Saturday Posts . . .

Also, I have some updates.

First, the experiment of my reconnecting with my family has failed. My parents do not want to deal with anything that has happened in the past. My father repeatedly told me that “you just have to let go of it” while my mother was quite different. She denies everything, including events that I was personally there to witness or took part in. For my own personal integrity I was forced to return to the total disconnect I had previously been enforcing.

Second, I have recently been watching a show called “Dr. G: Medical Examiner” which has me a bit riled up. The first problem I have with the show is that it seems that some states have laws which require an autopsy on nearly every death that happens within their jurisdiction – something Dr. G seems to revel in because she loves to “solve puzzles”. My problem with this is – what gives her the right to solve a puzzle about me if I do not care to have it solved? Another problem is that she seems to view ALL medical problems as preventable, and is particularly judgemental about any and all suicides. Has she never heard of “death with dignity”? If someone already knows that they are dying, do they not have a right to choose to end their own suffering early? Dr. G does not seem to believe this is an option. Since she currently works out of the Orlando, Florida, USA, medical examiner’s office, that is one jurisdiction I will not be visiting anytime soon.

Finally, I have recently gotten approval through the VA’s community care program to begin receiving chiropractic care at a local wellness center. I’m really impressed with the size and scope of the facility, but I’m not so impressed with the results I’m getting. To me, the first red flag was their focus on longevity – like they just can’t believe anyone wouldn’t want to live to be 115 years old. Sorry, but that was never a major consideration of mine. I’ll take every day I can get – but only if it comes with a good quality of life. So far, I’m not really seeing any improvement, and after getting acupuncture yesterday morning I had a very stiff neck and headache that lasted well into the evening.

Good News . . .

In our postal mail delivery yesterday, I received a report that I feel overjoyed to share.

Last week I had a scheduled visit to the VA clinic that I usually go to. My primary care provider had asked me if I’d agree to get a Carotid Ultrasound – as a routine procedure because I’m almost 60 years old. I told her that it wouldn’t change any of my decisions in the Advanced Directive or Living Will, but that there didn’t seem to be any harm in knowing what it may reveal.

The letter that I got about the results stated the following:

“Mild atherosclerosis with normal flow all velocities bilaterally and no evidence of significant stenosis.

Carotid Ultrasound results were normal no significant carotid artery disease.”

So, it looks like my wife is going to have to put up with my jokes a while longer! LOL!

Perhaps, and I can’t be certain either way, part of the reason for this outcome is that I’ve been mostly a vegetarian since January 1st of this year. I say mostly because living in this area limits the options for eating vegetarian when I travel – even the relatively short distance to the VA clinic. Also, I’m terrible about using supplements – and almost everything I’ve read or watched has said that Vitamin B-12 is impossible to get without eating meat. So, I’m mostly vegetarian, occasionally eating meats to get my B-12 fix.

Communicating final decisions . . .

I’ve written several times in the past about the importance of making an Advanced Directive or a Living Will, or both, for the purpose of controlling your last life decisions. Ever since the USA case of Teri Schiavo, (my apologies if I misspelled her name) it has been obvious that clearly communicating your plan for the end of your life is of paramount importance.

I already have a legally binding Living Will, and another legally binding Advanced Directive. But, I’m choosing to take the entire matter one step farther. I’m getting a tattoo in the center of my chest that will read “NHM – see medical alert bracelet”. The medical alert bracelet has digital copies of both the Living Will and the Advanced Directive on a flash drive contained within it, and the NHM stands for “No Heroic Measures”. As far as I can tell, this is the final step in making absolutely certain that ALL first responders will know exactly what my wishes are.

The whole point of this is to prevent the first responders (EMT’s, paramedics, Law Enforcement personnel, and other people who might initiate life-saving actions) from taking actions that may result in bankrupting my wife if I’m involved in a catastrophic event of any kind.

Yes, I want to live – but not so much that I want to live with the assistance of expensive equipment that can’t guarantee my chance of recovery. My wife’s future is more important than my survival.

Saturday Posts . . .

I have been feeling very disingenuous about my relationship with my parents. Ever since I reached out to my mother to try to rebuild the relationship that was broken more than 20 years ago, I’ve been questioning myself as to why.

The last couple of times I talked to each of them, it has become CRYSTAL CLEAR.

I have the highest IQ in my family. My dad’s IQ is only 1 point lower than mine, but I have specialized training in areas none of them have ever studied, like the fact that I was a US Army basic field medic who was being fast-tracked to Physician Assistant school. In addition to that, when I took the exam at the Armed Forces Entrance Examination Center back in 1979, I was offered the chance to choose whatever job I wanted by ALL 5 branches of the US military. I have the learning capacity to be fully capable in ANY skill I choose to study.

Despite those facts, NOBODY in my family respects my opinion about anything. I vividly remember a confrontation between my mother and myself more than 30 years ago that occurred in HER HOME where I tried to tell her the truth about the origin of the Christian Bible. She called me a liar – so I pulled her own Encyclopedia Britannica off of her shelf and opened it to the article that discussed the exact event I was telling her about. I showed her how HER OWN ENCYCLOPEDIA confirmed in black and white that I was telling the truth. Rather than admit I was right, she said the encyclopedia was lying!

Every blood relative I have has always responded to everything out of my mouth exactly the same way mom handled that event. They are all STILL doing it.

I can’t fake this anymore. I’d rather live honestly without them than grin through my hat at them. We’re done. My relationship with that family can’t be saved unless they are willing to bend. Pretending they don’t remember the events of the past isn’t enough.

New Year Resolutions . . .

I originally wanted to post this yesterday, because it was January 1, but after learning of Betty White’s passing I didn’t want to take away from the memorials to her life and achievements. So, I’m posting it today.

In addition to reading the books that were recommended by my dear friend Anita, I’ve also been watching several very good documentaries on Netflix. This post is about those documentaries.

In no particular order, the Netflix documentaries I’d recommend are:

What The Health

[Un] Well

Salt Fat Acid Heat

Down To Earth with Zach Efron

Kiss The Ground

Fantastic Fungi

The Game Changers

The Bleeding Edge

If you have access to Netflix – especially Netflix streaming service – you owe it to yourself and the planet to watch these documentaries. Together, they build a compelling argument against the currently accepted “traditional western diet”. They also present a very good foundation for building a defense against Global Warming.

While thinking about New Year resolutions – I’m compelled by having watched these shows to make the following commitment – I’m going to spend the rest of January 2022 as a vegan. If that succeeds in reducing my arthritis and other body problems, I’ll commit to that lifestyle in perpetuity.

Global Warming . . .

At this point, I don’t think there are very many intelligent, well-informed, people left on the planet who would dispute the idea that the average temperature of the planet is getting higher. What the actual cause of that warming is, well, that is still up for debate.

However, a couple of months ago I watched a documentary that I’ve been meaning to post about on here. That I didn’t post about it earlier was mostly due to all of the other distractions we’ve had going on. Still, I think it is of sufficient importance that I’m forcing myself to go ahead and post about it now.

The name of the documentary is “Kiss The Ground” – and if you have access to Netflix Streaming it is still available on there.

The amazing thing about this documentary is the very simple solution it offers to the problem of Global Warming. Almost every solution I’ve seen suggested involved complex ideas that were either capitalistic or industrial in nature, and relied on heavy-handed governmental intervention. “Kiss the Ground” proposes a solution that any farmer or gardener can implement right on their own property – and could even be used to reclaim land that has previously turned to pure waste.

If you have even a couple of hours of free time between now and the end of the year, you owe it to yourself (and the planet) to watch this documentary. If you agree with me after you’ve seen it, buy a copy for every elected official in your area and mail it to them, if for no other reason than getting us out of the complicated schemes proposed by people who would take advantage of a global crisis for personal gain.

Frustration . . .

I’m beginning to think that the physics is against me. When I last checked into a medical facility – for the unbillical hernia repair – I weighed 223 lbs. Okay, I fully acknowledge that muscle mass weighs more than body fat, so it stands to reason that as I build muscle tone in body areas that have seen long-term neglect, weight loss could be a challenge.

But, seriously – only 2 months after beginning my program to get my abs back in shape, I’m now at 239?