Blog # 38
Let me start with a true story: Twenty-three years ago, I saved a person’s life.
I was moonlighting in a Kaiser-Permanente emergency room in Los Angeles when a young man was rushed in with a gunshot wound. He happened to be a receptionist who worked in that very emergency room. He had sustained a chest wound and his blood pressure remained dangerously low despite having received many liters of intravenous fluid. At that time, I was a resident working the graveyard shift in the emergency room, covering surgical “emergencies,” most of which were rather minor; this, however, was major as he was at imminent risk of dying. I entertained the possibility of a condition in which there is bleeding into the tissues around the heart, which compresses the heart and will not allow it to beat normally—cardiac tamponade. There was simply no time as the patient was rapidly going downhill, and as there was no chest surgeon around, I—never previously having had done this, having only read about it—took a syringe and needle, carefully penetrated his chest wall, passed the needle into his pericardial space and was able to suck out a syringe of blood. His blood pressure instantaneously rose and as he stabilized, I accompanied him on the elevator to the operating room, leaning over him and holding the syringe that was impaled in his chest, continuing to suck out blood. As soon as the thoracic surgery team arrived, the patient had his chest cracked, the tear in the pericardium repaired, and the tamponade corrected. He was discharged from the hospital within a few days, stopping down in the ER and offering me a profusion of thanks before he went home.
What a delightful and rewarding feeling it was to be able to save a person’s life! I will never forget that unusual day, because for us urologists, absolute life-and-death emergencies are few and far between, and we are in the habit of saving lives “slowly.” I believe (hope!) that a blog about health and wellness issues is also capable of saving lives, not acutely like the intervention for a cardiac tamponade, but slowly, gradually and meaningfully by the process of education and instilling a sense of the importance of proactive, preventative, pre-emptive measures.
The original intent of my blogging efforts was a means of marketing my Promiscuous Eating book. That stated, the blog writing evolved into an enjoyable weekly process that I relish and look forward to creating. I guess this shouldn’t be surprising as I have always been rather fond of writing, wellness advocacy, and education and communication with respect to public health issues. To date, I have written almost 40 blogs (listed below), and plan on continuing to do so weekly. I find the topics stimulating to work on and I am provided with a great sense of gratification in that I am “trying to make a dent in the universe,” in the words of Steve Jobs. In the future, I intend to expand into broader general health issues, going beyond the diet and exercise arena. There clearly exists a communication gap between physicians and patients and my blog attempts to bridge that gap and provide a free service that will help educate, inform and engage. Hopefully, the information provided—in some way—will help readers obtain and maintain both quality and quantity of life.
You can subscribe to the blog (no charge for this, of course) at the following site: http://www.PromiscuousEating.wordpress.com
Feel free to recommend the blog to friends, colleagues or relatives who may be interested. I welcome constructive criticism and recommendations for topics.
My background: I grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey and after attending Middlebury College and Syracuse University, attended Chicago Medical School. I did surgery training at North Shore Hospital and urology at U. Penn followed by a fellowship at UCLA. I have been in urology practice in Northern New Jersey since 1988. I have been an active writer throughout my career, contributing chapters to several textbooks and numerous articles in an array of medical journals. I have presented papers at professional meetings for many medical societies both nationally and internationally. I am actively involved in medical student and resident education at Hackensack University Medical Center.
I am an avid believer in remaining young, healthy and fit through the practice of exercise, nutritional conscientiousness and intelligent lifestyle choices. I have written FINDING YOUR OWN FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH: The Essential Guide to Maximizing Health, Wellness, Fitness and Longevity, published in 2008. My second book, PROMISCUOUS EATING— Understanding and Ending Our Self-Destructive Relationship with Food, was published in 2011. I am passionate and enthusiastic about public health issues and wellness advocacy and my goal is educating the community about healthy lifestyles and preventative measures that help ensure maximum fitness, nutrition, disease avoidance and longevity. I have done over thirty educational videos on a variety of health subjects, all accessible on my YouTube channel at: www.youtube.com/incontinencedoc and have written many patient education monographs, all available online at: www. BergenUrological.com
I live in Ridgewood, New Jersey, with my wife, Leslie, and 12 year-old daughter, Isabelle and English Springer Spaniel puppy, Charley Morgan. My oldest child, Jeff, graduated New York University Film School in 2006 and my 19 year-old daughter, Alexa, attends Tulane University. I am an avid reader and enjoy photography, movies, tennis, cycling, golf, yoga, Pilates and fitness training.
Andrew Siegel, M.D.
1) FATigue Eating
2) Seasonal Eating and Weight Gain
3) Food Perspectives
4) Strategies for Combating Opportunistic and Temptation Eating
5) My Own Promiscuous Eating: Fatigue Eating Redux
6) So you want to drop a few pounds: what’s more efficient…eating less or exercising more?
7) Have a Very Sweet Mother’s Day…But Not With Too Much Fructose
8) Maximizing Our Beach Body Appearance
9) Is Processed Food Really Any Different From Tobacco?
10) Does Weight Gain Influence Urinary Control Issues?
11) A Synopsis of Gary Taubes’ “Why We Get Fat And What To Do About It”
12) Elective Male Sexual Dysfunction: How We Are Eating Ourselves Limp
13) 100 Pearls excerpted from Promiscuous Eating Book
14) Hydration for Health
15) Questionable Cuisine
16) A Synopsis of Brian Wansink’s: “Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think”
17) E. Coli Contamination Of Our Food
18) Scary Stuff: Our Drinking Water
19) Male Obesity Causes Low Testosterone With Potentially Dire Medical Consequences
20) What is the best diet for us?
21) My Freshman Fifteen
22) To Vitamin Supplement or Not…That is the question
23) Tempus Fugit (Time is flying)
24) Wealth is Health: Your Exercise Savings Account
25) Aging Young
26) Psych 101 as it relates to eating
27) Prostate Cancer: Can Diet and Lifestyle Make a Difference?
28) Until Apple Invents the iFinger, PSA Is The Next Best Thing
29) Boredom Eating
30) Prelude to Excess—Strategies to Deal With Eating Orgies
31) I’m Your Doc, Not Your Provider!
32) Eating Mantra
33) Exercise to Exorcise
34) My Favorite Quotes: Health, Wellness and Miscellany
35) Promiscuous Eating: Food Naughty Behavior
36) Is There a Best Exercise?
37) S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) Makes Me F.A.T.