A Little Crescent

It’s the last couple of days before the end of the year.  I’m trying to balance some last minute catch-up efforts for last year’s New Year’s resolutions, with my current health needs and situation.

The weather is pretty cold (38 degrees), but I took the pups out on the Capital Crescent trail for a bike ride and hike this morning.  We did 4 pretty flat miles on the bike and another 2 miles hiking with the birds along the creek, and I later biked alone to the library (another 2 miles round trip).  It was a pretty physically active day.

I’ve decided to set up a chart recording blood pressure, blood glucose, food intake (carbs, fat, calories, sodium and cholesterol) and exercise, so I can show the cardiology nurse when I see her.

I had 470 cals for breakfast, 25 g of fat, and 48 g of carb, 900 mg Na, and 45 mg of cholesterol.  And probably about the same for lunch with a steamed deer meat tamale and 1 cup of cooked rice, squash, and lentils.  Not too sure how this rates with expectations.  I guess I’m supposed to fast for dinner, but I’ll probably end up eating some tunafish and crackers.  A few days of recording and I should have something to show the medical people.

Update: Tallying everything up for the day (this was a relatively “good” day for me), I ended up with:

1445 calories, 167 g carb, 39 g fat, 104 mg cholesterol, and 2740 mg Na.

The sodium is high for someone with heart issues. The AHA recommends less than 1500 mg Na/ day.  I’m using a nonfat dressing for salads and this has quite a bit of Na/serving in it.  If I switched to something like olive oil, I would get more calories and less salt.  It’s a balance.  What is more of my problem right now: high sodium or weight?  I’m trying to find the data that links high sodium with heart disease, and also that which links BMI with heart disease to know which one empirically has the higher impact.  Both effects may be partially but not entirely mediated through hypertension.  My instinct right now is to treat weight as the more important factor since it also impacts mobility.  Being more mobile will help one to lower blood pressure through exercise which I do know will release natural vasodilators into the bloodstream (makes you turn red).  If I weren’t overweight, I would probably treat the Na as the more important factor, and use olive oil.  According to this study:

1) controlling blood sugars

2) controlling psychosocial stressors

3) controlling hypertension (obesity and salt)

4) controlling obesity

are important in the above order.  But this is likely to be true for the population as a whole, in other words for social interventions to improve the health of the population in general.  For any given individual, their individual genetics will play a role in the ranking of these factors.

I’m trying to plan a really long hike for New Year’s Day.

I spent a little bit of time trying to fix the hot water boiler.  The pilot light went out when the basement flooded.  I can’t get it to light, and am a little worried about opening the valve more to try to light it, although I did try this once in a low position.  Not sure how to proceed on this problem, except for boiling water in containers to bathe.

One of my main recent symptoms that I have since I have been here, is pretty severe numbing of my feet that exacerbates in a prone position.  It is worse on the right side.  I have started taking warm foot baths once or twice a day to increase the vascular perfusion to my feet.  I’ve always had a little neuropathy, but this seems different.  The foot baths seem to help.

In terms of finishing the year out:

1) Prepare for the annual energy audit.  Gas was low this year as I didn’t have a truck for the first 1/2 of the year, and then switched to a more fuel efficient vehicle, but no longer had a gas card.  Heating and cooling energy were higher, though.  I was indoors more, and spent the summer in Tx.

2) Pull together some more Greek words, for a last ditch effort to really learn some Greek.

3) Organize the bird calls and identify birds.  Write program for bird calls.

4) Some more anatomy with the programs.  Vessel work.  Kidney work.  Eye work.

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