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Journal Journal: Sometimes it doesn't pay to be nice 7

The dentist showed up 45 minutes late. She had her assistant get me set up in the chair, then proceeded to have a royal meltdown, which was visible through the open door. She was crying and screaming at her 71-year-old mother (who is the receptionist and has said many times she doesn't want to work there - guess she's been guilted into it), accusing her of shoving $170 of food onto the floor, then jumping on a cake, of all things.

At that point I almost left. I should have left, but I thought to myself "I don't want to kick someone when they're obviously having a mental breakdown." Her mental state had gone wonky once or twice before, but it hadn't affected her work. Well, except that she had been going through dental assistants like water through a wet Kleenex. They were all incompetent, didn't know what they were doing, couldn't follow instructions. Same as, according to her, she couldn't work with her brother because he hated her, her parents hate her, the government is out to make her life hard, etc.

Plus, up until now, she had been pretty painless in her work, unlike the dentists of my youth. You don't want to give up on the first dentist in your life who doesn't hurt you.

She hadn't been like that a decade ago, when she opened her practice a few offices down from where I was working, so, needing a dentist, I figured why not her?

She came back half an hour later (she was working on another patient) and froze my upper jaw, then left again. By the time she came back and started working, the lidocaine had started to wear off, so more injections. Had to be done 4 times, which helps explain why I was unsteady on my feet after.

Part-way through, she needed a #303 root elevator to take out my upper left canine. So, 5 minutes of screaming at the assistant to find a #303 root elevator (why she didn't check to make sure it had been placed on the tray with the other instruments is beyond me - this is the third visit we've had to stop and play this particular game. She's not exactly the most organized person in the world, but like I said, I didn't want to give up on a dentist who didn't hurt me).

Besides, this was to be the last time I'd need local anesthesia. "No more dental surgery after tody!"

Finally, I reach the breaking point

She's sliced open the gums to have access to the bone holding the tooth in place, and drilled enough maxilliary bone away to be able to insert the root elevator, to "lift" or "torque" the tooth out rather than just pulling it. She had me looking left, then looking right, all the time exerting greater and greater force. She might have changed tools at one point to be able to apply so much pressure, because 13 days later my neck is still sore.

There's an incredible amount of pain, and I hear what sounds like walking on small gravel. That turned out to be a chunk of my fractured jaw bone grinding in place, still attached to the tooth, then being dragged over the part that wasn't fractured. This went on for a really painful minute or so. Then the tooth and the bone were pulled through the gum tissue, obviously doing a lot of damage on the way out.

The dentist goes into the front office shouting "She's going to need a bone graft. Who's going to pay for that?" (hint - not me, you can be damn sure of that! If she had stopped when she fractured the jaw, the tooth could have been supported in place and the jaw probably left to knit back together on its' own.)

Still can't eat anything except soup, and stuff that can be swallowed whole - the stitches are a b*tch.

Why the big deal about me taking my tooth and bone home?

After I was all sewed up and biting down on gauze, I started picking around on the tool tray to find that sucker! I was asking the assistant to wrap it in tissue so I could show it to my sister (because who would believe it otherwise) when the dentist came back and said to wait until the assistant had cleaned the tray, then left again, probably to work on someone else.

20 minutes later my sister texted me to say she was waiting in the parking lot waiting to drive me home (good thing too, with all that lidocaine making it hard to keep my balance). No sign of the dentist, so I get my 1-week follow-up appointment, take my tooth and say my goodbyes to the assistant and the receptionist, and leave.

The 1-1/2 hour visit has now taken more than twice that, and obviously I'm not finished being cut open :-(

At 8 pm, the receptionist calls back to say that I need to bring the tooth and bone back tomorrow because they want to send it out to a pathologist to find out why my bones are so soft (the dentist had complained on previous visits that my bones were very soft - I had told her before that I have osteopenia, a precursor to osteoporosis, and it was also on my chart. Like I said, not very organized). "No problem, I'll be there at 9:15 am."

At 10 pm, the dentist calls back all angry at ME! "You went behind my back and took that tooth! I got the full story from my assistant! Don't bother bringing it back!" WTF??? It's MY tooth and bone, and if she wanted to do tests on it, she had to get my consent first, which means informing me first. She hadn't said anything of the sort when she saw I had the tooth in my hand, and I had brought a previous tooth home, no problem. I didn't say anything, but afterward I was thinking "why is it my fault that I'm not a mind reader and where is the apology for breaking my jaw?" This is too too weird - and I'm used to weird stuff happening to me.

Either the test was necessary, in which case it's a medical error to cancel it in a fit of pique, or it isn't, so why order it? I decided than that it was a good thing I had taken it.

The silent treatment

I go for the 1-week checkup, wait an hour, the dentist never talks to me, never examines anything, just tells the receptionist to give me a requisition for a panoramic x-ray at the local clinic and that's it. No explanations, no renewal of the antibiotic prescription for the second week, nothing. Now I'm starting to get a bit pissed off.

Wrong pills

Two days after the surgery I went to the emergency because I thought an infection might have set in. I told the doctor my worry, and that I had doubled up on the antibiotic that morning just in case. "Antibiotics don't work that way." He asks what I was on, so I showed him the bottle.

"This is a children's dose. You did the right thing doubling up. Keep on until they're gone, and I'll give you a prescription for a week at the proper dose." It's a good thing he did, because the dentist "forgot" the second week's prescription, and there was zero renewals after the first week - which is strange.

So I'm going for the panorama x-ray tomorrow, and back to the dentist to get a referral to a maxillo-facial surgeon to do the bone graft. Then I'll ask the surgeon to recommend a better dentist.

After all this mess, my sister looked her up on the internet. Wish I had thought of that. Check out the comments.

The one about not respecting patient privacy is accurate. Part-way through, she left to get the x-ray of the other patient, and insisted on showing it to me (cracked tooth, name of patient on x-ray). I wasn't interested, and besides, it's hard to see an x-ray with cataracts, etc.

In my opinion, she needs help. She also shouldn't be doing oral surgery without supervision, or maybe not at all. Infections of the jaw were often fatal before antibiotics. Screwing up the antibiotics, then not giving a complete course, put me at risk of some nasty sh*t. This mess was more painful than my root canal.

And now I'll have to have my mouth cut open again :-( Looks like I'll be eating mush for a while.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Ask Slashdot: Crowd-sourcing to counter medical malpractice 19

My endocrinologist (I'm on hormone replacement therapy) has been lying to me for 5 years. It's only after another doctor ordered additional tests to find out what might be contributing to my fatigue and depression that the truth came out. My endo had been giving me only 1/4 the recommended starter dose for HRT. I confronted him, telling him that I had never consented to non-standard treatment, and would obtain the missing medication illegally if he refused to fix the problem. He only increased the dose to 1/3 after a very heated discussion. I obtained the missing estrogen elsewhere and thoughts of suicide have disappeared. Now, in what looks like either retaliation or an attempt to keep from being second-guessed, he's removed estrogen levels from my blood tests.

I've never crowd-sourced or crowd-funded anything before, but it seems to be an effective way to at least draw attention to the problem. Hopefully the slashdot hive mind will have some ideas.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Why I'm boycotting Earth Day 7

Earth Day - the day we're supposed to show our concern for the environment by turning off our lights for one hour between 8:30 and 9:30 pm - is just greenwashing.

It's still below freezing here, and I doubt than any of the people who will be turning out their lights will be pulling their main circuit breaker to also turn of their heat, fridge, etc. But if everyone did, it would actually have a negative impact on the environment, as everyone turning the heat back on at 9:30 will create a spike in demand - a spike that will have to be met via peak electrical generator units, which are less efficient.

And everyone driving to some place to hold a candle-light vigil? Come off it - unless you walked or biked you probably used more energy than if you sat at home with all your lights on at once.

The sun sets here today at 7:13 pm. I'm not going to be bumbling around in the dark for an hour like some poseurs. I'm greener than anyone I know. I walk everywhere I can - last Wednesday it was 13 km to go to the dentist and back the day after the 16" snowstorm. Next week it will be 19 km round-trip to the doctor's. I use public transit when I have to. I recycle. But my lights are going to be on tonight. I don't need to fake being green so I can feel like I'm doing something positive.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Interesting ... openSUSE in a VM to the rescue! 6

The last few years, I've been able to read again, but NOT program. Sitting in front of the computer trying to write code, I would just draw a blank. This was the second time - the first being after the whole flesh-eating disease thing a couple of decades ago.

Finally got off the antidepressants a couple of months ago (psychiatrist still wants me on them because I still show signs of anxiety and depression, but ...). This laptop is stuck with Windows 8.1, and there was no way I could get into coding - until I loaded openSUSE into a VM this weekend, on a hunch. I think I'm going to be okay (well, except for 20/300 vision in one eye, and 20/50 in the other, both because of cataracts* - but at least the retinal bleeding has pretty much stopped - no major hemorrhages in 8 months, though I now need cataract surgery and to see a glaucoma specialist).

Things I discovered over the last few years:

1. IDEs have gotten WAY TOO COUNTERPRODUCTIVE. The worst example is android studio. What a piece of shit. 1.6 gigs, downloaded an example program, wouldn't compile, clicked on "install missing libraries", over and over and over, rebooted, no diff. Reinstalled, no diff.

Eclipse isn't any better.

2. The old, simple ways worked, and if it ain't broke, why fix it? gedit/vim, make, and a few perl and bash scripts for versioning, etc. are all I need for c/c++ and java. At least when something doesn't work, I can find why quickly.

3. Which brings up a beef (well, another one) about Android. Material design is counter-intuitive. Horizontal on-off switches??? At least a checkbox, you can tell at a glance whether it's on or off. With a horizontal toggle, is left on or is right on? Takes up more space and is less intuitive. Yet another example of change for change's sake that ends up screwing up simple, already solved problems. We keep "solving" already-solved problems, and I suspect it's pushed by people trying to justify their jobs. Like usual.

4. Ageism. It's been real the last few jobs, and there's no way it's gotten better since I stopped working. Of course, the demand for c/c++/java programmers isn't that great here any more, and the demand for 60-year-old coders is probably zero. I could get away with chopping 10-15 years off my age (most people I've met are kind of shocked I'm that old - "you certainly don't look it!") - and there is NOTHING a potential employer can do if you lie about your age. Age is not pertinent to doing a job, and using that as a reason if/when they find out pretty much proves age discrimination, but what the hell - I'm not going to be looking for a regular job anyway, right? I remember the crappy working conditions - I'd rather work part time for minimum wage elsewhere than go back to working for schmucks. Or as one softie put it - "went lettuce picking."

5. That last point bears repeating on its own : I remember the crappy working conditions. It's just not worth it. Why waste your life explaining why $IDEA is neither great, new, earth-shaking, innovative, or worth pursuing. Or telling them to f*ck off about using Rails, Groovy, $LATEST_FAD_LIBRARY_FRAMEWORK.


The importance of being able to program again is mostly to restore my self-assurance that the last few years haven't caused any real damage, not to go back into coding.

Should be interesting ... same as the whole cataract surgery thing (not a big deal). I'll probably go the independent, semi-retired route. Spend more time with the little dog, neighbors, etc., and less time trying to justify my existence to the world :-)

* You probably can't blast lasers through the lens onto the retina 4-5000 times per eye without doing some damage to the lens as well. Oh well, (imitate voice-over from "$6 million man" - we have the technology) it sure isn't going to be anywhere near as bad as the vitrectromy.

User Journal

Journal Journal: And the gay community fucks over straight transsexuals yet again. 2

For the longest time, the gay community has encouraged confusion between cross-dressers and transsexuals - even many of them say that transsexual women are just gay men in dresses.

That's bad enough - but so many in the "transgender community", including LGB transsexuals, have bought into a similar line - that straight transsexual women were all just repressed gay men.

Sounds reasonable if you buy into the whole "sexual orientation is always fixed." Unfortunately, the animal kingdom puts the lie to that in a big way - there are many animals that change sex (which is even more extreme) and then go on to procreate and produce young in their new sex.

Were the ones who used to be female really all just suppressed males, and vice versa? Any reasonable person would laugh at that. The animals changed both sex and sexual orientation.

But closeted gay psychiatrists (see Ray Blanchard, with his classification of straight transsexuals as "homosexual autogynephiles", and J. Michael Bailey, who wrote a book based on "research" claiming to show that transsexual women were, again, gay men, and went on to "prove" it by interviewing, and having sex with, gay transvestites) just loved to get paid spouting bullshit that furthered their personal agendas. After all, false news makes money, always has, always will.

The LGBT community vigorously denies that transsexuals can be straight in one sex, transition, and be straight in their new sex. It threatens their narrative that sexual orientation is immutable, while failing to note that not all transsexuals are gay in the first place (50% of transsexual women are straight, 1/3 bi, and 1/6 lesbian).

It also is a total denial of reality in the prison systems - straight people engage in gay and lesbian sex all the time, without any previous indicator that they might have been repressing their "true sexual orientation."

It's gotten to the point that straight transsexuals will not challenge the "suppressed gay male" story because they know they will be trashed as homophobes. All this while acknowledging that there are differences between the brains of transsexuals and non-transsexuals - they apply the same standards to both transsexuals and non-transsexuals who change sexual orientation - it MUST have been because you were really gay. How ghey is that?

The easiest way to tell if someone is a repressed gay guy is to hit on them. The really repressed ones will react violently. This has been proven in court often enough that we had to outlaw the "gay panic defense" for men accused of killing drag queens and transsexual women. So it's reasonable to assume that any transsexual woman who, prior to transition, didn't react negatively while living as a straight man, probably wasn't a repressed gay cross-dresser just dying to put on a dress.

They are doing the same to transsexuals who were straight both prior and post transition as the religious right did to all transsexuals - "you're really just gay men in drag." Bunch of fucktards with no sense of self-awareness.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Happy New Year. Good news - and I'm REALLY pissed off. 6

Warning - longish rant

Finally, after years of dealing with major depression and anxiety disorders, it turns out that there was nothing wrong with me except trusting my endocrinologist when he said everything was fine wrt HRT (hormone replacement therapy).

In what is a probably a fine example of medical malpractice, he had me, after 5 years, on 1/4 the starting dose of estrogen. Son! Of! A! Bitch! Of course, low hormone levels lead to all sorts of risks, including depression ... as well as increased bone decalcification, lack of concentration, continual lack of energy, earlier onset dementia and Alzheimer's, higher risks of cardiovascular disease, etc.

Only after accidentally obtaining my actual blood test results, which I had earlier received by mistake, did I find the error. Had to involve the hospital where he works, and he admitted to me he doesn't check estrogen levels "because they vary over the course of the day." Well, that's why we have standard protocols, including standard dose recommendations, dummy!

From the physician's code of ethics:

44. A physician must practice his profession in accordance with the highest possible current medical standards; to this end, he must, in particular, develop, perfect and keep his knowledge and skills up to date

His actions in seriously under-dosing were not "current medical standards", not in my book.

46. A physician must make his diagnosis with the greatest care, using the most appropriate scientific methods and, if necessary, consulting knowledgeable sources.

If you're going to ignore blood tests, you'd better have a damn good excuse, or better yet, maybe it's a good idea to fall back on standard practices?

47. A physician must avoid omissions, procedures or acts which are unsuitable or contrary to the current information in medical science.

So, no ignoring standard practices.

48. A physician must not resort to insufficiently tested examinations, investigations or treatments, unless they are part of a recognized research project and carried out in a recognized scientific milieu.


49. A physician must, with regard to a patient who wishes to resort to insufficiently tested treatments, inform him of the lack of scientific evidence relative to such treatments, of the risks or disadvantages that could result from them, as well as the advantages he may derive from the usual care, if any.

It's called "informed consent" for a reason. I was never informed that he was not going to go by established standards of treatment, and certainly would not have consented to it if I had been given the particulars.

55. A physician must not decrease the physical, mental or affective capacities of a patient except where such is required for preventive, diagnostic or therapeutic reasons.

That includes not making bad judgment calls that result in physical and mental symptoms of depression, interfere with concentration on a day-to-day basis, make it impossible to work, etc.

85. A physician must refrain from issuing to any person and for any reason whatsoever a false certificate or any information, either verbal or written, which he knows to be erroneous.

That includes saying blood levels were fine when he now admits he ignores estrogen levels in blood tests that were clearly way too low. WTF???? That's the whole point of HRT - to get estrogen levels to the point where they have a therapeutic effect, not just acting no better than a placebo.

The proof is in the pudding.

What motivated me to look for errors was that nothing over the last few years had offered a real fix to the depression - all sorts of medications, alone or together, in various doses, just didn't work, and the PTSD, which I had dealt with for years, had destabilized 3 years ago. When I recently found myself once more waking up one morning right back in the middle of a really "dark place" wondering why I didn't just kill myself and be done with it for good, just hours after I had told one of my sisters that I thought things were finally, maybe, hopefully, getting better, I figured that since nobody could find what was really wrong, it was time for me to check assumptions, one of which was my endocrinologists' saying that hormone-wise, everything was good. Once I found my mistaken assumption, I quadrupled the dose that night, and woke up better than I had been feeling in years. Makes sense, since hormones act very quickly. A surge of adrenaline in response to anger is immediate. An overdose of insulin will put you on the floor within minutes. And PMS? 'Nuff said. Hormones are strong medicine. (And estrogen is a noted anti-depressant, even in tests of one 4mg patch on male test subjects).

So I'm left with a few questions, one of which is - will my ability to code ever return? Despite believing it won't, I've still fired up the old editor every so often, hoping ... after all, after the sexual assault and flesh eating disease, I drew a blank every time I sat in front of the computer for quite a long time. I told people it took 5 months for it to suddenly just "pop back into place", but it turns out that it was much longer - there was an additional intervening year that "sort of got lost" , and I only figured that out in going over the events to write this last part. Oops. Guess it messed me up more than I remembered. But maybe "losing" that extra year was a good thing.

Only time will tell. But damn, it's sure a fine start to 2017. Hope I'm not the only one who can say that. Take care everyone.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Did it. Moved to Soylent News. 17

From now on I'm just going to come back to read your journal entries. My original UID was in the 40k range. Now that UIDs go up to 100 times that, all I can say is that Sturgeon's Law was optimistic. Way more than 90% of the comments are crap.

It's just not worth the aggravation, not with all the conspiracy theorists, alt-left, alt-right, the SJWs, the libtards, the fundies, the cranks, and every idiot who thinks that their "feeling" something is true even though they can't produce any proof and every medical study says the contrary - "because it's a conspiracy by doctors and drug companies."

I'll pop in in a few days to wish you all a merry xmas - and if it's no longer politically correct to wish people a merry christmas, f*ck you too.

User Journal

Journal Journal: If you want to see just how sucky slashdot has become ... 15

I took some time to read a few stories from the past - part of the whole Novell-SCO/SCOS/SCOXE mess. The difference in quality of the discussions then and now is really telling.

It's like mass-produced chocolate chip cookies. The bean counters slowly remove one or 2 chocolate chips from the mix "because nobody will notice", until one day you wake up and go "What happened?"

I don't think there's any fixing it, for the simple reason that tech has changed. That attracts a different clientele. One with different priorities and interests. Welcome to Facedot ...

User Journal

Journal Journal: Filling in a DNR or Advanced Medical Directive is sobering. 9

With people living longer, and with the possibility to extend life even when doing so would be undignified, and distressing to everyone around you, eventually you should ask yourself "do I want to live like that?" Nobody wants to spend their last years unable to recognize anyone, in diapers, eating through a tube, and being the source of continual stress for friends and family.

I've seen people whose quality of life is pretty low and will never improve. I would never want to be like that, and neither do my sisters. So, figured I'd fill in a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) and Advanced Medical Directive - ot doing so is just too cruel to allow it to happen.

The forms are an eye opener - they make it real. And it's not a simple case of saying "No advanced measures if I'm going to be brain damaged." Gotta fill in a bunch of use cases, appoint someone who knows your wishes if a situation comes up that hasn't been anticipated in the directive, get it witnessed, give copies to several people, stick it in your hospital file, update the hospital's medical card to indicate that there's an advanced directive on file (and make sure they have a copy), as well as giving a copy to every doctor you deal with outside a hospital setting.

Most importantly, keep a copy on you so that EMTs won't do something that results in you receiving enough care to live, but not enough to live like a human being.

Only 14% of people who receive cpr in a hospital ever leave it alive, and only 2% in the field. It's not worth taking the risk.

Several articles to give you something to think about

User Journal

Journal Journal: Justifying not cleaning up code in a click-bait "agile" article 15

The reg has this incredibly stupid attention-seeking article justifying not trying to clean up dirty code that seems to be working okay.

âoeYou might have a complete disaster in code ... that hasnâ(TM)t been touched in four years, that is actually working pretty well now finally, even if it is being held together with duct tape and baling wire. And hopefully by the time I have to change it, itâ(TM)ll be so far out of date that I can throw it away.â

You know the code is crap, and you're willing to leave that technical debt until you HAVE to change it? In any other industry that would be called willful negligence. No wonder it's a good thing we don't build houses (or cars or airplanes) the way we build software. That code could be one reboot away from a disaster but hey, we won't fix it until we have to.

âoeThe purist in me would like to say you still need to clean it up because itâ(TM)s terrible. The pragmatist says ignore it, itâ(TM)ll go away.

Ignore it, it'll go away. Really? Here's a hint. The code is not self-aware. It won't fix itself, and ignoring it means that it won't go away. Only paying attention to it and doing a good review *might* make it go away.

Dirty code is a fact of life, and working out which software really needs changing and leaving the rest will help many IT organizations gain at least some of the benefits of going Agile, ThoughtWorksâ(TM) CTO told the Continuous Lifecycle conference today.

Just another consulting business trying to convince other businesses that it's better to wait until stuff craps out and then call in a consulting firm to fix it rather than keep people on staff who know the product and have a vested interest in making sure that the dirty stuff gets done before the turds hit the ventilator.

Their motto should be "Don't be proactive - be agile!"

Of course, if your bosses buy into this, you'll probably be out of a job when the company has an unrecoverable error and goes broke, if they haven't already fired you because maintenance of legacy code is seen as no longer needed.

Only more lawsuits over bad software will get rid of this attitude. And jail terms for bad software that results in injury or death. Bosses will only take quality seriously when their asses could be thrown in jail because of such willful negligence, or shareholders suing their asses into personal bankruptcy for loss of value.

User Journal

Journal Journal: No thanks, I don't want a mammogram. 3

The government came up with a new initiative to offer every woman a referral for a free program to screen for breast cancer, including followups and treatment. Got the invite in the mail Tuesday, and thought it was funny. I'm literally in the lowest-risk group.

Statistically, over a 20-year period, 73 cases per thousand will be detected, as opposed to 54 per thousand without screening. Makes sense. However, 10 women will be over-diagnosed (have a detected breast cancer treated that would have been harmless if ignored). Not so good. 1 in 100 over 20 years. Hmm.

Now for individual risk factors. There have been no cases of breast cancer in my relatives that I am aware of. That means that, while about 5-10% of the population of both sexes have the BRCA-1 or BRCA-2 gene, I almost certainly do not. Also, I don't have any of the "lifestyle diseases" that promote cancer.

And then there's the only complete longitudinal study of more than 4500 subjects like me over a 40 year period, with only ONE case of breast cancer.

So, over the next 20 years I have less than a 1 in 4500 chance of getting breast cancer, and a 1 in 100 chance of a misdiagnosis resulting in unnecessary treatment. And those unnecessary treatments carry their own risks.

So I made a few jokes about it, and put the letter aside.

The next day was an appointment with my gp. You'd almost think there's a conspiracy going on. After an examination that found my lungs work fine, my heart doesn't make any weird noises, there's nothing in my guts that feels abnormal when palpitated, my blood tests are ok (and you'd kill to have my cholesterol numbers), my blood pressure is within norms, what does she want me to do "just as routine preventative care?"

A mammogram. A bone density xray. A test for colon cancer.

Since this is the first gp I've ever had (saw her for the first time a few weeks ago, and the waiting list is LONG), I kind of don't want to antagonize her, so here goes for the useless mammogram.

Of course, when you get quacks like Dr. Mercola saying to avoid it, why not go for it?

Note: This guy is such a quack. Here's just one example:

As little as ten years ago, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was believed to be safe, but has since been proven to drastically increase your risk of breast cancer.

One study made the startling discovery that HRT with either estrogen alone or estrogen-plus-progestin was associated with a 70 percent increase in breast cancer risk when the therapy was taken for five years within the six years preceding the cancer diagnosis!

This is also true for birth control pills. Theyâ(TM)re synthetic hormones which may even be worse than Premarin, so I strongly advise women to avoid birth control pills as well as traditional approaches to HRT.

Bioidentical hormones, which are a safer alternative, do not appear to contribute to breast cancer like its synthetic counterparts.

Who the hell still uses premarin (made from pregnant horse urine, cruelly obtained, not bio-identical, and containing some enzymes not found in human bodies)? The treatment of choice has been estradiol for a LONG time. HRT with estradial and without progestins lowers rates of breast cancer, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease, delays dementia, cognitive decline, Alzheimers, and takes at least a decade off your apparent age.

What's not to like?

And that advice at the bottom to sleep in absolute darkness? It's not natural. We didn't evolve for that. He seems to forget that there's these things called stars, and the moon. If sleeping in the dark is so necessary, how come we feel so refreshed, SO GOOD after an afternoon snooze, or sleeping under the stars with a sleeping bag?

He should team up with that other peddler of BS, Dr. Oz.

User Journal

Journal Journal: You seriously want us to respect you now? 46

Rioting after losing because YOU fucked it up by rigging the nomination against #FeelTheBern Sanders. Take responsibility for your own shitty actions. It wasn't misogynists - white women voted in almost as high numbers as men for Trump (but they didn't admit it to polsters, hence the surprise). It wasn't because Trump supporters are racist, Clinton failed to get as many votes in many counties as Obama had, and last I looked, Obama was at least sort of black. It was because your candidate was so shitty, so unelectable, so untrustworthy that people would rather vote for anyone else, even Trump, or just stay home.

And now that Clinton is out, her phoniness is exposed, and people can talk about it openly.

So stop being butt-hurt crybaby Clinton losers. Her and her husband Bill were not social progressives. Bill signed the Defense of Marriage act, and Hillary opposed same-sex marriage on Ellen and in the senate and outside the senate. What a bitch!

Don't blame anyone else - you rigged your convention, you didn't speak out against it, you rejected an easy win with Sanders and insisted on running a woman who was unelectable, tarring everyone who pointed this out as misogynists or racists or a traitor to women or whatever. Here's a clue - voting for someone based of their sex is just as bad as voting against someone based on their sex. Voting for her just to shatter the glass ceiling is no reason. Elizabeth Warren would easily have been able to do it, so it's not about sex or gender. It's a rebellion against bullshit as usual. Get over yourselves, stop your whining and rioting and look in the mirror - you made Donald Trump president, all you Clintonistas. It's all your fault.And it's worth 4 years of Trump just to get rid of you and your "public position and private position" lying mouth.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Internet Dysphoria - if you don't have it, it's likely you know someone who does 5

Yesterday we read about how smartphones are contaminating family life. People are getting to the point where they feel anger or resentment towards the place the internet takes in so many people's lives, including their own. Here I propose both a formal diagnosis and criteria as a first step in helping those so affected.

Dysphoria is a psychiatric term for a state of unease or generalized dissatisfaction with life.

Gender dysphoria is the psychiatric term for the distress a person experiences as a result of the sex and gender they were assigned at birth not being congruent with who they feel they are.

Which brings is to Internet Dysphoria

Sense of dissatisfaction, unease, or distress with life on the Internet, esp. when the person is finding that, no matter how much exposure they get, the feeling just gets worse.

Symptoms can include:

  1. anger and frustration with the sheer volume of misinformation, outright lies, and manipulation by others, especially for profit
  2. an overwhelming desire to throw their phone against the wall or punch out their keyboard or screen.
  3. reminiscing about the "good old days" when you could talk to people without their phones constantly interrupting
  4. feeling like they, just by their very presence, are somehow inhibiting others from devoting their entire attention to the internet - especially true when visiting someone or sitting down for a meal and everyone else is glued to their phones. See Internet Alienation Syndrome.

The most likely viable treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy to help the individual realize that they are engaging in distorted thinking when believing that the internet should be such a fixture in their daily life, and to see the internet for what it has become - an echo chamber / rage machine / manipulator par excellence for profit at the expense of the users long-term autonomy, independence, and privacy.

Short-term solutions may include

  1. getting a data plan with crappy limits;
  2. "forgetting" your phone in the car;
  3. buying a Samsung Note 7 or Apple iPhone with touch screen disease;
  4. making mealtime rules such as fist one to use their phone at the table does the dishes, and first one to use their phone at the restaurant pays the bill.

More research is needed on this socially and emotionally crippling problem. Feel free to send me research grants, donations, chocolate and pizza, etc.

Note: This disorder is closely related to, but distinct from, Programmer's Dysphoria, which manifests itself in a growing feeling that coding is no longer enjoyable, that many projects are vapid or even evil, and that affected programmers wish they had gone into a different career and just kept coding as a hobby activity.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Mod points? I don't want fricking mod points! 7

I always feel obligated to use them. Just got rid of 5 yesterday, and today I have 15 more. With so much crap on the internet, including slashdot, it's like King Canute telling the tide to turn, or Sisyphus rolling that rock up the hill over and over.

I mean, what's the point. Nothing changes, because the internet is a vast echo chamber/rage machine/for-profit disinformation generator.

So instead, I'm going to talk about my dog Toby, who died a week ago after 13 years. At least that's grounded in reality (note: virtual reality is an oxymoron - get over it already). And it's something that people can perhaps relate to that is real and unhyped.

Toby was a good dog. He was dumped on me when I was asked to watch him for 10 days, and as a pup he got along well with my St. Bernard. At the end of the ten days, I called to ask when they were taking Toby back, and was told "He's yours now. I left his papers with you." Considering that Toby was chewing everything in sight, and would pee within a minute of my leaving, and poop within 5 (separation anxiety), I was a bit bemused. He was an ugly dog - his head didn't fit his body, all the parts were gangly and awkward. People would ask me what type of dog he was, and I'd tell them he was a fugly.

That changed as he grew up - people were still asking me what type of dog he was, but they were complimenting his good looks and his friendly character. The little kids in the neighborhood thought he was an over-grown world (he got big, just the way I like my dogs). Even dogs that tried to bite him, he would step back a pace and look at them as if to say "okay, NOW can we be friends?" Often it worked.

When I was told that I was going to eventually lose my sight, I trained him as a guide dog - without a harness. When my blood sugar went too low, and I couldn't tell what was happening but just wanted to get in my home, he pulled me past the entrance and to the next house (where we had never been). I woke up on the concrete porch, police, fire, ambulance, and doctor trying to figure out how to get to me because of the dogs (Bear #2, my second newfie, was there also), and I knew that there was no way I would have made it up 14 stairs if we had gone in. And that being indoors, nobody would have seen what happened.

I owed this dog big time. I also gave him a far better life than most dogs could hope for. We were good for each other, and in the end that's what counts.

This is the first time in decades that I haven't owned a big dog. What do I have left? Well, there's my neighbor's little shih-tzu mix who thinks he's mine (since he's been living here most of his life). Guess I'll get me some more of good old-time reality by taking him for a walk :-)

As for the internet? I'm not impressed.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Another TV season, another Transparent freak show. 14

What is portrayed on that show is not how it is for many of us in real life. Putting a man in a dress and having him portray a transsexual is not really going to capture it, except for the unpassable. But of course, that's what makes good TV. The truth is boring.

Of course, it IS more accurate in portraying the intersection between transsexuals and the LGB community - but only for those who believe that the LGBT community is also their community. If you're not a gay/lesbian/bi transsexual, it's an alien portrayal except for a few freaks.

But don't you dare say so - it goes against the "agenda."

One of my neighbors called me over to watch it, and she knew I was trans. At one point, "Maura" is walking into a restaurant for a date. I couldn't help but say "What the heck? The walk, the posture, that just screams man in a dress." She said that she was thinking the same thing. Come on, put at least a minimal effort into it. What I see there is parody. The hollywood/gay community's view of transsexuals is so full of shit compared to most straight transsexual's lives outside the "community." Assholes.

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