Archive for Health

Semester 1, 2010

// February 24th, 2010 // 28 Comments » // Health, Study

I have FINALLY decided what units I am going to do this semester. Not a moment too soon as the semester starts on Monday! I have already got special permission to enrol in 2 senior (3rd year) units and am just waiting on the official stamp of approval for my degree transfer, from Bachelor of Medical Science to Bachelor of Science.

The great thing about this plan is that I don’t need to decide yet what my second major will be (Neuroscience is the first). I can investigate a bit more and then decide before 2nd semester whether it will be Immunology, Cell Pathology or Biology/Genetics.

For those of you who give a stuff, here are the units I’m doing. If you don’t give a stuff, it’s quite understandable!

PCOL2011 – Pharmacology Fundamentals
This unit of study examines four basic areas in Pharmacology: (1) principles of drug action (2) pharmacokinetics and drug metabolism (3) autonomic and endocrine pharmacology, and (4) drug design. The delivery of material involves lectures, practicals, computer-aided learning and problem-based workshops. Practical classes provide students with the opportunity of acquiring technical experience and teamwork skills. Problem-based workshops are based on real-life scenarios of drug use in the community. These workshops require students to integrate information obtained in lectures in order to provide solutions to the problems.

IMMU2101 – Introductory Immunology
This unit of study will provide an overview of the human immune system and essential features of immune responses. The lecture course begins with a study of immunology as a basic research science. This includes the nature of the cells and molecules that recognise antigens and how these cells respond at the cellular and molecular levels. Practical/tutorial sessions will illustrate particular concepts introduced in the lecture program. Further lectures and self-directed learning sessions will integrate this fundamental information into studies of mechanisms of host defence against infection, transplantation as well as dysfunction of the immune system including allergy, immunodeficiency and autoimmune diseases and cancer.

NEUR3001 – Neuroscience: Special Senses
The aim of this course is to provide students with an introduction to the structure and function of the nervous system and to the main concepts of processing of sensory information. Understanding basic sensory transduction mechanisms and the function of the sensory systems is necessary to understand how perceptual processes work in normal and disease conditions and provides a gateway to unravel the complexity of the mind. Basic aspects of low and high level sensory processing in all sense modalities will be covered, with a special emphasis in the auditory and visual systems. The relationship between sensory systems, perception and higher cognitive functions will be addressed.

NEUR3002 – Neuroscience: Motor Systems & Behaviour
The aim of this course is to provide students with an introduction to the structure and function of the nervous system. Our current knowledge of how the brain works is based on the analysis of the normal structure of the nervous system and its pathways, the functional effects of lesions and neurological diseases in different parts of the nervous system, and the way that nerve cells work at the molecular, cellular and integrative level. This course focuses on to the neural circuits and the mechanisms that control somatic and autonomic motor systems, motivated behaviours, emotions, and other higher order functions. The lecture series addresses the different topics, each of which offers special insight into the function of the nervous system in health and disease.

Now I am just crossing my fingers that the vestibular migraines stay far far away. I’ve got an MRI on Saturday just to rule out any kind of cerebrovascular malformation so they can put me on migraine medication if the migraines come back. I hate MRIs! Luckily my nice neurologist is prescribing me Valium this time. Maybe it’ll even be fun!

How To Cure Hiccups

// October 12th, 2007 // 16 Comments » // Health

My Nobel Prize will be in the post shortly, as I have deduced a foolproof method to cure hiccups! (Well, it works for me anyway.) And it is simple and easy.

All you do is concentrate very hard on the sensation of the hiccup coming up your windpipe. Just block everything else out and focus all your perceptions on how that hiccup will feel as it is travelling up the oesphagus… and it will NEVER COME.

Let me know if this works for you too!

MRI: Not For The Fainthearted!

// May 28th, 2007 // 8 Comments » // Health, Life

I had a terrifying experience on Friday with my first ever go in an MRI machine. I had this weird tingliness in my right arm and face a while ago, and the neurologist didn’t think it was anything serious, but put me on the waiting list for an MRI anyway. It must have been the non-urgent waiting list, as I didn’t get an appointment for EIGHT months!

Anyway I turned up on Friday, not too worried as I had never thought of myself as a claustrophobic person. I was more worried about accidentally having my keys in my pocket or something – the MRI is basically a giant magnet and you can’t take any metal into the room with you. It was all fine until I came into the room and the first thing I noticed was how small the hole is that they slide you into. Only about 2.5 feet in diameter. Then I had to lie down and wiggle my head into a plastic white cage thing. Finally the chap placed a big button in my left hand and said to squeeze it if I needed to come out. For some reason I had thought they would only slide my head in, but no, I was then slid headfirst all the way into the tiny white tube.

The sensation of being slid in was horrible, kind of like what being put in a mortuary drawer. The white cage was about 2 inches from my nose, and the ceiling of the tube about another 2 inches above that. I had to shut my eyes and just concentrate on breathing slowly in and out. My heart was pounding! It was a real instinctual panic feeling that I just had to suppress. I really didn’t want to press the button as I didn’t want to contemplate being slid back in again after coming out. I had planned to try and go over some study in my head (I had a test that afternoon), but I could barely count to ten!

After twenty minutes of this and with ghastly loud scanning noises all around, I was slid out. I had flashbacks of that white padded ceiling inches from my face all day!!

Not sure when I’ll get the results, but I just hope that they got a good scan cos I never want to go back in that tube again!! Eep!

Drug May Counteract Down Syndrome

// February 27th, 2007 // No Comments » // Health, Science

Exciting medical news today that researchers have found a possible drug to counteract the cognitive difficulties caused by Down Syndrome.

Researchers gave low doses of a human drug to mice bred to mimic the learning and memory problems in people with Down syndrome. After as little as two weeks, the impaired mice performed as well as normal ones in learning tests, and the improvement lasted for up to two months after treatment ended. more

Of course, mice are not people, and clinical trials are still a couple of years off. Still, it’s a bit of a bombshell to the DS community as I don’t think anyone had any thoughts of a pharmaceutical product that could “cure” DS. Great to see that those little DS mice are having such great benefits already.

And you can Adopt-A-Mouse to further support research into the causes and treatments of Down Syndrome.

I’ll be following this research with great interest!


// October 10th, 2005 // 11 Comments » // Health, Kids, Life

We drove out to Mum’s on Saturday and retrieved our eldest child. He seemed rather chuffed to see us all, though Harry wasn’t as excited to see Archie as all his babblings would suggest. Since then they’ve been playing together really well though, so I think they did miss each other. And when Archie was at kindy today, Harry started again with the “Archie… Noo Noo… car”. NO, HARRY!

Archie has started Term 4 kindy, and will now be going five mornings a week! Which means he gets a support person four mornings a week. However they are still looking for someone.

I am sick and have been a bit miserable all weekend. Hate that spring sickness that sneaks up on you just when you think you’ve had such a healthy winter.

Made the font size a bit smaller just for fun. Enjoy.

Try #1

// October 5th, 2005 // 49 Comments » // Health, Kids, Life

I’ve got the word and today is Insemination Day. If I get pregnant today, the baby will be due on 28 June, 2006 – a sensitive Cancer. Thinking positive here.

Mum is babysitting so that Jan can be present at the (possible) conception. Hopefully some of Jan’s super-fertile aura will rub off on me (she was a “one insemination wonder” with Harry).

Of course, I woke up with a headcold this morning – and don’t feel like I should take anything for it – hopefully it won’t affect things.


// October 4th, 2005 // 30 Comments » // Health, Life

I was out of the house bright and early this morning for a trip to Fertility Associates. Yes it appears the time may be nigh for a conception attempt. Today they did a blood test and an ultrasound of my ovaries. It is all so scientific! The doctor checked the lining of my uterus (nice and thick and even) and then checked my ovaries (left ovary has big follicle ready to pop). So they reckon I will ovulate tomorrow or the next day.

Now the pressure’s on to be REALLY REALLY fertile. Crossing fingers for first time lucky.

Upstart Audiologists

// September 8th, 2005 // 30 Comments » // Health, Kids, Life

I took Archie to the audiologist yesterday for yet another hearing test – we’ve been a bit worried as he has had an ear infection for five weeks now – but he passed with flying colours again. And according to the audiologist there is no way he’ll get any permanent damage from the ear infection as we are slamming it with so many antibiotics. So that’s a relief.

However audiologist did annoy me by saying something along the lines of “his hearing is not why he is not speaking, you have to look at his mental capacity”! Mental capacity indeed! Upstart audiologist who knows nothing!

But then he did succumb to the Archie charm © and say “what a lovely smile you have”, so he was partially forgiven. Besides he does seem to be quite a good audiologist.