Thursday, January 31, 2013

Stress reducing walks

My wife has always been an excellent sounding board.

We always seem to get a lot of things figured out by talking to each other.

Lately we've been trying to get to yoga a couple of nights a week.

Work has been stressful for both of us and yoga has been an excellent way to recharge.

We were supposed to go tonight.

I called her on the way home.

"Would it be alright if we skipped yoga tonight?" I asked.

"Why?" she inquired.

"I would rather just go on a walk tonight to talk. Yoga has been great but basically we sit there in quiet, in the dark, for an hour. I spend a good deal of the time trying not to fall (when we are doing the balance sequences) and the whole time trying to make sure I don't accidentally fart (like so many of the other middle aged folks seem to do during our classes-two nights ago there was a classic "silent but deadly" floating around the room!)."

She laughed.

We went for a walk.

I felt a lot better when we were done.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Spelling bee

Note in a patients chart today:

"The wife is very spermatic in checking his blood sugars."

Definition: spermatic (adjective)-of, pertaining to, or resembling sperm.

I pointed it out to the author of the note.

She noted it somehow got through spell check.

I noted it was spelled correctly (she laughed).

She obviously meant to say sporadic but had other things on her mind?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"My" last high school soccer game

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a little sad that my, I mean my son's, final high school soccer season is over. His team lost Thursday night in the semifinal round of the playoffs-a game that was tied 0-0 after regulation, two ten minute overtimes, and a first round of penalty kicks (both goalies-my son is a goalie-only let in 3 of 5 PK’s). They then lost on sudden death penalty kicks 2-1. The game took three hours to play.

Not that I kept track or anything but here are our, I mean his, final stats for the season:

In 18 games (they played 19 but he missed one game due to a back injury):

Had 9 shutouts

Allowed only 17 goals or 0.944 goals/game

In the 9 games against conference opponents:

Allowed only 6 goals or 0.66 goals/game

My son was obviously disappointed but by the next day was already talking about hooking back up with his ultimate Frisbee team, playing basketball with his buddies and hitting the weights again to get “jacked.”

It will take me a little longer to get over it!

Thanks in advance for all your sympathies!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

TMI averted!

The terms Generic and Genetic are frequently accidently interchanged.

However, other words can be as well.

A friend recently made a statement to a group of us at our morning YMCA round table, "I have a family Genital defect."

I think all sitting around the table quickly got prepared for what was to follow.

He went on to explain, "I have very little flexibility in my ankle joint, like a lot of my other family members."

Phew! Genetic, not genital.

We all laughed and were glad to have avoided a case of too much information so early in the morning!

Making a life

"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give."

Winston Churchill

The few, the proud, the old guys

From a colleague:

While doing a medication reconciliation, it was determined that a 76 year old male was utilizing both Cialis and Levitra. He was also taking an over the counter supplement called horny goat weed extract. When asked what the supplement for for he said, "just like what it sounds its for."

He went on the explain that he lives in a retirement community and that he is only one of two single men. He stated, "we get as much as we want. There are a ton on lonely widows and divorcees there."

My colleague noted that it was the first time he asked an elderly male if he was currently sexually active and received the answer "extremely."

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A fictional story used in the training of geriatric physicians

A 90 year old man meets with his doctor and complains about pain in his right knee. The doctor tells him, "Well Henry, what do you expect? You're 90 years old."

Henry replies, "But doctor, my left knee is the same age as my right knee and it feels just fine!"

True or untrue?

The National Care Planning Council has a website with some thought provoking sections.

The American Perspective on Aging and Health and Americans' attitudes on Aging is one such section:

"American society in general glorifies youth and fears or even despises old age. This is not the case in many other societies where age is associated with wisdom, knowledge and special status. In films and on TV old people are often depicted as weak, indecisive, bumbling or even comic. It is rarely that we see older people depicted as decisive, strong, or as leaders. Retirement is presumably a reward for many years of dedication and hard work, but the underlying philosophy is more likely based on the idea that older workers are no longer productive or useful. Instead of taking the role as leaders in their families or in the community as is the case in some countries, the elderly in our country, even after successful careers in earlier years, simply become invisible. They waste their prodigious talents traveling, entertaining, socializing, watching TV or playing golf."

Partly cloudy

A local eye specialist advertises that he has performed over 33,000 cataract operations (an operation to remove a cloudy natural lens with a clear artificial lens) since 1990.

That's approximately 1500/year or 4.1/day, assuming he never takes a day off.

I think it's fair to say that he must be pretty darn good at it by now, even if he is bored out of his mind.

It's also fair to say that if anyone ever looked at his life under a microscope they would most likely see a lens.

Being put out to pasture

I was recently up in a rural part of Florida.

The saying you are now out in the boonies was very appropriate.

I drove past a sign for a retirement community that advertised, "The life you've waited your whole life for..."

I'm sure it's very relaxing and appealing for those who want to spend the final chapter of their life sleeping, playing shuffleboard and, of course, playing golf. It even enticed you further by mentioning "free range balls."

I just doubt it will ever be right for me.

To be completely fair, however, I do need to add the excitement of making the 20 mile ride to a grocery store every so often.

I'm pretty sure you would need to take your car...I doubt the golf carts have enough battery power to make the journey to and from.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

5th time the charm

Mr. and Mrs P. have been married for 35 years.

He's 68 years old and she's 56.

It was his 5th marriage and her 3rd.

I did some quick math: he was 33 years old when he got married for the fifth time and she was 21 when she got married for the 3rd time.

He said he loved to travel to California to pan for gold every year.

I think he was just trying to cut down on the expense of all the engagement rings!

No fruits and veges

My wife does school based nursing.

She spends a lot a time counseling students on healthy diets but a lot of her students live in food deserts.

A food desert is defined as:

A district in an urban or rural setting with little or no access to large grocery stores that offer fresh and affordable foods needed to maintain a healthy diet. Instead of such stores, these districts often contain many fast food restaurants and convenience stores.

I've been through a lot of such areas in my travels to and from homes.

Whenever there are pawn shops or cash advance stores on every block, it's also a pretty good bet that you are in the midst of a food desert.

Go ahead, make my day

Has this ever happened to you? You desperately need to answer natures call for #2 and you close the door to the only stall to find urine and skid marks all over the seat and/or crap all over the inside of the bowl.

Probably the most annoying part is you know the person who did it was well aware of the fact that they left it this way.

Here's a simple request... lets try to make the world a better place one public bathroom at a time.

Clean up after yourself.

My rule is simple: whenever you open the door of the stall, on your way out, always assume that someone is waiting to come in.

Do unto others...

Tombstone toughts

My team Psychologist is always giving me things to ponder.

She recently sent out a note with advice on how to help patients better understand their values. Ask them, "Imagine that you are at the end of your life and being laid to rest. What do you hope your loved ones will put on your tombstone? What would they say about you and how you lived your life?"

What would I hope for?

"He was a good man to his wife, children, extended family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers and patients."

That's all.

Back in time

My car turned into a time machine recently.

All I did was travel to Umatilla, Florida to see a home bound patient.

It's a beautiful town and everything looked like it was right out of the 1960's.

If you get a chance head on up that way.

I was so tempted to grab a quick hot dog at the Weenie Wagon or sample The Worlds Best BBQ but it was strictly a business trip.

The family of the patient I went to see also let me know that, in the next 6 months or so, the town will be getting its' second traffic light!

Now that's exciting!

Stuck in court

So Lance Armstrong has finally come clean.

It's not surprising...there was just too much evidence against him.

It's sort of like when a defendant, who has maintained his innocence throughout a trail, is found guilty and is given the chance to make a statement and apologizes for the crime he/she committed.

Speaking of court proceedings, I bet Lance will be a pretty busy man for many years to come.


I go back and forth on many of the issues involved with gun control.

However, I do completely agree with a statement by Wayne LaPierre (NRA Executive Vice President):

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Release valve

Darn it...I pretty much wasted my yoga class last night.

The instructor was excellent and very encouraging:

"Let the cadence of your breathing allow every muscle in your body to relax"

"Feel all the stress in your body released through your toes and finger tips"

"Just release all your stress from the day, slowly breath in and out, feel the tension releasing"

etc, etc

Only problem was that I had had a bean burrito for lunch earlier in the day and I was afraid to relax all my muscles and sphincters.

Enough said.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

From my light to yours

My wife and I have done a couple of Yoga classes recently.

Of course, we all, in unison, respond "Nameste" to the instructor when she says the same to us.

The most frequently quoted definition of this word seems to be: I bow to the light within you from the light within me.

Nameste works for me...

Pumped up

Mr. M. is an amazingly resilient person.

He's been quadraplegic after diving into a lake head first, to cool off after a long hot day at work, in 1990.

He's used a condom style urinary catheter for many years.

He had a penile pump placed years ago in order to increase the girth (of his penis) to enable the condom catheter to stay in place easier.

I had never come across this before but it makes perfect sense.

He laughs over the pump never having been used for the usual intended purpose but is thankful it's working and knows he looks more impressive than he would without it (he laughs again).

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Two Jose's

We were discussing an 85 year old today who is severely hearing impaired.

An ENT specialist let him know the only way to re-establish meaningful hearing would be to do a cochlear implant.

My nursing staff let me know he told the ENT doctor, "No Way Jose."

I chuckled.

Just last week my dentist was trying to convince me, at age 53, to have my wisdom teeth removed and then have braces.

I have all 32 teeth and have a lot of oral crowding and gum recession.

I also responded "No Way Jose."

I guess all us Jose's think alike-if it's broke don't fix it!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Can compassion and empathy be learned?

Here's a quick, excellent short article written by the dean of the University of Virginia School of Nursing:

It well worth the few minutes it takes to read.

Maybe share it with others.

It's a good reminder that all might not be lost in this high tech world.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Virile cookie

A nurse described a 96 year old male as still appearing virile.

Most references use "having the characteristics of an adult male" as definition #1 for this term.

It just sort of struck me as funny.

I know what she was trying to describe and the patient might actually be glad to know that after 96 years of being a male he still has the characteristics of a male!

Recently the same nurse described an 88 year male as being a stable cookie.

I suspect he too would have preferred to have been virile instead of a "having the characteristics of a cookie!"

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Expense account?

‎"Taxpayer Bill for Obama’s Hawaii Vacations: $20 Million"

"Calls to several Presidential libraries reveal that President Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, was on vacation more — 1,020 days — than any U.S. President since Herbert Hoover and possibly more than any other President in history"

"It's estimated that $246,908 of taxpayer money was spent on President and Mrs. Obama's Valentines Day date to Chicago in 2009"

"In 2008, the total estimated cost for Camp David services was 7.9 million"

"It's estimated that it costs $187,757/hour to operate Air Force One"

"It's been reported that President Obama's dog handler gets paid $102,000/year"

"It's estimated to cost 47 million/year to protect the President"

"It's estimated to cost $32,140/hour for the the cargo plane that accompanies Air Force One"

"As of 2011, the president earns an annual salary of $400,000 per year, plus a $50,000 non-taxable expense account. The presidential salary had been $200,000 since 1969, but in 1999, President Bill Clinton doubled the salary to its current level before President George W. Bush took office. The president's salary is subject to income tax. The non-taxable expense account is generally used to cover the costs of meetings or events that are not sponsored by a government department or agency. Any money from the expense account that is not used within a calendar year is returned to the Treasury Department"

I wonder how much of the $50,000 non-taxable expense account is returned to the Treasury Department each year? It might really help cut the deficit!

Friday, January 4, 2013

When it rains it pours

It's been a costly week:

Washer broken-->$85 service call-->ball bearings shot-->$699 to replace-->decided to purchase a new one for $649 (go figure)

Water heater leak-->1994 model could not be salvaged-->$1200 to replace

Water leak in home-->$225 plumber visit to repair-->untold expenses to follow when we finally settle with water removal folks and insurance company for deductible

Starter in my wife's car went today-->$683 to replace

It's only Friday but I'm really just hoping we won't have the need for too many more new appliances, fixtures or car parts in this new's getting expensive!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Her Dad's big 3

Mrs. S. is 58 years old.

She's one of 4 Afro-American siblings.

All graduated  from college and 3 of the 4 have a Masters or higher degree as well.

They were the first in their entire family tree to have gone to college.

Their Dad always told them three things (and reportedly told them over and over and over again...):

1. Go to school

2. Get an education

3. Don't ever let anyone to make you feel like a fool

Her two sons went to college as well and have been gainfully employed since graduating

Her Dad started a great tradition.