Go North Young Man

Closing Thought: 17Jan19

The GOP’s hit man has been Rand Paul, a bit of a Libertarian, in our Congress…he usually runs to a camera and spouts his opposition to this policy or that and then when the time comes he supports it. To me that makes him a “media whore” (those that will do or say anything to get on camera and in the news)…..

But the best thing is he is a rabid opponent of “socialized medicine”…very local in his opposition…so when the news came out that he had to have surgery I found his choice of locations an interesting one……

The fallout from Rand Paul’s 2017 fight with a neighbor continues: The Kentucky senator is going to Canada for surgery he says is related to an injury he got when Rene Boucher attacked him while he was mowing his lawn. Paul ended up with six broken ribs and a bruised lung, and is scheduled to have outpatient hernia surgery next week at Shouldice Hernia Hospital in Thornhill, Ontario, the Courier-Journal reports. Of course, much is being made about the fact that Paul is an opponent of socialized medicine and has compared universal health care, which Canada uses, to “slavery.” But his spokesperson had a response for the criticism, noting the hospital Paul is utilizing is privately administered.

“This is more fake news on a story that has been terribly reported from day one—this is a private, world renowned hospital separate from any system and people come from around the world to pay cash for their services,” the rep says. The Hill notes that the hospital bills itself as “the only licensed hospital in the world dedicated to repairing hernias.” According to documents filed as part of Paul’s civil lawsuit against Boucher, which is seeking money for medical costs related to the attack, the procedure is estimated to cost between $5,000 and $8,000. A jury trial for the civil case is scheduled for Jan. 28. Boucher pleaded guilty to the attack in March.

But I thought that the Canadian system was inferior……That should tell you everything you need to know about the American health care……a Libertarian will not support it in deed.

Time for that Medicare For All thing!

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A Smile To Die For!

Good Morning on this Saturday after the Christmas excitement….now we  wait for the New Years Party…..and dread the day after……

I was dragged along for a shopping spree after the holiday….no I was not going without protest but as usual my better half won that argument….

Any way we were in this major store and a young lady was standing at a mirror in the “Beauty” department hold  Kleenex next to her mouth and smiling…..holy crap!  I realize she was doing that thing where self-centered little turds are comparing their tooth color to that of a tissue (the tissue test)…..it was a source of amusement for me….I was chastised for enjoying others stupidity….and then I read something that I wish I had when this poor young lady was so concerned…..

As usual I attempt to be an FYI blog on the weekends….trying to get away from the mind numbing news of the week….on that note…..

We Americans are worshipers of youth and beauty……we have our fad diets, our addiction to exercise machines that become clothes racks after a couple of months, always looking for that magic pill to turn us into that perfect image of youth and beauty……one of the biggest markets is that of dental care…….

OMG!  The products that are now available……if you are not sure which one you need then it will take an hour or more to go through the retail offerings to find that special product.

There is a new report about something new on the horizon….

In a recent study, researchers find a new product can use proteins to rebuild tooth enamel and treat dental cavities.

The new biogenic dental products can—in theory—rebuild teeth and cure cavities without costly and uncomfortable treatments.

Cavities are more than just a nuisance. Dental cavities affect nearly every age group and are accompanied by serious health concerns, according to the World Health Organization.

Additionally, direct and indirect costs of treating dental cavities and related diseases are a huge economic burden for people and health care systems.

Although tooth decay is relatively harmless in its earliest stages, once the cavity progresses through the tooth’s enamel, serious health concerns arise.

https://knowridge.com/2018/12/new-material-could-rebuild-teeth-and-cure-cavities/

I am an old fart…..so trying to look younger or more beautiful is just not that damn important anymore…..but that is me.

Now time for some more rest and some french bread, cheese and OJ….OJ?  Yep cannot decide which wine I want on this day….so go with OJ for now…..hope all have a good day and I will be back for more stuff.

The Pain Of It All

I recently shared my story on my pain management and what the government is doing to make it all so much worse.  I posted my article on my opinion website, Gulf South Free Press.

https://gulfsouthfreepress.wordpress.com/2018/10/03/pain-management-a-personal-story/

I agree the the opioid thingy is getting out of hand and the the government should step in but not in the heavy handed approach they are considering right now….

A primary care physician assistant’s work typically looks a lot like that of other providers in the field: conducting physical exams, administering tests and checkups, and taking other steps to ensure that a patient is generally in good health. But in the middle of America’s deadly opioid epidemic, Lindsay Fox has taken on another task too — figuring out how to treat patients in the throes of drug addiction.

“This is not an easy group of people to treat,” Fox, who sees patients at the Southwest Mesa Clinic in Albuquerque, told me. “However, to bear witness and share space with someone who … has been supported by their family and their clinic and their provider, and has really challenged themselves to transition off of opioids and find sobriety, that’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever witnessed as a provider. Looking back at all the stories, that’s really what keeps me going.”

https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/7/31/17398914/opioid-epidemic-project-echo-new-mexico-addiction

More about the problem…….

The opioid epidemic is the deadliest drug overdose crisis in US history — on track to kill more people over the next decade than currently live in entire American cities like Miami or Baltimore.

A new study, published in the American Journal of Public Health on Thursday by Stanford researchers Allison Pitt, Keith Humphreys, and Margaret Brandeau, tries to parse out how America can reduce the death toll. Using a mathematical model, the study brings together research and expert opinions to calculate the epidemic’s death toll and how different policy ideas can stem the toll.

First, a shocking number: 510,000. That’s a rough estimate of how many people will die over the next decade due to opioid-related causes, which include overdoses and other causes of death tied to opioids, such as HIV infections from sharing syringes. But the researchers caution that the number, as with other estimates in the study, are fuzzy and subject to change — given that this is, after all, trying to predict the future.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/8/23/17769392/opioid-epidemic-drug-overdose-death-study

I am one of those people that will get screwed by the governmental approach….I need pain management and the government sees me as addicted to the drugs because I have been taking them for so long……the problem is unless you are truly dealing with pain then all this means nothing to you…..

Pain is an interesting ailment…..most people do not see the pain so they cannot imagine what it is all about.  So most people that do not experience the ailment have NO idea…..like me…..my right leg feels like someone hit me with a 2X4 with every step…..try that and then come talk to me…..

I read a open letter to people that cannot grasp what pain is……

I have a friend. A poisonous friend.

When she is angry, she makes my days hell and my nights sleepless. She attacks me when I least expect it, especially if I’m lulled into a sense of security. She follows me everywhere, every day to the point where I truly cannot remember a time that I lived totally out of her clutches.

She is cruel. She cares little for family occasions, first dates, social events and the like. She perhaps forces me to stay home, or she makes sure she is right there with me, ensuring I don’t forget her presence for a moment.

https://themighty.com/2016/04/letter-to-people-who-think-chronic-pain-isnt-that-bad/

Further Reading:

https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis

https://www.hhs.gov/opioids/about-the-epidemic/index.html

https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2018/p0831-NIOSH-opioid.html

 

Closing Thought–15Nov18

Recently a new program for Medicare has been offered….a program that my late father could have benefited from if it had already been policy…….

Medicare is experimenting with a new direction in health care. Starting next year, seniors in many states will be able to get additional services, such as help with chores and respite for caregivers, through private Medicare Advantage insurance plans, the AP reports. There’s a growing recognition that such practical help can have a meaningful impact on patients’ well-being—and reduce some costs for taxpayers. A couple of hundred dollars to install grab bars in the shower can prevent a fall leading to a broken hip, a life-changing injury. That may also help elderly people stay in their homes longer. The newly covered services are similar to what people might need if they required long-term care, said Howard Gleckman, a senior researcher at the nonpartisan Urban Institute think tank.

Change is starting slowly. Policymakers have yet to figure out how to bring similar benefits to traditional Medicare, still the choice of 2 out of 3 seniors. The new services will be offered by some Medicare Advantage plans in more than 20 states next year, and that’s expected to grow over time. There has to be a health-related reason to qualify, and costs will vary among plans. In some plans, there’s no added cost. But limits do apply. For example, a plan may cover one day per week at an adult day care center. For years, Medicare has permitted private plans to offer supplemental benefits not covered by the traditional program. Think free gym memberships, transportation to medical appointments or home-delivered meals following a hospitalization. The new benefits take that to a higher level.

(Read more Medicare stories.)

This program could have been a big help for my father was just months away from bankruptcy because of medical problems…..this is a program that needs to expand to all 50 states….

Plus I am an old fart and will most likely need some sort of program soon….

How About Those Lower Drug Prices?

**This draft was written several weeks before the elections….it got lost in all the news that swirled around the airways**

This is a question I ask as someone who has to take pain meds as well as other forms thanx to old age…..but I ask because time after time I have heard Our Dear Supreme Leader tell the country that our health care will be better and that drug prices will be lower…..and after two years I have seen NO lowering of prices, at least on my drugs……

But wait!  All the bomb stuff the media was focusing overshadowed the news the Trump has a plan to lower drug prices…..

Less than two weeks before the midterm elections, in which health care has been a major issue, President Donald Trump on Thursday announced a plan to lower prices for some prescription drugs, the AP reports, saying it would stop unfair practices that force Americans to pay higher prices than people in other countries do for the same medications. “We are taking aim at the global freeloading that forces American consumers to subsidize lower prices in foreign countries through higher prices in our country,” Trump said in a speech at the Department of Health and Human Services. But consumers take note: The plan would not apply to medicines people buy at the pharmacy, just ones administered in a doctor’s office, as are many cancer medications. Officials said the complex proposal could take more than a year to put into effect.

Under the plan, Medicare payments for drugs administered in doctors’ offices would gradually shift to a level based on international prices. Prices in other countries are lower because governments directly negotiate with manufacturers. Drugmakers immediately pushed back, arguing the plan amounts to government price-setting. “The administration is imposing foreign price controls from countries with socialized health care systems that deny their citizens access and discourage innovation,” lobbyist Stephen Ubl said in a statement, calling the plan a “detriment.” HHS says overall savings to Medicare would total $17.2 billion over five years. Beneficiaries would save an estimated $3.4 billion through lower cost-sharing for physician-administered drugs. The proposal is structured as an experiment and would apply to half the country. Officials said they’re seeking input on how to select the areas of the country that will take part in the new pricing system. HHS Secretary Alex Azar said politics would have nothing to do with it. (This $69 billion deal may reshape health care as we know it.)

So the drugs that doctors give out….the drugs that doctors get paid by drug companies to give out….how does this help anyone that does not get their drugs from a doctor’s office?

The answer is….. not one goddamn bit!

So much for a better health care with the Trump tea…..another pile of steaming bovine fecal matter…..there seems to be more and more fecal matter accumulating around this president.

Saturday–08Sep18

I try to make IST something for everyone and a good source of FYI…

As the weekend begins news comes that my state has the second highest incidents of sexual transmitted diseases (STDs)……another list that my state should be embarrassed of ….if it is a “Good” list we are at the bottom, if it is a “Bad” list we are at the top and it has been that way for a very long time.

http://backgroundchecks.org/these-are-the-most-sexually-diseased-states-in-the-us.html

All that comes with more terrible news about STDs…..

A record has been set in the US, but not one to celebrate: Almost 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were diagnosed last year—more than 200,000 over the record set in 2016, per the CDC in a report released Tuesday. One CDC director says there have been “steep and sustained increases” in sexually transmitted diseases over the past five years, a “very concerning” trend that hasn’t been seen in two decades. Experts suspect that with newer drugs lowering the risk of HIV infection and making the virus itself less lethal if it is contracted, condom usage has declined, leading to the rapid rise in STDs. But experts tell NBC News that other factors likely contributing include less funding for agencies focused on STD prevention, doctors failing to test patients for STDs, and a general lack of awareness about sexual health—including the need to get tested even if no symptoms are present.

These are the estimates of the number of people with new and existing cases of eight STDs in the United States. The estimates are based on 2008 data.

Another fact is the Deep Red South has 10 out of the top 15 states with the highest cases of STDs.

Sad that in the 21st century that this health issue should be in the news…..and as an aunty of mine use to always say…”keep in your pants and you will always smile”…..

As long as sex is the subject of this post…..there is another aspect of the exercise…..this study is one that I would never have considered…..some of this is not news that is uplifting….actually it is kinda sad.

Daniel Noah Halpern checks in on the state of the world’s sperm in a lengthy piece for GQ, and the upshot at its worst is that there is “the possibility that we will become extinct.” That line comes from Hagai Levine, who co-authored a 2017 Hebrew University/Mount Sinai meta-analysis of 185 studies that involved more than 40,000 men’s sperm and found a worsening picture, and sharply so: In 1973, sperm counts were about 99 million sperm per milliliter of semen; by 2011, that count was down to 47 million per milliliter, and it’s still dropping. “We are producing half the sperm our grandfathers did. We are half as fertile,” writes Halpern, and the numbers prod him to ask: “Would 40 more years—or fewer—bring us all the way to zero?”

Halpern explores a number of other questions, among them, why haven’t we noticed such a drastic change, and what’s the cause? In his view, the answer to the latter question is clear, and “the scientists I talked to were less cautious about embracing this explanation than I expected”: chemicals, which we’ve been ingesting since the industrial revolution but even more so since WWII. He offers a primer on endocrine disruptors like phthalates and BPA, which are found in more obvious places like water bottles, less obvious places like grocery store receipts, and far, far less obvious places like pasta and eggs. He also talks about the significance of a man’s anogenital distance (that’s the distance between the genitals and anus) and how it interrelates with those endocrine disruptors. What’s the solution? IVF, perhaps ultimately. Read his full piece for more.

The “Anogenital” distance?

chuq is out….I will relax today and tomorrow…..there is a “honey do” list waiting…..a really long list……have a good day.

View From Lenin’s Tomb

Recently I had a hospital stay…..well it was a bit more critical than that…..after many years of smoking I had bad circulation in my right leg and when I got a cut on my foot it went gangrenous and I lost 4 toes and I am still recovering from the surgery…..nurses, doctors, therapists, you name it…if it is medical then I am dealing with it.

Let me explain the title.

Many years ago I was in Moscow and visited Lenin’s tomb.  The hero of the Russian Revolution was put in an air tight glass tomb so the masses could get closer to their hero.

Part of the healing process after the amputation was hyperbaric treatments…..40 to be exact.

In case you missed my announcement……because I was a heavy smoker my circulation was impaired in my right leg so when I cut my foot I got gangrene and had four toes removed because of it….eliminated my wearing beach throngs…..and tap dancing is out of the question.

In case you are not sure what this treatment is…..you are put into a glass chamber and massive amounts of oxygen are pumped into the chamber for 100 minutes per visit.  This is suppose to help amputees heal better……healing is accelerated but anxiety is rampant.

Sounds fairly simple right?

It is not!

Let me stress!

You are stripped naked and placed into a glass tube, very similar to a torpedo tube and you lie there trying to think about anything other than you are trapped for over an hour and a half where you lie perfectly still trying to contemplate the universe…God forbid that you need to pee or take a crap….you are trapped in a glass sarcophagus for all to see your predicament.

Then there is the fact that if you are not claustrophobic when you enter you are by the time you are removed.

To begin with you remove all your clothes, jewelry I was allowed to keep my glasses so that I could see the TV through the tube…..and the TV sucked.

The best thing to do is fall asleep.  That is easier said than done without the help of some sort of aid.

Me?

It was soothing to take a Xanax before I entered the tube of torture….most of the time….but not always.

Need more information?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room or tube. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a well-established treatment for decompression sickness, a hazard of scuba diving. Other conditions treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy include serious infections, bubbles of air in your blood vessels, and wounds that won’t heal as a result of diabetes or radiation injury.

Your body’s tissues need an adequate supply of oxygen to function. When tissue is injured, it requires even more oxygen to survive. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases the amount of oxygen your blood can carry. An increase in blood oxygen temporarily restores normal levels of blood gases and tissue function to promote healing and fight infection.

After 40 treatments you are released to live life without the “Tube”….but after that period you have become use to the routine and are a bit disappointed that you will not be humiliated any longer.

Did the treatment help?

I am saying yes it did….doctor is pleased with the healing of the wound from the removal of four toes…..my better half is pleased that she no longer has to get up at 4 AM to take me for my treatment…..I am pleased that I am “Tube” free and learning to walk with only 6 toes.

I now have a particular knowledge of what Lenin must see in that glass coffin……

Just a snapshot in the life of the Old Professor.

Thanx for visiting……be well…..chuq