Wednesday, January 23, 2008

About bees and ants sortta

I was thinking about bees and ants that live in huge colonies of thousands of members. Each member knowing and doing its duty unfailingly to render a perfect home for all. I was realizing that our bodies are in some ways like hives only the residents are so small we cannot even understand if they are just energy or have mass. I mean tiny. I know that I have arthritis all over my wonderful body and I can feel it activating at times. I can feel it encroaching on territory. An army moving quickly if I bang myself and slowly if I don't eat right and I do not eat right dumb as I am. So we have tiny negative and positive things that keep us in stasis. I know too that the little pill I take right now is a perfect messenger to the positive side that must do its work to keep the negative under control: to keep the balance. I am able to run and jump too. When I did that Rap I ran and fell and was totally active for over 8 hours and I am 72. I think we fool ourselves if we take medicines that will either mask the negatives or anhialate the negatives and positives at that level of activity through anti-biotics. They leave around all sorts of undesirable effects which we call side effects. It is a drag but true. We all know this. That is one of the main reasons I got into Homeopathy and Flower remedies. They do not have side effects. That is a major reason I tried but I was and am still amazed at how effective they are. I must be well of a couple of thousand experiences that I have seen with my own eyes of people being helped quickly. I myself can tell you I must take a pill or one sort or another maybe 25 times a year for everything from a cold coming on to a hangover in the morning or an upsetting situation where I feel I have to calm down. The odd bang. Wow when I fell into the flowers on the rap I really hurt the arm I thrust out to break the fall. I winced with pain. I think the bone between my elbow and shoulder twisted for I had no damage at all at the shoulder or elbow. I immediately called for Arnica and cream was husstled out and pills as well and I was pain free in under 5 minutes. My son Simon who is also a 1st AD asked me if I had pads down and a stunt coordinator with me. I said no and his look told me he thought I was nuts. I tell you I was half way to the ground when I started to think about landing. I was nuts not to have a pad down. Never trust an actor and that is what I had turned into that day. Mind you not a great actor but the idea of actor. I will one day put together the out takes and you will marvel at how often I had to say each line to get it right. Unbelievable how stupid my mind is when it comes to repeating even one sentence. Arnica is fabulous as a remedy. It is for any physical trauma.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The New York Times is an alarm clock!!!

The National Institutes of Health does almost nothing to monitor the financial conflicts of university professors to whom it provides grants, and the huge federal research agency does not want to start now.

This is a very telling article and shows a certain disregard for ordinary Americans who live trusting that their best interest is being taken care of. With the news over the last years about the research reporting by large Pharmaceuticals who turn out to have on side and paid medical doctors who make these reports and who laud their products, you would imagine that any National Institute of Health that gives away many millions of dolaars would be concerned about who was in conflict. It is bad enough that we are getting lousy information about the negative realities of some of the new drugs but that we might be paying part of the bill to create this bad information is outrageous.

More and more I read in the NY Times horror stories about drugs not being what they are purported to be. They also support medicine and there is a wonderful story aobut the man who fell 48 floors and not only lived but because of great trauma medicine and technique is now being moved to a convalescence facility just 6 weeks since the accident.

I tell you this for I do not feel the Times is witch hunting as much as trying to wake up America about their health.

I too am trying to wake up America to try Homeopathy and Flower remedies for acute situations as an no side effect alternative to drugs that cause side effects and in the end create worse situations than the problem they were trying to solve. My cut line "A safe way to get better." is worth the cost of admission in an age where the human is being bombarded every minute by chemical mixtures that never existed 50 years ago. The immune system is under real attack brought on by human innovations over the last couple of hundred years. The human does not seem to recognize that the world was not put here to serve humanity but rather that humankind are just another species of equal importance. Having run rough shod over the earth and now using artificial means to attain even more plunder the human is weakening not only the whole world but also himself. We are our own executioners. I am doing my best to help people resist this downward spiral in their individual care for themselves under these negative circumstances.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Positive Funk!!!

Yep! That is what I prefer to call my present state. I am getting some good work done but I am heavily addicted to my solitaire game. It is my problem and interesting to study and make efforts to realign my thinking.
I was wondering what to eat yesterday and then went for a shower and suddenly missed my old and long departed friend Brian. I wondered why and then remembered that Brian was always a person to call about supper for he cooked brilliantly and he also was somewhat lazy and great company and we liked each other so supper was always an easy question. We liked Chinese a lot over the years and Sai Woo was our favourite since the 50's. It is gone now and Garfield and Bill our friends who ran it all are now found in my memory. The food I can see too and all the people around a Sunday evening meal. Great fun. So I have good reason to miss Brian and all the company and good times we shared over many years. It is such a pleasure to have friends either alive or gone to better climes I hope. Winter is having a time of being fully recognized this year. It seems every time it gets a hold of us it does not have the strength to stay in control. I think when you get old you jam ideas together so in the case of winter I remember snow forts and snow ball fights and streets piled high with snow for weeks but was that just one year or 5? I cannot say for sure. Time and the mind collects images over time and like an album releases those called up and the identifying label is what collects the data so snow and winter calls up what is asked for. Mind is vast and so complete and my ability to access it is a continuing learning experience.

Monday, January 14, 2008

A story about a cold.

Yesterday Andre woke up in the afternoon as usual. He works as a manager at the Madison and gets home late. His nose was stuffed up and he greeted me sadly with. "I've got a cold and its going into my chest. My throat is sore. Can you help me."
I went down to the dining room where my kits are: all my kits including my large, 'on set' kit. He had 2 sprays of the Echinacea throat spray from the Hollywood Survival Kit. I knew the Aconite in the kit would not be of value for the cold was well established.
I opened my everyday diagnosing book at colds. Andre read the page and found no remedy that suited his symptoms and so I looked up coughs in the same book as he said his cold was getting into his lungs. He read down the remedies and blurted out: "Antimonium" A new remedy to me, but I looked in my biggest case of remedies and found it. We carefully opened the tube for it had never been opened. He took one pill. He left for work an hour later seeming not much improved at all.

I saw him today at 2.00 when he came up to my office on the third floor. His voice was clear and his stuffed nose was gone. He said he was almost better and was upbeat. He came home last night and took another spray in his throat and another pill and thought he might take one more of each before going to work again. He was very happy with the results.

It is such a learning experience for me and so satisfying to offer just books and remedies and then watch if the patient knew his symptoms and could find the right remedy. I am mostly rewarded with a thank you for the diagnosing books are simple and easy to find answers in, and people are able to pick the right remedy most often.

Fibromyalgia is a real disease. ????????

Or so says Pfizer in a new television advertising campaign for Lyrica, the first medicine approved to treat the pain condition, whose very existence is questioned by some doctors.
Jamie Rector for The New York Times

I am including the whole article here as it is very revealing in its entirety. It makes me marvel at the cavalier attitude taken overall by the pharmaceuticals and in the end the FDA as well. Treating each person as an individual seems to be called for when dealing with what the doctors call Fibromyalgia as it varies in each individual. Medicines are not direct to the person but rather to the disease which in this case has many symptoms. So it may or may not help but one thing for sure is that the medicines listed all have side effects that may affect those who use them.
So read on and be as startled as I am about it all.

For patient advocacy groups and doctors who specialize in fibromyalgia, the Lyrica approval is a milestone. They say they hope Lyrica and two other drugs that may be approved this year will legitimize fibromyalgia, just as Prozac brought depression into the mainstream.
But other doctors — including the one who wrote the 1990 paper that defined fibromyalgia but who has since changed his mind — say that the disease does not exist and that Lyrica and the other drugs will be taken by millions of people who do not need them.
As diagnosed, fibromyalgia primarily affects middle-aged women and is characterized by chronic, widespread pain of unknown origin. Many of its sufferers are afflicted by other similarly nebulous conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome.
Because fibromyalgia patients typically do not respond to conventional painkillers like aspirin, drug makers are focusing on medicines like Lyrica that affect the brain and the perception of pain.
Advocacy groups and doctors who treat fibromyalgia estimate that 2 to 4 percent of adult Americans, as many as 10 million people, suffer from the disorder.
Those figures are sharply disputed by those doctors who do not consider fibromyalgia a medically recognizable illness and who say that diagnosing the condition actually worsens suffering by causing patients to obsess over aches that other people simply tolerate. Further, they warn that Lyrica’s side effects, which include severe weight gain, dizziness and edema, are very real, even if fibromyalgia is not.
Despite the controversy, the American College of Rheumatology, the Food and Drug Administration and insurers recognize fibromyalgia as a diagnosable disease. And drug companies are aggressively pursuing fibromyalgia treatments, seeing the potential for a major new market.
Hoping to follow Pfizer’s lead, two other big drug companies, Eli Lilly and Forest Laboratories, have asked the F.D.A. to let them market drugs for fibromyalgia. Approval for both is likely later this year, analysts say.
Worldwide sales of Lyrica, which is also used to treat diabetic nerve pain and seizures and which received F.D.A. approval in June for fibromyalgia, reached $1.8 billion in 2007, up 50 percent from 2006. Analysts predict sales will rise an additional 30 percent this year, helped by consumer advertising.
In November, Pfizer began a television ad campaign for Lyrica that features a middle-aged woman who appears to be reading from her diary. “Today I struggled with my fibromyalgia; I had pain all over,” she says, before turning to the camera and adding, “Fibromyalgia is a real, widespread pain condition.”
Doctors who specialize in treating fibromyalgia say that the disorder is undertreated and that its sufferers have been stigmatized as chronic complainers. The new drugs will encourage doctors to treat fibromyalgia patients, said Dr. Dan Clauw, a professor of medicine at the University of Michigan who has consulted with Pfizer, Lilly and Forest.
“What’s going to happen with fibromyalgia is going to be the exact thing that happened to depression with Prozac,” Dr. Clauw said. “These are legitimate problems that need treatments.”
Dr. Clauw said that brain scans of people who have fibromyalgia reveal differences in the way they process pain, although the doctors acknowledge that they cannot determine who will report having fibromyalgia by looking at a scan.
Lynne Matallana, president of the National Fibromyalgia Association, a patients’ advocacy group that receives some of its financing from drug companies, said the new drugs would help people accept the existence of fibromyalgia. “The day that the F.D.A. approved a drug and we had a public service announcement, my pain became real to people,” Ms. Matallana said.
Ms. Matallana said she had suffered from fibromyalgia since 1993. At one point, the pain kept her bedridden for two years, she said. Today she still has pain, but a mix of drug and nondrug treatments — as well as support from her family and her desire to run the National Fibromyalgia Association — has enabled her to improve her health, she said. She declined to say whether she takes Lyrica.
“I just got to a point where I felt, I have pain but I’m going to have to figure out how to live with it,” she said. “I absolutely still have fibromyalgia.”

But doctors who are skeptical of fibromyalgia say vague complaints of chronic pain do not add up to a disease. No biological tests exist to diagnose fibromyalgia, and the condition cannot be linked to any environmental or biological causes.
The diagnosis of fibromyalgia itself worsens the condition by encouraging people to think of themselves as sick and catalog their pain, said Dr. Nortin Hadler, a rheumatologist and professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina who has written extensively about fibromyalgia.
“These people live under a cloud,” he said. “And the more they seem to be around the medical establishment, the sicker they get.”
Dr. Frederick Wolfe, the director of the National Databank for Rheumatic Diseases and the lead author of the 1990 paper that first defined the diagnostic guidelines for fibromyalgia, says he has become cynical and discouraged about the diagnosis. He now considers the condition a physical response to stress, depression, and economic and social anxiety.
“Some of us in those days thought that we had actually identified a disease, which this clearly is not,” Dr. Wolfe said. “To make people ill, to give them an illness, was the wrong thing.”
In general, fibromyalgia patients complain not just of chronic pain but of many other symptoms, Dr. Wolfe said. A survey of 2,500 fibromyalgia patients published in 2007 by the National Fibromyalgia Association indicated that 63 percent reported suffering from back pain, 40 percent from chronic fatigue syndrome, and 30 percent from ringing in the ears, among other conditions. Many also reported that fibromyalgia interfered with their daily lives, with activities like walking or climbing stairs.
Most people “manage to get through life with some vicissitudes, but we adapt,” said Dr. George Ehrlich, a rheumatologist and an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania. “People with fibromyalgia do not adapt.”
Both sides agree that people who are identified as having fibromyalgia do not get much relief from traditional pain medicines, whether anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen — sold as Advil, among other brands — or prescription opiates like Vicodin. So drug companies have sought other ways to reduce pain.
Pfizer has started a television advertising campaign for the drug Lyrica, the first approved to treat fibromyalgia.
Times Health Guide: Fibromyalgia

Pfizer’s Lyrica, known generically as pregabalin, binds to receptors in the brain and spinal cord and seems to reduce activity in the central nervous system.
Exactly why and how Lyrica reduces pain is unclear. In clinical trials, patients taking the drug reported that their pain — whether from fibromyalgia, shingles or diabetic nerve damage — fell on average about 2 points on a 10-point scale, compared with 1 point for patients taking a placebo. About 30 percent of patients said their pain fell by at least half, compared with 15 percent taking placebos.
The F.D.A. reviewers who initially examined Pfizer’s application for Lyrica in 2004 for diabetic nerve pain found those results unimpressive, especially in comparison to Lyrica’s side effects. The reviewers recommended against approving the drug, citing its side effects.
In many patients, Lyrica causes weight gain and edema, or swelling, as well as dizziness and sleepiness. In 12-week trials, 9 percent of patients saw their weight rise more than 7 percent, and the weight gain appeared to continue over time. The potential for weight gain is a special concern because many fibromyalgia patients are already overweight: the average fibromyalgia patient in the 2007 survey reported weighing 180 pounds and standing 5 feet 4 inches.
But senior F.D.A. officials overruled the initial reviewers, noting that severe pain can be incapacitating. “While pregabalin does present a number of concerns related to its potential for toxicity, the overall risk-to-benefit ratio supports the approval of this product,” Dr. Bob Rappaport, the director of the F.D.A. division reviewing the drug, wrote in June 2004.
Pfizer began selling Lyrica in the United States in 2005. The next year the company asked for F.D.A. approval to market the drug as a fibromyalgia treatment. The F.D.A. granted that request in June 2007.
Pfizer has steadily ramped up consumer advertising of Lyrica. During the first nine months of 2007, it spent $46 million on ads, compared with $33 million in 2006, according to TNS Media Intelligence.
Dr. Steve Romano, a psychiatrist and a Pfizer vice president who oversees Lyrica, says the company expects that Lyrica will be prescribed for fibromyalgia both by specialists like neurologists and by primary care doctors. As doctors see that the drug helps control pain, they will be more willing to use it, he said.

“When you help physicians to recognize the condition and you give them treatments that are well tolerated, you overcome their reluctance,” he said.
Both the Lilly and Forest drugs being proposed for fibromyalgia were originally developed as antidepressants, and both work by increasing levels of serotonin and norepinephrine, brain transmitters that affect mood. The Lilly drug, Cymbalta, is already available in the United States, while the Forest drug, milnacipran, is sold in many countries, though not the United States.
Dr. Amy Chappell, a medical fellow at Lilly, said that even though Cymbalta is an antidepressant, its effects on fibromyalgia pain are independent of its antidepressant effects. In clinical trials, she said, even fibromyalgia patients who are not depressed report relief from their pain on Cymbalta.
The overall efficacy of Cymbalta and milnacipran is similar to that of Lyrica. Analysts and the companies expect that the drugs will probably be used together.
“There’s definitely room for several drugs,” Dr. Chappell said.
But physicians who are opposed to the fibromyalgia diagnosis say the new drugs will probably do little for patients. Over time, fibromyalgia patients tend to cycle among many different painkillers, sleep medicines and antidepressants, using each for a while until its benefit fades, Dr. Wolfe said.
“The fundamental problem is that the improvement that you see, which is not really great in clinical trials, is not maintained,” Dr. Wolfe said.
Still, Dr. Wolfe expects the drugs will be widely used. The companies, he said, are “going to make a fortune.”