Monthly Archives: January 2015

When a malfunctioning weather map turned up the heat, this hilarious weatherman kept his cool

Unexpected improvisational humor at its best! LOL

When we judge the poor the way we judge the chronically ill

One of my new favorite blogs 🙂

Heart Sisters

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

There’s an old joke about a woman who is successfully losing weight by following a very strict diet. But one day, her hubby returns home to find her sitting at the kitchen table finishing off a Hershey chocolate bar. He says to her: “Honey! You’ve been doing so great on your diet until now! How could you eat that chocolate bar?”

And her reply:

“You don’t know how many I wanted . . .”

That response sums up a profound message that goes beyond mere diet-cheating to how swiftly we rush to judgement based simply on what we see.  Mostly, we rush to judge other adults based on actions or behaviours that are none of our business (sometimes thinly veiled as “caring”I care about you so I have to mention the chocolate bar I see you eating. . . )  We…

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Dear Mom Who Thinks I Need to Vaccinate My Kids Against Measles

Levi Quackenboss is the man!!!!!

Levi Quackenboss

shutterstock_157245107Guest Post by Lazarus T. Jones

Yeah, I’m totally going there. I know this vaccination subject is pretty touchy with the undertones of intolerance, discrimination, and bigotry and all, but after seeing a letter written to a “mom who decided not to vaccinate her kids against measles,” I just couldn’t sit by while parents are thrown under the bus and innocent kiddos get sick and die.

To be perfectly frank, I was a bit offended that this letter wasn’t written to dads too but for the sake of prioritizing stupid, there are more important things to address…like the fact that kids in this country do not “get sick and die” from measles. Hello? When was the last time a kid died from measles in America? Here’s a clue…it wasn’t yesterday. Disney ain’t deadly and neither are the measles.

So here goes.

Dear Mom who thinks I should vaccinate…

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Misdiagnosed: women’s coronary microvascular and spasm pain

“Standard Tests Don’t Detect Microvascular Disease – Harvard Women’s Health Watch”

Heart Sisters

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

Findings from the federally funded Women’s Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE) study — a landmark investigation into ischemic heart disease(meaning reduced blood supply to the heart muscle) – are helping us to understand that, as the Harvard Women’s Health Watch puts it: heart disease – like cancer – is not one, but several disorders.

While I was at Mayo Clinic shortly after my heart attack, I also learned that at least two of these disorders are far more commonly seen in women than in men’s “Hollywood heart attacks”. These two heart conditions involve the smallest of the heart’s blood vessels in coronary microvascular disease (MVD) as well as non-obstructive issues like coronary artery spasm(CAS).

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Borreliae: The Unkillable Curse

The Unkillable Curse!

Shall we go back to basics and address the unkillable-ness of relapsing fever spirochetes? This is an issue that inevitably is raised in the long-term antibiotics debate. IDSA say the spirochetes are 100% killed (except in about 20% of curious cases) after a short course of antibiotics. ILADS say you may need to be on antibiotics for years. Well, if you’ve been following me, you know by now that it’s not really about the spirochetes, but the trashed immune system from the constantly-shed OspA, plus subsequent reactivation of herpesviruses and their resultant chronic, ugly, deadly sequelae. Lyme disease goes far beyond either a bacterial infection, or the “arthritic knee” definition put forth by Steere and his soon-to-be soap-on-a-rope chain gang.

But back to the point of this post: it was established practically in ancient times that borreliae cannot be killed. They go into cyst form when under attack. This, coupled…

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Response to Lancet article from Prof. Betsy Keller, Ph.D., Ithaca College






Prof. Betsy Keller’s response to Lancet Psychiatry report re M.E. and exercise compliments of Patricia Carter of MECFSForums.


What is at issue with both the primary and secondary analyses of the PACE Trial is:
1)  The fundamental misrepresentation of ME patients as being individuals defined by the archaic and non-specific Oxford criteria,


2) The tacit assumption that a statistically significant reduction in “fear avoidance beliefs” tracks with a meaningful decrease in functional impairment, the latter of which was not measured in the Pace trial.

Regarding diagnosis, use of the Oxford criteria for participant selection makes it likely that a portion of the study sample suffered from non-specific fatigue only.

Further, participation in the PACE Trial necessitated a moderate to high level of function, without representation from those who are severely ill. While this is not uncommon in most studies, it is a major limitation so that conclusions should be fairly characterized with this fact in mind. With respect to fear avoidance, I have yet to evaluate an adult-onset ME patient who did not want to recover their pre-illness level of function.

Many such patients still persist in overreaching on those ‘good days’ in hopes that they will miraculously not fall prey to a dreaded post-exertion symptom rebound that they have experienced many times before.

In contrast, the pediatric-onset ME patient typically learns early on that activity overreaching exacerbates symptoms, and absent the institutional memory of a prior ‘healthy’ life, they soon become ‘activity avoiders’. However, if you ask, these children will tell you that they also wish to be like other healthy kids.

For ME patients, activity overreaching equals symptom exacerbation, including decreased functional capacity. It’s a predictable action and reaction that is borne out by numerous and replicated physiological studies.

Given what we have learned in the past eight years about this illness, it is intellectually embarrassing to suggest that ME is a psychological illness. Likewise, to suggest that some with Me may not benefit from ‘support’ (CBT, support group or other) may rob patients of the opportunity to develop management (not healing) strategies that could be helpful.

However, with regard to GET, there are very, very few individuals in the world who truly understand the hairline trigger created by the aerobic metabolism pathology in these patients.

A statement proclaiming the efficacy of GET for those with ME must be founded on actual physiological evidence of positive physiological adaptation and no symptom exacerbation, and should not incude words such as “suggest” or “might” when encouraging therapists to promote more physical activities amongst their ME patients.

To state, as the authors have done, that the results of the PACE Trial provide sufficient evidence for therapists to couple CBT with GET is irresponsible and harmful. Notwithstanding the large sample size of the PACE Trial, outcome measures were simply not chosen to allow for such a conclusion regardless of the statistical power.

The Economist (1/17/15), not typically regarded as a foremost scientific or medical journal, reminded us in an article about the PACE analysis that the link between a healthy mind and healthy body has been well established for centuries.

So it is not surprising that helping one to understand their symptoms and learn supportive strategies to manage profound exhaustion, post-exertion symptom exacerbation, cognitive impairment, unrefreshing sleep, and often pain and dysregulated autonomic nervous system functions (orthostatic intolerance, POTS, GI symptoms and more), may be beneficial to a ME sufferer. 

However, as The Economist also pointed out, the healthy mind-body ink is “…by no means the same as saying something is all in the mind.”


Betsy Keller, Ph.D.
Ithaca, NY


Betsy Keller Professor, Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences
Faculty, School of Health Sciences and Human Performance
Ithaca College

Doctor of Philosophy in Exercise Science, University of Massachusetts
Master of Science in Exercise Science, University of Massachusetts
Bachelor of Science in Education, State University of New York, College at Cortland


“The Other Side Of The Stretcher” (c) 2015

This blog is not for medical advice.
For medical advice, you must speak with your physician!



Credit is given for images in this blog.

If you don’t see credit and you see your image,

please leave a note in the comments so credit can be given.


“Follow The Money”

Follow the Money 4

Dr. Byron Hyde’s reaction as a reply to the Lancet Psychology re M.E. report re M.E. and exercise compliments of M.E. patient advocate Michael Evison: 

“Regarding the Lancet paper, you have to understand who these people are.

It is my understanding that they are primarily in-hospital or in-University psychiatrists, physicians and allied specialists, who to the best of my knowledge have opinions, which will get them or their departments national grants. To the best of my knowledge they toe the financial line for political rather than medical grounds, which is very smart if you wish funding.

Their views to my opinion are dangerous in so much as the mere diagnosis of CFS or M.E. in the UK is sufficient to get patients hospitalized in psychiatric hospitals and the keys thrown away.

Unfortunately I have seen this among UK patients who I have examined, tested or had tested and even brought to Canada for intensive testing. Among these UK patients, one was a lad with an MA in chemistry, who presently is in a psychiatric hospital; none of my confirmed physical diagnoses were treated. They simply gave him antipsychotics and locked him up.

As a physician, it is important to physically examine in a knowledgeable fashion, both with a hands on classical examination (and re-examination) along with a technical examination of every major system and organ. This does not mean a few routine blood and urine tests. It is totally important to take a good history, to listen to the patient: not with this 5-10 minute history, examination pill and out the door or into a psychiatry diagnosis because that is convenient.

To be clear about this, prior to the advent of widely available MRI brain examination availability from 1984 onwards, many if not the majority of female patients with Multiple Sclerosis were diagnosed as hysteria or psychiatric illness. Less so among men, and more so among younger females, younger than 30.

You will recall that Sharpe was amongst the original writers of the failed Oxford Definition of CFS, which has never been used, but was concocted in the hope of obtaining major financial grants from NIH in Bethesda. (I believe they didn’t receive any grants.)

White is also a psychiatrist and I don’t know the occupations of the others but I assume they are all either psychiatrists or allied in some way to that curious profession, or in for the grants.

This is not a criticism of psychiatrists, they are a needed and useful profession, but psychiatrists must not forget, that they are first and above all, physicians and are not a waste basket for non-psychiatric physicians who do not wish to take the time to properly examine chronically disabled physically ill patients.

So once again we have PhDs and MDs who do not examine patients physically and technologically and are working on the basis of a theory. Theory is simply not good enough when you are dealing with the lives of patients. It is my understanding that real M.E. and CFS patients were excluded in the PACE trial, and those who got into the trial by accident and then became ill were then excluded.

Their magical theory of medicine was fine for the period prior to 1800 when anything and everything goes in medicine was acceptable but certainly not since 1900 and certainly not post 1984.

Is it possible that support of this PACE action is part of a criminal action? Remember, the PACE program is essentially about (a) cognitive behavior therapy, (b) graded exercise therapy and (c) cost effectiveness comparisons.

There is a statement among crime investigators of white-collar crime: If you wish to understand what is going on,

“Follow the money”.

Who is to benefit financially from the magical theories developed by the PACE enquiry? Certainly (a) the insurance industry shares a major part in the profit.

Those patients who drop out of the PACE program are “resisting treatment,” so no insurance disability payments need to be made.

Also the UK National Health system doesn’t have to pay for any tests of these chronically disabled patients. National Health can thus continue their non-investigation and non-scientific treatment, but rather their continued abandonment policy of a significant portion of their younger population with smug indifference.

In the near 30 years I have been following these M.E. and CFS patients, and they are not the same, the vast majority of these patients have been (a) teaching professionals, (b) health care workers including (physicians and nurses), and (c) students.

Is this not curious, the professions most in contact with infectious disease are the most represented? Is it not curious that the two professional groups, health care workers and teachers, due to the strenuous academic streaming, which weeds out the physically and psychological prone individuals, are those most effected.

If you wish to know what medicine is about, take one of their names of the Lancet paper and look up Pickles, not the same Pickles, but Will Pickles (1885-1969) of Yorkshire. In his book, Epidemiology in Country Practice (1939), he described one of the first epidemics of Myalgia, CNS dysfunction and dysautonomia, a patient with normal lungs free of infection yet with a respiratory rate of 60/minute. This was in 1883. We have not come very far. Has the UK, the source of some of medicines greatest physicians, stopped seriously examining the disabled?

In the 1990s, I went to the island of Bornholm to see Dr. Sylvest who was still alive to obtain his experiences on the Coxsackie B epidemic on that Island in the 1930s and simply to see if there were chronic patients from that epidemic which had not been written up. There were, and although most had died by then, many had not recovered. Dr. Sylvest was a physician who examined and cared for his patients.

So what do I think about physicians who (1) do not examine patients, (2) do not use the available and less available scientific and technological tools, (3) rely on myth and magic to examine chronically ill patients? Not very much. Nor do I think much of the imaginative papers they write to obtain grants and what terrible things that happen to patients due to their dangerous folly.

Byron Hyde MD, The Nightingale Research Foundation

Dr. Byron Hyde is probably one of the Last of the Mohican’s in not only the M.E. world but all of medicine as U.K psychiatry not only gives medicine a bad name but psychiatrists a bad name.

Dr. Byron Hyde says it in his statement:  “When white collar crime investigators make a statement such as “follow the money,””

When you have to “Follow The Money,”  its usually a case of RICO!

If you do not know what RICO is, then click here to find out what “The RICO Act of 1970” is.

“The Other Side Of The Stretcher” (c) 2015

This blog is not for medical advice.
For medical advice, you must speak with your physician!



Credit is given for images and also information in this blog by either google images or the creator of the image or source of information.

If you don’t see credit and you see your image or information,

please leave a note in the comments so credit can be given.


US Neuroscientist Says Exercise is a Noxious Stimulus That Worsens Symptoms of ME/CFS

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Our friend Penny Swift wrote another excellent piece in response to the inaccurate reporting via the U.K press about exercise and M.E. orchestrated by U.K. psychiatrists.

Penny features the work of Dr. Mark VanNess of the University of the University of the Pacific in this particular article.

Dr. Mark VanNess’s area of expertise is the post-exertional, immunological, autonomic, and neuroendocrine responses in women with M.E.

Click HERE to read “US Neuroscientist Says Exercise is a Noxious Stimulus That Worsens Symptoms of ME/CFS” and don’t forget to leave a comment for Penny! 🙂


Objection: Hearsay!





The Other Side of The Stretcher’s Response to The Inaccurate Reporting of the UK Media in Regards to exercise and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis!

I wrote this blog post last year.
It applies to the current inaccurate reporting of the UK media in regards to M.E which amounts to nothing other than “Hearsay.”

In other words….

There is a “Hearsay Medicine Practitioner” epidemic going on the UK and in other places as well!

“Hearsay Medicine Practitioner”= Dangerous to YOUR health!



The Other Side Of The Stretcher

What is “Hearsay Medicine”?


“Hearsay Medicine” is a Copyright of “The Side of The Stretcher,” aka Me :).  I figure I should do that because blogging isn’t like it was 10 years ago.  I notice the practice of “plagiarism” is not just common, it is rampant!  You must copyright every one your ideas!

If you are familiar with the term “Hearsay” which someone with a legal background would be familiar with, then you may have an idea what “Hearsay Medicine” could be.  If you don’t, read on and find out, because there are doctors who practice “Hearsay” medicine and one day you may be in a situation where you may just need to know this if you have a “politically incorrect” illness.

From the Nurse Point Of View!

As I have said in my previous blog posts, my blog posts are written  from an RN point of view for the benefit of the patients because…

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Dr. VanNess Response to Inaccurate UK Reporting in Re M.E. Compliments of Joan Mcparland




Permission has been granted to share this letter below, a highly respected and highly educated response on the preposterous idea that ME patients remain severely, physically debilitated due to an irrational ‘fear of exercise.’

Due to recent inaccurate media reporting of a misleading study, performed by some notorious UK psychiatrists, I asked for the opinion of a world leading expert in the area of exercise science.

THANK YOU for your support Professor Mark VanNess Sr. VanNess! Letter below.

The lives of patients could be so dramatically improved and even saved if some very powerful psychiatrists would just end their agenda to literally crucify us and sit down to study the biomedical evidence. This post contains just one example, there are thousands more.

In February 2014 we provided a platform in Stormont for the presentation of the groundbreaking, scientific findings from the Workwell Foundation in CA.
The presentation included scientific evidence for measuring reduced functional capacity and post-exertional fatigue following physical activity and which are hallmark symptoms for patients suffering from M.E. with 95.1% ACCURACY


“Dear Joan,

I was saddened to see the press releases regarding the ME/CFS studies from Kings College London. It seems to me they’ve once again missed important nuances of the disease. Nearly all ME/CFS sufferers would either avoid or drop out of any experiment that employed exercise as a treatment because they know it exacerbates symptoms. The remaining subjects would either be very high functioning or consist of fatigued individuals that were incorrectly diagnosed as ME/CFS. Our studies clearly show that dynamic exercise like walking or jogging exacerbates symptoms associated with ME/CFS.

Fear and avoidance of what worsens symptoms is a natural defense mechanism against a harmful stimulus. In fact, many researchers here in the U.S. utilize graded aerobic exercise as a tool to worsen and amplify ME/CFS symptoms – not as a treatment meant to be beneficial. The therapeutic interventions we use are meant to improve quality of life for ME/CFS patients. These interventions focus primarily on strengthening muscles and improving range of motion; activities that get energy from normally functioning anaerobic metabolic mechanisms rather than impaired aerobic energy pathways. We even provide tools like heart rate monitors to help patients avoid significant aerobic exertion.

Fear of exercise is an understandable response in ME/CFS. For a patient with ME/CFS the fear of exercise is a reasonable, knowledgeable, and learned response to a noxious stimulus. If ME/CFS patients could exercise away their symptoms they most certainly would, regardless of the pain. But that is not the case. Our exercise physiologists carefully avoid aerobic exercise (which worsens the pathologies) and focus activity programs that utilize intact metabolic pathways with strength training and recumbent stretching (that help alleviate symptoms). These exercise recommendations are consistent with our understanding of ME/CFS pathology.

We would all hope that ME/CFS was viewed with attention given to immunological, metabolic, cardiovascular and neuroendocrinological dysfunction that has been demonstrated with previous research.

Good luck to you and your organization as you help us all accurately portray this illness.

J. Mark VanNess, Ph.D.
Professor; Departments of Health and Exercise Science and Bioengineering
University of the Pacific
Stockton, California, USA”

DVDs of the full professional’s education event in Stormont Buildings, Belfast are available from N&M support group or Professor VanNess single presentation may be viewed at this link from the Bristol event..

“Professor Mark VanNess received his doctorate in neuroscience from Florida State University in 1997 and did post-doctoral work in the department of pharmacology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He teaches classes at the University of the Pacific in the College of the Pacific and College of Engineering in the areas of exercise science, nutrition and biology. He began working on CFS in 1999. His main research interest is on the role of the autonomic nervous system in immune dysfunction. He has a particular interest in the mechanisms that produce post-exertional malaise in women with CFS, especially as they contribute to physical and cognitive dysfunction.”



Please visit Sally @ Just ME for further commentary in regards to
Prof. VanNess on recent press reports.”

“The Other Side Of The Stretcher” (c) 2015

This blog is not for medical advice.
For medical advice, you must speak with your physician!



Credit is given for images in this blog.

If you don’t see credit and you see your image,

please leave a note in the comments so credit can be given.