Yes there is a way. Up at the top of each page, directly under the google ad bar, there is a list of links on the right side of the page. The first is My Controls which will take you to your personal control panel where you can tweak your settings to your tastes. Then there's the Inbox link for PM's, and after that is View New Posts. It'll bring up a list of all the newest posts since your last visit or post. The My Assistant will pop up a little window that will give you similar info, plus any responses to your last few posts!
If there's anything else you need, just ask! I'll do my best to answer!