Thursday 31 July 2014

Sexting - The consequences!

              "British police caution teen girl for sexting"  recent headline in the National  Post.

         The teenager sent her naked image via her cell phone and because she was  under the  age of eighteen had therefore distributed an indecent image of a child.  Her boyfriend, with whom she had a row forwarded the photographs to others.  He too was cautioned.  This practice has become commonplace.  These youngsters may think  this is great fun, but the consequences may be serious, in many  ways..  In some cases it can result in the youngsters finding their way onto the sex offenders register.
           Besides being illegal, what now seems to the immature as 'great fun' may have very significant consequences years later.  Information spreads like wild-fire on the internet and is permanent. Already data - miners are selling information on potential employees and others that may well  come back to haunt individuals later.
          Other more dangerous consequences such bullying, blackmail, enticement and suicide occur.  One only has to scan the news to find  frequent stories, some very amusing and some disastrous.
           As this becomes more accepted, younger and younger children are joining in the 'fun'.
           Parents need to become more aware of this and take appropriate action.
           Sexting is not a harmless activity, it has consequences.  Sometimes grave.
           There are many examples of deliberate attempts to embarrass,intimidate and harm individuals, particularly after a break up, usually by a boy-friend by sending naked photos to a porn web-site.   This is known as revenge porn and often has severe consequences.

Sunday 27 July 2014

Marijuana -Pushing Pot!

                             Canada's first publicly traded medical  marijuana producer has hired three salesmen to visit doctors offices.  As a Family Physician for over fifty years, you might think I'd be well used to having the so-called "Detail Men"  then "Detail Persons" and finally the rather fancier name of "Academic Detailers" that the drug companies call their sales force, visit me.  Indeed I am, and truth be known, I often welcomed the better informed, better trained and experienced of their ranks.  If they came well prepared and knowledgeable about the studies carried out and presented the evidence in an honest and forthright manner, together with  the approval  of  the appropriate Canadian  and/or American  Administrations I was prepared to listen  to them and to consider the data they had to present.   
                              The story was different then.  It was before Big Pharma, USA was advertising to the general public and proposing life long treatment with expensive drugs for non-existent or barely existing diseases, like "low T."   Patients are being encouraged to seek various prescriptions for which there is often little or no indication.  Potent medicines are increasingly available over the counter.   All of these medications have potentially dangerous side effects.
                            Now, the ante is being upped.  Thirteen licensed marijuana producers have entered the arena in Canada, many more will follow.  I am sure that a large sales force is being provided to persuade doctors that there is evidence to prescribe their product liberally, despite the fact that the rigorous type of evaluations required for almost any medication to receive approval is lacking.  
                             I am sure the link between cannabis and schizophrenia will not be emphasized, nor the association with traffic accidents or bizarre behaviour.  Nor the relationship between smoking it and pulmonary disease.
                             In many instances this is going to put physicians in a very difficult situation with certain kinds of patients and do nothing to improve the physician-patient relationship.

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Neuroplasticity # 2. Brain - brain gymnastics..

Brain exercises from BrainHQ.
                        I finally splurged and bought a one month trial subscription to the above.  With the trial about to expire I thought I better consult with my wife to see if any improvement in my cognition had taken place.
                      "Do you notice any improvement in my mental functioning since I've been doing these exercises?" I asked hopefully.
                         She looked up from her New York Times crossword puzzle, obviously preoccupied.
She gave me that sort of smile women most often bestow on their children.
                        "Of course, dear,"  she agreed with whatever it was I was requesting and then was back in the depths of Lexicon Land.  I tried to subtly sound out a couple of others who are near and dear to me.  They thought I was joking (or crazy).  As I had only been doing these exercises for less than a month and as I hadn't been doing them quite as often as recommended I decided to convert my month long subscription into an annual one (at a greatly reduced cost, of course -I'm getting smart already!).  That would be a more reliable assessment and who knows, I  may be a genius by then.  
                          In terms of improvement so far, I have noticed that I  am not losing my car keys any more frequently than before, I have not forgotten my name or telephone number and I can even remember the license plate number of my car (most of the time!)  So I am definitely not getting any worse.   I do seem to be getting a bit better at rising to  the challenges the program throws at me, but that might just be that I am getting used to them, in  much  the same way as one does with a videogame.
                          Over the next few months, I'll keep you informed - if I don't forget!

Sunday 20 July 2014

Psychiatry gone Mad!

         The U.S. Military will begin treatment for U.S. traitor Private Bradley Manning who is now known as 'Chelsea'.  Private Manning has been diagnosed as having 'gender dysphoria'.  Following conviction Pte Manning requested hormone treatment and to be allowed to live as a  woman!   The much criticized DSM5  legitimizes the diagnosis when a person's gender identity causes him or her emotional distress.   
          At least Private Manning's stay in prison is likely to be more interesting than it might have otherwise been!
           Looks like the U.S. Military has had its gonads amputated too!!

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Sexting - The Language!

For those of  us who don't know  the language of texting now u can c for yourself! 

Parents should know this stuff!

Common Sexting Slang T Internet Slang Dictionary

Internet Slang Dictionary & Translator


Warning: some of these terms are vulgar. This list is nowhere close to exhaustive, words can be combined, removed, and invented on the fly.
Oral Sex
I Love You
See You For Sex
Do You Masturbate?
Get Naked On Cam
Get Your Pants Off
Get Naked right Now
Fuck Me Harder
I Want Sex
Is It Tight?
Quick To Come
Are You Horny?
Talk Dirty To Me
Send To Receive
Naked In Front Of Computer
Straight Or Gay?
Jerk Off
Parents Are Watching
Parent In Room
Parent Over Shoulder
You Want Sex
Will You Call M?e
Are You 18?
CD9 / Code 9
Parent / Adult around
Not A Lot Of People Know This

Sunday 13 July 2014

The Doc and the Cops. pt 2.

Part 2.  The Mounties and me.

             The following week Mike booked Sergeant Peters in for a half hour chat with me when the clinic was finished.  Mike was determined that the clinic was going to be finished in time for the
meeting.  He had been an orderly in the Army Medical Corps, knew a surprising amount of medicine and virtually ran the small Post Hospital when there was no doc around, which was most of the time.  He had more than once saved me a middle of the night call, with a terse message such as, "Just admitted a young lad with a high temperature and  septic spots on his tonsils.  I thought I'd start him  on  some penicillin tonight and have you see him  in the morning, unless you want to come out tonight."  I don't have to tell you which I chose!
             I arrived a little early on that morning to find Mike addressing all the recruits who were waiting to be seen.  As I approached the door, unseen by him this is what I heard.             
            "Now the doctor is very busy with important business today.  I don't want any of you wasting his time.  If there's nothing wrong with you get out of here and if there is make it short and sweet."
             "Yes sir," a chorus             
                I noticed a couple shrink away and slip out of the door.  They didn't mess with Mike.  Mike made sure as I knew he would, to see that the clinic ended a few minutes before the meeting with Sgt Peters was due to begin.  The sergeant got down to business without wasting time.
             "What we really need Doc, is a doctor who would do body searches, examinations for drugs and alcohol and various other medical examinations that we occasionally need for evidence."
              "So in practical terms, what would that actually involve?" I asked.
              "A flight comes into Regina, either a scheduled commercial one or a private one and we might have cause to suspect there's something funny going on so we pick up a guy and need to make sure he's not carrying illegal contraband, most commonly drugs  That's when we might need to call on you," he responded.  "We need someone to assess whether it is appropriate or necessary to do a body search on these individuals and just how far it's necessary to
 go.  It may even require a rectal or vaginal examination or sigmoidoscopy.  I know you are well aware that if we were to do too  many of these sorts of exams we'd have all the left wing lawyers
 raising bloody hell, and all of these guys walking, " he said angrily.
              I found myself in sympathy with Sgt. Peter's frustrations.  Funny, because in those days I considered myself a liberal.
              "Yes, I know what you mean.  Don't worry, I'll use good judgment and if I consider the search necessary I'll proceed with it and if I don't I won't."
              Sergeant Peters paused and looked at me as though considering whether he had chosen the right man for the job.
              Then he said, "If you were going to do some work of this sort for us, for your own protection it would be necessary for you to make it clear to the prisoner that you're functioning as an RCMP officer and not as the patient's personal physician."
              "Yes, I can see that," I answered.
              He continued, "in order to protect you as well as ourselves it is important for the prisoner and his legal counsel to realize that the physician under these circumstances is working for the RCMP."
              "Yes, if the prisoner didn't agree to that, I could do nothing anyway or it would be construed as an assault."
             "Exactly," said Sergeant Peters, "I have talked this over with my superiors and they suggested that we a enlist you as a special constable, which would make your role very clear."
              "And I suppose that a handsome salary goes along with being a special constable," I smiled, because I could see that Sergeant Peters wasn't sure how seriously to take me.
              "No, I'm afraid not sir," he said formally.  However we do have a budget that would let us pay you a reasonable fee on a fee-for-service basis."
              To cut a long story short after filling in the appropriate forms and going through the mandatory security check I was duly appointed a special constable in the RCMP. 
Part 3 next week.

Thursday 10 July 2014


          Sexting is the act of sending sexually explicit messages, primarily between mobile phones.(Wiki ) Usually containing photographs of the narcissistic selfie variety in  its more blatant form of the unclothed genitalia or breast, in it less aggressive form of the same areas clothed to varying degrees.  Sometimes just suggestive poses,  but of course always with the objective of titillating, sometimes frankly salacious.
           When I googled this, high on the  list of hits was a headline from the Daily Mail (U.K.) reading as follows:
         Sexting lessons for Children aged nine:  Pupils to be warned against suggestive photos
  •          New sex education packs produced by the  Family Planning Association
  •          Advice includes telling girls not to send 'sexy and pouting' photographs
  •          Family  Planning Association said lesson plans were necessary in light  of 'Operation Yewtree'  (Operation Yewtree is a police investigator into sex  abuse claims)
             An  interesting start thought I, so next I went to Amazon to see if they might have a book or two on this topic.  I flipped through a hundred books about sexting (yes, a hundred) and then I quit.   This was obviously a much bigger preoccupation than I had anticipated.
              A short time later I opened my daily newspaper to read a headline relating how a 22 month baby died after being left for seven hours in a furnace hot car.  One of the things his father was preoccupied with was sexting with no less than six women, including a sixteen year old girl.       
                Looks like this sexting business is going to require a little more investigation, and that's just what I intend to do in the coming weeks.       

Monday 7 July 2014

The Cop Doctor!

                                             The RCMP and Me.
 Part 1.
             In my early days of practice in Regina, Saskatchewan, (the Home of the  RCMP) in the 1960s, I was privileged to be one of the doctors looking after one of the two major training centres in the country.   (In fact, for a time I was actually a Special Constable in the Force, but that's another story, for later.)
              In addition to looking after the recruits, there were  RCMP officers of various ranks who came into the clinic for both routine medical examinations and with various complaints.  Most of them had family doctors in the community but the convenience of being seen right on the spot at the depot tended to be overwhelming. This was further facilitated by the fact that they could give Mike (my  Medical orderly)  a call requesting him to slip them in at the end of clinic and being the obliging fellow he was, Mike would usually meet the requests.  Thus over a period of time I came to know quite a few of the officers and if they
did not have a regular family physician become their primary care doctor.
             Sergeant Peters was one such patient and I had seen him on a few occasions.  I was surprised when he arrived at my office downtown in Regina in uniform, one morning.
            "There's a Mountie waiting to see you, Dr. Smith," Peggy my nurse said, nervously.
            Looks like they have finally caught up with me.  Better show him in." I joked.
             "Sorry to bother you, Doc, but I have a little favor to ask of you," the officer smiled.
I was already running a little late.  He probably had some minor complaint, that could've waited until I was out at the post the following day, I thought.          
             "What can I do for you, Sergeant?"  I asked.
             "This is a little different from the usual business you do with us, Doc," he said.  "Sometimes we have need for medical help"
              "What sort of medical help do you have in mind?"  I asked suspiciously.
              "I know you're busy right now, and I wouldn't have bothered you at your office under normal circumstances.  In fact, I was planning to meet with you after your clinic next week to discus this.  But we do have a job at hand that we would like you to help us with. Of course we do have a special budget to pay you for this sort of work," he added.
             "Exactly what sort of work are we talking about?"  I asked.
             "I think you know Andy Higgins, he was in to see you for his annual medical not very long ago?"
              I had no recollection of who he was talking about but I nodded anyway.
             "Well, he's doing some undercover work and is supposed to be off his job and on Workers compensation at the moment.  We felt that if you would put a cast on his arm so that he would really look the part."
             "That seems straightforward enough.  Sure I'll do it.  When do you need him ready for the job?"
              The sergeant said, "That's just it.  He's going to a big meeting this evening and he is supposed to be off work because of a broken arm."
           "Okay, bring him into my office this afternoon and I'll cast him," I said.
             "That's really great, thanks.  And I've arranged to look in to see you for half an hour or so next week so we can discuss this arrangement and what else you might be prepared to help us."
            Const. Higgins showed up at my office as arranged and I quickly put a cast on his left arm.
           "Don't forget to let this harden properly, and if it feels too tight or causes any tingling or discoloration in your fingers, get right back to the office here or to the emergency department if it's during the night.  I don't want your arm falling off over a cast you didn't need in the first place.    I want to see you no later than two weeks from now for removal of the cast, earlier if your mission permits it."  
            Constable Higgins seemed quite amused by the situation and despite my cautions to him his final dismissive words were, "thanks Dr., don't worry, I'll take this off myself when I don't need
 it any longer."  And with that he scooted out of the office and I didn't see him again until his next annual medical examination one year later, when his arm was still attached to his body and the cast
 had long since been relegated to the dump.
              That was the beginning of a long relationship with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and subsequently with  the Federal Corrections Canada  Maximum Security Institution in Saskatoon.
See next week for part 2.

Friday 4 July 2014

ADD/ADHD Epidemic! (More about DSM5)

ADHD Epidemic.

                           According to the statistics,ADHD had tripled in the past twenty years.  Diagnosed in 11% of all American kids and 20% of teenage boys!
                            Have the psychiatrists gone nuts?   I've been in  practice for many years,  long before there was such a diagnosis as ADD.  I've seen and dealt with many hyperactive kids with varying degrees of attention deficiency.   Many of them were suffering from boredom.  Many of them were hyperactive and had difficulty sitting still.  Many of them were referred by over stressed teachers in overpacked classes because of the disruption they were causing and the stress the teachers felt.  Often the teacher made the diagnosis! Very few of them actually had a mental disorder and very often moderate alterations in school or parenting techniques resulted in significant improvement.  As a general practitioner, I looked after many children who would today be classified as ADHD.  Most of them grew into normal, productive adults. That is, if we can  define normal!!   And there's the rub, very often the psychiatrists can't  do  that and more and more of what might have been considered the normal  reactions to the stresses and difficulties of life have become 'medicalized'.  I am certainly not saying ADD/ADHD doesn't exist, I am saying that more and more normal/borderline normal kids are being given a diagnosis of a mental disease.  Treatment often consists of lenthy courses of stimulant or antipsychotic drugs that contribute to the patients suffering with complications some of them serious, of their own.  We don't yet know the long term effects on the young brain. The drug companies are pushing their products particularly by means  of direct advertising of prescription drugs to the public, something that is prohibited in almost every other country besides the U.S.   
                              More recently, adult ADD/ADHD has become a popular disease.
                                Feel free to comment!