Posts Tagged ‘medicine’

Notes on allergies (part 2)

June 12, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
June 12, 2015

At some point in the past half-decade or so, a doctor recommended that I address my allergies by taking, well, allergy medicine.

It was a simple enough thing, or so it seemed: Just swallow one pill a day. For various reasons, most of which involved convenience, I began taking the pill before bed. This worked out nicely, I thought, because at bedtime, I’m typically either at home or at a place where I’d intended to go to sleep. In other words, my pills would be with me, and, except for a planned trip, there would be no need to pack a bottle or medicine in my car or in my bag. Nor would I have to worry about arranging to have a cup of water to swallow my pills or whatnot at some point in the middle of the day.

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Notes on allergies (part 1)

June 11, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
June 11, 2015

This is going to be a short and rather vague blog post, because I don’t remember many of the important relevant details.

But I do remember the first time I was ever told, at least as an adult, that I might be suffering from allergies. I was sitting in an examination room at a medical practice in Henderson, N.C. I can picture the man who had examined me — he was a large-framed fellow, although I can’t remember his name or whether he was a doctor, a physician’s assistant or a nurse-practitioner.

I think that I must have mumbled something about how I’d never heard of anyone developing allergies in their adulthood; the medical person replied that this kind of thing was in fact relatively common. There may have been some talk about how, as a newcomer to North Carolina, I’d noticed that there seemed to be a lot more pollen there than in my native New York. (I moved from Manhattan to Henderson in 2004.)

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With Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court majority paves the way for minimal changes initially, great changes eventually

July 1, 2014

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
July 1, 2014

Author’s note: This post was updated on July 4 to correct the name of the author of a commentary on Supreme Court racial discrimination rulings that Reuters published in May.

With a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday morning that the government could not compel closely held for-profit corporations to provide contraception to its employees. The majority opinion, written by Associate Justice Samuel Alito, essentially prioritizes the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act over a contraception coverage mandate contained in 2010’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

One of Alito’s key arguments in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, beyond his assertion that for-profit businesses are entitled to religious beliefs, is that there is no legal basis in the 1993 law for distinguishing among nonprofit and for-profit corporations. While the justice concedes that providing widespread contraception coverage is in fact a compelling government interest, Alito asserts that the Obamacare law’s mandate is not the least restrictive means of furthering that interest, and thus should be stricken.

Defenders of the ruling note that it is narrow; indeed, the court’s summary includes a disclaimer that “[t]his decision concerns only the contraceptive mandate and should not be understood to hold that all insurance-coverage mandates, e.g., for vaccinations or blood transfusions, must necessarily fall if they conflict with an employer’s religious beliefs.”

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Bodily functions and bodily fluids: The earwax post

February 11, 2014

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Feb. 11, 2014

Cerumen, old friend. We meet again.

I didn’t actually say that to myself last month when my doctor looked into my ears, but I may as well have. I certainly cringed internally.

Here’s a quick recap. I got sick in late January, and after trying to tough it out for a few days, I made an appointment to see my physician. After checking both ears with that funny pointed scope that doctors use, she told me that there was some wax buildup in both my ear canals, especially the left one, which needed a cleaning.

I’ve been told this kind of thing many times over the years. The human body naturally produces wax, technically known as cerumen; it traps dirt and protects the eardrums, in part by slowing the growth of bacteria in the ear canals. If everything is working smoothly, older wax will migrate to the outer ear, dry up, harden and fall out.

Unfortunately, sometimes wax builds up without coming out. Earwax accumulation can cause discomfort and occlude hearing.

I didn’t immediately follow up on my doctor’s suggestion to clean my ear. After a few days, though, I was feeling better — more energetic and ready to tackle challenges, and also better prepared to handle disappointments.

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