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Drug testing

October 29, 2016 Leave a comment

SOAP BOX ALERT! I am about to climb up and expound on the importance of knowing what you are taking (prescription and over-the-counter) and how they interact. Hyperbole aside, this is life and death information.

Years ago, my father had what appeared to be a seizure whilst in church. He was rushed to the hospital. I flew down and was there in time for the neurologist and his entourage to appear. The doctor proceeded to pontificate on how “the overweight elderly man” had “obviously an epileptic fit”. This was before having ever spoken to my father. The doctor then prescribed a heavy duty anti-seizure drug. I held the bag of drugs my father already took (he had heart issues, COPD, and asthma) and asked if the doctor could look to see if the new drug would be ok to take with the current regime. The doctor glanced in the bag (did not remove anything or look at any label) and said it would be fine.

Being a medical librarian, I knew there were many potential issues with drug interactions. Being a thinking human, I was concerned about a doctor doing no testing, no speaking with the patient, and determining the patient had a severe disease.

I asked my father to hold on taking anything until I could get back to my library and look into it. Thankfully he did not take the medicine. Thankfully because the new drug had a warning that taking X [his heart medicine] ‘may result in death’. I got my father into see another neurologist who tested and reviewed and found that my father had fainted (note the COPD, Asthma). My dad never had another problem with fainting and never had a seizure.

This is an extreme story, I know. Most doctors are not like this one. Most are caring and listening and concerned. But they are still human. So are you. Doctors ask what you are taking before they prescribe anything. Do you tell them of your vitamins? Supplements? Do you mention you are taking ibuprofen almost daily due to arthritis? You should.

Examples:

Recently I had to go to the emergency room due to extreme back pain. I could not find any position that gave me relief. I dutifully recited the list of medication and supplements I take. I also noted allergies and that one of my prescription drugs prevented me from taking any NSAID (could destroy my kidneys).  The PA (Physician’s Assistant) came in and spoke with me. He very appropriately did many tests and the conclusion was “back spasm of unknown origin”. He prescribed medications. I reminded that I could not take NSAIDs. I left with the prescriptions and went to the pharmacy. After filling the prescriptions and before taking any, I read the pharmacy provided inserts. One of the drugs prescribed was a NSAID.

So SOAP BOX, I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to check your medications. Report EVERYTHING you are taking to your doctor and pharmacist. Read the documentation that comes with the medications. Not only do vitamins and supplements as well as other drugs have negative interactions with one another but some foods can interfere. For example, Grapefruit has several negative (up to and including death) reactions with various medications, especially heart medications.

Here are some excellent resources for you:

And my very favorite consumer health information source EVER:

MedlinePlus – information on drugs, supplements, and links to comprehensive information on various diseases, conditions, etc. Geared towards consumer.

Finally, there are resources for you to consult to get a speaker for your group or library.  The National Network of Libraries of Medicine has regional offices that offer training classes and has several outreach programs designed for consumers. I’ve been privileged to attend classes as a librarian as well as listen to a speaker at a disease support group. And they are FREE. Yep. FREE. Find your regional office and contact them to come talk to your group about how to find good medical information on the internet. Or how to find drug information. Or …well, go talk to them!

And please, I beg you, TELL your doctor and pharmacist about all medications and supplements you take. READ the inserts your pharmacy provides. And question. This is your life.

/SOAP BOX

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Psst, THEY are cancelling it!

July 29, 2016 Leave a comment

ERIL-L has had an interesting chain – actually, they have several but I am looking at one in particular… “Publisher complaint – how would you respond?

Apparently an unnamed publisher/vendor representative complained to a faculty member of a university  (in email) that the library was cancelling <gasp> a resource!!! HORRORS!

This unnamed wanker* deliberately tried to incite the university faculty to make the library keep it! Said wanker even implied, no, I misread, SAID that s/he doubted the library had even told the faculty. Those mean, arbitrary librarians. Heck, they probably took time off from nibbling bon-bons to gleefully redline Extremely Important Resources.

Because, you know, we never ask or review or painstakingly detail usage, costs, overlap or anything else and we would never think (all on our own) to ASK faculty if something is useful to them. No. We just run amok (amok amok amok).

I hope this was just a youngster who didn’t know better but has learned from this experience. I hope it isn’t like the sales rep who came to my library years ago, without an appointment, then threw a hissy fit at the circ desk because I was not available to meet. He did this more than once … full walleyed hissy fit. At Circ. Both amusing and horrifying.

*technical term, learned it from my UK colleagues

Categories: humor, librarian

Thirsty for more?

Mike Rowe, I’ve loved you for a very long time. I love how you glory the non-glamorous. Love how you speak out for the unspoken (careers, that is). I could not possibly agree with you more on the beauty of skilled labor*; on the idea that college is NOT for everyone; on the thought that blue collar is not inherently less but is, in fact, much much more.

Now I find that you are rocking my thirst for knowledge. My need for info – bites. My desire for your voice to stream erudite in my ear. I haven’t been so happy since I found Mental Floss!

Check out the new The Way I Heard It for mini-bits of Rowe knowledge. I only presume he is working with a professional to ensure the facts are checked and double checked before each episode is recorded. If not, I know a whole bevy of librarians who’d be happy to help –

Psst, learn more about the trades and options available at Mike Rowe Works by going to your local library. We carry tons of information on every possible trade … and if we don’t have it there, we can get it for you. NO CHARGE!

*Funny! Wikipedia notes ‘skilled labor’ as not just the trades & getting your hands dirty but also notes computer skills, accountants, etc. … skill is skill is skill. And labor is key in every job.

 

Park it where?

I love my job. I love traveling to all sorts of libraries all across the land to provide service and help. It thrills me to be allowed into all these venerable institutions, to listen and learn and perhaps make their lives easier with services.

What I do not always enjoy is the game “find the library” and “find the parking”. Each new-to-me institution is a new adventure which often involves the quickly squashed hope of finding exactly where to go to park.

Some are wonderful. Wait, no, make that a few.  And others, whilst not gentle, are still doable/findable. Some librarians are long versed in the difficulties of ‘outsiders’ finding their homes and have developed lovely maps and …. dare I say it?  LibGuides for Parking. One very memorable librarian even extended the directions to indoors (“turn left at the green couch”). Another took the campus PDF and inserted very helpful notes (seriously thought the “too far” was “too fat” and wondered what that meant).

Most however are exercises in frustration. Hours spend trying to enlarge the type on the campus provided map.  Why, oh why can the library not be listed in the map legend as “library”?  I don’t always know that it is called Jim Bob Book Learnin’ Place and have spend up to 20 minutes trying to find it on the itty bitty PDF (enlarged for my old eyes then many, many, many mouse moves to examine each inch). The ‘interactive’ maps are even worse – they quickly zoom down to the library (when you have the right name) but how do I find it from parking/walking? And can I get a print* to take with me on my trek?

Then there is the adventure of where am I allowed to park? Can I park? Do I need a pass? Where do I get a pass? What documents do I need (insurance, license plate, driver’s license, blood type, DNA sample…)? Does it cost? Can I pay with credit? Do I need cash? Do I need quarters (yes, this has happened)?

Sigh. OK. Back to figuring it all out.

*yes, fine, I am a Luddite who likes the printed map. I like to see the bigger picture. And since the GPS does not lead me to parking on your campus … it is necessary.

Categories: humor, librarian, travel Tags: ,

Worse. Job. Ever.

June 20, 2014 1 comment

(says the Comic Book Guy on the Simpsons).  I’m in a great job now but when I feel less than happy with whatever, I think back to my Worse Job Ever and perspective jumps back in line.

Everyone has had them. Horrible bosses. Mean or stupid (or both) co-workers. Difficult patrons/library users/folk walking in the door. I was pleased my niece’s first job was her worse thus far (she has had only 2). She now can measure everything against Crazy Boss and not feel so angry about crumbs on the break room table (seriously people, is it that hard to wipe?).

Some jobs have bad moments. Some have bad weeks. Some have bad everything.

What was mine? Well my measuring stick is more about chairs. Seems in a former work environment we had a person who would, er, soil your chair. And by “soil” I mean like a baby using a diaper. To this day I am not sure if it was deliberate or not. He did not seem to notice nor care as a smelly, messy trail followed him from place to place. There were many other lovely things (this is sarcasm) at this place of employment  – co-workers attempting to drive over other co-workers in the parking lot, hiding spiders in your desk, searching your office and re-arranging things, and much much more!

Today is a brand new day. The sun is shining, the world is rounding,  and my chair is very clean.

Good wins

June 9, 2013 Leave a comment

Do you follow George Takei on Facebook or Twitter? Who knew Sulu had such a humor? Or that George had such a background? He was one of many in the shameful Japanese Internment camps in the USA during World War II. In fact, the play Allegiance is based on the internment camps (not about George but the he is in it).

A recent post on George’s Facebook was in honor of  Bob Fletcher who was one of the many unsung heroes of the time. He saved some of the farms that were being snatched from the rightful owners during this dark period of USA history.

Another beautiful person is Clara Breed, a San Diego Children’s librarian. I read the very extraordinary collection of letters, Dear Miss Breed, some years ago. Now you can view and read the some of the letters online from the Japanese American National Museum. She worked hard to get books and materials and just plain ol’love and acceptance to the kids in those camps. She also worked to get them out of the camps.

Love trumps hate. There will always be people working to right wrongs, helping those in need, protesting against injustice. And yes, there will be people creating the wrongs, ignoring the needs, and encouraging injustice. But in the end, good does triumph over evil. Always.

Categories: books, librarian

Shhh, habitual reading

June 6, 2013 Leave a comment

Oh Laurel, you always make me think! With Reading Habits of Professionals, you did it again.  I love to see people reading – reading anything at all. Even if I don’t like that author or genre or series, the person is reading. You can’t judge a book by its cover. You can’t judge a reader by the reading.

I do not exactly hide my books or reading materials but…well, they are not in full view to the casual visitor. I’m not ashamed of my reading, I rather like my mysteries and occasional Sci-Fi and Fantasy. I’ve been known to indulge in romance and dip my reading glasses into non-fiction areas too. I just don’t have any bookcases in “public” areas of the abode.

When I fancied I might actually write books, I collected a lovely set of reference materials. My family may have been a bit concerned about the “how to” books on poison, guns, and other disposal methodology. I joyfully recall the look on the face of the clerk at the bookstore as I piled up the Big Stack of Potential Mayhem with big grin and hand full of cash; I often wonder if his call to the FBI was taken seriously.

Keep on reading. Romance. Urban Fantasy. Western. Biography. Cookery. Heavy tomes of desert dry text. Read it. Enjoy it. Flaunt it.