BBC London is leading with this story this morning and giving it the due respect it deserves. In other words, saying it’s a load of old religious bunkum and the best thing you can do is take your anti-retroviral drugs. The BBC is also saying that there have been at least three deaths, because people stopped taking their drugs.
This has been said on the television this morning. There’s more here.
I used to suffer from bad migraines brought on by flashing lights and exercise, but since being diagnosed as a coeliac and going on a gluten-free diet, I don’t get them any more.
If I have a slight pain, I use a measure of Scottish falling down liquid, diluted with London tap water.
These bisoprolol fumarate pills have the most infuriating packaging in that some of the bubbles don’t have a pill in them.
But from the other side you wouldn’t know, which bubbles have pills in them.
The more I learn about strokes the more I know that the one I had in Hong Kong might well have been avoided.
my stroke was caused by atrial fibrillation. This was detected hen I had a small stroke in March 2010. I now feel that I should have been put on Warfarin, but why the doctors didn’t take this route, I do not not know. Could it be that my previous surgery in Suffolk, wouldn’t use a simple hand-held instrument, but still relied on expensive weekly blood tests? I don’t know, but having been on a system based on a machine since moving to London, I can honestly say that the the system is better from a patient’s point of view. My previous cardiologist, who has an International reputation assured me that if I kept my Warfarin regime, I would not have another stroke.
I am now under the care of University College Hospital in London. I happened to tell the nurse doing my electro-cardiogram there, that twenty or so years ago, I had had one that missed a beat in a flying medical. She said that that should have been followed up as it was indicative of atrial fibrillation. Instead over the past twenty years, I’ve had the odd cholesterol and blood pressure tests and that is about all.
It strikes me that, if I had had a proper heart medical, twenty years ago, then my stroke might have been avoided.
But I didn’t even see a cardiologist after my first stroke.
It strikes me that GPs either need to be better trained with regard to heart problems or less reluctant to refer patients to cardiologists.
I was also lucky in that I had my major stroke in Hong Kong.
There I was given a drip of a clot-busting drug, that provably mitigated my lasting problems. It is common place in some countries and regions of the UK. A BBC London report, showed that it saved money against conventional treatment, by avoiding lots of expensive after care. Additionally, in London, you are always taken to a specialist stroke unit.
So it does look like things are improving in the treatment of strokes.
If ever there was something that was almost designed to cause mistakes, it is the packaging for pharmaceutical drugs.
The first thing, I do, when I open a packet of drugs is to throw the leaflet in the middle away, as it gets totally in the way, when you want to put a half-used strip back in the box.
I don’t find the bubble packs difficult, but I know some do. But one of the drugs I have, has some bubbles that don’t contain drugs and these could easily cause confusion with someone with limited vision.
Incidentally, I never read the leaflets, supplied with drugs, preferring to read about the drug on the Internet on an appropriate web site. So why doesn’t each drug packet have an easily readable code on it, that you just type into a web site and it gives you everything you could want to know, including the various generic names. One of my drugs comes in two different shapes and sizes, which could easily cause confusion.
The system is a complete mess.
Incidentally, I have to take two groups of drugs; one when I get up and one in the evening. I take them out of the silly bubble packs and put everything I need into old 35mm. film canisters; white for the morning and black for the evening. Usually, I fill the morning one as I go to bed, so that it gets checked again in the morning when I take it. I do the evening one after breakfast and always keep a second set in my coat, so that if I get delayed and stay out, I have my drugs with me. I also have reminders set in Outlook in my computer about when I should take my drugs.
The title of this post comes from a phrase, describing the protestors, in the third leader of The Times, which defends the work at Rothamsted to create a strain of wheat , which has a natural repellant effect to pests, by crossing it with mint using gentic engineering,
Genetic engineering is a touchy subject to many, but properly used it should benefit mankind. The aim of the Rothampsted experiment is to produce a strain of wheat that uses less pesticides.
On the other hand, I would be against genetic engineering, that produced wheat with the so-called terminator gene, that meant farmers couldn’t use some of this year’s crop for next year.
There are now drugs coming on the market, that have been created by genetic engineering using plants or hens’ eggs as a starting point. Would these protestors stop this process as well? If I suffered from a disease, where the drug could be produced by genetic engineering, I would not be happy.
As I said, provided that the purpose of creating the organism by genetic engineering has a moral purpose, I can see no reason to ban it.
I’m also a coeliac, which is a minor genetic disease. I suspect a few decades down the line, they’ll be able to correct the faulty genes in babies by some clever genetic modification.
Apparently, it’s all about a row between pharmacists and the Government. Read the full uncensored story in the Daily Mail here. For a shortened version of the story, Rod Liddle in The Sunday Times has the bare details.
I wonder if I know a retired pharmacist with access to supplies. We could fly them to Rome and sell them on the street outside Berlusconi’s residence.
Some of the comments by readers in the Mail article give a reasoned insight into the problems. It would appear that some things we buy for a pound or to in Boots, are several times more expensive in Italy.
I am now taking four extra drugs.
But still I’m glad to get rid of it after two years. Does it show what a chancy business taking drugs is?
Or a generic form of furosemide, which is the drug known as Lasix. As it helps stop racehorses from nose-bleeding, I wonder if it will affect my nose-bleeds. But then I haven’t had any in the last week or so.
Lasix is banned for racehorses in the UK, but it is allowed freely in a lot of states in the US.
Let’s hope it helps me go a bit faster and further.