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On Wonky Donkeys

Feb. 11th, 2013 | 12:15 am

First of all, let me make my position clear on this. I was very much on the 'well, crap meat is crap, qu'elle surprise' side of the argument till I started looking onto it. Now? Not so much. I'm fucking angry.

One crisis, two problems.

The first, lesser issue, isn't the fact that some beef lasagne contains horse meat (arguably a better quality meat than the mechanically recovered cow parts usually used) but that it's been sold as 'beef'. If you buy beef anything you expect to get beef.. or at least cow related parts. So that's trading standards / sale of goods

You'll get no argument from me, it's a criminal offence to sell something that is NOT what it claims to be. Who is responsable? The manufacturer, the suppliers, the FSA, the government, the customers who want cheaper and cheaper products?  Well, we can argue about that until the cows come home I guess.

The second problem, and this is by far the most serious, is that it's unclear if the horse meat used was raised for use as a human foodstuff.

Many of the veterinary pharmaceuticals used in non-food animals are harmful to humans. Not least among these is phenylbutazone or 'bute', a non steroidal anti inflammatory drug used in horses. It is a potential carcinogen and causes anaemia in humans.A further issue, albeit a lesser one, is that the supply chain involved in this meat getting to market is labyrinthine

At the moment it looks like the French suppliers to the UK and Irish firms were buying meat form Canada and Mexico that had in turn originated in the USA. Without wanting to sound like a flag waving jingoist, so much for "British" beef.

This latest debacle shows that the 'enforcement' efforts of the FSA are a total farce

And selling food down to a price to people who are buying to price while knowingly using materials which have, at best, a dubious origin, isn't just a criminal act, it's a repugnant, immoral and shameful one.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/news/ios-investigation-horsemeat-scandal-reveals-trail-of-shadowy-suppliers-8488391.html  

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From "The Sun" but still valid advice.

Jan. 4th, 2013 | 04:36 pm

Why men need to check their baubles this Christmas

Three testicular cancer survivors on th
importance of regular self-examination



Read more http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/woman/health/health/4706384/three-testicular-cancer-survivors-on-importance-of-checking-bits.html#ixzz2H1dR58oT

(In the Sun "Woman" section of course... there's irony in that)

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[Testo] December 2012

Dec. 14th, 2012 | 02:29 pm

After my red blood cell count (RBC) went high and my clotting factor (CF) also gave cause for concern again this year, it was decided to take me off injected TRT and put me back onto gel.

I'll be honest, I'm not happy about this as, in the past, my absorption of T via gel has been poor and I end up with elevated estradiol levels. There's usually an increase in weight, mostly lipids, and my energy levels plummet.

After the due date for my now cancelled injectionhad gone past, we did bloods to check levels and my T was in the mid teens. Which is good. But ideally could be better.  Back on the gel, one sachet a day and, after a month, back in for more bloods.  Male Androgen test, PSA and a full blood set to check platelets, RBC etc.

RBC is down, but only slightly, despite having had venisection done.  This is new... After this long it should be almost normal.

But my Testo is UP. 

And not just a little, it's more than doubled in a month. It is, in fact, higher than it was when, due to an error, I was being overprescribed testo injections a couple of years back.  At that time, with a shot every 6 weeks, I was hitting 29nMol.  With the much lower dosage of the gels I'm reading 34.4nMol.

There are a couple of possibilities. 

One, there's been a lab error. So we'll redo the bloods.

Two, there was contamination at the site where the blood was drawn but I make a point of not applying gel until after I've had bloods done and, of course, shower before going to the docs anyway. So I'm rulling that out as highly unlikley.

Three, I'm producing my own testo again.. highly unlikley as the LH and FSH are still <1, effectively nil. 

The other possibility? Hell knows... 

Now, normally I'd be thrilled at having such a high T score but my Endo has made such a song and dance about it creating risks of heart attack and stroke that I'm not so sure it's a good thing. In addition my estradiol levels are sky high.  I'm seeing this as the reason my mood is, let's be frank here, really shit and I have almost no energy levels. Unless I was on the internet, reading or being kept active, all last week I'd just be asleep. Literally sit down, shut eyes, dead to the world.

I'm not enjoying food at all. We're back to that 'chewing cardboard' scenario where it doens't matter what I'm eating, after the first initial 'burst' of flavour there's nothing. Textures are more interesting than flavours.  This from a guy who loves chilli, curries, spicy foods...

And of course, my weight's creeping up.  I'm countering that by getting more strict with my diet and will be going to 600cal per day for 3-4 days a week shortly. Have got to keep this under control this time or we're looking at another year of effort wasted.

So, in summary. We're now waiting on more bloods and a referral back to the Endo to get lectured at again.

As the youth do say... "FML". With knobs on.

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That Festive Feeling...

Dec. 14th, 2012 | 01:58 pm
mood: blahblah
music: something loud

Well, according to what I'm seeing  on the TV and in the papers, okay, adverts... this is the time of year to be going around with a cheery grin on my shiny face, trilling Christmas carols and scattering cinnamon and nutmeg scented glitter everywhere.

And, as always, I'm not.

I think my enthusiasm for the whole Festive Season peaked away back in October when the actual awful event was far enough away to be rendered in some sort of soft focus, warm glowing illusion. I had notions of good gifts to get, cooking to do, decorations to make, cards to send.   Now? Not so much.  No cooking done, gifts bought, cards.. remain undrawn let alone unsent and there's not a decoration to be seen anywhere.  I'll give in to social pressure soon and put the tree up in a corner for a week or two. 

I genuinely seem to be entirely deficient in any form of Christmas Cheer. I can't get enthused about buying gifts when we've barely got enough to cover the bills. I spend most of the year doing my best not to have to be too near people and over the next few weeks I'm meant to go visiting, spreading bon homme and good cheer? Staying over with family? Much as I love them, this is as close to Purgatory as I ever want to get.

I'm an antisocial curmudgeon so sue me or get over it, but either way, that's what makes me happy.

Being forced to be 'sociable' is something I've detested since Primary school when we had to do 'country dancing' and then have the always disappointing Christmas Party.  And it just gets worse every year since.

I honestly, genuinely, deeply dislike this time of year.

But hey, Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings and have a  great time...

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Testo Update

Nov. 10th, 2012 | 07:14 pm
mood: tiredtired

OK, previous update might have come over as a bit 'whiny' but here's the weird bit, I actually feel OK.

Tired, washed out, definitely wobbly (avoiding all sentimental music, films, tv ads, etc) and have no energy (20 minute drive into town and back, I could sleep. Shattered).  But this is me feeling 'okay', okay?

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Testosterone... the journey goes on.

Nov. 10th, 2012 | 12:23 am
mood: aggravatedaggravated

A few months back I had some bloods done before my latest TRT shot.  Week or so later I get a letter hauling me in to see the Endo as, once again, my red blood cell count was doing the freaky shit and we were back in Polycythemia County.

As this has happened before and the Endo is concerned that my blood will clot too quickly / blood pressure will be affected/ more risk of heart problems the advice is to come off the shots and look for an alternate way of delivering TRT. I was, understandably, thrilled.

13 weeks later, my last TRT shot a distant memory, I have more bloods done (Oh, yeah, should say, that on the shots? Feeling GREAT) and am recommencing testogel sachets, one a day, blah blah.  More bloods in a few weeks to see how well I'm absorbing them, etc and of course to keep an eye on those pesky red blood cells.

And, as before, on the testo sachets I'm feeling like shit warmed over. Tired, moody and generally 'fuck off and leave me alone'. Which is always a great way to make friends and influence people.

Headaches? Blood pressure all over the shop? Yep.

If my weight goes up like it did the last time, I'm taking a fricking scalpel to the dietician and telling them to excise my visceral fat as I'm freaking tired of hauling the useless mass around and pissing about with diets when the Endo yanks me off the one fugging TRT treatment that seemed to be working and puts me onto one of the ones we've tried before and that.. well, DIDN'T.

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Reconnect.

Sep. 3rd, 2012 | 12:01 am

Today, September 2nd, was a day to 'Reconnect' with the "real world" by disconectng form teh internet for 24 hours and doing something different.

No Tweets, no Facebook updates, no blogging, no Instagram or in fact ANY interaction with people via the web for a whole day. Go out and d something different, stay in and do something different and then, on the 3rd, blog about it. Show off your creativity...

Sounds easy, eh? A day away from the web... I can do that.

So today, and this post, should really be about how I went off to anarchology dig and had a wonderful time, or it should be filled with wonderful images of red squirrels nibbling nuts after i spent the day at the loal reserve...  In fact, here's what happened..  I went shopping.

That's about as exciting as it got.

I bought some new kit for my gym class tomorrow and had a nice break at the Thornton's coffee shop in Gretna.

Sang along to the radio on the way home and am going to sit down to a lovely steak, with horseeradish, and a bit of telly.

Disconnecting from the web is the easy part.

Reconnecting to the 'real world'.. not so much.

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Caw!

May. 23rd, 2012 | 12:54 pm

@corvidophile  Saw this and thought of you (and remembered I have an LJ account ata ll, lol)

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"Not a helpful attitude"

May. 1st, 2012 | 12:33 pm

So i troll along to my local hospital every so often to have my weight and blood pressure checked. There's a sort of ritual to it. 

Arrive, sit in the waiting room, contemplate the posters and the water cooler, try to get my pulse rate down to something approaching normal after driving through town centre traffic and looking for parking space close to the unit, etc. Wait quietly, like a good boy,  for the nurse calling me through for my twice monthly humiliation session.

I trundle through when called and the lovely nurse has me stand on the scale, notes my weight, comments that it's up or down a bit, then we do my blood pressure, almost invariabley high. In fact even when it's 'normal' for me it's 'omfghigh' for most folk so am rarely surprised when there's a tut and "that's a bit high Ken..."  I don't know what to say, I mean I take the pills, I do the exercise, I follow the diet. Beyond that i don't have much control over my blood pressure.

Anyway, today I was referred to another department to deal with a related problem. The consultant, very professional, lovely man, went over the options, the pros and cons and made it learn that, due to my weight and other health conditions, his procedure might not be 'the one' but hey, still worth a try even if only to rule it out for the future.

We got round to talking about my weight. It's a difficult matter to avoid as I tend to fill most spaces I'm in to an uncomfortable degree and I asked how accurate their scales are.  "They're accurate to 0.2kg" he replied.  "Is that 0.2kg/so many kilos" or do you mean that the scale on the scale is graduated in 0.2kg steps?"

After a brief discussion he agreed he had meant the latter but "these are medical scales, they are very accurate".

Well, I used to work in a butchers and I know our scales had to be zeroed regularly and we'd use a check-weight of a known weight to see how close they were to a true reading. Every so often a man from the local Trading Standards would come in and check the scales and there was a chap from the scales company came in a couple of times a year to do a check. On the whole our scales were accurate to +/-2% when they'd been in use and maybe a little more accurate after checking /calibrating. (And possibly a little less accurate if the Saturday Boy had been fiddling with the adjusting knobs or the cleaner had been heavy handed when she was washing down the equipment).

Other than zeroing the scales between patients the hospitals scales don't seem to have anything like as rigorous a regime of checking and testing and so I'd guess they might be as much as +/-5% out of kilter.  I know I can make a variation in weight of almost 10% just by leaning my weight onto either the heel or ball of my foot so, y'know, accuracy is questionable.

Which is why I get a bit stubborn when the doc or the nurses point out a variation in my weight (OK a gain) of 0.4kg over a 4 week period. Given that there could conceivably be a variation of at least 2 to 5kg just allowing for the inaccuracy of the instrument and maybe as much as 5 to 10 times that if the patient is deliberately fudging the figures, then they literally can't *know* if a gain of 0.4kg is even real let alone significant.

Well, it seems that pointing this out to the consultant suggests that I don't have a 'helpful attitude'.

Given the cavalier attitude to scientific measurement and their reliance on a superstitious mantra that 'it's medical equipment so it's accurate' I'm going to blame all future weight gain on karma. Or goblins. 

Seems fair.

Or am I going a bit Sheldon? ;)

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House S8e13 "Man Of The House"

Mar. 30th, 2012 | 01:00 pm

Finally, an episode touching on testosterone deficiency and all I can really say is "What a pile of bollocks..."

The patients personality changed, almost instantly, with just one shot of T.  The old saws about testosterone causing aggression in males were dragged out , the actual real life risks of low / untreated T were barely mentioned.

A chance really badly missed.

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