Important Physical and Mental Health Message:

This is not about expected, natural, normal, typical “age-related” decline. This is about innocent people being made to suffer solitary confinement, regardless of its cost to their well-being.

Continual Revelation

Unlock the Lockdown!

The elderly and their families are suffering disproportionately from the nursing home lockdown.  Please help by sharing this video, and contacting government and public health officials about this heinous state of affairs.

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In the Research: Autoimmunity and Blindness.

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2002/0915/p991.html

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27112687/

https://journalretinavitreous.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40942-017-0104-9

No part of the body is safe from autoimmune attack. Vision loss due to autoimmunity can occur relatively quickly. Rapid-onset blindness may be especially prone to provoke a condition called Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS): when the brain tries to compensate for loss of visual stimulation by its construction of vivid hallucinations. Learn about CBS here:

https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/allinthemind/seeing-when-youre-blind/12503398?fbclid=IwAR1yz-ErtIDH8gLhCPSA0EtYuoWf_NjfoZFccLdzfIjl9erfobzSTJICroQ

 

Living with Chronic Pain: Transcutaneous Electronic Nerve Stimulation (TENS).

I had last owned and used a TENS unit back in the late 1990s. I’d picked it up at a second-hand shop for $20.00, for use to relieve chronic pain from a broken sacroiliac joint and its related referred leg pain (sequelae of a motor vehicle accident in 1992). Eventually the machine got worn out, but it was more than 20 years before I got around to replacing it. (In the interval, how did I cope with the continued pain? Poorly, to put it succinctly.)

Last year, I remembered the old TENS unit, and began shopping for a new machine. I was surprised to see that the price wasn’t very much more than what I’d paid for the used one so long ago. The only difficulty was finding one that was as easy to use as the old one had been: they can come with a lot of what I consider to be superfluous bells-and-whistles. After some study of what was on offer at A Major Online Retailer, I found a fairly simple machine, with just a few more settings than the old one had (it had essentially just turned on and off, and had a simple intensity adjustment): in addition to intensity, I could now adjust the pulse frequency and set a timer.

An inexpensive TENS unit. (For illustration purposes. Not a product endorsement.)

I used it a few times, and then had to put it away in order to deal with other aspects of my multitude of health problems. For one thing, my skin had become so fragile from my being on a high steroid dose, I was afraid to use the machine. Eventually the state of my medical care progressed: a rheumatologist began to wean me off of the steroid, the wounds healed, and my skin began to return to a more normal state of durability.

Although I had continued to have the old chronic sacroiliac pain problem that had plagued me for all those years, my recent return to using the TENS unit was prompted by another complication of the steroid therapy: compression fractures of two vertebrae. The acute phase of that injury involved excruciatingly painful muscle spasms, and it took some trial-and-error for my primary care doctor to find an effective muscle relaxant drug. Unfortunately, to be strong enough to relieve the pain, the drug was too strong in other ways, causing intense dizziness (no fun, on top of an exacerbation of vertigo from autoimmune inner ear disease, which had started up again when the steroid dose was weaned low enough to not suppress the symptoms any more), and overwhelming brain fog. So I could take it only twice a day instead of three times, meaning that there was an unavoidable period of no pain relief between doses.

In time, the spasms finally stopped, but the change that had happened to the supporting skeletal structure of my back then led to another problem: a new sacroiliac joint strain on the opposite side of my pelvis. This was another screaming-intensity pain, but the muscle relaxant had no effect on it. I don’t take narcotics (they make me violently ill), and NSAIDs are contraindicated while I’m still on the steroid (not that NSAIDs had ever helped with the pre-existing sacroiliac pain; only “prolotherapy” injections had even a temporary effect for about three months at a time).

I became desperate enough to take an over-the-counter drug I’d avoided for many years, because it depresses my breathing: acetaminophen, aka paracetamol. I already have obstructive sleep apnea, and although it’s controlled with CPAP, I certainly don’t need more breathing problems. But the pain was so bad, it was completely depriving me of sleep, and because acetaminophen also knocks me out, I took it for several nights. Of course, my CPAP Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI) numbers shot up unacceptably high.

That’s when I had the proverbial face-palm moment, and remembered the TENS unit. I dug it out, and put on the electrodes. For the first few hours, the relief was inadequate; then I figured out that the intensity needed to be set at just below the point where the pulses were themselves painful. But it took all day, until bedtime, to exhaust the pain neurotransmitters, and achieve an absence of pain. I took off the electrodes, put on my CPAP, went to bed without taking any acetaminophen, slept with only one mercifully pain-free wakeful period – and my AHI went back to normal. I’ve continued to use the TENS throughout waking hours, and by itself it’s kept the pain at bay.

I’ve laid in a supply of 9-volt batteries for the machine, and have ordered a large set of replacement electrodes: if there happens to be tension on the lead wire, an electrode pad will pull apart from its lead connector; it can be fixed by pushing the end of the wire back in and securing it with medical adhesive tape, but eventually the electrode pad also loses its stickiness, and the whole thing needs to be replaced.

If you think you’d like to try TENS for chronic musculoskeletal pain, don’t do so until you’ve read this article (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/transcutaneous-electrical-nerve-stimulation-tens/), and have talked to your doctor about it. You may be required to have a prescription.

Below are some articles which summarize the state of research into the efficacy of TENS treatments:

Click to access CD011890.pdf

and

https://www.cochranelibrary.com/en/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.ED000139/epdf/full

and

Click to access nihms620660.pdf

Why did the TENS help with the terrible pain I was having? Perhaps the electrical pulses somehow healed the strained tissues around the sacroiliac joint. The following article discusses how TENS may produce healing:

Click to access cjps20237.pdf

 

 

Magic Bug Spray?

Hydroxychloroquine & Dexamethasone Musings.

It occurred to me that the controversy surrounding the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for treatment of last autumn’s common cold virus could stem from its having beneficial effects in some people which were unrelated to the presence of the virus in their bodies.

In addition to its being an antimalarial, HCQ is given to people who have various autoimmune diseases (my rheumatologist has suggested adding it to my treatment for polymyalgia rheumatica, if methotrexate alone doesn’t provide sufficient relief). There are more than 100 known autoimmune diseases, and more are being discovered all the time. Many autoimmune diseases have significant systemic effects that make their sufferers very sick. Unfortunately, even the known autoimmune diseases are under-diagnosed, primarily because of their misdiagnosis as another illness. (Shamefully for the medical profession, many of those who suffer with autoimmune disease are misdiagnosed as having purely psychiatric problems.)

So if some people who tested positive for this year’s Chinese common cold also had one or more undiagnosed autoimmune diseases that were making them feel extremely sick, and the administration of HCQ began to make them feel better, that could be why a study might report HCQ’s apparent effectiveness for the virus; whereas those who might have been given HCQ because they were positive for the virus, but who didn’t have an unknown, underlying autoimmune disease wouldn’t experience any benefit.

And if people who tested positive for the virus didn’t “clear” it from their systems in a shorter length of time, despite their having been given HCQ, that stands to reason, because it’s already known that there is no drug currently available which has any curative or even a shortening effect on infections caused by common cold viruses. Therefore, there would be no reason to hand out HCQ for the new virus that’s been circulating since last fall’s cold-and-flu season.

Similarly, there has been some recent excitement about a possible role for the steroid dexamethasone in the treatment of people with severe viral pneumonia that’s attributed to SARS CoV-2. According to the summary of a not-yet-peer-reviewed study by the UK National Health Service (NHS) and the University of Oxford (summary available at https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/932403?src=mkm_covid_update_200616_mscpedit_&uac=105960AN&impID=2422069&faf=1):

The results suggest one death would be prevented by treatment with dexamethasone in every eight ventilated COVID-19 patients . . . and one death would be prevented in every 25 COVID-19 patients that received the drug and were on oxygen.

Among patients with COVID-19 who did not require respiratory support, there was no benefit from treatment with dexamethasone.

This new report of another drug “breakthough” makes me nervous, for two reasons. First, despite the finding of no benefit for people with COVID disease who didn’t need a ventilator or oxygen administration, there’s a high risk of a hysterical demand arising for dexamethasone as a prophylaxis (preventive), which could result in shortages of that drug, which is important for many cancer patients who are getting chemotherapy (it helps prevent bad reactions during I.V. administration of the chemo drug – I’ve BTDT). Such shortages have already been reported for HCQ, access to which is important to those of us who have autoimmune diseases (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7138336/pdf/aim-olf-M201334.pdf). Second, steroids are notorious for their ability to suppress the immune system, which is not something you want to do if you’re worried about catching a highly contagious disease. In fact, another study (https://ard.bmj.com/content/79/7/859) has shown that “glucocorticoid exposure of ≥10 mg/day is associated with a higher odds of hospitalisation,” which means that you’ve got a greater chance of getting sicker than usual with COVID disease if you’re taking a steroid.

There is no magic bug spray for this virus. Whether you’re in a subgroup of the population that’s always been vulnerable to bad outcomes from chest colds (the aged and the infirm, the latter being those with a few cardiovascular or metabolic co-morbidities, or impaired immune systems), or you’re a member of the rest of the population which has an almost zero chance of having any adverse outcome from catching the virus, by far the safest and most effective thing to do for yourself and others is to wear a mask when you go out, and to practice frequent and scrupulous hand-washing.

The Last Straw

Except for wearing masks and washing hands, there is no scientific evidence for any of the harebrained “precautions” with which we’ve been afflicted. The donut shop’s notion that a respiratory disease can be spread by contact with food is yet another of them.

TotteringOnTheBrink

Screen Shot 2020-06-24 at 1.25.44 PM

I haven’t been around for a while, and with good reason. To speak in the vernacular, the shit’s been gettin’ deep, what with one thing and another, and I figured I’d just keep my mouth shut.

But something happened today that really toasted my cheese, and I just can’t sit here and let it go.

Today started out as a good day. Took my car to a somewhat local garage to get the annual Safety Inspection. I say “somewhat” local because it’s a good 15 miles away, but it’s owned by a guy I used to work with years ago, and I wanted to give him my business. As it happened, another guy I used to work with at the same place was there, too, so we had a good time shooting the bull and getting caught up.

From there, I went to the Food Lion – not my usual…

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A Voice of Reason.

Enough is enough.

Listen carefully to this important interview, and direct the attention of your local, state and national government leaders to it.

You can access the interview here, or by one of these links:

https://www.hoover.org/research/doctor-scott-atlas-and-efficacy-lockdowns-social-distancing-and-closings

https://www.hoover.org/research/doctor-scott-atlas-and-efficacy-lockdowns-social-distancing-and-closings-0

https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-jzwac-e0c41a

https://www.podbean.com/media/player/audio/postId/14730266?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.podbean.com%2Few%2Fpb-jzwac-e0c41a

Coronavirus Common Sense (and a Classic Cautionary Tale).

This blogger has watched with amazement the fear, panic, and hysterical overreaction to the discovery of the newest head-and-chest-cold virus to come out of China.

  • Scientists who should know better how to calculate statistics, have fudged the reported fatality rate by using the wrong denominator in the equation: If anybody in the Epidemiology class I took when I was an undergraduate had answered computation questions that way on a quiz, they would have flunked it.
  • Medical professionals who should know better have glossed over the fact that this virus acts the same way that the more than 200 other common cold viruses do: that only the elderly and those of any age who have preexisting health problems are at risk of “catching their death of cold” (as the age-old saying goes), which means that subsequent to their having caught and fought a routine respiratory infection, they are killed by opportunistic bacterial or viral pneumonia.
  • Epidemiologists who should know better scoff at the idea that naturally acquired population or “herd” immunity is protective, while they urge the development of a vaccine and its mass administration, in order to form the same kind of antibodies.
  • Ninety percent of USA governors, who should know better than to destroy their tax base, have flexed their dictatorial muscles by ordering the citizens of their states to abandon their jobs and businesses and stay home to “stay safe,” when all of the evidence shows that the virus has little to no adverse effect on more than 99% of the people who are exposed to it, whereas a universal quarantine invariably causes universal, severe physical, mental/emotional and economic harm.
  • Billions of people who should be accustomed to their having caught a head-and-chest-cold virus every common-cold-and-flu season, have allowed themselves to be intimidated by the word “pandemic,” when every such virus always sweeps the world in pandemic fashion every year, but before now, nobody ever paid attention.

Read More of This Post HERE.

“COVID” Common Sense.

Another antibody test report:

Takeaway from these results:

Following universal stay-at-home orders only slows the spread of the disease (it cannot make it disappear), and it does this at the expense of preventing protective population immunity (herd immunity) from developing in healthy people, thereby lengthening the duration of risk to those who are vulnerable to poor outcomes if they become infected.