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Friday, July 7, 2017

Acupuncture Trumps Pain Medication in Hospital Emergency Ward Study │ More Bad News for Sleep Apnea Sufferers

My younger brother Mark's need to sit up last evening and have more beer than is good for him served to keep me up longer than would otherwise have been the case.

This delay of his to repair to his bedroom often comes on the heels of a period of unconsciousness when he cannot muster the brain power to target his attention on the T.V. show that is playing.

It is as if he feels compelled to down the one or two beers that he missed out on while he was unconscious.

But he's the one who has to get up at 4:30 a.m. the next morning to start readying for work, so I suppose that he's welcome to abuse himself as he sees fit.

I didn't make it to bed until just after 11:00 p.m.

Sustained sleep is not easy these warm nights. I checked the time shortly after 5:00 a.m. and felt like rising, but I tried for further sleep instead.

I think it was 5:51 a.m. when I next checked the time. It took me three or so minutes to actually get myself out of bed and start my day.

I rather wondered why there was no trace of my eldest stepson Tho ─ he does not usually leave that early for work. When I went downstairs to make my morning's first hot beverage, I was to see that the door to his bedroom was shut ─ that generally signifies that he has yet to emerge for the day.

He never did go to work, and I don't know why. It is 4:24 p.m. as I type these words, and we have yet to exchange a word with one another despite both of us being home the entire day thus far.

At least my youngest stepson Poté went to work. He wasn't yet up when I rose, but he did get up some while later and quickly headed out the front door just after 7:30 a.m. to drive himself to work.

I spent far more of my morning than I ever intended in setting up a new post at my hosted Thai-Iceland website. Part of that process involves doing a search of Google News for topically-related items suitable for the post.

However, I found that Google has revamped that search feature, and it is now almost barren of returns ─ a feature they claim is deliberate because (they say) it formerly offered far too much, and this only bewildered users who were unable to weed through the extraneous material to find what was relevant to their purpose.

Well, now it's practically useless to me.

Despite my involvement with my work in that post set-up, I had an early exercise session out in the backyard tool shed, probably getting a start soon after 8:30 a.m.

Of course, my morning had a few other distractions, and those contributed to a later start at my sunning session than desired out on the backyard sundeck.

I commenced that session at 1:15 p.m.; and I think it was 2:25 p.m. when I wrapped it up. A good breeze kept the heat moderate.

I want now to post a few scans I made of some old photos belonging to my mother Irene Dorosh and her husband Alex. Unfortunately, I cannot identify where the photos were taken, but I would venture that they are from the late 1960s, or else the decade of the 1970s.


I had previously in recent months posted a couple of companion photos:



This is my mother's husband Alex:


And a shot of just the ducks ─ I am unable to tell if I know either of the two people in the photo:


Let's move on to something else ─ hospital emergency centres.

If you had to be taken to an emergency centre for some manner of treatment ─ and you were, of course, conscious ─ would you submit to acupuncture in place of pain medication?

I might be willing, depending upon what had befallen me ─ there is pain, and then there's pain!

Nevertheless, an Australian study claims to have proven that acupuncture alone was superior to pain medication, or even pain medication and acupuncture.

The following was a June 30 e-Alert from HSIonline.com, but I can find no trace of it in their archives:
What if emergency rooms stopped routinely administering addictive painkillers and instead started using acupuncture?

It may sound far-fetched -- but that's exactly what four Australian hospitals are doing in their ERs.

A study of 528 patients suffering acute lower back pain, migraines, or ankle sprains showed that acupuncture is every bit as effective in providing long-term relief as those risky pain pills that doctors hand out like lollipops.

What researchers from Melbourne's RMIT University found was that while only 40 percent of those offered either a pain reliever, acupuncture, or both experienced significant immediate pain reduction, the ones who were the most satisfied with the results after 48 hours were those who got acupuncture alone!

And over 80 percent of them said they would choose acupuncture again for pain relief.

Noting that acupuncture, despite its increasing popularity, is seldom used in ER settings, professor Marc Cohen, who led the study, said that this research shows this traditional Chinese therapy to be a viable alternative to "standard pain-relieving drugs."

Acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely thin needles -- which are generally painless -- into key points in the body. Its popularity in the U.S. dates back to President Nixon's visit to China, when James Reston, a New York Times reporter on the trip, wrote about receiving the treatment after emergency surgery for an attack of appendicitis.

And since that time, we've learned a lot more about its curative effects.

Along with its proven ability to control pain, other research has found that a specific type called electro-acupuncture (which uses a low-intensity electrical stimulation) can also lower blood pressure.

When researchers at the University of California applied the needles on both sides of the inner wrists and below the knees, it significantly lowered systolic readings (the top number).

And its effects lasted for a full 24 hours!

Another big finding for this ancient remedy has to do with helping those with early dementia and Alzheimer's.

The patients treated with acupuncture scored better on tests, and their disease appeared to slow, compared to patients given a drug used to treat dementia.

And who knows -- perhaps acupuncture will soon become a staple at doctor's offices and ERs everywhere. But you certainly don't have to wait for that day to take advantage of it -- especially if you suffer from chronic pain -- as finding a licensed practitioner in practically every corner of the U.S. is getting easier all the time.
They had given this reference:

ScienceDaily.com

If I had the sort of pain that had me moaning or wailing ─ or even screaming ─ I would hope they would just juice me up with morphine, and not mess around with acupuncture needles.

Until I read this next report on sleep apnea, I had not realized that actress Carrie Fisher had that condition listed as one of the predisposing causes of her death (and if that is news to you, see BBC.com: Carrie Fisher died from 'sleep apnoea and other causes'):

JacksDailydose.com

Here is another report on the sleep apnea study, but lacking the fervour of the report above:

Diabetes.co.uk

I wish I had the bucks to record myself on video one night just to determine how I may be faring at sleeping. I know I sleep poorly, but do I have apnea?

But let's close out now with a journal entry of mine from 41 years ago when I had better success at sleeping ─ I was 26 years old.

I was living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster ─ I was renting in a private home located on Ninth Street, and about two houses up from Third Avenue.

I was something more than a month into a three month contract of full-time employment with a New Westminster charitable organization called S.A.N.E. (Self Aid Never Ends) that is today known as Fraserside Community Services Society.

The very old building that had housed S.A.N.E. back then no longer exists, but it was situated where the New Westminster SkyTrain Station today spreads forth onto Carnarvon Street.
WEDNESDAY, July 7, 1976

I got out of bed at 7:15 a.m., as usual.

Effin' damn! I lost one of my best socks in the laundromat. At least I found Guardians of the Galaxy ─ now all I need is The X-men. My trip there was just after a pretty wet fall of rain. 

I'm going to be late at S.A.N.E. this morning!

David dropped in in the morning soon after Gilles showed up for a while. 

Dave apparently can move into a place on 1st St just above Royal for about $65 monthly. And Gilles said Danny McDonald was killed in a car accident; the kid is of a sick nature.

Took never returned from his lunch break.

About 4:00 p.m. I was called to the phone; it was Cathy. She said she was finished with my typewriter, and also said Mark dropped around a couple times for his sunglasses. I told her I planned to visit them Friday.

At Safeway I blew $2.86, and narrowly missed being seen by David who was ahead of me in the next line-up.

When I got home I decided to cut down on my bicep work, and am just doing maintenance work.

I recalled that I may also be missing August's War of the Worlds ─ if it is due.  

For the past few weeks some insect has been feeding well on me; at the left on my back at belt level is the worst mark, a raised red area about the size of a quarter.

I'm sacking out at 9:30 p.m.
I loved Marvel Comics!

I used to have to do my laundry at a laundromat that I believe was located up on Sixth Avenue, very near to the public library. I cannot remember where I would have shopped for my comics, though.

Philip David Prince was an old friend of mine who was at that date living in what were familiarly known as the Fraser Apartments ─ perhaps 115 Tenth Street, although that location doesn't look all that familiar on the Google map.

I generally did my best to avoid having his company at my room, so that would have likely been why I didn't connect with him at Safeway after work.

Gilles was a nice enough young French Canadian fellow who had worked part-time at S.A.N.E. in the past ─ as had I, possibly back into 1974. I have no memory of any "Danny McDonald," though.

The phone call I got at S.A.N.E. was from my younger brother Mark's beautiful girlfriend, Catherine Jeanette Gunther.

I had to research to learn about that War of the Worlds comic. It was actually a series featured in Marvel's Amazing Adventures ─ more or less issues #18 through #39, and featuring a super-hero character called Killraven.

Mention of the secretive biting insect makes me now wonder if I had a bedbug problem, but never knew about them, or what to look for. I likely just thought that a flea had taken up residence.
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