Category Archives: Health and Medicine

Hey Doc? Is The Joke Always on Me?

I swear, my life is the butt of one joke after another.  And because it’s me, I do mean BUTT.

This morning over breakfast I read the news that researchers have just discovered another likely suspect for my Crohn’s Disease.  Whoo-Hoo!  I couldn’t wait to learn more about my future cure!

azoles

Screen shot of the article in Newswise.

I was in my element.  I am, after all, a fake medical expert AND a real expert patient.  I quickly read the article and learned that researchers had found a fairly common fungus that was likely to be in my gut — a fungus amungus, as my Dad would have said.  Candida tropicalis could be the culprit.  And once you know the culprit ….

Naturally, my next step was to look up candida tropicalis to see what medicines I can take to get rid of it.  But this is my life.  And it is me.

And so I learned that the fungicides that are use to combat candida tropicalis are assholes.

Or really “azoles” — a specific class of anti-fungal drug.

 

thiazole

Wikipedia image of one azole, Thiazol.  Exactly what does it look like is happening here?????!!!!

 

Is it just me or does this seem like another poop joke on me????  After all, an azole by any other name ….

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Nurses — The Beauty of Seamless Teamwork

Naturally, I was just settling down in my recliner for a nap when the commotion started.

Yesterday I had my Remicade infusion in the outpatient infusion center at the hospital.  I was in one of my favorite spots — near the nurses station and the bathroom.  The room is a bay of about 15 vinyl recliners designed for easy cleaning.  Unfortunately, once the leg rests are up, getting out is nearly impossible.  That’s why I like being by both the nurses’ station and the bathroom.  No need for a change of clothes.

Anyway, as I was settling down for my nap with my curtain partially drawn when another patient walked towards me from the other end of the corridor.  As she neared the nurses’ station, she looked up at the ceiling, and I saw her legs buckle, her arms flap out birdlike, and in slow motion she started to faint.

Luckily for Mrs. Smith, a nurse was there to catch her.  That nurse, Brittany, called out for help, and I then witnessed one of the most professional exhibitions of teamwork I’ve ever seen.

Google Image

                          Google Image

Immediately, Molly, my nurse ran to help, calling out, calmly for assistance, and specifying the location.  Brittany and Molly gently lowered Mrs. Smith to the floor, with Molly saying “Mrs. Smith, open your eyes,” repeatedly

Other nurses went different directions towards strategically located equipment which was quickly and efficiently brought to the aid of Mrs. Smith.

Within 1 minute, Mrs. Smith had 6 nurses as well as equipment protecting her privacy surrounding her.  Each nurse had a role.  Molly got Mrs. Smith to open her eyes, then to squeeze her hand, then to speak.  Another nurse contacted the ER to send EMTs with a gurney to get Mrs. Smith to the ER.  Another started her on a fluid IV while still another nurse took an EKG and yet another set up and constantly monitored vital signs, calling them out to the team.

Within 4 minutes, Mrs. Smith, awake and groggy, was wheeled out to the ER with Brittany, the nurse who originally caught her fall, holding her hand and walking with her.

*****

I can honestly say as an expert patient, that being sick sucks.  Often we grouse at our doctors and nurses and other caretakers.  We bitch about the hospitals, the costs, everything.  Because we don’t want to need these services.

But, like Mrs. Smith (not her real name), I’ve been in need of help before.  And when it’s you on the receiving end, it’s hard to appreciate the artistry.

I saw a the most amazing demonstration well-trained staff of caring professionals.  I have a lot of faith in my healthcare professionals, but it was fascinating and wonderful watching when I’m not on the receiving end.

 

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Filed under Advice from an Expert Patient, Awards, Class Act, Cool people, Crohn's Disease, Drugs, Good Deed Doers, Good Works, Health, Health and Medicine, Illness

Shout About The Clinton Foundation From the Rooftops!

From 1999 to 2002, I was saving the world.

That’s how I described my job at the World Health Organization, anyway.  And while it was modestly said tongue in cheek, I honestly did/do feel like that’s exactly what I was doing.  Saving the World.  And it made me proud.  I’m still proud, even though most of what I did was email folks who were actually saving the world.

In the early 2000s, Africa was a public health nightmare .  HIV/AIDs was spreading and with it the ancient scourge of Tuberculosis, which was hoped to be contained and ultimately was instead increasing.  That’s because about 40% of HIV patients have latent TB, which develops into full blown TB, a highly contagious airborne infection.  One that since my day has become more drug resistant.

Drugs for HIV — anti-retrovirals, were expensive.  Prohibitively so for the people who needed them most.  The infrastructure for getting the drugs where they were most needed often didn’t exist.  People were dying.  Lots of people were dying because of disease and the inability to get and/or afford medicine.

I left WHO just as the Clinton Foundation started saving that part of the world.

The Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) worked with existing groups including the WHO and the U.N.  But it brought clout to a field that was mired in bureaucracy.  It cut to the chase.  And it solved many of the problems of drug affordability and delivery.  They negotiated incredible price deals.  They worked on getting drugs to the people who needed it most, beginning with HIV-positive mothers because 90% of them transmitted HIV to their newborn babies.

The Clinton Foundation is everything American outreach should be.  It should not be shuttered.  We Americans should be shouting about the Clinton Foundation as a beacon of light.  Exactly the way we all want the US to be viewed in the world.  We Americans do good work.  Good Works.

The Clinton Foundation is saving the world.

What is President Bill Clinton’s successor doing?

 

Google Image

Google Image

 

George W Bush sure as hell ain’t saving the world.

 

 

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Not Me. Really

It’s true.  I’m a dog person.

But I do like other animals.  Most other animals in fact.  And just because I’m a dog person doesn’t mean I don’t like cats.  I do!

And I do talk about poop a lot.  So I understand why you might be thinking that this is me, that I made this video.

But it’s not.  I didn’t.

In fact, I wouldn’t have found it except that I was reading a post over at The Bloggess. 

Jenny was using Google’s auto-complete function to see what would happen if she typed in “Jenny likes”.  I thought it would be fun to see what Elyse likes.

It turns out I like to poop on cats.

 

I never knew.

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It Actually IS a GOP Sh*t Storm

We all knew it would be a shit storm when the GOP got together to nominate Donald Trump in Cleveland.  But even I didn’t think it would actually turn into a a convention hall where folks would be running for the bathrooms instead of the exits.

Apparently, though, they are.  Because the GOP doesn’t just have a shitty candidate, they have norovirus:

The virus can be caught through contact from infected people or surfaces, or through consuming contaminated food or water. Norovirus inflames the stomach, the intestines, or both. Symptoms include stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.  (Washington Post)

 

Of course, their candidate has been producing shit from his mouth and making the rest of the world vomit and crap their pants in fear since he announced he was running last year.  And then again each time he speaks.

But with the norovirus taking hold of the delegates, I’m wondering if Mr. Trump needs a new form of transportation to make sure those delegates fill the convention hall to listen to the crazy line up of misogynists, racists and fear mongers.

Don’t you think that they should be riding in this fine vehicle:

Stool bus from father kane

Picture Credit:  Father Kaine’s The Last of the Milleniums.  Where else?  He finds the best things.

Elections matter. 

Register. 

Vote. 

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Eat Your Heart Out, Lip-O-suction!

Like many Americans, I’m overweight.  Mostly I’ve accepted what I look like.  At least I do until someone pulls out a camera.  Then I use my handy line:

Do I have time for liposuction?”

Sadly, there’s never enough time for liposuction; they usually take the picture anyway.  And when I see it I wish someone would suck away the extra bits and bobs.

Few things make me laugh harder than the idea of liposuction.  I first learned of it in 1986.  I was in the reception area of one of my then-clients, chatting with his secretary, Cindy, a constant dieter, when she announced:

“Did you know you can vacuum your fat away?” Cindy told me.  “It’s a thing called Lip-O-Suction.  They stick this little gizmo in your fat lumps and vacuum the fat out!”

“Why diet when you can vacuum!” I replied.  Me and Cindy laughed and laughed.  You just can’t tell me it isn’t a hilarious image:  Women lining up in front of the Hoover before a date.

liposuction 2

Eureka!  Or is it Hoover?  Sllluuuppppppp Google Image

Now, though, there is a weight loss gadget that makes even liposuction pale in silliness.  Because folks have been busily inventing even sillier ways to get folks thin.  Or thinner.  Or, to totally disrupt their GI tract.

Introducing The Aspire Assist.  A personal stomach pump.  Yeah, I thought they were making it up, too.

Stomach pump

Photo credit:  Aspirebariatrics.com.  But I found it at the article referenced below

The Aspire Assist helps with weight loss because it empties up to 30% of the contents of your stomach into the toilet.  Before it reaches the inside or the outside of your butt.  Before that cherry pie becomes love handles.  Before those abs look more like a case than a six-pack.

According to this article here’s how it works.

Patients have a tube inserted into their stomachs then threaded out through an incision in the abdomen and capped with a poker chip–sized “Skin Port” valve.[…]  Twenty minutes after eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the patient attaches a handheld device to the Skin Port and empties 30 percent of the contents of his or her stomach into the toilet.

Twenty minutes is enough time for your brain to be convinced that you are full, but not enough time for your stomach to digest the food, the inventors say, and that means 30 percent of the calories from your meal magically disappear.

Sounds too good to be true, ammirite?  You can have all the benefits of bulimia without puking!  Whoo-hoo!

Of course, as a fake medical professional, I have questions:

  • Can the Aspire Assist discriminate?  I mean, can it choose to pull the ice cream out and leave the broccoli to work its way through my GI tract system?
  • Can it pull the pasta but leave the protein and the vitamins?
  • Can it please suck out the wine I drink so that I can be less of a cheap date?

Go ahead.  I dare you to watch this.  (I didn’t.  Ewwwwww.)

I bet you didn’t play that video.  I’ll also wager you’re not gonna get an Aspire Assist.  anybody who has read this far is of above-average intelligence and has a seriously awesome sense of humor.

Some funny things should be enjoyed but definitely not be taken to heart.  Or to stomach.  Or drained into the toilet.

And some are just too weird to believe.

 

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I Found My Donor!

Well, it’s been a while since I discussed the topic that is near and dear to my, ummm, heart.

Poop transplants!  — The ultimate solution to my Crohn’s disease woes.

OK, it’s nearer to my hiney, but you can’t claim you weren’t expecting that.

Earlier today I was discussing my future poop transplant with my boss.  (It’s true, I have no pride what so ever.)  She’s very interested in the idea.  She wants me healthy, of course, but really, I think she wants to see what happens from a scientific perspective.  And, frankly, I can’t blame her.  I want to know what’ll happen from a scientific point of view, too.  And from the perspective of a toilet paper consumer.

You may recall that  I’ve mentioned that you have to be very choosy when choosing a poop donor.  If the donor is fat, or depressed, or psychotic, well, the recipient can become fat, or depressed or psychotic.  I haven’t researched what happens if you choose someone immature, though.  Perhaps I should.

Anyway, the issue was on my mind tonight when I began reading the news. And I found my donor!

He is young and healthy, albeit a little younger than I was thinking of;  he’s living in Florida with his mother.  In fact, it was his mom who brought him to my attention.  Well, and to the attention of people with a deep seated interest in poop.

One day Katy Vasquez discovered that the Lord moves in mysterious ways.  And goes into mysterious places.  Because, You see, one day when she was changing his diaper, she saw this sign that things were going to get better.:

Halla-Poo-Yah

This picture was taken by my donor’s mom, Katy Vasques, and posted to Facebook and the Huffington Post (where I saw it).

It’s Holy Shit!  What more could I ask for from a donor?

HALLA-POO-YAH!

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