Archive for the ‘health’ Category

Blisters

April 19, 2011

I am preparing to participate in my very first 24 hour run.  I have run regularly for years, completing distances of up to 10 miles.  I thought that since I was upgrading the distance significantly that I should upgrade my shoes as well.  I went to a local store that specialized in running equipment and purchased the shoes that they recommended in the size that they suggested, which was a size larger than I normally purchase.

In over thirty years of running, I have never had problems with my feet.  These new shoes have been a challenge.  At first they caused soreness in my arches.  Now that has gone away but I am getting blisters on my left foot.  The good news is that my knees, hips and back: which have sometimes hurt,  are doing well.

I hope my feet adjust soon, the date of the run is quickly approaching.

Advertisements

24 Hour Run

April 11, 2011

Well, I did it.  I have signed up for a 24 hour run.  This does not mean that I have to run for 24 hours, but that I will have 24 hours to complete as many laps as possible on a 400 meter track.  This will be done by a combination of running and walking.  (Actually, they permit crawling as well, but I hope it doesn’t come to that!)  A friend of mine from church has participated in this event for 22 consecutive years.  It’s his fault!  Actually, this past winter I was on a 10 mile run on an inside track when the idea of participating came into my mind and wouldn’t go away.

I just want to give it a try.

I am also going to use it as a fundraiser for the Chi Alpha group that I work with at the college.  I will seek people who will sponsor me per mile completed.  My goal is 100 kilometers, which is about 62 miles.   I have upped my weekly mileage, bought some new shoes, and am looking forward to the experience.

I’m actually kind of excited about it.

A Healthy Heart

January 27, 2011

Last fall I passed out while spending a day shopping with my wife and some friends.  No, it was not the prices!  After I came to, I was checked out by the medical personal who said that I was stable enough to be driven to the hospital by private vehicle.  I spent the night in the hospital.  There did not appear to be anything wrong with me so they released me, but told me to follow-up with my physician.

My doctor sent me for a stress test.  It was borderline abnormal.  After that there were additional tests, visits to the cardiologist and finally some medication was prescribed and my activities were somewhat restricted.

It turns out that my hearts electrical system had been knocked off by some form of “trigger”  It took the medication to help my heart’s system to reset.  My heart has been pronounced healthy once again. No more drugs, no restrictions, life has returned to normal.

Thank you God, and thank you doctors, and thanks to all who prayed for me.

God and Modern Medicine

December 7, 2010

A few months ago,  I made the comment to a friend that “Modern medicine hadn’t done anything for me.”

That has changed.

After months of tests and appointments, I have been placed on medicine for my heart.

I started to feel better within hours.  It has been four days now and I can say with confidence that the medicine appears to be doing its’ job.  The symptoms that had been concerning me have pretty well disappeared.

One little pill, twice a day.  It is a good thing.

I also acknowledge all the prayers that have been said on my behalf.  I am profoundly thankful, that all that is needed at this time is a little medicine, and that there are no side effects at this time.  I believe that God is able to work supernaturally, but that at times He works through doctors and modern medicine.  We pray, we seek medical attention when necessary, and we pray some more.  We recognize that all healing is a gift of God, whether it comes through the laying on of hands, or a little pill.

Syncope

October 18, 2010

I had a new experience the other day.  It is called a syncope episode.  Basically, it means that I blacked out.  My wife and I were out shopping with friends.  I started to feel a little sick to my stomach and sat down on a bench.  Then I passed out.  My head tipped back, my eyes and mouth remained open, my arms and legs went out straight, my face turned gray,  and I was unresponsive for what seemed a long time, but was probably less than a minute.  My wife and friends thought that I had died on the spot.

I didn’t die.  I had a very pleasant dream about a shopping experience with friends.  Then there was an unknown lady yelling in my face.  I sat up, shook my head and the world came back into focus.  I was cold, clammy, and sweating profusely.    911 had been called, the police and EMT checked me out and declared that I was stable enough for personal transport.  I spent the night at the hospital.  My vitals, blood work and EKG’s were all normal so they sent me home, telling me that I could resume normal activities, but that I should follow-up with my personal physician.

Normal will not be quite what it used to be.  Syncope can be caused by a variety of things.   Since they do not know what caused it, how do I know that it is better?

I thank God for today.

This experience has vividly reminded me of how important it is to appreciate what we have in this moment, because in the blink of an eye, this life could be over.

Be Careful Who You Follow

September 21, 2010

Yesterday as I was running out in the country a large dog came running up to me.  The dog appeared friendly, just an overgrown pup, much like our dog at home.  As I continued to run, I extended my hand down by my side so that the dog could get my smell.  The dog smelled my fingers, then licked them, then put her mouth on them.  So here I am, fingers all slobbered up, digits still inside the dog’s mouth, still running down the gravel road.   The dog decided that I was ok and went to running down the road ahead of me.  When I reached my turn-around point, he turned with me and ran back towards his house.  As I passed by the dog’s house I hoped that the dog would be tired of this adventure and return home.

Nope.

The dog continued to run with me for about two miles down the gravel road.  As I approached a highway that I was going to run down I became concerned for the dog, not that he couldn’t find his way back, but because of the heavier traffic on the road ahead.  I tried yelling at him to go home, but he just ran faster away from me in the direction of the highway.  He wandered off to check out a pond, but came after me as I passed.  Eventually, I stopped and walked back in the direction of the dog’s house.  The dog turned around and again ran past me, into the lead position in our new direction.  As we passed an implement dealer, I ducked into the parking area and got behind some equipment.  The dog did not notice at first, and did not come back.  I assume that he returned to his home.   I was able to continue after that without the dog running with me.

The dog might have been all right on the side of the highway, but I would have felt bad if it had been hit by a car.  It’s not my dog, but I felt a bit of responsibility because it was following me.  (Actually, he stayed ahead of me.)

We should be careful who we follow.  We might, unwittingly,  find ourselves in dangerous places.

Reduced to Walking

June 23, 2010

Monday I went out for my ten-mile run.  I attempt a ten-mile run every other week.  I had thought that I might have to run inside because there had been a thunderstorm, put it passed, and I decided to run outdoors. Running outside is greatly preferable to running around a small track that takes fourteen laps to get a mile. 

The only problem is that the sun came out.

Then it got hot.

And muggy.

When I was young, I loved to run on hot, sunny days.

I am not so young anymore.

By the time I reached the turn-around point I realized that it wasn’t going to happen that day.  Only once before, while on a run,have I stopped running and walked.  The remaining five miles I alternated running and walking.  I did manage to complete the course. 

The reason that I had been reduced to walking is that I was concerned about heat issues. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke should be taken seriously.  I do know the symptoms and slowed to a walk when I started to become a little light-headed.   Apparently, I still have sense enough to know when to quit, or at least, to slow down.   I had also marked where there were bodies of water available to douse myself in, if the symptoms became more serious.   I also have the foresight to tell the person working at the gym counter when I should be back, and when to become concerned.   I was back before that time ran out.

Life is like a run.  Sometimes we attempt to do more than we are able to accomplish.  It is important, whether in running, or in life, to know when it is time to make adjustments.  When we can press through, when it is time to walk, and when we should just stop.

Determined, Stubborn or Crazy?

June 8, 2010

As I was out for a run yesterday the thought came to me, “Am I able to complete these runs because I am determined, stubborn or crazy?”

Determination is a good quality.  The ability to remain committed to a task and see it to completion is an important character trait.  I would like to think that I am determined, that I do not give up easily, that I will stay the course. 

stubbornness is the unwillingness to change your mind, or your actions even when it becomes obvious that you are wrong.  You do not listen to other opinions or try other actions because surely you are already right.  You don’t want to admit being wrong, nor are you willing to accept defeat.  The line between determined and stubborn can be a little blurry at times.  The difference is that determination is correctly placed, while stubbornness is determination misplaced, or placed on an incorrect action.

So what is crazy?  We slip past stubbornness, and into craziness when we fail to recognize that our actions are causing significant damage.  We think that we are right, we think that we are being constructive, while actually we are destroying the very thing that we are trying to build.  That is crazy.

I would like to think that in my life  I am determined.

I will admit that I can be stubborn.

I might even occasionally be, just a little bit, crazy.

A New Ride

April 15, 2010

Since last summer, I have been doing triathlon training.  That means that twice a week I do a combination swim, bike, and run.  It has been going fairly well, and it has helped to lower my cholesterol to acceptable levels.

The bicycle that I have been using is a Schwinn Traveler, manufactured, I think, in the seventies.  I bought it at a garage sale for five dollars, six or seven years ago.  It works fine as far as I am concerned.

A friend of mine, who works at the gym, is an avid bicycle rider.  He has been telling me from the beginning that I needed a better bike.  I would laugh and tell him that mine worked fine, he could look for one for me, but it would have to be in my budget, which was very low.

Yesterday, as I am doing my weight routine, he comes in with a name and a number for me to call.  He thinks that he has found a bike for me.  It is listed for forty dollars, which is within my budget.  I called the man,and went to look at the bike.  As I am looking at the bike, the man tells me that he had bought it at a garage sale and that he just didn’t like it.  He must have thought that I was hesitating, because he offered to take thirty dollars for it.

Sold.

The bike is a Trekker 520.  I brought it back to show my friend from the gym, who informed me that I do not realize how good a bike I have just bought. He has helped people look for things before, but this is the best deal he’s found for someone.  I laughingly asked him how many pastors he has previously helped.  

He is right about me not yet truly appreciating the quality of the bike.  I don’t know very much about them.  He had to tell me how to put air in the tires.  (They are not standard tubes or nozzles.)  I will take it for a ride a little later this morning.  

I thank God that I have been blessed with a great bike for my new ride.

The Health of My Generation

April 14, 2010

Have you seen the television commercial with Michelle Obama advocating for our childrens’ health?  She encourages us to set a better example of proper diet and active lives.  She states that our current generation of children might be the first generation to not live as long as their parents.

I suspect that could be wrong.

When I first came here to pastor, I always got a kick out of an older gentleman that attended the church.  He would always look at the obituaries first, “to make sure my name wasn’t listed” he would say.  Actually, he was checking to see if any of the many people that he knew in the area had recently died.  He was at that age when many of his friends were passing on.

Maybe it’s my age showing, but I have started checking the obituaries myself.  I am sometimes surprised at the number of people in their forties, and fifties, and early sixties who are passing away.

I wonder if it is my generation that will be the first to not live longer than their parents.  After all, we grew up on television and fast food.  Less activity, more calories; it’s not a good thing.

If we don’t want to find ourselves listed in the wrong part of the paper, we should be making better choices on diet and lifestyle, not just to set an example for our children and grandchildren, but for the sake of our own health.