Thursday, November 5, 2015

Do Internet Health Forums Ever Help Anyone?
    For many years I have suffered from breathing problems related to a combination of Chronic sinusitis and GERD. I have even published a couple of articles on HubPages about this. The first one was called "The Scourge of Chronic Sinusitis and GERD Combination"in which I described my symptoms and what medical help I was receiving. Four years later I published another article called "What is Really Wrong With Me?" in which I shared my my thoughts and feelings of not being able to have received any help with these conditions. I really had hoped that by publishing these articles someone would comment about how they had found something to help them, if they were suffering from the same conditions.

    I have seen a number of doctors here in the US and in Malaysia, who had no idea what I was talking about and even shrugged off my complaints.  The only diagnoses I have gotten were either GERD or Chronic Sinusitis with associated asthma symptoms. COPD was ruled out, even though I have been prescribed with COPD medications, which did not help. I have tried every inhaler and nasal spray that is on the market, with no results. Because I could not get any answers from my doctors I began visiting numerous Health Forums related to respiratory or breathing problems. On these forums I found large numbers of people suffering from the same maladies as I have been suffering with.  I have spent hours reading the accounts of their symptoms and what they have done to alleviate them.  Some of them have tried the same medications that I have tried and were helped; while others were not. The consensus was that most, if not all, of these people have been suffering, sometimes for years, but have not gotten any real relief. It is very discouraging for me and I'm sure for everyone else not to be able to get some sort of relief so that we may be able to live a normal life.

    What really makes me mad is that every once and a while a doctor will reply to some of the patients sharing their symptoms, telling them to contact their physician! On some of these health forums the patients actually pay for a online consultation and share the results on the forum. Once again they were told to contact their physicians. What kind of morons are these doctors that they don't listen to what is being said? For years we all have been going to our physicians and hearing the same thing over and over, before we're told to "learn to live with it" or some other asinine excuse for not knowing what is wrong!

    I'm not complaining about these forums, on the contrary, I am grateful to them for the support they offer me and thousands of other people. I just can't understand that after all of the forum posts over a period of years why there has not been one single healthcare professional who has offered some consolation or other ray of hope.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Do you want to get rich quick?


A few weeks ago I was thinking about something that I could do to earn a little extra money, while sitting at home. I am retired and I have a good deal of free time to spare, so I thought working online would be a good idea. I searched the internet looking for online jobs to make extra money. There were thousands of sites promising to make me rich. Everything from medical transcription and starting my own business to taking surveys. Many sites required and investment or possession of some sort of certification.
After some consideration I decided upon taking surveys as this did not require any investment or special training. I chose 3 sites to join and proceeded to make my fortune. I found that there are quite a number of surveys out there, but qualifying for them was most difficult. A few times I spent approximately 3 hours searching for surveys and only finding one or two where I was accepted. Many times I would be more than half way through a survey only to be disqualified for no reason. Most of the time spent was for answering questions just to qualify for a survey.
The testimonials on all of these survey sites proudly proclaim incomes in the hundreds of dollars of week for a few hours of work. The average survey I found paid about $.38 to $.50 for a 20 to thirty minute survey. Surveys that paid $1 to $2.00 required a credit card and an investment of money up front. In 7 days time, spending about 40 hours on the computer I made about $20! So if a person were to make say $200 a week, he would have to be qualified for every survey he attempted and successfully complete each of those surveys. The most he would probably earn would be $1 and hour doing 3 twenty minute surveys. He would be working approximately 200 hours to accomplish this goal. This is definitely NOT part time work and definitely NOT a way to get rich quick.The old adage, "if it's too good to be true, isn't" certainly applies here.
It has been a few months since I stopped the nonsense of filling out surveys, but I am still not free from the effects of doing the. For about a month I would receive about 3 to 4 phone calls trying to sell me health products. At first I politely refused and told the caller not to call me again, but the calls continued. Each time a different caller, each with an Indian accent, would call and ask for me as he mispronounced my name. The more calls I received the angrier I would get in telling them not to call. They seemed not to care and continued talking until I hung up. Eventually the frequency of the calls ebbed, until I would receive maybe one call a week. For now they hopefully have stopped. I would strongly recommend to anyone who wanted to make some extra cash by taking surveys that they think twice about it, an definitely do not give out a telephone number, home address or email address.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Why Isn't God Talking With Us Anymore?

    I was raised as a Catholic and attended Catholic schools from elementary through high school. One thing that wasn't really tolerated was questioning the nuns or priests. I guess that is what made me a good Catholic. I was expected, like all good Catholics, to never question the teachings of the Church or anything the nuns or priests said for that matter. After high school and attending a public college I grew up and developed a mind of my own. As I grew older I would often lay awake at night thinking about God or religion in general. I never spoke with anyone about my thoughts and questions, as I was not looking for answers or explanations, especially from the clergy or so called religious Christians who were very public about their beliefs. I have found that many religious people, including priests and other clergy simply accept what they have been taught or told, or what they have read in the Bible and never seriously think about what they are told or read. I simply wanted and still want to explore my thoughts or have an open discussion with like minded people.
One thing I often thought about, and still do, was the number of times God has spoken to us human beings. I continue to particularly think of this as I hear about the violence and terrorism perpetrated in God’s name and wonder why God doesn’t do or say something about this. The only evidence we have that God ever talked to us is taken from the Bible. But we have to realize that the Bible was written by men to be read by people who were both uneducated and superstitious and living in a male dominated society. We also have to realize that the Bible is comprised of just a fraction of the books written and those were chosen by a group of Catholic male officials of the Church who were more interested in maintaining and growing their power than they were in historical accuracy or truthfulness.
    That being said let’s look at the times when God spoke with man. According to the Bible it appears that God spoke with a number of people. He first spoke to Adam in the Garden of Eden. Apparently God did not speak to Eve, as in keeping with the times women were not regarded with high with esteem. He spoke with Noah when he told him to build an ark in preparation for the great flood. He spoke with Moses when he gave him the Ten Commandments and then he spoke with Abraham asking him to sacrifice his only son. God also spoke to Cain after Cain killed his only brother Abel. God didn’t speak to Mary, but sent his messenger, Gabriel, to announce to her that she would give birth to Jesus. So God seemed to be quite talkative from the creation of Adam and Eve up to about 2000 years ago. What I don’t get is, why God was so talkative back then and suddenly he became silent. All through our history of wars, killings, and other types of violence he hasn’t said anything.
During the present times tens of thousands of people have been slaughtered in God’s name, but he hasn’t said a word. He hasn’t condemned those killing and perpetuating violence in his name. Hundreds of thousands of people have died in natural disasters and he has said nothing. I don’t understand why God was so verbose thousands of years ago and then suddenly went silent in modern times. Could the writers of the Bible simply be saying that God spoke to certain people in order to add some credulity to what they were teaching ignorant and uneducated people on how to behave? Was it simply a means to control the population? Many people in the present time have said that God has spoken to them, but it is either a case of trying to control people or a mental disorder. Some of our politicians have even resorted to saying that God has spoke to them, presumably to gain support from Christian Conservatives. We all have seen incidences where obviously mentally ill people have believed that God was talking to them and even thought that they were Jesus Christ. Could this be the case with those incidences in the Bible? I don’t believe that mental illness was recognized in Biblical times. I believe that in those times people suffering from mental illness were regarded as being possessed by the devil or as simply sinful.

     I still lie awake at night with the same thoughts and questions. I guess I will never know the answers to my questions. But as I grow older I want to know why God just doesn't come down from heaven in a spectacular event and just tell people to quit killing each other in his name. I don't think that will ever happen and so my questions will continue.

Friday, October 2, 2015

This Time Oregon!

    Well it's happened again! Another mass shooting at a school. This time in Oregon. I wrote a post about a year ago on this very same subject called "Another School Shooting"and there have been several more shooting since them. I have not written posts on the other shootings, even thought I am both saddened and angered, but it seems futile to say anything.  The rest of the world looks upon us as a savage and dangerous country and they are correct. They and the majority of the people living in the US cannot understand why we continue to allow this to happen.
    We are putting billions of dollars into the war on terrorism, but nothing fighting gun violence in this country. Why? Two reasons. The first is that the fighting terrorism is a big business for US companies which supply the military. The second is that these same businesses would lose money if guns were not as available as toys. The NRA owns the majority of Congress, especially Republican Conservatives. There have been measures to control who can purchase a weapon, such as background checks, but they have been defeated by the Republicans every time.

    After every tragedy the Republicans come before the cameras to offer their prayers and say that "this is not the time to discuss gun control". This is bullshit. When is the time? They are so afraid that they will lose their funding and other perks from the NRA that they are willing to let thousand of their fellow citizens, young and old, to die senselessly. It's about time our elected officials grew a set of balls and started working for the American people, instead of the NRA! Over 80% of Americans are in favor of gun control, but the Republicans bow to the NRA.  The NRA should also be labelled a terrorist organization, as it advocates the free use and distribution of the means to kill thousands of people.

    We always hear the arguments from those mental midgets supporting open carry laws and opposing any kind of gun control that the President is trying to take their guns away and we have to support the Second amendment. No one is trying to take their guns away! All we want is for sensible control of who can purchase and use a gun, such as background checks. There are more stringent controls on who can have a driver's license or adopt a pet than there are on who is allowed to own a gun. No other country in the world has this violent problem, even though guns are allowed for hunting and sport or target shooting.  But some people in this country thnk they should be allowed to buy and use assault weapons, whose main intent is to kill as many people as possible.

    I don't think things will change at all in this country, because of the ignorance and paranoia of a minority of the citizenry and the greed and arrogance of the NRA and their bought and paid for politicians.