A health and fitness blog: With an occasional food item

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Homecoming 2011: Daddy leaving hospital

Breaking news: My dad is leaving the rehab hospital today! It was five weeks ago today, right about now, as I type this, when he had emergency surgery at St. Francis Hospital. What a journey it's been.
From the beginning, there was great risk. Risk of infection and even death. I will never forget the surgeon telling me and my mom that he might not come off the table. But he did and he did well and he lost 30 pounds in the process. (Not the way to go, however.)
We are so pleased with his care, both at St. Francis and at Regional Rehab in Phenix City. The staff at both places could not have been more caring.
In addition, my mom deserves a medal for her great love and care for Daddy. She's been by his side the whole way.
Will post a photo later. Happy weekend, y'all.

Monday, January 17, 2011

AP: Surgeons and suicide

A sobering report was just released about the suicide rate among surgeons. In the report, 6 percent indicated they'd had recent suicidal thoughts, compared to 3 percent of the general population.
We tend to think of these people as gods (and goddesses). And I know I hold my dad's surgeon in very high esteem. But despite their rigorous and fine training, they still make mistakes--and sometimes those mistakes are deadly.
How do they, these gods among us, seek help?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Emergency, triage and Tucson shooting

TUCSON — The moment Tony Compagno stepped off his fire engine, frantic people spattered with blood began running up to direct him to gunshot victim.
Among the wounded was Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who had been shot in the head. Mr. Compagno was one of the first paramedics to reach the scene of the shooting rampage at a shopping center in Tucson last Saturday.
“Lots of people were laying on the ground,” said Mr. Compagno, from Fire Station 30 the in Northwest Fire/Rescue District of Tucson.
“The congresswoman, I could tell that she was still alive. People were giving a little girl CPR. My mind went away. I started counting, and then I thought, ‘What am I counting, injured or dead?’ ”
Read the rest of this compelling report here. How emergency workers dealt with the horrible scene.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mayo Clinic: Exercising in the cold

I've written on this topic before but it bears repeating: Bundle up while you're exercising in the cold.
Common sense, you say. Perhaps. But layering is key. First, no cotton. Start with a polypropylene layer (the breathable material that doesn't stick to your skin) then fleece or wool, then a jacket. Second, the head and hands and feet are vitally important. With most of the heat going to your core, these body parts need concentrated heat and attention.
Here's an article from the Mayo Clinic.
Also, based on personal experience, the warmth of your house can fool you. I started out last night on a walk (layered, of course) but at the beginning I didn't think it was too bad. Within 10 minutes, I'd re-thought that position.
Stay warm, y'all.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Time ... is on my side.

"Time rules over us without mercy. Not caring if we're healthy or ill. Hungry or drunk. Russian, American, beings from Mars. It's like a fire, it could either destroy us or it could keep us warm. We live or we die by the clock. We never turn our back on it and we never ever allow ourselves the sin of losing track of time."
-- Tom Hanks as Chuck Noland, "Cast away"
Yesterday I bought a watch. No big deal except I haven't owned one in a very long time. Maybe a dozen or more years. I've lost track (of the time). Two reasons I haven't worn a watch lately: Like earrings and other pieces of jewelry, they tend not to fare well with me. I scratch them, lose them or bang them on things. Another reason is I'm a compulsive time-checker. I guess I'll become one again.
Since my dad's "episode" Dec. 18, time has interested me more. One, because the surgeon remarked they opened him up just in time. And two, that had Daddy not stopped his blood thinner when he did, he could have bled to death during surgery. Just a recent, though major, instance in which time was on his/our side. (Another "time" story related to surgery: Another surgeon, whose name I forget, once told students that they only have only one minute to accomplish a certain task in surgery. "So take your time," she said.
Time ... is it on your side, as the song goes?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The decade in food

The decade in food included the following trends: Concentration on carbs (good and bad), comfort food. Rachael Ray. Super-size me and Starbucks.
Here, delish.com dishes out the past 10 years in foodie trends.
What's your favorite?
Mine? Starbucks. We finally got a few in Columbus starting several years ago. Not sure it's great for my waistline but the products are tasty and the staff friendly.
Here's to 10 more years of making trends in food.

Diabetes and prevention

With adult-onset diabetes on the rise, here's a piece that lets you know how to prevent it. Pure and simple? Eat right and exercise. Consistently.
Type 2 is the type associated with obesity.
In a 10-year period, the number of people with diabetes more than doubled in this country. To read the full story, click here.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Alzheimer's Disease: The Beatitudes

It's the endless chocolate. Or bacon when you want it.
Or carrying around a doll if you like.
This year-end piece in the Times is about Beatitudes, a facility for Alzheimer's patients.
What a concept: work with them and don't leave them lying around nearly comatose and over-medicated. Granted, as yet, there's no magic bullet to Alzheimer's. But this philosophy of treating the person as a person--finding what makes him or her calm and able to cope--is a giant step.
"Blessed are those who mourn; they will be comforted."