EppsNet Archive: Health

It’s Not Your Head

13 Apr 2016 /
Head pain

I’m telling my doctor about these shooting pains that I get near the back of my head, behind my left ear. Sometimes they don’t happen for months and sometimes they happen several times a day.

She says it’s likely to be caused by stress and tension.

“You don’t think it’s a brain tumor?” I ask.

“No, because a brain tumor would hurt all the time and the pain would get worse over time.”

“OK . . . that’s good to know because I didn’t want to deal with a brain tumor right now.”

“I’m not worried about it. And if I’m not worried about it, you shouldn’t be worried about it.”

“That’s what my wife said this morning. She said she wasn’t worried about it. I said, ‘Of course you’re not worried about it. It’s not your head.’ She said she wouldn’t worry about it even if was her head.”

“Let me say it another way. If your doctor is not worried about it, then you don’t need to be worried about it.”


Free Advice on Free Advice

5 Feb 2016 /
Shoulder pain

Today a colleague offered to fix the pain in my shoulder. “Sounds like a problem with the connective tissue,” he said. “I can push it back into place.”

“No,” I said. “No no no no no no no.”

“Why not? Are you homophobic?”

“Not wanting you to touch my shoulder is not homophobic.” Also this guy is not gay.

“You don’t trust me?”

“I was trying to think of a nice way to say that.”

“I have a gift for this. I’ve helped a lot of people.”

“You might be able to fix it. Probably you could. On the other hand, you might, just perhaps, push on it the wrong way and I lose the use of my left arm. Not worth the risk.”

He then recommended that I go to a health food store and buy some red something-or-other algae to use as an anti-inflammatory.

Which I’m not going to do . . . If someone recommends a movie I should see, I might check that out. Even if it turns out to be terrible, which it usually does, I’ve only lost a few bucks and a couple hours of time. Same with a restaurant. Or a book.

But on medical matters, when someone says “You should go to a health food store and buy some of this product and eat it,” I’m not going to do that because if I do that, and I die . . . because the recommender didn’t know anything about my health condition, medical history, medications I might be taking, didn’t know anything about chemistry, biology, pharmacology . . . I’m dead and the person who told me to do that is scratching his head going, “Hmmmm, that never happened before. Maybe I should have gone to medical school to actually learn something.”


Baldness vs. Malaria

25 Oct 2014 /

Why is there so much more research done on baldness than on malaria? Because rich people go bald, and they don’t die of malaria.


See You in Hell, O Ye of Little Faith

14 Sep 2014 /

Satan

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE]

Greetings from the underworld! I was catching up on Facebook this morning and saw that a woman is going in for brain surgery and her family and friends are asking for prayers for her recovery.

Isn’t that overkill — prayer and brain surgery? Why not just pray for her recovery and if she doesn’t make it, you chalk it up to God’s will?

Some “true believer” religions, e.g., the Christian Science church, do that. They believe more in prayer than in medicine. They decline medical care because they believe that God can heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons, etc. as he did in the Bible. These are the folks you hear about when they come up on criminal charges after refusing medical care for their seriously ill children and the children die.

Either God can cure a brain tumor or he can’t. Why ask a doctor to cure a brain tumor if you’ve already asked God to cure the brain tumor? Because when it comes down to matters of life and death, most people don’t really believe in God and prayer the way they believe in doctors.

Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?

See you in Hell . . .


People Who Don’t Want Me to Know Things

12 Jul 2014 /

What I want to know is why there are so many people who don’t want me to know things . . .

Trudeau's book Natural Cures Updated Edition

And that doesn’t even include all the things that people “won’t tell me.”


Ten Steps to Being Fat, Lonely and Broke

7 Jul 2014 /

Some behaviors come naturally while others require more effort. For example, there are dozens of bestsellers on finding love, losing weight and creating wealth but no market for books like Ten Steps to Being Fat, Lonely and Broke.


Thank You for Smoking

31 Oct 2013 /

According to the American Cancer Society, smoking kills about 1 in 5 people in the United States.

Is that bad? If so, why? You’ve got to die somehow. Would it be better if those people died from some other cause? How would you prefer to see them die?

James Bond

Also: Some percentage of Americans would rather be dead than alive anyway. I don’t know what that number is, but I’d bet it’s higher than 1 in 5.

(If you Google “percentage of people who would rather be dead,” the top results all point to a 2008 survey in which 52 percent of respondents said they would rather be dead than disabled.

If you change the search to “percentage of people who would rather be dead than alive,” you get a mishmash of links, including a few more links to the “dead vs. disabled” survey, but you still don’t get the number you’re looking for. Phoning up random Americans and asking if they’d rather be dead is evidently not considered an appropriate thing to do, although it seems like a highly relevant question to me.

Slight digression: I also found a survey in which people were given the option of saving either their pet dog or a foreign tourist from in front of an onrushing bus. Forty percent chose the dog, which seems low to me.)

Anyway, the American Cancer Society goes on to say:

About half of all Americans who keep smoking will die because of the habit. Each year about 443,000 people in the United States die from illnesses related to tobacco use. Smoking cigarettes kills more Americans than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide, and illegal drugs combined.

Where does that number — 443,000 — come from? The problem with throwing out numbers on smoking deaths is that there’s no way to know that any given smoker died because of smoking.

If a smoker dies from lung cancer, is that automatically counted as a smoking-related death? There’s no way you can know that. Because non-smokers get lung cancer too. Not as often as smokers, but they get it.

You can look at a lot of cases collectively and say that smoking is associated with a higher risk of lung cancer. You could even say that smoking causes lung cancer. But for any given person, you can’t say that this person’s lung cancer was caused by smoking and if he didn’t smoke, he would not have died of lung cancer.

Same thing with other diseases — if a smoker dies of heart disease or a stroke, is that because of smoking? There’s no way you can know that.

The second problem with the numbers is that if smoking kills 1 person in 5 (20 percent), and half of all smokers die because of smoking, then you’d have about 40 percent of Americans as smokers. That’s too high. According to the CDC, 19 percent of U.S. adults are smokers (as of 2011).

Why not keep it real, skip the bogus numbers and say, “Smoking helps some people get through the day. It revs them up or it calms them down or I don’t know what it does, but it helps them get through the day. That being said, there are other ways to get through the day, and setting a vegetable product on fire and inhaling the smoke into your lungs is clearly not the most healthful thing you can do.”


Drive Me to the Junkyard in my Cadillac

30 May 2013 /

Well buddy when I die throw my body in the back
And drive me to the junkyard in my Cadillac

— Bruce Springsteen, “Cadillac Ranch”

Say goodbye to that $500 deductible insurance plan and the $20 co-payment for a doctor’s office visit. They are likely to become luxuries of the past. . . .

Then blame — or credit — the so-called Cadillac tax, which penalizes companies that offer high-end health care plans to their employees.

You’re probably thinking: “So what? I don’t have a high-end health care plan. I’m a working stiff. Let the Wall Street fat cats pay their Cadillac tax.”

Actually, because the plan cost that triggers the Cadillac tax is not indexed for inflation, Bradley Herring, a health economist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, estimates that as many as 75 percent of plans could be affected by the tax over the next decade.

The hospital where Abbey Bruce, a nursing assistant in Olympia, Wash., worked, for example, stopped offering the traditional plan that she and her husband, Casey, who has cystic fibrosis, had chosen. . . .

She has had to drop out of school and take on additional jobs to pay for her husband’s medicine.

“My husband didn’t choose to be born this way,” Ms. Bruce said. The union representing her, a chapter of the Service Employees International Union, has objected to the changes. Her employer, Providence Health & Services, says it designed the plans to avoid having employees shoulder too much in medical bills and has reduced how much workers pay in premiums.

Abbey Bruce

Abbey Bruce, a nursing assistant who works a second job cleaning, will pay a sharply higher deductible.

ObamaCare proponents say the Cadillac tax is bringing down employer (not patient) costs as planned.

Cynthia Weidner, an executive at the benefits consultant HighRoads, [said] that the tax appeared to be having the intended effect. “The premise it’s built upon is happening,” she said, adding, “the consumer should continue to expect that their plan is going to be more expensive, and they will have less benefits.”

Key takeaway: Pay more. Get less.

I hate to say I told you so, so instead I’ll say say an insincere thank you to Obama and all the delusional fuckers who voted for this goddamn law.


More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of: Alternative Medicine Advocates

8 May 2013 /
Lassa Witch Doctors

Lassa Witch Doctors

Alternative medicine is not a real thing. You don’t have a choice between medicine and alternative medicine. You have a choice between medicine and Things That Have Not Been Proven to Work.

Alternative medicine that works is called “medicine.”

Some people tell me that regular doctors don’t know about alternative medicine because they don’t teach it in medical schools.

They don’t teach it in medical schools? If I didn’t know anything about my job beyond what I learned in school 25 years ago, I’d be in bad shape. I’d be unemployable.

If there are any doctors out there who’ve never learned anything outside of medical school, those are not the doctors you want to be going to.


Thomas Jefferson Solves the Country’s Obesity Problem

4 Jan 2013 /
Thomas Jefferson

A slight minority of Democrats (48%) say the government should be extremely or very involved compared to 13 percent of Republicans. Non-whites (47%) are more likely than whites (25%) to say the government should be very or extremely involved in finding solutions to the country’s obesity problem.

My fellow Americans —

The country doesn’t have an obesity problem. If you’re obese, that’s your problem, not the country’s problem, and you bear the costs of it, financial and otherwise.

Some people might argue that obesity causes an increase in public health costs. That is untrue.

Think about it. If you die in your 40s because you’re too fat, you have saved us all a lot of money, to the extent that your healthcare costs are borne by the public.  If you’d maintained a normal weight and lived to be 80, you’d still have end-of-life medical expenses, plus an additional 30 years of expenditures in between.

For those who want a solution to the “obesity problem,” I offer two:

  1. Eat less.
  2. Exercise more.

Got that, fatso?

Thomas Jefferson


Beware of Chest Physicians Bearing Gifts

10 Dec 2011 /
Christmas Popcorn

I work for a healthcare organization. In the lunch room today was one of those cylinders full of caramel corn and cheese corn that turn up everywhere around the holidays.

This one had a note attached: Compliments of your colleagues at the American College of Chest Physicians.

Are caramel corn and cheese corn good for cardiac health? They’ve gotta be terrible, right?

Beware of chest physicians bearing gifts!

CARDIOLOGIST: Who referred you to our office?
PATIENT: I saw your name on a container of cheese corn.
CARDIOLOGIST: Ha ha, yeah, those things pay for themselves a million times over in stents and angioplasties.


If you’re fat, don’t say you “work out,” just say you “exercise.”

Posted by on 10 Jul 2011

Monday Morning Sets the Tone for the Week

25 Apr 2011 /
Treadmill

L.A. Fitness at 5 a.m. I don’t like exercising in a crowded gym. I also don’t like to get up early, but not as much as I don’t like exercising in a crowded gym, and if you get in there at 5 a.m., the gym isn’t crowded.

For 2011, I started doing different exercises every day of the week and changing up the entire workout every four weeks, instead of doing the same basic routine that I’d been doing since, like, forever.

I’m taking all major muscle groups by surprise on a regular basis. They have no idea what’s coming next.

If you’re not incorporating the element of surprise into your exercise regimen, you’re blowing a major opportunity.


Twitter: 2010-12-11

11 Dec 2010 /
Twitter
  • RT @eddiepepitone: Folks remember: just because we are powerless doesn't mean we can't ruin our health and the lives of those close to us. #

200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes – The Joy of Stats

5 Dec 2010 /


I Have No Fears

22 Aug 2010 /

Except aging, death, poverty, diminished capacity, criticism, loss of love and ill health.


Twitter: 2010-04-19

19 Apr 2010 /
Twitter
  • "Sorry to hear about President Kowalski … now watch this drive." http://bit.ly/azPYiM #obama #golf #
  • RT @OnSluts: Monday Affirmation: "I didn't get sick today so that means I don't have to dish out a co-pay." #

Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?

1 Mar 2010 /
Super Bacon Sunday #8

Experts say the belief that sexual activities can lead to a second heart attack consists of a little bit of truth, but research suggests that it is largely exaggerated. People can have sex after their heart attacks. In fact, the more you exercise — including having sex — the better your odds.

As a safety precaution, “You sort of have to test yourself on the sidewalk before you test yourself in the bedroom,” says Dr. Gerald W. Neuberg, cardiologist and director of the intensive care unit at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.


Twitter: 2010-01-05

5 Jan 2010 /
Twitter

The Three Requirements for Happiness

11 Dec 2009 /

To be stupid, and selfish, and to have good health are the three requirements for happiness; though if stupidity is lacking, the others are useless.

— Gustave Flaubert

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