Thursday, June 2, 2016


Supposed to be warm and sunny today. I saw some plants that need tending--mostly tomatoes I should prune and tie up. I found one that has sunscald, I think. I will take a closer look. We had a good rain yesterday so I don't think I have to water anything.

Now for the mystery of the day which may have finally been solved: what happened to tens of thousands of racing pigeons which disappeared during a cross channel race between France and England in 1997.

This story doesn't surprise me although the tone does. The author's tone is more than a bit patronizing. The fuzzy oldsters simply don't understand the difference between a 50% chance that a 50 year old woman will have a hip fracture over her remaining life time versus the between 10 and 40 out of 100k patients taking an osteoporosis drug breaking a thigh bone versus the fewer than  in 100k suffering a rotting jawbone. I am not fuzzy, though at 67 I am somewhat of an oldster, and I have two science degrees (BA and MS in Biology and Zoology) and frankly I don't know what to make of the stats except to question them. What does a 50% chance of a hip fracture over a "remaining life time" really mean? And group statistics don't really mean that much applied to individual people. A couple of years ago Mom (86 this year) and I both had a bone scan which indicated that her bones were thin while mine were still robust. What does that 50% really mean for us individually? Mom's doctor insisted that she go on one of the popular drugs which she did for several years until the reports came out about the atypical fractures. Key point here isn't her concerns about those reports but the fact that during all the time she took that drug her bone density did not improve at all. If her bone density did not improve then how could the drug improve her chances of escaping a hip fracture? I think a large dose of skepticism is in order here. We don't need patronizing dismissal. We need answers.

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