May 11, 2017

#524 – Those Pesky Containers

Some of my food storage containers are difficult to get into.

A can opener does the trick for a couple of different styles of  containers.

Stuck? Go on a treasure hunt to see which of your implements can do double-duty.

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April 18, 2017

#523 – Blood Test Snapshots

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Image courtesy of Billy W.

I’ve always felt that certain blood test snapshots could be “out of focus”. The results could vary, dependent upon what you ate, how much/little you exercised, the type of rest/sleep you had and the stress you were undergoing.

When I go for a blood test, I want to control as many variables as possible. I prepare, just as I would for an exam. I don’t pig out (who me?) in the preceding days and I do as much as I can to manage my emotions.

Someone else agrees with me. I recently read this on page 66 in Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris: “It’s important to get blood tests often enough to trend, and to repeat/confirm scary results before taking dramatic action.”

He included an anecdote from Dr. Peter Attia, who explained what happened to his platelet and white blood count after he swam from Catalina Island to Los Angeles. (Yes, you read that right!) They changed from his normal to 6 times normal and 5 times normal, respectively.

He adds,

‘I’ve always been hesitant to treat a patient for any snapshot, no matter how bad it looks. For example, I saw a guy recently whose morning cortisol level was something like 5 times the normal level. So, you might think, wow, this guys got an adrenal tumor, right? But a little follow-up question and I realized that at 3 a.m. that morning, a few hours before this blood draw, the water heater blew up in his house.’

There’s one particular phrase in Dr. Attia’s comment that should become a mantra for healthcare professionals: “follow-up questions”.

As a patient, be proactive. Question. Listen. Double-check. Follow up. The latter one is especially important, as you’ll read on Owner Operator.

Does this image turn your stomach?

If you have had enough of getting stressed by the thought of needles, or by blood tests, I can help. Email me to free yourself from this anxiety.

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April 7, 2017

#522 – I have RA. What’s the bright side?

NDeltaPoolThis post is like half and half cream. Part serious and part poking fun, it’s my way to strive for optimism, an attitude that Michael J. Fox has adopted. Optimism is a way to be well, in spite of living with RA. I may have RA, but it doesn’t have me!

“Choose to be optimistic. It feels better.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV

  1. You become an amateur scientist, if you’re not already one. Experiment. Test.
  2. You become adept at adaptability.
  3. You have no fear of becoming your community’s version of Imelda Marcus or Carrie from Sex and the City. If your feet hurt, you become very choosy about the shoes you buy, and there’s only a limited number of comfortable, yet semi-fashionable shoes available.
  4. People may offer their seat on transit when they see you struggling.
  5. You learn anatomy through the back door. You get to know how your body works from all those appointments with your healthcare team.
  6. You have a good reason to exercise.
  7. You have a valid reason for when you don’t want to go to an event.
  8. You are a creative problem-solver, finding unique and unusual ways to get the things you need to do done!
  9. You have a great appreciation for your mobility.
  10. When you become a senior, you won’t suddenly be complaining about all your aches and pain. You’ve had them all along.

What am I missing from this list?

 

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March 23, 2017

#521- Scissors – Making Them Work

A while back, my thumb was “misbehaving”. I wanted to sew a new jacket for Holly, as she had manged to chew through her old one. The poor girl had an itch she just had to scratch, and the only way to do so was to get rid of her jacket.

I had trouble cutting the fabric because of my sore thumb. It occurred to me to apply one of the same principles I use when trying to solve other problems, which is to look at it from another vantage point. In this case, it was simple. Turn the scissors upside down and put my other fingers in the hole normally reserved for the thumb. This allowed the force required to cut through the fabric to come from my other fingers, rather than from my sore thumb.

Fabric – cut. Jacket – sewn. Holly – warm!

 

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