From the Sculpinator- Where’s Wayno ? prison? the bahamas? steelheading? maybe a bahamian jail, wishing he had chosen chrome over bones?
Thanks for checking in M. Motivated me to poke my head out. Fortunately I’m a long way from a Bahamian jail, unfortunately I’m in the frozen north and I haven’t been terrorizing anything with fins on it lately. Have been trying to get set down long enough to add some new posts but haven’t had a lot of luck. The day job (UPS driver) has been keeping me pretty busy since late summer. I’ve also been having eye issues over the last few months which kind of rearranged my priorities. If you thought you might soon lose your functional vision, how would you use your remaining vision? Not sitting in front of a computer. On the up side, for now my eyes are doing good. I’ve been monkeying around with my cameras again and playing with pastels (glorified crayons?). “When I paint my masterpiece”, which brings me to…
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
Take care of your eyes! Get check ups. I have early stage AMD (age-related macular degeneration) in the dry form. At the moment there is no magic bullet, no surgery that is an instant cure. Most ophthalmologists will tell you “there is no cure”. They will most likely tell you that you need to start with an eye specific vitamin supplement which I did. Unfortunately the strengths and particular recipes in most of the popular brands didn’t seem to be doing much for me. By spring this year my vision was deteriorating to the point that I was getting really concerned about the future of my visual acuity. I got proactive really fast, fear will do that.
I started searching out information on the internet, talking to people, staying in touch with my eye specialist. By good fortune, divine intervention- whatever, I found a book written by Dr. Robert Abel, Jr., MD- The Eye Care Revolution: Prevent and Reverse Common Vision Problems. Dr. Abel who is an ophthalmologist has a little different take on mainstream thought on eye disease, prevention and treatment. Basically he states that our eyes are a reflection of our overall health, most eye disease readily responds to the right nutrient and supplements and lifestyle changes and that you may not have to settle for “there is no cure”. That was all the encouragement I needed. I am an extremely visual person, I would do just about anything to at least slow the loss of my eyesight.
The first thing I did was do an in depth analysis of my supplements. I pitched the standard eye formulas, not that they are bad, they just weren’t comprehensive or strong enough in my opinion, plus there was some overlap with my daily vitamin. I followed the lead of Dr. Abel’s recommendations and my personal eye doctor and put together a pretty aggressive supplemental program to support overall health with a real strong emphasis on my eyes. I’ll put a list at the end of this post.
Next up was diet. I’m not a real garbage hound. I don’t eat a lot of fast food. I don’t eat a lot of refined foods. I don’t drink a lot of pop or beer (ok, in the summer I’ve been known to drink a beer or two). I admit that I’m a total sucker for things like pizza, an occasional pastry and salsa and chips. We actually eat pretty healthy but as I found out- not healthy enough for what I needed to do. So, I planted a garden this year- first time in several years. It consisted entirely of carrots, beets, salad greens and kale. I created my own green drink. Not a nasty thing either. I mean it doesn’t look great (kinda like Gerber baby food, just ask my kids) but it tastes great. If my kids actually ever taste it I will probably never be able to keep the ingredients stocked long enough to make one for myself. As soon as the summer fruit season was on I was eating fruits, vegetables and very little meat. I’ve always been a carnivore but I found that once I started eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, lots of fiber, stuff that your body breaks down easily- it was actually kind of a load to digest a sizable portion of meat. Like putting a gas/oil mix in a car engine.
I started out in early May. By early July my eyesight was better than it had been in months! I was amazed and felt incredibly blessed to make that much of a change in such short time. The next thing I went to work on was lifestyle. I drive a lot, it’s my job. Driving is not exactly healthy. It can lead to bad posture, muscle atrophy and generally throw your body out of whack if you don’t do something to offset it. I’m pretty active by nature but not active enough to offset hours of driving and it doesn’t get any easier with age if you start letting yourself slip. So, I have an old Schwinn Airdyne that has probably done more to keep me in decent shape than anything else over the years. I made a commitment to ride it at least three times a week for twenty five minutes at a time. For the most part I get it done. I don’t fool around on it either. No pain-no gain. You have to blow out the pipes and sweat out the toxins. I ALWAYS feel better when I get off the thing. It can be a mind game getting myself on it but I always feel great when I’m done. Of course there’s other stuff, walking the dog, a hike, X skiing etc. But the bike is always there, rain or shine and it does the job. I also have stage one hypertension, a risk factor for your eyes among other things. I’ve been working on getting it down too. Fortunately I don’t have to take a load of pharmaceuticals to keep it down. Wayne’s New Years resolution- off the meds entirely this year.
I’m out here about eight months now. My eyes have their up and down days. I go through stages where they get a little quirk in them for a stretch but nothing so far that is anything near where they were in the spring. I was having an issue with a little bubble in the layer above the macula this fall. It could be dealt with surgically but over the last few weeks it seems like it has begun healing on its own. Hopefully that continues. So, that’s my eye story.
Here’s my list of vitamins that I currently take daily:
Beta Carotene- 25,000 IU (1 daily)
Omega 3- 500 epa, 250 dha (2)
Lutein 20mg, Zeazanthin 1mg (2)
Zinc 30mg with copper (1)
Lycopene (lyo-mato) (1)
Vitamin C 1000-2000mg (1)
Bluebonnet mult men’s 50+ (2)
L-Arginine (just started) time release (4)
In case you’re wondering what my green drink is about I put the general recipe below. It varies depending on what’s around. During summer I was throwing in cantalope, honeydews, watermelon and so forth. Of course all the greens and carrots were coming out of our garden then. For the winter I’m back in the grocery stores organic section. All this goes in a blender. I do juice a few carrots and apples and that goes in the mix too. Sometimes I throw in some dates too.
1-1 1/2 cup Kale (or spinach) Red leaf or the really dark green stuff. The stuff that looks like what they garnish your dinner plate with doesn’t blend as good. The darker the more vitamins and nutrients.
1/2 cup Yogurt (whatever flavor you want)
1 Tbls. Braggs Vinegar
1 Tbls. Blackstrap Molasses (Plantation)
2 Tbls. Protein powder
1/2 cup bran flakes or Total cereal
1/2 cup bran fiber (the pellet looking stuff)
1-2 heaping Tbls. Starbucks hot cocoa mix
Fill blender 3/4 full with Soy, Rice, or Almond milk (whatever flavor)
Top it off with H2O and blend the hell out of it! I was drinking the whole thing at once till I added the bran pellets. OMG! Talk about bloat. Made a one helluva turd too. Anyway, I now drink part for breakfast and the rest toward lunch. I eat a half apple, banana and trail mix for lunch. Dinner is pretty minimal, a subway sandwich or salad. I usually crap out on health stuff by Friday and eat a pizza or something. If anyone has any questions or suggestions please feel free to leave a comment. AMD is a big deal, lots of people have it now and many will come up against it sometime in their lives. So far, I’m a believer in Dr. Abel’s idea that diet and lifestyle can do wonders for our eyes, even old eyes! Oh yeah, I know I don’t have to tell most of you this but, if you don’t own some really good shades- get some. The best money you will ever spend.
Montana Snow Pack
OK, now that my eye diatribe is out of the way we can get on to something that’s always on our minds as we plod through the last weeks of winter- snow pack. It’s been a different winter. Overall my impression so far is that, around NW Montana it’s been pretty mild. No big arctic blasts as of yet. I’ve had the good fortune to have been making loops all over the NW corner of the state since late last summer and right now it looks in general like the real snow is up high and that mid and low elevation snow seems a little thin. Of course there are pockets that are probably pretty close to normal (whatever that is). Anyway, to the charts friends- where the real information is!
MONTANA SNOTEL Snow Water Equivalent Update Graph
As of SUNDAY: JANUARY 27 , 2013
|Basin||Snow Water Equivalent Percent of Average|
|KOOTENAI RIVER BASIN||98%|
|FLATHEAD RIVER BASIN||92%|
|UPPER CLARK FORK RIVER BASIN||87%|
|BITTERROOT RIVER BASIN||79%|
|LOWER CLARK FORK RIVER BASIN||81%|
|JEFFERSON RIVER BASIN||97%|
|MADISON RIVER BASIN||98%|
|GALLATIN RIVER BASIN||93%|
|HEADWATERS MISSOURI MAINSTEM||88%|
|SMITH, JUDITH, AND MUSSELSHELL RIVER BASINS||89%|
|SUN, TETON AND MARIAS RIVER BASINS||85%|
|MISSOURI MAINSTEM RIVER BASIN||87%|
|ST MARY AND MILK RIVER BASINS||100%|
|UPPER YELLOWSTONE RIVER BASIN||90%|
|WIND RIVER BASIN (WYOMING)||89%|
|SHOSHONE RIVER BASIN (WYOMING)||92%|
|BIGHORN RIVER BASIN (WYOMING)||86%|
|TONGUE RIVER BASIN (WYOMING)||65%|
|POWDER RIVER BASIN (WYOMING)||85%|
|LOWER YELLOWSTONE RIVER BASIN||83%|
Nothing to alarming here . There are some thin spots but there is still plenty of time for some good snow fall. It looks pretty much like it did last year at this time. So, we’ll check it out again once we see some real weather happening and see how things are shaping up.