Sunday, June 28, 2009

Inflammation -- Friend or Foe?

We've been taught that inflammation is bad. First aid for a sprained joint, torn ligament or a strained muscle is RICE -- Rest, Ice, Compression & Elevation, all of which is meant to inhibit inflammation. A NSAID (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) also is recommended.

I've always wondered about this. After all, our bodies have the ability to heal themselves, don't they? If you cut yourself, the initial bleeding flushes out
infectious agents. Then the blood coagulates and forms a tough covering, a scab. After a week or two, the scab becomes itchy, and we scratch it off (but only when our mothers are not watching).

Our body's inflammatory response to injury also promotes healing. The pain causes us to rest the area. The inflammation keeps the joint immobile while the increased blood flow brings about repair.

So it's not surprising to me that there's an injury treatment that involves intentionally bringing about inflammation to promote healing. It's called "Prolotherapy".

But what is surprising and interesting is that in order to induce inflammation, the therapy involves injecting dextrose directly into the affected area. What's so interesting about that? Well, dextrose is a ubiquitous food additive made from plant starch, most likely corn here in the USA. So if dextrose causes inflammation when it's injected, what does it do when it's ingested?

All I can tell you is what happens when I eat things that contain dextrose, such as certain deli meats and Doritos. I get brain fog, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, and even runny nose.

My advice is this: run away from "food" that contains dextrose. Or any processed food, for that matter.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Read This if You've Been Screwed by Your Health Insurance Provider

Some are lucky to be healthy and rarely need to visit even a primary care physician, let alone a team of specialists. Or if not that, they have great health insurance with low deductibles and access to a huge network of doctors (such as our elected Congressional body, who is now crafting health care reform).

The remaining 99.99% of us can rejoice in witnessing Wendell Potter's testimony before Congress.

Here's how he started out on June 24, 2009:
My name is Wendell Potter and for 20 years, I worked as a senior executive at health insurance companies, and I saw how they confuse their customers and dump the sick – all so they can satisfy their Wall Street investors.
Hopefully this will throw a monkey wrench into any ideas about making health insurance mandatory. Or setting as the lone goal of health care reform that every adult and child have health insurance. All this does is help the health insurance industry by enslaving its customer base.

Anyway, please comment on Mr. Potter's blog if you appreciate his telling the truth.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wednesday Weigh-In 20090624

Waist = 36.50"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Two-For-One Holiday Special

Tomorrow I get to enjoy my two favorite holidays -- Father's Day and the Summer Solstice.

Well, okay, the Summer Solstice isn't an official holiday here in the US. But it is an auspicious day for all who dwell in the northern hemisphere on Earth. On each solstice, I like to watch the sun rise and set. Tomorrow I will be amazed at how far north in the sky it will be. Hopefully, we'll have a break in the clouds. And the cats won't be so hungry that they'll ambush me before I get outside. (I wrote briefly about the Winter Solstice last year.)

Father's Day for me is a lot like my birthday except that no one but my daughter and wife celebrate it. The difference is huge. Father's Day is small and confined to my dearest loved ones. By contrast my birthday is the day I get invaded by folks whom I'd never hear from otherwise.

What is your favorite day and why?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

One Lovely Blog Award

Sherlock who "pens" Sherlock's Stuff, has awarded my blog for the "One Lovely Blog Award." Thank you for your kindness!

Here are the award rules:
  1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.
  2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you have newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.
I'm going to share this award with the following bloggers, some of whom are not new to me, but they may be new to you:
  1. Tirsden's LiveJournal site.
  2. Rummuser's Ramana’s Musings.
  3. Jenny Ryan who writes Using My Powers For Good.
  4. Dr. Peter D' Adamo and the The Weekly Transfusion, which would be a good name for a rock band.
  5. The self-titled blog by Melissa Jones.
  6. The Urban Panther's Lair.
  7. The Bumbles Blog, by Molly & Andy.
  8. Clark Kent's Lunchbox.
  9. Danielle LaPorte's white hot truth.
  10. Karen Caterson's Square-Peg Reflections.
  11. Cardiogirl's 19% body fat 100% fun.
  12. Slywy's Dreams and musings from the dark side of the moon.
  13. Petra The Wise (*Young*) Mommy who actually maintains a separate blog that consists solely of blog awards that's how cool she is.
  14. Cheerful Monk's Transforming Stress Into Personal Power.
  15. BloggerDad.
I'll be contacting each of you winners directly so that you know how to arrange payment. Ha ha -- just kidding, of course. Thanks, again, Sherlock!

Wednesday Weigh-In 20090617

It's easy to lose weight when your wife is nauseous all the time.
Waist = 36.75"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Donate Your Computer's Spare Time

Do you leave your computer running and connected to the Internet? If so, why not donate its idle CPU cycles to scientific research? You could help figure out the cause of Alzheimer's disease, predict climate, or search for evidence of gravitational waves or extraterrestrial intelligence.

The Folding@Home distributed computing project is committed to exploring protein folding. Its goal is to gain an understanding of:
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Cancer
  • Huntington's Disease
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Ribosome & antibiotics
All it takes to get started is to download and run a small program. Click here for more details. Other protein research projects include Rosetta@home and Predictor@home.

Other things your computer could work on:
Download an installer and join the research!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Regina Brett's 45 life lessons and 5 to grow on

The following was originally published in The Plain Dealer on Sunday,May 28, 2006

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.

It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here's an update:
  1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
  3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
  6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
  8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
  9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
  10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
  11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
  12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
  13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
  15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
  16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
  17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
  18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
  19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
  20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
  21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
  22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
  23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
  24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
  25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"
  27. Always choose life.
  28. Forgive everyone everything.
  29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
  31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
  33. Believe in miracles.
  34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
  35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
  36. Growing old beats the alternative - dying young.
  37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
  38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.
  39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
  40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
  41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
  42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
  43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
  44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  45. The best is yet to come.
  46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
  48. If you don't ask, you don't get.
  49. Yield.
  50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Sounds good to me, although I think I'll skip the fancy lingerie!

Incidentally, there is an e-mail circulating that says that Ms. Brett just turned 90, and it has only 44 lessons instead of 50.

I have two of my own to add:
  1. Aim for success, not perfection.
  2. Life is not a contest or a race -- it's a journey. Enjoy the scenery. (Kind of like #13 above, but I like this wording better.)
What would you add?

Wednesday Weigh-In 20090610

Waist = 36.75"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wednesday Weigh-In 20090603

At this point I'm satisfied with the weight loss I've achieved. But I need to stay on the diet for maintenance and for health reasons.

Waist = 37.00"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.