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Thankful for Our Bodies

Thankful for Our Bodies

Some sixteen centuries ago, Augustine observed, “People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering… Now, let us acknowledge the wonder of our physical incarnation- that we are here, in these particular bodies, at this particular time, in these particular circumstances.”  It’s a good reminder as we approach Thanksgiving.  Let’s take a moment to wonder.

It’s a natural tendency we have to notice what’s not working right in our bodies rather than to give thanks for the huge number of processes that are working wondrously well.  Consider a few wonders of the bodies our Creator has given us: There are a trillion nerves powering our memory. These can send and receive messages at up to 200 miles per hour.  A study showed that after viewing 2,500 images for 3 seconds people can recall if they’ve seen the images with 92% accuracy.  Speaking of viewing, our eyes can distinguish nearly 10 million shades of color.  Those eyes are protected by the fastest muscles in the body, those that cause us to blink, in about a hundredth of a second.  And even more staggering than the eyes’ color discernment is the less glorious nose that can differentiate between 1 trillion smells.

            Of course all our cells and tissues need nutrition and oxygen delivered to them.  This occurs as blood travels through our blood vessels, which if laid end to end would stretch nearly 100,000 miles.  The heart makes this happen by pumping about 100,000 times per day.  This then adds up to about 3 million quarts of blood pumped by your heart every year.   

            How does the blood keep picking up a new load of oxygen and getting rid of the waste gas carbon dioxide?  You take about 23,000 breaths a day, or about 672,768,000 breaths in a lifetime, usually without even thinking about it.  And the oxygen and carbon dioxide are diffused over the surface area of the lungs, which if it were flattened out would be equal to the surface area of a tennis court.

            And talk about strength, the femur (upper leg bone) of an average-sized man can withstand 30 times our weight – ounce-for-ounce that is stronger than steel.

            Even some of the lowliest bodily functions are impressive.  For example, the average human produces 25,000 quarts of saliva in a lifetime, enough to fill two swimming pools; try swallowing or speaking normally without saliva.

            So, how did we get the information for the construction process of our beyond-ingenious bodies?  It’s encoded in our DNA which, if uncoiled, would stretch 10 billion miles.  And its encoding of information is so efficient that just one tiny DNA molecule contains 40 times the information in a set of Encyclopedia Britannica. 

It’s a rough world out there, and it wears on our body.  Fortunately, much of the human body is self-regenerating.  For example, the stomach lining is replaced every 4-5 days so that it doesn’t digest itself, since stomach acid can dissolve metal.  Meanwhile, skin is replaced about every 2-4 weeks and our bones are fully replaced about every 10 years.  In fact, 50,000 cells in your body died and were replaced by new ones while you were reading this sentence.

We could go on, but hopefully you get the idea, and it’s not a new one – some three thousand years ago, King David wrote (in Psalm 139) to his Creator, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

Since among so many other gifts, we have been given the ability to remember, let’s remember on this Thanksgiving to give thanks to our Creator for the truly amazing bodies He has given us.

Andrew Smith, MD is board-certified in Family Medicine and practices at 1503 East Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville.  Contact him at 982-0835





Trinity Dispensary saves time and money

medications-money-cure-tablets-50997Medications can be a costly part of your healthcare.  We are continually seeking ways to help patients lower that cost or reduce the medications they need to take.  Trinity Medical Associates offers an in-house dispensary that allows you to fill your prescriptions before you leave the office.  Maintenance medications like those to treat diabetes and high blood pressure can even be mailed to your house each month.

We make every effort to reduce the cost of medications often producing a solid savings for patients.  For instance, we recently saved one patient 30% on the monthly cost of a daily allergy medication and another patient 40% on the monthly cost of a daily anti-depressant medication.  We can’t make every medication cheaper, some are just down right expensive, but we offer fair and honest pricing with great service.

Many prescriptions can be processed through your insurance and our self-pay prices are very competitive.  We bring the same level of personal care you’ve come to know from our office to dispensing medications you need for your health.

Contact your doctor today if you are interested in receiving a quote on the price of your medications.


**Some restrictions apply.  As per state and federal regulations, we do not dispense controlled substances via mail.  Trinity Dispensary only dispenses medications prescribed by Trinity staff physicians and clinicians.  We do not fill prescriptions written by other physicians.



Changes to after-hours physician phone number

Trinity recently welcomed Dr. Katie Tipton to our physician staff.  She is board certified in Internal Medicine.  As such, when she is participates in the after-hours call schedule she will be on-call for patients 17 years of age and older.   One of the other physicians will be on-call for patients under 17 years of age on a rotating basis on those days.

We have updated our after-hours call system to allow patients to choose to connect with the adult or pediatric patient on call physician as needed.

All access to the on-call physicians can be now be obtained through the main office number of 865-539-0270.  The previous on-call number will forward to the new number for a period of time then be disconnected.


Walk-in News

Walk-in Clinic News

Headache, sore throat, stuffy nose? Don’t let minor health issues drag you down. Trinity Medical Associate’s Walk-In Clinic is now open 7am to 7pm on Mondays. You can be seen by one of our knowledgeable, local health professionals and get back to your life quickly. Our clinic can treat all manner of respiratory infections, aches, and pains including rashes, sprains, urinary tract infections, and much more. The onsite dispensary can fill your prescriptions saving you an extra stop and lost time waiting somewhere else. Digital xray services are available on site Monday through Friday. Full lab services for rapid point of care testing and access to one of the nation’s largest reference laboratories.

Next time you need medical care, visit Trinity’s Walk In Clinic!

Now open Mondays 7am-7pm, Tuesday-Friday 9am-6pm, Saturdays 8:30am-11:30am. Dispensary and xray services hours may vary from Walk-In Clinic hours.

Most major insurances accepted. Competitive self pay pricing and discounts.