Monday, August 9, 2021

Ask A Blind Guy.

 I have also been writing on the Quora website for several years now.  I began writing there in 2016.

William Elliott, Ask a blind guy, https://askablindguy.quora.com/


Recently I learned that it was possible to create pages under the Space tab.


These spaces can be about any subject.  So I decided to create a space called "Ask a Blind Guy."


The "Ask a Blind Guy" space  allows you to ask questions about any subject that is bothering you.  It doesn't have to be blindness, but don't ask about politics or religion.  They won't make it through screening.


I am building a great team of writers over there.  Not only blind writers, but people with interesting ideas on Technology, society and fun stuff such as hobbies.


Come and take a look at "Ask a Blind Guy" here.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

The Pegan Diet: I Lost Twenty Pounds In 17 Days!

 I began the Pegan Diet just over two and a half weeks ago.

William in a blue shirt and silver grey tie.


At that time I was tipping my scales at 351 pounds,  that is just about 25 stones for those of you, like me used to old British weights.


Twenty-five stone! Well I never thought that I would need a weigh bridge to weigh myself but that is getting up there. I felt terrible of course. My doctors were saying get more exercise and take more insulin. My blood glucose was averaging over 350 and after meals often topping out around 480.


That is not a good place for anyone to be.

 

I took a deeper look into the Pegan diet mainly because I wanted to cut down on my medications. That began to work last week, just over one week into my new diet plan.

 

Last week my weight droped by about twelve pounds too. I put this down to water loss that you get at the beginning of any diet. Since some of my heart medications also have a diuretic affect loss of fluid is to be expected.

 

I did also change one of my drinking habits too. 

 

I love tea, black tea mostly which I take with milk and two artificial sweeteners. But I decided to just have two cups of black tea in the morning with my breakfast.

 

The rest of the day I drink green tea. I can drink this without milk or sweeteners, so reducing some of those sugars, in this case lactose. I find I also drink a lot less. In part because my blood glucose levels are now coming in at about 90 and green tea is refreshing. 

 

 For the last week my weight fell at just over one pound per day. I also found that I needed to put on a belt to hold up my shorts. It is getting warm here in California so shorts are much nicer to wear everyday.


Well imagine my surprise when this morning I went to weigh myself after stepping out of the shower and my scales said I weighed 328 pounds, that is about twenty three and a half stone.


A loss of about 22pounds in just over two weeks.


I am stunned by this. I am feeling great. No hunger pangs, no tiredness. In fact I have more energy, this morning I walked a mile to the local mailbox and a mile back home. No problem.


I can't remember when I felt this healthy.


I am not stopping the Pegan Diet yet, still want to get off a lot of those medications and have some weight to lose. It would be nice to get below 280 pounds, just twenty stone.


See more about the Pegan Diet here:







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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Financial Independence for the Visually Impaired Part Five

 In November 2019 I opened a brokerage account to show how the blind and visually impaired can increase their income using dividend investing.

a pile of cash


By January 2020 I became aware of M1 Finance, a brokerage which allowed the purchase of fractional shares.


For those not familiar with investing in company stocks, fractional share investing means that you can purchase less than a whole share of stock. For instance if a whole share costs $100 you can buy $1 worth of stock meaning that you own one hundredth of a share, over time you can add to the stock at a few dollars per purchase. The price may go up and down over time but you will continue to own that fraction of stock in your portfolio.


I decided to move my portfolio into M1 in February 2020, a very good date to have made such a move. The portfolio has grown from $200 to just over $3,000 in fourteen months.


You can see my M1 Portfolio here.


In order to fund my M1 portfolio I transfer just $15 into the account every week. When my account reaches $25 M1 automatically buys stock in my portfolio of chosen stocks.


The stock  with the lowest value is bought in proportion to the saved percentage of allocation.


If I want to buy a particular stock I can purchase any of my chosen stocks as long as I buy at least $1 of stock.


While M1 only allows purchases and sales of stock once per day,At 9.30am in the free service, a second sale and purchase period around noon New York time is available in the premium version of M1 (Fee Payable).


I do not find a problem in only being able to buy and sell stock at the market opening as I want to build cash flow in this account rather than trade stocks.


As cash flow from dividends increases you can draw off cash if  you wishjust change the account settings to build up your cash reserve before it automatically re-invests your cash into stock or switch off auto re-investing altogether.


In just over one year  my account has returned over 30% in cash flow and 18% return in value. Helped of course because lots of the stocks were bought at last years lows through the Spring and Summer.


If you would like to open an M1 account, you will receive $30 when you open an account with just $100 using this link.

If you open an M1 account using my link I will receive a $30 introduction fee from M1 at no extra cost to you. 


Bonus if you open an M1 account you too can earn $30 bonuses for sharing your own links too.


Open an M1 Account Here


One of the best books which I have read that can help you with investing is:





 

 

 

 

 

 

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Monday, April 26, 2021

The Pegan Diet: Two weeks In and How Do I feel?

 Two weeks ago today, I began to look into the Pegan Diet. A diet plan which brings together the Paleolithic diet and a vegan diet.

Leif, my black Labrador guide dog, wears a white bow tie around his neck


With the diet I hoped to bring down my use of pharmaceutical drugs and insulin.  Last week my cardiologist agreed that I could halve my dose of one of my heart medications and my endochrinologist said I could reduce my insulin dose by 20%. 


A big cut on the insulin front, I did not expect so soon but it seems to be working. My average blood glucose levels for the past week are below 160, a huge drop from the 300+ just three weeks ago.


I have been getting some very low blood glucose readings in the late afternoon. Hence the 20% cut in my insulin dose late last week, which has reduced the number of extreme lows while having little affect on my glucose levels throughout the day.


As of this morning I was full of energy.


A couple of weeks ago, my Monday would comprise of waking up. Checking my stock portfolios and making up buy and sell orders, have breakfast, sleep a while, sweep the kitchen and bathrooms, vacuum the living room, sleep, eat dinner, go to bed.


Not an exciting life.


Today, I woke at 5.30am. Checked my stocks and set my buy and sell orders. Brushed Leif, my guide dog, then we went for a walk, Leif in harness to refresh some of his training. We just walked around the block just over one mile. Getting back I made a cup of green tea, listened to a few podcasts while planning and writing on two of my blogs. vacuumed the living room and bedroom, swept the kitchen and cleaned the bathrooms. Had breakfast at noon, washed the dishes and began writing this blog.


Notice anything in that last part, compared to two weeks ago?


No naps or sleeping.


My energy levels are so much higher. I feel a more positive mental attitude. It is hard for me to believe in this rapid change.


Just the thought of wanting to walk around the block two weeks ago would have sent me to bed just to think about it, and put it on the to do sometime later list. Today I just did it. No problem. 


I am so happy that I found the Pegan Diet, it is simple. I already enjoyed the food, just needed a key to help me eat the food in the right ways that would enable me to come off some of the meds that I am taking. Now I know it works.



Thursday, April 15, 2021

Going Pegan

 I was first diagnosed as Type II Diabetic in 2002. In recent months my waistline has baloon and with the lock down my blood gucose levels have made an A1C reading of over 13 "normal". 


That folks is not good.


I am taking over two hundred units of insulin per day and on other meds. Yes folks if you shake me I rattle and slosh with drugs. Add to that I have heart issues and early kidney failure.


Pegan?

A  few days ago I was watching PBS television while I waited for my wife to come back to our hotel, she was taking an extension exam to allow her to teach Home Economics in public school. On TV came a item by Dr. Hyman extolling the virtues of his Pegan diet.


The Pegan diet takes a plant based diet, similar to Vegan or Vegetarian diets and adds some elements of the Paleo diet, which adds some natural meat elements.



In his talk Dr. Hyman said the diet could reduce blood glucose levels and was not as restrictive as many perceived "Healthy" diets,  as you get to eat lots of fresh colorful fruits and vegetables, less wheat and processed foods, and have some meats which again are raised grass fed or organic as opposed to corn and soy fed.


I immediately ordered his book and told my wife about the program when she got back to the hotel.


We both agreed that the diet is worth a try and have set out a plan to try it until Christmas.


Giving the Pegan diet a good seven moths to check for any boredom and health factors.


We arrived home on Monday and began the diet on Tuesday.


One of my first meals, dinner on Tuesday was a salad, lettuce, tomatoes, free range eggs, all of which we already had in the fridge anyway, I do not like the normal salad dressings like Ranch or Italian I grew up in England with Salad Cream but have found it hard to obtain in the U.S. so have often used a handful of grated cheese as a salad topping, much to the amusement of friends and family. But it works. So don't knock it, it also fits with the Pegan diet though this grated cheese was not organic or grass fed, we can get that as we need later. Using what we have in the fridge right now.


Breakfast today was organic plain Greek Yoghurt with fresh strawberries and banana. Delicious low in sugar.


Also as another dinner we have eaten organic English Muffins ( a treat ) with free range scrambled eggs and fresh tomato.


MY first thirty six hours have found my blood glucose levels falling towards normal. From the three hundred level to a high of 172 and a low of 78.  Well within my control limits.


I am happy and hopeful that this program might work. It is early days, but  with more managed glucose levels, perhaps some weight loss I am hoping to bring down my levels of medication by a large amount.


I will keep you posted.


To read about the Pegan Diet check out my Amazon Link.. Purchasing through this link will support my blog.  Thank you.

 

 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Moderna Corona Virus Vaccine: My Personal Experience

 When the Corona Virus first came about, I never imagined it would still be in the news headlines over one year later.

William wears a red Guide dogs for the blind baseball cap and a GDB facemask. He is looking dirctly into the camera


As an investor in the stock market, I weathered the crash of February and March 2020. I even got to make some nice profits, buying in mid March 2020. But that is for another post.


I followed the news of the vaccine development through last year. Back in September 2020 someone asked me if I would take the vaccine. I said that in all probability I would, though I had reservations. Having lung, heart and blood clotting issues catching the virus in an unprotected state would almost certainly be fatal for me. The vaccine might give me a chance of living a little longer.


My friend was an adamant no to the vaccine. Under any circumstances. His choice. But one I thought foolish. In our chat I guessed that I would not get the vaccine until at least May 2021, not even guessing vaccines would be licensed by Christmas.

 

Mid February came and I received a telephone call from my local blind center. They had Moderna vaccine available at the end of the month, if I wanted to take it.


I needed no second invitation. Better to have taken the chance and possibly die or not take the chance and certainly die horribly.


The day of the first vaccination dose came along. My wife drove me to the location where Leif, my guide dog, and I joined a very long line. We snaked through the building for about one hour. Stopping now and then to have forms filled out, or forms checked. Eventually we reached a nurse.


She had me choose an arm, I picked right arm as I am left handed and having heard the vaccine site can be painful for a while the right sounded best for me.


The injection itself was not painful. The fifteen minute wait for any sign of side effects was tedious. Then some more form filling and making an appointment for my second dose on March 27.


My wife and I then spent the afternoon on a drive around the mountains, just to enjoy the sunny weather.


About 8pm, some eight hours after the injection, I began to feel a tickle in my throat and back of my nose. By 11pm my throat felt on fire and sore. It was so bad I took some ice cubes in my mouth and allowed them to melt over the back of my throat. The burning in my throat and back of my nose continued all night. My sleep was fitful and on Sunday morning I was feeling like I was suffering a severe cold. By 9am however the sore throat began to ease  and my nose cleared. By noon about twenty-four hours after the vaccination all pain had gone and though tired I felt well.


My second dose of vaccine was scheduled for March 27 at 11am. I arrived at the vaccination center in good time expecting a line, but this time things went much more quickly. It took just twenty minutes to have my paperwork checked and to reach a nurse. I was again injected in the right arm. On both occasions the arm was sore for about four days with no real impairment to my ability to use it.


The fifteen minute wait for any side affects was tedious but tolerable. I was out of the center in an hour and fifteen minutes.


Expecting another night with a sore throat I had stocked up on some cold drinks.


After about eight hours I began to feel the tingle in my throat again. By twelve hours after the injection I began to feel hot all over and couldn't stop shivering. This became quite severe at about 3am Sunday morning. By 5am the shivering had subsided and I fell asleep. Waking at about 9am I was stiff and aching all over but without a sore throat or shivers.  It took me most of Sunday to stop aching, and an early bedtime and a long nights sleep on Sunday cured me of all tiredness.


So my experience of the vaccine was a positive one. Just a few hours of feeling ill is acceptable for me. The vaccine will be fully effective for me around April 9th.


I would recommend that everyone who can take the vaccine. It has been given to millions of people already. It works and it saves lives.


Thank you for reading this far.


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Saturday, February 6, 2021

Heart Surgery!

 What an end to 2020.


I had a heart attack in early December. Not a lot of fun to have in the midst of the upsurge in the pandemic.

William in Guide dogs for the blind cap and mask

 


The main cause of the heart attack was an 80% blockage of the right coronary artery.  For several days I had swelling in my legs, pain in my left side of my neck and jaw before my doctor sent me into hospital.


Of course the hospital was packed with corona virus patients and we heart patients we isolated in small rooms separate from those people. But it was still a cramped situation. 


My treatment involved being prepared for one procedure, only to be cancelled on the operating table when the surgeon heard that I had been given blood thinners only a few hours before the procedure.


Four days after the first procedure, was called off. I was prepared again. This time the procedures went ahead. In the first part the surgeon attempted to implant a STENT by going through my right wrist. This attempt failed. My vein clamped shut of its own accord and would not allow the instruments to pass. So the surgeon was forced to re-attempt the procedure through my groin.


This time it all went ahead and the STENT was placed in the blockage area.


Now almost two months later. I feel much better. It is strange how one gets used to feeling ill. I hardly noticed how sick I really felt until the problem was removed. Now I can walk about again. Leif my guide dog is getting out to work again and I am now feeling well enough to come back to blogging.



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