Smoothie On My Baby Boomers

There was a study done a while ago about how long you needed to do something before it became a habit. I believe it was at least 18 days before it would sink in our brains. Some of my great habits have been mentioned here before. Habits such as Coca-Cola and more Coca-Cola and the urge to have sweet rolls or doughnuts. Oh, the habit of relaxing didn’t take me long to learn either. I do that one exceedingly well. Here’s one that my father chided me for that I remember. Watching the “Boob Tube” or for you younger ones that’s watching TV. Is watching “You Tube” the same? Probably worse. As you can see, most of my habits are pretty lame. I mean, I don’t drink or go “Hot Rodding” with my car or a motorcycle. I don’t go skydiving or spelunking.  Yeah, I’m pretty boring I would guess.

Now some of you may have learned something new in my life recently if you follow me on facebook. After watching a number of people close to me struggle with health issues I decided it was time to do something for myself. The occasional visit to the Emergency Room for what I thought was a heart attack also has brought my health to be at the forefront of my mind. The thought of me relying on other people to take care of me as my health deteriorates was not a pleasant idea to me hence the inclusion of Green Smoothies into my life. It’s been about 31 days now and I believe it has become a habit. I generally drink 32-40 ounces each morning. A friend turned me onto Dr. Brooke Goldner who cured her self of Lupus by her diet which seemed to made of primarily Green Smoothies. You can find her here www.facebook.com/DrGoldner.

For a person such as myself who is a solid “meat and potatoes” guy I am amazed that I have gone to the other side shall we say. I never eat vegetables. I didn’t have my first salad until I was about 25 and it was a spinach salad with hot bacon dressing! How could I not love it? For the last 20 years, I have been about 150 lbs. overweight. My recent torn meniscus in my right knee really put me out of commission and showed me how bad things were and that it could only get worse if I didn’t make a change. So every day I mix 1 lbs of kale and baby spinach, a 1/4 cup of flaxseed, a half lbs of frozen fruit and a banana, a teaspoon of cinnamon and 22 oz of almond milk make me a damn good tasting smoothie that I can handle. Doctor Goldner would recommend I drink more of this than the 32 oz that I drink each day, to begin with, but even with this smaller amount I have lost a bunch of weight, I may be off my blood pressure medicine very soon as I can’t get much lower than I’m at now. All my edema in my legs have disappeared and my shapely legs are back. Dare I also say my skin is also changing. My (what I call) old man bumps on my face are getting smaller and my eczema on my elbows that was a dark scaley purple is almost gone completely. God forbid it but it seems like exercise may be creeping back into my life as I’m slowly being able to do more.

How many of you can say they haven’t seen their belt buckle or for that matter their belly button in over 30 years? Well, I just found out that mine is still there! Hell, if Dr. Goldner can cure herself of Lupus and other autoimmune diseases for her clients with this protocol I can certainly improve my life and those around me if they are interested.

Smoothie on my friends, Smoothie on.

 

 

Being A Teenager

At times you may have had the opportunity to interact with a teenager. As we get older we tend to forget what we did when we were teenagers. Or more importantly how we acted or for that matter how stupid we were. Somewhere, they must have done a scientific study as to what happens in a teenager’s brains. Perhaps it’s a chemical imbalance like the term “Raging Hormones” which is used to describe teenagers at times. As mentioned earlier we tend to forget about our past but let me tell you we all have been affected by those ranging hormones.

I believe I was about sixteen years of age at the time of this incident. I woke up one morning and I decided I was going to run away. I really can’t recall what made me feel this way specifically but I got up had breakfast and began to pack my dad’s old army duffel bag with my stuff. At that time my father had been away at a nursing home already for a few years because of Multiple Sclerosis, I was the only boy with three sisters, my mother, and my grandmother. I guess I had reached my limit of being able to cope.

In my infinite wisdom, I decided I was going to go and see my best bud Larry Ruud who had just gone to the University of Southern Illinois. So as I walked out to “go to school,” grandma asked me why I was taking the big bag. I told her it was my gym stuff for school. I said goodbye to grandma who was the only one home and I walked to the bus stop about a half a mile and rode the bus to downtown Glenview where I could catch the Milwaukee Road train to downtown Chicago. The only way that I guess I could get down to Carbondale Illinois was via the Greyhound Bus. Luckily for me, the bus was leaving fairly quickly upon my arrival at the station. I bought my ticket and was on my way. I was lucky enough to sit next to a very attractive young lady. I guess I looked older than I was as she was very flirty with me as I remember. Later on, we even made out for a while but she got off in a small town about five hours into our trip. I think it was another four hours on the bus and I arrived in Carbondale and went looking for the dorms where Larry was living. I believe it was about 6:30 at night or so and Larry was very surprised to see me and I just told him I came to visit. I hadn’t even thought about my mother and sisters. I didn’t think to leave a note. I didn’t call and I didn’t even think they would be worried.

Larry of course who was now a college student and much older and wiser, knew better and called his mother who had already been called by my mother trying to find me. Soon enough though, I was on the phone with my Mom and surprisingly she was pretty calm about it. I told her I needed some time here and she said ok and let me stay. When I arrived home a few days later I don’t even recall my mother yelling at me or punishing me and it was like we didn’t even talk about it. She really let me off the hook.

I had no idea what I would have done if I had kept on going. No thought on how I’d live, how I’d get a job, get around, all this with no thought at all. If that had happened today I would have been an amber alert and everyone in the world would have been looking for me. We wonder how kids can interact with a stranger online and tell them everything and think nothing of going to meet this stranger. I was lucky, many teenagers aren’t so lucky these days. I’ll also bet if you ask them why they left they would say they don’t know, they just felt they had to. I was looking for answers to questions I was asking myself but had no one that I wanted to ask those questions to in my life. So I went elsewhere to look for what I needed, which even then I didn’t know what that was. So my friends let’s keep a lookout out for those young ones that aren’t thinking and teach them how to find the answers they need without having to go on a quest to find those answers themselves alone.

A Day Without My Cell Phone

Here’s a scary thought for you. Leave home without your cell phone! I bet that made you shiver. I had gotten three-quarters of the way into my morning commute when I asked myself why it was so quiet in the car. You see by then I would have made 3-4 calls (using Bluetooth) and I would have received at least three more calls too. My commute is about an hour and ten minutes one way. I had gone too far to turn around. I had passed the point of no return. I was committed to a full day without my cell. I know you know the horror that overcame me. But… hell its only been a few years that I’ve actually had a cell phone. I lived without it for over 40 years I could handle this. Besides, it was only another 20 minutes and I’d be at work and my phone on my desk.

I got there knowing I’d be attacked. Where were you? How come you didn’t return my call? Are you dead, call us back? Those were just a few of the comments on my voice mail and from co-workers and the boss.

Then I got into my day and as long as I was near my desk my world was fine. Then came my time to leave. Unfortunately, on the way home, I had a couple of errands to run. I left about 5:30 pm. My commute didn’t end until 9:15 pm when I walked into the house. The family was there screaming at me saying they were about to call the police and fire department even the hospitals to find out where my body was, as that’s the only reason I hadn’t come home already. You see the first store I stopped at didn’t have what I needed. So I went to another of their stores, ten minutes away. Then that store didn’t have it and I didn’t have a phone to call around so I had to travel from store to store to accomplish my errand. Then my other errand I had to stand in line at a customer service desk with 8 people in front of me and only one clerk behind the counter and she was about 75 years old and typing with one finger. It was becoming an angry mob and my 45-minute wait was sure torture with the pressing of each of those keys by that arthritic finger of that poor woman. Since the store manager on duty couldn’t help us I told the crowd that we all needed to go on Yelp.com and complain about this store but that we were not to mention this poor woman as it wasn’t her fault that they didn’t schedule anyone else. They all agreed and actually were nice to her when each of them got to her which I was glad about.

The experience at that store reminds me why I hate to shop and why so many of us are buying online at Amazon.com or elsewhere instead of going to physical stores.

We as humans get into routines and my morning routine was changed which made me miss my cell phone, which then upset my whole world. It tells me that I shouldn’t have left home. I should stay in my own little world and do not interact with the rest of that messed up world, as you and I can never control it anyway. Can you imagine disconnecting from the grid? No phone, no tv, no commute, I wouldn’t have to shave, I could stay in my pajama’s all day. No facebook, no credit cards, live far away from everyone. The silence would be deafening I’d go crazy, I need people in my life, it’s what keeps me going. So what am I going to do? I’m going to hard wire to my brain an implantable phone that can be charged as I sleep at night and when I get up to leave it goes with me so I can’t forget it. There working on it already see it here. There you go, closer and closer to George Orwell’s 1984. He was a few years too early!

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

So on this eve of my 63rd birthday, I was talking to a friend whom I haven’t seen in almost 40 years. We got caught up on my wife’s medical issues and her recovery. Then we got caught up on our kids. Then she asked, as so many of my friends have asked over the last six months, how are you? Are you taking care of you?

I used my usual response “I’m fine.” There I did it again, I lied to another friend. I’m not fine and I know it. Hell I just had a “Sleep Apnea” test and I know I tested positive. Further details coming as I get them. I’m tired all the time, I eat to much, I still drink to much Coca Cola and as I learned growing up a man has to be strong not weak. You can’t show your feelings you have to be the one everyone can lean on.

So what do I do, I focus on work, or keep busy with my hobby of educating myself further on the internet about my favorite subjects, marketing, blogging, wordpress, and certain health issues that affect my family. I just take care of my family the best I can day by day.

During my wife’s stay at a skilled nursing center I found out that for someone to stay there the costs start out at about $10,000 a month and go up depending on the additional services you want. Most health care insurance doesn’t cover this type of expense. Most families can’t afford something like this. With all the “Baby Boomer’s retiring and getting up there in years, I can’t imagine what we as a society are going to do with all these people. How will they be taken care of? My old boss President Trump isn’t going to help us.

I’m reminded of an article I read how incarcerated people will be getting better care than the senior citizens. It was suggested we reverse the situation and put the seniors in the jail and people from the jails in nursing homes.You see in jail you get free medical care, three meals a day, exercise time, counseling, continuing education if you like and many more benefits.

I can’t solve societies issues all I can do is do the best I can with what I have and pray that it will be enough. I also pray that my family and friends don’t have to go through what I am going through.

So if any of you ask me again how I’m doing I think I see jail in my future. At .least then my family won’t have to be burdened with me. I think I want to go to one of those federal prisons where they send Illinois Governor’s to. Maybe I can go to Colorado the views must be fantastic.

OK, for those of you that read this and are now even more concerned about my well being I’m good. If you know me at all, I can be sarcastic, and I do like humor in my writing so take it with a grain of salt as they say!

My Medical Education

I believe I can have a new career if I want it. Over the last four months, I have received my medical education. I have learned how to do the following. I can flush a gastro 3 port tube. I can inflate a # 10 balloon in that same tube. I can flush a foley line. I can empty a foley. I can shut off and on the IV machines. I can drain and clean out open drain tubes and suction bulbs. I can clean and replace all bandages of varying sizes and purposes. I can teach RN’s how to unhook and reposition a colonoscopy bag clamp for either draining or expelling an inflated bag when not being used as for its original purpose. I understand the use of barrier creams and the applying of them. Of course, I’m an expert in the bed pan. I can identify blood pressure increasing due to increasing pain levels and I understand the readouts on monitoring systems. More importantly, I can remember doctors orders for medications their doses, purpose, and interactions.

Besides all that I had to understand the procedure my wife went through called a Whipple Procedure. It is considered one of the riskiest surgeries that one can have. The surgery itself can run between 8-12 hours depending on complications.Gaining and understanding of the digestive system, and how it’s been redirected helps in your ability to understand what a patient could be going through. Such as vomiting dark green foul/sweet-smelling bile. (No her head did not rotate around at any point)

On top of all of this add to it a patient that has a connective tissue disease, a degenerative disk disease and advanced arthritis in the spine.This is a person who in order to get through the day has to be always moving. Otherwise, a disk in the spine may begin to attach itself to another disk and begin squeezing some nerves that affect your ability to walk, or bend your legs or tell muscles to do what they are supposed to do. Now have that patient lay flat on a bed for 4 months. You will hear that patient ask you to kill them now. You will hear them ask god why do they have to suffer. You will hear them beg for relief. The worst part is this patient is allergic to most pain medications except for Fentanyl. Which is stronger than Morphine. If they take it they will begin hallucinating and or just sleep all the time and will not remember anything that happened previously and can’t be expected to really do anything but lie there and not heal but be a zombie or be in torturous pain.

So this has been part of my life for the last four months. If I hadn’t been there every day my wife would have been dead. I can’t tell you how many times they were about to give her the wrong medicine, or the wrong dose. Or give her something that could kill her like iodine. Or how many infections I stopped because they wouldn’t take the time to clean her wound site or flush her foley or drain her drains because in many cases they didn’t care, were too busy, didn’t have the knowledge or just have the opinion that all patients are the same and they should all get the same care.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the health care industry shouldn’t be profit driven. In many cases, nurses and aids can’t give you the care you need because there told by management to cut costs, have more patients per nurse, no overtime etc.Besides that nurses and doctors are being held more accountable and every step every action they take has to be recorded and measured. There to busy typing into the computer than looking at the patient. Their jobs have become not a caring job but an administrative paper pushing job that no one wants to do. Heaven help you if any of you or your loved ones have to go into the health care system and I pray that your family member will not be lost over the care they won’t receive.

I received a copy of the ambulance bill for moving my wife about 10-15 miles from one hospital to another $5800.00. I had been wondering if I should become an Uber driver to make ends meet financially but maybe I should start my own Ambulance company. How about “Uber Ambulance”!