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Friday, November 13, 2015

Live and Learn

Live and Learn

At my age I would think, that I would have mastered life’s basic fundamentals for survival.  I still, however, manage to surprise myself now and again.

I pride myself in doing what it takes for self-preservation.  I have an excellent health care team.  The latest computer technology is applied to make sure that my healthcare needs are tracked for best possible results.  I’ve actually had my personal physicians send me an email while vacationing in Florida, because she didn’t like a test result and wanted me to take immediate action to change the outcome.  From my perspective it was something minor:  ever so slight increase in my cholesterol reading.  She said to me in the email:  “Mister, I don’t know what you’ve done different in the last 6 months but I want you to reverse it and watch what you eat so you can reverse the last cholesterol report outcome.  I will have you run some lab work in 60 days to see where you are at.”

I can honestly say that my own mother never paid that much attention to my well-being. While I am extremely pleased with the personal service from my health care team, this post is not about that.

Among other things that I do for self-preservation I visit a chiropractor once or twice a month for the periodic body adjustment, almost always followed by a one hour therapeutic massage.  Please don’t imagine for a moment some shady massage office on the wrong side out of town.  This particular service that I avail myself to is located in my doctor’s office just down the hall.

I’ve been known to ask my doctor, how much would rent cost me to for two or three hours of very relaxing sleep in the massage room.  The ambiance is always perfect, soothing music, nice warm and toasty massage table mattress/pad.  I actually have to try extra hard to stay awake even beyond the punishing deep tissue massage.

Well the point to this lengthy lead up, is that my wife has been complaining lately of lower back pain (she doesn’t tolerate massage therapy).  So since I love her so much, I was trying to find a way to treat her to the relaxation that I experience during massage.  I talked to the masseuse, and she recommended that I go to a specific store, where for much less than $100, I could buy a mattress heated pad with dual controls.

Well, I immediately went shopping and surprised her with my purchase.  She didn’t resist the idea, and has been sleeping comfortably and waking up without the lower back problem.  For some reason, I am disappointed that I had not taken this step long before.  I have received the benefit of chiropractor and massage treatment for at least 25 years and I never thought to replicate the environment from the massage room to my very own home.

If you haven’t thought about it, I would highly recommend that you give it a try.  I know that many people will go out and spend $30 dollars or more for a heating pad or a hot water bottle.  Yet the cost for the mattress heating pad is only a few dollars more.  

This mattress heating pad should come with an extra cautionary warning that I didn’t see anywhere in the box or manual:  You will have the possible danger of wanting to stay in bed all day long, especially during the winter months.  The best is yet to come……..

To P or not to P

To P or not to P

I was on the freeway recently driving and listening to the news on the radio (which I almost never do anymore).  Ever since digital music came along and I can take a large playlist with me, the radio has become obsolete, for me anyway. 

Amongst many topics being discussed there was a discussion on the subject of aggressive panhandling by the homeless population of a city in the State of Washington.  I won’t mention the city but I will say that it wasn’t Seattle.  Don’t get me wrong, Seattle has many problems including a large population of homeless people.  The topic was news worthy because the administration of the particular city was taking steps to deal with the aggressive panhandlers that was driving customers away from the downtown area.

An audio clip of a public hearing was played and a (obvious) homeless activist raised his voice above all others to make the point that there was no restrooms available for the homeless to take care of business.  He pointed out that the merchants didn’t allow non-customers to use their facilities.

I could easily advocate for both sides of the argument.  I have seen the mess that can be left behind when a homeless person uses a merchant’s facility to give themselves a sponge bath and a shave.  I have also seen a merchant threaten to call the police when a couple of men or more locked themselves in a restaurant restroom and leave only after the police threat while leaving behind needles and other drug paraphernalia.

That short radio broadcast got me to thinking about a different scenario.  For those of us that can afford to take in the occasional sporting event costing $150 plus or perhaps a rock concert.  We are pretty confident and comfortable that we can take care of ourselves if Mother Nature should call unexpectedly while we are out and about.
What would be the outcome if we are in a large city (15k population or much larger) and our car gets stolen with our wallet and cell phone in it.  Perhaps we get mugged or pick pocketed and we find ourselves without our precious credit cards and identification.  If you are anything like me, I seldom carry paper money on me (mostly because I have children and grandchildren).

In the case of a scenario like the one described, we are not much better than a homeless person.  I am so dependent on my cellular telephone that I don’t know anyone’s phone number not even my wife or children’s numbers.  I’m not sure that I could tell you what my phone number is.  Even if we did have phone numbers, you can no longer go to the corner pay phone in most cities.

Imagine if you found yourself in downtown Seattle of San Francisco and you wanted to do #1 or worst yet #2, but you don’t have money to buy even a pop or a cup of tea.  You could end up under arrest for relieving yourself at some street corner or even alley.  I realize that I just created a problem out of the blue for me and you.  However, that is an everyday problem for the homeless population in larger cities.  I keep mentioning larger cities because the smaller towns don’t have the homeless population associated with the cities, and besides pretty much any merchant in a small town would offer you the use of their facility, or even offer you a free meal.

I’m sorry to say that I am not offering a solution, just a possible problem.  One solution might be to try to remember a handful of important telephone numbers.  As for Mother Nature calling, Depends (no pun intended).  The best is yet to come……