Saturday, June 29, 2013

Trucker War Story (not about Versed)

Back in the day I owned my own truck in the San Franciso bay area, and hired out to brokers to deliver aggregate materials.  I worked for one guy in particular, Art aka AJ who, when the old owner of a concrete company died and his son sniffed up the whole company, went out on his own.  I went with him.  I made nothing but money with this man and for this man.  He was a fiery hot-tempered Portuguese guy with snapping little blue eyes.

Late one Friday afternoon I got a call from Art asking me to deliver some "gunite" sand for a custom swimming pool in a high rent area.  Those are the absolute WORST places to go.  People with lots of money can make lots of trouble.  I don't like going into the bastions of rich people.  That goes for Pebble Beach, Carmel by the Sea, Atherton, Hillsborough, Woodside, etc.  The denizens of these cities and others like them have been the bane of my existence.  As my mind was screaming "NO" I found my traitorous lips already saying "yes".  Darn!  I hated Art that minute.

Gunite guys are another problem.  They are almost never at the job site to tell you where they want their sand.  You have to divine where their gunite truck will be, hod carrier, hoses, the sand can't encroach on the street, obstruct the gutter or (God forbid) get onto the landscape in any way.  The sand must be within reach, but not too close.  You have to try to figure out which access to the yard they will be using.  It's all complicated by the fact that gunite guys are temperamental to say the least and prone to swearing and intimidating their delivery personnel.  That's on the off chance they are at the job site when you are.  If they didn't pay so well nobody would deliver to them, they are that bad.

Late Friday I delivered the 37 tons of sand for the gunite guys so that they could shoot the pool on Saturday.  That's another thing.  Gunite guys know to the OUNCE practically how much sand they need and woe betide anybody who brings too little or too much. Try loading your truck from a silo and getting it to the pound...   It's a science getting along with them AND the rich people neighbors.

The home owner was a newly rich silicon valley guy who was absolutely GIDDY with excitement about his new golf course mansion, his new pool and life in general.  He peppered me with questions about what I was doing, why was I dumping there, what the gunite crew was going to do the next morning etc.  He was actually pretty cute about it, even though he was a pest.  As an aside, he was terrified of one of his filthy rich neighbors.  This will come into play later.

So I dump my sand, and go home for some much needed sleep.  My hat is off to medical interns and residents because *I* know what working 80 hours a week feels like.  You have to be just as alert to safely navigate bay area traffic as you do being a doctor.  People's lives and my job depended upon it.

At 6am Saturday morning my phone shrilled.  I picked it up sleepily. "hullo."  "YOU DUMB (c-word)!!!"  Art screamed.  I moved the phone away from my ear.  "WHERE THE (blank) IS THE (blanking) SAND???!!!"  The decibel levels were off the chart so I removed the phone even farther away.  "WHAT THE (blank) ARE YOU DOING out there?"  Art's voice was reverberating through my cranium.  "They (gunite guys) are SUING me for uh, uh, uh a MILLION DOLLARS a MINUTE!"  Art was really upset.  I put the phone down and listened from a distance while I woke up.  "The, the, the (blanking) GUNITE MACHINE is sitting there!  The HOD CARRIER" he bellowed.  Art was stuttering he was so upset.  "The (blanking) CREW is standing around with their, their, their FINGERS up their (blanks)!  What the (blank) are you THINKING OF?"  He was on a roll.  "YOU'RE FIRED" he shrieked! 

Now *I* was mad!  Furious really!  When AJ finally took a breath I went on the attack.  37 tons of specialty sand cannot disappear over night.  It isn't possible.  "Art," I screamed back at him, "*I* delivered that sand!  I spoke to the OWNER, I was at the correct address and besides I HAVE THE SCALE TAGS TO PROVE IT!" 

I couldn't believe this was happening to me.  I slammed the phone back in its cradle.  In ten minutes flat I was in my personal vehicle traveling to the job site at a high rate of speed.  Along the way (it was a forty minute drive, even at lunatic speeds) I alternated between feeling very sorry for myself, and absolute fury.  How DARE Art speak to me like that?  I was the only person he had who would even take those last minute loads.  Especially for a GUNITE customer.  His DRIVERS, little prima donnas that they were, wouldn't work late on Friday nights.  I was nearly in tears.  How could AJ imagine that I didn't deliver the sand?  I wallowed in self pity.

I pondered what could have happened overnight to make 37 tons of sand disappear.  Space invaders?  Little rich kids with wheelbarrows carting it away all night long?  What the hell?  It simply wasn't possible for those 37 tons of sand to have vanished without a trace in less than 12 hours.  I was mystified.

The mystery deepened when I turned the corner onto the cul d sac where the job was located.  There was the manse, just as I remembered, complete with the little homeowner peeping furtively through a slot in his curtains.  There was the gunite machine idling, the hod carrier, the hoses and the pool crew, although the latter certainly did NOT have their fingers up their (blanks) as detailed by my dispatcher.  They were however, standing around in anxiety stricken groups trying not to be noticed.  There too was the foreman, screaming bloody murder, and gesticulating wildly.  It was this foremen, the very man the homeowner HIRED that was instrumental in the homeowner being afraid to go outside.  What WASN'T there was the sand.  I was flummoxed.

I parked my pickup and got out.  The homeowner recognised me and raced out his side door, positioning himself on the opposite side of me from the hysterical foreman.  The homeowner started obsessively babbling away.  I admit that I wasn't paying any attention whatsoever to what he was saying.  I was busily examining the ground trying to figure out how that much sand could evaporate into thin air.  Here and there I spotted some fugitive sand particles that had somehow escaped the event.  I looked up at the clear blue California sky as if the space ship might still be in evidence.  The foreman spotted me being talked to by the homeowner and strode over to us.  The poor little homeowner cringed behind me.  Like *I* was an obstacle for this muscled up macho man of a foreman ...  The ranting foreman clearly wasn't going to listen to a word I said, so I mutely pointed to the ground where the last little grains of sand were embedded in the pavement. 

The homeowner continued his sotto voce communications with me the whole time.  Suddenly I straightened up and rounded on him "What did you say?"  He proceeded to tell us (again apparently) that his filthy rich neighbor had taken exception to the pile of sand.  Not only did the rich neighbor not like the looks of it, he also had plans of taking his fancy car out of his giant garage and parking it on the street in the precise spot in front of the other homeowners house where the sand had temporarily resided.  His pool having already been built, Mr. Filthy Rich wasn't having any part of some upstart new neighbor's pool construction.  No he wasn't.  So what happened was that Mr. Filthy Rich called the police the instant I left, and the city came out that night and picked up all the offending sand with various tools, machines and a street sweeper.  This can only happen where rich people live.  In my neighborhood that sand could have sat there until doomsday.

I told the foreman that he owed me an apology and that further he was to call my dispatcher Art and explain the whole thing.  He did so.

When I got to the yard, (where we parked our trucks) AJ was already in his office.  This was a new AJ that I had never seen before.  Gone was the arrogant temperamental Art that I knew and loved and in his stead was a servile, obsequious pod person.  AJ offered me his personal chair which I gingerly sat in.  He scampered off to get me a soda, actually opened it and handed it to me.  Very strange.  He apologized profusely.  He told me that he didn't mean it when he said I was fired.  He mumbled something to the effect that I was the best worker he had.  He rambled on and on in the same vein.  His behavior was making me nervous.  I decided that I really didn't like the new AJ and determined to do something to get the old Art back. 

I needed to do something that would shock him back into reality.  So I leaned back in his chair and pulled an ankle over the opposite knee in my best 'I'm the boss' posture and sneered knowingly "Oh Art, I already knew you would never fire me!  I BUILT this company for you!  You would have NOTHING if it wasn't for me!"  I arranged my lips into a smirk and winked at him.  Then I got more comfortable in his chair to watch the fireworks.  Art immediately obliged and I was treated to the spectacle of ole AJ pacing and stomping, waving his hands around and glaring at me with his fiery little blue eyes while lecturing me about just who it was that built his company.  So fun!  Even rich people's shenanigans couldn't ruin Art for long.

The End

PS Art Pontes, the dispatcher in my story, died in his forties of a heart attack. 
This tale is from my "Why I hate rich people" file.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

WOW! A Doctor Agrees With Us!

For all my friends who hate sedation and are sick and tired of being told by the medical community that nothing, absolutely NOTHING can be done in a medical arena without sedation, feast your eyes on this!  Absolutely wonderful.

Dr. Stella Chow of Lahey Clinic discusses unsedated colonoscopy - YouTube

Thanks so much Alex for sending me this link. 

Friday, June 21, 2013


There seems to be some confusion as to what IQ is.  It's simply the ability to learn, as expressed in a number.  Here's the formula "Mental Age/Chronological Age X 100 = Intelligence Quotient."  It has very little bearing on education, although the ABILITY to learn is based on what you have learned.  Make sense?  What an IQ is trying to quantify is how easily you can learn, your intelligence.

The normal IQ is 100.  That's what the base is.  The average IQ is between 85 and 115.  Mine is substantially higher than that.  I blame my intelligent brain for the Versed debacle.  I encourage EVERYBODY who has had a problem with Versed to go to the MENSA site and take the practice test.  Then join MENSA.  See if I'm correct in my assumptions about bright brains being the worst affected by this drug.  If I'm wrong, I'm wrong.  This is about science, not my "feelings".

Some of you have probably wondered how somebody who is just a "moron truck driver" can have a very high IQ.  In my case it was burnout.  I skipped 2 grades in elementary school.  That put me in class with children who were 2-3 years older than me.  That's a HUGE age difference for kids.  I was ostracised and subjected to verbal and physical abuse from my classmates.  The TEACHERS added an extra layer of tension by constantly holding me up for either praise or ridicule.  If I didn't score a perfect test, they would demean me and say things like "and your supposed to be a genius?"  If I did score perfectly they would admonish the other students to be more like me.  That went over like a lead balloon.  By the time I was 8 I had the beginnings of ulcers and was painfully skinny. 

I learned to pretend I wasn't so smart.  I also started cutting class.  You can't put that much pressure on little kids.  They aren't OLD ENOUGH to handle it!  I graduated at 16 and took a year of college when I was 17.  At 18 when I could get a legal job, I started driving a truck.

Here's the attraction.  I can hide in plain sight.  Nobody expects me to be very bright as shown by the insane nurse who used to come here.  I work outside.  I get plenty of sunlight, fresh air and exercise.  I have no boss looking over my shoulder at all times.  I just do my job and I'm LEFT ALONE!  I love it!  I work construction, so during the summer I make enough money to get me through the winter.  I'm off all winter so that I can take my daughter to school, do my "volunteer" work at the prep school, ride my horse, read voraciously etc.  It is the perfect job for an intellectual burnout. 

My daughter skipped 2 grades as well.  The only reason it wasn't 3 skips is because the prep school where she goes told me that 11 is too young emotionally to deal with high school.  So my daughter got a year off school basically.  We did home school that year and she pretty much did what she wanted.  She is NOT burned out.  She'll graduate high school at 16 just like I did and colleges are vying for her attention.  The difference in teacher awareness of the special problems with bright children is amazing these days.  They UNDERSTAND being much younger than the rest of the class can be problematic.  They understand the drive these kids have to learn and can focus them without causing burnout.  They are trained to avert boredom in these children.  I am very impressed with the teachers at the private school where my daughter goes.  Plus she has her parents behind her if there is a problem. 

So now you know how it happens that high IQ people can turn up in the most unexpected places.  I see them frequently doing all kinds of jobs.  One of my best friends and mentors calls himself "just an Idaho farm boy" or "just a logger."  Yeah right!  I see through his facade.  He laughs in my face when I try to pull the "I'm just a stupid truck driver" routine on him.  He has a lot of people fooled into thinking he's harmless, doddering old man.  I guess that's why he is a millionaire now.  We bright people do recognise each other when we meet.  I KNOW that a lot of the people who come here, devastated by Versed, are on par with me intelligence wise or maybe even smarter.  You know who you are!  So do I.

Monday, June 17, 2013

More Comments From the ABV Crowd

I found the following comments here;   Why are colonoscopy doctors so anxious to insist on sedation (read: date-rape drugs, commonly Versed?)

Here is one answer to the question..."Try having something jammed up your colon when you're awake."  What a comforting description of a colonoscopy.  Having something JAMMED up your colon.  Is this really what they do?  JAM things up there?  Sort of like a previous comment here about having the LMA device JAMMED down your throat.  Additionally, with Versed you ARE AWAKE!  You are awake and experiencing all that pain, regardless of whether you remember it or not.  Barbaric is what this is. 

There is another one, but it's too long for me to want to reproduce it here, but I have an excerpt!  "So I have had and observed colonoscopies (I am a nurse.)  You ask why doctors "are so anxious" to insist on IV sedation:  it lessens the risk of complications, and increases patient comfort, with very little additional risk."  The first thing to pay attention to is the source of the comment...a nurse.   Secondly sedation does NOT lessen the risk of complications as proven by the commenter's SAME STATEMENT!  I can't make this stuff up folks.  Look at the "lessens the risk" in the first part of the statement and then look at the last phrase of the same sentence "very little additional risk."  So which is it?  Does it "LESSEN the risk" or does it entail "ADDITIONAL risk"?

You are much more likely to be PERFORATED while sedated.  I have come across zero literature that states that non sedated patients are ever perforated.  I'm sure there may be, but so far ALL risk of perforation is because of sedation.  I call that a complication.  How exactly then does sedation "lessen the risk of complications"?  What complications does this nurse refer to?

How does she figure that "sedation" increases patient comfort"?  Versed is an ANTI-anesthetic.  That means that you feel the pain more acutely with this drug on board.  Is she talking about the "comfort" of having amnesia thereby allowing your medical team to dismiss your agony?  I don't find that comforting at all.  Even if *I* had gotten amnesia, which I didn't, it still doesn't comfort me to know that I am going to be tortured by having a tube JAMMED up my colon, and am only going to have sketchy/no recall of the event.  That's NOT patient comfort.  Pain control, not sedation/amnesia is what *I* call patient comfort.  Do you know why "screening" colonoscopy is called "screaming" colonoscopy by health care workers? Let's see, oh yeah, it's because of patient "comfort".  (heavy sarcasm)

As far as I'm concerned ADDITIONAL RISK, no matter how little this nurse claims, isn't a viable choice for me, especially for a SCREENING procedure!  Are you kidding me?  Risking serious stuff like peritonitis from a perforation, removal of bowel sections, colostomy bags etc. as a result of a TEST? 

I'm not even talking about the detrimental effects of the drug itself, the insomnia, rage, irritability, forgetfulness, emotional instability, PTSD and all the rest of the "side" effects of Versed itself, just the very real physical risk associated with the "sedation' drug Versed as used for colonoscopies! 

The rest of the nurse's comment is enlightening as well.  You should go read it.  She completely OMITS Versed as the (partial?) cause of Michael Jackson's death.  It's uncanny...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Versed/Ketamine and Apoptotic Neurodegeneration

Here is the link;  Potential of ketamine and midazolam, individually or in combination, to induce apoptotic neurodegeneration in the infant mouse brain

Here's a quote from the article...  "Since Midazolam is a GABAmimetic drug and ketamine an NMDA antagonist, the combination exposes a pediatric patient to the same dual mechanism by which ethanol damages the human fetal brain."

If I'm not mistaken this is a fancy way of saying that Midazolam causes brain damage, particularly if administered in conjunction with Ketamine.  (read article, there's much more about Versed) 

"Midazolam ...induced a neuroapoptotic response in both the cortex and caudate/putamen that was not obviously different from the response to ketamine although the pattern of C3A staining induced by midazolam tended to include a larger number of neurons distributed in the deep layers of the cortex.    The apoptotic response to midazolam was statistically significant (emphasis mine) in both the caudate/putamen...and cerebral cortex...and was roughly comparable in magnitude to the response to ketamine..."

In closing the scientist had this to say "Steps should be taken to resolve this issue as soon as possible in that many immature humans are being exposed throughout the world to ketamine alone or in combination with GABAmimetic anesthetics."

Monday, June 10, 2013

Nurse Practitioner On My Side

I found this gratifying post here;Why are colonoscopy doctors so anxious to insist on sedation (read: date-rape drugs, commonly Versed?)
Here's what the NP wrote;

"Thanks to everyone for their answers; I'm a clinical practitioner (NP) and know little about conscious sedation/colonoscopies, but so many of my patients report a terrible experience with conscious sedation (mainly Versed-not being asleep but imobile and in pain unable to communicate; then long-term amnesia afterwards...can't remember PIN numbers, their kid's birthdays etc)..this isn't for the patients benefit. I guess it works for most patients who have amnesia due to Versed, but for many it's a horrible experience. One of our docs won't use conscious sedation (versed or versed/fentanyl) because of the many patient complaints....she told me to check for versed horror stories. Normally as a nurse, I view patient comments with some skepticism, but why would over a thousand patients list a terrible experience with conscious sedation, especially with Versed? One of our anesthesiologists said that conscious sedation if ok for most patients, but that he would not consent to it for a colonoscopy. He said that moderate to deep sedation with propofol administered by an anesthesiologist (not a nurse/crna-ouch!) is the only way that he would get the exam. He said that Versed is administered to force patient compliance and to hopefully cause them to forget the pain and the least until they get home. This seems to be patient abuse. I guess that I will skip my colonoscopy despite being very high-risk; and I will not recommend this exam to patients unless they can get an actual anesthesiologist to attend them."
I especially like the remarks of an anesthesiologist as reported here.  He says that sedation is ok for most patients, but HE would not consent to it.  We see how they view themselves as opposed to the rest of us.  If HE won't allow it to be used on himself, where does he get off saying it's ok for us?  HE won't have a nurse/crna, but I'd bet money that these nurses are fine for all the rest of us.  HE says that Versed is administered to FORCE PATIENT COMPLIANCE and HOPEFULLY cause them to forget the pain...  Does this sound like the safe relaxing drug the medical field would have you believe?  At least this NP "gets it." 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

A Doctor Comes Over To My Side

Upon reading this, in one way I feel justified but on the other hand, I would never ever wish my Versed reaction on anybody.  That includes the nasty people who come here to abuse me.  I don't wish this on them either.  Here is a doctor describing her experience with Versed.  (I got the comment from here Midazolam Sedation Is Not ALWAYS Safe - Forum Thread Page 4)

Here is the comment in its entirety:



posted by Judith on 23 May 2013 at 8:04 pm

As a practicing primary care doc, I found the comments from "never again" over the top..initially...then,as a doc with decades of medical training, I received Versed for a screening colonoscopy and it was a nightmare! Most patients get Versed which almost drove me crazy; memory loss (long-term), anger, combativeness (hit the endo nurse) and severe depression....I'm high-risk for colon cancer and WILL NOT ever again agree to "sedation" with Versed or any other drug...


Thank you Judith, you made my day.  I hope that your problems from Versed subside more quickly than they did for me.   If it helps, my opinion is that mostly really bright people have problems with Versed.  It's just my opinion based on scores of anecdotal evidence presented by the patients themselves. 

My Daughter Who Will NOT Be Getting Versed

Here is my beautiful daughter and my (at least it's supposed to be *my*) cute little horse at a local show.  My daughter will NEVER get Versed, at least as long as *I* have anything to say about it.  Funny how we can control what happens to our children, but not what happens to us as adults in regard to Versed.

 PS My daughter is doing eventing now.  Anybody have a nice (potential) eventer for a reasonable price?  My horse and I are doing reining now and this kind of training is incompatible with eventing.  e-mail me at

4 Reasons Why Patients Should Blog (from Dr. Kevin's blog)

4 reasons why patients should blog

Sedation Targeted For Cost Savings

At last people are starting to take a look at the ridiculous and EXPENSIVE "sedation for all" mentality.  Here is a pretty good analysis of it.  I disagree with some of the statements, like the doctor's explanation of sedation effects, but I'm gratified at the conclusions.  We are starting to turn the tide against this creepy Versed sedation.  I TOLD YOU SO!

Colonoscopy Patients Opt for Painless Approach - Digestive Health Center - Everyday Health

Monday, June 3, 2013

Stand Alone Comment From A Reader

kjlintner has left a new comment on your post "Another Physician Speaks Out Against Versed":

I under went 2 cardiac interventions last week on two different days, and versed was heavily used. I remember during the first procedure hearing "starting versed bag #7" two days later I was under the medication again for the second coronary intervention.

Up to a month before the procedure is lost to me. It seems like my short term memory was wiped clean. I began having horrible panic attacks, fits of uncontrolled shaking, and unshakeable feeling of doom.

I ended up in the ER just 3 days after my release. The PA described my symptoms as PTSD like, and I was given Ativan.

I lose things, I put things in strange places. I am constantly forgetting what I am supposed to be doing. Forget about driving, holy cow, that's not even funny.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Excellent Article on Informed Consent

This article was sent to me by a friend who also has suffered from the illegal and injudicious injection of Versed without "informed consent."  This problem is so common as to have become "Standard of Care."   Of course the fact that using Versed against us to gain compliance and (hopefully) cause amnesia in order to conceal medical people's actions from the patient without INFORMED CONSENT is ILLEGAL!  Somehow this little fact is entirely lost on the medical community at present.  Here is a lawyer's take on the issue.

Informed Consent is the Law: Stop, Talk and Show Should be the Standard - Hormones Matter

Of course my treatment went beyond simply omitting and/or deliberately concealing facts about the surgery, it also went to "informed consent" for the so-called anesthesia, the consent for a crna to supply the anesthesia instead of a doctor and all the rest.  "Standard of Care" appears to be no standards at all and has completely eclipsed the laws on informed consent.  It's a "caveat emptor" (let the buyer beware) world out there in medical lala land.