Pico de Orizaba

Pico de Orizaba
Taken from Huatusco, Veracruz, the closest town to Margarita's family's ranch.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Did you know?

The year 2015 was my 13th complete year in Mexico and the 13th year Margarita and I were together.  2014 was a year of impressive optimism.  However, 2015 quickly evolved into a nightmare with José's accident entering the city of Leon that destroyed the truck he was driving.  That same month Margarita's grandfather died and one of Margarita's nephews (14-years-old) who's private school education we were planning on paying for the following year ran away from home with an older "woman" shattering that plan.  And then a little over a month later I had my heart attack and the interventionist cardiologist (who was recommended by the gastroenterologist who in December would prescribe me ampicillin after having asked me if I had any allergies and I responded "Penicillin") would inadvisedly tell me to take the Beta Blocker and Aspirin before going to sleep which would lead to all of the night time emergency situations since June, ignoring all of my statements about problems with the aspirin and the beta blocker...  Plus, the evening of the angiogram I had an allergic reaction to the resonance ink they were pumping into my heart; although 10 percent of patients undergoing an angiogram have allergic reactions to the resonance ink, my cardiologist had no idea that such a thing could occur.  Not only was he taken by surprise, I wasn't asked the standard questions about my allergy history before they began the angiogram so that they could be prepared for the event.  So, between March 14th and late November I saw 6 different cardiologists and spent tens of thousands of pesos (one dollar is worth 17 pesos) on doctors and hi-tech exams, not to forget about how much unnecessary stress to which I was subject... fear, the belief of imminent death due to the intense arrhythmias that awakened me at night etc... and how much we shaped our world around the incredibly increasing risk factor connected with what I was certain was a feable heart...

Now you may be asking what has occurred that makes me write as if something has suddenly changed in 2016...

Today I visited with the most recent cardiologist and had the routine check-up with the electrocardiogram...  I told him that I had cut the beta blocker dose in half (against his recommendation in early December.  In fact, he had told me, if anything, he would increase the dose to deal with the arrhythmia) because I was certain that it was the beta blocker causing the arrhythmia... and that at the half dose I don't experience arrhythmia...  After doing the routine stethoscope exam and the electrocardiogram the cardiologist exclaimed, "You don't have any arrhythmia" and suggested that I continue on the half dose of the betablocker and take up yoga classes for improving my breathing...  Although I was very tense when he was doing the exam and checking my blood pressure (with my intense battle with the cardiologists, I suffer horrible "white coat hypertension"), my bp only rose to 130/80, which kept him tranquil.  We talked for a little while longer.  I explained what happened with the gastroenterologist and the Ampicillin in December and he responded, "we've gotta find you another gastroenterologist, but after we remove you from the Effient anti-platelet drug in 4 months..."  And told me to make an appointment for April...  

You have no idea how relieved I am... to have finally come out on top of this horrible battle over the past 10 months.  It's not just about the betablocker.  But the finding about how aspirin interacts with the pineal gland, blocking the secretion of melatonin was incredible and has changed things dramatically, especially how I sleep.  

But back to the betablocker:  In December I noticed that I experienced arrhythmias for 4 hours after taking the drug during the day.  Now, combine 4 hours of arrhythmia with continuously broken sleep caused by Aspirin blocking the secretion of Melatonin after taking the two at 11pm or 12am...  and you have the first emergencies of mid-June that sent me to the hospital, although by the time I arrived there, the electrocardiogram wasn't registering anything, since 4 hours had passed since taking the pills.  5 months later, when I wore the 24 hour Holter, at least 80,000 double and triple beats were recorded, most of them at night, because I was still taking the pills before going to sleep.  

Not much more to say at the moment, except for mentioning the comment the most recent cardiologist said in early December that my intense reading was harming me...  Would he repeat that statement today, a month later?  If I hadn't read about the function of melatonin and the Pineal Gland, I wouldn't have been able to confirm the relationship between taking Aspirin at night and my incredibly difficult night time experiences since June.  But there are so many more scientific, medical, nutritional and behavioral findings I've read about that can only aid in my and other peoples' health... but only if we can encounter progressive medical assistance...  There's only so much one can do without adequate resources.  It's kind of like the question:  "Is the solution to the incredible air pollution of many Chinese industrial cities the fabrication of liter oxygen bottles in Canada and China importing those bottles and selling them to wealthy Chinese for at least 15 dollars a pop?"

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

FAP and non-colorectal cancer risk

After having preventative surgery (colectomy) the FAP patient ceases being at risk of developing cancer of the colon (because they no longer have a colon).  When I had my colon removed, it was believed that the issue of FAP ceases until we have children and must worry about the future discovery of polyps in our childrens' colons when they enter puberty.  34 years later, we know that this was a very limited understanding of FAP and that maybe we should be much more concerned about the greatly increased possibilities along with what is yet to be understood.  Hence:

"The cumulative probability of developing any type of a noncolorectal cancer, mostly periampullary tumors, is 11% by age 50 years and 52% by age 75 years."

This is a quote from an article published by Medscape http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/175377-overview#a6

Putting this in perspective: on 0.3% of the U.S. population will develop cancer any given year (300 of every 100,000 people).  That said, you must understand that the rate increases dramatically after the age of 45.  For instance, in 2014 there were only 53,990 new cases for men/boys under the age of 45 and only 87,920 new cases for women/girls under the age of 45.  However, that rate increased more than 10 fold for men and women over the age of 45:  801,230 for men and 722,400 for women.

Not only this, the article mentions that some people express their APC mutation much later in life called AAPC instead of FAP, the onset of polyps appearing around the age of 36 and colon cancer appearing at the age of 54. Makes me think of the APC gene that my father inherited from his mother and the APC gene that my uncle inherited from that same mother; On my uncle's side, Turcot's Syndrome also appeared. But supposedly on my father's side, no... So, is it possible that those family members who were found without polyps at puberty and deemed free of the struggle, yet were not genetically tested, could find themselves in great risk as they approach their 50s? And what about their children who they believed were free from the colonoscopies at puberty? Could they be placing their children at the same risk of the deceased and unknown grandparents?