Tag Archives: illness

Five Things I Learned This Week

In no particular order of importance here are some things that I learned this past week.

  • If you have it, you hardly notice it. If you don’t have it, it’s sorely missed.  What is it?  Good health!  Issues lately with my knees and my eye- all mostly resolved-have made that clear to me.
  • I can only do so much, which has become clear to me at work and in my private life. I’ve recently been maxed out at my job and my off-work “free” time has been appropriated.  I need to learn to say “no”.  Or perhaps, “NO!”.
  • The downside to cooking a lot of something to eat all week is culinary boredom. A better choice may be to cook smaller batches of several things.  And hot sauce-hot sauce is good!
  • Worry is a total bummer. Worry about things you can’t control or even influence, more so.
  • A simple “thank you” and card can really make someone’s day, which makes both parties happy.

    Learn to say no…it’s OK to say!

I Stopped Using Soap 2 Years Ago

Okay, it’s more accurate to say that I gave up scented products the better part of 2 years ago.  No longer does Irish Spring reside on the rack in my shower.  Gone are the halcyon days of liberally splashing Old Spice all over myself.  Speed Stick is on a slow boat to China.  I no longer use any soap or personal hygiene products that contain perfumes, triclosans, preservatives, dyes, or pretty much anything I can’t pronounce in one try.

So what do I use?  For washing up, including washing my hair, I use Kirk’s Original Coco Castille bar soap.  I also use Kirk’s for shaving.  I recently found an herbal scented hair conditioner from Nature’s Gate that smells very much like Old Spice.  And to prevent myself from offending in a crowd, I use Tom’s of Maine deodorant-as well as their toothpaste.  For laundry and dishes I use products from Seventh Generation.  I get all of these at the supermarket!

So what’s the purpose to this list of products? Well, I’m not getting sponsorship dollars, that’s for sure!

My point is to show that there are alternatives to products laden with allergens and endocrine disrupting chemicals.  For my part, my asthma improved markedly, a variety of constant low-grade aches disappeared, and I have not had an inkling of a flare up from an old gout attack.  I don’t have any empirical evidence but I am persuaded that switching to “natural” personal hygiene products is largely responsible for these improvements in my health.


January Was Not A Fun Month!

I had  to deal with two illnesses in January, first a severe sinus infection and then a case of near-pneumonia.  (I’m convinced the one led to the other.)  All in all it was not a very fun month for me.  I was out of commission for a total of 19 days.  Needless to say, I wasn’t working out a lot during that period.  In fact, “not at all” is an apt description.

Adding insult to injury, I was on a fairly high dose of Prednisone for a while.   Prednisone belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids. It decreases your immune system’s response to various diseases to reduce symptoms such as inflammation, swelling and allergic-type reactions.  One of the things about this drug is that you can’t just stop taking it, at least, not without unpleasant consequences.  Another is that it supercharges your appetite.

So, between being inactive and hungry all the time, I put on 11 pounds while I was sick.  Fortunately, I’m nearly done tapering off the Prednisone, and tonight I start my workouts again in earnest.  I hope the weight comes off as easily as it went on, but I’m not counting on it.  Tally ho!

Obesity-The New American Way?

If you had an infection, you would take an antibiotic, wouldn’t you? If you had asthma, you would use an inhaler, wouldn’t you? If you had a headache, you would take an analgesic, wouldn’t you? And if you had a bad cut, you would get stitches, right? These things all mitigate an adverse health condition.

So why are so many Americans unwilling to mitigate their obesity?

Maybe it’s because unlike an illness or an injury, the repercussions are less immediate and therefore more easily ignored. That does not mean that the repercussions are any less real or dangerous.

We all know that high blood pressure, clogged arteries, and diabetes are killers. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not for quite a while, but inevitably they will prevail. Even so, two thirds of the adults in this country and about half the children are overweight or obese.

The solution could not be simpler: eat sensibly and exercise regularly. But that’s not presently the American way. Let’s change that!

My Own 100,000 Mile Health Service

Wow, it has been a busy summer!  As a result, I’m afraid that I have been a bit remiss in posting regularly.  This month, my age is on the top of my mind.  I think I have reached that point, at 52 years, when my youthful invulnerability has morphed into a middle aged dawning awareness.  Put simply, I’m having a lot of repair and maintenance done this month, kind of like a 100,000 mile service on a car.  The actions are routine but necessary.

  • Last week, a 20-plus year old filling fell out of one of my upper bicuspids.  There’s no pain, thankfully, and there’s enough of the tooth left for a crown.  But that won’t happen until next week.  (And the pretty hygienist said she liked my long roots!)
  • In the middle of the month I’m having a routine colonoscopy, since I am after all in the recommended age bracket for them.  All jokes aside-believe me I’m tempted-it’s a good idea if only to rule out pre-cancerous polyps.
  • Finally, at the end of the month I’m having cataract surgery on my left eye.  I had the right one done two years ago, and it is amazing how much better my sight was after a nearly drive-through procedure.  I can’t wait to have a matching set again!

So, yes, a busy summer and a particularly busy month ahead.  I don’t mind this, since the alternative to all this maintenance and repair is at best a continuation of the status quo, and at worst a worsening of my overall health.  Darn it, I’ve worked too hard to reclaim my health to jeopardize it by inaction!  I just hope nothing else needs work until September, though.