Review Category : Health

WWE Superstar John Cena Grants Wish to Sick 10-Year-Old Boy

Paul Morigi/WireImage(SAN ANTONIO, Texas) — Alfredo Esquivel is only 10 but has been fighting all his life.

Alfredo was born with a congenital heart defect. Because he has just one ventricle in his heart, instead of two, the San Antonio, Texas, fourth-grader often struggles for air, must frequently use oxygen and tires easily.

“And he’s having arrhythmias that need to be controlled with medicine. And sometimes his heart rate goes to 200,” his nurse, Paty delPalacio, said.

Alfredo sometimes uses a wheelchair, but it has never stopped him from pursuing his passion: wrestling.

The boy’s wrestling idol is WWE superstar John Cena.

“I like John Cena because I think he’s a good wrestler and I like how he fights and everything. And I like that if he’s champion, he doesn’t go bragging about it,” Alfredo said.

Alfredo and his brother enjoy watching wrestling together and Alfredo himself has mastered many of Cena’s moves.

Alfredo was able to study those moves up close last month when Macy’s and the Make-A-Wish Foundation fulfilled his dream to meet Cena.

This is the seventh year Macy’s and Make-A-Wish have teamed up for the Believe Campaign to spread holiday cheer to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

The Nov. 23 trip to St. Louis was a surprise treat for Alfredo and his entire family. Alfredo was excited before his meeting with Cena, and when his idol greeted him and asked how he was doing, he was star-struck.

“Oh, my God,” he said.

The fun didn’t end with the meeting. Cena presented his fan with a WWE Championship Title belt, T-shirts and autographs and took him on a tour of the backstage area.

There were even ringside seats for Alfredo and his family, including his brother Mark, 11, to watch the wrestling action up close.

Cena may be Alfredo’s idol, but the boy is an inspiration to Cena.

“It is such a gratifying feeling, one, to have somebody say that their one wish is to hang out with you,” Cena said. “And then on top of that, to be able to see the end product, see the joy in the kid’s, and the family’s faces.”

The meeting made Alfredo’s ultimate dream a reality.

“If I’m having trouble in the future, I can always look back and say, ‘Today is the day I met John Cena,” he said. “I shouldn’t be feeling bad because I should just think about the time when I met him. Don’t be stressed out. And just relax.'”

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WWE Superstar John Cena Grants Wish to Sick 10-Year-Old Boy

Paul Morigi/WireImage(SAN ANTONIO, Texas) — Alfredo Esquivel is only 10 but has been fighting all his life.

Alfredo was born with a congenital heart defect. Because he has just one ventricle in his heart, instead of two, the San Antonio, Texas, fourth-grader often struggles for air, must frequently use oxygen and tires easily.

“And he’s having arrhythmias that need to be controlled with medicine. And sometimes his heart rate goes to 200,” his nurse, Paty delPalacio, said.

Alfredo sometimes uses a wheelchair, but it has never stopped him from pursuing his passion: wrestling.

The boy’s wrestling idol is WWE superstar John Cena.

“I like John Cena because I think he’s a good wrestler and I like how he fights and everything. And I like that if he’s champion, he doesn’t go bragging about it,” Alfredo said.

Alfredo and his brother enjoy watching wrestling together and Alfredo himself has mastered many of Cena’s moves.

Alfredo was able to study those moves up close last month when Macy’s and the Make-A-Wish Foundation fulfilled his dream to meet Cena.

This is the seventh year Macy’s and Make-A-Wish have teamed up for the Believe Campaign to spread holiday cheer to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

The Nov. 23 trip to St. Louis was a surprise treat for Alfredo and his entire family. Alfredo was excited before his meeting with Cena, and when his idol greeted him and asked how he was doing, he was star-struck.

“Oh, my God,” he said.

The fun didn’t end with the meeting. Cena presented his fan with a WWE Championship Title belt, T-shirts and autographs and took him on a tour of the backstage area.

There were even ringside seats for Alfredo and his family, including his brother Mark, 11, to watch the wrestling action up close.

Cena may be Alfredo’s idol, but the boy is an inspiration to Cena.

“It is such a gratifying feeling, one, to have somebody say that their one wish is to hang out with you,” Cena said. “And then on top of that, to be able to see the end product, see the joy in the kid’s, and the family’s faces.”

The meeting made Alfredo’s ultimate dream a reality.

“If I’m having trouble in the future, I can always look back and say, ‘Today is the day I met John Cena,” he said. “I shouldn’t be feeling bad because I should just think about the time when I met him. Don’t be stressed out. And just relax.'”

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Why the Flu Vaccine Can’t Protect Against Every Flu Strain

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A mutated strain of influenza is giving public health officials a headache as they warn this year’s flu vaccine will be less effective against the virulent strain.

In September, health officials detected the changes in the most prevalent flu strain so far in the U.S., the virulent H3N2, after the vaccine for this year already went into production.

But why can’t health officials and vaccine producers just make a new batch of vaccine to address the mutation?

Experts say it comes down to how the vaccines are produced and how fast the influenza virus can mutate.

Officials at the World Health Organization and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration look at flu strains in the southern hemisphere every year for clues to what will hit the U.S. come fall and winter in the northern hemisphere.

Experts pick three to four types of flu strains to produce a vaccine against by February so that production can start as early as March, explained Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

“Making flu vaccine is not something that can be done overnight,” said Schaffner. “We get vaccinated in September, October and November, but they have to manufacture and ship [the flu vaccine] in August.”

Flu vaccines are made by injecting fertilized chicken eggs with the flu virus. There are two main types of vaccine that can be administered — one that protects against three strains of the flu virus and one that protects against four strains. However if the virus mutates slightly — a process called “antigenic drift” — it means that protection against one or a few of these strains is lessened.

“Given the fact that the flu virus has the capacity to mutate,” Schaffner said, “it has plenty of time to change its coat of many colors [after] we decide what’s going to be in the vaccine.”

If the receptors on certain flu strains mutate slightly, “the protective antibodies we make don’t fit on it quite as well,” Schaffner said.

Compounding the problem this year is that the prevalent strain, H3N2, has been associated with higher mortality levels during past flu seasons. But health official note that it’s still key for eligible people to get vaccinated because the flu shot can still provide important protection against other strains or lessen symptoms during infection.

“We continue to recommend flu vaccine as the single best way to protect yourself against the flu,” Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a news conference Thursday. “The vaccine will protect against strains covered in the vaccine, and it may have some effectiveness in the drifted strains.”

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The Names of the Best- and Worst-Behaved Boys and Girls

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A new survey suggests that the names Joseph and Ella may be at the top of Santa’s naughty list.

SchoolStickers.com, a digital reward system, asked more than 58,000 students to report stickers they received for good behavior in school. After receiving about one million entries, the company examined the data and released a light-hearted “naughty list” of kids most likely to misbehave. Joseph tops the list for boys, while Ella ranks number one for girls.

Jacob and Amy were the names of the best-behaved boys and girls, according to School Stickers.

Nail Hodges, the managing director of SchoolStickers.com, says in a press release that “the annual ‘Santa’s Naughty and Nice list’ is just a bit of fun, and obviously there are many Ella’s and Joseph’s that are perfect little angels, just as I’m sure there are many Amy’s and Jacob’s that can be a bit of a handful.”

Top 10 Worst-Behaved Girl Names:

1. Ella
2. Bethany
3. Eleanor
4. Olivia
5. Laura
6. Holly
7. Courtney
8. Amber
9. Caitlin
10. Jade

Top 10 Worst-Behaved Boy Names
:

1. Joseph
2. Cameron
3. William
4. Jake
5. Joshua
6. Jamie
7. Lewis
8. Benjamin
9. Ethan
10. Luke

Top 10 Best-Behaved Girl Names
:

1. Amy
2. Georgia
3. Emma
4. Charlotte
5. Grace
6. Sophie
7. Abigail
8. Hannah
9. Emily
10. Alice

Top 10 Best-Behaved Boy Names
:

1. Jacob
2. Daniel
3. Thomas
4. James
5. Adam
6. Harry
7. Samuel
8. Jack
9. Oliver
10. Ryan

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Do You Suffer from Christmas Tree Syndrome?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Christmas apparently isn’t the most wonderful time of the year for people who have allergic reactions to not only live Christmas trees, but also fake ones.

AFC Doctors Express, an urgent care medical provider, reports it treats a lot of patients this time of year for “Christmas tree syndrome.” The symptoms include runny noses, sneezing and itchy eyes, which are often mistaken for signs of the common cold.

The company says research conducted by the State University of New York found that 70 percent of the molds found in live Christmas trees can cause fatigue and sinus congestion and even trigger severe asthma attacks.

The sap of Christmas trees contains terpene and other substances that can irritate skin and mucous membranes.

ConsumerAffairs.com says some of the materials used to make artificial trees can cause sinus irritation. It also notes that artificial trees can collect dust and dirt if they are not wrapped securely and kept in a cool, dry place.

ConsumerAffairs.com advises live Christmas tree traditionalists to wear gloves and long sleeves when bringing the tree indoors to avoid sap touching their skin. It also suggests spraying the tree with water to remove some of the mold and pollen before bringing it into the house. And put the tree in a bucket of water and let it dry outside for a few days. That will prevent mold from growing.

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Reading Fewer Emails Means Less Stress

iStock/Thinkstock(VANCOUVER, British Columbia) — Want to reduce stress at work? Try checking your email inbox less often.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia conducted a study of 124 adults from various careers and instructed half the group to limit checking email to three times daily for one week. The other participants were told to check their email as often as they normally checked it prior to the study.

After the instructions were reversed for the participants during a subsequent week, the researchers conducted a brief survey.

“Our findings showed that people felt less stressed when they checked their email less often,” says Kostadin Kushlev, the study’s lead author and a PhD candidate at UBC’s Dept. of Psychology.

Kushlev says most participants “found it quite difficult” to change their email behavior and only check it a few times a day.

“This is what makes our obvious-in-hindsight findings so striking: People find it difficult to resist the temptation of checking email, and yet resisting this temptation reduces their stress,” Kushlev notes.

He suggests that companies try to help reduce worker stress by encouraging staffers to check their email in chunks rather than constantly responding to messages.

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Congress Doesn’t Want Medicare to Pay for Your Erectile Dysfunction

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — When the House voted to approve the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act this week, lawmakers including Speaker John Boehner rejoiced that the move would be “a powerful step to help individuals with disabilities across the country” by enabling them to save for their futures through the creation of tax-free savings accounts.

But for some men suffering from erectile dysfunction, the ABLE Act may actually make their life experience worse.

Deep in the legislation, lawmakers inserted a provision to bring some consistency to how taxpayers provide relief to men suffering from erectile dysfunction. This provision “would prohibit Medicare coverage of vacuum erection systems,” universally known as penis pumps, “until such time that Medicare covers erectile dysfunction drugs under Medicare Part D.”

When the Medicare Part D program was created in 2003, it established a statutory prohibition on erectile dysfunction drugs such as Viagra and Cialis. But there was no such prohibition for penis pumps.

The inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services issued a report in Dec. 30, 2013 that found that Medicare was paying more than double the market price for the pumps, which typically are available to consumers for about $150.

“Medicare payment amounts for VES [vacuum erection systems] remain grossly excessive compared with the amounts that non-Medicare payers pay,” the report stated. “Medicare currently pays suppliers more than twice as much for VES as the Department of Veterans Affairs and consumers over the Internet pay for these types of devices.”

From 2006 to 2011, Medicare dished out about $172 million for 474,000 penis pumps. The National Institutes of Health estimates that up to 30 million Americans suffer from erectile dysfunction.

So why add the provision in the ABLE Act? The new penis pump prohibition provision partially offsets the cost of tax-free savings accounts created for disabled Americans in the underlying legislation.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the pump provision will cut spending by nearly $45 million annually, or $444 million over the next decade. The bill does not impact the Department of Veterans Affairs’ ability to provide penis pumps to military veterans.

The House passed the bill Wednesday evening with overwhelming bipartisan vote, 404-17. The bill is expected to come up next week in the Senate, where there is also wide bipartisan support for the measure.

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Cyber Santa Claus Connects With Patients at Pennsylvania Children’s Hospital

iStock/Thinkstock(HARRISBURG, Pa.) — Santa Claus is busy this time of year, but dozens of patients at the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital got a chance this week to share their Christmas wishes with Santa through web-enabled cameras and a live video monitor.

The hospital’s Child Life Program connected with the North Pole Tuesday through the web so that children who would otherwise be unable to visit Santa in person still get a chance to interact with Santa. And for the many patients who weren’t able to leave their bed, hospital workers carried around iPads so they, too, could speak with Santa, according to ABC affiliate WHTM in Harrisburg.

“Some of the boys and girls have to be at the hospital to be checked out and so forth, so this is a really great way for Santa to be in touch,” Santa told WHTM. “This is a great place to get them to feel better, so it’s really important that we can make a memory and make this a special Christmas.”

Aiden, one of nearly 60 patients who met with cyber Santa, wished for a train. In the meantime he got an early gift — a superhero blanket, as well as a cyber high-five from Santa.

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The Easy Way to Make Coffee Taste Less Bitter

iStock/Thinkstock(MELBOURNE, Australia) — Want your coffee to taste better? Then ditch the white mug.

Psychology researcher George Van Doorn of Monash University in Australia says that people tend to think their coffee tastes more bitter when sipped from a white cup. He says that the color brown may have something to do with that perception and that a white container makes coffee appear browner.

To prove that point, Van Doorn had participants drink the same brand of coffee from white, blue and glass mugs and the general consensus was that the coffee tasted more “intense” in the white container.

In another experiment, even when the cups were the exact shape, it was the coffee served in a white mug that was listed as most bitter and intense.

Van Doorn claims the study might be useful to coffee shops in that avoiding white mugs might help to generate repeat business.

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The Easy Way to Make Coffee Taste Less Bitter

iStock/Thinkstock(MELBOURNE, Australia) — Want your coffee to taste better? Then ditch the white mug.

Psychology researcher George Van Doorn of Monash University in Australia says that people tend to think their coffee tastes more bitter when sipped from a white cup. He says that the color brown may have something to do with that perception and that a white container makes coffee appear browner.

To prove that point, Van Doorn had participants drink the same brand of coffee from white, blue and glass mugs and the general consensus was that the coffee tasted more “intense” in the white container.

In another experiment, even when the cups were the exact shape, it was the coffee served in a white mug that was listed as most bitter and intense.

Van Doorn claims the study might be useful to coffee shops in that avoiding white mugs might help to generate repeat business.

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