Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Health and Fitness

Mon, Aug 03 2009

Will health care be like post offices?

As budgets shrink, we may be seeing the end of an era with the U.S. Postal Service. Offices may go the way of the dinosaur. Combining that with the idea of dropping one day of mail delivery per week will probably save a lot of money. But it won't make the service seem any better. I never did understand why the whole thing wasn't ever really allowed to make a profit. If there was to be no profit, why wasn't it all left up to people who could make a profit? Why did the government do it in the first place. That's a little bit of what I start thinking of when I think of the government getting in the middle of health care. The process might bobble along for decades without ever really being financially viable and may never be efficient or encourage true progress. At least in the case of a stamp we don't generally have to be concerned about someone dying. Health care is quite another matter.

posted at: 17:31 | category: /Health and Fitness | link to this entry

Thu, Jul 30 2009

Step away from the keyboard, lady

I've done something strange to a muscle in my back near the shoulder blade area. It isn't anything major in the way of injury, but it's nagging me in spasm mode, and I've been using chairs I don't usually use today. Therefore, I intend to get away desks with keyboards and relax a bit with a heating pad for the offending muscle. I'll try to be a bit more interesting on the morrow. I can afford to pamper myself, because I've just met the deadline for the August magazine. (See previous post.)

posted at: 18:06 | category: /Health and Fitness | link to this entry

Fri, Jul 24 2009

CT scans

If you've ever had a CT scan, then you're aware that it is a relatively minimally invasive procedure, as these things go. The only poke is an intravenous site, and that's done only if you're test is being done with the contrast solution. The preparation can be a nuisance if you're required to drink the barium solution, because it causes some of us to respond with diarrhea. For those of you who may be having a scan soon, let me walk you through my recent comedy of errors.

Yesterday I was scheduled for an early morning scan, so I began drinking my pina colada flavored barium at bedtime. All went fairly well until my spouse and I arrived at the medical center. I know from prior visits that it's not a good idea for me to wait in the outer waiting area, so I asked to be buzzed through the doors into the waiting area next to a restroom. I was presented with a form to fill out and two more cups of barium to drink. While I was balancing all these items I managed to spill most of one cup of the liquid down my pants leg and onto the form I had just filled out. My spouse and I raided the towel shelf and cleaned up what we could and asked for new barium and a new form. Eventually the barium was doing its trick with my intestines and I made a rather rapid move toward the bathroom, not realizing that the floor was damp just outside the door. I did some maneuvers that kept me from falling down and that would have had So You Think You Can Dance fans giving me a standing ovation. I do believe my spouse grew a few new gray hairs, but he kept his outward composure.

The scan itself was fairly uneventful. It took only two different people to get a vein willing to accept the contrast solution. It's common for my fitful veins to go through three or four people before one vein will cooperate. (I'm just a tough case in that department.) My only task after that was to lie still and hold my breath for a few seconds a couple of different times. For those of you facing such a scan, if you happen to be claustrophobic, the machine is great. It's a bit like a large doughnut, covereing only a small portion of your body. And it doesn't clank and carry on the way an MRI machine does. So if there's a CT scan in your near future, take it from a fraidy cat like me. You'll do very well, as long as you keep a grip on your last cup or two of barium and as long as you make any trips to the rest room in safe strides. Oh, and bring an extra set of clothes with you when you go for the test. Whether it's a case of severe diarrhea or messy barium spills, it's worth the piece of mind to be ready for a wardrobe change before you head back out to face the world again.

posted at: 10:25 | category: /Health and Fitness | link to this entry

Wed, Apr 29 2009

Are governments and WHO stirrng pandemic into panic?

If we don't have a whole lot more trouble with panic than with pandemic over the swine flu, I'll be surprised. We need to look back and remember, and be careful about not giving too much hype to the whole situation this early. If the illness moves deeply into most neighborhoods we can use our knowledge to move quickly when it's time, without putting whole crowds of people into absolute frenzy, can't we? If we can't, we'll have a much larger problem to tackle than swine flu.

posted at: 14:20 | category: /Health and Fitness | link to this entry

Fri, Mar 20 2009

It's pagophagia

I'm sorry, readers. The correct word for the ice craving would seem to be pagophagia. I'm not sure how I mis-typed such a unique word. The odd thing is that there are a few instances on the internet where the word is spelled papophagia. Collective consciousness is apparently sometimes also collective blunder.

posted at: 12:32 | category: /Health and Fitness | link to this entry


I enjoy a bit of ice now and then, particularly in hot weather. But there are apparently some folks for whom ice has become an addiction. The many comments below the entry there tell me that this is a much larger issue than most of us ever realized. I'm wondering if this whole matter gets overlooked more when the patient lives in a warm climate.

posted at: 08:31 | category: /Health and Fitness | link to this entry

Thu, Mar 12 2009

World Glaucoma Day

Today is World Glaucoma Day. I didn't realize I was a day ahead of things when I scheduled my eye exam for yesterday. Thankfully, all was well in the eye pressure department. (I don't mean to be cheeky, but I have to say that the scrolling area on the aforelinked web site is a little tough on my eyes. The speed of the scroll is a little too rapid for comfort. But please don't let that stop you from going by the site and learning about this condition that can lead to loss of vision.)

By the way, if it's been some time since you've been tested for glaucoma you'll be pleased to know that the rude puff of air that used to startle the overly sensitive among us has been widely replaced by a strong blue light. (I can't promise this will be the way you get tested, so be sure to ask the eye professional first.) You'll still get the anesthetic drops prior to the test. I find this method much less traumatic than getting blasted with air.

posted at: 14:22 | category: /Health and Fitness | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
and cattle rustlin'! Lightning may strike
such varmints when they least expect it!