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Dear JenFul: What’s the best way for healthcare providers to address weight with their patients?

I got an email from a reader recently who asked a question I wasn’t entirely sure how to answer, so I decided to punt it to you guys instead. Of course, I might be stretching the meaning of the word “recently” when I refer to an email I received over two months ago. Sorry about that, dear reader! I got busy or lazy or both if that’s even possible. Here’s what she wrote:

A brief personal history: I’m typically in the mid-range of the “overweight” section of the BMI scale, I exercise regularly and eat fairly healthy, just a little too much of everything. But, my question concerns my role as a nurse practitioner in a college health setting. I occasionally see students who are at an unhealthy weight and I’m never quite sure how to approach a discussion. I tend to think most of us know if we need to lose weight, we just don’t always do what we need to do. I realize different people require different approaches, but I’m wondering what, if any, [...]

The only thing better than a Chinese version of your book is an illustrated Chinese version of your book

Whenever I receive a package I’m not expecting I assume it’s a bomb. Or anthrax. Or a pig’s heart. (You won’t think I’m so silly when I’m killed one day by an anthrax bomb hidden in a pig’s heart!) So when I opened the package that had been left under my welcome mat I was deliriously happy and surprised to discover that it was the Chinese version of my book, Chocolate & Vicodin. I started hollering, “Yes, yes, yes!” to myself so loudly that my downstairs neighbors must have thought I was getting some Valentine’s Day lovin’. Ever since the translation rights sold last year I’ve been curious to see what my book would look like printed in Chinese characters. How they would translate “Angerballz” in my acknowledgements section? I started to flip through the book to see, and that’s when I noticed it.

This book was illustrated!

The beginning of each chapter includes an image depicting the content of that chapter in hilarious, overly-literal fashion! The story of my life had been illustrated! I do believe [...]

What really happens on the hospital night shift

Last month Muhammad from the RN Central blog sent me an interesting infographic about what really happens during a hospital night shift (see below). He also read my FAQ before contacting me which endeared him to my heart and put him ahead of 95% of the other requests I get.

But, reading the FAQ is not necessarily a way into my text editor. I thought the infographic was rather interesting and it made me think of two of my own experiences in the hospital which you can read about below the image.

Night time staffers are fewer and less experienced

Oh, yes they are. When I was home from college for the weekend when I was two months shy of 18, I woke up in the middle of the night with a horrible pain on my right side. (Long-time readers of my blog and book will know where I’m headed with this.) My mother rushed me to the hospital where I was triaged…and then sent next door to the kiddie hospital because I was totally a child, not [...]

A sick freelancer’s guide to American health insurance

Photo by takomabibelot / by Attribution 2.0 Generic CC

When I started freelancing full-time in July 2009, the most challenging problem I faced wasn’t how to get clients, how to figure out taxes, or how to track my invoices. The most challenging problem was figuring out how to get health insurance for a chronically ill, self-employed person. I live in the US and at this time health insurance is typically employer based. You get a job and get to be part of that employer’s group plan. Outside of that, some people qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. I don’t know much about those programs other than I don’t qualify for them, but if you’re old or poor you might.

I faced more difficulty than normal getting health insurance because I have a chronic headache and I’m overweight according to the BMI charts. Typically, the more you need health insurance, the less likely you are to be approved for it. Health insurance companies aim to make a profit or at least break even, so they don’t like to [...]

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Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir

Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, chronic headache sufferer, (former?) weight-loss inspiration, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She was formerly known as PastaQueen. You can contact her if you promise to be nice.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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Game of Thrones rape: Director Alex Graves says the sex "becomes consensual."
Totally agree with this article. Definitely the worst mistake the series has ever made.

Runaway stowaway survives Calif.-Hawaii flight: FBI - CBS News
If this had happened in a movie I would never have believed it was possible.

Fitbit, Nest data: How the companies are making money off you.
I don't have a FitBit or an employer, but if I did I wouldn't want them sharing information.

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