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Is Laughing Gas Safe?

Posted by on Nov 3, 2018 in Dental Care | 0 comments

In TV shows and movies, I’ve always seen people get a severe case of the giggles when they inhale laughing gas. It always sort of freaked me out. I didn’t like how it changed their mood so much and made them go to sleep so quickly. I always took care of my teeth growing up, so I never had to have any major dental work done as a child. I was in my forties when I was told I would have to have my first root canal. The dentist told me that the procedure was invasive and could be quite painful, and that I could use sedatives if I wanted. At first I was against the idea. I didn’t know how laughing gas would affect me and I didn’t want to find out. However, a friend of mine sent me a link from the folks at Babylon Dental Care. Their website had some information on how a root canal works and as well as some information on sedatives. After reading about everything, I was more comfortable with using laughing gas while I had my procedure done.

Laughing gas is the nickname for nitrous oxide. It’s a colorless gas that smells and tastes slightly sweet. It’s been around as an anesthetic since the mid 1800s when a Dentist actually used it on himself! The gas works in several different ways throughout our body, relaxing both our physical body and our mental state. It stimulates activity within our GABA receptors. GABA receptors are part of our nervous system, and when the gas interacts with GABAs we experience reduced anxiety and nervousness.

The gas also causes endogenous opioids to be released within our bodies. Doctors aren’t entirely sure how the gas does this, but the effect is that our perception of pain is decreased. It’s like a painkiller through the release of chemicals in our own body.  

Lastly, the gas released dopamine in our brain. Dopamine is one of the central chemicals works as a reward pathway. This release causes us to experience a sense of euphoria before going to sleep.

Although these effects are impairing, they are not permanent. They wear off completely after a few hours. When you inhale the gas at the dentist, they administer it through a mask that is mixed with the gas and oxygen. This removes the risk factors of taking the gas. The only way you can harm yourself with this gas is if you inhale it directly out of a compressed gas canister. No dentist would ever let you do that, so there’s no cause for concern there.

If you need to have an invasive dental procedure done, talk to your dentist about the use of sedatives. I would recommend asking about it, because they made my root canal go very smooth and I wasn’t awake for the really painful stuff. However, everybody is different, and you might have other health conditions that could affect your experience. Tell your dentist about any health conditions you have before taking a sedative like laughing gas. They will be able to answer your questions and give you the treatment that’s right for you.


Reasons Everyone Should Visit Chicago

Posted by on Feb 7, 2018 in Criminal Defense Law | 0 comments

Chicago is a beautiful city, full of life and adventure. Walking around on a windy day will add some pep to your step, and there is so much to see, you’re guaranteed to have an exciting time. My favorite part about Chicago is the city’s art. Chicago is a paradise for art lovers, and if you’ve never been, you’re missing out.

Downtown has impressive architecture, different foods from all over the world, and actual art installations everywhere you go. The most famous is what some would call, “The Bean,” but it’s titled Cloud Gate by the artist, an Indian-born British artist by the name of Sir Anish Kapoor. The experience is truly inspirational. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a giant metal sculpture that is covered with a mirror-like surface. The unusual shape has many curves, and it makes for an impressive photograph. You can check it out by going to Park Grill, in between Chase Promenade and the McCormick Tribune Place & Ice Rink.

I love going to The Art Institute of Chicago because of their many great works of art on display. It costs money to get in, but it’s money well spent. They have a sculpture display by Rodin right now, and they feature many classical and modern art forms as well. It’s the perfect place to go on an early date and get to know someone, but be careful. You could easily spend all day in that place!

The best part about downtown Chicago is that everything is nearby. Everywhere you go, you see people from all walks of life actively participating in the human experience. Bankers, tourists, business owners, and vagabonds all share the same space, on the same street, in the same city. It’s fascinating to see all the different walks of life cross paths as their daily affairs call them from one place to the next.

If you get hungry walking around, you can just walk a few blocks and have several options for different cuisines. The cocktails are delicious, and there are plenty of places to enjoy a moment’s reprieve. Just be sure to take a cab if you are enjoying your drinks. According to this website, the penalties for drinking and driving are pretty steep. Of course, you can also catch an Uber, a Lyft, and lots of other rideshare programs.

Chicago is right on the coast of Lake Michigan, one of the largest lakes in North America. During the winter, the lake freezes over, and it creates quite a view. The winters get bitter though, and you’ll need proper snow attire if you’re going to be comfortable in the elements. They don’t call it the windy city for no reason.

Out of all the cities I’ve visited so far, Chicago is my favorite. It feels like a big city, but it isn’t as overwhelming as New York City. The people are friendlier as well. If I had the money, I would buy a loft in the middle of downtown and spend my days exploring all the things to do in Chicago.

Large Truck Drivers Pose Risk in South Carolina

Posted by on Sep 9, 2017 in Car Accident | 0 comments

Every time you get behind the wheel of a car, you run the risk of getting into an accident regardless of how excellent of a driver you claim to be. No one is perfect, and none of us are perfect drivers and make the right decision 100% of the time we are on the road. However, certain states seem to have more trouble than others when it comes to avoiding accidents. As of November 2016, South Carolina ranked number 3 in the list of states with the worst drivers, so large truck drivers should take some extra precaution if they are routed through this state.

According to this article in the Post and Courier, this unfortunate ranking comes from a company called who analyzed National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data related to topics like the number of traffic fatalities that occurred in each state, instances of speeding, and careless driving. While some people agree that these findings are indicative of poor driving behavior, citing instances of the “accordion effect” where drivers consistently stop and speed up in slow moving traffic to create gaps, others think that the roads are to blame. An AAA spokeswoman quoted in the article says that rural roads cause most of the problems because they lack the features of urban roads, like shoulders. Because of this, drivers have no room to correct a mistake before an accident occurs. When the statistics are looked at individually, the company found that South Carolina ranks number 1 in vehicular fatalities. However, 82% of the fatalities that happened in South Carolina during 2014 happened on rural roads, which was higher than the national average of 51%. This suggests that either South Carolina roads are more poorly maintained than rural roads in other states, or it might mean that the high numbers of fatalities occur due to a combination of poor driving behavior and the prominence of rural roads.

The number three ranking is certainly a shocker, and even though the results were published by a car insurance company, the statistics are pulled directly from government data. Whether roads need to be better maintained or driver behavior needs to improve, it is clear that something has to change. A higher number of traffic accidents means that truck drivers are more at risk for getting into an accident that can cost them thousands of dollars in medical bills and rig repair. Seeking legal help from firms like these truck accident lawyers in Columbia, South Carolina can help recoup your losses if another driver causes the accident.

Generally, large semi trucks will not be traveling on rural roads very much, so it’s not necessary to completely avoid driving through the entire state. Even so, the government of South Carolina could be doing more to bring their vehicular death rate at least more in line with other states or even push for being further down on these types of ranking lists in the future.

How To Protect Your Children When Getting a Divorce

Posted by on Aug 19, 2017 in Family Law | 0 comments

Getting a divorce can be one of the most stressful challenges you’ll undertake. Separating from your spouse can cause a variety of problems for you personally. You’re left making huge financial decisions while you alter your life plans and process complicated, painful emotions. For a lot of people, the pain of a divorce can make them behave in ways they otherwise wouldn’t. Parents especially might find themselves tempted to make decisions that could ultimately hurt their children. Even well-intentioned parents sometimes put pressures on their children without meaning to. Divorce, while hard for spouses, can be absolutely devastating for children. Divorce can get eve more complicated when one or both parents try to use their kids to manipulate one another. When considering the divorce, one must think about the financial and emotional stakes for the children involved. If you’re going through a divorce, there are some basic steps you can take to ensure that your children are not negatively impacted by change.

The NY Daily News offers insightful tips for handling a divorce when you have children. First and foremost, parents should be aware that children are not pawns. They should not be used in any way, form, or fashion to gain the imaginary upper hand during a divorce. The spouse you are divorcing is also a parent to your child or children. Even if you are angry with your spouse, you still need to respect their rights as a parent. Your child will benefit greatly if you treat them and their other parent with integrity.

When it comes to specifics of how to handle the changes brought about by divorce, it’s important to always assure your child of your unconditional love. Don’t put pressure on them to behave a certain way around your spouse and remind them constantly that you will support them no matter what. When children feel like they are somehow to blame or somehow implicated in their family’s upheaval, it can cause emotional distress that affects a child’s school life and physical health. Knowing that they are loved without question by both parents can go a long way towards helping a child properly cope during a divorce.

Additionally, some parents try to empower their children by giving them choices about which spouse they want to spend weekends or holidays with. It might seem like a good thing to respect your child’s wishes, but many kids can feel pressured by this sort of big responsibility. They might feel like choosing one parent somehow betrays the other. They could also be tempted to use the divorce to make demands about parental behavior, hinting that they will only choose to spend time with one or the other if certain conditions are met. It’s best to remove that possibility by deciding, with your spouse, how your child will spend their time. A skilled divorce lawyer can help parents figure out what’s best for their child or children during a separation.

Chicago Personal Injury Law

Posted by on Jul 20, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Serious accidents can leave individuals without the physical or economical means to provide for their families as they recover. What begins as an unfortunate circumstance can quickly become a nightmare as bills pile up and emotions come into play. Thankfully, injured individuals can sometimes claim compensation for their troubles by filing a “personal injury case.”

Practice areas

Injuries can happen in a variety of ways, so personal injury lawyers generally practice in a variety of specific areas. Examples of such areas include:

  • Car accidents: covers specific cases such as truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, rollover accidents, auto defects, speeding accidents, drunk driving, and more
  • Nursing home negligence: covers physical abuse, sexual abuse, negligence, malnutrition/dehydration, and other forms of mistreatment that occur in nursing homes
  • Medical malpractice: covers birth injuries, improper treatment, surgical errors, lack of informed consent, and other forms of medical misjudgment
  • Construction accidents: includes a variety of worksite risks (such as electrocution and slip and fall accidents) that should be mitigated by proper safety regulations and safe work practices
  • Product liability: covers defective consumer products such as household appliances, childcare products and toys, dangerous drugs, defective vehicles, and more
  • Wrongful death: covers deaths that may have been caused by negligence or recklessness

Of course, cases can also occur outside these bounds in a variety of complex circumstances.

Why hire a personal injury lawyer?

As one of the top personal injury lawyers in Chicago explains, an experienced legal representative can help you “aggressively pursue” compensation for your injuries. Personal injury lawyers can help you hold your injurer legally accountable for the damage that they have caused.

Determining Custodianship in the State of Texas

Posted by on May 2, 2017 in Custodianship | 0 comments

Determining Custodianship in the State of Texas

One usual cause of disagreement between divorcing couples is child custody, as there are times when both parents do not want to be separated from their child. In the olden days, due to the observance of a practice called “maternal preference,” child custody was awarded to mothers. This was based on the presumption that mothers were naturally better equipped with the love and concern necessary in raising their children.

In court-litigated divorce cases that involve the issue of child custody, the court usually does not ask a child to testify; the judge also would never decide to talk with the child privately to hear his/her interests, thus, parents who are worried over their children testifying would be baseless fear. The court, instead, hires a lawyer or a social worker who will represent the child and inform the judge of what their interests are.

Though it is the court which has the final say with regard to custody, having a lawyer on your side, someone who is really versed in family law would be a big influence in swaying the court’s decision to your favor. Having custody of your child does not mean that you are more capable financially, nor does it mean that you can decide anytime to move or change residence or state, however. Since your former spouse also has rights over your children, regardless of how limited it is, you will need his/her approval (or the court’s approval) before moving to another city or state can be done.

A court may decide to award any of the following types of custodianship:

  • Legal custody – courts in some U.S. states sometimes decide on awarding this type of custody to both parents (called joint legal custody). Legal custody gives the custodial parent the right and responsibility to decide on matters concerning the child’s growth and basic needs, like education, religion and health care.
  • Physical custody – this type of custody gives the custodial parent the right to live with his/her child, while the other parent, visitation rights. In the event that the divorced parents live quite near one another and the child spends considerable amounts of time with both of them, then the court may allow joint physical custody instead.
  • Sole custody – though many courts are now veering away from entrusting a child to only one parent and increasing the role played by fathers in a child’s life after divorce, sole custody would still be the decision if one parent is judged to be unfit due to factors, such as dependency to drug or alcohol, neglect or abuse of child, mental incapacity or an unfit new partner.
  • Joint custody – this type of custody has various forms:
    • joint physical custody;
    • joint legal custody;
    • joint legal and physical custody

Divorced couples who are awarded joint physical custody also usually enjoy joint legal custody, but not vice-versa.

Though states may differ with regard to the factors these consider when deciding over a child custody case, one factor remains constant: the best interest of the child. In the state of Texas, specifically, courts determine custodianship or conservatorship of a child using the following standards: (i) assurance that the child will have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interest of the child; (ii) provision of a safe, stable, and non-violent environment for the child; and, (iii) encouragement of parents to share in the rights and duties of raising their child even after they have separated or dissolved their marriage.”

Traffic Growth, Car Accidents, and How to Protect Yourself

Posted by on Feb 20, 2017 in Car Accident | 0 comments

Anyone who lives in a major metropolitan area can attest to just how serious traffic can be. Every year, as more drivers move to bigger city hubs, traffic likewise increases, not only doubling or tripling traffic times for many commuters during the busiest traffic hours, but making roadways more dangerous for drivers. According to Tucson car accident lawyers at Russo, Russo, & Slania, P.C., car accidents are already among the top causes of serious death and wrongful injury in the U.S. every year, and these numbers only continue to increase with increased drivers, traffic, and safety hazards.

More concerning is an article from NPR that cites a government study showing 2015 traffic deaths to have increased by the largest margin in decades, attributed to job growth and more people driving on shared roadways. Sobering as the statistics may be, there are a number of ways to protect yourself against collisions and injuries on the roadways. As safety is the goal, start by examining the safety measures your car has to offer. Ensure that your car meets safety standards and that such standards, such as airbags and seat belts are working properly. Seat belts are particularly important as almost half of the deaths coming from the increase in traffic fatalities in 2015 were caused by passengers not wearing seat belts, according to the same study from NPR. The next highest causes were drunk driving, speeding, and distracted driving.

Given these causes, there are specific ways of decreasing your chances of a collision. Always have a designated driver if you are drinking, watch your speed, and put away your smartphone to protect yourself on the roadways. You cannot control other drivers and can consequently never be completely protected from crashes, but ensuring that you hold yourself accountable for the same safety standards you expect from other drivers will lower your chances of an accident. Additionally, avoiding certain roads and highways that have a high concentration of traffic may decrease your commute time and increase your protection.

Understanding The Basics of Wire Fraud

Posted by on Jan 3, 2017 in Fraud | 0 comments

Mobile phones and computers provide individuals with a great way to send information across state lines. Whether it’s an email, text message, or any other form of communication, they will surely utilize state lines. While most communication tools have made it easier for people to communicate with each other, the lines of communication have also become an avenue for committing crimes such as wire fraud. In this article, we shall understand the basics of wire fraud.

Wire fraud is any action that is intended to defraud others of their money or property. These acts utilize an electric form of media to initiate the plan. Most wire fraud cases are prosecuted under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO). These actions consist of three major elements that needs to be proven in court:

  1. Intent
  2. A “scheme or artifice to defraud” or otherwise obtaining property by fraud
  3. Use of mail or any wire communication to get the scheme in motion

As it involves the use of communication that crosses state lines, all cases of wire fraud are prosecuted under Federal laws. The penalties for wire fraud are dependent upon the aggravating factors. It is worth noting that the penalties for mail and wire fraud can be quite severe. It carries a jail sentence of up to 20 or 30 years, excessive fines, or both. If RICO is applied on the case, any property used by the defendant in committing the crime shall be seized by the government. To determine the fine, the court will look at the amount of the original fraud and the value of the material gains, if any, resulting from the fraud.

Just like any case, wire fraud needs to be filed within the statute of limitations. The defendant cannot be prosecuted, brought to trial, or made to pay punitive damages unless they are indicted within five years.

The Levels of Appeal After Rejection of Social Security Disability Application

Posted by on Aug 20, 2016 in Social Security | 0 comments

Retirement from work is an unavoidable course in every employee’s life, provided it is not suddenly and unexpectedly ended by a disabling injury or illness. Disability or illness, whether work-related, is often the cause of financial burden to so many workers, especially mid-income earners. Besides loss of income due to inability to report for work, many also eventually lose their savings due to the high cost of medical treatment.

Unlike during the early part of the 1900s, however, when workers were often left struggling financially whenever they got injured or ill, cash benefits started to be paid to injured or ill workers, whether their injury or illness was due to work. After U.S. states, one after another, passed into law the Workers’ Compensation Act during the first quarter of the 1900s, the Social Security Act was signed into law in 1935.

The Social Security Act, which first served as a form of social insurance, was originally intended as a solution to the problem of poverty suffered by senior citizens during the 1930 Great Depression. Continuous changes and improvements in the Act, however, have caused its positive effects to flow through time; today, it addresses not only old age needs (through pension) but also provides cash assistance to both workers and non-workers suffering from serious illnesses or permanent total disabilities.

Due to fraudulent disability claims in the past, application and evaluation of applications have been made much stricter, often resulting to rejections even at their initial phases of filing. Rejected applications, however, means that an applicant can make an appeal within 60 days after receipt of the decision.

Social Security disability benefits appeal usually undergoes four levels:

  • Reconsideration, which is a comprehensive review of the claim, is to be made by people or evaluators who did not take part in the first decision;
  • Hearing by an Administrative law judge, which is conducted if the applicant still disagrees with the decision reached after |the Reconsideration level. An applicant can present new proofs or introduce witnesses who will help confirm his/her rights for the claim.
  • Review by the Appeals Council. This council may be requested to review the decision arrived at during the hearing if applicant is still not satisfied. The appeals council has the right, however, to reject an applicant’s request if it finds the administrative law judge’s decision to be sound and correct. If it decides to consider the request, however, then it may either issue its own decision or return applicant’s case to the administrative law judge who will conduct a further review on the claim.
  • Federal court review. A fourth option is available if applicant still does not agree with the decision of the Appeals Council, especially if the council’s decision is rejection of appeal made. This fourth level is request for a federal court review. The Social Security office will inform the applicant whatever decision it arrives at, as well as give him/her instructions on how to raise his/her concern to the federal court.

As explained by Social Security disability claim appeal lawyers from the Hankey Law Office, a rejected disability claim is a devastating blow that can plunge your financial future into uncertainty. Fortunately, it is possible to appeal an unfavorable decision concerning your disability claim, whether this claim was wholly denied or only partially approved. Assistance from a highly-competent lawyer, who will guide through the whole process of your appeal can be an advantageous move.

All You Need To Know About Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Posted by on May 22, 2016 in Workers' Compensation | 0 comments

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) can bring severe pain that usually affects the arms or legs. This usually results from malfunctions in the peripheral and central nervous system. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, while the condition can affect just one limb it can spread to other areas of the body. It may result from physical trauma and may bring life-altering changes for the individual.

Symptoms of CRPS may include the following:

  • Consistent burning or throbbing pain in the arm, leg, hand, or foot
  • Sensitivity to touch or cold
  • Swelling in the painful area
  • Changes in skin temperature– it may feel sweaty at times and cold in other times
  • Changes in skin color ranging from white and mottled to red or blue
  • Changes in the texture of the skin becoming tender, thin, or shiny in the painful area
  • Changes in the hair and nail growth
  • Stiffness in the joints, swelling and damage
  • Muscle spasms, weakness and loss
  • Decreased ability to move the affected body part

Bear in mind that the symptoms may change from time to time and from one person to another. Usually, pain, swelling, redness, and noticeable changes in temperature as well as hypersensitivity may occur first. If the pain has become too unbearable, it is time to consult your doctor to determine the cause. For complex regional pain syndrome, early treatment can prove crucial.

Complex regional pain syndrome has two types:

  • Type 1. Also called reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, it takes place after an injury that does not directly damage the nerves in the affected limb. 9 out of 10 people with complex regional pain syndrome suffer from reflex sympathetic syndrome.
  • Type 2. Type 2 is often referred to as causalgia and follows after a distinct nerve injury.

When not treated right away, complex regional pain syndrome may lead to more debilitating conditions such as:

  • Tissue Wasting (Atrophy). Characterized by difficulty moving arm or leg or limb due to stiffness, it may lead to deterioration and weakening of the skin, bones, and muscles
  • Muscle Tightening. It may lead to the contraction of the hands and fingers on the foot into a fixed position