the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: Health (Page 2 of 2)

The Wider That Her Hips Are

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Have you seen this interesting health news? — Research shows that women with bigger hips have higher IQs than their more slender counterparts. Finally! A way to figure out which readers to dump from my blogroll — the dumb skinny ones. (sorry, size 0 Communicatrix — you just can’t argue with science)

The Wider That Her Hips Are

The wider that her hips are
The higher her IQ
Deena has a nice big ass
So she’s the girl I woo

Mira Sorvino, she’s hourglass
She went to Harvard, did well in class
Keira Knightley, she has no tit
So naturally, she’s as dumb as shit

The wider that her hips are
The higher her IQ
Deena has a nice big ass
So she’s the girl I woo

Her curvy waist, her ample hips
She rides me for an hour
I love the way she conjugates
With all her brainy-power

The wider that her hips are
The higher her IQ
Deena has a nice big ass
So she’s the girl I woo.

Are Bloggers Too “Snarky?”

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Text from this month’s Psychology today (page 44).  Pictures are my own: 

“Don’t stop parroting Daily Show host Jon Stewart just yet, but a cynical outlook really can take years off of your life.  Thanks to their nihilistic bent, cynics tend to engage in more self-destructive behaviors than their sunnier peers.  Research has shown that they smoke and drink more, and are more likely to commit suicide.”

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“Cynics also suffer and die from heart problems in disproportinate numbers.” 

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“Cardiologist Donald Haas at New York’s Mount Sinai Medical School found that suspicious people who suffer from heart disease are more than twice as likely as their more optimistic couterparts to end up gravely ill or hospitalized for their condition.  Haas speculates that cynics may be less likely to follow doctors’ orders – either out of spite or despondency.”

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A Year Ago on Citizen of the MonthDear Chinese People

I Vow to Move My Ass

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Hear Ye, Hear Ye:

This royal decree binds all who sign below.

I, your name here, am one of those “creative types” who would rather sit all day in a hip cafe than workout in a smelly gym. As a wordsmith, I woo others with the brilliance of my words, but have neglected the importance of my calf muscles, forgetting that they are essential for reaching up to the top bookshelf at Barnes and Noble.

As outlined in the previous post, I agree to exercise twice a week for one hour each visit, for one month, starting Monday, May 22nd. If I am not a member of a gym, I agree to do a full exercise routine in or near my home. For each week where my responsibilities are neglected, I will donate twenty dollars to a health-related charity and will humiliate myself on my own blog or in the comment section of this post.

This contract is binding through the power of Google.

As is it written, as it is said.

Bloggers With Biceps (as of 5/22)

Neil
Michele
Femme
Mari
Alison
Bill
Jules
Fitena
Stephanie
Denise
Caitlin
Dating Dummy
Edgy Mama
Kevin
Amanda
Communicatrix
Dan
The Yearning Heart
Mariemm
Anonymous City Girl
Mags
Kelly
Peggy
Ashbloem
Bethany
Plain Jane

Waiting for the Mammogram

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This afternoon, I  accompanied Sophia  to Cedars Sinai for her mammogram.   There were six other women of varying ages in the waiting room.  As I played "Virtual Darts" on my cellphone, Sophia talked with the other women. 

One woman complained about how long it took for her to get an appointment.  Another woman said she’d been waiting for two hours in the waiting room.  Another joked that they make you wait for two hours in one waiting room, then they bring you inside to another waiting area, where you’re tricked into waiting another hour! —  the same gimmick they use at Disneyland to make you feel like you’re moving in line at Space Mountain.  

"And at least at Space Mountain, you don’t have to wear a smock that barely covers you," said the woman.

I probably shouldn’t have gotten involved in the conversation, but blogging has made me an ultra-curious person.  I now talk to everyone, hoping to get a blog post out of it.  I politely asked about the mammogram procedure — and everyone took turns telling me how painful it could be. 

"They squeeze your breasts like they’re in a vise.  Ouch, ouch!" said a third woman.

"I’m sure of one thing, said Sophia,  "If there was such a thing as a penile-gram, and men had to have their penis squished flat every year, I’m sure medical science would have come up with a better machine ten years ago."

All the women nodded in agreement — and looked at me as if I were the enemy.

Citizen of the Month Wants a Cure

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Sophia:  "Neilochka, you certainly love writing about my breasts on your blog, don’t you?"

Neil:  "Of course.  They’re the most exciting things I’ve had to play with since my Etch-A-Sketch."

Note to God:  Are you crazy?  Why did you create the most beautiful things in the world, a brilliant piece of female anatomy that comes in so many tasty shapes and sizes — and then come up with this breast cancer shit?

Sophia:  "You know, it’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Why don’t you say something about breast cancer?"

Neil:  "Like what?"

Sophia:  "You can talk about me." 

Neil:  "I can?" 

Sophia:  "It’s been a year."

It’s been a year.

It’s been a year since they found cancer in Sophia’s left breast.

Last year was pretty shitty.  This is why I was so glad that the Jewish New Year finally came a couple of weeks ago.  Maybe this year will be better.  The year had ended with my father passing away.  It began with Sophia learning she had breast cancer.

There was no history of cancer in Sophia’s family, so it came as a total shock.  It was a time of stress, fear and uncertainty.  National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a great idea —  except when your life was just turned upside down and you suddenly became a "patient" dealing with breast cancer.  Everywhere you go, you are reminded of the disease.  At the supermarket, there are banners hanging.  You try to escape to the mall, and everyone is selling pink bunnies, slippers, bracelets.  Neither of us knew much about cancer, but we sat down for a quick education.  We read every medical site and every book possible.  We got the best doctors at Cedars-Sinai.  Sophia had a lumpectomy and through her own research, found out about a radical experimental radiation treatment.

Sophia was so brave throughout.

It was a new experience for me, as well.  I was supposed to be the caregiver, the "rock,"  but I was probably more of a "big stone."  Although I was always at Sophia’s side, I had this slight little problem of always being more nervous than Sophia herself.  I wish I could have been more like Sophia was when my father was in the hospital.  She can be a "rock."  I never had the strength to demand the best of everyone in the hospital, the way Sophia did for my father.

In fact, I found the experience so stressful, that two days before Sophia was to have her surgery, I got so tense that I ended up at Cedars-Sinai’s Emergency Room myself!  I don’t think the ER nurses ever really understood why my wife was calling me on the phone cursing at me for being in the hospital.

Many of you have emailed me through the last couple of months, asking why Sophia and I are separated.  The most common comment is "You write about her with so much love and admiration." 

There’s no one I love or admire more than Sophia.  Today, despite everything she went through, she is more beautiful than ever.  But, she is still on medication and dealing with continuous treatment and the side effects.  Sometimes, she gets down on herself or fears for her future health.  But she’s a brave and strong woman.  And boy, is she funny too.  I think a good sense of humor is really important in keeping yourself healthy.  On Saturday night, we actually worked together on that recent post on my blog — the one about the flowers and the "sticker."  When we finished it, we must have laughed for a half hour. There’s nothing more exciting to me than seeing Sophia laugh and smile.

Sophia’s sense of humor helped her maintain a great relationship with her doctors.  She was especially friendly with her great surgeon, Scott Karlan and his caring staff.  After her surgery, Sophia thanked him by ordering him a marzipan cake shaped as two huge breasts, with one a little bit lopsided, like hers was after the surgery.

I hope Sophia knows how much she means to me — whatever she is right now — my wife, my separated wife, my friend, my blog editor-in-chief, my dance partner, or the straight man in most of my blog posts.

I think I learned to be a better "rock" during times of hardship, even if I didn’t always say the right thing.  I still try to "fix things" when I should just listen.  Once a week Sophia goes to a group at the Wellness Community, a great place, where people with cancer, their friends and loved ones can talk about different issues.  One of the biggest complaints heard very often is that people just don’t know how to talk to someone with cancer, either out of insecurity, fear or stupidity.

In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Sophia’s group did something special for "Citizen of the Month" :they made a list of stupid things people have said to them.  Let’s hope that reading some of these will help us avoid making the same mistakes.

15 things you should never say to someone with breast cancer:

But you’re so young!

How long do you have?

And you have such beautiful breasts!

Oh no, what are your kids going to do?

You shouldn’t be depressed because if you get down, you’ll waste what little time you have left.

God only gives you what you can handle. 

But you look so good!

Two people just died in our office from cancer — these things always come in threes.

Oh, no.  That’s so weird.  I just saw Melissa Etheridge in concert last week.

I’m wracking my brain.  What could have you done to cause it?

Do you use paper or plastic? — because I read plastic can cause it.

At least with a double mastectomy, you’ll be even.

Don’t say the word.  Just say "C."

Now you’ll see if he really loves you for you.

I know how you feel.

Here’s something you can say:

Sophia, you’re amazing.  Congratulations on being a one-year breast cancer survivor — and getting healthier every day!

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