‘EAR, NEWS, AND THROAT’
Where DidWe Go Before the Due Date? OUR ALOHA
Since Renee was six months pregnant, we couldn’t exactly go skydiving or anything. Our goal was to relax and do some sightseeing, and I think we really nailed it. For the first few days, Renee and I spent each moment lounging at the beach or beside the pool, soaking up the sun. Later, we explored the island together, walking along black or red sand beaches, and appreciating the natural beauty of it all. Maui is full of diverse scenery. Depending on which side of the island you’re on, you might find yourself wandering over hot beds of lava rock or trekking through a wet rainforest. My favorite part of the trip was the day we spent driving to visit Hana, an isolated community on the far eastern side of the island. The road to Hana is narrow, winding over high peaks and through the most lush, tropical forests. We took it slow because the road itself was pretty dangerous. But when you’re in Hawaii, the experience really is about the journey, not the destination. Each time we turned a corner, we were presented with another breathtaking view in every direction. Sometimes, it was hard to pay attention to the road when we kept glancing at the scenery. Our trip was as close to perfect as possible. I can’t imagine a better babymoon. Renee and I were probably as relaxed as we’ll ever be for the next two decades, but that’s all right. We’re more than ready to meet our new baby, and just in time for Christmas too!
This is it! After months of waiting, my wife and I are thrilled to finally meet our baby girl. Our first child is due on Dec. 21. I’m so excited, I wouldn’t mind if she came a couple weeks early. My wife thinks I’m going to be a complete baby hog, and she’s right. I fully intend to hog the baby at every possible moment, a fact clear to Renee when we went on our “babymoon” a few months ago. Renee and I wanted to have one last hurrah before it’s not just the two of us anymore. A week of relaxation was exactly what we needed, and there’s no place more perfect for a getaway than Maui, Hawaii. Though, to be honest, getting to Hawaii involved a bit more excitement than I would have preferred. When we first took off on our flight out of Austin, the plane filled with this weird, musty odor, like the smell your air conditioner makes when you haven’t used it in a while. The plane turned around and returned to the airport due to the fumes, but since the flight attendants were relaxed the whole time, we didn’t worry too much. They were able to rebook our flight, but we missed our initial connecting flight and ended up trapped at LAX for eight hours. As far as vacations go, we were off to a pretty rocky start. However, the Maui airport is mostly outdoors, which means you step directly onto the tarmac when you exit the aircraft. The moment you walk out of the plane and get a breath of fresh ocean air, all the travel stress melts away. Renee and I were on vacation, and we were ready to enjoy ourselves. We stayed at an incredible resort located just a mile from the beach. From our room window, we could see the other Hawaiian Islands out in the ocean, and we enjoyed the most beautiful sunsets each evening. “Depending on which side of the island you’re on, you might find yourself wandering over hot beds of lava rock or trekking through a wet rainforest.”
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you all. May you and your family enjoy health and happiness in the new year.
–Dr. Seth Evans
EAR PAIN RUINING CHILDHOOD MEMORIES? What Parents Can Do About Chronic Ear Infections DO YOU REMEMBER BEING A KID , and how you just couldn’t wait to grow up? Man, did we not realize how good we had it back then. Sure, we had bedtimes and homework, but who doesn’t miss summer vacation or riding bikes with your best friends? There are a lot of memories that made childhood special, but there’s one thing anyone would be glad to leave behind: ear infections. On average, 5 out of 6 kids will suffer from at least one ear infection before their third birthday. This is because the tubes in a child’s ear are smaller, which means fluids can’t drain as effectively. Furthermore, their immune systems are still developing, leaving children more vulnerable to bacteria. If your child suffers from chronic ear infections, the culprit might be chronic otitis media (COM). This is when fluid becomes trapped behind the eardrum for three months or longer. COM causes a great deal of pain and can lead to hearing loss, and often requires the use of ear tubes as treatment. Ear tubes are tiny plastic devices that create a hole through the eardrum, allowing trapped fluid to drain out. The procedure typically takes just 10 minutes, and once the ear tube is placed, the symptoms of an ear infection, like pressure, pain, and fever, are quickly reduced or eliminated. Ear tubes usually stay in the eardrum for 1–2 years and will fall out on their own. At this point, the eardrum usually heals closed. On average, 75 percent of children will grow out of their ear problems after one set of tubes. The National Institutes of Health reports most children suffer from chronic ear infections before they are old enough to talk. When kids can’t say “my ear hurts,” there are some signs parents should watch out for to determine if their child’s distress is caused by an ear infection.
There’s something magical about seeing a stack of presents wrapped in bright, multicolored paper. However, that enchanting scene quickly evaporates a few hours later when all those wads of wrapping paper and plastic bows are chucked unceremoniously into the garbage. What if we told you there are countless ways you can still enjoy wrapping and unwrapping presents, without all the waste? Here are a few creative gift wrap alternatives to consider this holiday season. BROWN PAPER BAGS With the holiday season comes holiday shopping, and if you opt out of plastic grocery bags, you’re sure to have a surplus of brown paper bags in the pantry. Drop a present into the bag, tape it shut, and you’re good to go. Add some simple lace or a ribbon for an old-timey feel or get creative with stamps and hand-drawn artwork. This wrap job lets your imagination run wild. OLD MAPS AND CALENDARS These days, pretty much every phone has a built-in GPS, so you probably won’t need the map from your 1999 road trip anytime soon. If you still have an old map, why not use that for wrapping? The unusual designs guarantee your gifts will be one of a kind. And don’t worry if there are notes scrawled across the paper. Old events or directions will add some unique flair to the presents. FUROSHIKI Fabric is an excellent substitute for wrapping paper. You can use a scarf to create two gifts in one or pull out scraps of fabric from old projects. The traditional Japanese practice of furoshiki is all about wrapping goods in fabric. Described as “functional fabric origami,” you’d be amazed at how a few well-placed folds can turn your gift into a work of art. Learn how to wrap anything, from boxes to bottles, at ceas.ku.edu/ furoshiki-instructional-videos. You don’t have to follow the same gift wrap habits year after year. After the effort you put into finding just the right present, you should be able to make your gift wrap just as special. Find a method that’s uniquely you and get started!
• Tugging or pulling at the ear(s) • Problems with balance • Fluid draining from the ear • Trouble hearing or reacting to quiet sounds
Childhood is full of countless wonderful memories; ear infections don’t have to be one of them. If anyone in your family suffers from chronic or long-lasting ear infections, it’s time to call the experts at Texan ENT Specialists. Call 512-550-0321 to schedule an appointment, and learn how you can leave ear infections in the past.
THE PROBLEM WITH BEING TOO CAUTIOUS How Often Should You Screen for Thyroid Cancers?
could contribute to cancer forming, as stress, anxiety, and depression all lead to a compromised immune system. Essentially, if a person is always worried about cancer, it might increase the likelihood of being diagnosed with cancer. This is why we should worry about overscreening. False positives are common and can lead to a great deal of anxiety and as unnecessary invasive procedures. Perhaps it would be a different story if overscreening made a difference when it comes to cancer-related deaths, but this doesn’t seem to be the case. A few years back, South Korea instituted a nationwide screening process for thyroid cancer. Since then, the number of diagnosed thyroid cancers increased by 15 percent! However, in that same time, the death rate due to thyroid cancer didn’t change. Diagnosing more cases of cancer didn’t reduce the number of people dying from it. In the case of thyroid cancer, the majority of early diagnoses will likely never cause symptoms or lead to death. In 1947, pathologists recognized that thyroid cancer was frequently found during autopsies, but it was rarely a cause of death. However, we know the worry of cancer can have a negative impact on a patient’s health. While detecting cancer early can save a person’s life, the risks associated with overscreening can be detrimental to a person’s health. It’s up to doctors, patients, and medical professionals to find a healthy balance between caution and worry. Talk to your ENT doctor about how often you should be screened for thyroid cancer and what options you should keep in mind.
There’s nothing quite so frightening to a person’s ears than hearing their doctor say the word “cancer.” Our fear of this disease has led to a massive increase in cancer screenings, including in ENT offices, where doctors check for thyroid cancers. However, experts suspect we’ve begun to overscreen, and we may soon pay for the dangers associated with this habit. Researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway ran a two-year study on over 60,000 people. They were looking into whether having a positive or negative outlook on life could impact the likelihood of a person developing cancer. Their findings suggested that psychological factors
LAUGH! HAVE A
Thai Spaghetti Squash With Peanut Sauce Craving pad thai but anxious about the carbs? Try this lighter version of a classic, delicious dish.
(Recipe inspired by Leelalicious.com.)
Peanut sauce: •
• • •
2 tablespoons white vinegar 2 teaspoons sesame oil 2 teaspoons red curry paste
• • • • • •
1 medium spaghetti squash
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk ¾ cup unsweetened peanut butter ¼ cup coconut sugar 2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced ¼ cup chopped parsley 2 tablespoons crushed peanuts
6. Add spaghetti squash
4. Place sauce ingredients in saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. 5. Heat skillet over medium
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Half squash and scoop out seeds. 2. Drizzle inside of squash
and crushed peanuts. Stir to combine until heated through, about 2 minutes. Once served, drizzle with more peanut sauce.
with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place squash on baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes.
heat. Add garlic, parsley, and 1/4 of the peanut sauce and combine.
3. Let cool. Using a fork,
scrape out spaghetti squash strands.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
Page 1 ATropical Babymoon
Page 2 StopWasting GiftWrap!
Page 2 What Every Parent Needs to Know About Ear Infections
Page 3 AreYou TooWorried About the C-word?
Page 3 Thai Spaghetti SquashWith Peanut Sauce
Page 4 NewYear’s Around theWorld
New Year’s Celebrations From Every Corner of the Globe Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
holiday best and flip pancakes as they run through the streets. When the sun sets, more than 1 million people gather at the Brandenburg Gate for a night of world-class bands and spectacular fireworks. Oh, and the after-parties last well into the morning. Reykjavik, Iceland This time of year, the world’s northernmost capital only gets four hours of sunlight, so residents love an excuse to go wild. Beginning around 4 p.m., bonfires light up the city, burning off the past year’s negative vibes. It only gets more festive from there. And there’s no better way to cure a New Year’s hangover than visiting one of Iceland’s picturesque hot springs. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Just before celebrations reach their apex in America, Brazil’s most famous city puts on a party like no other. Revelers dress up in white and go to Copacabana Beach for an all-night celebration. Boats filled with flowers are put out to sea to honor the oceanic goddess Yemanja. Music, dancing, fireworks, and an unrivaled atmosphere — Rio has it all. If you follow the new year from one end of the world to the other, you might be a little tired by the time 2018 hits our shores. Partying with the entire world, however, makes the effort worthwhile.
When you think of marquee New Year’s Eve parties, New York is probably what comes to mind. The Times Square ball drop has become an iconic moment that closes out the calendar, but it’s far from the only mega celebration. Let’s take a globe-trotting tour of some of the world’s biggest and best New Year’s Eve parties, time zone by time zone. Sydney, Australia Due to its location, Sydney is the first major city to close out one year and begin another. With this honor comes the dignified responsibility of getting the party started, and the city doesn’t hold back. The world’s largest fireworks display illuminates the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Sydney Opera House, drawing over 1 million visitors every year. On Bondi Beach, there’s also a dance party that would make a music festival blush. Hong Kong, China China’s most cosmopolitan city recreates the famed ball drop in its own Times Square shopping mall. From there, locals go to Victoria Harbor, partying on boats and the city’s many rooftop and terrace bars. The grand finale? A stunning pyrotechnic dragon slithering across the sky. Berlin, Germany Celebrations in this capital begin with a wacky tradition: the Berliner Silvesterlauf. It’s a race where runners deck themselves out in theirPage 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4
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