Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, Sep 30, 2012

“Failure to thrive” and my college classmate

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:07 am

During the weekend of 9/15, I heard the term “failure to thrive” over the radio. It reminded me of the first time when I learned of this term. That was from a college classmate of mine.

That’s what the doctor told my classmate about his infant son, well, during the baby’s first year of life, because of the baby’s mother’s negligence. Years later, I saw the boy’s picture, a very cute one only too little for his age.

When my son was about 10 months old, we went to New York and met this classmate who liked my son very much and commented “He is too good for you” I know he meant it to be a compliment, or a strange way of complimenting.

For some reason, I feel sorry for his boy, a miniature in my memory.  All because the mother was having her fun and neglected her maternal duty.

1, Sep 6, 2012

When it comes to your health and your life, always do your own research

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:09 am

Here’s another one on health. On 8/24, I read this report “Vital Signs: Risk for Overdose from Methadone Used for Pain Relief — United States, 1999–2010” by Leonard  J. Paulozzi, MD; Karin A. Mack, PhD; Christopher M. Jones, PharmD,  carried on Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report. 2012; 61(26):493-497.

Here’s the highlight of the report.
“In 2010, methadone accounted for between 4.5% and 18.5% of the opioids distributed by state. Methadone was involved in 31.4% of OPR deaths in the 13 states. It accounted for 39.8% of single-drug OPR deaths. The overdose death rate for methadone was significantly greater than that for other OPR for multidrug and single-drug deaths.

Conclusions: Methadone remains a drug that contributes disproportionately to the excessive number of opioid pain reliever overdoses and associated medical and societal costs.

Implications for Public Health Practice: Health-care providers who choose to prescribe methadone should have substantial experience with its use and follow consensus guidelines for appropriate opioid prescribing. Providers should use methadone as an analgesic only for conditions where benefit outweighs risk to patients and society. Methadone and other extended-release opioids should not be used for mild pain, acute pain, “breakthrough” pain, or on an as-needed basis. For chronic noncancer pain, methadone should not be considered a drug of first choice by prescribers or insurers.”

Even though the guideline says methadone should not be used for mild pain, some physicians will still prescribe it. I shared with my children about this. The take-home message is some doctors tend to prescribe the more powerful medicines than necessary. This applies not just methadone but all medicines. Do your own research when you need to take any medicine. It is your life. It is too important to simply trust the so-called medical experts who very often have other agenda than your life.

1, Aug 11, 2012

Harvard medical school suggests the steps for keeping blood pressure in the safe zone

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:43 am

Yes, I started paying more attention to the blood pressure issue after I got back from China. Two of my childhood classmates are afflicted with hypertension, daily controlled by medicine right now. I learned that hypertension is one of those “silent killers.”

Maintaining a healthy blood pressure is vital for good health. Keeping yours below 120/80 is the ideal goal for dodging a host of afflictions. Here are some of the steps that Harvard Medial School suggests.

Reduce sodium intake.
The medically proven DASH diet keeps sodium to 2,300 milligrams per day (about one teaspoon of salt). Cutting it to 1,500—not easy, but doable—works even better. The DASH diet can lower your systolic pressure (upper number) by 10 points or more.

Monitor your pressure at home.
Checking blood pressure at home with an appropriate device can give you instant feedback on the benefits of diet and exercise and give you and your doctor a more accurate picture of your blood pressure. This is valuable, because some people experience “white coat hypertension,” in which blood pressure spikes higher than normal when measured at the doctor’s office.

Limit your alcohol intake.
Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure. For men, the suggested limit is one to two alcoholic drinks per day, defined as 1.5 ounces (1 shot glass) of 80-proof spirits, a 5-ounce serving of wine, or a 12-ounce serving of beer. (For women it’s no more than one drink a day.)

Take more meds if you need to—but take the right ones.
Many people who are already taking one or two hypertension medications ultimately come into “control” (blood pressure below 140/90) only when taking three or even four medications. But they need to be the right drugs. Your doctor should combine medications that work to lower blood pressure in different ways. “Your doctor should pick medications in different classes that complement each other and won’t just be redundant,” Dr. Kormos says.

1, Aug 10, 2012

More benefits from socializing with others

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:13 am

On 7/29/2012, I learned some fun fact about fat conversion and socializing, well in mice right now.

Researchers at Ohio State University identified a link between the amount of social interaction in a mouse’s environment and its weight. The study promises some new socially-based therapeutic strategies to fight obesity.

The study, published in Cell Metabolism, shows socially active lifestyle can dramatically speed up weight loss through the burning of fat in mice.

Fat can come in two types: energy-storing white fat, and energy-burning brown fat. The brown fat needed for weight loss is difficult to make. It is mostly found in babies, or in adults who have been exposed to extreme cold, where it is burned to keep them warm.

The study, led by Professor Matthew During, has found that relatively small changes in the physical and social living environment of mice can alter vast amounts of white fat to brown.

In contrast to the “couch potato” lifestyle of normal laboratory mice, experimental groups were housed in an “enriched” living environment – numbering 15-20 in large containers, furnished with running wheels, tunnels, huts, wooden toys and a maze.

This more physically complex housing for the lab mice not only increased the mental challenges posed, but also the amount of  social interactions between individuals.

Professor During said that he was “amazed at the degree of fat loss that occurs.” After just four weeks in the enriched environment, mice had lost on average 50% of their abdominal white fat.

Wow, one more reason to become socialized.

1, Jul 18, 2012

Tips for hot days from Harvard Medical School, part IV

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:49 am

The fourth but not the last tip is the protection of your eyes.

As we age, problems with eyesight become more common. Despite this, many people are not conscientious about caring for their eyes. Learn how to recognize the risk factors and symptoms of specific eye diseases — cataract, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy — and what steps you can take to prevent or treat them before your vision deteriorates further.

The ultraviolet rays in sunlight can damage your eyes every bit as much as your skin. The cornea is at particular risk. Even a single intense exposure can cause photokeratitis, or sun blindness. The symptoms are pain and light sensitivity, often accompanied by redness, tearing, and uncontrollable blinking. Fortunately, the cornea will usually repair itself in 12 to 48 hours.

But repeated low-level ultraviolet exposure can cause cumulative damage to the lens, ultimately resulting in cataracts. Sunglasses will prevent both problems if they have high-quality lenses that screen out UV rays.

Avoid lenses that are rated as “cosmetic.” Instead, look for sunglasses rated “general purpose” that absorb at least 95% of ultraviolet B rays and 60% of ultraviolet A. For intense exposures, turn to glasses with a “special purpose” rating; they absorb 99% of UVB.

There are some more tips and bug bites and plants problems, which I am not going to carry here.

1, Jul 17, 2012

Tips for hot days from Harvard Medical School, part III

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:44 am

The third tip is to wear light-colored and loose garments.
Take it easy. Walk instead of jogging. Take breaks and quit early. Don’t exercise in extreme heat and humidity. If it’s humid and above 80° or 85°, take a day off or head for the pool — or an air-conditioned health club.

Drink plenty of water. Drink 6 to 8 ounces of cool water before you get started, and pause frequently to drink. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, drink again on your way to the shower.

Stay cool at home.

Listen to your body. Don’t force yourself.

Fatigue, weakness, confusion, lightheadedness, nausea, labored breathing, chest discomfort, or a rapid or erratic pulse can all be signs of trouble. If you feel ill, get into a cool place and drink plenty of water. If you don’t improve promptly, get help.

1, Jul 16, 2012

Tips for hot days from Harvard Medical School, part II

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:40 am

The second tip is on heat and humidity. This is more a common sense.

Your metabolism always generates heat, and when you exercise, your muscles crank out 20 times more. That’s okay if body heat can pass out into cool air. As the temperature rises, though, cooling becomes difficult, even impossible.

The evaporation of sweat can also take away lots of body heat, but as the humidity rises, this too becomes difficult, then impossible. Heat that can’t be shed externally remains trapped in the body.

That’s when problems develop. Some are mild (muscle cramps), others serious (heat exhaustion), and some can be lethal (heat stroke).

Avoid sunlight. Schedule your outdoor activity in the early morning or the evening to avoid direct sunlight and always take advantage of the cooler temperatures.

1, Jul 15, 2012

Tips for hot days from Harvard Medical School, part I

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:36 am

I read this article yesterday from Harvard Medical School, “Health tips for the dog days of summer.”

Of course, the first tip is on protecting your skin. Because “over time, sun exposure will build up to increase your risk of melanomas and other skin cancers. Sun exposure will also produce premature aging and wrinkling of your skin.”

“Sunlight contains two forms of ultraviolet energy, UVA and UVB. Use a sunscreen that will protect you from both. Most products are effective against UVB, but many fail against UVA. Look for a “broad-spectrum” sunscreen; ingredients such as avobenzone and ecamsule are good for UVA, while oxybenzone and octocrylene add UVB protection. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide protect against both. Many sunscreen brands contain a mix of ingredients that provides protection against UVA and UVB.”

“Above all, don’t let sunscreen give you a false sense of security. The only foolproof protection is to avoid sunlight as much as possible. Stay in the shade when you can, especially between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest. Try to stay away from reflective surfaces. Wear a hat with a big brim, pants, and long sleeves.”

1, Jul 8, 2012

Avoid these seven activities immediately after meal

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:38 am
This was sent to me by a friend in New York on 5/6/2012. Rather interesting to know.
(1) Do not drink eat after eating
(2) Do not have cold drink after eating
(3) Do not smoke after eating
(4) Do not plunge into a sweaty workout after eating
(5) Do not take a shower or go swimming after eating
(6) Do not try to have bowel movement after eating
(7) Do not go to bed after eating

 

1, Jun 29, 2012

Nine Health Risks, part II

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:59 am

5. Constantly running a humidifier.
Those little steam machines can be a life saver for parents with a stuffed-up kid who can’t sleep, but using them too often might make things worse.

6. Certain antibacterial soaps and toothpastes.
Triclosan is a germ killer found in a lot of antibacterial hand soaps, body washes, and even some brand-name cavity-control toothpastes. But the American Medical Association recommends against the use of triclosan in our homes, because it may encourage the development of scary bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.

7. X-ray airport scanners.
You know those “backscatter” full-body X-ray machines at airport security gates? Europe banned them several months ago because of health concerns, but the machines are still in use in some airports in the States.

8. Colon “cleansing.”
Celebs may swear by this kind of thing, but colonics and colon-cleansing pills could be dangerous, our experts said. The intestines are self-cleaning, so unless you’re getting a colonoscopy, there’s no reason to sweep the whole thing out.

9. Ready-to-feed canned baby formula.
Bisphenol A (BPA) isn’t only found in plastic–it’s also used to line the inside of cans to keep bacteria out. And according to tests conducted by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, one of the foods that ends up most contaminated with BPA is canned liquid infant formula.

1, Jun 28, 2012

Nine Health Risks, part I

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:56 am

On 5/31/2012, the day before I left for China, my son sent me this article — “9 Health Risks that Aren’t Worth Taking” By Melinda Wenner Moyer, REDBOOK. Here are from this article.

1. Holding your cell phone up to your ear. Although the overall risk is still very low, research suggests that people who have spent the past decade or more frequently talking on their cell phones in the traditional way are more likely to develop brain tumors.

2. PVC shower curtains.
That funky, chemical-y smell of new polyvinyl chloride (PVC) shower curtains comes from volatile organic compounds, which may be carcinogenic over time and can cause nausea and headaches in the short term, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

3. Microwaving in plastic.
Heat releases some of the chemical building blocks in plastic, sending them into whatever food or drink you’re warming up. One such chemical, bisphenol A (BPA), “can mimic the effects of estrogen in the body, potentially leading to issues like premature puberty and breast or testicular cancer.”

4. Flea and tick collars.
Adults who play with a cat or dog while it’s wearing a flea and tick collar are exposed to up to 500 times the Environmental Protection Agency’s safe level of pesticides.

To be continued…

1, Jun 19, 2012

While good habits yield lifelong benefit, bad ones do the opposite

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence,Happiness,Health — admin @ 12:49 am

On 5/23, I worked on an expired patient who was 58 at the time of death, of lung cancer, with over 40 years smoking history. Like many hard-to-quit smokers, she started smoking when she was a teenager.

One of my co-workers has tried getting rid of smoking many times and still has not succeeded. I can see how hard it is for her to quit. From this I think of the long-term impact of habits on our lives.

It is very hard to change one’s habits, good or bad, once they have been formed early in one’s life. The impacts of those habits developed in our early years will reach over half a century. Hence, it is extremely important to get into good habit when a person is young. Life will be easy if you end up with many good habits and no bad ones.

1, Jun 15, 2012

Avoid things that make you feel bad

Filed under: Happiness,Health — admin @ 12:04 am

Feeling good is one of the key ingredients to good health. I remember when I was in graduate school, the moment I found myself rather depressed was right after I finished a term paper or completed a big project or the end of a semester.

Here’s my list of things or occasions that make me feel bad.
1) when I feel like drifting away each day without a goal;
2) when I realize I have been busy but have not accomplished anything;
3) when I don’t know what to do with my time;
4) when I lose a competition and realize my time and efforts have yielded no result;
5) when I give up some plan but have not formulated a new one to replace it;
6) when I feel trapped in one position and see no future, no life, no way out;
7) when I feel hopeless no matter what I do;
8) when I am physically sick.

I shared with my daughter this piece right after I wrote it. She said she wholly agreed with me. Find out what makes you feel bad and make plans to avoid putting yourself in that moment.

1, May 30, 2012

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Management

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:04 am

Before I read this from medscape, I thought there must be some pathological base for this chronic fatigue syndrome. In reality, very often the improvement on this condition is found not by medical treatment but by changes in behavior. Below is what the article suggests that people with CFS should work on.

(1) Develop a good sleep habit. Fatigue is often caused by not having a good sleep.
(2) Go to bed when you are tired
(3) Use bed for sleeping only
(4) Do not watch TV or use computer in bed at night
(5) Keep to a sleep schedule
(6) Avoid stimulant foods and beverage at night
(7) Read or listen to music if you cannot fall asleep within 30 minutes
(8) Avoid daytime naps (short rest periods are acceptable)

1, May 23, 2012

Never Check Email Before Going to Bed

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:30 am

On the evening of 4/12, right before I went to bed, I checked my office email, which was a mistake. After reading an email from a young relative of mine, I got rather upset and couldn’t fall asleep. Later I told my daughter, “Never check emails right before you go to bed. You never know who will write what.”

In my previous emails with that relative, I shared with him my parenting experience with my children and how American parents raise their children. Because he is an adult now and I was hoping he could understand it.

Unfortunately, he misunderstood my intention, thinking I was trying to compare my children with him. I know they are totally different in personality, growing up experience, and maturity.  It is like comparing apple with pear when they are of different kind.

I felt both sorry and upset, sorry that he misunderstood me. The argumentative tone in his email sounds rather upsetting.

1, May 19, 2012

Hop off the treadmill before it grinds you up

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:48 am

Toward the end of last month, I read an article on how physicians can retire early. The article starts asking readers to exam the emotional side of retirement, which is just as important as the financial side.

If you have a great sense of worth and accomplishment tied up in your work, terminating your job completely may not work well for you.

Your financial readiness is the next thing you should consider. I was surprised that not many physicians are ready for retirement by the time they feel like to. Because they even have not earned enough or have not saved enough.

Don’t sell your stocks during recession. “The people who weathered the last recession the best were the ones who held tight to a diversified portfolio and continued adding money to it.”

Last, resist the urge to chase “can’t miss” investments, such as private partnerships that purchase real estate or invest in various types of businesses: restaurants, car washes, and the like. “Nine times out of 10 these things don’t work out.”

1, May 11, 2012

All About Cholesterol

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:38 am

Here’s what I learned about cholesterol
–It is found in every cell in the body.
–It is used to build healthy cells and vital hormones.
–It cannot dissolve in the blood.
–It is transported to and from cells by lipoprotein–HDLs and LDLs.
–You total cholesterol score = (HDL+LDLS+triglycerides)/5.
–High cholesterol can lead to fatty deposits in the blood vessels, decrease in oxygen to the heart, and increase in risk of heart attack or stroke.
–HDLs = good one, increased by weight loss, exercise, Omega3s and polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats
–LDLs = bad one, decreased by weight loss, exercise, Omega3s and polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats
–Triglycerides = decreased by cutting back on sugar, alcohol and saturated fats.

Desirable cholesterol level
–total <200
–HDL >40 for male >50 for female
–LDL <70-130 depending on risk factors
–triglycerides <150

Not overeating can improve your blood sugar
–Because you are eating possibly half as much food
–Eating when you are not hungry causes insulin to be released.

How to raise your HDLs
–exercise
–it can take 6-12 months to see a difference in HDLs through walking
–diets, exercise and the way you are eating can improve it

Now it makes me feel so good after sharing with my readers.

1, Apr 24, 2012

Three Types of Heart Attack

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:18 am

On 4/6, while my daughter was not home that Friday evening, I found some time calling a young relative of mine in Texas, then chatting with a friend in Alabama. She told me she took baby aspirin every day. She knows it is good for heart health but she doesn’t know exactly why. I just learned about heart health that week. So I shared the following with her.

There are three types of heart attack.
(1) The first type is caused by slow build up of plaque, which eventually blocks blood flow to vessels that supply the heart with oxygen. This in turn causes chest pain or angina. Its diagnosis can be made with treadmill or angiogram.

(2) The second type is caused by inflammation in the arteries; half of all heart attacks occur in people with desirable cholesterol levels. This is where we need baby aspirin. It helps prevent inflammation.

(3) The third type is caused by arrhythmias, that is, erratic heart beat which often causes sudden death. It may account for half of the 500,000 heart attack deaths each year; sudden death happens unless a defibrillator is on hand;

Knowledge is power. Ignorance can cost life.

P.S. my daughter is leaving for Albuquerque, New Mexico today with her school for this year’s Acadec. They will be back on Saturday. It reminds me of the 2007 Acadec in Hawaii when my son went there with the school.

1, Mar 21, 2012

Health Advice from a Friend

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:49 am

A friend of mine sent to me this and other health related writings. Here’s a summary of its main idea.

(1) Learn how to live a healthy life. Don’t die of ignorance.
(2) Don’t punish yourself with other people’s weakness. Don’t get mad. Don’t let madness control you for over 5 minutes.
(3) It’s very important to be in good mood. You are not likely to get sick if you are optimistic and with positive attitude.

1, Mar 7, 2012

National Sleep Awareness week, so we were told

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:50 am
Yesterday, I received an internal email about National Sleep Awareness week. I have not heard of this until that moment, though I think it beneficial to have this reminder. Here are the main points about sleep.
(1) Aim for 6-8 hours of sleep every day
(2) Good sleep helps keep your heart healthy, makes you feel better
(3) Sleep is the time for the body to repair itself. “Your body needs the extra protein molecules that your body produces while you’re sleeping. It helps strengthen your ability to fight infection and stay healthy. These molecules help your immune system mend your body at a cellular level when you are stressed or have been exposed to compromising elements such as pollutants and infectious bacteria.”
(4) Sleep improves your memory.
(5) Sleep reduces your chances of diabetes. “Lack of sleep may lead to type 2 diabetes by affecting how your body processes glucose, which is the carbohydrate your cells use for fuel.”
(6) Sleep helps control weight problem. The argument goes sleep helps regulate the hormones that affect and control your appetite. You tend to overeat when the hormones go wired.
(7) Sleep reduces the occurrence of mood disorders. You are likely to feel grumpy when you have not had enough sleep.

1, Feb 23, 2012

Notes from Naturally Slim Program

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:39 am

Our company offered some health programs. One of them is Naturally Slim, which claims to beat all the existing diet programs.

P.S. 3/2/2012 This is the fourth week of my participation of the program and I have already benefited from it. I removed these notes, as I believe you will get the full benefit by personally participating in it. For any questions, you can go to Naturally Slim website.

 

1, Feb 22, 2012

Hidden Risk Factors of Heart Disease

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:04 am

This is from our internal circulation on health. You might think the factors must include overweight, smoking, drinking, or overwork. Actually, there are some factors that I have never heard of before. So here they are for my readers.

First, “Too much or too little sleep can increase blood pressure and levels of stress hormones,” says Jennifer Mieres, M.D., a spokesperson for the American Heart Association. Over time, this stress can wear on the heart.

Second, if you have gum disease. “While the link is not clear, it may be that the inflammation from gum disease allows bacteria to enter the mouth’s blood vessels, travel into the coronary artery vessels, and narrow the passages. This reduces blood flow.

Third, depression is a risk factor. It “can cause abnormal heart rhythms, elevated blood pressure, and faster blood clotting, all of which tax the heart.”

Fourth, if you’ve been diagnosed with certain autoimmune conditions. “The biological mechanisms and causes of these diseases still are not clear, but they may be related to inflammation.”

Fifth, you feel tired and sluggish. “Lower hemoglobin levels force the heart to work harder, which means it wears out sooner. “Anemia can be a key risk factor, especially as women start getting close to menopause and their periods become irregular and they’re living with lower hemoglobin levels.”

Sixth, your mother had a bad heart. “Children typically spend more time with their mothers than with their fathers. Mothers with heart disease are more likely to smoke, have a poor diet, and/or be inactive, which can influence the behavior in offspring and increase their risk.”

Seven, you’re taking steroids. Because “steroids increase blood pressure, lipids, and blood glucose, thus increasing the risk of heart disease. Since steroids change the potassium balance in the heart muscle’s cells, they may be the root cause of atrial fibrillation.”

1, Jan 2, 2012

Eat Balanced Meals for Your Brain

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:53 am

This posting is written for those who love good food, regardless of its ingredients. I read this one on 12/29/2011 — “Alzheimer’s: Diet ‘can stop brain shrinking'” by Helen Briggs.

“Diet affected tests of memory and thinking skills. A diet rich in vitamins and fish may protect the brain from ageing while junk food has the opposite effect, research suggests.

“Elderly people with high blood levels of vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids had less brain shrinkage and better mental performance, a Neurology study found.

“Trans fats found in fast foods were linked to lower scores in tests and more shrinkage typical of Alzheimer’s.

“They found those who had more vitamin B, C, D and E in their blood performed better in tests of memory and thinking skills. People with high levels of omega 3 fatty acids – found mainly in fish – also had high scores. The poorest scores were found in people who had more trans fats in their blood. Trans fats are common in processed foods, including cakes, biscuits and fried foods.”

1, Dec 13, 2011

Benefits of Strength Training

Filed under: Brain,Health — admin @ 12:01 am

On 10/7/2011, I read this article from Mayo clinic, “Strength training: Get stronger, leaner, healthier” by Mayo Clinic staff. As always, I shared this article with my children, even though I am not sure if they ever pay any attention to it. I can never over-emphasize the importance of a good health, as I once said, “All things being equal, the person with a strong body and mind will win the race.”

The article states, “Strength training is an important part of an overall fitness program.” Here’s the brief list of benefits.

(1) Use it or lose it. Muscle mass naturally diminishes with age.
(2) It helps develop strong bones.
(3) Control your weight.
(4) Reduce your risk of injury.
(5) Boost your stamina. As you get stronger, you won’t fatigue as easily.
(6) Manage chronic conditions.
(7) Sharpen your focus.

1, Nov 28, 2011

Gravity Defyer Shoe, Treat Yourself Well

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:02 am

On 10/18/2011, I received the Gravity Defyer Ballistic shoe that I ordered a few days ago. I told my daughter, “This is the most expensive shoe that I have ever bought in my entire life. So this is a record-breaking event.”

When I was at office, some people introduced to me shoes like MBT, Ecco, and Clark. I have never cared about brand name shoe like that, as talks like this often remind me of the shoes that a Chinese friend’s daughter once bought. That girl spent over $100 on a pair of sandal when you can get one for less than $10 a pair and she was only a high school student! Even worse, her mother showed me two pairs of that.

But a few days ago when I was flipping through Discover magazine, I noticed the advertisement of Gravity Defyer Ballistic sneaker. The thing that attracts me is its claim, that is, it could “relieve your foot, ankle, knee, hip and lower back pain.”

Talk about all these pains during my morning walk when I have a full taste of them all! As an exception to my usual stinginess, I decided to treat myself well this time with a pair of pain-killer shoe. And they are on sale with free shipping.

The next morning, 10/19, I jumped out of bed as soon as the alarm rang because I was eager to put on my new shoes and run. That truly gave me a good start for the day. It seems I have got what I paid for, at least psychologically, if that counts.

1, Nov 21, 2011

Out in The Cold

Filed under: Health — Tags: , , , — admin @ 12:21 am

It was cold and dark when I got up yesterday morning. I hesitated for a while before I got up. I waited for sometime before I stepped out. By the time I was outside, it was very cold, no longer dark though.

I walked and ran for two miles without seeing a soul. In the evening around 6 pm when I took my daughter to bookstore, the store seemed empty.

After we got back home, I mentioned this to my daughter, “Why were there so few people at Barnes & Noble’s?” She was not sure why. I told her my early morning walk. “There were very few people because it was cold and people stay indoor as much as they can. That’s how winter fat is accumulated.”

Indeed, going outside in winter either for a walk or for bookstore seem to be an uncomfortable challenge to many people. That’s where a strong will power plays a key role.

1, Nov 13, 2011

Health, Economic Factors, Life and Death

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:54 am

On 9/7/2011, I read a report by The American Cancer Society (ACS). It reveals that while the number of white Americans contracting cancer is decreasing, African Americans remain unchanged, still having the highest cancer rates in America. Even worse is the fact that they are more likely to die of cancer than any other ethnic group.

From my own observations, the main explanation is their low socioeconomic status. There is a heavy overlapping of race and social class in that you find a heavy concentration of blacks in both prisons and among low social class. Very often, a person from poor background postpones seeking medical help when she feels lump in her breast. By the time she shows herself at a doctor’s door, her disease is very often at a late stage and she misses her survival chance.

Another health factor associated with social class is ignorance, that is lack of knowledge of healthy living leading to many avoidable diseases. Once again, the lower the social order, the less likely a person is aware of healthy living.

Alas, how dreadful it is to be poor and sick at the same time! Pick one instead. Better still, be wealthy and healthy!

1, Oct 25, 2011

Price You Have to Pay For Your Abusive Lifestyle in Younger Years

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:54 am

I read a sad case last Friday evening when I was in Barnes & Noble’s with my daughter.

A woman in her 40s died of lung cancer. Since her youthful years, she drank and smoked, becoming alcoholic with a long smoking history, plus suffering from anorexia.

When young people think they are invincible, they abuse their bodies to the maximum and have to pay a heavy price in later years. This reminds me of a Chinese saying–

1, Oct 24, 2011

For Those Who Love You and Need You…

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:06 am

Thought for the day.
One late-staged lung cancer patient in her early 40s and her young son were sitting in the exam room, crying most sadly when I stepped in to hand her a copy of informed consent. She has been smoking since teenage years and up to present. My mind was kept there long time after I stepped out of the room. I couldn’t help thinking about the young boy, his loss, the meaning and responsibility of a mother, or the highest level of irresponsibility. No loss is greater than this when a mother fails to take care of herself for her child’s sake. It’s like abandoning your child if you have to cut short your life because of your bad habit, smoking in this case.

Get rid of the bad habit, whatever that is, for those who love you and need you.

1, Sep 28, 2011

Create a Healthy Environment for Yourself

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:38 am

On 8/18/2011, a friend of mine called me during lunch break, telling me she started feeling a lot better after she got back to work. She used to feel low when she was home, not without other reasons. Her complaints about her spouse reminded me of a conversation with a relative of mine who had similar experience.

However, instead of making complaints, she told me, “Some men seem to get worse as they age, either in temper or in whatever bad habits they might have. One way to look at this problem is, they become sick as they age, either mentally or psychologically.”

I told my friend, “If you can see him as being sick, you will not take his words for real.” After all, who would fight with a sick person? Nowadays people attach great weight to being healthy. They are also aware that feeling good or being in good mood is very crucial to their health. Yet, without a positive, sunny and cheerful environment, it is hard to maintain a high spirit and to feel good and healthy.

Instead of waiting for others to create this environment for us, I told my friend, it is up to us to create and maintain a positive and wholesome environment for ourselves. Call this win-win deal.

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