We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Up to 2 billion people on the planet are infected with tuberculosis - one third of the earth's population. That doesn't mean that they have contagious pulmonary TB, just that they contain the bug which has the capacity to attack them viciously at any time, especially if something weakens them, such as HIV, other illness, or malnutrition.
Most of the cases are in Africa and Asia - the so-called TB Belt which, in Africa, overlaps with the HIV Belt. (The combination of HIV and TB is termed "the perfect storm" of infectious disease.) However, over a million Americans are infected with TB.
I learned during my Yale Continuing Medical Education series this weekend that most HIV in the Northeast is transmitted by sharing needles, not via homosexual activity. I also learned that man-to-woman HIV is on the rise in the US. Woman-to-man transmission remains essentially impossible, apparently. I have been told that the rare reported cases were probably guys lying about their IV drug use or their homosexual activities.
In our New England cities, drug addiction, mental illness, HIV and TB is a common mix and a huge challenge to the dedicated docs who try to take care of these people, not only because of the medical difficulties but because these people are not reliable patients. Throw in a pregnancy too and you have a case that could take up half your time taking care of just one of these poor souls, who usually have few-to-no social supports in their lives but who also avoid, or will not cooperate with, government help.
Often, these folks break appointments as often as they make them because their lives are out of control, and nobody has the power to fix that. You send a visiting nurse, and they have moved out. "Lost to follow-up," until they reappear feeling desperately ill again.
During one of the talks, a famous clinical researcher on infectious disease just could not resist gratuitously throwing in a snarky Power Point slide mocking George Bush's intelligence (implicitly comparing it to his own, and "ours"). It always bothers me when these Ivy types (of which I happen to be one, along with Bush with his Yale BA and Harvard MBA) just assume that everyone in their audience has the same view of things...because we are, of course, the elite bien pensant folks, aren't we, all thinking alike?
Speaking of Moonbats, that reminds me of an email from a medical friend attending a medical conference and giving a talk in San Fran last week. He said that a young and lovely California doc approached him after his talk and said "I just needed to tell you that you have a special, beautiful aura."
I emailed back and asked "Was she hitting on you?"
He replied "I don't think so. I think it's just that California is a different planet."
I said "Guess so, because I think your aura is rather ordinary."
Photo:Robert Koch, the great man of infectious disease and historic benefactor of mankind, who discovered the TB, Anthrax and Cholera bugs, and created "Koch's Postulates" which made possible the conquest of most of the diseases that ravaged man through history.
I find it disturbing to read a book with perpetual "snark" about President Bush and the Patriot Act (and other asides) that have nothing to do with the story and, in no way, advance the plot. Usually you can find the author has never researched the patriot act, what the President actually said, or even the history being attacked, just repeating some "hollywood" (vote or die) nonsense. takes away from the book, which is really trash to begin with.
I was at the Yale School of Nursing International Nursing Collaboration conference this week, where similar topics were discussed:
The lead speaker, Bill Holzemer, provided an interesting glimpse at the funding and political realities of the fight against these diseases. Throughout his talk, especially when discussing the AIDS initiative from President Bush, PEPFARS, the audience seated against the back wall (faculty?) couldn't help snickering whenever Mr. Bush's name was mentioned.
The funniest moment for me was when Dr. Holzemer mentioned the early requirement in the PEPFARS language about abstinence programs (supposedly inserted into the bill by those dastardly Evangelicals). The audience was a-buzz with indignation. As the uproar died down, Holzemer said in a quiet voice that these programs work, and supplied evidence for same!
What stories! I wish I'd been there. I would have stood and loudly announced that I was offended. I wonder if all the good doctors would have responded to my political correctness in demanding MY feelings be taken into account? Presumptive idiots.
Carl Rogers sits facing a patient, high in a New York office overlooking Central Park.
The patient says, “I’m feeling sad.”
Rogers says, “You’re feeling sad.”
“I’m thinking of killing myself.”
“You’re thinking of killing yourself.”
“I’m opening the window.”
“You’re opening the window.”
The patient jumps, and Rogers leans out the window and yells, “SPLAT!”
My family insisted I see a shrink just because i like socks and sandals. When I got there and told the doc the problem, he said, "What the hell, I like socks and sandals too!" I said "Hey, great -- with butter, or with milk and sugar?"
Doctor, that's my job for the last 30 years, on an admission unit at the state hospital. Lost to followup. It is interesting how much of the profession believes that would be fixed if stupid people like George Bush would just give them more money.
Assistant Village Idiot