Review Category : Health

National Unfriend Day: Why It’s OK for Facebook Users to Slim Down Your Friends

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — What started as a silly holiday by Jimmy Kimmel a few years ago has turned into an annual occurrence every Nov. 17, when participating Facebook users take a good hard look at their friends list and choose people to unfriend.

If the idea of getting rid of that guy you went to camp with 14 years ago and never talk to or your over sharing aunt gives you pause, know that you have a social media etiquette expert’s blessing.

“Just because you unfriend someone doesn’t mean that it is a negative move,” Diane Gottsman, an etiquette expert author and founder of The Protocol School of Texas, told ABC News. “Sometimes we just need to cull our list or redirect to them to another site or venue.”

With more than 1.3 billion users on Facebook, many users have had the experience of receiving a friend request from an old elementary school classmate or a college ex-boyfriend, making friends lists even more bloated.

“Relationships change,” Gottsman said. “Not that you’re being ugly but there just sometimes is not a reason to continue that relationship or let them have a window into the world.”

When it comes to nixing relatives from your friends list, Gottsman said it’s best to “use your judgement.”

“You have to weigh the annoyance. Is it going to be worse when you unfriend? Will it be more drama than its worth?

If hiding their posts won’t suffice and they’re still annoying you — it’s OK to unfriend them, she said.

When it’s all done, you’ll be left with a slimmed down friends list full of people with whom you actually care to stay connected.

“It’s like a bite,” Gottsman said. “A little cat bite it will hurt for a second but they will get over it.”

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Court Rules Canadian Girl Cannot Be Forced to Have Chemotherapy

VILevi/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ONTARIO, Canada) — A Canadian court has ruled that the family of a 11-year-old girl with cancer cannot be forced to treat her with chemotherapy.

The girl is a member of the Six Nations tribe of American Indians and has been suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia. In September, the girl’s mother stopped treatment after just 10 days and took the girl to a holistic healing center in Florida.

McMaster Children’s Hospital, which was treating the girl in Ontario, Canada, asked Brant Family Children’s Services to intervene and bring the girl back from Florida for treatment.

When BFCS refused, the hospital took the organization to court in an effort to force it to bring the girl back to Canada.

McMaster Children’s Hospital President Dr. Peter Fitzgerald said with chemotherapy the girl had a 90 percent to 95 percent chance for survival.

Ontario Court Justice Gethin Edward ruled Friday that the girl could not be forced by BFCS to be treated with chemotherapy, the Toronto Star reported.

Edward ruled Friday that the court could not intervene due to the family’s aboriginal rights under the Canadian constitution.

Andrew Koster, the family’s attorney, said it was the family’s right to choose their daughter’s treatment.

“This wasn’t a one-time blood transfusion such as in a Jehovah Witness situation,” Koster said. “This was going to be two years of chemo. Does that mean we take this child away for two years and suppose she didn’t make it?”

Chiefs of tribal reserves neighboring the girl’s applauded the decision.

“It reaffirms our right to be Indian and to practice our medicines in the traditional way,” said Chief Bryan Laforme of the Mississaugas of New Credit, which is a neighboring reserve.

After the ruling, Hamilton Health Sciences, the medical group that oversees McMaster Children’s hospital, said in a statement they remained “committed to support this child’s treatment with compassion and respect.”

“Our motivation has always been and remains that this child receives life-saving medical treatment in a timely manner,” read a portion of the statement.

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Bret Michaels Returns to Performing After ‘2-Week Painful Ordeal’

Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2013 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. (NEW YORK) — Bret Michaels has resumed his tour.

The singer had been sidelined after undergoing kidney surgery and being hospitalized six times in two weeks.

“Jacksonville here I come! I’m going to try and gives y’all I got!” he wrote Thursday on his website. “Thanks to everyone for all your well wishes and prayers and to all the great medical staff that helped me through a two week painful ordeal. Got more in my right kidney, but let’s deal with that later. Again thanks to all!”

Michaels, 51, had two stents put in his body recently, according to his friend and guitarist, Pete Evick, but hurt himself by performing immediately after the procedure. As a result, he was hospitalized and was forced to miss a charity event where he’d planned to perform. Luckily, he healed quickly, and was able to resume his tour in time to make his concerts in Florida.

“Bret Michaels survived the first show back and although in obvious pain he rocked the party, stating he was happy to be there in Jacksonville!” his team added on his website.

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Why It May Be Dangerous to Bundle Kids Up in Carseats

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Experts say bundling up children with puffy jackets and thick blankets in carseats can be a bad idea because they can leave them loose in an accident.

Phyllis Larimore with Children’s Mercy in Kansas City says babies should be tucked in with a blanket, but not near the head, to avoid obstructing air flow around the face.

Larimore also said down-filled coats can be dangerous if they leave a gap between the harness and the baby.

“What will happen in a crash is that crash force will collapse that, compress it, and the babies will be loose,” Larimore said.”

According to Larimore, better options are an extra layer of clothes, a blanket, or a Thinsulate jacket.

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Elisabeth Hasselbeck Reveals She Had an Abdominal Tumor

ABC(NEW YORK) — Elisabeth Hasselbeck returned to her post on Fox and Friends Friday after a month away. She also revealed the surprising reason for her absence.

“I had a tumor in my abdomen,” Hasselbeck explained. “[The] doctor said, ‘Look, you’ve got to get it out by the end of the month. We don’t like how it looks.’ I was facing something that potentially could have gone either way.”

“I did what they said, had a phenomenal surgeon, and I had a scary week where we didn’t know what the results were, but I’m okay,” she went on. “Everything came back okay. Surgery’s not fun, but it is necessary to find out if you have something really terrible in you or not. And thankfully I had the blessing of it not being cancer.”

Along with thanking Fox, the former View co-host thanked her husband, Tim, for his support and for being her “hospital buddy.”

She added, “I’m not a person who thinks or believes that I take a lot for granted, but I certainly don’t take it for granted now.”

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Are Women More Emotionally Intelligent than Men?

iStock/Thinkstock(SURREY, England) — Its been demonstrated throughout history that women are generally more emotionally intelligent than men. But why?

Scientists from the University of Surrey believe the answer lies in how parents communicate with their children as your emotional intelligence is largely formed when you’re a small child.

Specifically, lead author Dr. Harriet Tenenbaum says that mothers use more emotional words such as “happy,” “sad” and “worried” when they speak with their daughters as compared to their sons. According to Tenenbaum, mothers also converse in more emotional terms than fathers do.

Tenenbaum adds, “This inevitably leads to girls growing up more attuned to their emotions then boys” although it also reinforces gender stereotypes.

Nevertheless, Tenenbaum says emotional intelligence has been shown to be more and more valuable in the workplace “when it comes to positions such as sales, teams and leadership.”

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How Eating Raw Cookie Dough Led to One Mom’s Death, Son Recalls

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — His mother died an agonizing death, possibly because she ate a few bites of raw cookie dough years earlier.

Richard Simpson, of Las Vegas, recounted his mom’s painful battle with E. coli Thursday at an FDA hearing about stricter regulations on food production.

Linda Rivera died last summer, four years after she ate a few spoonfuls of prepackaged cookie dough that was later found to be contaminated with a dangerous strain of E. coli. First, her kidneys stopped functioning and she went into septic shock. Over the years, she became sicker as more organs failed and she was in and out of the hospital for operations.

“There were moments of hope — and of despair,” Simpson, 22, said Thursday. “She fought very hard. We knew she didn’t want to give up.”

Rivera died in July 2013 from medical complications that appeared to stem from the E. coli she was infected with years earlier, her son said.

“Eventually, her body just couldn’t take it,” said Bill Marler, Rivera’s friend and the attorney who handled her claim against Nestle, which manufactured the contaminated cookie dough in 2009.

“She was probably the most severely injured E. coli victim I have ever seen,” he added. “She suffered brain injury. She had quite a large section of her large intestines removed. She suffered so many infections while hospitalized it was incredible. She was on a ventilator for several months in a coma. She was a very sick lady.”

“I remember the first time I met Linda, she was vomiting and retching and she was really sick, but she would apologize — ‘I am so sorry, please sit down, do you need anything to drink?'” Marler said. “That’s just the way she was. She was just the most graceful, caring person you can ever meet.”

Simpson, who recently got married, said he’s fighting for stricter food regulations so another son doesn’t have to testify about his mother’s eventual death after she ate contaminated food.

“She wanted as much peace in this world as possible,” he said of his mother. “I feel like I was put here in this position, for some reason, to help other people.”

The panel was to discuss proposed changes to the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act, including updates that could help prevent the spread of bacteria including E. coli.

Nestle recalled its pre-made Toll House cookie dough in 2009 after dozens of E. coli illnesses were reported.

Rivera’s claim against the company was settled for an undisclosed amount, Marler said. ABC News has reached out to Nestle for comment.

Dr. William Schaffner, a professor at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine, said Rivera’s long battle with E. coli is rare, but pointed out that it’s not the bacteria that ultimately killed her.

“She never really recovered completely from her initial illness, and then developed a series of medical complications,” he said.

Simpson, who recently bought a house with his new wife, said he knows his mom would be proud of him if she were alive today.

“I know she’s looking down and guiding me,” he said. “Emotionally, she’s here with me and I see signs everywhere. Like right now, I just saw a cup on a table that I have at my house that my mom had bought me two and a half years ago. That’s the exact same cup my mom bought me. I see that all the time.”

“I was always a mama’s boy,” he added.

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Why this Doctor Is Bringing Back House Calls

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Dr. Ernest Brown often gets recognized as he walks down Washington, D.C. streets in his blue scrubs with his black doctor’s bag in hand. He’s the family physician who, for eight years, has only made house calls, doesn’t have an office, doesn’t take health insurance and doesn’t take payment until the patient is well.

“For me, medicine is a calling. It’s not just a career choice,” the 46-year-old told ABC News.

Brown was inspired to make house calls in medical school when he watched an older doctor perch on the edge of a patient’s bed, discharge her and promise to go see her in a week. He eventually asked to learn under that doctor, and soon, it was just the two of them driving around the city, treating patients.

After school, he started visiting elderly patients in a low-income neighborhood of Washington, D.C. His colleagues asked him if he was worried about his safety.

“My car did get shot at once, and I did get mugged once,” he said, adding that the experience made him a better doctor. “It’s all part of the story and the history of it.”

But Brown didn’t just want to treat elderly patients at home, he said. And he was finding that Medicare paperwork was taking him two hours a day.

“I wanted to be the old-school family physician [so] that I treated everyone from what we call sunrise to sunset,” he said.

It happened out of the blue, when a friend working at a hotel said he had a famous guest who was sick and needed a doctor. Brown treated the patient, and soon, other hotels started calling him. Then, his reputation spread through word of mouth to families in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Now, Brown says he can afford to treat geriatric patients for free.

He said his patients are like family.

“It’s a connection. A physician back in the day was part of a community,” he said, adding that modern medicine has lost that. “What I see is a divide between patient and physician that’s only getting worse, devoid of the heart and soul.”

Home health physicians are on the rise, said Constance Row, executive director of the American Academy of Home Care Medicine.

There were more than 10,500 home health care workers in the United States in 2012, Row said, citing Medicare data. Brown would not be included in that figure because he no longer takes Medicare.

Brown said he hopes other family doctors will join him, someday. He thinks family medicine is on the decline, and the answer may be to go into work doing house calls.

“We are the white rhinos,” he said. “We need to get back into the community and give ourselves the opportunity.”

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Meet the Men Having Sex with Strangers to Help Them Have Babies

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Once upon a time, when single women and infertile couples wanted a baby, they would pay a sperm bank to help them. Sometimes it costs thousands of dollars for a successful pregnancy.

But now, those services have gone online, and at the click of a mouse, donors make their sperm available by offering to have sex for free. It’s a surprising — and some say unconventional — method of making a baby called “natural insemination.”

Donors connect with women on the Internet who want to become mothers “the natural way,” because the recipients believe having sex maximizes their potential for getting pregnant.

ABC News’ 20/20 talked to one sperm donor who calls himself “Joe” and says he’s fathered more than 30 children.

“I’m not having intercourse with these women when there’s no chance of pregnancy,” he said.

Joe, a married man with three teenage children, asked 20/20 to hide his identity because of the double life he said he leads online as a “natural” sperm donor. He said his wife doesn’t know about his extracurricular activities, but he has written a book about his experiences entitled, Get Pregnant for Free on the Internet with a Private Sperm Donor.

“I have a Clark Kent life. Then, I have the Superman life,” Joe said. “People might want to have millions of dollars in the bank, and then, you know, some of us might want to have dozens of children out there.”

When he is not working as an Internet entrepreneur, Joe travels around the country to impregnate women from every walk of life. Sometimes Joe ships his sperm for artificial insemination, but he often donates by having sex.

After seven years, Joe said he has slept with over 100 women for natural insemination.

“I’m unable to have as many children as I want in my relationship, and that would be unreasonable to ask a woman to give birth to 30 children,” said Joe.

When asked how many children he expected to have over his lifetime, Joe’s answer was surprising.

“The World Health Organization said I can get up to 2,500, but I don’t think that will happen in my lifetime. The other donors I know who have a lot [of children] are up there around the 100 range. I’m standing on the shoulders of giants.”

“I have the satisfaction of knowing that I have another descendant out there,” Joe said. “It’s not the road. It’s how we get there, if we actually get there.”

Kyle Gordy is also a donor. In addition to pursuing his master’s degree in accounting, he offers his sperm for free to women who want a baby.

“I don’t do any drugs. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink. I don’t drink caffeine. I eat only sperm-friendly food: wheat, brown rice…fruit and vegetables,” Gordy told 20/20.

The 23-year-old said he has what it takes to be anyone’s father.

“Right now I’m attending university. Both siblings are engineers. The nuclear engineer is my twin. My grandpa was a scientist,” said Gordy.

On his online advertisement to be a sperm donor, Gordy posted photos of himself as a child and as an adult and information about himself, including his hair color and IQ.

No question is off limits for prospective sperm recipients who contact Gordy, who’s been asked: “‘Is your sperm good? Have you had success in the past? How do I know you’re going to get me pregnant? How do I know you won’t flake?’”

While he doesn’t get paid for donating his sperm, Gordy said his purpose is not about sex, but about creating new life.

“I’m passing on my legacy and giving these people kids,” Gordy said.

In fact, Gordy said his first child was born recently. “I feel like, wow, I did it,” said Gordy.

One of Gordy’s sperm recipients, 44-year-old Serena, asked 20/20 to conceal her identity. She recently drove two hours to be naturally inseminated by Gordy at his home. Serena said she’s never been married and longs for a child.

“Always, since I was a very young child, and sometimes career and life just gets in the way,” the insurance broker told 20/20. “Then oops, I’m 38. Oops, I’m 40.”

Though she’s thought about going the traditional route and getting married, Serena said dating is difficult.

“I don’t care if I have a husband or a man, I just want the child,” said Serena.

Serena was also unable to afford the fees at a sperm clinic. Sperm banks such as California Cryobank have strict standards screening for disease, genetic history and even physical characteristics. A vial of sperm costs about $700.

After turning to the Internet for help, Serena said the words “free sperm” led her to Gordy.

“[I felt] that there’s maybe no other alternative for me. My clock is obviously ticking loud and louder every day,” she said.

Serena will also soon find out if she’s a mother at last. She said she’s prepared for what she will say to her child about his or her father.

“Kyle and I like to think of ourselves as friends too,” Serena said. “My friend is my donor.”

Serena is just one of many other women online eager to become pregnant. Another natural insemination recipient already has a 4-year-old son, but wanted another child. After she split from her boyfriend, she began searching for options.

“I think just always growing up thinking I’d find the right man and always had that fairy tale growing up,” the woman told 20/20. “Hopefully, I find the right man, eventually, but maybe he won’t be the biological father of my children.”

Three tries with artificial insemination where she inserted donor sperm herself failed, so she tried natural insemination.

“I had read a couple of books that talked about fresh semen being a lot more effective than frozen sperm,” the woman said.

She said she found hundreds of men online to choose from, but she chose a man who advertised his “intelligence.” The two met at a local coffee shop.

“I thought he was cute,” the woman said. “But, yet, I had to keep reminding myself, ‘This is a donor, not a date.’”

They had sex only once, but she is still deeply affected by the memory as she waits to find out whether she is pregnant.

“I felt it was sad, at least for me, but it’s the route I’ve chosen,” the woman said. “And I want my son to have a sibling, most of all.”

Watch the full story on ABC News’ 20/20 on Friday, Nov. 14, at 10 p.m. ET.

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TV Viewing Could Reveal Symptoms of Glaucoma

Hemera/Thinkstock(LONDON) — How you watch TV could indicate whether you’re suffering from the debilitating eye disease glaucoma.

That’s according to City University London Professor David Crabb, who says that glaucoma, a disease affecting 65 million people worldwide, can be detected by a map of eye movements during the viewing of a movie.

Crabb and his team studied a group of elderly people with both healthy vision and those diagnosed with glaucoma as they watched TV and film clips.

Through a device that tracked eye movements, researchers were able to verify those with unaffected vision and the others with glaucoma, which causes loss of peripheral vision and in some cases, blindness.

Crabb says that although more testing needs to be done, this way of diagnosing glaucoma could help get people treatment early since once the damage is done to the eyes, it cannot be reversed.

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