Category Archives: Health and wellness
John R. Houk
© January 23, 2013
I still have the lingering effects of the flu. I have not partaken of a flu shot, but I am here to tell you when the last vestige of the flu dies in my body I am going to get a flu shot!
I have had the flu in the past. After all I am 56years old. This flu though was extremely rough on the old five senses. I had the lung congestion of a cold, my body ached and my head hurt so mightily it reminded me of hangovers of those youthful years I’d just liked to forget. The difference between youthful hangovers the ache in my head from the flu was fantastical. I never-never-never-NEVER want to feel that again.
My wife has discouraged me from getting a flu shot because of the negative side effects that friends and family had told her about. After this last experience with the flu I can honestly say, “Forget that!” The negative side effects are infinitesimal compare to the symptom of the flue. Even if one of those negative side effects is death, I might consider death better than the suffering torture of the flu.
Here is a short balanced article on the flu shot 2013: How Bad Is the Flu? How Good Is the Shot?
John R. Houk
© June 26, 2012
I am not a Senior Citizen on Medicare; however I am a 55 plus person on a disability with a Medicare Advantage plan. I have read opponents to Obamacare say that Obama’s medical reform will raise the insurance cost or the out of pocket for Medicare recipients. Less frequently I have read a different perspective from pro-Obamacare pundits. Pro-Obamacare pundits are way less in number than anti-Obamacare pundits.
A friend of mine sent a slideshow to me that is anti-Obamacare and is actually part of a chain email. You clink the link in the chain email to view the slideshow. As of today 6/26/12 there is only one comment at the slide show and it is from a pro-Obamacare pundit.
So this is what I going to do: I am going to copy and paste the chain email which includes the link. On the blogs I post on that allow the-embed of a non-YouTube format I will do so. Otherwise you will have to follow the link to the slideshow. If you are knowledgeable on how Obamacare affects Medicare please comment on the blog and the link to the slideshow.
JRH 6/26/12 (Hat Tip: Shirley)
Check out The President’s $8 Billion Coincidence
Sent: Jun 24, 2012 at 7:59 PM
This 2 1/2 minute info-video may open some eyes. Let’s hope so.
Forward this to every senior you know and ask them to pass this along. Very important they all know what is going to happen…..
Remember what FDR said, “There are no coincidences in politics…”
[Author: John A
Modified: Apr 29, 2012
Length: 2 mins 25 secs , 13 slide(s)]
Comment from above link 6/25/12:
Posted 19 hours ago (6/25/12)
This is a perfect example of a misleading article obviously from someone associated with an Advantage insurer. The subsidy was put in place to get support from the insurance companies. It will always be cheaper for Medicare with a single payer (Gov).
June 19, 2012
I went through the Heart Cath procedure with flying colors. No stints were needed so I was in and out the same day.
Thanks for your prayers. Thanks for your support.
If any would like to help defray the cost of $600 bucks for the outstanding bill it will be humbly accepted. I know $600 does not sound like much; however I am on a disability which is not exactly a high paying job. I do have payment arrangements to make it affordable, but still the financial stretch is there with my monthly income.
Here is the donation paragraph I used on Sunday prior to my Heart Cath:
At my SlantRight 2.0 and the old SlantRight.com archive site I have PayPal buttons you can use if the prompting occurs. Or you can click this PayPal generated link to donate. Any amount would be appreciated; however I am not trying to defray the costs of my medical bill by guilt. If you are not prompted to donate, please pray for me concerning the heart cath procedure and for resources to open up to pay the bill.
June 17, 2012
I am going in for a heart catheterization on Monday morning 6/18/12. I’ll probably get some blog time today but I am not so sure about the next two days. That will depend on the outcome of the procedure.
Here is a simple explanation of the procedure:
Cardiac catheterization (KATH-eh-ter-ih-ZA-shun) is a medical procedure used to diagnose and treat some heart conditions.
A long, thin, flexible tube called a catheter is put into a blood vessel in your arm, groin (upper thigh), or neck and threaded to your heart. Through the catheter, your doctor can do diagnostic tests and treatments on your heart.
For example, your doctor may put a special type of dye in the catheter. The dye will flow through your bloodstream to your heart. Then, your doctor will take x-ray pictures of your heart. The dye will make your coronary (heart) arteries visible on the pictures. This test is called coronary angiography (an-jee-OG-rah-fee).
The dye can show whether a waxy substance called plaque (plak) has built up inside your coronary arteries. Plaque can narrow or block the arteries and restrict blood flow to your heart.
The buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries is called coronary heart disease (CHD) or coronary artery disease.
Doctors also can use ultrasound during cardiac catheterization to see blockages in the coronary arteries. Ultrasound uses sound waves to create detailed pictures of the heart’s blood vessels.
Doctors may take samples of blood and heart muscle during cardiac catheterization or do minor heart surgery.
Cardiologists (heart specialists) usually do cardiac catheterization in a hospital. You’re awake during the procedure, and it causes little or no pain. However, you may feel some soreness in the blood vessel where the catheter was inserted.
Cardiac catheterization rarely causes serious complications. (What is Cardiac Catheterization? National Heart Lung and Blood Institute; January 30, 2012)
For further reading on the heart cath procedure and potential risks CLICK HERE.
That’s it in a nutshell. Typically a harmless procedure that is for diagnosis, roter-rootering the plaque on my arteries and placing a stint in an artery holding it open if the plaque has closed the artery to the point of near blockage. Unless something freakish happens I’ll be home the same day or if stint is place I’ll be home the next day.
Now here is bad news. Stint or not, I have to lay on back not moving even a tidbit even for a bathroom break. If I can’t hold the old water I get to urinate in a bottle.
And here is the really bad news. My Medicare plan only pays about 2/3 or ¾ of my hospital visit and procedure. The hospital business told the actual cost but I only the part that I am expected to pay. That bottom line is $600 bucks. I am on a disability and cannot afford $100 copay and the $70/month payments that were originally offered.
So I did a little dickering and talked the business office down to $40 bucks to enter the hospital and $35/month. That is still rough for my wife and me to make ends meet because we are guardians to three of our grandkids who are sons of my irresponsible youngest step-daughter.
So there is my whine to go with my cheese. If anyone feels prompted to donate toward paying off this heart cath procedure I will be humbly grateful.
At my SlantRight 2.0 and the old SlantRight.com archive site I have PayPal buttons you can use if the prompting occurs. Or you can click this PayPal generated link to donate. Any amount would be appreciated; however I am not trying to defray the costs of my medical bill by guilt. If you are not prompted to donate, please pray for concerning the heart cath procedure and for resources to open up to pay the bill.
John R. Houk
John R. Houk
© February 27, 2012
I stumble upon an advertisement that was a full screen pop-up on a WND webpage. Such pop-ups usually annoy me; however curiosity got the best of me.
The pop-up takes you to a recruiting video from Health Sciences Institute (HIS). HIS is a proponent of Alternative Medicine which relies more on natural therapies rather than the marriage of medical doctors and pharmaceuticals.
Personally I am not a big fan of how pharmaceutical companies develop medicine and market them if a great demand is created for better profit margins of which many doctors have a stake in ergo they receive a legal dividend by promoting the pharmaceutical drug. There is too much pharmaceutical corruption. Too many times a drug that is needed is kept of the market because the drug might affect profitability of another drug. OR a drug is pushed through for FDA approval without the proper amount of tests that can expose sometimes fatal side effects when the project profits outweighed the potential harm to patients.
Now be careful about this advertisement. If the message raises hope for a medical problem or difficulty you are going through, be sure to do the research to verify before you trust. Sometimes another word for alternative medicine is Snake Oil. This means the properties in the Snake Oil have no effect on the human body that is promised.
On the other hand alternative medical therapies that use natural minerals, vitamins or the effects of nature (e.g. magnetism) have shown results in actual scientific trials. When trial results suggest the efficacy of an alternative medical therapy, the big money pharmaceutical companies will try to label the alternative as snake oil when the alternative therapy is as effective as the pharmaceutical drug. Why? The reason is because the alternative cuts into the profit margin.
So check out the HSI ad, but be sure to do research. And when you do your research do not just rely on a study financed by pharmaceutical company.
Here is some “about” information from the HIS website:
The Health Sciences Institute (HSI) is an independent organization, dedicated to uncovering and researching the most urgent advances in modern underground medicine.
Whether they come from a laboratory in Malaysia, a clinic in South America, or a university in Germany, our goal is to bring the treatments that work directly to the people who need them. We alert our Members to exciting breakthroughs in medicine, show them exactly where to go to learn more, and help them understand how they and their families can benefit from these powerful discoveries.
Here is a glowing evaluation from an alternative source other than HSI. The excerpt is from Mike Adams the editor of NaturalNews.com:
I’d like to introduce you to an “underground” information source I subscribe to in order to stay up to date on cutting-edge nutritional information. It’s a newsletter I’ve read for years, even long before I started writing for NaturalNews, and I find it to be a wellspring of information about practical, yet powerful health solutions that simply aren’t covered in common magazines or the mainstream media. Here, I’ll review this publication and reveal why I think it’s a tremendous resource for learning about the latest nutritional breakthroughs that can literally cure serious disease while enhancing your health far beyond what you might have thought possible.
The people who produce this publication do much the same thing I do: They go to health trade shows and scout the vendors with some detective work to sort out what’s new and genuine vs. what’s just hype. I had the opportunity to sit down with these folks in California earlier this year, and we got to talking about all kinds of fascinating new discoveries in nutritional science, superfoods, product formulations, and more. They really get this stuff! And they get excited about finding new product solutions for consumers, just like I do.
Each month in their publication, they introduce one or more nutritional discoveries, complete with details on how they found them, where they come from, how they work and what they’re good for. And just like me, they don’t pull any punches when it comes to telling the truth about what these products can do for your health. I find each story to be well researched, expertly written and ripe with A-ha! realizations that make you want to thank yourself for subscribing to their newsletter in the first place. What they put together in each monthly issue is, quite simply, a masterpiece of nutritional reporting that frankly deserves some kind of award for courageous journalism (except they’ll never get a reward because they don’t conform to the limited, mainstream thinking about health and medicine — they’re truly on the leading edge, and the leading edge is never mainstream).
An exceptional health newsletter that’s worth every penny… and then some!
HSI has been publishing cutting edge health information since way before I was even thinking about writing for NaturalNews. They consistently beat almost everybody to the punch on breaking news about promising new products, and their writers have a way of cutting through the typical nutritional confusion and getting right down to what matters most, like curing a health condition, eliminating pain, and teaching you how to make your mind and body simply perform better!
It appears HSI has been around for some time and is reputable among natural alternative proponents.
The Greatest Alternative Medicines of our Time
By Jenny Thompson, Director HSI
Ad Cites: Not For Public Release
Video Part One
Video Part Two
Video Part Three
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6. HSI QUALITY STANDARDS. Unfortunately, there are no international quality standards for natural supplements. But HSI carefully screens natural product suppliers and recommends only the best to our members. (We have found the highest quality firms are usually not the highly publicized ones.)
7. MEMBER DISCOUNTS ON HARD-TO-FIND SUPPLEMENTS. With more than 125,000 members worldwide, we’re often able to negotiate special discounts for you.
A portion of your membership dues supports important health research…
And, in return, you’ll receive “insider” privileges you couldn’t otherwise get at any price, including:
Doctors and researchers hail HSI as “Alternative medicine’s hope for the future”
“It is truly refreshing to read a publication on the topic of alternative medicine that is scientifically based and reviewed by professionals. It is through your hard work and diligent attention to detail that alternative medicine has hope for the future.”
Robert A. Sinnott, Ph.D.,
“I like to think I’m on the cutting edge, but I constantly see things in HSI that I haven’t read elsewhere. For every breakthrough I’ve shared, I’ve learned about several more.”
Michael Rosenbaum, M.D.,
Vice President Orthomolecular
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If you ever need additional information, you’re invited to write, fax or email our offices.
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When the FDA lifts its ban on a natural pain-blocker, you’d better believe there’s a mountain of proof. Tested in clinical trials, endorsed by MDs and insurance companies, this forbidden pain cure has zero adverse side-effects. Yet users confirm it wipes out “incurable” pain from degenerated knees, aging hips, stiff necks, muscle sprains, bad backs and even menstrual cramps! This is just one of the world-beating pain cures you’ll discover here.
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It’s slimy and grows like a weed, but this seaweed extract destroyed deadly liver, kidney and colon cancer and was reportedly even said to treat Chernobyl victims. You’re first to learn of it, along with the natural “magic bullet” that’s 10,000 times stronger than a top chemotherapy drug… the “24-hour miracle” that beat deadly melanoma overnight… the grapefruit breakthrough proven in studies to stop breast cancer in its tracks…the mother’s milk secret that saved HSI member Lee Bowden, even though “I was the worst case they had seen at the Mayo clinic in 20 years”… and much more.
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This “ultimate cure” even improved congestive heart failure patients in just 2 weeks, yet it’s cheap as aspirin! Find out where to get it… then discover the sensational silkworm secret that safely strips away artery plaque… the “tuna pill” shown in 2 clinical trials to normalize high blood pressure…the palm tree extract that’s helping stroke victims “turn back the clock”… the only kind of Policosanol proven in studies to lower cholesterol… and learn how to neutralize the artery-hardener that’s 10 times deadlier than LDL cholesterol!
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When America’s favorite talk show host died of emphysema, the nation woke up to our raging epidemic of obstructive lung disease. Mainstream medicine offers little beyond oxygen tanks, so HSI’s network has been blazing with excitement about these new DNA drops that cost as little as a dollar a day! Patients using them find their vital lung capacity increased up to 90%. Shouldn’t your suffering loved ones know about this?
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What your doctor never told you about calcium could be thinning your bones and hardening your arteries! It’s not how much calcium you take, but where it winds up. This Asian herb breakthrough makes sure it goes to your bones and an early study showed the difference is huge. One patient even increased her bone density by an astonishing 27%-the best result we’ve ever heard of–yet patients were taking just 42mg. of calcium per day! No adverse side-effects reported, so what have you got to lose? Plus, learn about the “lemonade” that irons out wrinkled skin in 2 weeks… and more!
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When an American researcher searched the world to cure his advanced prostate cancer–imagine his shock and delight when he found the answer in Vietnam. His 2005 biopsy shows only three microscopic tumors, and that’s right in keeping with reported outcomes in Vietnamese clinics and hospitals. Doctors there report, biopsies confirm this herbal erased quite a few cases of advanced prostate cancer-and just as amazingly, in one study it helped 9 out of 10 men with benign prostate swelling as well. Discover the one reliable source for it in the U.S., then learn how to avoid false positives on your PSA test…
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First let us tell you how diabetes damage to nerves, kidneys and eyes is being halted and even reversed, with a rare new type of vitamin B uncovered by Japanese and German researchers. Then find out how diabetes II itself is being defeated! Blood sugar drops as much as 54%, a patient goes from insulin dependent to non-diabetic in 6 weeks flat–all thanks to a rare natural fiber. Not one patient we know has suffered the serious side-effects of drugs!
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• The fatless fat that tastes like butter but won’t fill up your fat cells (empties them out!)…
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• The mineral-rich liquid now discovered to be a fat-burning fuel…
• The nutrient that blocks fat absorption more safely than drugs…
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Yes, believe it or not, thousands of patients who tried this extract from snowdrops did 7 times better than those who used a placebo! That’s just one of the amazing new “smart pills” you’ll learn about in this report, including…
• Senile symptoms turned back too. New periwinkle extract stuns researchers. Boosts your brain’s supply of the “fuel molecule” ATP.
• And everyone’s brain can benefit from a key brain nutrient that blows away Ginkgo Biloba, Ginseng and other pretenders. Unlike herbs that simply improve brain circulation, these discoveries re-activate the nerve cells that control everything from mood to intellect. And there’s only one place you’re likely to find them. Here!
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What if you could put aside your biggest fear? In 1981, doctors discovered the breakthrough cesium miracle could do just that by making blood cancer proof. Want to know how this re-discovered therapy could make your own blood repel cancer? Find out just how easy and affordable this treatment is and get the exact science that helped pull terminal patients back from the brink for yourself. Learn how you can supercharge your blood, just like the Pueblo Native Americans of Arizona and Hunza people of Northern Pakistan-all without ever leaving your home town.
PLUS THESE 2 FREE BONUS GIFTS if you reply in 10 days!
BONUS #1: Secret Germ Antidote KNOCKS OUT FLU IN 8 HOURS
FEDS PREDICT KILLER FLU. Government stockpiles 44 million course antivirals as it prepares for possible pandemic.
But HSI has been preparing against this for years. We’ve uncovered dozens of powerful natural germ-killers and immune boosters, and this report details all of the best. Plus a shocking new breakthrough that could dwarf them all-developed in secret by the Russian military to treat anthrax! And that was before Bulgarian germ biologists took over the project and made it 10 to 20 times more powerful.
Stockpiles have just been made available in the U.S. In one documented case study, a sick girl saw her flu vanish in less than 8 hours! So why haven’t you heard about it? Pressure from drug advertisers? Draw your own conclusions. Big Pharma and the CDC want you to shut up and line up for your flu shot, but HSI will not be silenced. Just bear in mind that stockpiles are limited, so don’t wait one more moment…
BONUS #2: TODAY’S VITAL HEALTH SECRETS
• Age-Reversal Riddle Solved. Ever wonder why Winston Churchill, Mao Zedong and other ageless legends stayed so energetic for so long? It wasn’t genetic–it was a secret clinic, where they received a real-life “fountain of youth” formula. The stunning results were later proven in a massive series of clinical trials. But now HSI Panelist Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman has improved it enormously-with a manufacturing process so innovative they patented it. The new process allows this “youth in a bottle” formula to stay in your body even longer. An easy-to-take pill. Find out how to use it, where to get it.
• New Key to Ending Macular Degeneration. Researchers have found that a special type of microscopic algae that grows off the coast of Hawaii makes mega-vitamins look like slackers. It’s 80 times stronger than the leading antioxidant!
• Rye Revolution Ends Asthma & Hay Fever. Some patients in Australia are even throwing out their inhalers! Exciting new rye grass derivative short-circuits allergies by boosting your immune system. One doctor reports hay fever often recedes within minutes. Safe for children.
• Reverse Periodontal Disease with MOUTHWASH? You never know where the next spectacular healing breakthrough will happen! It was the “ordinary” father of a son with gum disease who came up with this shockingly powerful treatment. He was hoping it might help his son avoid gum surgery…but whoa! Not only did the gums become pink and healthy in just a few months. Bone loss was even reversed! Feedback from HSI members who try it has been wildly enthusiastic. What have you got to lose?
Sign up now for your brand-new, uncensored library of Today’s Greatest Alternative Medicines…FREE! Just click below!
The Natural Remedy v. The Pharmaceutical Remedy
John R. Houk
© February 26, 2012
The Greatest Alternative Medicines of our Time
John R. Houk
© December 29, 2011
Shoebat.com has posted a video that is a documentary of the death of Usama Bin Laden. The important theme of this video is that Pakistan aided Bin Laden in hiding him in plain sight.
This is not a surprise because Pakistan’s Intelligence community – Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) – is a byzantine style government within a government and the ISI were and are very supportive of the radical Islam of the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
Pakistan’s military are not really supportive of radical Islam as much as it supportive of Pakistan National Interests. The primary objective of Pakistan’s National Interests is to focus on its mortal enemy India. In 1947 the British succumbed to India’s nationalist movement and departed; however the political expediency in the hope to prevent an India civil war was to create a rough division between India’s Muslims and India’s Hindus as well as other ethnic and religious people that were neither Muslim nor Hindu. The non-Muslim/non-Hindu population pretty much stayed with the Hindu side of India. The foolish non-Muslim populations that determined to live in the Muslim majority areas which became known as Pakistan found themselves a persecuted people. The Christians, Hindus and other non-Muslims of the new Pakistan fled to India or became exploited in Pakistan. For the most part Christians that could not afford to flee remained in Pakistan. In 1947 Pakistan was one nation separated by the immense Indian Sub-Continent. East Pakistan eventually became the independent nation of Bangladesh. It is the Pakistan of the west that is a nuclear power that is the arch-enemy of India which also is a nuclear power.
The one thing that unites the byzantine elements of Pakistan is the hatred of India. The Pakistan military over the years since 1947 has taken a secular approach to its contribution in governance. The ISI appears to be more inclined toward the religious interests of the Pakistan people; i.e. the religious interests of Islamic Supremacism.
I would be surprised if the Pakistan military actively hid Usama bin Laden but I am certain that ISI interaction with the military provided elements that were aware bin Laden was in Pakistan. I am absolutely convinced the ISI was actively hiding bin Laden in Pakistan AND that means keeping bin Laden from America. Getting bin Laden is one of the primary objectives in going to war with the then Taliban dominated Afghanistan.
So what would be the reason that the ISI pretend to be a friend with America and hide UBL? I speculate that reason was hatred of India. The ISI wanted to protect the Taliban in case they could be used as an agent of subversive activities if the American supported Afghan government began to show favorable relations with India. In the ISI’s eyes an economic-trade situation between Afghanistan and India might lead to the Indian military establishing bases of operation under the auspices of protecting Afghanistan but surrounding Pakistan with the threat of military action. AND the threat of nuclear war between Pakistan and India has been on the precipice over the years.
Ultimately Pakistan cannot be trusted because their National Interests are focused on India and Pakistan Foreign Policy as it concerns the USA is at best an element of manipulation. It would behoove America to begin secret negotiations of a military alliance with India. Pakistan will eventually sell-out America especially if there is a drawdown of the American military in Afghanistan as the perception grows that America has down all it can for the Afghan government. It is at this point the Taliban will test the Afghan government to see if it is too corrupt to sustain administrative control of the Afghan nation. If the Taliban finds success, you can count on Pakistan probably through the ISI will begin planning with the Taliban to bring down the American supported Afghan government.
Well fans and detractors I went to the hospital with chest pains Saturday afternoon. My better half brought me my laptop companion on Sunday afternoon. I quickly discovered there is no wifi connection in the hospital.
The cardiac doctors have order a cardiac stress test for Monday morning. If I pass, I go home Monday afternoon. If the stress test shows the possibility of coronary blockage they’ll keep another day and do a heart catherization in which they stick a probe through the thigh area of my leg and move a camera up toward my heart taking shooting dye and taking pictures to see the amount of blockage if any that there is. If there is significant blockage the doc widens the artery with a stint and/or performs breaky therapy near the blockage. Breaky therapy is a process in which the blockage is broken up in artery.
The post heart catherization process entails lying absolutely still while the thigh entrance heals. Off the top of my head it seems that lying still takes about five hours. Then I am sent home with further orders not to move around much. After a few days I get the admirable release to remove the bandage from my thigh myself. Experience has shown that can be either rough or easy. I hate rough because that means the bugger is stuck so hard that it rips leg hair out while the bandage is removed. I hate that.
The stress test itself is not a pleasant experience. It is sort of like chemical torture in which a combination of chemicals is injected into to me. After a moment a feeling of violent pain begins to pound in my chest and I’m telling you that dog hurts! The last time I had a chemical stress test there were like four or five attendants in a room just chatting away about personal plans like my consciousness was not even there to listen to them. Then all of a sudden they all got quiet and began to look at me. No pain at this moment however the amount of quiet scrutiny involved something was about to happen. The scary thing was when the pain did not arrived at the moment expected they began to look at each other questioningly. Right after the questioning looks then the pains was delivered. OUCH!
Anyway as of this writing (7/11/10), the only certainty is the cardiac stress test. I’ll update how that went and if they proceed with the heart cath or cut me loose on another day.
Well God is good! There have been upgrades in the chemical stress test. I believe the techs have dubbed this technique the Lexus Stress Test. It is a process of before and after heart photos with the chemicals lighting the way of the photos. There was absolutely no pain as I had experienced in the years past when I went through a stress test that caused incredible chest pain. Thank God for that.
Update 7/12/10 6:50 PM
At about 2:30 PM a cardiologist came in to notify me the stress test was abnormal. This means I get to have a heart cath in the morning. That entails opening a hole in my right thigh then sliding a very thin wire with a camera that moves up my artery toward my heart to take pictures of possible degrees of blockage. If the blockage is closed enough, the doc will place a stint to widen the artery blocked. Then I am transported back to my hospital bed where I have to lay absolutely still for several and spend another night for observation. If the blockage is minimal, then I get to lie still for several hours and I get to go home that day.
Update 7/13/10 9:40 PM
Well it turned out there was no significant blockage in the arteries. But did I get to go home? Nope. The doctor was concerned the pain might have something to do with my gastro-intestinal tract. So now in the morning they are taking to do a surgical procedure in which I am knocked out and stick a camera down my throat to look for anomalies in my esophagus and stomach, such as ulcers. What that means I don’t know. I’ll have to wait and see what I am told afterward.
Update 7/14/10 4:45 PM
The procedure which is called an ECD showed that there no ulcers but that there were minor problems with the esophagus that is easily treated by Medicine. So PRAISE THE LORD! What started out as scary chest pain; could not specifically defined by the doctors’ tests. I believe the prayers of my wife, my wife’s prayer friends and the Ministry of Jim Hockaday (that sent two “volunteer Chaplains to pray for the sick in hospitals) delivered me from the fiery darts of the devil in Jesus’ Name. Hallelujah and Amen!
If anyone wishes to aid in subsidizing the costs of my medical bill that my Disability insurance did not cover (in the thousands of dollars), click on the PayPal Donate button that can be found on the home page of SlantRight.com. Just being strait with you I offer a disclaimer that donations may not go directly to the hospital bills, but to bills that are more expedient for household living for my wife and three grandchildren living with us. NONETHELESS, if donations actually come in with sufficient numbers it will be applied to the hospital and doctors’ bills.
Blame ‘Big Chicken’
By Wendy Orent
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Chicken never has been cheaper. A whole one can be bought for little more than the price of a cup of coffee from Starbucks. But the industrial farming methods that make ever-cheaper chicken possible also may have created the lethal strain of bird flu virus, H5N1, that threatens to set off a global pandemic.
According to University of Ottawa flu virologist Earl Brown, lethal bird flu is entirely man-made, first evolving in commercially produced poultry in Italy in 1878. The highly pathogenic H5N1 is descended from a strain that first appeared in Scotland in 1959.
People have been living with backyard flocks of poultry since the dawn of civilization. But it wasn’t until poultry production became modernized and birds were raised in much larger numbers and concentrations that a virulent bird flu evolved. Somehow, the virus that arose in Scotland found its way to China, where, as H5N1, it has been raging for more than a decade.
Industrial poultry-raising moved from the West to Asia in the last few decades and has begun to supplant backyard flocks there.
Poultry may represent a family’s greatest wealth. The birds often are not eaten until they die of old age or illness. The cost of the virus to people who have raised birds for months or years is incalculable and the compensation risible: In Thailand, farmers have been offered one-third of their birds’ value since the outbreak of bird flu.
Some researchers still blame migratory birds for the relentless spread of the bird flu virus. But Martin Williams, a conservationist and bird expert in Hong Kong, contends that wild birds are more often victims than carriers.
Researchers concede that the global poultry trade, much of which is illicit, plays a far larger role in spreading the virus.
The Nigerian government traced its outbreak to the illegal importation of day-old chicks. Illegal trading in fighting cocks brought the virus from Thailand to Malaysia in fall 2005. And it is probable that H5N1 first spread from Qinghai to Russia and Kazakhstan last summer through the sale of contaminated poultry.
But an increasingly hysterical world targets migratory birds.
In early February, a flock of geese, too cold and tired to fly, rested on the frozen waters of the Danube Delta in Romania. A group of 15 men set upon them, tossed some into the air, tore off others’ heads and used still-living birds as soccer balls. They said they did this because they feared the bird flu would enter their village through the geese. Many conservationists worry that what happened in Romania is a foreshadowing of the mass destruction of wild birds.
Meanwhile, deadly H5N1 is washing up on the shores of Europe.
Brown, the virologist, says the commercial poultry industry, which caused the catastrophe in the first place, stands to benefit most. The conglomerates will more and more dominate the poultry-rearing business. Some experts insist that will be better for us.
For instance, epidemiologist Michael Osterholm at the University of Minnesota contends that the "single greatest risk to the amplification of the H5N1 virus, should it arrive in the U.S. through migratory birds, will be in free-range birds … often sold as a healthier food, which is a great ruse on the American public."
The truly great ruse is that industrial poultry farms are the best way to produce chickens — that they are keeping the world safe from backyard poultry and migratory birds. But what’s going to be on our tables isn’t the biggest problem.
The real tragedy is what’s happened in Asia to people who can’t afford cheap, industrial chicken. And the real victims of industrially produced, lethal H5N1 have been wild birds, an ancient way of life and the poor of the Earth, for whom a backyard flock has always represented a measure of autonomy and a bulwark against starvation.
Wendy Orent is the author of "Plague: The Mysterious Past and Terrifying Future of the World’s Most Dangerous Disease."
copyright © 2004 by The Tribune-Review Publishing Co.