A Bloody Update

blood-donation-gb83f8f3c9_640As promised, albeit a bit late, here is the update on my blood donation, which took place on March 14th.

It was definitely a unique experience, but not at all unpleasant. A bit time-consuming — but then at my age, I’m rarely fettered by a calendar full of appointments! 😁

Later that same day, I received my Blood Donor “app,” which included the results of my “COVID-19 Antibody Test.” I was very happy to see that I was “Reactive+” — indicating my “antibody levels were detected at levels high enough that my plasma could be used as convalescent plasma.”

(YES!! The COVID vaccines were working!)

Then on April 14th, I received an email message that said my “blood donation was sent to Trios Southridge Hospital in Kennewick, WA to help a patient in need.”

How cool!!

I’ve been notified that I’m eligible to donate again on the 9th of this month. I’m planning to make an appointment … and hope to make this event a regular part of my “busy” schedule.

To those who commented on my last post that you “used to” give blood and are considering it again … I hope you followed through! It’s a worthy thing to do.

The Price of Progress

microplasticsFrom The Brussel Times

What is happening in our bodies?

This is a question asked in an article published by The Guardian entitled, “Microplastics found in human blood for first time.”

The lead sentence states:

Microplastic pollution has been detected in human blood for the first time, with scientists finding the tiny particles in almost 80% of the people tested.

I think most all of us are aware of the “plastics” problem that exists throughout the world (“microplastics now contaminate the entire planet”) and that it is increasing daily. But now they’re discovering plastic in the human body!

According to the article, researches are concerned because …

microplastics cause damage to human cells in the laboratory and air pollution particles are already known to enter the body and cause millions of early deaths a year.

The big question being asked is … are the microplastic levels high enough to trigger disease?

Apparently, babies are particularly susceptible because so many are fed from plastic bottles. But adults are not immune since much of today’s food and drink is packaged in PET plastic. In fact, according to the article, even plastic carrier bags can be unsafe.

The research is ongoing and it is a pioneering study, but one that is vital to our health since “Plastic production is set to double by 2040.”

As we consider the ramifications of the study, it’s a bit unnerving since so much of today’s food and drink is packaged in plastic. Nearly gone are the days of glass packaging — and even many items that used to be packaged in cans are now in plastic containers.

One wonders if the price of progress is really worth it in the long run.

It’s The Bloody Truth!


To many of you, this may be old hat … but I just made my first-ever appointment to donate blood!

Yeah. At my age this is my first time. Sad, isn’t it?

What prompted the action at this stage of the game? Well, last night I was talking with my daughter (who lives in California) and she mentioned she has been donating white blood cells (quite lucratively, I might add). Since this was something I’d never heard of before, I consulted today with my friend Google. In the process, I came across the American Red Cross website and … well, the rest is history.

By the way, how many of you know about donating white blood cells? Am I really behind-the-times and it’s comparatively common? Or are some of you also in the dark? (BTW, my friend explained it quite well.)

Anyway, my appointment is on March 14th. I’ll try to remember to report back and share my experience. (Especially since I know my readers will be intensely interested! 😊)

P.S. In case you might be wondering, I’m Type B Positive.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

How Safe Are You?


Unfortunately, I had to make a second trip to the hospital this past week — a reoccurrence (sort of) of the problem I dealt with back in June. This time there were signs of infection so the recoup time has been a bit longer. Nevertheless, the old body is slowly bouncing back and I should be back to full-tilt very soon.

Of course then I will –once AGAIN!– have to deal with the financial pains. 😖

Anyway, the message of this post is not about me, but rather something I wonder how many others have thought about.

As has been covered ad nauseum in the news, as well as on the internet, many refuse to wear masks or get vaccinated against COVID-19. OK. I’m not going to rehash the pros and cons … or offer my input on the degree of stupidity involved.

Rather, I’d like to comment on something that I don’t think many have considered. I know I didn’t.

It’s been pointed out that many healthcare providers –including hospital workers– have been on the “Anti” bandwagon. Yes, they’re required to wear masks during their working hours, but as a hospital inpatient, how does one know if the people who are tending to your needs have taken that extra precautionary step and been vaccinated? In other words, are you truly safe as they push needles, take readings, help you down the hallway to the “loo,” etc? 

I’m fully vaccinated and I do have trust in the viability of this action. However, in a hospital situation with “Anti” folks looking after you — and where one’s overall health is/may be compromised — do the chances of a breakthrough infection increase? Certainly, the hospital environment is believed to be comparatively “risk free,” but considering it is the people who are tending to your needs, how safe are you … really?

Why Obesity?


Do you believe that obesity is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended? If you do, then you’re in agreement with the long standing conclusion of obesity science, which revolves around the balance principle, i.e., “People get fat because they take in more calories than they expend. They stay lean when they don’t.”

Or perhaps you might agree with the philosophy that was popular in the decades between the World Wars that … “some people are born predisposed to accumulate excess fat just as some are predestined to grow tall.”

According to this article, you would be mistaken on both counts. 

The article author writes that he would have agreed with the balance principle “if the prevalence of obesity had not risen relentlessly for the past half century — along with type 2 diabetes” to the extent that is has become the dominant non-Covid health crisis of our time. 

That’s why he and 16 other academic researchers put together a report in September 2021 entitled, The carbohydrate-insulin model: a physiological perspective on the obesity pandemic. In the Abstract of the report it is noted thus:

According to a commonly held view, the obesity pandemic is caused by overconsumption of modern, highly palatable, energy-dense processed foods, exacerbated by a sedentary lifestyle. However, obesity rates remain at historic highs, despite a persistent focus on eating less and moving more, as guided by the energy balance model (EBM). Conceptualizing obesity as a disorder of energy balance restates a principle of physics without considering the biological mechanisms that promote weight gain. An alternative paradigm, the carbohydrate-insulin model (CIM), proposes a reversal of causal direction.

(NOTE: At the time of this blog post, only the abstract is available.) 

These researchers argue that the energy-in/energy-out conception of weight regulation is fatally, tragically flawed … that obesity is not an energy balance disorder, but a hormonal or constitutional disorder.

In other words, “people don’t get fat because they eat too much, consuming more calories than they expend, but because the carbohydrates in their diets — both the quantity of carbohydrates and their quality — establish a hormonal milieu that fosters the accumulation of excess fat.”

As many have noted, along with the article’s author, obesity in the U.S. has risen over the past several years. In fact, more than 40% of Americans live with it today as compared to 12% sixty years ago. What has caused this dramatic rise? Is it nature or nurture? Is it behavior or physiology? 

Another website related to this topic asks the question: “Is Obesity a Disease?” and provides some Pro and Con arguments where …

Proponents contend that obesity is a disease because it meets the definition of disease; it decreases life expectancy and impairs the normal functioning of the body; and it can be caused by genetic factors.

Opponents contend that obesity is not a disease because it is a preventable risk factor for other diseases; is the result of eating too much; and is caused by exercising too little.

And finally, this article provides a look at 10 foods that overweight people regularly eat.

If you are one of the fortunate individuals who has never experienced problems with weight gain, then none of this information may be relevant. But since statistics indicate MANY people do have regular battles with the bathroom scales, such information may very well be eye-opening.

Image by Memed_Nurrohmad from Pixabay