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Found 8 results

  1. "Colon Cancer Rates Rise in Young Adults: Earlier Screening Advised" on health.clevelandclinic.org I WANT EVERYONE ON THIS WEBSITE OVER THE AGE OF 40 TO GO GET A COLONOSCOPY. There are new guidelines from the American Cancer Society: The age is now 40, not 50. Comparing people born in 1950, and people born in 1990: * The risk of getting colon cancer before age 50 is twice as high * The risk of getting rectal cancer before age 50 is four-times as high LISTEN UP! I took a friend to get a colonoscopy a few weeks ago. Early 50s, healthy, non-smoker, went ten years without drinking, lean and muscular, athletic. Guess what? ***HUGE*** polyp - so big that the doctor referred him to a surgeon. He just went to see a Johns Hopkins specialist - the threat of cancer isn't as bad as he first thought, but it's still there, and he won't know for sure for several more weeks. Cancer or not, do you really want to go through the stress of not knowing? And once you find something that needs to be biopsied, do you really want to wait several weeks to find out if you have cancer? We just lost John Pearson. I do not want to lose anyone else to something so preventable. GET IT DONE. I just had my second (results normal), and you're completely asleep - you don't feel or remember anything. Any "Star Trek" fans here? If so, you probably remember the impossibly seductive "Green Girl" from the pilot. Susan Oliver, dead, age 58, colorectal cancer. And we all remember the most iconic poster of the 1970s: Farrah Fawcett, dead, age 62, anal cancer. Do you want to meet your grandchildren? GET IT DONE.
  2. I want to see proof that opioids *cause* pain. Just like coffee (and cigarettes, and alcohol, and many other drugs), that first-ever cup perks you right up. Then a month later, you find yourself needing to drink two cups, then three, and so on. After drinking coffee for years, try *not* drinking coffee for a day, and see how you're feeling that afternoon. It takes more, and more, and more just to wake yourself up. But that doesn't mean coffee *induces* fatigue; it means your body becomes dependent on caffeine, and needs more of it to perform the same task. If it were true that opioids *cause* pain: A significant percentage of recreational opioid users - who are *not* chronic pain patients - would develop chronic pain. I defy anyone to show me one single shred of evidence that this has occurred. Ever. Also, as a lesser example: A significant percentage of chronic pain patients would develop worsening pain, instead of their baseline pain merely returning to where it was (and requiring the same dose of opioids to keep it there) - both human psychology and the passage-of-time come into play very heavily in this scenario - much more so than the one above. People who have experienced relief on opioids will lie, cheat, and steal to maintain that relief, and no "study" or "poll" will be accurate, because they're being accused of being "criminals," "drug addicts," "liars," etc., when all they're trying to do is get relief from the pain which is ruining their lives. I predict that if opioids become illegal, or even harder to obtain for chronic pain patients than they are now, our nation's suicide rate will double within five years - with chronic-pain patients, it might even triple. It isn't the withdrawal that would drive these people to take their own lives; it's the never-ending pain which will be left untreated for day after week after month after year after decade. If you're a chronic-pain patient reading this, I have very good reason to believe that the St. Jude's DRG Stimulator will become MRI-compatible within a year. The stimulator is a fucking joke. Yes, the "ghetto-dwelling junkie" from the 1970s was in the *exact* same situation (with the exception that most were originally looking for euphoria, instead of seeking pain relief) - still, they sure as *hell* didn't deserve to be stigmatized, marginalized, and criminalized the way they were - I wish I could transport myself back in time and defend them. I'm right, and everyone else is wrong. I predict medical science will realize that opioids induce "tolerance" and "dependence," but do *not* induce "amplification of pain." You heard it here first - this is original thought, and hasn't been confirmed by anybody or anything. But I know I'm right.
  3. It turns out others who were ranked #1 at year end are not in this photo: Pete Sampras is probably the one with the longest period of year end #1 ranking who was not at that photo shoot. Regardless, its a neat picture and between Nastase and recent and current #1's it covers a lot of decades, not just years. That is a lot of tennis history. Boy I disagree on the "luck" description concerning Arthur Ashe. He reportedly contracted HIV from a blood transfusion in the 1980's due to a heart attack. I knew someone over a long period, who died from Aids around the same time period as Ashe. During his last year of life, while with AIDS, I watched him whither away at my best friends home (his brother). It was devastating. During the 1980's another very close friend was a very active AIDS scientist working at some companies that were trying to find a cure for AIDS. I knew his colleagues and the President of that firm (whose sister I dated for a bit). I learned a fair amount about the entire scientific process wherein researchers around the globe were trying to find a cure for AIDS or a medicine(s) that would prevent HIV from turning into AIDS. One horrible accounting for the time it took to come up with a medicine that could prevent HIV from turning into AIDS was the political environment that severely limited total dollars and research to come up with an antidote. It was overwhelmingly political in the US. Funds were limited. It was completely political. There was no guarantee that more money, more research, more testing, more effort could have arrived at a cure more quickly. But it might have. The scientists were well connected in terms of sharing results and branching off into newer possible solutions. It is possible that the "cocktail combination" of drugs that prevented HIV from turning into AIDS could have been discovered earlier with more money and more effort. To me it was one of the ugly episodes of predjudiced politics that possibly resulted in many more deaths than needed to occur. I can't accept the description of terrible luck.
  4. Leonard Thompson received the first-ever insulin injection for diabetes mellitus, 97-years ago today.
  5. It's funny how one thing leads to another. Because of Jim's post, I'm watching "Rain Man" for the second time in my life. (By the way, this film is a whole lot deeper than I thought it was.) All because I was thinking about Daniel Tammet, and there's one thing I don't understand: In his Wikipedia entry, it says that Tammet: --- In his mind, Tammet says, each positive integer up to 10,000 has its own unique shape, colour, texture and feel. He has described his visual image of 289 as particularly ugly, 333 as particularly attractive, and pi, though not an integer, as beautiful. The number 6 apparently has no distinct image yet what he describes as an almost small nothingness, opposite to the number 9 which he calls large, towering, and quite intimidating. He also describes the number 117 as "a handsome number. It's tall, it's a lanky number, a little bit wobbly".[9][32] In his memoir, he describes experiencing a synaesthetic and emotional response for numbers and words.[9] --- What I don't understand ... is it the actual, mathematical quantity that Tagget finds ugly/beautiful, or is it the look of the Arabic Numerals that he finds visually repulsive/attracitve? My guess is that it's the Arabic Numeral representations - I can see the numbers "117" and "333" as being "beautiful," and the number "289" as being "ugly," but only in their Arabic notation; not as a string of bits. I distinctly remember Tagget telling David Letterman that he looked like a "117" - Letterman is tall and lean, and this would be intuitive. I'm pretty sure 117 is a prime number, and mathematically speaking, I can't imagine what's so beautiful about that as opposed to, say, 113 (which I'm guessing is also prime) - it must be the Arabic representations, right? Does what I'm saying make sense? More than anything else, Tammet comes across to me as a genuinely nice person - I've seen him on numerous occasions, and have paid close attention to what he does, says, and how he acts - he is just an all-around good human being, and that's what impresses me about him the most.
  6. We all know that yawning is contagious, i.e., when you see someone yawn, it creates your own urge to yawn. Even reading this sentence may force you to fight off a yawn, but it's a losing battle. So get on with it ... --- For those who are bladder shy, the sound of running water can "prime the pump," so to speak. Are these two somewhat primal brain responses identical? Similar? Related?
  7. Change that from "a year" to "a couple of months." Unless you're so desperate that you can't wait until August, get the test procedure now, and if it helps you, try and gut things out until later in the summer to get the full implant - I've now heard from two independent sources (who don't know each other) that the St. Jude's DRG Stimulator implant will be FDA-approved for MRIs this summer (their Spinal Cord Stimulator already is). Maybe I'm not supposed to share this information, but quite frankly, I couldn't care less - people are in desperate need of relief. This is an informational message for chronic pain patients *only*, and may not even be correct. Please do your own research, call St. Jude's, write me if you need help, and hang in there. --- One other thing: The implants most certainly don't work for everyone (trust me on this one). By all means, get both the SCS and the DRG *tests*, but think LONG AND HARD before committing to the permanent implant - it's fairly major spinal surgery (especially the DRG implant), and surgeons (as well as the St. Jude's salesman (who now work for Abbott (*) - the very same company who peddled Oxycontin (**) as a "safe, lifetime treatment for chronic pain, with no theoretical upper limit to the dose")) are being very coy about the prospect of removing them down the road. In fact, I think both of these implants are being completely oversold to the public, both in terms of safety, efficacy, and the option for future removal. My assumption is that surgeons will conveniently say that "removing" them consists of the battery pack only, and the leads will be there to stay, with plenty of scar tissue fixing them in place for the rest of your life. I know as much about this stuff as anyone in the world who isn't a doctor or a human scientist, so you need to take me seriously about what I'm saying here. (*) Jan 4, 2017 - "Abbott Completes the Acquisition of St. Jude Medical" on abbot.mediaroom.com (***) (**) Sep 22, 2016 - "Secret Trove Reveals Bold 'Crusade' To Make Oxycontin a Blockbuster" by David Armstrong on statnews.com (***) Why do you think Abbott bought St. Jude? Could it be that they saw the writing on the wall about opioids, and now they're going to be selling you a, [cough, cough] "surgical cure" to the pills they got you addicted to? That would be like Phillip-Morris selling you spinal implants to cure you of nicotine addiction ... and would you *really* put that past them? Would you trust them if they did?
  8. One thing I noticed about Steve Kerr was how *not* in pain he was last night. Last month, he had a "spinal cord leak" from a surgery he had two years ago - this is very, very unusual to happen so long into the future, and the fact that his "blood patch" didn't work instantly is also unusual (and troubling). But, apparently, something worked: I can assure people that last night, he did not have a "spinal headache," and was in little or no pain. A "spinal cord leak" can happen anytime you have a needle invading your dura - when it happens, the puncture - for whatever reason - doesn't close (in my case, it's because I went to the gym that afternoon and did 3 sets of lat pulls ), and you drip spinal fluid - just like a leaky faucet - and the drop in cerebrospinal fluid pressure causes a (surprisingly harmless) headache that I can only describe as being a "9 out of 10." (I always said it was a "10 out of 10," until a few years later, I woke up from washout surgery without analgesia (they wash you out with a copious amount of acidic fluid *after* dislocating your hip), and I spent the next 30 minutes screaming at the top of my lungs, begging them to kill me (*that*, incidentally, was a 10 out of 10 - pain so intense that you no longer have any connection to reality or concern for existence: the equivalent of being disemboweled with hot tongs (picture Mel Gibson in "Braveheart"))). Any patient who walks into a doctor's office and says their pain is an "8 out of 10" doesn't know what they're talking about, or is exaggerating to get attention (8-out-of-10 pain will have you rolling around on the ground asking for help; not having a conversation with a physician). Still, if you have a spinal headache, the pain is so bad that you'll quickly lose consciousness if you're standing or sitting; fortunately, if you lie flat, the pain almost immediately drops down to a "zero," and your headache goes away as long as you're lying down. (Visualize your humble narrator trying to drive himself to the emergency room *while lying down* - I made it as far as a CVS, and then had to have a cashier call me a cab, where I was lying down in the back seat, trying to explain to the driver that I'd be okay as long as I got to the E.R.) The way they fix it is to draw some blood from your arm, and inject it into the point of the leak, and it clots almost immediately, and seals the leak. I walked out of the ER several hours after I walked into it, and I was fine (no more lat pulls that week). The good news, for Steve Kerr, is that when a spinal leak is fixed, it's completely fixed, with absolutely no remaining symptoms (unless, for some reason, it starts to leak again - but I've never heard of this before: What happened with Kerr is extremely unusual (this should be a routine, outpatient procedure; yet, he flew across the country to have it done), and boy do I wish him the very best because, brother, I know what it's like).
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