Tag Archives: PSA

I Had NO Idea That 325mg Aspirin Could Kill Me!

325mgasprin.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> 88% PENALTY on IRS Taxes!
>> IRS Form 8962 is a nightmare.
>> ObamaCare ‘Death Panels’ are real!
>> 2015 enrollment.
>> 5 Healthcare carriers in NH in 2015.
>> 2015 Obamacare coverage in NH.
>> ‘coveringnewhampshire.org’ …

++++ Search ‘healthcare’ & ‘Anthem’ for the many, many posts on this topic >>>>

Also Category ‘Health Care’ that should bring up ALL ‘Obamacare’posts >>>>


Wow. I had always thought of Aspirin as MY FRIEND. Something that was good for my heart. I was told, way back in 1987, to take an aspirin a day for my heart health. And I did, religiously — along with my glass (or two) of red wine, also, of course, just for my heart health.

I like Aspirin. It was, until last Wednesday, July 29, 2015, my favorite pain medication. I wasn’t into this new fangled Tylenol, Advil, Relieve etc. and I have stayed away from prescription pain medication EVEN when it has been prescribed to me. About 5 years ago, kicking and screaming, I was taken, by the wife, in collusion with my then cardiologist, to the ER because I was having chest pain, just above my heart — and my blood pressure was going up (because I had been in pain for some time). They checked me out. Did the blood test for the marker hormones. Nothing. Did the EKGs. Nothing. Then they sent me to have a chest X-ray and they put a little metal dot on my chest where the pain was. The X-ray was focused on that. While I am still standing there, chest to plate, in the X-ray room, the technician calls out over the Intercom: “you have a broken rib just where you are feeling the pain”.

81mg asprinWell, 3 weeks earlier, before Christmas, I had slipped and fallen — on my shovel handle — while I was shovelling snow. It hurt BUT it never occurred to me that I had broken anything. My record with broken bones is kind of notorious. Years ago, after a doctor, on a whim, had both my hands X-rayed, they found that I had broken my ALL my knuckles, multiple times. But I can’t even remember breaking them ONCE. The doctor just shook his head. That I once played rugby for 35 minutes with a broken bone in my hand and then forgot to go the hospital, as I had been instructed to do, for 4 hours is also part of my legacy.

Well, when I was wheeled back into ER the doctor and the male nurse both wanted to know WHY I didn’t realize I had a broken rib — for 3 weeks. I had no explanation. Then they asked me what I took for my pain. I said Aspirin. They looked at me strange — and people do that often. Aspirin? Yes. What strength? I don’t know. The stuff that is in a standard bottle. Hhmmm. How many? I don’t know. Maybe two every 4 to 5 hours. They gave me a bottle of Vicodin. I did NOT see the point in taking that 3 weeks in. So I kept it. Came in handy when I needed to sedate one of my goldens so it would not gnaw at a ‘hot spot’. One Vicodin and he was in ‘la-la’ land for hours. Did the trick. Best use of Vicodin ever.

Anywho …

I was taking two (2) 325mg Aspirins a day — most days. I thought it was good for me. If one was good, two has to be better … right? Sometimes I might take more. Two in the morning, two at night. 325mg Aspirin was also my preferred fever reducer.

Now my new doctor, another Indian, tells me that taking all that Aspirin was killing me!

I can’t win.

Told me to throw away my nearly full bottle of 325mg Aspirins. Killed me. They were my friends. I had to buy a bottle of 81mg Aspirin. Baby ones. Only one a day.

I don’t believe and trust all this medical mumbo-jumbo. Remember these were the same folks who SWORE that PSAs were 100% spot-on in detecting prostate cancer. All that did was make them money so that they could go shoot lions.


What Is Happening To & At Huggins Hospital, Wolfeboro, NH?

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>>
Huggins Fair 2013 — Aug. 5, 2013.
>> My FALSE PSA from Huggins — Aug. 1, 2012.
++++ Search ‘Huggins‘ for other related posts >>>>


Mamogram 20130002

Mamogram 20130001


Notice anything strange
about this flyer we got from Huggins Hospital
on Saturday?

It was actually very timely. Deanna had had a physical at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (Concord) on Thursday and had been told to get a mammogram. She was thinking about getting it done at Concord Hospital when this flyer came.

I have never forgiven Huggins Hospital for the grief it caused me through its FALSE PSA reporting.

But, Huggins is our nearest hospital and we use it when we have to.

Something is not right at Huggins — of late.

We were there, in the Emergency Room (ER), a few weeks ago, crack-of-dawn, i.e., 8:30 am, on a Monday. Over the weekend Teischan managed to fall off a stationary skateboard and hurt her foot. Though it was slightly swollen I was sure that there were no broken bones. That is one of the many advantages of having played rugby, in school, in Britain, in the early 1970s. IF you yourself didn’t break anything, you were still likely to see at least one broken bone injury a game. So you get fairly expert at spotting broken bones. I do have an enviable diagnostic record in this respect. But, despite my assurances Deanna was not convinced. So we took Teischan to Huggins ER on Monday.

The ER was deserted. No patients. Just one rather bemused volunteer and two frumpy receptionists pretending to be busy. Though we were the only ones there it took the receptionists 20 minutes to get around to calling us.

Yes, we had to get an X-ray. So we accompanied Teischan, through multiple automatic doors, to the X-ray room (to call it a department would be a joke). [I was right. Just a strain. Ace bandage, which I had already done.]

The hospital was deserted. Empty. I have seen more activity in Arizona ghosts towns than at Huggins, of late.

Eerily quiet. So there is now this pervasive air of morbidness though the place is SPOTLESSLY clean — probably because they have so few patients.

Yes, we all know that Huggins stopped delivering babies years ago. I can understand that.

But, I heard recently that Huggins no longer has full-time cardiologists! How is that possible?

Wolfeboro, NH, the Oldest Summer Resort in the U.S., outside of Florida, is the Old People’s Capital of the U.S.

And we are not talking just, hoi polloi old folks. We are talking Mittens Romney RICH, very rich old folks with Titanium health policies.

What gives.

The new building looks a million dollars — and I know it costs much, much more.

But, the place is empty.

And then this flyer. [I know. You thought I forgot.]

So did you spot the incongruity?

There is NO PHONE NUMBER.

Just the Web URL.

Yes, it tells you to call your primary care provider to schedule an appointment, BUT is Huggins that ashamed of itself, and I can understand if they were, after how they screwed up my PSA, that they are too embarrassed to give out their phone number?

There phone number is, in case you want it:
603-569-7500.

IF You Are Concerned About Your Prostate Health Forget The TV Ads., Talk To A Doctor About A Prescription For Cardura (Doxazosin).

Dec2013x125

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..by Anura Guruge


Click for more info. or just do a search on 'Cardura'.

Click for more info. or just do a search on ‘Cardura’.


I have been meaning to write about this for months. Everytime I see those prostate ads on TV featuring ex-football players I cringe; for them and for those that might listen to their pitch.

Until I hit 45 I really did not know anything about prostates. I had heard a neighbor talk about it but I had not paid much attention. Up until that time I had never heard of anybody with prostate cancer or prostate enlargement etc. Remember, I do lead a sheltered life. Much has changed since. I now know a bunch of folks that have had their prostates removed and all of them regret it. I did a lot of digging around c. 1998 and learnt a lot. In the last 18 months, as some of you know, there has been lots of reports about the need for PSA testing and the earlier craze for having your prostate whipped out at the slightest sign of cancer. Way back I had decided and told anybody that would listen that I would NEVER have my prostate taken out even if I was diagnosed with severe prostate cancer. From what I could see the radioactive pellets, which in those days (due to limited test results), were only rated to work for 8 years, seemed a much more palatable solution. Now when I talk to folks that did have their prostates removed they typically concur that in hindsight they would have preferred the radiation approach.

I also found this out and it has been confirmed to me by multiple doctors including two urologist. There is nothing (as yet) that can stop a man from getting prostate cancer. As with all other muscles in our body, and the prostate (like the heart) is a muscle, the only thing that seems to help is exercise. And there is one and only one way to exercise your prostate — and trust me, it sure beats jogging! An “O” a day, my oft stated mantra for life, is the best thing you can do for your prostate — with an “O” day basically translating to a lifetime ‘batting average’ of 1 a day. So if you are a man of 50, you better make sure that you have exercised your prostate at least 18,250 times. If you are 60, like me (in a few months), you have to be at 21,900. With luck you should have been able to wrack up 95% of those numbers just in a decade in your youth! If you haven’t you better get cracking.

Cardura has nothing to do with prostate cancer. Cardura is all about SLOWING DOWN the rate of prostate enlargement — the pressing problem they scream at you on those TV ads. Cardura can be taken as a preventive and now that it is available as a generic it is INEXPENSIVE. From what I can see Cardura is a fraction of the costs of the stuff being plugged on the TV.

Cardura is only available by prescription.

1998 was pivotal year for me health wise. I was working and travelling like a crazy man — that being the height of the dot.com era. All that travel and very long work days did take a toll. I was lucky that I met two great doctors that year. Both were young, one an Indian. They were both BIG into preventive medicine. One, the Indian, a great cardiologist, put me on Lipitor and some high blood pressure medication. The other a urologist put me on Cardura (which also helps with blood pressure). I was too busy those days to even check on this stuff. I just took all these pills every night, without question.

About 7 years later I was getting my prescriptions filled at Walmart in Gilford (NH). They had a really nice pharmacist who I had got to know quite well (because we were frequent customers). As I am paying for the Cardura I happened to say something along the lines of: “I don’t even know why I am taking this …“. His reaction on hearing this was quite amazing. He got visibly ‘agitated’. He went onto tell me that Cardura is one of the few miracle drugs on the market! I didn’t know that. He gave me a long spiel about how effective it was and how research continually validated its effectiveness in slowing down prostate enlargement. What amazed me the most was how passionate he had become about this drug. That was good enough for me. I have never question Cardura again. I take it, I think 4mg, every night.

So, I am just passing this on. It just kills me when I see those TV ads because I worry that they are misleading folks.

Do Hospital Medical Labs Really Test Your Blood?

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Anura Guruge


Getting my blood test that said my Glucose was 102 got me paranoid about this, all over again.

Yes, I am a cynic’s cynic, but if you walked in my shoes, for as long as I have done, across so many countries and so many walks of life, you also would be one. Trust me.

It is not like I haven’t been ‘stiffed’ by medical test results. The story of my false high PSA reading from Huggins is on here. Among my many health issues I am prone to bronchitis. I get it a couple of times a year. In the mid-1990s I used to go to a medical practice in Milford. My doctor was female, unmarried and roughly my age. She liked me; you could tell. In those days, when I was in my mid-30s, I was quite likeable. Even if I went there with a sore throat she would insist on giving me a full physical exam — and given that I flew incessantly and did lots of full-day seminars, I did get sore throats. So, I go to see her one afternoon with a bad chest. She says time for a X-ray. She takes me into the X-ray room and she does the X-ray. She then looks at the film and says that I have major issues! I am in a daze. This is bad stuff. I am waiting for the birth of my son and this doctor basically is passing a death sentence or close to it on me. I immediately call up my mother in Paris, as I was wont to do in those days. She is devastated. She calls up her brother, the doctor, in Sri Lanka. He calls me up. He says NO WAY. He says, I can assure you from here: ‘no way, she is wrong‘. As I have mentioned in this blog, he was GOOD. You don’t become the personal physician to a succession of Prime Ministers and Presidents without being good, just because you are a fun person — which he also was; life of the party who lived to party! So, I am now going around in a daze. I had been basically told, that I was screwed. Three days later, to the day, she calls up, all bubbly: ‘Good news. You are fine. The radiologist checked the X-ray. Your lungs are clear and clean. Nothing there‘! Bloody bitch. I was too shocked to speak, which doesn’t happen often. I stopped going there. I thought about suing her, but I really never wanted to see her again.

These things happen to be all the time. Just 2 years ago, after another X-ray, again of my chest, again for bronchitis, a doctor (at a very prestigious institutions in NH) tells me that I have an ominous dark shadow under my lungs and that I need every possible scan that money can buy. I go to Huggins, because of the convenience, for the scans — which cost me, with my high deductible, $1,900. A 4 days later, no results. I call up Huggins. The next day, I am in the car, Deanna was driving. A doctor from Huggins calls. Not my doctor. He says: ‘I hear you are worried about your Cat-Scan results. You are fine. Nothing there. You have some fat deposits on your liver. That must have been the dark shadow.’! It transpires that a half-way competent radiologist or doctor should have been able to determine what that dark shadow was on my original X-ray. No. They thought I was going to get my scans done at their facility. Bloody crooks, all of them.

I have lots of other stories. We had a similar situation with Deanna and gestational diabetes. It appears that IF NOT for a nagging doubt that I had, and acted upon, we could have had a bad experience — and Deanna already had had one! Again, lab testing! Yes, sometimes it really does pay to be as cynical as me.

Given that I know that all hospitals are profit motivated, I always wonder whether they try to cut corners with the lab tests. OK, we know that the test, with labor, equipment, chemicals, overhead and markups, cost ‘$60’. They bill insurance $260 and get paid $160. So they still pocket a nice $100 profit. No lets say they DON’T do the test, or do it on the cheap. They might save $20. But, they will still bill $260 and get paid $160. They now made an additional $20 profit. That is an example. A ‘$20’ here, and a ‘$20’ there and 100,000 tests later you are talking some respectable money.

I have already been told by my cardiologist (and by another) that my 97 reading last year and 102 reading this year, are within the margin of error for the test. The only difference is that 97, because it is less than 99 is not marked HIGH.

Last night I found that that this ‘range’ in the glucose test results depends on the ‘PACKET’ of chemicals they use for that test. Different packets, different results! Also, the glucose test results vary, albeit by a small amount, depending on how long the blood sat around before it was tested. Yes, again for convenience, I get my blood drawn at Alton rather than Huggins. They courier it up later that day.

I think you get the drift. Yes, I checked on the Web. Yes, people get different results, on the same test, from different labs.

If I had the resources, this is what I would LOVE to do. Have two sets of vials drawn out and each sent to a different lab. Have you ever had this done? Same day, same time. So blood drawn at the same time with no intervening variables.

IF somebody could help me get this done, I am game. I have plenty of blood — now that the Red Cross won’t accept my blood because I am a Brit! Yes, the U.S. Red Cross, categorically refuses blood from Brits! Check it out. It first started as a 10 year ban — if you have visited home in the last 10 years, we don’t want your blood. A couple of years ago, for the 1st time in my life, I met that criteria. I had not been back for 10 years. Thye had changed the rules during that time. C’est la vie.

U.S. Red Cross exclusion of us Brits. From their Web site. Go check if you don't trust me. Just click.

U.S. Red Cross exclusion of us Brits. From their Web site. Go check if you don’t trust me. Just click.

Huggins Hospital, Wolfeboro, NH, And My False PSA Test Reading

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


The new Huggins per its deservedly proud architects.


Writing about the forthcoming Huggins Fair yesterday, got me thinking about this far from amusing incident with Huggins — and I knew I had no choice but to share it with you.

It was Fall 2007 and I was seeing an urologist in Manchester, NH — next to Elliott Hospital. I needed to get a PSA test done before my next visit.

My primary care doctor at the time was based in Alton (where I had recently moved to) and was affiliated with Huggins Hospital. They could draw blood, enter the necessary ‘stuff’ into the computer and then sent the vials off to Wolfeboro to be tested at the hospital. It was certainly more convenient than having to drive to Wolfeboro. Plus, you typically got faster service in Alton. So, I arranged to have my blood drawn in Alton and to have the results sent back to them.

My appointment with the urologist was on a Thursday. I was going to swing by the Alton office on Wednesday afternoon and pick the results.

I get a call from a nurse in Alton that Wednesday afternoon. She says that my results are in, but that they are NOT good. The PSA score had been marked as HIGH.

I was devastated. I had never expected any issues, at that juncture, with my prostate. Usually my PSA was always on the low side; below ‘1’. Now I had a nurse telling me that my PSA was high.

I still had the presence of mind to ask her what the reading was. She said it was ‘0.1’. I got her to repeat it. ‘0.1’. It was below ‘1’. But, it was supposed to be high. I told her I will be there shortly to pick up the result sheet.

I did a Google. ‘0.1’ was way LOW. Not high. Deanna drove me to the doctor’s office. I was in a trance. Long ago having seen what it did to folks I had vowed that I would never have my prostate taken out. Worst case I would go with pellets. If they could only guarantee 8 years, that was still ‘OK’ with me. So, I was, in my mind, already getting mentally prepared for the pellets. I called up my eldest daughter. She told me not to worry and that all will be OK.

I saw the nurse and got the result sheet. She showed me where there was a big, BOLD ‘H’ to denote that the ‘0.1. reading was high — and per the range, it indeed was very high.

Next morning we all went to Manchester. I was still dazed.

My urologist is great. A good Catholic. I had given him a copy of my first pope book. He liked it.

I told him the results and gave him the sheet. He read it, carefully. He told me that it was strange. He said that ‘0.1’ should not be high. I said, I thought that. I asked him if the test has changed, with a new scale of readings. He said ‘No’.

He was confused. He told me not to worry. That he was going to call Huggins. He said that I would need to get the test done again — at a different lab.

He told me he would call me. That was the end of the appointment.

I was still crushed. The kids needed to go to the bathroom. Finally we were ready to leave and were trooping out of the door of the main building. A couple came up behind us and said that the doctor was looking for me and that I should go back.

So we trooped back upstairs. The receptionist called the doctor. He appeared with a BIG GRIN on his face.

‘Mystery solved. Your results are fine. Way below ‘1’. You are good. Huggins had YOU coded as a FEMALE!’

Aaahhh!

So all of that was because Huggins had me in their computer as a FEMALE.

Well, I wasn’t new to Huggins. They had done blood work for me before. I had also had Cat-Scans at Huggins. So, it wasn’t as if I was new to them. Plus, in whichever light or direction you look at me, I do not look un-masculine.

I was relieved, but now was bummed.

When I got home I checked. To my amazement I found out that they indeed do PSA testing of women — and for a woman ‘0.1’ PSA is high. I think that in the main such testing has to do with transgender issues.

Now I was at the ‘get even’ stage. Called up a couple of my favorite lawyers. I wanted to sue the pants off Huggins.

Crushed again. Would YOU believe this: I had NOT suffered enough pain!

Yep, 24 hours of mental anguish, however, severe is considered bagatelle by the system. So much for the you can sue on a dime theory. I was told the BEST I could hope for was to get Huggins to refund me for the PSA test!

Well, maybe this story might help somebody else. Check the gender on your PSA results.