Archive for the ‘HEALTH’ Category

Storm and health update!   1 comment

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The picture was taken this morning and it was like this until about 4 PM and we got a light rain but now the sky is darkening with clouds so who knows what the evening will bring. We fared pretty well but a lot of areas near us were flooded. As usual, the entrance and exit to Gateway were swimming pools but never had that stairway waterfall that I thought we were getting–the water stopped right at the edge of the first step. The water on the property dried up pretty quickly and now those dark clouds are leaving! Bette Davis, our weather person, says showers for the rest of the evening but drier days ahead–and Bette wouldn’t lie!

I went for a chest/lung X-Ray on Monday and took the disk to my primary. He said he couldn’t be 100% sure until he gets the report but my lungs look clear. Now I have to wait until the 30th and see what is causing the blood in the phlegm.

He looked at my foot and says it looked better–less red and not as swollen. If he says so! I am taking a new antibiotic, bathing the foot in Epsom Salts and, in the evening, keep it raised while I watch TV though the later the day gets the more swollen and redness appears. The doctor did say it would take a total of 10 days to really show major improvement—not that I am keeping count but today is day 7!

All in all no complaints–well one–the schedule of the new antibiotic. I take it every 12 hours and it has to be either 1 hour before eating anything or 2 hours after eating. I don’t have any problem with the latter but waiting to have coffee, orange juice and an apple for an hour after waking up can drive me crazy! I can’t even go back to sleep as I am not supposed to lay down for 10 minutes(!) after I take the med. Then I have another med that I have to take before I take any other meds in the morning and I have 12 other meds I have to fit in during the day! Got my chart made! :O)

As I said, all in all, no complaints as all these meds are keeping me alive, in good health and none are debilitating!

Posted November 10, 2020 by greatmartin in HEALTH, MOTHER NATURE

PAD—Part 3–the end   Leave a comment

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(Last full-length picture of me in shorts–5-6 years ago!)
I don’t remember the first time I had to stop completely walking to the Gateway Theatre as the pain in my calves was just too much! Each time I walked to or from the theatre I had to make stops because of the pain though it lasted very briefly and I could walk again but, eventually, it was taking too much time and pain to walk the mile.Since 2001 I had been going to see Dr. Arison every 6 months and he would make me come back the following week to have a scan taken of my legs and then would call me the following Saturday to say everything looked the same. Every 6 months he would ask me about how far I was walking before I felt pain and he would say that I should just walk through the pain!  (I won’t say what my reaction to that was!) Little by little, it would be less and less until 5 weeks ago, I decided to actually count how many steps I was taking before the pain hit and I was really surprised that it was only 200 steps! I knew I had an appointment with him on August 10 and decided to wait until then to discuss it.I told him what happened with my counting of steps, my finding it a chore to walk down to Karen Bay, not feeling any pain except when I was walking, even in my apartment, along with panting for breath when I walked, especially walking upstairs. He had a trainee with him and he had her take all the vitals and at times I wasn’t sure whether he was talking to me or her but finally after all that was done he started talking directly to me saying that he didn’t think it was the aorta valve, which I had brought up, and that when I went to see my primary doctor in September he could check it out.Dr. Arison then said I had 4 choices starting with losing some weight–he had noticed I gained weight since I first started to see him 19 years before though he knew I had lost 16 pounds that January. The second choice was to start walking every day and no matter how bad the pain to just keep walking as soon as I stopped and the pain went away. The third choice was to go into both legs and either replace the stent(s) or move them around to get the blood flowing more freely. The last choice was to do nothing and he said eventually that would mean amputation either of one or both legs. He said that wasn’t to scare me but to let me know what was ahead. He added that if either or both legs experienced pain when I was just sitting or when I was sleeping or increased to such a point that I felt I couldn’t walk anymore that I should call him immediately.What struck me as odd was that for the first time he said nothing about doing a scan and why I didn’t ask him the reason I still don’t know! He said that choices number 3 and 4 were ones he didn’t want to do and wouldn’t do number 3 because of what was going on in the hospitals in South Florida right now and at my age it was even more of a risk. Regarding number 4 it was not an option as far as he was concerned. Obviously that narrowed my choices down to number 1 and/or number 2.
I have been walking every day down to Karen Bay and back to my apartment at 2 in the afternoon and sometimes in the late evening. It is not really enough steps but it is a start. I am also aiming to walk back and forth to the Gateway Theatre whether it opens again or not. I have started to lose the extra pounds I have gained aiming for a half to a pound a week with a number in mind that I want to weigh when I go see my primary doctor on September 23.
When you look at me doing whatever I do whether walking or not you would never suspect that I have PAD, COPD, diabetes, a valve replacement, Afib, now and then attacks of gout, ED, etc., and take 15 meds a day but thanks to them and the squad of doctors taking care of me at the age of 84 I really don’t have a complaint in the world. Okay, so I don’t like the color of my legs or all the ‘bruise’ marks I show on my arms and upper torso due to the blood thinner but that is all ego and I can live with that–more often than not!!
All I have to do is get up every morning—well, late morning–and I am a happy guy!

Posted August 17, 2020 by greatmartin in HEALTH

PAD—Part 2   1 comment

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I have always loved walking whether it was in New York city strolling from Greenwich Village to Central Park or Miami Beach going from First Street and Ocean Drive to 23rd Street and Collins Avenue.

I am bringing this up because my first meeting with Dr. Arison really wasn’t a good one as he explained I had claudication in my legs and seeing my puzzled look added that it meant too little blood flow through the arteries in my legs. He went on to tell me what Peripheral Artery Disease, better known as PAD, was which was plaque building up around the arteries in the legs caused, mainly, by smoking and, in addition, high blood pressure and cholesterol caused by foods and lifestyle. He then went into what all this caused including in some cases inability to walk. After that I sort of spaced out until he gave me his card and told me to call his office and make an appointment to talk to him more about what was going on and what could be done.

By the time January 31, 2001, came around I had lost 16 pounds, taking 15 medicines from blood thinners to bringing down my cholesterol, blood pressure, inhalers for COPD, pills for prostate, fluid retention, diabetes, potassium replacement, to name just a few and, oh yes, back to Dr. Arison, stents in each of my legs.At my first appointment Dr. Arison explained to me what was going on, what could happen and what he would like to do which was to put me in the hospital in the morning, put stents in both legs and I would be on my way by the afternoon which is exactly what happened. I am not sure how many stents he put in each leg but I know over the next 15 years and, up to today, I have had 6-7 stents total in both legs.

Instead of my trying to explain what a stent is, and does, let me quote this from  “A leg stent is used to open blocked blood vessels in the leg. The device is typically placed in the artery after a balloon has been expanded to clear out the blockage. This procedure is called an angioplasty. The stent widens after the balloon is blown up and then the balloon and the wires that guide the process are removed from the blood vessel. The stent will then fit snugly in place and the blood is able to flow through it.”

After the first operation I felt immediate relief and I could walk to the Gateway Theatre–about a mile–and back without any problem. Without having to look it up, a couple of years after the first stent insertions I remember having it done again. It wasn’t until about 3 years ago I started having problems with both legs.(To be continued, and finished tomorrow!)

Posted August 16, 2020 by greatmartin in HEALTH

PAD = Peripheral Artery Disease   3 comments

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The New Year’s weekend from December 29, 2000 to January 2, 2001  was one of my most memorable though I only remember half of it! Somehow I had called 911 and was taken to Broward Hospital (or was it Holy Cross?) where it seems I had congestive heart failure and, as one of the nurses told me a day or 2 later I kept complaining that I couldn’t find my flip-flops!  

From my diary: “December 20, 2000, diagnosed with atrial fibrillation–whatever that was—Doc said I could have a stroke–should, but probably won’t, stop smoking (that would happen 8 and a half years later!), change eating habits (I did lose 16 pounds in January), was given Coumadin and Toprol XL  to take. My calves are killing me, can’t walk without pain–what if I can’t work? On December 26 I had an echocardiogram and on the 27th I was given a holster heart monitor. In hospital all New Year’s Weekend!”

By the way, I suppose I should add that early December 29 I had eaten a 5-pound ham, 2 liters of diet cola and half a carrot cake— mmmm–wonder why I had congestive heart failure?

Up until that New Year’s weekend, I wasn’t really that doctor or hospital oriented. Oh sure I had the childhood diseases but as an adult, I didn’t go to doctors regularly and I think the only major operation I had was when I had my appendix taken out sometime in the late 1980s, early 1990s. I do know it was a Thanksgiving week because I was working at the Fisherman’s Wharf and I was concerned I wouldn’t recover enough to work Thanksgiving Day and weekend and make the money I needed. I did.

From January 1, 2001, to this past Monday, I have been seeing all kinds of doctors on a regular basis and on January 1, 2001 I would meet a vascular surgeon Ron Arison and it was him I saw on Monday and the reason for this ‘report’ and PAD!(To be continued)

Posted August 15, 2020 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE EVENTS

Finally! (And a rant!)   1 comment

Virus test finally

In order to live in the Gateway Terrace apartments, you have to be 62 plus (though there are a couple of exceptions). I believe there are 260 apartments mostly 1 person per apartment except for the 2 bedroom apartments for married couples. (Now that I have never understood–are they so sick of each other by the time they have been married 30+ years they need separate apartments?!! LOL)  The total of people living here is about 300 with 99% over 60 with a lot in their 70s, 80s, a few in their 90s so when the CORVID-19 virus came along the immediate thought was how long before someone here gets it.
2 weeks ago we got a notice that ‘someone’ had the virus and they—whoever ‘they’ may be–was in quarantine in their apartment by doctor’s orders. Needless to say the rumors started on who and where the virus was! Supposedly it is against the law to tell anyone who is not a family member if someone is sick, has the virus.  Whether it is or isn’t we weren’t being told.
Last week we got another notice that ‘several more persons’ in Gateway tested positive. My immediate thought was for management to arrange people who live at Gateway tested. Though there are places to be tested most are drive-through and many don’t have cars plus those places you can walk to are out of reach as public transportation is not readily available.  Most had the requirement that you had to have symptoms of the virus so our thought was “Sure, get the virus first, go to the hospital and die” so many here were unhappy.
Finally today we got the notice that on Friday testing will be done between 8:30 AM to 11 AM (which you know doesn’t thrill me but……). That’s a small-time frame for 300 people if all show but who cares as long as we get tested! Or will we??? Okay, okay, no negativism here—I’ll get up at 8:30 AM.  Of course, it seems many people who have had the test say it takes 2-3 weeks to get the results (coincidence? The problem is being talked about right now on the TV news with the laboratories not having the capacity for all the people being tested) while others say it only says you don’t have the virus that day.
Bottom line? I am getting up early (so if I am grumpy you know why) getting tested and will wait for results to know if I have the virus, had the virus or maybe, am symptomatic. Whatever the results I will be happier getting it.
40 years ago I wasn’t concerned about having AIDS because I had a lot more control of whether I had and/or would get it. COVID-19 is another story as a lot is still not known about it and a mask is not a condom but why a man won’t wear a condom is as puzzling as to why a person won’t wear a mask if it will help someone else! We don’t have a vaccine for AIDS nor one for cancer so why does anyone think a vaccine is around the corner for COVID-19???

Posted July 7, 2020 by greatmartin in GATEWAY, HEALTH, LIFE, Uncategorized

This hasn’t happened in decades!   1 comment

A little background first—I don’t remember when I started drinking diet colas but I do know that I was drinking them in 1969 when I joined Weight Watchers and since then have been drinking a minimum of 5 cans and/or 2 litters every day for 49 years!

There was a study done last year that showed drinking diet sodas could add weight to your body or at least hinder it from losing weight. That is all I had to hear and I stopped drinking them–cold turkey–last September or October. I am good with coffee–regular before 2 PM and decafe after–and water. I, also, started experimenting with tea not really liking green or other similar ones so I started with the herbal teas settling on Chamomile, which I could buy at the Dollar Tree for $1 a box of 20. Every night before I am about to go to sleep I put 2 bags and a Sweet ‘N Low in a cup, pour hot water in and then cover the cup for about 5 minutes.

An aside:  I didn’t lose an ounce giving up diet sodas.

Also, for a month, I have been having a CBD gummie bear which I don’t think has done anything for me, if it was supposed to!

Now for what this is really about! I don’t and very rarely have any problems going to sleep. Yesterday was a regular day–nothing out of the ordinary for a Friday–got up at 11 AM after going to sleep around 3 AM–went to the movies and then had lunch at Big Louie’s, came home, read mail, answered emails,  posted my review of “Cold War”, did some work on the Internet, watched TV, had dinner, read a couple of magazines, had my tea, and about 1 AM was a little sleepy so I went to bed. I remember getting up at 10 AM, looking at the clock and the next thing I knew it was 12:45 PM!!

I haven’t slept that many hours since I was a kid! I wasn’t stressed about anything, didn’t do anything exertive, have been drinking the tea late at night for months now, didn’t have a gummie bear as I used them all up the night before. In any case, I don’t have nor can I find any reason for sleeping such a sound sleep for almost 12 hours. I have heard the older you get the less sleep you need or the less sleep you have at one time which is why old people nap.

I find it almost impossible to nap nor do I fall asleep reading, watching TV, etc. I try to nap but as soon as my head hits the pillow my eyes won’t close!

Maybe instead of researching diet cola they should research me!!

❛When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.❜

Marcus Aurelius

Posted January 26, 2019 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE, Uncategorized

The New Year started with…   Leave a comment

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with great news! Went to my doctor’s office last Thursday to get blood drawn and today went back to meet with my doctor for the results.

“You’re cholesterol count is that of a 21 year old! I wish mine was as good. What’s your secret?”

“It must be the 4 pound carrot cake John gave me and the big gift of assorted chocolate treats that Chuck and Terry sent!”, I answered with a 21 year’s old smile!

The only thing he wasn’t too happy about, but questioned the lab’s results, was my thyroid number and said he would test it again in April.

I came with a list of questions and/or problems which he dismissed most of with ‘old age’ but still he wants me to see 3 specialists on some of the items I asked about.

Then I was off to have some carrot cake for lunch–told you it was healthy!!

Posted January 9, 2019 by greatmartin in HEALTH, HOME, LIFE, Uncategorized

“But you don’t look 14!”   2 comments

With all due respect, you kids (anyone under 60) shouldn’t believe the lies that old people tell you!

Age is NOT just a number.

You are NOT as old as you feel.

60 is NOT the new 40.

Should I go on? Your body will tell you first thing in the morning when you try to get up that, yes, you are old. The medicines in your cabinet tell you that you are old. Doctor visits tell you that you are old. Now I can go on and tell you all the ways you will know you are old but we weren’t told so why should I spoil your fun (and moaning and groaning) as you find out.

But, and this is a big but (not to mention that most of you will get a big butt as you age!) getting old is great in many ways such as you know that worrying is a waste of time!

Let’s not talk about all the ‘specials’ you get such as reduced restaurant bills at Denny’s or the fact that you can rant and rave in restaurants, after you have cleaned your plates, about how bad the food is, how horrible the service was and the manager will pick up your check just to get rid of you. You can got to supermarkets on certain days and get 20% off. (And there are a lot more financial advantages off-set by higher medical bills!)

Complaining is an art for old people as is telling the young know it alls that they don’t know anything until they become old people who do know it all.

Biscuit, Mimi and Dallas, in the picture, are constantly told that ‘you don’t act 14, as they say out loud, ‘how old you really are in dog years?’. (Let’s just say Rian is over 14! LOL)

I constantly hear, “You don’t look/act like you are 82/83 years old!” in a surprised voice. Then when I tell them I am actually 20, being a Leap Year baby, they are silent!

What does a 82-year-old man look like? I live in a community of about 300 seniors and, let’s say, a third are men. I can line up 5 guys in around 80 and one will have a walker, another will be carrying an oxygen tank, the third will have just returned from a jog to the beach and back while the 4th will be in a wheelchair being pushed down to The Point. I am the 5th–the one who drank too much as a youth and had to stop (January 21, 1981, when I was 45) because I was having blackouts. I’m the guy who smoked 2-3 packs of cigarettes a day for 60 years and stopped (July 21, 2008) when I had to have an aorta valve replacement. I am a guy who ate all the wrong foods for years and lost 100+ pounds in March 1967 when I was 31 and for the last 50 years have been fighting between 11 and 25 pounds (depending on the month of the year).

I have PAD, fight high blood pressure and cholesterol, am a pre-diabetic, have AFIB, COPD, take blood thinners among 13 other meds, see a primary doctor a minimum of 4 times a year plus 6 specialists at least once a year and take a home test every two weeks to get my INR count.

“You don’t look 82!” Thanks but you haven’t seen my insides! I look in the mirror and I see the kid that will be 21 on Saturday, February 29, 2020, but when I get up in the morning or walk the steps up to my apartment or go to climb a step-ladder to hang a picture I know what 82/83 looks like!

Hey keep on saying “You don’t look 82!” and I will say “Thank You” because I have learned how to accept a compliment without adding ‘but’.

Oh yes, I promise to never say “When I was your age…..”.

Posted October 22, 2018 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE, LIFE EVENTS, personal life, Uncategorized

A doctor with a sense of humor!   Leave a comment

On July 21, 2008, I had a porcine (yes, they put a pig’s in a Jewish boy! And I keep reminding him about it!LOL) aorta valve put in my heart. I was told that the lifespan of one was 8-10 years and though I am not a worrier I did want to know what the signs of it starting to fail were so I would be aware. That meant a trip to my cardiologist which I knew would lead to a second trip for an echo-cardiogram—I hate being right about such things! and I have another appointment for that on November 1.

The doc told me that some have been known to last 20 years and that the 8-10 figure was ‘average’. He added that even if something goes wrong they won’t have to open my chest again as there are many ways to fix it without that procedure.

Meanwhile, he was quite pleased with what he ‘heard’ when he listened to my heart. He, also, was happy with my blood pressure reading so all in all things look good.

Talking about being right–on October 29 I go to my vascular surgeon and I know he too will want me to come back for a cat scan of my legs. Why they won’t schedule the appointment before I see him so I won’t have to go back for a 3rd time for the results I don’t know except maybe he wants to buy a new Mercedes only he said next year he wants a Rolls Royce!!

I did enjoy the ‘notes’ in the cardiologist’s men’s room–one of the assistants mentioned more pictures are taken of those 2 signs than they take of hearts!

Posted October 17, 2018 by greatmartin in HEALTH, Uncategorized

My doctor is going to sue me!   2 comments

Robe new

Posted September 19, 2018 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE, Uncategorized

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