Thursday, November 29, 2012


Cumulative exercise throughout the day contributes to weight loss in significant ways. Science supports a concept called NEAT-non-exercise activity thermogenesis-the number of calories we burn when we’re not eating, sleeping, or doing sustained exercise. NEAT includes every movement you make, from momentary activities like bending over to tie your shoes and gesturing during conversations to conscious activities like walking a few more blocks and taking the stairs instead of the escalator/elevator.

I've been wearing loafers less often lately and untying/tying my shoes a lot. I think I've might have dropped a 1/2 pound already!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wise owl

Mr. F. is 95 years old.

He is a wealth of information and clearly loves to reminisce.

After serving in the military he went to a trade school.

He then had a very successful career in the construction business.

He wanted me to know that he had come across "a lot of very smart people over the years who were not very wise."

I decided to just listen and not talk very much during our time together.

It was a good choice for a couple of reasons:

1. He was quite hearing impaired so it was easier to listen than to try and get him to understand what I was saying

2. He wouldn't have any significant information on me to know if I fell into the smart but not very wise category

Monday, November 26, 2012

A right thumb holder?

I ordered a pair of L.L.Bean 5-pocket jeans today from their catalog.

I'm sure I would have ordered them if they were only 4-pocket jeans as well.

It got me thinking...what's the purpose of the 5th pocket, the tiny little pocket, usually just inside the upper right front pocket?

Do you know?

Have you ever put anything in it other than a thumb?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I'm not kidding

My wife and I ventured out for the first time today for some Christmas shopping together.

We took a fairly long drive to go to a Dick's sporting goods store that was having a good sale.

It was right next door to a BJ's warehouse store.

Obviously, we shared a laugh together concerning the names of the two stores.

I'm sure we weren't the first but it didn't matter.

It made our "Black Sunday" outing a little more memorable.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Mind preservation

Mrs. N. recently spent some time in a Nursing Home to rehabilitate after heart valve replacement surgery.

"I sure don't want to spend any more time in a Nursing Home," she said. "It's depressing and embarrassing to sit around all day waiting for your 1/2 hour of therapy next to people who have lost their minds. Men and women sitting around saying the same things over and over again holding baby dolls, combing and stroking the hair on the dolls. It's OK, I guess, if you've already lost your mind when you get there. I was pretty sure I was going to lose mine if I didn't get out of there as soon as possible."

She's 83 year old, back home and still of sound mind.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Life extenders

A VA research study has concluded that loneliness can shorten your life.

"Psychological stresses brought on by loneliness, including anxiety and depression, can boost heart risks," the author of the study noted.

Why is it that some folks stay single and unattached their whole life?

I'm not really sure but I suspect some spend so much time trying to find the perfect match that they always think something better than they currently have is just around the corner.

Andy Rooney once stated that "no one is perfect until you fall in love with them."

He also stated that "life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes."

And finally, he noted that "no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs somebody to act goofy with."

I couldn't agree more.

My wife fills that role.

I'll have to let her know she may be extending my life.

Maybe she'll be less annoyed with me once she finds out!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Two reasons

My son had a few away soccer games this past week.

We got home late all three nights.

One morning I decided to change my routine and sleep-in until 6:30 AM but I forgot to tell my wife.

My alarm went off seconds before hers.

I was still in bed.

"'re home (said with clear utter disappointment in her tone)?"

"Well good morning to you also," I replied.

Later she let me know her response was due to 1. thinking she had another hour to sleep since I usually get up at 5:15 AM and 2. having to share our bathroom for the "morning routine."

We laughed.

I understood.

Walking the talk?

The daughter of a patient of mine said the following:

"We re-elected the devil, what's wrong with all the people who voted for him, our country is going down the drain."

At the conclusion of our time together I thanked her for everything she was doing for her father. I let her know that many others would not do the same in caring for him at home due to the complexity of his medical condition.

She replied,"It's all in Gods hands. In everything I do, and in everything that happens in life, I just always remember that God is in control."

I decided to not re-visit her first statement about the devil but I did ponder it on my drive back to the office.

Even worse?

A daughter of a patient of mine made the following statement:

"When my son went off to college he was a happy, Christian, all-american boy. When he graduated 4 years later he was an angry, agnostic, alcoholic man. Even worse was that I paid for it to happen."

I wasn't sure what to say at the time.

On reflection, I think she could have left out the "even worse."

Monday, November 12, 2012

Veterans Day

A Veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America for an amount of  ‘up to and including my life.’

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Aging and risk for heart disease

A study conducted in Denmark, by the University of Copenhagen, has linked heart disease to six signs of aging: baldness at the crown of the head, receding hairline at the temples, gray hair, wrinkles, earlobe creases and fatty deposits around the eyes.

The study concluded that the presence of visible signs of aging signaled an increased risk for heart attacks and heart disease.

What a shocker (I'm being sarcastic)!

I haven't done a research study on the topic yet but it also seems to me, from my experience, that heart disease is also probably linked to cataracts, hearing loss, decreased muscle mass, love handles, arthritis and erectile dysfunction.

Here's my own conclusion: The older a person is, the greater the risk for heart attacks and heart disease.

So here comes the big question: is it best to allow your doctor to see your visible signs of aging or to undergo hair transplants (for balding and receding hair), dye your hair, and see a dermatologist or plastic surgeon to correct the wrinkles, earlobe creases and fatty deposits?

I wonder if a person who uses Grecian Formula might sue the hair dye company for making it harder for his doctor to consider if he might have heart disease?

Maybe a warning will need to be put on the products?

Warning: the use of hair dye might make it harder for your doctor to know if you have heart disease. Use at your own risk. You should notify your doctor, and anyone else you are trying to fool into thinking you are younger than you really are, if you are using a hair dye product.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A good start to the season

The high school soccer season started this past week.

The WPHS boy's team got some coverage from a local sports network:

There's also a video link on the same page.

Only 1 out of 4

Mr. R.'s daughter showed me a few pictures from June 18, 2011.

It was Mr. R.'s 90th birthday celebration.

He appeared to be the picture of health: socializing, singing and dancing.

She reported that at the time he was still walking 2.5 miles and doing 200 push-ups a day.

Unfortunately, he fell in February, 2012 and sustained a left hip fracture.

A year and a half later he remains significantly disabled.

Hip fractures are never a good thing in the elderly.

Within the year after a hip fracture, 25% have died, 25% remain in a long term care facility, 25% are home but disabled and only 25% have returned to close to the activity level and functionality as prior to the fracture.

Only 1 out of every 4 return to close to their baseline.

Mr. R. was always the picture of health and loved to exercise.

Unfortunately, it again confirms the statistics.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A small estate

A lot of housing developments around here use the word "estates" in their title.

The most common definitions of estates (as pertaining to real estate) are:

1. A extensive area of land in the country, usually with a large house, owned by one person or organization and 2. An area or amount of land or property.

I drove by "Leisure Estates" yesterday-a complex of single wide mobile homes for those 55+. It's an example of definition #2:

Monday, November 5, 2012

A double-take sign

I went to a Assisted Living Facility (ALF) today that was in a rural area.

The sign at the entrance had the following quote under the name of the ALF:

"You deserve the best but we are the best"

I decided not to ask any staff about it but pondered the wording on my way back to the office.

I'm fairly certain the "but" should have been an "and."

Once they realized the error maybe they got a discount and decided to keep it as is?

Maybe I'm the first person to question the wording since they opened for business in 1997?

Maybe they did it on purpose so folks like me would ponder it awhile and not forget their name?

I'll just ask someone next time I visit.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Unhappily ever after

Mr. and Mrs. Z. are both 78 years old.

They have known each other since they were 12 and started dating when they were 14.

They have been married for 58 years.

They both profess to having dis-liked each other for years. In passing, they even mention to hating each other.

When asked if they have ever considered a divorce they both state, almost in unison, "of course not, we've been this way for years!"

Some would ask why they have stayed together this long. They wonder how they possibly could have "wasted" their life together.

They raised 5 children, have a boat load of grandchildren and a few great-grandchildren.

They have a house crammed full of family pictures and memories.

I've come across a lot of adults who never married and never had children who would, in retrospect, preferred to have wasted their life like Mr. and Mrs. Z..

Thursday, November 1, 2012

From your nose?

A staff member called to let me know she had been vomicking all night.

I've heard this term by many patients over the years; just never by a health care professional.

I just always assumed they were substituting for the word vomiting.

It's listed in the urban dictionary however:

"The act of spewing forth your stomach contents from your nose"

So, if/when I hear this word in the future I'll make sure to ask the follow-up question: "Did you vomit out of your nose?"

If/when someone answers in the affirmative, I'll be sure to ask the next question: "Why?"

There should be NO reason why anyone would prefer the nasal route to the oral route, unless of course you're vomiting and vomicking at the same time.

Those folks will have my undivided attention and empathy.