December Sun – A Web Comic

March 13, 2009

“The Disease Mongering Engine”

Filed under: 3,death,health,humor,nutrition — admin @ 10:57 am

the disease mongering engine, a very silly fake disease generatorI think this is hilarious: posted over at the Natural News website is the Disease Mongering Engine, a goofy application that generates a silly fake disease with ridiculous symptoms, followed by a number of steps to get “filthy rich” off of these “diseases”, such as “Bribe FDA officials into approving the drug as safe for everyone! (Even if it kills people.)” I love the fact that you can regenerate and loop through countless silly “diseases” (a warning that some of the symptoms are a tad crass, yet still silly.) I just diagnosed myself with this:

Obsessive Developmental Nose Picking Disorder (ODNPD)
ODNPD is defined as relentless, repetitive thoughts and ambitions in combination with a childhood trauma impacting adult behavior during intense nose picking excavations.

I think I suffer from this! I need a drug!

March 10, 2009

Weighing in on the vaccine/autism controversy

Filed under: 3,health — admin @ 9:55 am


Everywhere I go I’m reminded of this topic, and I keep meaning to write about this, but never get around to it.  Then yesterday I’m at Babies-R-Us and I see a flier about “Ten Toys That Speak to Autism” and I picked this up, as a reminder to write a post about this, because it is an issue that I’ve researched and that I’m cautious about, as I have children and this is an issue for me. Everywhere I go, I can’t help but notice what seems to be a science-heavy slant of the media in regards to this issue, such as the last issue of Newsweek I flipped through while waiting for an appointment the other day. The slant with Newsweek for this topic (amongst other things) was unmistakable: just “trust in science” you goofball, these vaccines are all harmless! And therein lies my dillema: I don’t completely trust in vaccines (or most all of medical science, for that matter) but yet I know there are advantages to vaccination, so where do you strike a balance?

The message I’ve received from doctors seems so totally mixed. On one side, there’s the doctor that I’ve seen for primary care personally, who’s office is decorated with posters for pharmeseuticals. Her take on it is, “these drugs are all fine”, but when you talk about the side-effects and what not, you get a vague response and, more or less, shoulder shrugging. I asked about one poster for the Gardasil vaccine and asked, “wasn’t there a connection between Gardasil and paralysis?” to which my response was, “Oh, those lawyers will do anything for money.” Fair enough, but what about the paralysis thing?

Anyhow, the other side of the spectrum is the more alarmist side, in that all vaccines are deadly toxins and should be avoided completely. This view, too, I’m not sure I agree completely with. I don’t think that vaccines are all bad, considering that historically there have been a number of diseases that have wiped out multitudes, and these diseases now tend to be a thing of the past thanks to vaccines. But all the same, how to you argue with studies that say that, “Group A had these shots. Group B did not. Group A had this list of health problems that Group B did not”?

The more moderate view, which was greatly appreciated recently, came from a new pediatrician that we took the kids to see. Rather than being a rabid pharma-pusher or a vaccine-fear monger, this doctor took more of the middle ground: she pointed out that, yes, there are studies that show the potential for negative health effects from some vaccines, but at the same time she pointed out that there are so many countless environmental factors at play, that it can be hard to pinpoint all adverse health effects (namely autism) simply to vaccines, when it may in fact be the vaccines, the environment, or a combination of both (she cited more broad environmental factors such as air quality, chemicals in food and clothing, etc, while also factoring in things such as lifestyle, including factors such as a child’s exposure to day care centers or smoke from a parent, etc.) Her point was that it’s difficult to know conclusively where this autism connection ties in, but that it could be a number of factors at play. I’m not sure I agree completely, but if anything, I appreciated the level-headedness of this doctor, and her willingness to strike a balance. Also, the fact that her examination room wasn’t platered with posters for pharmeseuticals was another plus.

So I don’t know what to think at this point. It’s frustrating because on one hand, you hear the FDA and AMA tell you, “Oh, these vaccines are all fine”, then on the other hand, you print up the 2009 CDC vaccine recommendation chart, and the frequency of these shots look like they’d make my child a junkie in the first year of his or her life! Can the immune system of a child really handle that much substance? Is it even necessary if the child is breastfeeding? And if so, why aren’t there alternative scnedules for children who are nursing? Or who have chronic health issues?
In fact, why isn’t there just an alternative schedule for the more cautious patent (like me!) who understands that there are benefits to vaccines, but doesn’t like the idea of souping up my child’s bloodstreams with so much pharma in one sitting?

The search for information goes on, I suppose.

Notice: This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It’s just me ranting about my own medical dillemas.

February 26, 2009

The Health Revolution Petition

Filed under: 3,death,health,insurance,nutrition — admin @ 8:58 am

I’m glad to see things like this Health Revolution Petition, put together by Mike Adams, editor of It’s got a number of good points to it, and I did sign this, yet I can’t help but wonder if it will make any difference. I agree with most of the things posted in the petition, especially the part about “End mandatory vaccination requirements” (I’ll post more vaccine thoughts one of these days, yet for now I agree that this should be the decision of the parents, not the government.)

For something like this petition to be effective, though, there would have to be a huge overhaul of “the system”, and there’s just too much money funneled into the government for the optimistic thinking of this petition to make a difference. Still, it’s nice to see some like-mindedness on some of these issues.

February 17, 2009

Bariatric Surgery and stomach mutilation

Filed under: 3,health,nutrition — admin @ 10:23 am

Memorial Hermann hospital advertises “lap banding” on their billboards around this area, and I’ve frankly always found this practice a little bit disturbing.  The idea of sealing off, or squeezing off, a portion of the esophagus, in order to slow the intake of food, just seems colossally wrong.  I’m no doctor, but the idea of deliberately distorting the shape of a digestive organ doesn’t seem right to me.

Anyhow, I did a little reading on the subject, and started reading some documentation at the Memorial Hermann site about bariatric surgery, and found this even more troubling.  The idea behind this is the insertion of staples(!) into the stomach to make the stomach pouch smaller.  In and of itself, this sounds disgusting, but some of the FAQ details are even more troubling.  Consider:

“Some patients experience either hair loss or thinning, typically in the first four to eight months after surgery. In most cases, it comes back naturally. You can help prevent hair loss by getting enough protein with meals and by drinking sufficient fluids during the day.”

Hair loss?  Or consider the fact that certain foods need to be avoided in the first year following surgery.

  • Lobster
  • Shrimp
  • Beef
  • Nuts of any kind
  • Popcorn
  • Chips
  • Foods high in fat
  • Foods high in sugar
  • Foods high in calories
  • All carbonated beverages, including diet sodas
  • Alcohol

All of the above sound delicious to me right now, and the idea of avoiding these for a year?  Plus the list above is somewhat vague about foods high in “good” fats, like avocado.  Does this need to be avoided as well?

The article also talks about the need for nutritional supplements (possibly the only positive detail of this entire doc) and yet I find it a little alarming that, “You must take a multi-vitamin twice daily for the rest of your life.”  You MUST take a multi-vitamin, for the rest of your life?  Why would this surgery suddenly make supplementation a requirement?  At least they didn’t push partially-hyrdogenated Centrum in this article.

Bariatric surgery sounds like a grizzly option, and I guess I’m at a loss of understanding why this option doesn’t seem to be promoted as more of a last-resort.  The documentation from Memorial Mermann doesn’t say anything about the importance of diet and nutrition and exercise first and foremost.  Who goes to medical school and decides, “I’d like to focus on stapling up the stomachs of my patients!”?

Were I a doctor, and I had a patient struggling with weigh, even if every other option seemed to be failing, such as diet and nutrition, I’m not sure I could ever recommend something as grizzly as stapling up the stomach.  This is one of those branches of science that I really find troubling: there’s a procedure like this, and various medical organizations give it their blessing, even though there are a host of difficult stipulations and potential complications with this.  Much like Lasik, I wonder how thoroughly this procedure has been investigated and researched.

February 4, 2009

Met Life: Purveyors of Pain!

Filed under: 3,health,insurance — admin @ 11:44 am

Reading over my last dental statement from Metlife, and it looks like, for some sadistic reason, Metlife doesn’t cover analgesia or nitrous.  In other words, they want someone to get dental fillings without pain killers!  Worse is that this was the dental coverage for my 5 year old!  It’s like Metlife learned it’s coverage practice from watching the torture sequences from the film “Marathon Man”.

Normally my insurance gripes are with Blue Cross, for whom anything having to do with acupuncture, chiropractic and homebirth are anathema…. but if you need anything involving a hospital and drugs, they’ll be right there and ready to pay their meager 45% or whatever it is that they grudgingly pay.  But this time Metlife is really disappointing me.  Why would something as simple and necessary as painkiller for a child not be a normally covered expense?  Why not even pay a part of this?  Ridiculous.

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