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Friday, December 30, 2016

Don't Trust Chantix │ New Insights into Alzheimer's Disease │ Thoughts on the PSA Test and Prostate Cancer

Last evening my younger brother Mark told of how on Wednesday morning while he was enjoying a coffee before heading away to work, he heard suspicious noises in the kitchen.

He couldn't initially pinpoint where they were coming from, but he eventually identified the likely location ─ the bottom-most of a tier of shelving beside the fridge.  That bottom-most shelf is basically situated atop the floor.

He pulled out the oven mitts that are stashed there, and found a large paper bag of spicy tortilla chips (or something like that).  A bottom corner of the bag had been chewed away.

It was on Boxing Day that my wife Jack had come home from Vancouver and learned from her youngest son Pote that a rodent had chewed away part of the edge of the red plastic lid to a large glass casserole-like tray.

The whole had been in the den area where Pote sleeps.  I guess there were but remnants of whatever had originally been in the container, but Pote hardly ever is prompt about bringing forth the dishes he takes into the den.

The cover is still functional ─ the rodent had only managed to chew off sections of the underside of plastic that is tucked over the rim of the glass tray.

Anyway, Jack was forced to proceed and do a thorough cleaning of the boys' den area, tossing out all manner of empty boxes and cartons, as well as beverage containers.

So now Mark has also twigged to the presence of a rodent.

Both boys became engaged with Mark over his find, and as a result he knows about the glass tray and other evidentiary indicators of such an unwanted presence.

Pote said that he would buy a trap.

I managed to get to bed last night just ahead of 10:30 p.m.  The main impetus was that my youngest step-son Pote and his girlfriend had arrived home awhile earlier, and were occupying the kitchen as they made one of their unnecessary late-night suppers.

Pote had gone away in his older brother Tho's car to fetch her fairly late into the evening.

With Pote and the girlfriend messing about in the kitchen, I had to leave a couple of bowls I had eaten my supper from in the living room ─ I would otherwise have cleaned them ere going to bed.  I also left an empty beer can because Mark and I put our empties into a flat that's beside the kitchen fridge.

I could not even access the coconut oil that I use to brush my teeth with (instead of unhealthy toothpaste), so my teeth never got brushed.

It irks me so much to have the girlfriend here as often as she is that I go out of my way to avoid the pair ─ I want no society with them.

Sleep came easily enough after I was to bed, but my first block of sleep came to an end somewhere in the neighbourhood of 2:30 a.m., and so I made use of the bathroom.

Thereafter, sleep was most fragmented as my nasal passageways threatened to clog up.

I believe that I rose for the day before 7:30 a.m.

I continued work on the edit of an old post at one of my six hosted websites ─ I first started the edit on December 22.  I could have completed it, but I wanted to add even more content than I already have.

My wife Jack had phoned me late in the morning while I was at work, and asked me to bring out a couple of packages of meat from the fridge icebox ─ she was obviously planning on a visit home from Vancouver.

It was cold outside ─ the snow and ice that we still have all froze overnight.  But I wanted to get in a little exercise in the backyard shed, and so I changed into a pair of cut-offs and went out and got that done.

Once I was back into the house, I was just finishing up with some other work involving an Amazon plugin on the website, when I heard Jack arrive home.

She fussed around in the kitchen, and even came upstairs once and walked wordlessly by me as I worked here at my computer.

When I finished at last, I went downstairs and saw that she was getting ready to do some cooking...but she was not here.  I concluded that she must have needed to nip out to buy something that she required.

But I also discovered that Pote was not here, either ─ all morning, I had been convinced that he was asleep in his bed after probably driving his older brother Tho to the SkyTrain, and maybe doing the same for his own girlfriend.  She has two part-time jobs ─ one in Vancouver for which I reckon she would use the SkyTrain, and the other over at Guildford where I expect that Pote would drive her.

Was it possible that he had been home, but he speedily rose and left while I was out in the backyard shed exercising?  He has two part-time jobs in businesses over at Guildford, so he often starts work in the afternoon.

I can only speculate.

Regardless, Jack anon returned with the one missing item she required, and proceeded to start cooking three dishes.

We didn't talk much.

I had been planning on cooking up some ground beef ─ I was growing hungry.

Now, I can easily enough bear the hunger; but when it is in tandem with a most uncomfortable gaseous bloat that proceeds to distend the abdomen, then it becomes necessary to eat somewhat substantially in order to facilitate the dispersion of the gaseous blockage.

So while Jack was upstairs washing her hair, I helped myself to some of what she had prepared.

I was nearly finished when she surprised me by announcing that she was taking her leave ─ it was well ahead of 3:00 p.m.  She offered that she might be back on Monday ─ she said that she had to work both tomorrow and Sunday.

I saw her off.  It was amicable enough, I suppose, but no good-bye kiss was involved.

And now I won't be seeing her until at least January 2nd.

If I allowed myself to dwell on our situation, I could become distinctly depressed.  But I  had today's post to get started upon, and the involvement has kept me sufficiently distracted from focusing much on anything else.

By the way, I received a notification from Google this morning that it had created a collage of photos from December 30, 2011 ─ exactly five years ago:


The photos were all taken when Jack and I joined a number of other people ─ mostly her Thai friends ─ at the Mirage Nightclub here in Surrey.

As the following article reports, the nightclub closed on June 21, 2014:  Surrey's Mirage closure makes way for new pub venture.

I hunted up the original photos, so let's start off with the left column.  Note that all of the photos were actually taken after midnight, so it was really December 31, 2011, and not December 30.

First up we have my wife Jack in the wine-coloured dress, Fanta with her back to the camera, and Bee at the right with her hand on her hair:


Now Bee in the turquoise halter top is at the left, my wife Jack is barely discernible just beyond her, and Scott is dancing with his wife Fanta ─ I cannot identify anyone else:


Here we have Jack again and laughing heartily, Fanta once more with her back to the camera, and Bee with arms raised and primarily blocked from sight by Fanta:


In first of the right column of photos now, I am in the red Kangol cap, Bee is to the left, and my wife Jack to the right ─ I cannot name the gal directly in front of me:


In the final photo, I can only name my wife Jack with Fanta directly across from her:


I can't afford to drink out like this, so I only had a couple or so beers ─ it was quite difficult.  I do not enjoy these places.

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I have never been tempted to become a smoker, but I sure do sympathize with those who are hooked and want to quit, but just cannot.

Chantix is a big name in the business of medications to help break away from smoking, but it has some big risks.

Unfortunately, it would seem that its makers (Pfizer) have managed to get the FDA to finally allow them to remove the 'black box' warning on the drug's packaging that warned of the types of mental illness some users have descended into:

WebMD.com

A legal website called LawyersAndSettlements.com seems to have 158 pages of reports on events related to Chantix ─ all I did was use their search field and the word Chantix.

A website called RxList.com ("the Internet Drug Index") has a number of pages related to the drug; just two pages are Drug Description (that leads off with its own black box warning of serious neuropsychiatric events) and Chantix Side Effects Center.

NewMarketHealth.com/ offers some natural methods to help a smoker stop:
  • Watch what you eat. Some foods and drinks are much more likely to make you want to smoke. In a study done at Duke University, smokers reported that red meat, coffee and alcoholic beverages made their cravings stronger. On the other hand, milk, fruits and veggies had the opposite effect.
  • Try GABA. Gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is often used for controlling anxiety. But a study out of Yale found that taking a GABA supplement may actually make smoking less pleasurable.
  • Don't be a camel! Make sure you keep drinking enough water to help flush the nicotine out of your body. Especially when you first quit, not skimping on water will help you to beat some of the cravings.
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Do you have any concerns about the potential development of Alzheimer's disease in yourself or a loved one?

For the longest time, researchers believed that plaques and neurofibrillary tangles were present in people with the disease.  But after a study of a large group of people aged 90 or more who had superior memories, this idea is hardly tenable any longer.

This report tells of the study:

ScienceDaily.com

Dr. Marc S. Micozzi gives his own interesting views:

DrMicozzi.com

I am unable to lend any insight into his "new Complete Alzheimer’s Cure online learning protocol" that he hypes at the end of his commentary, because the link to it takes one to a webpage with a 30-minute video that I just cannot expend the time to sit through.

The ScienceDaily.com report stated that the information about the study with the elderly folks was presented as a presentation on November 14 at the Society for Neuroscience 2016 Annual Conference in San Diego, and was thus from an unpublished study.

If you wish to see the short abstract for yourself, it is on the second page of this five-page .pdf document titled New Insights Into the Development and Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease.  Three other Alzheimer's disease study abstracts follow it.

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I want to post a link to the following article ─ this is on behalf of any men considering a PSA test:

JacksDailyDose.com

But wouldn't you like to see references for some of what he claims?

I went to the trouble of doing some researching.

I located the Medscape report that detailed the fact that most doctors still recommend PSA tests, even though the official U.S. Preventive Service Task Force stand is not a recommendation of the tests:

Medscape.com

As for references declaring that the PSA tests do not result in extended lives, there are two somewhat different reports just over half a year apart ─ the older is first:

CBC.ca

UK.BusinessInsider.com

You have to think for yourself.  But I know that I never intend to voluntarily subject myself to life in an adult diaper.

And I already have enough issues with sexual performance.

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I am running far too late ─ I must now close off with a journal entry from 41 years ago when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster

That small accommodation was being rented in a house situated on Ninth Street, just one or two houses up from Third Avenue.

I was planning a hike out to visit my mother Irene Dorosh in the Kennedy Heights area of Surrey.  

That little house she shared with her husband Alex is now gone, but its address was 12106 - 90th Avenue.  To get there from my room required about 1½ hours of rather fast walking.

But I had a sore foot ─ I hurt it at least 10 days earlier while running a few miles of city streets while I was wearing boots.  It felt as if a small bone in the foot had possibly dislocated.

I had gone to bed at 7:00 p.m. the evening before this entry.
TUESDAY, December 30, 1975 
Why can't I sleep? 
At 8:00 p.m. last night I watched Rhoda, after which I still lay awake. 
Prescience perhaps?  For when I did fall asleep, I was awakened in the neighbourhood of 1:30 a.m. by knocking on my door. 
I could recognize it to be Mark, and Bill, so I nearly answered ─ but stopped and settled back into bed. 
However, it seems she broke in; Jock was present too. 
They insisted I go out with them; she was in her friendly mood, rather flirty, but I was too uneasy over my unprepared predicament and did not take any advantage. 
But I went with them. 
We went to White Rock (Cathy drove; we were in Bill's new Malibu. 
I had 2 bottles of beer. 
They searched for an open eatery, and we eventually wound up in a Denny's past dad's on Kingsway. 
I was bought a hamburger, had a few of Cathy's fries, and consumed 2 coffees.  It only cost me 45¢. 
We then had another coffee, at Jock's; I'm sure everyone there abed appreciated our coming. 
I had a few tokes of Bill's weed earlier, but only the other guys were affected. 
It was close to 6:00 a.m. when we left. 
Bill took over after Mark & Cathy got home ─ both wiped out now with weariness. 
Bill sure showed a lot of upset as Cathy bombed around at the wheel. 
When I got home, I remained up. 
I found a dime after climbing out of the car at Denny's. 
I lent Bill $10. 
Apparently on Boxing Day Mark & Cathy took dad & Marie to the Burnaby Hotel, and had a decent enough time.  They even had some of the turkey which Mark said hardly looked touched. 
I left for mom's right after 8:00 a.m. 
I started off encouragingly, but my foot soon succumbed to the pressure. 
On the tracks just above the little schoolhouse I found a penny. 
As soon as I arrived at mom's I set to eating.  I really glutted too! 
Sherry was next door, and didn't show up till after 1:00 p.m., I guess.  But she was busy with Lisa, and was never in long. 
My mail consisted of a $5 tithe receipt, a notice on new stamps, a Christmas card from Terri, and a post office notice to collect a parcel at the Scott Town substation. 
Though tired, I enjoyed myself at mom's. 
Stan Lee was on the Mike Douglas Show. 
I left for home after 4:00 p.m., taking mom's November Prevention and some turkey slices she kindly gave me. 
My parcel was from the F&SF Book Co.  It turned out to be H. Warren Munn's Merlin's Ring and lavish volume by Brigid Peppin, Fantasy: The Golden Age of Fantastic Illustration.  It's valued at $25, but cost me $19.95.  But it's disappointing in that it deals with the period from 1860 - 1920; I had hoped it dealt with the artists of today. 
When I showered, I discovered that I'll be dieting. 
My foot was pretty badly swollen, so obviously I am going to have to give up my walks to mom's.  I'm just concerned about S.A.N.E. 
Bed at 8:00 p.m. 
My late night visitors outside the door were my younger brother Mark and my old friend William Alan Gill; it was Mark's beautiful girlfriend Catherine Jeanette Gunther who somehow broke into my room when I failed to respond, and my maternal cousin Jock (John) Halverson was with her.

It seemed that Jeanette may well have been affectionate and cuddly, but I never took advantage of her due to my insecurity that night.  I adored that young woman, even if we did sometimes have fallings out.

Bill only lived about four blocks away from my room; he had just acquired the Malibu, and I had not yet laid eyes upon it.  I guess Jeanette took over chauffeuring duty ─ we all rather dreaded Bill's driving.

But what a tour we must have had!  First out to White Rock, and then in to Burnaby just past my father Hector's apartment at 6038 Imperial Street.

And after all of that, we then went to my maternal Aunt Nell Halverson's home to get Jock back where he belonged.  I expect that we were all rather noisy as we had more coffee there.  Nell always had a rather large household.  I cannot now say for certain where they were all living at this time, but it may have been on 64th Avenue out in Surrey, and quite near to Newton Junior High School.

After leaving there, Jeanette just drove home ─ she and Mark were renting a nice large house located on Bentley Road in Whalley.  The house wasn't too far at all from 108th Avenue & King George Highway.

From there, Bill drove us back to New Westminster.

And after all of that, I never sought any sleep!  Instead, I was soon on my way to my mother's home back out in Surrey.

I marvel to read that.

Anyway, her home was my mailing address ─ that's why I had so much mail there.  I even had a Christmas card from a U.S. pen-pal named Terri Martin.

The Sherry I mentioned was the young daughter of my older maternal half-sister Phyllis.  Sherry seemed to be staying at my mother's home quite a lot of late.  Lisa was a neighbour girl that Sherry had gotten to know and befriend.

The package I picked up on my way back to New Westminster was at the Scott Town shopping plaza at Scott Road (120th Street) & 96th Avenue.  The old name for 96th Avenue was Townline Road...and so Scott Town.

The concern with my swollen foot once I was back at my room was for Friday when I had to put in duty as a swamper on the pick-up truck of a New Westminster charitable organization called S.A.N.E. (Self Aid Never Ends) that is today known as Fraserside Community Services Society

That December 30 in 1975 was nothing at all like the day I spent today, 41 years later!
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