Category: Health and fitness

More affordable hearing aids coming

The Hearing Loss Association of America expects that by the end of the year, the Food and Drug Administration will allow sales of over-the-counter hearing aids. Adults with mild to moderate hearing loss will be able to buy hearing aids without going to a hearing professional. OTC hearing aids should be mostly a good thing... Read more »

First swimming lessons at 73

One in five Americans say they can’t swim, according to the Red Cross. The next level up (barely swim?) is where I was. I had never had lessons but taught myself to float, tread water, backstroke, and manage a couple of weak freestyle strokes. For some reason, it’s embarrassing to not swim, almost up there... Read more »

Is it normal to forget the day?

I was sitting comfortably in my reading chair one morning, my cat Fanny on my lap, my phone off. At around 10:35, I suddenly jumped up, toppling Fanny. It had occurred to me that it was Friday and that a Zoom call with my mother was scheduled for 9:30 and online Scrabble with my friend... Read more »

Caffeine and tea: it’s complicated

Every so often, I think that I should cut back on caffeine. The Food and Drug Administration recommends a limit of 400 milligrams a day. The problem for tea drinkers is difficulty figuring out how many milligrams of caffeine we consume. Counting milligrams of caffeine in tea is not as simple as consulting the label... Read more »

Shed the mask, get a cold

Illinois lifted its mask mandate on February 28. On March 9 I came down with a cold. Guess I’m being punished for support of lifting the mandate — although masks were intended as protection against COVID-19, not a cold. (A COVID test was negative.) Although scientists have not come to a consensus about masks’ effectiveness... Read more »

Nearly certain diagnosis wasn’t good enough

I suppose a moral of this story is that if doctors say that there’s a great likelihood of cancer, don’t fold.     Last week my family was told that a CT scan showed a large mass on our mother’s bladder. “I’m more than 90 percent certain it’s malignant,” a urologist told me at the... Read more »

When friends disagree about safe behavior

Among everything to lament about COVID-19, what’s bothering me now is its impact on friendships. Not friendships that became dormant, but frIendships where we don’t agree about safe behavior. I feel defensive when very vigilant people say that it’s foolish for Illinois to ease up on restrictions. Some of those people are my friends. It... Read more »

Time for annual review of Medicare choices

It may be inconsistent for a liberal who supports a government-funded healthcare plan to opt for a private company’s Medicare Advantage plan, but it goes to show that personal interest wins out. Medicare Advantage saves me hundreds of dollars a year. Medicare Open Enrollment for 2022 continues until December 7. After reviewing my options, I’ll... Read more »

Time to get serious about heart-friendly foods

It didn’t worry me that my total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol numbers were borderline high for a long time. I don’t have other risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, obesity, and lack of exercise. I haven’t eaten meat for 46 years. My doctors never expressed concern. I chalked test results... Read more »

Looking for the right dentist

By retirement age, many people want to have established relationships with healthcare providers. I’m changing both my doctor and my dentist — one by choice, the other because she retired. Switching to a Rush Health physician makes sense: Rush has a spanking new clinic a half-mile from me, and it now accepts my Medicare Advantage... Read more »