Friday, March 31, 2006

Generic Meds - Revised

Well, I've improperly explained the difference between the name brand and the generic drugs. I'm on the right path but the explanation is off. Here's what the FDA says.

"FDA still uses the plus-or-minus-twenty-percent test to determine blood serum bioavailability (i.e., the amount of active ingredient in the blood over a period of time has to come within plus-or-minus twenty percent of that which is observed when the innovator’s drug is ingested)" From: Overview of the Hatch-Waxman Act and Its Impact on the Drug Development Process

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Generic meds

I have about 30 minutes of quiet time, so I decided to post something that's been pressing me lately.

As some of you know, I am currently taking a medication, Dostinex, to get my prolactin level in check. And as all of you are aware, there is such a thing as generic medication. I've learned a lot about generic meds and it isn't exactly the way it's presented to us by pharmacies and insurance companies.

The first month I was on Dostinex, I felt great. Dostinex, if I understand correctly affects the dopamine level in the brain. After my first month, I decided to go to the generic brand. My doctor frowns on generic but I begged him and he complied, provided I come in for a blood test to be sure it is working. Within the first week of being on the generic brand, I have felt really depressed. I thought it was because I was going get my "monthly visitor" but even after I was depressed. I'm still depressed. So, I'm going to switch back to see if it changes.

So, how are generic drugs different you ask....

Well, the active ingredient is identical. It's the dosage that varies. The FDA says that as long as the bioavailability of the drug is within 20% + or - the stated dosage, then it can be approved. What that means is if you have a bottle of 100 mg of Anaprox, you will actually have 100 mg (give or take 1 or 2 %) but 100 mg of naproxin may actually be 80 mg or 120 mg.

The pharmacy actually puts out for bids so whichever drug manufacturer offers the best deal, the pharmacy buys. What that means is that when you get your generic drug one month, the next month it could be from a different place. And, since I'm paying cash for this stuff, I'm not insured, I noticed that the generic version was really only slightly less than the brand version. The pharmacy makes a lot off the generic brand. The price it high enough to make a good profit but make it just low enough to entice you to buy it instead of the brand name.

I will let you guys know how I feel when I go back onto the name brand version of dostinex.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Checking in

Sorry I've taken so long to post something. My life just has not been that interesting lately. Or rather, maybe nothing has come across my plate interesting enough to write about it.

I've been working on my quilt, I have 6 blocks done leaving 24 to complete. At this pace I'll be done with it in time for next winter.

My sunday brunch was held at Backstreet Cafe today. What a gorgeous day this was. I love our Sunday brunches!

Nothing else to post right now.....

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Out with the to speak.

The owner of our company flew in last week from Palm Springs and hung out with us for a few days. Then on Friday, he took all of us out to dinner at Baba Yagas.

Then, after dinner, we sort of just wandered into one of the bars in the immediate area. Well, the bars in the immediate area all gay bars. There's South Beach, JR's, and Mining Company, all of which are only about 100 feet from each other. We chose JR's. He and two other male colleagues are gay. All the women in the office are straight so when we all go out, it may as well be "girls night".

It's a very strange thing to go into a bar where the men oggle one another. Of course, lesbians are welcome here, too, but really it's mostly men. Then scattered throughout the bar are boxes where a man will stand in a speedo or something and sort of dance to the music. I say sort of dance because really, they don't do a great job of it. One guy just sort of stood there and swayed with the music. Another at least had some interesting moves.

Then, there's the restroom. In the ladies room, there were only 2 stalls. I wonder if the men's room had more since there were so many men there. On the outside of the stall there reads a sign that says "no more than one person in stall at a time". I thought that was sort of interesting.

I actually enjoyed the experience but I think I would have preferred a place where we danced.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Darth Vader plays 20 Questions

Now for your entertainment, go here and play 20 questions with Darth Vader. Sound makes it more fun but isn't necessary to play.

**** It has come to my attention this link is no longer valid. But Subservient Chicken still plays! :)

Darth Vader Summons YOU

Command the Chicken

Saturday, March 04, 2006

A quilting we will go

Hi ho the dairy-o.....

Yay!!! I'm so excited. I am now officially at the quilting part.

So, let the clock begin......

tick tock tick tock


I'm going to have to wait until Sunday to really get into my quilt. I have to work today. Tonight, I'll probably have the back piece sewn and ready. My goal for Sunday is to get it all done so I can start the actual quilting. Really, that's the simple part, I just sit in front of the TV and sew. Since this is my first one, I don't plan on quilting any sort of intricate design.

I bought a quilt hoop since I don'thave one of those big quilt frames.

If I had a digital camera, I'ld take photos of the steps. I'll get one before I begin my next quilting project. I have a great idea, too for my next one but I don't want to reveal it, stay tuned.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Next phase

I went to the quilting store this afternoon and bought the remaining material I need to complete my quilt. The woman there was soooo friendly and she took the time to answer my questions. I'm excited to finally be at this level.

I have to create my backpiece, then lay down the batting and top piece. Then comes the long grueling part.....the actual quilting. Since this is my first attempt at quilting, I'm not using my machine. I'm doing it by hand. I made the comment that I can se this thing being complete by the end of the month. She laughed.

I guess I won't be done with it as quickly as I thought.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

So, what exactly did women do before the ruling?

(This page is viewed at least 6 times a day - it is my sincere hope that viewers are researching for information purposes only and not that they are in a desperate situation to abort a pregnancy.  It isn't that I'm against abortion as much as I am empathetic to the party who finds themself this difficult and painful situation.)

I was born in 1963, so for me, though it hasn't been a piece of cake working my way in this world as a single woman, there are many things I had that weren't available to women until I was born. For example, when I was 17, I was able to obtain birth control pills without my parent's consent. I could get the medical help I needed. Since abortion has been legal for all but 10 years of my life, the only time abortion comes up is when the Religious Right is screaming about it. So, I did some research. I wanted to know what women did before it was legal. Below is what I found.

My source is a very very interesting and informative report that was written in 1998. It was a case study and the author followed the lives/stories of several women. The study discusses how they got pregnant, what they knew and understood about sexuality and then how each one attempted to terminate her pregnancy. If you would like to read the article/study in it's entirety here is a link. The article is titled: No Choice

Statistics say that 40% of all women will end a pregnancy by abortion(link).

So, here is what it was like:

The Techniques of Illegal Abortion

"Many women in these stories first tried one or more traditional folk recipes, such as taking laxatives or castor oil or douching with potassium permanganate, to bring on a miscarriage. Nancy’s experience was typical: “I tried all the things I knew — hot baths and gin, jumping down stairs, scrubbing floors, carrying heavy things up stairs, taking quinine, punching my stomach — nothing worked.” Such attempts were miserably unsuccessful. Ursula describes how she tried to induce a miscarriage: “I drank a bottle of quinine and I didn’t know if I was standing on my head or my feet. Quinine and gin and I got into a hot mustard bath and nothing — you suffer, mentally and physically.”

There were a couple of successful exceptions, however. It is perhaps such exceptions that account for the fact that folk remedies continued to be passed on. Nicola aborted after taking a patent medicine called “Silver Pills” — a purgative. And Gillian attributed her mother’s abortion to quinine.

The abortion method most commonly described by the women involved the insertion of a foreign object into the cervix: slippery elm bark, a knitting needle, a ballpoint pen, a hard rubber catheter, a douche nozzle or some kind of “sharp instrument.” In one method, the inserted object was left there, held in place by gauze packing which plugged the vagina. In a variation on this method, a solution was introduced into the uterus through the catheter or nozzle. These same basic methods were used both by abortionists and by women on themselves. Here is Andrea’s description of the method she used to self-induce an abortion:

One should do it ten days before the next period. One needs an enema with the thin nozzle, warm soapy water (carbolic soap), Dettol, patience and courage. It is such a lonely thing this abortion business. It’s like being born and dying. It always took at least two weeks. If the womb was placed high then you were just out of luck. You had to find the entrance to the womb, hold the nozzle in place, and gently but firmly, pour in the water. When the fetus finally appeared it wasn’t much bigger than a bean.

Carbolic soap and water was the most common douche, but the recipe could be anything from glycerine to an “acid-like liquid.” Joan’s waitress-abortionist made up a solution of “lye, soap, quinine, and oil which she had boiled on the stove.” The solution would be inserted once or twice by an abortionist. If the woman was self-inducing, she inserted it much more frequently.

Both these methods involved a delay of hours, days or weeks before the interference produced contractions of the uterus which expelled the fetus. “It was not a quick process,” comments Betty. The woman usually suffered hours of painful contractions “as bad as any labour pains,” and a great deal of bleeding. She was often alone when she aborted the fetus and would have to dispose of it herself.

By the time most women reached this point, they were often three months pregnant or more, according to their own reckoning. There were a disproportionately high number of late abortions in these women’s stories, due at least in part to obstacles involved in finding and carrying out the procedure illegally.

Some of the medical doctors who performed illegal abortions used these same slow-working, rather primitive methods. However, the professional physicians we encounter in Pat, Natalie, Karen, Julia and Kirby’s cases used the D&C (dilatation and curettage) method, a relatively fast and simple operation in which the cervix is opened (dilated) and the uterus is scraped out using a curette.

In decade after decade after decade, the same basic abortion methods are used under the same tawdry and dangerous circumstances: an illegal abortion story from the 1960s describes the same primitive procedure as a story from the 1920s. It is interesting that by the 1960s heart transplants were being performed in Canada, while abortions, being clandestine, remained such remarkably crude and dangerous operations.

Ellen’s story was unique, in that she described the experience of an illegal abortion using the modern vacuum aspiration method. It was done at Dr. Henry Morgentaler’s clinic in 1968, the year before the abortion law was liberalized, and is basically the same abortion technique being used in Canada today: “Dilators were ... used and a vacuum aspiration tube applied and turned on. There was very little feeling, just noise and some vibrating. All the while those two lovely humans talked to me ... It was all over within ten minutes.”

It is not surprising to find that most women having illegal abortions received poor medical care from their abortionists. Often nothing was done by way of proper preparation, as Gail’s story makes clear: “I was taken to the bedroom, asked for the money, told to keep my coat on and my shoulder bag in my hand — in case I left evidence behind, I assume — and to pull my underpants down to one ankle.” There was often little or no attempt at sterility: Muriel remembers that her abortionist “hadn’t washed his hands first.”

Most women were given no anaesthetic and described their illegal abortion as a torturously painful procedure. While undergoing the operation without anaesthetic, the patient “was not to make a sound ... not one!” Women like Mary and Louise remember “biting a pillow to keep from screaming.” Most women were given no rest or recovery period, nor any aftercare whatsoever. They were told to leave right after getting off the table. The instructions were usually the same as those given to Mary: “Don’t you dare tell anyone. If anything goes wrong don’t call a doctor or the police because you’ve just broken the law and you can go to jail.” Although infection was highly possible, antibiotics were almost never provided.

These stories contain several incidents of women being sexually abused by the abortionist or by his “middle man.” Joanne, Patti, Nicola, Louise, Mary and Muriel all encountered this problem; most suffered in silence. As Joanne says, “Since you are terrified that you aren’t going to get the abortion, and that’s all you are thinking of, you submit to a lot of indignities that I probably would never have submitted to otherwise. Fondling and things like that.”"

What exactly is the deal?

For the most part my blog isn't really a political blog. I didn't set it up to be that way. I did set it up to be a place for me to just vocalize whatever I felt like saying no matter how silly or serious the subject. I wanted the range to be any topic I felt like discussing.

Right now, I'm very bothered by the case that is working it's way to the Supreme Court which is now populated with Bush's people. I feel helpless. I feel like there is this machine that is in place that is steamrolling over all of us. Bush is behind the wheel and there is something so very sinister and deceptive about it. So, my only recourse is to try to be as outspoken and persuasive as I can.

This is the only method of promoting change that any of us have that shouldn't put us in jail. But with this administration, one never knows.

The Religious Right is drooling at the bit. The Patriot Act, Wire tapping, one of their own in office.... this has to be a dream come true for them.