Wednesday, June 5, 2013

the pain management dude from the islands....

a new high?
a new low?

my regular "health care provider" at pain management dood's place is out on maternity leave (it was a precious little girl!) and i met her "sub" last month.  he's a doctor, board certified in anesthesiology and pain management, as well as being a physiatrist (physical and rehabilitative medicine).

today, he said he'd been thinking of me all month.  that i was the "worst case of pain suffering" he'd seen in his eight years in practice (yes, he's a baby, very sweet, very nice, very sincere).

"i have had an idea," he said.

and he tells me of "these ladies" at his church who "wrap people and layer the wrappings with medicinal herbs."

"maybe it would help," he said.  "i will pay for the first treatment.  it is done under the guidance of physicians."

i wanted to cry.

not knowing quite what to say, i took up the "i will pay" part of the offer, and worked on that, explaining that no, i need him to be my DOCTOR, to be uninvolved, impartial in his dealings.  that took a lot of arguing, but didn't solve any problems, as then there he is, agreeing, finally, that he should remain impartial while i get wrapped in herbs.

i told him that i do not trust medical procedures that have only testimonials as their bowl-me-over component.  might he be able to elucidate some of the science involved, at least name some of the herbs and their properties?  (i did the herbal phase -- the spend all your money on alternative medicine phase -- very early on with CRPS, probably as far back as 2004.  i studied, i spent, i concocted, decocted, applied, steamed, infused -- made myself totally numb with kava kava -- the aromas were almost worth it... but it did not treat the disease.  i did not go into all that with this sincere young man.)

i agreed to try a compounding cream with TWENTY PERCENT ketamine plus some other heavy hitters.  i have done the compounding meds before and it's not that they were or were no effective, it's that my skin did not tolerate the cream.  it was fiery.  yes, "fiery" about covers it.

but i had to give him something.
when i see him next month, he is to report about the "science" inherent to wrapping me in herbs.  and between now and then, maybe i will die and not have to refuse his mixed offer of religion and beliefs from his native island.

i am so tired.  and i cannot see the letters as they pop up on this screen, despite being at 200% magnification.  this has been a day of shooting firearms in the dark.

all i could think was "don't hurt his feelings."
and then i sat in the car and cried.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

CTTC: Ask not for whom the Trolls Troll...

From InvestorsHub June 4, 2013, CTTC Chart

Too late to protect the itty-bitty minded investors in CTTC,  and all the real (non-testimonial inclined, but REAL) sufferers of severe and unrelenting neuropathic pain who were still stupid enough to pay for "treatments" with a super-duper TENS unit with extra gadgetry and a cool sounding fictive Italian provenance, treatments "personally overseen" by chiropractors and obstetricians, President Obama has announced that he's going after "patent trolls."

Upon the briefest of bleary-eyed inspection, all the CALMARE claims of "FDA approval" and "VA administration vendorship" go *poof* and turn into multicolored dried fairy turds that drift down upon us all, midst squeals of "Ew, what is that crap?"

But whatever else they've done, they've reaped the profits of their soul-sucking patents, knowing how to fill out those forms!

I'm no longer a participant in the earth-shattering dialogues taking place over at Investors Hub Competitive Technologies Inc (CTTC) Stock Message Board, where the crap flies without benefit of multi-colored, sparkly, fresh baked muffin scented fairy large intestine beautifications.  But I continue to read it, marveling at the right wing tactic adopted by the losers still defending this "company."  Lie, lie, lie, and lie again!  Fellatio in fellowship, sucking every last drop, never allowing the thought of real people, suffering, to get between the suction of their deep throats and the possibility of a few more bucks off of... not CALMARE, not "Scramber Therapy" or any other made up curative for the most difficult to treat pain dysfunctions known to medicine, from diabetic neuropathy to chemo-induced addlepating allodynia, to my personal favorite, CRPS -- no, none of that trivia.  They're sucking up the goodness of the coming dollars and euros made in strange contracts over... patent rights.  (What I don't get is why a good lawyer couldn't tear those contracts and deals apart by claiming false representation, because hasn't it been made clear, even to the most deftly daft, that Guido Marinara has misrepresented himself and his qualifications so many times that it's now a running joke?  But... Guido Marinara is something of a genius in these schemes, so he's probably avoided signing anything with his personal DNA smeared on it.  Sigh.)

French in Uproar....

I'd like to share with the evil people still supporting CTTC that I am now screaming in my sleep.  Okay, truth be told (they may need to look it up -- that's T as in Testimonial, R as in Rigmarole, U as in Unsubstantiated, and so on, ending with the big H of Hypocrisy) -- Truth be told, I've been screaming in my sleep for years, but there is a difference, qualitative and quantitative.  Now, I wake myself up as well as everyone else in The Manor, and I also require assistance to straighten my legs, turn a bit, and adjust matters so that there might be a modicum of relief.  I am unable to help myself now that my screaming has turned so bitter.  The pain tablets have to be placed in my mouth and my "Hillary for President" water bottle has to be brought to my lips.  It's humiliating, and it's scary terrifying to the people who love me.  The cats, also, are not amused, as they wish to be sole patent-holders of middle of the night caterwauling.

Anyway, from President Obama's lips and signatory pens to your investment "strategies," CTTC-ers and all your loathesome ilk:

Oh, I should say this.  It's only my theory that "patent trolling" is behind CTTC's bizarre business model.  I think it may actually have taken place -- but more in the Old Country than here in the New One.  That Italian pseudo-professor, pseudo-engineer may have out pseudo-ed a good many good old boys with a very simple scheme.

But some sort of benefit from what is essentially frivolous patenting, legal patent fraud, has to be behind CALMARE and CTTC... it cannot all be pure evil, a plot to cause those of us who scream in our sleep from pain to fork over the bucks for extra wires and knobs, chiropractors and baby-catchers.  Can it?

Is it a fluke that in the first paragraph in their forthcoming "About us" section on the CTTC website, the Founding Fathers state, clearly enough for me:

Working across a broad spectrum of disciplines and industries, CTTC provides distribution, patent and technology transfer, sales and licensing services to intellectual property owners seeking to commercialize their innovative products and technologies.

Oh, I forgot!  The company released its fascinating 2012 SEC Form10-K.  I don't know how to decipher these documents but I do recognize old-fashioned silly bullshit when it wafts before moi -- as in... compare some of these claims with the company actually doing the production of this hot product in Seoul, Korea. I did reasonably well in math, and even better in reading comprehension, back in second grade, at least, and I spotted the source of the stink unaided.  Anyway.  I am just hoping there will be some sort of prosecution here on Earth and that the FDA and the SEC don't defer everything to the Heavenly District Courts.  Nothing much approaches the level of gratuitous relief of a Balm of Gilead like indictments and public excoriation...

This article from CNNMoney was written by David Goldman [@DavidGoldmanCNN]  on June 4, 2013: 12:19 PM ET.

Obama cracks down on patent trolls

The Obama administration issued a stern rebuke of so-called "patent trolls" Tuesday, in an attempt to stop those whom the White House says manipulate the patent system for undue financial gain.

The White House directed the United States Patent and Trade Office to take five new actions that would help stem the rising tide of patent-related lawsuits tying up the court system. Many patent-holding companies with no intention of ever releasing products have made an entire business model out of suing other companies for patent infringement.

The USPTO will now require that patent-holding companies disclose who really stands to benefit from a lawsuit and identify the ultimate patent holder for each application and assigned patent. In many cases, patent-holding entities will create shell companies that allow them to hide their identities, the scope of their portfolios, and connections with other patent-holders.

The White House also wants the USPTO to train examiners to cut down on overly broad patent claims, educate small inventors about how to deal with patent trolls, and expand its outreach to inventors to help develop policies and laws.

In addition, the administration ordered a review of the U.S. International Trade Commission, which has the ability to ban imports of goods deemed to infringe on patents. Patent-holding companies are increasingly taking their claims to the ITC, and the White House would like their enforcement decisions to be made more transparent and efficient.

The Obama administration has made patent reform a priority, passing the first major overhaul of the patent system since 1952. That 2011 bill allowed the USPTO to set its own fees, gave patents to the first inventor to file a claim, and aimed to help keep some cases out of the courts. But the president clearly wants more to be done.

On a Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) Hangout in February, Obama said patent trolls abuse a system that was designed to protect inventions and foster innovation.

"They don't actually produce anything themselves," Obama said. "They're just trying to essentially leverage and hijack somebody else's idea and see if they can extort some money out of them."

Intellectual Ventures is a notorious example of a "patent troll" company. The research firm, based around the corner from Microsoft's headquarters in the Seattle area, acquires thousands of patents and has a research lab to develop its own. Yet it has no products to speak of. The company engages in constant patent litigation, and many tech companies have accused Intellectual Ventures of stifling innovation.

Intellectual Ventures said it is reviewing the administration's actions but declined comment for this story. 

The White House also asked Congress to pass laws that would have an even greater impact to curb "abusive" lawsuits. 

Among the recommendations are protections for consumers sued by patent trolls, ensuring that the ITC has flexibility to hire qualified judges, and awarding attorney's fees for court filings deemed to be "abusive."

Many technology giants have supported the administration's actions on patent reform. Tech companies are among the most-sued firms by patent trolls, and many have annual legal fees that outweigh their yearly spending on research and development. Patent lawsuits involving Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500), Samsung, Google, Oracle (ORCL, Fortune 500), Nokia (NOK), Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) make daily headlines, often resulting in payouts totaling billions of dollars.

Google, whose chairman Eric Schmidt is an outspoken friend of the Obama administration, has stated that it will no longer proactively sue other companies for abuse of open-source software patents. A Google spokesman said the company welcomes the White House's actions on Tuesday.

The Association for Competitive Technology industry association, of which Microsoft, Apple, Intel (INTC, Fortune 500) and Facebook (FB) are sponsors, praised the executive actions.

"The patent system is critical to the innovation economy, but patent trolls are endangering startups around the world," said Morgan Reed, ACT's executive director, in a statement.  

Are you an entrepreneur or small business that has dealt with possible bad-faith claims of patent infringement? Email and you may be included in an upcoming story on

He delights in condiments

Hi, salut, hola -- and salvete, magister!  I make many promises, too many to keep, I've realized, and intentions do not matter.

But I don't intend to let this blog pass on, even when I find myself dwindling.

The comfort of Marlinspike Hall's innate insanity, the hijinks of our neighbors, even the tonsured monks, but especially some new monied hippy-types who enjoy playing with remote-controlled whirring toys, including some scare-you-senseless mockingbird-sized helicopters that may suddenly appear hovering over your shoulder, tempting you to shout things that might be misconstrued as non-liberal, non-progressive, if not outright supportive of the NRA...  Ah, I mean to say that nothing much changes here, and that is a good thing, something to hold on to.

The pain of CRPS has settled, for this mean while, in my legs, and the osteomyelitis pain is clearly focused in the absent left shoulder wreckage and in the right hip prosthesis.  Which mean that Joint of the Week honors go once again to the right arm, whose wrist now sports eight Pura Vida bracelets that are clearly an excess, and, for now, at least, something of a wondrous bother.  My right hand is aflame but I'm determined to make it just another desensitization exercise -- which I shall approach with a better attitude than I did the huge bucket of rice grains that Physical Therapists seemed to think was such a cool therapy tool.  I go too fast.  First, the kindly PT reminds you s/he is your friend and that you signed on for this torture in sound mind, and that some medical school graduate also is keen on it.  Then you roll up your oversized  scrub pants or switch to shorts, and place one of your feet in the middle of the empty huge bucket -- the bucket coming to just below knee height.  Then, dear darling PT begins the dear darling and searing process of adding grains of uncooked long grain rice.  I assume it is long grain rice, as that's what is generally cheapest, and this rice ain't for eating.

Much like I imagine shards of glass dropped one by one might feel, that's how I'd overdramatize the feel of those accursèd grains falling on my feet.  I'd continue on in hysterical fashion, except things tended to ease once the rice level achieved ankle-height.  In lieu of dropping glass shards, I'd revise the description to being assaulted with a pellet gun, something else I've not experienced.  (This is why CRPS patients tend to sound insane.  Our available set of experiences has no matches that accurately correlate to this degree of pain, so we become writers of very bad, over-the-top prose.)

Anyway, such went the rice routine.  It was topped only by the heated chaff torture -- which was so awful that I terminated the exercise and a goodly amount of its technology within a minute.  Some well-meaning but unexposed to CRPS PT dude assured me that his extensive background with the disease proved the validity of our little endeavor:  encasing my right leg in a plastic sheath that was then hooked up to what looked like (and may well have been) a shop vac, set on reverse.  The plastic wrapper was first blown large by blasts of HOT air, which were then joined by particles of swirling chaff. The clever idea was clearly based upon desensitization while under the benefit of crack.

So I think the Pura Vida bracelets are a decent compromise to that ill-informed therapist practice of rice grains and blowing chaff.  Prettier also.  And within a few days, I'll be able to look upon these ringlets of color and appreciate them as mindful additions to the environment. The browns, greens, and maroons of "deep impact," atop the NEGU blues, whites, and one braided blue, white, and black.  Shiny silver beads,.stray threads everywhere (to the cats' delight), and out of it will come a touchstone for instant calm.

I don't know which drug or combination of drugs is defeating me so right now.  Actually, it's the infection, I'm pretty sure, and though that seems to be my favored excuse, there are reasons for that.  The Spaz attacks and the fever and sweats, the particularity of the pain, and its peculiar brown fuzz deposits on the brain -- after five years of it, I've not been wrong yet.

But hiding it, not mentioning it, not rushing off to schedule another end of the days surgery (always do the contaminated patients last) -- that's hard.  Learning NOT to track my fever.

Learning to shut up.

I made Fred a gorgeous salad, with shredded chicken and boiled eggs.  I pickled onions, just for him, and while I showered (cheer for me!), assigned him the task of dressing the thing.

He delights in condiments.

I'm hanging on!