Cluster of wheat image Grapes and vines image Cluster of wheat image
October 21st, 2011

FIFTY YEARS OF FLUORIDATION

In the 1950’s and ‘60’s the fluoridation of the public water supply was a hotly debated subject in the public forum. Fluoridated water was supposed to prevent dental caries and I was in favor of it until I learned that a doctor friend of mine who was both a health commissioner and Professor of Preventive Medicine at Loyola University was against it. I proceeded to study the matter and learned that most people who opposed fluoridation knew a good deal more about it than those who favored it. I learned that among those who opposed it were Dr. James Sumner and Dr. Hugo Thiorel, both Nobel prize winners in the field of enzyme biochemistry.

As is my wont, when I get fired up I write,  and here is my subsequent letter to the editor:

There is at least one town in this country that boasts of the fluoride content of its water with a sign reading, “Water Fluoridated by God.” It is to towns like this that fluoridationists point when they maintain that people have been drinking naturally fluoridated water for years without harm–and with decreased dental decay. There are three things I would like to say about naturally fluoridated water.

First, the fact that a thing occurs naturally does not mean that it is desirable. There are areas, as in India, where people are hopelessly crippled with endemic fluorosis because of the high content of fluorides in their water and they are seeking ways to lessen the fluoride content of drinking water to below one part per million.  Perhaps they might appropriately put up a sign saying, “God Goofed.”

Secondly, fluorine is present in naturally fluoridated water as the relatively harmless salt, calcium fluoride, and, moreover, is accompanied by the minerals that are invariably presesnt in naturally fluoridated water which may affect the activity of the fluoridation. Sodium fluoride, which is used in artificial fluoridation, is a highly toxic chemical, a few grains constituting a lethal dose, and is 400 times more soluble and 400 times more easily picked up by body tissues. There are no lifetime studies of the effect of sodium fluoride added to soft water on the people who drink it.

Thirdly, whether fluoridation occurs naturally or artificially, even at the recommended optimum of 1 ppm, about one-sixth of the children examined show mottling of the teeth. This is a dental defect, and such mottling, according to the AMA, is “the first delicate criterion of excessive intake of fluorine.” When this occurs, the intake of fluorine should be decreased. How? By buying bottled water? The dosage of fluorides would be more satisfactorily controlled by administering them to individuals, not a whole city.

It should be clearly understood by everyone that fluoridation of a community’s water supply is a new frontier in compulsory mass medication. It is not in the same category as the addition of chlorine in the water to prevent the spread of water-borne diseases such as typhoid. Dental caries is not a water-borne disease. Nor is it in the same category as compulsory immunization to prevent the spread of contagious diseases. Caries is not a contagious disease. Neither of these comparisons can be used to justify the forced medication of 100 percent of the population for the possible benefit of 1 percent, especially when one man’s medication may be another man’s poison.

A recent issue of GP (quite a respectable medical journal for the general practitioner) contains an article on “The Prescription Use of Fluoride to Control Tooth Decay,” which quotes a study of Feltman showing “fluorine sensitivity caused a 1 percent incidence of eczema, urticaria, epigastric pain, vomiting and headaches. These symptoms disappear when a placebo was given.” To me, this alone is sufficient reason for vetoing the fluoridation of our water.     D. Vining

Later I also learned that in 1956 Dr. Ionel Rapaport of the Psychiatric Institute of the University of Wisconsin, upon observing that Mongoloid children (nowadays called Downs Syndrome) had less tooth decay than normal children, made statistical studies to determine whether there was any relationship between the amount of fluorine in the water and Mongoloid births. He compiled figures from the Boards of Health of Illinois, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota which seemed to indicate an increase of Mongolism with the amount of fluorine in the drinking water.

Mongolism (Down’s syndrome) is known to be associated with trisomy of the 21st chromosome, a genetic mutation. Fluorides have been proven to be enzyme inhibitors and to interfere with normal metabolism. It has been postulated that the increased number of Down’s births in women over 35 is due to impaired maternal metabolism with advancing age. As a sidelight, in tea-drinking England one child in 700 was Mongoloid as compared with one in 2925 in fluorine-free areas of Illinois. Tea is high in fluorine (over 161 mg/kg) and a chronic tea-drinker (like the English?) can ingest as much fluorine as is present in artificial fluoridation

All these data piqued my interest in the subject and I corresponded with the Editor of Prevention magazine (against fluoridation) and A.L. Russell, Chief, Epidemiology and Biometry Branch, National Institute of Dental Research (for fluoridation), as well as others.

I also bought two batches of mice, some of which I gave tap water to drink and the others got tea to drink, hoping to learn if they gave birth to defective babies. I soon concluded that my casual approach to this experiment was not scientific enough and I had other things to attend to (like seven children and a part-time job) so I abandoned the project. To this day, I wonder what such a study would reveal.

IT IS NOW FIFTY YEARS LATER AND I HAVE BEEN RE-READING MY PILES OF CLIPPINGS.    AND I WONDER, WHAT IS THE CURRENT THINKING ON THE SUBJECT?

I had thought that after fifty years of paying no attention to the subject of fluoridation (all the while merrily drinking my fluoridated, chlorinated tap water), we would have learned a thing or two.   My first stop was Wikepedia where I learned that “In 2006, a 12-person U.S. National Research Council (NRC) committee reviewed the health risks associated with fluoride in the water[16] and unanimously concluded that the maximum contaminant level of 4 mg/L should be lowered. Although it did not comment on water fluoridation’s safety, three of the panel members, namely Robert Isaacson, Kathleen Thiessen and Hardy Limeback, expressed[citation needed] their opposition to water fluoridation after the study[17][18] and the chair, John Doull, suggested that the issue should be reexamined.[19]

Wikipedia also provided me with a list of countries which had begun water fluoridation and discontinued it (the latter date being the date of discontinuation.)

  • Federal Republic of Germany (1952–1971)
  • Sweden (1952–1971)
  • Netherlands (1953–1976)
  • Czechoslovakia (1955–1990)
  • German Democratic Republic (1959–1990)
  • Soviet Union (1960–1990)
  • Finland (1959–1993)
  • Japan (1952–1972)

I then came across Why I Changed My Mind about Water Fluoridation by John Colquhoun* © 1997 University of Chicago Press.


Most of the world has rejected fluoridation. Only America where it originated, and countries under strong American influence persist in the practice. Denmark banned fluoridation when its National Agency for Environmental Protection, after consulting the widest possible range of scientific sources, pointed out that the long-term effects of low fluoride intakes on certain groups in the population (for example, persons with reduced kidney function), were insufficiently known [70]. Sweden also rejected fluoridation on the recommendation of a special Fluoride Commission, which included among its reasons that: “The combined and long-term environmental effects of fluoride are insufficiently known” [71]. Holland banned fluoridation after a group of medical practitioners presented evidence that it caused reversible neuromuscular and gastrointestinal harm to some individuals in the population [72].

Environmental scientists, as well as many others, tend to doubt fluoridation. In the United States, scientists employed by the Environmental Protection Agency have publicly disavowed support for their employer’s pro-fluoridation policies [73]. The orthodox medical establishment, rather weak or even ignorant on environmental issues, persist in their support, as do most dentists, who tend to be almost fanatical about the subject. In English- speaking countries, unfortunately, the medical profession and its allied pharmaceutical lobby (the people who sell fluoride) seem to have more political influence than environmentalists.

It seems clear to me with just this very casual follow-up that the issue of safety of fluorides in the public water supply has not been settled.

As for the question of whether there is a relationship between the ingestion of fluorides by the mother and Down’s Syndrome in her children, I found this link, on Super Down Syndrome.

The presence of fluorides in tea is discussed here.

On mature reflection, I guess it was a good idea to discontinue my study of the tea-drinking mice vs. the water-drinking mice. If any of the tea drinkers had produced mice with Down’s syndrome, I don’t know how I would have recognized any of the markers of that disease in a mouse!

Are floridation and/or tea-drinking related to Down’s syndrome?  I pass the torch.

October 3rd, 2011

ALL ABOUT BIOPSIES

I’ve had three biopsies in my entire life, so it is not likely that this post will  be all about biopsies, but biopsies are what are happening in my life right now – so, for those who have never had one — here’s what I know.

My first biopsy was ten years ago of a small bump above my left eyebrow that refused to heal, sort like a small hard pimple.  My dermatologist just sort of scooped it out for examination.  The site healed quickly and beautifully. ” Why don’t we just leave it,”  I said.  “It would grow back,” he said.  The pathology report read “basal cell carcinoma.”    When I returned for a more complete excision with a “couple of stitches”, the doctor injected the site with anesthetic and took off, leaving me unattended on the table.  Could have been a coffee break – who knows!  When he finally returned and started cutting I said, “I can feel that!”  More injection of anesthetic and he finished the job.   Very neat – seven tiny stitches — and now, ten years year, I have a white almost invisble scar.  Mission accomplished.

Three months ago I presented with an array of actinic keratoses (AK’s) on my face, which we older folk tend to get, especially if we are of the fair, blue-eyed, freckly kind who burn easily.  AK’s are said to sometimes progress to malignancies.   This was not the first time I had had AK’s zapped (frozen) with a nitrogen spray.  The skin would redden, sometimes blister a bit, but in a few days it was off with the old rough, scaly skin, and in  with brand new skin.  This time the dermatologist (a different one) zapped over 15 areas and again, within a week, I was pretty presentable.

Last week, as new rough areas began to appear on my face I browsed through 38 photos that could save your life. As I browsed I came across of photo of a fingernail that seemed to have bluish flesh under it.  The caption read: ” Here’s a black-and-blue nail, right? Not hardly. It’s a melanoma of the nailbed, and lesions like this can be deadly.”  My immediate reaction was, “I have one of those!!!”  Just this past month I had noticed that it looked like I had a bruise under one of my toenails.  It was no trouble, did not hurt, and did not concern me until this very minute.

Now I know of a girl who had a melanoma on her arm, and they took the whole arm off, including the shoulder joint!  Those things love to metastasize.  When I called the Dermatology office as soon as the office opened for an appointment, she was going to give me one in two weeks.  “I’d rather not wait,” I said.  “I’m worried about a melanoma.”   It was about 8:30.  “If you can get here by 9:45,” she said, “I just had a cancellation and we can see you then.”

I took the picture from the computer with me and showed it to the doctor.   After inspection he thought I  might have an “ecchymosis” under my toenail.   I had no recollection of injury.  ” Ecchymosis,” I said.  “Bruise,” he explained.   We decided we needed to watch it for a month or so.

Then on to my face.  “What’s this?” he said.   There was a little spot on the left side of my nose where my glasses tend to rest.   I had thought it was irritation from my glasses and had even put a bandaid on it to spare it annoyance.  He thought it looked kind of thick and was also  intrigued by another spot nearby.   He decided biopsies were appropriate and told his nurse to prepare.    She started by injecting anesthetic with the tiniest needle you could imagine.   “Are you taking aspirin, Coumadin, or other blood-thinning drugs?” she asked.  I wasn’t.   “You’re a bleeder,”  she said.   Doc returned and painlessly removed the two lesions, and nursie (Kate) put them in little vials she had already labelled.    He said I should have a call about the biopsy results in a week to 10 days.  If they were negative, I was all done.  If positive, I should make an appointment with their Mohs expert for removal.

It is now one week from the biopsies.   I was told to wash the area daily and keep it covered with bandaids.  For two days the two areas seemed to ooze just plain serum but finally settled down and today is the first day I though I could go out without  bandaids but just a little make-up over the scabs.

Also today I received a call to make an appointment to see the Mohs expert in mid-October.    Both areas were positive for squamous cell carcinoma.    Enough for now.  Check back in late October.

~~~

Squamous cell?  You’re Irish!  You never should have come to this country! — Mary W.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mohs surgery for basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma

September 30th, 2011

MILKWEED CURE FOR SKIN CANCER

Sure.  Why not?

We know that many of our time-honored medications are derived from plants.   If there is a plant in Australia that has been used for years to get rid of cancerous skin lesions, it really should be looked  into.   After all, “Australia has one of the highest incidences of skin cancer in the world, at nearly four times the rates in Canada, the US and the UK.”  They might be onto something.

Ten years ago I had a basal cell carcinoma removed from my forehead.  The very fact that I am fair, blue-eyed, have freckles and burn easily makes me prone to actinic keratoses, skin changes thought to often lead to skin cancer.  My daughter has the same predisposition though she hasn’t had 88 years like I’ve had to develop much of anything in the way of skin lesions.    Nevertheless, she likes to be on the cutting edge of nutritional and medical findings and has taken an interest in petty spurge (Euphorbia peplus) and its potential for dissolving skin cancers.

Needless to say, dermatologists are also interested.

Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer

There were several interesting posters from Australia presented at the meeting that detailed a new topical medication: PEP005. This topical medicine is derived from the sap of the petty spurge (Euphorbia peplus). While not detailed in the poster, it was known to me that the milky sap of this plant was used in England during the 17th through 19th centuries as a treatment for warts.[8] The Australian researchers used this particular isolate to treat superficial basal cell skin cancer (sBCC) and actinic keratosis (AK), using daily dosing for 2 days, with approximate 70% and 80% clearance rates, respectively.[9,10] Adverse effects (eg, erythema, dryness, flaking, scabbing, crusting) were low, and no systemic absorption was detected. Based on these preliminary data, the investigators stated that additional testing is indicated, which may eventually add to the growing armamentarium of topical agents for sBCC and AK.

Pharmaceutical companies are conducting clinical trials:

ABOUT PEPLIN

Peplin is a development stage specialty pharmaceutical company focused on advancing and commercialising innovative medical dermatology products. Peplin is currently developing ingenol mebutate, or PEP005, which is a novel compound derived from the sap of Euphorbia peplus, or E. peplus, a rapidly growing, readily available plant commonly referred to as petty spurge or radium weed. E. peplus has a long history of traditional use for a variety of conditions, including the topical self-treatment of various skin disorders, including skin cancer and pre-cancerous skin lesions. Peplin’s lead product candidate is a patient-applied topical gel containing ingenol mebutate, a compound the use of which Peplin has patented for the treatment of actinic (solar) keratosis, or AK. This product candidate referred to as PEP005 (ingenol mebutate) Gel is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials, having just completed their first Phase 3, known as REGION-Ia.

Roaming the internet, I found some before and after photos of one person’s experiments with using the milky sap of petty spurge.

Doesn’t all this just beg for further investigation?  My daughter, Terry, was intrigued and she had already ordered and planted petty spurge seeds by the time she first told me about the wonders of Euphorbia Peplus.  In just a few weeks she had full-grown plants – the mature plant is only about 8 to 10 inches tall, probably why it is called “petty.”  And, sure enough, if you remove a leaf the raw surface will ooze a white milky droplet.

We tried it on various body bumps that we knew were not malignant.  On arms or legs the spot would redden a little, sting a bit or itch, and crust over.  On the face it was much more biologically active, with widespread reddening and some swelling which probably explains why clinical trials (as far as I can tell) have so far not included the face.

The time came when I noted a lesion on my right cheek which seemed to have no intention of healing.  It was quite small, no bigger than a grain of rice, and I asked Terry to put a drop of spurge sap on it.  That was on Monday, September 13.  Here is what happened:

9/13:  Slight redness, started to sting in the middle of the night.

9/14:  Swelling and redness of entire right cheek.

9/15:  Lesion started to ooze, applied bandaid.

9/16:  Crater in the center of the area about the width of a pencil eraser.

9/17:  Settling down.

9/18:  Starting to itch.

9/19:  Scab on surface, washed.

9/20: Scab starts to flake around the edges, no more bandaid.

9/21:  Scab diminishing to diameter of pencil eraser.

9/22:  Scab off, surface smooth.

It is now September 25.  It seems to be gone.

 

 

 

 



September 29th, 2011

ONE HAS TO WONDER

Inspiration. Is there such a thing? From whence? Etymologically, “inspiration” means a “breathing in.”

You have to wonder, when you learn that Australians for years have been using the milky sap from the weed Petty Surge for the treatment of skin lesions, why on earth it ever occured to them to do such a thing.

Folklore is filled with plant remedies for one thing or another. Some of them work. We know aspirin was derived from willowbark, digitalis from foxglove, morphine from poppies. Ginger is good for nausea. Cannabis (marijuana) has well-known medical and psychological effects.

Hippocrates is said to have left historical records of pain relief treatments, including the use of powder made from the bark and leaves of the willow tree to help heal headaches, pains and fevers.

Researchers have also suggested that white willow bark is more effective than aspirin because of other active compounds that are found in the bark but not the drug. Animal research at Cairo University compared a willow bark extract to ASA and found that a willow bark extract was as effective as aspirin in reducing inflammation, even though the salicin content was lower than an equivalent dose of ASA.

 

It is not surprising that when a particular plant is shown to have desirable effects that the news would spread by word of mouth.   What surprises me – what causes my wonderment – is how these benefits were discovered in the first place.  Willow bark, for example, is apparently subjected to  decoction, i.e., the extraction of the effective element by hot water treatment.   Why would it occur to  anyone do such a thing?   Why not oak bark, maple bark, cedar bark, poplar bark?  Why not the leaves?  Whatever prompted someone to boil up willow bark?

And those petty spurge treatments for skin lesions in Australia.   When someone first discovered that the stems would ooze a milky sap, how did it occur to him/her to apply it to a skin cancer?  Is there such a thing as inspiration?

Inspiration?   I’ve written about the gift of prophecy before.   I’ve known people to come out with things they never expected to say.  I’ve had words just drop into my mind myself.  And what I’m wondering is whether people are actually “inspired” to use particular plants or unusual concoctions for various illnesses.   Is that how it all got started?

I am reminded of a story told about George Washington Carver:

The story is told that George Washington Carver had a sincere desire to help southern farmers rebound from the ravages of the Civil War and years of the soil being depleted by the planting of cotton. He couldn’t get away from the idea that the answer could be found in peanuts and sweet potatoes. Being a godly man, he prayed that God would reveal to him the secrets of the universe. He told his friends that God replied, “Little man, you’re too small to grasp the secrets of the universe. But I will show you the secret of the peanut.”

What a fascinating biography!

Carver set about enlarging the commercial possibilities of the peanut and sweet potato through a long and ingenious program of laboratory research. He ultimately developed 300 derivative products from peanuts—among them cheese, milk, coffee, flour, ink, dyes, plastics, wood stains, soap, linoleum, medicinal oils, and cosmetics—and 118 from sweet potatoes, including flour, vinegar, molasses, rubber, ink, a synthetic rubber, and postage stamp glue.

Artists of one sort or another will say that a particular song, invention,  idea, whatever – “just came to me.”  The idea has to be welcomed, and oftentimes has to be worked on, enhanced, shaped, but the original thought “just came.”

I am quite fond of a quote from Pascal which says,” There is enough light for those who want to see and enough darkness for those who are otherwise inclined.”   Or, to put it another way, “There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

Are we the happy recipients of input from an “inspirer”?   Or are our happy insights the results of the purposeless random rearrangement of molecules in our brains?

Just wondering.

~~~

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowlege him and he will direct your path. — Proverbs 3:5-6

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him. — James 1:5

I never have to grope for methods. The method is revealed at the moment I am inspired to create something new… Without God to draw aside the curtain I would be helpless. — George Washington Carver

~~~

 

For those who would like to read about phytotherapy, The WHO monographs on selected medicinal plants, Volumes 1 and 2 make fascinating browsing.  Herbalism has quite a history.

June 25th, 2011

GRAZING MOMMA

A few days ago my son commented that he had been watching me grazing in the back yard.  Well, when you think about it, I guess that is what I do do.  I think it’s hereditary.

Way back when I had a Mommy one of the rites of spring was to dig up young dandelion plants before they bloomed, or even budded, clean up the leaves and boil them to prepare what Mom called “a mess of dandelions.”  They were quite tasty with butter on them, not yet bitter as older dandelion leaves tend to be.  Back in the day, after a long winter, people somehow knew they needed something green inside of them.  There were, of course, no supermarkets laden with salad greens of many sorts in cello bags.   Dandelions were right  there in the yard,  edible, and, of course, free.

Just last week coming out of church I noticed that purslane had started to grow where the daffodils had died down.  I picked a little piece and said to friend, Jim, “This stuff has lots of Omega-3’s.”  “It’s fresh,” he said.  “Are you going to eat it?”  And I did.   At this time of year, mid-June, purslane starts growing all over the place.  Many consider it a weed but I welcome it and I expect that I was nibbling on purslane when my son caught me.  You have to get your Omega-3’s when and where you can.  It has a bland taste, interesting texture, and makes a fine addition to any salad.

Purslane

Health benefits of Purslane

This wonderful green leafy vegetable is very low in calories (just 16 kcal/100g) and fats; but is rich in dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Fresh leaves contain surprisingly more Omega-3 fatty acids (?-linolenic acid) than any other leafy vegetable plant. 100 grams of fresh purslane leaves provides about 350 mg of ?-linolenic acid. Research studies shows that consumption of foods rich in ?-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and also help prevent development of ADHD, autism, and other developmental differences in children.

It is an excellent source of Vitamin A, (1320 IU/100 g, provides 44% of RDA) one of the highest among green leafy vegetables. Vitamin A is a known powerful natural antioxidant and is essential for vision. This vitamin is also required to maintain healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in vitamin A known to help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

Purslane is also a rich source of vitamin C, and some B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine and carotenoids, as well as dietary minerals, such as iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium and manganese.   Read more

As kids somehow we had all learned that “sourgrass” was edible. It, too, is everywhere, with its clover-like leaves and little yellow flowers. On looking it up, I find other people know much more about plants than I do but it is described as pleasantly sour and “palatable.”

Sourgrass

We kids used to pull at the tall grasses and nibble at their tender white insides. Purple clover, too, would provide a sweet nectar when you pulled the flower apart and sucked at it. (I wonder what happened to purple clover — haven’t seen it around lately.) Back in the day,  children would  spend time out in the fields investigating “things”.   Fields? What are those?

When my great-granddaughter was here a month ago she informed me that you can eat violets – the flowers, that is, not the leaves. Her Daddy told her that.  He takes her out exploring.

Another thing I tend to “graze” on when available is milkweed, especially the tenderest little tips. On investigating, I find that milkweed is much more edible than I knew.   Chickweed and lamb’s quarter are also free and nutritious in most back yards.  Here is a link to edible “weeds.”

Do something different today.   Go outdoors.   Graze.

~~~

June 18th, 2011

LIMBER LADY AT 84

He is 25, she is 84. An unusual dance team – meet Barbara and Spencer.

Coldplay seems to be pleased with the attention this Youtube video is getting. Though they are called dancers, it is apparent that Spencer is the dancer and Barbara his very flexible prop. At 84 she is unlikely to have the sure-footedness and strength to really dance, but what she does she does well. With amazing trust, she allows Spencer to flip her, lift her,  spin her and drape her. It would be really interesting to learn how she was able to maintain such flexibility at her age. Her posture and figure are striking, though she wears a flesh-colored garment to smooth out her body.

It is not easy to find out much more about the pair — how are Barbara and Spencer (or Gene) related? Was she at one time a dancer? Did she even have a last name?  I would love to know the backstory on this team.   Anyone?

Coldplay have revealed the inspiration behind the surreal new music video for their new single and current [V] Ripe clip, ‘The Hardest Part’. Of course, the hardest part for viewers is understanding the band’s motivation of using footage of a scantily-clad geriatric dancer and a buffed mullet-boy. There’s no doubt the video has generated more discussion and laughs than any previous Coldplay video and already lapped the world several times over via email. In an interview with the clip’s director Mary Wigmore in the band’s e-zine, she reveals the original dance routine by Spencer and Barbara was taken from a morning talk show called ‘Attitudes’ filmed in Miami, Florida in 1990. The band were then blue-screened in as the house band, with great care taken to replicate the original talk show camera angles. Similar plants were brought in and huge fans used to recreate the wind effect. According to Wigmore, Barbara passed away several years ago, but Gene still resides in California. Wigmore had been sitting on the video footage (not literally) for over five years, waiting for the perfect opportunity to use it. While it may have viewers scratching their heads as they watch captivated, Coldplay, by all reports, were thrilled with the result. “They were very enthusiastic about the idea from the beginning,” says Wigmore. (Source)

 

March 17th, 2011

ROUND PEGS IN SQUARE HOLES

I wish someone would explain to me why my local newspaper refused to print the following letter??

TO THE EDITOR:

Until just a few years ago homosexuality was recognized by society at large as a perversion and by the psychiatric establishment as a disease.  In recent years public opinion seems to have done a 180 such that now homosexuality is an acceptable alternative lifestyle to be protected by law, taught in schools, and welcomed in the armed services.

Think about it.  Remember jigsaw puzzles?  In jigsaw puzzles pieces with protrusions are fitted into pieces with indentations (plumbers call such complementary parts male and female).  Not only must the pieces fit perfectly but the colors must match and the designed be completed.  Now consider the human mouth.  If you put food into the mouth there are teeth to bite and chew it, salivary enzymes to digest it, and a swallowing mechanism to send it to the stomach where it can be digested and nourish the body.  It’s all beautifully arranged; the mouth serves its purpose.  If you knew someone who got a charge out of putting food into ears, nose, vagina or rectum you’d recognize this as a perversion.  Food in inappropriate places could cause disease and defeat the purpose of food, i.e., nourishment.

Similarly, in “old fashioned” sexual intercourse the parts accommodate each other, pleasure is mutual, and if the sperm strikes out in its search for an ovum, at least it is in the right ball park.  The plan for the propagation of the race is furthered.  By contrast, in sodomy the anal sphincter protests and may be damaged, the rectal lining which is designed for absorption of materials into the bloodstream is open to welcome infection.  (This is in marked contrast to the thick layers of squamous epithelium which line and protect the vagina.)   Sodomy, in fact, is a make-shift arrangement which can only lead to disease — ask any proctologist!

It’s time we re-recognized that homosexuality is intrinsically aberrant, is bodily abuse, and is potentially harmful.  95% of the cases of AIDS are the result of physically abusive behavior — introducing dirty needles into veins or ignoring bodily designs and forcing, as it were, round pegs into square holes.

Let’s tell it like it is.

Click for the health hazards of gay sex. It seems that political correctness has nothing in common with common sense.

~~~

In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. — Romans 1:27

February 27th, 2011

PLANNED PARENTHOOD IN BRIEF

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council has a way of cutting to the quick.   However Whoopi on The View may shout that Planned Parenthood gets no federal money for abortions, however the others on The View think that “poor people” need the services PP offers, they obviously do not know that neither abortions or other services at PP are free and you should go somewhere else if you don’t have the cash or insurance.

With Planned Parenthood, You Choose–You Lose!

The person behind Planned Parenthood’s PR strategy may want to rethink the timing of their new report. Faced with dozens of criminal cover-ups, the end of government funding, and new evidence that its clinics were hiding 164 incidents of statutory rape in Kansas, this might not be the best time to remind America that your primary service is killing unborn children. This week, the organization released its latest numbers from 2009–and if they hoped to bolster their argument that they care about women’s health more than profit, this is not the document to do it. The bottom line is their bottom line. Once again, the number of abortions has climbed (332,278) while the number of adoption referrals has dropped (977). To put those numbers in perspective, if a woman walked into a Planned Parenthood clinic two years ago, she was 340 times more likely to receive an abortion than an adoption referral. Exactly what part of that statistic makes the case that this organization’s primary concern is women’s health? The nation’s largest provider of abortion is the largest recipient of Title X funds. As Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) said yesterday, there are literally thousands of centers across the country–other than Planned Parenthood–that receive federal funding and offer real care to low-income women. His legislation would help protect those women who find themselves in crisis pregnancies by ensuring that they have access to organizations that see them as patients, not dollar signs.

Here is the Face of Planned Parenthood

February 3rd, 2011

ME VS. VERTIGO

I have written before about the episodes of vertigo I have been experiencing for about the past thirty years. I hate that feeling of falling into a vortex, spinning around and around, with that sinking feeling in my stomach. Yes, it will settle down after some minutes and I can be up and about and get something to eat or go to the bathroom. Usually, I can also do my shopping, go to church, etc., etc. But it is truly bothersome to know that if I lie on my left side that terrible dizzy feeling will overwhelm me again.

In the past, after a week or so, I’d be back to normal. This last time it started on New Year’s Eve and it’s still lurking there. I know if I lie on my left side I’ll be dizzy again. About a week ago coming out of morning mass I ran into an old friend, Mev, and we exchanged, “How’ve you beens?” It  seems Mev, too, has been plagued with vertigo. She promised to send me instructions for a series of maneuvers that are supposed to get the errant canalith in my inner ear back to a spot where it won’t bother me.  According to the literature,  calcium carbonate particles (70% of cases occur in older women) tend to break off the “gelatinous blanket” in the utricle and get into the semicircular canal where they stimulate the hairs in the canal with the message that the body is in motion.

Over ten years ago my neurologist had treated one of my bouts with vertigo by putting my body through a series of movements, after which I was supposed to sleep upright that night, and my vertigo ceased. This time around I had done some googling on my computer but had not come up with this particular treatment. It seems it is right there, in Wikipedia, and my friend Mev was kind enough to mail it to me.

From Wikipedia:

The Epley maneuver (or Epley’s exercises) is a maneuver used to treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). It is often performed by a doctor or a physical therapist, but can be performed by the patient at home. This maneuver was developed by Dr. John Epley and first described in 1980.

The procedure is as follows:

1. Sit upright.
2. Turn your head to the symptomatic side at a 45 degree angle, and lie on your back.
3. Remain up to 5 minutes in this position.
4. Turn your head 90 degrees to the other side.
5. Remain up to 5 minutes in this position.
6. Roll your body onto your side in the direction you are facing; now you are pointing your head nose down.
7. Remain up to 5 minutes in this position.
8. Go back to the sitting position and remain up to 30 seconds in this position.

The entire procedure should be repeated two more times, for a total of three times.

Youtube offers the following visual help, slightly different from the above instructions; there are also other videos at this site.  I enjoyed the comments after the videos, especially the ones saying, in effect, “This worked for me!”

It is said that medication is not helpful in cases of BPPV.  I know my neurologist did not prescribe any but the one time I went to the emergency room when I was awakened at night with acute dizziness they gave me an IV drip and meclizine (Antivert).  When the current episode began a month ago I took meclizine for the first two weeks because it was on hand and then stopped after reading that it was not helpful for this kind of dizziness.  I noticed no difference in my symptoms but have to say meclizine really helps me to sleep well.  I think the meclizine is more valuable for the nausea sometimes associated with vertigo than the dizziness.

At this point (a week after I started this post)  I have done the Epley maneuvers several times, improving my technique by watching the videos.  It did not work right away but I have presently been free of vertigo for four days!!




November 4th, 2010

DIZZY DAME

I’ve had vertigo for a week now. It is most evident when I make a major head movement as when I lie down, turn over in bed, bend over, or get up in the morning. The world as I see it will then start to rotate to the right and my equilibrium will be discombobulated. It is hard to stand up or to walk a straight line. After a while the sensation of a moving environment will stop and though things seem to my eyes to stay put, there is still a vague unsettledness and I don’t feel properly situated in space. I can do my customary things (drive, shop, clean house) but have a feeling that I have to plough (plow) through the feeling that my world is askew. It would definitely be nicer to be back to my usual wobbly self.

My first experience with vertigo was in 1976 when I awoke with nausea and an inability to get out of bed. Fortunately at that time I worked for two neurologists, I was examined for a TIA (transient ischemic attack), sent home, and returned to work in a day or two. There was a similar episode in 1981.   Again, in 1992, a different neurologist diagnosed me as having “acute peripheral neuropathy.” In 2006 the onset of vertigo was so acute it woke me from sleep in early morning, with nausea, and an inability to get out of bed. This time I asked my son to take me to the emergency room (about 3 AM!) After a CAT scan, IV hydration, prescriptions for nausea and vertigo, I was sent home, and in due time returned to normal.

Over the years it has not been unusual to awake with a “touch” of vertigo which vanished during the day. So, you see, vertigo for me is not seen as a big deal. I am currently on Meclizine 12.5 three times a day which makes me very sleepy and doesn’t really make me feel normal.

Vertigo is common among the elderly and is usually called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. It is reputedly caused by a shift in position of tiny stones in the inner ear. This, in turn, can be caused by a head injury, inner ear infection, or the aging process itself. It is most dangerous because of the risk of falling. One website tells me vertigo needs further evaluation if accompanied by headache, double vision, weakness, difficulty speaking, abnormal eye movements, altered level of consciousness, difficulty controlling arms or legs.

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It is now a week later and of late I’ve forgotten to take my medication – a good sign because it means I am not much bothered by the vertigo – maybe just a little in the morning. I am intrigued by a couple of websites I came across in my browsing which offer helpful treatments for vertigo. One charges $37 and another $49.89 for the information with money back if requested. It is my impression that these people have good ideas (from reading their promotional pages) and I might actually send them money if desperate. Since I tend to doubt that they have learned anything about vertigo that I can’t find out if I search long enough, they will just have to wait until desperation sets in!