Longer Looks: San Francisco’s Smoke; The Havana Syndrome; And Willpowering Through Colds
Each week, KHN's Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.
The Homeless Can’t Escape San Francisco’s Smoke-Ridden Air
[Trina Smith] has asthma, and says that as early as Thursday, when the fires began, she noticed that she was having more difficulty breathing. She’s more congested than usual, she said, but when she asked a doctor what she could do, she says she was told to get a mask and stay inside. (Alana Semuels and Robinson Meyer, 11/13)
The New York Times:
Gaming Out A Chance At Motherhood — Later
Whatever the circumstances that bring you in for oocyte cryopreservation (the technical name for egg freezing), it is undeniably an optimistic act. As a prospective patient, you are saying: “I am not sure I want to be a mother, or I can’t be a mother yet, or I know I may later have difficulty becoming a mother for health reasons, so, modern medical miracle workers, please help. Protect me against the march of time, allow me the luxury of this technology no generation of women before me has enjoyed. I hear you can give me a few more years to start my business, or finish my chemo, or find (or accept I won’t find) the right procreation partner.” (Lizzy Goodman, 11/14)
The New Yorker:
The Mystery Of The Havana Syndrome
On the evening of March 17th, [Audrey] Lee came home from the Embassy, made dinner, and ate with the twins in the kitchen nook. Her husband was away on business. Afterward, the kids went upstairs to play Minecraft. At around eight o’clock, Lee washed the dishes. The kitchen lights made it hard to see out the window, but she knew that there was a wooden booth outside where Cuban police kept watch. As Lee was cleaning, she felt a sudden burst of pressure in her head, then a stabbing pain worse than any she had ever experienced. Her breath quickened and she was overcome by panic. (Adam Entous and Jon Lee Anderson, 11/12)
Can You Stave Off A Cold With Willpower?
I’ve gathered you all to discuss the kind of question that could change EVERYTHING (and one well-timed for flu season): When I know it’s really important for me not to be sick for a day or two (say, if there’s an election coming), can I stop myself from feeling sick? Does my mind really have power over my matter? Is my brain that dope? (11/12)
New York’s Orthodox Jewish Community Is Battling Measles Outbreaks. Vaccine Deniers Are To Blame.
Anti-vaccine advocates have swayed parents in New York to refuse immunizations for their kids, sparking two of the largest measles outbreaks in the state’s recent history, according to local health officials. (Julia Belluz, 11/13)
Should Pregnant Women Take Anti-Anxiety Medication? Some Have No Choice.
The doctor said his name was Lipton, “like the tea.” He pantomimed drinking, pinky up, as I laid back on the hospital bed. It was a Saturday morning. I was six weeks pregnant. My eyes were completely glazed over, and I vacillated between feeling fascinated by my numbness and wondering how much longer I would live. (Laura Turner, 11/12)
At 8, Leana Wen Watched A Child Die In Front Of Her. At 18, She Started Med School. Now She's The President Of Planned Parenthood
By the time she was 18, Dr. Leana Wen hadn’t just completed high school—she’d already graduated from college, summa cum laude, in biochemistry and was on her way to medical school. Now, at just 35, she’s poised to enter the national stage as the president of Planned Parenthood, the lightning-rod position vacated by Cecile Richards this past April. (Sophie Brickman, 11/12)