Air Quality, Allergies and Asthma, Primatene, and Pill Crushers becoming illegal!

Special Report by Jim Lantern

9:00am CT Tuesday 21 June 2016

I’ve just discovered the AirFlow website of the EPA to check air quality and ozone levels – enter zip code or state to get your local report – current conditions and forecast – at https://www.airnow.gov/

I’ve been using The Weather Channel website to check pollen reports – current conditions and forecast – enter your own zip code at https://weather.com/forecast/pollen/l/73069:4:US

There was an Ozone Alert for Oklahoma City yesterday – Monday 20 June 2016 – First Day of Summer – under a Full Moon. When Norman, home of Oklahoma University – about a 30-minute drive south of OKC – gets the Ozone Alerts, people can ride the city buses for free – incentive to reduce pollution from use of personal vehicles. I’ve noticed the Ozone Alerts are more frequent during the end of summer into autumn after students return to college from summer break, from increased flow of traffic – students and university employees driving cars. I have bronchial asthma. I’ve noticed it is worse during high ozone days, so I end up buying more Primatene Tablets during those months than other months of the year. The symptoms are usually coughing, lungs congestion, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Then during the coldest winter months I get what is known as cold air asthma.

Allergies usually don’t trigger my asthma attacks. I mean like airborne-caused allergies such as pollen, rather than contact-caused allergies that would irritate my skin. The worst pollen for me is Tree Pollen, especially April during early spring when those trees that get the white flowers for a short period of time. The symptoms of the Tree Pollen include severe sneezing, runny nose, and extremely itchy watering eyes. I discovered after moving to Norman in May 2008, the following April in 2009, how much worse it is here. Then I determined only Loratadine tablets knock down those symptoms. Grass Pollen and Weed Pollen have been more of a contact allergy irritating skin than irritating sinuses. I can mow the lawn without triggering asthma or allergy symptoms.

I take Diphenhydramine for contact allergies irritating my skin, and when I get insect bites. When taking any antihistamines, I usually also take a single Excedrin – containing Acetaminophen, Aspirin, and Caffeine. The Aspirin improves blood flow – speeding up and improving effectiveness of the Acetaminophen to reduce pain (including sinus pain as well as any pain from a kin irritation), and the antihistamine. The use of Caffeine in that form (rather than just drinking coffee with a different pain reliever) helps to restore the energy burned up by the pain. Pain burns up a lot of mental and physical energy – burns up glucose (the fuel of cells including the brain) – and reduced glucose (low blood sugar) leads to depression (emotional and physical). It also counteracts drowsiness caused by the antihistamine without reducing its effectiveness. So I also sometimes suffer from fluctuating hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) from that and other causes – some genetic impacting metabolism. I mainly take Excedrin because it is the only thing I’ve found that consistently knocks down my migraine headaches.

I have to be careful to not take too much Aspirin because it can cause the ulcers in my esophagus and stomach to bleed – resulting in anemia, and a mild case of death. [Turning into a Walking Dead zombie is a mild case of death.]

I never smoked cigarettes (or anything else) because of my lifelong history of bronchial asthma. When I was younger, exposure to second hand cigarette smoke didn’t bother me – didn’t cause any asthma attacks. However, when in a bar, shooting pool (billiards), if too many people were smoking – making the air thick with smoke, then it would irritate my eyes – itchy and watering. I’ve suspected it to be more from the burning of the cigarette paper than from the tobacco. I didn’t have any symptoms when around pipe smokers. I had same symptoms when getting too much smoke from a wood-burning fireplace. About the time I turned age 50 – 10 years ago (now age 60), second hand cigarette smoke began to trigger asthma attacks. Just the smell of it is enough to irritate me, and it bothers my eyes as well as my lungs. My first profession of ten years from 1976 to 1986 was in electronics repair work – included running nights and weekend service calls at bars (age 18 or older in Kansas) and nightclubs (age 21 or older), to repair juke boxes, pinball games, video games, and some vending machines such as for cigarettes, as well as reconditioning pool tables (putting on new felt). I changed professions after I began to get bleeding stomach ulcers, and I permanently quit drinking all alcoholic beverages – because of too much pain when the alcohol would come into contact with the ulcers.

Primatene Mist inhalers for treating asthma were banned by the government for the claim that an ingredient of the inhalers damaged the ozone layer in Earth’s atmosphere. However, the fact is all ingredients were inhaled into the lungs and none of the questionable ingredient entered the atmosphere.

Primatene Tablets were restricted to being stored behind counters at pharmacies and to require showing ID, because a tiny percentage of people – criminals – using an ingredient for the making of illegal drugs.

The same people in law enforcement and government who tried to ban Primatene Tablets and instead only got them restricted, have recently been trying to ban pill crushers – used by a tiny percentage of people – criminals – to speed up the impact of some kinds of illegal drugs as well as some kinds of prescription drugs – especially pain relievers – in pill form. I bought a pill crusher at Walgreens. I have to crush my pills because of damage to my esophagus from bleeding ulcers and narrowing of the esophagus causing pills to get stuck. In powder form I can more easily wash them down with water. The use of the pill crusher does speed up the impact of the medicine, because it eliminates the time needed for pills to dissolve. So what? It shouldn’t be a crime! Some kinds of pills, such as special time-release, come with an advisory or warning to not crush them. That should be enough. People should not be fined or put in jail or prison for crushing pills by any means. A lot of people have health reasons (difficulty swallowing pills) for using a pill crusher

Some people use a hammer on the pills in a plastic bag to crush them, so banning the pill crushers (that look like a small pill bottle) will not stop any abuse. Therefore, people in law enforcement and government are trying to force drugs manufacturing companies to make pills that can’t be crushed – not even with a hammer. I saw the video of a news story on TV showing a pharmacist trying to crush a pill with a hammer – having no effect on it. The pill can still be dissolved internally for the intended time release speed. If it gets stuck in the esophagus, then the result can range from discomfort to extreme pain lasting until the pill finally begins to dissolve in the esophagus and then goes on down into the stomach.

The pill crushers also have a pill storage area in the bottom for three different kinds of pills. When I was briefly homeless in Corpus Christi Texas and spent one night at a homeless shelter, I was searched – the pill crusher and pills taken away from me. I was told it is illegal to have a pill crusher – that it is considered to be illegal drugs paraphernalia. Further, that it is illegal to put pills in any container other than the original container and packaging they were sold in. Even though Walgreens and other stores sell the pill crushers there, as well as other cities and states.

It irritates me when law enforcement and government want to hurt or just inconvenience the majority of good people because of something a minority – a tiny percentage of a minority of bad people – are doing wrong. Even if an actual law is not passed to ban pill crushers, cops can claim them to be illegal drugs paraphernalia if it appears they are being used for illegal purposes. Walgreens sells them legally, as does Walmart and CVS. There have been smaller private single-owner stores that have been fined and clerks arrested for selling some items that by themselves are not illegal but can be used for illegal purposes – especially those items associated with the smoking of marijuana.

As result of law enforcement and government intrusion to interfere with my legitimate legal health treatment needs, I consider them to be a greater threat to me and my health than any criminals. This is one of the reasons why I tend to take the side of Libertarians.

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