Health, safety not always ours to control

June 6, 2012

I no longer write a nutrition column, but I still like reading blogs about healthful eating. One of my favorite bloggers is Snack Girl, an unassuming Massachusetts mother of two who’s always on the lookout for better-for-you snacks. She shares what she learns via plainspoken blog entries, and I’ve snagged some good recipes from her site.

But this morning Snack Girl — whose real name is Lisa Cain — took a break from writing about snacks to muse about her constant dread that something bad will happen to a loved one. That fear had spiked briefly when her husband called to say he was in an ambulance with their daughter. Turns out the girl had fallen from her new, bigger bike and hurt her nose. She’s fine, Cain reports. But the incident reminded Cain that life can change suddenly — and sometimes dramatically.


This undated photo released by the Keegan family shows Marina Keegan. (AP/Keegan Family)

Just before she graduated, Keegan published this essay in a special graduation issue of the Yale Daily News. You may have seen it already; it’s gotten lots of attention. If you haven’t read it, well, I recommend it highly.

Cain's blog and Keegan's death both serve, to different degrees, as reminders that no matter how hard we try to keep ourselves and our families safe and healthy, sometimes we simply can't. To me that means maybe we should try to relax and enjoy life a bit more, even if that means occasionally skipping the gym and kicking back with a cheeseburger and a nice glass of wine.

NOTICE: The National MS Society, in partnership with the pharmaceutical company Genzyme, is inviting people with multiple sclerosis to write about either an “everyday” challenge they face and would like to overcome or a goal they want to achieve. It can be anything from learning a new skill, bettering a relationship or starting a new job — anything that their MS has made difficult or daunting. Five people whose stories are selected will become part of a new “Everyday Matters” program, which is aimed at addressing the psychological aspects of MS and teaching people to use “positive psychology” to better cope with their disease. You only have a week — until June 13 — to enter. Read more here.

Genzyme on June 1 announced favorable Phase III clinical trial results for its oral MS therapy Aubagio (teriflunomide).

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