Who is that crazy old lady with the camera, hanging out her car window?

That would be me
yours very truly
in 30 degrees
just catching the breeze
(trying not to sneeze)
not really doin’ much
of anything

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What color is my mountain today?


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Watching you, watching me.

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Spanish dancer.


Alien landing.


And the sun goes down in a splash of color.

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(Photos taken yesterday.)

Dr. Jane Ballantyne of PFROP

Featured photo found at:



by Anonymous on Apr 5th, 2013
This doctor has very poor bedside manner. She had an intern review my history and records and didn’t even ask me why I was in her office for a consultatation. She merely entered the room, sat on the edge of the table and sneered at me, apparently at my choice of blouses which was an imitation of an expensive designer silk in less expensive polyester. She has published books and articles about her disdain for American doctors’ irresponsible use of opioid prescription drugs in the treatment of chronic pain and apparently is on the lookout for any patient that according to her isn’t “dying, or completely incapacitated”, the only valid reasons, in her opinion for prescribing these types of drugs. When she offered me no other solutions to help with my chronic pain and I wept at her decision to deny me a prescription for pain medication that my previous doctor has written for the past 4 months, she looked away. The only thing that came out of this visit was a referral to a psychiatrist on her staff and a suggestion that I try an antideppressant for sleep and pain. I had already told her assistant and I had repeated that I could not tolerate the side effects for these medications. I think that because of my British surname she expected a white person but was disgusted by my appearance when she entered the room (I am Native American), it seems hard for her to hide her disdain for others. It seems she has been pumped up so much by her staff and peers. I do have a valid reason for medication use, and have never abused it. I brought evidence of this, conclusive radiological reports and physician chart notes. Had she reviewed these, even for five minutes, she would have agreed.


CDC’s Primary Care and Public Health Initiative
Balancing Pain Management and Prescription Opioid Abuse
October 24, 2012

Lieutenant Commander Christopher M. Jones, PharmD, MPH, serves as the acting team lead for the prescription drug overdose team in the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention in CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control…  Prior to joining CDC, Chris completed a one-year detail to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, serving as the senior public health advisor where he co-lead the development of the administration’s prescription drug abuse prevention plan…

Our next presenter is Dr. Jane Ballantyne, who is a professor of anesthesiology and pain management at the University of Washington in Seattle…


Ballantyne, JC. Opioid analgesia: perspectives on right use and utility. Pain Physician 2007


Do you get the feeling that a few of Ms. Ballantyne’s patients were mean to her, and this is her revenge?


BALLANTYNE:  If you give people opiates, they think you’re the best thing since sliced bread. They love you. They just worship the ground you walk on. The moment you suggest that you want to try and get them down on their dose or, worse still, say you can’t carry on prescribing – not that I do that myself; I never cut people off; I don’t think people should be cut off, but I do try and persuade them to come down on their dose – they are so awful. And you can see why people who are not seeped in this stuff – the young primary care physicians just don’t know what to make of it. They don’t want to be abused. They want to be loved like everybody else does. We go into medicine to try and help people. And when you get abused and, you know, insulted, you can see why it perpetuates itself.

I find it hard to believe that Ms. Ballantyne “never” cut a patient off. Maybe the reason is that she hardly ever prescribed any drugs that, in her opinion, patients needed to be cut off from. (Antidepressants for everyone!)

For 20 years, Dr. Ballantyne directed the Center for Pain Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston…

If you are a pain patient who was abandoned by Ms. Ballantyne, please email me at painkills2@aol.com. I would love to hear your story.

An addiction to power and the power of propaganda


Under comments:

Deborah Weiss (5 hours ago)

This is old, old news. This has been happening to local newspapers across America since the 1980s.

For decades, right wing interests have been quietly buying up the local press in small towns and cities across the nation, well under the radar of the East Coast establishment press.

Formerly admirable and independent news outlets in states like Kansas and Ohio and Michigan and Wisconsin (to name only a few–there probably isn’t one state out of the 50 where this hasn’t happened) [including New Mexico] –newspapers that used to make you proud to be an American have been reduced virtually overnight to cogs in the right wing’s elaborate apparatus of disinformation and propaganda.

Wherever this has happened, the result has been the same: As if overnight real journalism, with all its flaws and all its virtues, has dried up and blown away. No more of the kinds of stories that offend the oligarchy, or lead citizens to unite in the public interest, to make this a truly better and more equal country. Good reporters (and there are many) have been faced with the hardest choice there is: to keep their paychecks, but confine themselves to writing only what adheres to Party Line: or to walk away from their dreams, leaving their jobs in the hands of avid little ideologues without honor or a sense of shame.

The emphasis shifts radically, and now the “news” is preoccupied with the kinds of issues (time tested by men like Karl Rove and Roger Ailes) that are guaranteed to pit people against their neighbors and to fill the public with fear, anger, confusion and suspicion, all while boosting the billionaires’ pet issues of deregulation and tax cuts and school “choice” and the privatization of public holdings from highways to prisons.

As it turns out, privatization is a dandy way to transfer huge sums of taxpayers’ money from the public sector into private bank accounts, and for icing, once you’ve privatized these institutions, there are no watchdogs, no accountability: you don’t have to waste your time maintaining decent schools or keeping those roads in good repair or treating prisoners with even a bare minimum of human decency, all you really have to do is count your cash as it wings its way out of the taxpayers’ wallets and into some offshore tax haven.

Every editorial, every “news” story–even movie and restaurant reviews–encourages us all to ridicule reformers, to regard unions and advocates of civil liberties and simple fairness as dangerous, to see black citizens as mooches and criminals, to warn of the terrible menace of ‘liberal’ judges, to promote summary justice and mandatory sentences, to defend and elevate the cult of cops, and–most importantly, perhaps, the real bottom line in this whole sad saga–to defend the slashing away of regulations that once kept us all safer and healthier, and to support, fervently, those big tax cuts for our betters, the super-rich (because, who knows, one day we could be rich, right? we could win that big Powerball ticket the very next drawing, right?)


It’s been a very strategic part of what has transformed the political environment in this nation from a troubled, imperfect, but aspiring democracy into a brutal, inequitable oligarchy.

It only took about 40 years to do it. In that time, they’ve brought this nation to the brink. God only knows where we’ll be ten years from now, but the trajectories are looking grim.

In any case, it doesn’t pay to underestimate the power of propaganda.

Do you wonder why the media only reports on the CDC’s view of the opioid war? (With the lone exception of Al Jazeera America.) Well, now you know.

The Ground


“When you can’t get up, find something fascinating on the ground.” Me 🙂

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I can’t say this enough:  Thanks for viewing. 🙂

Are you bored
with lying on the floor?
Does your neck hurt
with the effort to avert?
Tired of viewing
only the dirt?
Time to look up…
Time for dessert!


I made this cinnamon bread the other day (I, of course, added icing). Unfortunately, I don’t have the words to describe how awesome it is. Even worse, I don’t have any photos, because the bread didn’t hang around long enough to be photographed. (And the blogger at the link has turned off my ability to copy a photo and post it here. Whatever.)

Warning:  This recipe makes five loaves of soft and delicious cinnamon bread, so you have to use fractions if you want to make less. But, I can attest that this bread freezes beautifully.

Disqualified after concussions, college football players recruited back onto the field


But where Syracuse officials saw grave risk, other colleges saw opportunity. Coaches from a half-dozen other universities began wooing Long. His case is not unique. College football players with a history of incapacitating concussions are allowed to transfer to colleges that will permit them to play, a STAT investigation has found. This happens even after doctors at one school determine that the risk to a player’s health is so severe that he should be permanently banned from contact sports…

The National Collegiate Athletic Association sets no limits on the number of permissible concussions. There’s no medical consensus on how many concussions pose an intolerable danger to athletes. And colleges, ever on the lookout for talent that will reap their teams wins and ticket sales, decide on their own when, or if, players should be medically disqualified.

In interviews with doctors and college officials, STAT found cases in which some players were permanently sidelined after three or four concussions, while others with as many as 10 concussions were allowed to still play…

Once college athletes are disqualified, they receive little guidance about what to do. Young men like the 19-year-old Long are left on their own to seek additional tests and evaluations by concussion experts — and to choose whether pursuing their dream of playing college football is worth jeopardizing their health…

The brain on chronic pain

It’s important for pain patients to know how to combat ignorance like this:


Under comments:

Joan Anundson Ahr (a week ago)

My experience with family members who have rheumatoid arthritis, as well as in my job as an assistant to an orthopedic spine surgeon for many years, is that narcotic pain meds work for acute pain while waiting for surgery, pain relief immediately after surgery, and for emergency care for an acute severe injury. Using narcotics any other way, except perhaps for end of life pain relief, invites layering more problems on top of the original cause for chronic pain.

Functional MRI studies of the brain have shown the damaging effects from addictions to alcohol and narcotics. A person who’s brain has become accustomed to the drug doing the work of dealing with pain sensations loses his natural function of producing calming and soothing responses to pain signals…

When you look at the management of pain only from the side of addiction, you have a very narrow view. And you also begin to see all pain patients as having the potential for addiction (when, in fact, only a small percentage are in danger of it). You believe that dependence and addiction are the same thing. You believe that there is never a reason to abuse these drugs, even if the result of this abuse turns out to be either beneficial or of no concern to the patient.

How should we even define drug “abuse” and “addiction”? Only through the eyes of the psychiatric community? Only through the lens of certain drugs?

Even while we are learning more about the brain, we’re not really sure what it all means. If experts don’t know, what makes anyone think they know?

A person who’s brain has become accustomed to the drug doing the work of dealing with pain sensations loses his natural function of producing calming and soothing responses to pain signals…

Our ignorance of how the brain works often gets in the way, giving us beliefs that are, shall we say, incorrect.

So, do you think this woman knows what a brain on chronic pain looks like? Or is she only concerned with what an addicted brain looks like? Does she understand that many pain patients have already lost the natural ability to produce “calming and soothing responses” to continuous pain signals?

Like, duh. (I mean, seriously, duh.)

Without opioids, do pain patients regain this “natural function”?  Well, this pain patient didn’t, and from what I’ve read, other pain patients haven’t, either.

A question in my search terms today:

“Is hyperalgesia being used by dr to refuse opioids for chronic pain?”

Again I say, duh. And again, just like other doctors who blame pain patients:

“Ballantyne told the program that during her lengthy career in pain management she and other doctors were sometimes abused and insulted by ‘awful’ pain patients when they tried to wean them off opiates.”

Because pain patients should respond like robots, right? Why should we care when our suffering is increased because of opioid phobia? We should be happy that our doctors think they know what’s best for us, right? (Doctors suck.)

Opioids can give pain patients a synthetic version of their body’s own pain-fighting endorphins, allowing them to regain this ability. Cannabis does the same thing, only in a more natural way. But natural or synthetic, these drugs give pain patients the ability to be active in their own lives. And I’ll just add that, regardless of a patient’s activity level, opioids relieve suffering — and that has to count for something.

Hey, lady, drug addiction and chronic pain are two separate medical conditions. How often do I have to repeat this fact?

Janice Reynolds (a week ago)

If opioids do not work for Chronic Pain, why would they work suddenly at the end of life? …