Category Archives: Health

Resolved

As we near the end first week of January, I’m proud to report that I’ve kept all of my New Year’s resolutions. Or I would have if I had made any. Perhaps I’ve kept yours.

I don’t typically make New Year’s resolutions. Or perhaps I should say, I don’t make typical New Year’s resolutions.

Let it be noted that this week, I took a Zumba class, attended a Weight Watchers meeting, started a new book (reading, not writing), cleaned out and reorganized my refrigerator and tried to donate a pint of blood. Tried, because I apparently didn’t have enough iron for the Red Cross. I then went out and bought a gargantuan head of kale.

If I had resolved to exercise, lose weight, read more, get organized, do for humanity and buy healthful foods, I’d have aced it this week. One down, fifty-one to go.

Notice I said, “healthful,” not “healthy.” Things are healthful. People are healthy. Kale, anyone?

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Filed under All Things Wordish, Food, Health, Holidays, Sports and Recreation

Sounds like hypochondria

As part of my consulting practice, I do a lot of work for the medical profession. I often work with groups of doctors who are discussing the latest treatments for various diseases. When I’m on a project, I’m immersed in descriptions and data about symptoms, diagnosis, prevalence and treatment.

It’s interesting work and I enjoy it. There’s only one drawback. By the end of every project, I’m convinced I have the disease. In my mind, I’ve had ADHD, Alzheimer’s, Narcolepsy, Colitis and some pretty serious neurological conditions. I imagine there are also some pretty nasty viruses brewing in my system.

If I were to self diagnose, I’d say it’s a hypersensitivity to data and descriptions.

My latest condition? Misophonia. I didn’t pick this one up at work but rather, watching the morning news. Have you heard about it?

As best I understand it, Misophonia is a low tolerance for certain kinds of sounds, thought be the result of abnormal connections between the autonomic and limbic systems of the brain. People who suffer from Misophonia aren’t just annoyed by their triggers. They’re enraged.

Maybe you saw the news story. A woman and her husband had to eat in separate rooms.

Speaking from experience, I can tell you the condition isn’t triggered by loud noises. I can put up with most loud noises. What triggers my Misophonia—and, I trust that of my fellow sufferers—are the quieter human sounds: breathing, chewing (the sound of any gum chewing whatsoever sends me into orbit!), slurping coffee or soup, the shuffling of feet. If I had to name one trigger that evokes homicidal thoughts, it would be a nose whistle.

I’m sure there’s an olfactory equivalent and I’m sure I have that too. I suspect it’s because I’m nearly blind as a bat and, therefore, my senses of hearing, smell, taste and even touch are super-acute.

I’ve heard music in my bedsprings, I can smell when someone has visited a house with a dog and I routinely detect what my husband had for lunch. The toe-tapping of an average human feels to me like the footsteps of the Jolly Green Giant.

Okay, so now you know there’s something wrong with me. Give me a moment and I’ll give you the proper clinical term.

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Filed under Health, Movies, Television and Radio, News

No skivvies, no service

From the flaky folks who banned the Happy Meal – a new piece of legislation that makes so much sense it’s ridiculous.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will consider legislation requiring naked people to place something under their bottoms when they sit in public or eat in a restaurant. Let’s hope the bill goes so far as to prohibit that something from being a restaurant-issued napkin. Ewww. Double ewww.

The legislation was introduced by Supervisor Scott Wiener (of course). I assume Clerk Johnson entered it into the record.

Wiener is a new board member who took his seat earlier this year, presumably donning drawers. Wiener represents a nudist-friendly district so, au naturally, is behind nudists’ rights. However, he felt that public parading of privates had gotten out of hand—that hanging out unharnessed posed health concerns.

I’ve taken the liberty of crafting a campaign slogan for Member Wiener’s initiative. This can be cross-stitched on a 12-inch square linen, which doubles beautifully as a sampler and a can cozy.

If you sit down,
dining in town,
Be a chum
And shroud your bum.

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Filed under Food, Health, News, Politics

Happy new year

Everyone knows the real New Year begins the day after Labor Day. January 1st is just a date that brings a new calendar but not much else of significance.

Historically, school starts the day after Labor Day, though many jurisdictions have bumped it to August. Congress is back, Washington traffic will build to its usual awful and the white shoes of those who observe proper etiquette are aptly stored in boxes until next May.

It’s time for resolutions. Last Labor Day, I gave up coffee, but the old demon has dripped back into my life. Time to filter out that and other bad habits that brewed over the summer—the trips to Baskin Robbins, the chips and dips, the carbonated beverages.

It used to be that Labor Day was marked by the Jerry Lewis Multiple Dystrophy telethon, but this year it was a condensed telethon sans Jerry. In honor of Jerry—and because I was a little down—I spent much of yesterday on the sofa, watching a marathon of Jerry Lewis movies on Antenna TV.

Several times over the weekend, I heard from parents who had dropped their freshmen off at college. While sitting with a friend Sunday night, we traded observations about how the college drop-off has changed over the last 30 years.

After filling multiple carts at Bed Bath and Beyond, parents now haul truckloads of electronics, appliances, shelving and bedding (coordinated between roommates) into kids’ dorms, make their beds, set out their color-coded file folders on their neatly organized desks, hang bulletin boards, place their folded tee shirts and underwear into school-issued dressers, set out mailing supplies for writing Grandma, and leave them behind with hugs, tearful goodbyes and as much advice as we can hurl at them while pulling out of the parking lot.

I shared with my friend a memory of moving into my freshman dorm. Granted, I was just moving across town. Regardless, on the night before classes began, I packed one large turquoise pleather suitcase, grabbed an afghan I had crocheted that summer, watched Jerry Lewis sing his ceremonial “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and drove myself to college.

It’s the day after Labor Day once again and I’m looking forward to a happy New Year. It was kind of a weird summer for me, so I’m not particularly sorry to leave it behind. Here’s to a new school year, to resolutions, to fabulous fall fabrics. And to Jerry Lewis.

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Filed under Food, Health, Holidays, Movies, Television and Radio

Meet Mrs. Trumbull

I got a Kindle for Christmas.

Late last night, seven months and three weeks later, I turned it on for the first time.

In yet another battle of man versus very small machine, I won. It took more than three hours, but my Kindle and I are now on a last name basis. It’s such a simple device. How could it have been so difficult?

I won’t go into all the gory details; or maybe I will. It was a  chicken-and-egg, O. Henry, Catch 22 kind of thing. I had to connect the device to a wireless network in order to use it, but my wireless password contains characters that the Kindle doesn’t support. Or so said the nice lady at Amazon’s help desk at midnight last night.

I had spent about an hour reading various chat threads about this technical conundrum and read all of Amazon’s instructions, each of which began with “Connect to a wireless network,” when I finally gave up and called. (After doing business with Amazon.com for 10 or 15 years, this is the first time I’ve spoken with a live person.) She confirmed I had to have the guy who set up my password change it for me. Unfortunately, for him and for me, but especially for him, he is gravely ill in the hospital; I guessed he wouldn’t want to take my call. The only option was to contact the wireless router manufacturer for help. I was two-and-a-half hours into this adventure, and not looking forward to bringing in another party, especially as I expected this would involve crawling under my desk in the wee hours.

The story took a turn. Despite Amazon’s telling me the device could not support my password, I did a little fancy fingerwork and tricked the Kindle into accepting it. I registered it and gave it a name. I don’t know why devices want us to name them; it’s not like they’re our pets, but I went ahead and did it. If my Kindle were a pet, and considering my existing pets are named Ricky and Lucy, and I was still high off a recent Lucy marathon, then it would stand to reason that I name my Kindle Mrs. Trumbull.

I chose a book and ordered it. Lo and behold, the book is now in the good hands of Mrs. Trumbull.

When I saw Midnight in Paris earlier this summer, I promised myself, once I activated the Kindle, I’d re-read some Ernest Hemingway. That’s going to have to wait.

The first book is … drum roll … The Inside Tract: Your Good Gut Guide to Great Digestive Health by Gerard E. Mullin M.D., and Kathie Madonna Swift, M.S., R.D., L.D.N., Foreward by Andrew Weil, M.D.

Why? I won’t go into all the gory details.

I’ll just say my condition didn’t improve with a three-hour dose of tech diff.

 

 

By the way, is it me or would the average adult suffer late-night indigestion upon reading the following message from the Amazon help desk:

When setting up your WiFi, please make sure of the following:

-Your Router is B/G-Wireless Compatible and not broadcasting solely in Wireless-N Mode.
-You will need to know what encryption you have. If you have WPA encryption, your WiFi password will work, however if you have WEP encryption, you will need to use your 8 or 10 character WEP Key.
-Make sure that your router is not filtering MAC Addresses.

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Filed under Foibles and Faux Pas, Health, Reading, Technology and Social Media

A hiatus from Hades

Have the searing heat and the national debt debate got you down? A scan of newspapers, Internet and television news and Facebook posts, not to mention those oft-forgotten personal conversations, shows a pretty grumpy America. We’re hot and we’re mad and we wonder how things could get any worse. Hrumph.

As I thought this morning about what to wear that would absorb the perspiration, and dreaded doing all the things I have to do today and over the weekend that involve going out in the 100-degree weather, my calendar spoke to me.

It happens that I’m scheduled to visit two hospice patients today and tomorrow. One visit involves taking an elderly patient out to an appointment. This woman asked me yesterday if I wanted to cancel because she was afraid the heat was going to be too much for me. This is the same woman who, when I expressed my condolences for the recent passing of her husband, said, “Thank you, but there are so many people worse off than I am.”

This is not intended to be about how people experience grief or face their mortality, or even to talk about who’s worse off than whom. We’re all entitled to our own feelings and, when it comes to misery, there’s no hierarchy.

But I’m choosing to see it that way this weekend. Yes, it’s 115 degrees in our cars. Yes, our country is swirling down with the Ty-D Bowl man in his little boat, taking our personal savings and investments right along with it.

But for the next two days, I’ll be with people who are facing some pretty unpleasant issues as well. My plan is to live in their realities for a while, and hopefully exchange the humidity and the national brawl for some perspective.

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Filed under Health, News

Transition

My husband used to say that summer doesn’t really begin until the Fourth of July. I think he meant it in the context of the Dewey Beach calendar, but I suspect most beach resorts look at it the same way.

This summer, I definitely believe it. Even though we’ve already had our summer vacation, it feels as though everything we’ve done since Memorial Day has been an orchestrated lead-up to this week.

Mostly, we looked forward to and planned for the arrival of my brother’s family for the Independence Day holiday and worked backward. Between my work travel, our beach vacation, my dental surgery and a few other obligations, the open time slots were scheduled for buying groceries, pre-preparing meals, cleaning the house, getting the yard in shape, washing the car and making beds. This was the fun part, the anticipation of our visit with our nephews and their parents.

They’re gone now, we’ve done about eight loads of laundry and it’s eerily quiet around here.

It’s time to think about the rest of the summer, drum up some more business, conjure up blog ideas and send belated greetings to a lot of people whose birthdays came and went during the frenzy.

I still have a bit of a junk food hangover. Today will be my day to clear my mind and my body and make the switch over to official summer, before the rest of it slips away.

Oh, and I’ll try and think of something more interesting to write about tomorrow.

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Filed under Family and Friends, Food, Health, Holidays