The August Off-Topic Thread

By July 31, 2018Other

A little on Pain.

Pain is the body’s way of telling you that something is wrong — avoid it, fix it up, and the pain will go away. We learn about it through toothaches, cuts, breaks and things like that. I have a spinal fracture, and fractures take six to eight weeks to fix up. I am in week seven, and it may take eight or nine or ten weeks to fix mine up because I am old. Old bodies don’t heal so well. Even then I may still have painful episodes. So I have chronic pain, and pain is my constant companion. I’ve now read a lot about it, and here is a tiny sample.

The Wikipedia entry on Pain has 130 references, which is substantial. There are innumerable links. I haven’t by any means read them all, and the more I read the plainer it is that pain is a mystery. We can only tell someone else what we are feeling. There is no measuring stick that the wise doctor can use to tell us that we have 6.78 standard units of pain. People are different in their capacity to bear pain. I have discussions with my nurse practitioner pain specialist (who is amazing in her knowledge and capacity to tweak my system to good effect), and her view is that I under-report my pain. I say what I think is my case. She is judging on hundreds of cases like mine. Who is right? In general Mr Pain hangs around at about 2 on a 0 to 10 scale. I can cope with that, easily. She says I should experience no pain at all, and I am not taking enough painkillers. But I say that if I’m not noticing the pain, what does it matter?

So this is my current preoccupation. The day is measured in units of DA pain, where 0, 1 and 2 are good days, and anything higher is bad. And you are pre-occupied with it, as it gets in the way of anything more creative, which is vexing in the extreme. Everyone is sympathetic, but no one has anything to offer. Wherever you turn there are ‘remedies’ but the medical team knows all about them, and can explain sensibly why, given my disease and my medication and their interactions, known and possible, these alternate possibilities will not help.

Good news: more good days now than bad days.

Join the discussion 40 Comments

  • Rafe says:

    Thanks Don, it is great to get good news!
    I like your attitude towards the lower levels of the pain scale. In recovery from a hip replacement I had to regularly report on the level of pain but it never got past 1 or 2 and I reported that I didn’t rank that as pain at all, just discomfort.
    We need to be alert to pain of course but we also need to avoid being over precious about minor aches and pains.
    As to recovery time my mother was a very experienced nurse (a Bush Nurse in Tasmania) and her maxim was that every decade of age doubles recover time. That is excessive but you get the picture. It is reassuring to take that into account when we are impatient these days, recalling the time when we recovered from terrible bumps and bruises on Saturday to be as good as new by Tuesday training.

  • spangled drongo says:

    You have a great, positive and practical attitude, Don, and I think that is half the battle.

    Like you, I also don’t take pain killers, not because I have no pain but because the average dose has no effect so I try to put up with it and concentrate on other things.

    I have had upper spinal pain for the last 30 years and I mostly just try to do what I want to do and get as much walking exercise as possible.

    Medical advice has virtually been worthless but at least the smart ones admit they don’t know.

    And then there’s those torn shoulder ligaments that also get me right where I live, daily, even after multiple med procedures. Ugh! .

  • Neville says:

    Here’s a quote about the origins of the Greek Mati and Athens fire that claimed 83 lives.

    “Greek authorities suspect arson was involved in the Mati fire that killed at least 83 people, and officials suspect another smaller fire that broke out near Athens was also started intentionally.”

    But there has been a big reduction in S. European fires since 1980, yet an increase in forested areas and population over the same period. Thanks again to Lomborg who actually cared enough to look at the data.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Thanks for some more of those inconvenient facts, Neville, but you have to be aware the bed-wetters don’t want no steenkin’ facts to interrupt their enjoyable enuresis.

  • Neville says:

    Wonderful to see that ordinary people have woken up to this Gorebull warming con and fra-d. Many polls over many years prove the case.

  • spangled drongo says:

    The philosophy influencing most scientific decisions today is Green Groupthink and it is extremely toxic, not only WRT cli-sci:

  • spangled drongo says:

    For the deniers of natural climate variability, a comparison of the last 4 interglacials:

    How much warming is ACO2 responsible for?

  • Chris Warren says:

    Once upon a time denialists dug their heads in the sand – now they must dig their heads in the ashes.

  • Neville says:

    Here Joe D’Aleo tries to explain the heat wave in Europe using data plus plenty of graphs, charts etc. No need to use witchcraft and ignorant superstition.
    Remember the panic about the so called Co2 Russian heatwave a few years ago that was easily explained by a big very slow moving blocking high pressure system? Here’s Joe’s link.

  • Neville says:

    BTW SD here’s a link to the BOM’s OZ tropical cyclone graph 1970 to 2017. Includes both non-severe and severe.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Thanks, Neville. As your graph indicates, cyclones in Aust have been reducing but on the east coast have been reducing at a much greater amount due to the Arafura Sea winning the tug-of-war over the Coral Sea for the last 40 years for some reason.

      However, beware these words in that article which tells us that it is all adjustable, the future is certain and it is only the past that is in doubt:

      “Analysis of historical tropical cyclone data has limitations due to a number of changes in observing practices and technology that have occurred over time. With new and improved meteorological satellites our ability to detect tropical cyclones has improved…”

      The TNA (Tropical Northern Atlantic) Index will update for July in a few days but June was a record negative (cold) in sharp contrast to 2017. This should lead to a quieter hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin:

      This is also responsible for a lot of high lat northern warming currently.

  • Neville says:

    SD here is Co2 Science’s summary of a 2011 study of OZ east coast cyclones since the 1870s. There has been a big drop in cyclone activity since that time. This backs up what Lindzen had to say years ago.

    These two scientists work for the BOM but there has been little publicity about this study. Here’s the summary that I think you’ll find very interesting. And the link.

    “Tropical Cyclones Making Land-Fall Over Eastern Australia” Reference
    “Callaghan, J. and Power, S.B. 2011. Variability and decline in the number of severe tropical cyclones making land-fall over eastern Australia since the late nineteenth century. Climate Dynamics 37: 647-662.”

    “The authors note that several studies have raised concerns that tropical cyclones, or TCs — and especially the severe ones — “have become more frequent in many places in response to global warming,” citing Emanuel (2005) and Webster et al. (2005). In addition, Callaghan and Power write that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, highlights several studies that conclude that “tropical cyclones are likely to become more intense in the future in response to global warming,” citing Alley et al. (2007); but rather than accepting this set of claims on the basis of the IPCC’s “authority,” they go on to provide a much more compelling analysis of their own.

    What was done
    Callaghan and Power, as they describe it, developed and used “a new data base of severe land-falling TCs for eastern Australia derived from numerous historical sources, that has taken over a decade to develop.” This data base, as they continue, includes: “peer-reviewed publications; Bureau of Meteorology publications, including comprehensive case histories for a large number of TCs — including all TCs since the mid-1950s, Monthly Climatological Bulletins and Monthly Weather Reviews, unpublished TC season reports, bounded operational analysis charts back to the 1890s stored in the National Archives, unpublished internal Bureau documents; publications by state and local governments; archives of several Queensland newspapers; newspaper clippings held by the Bureau of Meteorology; books describing land-falling TCs; information held by the Cairns and Townsville Historical Societies; a report to the QLD parliament (1918); and extensive unpublished information from the public including numerous damage photographs,” as well as “reports on storm surge, wave action and shipwreck data from an extensive Australian shipwreck data base.”

    What was learned
    The two researchers with Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology first note that their new data base allows them “to document changes over much longer periods than has been done previously for the Southern Hemisphere,” and among the host of results they describe, two of them stand out with respect to their significance to the global warming debate. First, they report that “the sign and magnitude of trends calculated over 30 years periods vary substantially,” highlighting the fact that “caution needs to be taken in making inferences based on e.g. satellite era data only.” And second, they report that “the linear trend in the number of severe TCs making land-fall over eastern Australia declined from about 0.45 TC/year in the early 1870s to about 0.17 TC/year in recent times — a 62% decline.” And they add that “this decline can be partially explained by a weakening of the Walker Circulation, and a natural shift towards a more El Niño-dominated era.” Thus, they conclude the abstract of their paper with the remark that “the extent to which global warming might also be partially responsible for the decline in land-falls — if it is at all — is unknown [bold and italics added to highlight the irony of the result].”

    What it means
    Callaghan and Power’s analysis of their lengthy and comprehensive new data base reveals results that appear to be totally at odds with the contentions of the IPCC, which are based more on the output of numerical models of the atmosphere than on real-world observations. And their results also highlight the fact that even real-world observations may be misleading, especially if they do not cover a long enough time period to reveal the oscillatory nature of various aspects of earth’s climate”.

    Alley, R., et al. 2007. Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Summary for Policymakers. IPCC.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Wow! Neville. A bit of factual climate science for a change.

      No wonder it doesn’t get any publicity!

      When you have spent many nights up to your neck in raging surf trying to sandbag shorelines to protect houses or pushing car bodies into the sea to stop high-rise foundations from being undermined by breaking surf you tend to remember that for the last 40 years we have never had it so good.

      But still the bleating bed-wetters blither but don’t bother to pay attention to the cyclical real world of Nat Var!

      But this has it’s upside in the real estate market where, like Al Gore, they now pay tens of millions for these same exposed properties.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Here’s some Nat Var that turns the bed-wetters CAGW into a pussy cat:

  • Neville says:

    Here is the ABC Catalyst story about the 6,000 year study of super cyclones in nth Queensland.
    The last one hit over 200 years ago, but just imagine what the stupid MSM would claim if one hit today? Oh and co2 levels in 1800 were about 280 ppm.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Neville, that cyclone could tie in with this big flood in the Brisbane and Bremer Rivers that was prior to settlement. That debris stays in tree tops for years. When we were kids it was often our job to assess debris levels in trees to check for record floods and by measuring distance from base and the angle, done twice from a similar level it gave you an accurate fix on elevation:

      “…in 1825, Major Edmund Lockyer mentioned evidence of a flood in the area of today’s Mount Crosby pumping station. Based on grass and other debris high on tree branches, his estimate was a flood of some one hundred feet above the normal river level.”

      The surprises of Nat Var!

  • spangled drongo says:

    Tony Heller highlights the ever-increasing lies told in the name of junk science:

    • spangled drongo says:

      The Greenie bed-wetters are the cause of the problem by not burning because they think the solution is to store carbon and when it all blows up in their faces they blither, “CATASTROPHE!!!”

      “National parks and other protected areas clearly provide an important function in removing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it,” said Battles. “But we also know from previous research that a century of fire suppression has contributed to a potentially unsustainable buildup of vegetation. This buildup provides abundant fuel for fires that contribute to carbon emissions.”

  • Neville says:

    All those years of scary stories about the coffee industry were wildly exaggerated it seems. Big surprise NOT.

  • Neville says:

    Why do our pollies, journos and media continue to exaggerate/ lie about drought in OZ?
    Thanks goes to the Bolter for actually looking up the data and correcting their stupidity.
    Of course droughts over the last thousand years were much worse and Jo Nova has a good data filled post to point this out. Here’s the Bolt link.

  • Neville says:

    The level of ignorance about OZ rainfall is mind boggling, but I suppose we have to try and do our best and continue to present the data again and again until it sinks in.
    The Bolter did just that last night in his 4+ min editorial on the Bolt Report. What is it that people find so hard to understand about our rainfall record over the last 118 years?
    In fact if you look at the first 70 years of OZ rainfall you will notice that we were a much drier place then than now.

  • Neville says:

    Here again is the latest data from the BOM rainfall record showing a much drier period for NSW up to 1950.

    And OZ rainfall was much less up to 1970.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Why is the bleedin’ obvious so hard for the groupthinkers to understand?

    Greg Sheridan on the mess we have made of our climate policies in the last decade:

    “How many times have you heard on TV panels that the “world is turning away from coal”? This is the absolute reverse of the truth.

    Again, don’t take my word for it. The cover story in The Economist this week points out that last year India consumed 27 million tonnes (or 4.8 per cent) more coal than the previous year. China also consumed more coal than the year before. That led to a global rise in coal consumption. Prices for thermal coal, which is used in generating electricity, rose substantially.

    …because our emissions are such a tiny part of the global total — a little over 1 per cent — that we can have no effect on the climate anyway. Rather, I suspect our efforts have actually increased global emissions.

    This is because the biggest Australian reductions came from getting rid of whole industries — such as the car manufacturing — partly because of high energy prices. But this doesn’t result in fewer cars being produced in the world.

    It just means they are made in less environmentally strict developing jurisdictions, with more emissions.

    Then there are the additional emissions involved in transporting the cars to Australia.”

  • spangled drongo says:

    The absolute hypocrisy and bigotry of lefty academics explains so much of our current problems:

  • Chris Warren says:

    One small step for science – one giant leap for mankind … I hope

    However, needed as this is, it still may all be too late.

  • spangled drongo says:

    How many bullet holes through the foot are required, do you think?

    “If you set out to destroy a successful Western democracy, you couldn’t do better than adopt the policies and ideas now prevalent in Australia: high energy costs to exhaust family budgets and make industry unviable; high company taxes to ward off new investment; schools that favour gender issues over maths and English; universities that preach from the texts of the green-left; enforcement of costly delusions about our capacity to affect global emissions; identity politics to help create division; free speech jettisoned for the mirage of equality and diversity; and a military force with fingernails painted pink.”

  • spangled drongo says:

    World War 2 ended 73 years ago, today. Don would remember it well.

    How things have changed!

  • spangled drongo says:

    A pair of these Mandarin ducks [M&F] landed on our dam today.

    Outrageously exotic!

  • spangled drongo says:

    When I was in the business out west it was almost never any other way.


    “What on earth is going on?” says a frustrated Burrow, whose organisation represents Australia’s biggest agricultural companies, processors and exporters.

    “It’s all got out of proportion and gone much too far.

    “This is not the worst drought on record and only a tiny proportion of farmers, even in NSW where this drought is centred, are in desperate straits. Australia has always had droughts and always will have, but the vast majority of farmers are managing through it and coping fine.”

    “Little old ladies giving $15 from their pension that they can’t afford to a farmer who should have managed things better”

  • JimboR says:

    The LNP are maintaining a laser-like focus on jobs….

    “A lot of our people are facing that fact that they are in the last six months of their political careers,” says one worried backbencher. “They’ve got houses, school bills, cars that they’ve set up for themselves on the basis that they’re earning $200,00 plus. What do they do if they’re suddenly out of work?”

  • margaret says:

    “Automated decisions made using statistical processes “will screw [some] people by default, because that’s how statistics works,” said Dr Julia Powles, an Australian lawyer currently based at New York University’s Information Law Institute.“

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