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Water and the Body: Sharing Some More Fun Facts

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

drinking_the_hard_wayI recently did a write up of a collection of fun facts that arrived in my email inbox during 2011.  Lots of folks came by to read, commented and shared how much they enjoyed the list.  I thought I would explore this kind of fun once again.

As lots of areas in the United States are suffering from drought in 2012, we should not include our bodies in this dehydration – so here goes with a collection of fun facts.

One of the first signs that the body is dehydrated is a headache.  Headaches are also a sign that you have consumed too much water.  A dry or parched mouth is a good sign for needing a drink; many people have trained themselves to ignore this indicator.

Most medications need a full glass of water (8 oz.) to accompany ingestion for them to work properly and not cause stomach lining irritation and damage (acetaminophen box under directions).

Coffee , Tea and Juices do not replace the need for water; they may increase the need.

Every Body has a minimum level of water need in order to flush toxins from the system; usual recommendation is 8 – 8 oz. glasses of water for adults and 6 – 8 oz. glasses of water for kids per day. Water composes 72% of the brain, 83% of blood, 22% of bones, and 75% of muscle. Water regulates the body’s temperature, removes waste, cushions joints and vital organs, converts food into energy, maintains oxygen for breathing, and carries nutrients to our cells.

When you get a “Charlie Horse” which wakes you up at night, it is your leg muscles seeking hydration so water at bedtime is helpful (also a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar can quickly relieve leg cramps).  For people who suffer GOUT water at bedtime is also pain relieving.

Drinking water at certain times of the day maximizes its effectiveness on the body:

  • 2 glasses of water after waking up – helps activate internal organs
  • 1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal helps digestion
  • 1 glass of water before taking a bath helps to lower blood pressure
  • 1 glass of water before going to bed avoids stroke or heart attack ~(from chart in my doctor’s office)

Rinsing the nose and sinuses with a Neti Pot and saline solution or saline rinse bottle can relieve an allergy attack without medication (Dr. OZ) Just plain water can do the job too. We do this at our house – truly cuts down on the nose blowing and snoring.

Can you ever get too much water in your system?

A young woman died recently after a water drinking contest, to know more here is an article by Dr. Ben Kim.

  1. Ingesting more water than you need can increase your total blood volume. And since your blood volume exists within a closed system (your circulatory system), needlessly increasing your blood volume on a regular basis puts unnecessary burden on your heart and blood vessels.
  2. Your kidneys must work overtime to filter excess water out of your circulatory system. Your kidneys are not the equivalent of a pair of plumbing pipes whereby the more water you flush through your kidneys, the cleaner they become; rather, the filtration system that exists in your kidneys is composed in part by a series of specialized capillary beds called glomeruli. Your glomeruli can get damaged by unnecessary wear and tear over time, and drowning your system with large amounts of water is one of many potential causes of said damage.

Why do so many of us get up all night to urinate?

Cardiologist = Gravity holds water in the lower part of your body when you are upright (the legs swell).  When you lie down, the lower body seeks level with the kidneys and it is then that the kidneys remove the water because it is easier.

How many plastic water bottles are thrown away each day?

60 million per day in the United States and about 22 billion each year (read more).

Do you like collecting fun facts and sharing them with others?  Do you have good habits when it comes to water drinking?

If you purchase anything from Amazon  or Powell’s   from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket.  Thank you.

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Related Reading:
Do Something For the Fun of It
Neat Things to Know 
The Presidents Club 
The Idea Factory


Thursday, June 14th, 2012

I just could not wait to read Lots of Candles and Plenty of Cake and pre-ordered it for my KINDLE. Anna Quindlen is an author that I enjoy reading very much although when she was doing her parenting columns I was still reading Erma Bombeck.

This book has a number of humorous interludes but Lots of Candles and Plenty Cake is more about embracing turning 60 and finding lots to love about living.  There is an element of memoir to this book of essays also.

“Get yourself a personal trainer.”

Her hindsight about the early parenting years and how generations have survived, coped and figured it out is a rather astute analysis of how we made it through the tough times and the loneliness and yet truly enjoyed our choices and taking on those tasks.   Being there for our children, working and trying desperately to not lose the sense of self that made us who we are section was full of wonderful and creative examples of how the women of a certain age coped with the expectations of doing it all.

“ …we didn’t want to admit that trying to balance a couple of challenging full-time jobs was kind of a stretch. We were all a little crazy and a little sad and a little confused.  And we all thought it was just us.  That’s what makes life so hard for women, that instead of thinking that this is the way things are, we always think it’s the way we are.”

Lots of Candles and Plenty of Cake does not skip over the worries about heath and finances and how to plan for the unknown.  I just felt a sense of release when Quindlen discussed the Resume Gap because I truly thought I was rather alone in this problem; having spent too much time out of the even half time work force/career to be taken seriously by anyone.   It was a bit hit and run because that is not the author’s experience and yet it was not ignored.

“The most liberated generation of women in American history, raised on the notion that they could be much more than caregivers, became caregivers cubed.”

Quindlen definitely hits the mark when she talks about health and working at it while enjoying just who you are.  After the discussion of the foot pain, new glasses, and blood pressure medications none of the women in her circle would change who they are now and consider this stage the best they have experienced.  There were no votes for do-overs even though they now understood parenting and working and balance – oh yes, that advice we are always trying to share!

“They can’t hear it because it’s in a different language, a language we learn over time, the language of experience cut with failure, triumph, and tedium.”

I think if I write any more, I will need to copy and post this entire book.  I cannot recommend it highly enough and I hope every woman I know will find themselves with a copy in hand and a smile on their face.  I am going to read it again right away – it gave me so much pleasure and some fresh wisdom to just enjoy.

No one paid for this review and I did not receive a copy of this book; I purchased it for my library.

Anna Quindlen’s web page

Do you have a book of wisdom that just delights you and speaks to you like this group of essays spoke to me?  Please share it with all the readers in the comments section. Thank you

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s   I will receive a few beans in my bucket.  Thank you

Related Reading:
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
The Paper Garden
Walter’s Muse
The Love Ceiling

Shopping with Awareness

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

stethoscopeShopping has been a time consuming project on my list these past few weeks.  I am working on health related issues and putting new measures into practice with as much awareness as possible.  I realize that folks in other countries besides the USA might find this information unnecessary and shocking, but it is what we must contend with here and at this point in time.

In order to comply with my new health insurance policy, I must have certain tests every year.  If I do not comply between now and age 65 I will be dropped from my policy and thus not be eligible for Medicare at age 65.  (I will still need to purchase a supplemental policy to go along with Medicare and those are not inexpensive either.)

I personally pay $524.00 (US) a month for a major medical policy with a $3,000.00 deductible which requires me to co-pay for each visit.  I must see my Physician every year at least one time and I must have a mammogram every year.   I pay full price for these services until I have covered the deductible.

There is no coverage for any alternative medical treatment, massage therapy or herbal supplements.

It has taken me 3 months to plan and take care of the first requirements for 2012.  I have met and seen my Doctor, had lab work completed, and a mammogram.

Walking into the Doctor’s office cost me $600.00
Getting the lab work completed was $662.00 (My shopping paid off – see below)
And the Mammogram was $366.46

Who can afford all this?   Well not many people can find $1,500.00 and there is a tendency for some to just suffer and save the whole deductible for the Emergency Room.

I instead decided to go shopping.   I have no choice over the Physicians approved for my policy, so I interviewed several from the approved listed for my $600 and found a nice young woman who was highly recommended and willing to work with me.

Now I went shopping for Mammograms.  There are only 2 imaging centers here and they both cost the same.  One makes appointments; the other is a drop in center.   The next closest center charged the same price but I would have needed to add gas money into the equation making this option too expensive.  I chose the place with the appointments and did not have to sit and wait.   (This is new because of the Affordable Health Care Act – Insurance companies cannot randomly set the price for required Mammograms any more)

The really big SHOPPING event was center stage.   I started interviewing Labs to get estimates on the 3 lab tests that I needed to have.  One group charged over $1,000 for one of the tests, the Hospital charged $600 for the same test, an independent Lab group charged $288.00, and the third independent lab group charged $60.00.   For the last 2 labs listed, I did all the paperwork.

I chose the last lab.   Not because it was the cheapest, but because I found out all the labs use the same facility to process the actual tests and produce the results.  Because if I prepaid through my Naturopathic Physician all three of my tests came to a total of $131.00 and she will mail the results to my new Provider Doctor.

Now I will start the same process for getting the cyst removed off my spine. Remember it is $600.00 just to walk into the Doctor’s office.  This last shopping experience took me 3 months to work out all the details.   But it is good training as my partner is studying the Medicare plans.  I can see clearly how they work and how much expense and energy is going to be needed to maintain our health.  It is all good and good practice.

I am willing to be aware.   One cannot just assume that it is going to work like company or government policies have worked in the past.  I have met 3 people who are trying to get back into the work force just this week, because they are overwhelmed by the cost and time this kind of healthcare is taking and none of them have severe health problems.  (Medicare does not cover alternative treatments at all)

As Comedian Jack Benny is quoted,“GROWING OLD IS NOT FOR SISSIES!”

Do you keep a copy of your own health records?  Are you aware of all the steps necessary and all the places to look to get the best services?   Is the Government in your State working for you or against you? When you do not feel well, who will assist you with this kind of shopping?

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If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s from this site I will receive a few beans in my bucket.

Related Reading:
How to Be Sick
7 Steps of How To Learn
Your Medical Mind

HOW TO BE SICK: A Buddhist Inspired Guide For The Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers ~By Toni Bernhard

Thursday, October 6th, 2011


My acupuncturist recommended this book to me and I am so pleased that I bought a copy and read it from cover to cover. It was a wonderful companion to reading Your Medical Mind and it brought be some peace, hope and a change of attitude.

Ms. Bernhard was headed out on an adventure with her husband.  She left her job as a law professor in California and boarded an airplane to explore and enjoy a short visit in Paris.  She arrived in Paris with a viral infection, which has left her ill and fatigued for the last nearly 12 years.  She tried to go back to work part time for 2.5 years of her illness and this only aggravated her condition.  She had to retire early, she had to change her own lifestyle, and she became almost totally dependent on her husband for her caregiving.

“ This is a major contribution and an immensely wise book”  Larry Dossey MD.

As a practicing Buddhist before the onset of her illness, she was disheartened that she could not longer attend retreats and trainings and had to let her husband take over her practice group which met in their home.  Buddhism is a lifestyle choice – not a religion – so one needs to practice and continually keep growing and learning.  It is this practice and learning that gave her life new meaning and assisted her in writing this book to help others.

She has tried everything from traditional medications, to infectious disease specialists, and every alternative and historic medical opportunity available to her.  Bernhard keeps researching and discovering new things to try and is willing to take on insurance agencies in order to get herself healed.

Her chapter on the huge box of non-healing supplements that she has tried and other offerings is quite amazing and that so many folks have been there and done that is not surprising.  It is actually a relief to know that one is not alone in the pursuit of recovery.

Bernhard was finally labeled Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which she calls a garbage or trash can diagnosis. No one knows how to heal it and it manifests differently in each person.  She is left with not being able to take her granddaughter to events, or travel, or often to sit down for holiday dinners with her family. She never knows what she will be able to accomplish each day.

So she decided to make her illness her Buddhist Practice and has been able to find with her attitude change and tools for making those changes some truly joyous times in her life.   She can use the Internet to make new friends, because we all know that people are busy and do not have time for those who are ill; they do not want to catch something either.   Bernhard has changed feelings of isolation into a study of solitude, which is lovely to read and embrace what she has learned; incorporating these discoveries into one’s own life and experiences.

Her chapter and words about caregivers is a work of art.  This disease changed both her life and her husband’s life dramatically and deeply.

“Sometimes the worst thing that happened to you, the thing you think you cannot survive…it’s the thing that makes you better than you used to be.”

This is a quote from dialogue in a novel I just read, but it jumped out at me after reading HOW TO BE SICK.   For this is a book about how to change crisis into opportunity and how a person can make their life be their best life ever no matter the circumstances.

The book is grounded in Buddhism and is a remarkable story about one woman’s experience with chronic illness.  It is well worth the read and I am sure that everyone knows someone who could benefit from experiencing this book.

Trusting what you get, do you have a recommendation for us of words that helped you heal and be the best that you can be?  Looking forward to your comments.

I purchased this book myself and no one or publisher paid me to review this book.  If you purchase anything from Amazon (not kindle) from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket.

Would love to have you subscribe by RSS or email!

If you enjoyed what you read here you might also enjoy my other sites  Wise Ears and Biking Architect

Toni Bernhard’s Blog

Related Reading:
Your Medical Mind
Trust What You Get
Poser: My Life in 23 Yoga Poses