Sunday, September 27, 2015

Senior drivers in the news: testing should start at age 70

Seniors are complaining about the new test rules for Ontario drivers over age 80. I think they should begin at age 70, and all should be road-tested. We restrict new drivers, older drivers tend to get lulled into bad habits. That, and the physical deterioration of old age. I have had a pinched nerve, and couldn't check my blind spot. I stopped driving.
There are many horrible drivers out there. I cannot imagine they get better with age, either!
Kelly Egan, an Ottawa Citizen writer, seems to be advocating!

Senior driver's licence renewal program

Feb. 18, 2014 - Ontario searched high and wide for an easy screening test to help determine if older drivers should be yanked off the road for incompetence. For those over 80, it boiled ...

One day last week, Ken MacLennan rose tentatively to the podium in courtroom 13, a wise old man against the world. On April 21, those rules are to be adjusted. Ontario is asking older drivers to take a vision test, have a driving-record review, join a group education class and take a couple of cognitive tests — basically to ensure their faculties are intact.
MacLennan, like many of his vintage, believes he is being singled out only on the basis of age, though his cohorts tend to drive less, slower and safer than other age groups.

The Canadian Automobile Association is set to launch an online tool to help seniors stay safe behind the wheel. CAA’s senior’s driving website or ‘portal’ to be announced on Tuesday ...

Egan: Deaths among plus-50 motorcyclists soaring across Ontario

Ottawa Citizen-Jun 23, 2015
In 1972, there were 3.7 million licensed drivers in Ontario and 1,934 ... (Of the 55 motorcyclists who died in 2012, 22 were 45 or older. ... twice writing off the motorcycle, including once at the age of 16. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Healthcare appointment #46 –ingrown eyelash follicle

#46 Sept. 22 Eyelid Surgical Centre appointment for 1:30

Hubby's had an ingrown eyelash coming back. We were sent to Ottawa to have it lasered and removed. It irritates the eye and was becoming more frequent after the optometrist removed it three times.
As we age, things just break down. Thank goodness for our healthcare system.

11:45 left the house.

1:04 Arrived. There were 3 forms to fill in, and booties to put on.

They were rerunning a documentary on the Galapogos Isl., highlighting the manner by which Darwin noticed the variation in species, which evolved from island to island, depending up on conditions.
The frigate bird ate the wren, wren uses small stick, branch to dig out grubs. It would have been great to watch, except the room arrangement did not suit the placement of the TVs compared to the chairs.

2:00 Nurse ushered us into the room. BP: 142/85 She told us we'd see Dr. McKewen- anesthetist for pain, discomfort.

2:41 still waiting...I got pretty bored, and my back was hurting.

2:52 Dr. MacDonald arrived: examined the eye, used the microscope, marked the spot. He explained it may or may not be the same follicle. We may have to come back. I hope not. He'd removed one of his own eyelashes similarly ingrown, and it did not return.

They whisked him away into the operating room. The secretary told me 30 minutes. I went outside to sit in the sunshine in the car.
There was a car there, motor running A/C on, while a husband waited for his wife. They left at 3:25. What does Climate Change mean to people with money to burn? Anything? It was a warm day, but not hot. Only 23 C. the high temperature.

2:30 The secretary left, only two cars left in the parking lot, aside from mine. The nurse waved me in, I peeked and could see her. Hubby still had his IV in, they were feeding him a snack, as he'd fasted since 5:30 a.m., and he had a muffin and juice. I hadn't eaten since 10:00 a.m. and was peckish but anxious to beat the rush hour traffic.
Drivers are crazy out there

2:42 Nurse removed his IV, taped him up, gave him an appointment for follow-up, and off we went. Crazy drivers on the road. He can't drive for 24 hours. He has a GP appointment at 11:00 a.m. the next day, Wednesday.

5:01 Arrived Perth to get cream Rx filled. I popped over to buy some frozen dinners.

6:00 Home. Nuked some meals. Relaxed.
I took a photo of his eye. Always good to have an idea of what it looked like post-surgery in case there were complications. There was some bruising under the corner of the eye.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Perth Hospital has a room devoted to palliative care

People are reluctant to use palliative care in institutions. Many patients want to die at home, at the expensive of their caregivers. This is a good balance of care for patient and family. Hospice buildings are far too expensive, with donor fatigue. The government is not supporting this financially, nor are taxpayers.
A place to talk about things that should have been talked about years ago, those things you always meant to say, but could never find the words, or time, or strength, and now get said because the sands in the hour glass are running preciously low.

Friday, September 11, 2015

What really matter at end of life: TED talk

"You can always find a shock of beauty and meaning in what life you have left."
BJ Miller is a hospice doctor who thinks deeply about how to create a dignified, graceful end of life for his patients.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

PART XLV: Appointment with naturopath

#45 Dr. Jenn 

Hubby needed refills...

1. Protein powder smoothies, put glutamine into smoothie
 2. Continue with 1 scoop glutamine/day Bioenzymes good, keep one probiotic per day for immunity, egg cycled with herocium = anti-cancer,
3. Trident = omega 2 caps per day good
4. Eye issue: homeopathic: Eyebright pills, good for dryness, 1 per day for 10 days, right at bedtime, under tongue and it dissolves. energetic form of energy. Ingest the energy and stimulates healing on that level.
5. Canker mouth sore: Kanker didn't do him any good, it burned his mouth, as he used it too long.
The mouthwash: Colgate with peroxyl, has helped.
Thieves: comb of essential oils, clove oil, lemon oil, cinnamon and rosemary.
a) topically, several times a day,
b) swish and swirl, in some water, OK if you swallow
c) oil pulling: TBS coconut oil with a drop, swirl around mouth for up to 20 min. = detoxifying. Don't swallow. Daily at first... weekly for maintenance.

6. Urinary frequency: continue with clonazapine to calm him down.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ontario Residents have a say in physician-assisted suicide

Queen's Park wants to hear your thoughts on physician-assisted dying. We’re calling on you, DWD Canada supporters in Ontario, to complete the  provincial government’s online survey. Voice Your Choice today for new laws that promote equal access, prioritize individual choice and protect vulnerable Ontarians without creating onerous barriers for eligible patients.

The survey is part of the province's efforts to consult Ontarians on how it should respond to the Supreme Court’s February ruling in Carter v. Canada. The judgment, which comes into effect onFeb. 6, 2016, struck down the laws prohibiting physician assisted dying.

We’re here to help
We’ve put together a package of resources to help you make the best of your submission. In ouronline survey toolkit, we’ve provided context for certain questions — such as best practices in other jurisdictions where physician assisted dying is legal — to help you decide which answer to pick.

While filling out the survey is critical, you can have a still greater impact by submitting general comments, too. For those of you who are willing to take this step, we've crafted a separate letter-writing toolkit to help you drive your message home.

Once you've completed your letter, send your comments by e-mail to (And don't forget to forward your response to DWD Canada — copy us at the following

Act now!
Ontario's consultation closes on Oct. 1, 2015, but why not fill out the survey today? The decisions Queen's Park makes in the next few months will determine how Ontarians die for decades to come. Don't miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help create good legislation and protocols that will ensure patient choice in Ontario!

All the best,
Wanda Morris,
CEO, Dying With Dignity Canada

Monday, August 24, 2015

Alzheimer's 'Epidemic' Disproved By 22% Lower Dementia Rate in UK Study

The media cannot help but fearmonger. It make readers of us.
Time to take data and not run opinion polls by for-profits, like CALTC. Many of us are caring well for those who are ailing.
A recent UK report on dementia statistics tells us that it isn't increasing as many have thought.

Story image for uk study dementia statistics from Yibada (English Edition)

Alzheimer's 'Epidemic' Disproved By 22% Lower Dementia Rates In ...

Yibada (English Edition)-Aug 23, 2015
Dementia rates are leveling out in the United Kingdom (UK) according to a new study, which also argues that an "explosion" of Alzheimer's ...

The Globe and Mail

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

PART XLIV: 'closing the loop'

Hubby's memoir for Sady
I always do a selife!
Another marathon trip to a doctor for 8:15 a.m. in the city. 90-minute drive in order for this guy, who wants to 'close the loop', see us again. We saw him back in Feb. and his clinic misfaxed the colonoscopy report. The radiation oncologist didn't get it, either. No big deal, as it was refaxed.

Now, the doctor who performed the colonoscopy (Feb. 2015) and wrote the report, wants to see hubby back in his office. His office is 88 km away!

He gave specific instruction, post anesthetic, which I missed out on. Hubby was still recovering from said anesthetic. That said, he's a fine fellow.

#44 Dr. B 8:15 app't 

  5:30 got up
 6:30 left house to Close the loop
 8:06 arrived at Ottawa Hospital
 8:33 taken into room K4, checked paperwork with Neil nurse, first one who failed to introduce himself, blue scrubs, thought he was a nurse!

BTW poison ivy boils starting, don't know where from. (Back to this later.)

 8:37 We were reviewing notes, simply a matter of responding to the request for consult, after failing to get the colonoscopy report. Dr. B wanted to doit the I-s and cross the Ts.
 8:40 noticed gel, large tube
 8:44 Dr. F, assistant/intern convinced him to have his 7th rectal in 6 mos. might as well, She promises she send reports to everyone. They checked the mucosae (plural of mucus), but with a bad back, can't lean, they worked around this. Small swelling they attribute to scar tissue?

Either way, prostate cancer, says Dr. B, is indolent, slow growing.
His original report suggest hubby return in five years. Hubby and I giggled as he'd take the five years, and be happy to still be alive!

We stopped for brunch, as I wouldn't eat breakfast at 5:30 a.m., and all the Timmy Ho's were full.
My poison ivy rash and blisters were really awful, I've been using the steroid cream for two months on the odd spot. This time, again, it's all over my legs.
Into the ER and out in under 90 minutes.

Monday, August 17, 2015

PART XLIII: consult with GP

#43 Consult with Dr. Dan

 Ushered right into the office, only 8 km away!  BP 146/59, not so bad.

 11:45 What is your understanding of your illness at this time?

Two recent reports, printed off for us.

 Bone and CT Scan printed for us. There is a ridge near operative bed where scar tissue could be.
Hubby's had 7 rectal exams None thought this an issue.
Biopsy negative.
Mesorectal lymph nodes are swollen
This is the illustration by the radiation oncologist
 Dr. C. concerned about the area. If there is no spread, they could go ahead with anti-androgen. With reduction in the size of the lymph nodes, they could administer a 2/3 lower dose.
The radiation oncologist, Dr. K, says there is a 10% chance of damage, and a 25% chance of curing cancer.

The Rx is for zoladex and cacidex, anti-androgen therapy. Start zoladex before cadidex. one dose subcutaneously every 3 mos. needle zoladex could be administered here. 3 mos. back to him strangling PSA cells and likely shrink it. scar tissue close off bladder, (chance) colostomy bag bag, catheter would change life. bladder frequency a risk, too. even if it doesn't cure it could control, do use radiation to control cancer, would slow it down and push the schedule back, if not curative, depriving the cancer cells of fuel vs. controlling it. impossible to predict, we're humans and not absolute science.
"Don't over blow risks of side effects." Stoma nurse could help us to understand the colostomy bag.

There are several videos on-line showing how to changed you colostomy bag. It doesn't look easy.

How to change your ostomy bag

After this appointment we decided not to proceed with radiation. Too much risk. He's healthy and happy and we are enjoying life.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

How are drug prices set?

I watched an horrific story on The National last night. I was truly shocked, but not surprised.

The big Pharmas are setting different prices for different drugs, depending upon how much money a family has, where they live, and what their government can afford to pay. New Zealand, for example, has eschewed this drug, since they cannot negotiate a price they can afford.

Soliris, a drug which targets AHUS, for example. It costs the manufacturer about $60 to manufacture each bottle, and they charge $6700 per bottle to certain governments, and insurance companies, who pay for it for their patients. Once a government contracts with Alexion, their deal and the cost of the drugs must be kept silent. Some are granted the drug for humanitarian reasons, if they is nothing else that will offer them a cure. Others, such as the man in the video, who can maintain his health with daily dialysis, they refuse to grant him access to the drug.

The worst part of this is information from a researcher who tells us that most of the research leading up to the invention of this drug was done using taxpayer dollars, within R & D departments, in academic laboratories.
You are, of course, familiar with crowd sourcing initiatives for those unable to afford medical treatments? Big Pharmas are now hiring PR firms who teach desperate families how to exploit the media, and milk the public for more money. As one who is a shareholder, with many varied stocks, I am becoming more inclined to put my money under a mattress.

How pharmaceutical company Alexion set the price of the ...
A special drug for an extremely rare disease, Soliris costs about half a million dollars per patient, per year, for life. Why? The reasons for the price are locked in "the black box" of drug pricing that governments are seeking to crack open.
Alexion said drug pricing depends on a "unique decision-making framework" that takes into account "the rarity and severity of the disease, the absence of effective alternative treatments, indirect medical and social costs, and clinical data that demonstrate the impact of the drug on patients who desperately need it." 
Soliris is Alexion's only drug, but it's a blockbuster, earning revenues of more than $6 billion in just eight years, and making Alexion one of the fastest growing companies in the world.

Accessing healthcare isn't cheap, even in this country with universal healthcare. We are at visit #44 for prostate cancer. Our friend is far beyond visit #100.

  • Transportation to and from appointments
  • Parking at hospitals ($13  or $14/visit)
  • Meals out, while on the road for treatments
  • Drugs you take at home, rather than in a hospital, patients pay for.
  • Time off work, which is a dear cost in terms of time, energy, goodwill from your employer, even if you are on a salary, and not working on hourly wages.

Soliris is indicated for the treatment of patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) to reduce hemolysis. See full prescribing information.

How A $440,000 Drug Is Turning Alexion Into Biotech's New ...
Sep 5, 2012 - 10 Stocks to Buy Now ... Alexion shares are up 600% since the drug's.... by insurance,” says Biotechnology Stock Research's David Miller.