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Saturday, May 14, 2005

What's that bug?

I have received comments from people interested in the identity of a "bug" similar to one shown in a posted photo. I found a great site for folks in the U.S. with bug identity problems. It is "whatsthatbug.com". People send the "bugman" photos or descriptions of the bug they are attempting to identify and he posts the message and finds the answer for them. It's great! Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Somebody censored a research conclusion . . .

According to a story in Health Day, researchers have found that 45 % of hospital outpatients taking drugs for chronic illnesses are failing to be followed regularly with recommended lab tests to avoid serious side effects of the drugs.

What really gets me angry is the obviously fudged conclusion. Can you believe this?

"Patients who are prescribed medications for chronic illnesses need to ask their doctors about tests to monitor side effects, the researchers advised."

This is putting the full responsibility for a medication prescribed by a doctor on the patient instead of the doctor where it belongs. Too many doctors do not bother to read the inforamtion provided by law by the pharmaceutical makers. They simply listen to the ad pitch from the detail man who visits the hospitals and doctors office dispensing free goodies, samples, cute little gifts, and prizes for doctors who prescribe the most of whatever "drug of the month" is being pushed. The researchers are advising patients (many of whom are illiterate, blind, deaf, mentally impaired or otherwise unable to do more than follow the doctor's instructions) to do the doctor's work for him! Is this another new way to avoid a malpractice suit? Whatever the merits of the research, the conclusion was obviously doctored.

Martin Leon Leon

In 2000 I hired a young man as an animal caregiver and an agricultural worker. Such a worker in Costa Rica is called a "peon". He was so good with my various animals that I felt confident in leaving him in charge of the house, farm, and animals while I made a month's visit to the United States. Upon my return there was a message waiting for me at the hotel in San Jose. Martin had been in a very serious traffic accident and was hospitalized and unconscious. Neighbors and friends had gained entry to my house to feed and give water to my animals until I returned. At first we all feared the worst for Martin. But he came around and showed no signs of brain damage. One leg had been powdered by the impact of a drunk driver's car (he had been on a bicycle). He also had a severe blow to his right shoulder with subsequent permanent nerve damage and he lost vision in his right eye. After all the cuts and bruises healed sufficiently and his leg had been operated on and pins and rods applied, he was released to my house for a recuperative period. My house is totally wheelchair accessible and Martin was wheelchair bound. Martin is not a man to give up. He maintained an upbeat attitude and worked hard at his exercises to regain strength in his good leg and as much as possible in his right arm. Some teeth had been knocked out and he was determined to look normal, so we found a dentist willing to make a bridge for him for very little money. As soon as he could start using crutches, he began thinking of returning to night school to complete the education he had been working so hard to get. The only rehabilitation facility under the Costa Rican Social Security system is in San Jose and Martin was ready to begin rehab (a year and a half later), so he moved in with a brother nearer to San Jose for regular visits to the rehab. center. Then another brother took him in so he could return to night school. Finally, the doctors decided the pins and rods could be removed and Martin returned to this area to have the orthopedic surgery. The original surgeon had made an error. He had placed one of the rods over the knee joint so that Martin was unable to bend his knee for almost two years. When the surgery was over he needed more rehab. to get the knee flexible again. His leg is still weak and painful. He can walk normally, but cannot return to the life he had before the accident. He can't play soccor (futbol) or dance. Climbing stairs is very difficult for him. Still, he maintains that cheerful and optimistic attitude and spends much of his time helping other people. When he came back here for what was to be a short stay, I soon found him almost indispensible. He became my "Man Friday." He loves to cook, he's marvelous with animals, he learns very quickly and has learned how to use the computer for many different tasks. He assists me when I travel (that good young brain is a lot better than my old forgetful one) and is very protective. He neither smokes nor drinks nor swears. Perfect? Well, almost. And he's learning English. Here are some photos of Martin with some of my "pets."
When I waxed enthusiastic about some of the large species of cockroach to be found in Costa Rica, Martin brought back two male Archimandrita tesselatas for me. Wasn't that sweet?

© 2005 Mary Thorman
Peter adores Martin!

© 2005 Mary Thorman
Martin, bonnie, and Peter. Bonnie and Peter were born one day apart. Martin is getting ready to paint Bonnie's doghouse.

© 2005 Mary Thorman
Martin is trying to get medical care for a cousin. He's always helping other people!

© 2005 Mary Thorman
Yummm! My love's sweat! Great smell!

© 2005 Mary Thorman

About Me

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I live on the Pacific slopes of the Talamanca mountain range in southern Costa Rica. My adult children live in the United States. I have a Masters Degree in Gerontology but have worked as a migrant laborer, chicken egg collector, radio broadcaster, secretary, social worker, research director, bureaucrat, writer, editor, political organizer, publicist, telephone operator, and more. My hobby of photography has garnered some awards.

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