Monthly Archives: June 2020

Sick Friend, Sick Family, Sick World

This post is going to be a bunch of things that I’ve been thinking about. There isn’t necessarily a theme or connection between any of them, but they are things that I want to share, and even discuss (feel free to comment below), with the floxie community.

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First, Henk. Henk Noordhuizen has been contributing to the floxie hope community through his comments on the site (primarily the home page) for several years. He has provided information, insight, support, advice, humor, and friendship to the community through the years that he has been floxed. He is appreciated and adored by many. Sadly, Henk has recently been diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus. He is very weak and his prognosis is poor. I’m so sad about his illness, and I know that many others are too. Henk is in my thoughts, and I wanted to let others in the floxie community know what is going on with him so that they/you can send healing thoughts (and prayers if so inclined). If any of you want me to forward messages to Henk, please send them to me through the Contact link above, and I will send them to Henk. Thank you. And, Henk, if you read this, know that we are thinking of you. Hugs!

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Next, some COVID-19 stuff. I don’t know any more about COVID-19, or what to do about it, than anyone else, so I’ll keep my thoughts and opinions brief.

It’s bizarre that use of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of COVID-19 has become a politicized and polarizing issue. I suppose that it’s because Trump mentioned it, so now support or opposition of use of hydroxychloroquine is an indicator for whether a person supports or opposes Trump. This whole line of thinking, on both sides, is nonsense. It’s a drug. It has effects, and it has side-effects. With proper studies and experiments it will either be shown to be a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19, or it won’t. Randomized double blind studies have not yet been performed though, so we honestly don’t know how safe or effective hydroxychloroquine is for COVID-19 patients. I’m sure we’ll know with time whether or not it is considered a safe and effective treatment for most people (though not all people – some will suffer from adverse reactions that may be awful). Hydroxychloroquine has been around for a while, and we do know that it has some serious “side effects” (I really hate that term because it doesn’t encompass the horror of adverse drug reactions) that are worrisome. It is also chemically similar enough to fluoroquinolones that I think it’s appropriate for the “floxie” community to be cautious and wary of it. As I said in my last post, I would try to avoid it if possible, but that’s just me. I also think that it’s ridiculous to be either for or against hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19 based on politics, and I’m glad that Trump has never said a thing about fluoroquinolones.

A lot of people who get COVID-19 are going to join the unfortunate “club” of those who are chronically ill, and it is likely that many of them will also join the unfortunate “club” of those who have been hurt by pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately, there are going to be some COVID-19 victims who are also floxies because, sadly, co-infections are being treated with fluoroquinolones. It’s all sad and scary and I’m not sure what else to say about it other than to point out the obvious that YOU DON’T TREAT VIRUSES WITH ANTIBIOTICS.

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On another, personal, topic – my Dad had a pacemaker put in about 10 days ago. The electrical system for his heart stopped working entirely, and we are all lucky that his backup system kicked in (apparently some people don’t have a backup system, or it doesn’t kick in), and that he had an appointment with a cardiologist when he did. The cardiologist said that people who have a heartbeat that is as slow and erratic as my Dad’s was usually come into the ER on a stretcher. As soon as my Dad got to the cardiologist’s office, he was told that he’d have to have a pacemaker put in ASAP. They did so that day, and he is now doing well. The pacemaker saved his life – the doctors who diagnosed him and put in the pacemaker did too – as did the entire medical system that made his surgery possible. This is the second time that medical interventions have saved my Dad’s life. The first time was about 15 years ago when he had cancer (non-hodgkin’s lymphoma) and a single round of chemo kicked it. We have been lucky and grateful twice.

It’s hard to be angry with the medical system when it saved my Dad’s life twice – once very recently. I’m grateful that pacemakers exist, that the surgery is so remarkably uninvasive, and that he is doing well. This in no way negates that I wish that the medical system was better at acknowledging, treating, and even curing multi-symptom chronic illnesses – especially those caused by pharmaceuticals. I don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater as they say, but I do want the bad drugs, and bad doctors, and bad practices, and bad studies, to be abandoned as they deserve. I think, and hope, that there’s room for both embracing the good and criticizing and abandoning the bad. I hope that our collective criticism of the medical system makes it better. It needs to get better – it is hurting too many people. But it also saves people, and right now, I am grateful that my Dad’s life was saved and that he is doing amazingly well.

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