Sunday, November 11, 2012

Pause in Blog

Reminder: If you have not done so, please read the Initial Post and  Blog Information.  At the upper left of this page above my picture click on the button, Initial Post and  Blog Information.

Well, this experiment has been less than successful.  I have made 29 posts over the last six months and only managed to attract about 1100 page views by maybe 100 viewers.  Maybe 10% of those were from Eastern Europe, including Russia, from web sites that were apparently trying to co-opt the blog for other reasons, i.e. hack into it for some nefarious purpose.  Who would think that was something people would waste their time on?

The book has been a slow seller; maybe it will catch on, eventually.  I like it, but I wrote it.  It makes what patients' doctors tell them easier to understand.  The price was right, if you had a Kindle or a Nook, or Kindle or Nook app for a computer or electronic device.  The illustrations are informative and it is entertaining.  The printed version by Lulu is too expensive. **** Cheaper printed versions are now available from CreateSpace and Amazon; see web sites listed below:****

Anyway, thanks to those of you who read the blog.  I hope you learned something, but I can no longer justify the amount of time spent blogging.  The information will be here (and in the book) and available for you to review if you want, but I will no longer be making regular posts.  If something comes up that is newsworthy, I'll make a post.  I will continue to answer questions from readers.

I guess to bow out at the 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month isn't a bad way to go for a veteran.  To those of you who were entertained and informed, thanks for dropping by.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Medical Tragedy

Reminder: If you have not done so, please read the Initial Post and  Blog Information.  At the upper left of this page above my picture click on the button, Initial Post and  Blog Information.

Sorry.  This is a day late.  Had a water pipe break under the slab of my home last week.  Have spent a week getting it fixed, repainting the room and replacing the floor.  And I still have stuff to do.  It's always something!

The recent spate of meningitis caused by contaminated steroid injections was, unfortunately, avoidable for a great number of the people infected.  Steroid injections into the facet joints are statistically no better than placebos for decreasing pain.  Most should never have occurred.

The driving force behind this tragedy may be the design and function of the American medical system.  It is true that we live in a capitalistic society and that capitalism is probably the most efficient and productive way of running an economy ever devised.  Unfortunately, some portions of the economy can be abused by people who are more concerned with profit than the best interests of themselves or their customers.  This is especially true if there are no consequences for actions which lead to deaths, or the crash of the economy itself.  Regulation is not as important as honesty, I think.  We may not be able to legislate honesty, but we can certainly punish those who are overtly dishonest, especially when it leads to serious consequences for their customers.

That said, patients need to be patient.  No one likes to be in pain.  But, in spite of what the AMA, television, the pharmaceutical companies, or even your family has told you, there are no miracle cures.  There is no single procedure, injection, pill, or balm that will miraculously relieve your pain.  Your body has the power to heal itself, most of the time.  People who pay, or get their insurance companies to pay, exorbitant prices for 'cures' that have not been shown to do anything more than a placebo (see my blog post from September 4, 2012) are wasting their money.  They are spending their time undergoing procedures, etc. while their body heals, but they are not helping themselves much.  And they may be taking a big risk.  In the case of the steroid facet joints, they can be hurt by the procedure.

Every pill, every procedure, every injection, every treatment not only has its expected effects, it has side effects and sometimes the side effects are worse than the original problem.  At this point there are about 30+ dead and 400+ affected from the contaminated steroid injections into the facets, numbers that will surely rise.

Be patient.  Do the stuff that statistically works.  Avoid the placebos and hang in there.  You will get better.

12/18/2014: Final toll 64 deaths and an indictment yesterday. Fourteen owners or employees of the New England Compounding Center were charged Wednesday in connection with the outbreak that killed 64 people nationwide and was traced to tainted drug injections.