Friday, August 23, 2013

Mail Brane: Readers Seeking Answers to Questions

Q. I hope you can help! My husband, age 38, had  been diagnosed 2 years ago with aggressive prostate cancer (classified adenocarcinoma with stage T2(c) in biopsy) and had to have the radical prostatectomy or so he was told. The urologist told him he would need to begin penile rehabilitation as soon as the Foley catheter was removed but he refused. He said the pain was still too unbearable after the surgery and couldn't bear any erections from Viagra or whatever. To make a long story short his initial resistance to penile rehab - such as you described in your October 14 blog last year- became hardened. Gradually, he became incapable of getting any erections and his penis deformed. Much like you described. What can be done? Anything? - Barbara B., Orlando FL

A. At this stage it's doubtful since if the therapy isn't done soon after surgery and erections are allowed to lapse as you described, the tissue damage - due to lack of consistent blood flow - becomes permanent. There may be some surgery that can correct the deformation (I presume you mean the U-shape that Dr. John Mulhall describes in his book that I referenced in that Oct. blog) but the urologist would have to weigh in on that. This, of course, is a cautionary tale that those who have radical prostate surgery need to follow this  with penile rehab as soon as possible, though yes, there may be some residual pain. Your question also seems to imply that a radiation therapy treatment might have been better, but generally at the stage you described (T2c) it isn't an option.  Also, remember the effects of radiation increase over time, as tissues become hardened by the delayed radiation impact. This is also why it's essential to remain sexually active, whatever mechanism is employed.

Q. I was disheartened to read in your July 24 post that Colorado Springs had opted out of the marijuana retail business! Don't they know how much money they are losing? Are there any counties in the state that plan to implement the retail businesses? How many have opted out so far? - Clint, Pompano Beach FL

A. At last count some 57 communities in the state had opted out, but 21 remain in play -seeking rational ways to implement legal guidelines for MJ retail stores. Among those latter are Denver, and Aurora, CO. Almost to a tee, the opt- outs are in conservative counties, though they seem to forget they are flouting the voters' will by their opt out (and in many of those counties, Amendment 64 passed!)  I believe they might well pay at the polls next time any of the respective city council members come up for re-election. It never pays to piss off the voters! The mistake was probably making any "opt out" part of Amendment 64 in the first place. It gave too facile a way to deal with the nettlesome problem of how to regulate, where the controls would be and the level of taxation. It was a cheap way out, a cop out. So, I guess cities like Colorado Springs will have to keep on getting revenue from other sources, say like becoming or staying top national speed traps.

Q. Thanks for your post on being child free! (Aug. 18th). My husband and I were delighted to read and now feel much better about our childless choice. But how do you deal with nosey people that persistently inquire why we're childless? It really bugs me! - Delores, Sioux City, IA

A. Tell them: "Mind your own business, please!  Haven't you enough to do with your own time as opposed to meddling in others' lives".

Q. I've been wanting to join Mensa for a long time, but none of my past standardized tests (SAT in 1995, GRE in 2002) have been found acceptable. I dread taking the actual Mensa test because I hear it's a lot harder. Is this true? What can I expect? - Ricardo, Mt. Shasta, CA

A. It's not that big a deal. Below is an image from the U.S. Mensa site showing some of those taking a recent test.
Take the Mensa Admission Test
The Mensa Admission Test takes two hours to complete and includes two tests featuring questions involving logic and deductive reasoning. If you score at or above the 98th percentile on either of the two tests, you'll qualify and be invited to join Mensa. Score below....well I understand there is a 5% society (The International High IQ Society) that accepts entrants at the 95th percentile level.

If you'd like a practice test (always a good idea) you can also get an idea if you're Mensa level by taking the home test, e.g. https://www.us.mensa.org/join/mht/

A more dated (1989) example which doesn't cost anything to see or assess can be found at this link:
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1989-01-04/entertainment/8902220824_1_typists-chickens-eggs

Another shorter version with "Mensa-style" questions and answers:
http://www.agincourtpractice.co.uk/resources/mensa.htm

Q. I get a real kick out of your loopy brother (Mike) who thinks he's a Confederate raider or something. On clicking at the entry link to his blog on your August 8 post I see he always tries to appear this homespun dude with this "My friends" stuff. Who's he trying to fool? He's not friends with anyone! You just have to read his crappy blogs to see how disturbed he is. Any take on if and when he might change his blog again to be more tolerant? Also, what is this guy's damage? Was he dropped on his head as a kid?, Murray T., Norman, Oklahoma

A. I do agree that his 'my friends' intros are a bit over played. He likes to portray himself as this down home, relaxed type of southern dude but his own words and hateful content betray him. He's a raging maniac underneath the soft soap veneer, calling people "apes" (mainly blacks), "libtards", "c*nts" or worse.  As for being dropped on his head, no. But maybe in one too many fights where he took as many blows to the head as he delivered. We know, from looking at the NFL football head injuries that have come to the fore (e.g. Junior Seau), that repeated blows can have deleterious effects on the brain. This can lead to erratic behavior.  As for changing again, I could care less if he does or doesn't. It's his choice to make, and he has to deal with who and what he is. As an aside, it's really goofy and misplaced how he often makes lame invocations of our dad, when dad detested everything about Mike's hateful blog when he was alive.

Q. You mentioned doing a blog post soon on JFK and how he challenged the national security state. When can we expect it? Desmond, Portland, OR

A. That post is still in the process of preparation, as I'm juggling that with completing a book, that's due to launch in about 4 weeks, maybe sooner. The title is 'Beyond Atheism, Beyond God'  (to be published by iUniverse) and will be my final entry in my atheist series, showing how a rational atheism can lead to a Materialist conception of Being. Meanwhile, I am also trying to re-organize a science fiction novel on the Kennedy assassination, entitled, The Lancer Expedition. If all goes well it should be out by Nov. 1st, but hopefully sooner!

Q. When can we expect more interviews with your delightful sister-in-law Krimhilde? (Aug. 12 post) She has me considering joining Eckankar. - Molly D., London, UK

A. The next interview will probably be when I see Krimhilde again, perhaps next Spring. Will keep readers posted!

1 comment:

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