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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Small U.S. Survey Finds Medical Students Use Google Frequently for Answers │ Why So Many Unnecessary Double Mastectomies? │ Decreasing Marital Sex...and Aphrodisiacs

My younger brother Mark retained his wits last evening, so I sat up a little later than I otherwise would watching T.V. programming with him via our Android TV Box, It was 11:59 p.m. by the time I was in bed.

There came a point where I found the need to stroan approaching some urgency, but I held off because I was sleepy and the air somewhat chilly. When I finally decided to use the toilet for some relief so that I could more comfortably get back to sleep, it was 1:50 a.m.

I opened the bedroom door ─ and saw that the bathroom was occupied. It was my bloody annoying youngest step-son Poté. For all I knew, he was there for the long haul because neither he nor his older brother seem able to do something even as simple as evacuate their bowels in under a half-hour.

And yet they always come to the upstairs bathroom beside my bedroom to do it ─ they never use the toilet in their den area downstairs where they both sleep.

All I could do was return to bed and make myself as comfortable as I could. I would have needed to dress in order to check out the availability of the bathroom downstairs, for I never know when Poté has his girlfriend over to spend the night with him.

If she was there, then I would be unable to use the bathroom ─ I was not about to parade past her where she would be lying in bed awaiting Poté. And if she was there, then my only other option was to go outside and pee.

The whole fuss would have only eradicated all hope of returning to sleep anytime soon.

It was infuriating to be inconvenienced like this ─ and it happens very often. But I worked at letting loose of my ire, and sought to relax and wait.

I had my earplugs in place, and was never aware of just when he vacated the room. Too, I likely lost a little consciousness as I waited. It was around 1:25 a.m. when I checked the time and decided to take a look ─ the room was available.

Overall, it was a night of fractured sleep. I never enjoyed any lengthy bouts of slumber, but at least I was always comfortable lying there in bed.

I think my final time-check of the night was around 6:31 a.m. It was time to get up, make my day's first mug of hot blended instant coffee / cocoa powder, and get to work upon the edit I am involved with of an old post at my Siam-Longings website.

My eyes felt 'scratchy' or 'gritty' and somewhat burning for want of adequate sleep. I can't say that Poté was at fault for all of that, however. It seems to be my lot to sleep ill.

Anyway, I got the work done on the post that I felt I needed to get done this morning. And then I brunched. My only hope of accomplishing much else today would be after benefiting from a nap, so at 10:57 a.m. I was back in bed for a little over an hour.

My brother Mark had been up before I had ceased work on that post, but he seemed to seek his own nap right before I sought mine. And when I got up, I found him to be gone ─ but Poté was back in the damned bathroom. I had to use Mark's ensuite bathroom.

I expected that Mark had gone for the day, but after I had prepared my day's second hot beverage and was looking through the morning's Vancouver Sun, he was back home. He must have been out buying something he required, for he appeared intent on some yard work such as weed-eating. The day, after all, was a fine blend of Sun and cloud.

First, though, he angrily addressed me concerning the absent door lock to the small tool shed in the backyard. I had to remove the lock last December after Poté went out there one snowy Friday evening for a shovel to deal with snow in the drive-way ─ he snapped off the key in the lock trying to open the shed door.

And he never did anything about it in all this time.

From what I have read, a locksmith could easily extract it with a specialized tool and cut a replacement key. However, I do not drive, and I do not know of any locksmith businesses ─ at least, nothing within reach on foot.

Whereas Poté ─ who drives his own car ─ works five days a week at a sporting goods shop in Guildford. He could easily spend some time checking out that complex for a business who might be capable of engineering the tricky feat of extracting the broken key.  

But in his continuing irresponsibility, he has never bothered.

And so it was that I had to shield him from being directly implicated as the culprit behind breaking the key in the lock. Mark directly asked me who was responsible, but I only explained what had happened ─ that one of the boys with good intentions had gone out there on a December evening to get a shovel to shovel snow with.

Mark seemed to leave it at that.

But serving as Poté's shield is not a role I find at all palatable. He needs to be responsible.

I wish to leave this discussion of the day thus far with the following photos that were taken last Fall when my wife Jack charged up the cost of a trip back to Thailand so that she could see her mother once again ─ her last visit home ended in the early part of March 2013.

Their home village is Nong Soong, which is maybe a 15-minute drive from the city of Udon Thani. My best guess is that the following few photos ─ possibly taken on November 18, 2016 ─ were taken in one of the shopping complexes in Udon Thani:

This is my wife Jack:


Do you ever turn to the Internet to see if you can find medical information concerning some symptom you may be wondering about?

I know that I do, despite reading and hearing that the Web is no place to get a diagnosis.

Well, it seems that even the majority of medical students do it, too. Here are a couple of reports concerning a survey done in the States:



I don't have an issue with doing this, as long as information gained is verified.

It's not just diagnosing symptoms, but even seeking clues to treatments that I turn to the Web.

And what's the harm in it, as long as the condition is not life threatening? If we turned to a doctor for an answer to absolutely every symptom or treatment, doctors' offices would have lineups stretching down every street.

It's just not feasible. We have to look after ourselves as best we can.


More data is proving that ─ at least in the U.S. ─ many surgeons are performing double mastectomies when the procedure is unnecessary.

Note these reports:






To be utterly frank, I cannot even imagine being in that fix ─ a confirmed active breast cancer in one breast that will require a mastectomy. Would I opt to have the second breast removed, too...just in case?

I am not going to sit here and speculate what I would do ─ it is impossible to be accurate about what I would choose.

But it certainly does seem that some surgeons are not doing enough to assuage the anxiety of the women confronted with the loss of a breast who may be freaking that cancer will just appear in the 'good' breast one day, too.


The following article is far too brief, touching upon how it appears that ─ again, in America ─ married couples are having sex less frequently than ever before; as well as some mention of two potential aphrodisiacs:


I suppose one would have to refer to the cited studies to gain a sense of just what potencies of the two aphrodisiacs are required in achieving best results, but I haven't the time today to do that level of scrutiny myself.

Gosh, if I was not such a financially limited pensioner, I would explore some of the natural plants mentioned in the following section that I am copying from a reference titled A Review on Plants Used for Improvement of Sexual Performance and Virility:

Ayurveda and the Concept of Aphrodisiacs
Traditional Ayurvedic treatise classified aphrodisiac in the following five categories, a few plants have been provided as references for each kind of the therapeutic class defined [3].
  1. Drugs which increase the quantity of semen or stimulate the production of semen for example, Microstylis wallichii, Roscoea procera, Polygonatum verticillatum, Mucuna pruriens, and Asparagus racemosus.
  2. Drugs which purify and improve the quality of semen for example, Saussurea lappa, Myrica nagi, Sesamum indicum, Vetiveria zizanioides, and Anthocephalus cadamba.
  3. Drugs which improve ejaculatory functions for example, Strychnos nux vomica, Cannabis sativa, Myristica fragrans, and Cassia occidentalis.
  4. Drugs delaying the time of ejaculation or improving ejaculatory performance for example, Sida cordifolia, Asparagus racemosus, Cinnamomum tamala, Anacyclus pyrethrum, Mucuna pruriens, and Cannabis sativum.
  5. Drugs arousing sexual desire, namely, Withania somnifera, Asparagus racemosus, Datura stramonium, Anacyclus pyrethrum, Hibiscus abelmoschus, and Opium.
Having discussed the Ayurvedic basis for the role of Vajikarana herbs, it is important to understand the role of modern pharmacology and an insight into the control of the sexual behavior in the human body.
The reference given in that excerpt for the list ─ i.e., the reference indicated as [3] ─ is "Singh G, Mukherjee T. Herbal aphrodisiacs: a review. Indian Drugs. 1998;35(4):175–182."

I am only interested in a couple of those categories, but I still haven't the resources to be off procuring a steady supply of diverse herbal samples or extracts. I can barely afford the several nutritional supplements I try to keep in stock ─ sexual supplements are far beyond my reach.


The afternoon became mostly sunny ─ had I the time, and if I was home alone, I could have spent time sitting out in the backyard benefiting from the sunshine (instead of having to deal with today's blog post).

By the way, Mark did use the weed-eater; but he also wandered all over the front and back yards administering a weed killer that I expect contains Monsanto's dangerous glyphosate.

I had been digging up dandelions; or when pressed for time, just pulling off the flower stems and tossing them into the compost bin. I reckon I won't be out there anytime soon handling those weeds now.

I will also need to be cautious about where I place my bared feet anytime I am out back sitting in a chair and basking in the sunshine.

I close 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. I was renting in a house located on Ninth Street, and perhaps two houses up from Third Avenue.

The day before had been my first working full-time for S.A.N.E. (Self Aid Never Ends), a New Westminster charitable organization. Today, S.A.N.E. is known as Fraserside Community Services Society.

I had worked there for many months as a one-day-a-week part-timer, swamping on their blue pick-up truck. However, the employment grant they had hired me under had expired, so I had been released.

However, two days prior to this journal entry, I had been offered a full-time contract ─ possibly of a three- or four-month duration, but I am unsure of that just yet. I don't even remember this full-time employment, so I am learning about it as I present each of these journal entries.

Unfortunately, I absolutely hated that first day. I was assigned to work within the shop, and had absolutely no duties. The day dragged abysmally, and my life seemed worthless as the hours crawled by pointlessly.   
THURSDAY, May 6, 1976

I arose nearly 6:25 a.m.

The S.A.N.E. truck goes to Mount Curry today, a most sunny day by all appearance.

I find due to lack of time I am going to have to curb my appetite since I cannot exercise as was I wont.

At least my morning at work didn't drag as badly as yesterday.

At lunch I bought some vegetables at Safeway and brought them home; hence I believe I'll wait and shop Sundays with Bill, for the walk and heat are too taxing.

Well, my day's over, and I rue the morrow and my return. My fitness pursuits are sheer vanity. I haven't the time, equipment, food, nor the energy and enthusiasm. How I hate this farce!

Tom took me to his place near the Brunette Freeway overpass to kill some afternoon, giving me a beer and sharing 2 joints. But I feel I can't go on. Money is not as important as my freedom of time; I wish I had never responded to Esther's note. My face exudes oil all day long till I look covered with a sheen of sweat; and my complexion is trying to break up on me.

Oh, for freedom! What I wouldn't do for God if He'd but deal with me as I pray. Wednesday seems so remote. And what if I don't win in the Western finals?

Last night I promised Bill I'd come over again, and this I did; however, I broke the promise to Norman's mother about calling tonight.

Bed at 11:15 p.m.
It was a note from Esther St. Jean ─ the dear woman in her early 40s who had often driven the truck I swamped on when I worked at S.A.N.E. before ─ that I had found on my door two days earlier telling me of the working opportunity, and asking me to phone her.

My normal daily routine at my room involved various exercise sessions throughout the day, and I was an avid reader of fiction and non-fiction. This new role at S.A.N.E. was almost like being imprisoned for the day ─ I could do nothing that I would normally have done, and I felt that I was fast losing my fitness with this enforced inactivity. 

I have no memory of my co-worker Tom. He must have had a car if he took me to his room or apartment or whatever he had that afternoon just so we could have a break.

I rather forgot how badly my face used to seep oil ─ especially my forehead and my nose. It really would bead up via the pores of my nose ─ I just hated the condition. Complexion breakouts were too common.

I honestly believed that I had the hope of winning big in the Western Lottery that was scheduled to be drawn the next Wednesday.

My old friend William Alan Gill lived perhaps little more than four blocks from my room. He was renting a bachelor suite; and because he had a steady job, he had a telephone and a car. Sundays were when he typically went grocery shopping ─ he often did so with his mother Anne Gregory's assist.

When I had visited Bill the evening before this particular journal entry, I had tried to phone Norman Richard Dearing, another old friend who was then living out in Surrey. He was looking for work, and had hoped that maybe he might be able to get hired at S.A.N.E., too. And so he had asked me to give him a call that first day after I finished work.

Well, when I phoned for him from Bill's suite, Norman was not home. His mother answered, and for some reason was very talkative ─ I wrote that she and I talked for about half-an-hour.

That surprised me when I read it, for I don't even remember her. I only remember Norman's father ─ he always seemed aloof and unfriendly.

Anyway, I guess I was not in a social mood, and didn't want to try and phone Norman again. I had kept my promise as he had asked me to ─ it was not my fault he was not home when I called the previous evening. I probably didn't think that his mother's invitation to try phoning back on this new day was something I had to honour.
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