June 2017
In this issue

What's the best way to care for most sinus infections?  
A recent study compared the effectiveness of three drugs in treating diabetic macular edema (DME).
These information resources and self-help groups may be helpful if gambling is a problem for you or a loved one. Although men are more prone to gambling addition, women may also be affected.
Getting immunizations at a pharmacy may be more affordable and convenient than going to your doctor's office.

Nutrition Nuggets
The American Academy of Pediatrics has released new guidance regarding the maximum amount of juice children and teens should drink in a day.
Why is eating fresh fruit a nutritionally wiser choice than a fruit-filled smoothie?
Eating more red meat is associated with greater risk of developing many serious health conditions.    

Cell Phone Etiquette
You may not know the word "phub" but you are probably too familiar with the situation it describes: phubbing (phone + snub) is ignoring one's companion to interact with a mobile phone instead.

If this is a source of conflict between you and your mate, here are suggestions for managing phone use when you are together.

NSAIDs & Heart Attacks
A large-scale study examined the association between heart attacks and five NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: ibuprofen and naproxen, available over the counter or by prescription; and celecoxib, diclofenac, and rofecoxib, available by prescription. Daily use of NSAIDs, especially in higher doses, was associated with an increased risk of heart attack in the first week and first month of use.

The risk of heart attack is negligible for healthy young adults who use NSAIDs daily. However, if you have cardiovascular problems, you may want to discuss which approach to managing pain or inflammation with your doctor would be best for you.

Be Better Prepared for a Medical Emergency
Because you could face a medical crisis someday, here's information to help you choose between emergency and urgent care, have realistic expectations for care during an emergency room visit, and communicate effectively with ER staff.

From the article's comment section, here are three additional suggestions:
  • If surgery or medical testing may be needed, avoid eating or drinking anything until doing so is approved by a nurse or doctor.
  • If possible, bring your phone charger as well as your phone, so you can keep loved ones informed during a long wait or after hospital admission.
  • Music or a book may help pass the time and provide distraction from pain and worry.
These pointers could be helpful for caregivers.

Breast Health
In March we linked to an article that very briefly listed steps women could take to lower their risk of developing breast cancer. If you missed it or would like more detailed information, the New York Times recently had a great article on breast cancer prevention. The recommended lifestyle choices would also have additional health benefits.
If you have received a breast implant with a textured surface, you are at a slightly greater risk of developing a rare cancer. Learn how to recognize when trouble may be developing and what should be done if it occurs.
Drug-Specific Websites
Have you ever visited the website created for a specific drug to learn about its effectiveness, pricing, or side effects? You probably encountered a very attractive interface with lots of reassuring and apparently helpful information - and a very savvy marketing tactic. Learn why pharma-created websites should be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism.
If you have questions about a prescription or over-the-counter medication or need help affording one, our website's Health Links on "Drugs & Supplements" provide trustworthy information.
A Fond Farewell
Photo of Joan Thomas
Joan Thomas began volunteering weekly with PlaneTree in 1991, greeting patrons and introducing them to the resources of our library. After we moved to Mission Oaks in 2003 and began our bookcart service at Good Samaritan Hospital, Joan's gregarious and generous spirit made her a perfect fit for the task of offering health information to patients.

It's been 14 years since Joan began sharing her warm heart and good cheer with Good Sam's staff, patients, and their families. She has been remarkably dedicated, often coming in more than once a week. Assuming extra responsibilities, she obtained yarn and solicited volunteers to make hats for cancer patients. Joan has also added enjoyable activities to the bookcart, purchasing supplies on her own dime.

In just a few weeks, Joan will hang up her volunteer badge, closing one chapter of her life to open another on the central coast of California. In preparation, she has been training another PlaneTree volunteer. Susan Sommer, a member of our board of directors, will continue our services on the oncology and antepartum units.

We gratefully salute Joan's 26 years of service and wish her and her husband Kent the very best in their new home.
Community Events

All events are open to the public. Some require pre-registration.
.....* Fee for participation
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Meditation, relaxation, and/or stress-management
San Jose - Thursdays & Saturdays
San Jose - Mondays
San Jose - Mondays & Wednesdays through 6/21
Mountain View - Sat., 6/3
Palliative care & hospice
Palo Alto - Mon., 6/5

San Jose - Tues., 6/13
Palo Alto - Tues., 6/13
Los Gatos - Thurs., 6/15
Campbell - Thurs., 6/15
San Jose - 6-week class begins Fri., 6/16
Los Gatos - Sat., 6/17
Milpitas - Tues., 6/20
Palo Alto - Thurs., 6/22
San Jose - Sat., 6/24

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