Aging Body

My body has been out of rhythm for awhile now.  I’ve had foot problems since my 20s and had to wear orthotics to address pronation problems my flat feet.   Now I’ve got some pain in one of the joints of my second toe (capsulitis).  I had it last year but it went away when I got new orthotics and new shoes.  My podiatrist suggested getting new shoes again with more cushioning in the midsole and less toe lift.  The orthotics are still in decent shape.  It can be painful walking sometimes and unlike last summer, my daily morning walks has stopped and my weight is slowly climbing back up. It’s just so frustrating.

My shoulder and thumb are slowly healing.  Once it fully heals, I can start lifting some weights.  I had an eye infection (stye) but thanks to some antibiotic eye drops, this is now going away.  I also have a bit of a stomach flu but it was mild compared to the food poisoning I picked up Singapore.   Hopefully it be gone by the weekend.

I need to find the fountain of youth.

Shouldering Some Pain

I’ve visited my chiropractor twice recently. My back was giving me some problems and I also have pain in my shoulder and thumb.  My doctor told me to get some physiotherapy.  Since I was seeing my chiropractor about my stiff back, I showed him the diagnosis from my doctor and asked if he could also help.  So my chiropractor worked on my back, shoulders and thumb for about 45 mins.

It’s always a bit awkward for me to see him.  He’s young, Chinese, incredibly good looking, muscular and always looks like he just stepped out of a fashion shoot.  I try not to tense up when he touches me.  He held my hand while he worked on my thumb which made me swoon a bit.  While he was holding my hand and making small talk, he mentioned an upcoming vacation with his girl friend.  I think this is what straight guys do to make sure there are no “misunderstandings”.

I have a date an appointment with him again this week.  On a more serious note, I hope my shoulder will heal.  I can’t figure out what I did to injure it though.

 

 

 

 

A Long Night

The emergency room was the busiest I’ve seen.  A steady stream of patients gathered in line for the triage nurse.  The steady sound of hoarse coughing filled the air.  Most of the seats in the waiting room were already taken. The ambulance bay door opened.  Amidst the swirl of medical staff, I could see patients inside being attended to. A paramedic wheeled a small, elderly lady into the waiting room and placed her in the line for patient registration. Her slippers stuck out from her night gown which in turn was covered with a institutional white blanket.  She looked scared and confused.  A long, dark green winter coat hung from one of the metal poles attached to her wheelchair.  It  looked several sizes too big for her.  She clutched a bag in her hands.  It took perhaps another 30 to 40 minutes before a worker from the registration desk attended to her and then wheeled her to a spot not far from where I sat.

She looked scared and confused.  Every so often she would vomit into a plastic bag. She never looked over to the entrance to see if a familiar face was coming in. She never got out a mobile phone.  She gestured to a trio nearby and a man came over.  He went back to and got a bottle of water from his bag and opened it for her. When her blanket slipped another man came by to readjust it for her.

8 hours later,  I was inside the ER keeping my sister company.   We had already told my brother to go home hours ago.  He was already fighting a cold.  I told him I would call if anything urgent came up.

My sister was waiting for the results from a second round of tests.  The first round was clean and the doctor was very optimistic. We sat with a group of about half a dozen people.  An attendant wheeled the same woman to a spot beside me and covered her with a couple of warm blankets. I thought she would fall asleep but she kept moaning.  She said to no one in particular that her pain was unbearable. She asked why was she here in the waiting area instead of the room with the bed.  I closed my eyes.  I have enough things to worry about.  After a few more minutes of taking, she started to shuffle her wheelchair to the hallway.  A nurse intercepted her. With a firm voice the woman asked why she was waiting and what was going on.  She was told that a doctor was waiting for the results of her CT scan before he could see her.  The woman muttered aloud that no one ever tells her anything.  Humbled and defeated, she let a man wheel her back to the spot beside me.

Underneath all that, I saw that she was trying to hang on to some shred of dignity.  She didn’t know why she had an IV line stuck on her arm.  She complained that part of her face was numb.  She hoped she didn’t have to stay up all night.  Someone remarked that it was already 4:30 AM.  Her bottle of water and her purse fell when she tried to adjust her blanket. I picked it up for her.

Despite the frantic environment of the ER, time doesn’t pass by quickly if you’re a patient. Eventually the doctor cleared my sister to go home. Everything was fine. The woman saw that and asked about her status.  He came back with her file and said her tests were negative and she can go.  But she needs to come back for follow up appointments.

While my sister went to get changed, the woman looked at me and asked about the IV.  I told her a nurse will take it out for her and she shouldn’t change until it’s removed.  Within minutes the nurse came by with her appointments and removed her IV.  She asked where the washroom was.  I told her I could wheel her there.  I pushed her wheelchair inside the washroom, pointed to the emergency buzzer if she needed attention and told her how to lock the door.

As my sis and I left, I told the nurse the woman was in the washroom and might need help getting out.  She thanked me for the heads up.  The sun wasn’t even out when we left the hospital.  On the sidewalk, I saw another wheelchair abandoned by the crosswalk.  The cold morning air of this new year tasted sweet.

 

Just Think and Act

It’s tough to see your sibling taken to the emergency ward in an ambulance.  But I was remarkably calm.  I stayed with her until the wee hours of the morning until she was released.  I shooed my brother and his wife home so they could rest.  A week later, I went to the hospital to pick her up again.  Today, I drove her to the walk in clinic to get some meds until she found a family doctor.

You know how I deal with this and stay calm?  I just turn into a robot and take action. It’s easier that way. I don’t have to deal with emotions.

Stay healthy everyone.

Getting healthier

I have been anxiously dreading my physical checkup.  I never know what doctors will find when they examine me.  While I’ve been seeing my new doctor for a few months, this will be my first physical with him.  I showered like I always do each morning taking care to clean a bit more down there as he’ll be poking around.   I wondered if I should trim my pubes too.  After all, I want to be courteous.

Once I got to his office, he gave me the results of my blood test.  All my blood sugar and cholesterol were normal and way better than the last test.  My resting heart rate and blood pressure were also normal.  Before he started my checkup, he said there must have been a booking error because they didn’t book enough time for everything.  But he was going to do as much as he can.  He checked my eyes, ears, mouth, lungs etc.. he then asked if I wanted my testicles and prostate checked.  Gee… this is always the highlight of a physical and of course I said yes.

I could have said no. In the old days, I probably would have declined and chickened out. But I wanted to make sure everything was fine.  I didn’t make any jokes while he was checking my stuff.  For example “How did you guys practice this when you were medical students?”   It was over quickly and there weren’t any problems.

As he finished the checkup,  he complimented me on my lifestyle changes.  I still need to lose some more weight.   He asked me to focus more on portion control and add more resistance training.  So the regular walks and some cardio on the threadmill have paid off.  I eat more veggies, fruits and grains like oatmeal and barley.  Maybe this is one of the benefits of being out of work.  I have more time to focus on my health.

Your snoring was loud…

That was one of the feedback from the sleep doctor.  I had gone to a sleep clinic a few days ago on a hot summer night.  It took about 30 minutes for the technician to wire me up.  I sent  J a selfie and he proclaimed “OMG you look scary”.  My hair was covered with a sticky gel.  There were 2 straps on my chest, wires from my legs, my head and something to measure my breathing strapped close to my nose.  By the time I was wired up, I had some time to read (no TV).  I took a sleeping pill (they were fine with that) about an hour before I slept.  Once the technician turned off the lights, I was out.  I woke up just before 5 to check the time and rolled back to a light sleep.  They woke me up before 6.  I washed my face but my hair looked like it had chewing gum all over it.

Lucky for me, I had my baseball cap with me and wore it as I walked home.  I even stopped by a McDonald’s for a couple of Egg McMuffins and coffee.  Once I got home, I showered to get that sticky gel off me.

The results were in a couple of days later.  The doctor went through my sleep stages, oxygen levels, body position (I didn’t move as much as I thought), the amount of deep sleep etc…  I was staring at his monitor as he described the data for me.  My eyes stopped at a line called “spontaneous arousal”.  He didn’t bring it up and I didn’t ask.  Bottom line, I only have mild sleep apnea and I don’t need a CPAP machine.  Whew.

I wasn’t surprised by the loud snoring.  It wakes me up sometimes.  I used an app called SnoreLab and it confirmed I snored a lot and loud.   He gave me some recommendations so I’ll check those out.