All posts tagged: Health

Not Fueled by Chocolate

As I slide towards another birthday, I am reminded that increasing age diminishes my ability to shed those extra pounds that cluster around the part of my body that makes me look like a pear. An unfortunate side effect of getting older is that it is getting harder to maintain anything remotely resembling an hour glass figure. A brisk thirty minute walk in the morning and forty-five minutes at the gym after lunch just isn’t enough exercise to make my clothes feel ‘less snug’. I’ve been forced to cut calories too, starting with the ultimate sacrifice – no dark chocolate snacks until the pudginess is brought into submission again. For some indefinite amount of time, my blog writing will ‘Not Be Fueled by Chocolate.’ There are any number of articles and advertisements that suggest how to lose weight (many are for bogus diets or are designed to drain your bank account), but it is only in the last few years that researchers have identified how our body fat makes us fat. With the rise in …

Canadian Snowbirds – Renewing a Prescription Drug in Arizona

Good News for Canadian Snowbirds! If you are going to run out of a prescription drug before you can get back to Canada, there could be a way you can get it refilled. Take the remaining medication to a local Urgent Care (Primary Care Walk-in) Centre (we used the one nearest  to us, in Fountain Hills Arizona). Be sure the medication is in the original container with the label from the pharmacy that filled your prescription. The Doctors or Nurse Practitioners will give you a similar check-up to what your doctor at home would do before renewing your prescription. There will, of course, be a fee for this service. The prescription will be sent to a pharmacy of your choice for pick-up the next day. Totally unrelated to this topic – I’ve edited the following popular Snowbird joke that circulates in emails. I made it an Alberta/Arizona joke instead of Minneapolis/Florida (though it is rather far fetched to think someone would choose to honeymoon in Arizona…) An Alberta couple decided to go to Arizona to …

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The 2017 Alberta Flu Bug Arrives at my Door

I shall take you to bed and have my way with you. I will make you ache, shake, and sweat until you moan and groan. I will make you beg me to stop! When I am finished you will be weak for days. Sincerely, The Flu. I’ve been getting an Annual Flu shot since 2003, and up until now I have been flu-free. My luck ran out last Monday. I woke up feeling awful – fever, chills, whole body muscle pain,  intense fatigue, a cough, and skin so sensitive I could hardly stand to wear clothes. All these symptoms pointed to a flu virus. The flu, in a nutshell: At First I was afraid I was gonna die. Now I’m afraid I won’t. – Author Unknown – For 3 days I shuffled from bed to couch and back to bed. By Day 4, the whole body symptoms had receded, but site specific rashes and inflammations popped up. I felt well enough, though, to get out of bed and go see the Doctor. He confirmed I …

After a Flood – Responding to Stress

I read a study the other day that looked at post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in flood victims. The study observed the long term effects on residents of a flood in Poland in 1997. I was struck by the similarities between that flood and the floods here in Alberta – a sudden and huge water level rise; lack of adequate alert time; little or no time to deploy preventive measures; the permanence of disruptions and the lack of social and psychological support. Little or no financial compensation from any source was also a factor, and I expect that may be a reality for many of the residents of Hidden Valley too. Now, I’m not going to make light of this, because I think it is important for each and every one of us to think about why we might be feeling the way we are today, and understand why we might still be feeling ‘off’ years from now if we don’t actively seek solutions. We didn’t just lose our cabins or homes – we lost …

Comforts Zones and Risk Tolerance

The length of this document defends it well against the risk of its being read. – Winston Churchill – I’ll keep this story short, then, with a few photos -not risqué, just risky. Risk Tolerance and Comfort Zone – two concepts to think about now and then. At our house, The Car Guy is working hard to get back into his Comfort Zone, which for him is freedom from pain, and getting his neck brace off. (See A Perfect Storm.) Once that is achieved, he can start to think again about what his Risk Tolerance will be when the motorcycle is repaired! And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. – Anais Nin – We live in an area of the country called Hail Alley.  These white lilies have been in my garden for ten years or more, and without fail they get hit by hail either just before they bloom, or just after.  That doesn’t stop them from blooming …

LEGO Surgeon Says, This is What is Wrong!

The Car Guy was still in the hospital after his Motorcycle Accident when our daughter, The Nurse, gave her dad this Lego Surgeon. If you look very carefully at the x-ray in the Surgeon’s hand, you might see what is wrong with the patient. We decided the x-ray showed a rib fracture, though if you turn the x-ray upside down, it might be a break in the clavicle. Since The Car Guy had both – rib fractures and a broken clavicle – the x-ray was fairly accurate!

The Case of the Disappearing Leg – Reality Sometimes Hurts

I don’t think I will become a fan of America’s Funniest Home Videos. I only watched the first few minutes of one of the shows and thought, what is so funny about incidents and accidents where someone gets their feelings or their body hurt? What kind of person would take videos of those types of things and then send them off to a TV show? For that matter, why do people watch this kind of thing and then laugh? Of course, I’m feeling a bit touchy about an incident that might have been funny if Charlie Chaplin had done it for a movie, but wasn’t so funny when it happened to me. Let me set up the scenario for you – we have a set of stairs at the back of our property. Two risers and a landing. They go nowhere, but the landing is a wonderful place to stand when I want a panoramic view of sunrises or sunsets. Yesterday morning’s sunrise was not one that held promise, but I had seen The Fox …

How Does Fear Affect You?

Fear is an excellent motivation tool. It exerts pressure on a person to act against their normal will. It gets the job done quickly, too. Parents use fear to encourage certain behaviour (the example I use here is likely offensive to today’s parents, but you get the idea): Even very young children need to be informed about dying. Explain the concept of death very carefully to your child. This will make threatening him with it much more effective. –  P.J. O’Rourke – Even grown children can be fearful of what a parent might do: My parents did a really scary thing recently. They bought a Winnebago. This means they can pull up in front of my house anytime now and just live there. – Paula Poundstone – Governments and Media use fear on a daily basis: By keeping the population in a state of artificially heightened apprehension, the government-cum-media prepares the ground for planting specific measures of taxation, regulation, surveillance, reporting, and other invasions of the people’s wealth, privacy, and freedoms. – Robert Higgs (Fear: …

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Surfing the Internet – Addiction Disorder?

Internet Addiction Disorder There has been an increased buzz the past few days about Internet Addiction Disorder. I thought I’d better check this out. Since I started blogging, I have been spending an awful lot of time on the internet. What with researching, writing, reading, organizing, thinking,  and corresponding, I probably spend 4 or 5 hours a day on the computer in the wintertime. Last summer, it was more like 1  hour, and at the cabin it was 0 hours.  Nevertheless, if I have developed a full blown Mental Disorder, (other than any of the other ones the family suspects I might have), I would like to be the first person to identify it. The Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders seemed like a good place to start. The first sentence that caught my eye was: “Many people believe that spending large amounts of time on the Internet is a core feature of the disorder. The amount of time by itself, however, is not as important a factor as the ways in which the person’s Internet use …

Tooth Tales – A Dentist Story

The big rage in dental advertising right now is products to make your teeth whiter. Whiter teeth do what? I don’t understand why the money I spend on toothpaste is being ploughed into research and advertising for these products. Just give me a toothpaste that keeps crowns and bridges from falling off, stops night tooth grinding, and lets me eat ice cream without worrying about the calories. Is that too much to ask for? I visited the dentist recently. One of my teeth decided to evict the crown that protected it. The crown, unhappy with that unilateral decision, took some of the tooth with it. Now I have a small stub of a tooth, not much use for anything. I don’t really miss that tooth much. I have lots of other ones to chew with. But my dentist says I can’t run around with a stubby little tooth for very long. We’re discussing the merits of a bridge vs an implant. Like many other decisions in life, there are no simple or clear answers. There …

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Did you Get the H1N1 Flu Shot in 2009?

H1N1 was probably the most talked about topic in the whole world in 2009. Worldwide, annual flu epidemics are estimated to result in about 3 to 5 million cases of severe illness, and about 250 000 to 500 000 deaths. In 2009, H1N1, or Swine Flu was the pandemic. It was hard to pick through the rhetoric to find out how spooked (or not) you should be by this bug. The easiest to read and most user friendly source I found was at the US Department of Health site at FLU.GOV Less easy to read, but useful to Canadians is FIGHT FLU I wanted to understand how this flu affected my age group. Good News! According to several sources, there may be some benefit to being a healthy person over the age of 60. Research suggests a percentage of people in this age group may have some natural immunity to the H1N1 Flu virus. This immunity may not prevent you from getting the flu, but it may reduce the symptoms significantly. Apparently H1N1 has met the …