Monday, June 30, 2014


We went out & bought a Jack LaLanne juicer yesterday ($90@Costco) so can juice Chinese eggplant. Superdoc assures me this exotic-looking day-glo-coloured vegetable is the motherlode of nicotine, which has been found in some cases 2 protect against PD symptoms.

So far I've drunk the juice of 1 and 1/2 eggplants, and about 1000 lbs of apples, oranges, carrots, celery, and pineapple to mix it with, as it's the color of mucous, smells vaguely like a garbage can, & tastes like dead frogs. it develops nasty-looking froth as it seeps from the juicer into a glass, and causes whatever you mix it with to suds up.

3/8 Cup of Asian eggplant juice in a medium tumbler filled to the brim with pineapple juice worked pretty well. You know, you can get it down without making faces.

Tomorrow I think I'll try shooters; a  shot of eggplant. then chase it with something good. Two shots in the morning and two in the afternoon, with the objective of a cup a day.

 Already, the two major new meds are making a difference. In some ways, life is going back to how it used to be.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

$ & senses

Glutathione is the greatest thing ever. So is Advair, & I know that's irrational, but there it is.

It's a good thing I'm a rich Ameddican, otherwise I'd never be able to afford this modern, custom-developed-as-if-on-cue medication.

I wanted 2 lay out all the $$/mo so as 2 figure out how much this is costing me.

glutathione -- $100/mo
nicotine              60/mo
co-Q10               40/mo

Those are experimental and as yet under-the-radar treatments for PD. In addition, I take two respiratory meds so expensive and inadequately insured here that I buy them through Canada. They are

Advair                75/mo
Combivent         45/mo

all the regular prescription  & supplemental stuff -- Sinemet & Acyclovir, the B & D vitamins, turmeric &  magnesium -- runs $20-30/mo for all of it. So far we´re loking at a predictable 350 bucks a month.

Which brings us to the item whose cost swings wildly between $160 & $540/mo. I'm speaking of course of cannabis Indica, which makes Sinemet doable & life livable. So Ineed to come up with somewhere between $510 & $890 a month just to keep looking healthy.

I cant complain at the moment because Im probably the healthiest-looking sick guy youll ever see.

Friday, June 27, 2014

doc @ the crossroads

The last four days I've felt better than I have 4 a lomg time, &; I atftribute it to the new meds. I'm amazed at how few prescription drugs I'm taking -- I count four: Sinemet, which is cheap and plentiful, a generic covered by insurance. Two respiratory meds, Advair amd Combivent, both of which are prohibitvely expensive in the US for reasons I'll get into below. Acyclovir is also quite inexpensive, and 90% covered.

Glutathione is an experimental treatment, unrecognized by the FDA. It costs about $100 for a 35-day supply. The vitamins, Turmeric, and patent medicine (Loratadine) are readily available and cheap. Co-Q10 costs about $40 for a month supply of liquid, which the body absorbs more easily than the pills. The cheapest nicotine patches run $60/month.

Advair and Combivent are good examples of how big pharma holds us hostage. Besides COPD patients like me, millions of asthma sufferers are dependent on these drugs.  The copay for both is around $350 a month. This has asthmatics screaming, when they can get enough breath, and for good reason. I don´t know what Advair costs in Europe, but Combivent and similar inhalers are either given away or sell OTC for five whatevers (Marks, Francs, Lire, Shillings), because they keep people out of hospitals, thus saving everyone money.

Because I refuse to give big pharma their cut of the action, I buy those two prescriptions out of Canada. My Advair Diskus (It's called Salmeterol and Fluticasone Propionate [a generic version of a brand or "premium"  drug]) is from GSK, the maker of Advair, but is marked "For Sale Only in India and Nepal." The Combivent is genuine, trade-marked Boehrenger/Ingelheim, but the box and instructions are in Polish. A three-month supply of both costs about $325, which is a whole lot better than the thousand-plus in copays if I bought them here.

This is just one of the ways pharmaceutical giants hand us the shitty end of the stick. Respiratory medicine is a racket, but the worst corruption of American health care occurs, or so I´ve heard, in the area of cancer medication. But that´s another story.

We´re just about done here, but no little tour around the neighborhood of Parkinson´s medication is complete without a telling of the cautionary fable of the pharmaceutical and the herb. The new pharmaceutial was synthesized in the laboratory a few years into the new century, and all the fond hopes and dreams of the company, Amalgamated Everything, were with the infant pill. It was tiny, only 1 mg, and cheap to make, but very expensive. Just the copay alone ranges from $3-$5 per pill! The good thing is patients take one pill a day, but the bad thing is most can´t tell what it does for them, if anything.

At first MD´s would explain to their patients that Azilect, for that is the newcomer´s name, worked with Levodopa (Sinemet) to help its effects last longer, but clinical trials, whie they didn´t disprove the assertion, found no evidence to support it. So the story changed a couple of years ago, and now Azilect is touted as slowing the progess of the disease. But this contention is in doubt also.

All we really know about Azilect is it´s 1) bad for the liver, and 2) costs a lot. On the other hand, there´s an herb -- I´m sure I don´t even have to name it -- which works extremely well in conjunction with Sinemet, removing all signs of nausea and reducing symptoms. Big pharma hates the herb, as it's a common weed, and Bog or God holds the patent.

Tomorrow I´ll wrap this up, and add up the numbers, and have a few general comments about health care in America.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

pilz n stuff

Right. Meds are usually a boring subject, especially when old people start telling you about all the  various pilz they take & why they take them. Since that´s eggs ackley what I plan doing here, you´re forewarned.

I have three main conditions I take medication for:  emphysema, Parkinson´s Disease, & genital herpes. I´ve also had psoriasis within the past couple years. Today is the first day I had almost all my meds together, so it´s a good time to tackle the subject.

My mainstay pill is Sinemet, aka Carbodopa/Levodopa, mainly to replace the dopamine gone missing from the brain of a person with Parkinson´s. So I take 4-5 of these 100mg of levodopa (synthetic dopamine) + 25mg of carbonate (to control the reflexive nausea levodopa produces) each day plus a double at bedtime, 600 or 700 mg daily. 

In addition, with each little yellow Sinemet pill I take marijuana, almost always eaten in banana bread, brownies, cookies, or a square of chocolate -- my current favorite. This damps down all the  residual nausea which accompanies levodopa, even when it´s moderated by Carbodopa, and additionally suppresses any Parkinson´s symptoms, especially tremors and drooling, that ¨get  past¨ the Sinemet. That means I´m high most of the time, as I take pilz and chase them with little treats every 3 hours throughout the day. If Im up at 530, the meds come at 6, 9, 12, 3, & 7.

I also take glutathione twice a day (see the previous post from this past Saturday, June 21 ), in a nasal spray. Each application is 2 squirts up each side. Tilt your head back, &  notice it doesn´t taste that great. However, having completed three days on the stuff, I feel quite a difference. For example, I´m typing quickly and accurately right now, which is something I usually can´t do any more. Glutathione is a powerful brain antioxident that goes missing from the brains of Parkinson´s people. It helps impede the formation of something called homocysteine, but I don´t know what that is.

Also twice a day I take a liquid Co-Q10 for Parkinson´s and general brain function, and a supplement which doubles as a spice -- Turmeric -- 1440 mg in 2 caps/day. I usually take 2000 iu´s of vitamin D-3 twice, or three times a day, four if I remember, mainly for psoriasis, but also because doctors are pretty high on it at the moment. 

For emphysema,I just began taking Advair diskus today, a twice-a-day powder that´s already making a difference. It´s a morning/evening thing like glutathione. In between for breathing I take albuterol with ipraprium bromide, as needed or four ¨doses,¨ either from a compressed-air nebulizer or Combivent inhaler. It´s the same stuff, but the inhaler is a lot more portable.

Other than that there´s the once-a-day stuff: magnesium to control leg cramps, loratadine, an over-the-counter patent medicine to tamp down allergic sneezing and nasal water production, B-12 and multi-B vitamins, for general health and to help the glutathione keep homocysteine away. (Im not sure what that stuff is, but it sounds badass) and a nicotine patch, 21 mg applied in the morning and removed in the evening at bedtime, as a final control and symptom repressant for Parkinson´s. The final drug, missing from today´s roster of stuff I took, is Acyclovir, which both treats and prevents genital herpes. 400 mg a day is the preventive dose, and I need to get some more.

Tomorrow I´ll discuss how much of this is medicine, coverable by insurance, and how most of it, including the most expensive parts, falls outside the narrow confines of the FDA spotlight. Stayin alive in the USA when you´re old and sick is a lot easier than it used to be, but very, very expensive.   

Saturday, June 21, 2014

wild goose

We spent half a day yesterday chasing around town for glutathione, but never got any.

Glutathione is a powerful brain-specific anti-oxidant, and inhibits the formation of something called homocysteine. That is as much as I know about it, because when I tried researching in Wikipedia I ran headlong into this:

  1. Homocysteine [IPA: ˌhəʊməʊˈsɪstiːn] is a non-protein α-amino acid. It is a homologue of the amino acid cysteine, differing by an additional methylene bridge. It is biosynthesized from methionine by the removal of its terminal Cε methyl blah blah blah, and so forth. 

So I´ve reduced it to this formula -- glutathione -- good. Homocysteine -- bad. Him no good. Him make Bala learn read. No like. Glutathione keep homecysteine away, unh. Shaking disease come when homocysteine here, tremor biliong yu.

The problem with glutathione is that once exposed to light and air it´s got a half life of about ten minutes, and even in black plastic and refrigerated it lasts barely a month. Pills are useless, because effective amounts of glutathione vanish before they can pass through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream and reach the brain. Skin popping works well, but the cost is astronomical for three shots a week.

Intranasal application may be the optimum method for getting glutathione into the brain. Superdoc is a big proponent of this still-classified-experimental treatment. Unfortunately the only pharmacy in the entire Puget Sound region you can get it is an independent compounding pharmacy about as far away from us as it´s possible to get and still be in the neighborhood. Plus they just moved, which is why we couldn´t find em yesterday. Now my glutathione is sitting on ice in the joint over the weekend, and I guess we try again on Monday.

I hope to start snorting the stuff Monday afternoon. It´s been since 2011 since Ive taken it, and I´ll attempt to gauge the effect at least halfassed scientifically.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

of ciggies & eggplants

  • No one ever lost a denarius on real estate; that's just as true now as it was when August Stoolus said it back in CDLXXIII (of the current era). 

  • However, that´s nothing to do with today´s topic, Chinese eggplant. They´re rich in nicotine, which is protective against Parkinson´s symptoms. Not that anyone should run out and start puffing a pack a day, but even then it´s not the nic that kills you, it´s other poisons in the tobacco, and those are further amplified by modern sales strategies (why else would producers fortify their product with extra  nicotine, except to hook the fish a little deeper?).

  • It´s a little hard to find Chinese eggplant, especially over here on the west side of the sound. First you have to find
  •  an Asian market -- check, in Silverdale, of course, and then you go there and spot a big box sitting on the floor, full of irridescent purple, green-headed phalluses, you've hit paydirt. These beauties might taste like dead frogs, but they're gorgeous to look at -- slender, svelte, & day-glo purple, glamorous & exotic next to their dumpy, boring, pear-shaped cousins, Euro eggplants.

  • They taste like dirt too, or at least the juice does. I´ll try cooking with them, although Superdoc is adamant that 
  • daily juicing is the way to go. But then Superdoc is pretty hard core. I wonder does she eat a teaspoon of turmeric in her morning oatmeal like she seriously expected me to do? 

  • I don´t have a juicer yet, but I´m gonna have to get one. It's not just eggplants -- cannabis leaves are getting juiced as a strictly medicinal treatment (reportedly, the patient doesn´t get high at all), for cancers, movement 
  • disorders, Crohn´s Disease, and stuff we haven´t tried it 
  • on yet, I´m sure. The medicinal uses of the sacred herb 
  • seem endless, and I wonder if nicotine, a terrible addicter, will in the long run be tamed and do service as a ¨wonder drug¨ in its own right.

  • I´m sitting here looking at a blender about 2/3 full of brownish sludge blended from an eggplant, an apple, some canned pineapple, and a handful of blueberries. I drank some about 45 minootas ago, and feel pretty good. I think I like everything about this stuff except the taste.  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

release 3.0

With this post, Omnem gets reborn again. It started as a more or less political blog in 07, went dormant for a while, came back as a yoga journal, was reconstituted as a hushed library of tarot card readings and lore, went to sleep again briefly, and now returns as a daily report on "the condition."

I just dropped by to see what condition my condition is in.

I first started showing symptoms of Parkinson´s Disease in 2007, about the time I got divorced, quit smoking, and got a new diet. I  didn´t plan on doing all those things at once -- had never planned to do any of them, really  --  but that´s how it went.

In the spring of that year I noticed my right hand would shake uncontrollably whenever I drove, only stopping when I took my right hand off the wheel. I quickly learned to drive left-handed. About that same time, I was struggling to keep a handwritten journal, but the handwriting kept going farther and farther south, no matter how hard I tried to make it pretty and neat and uniform, which had been so easy and a source of pride when I was younger.

The next year the right-hand tremor grew worse, and I told my daughter about it. She kind of panicked right away, and convinced herself I was suffering from essential tremor,  She seemed to know what she was talking about, and had me convinced too.

Therefore, I was surprised when, the month after my mother died, in January of 09, I went to her doctor, Marie Matty at the Doctors´Clinic in Poulsbo, who gave me a tentative diagnosis of Parkinson's. The tremor, as she pointed out, was all on one side, and the onset of the condition came late in life (past 60).

Still, the only thing I was taking for it then was marijuana (smoking joints). In December of that year I moved to Seatttle from the Olympic Peninsula, and before the month was out was living in a world  of hurt, as the shaking suddenly got a lot worse, and I began to think of ending myself, since I knew I couldn´t live that way.

A visit to a Seattle GP, Marcy Hamrick, who practiced at the Seattle Institute of Oriental Medicine where I´d been taking acupuncture for PD with no effect, confirmed Matty´s diagnosis and gave me  my first prescription for Sinemet, the little yellow pill without which life would be impossible. I was plunged into a world of competing approaches to the disease, but determined to try anything, and take the best of both.

So after obtaining a state marijuana card for Washington, and availing myself of the medicines at the Seattle Medical Marijuana Association, I found myself able to function once more, with three Sinemet a day, and having switched to edible marijuana by that time, a slice of banana bread with each of the three doses, to head off the nausea that almost always accompanies artificial dopamine, which is what Sinemet mostly is.

Now I'm at the next phase, you could say. Without any meds, I'm a shuffling, palsied, mumblin, stumblin, fumblin, drooling fool.  When I'm fully medicated, most of the people I meet would never guess I'm sick.

Tomorrow: doc @ the radar station.