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Showing posts from January, 2017

Second-Hand Smoke in MultiUnit Housing

There are many pros and cons to living in multi-unit housing, but a definite con is having neighbors on the other side of the wall. Even though someone is not living in the same residence as you, second-hand smoke can travel through air vents and affect your health. As a smoker takes a puff of any kind of cigarette, the smoke is emitted into the air. Smoke travels through the air, even if the air is not moving. The reason is that smoke has a higher density than the sitting air. In the winter and summer time, furnace and air conditioning fans move air throughout the building more readily.  At times nonsmokers may notice their clothing or furniture smells of smoke, even though they do not smoke. This is because second-hand smoke travels through the air and enters the fibers of clothing of those who do not smoke. This is true of any kind of smoke, be it from a pipe, cigarettes or marijuana. Photo courtesy of Numerous studies have been conducted that demonstrate th

Why Women Have Freedom But They Are Not Free

Yesterday, as I watched the live stream of the Women's March on C-SPAN, individuals called in voicing their reactions to the marchers and their thoughts regarding the march in general.  The calls that stuck with me were the ones that said (paraphrasing, of course) the following: "I don't see what these women are mad at about. They have freedom."  The truth is, that women have freedom, but they are not free. In their personal safety, women have freedom,  but they are not free.  Yesterday, as millions marched for women's rights, 1,871 women were raped in the United States.  As others marched, approximately 28,800 women (20 a minute) were the victims of domestic violence.  On the same day at least three of those women died due to domestic violence. In their healthcare, women have freedom, but they are not free. In 1873, the federal Comstock Law was passed.  The Comstock Law prevented the sale or the promotion of abortion or contraceptives. In 2016, almost a ce

Health Literacy Is About More Than Language

Even more seasoned healthcare professionals focus more on the language interpretation and cultural aspects of health literacy rather than seeing the whole picture. gives a rather extensive definition of health literacy. In simplest terms, health literacy is a patient's ability to receive information about their health and be able to apply that information to meet their health needs and to improve their health and well being. Although that sounds simple enough, it often is not. Even though studies have shown that using medical terminology does not assist in patient understanding of medical issues, clinicians continue to use complex medical terminology with patients.  Photo by Pineapple Supply Co. courtesy of That is the crux of the issue. Discussing medical issues with "me" at "my" level of understanding, as a patient, as a person, as an educated person. In order to do so, healthcare professionals first must take the time to determi