Today is now. Now is current. It is what is. Yesterday is a trail of previous now. Tomorrow is a feeling of now coming to be, but it is not. Now is the moment. Worry less by focusing on now. Now is the mind not thinking but of the now. Remember as in an emergency, only the focus is the emergency. All past and future stop. Focus is now. Time leaves as focus intensifies to the now. Less anxiety happens when focus is on the now moment. Now…
Music is the soul. Music is the release of life. Music is the now. Do not wonder how the musician can create but wonder why. Music is not the future, nor the past. Music is the now. Be bold musicians. Be brave musicians. Wonder only beyond the noise, create only beyond the universe. drjpw
So much of our world is drug oriented. We understand overall, that without drugs, even chemicals, our world would be full of disease, food sources would be lessened, and conveniences would be limited. As this thesis is written, the touch is embracing plastic keys, rubberized mouse pads, vinyl coated wiring – my elbows pushing steadily on laminate. The rubber tips of my work tools include rubber ear tips on my stethoscope, rubberized tubing to the metal plated bell to listen to patients’ hearts with a plastic cover shield to clean off.
So what is the deal with the lead in the toys? The recent recall included over 405,000 lead contaminate toys from the Chinese manufacturers. Some of the toys recalled were “Duck Family,” Robot 2000, Big Red Wagons, Winnie-the-Pooh spinning products.
To my knowledge, no child has been severely poisoned with these toys, nor injured in a poisoning sense with these lead toys. The greatest majority of lead cases these days are from old paints…pre-1976…when lead was taken out of the USA marketplace of paints. So old paint chips that children eat or ate, especially in older home and apartment buildings renovations, was and are the source. But the biggest reduction in lead overall in the USA was the reduction of lead in gasoline. This essentially stopped the big problem. More discussion of lead poisoning was when under Clinton’s administration, the lead limits were reduced to an absolute low level despite little or no data to support the new change. But even with this new limit in children, few ever have had disease.
Nicotine in itself is a drug, a chemical that has been used obviously in smoking addiction, but in itself is not a bad thing. It has been used in industry in a variety of compounds. Nicotine, however, is the buzz in smoking. Just good old craziness allowed the U.S. to create multi-millionaire attorneys fighting for “our rights” and for those who “didn’t know” cigarettes were bad, yet the USA funds tobacco, the tribes sell tobaccos at reduced prices to entice smoking, and the CDC funds research to explore “the nicotine drug cure,” and it is all still legal. At a recent American Heart Association meeting, research on the new nicotine vaccine has made some promising head roads. One year and five shots later, the vaccine doubled the number of “stopped” addicted smokers from about 6% to 15% over the year. The problem still exists that less than 10%, some say lower, smokers of cigarettes ever stop that consistently try to stop. How many smokers? About 46-50 million in the U.S. and about half of them will try to stop sometime. The vaccine is a potentially great drug to help. The nicotine blocker med which castMD has written on before still helps to, but so far is not necessarily more effective than the patch or the gum. Stopping smoking takes good old will power.
And then there is the date-rape drugged toys. Most of this happened if not all was with the “Aqua Dots” toys. It seems that one of the chemicals in the surrounding coating changes or gets metabolized in the body when eaten. This is an extremely unique and interesting mass-market finding. It is really quite amazing that it was found. The GHB that was found is extremely difficult to measure generally. Many times in the ER, labs can not find it. It is metabolized quickly. Some of the previous day’s internet drug providers (illicit) sold chemicals that would convert to GHB. Some of these chemicals are still passed around and used at “rave parties” and other parties. GHB is a dangerous drug. It is illicit. It can kill you or make you unable to defend, protect, or interact. Thusly, called the date-rate drug. However, it was a prescription drug known as Rohypnol that was one of the original date rape drugs. It is also now illegal in the U.S., but probably can be found in the international markets illegally…not sure of legally however. Always open your own beverage and never leave one sitting around…especially in the club scene.
Did Bonds do it or not? Will the “asterisked” marked Hall of Fame baseball be delegated a fraud by another drug story? Not just another drug related story in recent and past news. Maybe all steroids should just be allowed in all athletics. Tell the athletes the risk, the wrestlers, the baseball players, and the Olympians. All these steroid abuse stories have hit the news just in the past months.
But the problem with that is…this story…
Doping in sports is a problem. But would you give or have someone else give your daughter or son steroids for performance enhancement? Watching little league and junior to senior sports makes me wonder. How far would a parent or caregiver go?
From the 1976 Olympians of East German come the latest stories of abuse, which is being called in a new documentary “The Great Olympic Drug Scandal: Revealed.” The sports “theme plan” developed relied on anabolic steroids. That year, 40 gold medals were placed over East Germany’s team members with a heavy emphasis on women’s swimming events winning all the golds in nearly all the events. Children were given oral tablets and injections, even on the day of competition in the Olympics, untraceable at that time. Coaches were rewarded by success, despite the unethical mark. Some athletes recruited prior to teenage were started on performance enhancement drugs. Doctors were required to sign confidentiality agreements despite the unethical mark.
Some of the athletes had sexual identity and self-worth problems while growing up. Many had obvious gynecological irregularities. In later life, sexual identity was explored and some even had sex changes. But many have been left out of the story lines…How has their lives been altered? How many have died unknown, changed forever by the decay of human value, gross ethical breaches of doctors, and limitless greed of self-flagellating coaches.
Systematic. Documented in abusive performance. Involuntary. Organized to destroy human life. Sidelined by death. Welcome to professional sports and Olympian sports.
Welcome to Beijing anyone?
Welcome to the Drugs’ Hall of Shame! It is NOT about performance…
Recently an article on “Scary Skinny” appeared in a tabloid which included many of the female movie stars and entertainers. This article was not a prelude to Halloween; however some of the eating problems at Halloween may be of note. Most of the stars highlighted are anorexic, or shall I say anorexic-appearing – so eating Halloween candy is out. Purging the calories is also a problem for the eating disordered patient.
Jessica Alba appeared in the photo with the shoulder girdle (shoulder, shoulder blade, collarbones) quite concave. It estimated her 5’6” body to be at a possible 110 pounds is all. Her supposed 15 pound weight loss was after a love breakup.
Now the world savior Angelina Jolie was more ill appearing. Her cachectic body with all front side ribs, collarbones, and breastbone sticking out was quite shocking to see. The article highlighted her weight at 105 pounds for this 5’8”. Brad Pitt was begging her to eat according to the article – a common loved one’s frustrating request in eating disorders. According to the article, she was eating under 1000 calories, which is a weight losing diet, as her needs would be 1500 to 2000 or more calories per day, depending on baseline activity and that beyond. Eating a daily small meal or a drink of lemon impregnated water is not a normalized diet for an active mother.
The actress, Renee Zellweger, at about 38 years old, should not be showing ligaments and tendons in her arms and legs. This star struggles with the fact she’s is getting older, and will struggle with weight as she ages, according to this article. This is a finding in eating disorders.
Other stars, Keira, Kate Bosworth, and even prior, Eva Longoria are intermittently grossly underweight. Their bony gauntness is a similar finding in eating disordered patients.
Eating disorders involve serious disturbances in eating behavior, such as extreme and unhealthy reduction of food intake or severe overeating, as well as feelings of distress or extreme concern about body shape or weight.
Eating is controlled by many factors, including appetite, food availability, family, peer, and cultural practices, and attempts at voluntary control. Dieting to a body weight leaner than needed for health is highly promoted by current fashion trends, sales campaigns for special foods, and in some activities and professions.
The main types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. A third type, binge-eating disorder, has been suggested but has not yet been approved as a formal psychiatric diagnosis. Eating disorders frequently develop during adolescence or early adulthood, but some reports indicate their onset can occur during childhood or later in adulthood.
Eating disorders frequently co-occur with other psychiatric disorders such as depression, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders.
Females are much more likely than males to develop an eating disorder. Only an estimated 5 to 15 percent of people with anorexia or bulimia and an estimated 35 percent of those with binge-eating disorder are male.
An estimated 0.5 to 3.7 percent of females suffer from anorexia nervosa in their lifetime.1 Symptoms of anorexia nervosa include:
Resistance to maintaining body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for age and height
Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though underweight
Disturbance in the way in which one’s body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or denial of the seriousness of the current low body weight
Infrequent or absent menstrual periods (in females who have reached puberty)
People with this disorder see themselves as overweight even though they are dangerously thin. The process of eating becomes an obsession.
The mortality rate among people with anorexia has been estimated at 0.56 percent per year, or approximately 5.6 percent per decade, which is about 12 times higher than the annual death rate due to all causes of death among females ages 15-24 in the general population
The most common causes of death are complications of the disorder, such as cardiac arrest or electrolyte imbalance, and suicide.
An estimated 1.1 percent to 4.2 percent of females have bulimia nervosa in their lifetime.1 Symptoms of bulimia nervosa include:
Recurrent episodes of binge eating, characterized by eating an excessive amount of food within a discrete period of time and by a sense of lack of control over eating during the episode
Recurrent inappropriate compensatory behavior in order to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting or misuse of laxatives, diuretics, enemas, or other medications (purging); fasting; or excessive exercise
The binge eating and inappropriate compensatory behaviors both occur, on average, at least twice a week for 3 months
Self-evaluation is unduly influenced by body shape and weight
Because purging or other compensatory behavior follows the binge-eating episodes, people with bulimia usually weigh within the normal range for their age and height. However, like individuals with anorexia, they may fear gaining weight, desire to lose weight, and feel intensely dissatisfied with their bodies.
People with bulimia often perform the behaviors in secrecy, feeling disgusted and ashamed when they binge, yet relieved once they purge.
Community surveys have estimated that between 2 percent and 5 percent of Americans experience binge-eating disorder in a 6-month period. Symptoms of binge-eating disorder include:
Recurrent episodes of binge eating, characterized by eating an excessive amount of food within a discrete period of time and by a sense of lack of control over eating during the episode
The binge-eating episodes are associated with at least 3 of the following: eating much more rapidly than normal; eating until feeling uncomfortably full; eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry; eating alone because of being embarrassed by how much one is eating; feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty after overeating
Marked distress about the binge-eating behavior
The binge eating occurs, on average, at least 2 days a week for 6 months
The binge eating is not associated with the regular use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors (e.g., purging, fasting, excessive exercise)
People with binge-eating disorder experience frequent episodes of out-of-control eating, with the same binge-eating symptoms as those with bulimia. The main difference is that individuals with binge-eating disorder do not purge their bodies of excess calories.
Therefore, many with the disorder are overweight for their age and height. Feelings of self-disgust and shame associated with this illness can lead to bingeing again, creating a cycle of binge eating.
Because of their complexity, eating disorders require a comprehensive treatment plan involving medical care and monitoring, psychosocial interventions, nutritional counseling and, when appropriate, medication management. At the time of diagnosis, the clinician must determine whether the person is in immediate danger and requires hospitalization.
(1) restoring weight lost to severe dieting and purging; (2) treating psychological disturbances such as distortion of body image, low self-esteem, and interpersonal conflicts; and (3) achieving long-term remission and rehabilitation, or full recovery.
The primary goal of treatment for bulimia is to reduce or eliminate binge eating and purging behavior. To this end, nutritional rehabilitation, psychosocial intervention, and medication management strategies are often employed.
Several family and twin studies are suggestive of a high heritability of anorexia and bulimia, and researchers are searching for genes that confer susceptibility to these disorders. Scientists suspect that multiple genes may interact with environmental and other factors to increase the risk of developing these illnesses. Identification of susceptibility genes will permit the development of improved treatments for eating disorders.
Workplace drug tests recently have shown a decrease in cocaine positives during the first half of 2007. The positive tests for cocaine dropped 16% as the overall rate was 0.58 percent. This rate is the lowest since tracking the information back in 1997 by one lab. The lowest rate of decline was in the Midwest while the highest rate of decline was in the New England areas. The total tests counted for this tracking included about four and one-half million urine drug tests, which all included testing for cocaine and other drugs of abuse. Some believe the shortage of cocaine and higher costs are driving the decline, while European cocaine abuse is becoming increasingly popular, adding to world-wide demand. As a Medical Review Officer for Work-Place Drug Testing, cocaine remains popular.
In another report on drugs of abuse, marijuana recently was highlighted. It is apparent that reefing the great weed is about 5 times more harmful than one cigarette. The apparent problem is a greater intensity of airway obstruction. This effect may be caused by an increased “holding” of the smoke which is a longer time of interaction with the lung tissue. Another concept is that the smoke is literally hotter, creating a deeper thermal injury to the lung tissue itself. Interestingly, when compared to regular smokers, the marijuana smokers had less emphysema changes.
DAWN, or the Drug Abuse Warning Network, continues to focus on hydrocodone. This narcotic goes with the brand names of Norco, Lortab, Vicodin – but is generic in many prescriptions. Sales of hydrocodone and oxycodone have dramatically increased over the past years. The Pharma industry spends over 3 times as much on advertising as it did a decade ago.
www.castMD.com has written on this plague and the advertising push to addiction by the Pharma industry in past postings.
Despite the pressure to put these dangerous and addictive drugs on a higher schedule of restriction of prescribing, Schedule II, the FDA and DEA has been lobbied heavily to not do so.
With all the Pharma advertising, a push toward better pain management, and the abuse of narcotics, hydrocodone based drugs and combo drugs ranked number 2 in 2006 just behind the cholesterol lowering brand name, Lipitor. From 2001 to 2006, hydrocodone prescriptions rose by 2/3rds.
Hydrocodone is the number one drug in its category to arrive at the Emergency Department. It is also the number one drug of its category reported to the National Forensic Lab Info System.
www.castMD.com says, “Ban hydrocodone or elevate the Schedule.” It is a considerable concern of abuse in junior high kids, high school kids, and patients.” Should it be banned?
Some insurers and their plans still make it difficult for patients to see the doctor of their choice. The “Any Willing Provider Law” in Idaho mandates that all insurance companies open their doors to any provider, granted the provider apply and follow the terms of the contractual agreement. It still seems some insurances companies restrict access to doctors and hospitals and make it difficult to get through that open door.
In the emergency rooms of America, EMTALA took care of that. It’s definition now is the “layperson’s view of the emergency.”
One case in Idaho went to the Supreme Court already, where the Supremes overruled the lower court, and award costs and a new appeal to a group of cardiologists.
Isn’t it time all companies and groups representing themselves as gatekeepers to care – that insure patients in Idaho – obey the law? Patients need to be pro-active knowing their rights.
AWP laws come in a variety of forms but the most common type prohibits managed care networks from excluding physicians, pharmacists, hospitals, and other health care providers who are willing to accept the network’s terms and conditions from participation. As the term implies, AWP laws require managed care network sponsors to include any provider who agrees to abide by the terms of their contract and accept their payment schedule.
AWP laws adopted around the country differ considerably. Some permit managed care plan subscribers freedom of choice to select any provider in general, and others have choice with respect to pharmacies or even narrow categories of specialists such as chiropractors, optometrists, or psychiatrists. Some AWP laws apply to institutional providers such as hospitals and still others require network sponsors to merely notify subscribers of plan practices.
As best as we can determine at least 17 states have passed some form of AWP law. But, the governors of Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont vetoed their respect AWP legislation. The laws in nine states apply only to pharmacies and pharmacists. Among these is the Massachusetts proposal which the governor vetoed. The Massachusetts legislature voted to override the veto.
California has an open-panel requirement with respect to health maintenance organizations (HMOs). Minnesota adopted a law that requires managed care plans to expand network providers
and Virginia has an open-panel requirement for preferred provider organizations (PPOs) networks that permit chiropractors, optometrists, podiatrists, and psychologists to join if they agree to terms and conditions.
Idaho enacted an AWP law and grievance procedure. The law includes provisions that specify that (1) any provider who is qualified and willing to meet plan terms and conditions must be allowed to participate as a network provider; (2) termination or nonrenewal of a provider may occur only after written notice of intended breach of contract, and (3) all insurers must have a grievance procedure in place that includes arbitration or other reasonable due process features (HB 886). (Adapted from: olr@po. state. ct. us)
Does the doctor know that doctors and nurses wrote on the same non-electronic paper?
Does your doctor know that intravenous solutions came in glass, as well as “shots” – bottles like milk?
Does your doctor know that bedpans were steel and cold?
Does your doctor know that the coroner and funeral director and the ambulance driver were all the same guy?
Does your doctor know that appendix can come out without a catscan?
Does your doctor know that defibrillators were once very big devices and heavy?
Does your doctor reminisce when nurses got up to let the doctor sit down?
Does your doctor remember the times of routine housecalls?
Does your doctor know the Rat Pak is not a surgical dressing?
Does your doctor know the ER was not manned 24/7?
Does your doctor know that a wet xray reading was actually wet?
Does your doctor know listening to patients is a good thing?
adapted with additional content from EPM and castMD.com
Diarrhea is certainly a “not so talked about” medical condition. But today, at least one kind of diarrhea is becoming quite a medical problem. It is the Clostridium Difficile colitis (colon infection and inflammation).
Physicians, nurses, clinics and hospitals as well as Public Health agencies are seeing a rise in the incidence of this C. Difficile associated diarrhea. This change in the demographics of this disease is toward a younger and healthier group of patients, and not the classic patients.
The typical patients for this “C. Diff.” diarrhea have been the elderly, those with recent antibiotic usage, and those on certain higher risk medications such as clindamycin, cephalosporins, and quinolones. Recent hospitalization and the use of gastric acid blockers, now advertised daily on television and print media are also higher risk factors.
The use of gastric acid blockers has been studied and continues to be. This arena of high use of these acid pH changing medicines in the gut may be contributing to the growth of the C. Diff. more quickly in the gut, than without the acid blocker.
The toxin in itself from the bacteria, can cause worsening symptoms such as toxic mega colon, severe sepsis, perforation of the gut, a need for colectomy (removal of the colon), and even death.
The diarrhea is many times unrelenting. It continues to be watery, sometimes mucous-like, and eventually bloody. But many patients wait to see if the diarrhea will clear. Dehydration and weight loss can be associated with such diarrhea also.
There are both blood tests for the disease and stool tests specific to the disease.
If you are on antibiotics, and develop diarrhea over 24 hours you must call your health care provider or doctor. The best treatment is to stop the antibiotic immediately with your doctor’s order if possible.
Many times two different OTHER antibiotics are used to treat the C. Diff. infection of the colon. One antibiotic for the C. Diff. is only about 80% effective now, while the backup drug is only about 90% effective. But now, resistance is starting to mount to these treatments, leaving patients in severe distress with life-threatening diarrhea and infection.
New studies are being done now using probiotics. Specifically Sacharomyces boulardii and other lactobacilli have been studied. Many are recommending the use of probiotics with the initiation of antibiotics and other antimicrobials.
There are many reasons patients get diarrhea. But you can eliminate some high risk yourself. So, do not use antibiotics without a reason. Do not borrow or loan antibiotics. Always talk with your doctor if you develop diarrhea while on antibiotics. When in doubt, call.
CastMD says, “You do NOT want to develop this toxic type of diarrhea.”
DRUGS IN WORKPLACE – ARE YOU TRYING TO SKIRT THE ISSUE?
A month or so ago the Feds released their workplace data regarding use of drugs while on duty in various jobs and employments. These are the newest data compared to previous studies in mid-nineties.
Industries that continue to have high rates of on the job drug use and use of drugs are those industries in general that continue to have high job turnover rates.
Illicit drug usage among the 18-64 year olds working full-time was the highest in food service and accommodation industry, construction work, entertainment and arts, information services, and management support companies.
The highest rate was 16.9 percent of the food and accommodation employees used illicit drugs in the last month, in the survey.
Construction workers and miners had the highest heavy use alcohol rates at 17.8 percent. Even CEO’s rate was at 8 percent for heavy alcohol usage.
Marijuana continues to lead the pack on illicit drug use for these surveys.
Over 12 percent of the illicit drug users had three or more employers in the past year! Current drug users had twice the rate of missing one or more days in the last month.
Increased rates of illicit drug use were seen in men and lesser paid jobs.
About half of the full-time workers report that their company does pre-placement drug testing. Protective services had the highest rate (76%) of this type of testing, while legal occupations had the lowest (14%) reported in the study.
Only one-third of the workers reported random drug testing policies by their employers.
ONLY one-third of the workers reported they would be less likely to work for companies with random testing programs in place.
Over the many years as an Emergency Physician working with trauma and teaching, many patients have presented by ambulance and private car with water diving injuries.
This summer there have been injuries related to diving into the lakes and rivers.
Years ago, not sure if it still is going, was a program I believe by the Neurosurgeons College called “Feet First.” This program tried to educate parents and kids on the value of not diving into water in the lakes and rivers.
A few years ago, going up the Spokane River, I heard a boat literally rip its outdrive off by a “deadhead.” Imagine if that boat would have let the occupants dive in that area “to cool off” only hitting the submerged log.
When a person dives into the water, all the force is decelerated, into the skull onto the brain. But more importantly, the cervical spine “the neck” gets flexed or extended quite rapidly and dramatically. Then as the flexion or extension is exaggerated, the force (weight) of the body from the height of the dive is literally driven into the spinal vertebrae. This force is so great it can fracture (break) the neck, rupture the ligaments that hold them in place, and dramatically injure – even push bone fragments into the spinal cord itself. Thus, paraplegia or quadriplegia ensues….never to walk or move again!
Facial injuries of jaw fractures, nasal fractures, lost teeth, eye injures and even skull fractures, as well as lacerations of all of the above-do occur. Head injury is commom.
Risk of drowning is high when these injuries occur. Risk of additional injury is high as “helpers” try to get the victim out of the water…in a “layperson” way…without EMS techniques or even lifeguard techniques.
These are just plain sad cases. So preventable. So life options limiting. So challenging for the victim, their family, their friends, and their doctors. Can you imagine how hard it is to hear, “Your child is paralyzed.”
So castMD says:
NO DIVING IN RIVERS OR LAKES
FEET FIRST IS THE RULE!