Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

You can’t spell “marriage” without “mar”.

In Health, Justice, Political on December 17, 2010 at 4:53 pm

An article on Huffington Post writes that House Republicans just voted down the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2010. Almost everything you need to know about the bill is in the title. The major “problem” Republicans had with the bill (even those who initially supported it) is that it uses taxpayer money for abortion. Yep, once again a largely male congress is trying to legislate against a women’s uterus. The disappointing thing? (Other then the bills defeat?) Desmond Tutu and Mary Robinson (the former president of Ireland) both wrote Op-Ed columns supporting America’s finally speaking out against such marriages. Wow. Once again I am OH SO PROUD to be an American.


The day I became an adult

In Drink, Health on November 30, 2010 at 12:33 am

I became an adult today.

No, not the time I moved out on my own. Not the time I lost my v-card. Nor the time I bought my first vacuum (which I still have, btw – a sweet little red Dirt Devil).

I became an adult TODAY because I found out I have a problem with my triglycerides.

Triglycerides? Another word for “fat in your body” and I’ve got a lot of it. A healthy guy my height should be between 10 – 140 mg/dl (milligrams per decilitre). Where I’m at is 273. Yeah, yikes.

The point of adulthood was further pounded in to me when my wife (another sign of adulthood, perhaps?) told me to not only watch how much orange juice I drank (sugars!) but to also avoid eating a snack so late in the night. Sure that snack was bacon that my father left over, but…

So, what’s a boy, er, man to do? Eat healthy, look good and try to beat all the other healthy bastards at doing it?

That and take a page out of Courage Wolf’s Guide to Life.

Wine has grapes in it, right? And grapes = fruit. So, that means I can have a lot of it and it’s still good for me, yeah? Photo by Jeremia Schrock

What are you worth to yourself?

In Health, Quotes on October 26, 2010 at 11:52 pm

Today is the last day of Theodore Roosevelt Week. Tomorrow is his birthday (October 27th). As such, let us remember the great man with the following quote which, I feel, best exemplifies what it means to not only be an America, but, in fact, a citizen of the world, so to speak. The world that, thus far, only exists in the realm of ideas:

I am an American; free born and free bred, where I acknowledge no man as my superior, except for his own worth, or as my inferior, except for his own demerit.

Let me alter that line for our more progressive 21st Century: “Where I acknowledge no person as my superior, except for their own worth, or as my inferior, except for their own demerit.”

I leave you to your own thought. To take out of that quote what you will.

But, what do I take out of it? I take out of it these question: What are you worth to yourself? How do you define yourself within the sphere of community?

I would be interested in hearing just how you (as in the reader) literally define yourself. What criteria do you use to judge you and those around you?

Determining one’s standing

In Health, Political, Quotes on October 25, 2010 at 10:28 pm

This is Day 6. Two more day’s until T.R.’s birthday. His 152nd birthday to be exact.

There are good men and bad men of all nationalities, creeds and colors; and if this world of ours is ever to become what we hope some day it may become, it must be by the general recognition that the man’s heart and soul, the man’s worth and actions, determine his standing.

This quote ties in well to yesterday’s in that both deal with merit. This line, however, also brings to the table the notion of equality and how we should “judge” an individuals worth by their actions, ideas and personality. This is a powerful notion well worth striving for, especially in an election year where we go about the business of deciding who to best represent our interests. We judge those candidates not only on their ideas, but on their personality, intellect and practical actions.

Or at least we should, anyways.

In case any readers were curious all of the quotes I have used come from the Theodore Roosevelt Association. They have a nice little section called “In His Own Words” which has been very helpful during these blog posts.

A Square Deal for all

In Health, Political, Quotes on October 24, 2010 at 11:58 pm

Do I sense something akin to communism (little “c”)?

Let the watchwords of all our people be the old familiar watchwords of honesty, decency, fair-dealing, and commonsense…we must treat each man on his worth and merits as a man. We must see that each is given a square deal, because he is entitled to no more and should receive no less…the welfare of each of us is dependent fundamentally upon the welfare of all of us.

Maybe, maybe not. But, the idea of an individual being appraised based solely on their merits is a fine one indeed.

Also, I changed up the featured image. I thought I’d try something new.

An Asthmatics Survival Guide

In Health on October 6, 2010 at 11:18 pm

A basic question: What is asthma?

According to WebMD, asthma is a “chronic disease of the airways that makes breathing difficult. With asthma, there is inflammation of the air passages that results in a temporary narrowing of the airways that carry oxygen to the lungs.”

So, what does that mean? I’ll explain using a few analogies:

It’s like sleeping on your hand. You wake up to find your hand numb; you’ve fallen asleep on it. You do whatever you can to return feeling to the seemingly-dead appendage. Give it a few minutes, shake it a bit, and voila! Feeling has been restored…Now imagine you can’t get the feeling to return.

It’s like a dream where you find yourself falling. You fall for (what is probably only) a matter of seconds to find yourself jar awake. It was just a dream. Now imagine that your falling and being jarred awake…only you don’t wake up.

It’s like holding your breath underwater. You go as long as you can until you reach that point (you know what I mean) where you just have to come up for air. Now imagine you can’t come up for air…no matter how hard you try. You feel a swelling in your chest. Your lungs plead for air but…nothing. You swim and swim until it turns into pathetic flailing. You don’t reach the surface. You never reach the surface.

This, of course, sounds terribly dramatic. And it is. A serious asthma attack is dramatic. In fact, people die.

I almost died.

Having said that, let me explain why. At the time, there lived a very different Mr. Blogger. I used to owned several furry pets including a handful of dogs, several cats, and a dozen mice. I was (and still am) allergic to dogs and cats. If I had taken my medication regularly (some wonderful variety of Advair), then I most likely would have been fine. So, the big question is “why did I stop taking my medication?”

Why? Because I was a fucking idiot. I spent an entire night wheezing and gasping for air in my upstairs loft. Do you know what I tried to do to stop the attack?

  1. I tried my emergency inhaler. – FAILED
  2. I tried my nebulizer (a device which allows a user to inhale their medication in mist-form). – FAILED
  3. I tried taking expired medication I had on hand from when I was younger. – STUPID
  4. I had my then-girlfriend beat on my back (a home remedy that is supposed to open the lungs) – RIDICULOUS
  5. I tried drinking copious amounts of water (because water is full of oxygen). – FAILED

By the time all of this had failed (it was morning), I calmly called my physician and made an appointment. A few hours later I was in the Tanana Valley Clinics waiting room. One shot of epinephrine and a ambulance ride later I found myself at the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.

This could all have been avoided if I had taken my goddamn medication.

So, curious blog-reader, what does one do to prevent an asthma attack?

  1. Know your triggers.
  2. Maintain a normal Body Mass Index (BMI). Remember: the more fat you have, the more stress on your frame, the greater pressure on your lungs.
  3. Have an emergency inhaler on hand.
  4. If you have a prescription medication, take it. Your doctor didn’t get a PhD sitting on their hands, you know.

One major complaint is “medication is too expensive.” Yes, yes it is expensive. But, you know what is even more expensive? Going into the hospital for an attack. I was in the hospital for three days. For two of those days I was hooked up to an oxygen mask with an I.V. in my hand. Do you want to know what it cost? $10,000.

So, you know what, you can afford medication…you can afford to see a doctor twice a year…you can afford to be in better shape then you are now.

Because, you know what, your life actually does depend on it.

Those Sweet Old Blogging Blues

In Alaskana, Art, Cinema, Culture, Drink, Health, Music Reviews, Political, UAF on October 4, 2010 at 3:22 am

I plan on writing an actual update sometime early this week. However, before then, I wanted to throw out a few topics I plan on writing about which include health, journalism, music, and politics.

Why? Because I want to do something with the blog tonight/this morning but have no energy for anything investigative (i.e. that isn’t already in my head and doesn’t involve anything more then spellchecker and Google). You know the mood…where you want to feel productive, so you get away with “thinking” about being productive?

Yeah, it’s kind of like that.

Topics for future posts:

Health: Asthma; the Life Insurance process
Journalism: How to Write a Decent News Article; the Ethics of Journalism
Local Music Review: For both Feeding Frenzy and Good Dazes’ (Germ of Creation) new albums; Blurb about a buyers experience at the recent Record Expo.
Non-Local Music Review: Serj Tankian’s new album Imperfect Harmonies and Maroon5’s Hands All Over.
UAF: ASUAF Summer Senate Score Card; Photo slide-show of two university professors research.
State Politics: Scott McAdams and Lisa Murkowski position overviews (to match the one I did for Joe Miller).
History: What Norwegian Vikings Can Tell Us About Masculinity; something with Teddy Roosevelt since it’s his birthday this month.
Film: Maybe something on the Scandinavian Cinema Society I have recently formed with a fellow film enthusiast.
Drink: Brew Reviews-ala-the Northern Light

There are many other things I can and will write about. Some of them I haven’t even thought of yet!  I understand this post could be considered “lame”, but I try to view it as a “teaser” of future posts to come. Feedback is always appreciated.