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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Blood Sugar Levels and Dementia

Although I rather expected that my wife Jack would make one of her appearances from Vancouver last evening, I did not anticipate how late she would keep me up.

My younger brother Mark ─ as he often does ─ had come home plastered earlier that evening and had passed out in his chair soon after he had sat down in it to watch T.V.

I would notice him awaken briefly, but he just could not seem to pull himself from  unconsciousness ─ back into it he would fast slip.

When he finally roused to stay, it was already at least 10:40 p.m. ─ the time had already passed when he would normally have betaken himself upstairs to his bedroom.

He got himself erect from his chair...but instead of going to his bedroom, he went and opened up another can of beer.

So he was still sitting in front of the T.V. when Jack arrived home.  At that point, he apparently decided to cash it in, and around 11:00 p.m. hauled himself up the stairs to his bedroom.

Jack got involved in a little cooking, even though she had brought home some food she had prepared earlier at the restaurant downtown.

And then time started dragging on.

Perhaps my clue should have been when she mentioned that she had plans on going to the Thai Buddhist temple in Burnaby the next day, but I never associated that nugget with her spending the night at home.

Around 11:45 p.m. I watched some of the final episode of The Late Show with David Letterman, and then switched over to the Knowledge Network to see what a programme was about that had 'Yangtze' and 'Crocodile' in the title, for there was no description.  

I think that it commenced at midnight, so I caught it from the start ─ and watched the entire thing:
Crocodile in the Yangtze follows China's first Internet entrepreneur and former English teacher, Jack Ma, as he battles US giant eBay on the way to building China's first global Internet company, Alibaba Group. An independent memoir written, directed and produced by an American who worked in Ma's company for eight years, Crocodile in the Yangtze captures the emotional ups and downs of life in a Chinese Internet startup at a time when the Internet brought China face-to-face with the West.

Crocodile in the Yangtze draws on 200 hours of archival footage filmed by over 35 sources between 1995 and 2009. The film presents a strikingly candid portrait of Ma and his company, told from the point of view of an “American fly on a Chinese wall” who witnessed the successes and the mistakes Alibaba encountered as it grew from a small apartment into a global company employing 16,000 staff.

The film has traveled to 20 film festivals worldwide, winning "Best Documentary" at the San Francisco United Film Festival and "Best Film on Entrepreneurship" at the Silicon Valley Film Festival. Inc. Magazine calls Crocodile in the Yangtze "Gripping…emotional…the real-life version of The Social Network!" Business Insider calls the film "Thrilling…Entertaining…Incredible!"
It kept me watching!  I never did tune back to Letterman.

Commercial-free, the documentary ran about an hour and 17 minutes, and thus it was after 1:45 a.m. when I turned off the T.V.

Jack had come downstairs to turn off the oven, and  had finished up showering and so forth.  It was apparent that she was planning on spending the night ─ and I honestly forget when it was that she last did so.

It has been a few months, anyway.

If I remember correctly, it was about 1:40 a.m. when I joined her in the darkened bedroom.

Neither of us slept particularly well, but I think she may have fared worse than I did.

And not once did either of us contact the other during the night ─ nor did we speak.

She had evidently set her iPhone to summon her at 9:30 a.m., so that is when our night ended.  I must say, she looked very tired.

I didn't feel too great, but it wasn't really any worse than I would have felt anyway.

We were to learn that she would not be going to the Burnaby Buddhist temple ─ which is really just a fairly large old house that has been converted to this purpose.  She found out that the monks were going to be at her friend Fanta's restaurant in downtown Langley.

This suited Jack much more, for it would give her a chance to socialize with friends.  Her plan to visit the temple had been for no particular occasion ─ she just wanted to make some merit, I suppose.

When she was all set to go, she looked very nice ─ I regret not photographing her.

She assured me that she would be back ─ before she left, I had wanted her to make her mark in the Translink tax plebiscite package that has to be mailed back and received by May 29.

After she left for Langley, I got to work on the Latin Impressions post I wanted to get published today, and I also got in some exercise before the heat of the day made it untenable ─ we're having a veritable heat-wave, and we're a month from the start of Summer.

I have never experienced such a year!

Anyway, I think it may have been into the second half of the noon-hour when Jack returned.  She was ready to cast her vote.

When she did, I got it ready for mailing; I doubt that I will manage it tomorrow, but Saturday is certainly likely.

After marking her vote, Jack proceeded to do a fair amount of cooking for her sons and I before leaving to go back to Vancouver.

I did get Jack to pose for a pair of photos just as she was about to climb into her car and leave us ─ oddly, I would have thought that it was later than the 1:03 p.m. listed in the photos' details (maybe Jack did her cooking faster than I credited):



I don't think that this was the outfit she had worn to Langley, but my memory about such things fast becomes vague.

I finally completed the post I was working on at Latin Impressions and got it published:  Seed Pack II.

Reflecting back to that documentary last night, it was my admiration of Jack Ma that kept me watching.  My own half-dozen hosted websites are pathetic, and I question that any of them will ever break into success.

But one tends to cling to desperate hope ─ to surrender hope can be a fatal development.

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Many of us have some concerns of Alzheimer's disease or some other form of dementia related to ageing.

Dr. William Campbell Douglass II is seizing upon one recently published study that substantiates some of what he has been long proclaiming:

Blood sugar shocker: Alzheimer's linked to "normal" glucose levels
If the majority of your doctor's appointments end up with you being lectured about bringing your cholesterol levels down, you're not alone.

The truth is most docs are positively obsessed with LDL levels, fixating on cholesterol the way Glenn Close is infatuated with poor Michael Douglas in "Fatal Attraction."

But while he's unnecessarily obsessing over your cholesterol -- and lecturing you about LDL -- he's totally missing the boat on what REALLY matters most: your blood sugar levels.

If you're not diabetic and your blood sugar levels are anywhere in the ballpark of normal -- even if they're a little on the high side -- chances are he won't even mention them.

And that's when his tunnel vision could turn into a fatal attraction for you -- because those blood sugar levels hold the key to your overall health and longevity, and keeping them under control can save your brain from cognitive decline.

One new study on mice finds a direct link between high blood sugar and "brain gunk," aka the beta amyloid plaques that gum up the works leading to Alzheimer's disease, and stealing your precious memories.

The higher your blood sugar, the more of those brain-eating plaques you'll have. And if your blood sugar levels double, the number of plaques chewing through your gourd can jump by as much as 40 percent according to the study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Now, I'd like to think even a cholesterol obsessed doc would notice when blood sugar levels double. And at that point, you've almost certainly got diabetes.

But the trouble is even tiny bumps in blood sugar -- increases that won't get so much as a yawn from your one track minded doc -- can do real, lasting and permanent damage inside your skull.

In 2013, brain scans revealed higher levels of plaques in the brains of patients with higher blood sugar levels -- and these weren't diabetics.

Every patient in that study had "normal" blood sugar. But when they hit the high end of so-called "normal," those plaques began to appear.

Sounds to me like it's time for a new normal.

When I was in practice, "normal" was considered 110 mg/dl or less. Some docs still won't bat an eye at that level, but many now aim for 100 mg/dl.

Close, but no cigar.

For maximum health, longevity and brain protection, aim for levels of 90 mg/dl or less. You can get there easily with a diet of zero added sugars, minimal carbs and plenty of fresh animal fats.

Giving you a new obsession,

William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.
The Doctor perennially withholds any definitive mention of the studies he references ─ I guess his word is gold, and we need no other proof than that he says it is so.  

However, I prefer being able to identify a source, and this would have to be it:  Hyperglycemia modulates extracellular amyloid-β concentrations and neuronal activity in vivo (doi: 10.1172/JCI79742).

But for those of us disinclined to spend hours trying to make sense of such a specialized composition, here are a couple of other reports about it:
Time has me strictly limited ─ I must abandon this section for today.

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Had I not taken time this afternoon to benefit from some backyard sunning while wearing just a pair of shorts ─ just over 20 minutes with my back to the Sun, and as much time seated facing that glorious orb ─ I might have been able to finish today's post ere my evening's T.V. viewing.

It is now 10:55 p.m. ─ I close with this entry from my journal of 41 years ago when I was 24 years old, and living for the month of May in a cheap housekeeping room in New Westminster that I had been forced to rent. 

My friend William Alan Gill and I had been living in an old rented house, but we had been given notices to vacate because the property had been sold.  Bill had found himself a nice set-up, for he was fully employed and able to afford it; I was not as liquid in resources.
TUESDAY, May 21, 1974

Yesterday Bill & I laundered (and saw Bob who questioned me concerning my Bullworker; he wants it), then visited Alex hoping to find Mom back; she wasn't.  

Next we tried Mark & Cathy; they were home alone and sound asleep in bed.  So we decided to kill time till they awoke.

We went to the rodeo-crowded town of Cloverdale and had 6 or so beers in the hotel, then a few at the Newton Inn.  

When we returned to check on the slumbering travellers, they were up, and full of tales of criticism; it seems most of my relatives are drunks; Bruce & Jock both were individually jailed in Calgary.  Anyway, Bill & I hung around.

Finally at night I let myself get talked into going out with the three of them for a few beers to the expense of my exercises.  We met Jock, Randy, and Joey in the Dell lot, and all went to the Surrey Inn.  

We stayed late, and after disposing of Joey, brought two cases of beer to Mark's where we caroused till after 3:00 a.m.  Bill took off, and finally Mark killed the party.  I hid Jock's keys so he wouldn't drive, walked him and Randy to the latter's place, and then walked home.  I wiped out on June's Karen Sather 6:00 a.m. +, then slept.

I didn't get to Mark's until after Cathy had gone for work.  My workout was good.  Mark drove both me and Wendy home when he went to pick up Cathy.
Bill and I never did have any laundering facilities of our own, and had to rely on laundromats.  The "Bob" we seem to have bumped into must have been a friend of my younger brother Mark's.  I had bought a Bullworker on a payment plan ─ this would have been the exerciser "Bob" was enquiring about.

I also had a set of weights, but I was keeping these at my brother Mark's home ─ my housekeeping room was far too cramped.

At that time, Mark and his wonderful girlfriend Catherine Jeanette Gunther were renting a home together in Whalley.

I referred to Jeanette as "Cathy," but she preferred to be addressed by her middle name.

The two of them ─ along with my maternal cousin Jock (John) Havlerson and his best friend Larry Blue ─ had gone for the weekend to attend a maternal cousin's wedding.  I am guessing, but I bet it was my cousin Gayle Hyatt and Eugene.  And in their absence, Jeanette's two young daughters were (mostly) being babysat by my young maternal cousin Wendy Halverson ─ who was probably 15 years old, at most.

Bill and I were expected to keep tabs on the house, staying there as much as possible.

At least Bill owned and drove a car.  My only means of getting to Whalley from New Westminster was by walking.

My mother Irene Dorosh must also have gone to that wedding in Calgary.  Her husband Alex had remained behind.  Their Surrey address in the Kennedy Heights area was my mailing address, so that is likely why Bill and I checked in on Alex.  Also...Alex often would offer a beer, or fix up one of his martinis.  
  
After visiting Alex, Bill and I evidently went to Mark & Jeanette's home, let ourselves in, and found that they were sacked out in bed.

Cloverdale was a bit of a drive to go just to have a half-dozen beers in the Clover Inn beer parlour, as I believe the hotel was called. We would have hit Newton's Newton Inn on the way back to Mark & Jeanette's ─ it was more than half-way to their place.

I guess my ultimate design had been to have a work-out with my weights, but that was not to be.

Apparently we four were all bound for the nearby Dell Hotel (now demolished) in Whalley, but met up with my maternal cousins Jock (John) and Randy Halverson, and someone I no longer remember named "Joey."

For whatever reason, we threw in with them and went to the Surrey Inn ─ not quite a mile away along the King George Highway (now called a Boulevard).

Then ─ sans "Joey" ─ we returned to Mark & Janette's home to drink.

My poor friend Bill probably had to work the next day, so he finally left to go home and seek some sleep.

I do not certainly recall where my cousin Randy then lived, but it could not have been too very far.  After walking Jock and Randy to Randy's home, I then had to hike all the way into New Westminster to get to my room.

But did I immediately retire?  Nope!  Some girlie magazine's June model named Karen Sather led me into temptation ─ where did I have the sexual energy to need to do this after the night I had undergone?

Regardless, I finally sought my bed at some point after 6:00 a.m.

All of those events occurred Monday (May 20) into the deep a.m. of Tuesday (May 21).  After I had whatever sleep I enjoyed, I must have readied and then hiked back out to my brother Mark's home in Whalley ─ so determined was I to work-out with my weights.

But at least I got a ride home later on.  Jeanette worked at Scott Paper in New Westminster, so Mark basically had to pass nearby where I lived anyway.  Cousin Wendy was likely staying at her big brother Randy's home.  

I marvel at my endurance back then.
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