Category Archives: Medicine

Edge of deadly. Still alive. Thanks mom, NIH-Bethesda

Back from the dead. I’m happy about that. I didn’t know that, for me in my own particular circumstances, a simple over the counter cold-remedy is a poison so powerful that it’s almost impossible not to die after ingesting it. I’ve put those cold-remedies in the garbage. I spent from January 1 after the last Mass for Mary, Mother of God, until now, barely moving amidst an allergic reaction so extremely rare that going to an Emergency Room is likely to raise the mortality threat just for sheer exhaustion of sitting in a waiting room until you die without being seen. Mortality rates are already high enough. I lucked out, beating the stats once again. I spend my life being at death’s door. Of course, I realize this is not about luck, but God’s providence for me. And if you’re wondering why I just didn’t pay attention to indications of counter-indications, it’s because the condition is so rare that listing counter-indications doesn’t seem to be a requirement. As the one GTMO guy told me what my “assignment” was – which was getting to know this statement of a particular counterintel spy – “The first thing you have to know about me is that I would never intentionally commit suicide.” Yep. I make that my own. Of course, that has nothing to do with this. Anyway…

Sure, there’s a prophylactic med to take developed a lifetime ago with my own mom as a guinea-pig at the Naval N.I.H., a med that’s really dirt cheap (especially in Europe and the rest of the world) and kind of works – until it doesn’t – but you’re not supposed to take that more than a few months as it causes liver cancer. She hesitated just a bit and died because of that fear. I’ve been taking it for most of my life (with liver cysts to prove it), and have severely put my liver through the ringer. More drugs have been developed more recently. Pretty expensive though. The best is a reactive drug instead of a prophylactic, and, say, at two doses a day in adverse conditions, it would cost more than USA $4,000,000 a year, enough to make an medical insurance company put a hit out so as to avoid payments to pharmaceutical companies. In my case, I’m guessing I could keep it down to no more than $500,000 a year, probably just $286,000. But, that’s still not within the limits of insurance tolerance is it? No. And instead of simply popping a capsule a day (as with the NIH solution), it involves a chemistry set and needles and sterile conditions and the patience of Job with nerves of steel, as you have to only very slowly inject the horror.

A CIA evaluator guy recently asked me what my evaluation of my mom was. Here’s the deal, she was willing to go through all-out-hell as a guinea-pig at NIH literally in deadly conditions, at the edge of death, for weeks at a time, in great pain, for my sake. I remember the phone calls we would get at home from NIH setting up the sessions out East. Just the phone calls were traumatic. The sessions were monstrous. My mom: a martyr of love for me. What do you think I think of her? Thanks, mom. You’re the best. You guys did good, too, at NIH. The head doctor for this talked to me over the phone back in the day, giving advice which has stood me in good stead all these decades. This was able to be set up because, of course, dad was USMC, which is the history of NIH.

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Filed under Intelligence Community, Medicine

“Stop the spin, Father George.” “Genuflecting at Mass is forbidden.”

img_20180603_195817315~2915816677..jpg

A newly damaged again meniscus it seems.

  • I’m supposed to give up on the second to the last stage of the Federal Air Marshall Tactical Pistol Course during which one spins about from 180 degrees toward three targets seven yards away and each three yards apart from each other (I use a foam dessert plate 4.7 times smaller than the normal QIT target). The spinning bit, I’m told, is hard on the knees, which the knee doesn’t need for the foreseeable and perhaps unforeseeable future.
  • Also forbidden is genuflecting. I’ve been doing a half-genuflection (also difficult) or just bowing. I did full genuflections after the consecrations at Mass on Corpus Christi and both times the knee went CRACK! while attempting to stand up again.

[~break into cold sweat, pretending nothing happened, bewildered~]

And to think that I was able to genuflect perfectly just hours before. Perhaps some will understand why I defended ancient of days Pope Francis for not genuflecting when pretty much everyone was condemning him to hell for not believing in transubstantiation. Knees come and go even in the same person especially as one gets older. I’ll be over this soon enough. So, it’s almost like you can turn it on or off, but it’s not you who decide when you can go down on your knees or not; the decision is made by your knees. It is what it is. I have to say that I was impressed in celebrating Mass with Pope Francis recently, impressed that he held the Host and then Chalice up at the consecration for a long time – no, let me rephrase that – for a really long time, obviously personally entranced with the Most Blessed Sacrament.

I’m sure there will be some who will also condemn me to hell for not genuflecting. I remember when, while teaching in the seminary, the knee went awry for a while and I decided that it would be best to bow. Wow. The barking from some priests and seminarians was unbelievable. I went from being thought of as a believer to being categorized as a heretic in one second. Zero solidarity for suffering. Absolutely zero. Dismissed. Marginalized. Out in the darkest of existential peripheries. Why? Well, whatever. I guess I was already there. It just took that event to let me know how fickle people can be.

Anyway, while some are already busy writing posts on their blogs about how demonic I am for not genuflecting – just like Pope Francis – let it be known that I have had some trouble not only as a kid with my leg, but more recently, in Rome, in an accident, on which occasion the tibia turned front to back while the femur remained where it should, rubbishing the meniscus at the time. Two other accidents[!] saw the lower leg smashed to little bits and pieces, 25 in all, the first one requiring the cage pictured below (Piazza Farnese in Rome) with something like 5 screws from the cage into the tibia (as big as pencils) and 12 heavy wires going from one side of the cage to the other – that is, from the cage and into the leg, through the pre-drilled bone, out the other side of the leg to the other side of the cage – stabilizing everything, an invention created originally with some bicycle rims and spokes deep in a sulfur mine in Siberia. It’s better than months of perhaps useless traction and body casts but dangerous for infections. The other accident had to have an operation which removed the patella so as to drill into the top of the tibia so as to hammer[!] a tibial nail (as thick as a carriage bolt) right through bits and pieces and deep into the ankle. Hey! Why worry about any meniscus!

just me 07

So, the “Stop the Spin!” bit doesn’t refer to my writing. I don’t spin, though admittedly I do bait some few individuals when needed, when most appropriate, from time to time, even in this very post. :-)

The contraption on the left knee in the picture at the top of this post was just now lent to me from one of our retired Air Force parishioners who had worn it for years and now hasn’t had to wear it for a couple of years. The V.A. prescribed it for him, refusing to ever do any operation on any damaged meniscus, telling him that any rough edges just wear away over time. I don’t know if that was simply save-a-buck policy of the time and it’s different today or not. Some of you readers may know.

The brace itself is made of unbendable aluminum (which I would spell and pronounce differently as a kid (aluminium ail-lou-mini-um) since I guess we preferred the more scientific usage since 1812 (no prejudice to other periodic table elements like platinum intended).

forrest gump braces

Such a relatively smallish brace reminds me of the Forrest Gump scaffolding I was supposed to wear as a kid but didn’t, with my mom letting me get away with wearing orthopedic boots for some years just like in the picture immediately above. Perhaps I’m paying today for my negligence back in the day. The much smaller Breg X2K I’m now using would be super-expensive to purchase. Frighteningly so. Especially since I immediately see the benefit of the extensive scaffolding Forrest was wearing. The under-the-heal-of-the-boot framing keeps the bars where they should be.

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Filed under Guns, Medicine

THIS guy? My hero. Like Thomas More fighting for his life. Awesome.

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Filed under Medicine, Pro-Life

I’m not any kind of angel

This is where I’m signed in today, because I’m not any kind of angel. This mortal coil is one day to be shed.

“Remember him—before the silver cord is severed, or the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, or the wheel broken at the well, and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:6-7

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Filed under Medicine