Archive for the ‘HEALTH’ Category

When friends get sick taht’s what friends are for!   Leave a comment

A lot has happened in the past 5 days and I finally got a little relief today.

Allen had a stroke in his left leg and fell on the floor in the kitchen at 11:45 PM and had to crawl to his bedroom to get his phone and call 911–previously, the past 3 weeks he lost sight in his right eye.

I lost count of how many doctors he went to who sent him to another!

He had an MRI of the brain then of the body plus all amounts of blood extracted.

One doctor said he had a blood clot in his brain–another said he had cataracts that would have to be operated on but they feel there is something else and can’t do that operation until they find  out what—and on and on and on.

 

He really needed someone to live with him 24/7 and some friend suggested Tommy–a 19 year old kid who worked in a bowling alley 5 nights a week. Allen said he would give him free room and board plus $200 a month and that he would have free use of the car, etc.,  That lasted 2 days and then he had the kid come down and pick me up, take him where he wanted to go and I had the car.

 

I don’t want to get into Monday as it started at dawn and went on for 70 hours–well it seemed like that. We had to go to another eye doctor–3 hours there–then get prescriptions filled–then stopped at Winn Dixie because he needed food in the house–I won’t get into his NOT having meals delivered because it cost money–then there was the patient evaluator nurse who spent 3 hours asking questions and (poor lady) had to listen to Allen ramble on (telling stories I have heard at least 15 times)  I won’t get into her warning him that he can’t live alone–that he had a choice of 1) a nursing home  2) going into a living assistance place or 3) get someone to live with him or she would have to tell social services

 

She suggested (actually told him what I have been telling him for months) that he had to get a medical alert because even if someone lived with him they might go out somewhere and he could fall again.

 

I could go on and on and on but finally I made him call Mike who had said he would rent out his condo which he owned and would move in with Allen without charging anything–Mike has money left to him by his lover of many years and who died in his 90s so Mike knew/knows how to take care of someone.

 

All I know is I sighed a huge sigh of relief when Mike showed up and agreed to move in BUT Allen can be and is very bossy–his way or the highway—and so is Mike.

 

I am going up to talk to Mike on Thursday to tell him some of the things the social worker said he needs to get/have plus work out some routine, etc., etc.

 

I will probably take Allen to his doctor appointments and, of course, the Thursday routines we have been doing for years–I did talk him into using the walker (top of the line) that Phillip used and left when he died and Allen agrees it is better than the cane.

 

Oh yes did I forget to tell about on Monday after running errands coming home and he fell and hit the concrete right outside his door?

 

In any case with Mike in his place today he didn’t sound as depressed (rightly so) as he had this past 5 days.

 

Since December he has been going downhill but in the past 3 weeks it was very noticeable–I don’t know if that will change or will continue which sort of stays with me.

 

Okay enough–won’t bother you anymore unless it is major news.

 

PS I blamed Allen for the 10 pounds I put on this week!! :O)

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Posted August 23, 2017 by greatmartin in HEALTH, Uncategorized

Does that mean I can eat all the carrot cake I want?   Leave a comment

Doctor's bag

Every 4 months I go in for a thorough blood and urine work up as I have many ‘problems’ ranging from Periphery Artery Disease (PAD) affecting my legs, Arterial Fibration  (AFib), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), high blood pressure, high cholesterol, an aorta valve replacement, pre-diabetic, etc., etc., along with the fact that I take 15 meds and 2 vitamin supplements.

Now, with all that, I consider myself pretty healthy, though walking can be a problem, as I get around, do things, enjoy life and very seldom if ever, feel sick!

On July 20th I went to have my blood taken and on July 26th I went to a meeting with my doctor. He is a good doctor and I never feel as if I am being rushed and I usually come in with a list of questions and ‘problems’ that I have noted the past 3 months.

He started by asking me how many carrot cakes I had eaten the previous months and I asked him, “Why?” He responded by saying that while ALL my numbers were fine some were a bit up from the last tests so he knows I was up to something! I blamed it on the 40 years of drinking diet sodas and eating sweeteners, as that latest report came out about both being ‘bad’ for you! With a little pressure from him (and the fact that I know he reads my restaurant reviews) I admitted to 2 carrot cakes and a box of carrot cookies plus 3 buffets!!

All in all he was pleased with the results such as total cholesterol 135, blood pressure 110/65, glucose 87, INR 2.1, sodium serum 140, just to mention 5 of the about 70 numbers on the report. Oh, and I must mention the 5-pound weight loss!

He answered all the questions I had and said he would follow up on the prosthetic finger that I was denied and that he wanted me to see my Vascular Surgeon. I told him I was in the process of changing that doctor and I would let him know when I did so he could/would give me a referral.

After setting up our dates for November—before Thanksgiving and December celebrations! He is a good doctor!—he asked where I was going to eat and what I was going to eat? I told him about Nabu and he said, “Are you going to gain weight from carrot cake or sweeteners?” I told him I only drink water these days!

As we stood at the receptionist’s desk he said, “You are one of my favorite patients because you always make me laugh and, looking at your charts, I see carrot cake is good for you, even though my wife doesn’t believe me!”

How often do you leave your doctor’s office with a smile? Oh, and I forgot, if you make an appointment for 1 PM you see HIM at 1 P.M. How often does that happen?

P.S. I got the bag in the picture for being a good patient—oh, okay, everyone gets one and it is great for shopping—holds a lot.

Posted August 9, 2017 by greatmartin in HEALTH, Uncategorized

Starting my 10th year today!   Leave a comment

I started on my 12 birthday—my 3rd Leap Year birthday—in 1948. I thought it made me look more sophisticated, debonair and grown up. 48 years later, on July 21, 2008, I was being lead into the operating room to have an aorta valve replacement.

I started off smoking 2-3 cigarettes a day and at the age of 16 when I was going to the bars I was up to a pack a day. While in the Marines I cut back a bit but by the time I went to work as a server (called waiters back then!) in restaurants I was smoking 2-3 packs a day and would for the next 40 years until that July day when, before going into the operating room, I smoked my last cigarette and now it is 9 years since.

I have not smoked since then and being around smokers doesn’t bother me at all. I still miss a cigarette now and then like when I am on the computer or after a good meal but that only lasts for a second or two.

I consider myself very lucky that all I have from smoking all those years is a slight case of COPD and though my PAD is a little worse I am aware a lot more could have happened to me physically just because I wanted to appear more sophisticated, debonair and grown up 69 years ago!

Posted July 21, 2017 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE, LIFE EVENTS, Uncategorized

MY FIRST HEALTH REPORT FOR 2017   Leave a comment

 

me-2-january-10-2017
(January 2, 2017)

On January 5th I went to my primary doctor’s office to get a bunch of lab  work done and then on January 11thwent to the doctor to sit down and go over it plus ask a few questions.

Basically the report was good with a few ‘minor’ glitches such as my sugar was a little high—hey, this was just after the Hanukkah/Christmas/New Year’s holiday—and though the cholesterol numbers were on the high side (179) they were within the okay range (100-199). She did change the cholesterol medicine I had been taking. The only thing she was a bit concerned about was the kidney result which was 5.650, above the 4.500 high numbers so she adjusted my lisinopril dosage. My INR (blood thinner) levels were fine within the acceptable range. The other 66 items tested for were fine.

I did talk to her about the 4 gout/arthritis attacks I had in the November-December span and she explained that the best way to decide that was next time I am having one of those attacks to come in and she could take a sample to see if there are crystals in the fluid. We discussed the home remedies (tart concentrated cherry juice and apple cider vinegar) which she said could do no harm but she would prefer I tale Aleve but not the AlevePM.

All in all the ‘problems’ could be dealt with and none were life threatening plus I knew how to get the high numbers down “and with no holidays, no Leap Year and the next labs to be done before Valentine’s Day & the chocolate sales, the numbers should come down!” (She knows me.)

Oh yes did I forget to mention that I had lost 2 and a half pounds, even with the holidays, since the last time she weighed me. On the other hand it seems I lost a half an inch in my height since last January—so that’s why I may look fat!!

Posted January 12, 2017 by greatmartin in HEALTH, Uncategorized

GETTING A NEW FINGER!   Leave a comment


I am sure I will not use any of the correct medical terms but I wasn’t exactly listening! I did learn that Matthew is a Licensed Prosthetist Orthotist but I call him my ‘finger man’ which he finds very funny!

For those who don’t know–and IF you want to read the whole story go back to my March posts–my right hand ringfinger was chopped off above the knuckle and, now, 7 months later I am getting a prosthetic finger.

Matthew took me into a room and laid down some wrapping paper and told me to stand on it with my hands hanging loosely and comfortable by my side. He covered both with some sort of jell/gel(?) and two trainees with him started to cover the right hand with some gray glop/plastic glue making sure every bit from the wrist to the tips of the fingers were completely covered. (First picture on the left.) Then after 5 minutes or so he made a slight cut on the side of the ‘cast’ and with me wiggling my fingers he took it off–see the 2 center pictures and you can see the shortened ringfinger. After awhile he repeated the process with the left hand–see picture on right. 

After that was finished he took me outside in the bright light and took 4 pictures: the palms and backs of both hands. He expalined that ‘they’ (the factory) would match the color of my skin to the mold, work the new finger so that it would fit comfortably over the stub of my finger and if I wore my ring on it no one would be able to tell the difference.

All in all it took an hour from beginning to end and Matthew said it would be ready in 5-6 weeks (which usually means 6-7!) and I must admit the whole process is mind boggling to me and I can’t wait to see the results.

Posted October 5, 2016 by greatmartin in HEALTH, Uncategorized

GOUT OR JUICE PRICE: WHICH IS MORE PAINFUL?   Leave a comment

tart cherry concentrate

I have been fighting gout now for about 3 years and all I can say about it is that having a gout attack is extremely painful. When it was first diagnosed I was prescribed allopurinol and until it kicked in to stop that attack I was first given MethyIPREDNISolone which is taken in exact amounts at exact times. As my ankle—yes, gout doesn’t only attack the big toe—was still hurting I was also prescribed Propoxyphen-APAP.

Due to the fact that I have been on Warfarin for 17 years—which is a blood thinner—I have to be careful of which pain killers I take.

Oh by the way don’t believe that old wife’s tale that gout is a ‘rich man’s disease—it isn’t!

I have had 4-5 attacks since first diagnosed and a week ago Friday it hit again. Usually it will take a few days before the pain subsides but this time it hasn’t and along with everything else it has been exceptionally painful. I took another dosage of the MethylPREDNISolone for the 6 days with no results and then started with the Propoxyphen and still the pain continued so then I took Hydrocodon with zero results.

I did check out google when I was first diagnosed and read all about the foods to avoid and what to eat but that’s about it—I read what it said.

I googled more yesterday and came across the ‘fact’ that cherries were known to lessen the pain of, and even in some cases prevent, attacks of gout. Having Allen’s car I decided to go cherry buying but little did I know that they were out of season. I went to Winn-Dixie, Publix, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s without any luck and finally at The Fresh Market I found cherries at $6.91 A POUND!! OUCH!! I was hurting so I bought a package which was 2 pounds. When I came home I did more research and saw that I was to take 20 cherries at a time. I did before going to sleep and still woke up in pain so I did more research. Turns out it had to be a specific tart cherry called Montmorency. Out I went again and all I could find was a 16 fluid ounce bottle of ‘Montmorency tart cherry concentrate’ for $12.99.  Heck that’s why it must be called a rich man’s disease!!

Reading directions I started with 2 tablespoons as a high potency dose and later as a drink using a 1-7 proportion. Well so far I have spent $26.81 on cherries/cherry juice and still have the pain!!!

Moral of this blog? I am not sure yet!

 

 

Posted August 21, 2016 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE, LIFE EVENTS, Uncategorized

ANYONE WANT FLIP-FLOPS? GOODBYE OLD FRIENDS!   Leave a comment

Well I won’t say it takes very much to teach this old dog a new trick but after tripping and landing on my right knee breaking it into 3 pieces I still wasn’t ready to give up my flip-flops!

It wasn’t too long after that, wearing flip-flops, when it was raining and walking up a cement incline that I slipped and fell on my left knee which would lead to an infection swelling up the ankle and itching like crazy!

I had to have about 5 ultra sounds regarding both injuries and each technician doing the exam told me that they see more injuries due to flip-flops than most anything else.

Add to that both my primary doctor and vascular surgeon advising me, very strongly, to stop wearing them that I finally decided it was time to do just that.

I sort of compromised and bought an expensive pair of flip-flops as sort of a half way measure and then did it—I got a pair of sandals. I was about to go on a sandal binge when I realized that I had 3 pairs of ‘dress’ shoes that I had alternated wearing to the theatre over the past 5-6 years to about 96 plays averaging maybe wearing each pair 5 times a year so I now had 4 pairs of shoes that I could wear changing a pair every day. Right now they are all in good shape so I will have to see how much wear and tear they take under normal conditions.

I do have a pair of slippers to wear around the house plus it is pretty safe for me to walk around the apartment barefoot as I don’t have any throw rugs, etc., on the floors except for one to cover wires in a hallway and a couple in the bathroom where I am barefoot anyway.

I think it was in 1981 that a podiatrist diagnosed me as having a hairline fracture in each heal and prescribed me ‘safe’ insoles to wear in all my shoes and I have had them ever since but it is only recently that I am wondering if that diagnoses was right. I have a podiatrist’s appointment at the end of the month and I just might ask her to check it out!

In any case I now have 14 pairs of flip-flops to get rid of—anyone? (Here are just a few of them!)

flip flops aug 2016

Posted August 8, 2016 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE, Uncategorized

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