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Irony

or sick comedy.  I don’t know which.

One if my many maladies is I have arthritis.  It seems to rear it’s ugly head in colder, more humid weather.

Fortunately, I live in a (mostly) dry desert.  😛

I went to the grocery yesterday, and reviewed the over-the-counter preparations. (A through G?)

Most were made of menthol, along with some kind of delivery system – cream, aerosol, etc.  I already have some Icy (something) at home.  For me, it doesn’t work as advertised, it just burns.  😦

Then I saw this cream made with emu oil.  Another preparation which had been recommended to me.  Preparation E?

I happily spent the $12 and took the 4 ounce jar home.

Remember TRIOPENIN?  From SNL?  The pill bottle of pain medication impossible for the elderly person to open, eventually ending in a hammer breaking the bottle?

I thought it was real!

This simple jar with a simple screw-top lid.  Instructions state do not use if the safety seal is broken.  If I could unscrew the lid, I could verify the seal was intact, or not!

ALAS.

Banging the jar lid on the counter.  Pounding the lid with the jar upside down. Submerging the top of the jar in hot water to make it expand.  Vice grips and a large ‘C’ clamp.

Nada. 

I began wondering if some teenager superglued the lid shut, as a painful prank?

EVENTUALLY, some combination of the efforts above prevailed, coupled with prying between the jar and the lid with the sharp edge of a Buck-type knife.

THEN, of course, I had to remove the safety seal.  No, it had not been molested.

And, I finally got to the emu-oil preparation.  Initial trials are moderately successful.    We will see about the longer term.

I’m now wondering if ALL the jars are similarly sealed?

Crap…

not this brand

not this brand

FTC – I purchased the cream, then had to painfully wrestle with it, just to get it open.  That should be enough for you.

 

No Good Deed…

You know the rest!

With both my roommate and I having infirmities and physical limitations (along with no longer being 22!) sometimes things get procrastinated about, or just ignored.

One of those things is our back ‘yard’.

Living in a small townhouse, the yard isn’t particularly large, but my roomie, with her love for the flora, has numerous plants, both potted and in the ground, which sometimes require tending.

And between recent other adventures and doctor’s appointments, the yard has not seen proper maintenance.

And a number of ‘volunteer’ plants have been added to the mix by Mother Nature.  Like lantana, which has taken over to the extent we cannot reach the hose bib or electric box!

Now, there is a time constraint, as her first shoulder surgery is scheduled for March 21.  And I suspect nurse will be added to the title chief cook and bottle washer for me.  And, with her right arm immobilized for a minimum of six weeks, her physical abilities will be severely limited.

So, Thursday last, I carved out some time in the morning to take a stab at the yard.  Because it was necessary. (It didn’t help a number of massive fronts were coming in from California starting Friday!)

My target:

wp-1487515826737.jpg

(the white structure on the right is a non-functional Jacuzzi – now a plant stand)

I popped a significant pain pill, waited for it to kick in and headed out.  Wishing in all seriousness I had a machete ala Indiana Jones.

I had a rake, a shovel, and a weed-eater.

The plan was to work until it was done – no excuses!  Then, the pain pill wore off.  At about two hours.  When not involved in manual labor, they last four or more!

So much for THAT idea.

BUT, I cleaned up 75-80% of the yard, obtained access to the bib and the utility box (getting stabbed byagave-americana the century plant at least twice!), and trimmed back the palm tree by the back gate as to only get attacked by one palm frond, in lieu of three.

With palms like these, who needs anemones? – Thelonious Monk (from the liner notes for the Dave Brubeck ‘Take Five’ album)

More obviously needs to be done.  But that’s for another day.

And Friday and Saturday I paid for my good deed…

My arthritis kicked in big time, as did muscle pain, general tiredness and malaise.

And my doc wants me to limit use of NSAIDS, having over-used them for the past twenty years or more.

SIGH.

It’s All About The Numbers 

I recently had one of my semi-annual doctor visits. Believe me, not my favorite thing to do. 😆

Last time, six months ago, my weight was up to 233 (from 225 the previous time) and (being diabetic) they ALWAYS check my A1c (a measure of how well my organs function). It was 6.2, also elevated from the previous reading.

I was not amused. My doc wasn’t all that concerned, though.

But, I took it to heart.

My current weight is 215!  I cannot remember the last time I was 215.  I have been 350.

And my A1c was 4.3! Which is miraculous. They stop charting me as diabetic @4.7!

Just got the other lab numbers – liver, blood, etc. Even my Ldl (bad cholesterol) was good!

Now comes the tough part. Maintaining or improving… 

It’s Here! 

Thanks to your generosity!  The electronic controller for our lift chair is here, is installed and actually WORKS!

The chair now not only lifts the operator, but can recline fully to horizontal.

This means Judy will have a place to sleep and recover following her shoulder surgery.

She will also be getting an ‘ice jacket’ which is to help with the pain.

We cannot say thank you enough! 

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

My most sincere and deepest thanks for the responses to my bleg posted below!

Not just the practical, but the prayers and good thoughts, as well.

One of the things about the Internet that never ceases to amaze me, is with all the political and religious divisiveness that one sees on the computer screen, when difficulties occur, people step up!

We now have enough funding to obtain a replacement controller for the lift chair, as well as some other needed items, like the shoulder cooling vest my roommate will need following her surgery.

She and I are both overwhelmed, and very grateful!

thank-you

The Horrible Chair (A Bleg)

Being disabled, including a fused right hip, makes raising up from seated, especially of the lower variety chair, difficult, painful and sometimes ne’er impossible.

So, after my roommate’s stepmother passed, when we were tasked with emptying her home for sale, I was most grateful I was offered her ‘lift chair’!   Having a fulcrum in the front of the recliner, it lifts one up out of the chair from seated. The process is reversed to sit.

pride-lc105-electric-recliner-lift-chair

Quite nice, really. 

The control extends the chair to operate as a recliner, and even lays out flat, for sleeping!

However, it’s been in regular use for a few years now, and the controller module is failing!

Meaning it will no longer recline, is stuck in one sitting position, and sometimes will not elevate.

A problem for me, meaning my knee often goes out when I get up! Sometimes I can get it back into place in twenty seconds – sometimes not in twenty minutes.  Sigh.

And it’s VERY painful.

(And knee braces are not possible, for too many reasons to go into here.)

A problem for my roommate (besides having to listen to me yell and whine) because SHE will need the chair soon to sleep in (post shoulder rotator cuff surgery). (I’ll be sitting in a straight chair in the interim.)

And a replacement control unit is almost $100 !

Funds are always tight, even more so now with her working less with the bad shoulder.  She hasn’t worked a ‘regular’ work week in over a year, with her many health issues.

Sigh.

I don’t usually bleg, but contributions to my PayPal account (on the right sidebar) in any amount would be most appreciated!

Failing that, a good thought or prayer if that’s what you do.  She will probably miss 12 weeks of work.

The surgeon says if she doesn’t have the repair surgery soon, it will become a replacement (!)

And please don’t tell her I asked – she’d have a fit. (she doesn’t always read the blog.)

Thank you for your kind consideration!  🙂

Short Distance Travels

I don’t get out much.  Between my physical limitations (being disabled and in chronic pain, low income, crummy car) and my mental ones (I’m just not that interested in so doing), I’m lucky to get to the credit onion, grocery store, a cheap restaurant and perhaps the library each week.

This is one reason my Internet access and computer are so important to me!  My ‘window on the World’, as it were!

I’m essentially the ubiquitous pajama boy, except much older, more educated, and living in a rented room upstairs instead of a stereotypical basement.

And I’m less liberal.

In one of my travels, I met a nice couple. A psychologist and her office manager husband (not that that’s of any importance to this post).  Marlo and Jon are both pre-eminent in their field.

And Marlo comes from a long family history of motorcycle riders.

In 2008, she was in an accident which changed her life.  And almost ended it.  A car turned in front of her.  (Can you see why she got my attention?)

While hospitalized and in rehab, she wrote a blog, which she later coalesced into a very personal book regarding her Chautauqua from a person with addictions to one in recovery.  Her story included the courage, loyalty and love of her partner and husband Jon – whom I have personally nick-named St. Jon after reading her book.

Anyone who has had love, loss, ‘challenges’, courage and been fortunate enough to have others to help with those challenges should read this story!  Be forewarned – it is not always light reading.

But, there IS most definitely a positive message!

UP FROM THE PAVEMENT: Triumph over Grief and Trauma through Medicine, Miracles, Love, Laughter, and Faith Paperback

Be the first to review this item

See all formats and editions

(FTC – I get nothing from Amazon I don’t pay for.  Only friendship from Dr. Archer.  Leave me alone.)

Remember ‘Green’ Army Men?

Like when we were kids?

plastic-toy-soldiers

Well, they’re back!  Kinda…

US Army wants bullets that turn into plants over time.  Projectiles and casings can take “hundreds of years” to break down.

The US military may not seem like the greenest of organizations, but if rising seas and temperatures produce worldwide chaos, they’re the ones that have to deal with that shit. Now, the Department of Defense is trying to tackle environmental problems caused by spent bullets and casings on its firing ranges by using composite materials laced with seeds.

The military fires hundreds of thousands of rounds during training, ranging from bullets to 155mm artillery shells. While casings are collected, and often recycled, the bullets themselves generally aren’t, and can take “hundreds of years” to break down in the environment. That can pollute the soil and water supply, harm animals, and generally look like crap if you stumble upon them.

To tackle the problem, the DoD has made a proposal call for a biodegradable composite bullet impregnated with seeds that will survive the initial blast and searing velocities. The seeds should only sprout after being in the ground for several months and be safe for animals to consume.

(in part, from Engadget, courtesy of Doc in Yuma)

Now, I’m all about being green, as long as doing so isn’t tied to some phony, leftist political agenda (like ‘global warming’ mentioned above).  Or if the newfangled green technology does more harm than good – like the ‘wind farms’ killing birds in exchange for sketchy power.

Should the military be concerned about what they leave behind?  Certainly.  Look at the land mines and unexploded ordinance problem.

How much is being spent on this?  Versus the veterans with PTSD and debilitating injuries?

Frankly, I’m more concerned with those being left behind.

 

Drugs Of Choice

donutsI’ve an addictive personality.  I come by this honestly, as both my parents were also afflicted.  It killed them both.

Before you get all worried, I’m not addicted to tobacco, as my Mother was.  My Father liked his cigars and his alcohol.

And his excess food.

The S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) – too many refined carbs, too much protein, too much white sugar.

I, too, like food.  Sometimes to excess.  Including sugar.

And, I’ve been diabetic since 2002.

The Good Rev. Paul posted recently regarding Krispy Kreme DonutsNow, I like LOVES me a good doughnut!  The problem is unlike normal folks, stopping at one, for me, can be difficult.  And here in college/commuter town USA, we are surrounded by doughnut shops!  The ubiquitous Dunkin’, Krispy Kreme, and many local emporia.

SO…I must make the choice.  And sometimes I partake.

Fortunately, it’s not too often, and not a dozen-at-a-time.

I’m reminded of a cartoon, long ago in Playboy.  (Buck Brown?  Gahan Wilson?  Which I was unable to locate it on the ‘Net)

An older couple in their rocking chairs, on their front porch.  Both are quite obese.  And they are chowing-down.  Between them is a large bucket of fried chicken.  Just visible, to the side of the house, is a square, striped building(!?)

And one says to the other, “Sometimes, I wish they hadn’t moved in next door…”

Today, give me strength.

Thankfully, the nearest are at least a mile away, and I’ve no funds.  And, it’s ‘cold’ out (40° – sorry, Rev. Paul!)

🙂

♫ Everything That’s Old Is New Again ♫ (in Eurotrashistan)

(from Peter – in full, because it’s too important)

A brave new world indeed!

Courtesy of a link at Borepatch’s place, we learn that Belgium is now euthanizing – i.e. judicially murdering – the mentally ill and incompetent.  The Washington Post reports:

Once prohibited — indeed, unthinkable — the euthanasia of people with mental illnesses or cognitive disorders, including dementia, is now a common occurrence in Belgium and the Netherlands.

This profoundly troubling fact of modern European life is confirmed by the latest biennial report from Belgium’s Federal Commission on the Control and Evaluation of Euthanasia, presented to Parliament on Oct. 7.

Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002 for patients suffering “unbearably” from any “untreatable” medical condition, terminal or non-terminal, including psychiatric ones.

. . .

In December, 65 Belgian mental-health professionals, ethicists and physicians published a call to ban euthanasia of the mentally ill.

Seemingly stung by these criticisms, the commission spends two of its report’s pages defending the system, explaining that all is well and that no one is being euthanized except in strict accordance with the law.

. . .

Of course, this ignores the essential objection, which is that, by definition, the mentally ill may be less capable of forming a “true will,” or, at least, that their intentions are intrinsically more difficult for a doctor — or anyone — to establish with the necessary certainty upon which to base a life-or-death decision.

. . .

Euthanasia of people with autism, depression, schizophrenia and dementia in the Low Countries represents a global moral crisis for psychiatry, and all of medicine, that can no longer be ignored.

There’s more at the link.  As Borepatch points out, there are also reports that organs are being harvested from the bodies of euthanized patients.  This makes it increasingly likely, in a world without meaningful morals or ethics, that someone might be nominated for involuntary euthanasia purely on the grounds of how many others can benefit from his or her organs.

I have no hesitation in calling this absolutely Satanic in its evil.  Those who, by definition, have diminished rational capacity cannot give fully informed consent to such a procedure.  It’s as plain as the nose on your face that someone is encouraging them, persuading them to make that decision . . . perhaps even making it for them.  After all, it’s convenient for the health care system to be relieved of the burden of caring for the mentally incapacitated.  If they’re euthanized, the costs and facilities that would otherwise be devoted to their care can be used instead for someone more ‘deserving’ – or not used at all, thereby saving money for the state.  How utilitarian can you get?

We’re seeing the beginnings of the same thing in this country, too.  Just last month, a woman in California reported that her medical insurance had refused to pay for expensive chemotherapy to treat her cancer . . . but it was quite prepared to pay for euthanasia, if she selected that option!  That’s not the first time this has happened.  The first case of which I’m aware was in Oregon in 2008.  Think about what those insurers are saying to their policy-holders, in so many words.  “You’re not worth this much of our money, but you’re worth that much . . . if you let us kill you.”  Charming, isn’t it?

This was predicted back in the 1960’s by Pope Paul VI in his controversial encyclical letter Humanae Vitae.  The full text is available online, but in brief:

Pope Paul [warned] that … the desire for unlimited dominion over one’s own body extends beyond contraception. The production of “test-tube babies” is another indication of the refusal to accept the body’s limitations; so too are euthanasia and the use of organs transplanted from those who are “nearly” dead. We seek to adjust the body to our desires and timetables, rather than adjusting ourselves to its needs.

Many disagree with the teaching of Pope Paul VI, and the Catholic Church, about artificial contraception:  but I think there’s little doubt that this was a prescient warning.  We’re seeing it in operation in the euthanasia policies of the Low Countries.  Nature is no longer allowed to take its course;  it’s ‘helped along’, willy-nilly.

Think about this from your own perspective as you grow older.  I’m very familiar with this, after years as a pastor, so I can put myself into the shoes of a patient fairly easily.  You begin to lose your ability to concentrate . . . you can’t remember things that happened fairly recently . . . you may not recognize people you’ve known for years.

One day, a doctor you hardly know starts talking to you about ‘medical options’ and ‘procedures’ and your ‘right’ to be free from pain, fear and worry, and he pressures you to sign ‘just a simple form’ for ‘further treatment’.  One month later, he sticks a needle in your arm, and you ‘fade to black’.

Your organs are harvested for distribution to others (at a fat profit to the hospital, but none to your estate), and your relatives divide your money and possessions between them.  Most of them probably won’t bother to come to your funeral.  They’ll be too busy fighting over the spoils.

Welcome to our brave new world.

Peter

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…