Friday, April 12, 2024

Happy 20th Yoga-Versary!

Image by cheeseslave
via Creative Commons

I had a big anniversary hit in February, but I did not recognize it in any way because my husband was battling pneumonia that month. I'm ready to recognize it now. 

February marked my 20th Yogaversary! 

I started practicing yoga in February of 2004, and I have been attending classes or practicing at home fairly consistently for the past twenty years. 

Many of you know the benefits of yoga, but let me list the ones that I experience. I experience improvement in these areas of my mind-body: 

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Outlive: Book Review


Published 28 March 2023

Peter Attia writes a book that is a little too technical (statistics and biochemistry) for the lay reader, but I highly recommend it anyway. 


He promotes the idea that people can work on longevity much earlier in their lives by adopting healthy lifestyle choices decades before one becomes an older adult.  Many people wait until they have symptoms of chronic diseases before they make changes. 

Attia implores people to start decades early so that they can not just have a long life span but a long health span. 

Longevity runs in my family, but I do not want to spend the last 20 years of my life on the couch. 

Monday, March 4, 2024

The Book of Charlie: Book Review

Published 23 May 2023

While visiting my little rural library, I saw The Book of Charlie: Wisdom from the Remarkable American Life of a 109-Year-Old Man by David von Drehle, so I picked it up. 

von Drehle does not just chronicle the life of a centenarian; he spends about a third of his efforts contextualizing the events of Charlie White's life that spanned from 1905 to 2014.  While reading about Charlie's adventures, character, and achievements, von Drehle discusses national trends as well as those that were more regional (to the Midwest primarily) and some that were city specific (to St. Louis and Kansas City, for example). Because I lived for 8 years in Kansas and 7.5 years in SW Indiana (2 plus hours east of St. Louis), I was particularly interested in Charlie's years in those cities. 

We get to observe life on the frontier in the 1910s and 1920s, life during the Depression, war time service for WW1 and WW2, and the development of medical techniques that transformed medicine dramatically during Charlie's practice from the family doctor with the black bag making home visits with limited ability to intervene to Charlie performing state-of-the-art techniques for aesthesia. 

I liked von Drehle's technique of switching from the particular to the universal and back again.  Yes, Charlie participated in some trends and was influence by the Zeitgeist of several eras; however, he also was adventurous and innovative--having adventures (such as riding the rails and being an entrepreneur by being a doctor to an apartment building as well as plunging patients into newly purchased horse feeding troughs as a way to make open heart surgery possible).  

If you want a guided tour through 100 plus years of American history (with some overseas adventures here and there), ride along with Charlie as von Drehl narrates.


Books on Aging

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Breathing Aids: BIPAP, CPAP, and More


Michael in the ICU
February 2024

If you read the previous post, you know that my spouse was hospitalized for two weeks in early February of 2024 with a severe case of pneumonia.  He spent eight of those days in the intensive care unit at Utah Valley Regional Medical Hospital. He was attached to a variety of machines at the time: some of them were monitoring his vitals (heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation rate); some of them were giving him oxygen or fluids. 

While in the hospital, he received supplemental oxygen via three devices: 

Thankfully, he was never put on a ventilator. It is harder to wean a patient of a ventilator, and it interferes with eating, drinking, and talking.