Tuesday, 5 May 2020

How Real Is Reality?

It is not widely understood that the use of antibiotics in agricultural animals, which end up as meals for both humans and pets, is compounding the threat of MRSA. The situation is already worrying. There are voices of reason trying to educate government, medical personnel and the public about the correct use of antibiotics. In 1997, an alliance, RUMA,2 was formed to 'promote the highest standards of food safety, animal health and human health as well as ensure minimal damage to the environment'. Their mantra, on the use of antimicrobials, is 'use as little as possible but as much as needed'. Look at self-made men like Andrew Carnegie and Kenneth Langone. Carnegie was born in a tiny cottage in Scotland in 1835, the son of a handloom weaver who moved his family to America in 1848. Carnegie, began working while still a boy, worked his way up in the railroad industry, made profitable investments, and in the 1870s founded a steel company that revolutionized the American steel industry. In retirement, having become one of the richest people in late-nineteenth-century America, he focused on philanthropy. Langone, a noted investor and philanthropist worth billions, was born in 1935 to an Italian American working-class family on New York's Long Island. He worked multiple jobs while completing his education. Langone then headed to Wall Street, where with smarts and hard work he climbed the ladder of success. High-achieving men like Carnegie and Langone didn't use their humble beginnings as an excuse not to aim for success. Instead, they worked arduously to become the best in their fields and acquired a fortune in the process. Today, many Americans seem more inclined to make excuses for failure than to try harder to succeed. Brandon, on the other hand, is (sometimes painfully) transparent, loves to talk about his feelings, and would love to talk more about mine. Yay! Fun! He confirmed my best qualities while honing in on the ways I still tend to hide. Dammit.

My friends are excellent character witnesses too. An Enneagram teacher recently suggested that I might be an Eight instead of a Three, and I sat deeply with that. I examined the descriptions and searched internally for evidence, as an Eight and Three are both powerful personality types with some crossover. I relate to much of the Eight's determination but could not identify with the shadow side (ruthless, combative, intentionally intimidating), so I asked my friends, who always have permission to tell me the truth, Do you ever experience me like this? They categorically said no. Companion animals, mainly cats and dogs, can act as a reservoir, or carrier, for MRSA. This was observed in a geriatric hospital ward where MRSA was prevalent amongst the patients. A ward cat was good company for the elderly patients and was considered to be helpful in their recovery, but the problem of MRSA became persistent. The ward staff were swabbed and found to be carriers of MRSA in their nostrils. The cat, also swabbed, was found to be heavily colonised with MRSA. After its removal, and in tandem with infection control measures, the MRSA rate amongst the geriatric patients began to decline. In 2005, a study of MRSA isolates from companion animals revealed that 93. 5% were the same as MRSA isolates from epidemic MRSA commonly found in UK healthcare settings. Even though the pet doesn't seem to be affected by MRSA, every time you stroke him/her you may be unknowingly becoming re- infected. You need to tell your vet of your recent illness and say that you suspect your animal could be a carrier. In fact, many seem content to view themselves as victims, not taking responsibility for their own problems. When did our great nation turn into a country of victims? We have become a coddled society, and it's evident in our medical system. Just one example is that doctors have become reluctant to tell people they are overweight out of fear of being accused of shaming their patients. Yes, there are many things in life that we can't control, including genetics and environmental factors that predispose us to many medical conditions.

But we do have control over many other factors to reduce those risks or eliminate the chance of certain diseases altogether. Individuals can become healthier by making sound choices and following through on them. Our health outcomes are largely predicated on our behavioral choices, not necessarily which doctor we go to or which insurance company we choose. If you find excuses to make bad choices in hopes that your doctor or socialized medicine will help you, then you'll be seriously disappointed. Physicians aren't miracle workers; And they were right. That is not the way I disintegrate, but I checked any blind spots just in case. Our best people know. (One of my girlfriends said, No, but I have absolutely experienced you as the dark side of a Three. THANK YOU FOR GOING BEYOND THE QUESTION I ASKED, JENNY. ) Our closest people can correct us when we think too high and too low of ourselves, because we tend to inflate both. I am not as good as my ego suggests and not as bad as my conscience admonishes. After carefully examining our lived experiences, observable patterns, and personality inventories, we can present our findings to the ones who love us best and know us most, and if we've approached the work with sincerity and humility, they will likely confirm our conclusions and even fine-tune the story a bit. Who you are matters. Have some tests carried out, so that both you and your pet can be decolonised. People with chronically infected wounds and/or colonised areas of the body, could potentially colonise their pets. A study conducted in the early 2000s has shown that pets can become colonised and their wounds can become infected with MRSA when the owners are themselves affected. Both pet and owner need to be treated. Cross-infection between pet owners and pets is now a fact of life.

If a wound is not healing up and you have a pet, it is advisable to take your animal to the vet for swabs to be taken. Your vet will then send the swabs to a diagnostic laboratory and if results show that your pet is carrying MRSA on its coat or in its nostrils, it is important to have the animal treated with antimicrobials so that you are not re-contaminated with MRSA. Similarly, if you have a pet with a wound that is not healing up, and you work in a hospital, nursing home or correctional facility, or are a visitor to a hospital, then you should consider having yourself swabbed and diagnosed, as you may be carrying MRSA which is being transferred to your animal. In the UK, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to persuade your doctor to take a swab, as the UK healthcare services are underfunded and this diagnostic procedure would not be considered as critical. It may be necessary to contact a private laboratory7 so that you can have swabs taken and analysed for your MRSA status. we can only work with what we're given. In fact, that's all any of us can do: make the best of our circumstances. We live in a great nation, but we're currently dealing with turmoil in the health care industry, in the political arena, in our schools, and in neighborhoods hit by the opioid crisis. Daily I hear people expressing discontent with one or another aspect of life in America. The truth is, our behaviors are what got us here in the first place. On an individual basis, the behaviors that make you discontented in America will make you equally unhappy and unhealthy in Canada or Europe. The ideas in this article won't always be easy pills to swallow (pardon the pun), but they are based on the proud heritage of the American founding. America was created on the principle that people are born with certain rights--life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness--to be protected by a government of the people. Our forefathers envisioned a society grounded in individual responsibility. In that spirit, I have written this article as a first step toward opening a larger national dialogue about the state of America's health crisis. Your soul is cause for great delight. There is freedom in this discovery and absolute liberation in its ownership. When who you are on the inside matches the outside, you are ready for everything else. Embrace your rational, principled, restrained self. Or your demonstrative, generous, service-minded self.

Or your sensitive, expressive, creative self. Or your intense, perceptive, cerebral self. Engaging, responsible, loyal. Fun-loving, spontaneous, extroverted. Powerful, ambitious, confident. Although the cost is not insignificant, it may in the long run save you money on continuing veterinary fees. Within the UK it is widely believed that CA-MRSA is not as yet, and will not become, a problem in companion animals, but in the USA, researchers have detected PVL toxin in 23 animal isolates of MRSA. 8 They say, 'This is the first study to demonstrate the presence of the PVL toxin genes in MRSA strains isolated from companion animals'. The results are noteworthy in that MRSA strains that produce the PVL toxin have been shown in many studies to cause pneumonia, necrotising dermatitis and other primary diseases in humans, and that these conditions were mirrored in animals. It would seem that the MRSA situation in the USA, in both humans and animals, is pointing towards CA-MRSA, with the addition of the PVL toxin in a significant number of cases. In the UK, the current status of MRSA, in both humans and animals, is predominantly HA-MRSA. If you have an infected wound that won't clear up � suspect your dog or cat! Ask your vet to take swabs and send them off to a diagnostic laboratory. Your vet should get the results within a few days and then you will need to discuss the options available for decolonising your pet. Or you can set up your own system for decolonising your pet. I have read far too many self-help articles, opinion essays, and scientific articles trying to break down the minutiae of various diseases and how to fix each one. That's not what this article is about. I'm not here to preach the exact steps we should follow to be healthy, because I am far from a wellness expert. Nor is this a article pushing a partisan political agenda, because whether you are right, left, or center, no health policy will be successful in our country without Americans' taking control of their individual health. My goal is to reframe your thinking, so we can bring to light not only how our individual behaviors are affecting our personal outcomes but how they're negatively affecting the entire health care system.

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