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Saturday, June 13, 2015

May 2015 Alcohol-Consumption Study Misinterpreted by Media? │ Deadly Medical Power Morcellators

Last night I was in bed exceptionally early ─ just prior to 10:30 p.m.

However, my first break in sleep was no later than midnight; and I never did have any prolonged periods of deep slumber thereafter.

I probably rose this morning around 7:15 a.m.

My beer supply was down to three cans of Colt 45 (8% alcohol).  I could 'make do' for the evening, but there is never any guarantee that I will not have an especially miserable night's sleep and just not feel like going anywhere the following day.

So it is always prudent to do the resupply trip before it is utterly crucial.  After all, it does involve a four-mile round-trip hike; and those two miles on the return whilst toting a dozen cans of beer from each hand do pose something of a trial.

Also, I had a cheque from my younger brother Mark to deposit into my chequing account.  It was his half of our annual home insurance payment.  I had mailed a cheque for that payment on Wednesday, but my chequing account was more than $200 deficient in its balance to cover such a debit.

It desperately needed topping up before the payment cheque was negotiated.

I commenced work first, though, on a new post at my Lawless Spirit website.

It was only when I heard my younger brother Mark taking his morning shower that I stopped work and hurriedly prepared for my venture ─ I hate having to set off when he or my two step-sons will be privy to my activity.

Perhaps it is partially due to some shame I may feel that at the age of 65, I have to walk everywhere because I have never in my life owned a car nor a driver's licence.   

Concerning that Colt 45 beer, I noticed in the Wikipedia article that there is an image bearing a 6.1% alcohol claim.  I reckon that must be in the States ─ evidently Canadians can handle a stronger beer ─ here is a photo I have just taken of my earlier-mention three cans:

Just click on the photo to see an enlarged version, and the proof of this pudding.

It was 9:50 a.m. when I set off on the trek, and I walked slowly so as to benefit from the day's sunshine ─ there was no question that it was going to be another hot one.

I made the cheque deposit at the Surrey Place (Central City) Coast Capital Savings ATM and continued on to the government liquor store at 108th Avenue & King George Boulevard in Whalley.  

While paying for my beer, I chatted for a bit with the friendly lady manning the till.  She appears to me to possibly be of Native Canadian heritage, or however I should be labeling someone who would have just been identified as 'Indian' not all that many years agone.

I quite like her ─ she very much resembles a wonderful 'Native Canadian' I have known since the latter 1990s when I worked for Transport Canada.  Barb Hansen was my PWGSC Compensation contact, and we fast became very close.

I cannot estimate how many times she came to my rescue with a phone call when I needed Pay Office (PWGSC) help as a Compensation Advisor for Transport Canada.

Anyway, getting back to the gal at the liquor store.  She is probably a rarity in that she prefers that outlet location over any other ─ so I casually stated that she probably used to know Rob Kerr.

He used to work in that location for what seems to me like a couple of decades.

She agreed that she did know him, so I continued that I knew Rob and his sister Pat back when the twain were still in high school.  This seemed quite surprising for her.

She was able to confirm what I had long supposed ─ that Rob had retired at some point.

The only other notable experience I had during my beer hike was shortly after beginning my return, I spotted a couple of hookers trolling for cars.

One was stationed at a stop sign at 105A Avenue & City Parkway ─ I was proceeding along City Parkway, but on the opposite side of the street from her.  I never looked in her direction, and she never felt compelled to call over to me.

The other street walker was within sight of there ─ she was just a short distance along 105A Avenue, loitering where the fenced-off Tom Binnie Park playing field runs by that stretch of road.

I am quite sure I've seen her before ─ her hair is dyed almost blood red. 

After getting back home, it was not too very long before I needed to seek a nap.  I suppose I could have fought it off by sitting outside in the backyard and trying to see if earthing or grounding myself for 20 or more minutes would assist in reviving me, but I wanted to ensure a fuller restoration.

I may yet do another booze hike to the Liquor Depot near 96th Avenue & Scott Road.

...And now that I have accessed their website, I see that they have no flyer out featuring any sales, so I probably will not make the extra trip.  When they have sales, they undercut the government liquor store on some of their items.

I have not been to the Liquor Depot since early December. 

And I have not had any liquor since I finished off the 40-ounce bottle of rum my brother Mark got me for Christmas.

I quit going to the Liquor Depot in December because my financial situation had become so dire that I almost had to forsake drinking at all.  It was the bleakest Christmas Season that I can ever remember experiencing where finances were concerned.

Still...they might have something on sale ─ booze or beer.  It's rather nice having something extra to imbibe on a Saturday evening while I am watching T.V. by myself.

Besides, during the early part of last evening, both of my step-sons had a female friend here.  I know older Tho had his long-standing girlfriend Tiffany, but I have no idea who younger Pote had visiting with him.  Pote and his gal-friend were watching something on my laptop in the boys' den area ─ maybe a Netflix movie.

I think he already may have her back again this afternoon ─ I am positive I heard a female voice downstairs with him.

And quite apart from the extra drink, I don't expect that I will be exercising today.  Thus, the added walk ─ and Sun exposure ─ would be of benefit.

The Liquor Depot is about 1½ miles distant.


Speaking of booze and drinking, Dr. William Campbell Douglass II reacted to a recent published study that the media seemed to conclude had indicted alcohol-consumption where older people are concerned.

Here is Dr. Douglass report from about six days ago:

Don't fall for bogus new booze-hating study
The teetotalers are up to their old tricks, using a bogus new study to try to scare you away from booze.

But if you've seen the headlines that claim even a light or moderate drinking habit can hurt your heart, I've got some good news you're going to want to raise a glass over: The study proves no such thing!

The supposed analysis of data on 4,466 seniors finds that not a single person suffered any kind of health problem attributed to moderate booze.

Absolutely no one!

In women, a drink a night led to a very slight change in a measure of heart function called LV ejection fraction -- a change so small that I don't think there's a doctor alive who'd find it worth noting.

In men, 15 drinks a week caused a small increase in the wall of the left ventricular mass. This was also not all that significant, but more important is the fact that tossing back that many is no longer "moderate drinking."

And from that little nothing of a study, we get headlines like -- and I'm not making this up -- "Grandpa, Put That Glass Down."

Who writes this nonsense???

Well, "grandpa," I've got a better idea: Don't put that glass down. Pick it up, fill it and enjoy your drink -- you're earned it -- because the REAL DEAL is that moderate booze is the best "bad" habit you can possibly have.

The new study even proves it. Despite the extremely minor differences in heart measurements, the NON-drinkers were more likely to be fat and sick. They were more likely to have diabetes, and more likely to have low HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides.

Somehow, those facts didn't make headlines... probably because they don't fit in with the booze-hating, fun-killing, life-sucking narrative the media loves to cram down our throats.

So do what I do and tune those ninnies out.

Years of science proves that a daily drink or two can actually protect your heart and prevent heart attack and heart failure, especially if you're getting up there in years (the one exception of course is in people who cannot drink due to a health condition or certain medications).

The protections extend well beyond the heart: A daily drink or two can also prevent chronic disease including dementia, and even improve your longevity.

If that's a "bad" habit, then I don't want a good one.

Drinking to you,

William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.
Certainly, my three cans of (8% alcohol) beer each evening are probably exceeding what is deemed a beneficial threshold; and having anything extra like I might have done this evening would certainly align with what is deemed binge-drinking.

By the way, I found and linked to the "Grandpa, Put That Glass Down" article.

Another report on the study is at reuters.comTwo drinks per day may be harmful to elderly hearts.  

Aww, Heck! ─ It's nearing 5:00 p.m. as I type these words, and I want to watch Orphan Black at 6:00 p.m.  It's on again at 10:00 p.m., but that would require committing to sitting up until 11:00 p.m.

I don't want to do that.

So the hike for extra drink is officially off.

Several times in previous posts, I have included reports warning of the senseless dangers posed by the power morcellation medical procedure.

Well,  it seems now that one of the companies who produce and promote this nefarious tool ─ the power morcellator ─ may be prosecuted.

This  is a Health Sciences Institute (HSI) report published about five days ago:

A criminal cover-up?
Last year I told you about a dire warning from the FDA that laparoscopic power morcellators -- a medical device used to grind uterine fibroids and perform hysterectomies -- could spread aggressive cancer.

One of the device's largest manufacturers, Johnson & Johnson's billion-dollar Ethicon division, even promised to pull their morcellators off the market.

Well, you probably know not to expect too much from a company that's combined "ethics" and "con" in its name. And, sure enough, our government isn't going to be sending a letter of commendation to Ethicon any time soon.

It may end up sending a criminal indictment instead.

The FBI has opened an investigation into what Ethicon and other device makers knew about the cancer risks of power morcellators -- and exactly when they knew it.

One small-town Pennsylvania doctor says that he has proof that Ethicon knew about the cancer risks of morcellators for nearly a decade. And he just may have a smoking-gun email that could bring down a medical giant.

If you've heard of Dr. Hooman Noorchasm, you know he's a man on the warpath.

It's been two years since his wife, Dr. Amy Reed, had a morcellation surgery to chop up what were described as benign uterine fibroids. Just days later she learned that the morcellator had spread a previously undiagnosed cancer throughout her entire abdomen and pelvis.

And she wasn't alone. As Dr. Noorchasm -- an Ivy League-trained surgeon -- began researching morcellation, he learned that it was an open secret in the medical community that the procedure could spread previously undetected cancer cells.

"It was very clear to us that we needed to do everything in our power to stop this," he said in an interview with Medscape.

Dr. Noorchasm took to the airwaves to warn the public and demanded that the FDA ban morcellation. He even appears to be behind a recently confirmed criminal investigation opened by the FBI.

And right now, that investigation seems to be focused on one retired hospital pathologist in the small town of Lewisburg, PA.

You see, federal law requires that when a company or health professional becomes aware of adverse events, either from a drug or medical device, it must be reported. And Dr. Robert Lamparter, who was a pathologist at a small hospital in Lewisburg, claims he knows for a fact that Ethicon was aware of the cancer risk from morcellators since at least 2006.

After all, he's the one who warned the company.

Dr. Lamparter's hospital was regularly seeing cases of unexpected uterine cancers. And as a disease expert, he understood right away what would happen if a morcellator -- which literally tosses cells throughout your abdominal cavity -- was used on tissue that was harboring undetected cancer cells.

So he sent an email to Ethicon in 2006 warning of the risk and claiming that "if a morcellation is done, the patient's survival is jeopardized."

Ethicon admits that it received Dr. Lamparter's email, and claims it added a warning in the instructions for the device. But Dr. Lamparter called that tiny change nothing more than a "legal fig leaf" the company was using to hide behind.

Now the FBI is asking whether Ethicon and other device makers did enough to alert the FDA and to warn doctors and patients. But given the thousands of morcellations performed using Ethicon devices since 2006, the answer to that question seems obvious.

And Dr. Lamparter's revelation could be just the tip of the iceberg. Dr. Noorchasm, through his own investigation, concluded that device makers and surgeons may have known about morcellation's cancer risks for at least 20 years.

They simply decided that the risk was manageable and, according to Dr. Noorchasm, proceeded to spread cancer in up to five American women a day. It's just a reminder that "acceptable risk" depends on which side of the doctor's desk you're sitting at.

Shockingly, power morcellators are still on the market. Ethicon stopped selling its brand last year, but other companies have not.

And while the FDA stepped in last November adding a black box warning to the devices, Dr. Noorchashm calls that meaningless. It's a warning that surgeons don't bother to look at and that patients never see.

So it looks like women still need to be careful about making sure that any hysterectomy or fibroid surgery is not done using this electronic chopping device.

Because until it's totally banned, it will still pose a deadly risk.
To my thinking, the device is monstrous ─ and so are any companies marketing it.

I wondered on the fate of Dr. Amy Reed ─ she was identified as having had an undiagnosed cancer spread throughout her abdomen and pelvis back in 2013 when a power morecellator was used to hack up benign uterine fibroids.

She's still around, blessedly ─ however, I found this in an article from May 29:
Since her diagnosis, Reed has been through multiple surgeries and rounds of radiation and chemotherapy. She recently had a recurrence, a tumor in her spine.
It is no wonder at all that she and her husband are crusaders now.


To conclude today's post, an entry from my journal of 41 years ago when I was 24 years old, and living in a cheap housekeeping room in New Westminster.
THURSDAY, June 13, 1974

I had a pretty good burn-day at the lake; the blond foreigner seeking water for his van and the girl with the horses added interest.  

I never did exercise at Mark's.  Instead I drank there with he, Jock & Larry.  Mark got quite drunk; he drove me home, intending to eat.  'Tis 2:00 a.m.  Cathy looked very nice, scantily clad.
I would walk out to Burnaby Lake from New Westminster in order to sun myself ─ until I was nicely-colored from sunbathing, I was just too backward to do it anywhere public; and that's all that would be available to me anywhere locally in New Westminster.  Out near the lake there were lots of wooded areas where I could find a remote opening to strip down and sunbathe.

I can't say that I recall either of those incidents I mentioned, however:  "the blond foreigner" nor "the girl with the horses," although I almost do have a snatch of memory concerning the girl and her horses.

Apparently after I came back to New Westminster and my room, I then walked out to Whalley to exercise with the set of weights that I was storing at my brother's home ─ he was renting it with his beautiful girlfriend Catherine Jeanette Gunther.

I seemed to consistently refer to her as "Cathy" in my journal, but she preferred to use her middle name.

"Jock & Larry" were my cousin John (Jock) Halverson and his best friend Larry Ernest Blue.

It sounds as if Mark alone drove me back to New Westminster in his bid to eat somewhere.  However, I do not say if he just dropped me off at my rooming house and went on his way, or if I maybe ate with him.  I rather suspect that I did not accompany him.

I haven't the remotest doubt that winsome Jeanette looked most alluring whilst scantily clad ─ no surprise to read that after all of these years!
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