Category Archives: barker health blog

Intimidation by Internet

intimidation by internet       1.23.14

The web can be a welcoming community where people try out new ideas, even identities. But for some, the anonymity that's possible on the web engenders deep malice with no repercussions.

Since I read Amanda Hess’ January 6 article, Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet, I’ve thought about it

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Before the Buffer Zone

before the buffer zone      1.22.14

We were in the car, my husband and I, when Nina Totenberg’s voice came on the radio, interviewing the lead plaintiff in a case that would go in front of the U.S. Supreme Court that day. In question are the buffer zones that have been enforced around Planned Parenthood clinics

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A Curious New Year

a curious new year      1.14.14

I wasn’t going to make a New Year’s resolution this year. Back in my 20s, I used to vow

Each January I would bring grapefruit to work and watch them go soft on my desk.

every January to eat more fruits and vegetables. For the next several weeks, I

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How to Make Your Writing Group Work

how to make your writing group work                8.29.13

Writing is easy; all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper
until the drops of blood form on your forehead.
Gene Fowler

I have plenty of writing advice posted around my computer and copied into notebooks, but none has made me laugh

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Funeral for a Friend

funeral for a friend 8.2.13

This May, my dear friend, Franco, had a sudden and severe series of aneurysms. He was 50 years old. It seemed fair to assume he was in the middle, not the end, of his life but of course, you never know. What we did know was that a few months

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For Those Who Cheer on Marathon Day

for those who cheer on marathon day                   5.6.13

Thank you to Boston Magazine for posting this as part of the series, The Shoes We Wore.

I had not expected so many people to cheer for us. Erin and I were not the kind of runners who normally inspire wonder. We ran the Boston Marathon

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Pink Intentions

I recently had the uncomfortable experience of going to the movie, Pink Ribbons, Inc. with a friend who has been through two bouts of breast cancer in less than six years. The movie looks at "pink washing" and how the phenomenon has effectively glossed over questions such as why breast cancer continues to flourish despite all the walks and fundraisers.
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Pink Ribbon Overload

When National Breast Cancer Awareness Month rolls around in October with its ocean of Pink, I put up my mental barriers and try to enjoy a fuchsia-free fall. It was when I got blindsided by a Girl Scout wearing a Pink-beribboned bucket hat talking about the importance of a mammogram that I lost it.
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We Are All Genetically Programmed to Die

Less than two years after Anne got married, her husband’s parents called with the news that his sister had a rare brain disorder and he might too. At first, the news changed everything. And then, in a lot of ways, it changed very little. Pete’s sister, Bonnie (not her real name) had been diagnosed with Cadasil, an inherited condition in which blood vessels to the brain become thick and congested. Usually migraines are the first sign that the brain is trying to make due with a reduced blood supply, typically around the age of 30 or 40. Anne’s sister-in-law was 48. Her diagnosis came after a period of train-stopping migraines and an MRI that revealed early brain damage.
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In Autism’s Shadow

For several years after the diagnosis, Peter watched his parents’ world revolve around his brother. Plenty of second-born kids grow up in their older sibling’s shadow, but try having an older brother with autism. Peter had just turned 1 when his parents got word of TJ’s diagnosis. And, as Peter is quick to point out when things don’t go his way, “It’s not fair.” Looking back, his mom, Lauren, agrees. It wasn’t fair that Peter had to sit on the sidelines for several key years so his parents could focus on TJ. As Peter formed his first words, his parents lived in fear that TJ would never do the same. When other kids played at the Gymboree, Peter stayed home so a legion of specialists could play games with TJ.
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