Medical Mystery . . .

Sorry I haven’t been writing much the last couple of weeks.  My body hasn’t felt right for a while.

Besides the arthritis acting up with every change in the weather, I’ve also been coping with lack of sleep, low energy, and a few other minor things.  I was happy to attribute this to the process of trying to lose weight, but then my wife found something that pointed in a different direction.

It seems that one nutrient has some sort of affect on all of those symptoms.  Pantothenic Acid – which is one of the B Vitamins.

Here’s where the mystery comes in, though.  Pantothenic Acid is in virtually everything.  If you eat it, and it’s a whole food, it probably has this vitamin in it.  So the question becomes – how does one become deficient in a vitamin that is everywhere?  My best guess is that something is causing my body to not metabolize the vitamin properly.  But, having no training in biology or chemistry, I have no clue what that would be.

Still, we got some supplements and I’ve started taking them.  It’s too soon to know how much relief this will eventually give me, but it has already helped some.

Well, I think it is about time . . .

A couple of days ago I wrote a blog about my frustration at my primary care doc at the VA trying to push me onto statin drugs for my cholesterol.  In her comment on the blog, my good friend Anita pointed at the Mark’s Daily Apple website ( marksdailyapple.com ) and said it is her Paleo Diet guru.  I’m also on the Paleo Diet, but hadn’t seen this site, so I went to take a look.

My chief frustration with the site (at least at first glance) is that it is typical of sites that specialize in fitness – they don’t have anything to say that doesn’t include a fair amount of healthy exercise.  If I want to use his program, I need to be able to follow the program.  But, after a bone tumor in my left femur in 1980, the femur can’t handle that sort of activity.  The permanent limitations I was given back then included: No walking over 1 mile per day TOTAL, No jumping of any kind (like parachute jumps), No pushing pulling or lifting over 30 pounds.

Every time I have ever exceeded those limits, there has been a price to pay.  Stress fractures around the site where the bone tumor was have ensured that a week on crutches each time was the minimum price I’ve paid.  I actually have a pair of aluminum ones in a closet that I’ve used for years.

But – I had an idea today.  My doc asked me on that last visit if I’d thought about getting a hip replacement.  I half laughed and said I might get it someday, but when I do we’d have to replace the whole femur because of the bone tumor that caused all this trouble.

It may be time to do that.

Why?  Because I’m actually only 53 years along.  If I do get a hip/femur replacement, I would have to do physical therapy, and then I’d be free – FREE – to start exercising in earnest again.  Keep in mind – before the tumor I was a candidate for the US Army’s Special Forces training.  A hip replacement before this summer could mean that I’m able to start training for a half-marathon by the time I’m 55.  I can almost get excited just thinking about it.  If I also get the migraine headaches under control, I might even be able to go back to work, part-time at least.

It is something tempting to think about.  Especially since I just had a short phone call with the Veteran’s Choice program, and they are setting me up with an appointment for a primary care doctor HERE IN TOWN.

Talked with the lawyer . . .

My lawyer called back this morning, and we talked over my concern and the response I wrote up to the doctor.  She approved everything I wrote, with the caveat that this may still initially cause trouble with Social Security over not complying with “doctor’s orders”.  Still, she feels that because it’s a matter of spiritual/religious faith, ultimately we’ll prevail.

It’s currently 56F degrees here, looking for a high in the low 70’s – so I shut off the heater and opened up the windows.  It’s SO NICE to have that option now!

Cholesterol check . . .

I’ve been sitting on this for over a week, waiting for a chance to talk to the lawyer who’s handling my claim for Social Security disability.  Unfortunately, she’s having health issues herself, and hasn’t returned my call yet.

Anyhow, through the last 5 years the doctor at the VA clinic has been “concerned” about my cholesterol levels and has wanted to put me on drugs to lower them.  This year, he didn’t even have a lab on-site to get the results from, but he went full-court press on pushing the statins just based on LAST YEAR’s results.

I swear, being an MD is nothing but legalized drug pushing anymore.

Anyhow, I told him I wanted to see what the results of the NEW blood work were before making any decision, and they could contact me with those results by email.

I got the email the next day.  My results were that the total cholesterol went up over 40 points.  Here is an excerpt of what he said:

“LDL (bad cholesterol) has gone up from 240 mg/dL to 280 mg/dL  Patient has been very resistant to taking statin drugs.  Complications of untreated high cholesterol including heart attack.  I would advise him taking ATORVASTATIN … in order to get his LDL down.  Possible side effects include muscle weakness, muscle pain.”

First – ATORVASTATIN is generic Lipitor.  Notice that the only side effects he mentions are muscle weakness and muscle pain – nothing about LIVER DAMAGE, which all the literature on the health websites claim is the #1 side effect.

Anyhow, I still haven’t talked to my lawyer, but I also haven’t been sleeping well for the last week, mostly because I’ve been stewing over this.  I still want to talk to my lawyer, but I think I have figured out what to say to the doctor.  It would go something like this:

Dear Doctor:  Please notice in my records that I am a Scientologist.  This affects much more than just my attitudes towards drugs that have psychiatric actions.  It is WHY I have an Advanced Directive AND a Living Will, both of which stipulate a DNR order.  It is my religious and spiritual belief that the end of this life is only an opportunity  to begin the next one.  I am happy to discuss health care options that affect the quality of life while I have it, but I have no interest in extending it.  If I have a heart attack, it will be the end of my life, and I’m comfortable with that.  I will not take anti-cholesterol drugs now or ever, and you will not ever bring it up again.

Well, I think that’s what I’d say.

About sweeteners…

I happened to glance at the BBC news site yesterday, and saw this intriguing article about the quest to find a replacement for refined, white sugar.  I’d agree with a lot of what the author said, but with one MAJOR caveat:

STEVIA is not an artificial sweetener.  The fact that it is not sugar does not in any way make it artificial or synthetic (I know, artificial is synthetic).  Stevia is just as much plant-sourced as sugar is.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34878148

What is “rape”?

Here is a link to a BBC article about a study that was done of young adults who were asked to determine whether or not a certain “staged” event would be a rape in the real world.  It’s interesting how many Shades of Gray there are . . .

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34470205

 

(FYI – I’m personally of the opinion that, no matter what the technicalities of law require, if a person does not give advance informed consent that is both voluntary and sober, if anything sexual happens it should be classified as rape.)

CDC admits to spreading cancer . . .

The CDC has admitted that up to 98 Million US residents have been exposed to cancer virus cells by getting the polio vaccination . . .

http://vaccines.news/2015-09-23-cdc-admits-98-million-americans-were-given-cancer-virus-via-the-polio-shot.html

Just another reason why getting vaccinations should NEVER be mandatory.

Oh, and to drive that point home a bit more, there is this:

Flu Shot Remains Most Dangerous Vaccine Based on Injuries and Deaths Compensated by Government