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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Acricept Wrongfully Prescribed for Mild Cognitive Impairment │ Acupuncture for Some Migraine Relief? │ Advice on Pending Surgery

Bedtime last night was two or three minutes past 11:00 p.m. And for over two weeks now, I have limited myself to drinking just one can of strong (8% alcohol) beer over the course of the evening, but I don't know how long I am going to be able to hold this course.

My poor younger brother Mark got hooked into sitting up watching the pilot episode of Time After Time via our Android TV Box ─ we never realized that it was a double episode. He normally has his morning alarm set for 4:20 a.m. to get him up for work. Seeing him so involved with the show, I ventured that we should just stop it, and gamble that we'll be able to access the show tonight right where we left off.

I noticed that sometimes the Android TV Box with fetch a partially watched episode of a programme at precisely where one last left off, so maybe we will have that good fortune this evening. We had gotten about an hour into the episode, and there were something over 20 minutes remaining ─ the shows are telecast sans any commercials.

I continue to find that I seem to be sweating quite heavily overnight. My bedding was especially damp last night.

And it was 6:15 a.m. when I checked the time and opted to rise for the day. I was alone in the house.

We were spared a snowfall. All that was out there was the inch or less of what we pretty much already had last evening ─ as I recall, it even rained last evening.

As I usually do in the mornings, I made myself an instant coffee, and then got to work on the edit of an old post I have on the go at my Siam-Longings website. I broke off towards 8:30 a.m. to ready for a local shopping expedition over to No Frills at nearby Cedar Hills (96th Avenue & 132nd Street) here in Surrey.

It was either 8:47 a.m. or 8:49 a.m. when I set off on the four-block or so hike to the store. I had noticed earlier that it seemed to be raining a little ─ with possibly even some wet snow; but it was just cloudy when I left, with the Sun sometimes successfully attempting to break through.

I had meant to leave much earlier, but it is good that I did not ─ I arrived just ahead of the 9:00 a.m. opening of the store, joining several other people loitering around outside. I had believed that the store opened at 8:00 a.m., but now I know the facts.

After getting back home, I changed into cut-offs and then went out to the backyard shed for some exercise ─ I had skipped the previous three days. I am still working at regaining strength and some muscle mass after no exercise for possibly 20 or so days due to the aftermath of the blockage of my left parotid gland's duct which resulted in an abscess infection in my left cheek, and an enormous swelling on the scale of a very large orange.

Today is only the second day since and including February 10 in which I have not had at least one medical appointment scheduled. Of late, I have just been getting fresh Mesalt ribbon dressings placed into the infection cavity after an old dressing is removed, and the cavity irrigated; but yesterday, a nurse at Home Health where I had been going declared that the wound's opening is now too healed over to admit of any further such dressings.

I have an appointment on Friday with my ENT specialist; and I am to find out from him if ─ in his opinion ─ a tentatively scheduled Sunday appointment at Home Health is at all required.

If not, then I am to afterwards let Home Health know that I am cancelling.

Oddly enough, though, early this afternoon when I sought a rest prior to commencing today's post, Home Health phoned me to discover why I had not shown up for today's appointment. I then explained, citing nurse Grace as being behind the cancellation of all further appointments this week, barring the tentative Sunday appointment.

But returning to that shed-based session of exercise, I found that the three-day layoff had not hurt my progress. Just using pull-ups as the gauge or barometer, I had been unable to do any after that 20-or-so-day layoff, but today I did four sets of three, two, two, and two repetitions.

Note that I do not have a chin-up bar. I use two suspended ladder-like affairs set about 18 inches apart. I stand between them, grasping as high a pair of rungs as is comfortable ─ with my palms facing one another ─ and just pull myself up.

I would rather I had a serious chin-up bar so that I could use various grips, but I only have what I have.

But the strength is coming back.

Enough of that, however. I have three photos that I want to post ─ my wife Jack took them when she was in Thailand last Fall, visiting her mother for the first time in well over 3½ years.

The family home is in the very large village of Nong Soong, which is no more than about a 15-minute drive from Udon Thani.

I don't know who any of these four kids are, but they appear to be enjoying some som tam:




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I can't say that I bother keeping myself familiar with the term mild cognitive impairment (MSI), but apparently many doctors who make the determination that one of their patients has it will readily prescribe an Alzheimer's disease medication called Aricept (donepezil).

Note what Wikipedia says of the drug:
Donepezil is used to improve cognition and behavior of people with Alzheimer's, but does not slow the progression of or cure the disease.
If the drug cannot slow the progression of the disease, let alone cure it ─ why prescribe it in the first place? Is it that essential to make the drug manufacturer an ongoing big profit?

And now it's even getting prescribed for mild cognitive impairment!

Well, it should not be, according to the following couple of articles:

HSIonline.com

Newsroom.UCLA.edu

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I don't suffer migraine headaches, thank the Lord! Some people get them with disrupting regularity ─ I can't even imagine that burden.

The following report on how acupuncture has been proven to bring a reduction in the number of attacks might be of interest to some sufferers ─ this is from NewMarketHealth.com:
If you suffer from migraines, I'm sure you've tried just about everything to keep one from coming on.

But have you tried acupuncture?

Basically, it works by stimulating the body's own ability to heal by applying needles, or even pressure, to certain points to relieve pain and as a therapy for various health problems.

Where migraines are concerned, numerous studies over the years have found it can reduce the number of attacks -- and, in some cases, even eliminate them altogether.

A recent one out of China found that daily treatments for five days with two days off (for a total of 20 sessions), could cut migraine attacks by an average of three a month.

And the best part is that the benefits lasted for a full 20 weeks after the treatments ended.

The most interesting part of this study is that they also gave a group of volunteers what they called "sham acupuncture," where they applied the needles to parts of the body that weren't considered to be "acupoints" associated with migraines.

But even that worked!

While the so-called sham group reported two fewer attacks a month, versus three less migraines for the "real" group, the insertion of the needles still had a beneficial effect.

That was also found to be the case in another acupuncture/migraine study done five years ago in Canada.

So, is this an example of the "placebo effect"? Or, might it be, as a medical acupuncture specialist suggested, that simply inserting needles into the skin gives relief regardless of whether they hit the exact right spot?

Whichever, the fact remains that acupuncture -- or even something resembling it -- does seem to have positive effects for migraine sufferers. And without the risks associated with the potent pain meds that are typically used to prevent and treat migraines.
Just how many attacks of migraine headaches per month can a sufferer experience? I suppose that would determine whether or not the sufferer deemed acupuncture worthwhile.

I have no idea what a session of such an acupuncture treatment would cost ─ can just anyone afford 20 sessions to get relief from three attacks each month over the course of the nearly five months following those acupuncture sessions?

Here's another ─ less enthusiastic ─ report on the Chinese study:

NYmag.com

Just as I had observed:
...If acupuncture truly is effective for migraine prevention, it may be difficult for patients to find and afford practitioners capable of performing migraine-focused acupuncture.
I hesitate to suggest that maybe it might be worthwhile to get someone the sufferer trusts to deliver sham treatments, if these actually do work, too?

I read of a claim by one M.D. who clearly disparaged acupuncture that ─ supposedly ─ 100% of Chinese acupuncture studies are positive and thus worthless; probably because the researchers know that it would greatly offend their peers to conclude anything negative about acupuncture.

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It was just yesterday that I included an article offering cautionary advice about any impending surgery, and citing what happened to actor Bill Paxton as the motivation for such vigilance.

Well, here is another such article:

JacksDailyDose.com

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Some while back, I added my name to a petition directed at the Liberal government over its intention to approve GMO salmon for marketing here in Canada.

Exactly a week ago, I received this from an NDP MP:
Thank you for taking the time to write to me today to express your concerns on GMO salmon.

I share your concerns about the Liberal government approving GMO salmon for sale and consumption in Canada.

With this approval, Canadians will be faced with the world’s first genetically modified food animal with absolutely no requirement to label this product as genetically modified.

Many Canadians like you are concerned about GMO products. In my view, these products ought to be clearly labelled to ensure consumers can make an informed choice about purchasing and consuming them.  As the NDP Health Critic, I’m disappointed that Health Canada has declined to do so.

To me, it comes down to a matter of basic consumer information. If these products are indeed safe, then the producers ought to have no problem providing this information.

My NDP colleague, Fisheries and Oceans Critic Fin Donnelly (MP, Port Moody-Coquitlam) is similarly worried about the impact this decision could have on already endangered wild salmon.

He has raised the concern that if this company is allowed to grow genetically modified salmon and any of these fish escape into the wild, the damage to the wild salmon population could be considerable and irreversible.

Thank you again for writing to my office to express your concern. Along with my colleagues I will continue to voice my opposition to the government approval of the sale and consumption of GMO salmon.

Sincerely,

Don Davies, MP
I hope he holds true to his promise.

I am going to close now with an entry from my journal of 41 years ago when I was 26 years old, and living in a housekeeping unit in New Westminster. I was renting the small space in a house located on Ninth Street, and perhaps one or two houses up from Third Avenue.

Just over a couple of weeks earlier, I had undergone an emergency appendectomy, and was not released from hospital until my twelfth day there.
MONDAY, March 8, 1976

I am of the opinion I spent as much time last night awake as sleeping, getting up this morn about 7:30 a.m.

I went to Woodward's soon after opening, and spent $19.64 on 2 pairs of pants (Caribou Lariat 33 tall 12 at $5.97, and Lee Moon Strider 32 medium at $12.73 from $17); I also bought a $2 money order for a lottery ticket and 25 2¢ stamps.

Then I went to the library and borrowed Lee Straight's How to Hunt Deer and Other Game.

In the afternoon I succeeded in fighting my urge to sleep; I'm not going to ruin my rest tonight.

The place here sure hasn't changed; it's cold aplenty. I'm bedding down at 8:30 p.m.
Woodward's used to occupy the whole of what is now Royal City Centre Mall on Sixth Avenue. I no longer have any memory of either of those brand names for the pants I bought.

The only way to buy lottery tickets back then was via the mail. There were no retail outlets everywhere for the government lotteries like there are today. As for the stamps, there must have been a postal rate hike, and I had 25 stamps of the former denomination for which I now needed to add the extra 2¢ stamp anytime I mailed a letter.

The public library was on the other side of Sixth Avenue, and almost across from Woodward's. I have no idea why I borrowed the hunting book, though.

My room frequently had no heat, and it was often one of the reasons that I resorted to bed during the day ─ to get warm! Of course I would fall asleep, especially if I had already suffered a poor night of sleep the previous night.

But let's return to the present before I bow out. We have been getting some serious rain showers this latter afternoon. The snow on the ground hasn't a chance.
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