foxglove

The source of digoxin and digitalis. I am interested when people tell me they don’t take prescription medicines and that they only take “natural” medicines. Meaning pills. Pills do not grow on trees or bushes and are made by human beings. How exactly is the person defining “natural”?

My father said that anything a human could think up was “natural”. “Though that does not mean safe.” Think wingsuits and basejumping.

Digoxin and digitalis are used less than in the past, because there are many other medicines to choose from to control heart rate. However, they are still used because digoxin is one of the very few rate controlling medicines that does NOT lower blood pressure. Most of the others do lower blood pressure. When nothing else works or is tolerated, the cardiologist may sigh and say, ok, start digoxin. It is a tricky medicine because levels that get too high are toxic and the dose is different for each person and the dose must be lowered as kidney function changes with age. We still use it, though.

About one third of prescription medicines originate from a plant source like this, where the plant actually makes the active substance. Plants and animals and humans evolved together. We have deer all over town and they do not eat the foxglove. They love roses but stay away from foxglove.

I am seeing advertisements for a book to make your own medicines at home. I have not bought it. I would stay away from any recipe with foxglove: I want a lab to test to get the dose exactly right.

For Cee’s Flower of the Day. Heh, it turned into an essay of the day too. Wordy, wordy, wordy.

hot weather flower

Yesterday the downtown bank recorded a temperature of 87! And this is after six months of seeing the sun about once every two weeks, and temperatures mostly in the 40s and 50s.

The beaches have been EMPTY. The delightful Salish Sea gets to a high of 55 degrees, so anyone who swims is brave. But yesterday the beaches were FULL again! Tourists and locals, summer is here! The water temperature yesterday was 9 degrees C, which is 48 F. Cold for swimming.

For Cee’s Flower of the Day.

stranded mermaid, cilia and tubulin

I took this photograph last summer at North Beach. I thought she looks like a stranded mermaid, thrown up on shore. I couldn’t move her, she was twice my length. The rock attachment had come too, up from our sea beds.

Happy solstice. Today marks the one year day from when I realized that I was having my fourth round of pneumonia, with hypoxia, agitation, fast twitch muscle dysfuntion and felt sick as could be. I am way better but not well. That is, I still need oxygen to play flute, to sing, to do heavy exercise and to carry anything heavy. Which is WAY better then having to wear oxygen all the time. Today I find a connection between the lungs and the brain, in quanta magazine. This video talks about a new found connection between cilia and the brain. We were taught that cilia and flagella are for locomotion, powered by tubulin. However, this shows that cilia behave like neurons and there is a connection. Since my peculiar illness seems to involve cilia dysfunction in my muscles and lungs, so that I get pneumonia, and the brain, because I am wired when it hits, this is a fascinating connection. If neurons developed from cilia, the dual illness makes a lot more sense. Hooray for quantum mechanics! We use it in medicine every single day.

Happy solstice! Here comes the sun!

Dungeness Spit

I had an errand in Sequim yesterday. I finish quickly and the sun comes out. I head right for Dungeness Spit.

I did not hike that far, only for a couple of hours. It was really beautiful and I hit it when the tide was finishing going out and started back in. Do pay attention to the tides if you go there!

I could see Victoria from the spit.

It is so beautiful with the sun coming through the forest too.

I am thankful for a beautiful and vibrant spring day. “Spring?” you say. Yes, look. On the hike back through the woods, the leaves are out and even some new flowers. Spring starts early here!

For the Ragtag Daily Post: vibrant.

Resources: https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/dungeness-national-wildlife-refuge

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/washington/dungeness-spit-trail

his steady light

Dreaming of the Sun
whose warm rays surround her
and caress her
daily

she orbits him
and he pours his love on her
steady
constant
joyous

occasionally he flares up
and that might hurt
some of the small cells
on her surface

but she sheds
dead cells
they are reabsorbed
and she basks

in his warmth
with joy
ecstatic
orbit

she is alive
turning
whirling
so her small children
are not overcooked

like mercury

are not frozen

like uranus

mars is a rival
but the seas are dead
at least

her small children
think so

and venus
swelters
and is clouded
all the time
toxic

she turns
dancing
full of joy

in his steady light

___________________

written January 8, 2022