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Wednesday: An Inauspicious Start

Just thinking about this triggers spasms

Wouldn’t you know, I inflamed a back muscle while rooting through my car for that damn CV folder and have been somewhat incapacitated for the last 48 hours.  This is so weird.  I used to have no respect for people who constantly claim that back problems prevent them from working.  Now, I are one.  {{Sigh}}  A couple more doses of aspirin (the real wonder drug), some soft stretching and more nukeable heat bean bags should do the trick.  If anyone else has suggestions, please send them in.  I have to visit an outplacement service asap and I’d like to be able to aggressively pursue and new job without gritting my teeth.

Onto some newsy items:

Paul Krugman has been on a tear in the past week panning Paul Ryan’s ridiculous and stupid budget plan, not that it will prevent Obama and Co. from embracing parts of it anyway.  Krugman’s good stuff is in Conscience of a Liberal.  I hate to say it but Krugman is starting to hit the high notes in shrillness.  His takedowns of Ryan’s plans are pretty straightforward and clear but they lack that crucial endorsement feature that make them so attractive to “serious” people.  I know the feeling, Paul.  People haven’t been taking us seriously since 2008 even though we had Obama’s number  and knew how his weak presidency was going to work out from the very beginning.

I was just watching a program on the Nuremburg trials (because now that my back is out and I am on a enforced vacation, I can catch up with my All Hitler, All The Time) and there was one comment from an investigator that struck me as signifcant that we continue to ignore at our peril: the henchmen we ordinary guys who had no connection to the reality they had power over and they were very good Yes Men.  You find their types among the GOP, the Obama administration and access bloggers.  They experience a different reality than the rest of us.  I’m just surprised that Krugman is surprised at the rise of Donald Trump’s popularity.  Birtherism is pretty nuts, IMHO, but I understand what’s going on in the minds of the people who are attracted to The Donald.  Those are the very same people who were written off by the Democratic Party in 2008, the year they thought they had a chance of recapturing the White House from the Republicans.  These people are angry at the deal that both parties has handed to them.  The country is ripe for a third party and the person who appeals to the disenfranchised is going to see that huge voting bloc as the political opportunity of a lifetime.  I would have preferred someone other than Trump and a more rational message than birtherism but there ya go, Paul.  Really, you need to get out more.  Hillary Clinton could be a contenda…

Yesterday, Krugman proposed a health care solution for Medicare that I’ve endorsed for a long time that would be good for any American without health insurance.  That is, adopt a military or VA style health care system as an alternative public option.  As a Navy brat, I heartily endorse this idea.  The care my family, especially my asthmatic sister, got through the dispensary and military hospital system when we were kids was pretty good.  It was sort of a one stop shop.  Tests, doctor’s visits, shots, and prescriptions were all done at the dispensary.  We did the generic thing at both the dispensary and the commisary.  Of course, I think I grew up a little bit different than most people in that my parents didn’t usually take me to the doctor unless a.) we were scheduled for immunizations or b.) we were genuinely sick.  We also didn’t care much that the appearance of the place was, well, strictly military.  If you’re used to posh, the minimalism can come as a bit of a shock.  I know a lot of people who think that because they have insurance, they must maximize its use.  It sort of reminds me of people who go on cruises and then pack their plates at the buffet with enough food to gag a small African village for 3 days.  If you’re one of those people, shame on you.  You don’t have to get an antibiotic for every sniffle.  For one thing, antibiotics only work on bacterial infections and for another thing…

Bacterial resistance to current antibiotics is on the rise.  What you may not know about bacteria is they pass genes around between them on little rings of DNA called plasmids in much the same way teenagers pass mono around while swapping spit.  Some of these new gene combinations have resulted in multi-drug resistance to just about every antibiotic the pharma world can throw at them.

“IncP-1 plasmids are very potent ‘vehicles’ for transporting antibiotic resistance genes between bacterial species. Therefore, it does not matter much in what environment, in what part of the world, or in what bacterial species antibiotic resistance arises. Resistance genes could relatively easily be transported from the original environment to bacteria that infect humans, through IncP-1 plasmids, or other plasmids with similar properties, as ‘vehicles’,” says Professor Malte Hermansson of the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Gothenburg.

Personally, I’d be more worried about this than the radiation threat from Fukushima to California.  Now, the WHO is getting alarmed that we’ve run out of options and new antibiotics are not coming to market.  Gee, I wonder if that has anything to do with how many pharmaceutical workers who know how to make new drugs are presently laid off with nothing much to do?  Oh, well. Probably nothing to get all worked up about, right?  (We Lefties might want to ease up on the class action lawsuits for a spell until the bugs are under control again.  Just saying.)


22 Responses

  1. aspirin (the real wonder drug)

    I’ve thought so for many decades. Had access in the mid-1950s to Merck Manual. Eye opener. Showed all the herbs that the male-made drugs came from.

    • Hmmm, not sure what you mean when you say “male made”. I love the Merck manual. Very handy to have during a time warp that sends you back a several centuries. But modern medicine is frequently a more effective, potent alternative.
      I and other women have designed drugs and you would be surprised at how few drug targets come labeled by gender. Take it up with the clinicians and marketing majors.
      As a feminist, I’m very disturbed and unhappy about the way feminists have turned on modern medicine. Sometimes, it just looks self destructive.

      • Hmmm, not sure what you mean when you say “male made.”

        RD, I’m pretty sure “male” is a typo and Molloy meant “man made.”

        • Not sure I’d agree with you there. Some feminists go seriously off the rails when it comes to prescription drugs. Not every modern drug is part of the patriarchy’s attempt to oppress them and deny their bodily autonomy. It was due to this backlash against women’s health prescriptions that several companies got out of the area all together. Birth control pills were seen as dangerous, estrogen patches gave women cancer (even when it didn’t) and osteoporosis drugs ruins the GI tract.
          Well, ok, then, the big pharmas said. We won’t do research on them anymore. Too bad. I’ll betcha a female version of Viagra would be a blockbuster. But you can bet that the minute a drug like that is released, some feminists will complain that it’s just a lifestyle drug pushed on vulnerable women by predatory men in order to get them into bed. Like predatory women would *never* take it for their own pleasure. Because women aren’t sexual creatures? Not always victims? Don’t know that natural everything is the best thing for them?
          Of course, if I am wrong and it was really a typo, I apologize in advance to Alice. But if I’m right, well, it’s just a point of view I happen to not agree with.

  2. All Hitler, All The Time

    that’s my default channel for when I just want a background murmur of calm voices as I hang out on computer.

  3. sounds like you got the right idea R.D. just add healing time.:(

  4. …the henchmen we ordinary guys who had no connection to the reality they had power over and they were very good Yes Men. You find their types among the GOP, the Obama administration and access bloggers
    Nailed it.

    • Yeah, I was a little disappointed in krugman’s lament over Ezra Klein. He’s lost credibility, says Paul. No shit, Sherlock, says me. When did privileged little twerps like Matt Yglesias and Ezra Klein ever have credibility or speak for those people who turned to birtherism? Where are the voices in the Atlantic and WaPo for those people? Does anybody besides us bother to try to get inside their heads and understand their anger and frustration? Is anyone listening to us when we say that leaving this many pissed off people on the table is a recipe for disaster? No, we’ll say it but people like Paul will treat us like paraiahs and write us off.
      That didn’t work so well last time, did it?
      Another thing that bothers me is how the people who respond to Trump are categorized as conservative Republicans. More likely, these are the same voters who were more than happy to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2008. They don’t want games. They don’t particularly like Republicans. They don’t like inexperience and incompetence. What they wanted in 2008 was a new deal style Democrat and what they got instead was thrown out of the party by people like Donna Brazile who labeled them the “old coalition”. The Trump voters are not coming out of the Republicans’ hide. They’re coming out of the Democrats’ hide.
      Oh, well, if the Democrats don’t mind losing…

      • The left the tribe in the desert for the mythical new young coalition that turned out to be even more of a myth than Obama’s promised unicorn. Of course Obama and a few others knew that all along. Shame many with a voice had their eyes closed.

        Now if we just had someone who could find the lost tribe and lead them out of the desert. Someone with vision. With understanding. OK, now I’m starting to sound like a Frank Herbert novel.

  5. When my back went out (reinjury), I tried (separately) aspirin, Valium, and ibuprofen. The ibuprofen worked best.

    • Hmmm, interesting. Don’t aspirin and ibuprofen work on different parts of the inflammatory pathway? I think you might be on to something there. The problem is that the half-life of ibuprofen is so much longer than aspirin. I’ll have to wait until tonight before I take it. I’ll keep you updated.

  6. I’ve had 4 back surgeries for ruptured discs, and 2 spinal fusions. The only thing I have found that works well is Aleve, which is naproxen, and ThermaCare Heat Wraps. Naproxen works for inflammation of the soft tissue as well as bone. With the ThermaCare, I use the ones designed for necks, the ones that are for backs tend to ride up. I wear the Thermacare day and night, if I don’t, I don’t move. Leg spasms and cramps and charlie horses are usually part and parcel with an injured back, especially at night, similar to restless legs, but they are not true RLS. Magnesium supplements help at times, but I use the generic for Soma, carisoprodol, and use one at night an hour before bedtime, and it works like a charm. Soma is prescription only though.

    • Good to know. How does a ruptured disk differ from an inflamed muscle?

    • Looked it up. Definitely not a herniated disc. The health management doctor checked it out last week because it was starting to bother me. It was already on it’s way to being inflamed. Reaching around in the car is what triggered the severe pain. Almost gone now. I can get out of sitting position without too much screaming. Shaving my legs in the shower is going to have to wait another day though. Ok, I just grossed out half my audience, right?

      • nope, i only shave my legs now when I’m going to the doctors office. That is one of the first things that go when you have back pain. Thank God for long pants and an understanding husband! Then again, I am also a product of the early seventies when women not only burned their bras, but swore they wouln’t shave their legs again until the men started to shave theirs. We did want total equality of the sexes back then!

  7. Oh, Riverdaughter — I’m so sorry about your back!!! But, how fun that you could catch up on some necessary Nazi-watching.

  8. Find a competent massage therapist — not as easy as you might think — that has at least three years of experience and maybe works with a physical therapist. An ice pack during the first 72 hours is better than heat treatments to reduce inflammation..

  9. I always use to find a sore back, or a sore neck came as a result of stress. I am sure your job loss is an integral part of your back problem. Ice it every couple of hours for the first few days. And then it might be gone. Try Alleve to help with pain. Do a few mild stretching exercises. Pamper yourself….Try to see what you are doing differently since your job is over. Are you sitting more, sleeping a bit more? Places like your back and neck are just waiting for some reason to flare up to show you who is boss.

    • I think the problem was I sat for about 2.5 months. Practically glued to my workstation all that time solving my last structures, writing them up and transferring my files. I was afraid I wouldn’t get it all done in time. And I didn’t. There were about three new structures without bound ligand that I didn’t have time to refine. That was even with staying late every night. And then there was all the modeling calculations that I ran but couldn’t finish analyzing. I pleaded for an extension just so I could get my stuff in the database. Nope. Everybody seemed to want something the last few days but I couldn’t get even a single week. Maddening. We were so incredibly busy.
      So, I think the stress and inflammation started when I was chained to my desk. Right now, I’m just really tired, like I swam the English channel.

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