Hallelujah! Spring is here! It’s warm outside! We can go to the park! Can you tell I’m excited? I LOVE summer and sunshine and being warm but I know these things go hand-in-hand with the start of serious sunscreen season. I thought this would be a great time to review how sunscreen works, how to pick the best sunscreen for you and your children and how to apply sunscreen effectively.
Two weeks ago JaNae W. submitted the following request:
Explain the differences between Aleve, Excedrin, Tylenol and the other one I can’t remember. Maybe if I understood how they are different, I’d know which would be the best to use in any given situation. And what is in the PM variety to make it different.
Excellent question! And a big one. Or at least that’s what I have been telling myself to justify how long it has taken to finish this post. And to justify how long it turned out to be. Since I am sure no one else wants to read through all of this in one sitting I am splitting it into two posts—this week will cover the general background on pain relievers and the specifics on acetaminophen and next week we’ll get around to “the other ones.”
I was reflecting on the progress of this blog and I realized I hadn't ever fully explained what in the world I am doing. In the interest of clarity I have written...a mission statement. (It's actually more of a mission essay but that doesn't have the same ring to it.)
Do you know what an inflammatory papule is? That would be a pimple. How about a vesicular skin lesion? Those would be the itchy culprits in chicken pox. The vocabulary doctors use to describe skin conditions can sometimes be more mystifying than the disease itself. And I hate being mystified. Thank goodness for the internet.
I have received a request to do a walkthrough of children’s cough and cold products. (My first request—I’m so excited!) So I thought I would use this post to lay some groundwork by explaining how a pharmacist reads labels on over-the-counter (OTC) medications (contain your excitement).
Firstly, and most importantly, I never base any decisions on the front of a package. Drug companies spend a lot of money on “smoke and mirrors” and plenty of that money is in the packaging. However, the people in charge of such things (the FDA) forced them to put all the important information on the back in black and white, literally. These “Drug Facts” labels make things easy as pie. (Mmmm…pie…)
When I was thinking about starting this blog one of my biggest hesitations was the “immunization issue.” So in classic awkward Emily style I will bring it up as soon as possible. As a working member of “the establishment” you can probably guess that I believe in immunizations. In fact, I feel they are one of the true gifts of modern medicine and my daughter has received all of her immunizations. (Proud mother moment—she’s getting ready for her 4 month shots here and totally being a champ about it.) However, I know many people have strong concerns about immunizations. I have nothing but respect for parents who are honestly trying to do the best thing for their children. I have read up on the topic from sources I trust to use uncompromising investigatory skills and put the health of my child first. I have made a decision that has a risk/benefit balance I am comfortable with. I would encourage every other parent to do the same. I recommend the American Academy of Pediatrics’ review of the issue as a great place to start. The Institute of Medicine also has a thorough review but it is a much harder read. (Hardly any pictures.)
Enough seriousness. I decided to bring this up today because Mr. Goldman and I got our flu shots! Of course we got them at our neighborhood pharmacy because pharmacists are awesome. I had a major attack of nostalgia. Weirdly enough, giving flu shots is one of the parts of working that I really miss and not because I love to stab people. At least I don’t think that is why. I imagine it was because it was one of the few chances I got to pop out from behind the counter and talk to people. I got so nostalgic I seriously considered asking if I could give Mr. Goldman his shot but I held myself back. I am regretting that. How often do you get to legally stab your husband? Not only that, but men in his particular age range are, by far, the most fun to give shots to. Skinny arms are for chumps. Look at this beautiful bicep—it has “poke me” written all over it. By all over it I mean under that Band-Aid®.
**I found an amazingly detailed and informative blog post on this topic at Married to Medicine. Written by a lawyer married to a doctor, it is the ultimate in vaccination information. I am in awe of its awesomeness.