Saturday, October 22, 2011

Making the Case

Prior to my personal experience with medical trickery and fraud, both as agented-actions by individuals and as some sort of weird cosmic confluence of systemic karma (and you thought such phrasing died with Agnew!), I would not have noted or given much weight to the following video.

But then, I know who Dr. Anthony Kirkpatrick is, and have always been impressed by his integrity, his scholarship, and his heart.

I wish I did not know who he was, nor anything about wicked health care. And, of course, the issue of fabricating research brings to mind the Astounding Case of Dr. Scott Reuben. See our previous posts about that medical reprobate HERE.

Dr. Kirkpatrick is at the forefront of treatment, research, and education about CRPS (the decorative leitmotif of our blessed blog...). For many years, he was with USF's Anesthesia and Pain Management Department in Tampa, where, in 2008, he opened The RSD / CRPS Treatment Center and Research Institute, the only institute of its kind in the world.

Anyway, he is one of the few sources of hope for people like me, who have pretty grim cases of CRPS.

As I said, I like his heart. It's an activist's heart and rooted in seeking justice. And, yes, I am a fan of the in-your-face, public-shaming approach to wrongs that are being covered-up... Sadly, it is sometimes the only way to attack a problem.

And, as we like to say here in Marlinspike Hall, deep, deep in Tête de Hergé: Transparency is good!

Uploaded [to YouTube] by dockirkpatrick on Mar 26, 2011

Northwestern University fails to protect patients with complex regional pain syndrome, so called reflex sympathetic dystrophy.

Norman Harden MD used mathematical formula in court to bolster his claim that the patient in the litigation does not need treatment for CRPS.

Helpful reading:

Emails between Dr. Kirkpatrick and Dr. Harden

Complaint to Northwestern

Dr. Harden's Deposition (plus Vol. 1 as Word doc)

You Have Been Warned

I tried to ignore this, I really did.  
But I can't.

Now it's your turn.

Follow New Nurse and her Community Service Announcement back to her home base, Hood Hospital:

Hood Hospital Epidemiology

While speaking to ER BFF during lunch about a patient I'd triaged earlier in the night:
Me: Dude. This chick just checked in for... 

Friday, October 21, 2011

"Hello in there!"

Buddy, The Freakishly Large Kitten

It turns out that making changes while receiving weeks and months of subanesthetic ketamine infusions may result in feelings of complete amnesia about those changes down the line.

Several times a day, I find myself gazing in wonder at Buddy, the Freakishly Large Kitten.  Where the hell did he come from?

Thanks to this blog, I have documentation of his early days here, but I have no actual memory of that time.  It feels like I first met the Strangely Huge Young Cat yesterday, or maybe just after Coffee Hour this morning.

He was suddenly just there, and looking mighty pleased about it.

He thinks I am great and that makes me feel good.

I'd feel a lot better if I could remember more about him.  It's hard to believe we got another animal so soon after Uncle Kitty Big Balls' unexpected illness and death.  Even that sad event is hazy in my poor head.  I do remember the callousness of the vet, who essentially broadcast his demise over the phone.  She'd called to give us an update.  It ended up going something like this:  "I don't think he's gonna make it, he is looking pretty bad.  Hang on, hang on!  Oops!  Yep, he's dead."

Fred was just waking from a needed nap and I remember that he was looking at me with a totally open, unsuspecting face, looking forward to hearing that his Friend was doing better.   I cannot imagine the contortions of my face, because I wanted, simultaneously, to kill the vet and to gather us all in a time machine so that we could rescue our sweet guy from this unfair fate.

Anyway, the next day I had my first ketamine treatment -- and we adopted Buddy from the local no-kill shelter.

Video evidence suggests that Dobby and Marmy Fluffy Butt were fascinated and threatened, both, by this tiny kitten, found abandoned with his siblings on a local horse farm.  Dobby, ever the Peacemaker, Diplomat, and Official Manor Greeter, immediately made nice and pointed out the best spots for soaking up the sun and observing humanity.  Marmy hissed and issued a warning "*ack*-*ack*."

Buddy smiled to himself and... grew.

They evidently knew he was a Maine Coon.  I'd never heard of a Maine Coon.  What can I say?  I am a Dog-and-Bird Person trapped in a Cat Person's life.

In my infusion fog, I apparently did a lot of hugging of Buddy, playing with Buddy, and was, generally, Buddy's buddy.  So when I recently began wondering where the hell he came from, exactly, and cast a jaundiced eye upon his humongousness, he took offense.

This morning, for instance, he stared me in the eye and dared me to object to the dipping of his amazing prehensile tail into my coffee cup.

He has even vocalized his displeasure with my cool assessments, standing on my chest, nose-to-nose,  issuing amazing yowls.

The cat is smart.

Fred says I patiently taught him about "soft paws." That is a command used solely with Buddy the Freakishly Large Kitten and His Alarmingly Long and Sharp Claws.  *Seriously*, his claws are razor-sharp talons and his sweet nature cannot compensate for the gaping wounds and deep punctures exacted by their  accidental application.  Add CRPS to the equation, and I am sometimes panicked by his paws, by his teeth.

He loves to play fetch, retrieving little felt mice with an enthusiasm that seems to last forever.  The only problem I had was that when he retrieved the mice, he was so excited by the prospect of chasing after it again that he would lunge at my hands and leave my skin hanging in slightly exaggerated shreds...

Or maybe I just found it hard to manage, being as hypersensitive as I am to touch.

So I taught him that he must tap our hands, GENTLY, if he wishes to play fetch.  If he fails to do that, we issue the command "soft paw." He then stares at you with pure disdain, thinks about things for a bit, and makes his choice.  Usually he opts to retract his claws and ever so softly tap the extended hand.  Occasionally, he gets confused and offers his head for us to pat.  In maybe one instance out of ten, he swings for the fences, with a crazed Slasher Cat face and a throaty meeeoowwww.

We are clearly in charge.

Listen, I am trying, okay?  I have wholesome food percolating in a slow cooker.  I got a hair cut (and have almost forgiven Fred for reacting with "What have you done?").  I have refilled all my prescriptions, started the ball rolling on getting a new wheelchair, and both made and cancelled appointments.  I cooked for Fred and his gaggle of Militant Existentialist Lesbian Feminists.  In the predawn hours, I listened to an assortment of musical styles and resisted the urge to eat chocolate while watching infomercials.  You know, I am getting stuff done, my oars are in the water, I'm engaged.

But there is this disconnect that is undeniable.  The Ketamine Experiment was a massive FAIL and I'm now clueless.  Almost bereft.  Not quite bereaved, quasi-daunted.  Not sleeping, in nothing but pain, trying to fake my way through the next second, the next minute.  Never a hero, I'm wimpified by headaches and nausea, even if it is the easiest way, ever, to lose weight, despite all the cooking binges it seems to inspire.  I mean, what else is there to do in the middle of the night that will have some kind of compensatory result?

It hardly matters that we are smack dab in the middle of Marlinspike Hall with its attendant opulence and ease;  I get little relief from the solicitous Domestic Staff or the constant operatic cheer of La Bonne et Belle Bianca Castafiore.  I am an ungrateful you-know-what.

And then there is this Behemoth Feline who likes to sit on me, who gets under my wheels -- he trusts me! -- and who just won't leave me the hell alone.

Soft paw!  Soft paw!

Today's completely random raw cat video captures the chilling effect of one Ms. Marmy Fluffy Butt.  The Feline Trio had all run to a window, hearing something that I couldn't even detect.  That's her in the middle, Dobby, her son, on the right, with Buddy, the Freakishly Large Kitten safely hovering on her left.  Please note that Dobby -- poor, put-upon Dobster -- simply makes an affectionate gesture toward his beloved Mum and that is what prompts her to cuff him, to the tune of one of her patented fishy hisses, for good measure.

What cracks me up is Buddy... no fool, he.  No sudden moves and he never takes his eyes off her after that.  Just after I stopped the video, he s-l-o-w-l-y tip-toed across the bed behind her, taking up a position wayyyy off to the right.  I feel for Dobby, and Marmy's schizoid nature is a daily wonder.

But where the hell did he come from, again?  And how long before he realizes that he outweighs the others and that Marmy is all fish breath and no bite?  You say he's been here since *March*?!

New Search Warrant Served: Lindsey Baum UPDATE

I don't know whether this means progress in the case of missing child Lindsey Baum, but it is heartening to find such a good article at this point in time, after months of silence about her.  Just renewing the information is a positive event -- Someone who has not yet heard the details may now have their memory jogged, may know something.

Thank you, Sky Valley Chronicle, for the update and the comprehensive summation.

If you have any information regarding Lindsey Baum,
please call the Grays Harbor County Sheriff's Office
at 866-915-8299 [Tip Hotline].


1-800-843-5678 (1-800-THE-LOST)

McCleary Police Department (Washington) 1-360-533-8765

Or simply call 911.

October 19, 2011
(McCLEARY, WA) -- FBI officers along with Grays Harbor County sheriff's deputies served a search warrant Tuesday on a McCleary, Washington jewelry store in the continuing search for missing Lindsay Baum.

Detectives searched Hartman's Jewelry and Repair located at 133 South 4th Street in McCleary – the same street in McCleary where then 10-year old Lindsay mysteriously vanished on June 26, 2009. while walking home from a friend’s house.

It was a route just a few blocks from home she had taken many times before.

Detectives also searched the store owners' residence, which is located outside of McCleary.

This latest search is one of many that officials have conducted in the ongoing investigation. 

In June of 2010, one year after Lindsay vanished, sheriff's deputies and FBI agents spent several hours searching a McCleary home in the 100 block of Fir street and an Easy Storage locker in the same community as part of the ongoing investigation.

It has not been disclosed what, if anything, investigators found at either location that might pertain to the missing girl.

The Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s office sought and obtained search warrants to go through both locations during June 2010, which are connected they said, to a person of interest in the investigation.

Local television broadcast reports at that time said the person of interest in the searches was a 47-year-old man who lives at the home that was searched and who shares the storage unit with the home's owners.

The reports said the man is someone investigators spoke to in the days following Baum's disappearance and that he lives one block off the route she would have been walking to get to her house.

Lindsay was just a few weeks shy of her eleventh birthday on July 7th, when she disappeared in the daylight June 26, 2009 while walking a few blocks from a friend’s house to her own home.

By February of 2010 investigators said they had received more than 1,200 tips in the case but at that time had no solid leads. Numerous searches for the girl in a variety of locations turned up nothing.

In late June of 2010 the FBI released a new video (SEE THE VIDEO BELOW) in hopes it might result in new leads in the investigation.

The video clips are from a Shell-Mart gas station in McCleary. They were recorded at approximately 9:30 p.m. on June 26, 2009 — right about the time Lindsay went missing.

The footage shows a man dressed in a brown shirt, black shorts and a Mariners cap, accompanied by a young boy, walking into the gas station and later leaving. It also shows the newer-model white Honda Ridgeline truck the man was driving. 

Both the man and the boy could be important witnesses regarding the disappearance because they were in the vicinity when Lindsay went missing.

The FBI says the man and boy may not be from McCleary. They could have simply been passing through on that evening. If you believe you recognize the man shown — or if you are this individual — you are asked to contact your nearest FBI office as soon as possible.

The FBI, along with the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department and other local and state law enforcement partners, continues to work all existing and new leads in this case. If you have any information about the disappearance of Lindsey Baum, please contact your local FBI office.


On June 3, 2010, also in the hope it might generate some new clues and tips to Lindsay’s disappearance, police investigators in McCleary released the video below of Lindsay Baum that was filmed about eight months before she vanished.

The video was provided to the Grays Harbor County Sheriff's Department by a neighborhood family whose child, the young boy, is seen in the video with Lindsey.

In the video the kids are seen play-acting a skit they created and was videotaped by the parent.

The video was made on or about November of 2008 and shows what Lindsey looked like about eight months before her disappearance.

The purpose of the video is to show Lindsey’s likeness in full motion, her movements, mannerisms and voice, so that anyone who sees Lindsey may be able to more easily identify who she is.

There is a website dedicated to finding Lindsay Baum:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

News of the Day: Dead is Dead

I am confined to quarters and Khaddafy may be dead.

These are the moments you do not want to be caught watching msnbc.  The early morning somber-faced wonks are clueless in matters such as bullets-to-the-head or the national identities of NATO air forces.  They seem delighted to find themselves coincidental to this event, quite pleased with themselves, as if they possessed some sort of agency in it.  Liberals preening, pure-dee ugly.

Still, after one gets over the need for facts, the morning joe crew has successfully launched a sophisticated discussion about a new phase in the war on terrorism.  The details of the actual news story fade from their forebrains.  I confess, I am wondering what Khaddafy's hair looks like today and what his last indignant thought might have been.

Each msnbc speaker trolls for the memorable phrase, thinks ahead to the day of commentating and opining, and one suddenly strikes gold with the phrasing "the NATO strike complicates the narrative." I know what Little Jack Horner looked like now -- him, his thumb, and the plum.  He's right, of course, what a good boy!  The NTC needs to have been the author of this denouement, not the West.  And, somehow, the story line shifts again, Bedouin sands, and I am contemplating "an Obama success, a validation of 'leading from behind.'"

There is General McCaffrey, and yes, I am feeling more and more rotten, and all I ever think of is how I wish his dentures were a finer fit.  The man angers me, and succeeds in confusing me, as well.  For a good background on Pentagon punditry, give this Center for Media and Democracy's PR Watch article a read.  While it is not exactly chilling, his performance, it serves to remind me of the power of propaganda and I listen to him give blatantly revised statistics, such as the number and extent of NATO air sorties.  On the spot.  It's amazing.

He even explains to the less Machiavellian in the audience that the NTC will have to "overdo" the distribution of any pictures or video documentation of Khaddafy's corpse, as a solution to what he calls "their credibility issues." Wow.  Sham wow!


I am spiking a fever and the head aches.  For lack of a better word, I am experiencing neuropsychiatric disturbances.  My axons and dendrites, alas! My neurotransmitters, fie upon them!  I momentarily lose control and, forgetting the wealth of its disparity, I enter "spelling variations of Khaddafi" into Google search and promptly receive my least favorite sort of computer quip:

Showing results for "spelling variations of Gaddafi"
Search instead for "spelling variations of Khaddafi."

These are the moments I peer at my web cam, which I maintain in a pristinely disabled state, sure that some one at a remote Google location is watching my irritation and snorting coffee up her nose.

Part of the problem here is that there's no universally accepted authority for transliterating Arabic names. Normally, news outlets will just go with whatever spelling the subject prefers, but this particular subject hasn't settled on a single Roman orthography for his name.

Instead, Libya's Brother Leader lets a hundred flowers bloom. The banner at the top of his official website spells it, "AL Gathafi." But if you go deeper into the site, you'll see it variously rendered as "Al Qaddafi," "Algathafi," and "Al-Gathafi." Adding to the multitude of his spellings is the increasingly ironically named "Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights."

And that's just the surname. Variations on his given name include Muammar, Moammar, Mu'ammar, and Moamar, and many others. Once you've settled on how to spell his first and last names, you then have to decide whether you want to add the Arabic prefix "al-" before his last name. Which can also be spelled "el-." And then you have to decide whether the prefix should be capitalized.
In any event, he's dead and can no longer confuse us with his wily spelling deceits.

{time lapse}  i cook a pot of small red beans.  that's what they are called:  "small red beans." it is a package of three sorts of beans, two of them ruddy enough to be called "red," but the third is clearly a squiggle-marked brown pinto.  i bought these dry beans by accident once, the accident being their inexplicably low price.  i celebrate their mystery and cook some up every few weeks as a... well, as a bean treat.  

i begin but do not complete five emails.  in lieu of completing them, i tuck them inside my cozy draft file.

i add ibuprofen to tylenol, even though i am not supposed to and have promised not to.   i really just don't care anymore. {/time lapse}

I turn on the telly again.  I am listening to this very recent history, Khaddafy maybe-dead-maybe-wounded, just hours old, being recast.

The Talking Heads were prescient.

The rebels need to be credited with killing Khaddafy, as they need the legitimacy of the kill.  Despite this, reports continue that he was made dead by an air strike as he sought to flee Sirte in a motorcade.  The rebels now claim, however, that he was really captured by them as he cowered in a hole (like Saddam).  Or a drainage ditch.

One thing is sure:  There will be no need for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission -- like the restorative justice process in South Africa after the fall of apartheid -- or the national angst of a trial.

Why I keep using the word "national," I dunno.  AL Gathafi's oppressive genius both reinforced and exploited ancient tribal "organization," and yet we persist in believing this revolutionary struggle has been, neatly, between loyalists and rebels.

I listen some more, peer at grainy photos, flashing vids.  Suddenly the despot seems to be dead because NTC guns went off that sent bullets into his heart, brain, and abdomen.  The bullets went into him in much the way women can stumble and fall, pregnant.

I hate when that happens.

My brain hurts and I imagine a bullet to my head.

**********     *****     **********     *****     **********

I'm sure there is an obvious reason for it, but the obvious escapes me right now -- Now being yesterday's tomorrow, with its obligatory edit for spelling and opacity --

*Anyway* -- I ended up not reading aloud from Mon Bel Oranger, which has been a recent comfort of a habit. Instead, there I was, careening around my office, digging out a scruffy copy of Camus' L'Etranger.

Beyond remembering, with the accompaniment of a sharp cranial pain, what a freaking masterpiece it is, I got lost inside the memory of the first class discussion of its very first line, and how my palms actually had sweat.  It's maybe the only bit of fiction that succeeded in making me nervous.   Then, of course, I fell into a revery of appreciation for my last stand of neurons, my mental Alamo, with its reservoir of quaking, shaky heroes -- appreciation for the small part of me that recollected where I should be and what I should be doing, my museum of replicas.

The first paragraph of Camus' The Stranger:
MOTHER died today. Or, maybe, yesterday; I can’t be sure. The telegram from the Home says: YOUR MOTHER PASSED AWAY. FUNERAL TOMORROW. DEEP SYMPATHY. Which leaves the matter doubtful; it could have been yesterday.

I cannot leave the English translation sitting there, alone, pretending to be sufficient (so typical of English! {snobbish snark::snobbish snark}). This text demands the original French -- Yes, in spite of its oft-proclaimed "simplicity" of language, the reason most given for its assignment as a French language learner's first "novel."  The opening sentence alone, in French, contains worlds:

L'Etranger, édition Gallimard, 1957

And that, my friends, is all I have to say about Qaddafi, still dead one day later.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What's After Awareness?

"On a scale of 1-to-10, my pain was a 15”: No offense, but if people with CRPS don't stop saying crap like this, I am going to assist them in the discovery a new World of Hurt.

It's the declaration of Akron, Ohio native Bob Harris, and I know he means it. I even understand what he is trying to say. But in a highly unUSAmerican move, I do not support his right to say it, much less wish to defend said right with anything remotely similar to my life (such as it is).

See? My cute and sardonic little parenthetical remark is infinitely more expressive of the devastation caused by CRPS / RSD pain than Bob's tired quip. Keep an eye out, I'll probably pull some other extraordinary rhetorical device out of my bag of tricks before this blog post ends.

Harris has been an integral part of the effort in Ohio to pass a bill promoting education and awareness about CRPS / RSD. Sponsored by Senator Eric H. Kearney, Ohio SB 40 was introduced in the legislature in February 2011 and a hearing on the bill was held last Wednesday.

Before you know it, November will be famous as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Awareness Month in the Buckeye State. There will be festivals, official foods, corporate sponsors, and ribbons, lots and lots of ribbons. Having been through the beginnings of this sort of thing many times here at Marlinspike Hall in Tête de Hergé, may we suggest the following as great ways to start this worthy campaign -- without Bob hemorrhaging from the expense. (In Ohio, People-With-Diseases who spearhead awareness legislation are required to pay all promotional awareness costs for the first year of enactment.)

As a baby festival, but one that will knock your soft, thick, woolly socks off, nothing beats a CRPS Cotillion. Ohioans love a good "patterned social dance" and why not exploit pre-existing manias that also emphasize decorum and aerobic exercise? And proč ne? Why not team up with a group like Sokol Greater Cleveland, which sponsors an annual cotillion to showcase debutantes of Czech and Slovak descent from northeastern Ohio? They've presented over 200 debutantes at their Cotillion Balls -- every Spring since 1972! -- until there was an unexpected dearth (much like the disappearance of the bees. See Colony Collapse Disorder [CCD]) in Czech and Slovak heritaged young women in 2010. Bob can raise awareness in the underserved Czech - Slovak CRPS community and help them move their young ladies at the same time.

NOTE to Bob: You may need to post prominent notices attesting to the Separation of Church and Cotillion, else future CRPS Cotillions may not receive their due in terms of federal and state funding. While no one has anything against Evangelical Christian Cotillions, imagine the modesty issues and gender inequities in, say, a Muslim Cotillion, or the refusal of Jewish Hora dancers to form a square. The CRPSers in Utah have been unable to enjoy Cotillion as a means of raising disease awareness and research funds due to the well-known gush by Prophet Joseph in his journal entry of January 23, 1844: "There was a cotillion party in the evening at the Nauvoo Mansion. The night was clear and cold."

In Cleveland, there is such religious fervor over the quadrille, that we suggest a good-natured embargo of such events in that urban center.
During the past year, debutantes and ambassadors, representing Holy Trinity and other churches in the Cleveland Metropolitan area, were required to attend two-hour weekly sessions where the primary focus was Bible study and spiritual awareness and development. Participants also attended etiquette classes and countless cotillion rehearsals.... In 1982, Holy Trinity became the first church in the city of Cleveland to present a cotillion where both young ladies and gentlemen prepared themselves to be brides and grooms of Christ. As in the past, the highlight of the cotillion was the Bow of Grace and Humility and the Walk of Faith Promenade which was beautifully staged by Actor/Choreographer Michael Burns.

Anyway, yeah, give the CRPS Cotillion a try, and don't forget to use the Cash Bar as a fundraiser -- another reason to push the secular angle. People get good and thirsty after just a few minutes of complicated dancing.

Official Foods: Here in Tête de Hergé, we have a tradition of spelling things out with our novelty food items, but have noted that "CRPS" can sometimes create some furrowed brows among our monogram munchers. And Bob, since it is important to marry a region with its food preferences, at least in the beginning of food-based disease-awareness campaigns, you'll want to do some careful research with the assistance of your best Foodie friends.

I've learned a few things that might help. Tomato juice is the official state beverage. (I love that!) Lycopene, bay-bee! Vitamin A! Chromium! Maybe plan an event in Troy, Ohio's Strawberry Capital. "Only blackberries and walnuts scored higher in total antioxidant capacity"!

The strawberry is also one of the wonder foods included in the anti-inflammatory diet, and if I am about anything, I am about anti-inflammation. What is your C-reactive protein (CRP) level? Hmm? The great thing about the anti-inflammatory diet is that I happen to love the menu, its freshness, and even if my CRP doesn't budge, I know I'm doing good things for myself as I chow down.

Officially, though, I think the only detail proven beneficial (through studies on the Mediterranean Diet) is the strongly suggested increase in omega-3 fatty acids, as they decrease levels of cytokines. So chill with the omega-6 prepared food junk, and invest in cold-water fish, canola oil and flax, or supplements. !

Having read the text of the Ohio CRPS Awareness Bill, I am really impressed by its up-to-date nature, and that's why I am pretty sure you'll have a winning proposition, Bob, if you focus your food efforts on some aspect of inflammation. It'll be the single most expensive outlay during your year of personal financial support of the CRPS Awareness provisions. Are you a farmer, Bob?

For corporate sponsorship suggestions, we always look to RSDSA for guidance. The organization does not accept advertising on its website but does recognize its corporate friends, such as Cephalon, Endo PharmaceuticalsPurdue,  Medtronic, and TREND (part of EMGO).

As for ribbons, Bob, they are the bane of my CRPS Awareness existence. Back in the heyday of the AIDS red ribbon, I sported, instead, a small lovely button that read: Fuck the Red Ribbons. Find a Cure. My attitude is remarkably similar in this instance.

Anyway, I *think* that CRPS is officially some sort of orange. Because, I *think*, of all the burning pain, and the association with flame -- so it's gotta be in the orange, red, hot category.

If THIS website is to be believed, then, yes, CRPS is represented by the orange ribbon, which also serves "Self Injury, Leukemia, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Hunger, and Addiction Recovery."

The latest thing on the scene? Silicone awareness bracelets. Maybe you can slip in a better color, and move CRPS fashion up the A-List, hmm?

One of the articles I read that featured Bob Harris stated bluntly that "[h]is life has devolved into a living hell." How I hate to read that; How I understand that. What brought me so low, so pitiable, the other day (though maybe you did not notice my regression?) was that exact realization. I ceased moving forward years ago, ceased digging in my heels not long after that, as resisting the steady, unceasing pull of the ebbing tide only exhausts and demoralizes.

Instead, I make counter-offers to the universe.

"Okay, Universe, I'll cede You this half-inch of skin, bone, muscle, nerve, and vascular bundles here on my left forearm, plus that whole new section of my scalp. In return, though, You Vicious Bitch, I am going to demand an excellent recipe for eggplant that doesn't reduce itself to an oily mashy mess AND two hours uninterrupted sleep -- a *renewable* proviso. Ha!"

Bob has done something slightly more laudable than my carefully-prosecuted War of the Deal by relentlessly pushing for change through public avenues. This is one of the best "CRPS Awareness" bills I've read. It's better than most just by virtue of not pushing either the misnomer "RSD/Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy" or the bad explanations attached to that misnomer. It is distressing to still read the old, tired [WRONG] explanations for how CRPS works -- insofar as we know, of course -- because this reflects the status quo within the medical community. Yes, it is a little bit of trouble and it takes a little bit of time to delve into the real disease mechanisms rather than repeating easy inaccuracies about "the sympathetic nervous system run amok," but that's a level of awareness we ought to be able to assume with health care professionals!

So a great big congratulations to Bob on his good work, with hope that an approving vote happens soon. It's a shame he has to foot the bill for that initial year of societal education about the disorder. Someone should pass a law...

Oh, and puh-leeze, Bob -- a pain score of 15 on a 1-to-10 scale makes no sense.  It just doesn't.

Fond regards,

The Gang at Marlinspike Hall

Here is the text of Ohio SB 40:

To enact sections 5.2267 and 3701.137 of the Revised Code to designate November as "Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Awareness Month" and to require the Department of Health to include on its web site information regarding the syndrome.

Section 1. That sections 5.2267 and 3701.137 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 5.2267. The month of November is designated as "Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Awareness Month" to promote public awareness of complex regional pain syndrome, also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome.
Sec. 3701.137. (A) As used in this section, "complex regional pain syndrome" or "CRPS," also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, means a debilitating and progressively chronic syndrome characterized by severe burning pain, pathological changes in bone and skin, excessive sweating, tissue swelling, and extreme sensitivity to touch.
(B) The department of health shall include information on its internet web site to promote complex regional pain syndrome education in a manner that enables individuals to make informed decisions about their health. The information on the web site shall include all of the following:
(1) Emerging research regarding the pathophysiology of CRPS;
(2) The risk factors that contribute to the manifestation of CRPS;
(3) Available treatment options, including the risks and benefits of those options;
(4) Information on environmental safety and injury prevention;
(5) Information on rest and the use of appropriate body mechanics;
(6) Information on the availability of diagnostic, treatment, and outreach services for CRPS;
(7) Information concerning any other factors or elements that might mitigate the effects of CRPS.
(C) The department shall notify boards of health, hospitals, clinics, and other health care providers about the availability of information concerning CRPS on the department's web site.
Section 2. Section 3701.137 of the Revised Code, as enacted by this act, shall take effect ninety days after the effective date of this act.
Section 3. (A) As used in this section, "complex regional pain syndrome" or "CRPS" has the same meaning as in section 3701.137 of the Revised Code.
(B) The General Assembly finds and declares all of the following with respect to complex regional pain syndrome:
(1) CRPS occurs in five per cent of all cases of nerve injuries.
(2) CRPS is thought to be a neuropathic pain syndrome that generally occurs at the site of a minor or major trauma injury, but may also occur without an apparent injury.
(3) While the cause of CRPS is unknown, both the peripheral and central nervous systems are involved.
(4) The syndrome is unique in that it simultaneously affects the nerves, skin, muscles, blood vessels, and bones, and if untreated, can result in permanent disability and chronic pain.
(5) CRPS is often misdiagnosed because the syndrome is either unknown or poorly understood. The prognosis for patients suffering from CRPS is generally much better when CRPS is identified and treated as early as possible.
(6) If treatment is delayed, CRPS can quickly spread to an entire limb and changes in bone and muscle may become irreversible, resulting in limited mobility, atrophy of the muscles, and eventual permanent disability.
(7) Since a delay in the diagnosis or treatment of CRPS can result in severe physical and physiological problems, and early recognition and prompt treatment of CRPS provides the greatest opportunity for recovery, it is in the best interest of the public to require the Department of Health to include information on its internet web site pursuant to section 3701.137 of the Revised Code to educate both individuals and medical professionals regarding this debilitative condition.
Section 4. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Education Act."

State Fiscal Highlights
The bill requires the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to post information on its
web site to promote complex regional pain syndrome education. The bill specifies
what the information is to include and requires ODH to notify boards of health,
hospitals, clinics, etc. about the availability of this information. Costs would likely
be incurred for the review of these educational materials, the posting of the
materials, and notification to the entities previously described. ODH estimates the
cost to be between $500 to over $1,000 in the first year. In subsequent years, there
could be negligible costs related to updates to the materials and web site.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tony Baloney, White Shirt: The Uniformed Assailant

Action from principle, the perception and the performance of right, changes things and relations; it is essentially revolutionary, and does not consist wholly with anything which was. It not only divided States and churches, it divides families; ay, it divides the individual, separating the diabolical in him from the divine.

Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men, generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? Why does it not cherish its wise minority? Why does it cry and resist before it is hurt? Why does it not encourage its citizens to put out its faults, and do better than it would have them? Why does it always crucify Christ and excommunicate Copernicus and Luther, and pronounce Washington and Franklin rebels?

-- H. D. Thoreau, Civil Disobedience, 1849

Oh, Tony Baloney.

I've not been able to watch much video since the onset of these bleeping headaches.  I more heard than saw Lawrence O'Donnell identify Anthony Bologna as the white-shirted Deputy Inspector who maced several young women at the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City back in September.  Yes, right around the time my brain exploded.

Mostly, I giggled along with Jon Stewart over his silly name, and thought that maybe it was a joke.  It's embarrassing, but I did.

Finally cogent, I watched the clips of what happened, even if I could not make out exactly what Bologna was doing.  I kept looking for some sort of inciting cause, some sort of aftermath, maybe even the marks the actors were supposed to hit on this urban stage.  So, of course, with those types of expectations, I didn't see a darned thing.  

My vision was so blurry I even swore off PTZ videos of pus explosions and hyper-wipers.

Still, every couple of days, it seemed, something would make me think "Tony Baloney!" and I would laugh to myself.

Despite my apparent trivializing, I take Occupy Wall Street seriously and my guffaws over this incident died away as I listened to the Zuccotti Park protestors articulating their frustration, anger, and considered insights in ways that ought to make us all proud. As "authority," they don't cite what I expect (a growing tendency that I greatly respect!):

We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants.
"Are you ready for a Tahrir moment?"

These well-spoken, thoughtful, peaceful people are our children, brothers, sisters, colleagues, parents, friends, students, teachers.

My head doesn't hurt this morning, the coffee is strong and good, and I read that Inspector Bologna is no stranger to trouble when it comes to quelling demonstrators of peaceful ilk -- the most dangerous kind.  Sometime next year, he and fellow officer Tulio Camejo will stand trial over accusations of "false arrest and civil rights violations in a claim brought by a protester involved in the 2004 demonstrations at the Republican national convention."

The eyes aren't crossing of their own volition (my body is a separatist's temple) and the purple blobs at the end of what purport to be my legs are more flaccid than spastic.  It's a good day. 

I just put in an order to sell a chunk of my GOOG holdings at the limit price of $618 per share. It's doubtful whether GOOG will even cross over into the 600s, but a girl can dream.

I remember, back in high school, even, how badly I wanted the old myth of Emerson visiting Thoreau in jail to be true.  Thoreau had refused to pay a poll tax based on his opposition to the Mexican-American War, which many saw as an attempt to strengthen and expand the institution of slavery.  We'd like, however, to reduce the overnight jail stay to one saucy repartee between Thoreau and his landlord -- some slick easy surface wit.

"Henry, how is it that you are in jail?"
"How is it, Waldo, that you are not?"

But, of course, it is not true.  Time is better spent figuring the need that drives the myth and what truths are being so creatively avoided.  What recompense for being on the wrong side of the law? Does right action seek company, need the help of rumor?  Do you imagine the jail cell as cool and fragrant with bars that peep out onto a carpet of clover?  I do.  I see Thoreau in clean, comfortable clothing, wrapped in a lightweight wool blanket. He tells us that he and his cellmate each have a window at which to sit, and that when he arrived at "the walls of solid stone," "[t]he prisoners in their shirtsleeves were enjoying a chat and the evening air in the doorway..."

To corral targeted individuals, enclosing them in, for example, stiff, orange netting, is called "to kettle." 

One helpful first aid solution, when treating eyes that are burning, tearing, and perhaps temporarily blinded due to an application of mace, is liquid antacid.  Jeanne Mansfield received an unintentional eye-full of Deputy Inspector Bologna's odd and disjointed attack on the kettled women.  She described the experience in the Boston Review and I am taken by her description of the "medic" who comes to her assistance:

My eye is killing me and I’m crying, partially from the pain and partially from the shock of the violence displayed by these police. A shirtless young “medic” with ripped cargo shorts, matted brown hair, and two plastic bottles slung around his neck runs up to me and says, “Did you get pepper sprayed? Okay here, tilt your head to the side, this isn’t going to feel great,” at which point he squirts one of the plastic bottles of white liquid into my left eye, then tilts my head the other way and does the other eye, then repeats with water. Then he unties the white bandanna from his wrist and wipes my eyes with it saying, “You’ll be okay, this is my grandfather’s bandanna, he got through Korea with it, and if he got through that, then you’re going to get through this. Just keep blinking.” Thanks to the treatment—liquid antacid, pepper-spray antidote—the burning behind my eyes subsides.

In pre-market activity, GOOG is down .61%, to $588.07.  

Uploaded by  on Sep 27, 2011:
Subscribe for updates at Slow motion video analysis of NYPD mace deployment near Union Square on September 24, 2011. Alternate angle analysis seems to indicate retaliation for a just prior interaction between officer and some individual(s) on sidewalk. More information about this and other incidents related to Occupy Wall Street protests will be updated at video "PEACEFUL FEMALE PROTESTORS PENNED IN THE STREET AND MACED!":
Interestingly enough, Anthony Bologna apparently strode away from his fish-in-a-barrel mace attack with his ire intact, for just a few seconds later, he deployed his weapon again.  [I am so thankful he did not have a gun in his hand.]  In a sea of people trying to do non-violence, he is like a pillar of antimatter... he is violence.  The result of antimatter meeting matter is an explosion.

Uploaded by  on Sep 27, 2011
DI Anthony Bologna actually engages in a second indiscriminate pepper spray assault moments after he attacked the four women.

As I sit back and try to give this thing a global think, one disparate thought dominates this morning.  Even though I know it to be a strategy, and despite its many historical strategic successes, I am sad that non-violence remains the only "diametrical" choice and option, not to the extreme opposite of violence, per se, but to self-defense.

That's right, I'd never make it.  I want too, too much to fight back.

The Occupy Wall Street folks are moving into a deadening space, the time of "demands." Those afflicted with know-how and not so much blessed with ancient Arab patience will start with the "but whaddawe want, whaddawe want?" until all anyone really wants is to bitch slap 'em.  Frustration is going to grow, and in-fighting.  Is it inevitable, dictated by the discord inherent in moving from individuals together to a notion of mass action?

I don't know.  What I look forward to, always, however, as systems close?  The reliable power and wonkiness of thermodynamic degradation.  Entropy.  Weird, strange, hot things happen, as energy degrades.  As much as one doesn't want to credit the Tony Balonies of this world with any socially relevant achievement, macing kettled women at a peaceful protest is precisely the push toward steamy, wasted heat that the system demands.

Post-script at the end of the trading day:  GOOG closed at $582.41.