Useless Doctors

I spoke to Nisakiman last night.

He got his biopsy results last week. And the prognosis was delivered to him by a harridan doctor who told him that he had “not years” to live, but only months. And of course she also insisted that the cancer which had shot to pieces his lungs and bones and liver had been caused by smoking.

“Harridan” was his description of her, not mine. He had pointed out that there were plenty of other risk factors in his life (one of which was surely that, working as a carpenter, he’d spent many hours in a cloud of wood shavings and wood dust), but She Knew Better, of course.

It seems that the doctors in the Swindon hospital where he was being treated had determined very early on that he was a hopeless case. Before he left hospital 10 days ago, one of them had even come to ask him whether he wanted to be resuscitated. And that had made him angry.

He’s now at the home of one of his daughters. And two sons, one of whom he hadn’t seen for 15 years, have arrived from Australia to see him. And today he’ll be having a pub lunch, on what is a warm bright English summer day, somewhere in the Cotswolds hills.

He’s hoping to return to Greece briefly some time in the next week or two. And he’d also like to see me and twentyrothmans, who are proposing to make a day trip to visit him. It’s a short motorway trip for me. I could be home by nightfall.

But he was in good spirits. He laughed when I suggested that the harridan might have broken the news to him by saying, “You have a few hours. And even a few days. Perhaps also a few weeks.”

The odd thing about all this, for me at least, is that up until a month ago he was living in Patras in Greece, to which he had moved from Corfu recently, and had been re-assembling his carpentry workshop there, and occasionally dropping into the Smoky Drinky Bar to say hello with a roll-up and a glass of wine. None of us thought that he was unwell. Although his wife had been asking him for over a year to see a doctor. It had taken the arrival of one of his daughters in Greece for him to be put on a plane to England, admitted into a hospital, pumped full of drugs, and then condemned to death by its resident harridan.

Was it worth it? Wouldn’t it have been better to have just stayed on in Greece, continued working on his workshop, and enjoying Greek sunshine, Greek tavernas, Greek wine, and Greek cigarettes? I suggested as much when I first reported his condition. For he has been pretty much converted from a well man into a terminal invalid in the space of a few weeks. If he’d stayed in Greece, continuing as he had, maybe he just wouldn’t have woken up one morning. And that is the way that lots of people die.

What good are all these doctors, if all they can do with their ever-bigger institutional hospitals, filled with ever-more-exotic electronic equipment, is pump people full of drugs, and then condemn them to death? When my father had a stroke, some 25 years ago, there was nothing they could do for him, and he was dead inside 6 months. Same with my mother, 15 years ago, when she slowly became bed-bound. In fact, it was while she was in hospital during this time that she fell and broke a hip on its concrete floor.

What use has the medical profession been to me either? I’ve never been ill in my entire life (despite smoking cigarettes for the past 50 years), and so have had no need of them. No, the medical profession has instead done me, and millions of other smokers, a colossal amount of harm. They have evicted us from our pubs and cafes and restaurants, exiled us to the outdoors (and thereby endangered our lives), and made social pariahs of us. I used to have a wide circle of friends, but I lost them all once there ceased to be anywhere to meet them any more, thanks entirely to the antismoking busybodies in Tobacco Control.

I think the medical profession is facing destruction. I think it’s going to be torn apart. And if I have anything to do with it, countless antismoking doctors will be thrown out of it. And that would include the harridan in Nisakiman’s Swindon hospital. She’d just be told to leave one day, and told to never come back. And the same would happen to all the healthist doctors who want to ban alcohol, and fat, and sugar. They can all go. The whole damn lot. And the medical profession can then return to caring for the sick, rather than trying to stop them from getting sick in the first place.

And that includes antismoking physician Elliott Bettman. He can get lost too. He’s come back to tell us today that:

Smokers have Terrible Gum Disease. The folks who lose their teeth are much more likely to be smokers or tobacco chewers. The only exception is those who avoid the Dentist, and their teeth rot from the top down from cavities. Smoking is also a major cause of Lower Back Pain, because it causes the Spinal Disks to degenerate (they are cartilage, with no direct blood supply, so the Carbon Monoxide and the nicotine (which constricts the blood vessels in the nearby bone) causes the cartilage to die and be replaced by bone.

Well, I haven’t got any gum disease at all. And I don’t avoid dentists. I visited one just yesterday, in fact. I’m sure he would have told me if I had gum disease. Sure, I’ve had lots of cavities, but I’ve had cavities since I was about 5 years old (15 years before I started smoking). And I still have almost all my teeth, even if most of them have been filled or crowned. I find it odd that the only completely intact survivor teeth are the four incisors along the bottom front, which have taken the full brunt of of 50 years of smoking, and 65 years of hot, sweet tea. For the likely cause of all those cavities has been the hot, sweet tea that I drink. Oh, and I don’t have lower back pain either. The only person I ever knew who suffered from that was, oddly enough, one of my (former) antismoking friends, an avid cyclist.

You’re completely full of shit, Mr Bettman. You think you know a lot, but you know next to nothing.

And that’s the crime of the medical profession: they pretend to know far more than they actually know. They transform probabilities (and even improbabilities) about tobacco and alcohol and sugar and salt into absolute certainties. They imagine themselves to be not just omniscient medical practitioners, but also peerless mathematicians who can juggle with numbers just as easily as they can juggle with arms and legs and hearts. And their certainties are now being acted out in a global war on smoking, alcohol, fast food, in what amounts to a modern day witch hunt against millions of their fellow men and women.

It’s also the crime of the climate scientists. They too are absolutely certain that CO2 is causing global warming. God save us all from men with the passionate intensity that is born of perfect certainty.

If they had a little humility, they’d neither of them be so perfectly certain. But they have no humility. None at all.

And so Tobacco Control must be destroyed. And Tobacco Control will be destroyed. And so will Climate Control. None of them have a clue what they’re talking about. They all must go.

Anyway, the good news about Nisakiman is that he’s still enjoying the occasional roll-up, even if he can’t quite manage cigars. And I hope that right now, right this very minute, he’s enjoying a pint of beer, and a slab of roast beef laden with roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding, complete with side dishes of sugar, salt, fat, and confectioner’s custard.

About Frank Davis

smoker
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22 Responses to Useless Doctors

  1. beobrigitte says:

    First of all, I’m glad to read Nisakiman is in great spirits and enjoys a nice pub lunch with his children today!!!
    I do hope Nisakiman turns out to be a case like my mother was.

    And of course she also insisted that the cancer which had shot to pieces his lungs and bones and liver had been caused by smoking.
    Of course….. *rolling-eyes*. His job had nothing to do with it….. No, of course Nisakiman NEVER worked in an enclosed environment and was exposed to wood dust or even wood treatment solutions….

    I do agree with:
    I think the medical profession is facing destruction. I think it’s going to be torn apart. And if I have anything to do with it, countless antismoking doctors will be thrown out of it. And that would include the harridan in Nisakiman’s Swindon hospital. She’d just be told to leave one day, and told to never come back. And the same would happen to all the healthist doctors who want to ban alcohol, and fat, and sugar. They can all go. The whole damn lot. And the medical profession can then return to caring for the sick, rather than trying to stop them from getting sick in the first place.
    Are they REALLY trying to stop us from getting sick? I believe plans for early retirement are more a driving force. But yes, just sticking to treating the sick would be a good start. We are being told that we NOW have an ever increasing elderly population, many of whom cannot get a same day appointment with their GP due to all healthy middle agers being encouraged to do a physical, time consuming “MOT!”

    And that includes antismoking physician Elliott Bettman. He can get lost too. He’s come back to tell us today that:

    Smokers have Terrible Gum Disease. The folks who lose their teeth are much more likely to be smokers or tobacco chewers. The only exception is those who avoid the Dentist, and their teeth rot from the top down from cavities. Smoking is also a major cause of Lower Back Pain, because it causes the Spinal Disks to degenerate (they are cartilage, with no direct blood supply, so the Carbon Monoxide and the nicotine (which constricts the blood vessels in the nearby bone) causes the cartilage to die and be replaced by bone.
    Personally, I laughed the most about “smoking-causes-impotency”. I’m afraid the “good” doctor is scraping the barrel of tobacco control nonsense. Has he never wondered how all the impotent men managed to father the baby-boomers, the ones who also are physically fit enough to work to the age of 67 rather than drawing their state pension at the age of 60 like they were promised many years ago, to begin with?

    Perhaps tobacco control is REALLY more DESPERATE than we know…

    • Rose says:

      “Smokers have Terrible Gum Disease. The folks who lose their teeth are much more likely to be smokers or tobacco chewers.”

      Brigitte, this is probably an attempt to erase the knowledge that tobacco has been used to clean teeth for a very long time.

      Medicinal uses of tobacco in history
      “Tobacco, probably mixed with lime or chalk, appears to have been used in these Native American populations as a toothpaste to whiten the teeth, as observed by Nino and Guerra in 1500 and by Vespucci at about the same time in Venezuela.

      This practice continues today in India, where powdered tobacco, or masheri, is rubbed on the teeth for this purpose and tobacco toothpaste is marketed commercially”
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1079499/

      2004
      Use of tobacco products as dentifrice among adolescents in India:

      “Many students in India use tobacco products as dentifrice. Differences between the sexes were minimal and similar to those reported globally.

      In India the misconception is widespread that tobacco is good for the teeth. In a study reported from Ernakulam district in Kerala 92% (3013) of 3261 female tobacco users and 28% (2159) of 7575 male users specified tooth related problems as the reason for starting to use tobacco.3 Many companies take advantage of this misconception by packaging and positioning their products as dental care products. A laboratory test of five samples of red tooth powder that did not declare tobacco as an ingredient found a tobacco content of 9.3-248 mg per gram of tooth powder.

      The 1992 amendment to India’s Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 barred manufacturers from using tobacco as an ingredient in any toothpaste or toothpowder. One manufacturer challenged this amendment, but ultimately the Supreme Court passed judgment in favour of the government of India.1

      We carried out our study 10 years after the law had been amended. Surprisingly, 6-68% students still reported that they currently used products containing tobacco for oral care, which shows clearly that the regulations have not been implemented adequately.”
      https://www.bmj.com/content/328/7435/323

      I didn’t know it either until I started looking, but there does seem to be a link between smoking cessation and the rapid appearance of gum disease though.

  2. Vlad says:

    I don’t understand, why did Nisakiman have to go to England and be pumped full of drugs? Was he feeling unwell?
    ——
    Some, even many smokers, may have gum disease – but to draw a causal connection from this association is akin to saying that wearing sun glasses cause tanned skin. With smoke being bactericidal, a good case can be made that it helps destroy the bacteria in the mouth that cause gum and tooth problems. Also, nicotine being angiogenic, I can’t see how could that be detrimental to gums. Smokers nowadays are generally from a lower socioeconomic background and consequently don’t pay much attention to nutrition. This can very well explain the observed association smokers -> bad gums that Bettman is talking about.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I don’t think Nisakiman was feeling too good, although he never said anything much about it in the Smoky Drinky Bar. It was more his wife, and then his daughter, who were the prime movers. Why England? Because Nisakiman is English, and so are his daughters. And probably because they knew they could get him into a hospital quickly.

      Agree about smoke being bactericidal (as well as fungicidal and insecticidal). Wood smoke has long been used as a fumigant. Possibly one reason why hospitals are full of nasty bugs these days.

  3. Phil J says:

    Hiya Frank, I’m glad you are going to visit Nisakiman and please tell him how sorry I am to hear his news but I hope he fully enjoys whatever time he may have left and assure him that “the fight goes on my friend”! Phil J

  4. smokingscot says:

    Thank you very much for the news about Nisakiman. I sincerely hope he does get back to Greece and gets a hold of a specialist doctor for a 2nd opinion. From what he said, it seems our lot will only concentrate on pain relief. Also, as with any cancer, time is vital so best get back asap.

    I know the wily old fart will read this, so be sure Nisakiman that I’m rooting for you Squire.

  5. Carol42 says:

    I am so sorry to read this, I was getting worried but didn’t want to email Kevin until I heard more. Without details it’s hard to say but no reputable doctor gives time as there is no way of knowing. My cousin was estimated 6 months to a year, primary breast cancer with spread to liver and bones. She made seven years with treatment. I cannot believe these doctors, a disgrace to their profession. If he chooses to go ahead with treatment I would strongly suggest a second opinion from one of the teaching hospitals in London. There is a lot they can do now or he might decide to go back to Greece and enjoy his time but don’t know how easy it is to get the kind of painkillers for spread to the bone, from all accounts the most painful. I was told it was all smoking, younger doctors are brainwashed. I had surgery in 2010, have never stopped smoking and am still fine. I decided if it took 50 years to affect me I would take my chances. I believe it was stress after a traumatic shock that triggered it anyway. As an aside to an earlier remark of yours, my first husband died in February. He was in a rehab facility after fracturing his hip he developed a chest infection but wanted to either go outside for a cigarette or to the small smoking room. Of course no one would take him so stubborn old fool refused to take his medication! Sad he died without a last cigarette especially as he had survived oesophageal cancer nine years ago. That is just cruel, he was 80 years old. Glad to hear Kevin is keeping his spirits up.

  6. Carol42 says:

    Forgot to tick the boxes!

  7. smokingscot says:

    Refuse to taint posts with reference to the arse biter doctor. His latest is nothing more than a summary of stuff he’s read about, but has absolutely no personal experience himself.

    It’s not clear what he’s trying to achieve. Certainly none of the regurgitated bumph he’s dumped is likely to change hearts and minds at this end.

    So…

    As all he’s doing is hijacking an old post, then he’s just your standard issue, inconsequential troll.

    But I will give him credit for the buttmuncher thing. Arse biter’s not got quite the same ring to it!

    • Just pay no heed to the antismoking lectures, if the buttmunching ability he seems to be advertising is real, that makes him the go-to Doc for those who can’t kiss their haemorrhoids goodbye all by themselves.

  8. Emily says:

    So sorry hear it. Hang in there Nisakiman, and I’m so glad to hear that Frank and Twenty Rothmans will visit. Hope you will all drink a whiskey together and have a laugh.

  9. Tony says:

    Glad to hear Nisakiman is in good spirits.
    As to smoking, as far as I’m aware, it has never been shown to cause any harm of any kind. And I’ve been looking for evidence of any for decades now.
    The fact that the causes of cancer are largely unknown makes it a perfect playing field for these charlatans. It is indeed a sort of witch hunt against people whose lifestyles they dissaprove of.
    Doll and Peto’s 1981 book “The Causes of Cancer” (which claims 75% of cases are caused by lifestyle) is a classic of pseudo-science which despite repeated debunking, remains highly influential in medical circles.
    BTW as I typed “medical”, the word “medieval” was suggested instead. Appropriate perhaps.

  10. waltc says:

    I urge you to urge him to get a second opinion. To ask about radio surgery which can be done at multiple sites. And to ask about the several kinds of “targeted therapy” including immunotherapy, which, if the biopsy analysis shows the kind of cancer to be targetable, can kill it everywhere it’s spread. All birds, one stone. Radio surgery can also, at the least, modify pain.

    The harridan who smugly tried to lay retroactive blame on him (how comforting) should be shot. .

    • Carol42 says:

      That was my advice too, there are a lot more options now even at stage 4. I have several friends at that stage who are doing well on Tarceva and who never smoked! That doctor is a disgrace. I would certainly go to another hospital ASAP.

    • Rose says:

      Perhaps the harridan should read more.

      Asbestos timebomb: How an entire generation of carpenters has been blighted by cancer – Exclusive
      2009

      “The horrifying legacy of workers exposed to asbestos in the 60s can be revealed today.
      Researchers have found one in 10 carpenters who were young men at that time will die from the disease.

      Their fate was caused by health and safety blunders that led to millions of tonnes of asbestos being imported into Britain.
      Used in virtually every building site in the 60s and 70s, it was cut up by carpenters and spread into homes, schools, hospitals and offices without people realising it was dangerous.

      Their risk of dying from mesothelioma is now one in 17 but they have just as high a risk of getting lung cancer – increasing the chances of death significantly.

      The study found that one in 50 plumbers, electricians and painters and decorators born in the 40s will also die of mesothelioma and the same number again from lung cancer.

      Professor Julian Peto, of Cancer Research UK which carried out the study, revealed: “Huge quantities of these asbestos materials were brought in from South Africa.
      “It was being sawed up on every building site without any control at all.

      “It just wasn’t appreciated that exposure was heavier and it was far larger numbers of people exposed. It was an error by science and society.”

      He added: “We have shown that the risk in some occupations, particularly the building industry, is higher than we previously thought.”

      “The study, published today in the British Journal of Cancer, shows men born in the 40s who worked as carpenters for more than 10 years before they reached 30 have a lifetime risk of the disease of one in 17.”
      https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/asbestos-timebomb-how-an-entire-generation-789484

  11. Rose says:

    I really don’t know what to say, I just hope that Nisakiman has a great many more good lunches.

  12. sackersonwp says:

    The idea is to treat the patient, not judge him. What bad manners. And statistics (even if you accept them) aren’t proof in any one case, so bad science, too. Further, we are not going to live forever even if we follow all Nanny’s advice, so bad logic, to boot.

    Best wishes to Nisakiman for a recovery, and in any case for, as you say, making the most of life in any case.

  13. Barry Homan says:

    We’re your pals, Kevin. Hoping things may change, never know.

  14. Philip Neal says:

    All good wishes, Nisakiman. Keep on fighting and do not lose hope.

  15. waltc says:

    OT, but maybe tomorrow, Frank, you could post this link for people to comment to the FDA on Its cockamamie plan to reduce the nicotine in cigarettes.

    As of now there are 173 comments (4 pages) . About 90% of the smokers (and, two doctors) who posted make basically the same 2 cases against it–smokers will smoke more, and the black market will boom. Only a few smokers (or fake smokers) say, oh, yes, it will help me quit. There seem to be a few repeated form letters from who knows what source, but clearly it’s only anti-smoking non and never smokers who favor it (and of course don’t know what they’re talking about and won’t be affected by it).

    Therefore, it’s important that we, as the smokers it’s aimed at, keep commenting in number and pointing out that it’s only nonsmokers who think this will work while its targets know it won’t. As of now I’d estimate we constitute about a third of the existing comments. We need more. Though it’s possible to comment as Anonymous, they ask for an email address so a non-country specific yahoo or gmail address likely works best for seeming American.

    This links to my comment from last month with a bar on the right from which to make new comments.

    https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FDA-2017-N-6189-0268

    • Vlad says:

      You wrote an excellent comment.

    • RdM says:

      I’m saddened to read that, this, because I think it’ll be perceived as just almost incoherent angry old tosh that they’ve either read before or don’t wish to hear again…
      Or it’s just too much to take in, read, same result.
      Their eyes will glaze over, they will move on…

      Like Carol?
      Too angry?

      I’m guilty of it myself, in drafts, but I think angry free-thinking posts may not work so well.
      What’s needed, as has been remarked before, IMO, is a library slowly building up of unassailable facts that can be referred to references, a Rose collection to start maybe.

      Forces I hope might get going again.
      All those articles,..

      I think to be perceived as reasonable and worthy comment one has to speak, write in, learn their language.
      Diplomatically, counter their perceptions, prior inputs.

      And to be calmly able to reference studies to bolster one’s arguments.

      I’m struggling with very local stuff myself right now, local nonsense like this, trying to search out relevant references, have almost got some ready…

      It takes so much time!

      This gormless ‘political commentator’ says, idiotically, as reported
      https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2018/04/paddy_gower_on_smoking_and_vaping.html
      And the host is also in thrall to anti-smoking.

      So, to collate info, and refute the ignorance…

      And then submissions also close at the end of the month for the Tax Working Group.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/101970814/New-taxes-could-change-bad-behaviours-suggests-Sir-Michael-Cullen

      It’s so wrong, it’s not even right…

      The Socialist takeover is almost complete, it seems…

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