Karl (louderback) wrote,

A very long post on medicine and story writing

         I rarely update so frequently. I guess I must just be in the mood. The latest "tempest in a teapot" to genuinely tick me off is the speech by Obama to school children.

     <rant>People, let's get a grip here. Whatever you think of the speech (I've read it and don't really have a problem with anything it says) bandying about the words like "brainwashing" and "indoctrination" are ludicrous on the face of it. "Brainwashing" does not take place in the course of a single speech. "Indoctrination" isn't accomplished with a single series of admonitions by "a higher authority". Do you really believe the children of the United States whom we all habitually characterize as "unruly" and "hard to handle" will suddenly begin to march lockstep the the bathrooms and begin washing their hands between classes because Obama admonished them to? Does anyone really believe that the children of our nation will decide to "help the president" by obeying all the rules set for in the speech? I didn't find those, by the way, but people keep talking about 'em. Have people forgotten that this speech happens in a school? Have they forgotten that a teacher is present? Have they considered that a teacher might "mitigate" any "harmful propaganda" (for the record, I don't consider all "propaganda" harmful) by having their class simply talk about the speech or do some assignments designed to make them think about what was said? I think Obama's "propaganda" and "indoctrination efforts" are a lot less pervasive or harmful than that of a successful "gangsta" rapper who shall remain nameless. What of CNN or FOX, are they not "indoctrinating" their viewers with left or right-leaning views? Where is the outrage over this? Dubya made numerous speeches to the nation advocating his faith in one way or another, where was the outrage then? Many a pundit (read Rush Limbaugh, Bill Maher, Bill O'Reilly, Lou Dobbs, or any of a hundred Television Evangelists) "indoctrinates" a horde of followers on a daily or weekly basis. They present "propaganda" (which is to say data informed with their own viewpoint) every time they appear. Where, I ask again, is the outrage over their behavior?</rant>

     That aside I've been working on a list of all my medications. It's a scary list. I've tried all of the medicines listed below either for my neuropathy, diabetes, or for depression. I will try to show the year(s) they were tried if I can remember even vaguely.

  • SNRI    Duloxetine        Cymbalta      07-
  • TCA     Amitriptyline     Elavil        00-01
  • SSRI    Fluoxetine        Prozac        99, 03
  • SSRI    Paroxetine        Paxil         98, 02
  • SSRI    Citalopram        Celexa        01-02?, 04?
  • AED     Gabapentin        Neurontin     02-03?
  • AED     Carbamazepine     Tegretol      01?
  • AED     Oxcarbazepine     Trileptal     09
  • AED     Topiramate        Topamax       04-05, 06?
I am quite certain that these are inaccurate, but they are as close as I can get. For purely diabetes control my medicines are as follows. They will be slightly more accurate.
  • Insulin           Insulin Glargine     Lantus     09
  • Insulin analog    Insulin detemir      Levemir    09
  • incretin mimetic  Exenatide            Byetta     08
  • Insulin           Insulin Lispro       Humalog    09
  • Sulfonylurea      Glipizide            Glucotrol  98-99
  • Meglitinide       Repaglinide          Prandin    99-00
  • Biguanide         Metformin            Glucophage 00-06
  • Glitazone         Rosiglitazone        Avandia    01-04
  • Glitazone         Pioglitazone         Actos      01
  • Glitazone         Troglitazone         Rezulin    99-00?
  • ?                                      Avandamet  04-08
  • Supplement                             Garlic     always
  • Supplement                             Cinnamon   00-02

     My current list of daily medications is as follows. I hope it is accurate.

  • 1  250/50mg   advair discus                 for breathing
  • 40 units      humalog insulin (fast acting) with meal for BG control
  • 1 500mg       depakote                      for neuropathy
  • 3 150mg       oxcarbazepin                  for neuropathy
  • 1 7.5mg       plavix                        for blood clots
  • 1 100mg       amiodirone                    regulates heart beat
  • 1 20mg        lisinopril                    for blood pressure
  • 1 ?mg         lovastatin                    for cholesterol
  • 2 600mg       caltrate calcium + D          for osteoporosis
  • 1             boniva 15th of each month     for osteoporosis
  • 1 60mg        cymbalta                      for depression
  • 1 0.25mg      digoxin                       regulates heart beat
  • 1 3.125mg     cardovelil                    not sure (heart)
  • 1 20mg        omeprazole                    this is prilosec
  • 1 81mg        aspirin                       for heart
  • 1 SMZ/TMP DS 180-160 antibiotic             not sure 
  • 1 7.5mg       deplin                        for depression
  • 1 500mg       homocysteine                  I don't know
  • 1 500mg       diabetes formula multivitamin just because
  • 40 units      humalog insulin (fast acting) with meal for BG control
  • 1  250/50mg   advair discus                 for breathing 
  • 40 units      humalog insulin (fast acting) with meal for BG control
  • 1 500mg       depakote                      for neuropathy
  • 3 150mg       oxcarbazepin                  for neuropathy
  • 100 units     levemir (long acting insulin) at bed time BG control

     I'm offended by this list. No Doctor or Pharmacist will have an easy time convincing me that they can accurately determine the interactions of this many medicines. I know that whatever the interactions, the taking of this vast lump of chemicals makes me nauseous each time I do so.          

     On to other topics: based on a recent dream I have begun writing a story about a "psychic" detective. If any of you remember a television series called "Blood Ties" based on the Tanya Huff "Blood Books" starring the character Vickie Nelson, you'll see the inspiration for my story.

     I haven't settled on a name for my detective, but I'm calling her "Yancy" because I picture her rather like Yancy Butler from Witchblade. I'd hate to see her cast as a mindless eye-lash-batting Hollywood babelette so I've written her as a bit older, perhaps 35-40. She is an ex-marine, wounded by a sniper (with some permanent lung damage) in the marine infiltration of Kuwait in the first gulf war and discharged medically. She joins the Chicago Police Department and serves there for 15 years, eventually rising to Detective Sergeant (or maybe even Inspector, I haven't decided). In that year she witnesses a sniper attack on random vehicles. She rushes to aid some of the injured and the sniper shoots her in her left knee. The damage is severe, causing the humerus, the patella, and the tibia all to require some rebuilding. Her artificial knee allows her to move with only a trace of a limp, but she can no longer run very far or very fast. She faces being relegated to a desk job permanently or retirement.

     Yancy chooses retirement. She establishes her own business as a "Consulting Detective". She is always careful to draw the distinction between her profession and that of a typical Private Eye. No sordid adultery cases or spouse-tracking for her. Yancy works with large corporations, high-profile individuals, politicians, businessmen, and celebrities who require a maximum of "discretion" and who are willing to pay exorbitant fees. Yancy gets $5,000 a day and expenses for "simple cases" and anything where she could be even vaguely construed as breaking the law, the fee doubles or triples.

     Yancy commands such high prices because she has an "edge". She rose quickly through the ranks as a Police officer and continues to excel in her profession because she is "Psychic". Since birth Yancy has seen "flashes" around people, a roundish disc around their head and shoulders that she thinks of as their aura. She sometimes gets such flashes when she touches an object or enters a crime scene. The color, shape and intensity of an aura tells her a lot (after years of experience examining them) about a person and their motivations. All auras vary in color, but change from lighter at the outer edge to darker toward the inner edge. Closest to the person there is a slender band which Yancy can read almost like a lie detector. It doesn't so much tell her that someone is lying as much as it tells her their intent or fears as they speak to her.

     Yancy also sees "faces" superimposed on people at times. She believes that this is a matter of Karma or Reincarnation. Her theory is that when someone dies, their soul is gathered into a single oneness of soul which retains the goodness in a soul and sends the badness or evil in that soul back to be reborn on earth giving it a chance to improve or redeem itself.

     An evil person may be reborn in part to many individuals or to just one. Thus a murderer may re-appear many years later in one person influencing them toward evil, or may be spread across dozens influencing them much less strongly. Those who resist the evil mitigate it and it may not return in the next cycle. Those who give in... well, Karma is a bitch.

     By seeing the image of a face superimposed over another person's Yancy can sometimes (rather rarely actually) find that face in newspaper stories, history books or whatever, and learn something of the nature of the evil in her opponent, or her client for that matter. Because the face she sees may be someone as infamous as Hitler and quite recognizable or someone distant in history for whom there are no reliable depictions, her search for faces is often fruitless.

     Yancy's first case involves a bank robbery at a private bank. Three safe deposit boxes are broken open. Only the vault containing the safe deposit boxes has been tampered with. The larger vault for currency, negotiable instruments, bullion, foreign currency and such seems untouched. Yancy must recover the contents of the boxes without knowing their contents... even the bank doesn't know what the box owners store there. Further, if she contacts the box owners, the fact of the robbery will doubtless reach the public which is precisely what the bank does not want. Thus Yancy is on her own to recover stolen items without knowing what they are.

     Yancy's office is on the floor directly below her apartment. She has several people who assist her investigations.

  • Ritchie Matthews, a blond curly-haired twenty-something college student (criminology) is her sidekick on an irregular basis. He is called on as needed, acts as gofer, researcher (college library), and general man of all work during an investigation. He is not as obversant as Yancy, but is a better theoretician.
  • Connie Burnett is a smallish Irishwoman of perhaps 50. She is energetic and efficient as Yancy's office manager. She is also in the habit of keeping Yancy "down to earth". Connie fiddles with tarot cards whenever she is doing nothing else and her "readings" often offer unexpected insights into cases.
  • Ray Barker is Yancy's former partner in the police department. They had a brief affair even though Ray was married at the time. They broke it off mutually for the sake of their sanity. Ray, now divorced, remains Yancy's close friend and acts almost as a full partner in some of her investigations despite the conflicts this causes with his responsibilities to the Chicago PD. There is a noticeable sexual tension between Yancy and Ray, but neither of them is willing to resume more than a "business" relationship. Ray is Yancy's "inside man" on the force.
    There are more characters to be defined
  • Ray's Boss, Hal Miller who rides Ray hard about his involvement in Yancy's cases.
  • Florica Petulenegro is a sort of mentor to Yancy. She is of Romani (gypsy) descent. She claims to be a princess (and possibly is). She lives a few blocks away and works as a "life coach" (which stops just short of being a fortune teller) and has a large following of (mostly women) from many walks of life, from the very poor to the vastly wealthy.
  • There is Yancy's step-mother Belinda (Yancy's mother and father have both passed away) with whom she retains a strong relationship. Belinda tends to be to voice of reason in Yancy's life which is not always very helpful given Yancy's unreasonable environment.
  • Linda, Yancy's mostly-estranged daughter tends to show up at inconvenient times. She is chronically unsuccessful, tends to interfere with Yancy's life at the worst possible moment and is highly skeptical about Yancy's abilities.

     All things considered I am interested in completing at least the first story. I can picture several more. I hope it won't seem to derivative of "Blood Ties" but I do recognize some similarities              

     Enough for now. This has taken me all day to type and I am exhausted. 


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