It’s almost Official now

Sawadee Khrap

DSC_1275Well it’s done now – we are engaged. Team wanted the smaller diamond for the engagement but  I plan to have his wedding ring match mine with the larger diamond.   No plans yet for a actual wedding  – no gay marriages here in Thailand – just hoping they pass the Civil Partnership Law soon so we can make it official..

Just got a new smart TV and enjoying many movies together at home and getting our mutual calendar setup.  So many things to do – especially to plan1466559192341 the future, trips, things we need and want.  And here is a shot of his first load of bread made at home. If life together goes and taste as good as the bread came out then we DSC_1283-01.jpegshould have a great future.

Ciao

MaeSai Trip–Jaiand

Sawadee Khrap

Sorry for the late posting but 2 weeks ago I took a quick trip to Maesai to visit my friend – Jaiand.  We had met in Pattaya and he was at home helping his mother.  Jaiand showed me this great cozy guesthouse in Maesai – Patcharaporn resort located in town on Pa Meuad  soi just off Hwy 1.20160519_15013520160519_150130  500 Baht a night including breakfast for 2 –  what a great deal and a wonderful place to stay – Don’t  miss it if you visit Maesai for your VISA run.  And we had wonderful dinner at HueanHimDoi rstaurant    just off Hwy 1 at the Hwy 123 junction.   Great food – Thai style – and this spread cost only 800 Baht.20160518_18091020160518_182221     We visited  Wat Phara That Doi Wao overlooking the bridge to Myanmar (Burma) and the border city Tachileik.IMG_4540IMG_4543IMG_4570-Pano   What a view from here.   The next day we headed for Doi MaeSalong – now the tea capital of Thailand – but it used to be the poppy and opium growing area  for the Maesai’s Golden Triangle opium dens.IMG_4627-PanoIMG_4642IMG_4657-Pano    From here, we made it to Wat ThaTon (Phra Aram Luang)  on Hwy 107 going to Fang but started to have a bad vibrations in the car.  Something was really going wrong so we headed back for the 2 hr. drive back to Maesai.  The car was really getting bad – felt like either failing motor mounts or the drive shaft universals were acting up – so I cut my visit short and limped slowly back to Chiang Mai – made it and did have to have new universals  installed – so the car was again in the shop for 3 days – but I also had new front shocks put in so now I should be worry free for quite a while.  Wish I would have had more time to visit with Jaiand but after my  upcoming operation – which was rescheduled  for June 11th – I should have time to visit him again.  I promise more photos next time.

Ciao

Watch what you eat !

Sawadee Khrap

What a eye-opener – for the last 2 weeks my blood pressure soared to the 190-200 level.   Went to the doctor and made several attempts to get it down – but to no avail – Damn – looks like a operation is in my future.   He did question whether I was watching my salt intake – I was limiting my diet to eating only fish with stirred fried kale and salads.  ???  healthy I thought.   But he put me on a sodium reduction diuretic and an additional blood pressure pill and finally some relief.    But I really had to take a look at what I was eating:   

  1. My healthy fish – it’s coated and fried in a sesame batter – actually contains a high percentage of salt in the batter
  2. Stirred-fried kale – this was fried in oyster sauce – again lots of salt.
  3. Greek salads – I was buying them at a restaurant and in checking I find they were using a commercial seasoning with MSG – again lots of salt. 

Wow, no wonder.  What I thought was healthy was definitely not and I paid the price.   Blood Pressure over the top. So for the last couple of days I’ve stopped these meals and now eat only specially prepared fried rice with vegetables and chicken and my oatmeal for breakfast.  Success.

Must have gotten up 6 times to pee at night –  but about 3AM this morning I felt the pressure start dropping – 150/70 this morning, coming down. Hopefully back to normal soon.  Got’ta drink lots of water, diuretics really dehydrate you – and that can cause symptoms like high BP – tinnitus, headaches, and light-headedness.  But soon I should be back on my regular regiment of Meds –  BUT in the future, closer control of my food intake.   Operation averted, at least for now.

Ciao

Chiang Rai trip

Sawadee Khrap

Feeling restless and just getting the car back working – had to replace the rear axel, bad bearing race  –  so I headed for a short trip to Chiang Rai.  Left about 7:30 and arrived in Chiang Rai at 10:00 AM – checked in the WangCome Hotel.   I had “Grinder” running and by that time I had received  5 messages from local guys and made arrangement for “Lan” to meet me and be my guide for the day.  First we headed for Wat Huay Plakang  9 Tier Temple at Mae Yao, just Northwest from Chiang RaiIMG_4335IMG_4339.     You can see more of the temple area in the slideshow below.  It also has a very large live-in school area for local students – really nice.    From there we IMG_4397-Panoheaded South along Hwy 1211 to Singha Park at Mae Kon.  Hugh park with roaming manicured hills, numerous lakes, flowers, and commercial green tea fields and of course the Singha product pavilion. A great place to have IMG_4408an afternoon picnic  –   they also put on many concerts here.    From here, traveling further south to Khun Kon Forest Park Area and the Mae Kon river.IMG_4427  Although only a stream now it still was a great place to go.  All along the river were small dams providing play areas and people enjoying the afternoon.  although very close , we didn’t go to Khun Kon Waterfall at Tat Mok – purported to be the highest waterfall in Thailand – I wasn’t feeling that great from some new meds I have been given for my BP, so we headed back to the Hotel.  Later that evening I had a great Greek salad dinner at Da Vinci’s restaurant.  When you go there by sure and say hello to “Maek” your very cute waiter.  IMG_4431I did manage to get a fairly good sleep but still decide to head back to Chiang Mai  the next morning and see how the BP was holding up.   About halfway back to Chiang Mai, along Hwy 118 is   Cabbages and Condoms at Wiang Pa Pao.   I didn’t stop for food but I bet it’s just as good as in the main facility in Pattaya – one of the best restaurants there – and like Pattaya IMG_4438everything is devoted to Rural Development.  Next time on the way up , I’ll be sure and make this my coffee break stop.


Ciao

Chiang Mai Grand Canyon

Sawadee Khrap

Finally got some of the images done from our trip to so called Chiang Mai’s Grand Canyon.   It’s a old gravel and dirt pit which has filled with water Grand Canyon Mapand the owners have open it to tourist.   Quite a distance from the Old City – it’s in the lower left corner of the map.  A little further down the road is Phu Finn – outdoor restaurant – very good food and a spectacular view.  Also check out this earlier post  “After the Love

IMG_2819-PanoIMG_2789IMG_2826IMG_2833

featuring local Shan boys –  if you get a chance take a drive down – I’m sure you will enjoy the visit and make sure to check out Phu Finn .

Ciao

Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar–Who’d guessed

Sawadee Khrap

applecidervinegardrink (2)_1How to explain this – over 6 years ago I started having problems with acid reflex – at that time the doctors had me take the purple pill – Nexium – at first it was ok and worked,  but after some time that shit really raised hell with my system – had to quit – so I started eating antiacid pills and have been ever since to control the heartburn.

About 4 years ago, around the same time as the BP problems appeared I  started getting “tinnitus” and my ears would create excessive ear wax and get plugged up – every year getting worse – itchy and felt like something was growing in the ear canal – during sleeping, and I sleep on my side, my right ear would plug completely – I could swear that something like a fungus was growing and causing the problem – but the ENT doctor said there was nothing there and just keep cleaning them – all the time the tinnitus just kept getting worse.  no cure I was told- I would learn to live with it.

I’ve been on a pretty good veg-centered diet, but heavy in fruit,  for some time since moving back to Chiang Mai so I started to reward myself with cake and tea each afternoon – I really liked the “Black Forest Chocolate” cake  and hot Jasmine green tea from Black Canyon Restaurant at Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Center – so that became my afternoon treat —– !!!!   WOW was I wrong – tooooooooooo much sugar, sugar feeds the fungi and my fungi responded big time  – BP pressure shot up, tinnitus increased, ears wax plugged up, ED (erectile dysfunction) increased, and excessive dandruff started to appear.  So I needed to cut out all the sweets, reduce the fruits I’ve been eating and go back to my veg-heavy diet. 

Well about this time I also ran across an article about the health effects and benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar and it’s great ability to control blood sugar levels and anti-fungal properties – “re-establish a health inner ecosystem” –  So I thought that maybe I had a systemic fungal infection by something like candida – and that was causing my tinnitus, heartburn, dandruff and ear blockage problems.

Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar to the rescue –   for a week now I have been taking at least 1 drink in the morning of  2 tbsp of ACV, 2 tbsp honey, with 6 oz water –  they recommend this mixture 3 times a day – before each meal – but to be safe I just took one shot in the morning to see what it was going to do – NOTHING SHORT OF AMAZING – BP reduced, ears not plugging up, heartburn reduced, dandruff and tinnitus almost gone – overall feeling of relief.   So I am now going to start a 2 shot a day regime to see if that will be sufficient and will report the progress.

Try it yourself – I’m sure you’ll be amazed in a very short time.

Ciao

Origins–a movie not to miss

Sawadee Khrap

Here is a movie that you need to take the time to see – 90 minutes – make sure and watch it full screen – beautiful, informative and eye opening.  ORIGINS  -shared by www.Mercola.com

Origins

 

The film “Origins” shows how our modern lifestyle has caused us to lose our connection with the earth, resulting in so many of our global problems from environmental destruction to hunger and disease
   
The US is now producing and importing 74 billion pounds of chemicals each day that are poisoning our bodies and polluting our planet
   
If we ever hope to heal, we must address how we eat, move, and live symbiotically with the earth

Ciao

Back from Chiang Mai – doctor report

Sawadee Khrap

Just got back from Chiang Mai to see the doctor about my Blood Pressure.  He cut back my Valsartan morning dosage by half and approved the Cialis as a lowering agent too.  I do feel 100 % better at the lower dosage and don’t have the dizziness like before and no ED.  The report has my cholesterol levels within the acceptable range and they appear to be getting better – I attribute that to the oatmeal every morning and the High DHA Fish Oil I have been taking – so little adjustments to the  med. regime I was taking is working. – Just reduce the Valsartan and continue as before – Oh Ya.  I did add back the Folic acid for the kidneys.

CBI stayed at the B2 Green Santiham  while I was there  – a short 20 min walk to Sirphat Hospital and/or the local shopping centers – great location, great place to stay just off Huay Kaew Rd on the Northeast corner of the Old City.  And they just built a new restaurant right around the corner from the B2 – “Corner Bistro” – Owner Kevin Lo,  a US-Thai who used to live in New York has a GREAT menu, staff and excellent tasty food – open at 7 AM  – great for breakfast – only one in the area open that early – breakfast and a short walk for exercise – beautiful.  Dinners are great too –

citylife fairAlso went to the City Life  JJ Market Garden Fair – Met a lot of old friends there and had a great time – excellent food, booths and entertainment – Steve , reporter for CityLife Mag, snap a picture while I was getting a foot massage – and for the rest of the trip everywhere I went they knew I was in town – I just searched and I can’t find the photos but they must be there somewhere – Thanks Steve

Ciao

Blood Pressure update

Sawadee Khrap

Blackmores Omega MemoJust found and started taking Blackmores Omega Memo – this stuff is a concentrated Omega-3 nutritional oil capsule containing  500 mg DHA.  DHA being the most important Omega related to “good” cholesterols.  It is supposed to increase the level of good cholesterols while decreasing the bad, while also thinning the blood, and reducing the blood pressure.  I find that I can reduce the Valsartan from 240 mg/day to 160mg/day and my blood pressure is running about 120/60 all day.   Before I had to take 3000 mg standard fish oil to get the same 600 mg DHA – too much daily consumption of oil for the same benefit. 

So my pill regiment has become :  160mg Valsartan, baby aspirin, 1/8 Cialis tab, and 3 squares of 73% Coco after a large Oatmeal breakfast – then a 1000mg Omega Memo after dinner – this combination has been keeping my BP almost steady at 120/60 all day and also allowed me to eliminate the Plavix I was taking for blood thinning.  Of course the 2 mile/day walking work-out has a lot to do with the equation too.  Don’t forget the exercise.

Now my monthly cost is running about 1000 Baht (US $31/mo. ) for all my meds.  Far cry from where I started out in this nightmare being told I had 5 blocked artery’s and needed 800,000 Baht   (US $25,000)  operations and would need to take roughly 4,000 Baht/mo. (US  $125) meds for the rest of my life.   I supposed if I had insurance – well I don’t.  God Bless.

At the end of Sept I will once again check my cholesterol levels and kidney functions to make sure everything is still on track – but so far I feel great and that should be the best indicator. Although this combination is working for me, I have just talked to a friend that the Blackmores product didn’t work for him – so I put this up here to show a example of what could work -  I have done numerous trials and checks to determine what is working best for me and I’m just hoping my experience can benefit others.

Ciao

Hospital update –

Sawadee Khrap

Well it’s been a month since my last check up and things are really on track.  My BP is controlled using Valsartan (average 123/58) so far with no problems.   Amazingly, my  total Cholesterol is in the good low range and the HDL (good )  Cholesterol is up.  Kidney function has returned to acceptable levels and my new arches and posture supports are working and the back pain is going away.    AND 1/8 Cialis tab/day is keeping me me on the cutting edge, so to say – also helping with the BP.

I am finding out that the “Folic Acid” that the doctor in Chiang Mai had me taking to help the weakened kidneys was affecting my sleep and seemed to be making my muscles ache  – so I have now cut it down and that seems to be working good – going to stop taking it and the blood thinner Pavlix – both of these I am slowly reducing so there are no sudden stoppage that can cause side effects. 

Solution:     I start every day off with a large hot bowel of Oatmeal ( Hahne’s Trauben-Nuss Sultanas-Nut) and I add Honey for taste,  then I make sure I walk about 2 miles/day, eat 3 squares  of a “Ritter Sport – Fine Extra Dark 73CoCOChocolate 73% CoCo bar daily ”,  have grilled fish for dinner at least twice/week and enjoy great lunches and dinners of sautéed vegetables/rice, salads, fresh fruits and pastas, everything cooked  using only olive oil and no salt.

I did try “Fish oil” for a while, but through research I found the version I was taking did not have high enough levels of DHL (600mg) so stopped until I can find a product with the high DHL levels.  Maybe I won’t need it if my cholesterol ratios keep getting better as they have been – .    So at this point NO OPERATION.        We’ll see what the reports are like next month. 

Feeling Great

Ciao

Chiang Mai trip

Sawadee Khrap

IMG_144620140710_091350-EditJust got back from a great visit to Chiang Mai – first I went to see  ‘Kay”.   Got to spend a couple of days with him in between his working and we got in a visit to Doi Suthep – I’ll post some photos later.  We’re hoping to be able to get together when I move back to Chiang Mai.  The day I left he made this beautiful flower arrangement for me.  He has been my inspiration and helper during my visits at the hospital – I’ll post the results on that ordeal in a future post – but everything checked out OK and no operation is needed at this time – what a relief.


20140708_183655I stayed at the B2Geen Hotel, just around the corner from the Soho Bar on Huay Kaew Rd.  They have the greatest TukTuk I have seen so far – 20140709_182832 Used it to go to dinner with Jim and Mike at Pern’s the night before I left Chiang Mai  20140709_182511Here’s a  shot of Jim’s newly re-furbished Honda Motorcycle – what a beauty.


I also got to visit David Cooper at McKean Retirement Home at Dok Kaew Gardens  – Jim and I took him to lunch at IMG_1379the Marrakech Restaurant at the Shiek Istana Hotel – what a beautiful place and great food.IMG_1391IMG_1394


Nice trip – great weather , flight and time.  Took bus up and AsiaAir  flight back.

Ciao.

Goody’s–when it rains it pours

Sawadee Khrap

Painting Goody finalI just went to show the owners, Chris and his lady, at my favorite local restaurant in bldg B  the 16×20 in. painting I made for them and have my regular lunch.   Gift too late !!!

Bad news all around – they have just been informed by the View Talay Management that he will have to remove his gas burners and replace them with electric,  it’s against the Insurance code.   Chris has been preparing my lunch, and dinner for that matter, ever since I developed my condition – special cooking, salt and sugar free, olive oil, no MSG – stir fried fresh daily vegetables and rice with grilled fish for dinner at a price extremely affordable.  Sounds like he will have to move as he does not want to cook with electric – different flavor and not as good.  He has a week or so but it sounds like unchangeable – I can only hope they find a place close by -  within walking distance would be nice.  Sorry you didn’t have a chance to taste his food – only comparable restaurant around is Cabbages and Condoms and that’s too far for walking.

I wish them all the best luck and I am really going to miss them.  I’ll post their new location as soon as I know.

Ciao