My brain, ears, skin, innards

The Wordle word for Sunday, August 6, 2023 was POLYP

I was going to write a comprehensive report on my health. But it became complicated and lengthy, so I’ll break it up. Today, I’ll concentrate on my brain, ears, skin, and another part.

BRAIN: When I attended a Juneteenth event, one of the tabling organizations was doing research into the brain. Specifically, they were checking people for mental acuity and cognitive decline.

I went to their office a few weeks later and took paper and pencil tests. Also, they swabbed the inside of my cheeks. Two weeks later, I got the results. The apolipoprotein E (APOE) genes from my parents are 3,3. This means I have an average chance of developing Alzheimer’s. APOE 2,2 is the best, which only 8% of people have, and people with  4,4 are most at risk.

It’s too hard to explain, so read this article about tau. For me, this is fascinating stuff.

EARS: My wife complained that I did not hear well. I found this odd because I would be in a room during conversations and pick up information she missed.

Still, I went to the ENT place. I had wax buildup. I did not know some information: you shouldn’t use Q-Tips or the like in your ears, not so much because they’ll hurt the eardrum as much as they’ll help the wax to become impacted.

About an hour later, I had a hearing test. I am missing higher-pitched sounds in my left ear. I blame Pete Townshend! At some point, I’ll get some treatment.


SKIN: Back in January, my dermatologist gave me a prescription for  Ruxolitinib (Opzelura™), which is “the only medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to restore lost skin color in people who have vitiligo.”

Unfortunately, when I took it to the CVS, I was told it would cost me several hundred dollars. I’m still trying to negotiate this issue months later. It’s not just vanity. I’m more prone to skin cancer now than I was in the past.

Inside look

COLON: Both my wife and I had colonoscopies in the past two weeks. The last time I even MENTIONED having one, I was told it was TMI. I disagreed then and now. I’m a fan of regular testing with colon cancer on the rise, particularly among those under 50.

Initially, she was going to have hers eight days before mine, but for reasons, I ended up having mine five days before hers.

This time, the prep wasn’t a big deal for me. Pro tip: JELL-O and other gelatin products are considered liquid. On that day before the procedure, when you can’t eat anything, JELL-O is a superb approximation.

Another thing: when you mix seven capfuls of Miralax into 28 oz. of Gatorade, you will need a larger container for the mixture.

After my procedure, my wife said I wasn’t myself. I wasn’t smiling. She asked if I could make it up the stairs. Her questions made me grumpier. This passed.

But my right nostril itched, probably from the oxygen tube in there. As a result, I sneezed uncontrollably for three days. That was new.

I got a document from my doctor’s portal, which was incomprehensible. Then a day later, I received something in English. “The biopsies from the ulcer in your colon did not show any sign of cancer or malignancy, which is good news.” I need to make a follow-up appointment, but happy, happy, joy, joy.

I’ll do another report reasonably soon.

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