Health Care and Body Piercings

The popularity of getting various body parts pierced has been growing over the past few years, but the concept is as old as humanity itself going back to ancient times. Ever since mankind figured out that it could poke a hole through some physical part of the body, piercings have been seen as a statement of individuality and fashion.

People from many different cultures have pierced their bodies for centuries. If you look in a history book, you will find that Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans decorated their bodies with piercings and tattoos. Many pierced their bodies to show their importance in a group, or because they thought it protected them from evil. Today, we know much more about the risks of body piercing. Body piercing is a serious decision. Before you decide to get a piercing, ask your parents, trusted adults, and friends what they think. More information is available at this site:

In recent modern times the art of body piercing has grown to include more and more unique piercing placements and designs. There are now dozens of piercing styles used on the face, chest, back and other parts of the body. This website shows the various types of body piercings and how to manage and care for them:

According to KidsHealth, a body piercing is exactly that � a piercing or puncture made in your body by a needle. After that, a piece of jewelry is inserted into the puncture. The most popular pierced body parts seem to be the ears, the nostrils, and the belly button. Other areas of the body can be pierced but may only be for adults and not children or teens.

If the person performing the piercing provides a safe, clean, and professional environment, this is what you should expect from getting a body part pierced:

         The area you've chosen to be pierced (except for the tongue) is cleaned with a germicidal soap (a soap that kills disease-causing bacteria and microorganisms).
         Your skin is then punctured with a very sharp, clean needle.
         The piece of jewelry, which has already been sterilized, is attached to the area.
         The person performing the piercing disposes of the needle in a special container so that there is no risk of the needle or blood touching someone else.
         The pierced area is cleaned.
         The person performing the piercing checks and adjusts the jewelry.
         The person performing the piercing gives you instructions on how to make sure your new piercing heals correctly and what to do if there is a problem.

More details on this topic are found at this site:

The piercing disrupts the protective barrier that normally prevents bacteria from entering, according to US News & World Report, and in the worst-case scenario, a staph infection on the skin or inside the nose develops. People who have had major surgery, diabetes or HIV are at a higher risk of infection. Plus, people who have undergone nose surgery should wait at least six months before considering a nose piercing, while those prone to sinus infections should probably not do it at all.

The body treats jewelry in the body like a foreign object, so a little bit of swelling, numbness, redness or tenderness is common. To stave off a potential infection, piercers recommend you clean the piercing site with warm salt water as well as an antimicrobial soap. You should also maintain a hygienic environment, so use paper products to pat dry your piercing as opposed to towels, which harbor bacteria. For the same reason, you should change your bedding regularly and wear clean clothes.

Also, keep yourself healthy. Even though your piercing might seem as harmless as a splinter, it�s a permanent fixture your body is taking in, so you should boost your immune system by eating a good diet and getting plenty of rest � especially during the first few months following your piercing. If an infection does develop, you can most likely use a topical antibiotic to treat it. More details on this subject are located at this site:

Additionally, according to the AAFP, American Association of Family Physicians, the trend of body piercing at sites other than the earlobe has grown in popularity in the past decade. The tongue, lips, nose, eyebrows, nipples, navel, and genitals may be pierced. Complications of body piercing include local and systemic infections, poor cosmesis, and foreign body rejection. Swelling and tooth fracture are common problems after tongue piercing.

Minor infections, allergic contact dermatitis, keloid formation, and traumatic tearing may occur after piercing of the earlobe. �High� ear piercing through the ear cartilage is associated with more serious infections and disfigurement. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are advised for treatment of auricular perichondritis because of their antipseudomonal activity. Many complications from piercing are body-site�specific or related to the piercing technique used.

Navel, nipple, and genital piercings often have prolonged healing times. Family physicians should be prepared to address complications of body piercing and provide accurate information to patients. More information on the hazards of body piercings is located here:

There are also location-specific risks with body piercings, according to HealthLine. A tongue piercing can cause damage to your teeth and cause you to have difficulty speaking. Additionally, if your tongue swells after getting the piercing, swelling can block your airway making it harder to breathe. A genital piercing can cause painful sex and urination. The risk of complications is higher if you have other medical conditions like:

         Allergies, especially if you�ve ever had a reaction that caused breaking out in red bumps, swelling of the throat, or difficulty breathing.
         Skin disorders, such as eczema or psoriasis.
         A weak immune system.

Talk to a doctor before getting a piercing if you suffer from any these conditions. More details on this subject can be seen at this site:

Making a decision about the location of the piercing on the body, according to the California State University Long Beach, should be based on the following questions to ask yourself:

         Why am I doing this?
         What does it mean to me?
         How will I feel if people see my piercing?
         How long am I willing to wait for it to heal? Healing times vary depending on the body location.
         How much am I willing to spend on a quality piercing? Remember that good piercings are not cheap and cheap piercings are not good!

So if you still want to get a piercing, you have to make some important choices. First, choose your piercer carefully by getting recommendations from friends and other people you trust. Look at the piercers portfolios and watch them work. Meet with the piercer before you decide to find out if you like their work, their personality, price and professionalism. Find out if the piercer has been properly trained and uses hygienic procedures. A piercer should NEVER use a gun for piercing!

Here are some questions to ask the piercer before making the decision:
         Does the piercer wear gloves?
         Does the piercer use sterile, non-disposable equipment?
         Does the piercer remove needles from the packaging in front of the client?
         Does the piercer sterilize the station between clients?
         Are they recognized by the Association for Professional Piercers (APP)?
         Do they have a permit from the local Health Department to operate?

The APP is the industry standard for piercers. They set the standards for piercing studios and abide by all cleanliness guidelines and federal regulations. If the salon has an APP license, then you can have a greater level of confidence about hygienic practices.. However, it is important to note that the APP license expires. You should also look to see if the studio has a permit from the public health department. A significant amount of additional information about body piercing that you should strongly consider is available at this website:

Body piercings, although considered by many to be fashionable or personal taste, can have associated risks beyond the nature of the piercing itself, and your health care could be put at risk if there are complications. Before you take the plunge to poke a hole in anything that really doesn�t need it, familiarize yourself with the pros and cons of body piercing. Talk with your doctor if you have any particular physical or medical issues that may be compromised if you get this procedure done anywhere on your body. It�s always safe to be prepared and knowledgeable.

Until next time.

California Short Term Health Insurance Reminder

Just a quick reminder that 4/1 will be the last day to purchase renewable 6-month short term health insurance.  HCC e-blast says plans can be purchased until 12:00 PM EST 4/1/17.  

4/1 plans go dark temporarily pending CA state approvals for new products.  The new short term products are limited to 3 months maximum and are NOT RENEWABLE.  

If you are thinking of picking up a short term health plan for interim coverage, you will want to act now to secure coverage before the rules change.  

Short Term Health Insurance California


The High Costs of Diabetes Kills: RIP, Shane Patrick Boyle

Shane Patrick Boyle has been on my mind and in my heart since last Thursday. 
I've reached out to Shane's cousin on Facebook, but haven't heard from her yet - she's got a lot on her plate. 
Still, I wanted to post the story so that we could help Shane's family - and to prevent this from happening to another person. 
Nobody should die in the United States, or in any other country because they lack the funds to pay for insulin, or don't have access to insulin.
#DiabetesAccessMatters #insulin4all
This is Shane Patrick Boyle.
RIP: Shane Patrick Boyle
This is the link to Shane�s Obituary.
Cause of death: He couldn't afford his insulin.
From all accounts, Shane Patrick Boyle was a gifted writer and graphic artist, founder of ZineFest, Houstona good son and brother, a kind and gentle man with tremendous talent and a giving heart - and his artwork reflected his kind and gentle spirit.

Update: 3/30/17 - This afternoon, Shane's cousin Hannah sent me 
the above illustration and a snapshot
 of his facebook profile below.
She felt both were true representations of Shane's spirit and talent.

The family feels that Shane, who always fought for the underdog,
 would be honored to leave a legacy of motivating others to fight for 
change ~ 

This is the link to Shane�s Go-Fund-Me for insulin, which has now become his G0-Fund-Me account for funeral expenses - for Shane and his mother. 

Shane passed on March 18th, and according to his Go-Fund-Me Page, "Shane died because he was trying to stretch out his life saving insulin to make it last longer."
Shane moved back home to help take care of his sick mom, Judith (she died on March 11th,) and his healthcare was put on the line. 
Because he moved, Shane lost his Rx benefits, was between doctors and needed insulin for his type 1 diabetes. Shane was waiting for his ACA status to be approved and was stretching out his insulin until he had enough money to pay for his insulin, and see a doctor to prescribe prescriptions. 

I didn't know Shane in real life or online, but I do know that In 2017, no one should die because they can't afford insulin or diabetes supplies- Not a single person.  

In 2017, nobody in the United States should have to set up a GoFundMe account for insulin, but to date, 9,242 people have. 
UPDATE: As of 4/10/17, Go-Fund-Me has 6017 campaigns for the search term,"diabetes," and 6017 campaigns for the search term, "insulin."  

My heart breaks for Shane and his family and I am so fucking angry!

Most of us are are so lucky to be in the know, to have a computer or smart phone at our fingertips, to have others who understand, can relate, and can help us when we are need of diabetes supplies. 

I don't know if Shane was aware (-and even if he was, he might not have had the funds to do so,) that he could purchase Regular, NPH, and 70/30 at Walmart and sans RX and for $25 per bottle.
Yes, antiquated insulins and far from efficient, but they most likely would have kept him alive.  
Sidebar: Starting in May, CVS will offer  Novolin R and Novolin N and Novolin 70/30 for $25, per 10ml bottle and without a prescription. 

I don�t know if Shane knew of Insulin Companies assistance programs (Lilly, NovoNordisk, Sanofi), and other diabetes related assistance programs.
But those lifesaving programs require paperwork and time to be vetted.

Unfortunately, Shane ran out of time.  

Shane's insulin was off patent, still cost a fortune without insurance - and in many cases with insurance.
Insulin prices have increased exponentially and across the board, every quarter since 2002.

Insurance Companies and the middlemen increase the price of insulins and other drugs  because they see dollar signs and people with diabetes pay the price, financially and in some cases, with their lives. 

Around the world people with diabetes are dying because they don't have access to life saving insulin.

In the United States of America, people with diabetes are dying because while they have access to insulin at every drugstore, they can't afford the cost of the the insulin they require to stay alive.
Click HERE for a breakdown of diabetes costs around the globe.
It's beyond wrong - it�s fucked up - and it must stop.

I don�t know if Shane was aware that the Diabetes Online Community existed or that there were various facebook groups like the non-profit, Type 1 Diabetics Pay It Forward, where people with diabetes give/trade with those in need, or organizations like Insulin4All - that could have helped him. 
I take it Shane didn't know that the HelpAround app for people with diabetes existed, 
but I wish with all my heart that he did
I know that if the DOC knew of Shane's struggle, we would have done our best to help Shane because we�ve all been where Shane stood. 
All  of us have received and given help to other people with diabetes in need.

When I learned of Shane's fate, I cried myself to sleep - I also sent some of my contacts at insulin companies, insurance companies, and la makers links to Shane�s go-fund-me page - and his obituary. 
And I suggest you do the same. 

Join The American Diabetes Association and sign the petition to make insulin affordable.
Advocate and call your lawmakers - your voice matters, so make use it and make noise!
 Help Shane�s family pay for his funeral (any funds leftover will go towards a diabetes charity for those who struggled like Shane
Attend the national/your local March For Health on April 1
I�ll be marching in NYC and I'm one of the speakers and I will be sharing Shane's story. 
All of us need to fight like hell and put a stop to this madness!

In a few weeks I'll be attending an Insulin Access Workshop held by Lilly Diabetes.  
A group of Diabetes Advocates will be sitting across the table from Pharma - and you can be damn sure that I/we will telling Shane's story to those at the table!

Health Care and Pregnancy Massage

A growing trend in pre-natal care is pregnancy massage. Massage therapy during pregnancy is a wonderful complementary choice for prenatal care, according to Massage Envy. It is a healthy way to reduce stress and promote overall wellness. Massage relieves many of the normal discomforts experienced during pregnancy, such as backaches, stiff neck, leg cramps, headaches and edema (or swelling).

In addition, massage for pregnant women reduces stress on weight-bearing joints, encourages blood and lymph circulation, helps to relax nervous tension -- which aids in better sleep -- and can help relieve depression or anxiety caused by hormonal changes. More information is available at this site: .

If you�re visiting or living in the UK, here�s a website that can direct you to a local massage therapist for this type of care: .

According to Massage Envy, massage therapy during pregnancy is a wonderful complementary choice for prenatal care. It is a healthy way to reduce stress and promote overall wellness. Massage relieves many of the normal discomforts experienced during pregnancy, such as backaches, stiff neck, leg cramps, headaches and edema (or swelling). In addition, it can help relieve depression or anxiety caused by hormonal changes.

While a massage can't promise that your newborn will sleep through the night, it can provide you with a better night's sleep both during pregnancy and afterwards. Regular massage therapy not only helps diminish anxiety and discomfort but boosts relaxation as well. This ultimately can lead to improved sleep patterns. In addition, the serotonin, endorphins and dopamine released by your body in response to massage provide an extra helping of those natural chemicals. More details on this subject are located at this site:

According to the American Pregnancy Association,  massage therapy addresses the inflamed nerves by helping to release the tension on nearby muscles. Many women have experienced a significant reduction in sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy through massage. Although most massage training institutions teach massage therapy for women who are pregnant, it is best to find a massage therapist who is certified in prenatal massage. The APA works with some massage therapists who are trained to work with pregnant women, but it is still important to ask about qualifications.

As with any therapeutic approach to pregnancy wellness, women should discuss massage with their prenatal care provider. The best way to address the risks of prenatal massage is to be informed and to work together with knowledgeable professionals, as noted by the APA.Many professionals consider the best position for a pregnant woman during massage is side-lying.

Tables that provide a hole in which the uterus can fit may not be reliable and can still apply pressure to the abdomen, or allow the abdomen to dangle, causing uncomfortable stretching of the uterine ligaments. Consult your massage therapist before your first appointment to verify what position they place their clients in during the massage. Additional info on pregnancy massage is available at this website:

During pregnancy, there are several physiological and endocrinological changes that occur in preparation for creating the environment for the developing baby, according to chiropractors who specialize in this type of therapy. The following changes could result in a misaligned spine or joint:

         Protruding abdomen and increased back curve
         Increased weight
         Pelvic changes
         Postural adaptations, including ligament relaxation due to the increased production of relaxin(a hormone produced during pregnancy which causes the pregnant woman's body to increase its elasticity preparatory for birth)

Establishing pelvic balance and alignment is another reason to obtain chiropractic care during pregnancy. When the pelvis is misaligned it may reduce the amount of room available for the developing baby. This restriction is called intrauterine constraint. A misaligned pelvis may also make it difficult for the baby to get into the best possible position for delivery. The nervous system is the master communication system to all the body systems including the reproductive system. Keeping the spine aligned helps the entire body work more effectively. More information is located at this site:

A trained prenatal massage therapist knows where a pregnant woman's sore spots are likely to be and may be able to provide some relief. (She'll also know which areas and techniques to avoid.) Still, it's important to communicate with her and tell her where you need attention. Let her know right away if anything during the massage � including your positioning � is causing you any discomfort.  More material on pregnancy massage can be found at this site:

According to this site by What to Expect,,  massage is a generally benign treatment. Still, some massage therapists are leery about giving therapeutic massages during the critical first trimester. In addition, there are pregnancy complications that can make massage somewhat risky. Check with your practitioner before receiving a prenatal massage if you have diabetes, have morning sickness or are vomiting regularly, have been diagnosed with preeclampsia or high blood pressure, have a fever or a contagious virus, or have abdominal pain or bleeding.

If you are in the second half of your pregnancy, don't lie on your back during your massage; the weight of your baby and uterus can reduce circulation to your placenta and create more problems than any massage can cure. The good news is that prenatal massage has become so popular that many therapists and spas provide specialized services just for moms-to-be (always tell your therapist you're pregnant). Plus, there are prenatal massage tables and pillows that can make the experience safer and more comfortable.

Although there aren�t any unusual physical demands for working with pregnant women, working with women during the labor process can be very physically demanding, according to the American Massage Therapy Association. This website is primarily geared toward information for the practitioner who may be considering or is already offering pre-natal massage therapy to pregnant women:

If you are pregnant and thinking about getting massage to help with some of the physical and emotional demands you have during your pregnancy, this therapy may be for you. Always consult your doctor or medical professional before proceeding with massage therapy, and always let your therapist know about your situation in every aspect of your health. In cases where the risk may be greater, it is always best to err on the side of caution. Seek medical attention immediately if any problems occur. Safety for you and your baby is always the best course of action.

Until next time. 

Sometimes My Body Screams Like A Wild Howler Monkey For Carbs

I listened to my body, and at that moment my body was screaming like a wild Howler monkey for carbs!

The other night I wanted to make a low carb Italian chicken dinner (consisting of grilled chicken, red sauce an mozzarella, sitting on top a big, fat, delicious salad. 
I wasn't necessarily trying to eat low carb, I was just craving chicken, cheesy, red sauce and big salad goodness! 

But I didn�t give into my cravings because my body had other ideas. 
My blood sugar had been running on the lower side of normal for most of the day.
Not super low, but low enough to require  lower temporary basal rate, blood sugars in the 90s and grazing throughout the day. And when it came time to make my dinner, my blood sugar was 74. 
Clearly this chick needed some carbs as substanence  - and the thought of dealing with more lows after dinner wasn�t appealing.
Grilled Swiss cheese on a big slice of Jewish rye and with a side of broccoli it was - and I was OK with that. 

Sidebar: Who the hell isn't Ok with grilled cheese? 
Grilled cheese was a quick and delicious solution. I was hungry and bordering on hangry, and the grilled Italian chicken breast salad would have to wait for a more solid blood sugar day.

Diabetes requires us to go with the flow, be diligent and continually make split second decisions. 
Some are easy, some not - but we do it, because we have to.
Yes indeed, I I enjoyed my grilled cheese sammi and broccoli.
I didn�t spike, and my blood sugar was 160 before bed. 
I corrected even though my gut and the days blood sugars were telling me not to, and I ended up sucking down a juice box at 4am. 
The next few days were juice box free and I finally made me delicious low carb grilled Italian chicken salad. 

Yep, going with the flow... embracing my inner howler monkey calling for carbs... not to mention the juice box on my nightstand~  

Mo Brooks Introduces One Line Bill to Repeal Obamacare

Mo Brooks (R-AL) has entered a one sentence bill for repeal of the ACA (ObamaCare). Seen as more of a symbolic gesture (the bill did not go to vote in the House), he gets right to the point in a succinct fashion...

�Effective as of Dec. 31, 2017, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted.�

Full article from The Libertarian Republic


Stefan Molyneux - How To Save Health Care: A Memo to Donald Trump

I know it's a bit long, but Stefan hits on so many truths about insurance, health insurance and the comparative between Single Payer (he's Canadian, by the way) and free market reform.

Much to digest but important and provocative points in this podcast.  Well worth a watch in my opinion.


None and Done?! House GOP Withdraws AHCA (TrumpCare) Bill

On Thursday, Republican House Leaders delayed a floor vote on the AHCA (American Health Care Act) also referred to as TrumpCare.

President Trump instructed House GOP to vote Friday (today) and if the bill did not pass, he would be done with reforming health care at this time and move on to tax and budget.

This afternoon, House GOP leaders were unable to secure sufficient votes for the bill and chose to withdraw it prior to vote.  

Republican leaders pulled the ObamaCare replacement bill Friday as they failed to pick up enough votes to get the bill passed.

 Appearances indicate that President Trump and the House GOP will let ObamaCare either sink or swim on its own for the foreseeable future.  They are of the belief that it will implode on its own.  

Fox News Live Blog


GOP Postpones Health Care Vote (AHCA/TrumpCare)

Republic Leadership has postponed the House vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA).  House Floor vote was scheduled for today.  

Republican leaders canceled a vote in the House on the plan to replace ObamaCare Thursday, after leadership's attempts to lobby enough votes apparently failed -- a major setback for House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Trump.

Looks like this may take longer than expected, if it can pass at all.  Stay tuned for updates and news on the AHCA/TrumpCare

Fox News Full Article


Short Term Health 3-Month Rule Goes Into Effect in California

Received a notification from my short term health carrier, Tokio Marine HCC, that the new CMS/HHS rule allowing only 3 months short term coverage will go into effect April 1st.

Due to this change (was hoping HHS would void it), carriers re-filed their short term plans with the State of California. Currently, those re-filed short term plans are pending regulatory approval.  As such, it is likely that approvals will not be granted prior to April 1 and the product will be off of the market until such approval is received.  

If you want to get a short term health plan up to 6 months, you will need to purchase it prior to April 1st with effective start date of 3/31 or earlier.  

You can shop and enroll online on this link


TODAY, Call Your Rep In Congress & Tell Them To Vote "NO" Re: The AHCA, #RyanCare/#Trumpcare

Thank you AARP for the above image! 
I have to speak up, because today our future healthcare is at stake and tomorrow congress votes. Today is the day to call your rep in Congress and tell them to vote NO re: repealing and replacing ACA with The American Health Care Act - the republican replacement plan for ACA.
FTR: If you don't like ACA/Obamacare, I get it - but the Republican Replacement Plan is horrible! AHCA brings back high risk pools - devastating for those of us with pre-existing conditions; adds an age tax to anyone over the age of 52, includes drastic cuts to medicaid, which so many adults and children with diabetes/ other illnesses require to stay healthy, and includes a Health Care Savings Account option that is absolutely worthless to anyone with a pre-existing condition. Diabetes wise, those accounts be would be depleted ASAP to pay for insulin; doctor's appointments, test-strips, pump supplies, RX's, and would cover only the bare minimum. 
AHCA also tax credits that only benefit the very wealthy, who most likely will not even be on an AHCA plan. Replacing ACA with a plan that increases costs and guarantees 52 million people will be without healthcare by 2026, (which isn't that far away,) IS NOT what's best for the American people.   

If lawmakers want to replace ACA/ObamaCare, then replace it with something better for the American people, NOT WORSE. 
Tomorrow Congress votes on AHCA and today I�m speaking up - and I hope you do too! 

Today is the day to make your voice heard - today is the day to call your Rep in Congress and tell them to vote NO re: (AHCA) The American Health Care Act, the Republican Replacement Plan for ACA. 

Whether you�re a fan of ACA/Obamacare or not, the Republican Replacement plan - AHCA is a horrific substitute that will cause 52 million Americans to be uninsured by 2026. 
The AHCA DOES NOT lower costs, it will increase them - whether you are insured by the plan or not.
The AHCA DOES NOT improve insurance, it negatively impacts everyone's health insurance across the board. 
The AHCA DOES NOT improve healthcare - it is detrimental to healthcare.
AHCA tax credits disproportionately benefit the wealthy - those who most likely would not be on The AHCA; the proposed medicaid cuts put 30 million children (including children with diabetes and children on state CHIP programs,) at risk, not to mention increased costs to the elderly, the economy, and adults with diabetes on medicaid and off, will be astronomical. 
No matter what side of the fence you sit, the American people deserve better than the The American Health Care Act.
Click HERE and send your message to Congress re: the Republicans AHCA bill  via DPAC. 
The Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition, (DPAC,) is a wonderful resource for the DOC and beyond, with excellent tips re: talking with those that are on the fence in congress - GIVE A READ
Call and tweet your Reps in Congress today, (and thanks to DPAC for making it easy,) because tomorrow Congress votes on AHCA.

FTR: When I called my congressman this morning, I told his aide that if my rep voted for AHCA, AKA., #ryancare/#trumpcare, (name association to the plan is important - use it,) 
I wouldn�t be voting for him on November 18th, 2018 - Election Day. 

Today, use your voice and use it loudly, because tomorrow Congress votes on our health!

New Medicare cards are coming starting in April

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will start mailing redesigned Medicare cards to beneficiaries in Washington state aft...