Writes of Passage

Welcome to Writes of Passage, a blog written for adolescents, young adults, and the people who care about them. This blog is dedicated to safe transitions, surviving adolescence, and promoting health and happiness on the path to adulthood.

Don’t forget these school supplies…

This blog has featured a lot of back-to-school posts, from transitioning to high school to what to pack for your dorm.  Just when I thought we had covered most back-to-school topics, a news headline catches my eye:  A Madison community member is partnering with the Boys and Girls Club to provide menstrual products for area schools since some students may not have products handy for various reasons (and you can donate prior to school starting, see below). Add this to the fact that Representative Melissa Sargent (representing Wisconsin’s 48th Assembly District in Madison) and Representative Adam Neylon (representing Assembly District 98 in Pewaukee) have introduced a budget amendment to add feminine hygiene products to the sales tax exemption list (only 8 of the 45 states that collect sales taxes exempt menstrual products). Wow – menstrual products are having a moment! This post will be dedicated to feminine hygiene products, including different types and questions health care providers are frequently asked.
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Beware of the bias!

When you hear reports of research studies with splashy titles, sometimes you have to think twice (and definitely read more than just the headline!)

For example – the most recent splashy headline that’s been all over the news is about Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), the degenerative brain disease that has been linked to concussions. Check out the New York Times article entitled “110 Brains”, detailing that “a neuropathologist has examined the brains of 111 NFL players — and 110 were found to have CTE.”  This article is based on a study published in JAMA. This would seem to imply that 99% of football players suffer from CTE.  Is this true?  Should football be banned since players are almost guaranteed to get CTE? Well, slow down there a moment before burning all your prized football jerseys. Let’s do a brief talk about bias.

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Your Teen is Legal and Graduated, Now What?

There are a lot of emotions that collide when launching your young adult into the wild world. There are thousands of questions that go through your mind:

  1. Will they pay their bills?
  2. Will they do okay at college? Will they get home sick?
  3. What will they do with their free time?
  4. They’re moving to a new place, will they make friends?
  5. Will they be able to feed themselves?
  6. What if they get sick?

The “launching phase” is when parents or caregivers are helping transition their adult children into the world and adjusting to a new home environment.

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Bug off!

Is it just me, or are the bugs way worse this summer than they have been in previous years?  Well, it’s not just me.  Warmer winters have led to an increased tick and mosquito population, so experts predict rising tick- and mosquito-borne infections of many types. And with all this rain we’ve had recently, you know the mosquito population is only going to get worse…

In Wisconsin (and many other places in the United States), the disease we most associate with ticks is Lyme disease. Symptoms of Lyme disease can range from common (including the target rash with central clearing, headaches, fatigue) to more rare (vaginal ulcers, inflammation of joints or the heart, or neurological conditions, including seizures).

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A Breakdown of Healthcare Proposed Changes

This week, the US Senate announced that they are going to postpone their recess in order to spend time reworking their healthcare bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act.  Their goal is to reveal their updated bill Thursday (7/13/17), get a new score from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office a few days later, and vote on it next week.  Wow – those are some lofty goals.  It can be difficult to decipher the specifics of the bill without getting opinions from people on both ends of the political spectrum.  Since I haven’t seen the new proposal yet, here’s a breakdown of what’s potentially on the chopping block that matters for children, teens, and young adults (and other people too, obviously).

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