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Monday, July 11, 2016

Blood-Pressure Medication Heavily Over-Prescribed │ Penile Electric Pulse Therapy Treating Erectile Dysfuction │ Unnecessary End-of-Life Treatments Widespread

Another night ─ at least my fourth consecutive ─ in which I have failed to make my way to bed on the proper side of midnight.

I had hoped to go and do some local shopping this morning, but neither of my aimless step-sons worked today.

There was something else awaiting me this morning ─ a message on the answering machine that apparently was left around 7:41 a.m.

It's yet another Canada Revenue Agency scam call from fake "officer" Alan Parker:

Canada Revenue Agency "officer" Alan Parker ─ he of the profoundly obvious South Asian accent ─ has revised his script somewhat.

But it's the same noxious clown.

Why don't these imposters use a name more in keeping with their accents? ─ there are lots of accented people working for CRA.  If these scamming idiots would use a non-European name that suited their background origins, then they might not stand out quite so radically.

The message was left well before 8:00 a.m. today, and then repeated four hours later.
The day has been mainly cloudy.  My colouring is washing away from want of sunning opportunities.

I did some work this morning on the new post that I began yesterday at my Lawless Spirit website, but I honestly do not know if I will have it ready for publishing on Wednesday.

I'm feeling discouraged, and it is not helping that my youngest step-son's girlfriend is already here in the mid-afternoon ─ she'll be here overnight.

Frankly, I'm quite fed up with this nonsense.

I have nothing more to say concerning the day.

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I wish to post an old photo belonging to my younger brother Mark.  The description beneath it is from the Google album where I have stored the scanned image:

This photo is likely from 1974 or 1975.

That is my younger brother Mark standing at the far right.

His girlfriend of the time, Catherine Jeanette Gunther, is seated on an arm of the chair just in front of him.

I suspect that the locale is Jeanette's family home in a Saskatchewan town, and Mark had accompanied her and her two little daughters on a trip to pay that visit.

Jeanette's sister Clare and Clare's husband Steven are at the far left; the shirtless lad by Clare is younger brother Grant.

I don't know who the central couple are; and I had previously identified the older gent standing just behind Jeanette as her father Herman, so I hope that is a correct identification.

As for the kids, I can only identify Jeanette's two little girls:

In the chair at the far left, and seated lowermost, is her eldest daughter Michelle Lee Gunther.

In the chair by Jeanette, her youngest daughter Pamela Susan Gunther is in the blue dress.
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Blood-pressure medications are heavily over-prescribed.

If you are taking any, and the following report does not galvanize you into taking charge of your own situation, then what is going to give that motivation?

Starting up on blood pressure meds is a little like checking into the Hotel California.

You learn pretty fast that there's no way out.

If you or someone you love is on hypertension drugs, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

When you filled that first prescription, you may not have realized that you'd be on these meds for the rest of your life.

But a new study out of the UK has found that docs are keeping patients on blood pressure drugs even after their numbers have hit the normal (or even below normal) range.

And that can turn dangerous -- and even deadly -- in a hurry.

There's no doubt that the mainstream has an obsession with over-medicating blood pressure.

But what researchers recently discovered about seniors and these drugs is almost unbelievable.

By examining the records of more than 11,000 people over 70, they found that low blood pressure (or hypotension), was, on its own, regularly associated with hospitalizations and death.

But that wasn't all.

Of close to 2,000 people with low blood pressure, over half of them were still being prescribed drugs to lower it even further!

"Once medication is initiated, it's not always regularly reviewed," to see if any adjustments are needed, noted the study's lead author, Professor Chris Farmer.

And something else that Farmer and his team uncovered makes this even crazier.

Close to 70 percent of those who had the lowest systolic (bottom number) readings -- that is, under 100 -- were still being directed to pop blood-pressure lowering meds!

And that's not just a little error, but something that can have deadly consequences.

A study done by Yale researchers two years ago found that seniors taking these drugs were much more likely to have a fatal fall. The Yale team discovered that your risk rises around 40 percent after taking these pills for three years.

And they're talking about falls that can break a hip or cause a head injury leading to a brain bleed.

In fact, the lead author of this study said the "harms" of blood pressure meds are just as serious as the heart attacks and strokes people hope to avoid by taking them.

Aside from the risk of falls, there's another big reason why you don't want to artificially push your blood pressure so low. It's called your brain.

As we get older, blood pressure that is drugged to these rock-bottom numbers can literally starve the brain of blood. And that can send your risk of dementia and Alzheimer's through the roof.

That's why if you (or a loved one) are currently taking drugs such as diuretics, ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers or renin inhibitors, you need to stay on top of your blood-pressure readings.

And that's easy enough to accomplish these days as you can find a wide variety of inexpensive home blood-pressure monitors to choose from.

But the most important question you should be asking is: do you really need to be taking these drugs in the first place?

If your Rx for blood pressure meds has been on auto-refill for longer than you can remember, it's time to have a talk with your doctor about how you can get off them. And if need be, get a second opinion.

It could be one of the most important things you can do to keep yourself out of a hospital or nursing home... or worse.

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I am always interested in reports concerning erectile dysfunction, so here is one of the latest:

You may think there's nothing that can shock you anymore, but hold onto your seat -- because the latest news from sexual health is guaranteed to give you a real jolt.

A weird new study claims that guys can get things going "down there" with a form of shock therapy delivered straight to the you-know-what.

Yes, you read that right.

If you're like me, the very thought of it has you squirming in your seat.

But supposedly, the shocks delivered to the shaft of the penis don't hurt, at least not much. Most guys handle it without anesthesia, and describe it as a "tingling" sensation more than anything else.

The new analysis looked at 14 studies and found that while some showed no improvement, most did -- and overall, the shocks doubled erectile function compared to no treatment at all.

Who knows? Maybe some guys were zapped into having a permanent erection.

Guys, if you want to turn your penis into a Frankenstein experiment, be my guest. At the very least, it's probably safer than those sex meds they're always advertising on TV.

But you don't have to zap yourself down there OR take those pills to get the bedroom boost you need.

A second new study that isn't getting nearly as much attention shows something that's just as good, doesn't hurt or even "tingle" and can improve everything from mood to muscle as it boosts your sex life.

It's testosterone!

Older guys with mild sexual dysfunction enjoy significant improvements by just about every measure that matters, according to the study that compared testosterone gel to a placebo gel in 470 senior men.

They have more sex... more orgasms... a stronger libido... and of course things just plain work better where and when you want them to.

Of the 12 different measures of sexual health tested in the study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, testosterone improved 10 of them -- which isn't a perfect score, but is darn close to it.

And turning up the heat in the bedroom isn't the only benefit.

Guys who don't get testosterone when they need it are 80 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack, according to a study published just this past spring.

So who needs testosterone? Just about every older guy, because once you pass middle age, your hormones are like union factory workers 30 minutes before quitting time... they practically shut down entirely.

That leaves you with sinking testosterone levels and everything that comes with it: a bigger belly... a slower step... a foggy brain... weaker muscle... and of course that drop in bedroom activity.

Not every guy needs actual hormone therapy. Supplements such as ram's horn clover can often restart your body's hormone factory.

If that doesn't work, then you might need hormone gel or injections. Seek the wisdom of an experienced naturopathic physician. I recommend working with a member of the American College for Advancement in Medicine.

With some shocking news....
I wish more details were offered concerning the review of penile electotherapy (or electropulse therapy) reviews, but I couldn't track it down in the time that I took to search for it.

However, I did come across a couple of rather interesting articles on that very topic:



I did manage to locate the study about the testosterone gel:  Testosterone Treatment and Sexual Function in Older Men with Low Testosterone Levels (doi: 10.1210/jc.2016-1645).

Here's a report concerning that study:


I would prefer to be able to boost my own testosterone production as opposed to getting hormone supplementation, for it seems to me that once that avenue becomes established, then the body quickly ceases its own production ─ pretty much for good.

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Physicians are probably even more guilty of selling out to the pharmaceutical industry than are politicians ─ it would certainly make for an interesting read if such a study was made.

But so many physicians can also be dishearteningly rapacious when the opportunity is there for gain.

I hope the day's a long way off, but we all know it's coming sooner or later.

Quitting time... that's all she wrote... the end of the line.

When it happens, I hope to God you've got a doc who cares about YOU -- because new research shows too many physicians toss the compassion and put on a display of pure greed.

Instead of spending those final days working to make you as comfortable as possible, they use it as one last desperate push to pad their bank accounts.

Yes, unabashed greed can rear its ugly head even when you're on your deathbed, as the new analysis of 38 studies finds that dying patients are routinely given treatments that won't make a bit of difference.

They're poisoned with toxic chemo even when the cancer's about to take them... put in the ICU even when they need a hospice... sickened by meds that won't work... and poked, prodded, and rammed with tests that won't do a thing except pad the bill.

All that and I haven't even gotten to the biggest offense of all: A quarter of all patients with do-not-resuscitate orders (DNRs) are resuscitated anyway.

Gotta make time to squeeze out one last dime!

I wish I could tell you that this was rare.

But it's shockingly common, as the study of some 1.2 million patients from 10 nations makes all too clear, and this isn't the only research to expose pure greed in the medical industry.

One study last year found docs push extra radiation treatments on dying seniors even when they're PROVEN to do nothing to save lives or bring comfort.

The researchers behind the new study claim docs aren't trying to cash in as you cash out. They're just optimists with too much faith in modern medicine and need a little more training in what works and what doesn't.

C'mon.

That's not what's going on here... and everyone knows it.

It's about billing codes -- and it's not just doctors who are guilty of it. It's the hospitals they work for, too, charging for everything and anything they can.

I bet some will even charge for a sip of water on a dying man's lips.

The only way to cut your risk of this happening to you is to have the conversations most folks put off -- the unpleasant business of how you want it go down when you near the end of the line.

Make sure you and your spouse not only have express written wishes on how you intend to spend those last days and what kind of care you want -- but also, more importantly, what you DON'T want.

On your side until the very end....

And here is a report on that study:


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Finally, here to close today's post is 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.

My room was being rented in a house located on Ninth Street at Third Avenue.

I was only working one day a week for a New Westminster charitable organization called S.A.N.E. (Self Aid Never Ends) that today calls itself Fraserside Community Services Society.  I was a swamper on their blue pick-up truck.

Back then, S.A.N.E. used to be located in a building on Carnarvon Street where the New Westminster SkyTrain Station now spills out.
FRIDAY, July 11, 1975

I forced myself up just after 6:00 a.m. as I began a dream whereby I'd returned "home" after walking from Bose Road; here some young fellows ─ including someone like Donny Most ─ invited me to a party, Debbie Noel being part of the crowd.

The morning is mostly clouded.

And it remained overcast; it actually thunderstormed briefly.

Bill & I had a long morning, but not too heavy.

My lunch was a cup of Red River cereal.

The second part of the day was as the first.

In the morn (toward 1:00 p.m.) while sitting in the back of the truck awaiting the removal of a half dozen kids to the show Bambi, I saw Ken Clemens absorbedly strolling past the Post Office.

At the end of the day I saw a fellow with a beautifully chiselled torso, though his arms weren't enormous.  I just glimpsed him, but it sure irritated me that I must await the winning of a lottery afore attaining his achievement on my road to excellence.

I lied down for a nap about 6:00 p.m., and didn't come around for 3 hours.

And I followed thru on my reason for doing this; I visited Art, about 11:00 p.m.

Judd was there, and I met the oft-spoken of youngster, Keith.

I wasn't subjected to Steve, or DD; the wife, too, was at work.

I guess I'll have to tell Jean to forget about the paperback Jirel of Joiry, as Art knows naught of it;  he is half way thru The Vultures

I had a glass of wine, and some sandwiches with a slice of white cake.

Art lent me Burroughs' The Outlaw of Torn.

I shall be abed about 2:30 a.m. 

Note:  after work at Safeway I blew $1.88 on Ogilvie Quick Oats and margarine.
It bothers me a little that I have no memory whatsoever of my co-worker "Bill."

"Debbie Noel" was a young lady I had gotten to know when we were both on an eight-week full-time course at the end of 1974 ─ the course was Basic Job Readiness Training (BJRT). 

I had become infatuated with her at the time.

If I am remembering correctly, "Ken Clemens" was also on that course ─ how coincidental I would have seen him right after dreaming about her.

"Bose Road" is 64th Avenue out in Surrey ─ it would have been a bit of a walk.  

You would need to be a Happy Days fan to know who Donny Most was.

Anyway, concerning work, I apparently used to come home for lunch fairly often ─ yet I do not remember doing that.  The cup I would have used for my Red River Cereal would likely have been a coffee cup.  Thus, the resulting porridge would have been quite filling.

If that afternoon we transported approximately six kids to see Bambi somewhere, I have no idea where we would have been taking them nor if the show was the original Disney cartoon.

I never was able to win that lottery that would make possible "my road to excellence."

What a shame that after work, I actually bought some margarine.  The stuff is not food ─ it's harmful 'garbage.'

Art Smith also worked part-time at S.A.N.E., and that was how I came to know him.  He was an older gent in his early 40s.  Judd (Gerald) was his younger brother.  I have no idea who "oft-spoken of youngster, Keith" was.

Art had three kids.  Steve was his youngest, a son; Dee Dee (Angela) was his middle child, a most dear and lovely daughter who was selflessly affectionate towards me ─ I quite adored her.

Art's wife Angie (Angelina) was a waitress at the Pacific Café on Columbia Street, if I am remembering correctly.

I must have loaned Art Jirel of Joiry, but he seems to have lost it.  I had apparently told my American pen-pal Jean Michelle Martin (née Black) that I would send it to her.

I think that The Vultures was a book authored by Robert E. Howard.

And The Outlaw of Torn was a book by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

A visit to Art's home generally meant that I was going to get blitzed, but I seem to have been very temperate that night.  

The visit would also have been why I took that nap ─ when I drank with Art, he never seemed to want me to go home.  It was just about always a late night.
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