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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Antiobiotic Clarithromycin (Brand Names Biaxin and Prevpac) Warning │ Loneliness, Depression, and Early Death │ How Electroacupuncture Lowers Blood Pressure

Very early last evening while I was still upstairs here at my computer ─ possibly finishing up the day's post ─ my youngest step-son Pote approached me to solicit whether I was interested in having pizza ordered in.

Apparently he and his girlfriend Priyanka were going ahead with the scheme anyway.

So I threw in and gave him $10 towards an order ─ he opted to go for Domino's because it was cheaper than the better local Camy's Pizza.  The plan was to order two pizzas because it was expectd that my younger brother Mark would be home later and also indulge.

They placed the order and were told that it would take about half-an-hour.

I was still here upstairs at my computer when I heard Pote go to the door to meet the guy doing the delivery.  I guess Pote took the two pizzas, and I heard him call out to the guy who seemed to be hustling right away, "Don't you want your tip?"

I couldn't hear what the reply was as the fellow continued to distance himself from Pote, and finally took off.

Then Pote brought in the pizzas to his girlfriend in the kitchen, and an immediate fuss arose.  She quickly called Domino's, and I got the gist that there was a problem with the pizzas.

Well, I did go downstairs by this time, for it was almost 8:00 p.m. and time for my evening of T.V. and drinks.

It seems that one of the pizzas had been compacted down into one edge of the pizza box.  Our best guess is that maybe the box had fallen off the car seat and ended up edgewise on the floor, causing the pizza to sink down towards that edge ─ it was somewhat jumbled about upon itself, with lots of the toppings in a messy pile.

I never saw the second pizza, but I guess it did have a little rough treatment, too.  Mark had come home by then and opined that the second one was not an issue, in his drunken estimation.

But Priyanka was insisting on the phone that the full order had to be replaced.

It took some while, but this demand was eventually conceded to.

With another half-hour wait, of course.

Mark and I were watching T.V. when the second order showed up, and I heard Pote in discussion with the chap, who immediately agreed that the one pizza was definitely a tragedy.

So Pote got the two new pizzas, and the original order was taken away.

I'm not entirely sure, but I think that I heard Pote say to Priyanka that it was the same guy.

Anyway, some evening drama in the house, quite apart from the T.V.

I had four slices ─ my first meal of the day, apart from a wedge of cheese I had sliced off to eat in the mid-afternoon, and my day's two very rich hot beverages (creamy and nicely sweetened).

I cannot recall, but I may have made it to bed before midnight.

However, I got up twice during the night to drink down a quantity of water straight from the bathroom sink tap ─ I was unusually thirsty.

It was 7:55 a.m. when I checked the time this morning and decided to rise for the day.

We had been having quite light rain showers late last evening and over the course of the night, and they have continued to make a few appearances thus far over the day as I type these words at 1:48 p.m.

Much of my morning was spent setting up a new post at one of my hosted websites; and by 11:02 a.m. I was back in bed to ease my poor eyes and my abused frame ─ sitting on this metal chair, hunched over a low keyboard for hours, takes a dear toll.

Mark has been napping, but the accursed brown hound beyond our backyard fence has been somewhat vocal.  Mark's bedroom is on that side of the house, so he gets the heaviest dose of noise.

I want to express considerable irritation at a form I have been instructed to complete by the Government of Canada Pension Centre ─ the form is apparently required in order for me to have the monthly pension deductions stopped for provincial medical coverage for Pote.  He turns 19 later this month, and will no longer qualify to be my dependant.

Thus, it will only be my wife Jack and I ─ she will be my final dependant.  The rate of coverage for one dependant is less than for two or more dependants.

I had sent them an E-mail very late in October indicating that Pote would no longer qualify as my dependant, and that November is the final month in which he will be covered as such.

A deduction was taken from my monthly pension in October to cover him for the month of November.  I wanted to prevent a deduction being taken this month unnecessarily, since he is on his own come December.

The Medical Services Plan of British Columbia had already sent me a form that I returned to them, so they already know he isn't going to be covered ─ they said that they would set up his own account, and he'll be taking over responsibility of his own coverage thereafter.

So was that E-mail notification to the Government of Canada Pension Centre sufficient to get the deduction reduced from two dependants to just one (my wife)?

Oh, no.

I have to send them this form:  Medical Services Plan (MSP) Group Change Request.

Since removing him is the only change I want made, in section #1 I ticked the second-from-last box:
ADD, REMOVE OR CHANGE/CORRECT INFORMATION FOR A CHILD – On page 2, complete section 8 and, if you are adding a child, section 9. On this page complete sections 2, 4 and take this form to your Group Administrator to authorize (section 5). Provide photocopies of all applicable documents as explained in section 8 on page 2.
Well, I completed section #8 as best I could understand it ─ I am certainly not sending any bloody photocopied documents just to have him dropped as my dependant.  B.C. Medical is already removing him from my plan as a dependant ─ they had in fact contacted me about it. 

But the really aggravating portion of the confusing form is section #4 AUTHORIZATION – MUST BE SIGNED (DO NOT CHANGE TEXT OF AUTHORIZATION BELOW).

You will note that I have to sign it ─ but so does my wife!!!

Why?  She's my dependant, for Pete's sake ─ it's my pension, not hers, nor even ours!

Mine alone!

Why do I need her signature before a deduction for an overage dependant can be stopped?

She's in Thailand, and will not be back until November 21st.  By then, it will have been too late to have this month's deduction halted because the form has to go all the way to Matane, Quebec.  My pension will have already been processed and paid out by the time they receive it and get around to doing anything with it.

Bloody bureaucratic morons.


There is an antibiotic called clarithromycin (sold under brand names Biaxin and Prevpac) that has been reported to cause some dangerous and bizarre behaviour.

One such victim of the antibiotic was a 23-year-old police officer whose mental derangement came to a head on March 4, 2012 ─ you can read about him in this article published just over two years later that announced that he was suing the makers of the antibiotic:


Heck, just have a look at the host of known side-effects of the drug as listed at Drugs.comClarithromycin Side Effects.  Yet the website says, "Not all side effects for clarithromycin may be reported."

And there are still many prescribing physicians and pharmacists who are unaware of the full scope of problems this antibiotic can cause in people, and so it keeps getting liberally prescribed.
Transient CNS [Central Nervous System] events including anxiety, behavioral changes, confusional states, convulsions, depersonalization, disorientation, hallucinations, insomnia, depression, manic behavior, nightmares, psychosis, tinnitus, tremor, and vertigo have been reported during post-marketing surveillance. Events usually resolve with discontinuation of the drug. 

They mean to say that these side-effects don't always end when the antibiotic is discontinued?

By the way, that quote was taken from page 28 of this 48-page .pdf document on Biaxin.

Keep the names Biaxin and Prevpac ─ and of course, clarithromycin ─ in mind the next time you or someone you love gets an antibiotic prescription.  This may be one that needs intense monitoring during use.

I recognize that loneliness and depression are very much linked, but of course a person can be depressed for reasons entirely apart from loneliness ─ financial and sexual inadequacies will certainly do it, as will fading health.

Still:  "As a predictor of early death, loneliness eclipses obesity."

That statement is from this article:


The article inspired this essay:


It is a terrible thing for anyone elderly to be all alone.  It's not fair.

I am haunted by the memory of my own mother Irene Dorosh who lived alone in far-off Keremeos.  In early 2006, she was 89 years old; her husband Alex had died in early 2002.

My older maternal half-sister Phyllis had offered to our mother that she could come and stay with her ─ Phyllis (as do my brother and I now) was living in Surrey at the time.   

But Phyllis's home was cluttered; and her mother-in-law lived upstairs in the large house.  Phyllis was a widow, but the mother-in-law (and assorted adult children) were a constant presence. 

My mother didn't find that prospect at all inviting.  Rather, she wanted to come and live with Mark and I.

But Mark kept resisting ─ her presence conflicted too much with his liberal drinking.

My intention was that when I finally retired, I would move to Keremeos to stay with her.  I was newly married, and still waiting for my wife Jack to arrive here from Thailand.

But I was not to retire for another five years.  After my wife arrived in 2006, her two sons came in September 2008, so I had to work longer than I ever wanted to.

In mid-March 2006, my mother's younger sister Nell and her husband Earl went from Hedley to visit her ─ I think the three were to be continuing on to Penticton to shop and have lunch.

When Nell and Earl got to my mother's home, they were unable to get an answer, even though they were expected.  My mother was hard of hearing, though.

So Nell sent Earl around to the rear of the house where a sliding glass patio door was, and he was able to peer between drapes that were in place.

He could see my mother's legs slumped low from the chesterfield and sort of sprawled in awkward fashion upon the floor.

Police were summoned, and one officer managed to crawl through a bathroom window.  My mother was dead.

An autopsy later revealed that she had died of an aneurysm in her brain, but I believe that it was reported that she had at least one other waiting to erupt in her torso.

She would have had her 90th birthday in less than two months.  Also, she died less than three months before my wife arrived from Thailand, so they never got to meet.  My mother had always wanted me to find love, and was eager to finally meet Jack.

I often wonder what Mark thinks ─ if he ever reflects that he was responsible for our mother dying alone.  It certainly hasn't reduced his drinking.


Research is continuing on the efficacy of electroacupuncture to treat hypertension, or high blood pressure.

In a latest study on rats, it was discovered that this treatment released a type of opioid in the brain that eased the blood pressure ─ and the effect lasted for three days.

And without any of the side-effects that hypertension medications bring.


These researchers reported this in an earlier study published last year ─ one involving people:
In one group of 33 receiving electro-acupuncture on both sides of the inner wrists and slightly below each knee, the researchers found a noticeable drop in blood pressure rates in 70 percent of participants — an average of 6 to 8 mmHg for systolic blood pressure (the high number) and 4 mmHg for diastolic blood pressure (the low number). These improvements persisted for a month and a half.
That was quoted from this report on the earlier study:


There is more on the earlier study here:


This is definitely a better track to take than is that of hypertension medication, but I wonder on affordability?


Here is a fairly old family photo ─ the description just beneath is from the Google album where I have the scan housed:

That is my cousin Gail (née Hyatt) kissing someone I cannot identify, with her new husband Eugene just beyond them.

The setting is most likely somewhere in Calgary, back in 1974 or 1975.

I cannot identify the lady in the yellow gown.
The time has arrived for me to close out now with a journal entry from 41 years ago, back when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

I was renting the tiny affair in a house located on Ninth Street at Third Avenue.

I had a visit planned to go and see my mother who was then living in the Kennedy Heights area of Surrey.  The house no longer exists, but its address was 12106 - 90th Avenue.

To arrive there from my room would take about 1½ hours of rapid walking.

The evening prior to this entry, I had gone to bed at 6:40 p.m. 
WEDNESDAY, November 12, 1975

I feel well slept, arising a bit before 3:45 a.m., and leaving for 6 laps just past 4:15 a.m.

Today is the mail strike's 23rd; apparently Canada's previous national record was 22 days back in 1968.

I don't expect too much trouble with my sore calves when I leave directly for mom's at 8:00 a.m.; my friction rash still can make itself known.

Mom wasn't home when I arrived, having taken the car in for an alignment, but she was back within an hour of my coming.

Mark visited yesterday; apparently Cathy & Nell were annoyed over my not accepting their Sunday night offer.

I unquestionably overate today.

When I left for home, I felt hopeless and somewhat frustrated; I really need that lottery money.

I stopped at my summer sunning spot beside the tracks till after sunset, trying to get thru and convince my Creator of the seriousness of my need; I'll know by 7:30 p.m. if He felt, Hallowe'en, I am worth the test.

I felt quite lost.

And, I did lose.  Looks like I'll be abasing myself Friday during my special welfare appointment.

Bed at 7:30 p.m.  
I hiked over to New Westminster Secondary School for those half-dozen early-morning laps at the track.  I always ran in whatever pair of pants I was wearing, but I had been doing so much of that, I was developing a friction rash between my thighs from when my pants ─ usually denims ─ became damp with perspiration.  

My brother Mark must have told our mother about his girlfriend Catherine Jeanette Gunther and my maternal Aunt Nell Halverson being miffed at me.

The two gals had driven from 64th Avenue where Nell was then living to bring me back with them on a Sunday evening for a party that was going strong.  But I had already gone to bed ─ I was practicing very early hours.

Also, I had an especially nasty (to me) big pimple on the side of my neck.

Jeanette and Nell even tried to carry me out to the car, but I just would not go.  And so they had made the long drive for naught.  And so their irritation over me.

Clearly there was a lottery draw that I had involvement in taking place that evening of the journal entry.  

Part of my usual route were the railway tracks stretching between Scott Road (120th Street) at 99th Avenue, and Scott Road quite near to the Pattullo Bridge.  Several times in the Summer I had gone off into a brush-ridden field to sun myself, just adjacent to the tracks.

This would have been the stretch of tracks between Scott Road and Old Yale Road, and the field would have been in the direction of where the Scott Road SkyTrain Station now is. 

I don't know if the field is even there anymore ─ it has been too many years since I set foot upon that stretch of railway tracks.

I must have had an emotional prayer session there on my way home.  The Hallowe'en reference is lost to me now ─ I have no idea what I meant.

But it availed me nothing.  I have never in my life won a major jackpot.  

And the need for one is still as strong as ever.
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