Iron Man

I went in for my annual physical and learned that my blood count was low. Not a big surprise for me and something I’ve dealt with on and off. I think I probably have a small gasket leaking somewhere. The doc said to take 300 mg of ferrous sulfate (iron) twice a day and then come back in 6 weeks for a check. That was the same prescription a year or two ago and it worked. Nancy said we still had some left from last time but we were in Publix and checked anyway. All the ferrous sulfate I picked up had numbers like 25-65 mg, nothing as big as 300 and I was fairly sure I remembered only taking one pill at a time before. So we didn’t pick any up and relied on being able to find some at home. Sure enough she found it but it too was only 65 mg of iron. So I took 5. But it was nagging on my mind that I didn’t remember taking 5 pills at a time, ever. So I picked up the bottle and read all the fine print About midway through, in parentheses, it says (equivalent to 325 mg of ferrous sulfate). So I had overdosed by 5x. I’ve never heard of anyone dying from an iron overdose except in a car crash or maybe the tin man in the Wizard of Oz. so I guessed that the worst that could happen was I would get rusty and have to start taking WD40 as an antidote. 24 hours later, I haven’t changed colors, don’t squeak when I walk and haven’t had to use the WD 40 anywhere. It also makes sense to me to back off the iron for a few days. Somebody said that it caused constipation – if so, this might be a 5 stick of dynamite clean out job ahead of me. Other than that, I passed the physical with flying colors.

And while I’m discussing personal health issues, I’ve always had high blood pressure. Not killer dog high, but a bit above normal. Typical for me is 135 over 85. I’ve seen it may 10% higher but not too often. Two years ago the doctor gave me a very mild med to bring it down a tad. It didn’t change at all and I found one blood pressure machine in Publix that lowered it about 10 points so I fixed the problem by just checking it there. Also I have a digestive track issue that needs a daily hit of Prilosec. Lots of old guys have this same problem. But I also had a pain/burning right in the chest which over the past year had gotten more persistent. Nothing I could really call painful but just something right there in the heart area. So it was a bother. In the middle of May I remember that a friend had told me that he had solved his gastro problem by taking a couple tablespoons of natural apple cider vinegar. Natural means unpasturized and with the “mother” bacteria still included. I found it in the natural.organic foods section in Publix. I took a swig and within 2 seconds the chest pain was gone. So I just added a swig as part of my daily routine and in 2 months have never had the problem again – and it was a multi, daily occurrence before that. Now here’s the interesting part – a few days after taking the vinegar, I checked my blood pressure – just a routine check, no special reason. It was 115 over 75. Fairly low for me and I took it as an anomaly and also since it was during Nancy’s trip to Utah, I assumed I was just more relaxed. Since then, it has almost always been in the low teens for the front reading and low 70’s for the back reading. At the doc’s office it was 110 over 60. So it had nothing to do with Nancy’s absence and the only thing that has changed in my routine is taking that swig of vinegar. I’m thinking about staying on with what I’m doing through the summer and if it’s still low, dropping the blood pressure med for a while. I haven’t read anywhere that the vinegar should drop my blood pressure so my theory is that whatever the vinegar is fixing, was perhaps the cause of the high blood pressure in the first place. That’s the kind of stuff that makes sense to an engineer. Nancy’s logic is to not change anything at all – don’t mess with success. That’s probably why women live longer than engineers.
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The Obama admin is working out ok for me. I was unhappy with Bush and his spending habits. The Republicans needed a wake up call that they are supposed to be conservative and not big gov’t spenders. Obama and the Dem’s in Congress are pushing the spending to unbelievable levels and starting to get the tax machine in full gear. That, coupled with the Kumbayah foreign policy, should make the Dem dominance a short lived situation.
And I was sure glad to hear the G8 conference was such a success. I guess the big accomplishments were that they jointly released a statement that Iran and NK are bad guys for pursuing nukes. But even more importantly they agreed to drop the global temperature by 2-3 degrees by 2050. Aside from all the evidence that says the globe is cooling, the nice thing about the agreement is that it is politically perfect. First all the signatories will be dead by 2050 or too decrepit to care. But even nicer, none of the big, growing economies such as China or India are involved. So if in fact the temps are down a couple of degrees, it was because these visionaries took action; if the goals are not met, it was because the Chinese and Indians wouldn’t sign up. Wonder how many $$ were spent cumulatively on the G8 conference.

I guess this group is better than the UN since nobody there ever agrees on anything controversial or requiring action but it just doesn’t seem like the right group for the US to be hanging with. Historically speaking, the US is a teenager meeting with a bunch of geriatric countries. I’m thinking we should be hooking up with countries more our own age – such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. That would be an action based group compared to the old fogies who like to sit around, smoke big cigars, sip cognac and talk about the good old days – back a thousand years or so. To qualify for our group, you couldn’t have existed as a country for more than say 300 years, you have to be a democracy so that everybody can make lots of noise and your population has to be at least 90% nonnative. That means that the basic gene pool is quite diverse and founded on people who were adventurous enough and tough enough to try something new. The group would be totally unhooked to battles or insults that occurred thousands of years ago. That’s why I like countries with big immigration policies. They’re loading up with people that have the gumption to get away from the old fogy places where they are too far down the totem pole to ever break through. I’d just like to see the population growth balanced by sending those Americans who think things are so much better in Europe, back to Europe. Like, send Kerry to France.

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