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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Nuedexta and the PseudoBulbar Affect (PBA) │ Problematic Skin-Care Labels │ Sugar Identified as Culpable for Alzheimer's Disease

In yesterday's post, I explained how I was practically certain that I had discovered the missing child's tether ball that had for a few years been lodged high into the branches of a tree out in front of our house ─ I had only noticed on Monday that the ball was no longer up in the tree.

It had been there since sometime in late 2013.

I had found the missing ball ─ or one too coincidentally just like it ─ while on my way to do some local grocery shopping yesterday.

As I concluded in discussing the topic yesterday, I was feeling sufficiently sentimental that I was nursing the notion of retrieving the ball and bringing it back to once more lodge it up into the tree.

Well, shortly after 7:00 p.m. last evening, during a downpouring of rain, I left on just such a mission. The ball was perhaps 1½ blocks from here, and on the other side of a black (iron?) fence of a townhouse complex.

I was disinclined to try and scale the fence at the age of 67, so I walked around to the entrance of the complex to work my way to where I had seen it.

To explain, I had seen it while cutting through some properties via a public walkway that is fenced on either side. The child's tether ball was roughly halfway along that walkway. So to retrieve it last evening, I had to continue to the end of the walkway where it exits at Prince Charles Boulevard here in Surrey.

If this Google satellite map link continues to function properly, you should be able to identify the walkway from where it stretches at the end of 95th Avenue to Prince Charles Boulevard ─ the walkway becomes very narrow in the final approach to the latter street, so it is not clearly delineated on the map, yett it does reach the boulevard.

As I said, the ball was on the property of a townhouse complex, and approximately midway along that walkway ─ and on the left-hand side as one walked towards Prince Charles Boulevard.

The is an old photo of that walkway taken on February 25, 2014, from its start at the end of 95th Avenue, and looking toward Prince Charles Boulevard ─ you can even see far down the way where the walkway suddenly becomes narrowed:


I took this photo of the discarded tether ball when I first saw it yesterday ─ midway down that walkway, and at the left:


Well, as I said, I retrieved the ball early last evening as daylight waned, and while it was raining hard. And once back home with it, several attempts were required to heave the ball high enough into the tree to get it to lodge.

I wanted the ball hanging over our property, and not out over the public sidewalk like it had been before as seen in this photo from February 25, 2014 ─ you can see the snow-crowned yellow ball in the tree at the left:


I had to wait until this morning to photograph the ball in its present location, back up in the tree where it belongs:



May it remain for many more years!

I believe that it was also on Monday that I mentioned two young Mormon missionaries had come here in the latter afternoon in what I anticipated was an attempt to visit my younger brother Mark. I had seen the young men before ─ as a rule, I do not answer the door. I have no friends who would come visiting; and anyone else who might come would be an involvement of my time and energies that would only prove inconveniencing for me.

So they had left after their vain attempt to get a response at the door.

Tuesday evening around 7:30 p.m. or even later, they returned. Mark ─ well into his beer ─ was home, and answered the door. This was probably the first time that members of the church have been successful in catching Mark home in six or more years.

I was watching T.V., so I did not hear much of the conversation he had with the young chaps, but it seemed to be rather jolly. I did hear him ask where they hailed from, and both were from Utah.  

Mark and I were both baptized into the Mormon church back in the very early 1960s. As I began getting into my teens, I became very uncomfortable about being involved in the church. When it started that I was having to go around with a senior church member doing home visitations, it truly started to bother me.

And I had the further dread of one day having to become a missionary myself ─ I had no such interest whatsoever.

So I believe that it was in the Summer of 1964 when I was 14, I refused to go to church any longer ─ only my mother was still involved, for my father had long since quit going. I even slept outside at least the first Saturday night in order to impress upon my mother what were my intentions. She was unable to browbeat me into complying with her wishes when I was unavailable.

Once she was resigned to my decision, my younger brother Mark ─ who was just 11 or 12 ─ made his own stand. If I was allowed to quit attending, then he felt he had the same right if he so chose.

Anyway, the church always retains records of former members, and they were able to locate Mark at some point quite a number of years back. Part of that is Mark's own fault, though. He started attending the church again in the early to mid-1990s when he was undergoing his divorce and the custody struggle of his daughter Rene (Irene).

Matters were so serious for him in that struggle that he had considered suicide, and he had even forsaken drinking, and he sought all of the support he could ─ not just in the church, but even with at least one group of fathers in a similar legal custody battle.

I have never been "located" by the church ─ they have no idea where I am.

Anyway, I don't know how Mark's conversation Tuesday evening trended, but I am certain that he did his drunken best to not leave himself open as being an easy candidate for reconstitution back into the church.

Enough of all of that, however. Yesterday ended for me when I was settled into bed at 10:56 p.m. I could have been to bed earlier, but Mark just seemed to resist calling it a night ─ even though his alarm is usually set for something like 4:20 a.m. to get him up for work.

He had graduated from beer into the hard liquor around 10:20 p.m. ─ I guess he thinks he's topping off his evening of drinking by doing this; and thus it was at least 10:45 p.m. before he called it quits and hauled himself up the stairs to his bedroom.

By the time I was in bed, he was still in his bedroom's ensuite bathroom doing things like shaving and brushing his teeth, I expect.

I don't know how he can continue to abuse himself like this at his age. He'll be 65 in July.

I rose once during the night ─ maybe around 2:15 a.m. ─ to use the bathroom, for I had found myself awake and figured that I might as well take advantage; and even drink some water.

It may have been something like 6:23 a.m. this morning when I checked the time and opted to get up for the day. I found Poté up and readying for work when I went downstairs to make my hot morning beverage.

I actually engaged him in a little conversation, for I was curious about his working hours. He used to go to work any day of the week (even weekends), and his start times could be early morning, the early afternoon, or even the late afternoon.

But of late, he has only been going to work on weekdays, and quite early.

According to Poté, he is now a stock manager at the sporting goods shop he works at. And since the stock shipments he has to oversee are only made Monday to Friday during regular working hours, his presence in the evenings or weekends would be redundant.

After he left soon thereafter, I got to work at the post I am still attempting to put together at my Lawless Spirit website. I had hoped to get out to visit for the very first time a bakery over in nearby Cedar Hills shopping plaza (96th Avenue & 128th Street).

However, I am weaning myself of the products one normally finds on store shelves when purchasing bread ─ there are far too many unnecessary and maybe even harmful ingredients that I do not wish to consume any longer.

So I have been pondering paying New Amsterdam Bakery a visit ─ it is but a four-block or so hike away. After all, they claim to "use all natural ingredients and no added preservatives." They may prove most worthwhile.

I have known of its existence for a long, long time, but I have never set foot into the place ─ I do not normally just go out to buy bread. I only buy bread when I am buying other groceries.

Unfortunately, though, I have been feeling quite 'off'' today, and it all stems from the struggle I had last evening with an onset of the so-called aura or halo that is supposedly related to a migraine headache, although I do not get the migraine headaches.

For me, the symptom involves a shimmering in one area of my vision that can become more and more pronounced, spreading until I cannot read print nor focus upon objects.

It also makes me feel as if I am car sick or suffering motion sickness.

At its worst, I find that I have to lie down with my eyes covered and just wait until the symptoms subside.

I first was beset with the condition at work back around 2004.

When it began last evening, I had been staring rather intently at T.V. However, I suspect that my eyes had been strained from working for so many hours at my Lawless Spirit website, and then that day's post for this blog.

I didn't want to get laid low by the condition, so I tried putting on the orange-lensed Honeywell UVEX S1933X Skyper Safety Eyewear that I normally use here at my computer to block damaging blue light from further ruining my eyes.

As soon as I donned them, I was able to stop squinting at the T.V. ─ I had been doing that to minimize the swirling effect, and also reduce the impact of the televison's glowing screen upon my poor eyes.

And instead of the condition worsening like it almost invariably does, it reduced and then disappeared. Nevertheless, I still felt that sense of being unwell ─ it's like having a headache, except that there isn't one. The malaise is there regardless.

And when I bend over, the pressure in my head resembles what one might feel if a headache had been present.

So that's how I have felt today. It is debilitating, for sure.

I haven't even been able to maintain my full exercise schedule, let alone go anywhere.

And at 11:29 a.m., I actually stripped down and returned to bed for over an hour, donning earplugs and blindfold. I had hoped to rise feeling improved, and still manage to go forth for that bakery visit, but it was not to be.

The day has been overcast. There was even a little light hail late this morning. We had lots of rain yesterday afternoon and evening ─ in fact, last evening there was even a thunderstorm. Most odd for this time of year.

I sure do not want to feel tomorrow how I am feeling today.

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Have you ever heard of a medical condition known as the pseudobulbar affect (PBA)? I sure haven't. And there is even a commercial about it ─ a pharmaceutical company is trying to make a market for a drug called Nuedexta that it's flogging:

FiercePharma.com

HSIonline.com

I have never seen any of the commercials ─ I suspect that they would stand out in one's memory if the condition's displays are that peculiar.

That latter report mentioned psychiatrist Dr. Steve Balt ─ he is apparently no great fan of Nuedexta, nor drug company Avanir Pharmaceuticals who produce and market it. If you are interested in what he has to say, check out these two articles that I dug up:
That latter article quotes the cost of Nuedexta to be about $600 a month!

Even if the price has not escalated since then, is it any wonder that Avanir Pharmaceuticals wants to get this stuff marketed as broadly as possible?

Considering its potential side effects, I would think hard before taking a prescription for it for anything at all.

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I don't concern myself with cosmetics, although I have in the past applied some type or another of a colouring agent to try to camouflage a troubling blemish.

For folks who are mindful of the potential of some sort of cosmetic to cause them irritation or allergic reactions, the following information from NewMarketHealth.com may be of a little help:
If figuring out all the different descriptions on food labels sometimes seems difficult, that's a cinch compared to cosmetics.

You might think that selling points like "hypoallergenic" or "all-natural ingredients" or "sensitive skin" really mean something. Well, they may... or, just as likely, they could mean nothing at all.

"Unfortunately, there isn't any labeling language that guarantees a product is hypoallergenic and suitable for sensitive skin," warns Dr. Rajani Katta, a dermatologist who also works at Houston's Baylor University as an assistant professor of medicine.

To read the FDA's lengthy "Cosmetic Labeling Guide," it looks like the agency has all the bases covered when it comes to product safety. But despite all the rules about what information and warnings must be displayed and how, there seems to be a whole lot of wiggle room for vague terminology.

As Dr. Katta points out, "Manufacturers may use certain language for marketing purposes." Along with that, "the same terms may mean different things on different products," she said.

If you're confused by all this, join the club!

That's why Dr. Katta recommends that if you suffer from skin sensitivities, apply a small amount of any new product on your forearm for a week to make sure it doesn't cause an adverse reaction.

But perhaps the best idea if you have extremely sensitive skin is to cut out the artificial colors, fragrances, preservatives and all the other unpronounceable things on most labels and go right to the source -- simple, natural ingredients that can get the job done.

For example:
  • coconut oil can be used to moisturize skin and even treat wounds,
  • apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball can be used as an astringent and skin cleanser, and
  • olive oil is another excellent skin moisturizer
And despite all the chemical concoctions that most cosmetic products appear to contain, there are more and more truly natural and even organic ones coming out all the time.

As with processed foods, however, you'll have to start reading the ingredient labels.
I also located these other related articles:

Consumer.HealthDay.com

ScienceDaily.com

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I have decided that I am going to start drinking my coffee without any sweetening. I actually did so for much of last month, and it was not difficult at all.

The tipping point was finding out yesterday that the liquid whipping cream I had been buying suddenly escalated from well under $4 per litre to something like $5.09 ─ it was a jump of well over $1.25, and the specific store I had been buying it at had the cheapest liquid whipping cream prices known to me.

You may be wondering why the cost of cream is causing me to decide to stop sweetening my coffee?

Well, it's because I was not just drinking coffee ─ I drink instant, by the way.

I was adding plain cocoa powder to the instant. So to make the brew palatable, I had gotten into the habit of adding some demerara brown sugar, honey, and blackstrap molasses. And then to make the treat truly exceptional, I would cream it with liquid whipping cream.

The drink was absolutely delicious piping hot, and had a great kick!

Using a cream with a lesser butterfat content was never the same where the consistency and taste of this special brew were concerned.

However, with whipping cream now basically climbing out of my reach for beverage purposes, I have decided to just drink instant coffee with some lighter, more affordable, cream.

Besides, I know that sugar is just not healthy.

And now a recent study has reinforced this decision concerning my coffee-drinking:

FoxNews.com

Telegraph.co.uk

BATH.ac.uk

JacksDailyDose.com

Since I do have some liquid whipping cream on hand ─ the last I likely shall buy at current prices ─ I had a wonderful dessert with my breakfast/lunch meal today.

I had recently located and bought some frozen blueberries, so I dumped a quantity of these into a fairly large bowl; added liquid whipping cream; and sweetened the whole with some liquid honey.

Fabulous!

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I close now with an entry from my journal of 41 years ago when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster. I was paying rent for the little place in a house located on Ninth Street, and one or two houses up from Third Avenue.

On my day's agenda was the first hike to my mother Irene Dorosh's home since I had undergone an emergency appendectomy. She and her husband Alex lived in the Kennedy Heights area of Surrey, and it would normally take me about 1½ hours to hike out to there from my room.

That little house no longer exists, but its address was 12106 - 90th Avenue ─ it was my main mailing address.
TUESDAY, March 16, 1976

I got up short of 7:00 a.m.

I left about 8:45 a.m. for mom's, again suffering the itch. I also mailed my letter to Terri. It was lightly raining, and I disliked the appearance of my shorter hair in the way I had styled it. So I later shortened some of it even further, and forward combed it; I'm real butch now.

Mom was waiting for Sandy to take her to her doctor appointment, and she showed up soon after my arrival, with Darren.

My Western and Olympic Lottery tickets arrived from the Big 4 Amateur Football Conference; my Kin Win ticket was waiting for me too, with a new book of tickets which mom said she'd sell (I therefore bought one of these). My third and last item of mail was a set offer for 4 Mac "lifetime" knives.

While mom was away, Cathy phoned, and talked to me for over 1½ hours. We broke off sometime after 1:30 p.m. when mom got back.

I didn't really eat too much today.

I decided to accept mom's offer of getting a ride into town when Kay came to take her to work. I was dropped off on Royal short of 9th St.

I learned of a place on 6th St between 3rd & 5th Ave which replaces the blades in electric razors; I'm going tomorrow to try and find it, for regular blade shaving is too harsh for my sensitive skin.

I met Gordie nearly in front of my place; he commented on my new beard style. Seems Esther is in the hospital again.

I should mention that mom gave me a loaf of bread and some of Kay's homemade butter to take home with me.

I did my first dumbbell workout since pre-op days; just 5 sets of 8 curls (sitting) and presses (sitting). I'm going to keep this a regular effort hence.

I'm retiring about 8:00 p.m.
The itch I spoke of was from where my body-hair had been shaved for the surgery. With the stubble growing back, the affected area was profoundly irritated by my clothing when I would be out walking.  

The letter I mailed on my way to my mother's was to my American pen-pal Terri Martin.

My mother was awaiting the arrival of Sandy Halverson, the then-wife of my maternal cousin Randy Halverson. Darren was the youngest of their three sons.

I had such big hopes of winning a major lottery prize! Alas, I still do ─ it has been such a long and fruitless wait.

While my mother was away for her medical appointment, it was my younger brother Mark's girlfriend who phoned ─ Catherine Jeanette Gunther. Despite fallings-out that she and I sometimes had, I generally adored the young woman.

My mother was in a janitorial partnership with her friend Kay Kris or Krys. They had to go in to New Westminster anyway, so taking me with them was no burden. And dropping me off on Royal Avenue at nearly 9th Street was practically like getting a ride all the way home. 

Oddly, though, this map indicates that 9th Street doesn't reach Royal Avenue, and I no longer remember if they did connect back in 1976 or not.

I had worked part-time for a New Westminster charitable organization called S.A.N.E. (Self Aid Never Ends), serving as a swamper on their blue pick-up truck. "Gordie" was an occasional part-timer, too. He must have told me about dear Esther St. Jean being hospitalized ─ she was often the driver of the truck. 

I rather wish that I had recorded the weight of that dumbbell that I worked out with. Sitting presses were the only kind that I could do in my room ─ the ceiling was so low, it wasn't possible to fully extend one's arms above one's head.

I miss some of the people in my life back in my New Westminster years. I rue that upon leaving there to return to live here in Surrey, I turned my back on just about all and forever left that part of my life behind me ─ probably at least eight years' worth!
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