Saturday, October 27, 2012

"Henry and the Great Society'

I recently read "Henry and the Great Society" finally. Shame on me for not reading this sooner. It is the pacifist, agrarian version of "Fight Club" (the book, not the movie).

Here is a PDF copy that I found on the web (it is a religious site, but the story is not. Of course, it was written as a propaganda piece by someone.... if you can call truth and accuracy "propaganda") I have the book itself, and it is worth the investment to have this in hard copy.

I can't encourage you enough to take the time t0 read the first 86 pages of this book - the Story of Henry - the exhortations after page 86 may or may not be your cup of tea. The writing is not particularly clever, as the story is written to make a point to even the simplest of literary minds, and yet I cannot recommend it highly enough. Easily one of the most important books I have ever read.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Its the things you don't know that can kill you

Completely off the topic of energy, but very much worth your time.

Watch this incredible video on Bacteria. As it turns out, we really do need certain bacteria. Others can kill you.

Many of you have noticed that the blogging has been a bit light the last couple of years. That's because I have been quite under the weather. Thankfully, or hopefully, we have an answer to what has been making me so ill, off and on, for the past 3+ years.

I say this here so that others this will have a heads up about a Superbug that takes no prisoners.

Several years ago I went to the hospital. It was the Summer of 2006. I was dizzy and stumbling and suffering from gastric distress from I knew not what. At the local emergency room the Docs asked me what I thought might be the cause. I said I wasn't sure but that I belonged to a grappling club and some of the guys had come down with the super bug MRSA. So the staff stripped me down and examined me. I had what appeared to be a bug bite on my arm. The doctor said that he thought I had been bitten by a Brown Recluse Spider. I had just moved to the area and had never heard of this indigenous spider that sends lots of locals to this hospital.

I accepted the Doc's diagnosis and went home with some powerful anti-biotics and an anti-leprosy drug that they were experimenting with for spider venom. (I doubt it was a Brown Recluse Bite. I never lost any flesh or had any of the usual necrotic effects of that spider's powerful venom, but you never know.)

I spent the next several years with intermittent gastric distress, fatigue, low grade fevers. I went to different Docs, wound up back at that ER in 2008 and again in 2011, and several visits to the local walk-in-clinic, and was sent off with a series of different anti-biotics. You name it, I had taken it.

And I never got better. Somewhere, I had picked up a super bug alright - but not MRSA. I had picked up a nasty stomach-resident super bug called Chlostridium Difficile - also known as C Diff - only none of my healthcare providers figured it out until recently.

C Diff sickens hundreds of thousands of people per year in the U.S., and kills an estimated 15,000 to 30,000 of them. It is a really nasty bug. The primary means of infection is in people taking broad spectrum antibiotics. There are only a couple of drugs that can "treat" C Diff. Most people eventually get better as their guts are recolonized by "good" bugs. Others have a chronic issue and many of these eventually succumb to the infection.

While I have a great family Doctor who eventually figured it out, I can't say too much that is positive for the Hospital that I went to on 3 different occasions or the other Healthcare professionals I have seen. These folks handed out anti-biotics without a second thought - and they damn near killed me.

In doing my research on C Diff I came across Dr. Bonnie Bassler's work on bacteria and eventually found the above video. Also Jini Patel's book and web site "Listen to your Gut". And a guy with the creatively named "" website. The treatment modality for C Diff is a couple powerful anti-biotics, the very things that gave it to me in the first place (and nearly killed me), and if they don't work you are SOL. In truth, these medications do not kill all of the C Diff in your body. They do reduce the population concentration of the bacteria below the level at which the bacteria will launch a virulent attack with which to kill your ass - and at that moment you might well hope they succeed.

Guess how many "specialists" understood the implications of Dr. Bassler's assertions on bacteria in general and C Diff in particular? Not a freaking one. Know what every one of them wants to do? They want to "scope" you - and run the bill up. Scopes don't cure. Good bacteria cures. There is no money in that for these "specialists". They prescribe and they scope.

I did take the antibiotic prescribed for C-Diff, but I did not rely on it. I relied on good bacteria which I pumped into my body with great enthusiasm. I fermented everything. No kidding. Yogurt, Kefir, Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Pickles and more I fermented at home and ate raw and UN-pasteurized. I also followed Dr. John Harvey Kellog's treatment regimen from over 100 years ago - read into that what you like.

I am coming back to life, though not out of the woods just yet. No matter what, the changes I have made to my diet and lifestyle will remain. I spent a lifetime as a career road-warrior - there will be no more of that. Wining and dining prospective clients and traveling do not mix well with gastro-intestinal distress. I publish this here to tell others about the dangers of anti-biotics, the dangers of uninformed medical practitioners, and the dangers of an industrial diet completely lacking in sufficiently fermented foods. I used to role my eyes at those "health food wackos" and their pro-biotics. Turns out I was the knucklehead. Of course, the stuff you buy in the store? Commercial yogurt with "live cultures"? Or those over-the-counter pills? They do not have enough of the "stuff" you need, and not by a long shot. You gotta do it at home. Every one of us is susceptible to this new Super Bug. Chlorinated water, anti-biotics in industrial-farmed meats, anti-biotic medications and other inputs have been implicated. Who knows? I have been ill with the recurrent attacks for several years - its just that neither I nor my doctors knew what it was - thankfully, I was strong and healthy when I got this or I might have wound up on the wrong side of the grass. In my opinion, what nearly killed me, and brought this to a head after years of symptoms, was Clindamycin (prescribed due to oral surgery) followed by Cipro (prescribed for, in retrospect and in my opinion, a misdiagnosis).

So I got that going for me.

If you come down with gastro-intestinal distress, don't assume its just something you ate. The earlier you get on this the less damage will be done to your epithelial tissues lining your intestines. Chronic infections can take years to recover from. If you must take anti-biotics, make sure you have plenty of home fermented foods ready and waiting. They could save your life.