Category: Health and fitness

Making masks more comfortable

Let’s stipulate that it’s important and respectful to continue wearing masks as long as the coronavirus is out there. I wear a mask because I should, not to align with a political position. Okay, that’s established. Now I can complain about masks. It’s harder to breathe wearing a mask. It’s harder to hear, and harder... Read more »

It’s true: tea is a wonder beverage

If marijuana is your preferred drug, glad that you can consume it legally in Illinois now. Mine is tea. I figured it was an excusable addiction even as my consumption grew over the years to a half-dozen or so cups a day. I never experienced caffeine jitters. When reports of tea’s health benefits came out,... Read more »

Well-liked Medicare plan vs. higher-ranked providers

Medicare Open Enrollment ends December 7. The easy choice is to stay with all-in-one Medicare Advantage instead of switching to Traditional Medicare plus a supplement and a drug plan. The hard one is whether to switch between Medicare Advantage plans, from a well-liked one to one accepted at a so-called top-10 hospital. Humana Gold Plus,... Read more »
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Vitamin D needs are bones of contention

Maybe you’ve heard reports that many people are now deficient in vitamin D, “the sunshine vitamin,” as we’ve tried to ward off skin cancer by staying out of the sun or wearing sunscreen. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Sunlight used to be our bodies’ main source of vitamin D, its ultraviolet rays... Read more »

Avoid going into hospital as observational

If you have the misfortune to stay overnight in a hospital bed, make sure you’re admitted to the hospital. A month ago that statement would have made no sense to me. How could you occupy a hospital bed without being admitted? In the last few weeks my mother spent three postsurgery nights in Presence St.... Read more »

Reading glasses were avoidable if I’d known

You’ve probably heard people say that they don’t need glasses at all after cataract surgery. I looked forward to the surgery for that reason yet didn’t question the ophthalmologist when he said beforehand that I would still need reading glasses. In the last day I’ve done more research to write this blog post than before... Read more »
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Could worry, could deny memory loss. Or could just pay attention.

You’ve probably heard this example of how to tell dementia from a brain blip: If you can’t find the keys, it’s a brain blip. If you can’t remember what the keys are for, it’s dementia. Would that all examples were that clear. I’ve done a couple of things playing Scrabble that seemed really weird. The... Read more »

Dressing warmly next winter

This winter of record-breaking lows put our cold-weather dressing skills to the test. We all know the drill: layers, hat, scarf, gloves or mittens, insulated boots with good tread. I usually follow it pretty well but still felt cold here and there on exceptionally frigid days.   • If I didn’t wear a scarf over... Read more »

When insurance will pay, why not?

Last week I wrote about a misunderstanding with an audiologist at the office that sold me hearing aids three years ago. When the hearing aids came back from a factory check, she asked me to get a referral from my primary care physician. I thought that was because the devices needed reprogramming; she thought I... Read more »
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Wandering in the health insurance maze

We all have stories to tell about hassles with medical practitioners and insurance companies. Stop reading if you don’t want to hear someone else’s. Humana Gold Plus, a Medicare Advantage HMO, has mostly served me well. It even paid $2,000 toward hearing aids. Those hearing aids caused a recent annoyance — not with them but... Read more »