Friday, November 16, 2012

At Your Service

In my selfless and never-ending efforts to be of service to my community, I subscribe to all varieties of newsfeeds.  My inbox is replenished hourly with cutting-edge data.  You may rest comfortably in the knowledge that I am on the vanguard of useful and relevant information.  And I am here to serve you.   

In that spirit, I bring this round up of crucial alerts and updates from NewsWise, MedWire and the brain trusts of scientists and top researchers in their fields:  

Wake Forest Baptist Physicians just published their immediately applicable research titled, “Is Housework a Health Hazard?”  In it they ponder the oft-repeated riddle:  What do a tight fitting bed sheet and a blood clot in the wrist have in common?  Answer:  They are part and parcel of a condition called “sheet fitting palsy.”  Really.   

True to its name, the palsy surfaces in those who spend long periods of time trying to pull a fitted bed sheet over the corner of a mattress.  

I had the palsy myself as a teenager.   

Not to be trifled with, sheet fitting palsy has also been reported among those who do push-ups as exercise.  More valid reasons to avoid calisthenics.  

You’re welcome. 

The University of California, San Francisco, recently presented their comprehensive survey of adult visits to emergency rooms entitled, “Painful Truths about Genital Injuries.”  UCSF researchers reviewed 10 years of mishaps with consumer products like clothing, furniture, toys and tools, (their pun, not mine) and found that such injuries are common and may be preventable.   

The write up is listed as “media embedded” but I didn’t click the link.  Didn’t want to risk that wince-inducing side effect, TMI.  I’m satisfied to learn that - like fitted sheets - many household items and even articles of clothing are fraught with peril, especially when used outside the manufacturers’ recommendation.  Beware of pliers, step ladders and skinny jeans.   

In the category of feeling underwhelmed, from the 116th annual meeting of the American Academyof Ophthalmology: “…Vision loss may increase the risk of auto accidents.” 

They didn’t put an exclamation point at the end of their title, yet somehow found their findings noteworthy.  We can only wish we had been there to hear the presentation.   

It put me in mind of my family back home.  My great uncle Earl used to pick up my grandma each week in Pawnee, Oklahoma, and take her grocery shopping.  She complained about his driving, but he insisted on being behind the wheel.  Then, one hot afternoon his oxidized green 1949 Plymouth coupe overheated, and they pulled off the road.   

They both got out of the car and Uncle Earl opened the hood.  They stood side by side, staring down.  Uncle Earl leaned forward and squinted.  “Harrumph,” he said. 

He twisted his torso left and right, thrust out his chin peering this way and that.  At last my grandma lost her temper.  “Here’s your problem Earl!” she said pointing to a black rubber hose, brittle and split open like a haggis.   

“What?  Where?”   

Grandma said she thrust her fist fully into the gaping wound, but Uncle Earl still could not see it.   

Grandma applied her astute observational skills, and from that day forward, she drove, thus obviating the need to conduct formal research studies into such things.  Evidently, the Academy never got the memo.  

Rounding out the classification of money spent to confirm the obvious, the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance informs us that “Screening for lung cancer saves lives.”  UCSF steps up again with “Chernobyl cleanup workers have a greater risk of cancer.”  And from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology we learn that “Double pollen doubles allergies.” 

The University of Alabama issued a redundant piece of nagging called, “Women and Exercise: It may not be fun, but it’s beneficial.” 

And not to be outdone in the realm of implausible applications, Loyola University Health Systems released their treatise, “Stay in bed or feel the burn?” with tips for exercising when you’re sick.  Like that’s going to happen. 

In summary, excessive movement around the house is dangerous and ill-advised.  Exercise is not fun and can hurt you.  Plutonium causes cancer and pollen triggers sneezing. 

No thanks necessary.  I remain humbly yours.