The shortest of rants for the shortest of months (mini rants)

People, I suck at thread titles. So damn you for making me start this! Also, it’s 3 days into the month.

My CPAP is improving. It is no longer trying to kill me, just make me miserable. That’s progress, right?

Short rant: Too cold. Too windy.

My brother has a brain tumor again.

But wait, there’s more!

He has an appointment with a naturopath who does intravenous high-dose vitamin C treatments in hopes he won’t need to have brain surgery again.

@tofor I am SO sorry.

I took this as a good sign.

I can’t tell if this is a charitable interpretation, or a snarky one, but …

… would a brain tumor make his thinking wonky? In other words, if the tumor was in his - let’s say, left posterior thingamajig - instead of his thinking organ, would he be more rational?

I doubt it, but I don’t really know. A lot has changed in the intervening years since his first tumor when surgery wasn’t questioned. He has influences in his life he didn’t before.

In a way, I understand his position. Brain surgery and recovery were just awful, and if you don’t already regard “natural medicine” as “not medicine” then it’s perfectly normal to seek alternatives when facing the terrible thing. But it’s frustrating, and scary.

I’m usually wary of Alternative “Medicines”, but (correct me if my info is incomplete, it’s certainly a decade out of date)*, vitamin C is relatively harmless. So here’s to hoping it helps and you can come back and report signs of recovery.

*(My traditional doc once said “I love vitamins. I take them, and then I watch as I pee them out into the toilet.”)

While I do think that vitamin C treatments won’t stop brain tumors from growing, I do know that if someone has a vitamin deficiency treating that problem might help the body to deal with other problems.

Our dying cat stopped eating and lost 4 pounds in 2 months. We thought we were going to have to say goodby, but the vet gave me syringes and vitamin b12. This helps to stimulate his appetite and he has gained 8 ounces and appears to be comfortable. He talks and purrs and cuddles, but he’s still dying. He just feels better while he’s doing it.

Perhaps that’s the best your brother is hoping for. A comfortable death doesn’t sound like a bad thing for human or feline.

I’m not a doctor but that seems plausible. It’s like if you don’t get enough sleep, or you’re too cold or too hot, or you’re not getting enough hydration, you’ll have a tougher time getting over an illness than if those physical needs were met. Not that sleep, water, warmth, etc. actually cure the illness but they allow the body to use its energy toward healing itself without being inhibited by other stressors.

Sure, it’s harmless when you’re not taking it instead of life-saving surgery and when a tumor is not growing bigger and more invasive while you do.

It’s probably not cancer (at least it wasn’t last time) but for these sorts of things the sooner you get it out the better.

I expect his wife and four young children would consider it a bad thing just now. He’s in his 20s, and there’s no reason to think this thing isn’t entirely recoverable (again).

I didn’t realize it was recoverable, I thought that brain cancer was pretty much a death sentence and that he was very lucky to have gone into remission in the past.

I am the first to admit that I don’t know a whole lot about brain cancer, or any cancer, so don’t listen to any of my advice or opinions about it.

Even if it is, what’s the naturopath’s excuse?

It wasn’t cancer, just a non-malignant tumor.

He hasn’t gone to that appointment yet, so I’m holding out hope the guy will be ethical enough to say, “don’t be stupid, get the surgery”.

Fingers crossed, then.

Speaking of the medical community, I’ve been trying to get the vaccine. My clinic just sent notices that oops, it won’t be 65 and over, it’ll be 67.5 and over getting “invitations” next week. Arggggh!

So I tried something different and made an account at my insurance provider, logged in and BAM! there’s a note from a doctor I’d never seen (wife recognized the name, he’s a covid guy at the nearby huge hospital). “Dear Digsby Diggarino, you need to make an appointment to get your Covid-19 vaccine.”

So I did!

Took a couple of tries (I think others were nabbing the earliest time slots as I was scheduling), but I’ll get my first shot in late February. I’m SO relieved; it’ll make meeting with students and taking groceries to my 90+ mom less stressful.

If you’re crazy enough to think that homeopathy and other quacky elements of naturopathic practice are useful, why wouldn’t you be nutty enough to prescribe high-dose vitamin C to someone who might not be thinking clearly?

A bunch of naturopaths were in the news awhile back promoting huge intravenous doses of vitamin C for…you guessed it…Covid-19.

Not a good morning in the garbage pickup department. I had forgotten that yesterday was garbage day, and I had a lot of it. I’m getting more scatter-brained as the years go by. I was reminded too late when I noticed the neighbor’s garbage bins (empty) out at the end of their driveway.

Also, the incompetent garbage men had left them sitting part way out on the street. Why do I care? Not my problem, right? I care because suddenly there was an immense roaring and snowplows were rushing up and down the street, even though there was no fucking snow – or anyway, something like three snowflakes on the whole street. For which they deployed a vast fleet of dump trucks with plows the size of a barn. Must be a union thing – if any of the union brothers sees even one flake of snow, everybody gets called out for at least six hours of overtime! And one of those plows rammed the garbage bins and sent them all flying right into my driveway, where they currently lie. Two different branches of the fine municipal public employees working together: one sets out the targets, the other runs them down.

I thought of taking the garbage up to the transfer station but it tends to be a filthy mudhole in winter, and due to COVID they have traffic limits and a minimum $10 charge “to discourage small loads, like ordinary household garbage”. Well, fuck you, too.

Sigh! I think I’ll just have a shot of vodka for my nerves, and go back to bed.

The naturopaths must have have read somewhere that “Vitamin C something something something immune system”, and reached the obvious conclusion.

They should combine it with the sure-fire COVID remedy of injections of Clorox bleach. That way you’d be all nicely disinfected and have healthier bones and teeth. I’d like to inject our local garbage collectors and plow drivers with the stuff.

As I’ve mentioned in a few scattered posts over the past year, my body’s warranty apparently expired a few years ago. Last month I saw my hematologist to follow up on the Iron infusion I’d had last August, so she ordered some tests to check on my iron levels. I had the blood drawn Wednesday when I went to the hospital for my every-six-months MRI to verify the status of my fatty liver disease. So over the past two days I’ve been getting messages that my test results were in.

So yesterday my hematologist calls to let me know that while my iron levels are “better than they were” she thinks that it might be a good idea for me to come in for another infusion rather than put it off for another three months (which is what she thought we’d be able to do when I spoke to her last month).

Then this morning my liver specialist calls. While my MRI and blood tests don’t show any changes in my liver function, the MRI incidentally shows that there appears to be some blockage in my left kidney. After verifying that I’m not showing any symptoms such as blood in my urine or pain urinating, he thinks it might be a good idea for to me to come in for an ultrasound to determine if I’ve got a kidney stone or some other problem.

Getting old sucks.

And BEING old sucks more.

Take it from me.