Category Archives: Medical

Surgery: post-op follow up

A guy walks into a doctor’s office and says, Hey, I need an operation, will it hurt?

The doc smiles like a Cheshire cat and says, No, no, it’s practically painless. Just a little pinching and discomfort for a few days.

Well, hell, says the guy, sign me up.

Two weeks after the surgery, the guy goes back to the doctor’s office for a look-see by the doctor.

How are you feeling, sir?

Better, finally.

What do you mean…

Well, aside from the tearing and burning and stabbing and hornets and hot match-heads, I’ve finally gotten to the point where I don’t want to hunt you down, strip you and wrap your groin in a bees nest.

Oh, I see. “Well, I’m not going to use you as a poster child for this operation…” — The doctor’s actual words!

Better and better everyday. I might actually be able to walk the stairs now without thinking someone just stuck a needle into my crotch.

-am

 


Seven days makes a week

It’s been just over seven days since my encounter with a mad man with a scalpel. Fortunately, I held my Stoic tongue and he only cut me twice — but in a most vulnerable location, one I use to pretty much to move my body in any direction. Gee thanks, doc.

Seven days and today is the first time I feel almost normal. No weird tearing sensation. Nor the six hornets all stinging in unison, three per side. Or the nauseating p-u-l-l of gravity at certain danglely bits. Mind you, I still ache for one of them flat icepacks. But, over all, I can finally imagine life without constant gut-clenching pain.

And to think, this was all quasi-voluntary. Sure, I’d mostly likely suffer in the future from some foolish lifting stunt. But to ask for such agony? I can only say that I’ve completed my “Man’s Cesarean” and look forward to drunken mud-bound tug-o-wars with the troops. (Anybody know any “troops” who need a crippled old programmer?)


What’s your pain level?

Hell, I don’t know, a three, maybe?

Turns out my imagined pain scale placed my number rather low. I considered a one to be a bee sting and a ten to feel like I was cutting off my own left hand with a rusty hacksaw.

Given such a context, yeah, my pain registered in at a three. Well, apparently my tape measure, pulled from too many movies, belied my actual discomfort. My three is their six. Once we aligned our rulers I finally received relief.

Pain is subjective. How long is a string? How deep your depression? How high your elation?

The surgeon showed up and apologised. Surgery doesn’t always run on time. I’m glad mine did, though.

Thanks for you guys’ kind thoughts.


Waiting for the surgeon

So, this guy is laying in a hospital bed waiting in prep for surgery. The nurse comes in and says the surgeon will be two hours late. The IV is in his arm. Everyone is on deck. Two hours to wait.

Does he get pissed? Does he curse the surgeon when he finally shows up? What? And risk an upset doctor? Hell no. I just have to lay here and wait, hungry and bored.


CorpPharma: Evil Incarnate

A while ago I wrote the attached post which explains when
open markets make sense (capitalism) and when social systems make sense (socialism):

https://anonymole.com/2017/01/07/when-open-markets-make-sense/

Subsequently, I was not surprised to find supporting evidence of this theory.

The CorpPharm company Pfizer, recently exhibited the exact behavior outlined in that post: If a life saving, life benefiting drug is not profitable, or about to be released for generic production, thereby reducing or eliminating the profit potential, then said drug will be abandoned.

Embrel is a drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis. An unintended side affect is that it most likely reduces or eliminates Alzheimers in those patients who take it (64% of those showing signs benefited). It’s about to have its 20 year exclusivity (another contentious anti-society factor) expire.

So, of course Pfizer won’t be investigating this drug for alternate use as a dementia reduction drug. It wouldn’t be profitable.

Fuck the millions of elderly who are susceptible.

Pharmaceuticals are the exact industry that should NOT be placed in the hands of capitalists.
“Give us your sick, your needy, your dying — and we will make them sicker and get rich doing it.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/pfizer-had-clues-its-blockbuster-drug-could-prevent-alzheimers-why-didnt-it-tell-the-world/2019/06/04/9092e08a-7a61-11e9-8bb7-0fc796cf2ec0_story.html


Earth: galactic laboratory

Here’s an alternative “Zoo” hypothesis regarding a solution to the Fermi Paradox. We’ll call it the Lab Hypothesis.

If you’ll recall, the Zoo Hypothesis is the idea that intelligent, space-faring cognizants exist and they, either a single species or a collective, have intentionally isolated Earth (we’re effectively quarantined) in order to allow humanity to sink-or-swim, as it were.

The Lab Hypothesis is similar, however, the determining factor is that outside intervention is not forbidden, only restricted. And that Earth is “mined” for the myriad lifeforms and organic compounds and molecules that are produced by those lifeforms.

Think, autonomous chemistry laboratory, which haphazardly creates and/or evolves millions of chemicals which are rare in the galaxy. These fabrications are collected by aliens (which might explain the errant sightings of spacecraft), and then sold/traded/used by other populations of intelligent races in the galaxy.

Consider that life is rare (so far — very rare). And that life itself is more capable when it comes to producing strange new chemicals. Even the most advanced AI-computers in the galaxy cannot calculate the working, stable combinations of elements that make up, say, vanilla, cinnamon, coffee, banana, okra, or cannabinoids, millions of chemical and drug compounds the corp-pharma industry searches for in the jungles of the world.

Life, nature, is just too good at making stuff up that works, on some level, to affect living beings, psychotropically, physically, or materially (spider silk for example).

So, Earth is a lab, and we’re lab-rats, and the thousands of spices, fragrances, liquids, intoxicants, etc. that we enjoy — our alien neighbors do too.

But they want to keep it a secret — and not risk polluting the petri-dish.

 


Changing the mind, again

I copied this from an email From Mr. Pollan. I’ll delete it (probably) when his book comes out in May, 2018. I’m a fan of Michael’s, I’ve read most of his books. And I’ll be reading this one.

I bothered to copy this here as the topic of “changing your mind” seems to be popular, one we’ve discussed here and on other blogger’s sites. Funny how society converges on the same thing at the same time. Maybe we’re already a hive-mind.

A Note From Michael Pollan
“A trip well worth taking, eye-opening and even mind-blowing.”
—Kirkus Reviews
Dear Readers,It’s been a while since I’ve written, but I have been busy reporting and writing a new book that I’ve just completed. I’m excited to tell you about it.

HOW TO CHANGE YOUR MIND: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence will be published in May. As the title suggests, the new book represents something of a departure for me—at least from writing about food.(As one early review put it, I’ve turned from “feeding your body to feeding your head.”)But as those of you who have been following my work for a while know, what unifies all my writing is a fascination with our symbiotic relationships with other species in nature, whether for food, beauty, or intoxication. I’ve had a long-standing interest in psychoactive plants and the age-old human desire to change the texture of consciousness. You may recall I wrote about cannabis inThe Botany of Desire and about growing opium in Harper’s several years before that.

The new book grew out of the reporting I did for a 2015 article about psychedelic psychotherapy in the New Yorker, called “The Trip Treatment.” I interviewed a number of cancer patients who, in the course of a single guided session on psilocybin (the main psychoactive molecule in magic mushrooms), had such a powerful mystical experience that their fear of death either faded or vanished altogether. I became curious to learn how that might be possible—how a molecule produced by a mushroom, of all things, could produce such a radical change in the mind of a human, such that death lost its sting.

So began what became a two-year journey into the world of psychedelics—LSD, psilocybin, Ayahuasca and something called 5-MeO-DMT. The book explores the renaissance of scientific research into these compounds and their potential to relieve several kinds of mental suffering, including depression, anxiety, and addiction. I spent time with neuroscientists who are using psychedelics in conjunction with modern brain imaging technologies to probe the mysteries of consciousness and the self. Several of the scientists I met are convinced psychedelics could revolutionize mental healthcare and our understanding of the mind.

But what I didn’t expect when I embarked on this journey was for it to result in what is surely the most personal book I’ve ever written. As you know, I like to immerse myself in whatever I’m writing—whether that means buying a steer or apprenticing myself to a baker. What began as a third-person journalistic inquiry ended up a first-person quest to learn what these medicines had to teach me about not only the mind but also my mind, and specifically about the nature of spiritual experience. This book has taken me places I’ve never been—indeed, places I didn’t know existed.

As you can imagine, I’m both excited and nervous to publish How to Change Your Mind this spring. I do hope you’ll check it out. I plan to post an excerpt on my website in a couple of months, and will alert you when I do. I’ll soon be updating the website with a rich array of resources on psychedelics. For now, though, here’s the advance review of the book from Kirkus, quoted from above.

I’ll be in touch more regularly in the next few months, to bring you news of the book as well as my extensive speaking schedule this spring. Hope to see you in person at one of these events.

All best,
Michael