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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sorry, This Day Just Got Away From Me

It was going to be busy anyway, but then last night the Chief was ill and that really threw me off my stride today.

He seems to be better, so hopefully tomorrow....

Trying to hit an encouraging note:
The recent American Academy of Neurology conference included a presentation (brief Medscape article here) showing that moderate exercise combined with computer use (or really any form of mental stimulation) cuts the incidence of moderate cognitive impairment, and this is true even if it's done late in life:
"Moderate physical exercise, such as brisk walking, biking, and swimming, may be beneficial in terms of reducing the risk of MCI, and we also know that mentally stimulating activities also reduce the risk of dementia or cognitive impairment. What our study showed is that when you combine moderate physical exercise and computer use there is an additive beneficial effect," principal investigator Yonas E. Geda, MD, MSc, a neuropsychiatrist and an associate professor of psychiatry and neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, told Medscape Psychiatry.

A number of studies have shown that exercise reduces the risk for Alzheimer's disease, and a recent study by Dr. Geda and colleagues published in the January 2010 issue of Archives of Neurology (2010;67:80-86) also demonstrated that any frequency of moderate exercise — which includes activities such as brisk walking, swimming, and cycling — performed in middle or late life also reduces the odds of developing MCI.
The study was done on patients 70-90 years of age. Further proof that you just don't have to sit and take it, and if you do, what you have to take might be a heck of a lot worse. Also, overeating hurts your cognitive function.

A lot of people don't know that exercise appears to have a protective effect against Alzheimer's, and even more don't know that patients with early Alzheimer's do seem to benefit from a program of mental stimulation. There is a steadily accumulating body of evidence that shows that even older persons with some sort of progressive neurological disease or brain injury (such as old stroke) do retain a lot of brain plasticity.

Neil had me laughing with his observation that if the economy was improving, it was probably because Americans just decided to go back to work. I think he is absolutely correct, and that people are struggling to adapt and find something they can do. This principle - use it or lose it - tends to show up in multiple aspects of life.

I know a lot of people must be feeling helpless as we all watch the drama. This is just to remind us all that we are seldom as truly helpless as we may believe.

PS: What happens when you have a bored engineer with too much time on his hands - innovation!

Comments:
My last dog was a Dachshund terrier. Your video REALLY made me smile! :)

I'm sorry to hear the chief isn't doing that well again. I know the feeling. I'm still coughing up green. I'm seeing an ear, nose, and throat person tomorrow. I would have seen him sooner, but he was sicker than I was. They had to keep postponing my visit.

Meanwhile, our pet bird just had another seizure today. She's been having them for years. It has probably been six months since her last one though. We were somewhat optimistic that she was cured. No such luck.

It's not a fun thing to watch. She just looks so helpless, and so do we. It generally takes her 15-30 minutes to recover from it. Not only is the seizure itself exhausting, she's unable to use one of her feet until she's recovered.
 
I'm sorry about the Chief's health, but glad he's recovering. By best wishes for an early and complete recovery.

You're absolutely right about our ability to endure and overcome; Now, if only the Fed would get out of the way.

The researchers, perhaps, should define stimulation on the computer a bit more closely. That has widely different connotations depending on who you talk to you know...
 
Happy to provide some levity! I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip your waitress...

A couple of good hobbies and some exercise does indeed seem to lead to long life.
 
Hello, thought the folks here would appreciate this link to a summary of the rig explosion. The article itself includes a number of additional links to other supporting stories.

The most amazing (and chilling) was a first-hand account from a worker on the rig that called in to a talk radio show and described what he saw happen. Apparently he was driving along in his truck listening to the show and got upset over some baseless terrorism speculation and wanted to set the record straight in a few areas. I can't tell you how nice it is to finally come across a report from someone that knows what he is talking about describing what occurred, what had been done properly, and what seems to have failed and when.

He might be biased, and he might be preemptively covering his butt, but it didn't sound like it to me. They don't teach Machiavelli to good old boys, and his accent and speech was definitely good old boy.
 
My prayers go out to the chief and to StagMark.And thanks for the video,I know some engineers and this is just right.
 
mark, I used to have a dog with seizures/ had pretty good luck using rescue remedy to shorten the severity.
 
I saw the ear, nose, and throat specialist today. He put a scope through my nasal passages and everything looked normal.

He would like me to get a cat scan of my sinuses, but doesn't think he'll see anything. There's no pain or sinus pressure. Therefore, he'd like to try other things first.

Although nothing shows up on my chest x-rays, he thinks that the problem might still be in my lungs.

Next up... a pulmonary function test and a blood test.

Our bird seems to be doing fine right now but will be seeing the vet tomorrow.

When it rains, it drizzles!

(I live in the Pacific Northwest!)
 
Good luck Mark,what a frustrating experience.You will know the doctors are desperate when they recommend duct tape and chicken soup.
 
Tom,

For $357.50 I got a consultation with a specialist and a lyrngoscopy. That includes the 30% discount for paying at the time of service.

Meanwhile, my bird got an annual exam by a bird specialist, an avian panel, a culture and sensitivity, wing trim, toe nail trim, and two different medications all for just $310.92.

If I can keep this $300+ per day pace up long-term, just think how well the economy will do!

I'm not even insured.

In all seriousness, it isn't quite that bad. I haven't had health insurance for the past year but it's not like a $245 per month plan with a $5,000 deductible would have saved me money so far. I've only spent $1300 in total on my own medical expenses over the past year.

It will get a bit worse next week though. I cringe at the thought of what it will cost to have my breathing tested for an hour and get two different blood tests.
 
I've got insurance and I still don't want to go in for an annual. No matter how much I'm insured, it still winds up costing me money. And, we're taking our macaw in today to be checked out. He was pretty weak last night and we don't know why. Already had a $400+ bill for my cat. Vets certainly seem to be doing well!
 
Teri,

You might get a kick out of this macaw story.

Experts quash Churchill bird rumours

Charlie entertains garden centre customers with anti-Nazi tirades

My girlfriend once had a bird with a great sense of humor.

My girlfriend would put something in the microwave and the bird would make the "done" noise before it was really done. She'd then come to check the microwave and see that it wasn't done. The bird would then laugh!
 
A friend of mine had a Mynah bird that did that. Nobody was fooled, though, because the bird couldn't get the timing of the beeps right. Instead of "beep(pause)beep(pause)beep", the bird said "bee-bee-beep".
 
Mark,I have not had health insurance in a long,long time.between a very bad back/sciatica/chronic severe pain and the fact that I am a survivor of western equine encephalitis as a child the insurance companies are not lining up for my business.I eat well and stay active and actually am in better health than many men my age...which means I may live 30 more years or drop dead in 5 minutes.I wish you well in your search for a solution,what a PITA.
 
Teri, Neil, Tom, & everyone else,

Check out this bird. I bet it could figure out how to fix the healthcare system.

I have to admit that it is probably a bit mean spirited to do a poll asking who is smarter, but I just couldn't help myself. At least I put Dennis Kneale up against a genius bird!

Poll: Who Is Smarter?

Please forgive me for dragging the comments so far off topic.

I have a bird and know how smart they are. But to see a crow make his own tool out of a wire is just incredible.
 
How is the Chief? you are in my prayers,Tom
 
M_O_M, hope you are doing well.
 
I think it is safe to say that we all hope you are doing well.
 
Lord, a 107 year old blue and gold? I'm going to have to line up someone to take over the birds after I'm gone. Our blue and gold has been known to say "damned cats" and I've taught the umbrella cockatoo to say "hush up" to the Moluccan. The macaw recovered on his own, so no need to take him in.

Hope the Chief is doing okay! You are both in my prayers.
 
Sorry guys, life got personally difficult there for a while.
 
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