Wednesday, October 21, 2009

If you don't like the answer, ask someone else.

Warning: WTF will be used frequently. If you don't like cussing then don't think about what it means when you read it.

A couple of weeks ago I bought a home radon test kit ($12). After getting the results I dug for more information with the help of my wife (my wife is the head of reference at large Denver library- her job is to find information). Radon is known for being the second leading cause of all lung cancer cases in the US (WTF!?). I also found how this data was collected. Apparently "they" studied a group of miners. Miners are exposed to the most radon which leaks from soil. WTF? They didn't take in to account any other factors like smoking. They took the number of cases of lung cancer (~30% in the study group) then assumed an average amount of radon in a typical home and extrapolated the amount of exposure needed to match that of the miners... the assumption is that you would need to spend 18 hours per day in a home with high radon levels for 70 years to equal the exposure of the miners studied. WTF? The study group of miners was also very small.
BUT. Two very well done studies on the affects of radon showed evidence that radon has no bad side effects (unless you smoke) and that it may actually be beneficial. WTF? So we go from a leading cause of cancer to it being beneficial. WTF.
That story isn't actually what the post is about, but it's a little relevant. Today I dug once again to find post vasectomy information and was able to find multiple websites ( is one. How can they be wrong?) saying that you can exercise "as soon as you feel like it". One site actually said light exercise may help to reduce swelling. Another site said 2 weeks. One said no sex for 1 week (WTF!) and another said 48 hours. One said to NEVER take ibuprofen after and another said take an NSAID no matter how good you feel. No bathing (WTF?), bathing is OK. Wear support for a week, only wear support to bed, no support. Swelling is normal, call your doctor if you have swelling. WTF? So it seems that if you don't like the answer to something, keep looking, the answer you want is out there.


Brandon Fuller said...

I tried to schedule mine today and they only perform the surgery every other Friday -- each of the next 2 coincide with a race the next day. Guess I will wait.

Lucho said...

I can do it for you. I watched how the doc did mine... didn't look that hard. ha

Dave said...

Seems like the same thing has happened on debates with running shoes, diets, car tires, oil changes, laptops, etc. It's like the more information there is to read, the dumber and more confused we get. It's unbelieveable how many "authorities" there are out there that claim they have all the answers. Then another comes along. And another. And yet another. When is it gonna end???

Brandon Fuller said...

That's what my wife said...she would do it for me. I love her, but I don't trust her.

Fred (aka ace) said...

Oddly enough I know exactly how you feel. Well not "EXACTLY". But I just finished reading an article about barefoot running in the New York Times. Needless to say the research and opinions are about as consistent as what you found on Radon and Vasectomy recovery. But I did get a kick out of reading WTF over and over ;) Maybe the NYT should use that more in their articles.

Lucho said...

Dave- Exactly... the more we know the less we know for sure. And it aint gonna end. But at least we can pick and choose the answers we want to hear :)

Ace- The barefoot thing seems like something we should mix in once in a while. I kind of agree with the minimalists on this one. How many years have running shoes been around? How long have humans been here? It's similar to the paleo diet idea (IMO).

Brandon- Ya, wait for a doctor. One that you don't love but do trust.

Lucho said...

Ace- And a follow up thought. I tend to trust the people who don't stand to make a buck on my choice. They don't have anything to lose by telling you the truth. How much will Nike lose if the minimalist trend catches on? How much does the guy that tells you to stop wearing shoes make to lose? This is how I feel about the radon thing. And the pharmaceutical industry.
I also think that if the results are half and half, then there is no wrong choice. Just a right choice for you as an individual.
Studies have been done that show Vitamin C has no benefit. WTF!?

Fred (aka ace) said...

I tend to follow your line of thinking on the barefoot running thing - both from personal experience and from watching people at the running store I worked at for 9 years. Less shoe always seemed to win out.

I've been running in Nike Free's ( 3.0's) for a while now with a little barefoot walking and running thrown in for good measure. Aside from just helping with lower leg strength and running form, running barefoot seems to help me sleep more soundly too. WTF?! Sorry, I couldn't resist ;)

keith_S said...

Well, as a former vasectomy receiver, I was out on the day after at a skeet shoot, drinking cold beer and moving around quite well. I started biking 2 days afterwards. Hmmm...the only special treatment I did was to kick back the 1st day watching tv, with an icepack applied every 15-20 minutes.

I had no extreme swelling at all....lucky maybe, or....

Lucho said...

If you like Kundalini yoga then the barefoot thing and sleep make sense.
I swear that part of the reason I don't get hurt ever is that for years I was sponsored by Saucony and would get my allotment of shoes in their 5k racing flat only. That's all I wore. My regular long runs were 3:00 which would be 26-28 miles every week. I would put 700-800 miles on a pair of 5k racing flats! They would wear through to just EVA foam and end up hard as rock. That's minimalist thinking. But I think it made me durable and perfected my form. There's 6" of snow on the ground now, so the worn shoes and barefoot thing doesn't work. I don't think I would ever run barefoot, but training in light and non-motion control shoes does make sense.
Thanks Ace

Lucho said...

Keith- I'm sure they tell us to be more conservative than is necessary, just to be safe. I'm running tomorrow for sure. I haven't felt that I even had anything done. No soreness. Thanks

Brett said...

Hi Tim, thanks for your kind comments on the previous post about my adding value to this blog...I am humbled that you think so, but really I am just following your lead is all.

For example, when you talk about that running too early after having a vasectomy can lead to swelling of the testicles, then I just respond by posting a video of someone that happened to, like THIS GUY.

Lucho said...

Brett- If there was ever a time and place to say WTF!!!!!! then that is it. And of course I got sucked in to the videos on the right showing all the other fu~ked up videos.... thanks. Thanks for those visions in my head. :)
It was kind of funny though that he was using his balls as a seat.

GZ said...

Not sure I am going to be politically correct here ...

... it all seems that we kind of got wrapped up in this blanket over the last two decades that nobody was wrong about anything, everybody was right, you could not judge anyone, etc.

Yeah, I get it. And generally I agree. If you are into Spogebob, burritos, racing burros, toy trains, whatever - and you are not hurting anyone, everyone is consenting - then I am okay with it.

(side note, I might make a little fun of what your obsession is but really - I like to think in my heart of hearts I am okay with it. And I fully know that my obsessions are just as ridiculous)

On face value, this level of namby pamby PC is okay. But then ... well ... in the last ten years or so - science went out the window. Suddenly science was just another opinion, manipulated by business and folks with an agenda. I think it sort of started in the religion versus science debate, but then went totally in the toilet with the global warming thing (and dragged in fun stuff like stem cell research, etc).

Basically, with the advent of the information age - the internet - it has become the DISinformation age. Nothing is true and everything is true. Everyone has a voice (with a blog!) and hence is an expert.


No solutions there ... just a rant (or yet another expert who is not an expert).

Lucho said...

You nail it on the head with "the internet - it has become the DISinformation age. Nothing is true and everything is true." That's a funny concept. Like I said- if you don't like the answer, ask someone else. There is no wrong, only wrong for yourself. If we can pick and choose the answers we want then the wrong one is the one that didn't work. I am heading out for a run now because I read that it was OK, even though many have said to wait a week. I chose to listen to the former. If I can use my balls a lounge chair afterward... then I was wrong. But that might be right for someone else. I would seriously hate to be a doctor, this concept seems to be what the medical community is about. They have a very general set of rules to follow but each person is different.

RunColo said...

Or as Green Day said in "American Idiot"

Don't want to be an American idiot.
One nation controlled by the media.
Information age of hysteria.
It's calling out to idiot America.