Archive for the ‘HEALTH’ Category

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

I REALLY LOVE BEING OLD BUT…   1 comment

am I just getting clumsier? Or more careless? Or is it because I am old?

I spent 6 hours of a beautiful Saturday afternoon first at the Holy Cross Urgent Care on South Federal and then the ER at the Holy Cross on North Federal.

Okay it all started Wednesday when I stopped in a gas station to fill up the rear right passenger side of Allen’s car as it said ‘low pressure 27’–as I put the hose to the tire and started to fill it some debris flew up and I felt something go in my eye.

On Thursday getting up from my computer I had forgotten to close one of the draws and banged my right shin into it.

I washed my eye out and put a cold compress on my leg.

Long story short–after calling doctor (he was off Friday) and insurance the latter suggested I go to the new Holy Cross Urgent Center today as the calf was getting more swollen and the eye was ‘glued closed’ when I woke up.

Was surprised there was only 2 patients there but was happy as it meant I won’t get in and out–and I did AFTER the Doctor said she would give me a prescription for the eye as it was infected BUT also said I would have to go to the HC ER to get an ultra sound as it being Saturday they technician wasn’t there. She wrote there was a hematoma that was getting bigger and because my last (10 days ago) INR count was 5.0 (should be between 2.5-3.5) and I have to go the ER to get an ultra sound and further evaluation so off I went!!

I got to the ER room and was surprised that they weren’t busy BUT it took an hour before someone came and took another INR test plus another hour for the result (I could have gone home, taken my home test been back to the ER in a 1/2 hour.)  

Doctor (a different one) came in and said she doesn’t think an ultra sound is necessary–an hour later she said I should go home, put my leg up with a cold compress.

 

Adding insult to injury, after I picked up the eye drop prescription I couldn’t get out of the CVS parking lot because the Air and Sea Show had just ended and traffic was bumper to bumper to get onto Sunrise Boulevard

And how was your Saturday?

 

PS I forgot—I was also diagnosed with bursitis on my right elbow!!!

 PPS Allen gets back today from France so after 3 weeks with a car I am a prisoner again!

Posted May 9, 2016 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE, Uncategorized

EVERY GOOD DEED PART 4   Leave a comment

The doctor numbed my hand using needles and soon enough I didn’t feel a thing. I didn’t dare look at what he was doing and though it went quickly I did HEAR him cutting through a bone and I don’t think I will ever forget that sound. He put a different kind of splint on it and said to make sure I don’t get that hand, particularly the finger, wet. 

I left the doctor’s office with the tip/top of the finger cut off and instructions to hold it straight up as high as I could so the blood wouldn’t coagulate at the cut end and cause pain. My immediate thought was to get a sling but that wouldn’t work as it doesn’t hold the hand up but sideways. When I got home I tried belts, ties and strings but though they worked to a certain degree I wasn’t able to keep it ‘tied UP’!

I walked into the hand surgeon’s office on April 8 hoping a ‘miracle’ had taken place but it didn’t. I was still missing a large tip of the 4th finger on the right hand. I, also, still couldn’t/can’t/won’t look at it while he changed the bandage. Okay at least I am man enough to admit I am a wuss when it comes to things like this.

I did come with a list of questions that I already knew he wouldn’t be able to give definite answers to as everybody heals differently. The best I could get was ‘a few weeks’, which, though I am unhappy with, I can accept.

He changed the bandage, put on a new splint, told me I could finish up the antibiotics and gave me another prescription for painkillers which I hope I will be off soon. I left after making an appointment for next Friday and it looks like that will be the routine for a ‘few weeks’.

Right now as far as I can tell the finger will be as short as the pinkie if not a tiny bit shorter and how it will look is something I can’t tell right now and my imagination doesn’t help.

I realize that this is a little—don’t mind the pun—thing and can only imagine how a person deals with losing a hand let alone an arm but for me it is going to take some mental dealing with and I know I will get through it but in the meanwhile I am working extra hard with being/feeling positive.

I do want to say thanks to all of you for your kind words, interests and concerns during this whole procedure.

Amazing how one finger can affect so many things you do during the day and take for granted from brushing your teeth to eating to typing, writing, paying bills, making notes, tying a bow, opening mail, shaking hands, turning a door knob, etc.

Hey for all you smart people out there—make a comfortable ‘holder’ (major word—‘comfortable’) to keep a hand in the air straight up—patent it and make a fortune!

As I get ready to post this I have just called the doctor’s office to make an appointment for, this afternoon. It may be my vivid imagination but it seems the finger has swollen over the weekend and with a quick–very quick–peek under the splint the top of the finger looks very dark to me. It may be nothing but I will feel better if the doctor takes a look and just says something to the effect that it is just a part of the healing process–more thanthat I don’t want to hear!

Okay that is enough about the finger for awhile–back to fun things things like going to the theatre “Cabaret” in Miami tomorrow and “Dirty Dancing” in Fort Lauderdale Wednesday and, of course, a lot more about my 20th birthday dinner party!

Posted April 11, 2016 by greatmartin in HEALTH, Uncategorized

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