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Friday, May 5, 2017

Excessive Facebook Use Makes People Unhappy │ Yet Another Study Finds Mood Meds Increase Fall Risk in Seniors │ Factors Beyond Diet or Exercise Affecting Weight │ Are Doctors Falling Short on Patient Reports of Chest Pain?

There were a couple of times last evening when I was disgusted by my younger brother Mark as he sat in his chair next to me in the living room, gagging and hacking in his unconscious blackout from excessive earlier drinking.

He would periodically obliterate the dialogue of the T.V. programmes I was trying to follow.

Why doesn't he just go to bed if his brain has become that besotted?

I was in bed by 10:33 p.m., leaving him there in the living room utterly oblivious to the news programme that was by then playing on T.V.

After I had fallen asleep some while later, I became aware that the bedroom was full of light. I had only donned earplugs earlier, and not my blindfold.

My wife Jack had come home from Vancouver.

She didn't keep the light on for long, and had only turned it on so that she could ready herself for bed. And once it was off, I checked the time ─ it was 12:05 a.m.

I know that we both slept very brokenly overnight, and I was aware of her getting up a couple of times. I remained abed, though, never bothering with a bathroom break like I would have done had I been by myself.

Then after daybreak when I became aware that she was again getting up, I checked the time upon her exit from the bedroom and saw that it was 6:34 a.m. I wrongly concluded that her eldest son Tho must have roused her to drive him to the SkyTrain as he generally does anytime she spends the night and he has to get to work the next morning.

I rose and dressed, even though I felt as if I had only slept for a very few hours at best.

It must have rained the night through, and was still doing so ─ I just was never aware due to my earplugs.

As I was to quickly learn, Tho had not summoned his mother. She had risen on her own upon hearing her youngest son Poté readying himself for work. He has his own car, so he doesn't any longer bother his mother for any rides.

Jack had gotten busy fussing about in the kitchen, for whatever reason.

Poté left for work, and when Jack eventually realized that I was up and engaged here with my computer in the room next to our bedroom, we had some brief conversation, and then she announced that she was going back to bed.

However, before she had come upstairs where she found me, I had heard her address her eldest son Tho in his bedroom downstairs. I suppose that she must have been checking to see if he had inadvertently slept in. However, the truth was that he had no intention of going in to work today.

I don't know how he gets away with it if there was no shortage of business and he was not required, but I just don't know his circumstances. Maybe he didn't need to head on in to the job.

Still, why does this just about always seem to happen on a day adjacent to a weekend? It seems damned fishy to me.

But I wasn't overly bothered. After all, with his mother home, I wasn't going to be inconvenienced any further by his presence as well.

I must say, around mid-morning the rain became most serious! But it gradually lightened up. I think the day is expected to be heavily overcast even if the light rain reverts to occasional showers. I rather expect that those "showers" will prevail over any amount of breaks there may be.

Jack finally left Tho and I shortly after 2:00 p.m., returning to Vancouver; and she seemed to indicate that she wouldn't be back any earlier than Tuesday.

As it happens, that is voting day for B.C. Methinks she will not be voting this year. She could have placed her vote early ─ it was possible to do so today. However, I never thought of it; besides, I know that she did not leave here with time to spare for that.

I voted last Sunday.

I admit that her departure has left me feeling adrift emotionally, and much of that has to do with me forgetting to cultivate her civic responsibility concerning the vote.

By the way, Jack today said that Mark was still passed out downstairs in his chair whenever it was that she arrived home last night.

Before I leave this discussion of my day, I want to post just a few more photos taken last Fall when Jack charged up the cost of a trip back to Thailand to purportedly see her mother for the first time since early March 2013.

These few photos I will post today were probably taken on November 17, 2016 ─ perhaps in Jack's home village of Nong Soong, or else very near to it.

Nong Soong is a large village approximately a 15-minute drive from Udon Thani.

We lead off with a couple of photos of Jack herself:






My afternoon is wearing on, so that shall be it for photos today.

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Just recently I read that somewhat isolated older folks who are heavily involved with social media tend to be better off than those who have no such outlet to fill their social vacuum.

Using social media is nearly as good as having genuine social involvement.

Yet I just came across this today ─ it was published April 28 by some people behind NewMarketHealth.com:
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health either have got way too much time on their hands... or have made a remarkable discovery.

You be the judge!

A new in-depth study of Facebook users is saying that the more time you spend interacting with this popular social medium, the worse off your mental health can be. Things such as "liking," "posting" and clicking on links that others put up end up making us feel bad about ourselves.

All this negativity, they said, can even lead to weight gain!

Sure, when you're stuck in the middle of a winter storm and your friend is posting photos of her vacation in Hawaii, I can see how some negativity might creep in. But what these researchers are saying is that by clicking "like" on photos or videos of your friend's grandkids, pets or anything else they're posting, you're reducing your physical and mental health and "life satisfaction."

The researchers came to these startling conclusions by looking at data from over 5,000 American adults over a two-year period. And while they were unable to explain exactly how Facebook use made people so unhappy, they did conclude that the amount of time you spend on the medium was a major factor.

Regardless of whether this research is right on the mark, or one of those silly things you read about in your Facebook newsfeed, one thing is absolutely true: Communicating with people on "social media" can't replace the old-fashioned sociability of getting together and doing things with real "friends."

And after all that data crunching, calculating and writing up their conclusions for publication, even these researchers admitted that their main finding was that "online social interactions are no substitute for the real thing."

Well, I think anyone who grew up in the era before Facebook was around could have told them that!
That led me to see if anyone else reported about that study, and I found this concerning it:

Breitbart.com

Perhaps only older folks can gain anything of benefit if they are socially isolated, yet active on social media. They already have a long past compiled of life very much lived.

Young people, on the other hand, who have not yet lived much of life ─ nor have had meaningful social engagements throughout many, many years as do seniors ─ recognize what they are losing out on, and it eats at them.

So who really knows?

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I am always surprised that studies are wasted figuring out that seniors who take medications that in any way affect the brain are found to be more prone to falling.

Why does this need to be studied? Isn't it a well-known fact?

I don't wish to spend any more time than I did with this latest study concerning seniors who were suffering from low-extremity osteoarthritis (OA), so I will leave it to you to bother referring to these two reports about the study if it somehow happens to be pertinent to you:

JacksDailyDose.com

MedPageToday.com

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I have never had a weight problem. The closest I have come to anything like that is an inability to eradicate the flab covering my abdominal wall ─ even as a young man, I struggled to display any of the abdominal musculature that was definitely hidden beneath there.

However, for anyone with serious weight issues, the following article may be of some help ─ note that these are factors beyond just diet or exercise:

DrMicozzi.com

I sure do miss my youth.

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I have said before that I fear myself to be one of those most at risk for not seeking help at the first sign of a possible heart attack or stroke.

Sometimes I wonder if that is going to be what takes me out, if I don't get around to doing it myself first.

The following are a couple of reports concerning a study that has found that ─ in a review of 170,000 adults with no history of heart trouble who had gone to a doctor to be checked out for mysterious chest pain ─ 72% of these people did not receive a sure diagnosis for the cause of the pain.

In other words, I guess they left the doctor without learning anything about their problem pain, and no more was done.

That does seem a little peculiar. I could understand it, though, if the patient is known by the doctor to be someone who regularly seeks attention for every little concern.

However, it does rather defeat the purpose embodied in the medical caution we all hear about that mandates how we should not hesitate to get medical attention if we have any of the warning signs of an impending heart attack or stroke.

Anyway, here are those reports:

JacksDailyDose.com

UK.Reuters.com

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Yesterday I mentioned how ─ awhile after getting home from my four-mile round-trip beer replenishment hike under exceptionally sunny skies ─ I had gone out into the backyard instead of napping, and I figured that I acquired another 20 minutes or so of sunning.

I only estimated on the amount of time, for I had forgotten just when it was that my session had started.

Well, after I had published that post, and I saw just how deeply reddened my face had become, I began wondering if it was possible that I might have nodded off while I was out there.

In my mind while sunning was that upon the time reaching 2:16 p.m., I would have had 20 minutes of sitting in that chair in the backyard, for it may have been 1:55 p.m. when I commenced my session.

Yet when I checked the time to see how things were progressing, I found it to be 2:41 p.m. And that was why I surmised that I must not have paid attention to just when my session started, for there was no way that I had sat there consciously spending 45 minutes in that chair ─ it would have been far too boring.

But I can never know now, can I?

Here to close out today's post is a journal entry from 41 years ago when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster. I was renting within a house located on Ninth Street, and about two houses up from Third Avenue.

On this day, I was supposed to report in to a New Westminster charitable organization called S.A.N.E. (Self Aid Never Ends) with the understanding that I was going to be offered full-time employment.

I had previously worked there on the basis of a day a week for many months through an employment grant the charitable organization had been endowed with, but I had been let go once the grant had expired.

I used to swamp on S.A.N.E.'s blue pick-up truck, but I was led to believe that this new offer would involve working inside the shop in some other capacity, and I was not at all enamoured of that prospect.
WEDNESDAY, May 5, 1976

I arose at 6:00 a.m.; I had a WD during the night involving an invented masturbatory device which obviously must have been successful.

I'm faced with my first regular day at S.A.N.E.

My partners were Mike Fleming, a real decent sort, and Tom (who is on probation there only till Friday). We don't yet have anything to do, and until we speak to Russ Jeffs at noon Friday, we won't have a certain concept of aims.

The day was a drag, and I don't see at all how I'll last 4 months. I wish I had truck duty, but Eugene and Dwayne do.

Oh, please God! Let me win Wednesday's lottery!

I'm not going to detail my day, for it was so full of minor incidents. David Prince even dropped in, but failed to notice me.

I want out so badly! I feel trapped, and so worthless.

I bought myself a cap at Woodward's to cover my baldness when it becomes evident. 

I did my laundry this eve, buying 2 comics and "Bionic Woman" TV Guide

I feel so low I could cry over this rotten job.

Because I promised last night to phone Norman, I went to Bill's at near dusk to do so; however, Norman wasn't home. Instead, I spent a half hour or so gabbing with his neat mother, presently suffering from flu.

I'm to bed at 10:00 p.m. 
Russ Jeffs was my social worker.

As I said yesterday, I have no memory of ever working full-time at S.A.N.E. If I actually had a four-month contract working there full-time, I would think that I would recall it.

I do rather sense my despair.

Philip David Prince was an old friend who also roomed in New Westminster. We first got to know one another back in Grade VIII at Newton Junior High School off in Surrey during the 1962/1963 school term. However, he was so difficult to be rid of anytime he dropped by to visit me that I did my best to avoid him. 

Norman Richard Dearing was also another friend I had gotten to know that same school year ─ we found ourselves in the same homeroom, practically sitting in seats adjacent to one another.

I had no phone, so I visited my old friend William Alan Gill, who was renting a bachelor suite that might have been little more than four blocks from my room. Bill had a phone.

That's interesting to me that I spoke for so long to Norman's mother ─ I remember nothing of it. I don't even remember her ─ just his father, who always seemed so unfriendly and standoffish.

This is the first time that I made any mention in my journal of potentially starting to lose my hair ─ and I had fairly long hair back then. Woodward's ─ the department store where I bought the cap ─ was up on Sixth Avenue, and so little more than about three blocks from where I lived. 

The space where Woodward's existed is now occupied by the Royal City Centre Mall. 

The laundromat where I did my laundry was also on Sixth Avenue, and very near to the public library. This would be the cover of the edition of the TV Guide that I bought during that laundering outing:


Sometimes I depress myself reading about my old life with its bleak opportunities. After all, I know exactly how that former life of mine was to turn out....
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