So I asked one of my friends last night what she knew about shingles, and just as we were getting off the phone, she added, “Sambucol is good for shingles, by the way. It boosts your immune system.” (Sambucol is the elderberry extract I’m always plugging for respiratory illness.)
A little bell went off. See, I couldn’t figure out why the pain got so much worse after being okay for the first two weeks after surgery – it hit me that I’d been taking Sambucol for an impending cold that whole time. The pain got much worse after I stopped taking it.
So I started taking it again last night. I slept through the night for the first time in a week, and more important, the pain is much better today. There’s still pain, but it’s not as intense. It’s bearable. Very, very interesting.
At 7:25 a.m. this morning, amidst mostly cloudy skies, and temperatures in the low 30s, Groundhog Phil saw his shadow in the little town of Punxsutawney, Pa.
According to folklore, Phil’s sighting of his own shadow means there will be 6 more weeks of winter. Had Phil not seen his shadow, it would have meant “there will be an early spring.”
If Phil’s forecast is right, it signals a dramatic reversal from the mild weather pattern affecting much of the country. Many parts of the central and eastern U.S. have seen temperatures 20 to 30 degrees above normal in recent days. On February 1, just 19% of the Lower 48 had snow cover compared to 52% at this time last year.
Footnote: If Phil’s sighting means anything, it’s “there will be an extremely late winter.”
The NYT probably will run a 2,000-word analysis on how Mitt Romney “turned it around” in Florida, but all we need to know about that primary is in this paragraph from a piece by Charles Pierce:
…Romney won because he had the most money. And because he had the most money, enough of the Tea Party “base,” which was supposed to hate him like gum disease, decided thusly: What the hell? The important thing is to get the Muslim Kenyan Usurper Negro out of the White House, so this is the horse we have to ride. There were something like 13,000 commercials aired in Florida over the past couple of weeks. Ninety-two percent of them were negative, the overwhelming number of which said negative things about N. Leroy Gingrich, Definer of Civilization’s Rules and Leader (Perhaps) of the Civilizing Forces, on behalf of the man who told us on Tuesday night that we should follow him into the old America of hope and joy and not bumper stickers. That is how you win the Inevitability Primary. You buy Inevitability. It doesn’t come cheaply…
9 pm eastern | 6 pm pacific |Virtually Speaking with Jay Ackroyd | Stirling Newberry and Jay discuss the long term prospects of America and humanity in an unegalitarian world hoovering up resources at an unsustainable pace.Plus ‘What Digby Said.’ Follow @ssnewberry @JayAckroyd Listen live and later on BTR.
I forgot to say that the doctor said the pain I’m describing sounds like shingles, and so does the pain pattern. “But you don’t have a rash,” he said.
I pointed to this one small blister that showed up two days before.
“Hmm. Well, we’ll keep an eye on it,” he said.
I did a little reading yesterday and found that shingles frequently appears after surgery – and that it doesn’t always have a rash. The pain really is bad; even sitting still doesn’t seem to help, although moving makes it worse. Arghh.
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum told the mother of a child with a rare genetic disorder on Tuesday that she shouldn’t have a problem paying $1 million a year for drugs because Apple’s iPad can cost around $900.
Speaking to more than 400 people at Woodland Park, Colorado, the former Pennsylvania senator said that demand should set prices for drugs.
“People have no problem paying $900 for an iPad,” the candidate explained. “But paying $900 for a drug they have a problem with — it keeps you alive. Why? Because you’ve been conditioned to think health care is something you can get without having to pay for it.”
The mother replied that she could not afford her son’s medication, Abilify, which can cost as much as $1 million a year without health insurance.
“Look, I want your son and everybody to have the opportunity to stay alive on much-needed drugs,” Santorum insisted. “But the bottom line is, we have to give companies the incentive to make those drugs. And if they don’t have the incentive to make those drugs, your son won’t be alive and lots of other people in this country won’t be alive.”
“He’s alive today because drug companies provide care,” the candidate continued. “And if they didn’t think they could make money providing that drug, that drug wouldn’t be here. I sympathize with these compassionate cases. … I want your son to stay alive on much-needed drugs. Fact is, we need companies to have incentives to make drugs. If they don’t have incentives, they won’t make those drugs. We either believe in markets or we don’t.”