Archive for the ‘health’ Tag

03-29-2015 Journal–The Baby Has Arrived!   1 comment

The waiting is finally over and we welcomed a new family member yesterday. A 10.4 pound little boy with mother and son doing fine.  I think now my better-half and I can finally get our lives  back to something close to normal again.

Between babysitting grandson #1, trips to care for their cats and dogs, and then visits to the hospital,  we’re both exhausted. We managed a decent nights sleep last night and are feeling much better today as is the mother. Since the birth required a C-section our little mother won’t be released until sometime Monday and I see another visit to the hospital in our immediate future today. We’ll try to keep her company for a few hours and to spend more time with grandson #2.

The better-half as always is already preparing for her numerous shopping forays to insure the little guy has everything he may possibly need and then some. That should keep her busy for a few years.  My only contribution to the little mother was the can of Guinness I managed to smuggle into the hospital.  After nine months of no beer I had a feeling it was high on her list of priorities. 

We should all have an interesting summer with the new addition to the family group and we’ll need all of our remaining energy to keep up with grandson #1 who’s  growing like a weed. The sibling rivalry took no more than two minutes to arrive when he was taken to visit his new little brother.  It’s going to get more interesting as time goes on and they’re in for many years of fun competition with each other.

I normally don’t have photographs of family members on this blog but in this case I’ll make an exception.  He ‘s too young to tell me not to and I’m too old to care anyway.  This one picture is worth a thousand words.

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09-23-2013   2 comments

Here’s a little heads up for all of you.  I just checked the national observances for September and was somewhat disappointed.  I guess it’s official, September has nothing to offer, it just sucks. Contact your local politicians, write letters to Obama, alert the effing media because September needs an official designation besides being "Suck Month".

I guess I sound a little cranky today because I am.  I’m in my seventh week of my new exercise and diet program and I’m hungry enough to eat the southbound end of a northbound mule.  I’ve come to realize in the last seven weeks that an addiction to sugar is even worse than my former addiction to cigarettes. 

I wasn’t a believer until I began this program which requires me to eat as little sugar as possible.  I’ve always been a choc-o-holic with a sweet tooth that kept me eating huge amounts of sugar as often as possible.  Life was good as long as I got my daily dose of chocolate, candy, or pastries.

After being advised by my doctor to eliminate sugar from my diet completely I never expected it to be so difficult. He directed me to start reading the labels of the things I’d been eating as well as the things I planned to eat.  Ignorance was bliss to be sure.  Every damn thing has some kind of sugar in it and it’s almost impossible to eat something healthy and actually sugar free.  The cravings started almost immediately and increased with each passing day.  It was making me a little crazy and I turned into a cranky and mean SOB that my better-half was ready to kill.  I was forced to withdraw a little from her because I was on edge and picking fights with her about really stupid stuff.  I knew it was happening but couldn’t really control it very well.  It took almost five  weeks before I physically began to feel a little better.

When I quit smoking in 1985, I did it "cold turkey" after being motivated by a panic attack I thought was a heart attack.  Even then the worst of the physical cravings for nicotine passed within two or three weeks.  I guess the solution to my problems is to take up smoking candy cigarettes.

I’m doing well now and have learned to almost not hate my treadmill.  I’ve walked at a good pace for more than thirty-five miles and am starting to feel physically better.  I’ve lost almost seventeen pounds so far but still have a ways to go before I’ll be satisfied. 

It’s going to be a long winter but at the end of it I will be thinner, trimmer, and healthier.  In my opinion that’s a pretty good trifecta.

09-11-2013   Leave a comment

It’s been an interesting few weeks for me starting with my annual doctor’s visit.  They always try to put a good spin on things until the very end of the visit.  Everything’s fine, everything looks good, the blood tests were perfect except for “one little thing”.  I’m a little paranoid of doctors on a good day but when you here “one little thing” you just hold your breath because you know something bad is coming.

It wasn’t a major catastrophe but worrisome none the less.  I’m in the diabetes danger zone with my blood sugar and steps need to be taken to remedy the problem immediately.  That entails being placed on a no sugar and no carb diet.  What that really means is I’ll never be able to eat a decent meal again or at least for quite some time.  The upside is that if I’m able to lose enough weight I’ll be able to stop taking 90% of the prescription medication I’m currently taking for blood pressure and cholesterol.  The doctor was rather adamant about his instructions which convinced me to pay close attention and do what I’m told for once.  Since my father died from diabetes related problems it’s time for me to wise up and get with the program. No more sugar, no more carbs, reduced dairy, reduced portions, and a minimum of twenty minutes of vigorous walking a day.

My first step was to inform my better-half who as always is there for support. My second step was making a trip to the local Sears where I found a treadmill that would fill my requirements.  With Winter approaching, walking on the roads becomes problematic and I hate being required to drive any distance to a gym. It was delivered a week later and that’s when the fun begin.  Being the cheap bastard that I am I refused to pay $75.00 to have it built.  Three hours later I had it in place and operational. For most of my life I’ve played sports of one type of another but never ever used a treadmill.  I was able to use it experimentally for a day or two without killing myself. 

It’s now almost two weeks later and I’m on my way to being a treadmill expert.  This treadmill makes things very easy to do and gives me the ability to track heart rate, incline, distance, and much much more.  I’m doing approximately 35 minutes a day at a medium speed walk.  Having a television in the room has made it even easier.  Starting tomorrow I’m going to do two thirty minutes sessions a day. I’m already down almost ten pounds in the first three weeks.  That’s a little fast but what the hell, it’s all good.

My goal as set by the doctor is a fifteen pound loss by February and an additional fifteen pounds by next August. Then I’ll be lean and mean and hopefully medication free.  It’s a goal worth reaching and could add ten years to my life. I’m good with that. 

05-26-2013   Leave a comment

I love cooking, I love eating, and I also love living.  If the experts out there are correct those three things are no longer compatible with each other.  For most of my life I’ve had one group or another of so called experts explaining to me in great detail what in their opinion would shorten or end my life.  I’m not talking about guns or knives or any type of weapon but food and other consumables.

I can’t drink the water because most of it contains harmful or deadly toxins that could be fatal with extended consumption.  I can’t breath the air because it’s polluted with toxins that could give me a cancer.  Those two things are basic to all life on the earth of which there is plenty but they could kill me. Do I stop consuming them?  If I do I’ll die for sure.  A seriously flawed conundrum.

Don’t eat eggs.  They’ll cause your cholesterol to soar putting you at risk. Don’t eat bacon.  It will kill you.  No more red meat. It will kill you too.  Don’t eat too much oil. It will kill you. No sugar. It will also kill you.  No sugar substitutes. They’ll kill you too.  Stop eating salt.  It could kill you.  Drink only low fat milk.  Whole milk contains something that will kill you.  No dairy products.  They can kill you too.  Don’t eat fish or seafood. Too much mercury. Don’t eat potato chips. They’ll kill you.  No fried foods. They can kill you. No coffee. It can kill you.

Carbs are bad.  Protein is bad. Oil is bad. Salt is bad. Sugar is bad. Water is bad. The air is bad. Being fat is bad.  Being skinny is bad. Being too active is bad.  Not being active enough is bad too. Drinking alcohol is bad. It will kill you.  Smoking is evil. You will day a horrible death. Don’ eat sweets.  They have sugar and will kill you.

I guess my point is that if you never want to die you should stop doing and eating all of the above things. Wait, that can’t be right.  You’re going to die anyway.

Let’ try this.  I could become a Vegan who eats nothing but bland unseasoned organic veggies.  I’ll drink nothing but pure filtered water, wear a mask to filter the air, and never touch any food that tastes good or even looks good.  I’ll exercise just enough to keep me healthy and skinny and never consume caffeine, drugs of any kind, alcohol, or sweets.  People would praise me as someone doing things the natural way, the way things ought to be for the entire world. I’ll form research groups to reinforce my opinions and write books and sell DVD’s to become rich and influential.  I’ll then use all of my money and influence to pressure politicians to pass laws that will force everyone to be healthy.  Once the entire country has been converted then I’ll do everything in my power to convince the world.  After I’ve become the voice of reason for all things health related, I’ll live just long enough to finally die.  Just like everyone else.

All that effort and BS just to die like every other unhealthy person on the planet.  Hardly seems worth the effort to me.  Just give me a cold beer, a bag of chips, a good bacon and egg breakfast, a nice juicy salted steak with all the trimmings, and a good smoke and glass of brandy. Then I’ll be ready to die too.

I’ll rather die happy eating a banana split covered with whipped cream, nuts, and a huge cherry on top than being a stinky and unhappy dead Vegan.  If I’m gonna go I want it to be on my own terms.  It’s something called freedom of which we have very little these days.

Bon Appetite

02-20-2013   2 comments

In my travels this year everyone seems to be talking a great deal about the flu, getting flu shots, and health issues in general.  They don’t call this time of the year Cold & Flu Season for nothing I suppose.

As a society we’ve been slowly and steadily introduced to a plethora of drugs that will seemingly cure all of our ills (we hope).  The costs keep rising and rising for these drugs with no end in sight (if the drug companies having anything to say about it).  Prescription drugs have become the new necessities of life and a major addiction for our entire society. It’s all we seem to talk about or think about after  decades of thorough and constant advertising propaganda.

My mother introduced me to herb growing many years ago and ever since I’ve had a really nice herb garden wherever I’ve lived.  I grow dozens of culinary herbs and I’m already planning additions to my garden for this year.  I try to use as many fresh herbs as I can in our food preparations during the summer months and dry and store enough to get us through each winter.  It makes the food much more  flavorful and is likely a healthy practice (we hope).

Being a huge reader I’ve developed a habit of buying old books at yard sales and discount bookstores concerning herb lore and their varied medicinal uses.  About twenty years ago I stumbled on a copy of a very old book, Culpeper’s Complete Herbal – written in 1653, that contains hundreds of plants and their dosages used for  medicinal purposes.  For centuries that book was probably used  for remedies to ease symptoms of many every day minor illnesses.

I decided to do a little more research and  thought I might pass along a few of these outdated and quirky remedies that may have been the basis for some of our current day solutions.  Here are a few:

After all of these years our current well educated doctors are still no closer to discovering a remedy for the common cold.  It’s the same old thing, "drink lots of liquids, bed rest, and take an aspirin every four hours."  The ancients believed in the use of medicinal herbs.  They actually brewed willow bark  to help ease headaches and cold symptoms. It was later synthesized into the modern day aspirin we use today.  Maybe they were smarter than we give them credit for, or  maybe not. Here’s a sore throat remedy that you will just love:

Take a wool sock, a dirty (stinky and smelly) wool sock worn by someone who is obviously strong and healthy.  It must be a sock from a member of the opposite sex and should be turned inside out and tied around the neck.  The foot part of the sock should cover the sorest spot of the throat and left there overnight. In the morning remove the sock and wash (please). Your sore throat and fever should be eased somewhat. (Yikes!)

How’s that for a disgusting bit of healthcare.  I think I’d prefer the smell of Vicks to a nasty old sock worn by better-half. It might cure my sore throat but my eye’s would water for a week. Now for an interesting tip on dealing with a pesky toothache:

Just split open a nutshell, dig out the meat but be sure to keep the two items intact. Put a dead spider in one half and close up the shell. Hang it around your neck and as long as you’re wearing it, no more toothaches. (This one is not for me).  Now for a really ancient hiccup cure:

The ancient Chinese were ahead of their time in dealing with hiccups.  They suggested to gulp nine swallows of water without taking a breath.  You should at the same time press a spot on the back of your neck where it meets the torso.  Modern scientists later determined that was actually the location of the phrenic nerve which when pressed can  stop the impulse to hiccup.

Wart remedies are one of my favorites.  When I was a kid I had a wart on my index finger that would not go away and it drove me crazy.  An elderly Slovak lady who lived in my neighborhood told me to cut a potato in half. Then take a penny and rub both sides of it on the potato halves.  Next I was to rub the penny on the wart using both sides of the coin.  Finally I was to throw the penny away where it could never be found by anyone.  I followed her instructions to the letter and within two week the wart dried up and fell off. I was dumbfounded.

I certainly don’t recommend or endorse any of these ancient remedies, just passing them along as a public service.  Some are silly, some don’t work and some do but either way they’re still interesting.

Have a wonderful Cough and Cold season and save all those stinky socks.