get new glasses

I finally got around to getting my eyes checked. And I did have a new prescription.

The specs are fantastically better than those I bought only 3 years ago.

Lesson learned – get my eyes checked annually.

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World Sustainable Development Goals

Thinking BIG PICTURE.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were the eight international development goals for the year 2015 that had been established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, following the adoption of the United Nations Millennium Declaration.

All 191 United Nations member states at that time, and at least 22 international organizations, committed …

As of 2013, progress towards the goals was uneven. …

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) replaced the MDGs in 2016.

related – Kofi Annan, former UN secretary general, dies

Shouldice Hernia Hospital and Resort

NO FAT DUDES!

Feeling great, I was just discharged after 4 nights in the Toronto (luxury) Shouldice hospital. I’ll taxi to the airport. Then catch a redeye flight to “rehab” at this campsite in Iceland.

My plan is to camp near the hot springs for up to 8 nights. Hike as much as my recovery allows. There’s a good chance I’ll end up doing the 4 day Laugavegur trek.

Like almost all their patients, I was very satisfied with Shouldice.

I’d had my left side inguinal hernia repaired 30 years ago at age-30. This time it was a right side inguinal fix.

I got the appointment at Shouldice about 6 weeks after application. In Alberta it would have been about 6 months. Inguinal hernia surgery is low priority. A relatively easy operation. In fact, it’s the “oldest” and the most commonly performed surgery worldwide.

The only debate is whether to get …

1. NON-MESH (Shouldice) repair
2. MESH (Lichtenstein) repair

Both work. Most surgeons use mesh as it’s less invasive. Faster. Quicker recovery.

Some say the Shouldice is better for simple, first-time repairs. Mesh better for bilateral and/or recurrent inguinal hernias.

Shouldice does 70,000 hernia surgeries a year. It’s all they do. Specialists. Only about 1% get mesh. At Shouldice they like the traditional Shouldice technique they popularized.

Only about 1 / 1000 operations at this hospital results in serious complications.

Patients are carefully screened. Required to be within 20% of their ideal body weight. Many with pre-existing complications are refused. That’s one BIG reason for their high success rate.

Shouldice is a factory. Five days a week patients begin the program. Each day is scripted. Everybody is in the same boat.

Daily “Exercise Class” is a bit comic. One day we marched to the soundtrack of Bridge Over The River Kwai.

Americans are here. One guy from California told me he booked at Shouldice because his research showed they were best in the world. He was getting a both sides done during the same trip after putting it off for 15 years.

One fellow from B.C. decided he did not want mesh. Coming here was his only option.

Patients are mostly old men. There are a few young guys. And a few women. (I’d not realized women got hernia surgery.)

Once I get my budget finalized I’ll post it. Alberta will repay me for more than half of the medical cost, I believe. (I was told PEI pays nothing. It varies Province to Province.)

Looks like my out-of-pocket will be about CAD $1500 plus travel.

Cost at other similar hernia hospitals: India CAD$1254, Ukraine CAD$1019, Morocco CAD$1000. Thailand about £1,050 for a day procedure. Most of those would be one day mesh prices, I assume.

Canada is single payer healthcare. HOW is this for profit hospital allowed?

It has a special licence from the Ontario Ministry of Health to continue operating.

I’d go back to Shouldice if I needed another hernia operation. But before you book, read a report of a surgeon who works close to the hospital. She feels the Shouldice program requires patients to stay too long. It’s a waste of money.

Patients are charged about $250 / night for shared room and excellent food.

Shouldice.com

Golf with Rockin’ Ronnie

For some reason Ron’s gotten back into the Game. He dragged me to gorgeous Northlands.

I quit golf about 20 years ago. Too expensive. Too time consuming.

But I did enjoy ruining a beautiful walk on this beautiful day.

We had fun golfing with Chief Gibby Jacob, Executive Operating Officer of the Squamish Nation. Very personable. Very funny. Very patient with my lousy game.

My highlight was skipping lunch and driving over to C-Lovers Fish & Chips for deep fried homemade battered mushrooms instead of the 19th hole. Ron and I always had deep fried mushrooms after Golf at Kokanee Springs Golf Course when we were kids. #nostalgia

I’m on blood pressure medication

My GP tried me on 3.5 mg Viacoram.

It went down from 160 / 105 to 150 / 100.

He then doubled it to 7 mg Viacoram.

It stayed about the same at 150 / 97.

The third experiment has me on …

Viacoram 5/7mg every morning for the next 90 days.

Apo-Hydro (hydrochlorothiazide) 12.5mg every evening with dinner for 90 days.

I’ll be tracking results.