Health


I’m nearly drug-free … and feeling better

As you progress through the events of several decades, stuff happens.

You suffer an injury.

You get sick.

You might be depressed or in pain.

Sometimes … you fit a certain profile and now you need to take this …

Every one of those events can lead to drug usage.

Your doctor prescribes a pain killer for post-surgical recovery.How Many Pills

Another says you’ve got to take a pill for your blood pressure.

Your knees tell you that running is tough on them … so you take Vitamin I … Ibuprofen.

The stress of work-life has you off balance.

Maybe you adjust your vitamin regimen or take a Prozac.

Antacids or a daily purple pill helps reduce your reflux.

Are you a druggie?

In recent weeks … I’ve become … nearly … drug-free … and I’m feeling better.

I want you to consider what a similar change might do for you.  I’m no doctor, but I’ve learned most doctors don’t pay much attention to the individual.  You need to look out for yourself.

Do you remember the slogan … Better Living Through Chemistry?

That is a variation on an advertising slogan for Dupont

… the company that brought us many types of plastic and a wide range of industrial chemicals.

Pharmaceutical companies and the healthcare industry seem to fully embrace the idea now.

I have stopped taking all prescription medications except a low-dose pill for blood pressure … and if I can do so without causing my doctor to experience heart failure, I’ll stop taking that too.

I quit taking pain medication.
Now I have fewer aches & pains.

Aches & pains associated with over-enthusiastic exercise, demanding weekend home projects, work injuries, childhood injuries, a fall from the roof of a 2-story house, knee surgery, fatigue, and stress have led to a variety of attempts to alleviate the pain.  I had reached a point where I was taking a daily meloxicam tablet rather than a handful of ibuprofen.  When I started taking meloxicam it seemed to do wonders.

If you are taking NSAIDs … or considering it … do some research, visit WebMD and other online resources … read … and understand … NSAIDs can have some serious side effects … and they don’t mix well with many other medications.  They can be seriously dangerous when taken along with steroids … and it seems not all doctors know this.

I quit taking purple pills.
Now I have less indigestion and no nausea or acid reflux.

At some point in recent years, I experienced an extended period of indigestion, reflux, and nausea.  The purple pill was prescribed, and when generic Prilosec (omeprazole) became available, I continued with the OTC versions.  When that initial bout abated, I cut back from daily use to “as needed” but it seemed I still needed it quite a bit.

When I decided to cut down on meds, I began taking a probiotic (Align).
Wow … what an improvement!

I quit the testosterone replacement therapy.
Now I have more energy, better attitude, and less concern about chest pains.

Low-T is the latest big hype among pharmaceutical companies.  My doctor decided my T was too low and I should try one of the new gels.  I tried three but with no noticeable positive impact.  So, my doctor had me begin Testosterone injections.  The first three injections resulted in noticeable changes and some questionable (even serious) side effects, but my doctor wasn’t convinced there was a connection.

When I went for the fourth injection, the nurse showed me a contaminant in the bottle from which the first three shots had been taken.  So, I got a new vial from the pharmacy.  The next injection seemed to have no affect; a few weeks later, the second injection seemed to do nothing, as well.  By then, I had been experiencing for several weeks new chest pains that didn’t feel like muscle aches.  It was at that point I decided to cut out as many prescription and over-the-counter medications as I could.

Another great benefit has been weight loss … nearly 30 pounds!

When I started the T-Replacement Therapy, I soon lost six or seven pounds.
That was encouraging.

In just a few weeks following my decision to stop taking the NSAIDs and omeprazole, my weight loss now totals nearly 30 pounds … without a diet (though I am eating smarter and allowing myself fewer sweets) and only a modest increase in recreational physical activity.

Now I look forward to what will happen when I re-instate a regular fitness routine.

Of course, I should add the standard disclaimer … “Your results may vary.”

But … it could be worth a try … for many reasons!

The benefits of becoming (almost) Drug Free include:

  • Fewer Aches & Pains
  • More Energy
  • No Gastric Distress
  • No Nausea
  • Improved Appetite
  • Weight Loss

 

 

 

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Regardless of your point of view, you need to understand the Affordable Care Act.

 

 

Johanna’s One of the Best!

Whenever you are in Copper Harbor and you would like give yourself a special treat, visit the Spirit of the North Wellness Center located in the heart of Copper Harbor.

Spirit Of The North Wellness in Copper Harbor Michigan

As the Spirit of the North, Johanna Davis can
relax your body and lift your spirits.

She asked a few questions.  I told her about areas of stress in my body, old injuries that tend to have chronic issues, even about sinus problems.

Her combination of Reiki and Swedish massage was very effective.

The Reiki process involved the head, chest, hip, thighs, calves, and feet.

She started with the Reiki method.  This created what felt like an energy flow … like she was drawing the pain out of my shoulders, drawing tension from my feet, calves, thighs, and torso.

It was easy to relax.  She would talk if you wanted to.

Most of my responses included an ahhhh … or a groan as I relaxed further.

Would you like heat?

Oh yah. Bring it on.

The Swedish massage ground several painful muscles into submission.

Then some quiet time to allow Johanna’s magic to sink in …

Two windows were open allowing a soft breeze.

I listened to the wind rustle branches and to birds chirp & call.

Soft music gently washed over me.

Later I had a chance to talk with her.

Johanna grew up in Copper Harbor

Her parents own and operate a local resort and shop.

She lived elsewhere for a few years.  One spot was Colorado … where she learned her profession.

She returned to Copper Harbor in 2002.

Johanna participated in the planning and building of her home / office.

Johanna’s Wellness Center is also
a beautiful cord wood home.

photo by Lesley DuTemple for the Lake Superior magazine

Cordwood Construction
Learn more about this at the magazine’s website:
— August/September edition of Lake Superior Magazine … “centerfold” article
http://www.lakesuperior.com/lifestyle/homes/344home/

Learn more about Cord Wood Construction at these links:
— http://www.daycreek.com/dc/html/allthingscordwood.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cordwood_construction

Go North
Get a Massage
Relax

Soon, I will returning to the Spirit of the North.
— I will be scheduling a session or two at Spirit of the North during my July vacation.
— That will give me a chance to apologize to Johanna for the delay in publishing this review.
— The reason for the delay began one day before I met Johanna and affected our home for the next nine months.
— I’ll write an update shortly after my next visit to the Spirit of the North.

Visit Copper Harbor …
Visit the Keweenaw Peninsula …
get Up da U.P.

And treat yourself to a special massage.

Call Spirit of the North at 906.289.4363

Additional Copper Harbor Resources:

 

Copper Harbor is a Four Season Destination … Johanna is the spokesperson in this video

 

The Science of Aging … Simple and in Pictures

A Facebook item from My Science Academy … The Science of Aging

We are programmed to die … but that also has a positive side.

Watch . . .

Boomer Review 2011 Summary
&
Table of Contents

We are approaching a new year and, like many, we are reviewing what we have done and considering changes for the new year.

Boomer Review was introduced in 2010 with a plan to … be focused on stories by, about, and of interest to Boomers and those who are interested in the Baby Boom Generation.

We think we have a good start on achieving that objective.

Whether you are a first-time visitor or a regular,
take few moments to look around.

The top navigation bar offers links to special sections:

  • Home … Well (duh)Rock_and_a_Hard_Spot
  • About Boomer Review … Review, Evolution, Revolution, Revitalization, Bust
  • Cruzin’ & Cruising … Making choices to take our lives in a very new direction.
  • John Alaska … The adventures of a  Boomer in search of a place to retire
  • Links We Like … This is where we share links to more information and resources
  • Welcome! … We welcome your thoughts and stories about the Baby Boom Generation

If you are looking for something related to a specific topic, check the Categories in a Cloud section on the right side of the Home page.

INTRODUCTION

  • Hello world!  … Boomer Review is a forum for sharing, evaluating, and learning from the Boomer Experience.

AGE & AGINGGramdpa

BOOMER LIVESFingerwave

BOOMER PERSPECTIVES

LIFESTYLE TIPS

HEALTH

SPECIAL PEOPLE

JOHN ALASKA

TRAVELBlue Heron at Buffalo Rock

  • Cruising the Loop  … Sailing The Great Loop – 2 People, 1 Catamaran, 6,500 miles

TBI ... Traumatic Brain Injury ... Concussion ... Repetitive Brain Trauma

Image Source

Traumatic Brain Injury Disrupts Thought Patterns

That is the title of a post I recently published on my Thought Patterns blog.

The point of the blog posting is to inaugurate our contribution to growing efforts that focus attention on a condition that affects a broad cross-section of the population. It is a health condition that is not widely understood.

There are many names associated with injuries involving impact to the head.

Head Injuries – Brain Injury – Traumatic Brain Injury – TBI
Concussion – Multiple Concussions
Post Concussion Syndrome – PCS
Second Impact Syndrome –  Repetitive Head Injury Syndrome

Thought Patterns will be my primary communications platform for the topic of TBI. However I will use Boomer Review and any other voice I have to share information that may help others understand how our brains can be affected by injuries.

  • Have you fallen and hit your head?
  • Have you ever been in a car accident? bike accident?
  • Have you played football? hockey? soccer?
  • Has something heavy ever fallen on your head?
  • Have you ever been slapped? Or in a fight?

These are just a few of the things that could cause a brain injury.  They could happen to anybody. Anyone could be a victim of several of these events. The cumulative effect of repetitive events could result in significant damage.

Everyone should learn how such injuries can impact our lives.

The following list of resources is a beginning. Let me know if you have additional resources to suggest.

Traumatic Brain Injury Resources

# # # #

For these and more useful links visit

Links We Like

at Thought Patterns

PSYCHConcentric Circles

Psych Class

During my practicum I was presented with a County hospital that housed the severely and persistently mentally ill.  The class was instructed to present themselves as benignly and as unobtrusively possible.  I sat at one of the round tables on a gymnasium-sized wooden floor.  I did not illicit eye contact with anyone other my instructor and a fellow student.  There were many patients milling around the tables; much like the Conestoga wagons portrayed in the old westerns I watched when I was a child on TV.  My arms and hands were stretched forward toward the center of the table, not knowing what could be perceived as a hostile gesture.

Introduction to Psychosis

Charlie was one of the more paranoid individuals in the group.  He would pace relentlessly in a circle.  His eyes were piercingly dark and he would utter what I discovered were bits of words or a word salad composed of neologisms.  His tone was sometimes threatening, but always had a discernible paranoid quality to it.  The concentric circles that he walked brought him closer and closer to me.

That was it.  I was captivated.  Charlie spoke in a manner I would come to recognize in countless evaluations that I performed over the coming years.  I was not to watch him in a manner that would increase his delusional state of paranoia.

I discovered that Charlie and many of the other patients were often in cognitive therapy group for only a few minutes of what is typically a 20 minute session.   Charlie simply could not tolerate such a session.  Later, after reading his medical history, I discovered that Charlie had a profile that tends to fit a person with a chronic and persistent mental illness.

Not A SpiralPsychotic Cycles

Charlie and countless others typically feel better in their own minds. They stop taking prescribed medications.  They then begin to spiral into a delusional system that consisted of ever increasing ideas of reference, paranoia and grandiosity.  Charlie began to feel he was Jesus and that people were plotting to poison him.  Each episode would take him farther into the depths of his illness, and his level of recovery would diminish.  His ability to recover to a point that he could function in society outside the walls of a mental institution were at a critical threshold.

A Path to Mental Health

I never saw Charlie again.  I do think about him however and secretly thank him for his role in seducing me into a career working with the mentally ill.  A profession that always left me feeling I had contributed to the greater good.  I always felt that I would see something new or different each day. Although there have been many trying moments in my work I have had the satisfaction of seeing improvement. There were also great moments of progress in educating the family and loved ones. I know my motivation was selfish in that regard but it worked for me!

Among the many trying moments in my work, there have been many moments of satisfaction as I saw improvement in patients that were a lot like Charlie.

Looking Forward

My goal is to remove some of the stigma and shame that accompanies the presence of a mental illness in the family and among friends.  Classic, overtly visible afflictions are viewed in a totally different manner in this and many industrialized societies. Wounds you can see … broken arms or lacerations … are viewed with sympathy and understanding.  Invisible illnesses such as brain injuries or mental illnesses are surrounded by stigma and fear.  The objective of this blog is to provoke thought and promote understanding.

Ron Walls

Ron Walls has a BA in Anthropology from USF, an Associates of Science in Registered nursing and has worked in the Psychiatric field for 30 years.  His special interest is working with adolescents and adults in clinical settings.  He worked several years ins chemical dependency detox.

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