U.S. Obesity and the Destruction of the Family Unit or a Different Ending

Recent data from the CDC 1985-2010 on obesity is a cause for concern by all Americans. As of 2010 there were approximately 33.8% adults classified as obese and 17% or 12.5 million of our youth ages 2-19 that fell into this classification. In showing that this is a national issue no state in the union had an obesity rate below 20% and 36 states had obesity rates higher than 25% also 12 states had a rate of 30% or more.

In 1990 the statistics were quite different when 10 states who participated in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System reported obesity prevalence at <10%. Also no state reported a rate higher than or equal to 15%.

Jump to the year 2000 where no state had an obesity prevalence lower than 10%. While 23 states reported 20-24% and no state reported a rate over 25%.

By 2010 there were no states who reported an obesity prevalence below 20%. Thirty-six states were now reporting rates of 25% (equal to or greater).

The statistics were only reporting what society was already witnessing in their everyday lives. As these statistics grow so does our concern for our children, society and the economic impacts being found in hospitals and clinics nationwide.

In the U.S. Obesity is now estimated to cost $147 bill per year. Approximately 9% medical spending can be tied to this phenomenon. It is also estimated that the obese American spends $1500 more than the average or 41% more than what is considered the average medical cost of everyday U.S. citizens (Note approximately 2009 data).

Future Dire Consequences for the Human Race

In a study done by the Endocrine Society published March 23, 2011 it was found that the hormone Ghrelin is found to be low in obese females. The study while done on mice found that lower levels of this hormone reduced the fertility of the test subjects. While Ghrelin’s specifically cannot be tied to fertility of humans it does fall into the family of hormones involved in regulating reproductive functions in humans and animals.

The lead author of the report Hugh Taylor MD. of the Yale University School of Medicine stated, “While our study involved mice we believe our findings have significant implications for women. Our results suggest that low ghrelin levels could program the development of the uterus in the female children of obese women. These women may then be less fertile as adults”.

A recent study performed by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) recommends that young people should participate in physical activity of at least moderate intensity for 30 to 60 minutes each day. It is estimated that 300,000 Americans die annually as a result of a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits. This is more deaths than that from the result from infectious disease, firearms, motor vehicles, and illicit drug use combined

In some regions school age children receive gym classes only once every two weeks or once a month, when a holiday or a school assembly interferes. Prior to cost cutting measures being instituted only around 33% of students were considered obese this has now climbed to over 50% as standardized educational testing has taken on as the program of more importance versus physical education.

While the lack of physical activity is now being classified as a Major Health Risk little if anything is being done to address the issue. Yes bills are being brought forth across the country however they are gaining no traction and never reach fruition.

Sedentary lifestyles are predisposing Americans for diseases such as stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, various cancers, diabetes, depression, obesity, and much more.

American males watch on average 2 hours of television per day versus 2.4 hours for females. On top of this there is an average of 2 hours per day using computers, gaming and other social media.

Children and teenagers report on average spends 2.2 hr each day watching television, 1.9 hr each day reading or doing homework, 1.4 hr daily on the computer/Internet, 1.2 hr playing video games, and 1.1 hr daily talking on the telephone.

However the above stated data is self-reported and as with other studies of this type the figures are extremely questionable and have a higher propensity for underreporting by the study participants.

For instance another study reported found that time spent watching television, videos, DVDs, and movies averaged slightly over three hours per day among children 8 to 18 years old.

As our recent history shows we are an overly materialistic nation with to much emphasis being placed upon social status and conspicuous consumption. With two working parent households and also a 50% divorce rate all of this must be factored into the matter, however it does not point to a strong and engaged family household. Each and every day this is placing more and more responsibility on America’s children to raise themselves.

Our government via subsides and the like, reduces the overall costs for what are unhealthy foods while fruits and vegetables see none of these government incentives. We as a people want instant gratification and fast food with super-size proportions having their establishments on every street corner are not helping matters.

Can parents be expected to become more engaged in their children’s lives including proper diet and exercise, it doesn’t look promising.

How can parents restrict or control their child’s dietary intake, television viewing habits, computer, video games etc, when they are almost never around the children. Can they become involved in their children’s PTA or other school activities when their jobs will not allow for such involvement as they consume more and more of their time?

Is there any way to improve our lives and those of our children

Maybe American society can consider modifying their lifestyles from todays present mindset. If our children are one of the most important facets in parents lives as is so often spoken of possibly if this is in fact true there may be a sliver of hope.

Is it possible a more expensive or larger home, car, electronic gadget, clothing and high paying or all-time consuming jobs could be of less importance in our lives in the future. Could the family unit again become just that, where parents are actually engaged in all facets of their child’s life. If a little less income where brought into the family household could the parents then lead by example on diet and exercise among many activities, as they might then have the time.

Americans are given one shot on this planet will wealth and materialism be their legacy. Or maybe the legacy could be that of an engaged human being living life to the fullest even though one’s bank account or house might not be as large or they drive a cheaper car? Could two or even (Gasp) only 1 child that could receive more of a parent’s time and love than 2 or more be a consideration?

One can only hope and I only hope the best for all Americans and God bless all of the parents ( of which I am one) on this planet your job is more difficult than any CEO. Sometimes ideas may be unrealistic however in this case can we afford not to take some chances?

Nursing’s Great Peril Which the U.S. will now face with Disastrous Effects for All!

The United States is now reaching a breaking point in regards to the practice of Nursing in medicine.

At a time when the baby boom generation -an estimated 78 million- is entering retirement who will care for them in their so-called golden years.

Hospitals driven by profit margins and not quality care have cut nursing staff and reduced Nurse to Patient ratios to Dangerously low levels. By 2005, roughly half a million U.S. registered nurses (about one fifth of the national total) had chosen not to work in nursing. It is projected that if current trends continue by 2010 that the U.S. will need to train 1.1 million new nurses by the year 2012, which is estimated to be half of our current nursing level.

So who will care for the onslaught of this countries aging population of 78 million coupled with the fact that the U.S. population overall has risen above the 300 million mark.

Hospitals have addressed the pressing needs of their Shareholders by pushing the equation down the line to the nursing staff. Or even further by passing down tasks formerly performed by professionally educated and clinically trained nurses to less educated staff members.

They are now Giving nurses Dangerously high patient counts to care for it is not their concern that the patient receives quality care.

Nurses without the needed resources, horrid working conditions coupled with the nurses well founded fear they cannot adequately care for their patients are all leading to a profoundly troubling conclusion. This should be disturbing for us all as countless nurses have come to realize they can no longer adequately perform their duties and leave the profession altogether.

When patient ratios rise nurses cannot properly monitor their patients they just don’t have the time. Drugs along with their importance of timely delivery which are extremely important if not imperative to treatment are quite often given at a later time all to the patients detriment and this is just one aspect.

There was a time when nurses could properly monitor their patients not only checking their vitals but also observing the overall organism which is the patient. The fingernails, skin color the presentation of the eyes changes in respiration and more. Patients on ventilators require even more time to be clinically observed for signs of distress or deterioration.

Case in point fifty year old patient whom staff denotes is agitated and has to be restrained. Shift after shift given their precious few moments to see the patient all verbally note this as does a respiratory specialist and a speech pathologist. This occurs over a 3 day period when finally a more well rounded RN checks on the patient at the beginning of her shift. Within 5-10 minutes a syringe with a semi-neon substance is brought in the unit and is injected into the patient. The agitation ceases the restraints are no longer needed the patient is still semi-lucid as they were before only now more relaxed.

This nurse for whatever reason read the patients chart and took the time to observe and even though she fell a little behind in her duties, she treated the patient. Here this poor man unable to communicate as he had a trach tube, was in rather excruciating pain. Luckily for him a skilled, caring and comprehensive nurse who had not yet suffered burn-out was handed his chart for the day along with many others. If it were not for this lucky occurrence of events who knows how long this man would have suffered needlessly.

Doctors see patients however Nurses carry out and truly care for the patient in a day to day setting.

As long as hospitals only address the issues of their Shareholders (stock holders) and keep inventing methods to improve Profits without a care in the world to Patient care we will all suffer. Until nursing staffing levels and working conditions are addressed this extremely troubling trend will continue in medicine as hospitals further deteriorate.

For the 78 million baby boomer’s who will require extensive, complicated and more demanding procedures and care the outlook is Bleak.

Needed now more than ever and in Greater Numbers with better working conditions. If this issue is not addressed many will Suffer and Die Needlessly.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Substance abuse a Lifestyle choice or an Unwanted Addiction

Back in the last century up until the latter 1990 period illicit drug use could quite often be classified as a lifestyle choice. Many factors could have lead a person down the road from peer pressure, depression, tragic life changing events and the list would go on and on.

Note: Approx 70% related to drugs

Then in the USA we became a society and a people of the pill popping nation. For whatever ailed us a quick doctor’s appointment 10 minutes of our precious time and we were out the door with a prescription for our drug of choice to make all of our worries go away.

This also was a time when the practice of medicine was undergoing a profound change. Physicians were being taught to more aggressively treat their patients pain (this is thought to have started in regards to aggressive handling of a patients pain during various stages of cancer). So the physicians began to follow what they had been taught prescribe, treat acute and chronic pain, prescribe. Also during this time the pharmaceutical industry began to make drugs that were a godsend to those suffering from legitimate chronic pain issues. Autoimmune disorders became more prevalent and stronger drug treatment protocols were sorely needed for these.

Another issue prevalent today in medicine is that doctors believe they went to medical school to practice medicine. Monitoring patients prior to treatment, verifying that drugs were properly being taken and post treatment testing all fell to the wayside. Even though there are urine & blood tests which will give the medical practitioner a valuable insight into their patients use of a medication along with any illicit drug use these tests are rarely if ever performed.

To physicians this felt to them as though they were being asked to perform law enforcement duties which they still feel to this day. This is another component that has lead to a proliferation in prescription abuse within various drug classes. Newly created addicts, long-term addicts being able to continually get medications with ease has all lead and complimented the exponential growth and scope of this present day issue with alarming affects and growing post-mortems.

Having trouble sleeping there’s a pill, sore back here is another one and if your back still hurts here are some more pills, maybe take something stronger that might help.

Above some of the issues and thought processes of doctors are discussed, however there are also financial incentives as well. If the doctor fails to provide the drugs the patient will just go to another doctor who will, by doing the right thing the physician who refuses, tests or offers alternative therapies loses a paying patient, damned if they do damned if they don’t.

You go see the doctor for a few months during treatment they feel you are doing better and their prescription pad goes back inside their lab coat. However you still crave or feel you have a need for the drug so possibly you turn to other avenues to get what you feel you need or deserve. However your need keeps growing and now you need either stronger pills or more of them or both (rationality has left the equation by this time).

Then your home & professional life start to suffer as you spend more time and money seeking out your drug of choice and less time with your family, lies and dwindling bank accounts don’t help this situation they only make it worse. Friends begin to notice your erratic behavior and how you have become more unreliable as time passed, that is if you have already not cut-off communications already.

Possibly you sought help from a rehabilitation center only to have them give you another drug to help you, yet you only become addicted to that drug as well, rather then helping it was only stringing you along, quite often for years.

Rehabilitation centers do have their place and if you need help seek them out. Just do your research for your first attempt unless you are an IV (intravenous user, Injecting) ask about less addictive therapies. If you are only Orally (by mouth) abusing drugs there are other drugs besides Methadone or Suboxone. Ask about all the available drug therapies and their average duration, just don’t go blindly into a program and take whatever They decide not You. For many a less addictive alternative is Clonidine while it will not take away all of your withdrawal symptoms it will make them tolerable, the suggested treatment protocols are shorter and the addictive qualities Greatly reduced.

Picture this, you are a young professional with a family, children, house, great friends, nice car and all the trappings of a successful life. Then when driving home one day you are involved in a car accident and sustain a back injury. Seeing your personal physician the next day you were prescribed an Opioid drug for Acute pain, say Oxycontin.

Note: Oxycontin was only introduced in the United States during mid-1995 as of 2006 over 85% of the worldwide consumption of the drug occurred within this country, during 2006 sales totaled $2.5 billion dollars.

After seeing your doctor you began taking the pills to deal with your acute pain related to your accident. However during your doctor’s appointment the physician Never told you of the addictive qualities of this drug. You also did not notice the chemical changes that were occurring inside your brain, liver or circulatory system among others. Your heart/cardiac arrhythmias were unusual however they were infrequent so you were not that concerned with them at the time, maybe you become a little more irritable.

Because you were not made aware of the dangers of these drugs you felt no need to be overly concerned with your children gaining access to the drug they had always been trustworthy before and had always been exceptional children and now young teenagers. So into the medicine cabinet they went along with the aspirin and other over the counter medications found in every household.

As your life was getting somewhat back to normal things were looking up, soon you would be able to stop taking the medication as your symptoms of discomfort were apparently getting better. After around 4 months of being treated via a prescription medication, your family practitioner felt as though the medication was no longer needed and you felt better knowing that now you could get your life fully back on track. There had been a few bouts of diarrhea, your heart had maybe raced a few times and maybe you had on occasion been a little irritable with some sporadic insomnia.

During your entire treatment regimen with your physician no lab work was requested or taken for drugs. These could have been important diagnostic tools yet even certified pain management physicians often neglect to comprehensively treat their patients. The 10 minute doctor visits of today do not provide patients with good quality care, however this is how most medical practices operate.

Then the day after your last doctor appointment some problems began to come to the surface after you stopped taking the drug. For some reason your heart was racing a little more than you had previously experienced. You were feeling more agitated and a restless anxious feeling was coming over you. Something was telling you that you needed the drug again even though your back had healed up just fine. However as your doctor had not felt the need to educate you before prescribing the Powerful Opiate based drug Oxycontin you had no idea what was coming.

The withdrawal period for most people is around 3-5 days the problem is the overwhelming compounding symptoms make this feel as though it is much longer coupled with the psychological issues/cravings. After the initial withdrawals the psychological need can stay present for weeks or months.

The human brain is a wonderful organ and is still quite a mystery to mankind. Prior to your accident your brain had been producing and self-regulating the release of Endorphins within your body along with all it’s other duties. Endorphins have many automatic actions or jobs to do within the body and when in balance they are regulated by the brain which releases the needed quantities to the self regulating organism (you). However drugs can interfere with these processes in this case we are talking about Opioids or Opiates. They cause an excessive release of the pleasure hormone Dopamine in simplistic terms the drug takes over for the brain in this regard. One of your bodies important regulating systems has now been thrown out of whack or become imbalanced via addiction and you never saw it coming, nor were you warned. The drug has taken over this process or need your brain has one less duty to perform and you never saw it coming.

You now became more restless, your heart arrhythmias/racing became more frequent. As you try to sleep along with the insomnia being ever-present your legs have become restless, your mind is anxious and your having irrational thoughts coupled with possibly abnormal troubling dreams. Somehow your life has taken on a disturbing trend of some sort, adding to your growing list of problems is the nagging depression that is creeping into your psyche.

Not quite knowing what is going on your not feeling well, you didn’t take all of the medication the doctor gave you for your previous pain prescription. So you take one figuring what the hell it might help. While all of the feelings don’t go away they are substantially better now.

Perhaps you return to your doctor and tell them what has been going on upon hearing your plight they might recommend a Methadone treatment program to get you off of the drug in a rehabilitation setting, unless of course they are Certified in this medical specialty. At this point you may be extremely confused your doctor is telling you to take a drug to get off of another drug? Or maybe you might be told to Tuff-it-out the symptoms of withdrawal will only last a few days. These are our doctors we trust them wholeheartedly even though sometimes this is a misplaced trust.

Then you might be thinking Withdrawals, Nobody said anything about all this before they gave me this drug? You just feel the need to get things back to normal all of these undesirable symptoms are causing problems at home and work and you just wanted it to stop.

So the doctor may say tuff it out, oh and let me give you a tranquilizer to get you through the rough spots. Maybe a nice Benzodiazapine ( Clonzepam, Xanax, Valium) of course they may fail to tell you of the addictive & additive qualities of these drugs. This as well the issues that can occur with concomitant (multi-drug use) which can prove to be hazardous or even deadly.

Opioid & Benzodiazapine drugs are CNS depressants (Central Nervous System) as with opioids; tranquillizers, sleep-aids, anti-anxiety medications can slow down your respiratory system (breathing) for one thing. Put the two together and they may be more of a problem such as going to sleep after taking both medicines, your body stops breathing for you and you die. Note; this would most likely only occur with an Abusive patient who was abusing/over-taking the needed medications and possibly supplementing with alcohol or illicit drug medications, not a very good mixture.

It is Very Important to Note; that when drugs prescribed by a doctor are taken properly following the doctor’s direction you should not have any Issues. This piece deals with addiction, abuse problems & misuse, not those under a doctors care for short or long-term pain management.

So you tuff it out take your Xanax however you feel worse, your at work, nauseous, agitated, restless and you feel your heart racing inside your body. So living in the society we do with Instant Gratification ever-present in our minds you take another one of the left over pills you have with you, at work no less. Again your symptoms subside somewhat and you at least feel as though you can cope with the rest of the day.

However day turns to night you are at home and the feeling of withdrawals are coming on again. You didn’t feel like eating, your favorite television program is on and you do not even want to watch it, although you used to just love watching each and every episode.

So again you take some of your leftover prescription and your night becomes tolerable. Still the leftover pills that you have are becoming less and less you start to count them figuring how much longer will they last.

You remember a friend of yours who was prescribed the medication however they didn’t take it because they didn’t like the way it made them feel. Maybe tomorrow you will go visit them even if you had never done so before, they have what you want and until you get it they will become your best friend. Or even worse depending on the length of the addiction you might turn to the street and find yourself a drug dealer to fulfill your growing need.

Well you have now crossed the threshold from a patient needing a drug for pain into an addict needing the pain medication just to function. How could this have happened to you, your educated had never previously abused alcohol, drugs or anything else for that matter during your entire life. Just a few months ago everything was so great, now you were plotting how to get more of a drug for which you no longer had a medical need, only a psychological dependence.

Here you are 40 years of age with two teenage children and a loving spouse, both of you have excellent jobs, your children are fantastic, what else could someone ask for in life. How could this have gone so badly, you did everything you thought was right. You went to your trusted doctor they said you would heal up just fine and then gave you a prescription, how could this have gone so dreadfully wrong.

Monday comes along as you awake in the morning you feel horrible there is no way you could go to work feeling this way, so you called in sick.

However you weren’t so sick you couldn’t go visit your friend (instead of your doctor) who you knew had the drug you thought you needed. The two of you had never been close, there was the age difference and you really had never spent much time together.

Yet still you visited and made as much small talk as you possibly could that morning. You knew that if you asked her outright for drugs she would have refused and seen right through your plan. So after 20 minutes you asked to use the restroom where the medicine cabinet was located. Sure enough on the back of the middle shelf was a full bottle of the drug you were after. She wouldn’t miss it, so you took the entire bottle that should last you 3 weeks or so you though giving you enough time to slowly withdraw from the drug. So this is what you attempted to rationalize in your mind for your actions that fateful day.

After a little more small talk and a promise to get together more often you made your excuses to leave and were on your way out the door. After getting in the car you carefully removed your friends name from the prescription bottle and took two pills (previously you had only ever taken one at a time). Before making the ten minute drive home you would have to stop to pick up your daughter from school.

As you were driving home you didn’t even feel impaired, yet at an intersection an elderly gentleman for some reason felt the need to pull his car directly in front of your car. There was little you could do barely having time to hit the brakes before the collision. The accident while jarring could have been much worse you just received a few small cuts and some bruises, luckily your daughter secured in the back seat received no injuries whatsoever.

The ambulances arrived along with the police as the paramedics looked you over the officer looked around as well and noticed the pill bottle without the required identification attached. The police officer asked if the pills were yours to which you replied they were not and that you didn’t even know how they got there. As you needed stitches to close some wounds you had sustained the officer also asked the hospital to test you for the presence of drugs, he had in fact found drugs in your car so this was a reasonable request.

After waiting in the emergency room and finally getting treated while upset, things were looking better. The accident had not been your fault and you were trying to look on the bright side of this whole ordeal.

A few days later while you were still trying to figure out how to tackle your recently acquired addiction issue someone was knocking on your door.

As you opened the door there stood the police officer from a few days before. The blood test that was requested at the hospital had come back and you had tested positive for the presence of drugs. Also as the pill bottle had been found in your possession you were presumed to be in possession of a controlled substance (illegal narcotics).

The police officer also notified you that the elderly gentleman involved in the accident had died just that morning from injuries sustained in the accident. This had now grown from just an unpleasant experience into a nightmare with no escape.

The officer began to read you your Miranda rights as you were now being charged with Vehicular Manslaughter, DUI, Felony Possession of illegal Narcotics as well as Child Endangerment. Then you were placed in handcuffs as you began your entry into the judicial system. The charges were Very Serious and the reality of a lengthy prison sentence had become a real possibility.

While the story of our young mother is fictional it is not beyond belief that this could occur, it does. A woman in her early forties living the American dream, great husband, children, a fantastic job and a nice home in suburbia. Yet it could all be swept away, first drugs were prescribed for acute back pain as they probably should have, then addiction set-in and for brevity I sped up the time line. Does this happen in real life, many of the addicts of this country will tell you, yes it really does happen. Was she totally at fault, was she just a defective human being, NO. Opioids can and do Adversely Affect Brain Chemistry taking an innocent (never abused drugs in their life) person and for all intents and purposes take over their lives.

I have heard so many people say that drug addicts are just defective people, they brought their addiction upon themselves and they alone should suffer the consequences.

If it were this cut and dry it would be simple I believe that we should pay for our lifestyle choices, just like a convicted bank robber should pay for theirs.

However when the medical community fails the patient by not adequately monitoring their patients and doctors fail to educate their patients as well this becomes a very murky convoluted road indeed and simplistic snap-judgments just do not fall evenly into place. Also after the physician becomes aware of an addicted patient rapid concrete steps need to be taken to assist the patient in the withdrawal process. However this is quite often not the case and the patient spirals down the addiction rabbit-hole unsure of how they will land. This occurs with or without the all needed medical insurance coverage.

In the mind of a teenager Prescription medications are much safer than Illicit Street Drugs.

For teenagers these drugs of abuse are usually readily available in either their parents or a friends parents medicine cabinet. Some of these drugs are designed to be long acting, so a prescription drug when taken properly has a longer duration of action. However street-lore educates the young drug abuser rapidly they learn to crush and snort or inject the drug for a more potent effect. Unbelievable but true the manufacturers of these drugs even stated this on packaging materials (in regards to the crushing), so let the experimenting begin.

However again these drugs are CNS depressants and can slow respiration (breathing) along with other affects. A teenager abusing this type of drug with little or no tolerance can crush, then snort these drugs go to sleep and never awaken again. The brain normally would be able to successfully address this issue, noting that the oxygen concentration was getting low the brain would then fire the needed synapse (trigger) and the body would respond by increasing breathing activity or the body would begin to take deeper breaths. However the drug has the Nasty little affect of shutting down this autonomic (automatic) response and the patient can expire.

It is Imperative that parents keep these types of drugs or all drugs locked away or secured to keep their children or their visiting friends from finding them and possibly using them.

A teenager who experiments with prescription drugs has an exponentially higher probability of becoming an addict versus someone 21yrs of age or older does after they are prescribed one of these medications.

Some people have abusive tendencies built into their genetic make-up for self-medicating (drug or alcohol abuse). Teenagers are especially in danger because of the fact that their brains are not fully developed until around the age of 25 years when the area of the brain specifically the Pre-frontal Cortex has reached maturity. This area of the brain controls impulse-control, judgment, decision-making, planning, organization and is also involved in other functions like emotion yet until approximately 25 years of age the Pre-frontal Cortex is not fully developed/matured.

In our present age of single parent households teenagers have quite a bit of unsupervised time on their hands (latch-key-kids). They are known to be inquisitive some are rather adventurous and the teenage-invincibility argument is sometimes put forth. Their lives are going through profound changes during these early years and experimentation is around every corner. Street lore or somewhat knowledgeable yet dangerous friends can take a well balanced teenager and turn them down the wrong path which may lead to drug or alcohol abuse.

Parents, Grandparents, older Nieces, Nephews, Aunts & Uncles unguarded medicine cabinets can turn into drug wonderland.

Even the best and brightest of our children can become friends with troubled teens. Even as we trust our children (in regards to drugs this should not be the case) their troubled friend may ask to use the restroom with their only intent being finding the drugs that can be found within. Also after these troubled teens abuse the family medical cabinet they can then try to get your child to experiment with the very same drugs they did.

So this is a Cautionary tale not some wild fiction from a novel. Be open and honest with your physician if you are prescribed a medication take it properly and Destroy what you do not use (not by flushing it down the toilet). Keep your medications hidden or locked away so that only you or your caretaker knows where they are stored.

Remember Teenagers View Prescription Drugs as being Safer than Illicit Street Drugs

If after taking a prescription medication you fall into the Addiction Pool first ask the doctor who prescribed you the drugs for help. If that fails then Do Not Hesitate to get help from a doctor who will treat you. Drug addiction is nothing new to the medical profession and you should not have any trouble finding a doctor willing to treat you who will give you caring comprehensive medical treatment to return you to your pre-addiction status.

Even though your child is an angel what would be the harm in having a drug screen done on them with their yearly physical. It’s also a consideration to only give your child or teenager 24hrs notice if that much, of their impending physical so they cannot attempt to take counter-measures to produce negative results when they are in fact self-medicating.

From 6 to 60 drug addiction is a real possibility, getting a drug prescription under false pretenses and then selling (redirecting) the drugs might bring you some cash. However it might also get you placed in one of America’s prisons. Teenagers your young lives are difficult enough as is, adolescence comes with it’s own sets of problems. Try not to add drug abuse to your list of challenges.

For adults think about following or at least considering some of the ideas I’ve written about and to also consider being more compassionate to those who are suffering, remember not all of these people just woke up one day and said, “hey today I’m going to become an addict and throw my life away”.

Also remember that should you confront or a friend confides in you their problem.  You are way in over your head, get them some help from a medical professional. That is If and Only If they admit they have a problem and that they alone have decided they want to stop. No amount of money or well intentioned acts will work unless the patient decides they need Help.

Drugs prone to abuse; Cocaine, Heroin, Hydrocodone, Vicodin, Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Percoset, Percodan, Roxycotin, Soma, Benzodiazapines; Klonopin, Xanax, Valium,Tricyclic & MAO anti-depressants and the list goes on and on

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Liposuction Dangers is it worth the risk

In two bordering counties in a southern US state five women died from Liposuction procedures in 2011 over a six month period. All of these women were in their thirties and early forties were there warning signs ahead of time?

In 2006 over four hundred thousand of these procedures were performed and complications have been reduced since the advent of this technique.

One women in particular went for this simple procedure however there were warning signs. The physician was not Board-Certified had switched specialties twice in their career and had only performed a general surgery residency over 25 years ago. This doctor also had no Privileges at Any of the local hospitals or any for that matter.

The staff also included a Nurse Practitioner and a receptionist however there was No Crash Cart on-site or the needed monitoring equipment.

What was to be a simple Liposuction procedure went dreadfully wrong as the patient went into an Acute Myocardial Infarction or heart attack. As the physician had No Lifesaving equipment or medications on hand 911 was called upon her arrival at a properly equipped ER twenty minutes later she was pronounced DOA.

All medical procedures carry associated risks however they can be mitigated with the proper staffing, equipment and training.

Early in my career I had the distinct opportunity of working with a very talented and experienced RN who was very aware of current trends in the field. She told of the untold physicians coming to my state and opening Internal medicine and Oncology practices. The reasons were simple their was Money to be made in these specialties the doctors realized this changed their specialty and they came to my state with a vengeance.

No matter that they had not practiced this specialty before, their medical license allowed them to be legally specialized whether they had the training or not it was that way over 25 years ago and it still is today. After completing their medical education a doctor can be a brain surgeon on Monday and a Cardiac (heart) surgeon on Tuesday that’s just the way it works, don’t believe me just check.

Many of these newly practicing specialists really were unsure of what they were doing there was and is money to be made if there is a large swath of patients to choose from in their new field. Calling upon a skilled surgeon in the specialty the night before the novice was to perform a procedure was a somewhat common practice. The nurses in the Operating room knowing that such and such surgeon was to operate that day which caused alarming concern. Oh know Dr. 123 is operating today we need to call for extra blood and plasma as this physician was well know as somewhat of a butcher a somewhat common occurrence thank God some nurses have a keen eye for these things. Yes these things occurred 25 years ago and they still happen today.

So before you undertake any cosmetic surgery including liposuction do your research and get at least two opinions. Are the doctors Board-Certified do they have the need monitoring equipment on hand? Is there a Crash Cart on the premise and are they close to a major metropolitan hospital or any hospital.

What type of liposuction are you going to have done there are different types with differing rates of complications, risks and outcomes.

How much and where on Your body is the procedure to be performed? Has the physician given you too high of an expectation on removal of fat tissue or adipose tissue. The America Society of Plastic Surgeons defines large as 5 liters or 8 1/2 pints. This is consider complex and possibly Life Threatening for large amounts of tissue do you really want to push it? While there are some reports of the removal of much larger masses of material I would hope you would not want to be that much of a risk taker, that is with your Life!

During your research you might wish to find out if an IV (Intravenous Line) is going to be inserted during your procedure. This is a Very Important component as this is a life line for life saving infusion of Live Saving drugs and fluids in case of an Emergency. Monitoring Equipment Cannot be Overemphasized during these types or other types of procedures. If you want to look or feel better about yourself it’s your right and no one says there is anything wrong with trying to improve yourself.

It’s just so important to do your homework are you a good candidate? Who is this doctor and what are his academic credentials are there any malpractice claims is he Board-Certified in the specialty in which you are going to have your procedure done? Is his or her Board-Certification Current every state in the USA has government websites where you can check on their status.

All physicians will recommend or encourage a patient getting a second opinion so why should you not go ahead and get two before hand more knowledge is Power.

Cosmetic surgery is growing by leaps and bounds in this country be forewarned read up on liposuction or whatever procedure you are having. Either at home on the net or at your local library it might be even better at the library or with a close confidant at your or their home.

I would STRESS Monitoring Equipment on Site, a Crash Cart, Proper Supplies of needed Emergency management materials drugs & fluids. Whenever having procedure be sure you are going to have a Line or IV line in you during the procedure this and a Crash Cart could be the difference between Life and Death.

Enjoy your life do what ever it is that makes you happy and if Liposuction is going to give that to you Great. Just do your research get Educated and Most Importantly Check out your Doctor.

The Opiate Epedemic & the Dangers for Teenagers

In the USA today it’s hard to watch a television news report or read a publication which does not cite the every growing abuse of Opiates. Roxycotin, Oxycodone, Vicodin, Percoset etc. Everyday new stories of abuse, rising criminal rates, incarceration and death related to this epidemic are printed or reported on.

This prescription drug abuse epidemic is found throughout all age groups. However the highest concentration can be found in those in their forties along with young adults and teenagers.

Between 1992 & 2002 there was a 236% percent increase of abuse cited in two studies conducted in these time frames. In the rural areas of Virginia death rates increased 300% from drug abuse between 1997 & 2003 while 74% of those deaths were attributed to Opiate use via prescription drug abuse.

The death rates from prescription drug abuse have now overtaken the use of illicit narcotics a profoundly disturbing trend which only grows stronger everyday in America.

While cities with their concentrated populace would be thought to have the highest rates suburban and rural areas are bucking the conventional wisdom via high rates of abuse and deaths related to prescription drug abuse. Studies have shown that hydrocodone and oxycodone have a higher potential for abuse and use by these newer drug addicts.

During 2006 there were approximately 740,000+ visits to the emergency room in regards to abuse of drugs across the US. Of these visits a full 33% percent fall squarely on the back of the Opiate family of drugs being used in a recreational or addictive setting by the patient. There is also the differences in gender to consider where one study points to female abuse at 29.8% versus male 21.1%.

For adolescents who begin prescription drug abuse before or at age 13 there is an increased likelihood of addiction versus abuse at age 21 or above. A 2008 Partnership for a Drug-Free America survey of 6,518 youth produced a rate of 19% reporting abuse of prescription drugs, a very troubling statistic. A staggering 41% of these youths believed that prescription drugs were less dangerous than illegal drugs.

So they raid their parents or other siblings drug medications to get what they believe is a safer way to get high and escape via self-medication. As far as younger youth are concerned a recent study relayed that for 8th 10th & 12th grade students the rates of prescription drug abuse ranged from 1.8-2.7%, 3.9-7.2% and 5.2-9.6%. In the study 2.1% represents 5.2 million teenagers the different rates above for example 1.8% of 8th graders abuse Oxycontin & 2.7% abuse Vicodin either stolen from their parents medicine chest or a friends parents medicine cabinet.

The fearless nature of teenagers only heightens the danger as mixing drugs and alcohol will only make matters worse and could quite possibly lead to a drug overdose. This coupled with the higher propensity of a teenage abuser having a higher likelihood of becoming an addict exhibits a pressing need for parents to keep all medications out of the reach of anyone who might enter their home.

For 2006 the costs to society are an eye opening experience where abuse costs $53.4 billion with $8.2bil going towards judicial costs and $2.2bil for treatment as well as $945million to treat medical complications arising from drug abuse.

As of 2009 drug related deaths took over and surpassed motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of death. From 1999 to 2007 a four fold increase in drug related deaths were reported. The rate of death in the state of Florida for Oxycodone increased 263% from 2003 to 2009. In the years from 2004 to 2009 emergency room visits from the same drug increased 265% nationwide.

While there is no magic bullet I believe there are steps that can be taken to avoid a patient from becoming an addict.

Physicians in the USA are rarely called to task on this subject in regards to monitoring their patients. This is not to say that all physicians conduct themselves this way. However having been prescribed these types of drugs during my lifetime I have never had a doctor attempt to educate me on the dangers of these drugs. Nor have I ever been tested prior, during or post treatment and I’ve never heard of anyone else who had a different experience, although I am sure there are exceptions.

There are almost no doctors practicing medicine today that will get a urine sample for drug testing prior to writing a prescription for these powerful drugs. Yet these tests are widely available and can be performed at an office visit Before a patient is prescribed any narcotics. The diagnostic test only costs $7 USD and gives results in approximately 5-8minutes.

Why would a doctor give a prescription to a patient already abusing opiates? Post treatment an office visit would be performed 1-2 weeks after the patient had supposedly ceased taking the medication. If this urine test again performed at the physician’s practice during a routine follow-up visit were performed the doctor would possibly then find out that their patient had a high probability of being an addict.

In the two examples above either before or after treatment the doctor could get a clearer picture of what kind of patient they were treating.

The treating physician would then be able to discuss and educate the patient on the effects, costs and treatments available to assist the patient in withdrawing from a drug before they became a full blown addict.

Of course this would be tactfully done by the doctor who would not come in and condemn anyone as an addict. However they could preemptively step up to the plate and educate the patient.

However very few doctors perform these tests to the detriment of their patients. They also fail to educate their patients prior to writing a prescription for these powerful opiates.

It’s much easier to attempt to control addictive behavior prior to a patient becoming an addict than after the fact when the drug has taken hold and changed the brain chemistry of a patient. Yet again this is almost Never done by the prescribing doctor.

If parents were better educated on the prevalence of teenage drug abuse. They would in turn have a better chance of hiding away these drugs so that their children or one of their children’s friends could not innocently ask to use the restroom only to steal a parents medication.

So many look at the costs after the fact rather then attacking the source. Testing new patients for drug use and educating them on the dangers of addiction would be time well spent.

If a patient prior to being prescribed a powerful opiate drug were found to already be using an opiate they might be given the choice of a smaller dose and quantities of drugs or none at all. The doctor would then know that they needed to monitor their patients drug use more closely. They would also be armed and ready to prescribe drugs such as Clonidine to assist the addict during the withdrawal process a more effective yet less prone to abuse withdrawal drug versus Methadone. After the withdrawal period has passed another urine test could be performed to verify success in treating the addicted patient. Also at this time the physician could reinforce the patients education point out support groups as well as relay to the patient that their physician was there to help them to stay clean via treatment and counseling.

For parents there are quick easy to use urine test kits available for around $7 USD to test their children. These tests are accurate, available to order online and produce results in minutes. Upon a positive test of a child the parent could begin to take the required steps to get their children the help they needed. Again it’s easier to treat an addict of only say a month or so versus the later before a visit to the emergency room or even sadly the death of their child.

Would it be considered invasive to monitor and ask your child for a urine sample, yes. If the parent were overly concerned they could set up a doctor’s appointment and give the child no notice until they picked them up at school to go to the doctor for a needed physical, (deceitful yes less prone to a confrontation somewhat, decisions have to be made).

However testing and starting treatment as soon as possible rather then losing your child to drug abuse I’m certain would be much harder.

For those who are addicted there are treatments available however you yourself need to have to have the want to QUIT. There are drugs that will help clonidine is a very good choice I would not recommend Methadone. There are also therapy programs available where you can discuss your issues with people who have already gone through what you are going through right now.

Don’t be concerned about anyone looking down upon you groups created for addicts do not operate that way.

Or you can continue to abuse as you watch your life disintegrate before your very eyes. Possibly losing your family, home, job as well as slowly destroy your body as you will slide further into depression. I beg of you people do care they want to help you,,,Just Take the First Step.

For those with Chronic pain from various elements unfortunately you will probably be on these types of drugs for a lifetime. If you have a medical need and countless patients do then continue your treatment get quarterly liver toxicity tests from your doctor and do the best you can. If you begin taking more and more drugs because of pain coupled with depression consider joining an online forum or group in your area.

It is truly unfortunate that those that abuse these drugs are endangering the lives and mental states of those who Truly Honestly need these drugs to live their daily lives. One minute your fine the next following an accident and your whole life is turned upside down. While it may not matter to you I Do Truly Feel for You and only hope that you can live the best life you can, may God Bless you and help through these times.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BOARD CERTIFICATION! A Beginning Series of Posts in regards to Medicine today!

Is your doctor Board-Certified?

Are you aware you can check this as every state in the USA has a government website available for you to check.

From this you can research the doctor’s educational background along with their academic achievements, hospital privileges, Board-Certifications as well as any disciplinary actions within the last ten years.

All state governments have a website to check on your prospective doctor. In Florida just type; fla state medical license check. From there enter the doctors name it’s always a good idea to do a five minute check ahead of time to get good quality care.

If a medical doctor graduates from medical school with No Fellowships (specialties) there medical education stopped the day they left medical school and after their residencies.

To make sure you are getting good quality care five minutes of your time will be more than worth it.

I would strongly advise that you Never see a specialist who is not Board-Certified in their chosen specialty. This certification shows that the physician has had continuing education and is up on the latest treatment protocols. What works and what isn’t so rather then spending months and getting no good results or becoming sicker and possible progressing to a terminal state or worse. It’s always better to check out & verify you have chosen the best you can find in your area who will also accept your insurance.

You can also find out if your prospective physicians is what is called in the trade a “Procedural Doctor” not a good sign. If you are admitted hospitals will and do refer their inpatients to Non-Board Certified doctors. Some Gastroenterologists are known for this, your doctors history might show that they have hospital privileges at 3 or more hospitals. Many are not Board-Certified, their income is made by performing procedures not seeing patients at their practice. Many who have outdated medial education more bad signs.

Procedural Doctors take a little more research however this can be easily done. You can check on their practice and how many patients they see annually, low numbers are a cause for concern.

If you find a Procedural Doctor, promptly turn around and head the other way.

This is also why I strongly Advise that if possible have a Patient Advocate if you spend anytime even just hours at a facility. If educated just minimally they can remember to ask questions and watch out for you during your stay. Everyone is thrown a little off guard by hospital and medical settings so an Advocate is worth their weight in gold.

How many malpractice claims has the physician had more than 2 or 3 in ten years is a cause for concern. Where did they go to medical school, where did they do their Fellowship (specialty training) or residency. How many Academic appointments have they received? Are they affiliated with a teaching hospital or university (A Very Big Plus!).

During most occurrences you will be able to ask the hospital what specialist they are referring you to and whether they are Board-Certified? If they are not you have the right to ask the question, refuse that doctor and ask for only a Board-Certified doctor. This will not create a delay in your care however it will provide for a more thorough productive procedure with better treatment protocols and in the end a healthier patient. You are paying for this adventure Please be prepared have a friend act as your advocate if needed.

Your advocate should have the time available to spend 8-10hrs a day with you. Having an advocate involved will Greatly Benefit and Enhance your stay which should produce a more promising outcome to a stressful experience. If your dressings are not being changed, your medications are not being distributed in a timely manner, etc. All of these situations can be tactfully handled by your Patient Advocate. Believe it or not I was hospitalized with a condition that affects over 5 million American citizens per year. Yet I had to call and instruct their dietetic staff on what foods I should not be given among other aspects. Even after speaking with their dietetic staff they still immediately sent me food that would only have made my condition deteriorate and potentially worsen via additional infections (Bezoars). Again this occurred after they were instructed on the proper diet for the condition. This was a large urban hospital in one of the largest metropolitan areas of the USA. It took them a full 3 days to finally get my diet correctly addressed and this was No Exotic condition 5 million US citizens suffer from this annually yet it took a Major metropolitan hospital 3 days to feed a patient the proper food, Unbelievable but True.

Trust me from real life experiences a Board-Certified physician and a Patient Advocate can prove to be a real life saver if you are hospitalized.

Learn to research via easily accessible Internet resources take notes before your doctor’s visit. In today’s world of medicine 5-10 minute doctor visits Do Not Provide comprehensive medical treatment. Just because someone has graduated medical school does not make them GOD, so don’t expect them to be, ask questions, get a second opinion.

Educate yourself and those that you might call upon during a medical emergency.

While medicine has found outstanding cures and treatments for various diseases in recent history. Medicine along with the patient care on the whole in the last 15-20 years has fallen dangerously low on the tree for which patients suffer the consequences. There are now many doctor’s practicing who are in fact Dangerous. However as many of you possibly have experienced physicians will not speak the truth about their colleagues (they never do). It is Your job to educate yourself and those that you love, if you fail to do so it will be at your own peril or possibly a loved one or child.

Be assertive ask questions and be ready to say NO or to point out poor medical care. While even at the hospital you have the right to call for the Attending Physician (doctor on duty) to voice your concerns. You the patient have Rights, exercise them believe it or not many hospitals will respond appropriately to an assertive patient or Patient Advocate. More often than not you will receive better care then the patient who allows themselves to be treated like livestock at a farm.

Also be aware that numerous tests are performed only to protect the doctor and have nothing to do with your medical condition, treatment or outcome. If you are being scheduled for a test ask what it has to do with you care. On the other hand are you aware of the thousands of Perfectly Good Gall Bladders that are removed daily because physician fail to perform a simple HIDA exam to confirm their diagnosis. Often many doctors do not perform this non-invasive procedure. Patients then endure an invasive surgical procedure as well as having the possibility of a Post-Op infection kill them or contribute to the deterioration of their condition, all because a licensed medical professional failed to do their job. Ask questions, during a recent stay myself over two days I requested over ten times to be weighed. This was because of the fact that I was to be anesthetized and the anesthesiologist needs this important information as it is Crucial. Even though I continually tried to get my weight charted this never occurred, why, well I truly have no answer. Someone however entered false data on a medical chart and even after notifying the hospital of this no action whatsoever was taken. Because of this failure to get my proper weight charted I was Over-Anesthetized with propofol an Excellent medication, the patient goes under quite easily and comes out very cleanly. After this procedure this was not the case it took the staff over 20-25 minutes to bring me back around. This after only 2 months earlier the same procedures were done with the same medication from which I awoke Extremely lucid with little or no adverse reactions. It’s also of note that the Non-Board-Certified physician had performed 2 procedures of which only 1 was actually needed. However the doctor was a Procedural Doctor, more procedures equal more money in his pocket. This was verified by a practicing specialist of over 25 years with impeccable credentials who was utterly amazed at what had occurred.

Also remember the saying, ” If there isn’t a picture it didn’t happen”. In medicine, ” If it isn’t Charted it didn’t happen” if there is a problem with your care make sure it is CHARTED. Otherwise it did not happen.

I will be writing more postings on the state of medicine in the coming days that hopefully someone will find useful.

Do your research, Ask questions prepare for the worst that hopefully will never occur. I am not advocating for anyone to become paranoid or obsessive only to use a few minutes on the Internet to become a better educated patient who will receive excellent care during a trying, stressful experience. In the end you or a loved one will be better served for just a few minutes of research.

I only hope for the best outcome for you or a loved during your medical care and experiences.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

A change of direction

My interest in disease, pathology and the medical profession has brought me to change the direction of my blog. In the near future I will begin  to attempt to educated the masses in this regard. To often patients do not know the right questions to ask or whom it is they should ask. So in my attempt to discuss the decline of medicine in the US and to be an advocate for patients I will now try to educate those who might benefit. While many patients needlessly suffer some for years before being properly diagnosed if only they knew of the proper resources to accelerate their care. Also many patients are subjected to medical testing which has no basis in regards to their treatment but is only done by their physicians for liability reasons. What rights does the patient have in a medical practice, what questions should they be asking and when is it time to get a new specialist or primary care doctor. We are now more connected to resources that will give us the information we seek my goal is to make others aware of where to turn and what to do.

Forget a US green card the European Union wants you to try Blue instead!

The European Union is working on offering “Blue Cards” to entice the needed highly skilled migrants that are so desired for the growth of various members who total 27 nations.

They plan on offering housing and financial benefits as well as guaranteeing at least three times the minimum wage in the country concerned plus health insurance, as this is a requirement for an applicant to apply. Furthermore they will fast track the issuance to those who apply as long as they have a contract for one year’s labor and meet the salary and healthcare requirements. Read more of this post

Disease knows no Socio-Economic boundaries

Disease knows no Socio-Economic boundaries and these diseases will infect anyone regardless of wealth or stature. Diseases only want to infect, grow, mutate, multiply and live on to infect another host without regard to social stature. So for those Americans who say I have mine the hell with the poor, remember that by not addressing the healthcare crisis you or your child may die. Read more of this post

Screw the Uninsured working class poor let them get a job!

There are so many American citizens that will recite that they have made it and have a home and health insurance. They will often say that the uninsured are not their problem and they do not want to pay increased taxes to deal with the 46 million uninsured Americans. They will say that they worked hard to get what they have and the uninsured are lazy and need to get a job so they will quite complaining all the time.

There is a problem with this argument as disease knows no Socio-Economic boundaries and these diseases will infect anyone regardless of wealth or stature. Diseases only want to infect, grow, mutate, multiply and live on to infect another host without regard to social stature. So for those Americans who say I have mine the hell with the poor, remember that by not addressing the healthcare crisis you or your child may die. Read more of this post

The United States of America and the Functional Illiterates who contribute to its Decline

Functional illiteracy in the United States is growing at a rate of over 2 million new inductees per year into its ranks and the tide will only grow stronger if current educational policies are not changed to address the problem. The Presidential legislation of No Child Left Behind is not working and the country as a whole is now and will in the future suffer the consequences.

Statistics show that functional illiterates in this country;

  1. Constitute 70% of the prisoners in state and federal prisons
  2. That 85% of juvenile offenders are classified as functionally or marginally illiterate
  3. That 43% of those with the lowest literacy skills live in poverty
  4. Over 42 million American adults can’t read
  5. 50 million read at fourth or fifth grade levels
  6. That the total number of functionally illiterate adults increases by approximately 2.25 million persons every single year Read more of this post

Veto of Children’s Health Insurance Program, screw’s 6 million children

Over 43 million American people lack health insurance including 6 million children or 9% of our young adults in the USA.

It was six years into his presidency before George W Bush grabbed his Veto pen and today was another instance. However when he Vetoed this bill it was behind closed doors with no media or news coverage, I for one would imagine he was ashamed and attempting to hide from the world this day.

The bipartisan bill approved by the Senate was veto proof, yet the House of Representatives lacked the needed votes to override this miscarriage of justice on our fellow Americans, including 6 million children.

The cost of the bill would have been funded by 61 cents to a dollar per pack tax on cigarettes. I for one smoke and would welcome another reason to quit this disgusting habit which has killed millions.

George W Bush has not used his Veto pen with regularity as he has mostly gotten what he wanted and the then Republican controlled congress gave it to him with a gleam in their eyes. But now the stakes have changed and he is further distancing himself from the American people he swore to protect and serve.

He has only grabbed his little buddy the Veto Pen four times during his presidency. If it’s not about making money foreign bases or oil fields, well you just can’t seem to get his interest it seems.

Embryonic Stem cell research, Troop withdrawals, easing restraints on federally funded stem cell research…NO NO NO

I have one grown daughter and she has health insurance, I also have a conscience and compassion for the 43 million American citizens and the 6 million children of this nation who do not have health insurance.

What about you?

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