Browse Month: April 2017

The Stress Factor

Cardiologist who worked with me a couple of months ago wrote that, “The biggest killer of men over fifty is ‘freaking ourselves out’.”

Stress. Kills more men over fifty than any other preventable condition. Obesity, obviously, is increasing in the population and will soon supercede other causes of death.

Obesity and stress, especially in combination, are already the biggest killers for women. Nearly all women with a BMI greater than 34 after their 40th birthday will be dead before their 60th birthday.

It’s becoming clear that, within just a couple years, obesity will be the leading cause of death for people older than forty-five. Obesity is “the new smoking” epidemic. It has already surpassed smoking, as a leading cause of death, by nearly 300% !!! That’s a 3x increased risk of death, over and above the risk from smoking, perpetrated by the new American “obese lifestyle”.

Heart Health update

My Cardiac Ejection Fraction (EF%) has now fallen to a point where it can no longer be measured in an echocardiogram. We can measure it accurately with the Nuclear Medicine scan but that’s an expensive test and it’s sort of a moot point. The cardiologist estimates my EF is somewhere around 5-6%.

My last CPX was good, though, and the internal pressures in my heart – measured during surgery last year – were pretty good.

I was at elevation yesterday, though, down in the Magdalena Mountains, and had some definite troubles above 7k feet. Dizziness, mainly, and developed a bad headache. I don’t really believe I have lost a thousand feet of elevation-tolerance; but I am certainly not handling rapid elevation changes as well as I was last Summer.

Regardless I’ve packed up my climbing boots and trail shoes, and plan to go camp/play in the mountains for the next week. I’ll do totally primitive in the Malpais for two nights, then head into the high country around Quemado where there are lots of good camping areas.

I will FINALLY get to see the Walter De Maria lightning farm, though it’s too early in the season to see much in the way of lightning.

But then I plan to go way South into the true Chihuahuan Desert, much lower elevation, where I’ll be “hot and full of breath”! Hehe.