Monthly Archives: February 2007

New Arrival !

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Jake_Alexander_Bingham, originally uploaded by rsdscrpsnews.

I normally don’t make personal comments or posts to this blog… always want it to be more about you, the reader, than me, you humble collector of news…

But this week I’ve been neglectful of the blog…. been a bit busy with the arrival of our first child, Jake Alexander Bingham !

Jake came into the world at 9lbs 5oz and measuring 22.5 inches. Mother and baby are doing great!

I’ll be back to updating the blog next week!

All my best to all of you…

Jason

Dear Doctors of Vanderbilt

Dear Doctors of Vanderbilt

February 11th, 2007

Over the years I’ve seen many of you pediatric and internal medicine physicians at Vanderbilt Univeristy Medical Center. You may be employed at a hospital renowned for being the best and largest hospital and employer in Middle Tennessee but you, the doctors, are way behind the times. You are not like the doctors of Seattle Grace, you are not like McDreamy (or McSteamy), you’re not Luka from ER, you’re not Jack from Lost, you’re not even House.

You probably wouldn’t remember me and I know you wouldn’t remember my name, much less how to spell it (even if you’re my PCP). I’ve seen so many of you over the years that I might not remember your name either–so I guess we’re even on that front. You may think you’re groundbreaking researchers and physicians in many areas, and you may well be, but let me tell you this: YOU FUCKING SUCK with bedside manner and chronic pain patients.

Doctors can get a little cocky, I know because my father is one of them, and they can assume they know your case and your problems and your story before they take the time to listen (if you’re lucky enough to snag one that actually listens). Reporting that you’re in pain and need medication to ease it means you are a junkie, you are faking it, and you are just groveling for some meds to get your next fix. And dear god, if you’re underage and you need pain killers well then you’re doing the dirty work for your junkie parents or you’re just exaggerating, after all children can’t have chronic pain disorders, right? You guys are so behind the times that you don’t even have A PAIN MANAGEMENT CLINIC, which nearly every hospital does nowadays. Hell, even small practices are taking on pain management with fervor, but not a rich, educated hospital like Vanderbilt.

In the area of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome you really are clueless, once more. You think what the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia says about their study with RSD and exercising for eight hours a day is the Word Of God, and that’s all you can try out. Don’t do your own studies or give your patients any options, go ahead, leave them feeling like they’re doomed, after all, they are junkies.

You think I’m exaggerating by now, I can tell. The last paragraph was just for one doctor, Dr. Lawton (a pediatric rheumatologist), who told me about an exercise program for minors with RSD (drop out of school and exercise constantly, see if it rewires your brain, don’t give them any relief for the massive amounts of pain they’re enduring just for your study). He also suggested my RSD (which he diagnosed) was just “emotional”. Bullshit.

I haven’t even moved on to those assholes at the very new Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital Emergency Room. That’s a totally different entry.

But I just want to say one thing to the brilliant young doctor (Dr. Kristine Ehst, Internal Medicine) who suggested my pain that causes me to writhe and scream and moan and yell and sob in pain was just ‘growing pains’, and prescribed some ‘Bengay’ for it (and nothing else), and who told me one afternoon when I was leaving her office to “go out and have some fun this weekend”.

Well damn, Dr. Ehst. I was planning on sitting at home watching Passion of the Christ, hitting my legs and arms with hammers so I could be in that chronic pain I keep telling you about, reciting the Illiad, and maybe even giving myself an enema, but since you told me to “go out and have some fun this weekend” I guess I’ll have to change my plans.

Original Site Link.

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Research Supports Medicinal Marijuana

Research Supports Medicinal Marijuana

AIDS Patients in Controlled Study Had Significant Pain Relief

Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 13, 2007; Page A14

AIDS patients suffering from debilitating nerve pain got as much or more relief by smoking marijuana as they would typically get from prescription drugs — and with fewer side effects — according to a study conducted under rigorously controlled conditions with government-grown pot.

In a five-day study performed in a specially ventilated hospital ward where patients smoked three marijuana cigarettes a day, more than half the participants tallied significant reductions in pain.

By contrast, less than one-quarter of those who smoked “placebo” pot, which had its primary psychoactive ingredients removed, reported benefits, as measured by subjective pain reports and standardized neurological tests.

The White House belittled the study as “a smoke screen,” short on proof of efficacy and flawed because it did not consider the health impacts of inhaling smoke.

But other doctors and advocates of marijuana policy reform said the findings, in today’s issue of the journal Neurology, offer powerful evidence that the Drug Enforcement Administration’s classification of cannabis as having “no currently accepted medical use” is outdated.

“This should be a wake-up call for Congress to hold hearings to investigate the therapeutic use of cannabis and to encourage more research,” said Barbara T. Roberts, a former interim associate deputy director in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, now with Americans for Safe Access, which promotes access to marijuana for therapies and research.

Countless anecdotal reports have suggested that smoking marijuana can help relieve the pain, nausea and muscular spasticity that often accompany cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis and other ailments. But few well-controlled studies have been conducted.

The new study enrolled 50 AIDS patients with severe foot pain caused by their disease or by the medicines they take.

The team first measured baseline pain, both subjectively (patients ranked their pain on a scale of 1 to 100) and with two standardized tests, one involving a small hot iron held to the skin and another involving hot chili pepper cream.

Then, for five days, patients lit up at 8 a.m., 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. using a calibrated puff method that calls for inhaling for five seconds, holding one’s breath for 10, then waiting 45 seconds before the next.

The cigarettes were kept frozen and locked in a safe, then thawed and humidified one day before use. Cigarette butts and other debris were collected, weighed and returned to the safe to ensure no diversion for recreational purposes.

Grown on the government’s official pot farm in Mississippi, the drug was about one-quarter the potency of quality street marijuana. The inactive version was chemically cleansed of cannabinoids, the drug’s main active ingredients.

“It smelled like and looked like” normal marijuana, said study leader Donald I. Abrams, a physician at San Francisco General Hospital, where the smoking ward was located. Like the patients, Abrams was not told who had the active pot until the study was over.

Thirteen of 25 patients who smoked the regular marijuana achieved pain reduction of at least 30 percent, compared with six of 25 who smoked placebo pot. The average pain reduction for the real cannabis was 34 percent, compared with17 percent for the placebo.

Opioids and other pills can reduce nerve pain by 20 to 30 percent but can cause drowsiness and confusion, Abrams said. And many patients complain that a prescription version of pot’s main ingredient in pill form does not work for them.

That was true for Diana Dodson, 50, who received an AIDS diagnosis in 1997 after a blood transfusion.

“I have so many layers of pain I can hardly walk,” said Dodson, who was in the new study. Prescription drugs made her feel worse. “But inhaled cannabis works,” she said.

Patients in the study — all of whom had smoked pot previously — reported no notable side effects, though the researchers acknowledged that people unfamiliar with the drug may not fare as well.

Igor Grant, director of the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, which funded the research, said the study was probably the best-designed U.S. test of marijuana’s medical potential in decades. He called the results “highly believable.”

But David Murray, chief scientist at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, called the findings “not particularly persuasive.” The study was relatively small, he said, and it is likely that those who received the real pot were aware of that, introducing a bias of expected efficacy.

“We’re very much supportive of any effort to ameliorate the suffering of AIDS patients,” Murray said. But even if ingredients in marijuana prove useful, he added, they ought to be synthesized in a pill to make dosing more accurate and to minimize lung damage.

Separately, ending a six-year effort, a Massachusetts group learned yesterday that it had won a legal victory against the DEA in its battle for federal permission to grow its own cannabis for federally approved studies, instead of relying on government pot.

In an 87-page opinion, administrative law judge Mary Ellen Bittner ruled that it “would be in the public interest” to allow a University of Massachusetts researcher to cultivate marijuana under contract to the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), which sponsors medical research on marijuana and other drugs.

The DEA is not obligated to follow the advice of its law judges, but the detailed decision should make it difficult for the agency to balk, said MAPS President Rick Doblin.

Click Here For The Original Article Online.

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Pharmaceutical Company buys 2,500 drug-free Mirror Therapy Boxes for UK pain clinics

Pharmaceutical Company buys 2,500 drug-free Mirror Therapy Boxes for UK pain clinics

Reflex Pain Management Ltd
2/12/2007 10:13:56 AM

Manchester, UK – 12, February 2007

NAPP Pharmaceuticals, pioneers of prolonged released drugs for the relief of severe pain have purchased 2,500 Mirror Therapy Boxes for complimentary distribution to pain clinics throughout the UK.

Mirror Therapy Boxes are used in Mirror Visualisation Therapy for the treatment of hand pain, foot pain, phantom limb pain, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). With RSD, CRPS, phantom limb and other Neuropathic pain conditions a visual feedback helps the patient to “move” the affected or amputated limb in the mind and release it from painful positions, satisfying the brain that the limb is actually normal.

Mirror Visualisation Therapy also benefits the rehabilitation of hand, wrist and foot pain following injury, surgery or stroke, improving the motor functions of the affected limb and helping speed up recovery time.

Dr. Ilan Lieberman FRCA, a consultant in pain management and anaesthesia at the University Hospital of South Manchester reports that several of his patients who were unable to move a hand or foot prior to using the Mirror Therapy Box, were able to move their injured limbs after a Mirror Therapy Box session.

The Mirror Therapy Boxes supplied to NAPP are light weight with a robust plastic mirror allowing users to undertake visualisation exercises in the comfort of their home, at the office or in bed.

For further information on Mirror Visualisation Therapy for hand, wrist and foot pain management, RSD, CRPS, stroke injury and limb rehabilitation please visit www.mirrorboxtherapy.com

Mirror Therapy Boxes can be purchased for £19.99 (approximately $38.00 USD – €30.00) from www.reflexpainmanagement.com and worldwide shipping is currently free of charge.

Click Here For The Original Article Online.

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Increased endothelin-1 and diminished nitric oxide levels…

BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2006; 7: 91.

Published online 2006 November 30. doi: 10.1186/1471-2474-7-91.

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Received October 14, 2006; Accepted November 30, 2006.

Increased endothelin-1 and diminished nitric oxide levels in blister fluids of patients with intermediate cold type complex regional pain syndrome type 1

A gift from God


A gift from God
Thadeus Greenson/The Times-Standard
Article Launched: 02/11/2007 04:28:40 AM PST

WILLOW CREEK — One can hear Paula Mattocks’ pain in the pops, cracks and snaps that emanate from her shoulder. It can also be heard in the Hoopa-based artist’s voice, which she tends to lose when the pain is at its worst.

It’s a pain that can also be seen in the braces that secure her right arm and wrist, almost concealing an eight-inch scar that nearly runs the length of her forearm. It’s also in her teeth, which are starting to crack from the constant clenching of her jaw.

It’s also in her paintings. It’s embedded in the landscapes, which burst with colors and textures. It’s not a pain that manifests itself in dark and dreary abstracts or images of widespread suffering; rather, the pain is the painting. Without it there would be no image, no paint and no artist.

Mattocks’ art career took root as her nursing job in a Nevada assisted living center came to an end. It was 6:45 p.m. July 2, 2000 — a date and time that Mattocks said she will never forget.

”My life was changed that day, but I didn’t know the extent of it for two years,” she said.

Moments after starting her shift in the center’s high-risk unit, Mattocks was assisting other nurses with cleaning and changing a combative

patient who had soiled himself when something went terribly wrong. The man resisted, grabbing Mattocks’ right hand and bending it back until the back of her hand was flush with her wrist, ripping all the wrist’s tendons and causing substantial nerve damage in the process.

Three surgeries, countless hours of physical therapy and years later, the pain remained, but in a more debilitating form. Mattocks was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSDS), a chronic pain syndrome that affects more than 200,000 people in the United States, according to the RSDS Association.

The pain was constant and kept her from sleeping, working or even holding her children. The only escape came in the form of cortisone, injected with an eight-inch needle into her neck, next to her trachea. And even that, which Mattocks referred to as her oil change, only happened twice a year and relieved the pain for just a couple days.

”For those two days, it’s absolute heaven,” Mattocks said. “There’s no pain.”

Today, Mattocks anticipates a reconstructive shoulder surgery in her future, and until then, more pain.

But, even out of the pain, something in Mattocks blossomed.

After moving back to Hoopa in 2004 with her husband, Drew, to be closer to her great aunt, Ruby Jarnaghan, and her parents, Gemma and Bob Carmony, Mattocks’ mother-in-law gave her a set of paints and a how-to book by painter Bob Ross of PBS fame.

She didn’t think much of the paints at the time, but one pain-filled night a couple of months ago, she picked up the book, grabbed her paints and the one brush she owned, and stood in her pantry, painting lefthanded, for 13 hours until she had finished her first piece.

”I did it all in one night because the pain is so outrageous that I just painted until it was done,” Mattocks said.

That was Nov. 3. Two weeks later, she had completed a dozen landscapes with color contrasts, shadow work and textures uncanny for a novice.

”People say oils are hard, but I can’t see how they are,” Mattocks said last week. “I don’t even know how I blend the paints to be honest with you. … This was literally a gift from God, and I’m not a religious person.”

She left the paintings stacked around her home until they were noticed by a friend, who insisted that Mattocks look into showing them. Mattocks then took a digital camera, loaded with pictures of her work, over to The Lost Arrow Trading Company in nearby Willow Creek, which was quickly making a name for itself by showing the work of local artists.

”When she came in,” said Dana Davis, who along with his wife, Connie, owns the Lost Arrow Trading Company, “she was so nervous she could hardly stand still, and when I said, ‘Your paintings are great. We’d love to show them,’ you could just see the tears welling up in her eyes.”

”I just started crying,” Mattocks recalled. “It was a moment we didn’t have control over.”

Since then, the pain has remained, but something else has emerged.

”From that day on, she’s like a totally different person. She has hope now,” said Connie Davis.

Inspired by how well her paintings were received, Mattocks then decided to follow through on one of her other ideas. Having long noticed that fry bread and Indian tacos were hugely popular at local fairs and festivals, she decided that a fry bread mix could have big sales opportunities.

She formed a mix that, combined with only water, would allow the average person to make fry bread in their homes. She jarred it, labeled it and took it down to The Lost Arrow Trading Company, where, known as Rez Fry Bread, it has been flying off the shelves ever since.

”As soon as we put it in the store it started selling,” said Connie Davis.

While the fry bread is the business opportunity that Mattocks hopes will eventually provide a better life for her three children and even provide the funds to sponsor a Hoopa Head Start program, it’s the painting that has captivated her.

”All I know is I want to go see art everywhere now,” she said. “I never looked at it before. I would notice the paint and the colors, but now I want to see the grains and textures. … It’s almost like a drug addict’s fix, I need to paint.”

Still, Mattocks said she hasn’t picked up a paintbrush in weeks because she ran out of oil paints and has had trouble lifting her left arm. But, she insists she’s ready for whatever is in store for her.

”Fate — it’s the driver of the car, we’re just passengers,” she said.

Mattocks then talked about being a good role model for her children, and both instilling in them a sense that they can do whatever they want and giving them the motivation to do it.

”Now, my kids know they can do anything,” Mattocks said, “one handed or two.”

Mattocks’ currently has one painting on display at Arcata Bay Arts, 791 Eighth St. in Arcata, and an assortment on display at the Lost Arrow Trading Company, 39047-A Highway 299 in Willow Creek. For more information on Rez Fry Bread mix, call 407-9645 or write to P.O. Box 567,Hoopa, CA 95546-0567.

Click Here For The Original Article Online.

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Dog pulls owner inside and out of cold


02/08/2007
Dog pulls owner inside and out of cold

TOLEDO, Ohio A Toledo woman says she would have fallen victim to the cold weather were it not for her dog.

Sam Good suffers from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, a neurological syndrome that sparks immobilizing seizures through her body. Good says she suffered an attack last week while going outside to turn off her back porch light.Temperatures were in the teens, and Good feared she might freeze. She called out to her 104-pound golden retriever Maddie.Maddie came to the porch and Good was barely able to wrap her arms around the dog’s neck. Maddie then dragged her owner back into the warmth and safety of her house, all the way to her bedroom.Good’s seizure eventually subsided, but she says she could have frozen to death if not for her dog’s help.

Click Here For The Original Article Online.

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