Friday, January 4, 2008

New Year's Resolutions, a fitness plan, a THANK YOU

It has been a couple weeks since I wrote last because my computer monitor totally crashed shortly before my third child, Luke, was born. I bought a monitor earlier this week - wow, was it expensive. I am told I got a deal, as a kind friend referred me to it and I paid $125 for it. Yet most cost more! For the price of most monitors, you might as well buy a new computer. Anyway, I'm glad to be up and running again...and posting.

Each year I excitedly set before me New Year's Resolutions. This year, I have three resolutions: the first is to spend more time doing Christian devotions with my family each night; the second is to spend more time reading the Bible with my wife after my children go to sleep; and the third is to rid myself of sinusitis and allergies once and for all. Although I cannot regenerate the turbinate tissue that was removed, and thus have to suffer the effects of the turbinectomy to some extent, I CAN control the sinusitis and allergies to a large extent. It's going to be a real challenge, but I believe it can be largely cured.

The main areas in which I really need to improve in order to control my sinusitis include 1) improving my diet - e.g., I have been taking many herbal supplements, eating more vegetables, and decreasing the amount of dairy food of late - and developing a fitness program. I have been reading "Fitness Your Way" by Jim Lafountain. Jim is the athletic director where I work and owner of the All-American Fitness Center in New Hartford. I would strongly recommend reading his book that is chok full of practical suggestions on how to begin developing a fitness plan to meet your particular needs. You can buy it at This book has so much useful information on fitness that I can't believe I was following some of the lies that the media promotes. One such lie is what Jim calls the myth of mindless miles. Basically, this belief amounts to the fact that more is better when it comes to running. Jim reminds the reader that our legs will tire and like a vehicle, will experience much wear and tear over time, causing knee injuries to the chronic runner. He notes that while mild discomfort is to be expected, pain should not be tolerated in a fitness plan. He notes a mixture of running, walking, biking and - yes, stretching, might help you meet your cardiovascular needs. That's a simplification, but you get the gist. Jim recommends ensuring that your fitness plan has three components - cardiovascular, stretching, and resistance training (strength training), but that often people focus on just one aspect of fitness, excluding the other two. This is a mistake, in his opinion. His book is really a great book, and I would heartily recommend it for getting help developing a fitness plan on your terms.

Finally, I would like to kick out a thank you to Dr. Winston Vaughn of San Francisco, California. Dr. Vaughn trained at Stanford Medical School and, according to his online resume, is also on the Board of the American Rhinologic Society. Given his connections, now I know why he thought my book was having an impact among the ENTs. Clearly, he is a distinguished professional. So why do I kick out a big thank you? Dr. Vaughn enjoyed reading Having Nasal Surgery? so much that he bought 10 copies of it. He plans to share these copies with those in his journal club and with other ear, nose and throat specialists. That is wonderful. It is a great feeling to win the respect of intelligent people. I learned of this because one of his patients told me. Thank you so much, Dr. Vaughn, and I hope the other specialists enjoy the book as much as you did. And I hope they buy a number of copies for their fellow doctors and colleagues. I and other empty nose sufferers much appreciate your attention to and support of this worthy cause of empty nose syndrome.