Category Archives: Men’s Health

Beneath the Streets; A Song of Male Sacrifice:

Illustration: “Blue Light Spasm”, 2019, Moiret Allegiere

This is a guest post from Moiret Allegiere.  He has a great deal to say about our plight as men in today’s insane misandrist world. You can find his blog here.

Beneath the streets of our civilization lie the burnt and mangled corpses of men. Centuries of rotten carcasses piled beneath our feet, upon whose skulls we trample and whose broken ribs forever carry the brute weight of our desired rampage towards the sunset.

In the midst of our rivers and our sewers flow the blood of men, coursing through our quick-and-easy lives as the pulse beats in our chests and juggle in our jugulars, cut deeply into our shared destiny and yet snap-chatted into complete and utter oblivion.

The smell of sweat mingled with the smell of molten metal; volcanic eruptions of steel-farms-and-mills tingling the spine of our calculated wreckage of the scenery—apocalyptic graveyards grey and industrial in streets naked and unafraid, unashamed.

Rising like the heaving chest of an asthmatic; black oozing smoke from coal-fires or explosions in mines underneath the feet of our history analysed by puritans in wretched excess—now forgotten, now pushed away as damage done to nature more than men.

Or perplexingly perceived to be damage done by men upon the face of earth; scars cut into her beating heart by the uncaring hands and terrorist actions of men wielding knives sharpened to pick-axe-points to dominate and destroy, to exterminate and terminate.

Drawn as damage done by pure malice, by ideological disinterest in the ecosystem and its careful symbiosis with the floral fauns of ages past; prophetic visions not of mechanical necessity but of the three X’s – Explore, Expand, Exterminate, building not on hope but upon hate.

And all the corpses maligned and magnified that line our streets and pampered pockets died in vain and—in some strangers eye—a pragmatic parasite to be displayed as archaic tools of oppression for doing what they had to do, not what they wanted to do…

…and all the blood pumped to and fro our synthetic urban symbiosis, picturing the city as an organism, heart pounding, carrying vessels to and fro to do the work and duty that need be done; heroes hidden in the everyday soot and grime of displaced malcontent…

…and all the dead and all the dying whose hearts and souls were lost in permanent war, worn down and torn asunder by outside forces in chivalrous regalia marching to defend and to protect their very own ifs and buts and homes and hopes and dreams…

…all our eyes turned away from the crucified and martyred millions who died and are still dying for ideals and for ideas which they did not understand or maybe even share, but whose heartbeats beat for all and one all at once; who was called to sacrifice for some wicked strangers dream…

…all our eyes turned away from the loss of innocence and loss of life and glimmer in the eyes of those who fell in line and fell into entrapment permanent within the grey brick walls of soul-sucking industry for their lives and the lives of their family in near-yet-forgotten history…

…all our eyes turned away from soul-crushing sacrifice done by men whose wish and will were for others to be better off in the future than he; whose calloused hands and blackened lungs illuminated by the fires and spasms of industry paved the road upon which we walk carelessly…

…for all who fell into the flames of indentured servitude, who made their mark upon the world and who were forgotten and unsung – we turn our eyes away and shake our heads in dutiful neglect to forget and sing a different song to different tunes…

…for all whose arms and legs and backs were beat and broken in picket lines naught but a century ago, who cut the dried umbilical cord of industrial infancy to raise the standards indefinite are now cut and dried in the scorching sun of vain and vacuous whining…

…for all whose tedious toil in the grubby mud and soil whose song should be sung and celebrated are left to die in the annals of history as burdensome and oppressive tyrants; patriarchs of unchecked privilege existing at the cost of the suffering of others…

…others whose toil and blood and meagre existence were hampered not by him but by the society in which they co-existed in dire circumstance and need, burnt by the scorching rain of dehumanized elitism in serfdom mimicked and mirrored in the days as the days were then…

…we sing of him and they and them as de facto Machiavellian tyrants, wielding uncensored power with machinelike efficiency, heaping scorn and ridicule upon the memory of past-time struggles where times were hard for all and one, not merely for her…

…we sing of him and they and them as all their struggles are all but forgotten in the moonlit glow of easy times birthed by his struggles and careless self-sacrifice done in the daring glow of the hope that is the new daze of new days dawning in the unforeseeable future…

…we sing of him and they and them as simplified black/white explorations of history viewed through binocular lenses cracked and covered in soot by a generation – give or take – of easy living relative to the past whose presence we have dutifully decided to forget and revise…

…we sing of him and they and them as were he and they and them enemies of the women and children for whom blood were spilt for the sake of them and of future generations; for whom backs were bent and bones were broken on the road to better living…

…we sing of him and they and them as if they matter none in the building of our easy day-daze societies, where we now find ourselves lost dancing in the silver light spat upon us by the moon under whose streaks of silver we have fallen into thankless, dubious, immediate lives…

…we sing of him and they and them as relics of some former era of male supremacy under whose boot and heels all who were not men were crushed and smothered into relentless compliance with his governing will and steel-tipped iron glove of rape…

…we sing of this and of that, remembering little and knowing even less, permanently googling the eye of the beholder as though the eye of the beholder matter more than the beholden who wore the rags of deep despair and desperate danger to save others at the cost of himself…

…we sing of this and mumble about that, understanding little, and caring even less, about the men upon whose shoulders we grandstand to amplify our virtue by caring about everyone but him and his life, his sacrifice and premature industrial accident or war-planned death…

…we sing of this and celebrate that and forget – in our relative ease of living, in our somewhat simple lives – the many centuries of dead and broken men below our feet where we walk with ease, carrying Instagram-models in our pockets and thinking no further than our memes…

…we celebrate this and sing of that, as all our shared struggles and all our historical nuance and difficulty and nuanced difficulty is flaccidly flashed into unblinking social-media existence dragging on into our self determined societal suicidal samba…

…we forget this, as we shame that which we should remember with reverence and respect; our water still poured from sinks by the blood of men, our pocket computers built upon the rotting corpse-hands of those men who died for our lives, whose lives and memories we now shame.

Beneath the streets of our civilization lie the burnt and mangled corpses of men. Centuries of rotten carcasses piled beneath our feet, upon whose skulls we trample and whose broken ribs forever carry the brute weight of our desired rampage towards the sunset.

 

Moiret’s Book – Howling at a Slutwalk Moon:

Vol 1 Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/107571074X
Vol 1 Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TZTPDPR
Vol 2 Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1075714184
Vol 2 Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TZR25NL
Vol 1 Illustrated Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1075717094
Vol 2 Illustrated Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1075723078

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My trip through the polypharmacy blender

 

By Rory Tennes

I agreed to write this story but have been surprised how hard it was to sit down and do it. I knew it all. The words were in my head, yet I avoided getting started. Perhaps it was because of the painful emotions I knew it would bring to the surface. Or maybe because it reminds me of the pain and suffering my family had to endure, how much we lost and the fact that I may not be able to do anything about it. Or it could be my frustration from the cognitive difficulties still affecting me, making writing a difficult task that drains what little energy I have.

My trip started this way: I was ill, injured and in pain. I went to my doctors for help, and they proceeded to drug me into oblivion. My PCP or “family doctor” diagnosed me with fibromyalgia. I don’t think he really knew what I had, but once he put a name on my symptoms, he started throwing drugs at them. I was in constant pain, chronically fatigued and began to have severe bouts of anxiety. For four years I saw doctor after doctor but none of them could tell me what was wrong, or why I was getting worse not better despite all the drugs. It turns out I had autoimmune arthritis. I’d had it for 30 years, and since it was misdiagnosed and untreated for so long, my spine was a total wreck.

I have worked in construction for 38 years, as a skilled tile setter with my own business. I love the work, but it can be rough on the back. I am now on disability due to a combination of my disease and the multiple toxic “treatments” I was put on.

Seven seizure warnings… and five for serotonin syndrome

From the beginning of my four-year search and the two years following my diagnosis I was on an ever-changing cocktail of drugs that kept me off balance constantly. I was at that time unaware of the drug companies’ influence on medical practice, and I trusted that my doctors knew all about the drugs they were giving me. Big, big mistake! They knew very little about the drugs and the “side effects.” They, like me, believed what we are told about side effects – that they are “mild and rare.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

My drug list started with Wellbutrin, Trazodone and Flexeril. When Lyrica and Cymbalta were added, the real trouble began. At the end of six years my list of drugs included, among other things, five major drug interaction warnings for serotonin syndrome. Five! Not to mention seven warnings about an increased risk of seizures. And not one doctor saw that as a problem. If they did, they didn’t say anything. I carried my drug list to every appointment, so all my many doctors had my updated list. None of them said anything about the dangers. Neither did my pharmacists.

Being somewhat of a health seeker, I really didn’t like taking all those drugs and worried what they might be doing to me. I asked friends about it. They said, “The doctors know what they are doing, trust them, take the medications.” My meditation/self-hypnosis counselor said, “I have several clients, some of them pro athletes, who take multiple meds. I tell them to concentrate only on the positive effects of the medicines, not on the negative effects. That way your body will know what to do with the medicine.” Hmm, that didn’t work out very good for me.

How to become an alcoholic in 30 days or less

Before my trip through the Pharma looking glass began, I had quit drinking altogether. I had been sober for five years — solidly sober and liked it. In October 2010 I was on Trazodone and Wellbutrin. When Flexeril and Naprelan were added, within weeks I suddenly had strong urges to drink, which had been totally absent until that point. I now know that Flexeril (cyclo-benzaprine) acts just like a tricyclic antidepressant and should never be mixed with trazodone or Wellbutrin. The urge and the thoughts of drinking came on suddenly and very strong.

I made two trips to alcohol rehab, attended AA regularly but could not stay sober. I had numerous run-ins with the law as well. My behavior had become so bizarre, unpredictable, unstable and dangerous that I thought I had lost my mind and myself completely. I had no control over my thoughts, emotions or behavior, no matter what I did or how hard I tried. I watched my family suffer horribly in fear and confusion at what was happening.

Now I know why. Drugs can drive people to drink for relief from the agonizing akathisia that they cause. Couple that with the disinhibiting effect of the drugs, and it’s a recipe for alcoholism. That’s not just true for the antidepressants, but Lyrica too. The warning on Lyrica says that “People who have had a drinking problem in the past may be prone to abuse Lyrica.” It really should say: “If you take Lyrica you may have strong, uncontrollable urges to drink.” Lyrica can cause alcohol abuse, I have no doubt. So can Cymbalta, Zoloft and several other drugs I was on. I didn’t have a chance in hell to stay sober on those drugs.

“One way or another, this is going to stop.”

By April 2014 I was at the end of my rope. My life and my mind were coming completely apart, and I and everyone else who tried to help me was helpless to stop it. I went to my PCP or family doctor, whom I had not seen in quite a while. I explained what was happening and told him that I could not go on this way. “One way or another, this is going to stop,” I told him. He understood what I was saying.

I handed him my medication list and asked if he saw a problem. By that time it included 12 drugs: Cymbalta, Lyrica, trazodone, Trileptal, gabapentin, Wellbutrin, tramadol, Soma, Amrix (more cyclobenzaprine), Etodolac, lisinopril and Sprix (ketorolac). Some were for physical pain, some were for bipolar disorder, and some were for both. The lisinopril was for blood pressure.

He immediately became alarmed, saying “Who prescribed all this!? You can’t take all this at once! This is lethal! Serotonin Syndrome. You have to stop!” He had sent me to a psychiatrist a couple years prior to this because of my behavior problems, depression and what he thought might be bipolar disorder. The shrink added more drugs, never suspecting that my problems were all drug-related. The more he drugged me the worse I got. He blamed me – it was my worsening mental illness, he said.

I stopped five of the drugs my PCP had checked off on my list that day—cold turkey. The doctor did not warn me about what might happen if I stopped all at once, and I didn’t have a clue this would be a problem. The next few weeks were torture, but I made it. I don’t remember much about that period, and maybe that’s a good thing. I do not know why I was able to stop that many psychoactive drugs at once and survive, but I did. Several doctors and counselors have commented that I was either very tough or very lucky, or both.

Reawakening

After about two months I noticed I was different. I was sober, and I stayed that way with little effort. My anger, irritability and restlessness had come way down the scale. I could actually think, read and comprehend what I was reading. Something had changed, and I wanted to know why. I started researching; behavior change, causes. I found that chronic pain, chronic fatigue and many physical illnesses can cause behavior changes.

Rory Tennes

Then I found the RxISK.org site. The most surprising thing I found was how prescription drugs could be responsible for severe and uncontrolled behavior problems. The very same problems I was having! So why did none of my doctors recognize this? Did they not know this about the drugs they were giving me? If they did, they did not tell me.

What some are saying about drug companies running the information show and hiding the truth about their chemicals appears to be very true. Very few doctors are aware of the risks involved in the drugs they so willingly hand out. My shrink was the worst offender. He obviously did not have any clue that all of my symptoms were drug-induced. He followed the DSM to the letter and I was at the point of suicide. I know that to be true since all my symptoms have miraculously disappeared since I stopped taking the drugs.

Imagine that. I didn’t need the drugs after all. They were not helping, they were hurting me!

Is anyone looking out for the patient?

When I went back to my PCP after coming off most of the rest of the drugs I had been taking, I took along a RxISK report for Lyrica. I asked him to read it, and sign it if he agreed that my symptoms could be from Lyrica. That is what is suggested on the RxISK site: take the report to your doctor. I had multiple reports for the different drugs, but decided to take just the one since he was so insistent that Lyrica would help me and that I keep taking it. My RxISK score was 8 out of a possible 9, meaning it was very, very likely my problems were connected to Lyrica.

He read it and said he had never heard of any of this about Lyrica. He knew nothing about mood or behavioral side effects from that drug. He would not sign the report, out of fear of being sued, I guess. He acted very nervous and apprehensive. He asked if I was going to sue him, or sue someone. He kept asking about RxISK: “What is it? What do they do? I’ve never seen this before.”

His response to the RxISK report dampened my willingness to do that again. However, I may now have the will to take the rest of the reports to him and my shrink. That would be very interesting to see the look on his face, my shrink. I might just do that.

Recently I talked to the doctor who treats my autoimmune condition about that medication list. I had showed it to him back in April 2014, right before I saw my PCP and stopped the drugs. To my surprise, he said, “I saw that list and I remember thinking, how is this guy even standing in front of me today? Why is he not dead?”

I asked him why he didn’t say anything at the time. He said, “I can get into a great deal of trouble by criticizing the prescribing habits of other doctors. Legal trouble.” WOW. I did not know how to respond, so I didn’t. I just thought about it for a while, what that means for patients. Your doctor might not look out for you, even if your life is in danger, for fear of legal trouble.

I have taken my med list to my pharmacists and asked them for their opinion. All of them said it was way too much medication, with several duplications—two meds that do the same thing. I asked why they did not say something to me as I was getting these prescriptions filled. They said, “Well, your doctor prescribed it, so I guess he thought it was OK.” Another said, “You didn’t ask.”

What writing this has done, I hope, is renewed my willingness to pick up the ball and continue spreading the word about pharmaceuticals and the dangers. I am planning on taking the RxISK reports to the prescribing doctors and to pharmacists. There seems to be so much lack of knowledge and apathy about drugs from the people who prescribe them and sell them.

Every time I hear on a drug commercial, “Ask your doctor,” it reminds me of just how bad the situation really is, and how ridiculous the phrase is. Ask your doctor about ________. Really?

 

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Rory Tennes was born at the end of the baby boomer age, grew up in a happy, traditional, working class American family with his siblings. After high school he joined his dad and brother in a family business as a skilled tradesman where he enjoyed success in a personally rewarding occupation. When illness and injury came he relied on the skill and integrity of professional healthcare system to get him patched up, back on track and back to work. Instead of help what he walked into was a machine that chewed him up in a polypharmacy blender that very nearly killed him, left him a ground up mess with no recourse for justice or even accountability on the part of the guilty. He has a passion to to alert others to the dangers we all face from a greed driven pharmaceutical industry gone dangerously awry and a legal system unwilling to protect the victim.

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Sauerkraut is this your Anti-Depressant?

This is a #74 of my weeklty Golden Healing newsletter. It generally focuses on some aspect of healing or ways to feel good.  If you want to subscribe, go to the right sidebar signup and enter your first name and email.

Have you ever said to yourself “I can feel it in my gut”?  If so, you are ahead of your time.  Scientists are now finding that there is an important pathway between the stomach and the brain and it has to do with our stomach bacteria.  Even more importantly, they now know that this connection is related to our stress, our anxiety, and our depression.

It seems that our gut bio material doesn’t start to grow until shortly after we are born.  Scientists have done experiments on mice at this stage and have introduced stressors to the young mice, mostly separating them from mom for periods of time.  This stress was shown to alter the bio material in their gut!  There seems to be a relationship between stress, anxiety and depression and our stomach flora.  Sure enough, the mice who experienced this stress had their stomach bio matter altered due to the stress and this alteration stayed with them throughout life.  Bummer.  Then the interesting part.  Scientists took a group of these stressed mice and gave them probiotics during the periods of separation from mom and guess what?  These mice did not have the alterations in their stomach bio stuff and their bacteria.  The probiotics seemed to avert the negative impact of the stress.  Wow.

We know that probiotics can help us and that this help may well impact our stress, anxiety, and depression.  Much more research needs to be done but in the meantime it seems clear that if we want to feel good we might be wise to be sure our stomachs have the probiotics to make that happen.

There are many sources of probiotics.  Some are expensive pills, but other good sources are simply related to the food we eat.  Two possibilities include yogurt and sauerkraut.  Be careful though since some forms of yogurt and sauerkraut carry considerably less of the good probiotics depending on a number of things including processing, pasteurization and storage.

TRY THIS

One way to be sure that your food has ample probiotics is to make it yourself.  Sauerkraut is very, very, simple to make and can be done in small quantities that avoid having to throw out an oversupply.  Here’s a link to exactly how to make a small amount of sauerkraut at home.  Give it a shot!

Have fun and Feel good!

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