Updates and/or confessions . . .

Well, it has certainly been a year.  My wife and I were talking recently about all that has happened since Halloween 2016, which was about when we put the gas fireplace insert in the house, and trying to do the numbers.

Here is what I came up with:

Fireplace Insert             $3500.00

Hot Water Heater             500.00

New HVAC System       4500.00

Refrigerator                       450.00

Car starter (2x)                 300.00

Repair Oil Leak              1000.00

Which, I do believe, tallies up to just over $10K in house and car maintenance, in just over one year.  On the agenda for the coming year – replace our 20 year old car, and try to regain access to our garage.

Now for the confession.  This is something that has been in the back of my mind since my Thanksgiving post about my friend Francine.  So far, we haven’t heard any news about a change in her status, but the truth is, even if there had been a change, her family would be so busy with everything that they wouldn’t likely be thinking of updating a Facebook page.

But, the fact that she is dying (or has died) from cancer got me thinking of how surprised I was to hear the news.  Which reflected back on me – some things I haven’t put in my blog, so none of you know anything about them.  While they aren’t as imminently life threatening as cancer, it still feels dishonest to not tell you what is going on.

So, let’s back up about 6-7 months.  I’d been using my home gym to build strength, and muscle tone, and I really felt things were starting to turn around for my health and fitness.  Then, one day I woke up, and couldn’t raise my left arm up to shoulder level in any direction.  The pain of attempting to move it at all was severe.  My initial reaction was, “Oh,, I probably pushed that last workout a bit hard, and I’ll just need a few days off.”  Well, a few days became a couple of weeks with no improvement, so I asked my wife what she thought I should do.  After some discussion, she said she thought it was “frozen shoulder” – something I’d never heard of before, and suggested I go to the chiropractor.  And I did.  It didn’t even take him a whole minute to confirm her suspicion.  “Oh, yeah, that’s frozen shoulder, alright.”  He ran me through some range-of-motion tests, then gave me some home-exercises to do to “loosen it up.”  He also said that, while cheap, this was the LONG, SLOW path to recovery, but it would work.

Now, today, I only sleep about 1 1/2 hours at a time, and it has been like this for 6 months.  I’m in pain constantly, and while the exercises have my range of motion back to about 85% of normal, the pain has not reduced one bit.  When bad weather affects arthritis, or migraines kick in, that is on top of the trouble with the shoulder.  It has reduced me to a babbling wreck more than once, as well as causing me to miss some past Saturday posts.  I don’t know what to do anymore.  I even have trouble remembering what day it is, without help from my computer.

So, this isn’t actually killing me, but it has seriously screwed up my quality of life.

Oh, and in keeping with the updates and confession theme of this post, the new program I’m doing for the migraines has had a noticeable effect now.  While the migraines aren’t usually as sharp as they were, they also don’t tend to go away anymore – ever.  It has been like this for a couple of weeks.

I’m ready for a new game, perhaps even a new avatar.  This one is busted.

Next lifetime – can I be Supergirl?  PLEASE?


Shout it out loud . . .

Healthy People 2020 and The Decade of Vaccines – is an article that describes an official government policy 35 years in the making, with the ultimate goal to justify a nanny state government take-over of nearly every aspect of your personal life.  All in the name of “public health issues”.  You can read the full article here:



More on Imitrex . . .

Friday’s post made a pretty radical statement about Imitrex, so I thought I should put it in context by posting the entire relevant section of the e-newsletter Dr. Sears sent out last week (my wife read her copy on Thursday, I think).  So, here it is:

“I treat a lot of different kinds of chronic pain at my clinic. The patients most desperate for relief are the migraine sufferers.

If you get migraines, you know they can knock you out for days at a time.

The World Health Organization says migraines are to blame for more lost years of healthy life than multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, ovarian cancer and tuberculosis combined.1

But mainstream medicine knows very little about the cause of migraines or how to treat them. Most doctors prescribe Imitrex. That’s a drug to help relieve headaches, pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound.

But Imitrex can actually cause headaches. They’re called rebound headaches.

And it has other terrible side effects like slurred speech… diarrhea… hallucinations… twitching muscles… vision changes…

And over-the-counter remedies are no better. Aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen can make the pain worse. They can cause an “analgesic rebound effect.” This means your headache can come back when you stop taking them.

And we’re learning more every day about just how dangerous these drugs really are…

In fact, a study published earlier this month in the journal BMJ found that your risk of having a heart attack increased as much as 50% after taking ibuprofen

Regardless of dose or length of time you take it…

Sometimes, nutrient deficiencies — like a magnesium deficiency — can be behind migraines. But for some patients, making sure they get enough of the right nutrients isn’t enough to stop the pain. Still, that doesn’t mean I resort to Big Pharma’s meds…”

So, there you have it.  It is a vicious cycle for me – because it all started with pain management following the treatment of a bone tumor.  The pain meds continued over a period of  around 15 years almost daily, before I even got an inkling of an idea that this might not be smart.  Shortly after that, I had my first migraine – which I later learned was likely CAUSED by the long-term use of the pain meds.  So, I start using Excedrine for the migraines, and my joints started to decline more rapidly – so I try to medicate them (by this point I was using non-prescription liquid pain relief as much as possible) and the migraines got worse.  Eventually I got word that Imitrex would help, so I asked the VA for that and got it.

In the last 6 years I started using reading glasses – and about a month ago I asked my wife to get a new pair with stronger correction.  And here is something I didn’t even think to connect to the whole cycle – I get random muscle twitches pretty much everywhere, but especially in my eye lids and legs.

So, to answer a question asked about Friday’s posts – no, this is not sustainable.  Not really.  But, I still have little choice but to bear with it until we get the cefaly device to see how well it helps me. If we get it ordered by the end of June, I’m thinking I should know how well it does or doesn’t do the job by mid September.

I’m hopeful, but I am also realistic enough to admit that it may fail to help – if it does, I’m not chasing any more rainbows.  I’ve seen people bankrupt their families trying to buy a few more days.  I will not do that.  However long I have remaining – and let’s be realistic, no matter how bad my quality of life gets, it could still last another 40 years – I will accept and use to be the best partner for my wife that I can be with what I have to work with.

Veteran’s Hospitals have a math problem . . .

Ok, first let me acknowledge that I DO understand that there are health issues to be concerned with.  Still – this goes way beyond health, into absurdity.

The specific problem I’m talking about is with the prescriptions for Imitrex that I’ve been getting.  Ever since I started getting it – they have only sent me 18 pills at a time, and limited me to one refill every 3 months.  About 2 weeks ago, I sent them a secure message asking for another refill.  So far, they have only given me 25mg tablets, but I know it is available in dosages as high as 100mg, so I asked if I could get either a higher dose, or more pills, or both, since I keep running out.

They replied that they limit the number of pills they send because they don’t want me to exceed the 200mg maximum dosage per day.  So, here is where they have a math problem.

They only send me 18 pills every 3 months.  It takes 8 25mg pills to REACH 200mg for a day.  Each of my migraines lasts 3-4 days, and I usually have about 3 migraines every month.  I run out of pills if – ONLY on days I have a migraine – I only take 1 pill each day.

To actually risk excessive dosage, I’d first have to have enough pills to TAKE an excessive dosage – because running out is a MISERABLE option.  So, 8 pills per day for 9 days a month for 3 months.  The ABSOLUTE minimum number of pills I need for a 3 month prescription is 216, IF I was taking 200mg per migraine day.  Some months I’d need as many as 336 at that dosage level.  Still, even at the minimum – the actual prescriptions they have given me have fallen short by almost 200 pills every 3 months.

And the fools wonder why I haven’t gotten enough help from their treatment protocol to be able to return to work.

Endometriosis . . .

Today I saw this BBC.com article about Endometriosis, and I have to say that it’s all a load of crap.


The article explicitly states that there is no cure. Bullshit!

My wife was 27 when we met, and she had extreme and severe endometriosis. Being a state employee at a college, she also had very good health insurance. Her endometriosis pre-existed the diagnosis by years, but was finally diagnosed when I rushed her to the hospital and she had an emergency appendectomy. We went, together, to many specialists over the next few years. The AMA treatment protocol was followed TO THE LETTER. Every treatment not only failed, but made her condition worse.

Before she turned 30, the last specialist she saw told her the bad news. “Everything we can do for you has been done. The only option left is a radical hysterectomy, and there is no guarantee it will help.” Desperate for relief, she agreed to the procedure, which was scheduled for 6 months later. The intervening time was intentional – to allow her to save sick days and vacation time to cope with the 3-6 MONTH recovery time after the surgery.

However, there was a problem.

Every month she still experienced debilitating pain when her cycle started, and she was using all those sick days and vacation time just to avoid having to go to work while incapacitated. As the months passed, it became obvious she wasn’t going to save anywhere near enough time off to allow a proper recovery before returning to work.

Fortunately, we were active in a church at the time where we knew some very excellent chiropractic doctors. One of them did work with nutritional therapy supplements, as well as acupuncture and spinal adjustments. I called him out of the blue one day, described my wife’s situation, and asked him if anything could be done “to get her enough relief that she can at least make it until the surgery.”

It shouldn’t have been such a difficult thing to ask, but at the time it felt like we were grasping at the moon. The doctor told me to bring her in right away, so he could do a proper evaluation. I had to help her walk to the doctor’s office, because she was in pain at the time.

After the evaluation, he did an adjustment, and told her to take some nutritional supplements (that he provided) and come back in a couple of days. By the time she returned, she was walking on her own. He did another adjustment, and changed her nutritional supplements a little bit.

She saw him 2 more times in the next 2 weeks. By the end of the 2 weeks, she was symptom free. The next time her cycle came, it was “normal” and she called the OB/GYN to cancel the appointment for the hysterectomy. She has remained free of endometriosis for the last 15 YEARS.

There is a cure. It is proper nutrition. Anyone who says otherwise has a snake-oil to sell, or profits from doing surgeries.

Health update . . .

You want to know something?  If it weren’t for the migraines and arthritis, I’d probably live forever with this body.

That’s only partially a joke.

Today I had my annual physical at the VA health clinic I’ve been going to for nearly 10 years.  They drew a fasting blood lab first, and then I went to see my primary care doctor.  He got the results of the blood work while we were talking.

EVERYTHING – Yes, everything, was within “normal limits” except for my cholesterol numbers, which have been elevated since the first time I was ever tested.

When the team nurse tested my blood pressure, she had to do it twice.  The first time it was 128/94 – which I would have accepted.  But, she said she got distracted talking to another nurse, and she and I had discussed the logistics of the VA moving the clinic to another town (which is supposed to happen late next year), so she wanted to do it again.  The second test was 120/87.

Keep in mind – I’m now 54 years old, and take no medication for blood pressure control.

But, when I saw the doctor, he didn’t like the numbers because he said the second one was too high.  So, he tested it himself.

And the numbers HE got were 110/80.

For the first time since he met me, he didn’t even bother asking me to take medicine for my cholesterol.  When he pulled up the blood test results, he did say that it was still high, but when my wife asked him how it compared with last year he acknowledged that the LDL was down 50 points from last year.  So he just told me to keep doing what I’ve been doing, and dropped it.

My bear to cross . . .

When I was growing up as a child in a small Kansas town where EVERYONE was a member of one or the other of two churches, one thing I heard people say from time to time was, “This is my cross to bear” – by which I understood them to be saying that some burden was theirs to deal with.  Nobody could help, and the problem might never go away.  Much like Jesus on his way to Calvary.

Well, in circles of those who seek spiritual growth, there is a similar notion – that the universe seeks balance, and those who seek spiritual growth may be “balanced” by physical limitations or self-imposed restrictions.

I’m facing a growing awareness that this may be exactly the description of my own physical limits since the bone tumor in my leg back in 1980.  The arthritis (which the No Grain, No Pain book describes as an auto-immune disorder caused by intestinal leaking after prolonged NSAID pain killer use) is going systemic, my migraines are taking on extra symptoms (by which I mean that the 3 classic symptoms that earn a headache the term “migraine” are now arriving in pairs) and my physical strength is declining despite my workout program.  No, not the strength – the endurance.  I have no energy reserves.

I’m not saying all of this to wave a white-flag, or imply that I’m giving up.  I fully intend to keep trying to heal my body. It just seems that every time I take one action to fix one area of my health, it throws another out of balance and my health in that area declines.

I just have to accept – in advance – that it may be a fools errand, and be prepared to live with that.  With my family genetics, it is entirely possible that I have another 30-50 years to live, so accepting this “as it is” while seeking ways to make my life and this world better are key ideas to balance against each other for inner peace.  I think.

10 days grain-free . . .

I thought it was a good idea to turn off all the politics and just do an update on this grain-free experiment my wife and I are doing.  We’re now 10 days into eating NOTHING with any known grain in it.

You know what?  I’ve felt like this before.  Back in 1995, when I was a newly minted Minister in the Church of Scientology.  Completing the ordination was the final step on my being fully-trained for my post, and thus opened the door to my doing training/processing that wasn’t just about my job.  The first action I did?

The Purification Rundown.

I can’t say anything bad about the Purif (as it is usually called).  It was the first step in opening my eyes to the environmental hazards this “modern” world has forced us all to live in.  That, and I did get some awesome results.  That said, the last 2 days of the Purif were, for me, a total living nightmare.  The pain was worse than anything I’d ever experienced, with the exception of passing a kidney stone (I’ve done that 7x now).

This grain-free program is bringing that all back.  I got my very first migraine in the Purif (although I didn’t know to call it that at the time).  Now I’m getting what I’m calling micro-migraines.  The pain is the same as a migraine – usually in the same place.  However the headaches only last between half an hour and 90 minutes, and I can have 3-4 of them a day.  Every day.

There is another reason I deliberately tied this experience to my experience doing the Purif.  They are both processes aimed at better body health, and as such, you have to expect things to get worse before they get better.  Think of it this way – something made your body ill – to get better you have to chase that something out of your body.  While it is stirred up and running out, it is going to be affecting everything it passes through on it’s way to the door.  Sort of like chasing a wild bull through a china shop.

So, even though I feel lousy right now, I have enough awareness of what is going on to accept that this is what is SUPPOSED to happen, and I’m going to hold on and tough it out.  I’d think it should start getting easier in a few days, except that I have no honest idea just how bad the damage to my intestines was.  This might actually take a few months to get all the way through, for me – because I took NSAID pain killers like breath mints from 1980 to 1995.

Anything worth doing is worth doing right the first time.  The way out is the way through.  Whatever turns it on, turns it off.

I think you get the idea.  Mostly I’m trying to remind myself.