Archive for the ‘Who Has Time to Get Sick?’ Category

Letting My Son Grow Up

Friday, July 16th, 2010

I’m doing something today that I have never done before: Letting Matt, age 14, go to the doctor by himself. Without his mommy by his side.

No, he’s not sick. If he was, I’d be right there, dropping everything and taking him to the doc.

But it’s a beautiful day, the office is about a mile away, and he can ride his bike. He just needs to get blood work done for a routine physical for high school sports. (Gulp — He’ll be a freshman in September.)

I’m on a work deadline today and I have painters here doing some work. Not a good time to leave. So I called the doc’s office and they said I could send a note and Matt could come by himself.

Would you do this? Am I a bad mom? Or is this the right amount of freedom to let an incoming high school freshman have? Matt’s a responsible kid, for 14. But still… He’s 14.

What do you think?

Giving Kids Medication: My Journalist Friend Needs Your Thoughts

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Hi all — I’m posting this for my journalist friend Stacy Lipson. Can you help?

Are you a parent with a young child who has given your child the incorrect dosage of medication? Have you ever stopped your child’s medication without telling your doctor because your child was getting better?  How do you remind yourself when to give your children their medication?

My friend Stacy Lipson is a freelance journalist looking to speak with parents of young children who have experienced giving their child an incorrect dosage of medication or who have stopped their child’s medication without speaking to their doctor.

She’s also looking to speak with parents who have used “creative” reminders to remember when to give their child their dosage. Please email with contact information.

My Dirty Little Secret

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009
Bowl of Guacamole, freshly made with tomatoes,...

In my childhood home, cleanliness was not next to godliness. It reigned supreme. There was a sense of peace, of being saved somehow, if the shower was wiped down, if the cutting boards were scrubbed, if the table was set by freshly washed hands.

As a child, I could never understand why “Thou Shalt Wash Thy Hands After a Trip to the Bathroom” was not included in the Ten Commandments.

It certainly didn’t start with my parents. This “clean gene” was passed down through the generations like a family Bible. But for all of us, it has caused pain as well as comfort. My sweet, easy-going grandmother once declined to join a cooking group at her nursing home. The other residents enjoyed making their own creations in the large kitchen and then sharing their lasagna, salad or chocolate-chip cookies during lunch. (more…)

Stand By Her: A Breast-Cancer Guide for Men

Thursday, October 29th, 2009


Every three minutes in the U.S., a woman learns that she has breast cancer. Fortunately, most women quickly learn about the support systems that can help them deal with what lies ahead: friends, sisters, support groups…

But what about the man in that woman’s life? How does he deal with his own fears and frustrations? And how can he best help his wife? Sister? Mom?

John W. Anderson had four women in his life go through breast cancer: his wife, mom, sister and his mom’s best friend. He chose to use what he learned through this difficult journey to help other men who are going through the same thing.

Written exclusively for men, Stand By Her (2009, Amacom Books) talks about what guys can expect, both before and after the woman’s treatment. Anderson doesn’t avoid tough topics such as family relationships, sexual issues, financial issues.

I’m so glad to share this book with you. I hope the man in your life never needs it. But I’m glad to know that Anderson has shared his hard-won knowledge to help others. When it comes to fighting cancer, no one should feel alone.

Mom’s Health: “Is It An Ulcer, Doc?”

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

10-18-09jpgCheck out my family-health column, “Boo Boos, Germs and Pap Smears,” over at Jen Singer’s for info on a new breath test that can help diagnose ulcers. Sooo much better than having to do the tube-with-a-camera test. Let’s hear it for modern medicine!

Breast-Health Update for Moms (and Teen Daughters)

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month… Mom, have you been avoiding making that mammogram appointment because you're
worried about it being uncomfortable?

And did you know that exercise can
help your teenage daughter ward off future breast cancer?

Check out my new article, "Best Breast Care," in Memphis Parent magazine. (Then pick up the phone and make that mammogram appointment!)

Energy Drinks: Is It Safe for Tired Moms to Get Buzzed?

Friday, July 11th, 2008

Would you believe there are now are at least 200 different energy drinks on the market? Yep. It’s a billion-dollar industry. But is it a good idea to get an energy-drink buzz when the demands of parenthood are wearing you out?

“There was a time when we would get our caffeine intake from coffee and cola, but now there are a number of caffeine-containing beverages, and we need to be careful because over a period of 24 hours, that caffeine intake is cumulative,” says Dee Rollins, R.D., PhD, a dietitian with Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine in Grapevine, Texas.

Experts say energy-drink consumers should keep careful track of the amount of caffeine they get in a day. “If you know that 400 milligrams a day is the upper limit, you can check the back of the labels and make sure that you don’t get more than that,” explains Rollins.

It may sound like a lot, but 400 milligrams is roughly the equivalent of just one energy drink and two cups of coffee. Getting more than that can lead to jitteriness, nausea, heart palpitations — and in extreme cases, more severe symptoms.

“It can be so bad that if you take too much caffeine you can end up in the hospital thinking you have flu-like symptoms and really it’s caffeine overdose,” says Rollins.

For most people — if they’re not getting more than around 400 milligrams of caffeine a day — these energy drinks are safe, says Rollins. But here are some important things to remember:

°    Don’t drink energy beverages while exercising. It can lead to severe dehydration.

°    Don’t ever mix these drinks with alcohol. Doing so can not only mask how intoxicated you really are, it can be extremely dehydrating.

°    Remember that, in addition to caffeine, most energy drinks contain very high amounts of sugar and sodium, which can be dangerous for diabetics or those with high blood pressure.

Moms & Daughters: What Do You Know About Inflammatory Breast Cancer?

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Thanks to Seattle T.V. station KOMO, channel 4, for this terrific report on inflammatory breast cancer. (And thanks, KOMO, for making it available on YouTube, along with the code that allows it to be shown on blogs like this one. Talk about a wonderful use of the Web!) The more we can spread the word on all forms of breast cancer, the more lives will be saved.

Check out the video below. Then tell a friend!

Parents Need Naps, Too!

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

The Boston Glob ran a terrific article recently on “How to Nap.” My first thought, when I saw it, was “Come on. Who doesn’t know how to nap?” But as I learned, there’s a lot to know.

Are you a lark or an owl? When you go to bed and get up determines your optimal time for napping. The length of your nap determines whether you awake refreshed or groggy. (So set a timer.) And be sure to check out the great tips for “the perfect siesta,” including suggestions for how to quiet your mind, calm your body and create the right environment for snoozing.

Whether you’re at the “nap while the baby naps” stage (Forget the laundry and dishes!) or you’re the slightly stressed mother of teens, a nap will do you a world of good.

Now I just need to stop blogging for 20 minutes and go take my own advice…

Get Your Embarrassing Questions Answered Here!

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

By the time most of us become moms, we've been through so many medical procedures that we're not easily embarrassed. But still. Sometimes we have a question, especially when it comes to gyno issues and sexual health, that's tough to ask — even when we have a doctor we like and trust.

Fortunately has created a terrific Healthy Living: Sex and Relationships section that covers new info about the pill, how much sex is normal for a couple, orgasm myths and a lot more. Intrigued? There's even a Boob Blog, which features stuff like eating for breast health.

And yes, I know. A few guys will stumble onto this blog post because they Googled the word "boob." But it's all good. Maybe they'll head over to and pick up a few tips.