Showing posts with label Well-being. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Well-being. Show all posts

How to Contribute to Society Through Self-Interest - An Inquiry and Examples

Latest update: January 1, 2024. Page URL indicates original publication date; meanwhile, times change and the updates continue.

An alternate title for this page could be How Self-Interest Can Benefit and Contribute to Society. It is easier to contribute to society than one thinks. As an example, anyone who has an honest job is contributing to society. Another example, anyone who is raising children is contributing to society.

Do you own your own business or are otherwise self-employed? Then you are contributing to society. When people are willing to pay you for an honest product or service; then by definition, you are providing a product or service that people want or need. That is contributing to society.

Basically, when one performs any action that helps another person with their business of living or their quality of life, that is all that it takes to contribute to society.

Working for a living or raising children are not the only ways to contribute to society. Going to school? Doing anything that improves self also improves society.

Nature was designed, and designed us, to only think of ourselves and to kill and steal to survive; this is otherwise known as the law of the jungle and is engraved into our DNA and there is no way around it. It is the reality that was created and in which we are forced to live. Yet, somehow and someway, we designed a civilization that acknowledged that fundamental design of reality and invented a way to circumvent it.

We designed a society whereas doing things in our own self-interest results in our contributing to society. We work at jobs and careers to survive and prosper. The result of that work provides products and services to others, thus contributing to society.

We found a way to do the opposite of how nature and reality was originally structured. Instead of surviving by hurting/killing and taking from others; we survive by helping and giving to others. The inventing of such a society really does have to qualify as the greatest invention of humankind.

The True Purpose and Simple Meaning of Life

Contribute to society and enjoy yourself while doing it. How to do that? As one is growing up, one almost always finds or discovers an area of knowledge that is of interest to them. Very likely there are jobs, careers, and business opportunities within that area of interest or knowledge. That is pretty much all there is to it. Simply pursue your dreams within that framework. You will be doing something that you enjoy and contributing to society in the process. And do pick a career you love; you will be competing with those who do.

A Side Note. There are plenty of other ways to contribute to society, both obvious and not so obvious. Comments in that regard are appreciated.

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Ultraviolet Light Examples and Protecting Your Vision - List of Things That Reflect or Emit UV

Latest update: April 11, 2023. Page URL indicates original publication date; meanwhile, times change and the updates continue.

Another Summer Approaches...

The Sun in Ultraviolet Light

It is fairly common knowledge ultraviolet light destroys vision and causes blindness over time. The effects of ultraviolet light are cumulative. How well you protect your eyes when younger will directly affect your vision as you become older. All information on this page has been derived from federal websites, studies, research, archives, etc.

Sources That Emit Ultraviolet Light Rays - Never Look Directly at Them

  • Some halogen, fluorescent, and incandescent lights (found everywhere). Yep, not a good idea to stare directly at any light bulb for long periods of time.
  • Mercury vapor lighting (often used in stadiums and school gyms)
  • Specifically designed UV lights found at many nightclubs
  • Tanning booths 
  • Some types of lasers
  • Sun

Sources That Reflect Ultraviolet Light Rays

  • Pavement
  • Cement, e.g., sidewalks
  • Water
  • Snow
  • Grass
  • Sand
  • Moon (Earth's atmosphere filters out most of it)
  • Pretty much anything white in sunlight
  • Aluminum and aluminum-based coatings
From an astronomical point of view, NASA has an interesting page about ultraviolet light at Tour of the Electromagnetic Spectrum - Ultraviolet Waves.

Environmental Factors Affecting Ultraviolet Exposure

This federal website explains these factors best: FDA direct sub-page. Detailed information for:
  • Geography
  • Altitude
  • Time of year
  • Time of day
  • Weather conditions
The relevant segment is located a little over halfway down their page. Most of it is pretty obvious, though clouds and shade do not protect one as much as people think. UV rays are usually most intense from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

The Obvious as to Contacts, Prescription Glasses, Sunglasses and UV Exposure

As everyone who needs their vision corrected knows, we are always offered a UV light protection coating for our lenses when buying glasses; I always agree to it. Folks who wear contacts are given the same option; the contacts are made of a material that absorbs the ultraviolet light part of the spectrum; however, it should be remembered that the contact does not cover the entire eye.

Wearing sunglasses without UV protection is worse than wearing no glasses at all and can even be dangerous; the eyes can be fooled into dilating, causing maximum and damaging exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Here is an eye-opening (so to speak) article by NASA: Ultraviolet-Blocking Lenses Protect, Enhance Vision. The NASA article is a little off-topic, but the message is clear; do spend whatever time, money, and effort necessary to be sure the sunglasses you buy actually do their job. The wrong sunglasses could ultimately subtract years of vision from your life; or at minimum, cause severe problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts. One really does not want to experience retina injections and/or cataract surgery in their later years.

Ultraviolet Light Phobia

Almost last, but not least. One should not decide to be phobic concerning UV rays. The body needs ultraviolet light to manufacture the vitamin D3 necessary in order to stay healthy.

In-Depth, Scientific Research and Studies of Environmental Ultraviolet (UV) Reflectance

For the science and tech oriented, there is the lengthy article: Ultraviolet Radiation Albedo and Reflectance. If so inclined, be prepared to set aside an hour or two.

[An Update]

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are buying and using unregulated UVC light devices for disinfection purposes. The FDA is now warning that these unregulated UVC devices can cause eye damage and skin burns. If you are considering buying such a device, here is a cautionary article from CNET: UVC wands kill viruses. They're also a 'major safety issue,' experts warn.

[An Update]

As recently as two days ago, there are research reports definitively stating that ultraviolet LED lights kill the COVID-19 virus. These lights are only to be used where they are not visible, e.g. inside ventilation systems, etc. This research has not been reported in mainstream media; my guess is that it was generally decided it would cause a repeat of August or worse.

[An Update]

Other than the usual advisory concerning summer, not much new to report.

[An Update]

Here is a ncbi/nlm/ page that explains exactly what is happening with UV light, your eyes, your glasses and UV/blue filters: Spectral Evaluation of Eyeglass Blocking Efficiency of Ultraviolet/High-energy Visible Blue Light for Ocular Protection. Here is an excerpt: ...ultraviolet radiation ranging from 100 to 400 nm is harmful to the retina, whereas the visible spectrum of light from 400 to 700 nm is relatively safe. ... The earth's atmosphere absorbs almost all of ultraviolet C (100 to 280 nm) and most of ultraviolet B (280 to 315 nm) light. Ultraviolet A (315 to 400 nm), visible light (380 to 760 nm), and infrared (>760 nm) are able to reach the earth's surface. ...<end excerpt>

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Description of Retina Needle-in-Eye Procedure - A Patient's Experience and Perspective

Latest update: February 11, 2024. Page URL indicates original publication date; meanwhile, times change and the updates continue.

Here is the actual process of what happens during the AMD retina needle injection treatment from a patient's point of view. Includes before, during, and after.

This page is written by a patient for the purpose of alleviating other patient's fears and concerns associated with that first needle injection in the eye, retina treatment.

Description includes what happens before, during, and after the procedure; as well as what to expect the next day or two afterward. This is a patient's description and does not give medical advice, though things the doctors office said are reported and a couple of government website resources are included.

This was a whole new experience for me and as a side note, I had no idea what to expect; so I decided to get the grocery store trip and all other chores done beforehand. Turned out to be the wise thing to do. One is not going to really feel like doing much of anything for the next few days after treatment.

Wet Macular Degeneration and the Needle in the Eye Injection Treatment; Overall Procedure Description and Side Effects

A Quick Introduction

As a patient, I just had this done to me. Here is a description of the actual treatment, procedures involved, and the experiences before, during, and after. These are my own, personal experiences, your results may vary. It should also be mentioned there are needle-in-the-eye, retina injection treatments for diseases other than AMD and different stages of AMD and also there are different medicines that are used; so what the retina specialist informs/instructs you may be different than what the retina specialist informed/instructed me.

The Actual Eye Needle Injection

Since the purpose of this page is to eliminate as soon as possible the dread concerning what you are wondering will happen and the expected pain involved, I am starting with the description of the actual needle retina injection first. It is good news. The before and after descriptions follow.
  • Sedatives may have been offered to you earlier.
  • You will sit down in a somewhat reclining chair.
  • A very small needle may be injected in probably a hand vein, purpose being to inject a dye to assist the doctor when viewing your eye(s) yet again. It was barely a pinprick, over within just a few seconds.
  • The doctor will inform you he will not be putting the needle in your eye until he tells you he is ready to do so. In other words, you won't have to sit/lie there wondering when it is going to happen.
  • Yet more eye drops will be put in your eye(s) and the doctor will be looking into your eyes with bright lights yet again.
  • There will be a burning feeling in your eyes. The burning will get worse; but then subsides.
  • Your eyes will be watering all over the place, don't worry about it.
  • The doctor and assistant will be wearing surgical masks. No one is supposed to do any unnecessary talking, including you
  • The doctor will place a small device on your eye, purpose being so you don't blink during or immediately after the injection.
  • The doctor will inform you he is ready to make the injection and will instruct you to look in a certain direction and to concentrate on looking in that direction.
  • By now, the eye drops have made your eye totally numb.
  • The injection will be in the side of the eye, not the front.
  • You won't see the needle.
  •  You won't feel the needle.
  • The needle will be in and out before you even know what happened.
  • The very small hole the needle created seals itself almost immediately.
So basically, there's discomfort during the process, but you don't have to be concerned as to the pain aspect. The bark of the concept is worse than the bite of the actual event. Speaking of discomfort, there will be some of that before and after the injection as well. What follows is about the before and after experiences. As with the needle injection, knowing what to expect will pretty much remove the stress factor. 

The Doctor Visit Before the Eye Needle Injection Visit

The usual chart exam, the usual other tests, the doctor doing the usual dilating and looking into your eyes with the bright lights, the usual picture taking, and whatever other tests might be called for. I only mention this because one might have the false impression that everything has been taken care of and only the eye injection remains when you go to your next appointment; such is not the case. They are only getting started.

The Eye Injection Visit Procedures Before the Actual Needle Injection Is Done

Sedatives may be available. You will be subjected to more eye drops, more tests, more bright lights, more eye pictures (dozens?), more technicians/doctors shining more bright lights in your eyes than you can imagine. You will also be bombarded with all sorts of important information during this entire process. By the time it is time for the actual needle injection, you will be a pretty much confused, disoriented, temporarily light-and-eye-drop-blinded mess. You will be guided into the eye injection room.

[The actual injection procedure is described earlier,
right after the quick intro in case you missed it.]

After the Eye Needle Injection Procedure and Side Effects

I somehow ended up back at the front desk. I was handed a piece of paper and told it was my next appointment; Since I temporarily couldn't read the side of a barn, I told her I would take her word for it. [An update. During my second retina injection visit, I'm at the exit counter being handed my third needle injection appointment. I suddenly said, "Where's my glasses?" Turns out I was wearing them.]

This would be a good time to mention that sometime during all of the above and immediately afterwards, I was informed that:
  • Keep eyes closed as much as possible for the day.
  • Do not watch TV or use computer for the day. And forget about reading.
  • Do not rub, touch, bump eye.
  • Do not let water get near eye for three days at least.
  • Put the prescribed anti-bacterial drops in eye(s) four times a day for four days. Real pain in the neck for me, I missed the eye more often that hit. Fortunately, the prescription apparently takes that into account; sufficient quantity was provided to get the job done.
  • Do not engage in manual labor or other strenuous activities for four days. Was informed this has more to do with doing anything that raises blood pressure than anything else. So I guess doing anything stress-related would also not be a good idea.
  • Was warned about possible pain afterwards, but so far none. If there is pain, was told to take OTC painkillers; but if really severe pain or severe vision loss, then to immediately call them.
  • Was forewarned to expect the floaters.
It should also be mentioned, do not even think of trying to drive home. For that matter, taking a few days off work and also skipping driving at all during that time is highly recommended, just my opinion.

Side Effects - My Black Spots Floaters Experience

  • While waiting for my ride home, I noticed I had six, black floating floaters. They must of been heavy. Whatever direction I moved my eyes or head, gravity dragged them downward. Two were large; two were medium, two were small.
  • Since I was supposed to keep my eye closed and no TV/computer/exercise or such; when I got home, I just went to bed and was actually able to fall asleep. When I woke up, the two smallest floaters were gone. [Update. For my subsequent visits, I deliberately got up extremely early; then when I got home, I went to bed and was able to sleep through to the next day.]
  • By the end of the day, the two large floaters and two small floaters had changed to one large and three small.
  • By the next morning, I was seeing just one small-to-medium floater. That little critter hopped all over the place as I was working on the computer. A few hours later, that floater also departed the scene.
  • [Update. On the second visit: this time there was only one medium-to-large, black-spot floater afterwards. It eventually disappeared in about 25-30 hours.]
  • [Update. After the third visit: this time the floaters alternated between being green and blue. Doc's office said no big deal, that it was ok.]
I decided to call the office and ask them a few questions. Here are the answers.
  • The floaters are the actual medicine dissolving.
  • Do not consume anything for the next few days that thins the blood, this includes alcohol and NSAIDs. However, high blood pressure medication is apparently fine. For that matter, I don't even know if blood pressure medication thins the blood or not; better safe than sorry. Might depend on which medication is used, there are several; be sure the doctor knows.
  • Vision can remain blurry or be double vision for a day or maybe two. The eye drops also cause blurriness for a few minutes.
  • The TV and computer ban only applied for the remainder of the treatment day.

Couple of Extra Reminder Side Effects Notes

  • The day after treatment, there was still blurriness and double vision issues in the morning. By around noon, all had cleared up.
  • By the next day, I was feeling downright cheerful again; but still no desire to do much.

Some Macular Degeneration Federal National Institute of Health Resources

The greatest fear is that of the unknown. Now you know what to expect. Not the most fun experience one will ever have, but certainly not the worst.

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Best Way to Drink Barium Sulfate Oral Suspension and Side Effects and What Does It Taste Like and What to Expect

Latest update: March 24, 2023. Page URL indicates original publication date; meanwhile, times change and the updates continue.

Many people inquire about what it is like to drink this stuff. Turns out that drinking barium sulfate is no big deal.
  • Just do exactly what the bottle and doc and/or technician says.
  • The taste is bland.
  • I experienced no side or after effects.

Barium Sulfate Oral Suspension for CT Scans

The doctor or medical service provider specifies a procedure requiring the drinking consumption of a barium sulfate solution up to 24 hours prior and just before the CT scan; yep, you'll usually need to drink it the day before the test and just prior to the test. In other words, they do have you drink several doses before the actual CT. It sounds like it is a big deal and a pain in the neck, but it isn't.

I immediately did the research on the .gov sites and elsewhere. I ended up with the impression that I was going to gag on the stuff. That information is false. It was bland and no big deal whatsoever. They'll even give you a choice as to flavor. I ended up with vanilla.

Again, the stuff was just plain bland and there were no problem(s). I hope this page helps mitigate all the false information out there. And I might add, the volume looks a lot larger than it is. A few medium sips did the trick for each dosage. No need to to do large swallows or such. Do shake the stuff before drinking as the bottle says. An even mixture gives the technician and doc what they need.

And again, concerning side effects before, during, and after; nothing out of the ordinary occurred. I wish all medical tests and procedures were this uneventful.

An Update. I have seen posts where people have complained about digestive problems when drinking barium sulfate. Just to be on the safe side, maybe drink that first dose when you know you will be home for the next several hours. Nothing should happen, but who knows what might happen if other medications or certain foods are involved? One would think the technician would warn a patient about such things, but that is not always the case. Based on my own experience, you will be fine; but might as well play it safe.

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How to Make St. John's Wort / Valerian Tea from Herb Capsules - Quick, Easy Recipe

Latest update: July 1, 2022. Page URL indicates original publication date; meanwhile, times change and the updates continue.

St. John's Wort is well known for its depression and anxiety alleviating properties. More about that further down the page, along with some notes and warnings. Some federal website resources are also listed. And after the St. John's Wort herbal tea recipe is a list of other natural ways to reduce or eliminate depression or constant feelings of stress and fear. All of them are effective, simple, and easy to do.

Klamath Weed aka St. John's Wort ( Hypericum Perforatum )

The Make Your Own St. John's Wort (or Valerian) Tea Recipe

St. John's Wort tea and other herbal teas are expensive. There is absolutely no reason to buy them when you can make your own for less than one-tenth the cost. So forget those messy teabags and all the preparations that go with them. Here is your incredibly inexpensive, best, quick, and easiest way to make your own.

This really shouldn't be called a recipe. The word, "recipe", implies preparation and work; there is none of that here.

  1. Be forewarned; the herbal supplements industry is generally unregulated. Buy only reputable brands from reputable stores. Find the St. John's Wort supplements in powdered, capsule form. As with the other herbs, probably all the brands will be in this form. But do check to be sure. If you don't already have a favorite brand, it is worth an extra few minutes to do some price checking. There can be a wide variance in unit pricing when it comes to the relevant ingredients, i.e., milligrams, number of capsules, total price.
  2. Open the capsule and sprinkle the powder into the microwavable coffee cup. Fill with water to the same level as you would when making instant coffee. Rapidly stir it. Never taken apart capsules before? It can be a challenge for the inexperienced. But in fairly short order, it will become nothing more than a 2-second task. A quick how-to for newbies: wash and completely dry hands first, otherwise, slippery fingers can make the task impossible; gently twist the two capsule halves back-and-forth against each other, and gradually separate over the cup; twiddle the capsule halves over the cup until all the powder has come out. If you happen to come across a particularly obstinate capsule, simply snip off the tip of the larger end of the capsule with a pair of scissors.
  3. Microwave as you would instant coffee. Never made instant coffee? Depending on the wattage and age of the microwave oven, zap it for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Stir, let cool, stir again, enjoy. If you want it cold and there is enough empty space in the cup, add two ice cubes.
And that is all there is to it.

And as an interesting side note, this recipe works equally well when making Valerian tea. Valerian is known for its anti-anxiety properties as well, though it works in the Valium way as opposed to the St. John's Wort serotonin reuptake inhibitor way. As with St. John's Wort, the tea form of Valerian is considerably stronger than the simply ingesting capsule method.

A reminder that tea eventually stains teeth.

How Many Capsules?

Routinely, I use just one capsule. However, if particularly stressed or depressed, I will use two. More than that can sometimes cause digestive problems.

With Instant Coffee

There is certainly nothing wrong with sprinkling St. John's Wort capsule powder over the instant coffee flakes when making the second cup of morning coffee... Don't go overboard with the stuff. Too much of anything is almost always not a good idea.

This medicinal plant has helped many people overcome depression and anxiety.

Some General Opinions – Notes – Warnings

Saint John's Wort does indeed work as to alleviating depression and anxiety. It does this by increasing a person's serotonin levels. Consuming St. John's Wort in tea form, as opposed to just taking the capsules with food, can greatly increase its effectiveness. Though one will sometimes feel immediate side effects with that first cup of tea, it can be several days before a consistent mood change is noticed. Needless to say, your results may vary.

Reputable websites advise St. John's Wort mixed with certain other medications do not always work well together; this is especially applicable to certain prescription drugs. If you are taking St. John's Wort, whether by supplement or by tea, let your doctor and pharmacist know. And be sure to read the warning/caution label on the St. John's Wort container. And particularly read all the documentation included with any prescriptions to see if St. John's Wort is mentioned. Not kidding about telling your doctor and pharmacist. As an example, note item three in the list below. You just never know, but your doctor and pharmacist will.

Here Are Four Federal Website Pages One Should Read Concerning St. John's Wort and Its Properties

Don't forget about the information included below, referenced at the beginning of this page. With or without the tea, the items listed will make you feel better. Information is from various federal medical websites. They work.

This concludes the St. John's Wort Herbal Tea "Recipe" segment.

List of Natural Ways to Feel Better and Feel Good

The human body naturally produces a chemical known as serotonin. Medical science has generally agreed that one's level of brain serotonin affects mood. The higher one's natural level of serotonin, the better one normally feels.

How to Naturally Increase Serotonin Levels

  • The primary environmental factor that affects serotonin levels is light; the more light the better. So do open those drapes and curtains first thing every morning. If you do not already go out into the world everyday, then make it a point to go outside in the sunlight for awhile; even just 15 minutes can make a difference. Not much sunlight where you live? The NIH link further down the page has some comments and an indoor answer for that.
  • Exercise radically affects serotonin levels. Even just a little exercise can do wonders. But generally the more of it the better. So if you mostly sit all day, get up frequently and do other things; housework and chores definitely qualify as exercise. There's the obvious solution of jogging or some other exercise regime, but why not do something that is productive instead?
  • Good nutrition of course is also a factor. The B-Complex vitamins are particularly important as to emotional stability. As an example, a vitamin B-1 deficiency can cause unwarranted feelings of fear; a vitamin B-12 deficiency can cause unwarranted feelings of guilt; folic acid is another B vitamin that is vital to mental well-being. Personally, I take a B-50 Complex vitamin supplement with food a couple times a week. And I chew it so it doesn't just pass through the digestive tract untouched; same with the general multivitamin supplement I occasionally take. Sometimes negative emotions are caused by nothing more than low blood sugar, simply eating something can do wonders in such cases.
  • Tryptophan is an amino acid in protein that raises serotonin levels. There is a lot of false nutritional information out there as to which foods will increase your brain's tryptophan levels. The NIH link below covers this in detail. Some of the information is quite surprising as a matter of fact. Chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) and dairy products appear to be the only foods that have a chance of increasing the brain's serotonin levels.
The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health has an article on how to increase serotonin in the human brain without prescription drugs. It pretty much tells you everything you would ever want to know as to increasing serotonin levels and feeling good.

May we all have increased happiness in life.

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Kelp Supplements Nutrition Benefits - Iodine for Thyroid

Latest update: August 8, 2022. Page URL indicates original publication date; meanwhile, times change and the updates continue.

Safe Health Benefits of Kelp Seaweed Supplements - Iodine and Trace Minerals - And Some Iodine Warnings

Kelp Ocean Forest

This page is premised on that you are healthy, practicing good nutrition, physically active, and are already doing everything else to naturally feel good. If still suffering from lack of energy, then kelp supplements may be the answer.

Why so? Kelp is loaded with the mineral iodine. The iodine will go directly to your thyroid and kick-start it. A fully active thyroid makes one become more energetic.

Kelp and certain other seaweed also have minute traces of every other mineral known to man. So if you happen to be lacking in any of those, kelp tablets will help take care of that, too.

Suggested use is one kelp supplement per day; frankly, I think that is excessive. Too much of anything is not a good idea. Personally, I only take one once in awhile when I seem to have no energy.

So next time you have no energy for no discernible reason, chew a kelp supplement tablet with food. Do take it early in the morning. If taken later in the day, you might not be able to fall asleep come bedtime.

Kelp Tablets with Iodine

Kelp and other seaweed supplements may or may not be available at your local or national chain drugstore; some have it, some don't. Worst case scenario, you will have to work up the energy to go to your local health food store; they will definitely have it. Be forewarned. The supplements industry is completely unregulated. Buy only reputable brands from reputable stores.

A warning note. Some people are allergic to shellfish (high iodine), the same way some people are allergic to peanuts for example. So maybe just nibble a very small piece of one tablet the first time around? Only you can decide.

Safe Usage of Kelp Seaweed Supplements

Excessive use of kelp supplements and their high iodine content is not good for you and can even cause health problems. Here is a federal website that will tell you absolutely everything you would ever want to know about the mineral iodine as to health, nutrition, and warnings. The site also notes that excessive iodine can negatively interact with certain medications.
Though iodine is an essential nutrient for the human body, over usage can cause serious problems. The NIH also talks about foods high in iodine, so maybe you can just skip the supplements altogether.

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