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Behind The Scenes At backwoods Home Magazine

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Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Dave Duffy

A healthy guy who smells like garlic

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

My wife says I smell like garlic. For good reason! Every morning I have an egg on whole what toast, but I fry the egg in my special concoction of two teaspoons of garlic, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar mix. It takes about a week of soaking in the olive oil and balsamic vinegar for the garlic to get “just right.” So delicious and healthy! — Dave

The garlic needs to soak about a week to get it to where you can put it straight on the bread without frying it. Otherwise, it's a bit strong for my tastes.

I mix two or three full bulbs of garlic into this size container. I add only a squirt of balsamic vinegar to the olive oil.

Dave Duffy

Three brothers

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

My brothers, Bill (right), Hugh and I are enjoying a visit together for the first time in several years. Hugh is recovering from a  series of surgeries involving his right knee. He got a knee replacement but it had to be removed due to an infection.

My son, Robby, and I flew here after the Self Reliance Expo in North Carolina. We had to cancel out of the TMEN Expo in Pennsylvania next week and will instead fly back to Oregon Thursday. My apologies to those who had planned to come to the TMEN Expo to visit with us.

Dave Duffy

Knee replacement surgery gone awry

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Been thinking I’ve needed a left knee replacement for a couple of years now, but I’ve put it on the back burner lately after watching my older brother, Hugh, struggle after his knee replacement surgery and then watching a BHM employee, Jeff Ferguson, struggle after his hip replacement surgery. Both got infections that caused them big problems. Jeff’s infection was cured after a couple of miserable weeks, but Hugh had to have his new artificial knee removed and is still fighting his infection.

I’ve always heard good things about joint replacements, and I’ve talked to at least four doctors seeking advice about possibly replacing my knee. I never heard about the problems. Maybe I didn’t listen carefully enough because I had sold myself on the idea that a new knee was the obvious solution for me.

Hugh got his artificial knee on March 22 and it’s been a battle ever since. After the swelling wouldn’t go down, more surgery the middle of June revealed a big infection. Then, after an antibiotic regimen failed to subdue the infection, doctors removed the artificial knee July 2, and he’s now on a 6-8 week antibiotic course designed to cure the infection. After that he’ll hopefully be back at Square One facing surgery to install a new artificial knee.

This three-plus month ordeal for a guy used to working out at the gym for an hour or so every day and walking the golf course has been an especially hard grind for Hugh, although his spirits have remained high and he is determined to get back on his feet.

It’s had a big impact on me. I’m no longer considering a knee replacement, relying instead on Ibuprofen whenever I walk the golf course. My knee feels remarkably good in light of witnessing these two joint replacements. People hardly ever hear me complain anymore. But just in case, I’ll do a lot more research on which hospitals and doctors have the best batting average when it comes to successful joint replacement surgery with low infection rates.

Dave Duffy

Annie out of Intensive Care

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Doctors delayed Annie’s transfer from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for a day, but she was transferred to the regular hospital ward late this afternoon. I think, but am not sure, she will be released tomorrow. She looks great, is breathing well, and all monitors and doctors’ experience indicate the baby has weathered this interlude in his mother’s life like it was just another day at the beach.

Did I say his? We actually have no idea, but Olga has been hoping out loud for another brother and the baby has a rapid heart rate indicating a boy  … I think … but I’m not as up to speed as I should be on Old Wives Tales.

Erik flew in this aftrnoon just barely before the onset of the big Pacific storm we are now experiencing so Grandma and I gave over the grandkids to him. Annie and the grandkids were obviosuly happy to see him. Erik’c main problem now is explaining to 6-year-old Olga that Daddy is not home for good. “That’s what Daddy told me when he was home before,” she said. “The next time I’m home I’ll be home for good.” Lenie and I tried to explain to her that this visit is just an “emergency leave to help mommy,” but Olga was insistent: “No, Daddy said that the next time he was home it would be for good!”

Kids are very intriguing. Just as Olga can’t quite grasp that Daddy is home only temporarily to help Mommy through being sick, she catches on to the nuances. When Lenie was putting her to bed last night, she asked her, “Is the baby getting enough oxygen?” She must have overheard us talking and it began a process of worry in her little mind.  She’s very precocious … reminds me of her mom when she was that age.

But everything is fine now. Daddy has the next 13 days to explain what is going on.

Dave Duffy

Annie in hospital with pneumonia

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

My daughter, Annie, the managing editor of BHM, was admitted to the hospital today with pneumonia. She and her 4-year-old son Gavin had been sick for a week, then yesterday Lenie and I decided to take her whole family back to our house to nurse them back to health. I ended up taking Annie to the Sutter Coast Hospital ER in Crescent City, Calif., at 5:30 this morning. I’m with her in the ICU now, and her husband, Erik, is flying back from the Marine Corps base in North Carolina. She’s resting fairly comfortably with intravenous-fed fluids and antibiotics, plus an oxygen tube to help her breathe.

She’s one of several people sick in my circle. Son Jake just got over being sick for a week, son Sam just came down sick a couple of days ago, and John Silveira has been sick at least a week. Gavin appears to be recovering nicely. Annie has asthma and is five months pregnant, so the doctors are watching her closely. Her baby appears to be doing fine.

Dave Duffy

No vaccine for me! I’m expendable at 65!

Monday, November 9th, 2009

For those of you wondering if government-controlled health care means that government may someday decide old people are expendable because it is cheaper to deliver health care to younger, healthier people, here’s food for thought:

Today, after learning my local health department now has swine flu vaccine for adults with certain conditions like asthma and heart disease, I decided to get a shot because I have heart disease, having had heart bypass surgery. So I called the health department to find out when I could come down for a shot.

“How old are you?” the health worker asked.

“Sixty five,” I said.

“You’re not eligible,” she said. “The cutoff is age 63.”

So there you have an indication of what is in the future. There is now enough vaccine for all the children, pregnant women, and adults “who qualify,” but because swine flu vaccine is government-controlled, bureaucrats have decided my age has disqualified me.

I‘m expendable!

Dave Duffy

Flu vaccinations for Duffy boys

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Gavin’s fever is down today so the swine flu watch ended as quickly as it began. Meanwhile my three teenage sons got their H1N1 nasal spray vaccine this morning plus a seasonal flu shot.

Sam getting nasal spray vaccine

Robby getting seasonal flu shot

Dave Duffy

Swine flu watch at Annie’s house

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

We are on a swine flu watch for Annie’s son, Gavin, who is three and a half. He’s been sick for a couple of days and now has a fever with 100-degree temperature. Gavin has had asthma symptoms in the past so Annie will take him to the doctor tomorrow morning. Annie too is sick: sore throat, loss of much of her voice, but no fever yet. She too has asthma. My wife, who is also sick, assures me this is all just a cold.

Dave Duffy

Tough as a . . . kidney stone!

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Ever have a kidney stone tear through one of your kidneys? I have!

The first time I was 22 and in the U.S. Army stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado. I was hospitalized for two days and given morphine until I passed it in my urine. Anyone who has ever tried to pass a kidney stone will tell you you need something like morphine to manage the pain. Some people liken it to a woman giving birth.

The second time was 12 years ago, just after I moved the magazine to Gold Beach, Oregon. I forget what drug they gave me when I went to the hospital, but I needed it. It took only a day to pass that one.

Yesterday morning I doubled over in pain from what I suspected was my third stone. I knew I had several stones lodged in my left kidney after a CT scan accidentally detected them last August while I was being checked for possible broken ribs after I fell through my living room ceiling while putting up insulation. (I live dangerously!) So I suspected that one day one or more of the new stones would give me a nasty surprise. Yesterday morning was it.

But old guys like me tune out pain pretty well because you get all kinds of new pains as you age. So I waited until this afternoon to see a doctor. By then the pain had subsided, and a urine sample showed trace amounts of blood, which indicates a kidney stone had been passed, and an x-ray revealed the stones discovered in August were no longer present in my left kidney.

That means I passed the new stones without pain medication. How tough is that!

Dave Duffy

Pregnant women and the H1N1 vaccine

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Since I’m still searching for some H1N1 flu vaccine for my pregnant daughter, I thought I’d pass on some information I’ve researched.

Even the U.S. Senate is voicing dismay at the shortage of swine flu vaccine while swine flu begins to peak in the U.S. I can’t find any in Oregon. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) site had a “Flu Vaccine Locator” section on the site yesterday, but I couldn’t find it on the site today. I had checked all the Oregon locations listed anyway, but none of them had the vaccine so the locator was not accurate.

According to a study conducted by Purdue University, the vaccine will arrive too late for most people.

Here’s a statement of advice from the CDC site:

What can I do to protect myself, my baby and my family?

Getting a flu shot is the single best way to protect against the flu.  Talk with your doctor about getting a seasonal flu shot and the 2009 H1N1 flu shot.  You will need both flu shots this year to be fully protected against flu. You should get both shots as soon as they are available to protect you and your baby. The seasonal flu shot has been shown to protect both the mother and her baby (up to 6 months old) from flu-like illness.

Talk with your doctor right away if you have close contact with someone who has 2009 H1N1 flu.  You might need to take medicine to reduce your chances of getting the flu. Your doctor may prescribe Tamiflu® or Relenza® to help prevent 2009 H1N1 flu. To prevent flu, you would take a lower dose of the antiviral medicine for 10 days.
Is it safe for pregnant women to get a flu shot?

The seasonal flu shot has been given to millions of pregnant women over many years. Flu shots have not been shown to cause harm to pregnant women or their babies.  The 2009 H1N1 flu shot is made in the same way and in the same places as the seasonal flu shot.  It is very important for pregnant women to get both the seasonal flu shot and the 2009 H1N1 flu shot.  Please see to learn more.

Here’s an important study underway for pregnant women and the swine flu vaccine:

The religious character of the debate

Like many things in society, the swine flu vaccine debate has taken on an atmosphere resembling a religious dispute: Some people are vehemently against any type of vaccine, including this one, for a variety of reasons: It supposedly causes autism and other problems in kids, it’s a government plot to kill people, etc. The internet is full of “supposed” evidence backing up these claims, but I find the evidence is typically anecdotal, therefore faulty. It simply does not hold up to scientific scrutiny.

Those people who insist the H1N1 epidemic is nothing to worry about, and that the swine flu vaccine is more dangerous than the flu it is intended to prevent, have a good chance of being able to brag about being correct when this swine flu scare is all over. That is because few diseases ever reach their full potential to be truly lethal to mankind, especially in this modern age of health prevention and care. The same is true for swine flu: Chances are it will pass, illnesses will continue to be mild, and the anti-vaccine crowd will say, “See, I told you so!.”

The problem is that this is like running stop lights all over town. Chances are you’ll get away with running stop lights for quite a while, but one day you’ll run a stop light and get hit broadside by a big truck. Then you’ll wish you had stopped at all the stop lights to make sure it’s safe to cross.

The history of humanity is the history of diseases ravaging human populations, often displacing entire populations. It happened in this country with “old world” diseases killing off 95% of native populations in the 100 years after the arrival of Columbus in 1492. And it happened repeatedly in Europe and Asia and Africa before that time. This is where a study of history is so valuable, but most people do not read history. Only a couple of hundred years ago, George Washington saved the Continental Army by vaccinating his troops (an early crude method) against smallpox at Valley Forge so they could come out of their winter quarters and be an effective force against the British. As recently as 1918 a flu killed millions of Americans because we had no protection against it.

Now we have a method — vaccination — of preventing diseases from killing us. It’s not perfect, we are often wrong about which disease poses a significant risk, and sometimes various vaccines have side effects, but it’s a method I bet the Indians wished they had when Columbus arrived. But there are so many people in our society who have no idea of what has happened in the past, and who have little understanding what constitutes reasonable scientific evidence, that they willingly believe the dubious anti-vaccine literature that pollutes the internet.

I’m merely trying to find a way to keep my pregnant daughter and my other children and grandkids safe, but I have to wade through piles of intellectual rubbish as I search the internet.


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