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Medical Technology

The Miracle of Modern Medical Technology

 Who’s Your Doctor?

As an amateur endurance athlete, I get my share of injuries. But I rarely run to my doctor unless something has been bothering me for a long time: several months or more. After Ironman Augusta last year, I thought I broke something in my right foot. You should have seen me hobbling across the finish line. I was in bad shape. I didn’t run for almost 6 months after that. I don’t really have a point with that story, because what I really want to talk about is the importance of patient doctor relationships.

I did see my doctor about my foot. I’m one of the lucky ones. My GP is a great guy. He spends time talking to me when I visit him. He looks me in the eye and asks the hard questions. On the other hand, I’ve been to specialists who are very different.  I’ve had conversations with the backs of doctors’ heads.  They mumble questions at me while they type into their computers.  That’s just so annoying.  And I’ve heard from friends that that’s quite typical.

No Expensive Acronyms

I got lucky with my foot.  I saw a podiatrist who has great patient skills.  We didn’t waste time or money with X-rays, PET scans, MRI’s and other expensive acronyms.  We talked.  He examined and we both agreed on what to do.  Total cost: $25 copay and $5 worth of cushions for my shoes.  That was over a month ago and I have no complaints.  I’ve been running regularly since.   Of course, I could get a bit more fancy with a custom orthotic inserts for the shoes.  Maybe later.  By the way.  The podiatrists name is Edwin Martin.  That’s right: Doc Martin.  He’s in Wilmington, NC and if you need a podiatrist, look him up.

The Value of Listening

I’ve been reading more and more about how our medical system is so overpriced.  I’ve also been reading about how so few doctors actually know their patients.  And, how many patients actually get to see a doctor?  Most visits nowadays seem to be with PA’s or nurses.  I got scoped up the exit a few months ago (colonoscopy).  The place seemed like a factory with timetables, schedules and deadlines.  People were friendly, but I didn’t get the sense that anyone really cared about who I was.   Maybe I’m being insecure about this.  Maybe I just want to be loved and appreciated for who I am and not treated like a number.  Or maybe I just want to know who’s poking me in the a$$.  It’s all so cold (literally and figuratively) and systematic.  I guess that’s the way it has to be for some medical services.

On the other hand, Malcom Gladwell wrote about the incidences of malpractice law suits.  After looking at some data (I don’t remember how much or what quality) he concluded that patients were NOT likely to sue a doctor if the doctor had treated the patient with dignity and respect.  In other words, the patients who didn’t bring suit against their doctors felt like they had been heard.  It didn’t matter the severity of the problem that might have brought on the law suit.

Modern Medicine

If a medical practice has to be like an assembly line, so be it.  But a general practitioner should know his patients and they should know their doctor in return.  They don’t have to train and race together as I do with mine.  But they should have a relationship.  And the better the relationship, the healthier everyone will be.

Now, let’s hold hands and sing cumbya.  No not really.  But I do believe that a good balance of people skills with theory is much better than sending everyone off for more tests just because of law suit fears.

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No Excuses

I haven’t been putting out much lately… content, that is. 
I could blame my job for keeping me so busy, but I’m thankful just to have a job.
I could blame my family for pulling me in several directions at once, but without them life would be awful
I could blame my friends without whom I would be very lonely
I could blame our politicians, but… I can’t think of a good reason not to blame them.
So there you have it. I haven’t put out any content lately because of our politicians. 🙂

And why shouldn’t I blame them? They blame everyone else!

I really have no one to blame. I have to take responsibility here.  Which means that even though I love making videos and writing blog entries, I love my family and friends even more. 

Having done all that whining, I do want to say that another episode is in the works. 

Posted by LG on the run

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Socks or No Socks. Transition Tip #3

I’d Go Barefoot If I Could!

In a triathlon transition, the two slowest activities are pulling off the wetsuit and putting on socks.  I’ll talk about the wetsuit in a later blog post and video.   Actually, sleeping is a pretty big time killer too.  I know someone who dozed off in in an Ironman transition for about 45 minutes.

In this video, I only cover my rules for socks on the bike…I NEVER WEAR SOCKS on the bike.  You can imagine how much time I save by not messing with socks.

My list of sock rules for the run is a bit longer and I’ll have a Speed Tip video about that later.  But here’s my run sock rule list:

  1. Never wear socks for 10k and shorter runs.
  2. Carry socks on number belt for long course runs (13.1 mi.).  Start out barefoot and change into socks at a rest stop.  I do this because I’m going to stop anyway around mile 6 to stretch and refocus my mind.
  3. For ultra course runs (26.2mi.), just skip the socks and shoes altogether.  Just kidding.  I slap on a pair of socks in transition and carry a pair with me on the number belt.  I also have a pair of socks stashed away in my special needs bag at mile 13.1.  Dry socks feel so good on wet, tired, sore feet.

My feet are kind of tough, so this works for me.  It might not work so well for people with sensitive or blister prone feet.

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Sport Nutrition

I’m thinking about doing an episode on nutrition. Because I’m not an expert on nutrition (or anything else for that matter), I thought it might be fun to talk about what I do for energy, hydration and electrolytes.  Also, I want to find out what other athletes think.

Remember that song, Sugar Sugar, by the Archies?  Another idea i have is to make a video of triathletes sucking down gels and sports drinks and talking about their nutrition rituals.  And the music for the video would be Sugar Sugar.  That may be the only good use for that song. 🙂

Posted by LG on the run

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Up close and personal.

image

Small town America still exists!  There are still places where you can park on the curb in front of the place you’re going (FOR FREE).  That’s my red car. And I’m inside the Brown Dog working on the computer and drinking a cup of decaf.   This place is down to earth too.  Their small cup of coffee is called “small”  not “grande”  or “venti”

As I write this,I can see the set of Under The Dome.  That’s right. They film that here in Burgaw, NC.  Pretty cool, huh?

Posted by LG on the run

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On Being Sick

It sucks to be sick.

Not completely, but mostly.  Sure I get an excuse to have some rest, but the stuffiness and chest thing are no fun.

So there you have it.  My deep thoughts being sick… which I’m not anymore.

I’m trying to edit an interview with Sami Winter.  She’s the one I talked about in an earlier episode.  She qualified for the big World Championship race in Kona, HI.  I’ll be following her as she trains for this dream-come-true.

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Fun Stuff

It’s hard to stay serious for too long.

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Measuring Performance

I often wonder if my training is doing any good.  Let me rephrase that. I often wonder if my training is working. Is that clearer? 
I didn’t think so.

Of the many reasons I compete, one is to improve my performance.  Any rational person would assume that I could accomplish such a goal through rigorous training.

This brings up two questions:
1. How do I define performance?
2. How do I measure changes in performance?

The first question is easy to answer.  I’ll measure performance using race times.  The second question is not so easy to answer.  There are so many factors affecting performance that comparing one race time to another is like comparing apples to oranges. And whoever came up with that cliche of a simile should be shot. Apples can, in fact be compared to oranges. 
But you know what I mean and that’s the important thing.
I’m working on an episode that addresses this very problem.  It involves a little math and a little faith.  Some fairy dust couldn’t hurt either.  It won’t be out next week, but maybe the week after.

Posted by LG on the run

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