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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The FDA's Medication 'Watch List' │ Concerning Chicken Pox, Statins, and Shingles │ Some Yoga Benefits

After I had a bath early last evening, I emerged to hear what I figured was my eldest step-son Tho rampaging about in the kitchen downstairs.

But then I heard either an identifying cough or a muttered Thai exclamation ─ I forget just which now ─ and I knew that it was my wife Jack home from Vancouver. She was just here yesterday!

She was of course involved in doing some cooking, and said that she was also going to make her youngest son Poté some congee ─ he had not gone to work yesterday, but I sure did not notice him to be ill in any way. I think that he was just too damned tired to get up and go to work because he keeps such late hours.

Incidentally, the pot of now-cold congee is still sitting on the stove, looking pretty much as full as when I last saw it yesterday.

Did Jack come home here to Surrey just to do that?

She had bought one of those supermarket barbecued chickens somewhere, and made another dish revolving around the meat which she had labouriously pulled from the skeleton and essentially shredded. Her two sons don't like the chicken otherwise ─ it may be technically barbecued, but it tastes as bland as if nothing was used to spice it up whatsoever. Even I hate having to eat from one of those dully-prepared unfortunate birds.

Yet every supermarket seems to use the same flavouring method ─ I don't get it! I won't even buy one of those if I'm extremely hungry because the meat almost has a repugnant quality without proper spicing. I find that I don't even care for the smell of the barbecued bird ─ it may be okay when it's still very hot, but once it is room temperature it takes on that foul quality.

Anyway, Jack was only home for two or three hours. My younger brother Mark hadn't even gotten home yet from the bar or wherever he tends to end his evenings when he's out after finishing his day of work. And when I saw the gal off, she said that she would be back either today or tomorrow.

I don't understand this frequency, unless one of her sons has guilted her into thinking that she has to be around more often to do things for the lazy pair.

I'm pleased to say that Mark was a tolerable presence last evening as we watched T.V., although he did struggle with consciousness initially, losing hold of it for a time.

And after he headed on up to his bedroom for the night, it may have been as early as 10:41 p.m. when I made it to bed.

Well, well! Poté seems to have come home for lunch ─ I can hear him rustling about in the kitchen downstairs at not quite 12:45 p.m. Maybe he's having some of that congee ─ I hope so.

But returning to the topic of my night, I felt that I slept fairly well. I found myself awake enough shortly after 3:00 a.m. to check the time and opt to have a bathroom break and drink some water.

And it was something like 6:26 a.m. when I next checked the time, deciding then to rise for the day. I was initially bummed when I heard my eldest step-son Tho cough, for he should have already left for work almost a half-hour earlier. He's got a very bad cough from his second nasty cold already this year. Was I going to have him home all bloody day long like I had his younger brother yesterday?

Fortunately, he finally headed out the front door at something like 6:54 a.m.; and Poté followed suit three or four minutes later. I was to have the remainder of the morning to myself.

I noticed that it was heavily spiting rain outside when I went downstairs to make my day's first mug of hot blended instant coffee / cocoa powder. However, nothing much more was to come of that.

I wanted to get out and do some local grocery shopping at Deepu's No Frills supermarket about four blocks from here in the Cedar Hills shopping plaza (96th Avenue & 128th Street). But first, I applied myself and actually finished by just after 9:00 a.m. what is usually a normal day's work of content-addition when I spend time with one of my hosted websites ─ I am presently involved with a post at Amatsu Okiya.

That freed me up to ready myself; and by 9:46 a.m. I was on my way beneath overcast sky to do that shopping.

When I got to the supermarket's front doors, I saw several signs plastered on the glass that their debit / credit card readers were all down, and only cash transactions could be negotiated. I pondered going home, but then I decided that I would just walk over to the nearby Vancity Credit Union and withdraw $40 from the ATM there.

That allowed me to do the shopping that I wanted to get done.

One thing I bought was a purple cabbage. I want to see if I can successfully ferment it like my wife Jack has done twice now ─ once with a green cabbage, and the second time with bok choy.

I didn't follow her steps precisely, though. She's a stickler for rinsing her shredded vegetation twice ─ via a colander under a running cold-water tap. I dispensed with doing that, hoping that the more of the natural plant juices remaining will only enhance the end result.

I'm also unsure if I used the proper amount of salt, or if I covered up the cabbage with enough water.

Finally, she had her fermented product sitting in an enamel pot. However, I had so darned much torn-up cabbage that we did not have a pot large enough; and so I had to use a very large rectangular plastic tub with a defective lid.

I hate using plastic containers because of the damaging chemicals the substance leaches out into food, but I felt that I had no choice. I would have needed to use two pots, but the fermentation takes several days. Jack would undoubtedly need to use at least one of them when next she is home to cook.

Also, I don't want her to know what I am doing in case I end up with a tainted batch of cabbage that I have to discard.

Fingers crossed!


I took a break to have some exercise, and then indulge in my first meal of the day. It is now 3:13 p.m., and Poté never did return to work. A short day? Or is he playing pussy and feigned being too ill to finish the day?

Although the day has remained overcast, there has been some weak sunshine this afternoon.

Last month was the wettest and most sunless March since such meteorological records for these parts have been kept. In watching the news on T.V. early last evening, it was claimed that ─ depending how much more rain we might get this month ere it is done ─ the possibility was there for April to be the third wettest on record.

Earlier this month ─ late in the afternoon of Thursday the 13th ─ I took this photo of a naive ice-cream truck driver slowly drifting through our cul-de-sac:

I cannot imagine other than the driver's efforts that day proving to be naught but a sheer financial loss. I feel bad for anyone who has to do this as a living in these parts.


Even though it is a U.S. website, anyone taking medications could benefit from the FDA's Adverse Event Reporting System.

This April 3 article gives some indication of why:


Actually, this next article does a better job of explaining how the public can benefit, and even make the website a better place for visitors concerned about potential harms from their medications:


As that latter article says:
...Anyone can submit a report to FAERS. But here’s the thing — reporting to FAERS (unless you’re a drugmaker) is totally voluntary! If you tell your doctor about a reaction you had to a drug, he doesn’t have to report it to anyone. So, you can imagine that what’s included only represents a fraction of what’s really going on.

Even the FDA admits it receives just 10 percent of serious adverse reactions to drugs. But other experts put the figure as low as 1 percent.
And why on Earth would a doctor take the bother to report someone's drug reactions to that website? It's not his or her job to update the government's database, is it?

The article did not link to the page where you can check your own medication with a search ─ or even report your own adverse reactions to a medication. All it did was give the text, so here is that text turned into an actual link for your benefit: www.fda.gov/medwatch.


If you have suffered from a shingles outbreak, or if you take any kind of statin medication, or even if you received the chicken pox vaccine as a child, then the following article really ought to be something you carefully read:


That was very interesting to me that shingles arises in people who have had chicken pox, yes ─ but it shows up far more commonly in people who have been vaccinated against chicken pox!

Unfortunately, I don't even know if I've ever had chicken pox, so I don't know where I stand. But I sure as heck have no intention of being vaccinated against it.


If I had the time, I might consider exploring yoga ─ I am dreadfully 'unlimber' (stiff).

It's been shown to be of benefit for people with conditions like arthritis and chronic low back pain, as the following article delves into:


Unfortunately for me, there are many things that I should be doing, but have no time for ─ I would need to be wealthy or comfortably well off.

Instead, I find myself practically housebound as I spend many hours a day online vainly trying to derive a substantial second income.

That's got to change...and I think it will, come sometime in June. I have wasted enough of my life sitting on my ass blogging, often feeling fortunate some days to even see a measly penny show up in my AdSense account.

I am 67 years old ─ this treatment is far, far too physically punishing.


Is my wife Jack going to be showing up later this afternoon? I have no idea.

Consequently, I had best close out with one of my old journal entries now while I can.

On this date in 1976, I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster. The space I had was quite small, and I was renting it in a house located on Ninth Street, and about two houses up from Third Avenue.
SUNDAY, April 25, 1976

I didn't sleep too solidly, and finally got out of bed at 5:00 a.m. Actually, 6:00 a.m., for we were to have set our clocks ahead 1 hour last night.

Fantasizing of relief at one point in bed, I near stroaned.

The old man came round about 8:45 a.m. and like an asshole I let him in. He was reasonably sober then, but not after getting at my wine. I even gave him $1. But he swore, and fought; he even kicked me. 

Bill dropped in, but the old drunk chased him off and even went out after him, claiming he only kicked him in the ass.

And then he met up with the landlady and identified himself.

I am sick of him and do here swear he shall never again visit me.

It was 12:45 p.m. noon when the fool left, and I haven't cared so little about him in years. Death right now would be the best thing for a guy in his state.

Poor Bill. I tried to visit him later in the day, but got no response.

This has been a distraughtful day for me, and I feel ready for the security of bed and sleep at 8:00 p.m.
'Stroan' or 'strone' is a Scottish word for the act of urination.

I had suspected that it was my father Hector who had tried to visit me the evening before at something like 7:45 p.m., but I only rarely answered my door. The people dearest to me knew that and had an identifying knock, and/or else they would call out to me.

My father could be as miserable a drunk as anyone might imagine, and I see much of him now in my younger brother Mark.

The kick I claimed to have received would have been mostly token, for my father had terrible circulation ─ his ankles were utterly purple and scaling.

My old friend William Alan Gill lived little more than four blocks from my room, and well knew of my father. Normally I would have immobilized my father if he threatened Bill, but I likely was not dressed to be rushing off outside. My father had boxed as a young man, and was still formidable in that context; but I could quite easily wrestle him into helplessness, as I first learned back when I was around 18 or 19.

Despite my harsh wish that my father perish that day, it was not to happen ─ not that day. He was to actually die of a heart attack less than seven years later.

I miss him. and am just over 5½ years older than he ever got to be.
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