Silicon Dioxide & Arthritis or Fibromyalgia like pain

I, and several people I know, have had direct experience with silicon dioxide related  pain and so I am trying to make the following information available to as many people as possible.

Statistics say that over seven million people in the United States suffer from Fibromyalgia. I expect that Canadian figures would also be high in proportion to our population. I believe that the cause could be silicon dioxide in our medication.

In most cases the onset of Fibromyalgia follows a serious illness or severe trauma. I suspect  the initial problem may result from heavy doses of medication that contain silicon dioxide, taken to cope with the illness or injury, followed by pain medication (also containing, silicon dioxide) taken to cope with the painful effects of the previously ingested silicon dioxide so that it becomes a vicious circle.

Silicon Dioxide is an anti-caking agent that may account for up to 3% of a vitamin formula. It is used in the manufacture of glass, electrical components, optical lenses, abrasives, and ornamental and building stones. According to its MDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) it is a hazardous chemical requiring safety glasses, neoprene gloves, protective clothing and a respirator when handling. Prolonged exposure to this chemical can cause fibrosis of the lungs and may lead to death.

“Probably carcinogenic to humans” and has “sufficient evidence” of carcinogenicity according to the NTP (National Toxicology Program).

Silicon dioxide could be responsible for symptoms ranging from frequent headaches, arthritis, mood swings, neuroses, allergies and immune disorders and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In other words it could be a major cause of ill-health in the western world.

Silicon dioxide was one of the main problematic substances contained in the breast implants that leaked causing Fibromyalgia like symptoms.

Silicon dioxide can be found in Tylenol Cold capsules, antacids, some, but not all aspirins, Motrin and Ibuprofen. It is also in some vitamins, wine, beer & toothpaste, crystal drink packages & I have even seen it listed in the ingredients for a brand of instant oatmeal. I am alarmed by the increasing number of food items that contain it.

I am not in the habit of taking medication for colds or flu but during the winter of 2007, after trying to shake a bad cold/flu I broke down and bought a box of Tylenol Cold capsules. The first box didn’t fix me up so I started on a second box and I eventually recovered from the cold/flu. I decided that it was time to spend a little money on my health so I splurged on various vitamins and supplements. Among these was a bottle of Milk Thistle, purchased for the purpose of regenerating my liver. I soon began to experience numbness in my right hand. This developed into pain that spread to my elbow, then to my shoulder and after a period of a few months to my left side. Eventually it became impossible for me to sleep through the night without getting up and taking something; usually aspirin, for the pain. Often I had to soak my shoulder in a bathtub full of hot water to relieve the aching before returning to sleep. I began my day feeling extremely stiff all over. I was 53. Arthritis immediately came to mind but I didn’t rush off to my doctor because my gut feeling was that I had caused the problem by something that I was doing differently. Eventually I figured it out. One evening, before going to bed I took a milk thistle capsule. I was up 3 times during the night. My right hand felt like it was on fire. I took aspirin the first two times and after a half hour I was able to go back to sleep. The third time the pain was more severe so I soaked my hand in hot water and took Ibuprofen. In the morning, convinced that the milk thistle had something to do with the severity of pain that night, I Googled the ingredients of the milk thistle one at a time and discovered what seemed to be a connection between silicon dioxide and my Fibromyalgia-like symptoms. I now believe that my problem was caused in the first place by the silicon dioxide that I ingested by taking Tylenol Cold and it was further exacerbated by the painkillers that I took. After this discovery I made sure that I didn’t consume anything that contained silicon dioxide and within a couple of days my pain went away and my body returned to normal. I have passed this information on to other people and have gotten feedback of similar results.

I am not suggesting that people stop taking their medication without discussing it with their doctor – just that they be aware of the possible effects of silicon dioxide. I am trying to pass this information on to as many people as I can. It seems criminal for people to be suffering from pain if the solution is as simple as switching painkillers to a liquid gel one that doesn’t contain silicon dioxide.

 

Thank you for reading this. Please help me spread the word.

Dogs are Painters Too

So – I helped Hannah paint her living room today. She has listed her house for sale and is frantically working on so many areas at once that the house is in total chaos. In the living room the furniture had been pushed to the middle of the room, was draped with sheets and the photos/paintings had been taken down from the walls. Hannah, Kiersten & I were trying to work with the two dogs underfoot. Rhomba is a large Black Lab and Jake is a rabbit hound. I was on a stool, squeezed in behind the computer desk (which was out from the wall 1 1/2 ft) when Rhomba decided to come in there with me. Of course Jake had to follow her. They soon realized that there wasn’t enough room to turn around. We all managed to get out but then, a few minutes later I heard Hannah’s screams followed by Kiersten’s screams. Rhomba’s tail had dropped into an open can of white paint. They both grabbed her, Kiersten had hold of her tail so Hannah ran to the kitchen to get a rag but Rhomba always wants to be near Hannah so she ran to the kitchen behind her with Kiersten running behind, still holding the white tail. I, in the meantime, was laughing so hard I was totally useless.

Light Summer reading


Dieter & I were at the Mavillette beach park the other evening. I lifted the lid of the recycling barrel to put something in and noticed that some paperback books had been thrown away. I was intrigued (some would say nosy) so I had to check out the titles  – Truth & Logic, Canada & the Great Canadian Question, The Secular City and, last but not least, King Lear.  So what is the story here? Did someone actually read these before discarding them or did they bring them here as their summer reading and then, after settling back on the beach ask themselves, ‘What was I thinking?’ Pretty heavy duty stuff for relaxing. I would have been interested in reading a couple of them but unfortunately they were wet.

Incredibly beautiful waves the other night. We set out on Dieter’s veranda watching and wondering why they were so big. It hadn’t been especially windy. Someone told me yesterday that the rough water was caused by hurricane Katia. We don’t watch TV and seldom listen to the news or weather on the radio so we hadn’t heard anything about hurricane Katia.

This was the view from Dieter’s veranda on Sept 9, 2011

 




 

Bovine Geisha Girls

On Sunday Dieter & I went to an ox haul/turkey supper in Quinan. Dieter’s daughter and her friend were visiting from Germany and the event was near to the road to their old cottage on lac a pic. Other friends of Dieter’s (from Germany and Switzerland) were also there.  The community had done itself proud- to an outsider it appeared to be a real accomplishment in co-operation.

I am a cow lover and I enjoyed watching the ox haul. It was like stepping back in time. Two boys in particular stand out in my memory. One of them, I would guess around ten years old, had been given the honour of attaching & detaching the drag chain to the oxen or the tractor depending on which way it was to be dragged. This young fellow had witnessed enough ox hauls to have the mannerisms of a man doing a job down pat. He performed his duty with pride.  The other boy, a teenager, had his own team of oxen. They were a beautiful rust brown with pure white faces that were the epitome of innocence – looked as if they had stepped out of a Maud Lewis painting.

The owners of the oxen probably love their animals but it can’t be easy being an ox. Imagine… they get to be an ox instead of a bull by having their testicles removed. Then they get yoked up with another ox that is as close to their mirror image as can be managed. They are adorned with fancy headgear that makes them the bovine equivalent of a Geisha girl. Their sexuality is gone; their individuality is gone. Bulls in drag. Transvestites. Female impersonators. Perhaps humans who are unsuccessful at being ‘yoked to a mate’ in marriage come back as oxen in their next life. Yikes! I’m sure glad that this marriage (to Dieter) is working well for me. I would hate coming back as an ox.

Bovine Geisha Girls

On Sunday Dieter & I went to an ox haul/turkey supper in Quinan. Dieter’s daughter and her friend were visiting from Germany and the event was near to the road to their old cottage on lac a pic. Other friends of Dieter’s (from Germany and Switzerland) were also there.  The community had done itself proud- to an outsider it appeared to be a real accomplishment in co-operation.

I am a cow lover and I enjoyed watching the ox haul. It was like stepping back in time. Two boys in particular stand out in my memory. One of them, I would guess around ten years old, had been given the honour of attaching & detaching the drag chain to the oxen or the tractor depending on which way it was to be dragged. This young fellow had witnessed enough ox hauls to have the mannerisms of a man doing a job down pat. He performed his duty with pride.  The other boy, a teenager, had his own team of oxen. They were a beautiful rust brown with pure white faces that were the epitome of innocence – looked as if they had stepped out of a Maud Lewis painting.

The owners of the oxen probably love their animals but it can’t be easy being an ox. Imagine… they get to be an ox instead of a bull by having their testicles removed. Then they get yoked up with another ox that is as close to their mirror image as can be managed. They are adorned with fancy headgear that makes them the bovine equivalent of a Geisha girl. Their sexuality is gone; their individuality is gone. Bulls in drag. Transvestites. Female impersonators. Perhaps humans who are unsuccessful at being ‘yoked to a mate’ in marriage come back as oxen in their next life. Yikes! I’m sure glad that this marriage (to Dieter) is working well for me. I would hate coming back as an ox.

IIlicit Sleep


Last night I dozed off while watching, on Netflix, a documentary titled The Nature of Existence. The narrator had set up interviews with as many people as he could manage from a broad range of countries, religions, professions, income brackets etc. and the film consisted of him travelling the world and posing questions such as, ‘What is the meaning of life?”  I was lying on the couch with my laptop on a little table nearby when the delicious sleepiness came over me – the kind where at first I fought it and slipped in and out of consciousness, (in this case waking up to such disparate images as a southern preacher professing his certainty in his particular brand of God followed a few snores later by an East Indian man bathing naked in the Ganges. Quite a spiritual trip!  Finally I gave in to the seduction of slumber. I will replay the documentarty (oops I meant documentary but I will leave the type O as it does seem like a Freudian slip) another time.

Small wonder that I had interesting dreams last night – something about me trying to help some women who had just arrived in Yarmouth to make contact with the Real Estate Store. It seemed they had an appointment with a man there but he hadn’t turned up in the place where they had arranged to meet. In another dream I was in a bank and discovered that they had set up a type of account for their employees that would enable them to withdraw all their own money in a matter of seconds merely by pressing a button. I hope that one is not an indication of the financial world’s confidence (or lack there-of ) in the economy.  In another dream a large number of people had gathered in the downtown area for the purpose of painting, very quickly, many of the buildings and fences bright school bus yellow.

Hmmm, it will be interesting to see what I dream the next time I watch that documentary.

Wine with just a hint of Fruit Fly

 

Dieter poured himself a glass of red wine and lamented the fact that it was no longer possible to buy that particular wine. “It was a good deal,’ he said, “at first it was $10.79 a bottle and then they reduced it to $9.79 but now they have discontinued it.” We settled on the front veranda, me with my book, he with his wine. It was a lovely evening, about a half hour after high tide and not a breath of wind. We watched the ocean begin its lethargic retreat. Dieter fell asleep. I left him there with his wine on the little table by his side, his chin on his chest.  By the time he came into the house he had a new lament. A dozen fruit flies had found their way into his wineglass. However, being the resourceful fellow that he is, he solved the problem. He strained the wine through a coffee filter and left the flies to continue their drunken party in the filter on the kitchen counter while he settled down once again with his glass of wine.

 

Elbowroom in Heaven

 

On Thursday evening I attended a gathering of 14 local artists.  We watched  documentaries about four contemporary artists. We also drank a little wine, ate and talked about art.  It was good to compare notes. It is a strange business – this business of art – almost as strange as the business of religion.

Art and religion are similar in many respects. The impulse to create and the impulse to believe start out pure. They each provide opportunities for us to extend ourselves beyond the ordinary. Each lures us with a little bit of magic and mystery but then each becomes more and more complicated when the very private acts of painting and praying are taken out in public.  Both art and religion seem to gravitate toward fundamentalism and an us and them mentality.  We divide up into Christians. Muslims, Jews, Impressionists, Realists, Abstract Expressionists, and so on.

When my granddaughter, Kiersten, was little she said something that I will never forget. I was babysitting her on a Sunday afternoon after she had attended church with one of her other grandparents and I heard her in the next room singing, over and over again, ‘I’ve got salvation and you don’t.”  Each time extra emphasis was given to you don’t. I know that she didn’t hear those exact words in church but her innocent little psyche had condensed what she had heard into what is often the essence of both art and religion. The attraction of owning original art is that no one else owns it. I have a Jackson Pollock and you don’t. Any religion that tries to exist without the you don’t aspect in its belief system is as wobbly as a human being who tries to stand on one leg. So the person who just wants to be good, do good, make good art is soon confronted with all the different factions, each with what they think are well justified reasons for why they are right.  This leads to the following questions: How can we celebrate the ‘I’ve got salvation’ part without the ‘you don’t’ part. Can everyone be right even though some are more successful financially than others? Is praying a waste of time if there is no God up there to hear the prayers? Is making art a waste of time if the product is not recognized as being superior to someone else’s?

In Africa the Benin tribe has a different attitude to their art – the finished product is not important – it is all about the act of creating. They handle and care for their tools with reverence. There are no galleries or promoters or agents. There are no ego trips. It’s sort of like being good, not so that we will be allowed into heaven, but simply because it is right.  Imagine if God decided that only the souls of people who didn’t believe in heaven, but who had spent their life doing good deeds, would be allowed in! That would certainly guarantee a lot of elbowroom in heaven!

More Memory Musings

Something happens to memories as a person ages. Memories seem to have a best before date and then, after that, they are as good 40 years later as they are 4 years later. When you are 25 the distance to childhood memories (15 or more years) seems long, when you are 55 the distance to memories 15 years ago seems short. By the time you are 85, 15 years must feel like a moment. Perhaps there is a formula that would explain or at least describe this phenomenon. As the age number increases the distance that it seems to the memory decreases.  It’s as if memories are not lined up consecutively but are distanced from your ‘present’ like the spikes of a sputnik. Time and space have this in common. The memory of a place does not become less clear in direct relation to the physical distance it is away.

 

My mother’s Alzheimers gives me reason to think about the peculiarities of memory.

Yesterday when I visited her she told me that something strange happens when she re-reads the letters that I have sent to her over the years. “When I point my pencil at the words they rearrange themselves and become long words and the sentences become long and different.” 

Night Prowling

                     I was up again in the night prowling around. Sometimes I read, sometimes I write or paint or do housework. One time I painted my bathroom. If I am having an allergy attack I take a pill and drink tea while I wait for it to take effect. I sniffle and blow my nose. I’ve almost given up trying to figure out the cause each time. I’m allergic to so many things and if it’s not something I have consumed – there’s Quincy – I’m allergic to dogs and I am living with one.

I don’t mind my nighttime prowling. In fact, it can be quite special. If I’m at my house and the weather is warm I might go out on my deck and sit listening to the natural sounds of the river and the marsh. They are completely different from the daytime sounds. At Dieter’s I have sat wrapped in a blanket on his veranda and watched the moonlight on the waves. Quincy doesn’t know what to make of my nocturnal antics. She rolls her eyes at me as only a dog or a teenager can and goes back to sleep.

Last night it was full moon. I sat on the deck for about an hour listening.  I could see the moon, filtered through a light fog, but I couldn’t see the ocean. It was the softness of the night air and the gentle noises that I enjoyed. The waves on the invisible beach sounded like distant traffic and the occasional cry of seagulls rose from the direction of the wharf. I guessed that the slight slopping sound from the base of the cliff must be water against the rocks. It was good to hear the fog horn.

It hasn’t been functioning for most of the summer but there was comfort in the repetition every minute of the two notes, an optimistic ascending note followed by a discouraged descending note.