The QiRanger Adventures

Posts Tagged ‘Health

Bionics on!

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Oh, how I remember watching that show while growing up. It brought together two things that I really love: bionics and stupid-fun-cartoons. Truth be told, I don’t remember too much about the show these days, but I’m sure I could find something on YouTube if I wanted.

The reason this came to mind has been my recent bout of Physio at the doctor’s office. For the first few times, they just gave me heat, ultra-sound, and e-stim. However, after the fourth trip, they started using the device to the right.

It’s an altered air cast that has five zones. Each zone cycles through air and promotes circulation. It starts off at the feet, then the ankle. Then as it starts filling the lower calf, the foot deflates and so on. The therapy lasts for 15 minutes, and unlike the other ones I receive, forces me to sit-up straight (rather than lie down and take a nap).

Since the office started using this therapy, I’ve noticed that my knee has been healing much faster. In fact, with only two therapy sessions left, I’m looking forward to returning to the doctor’s office on Friday and asking to resume low-impact cardio exercise. It’s my hope that I can reduce the therapy to three times per week and resume working out on a full-time basis. Not going to the gym has been killing me (although I suspect that Jo enjoys me not coming home smelling like a locker).

This (hopeful) release will also mean that Jo and I can start climbing some mountains! With Fall right around the corner, I’m eager to show her the beauty of the land!

Take care!

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Written by Steve Miller

September 1, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Posted in Asia, Health, Jo, Korea

Tagged with , , , , , ,

One week to go!

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Recording

The weekend is quickly approaching and that means only one thing (well maybe more than that): It means that Jo and I are off for another adventure!

This time we’re headed down to the island paradise of Jeju. It’s going to be an action-packed trip that is sure to make for some great video footage, so stay tuned.

However, more importantly, I only have one more week of physio before my knee is evaluated again. I briefly spoke with the doctor on Friday and he agrees that things are progressing nicely, so hopefully next week, (just in time for September), I’ll be given a clean bill of health and I can resume trekking in the mountains again.

Also, I’ve begun recording the audio for my book. Previously this summer, I started writing a travel book for an online store. Not only was there a written version, but an audio companion as well. With the manuscript done, I’ve now turned to recording each chapter. One would think that with all the videos I do that recording the audio would be easy. I can assure that a simple 4-minute piece can take well into 30 minutes with all the flubs and noise that come from recording at home.

Since the audio book recounts a two-week trip I took through the National Parks, I’d like to know this: What’s the best trip you ever taken and why?

Have a great weekend and stay safe!

Written by Steve Miller

August 27, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Thirty-One

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Summer is here, and after a month-long break from working out at the gym, I returned this week. I’ve decided that for the next few weeks, rather than lift, I’m going to focus on running. This should do wonders for relieving stress, but I might find out that I need to pump some iron as Intensives approach.

Coming from Arizona, I really have no aversion to the heat, and honestly, I quite like it. Even the humidity this year hasn’t been too bad. But what I don’t enjoy is baking when indoors.

A recent night at the school’s office, found us asking the question, “Why is it so hot in here?” The answer was an astonishing, “Someone set the bloody aircon/heater to 33!”

I tell this story, because of the gym. While the woman who hated the aircon last summer is long gone, others have taken up her cause. Today’s workout temperature: 31C or 88F. That’s indoors! It was actually 3C cooler outside than indoors. That is just wrong.

I’m not an advocate of freezing the gym (as was the practice of some paces I’ve worked out in the US), but I think an average temperature of 25C (77F) is appropriate.

For those that work out, what temperature does your gym keep it at?

Written by Steve Miller

July 14, 2010 at 4:43 am

Video Calls

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Now that the iPhone 4 has been released, many in the technology world are going crazy at the presence of a second camera on the phone that allows video chatting. Back in March, I commented that this was something we’ve had in Asia for some time. To my knowledge, only a few phones in the US have the capability, and those are limited to either WiFi Hotspots or 4G Networks.

In Korea we have 3G and CDMA networks with great coverage. There’s no reason why the US couldn’t deploy this technology long ago. While many will use the video chatting feature as a novelty, there is a huge benefit to this technology that I never thought of until I saw it here: the hearing impaired.

Mobile phones, by function require one to talk and listen. This limits their use to the hearing population. However, in Korea, where video calling has been around for a long time, the hearing impaired population uses this feature to call friends and family and sign into the camera. As a result, they can have engaging conversations like everyone else.

This is an important feature of the devices. It is my sincere hope that the US bolsters its network to allow more phones to have this capability. In the Internet age, it’s important for everyone to have access to communication when and where ever they go. I hope providers also wake up and eliminate the need to buy an expensive phone. My entry-level phone came equipped with a camera and works just fine.

What are your thoughts?

Back to the gym

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Rocking on!

One of the things that I really enjoyed about living in my OfficeTel, was that there was a fitness center a few minutes’ walk from my door. Since Jo came, and we moved 2.5km down the road, I’ve been rather lazy about hitting the gym. I even had three months left on my membership that, ultimately, ran out without getting any use.

Now that doesn’t mean that I’ve been a slug on our couch. In fact, I’ve been able to drop a few kilos while here in new place because of the exercise I’ve been doing… but it just wasn’t the same.

I’d get up in the morning, have a cup (or pot) of coffee, stretch, do some push-ups and sit-ups before heading out to the stairwell. My exercise consisted of running up and down the 10 flights of stairs.

I’d race down to the first floor, turn around and then run up to the second… back down to the first… then up to the third. I’d repeat the process all the way up to floor ten. The entire process took about 18 minutes, so I’d then reverse the order… ten down to one… back up to nine… to one… to eight until I ultimately arrived at the first floor. After about 40 minutes, I called it quits.

As fun as that was, I really missed lifting, so I decided on a new plan! For the next six months, I’ll run to my old gym and lift. It’s about 2.5km there, so I get some good cardio exercise (especially since some of it is uphill). I’ll then stretch and lift. Finally I’ll run the 2.5km back home.

My first attempt at doing this wasn’t that successful. Getting there and lifting was no problem, but I was spent by the time I was going to head home. I may end up running a second 2.5km on the treadmill before lifting to get my full 5km in each day.

Once the weather starts turning south (Fall/Winter), I’ll shift my work-outs back to the stairs, but add a gym membership to the place in my work building. That way, I can run in the morning, and then just head to school a little earlier for a lifting work-out before classes begin. I think it sounds good on paper… we’ll see how well it actually gets implemented.

What’s your work-out plan or goals for this year?

Written by Steve Miller

April 28, 2010 at 4:16 am

Down and out…

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... for your protection.

… for several days. You may have noticed a lack of communication on my end lately. No blog posts, no videos, no Facebook updates, or even @replies to some of my Twitter friends. The reason for this forced departure from the Interwebs has rocked my world!

Last week, I could feel something coming. A tickle in the back of my throat… sinuses becoming clogged, sensations of weakness permeating my body, but I was able to muster through it all and keep going… until Friday morning.

When I woke up last Friday, I knew something was not quite right in the world of Steve and I immediately called my boss to let him know that I probably wouldn’t be in that day and if he knew of a good physician in the area. By happenstance, he recommended the same ENT I’ve taken Jo to a few times. I’ve always liked him, so I felt comfortable seeing him this time for me as well. I also let my boss know that I’d be sending him an email with all my symptoms for him to translate and message to my phone so that the Doctor wouldn’t lose anything in translation.

My boss, did me one better by calling the doctor’s office and explaining everything ahead of time. When I walked into the wait room, they instantly knew it was me, but asked a few times, “스티브?” I responded with the affirmative, “네.”

When I saw Dr. Lee, he had a small post-it in his hand and started off our conversation by saying, “I got a call from your boss. You feel…” and then went off to rattle my symptoms. I can honestly say that I have not felt this bad in years. After taking a quick look at me Dr. Lee proclaimed that I had Influenza-B and that I was to observe absolute bed rest until Monday. Now, I’ve been sick before, but I have never been ordered to bed before, and that kind of freaked me out. Not that it was going to be a hard order to follow, since I had already been sleeping 14+ hours a day up to that point.

As cheap as Jo’s bill was at this clinic, mine was even cheaper, some W2,900 to consult with an ENT – no waiting. Take that Big US health care. We moseyed next door to the pharmacy and I collected my three days of antibiotics and other assortment of medicine. That bill came to W2,800. Outstanding! What was a little funny was that the Pharmacy owner pointed at me when I walked in and said, “Oh, the medicine’s for you this time.”

After securing the medicine, I came home and immediately observed the Doctor’s orders and layed down. For the entire weekend, I saw nothing but the bed and slept an average of 18 hours a day, if not more. Jo was a trooper, making sure I was staying hydrated and eating, because both the medicines I was taking had the tendency to abate those behaviors. Strike that. Jo was not a trooper, she was a machine. Every chance she had she made sure I had something to drink, even venturing out one day to get a coffee, just so we could use the straw to make things easier on me. Then there were the meals she prepared. It made me want to eat. I’m convinced that her care was the leading factor in me getting over the hump of recovery so quickly.

Monday rolled around and I found myself still not up to snuff. While the deep chest cough and sore throat were gone, the extreme fatigue from the flu was still persistent. A return trip to the doctor confirmed that most of the symptoms were gone, but that my recovery wasn’t full. He said I needed more rest and that’s what I went home and did. In fact, as soon as I notified work, I’d be out again, slept for a good 5 hours.

Now that Tuesday morning has rolled around, I feel much better, but still in the 75-80% range. It will be a few more days before I’m back to normal, I’m just thankful that I don’t have to be on bed rest anymore!

Written by Steve Miller

April 20, 2010 at 8:00 am

E

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I’ve never really liked going to the Eye Doctor in the US. Not because they caused me pain or I was afraid, but because I hated spending the money on such a short visit and then getting assaulted at the desk when I’d ask for my prescription. This is usually how the visits went:

  1. Wait a year, then schedule an appointment.
  2. They’d ask for my medical insurance information and I’d give it to them (while I had it). At best, I received a $15 credit towards the examination and $0 credit towards lenses or new glasses.
  3. They’d examine my eyes and then try to talk me into a new examination procedure “that’s good for me, but not covered by my insurance.” Like that $15 is going to cover anything anyway.
  4. They’d tell me my eyes are about the same, but there’s a slight change. Then, give me a loaner pair of contacts to try for a week.
  5. I’d pay $100 for this visit.
  6. After one week, I’d return for a follow-up visit. The Doctor agrees that the contacts are working and then they order me boxes for each eye for $15 more than Costco.
  7. Finally, I’d get my prescription on paper.

It’s a long and drawn out process that takes way too much time and money. My lenses in the US cost me $50 a box. So a simple visit and a 3 month supply of lenses has me forking out $200.

Let’s contrast that with care here in Korea.

  1. I walk into a shop and ask for some new contacts.
  2. The technician sits me down in the chair and performs an eye exam.
  3. Following the exam, we order my lenses.

The exam is free.

The lenses are W45,000 ($40) per box. So my total expense is W90,000 ($80). Plus I get my prescription on paper (not that it’s really needed). The same can be said for glasses. Jo recently got a pair and this was the breakdown:

Frames: W25,000… but wait there was a 505 off sale! They were really W12,500!
Exam: FREE!
Non-reflective lenses: W30,000
Total: W42,500

Oh… and the glasses were ready in 30 minutes.

Written by Steve Miller

March 15, 2010 at 10:30 am