From the category archives:

Stay out of my ER!

Sometime over the weekend of May 1, 2015,  a prominent Silicon Valley executive, Dave Goldberg, died suddenly and unexpectedly. In addition to being the CEO of the popular start up Survey Monkey he was also the husband of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Dave Goldberg and Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg

As of Monday May 4, the cause of his death is still not publically known which is rather unusual for such a high profile individual. This has led to many questions and even some wild speculation including suicide or drug overdose.

With so many questions, we thought it might be useful to list some of the most probable reasons for the sudden passing of an extraordinarily successful and apparently extremely well liked and admired middle aged man who appears perfectly healthy.

The first and most likely cause of death would be an accident. In this case, however, this seems unlikely, as an accident –especially one involving a vehicle – would likely be public knowledge. Of course, a slip, fall and head trauma (such as in a bathroom) could be a possibility.

A sudden massive heart attack is a very likely cause and it is not uncommon for otherwise healthy men in their forties and fifties to succumb to sudden cardiac arrest.

Another silent killer and possibility, a brain aneurysm. Often asymptomatic even a small rupture could cause rapid death.

Those are the two most likely reasons for Dave Goldberg’s untimely demise and it will be interesting to see if the cause is ever actually disclosed.


I haven’t personally counted, but the average person will walk about 115,000 miles in a lifetime.

Unfortunately, about seventy-five percent of us will develop foot problems as we go, and most of these are in women.

We take our feet for granted, and we need them to work well to stay active. But in truth, they are complex mechanisms, and foot trouble can reflect serious issues in the body – like diabetes, arthritis, and circulatory or nerve problems.

So we must stay in tune with our tootsies. This means daily washing in lukewarm water, with soap, and drying them thoroughly, especially between the toes. Trim your nails straight across. Use a lotion to fight dry skin. Wear clean socks, and shoes that fit.

Don’t forget to inspect your feet and toes regularly. Take a look; use a mirror if needed. Watch for anything unusual, and be alert to injuries that aren’t healing. When in doubt, go see one of the excellent podiatrists in our area. Can’t get to their office? Just call the toe truck!


The Holiday’s often add stress.

Stress is part of life, but how we deal with it varies wildly. Some of us meditate. Some of us drink – or jog, or work harder, or eat junk food. Some of us take our stress out on our families or co-workers.

Since stress is always going to be part of our lives, we all need to find our own best tools for dealing with it.

Some have found healthy techniques: like going to the gym, talking with friends, doing yoga or meditation – or avoiding stressful situations. Some go fly fishing, or play basketball, or take long walks.

Relying heavily on alcohol, junk food, or medications is not a good long term strategy for success. Look in the mirror, and ask yourself this question: “Am I dealing with my stress in a healthy and sustainable way?” If not, then it’s time for a change. It might not be an easy topic to bring up with your doctor, but do it anyway. Remember, life is much too important to be taken too seriously.

This is the Doctor with your Stress Management Report.


10-best-must-have-power-tools-gear-patrolI was attempting to build a deck today, pretending to be a handy guy, and as per my usual custom thinking about the worst construction accidents I have seen.

These are not just morbid ruminations of my darker side, but useful ways to avoid being hurt. Standing on a ladder while using a circular saw to cut off a piece of trim really gets the imagination going, because of the sheer number of different ways to lacerate, contuse, dismember, and abrade your body. For instance, I must remember to keep the ladder secure so I don’t tip over, breaking my wrist and impaling my face on a piece of rebar.

I can’t cut off a piece of lumber, and let it fall on my foot and then break my neck when I stumble in pain. Perhaps most importantly, I want to make sure I don’t position my body over a fence so that if I do fall off the ladder, I don’t straddle the fence and crush my testicles. Even when I’m finished using the circular saw, I must remember not to set it down while it’s running, so that it doesn’t run over my foot and amputate my toes. In fact, I’ve gotten so paranoid about all of these scenarios that sometimes I find myself just staring at my power tools, too afraid to pick them up.

Perhaps this is why the deck is unfinished after 6 months.

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Welcome to another installment of the Top 10 Ways to Avoid the ER.

Don’t get overweight

Have you ever seen a little sign on a step ladder that tells you how many pounds it can support? Typically it will say that it is rated for no more than 250 pounds, for example. Unfortunately, our bodies do not come with a weight limit rating printed on our foreheads, but they should. Once you have exceeded your own personal limit, you cannot expect your body to function normally, but you can expect to come visit me in the ER. You will be more likely to have strokes, heart attacks, problems with your joints, injuries, etc. Take a moment to calculate your body mass index (BMI), and if you are higher than 25, you’ve got some work to do.
By the way, this is a good site to calculate your BMI.