Category: Health

Sundowning

9/4/21, 9:47 am

I saw on the news that elderly people can get a sickness called Sundowner Syndrome, or SS. I always like to research illnesses I hear about in the news, because I invariably end up catching them. And usually my research is just in the nick of time, because I seem to catch the illnesses, with all the classic symptoms, right after conducting the research. It helps to be a well-informed patient.

9/4/21, 9:49 am

I’ll start my research right after I finish this bowl of prunes for breakfast.

9/4/21, 10:05 am

Prunes are down, colon is churning, and I thought I’d get in a little of that research before the time for my constitutional arrives. Let’s see, according to Wikipedia, this here disease is also called Sundowning. Wow, that sounds kind of depressing. Reminds me of that Elton John song, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me. In fact, he’s an old dude now, just like me. I wonder if he’s a Sundowner? Sadly, maybe the sun has indeed finally gone down on Sir John. Speaking of John, it’s time now for my constitutional.

9/4/21, 11:06 am

I feel so refreshed. And now that the second favorite part of my day is over, it’s back to the research. It appears that Sundowning occurs right around sunset. People with dementia are usually the ones that get it. For them, the sun slipping over the horizon seems to make them crazier than they normally are. But some old fogies who don’t even have dementia can also be Sundowners. No one quite knows what causes this condition. My theory is werewolves. Ever notice how so many old people have the features of lycanthropes? They’re all hirsute, with hair growing out of their ears, nostrils, back, etc. And when that sun goes down, maybe some of us want to go out and howl at the moon, just like the dogs we’re becoming.

9/4/21, 12:00 pm

Nap time.

9/4/21, 1:27 pm

My favorite part of the day is over. So now I have to knuckle down and do some serious work on this Sundowner Syndrome stuff. There are various ways to treat Sundowners. One is to have us maintain a consistent sleeping schedule. I’m all for that. That’s why I call the cops on the neighbor kids so much. Seems they’re always playing real loud in the street, and sometimes they have all the nerve to chase a loose ball onto my front yard. I have to keep watch to run the little invaders off.

9/4/21, 2:03 pm

I’ve been yawning and drifting off quite a bit, so I think it’s time for another nap.

9/4/21, 3:46 pm

Staring at my computer. What the hell was I doing before my nap? Oh yeah, that damned Sundowner research. I sure as hell am tired of that. Time for some Solitaire.

9/4/21, 5:00 pm

Dinner time. Hey? What happened to lunch? Must have slept through it.

9/4/21, 5:28 pm

Dinner made me sleepy. Time for another nap.

9/4/21, 6:52 pm

I woke up and it seems to be getting a little dark in the house. What the Sam Hill is going on here? Jesus Christ, it’s that late?! Can’t see the keyboard for my fingers. I know–I’ll light a candle.

9/4/21, 7:21 pm

Been rummaging in the garage for the past half-hour, looking for a candle. Found one, but when I lit it, it made a whistling sound, shot up like a rocket ship, and bounced off the ceiling and walls. Hit me in the back of the pants and started a little fire. Must be a bad batch of candles in that box. I bought them July of last year, so maybe they’re getting a little old. But my wife suggested that instead of using a candle I could just flip on the light switch. Brilliant idea! Why didn’t I think of that?

9/4/21, 7:38 pm

I’ve been staring at my computer for some time now, before finally figuring out what I’m researching. Let’s see Down’s Syndrome is a genetic disorder that often causes an intellectual disability. What was that noise? Better grab the flashlight and investigate. I hope it’s not those damn neighbor kids.

9/4/21, 8:12 pm

My wife told me that the wiener dog is not a flashlight. Why are there so many things in this world that look similar? It’s so damn confusing. The noise was caused by settlement of our house foundation. Our house is built directly over a sinkhole. I know this. But no one will believe me. One day you won’t hear from me anymore, so just be aware that I will be buried about 5,000 miles beneath the surface of the Earth. Anyway, back to writing my post about the SS. They are Hitler’s henchmen and do all of his dirty work. I hide in my closet whenever I hear anyone outside in the evening, because one night they may break down my front door and haul me off to a concentration camp. You see, I belong to the resistance. Which reminds me. I think this evening I’ll sneak out of bed, head for downtown, and blow up that bridge with some of those defective candles.

9/4/21, 9:16 pm

My wife has informed me that the coast is clear. The SS has bypassed our house. She told me to post my article about dromedary camels, because it’s time to go to bed. Did you know that the Humpback of Notre Dame rode a camel? My wife is looking impatient. I’ll post this in the morning.

9/4/21, 9:30 pm

“Good night, dear wife. Yes, I promise I’ll be here in the morning.” (Heh, heh, better look out, Nazis.)

Organizing Jelly Beans

My favorite is the licorice flavored Jelly Belly.

I love jelly beans. So imagine how sad I felt when I learned that refined sugar causes health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and a bevy of other maladies. Jelly beans are made of refined sugar. Apparently, you can eat all the natural (unrefined) sugar you want, from sources such as fruit, fruit, and fruit, and they won’t cause you any harm. But for some reason, refined sugar is poison.

Some estimate that the average American consumes about 77 grams of refined sugar per day. Others place that estimate as high as 188 grams. But experts say that the safe limit is a mere 38 grams per day for men, and a teensy 25 grams for women.

It’s also a fact that experts are known to take all the fun out of life.

But phew, at least it’s safe to eat some amount of refined sugar. I don’t have to completely give up my jelly bean habit. So I have come up with a system. I limit myself to three jelly beans per day. There are two grams of sugar in each jelly bean. If I eat only three per day, that’s a total of six grams. This leaves me with 32 grams of sugar that I can obtain from other delicious sources, such as ice cream, cake, and cookies.

I came up with a method to ensure that I only eat three jelly beans per day. I put them in a pill organizer, with three beans in each compartment, for each day of the week. Once I consume my daily dose of jelly beans, I’m done with them for the day. And then it’s time to move on to ice cream.

Too bad they don’t have a pill organizer large enough for that.

Ah-Choo!

A few months ago I caught a cold while having heart surgery. Damned doctors, why don’t they cover their surgical masks when they sneeze? But I felt relieved that at least I didn’t catch the coronavirus.

And yet, I did. That’s because the common cold is actually a human coronavirus. It’s not the bat, pangolin, or lab-created monster virus that has been ravaging the world lately, but it is still technically classified as a coronavirus.

So we’ve all had the coronavirus, and most of us many times. I don’t know of anyone who’s never caught the common cold.

Click on image to find this book at Amazon.

Years ago I read an interesting book entitled Ah-Choo! by Jennifer Ackerman. It was published in 2010, and a Kindle version is still available on Amazon. I recently came across a book review I wrote about it, for another blog. I had a cold at that time, so it was a rather snotty book review, as you can imagine. So keep a little distance from your computer, as I resurrect this review.

Ah-Choo is all about the common cold. It isn’t about how to cure it though, because there was no cure at the time the book was published, and sadly there still is no cure. I guess we’re too damned busy trying to cure that other coronavirus, to be working on this one.

But Ah-Choo contains many fun and informative facts about the common cold.

For instance, adults get 2 to 4 colds per year, and children up to 12 times a year. And the average person gets about 200 colds in their lifetime. This means that if the average cold lasts 14 days, we spend over 7 ½ years of our lives sniffling, wheezing, coughing, and feeling miserable.

But maybe it’s not that bad, because one of the mysteries of science is that one out of four people infected with the cold virus are asymptomatic. Sound familiar? Kind of reminds me of Covid-19. These asymptomatic infections cut the 7 ½ years of misery down to about 5 ½ years. But we spend the other two years spreading our colds around to others, without realizing that we, ourselves are infected.

All it takes is one little rhinovirus particle to infect us with the cold. The path of infection often comes from finger to nose or finger to eye. We tend to touch our face about 16 times per hour, so the cold virus has become well adapted to the nervous predilections of human beings. And if you suffer from rhinotillexomania (habitual nose picking), your chances of picking up the virus are greatly magnified.

Strangely, the cold virus doesn’t actually damage any cells of the body. Rather, it triggers the immune system to set off an inflammatory cascade. It goes into overdrive, and the misery we experience is from its attempt to rid our body of the virus. In other words, our body’s cure can be worse than the actual malady. Just like some Covid-19 restrictions. At least, in my opinion.

Nobody has ever cured the common cold, but lots of remedies have been tried. In ancient Rome, Pliny the Elder recommended kissing the hairy muzzle of a mouse. In colonial America the prescription was to soak your feet in cold water, and shove orange rinds up your nose. Nasal irrigation has been touted. And chlorine gas was once thought to do the bug in, at one time leading President Calvin Coolidge to sit in a chlorine gas chamber for a full hour, inhaling the deadly vapors. Any longer and he might have for sure lived up to his nickname of “Silent Cal.”

Antibiotics don’t work either, and can be dangerous to use when unnecessary. But codeine cough syrup has been shown to put snotty-nosed children to sleep. It’s not particularly good for them, and it doesn’t cure the cold, but it does keep those fucking brats from running around loose, dripping cold virus all over the carpet.

Beware of the many mountebanks that tout expensive cold medicines. Nostrums containing ingredients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc, and Echinacea enjoy little scientific support. And be very skeptical about any remedy that claims to boost the immune system. Remember, cold symptoms are actually caused by the immune system already going overboard. The last thing anyone would want to do is give it a boost.

The treatment that seems to be recommended most by ethical medical experts is the use of single ingredient medications to treat individual symptoms. In other words, instead of taking a capsule that treats many symptoms at once, they say we should take something like an aspirin for a headache, and an antihistamine for a runny nose and sneezing.

The best, most effective cure for the common cold is time. This is because time is the only cure. So save money and avoid buying expensive snake-oil remedies. Follow the science when it says to take individual medications to treat individual symptoms. And call in to work. Relax at home and read the 245 pages of Ah-Choo!

But if your boss discourages calling in, then by all means, go to work. And stand very close to your boss when you sneeze. Perhaps this will encourage a change in policy.

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