Archive for the 'Health' category

At the end of 2008 I was feeling pretty good about how I cut down my expenses.  Then I got hit by a staggering series of medical premium increases.

  1. 12/18/08 – 15% increase effective 02/01/2009
  2. 01/16/09 – 30% increase effective 03/01/2009
  3. 02/20/09 – 12.32% increase effective 04/01/2009

The net increase is 68% over three months.  To be fair the three inceases are somewhat coincidental.

  1. My premium had increased in 03/08 but I was not charged that until 02/09 because I had a 12 month freeze on rate hikes on my account.
  2. The 03/09 increase is the annual increase.  The amount of 30% is unprecedented but apparently it’s happening everywhere, possibly because the insurance companies are afraid of what President Obama’s administration is going to do to them.
  3. The 04/09 increase is because Ji Seon is moving up into the next age bracket.

And to top it off a brand-name drug deductible of $250 for 2009 was added.

I hope President Obama’s administration does come up with an effective, national, affordable health care plan.  Our family needs it.

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Leave The Needle In

 | January 27, 2009 10:44 AM

Ellin Klor, 58, holds the wooden knitting needle fragment that pierced her heart while sitting at her home in Palo Alto, Jan. 24, 2009. Klor is being featured in a book being published about trauma survivors. She survived an accident with a knitting needle that pierced her heart and two separate diagnoses of breast cancer. (David M. Barreda/Mercury News)

I did not know this but if you get stabbed in the heart, like with a knitting needle, leave it in there until they get it out during surgery.   It seems like common sense but I am sure if I was in that situation I would have pulled it out, especially if the ER doctor told me to pull it out.

An accidental stab wound to the heart is unusual but not unheard of, said Susan Brundage, the surgeon at Stanford University Medical Center who removed the needle from Klor’s heart and stitched up the wound. How one reacts to that kind of trauma can be crucial.

Two years ago, Australian “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin died after he was stabbed in the heart by a sting ray’s barb, Brundage noted. Unlike Klor, who left the needle in her chest, Irwin reportedly removed the barb from his.

Palo Alto woman stares down death three times – San Jose Mercury News

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Poisonous Wild Mushrooms

 | January 13, 2009 12:28 PM

Death Cap MushroomSeven days ago on January 7, 2009 the San Jose Mercury News published an article titled The wild side of mushrooming.  It was an interesting article about how wild mushroom harvesting is not regulated and how difficult it is to distinguish between edible and poisonous mushrooms.  The most dangerous mushroom is the death cap mushroom which resembles one of the more desired edible wild mushrooms.

Today in the San Jose Mercury News there was a related article, Again, Santa Cruz doctor helps save family who ate poisonous mushrooms.

A woman and her twin 11-year-old grandsons had eaten soup made from deadly mushrooms they picked in the woods. Dr. Kent Olson of California Poison Control was on the line, asking how to contact the German company that makes a drug used to treat death cap mushroom cases in Europe …

Then the Munich pharmacist called with bad news. The first plane departing Frankfurt was sold out. The next flight would depart four hours later and arrive in San Francisco as rush hour traffic began.

Mitchell worried the special delivery would arrive too late for the twins, who were sicker than their grandmother. So he went to work explaining to Lufthansa why the stakes were high. After 15 minutes, he got a seat for the courier on the earliest flight.

But when the drug arrived — with expenses paid for by Madaus — there were only 14 vials rather than the 18 Mitchell had expected. Who would get what?

Doctors decided to treat the twins first because of the higher mortality rate in children.

By the next morning, both boys improved, allowing what remained of the drug to be given to their grandmother. She recovered and was discharged three days later. Her grandsons left the hospital eight days after ingesting the poison.

Another transglobal success story — that maybe next time won’t be so hectic.

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The Longevity Game

 | December 6, 2008 9:44 AM

This game was so fun, The Longevity Game.  It is easy to play and has nice graphical feedback.

According to this game I will live to 88 which means I have 47 years left.  It is nice to know I haven’t reached the 50% point in my life.  To live longer I need to exercise more, stress less and eat more fruits and vegetables and less meat.  I think I knew that already. 🙂

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Our family has made organic produce a significant portion of our diet for several years.  But we have not noticed any dramatic health benefits which is fine with us, that was not our primary motivation.  Maybe we would have if we went 100% organic for three years like Dr. Alan Greene did.  However some of the health benefits that he experienced might have come from the simple fact he ate less meat.

Fruits, vegetables and animals can be 100 percent organic. What about people?

For the last three years, Dr. Greene has eaten nothing but organic foods, whether he’s cooking at home, dining out or snacking on the road.

Three years later, he says he has more energy and wakes up earlier. As a pediatrician regularly exposed to sick children, he was accustomed to several illnesses a year. Now, he says, he is rarely ill. His urine is a brighter yellow, a sign that he is ingesting more vitamins and nutrients.

Well – Eating Only Organic Food for Three Years – NYTimes.com

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Anticancer

 | October 14, 2008 8:04 AM

Anticancer: A New Way of LifeIn a recent Costco Connection article there was review of the book Anticancer: A New Way of Life.  I found it quite interesting so I googled around and found this interview of the author, How to protect yourself from cancer – 9/12/08 – San Francisco News – abc7news.com.  In the video interview the author, Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, talks about the risk of brain cancer due to cell phones and he explains medically why we should be concerned.

Overall I am impressed by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber because of his scientific approach.  The book is appealing because of its underlying philosophy.

The trick is to keep the [cancer] cells from developing … by turning on the body’s cancer-fighting capacities…

Avoid the following common household products:

  • Perchloroethylene/Tetrachloro-ethylene, found in dry cleaning-air garments out for several hours before wearing
  • Cleaning products such as liquid detergents, disinfectants, and toilet bowl sanitizers that contain alkylphenols (nonoxynol, octoxynol, nonylphenol, actylphenol)
  • Deodorants and antiperspirants containing aluminum
  • Cosmetics, shampoo, lotions, gels, hair color, nail polish, perfumes, and sunscreen containing estrogens or placental products, or those with parabens or phthalates
  • Chemical household pesticides and insecticides
  • Heating foods or liquids in plastic containers made with PVCs, polystyrene, or Styrofoam
  • Preparing food in scratched Teflon® pans

Improve your diet:

  • Eat grass-fed organic animal products: meat, milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs
  • Reduce your intake of sugar, white flour, products containing omega-6s (sunflower oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, margarines, hydrogenated fats, non-organic animal fats)
  • Increase your omega-3 intake (fish, and grass or linseed-fed animal products)
  • Increase your intake of anticancer products (turmeric, green tea, soy, fruits, vegetables)
  • Filter tap water: use a carbon filter or an inverse osmosis filter, or drink mineral water or spring water

Add activity to your day:

  • Practice 20 to 30 minutes of physical activity per day
  • Expose yourself to sunlight for 20 minutes each day
  • Practice a method of relaxation and self-centering (yoga, cardiac coherence, meditation, qigong, tai chi)
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watermelon

My boys love watermelon!

Study: Watermelon Has Viagra Effect – TIME

The article’s title is made to grab you. If you actually read it you’ll see that though watermelon might have a viagra effect it cannot be a substitute.

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Dylan Food Vegetable

 | May 31, 2008 6:29 PM

Today I tried to teach Dylan about the food pyramid.  He ended up drawing this which he called “Dylan Food Vegetable”.

Dylan Food Vegetable

It’s not bad.  It was inspired by this food pyramid.

Children\'s Food Pyramid

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They eyes have it! Video

 | May 19, 2008 9:02 PM

My good friend, Alan Kwok, pointed me to this video aired on a local news channel, ABC Channel 5. There were three other local news stations there also following this moving story. You’ll see my friend as the best man/ring boy at about 1:07 in the video.

This is not the first time Alan has been on TV. It seems that the local news stations love him. In fact when we were in high school we went to the local computer store to play computer games. Unexpectedly a local TV news crew came in and filmed us as part of their story on the IBM PC, which at that time had just come out. Alan’s father videotaped it I would love to see it again, especially to post it on the web. 🙂

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They eyes have it!

 | May 16, 2008 9:10 PM

In this Boston Herald story, They eyes have it!, we learn about how a man’s vision was restored.

At the Boston Foundation for Sight, doctors created special lenses to protect Nelson’s cornea. The Boston Scleral Lens, invented by Rosenthal, rests on the white of the eye and arches over the cornea, creating a pocket filled with artificial tears. The device cured Nelson’s pain and improved his vision from 20/200 in one eye and 20/400 in the other, to 20/20 and 20/15.

What is cool is that my good friend, Alan Kwok, fitted Nelson with the lenses.

And today Nelson and his fiancee, Bell, got married at the Boston Foundation for Sight and Alan held the ring at the wedding. That Alan is a special guy. No wonder Nelson was quoted as saying

These people are doing God’s work.

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