Friday, June 29, 2007

Heaven-sent vs. man-made

It is so strange to know that people listen to electronic music in favor of live music when they don't even know what they are missing. Music is alive; it swings through the room; and when you play it, it fills your heart with joy. It is new every time you play. An electronic listening device is like taking supplements in pill form instead of eating natural food.

Take vitamins for instance, physicians recommend pills instead of replenishing your life-blood with things nature made. The sun gives you a free tan and good bones and health to boot. And here is the shame: When I asked an orthopedic surgeon if it wouldn't be a good idea to give my rickety son some sunlight to improve his condition, he said: "Oh no that's not necessary. He is getting it in his vitamin pills." That comment was not heaven-sent. That doctor had not yet even diagnosed the osteomalacia that was wracking his tiny body. If I were a conspiracy-theorist I would say he did it on purpose; since I am not, I can only attribute his response to a herd-mentality that allows the prevailing thought to be guided only by what is said more often and louder. I wished the sun weren't as quiet. Wouldn't it be good if the sun could shout its favors from the roof-tops? Heaven-sent is free! When I play the music I play for free. It's alive. It's not a pill, it's not from a can.

Two things heaven sent

Last night Bill, David and I played Norwegian music and the dancers performed at a home for the elderly. Bill plays the accordeon, David plays the bass, and I play the recorder. We are town musicians. The lobby of the rest home was filled with mostly elderly women and fewer men full of anticipation. We all wore our folk costumes and the music and dances were traditional Norwegian dances. The audience was transformed into an audience of turn-of-the-century and old Norway. It was magic for them, and it was magic for us--our music heaven-sent. When the performance was over we were asked to play a Swedish hambo as an encore. There were little old ladies in wheel-chairs and elderly men nodding off. But they all clapped when it was over. My music makes me happy, and it made them happy. You can't hear us on the radio or down-load us. We are live musicians.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Hearing a herd of horses

When doctors diagnose an illness they are supposed to go for the most likely diagnosis and not the one that is out of the ordinary for the symptoms. They have a sentence for that: "When you hear a herd of horses, think horses, not zebras." Derived from that is another term "zebra retreat;" that is used for a doctor who is afraid to contemplate the unusual diagnosis. Now I have heard it all! I am sure that doctors always go for the typical diagnosis when they see symptoms. But it seems to me that they rarely go into "zebra retreat" because they don't have the time to think of the extraordinary. There is too little time to think and really understand a situation that lends itself to thinking in terms of "zebras." Doctors also don't want to be sued. So they never even contemplate the "zebra" even if they know that "zebras" exist. It's the safe thing to do call them all horses, even if they see only "zebras." Wouldn't it be best to call "zebras" by their names and have the courage that a sick patient is do?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

More news about the sunshine vitamin. It's free!

Who would have known, the sun is a life-renewing force. It makes vitamin D, and in the process it literally changes the health of the cells in the organism. Vitamin D gets rid of the odd cell. It gets rid of cancerous cells and it makes them self-destruct. What a neat concept. It reads like science fiction but is actually true. Research has shown that vitamin D promotes apoptosis. Like poof! and the bad cells are gone. The one organ that foils the scheme is the kidney. The kidney is really vital for the manufacture of the potent vitamin D metabolite calcitriol. And if your kidney has a defect in which it can't make calcitriol, the person gets osteomalacia or in a child rickets. The whole thing is actually very complicated. But still it all starts with the sun. Now once the kidney has made calcitriol, this hormone has to get to the intestines to empower the receptors to absorb calcium. What I didn't know until recently is that the receptors are only functional when they have zinc. They are zinc-finger proteins. I just read that zinc deficiency can cause rickets in monkeys, and it is assumed that it affects humans the same way. Interesting!!! Thanks to the internet, I found connections I would never have found otherwise.

Monday, June 11, 2007

I can't get over the fact

It just occurred to me that I am really quite attached to the facts. They give me security. They give me a sense of belonging. The facts are a solid kind of a barrier. They keep me in and they cuddle my sensibilities. Now, I haven't said anything about the nature of the facts I can't get over, and why I would even want to get over at least one of them. Facts are like stone. They change only slowly and they leave a trace of truth. Oh yes, I am talking about something sort of commonplace. I am talking about Vitamin D and a study that has recently been done indicating that Vitamin D is not just for bones any longer. Low and behold Vitamin D affects all the cells in the body, and it checks them for viability. So, when the cell is not viable any longer, Vitamin D causes it to commit suicide. That's called apoptosis (cell death). Vitamin D is helpful in keeping cancer in check weeding out the abnormal cells. The researchers found out that Vitamin D prevents breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, multiple sclerosis and more. Vitamin D is the new wonder drug, and it's free. The sun is still free. Should I even try to get over those facts. Why would I want to? I like it where I am. And where I am is right in front of those facts. Or are the facts in front of me?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Is mercury toxicity a phantom?

June 11, 2007, is the date when Thimerosal in vaccines is going to be on trial. The many parents who are banking on justice for their autistic children are most likely going to be disappointed in the outcome by what I know of the conflict-of-interest-ridden pharmaceutical/medical community. The more and more politically oriented judges are more likely to side with the current science-averse government than with facts that have been known probably longer than written history: Mercury is a poison. Alfred Stock wrote in one of his reports an adaptation to an old Roman saying: "Quem Mercurius perdere vult, dementat prius". Maybe that is why there are so many "experts in mercury" who have a really casual attitude towards one of the worst poisons on earth. They have worked with mercury too much and they have lost their senses. It seems as soon as mercury in connection with Thimerosal is mentioned, mercury becomes harmless, a toxin with a faceless mask, a phantom. Mercury is haunting us all. But some of us still have our wits. Others are not so lucky.

It is worth remembering that ancient Rome, according to historians, gradually lost its power due to its excessive use of lead. Caligula was most likely demented because he was fascinated by the mirror-effect of mercury in the lighthouse he had built. The same goes for the Spanish kings who used lead-paint and mercury-gilded mirrors. Mercury is a poison. Why do current mainstream scientists take exception? It's smoke and mirrors. It's a phantom poison.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Here are some quaint medical terms

I have been dealing with Erik's vitamin D problem. Finally after some months of receiving calcitriol (1,25 dihydrocholecalciferol), a metabolite of 25 dihydrocholecalciferol -- actually a hormone made in the kidney -- his blood values are improving. His calcium is up to normal. His phosphorus is at the bottom end of normal and all other values have improved, and although they are not normal, they are nicely improving.

That being said, I can muse over two of the terms I have come across when I tried to learn something about the diagnosis of rickets and osteomalacia. One is "hot-crossed-bun skull", the other "rugger-jersey spine". The first one refers to the skull of a new-born baby with rickets. Imagine a skull that has creases in it as if a baker had cut furrows into the skull to mark it like a hot crossed bun. I know what it looks like. Erik had that when he was born prematurely almost 37 years ago, but I didn't know, at that time, that a skull of a baby with rickets looks like that. The doctors didn't tell me. I would have loved to have known what I know now. The term "hot-crossed bun skull" is a new one to my vocabulary this year. If I had known it, Erik would still be walking.

The other term is "rugger-jersey spine". That term refers to the x-ray of a spine where the vertebrae look like a rugby-player's shirt, you know, a shirt like that has those typical horizontal stripes. I am not really sure that every doctor knows what a rugger jersey is, but a radiologist surely can tell, as well as I can, that an x-ray showing "rugger jersey spine" signifies osteomalacia. I have seen Erik's x-rays, and he has a "rugger-jersey spine". This term, too, is a new word for me this year. Would I have loved to have known about that ten or twenty years ago? You bet, I would. Erik has had rickets and he has now osteomalacia. I found out 37 years too late.