Big Pharma Sucks!

My wife has an illness that requires one particular medication.  Not a medication similar in compound.  Not a medication somewhat comparable in it’s benefits.  Zyprexia provides her with the only relief.  How do we know?  Well, up until 10 years ago, her ‘team’ of doctors were still scratching their heads about her med regime.  In and out of different hospitalizations and different cocktails of pills: Were going to be a way of life for Megan.

Fortunately, as a last resort, Zyprexia was administered.  And, since then, she has had fewer and fewer inner conflicts and hospital stays.

Her medication cost about $500. each month!

My question is simple:  How much money is too much money?  Big Pharma, let us face it, has a strangle hold on society.  If one does not need medication to live.  They know someone that does.  We are a captive audience.  Where are elected officials?  Why is this not a disgrace to the nation as a, whole?

 

http://chng.it/hrdwkHvgMd:Stop Big Pharma’s Plot to Keep Drugs Unaffordable!

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jezebel.com/disability-rights-advocate-carrie-ann-lucas-dies

On Sunday, long-time disability rights activist and attorney Carrie Ann Lucas died from complications from an infection after she went into cardiac arrest, which resulted, according to her friends and family, from her insurance company’s denial of a necessary medication. She was 47.

Lucas, who had a rare form of muscular dystrophy and used a wheelchair as well as a ventilator, spent her life fighting for the rights of people with disabilities, from working to expand and protect the rights of parents with disabilities to advocating for increased health care access. She grew up in Windsor, Colorado and was a teacher and a pastor before becoming a lawyer. She founded the group Disabled Parents Rights, with the goal of assisting parents with disabilities, work that was informed by discrimination she experienced when she attempted to go through the adoption process. She also fought against passing physician-assisted suicide laws. In 2017, as a member of the disability rights group ADAPT, she was one of several people with disabilities who were arrested during a sit-in held in protest of Republicans’ planned cuts to Medicaid.

A February 24 post on her Facebook page states that Lucas “died after an arbitrary denial from an insurance company caused a plethora of health problems, exacerbating her disabilities and eventually leading to her premature death.” More details from the post:

Because Carrie Ann worked for the state, she had use state insurance which was primary ahead of her Medicare and Medicaid. In January of 2018 she got a cold which turned into a trach and lung infection. Her insurance company UnitedHealthcare, refused to pay for the one specific inhaled antibiotic that she really needed. She had to take a less effective drug and had a bad reaction to that drug. This created a cascade of problems, loss of function (including her speech). United Healthcare’s attempt to save $2,000 cost over $1 million in health care costs over the past year. This includes numerous hospitalizations, always involving the Intensive Care Unit which is par for the course for ventilator users.

In her final blog post from January, Lucas wrote about the impact of spending a significant portion of the past year in the hospital:

In the last nine months, I’ve spent a total of eight weeks in the hospital. Some hospitalizations were shorter, 2 and 3 days, and over a weekend. Others have been longer 8-, 9- and 10-day long grinds like this one. In these nine months, I left one hospital against medical advice to transfer myself to another hospital because of inadequate care, acquired additional infections from the hospital, and suffered more medical mistakes than I can count.

When confronted with these realities time and time again during hospitalizations, the trauma builds. One can only be told you are incorrect, only to have someone come back later and confirm you were correct so many times. One can only correct medical mistakes so many times. One can only handle the disruption in any sort of routine so long. The loss of autonomy and uncertainty in the hospital is trauma inducing. Each hospitalization is worse because I have not had enough time between hospitalizations to allow my emotions to recover. This trauma is unacknowledged by physicians, and they fail to understand how their actions and patterns are creating trauma which simply exacerbates the situation. Instead we patients are left in a puddle of tears with few tools to help ourselves because we have no control, and face only uncertainty.

In a remembrance from the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center, which gave Lucas an award in 2016, the group wrote: “Carrie may have been the only wheelchair-using Latina with a bumper sticker reading ‘just another disabled lesbian for Christ,’ dressed in camo, driving her trak-chair into the wilderness in search of the perfect photo.” The group added: “We are very grateful for all Carrie has taught us about disability rights and intersectionality, and for being a brilliant and hilarious colleague and friend.”

Lucas is survived by her four adopted children and her partner Dr. Kimberley Jackson. “She was an amazing person who dedicated her whole life to helping other people and I just miss her so much and so will the disability community,” Jackson told the Coloradoan. “We have a similar disability and she understood me like no one has before.”

A February 24 post on her Facebook page states that Lucas “died after an arbitrary denial from an insurance company caused a plethora of health problems, exacerbating her disabilities and eventually leading to her premature death.” More details from the post:

Because Carrie Ann worked for the state, she had use state insurance which was primary ahead of her Medicare and Medicaid. In January of 2018 she got a cold which turned into a trach and lung infection. Her insurance company UnitedHealthcare, refused to pay for the one specific inhaled antibiotic that she really needed. She had to take a less effective drug and had a bad reaction to that drug. This created a cascade of problems, loss of function (including her speech). United Healthcare’s attempt to save $2,000 cost over $1 million in health care costs over the past year. This includes numerous hospitalizations, always involving the Intensive Care Unit which is par for the course for ventilator users.

In her final blog post from January, Lucas wrote about the impact of spending a significant portion of the past year in the hospital:

In the last nine months, I’ve spent a total of eight weeks in the hospital. Some hospitalizations were shorter, 2 and 3 days, and over a weekend. Others have been longer 8-, 9- and 10-day long grinds like this one. In these nine months, I left one hospital against medical advice to transfer myself to another hospital because of inadequate care, acquired additional infections from the hospital, and suffered more medical mistakes than I can count.

When confronted with these realities time and time again during hospitalizations, the trauma builds. One can only be told you are incorrect, only to have someone come back later and confirm you were correct so many times. One can only correct medical mistakes so many times. One can only handle the disruption in any sort of routine so long. The loss of autonomy and uncertainty in the hospital is trauma inducing. Each hospitalization is worse because I have not had enough time between hospitalizations to allow my emotions to recover. This trauma is unacknowledged by physicians, and they fail to understand how their actions and patterns are creating trauma which simply exacerbates the situation. Instead we patients are left in a puddle of tears with few tools to help ourselves because we have no control, and face only uncertainty.

In a remembrance from the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center, which gave Lucas an award in 2016, the group wrote: “Carrie may have been the only wheelchair-using Latina with a bumper sticker reading ‘just another disabled lesbian for Christ,’ dressed in camo, driving her trak-chair into the wilderness in search of the perfect photo.” The group added: “We are very grateful for all Carrie has taught us about disability rights and intersectionality, and for being a brilliant and hilarious colleague and friend.”

Lucas is survived by her four adopted children and her partner Dr. Kimberley Jackson. “She was an amazing person who dedicated her whole life to helping other people and I just miss her so much and so will the disability community,” Jackson told the Coloradoan. “We have a similar disability and she understood me like no one has before.”

 

 

Brown Building

Brown building, will you keep me?

Cage my animosity, as only a mad host would.

Not a one can feel my anger like I do.

And, my venom is all on you.

I have become the biting rain…in an arid room.

Brown building with fenced in stair and bolted doors…

one day you will release me.

Dragging my baggage behind, I demand to be free.

G.A.D.

Though I have been told…I am wonderful at small talk; I am trembling on the inside.  The chips on my shoulder provide me with enough distance from others.  And, my smirk, is just an incentive towards personal space.

I have generalized anxiety order.  I know that I am not alone with this.  But in the middle of full blown jitters and racing thoughts…I am alone in a crowded room.

hello-my-name-is-anxiety

7 Things People With Generalized Anxiety Disorder Wish Others Would Stop Saying

“Stop thinking about it.” Don’t you think if it was that easy I would not think about it? It maybe easy for you, but as a person with GAD I have to practice the coping strategies I’ve learned in therapy. And sometimes I can’t even do that. So telling me to not worry simply does not cut it.

“Everyone feels anxious.” Yes, everyone feels anxious, and it is completely natural. Anxiety actually pushes us to get things done, but when your anxiety stops you from being able to function, guess what? That’s a problem.

“I’m stressed too.” Not to discredit your stress, but you are certainly discrediting ours. What you do not understand is that we have a hard time controlling our thoughts, and whether you realize it or not, no matter how small it may seem to you, our anxiety tends to maximize everything.

“I know how you feel.” Unless you have GAD you do not know how I feel, so please stop saying that you do.

“You need to calm down.” When people suffer from GAD, there are times when his/her anxiety is through the roof and it takes me time to calm down. It is always a three-ring circus going on in our heads. That advice is like telling someone who is sick to stop coughing. So no, we cannot calm down right now.

“You are doing too much.” (Translation: “You are being dramatic.”) Thank you for your words of comfort. We know our thoughts can be irrational at times, but that is how our brain works. Can you imagine 1,000 tabs on your computer are opened, and you cannot stop new tabs from opening? Well, that is how we feel. Just because our disorder is invisible does not mean it is not real.

You worry too much.” Yes, we worry too much and we know that, but if you have not figured it out by now, we cannot control it. Telling us we worry too much does not help. We were already worrying about 50 things prior to this unnecessary statement, and now we are worrying about worrying.

T-Kea Blackman

 

 

Mary, Mary

Mary Sweeney was a well-educated, middle-classed mom with a penchant for destruction. In the 1890’s, after a head injury, Mary began having manic episodes. She found the only way to calm her nerves was to take liberal amounts of cocaine (then legal) and shatter shit. So, she went around Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South Dakota throwing bricks through the windows of successful establishments. She’d hop on a train, head to a town, and wreak havoc until arrested. For her exploits, she served time in 100 different jails. It is said, she single-handedly did over $50,000 worth of damage…and remember this was in the 1800’s. Her exploits are documented in the film, Wisconsin Death Trip.

 

mary sweeney 1

Mary, Mary

Walking a barren country side, Mary smashed windows.

Or, so I had been the seed.

That had been the history on which, I had been fed.

These bits and pieces of archives struck me as, both oblique and serene.

If I could only peel back time.

Inquire of this wondrous woman.

‘What had the broken glass meant?

What is it you had wished to condemn?’

 

Such a treacherous habit of mine.

To travel rural roads with my head stuck down in the snow.

In the tapestry of afterthought, a realization.

I need not know what this pioneering woman…sought.

I need not know what this brave woman…thought.

 

Her history.

Her haste.

Her impromptu spirit.

 

Her frontier had not been mine to share.

The brick.

The stone.

The rock.

I need only understand…

We carry the same wares.milky 4

All the Rage

What of this emotion, born unto its own?

Its implement being physical…tangible.

Yet, the fingers of rage only asks to be believed.

While, rage, in and of itself,  believes in nothing.

Living only to be heavy, wet and cold.

It is the salt of a tear, as it stings a mother’s eye.

Many have stood in the kitchen of hate.

It always has the same taste.

Yet, hate is only the knife.

It is rage that procreates.

Manifesting from anger, to action, to vile overnight sensation.

imageedit_2_2508601207

 

http://www.thetrace.org

 

At least 17 people were killed Wednesday afternoon in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The gunman, a former student at the school, was armed with a rifle and multiple magazines, officials said.

The shooting came 23 days after a 15-year-old student shot 16 of his classmates, two of them fatally, at Marshall County High School, in Benton, Kentucky.

For more about mass shootings in the U.S., please keep reading.

Tragedy and spectacle

There is no official definition of “mass shooting,” though it is often understood as an incident in a public place that claims four or more lives, and attracts widespread media coverage. In the last five decades, these events have become far more common.

Other groups use a much broader definition for what counts as a mass shooting, sweeping in incidents that happen in homes, and where there are four or more casualties — not just deaths. Gun Violence Archive tallied 385 mass shootings using this broader definition in 2016, resulting in at least 457 deaths and 1,546 injuries.

The random nature of indiscriminate gunfire unleashed without warning is all the more frightening because it can happen anywhere. Just in the past four years, gunmen have massacred worshipers at a church, moviegoers at a theater, people at a gay nightclub, and young children at an elementary school. In July 2016, a 25-year-old Army reservist who was reportedly angry over police shootings of unarmed black men killed five police officers and wounded 11 others during a rampage in Dallas.

Mass shootings are both tragedy and spectacle. As a result, they attract a huge amount of attention, which tends to distort views about the prevalence of incidents, the most common victims, and how the weapons that are used are obtained.

By one definition, mass shootings are a daily occurrence in the United States.

The FBI does not count “mass shootings,” but defines “mass murder” as an event in which four or more people are killed — excluding the perpetrator, and not including domestic violence incidents — at one time.

Three of the deadliest mass shootings in modern American history have occurred within the past five months. 

Despite the attention they garner, mass shootings account for just 2 percent of gun deaths.

Roughly two out of three Americans who die from a gunshot wound commit suicide, according to the latest federal data.

The majority of mass shooters obtained their weapons legally.

Omar Mateen, the gunman who killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, purchased the rifle and handgun he used in the assault from a federally licensed firearms dealer. Syed Farook purchased two of the handguns used in the San Bernardino massacre from a California gun shop.

An analysis of recent large-scale mass shootings by the New York Times found that 13 of 16 purchased their guns in a similar fashion — legally, after undergoing a background check administered by a federally licensed dealer.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to what that entails.

Would a ban on assault weapons curb mass shootings?

Probably not. Many experts believe it is not what the gun looks like that matters most — it’s how many rounds it can fire without reloading.

An examination by the New York Times found that gunmen who perpetrated 16 recent mass shootings used a variety of firearms in their attacks, including handguns and assault-style weapons. While rifles like the AR-15 could increase the lethality of an attack in some situations, experts say that the use of high capacity magazines that can hold dozens of rounds of ammunition may give shooters an even greater advantage, allowing for more bullets to be fired without reloading without pause — breaks that can provide an opportunity for an officer or civilian to interrupt an attack.

Mass shooters often fit a psychological and behavioral profile.

America’s most notorious mass shooters have been young, angry men who displayed antisocial behavior before they carried out attacks. Many perpetrators of mass killing also have a history of domestic violence; social scientists have found that the same factors drive the two phenomena.

2015 Huffington Post analysis looked at incidents over a five year period in which at least four people were killed with a gun, including shootings in domestic settings (a criteria which the FBI’s definition excludes). A majority of the shootings involved a family member or intimate partner — women and children comprised 64 percent of victims.

Media coverage of the mentally ill exaggerates their role in gun violence.

While mental illness may drive some mass shooters to kill, media coverage of the mentally ill exaggerates their role in gun violence. Less than 4 percent of violent acts are carried out by someone who is mentally ill — and research shows that individuals with mental illness are a greater risk to themselves.

Violent behavior and substance is a better predictor of future violence than a mental health diagnosis. The substance most often associated with violent crimes is alcohol.

Mass shooters in America often target workplaces and schools.

A University of Alabama researcher found that a uniquely American cultural and mental strain leads mass shooters to target workplaces and schools — as opposed to the military installations often targeted by international mass shooters — because these institutions represent the social systems that the gunmen believe mistreated them.

Most mass shooting victims are black.

The gun violence burden is disproportionately carried by men of color, who comprise half of American gun death victims — despite making up just 6 percent of the population. New York Times analysis of shootings that killed or wounded four or more people in 2015 found that two-thirds of the victims were black. Seventy-two percent of the victims were men.

Some urban neighborhoods are plagued by persistent, truly epidemic shooting rates. Violent gun crime varies even more within American citiesthan between them. A glance at murder rates by neighborhood — not just by city — reveals a terrible murder inequality that ensnaring men of color in a cycle of killing.

It’s rare for a “good guy with a gun” to intervene during an active shooting.

Gun rights activists say they want to abolish so-called gun-free zones — areas where guns are not permitted, including schools and many private businesses — because they deny civilians carrying concealed handguns the opportunity to stop a massacre, while providing an unprotected target for mass shooters looking to perpetrate large-scale carnage.

Indeed, the foundational tenet of the National Rifle Association’s agenda is that more “good guys” carrying guns in public will reduce crime and make society safer. There is no evidence to support this claim. Of the 160 active-shooting incidents from 2000 to 2013 that were analyzed by the FBI in 2014, only one active shooting was stopped by a concealed-carry license holder. Twenty-one were stopped by unarmed civilians.

See if a mass shooting has happened near your home.

To find out how many mass shootings have happened near you, type an address here to see how much gun violence has touched your neighborhood between June 30, 2015 and June 30, 2016. If you spot a cluster of four or more fatalities, that counts as a mass shooting, according the FBI.

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