Senior discount

As I was checking out at the grocery store yesterday, I noticed the cashier gave me the senior discount.  It’s 10% off the total — that’s a pretty good freaking discount.  Heck, I didn’t even know that seniors get discounts on groceries.  Some women might have been offended, but it was the best thing that’s happened to me all year.

I was going to say something about not being old enough for the discount because I didn’t want the cashier to get in trouble.  I mean, I waited while she looked at my driver’s license, thinking she would notice…  I was all ready to fess up.  Really.

But then I remembered the time I left a case of bottled water underneath my buggy at this store, basically paying for a product I never took home.  I’m figuring the store just re-stocked it after I left.  So, when the cashier didn’t notice her error, I kept quiet.  That’s not like me, and I felt a little guilty about it today, but the guilt didn’t last long.  Dude, I just saved almost $8 — I’m a happy camper. 😀

(No, that’s not me in the featured photo.)

Rabid bat bites person at Abq Walmart

The New Mexico Department of Health said a woman went into the Walmart at Coors and Alameda NW near Cottonwood Mall around 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning on her motorized wheelchair. Hanging from the basket as she rode through the aisles was a bat…

Walmart said when the woman was buying her items at the counter, workers noticed it. One of them tried to help.  “It was another person there who thought they were good at handling bats and picked it up, took it outside and unfortunately was bit when they did that,” said Dr. Paul Ettestad, state public health veterinarian. Dr. Ettestad said the bat tested positive for rabies… “If she didn’t get the shots and it went on to become rabies, it’s almost 100 percent fatal,” Dr. Ettestad said…

Walmart would not show KRQE the surveillance video, but a spokesman said it confirms that the bat was already on the woman’s wheelchair before the woman entered the store.

This is the Walmart that I go to.  In fact, I was there on Wednesday of this week.  I bought one item, and as I was leaving the store, the alarm went off.  I stopped and waited for someone to come check my receipt, but no one did anything and I left.  And there was a police cruiser parked right next to the store, although he didn’t appear to notice the alarm going off either.

So, I’m not surprised that a woman shopped with a rabid bat and no one noticed until she arrived at the check out.  What do you think, was it her pet?  Where did it come from?  I guess I need to start watching out for bats.

NIH’s Drug Lab Is Shut Down After FDA Finds Quality Failures

The lab makes drugs that are used in government-sponsored clinical trials at the NIH hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. Operations at the lab have been suspended…

Concerns were first raised in April, when two vials used for experiment studies were found to have fungal contamination. A subsequent FDA inspection in May found that the facility wasn’t completely sterile…

The suspension comes after the U.S. Defense Department inadvertently sent samples that carried live anthrax, a deadly bacterium, to laboratories across the U.S. and potentially three foreign countries…

“Addicts have been in car crashes of the soul”

Tragedy of Whitney Houston and Her Daughter: The Surprising Factors That Can Make People 4600 Percent More Prone To Addiction

We know the major reason why addiction is transmitted through families – and it is not what most of us think.

By Johann Hari

Dr Felliti noticed something striking. His patients seemed to have been sexually abused at a higher rate than the general population. Far higher. One woman explained that she gained 105 pounds after being raped. “Overweight is overlooked,” she said, “and that’s the way I need to be.”

Intrigued, Dr Felitti launched a major and detailed study to find out what role – if any – traumatic childhood events played in obesity. It became known as the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Survey. They questioned 17,000 people in San Diego, mostly middle class and professional, to find out if they had gone through any of ten traumatic experiences that can happen to a child – from neglect to violence to rape. They then followed them to see if they suffered any other problems later in life. At the same time as they looked to see if there was any correlation with obesity, they also included other factors – like drug addiction…

The published research showed that for every category of trauma that happens to a child, they are two to four times more like to grow up to be an addict – and multiple traumas produced a massive risk. The correlation for addiction was startling. Nearly two-thirds of injecting drug use, they found, is the result of early childhood trauma…

Just as Dr Felitti’s obese patients tried to protect themselves from predatory sexual attention with layers of fat, his drug-addicted patients were often trying to protect themselves from the childhood storms in their own heads – by numbing themselves with chemicals. His obese patient didn’t feel so afraid of sexual assault if she had rendered herself conventionally ‘unattractive.’ His addicted patients didn’t feel their own agony so keenly if they were drugged…

Today, we have a criminal justice system that takes people who are addicted because they endured trauma, and we traumatize them more…  Dr Gabor Mate, one of the leading experts on this question, told me: “If I had to design a system that was intended to keep people addicted, I’d design exactly the system that we have right now.” …

When we look at addicts, if we are honest – and I feel it too, even though I have loved many addicts in my life – it’s hard to keep out voices of moral judgement. We look at somebody who is chronically using alcohol or drugs, and we say with a shake of the head: “Well, I wouldn’t do that.” By the end of my journey, I had realized that makes as much sense as looking at somebody who has had their legs amputated after a car crash and saying: “Cutting off your legs is weird. I would never do that.” Addicts have been in car crashes of the soul…

Thinking of you, Lizz Bowker

Lizz, 57, a mother of three, died from an accidental overdose of the opioid painkiller tramadol, which she’d been taking for the previous year for back pain and leg ulcers.  She had taken just two more tablets than her usual daily dose of eight 50mg tablets. ‘She’d been sorting out her weekly pill box and I think she just got confused and took two doses,’ says John, who was married to Lizz for 38 years.

Tragically, her death is by no means an isolated case and highlights the dangers associated with a drug too often regarded as the ‘safer’ option.  Tramadol is an increasingly commonly prescribed painkiller — prescriptions have almost doubled in the past seven years, from 5.9 million in 2006 to 11.1 million in September 2012. Its popularity has soared partly because it’s cheap — now available as a non-branded generic drug, it costs the NHS £1.99 for 100 tablets.

Fears about other painkillers have also made tramadol an attractive option…

Tramadol is regarded by many doctors as a weaker opioid. But in fact it has the same risks of overdose as with morphine…

This dual action makes interactions with other drugs more likely — the risk is if the patient is taking medications or other substances with a sedative effect on the central nervous system, because this can affect breathing and, in some cases, lead to death. So tramadol should not strictly be used if you’re taking sleeping tablets, tranquilisers, and antidepressants, other painkillers that act on the brain, or are under the influence of alcohol.

But despite these well-known interactions, some patients end up being prescribed tramadol as well as sleeping pills and antidepressants, as often pain, mood and sleep problems go together. Deaths from tramadol overdose have soared from just one in 1996 to 154 in 2011. More than 500 people died from tramadol overdoses between 2006 and 2011…

‘Although there’s evidence to show tramadol works well in the short term for conditions such as post-operative pain, the evidence for long- term benefit is disappointing.’ …

To Christina

Christina Dawn Dew
I surely miss you
your laugh and your giggle
your sparkle and sizzle

your love of the water
soft skin and baby smell
the sounds that you made
always dressed in pastels

trying to teach you
to say my name
but you were too young
for that kind of game

Won’t ever forget you
Think of you always
Wishing you were here
I’d whisper in your ear

I miss you, my dear

So young when you left
forever bereft
your memories I hold
as if they were gold

This pain that I feel
when I think of you
still sharp, like a knife
and still makes me blue

Nothing I can do
to change reality
just wanted you to know
wish it had been me

Would not want you to suffer
Would not want you in pain
And for that I am glad
I’ll never see you again

(Photo taken yesterday.)

Why Stephen Hawking says he’d consider assisted suicide

Hawking is a known supporter of the controversial practice of assisted suicide, in which the elderly or people with particularly painful or terminal illnesses can take their own lives peacefully, with the assistance of someone like a physician…

“To keep someone alive against their wishes is the ultimate indignity,” Hawking said, according to the Telegraph. “I would consider assisted suicide only if I were in great pain or felt I had nothing more to contribute but was just a burden to those around me.” …