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Get Computer Glasses · Let me guess: You spend a lot of time in front of a computer, to which is attached a large high-resolution outboard screen, and you’re over 40, and you have glasses on your face. A lot of you will already know this, but if you don’t, run not walk to the nearest optometrist, get your eyes checked, and order a set of “computer glasses”. Trust me on this ...
Overtorqued · I don’t write much about really personal stuff, but in recent years there have been mild-to-serious mental-health issues affecting my immediate and extended family. As a consequence I have uneducated ideas about evolution and mental health to offer. And with them, for comfort, photographs of a beautiful garden ...
Colonoscopy · That was the middle of my day. As a result of my age and other risk factors, I now get one every few years, and because I’m a blogger, I can write about it; and I feel I have to, because I might save your life. It only takes a couple hours, it’s not terribly unpleasant, and it’s an insanely cost-effective way to not be one of the people killed by colon cancer; that’s 50,000 or so in the US every year. So if you’re middle aged, ask your damn doctor already. You can read a bit about what it’s like, with more cheerleading of course, here and here. This morning, when they asked me if there’d been any changes since last time I said “No”, but I was thinking that yeah, there was; both those pieces have comments from Derek Miller, but this one won’t.
How To Die · So, Derek’s gone. I was finding it a little hard to maintain, this morning. I’d known him for a while; we weren’t close but, like a whole lot of other people around geekdom and Vancouver, I’d been drawn in tighter and tighter as he wrote his way through mortal illness, always facing forward and keeping the story flowing even when everyone knew how, and recently when, it would end ...
Colonoscopy · I get one every three years now and just got back from the latest, which means that you get a reminder too. Because first of all, colon cancer kills many, and colonoscopy really fucking works. And it’s not that much of a hassle. So if you’ve got any of the risk factors (over fifty? eat red meat? couch potato? alcohol?) go talk to your doctor already. Be good about this or next time I’ll run the screen-grab they gave me of my wholesome pink innards, and you just know you won’t be able to avoid looking.
Taking Care of Alison · The US is consumed with discussion of health-care alternatives, and in US politics it seems to be OK to knowingly tell bald-face lies, and in US media it seems not OK to call a lie by its true name. Here’s a small bit of first-hand reportage about the working of another approach to health-care ...
Friends and Flexibility · I so love the Internet. The other day it turned up another friend of my youth, unseen for three decades. Which gives me an opportunity to plug Pilates, in which I invest a couple of hours every week ...
Colonoscopy · I had one at 11:20 this morning, and I’m sitting here typing this, and thinking about Wide Finder 2 and the data that’s coming in, and that I’d better donate to Aquamacs because release 1.4 is looking seriously cool, and I just went out and photographed a couple of flowers. If you’re over fifty, you should get in line for one, because it’s just not that bad and it can save your life ...
Rats! · I’m quoting my old friend and colleague Len Bullard (featured in this space here and especially here), who got a nasty diagnosis and was moved to eloquence: Diagnosis and The Secret of the Christ. Best of luck, Len, and keep writing.
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Moose Fever · Well, at least I know where I got it. The flu is a funny disease, all over the map; I’m in my ninth day and still far from 100%. Partly that’s because on her sixth day, Lauren suddenly got markedly worse and was desperately ill in bed, so I ran the house and kids and everything all weekend in a weakened condition ...
Note To Myself · Next fall, when they come around with the flu vaccinations, go get the bloody shot! I haven’t been this sick in years. Undulating fever, so I alternate between freezing and sweating; every muscle hurts; my clothes hurt where they touch my body; painful cough. This too shall pass.
Therapeutic Soup · I’ve got this horrible cold, congestion with muscle pains, and was going to claim that I’m suffering from flu but that’s unsupported by the evidence. Anyhow, after lunch at Phở Thăng Long, the Phở joint across the street, I felt quite a bit better. I suppose this is kinda like your Jewish Auntie’s chicken soup, only Vietnamese not Jewish and beef not chicken.
Sun, Cancer, and Corruption · At myway, a nicely-minimal news-aggregation site, I read Scientists Say Sunshine May Prevent Cancer, which is interesting for two reasons. As the parent of a kid who never goes outside un-greased, and with sun-related skin problems in the family, I care about this whole issue of the pros and cons of sunshine. But a few paragraphs in, the science-for-sale dimension starts screaming out from between the lines. It turns out that the research from the some of the people talking up the benefits of moderate sunshine is funded by the Indoor Tanning Association, while on the other side the Sun Safety Alliance (funded in part by Coppertone) is backing the research of the all-sun-is-bad party. Is there anything left that’s not for sale?
No Right Hand · We have a cat that’s getting old and thus needs more and more medical procedures. Three weeks ago, he seriously objected to one of these and bit me on the right middle finger, hard. The first antibiotic failed to clear up the infection and now I’m the one needing more and more medical procedures. It turns out that if you can’t bend or exert any force with your middle finger, that hand becomes remarkably useless. So I’m off to California today on a one-handed basis, should be interesting. But, I can type.
Happy · It’s like this: you get a slightly-scary physical symptom and you go and tell your doctor and she frowns and says “well, we better run some tests and make a date with a specialist”, and you go to the specialist and he works you over and looks at the tests and says “yeah, that’s a weird one, it happens sometimes, we don’t know why, it might happen again, it won’t hurt you, don’t worry about it.”
Nitrogen head · Dropped by the doctor to get some sun-damage spots removed from the top of my head—this problem is not uncommon in pale white bald guys. They do this very simply, by dipping a swab in liquid nitrogen and freezing the spots off. They call it “burning” and it feels like burning, quite unpleasant. The doctor said I might get a headache, and I was wondering about sudden drops in brain temperature. Wait a second... maybe I could overclock.
On Pain · Herewith thoughts on what dying feels like, plus a picture (really) of Siberia ...
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