Thursday, December 18, 2008

Trash talk

I was shopping one day a year or so ago and discovered that I could read food labels without my reading glasses if I squinted. Ah freedom, no longer dependent on glasses that are somewhere that I am not, I now scrunch my lids easily and often over the printed page.

So no problem today when my glasses again gave me the slip. Squinted and healed my way through the afternoon. As I threw a wad of exam table paper in the trash, I noticed the dark plastic ear piece of a pair of glasses poking up from under a discarded kleenex box (ah yes, threw that away late morning after a lady wept her way through her appointment). Well how about that, some hare-brained patient has thrown her glasses away, methought.

Need I say more?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Stain or abstain: The coffee question

Here's a riff on a menopause moment of a different sort.

I've always been an early riser. Time it was that I'd rise and shine, as in hit the pavement for a walk, or throw on clothes and get to work early to catch up on charts. Now I rise and read, savoring hot, fresh coffee and the morning paper or a book before anyone else is up.

The operative words in my current, slower, menopausal mornings are 'savor' paired with 'hot, fresh coffee' and 'a book'. Coffee has been exonerated of any connection to pancreatic cancer or breast cancer. Its consumption is linked to decreased risk of diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and cirrhosis of the liver. I actually don't entirely trust people who don't like coffee, and I am appalled by the number of my patients who declare with a certain virtuous smugness that they've given up coffee only to substitute diet pop.

But I am deeply dismayed by this advice from a New York cosmetic dentist as found in the September issue of Health Magazine:

I avoid stained teeth by drinking my coffee quickly. If you sip it over the course of an hour; it keeps coating and recoating.

Gad, don't want any of that coating and recoating business. Perhaps the good doctor takes hers intravenously?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Grounds for concern

Got the coffee ready early yesterday morning using the fancy Costa Rican beans that my daughter brought back from her recent trip. Flipped the switch, then headed upstairs for leisurely work on my hair and face before breakfast.

Alas, I stopped one task short of completion in the coffee-brewing business--forgot to put the carafe in place. After the basket filled with hot water (our model has a valve that prevents water flow out of the basket when the pot is removed), the overflow, complete with grounds, oozed over the top, onto the counter, under cannisters, dish drainer, toaster oven, Magic Bullet, and into the newspaper.

And my pleasant early morning routine? Grounded!