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Archive for the ‘disease/accident care’ Category

What a funny day this has been!

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Jeremy Paxman, British journalist and broadcas...
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It started with me tearing after seeing my current real hero, Christopher Hitchens, being interviewed quite sympathetically by Jeremy Paxman.

How come so many interviews in the UK seem so civilized while those in North America seem either pandering or aggressive? I think that is one way of defining the cultural divide between the UK and North America.

It used to be Alistair Cooke who personified that divide. Of course, Hitchens has been living in the US for about 30 years now so he crossed the divide in many ways long ago.

Now it seems likely that he will die in the US and that will be another curiosity about that divide. The fact is that Hitch sounds so British and so civilized so I would have expected that he would choose to die nearer his home turf somewhere on that “blessed Isle” but he prefers to live in America and made that choice of his own volition those 30 years ago.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/12/05 at 09:02

The cbc.ca headline blares “Alcohol most harmful drug”

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Main physiological effects of Crack cocaine. S...
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I like to think that I’m a reasoning type of bloke! But what F… is going on here.

One of the simple indulgences in my life is now “the most harmful drug“. Is it just a British thing because binge drinking seems to be a visible characteristic of many young Brits out on the town, at soccer games, on holiday anywhere and such? Or is it another example of researchitis, or pseudo science?

Here’s a quote from cbc.ca:

Alcohol is more dangerous than illegal drugs like heroin and crack cocaine, according to a new study.

British experts evaluated substances including alcohol, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and marijuana, ranking them based on how destructive they are to the individual who takes them and to society as a whole.

Researchers analyzed how addictive a drug is and how it harms the human body, in addition to other criteria like environmental damage caused by the drug, its role in breaking up families and its economic costs, such as health care, social services and prison.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2010/11/01/alcohol-illicit-drugs.html#ixzz144geyLEW

This brings to mind the gist of the ad from Standard & Chartered Bank in Asia: “Counting of things is important but not all things should/or can be counted”

I would say that applies to research into human behavior in another way: “Research into human behavior can be helpful, except when it finds simple human indulgences most harmful!

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An amazingly clear and complete image of a landslide

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Wow, another Big Picture really big picture:

All the devastation is in the lower right as it should be at the bottom of the slope! But what an image!

It’s all so obvious and in vivid colors! So much seems to happen in Sichuan Province! I know they don’t deserve all the mayhem and wreckage of homes and families!

This Can't Happen Here
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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/09/25 at 14:11

A description of “hell on earth”

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Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 cover
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It does not include Islamists or even terrorists and affects only one person.

I have read more than one essay by Tony Judt, but I didn’t realize that he was suffering from Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

My sister died after suffering from MS for many years. So this dis-ease is part of my family’s history. Also, my cousin Fred Gagnon died an early death (50 something) because of that dis-ease.

But I had never read such a bleak description of the effects of it until I read this in the NY Review of Books, which, over the years, has published many Judt essays.

This is as close to “hell on earth” as I like to contemplate!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/01/11 at 08:53

Olivia Judson offers practical advice about positive and negative body rhythms

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A phylogenetic tree of living things, based on...
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Olivia JudsonOlivia Judson on the influence of science and biology on modern life.

Yes she is a molecular biologist who writes well, but she is also very good with advice about dealing with our health and dis-ease care. Check her latest ideas out!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/12/23 at 17:48

Dealing with high blood sugars!

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During my last appointment with my GP when he told me that the next step was not more meds or exercise and diet, but insulin injections, because my diabetes was showing signs of serious regression with blood sugar metrics that were “outta control”. My desultory morning monitoring of my “fasting blood sugar” showed measures usually around 12 and sometimes as high as 20. The acceptable standard is about 6.

Since that appointment I have been sort of floundering, worrying and coming to terms with the idea of injecting myself, in the belly, with insulin. But my GP did give me on last med solution until my next blood test session next Feb. He prescribed Junania an expensive pill at $3.15 a pill per day. And then by accident I found a small magazine at the Whole Foods coffee counter that included an article titled “Avoid Diabetes Complications”. At first I didn’t pay much attention. But the other day I was taking a long bus ride and took more time to read and consider the advice in the article that was written by a naturopath from Rossland, BC – Brenda Gill.

I was struck by this sentence in Gill’s article “Food is the primary medicine in diabetes prevention and treatment.” She followed that by mentioning a book by Dr. Richard K. Bernstein Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes solution that explains a successful blood sugar controlling diet. He, with diabetes I, weaned himself from insulin injections, by following a diet he found by trial and error over several years. He eliminates cereals, bread, potatoes, pasta and deserts, replacing them with vegetables and some fruit.

Two days ago I started following that diet guideline and this morning my blood sugar metric was 8.1 or a 50% improvement from metrics 4 days ago. In fact, my blood sugar metrics yesterday went in three tests from 12.3 to 9.1 around 6PM and now this morning the metric is 8.1. Now that’s not regression! That’s progression. What I don’t know is whether it’s because of the new med Juvania, or my changed diet or both. Whatever the cause the news is good.

UPDATE 12/18, 7:20 AM: My fasting blood sugar reading this morning is 5.7, nicely in the recommended range of 4 to 6. Thank you low carb diet!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/12/13 at 10:25

Diabetes 2’s existential reality for me is the insulin needle

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Overview of the most significant possible symp...
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Let me begin by saying that I’m in pretty good health at 74 years done and 2 months into my 75th year of living. I’ve never been really sick, but I have a medical file that doesn’t read well. The last time I used the BP machine at the pharmacy, the BP metric was 152/82. And then there are my blood sugars and hemaglobins which are not good at all, especially as my GP explains the prognostic of this progressive malady, Diabetes 2.

So he said that in my case medication, diet and exercise were no longer enough, because as he reads my test results over the last 6 months or so, the dis-ease has progressed, or simply put gotten worse. But I say I feel ok and realize that diabetes 2 is a silent killer with some messy physical debilities on the way out, like blindness, amputation et al.

So there I was considering how I would deal with a daily or frequent and self-administered insulin injection. Not Good at all. But later on I realized that other outcomes would be worse, especially that blindness one!

Meanwhile my leg muscles have been giving me extra trouble. I seem to have endemic calf muscle spasms in both legs, altho the right leg is worse than the left. The upshot of this situation is that I tend to walk with stiffness in my right leg and seem to hobble. In fact, when I walked out of the doctor’s office on Tues. PM the spasm in my left leg seemed to become acute. This caused me some anguish since I was on Denman St and about 8 transit kms from home, a lot of stairs et all to get home. I must say that it seemed worse and by the time I was walking the last 75 metres home muscle spasms seemed to wear off.

A psych friend posted a Tolle tutorial about re-sentment on Facebook and I guess this is a sign that the universe is offering me some help. The worse thing I can do right now is begin the “why me” litany and give in to the feelings of resenting all those young people who run up stairs and escalators. My reality is mine and it’s up to me to deal with it. I’ve got to get my fasting blood test results down to acceptable levels. I am using a new diabetes 2 med that costs $3.15 a pill. Thank my extended health care plan I pay only .25 a pill, as long as the insurance pays.

Part of writing this is to work through my emotions about this. My wife is more concerned about my chances of making it past the next few years, especially since we are heading back to China. Albeit I will be returning to Canada twice a year for stays of about 60 days or so.

The bottom line is that I can’t take my health for granted any more! What I eat and drink, or how much I do, will have consequences so it’s up to me. Writing this is a form of therapy for my mind.

But there is some slight good news. Yesterdays fasting blood sugar was down to 9.5 from 11 to 13. I’m like Obama taking heart from slight metric improvements, he in jobless figures and me in blood sugar metrics!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/12/05 at 08:44