Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Another entry in the Public Address Medical Journal

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  • seedy ink snot,

    Giovanni Tiso said: I draw the lesson that astrology was once, in my culture too, woven with astronomy, and myth was an important means of knowledge transmission; which I guess I already knew academically, but experiencing it is a whole nother thing. Also, I have this theory that poetry in the beginning was a tool for remembering essential information, and I find that anthropologically interesting and relevant because scientists and tehcnologists too are storytellers. But mostly, on the non-Maori thing, I never feel left out of Matariki, as if I were on the outside looking into something. It is a truly incluse celebration and it's not as if I can say the same of, for example, Christmas."


    to anyone at all conversant with the real roots, origins, and even historiography of modern science, this kind of talk is just horsedog. More storytelling indeed.. How profoundly ungrateful for the mental blood sweated by men who made possible what we humans enter equipped with in the, let's just say here, 20th century?

    the principal, minimal requirement for anything one can properly call viable science, ie, independent-of-culture and ultimately transmissable across all of them, is the ability to make statements suffiicentlly generalized as to freely obtain out of any *context*


    and i


    reckon your notion regarding why human beings are motivated in the first to"'tell stories" (as you quaintly put it) is deeply sentimental, as well. Human beings initially "told stories" precisely because of sin, or because there has been, iow, a trangression of their heretofore intact, or thus far ritually-preserved, scene-of-representation..

    within Maori culture. perhaps it is fair enough to say that all of that which might most loosely be dubbed by someone 'astrology, astonomony, and myth' are truly all mixed up together - but is that any reason to cast unspeakably resentful slights on christian culture - itself always in the business of revealing what manner-of-thing it is that really generates this 'Culture' from the beginning?


    tentatively
    the Inedible Head

    Since Jun 2009 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    but is that any reason to cast unspeakably resentful slights on christian culture

    Oh heavens no, I really don't any special reason to do that, I can assure you.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    "don't need". Oh well.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • seedy ink snot,

    maybe i can just tell a little Obama joke at this juncture..

    Since Jun 2009 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • seedy ink snot,

    what interests me most of all Gio is that, after rising slowly but surely on that great centuries-old castle of evermore context-free/metaphysical statements about our world and universe (and IS THERE a universe?), scientifically-armed as it were to the teeth, we now find it desirable and even necessary at all costs for us to return to the 'story' of how we emerged in the first place; that we will not lose all sight of what it is to be, and what makes us, human; and the oddest question of all is, just who will be in exclusive possession of this story? How will it manage to include everybody in the telling thereof? Cultures must ultimately be subsumed somehow in the systems-of-exchange... !

    Since Jun 2009 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    It seems more of a statement than a question, and if it's a question I doubt you'd be wanting to ask me, of all people. But on the face of it I agree, our scientific armory doesn't satisfy our need for narratives and mythologies of self, both personal and cultural. The reason why I personally prefer to indulge in Greek or Maori stories than in the Christian Story is that the don't require me believe in their literal truth, and they still fulfill my desire to know, as you put, what makes us human.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    BSD rating? I would give it 7/10. Seems to be a "regarded collection of the conventional medical fraternity" and a good list of apparent (needs checking though) references.

    Checking the references and knowing what to look for is certainly the hard part, and ultimately beyond my skills.

    But is this a "we don't really understand what causes the symptoms so the condition therefore can't exist" discussion? Like OOS?

    That just doesn't seem very fruitful when actual doctors are telling people they have frozen shoulder, on the basis of a recognised set of symptoms, and prescribing very strong painkillers for it.

    Besides, it mentions TENS and is therefore invalid ;-)

    Also in the discussion that the article has " very few references of no relevance whatsoever and totally ignoring national health associations guidelines."

    BSD rating: I would reluctantly give 1/10.

    The condition can't exist because the Wikipedia article isn't very good? Righto ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • seedy ink snot,

    but at some point this 'literal truth' as you put it , inasmuch as you do possess such a notion at all, must come to be evaluated in the very same light as that notion of what you believe not to be LT, and even vice versa, no? How do you manage i wonder to succeed in being so compart-mentalized?


    what is your *problem* with truth being a particular truth?
    you depend on what you accept to be the universal truth of science for your well-being and so forth
    but happily shunt off yr conscientious coil when it comes to celebrating what ya believe to be yr actual role as a human?

    this to me seems just flat-out schizoid
    no further statements at this time yer honor
    not going BOOM is of the essence, i know!

    Since Jun 2009 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    PAS does seem to have a 'p' problem. Although only a little one.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    what is your *problem* with truth being a particular truth?

    No problem at all, in principle. If it were true that the universe was created for people to inhabit it, as most of our religions propose, I'd find it perhaps a little disappointing, but I don't consider it likely. But ultimately I just don't know, and I don't think we're equipped to know. I like stories and myths of origins, including Christian ones, for their beauty and for what they tell us about us. I doubt the universe cares. But that's just me.

    Don't get me wrong here, I don't believe you're trolling or anything, but if like me you're beginning to wonder whether anybody else has any interest in this conversation of ours, feel free to email me instead.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • seedy ink snot,

    it's just the seemingly 'casual, throwaway' statements that certain posters make in the course of posting that nonetheless grab my goat by all six of its horns and wel!l

    - but i can see already that the pathetic fallacy - whether or not the universe 'cares' or not, is about as far as you wish us to get!

    that and throwing Christianity into the myth bin without any curiosity it seems about how and by what means exactly we ever came to be aware that there were these 'myths'

    (i mean, it's very very far from 'just you'
    countless human creatures speak just about identically to the way you do)

    without a serious, ie an anthroplogical *basis for dialogue* between believers and non-believers, this world is gonna be a progressively unhappy place, 'believe me'!

    Since Jun 2009 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Okay, now you're trolling. Bye.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    P, please chill out. I think you have adequately pursued whatever point it was you had.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Ro David and karren

    Russell: "But is this a "we don't really understand what causes the symptoms so the condition therefore can't exist" discussion? Like OOS?"

    I read in the Anton article that it has been a "condition" since 1872 so according to him there is probably little dispute that it is one. Again according to this article what causes it has not been determined but it alludes to being connected to a previous injury, diabetes, autoimmune system, something called sympathetic reflex dystrophy, thyroid dieseases.......and nasties apparently do grow in and around the joints. Ouch!

    And here is one of those "nearest and dearest" episodes: My wifey had OOS, RSI, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (pick one) and ended up having had surgery to relieve it (ACC BTW). She still cranks thousands of words out on the keyboard. There is no denying that a (very long) late night session years ago on a computer in a very uncomfortable position sent it over the top. There was no denying she had "a condition", but what "causes" it??? Yes, oversuse or repetiviely straining a part of the body may be said to "cause it" but what is the thing that drives it to happen inside the body???

    So if you are saying that ACC (who DO have a penchant for defining cinditions) might regard frozen shoulder in the same light as they did for OOS ...sorry...RSI...and not accept it as a legitamate condition or consequence of an "accident" then who knows.

    My view is that just because a cause has not been found, that should not automatically invoke a need to find an "alternative approach". It is extreeeemmmmeeely unlikely that the alternative approach knows the cause and if there is any honesty they would say so - given what we have found out so far from our meagre investigation.

    What David and Karren may be looking for is some alleviation of the pain and suffering and that is a different issue altogether. It is hard to take a partner in pain, I too know.

    So maybe the doctors, specialists etc are taking the correct approach of first doing no harm?? (And yes, I will concede that too many painkillers may end up doing harm anyway). Rocks and hard places come to mind.

    Useful advice? I don't know....I'm not a doctor and not qualified to offer any!! Second (third?)opinions are always accessible I would posit.

    .....Time..... Patience. ....TLC in spades.....Flowers even, they do have a profound effect on the female psych....doG knows why...

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • seedy ink snot,

    and why am i now suudenly trolling, pray tell?
    chilling out is all very well
    but how's a fella supposed to learn about any of this
    when you have so many undeclared lines
    that may be transgressed just like that?

    c'mon, educate a person, please!

    Since Jun 2009 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    What David and Karren may be looking for is some alleviation of the pain and suffering and that is a different issue altogether. It is hard to take a partner in pain, I too know.

    Yep.

    It's me asking the question, though. What Karren will make of this, I have yet to see.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I could recommend our osteopath, but I wouldn't reccommend just *any* osteopath, so it'd be pretty useless of me to even say it.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Flowers even, they do have a profound effect on the female psych

    Man, you can't be on a skeptical high-horse one minute and expect to get away with something like that the next. Come on, where's the double-blind placebo-controlled studies? Which flowers in particular? Are roses profounder than gorse-blossoms? What about conifers or other non-flowering plants? Is the effect really more profound on females than males? Are they any more effective than other random acts of kindness? Would a picture of a flower work?

    ;-)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I read in the Anton article that it has been a "condition" since 1872 so according to him there is probably little dispute that it is one.

    Okay. I did wonder, given your previous post. You seemed quite close to suggesting that it was an imaginary condition. I'm still not sure why you needed the quote marks there ...

    My view is that just because a cause has not been found, that should not automatically invoke a need to find an "alternative approach".

    That wasn't what I was saying, at all. But ... if further clinical studies (in addition to the one I cited) repeatedly found relief of symptoms from this distressing condition whose causes we don't understand, even though we also don't really understand why the treatment works ... would you still inveigh against it on principle?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • seedy ink snot,

    Russell, do you intend do give me a better idea of just what it is that i do wrong here, how i sin so quickly and ineluctably, or do you not?


    that low-grade asparagus
    'lil' p

    Since Jun 2009 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    Lil p,

    Your excessive verbiage, and your lack of punctuation and well-formed sentences, make your posts very hard to decipher. (In fact, so much so, I usually do not bother reading them).

    For example, you wrote :

    the principal, minimal requirement for anything one can properly call viable science, ie, independent-of-culture and ultimately transmissable across all of them, is the ability to make statements suffiicentlly generalized as to freely obtain out of any *context*

    Having now read this 6 times, I think I have an idea of what you're getting at, but I am not sure (No, please don't explain it for me).

    If you were to write more clearly, in shorter sentences, in shorter posts, and use punctuation and capital letters correctly, you may be taken more seriously.

    Compare your posts to others. Although you may understand what you are alluding to, your purpose in writing is to communicate your thoughts to the reader. You are not doing that very successfully (if at all).

    Hope this helps.

    Oh, and preview is your friend...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 619 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Russell, do you intend do give me a better idea of just what it is that i do wrong here, how i sin so quickly and ineluctably, or do you not?

    I just don't have the energy for you. But if you're so offended by it, just stop posting.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Yes, oversuse or repetiviely straining a part of the body may be said to "cause it" but what is the thing that drives it to happen inside the body???

    Top question. But not a reason to, as some people would, scorn the idea of a condition at all.

    So maybe the doctors, specialists etc are taking the correct approach of first doing no harm?? (And yes, I will concede that too many painkillers may end up doing harm anyway). Rocks and hard places come to mind.

    But what if doctors recommend a treatment you don't approve of, as the one quoted by the BBC did? You're in danger of trusting in doctors only so long as they refrain from saying something you disagree with.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • seedy ink snot,

    so punk (!), tell me where the missing capital letters and punctuation should be and i'll tell you where we're at..

    there is nothing unclear or excessively verbal about your excerpt from me; unbless of course your account of the birth of science is blitheringly bogged down in this 'storytelling' concept

    what's not to understand? A context is an inescapably cultural & ritually-rendered narrative of causality that even the (aforequoted) Tolstoy was onto in a flash!


    RB, what to say, i'm plum ashamed of you - you seemed always to me to be a man of particularly illustrious energy - i havenot the slightest interest in being offended

    - i am simply interested in learning about the nature of local taboos


    (and btw does Gio even know what a 'pathetic fallacy' means ?)

    Since Jun 2009 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    Karren has been on a heavy diet of assorted pain relief up to and including Tramadol for the past few months. Her problem is Frozen Shoulder. Both of them. She's getting regular physio, doctor and specialist treatment, including two rounds of cortisone injections. She's less than thrilled at the prospect of the recovery taking months at least and perhaps a year or more. Does anyone have any useful advice to offer?

    Hi David

    This is not my area, but my husband is a physio, and has had excellent results treating patients with frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitus). The aim is to gently stretch the joint capsule - easier said than done for the poor patient when it is inflamed.

    A friend of ours is a pain specialist (an anesthesiologist working in the field of managing chronic pain) and he says it's crucial to find the right balance between using pain relief to facilitate healing - because you have to be able to sleep comfortably for the body to heal at all, and you need to be relaxed enough to do the required exercises without being in agony - but using them sparingly enough that you can cope with low-level pain while awake.

    It's best to try not to do the whole rehab on painkillers, or the pain centres in the brain will never reset to pain free status. The brain stores the memory of pain and can retain a "habit" of pain, where the sensation is so burned into that pathway, it's never "unlearned". So it is good during rehab to experience some pain, to have the sensation of pain decreasing. This will provide better long term pain free effects than trying to medicate the pain entirely.

    Steroids are brilliant in the short term but they mask the sensation of pain so well, they increase the risk of further injury, as your movement is not inhibited by pain. Sports stars cripple themselves using these, as they can thrash an injury in the short term, only to regret it later. So steroids very good for the short term, when pain is unbearable, but during rehab best if used sparingly, as being aware of those limits is useful information while healing.

    We are beginning to recognise the link between chronic inflammation and all sorts of other disorders, from heart disease to arthritis. Any disorder - musculoskeletal pain for instance.

    Inflammation

    Karren can reduce the level of inflammation by following any (or better still all) the tips for reducing all markers of inflammation. This will speed up the healing in the long term and reduce the pain in the short term.

    Short version: 1) don't piss off your immune system 2) eat a low glycemic index diet

    1) See a hygienist 2x a year Role of Gingival Health in Inflammation The onset of gum disease - present in nearly all adults unless there is ongoing intervention - has been conclusively linked to compromised immune function and elevated markers of inflammation (c-reactive protein, homocysteine etc). Excellent oral health make it much easier to maintain good general health. Don't underestimate the link between gum disease and every other aspect of your health.

    2) Eat low glycemic index diet - big spikes of blood sugar will raise insulin levels and increase inflammation - inflammation equals pain.

    3) Eat lots of antioxidants, lots of essential fatty acids, not too much salt, no trans fats. Avacados/almonds/salmon good chorizo/fish and chips/processed foods bad.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

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