Health:  Thanks to the Outlook crash (don’t ask me about 2016 yet…) I wasn’t able to get hold of my friend Dr. D.  BUT, as long-time followers of this column may remember from long ago, Elaine a highly experimental -DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME – treatment of herself with red/super red/near infrared light in an eye that was diagnosed a few years back with age-related macular degeneration.  (Doctor D, please call, btw!)

Wednesday, we went to the eye doctor.  Naturally, our question was “How’s the ARMD doing?”

It’s gone.


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Her corrected vision in that eye is a little better than 20/40 now and it hasn’t changed (deteriorated) a bit since 2014.  The other eye (not ARMD) had a tiny prescriptive change – but so minor as to not even be worth new glasses!

This does not mean it Elaine was cured – because we do not make medical claims around here.  She just isn’t presenting ARMD anymore.  BUT what she has now is diagnosed as a small epiretinal membrane wrinkle.  I’m thinking (and no doctor!) that this may be a residual of the treatment.  Better than ARMD?  Hell yeah.

Doesn’t mean she’s picking off squirrels at half a mile, though.  Doc says the wrinkle might be treatable later on/some day (years down the road).  Still,  20/40 in the “bad eye” and 20/20 corrected in the good one is just dandy.

My point is sharing this (*arguably good) news is so you can keep your eye out (sicken pun, huh?) for the coming ARMD treatments using specific light frequencies and pulse rates.


But if anyone asks, we are both happy that it’s working out so well!  Maybe it was just a misdiagnosis (From two doctors?  Two saying dry AMD?) in the first several studies several years ago. Or, maybe as the ARMD improved, things didn’t go quite go “back to factory settings.”

But frankly, we will take good news, either way.

My own experience with deep red/NIR accounts for, I believe, about one – if not two – lines of improvement on my operative eye, too.  Remember my adventures with a dislocated IOL and having the multiple surgeries to get back to seeing again?

After a retinal detachment and a long tapering treatment with prednisone, I was back to 20-30 as of 10 days ago.  My detachment was gone but when I don’t do the IR/NIR eye treatment (with eyes closed, through the eyelids) the eye deteriorates back to 20/35 to 20/40.

May not seem like much, but trust me when I tell you, that difference is experientially HUGE.

What can you do?  Have your eye care professional track low level laser light therapy (LLLT) in PubMed where you can find articles like this one:

Photostimulation of mitochondria as a treatment for retinal neurodegeneration.

Sounds like medicalese for “Red/NIR light may be good for the retina” to us.  And check out what the abstract says here:

“…Potent neuroprotective effects have been demonstrated in various models of retinal damage, by red/NIR light, with limited data from human studies showing its ability to improve visual function. Improved neuronal mitochondrial function, increased blood flow to neural tissue, upregulation of cell survival mediators and restoration of normal microglial function have all been proposed as potential underlying mechanisms of red/NIR light.”

You won’t find more solid believers than the two of us here in the Outback.  Just sorry that the technology evolution in the U.A. has to start with cadaver studies and then come to market somewhere other than America (Canada and Europe are ahead in testing).  Oh well…wanted to pass it on, though.

There is hope for solid ARMD treatment coming!


Long IR is what campfires put out in their dying phase.  Maybe ARMD is one of those diseases from too much time in front of other than a good campfire, you think?

Then We Went Shopping

Going anywhere with Elaine is always one series of remarkable coincidences after another.

She went to the deli counter at the local Brookshire’s to get some sliced ham and some roast beef slices for sandwiches (yum…French dip!).  While she did that, I grabbed the cart (partly full from the veggie sections) and wandered off to stock up on things I’d remembered from the list.

While she was waiting to be served, a woman  walked up to her and asked her if she could read the expiration data on some deli item.  I laughed to myself:  What at the odds!??  Eyes still dilated bigger than  an owl, wearing sunglasses, and this lady out of the blue wants her to read fine print!

But, it gets better.

I take the cart while the ladies were gabbing – by now the woman at the counter was roped into expiration date hunting – figuring I could get most things while that was in progress.  Soups, meats, dairy…you know the list.

Then, I headed back to see Elaine (nowhere to be seen).  But, the lady who was talking to her at the counter came up to me.

Have you seen your wife?  She took my cart!”

At this, we began a storewide search for Elaine.  Shortly later, I found here happily shopping and putting things in the stranger’s cart.

All’s well that ends well:  I put the deli items in our cart.  Elaine rolled back to the deli counter where the other lady was waiting.  And they had a fine laugh about it.

I call it “distracted shopping.”

I fear for people’s lives if Elaine figures out how to text while shopping.

St. Patrick’s in the Meat Department

Getting off the ranch  is a rare enough thing that I enjoy doing the shopping.

Suddenly, which I was walking past meats to dairy, a gruff male voice says “Give me your wallet!” which sticking something in my side.

I’m marred and therefore broke, Kevin, and all I have is a throw-done phone because I’m not stupid…”

For a half second I wondered what I’d do if that was not Kevin  from the meat section…but it was.

We chatted about important man topics (meaty subjects, mostly).  But then when I tossed a big corned beef in the cart he stopped me with some really useful advice:

You didn’t really mean to get a ‘tip cut’ did you?”

Ure put on his best “Oh….er…..” but he saw through it.

Stepping over to a huge slab of beef he said “See this point end?  This is the point.  Down at the other end is the “flat cut.”  Unless you want to do a lot chewing…always remember to get the FLAT CUT CORNED BEEF.”

This is why I like going to the store.  When you live in a small burg long enough, you get to know the people you’re buying from.  They cut things just the way you like them – and they give you little tidbits like this without expecting anything in return.

Damn fine shopping experience.  Oh, and I got to keep the throw-down phone.

Well, off to start working on Peoplenomics for this weekend.  While the market won’t likely (and knock on wood here) crash any earlier than 55 days out (or longer), we are starting to work up the best employment strategies for them times ahead.

And now that the worst of global climate change has passed.

My older sister pointed out that it was warmer last week in Edmonton, Alberta, than in Texas.  Something of a joke in Canada.

But if we ever get as serious about hockey as we are about oil, cheerleaders, or BBQ, we could roll over most of Canada in a weekend.

Restless Legs?

Last but not least, as we were checking out, who do you suppose got in the same line as us?  Yep, the cart-jacking victim.

And it was there we had a conversation about what’s in carts…the woman had some quinine (tonic).  Early for gin and tonic?

No – she takes it for restless leg syndrome.  But when I looked at the restless leg syndrome foundation website, turns out that quinine for RLS is associated with a higher death rate.

Still it was in some health letter she subscribed to, so Ure on your own to sort out of the truth.  IF your truth involves gin and tonic, what time did you want us over?

More than anything, Wednesday was like a cloud of surreal events.  Kinda like beaming down to a strange planet…

Write when you get rich,