The Stories our Genes Tell

By Karen Oslund The scientists who launched the vast, noble effort to map the human genome probably did not consider the possibility that some day, we humans would use said technology to find out whether our genes predispose us to having a unibrow.  But the opportunity is there, and about 26 million people have opted to send their DNA to one of dozens of companies for commercial genetic analysis, to learn this, and other interesting [...]

By | January 3rd, 2020|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Impatient for a Cure: The First Cell

by Karen Oslund Anyone who has lost someone they love to cancer, which is everyone, is waiting for that day when we hear the news that science has found a cure.  Not just a cure for some kinds of cancer in certain situations, or for cancer that is found early, but for all cancers, at any stage.  That kind of cure. That kind of cure has not come about yet, despite efforts that span human [...]

By | November 24th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

How Not to Vape

By Karen Oslund My two sons are in their mid-twenties now, and I could not be more grateful that “vaping” was not a thing while they were still under my roof.  The Centers for Disease Control (cdc.gov) has just updated the numbers:  there have now been 1,080 cases of serious lung injury associated with vaping and 18 deaths.  Electronic cigarettes have filled the void created when many young people decided that smoking really wasn’t cool, [...]

By | October 4th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

CAM vs. Scam

By Karen Oslund Once when I was about 8 years old, I showed a bump on my foot to my dad. “It’s a wart,” he said. “Rub a penny on it, morning and night, and it will go away.” So, I did, religiously, and a few weeks later, the wart was gone. I don’t know if the penny cured the wart, if it was the power of suggestion, or if it just went away on [...]

By | August 17th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

If You Read One Book This Summer

By Karen Oslund It is a tradition in my family that when we get old, we keep driving long past the time when we shouldn’t. This triggers anxious conversations among our progeny about what to do. Who is the right person to have “the talk” with Grandma, or even take her keys away? Aging and the indignities that accompany it will come along for all of us if we are so lucky as to live [...]

By | July 22nd, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Burned in Memory

By Karen Oslund On a summer day in the mid-1970s I spent a glorious afternoon bobbing around Blue Lakes in an inner tube, my arms dangling over the sides; hatless and without sunglasses, SPF 0. That was surely the worst sunburn of my life, and the pain alone should have taught me a lesson. It did not. Flash forward 40 years to 2017 and I am reclined in the dermatologist’s office, having a basal cell [...]

By | June 11th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

A Journey Begins with a Plan

By Karen Oslund Last Friday I drove to Gualala from Ukiah, over the Mountain View Road. My past experience with Mountain View Road told me that I needed a plan. 1. Start with a full tank of gas. 2. Make sure there is both water and food in the car. 3. Bring comfortable shoes and a raincoat in case of need to walk out. 4. Add 30 minutes to estimated drive time. It might sound [...]

By | April 16th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Establishing Care is Primary to Good Health

By Karen Oslund My son Joseph is 27 now, but he was just two or three when he toppled out of the shopping cart in the Willits Safeway. I’ll never forget the sound. I abandoned my cart full of groceries right there in front of the tortillas, scooped him up and dashed to the car. When we burst through the door at Baechtel Creek Medical Clinic, which is just a mad dash from Safeway, we [...]

By | March 25th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

A Few Minutes Might Save a Life

I want you to think of a number. The number I want you to think of is the number of people you know who are alive today because an organ transplant was available when they needed one. For me, that number is five, and I am entirely grateful that each of these five people, whether friend, colleague, or acquaintance, is still here with us, enjoying their family and contributing to the work of making the [...]

By | February 21st, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Good News and the Year is Young

The year is still young and we could all use some good news. Fortunately, there is some! A report released recently by the American Cancer Society tells us that cancer deaths in the US have declined 27% over the past 25 years. The details can be found on the American Cancer Society website, cancer.org. Look for “Facts and Figures, 2019. Let’s examine the story behind this promising statistic. Part of the drop in US cancer [...]

By | January 28th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments