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My first post in a full year!

20 Jul

I am terrified to write this blog post. Why? I write every single day in a journal that I have been keeping since August 2015.  Writing does not scare me and I have a lot to say. Procrastination is probably the reason behind the fear or maybe it is the other way around. The fear is uppermost in my mind.
Perhaps it is because I have not written a blog post since almost exactly one year ago. So much has happened in my life during that year. A great number of friends and relatives have passed away during that time.   Some  were old, as old as 100, and some were way too young to die.  All of that loss makes me very grateful for my life. 

And I am very mindful of my general  good luck with my health because of an accident I had in January.

I fell and broke my leg at the ankle. It was just a silly accident, a misstep while trying to do something nice for someone else. However it set me on a course to be the “live in house manager” and entertainment supplier for my 99 year old mother.  I had been living with her already, but now I moved in to a first floor bedroom with the knowledge  that I could not leave at all for 3 months. Because I had surgery on my ankle my doctor forbad me to put any weight on my bad leg until he could remove a long screw that held the two bones in my leg together. That was rough. For 3 whole months, no weight on my foot ever. No walking cast. And there was a real fear that were I to inadvertently put weight on that leg I could cause the bones to fracture because of that screw. I got around in a wheel chair constructed of some very light metal. It could be slid around using just my one good foot and no need to be pushed.  My favorite mode of transportation was on a knee scooter which was actually really fun. Becoming adept at using the tools available to “invalids“ these days, gave me a sense of accomplishment. It also gave me a healthy respect for those pioneers who forced “handicapped friendly” access all over this country. Because of those people I could go almost anywhere, including bathrooms.

When you are reduced to using a wheel chair or other vehicle like my scooter, to navigate the world, it is wonderful to discover that someone has thought of you ahead of time and made it possible.  I became very comfortable with my “wheels” but also impatient as the time approached that I could put weight on my foot. It turned out to be a lot more complicated than I had thought. Today July 20th, I am still somewhat lame on my left leg. My ankle swells still, and there is pain in the muscle or ligaments sometimes. Mysterious unexplained pain.  That makes me even more sympathetic to those who will forever be bound to chairs or other devices in order to move freely.  It is true that gradually one adjusts to what can be done easily and what cannot.  In some ways it is restful to know what your limitations are. Then you can deal with what is and leave the rest.

I found this to be true for myself. Before my accident I was constantly under a sort of tension about when I would leave my mother’s house to go home to my house in Charlottesville VA. The threat of being caught in rush hour which spans approximately 4 hours in the morning and another 4 every evening in the Washington DC area scared me into leaving early or late to avoid it. The tension underlying every day wore on me without my realizing that it colored everything.


Once I knew I must stay in one place, I resigned myself to it. It became relaxing and peaceful to have those worries taken from me. I became at peace with my enforced stay in Washington D.C. and to think of myself as a permanent resident. It seems reasonable to join local groups and try to enjoy the city which has become my home.

The Serenity Prayer is so helpful:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

I am alive and well and living with my mother

4 May

I am alive and well and living with my mother
The Dancing Queen

The Dancing Queen

My Mother is 98 years old. She is beautiful and cheerful. But things are changing for her as she becomes more frail and less able to participate in the activities that kept her young. For instance she loved to play golf, and she starred at croquet, but her balance is not what it once was and she hates walking as a sport. Dancing was her very favorite. But now her partners are all gone and she, herself fears that loss of balance that might lead to a fall. Plus her legs are weak now, and she lost her stamina somewhere along the way.

I am posting a photo taken about 20 or so years ago. She outdid them all at that time. Joyful and living in the moment, she inspired others.

Now I must struggle to keep those positive memories alive as she ages in front of my eyes. It is hard to watch. However this is a fairly new development. She never seemed to age at all until well after she turned 90. I welcome others stories and comments because this learning process creates all sorts of angst and sadness for me. Mother seems fine about it. It is for me that the sadness causes my interactions with her to seem to take forever, and lack the old sparkle.

As I am here with her anyway, I am keeping a journal which is private of course. However some public discussion of the topic of aging parents may help all of us.

It creeps up on us, the loss of friends, the sagging flesh, and lack of zest for life, and the feeling of having time in the future to do what one still has not done. For those in their 90s time and/or energy left long ago. Watching birds feeding at the birdfeeders intrigues and even fascinates older people. They can stare for hours at the birds and exclaim over the colors and shapes as if they had never seen a bird before. Childlike pleasure in daily activities like the splashing of water over a “caregiver” while taking a shower, or watching the same slide show over and over as if it had never been seen before makes smiling a norm. Nothing negative mars the constant stream of caregiving aid and comforts handed out every hour of the day or night.

Lack of privacy bothers some who must live with constant supervision, but my Mother enjoys the company of others. She grew up an only child whose mother died when she was only 8 months old. Her friends were her lifeline augmented by a whole bunch of cousins who lived literally next door. Her life has been crowded with “company” and she enjoys that even now.

The Primaries have come and mostly gone and Mother is blissfully unaware of the infighting. But one day she asked me while we watched the news, “What do you think of him?” She was pointing to Donald Trump who was answering reporters questions. I said “I am not sure what I think.” And she said “I think he is brave.” I thought that showed she watched with at least a modicum of recognition even though she still does not really recognize any other contender for the presidency. After Indiana, she may not need to. But she cares not at all who wins the presidency in 2016.

Life goes on for her as the birds feed hungrily at the several feeders, two hanging ones and one attached to the house.
Let’s count them Mother, shall we?

Health Myths Created by Father of Spin

3 Dec

I love Dr. Mercola’s articles. Here is one everyone should read. It just amazes me how people simply go along with the herd. Don’t you want to KNOW? Don’t you want to be told the honest truth about what is being touted as “good for you”? The information is available, but you have to look for it. It is foolish to just accept everything the Drug companies tell you to do. They have an agenda and it is NOT your health they are concerned with, but the sale of their drugs. If a few people die, so be it. If many are experiencing symptoms or distress that is just “too bad”. They are not interested in the few, but the many. But to each of you, your own health and that of your children is paramount.

So protect yourselves. Read everything you can find about any drug or substance added to your food or water. Dr. Mercola has made a life’s work out of bringing you the truth. He understands that in most cases you are solely responsible for your own health. You have the power to stay or become healthy. It takes personal responsibility on your part. It takes effort and commitment and time. But, aren’t you worth it?

Here is the information:
By Dr. Mercola

New research has revealed just how misleading and questionable the results of medication studies cited in top medical journals actually are — adding to an already sizeable mountain of data on mainstream medical manipulation.

Pharmaceutical and vaccine makers are continually found to be sponsoring the very institution performing the study on the effectiveness of their product.

Such is the case with a recent inquiry that examined the trustworthiness of top drug trials.

Investigators from UCLA and Harvard recently analyzed the randomized drug trials from six prestigious journals, reaching a conclusion that brings into question the overall credibility of many top medication studies and those who perform them.

The investigative team found that many of these pharmaceutical studies were sponsored by the drug manufacturers; sponsors who the report states “may promote the use of outcomes that are most likely to indicate favorable results for their products.”

In fact many of these studies have been found to utilize different statistical techniques in order to establish the supposed safety of many medications that may actually be harmful to you.

The investigation found that data presented in the following misleading manner:

“It’s one thing to say a medication lowers your risk of heart attacks from two-in-a-million to one-in-a-million, and something completely different to say a medication lowers your risk of heart attacks by 50 percent. Both ways of presenting the data are technically correct, but the second way, using relative numbers, could be misleading.”

It is important to remember that the investigation analyzed not one, but six prominent medical journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, The Lancet, the Annals of Internal Medicine, the British Medical Journal and the Archives of Internal Medicine. All of these journals were found to contain misleading data.

In addition to using imprecise numbers, many study authors have also been found to use deceptive outcome measures such as:

Surrogate outcomes: which is used to measure a heart medication’s ability to lower blood pressure. This form of outcome measurement is not a good indicator of the medication’s impact on more important clinical outcomes such as heart attacks.
Composite outcomes: a statistic that lumps together individual outcomes of unequal importance, like hospitalizations and death, into a single category. This makes it extremely difficult to ascertain the medication’s true effects.
Disease-specific mortality: a measurement that measures death from a specific cause. This can be especially misleading because even if a given medication reduces your chances of death from one disease, it may also increase your risk of death from another cause. The increased chance of death may even be significantly greater.

Flu Shot Ineffectiveness Exposes Medical Manipulation

Unfortunately, this is far from the first documented incident of study results being manipulated by outside financial interests. “Checkbook science,” as it is called, is rampant throughout the biomedical research and publishing industries. Basically, drug and chemical companies write the checks and the research institutions, whether private or public, manufacture the science needed to promote their financier’s products.

In fact, conflicts of interest like these are so widespread that in the past 15 months alone, 63 peer-reviewed articles discuss drug industry bias, according to PubMed.

With pharmaceutical drugs continually being linked to deadly diseases — despite FDA approval and the recommendation of government health officials — it is quite easy to see past the pharma bias that has corrupted the scientific process. In fact, if you have been following the flu vaccine, which is now being pushed harder than ever by the CDC and other mainstream health organizations, then you already know this.

The shocking lack of evidence supporting the seasonal flu vaccine, which now also contains the dangerous swine-origin H1N1 vaccine, reveals how media manipulation and drug bias can lead to incorrect public perception over the effects of the flu shot.

Why are “Gold Standard” Reviews Ignored?

It is a well-kept secret of the medical establishment — particularly the CDC – that the Cochrane Database Review, which is the gold standard within the evidence-based medical model for assessing the effectiveness of common medical interventions, does not lend clear scientific support to the heavily toted concept that flu vaccines are safe and effective.

To the contrary, the Cochrane Database Review reveals that there is a stunning lack of evidence to support the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine in healthy adults, the elderly, and healthcare workers who care for the elderly. Disturbingly, most of these aforementioned groups compromise the demographic to which the CDC aggressively recommends the seasonal flu shot.

Even more concerning is the fact that the flu vaccine may be most detrimental to the health of your children. According to the Cochrane Database Review, only one unbiased safety study on inactivated flu vaccines has ever been performed in children under two — the very population that is most susceptible to adverse reactions.

And this study did not prove with any certainty that they are safe.

Despite the lack of evidence showing the safety of the vaccine on this age group, the current guidelines in United States and Canada recommend the vaccination of healthy children from as young as six months old. As if incessant government coercion were not enough, the PBS Kids cartoon series — Sid the Science Kid — is being used as propaganda to circumvent parental authority and directly brainwash kids into getting the flu vaccine.

What is perhaps most disturbing of all is that receiving the H1N1-loaded seasonal flu shot can actually increase your risk of developing H1N1 flu. The finding surfaced after the global pandemic declared by the World Health Organization in 2009, proving the ineffectiveness of the flu vaccine at preventing the flu. Researchers found that after receiving the seasonal flu vaccine, Canadian participants actually had an increased risk of developing H1N1. As it turns out, vaccines may actually decrease your resistance to viral infection through suppressing and/or imbalancing your immune system.

Ineffective, Dangerous, Yet Still Pushed by Health Officials

Not only is there a shocking lack of evidence supporting the use of the flu vaccine, but a number of studies have actually confirmed the danger and ineffectiveness of the shots.

One major study determined that the best the flu vaccine could do during a season where, in the rare case, the vaccine actually matched the wild-type strains in circulation, was to reduce the risk of influenza infection by a paltry one percent relative to unvaccinated controls. This means that despite receiving the shot – riddled, as it is, with side effects such as the debilitating and potentially deadly nerve disease Guillain-Barre Syndrome — there is still an overwhelming likelihood that you will not be protected from the flu as a result of receiving the vaccine.

Read the rest of the article here:
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/12/03/medical-studies-misleading-readers.aspx?e_cid=20111203_DNL_art_3