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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Blood Pressure Readings Constantly Change Throughout Each Day │ Common Medications That Heighten Dementia Risk Many Years Later │ The Amazing Power of the Human Touch

Having my younger brother Mark home each evening in his recent retirement is compelling me to continue sitting up far later than I would otherwise do ─ if I lived alone, I would probably get to bed around 9:00 p.m.

Last night, I was not to bed until sometime during the latter half of the midnight hour.

And I had consumed a second can of strong (8%) beer. I had saved the first can to watch during an episode of The Walking Dead that I tuned in following an episode each of Black Lightning, Absentia, and Counterpart.

Incidentally, the episode of The Walking Dead that we watched via our Android TV Box and the Terrarium application ('app') downloaded into it was the episode in which longtime young and main character Carl Grimes (Rick's son) dies from a zombie bite to the side of his belly.

I had rather thought that he might then do something heroic before he actually died, like maybe insinuating himself (before his zombie infection was known by anyone else) near enough to evil character Negan that Carl was then able to put a bite onto Negan, thereby infecting and delivering a death penalty to him, too. 

But they didn't do anything with Carl except show him enjoying his final days, and then basking under the attentions of his loved ones as his final few hours were upon him and he was essentially on his deathbed.

Anyway, once the episode was finished, it was approximately midnight, so Mark suggested we watch "something short" ─ he then suggested The Ranch.

I just love that show, and consider it the best half-hour series in television. Yet when I first watched the premiere episode, I almost dismissed it, never to watch another episode. But on a whim because of who the actors playing the central characters were, I got around to letting Mark sample the episode.

He was unsure of it, as well. So we watched the next two episodes, and then decided that the series seemed to have some merit.

And now I absolutely love the series, as does Mark.

The episode we watched last night inspired that second can of strong beer. Titled "Learning to Live Again," it was the first episode at the start of the second-half of the second season ─ or the 31st episode overall.

We learned that Colt Bennett's pregnant former younger girlfriend Heather had apparently had a miscarriage and their baby died, and this episode concerned Colt's struggle to deal with the loss.

Colt is of course played by Ashton Kutcher.

Mark and I wondered if we had missed an episode, for the miscarriage was to have happened two months earlier, yet we never saw anything about it.

Some research I have done this afternoon reveals that there was indeed no such episode ─ the incident was to have occurred during the mid-season break, and this (as already said) was the first episode of the second-half of season two.

So I can now let Mark know.

I guess drinking that second can of beer so quickly after finishing the first can may have initiated an overnight hangover. I felt quite poorly this morning when I got up ─ I had to force myself. It was well past 6:00 a.m., yet I had spent perhaps the previous hour struggling with the idea of starting my morning, but drifting in and out of a tortured sleep during that time.

I rose and managed to get an appointed quota of content added to the old post I am editing at Siam-Longings, one of my six hosted websites, just as my younger brother Mark was apparently finishing a shower in his bedroom's ensuite shower.

And I was back into my bed for a very much-needed nap by 9:06 a.m. before he had emerged from his bedroom.

I definitely got in some decent napping, for it was 10:59 p.m. when next I checked the time. I was to find Mark downstairs reading the morning's Vancouver Sun newspaper at the dining table.

As my water boiled for my day's first hot beverage, he finished with the paper, and then announced that he was going up to his bedroom to rest his eyes.

I had been too incapacitated in the morning to get in any exercising out in the backyard tool-shed, but I felt that once I was done with my hot beverage, I would do what I could out there.

Let us just say that I got at it quite late into the morning ─ not too short of noon, in fact ─ and have the session out of the way for today.

The day has been flawlessly sunny, so I wanted to gain some of the benefits of that sunshine. And so at 12:15 p.m. I commenced a session of just over 30 minutes seated in the backyard on a lawn- or deck-chair, and wearing just a pair of cutoffs as I faced into the Sun.

And then I lay upon a folded cargo cover or pad that I had placed on the lawn, and I spent just over another half-hour with my back exposed to the Sun, and the ends of my feet grounded upon the grassy lawn.

When I came back into the house, Mark had apparently gone for the afternoon. We had never talked at all beyond his information that he was going upstairs to rest his eyes.

If all proceeds as it generally does on a Saturday, he will spend tonight at the home of his girlfriend Bev, and I will have the evening to myself.

Yes, my two stepsons will of course be around, but we rarely communicate, and they tend to leave me quite alone.

My youngest stepson Poté often works on the weekends, but he had today free; and at 3:45 p.m. as I type these words, he is in bed with his girlfriend Aneet. She showed up late this morning.

My hope is that they are resting up for the evening and have plans to be elsewhere during it.

I have been mentioning an old blog post of mine from February 20, 2016 which has been getting Google+ (or Google Plus) boosts from other Google Plus accounts ─ such boosts are referred to as +1s.

I had noticed some weeks back that from out of nowhere, the old post was getting these +1 boosts, and had 25 of them at that point ─ and all of the Google Plus accounts doing it seemed involved in tee-shirt sales.

Two days ago, I reported that the post then had 60 such boosts. Well, today, that total has climbed to 66 ─ and it all seems to be getting boosted by Google Plus accounts involved in tee-shirt sales, and I have no idea why it is happening. The post itself had nothing to do with tee-shirts.

If you are curious to see those 66 Google Plus accounts for yourself, you will apparently have to go to the post here, and then scroll down to the very bottom where there are supposedly two comments ─ but both are references to me, and not actual comments. However, beneath the first one being attributed to me is a link to what is presently identified as +66, but I have little doubt that this figure is only going to increase.

If you click on that number, you will see the identities of the Google Plus accounts. Randomly select any one and click on the account identity, and you will see that it is an account strictly engaged in tee-shirt sales. 

I sure wish I knew what was going on with this.

But let's move on to something else ─ blood pressure. I have no idea what mine is, but the few times in my life that it was checked by a medical professional and I was then informed of the results, it has always been labeled by the medic as being rather high.

According to a Harvard Medical School website, approximately 20% of the people who are diagnosed with having high blood pressure are actually evincing themselves as suffering what is known as white coat hypertension, and they do not actually suffer from genuine high blood pressure.

Our blood pressure is constantly changing ─ practically moment to moment, says that same website. It even described that having one's blood pressure read was nothing more than a single frame in an ongoing movie.

This has all come out in the results of a very recent study ─ the Harvard website is the second in these two reports about the study:

JacksDailyDose.com

Health.Harvard.edu

I have two other health-related topics I want to bring up ─ the first involves a type of medication called an anticholinergic. If you take any kind of medication, whether by prescription or non-prescription, then you may well be taking such a medication, as the Wikipedia article I linked to explains:
Medical Uses
Anticholinergic drugs are used to treat a variety of conditions:
  • Dizziness (including vertigo and motion sickness-related symptoms)
  • Extrapyramidal symptoms, a potential side-effect of antipsychotic medications.
  • Gastrointestinal disorders (e.g., peptic ulcers, diarrhea, pylorospasm, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, nausea, and vomiting)
  • Genitourinary disorders (e.g., cystitis, urethritis, and prostatitis)
  • Insomnia, although usually only on a short-term basis
  • Respiratory disorders (e.g., asthma, chronic bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD])
  • Sinus bradycardia due to a hypersensitive vagus nerve
Anticholinergics generally have antisialagogue effects (decreasing saliva production), and most produce some level of sedation, both being advantageous in surgical procedures.
So what's the big deal, then? Well, a new study has found that these medications in performing their role are vastly increasing the odds that the consumer will eventually suffer from life-changing dementia ─ and this increased risk applies even if the drug was only used for as little as a year decades earlier.

Here are a couple of reports ─ the first one identifies many of the specific brand names of medications that are anticholinergic, and which you may be unaware were this type of drug:

HSIonline.com 

CNN.com

As indicated in the reports, anyone taking such medication through medical prescription should consult with their physician before just stopping the drug.

Just keep in mind that any such physician may be unaware of this study, and consequently might dismiss the patient's concerns. For some reason, most doctors hate that a patient might know more than they do about anything medically-related.

The third and final health-related topic that I have for you involves the power of human contact through touching:

LifeSpa.com

I was quite drawn to these three quotes from that article ─  keep in mind that oxytocin hormone production increases through intimate human contact:
Research has shown that without loving relationships, even if all of our other basic needs are being met, humans do not flourish.
And:
Oxytocin is so powerful that it can reinforce a body of trust and safety. In one study, when married men were given a nasal injection of oxytocin, they were found to be uncomfortable when a flirtatious female approached them. The oxytocin reinforced the bond of marriage.
And:
Relatedly, another study found that oxytocin may contribute to enhancing men’s perception of their partner’s attractiveness compared with other women, thus strengthening their monogamous romantic bond with their partner. 
I no longer have this sort of connection in my life and marriage ─ it is now over five years since my wife and I were intimate.

And debt is keeping me in this position at my present age of 68 ─ my monthly retirement pension is inadequate for our needs, so my wife keeps working.

That ─ and certain physical limitations of a sexual nature on my part ─ have cost me her respect.

It can never be regained so long as I am not the breadwinner ─ I know this. But it hurts and concerns me that I may die without ever again having this lost human intimacy that I once enjoyed with her.

Early this year, she and her two sons made possible a small family reunion with five of their Thailand relatives in Bali ─ Jack's sons could not travel to Thailand due to the threat of consequences resulting from a constitutional requirement for all Thai males to present themselves at the age of 21 for the consideration of possible military induction.

Jack's oldest son Tho is 23, and has not been to his homeland since he was maybe 14 or 15; whereas Tho's younger brother Poté is presently the age of 20.

And so the reunion was planned for Bali ─ Indonesia was the country nearest to Thailand that did not require a layover flight in Bangkok.

Anyway, I think these photos Jack took in what may be the Nusa Dua Beach or Gardens area were taken on January 21:




The distant statue in the next photo apparently depicts Krishna and Arjuna, from what my research has found.

   

I will add more photos another time.

I want to close today's post now with this old journal entry of mine from 41 years ago when I was 27 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

I was renting in a private home located on Ninth Street [Google map], and two houses up from Third Avenue.

I see that I had the 1½-hour hike planned to visit my mother Irene Dorosh out in the Kennedy Heights area of Surrey. The wonderful little home that she shared with her husband Alex no longer exists, but it was my main mailing address: 12106 - 90th Avenue [Google map].

Greta ─ a Dutch friend of my mother's ─ was to have bused down two days earlier from where she was living in Barriere, and I had been tasked with rendezvousing with her at the bus depot in New Westminster to ensure that Greta got on the proper local bus to take her out to Kennedy Heights.

However, Greta was not aboard the only Greyhound bus that arrived, and so I gave up the wait after about 15 minutes beyond the supposed arrival time. 
THURSDAY, May 12, 1977

I got up at 7:30 a.m.

I'm leaving directly for mom's at 7:50 a.m.

*****

It looked as if I might sun today, but the sky never quite cleared suitably, and very gradually worsened; it rained in the evening.

Greta never did come down; Monday coming, she said.

I weighed in at a surprising 187 [pounds].

Among my items of mail, the 5 Western Express & 1 Provincial Lottery tickets I had ordered from B.C. Wildlife Federation.

I had a short nap.

Mom had made a first batch of ice cream with her Salton machine, so we tried some; it only makes a quart, but she was more pleased with the result than she ever expected. 

I left for Mark's shortly after 3:00 p.m., buying a Columbian and a Sun newspapers for the ads of homes for rent; I left 2 possibilities for Mark to investigate via phone (he starts work c. 3:00 p.m. each day).

[My younger brother Mark was living in a duplex unit he was renting not three miles away from our mother's home, and in the direction of Whalley. The duplex was located on Semiahmoo Road (Google map), and not too far from where it attached to Old Yale Road. For some reason now, I rather think that the duplex may have been nearly across from where 102nd Avenue ends on Semiahmoo Road. It didn't matter if Mark was home ─ I had my own means of gaining entry to the suite.]

I had another short nap at his place.

I left for home a short bit before 11:00 p.m.; it wasn't really raining then, just a spitting irregularly.

Mom's pretty generous to me; she gave me part of a cucumber and most of a loaf of bread to take with me, and she's ever willing to repair my and Mark's clothes.

Bed 12:30 a.m.
I sure miss my sweet mother. She died alone at her home in Keremeos mid-March 2006. Her husband Alex had preceded her in early 2002, I believe it was.

I had hoped that after I retired, I could go and stay with her there, but it was never to be.
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