Thursday, September 28, 2017

Back to the Lake for some fall clean up

Our internet is turned off, so I won't be taking my laptop.  I'll be reading my book, Being Mortal by Atul Gawande for our book club discussion on Monday.

When I was about 40, I noticed I was wearing my mother's hands. So whenever I look at them, she is with me! Dr. Gawande writes:   "40% of the muscle mass of the hand is in the thenar muscles, the muscles of the thumb, and if you look carefully at the palm of an older person (like me) at the base of the thumb, you will notice that the musculature is not bulging but flat. . . The hand has 29 joints, each of which is prone to destruction from osteoarthritis, and this will give the joint surfaces a ragged, worn appearance. The joint collapses.. . . The hand also has 48 named nerve branches. Deterioration of the cutaneous mechanoreceptors in the pads of the fingers produces loss of sensitivity to touch. Loss of motor neurons produces loss of dexterity (I really notice that--have to be very careful not to drop things). . . Using tiny buttons on a phone or touch screen display, becomes increasingly unmanageable."

I have all my permanent teeth, even my wisdom teeth. Dr. Gawande writes:  "In the course of a normal lifetime, the muscles of the jaw lose about 40% of their mass and the bones of the mandible lose about 20% becoming porous and weak. The ability to chew declines, and people shift to softer foods, which are generally higher in fermentable carbohydrates and more likely to cause cavities. By the age of 60, people in an industrialized country like the U.S. have lost, on average, 1/3 of their teeth. After 85, almost 40% have no teeth at all." p. 29, Being Mortal

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