Friday, August 28, 2009

Ovarian Cancer

I subscribe to an online medical site which posts the latest information on a variety of subjects and, in my opinion, is one of the best medical sites on the internet.

Today I received a gynaecological update and it included seven (7) clues to ovarian cancer. This is the one cancer which I fear above all others because it is not easy to detect and by the time a diagnosis is made the survival rate is very low.

So, for any female readers of this blog I am listing the seven symptoms which have been found to be associated with ovarian cancer:

1. Abdominal distension
2. Urinary frequency
3. Abdominal pain
4. Postmenopausal bleeding
5. Loss of appetite
6. Rectal bleeding
7. Abdominal bloating

Abdominal distension, in particular, warrants urgent attention. Abdominal distension is a progressive increase in abdominal size. Bloating is an intermittent increase and decrease.

There you have it. If you think that you have these, or some of these symptoms and in particular abdominal distension - SEE YOUR DOCTOR ... now.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Facebook and my mobile phone

I am having problems with my mobile phone and I really need to learn to use it properly. The trouble is with facebook. Every time I make a post (and I now own a group with 38 members) I have to type in one of those random words which are so hard to decipher. To stop doing this I need to give them my mobile number and they will text me a code to verify my account. My problem is that I can't find the code and I have tried to do it several times. The phone signals a message and I diligently try to locate it only to find that I am making phone calls, which I try to kill before they connect. D3 received one in reply to a message she sent a couple of years ago so now I am too scared to even sit down and try to work out how to find my way around the phone which seems to have taken on a life of its own. The book of words is less than useless and seems to assume prior knowledge of mobiles, which I haven't got and never will get at this rate. D3 says that she will show me but she works and has two kids and it is hard to find the time. Maybe I can take her out to lunch and we can have a working session ...

I originally got the phone so that I could phone for help if my car breaks down at night - or even during the day since Telstra seems to have a policy of removing all the public phones and planting them up and down Bayview Terrace in Claremont, where one trips over them every few metres. ... and I can make calls from the mobile if I need to - it is just that it is doing its own thing now and I am in danger of making nuisance calls while I try to retrieve my message with that elusive code.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

... and yet more about facebook

My bookcrossing group on facebook now has 34 members but is not doing very much. I have discovered that when a person becomes a 'friend' then all his/her posts anywhere in the system feed into your 'wall' and there is one whose messages I have had to hide. This is not the one I mentioned previously whom I have also hidden; my wall was becoming like a wall of meaningless graffiti with most of the junk being of no possible interest to anyone except the person who wrote it. I think that twitter is the best place for that boring, meaningless, egocentric stuff. One day I will go there and have a look at KRudd's twitter - his genius for obfuscating is legendary.

I will probably wait a while and then gently remove myself from the Woodlands group and the family name group and just keep an eye on the bookcrossing group since I own it and the members of the group deserve a bit of supervision and an occasional announcement; I owe them that much.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

More facebook

After joining facebook and putting my name up at the Old School Site nothing happened. Nothing at all. Obviously no-one is going to admit being that old ...

So I joined the group of people who share my surname. That was a couple of days ago. There are a lot of members but again - nothing ...

However, this morning, just before I had to rush for the train to go and teach computer to Senior Citizens I did a search for a group dedicated to Australian Bookcrossers. There were heaps of bookcrossing groups in a variety of languages but I couldn't find an Australian one so I very rapidly started one and then left for the day. When I got home, to my amazement there were eighteen new members. Yeah!! One person also told me a link to "bookcrossers down under" which I hadn't thought to put into the search engine. It has heaps of members but doesn't look all that active.

*grin* now that I have my group I don't know what the heck to do with it. This was supposed to be a learning exercise and I can see that I am going to have to learn very fast.

One member of a forum I visit has 'offered' himself as a friend but he has verbal diarrhoea of the twitter variety. I am getting heaps of messages posted by him, each about five words. I don't want to upset him by blocking him so hopefully his enthusiasm will die down but I am not holding my breath. He claims to 'network' with several hundred people on facebook and twitter. Ouch!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

An interesting legal dilemma

There is a case going before the courts today regarding the 'right to die' issue.

A forty-nine year old man was knocked off his bicycle a couple of years ago and became a quadriplegic. He is now in a nursing home with a tracheostomy and a tube directly in his stomach for feeding. He is totally helpless and in great pain. He wants to be allowed to die.

Here is the crunchy bit. The nursing home wants clarification before they stop feeding him which is the only way he is likely to die in the near future. He wants them to stop feeding him so that he can starve to death. If the nursing home stops feeding him would the law consider that to be 'assisted suicide'? If the nursing home continues to feed him are they guilty of assault and battery? What is their duty of care in this situation? Do they force him to live out the rest of his natural life against his will or do they accede to his request to be allowed to die, and stop what is, in effect, force feeding?

Just to muddy the waters still further it has been revealed that he once attempted suicide before he became a quadriplegic.

I suspect and hope that he will be allowed to end his life but it is a legal minefield. Without artificial aids he would have died at the time of the accident so no-one can say that it is God's will that he should be forced to live, as God obviously did her damnedest [gmail's spelling] to gather him in when he was knocked off his bike.

And that leads to another dilemma. If he dies now, will the person who was driving the car be liable to a charge of manslaughter? That person has a big stake in having him kept alive.

Whatever the outcome, the judgement is going to set a precedent and I am glad that I don't have to make a decision on this case.

I will post the judgement when it becomes available ...

Edited to post the judgement of the court:

The court has ruled that the patient has the right to accept or refuse food; that feeding through a gastric tube constitutes a medical treatment and in Australia people have the right to refuse medical treatment. He now has that option but is following up the possibility of going to Switzerland where voluntary euthanasia is legal.

Is it really THAT long?

A few days ago I joined Facebook for the same reason I experimented with twitter and found it severely wanting. However facebook has a bit more scope and I have enlisted D1 as a 'friend'. I also discovered their search engine and thus was able to find their chat groups which don't have any sort of tag that can be easily found. In fact, as far as I can see, there is no way of finding one's way to their groups except by putting "groups" into the search facility.

I searched out and found some groups connected with my old school and joined the most official-looking one of them and posted asking for any others from the Class of 19**. so far there has been no response and I suspect that many of my generation are not all that computer literate and would shun Facebook anyway. Or they have had the same reaction as I have had, which is "OMG - did I leave school THAT long ago." Scary stuff ...

Monday, August 3, 2009

Down with google chrome

I have had google chrome as my default browser for about a week but was constantly irritated by the lack of tabs so that I was forever closing things which I didn't mean to. Then today I found that I couldn't right click and create a shortcut any more, and I love shortcuts. So I uninstalled it.

That is when I thought that I had completely messed up the works: every time I tried to open a link or a shortcut I was asked what program I would like to use and although I selected IE and said that I wanted that program to open the link, the next time the same thing would happen. And then I found that hyperlinks didn't work at all and I was preparing myself to phone Techie and get him to come and take away the body but googled (yes, I googled google) 'google chrome' and found that a heap of people had had the same problem and one of google's employees had posted a 'how to fix the problems associated with uninstalling google chrome'.

It worked!!! Yeah ...

For anyone reading this blog here is what you do:

Open Internet Explorer/click on the Tools menu/Select Internet Options ->Programs

Click on button Make Default (I had to click on the box which asked the computer to tell me if IE is not my default browser). Click on Apply.

... and suddenly everything works again