Saturday, December 30, 2006

HA IS BACK--KINDA

…Another health thing you don’t want—a detached retina. The surgery was three hours long, HA was awake, and the recovery, 24 hrs a day face-down for 12 days, was a challenge. HA, of course, invented much better ways to do it than suggested by the doc.

…Why are doc materials so cursory? This is when you really need good advice.

…HA may redo her doc’s materials.

…It will be weeks or even months before she knows if vision will return to her right eye.

…Because computer and reading should be somewhat limited, this site may only feature one post a day for awhile.

…HA realizes this is almost a parody of a country and western song, but a friend took her bouncy dog Spencer for the recovery period and somehow he was killed.

…First the eye, then her heart ripped out. Dog lovers understand, she is sure.

…HA is trying to maintain, but it is difficult. Please bear with her.

…Stay tuned for happier, larkier health tidbits.

Monday, December 18, 2006

What Uncle thinks of us


…Woo-hoo, the Census Bureau’s 2007 Statistical roundup is out.

…First off, we sit around and soak up media a lot. Eight and a half hours a day! This is often done alone. At the same time, while hobby groups are up, clubs are down. More loneliness? Or at least—aloneness?

…More Americans were born in 2004 than in any years since 1960 and 1990. So someone must not have been totally alone.

…Manufacturing jobs are down nearly 18%. Bad times for the rust belt.

...We eat a lot and are fat. That is a routine one.

…The job projected to rise the fastest by 2014—home health aide.

…We are slugging down the bottled water…23 gals per person, which is 10 times what we drank in 1980. And also the high fructose corn syrup—fattening. That seems to be in everything we eat and drink, thanks to a strong agricultural lobby.

…Houses are bigger, 2,227 square feet, compared with 1,905 in 1990.

…Good news…27% of doctors are women, up from 12% in 1980.

…Mixed news. In 1970, college freshmen said developing a meaningful life was their goal. By 2005, 75% were all about making the money.

…Sigh.

Male teens more likely to have high BP

…Even adolescents are getting high BP—boys more so than girls.

…It could be hormonal, says a Canadian physician.

…This from a five-year study that looked at 614 boys and 653 girls in Montreal secondary schools.

…Our old friends lack of exercise and sedentary lifestyle probably also contribute.

…The more hours in front of the tube or computer, the higher the likelihood of higher systolic levels (the top number).

…Jump around a little, guys! You don’t want to go through all the BP stuff the rest of your life.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Are you addicted to "gastroporn"?


…HA knows how trendy you are.. You always have to be munching the latest fusion delights or picking at newly discovered fungi or something.

…Futurists Marian Salzman, evp of JWT Worldwide, and Ira Matathia, cofounder of the brand consultancy NoFormula, are way ahead of the likes of us.

…They are looking at how world trends are affecting what we will be eating.

…Matathia points out that not only are nationalities identified with certain foods, but the foods shape the people. “You are what you eat also applies on a cellular level,” he said in a press release, but did not explain.

…One trend is “gastroporn,” the incessant watching of food being prepared on TV. Food has become the object of voyeurism—more often than not, as we watch, we are scarfing a defrosted White Castle burger, so much for our gourmet tendencies.

…Personalized diets are also going to break big. People are seeing there is no diet that is right for everyone.

…New delicacies are emerging. Jicama, Greek yogurt, Portuguese peri-peri (whaty-whaty?). Tasting bars, classes, the fun we will have!

…Organic grazing is another coming trend. Forget meals…snacks, baby!

…Global foods are going mainstream. Many more ethnic things will be frozen and thus accessible.

…Or--more people will buy locally. Food will be hours from the field.

…The tug-of-war between sense and color/sugar will continue where the kids are concerned.

…AND, HA’s favorite, premium drink bars will crop up for awhile. Each will be organized around one type of liquor with a zillion variations.

…Ooo, ooo, let HA name these. Let’s see…Vod’s, Oddvod’s, RumDum’s, Teeny Mart’s.

Food fun with Eat Better America

…General Mills, maker of some frosted cereals, HA seems to recall, has partnered with Bell Institute of Health & Nutrition, Rodale, and Lluminari, to do a sort of kicky little site.

….Check out http://eatbetteramerica.com to enter your fitness level and find out some entertaining facts and suggestions.

…It’s pretty graphic-driven, sort of like a video game for pacifists, but HA enjoyed navigating around.

…For one thing, you can submit a recipe and they will “healthify” it for ya.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Vitamin D's 15 minutes


…Is there some sort of roving spotlight that suddenly lands on a certain spice, vitamin or nutrient? Ready for your closeup!

…Newsweek and US News & World Report now “like” the old D-ster.

…Meir J. Stampfer, MD, writes in the December 1, 2006, issue of Newsweek. Yes, he says, Vitamin D used to be boring, even to doctors (presumably those seated next to this vitamin at dinner parties).

…Vitamin A, the B’s, a E were overachievers and multitaskers and glommed all the press.

…Sure, Vitamin D had cured rickets, but hey, that was a while back. The dose to prevent rickets was the dose to take, end of story.

…Ooops, now it looks like the anti-rickets amount is not enough to help prevent diabetes, multiple schlerosis, TB, colon cancer and even the flu.

…Above the rickets level can also prevent osteoporosis.

…People above the Equator are lacking in this. It isn’t in many foods—you need to be out in the sun to make some in your own bod.

…In fact, the rickets thing might have started up when industrial pollution became so great sunlight could not get through.

…Now, we spend time indoors, wear more clothes, and use sunscreen.

…Good old sunscreen can cut Vit D production by 95%.

…Plus the sun has to be overhead to make a good amt of Vit D. In Maine, in winter, white girls were found to have 48% of the Vit D they needed. At the end of summer, only 17% were deficient.

…Darker skin, with more melanin, acts like a sunscreen and darker-skinned people need five times as much sun to get their Vit D.

…Skin cancer rules out the idea of sunbathing more, so what are we to do?

…The only foods with high levels of Vit D are fatty fish and certain mushrooms.

…Fortified foods like milk and orange juice also have it.

…The 400 iu in a vit pill may be too little. Some docs, including this one, think 1000 iu might be better.

…Others think an upper limit of 2000 iu is prudent (this stuff can be toxic). Other say naw, let’s make the upper limit 4000.

…See? Not boring!

…In fact, so interesting, they continue to study it.

Gifts of health

…Someone once gave HA a whole bushel of oranges—not the airy-fairy ones from Harry & David, but regular old supermarket oranges. She really liked that gift!

…Vicki Rackner, MD, has some ideas of healthy presents you can get people.

…By gift of health, we don’t mean a bottle of vitamins.

…How about nice soap or lotion for someone who is bedridden?

…Or funny tapes or DVDs to listen to? Laughter boosts the immune system.

…Try some ballroom dancing lessons. Good exercise, too.

…How about worry beads? Knitting needles?

…Mind games or puzzles.

…Start a collection of your family’s medical records.

…Give hand sanitizer…the gift of not getting the flu.

…How about a photo album for your sibs? A friend of HA’s has a friend who made a recipe album, with family recipes and pix of the kids when they were younger.

…Exercise equipment can also be a good gift. Hand weights, for instance. A big purchase, such as a treadmill, should be carefully considered. They are noisy, people like to watch TV. How would this fit in? Check out www.acefitness.org.

…Maybe a gym membership would be welcomed. A short one—so the recipient can see how they like it.

…How about one session with a trainer?

…A year of Jenny Craig? Well, you sure have to know the recipient! (“Honey, it looks like you need this.”)

…Maybe a nice facial. Safer.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Silence...how weird


…The other day, HA was reading in her room in the afternoon, and realized it was…so quiet.

…Silent almost, except for blood whooshing in her ears.

…Even as a fetus, according to Connie Midey, writing in the Arizona Republic (Dec 12, 2006), a person is affected by noise. HA remembers her daughter jumping around in there during loud movies!

…Basically, noise increases blood pressure and heart rate.

…It can cause fight-or-flight responses, which can save our lives or impair them. Loud noise=stress hormones. You can’t stop it.

…Clattery restaurants can make you eat more.

…Sit quietly for 10 mins in the morning, when hormones levels are highest.

…Children sort of know this—they will turn to solitary play at times, just rolling a little car around, or sitting quietly.

….Come to think of it, it’s pretty quiet right now. The cats are sacked out. The dog is dreaming in his purple director’s chair…

..It's just these tapping keys…

Teaching kindness to medical community

…In an essay to the Washington Post (Dec 12, 2006), Susan Okie outlined the experience of a friend of hers, Sylvia Stultz, who died of cancer last summer.

…Stultz ran therapeutic groups for autistic kids and when she got sick, she began to notice similarities between those uncommunicative kids and the medical profession.

…Some hospitals (and she went to all the best) were caring, responsive and the staff seemed empathetic. Others, though, made patients feel ignored and sometimes people even refused to make eye contact.

…HA can relate. She keeps faxing and calling her docs and sometimes feels they don’t even know who she is! Often, they have voicemail on during business hours. Do you hate that? HA does!

…One experience Okie related was at the National Institutes of Health. She and her friend waited from 10:15 am until 3:30 pm.

…When they finally saw the doctor, Sylvia spoke politely but directly. “Why do you keep your patients waiting five hours?” The doctor said he had no control over it.

…So she went to the director of the center, someone who did have control, supposedly. It turned out to be “block scheduling,” with all patients slotted for the same time and then the list whittled.

…Sylvia pointed out that cancer patients are often in pain and vulnerable. Waiting so long was unhealthy.

…The director said such wait times should not be tolerated.

…When she went back, the situation was vastly improved. Patients now are asked to keep a log of how long they waited. Dept heads must work on wait times and report on how they are doing.

…She also recalled having bad pain management and waiting sobbing for hours for a nurse, who then said she had had “an emergency.” Why wasn’t a woman sobbing in pain an emergency?

…She told another hosp administrator that “Somehow a grasp of me as a person and collaborator was missing too often.”

…Amen to that.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Retirees dream of office life


…Do you like those commercials with Lincoln and the beaver? HA does. Or did. They are on too often.

…Writing in the WSJ (Dec 11, 2006), Ellen Graham writes about her dreamlife. She had been retired six years and her boss was back in the night berating her for neglecting her job and having fun at lunch.

…This is like the school dream where you can’t find the exam room or are sitting in class naked.

…She polled her friends—yup, they were still trying to justify themselves to crabby bosses, too.

…Often their office enemies are in every dream.

…Workplace dreams fall into demanding boss, overwhelming task, and stupid task.

…One night, Graham says, she was typing and typing, materials strewn everywhere, typing, typing, the story was going staler, someone scooped her, she typed on, all for naught. She could not stop.

…Reporter’s worst nightmare, she remarked.

…Like the school dream, workplace dreams are not moored to time. Being retired means nothing.

…The boss who berated her? He says he dreams of coming into a deserted newsroom and thinking he has to put out the paper by himself.

…Berating underlings did not make it into his dream.

Those pay-it-yourself insurance plans

…Somewhere along the line, some insured-up-the-wazoo bureaucrat decided people didn’t know how much health care cost (those silly patients, they think a trip to the doctor is only $20), and started with this Health Savings Acct stuff.

…Basically, you are self-insuring. If something happens, you pay!

…Yes, you have a “catastrophic” plan, which HA heard described recently as covering only things insurance companies decided were catastrophic. What it really means is it covers only things that happen after a deductible is met.

…They got this name because people used to get them in case they went into the hospital---considered to be a financial catastrophe.

…These policies, often (but not always) offered by offbrand companies, are sporting because some things are not under the deductible and some are. Get sick and see which is which.

…And people with pre-existing conditions often cannot get the plan.

…Kim Dixon, writing for Reuters on Dec 7, 2006, found that these arrangements (which are supposed to be a tax-favored savings acct PLUS a high-deductible plan) are making people scrimp on care.

…Duh.

…They also didn’t attract the uninsured. If you can’t afford insurance, you can’t afford the high-deductible plan plus the savings deposits.

…Double duh.

…So far pretty healthy, well off people are getting these.

…But of course, employers are now pressing them more than ever.

…Still, only 8% of people have this, about the same as in 2005.

…Only 1% of those have funded the savings acct, which is supposed to pay for things before the insurance kicks in.

…Hospitals are seeing more bad debt, even from people with this form of “insurance.” If you spend three hours in the ER and don’t have a couple of grand to fork over since you have nothing in your savings acct, you may never be able to pay it off.

…Consumers are less thrilled.

…HA pays almost $700 a mo for an HMO and with pre-exsitings, she was lucky to get that (it started out as state-sponsored for the uninsurable).

…She could not even get the high-deductible policy.

…What if—crazy idea—insurance pooled everyone together and let it sort itself out. If people had money, they could buy a policy and would not be discriminated against because they might use it..

…If people could not do that, because companies need healthy workers and unhealthy people cost someone money, the government would put a floor under people in the national interest.

…No, let’s let people just pay for themselves, hope ya live, whatEV.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Winter blues and blahs


…HA lives in a so-called resort area now (Phoenix), which she likes to call the Last Resort, but she remembers those gray days like a ceiling over your head, traffic sloshing down drenched avenues, ick, ick.

…Everything goes into slow-mo, including your brain.

…Staying in bed was always a flash of an option in that first few seconds of wakefulness.

…Writing in the NYT (Dec 5, 2006), Jane Brody talks about how one person in five actually may stay under the covers in winter weather.

…We all know now it’s a real thing, seasonal affective disorder, or the genius acronym, SAD.

…There is not enough light to power some people!

…As the battery runs on low, some people feel less energetic, less creative, even less sane.

…One doc says it’s a form of jet lag, a disturbance in the 24-hour Circadian rhythm.

… With delayed dawn and shorter days, some people drift out of rhythm, just as if they had jetted across a few time zones.

…With jet lag, the body synchs up again in a few days.

…With SAD, it takes five mos.

…They also have found that two-thirds of SAD sufferers need morning light and evening melatonin to get back on track. The others need the reverse.

…In the future, this doc says, it may be possible to dose SAD folks with tiny doses of melatonin on timed-release. But this has not been worked out yet.

…Norman E. Rosenthal, MD, the SAD guru (HA has talked to him several times), says SAD is more of an energy crisis than true emotional depression.

…The symptoms of the two are similar, though…that leaden feeling, dragging out of bed, forcing onself to function, the gobbling of carbs.

…Right now, severe sufferers sit in front of a light box that emits 10,000 lux from a fluorescent bulb for at least 45 mins a day, moring or evening, depending on one’s problem. Check out www.cet.org for more info.

…Other kind of fun approaches include a “dawn simulator,” a device that gradually turns on the lights in the morning.

…Negative ion generators are also tried instead of light boxes. This can be used while sleeping. See website above.

…Some docs also recommend short bursts of cognitive therapy to corrrect negative behaviors such as not getting up.

…Also, they say, eat a calorie-conscious diet with lots of protein instead of those Krispy Kremes.

…Of course, being doctors, they always say that. They can’t help it.

Aw, heck, dogs are our babies

…There have been stories lately about how irked parents are when people treat their pets like human children.

…Tough.

…Writing in the WSJ (Dec 1, 2006), Joanne Kaufman tells how she met some friends from the Wayback and the woman inquired about her kids and she said she had a 1-year-old boy. The woman looked shocked—come ON, honey, you have to be 50!

…Kaufman was talking about one of her dogs, of course.

…Her dog is a member of her family, he’s on the answering machine. He lacks an opposable thumb, a college fund, and the sense to come in out of the rain but he is her kid, she says.

…Yeah, yeah, she has a human kid, too—but the dog is staying and the human is leaving.

…Another woman of Kaufman’s acquaintance could not conceive for years and had only her dog to talk about. Then she adopted a baby from China and when she went to Book Club to brag, the woman all had sullen teens and were focused on their dogs.

…Those people who a bitching that people think their dogs are equal to kids better remember that in a few years when their kids pierce themselves and start grunting and defying.

…Dog hardly ever get piercings.

…The defying? Yes, on occasion. It’s so adorable.

Friday, December 08, 2006

What is WRONG with runners?


…HA’s dad was a runner before the word “jogger” was invented. Her sister ran for 20 years (no longer, hip replacement). Her brother’s wife runs, their kid runs long distance.

…Must be the zotz, the high.

…Writing in the NYT (Dec 7, 2006), Gretchen Reynolds talks about overachieving older people who have somehow translated the admonition to exercise vigorously for 30 minutes a day into running the distance between Washington and Baltimore.

…Six marathoners have died of heart attacks in 2006, compared with almost none in past years.

…Of course more people are running these contests than ever. According to marathonguide.com, 80,000 more people ran marathons in 2005 than in 2000.

…Some docs at Mass General tested 60 entrants before the 2005 Boston Marathon. Each got an echocardiogram and were checked for blood markers that indicate possible heart trouble.

…All were normal before the race. Twenty minutes after finishing, though, 60% of them had elevated markers and 40% had markers elevated enough to indicate destruction of heart muscle cells.

…They also had heart rhythm changes.

…All of them felt normal afterward, but the researchers thought their heart muscles might have been “stunned.”

…Can hearts “say” WTF?

…Apparently.

…The docs thought maybe marathons might, repeat might, give symptomless heart disease to introduce itself abruptly, as Reynolds put it.

…People with heart disease in the family should be especially cautious before haring off cross-country. “You can’t outrun your genes,” one researcher said.

…The doctors telling people to run? Runners. One of them even stopped to help one of the stricken runners before completing the marathon himself.

…It’s an addiction.

Healthy tot hauling

...Ah, good times. HA remembers shushing a screaming infant on an airplane (she still never resorted to the Benadryl, though, what a good Mommy).

…Debra Holtzman, JD, MA, says there are several ways to make flights safer for yourself and your baby.

…She wrote, The Safe Baby, A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Home Safety, so she oughta know.

…If you can, fly nonstop. Dragging toddler gear through an airport—not so much.
Kids ears usually pain them during landings, too, so avoid too many.

…Plan ahead for the appropriate carseat to be used on the plane. Make sure it says it’s for aircraft. It also must be narrower than 16 inches.

…All children under 40 lbs should be harnessed or in a carseat with a harness. To sit facing forward, a kid should be at least a year and weigh at least 20 lbs.

…Inform the airline that you will have the child in tow. You may even get a break in price, even though the child is taking up a whole seat.

…A carseat must be in the window seat.

…Avoid the busiest times to fly…that way you may have more room to maneuver.

…Familiarize yourself with the aircraft. Look around for the exits.

…Keep your seatbelt on. Keep the child in the restraints.

…They will tell you this, but put your oxygen mask on first, should oxygen be necessary. You need a clear head to look out for your child.

…Bring games, books, toys, little snacks, new things the child has not seen before.

…And hope for understanding seatmates.

…In fact, bring them a snack, too. And maybe a nice bribe.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Have a healthy feng shui Christmas


…Katy Allgeyer is Fishgirl…the feng shui mistress.

…She has some tips on how to hoost your ch'i (energy) over the hassled hols.

…10 minutes of “Me Time” a day—mandatory. Meditate, read, drink a cup of tea or glass of wine, paint your toenails, walk your dog.

…HA spends her Mr Time thinking of how to get Me Time.

…Shop online to save time. Go to big sites like Amazon and knock it over.

…Drink plenty of water. Parties deplete you, rushing around cuts into your water routine. If you feel tired or crabby, try a big glass of cold water.

…Take time for friends as well as family. You are giving the gift of your time. You may have some laffs and learn something.

….Grab power naps. Lie down 20 minutes before that pary.

…Light the nite! HA is not big on candles, having had a house fire a year ago. But plugged-in lights light you inside.

…Turn up the tunes. Just play your favorites—they don’t even have to be carols.

….Although Rudolph is still a happenin' guy.

…Give to charity or be a secret Santa.

…Thank your mentors or those who have helped out over the year.

…Joy to the weird!

….For more positioning tips, go to http://fengshuibyfishgirl.com.

…All FIN-ished with Fish Girl! For now, anyhow. She’s cool.

Do you know the time, pregnancy--wise?


…What if the biological clock were a real clock? Writing in the Los Angeles Daily News, Steven Rosenberg says it is!

…It’s the OV-Watch fertility predictor.

…It monitors the woman’s, er, perspiration, and detects chloride ions marking the coming ovulation.

…These ions surge three days prior to the estrogen surge, four days prior to the luteinizing hormone surge (detected in urine tests) and five days prior to ovulation.

…It pays to get the sperm in ahead of the egg’s dropping. You can figure it out.

…The OV-Watch is spendy—almost $200. But if your friends get too nosy, you can push a button and the word FERTILE disappears and it changes into a normal watch.

…Check it out at www.ovwatch.com.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Free food, al fresco


…Writing in the Palo Alto Daily News, Doug Oakley talks about the proud art of dumpster-diving…for food, not computer parts.

…No longer the purview of the homeless, sorting through gourmet shop and grocery store trash is now a favored way of conserving and dining well amongst some young folks.

…The two people interviewed are Berkeley grads with jobs who trashpick as a political statement—and apparently, as a dining strategy.

…HA always tries to cut you with the cutting edge, doesn’t she? (No applause, it’s a gift.)

…They are partial to the bakeries, apparently. Day-old bread is just a start. They also find tons of fruit and veggies.

…Even a guy whose life is devoted to stopping waste (stopwaste.org) was thinking more in terms of donating food to shelters and food banks, not fishing it from the trash.

…He deemed dumpster diving a little risky because of microbes and rot.

…Even the hardest core divers cook the food carefully, they say. (One for the Big Book of Duh.)

…The store owners don't seem too disturbed about the bounty they discard, but they do decry the mess the divers make.

…HA does not recommend hanging out in alleys, which should pretty much cover this form of “shopping.”

Hair loss drug could screw up your PSA

…4.4 million men, worldwide, use the hair loss drug Propecia. Active ingredient: finasteride, which prevents testosterone from breaking down.

…Scientists already suspected the high levels of finasteride in Proscar (for prostate enlargement) could reduce levels of prostate specific antigen, or PSA.

…Now the lower levels in Propecia apparently can also do it.

…This means a safe PSA reading could be falsely low and a cancer indicator would be missed.

…This means the rubber glove exam is even more important than ever.

…The study was published in Lancet Oncology. Men taking a mg of Propecia daily saw their PSA drop almost 50 percent. Men on the placebo saw no change.

…Ask your doctor. Prostate cancer is diagnosed a number of ways. This is especially important if you are treating hair loss.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Do parties paralyze you?


…HA used to do a lot of networking and would always exhort herself to mingle, mingle, rather than talking to the person she preferred talking to.

…Writing in the NYT, Rob Morris says some people are freaked out by having to chat with strangers.

…One woman used the needles in the eye comment.

…HA never liked the name tags--people peering at your ta-tas (sometimes it was the name tag they were tring to read).

…It’s so easy to say the wrong thing once your mouth starts moving. “Oh, I heard about John, what a jerk. Oh. He’s your….what?”

…However, one woman who loved to chat was snubbed and made the snubber apologize! Now that is cool!

…If you are a mingle-phobe, as one puts it, Jeanne Martinet, author of The Art of Mingling, says have an opening line. “Are you having fun?” was suggested.

…Complimenting someone is good. “I love your necklace!”

…No jokes unless you can tell jokes (sadly, not everyone can).

…Don’t circulate with your partner…team mingling, not good.

…If you are listening, don’t look for someone more interesting. You can do that better while talking.

…Make a smooth escape…”Time to hit the buffet.”

...And, of course, you know the office Christmas party is not the time to get really really hammered, don't you? Not everyone will be )insert word boss here).

…As a rule, at a party, everyone is thinking about themselves, not you. Your dorkiest move will probably go unnoticed.

…Almost certainly. Sure. Nobody saw a thing.

Some makeup not fetus-safe

…Sally Wadyka, in the NYT, says some products you use before getting pregnant are safe for you but maybe not once you are with passenger.

…Skin also changes during pregnancy and may turn brown in weird places.

…Retin-A affects skin DNA…so ditch Retinol, or any Vit A derivatives.

…Acne can raise its spotted head during pregnancy, but don’t use the old standby benzoyl peroxide, which is in many OTC products.

…Glycolic or lactic acid are OK as peels…they come from fruit and milk.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Eat your age


…Every age group has different nutritional needs.

…This applies to both men and women.

…Both genders are active during the teen years so can get away with more calories, but girls need to emphasize the calcium. This is when they are laying down bone. Darks greens, milk.

…In young adult and child-bearing years, women should emphasize the folic acid (again dark leafies).

..Twenties is also the time to dial back some on the old cals. Women should be under 2,000, men under 3,000.

…Twenties is also the time to get enough Vit D, 200 international units a day until age 50. Also get 20 minutes of sun a day to make Vit D.

….Menstruation in these years can deplete iron in women. Use supplemented cereals or use an iron skillet.

…Upper middle age is the time to watch cals even closer—by now your bod is digustingly efficient at storing unused food as fat.

…Hit the fatty fish in these years—to prevent wrinkles and calm down arteries that could get inflamed and clogged.

…Post-meno women may be losing muscle mass. Ask the doctor about CoQ10 and selenium.

…Dairy and leafy greens again are needed in significant amounts to prevent bone loss or build back some bone.

….In your 60s and 70s, keep protein levels high, continue the supplements and watch the booze.

…Re the Fifty-and-Uppers, Tufts Univ has created a pyramid for Boomers.

…Fewer cals, of course (can these sadists EVER say anything else?), plenty of whole grains, peaches apricots (Vit A), romaine (time to break up with iceberg, sob), tons of fluids, sufficient protein, tacos, torillas, anything to spice up a lagging palate.

…As you age, the tastebuds deaden and die off.

…Time to really zap those puppies with sauces and spices.

…Of course, your body may have an immediate opinion on this.

…Ooops.

Some docs minoring in "plasticology"

…HA and her sister were at the eye doctor and saw a glass case full of high-end cosmetics and face gunk. At the eye doctor?

…Oh, yes. It turned out the eye doctor does lid lifts and to top off the change in appearance is flogging some precious potions.

…Natasha Singer, writing in the NYT (Nov 30), says lots of docs are branching out into the cash business of “looking better.”

…Dermies are spawning spas, gynos are heading for the other end of the woman.

…Naturally dermies and plastic surgeons are not thrilled, calling the unrelated specialists horning in on their territory “noncore” physicians.

…Ooo…snap!

…Dentists doing botox, urologists stripping veins…where will it end?

…Everyone, said one source, wants to be a “plasticologist.”

…Plasticologist?

…This is cash upfront, no insurance, so wielding a laser at someone's face looks good.

…Perhaps the worst part is the metaphors. Can anyone with a pilot’s license fly both an airliner and a Piper Cub? demands one doctor.

…One woman, supposedly, asked for help with a botched botox treatment she got from an oncologist.

…Other plastic surgeons said the worst they had seen was skin ulceration with no scarring.

…If you want an obstetrician to peel your face, OK, but be sure to call a dermatologist to deliver your kid.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Old kids still all about the toys


…Can HA interest you in a game of Candyland?

…Writing in the Contra Costa Times, Jackie Burrell writes about captains of industry and lesser types who are still into their toys and games of yore.

…They aren’t Peter Pans living in their mothers’ basements, she insists. They are responsible grownups, but not willing to have a life without fun.

…One is building an amusement park. OK, that sounds entrepreneurial.

…Some go to miniature golf tournaments (OK, maybe once). Or play competitive kickball--on teams with names like Giggedy Giggedy Goo (OK, throwing up).

…Remember the movie “Dodgeball”? Those guys were not babies.

…Rejuvenability they call it.

…One stay-at-home writer found himself watching SpongeBob and eating popsicles with the kids all day and decided it was seriously fun!

…He is now divorced and has to buy his own popsicles.

…HA made that up. Probably.

…Of course, in some cases, this reverts to type. Instead of playing with the toys, people collect them and sell them on ebay. Kickball has league rules now and even paid coaches.

…”Rock, scissors, paper” has organized tournaments in Vegas.

…Oh, what can she say? HA is all about the fun. She and a partner have even invented a cartoon character. Stay tuned.

TV dramas not good source of medical info

…Writing for the Freedom News Service, Lisa Liddane takes on the subject of the accuracy or even plausibility of the medicine we see depicted on TV.

…ER, House, St Elsewhere, Chicago Hope, and of course, Gray’s Anatomy, are all popular shows that chew over medical conditions.

…But, Liddane says, they are far from documentaries.

…In 2002, the Kaiser Foundation issued a report on the effect of the content in the show ER between March 1997 to April 2000. 3,500 regular viewers were surveyed.

…More than half said they discussed the health issues in the show with family and friends.

…One-third had used info from the show to make their own health decisions,.

…A fifth had done more research, but got the idea from the show.

…Docs say the shows give a warped picture of hospital life.

…Like the bustling ER with people running to and fro? HA asks.

…Yes, the docs said, the hustle would mean the work was not properly paced.

…These shows have medical advisers and they say they are careful not to put in something false, but they do “go for the jugular” in dramatizing everything to the max.

…Another complaint? Everyone just gets treated by teams of highly trained doctors and no one ever talks about insurance.

…If a person is uninsured in a show, it’s probably a street person.

… This belies the real facts about the uninsured—they are working people for the most part and have homes, just not covered health care.

…Even people with insurance, would have to ask, “Yes, I want the best doctor, but is she on my health plan?”

…That’s medicine, reality show-style.