Saturday Posts . . .

This is a post of updates . . . .

Yesterday was my trip to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to the VA Hospital for the MRI to see if I qualify for the femor replacement surgery yet.  It was a day of trials on every level.

First, because there were storms throughout the surrounding area, from 7am Thursday until we left  for Fayetteville I only got about 2.5 hours of sleep. I was already uncomfortable, and it was only going to get worse. Just after we passed through Joplin, MO, we drove into a torrential downpour that we continued to drive through the rest of the way to Fayetteville.  However, by slowing down and driving carefully, we made good time overall and got there safely.

When the MRI was started, the machine they wanted to use wouldn’t work – something about the coil for the magnets.  So, they had to use a different machine that was slower and far less comfortable.  The first machine would have been able to do the 4 images they wanted in about 2 hours – the one they had to use took about 45 minutes for each image.  That may not seem like much of a difference, but it’s huge when you’re already in pain, and the area that hurts is the area you absolutely can’t move if the images are going to be useful.  I got through the first image alright, but after starting the second, I had to take a break for a bathroom trip, and that ruined what we already had of the second image.  By the time we finally got the second image finished, I was in such pain I couldn’t  repeat them with the contrast media.  The technician was polite and understanding, but I felt like I had totally failed.  Still, there wasn’t any way to change the outcome.

Fortunately, we had good driving conditions for the trip home, and concluded our day eating supper in our own home with our cats happy to have us back.  I did a little bit of more searching on the internet, and discovered an article on PubMed summarizing recent research into Total Femur Replacement (TFR) surgery (it was published in 2015) which indicated very strongly that I’m almost certain not to get the surgery.  There are significant risks of life-threatening infections post op for patients over the age of 50, and I turn 57 next month.  Combine that with my history of a bone tumor and already compromised immune system, and I’m simply not a viable candidate.

I sort of wish I’d known that a month ago.  I wouldn’t have wasted the time and resources.

Dealing with the Veteran’s Administration again . . .

I am currently trying, once again, to deal with the Veteran’s Administration (VA), to get my left femur replaced.  At this point in time, I have been trying for 38 years to get this problem fixed.

In all of that time, the standard response of the VA has been “the problem is not yet severe enough for us to justify the expense or risk of performing the procedure.”  What that means is, because the procedure would probably need to be repeated in 20 years, they are unwilling to do the corrective surgery before I am old enough to only qualify for it one time.

So, because I became disabled so young (aged 18), I have spent 38 years waiting for the chance to resume anything even remotely resembling a normal life – even though it would only require ONE surgery to deliver that option to me.

My new primary care doctor, at the VA Health clinic in Joplin, was willing to order a new MRI to evaluate the situation, and that has been scheduled for later this month.  However, based on the report of the preliminary X-rays before the MRI, I am not expecting them to agree to the procedure at this time.

IMHO, this is a completely upside down evaluation.  The VA is looking at how many times the procedure may need to be done throughout my lifetime – and what I am concerned about is my quality of life for however long I have left.  The last 38 years have been what should have been some of the most productive years of my life – and of them I’ve spent 28 years doing minimum wage labor, and the last 10 years I’ve been unemployable.  All of this despite the undeniable fact that nobody knows for sure when I will die – whether by an accident, illness, or natural causes.  Let’s not forget, it all started with a bone tumor, and that caused a permanent impairment to my immune system.

If the VA tells me later this month that they are still not willing to replace my femur, my wife is considering adding me to her medical insurance, just to attempt to get the surgery done.  I think that is still a long shot, but we’ll look at it.  If it isn’t viable, I’m considering whether it is time to consider a new body.  Continuing the downward spiral is certainly not going to be viable for very long, and since I do believe in a form of reincarnation, it is worth thinking about.

Exposed a lie . . .

Yesterday was a very long, but ultimately worthwhile, day for us.  It was my first visit to the new VA Health clinic in Joplin.

Of course, being a new facility, it looked nice.  In fact, it’s so new that the installed TV’s weren’t hooked up to any programming, yet.  LOL! To me, that was actually a good thing – we didn’t have to sit through hours of TV commercials while waiting for my appointments.

Anyway, the new care team I’m working with is AMAZING!  Every member of the team is either a veteran, or directly connected to a veteran.  They all expressed that they want to treat every veteran the way they’d want their family to be treated.

A direct result of that was exposing a lie told by my previous care doctor.  The previous one had told me, many times, that the Imitrex he was giving me was the ONLY prescription for Imitrex he could write.  10mg tablets, 9 tablets per 90 days, no automatic refills.  Yesterday’s visit with the new doc was RUSHED – his nurse said the doc usually wants to spend 2-3 hours working with a new patient on the first visit (I got 15 minutes because of a scheduling glitch) – yet he heard my complaint about the Imitrex and had no qualms about writing a new prescription for Imitrex at 50mg, 18 tablets per MONTH, with auto refill.

I think, in the long term, this is going to be a better experience, with another positive change scheduled to happen in June.  That change will come from Congress, so we’ll see how it works.

Saturday Posts . . .

IF YOU DO NOT READ ANY THING ELSE BE SURE TO TAKE THE TIME TO READ THIS:

WANT A FREE HOUSE?

I was in my neighborhood restaurant this morning and was seated behind a group of jubilant individuals celebrating the coming implementation of the health care bill. I could not finish my breakfast. This is what ensued: They were a diverse group of several races and both sexes. I heard a young man exclaim, “Isn’t Obama like Jesus Christ? I mean, after all, he is healing the sick.”

A young woman enthusiastically proclaimed, “Yeah, and he does it for free. I cannot believe anyone would think that a free market wouldn’t work for health care.”

Another said, “The stupid Republicans want us all to starve to death so they can inherit all of the power. Obama should be made a Saint for what he did for those of us less fortunate.”

At this, I had more than enough. I arose from my seat, mustering all the restraint I could find, and approached their table. “Please excuse me; may I impose upon you for one moment?”

They smiled and welcomed me to the conversation. I stood at the end of their table, smiled as best I could and began an experiment.

“I would like to give one of you my house. It will cost you no money and I will pay all of the expenses and taxes for as long as you live there. Anyone interested?”

They looked at each other in astonishment. “Why would you do something like that?” asked a young man, “There isn’t anything for free in this world.” They began to laugh at me, as they did not realize this man had just made my point.

“I am serious, I will give you my house for free, no money whatsoever. Anyone interested?”

In unison, a resounding “Yeah” fills the room.

“Since there are too many of you, I will have to make a choice as to who receives this money-free bargain.”

I noticed an elderly couple was paying attention to the spectacle unfolding before their eyes, the old man shaking his head in apparent disgust.

“I tell you what; I will give it to the one of you most willing to obey my rules.”

Again, they looked at one another, an expression of bewilderment on their faces.

The perky young woman asked, “What are the rules?”

I smiled and said, “I don’t know. I have not yet defined them. However, it is a free home that I offer you.”

They giggled amongst themselves, the youngest of which said, “What an old coot. He must be crazy to give away his home. Go take your meds, old man.”

I smiled and leaned into the table a bit further. “I am serious, this is a legitimate offer.”

They gaped at me for a moment.

“I’ll take it you old fool. Where are the keys?” boasted the youngest among them.

“Then I presume you accept ALL of my terms then?” I asked.

The elderly couple seemed amused and entertained as they watched from the privacy of their table. “Oh yeah! Where do I sign up?”

I took a napkin and wrote, “I give this man my home, without the burden of financial obligation, so long as he accepts and abides by the terms that I shall set forth upon consummation of this
transaction.”

I signed it and handed it to the young man who eagerly scratched out his signature.

“Where are the keys to my new house?” he asked in a mocking tone of voice.

All eyes were upon us as I stepped back from the table, pulling the keys from pocket and dangling them before the excited new homeowner.

“Now that we have entered into this binding contract, witnessed by all of your friends, I have decided upon the conditions you are obligated to adhere to from this point forward. You may only live in the house for one hour a day. You will not use anything inside of the home. You will obey me without question or resistance. I expect complete loyalty and admiration for this gift I bestow upon you. You will accept my commands and wishes with enthusiasm, no matter the nature. Your morals
and principles shall be as mine. You will vote as I do, think as I do and do it with blind faith. These are my terms. Here are your keys.” I reached the keys forward and the young man looked at me dumbfounded.

“Are you out of your mind? Who would ever agree to those ridiculous terms?” the young man appeared irritated.

“You did when you signed this contract before reading it, understanding it and with the full knowledge that I would provide my conditions only after you committed to the agreement.”

The elderly man chuckled as his wife tried to restrain him. I was looking at a now silenced and bewildered group of people.

“You can shove that stupid deal up your a** old man. I want no part of it!” exclaimed the now infuriated young man.

‘You have committed to the contract, as witnessed by all of your friends. You cannot get out of the deal unless I agree to it. I do not intend to let you free now that I have you ensnared. I am the power
you agreed to. I am the one you blindly and without thought chose to enslave yourself to. In short, I am your Master.”

At this, the table of celebrating individuals became a unified group against the unfairness of the deal.

After a few moments of unrepeatable comments and slurs, I revealed my true intent.

“What I did to you is what this administration and congress did to you with the health care legislation. I easily suckered you in and then revealed the real cost of the bargain. Your folly was in the belief that you can have something you did not earn, and for that which you did not earn, you willingly allowed someone else to think for you. Your failure to research, study and inform yourself permitted reason to escape you. You have entered into a trap from which you cannot flee. Your only chance of freedom is if your new Master gives it to you. A freedom that is given can also be taken away. Therefore, it is not freedom at all.”

With that, I tore up the napkin and placed it before the astonished young man. “This is the nature of your new health care legislation.”

I turned away to leave these few in thought and contemplation — and was surprised by applause.

The elderly gentleman, who was clearly entertained, shook my hand enthusiastically and said, “Thank you, Sir. These kids don’t understand Liberty .”

He refused to allow me to pay my bill as he said, “You earned this one. It is an honor to pick up the tab.”

I shook his hand in thanks, leaving the restaurant somewhat humbled and sensing a glimmer of hope for my beloved country.

1. Remember… Four boxes keep us free: the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.

2. THIS SHOULD GO AROUND THE UNITED STATES SO PEOPLE CAN SEE JUST WHAT IS GOING ON. MAYBE EVEN THE POLITICALLY BLIND ONES WILL LEARN SOMETHING FROM IT.

“ANY MAN WHO THINKS HE CAN BE HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS BY LETTING THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT TAKE CARE OF HIM; BETTER TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THE AMERICAN INDIAN.” HENRY FORD  (or perhaps the US Military Veteran)

Saturday Posts . . .

If you found your interest peaked by my previous post about leaky gut and removing lectins from your diet, this will be an update to that.

If you are new to the leaky gut idea, please see my previous post.  I have a link there to a website run by a former world-class cardiac surgeon who now focuses his practice on healing instead of surgery.  He explains, far better than I can, what this is all about.  Just realize that, according to him, symptoms of leaky gut can include brain fog, arthritis, migraine headaches, chronic fatigue, obesity . . . .

Now, to the update.

It has been just over 2 weeks since my wife and I started taking the daily supplements recommended for this program.  My wife saw almost instant benefits – she told me on day 3 that she’d already noticed that her nearly-constant craving for refined sugar was almost gone.  After a week she told me that when she wakes in the mornings it isn’t a struggle to get out of bed anymore, she wakes with more  energy and mental sharpness.  The two together have her convinced that this was a definite move in the right direction, for her.

My results would best fall into the category of “proof that one-size definitely does not fit all in health care”.  I’m not saying this has failed to work for me, just that at the 2 week mark my results are far less spectacular.  If anything, my mental fog has worsened.  I’m constantly tired, and get confused if I have more than one thing going on at a time.

So, what makes that a positive result?  Let me regress – to the results of my doing the paleo diet.  When I started the paleo diet, I weighed 248 pounds, at 5’8″ tall.  I was just short of 100 pounds more than what I weighed when I got discharged from the US Army in 1982.  Without exercising, using the paleo diet my weight dropped to 190 pounds.  However, with all of that weight loss – my abdominal girth did not decrease AT ALL.  I’m now convinced that this is, perhaps, the greatest proof of my having leaky gut – and that all that girth is due to toxic waste that had built up around my intestines.

I’m not sure if this qualifies as proof, but one thing that has changed is the smell of my waste when I go to the bathroom.  Of course, I’d be lying if I told you it didn’t smell bad before, but now it is so offensive that I wait until the last possible minute and hold my breath as much as possible until the event is over.  Passing gas can clear the living room – of our cats!

I’m choosing to take this as an indication that my body IS trying to process that toxic waste, and flush it from my body as quickly as possible.  It is just overwhelmed by the scope of the job at this point, but continuing should eventually get me over the hump.

At least that is what I’m thinking right now.

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:

 

http://agenda21news.com/2015/03/healthy-people-2020-and-the-decade-of-vaccines/

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.