Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Annual physical


Today's big news was my annual physical.

My doctor is in his early seventies and I trust him with my life. He attends seminars. He reads papers. He PAYS ATTENTION. It is entirely possible to invest 16 hours in a weekend seminar and learn nothing. He values his time too much to do that.

Like most men in my early '60s my blood-work had some anomalies. In his mind, an anomaly is just that until it is replicated with a follow-up test.

I am not a doctor, so it is possible that I heard him incorrectly, but it is my impression that he was advising almost all patients to hold off on Covid boosters until scientific, peer reviewed studies on statistically significant patients started popping out in the December time-frame. The two things that might change his mind would be if the vaccines were updated for Delta and Mu variants and/or if you(as an individual) had multiple comorbidities and high risk of exposure.

The other big item in my annual physical were my heart-beat irregularities.

My doctor is not a hasty fellow. He will be ordering all of the testing that such information triggers, but he informed me that he strongly suspected that it was related to gastric reflux based on timing and other information.

Our digestive system has its own, independent nervous system. It talks to our other autonomous nervous system in ways that are not obvious. Gastric reflux can make your heart go pitty-pat just like when you kiss your best-girl.

Who knew?


  1. Gastric reflux can, and often does, interfere with the Vegas Nerve which enters the abdomen from the 10th vertebrae and divides to control the lower intestine and the heart. Gastric reflux combined with a spastic esophagus can severely disrupt heart rhythm, even resulting in atrial fibrillation. Drinking or eating something cold will trigger it the same way. So to mitigate the problem there are various drugs that are used. However I have found that a glass of wine with your meals will pretty much stop the arrhythmias. And if you are feeling an irregular heartbeat anytime a couple ounces of wine will smooth it out. And do not drink anything cold or eat ice cream.--ken

    1. And as an aside when I found out that the vegas nerve controls both the heart and the rectum I realized why some people are lawyers: they really are assholes at heart. ---ken

  2. Being a lawyer, and a bit of an asshole at heart, I must point out that the Vegas nerve is what controls your ability to leave the gaming tables in Nevada when you are about to pawn your Rolex for that one big break. The Vagus nerve impacts digestion…

  3. Glad you've got one that listens!

  4. Everyone is different but making sure I eat an uncooked vegetable each day keeps the reflux at bay. Things like a carrot, broccoli or lettuce.


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