I am always immensely uncomfortable when anyone tries to put a monetary value on dementia, purely because I know that there is so much more to calculating the 'cost' of dementia than could ever be accurately represented by the use of pound signs. The emotional, all-encompassing, life-changing (and life-shortening) effects of dementia reach far and wide into every family affected.
I used to vex about how happy my children were, and still do sometimes, but with experience I've come to realise that their fundamental needs are very simple. They want to be heard, loved and given some special time. If I give them these three things every day, they thrive. So I do everything I can to ensure I make that happen and I know I'm investing in their happiness.
Well, it seems I have caused quite a stir this week, after my article criticising the NHS for encouraging obesity by allowing coffee shops and vending machines that offer predominantly unhealthy food choices to be housed within in our hospitals.
This week a government body finally woke up to the fact that TV makes us fat. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) is drafting recommendations that people cut down on their TV consumption. Having ditched the box myself ten years ago, I wonder why it took them so long to switch on to something so obvious.
Autumn is officially upon us and we are more than ready for the falling leaves and unlimited cups of hot tea. As the temperatures shift, so do our internal seasons
Recently an 11-year-old son of a friend was killed by his mentally ill father. An ex-colleague of mine was diagnosed with cancer last November and he died in January; there were Facebook statuses and then they stopped. And now I have a tumour... My darling children, how I hope that you will not have to go through life without me!
When pregnant with our second child I too clearly recall my fear of a 'less than healthy' foetus. I remember believing that I wouldn't be able to cope with a child with Down's syndrome. That I wouldn't be a good enough Mum.
There are few things more vivid in my memory the day I met my first rabies victim. In a dark, airless room in rural Southeast Asia, some ten years ago, I heard a story so tragic and moving it changed my life forever...
The message of World Contraception Day is empowering: "It's your life; it's your future; know your options." But let's take this to the next level. Let's come together to ensure that no one stops at knowing their options but that all of us, no matter where in the world we live, can act on this knowledge and freely choose when we have children and how many children we have.
Often we want something in our lives but behave in ways that are contrary to achieving our goals. The process of achieving that weight loss goal is a whole process, and an uncomfortable process. It's uncomfortable letting go of food, waiting until you're physically hungry to eat.
The word fat only has a negative association to it if you allow it to. If you call someone fat as an insult, that says more about you as a person than it does anything else. I believe that we need to tell people when we hear this kind of unconscious fat shaming, whether the comment is coming from a place of malice or genuinely wanting to be nice.
One of the problems with treating infertility in Britain is that infertile couples are often sent straight to IVF clinics. They come to expect the need for IVF. Instead, we need to get them thinking in a different, much more positive way rather than scheduling them in for three rounds of expensive treatment as soon as they've walked through the door. It is not all about IVF.
Hands-up anyone who hasn't spotted that sugar is the new bad guy on the block! No-one?! Fat was previously the demon when it came to health and weight - now it seems that fat isn't as bad as we thought and sugar is the peril that we now have to avoid.
Cancer itself can affect the way things taste - some tumours can secrete substances which means foods don't have the same flavour. Treatments can also affect it. Chemotherapy is designed to destroy rapidly-dividing cancer cells, but it can also damage normal cells which divide rapidly - such as those in your mouth.
Collectively, it seems periods are pretty pricey. With this in mind, would you believe me if I told you that tampons and sanitary towels are deemed not essential enough to be tax free? Admittedly they are taxed at a reduced rate of 5% but this still means they are thought of as luxury items, which all sane females would agree they are certainly not.
For any parent, teacher or carer, hearing a child say 'I want to kill myself' is a heart stopping moment. In the following seconds, time either stands still or comes rushing at you like a speed train. It might seem impossible to find the right words.