When Victorian Doctors Used to Finger Their Patients

❝ In the Victorian Era – specifically 1837 to 1901 – doctors treated woman by genital stimulation to induce “hysterical paroxysm” or an orgasm. This hysteria was supposed to be a build-up of fluid in the woman’s womb and doctors assumed that since men ejaculated and felt better then it stood to reason…

Female hysteria was a once-common medical diagnosis, made exclusively in women, which is today no longer recognized by modern medical authorities as a medical disorder. Its diagnosis and treatment was routine for many hundreds of years in Western Europe. Hysteria was widely discussed in the medical literature of the Victorian era. Women considered to be suffering from it exhibited a wide array of symptoms including faintness, nervousness, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and “a tendency to cause trouble”.

Part of the “tradition” still current in some conservative circles. No doubt.

RTFA. Stupid, ignorant, thoughtless by modern medical standards…cruel and absurd.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia

Still dumb, still self-destructive


Getty Images

❝ Dr. John E. Parker was working at a West Virginia hospital in 2015 when a 31-year-old female patient was admitted with acute respiratory problems. A team of doctors ultimately suspected that her mysterious case of lipoid pneumonia might be related to vaping and weren’t sure they had seen anything like it before. They were intrigued enough to present the case report — a type of medical paper on unusual or provocative patient findings. Such reports can serve as a call to the medical community to be on the lookout, though they sometimes raise more questions than they provide answers.

❝ This summer, almost four years later, federal officials began investigating a national outbreak of severe lung illnesses linked to vaping that has struck more than 150 patients in 16 states…

❝ We really felt that it wasn’t going to be a one-off event and that it was what we usually called in public health a “sentinel” health event … that it was an example of a respiratory illness that can be caused by this exposure and that it probably wasn’t the first case ever seen nor would it be the last…

❝ I know we’ve seen a case [of alveolar hemorrhage syndrome] that we published, and in polling some colleagues we think we’ve probably also seen [cases of] cryptogenic organizing pneumonia as well as lipoid pneumonia and acute eosinophilic pneumonia. Yeah, we’ve certainly seen at least probably four forms of lung disease from vaping.

Interesting chronology of medical researchers discovering ailments from recreational, addictive foolishness. The medical community will continue to sort out deaths and impairment — while politicians and the government bodies chartered to preserve health sit around, twiddle their thumbs and do nothing for years.

Abortion Bans Based on So-Called “Science” Are Fraudulent

❝ We are scientists, and we believe that evidence, not ideology, should inform health care decisions. The wave of anti-abortion laws across the U.S. is the latest in a long string of attempts to falsely use the language and authority of science to justify denying people their basic human rights and inflict lasting harm. Although abortion is still legal in every state, recent legislation in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio threatens the future of abortion rights in the country. Scientists should, first and foremost, value evidence, and the evidence is clear: abortion bans cause harm. They make abortions less safe and especially harm historically marginalized communities…

❝ So-called heartbeat bills, which ban abortion as early as after six weeks of pregnancy, are not based on science. In fact, no heart yet exists in an embryo at six weeks. Yet six states and counting enacted such bills in 2019, in addition to Alabama’s near-total ban. Equally unscientific “abortion reversal” laws are also gaining traction. These laws, now on the books in eight states, require doctors to tell patients receiving a medication abortion, a safe and effective way to end an early pregnancy, that it can be reversed halfway through to save their pregnancy.

Not only is this law bad science, it is actively dangerous. The idea of abortion reversal is based on a single study of six participants that was (poorly) conducted without an ethics review board. The so-called abortion reversal procedure is experimental and has neither been clinically tested nor approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

❝ Both heartbeat bills and abortion reversal laws have been opposed by leading medical groups, including the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Real doctors, real scientists, don’t rely on ancient myths and legends to advance the health and welfare of our species. A primary reason they have success rate scores enormously higher than superstitious mumbo-jumbo.

Perhaps Donald Trump just needs to wear his goddamn glasses


Obama’s teleprompter


Fake President’s teleprompter

❝ There are few recorded instances of Trump actually wearing glasses, but many of the ones that do exist appear to have been taken when Trump thought no one could see…Might this all be because Trump himself is in desperate need of glasses? How much of the president’s erratic behavior could be because he simply prefers to be blind than to display any sort of weakness?…

❝ Another curiosity of the Trump presidency has been his approach to stairs. Almost every time he exits Air Force One, Trump can be spotted white-knuckling the guardrail as he stares intently at his feet. And in 2017, The Times of London reported that widely mocked photo in which Trump grabbed Theresa May’s hand was due explicitly to his fear of stairs…

❝ There’s no question that our president’s brain is broken, and that his mental acuity isn’t anywhere near what it once was. But perhaps it all isn’t quite as bad as we thought. Perhaps Donald Trump just needs to wear his goddamn glasses.

I spotted the fear of stairs long ago. My own eyes aren’t especially bad for my age; but, I also have [idiopathic] pedal neuropathy. There’s no associated illness – like diabetes. Just an old geezer with a percentage of overcooked nerves in my feet. Which is why I carry a cane on my daily walks. Never use it, just carry it in case I need to use it. BTW, About 6% of Americans are in the same boat. No big deal if you’re smart enough to deal with it and don’t let vanity get in the way.

18-Year-Old Canadian Develops App for Detecting Alzheimer’s

❝ Kai Leong, an 18-year-old graduate from Killarney Secondary School, Vancouver, B.C., has just developed a new smartphone app that measures and analyzes a person’s gait to help detect whether someone might have Alzheimer’s disease…

❝ In an interview with CBC’s Early Edition Renée Filippone, Leong explained that most seniors do not realize that walking patterns are validated markers of neurodegenerative diseases. “They’re often overlooked because of how expensive and how inaccessible current walking analysis or gait analysis is,” he said…

Leong says that although his app cannot replace a gait lab which conducts tests in an official medical setting, it does offer an accessible and affordable option for early detection.

Kai Leong is one of two Canadian students representing the country at the China Adolescent Science and Technology Innovation Contest. Helluva start, kid. Keep on rockin’.

How many pain pills were sold in your county? How many deaths?


Data compiled by CDC and DEA — Washington POST

❝ The Post obtained and analyzed a previously unreleased database maintained by the Drug Enforcement Administration that tracks the path of every pain pill sold in the United States – by manufacturers and distributors to pharmacies in every town and city. That data was compared with individual death records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which were obtained and analyzed by The Post.

Phew!

GOP or Dems in charge — Americans still get less healthcare, shorter lifespan, for our dollar$

❝ “The Republican Party will soon be known as the party of health care—you watch,” President Donald Trump declared in March. “We’re coming up with plans.” Alas, like many of Mr Trump’s claims, this one proved untrue…

Republican reluctance to embrace health care, despite the president’s best efforts, is understandable. On the one hand, America’s health-care system is woefully dysfunctional: the country spends about twice as much on health care as other rich countries but has the highest infant-mortality rate and the lowest life expectancy (see chart). Some 30m people, including 6m non-citizens, remain uninsured. And yet, though costs remain a major concern—out-of-pocket spending on insurance continues to rise—Americans say they are generally satisfied with their own health care. Eight in ten rate the quality of their care as “good” or “excellent”. Few are in favour of dramatic reform.

Yes, Americans are as ignorant about disposition of their tax dollars as they are about, say, healthful living in general. I doubt that most have any idea about how US healthcare stacks up against our peers. Poisonally, both topics are important to me. They will count towards how I vote in 2020.

Thanks, Barry Ritholtz