Struggling With Antibiotic Resistance

I never saw it coming. The process started with a small, but painful sensation right in the middle of my right butt-cheek. A very annoying problem because I am a writer squirming around as I try to fill up empty screens with words.

At first, I downplayed it as just some stupid little irritation that would go away as soon as it came. Being a diabetic for about 25 years now I am prone to inflammations and infections. This was just another in a long succession of intermittent, annoying, health problems.

At the onset, the thought never occurred that it might be an infection. I had not had any accident, no cuts, abrasions or scrapes so that did not pop up as the culprit. That is until it persisted and grew into an open sore. The pain level also rose dramatically.

I went to the doctor. He did not think it was serious. He wrote a prescription for a mild antibiotic and a cream. I left the office confident that the problem was in hand. Back home I took a pill, applied the cream and applied a bandage.

By that point sitting at my computer and performing my daily writing ritual was growing into a serious challenge. The pain was so intense that I had to force myself not to move at all. That worked for a while. I took the full antibiotic course and got into the habit of cleaning and dressing the open wound three times a day.

The process began last November. As I came to the end of the bottle of pills I was hit by a wave of disappointment and confusion. I had to face the fact that the infection had gotten worse, not better. Had the doctor misdiagnosed it? Had he given me the wrong antibiotic? Worse, did I have some rare new infection?

I went back to his office in a far more worried state than I was during my first visit. He admitted he was puzzled but brushed that aside. I got a new prescription for a stronger antibiotic that was going to require four consecutive injections.

Once again I returned home feeling a bit numb but optimistic that this stronger injectible antibiotic would do the trick. I got the injections and waited for the medication to build up in my system and wipe out the infection. I waited and waited. The situation did not get better it got even worse.

By then I could not sit and also had a hard time walking. The pain was constant even when I was trying to write while lying down. This time when I returned to the doctor’s office he told me to go to the emergency room. He would not try another antibiotic. In fact, he seemed at a loss.

Instead, I went to a clinic. The doctor there did prescribe another antibiotic, took a culture for the lab and had nurses scrub the wound. It just kept growing as if the antibiotic cream was a placebo and the injections had been nothing but water.

At that point, I had added symptoms including chronic fatigue and the first signs of depression. These two are features of a diabetic’s life and I knew what they were as soon as they arose. My immune system was beaten down and using whatever energy it could get from whatever source was available.

I did not get my hopes up during the third two-week course of the latest antibiotic. In fact, I was on pins and needles the whole time. When I finished I was not surprised that it too had failed at its job. Still, it never occurred to me that I might be antibiotic resistant.

By that point, I began to consider the possibility that my 71-year old body was running out of gas. My energy level was so low, and pain level so high that I could not write. I could only walk the short distance to the corner store to ship and my mood was buried in the pits.

When I returned to the doctor’s office he did not seem too surprised by the fact his prescription had failed. He put the lab report up on the lightbox and pointed to it. “I am afraid the results show you are resistant to every type of antibiotic we have.”

I simply could not wrap my mind around his statement. I had never thought that I had overused antibiotics to the point my immune system built up a total tolerance. Then again, nobody ever tells you where that line is.

In fact, I had taken at least one course each of the 3 previous years to cure sinus infections. I left the office completely confused and with no idea of what to do next. The doctor suggested that I schedule an operation to remove the infected area. My thought was that hospitals are great places to contract infections. I was not eager to take that option especially when it would mean I could not sit at the computer and work for a much longer period of time.

Believe it or not, that whole process went on for four months and I still had the infection. I decided to tough it out and see if my body would mobilize and get rid of it. Then I had an impulse to try one more doctor, a female who I had seen before and was impressed by.

She gave me a spray that the other doctors never mentioned, Microdacyn. This spray is a biologically active treatment for the treatment of acute and chronic wounds that are difficult to heal. I applied and applied it every day and started seeing improvement much to my relief.

My status now is guarded and uncertain. I do now I cannot afford one more sinus infection. I did discover one effective treatment, Phage Therapy. However, that is only available in Eastern Europe. I advise a very conservative approach when it comes to taking antibiotics, only do so when it is truly necessary.

A Healthy Dose of Medicine for the Soul

A large segment of the human population takes things way too seriously for their own good. The strange anomaly is that most people laugh at the wrong thing and fail to laugh at the right thing. This serious incongruity has robbed people of a healthy attitude towards life in general.

Those who take life too seriously are in danger of missing the great joys of living in a crazy world like ours. I am not sure about the scientific research but I would guess that for every sad moment it takes one hundred laughs to balance the books. Some people are about ninety-nine laughs short of a real sane moment.

I like the old English proverb that says, “Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone.”

From my perspective, if you cannot laugh with someone you will not be able to cry with him or her and have it mean anything.

According to some medical advice, it takes more facial muscles and energy to frown than it does to smile. Of course, the only exercise some people have is frowning and who am I to take that away from them.

I am determined, no matter what, to exercise my right to smile and laugh and enjoy the world around me. I must confess that I get this attitude quite honestly.

My paternal grandfather was a Past Master in the area of practical jokes. No amount of time was too much to spend preparing for one of his famous practical jokes. His favorite holiday was April 1 and began preparing for this holiday right after Christmas.

The fact that his practical jokes at times got him into trouble did not seem to affect him at all.

Once while in the hospital for an extended period he had somebody smuggle in to him a can of snuff. For some reason he liked chewing snuff. It is the most disgusting habit I know of on earth.

He no sooner received his smuggled goods then he began chewing it. If you know anything about chewing snuff, you know it is accompanied by a lot of spitting. As usual, his timing was impeccable. Just as the head nurse passed his door and looked in, he leaned over and spit in to the garbage can he had next to his bed. The nurse, not knowing about the chewing snuff, thought he was spitting blood and immediately went into emergency mode. Immediately my grandfather was rushed into the operating room and the surgeon and medical team were assembled.

My grandfather was very sick at the time. Some did not think he would get out of the hospital.

Just as they got him situated in the operating room he pulled from under his sheet his can of chewing snuff and smiled at them. The only person in the room that thought this was in any way amusing was my grandfather. The doctors were so angry with him that they refused to see him for three days and confiscated his can of chewing snuff.

My aunt and uncle lived right next to my grandfather. My aunt was hyper clean when it came to her house. Dirt in any form was not welcome under her roof. She had a broom that was always within reach because she never knew when a piece of dirt would try to invade her domicile.

That year my grandfather found something new. I am not sure where he found it but he probably spent a lot of time looking for something like this. It was a rubber facsimile of a very nasty looking piece of vomit. To him it was a prized possession.

Most of his practical jokes were executed on April 1. Whenever we saw grandfather coming on this particular day we usually ran for cover.

He went over to visit my aunt and was sitting on the couch in the living room. They chatted for a little while and then my grandfather began to cough a little bit. He said to my aunt, “I haven’t been feeling good lately. I really don’t know what it is.” Then he started to cough a little more seriously, to which, my aunt got up and went to the kitchen to get him a glass of water thinking that might help him.

When she got back, she was shocked to see on her new coffee table a very horrible sight. My grandfather was bent over the coffee table hacking and coughing as though he was in the process of dying. On the coffee table was a very nasty looking piece of vomit.

My aunt went into hysterics. She whirled around and within a moment had grabbed her broom and started towards my grandfather. My grandfather was laughing but not for long.

Suddenly he realized that the flailing broom in my aunt’s hand was aimed at him. She chased him out of the house, down the driveway and for at least three blocks yelling obscenities at him that I dare not repeat in public society.

Importance of Evidence-Based Complementary Medicine

The modern-day world has many challenges and thus good health is one of the greatest blessings in today’s era. For example, a rich man with a bad health will always be unsatisfied and unhappy! “Health is Wealth”. Improving your health is an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. It is a fact that your health affects all the aspects of your life, be it professional, or personal. Probably that is the reason why evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine came into existence!

With increasing number of health-related apps and journals on the internet, you can now easily move towards a healthier lifestyle. Even the experts of medicine have admitted that the advice and products of work best when supplemented with a doctor’s standard care and supervision.

As the famous proverb suggests, “Prevention is better than cure” and evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine helps you achieve this goal. So, here are a few benefits that you might get if you follow an integrative healthcare protocol:

It helps you in receiving specific treatment plans as per your physical requirements. As each individual has a unique body, it is not advisable to subscribe to a generalized treatment protocol. An effective biotyping assessment studies your inherited traits such as body frame, personality type, digestive capacity, metabolic activity, nutrigenomics, as well as environmental factors. In this way, it provides you with a personalized holistic Integrative healthcare medicine advice.
It aims at examining and treating all the aspects of physical as well as emotional components. It is proven that daily stress negatively affects your emotions, biology and genetics. All this further results in greater risks of several chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease!
It offers a wide range of Natural Cure and Remedies so that you are not completely dependent on pharmaceuticals, many of which have side-effects. The food that you eat is one of the biggest reasons behind your healthy (or unhealthy) life! Following unhealthy food habits can result in an increase in the risk of heart conditions, high blood sugar, obesity, etc. So, what could be better than utilizing food as a medicine?
It focuses on the prevention of diseases before it even occurs. While conventional medicines are prescribed for a lifetime for chronic disease, alternative medicine examines the root causes of the disease. It also encourages the patients to focus on preventing a disease by eating healthy foods, exercise, meditation, etc.

Migraine Patient Recently Shifted From Kolkata To Delhi By Global Air Ambulance

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A migraine is a primary headache turmoil characterized by recurring headaches that are restrained to severe. Characteristically, the headaches influence one half of the head, are pulsating in nature, and last from two to 72 hours. Connected symptoms may comprise nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, or smell.

Our Company is mainly standing with the low-cost budget without any hidden or another additional costing which not only makes relaxes to the guests but also satisfies to their budgets. We relocate the patient from one city to another city, our operational teams are well experienced and specialized in this field they easily manage all things and criteria associated with transporting patient within a short span of time. We are one of the top ranking air ambulance service providers as its aim is not to earn money but to give secure service and provide special care to the ICU patients as they need lots of care during translocation from one city to another.

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We offer always lower rate and after the updating lowest cost to the needy and it is possible only by our company who always believes in quality, safety, experience, transparency and economic cost in connection with the serious ones anytime, anywhere, and anyhow only after call confirmation. We are 24hours alarmed based quick transfer services where any serious, accidental, sick or chronic patients are being transferred under the supervision of its doctors, paramedics, and nurses from one bed to the desired bed. It endows with full security to the patients and gives them the best service al reliable budget. It has courteous, experienced, and well-trained staff that always available in the Air Ambulance from Kolkata to give immediate treatment to the patients.

This Air Ambulance in Delhi is one of the most time saving, intense assistance and quick service providers by private charter aircraft, commercial airlines evacuation system, medical transfer facility and much more transfer service available. It provides you with the best medical Doctors team and paramedics. We are based on the 24/7 hrs time providing assistance which has great channels of ICU specialist MD doctors’ panels and long time experienced and working for paramedical technicians.

Importance of Right Glassware

Eating and drinking may be just another imperative thing to do for humans for their survival, but they are impacted by a lot of things. One of the factors that has a direct effect on the manner in which the food is targeted and absorbed by the body is the psychology with which one consumes their food and drinks and this psychology is majorly affected by the cutlery and the utensils in which we do this repetitive task. Eating proper is not just about eating the right food in the right manner, but it is also about eating it in the right kind of dishes. The plates and glass in front of us can either make or kill the mood to eat food (no matter how good it is or how well it has been cooked). For example, a normal steel plate can be an immediate mood killer as compared to one made out of some great quality glass. Same goes for the glasses; be it for drinking water, serving alcohol to guests, or just gulping down some wine or beer when you are in the mood.

The entire paragraph can be paraphrased to basically say that the crockery, cutlery, and glasses used for food intake should be swanky and attractive to not only make the food look more good and presentable, but also to add a touch of chic and décor to your kitchen and also leave a good impression on the guests (if and when they come).

BUYING THE RIGHT TYPE OF GLASS DISHES

So far we saw how the type of dishes used can be a buzzkill for many which is why in all sorts of setups (be it your home or a professional environment such as a restaurant or a bar, etc.), following are some factors that one may consider in order to ensure that your crockery and glass dishes always appear at their best:

If plates are the concerned department, it is best advised to stay simple yet elegant and the best way to do so is to go with plain white plates reason being that they are conveniently inexpensive, present the food in the best manner possible, and also do not fade away easily.

For wine glasses, it always suggested to go with those that have a relatively sturdy build to them for them slipping away from your or your guests’ hands are always a great flight risk not worth taking.

For red wine, go with glasses with a wide bowl
For white wine, go with a glass that has a comparatively narrow bowl

Chemistry teaches us that “symmetry leads to stability” and the same should be applied to your crockery. The balance between normal and ornate design plates should be perfect.

For champagne and martini and other types of alcohol glasses, there is no fixed trend you can follow. There are quite a bunch of options to choose from depending upon the alcohol and your taste and preference when it comes to your glassware. For example, the champagne flute is the most common champagne glass, the brandy balloon is the most common glass used to serve brandy, etc.

Good,, Bad, and Trans Fats and the Health Risk They Pose

What many don’t realise is that fats are essential for good health. The brain, for instance, is contains fat, but it is the good one and not that which can kill you. As people age they become more susceptible to weight gain and the large stomachs seen in many. The fat around their middle is from bad fats that usually come from things like sugar and trans fats.

Alcohol is the same as sugar in its molecular component. In other words, sugar breaks down into the same structure as alcohol and this is why beer drinkers end up with what is described as a ‘beer gut’. But that is not trans fat but the product of a normal digestive function whereby the ‘sugar’ overloads the liver and turns into fat.

In that case one may end up with a fatty liver and possibly pancreas leading to cancer of the organs. It also leads to diabetes and loss of limbs, eye-sight, and heart disease, among other things.

Then there are the trans-fats and these are normal fats that have undergone transformation due to heat. They take on extra molecules of hydrogen during the process and that makes them virtually indigestible by the liver so that they are laid around the vital organs.

The worst practice comes from super heated and oft heated oils. They are found in commercial ovens where deep fried fish and vegetables are produced. They are the in many of the snack foods people are addicted to while the warning that should accompany them is that they can lead to diseases, as described above, and even death.

Cancer Immunotherapy Use on Cancer Patients

Recent advances in treating cancer patients have resulted in the development of biological therapies that can prove to be a promising alternative to conventional cancer therapies. Immunotherapy harnesses the body’s immune system to identify and fight effectively against cancer cells.

Immunotherapy works by attacking the growth of cancer cells or stimulating the immune system to kill cancer cells. Contradictory to the standard cancer treatment regimes such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, which act on both normal and cancerous cells, immuno-therapeutic treatments are highly specific. A wide range of cancer immuno-therapy approaches exists such as immune checkpoint blockers, cancer vaccines, immune-modulators, monoclonal antibodies and cell based immuno-therapies have demonstrated to be effective against cancer patients.

The most commonly targeted form of cancer chemotherapy is the use of monoclonal antibodies as they can be tailor-made in the laboratory. They have unique antigen specificity thereby allowing themselves to attach to specific epitopes on cancer cells. This flags the cancer cells and makes it more visible to the immune system so that it can find and destroy those cells. Currently, most of the monoclonal antibodies are undergoing phase 3 clinical trials or awaiting FDA review process. Unlike monoclonal antibodies, non-specific immuno-therapy approaches such as administration of immuno-modulatory cytokines are also being used to treat melanoma. Cytokines are hormones that are endogenously produced by the body to enhance or suppress T-cell response against cancer cells. IFN-α and IL-2 are most commonly characterized cytokines used in cancer immuno-therapy.

The primary cell-based immuno-therapy strategy which is successful these days is the use of T-cell therapy, wherein cancer T cells removed from blood are modified with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) and is then infused back into the patients to treat metastatic cancer. Another form of cell-based immuno-therapy used is tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) therapy, wherein TIL is surgically removed from tumor tissue and is considerably increased in the laboratory by adding cytokines to it and is then re-infused back into the patient.

A promising treatment that has emerged in recent times for treatment of melanoma is the use of immune checkpoint inhibitors. They act by inhibiting the checkpoint receptors on T cells that act as brakes to the immune system thereby mediating anti-tumor responses. Some of the commonly used antibody inhibitors that have been commercialized are PD-1, PDL-1, and CTLA-4. Another more focused approach to cancer immuno-therapy is the use of vaccines to encourage the immune system to generate antibodies that can target tumor specific antigens, thereby eradicating cancerous cells. Cancer vaccines include peptide-based, dendritic cell-based, tumor cell-based and DNA cell based. Cancer vaccines can be broadly classified as preventive or therapeutic. Preventive vaccines are commercially available for against cervical and liver cancer causing viruses such as human Papillomavirus and Hepatitis B virus, respectively.

However, in spite of these advances, limitation such as tumor heterogeneity, unpredictable efficacy and identification of potential markers still exist in the field of cancer immuno-therapy. Therefore, new more targeted cancer immuno-therapies and preventive strategies are being developed and tested, which will deliver novel efficacious therapy against relapsed or refractory cancer patients.

DOUBLE-BLINDED MEDICINE: When Doctor and Patient Are Both in the Dark

DOUBLE-BLINDED MEDICINE:

When Doctor and Patient Are

Both in the Dark

I met a dermatologist the other day who made my skin crawl. He was in his thirties, tall, lean, and unsmiling, like many doctors these days. But what stood out most was a fresh-looking, full-color, eye-popping tattoo on his right arm that snaked its way up from his wrist, circumvented his forearm, and slipped beneath his short-sleeved shirt to unknown anatomical areas. I believe he also had a tattoo on his left arm, but I was too gobsmacked at the time to take note.

Now, you might think, as I do, that a tattooed dermatologist is an oxymoron. It doesn’t take much imagination, or research on the Internet, to realize that tattoos are bad for the skin.

The most obvious issue is that tattooing is done by puncturing the skin, causing skin trauma and risk of infection. Interestingly, there is research that connects the injury to the skin made by both tattooing and vaccinations as a cause of numerous skin reactions, including cancer.

The 2014 article, “Tattoo and vaccination sites: Possible nest for opportunistic infections, tumors, and dysimmune reactions”, in the journal Clinical Dermatology, explains that, “Both dermal tattoos and vaccine injections may alter local immune responses, creating an immunocompromised district on or near the site of placement. This can lead to the development of opportunistic infections, benign and malignant tumors, and local dysimmune reactions… A variety of tumors including basal and squamous cell carcinomas, keratoacanthomas, and malignant melanoma also have been reported in association with tattoos… Vaccination sites similarly provide a setting for both benign and malignant tumors.”

The inks used are also a problem, causing allergies and exposure to heavy metals. It is fairly common for individuals to have an allergic reaction to the dyes used in tattoos. Ink is actually filled with many chemicals and unnatural ingredients that can irritate a person’s skin.

There is also a link to skin cancer. When it comes to cancer, black ink can be especially dangerous because it contains a very high level of benzo(a)pyrene. Benzo(a)pyrene is currently listed as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Black ink is the most commonly used color for tattooing.

You might think that this doctor may have gotten his tattoos before becoming a doctor, so he didn’t know any better. But this was a new tattoo. And he was flaunting it, not hiding it.

Tattoos are common these days, and fashionable in certain circles. Doctors want to look cool, like everyone else. They grew up like everyone else, exposed to, and brainwashed by, the same cultural messages. They just choose to go into medicine.

I also met a cardiologist who smoked cigarettes. He was also grossly overweight, and ate a big, juicy hamburger with fries for lunch. Of course, being obese, smoking and eating fried foods can increase heart disease.

An obese, smoking cardiologist eating fast food makes as much sense as a tattooed dermatologist.

Maybe these doctors are attracted to their specialties because they know they will need treatment from that specialty due to their lifestyles? It’s like when mentally-disturbed, neurotic people become psychologists or psychiatrists.

How about female doctors who constrict their breasts with tight bras for long hours daily? There are many female breast health experts, including breast surgeons, who wear breast-harming bras. Their medical training never mentioned tight clothing as a cause of circulatory impairment and lymph stasis. These doctors willingly immobilize and alter their breast shape, hide their nipples, and basically re-design their breast appearance for cultural reasons, and do this despite the documented harms caused by bras, including causing breast pain, cysts, and cancer. Wearing bras is just something every woman is culturally expected to do, even doctors.

Is this hypocrisy? Should we expect doctors to be paragons of health and healthy lifestyles?

More basically, when we seek help, does it matter whether the helper is in the same mess we are in? In other words, can you trust a lifeline from someone in the same boat as you?

We seek help in many places.

Would you go to a priest who was a known pedophile?

Would you use a mechanic whose car is broken down?

Would you go to a hairdresser who is having a “bad hair day”?

Would you use a plastic surgeon who has a big nose, cock-eyed chin, and facial scars?

How about eating in a restaurant where the cook is out because of food poisoning?

You could also go into a health food store and buy chips, coffee, candy, wine, beer, and lots of other unhealthy stuff.

Then there are the drug addiction recovery programs that offer coffee to everyone, one of the most addictive substances we consume.

Clearly, there’s a problem here. We live in a culture where there are lots of products and activities that can harm us. In fact, the biggest cause of disease and death is the culture and all the bad things it teaches us to think, do and feel. We absorb these cultural messages from the uterus onward, as our nature becomes modified by our culture.

This applies to everyone. It includes doctors, too. Just because someone studied medicine, it does not mean that they personally eliminated all harmful cultural practices in their lives. The same cultural causes of disease that fill their waiting rooms also fill their personal lives. In fact, the medical culture is even worse on doctors.

For some reason that is not clear, the medical system exploits doctors with long work hours and sleepless day and night shifts. Doctors are rushed and pressured, grabbing unhealthy snacks on the go. They become tempted to abuse drugs to keep going, but may settle for drinking 10-20 cups of strong coffee, instead. They also become tempted to use drugs to relax, but may settle for a few alcoholic drinks. They have little recreation time, or time with their families. And depending on their specialty, they are exposed daily to infectious diseases, death, radiation, the soul-robbing sights and smells of hospitals, and the depression of treating endless lines of sick people, often using treatments that do no good, and for conditions that have no known cause.

Clearly, being a doctor can make you sick, mentally and physically. No wonder why there are so many doctor suicides. Just practicing medicine is slow suicide.

This also means that doctors are not the ones to tell patients to clean up their lifestyles. The doctor’s lifestyle is at least as bad, and actually worse. They participate in the same unhealthy culture as everyone else, addicted to many of the same things, and suffering from the same psychological and physical issues. But they are the ones who are meant to treat those problems.