Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Sorry in advance.
This is simply shocking!
I thought it was fitting to wind up October with this post. Call me old fashioned but I really believe there are things you shouldn't mess with and randomly shocking your brain is one of them. I know there are times for this protocol; actually they call it brain stimulation, and it can be used for major depression and seizure therapy.
How would you like to be in that clinical trial?
Just imagine......you can stimulate your brain and have no pain. Whoa.....I should be in advertising.....stimulate your brain and have no pain. What a campaign.....there I go again.... it just never ends......
It's actually called High Definition transcranial direct current stimulation or HD-tDCS. You put a few electrodes on your scalp and voila! A few electric shocks later.....your brain releases opioid like painkillers.
Wait...it's a 20 minutes session and it said it reduces the pain perception. Hmmmm.....I may be one of those people that are sensitive to wording. Must be from years of reading the fine print in contracts.
Granted the dose of electricity is very small compared to the doses used for clinical depression or seizures. OK, what I want to know is how they figured that out. How many brains did they have to melt to figure it out?
The researchers don't know why this works.
That sentence speaks for itself.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
I wonder if technology has been good to us as a society. In one respect we have the ability to be incredibly well-informed. On the other hand, it makes us incredibly apathetic.
Or do we really just not care anymore?
Have we become so well-informed that we are jaded to the process? Is it because we realize that we have no control over the powers that be? I grew up in the 60's and 70's and we believed we could implement change if we were loud enough or organized enough. We cared so much about social issues. Have we seen so much that we don't believe it anymore? Do we have access to too much information?
That's difficult to believe.
And I don't want to believe it.
There are people that devote their lives to the cause. Their work causes them sleepless nights and subsequent crashes of fatigue, pain and migraines. The people that put together organizations and forums for our benefit do this without thought to themselves. They want a place where we can go for help and to guard us against medical injustices. They hope, beyond all hope, they can get some research money to find out why these illnesses are so devastating to all of us.
They ask one thing in return.
They ask to recruit others to the cause to sign petitions, write letters or just do what you can and if you're too disabled to do anything, ask someone else to help. If we could organize like the gay and lesbian community did for AIDS or like they did for MS it would an incredibly loud voice. It is so powerful to have numbers of people clamoring for something to be done for them; to get answers and awareness. We have a huge percentage of the population that have been stricken with PTSD, Chronic Fatigue/ME or Fibromyalgia but instead of researching and putting a huge emphasis on it, a huge amount of money is spent on the latest pill for male erections.
I make light of it.
But it's true.
Please visit this website (put the cursor over website and you'll see the link) and read the letter that will be sent. The site also includes the twitter handles so you can tweet as often as possible the link to the letter so that you can bring awareness. We need to bond together because all of the "invisible illnesses" are in the line of fire.
What has happened to the chronic pain and fatigue community? We need to spread the word because we are in danger of our "syndromes" being labeled as psychogenic. We need to stop this in it's tracks.
Please, even if it's from your bed, please let your feelings about this be known. It all has to do with insurance companies not wanting to pay out and if this can be "controlled" by cognitive behavioral therapy and a couple of antidepressants all the better.
What will happen when they have their way?
They will shove a couple of antidepressants at us and send us on our way.
On our own and labeled again.
And once again it's all in our head.
And the best part?
They won't have to pay out to treat us.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
It's being done in secret.
It's being done fast.
We need to come out in the open.
And we need to do it fast.
I heard from a friend of mine and his email was disturbing. This won't be like my usual posts. There will be a lot of links at the end and I encourage each and every one of you to do what you can. I'm pretty much posting as it was sent to me. If you are on social media, use it. OK, here we go.
We urgently need your support on a critical issue!
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Kathleen Sebelius is singling out patient communities with “medically-unexplained” symptoms one at a time in the hopes of defunding research and eliminating medical care and disability benefits.
The HHS is doing this by contracting with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to redefine physical diseases in purely psychological terms. HHS is acting in secret and ignoring objections from patients and clinical experts alike.
First they came after the Gulf War veterans suffering from Gulf War Illness. Now they are coming after us, the sufferers of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
Your patient community might be next! We need your help at this very moment. A united coalition of patient communities with similar symptoms and common experiences of mistreatment by HHS can stand far stronger than if we remain isolated and divided.
Failure to stop this action against our community now will only lend implicit credence and precedent to a destructive process that will ultimately be turned on all of us.
What you can do to help.
AND!! HERE'S THE WHITE HOUSE LINK!
Here's what to write to the White House......
Fill out your name and postal code
For subject, pick 'Health and Human Services'
For comment, just copy and paste the following comment below.
For subject, pick 'Health and Human Services'
For comment, just copy and paste the following comment below.
Please order HHS to adopt the Canadian Consensus Criteria and cancel its contract with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to redefine ME/CFS
On September 23, thirty-five of the leading ME/CFS researchers and clinicians wrote to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius calling for the Canadian Consensus Criteria (CCC) to be used as the sole case definition for ME/CFS. These experts also urged HHS to abandon its plans to contract with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to use non-experts to create its own definition. On the same day, despite an outpouring of patient opposition, HHS announced that it was going forward with the IOM contract to develop its own clinical diagnostic criteria for ME/CFS, instead of adopting the 2003 Canadian Consensus Criteria (CCC) created and endorsed by ME/CFS experts.
Regarding the IOM contract, the thirty-five experts stated, “Since the expert ME/CFS scientific and medical community had developed and adopted a case definition for research and clinical purposes, this effort (the IOM study) is unnecessary and would waste scarce taxpayer funds that would be much better directed toward funding research on the disease. Worse, this effort threatens to move ME/CFS science backward by engaging non-experts in the development of a case definition for a complex disease about which they are not knowledgeable.
The use of on-experts is especially concerning because, thanks to the bad definitions that HHS has promoted, the disease is so poorly understood that the medical community at large believes the disease is either not real or is a form of depression or deconditioning. ME/CFS is not deconditioning or depression. It is a devastating disease that causes neurological and immunological dysfunction and leaves patients bedridden, housebound and unable to work. ME/CFS costs the U.S. economy an estimated $17-23 billion dollars in lost productivity and direct medical costs.
Given the overwhelming opposition to HHS' plans by both patients and experts, I am asking you to do whatever you can to get HHS to follow the lead of ME/CFS disease experts. HHS must cancel the contract with IOM. HHS must adopt the Canadian Consensus Criteria.
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT!!
They're coming for Gulf War Veterans with PTSD, Chronic Fatigue and ME patients and, trust me, Fibromyalgia isn't far behind.
These "syndromes" cost a whole lot of money and anything that can be done to deny it and shove it under the rug will be done. Just re-classify it as "all in our heads" and throw us a couple of anti-depressants and tell us to go away.
They have been wanting to do this for years.
Now, they actually may be able to do it.
We need to stop this.
We can't wait until after it happens and then start to cry.
By then it will be too late.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
It's a horse tranquilizer in veterinary medicine.
It's a money maker for chronic pain.
I get it. Sometimes the pain gets too much and we're at the end of our rope. We want to reach for something, anything that can promise relief from the pain. We just need to be careful that we are not reaching for something that can do more harm than good.
Ketamine infusion therapy is big business in the chronic pain world. A single infusion can cost $2000 a treatment and, believe me, the recommended course is definitely NOT a single treatment.
Ketamine is used to produce a loss of conscienceness. It's used as a general anesthetic but because of the hallucinations that it can cause it's not the primary choice. It is used by compounding pharmacies as a cream with lidocaine and ketoprophan as a topical pain reliever.
This drug is no joke.
It increases your heart rate and blood pressure. It can cause hallucinations, dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, nightmares, memory problems and if used long term liver abnormalities. It induces a state of disassociative anesthesia.
Years ago a study was done with 34 Fibromyalgia patients. They got a low dose Ketamine infusion followed by a dextromethorphan treatment. 19 responded to neither drug, 10 were favorable to both, 3 were helped by the ketamine but not the dextromathorphan and 2 were helped by the dextromethorphan but not the ketamine. Link to study
There are sites offering Ketamine therapy. Everything about Ketamine states you should be monitored closely due to adverse effects but there are places giving you this therapy on an outpatient basis. Now they do tell you to stay with someone so if you have any ill effects they can get you to a doctor. Gee, that's comforting. I may have someone watching me who hasn't got a medical license and they are the ones to watch for adverse effects? They also tell you that it may not work and this is a totally elective therapy.
It gets even better. There is a Ketamine Coma Therapy being offered in other countries. It is given in extremely high doses so that a coma is induced. This, obviously, is not approved by the FDA.
Back to the infusions......they tell you that if you want it YOU NEED TO SATISFY YOURSELF by the research YOU DO through search engines. In other words, we just give it to you and if there's a problem you should have done better research. To me, that borders on negligence. We need qualified people that will tell us the realities of medicine and what it can do. We shouldn't be the ones doing the search and then telling the doctor it's ok.
It also tells you tough noogies because you may elect to proceed knowing it may have no benefit. They also tell you the greater number of infusions you have the greater the benefit.
At 2 grand a pop that sounds like double speak to me.
Just keep paying and pray it helps.
I'm not saying it may not help some people. It might.
Everything in me shouts NO.
Everything I read about this drug screams "dangerous in the wrong hands."
It's a street drug that packs a wallop.
It can kill you.
Please be very careful if you are going through with this therapy.
You need to be watched carefully.
I wouldn't do it.
I think it needs more study.
Friday, October 11, 2013
Still not in clinical trials.
A new opioid drug is being touted as a remedy for those in chronic pain without the side effects. The drug is labeled UMB 425 and is still being tested before beginning phase one clinical trials. A team of researchers is headed by Andrew Coop, PhD and chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.
The new drug is as strong as morphine but no toxic effects and because it works on two opioid receptors it can be used over a longer period of time without the body building a tolerance to it and at lower doses.
Some of the adverse effects can be nausea, constipation, drowsiness, dizziness and itchiness among others. Also, a tolerance can be built so it takes larger doses to receive the same amount of pain relief.
But that leads me to another question.
What about abuse?
Right now it's hard enough to get medication for chronic pain. Even if this new drug ends up getting approval how will it be administered?
I just think it should be a priority to make some of these drugs abuse deterrent. People shouldn't have to be in pain and they shouldn't have trouble getting the proper medication prescribed.
Take the case of Nabilone. This is a synthetic cannabanoid that is used to treat nausea in chemotherapy patients. Off label it has shown promise in treating pain in Fibromyalgia. Not that you can get it, mind you.
Well, maybe if you're in Colorado.
All I know is that too many people live in pain.
And they shouldn't have to.