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Jjohnsonphd
07-21-2016, 04:26 PM
Hi all,

I am using this question to see if there is any knowledge or advice on how to best take care of my lower spine.

I am fused T4-L4, so L-4 is my own, then I have a small fusion from L5-S1 (ALIF so no bars, just 2 big screws and an artificial disk). My surgeon explained how the long fusion puts strain on the vertebrae that are not fused and I am starting to worry how to protect poor L4 from getting totally destroyed over the rest of my life. I know there is a good chance I will need a later surgery-my surgeon guessed my 60's, but he also said it could be much sooner or I might not need it all.

So are there any measures I can take? He said no to running/jogging. I know keeping fit and exercising is important, but does this mean I should avoid high impact stuff? I also know of a man who broke a rod doing crunches (granted he was doing like 100 a day) so I just wondered if any of you have any input on what to do or not do. Or is it likely I will need the second fusion? Also, if you did need to go back for a further fusion, how did you know you needed it?

Thanks. I want to do this recovery right. Now time for my glorious afternoon nap :)

Jana

jackieg412
07-21-2016, 05:56 PM
I don't know for sure but once you are healed I would say keep yourself strong. Be mindful of lifting and mindful of your posture. Keep your legs strong.
I would say you will know because of pain or numbness. Also your doctor will take X-rays at certain intervals and watch your spine.

LindaRacine
07-21-2016, 08:55 PM
Hi all,

I am using this question to see if there is any knowledge or advice on how to best take care of my lower spine.

I am fused T4-L4, so L-4 is my own, then I have a small fusion from L5-S1 (ALIF so no bars, just 2 big screws and an artificial disk). My surgeon explained how the long fusion puts strain on the vertebrae that are not fused and I am starting to worry how to protect poor L4 from getting totally destroyed over the rest of my life. I know there is a good chance I will need a later surgery-my surgeon guessed my 60's, but he also said it could be much sooner or I might not need it all.

So are there any measures I can take? He said no to running/jogging. I know keeping fit and exercising is important, but does this mean I should avoid high impact stuff? I also know of a man who broke a rod doing crunches (granted he was doing like 100 a day) so I just wondered if any of you have any input on what to do or not do. Or is it likely I will need the second fusion? Also, if you did need to go back for a further fusion, how did you know you needed it?

Thanks. I want to do this recovery right. Now time for my glorious afternoon nap :)

Jana

Hi Jana...

I think the risk is significant, but I can't tell you the percentage. You might want to ask Dr. Mundis, as he's done a huge amount of research, and probably has at least an educated guess.

I was fused to L3 originally, and desperate not to require fusion to the sacrum. I avoided high impact things like the plague. It didn't matter. About 15 years after my original fusion, I knew it was a lost cause. I realized I had degeneration at L3-4, L4-5, and L5-S1 when I started have new lower back pain when standing or walking, and leg pain (radiculopathy).

I do think it's a good idea to stay as fit as possible, and keep your core strong. You might still need additional surgery, but I can't tell you how strongly I feel that you should do what you can to avoid the need for more surgery.

Hope you're one of the lucky ones.

--Linda

Pooka1
07-21-2016, 09:06 PM
Susie*Bee is at 8 or 9 year post op I think and is fused to L4. She has no issues she has expressed. She got a very good correction and maybe that is the key factor in avoiding extensions of fusion at the distal end. I think she takes it very easy too but I am not sure.

LindaRacine
07-21-2016, 11:07 PM
Susie*Bee is at 8 or 9 year post op I think and is fused to L4. She has no issues she has expressed. She got a very good correction and maybe that is the key factor in avoiding extensions of fusion at the distal end. I think she takes it very easy too but I am not sure.

I don't think the amount of correction has any affect on the risk of distal degeneration. The one thing that reduces risk in long fusions is a level LIV.

--Linda

Pooka1
07-22-2016, 05:08 AM
Well Boachie included mention of the issue of alignment when he said a person fused to T12 or L1 probably won't need an extension. I took that to mean if the alignment was't good then the chance of needing an extension were higher.

Also Dr. Hey has stated that better alignment saves unfused discs.

Jjohnsonphd
07-22-2016, 12:54 PM
Hi Jana...

I think the risk is significant, but I can't tell you the percentage. You might want to ask Dr. Mundis, as he's done a huge amount of research, and probably has at least an educated guess.

I was fused to L3 originally, and desperate not to require fusion to the sacrum. I avoided high impact things like the plague. It didn't matter. About 15 years after my original fusion, I knew it was a lost cause. I realized I had degeneration at L3-4, L4-5, and L5-S1 when I started have new lower back pain when standing or walking, and leg pain (radiculopathy).

I do think it's a good idea to stay as fit as possible, and keep your core strong. You might still need additional surgery, but I can't tell you how strongly I feel that you should do what you can to avoid the need for more surgery.

Hope you're one of the lucky ones.

--Linda

Thanks for this note Linda. Your situation is exactly what Dr. Mundis explained can happen and it happens for some. I hope I am a lucky one too. Especially with my eye complication, I will be very nervous about going under for surgery again. I will ask Dr. Mundis about this next time I see him. I started looking through his published articles last night. I had no idea he was so published. So glad there is so much active research in the scoliosis world. Thanks again, your feedback is invaluable on this site.

Jana

LindaRacine
07-22-2016, 09:36 PM
Well Boachie included mention of the issue of alignment when he said a person fused to T12 or L1 probably won't need an extension. I took that to mean if the alignment was't good then the chance of needing an extension were higher.

Also Dr. Hey has stated that better alignment saves unfused discs.

I'm totally confused about both statements. Are you saying that having a straighter spine saves levels? I've always thought it was balance. That is, if the curve is balanced, with the LIV being as close to horizontal as possible, the risk of distal adding on is greatly reduced. Are we saying the same thing, but in a different way?

--Linda

titaniumed
07-22-2016, 11:38 PM
Linda, This could be what Sharon was referring to....


.https://www.hss.edu/professional-conditions_adult-scoliosis-low-lumbar-degenerative-disease-spinal-stenosis.asp

Those with deformity with low back pain and radicular symptoms and degeneration are a tough group. The adolescent or the young adult who comes in with a 60 degree scoliosis is otherwise healthy. They may have pain, but they have no stenosis, no degeneration, no segmental instability. So we measure the curve, assess the fusion levels, and fuse them to whatever levels we chose and you are done. You don't have to worry about the junctional levels until maybe 20 years later when they come in with junctional degeneration especially if they haven't been properly aligned, functional deformity may result from excessive activity causing the unfused segments to eventually go through an early degenerative process.

If you fuse a 13-year-old to L4, 20 to 25 years later, at the most, he or she is going to have problems at L4-5 and L5-S1 levels. So I tell them to take it easy a little bit, and avoid excessive high impact, rotational sports and activities, no other things that will cause early degeneration. But if you fuse them to L1 or T12, they can do very well for the rest of their lives, provided the remaining lumbar spine is properly aligned and has not shifted.

Ed

Pooka1
07-23-2016, 06:34 AM
Yes thanks Ed. Exactly.

And there are several posts about Dr. Hey talking about aligning the spine with earlier and better correction so that the load on the unfused lower discs is even. I have posted about him doing osteotomies to help younger patients avoid fusion of the lumbar.

I don't think this stuff is the same as achieving balance because a person can have two 25 degree curves with the top being a fused structural curve and the bottom being the compensatory curve that comes to match the thoracic. That is balanced yet that 25 degree unfused lumbar has obvious uneven loading on the discs that could cause damage over time. If the T curve is straightened more to drive more straightness in the unfused lumbar or if a surgeon stands on their head doing osteotomies to achieve a straighter unfused lumbar, the loading on the unfused level discs is more even.

This is part of what Dr. Hey means a stitch in time saving nine as I understand it. Get a better correction perhaps by fusing a bit earlier and hope to avoid damage to the discs in the unfused levels by having them aligned better. He has used the tire alignment analogy where you get uneven tire wear when the car is out of alignment. It is the same with discs.

By the way, I think adding on is only one form of progression. I think you can get progression without the phenomenon of adding on.

titaniumed
07-23-2016, 11:12 AM
Dr Boachie says “Take it easy a little bit” I get a kick out of that, if he only knew what I was doing on skis years ago....talk about spinal abuse!

A total complete sedentary lifestyle? Do Monks have spinal surgery? (Someone needs to look that one up) He he

People without scoliosis that have perfect alignment can have DDD that eventually leads to herniated discs. I would say that the initial force, that 1st damage event starts the downward spiral. Damage, heal 90%, more damage, heal 90% repeatedly leads to major problems. There is rarely a complete healing.

Simply bending forward and lifting a box exerts high forces on the discs, forward means compressing the front of the disc into a wedge that forces material back towards the spinal cord. Funny how herniated discs always protrude or extrude in the direction of the cord. For scoliosis patients, this is a complete disaster. I have learned to avoid lifting if possible, its easier to ask someone to help. With young males, I always ask for someone “young and tough” that works well. LOL What? your not tough? Never mind....(tricks of the trade)

Obviously, competitive pogo sticking is out, but it’s the simple everyday lifting events that probably do the most damage.

Stress does insurmountable damage....I have been there, and avoid it at any cost. Deep Breaths....

That’s where the bunnies come in. They only worry about one thing, and that’s carrots. LOL

And hurdling competitions. (See photos)

Ed

LindaRacine
07-23-2016, 12:25 PM
If you fuse a 13-year-old to L4, 20 to 25 years later, at the most, he or she is going to have problems at L4-5 and L5-S1 levels. So I tell them to take it easy a little bit, and avoid excessive high impact, rotational sports and activities, no other things that will cause early degeneration. But if you fuse them to L1 or T12, they can do very well for the rest of their lives, provided the remaining lumbar spine is properly aligned and has not shifted.

Ed

For the record, my comments were specifically about fusing to L4, since that's where the conversation started. Fusing to T12 or L1 is a completely different animal.

--Linda

titaniumed
07-24-2016, 08:37 AM
Yes....fusing down to T12, L1 is like a breath of fresh air. (In young patients)

At first, I was wondering about which levels Jana had fused and see that he left the L4-5 for mobility....

Ed

titaniumed
07-24-2016, 08:56 AM
He has used the tire alignment analogy where you get uneven tire wear when the car is out of alignment. It is the same with discs.


Yeah....tires are important, so are discs. I have realized that nitrogen for tires is just a tire store scam since air is 79% nitrogen. I tried it in my RV (Nitrogen in the rear, air up front). There was no difference in leakage rates.

One of these days, it would be nice to have some sort of stem cell injection or some simple way of dealing with discs. This would solve a few problems.

The world is waiting

Ed

Prfbones
07-30-2016, 08:10 PM
Hi all,

I am using this question to see if there is any knowledge or advice on how to best take care of my lower spine.

I am fused T4-L4, so L-4 is my own, then I have a small fusion from L5-S1 (ALIF so no bars, just 2 big screws and an artificial disk). My surgeon explained how the long fusion puts strain on the vertebrae that are not fused and I am starting to worry how to protect poor L4 from getting totally destroyed over the rest of my life. I know there is a good chance I will need a later surgery-my surgeon guessed my 60's, but he also said it could be much sooner or I might not need it all.

So are there any measures I can take? He said no to running/jogging. I know keeping fit and exercising is important, but does this mean I should avoid high impact stuff? I also know of a man who broke a rod doing crunches (granted he was doing like 100 a day) so I just wondered if any of you have any input on what to do or not do. Or is it likely I will need the second fusion? Also, if you did need to go back for a further fusion, how did you know you needed it?

Thanks. I want to do this recovery right. Now time for my glorious afternoon nap :)

Jana


Hi Jana,
I just had an extension of my fusion, so now I'm fused from T-4 to L-4. I asked Mike LaGrone the same question - what is the risk of needing that final fusion to the sacrum. He said the risk is actually negligible as long as I walk as much as possible. Also, don't wear heels. So my place of work bought me a treadmill desk and now I put in between 4 - 6 miles a day. I also invested in some incredible flats;-) Mike has never steered me wrong, so I'm going to be cautiously optimistic.

Good luck to you!

Jjohnsonphd
07-30-2016, 08:31 PM
Hi Jana,
I just had an extension of my fusion, so now I'm fused from T-4 to L-4. I asked Mike LaGrone the same question - what is the risk of needing that final fusion to the sacrum. He said the risk is actually negligible as long as I walk as much as possible. Also, don't wear heels. So my place of work bought me a treadmill desk and now I put in between 4 - 6 miles a day. I also invested in some incredible flats;-) Mike has never steered me wrong, so I'm going to be cautiously optimistic.

Good luck to you!
-Allison

Thanks Allison, that is really helpful. I have never heard of a treadmill desk, that sounds fascinating. I detest heels anyway but it will be really hard to not wear them. I will have to work on that! What flats have you liked, any in particular? When was your fusion?

Here's to keeping out of the OR!
Jana

Prfbones
07-30-2016, 09:11 PM
Thanks Allison, that is really helpful. I have never heard of a treadmill desk, that sounds fascinating. I detest heels anyway but it will be really hard to not wear them. I will have to work on that! What flats have you liked, any in particular? When was your fusion?

Here's to keeping out of the OR!
Jana

Hi Jana,

Amazon.com sells several tredmill desks, as do several office supply companies. I can't tell you how much it has helped. I had my surgery on 16 March, I'm back to work about six hours a day right now. I've had my desk for two years now. I knew I needed surgery because I couldn't walk, stand or sit for any period of time at all.

So the most fabulous flats are by Ferragamo, the Audrey. They're a little spendy, but totally worth it for a pair of shoes that will make people stop you in the hallway and ask you where you got them! They even come in new macaroon-hues that are so pretty! Like I said, invested;-) I love heels. They were really hard for me to give up too. It took something really special for me to change my ways.

You can find some brand new Audrey flats on eBay for a portion of the price from Nordstrom's. But do go to a store to try on a pair or two, they can run small. And pay close attention to the width, Ferragamo loves to make narrow shoes for some reason! But I guarantee the Audrey flat (a Mary Jane of sorts- kinda) will never ever make your feet look fat; always a potential with flats.

Jjohnsonphd
07-30-2016, 10:25 PM
Hi Jana,

Amazon.com sells several tredmill desks, as do several office supply companies. I can't tell you how much it has helped. I had my surgery on 16 March, I'm back to work about six hours a day right now. I've had my desk for two years now. I knew I needed surgery because I couldn't walk, stand or sit for any period of time at all.

So the most fabulous flats are by Ferragamo, the Audrey. They're a little spendy, but totally worth it for a pair of shoes that will make people stop you in the hallway and ask you where you got them! They even come in new macaroon-hues that are so pretty! Like I said, invested;-) I love heels. They were really hard for me to give up too. It took something really special for me to change my ways.

You can find some brand new Audrey flats on eBay for a portion of the price from Nordstrom's. But do go to a store to try on a pair or two, they can run small. And pay close attention to the width, Ferragamo loves to make narrow shoes for some reason! But I guarantee the Audrey flat (a Mary Jane of sorts- kinda) will never ever make your feet look fat; always a potential with flats.

I have a project tomorrow!! Thank you so much. I have dealt with fussy feet and foot pain since my 20's so I have no problem in investing in quality shoes. I will look them up! Thanks for the tip. I have very big feet and narrow ones at that, and usually big sizes tend to get too wide so these might be perfect. Boots are my big struggle. Shoemakers must think if you have a size 10 foot your legs are equally as big!

I am considering getting a treadmill and stationary bike at home. I like to exercise but between having a 4 year old and the fact the weather here is insanely hot for 5 months, I think I will be more consistent if I have the equipment at home. Your recovery sounds like it is going very well! How many months post-op find you feel ready to go back? How is your flexibility now? Thanks again!!

Jana :)

Prfbones
07-30-2016, 11:25 PM
I have a project tomorrow!! Thank you so much. I have dealt with fussy feet and foot pain since my 20's so I have no problem in investing in quality shoes. I will look them up! Thanks for the tip. I have very big feet and narrow ones at that, and usually big sizes tend to get too wide so these might be perfect. Boots are my big struggle. Shoemakers must think if you have a size 10 foot your legs are equally as big!

I am considering getting a treadmill and stationary bike at home. I like to exercise but between having a 4 year old and the fact the weather here is insanely hot for 5 months, I think I will be more consistent if I have the equipment at home. Your recovery sounds like it is going very well! How many months post-op find you feel ready to go back? How is your flexibility now? Thanks again!!

Jana :)


You may be right, Ferragamo may be the shoe maker for you!!! I had the same issue for boots, especially around the ankles- everything starts to slouch over the course of the day. I had taken to wearing leg warmers inside my boots to try and get a better fit. Until I found Ferragamo that is:-)

So I'm thinking of getting a desk cycle for at home use. It's MUCH less expensive than a treadmill desk, it might suit your needs as well. Take a look: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B1VDNQA/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2TXLXKNXCHNPL Exercise is so important, but I have to work from home sometimes and I don't have my special desk at home. I thought this might help fill the gap.

I went back to work after eight weeks, but only part-time. They let me take it easy and I've slowly been increasing my hours. I do have a long commute though, about two and a half hours a day. My husband and I carpool, he drives. I have not tried to drive much, both our cars are standard transmission. I still wear a low profile brace in the car; there is so much evidence out there that vibration, even from being in a car will increase chronic back pain. So we try to go in at slightly off hours to reduce the time in the car.

My flexibility is stabilizing finally. At first I was really worried that taking care of personal issues would be impossible without special tools to help with the job. But now, I don't need them at all (thankfully!!!). I can pick up my fat cat, but I try not to. So she has become my husband's cat and the little boy that was the runt of the litter is mine. He's half her size LOL! I have to be careful not to twist or turn too quickly though. Also, I still get wicked muscle spasms. I take a whole lot of Baclofen for them, but right after surgery, they were so bad I had to take diazepam.

Diazepam is the only drug for muscle spasms that works directly on the muscle itself, all the others work on the brain so their efficacy is often questionable. I'm one of the lucky people that has no side effects coming off of diazepam, so my doctor didn't have any problem giving it to me. It really helps with those post-op muscle spasms. They would get so bad, I couldn't even scream through them. You know when you get a calf spasm (charlie horse) and your first reaction is to reach down and massage it while screaming CHARLIE HORSE!!!! Well if you touched my back during one, I would see stars and then my vision would grey out and everything would seem far away sound-wise. My husband tried it once and only once. He said he could actually see them violently twitching across my lower back.

Jjohnsonphd
07-31-2016, 11:09 AM
You may be right, Ferragamo may be the shoe maker for you!!! I had the same issue for boots, especially around the ankles- everything starts to slouch over the course of the day. I had taken to wearing leg warmers inside my boots to try and get a better fit. Until I found Ferragamo that is:-)

So I'm thinking of getting a desk cycle for at home use. It's MUCH less expensive than a treadmill desk, it might suit your needs as well. Take a look: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B1VDNQA/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2TXLXKNXCHNPL Exercise is so important, but I have to work from home sometimes and I don't have my special desk at home. I thought this might help fill the gap.

I went back to work after eight weeks, but only part-time. They let me take it easy and I've slowly been increasing my hours. I do have a long commute though, about two and a half hours a day. My husband and I carpool, he drives. I have not tried to drive much, both our cars are standard transmission. I still wear a low profile brace in the car; there is so much evidence out there that vibration, even from being in a car will increase chronic back pain. So we try to go in at slightly off hours to reduce the time in the car.

My flexibility is stabilizing finally. At first I was really worried that taking care of personal issues would be impossible without special tools to help with the job. But now, I don't need them at all (thankfully!!!). I can pick up my fat cat, but I try not to. So she has become my husband's cat and the little boy that was the runt of the litter is mine. He's half her size LOL! I have to be careful not to twist or turn too quickly though. Also, I still get wicked muscle spasms. I take a whole lot of Baclofen for them, but right after surgery, they were so bad I had to take diazepam.

Diazepam is the only drug for muscle spasms that works directly on the muscle itself, all the others work on the brain so their efficacy is often questionable. I'm one of the lucky people that has no side effects coming off of diazepam, so my doctor didn't have any problem giving it to me. It really helps with those post-op muscle spasms. They would get so bad, I couldn't even scream through them. You know when you get a calf spasm (charlie horse) and your first reaction is to reach down and massage it while screaming CHARLIE HORSE!!!! Well if you touched my back during one, I would see stars and then my vision would grey out and everything would seem far away sound-wise. My husband tried it once and only once. He said he could actually see them violently twitching across my lower back.

I still can't figure out the difference between muscle spasms and just pain. I never take the muscle relaxers but maybe I should try. I get this horrible ax-in-my-low-back sensation that gets worse as the day goes on. It really is jacking with my walking. Maybe I should try these other meds. I do know what a Charlie horse feels like, those kill!!

I am looking at my toes and wondering how I am going to get this old pedicure fixed. I don't feel up to going to the shop yet. Hmmm, maybe my 12 year old son!

What do you do for work? Your degree sound fascinating. I had wanted to pursue biology incorporated with psychology but decided to stick with the traditional psychologist training. I have my PhD in Clinical Psychology. I sit in session with my patients which may need to change since sitting is so uncomfortable. I am not sure when I will go back. I am still on a ( light) dose of narcotics and I can't drive at all ( back and blurry vision from surgery). Who said this was easy?? Your kitties sound like loves. I was just saying the other day I wish I had a kitty to snuggle with during all this laying around!

Prfbones
07-31-2016, 02:32 PM
I still can't figure out the difference between muscle spasms and just pain. I never take the muscle relaxers but maybe I should try. I get this horrible ax-in-my-low-back sensation that gets worse as the day goes on. It really is jacking with my walking. Maybe I should try these other meds. I do know what a Charlie horse feels like, those kill!!

I am looking at my toes and wondering how I am going to get this old pedicure fixed. I don't feel up to going to the shop yet. Hmmm, maybe my 12 year old son!

What do you do for work? Your degree sound fascinating. I had wanted to pursue biology incorporated with psychology but decided to stick with the traditional psychologist training. I have my PhD in Clinical Psychology. I sit in session with my patients which may need to change since sitting is so uncomfortable. I am not sure when I will go back. I am still on a ( light) dose of narcotics and I can't drive at all ( back and blurry vision from surgery). Who said this was easy?? Your kitties sound like loves. I was just saying the other day I wish I had a kitty to snuggle with during all this laying around!


Ya, driving is awful. I haven't really driven in years. My car has less than 5k miles on it in the last five years. You might try the muscle relaxers; they help me more than narcotics. Walking does bring on the spasms since the surgery, but after three months, I went on a course of steroids and it seems to have brought the pain down considerably. I know they're contraindicated with bone remodeling, but I had to do something, and we figured that after three months, it would be okay. My recovery process really took off after that. I still take massive doses of Vit-D3 and calcium, just to be safe:-) Now I can walk through the spasms! The first time I tried, I couldn't believe it, but there it was! I was so happy, I hugged my boss!

I wish my kitties were the cuddly type, but they're more playful than anything. Right now, the world is their toy. It got really annoying during the first part of my recovery. And dangerous because I think all cats inherently try to kill humans on stairs. It's an inherited trait.

Sitting is the bane of scoliosis surgery recovery. It's SO bad for you. Mike told me under no circumstances was I to sit for the first three months. Reclining, lying down, standing, all good, but no sitting at all. He was very adamant about that.

I don't use my bone biology too much anymore. At one time, I thought I would be a bone lab rat, but then 9/11 happened. Also, I had tried to remodel my lab three times at the NIH, nothing was comfortable anymore. I knew I had to leave, but I really really did not want to. When 9/11 happened and my husband was supposed to be in a meeting at the Pentagon that day, everything changed. Even more so a month later when CNN kept scrolling "Amtrax Virus hits Washington" ok, first, it's not Amtrax, it's Anthrax. Second, it's a bacteria, not a virus. I knew help was needed in this area, so I took the opportunity to make a much needed change. My recovery has made my job interesting. I could spend all day every day at the White House, but I can't take the Metro across the river, so I'm stuck in my area with no windows and no access to the outside world all day. I'm even more of a vampire now than if I had stayed working in a lab LOL!!!!

Take your time going back, if you can. Better a complete recovery than to have issues later because you didn't give yourself enough time now. I'm very lucky in that this is something the military understands very well. They never question it when I have to call in because of my back.

Take it easy:-) And enjoy the down-time. Watch Judge Judy or whatever. Try not to let work worry you if you can.

Pooka1
07-31-2016, 03:24 PM
Wow I am very impressed with you people!

"Amtrax virus" LOL! I may have to repeat that. :-)

Prfbones
07-31-2016, 05:07 PM
Wow I am very impressed with you people!

"Amtrax virus" LOL! I may have to repeat that. :-)

Ya, it's funny now and I can laugh about it now. But at the time, it was just so so tragic. I mean, you would have thought that SOMEONE at the CNN office would have thought to do a double check on something like that, or run it past Sanjay Gupta or someone on his staff or SOMETHING! /facepalm

Pooka1
07-31-2016, 05:25 PM
IIRC correctly, they traced the anthrax to a Federal lab, and a disgruntled guy, no?

I work at a Federal lab and find that disconcerting.

By the by, I refreshed my memory about your previous posts several years ago after you made that comment about why you left.

All these years later I am still fighting the pseudoscience contingent although the germ theory of AIS hasn't been mentioned lately. Small mercies. This is the price we all pay for allowing science education to be undermined in the US.

Prfbones
08-01-2016, 01:39 PM
IIRC correctly, they traced the anthrax to a Federal lab, and a disgruntled guy, no?

I work at a Federal lab and find that disconcerting.

By the by, I refreshed my memory about your previous posts several years ago after you made that comment about why you left.

All these years later I am still fighting the pseudoscience contingent although the germ theory of AIS hasn't been mentioned lately. Small mercies. This is the price we all pay for allowing science education to be undermined in the US.

For the record, I don't believe in conspiracy theories. But there is simply no way Bruce Ivans sent the B. anthracis spores through the mail. Read the National Academies of Science review of the FBI data- they agree, there was simply no way. Also, I hired two of his techs because he had lost his funding. One was- meh. The other was AMAZING!!! She was his lab manager, and trust me, there was no way in hell he could have hidden this from her. The B3 suite at RIID doesn't have hiding places that he could have hidden this kind of endeavor for years at a time. And another one for the record, the only reason the FBI changed courses from investigating AQ and other terrorist groups overseas was because a crazy scientist from one of the off-kilter 'skientific' think-tanks took out a full page add in the Washington Post that told the FBI they were stupid for not looking at scientists in federal labs. The head of the FBI saw that letter and redirected the investigation, brought everyone home, and then started accusing US scientists- one of which was a frikin' VIROLOGIST, the other a poor ER doctor that gave some seminars on biodefense! At that time the FBI didn't even know the difference between a virus and a bacteria (kinda like CNN!)!!! This issue is my soap-box, I'm sorry for climbing onto it. I don't think you have anything to worry about from federal scientists. There are enough of us that try an 'police' the group of us, and now so many of the policies, regulations and laws have changed, it would be very very difficult for something like that to happen in a federal lab.

And yeah, the germ theory. /facepalm

Pooka1
08-01-2016, 06:45 PM
Wow that is so fascinating about how Ivins could not have been the perp. Yikes.

I am a Federal scientist and we have to take ethics training every year now starting only two years ago. The IG gigged one of our instrument analysts on mishandled mass spec data. S/He was taking liberties with the quantitation and was not archiving the raw data. Most people thought it was malfeasance but the fact case also fits with ineptitude and poor training/oversight in my opinion.

I have always felt like the heart of scientific research is not models or experiments but is intellectual honesty. It's bad enough making an honest mistake. I can't imagine the degree of internal betrayal and the level of haunting that ensues when people deliberately falsify results.

Prfbones
08-02-2016, 01:47 PM
I have always felt like the heart of scientific research is not models or experiments but is intellectual honesty. It's bad enough making an honest mistake. I can't imagine the degree of internal betrayal and the level of haunting that ensues when people deliberately falsify results.

I absolutely agree. That's why, when I was a lab manager, I would NEVER let people work by themselves during off-hours. People like to try and do that because the equipment is free at night, but that's when most scientific fraud is perpetrated. It's easy to do when no one is around, and it's easier to justify when you don't have a lot of people running around doing things 'right.'

So here is the link to the GAO report from 2014 saying the science doesn't add up: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-80
The FBI has taken down the National Academies report (I wonder why) but here's a story that discusses it in detail: http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=13098

The FBI never searched the Battelle labs in Ohio, even though Bruce sent them spores from that flask on multiple occasions. And RIID didn't own a lyophilizer at the time the spores were said to have been made. It was broken and had been for years. And as for air-drying, those spores were so flocculent that when

Bruce was a great guy. Yes, he had some issues, but doesn't everyone? And if having some sexual hangups means you go out and try and murder people, none of us would be safe!

titaniumed
08-02-2016, 11:35 PM
Jana, Muscle spasms are an involuntary colicky pain meaning that it comes and goes.....I had INTENSE spasms after a skiing competition (before surgery) that had me flopping on the bed like a fish out of water for 12 hours. It was one of a few major pain events I have been through. I actually had a Chinese accupressure therapist fix me. I used no meds. Michelle was her name, she asked me to marry her, and I told her I couldn’t because if she got mad at me, she would give me the finger. He he (scoliosis forum humor) (They do dig in hard with their fingers sometimes)

I had a cat named BK. (Bad Kitty) He was 34# and was huge. I can blame him for at least a few degrees on my Cobbs he was hard to lift.....

He also went through withdrawal..... He was seizing, and the vet put him on Phenobarbitol.....Anyway, in the morning when I left for work, he would be on the couch. When I came home at 5PM, he was still in the same spot of the couch wasted. So I decided that wasn’t working,...........(I know, I know, it was many years ago) and took him off his meds. I didn’t realize until I was sitting in my recliner chair one evening and he would run at top speed and hit me while I was in the chair. It was like having someone throw a sack of fertilizer at me, and he would stand there staring at me.

What are you going to do? He eventually had the Grand mal. Its so hard with animals. It was neuro.

Any improvement with the eye?

Ed