Sunday, July 26, 2009

Research News of the Week

Here are some things I am following this week.
There is new research that male cyclers (women were not part of the study) have lower bone density in their spine than non-cyclers. This is disheartening to cyclists and all exercisers. The question remains: were the men in any other activities? I think it would make sense that men who do not do any weight-bearing exercise and are in a compromised posture for their exercise would have lower bone density. But a man who balances cycling and weight lifting, it seems, would be ok. I would be curious to see if any of these men had a balanced active lifestyle.
Sminny jeans made news this week because they can cause problems with circulation in the legs. Ladies and Gentlemen, if you are cutting off the circulation in your legs with any type of clothing, then change your clothing! I think it's pretty obvious that if you are going numb in your leg or turning colors that you need to loosen up a little. It would be the same if your bike shorts are too tight. Definitely don't wear too-tight-clothes all day, and keep an eye on your legs' comfort level. I think that goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway.
Finally, ACE reports that exercise reduces migraines in sufferers. Great news, as migraines are so debilitating. I am sure the increase in blood flow is the reason.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Postpartum Depression and News on Generic Drugs

It took me about 3 years to admit that I had postpartum depression after the birth of my first child. It was excrutiating. I feel for all women who go through all levels of this debilitating problem. I never told my doctor, which means I never got help for it. After Brooke Shields came forward with her admission, I wished I had asked for help.
Immediately after the birth of my second child, I asked the doctor for help out of fear that this would happen to me again. He prescribed Zoloft as my "security blanket," just in case I needed it. Luckily, I haven't. This postpartum time is a million times different from my first. I understand that hormones play a big part in postpartum depression, as does iron deficiency. Maybe my hormones are better aligned this time. Maybe it's my iron pills. Maybe it's because I'm getting a little sleep and I have some help, thanks to my incredible husband. Regardless, I am happy that I do not have to use the Zoloft, but it has been in my medicine cabinet just in case.
After reading the June issue of "Self," however, even if I have symptoms, I will not be using the medicine that my pharmacist gave me. There is an article about generics in this issue of Self, so I checked my bottle. Sure enough, they gave me the generic. My doctor did NOT prescribe the generic, and he has offered to give me a more specific prescription. After reading the article, I would recommend to anyone taking any medicine that affects the brain (anti-depressants, anti-seizure meds, etc.) get the brand name drug, not the generic. The FDA does not control the amount of key ingredients in the generic drug, so they are not necessarily the same as the name brand. Generics, it seems, can actually make symptoms worse. How scary for someone who is already afraid of symptoms of depression. Make sure that if your doctor gives you a prescription that you ask questions and get the medication that you actually need.
If you don't have the June issue of Self, read it online at
Take care of your body and your self!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Reality of the Caesarian

I have been very vocal on the subject of being honest about pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. I was published on the subject in the 2005 summer issue of "Mom and Baby." My first Caesarian was rough; especially because I tried to have her vaginally, and failed after 27 hours. You can imagine that recovery was rough.
I asked my husband if this one was worse or better than the other. He seems to think they were about the same. I honestly don't remember the amount of pain I had the first time. I do remember vividly that I was exhausted and starving. I couldn't move on my own, but I had a crying baby to take care of. I don't think I slept for the first week, and after that, sleep was still extremely rare. I remember my dinner sitting out for hours and never getting to eat. I remember not being able to get a drink of water all day long.
In those respects, at least, this postpartum is exponentially easier. The recovery from the second Caesarian, however, was not easier. I thought since it was planned and I wouldn't go through the 27 hours of labor that my muscles would miraculously heal easier. I was wrong.
This time, the baby was facing down and ready to be born the day before. We thought everything was going to go so smoothly. Well, she turned breech right before the delivery. AND, she was awake. She played get-away with the doctors, and as a result, my inner organs were shoved, pushed, popped, and pulled to get to her. Even with a spinal, it was painful. And VERY uncomfortable.
Now, 3 weeks later, I am up and around. I can hardly tell that I was unable to move 3 weeks ago. I am recovering from surgery and also from diastasis. I am splinting 24 hours a day to try to help the diastasis along. My doctor has placed 4 stitches along my rectus abdominus to help, hopefully...