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Saturday, May 21, 2016

"Acetaminophen Reduces One’s Ability to Feel Another’s Pain"

In a text that I received from my wife Jack on Thursday, she said that she would be home from Vancouver on Friday (yesterday).

Well, I gave up waiting and finally went to bed last night at roughly 12:02 a.m. ─ only to hear her come into the house with her youngest son Pote and his girlfriend Priyanka.

I had retired in a state of considerable depression, so I just didn't want to be involved with any sort of communication at that time of night.  Besides, I was deeply annoyed that she felt that she had to go chasing around after her 18-year-old just to give him and his girlfriend a ride home so they could spend the night here together.

So I remained in bed, blindfold and earplugs in place, and left it to Jack to conclude that I was sleeping.

The depression had been rather bad ─ I had actually been in some tears as I contemplated the likelihood of my self-termination within the next couple or so years.

No, I didn't want society with anyone after having gotten to bed ─ I was there for the night.

She had come home planning on spending the night, I was to discover ─ I had been wondering on that.  Thus, she was to quietly enter the bedroom several times before she finally did retire for the night herself ─ I never made a check of the time.

This morning I had the usual struggle trying to avoid waking her ─ if indeed she was asleep, for she does not sleep at all well.  I could have risen around 7:00 a.m., but I held off until 8:00 a.m. had arrived before rising as surreptitiously as I could.

And soon I was at work trying to finish the new post that I had begun on Wednesday at my Siam-Longings website.  But I was to fail ─ it's completion and publication will have to await tomorrow.

Jack eventually rose shortly after 10:00 a.m., but I had heard her well before that ─ once she seemed to be playing something on her phone that had audio; and another time she made a call to place an order of some kind for Mango Thai Restaurant where she works.

After rising, she was busy in the kitchen for a time, and then involved herself with a few other things.

I learned from her that I had snored considerably through the night, no doubt making her sleep even more difficult than it would have been anyway.

Then she readied and was soon to head out ─ supposedly to Henlong Market here in Surrey.

But of course, she never just goes to one store ─ as I type these words, it seems like two hours now since she left.

I know that she will be preparing a great meal later today, so my blogging time is going to be very limited.  And since I shan't be taking my usual exercise breaks over the day, I am holding off on having anything to eat.  I will await whatever becomes available once she has cooked up something.

The day was initially overcast, but the cloud gave way to a hazy sunny sky by early afternoon, although the overcast did hold sway in the late afternoon.

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At this point I am going to post a scan of an old comic-book cover I've had since at least the early 1970s.  The description beneath the scan is from the Google album where I have the scan stored:

This was the fifth comic to be released in the Gold Key Wild, Wild West series.  It was published in April 1969.

I loved the T.V. series back then, and acquired the comic book just for its cover ─ which I ripped off and kept.

I wasn't interested in the rest of the comic.

I also kept all four previous covers, but they were entire covers ─ front and back.  All of those ones had photos from the series ─ on both sides of the front and back covers.

Apparently with this issue, Gold Key was getting lazy ─ or more likely, they wanted to use the space for advertisements. 
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There have certainly been a lot of studies of late yielding one reason after another NOT to take acetaminophen.

Here's a report on the latest such study:

You might not think you're a monster... and you might not FEEL like a monster.

But if you're popping acetaminophen for pain, you could be turning into one -- because the latest research confirms that this all-too-common drug can sap you of more than your ability to feel pain.

It can shut down your ability to feel key emotions, putting an otherwise normal human being on the road to becoming a sociopath!

OK, so you won't pop a couple Tylenols and go on a killing spree; but at the very least, you could turn into a cold-hearted jerk.

It might even make you bad enough to be recruited by Wall Street!

In a series of experiments on college students, 1,000 mg of Tylenol not only dulled pain... but also dulled some other senses... including the ability to feel for others.

After taking either the med or a placebo, students were given a number of scenarios designed to provoke emotion -- like reading about someone who suffered a stab wound or the death of a parent -- and then asked to rate the emotional pain levels.

The students given the placebo sure felt bad after reading those tearjerkers, agreeing that they were some pretty painful situations.

But the ones who took acetaminophen didn't give a rat's tail -- and that's not all.

In a second set of experiments, they were blasted with white noise at decibels that, at times, were louder than a motorcycle engine.

They had less pain from the noise, which you'd expect due to the acetaminophen. But they also said that the painful noise shouldn't be a big deal for everyone else.

Yes, the drug made college kids care even LESS about others.

I didn't think that was possible!

Acetaminophen won't just dull your empathy. Earlier experiments found the drug will also suck the joy out of your life. And in a separate study last year, folks shown images designed to provoke strong reactions went dull after taking acetaminophen. And just earlier this year, Tylenol was found to interfere with your ability to recognize when you've made a mistake.

So maybe you can deal with being a monster yourself for a little while just to make that monster muscle ache go away. But it's STILL not the best option out there.

Acetaminophen can damage the liver so badly that overdose of this drug is now the nation's leading cause of acute liver failure -- and it's frighteningly easy to overdose.

The drug is used in some 600 different medications -- from painkillers to cold meds to sleep aids -- that folks can take two or more and overdose without even realizing it.

So forget this stuff.

For recurring pain problems, work on a solution with a doc -- not a drug to mask all your emotions....
Fighting monsters....
Here is the study ─ but only the abstract is available for free to the general public:  From Painkiller to Empathy Killer: Acetaminophen (Paracetamol) Reduces Empathy for Pain (doi: 10.1093/scan/nsw057).

Sci-Hub seems to be effectively blocked ─ it has several different websites or domains.  Yet even though they seem blocked, sometimes a channel will suddenly open up ─ such was the case for me with Sci-Hub.ac.

It finally opened up and I was able to access the full study as a 36-page .pdf document.  However, I see now that it is necessary for visitors to prove that they are not bots or other non-human entities ─ I had to type 'osprey' into a field to access the document.

I love the final statement in the study's conclusion:
Quite literally, acetaminophen reduces one’s ability to feel another’s pain.
Here's one other report on the study:


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My wife Jack came home from her shopping perhaps just ahead of 2:00 p.m., and she was then fast involved in cooking ─ fabulous stuff!

It was around 4:30 p.m. that she left us to return to Vancouver.  But in seeing her off, I learned of her eldest son Tho.

Tho had missed work the previous three days, and was becoming most annoying to me by depriving me of my limited and cherished time alone here in the house during the week.

Well, it seems that the 21-year-old has quit his job after only working with the company for five or six weeks.

According to Jack, he quit because his back was hurting him too much, and the job involved some fairly heavy lifting.

I believe that it was early in the a.m. of April 13 that his car was broadsided by a white van that promptly sped away from the scene.

Although Tho never had himself checked up, he had sustained some bruising and scrapes at the rear and side of his rib cage.

Supposedly that decision has come back to haunt him, and he still has never been checked up.

So the 21-year-old fool has quit a second job now in the space of about three months.  And he will undoubtedly be parasitizing from us once his money runs out.

And of course, I will have the lout hanging around home all bloody day for an unknown amount of time while he sleeps in and then does dick all bloody day long after he gets up.  He'll just lounge about until he can hook up with his girlfriend in the late afternoon once she is freed up from her job or school or whatever it is that she's involved in.

It is so extremely difficult for me to feel much sympathy for him.  He has never given anything towards the monthly mortgage, nor any of the utility bills ─ let alone big outlays like the annual property taxes that will probably come due early in July.

Anytime we have had to borrow from him to meet any of these financial demands, he has been paid back.

Very soon I am going to have to apply to have a withdrawal made from my shrinking and already-small R.R.S.P. account because the money is just not there to pay what is ahead in the next two months.

Tho just seems so damned adept at annoying the blazes out of me with his irresponsibilities.

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I am going to close now with an entry from my journal of 41 years ago when I was 25 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.
WEDNESDAY, May 21, 1975

A day of cloud.

Towards 2:00 p.m. came knocking; I suspect Art was the author.

I neglected to mention I borrowed one of mom's father's old razors; I've blades.  If I ever get into sunbathing I may trim up considerably.

Seems to me I recollect dreaming of Debbie Nowell; I think Mark was involved.

Right after the 4:00 p.m. news Art fruitlessly came again; I was lying down, but awake.

I sat inside all day, but did type a letter re Avengers #138.

I'll be in bed before 9:00 p.m.
Evidently I was having a shut-in day.

The trimming I referred to was my beard ─ I had several inches of growth.

Art Smith was an older friend/co-worker ─ a chap in his early 40s ─ who too often did his best to corral me into spending the day and evening drinking with him at his home.

I loved to drink, but not at someone else's whim.  I had things of my own I wanted to do, and sitting on my ass at Art's place was not accomplishing anything ─ especially when those drinking sessions ran into the a.m., effectively ruining the following day for me, too, because of how tired and hungover I tended to feel.

And of course, there was the fact that anything I might spend while under the influence was utterly unbudgeted ─ I could not afford to drink throughout the week.

So it was often best just not to answer the door to any strange knocks.  Anyone that I might want to have visit me realized this, and had special knocks that identified them as the 'safe and acceptable.'

"Debbie Nowell" ─ maybe her last name was more correctly Noel? ─ was a young woman I had developed a powerful crush on when we both attended an eight-week full-time course in New Westminster called Basic Job Readiness Training (BJRT) late in the previous year.

I expect that it was my younger brother Mark that may have also figured into the dream somehow, despite the fact that he had never met her.

I loved super-hero costumes ─ and even the costumes of some of the super-villains ─ ever since the latter 1960s.  I was an enormous Marvel Comics fan, and sometimes sent in fan letters concerning one comic-book issue or another. 

Apparently The Avengers #138 merited such a letter.

In yesterday's blog post as I attempted to explain my journal entry for that date 41 years before, I mistakenly misidentified the name "Richie Gullaher." 

It occurred to me today that it must have been a young fellow I knew from both Johnston Road Elementary School (now Sullivan Elementary) in the late 1950s and very early 1960s, as well as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ─ we both attended back then.

I believe that his name was Richie Gallagher.

He lived on 156th Street in Surrey.  Thus, it was around there that I had unsuccessfully sought a suitable body of water in which to release some salamander tadpoles I had acquired the prior Saturday

But enough reminiscing..  

It is approaching 7:00 p.m. as I type these words, and I am finding myself feeling considerable despondence again.  I am hankering for some booze.

Fortunately, I do have a little white rum left from a mickey I bought earlier in the week.  I will have that and my usual three cans of strong (8% alcohol) beer this evening as I watch T.V.

But I think that I will probably do my best to get out tomorrow and buy a bottle of booze.

There are some financially rough and lonely times ahead...and it is always hurtful to see dreams dying ─ which will be the case when I apply to liquidate some of my R.R.S.P.

I feel quite painfully alone....
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