Another Start

Yes, kind readers, I have been both absent and delinquent in tending this site. You have been patient and encouraging. Thank you for the persistence.

I have been occupied by many things, much of it I hope to share in little pieces. First I will say that a large portion of my summer’s time was spent walking. It’s a pedometer thing, and I get incentive points (Healthmiles) for various threshhold amounts of steps each day. The incentive points translate into cash, eventually. …Very small amounts of cash, but still, the insurance people are paying me to be healthy, so I’ll let them.

On June 1, the same day I signed up to do the Healthmiles thing, I also had blood drawn to assess my cholesterol and other bloody stuff. My cholesterol was high, 217, with a grossly ugly LDL of 161. My HDL was only 38. When I showed it to my doctor in July, he wasn’t pleased. He started in on me about needing to take medicine for it, and how my LDL was higher than he wanted my total cholesterol to be. But I talked him out of it, having already started measures to reduce the offending molecules. He wasn’t impressed and didn’t think it would make a difference, but conceded to let me try on my own until October.

I felt like I had something to prove.

Since June 1, I have averaged 21,000 steps per day. That is roughly 10.5 miles every day. Exercise is the thing that raises the HDL (“good cholesterol”). I also began monitoring my eating habits more strictly than I had previously done. I was serious about it. And some foods were hard to turn down, especially at the great church dinners we have around here. But I knew I could do it; it has long been my personal feeling that no food tastes as good as the feeling of being fit and trim. Besides, eating the right foods to fuel my body, and doing it many times throughout the day, I never went hungry.

When I began this initiative, I weighed 189 pounds, recently down from 193 or so. Even though I’m 6’1″, that’s too much weight for me. I feel it negatively when I have extra pounds, and it saps my motivation, etc. So, through the process of trying to drive down my cholesterol, I began to drop a few pounds. That felt great! As the weeks and miles went by, I was feeling more and more mobile and light on my feet. My weight eventually stabilized at 171, and I feel healthier than I have in years.

So, I went to have blood drawn on October 14, so they could do the next test. A few weeks later, I stopped by the doctor’s office to get a copy of the results ( I wanted to know what it said before I meet with the doctor in November). I took the envelope to my truck, got in, and opened it for the results. The total cholesterol count had come down to 151, HDL was up to 53, and the LDL had plummeted to a slim 85! I sat there and laughed out loud for a long time, thoroughly enjoying the clinical demonstration of a healthy lifestyle at work.

More good stuff has been going on, too, but I’ll save that for another posting, hopefully soon. Peace and blessings to each of you!

Published in: on November 5, 2009 at 12:26 am  Comments (3)  

Nurses and Aggression

I am of the opinion that some nurses live their lives with potent amounts of aggression built up inside them. Most of them probably aren’t even aware of it. Sometimes that aggression has to come out. And sometimes we’re there when it does.

Today I had a mole removed from the inside portion of my right thigh. Probably not a problem, but my doctor and I decided to be cautious. He was about to carry out the procedure, but then made a last minute decision that some shaving would make his job easier. He called the nurse, and she proceeded to depilate the concerned region. Good. The doctor cut away the mole, and the nurse chemically cauterized the wound and covered it with a self-adhesive bandage. They gave me instructions and good wishes before leaving me to reclothe my lower half.

Well, not only are nurses harboring pent-up aggression, but they’re sneaky about its release. I wasn’t even aware of what had taken place until doctor and nurse were gone. Here is a photo of the area where the remoal occurred. We’ll label it Fig. 1.

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Fig. 1

Okay. What do you notice? Do you see?

That’s right. Both ends of the bandage are firmly attached to REMAINING HAIR! Walking away, I could feel the pinch, pinch of many little hairs struggling in their follicles against the pull of medical dastardliness. If my leg is going to have a bald, blighted-looking patch and spend the next few months regrowing itself, anyway, why not shave enough to exceed the reach of whatever adhesive strip is required? That’s all I’m asking. How hard is that? Aggression, I tell you.

But…the telling point is that my nurse actually had yet another gentle option that she did not use.

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Fig. 2

In Fig. 2 you can see that the length of the bandage is 7.75 cm, reaching well past the width of the shaved section. Now look at Fig. 3.

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Fig. 3

Almost 9 cm of cleared land lies open for the taking! THIS bandage could have fit into THIS shaved oval without offending any uncut hairs, but that was not the choice that was made. I was just thankful the nurse didn’t see fit to further secure the bandage with that nuclear-powered tape used to punish IV patients. So, dear readers, be nice to nurses. The follicles you save could belong to someone you love.

Now, eventually I must remove the bandage, while a nurse somewhere chuckles in her sleep. Not that I’d obsess about it or anything.

Published in: on March 4, 2008 at 1:46 am  Comments (7)  

The Aftermath of a Slippery Glory

Well, no ribs were broken. The doctor said the x-rays were clear. He thinks it’s just a muscular thing, but if the pain isn’t better by next week I should come back in for an ultrasound.

Just out of curiousity, do most people know you’re not supposed to run fast and then dive chest first onto the ground? Please note, the doctor didn’t tell me this; it’s just an insight I’m beginning to have. It’s not like it hurt at the time; otherwise I wouldn’t have kept doing it. (Actually, that may not be true, because after the first time, my neck cramped badly, and when it started feeling normal again, I went back to improve my distance). The pain is like a fluid build-up pressure, dull, but sharp when twisting certain ways. It reminds me of the way it felt that time I jumped over the electric fence to retrieve a Frisbee and surprised my ribs and shoulder blade by landing on them. But, of course, that was a failure of technique.

Looking back on this episode, I WAS the only person over 17 who was indulging in this behavior. Sure, there were plenty of other adults present, but they were doing responsible adult things like spraying water, squirting dish liquid, yelling “Faster!!”, and taking pictures. It was a spiritual moment, the kind you rarely achieve during Sunday morning worship. And there were tears…not tears of sadness, and not even tears of joy, but tears of Dawn, ultra-concentrated antibacterial Dawn, to be precise. And we gazed through stinging, disinfected, grease-free eyes at the runway and slide where we lined up to do it again.

I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner. But you know, it was probably special enough that it should stand in my experience as a one-time event. And if I ever forget why that should be, perhaps one of my friends will enhance my memory with a swift hoe handle to my side.

Published in: on September 7, 2007 at 1:37 am  Comments (7)