 2009
Although meditation has been described as a reflective mode of thought, a more accurate definition might be a mode of "no thought," not unlike that of an employee at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Our daily worries and chattering minds recede into the background and the pure energy of our own being comes through, letting us experience complete delight in living.
May 4, 2009
It is either denial or the ability to live in the moment, but my Parkinson's doesn't bother me too much psychologically.
March 9, 2009
Colonoscopy: The very word sends shudders down the spine of anyone who has drunk "the drink" -- the concoction that cleanses the colon so the doctor can later examine it. I've enjoyed three different procedures with three different preps, and I've made it my mantra to minimize the misery:
March 2, 2009
When I learned recently that yet another friend had been diagnosed with cancer, I experienced my usual reaction: disbelief and sadness, followed by anger at Life In General. But for the first time, I also saw what these under-35 friends and family members have in common. They, or those they love, talk about their illness with a refreshing frankness.
October 13, 2008
Our beauty regimens may be poison -- and I don't mean the expensive perfume of that name. Revelations of toxic ingredients in cosmetics, lotions, nail polishes, shampoos: They lead women to wonder about the safety of stunning.
February 16, 2009
A good friend of mine was approaching her 49th birthday with trepidation. Why, I asked her, was she so afraid of 49?
November 3, 2008
People say it takes too much discipline to work out at home, but I think it takes more discipline to get myself to a gym.
September 15, 2008
Southern California should be a bicycling paradise. The weather is perfect, the roads wide and the terrain favorable. Given our natural advantages, we should have named one of our cities after the Madonna del Ghisallo, the patron saint of cyclists.
September 15, 2008
I had zero interest when my fiancée approached me about boarding a friend's cat for six months while the friend was out of the country. I've always been a dog person, and it's easier to get someone to switch religions than their preference in dogs or cats. I relented when the owner couldn't find anyone else.
November 10, 2008
Over the last two years, I have spent a significant amount of time in hospitals in L.A. and Chicago because of medical crises with various members of my extended family. And no matter how well- or little-known these hospitals are, one fact remains the same across the board: You know a good nurse the minute she/he walks into the room.
September 22, 2008
In the last few years, whenever I tried to talk about my experiences with an anxiety disorder, I ran into the same problem. I couldn't describe myself as having an anxiety disorder because I'd gone months without having a panic attack. And I couldn't say I used to have an anxiety disorder because I still felt its effects.
September 8, 2008
THE TATTOO machine's loud buzzing would shock the hairs on my upper arm in different directions if they hadn't just been shaved off to create a smooth surface.
September 1, 2008
IN 1997, the year Princess Diana died, the year Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio reigned at the box office with "Titanic," I lost my mother to breast cancer.
August 18, 2008
AFRIEND recently asked me what it felt like to have multiple sclerosis. We were sitting at the park watching our kids play, and we would have looked like any other suburban moms except for my silver walker covered with Spider-man stickers stationed nearby.
July 7, 2008
WHEN IT comes to health clubs, do you prefer the enormous, multilevel variety where you can retain your anonymity even after years of blood, sweat and towels, or do you opt for the small mom-and-pop "Cheers"-type gym where everybody knows your name?
July 21, 2008
FOR THE last few years, I have been treated for a gastrointestinal problem that is monitored by periodic colonoscopies. I'm sure that those of you who are familiar with this test well know how difficult, uncomfortable and unpleasant it is, especially the preparation.
June 30, 2008
WHEN you're lying in bed and can't keep food down, muscle metabolizes first.
May 12, 2008
THE SKY above Hyperion Bridge at 6:45 in the morning can be an aimless gray, a luminescent peach or an adolescent blue. I have cycled across this bridge for five years and in every season, yet it was only recently that I glanced west at just the right moment and spotted Griffith Observatory.
May 12, 2008
I gasped when I saw the subtitle of Thomas Graboys' new memoir, "Life in the Balance: A Physician's Memoir of Life, Love, and Loss with Parkinson's Disease and Dementia." My father, also a physician, carries these same diagnoses.
June 23, 2008
ROUTINE best describes this year's visit to my gynecologist. I had no medical complaints; I was just working through my to-do list. After a physical exam and a brief conversation about life and the latest research, my doctor of 15 years said everything looked good. My Pap smear would later prove normal.
March 31, 2008
MAYBE it's a pointless ritual, since I often predict to the half-pound the numbers that come up. Nonetheless, every morning I step onto my bathroom scale -- twice, in fact, to confirm a good number or, more futilely, to stamp out a high one.
May 5, 2008
HIKING along the Dove River in England, I fell hard on my left hip. It was clear that I had broken something and that the rest of my vacation would be spent in a hospital 6,000 miles from home.
March 3, 2008
Some people can't stand the word "irregardless." A close friend of mine cannot stand hearing the word "panty" used in the singular.
March 24, 2008
My husband phones me in my home office, one floor above his office. His speech is slurred. "You sound funny," I say. "What's wrong?"
June 16, 2008
The phone rang as I wrestled with the wood-framed window to close out the Santa Ana wind dusting the desk in my father's office. David, the hospice worker assigned to his case, wanted to know more about this 90-year-old man whose ability to speak has all but left him. Perhaps he could try to talk to him about his interests.
February 18, 2008
FIVE years ago I made the most difficult, painful decision of my life. I converted from a carnivore to a vegetarian.
May 26, 2008
ARE WE really living that much longer than previous generations did? I don't think so. The insurance industry's actuarial tables may say we are, but I've never understood that industry's mathematical models of anything, especially billing. Take the case of my 81-year-old mother and 83-year-old father.
February 4, 2008
JUDGING from recent studies of the college recruiting process, there are more than a few sports stage parents out there. I should know. I was one of them. Yet beyond being constantly told to back off by friends who were frenetically pushing their kids in school, I found scant little coaching for parent coaches.
January 28, 2008
I'VE had my little blue book for almost a year now. It's a square book, covered in a light denim material -- like new jeans. The book has a brightly colored ribbon with six small loops running lengthwise across the cover. Inside the loops are six colored pencils. The pencils are small, like the pencils at golf courses. And they're always falling out of the loops if you try to put the book in your backpack or purse.
March 17, 2008
It was a summer evening of the kind Los Angeles is famous for -- hot and busy. On that night, as I approached the street-front restaurant door, I was struck by lightning, metaphorically speaking.
April 7, 2008
MY vacation souvenir was 10 pounds. A sore knee had kept me from working out for three months, and my midlife metabolism just couldn't handle the butter-drenched lobster, shoofly pie, homemade pizzelles and campfire s'mores from three weeks on the road.
March 10, 2008
Finals week. The words conjure up a stream of crazed thoughts among the best of us. Hours spent staring at the library clock, Facebooking or reading that stupid paragraph over and over until it registers. College students are not supposed to have the will, desire or aptitude to actually sit down in the library and study continuously for hours on end.
January 7, 2008
IT'S become our annual tradition. A fortysomething, fiftysomething, sixtysomething and seventysomething spend the weekend at a health spa in Ojai. My mom treats her sisters and me. To take advantage of the mother-daughter special, her sisters masquerade as her daughters.
January 21, 2008
IT was an affront to my baby boomer self's illusion of eternal youth to experience a growing inability to decipher freeway signs. I was forced to rely upon passengers, including my teenage son's sharp vision (and tongue) for navigating.
December 31, 2007
'Tis the season when we invariably find ourselves reflecting upon the closing year and at some point conducting a personal audit. This year-end self-evaluation generally includes recalling earlier resolutions resolutely made and quickly forgotten, a relationship "tally" and/or "assessment" and a scary full-length-mirror body scan.
December 17, 2007
I recall with fondness the years prior to 1989 when I could take for granted my ability to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep for a full eight hours. After a car accident and subsequent surgeries, however, insomnia and its shiftless cousin, fatigue, settled in for an unwelcome stay -- that is, until recently.
December 10, 2007
With all the medical technology that enables older and older women to have children, maybe it's time to consider the child's point of view.
November 12, 2007
"Since you are a cancer survivor, it would be wise to run a few tests," said the neurologist I recently visited. I cringed when I heard his words. The thought of a few tests didn't bother me: I like it when a doctor pays attention to my history. However, the word "survivor" did.
December 24, 2007
The herbs, tightly enclosed in a plastic bag then folded inside a brown paper bag, still manage to permeate the house with their earthy, overwhelming aroma. I store them in the laundry room off the kitchen, and when I open the pantry door, the odor always makes my nose twitch, however much I anticipate it.
November 19, 2007
My usual walking routine is to trek briskly for at least an hour a day, up and down the neighborhood hills. I find this to be the perfect way to ward off osteoporosis and scare away extra pounds. It's also good for my mental health. As my feet pound the pavement, I think about everything and anything and, sometimes, nothing at all.
November 5, 2007
The house is quiet today; I am alone. There is so much I should do here, so many things that go undone -- a full wastebasket here, a stack of mail there. Yet instead, I look and see what cancer has wrought.
October 29, 2007
A couple of months ago, I woke up early for my usual workout. I pulled on running clothes and shoes, fastened my hair back and reached for my iPod. Instantly, my stomach clenched as I looked down at the angry red color indicating the battery was dead. How was I supposed to go for a 5-mile run without Fergie, Gwen and Justin urging me on? Heading out into the hot Southern California summer sans music, I braced myself for a horrible workout.
October 15, 2007
There I was, a relatively healthy old guy in a stall shower, preparing to celebrate a 34th wedding anniversary with my ever-loving spouse, Elsie. While reaching to turn off the spray, I slipped, lost my balance and fell forward, hitting my noggin on the shower seat, then bounced onto the tile with a thwack to my ankle -- an obvious detriment to a soccer tryout with the Galaxy.
December 3, 2007
Time matters in medical treatment.
August 27, 2007
Many of us have been through illnesses that require operations, risky procedures or recurring downtime that can change our lives, even if we fully recover. Any of this makes us face our death.
November 26, 2007
My pill case was raided twice, on two separate trips across the country -- once by my mother-in-law and once by my wife. Each time, the culprit paid a price but lived to tell about it.
October 8, 2007
"I can't save the leg," the surgeon states plainly. My 15-year-old son Brooks' head drops as fast as his dream to surf.
September 10, 2007
Before I had my daughter I thought everything I did mattered. The tone of voice I used, how much I held her, the way she was disciplined, or not.
August 20, 2007
I feel a fluttering inside me. Well, sometimes it's more like an elbow to the gut. She's my third child, a happy surprise. But the real surprise will come once she is born. We have a rogue gene in our family that gives her a 50% chance of having a rare skin disease called epidermolysis bullosa -- EB for short -- characterized by extremely fragile skin that becomes blistered with even minor friction.
October 1, 2007
Lately I've tried to make sense of the dizzying news from the world of nutritional science. Believe me, it hasn't been easy.
July 30, 2007
We were standing in the perpetually long line at Versailles waiting to purchase our tickets, after which we would stand in another long line to get into the famous palace, when I turned to my 17-year-old grandson and asked if he noticed anything odd about the throng of people around us.
September 3, 2007
The slap, slap, slapping resounded through the air, punctuated by screams of pain and slightly hysterical giggling. It sounded like dozens of hands thwacking dozens of bare buttocks.
July 16, 2007
In my 45th year, I learned about life -- through my 12-year-old daughter's pain.
September 17, 2007
It's time to come clean about my addiction. People have been staring at the slight bulge under my shirt.
July 9, 2007
I thought I was healthy, but I have discovered health problems I didn't know I had. Menopause, for example. In my mother's day this was normal for women my age, but, apparently, medical science can now cure it.
June 18, 2007
Years ago HIV/AIDS was the "it" health news item. As consumers of media, we have moved on to the next epidemic: autism.
June 4, 2007
As a newly minted senior citizen, I have sometimes wondered if the perks of advanced age come anywhere close to compensating for the deficits.
June 25, 2007
Many people, while conceding that recreational walking is a convenient, low-tech and effective exercise, complain that it is much too boring to be worthy of their efforts.
May 7, 2007
The caregiver is pictured on the news broadcast during a "feature" segment. He opts to care for his mother who suffers from Alzheimer's rather than put her "in a home." She is in her 70s and is functioning -- on her feet, bustling about the kitchen, albeit forgetting who is coming to dinner that night. He proudly announces to the television audience that "nothing is too good for my mother." I shudder at the implication that I have just placed my father in an Alzheimer's care facility -- after living with him for 12 years in our home -- because I didn't try hard enough to keep him here with me.
May 14, 2007
The time has come for someone to conduct the definitive research study on baby bouncing. Not the kind where the baby does its own bouncing, but mothers bouncing babies to settle crying "events."
June 11, 2007
It was March 1997 and I was leaving the USC psychiatric ward.
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