Can You Tax A Prescription?

As a result of the Spokane Superior Court decision, we’re likely to see many medical marijuana businesses try to demand sales tax refunds from DOR for amounts paid throughout the proceeding years…

Another reason why medical cannabis is so expensive is the taxes.  Funny, I never paid a single cent of tax on Vicodin, Oxy, and Xanax.

Artists we’ve lost to overdoses and suicide

I was visiting the “The 1951 Club” blog, did a quick search, and found this page on the IMDb website entitled “List of People who died tragically” (which said that Robin Williams was born in 1951).  And since I didn’t know that Brittany Murphy (Girl, Interrupted) had committed suicide, I thought we could all use a reminder of those we have lost to drug overdoses and suicide.

Robin Williams
Died age 63, hung himself using a belt in the closet.

River Phoenix
Died age 23, drug overdose

Jonathan Brandis
Died age 27, suicide by hanging

Heath Ledger
Died age 28, drug overdose

Anna Nicole Smith
Died age 39, drug overdose

Kurt Cobain
Died age 27, suicide by gun shot in the head.

Sylvia Plath
Died age 30, suicide by breathing in carbon monoxide from the kitchen oven.

Natalie Wood
Died age 43, was drunk when she drowned.

Brittany Murphy
Died age 32, was found dead in her shower from drug intoxication.

Anissa Jones
Died age 18, drug overdose.

Judy Garland
Died age 47, drug overdose

Marilyn Monroe
Died age 36, mysteriously died from a drug overdose.

Brad Renfro
Died age 25, heroin overdose.

Amy Winehouse
Died age 27, long battle with drugs and alcohol.

Jimi Hendrix
Died age 27, drug overdose.

Janis Joplin
Died age 27, drug overdose.

Carole Landis
Died age 29, suicide.

Dana Plato
Died age 34, suicide.

Spalding Gray
Died age 62, suffered from depression and committed suicide by jumping off the ferry.

Lupe Velez
Died age 36, found out she was pregnant and thought she couldn’t handle having a baby, she later committed suicide by taking sleeping pills.

John Bonham
Died age 32, died from his own vomit.

Pete Duel
Died age 31, suicide by gunshot.

Hervé Villechaize
Died age 50, suicide by gunshot.

Mary Kay Bergman
Died age 38, popular for playing South Park’s Wendy and Cartman’s mother, Bergman died by shooting herself in the head.

Brian Keith
Died age 75, after knowing that his daughter committed suicide, Keith later committed suicide 10 weeks after.

Ian Curtis
Died age 23, suffering from deep depression, he eventually hanged himself.

Mindy McCready
Died age 37, suicide by gunshot along with her dog who she shot before her death.

Vincent van Gogh
Died age 37, famous painter suffered from depression and killed himself.

Elvis Presley
Died age 42, was discovered on his bathroom floor from drug abuse.

Elizabeth Hartman
Died age 43, killed herself by jumping out from the window of her 5th floor apartment.

Laurie Bird
Died age 25, suicide.

Viveka Babajee
Died age 37, hung herself.

Richard Jeni
Died age 49, shot himself in the face.

Andrew Koenig
Died age 41, hung himself in Stanley Park.

Daniel Pollock
Died age 22, suicide by a running a train.

John Belushi
Died age 33 from drug abuse.

Ernest Hemingway
Died age 61, famous American writer committed suicide by gunshot.

Whitney Houston
Died age 48, was discovered in the bathtub from heart disease and cocaine use.

Lee Thompson Young
Died age 29, suicide.

Cory Monteith
Died age 31, heroin and alcohol overdose.

1 (800) 273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Languages: English, Spanish

Negative Effects of Cabbage

Cabbage belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family and provides a myriad of nutrients, including fiber, folate, calcium, potassium and vitamins A, C and K. Cabbage contains phytonutrients that act as antioxidants to reduce your risk of certain cancers. However, eating large quantities of cabbage can cause negative side effects, such as flatulence, diarrhea, medication interactions and hypothyroidism…

Cabbage contains significant quantities of riffinose, an indigestible sugar. This sugar is a type of complex carbohydrate that passes through your intestines undigested and can cause flatulence. Other symptoms associated with flatulence that may result after eating cabbage include belching, abdominal discomfort and bloating…

It’s at times like this that I’m glad I live alone. 🙂


“I have had dreams and I have had nightmares, but I have conquered my nightmares because of my dreams.” Jonas Salk

Nightmares can be extremely unpleasant, causing fear and anxiety and affecting quality of your sleep. This can lead to physical tiredness and mental stress. However, it’s important to understand the cause of your nightmares before you can begin to treat them. Start with Step 1 below to understand the source of your nightmares and take steps to to prevent them from recurring…—-and-how-to-stop-them

And interestingly, he argues that nightmares are as bad as they are in order to help us cope with more realistic adversity.

Evolutionary psychology aside, the most proximate cause of nightmares is not known. Neuroscientists still need to develop a more sophisticated model of consciousness and the dream-state to make this sort of determination. What they do know, however, is that high frequency nightmares tend to run in the family, which could indicate a possible genetic link…

And indeed, it is well established that people suffering from the effects of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mild head injuries have more nightmares than average. In fact, the heightened frequency of nightmares in these individuals can result in a chronic condition…

One technique that’s increasingly being used is “imagery rehearsal treatment” where individuals are encouraged to alter the endings of their nightmares while they’re awake. It’s a form of cognitive therapy in which people can create an alternative, less distressing outcome to their dreams. Follow-up studies have shown that these kinds of therapies are effective, with upwards of 70% of people claiming to have experienced benefits (including people with PTSD and insomnia).

Similarly, chronic bad dreamers are told to write down the details of their nightmare, or to draw or paint them. They’re also encouraged to talk in fantasy to the characters of their dreams. And in all cases, they are told to imagine a more pleasant ending…

Selby and his collaborators believed that this association could be explained by what they called the Emotional Cascade Model. In this model, negative emotional experiences during the day can contribute to nightmares made worse by two processes. First is rumination, or going over things again and again in your mind. Rumination keeps the pain of those negative experiences fresh.

The second process is catastrophizing, in which you imagine the worst possible outcome from a negative experience. As you do, the magnitude of the experience skyrockets beyond its original negative impact…

Scientists wanted to find out the reason why people with PTSD can’t sleep and dream normally. One theory comes from Matthew Walker, a psychology researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. His particular interest lies in rapid eye movement, or REM. It’s the time during sleep when a lot of dreaming occurs.

It’s also a time when the chemistry of the brain actually changes. Levels of norepinephrine — a kind of adrenaline — drop out completely. REM sleep is the only time of day when this happens. That struck Walker as a mystery. “Why would rapid eye movement sleep suppress this neurochemical?” he asks. “Is there any function to that?”

Walker’s theory suggests that in people with PTSD, REM sleep is broken. The adrenaline doesn’t go away like it’s supposed to. The brain can’t process tough memories, so it just cycles through them, again and again…

They argue that PTSD develops when the person believes they are still seriously threatened by the trauma they have experienced. Why should someone assume they are still endangered by an event that happened months or even years previously? Ehlers and Clark identify two factors.

First is a negative interpretation of the trauma and the normal feelings that follow, for example believing that “nowhere is safe”, “I attract disaster”, or “I can’t cope with stress”. These interpretations can make the person feel in danger physically (the world seems unsafe), or psychologically (their self-confidence and sense of well-being feel irreparably damaged).

Second are problems with the memory of the trauma. Partly because of the way the person experiences the event, the memory somehow fails to acquire a properly developed context and meaning. As a result, it constantly intrudes. Ehlers and Clark liken the traumatic memory to “a cupboard in which many things have been thrown in quickly and in a disorganised fashion, so it is impossible to fully close the door and things fall out at unpredictable times”.

PTSD can be treated with antidepressants or various kinds of psychotherapy, including prolonged exposure therapy and eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing. However, a recent meta-analysis of 112 studies conducted over the past 30 years found that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) was the single most successful type of treatment…

Most importantly, the benefits lasted: 40 weeks after entering the study, about two-thirds of the CBT patients were still free from the symptoms of PTSD. The therapy isn’t easy – it confronts highly distressing events and feelings, after all – but it works.

Gratitude In Purple

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”  William Arthur Ward

“Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind.”  Lionel Hampton

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  John F. Kennedy

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”  Albert Schweitzer

“Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy.”  Jacques Maritain

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”  Gilbert K. Chesterton

“We hope that, when the insects take over the world, they will remember with gratitude how we took them along on all our picnics.”  Bill Vaughan

(Photo taken 4/5/2015.)

Selfish Bloggers

There’s no doubt about it — for most of us, blogging is a two-way street.  It’s about give and take. Sure, there are a few bloggers who don’t have to engage with other bloggers, but they are few and far between.  (And a little stuck-up, if you ask me.)

But after blogging for over 6 months now, I’ve noticed something else — the most important thing for some bloggers is the amount of hits or likes they get.  I’ve labeled these kinds of people as Selfish Bloggers.  Usually, they pop up around the time they’ve made a recent post. They will like one or maybe two of your recent posts, but they’re really not interested in what you have to say or what you’re going through.  You can tell by the posts they decide to like when they drop by.  They’re only interested in getting your attention so you’ll visit their blog to hear the latest thing they have to say.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting attention and to be popular, of course, but it can get a little irritating.  In the beginning, I didn’t mind supporting those who don’t support me, but now that I have some followers who have shown me what support really consists of, well, keeping up with Selfish Bloggers can just be… exhausting.  And this last pain hurricane has wiped me out.  Even though I’m exhausted, I’m also busy cleaning up after the destruction the hurricane left behind. Yes, the wind has died down, but the flooding hasn’t receded.  And it’s still raining.  For chronic pain patients, it’s always raining.

My blog is for all chronic pain patients, not just for me.  For instance, I don’t suffer from depression, but I know that a lot of chronic pain patients do.  I have never suffered from an eating disorder or bipolar, but mental illnesses are common in chronic pain patients.  I’m not a veteran, but I know that many veterans suffer from chronic pain.  I don’t suffer from fibromyalgia, but I know many other women do.  I’m not gay, but I support gay rights.  I’m not black, but I know that the drug war is mostly about racism.  I don’t suffer from drug addiction, but I know that some chronic pain patients do, and that finding treatment is hindered by discrimination and shame.

I learn about all these issues and post about them because they are all important to me.  But I know that to many bloggers, they are only side issues, holding little interest. After all, if you post about photography or food, these issues may not be interesting at all.  However, everyone is going to age, so the issue of chronic pain will likely become compelling at some point.

I give out “likes” freely because I believe it’s a form of support.  But I don’t need a like or a comment on my blog to be interested in yours.  For instance, if someone is talking about suicide, giving support is more important than being concerned about whether the support is mutual. But, as I said at the beginning, it really is a two-way street.  Otherwise, it’s just… exhausting.

Unfortunately, as a chronic pain patient, I have to be selfish.  I’m the only one around to take care of me.  I can only offer the support that’s left over after I try to take care of myself.  And while most people like to have a lot of friends and be popular, I just don’t have the energy to do that.  But I will always find the energy to support those who have supported me.  It’s called friendship, and friendship is unhealthy when it’s one-sided.

And on WordPress, friendship and support boil down to “likes” or comments (usually on a daily basis), not a weekly visit to get attention.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Brainy quotes on Cabbage (seriously)

“Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.”  Mark Twain

“Cabbage: a familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man’s head.” Ambrose Bierce

“I love it when a man cooks; it’s one of those points that makes me adore a guy. I think it’s so romantic and I feel cared for when a man cooks. As long as it’s good. I wouldn’t let a man cook cabbage, though, because I’m pretty sure men can’t cook cabbage.”  Olga Kurylenko

“Diets – the ultimate empty promise perpetuating the same cycle over and over again. We’ve all been victims of yo-yo dieting. We stick to some diets longer than others, but c’mon, just how much cabbage soup can a person eat?”  Suzanne Somers

“But if you pick up every other magazine, it is the peanut butter diet, or the cabbage soup diet, and then you go to the radio and you hear that you can drink some solution and you will lose weight overnight. It just does not work that way!”  Richard Simmons

“I have but one rule at my table. You may leave your cabbage, but you’ll sit still and behave until I’ve eaten mine.”  Laurie Graham

“An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.”  H. L. Mencken

(Photo taken on 4/11/2015, before the cabbage was boiled alive in my chicken soup.)

For Mentally Ill Inmates at Rikers Island, a Cycle of Jail and Hospitals

It was not a particularly violent crime that sent Michael Megginson to Rikers Island. He was arrested for stealing a cellphone.  But in jail, Mr. Megginson, who is 25 and has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals since the age of 6, quickly deteriorated, becoming one of the most violent inmates on the island…

At least twice, his bones were broken in beatings by guards.  He also repeatedly hurt himself, cutting his body all over, banging his head against walls and tying sheets and clothing around his neck in apparent suicide attempts…

OVER THE LAST DECADE, the proportion of inmates with diagnosed mental illness has climbed dramatically. Today, they make up nearly 40 percent of the population at Rikers, a total of 4,000 men and women at any given time, more than all the adult patients in New York State psychiatric hospitals combined…

Weird WordPress glitch

I just had the weirdest thing happen over at a blog I was checking out… I was scrolling through the posts, and in the place of what was supposed to be a video, I could see a list of my emails.  I had my email open on another tab, and there, on this person’s blog, was the same view as if I was looking at my email screen.  I refreshed and the video returned, but still… spooky.  I just don’t know how that could have happened, especially since my email is allegedly password protected and at an https address.

Hey, DEA, is that you?  Or is it Unum?  WTF?

When a Pharmacist’s “moral compass” does not agree with a pt’s medical needs?

Brittany Cartrett claimed on Facebook that she’d recently suffered a miscarriage. Her doctor gave her two options to help her body rid itself of the non-viable fetus: an invasive surgical procedure known as a “D and C,” or a medicine that in some cases can induce abortion…

Brittany’s doctor phoned a prescription for Misoprostol to the Walmart Pharmacy in Midgeville, but was told that the pharmacist on duty would not fill the prescription…

Other states have similar laws that allow pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions based on their personal beliefs; however, most of those other states have a clause added to the law requiring the pharmacy to have a backup pharmacist on-call to fill the prescription, so the patient won’t have to go to other pharmacies for their medicine. Georgia’s law does not have such a clause...