Thursday Open Thread 4-5-2018


Morning, may this week find you well with interesting activities. Watching spring unfold and plants wake up is one way to watch time pass. In December I was rising in the dark at 7 am and needed to start evening chores by 3 pm to race the approaching darkness. Now the sun is awakening me at 5 am and daylight is available to after 7 pm for outside activities.

One of our greatest luxuries is controlling our own time. Most of our lives are controlled by clocks, schedules and planned activities of work, vacations choreographed to the minute detail and goal orientated hobbies. One time thief is using medications and drugs that were originally started as a benefit, now have become another controller in one's life.

Discusses drug use for a couple of minutes (the complete video is 12 minutes)

Meet benzodiazepines, America's next big drug problem Two issues, patients not encouraged to use lowest minimum dose by occationally taperring and normal aging process changes the effectiveness of clearing drugs from the body. The same dose taken at 30 years of age will be stronger when taken 60 years old, more likely to cause side effects of falls, decreased coordination, memory loss and confusion.

Today, the U.S. may stand at another such moment. Its next huge drug problem seems likely to be benzodiazepines. Better known as Xanax, Valium and Klonopin, they are tranquilizers used to treat anxiety and insomnia -- maladies at least as universal and hard to measure and cure as pain. In this century, the number of adults filling benzodiazepine prescriptions has increased nearly 70 percent, and the quantities taken have tripled.

Though overdose deaths involving benzodiazepines are fewer than those from opioids -- about 9,000 in 2015 (the most recent year of data) compared with more than 42,000 for opioids in 2016 -- the number is some eight times what it was in 1999.

At any age we may be encouraged to take too many drugs or some for tool long of time. Many individuals do not consider OTC (over the counter) drugs, herbs or vitamins as drugs and add more meds to their prescribed therapies. America’s other drug problem’: Giving the elderly too many prescriptions

A doctor had prescribed blood pressure medication for a 99-year-old woman at a dose that could cause her to faint or fall. An 84-year-old woman hospitalized for knee surgery was taking several drugs that were not meant for older patients because of their severe potential side effects.

And then there was 74-year-old Lola Cal. She had a long history of health problems, including high blood pressure and respiratory disease. She was in the hospital with pneumonia and had difficulty breathing. Her medical records showed she was on 36 medications.

More reasons to do your own cooking and to limit the number of visits to restaurants. I do like my own cooking, it is cleaning the kitchen and dishes that is not a favorite task. Eating out at restaurants increases phthalate levels in body.

The association was especially strong for teenagers, researchers found. Adolescents who frequently ate at fast-food outlets while out with their friends had 55% higher levels of the chemicals than young people eating at home.

Researcher Dr Ami Zota, from George Washington University in Washington DC, said: “This study suggests food prepared at home is less likely to contain high levels of phthalates, chemicals linked to fertility problems, pregnancy complications and other health issues.

“Our findings suggest that dining out may be an important, and previously under-recognised, source of exposure to phthalates for the US population.”

Farm Report
Enjoy your stories on how the season is unfolding in your part of the world. Locally the fields have turned green, trees still need to leaf out. The color green will surround me when outside until November. The birds are singing and building nests.

Trying to figure out the time of day I feed the chickens. Are flying from bush to bush as I move through the orchard area.
soe bird one.jpg
soe bird two.jpg
Dramatic sunsets are little more regular.
soe march sunset.jpg
The perennials are above the soil.
Grape Hyacinth
soe grape.jpg
Rhubarb
soe rhubarb new.jpg
End of day today.
soe mt cow.JPG

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Raggedy Ann's picture

Thanks for the Carlin video. He was a great truth-teller and a huge loss. Imagine what he would be espousing today.

Nice pics. Albuquerque trees are leafing out, we are 2-3 weeks behind, but the pollen is in the air and I'm sneezing! It's worth it, though. I'm ready for the warm.

Have a beautiful day, everyone! Pleasantry

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The UFO’s are coming to unify us.

studentofearth's picture

@Raggedy Ann Visited Albuquerque for a few days one fall on a business trip. Beautiful area and sky had dramatic colors at dawn and sunset. Have great day.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

riverlover's picture

By a cop. He said he had called, Caller ID indicates a private caller, meaning I did not answer. A safety check. He called my daughter (how do they do this so fast?) who then called me. Meanwhile flashlights and banging on doors. I yelled out "I'm fine" several times. But daughter told him where the hidden key was. So he came in. I instructed him I was all the way upstairs in my bedroom. He came up. No gun drawn, TG. Even my dog recognized a bad situation and hovered on the bed with me. He chastised me for the mess in the house. And then, assured that I was alive (I kept it to a simmer), he left. Why did I need to explain my health status to a non-health person while lying in my bed? I feel violated and see how easy this can set off volcanos. Still at a simmer, got to a high boil after he left.

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Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

studentofearth's picture

@riverlover no matter what the reason. In a locked office building misdialed 911 and hung up instead of 9 (outside line)- 1 (ling distance) hang-up, verify number and redial. Intruders beat on front and back doors of the converted house, while I was calling 911 on purpose) for assistance, before recognizing a police hat. Frightening, embarrassing and fortunately a one time event. At night and in bed much more intense.

Officer probably had your daughter's phone number before knocking as part of the call information. Suggest working with a trusted friend or relative to find out what prompted the police visit and entry of your house for a safety check. Copy of the police report might have the details. Commonly initiated by concerned neighbor, relative or a tip from a health care provider or office staff. If a choreographed visit with Senior Services, you do not want to become emotional in any communication and a third party is a good buffer. Then you can plan steps to reduce or prevent the likelihood of future visits or a forced change in residence. Let us know either in a comment or private message. Take Care.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

ovals49's picture

It isn't just the increasing efficacy of some drugs that older persons do not "clear" out of the body as efficiently, thus effectively increasing the net dosages, but also the apparent reluctance of physicians to discontinue any drug treatment. This seems particularly likely in cases, like my mother's, where several doctors were treating multiple issues over a period of a decade or so. New prescriptions were readily added but rarely would a physician even suggest discontinuing one, particularly if prescribed by another.

At 80 years old, my mother was taking over a dozen medications, prescribed by at least six different physicians. She was walking a medical tightrope with COPD and CHF, with marginal function of both liver and kidneys. Several of the drugs she was taking were known to be hard on these vital organs, but she needed their help to breathe. It took a sharp home health care aide to question the sheer number of drugs, and a new younger geriatric primary care physician to undertake a comprehensive review of her drug regime. She ended up with five prescription medications. Her condition improved markedly, and her kidney and liver labs also improved immediately. She lived eight more good years, passing peacefully at home in her 88th year.

Sometimes less is more. All drugs have multiple effects on the remarkably complex operation of our bodies, and only some of those are positive. The particular positive effect the drug is meant to provide comes with both known and unknown negatives. Drugs interact with each other as well, further complicating the situation. The importance of periodic review of the overall matrix of prescriptions being administered can not be overstated. Equally important is finding a primary care physician with the courage to reevaluate, and reduce dosages and the number of prescriptions when appropriate. Sometimes both the quality and the length of life can be improved by both lower doses and fewer prescription drugs.

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“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” – Albert Einstein

studentofearth's picture

@ovals49 caused by one of the other four. Time for an evaluation by a trusted doctor or pharmacist. Your advice is very good.

Worked with a women once who was taking high doses of iron supplement 4 years after a surgery. The doctor only wanted her on the med for 6 weeks after surgery. She was starting to have signs of iron overload.

As more drugs switch to nonprescription the likelihood of legacy meds increases.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

Lookout's picture

Yellow root -
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xanthorhiza

My buddy has stream banks full of it. I pulled up enough in 10-15 min to last through the year (make 3-4 quarts of tea)...and you couldn't tell I had dug any at all. It is really bitter, but a little honey in the tea makes it drinkable. The Cherokee herbalists recommend a dose every spring and fall to stay healthy.

I'm allergic to penicillin, so I use yellow root tea for sore throats, sinus trouble, and so on. I also grow and use echinacea (coneflower- a perennial)) as a tea for sinus troubles and building immunity before or after encountering sick folks. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echinacea

I find herbal medicine works well for me. I haven't been to a doctor for an illness since I was a teenager.

I hope you all have a lovely spring day. I'm off to B'ham to visit with my 90yo mom (who is in failing health). All the best and thanks for the OT, SoE!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

studentofearth's picture

@Lookout Would be easy to walk on by and visually skip as a back ground plant in the woodland. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. It takes less effort to stay healthy than to recover from an illness.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

mhagle's picture

Chicken feed too, especially in the winter. It's cute.

Your photos are soul food!

Told my daughter yesterday that I am on a gardening high. Been away 3 days and excited to get back to work on it.

Have a great day everyone. Smile

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@mhagle We just put out some suet, some black sunflower seeds, and some other seed mix for our songbirds.

I love the Carolina wrens, but the chickadees and cardinals and crows are also welcome.

We used to have a flock of 5 or 6 hummingbirds, but they left after the big storm. Well, I hope they left!

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

studentofearth's picture

@mhagle in the chicken food. Popular change. Also leave a few weeds with mature seeds for self foraging.
Have fun digging in the dirt.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

enhydra lutris's picture

treatment.Some are unavoidable because treatment is impossible/unknown but some are not. I've always wondered about happy pills. They are a palliative, and do not cure or resolve. Is it possible that they prolong? I suspect that in some cases they are needed, ubt in many are meremy convenient.

In an orange grove at thebase of the Tehachipis, grackles carrying nesting materials.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

studentofearth's picture

@enhydra lutris industry. Original nickname for postmenopausal estrogen until the evidence for cancers became to overwhelming. Currently many men have been convinced to supplement testosterone - time will give us the answer if this is a problem. Antidepressant use continues to grow. The articles below do not include evaluation of using antidepressants for pain control or continuing use due to withdrawal effects experienced by some when stopping therapy. There is not an easy answer.

Antidepressants are not as effective as once promoted.

More people in the United States are on antidepressants, as a percentage of the population, than any other country in the world. And yet the drugs’ efficacy has been hotly debated.

Some believe that the short-term benefits are much more modest than widely thought, and that harms may outweigh benefits in the long run. Others believe that they work, and that they can be life-changing.

The paper taken seriously about the placebo effect was published in 2008. The authors published a similar study in 2014.

Analyzing the data we had found, we were not surprised to find a substantial placebo effect on depression. What surprised us was how small the drug effect was. Seventy-five percent of the improvement in the drug group also occurred when people were give dummy pills with no active ingredient in them. Needless to say, our meta-analysis proved to be very controversial.

The results of our analyses have since been replicated repeatedly (Fountoulakis & Möller, 2011; Fournier et al., 2010; NICE, 2004; Turner et al., 2008). Some of the replications used our data; others analyzed different sets of clinical trials.

Atypical antipspychotics are being increasing prescribed to depression. They can induce metabolic complications such as weight increases, glucose increases and triglyceride increases. The changes are more pronounced in children and adolescents compared to the adult population. They have a black box warning for increased mortality in elderly patients with dementia related psychosis.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Been busting my patootie cleaning the house this week. It's a humbling part of getting older that I no longer easily do it in one day.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

studentofearth's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal too much stuff or not able to keep the fast pace any longer. As the saying gos - it is not easy getting old.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

QMS's picture

@studentofearth

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Obama fans furious at the truth

Bernie Sanders has triggered a backlash by making comments interpreted as an attack on Barack Obama on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King.

The senator for Vermont appeared to criticise the first black US President as he branded the Democratic Party a "failure".

Speaking in Jackson, Mississippi, he said Democrats had lost a record number of legislative seats.

"The business model, if you like, of the Democratic Party for the last 15 years or so has been a failure,' said the Vermont Senator.

"People sometimes don't see that because there was a charismatic individual named Barack Obama. He was obviously an extraordinary candidate, brilliant guy. But beyond that reality..."

Mr Sanders' comments were quickly branded "patronising" and "deplorable".

Actor Jeffrey Wright, who appeared in the James Bond and Hunger Games film series, said Mr Sanders was "giving a master class on expressing TOTAL ignorance of how black folks work."

I guess white people can't criticize black people under any circumstances.

Note how this tweet is from a white woman.

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studentofearth's picture

@gjohnsit and capabilities. It is hard work not to allow our judgements regarding others to be influenced by presumptions we have of certain political affiliations, economic status, gender, genetics or tribal group (including religion). To avoid being singled out, we are conditioned to agree with the power structure to avoid criticism, name calling, economic consequences or violence.

It is interesting to watch the range of reactions from thinking about the words, working to build bridges, or reverse finger pointing to maintain and increase fissures between groups. They have potential as methods of people control and windows into insecurities.

Bernie must not be currently bound by legal agreements with the democratic party. Those are strong truths.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

@gjohnsit Black, woman, lawyer. On Twitter Optimistic populist.
https://twitter.com/briebriejoy/status/981878733224185856
Don't want to embed since it is pretty long thread. And, to be honest, twitter is weird as hell especially when the topic has anything to do with Hillary and Bernie. Replies are probably half bots.

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studentofearth's picture

@peachcreek

From the audience, I watched the crowd of a 85% black city give Bernie Sanders a standing ovation both before & after his remarks. The crowd responded positively to Sander's point that the Democratic party has failed to retain seats - even w/ a leader as charismatic as Obama.
Optimistic Populist

Many of the comments are responding to information media reporting not the speech by Bernie.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

@studentofearth I got distracted by not knowing how an embedded tweet thread would play out (maybe an oops, 200 unrelated and garbage tweets in a comment. nope, not going to go there). But, at the same time, I thought this retweet was important for people to see. Appreciate you seeing that..

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