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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Osteoporosis Guidelines │ Gastric Band Re-Surgeries │ Gluten and Type 2 Diabetes │ Proton Beam Therapy and Prostate Cancer │ MRIs and Gadolinium

My wife Jack made an appearance from Vancouver early last evening, not too very long after my younger brother Mark had gotten home from the bar.

I have been loyally limiting myself to just one can of strong (8% alcohol) beer an evening since roughly mid-February, with but one aberrance a few weeks ago ─ I also polished off the last of a bit of vodka in the bottom of a 26er that had been sitting around since probably late last year.

It belonged to one of my two stepsons, but I reckoned that neither of them remembered ownership any longer and thus it was just sitting on the kitchen floor beneath the shelving our microwave unit is on.

There is one other bottle of vodka of similar vintage and quantity that I will at some point be clearing away.

But last evening I had brought downstairs a second can of beer to enjoy with the evening's Android TV Box programming, for I had begun drinking my allotted can of beer much earlier than I normally have a beer. I had gotten caught up in the excitement of the season finale of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., an episode titled "World's End."

However, I somehow managed to restrain myself, and never did open that second can.

Incidentally, Mark spent some of the early part of his evening in front of the T.V. unconscious.

I wasn't feeling especially well ─ my second such day. So I wasn't at all pleased about having to sit up later than I wanted to be doing just because Jack was home.

I finally had to draw the line and ─ I think that it was shortly after 11:30 a.m. ─ I let her know that I was heading off to bed. She was doing some clean-up in the kitchen.

It was so warm in our bedroom. I was still awake when Jack finally joined me in bed. Needless to say, it was a night of especially broken sleep.

Around 6:00 a.m. this morning, I heard Jack speaking ─ as I had been anticipating, her eldest son Tho had apparently summoned her to drive him to the SkyTrain so that he would not have to bus the mile or so to get to it in order to travel out to Burnaby where he works. The 22-year-old knob cares nothing about his mother's sleep ─ all that is important to him is his own selfish comfort.

After Jack exited the bedroom and closed the door, I decided I would also get up, even though I was being nagged by a bit of a headache and my eyes were bothering me from accumulated strain and insufficient actual sleep.

I was also aware that I had some manner of sinus / upper respiratory infection. So maybe the previous two days of ill-being were preluding whatever has invaded me.

However, unlike the previous two days when I had a workout in the backyard tool shed despite how poorly I was feeling, I had no such illusions of any such feat today. The touch of pressure-headache I was experiencing was nothing to be trifling with ─ at least, not by tackling some strenuous exercise at the age of 67 while having slept insufficiently and apparently making battle with a virus or something.

I got to work supplying content into the post I am building at my Siam-Longings website. When Jack got back from driving her eldest son to the SkyTrain, she apparently decided to cook herself up some eggs for breakfast, judging by the sounds and smell.

And then she returned to bed.

I was able to put in the minimum amount of work that I had hoped to get done on that Siam-Longings website, and then I tried resorting to my working brother Mark's bed to try and nap or at least restore myself a little. Unfortunately, though, the brown hound beyond our backyard fence was generating far too much aggravating noise.

Mark's bedroom is on the side of the house nearest to that infernal beast.

All else I could do was come here to the small bedroom that I keep my computer in ─ the room used to be my niece Rene's bedroom, and is next to my own bedroom ─ and lie down on the floor with a large stuffed animal for a pillow. I donned earplugs and put on a blindfold.

I don't believe that I ever fell into a nap, but I may have gotten close. I was down for about an hour when I began thinking that I could perceive noises indicating that my wife Jack had risen.

And it was so.

I came forth and went downstairs to the living room while she fussed around in the kitchen, preparing some dishes for the household.

I finally decided to try passing time differently: by seeing what I could find to watch using the Android TV Box ─ something I otherwise would not have tuned in. I finally settled upon a Thai movie ─ with English subtitles ─ called Raging Phoenix.

Sure, it was hokey. But I enjoyed watching the female lead; and eventually, I got quite drawn into the plot.

Oddly, Jack had barely even a passing interest in the movie, only watching a small sequence of it once. Her youngest son Poté didn't go to work this morning and had his girlfriend here with him overnight, so I guess I can't fault him for not displaying any interest either ─ he had his company, after all.

Poté and girlfriend left during the latter half of the noon-hour ─ maybe he had to work a later shift. Jack was showering at the time.

And perhaps right around 1:20 p.m., Jack had also left, driving off to return to Vancouver.

I took this photo of her at approximately 1:14 p.m. while she was posed outside at the rear left corner of our home:


It was sunny enough then; and I even considered sunbathing on the backyard sundeck after I was alone. But I decided that I could not afford the hour or so that it would eat up, for I still had today's blog post ahead of me at that point.

Soon the sky began hazing over, and then clouding somewhat as well. And I guess we'll likely have some rain tomorrow, if not overnight.

By the way, after having some of Jack's delicious fare that she had prepared, I had a helping of the batch of vegetables I had mixed up this past Saturday for natural fermentation: a purple cabbage, a leek, and maybe seven stalks of celery. I had sliced / chopped up everything into fairly small morsels.

It's already deliciously tart, and is culturing in a large lidded rectangular plastic tub that I have sitting downstairs on the dining room table.

I can't believe how simple this natural fermentation process is ─ just the vegetables, water, and some sea salt. Wait four days, and presto ─ homemade probiotics and prebiotics!

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I wonder how many healthy women have undergone a DXA scan as part of a medical check-up, just to have the density of their bones assessed?

I can't believe it ─ the things the medical profession comes up with just to make money off the public!

The following report lauding such assessments ─ as well as the various medications prescribed to supposedly correct weakening bones ─ almost seems to have been written by members of the American College of Physicians, and the byline authour simply crafted a rewrite of it without needing to apply any critical thought:

CNN.com

The brief video prefacing that article is far more valuable than anything within the article itself. Unfortunately, just about everyone who reads the article will do so without applying the sort of analysis that it was given in this commentary:

HSIonline.com

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Yesterday I included a report on gastric balloon implants as a misguided means of helping people lose weight. Well, today I have some information on gastric bands.

How can the medical profession do this to trusting patients? Do you think that any of those surgeons let the victim know beforehand just how likely further surgeries would be?

ABCnews.com

MedPageToday.com

ScienceDaily.com

JacksDailyDose.com

Is it so darned essential to be eating carbohydrates and various processed, packaged, and fast foods that people will choose the surgical option over turning away from their addiction to everything that is dietetically wrong?

I don't get it ─ I don't.

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I have almost stopped eating bread, but it isn't because of gluten or some wheat allergy. Rather, it is because of what I see in the list of ingredients ─ even breads that I have long considered wholesome do not bear an inspection of the ingredients label.

My mother used to bake incredibly beautiful bread. And at its most basic, all she required were flour, yeast, and molasses or honey to help feed the yeast.

She didn't require guar gum, or processed sweeteners like dextrose, or weird-sounding enzymes, and unidentifiable and assuredly inedible chemicals.

Those things are not in your bread to enhance its 'goodness.' They are there to make manufacturing of the bread as fast and simple as possible, enhance its appearance and texture, and extend its shelf life.

They are there for the benefit of the food manufacturers and retailers ─ they are most definitely not in the bread for the sake of wholesomeness, and for your health's benefit.

Is it any wonder that so many people are unable to eat today's bread, and others display so many health issues because they do eat it?

Anyway, I got sidetracked. I just wanted to lead in to the following gluten article:

LifeSpa.com

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Where prostate cancer may be concerned, I am all for 'watchful waiting' ─ not aggressive treatment. Still, I suspect that the following report on some hard times for a few proton therapy centres may be a little overenthusiastic:

JacksDailyDose.com

The mentioned facility in Southern California that has filed for bankruptcy reportedly has an average monthly electrical bill of $123,000 ─ see SanDiegoUnionTribune.com: Proton therapy center files for bankruptcy.

That's sure gotta hurt!

I also located the MedPageToday.com article: Wise Buy? Proton Beam Therapy. It does certainly support the contention being made in the JacksDailyDose.com article ─ note:
The most promising area for the use of proton therapy was once in prostate cancer, where radiotherapy often causes rectal complications, said Joel Greenberger, MD, professor and chair of radiation oncology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

But the possible utility of proton therapy in prostate cancer is being undermined by two other developments. One is the realization that many cases of prostate cancer are best left alone and watched, without any treatment. "Ninety-five% of men with prostate cancer do not die of prostate cancer," Greenberger said. The other is that proton therapy is, in most cases, no more effective than conventional radiation treatments -- and it's far more expensive.

Dwight Heron, MD, chairman of radiation oncology at UPMC Shadyside in Pittsburgh, said that for those men who do need radiotherapy, "we can do it just as well" with conventional treatment. Proton therapy "does play a role, but we don't have the clinical evidence yet to support the use of protons for the range of cancers we usually treat -- and certainly not at the current cost." There are no randomized studies that prove protons are better than conventional treatment, he said.
No, there is no reason to be meddling with the prostate if there is not an aggressive cancer present. The fallout of doing so can make being alive far less appealing than I am sure many men ever imagined would be their case.

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I regret having submitted to two CT scans of my left cheek back in February ─ a third was ordered up, but I made such resistance over it that it was canceled.

I have no idea what damage they may have done me.

I know an MRI is something different, but if you are being confronted with the necessity of having to undergo one, then you need to read the following report:

HSIonline.com


And as the HSIonline.com article mentioned, there are other contrasting agents that might be used with an MRI that you also need to refuse. The FDA seems to be mentioning some of them in this false assurance: Gadolinium-based Contrast Agents for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): Drug Safety Communication - No Harmful Effects Identified With Brain Retention.

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Enough for today!

I am closing out now with a journal entry from 41 years ago when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster. My tiny unit was being rented in a house located on Ninth Street, and about two houses up from Third Avenue.

I had been working for a few weeks on a full-time basis with a New Westminster charitable organization called S.A.N.E. (Self Aid Never Ends) that is today known as Fraserside Community Services Society.

Back in those years, S.A.N.E. (referred to familiarly by employees as "the store") was housed in an old building that no longer exists, but it was located right where the New Westminster SkyTrain Station now spreads forth onto Carnarvon Street.

I had been hired on a three- or four-month contract, and was supposed to be getting trained to learn furniture reupholstery. However, as said, I had worked for several weeks to this point, yet the training had not materialized ─ and I was essentially doing nothing all day long.

I had just learned that I was going to be given swamping duties on S.A.N.E.'s blue pick-up truck ─ a duty I had served well many times in the past when I had done a lot of part-time work at S.A.N.E.

This day was to be my first full day back on the truck.

Unfortunately, I had been so unhappy with having nothing to do that I had agreed to my maternal cousin Randy Halverson that I would be willing to serve as a garbage collector for a few weeks during a special Spring clean-up that was just starting in which homeowners would be allowed to place just about anything out at street-side for collection by the garbage trucks ─ it was told to me that I might be starting work as early as the very next day, and put in two further days that same week.

Consequently, I was now in a quandary ─ I was perfectly happy working on the S.A.N.E. truck. So at the end of this day, I was going to visit my old friend William Alan Gill ─ who was renting a bachelor suite about four blocks from my room ─ and use his phone to contact my cousin Randy, and learn for certain if I really was expected to start working the following day.

On top of everything else, I was coming down with some sort of virus.
MONDAY, June 7, 1976

Up at 6:10 a.m., stiff and sore; my nose caused me great difficulty during the night, thickly running. But at least there's no actual pain beyond a vague headache. 

I rested sans sleep for 40 minutes before heading off for S.A.N.E., but I felt so bad then I doubt I can last the full day.

My day was miserable, but I bore it.

Esther said she doubted I could have 3 days off to work at Haulaway.

I was given an invitation for "fun & food" June 25 in the eve at S.A.N.E.

Back home I hit the bed for well over an hour, napping some. Then I continued it for another hour. 

When I opened my door to go over to Bill's and see if Randy phoned about Haulaway, Bill popped into view. 

The job is mine, like it or no!

I'm going to stay at mom's tonight, I guess, and try and hook up with Randy for a ride. Bill said Randy suggested I be at Nell's by 6:00 p.m., but I don't know.

Well, Bill took me to an open Safeway and I bought $4.04 of groceries. He had to see Allan at Nell's, so I waited in the car, my head quite feverish by now. But when I got to mom's about 9:30 p.m., all the lights were out.

So I came home.

I retired before 10:00 p.m., but it's near 11:00 p.m. now ─ I can't sleep. I may make it tomorrow, or I may not.

I decided at last to cook morning's pancake, and should be back abed about 11:30 p.m.
Esther St. Jean was my truck driver ─ a wonderful woman in her early 40s.

Haulaway or Haul-Away was headquartered out in Surrey, so it would not be easy for me to get to. My mother Irene Dorosh lived in the Kennedy Heights area of Surrey ─ the house no longer exists, but its address was 12106 - 90th Avenue. My maternal Aunt Nell Halverson ─ Randy's mother ─ also lived in Surrey, but I am unsure now just where at the time of this journal entry. She lived in many different rentals over the course of those years. 

It looks to me now like this whole affair was becoming quite a fiasco. I had no ride to get me out to Haulaway. I don't know just who it was that Bill wanted to see at my Aunt Nell's home ─ she always had a very large household. I undoubtedly remained in Bill's car to avoid having to socialize and making my evening even later than it was turning out to be.

I remember that I used to cook up a pancake from scratch ─ just flour, baking powder, and eggs and milk if I had them. I would use a large frying pan or skillet, and just fill it right up with the pancake batter.

It was darned filling.

The morrow's journal entry has me curious, for I honestly remember none of this. But as usual, I will wait until tomorrow's post before reading the entry ─ I love reliving those entries as they happened day by day where the present date is concerned.
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