Category Archives: Health

Remission You Say

That piece of art right there is how I’ve felt for over 9 months now, but my Oncologist says I’m in remission. Which with Multiple Myeloma means I get to go on maintenance for, probably, the rest of my life. Maintenance means I get to keep taking the Revlimid on the schedule and dose I am on now, I only have to go to the hospital every 2 weeks for my Velcade shot, instead of every week. My Zometa is on the same 4 week schedule til the end of the year, and then I’ll be getting it every 3 months (this is the med that strengthens my bones which the Myeloma has eaten away. Big news is no more Dexamethasone, which means I might be able to sleep weekends, and not be up at 2:30 AM. 🙂
That’s my really big news for the week.

Is Sugar Toxic? –

If Lustig is right, then our excessive consumption of sugar is the primary reason that the numbers of obese and diabetic Americans have skyrocketed in the past 30 years. But his argument implies more than that. If Lustig is right, it would mean that sugar is also the likely dietary cause of several other chronic ailments widely considered to be diseases of Western lifestyles — heart disease, hypertension and many common cancers among them.

via Is Sugar Toxic? –

The Government Doesn’t Really Want to Help You with Your Medical Care


The state is trying to shut down a New York City doctor’s ambitious plan to treat uninsured patients for around $1,000 a year.

Dr. John Muney offers his patients everything from mammograms to mole removal at his AMG Medical Group clinics, which operate in all five boroughs.

“I’m trying to help uninsured people here,” he said.

His patients agree to pay $79 a month for a year in return for unlimited office visits with a $10 co-pay.

But his plan landed him in the crosshairs of the state Insurance Department, which ordered him to drop his fixed-rate plan – which it claims is equivalent to an insurance policy.

Muney insists it is not insurance because it doesn’t cover anything that he can’t do in his offices, like complicated surgery. He points out his offices do not operate 24/7 so they can’t function like emergency rooms.

“I’m not doing an insurance business,” he said. “I’m just providing my services at my place during certain hours.”

He says he can afford to charge such a small amount because he doesn’t have to process mountains of paperwork and spend hours on billing….

How our meat is grown, and why it’s killing us.

Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food – TIME
Read this and be scared.

The U.S. agricultural industry can now produce unlimited quantities of meat and grains at remarkably cheap prices. But it does so at a high cost to the environment, animals and humans. Those hidden prices are the creeping erosion of our fertile farmland, cages for egg-laying chickens so packed that the birds can’t even raise their wings and the scary rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria among farm animals. Add to the price tag the acceleration of global warming — our energy-intensive food system uses 19% of U.S. fossil fuels, more than any other sector of the economy.

And perhaps worst of all, our food is increasingly bad for us, even dangerous. A series of recalls involving contaminated foods this year — including an outbreak of salmonella from tainted peanuts that killed at least eight people and sickened 600 — has consumers rightly worried about the safety of their meals. A food system — from seed to 7?Eleven — that generates cheap, filling food at the literal expense of healthier produce is also a principal cause of America’s obesity epidemic. At a time when the nation is close to a civil war over health-care reform, obesity adds $147 billion a year to our doctor bills. “The way we farm now is destructive of the soil, the environment and us,” says Doug Gurian-Sherman, a senior scientist with the food and environment program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Then check out Food, Inc

and King Corn (if you have Netflix you can get it there)

Ranting about “Health” Care

Start Rant
Here’s a burning question for you–at least one that’s burning another hole in my head.
Why does (almost) everyone want the people who brought you the DMV, public schools, potholes, and, now, the farce that is C.A.R.S. (car allowance rebate system)–which ran out of money in 4 (that’s right F-O-U-R) days (although they have more funding for now), to run your medical care system for you?
I’m trying to wrap my head around this, since I’ve never really been able to understand people who think the government has the answer to all their problems, when most of the time it’s the cause.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ll be the first to admit that the medical care (I refuse to call it health care because it has nothing to do with keeping you healthy) system is a total fucked up mess, and that insurance companies, which have a lot of influence in government, are a big part of the problem, but, I don’t think that making the government your insurance company is the answer. Just look at the medicare/medicaid systems and how screwed up, and abused, they are.
I don’t have a solution, but, I while don’t think that government medicine is the answer, neither do I think that continuing with the status quo is either. It’s time to ‘think outside the box’, and to ‘change the paradigm’, to quote a couple of cliche terms. Medical professionals, and patients need to figure a different way–a health centric way to fix the system.
End Rant.

Kidney Stones Suck!

I passed a kidney stone today, and I’ve got to say that is one of the most painful experiences ever. I don’t ever want to do it again. (Although, since I’ve had one, I’m told I have a greater chance of getting more, bleargh!)
Here’s the culprit:

The dime is to show relative size
The dime is to show relative size

I’ve passed some more sand size ones since the pic.(The doctor gives you a strainer so you can save them, and the ycan see what kind they are, and figure out how to prevent more–although the greatest factor is hydration.)
The pain is gone now, thank goodness it passed relatively quickly.

Junk and Nonsense may be a cure for AIDs

A “nonsense mutation” in our junk DNA that is.

A group of scientists led by Nitya Venkataraman and Alexander Colewhether wanted to try a new approach to fighting HIV – one that worked with the body’s own immune system. They knew Old World monkeys had a built-in immunity to HIV: a protein called retrocyclin, which can prevent HIV from entering cell walls and starting an infection. So they began poring over the human genome, looking to see if humans had a latent gene that could manufacture retrocyclin too. It turned out that we did, but a “nonsense mutation” in the gene had turned it off at some point in our evolutionary history.

Nonsense mutations are caused when random DNA code shows up in the middle of a gene, preventing it from beginning the process of manufacturing proteins in the cell. Venkataraman and her team decided to investigate this gene further, doing a series of tests to see if the retrocyclin it produced would keep HIV out of human cells. It did.

At last, they knew that if they could just figure out a way to reawaken the “junk” gene that creates retrocyclin in humans, they might be able to stop HIV infections. The researchers just needed to figure out a way to remove that nonsense mutation and get the target gene to start manufacturing retrocyclin again.

Here’s where things really get interesting. The team found a way to use a compound called aminoglycosides, which itself can cause errors when RNA transcribes information from DNA to make proteins. But this time, the aminoglycoside error would work in their favor: It would cause that RNA to ignore the nonsense mutation in the junk gene, and therefore start making retrocyclin again. In preliminary tests, their scheme worked. The human cells made retrocyclin, fended off HIV, and effectively became AIDS-resistant. And it was done entirely using the latent potential in the so-called junk DNA of the human genome….

101 Pushups

is one of my goals in my 1o1 in 1001. Here’s how I’m going to accomplish it:
My initial test was 25 consecutive pushups, which means I fall into category 4 for my age group. The program is supposed to take 6 weeks, and I’ll be starting this Friday.
Take the test, and try this too.