Posts Tagged With: health


Since I’m detained at home, I’m using my time productively, catching up on neglected chores and projects. Some fun, some not. The house appeared to be in good shape, but it needed painting.

I hired Jube and Joel to do the prep work. Joel worked nine hours one day, and the two of them worked 10 hours the second day. I had forgotten how much work preparation  work there is. Joel would explain, “to do it right, all of this loose paint has to be scraped, sanded and primed. ” Kind of like the seemingly endless medical tests I’ve been undergoing before surgery. To do a good job, they want to make sure you are in good shape. Of course, I want to move things along instead of all this waiting. It’s looking like I won’t be able to fly back to the motorhome and resume travels until after Christmas. (groan).

Yesterday, my son Doug came with his airless and roll upon roll of masking tape and started spraying the eves.

It takes little repairs along the way, some of which Jube and Joel did.

A cracked and rusted spot in the downspout.

The house settles and needs caulking and other stuff here and there I’d forgotten about. I guess the same is true of the old body. I could stand a bit of scraping and caulk here and there along the way and I guess I’ll get it.

The house and I will both be better off for the makeover. And, I won’t be inclined to let things deteriorate so much this time around.

It will be nice to come home to a pretty house when all is said and done. And, it will be nice to think my good health will continue with a bit of an assist. who knows, if it weren’t for the accident in May, I wouldn’t have known I had a health problem at all, as strange as that seems. We have to prepare for the future.

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Travel is a varied and unpredictable activity.    Normally, when I return to Murphys, I blog whatever I’m doing on the way home. I stopped in Las Vegas to visit my son and daughter and their families, took pictures and tried to blog from their computers as I’ve done before. Nope! Not this time. I’ve discovered that the new electronics security measures refused me admittance to my own email and blog even though I have the  passwords. This time security wanted the type of internet service I pay for, (POP account)  and the ISP numbers to go with it. Wha?  Is anybody likely to carry around POP account ISP numbers when they travel?  No!  When I was in Thailand, I was able to get my mail, but not from a private computer in Las Vegas?  Annoying.

I arrive home and my home computer claims it doesn’t recognize me. It puts me through the identification process as well, but, at least I didn’t have to provide my ISP Numbers. I believe it is time to buy an Ipad that is lightweight and easy to carry back and forth to the Motor Home.  Maybe.  Don’t yet know how many pictures I can store on it. Gotta find out exactly how it works.

While in Vegas, I,  and my grandsons and daughter-in-law,  attended the Bodies Exhibit. I had seen the ads on a previous visit in 2011 but was never tempted until a woman on the plane told me she took her son and how much they enjoyed it. As many drawings in my science and health books, brochures from doctor’s offices I’ve seen over the years, I was quite amazed by this exhibit. How can you, on a real dissected body, see everything, including the nerves, the veins, the capillaries; the  inside and outside of the intestines?   You see every gland, how every muscle works. I had no idea how small my pituitary glad is, nor how small my appendix is, and so on.  Many surprises about exactly how everything fits in the body cavity. They had bodies showing how artificial shoulder and hip and knee joints  attached to them work. How lungs, kidneys, liver and hearts look with various tumors, and diseases compared to their healthy counterparts. A smokers lung and a brain after a stroke are not pretty nor artful as the amazing healthy body. It was very educational, interesting and surprising.   I’d recommend it especially for families with children.

So, now, I’m reading my mail which includes the John Hopkins Health After 50 Newsletter;  The University of California Wellness Letter, and the Public Citizen’s Health Letter.  All have great information with a particular slant. The two university letters will deal with such things as Can coconut oil treat Alzheimer’s?, Why is liver cancer on the rise?; The Colossal colstrum claims.  What supplements work and which are bogus?  Studies on the The Fast and Feast Diets.

The Public Citizen Health Letter is more political and valuable. You get the real poop from them about what goes on in the medical community.  They give a list in each issue of  drugs and dietary supplements by class that have had recalls and field corrections by brand name and company.   The recalls are often due to the incorrect dosage information indicated on the bottle and the outside carton labeling.  Often it is incorrect expiration dates; adulterated materials or impurities in the tablets, or lack of the significant ingredient in supplements; wrong amount of inert ingredients in a tablet and so on. They also publish recalls on products that prove dangerous to consumers, from chain saws to  baby toys. But, most importantly they give you detailed information about the relationship between the FDA and the drug companies; fraud and scientific studies and laws that weaken consumer protections in the medical field. My most recent letter deals with Medical Devices. It kind of makes you sick to read:  Industry Lobbies to Weaken Medial Device Oversight.  Or, Inadequate FDA Monitoring;  Rising Recalls For Medical Devices. Scientific Fraud On The Rise. Controversy Over Cognitive Behavior Therapy Solutions. Or, how about this little factoid:  In just the third and fourth quarters of  2011, at least 225 lobbyists lobbied members of Congress or executive branch officials on issues related to medical device regulation.  Of course, the industry does not want you to know that some of these devices are unsafe; they injure and even kill patients.  Doctor’s who oppose this approach to regulation have been know to be threatened and slandered.  Hmmm!  Interesting. After reading the honest poop, you need to read those other health newsletters to read stuff like Eat well be well, and A diet that builds brain health,  to counteract the terror after learning our Food and Drug Administration is bought and paid for along with our congress.  Dang I hate it when the news is bad. In this case, ignorance may hurt or kill you.


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Its been hot in the park.  We are both feeling much better, but not exactly up to par.  We decided to try the South Rim overlooks figuring getting out and about will hasten healing and leave us with the canyons beauty as our last memory.

The White House  of the ancients, sits among sandstone colored buildings. The Anasazi left no clues  why this building should be white. Maybe it is special, like our own White House.  We had planned to take the two-mile hike in to where ever it leads,  but we weren’t up to that, yesterday.

The South Rim Canyons are deep and for those who feel any vertigo, it is probably not the place to visit.

As I looked, I wished I was down on the canyon floor finishing that tour we started in that marvelous truck where you had 360 degree views. It was a wonderful sight-seeing vehicle and I’d do it again if  I could, despite the accident.

I love the monolithic rocks that just seem to rise from the canyon floor like sentinels.

And, these strange purple tufts that sit like caps on pudding.  It is obvious that this rock was at one time liquid some unknown millions of years ago.

The South Rim had rock climbing areas before you get to the edge of the canyon.  Normally I’d be all over them, enjoying views from every point. They are beautiful in their own right.

The trail at one overlook was marked with cairn rocks. I added a couple rocks to increase the height, as others have done.  Not this particular one, though.

This rock was defaced by grafitti, but the colors are breathtaking.

The famous Spider Rock is so named because in Navajo culture, the Spider Woman is the God of weaving.  To them it must have resembled a weaving. It is  a beautiful twin structure in a very busy and colorful valley.

On a closer view it is possible to see the lines resembling  a woven rug, perhaps.

These lichen covered rocks on the edge have an unbelievable number of colors.

We received a note (posted) from Anita, the woman I spoke about who drove the two hundred miles to Flagstaff the day after the accident to be there for her friend Margaret. She is healing as we all are. And, for the sake of accuracy, we reported to the Sheriff’s Department and the Special Investigator that the nut from the tie rod bolt had been turned in to them. Frank Shearer informed us that the women from his party found the nut, but he advised them to leave it where they found it so the Sheriff’s Department could investigate without them having disturbed its location. Again, it is easy to “mis-hear” and spread inaccuracies.  Thank you for that correction, Frank.   None of us will forget this horrible accident, but I hope everyone will also remember the beauty of Canyon de Chelly and walk in beauty.

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PBS programming has featured Charles Dickens programming  this month in honor of his 200th birthday, or some such hallmark of accomplishment, and they’ve proved to be very popular programs indeed. Maybe because there are parallels to today’s social and political system? From the early 1600’s, in merry olde England, destitute people were cared for with money raised by a tax on their neighbor parishioners. A parish was a unit of combined religious and political authority. The parish distributed money or food to the poor, who were allowed to remain in their homes and maintain some dignity. Parishes recognized that caring for their poor people was a public responsibility and that it was in the best interests of all to look after their poor neighbors.

Large estate owners always had the upper hand in things from Napoleonic times,  passing laws that favored the rich, keeping peasant people in control enough to just let them get by. (Middle class).  Even though wealth and avarice controlled  the legal system and always had, during the Industrial Revolution  the ranks of the poor grew steeply and the growing poor became an outrageous nuisance. Thus The Poor Law of 1834  was passed, and instituted  debtors prisons, and being poor became  a crime. (Not unlike our homeless today).   Dickens’ father, who temporarily fell on hard times, was dropped out of the middle class and locked up in a debtors prison along with thousands of others.  Oh, the wonder of   government at work. It didn’t reduce the number of poor, of course, but the cost of caring for them was reduced by 36 per cent. A great accomplishment!   Our prisons are full, too, but not from the ranks of  “white collar” criminals. That designation of  “white collar” is interesting. It is a division of class, where the rich and powerful are treated differently than the common man.  Not much has changed. Our prisons are mostly  filled with uneducated, poor black men.

The rich really didn’t care about the abject misery they had created, then.  And our current political climate is determined to stomp the middle class into the ground and make laws to keep them there. I know many people who vote against their own best interests. The purveyors of wealth and avarice can make you believe we can run this country today, on the same amount of taxes we paid thirty years ago, while our infrastructure is falling apart, our educational institutions can’t find enough doctors, nurses and teachers to fill our needs,  and immigration is blamed for our problems instead of the rich, congressional shareholders.  Americans pay billions of dollars over cost for their health care,  and our political system runs on a steady stream of corporate money. That money never trickles down to our pockets. The 99% are desperately trying to change that, but without a free press (you only think it is free), the battle they are waging is a drop of water in an ocean of contempt. Not much about government has changed since Dickens.

But, there was a time of honorable intentions, insisting that all men were created equal. Unfortunately, they aren’t, and they weren’t treated equally, either. Despite the fact the preamble to our constitution states in part that our government was organized for:  “…the general welfare of the people.”


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People swear by their own special cures for ailments or bad habits. Some people swear by the health-giving benefits of owning a dog or a cat. It has been scientifically proven that pets provide many healthy benefits besides unconditional love.

I just finished reading The Good Good Pig, by Sy Montgomery. Sy developed an unusual and adoring attachment to a pig she named Christopher Hogwood.  She claims all pigs are intelligent, sensitive souls. They love and crave company, and contact. They have a sense of humor, enjoy a good joke, appreciate music. Certainly nothing you’d expect from a relationship with a pork chop.

In her book she mentions E.O. Wilson who had ten thousand ants living in his office at Harvard. He would look at them through his microscope and could actually detect individual differences in them, much to his awe and delight.

Ants and pigs  don’t necessarily cure anything except  the blues, but Sy and her friends and neighbors clearly doted on this pig and claim to have learned much about humanity from him. Mostly that animals aren’t corrupted by greed like humans are. Now that is a truth one can count on.

But, I think if I were to get another pet, it would be a camel.

Consider that if we have a planetary holocaust, the Sheiks of Araby will outlive us all. They are used to an inhospitable land of desiccating heat; they have camels to provide transportation and food, plus dung for fuel. Camels  can live on practically nothing; you can seek shelter beside them in a sand storm, take liquid from their humps and then their milk has ten times the anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties of cow’s milk. It’s naturally low in fat, and has triple the vitamin C.  It is the closest thing to mother’s milk. Camels also have an insulin-like protein that survives the digestive tract.  I’m not sure why that is important, maybe their spit is good for you.

My advice to you is if you spot a camel in your travels, you might want to latch onto that baby.

But, in the meantime, I got another remedy in my mail from elmhurst:  “To ward off cramps in a foot or toe, take your thumb and first finger and gently squeeze the area just below the nose. This may have to be repeated for a very bad cramp or charley horse, but it works.”

Thank you for that.

And, Donna Parker questioned Elaine May’s balsamic vinegar cure for hiccups claiming her family’s cure is best because you can cure hiccups anywhere. You won’t be carrying along a bottle of balsamic on the plane or a picnic, right?  She has a point.

Donna’s cure: “Fold your hands as if in prayer interlocking the finger’s except for the index ones. Concentrating on getting the index fingers as close together without touching and before you know it you no longer have the hiccups.”

I almost wish I’d get the hiccups so I can try some of these cures!  I know for a fact that animals get hiccups, I wonder what works for them?

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All of us have been victims of having medicine prescribed for us that turned out to be wrong or useless. Some of us have been prescribed medication that was harmful. So, does it surprise you to know that 115 million people are hospitalized and more than 100,000 people die each year from largely preventable adverse reactions to drugs? I was stunned by that number. How can this be?  Plus, many of those drugs should not have been prescribed in the first place.
This information comes from the Public Citizen Health Research Group April 2010 Vol. 26, No.4. Their website is:
Public Citizen is a well respected non-profit organization that tells it like it is. I’m surprised at the amount of misinformation I get in emails from well meaning friends about diets, herbal treatments, food supplements, politics, and any number of subjects we are all common to. Sometimes I think we are an anti-scientific people. We will buy into anything that sounds plausible without thinking about the science of it. I’m guilty as well.  Reading Public Citizen’s Newsletter helps me stay on top of things.

Public Citizen regularly publishes products that have been recalled such as dangerous toys, items that crack or break when used according to directions, fuel pumps that leak, drug labeling mix-ups, drugs that have missing ingredients in them, tools that don’t work as described, good drugs and bad drugs, contraband drugs that have been diluted on the black market, etc. They provide a wealth of useful, in depth,  information on many subjects. A friend once told me, Mary, you are so smart. Not true. I read smart.

Some years back, our local newspaper, the Calaveras Enterprise,  made National news because they published the names of sex offenders in our county. Apparently, it had never been done before.

I guess my wish list is this:

Major newspapers should publish the amount of money each political candidate running for election receives from corporations in bold print on a corner of the front page. And  those who have not fully reported where they get their money.

They should publish products that don’t meet standards.

They should publish untruths passed as truth from their major competition-the broadcast news.

I could go on and on what I think the most valuable function of a newspaper is. But then, we have an alternative, publications like Public Citizen that do not profit from advertising and contributions from leveraging corporations.

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