f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

April 21, 2006

frivolous restaurant lawsuits – “Tina’s Groove”

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 3:53 pm

With Overlawyered‘s Walter Olson taking a few days off for family duties, I guess it’s up to us to point you to today’s Tina’s Groove comic strip on Restaurant Lawsuits. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, April 21, 2006) It’s well worth a click. (Hey, buddy, can I borrow your placemat?)
TinaSample get Tina products here
early Alzheimer’s
she says she’ll have . . .
the usual
dining alone
I rehearse
a conversation

home
and homesick
all-night diner

late night —
a waitress repeats
the list of pies

“dining alone” – Quiet Enough (Red Moon Press, 2004)
“early Alzheimer’s” – Quiet Enough (2004)
“home” – Upstate Dim Sum (2003/I)
“late night”- The Heron’s Nest (March 2006)
. . .

coffee shop . . .
the only empty seat
still warm
all tongue
the clam in the fire’s
hiss
from School’s Out (Press Here, 1999)
pretty waitress —  SlicingThePie
just a nod when we say
we’re getting old

…  by dagosan

cfs, genes and stress: so that’s why!

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 11:22 am

One of the worst things about having the medical diagnosis (as I do) of “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” is not being able to point to specific, scientific/medical causes for the myriad symptoms.  Because you do not “look sick” and can’t “prove” how worn out your body seems or how much pain you’re feeling, many of the people in your life — including some doctors — start thinking you are “crazy or lazy,” which can affect your own self-image.

computer weary One thing that “makes no sense” to many of my friends and often to myself, is my felt experience over the past decade that mental and emotional stressors, and exposure to virtually anyone’s germs, can be as debilitating as physical exertion or injury for me.  It is with some relief, therefore, that I read the article “Chronic Fatigue’s Genetic Component: Study Clarifies Predisposition to Syndrome,” this morning’s Washington Post (April 21, 2006), which summarizes “The results, published in more than a dozen reports and commentaries in the April issue of the journal Pharmacogenomics  http://www.nature.com/tpj/index.html].
. .
The article states, in part (emphasis added):
“An intense battery of medical and psychological tests of people with chronic fatigue syndrome has strengthened the idea that the mysterious ailment is actually a collection of five or more conditions with varying genetic and environmental causes, scientists reported yesterday.
graphClimbNBut though the syndrome comes in many flavors, these experts said, the new work also points to an important common feature: The brains and immune systems of affected people do not respond normally to physical and psychological stresses.”
. . .
” . . . in one analysis, the activity of just 26 genes did accurately predict which of six categories of chronic fatigue a patient had on the basis of symptoms and other clinical tests. That is a powerful hint that those genes — many of them involved in immune system regulation, the adrenal gland and the brain’s hypothalamus and pituitary gland, which are involved in the body’s response to stress — may hold clues to the disease variants.
. . .
” . . .  It is already known, [CDC’s Suzzane D.] Vernon said, that the brain can literally rewire itself — breaking old connections between neurons while building new ones — in response to various physical or emotional events. Chronic fatigue syndrome may be the result of a bad rewiring job, she said, in people genetically predisposed to handle stress poorly.”
The specific implications remain uncertain for now, said Vernon, a CDC molecular biologist. “But everybody’s finding the same five genes to be involved, which is pretty cool.”
Several other studies on the Wichita samples found abnormal levels of various hormones relating to stress and mood — additional evidence that chronic fatigue syndrome patients are genetically and neurologically “wired” to respond to stress abnormally.”
If you think it’s strange to be thrilled finding out you may indeed have genetic abnormalities, you probably have not lived with the uncertainties of an illness like CFS.  For now, I plan to chastise myself less when stressful topics (like here yesterday) seem to leave me so drained.  I will also keep in mind this crucial sentence in the WaPo article:
“The researchers predicted that continued clarification of the precise genes and hormones involved will lead to better diagnostic tests and therapies for the ailment, which may affect close to 1 million Americans.”
. . .
mom’s arthritis
acting up —
I take two Advil

her beer breath —
tonight,
we both have headaches

computer weary … by dagosan

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