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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Prebiotics Proven to Be 'Stress-Busters' │ Testosterone Therapy Proven to Protect Against Cardiovascular Disease │ FDA Issues Strong Caution on Weight Loss Stomach Balloons

I made excellent time last night in getting to bed ─ it was 10:25 p.m., I believe. And I slept fairly well, too. However, my bedding grew rather damp and clammy, so I may have had some fever.

I am still overcoming an infection embedded in my left cheek that originated from a parotid duct obstruction that resulted in an enormous swelling, and housed quite an abscess.

Late this morning at 11:30 a.m., I have an 11:30 a.m. appointment at Home Health (#1500 - 13401 - 108th Avenue in Whalley) to have a ribbon dressing removed from the infection cavity. The cavity will then be irrigated, and a new ribbon dressing stuffed into it.

Nurse Jodie (or however her name is spelled) will be tending me. I saw her for the first time yesterday.

Before I retired last night, I noticed that it had snowed enough to pretty much blanket the ground. I will likely be walking to that medical appointment, two miles from here where I live. But at least the snow is light ─ probably not even an inch on the ground.

It had actually been raining earlier last evening, so seeing the snow on the ground at my bedtime was a considerable surprise.

It was 7:01 a.m. this morning when I checked the time and decided to rise for the day ─ I was eager to add more content into the post I started back on February 3 at my Latin Impressions website.

I did well. I should be able to finish and publish the post tomorrow.

But right now it is 10:17 a.m. I want to rest my eyes awhile before readying and heading away for that appointment, so I shall here take a break from this accounting of my day.

*****

I had to hustle to make that appointment ─ I left here at about 10:43 a.m. immediately after my younger brother Mark had come home from spending the night at his girlfriend Bev's home ─ he had just passed on into the kitchen as I slunk to the door and made my way off unnoticed; and I was admitted and in the waiting room at Home Health no later than 11:17 a.,m. The high-rise housing Home Health is closed on weekends, so a visitor has to buzz the Home Health offices on the 13th Floor to be similarly buzzed into the building.

I certainly do enjoy nurse Jodie's ministrations.

I don't think she previously appreciated just how much clear (lymph?) fluid is getting wicked out of the infection cavity by the ribbon dressing stuffed into it. Last night before bed, I had to essentially wring out the lower exposed part of the dressing padding covering the cheek area ─ it was saturated with cold liquid and dripping relentlessly.

This morning, I left it sopping wet when I headed over to keep the appointment.

She actually asked me if it was soaked like it was solely through leakage from the infection site ─ I think that she initially thought that I must have submerged it, perhaps while washing up.

So now she has me armed with at least three new good-sized pad dressings, and even gave me a sort of head-cover like a hairnet to help hold the whole assemblage in place, for once the tape gets wet from the seeping fluid, it no longer adheres. This morning, the lower part of the bandaging was just hanging, while the dry taping up around my cheekbone and ear held on the whole affair.

She's more than ever adamant about seeing me daily for awhile, with tomorrow's exception ─ I have an 11:00 a.m. appointment elsewhere with my ENT specialist. She did try to see if there was an availability reasonably before or after that appointment, but the best that would have been possible was something like 15 minutes before or after.

So she is leaving it up to me to decide if I think I need to come and seek some attention for the draining that persists in soaking everything it can. But of course, I will not.

My next scheduled appointment with her is on Tuesday at 8:15 a.m. ─ I will have to ensure that I rise early that morning for the two-mile hike. I do not want to have to put in the hustle that I did to get there today. (Their handout says to report in about 15 minutes prior to any appointment.)

This is getting to be truly annoying, though. I am so bandaged up that I have no nerve to do any shopping. I wanted to load up on a couple dozen cans of beer after seeing Jodie, but I realized that it was simply not within me to enter a place of commerce with the enormous bandage I have on my cheek, and with it partially hidden by a fleece hood.

I am feeling quite uptight ─ I want to buy some groceries, too!

Anyway, my walk home was leisurely.

The day has been remarkably sunny; the light blanketing of snow is gone in those areas where the sunshine has fallen directly for any length of time.

After fixing myself my first meal of the day ─ an extremely banal meal indeed ─ I retired to my bed for about 40 minutes.

So just what was that meal? Fresh ground flax seeds mixed in a bowl with some cooked white rice for filler, butter, coconut oil, cinnamon, some tahini, and enough hot water to form a gruel. I ate it along with a banana, two green onions, two boiled eggs, and a small wedge of old cheddar cheese.

And of course, I also took some nutritional supplements and the antibiotic pill ─ I take such a pill twice daily, supposedly for a week. I began them on Friday.

It is possible that my wife Jack may show up this evening from Vancouver. In that scenario, I will at least have more appealing fare to eat, thanks to her shopping and talented cooking. If she comes, she will come to spend the night.

I took no photos today, so I am going to post some taken last Fall when Jack charged the fare to make a flight back to Thailand to visit her mother for the first time in over 3½ years.

The family home is in a large village called Nong Soong, which is perhaps a 15-minute drive from Udon Thani.    

I believe that the following photos were taken on November 5 (2016). In these first two, the only kid I recognize is the boy in the greyish top, and second-from-left ─ he is Daniel, the son of Jack's sister Penn:



Daniel is at the left in this photo:


Obviously some sort of celebratory big meal was in the works:




Here are a couple of shots of Jack posed on a motorbike:



The next two photos show Jack handling a pestle, but I am unable to identify the woman with her:



The woman with Jack in this next photo is someone Jack has only ever identified to me as being Jack's "sister-cousin":


And here we have Jack's second-oldest sister Penn:


Finally, two more photos of Jack's nephew Daniel (Penn's son), seated at the far end of that mat:



Finally, this one-second video-clip seems to have been a mistake:


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I mentioned that I was taking antibiotics in pill form, twice daily. If I am to stop taking them after this coming Thursday, it will have been exactly three weeks in which I have been on antibiotics and probably killing off every good microbe within me, along with the bad.

Once I have my face freed of bandaging, I am going to look into getting some high-quality probiotics, I think.

But people underestimate the value of prebiotics ─ the foods that actually encourage the proliferation of those good microbes, and help them to flourish.

Check out these two reports on the latest research of just how valuable it can be to pay attention to these foods:

ScienceDaily.com

HSIonline.com

I would love to add dandelions to my menu, but I would need to travel afar to find any that haven't been soaking up all manner of commercial chemicals. Homeowners' yards have soil tainted from years of things like fertilizers and weed-killers, and local parks would be no safer.

Unfortunately, I cannot conceive of anywhere near me that would have dandelions that I would deem safe to harvest.

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If I could afford it, I am still not sure that I would ever submit to having my testosterone levels boosted. Had I the financial wherewithal, I would prefer to explore natural options to enhance my body's ability to generate more of the hormone.

Nevertheless, a recent study has found excellent results in a test of men who received the additional testosterone, compared to a group of men who did not.

Pardon the enthusiasm evident in this first report on the study. And please note that the third report actually concerns an entirely different study:

JacksDailyDose.com

ScienceDaily.com

MedicalXpress.com

In my opinion, I suspect that the subjects truly were men suffering hypogonadism, and who were not merely somewhat low and wanting an elevation of sexual prowess. I am still not entirely convinced that testosterone supplementation is safe and healthy for men who just happen to have a normal age-related reduction in the hormone.

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America's FDA is now sounding some caution against the use of those weight-loss stomach balloons that many obese people think are a ticket to fast and easy weight reduction.

Here are some reports about this change of pace from that agency:

RAPS.org

AboutLawsuits.com

DailyHornet.com

Medscape.com

JacksDailyDose.com

What an utterly bizarre wight loss choice!

People have to learn that it is carbohydrates causing all the misery. Cut them right out, and eat to satisfaction ─ no starving required.

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It is 5:40 p.m. as I type these words. Shortly after 5:00 p.m., I went out to the backyard shed to see if my feeble arms were regaining any of the strength they lost during the exercise lay-off while I have endured this damned infection following that parotid duct obstruction.

I was able to perform one pull-up, but three other follow-up attempts were half-mast. Yesterday I could do none, despite managing two on Friday ─ which was the first day in well over two weeks in which I attempted the exercise.  

At the age of 67, strength and muscle mass are lost swiftly when exercise is not maintained. I just hope that I can return to what I had at least as quickly as it took me to lose it.

Also, I want to mention that the dressing pads covering the site of my wound are already water-logged, so I will change to some dry ones ere going to bed this evening.

Nurse Jodie had warned that keeping the skin dry around the wound is important in order to facilitate healing. Otherwise, the skin will macerate ─ that is, it will soften and turn white due to being consistently wet. It's the same principle behind what happens when a person soaks in a bathtub for a long time, or keeps his or her feet or hands wet for a long while.

If left in a state of maceration, I expect that new infection could easily arise.

Anyway, tomorrow morning's ENT specialist appointment at 11:00 a.m. is maybe five blocks from where I live, I would say; thus, it will be scant hardship to get there and back home afoot.  
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