Category Archives: Health

Living With Psoriasis

I’ve talked about this before, about two years ago. And not much has changed since. Circumstances have changed, and so has my approach.

Now that I live in Canada, the winters will be more difficult on me. I need to figure out a way to combat this in a better way. As soon as my knee is better, I’m going to try exercising more. What I find helps is sweat. If I sweat more, my psoriasis tends to improve. I’ll be using the local recreation centre whenever I can.

There have been some commercials on TV about a new medication for psoriasis, as well. However, I don’t want to take it. One of the side effects is a greater chance of infections and getting sick thanks to a suppressed immune system. With the job that I have, that would not work well.

I talked about all of this and more in a video. Take a look.

Any comments are definitely welcome. And if you have psoriasis, I’m always willing to talk about it and see if there are any tricks that work.

What the Hell Happened to My Ankle?

Look at this.

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It’s huge! My right ankle is swollen. Why?

This morning, it was normal. I put on my shoes and went to work. At work, as the morning progressed, I felt a stiffness in my ankle. When I put my shoes on to get my lunch, I noticed the edge of my shoe was pushing into my ankle. I have new shoes, so I thought it was just the shape, and that it needs to be broken in. In the afternoon, I noticed that my ankle was much bigger than normal. It was tender, and there was (and still is) pain when I put pressure right on the ankle bone.

So, how did it happen? The past two weeks have involved a lot of walking, and it’s very possible that I tweaked it after our Mt. Oyama climb. In fact, the original injury could have happened while we were going down the mountain, since I remember twisting that ankle slightly. With more walking over the rest of the week, I probably aggravated it, and then with the new shoes putting pressure on my ankle, made it even worse. At least that’s my guess. I’ve been on my feet a lot, too.

I’ll have to see how it goes over the next couple days.  I’ll try stay off my feet as much as I can.

Sightseeing While Sick

Today’s our first real big sightseeing day, and what happens? I wake up with a barely there voice.  I find it hard to talk, and I have a sore throat. I won’t let that stop me, though.

Today is Enoshima. It’s a big day, because we tried going to Enoshima three times last year, and something always came up to stop us. But we will go today, explore the island, then see the aquarium. I’ll be making a couple videos, but I may not be talking much on them.

Here’s an Enoshima picture just to show you what it looks like.

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Just Saw a Man Taken Out of the Station on a Stretcher

Not what expected on a Sunday morning going to work. I was about to enter the station when I saw paramedics wheeling a man on a stretcher through the ticket gates.

He seemed a bit overweight, and his shirt had been removed. Heart problems? Heart attack? That’s what I’m guessing.

It’s really not what I want to see at any time.

I Can’t Eat!

I have doctor’s orders not to eat. It’s not because I’m sick or anything. I have my annual health checkup tomorrow morning.

In Japan, we’re often required to get a medical checkup every year for our job. It’s a pretty easy process. Basically, I can’t eat anything after 9 pm the night before the checkup. I can only drink water. At the checkup, I first have to pee in a cup for a urine test. That’ll check for things like blood sugar level. Then they take a chest x-ray. After that, there’s height, weight, and measuring the waist. Then it’s on to blood pressure, hearing test, and checking eyesight. Finally, it’s a very brief talk with the doctor about any existing conditions, and listening to the heart and lungs.

If I was 35 or 40 and over, I’d also have to have an ECG and blood test.

If all goes well, I’ll be done quickly, but I can’t guarantee that. I’ll be glad when it’s done.

City Living: I Want to Be in a Forest

I live in the world’s largest metropolitan area, the Greater Tokyo area with a population of around 36 million people.  I’m near the southwestern part of it, but nearly everything around me city. There are farms not far from here, but they’re crisscrossed by roads, houses here and there, and never far from a convenience store.  Last week, I went hiking in Kamakura. Occasionally, I saw houses and buildings from high up on the hiking trail, but I felt more secluded than I’d felt in a very long time. I know a part of the trail (that we didn’t go on) that is completely closed off from the rest of the city. No sounds, no sign of civilisation. It’s in a forested valley with a small stream and absolutely peaceful.  Kind of like this viral video.

Nice, huh? I want to go to the real countryside and go walking in a real forest that’s actually not surrounded by a great metropolis. And there, I want to walk around, look at the trees, listen to the sounds of the birds, and have a nice relaxing time. That’s where I want to be right now.

Where do you want to be?

Energy, Why Have You Left Me?

Yesterday was the worst day for allergies so far this year.  Today looks pretty bad, too.  As a result, the medicine didn’t work at all.  I have been completely sapped of energy, too.  It’s possible I may have a cold at the same time.  I can’t tell, they’re so similar.  Today’s going to be fun.

I’d intended on doing some writing today, but just didn’t have the energy.  I’m also behind on replying to comments.  I’ll get caught up, don’t worry.  My fingers just don’t want to move very much at the moment.

Well, must get ready for work.

Things Making Me Go “Argh”

Having one of those nights.

1. My daughter has had a fever off and on over the past three days.  It’s pretty high tonight.  It has me worried sometimes, especially when remembering her hospitalisation last year after a febrile seizure and suffering from pneumonia.  Scary stuff.

2. Immigration headaches are argh-worthy.  CIC website says to use the latest Adobe Reader to view the new forms.  Adobe Reader is updated to the latest version.  So when I try to view the forms, all it says is to upgrade my Adobe Reader.  I try again, and it is the latest version.  The forms still don’t believe my fully updated Adobe Reader is a fully updated Adobe Reader.

3. Immigration wants me to provide them with 9 recent photos of each person in my family, accompanying and non-accompanying, with the size of 35mm x 45mm.  Accompanying what?  How vague is that?  Do they want two people in the same photo?  If so, that doesn’t seem to fit the photo specifications they want.  So unclear.  I really dislike unclear instructions on government forms.

4. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and this post on the Huffington Post.  This has been a problem for a while now, and every time I see something about the muzzling of Canadian scientists by the Canadian government, I want to shout at Stephen Harper that his policies on scientific research are making Canada the laughing stock of the world.  Our scientists can’t do their jobs properly because of this moron.  Yes, I called him a moron.  Environment Canada is being stripped of vital funding because, to him, profit is more important that trying to combat climate change.

Well, I gave you some stuff to discuss.  Comments very welcome!

Exercise’s Effects on the Mind

For the past five years, I’ve been a walker.  Not the zombie type, but someone who likes to go out for walks.  When I walk, I feel my mind is clear and I can think, especially if I’m somewhere more natural and away from people.

I started off exploring neighbourhoods, and I noticed I was becoming much more aware of my surroundings.  I was more alert to what was going on around me.  I then started challenging myself to long distance walks.  I regularly walk more than 10 km these days, but four years ago, I walked 35 km in one day.  It was incredible.  It was an eye-opening experience, and gave me a sense of adventure.  I saw places I’d have never seen if I didn’t walk.  But walking alone and walking with someone are completely different.  Walking with my wife, we tend to talk a lot more.  Walking by myself, I can get lost in my thoughts and I can clear away any stress I have.

Walking does something to my energy levels.  I have a lot more endurance and can walk for longer periods of time, but I’m still quite tired when I’m finished.  I want to sleep.  I don’t have any energy for anything else.  Running would do the same.  High energy cardiovascular exercises would drain me.

Last week, I started something a bit different.  I’m now doing strength exercises, the very simple push-ups and sit-ups.  I’m amazed at how much of the body is worked on during push-ups. To keep the body straight, the muscles in the back, stomach, hips, and legs are all given a workout.  I also noticed on day one that my arms felt dead.  It had been years since I’d done a push-up, and I realised how out of shape I am.  My arms felt weak for two days after the first session of push-ups.  But on the second session, which was two days after the first, it was easier.  And my arms didn’t feel rubbery.  I had my third session today, and while it was more strenuous, I feel fine now.

So, what does this do to my energy levels?  I’ve found that on the days I’ve done push-ups, I have more energy.  I feel more awake during the day.  I feel better.  Who knew doing a few minutes of push-ups would give you more energy, more alertness, and a much better feeling.

This is great for keeping my mind more alert, and this can only mean it’ll help me with my writing.  That’s right, exercise helps with writing, or at least the thought process.  I’m going to try to keep at it.

For another writer’s perspective, check out Shannon A. Thompson’s post here.

For those of you who write, do you find that exercise helps you?