Health Buzz: NYU Langone Medical Center Reopens for Surgery

A ballerina’s health struggles; happy hangover-free new year


Sandy-Damaged New York Hospital Reopens for Surgery

NYU Langone Medical Center in New York reopened its inpatient services and surgical units yesterday, as it continues recovering from the effects of Hurricane Sandy. In late October, the hurricane knocked out the medical center's power, and when the backup generators failed, its staff evacuated 322 patients, according to the Associated Press. More than 15 million gallons of water were pumped from the medical buildings on First Avenue, between 30th and 34th streets, reports AP, and total damage topped $1 billion. Outpatient facilities and many physicians' offices reopened in November, while the emergency room remains closed and has been replaced with an urgent care center. Specialty units, like those for maternity and pediatric care, are expected to reopen in mid-January. In the last two months, many surgical operations had to be farmed out to other hospitals or postponed, so opening the doors to surgical patients is a major step. "I think it's a little bit of a miracle on 34th Street that this happened so quickly," Senator Charles Schumer of New York told The New York Times.

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  • Inside the Life of a Pro Dancer: Health Hardships and Sacrifices

    When she was 14 years old and a professional dancer with the National Ballet of Canada, Kathleen Rea checked in at 5'6" and 105 pounds—a weight required by her company. To comply, "I spent days and days starving myself," she says, "and then I would binge-eat, because I was so hungry this famished creature would overtake me."

    Rea danced with a total of 14 girls, and seven had eating disorders. She struggled with hers for 10 years, until reaching what she describes as rock-bottom. "I was dancing a 40-hour work week, and required to be almost deathly thin," she says. "I slept on the bathroom floor because I thought my bedroom was too luxurious for what I deserved, and I would also sleep with a knife, almost ready to cut the fat off my thighs." At that point, Rea was binging and purging up to eight times a day. She knew continuing in such a way would lead to death, so she decided to seek help.

    After entering therapy and gaining some weight, Rea's ballet company told her she had embarrassed the entire nation of Canada by looking "too fat" on stage. She was soon fired. As she adjusted to a new way of life, she knew she wanted to continue dancing in some way, so she began participating in improvisation workshops. That's when she realized the healing power of expressive arts therapy, and that dance didn't require flawless technique or the perfect body—just "an honest presence of body and soul in movement. [Read more: Inside the Life of a Pro Dancer: Health Hardships and Sacrifices]

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    • Happy Hangover-Free New Year!

      When you hear the term, "drink responsibly," you'll probably think about the connection between drinking and driving, writes U.S. News blogger Bonnie Taub-Dix. Around this time of year, that association could represent the difference between life and death.

      Too much alcohol could also result in a date with the porcelain bowl if you're not careful or bring a throbbing headache the day after drinking. Whatever comes to your mind when you envision a hangover, it's not a pretty picture.

      Heavily hitting the bottle could ruin a few precious vacation days, too. So instead of focusing on how to cure your hangover, you'll probably have a better time at that New Year's Day brunch by taking some simple steps to avoid going overboard altogether. Here's how you can still belt down a few without ending up down on the floor:

      1. Prevent problems by pre-fueling. The meal you have before you drink could determine how drunk, or sick, you'll feel. Eating will help "coat your stomach" by slowing down the absorption of alcohol. Meals that include a mixture of protein, whole-grain carbs, and fat will do the trick. Combinations like almond butter on whole-wheat toast, cereal and milk, or cheese and crackers will help delay the absorption of alcohol and give you more time to enjoy a New Year's Eve party you'll remember on New Year's Day. [Read more: Happy Hangover-Free New Year!]