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Showing posts from August, 2018

3.3. Cardiac = of the heart

A heart beating through the chest can be visible, not just in cartoons.

1: verb. to omit sounds from a word.
2: verb. to lose consciousness.

Heart palpitations aren't always abby normal. Everybody gets butterflies once in a while. Racing, skipping, or pounding heart beats may come from nervousness, sleep deprivation, caffeine, alcohol, or tobacco. Rule out possible heart failure and thyroid issues.

Auscultation is a type of auditory consultation between a medical professional and specific parts of a patient's body, mediated by thoughtfully pre-warmed instruments. Tell me the truth, the stethoscope whispers, and the heart acquiesces.

Cardiac tamponade is about as bad as it sounds. Excess fluid must be drained, not plugged.
Lubb: S1, the long, low sounds of tricuspid and mitral valves closing during contraction of the heart.
Dubb: S2, the short, high sounds of aortic and pulmonic valves closing during relaxation. Also: a musical genre.

The stuttering "b"s above…

3.2. ABO = blood type

In parts of Asia, people don't just consult the zodiac, star signs, and the eight numbers of one's birth (八字). There's an entire culture of personality decoding based on blood type. It all started in 1927 when Takeji Furukawa, a professor at Tokyo Women’s Teacher’s School, shared his research connecting personality traits with blood type. Since then, friends and romantic interests ask if one's A, B, AB, or O, and in Japan, people reportedly get discriminated against at school and work based on their blood type.

Correlation of personality with one's A, B, AB, or O blood has not been supported by many credible studies, but some people take this very seriously. If you know your blood type (and you really should), see if the traits below sound about right.

A: Contrary to the Western concept of a "type A personality," people with type A blood (and antigens) can take a long time doing something when they're not motivated, or finish the same task in a jiffy …

3.1. 灰 = Gray

The Chinese character, 灰, has multiple meanings: mortar, ash, gray, and loss of hope.

Californian skies have been gray for most of summer, thick with particles, true to the image of dust to dust, ashes to ashes, and the general feeling of it being the end of the world. The elderly, the young, the asthmatic, and respiratory patients were encouraged to stay indoors. In fact, everyone should have been wearing masks, like a scene in some post-apocalyptic sci-fi flick.

There are endless shades of gray, certainly more than fifty, especially in real life and not fiction. No judgment either way--that's the point. The continuum is horizontal, rather than vertical (from heaven to hell).

From now on, nursing school will be more and more gray, our new instructor says. She's referring to gray area, non-black-and-white-ness, no absolute good or bad, but things sitting somewhere on the spectrum. Possibly, she's also talking about the gray hairs sprouting from our scalps with each fluid an…

hepatic = everything liver

Like a starfish or lizard, the liver can regenerate. A severed liver won't grow itself a whole new human, but as long as 25% of it is still there, a healthy quarter-liver can grow back to its original size. 
Ancient Greek physicians talked about yellow and black bile, respectively associated with fire and earth, passion and prudence.
Chinese medicine associates the liver with the element of wood, the emotion of anger, and ying chi.
The liver may not be imbued with emotions in these anthropomorphic manners, but when it falls ill, blood won't clot, skin turns yellow, the body swells from water retention, and the brain's poisoned with ammonia.
This sleek, brown sponge separates specific compounds from blood in the body, filtering hormones, alcohol, and drugs. To the best of its abilities, it does a first pass of everything we take in, the therapeutic and toxic. 
Like a moist, leather satchel, the liver also stores important molecules: glycogen; vitamins A, D, E, K, B12; iron…

TKD = taekwondo

We interrupt our regular programming of blood, guts and babies to talk about taekwondo, a traditional Korean martial arts form.

Tae = kick/strike with the foot.
The foot as a blade, as hammer, as hook, the blow that knocks someone out, a broom sweeping the enemy down, pushing an intruder to the ground.

Kwon = punch/strike with the hands.
The hands, fist or palm, can be knives, blocks for poles, a punch to the solar plexus, bladed support when one rolls or falls, or a friendly hand to help a competitor back up from the mat.

Do = the art, the way of life.
Like any relationship, one's journey in martial arts has ups and downs. There's a honeymoon period, initial excitement--passion or obsession, even. That may not last, but commitment does. There are milestones but also little bumps, minor or major injuries. Things get in the way of training, but some amazing people also support one along the way. Sometimes one learns to find fun in dressing in full storm-trooper sparring gear on a …