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.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, November 2. 2005
Getting some Tamiflu for your family and loved ones is simple insurance. You pay the $95. for a box for one person, and you pray that you will never need it. Or you can just hope that Mommy Government will or can miraculously save you from a pandemic. But Nature is far more powerful than any government. I, optimistically, doubt we will need it - but I have mine. It's a lot cheaper than dying: compare the cost with the cost of a coffin. Some hedge fund, you just have to imagine, is already long the funeral industry, just in case. And you know those guys have the medicine: they ain't stupid.
Tuesday, October 11. 2005
Medical Advice or a Stock Tip?
These people make a medical mask which kills the bird flu virus. No, I know nothing about the company and don't even know whether they are public or private, nor do I have time to find out. Alas, they do not make them for birds.
Monday, October 10. 2005
Call Your Doctor Today
Call your doctor and ask him to stock up some Tamiflu and/or some vaccine for you and your family. While its effectiveness may be questionable, Tamiflu is all we've got. You have two choices - "Let the govt take care of me" like the dopes in New Orleans, or take care of it yourself like a grown-up. With luck, you won't need it, but you might.
Thursday, October 6. 2005
The trout get interested in food again, in the fall. Gwynnie is the big fisherman, not me, but I will be up there in the Adirondacks towards the end of October for a Cast and Blast (trout and grouse) long weekend. And we will of course stop by to see Fran Betters, inventor of the AuSable Wulff, rod-maker, and generally eccentric fellow, who is the proprietor of the Adirondack Sport Shop in Whiteface, pictured here.
Sunday, October 2. 2005
Saturday, October 1. 2005
Diet and Cancer
I forgot to link this piece in the NYT earlier this week, concerning what is known about the relationship of diet to cancer. It's a question about which I am frequently asked by patients. There is very little definite knowledge on the subject, despite what we hear periodically on the news. Take all that with a grain of salt, because generally reporters don't understand this sort of information, and they know nothing about statistics and causality. NYT piece here.
Apropos of this subject, my dear oncologist friend Dr. Boyd has just written a book - The Cancer Recovery Plan - on the subject of cancer recovery, inclduing diet, which I commend to you. Check it out here on Amazon.
But remember, dear friends - whatever you eat, however you live, you will die, eventually, from one thing or another. Carpe diem.
Wednesday, September 28. 2005
What is "transgender"?
The question came up at dinner with friends Saturday night. Lots of the wives were Smithies (in their 60s+, dare I say?) and they were talking about how their Alma Mater had become a haven for the sexually confused and deviant. They were nostalgic for the old Smith days of weekend trips to Yale and Dartmouth for a wholesome romp and some drinks and hopefully a husband. By skillful application of their charms, they all married very well indeed, and relatively happily too, if appearances are any measure (which they aren't).
I had to admit that I had heard of transgender, but didn't understand it at all. So I tried to read up on it, and I still do not quite get it, but I can see that it all stems from this idea of "gender," a recent concept, sort of a wierd one, introduced by Dr. John Money, a shrink and a famous sex researcher at Hopkins. The notion is that one's anatomy and one's psychology are not always in sync. But I can reach back to medical school and psychiatry classes and, as I recall, Freud said that humans are all mixed up and perverted, psychologically anyway - whether it's conscious or unconscious, so I do not find the fact that many or even most people fail to fit a male or female stereotype particularly interesting - I never met anyone who did, unless they were either putting their best foot forward, or play-acting. We are all made differently. And when it comes to sex change operations, I would no sooner get near one of those than to an abortion. For me, such things are not medicine - they are barbarism and not any part of the Hippocratic Oath I took - which I take to forbid abortion by physicians, in addition to the famous forbidding of cutting "those laboring under the stone". (That was for lowly surgeons, not physicians.)
So as not to look stupid, among the things I read was this piece by Carl Bushong, which I found to be basically happy horse s-, basically true things about people but drawing drastic conclusions from superficial psychology. And this "true self" stuff sounds a little too pop-psychology for me, a little too self-involved. (I guess everyone is kinda transgendered, but who worries about it? Well, I guess adolescents and young folks do a lot of navel-gazing, especially where it's in fashion. Still, if youth wants to navel-gaze, I'd suggest that they worry more about their character and about how they plan to make a living than about their "sexual identity" - if such a thing even exists. The kids today are spoiled, self-indulgent brats: didn't Socrates say that? And, in Socrates' day, seems like all the young folk were transgendering themselves silly in the gymnasium - the fellas, anyway.) But, at this point, I am out of my league and will ask Dr. Bliss to take this one on for me.
Friday, September 23. 2005
Avian Influenza - Bird Flu
Bird Dog has forwarded me posts by Instapundit and Rick Moran, both of whom have been keeping an eye on the Bird Flu happenings in Asia and Russia. Rick's series of pieces on the subject here. Here's my brief medical background on the story - kindergarten virology.
Viruses are hardly living things in the usual sense. They are tiny packages of genetic material, either DNA or RNA, in a protein wrapper. They are inert until they enter their host (which can be an animal, plant or even bacteria), at which time they enter the cells of the host and replicate. Thus they are obligatory parasites, and each virus has a preferred host. The photo is an electron micrograph of a human influenza virus, in which you can clearly see the helical genetic material inside the spiky protein package.
There are thousands of virus varieties, and most do not cause disease. After all, it is not in the interest of a parasite's future to kill or seriously tax its host. For example, the usual Avian Flu virus typically lives in the GI tract of wild birds without causing any trouble.
Animals protect themselves naturally against disease-causing viral invasion by creating antibodies – killer proteins – which attach themselves to the protein “antigens” in the viral wrapper. However, the animal must have time to create such effective antibodies (known as "immunity") before it dies. Immunization comes from either surviving the disease, or is induced via vaccines, which contain virus surface proteins, permitting antibodies to be produced.
The family of influenza viruses, all of whom use vertebrates as hosts, are among the most commonly associated with disease in humans. There are three varieties of flu virus, Types A, B, and C, and all can infect and cause disease in humans. Type A flu viruses can infect many varieties of animals but their natural host seems to be wild birds, hence “bird flu”. Subtypes of Type A flu viruses are named by the proteins (antigens) in their wrappers. “H5N1” is the one with which we have become concerned.
The problems with viruses and disease are that 1. not being alive, they cannot be killed with antibiotics, and 2. viruses change readily through mutation, altering their infectiousness. They change through “antigenic drift”, which are slow minor changes (of the sort that render a flu vaccine from 2004 ineffective against a new flu “strain” in 2005), and through “antigenic shift,” which are abrupt major changes. Avian flu is prone to both. Thus avian flu has changed to become an infectious disease in their bird hosts, mostly domestic poultry but increasingly in wild birds too. And thus avian flu has already mutated so that it can cross the "species barrier" - to be able to reproduce in new hosts - so as to be able to infect man and other animals.
To date, H5N1 requires physical contact with infected bird material to cause infection in man. There have been dozens of such deaths in Asia over recent years and, when it occurs, it seems to have a 55% mortality. However, infectious disease experts predict that a mutation will occur to make H5N1 contagious – ie spread from human to human in the air, like the regular influenza we are familiar with. Because there is little natural immunity to this virus among humans, such a mutation will create a "pandemic" – a widespread and dangerous epidemic. Jakarta is currently the focus of concern.
Why aren't more people jumping up and down and screaming "the sky is falling" about H5N1? Well, there is this little thing called "denial" - "New Orleans will never flood"; and there is a sense that the infectious disease folks have cried wolf in the past; plus it's all complicated and far away - and we don't think the break-out has happened, yet. Should we wait for the levees to fail before we get excited, blaming, and planning? This is an historic opportunity for public health organizations to get in front of a major problem, and I suspect that they will. Australia has just issued a warning, and the business world is on top of things - see this week's conference hosted by Deutsche Bank.
What can be done? First, cases, when they occur, need to be quarantined (which would have saved millions of lives worldwide with AIDS). Second, people in an at-risk area need to be immunized. Currently Jakarta has 10,000 vaccine doses, and 12 million people. Let us all hope that the vaccine factories are working overtime. Third, anti-viral drugs need to be warehoused on a massive scale, even though their effectiveness is unclear against H5N1. This disease could go global very quickly, once it starts. We have been forewarned, and we know what to do to try to minimize a danger which man does not have the power to prevent.
(One last thought: Those of us living in the secure and highly comfortable USA have become a bit arrogant when it comes to the power of nature. We would like to imagine that, when bad things happen like hurricanes, crime, earthquakes, plagues, war, ordinary diseases, accidents, bad luck, or plain death itself, someone dropped the ball. No. We are a little transient part of nature, and our proper response is one of awe in the face of nature's power in relation to ours. Nature is bent on killing each one of us, in time, and our species too, eventually - God or no God, government or no government, doctor or no doctor, vegetarian or carnivore, good or evil. We are created to be destroyed, which is a strangeness which goes far beyond my job description and my pay grade into a realm which I view as theological hard-hat territory.)
Sunday, September 4. 2005
A Call for Physicians in NO
Please, fellow bloggers (and normal humans, too) - help me spread this info around. Guys and gals in group practices with good coverage can probably get away for seven to ten days or so. Maybe senior Surgical and Medicine Residents, too. From the Medscape.com home page:
A call to Physicians and HCP's: The Office of The Surgeon General and the Office of Public Health Emergency has provided a web site for healthcare professionals who wish to volunteer for relief efforts (https://volunteer.ccrf.hhs.gov). The Louisiana Governor has suspended the state licensure requirements so that a physician from out of state only needs a valid medical license and a picture ID in order to help out. Those of you in the field, send us your photos and stories for possible publication in our Hurricane Katrina Alert Center. Contact our editors with your full name, email address, hometown (city and state), a caption for the photo, and your permission for the photos to be published online. Or join our discussion on volunteer opportunities and how health professionals can aid in relief efforts.
Wednesday, August 24. 2005
Telling a young, seemingly healthy patient that they have terminal cancer
Every physician has had to do this hundreds of times, but Dr. Bob wrote it down. "How do you deliver a death sentence?" Dr. Bob explains how he does it. I wish I had written this piece, but Bob did it better than I could have done. The saddest part is always trying to find a way to offer hope, when you know that, statistically, there is none. We sometimes feel like liars, but we need to believe in the power of hope and prayer, despite the terrifying inevitability of the truth of the numbers. There's a lot more to being a doctor than playing golf, folks. Trust me.
Monday, August 1. 2005
Restless Leg Syndrome
Known as the most common disease nobody knows about, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) effects 6-9% of the population, to varying degrees. Typically producing a deep feeling of leg discomfort at night, relieved by motion, when it is severe RLS can interfere with sleep and cause daytime drowsiness. It also can cause significant discomfort, approaching pain, on long flights and train trips when movement is restricted. No-one dies from it, but it can be a real annoyance, and it is often mis-diagnosed or dismissed.
I myself have a mild case of it, and it makes me nuts on airplanes, mainly. I cannot sleep on planes and like to stand up next to the bulkheads. For the many who are bothered by RLS, there are effective treatments now if it bothers you enough. Neurologists tend to be the ones who would be familiar with the new treatments for this poorly-understood ailment. The latest information is available on Medscape.com, which I cannot link right now.
Friday, July 29. 2005
Abortion: One Doctor's View
I have participated in my share of D&Cs, many years ago, and maybe some elective ones that I cannot or do not want to recall. I am no politican, and no lawyer, but I can read the Constitution which is deliberately written in plain English so as to be understandable to the average farmer or country doctor like me, and I think it's fairly clear that the Federal Govt has no business getting into such matters - these seem like 10th Amendment matters, to be left either to the states or to the people - ie freedom. Wasn't the whole point of the Constitution to limit the power of the Feds so as not to recreate a distant tyranny like the one we had just driven away? As for the morality, it seems to me to pit two moral ideas against one-another: the value of human life vs. the value of personal freedom and self-determination. I tend towards the life end of that argument, and find the latter a bit new-age and narcissitic (there is no Commandment: Thou Shalt fully realize and fullfill thyself in a convenient and consequence-free manner), but things can get tough in real life and I am capable of sympathy. Anyway, overturning Roe v. Wade is not on my personal agenda, but it would not be a catastrophe, and would let the unfortunate, miserable battle be fought where it probably belongs, among the people, through politics. The Supreme Court is not the Sanhedrin. In the end, though, if you don't use birth control and don't want a baby, as the Dylanologist would quote, "My advice is to not let the boys in." If you haven't figured it out yet, gals and ladies - boys have very little brains when it comes to a pretty girl and no court will ever be able to change that. It's called "biology." In the 70s they used to talk about "empowerment": control and master your own emotions and your own bodies, ladies, where the rubber meets the road, as it were. That is true empowerment - self-mastery.
Thursday, July 28. 2005
Bird Dog forwarded me a piece by Rick Moran about the spread of avian flu, and the possibility that China could be concealing its true impact, including human-to-human transmission, which would be something new for this virus. I agree with Rick - let's follow this scary story, and let's get some reporters off their duffs and into China to see what is really going on over there. The CDC reports that the virus is becoming more pathogenic to mammals, and that such viruses mutate faster than had been thought. Human-to-human transmission of a virus which is resistant to ordinary anti-virals, and which seems to have about a 50% mortality rate, would result in a modern-day plague. The key issue is whether it has mutated so as to permit inter-human transmission. I must admit I hate to contemplate that, especially having read The Black Death last month. (Photo is a nesting Common Tern, one of my favorite birds here in Narragansett Bay.)
Wednesday, July 27. 2005
Pain Control and the Law
It can be easy for modern folks to forget how recently medicine has been able to provide relief for serious pain. Yes, the ancient Greeks had aspirin - willow bark - but until narcotics, derived from the poppy, arrived, and ether, for surgical procedures, physicians could not offer much for pain, which may be the most common complaint of patients. A nice summary of the history of pain treatment here.
We distinquish chronic from acute pain. With acute pain, of course, we try to identify the cause and to fix it. For chronic pain, where we know the cause, for example, cancer, arthritis, back problems, and a vast variety of others, narcotics often end up being the only thing we have to offer. Sure, we send patients to pain clinics, neurologists, acupuncturists, etc., but narcotics are what we use when all else fails. They work, they are not evil, and they are a blessing to mankind. And yes, they are addictive or at least habit-forming, but with chronic pain or terminal cancer pain, you don't worry about that. Why would it matter?
What bothers me is when law-enforcement begins to worry about doctor prescribing, but I always figure it's a lot easier for them to go after docs than after drug dealers with 9 mm handguns, vast networks, street smarts, secrecy, etc. With docs, you just walk into their office with pharmacy records. Easy, but accomplishes nothing worthwhile. There may actually be MDs out there who prescribe narcotics in a criminal fashion, but they are so few as to be of no significance, while illegal drug-dealing is a billions-of-dollars business in the US. Not to excuse them, but it isn't exactly a major American crisis. All docs get pretty good, but never perfect, at discriminating drug-seekers from pain patients.
When, as is known to happen, patients with narcotics prescriptions sell or otherwise distribute their pills to others, it's not the doc's responsibility and it's not his doing. John Tierney in the NYT has an excellent piece on how legal intimidation can interfere with humane treatment of patients in pain, and his piece also shows how the "War on Drugs" has been totally ineffective. And when you read a case like this one featured in the current Time magazine, it breaks your heart. Any DA who thinks he's a hero for prosecuting a pain specialist is lower than whale poop. But it's much easier than going after the bad guys.
About twenty years ago, we went through one of these phases, when docs were fearful of making patients, even terminal patients, addicted. It was a silly medico-cultural fad, but it passed, and physicians resumed treating pain patients adequately. And the invention of the morphine pump has been, in recent years, a God-send. I would hate to see medicine forced back to the 1970s and 80s when docs were looking over their shoulders, worrying more about anything other than their patients' pain. And if you are a patient with pain, you will agree with that.
Wednesday, June 29. 2005
I like Dr. Bob, and I commend him for taking on a blog single-handedly, and for sticking with it. I doubt that he really knew that there was a writer in him, but the writer in him knew it, and out it came. As a Christian physician, Bob is able to see the spiritual dimensions of addictive and compulsive "diseases" in a way I find refreshing, and free of gobbledy-gook:
The paradox about 12-step programs–which have the only reliable track record for successful recovery from addiction–is that they emphasize the disease as the problem, and honesty, integrity, and personal responsibility as the solution. They do not excuse the behavior while admitting the disease, and this blend of honesty and humility, acceptance and tough love, works like nothing else. It is, as recovering alcoholics are quick to point out, a spiritual program: the Catch-22 of a body which craves alcohol without limit and a mind which denies the resulting problems cannot be solved any other means.
But as any recovering alcoholic will tell you, the problem is not the booze; it is not even the obsessive, irrational mindset which drives the drinking. Both these problems are symptoms of an underlying decay, one of spiritual dimensions, characterized at its core by extreme self-centeredness. The pursuit of happiness by feeding this monster creates not the promised joy but rather pain and emptiness. Alcohol hides that pain for a while, until the monster, growing ever stronger by its constant feeding, kills its host spiritually, emotionally, and often physically.
But addiction is hardly alone as a symptom of this dark core. The list of destructive behaviors arising from its belly is endless: obesity, sexual promiscuity, compulsive overwork, materialism, computer obsession, gambling, the pursuit of beauty over character, the lust for money and power. Some may be biologically-driven; some learned behaviors or dysfunctional coping. All seek to fill a hole with no bottom, providing the wrong salve for the pain, and more of the same when the salve makes the wound fester.
Thursday, June 23. 2005
No-one enjoys anticipating their death, and plenty of folks seem to postpone dealing with it, but it is the grown-up thing to do. Having a Living Will is as important as having a will and, if you are young without kids, the Living Will is more important. Yes, your family and your doctor will probably decide to "let you go" if you are hopelessly damaged, but what if they aren't around? What if they are confused?
The CSM goes through what is involved.
Tuesday, June 14. 2005
Tuesday, May 17. 2005
Diet and Breast Cancer
For all of the hype and pseudo-science and random blather about diet and cancer, we finally have a fact. The fact is that low-fat diets reduce recurrence of breast cancer. This is a big deal. Not that it prevents cancer, but reduces recurrence. I will strongly advise every breast cancer patient accordingly.
Piece in the NYT.
The Female Orgasm
Is it a vestigial occurrence, or is it evolutionarily adaptive? Everyone wants to know. Certainly not everything in the biological world is adaptive. Curious? Sure you are. Read here.
Tuesday, May 3. 2005
Medecins Sans Frontieres
Doctors without Borders. I admire this organization, I support it with money, and God bless the physicians who give their time. It is a high expression of the medical profession. In fact, I offered myself to them a few years ago, but could not be away for their minimum length of time committment, but I forget what it was. Several months. I could have given 1-2 months with a locum tenens, but that's all. The message is that these docs give a lot.
Interesting fact on their site: the media-sexy Marburg virus killed 200 - Malaria kills millions every year, but makes no headlines. Another interesting fact: MSF has treated 1000 in Haiti for gunshot wounds since December, mostly political disputes. Nice country.
Thursday, April 28. 2005
I hadn't heard about the new medical dummies until I saw it in The New Yorker. I have to say that I think it's a wonderful thing, mainly for medical emergencies. There is nothing wrong with American medical education - best in the world - but the fact is that when you graduate, and it's your first night covering a NYC emergency room as an intern, you do see things you've never seen before, and you don't have time to think.
I'll never forget one night in my first month when I was the only medical intern on duty in the ER. I had 17 patients in there. One acute MI who coded and didn't make it, one respiratory failure who didn't make it, a rule-out MI who didn't have one (we didn't do the enzymes then), a bad asthmatic who finally did well, a total-body disintegration from a nursing home, a drunk with acute pancreatitis, a diabetic with an acute hyperglycemia who we got under control but later died of aspiration pneumonia, various gomers here and there trying to either die or to fall off their gurneys ("Gomers go to ground", remember House of God? Good book), an arrhythmia or two - can't remember, an upper GI bleed vomiting blood, and who knows what else. With time to think, I could have taken care of any one of them fine. After a year of that, everything became routine.
In the ER, it's about rapid, accurate diagnosis. What is surgical, what is medical, and what can wait. Diagnosis is easy in books, tough in real life. Not only do I wish I had had a week to be challenged by one of these new dummies, I wouldn't even mind it now, even though it's been decades since I've done ER work. I've heard that aviation simulators can almost give pilots heart attacks, so I'm sure that a few hours with the dummy would be quite an adventure. Worth paying for.
Read the piece about medical simulation. Written with The New Yorker's usual craftsmanship.
Wednesday, April 20. 2005
What "Health Care" Crisis?
The crisis is that too many folks expect free stuff.
But before I get rolling, a few minor points. First, I will not call medical care "health care." What does "health care" mean? Second, nor will I call Physicians "health care providers." Please. Even in this day of high-tech medicine, many doctors remain identified with the medical priesthood in which we are privileged to hear your confidences and confessions, to probe your body and your mind with kindliness and the best of intentions. Honestly, it's quite a burden and an unimaginable responsibility for those outside the profession. Third, health is not a right. It's the product of good luck, some self-care and responsibility, good genes, and God's grace. And it is something that no-one can keep. We have a built-in self-destruct program, such that every good day after age 40 - when Mother Nature no longer needs us - is a gift.
Why do medical costs rise? Because we do more than we used to do, to help people. Twenty years ago, a new knee was a rarity and experimental. Now it's routine, but it can't be cheap. Remember how many folks were lurching around on canes 30 years ago, with bad hips and bad knees? How often do you see that now? And the huge numbers of cardiac invalids we used to have to make house calls on - where are they now? Not to mention the depressives, the phobics, the invalid diabetics, the bad back invalids - you name it. We haven't extended the life span much in the past 40 years, but we have done a heck of a job with quality of life.
I have often conjectured that the real reason politicians like to talk about health care is so no-one suggests government-run single-payer, single-provider legal care. In a Republic, you could make a case that everyone is entitled to the same legal care, because there's a political right involved. Ask the legal beagles at Bainbridge or View from 1776 - it might be Constitutional.
But there is no right to medical care any more than there is a right to a car, or car insurance or nice vacations, or, for that matter, a right to good health. I see it no-where in the Constitution - not even the hint of a penumbra of an aura of a fog. Part of being a grown-up in a free country is taking responsibility for your family's well-being. Or don't have a family. In Europe, the whites have basically stopped breeding, because of the expense. The adults want to be children. So if everyone who isn't insured went out and bought catastrophic medical insurance, which is inexpensive and rational, instead of a new whatever, there would be no problem at all. That's probably what Medicare should have been.
And don't believe those statistics about medicine in Canada, England, France, etc. They don't do half of what we do routinely. If they did, then how come the wealthy from those countries all come to the Mayo Clinic, New York Presbyterian, Yale-New Haven, and Mass General, etc. for treatment? They want the best, and they don't want to be rationed. We are the world leaders in medicine, in medical innovation, and in pharmaceuticals, and we do it with no bureaucracy at all (except in the hospital administrations, and even there, it's small) and with no rationing at all.
My opinion: It ain't broke, so don't fix it. Don't listen to whining businesses - they just want someone else to pay for the coverage; don't listen to whining people - they just want a hand-out and will buy a new TV or a new car but want to gripe about medical care; and don't listen to the Leftys - they just want the govt to run everything...one totalitarian step at a time. Let's all try to feel fortunate that we are free to buy what we need here in the USA. And if you have fallen on really hard times, we have medical charity everywhere, plus Medicaid.
Tim Worstall has written a fine open-minded piece which explains clearly the different approaches used in Western countries here: Click here: TCS: Tech Central Station - Health in the Balance
And Arnold Kling makes the economically rational case for catastrophic insurance - which I have and which most docs have - here. From his piece: "Ask an economist what is the best type of health insurance, and he or she is likely to respond "catastrophic coverage." Our assumption is that rational consumers should be motivated by risk aversion and low cost. Risk aversion means that they should be concerned about mitigating the impact of severe, expensive illnesses. The low-cost way to do this is with catastrophic health coverage. The most familiar form of catastrophic coverage is health insurance with a high deductible."
And then read Dr. Bob on the subject of charity care - he does what many if not most of us do.
Tuesday, April 19. 2005
Every MD in America knew that the trial lawyers pulled off a huge scam with the silicone breast implant deal. Destroyed one fine and innocent company, and had every con-woman and deranged hypochondriacal female in America in on it.
And isn't it just fine to now look at the science, and to find out that silicone breast implants are harmless? Personally, I feel the purely cosmetic use is ridiculous - accept what God gave you. Speaking as a fellow, trust me - whatever you have is very nice and very lovely indeed, especially if you have a good heart. But for breast cancer reconstruction - well, it's important to lots of women. The silicone is better than saline, many folks feel.
I want to see all the $ returned, including the zillions that ended up with folks like that jerk who ran with Kerry - what was the name of that greasy sleazeball trailer-trash guy with the hair?
Saturday, April 16. 2005
Left-Handed, Left-Eyed, etc.
Southpaws do have it tough. I am one, and I'm surprised we aren't an aggrieved minority so we could get free money. There's no doubt left-handedness is abnormal and maybe due to a touch of low oxygen at birth. It messes with your handwriting, but mainly with your shooting and tennis. Brain confusion.
If you are left-handed, and left-eyed - no big problem. You shoot lefty and if you want, you can buy a lefty gun, but I doubt it's worth the trouble unless you shoot competitively. (Easy to tell which eye is dominant - roll up a piece of paper and look through it like a telescope - which ever eye you use - that's it.)
If you're right-handed and left-eyed, it gets interesting. Mixed dominance for sure. Ideally, you would shoot lefty and play tennis righty, and just adjust and assume you'll never get to Wimbledon.
Bill Hanus offers advice on this age-old dilemma here. Hey Dylanologist - I know this applies to you, big guy.
Tuesday, April 5. 2005
Allergy, like depression, is taken seriously mainly by those who have had it. And by the docs and researchers who deal with it. A truly effective treatment would be a blessing not only for the very few with life-threatening food or bee-sting allergies, but to all of the asthmatics, the dog- and cat-allergics, and the hay-fever snifflers.
A new treatment may be in store, if you can hang on for a few more years: Click here: The New York Times > Health > A Therapy for Cat Allergies, Thanks to Mice
I am agin' it. If you think Canada is bad, look at England. At least England allows private medicine. This piece grossly understates the real issue, which is that bureaucrats run the system: "The UK is good at developing new medical technologies, but bad at making them available to patients, a draft version of a government report says. The study blamed the centralised way the NHS was run for failing to make the most of breakthroughs in areas such as scanners and ventilators."
Read entire and be glad that you're in America: Click here: BBC NEWS | Health | NHS 'not making most of progress'
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