Health

Variety List of a Dozen Things Learned During 2022

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Happy New Year to all,
Wishing all of us the best possible 2023.
drb

For all those who have read AgingWithPizzazz during other years, you probably know this is always one of my pet posts to prepare. As I have mentioned before, there is no rhyme or reason for entries, and hopefully it isn’t ALL I’ve learned during the past year. Yet, it’s fun to contemplate tidbits here and there. As always, I hope that you each find at least one piece of info that adds to your own knowledge base as well.

Before enumerating my dozen morsels, I have to share a thank you to those opening this post.

Our reading sources are often too much for us to entirely handle: news, magazines, online articles, social media posts, and innumerable forwarded jokes and comics. (Not all the same quality.) All this to say I realize that you have many choices; I remain thankful for the loyal readers I have.

Hopefully there will be at least one of my content posts this coming year that you will share with friends, family or others. It helps me help others to “Never Stop Learning.”

The word – and the idea – go back at least as far as 1895 (when it’s seen in the literature). Also, it wasn’t first seen in a publication from America, but from Great Britain. Hmmm. And here was me thinking it was a baby-boomer invention.

You may have noticed that the diagnosis for Parkinson’s disease has become very common. While Alzheimer’s is the most common neurological disease in seniors, Parkinson’s is the second most common. However, sometimes people are suffering with “essential tremors” and NOT Parkinson’s. Essential tremors are a neurological disorder, causing rhythmic shaking, especially of the hands when doing simple tasks. It often gets worse (or shows up) after 50, but can be lifelong. The interesting news is about discriminating between the two.  If there remains a real question about whether you have these tremors or Parkinson’s (and the question is not eliminated by your clinician, or decided by clinical signs), an MRI scan can differentiate between the two conditions.

We could all live without another type of terrorism. Still, we need to follow the language of our current environment. The word ‘stochastic’ technically means random in our daily life.  Admittedly, it’s not a word I’m accustomed to using. When combined with the idea of terrorism, it explains a terrible new situation in the US. According to Dictionary.com It is “the public demonization of a person or group resulting in the incitement of a violent act, which is statistically probable but whose specifics cannot be predicted.” Surely, we all wish we weren’t adding this to our collective vocabulary.

See the source image I doubt there are too many ideas for leftovers – especially if it’s a simple and quick idea. Here is one I read (and tried) this year. Turn leftover wine into a buttery sauce for fish or vegetables (or meat if you must 😊). To make beurre blanc, simmer a half cup of white wine with a half cup of white vinegar and two tablespoons minced shallots. As the liquid evaporates, so does the alcohol.

Cook until there’s just a couple tablespoons of liquid left, remove from heat and whisk in two tablespoons of cold butter. Add the remaining butter a tablespoon at a time (at least 1 stick total) over low heat. Season with salt and pepper. You can make beurre rouge by swapping in red wine and red wine vinegar. Also, some cooks use twice the butter. Now my test will be remembering this simple recipe.

Psilocybin is in the news in my state of Oregon, as it was on the ballot this past 2022 fall and was approved for treatment in several counties (disapproved in most). It’s used with increasing frequency in clinical facilities to treat addictions, depression and PTS in veterans and others. But what about ‘entheogen’, something I had never heard of.

Entheogen, also a chemical substance with a plant origin, shares the mood-altering properties of psilocybin. From my understanding, it is most often taken to produce a kind of out-of-body consciousness to reach higher levels of spiritual or religious contact. While more popular in other cultures, I assume we will continue to hear more about this chemical.

Know what it feels like to drive at 55 or 70 or maybe even 85 once in a while? It feels fast, right? Well imagine this. Underwater, a Tsunami can travel at (wait for it) over 500 mph. Knowing the force and size possible with these waves, it is just difficult to believe. And rather hard to envision as well. That’s nearly as fast as a jet airliner!

A friend who has been suffering with cancer also told me she had experienced a “thunderclap headache.” Well, I assumed that this was a lay-person’s term, or a descriptive feeling. Turns out it’s certainly a descriptive sensation, but it’s also a medical term. Since so many people describe it as striking suddenly like a ‘clap of thunder’ it has earned its name. While the pain (supposedly and hopefully) peaks within 60 seconds and then retreats, it sounds like the agony resembles the power of the thunderclap itself.

Luckily, this type of headache is uncommon, and not periodic like a migraine, but it can be a sign of life-threatening situations. The pain is dramatic, and other symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, fever, a seizure or an altered mental state of consciousness.

Causes aren’t clear. Sometimes there is nothing obvious. Or it could be caused by an aneurysm or tearing, bleeding, rupture of blood vessels or tissues of the brain or pituitary gland. Other possibilities include leakage of cerebrospinal fluid (especially around nerve roots of the spine), stroke, or infections like meningitis or encephalitis. A hypertensive “crisis” from a severe blood pressure spike may also contribute to it.

It IS scary (along with painful). And due to the seriousness of underlying causes, one should ALWAYS seek medical attention right away, even if the pain has totally subsided. However, I repeat an important descriptive word – UNCOMMON.

Since childhood, we have all learned that “no two snowflakes are alike.” Shocking. But almost as hard to believe is their leisurely speed of travel. From the time a snowflake is formed, until it hits the ground, it can take upwards of 45 minutes to an hour.

The cost of green onions rose quickly in 2022, and for a while they were actually hard to find. Ask Trader Joe’s. During that time, I learned a useful tip. It worked and it’s fairly quick, although following up with the extra step is always a question since the cost has come down. Still, here is what I learned.

Tip: Put the white ends of scallions in a jar of water (just enough to cover the roots), and they’ll regrow milder-tasting green onions in about a week.


A similar tip was about watering your fresh herbs.

To make them last longer, cut off the ends and refrigerate the bunch in a glass with a couple inches of water (like the green onions, or like flowers in a vase). They soak up water fairly quickly so keep an eye on them. I do something similar for carrot sticks and celery – not to make them last necessarily, but just to encourage wholesome eating. (When cut, and in the frig at eye level, you’d be surprised how often you think of them as a good alternative snack.)

Space tidbits are fun and hard to pass up. Admittedly, I have a hard time remembering them, so I am wowed once again when I re-read the same factoid. Here’s one more fun space fact. The moon is moving away from the Earth at a rate of approximately 4 cm per year. Additionally, Jupiter used to be closer to the sun – AND it is possible for ‘planet swapping’ to happen – where sun/stars swap planets in their orbit. Okay, my mind continues to be blown.

Did you notice that ‘Gaslighting’ was the “word of the year” according to Webster’s? It’s been around since the 1944 movie Gaslight, a psychological thriller (with Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, Joseph Cotton and Angela Lansbury). The idea is to grossly mislead someone with misinformation over time, especially for one’s own benefit. I suspect it is the word of the year relative to politics.

However, there’s another new twist this year – “Medical Gaslighting?”

“Maybe your depressed?” That’s a newer phrase for the now-less-acceptable statement that “it’s all in your head.” The latter is politically incorrect I suppose, and one reason why it’s only whispered behind one’s back, dismissing complaints as being “all in the patient’s head.”

“Medical gaslighting” describes the situation in which a medical provider blames a patient’s real and valid health complaint on stress, or emotional and psychological issues. It’s minimizing the risk or importance of a complaint, as well as the impact it has on the patient. While less frequent these days, there are still times the complaint is totally dismissed with that callous explanation that it’s “in the patient’s head.” It may not be deliberately mean or calculatingly harmful; most health care providers DO care deeply about their patients. Still, it can postpone good medical treatment or create more inflictions stemming from dismissal of the actual physiological body-mind connection.

I plan to cover more about this in another post this upcoming year. Mostly, because I think it’s vital for us all to safeguard ourselves with defensive armor against possible poor treatment.

Want to know what the result is of multiplying 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 ?
The answer is that it equals 12,345,678,987, 654,321

I started to check this one, but my calculator ran out of numbers; others have confirmed it’s accurate.  One reported that “Person who sent this to me said they checked it, BUT I just had to see for myself. Amazing. And True.” Maybe others will want to check.

Additionally, here’s something else.

Q. If you were to spell out numbers (like one, two, ten, fifty, one hundred), how far would you have to go until you would find the letter ‘A’?
A. One Thousand

For those who don’t know much about math or history, biology, science, algebra, trigonometry, I bet you still know all the words to sing along here.

It’ll be a nice way to start off the New Year.

https://youtu.be/t_MkCV_MkgE

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