Thursday, January 25, 2018

Quick Odd Way to Relieve Leg Pain

Okay, this isn't going to be anything racy. It's just that when I looked up leg pain for a picture, there was nothing but pictures of women rubbing their legs. I tried to find the least stimulating one I could find since I hope to be taken seriously here. My wife, Sheila has trouble with leg pain and we've tried Tylenol, Tylenol and Ibuprofen and leg cramp pills. We've tried ice and heating pads and foot rubs. Nothing worked very well until my crazy sister-in-law offered an off-the-wall remedy. It's simple.

  • Two teaspoons of dill pickle juice. 

That's it. Dill pickle juice!
Just take two and oddly enough within minutes the pain begins to fade away. It did it just now. Sheila was in pain an hour ago. I gave her some pickle juice and she's drifted off to sleep and the pain went away.

I don't know exactly why it works, and even doctors aren't sure but it does.  Pickle juice according to a Harvard study is rich in water and electrolytes. It has more salt that Gatorade and there is some thought that it's acidity also contributes to its power. There are a variety of causes of leg cramps. These include dehydration, loss of electrolytes, low potassium, low sodium, fatigue and the side effects of several medical conditions that cause restricted blood flow. Pickle juice also replenishes glycogen in the body after exercise and does so very quickly. It may be that it is so effective because it takes less time for pickle juice to relieve leg cramps than it does to be absorbed in the stomach. So the pickle juice seems like it doesn’t have to be absorbed into the bloodstream for the effects to be felt.

Anyway, it works downright quickly.

Give it a try. It's scary how well it works.

© 2017 by Tom King

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

How to Fix a Sleep Number Bed Wired Controller With Hard to Push Buttons

Okay, I'll fess up on this one. The controller buttons on my wired Sleep Number Bed controllers had been getting harder and harder to push. I looked up the cost of replacement controllers and after they removed the defibrillator I was struck by the knowledge that I would have to see if I could fix them. I still stalled until after the warranty ran out even though the controllers weren't covered in the warranty.


With my heart in my throat, I assembled my tools not knowing if I was going to fix it or screw it all up and have to buy very expensive new controllers.  Here's what you need.

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • 4 Q-tips
  • Alcohol
  • Cotton swab

Unplug the electric cord so you don't sock yourself and follow the directions under the pictures below.

First turn the controller over and remove the three screws. Gently lift off the bottom half.


Remove the screw from the circuit board and remove the board and the wires gently.

Note the carbon buildup on the contacts below the up and down controller buttons. 

Remove the buildup by gently rubbing the affected area with a Q-tip moistened with alcohol. Immediately dry the area with a cotton ball so as not to damage the circuit board. Watch out as you do not to dislodge the LCD screen assembly.

Next clean the button contacts of any buildup. Gently rub with a Q-tip moistened with alcohol and dry immediately with a dry cotton ball to prevent damage to the contact.

If the screen assembly does fall out, don't worry. In the photo to the right, you see the screen and the plastic platform. There is a conductor pad stuck to the LCD screen. It's easily dislodged from the screen. Don't worry if if comes loose.

 The circuit board looks like this if the LCD screen falls off. Don't worry. Everything sits in place and works fine. Nothing to worry about reconnecting.

To reset the LCD screen, first place the connector pad in the position shown in the top half of the plastic housing as shown.

Next lay the LCD screen face down in the frame and put the plastic platform over it with the solid top facing up.


Lay the circuit board face down over the buttons and screen on top of the front plastic plate. Align the center screw and tighten it down securely. Fit the cord into the mounting slot as shown.

 Reset the back plate over the front plate and replace the three screws. Tighten the controller assembly and you're done.

Note the carbon residue left on the Q-tips.  Flip the controller over. Plug the pump back in and give it a try. You'll find the controllers work as easily as they did when they were new. And you won't need a defibrillator because you had to buy new controllers.

 That's all there is to it. It wasn't nearly as difficult as I feared it would be.  This was a much easier project that I thought it would be. Fix it and your spouse will think you're a genius, especially if you don't show her (or him) this article. Let 'em think you are brilliant.

© 2017 by Tom King

* If you attempt this repair while your bed is still under warranty it may mess up the warranty though I don's see why or how it would. Check out your paperwork first to see if there will be a problem. Likely not, though. If you've got wired controllers, your bed is probably way out of warranty by now. That said, we've never had any trouble with our Sleep Number beds other than the stiff controller buttons.  Love our Sleep Number bed!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

A Quick Emergency Stretcher

Rule 1: Don't move an injured patient, unless his life is in immediate danger. You can do more damage moving them, so in most cases wait for the paramedics. If, however, the injured person is in a dangerous place like near a fire, rising water or bad weather or dangerous animals are approaching you absolutely have to move an injured person, here's a way to make a quick sturdy stretcher using stuff that's easily available.

Gather up these two items.
  1. A blanket, tarpaulin, sheet of plastic or something blanket-like. On a beach you could use a couple of large beach towels, a sail from a sailboard or some pull the cover off the umbrella.
  2. A couple of poles, two tree limbs or long pipes or rods to use for the handles. Two sailboard masts could provide your poles or the umbrella posts. Anything long and straight can work.
Making the Stretcher:
  1. Lay out the blanket on a flat place so that the long edge of the blanket is toward you with the short edges to your left and right.
  2. Lay one pole on top of the blanket about 1/3 of the way over from the right edge of the blanket.
  3. Fold the right flap over the top of the first pole and lay it across the blanket toward the left side.
  4. Lay the second pole on top of the left edge of the blanket that was folded over about a third of the way from the left edge of the blanket. 
  5. Fold the left flap over the top of the pole and lay it all the way across the top of both poles.
Moving the Patient:

The best way to move the patient is carefully. Here are the steps.
  1. Lay the improvised stretcher next to the injured person, parallel to their body. 
  2. Get as many people as possible to help you lift. The more hands you have helping you, the easier it is to move the patient's body as a single unit. 
  3. Be careful not to allow damaged body parts to move. I could cause further injury if you try to straighten a broken limb or bend a damaged spine. 
  4. Lift the patient straight up and move his body slowly and lower it onto the top of the blanket. The patient's weight on top of the blankets will hold the blankets in place and prevent them from slipping from the poles. 
  5. Put two people on either end of the stretcher or four people, two on each end and lift by the poles. 
  6. When you carry the stretcher away, make sure everyone carrying it walks out of step with each other. This prevents the stretcher from swinging. If you walk in a march step, the rhythm of your step will cause the stretcher to swing back and fort and can cause those carrying it to stumble or drop the handle.
  7. If you have four people carrying the stretcher, put one on each end holding the poles and the other two walking alongside holding the poles at the center. 
Note:  Before you lift and go, practice a few times quickly so everyone knows what they are going to do. It's a good idea, if you work with kids and/or in wooded or isolated places, to practice making one of these stretchers so you can do it quickly.

© 2017 by Tom King