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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

☠ 💀 2016 Health-Related Controversies │ Aluminum Proven Linked to Alzheimer's Disease │ Refresher: How to Perform the Heimlich Manoeuvre

I suffered another plunge into morass last night instead of getting directly to bed.  I think I sat up here at my computer until something like 12:44 a.m.

I need purpose and fulfillment ─ a life wholly different from this debt-imposed existence of isolation that is my lot in these my 60s.

I think some of what pushes me over the brink is the omnipresence of my youngest step-son Poté and his girlfriend.  They need to be gone.

They were both here when I rose this morning sometime after 8:00 a.m.  Poté must in fact have just finished showering, and was still in the bathroom.  When I went downstairs to make my morning's hot beverage, I could see his girlfriend still sacked out in bed.

I set to work editing the old post that I began work on yesterday at my Siam-Longings website.  I had no idea if I would have any time alone in the house today or not.

But around mid-morning, it seemed that the young pair were readying to leave; and soon I heard them go out the front door into the frigid air, and my eldest step-son Tho's car was soon running.

Tho is under a driving suspension, so his car is pretty much at Poté's disposal.

I still did not know if this welcome absence was to be short-lived, or if they were gone for the best part of the day.  It is 3:14 p.m. at present, and I have been home alone ever since, so the latter premise has been playing out ─ and I have found myself at times most chipper.

This is what I need.  I was even able to launder ─ the facilities are through the boys' den area where Poté sleeps, so it is essentially off-limits when he and his girlfriend are home.  I refuse to intersect with them, and in truth do my best to entirely avoid the pair.

The day is sunny, but below freezing.  I donned cut-offs and went out to the backyard shed quite late in the noon-hour to engage in some exercising.  Snow I had tracked in there the past couple of days is still unmelted on the wooden floor.

It is definitely invigorating to exercise in such a climate.

My wife Jack had said via texting early Saturday afternoon that she might be around yesterday from Vancouver, but she did not show.  Thus, I am half-expecting her at any time today.

I do not understand why I allow myself to default to my baser self like I did last night, for I had watched Star Trek Beyond last evening, and was quite impressed with the movie.  I especially enjoyed the alien lass Jaylah (photo), as portrayed by unfamiliar (to me) actress Sofia Boutella.

Back in the 1960s when the original Star Trek series aired on T.V., I had dreamed of one day also soaring the Universe in a starship.  Thus, the movie should have resonated deeply with me.

But my descent came, nevertheless, after the T.V. was turned off for the night.  It just becomes so oppressive having Poté bringing his girlfriend here each bloody day to spend the night with him.

Let's just switch topics.

In yesterday's post, I included two photos of the Ayutthaya ruins ─ photos that my wife Jack had taken last year on (I think) October 30 when she was in Thailand to visit her mother.  The family had the opportunity to go to old Ayutthaya ─ Jack had never before been there.

I now recognize that those two photos were likely of Wat Mahathat, for the very next photo that she took was this:


Wikipedia does not offer much about that famous Buddha head ─ much more is revealed at Thaizer.com:  Buddha Head in Tree Roots, Wat Mahathat, Ayutthaya.

I am surprised that Jack only took that one photo of the Buddha head.

This is probably the same area:


This definitely is:


And maybe these next two photos, too:



Also, I expect that she took these two selfies, there, too:



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The Health Sciences Institute (HSI) offered their 2016 Hall of Shame ─ a collection of dangerous medication discoveries and unpalatable research that they tried to critically spotlight and become known to the general public:
Trading acid for sudden death

In October, a data scientist announced these shocking findings: If you take the acid-reducing med Prevacid plus a widely-prescribed antibiotic called ceftriaxone, you're risking a potentially deadly heart rhythm called "QT prolongation."

While the scientist used the FDA's own data to make this discovery, so far, the agency is about as interested in it as a cup of stale coffee, leaving getting the news out to a group of reporters at the Chicago Tribune.

The scientific forbidden fruit

A group of researchers at Kaiser Permanente decided to look – for the very first time – at the possible connection between getting a flu shot while pregnant and autism. And they found that moms who get the vaccine during the first trimester have a "significantly increased" risk of having a child diagnosed with autism.

Despite the significance of that finding, the media somehow spun it better than Rumpelstiltskin did straw into gold, with headlines saying the flu vaccine has been proven safe for expectant moms.

The sci-fi story that came true

On a college farm in California, scientists are busily creating pigs with fully human organs. They're claiming these "Frankenswine" will save lives, but it looks like they didn't give much thought as to how this genetic stew could put us all at risk.

It's terrifying enough to think what could happen if one of these human-pig monsters escaped, bred with normal pigs, or heaven forbid ended up on our dinner plates. And don't think anyone from the government will be putting a stop to it. The feds are actually planning to be a part of this experiment!

Diabetes in a can

Researchers out of Massachusetts General Hospital found that the artificial sweetener aspartame not only won't help you lose weight, but can make you a sitting duck for metabolic syndrome.

Aspartame, it turns out, messes with a very important gut enzyme, and if that's interfered with, you can be smack in the danger zone for not just one, but two big killers – heart disease and diabetes. Despite that and many other findings about the danger of this fake sweetener, the FDA continues to maintain it's perfectly safe.

Statin double trouble

In October the American Heart Association dropped this bombshell: Statin drugs, like Lipitor and Crestor, can have serious interactions with numerous other heart medications.

How serious? Well, enough to intensify the agony of statin-induced muscle damage – including a form so severe that it can lead right to kidney failure. Or to cause a deadly bleed if you're also taking a blood-thinning med.

But don't expect the kibosh to be put on these drugs anytime soon, as they are among the mainstream's most cherished sacred cows.

The Chantix shell game

The last big decision for the FDA in 2016 was one that can't help but have serious repercussions for many, many years to come.

At the end of this month, the agency granted Pfizer its biggest Christmas wish, and made that pesky black-box warning on its stop-smoking med Chantix disappear. That means many individuals who decide to use this heavily hyped drug to kick their smoking habit may now be unaware that it can cause violent and suicidal behavior, paranoia and psychosis. Leave it to Big Pharma to come up with a "solution" that's even more dangerous than smoking!

It's hard to guess at what else the FDA, CDC and our other supposed "watchdog" agencies may have in store for us in 2017.
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I first learned of an aluminum connection to Alzheimer's disease back in the 1970s, and stopped using antiperspirants, and things like baking powder that had aluminum in it.

I have never understood why there seemed no serious scientific or medical movement to have aluminum removed from the products we ingest, or apply to our skin ─ or even cook in.

There were always 'authoritative' doubters who kept the lie alive that there was no connection.

Well, a study has now proven that there is an undeniable connection, as this report tells:

DailyMail.co.uk

Back on May 21, 2015, researcher Chris Exley was featured in a funding-seeking video titled Aluminium : Alzheimer's disease : Time to test the link:



He is certainly an interesting chap to listen to and watch.

That video is particularly interesting because it suggests a means of removing the accumulated aluminum in our bodies.

I did a little research concerning that funding effort ─ it ended, so perhaps it was related to the recently published study that definitively implicated aluminum.

As for silicon mineral water, it might not be a bad idea for someone in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease ─ I sure can't say.

But if you would like to know more, try these two reports ─ they both feature Chris Exley:
I have no idea how I could keep myself stocked with a daily litre of this type of water ─ I doubt that I could afford it.

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Perhaps you remember that Dr. Henry Heimlich died in 2016 ─ he was the inventor of the Heimlich manoeuvre to help prevent someone from choking.

Here is a recap from HSIonline.com on how to perform it, just in case you're a trifle rusty at recollecting the precise details:
It certainly seems like 2016 has had more than its share of celebrity passings. But there's someone whose passing didn't grab nearly as many headlines, despite having saved the lives of untold numbers of people.

He was a man whose last name has practically become a household word – for the procedure he devised that is responsible for countless choking victims still being alive who wouldn't be otherwise.

That was Dr. Henry Heimlich, the inventor of the Heimlich maneuver. Dr. Heimlich died earlier this month at age 96.

A prominent surgeon, Dr. Heimlich first introduced his method of unblocking the windpipe to the world back in 1974 after reading about how thousands of people died each year from choking on food. The technique was publicized by medical organizations, such as the AMA, with some restaurants even posting signs showing how the maneuver works.

Dr. Heimlich even used his own technique earlier this year to save the life of a fellow patient at the assisted-living facility where he resided, giving one last thrust to the legacy he left behind.

Anyone, of any age, can get something caught in their windpipe, but seniors can be especially vulnerable. Bridges, dentures, and having a dry mouth from taking certain meds can all up your risk.

And if you happen to find yourself near someone who you think may be choking, here is the lifesaving procedure Dr. Heimlich devised. Remember, someone with a completely blocked airway can suffer brain death within four to six minutes – long before the ambulance can arrive. So it's good to know we have the power to save a life in our own two hands!

First, determine if the choking victim can speak or cough. If he or she is coughing, encourage them to keep it up. That will usually do the trick to dislodge the bit of food from wherever it's gotten stuck.

But if the person who's choking can't speak, or starts to change color, have someone call 911. While you wait for emergency help to arrive, here's what to do:
  • Get behind the person (telling them what you're doing), make a fist with your dominant hand and place the thumb side of the fist halfway between the person's belly button and breastbone. Grab your fist with your other hand.
  • Next, do firm, inward and upward thrusts. Use moderate force at first, but if that doesn't work, increase your pressure. Stop thrusting if the person starts coughing.
  • If the victim loses consciousness, lay them on the floor and start chest compressions similar to CPR, which may clear their airways.
  • Chest compressions are also recommended for pregnant women. For very young children, use back slaps instead of thrusts.
You can even use the maneuver on yourself! Place a fist slightly above your navel and grab it with your other hand. Bending over a hard surface such as a chair, shove your fist into your abdomen with an inward and upward motion.

While Dr. Heimlich won't be here to greet the New Year, many people will be... because of his lifesaving discovery.
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Here is where I close with a journal entry from 41 years ago when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

I was renting those cramped quarters in a house located on Ninth Street, a house or two up from Third Avenue.
SATURDAY, January 3, 1976

I didn't force myself up till about 7:00 a.m., feeling a bit of a hangover.

I must mention that as I returned yesterday to S.A.N.E. after lunch I mailed for an Olympic and a Western Lottery ticket, and also for William Hope Hodgson's Out of the Storm from Donald M. Grant.

While on an outing in the truck yesterday afternoon, I saw Jock entering Wood's auto shop just above S.A.N.E. and across the street.

As I exercised this morning, about 9:45 a.m. came some knocking, then a girl's voice called my name; I guess it was one of Art's daughters.

Around 12:30 p.m. I lied down for a nap; and roused only when the dame upstairs set about laundering; I just lied a while, and when I rose, I found it to be 4:15 a.m.

Bed at 10:00 p.m.
I had gotten duped by Art Smith ─ an older chap in his early 40s ─ the day before to stop in at the Royal Towers Hotel beer parlour with him for a beer or two, and he kept me there for several hours as he bought round after round.

I even blew what may have been my last $2 ─ beer was still rather cheap back then, possibly 35¢ a glass.

The episode cost me a turkey supper at my good friend William Alan Gill's mother's home.  Bill had driven around trying to find me, and had even gone to Art's home and spoken with Art's wife Angie (Angelina).

I had gotten shanghaied by Art after I had finished putting in my day of work at a charitable organization called S.A.N.E. (Self Aid Never Ends) that is today known as Fraserside Community Services Society. I swamped on S.A.N.E.'s blue pick-up truck.

At that time, S.A.N.E. was housed in a building that was located about where the New Westminster SkyTrain Station now opens up onto Carnarvon Street.  (I doubt Wood's auto shop exists nearly across the street from there anymore, either.)

After being discharged from work for the day, I had been asked by S.A.N.E.'s manager ─ Verna (Williams?) ─ to take some  paperwork over to the New Westminster social services office that was then on Sixth Street, just up from Columbia Street.

Just as I was leaving that office to head for home, Art ─ who was coming up from Columbia Street ─ recognized and hailed me.

He claimed that he was on his way up Sixth Street to pay a bill, so we walked together.  Art and I used to work together at S.A.N.E., and had gotten very chummy.

Well, once we got as far as the Royal Towers Hotel (now an apartment building), he insisted that I come in for a beer ─ he'd buy.

And that was that.

I also mentioned seeing Jock going into Wood's auto shop when I was at S.A.N.E.  Jock (John) Halverson was my maternal cousin who was living out in Surrey.

After my annoying episode with Art the previous day, I had no intention of answering my door to a member of his family ─ he could well be standing there with his daughter, if it was indeed one of them.  He was constantly trying to strong-arm me into acceding to his will to come to his home and sit up late as his drinking companion ─ I seemed to have no defence.

It was best to just avoid the man ─ and any family members of his who might knock.

"The dame upstairs" who may have interrupted my nap that afternoon was another tenant in the house who seemed to have access to the laundry facilities in the basement...yet I had to use a laundromat to do my laundry.
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