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Saturday, February 25, 2017

In Defence of the Potato │ Gut Bacteria and Obesity Risk │ High Doses of B Vitamins Prove More Effective for Schizophrenia Than Conventional Treatments

I found myself eager to get to bed last evening, and was settled beneath the covers by 10:55 p.m. I had a 10:15 a.m. appointment this morning to have the infection site at my left cheek irrigated, and the ribbon and other dressings changed.

I am recovering from a parotid duct obstruction that developed into a huge swelling due to an abscess that had formed. I had gotten antibiotic IV drips daily ─ twice daily for the first few days ─ from February 10 until February 23; yesterday was the first day that I was able to remain home because I had been given a week's worth of antibiotics in pill form.

But the infection site still requires medical attention, and today was the first time that I was to visit Home Health on the 13th Floor at #1500 - 13401 - 108th Avenue here in Whalley ─ the building is basically attached to the Gateway SkyTrain Station.

This morning, I found myself quite awake ahead of 7:00 a.m., so I rose to make an instant coffee and perform a little work on the post I started back on February 3 at my Latin Impressions website. My youngest step-son Poté was up because his overnighted girlfriend had needed to leave for work ─ he probably drove her to the SkyTrain.

When it came time to begin readying for the two-mile hike to my appointment, my younger brother Mark was showering in his bedroom's ensuite; and I left just after he had gone downstairs to make his own first cup of coffee. I spoke neither to him nor to Poté ─ either one of them would have given me a ride, but I am merely 67 ─ not invalid.

There were some bright stretches of sunshine as well as cloud, and it was rather chilly because we had frost overnight.

I arrived at my destination without incident, wearing a fleece hood to keep my bandaging covered, and to also soak some of the lymph fluid that persists in wicking out of the infection cavity via the ribbon dressing stuffed into it.

I was to be tended by a nurse named Jodie, if that is the correct spelling. She was a very friendly, social, and rather cute little lass.

We both had the idea that my wound would be getting tended no more than every other day, but when I handed over to her a container of the ribbon dressing presently in the infection cavity, she explained that her understanding was that this type of ribbon dressing ─ steeped in some sort of saline solution ─ is supposed to be replaced on a daily basis.

It is the antibiotic ribbon dressings that can remain in the wound for a couple of days at a stretch.

So she examined the area after pulling out the saline ribbon dressing, and then set about measuring the cavity. I can only suppose that she was speaking in terms of centimetres, but she measured off 1.3 x .5 across, and .7 deep.

She said that she was a little surprised by how much discharge was on the padded dressing that had covered the wound. And because of that, she said that she would use another saline ribbon dressing to fill the cavity, and have a new look at me tomorrow ─ 11:30 a.m.

After that, maybe we can get to the schedule of alternating days that I was supposed to have been placed upon.

Consequently, having yesterday entirely free of medical appointments ever since my first involvement with the medical world back on February 10 was just a slight aberration. After my appointment again with Jodie tomorrow, I have an 11:00 a.m. appointment on Monday to see my ENT specialist. Then I would expect to be seeing Jodie once more on Tuesday.

Therefore, I cannot expect another free day until at least Wednesday.

While I was waiting to be seen by Jodie, I had a great view up there on the 13th Floor. I took four photos with my cell phone...but I now see that each one of them ruinously reflected the white surface of my iPhone in the window I was looking outward from.

So I have deleted them.

Instead, I see that Google is not tiring this week of making a collage of past photos to commemorate each day ─ Google has been doing this for at least a straight week now.

Here is the collage commemorating this day back in 2014:


I am so glad that we have no snow like that at the present this year!

Here are the four original photos ─ two of the backyard, and two of the front:





Today's four-mile round-trip walk would not have been as easily performed had we that snow today.

I have been wanting to mention something rather peculiar concerning my appetite the past handful of days ─ I have a hankering for something sweet. I am unable to use a toothbrush to brush the back teeth in my mouth because due to the parotid duct obstruction infection, I still cannot open my mouth wide. For example, to eat a banana, I have to slice off sections of it with my front teeth, like some kind of munching rodent ─ I simply cannot insert a banana between my partially opened jaws.

It is the same for something like a boiled egg ─ I have to use my front teeth to slice away at it as I shove the egg forward against my partly spread jaws.

As a result, I have been most vigilant to avoid eating anything containing sugar, for I would never be able to use a toothbrush to scour away the sticky residue something sweet would leave behind on those back teeth.

In fact, it has been more than two weeks since I could fully brush my teeth. What I have been doing instead is ─ each evening before I leave the T.V. to go to bed ─ I spend as much as 30 and even 40 minutes swishing coconut oil over and through my teeth. This is a process called 'oil pulling.'

When done, I expectorate the oil outside, projecting it into a large flower bed. It is actually visible as a snow-covered rectangle in the second-to-last photo above.

Once I am able to brush my teeth again, I will use coconut oil and not toothpaste. I do not brush for just a minute or two like so many people do. I don't mind taking 10 to 15 minutes, gently doing a thorough job ─ again, while watching T.V.

That oil, too, will be expelled into the flower bed.

One sweet meal I would like to try is good, old-fashioned porridge ─ maybe a mix of buckwheat and oatmeal, sweetened with demerara brown sugar or honey, and creamed with liquid whipping cream. I would probably also add a few extras like maybe some raisins, and stir in some fresh-ground flax seeds once it was all done.

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In the past few years, I have read much advice to shun potatoes from the diet because they are so rich in starch and just spike blood sugar levels ─ the pathway to conditions like metabolic syndrome, a pre-diabetic state, and type 2 diabetes itself.

Much the same is said of bread.

Unfortunately for bread, few people know how to make their own from entirely natural ingredients, and have to rely on modern store-bought bread that has who-knows-what added chemicals.

Potatoes, though ─ unless they are GM ─ are a perfectly natural vegetable that have been eaten for centuries. But just how many people eat their potatoes 'as is,' without cooking them in unhealthy oils or, or crisping them until they are an acrylamide threat? (See this BBC.com article: Browned toast and potatoes are 'potential cancer risk', say food scientists.)

I was pleased to read a good report defending the potato, but of course mandating moderation:

DrMicozzi.com

This certainly makes full sense to me.

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Have you by chance read or heard that the type of microbes living in an obese person's intestines may actually be responsible for that person's condition?

This idea is nothing too new, but if you have never happened to have heard about it before, this June 1, 2014, article at ScientificAmerican.com ought to fill you in: How Gut Bacteria Help Make Us Fat and Thin.

In light of that possibility, I found this recent article to be quite interesting:

LifeSpa.com

As so often occurs with complex health matters, nothing is ever without its nuances, and exceptions abound.

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No one in my immediate family ever suffered from schizophrenia ─ I am thankful for that. But for anyone who does suffer from the condition, research has found that vastly increasing that person's intake of B vitamins can bring improvements that traditional or standard treatments cannot match.

These reports tell of the study, and the benefits of B vitamins in this context:

MedicalNewsToday.com

HuffingtonPost.co.uk

HSIonline.com

Mother Nature at her best.

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Apart from that hankering for something sweet that I was discussing earlier, I also have quite an urge for something meaty. 

A few days ago, my younger brother Mark brought home a large lamb roast that had been in his girlfriend Bev's fridge ─ it was from New Zealand, and vacuum-sealed or -packed.

One of the two of them had won it at a bar meat draw.

But that was back in December. It had been sitting in a bag in her fridge ever since. She has a puny appetite, so she never felt like bothering to roast it ─ or reminding Mark that it was there.

The darned thing is sticker-priced at around $45.

He was thinking that we should open it up and try to see if it smells at all 'off.' And if not, then wash it thoroughly and roast it. Then we could sample portions at our leisure.

However, I found the following here:
Even in an oxygen-depleted environment, Anaerobic organisms can proliferate, potentially causing food safety problems. Botulism and Listeria monocytogenes are examples of pathogenic bacteria that cause food borne illnesses from growing and thriving in an anaerobic environment. Moreover, these bacteria have the capacity of growing at a faster rate in vacuum sealed foods due to the oxygen-free environment as well as the fact that these bacteria are not in competition with other spoilage bacteria. These bacteria often do not produce noticeable changes in the foods; therefore, relying on sight, smell and taste would not be helpful. However, only a tiny amount of these spores (a few nanograms) need to be present in order for them to be deadly.   
I showed this to him today, and now he is resigned to throwing it out. Our next compost bin pick-up is on Wednesday, so he figures that we'll just open up the package Tuesday evening and dump the meat into the bin.

Such a damned shame.

Jodie, the nurse I saw this morning, said that I should be doubling up on the amount of animal protein that I would normally eat in order to facilitate the healing of the infection site on my cheek.

I would love to have a good feed of thick-crust yeast-raised pizza loaded with natural cheeses, lots of ground beef, and mushrooms, chili and sweet peppers, and onions ─ all very well spiced. However, I will be venturing nowhere to do any shopping with the left side of my face bandaged up as it is.

That lamb sure does sound delicious, too ─ when it was fresher, of course.

Well, apart from that four-mile round-trip walk today, I had not taken on any exercise. So, around 4:45 p.m. ─ finding it still very light outside ─ I went out to the backyard shed to try and match what I did there yesterday for the first time in well over two weeks.

I could not match yesterday's effort. For one thing, I am actually rather sore from that day's return to exercise. A 67-year-old loses fitness and muscle very quickly when inactivity is enforced due to illness or incapacity.

Yesterday I managed to get in a set of two pull-ups; today, I could not even complete one pull-up.

I know persistence will pay off, but it is still disheartening.

What did I do to get that parotid gland's duct blocked in the first place?

By the way, for anyone wondering why I have not been posting entries from my old journal to match the current February dates with those back in 1976, I was in the hospital back then recovering from an emergency mop-up surgery after my appendix burst.

It was rather serious ─  think I spent at least 11 days in the hospital.
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