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Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

The Morning After Pill: 10 Reasons for Parental Concern

posted by Linda Mintle

anxious girl

 

The FDA decided to lower the age limit for the morning-after pill from 17 to 15-years-of- age. The pill can be bought without a prescription and from pharmacy shelves. You will find it in the aisle next to women’s health products, condoms and other pharmacy items. All a girl has to do to get this pill is prove her age at the check out counter. In other words, a15-year-old can easily access this pill without her parents knowing about it. Already the supporters of this are arguing that providing ID will still be a barrier to the women (shouldn’t we say, girls) who want this. 

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Here are my 10 Concerns: 

1) So let me understand this. The same girl who needs parent permission to take aspirin or an antibiotic at school can take a morning after pill with no one knowing? The same girl who has to read pages of inform consent to talk to someone in therapy, can take the morning after pill with no one talking to her? Don’t tell me a frightened 15 year old is going to read the risks on the prescription and decided if she should take the pill!

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2) Medically, the pill prevents ovulation or fertilization of the egg. But does it prevent a fertilized egg from implanting? The pill works to decrease the uterine lining, making it more difficult for a fertilized egg to implant. When that happens, it is abortion. But advocates are redefining abortion to mean only the implanted fertilized egg. How would a person know? A girl may later be faced with the reality that she aborted her child to be. Maybe the drug companies should pay the therapy that might follow.

3) The Mayo Clinic website says that this pill should not be used routinely and doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infection. Who is going to monitor this? And who is going to make sure a 15-year-old doesn’t buy the pill and give it to her 14-year-old friend?

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4) The Mayo Clinic recommends telling your health care provider because their is a risk of allergic reaction to this pill, or possible drug interactions. Are 15-year olds going to call their doctors and ask about these possibilities?

 5) Side effects include:

                Nausea or vomiting

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                Dizziness

                Fatigue

                Headache

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                Breast tenderness

                Bleeding between periods or heavier menstrual bleeding

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                Lower abdominal pain or cramps

                Diarrhea

These could be a bit frightening for a 15-year-old who doesn’t understand her body. And if you are vomiting, you may have to repeat the dose, but the website says you should contact your physician. Again, are 15 year-olds going to do this?

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6) What about a girl with existing medical problems? Who is tracking that since this can be done in complete secrecy.

7) In my opinion, a 15-year-old is not mature enough to make this type of decision. Sex is a physical act that can be performed at 15, but dealing with the emotional, physical and psychological consequences is another thing. The issue is why is a 15-year-old having sex? Who is speaking to that, especially if this is hidden from parents?

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8) Schools complain about a lack of parent involvement and yet these policies lend to secrecy and a lack of parent involvement. How does a parent help a child who was sexual active when the parent is unaware? Schools want more parents to take responsibility but I guess they get to pick and choose when that is allowed.

9) The family is marginalized when it comes to teen privacy. These are moral issues in which the family needs to be involved, not cut out of the process.  

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10) Preventing pregnancy is not solely a medical issue. This type of approach to reduce teen pregnancy ignores the role of family, relationships, emotional and spiritual issues and is irresponsible. Reducing teen pregnancy is not a simple problem. it takes caring people to make a difference, not access to a pill! 

 

Parents, weight in –what are your concerns?

 

 

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Business Mind? You’ll Go Nuts Reading This!

posted by Linda Mintle

squirrelA very nice man at the VA told me that my dad couldn’t get his claims reviewed because of the sequester. Our government needs to save money. Sorry about your 92- year- old WWII Dad.

I asked, “Because this is their only option?” Then I realized, Hey, he is only the messenger!

Like many of you, I run a small business. I understand cutting business costs. The federal government will make you crazy! Maybe the new DSM V should add Federal Government Neurosis! as a new diagnosis!

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1) Did you know that the NFL, NHL and PGA are non-profit organizations? Don’t choke on your popcorn, but these organizations qualify for major federal tax exemptions. I guess because they bring in so little money! Only $184 million from the NFL in 2010 for example.

2) With a growing obesity epidemic, the federal government allows food stamp users (SNAP) to purchase junk food. It is estimated that approximately 2.5 billion dollars will be spent on foods that are not nutritious. Items like sugary drinks  contribute  to obesity –another tax payer burden! Yet, more than 2 billion dollars will be spent on these items in a year according to a study by Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity. So the kids who need good nutrition are often getting junk food and sugary beverages with tax payer dollars. Then we turn around and allocate more money to treat the obesity that results from poor eating habits. Seems like a good place to look at reform instead of creating new programs.

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3) My favorite–$325,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to build robotic squirrels. A real need, especially when our vets can’t get services. Save the Squirrels!

4) 2 million annually to fund phantom government grant accounts. PHANTOM is the key word here. The accounts are empty and have expired. Hey, for a small fee, I’ll close these accounts or better yet, get some out of work college business graduate who can do it!

5) The Prom Video Game. So needed and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. My dad can’t get his claim paid but my daughter can relive her prom glory everyday through playing PROM WEEK!

I could go on, but I can’t. It’s too depressing and makes this small business owner a little nuts! Hey maybe the squirrels could help!

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Three Ways to Stop a Marriage from Divorce

posted by Linda Mintle

upset coupleEd and Jane were having marital problems.  Jane was at the point of walking out. Ed rarely spoke to her. This once loving couple was now thinking divorce.

So what happened?

Like too many couples, Ed and Jane waited too long to go to marital therapy for help.

Jane feels she tried to raise issues, but Ed was not interested. He had a history of avoiding tough topics.

Ed didn’t like the way Jane talked to him but never brought up the issue. He often felt overwhelmed by her intensity. Instead, he allowed resentment to build up and push him away emotionally.

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Both spouses were turning away from each other rather than towards–a dangerous move as it eventually leads to emotional distance. And emotional distance is the number one predictor of divorce.

So here are three take-aways for all couples: 

1) When you are upset, deal with the issues immediately and don’t allow them to simmer and grow. As painful or difficult as it is to talk about problems, do it.

2) If the problems are bigger than you can solve, see a marital therapist. One of the reasons couples don’t work things out when they do go to counseling is because they wait too long. By the time they see a therapist, they have emotionally checked out. Marital therapy is highly effective when couples go early and ready to work.

3) When problems come, turn towards each other (and God) and not away. Turning away creates distance and also tempts you towards unhealthy emotional connections with others, or engage in unhealthy behavior.

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Do You Have Bat Wing Deformity?

posted by Linda Mintle

armsAs summer approaches and more of us are going sleeveless again, we can certainly see the jiggle that comes with aging or not working out in the gym.

Yes, we would all like to have the arms of news anchors who seem to have a penchant now for sleeveless dresses. But most of us have to spend hours in the gym to fight the effects of either laziness or plain old aging.

Plastic surgeons call this jiggly, loose skin on the back side of the arms, “bat wing deformity.”

Nice, right?

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What may surprise you is that arm lift surgery is on the rise. According to an article in USA TODAY, this surgery has increased 4,000% in the past decade. That is a lot of arms being operated on!

But here is the good news. The increase isn’t driven by our need to emulate the First Lady or look like celebrities on the red carpet. Yes, we are obsessed with youth in our culture and people are getting this surgery to look younger. But the increase is due to the surge of weight loss surgeries. When a person loses a significant amount of weight with procedures like the gastric bypass, the weight drops off but the skin remains. This extra skin, or “bat wing” doesn’t go away with the weight loss and can be removed surgically.

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But before you schedule your consult, know that this surgery is expensive and can leave significant scarring from the elbow to the armpit. In addition, all surgeries carry risk and this one is no exception.

So if you just have flabby arms due to a lack of exercise, start working those arms. Get in the gym. It is safer and cheaper. If aging is the culprit, embrace it! Most of us have the bat wings at a certain point in life! The question is can we accept the changes of aging without feeling the pressure to always turn back the clock?

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