D4D

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Archive for the category “Health”

Aging – Making Improvements

Following on from my general feelings of being flattened and feeling old, I’ve also been doing some stuff to try and alleviate it a bit, or at least to give myself better information.

The first part of that was a general health review, a visit to the GP to get basic information, as well as booking myself in to get blood tests and so on. (I try to do that every couple of years, as there’s a family history of stuff like underactive thyroid, type two diabetes, heart issues and the like.) As usual, that all came back fine.

The blood-tests were more of a pain in the arse – mainly because I live right on the border of two health authorities, and my surgery refers me to the authority that’s not the one for where I work. So it took me a couple of weeks before I could be bothered to go that way and get them done.  But again, once it was done and I’d bothered rinnging up to get my results, everything was fine there too. A couple of figures that aren’t perfect, but everything’s still well within acceptable range of ‘normal’. Which is enough for me. I’ll probably work on them a bit, but it’s nothing that’s even important, let alone urgent.

As usual, they all say I’m too heavy – file under “Sherlock, Shit, No” – but then when they see the figures, and the speeds/distances I usually walk at, they seem to worry less.  I’m still working on losing some again, but it does somewhat lessen the urgency when they pretty much shrug and go “Oh, OK”…

Following on from that, I got the aforementioned eye-test, which was also positive.  Small changes, but nothing major, and the optician said that my eyes are a lot healthier than those of most people who have similar levels of vision correction to me.

Oh, she also worried me by telling me that people with my level of vision correction are at risk of detached retinas – something that has never been said to me before! – but that mine were OK.  (I mentioned this to my parents last weekend, and they added to it by saying ‘Yeah, there’s a family history of doing that, too”)  So that’s been great, being told all of a sudden about a potential future health issue I wasn’t even aware of.  Joys.

Anyway, all told I’m actually doing OK.  Now if I could just get my brain to follow the same path, things would be wunderbar

Aging

One of the reasons (I think) for the current phase of my feeling somewhat flattened is relating to me feeling a bit old currently.

That’s not as in “Oh my God, I’m old” and so on, it’s more just some realisations that I’m no longer the age I am in my self-image. Mentally – and many would say emotionally – I’m nowhere near 46.  But this year so far I’ve been feeling older – the fun stuff like new aches, just generally feeling rougher than I have previously.  It’s all just a bit wearing, no fun at all, and quite demoralising.

Alongside that, over the first three months I put on some weight, which wouldn’t then easily shift in the usual ways I use. Also quite demoralising.

The final bit of the jigsaw was getting an eye test a couple of weeks back. While the prescription hasn’t changed much, it’s changed enough, and we’re looking at my next set of glasses being varifocals.  So yeah, I’m feeling a bit old at the moment.

I’m working on it – and that’ll be a follow-up post to this one – but at least I am working on it, and so far that feeling of being flattened is at least lessening as a result.

Sugar Tax

On Friday, the UK introduced a “Sugar Tax” on sweet drinks, purportedly to help reduce childhood obesity. Will it work? Personally, I doubt it.

There’s a few reasons – first and foremost, that a lot of manufacturers have already chosen to reduce the sugar levels in their drinks to put them into lower rates for the sugar tax.

Connected to that, diet and zero-calorie versions of most of those drinks have been available for years. If people haven’t chosen to swap by now, will paying 10p extra make them change? Probably not.  There’s not even a really visible price difference – at least two of the shop chains I use regularly have upped the price on all the drinks, not just the sugary ones, which also defeats the object.  If there were a visible difference ( “I can buy 500ml of the sugary one for £1.50, or the diet one for £1.35, so I’ll save money”) then it might work, but without that, I don’t see that there’s a real driver to force the change.

Alongside that, I *personally* have a problem with government telling me how to be healthy, and attempting to enforce that. I have the same issue when it comes to smoking, the way government encourages people to stop smoking, while also getting massive amounts of income from the tax and duty on cigarettes. (This also applies for alcohol, telling people to drink less while getting the income from the tax and duty, and so on and so on)

I also suspect that there’s a lot more damage done by the ‘invisibly’ sweet drinks – the bizarre creamy milky super-sweet concoctions from Starbucks, Caffe Nero, Costa et al – which now seem to be far more prevalent than sweet fizzy drinks.   I suspect there’s a lot more of the obesity blame that can be laid on the coffee culture now than can be laid at the soft-drinks industry.  I’m not even sure that the coffee chains are being hit by the sugar tax – I haven’t seen any mention of it being on anything except the soft-drinks industry.

It’ll be interesting to see the results – although of course the government will always claim it to have been a massive success, even when it’s a clusterfuck of monumental proportions – but I really don’t expect to see it have any positive effects on reducing obesity, whether in children or adults.

Low on Steps – Followup

Following on from my “back to normal” post on Monday, things have worked out somewhat differently.

I somehow managed to twist my back and put it out – something to do with slipping a step while avoiding treading on a cat on a staircase, I’m pretty sure – which means that things are a bit more painful than I’d been expecting.

I still managed to get in the walking target on Monday, and utterly failed yesterday. Today’s looking like it’ll be OK, and I’m sure I’ll manage for the rest of the week.

Thankfully, it’s not (so far as I can tell) a major issue, more that a couple of muscles are properly clenched and not doing me any favours.  Initially it hurts like a bastard as I walk, and then eases off. That first phase lasts about five minutes, and hurts enough that it’s making my hips and pelvis hurt because I’m obviously walking differently and clenching different muscles.

Then it eases off. I’m aware of it still, and not walking at my usual speed, but it’s all tolerable and so on.

Even so, though, fucking OW.

Low on Steps

Last week was a very quiet one, mainly because of the weather.  While I aim for breaking 10,000 steps a day, I wasn’t going to do that while it was ridiculously snowy, icy, and slippery (well, ridiculously for the UK, anyway)  Instead, I ended up averaging about 7,000 a day.

Thankfully, we’ve now thawed out for the most part – it’s been surprising to see just how much the temperature has flipped over the weekend, from -5ºC on Friday through to 5°C on Saturday and 8/9°C on Sunday, which has meant that just about all the snow disappeared at quite a speed!

That should mean I’ll be able to get back to normal levels of walking this week, and then a London visit will boost things even further.  (That one’s going to be interesting, and something I’ll almost certainly write more about next week)

March is a ridiculously busy month for me, what with one thing and another. That should also help with getting me back to “normal”…

Slightly Explodo

This week has been an oddly distrubed one in some ways, which has ended up meaning it’s all felt a bit disconnected and weird.

Back on Monday, I drove home from the on-site office feeling rough, heartburn-y and so on, which wasn’t overly pleasant. I assumed I’d had too much caffeine or something.

But no. As it turned out, it was the start of a fairly unpleasant dose of food poisoning (so far as I can tell)  By seven I was sweating and knew I was unwell, and by half seven I’d barfed my stomach out. Still rough, I went back downstairs, and basically passed out – which has happened before when I’m seriously unwell, so that in itself isn’t a massive concern. (It’s still not great, don’t get me wrong – but it’s not a “fuck, I need to get to the hospital” type of event like it might be elsewhere)  I didn’t come round in a good state at all (and I’m not giving the details on that one, don’t worry)  and still shivering and feeling rotten.  By half nine I was in bed, and didn’t get up ’til eight the next day.  To be honest, that’s always the biggest sign for me that I’ve been really bad, when I ended up sleeping like that.

Since then, I’ve been on the mend. Tuesday was pretty much a write-off, although I did get some stuff done, appointments fulfilled and so on, but didn’t go to the cinema screening I had booked for the evening. The rest of the week has been a bit calmer as a result, and I still don’t feel 100%, but I’m a lot closer to it than I was at the start of the week…

Health Check

It’s been about two years since I last darkened the door of my GP for a health check, so a couple of weeks ago, I made the appointment. That day was today.

I’ve done about half the stuff for now – I apparently now need to go to the local hospital in order to get blood tests done, among other things – but everything so far is apparently ‘very good’, and even ‘puts a lot of our patients to shame’. I’ll take that, to be honest.

  • Blood pressure hasn’t changed, and is 130/80.  Slightly high (according to charts I’ve then looked at since) but well within acceptable limits
  • Blood sugar was perfectly fine – on a “random” check (I had eaten within the time-span, so couldn’t do a fasting blood-sugar etc.) it came back as 7, so the proper fasting one should be lower, and well within limits
  • No idea on pulse-rate, but the nurse said it was absolutely fine, so again, I’m happy enough with that.
  • Weight, as always, is too high. I’m still working on it, and getting a couple of referrals to other departments to see what they say, or can help with.

So, we’ll see how it goes with the other stuff – I’ll get it lined up to be done this week – but for now I’m feeling pretty content with where things are.

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