Flawless Perfection & Week 23/36 Weigh-In

In this blog

  • Flawless Perfection
  • Week 24/36 Weigh-In

 – Flawless Perfection – 

Usually when I first wake up in the morning there is already something preset in my mind, either a topic or concept or maybe even something I need to do.  While I was going through my 24 days of study prep for my Part III exam I had one morning theme occur twice and that was Flawless Perfection.

Flawless Perfection has to do with people – pretty much everybody.  I suppose part of me was thinking in terms of diamonds.  Ratings such as VVS refer to Very, Very Small Inclusions which is one indicator for a very high quality diamond and that’s the way most people are – very, very high quality.  I also recall a saying from a book I once read by Denis Waitley which stated, if we could buy people for what they think they are worth and sell them for what they are really worth then we would be billionaires overnight because it seems like most people don’t realize how high quality and spectacular they really are.

Although I’ve had these thoughts before about people, I think a video on YouTube may have been another catalyst to bring this thinking back to the forefront of my brain.  I think I was looking up Tic Douloureux (trigeminal neuralgia) and along the side was an associated video of some type of extreme makeover for a person with an overgrown jaw.  It seemed a bit tawdry but, I’m not immune to such things, so I clicked on it.

The biggest part of this makeover involved jaw reconstruction – the jaw was broken and parts of the jaw were removed bilaterally to eliminate the protruding underbite.  There were also a few other docs like a dermatologist and ophthalmologist then things kept getting more superficial such as makeup and clothing.

From my perspective and observation of this individual, I could easily see that they were essentially perfect as is and I don’t mean that to be glib but literally and this could pretty much be proven mathematically as well.  Just with the review books I was pouring over in the last month, we covered several hundred various inclusions or diseases and ailments a person could have but, this person in the video didn’t show signs of any of them.

I have the 23rd edition of Cecil Medicine which is 3,078 pages long and usually has multiple ailments per page so, even if this person’s protruding jaw were listed in that book that’s still a very small fraction of things that could potentially be wrong with her but, moreover – consider the ICD codes.  These codes are used in health care offices to document diagnoses.   The latest version is ICD 10 and according to a quick Googling there are 68,000 different ICD 10 codes.  Incidentally, ICD stands for International Classification of Disease. – honestly, I thought I’ve read of there being over 150,000 codes but, I could have been mistaken.

So, even if a person has 1, 2 or even 10 different ailments or diseases – given the enormous number of things that could be wrong with them, the ailments would still constitute such a small percentage that they would still be more flawlessly brilliant than even the most flawless diamond.

People in general

People in general

Anemias – 25 to 30 Trillion

For the past week or so I’ve been working to learn more about anemias, a condition which effects about 1 out of 4 people globally.  In my head, I’ve always had the approximate numbers of 4-6 million when it comes to lab results for a CBC (complete blood count) but, what finally got in my head during my studies were the units used which are given in cells/mcl – cells per microliter.  A microliter is one millionth of a liter.  We’re talking about something about the size of 1/10th of a grain of rice and, on average – between men and women, say about 5,000,000 red blood cells contained in that tiny little speck of rice.

So, in one liter of blood, we’re now talking 5 million red blood cells per microliter times 1 million (the number of microliters in a liter) and get an answer of 5 Trillion!  5,000,000,000,000 red blood cells in a liter of blood.

How many liters in the human body?  That depends a lot on the size of the individual but, an answer such as 5-6 liters should cover the bulk of the Gaussian curve and if we use the lower end of 5 liters of blood in the human body then the total number of RBC’s would be 5 times 5 trillion or 25 Trillion Red Blood Cells!  I recall reading once that the annual US budget is in the neighborhood of 4 trillion and a quick Googling stated there is about 10.5 trillion US dollars floating around worldwide.  So, the number of red blood cells in our body trumps those numbers by a quite a bit.

The numbers in the human body can get even more staggering if we consider the fact that each red blood cell holds about 250 million hemoglobin molecules – what’s 25 trillion times 250 million?  idk….

and – each molecule of hemoglobin can hold 4 oxygen molecules ….  well, I can do 25 Trillion times 4 – 100 Trillion then take that times 250 million for the total number of oxygen receptor sites on all those hemoglobin molecules.

From Guyton Textbook of Medical Physiology (11th ed, page 3):  “Although the red cells are the most abundant of any single type of cell in the body, there are about 75 trillion additional cells of other types that perform functions different from those of the red cell.  The entire body, then, contains about 100 trillion cells”

idk – try putting a puzzle together with 100 trillion pieces which is to say nothing of all the individual components that make up all these cells.

I was watching a video the other day which showed that a car engine can be taken apart and it’s pieces scattered all over but, for someone that knows what they’re doing, all those pieces can be put back together and the car can run like it did before it was taken apart.  With people – not so much.

If there is anything more spectacularly amazing than people, I have yet to discover what it is.

Week 23/36 Weigh-In

Why Week 23/36?

Well, I’ve weighed myself every week for 36 weeks and it’s been 23 weeks since my ….huh, i believe i made a mistake – it’s actually been 24 weeks worth of weigh ins since my weight loss contest ended (i should have counted Week 0 as week 1 for maintenance)

Week n - 2nd 12 Week Session Weeks 23-36 - Copy

I like those numbers better – 24/36.  12 weeks of weight loss, 24 weeks of maintaining the weight loss.

We definitely reached a new high with last weeks weigh in but, it’s still only about 3% above where this maintenance phase started 24 weeks ago.  Initially, I was considering all the extra stress inherent with that Part III exam as part of the explanation for the weight increases over the past  ….well, 6 weeks now.  However my frequency of running has greatly diminished and last week – my number of runs was zero which is quite a contrast from the 100 miles I put in during the month of August.

Primarily, I’ve been consciously wanting to avoid stress so, maybe nixing the running is one way my psyche went about helping to accomplish that objective.  I could tell my brain was in a funky place the past few weeks and figured it would get back to normal eventually.

I did replace the picture of Southern Sardinia with one of the Swiss Alps 🙂

I started this blog about 5 days ago and kept adding bullet points – about 15 of them but, that’s a lot to blog about.  There are just so many interesting things out there.

Alas, it’s time to do that work thing 🙂


Muscle Splinting Psychology & Foot Keystones

An Impetus to Psychological Splinting:
Muscle splinting is a phenomenon where the body will try and protect itself by causing certain muscles to become hypertonic or stiff in order to help protect underlying visceral or somatic tissue.  A couple examples that come to mind would be in the case of appendicitis or whiplash.

Considering appendicitis, when a doctor performs an abdominal exam they will palpate and percuss four quadrants of the abdominal region, in the lower right quadrant is an area known as McBurney’s point which is about 1/2 way between the umbilicus and anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS) or about 2/3rds of the way down for doctors practicing in Europe.  The muscles superficial to the appendix will tighten up to help protect an inflamed appendix and this point will cause pain when palpated in a pt with appendicitis.

McBurney's Point

McBurney’s Point

A similar mechanism takes place in a whiplash patient regarding the muscles around the neck.  Again, the body is trying to protect itself.

As I wake this morning there is a bit more stress and anxiety inherent with another trip and another round of reviews for my impending Part III boards testing.  In the medical community the Part III analog is called Step 3.

Steps 1 and 2 for MDs or Parts I and II for DCs are essentially test which cover basic sciences like chemistry, physiology, anatomy, biochemistry, pathology and the like.  For chiropractors I know Part 1 consist of 9 hours of testing spread out over a two day period of time and part II is a bit longer and also spread out over two days.  Part III is only a 4 hour exam with half given in the first two hours, then a 20 minute break then another 2 hours of testing to finish up.  Part III is more clinical in nature and among other things covers all the basic exams, such as the aforementioned abdominal exam.

I’m not exactly sure why but some things stick very well the first time I hear them while other things take considerable focus and effort to get in my brain.  One thing that stuck when first learning the abdominal exam is a condition known as Caput Medusa.  I guess it has a catchy name that’s hard to forget.  Caput Medusa (CM) is a distention of veins around the umbilicus and although it can be caused by increased pressure in the inferior vena cava the liver is usually what I think of first regarding CM and portal hypertension.

Patient with Caput Madusa

Patient with Caput Madusa

My writing has gone a little tangential but my original thinking was engaged in finding insight into a possible phenomenon I’ll refer to as psychological splinting.  The brain is a visceral organ but instead of thinking in terms of a physical insult or any type of trauma we may also consider psychological insult or trauma and ways we, as humans may and up splinting ourselves psychologically in order to help protect ourselves.

As mentioned earlier, I am currently in a position which allows me an opportunity to use myself as a kind of living laboratory in order to examine my own responses to increases in stress and anxiety.  In order for my brain to help figure out a scientific type allegory I was lead to the concept of muscle splinting and have just started to ponder and consider implications associated with such thinking.

However, I am pressed for time so I’ll have to allocate portions of my four and a half hour trip to Kansas for further evaluation and pondering of psychological splinting.


Foot Keystones
There are three arches in the foot; a lateral and medial arch as well as a transverse arch.

Three Arches of the Foot

Three Arches of the Foot

In each of these arches, one bone in each arch acts as a keystone to each arch, the place where maximal stress and load takes place.

In the medial arch the navicular bone is the keystone.  In the lateral arch it’s the cuboid and the transverse arch most commonly has the 2nd metatarsal as the keystone.  An interesting part about this is that those bones, particularly the navicular and cuboid bones are bones that we, as chiropractors, have specifically learned to adjust.

The second metatarsal bone is most common in people with normal biomechanics however that load might also be found on the third or sometimes even as far over as the 4th metatarsal depending on the particular individual.

Morton Neuroma is found along the transverse arch, usually between the 2nd and 4th metatarsal and most commonly between the third and fourth metatarsal.  It is a perineural fibrosis (a thickening of tissue around one of your nerves) and causes nerve degeneration of the common digital nerve.  This usually results in a burning pain (which is common for nerve injuries) and often refers to the dorsal or top surface of the foot.

High heeled shoes have been linked to the development of Morton’s neuroma.  However, it should be noted that when referring to something like high-heeled shoes we come back to a basic situation of altered biomechanics.

One type of psychological splinting discovered for myself. 
Today, it looks like I’ve managed to put off final packing for my trip by writing in this blog so, avoidance may be considered one type of psychological splinting (PS) that I employ in my own life.  Beyond that, however, I’ve taken note of the method employed for my own method of PS which would have to do with reaching out to others and communications.  I would consider avoidance to be a general manifestation of PS while the mode employed i.e., communicating, to be a subset of that general mode.

That insight comes about as a result of recalling that, in the past, when I would be driving to school and have a particularly imposing and intimidating test looming that I would often text my girlfriend at the time and that communication frequency was much higher than normal communications under less stressful circumstances.

As a further offshot and tangent, I know have to wonder if the artificial manufacturing of stressful situations in a coupled relationship is done so that increased communications does take place and as such may be somehow perceived as a benefit to the one who might instigate say, an argument when no perceivably real genesis for an argument or altercation exist to begin with.


Reference: for those interested in some of the neuromusculoskeletal (NMS) aspects of Muscle Splinting:  The role of autogenic inhibition in the reduction of muscle splinting by Herbert Miller, PhD