My view ...

The private blog of Andy Prevost. My experiences, my words. On any topic ...
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My self-treatment

Over the years, I have written about my self treatment. There are three distinct "phases", each were defined at different times in dealing with my health issues. 

Phase 1 focused primarily on bloog glucose control and a small component on pain management. There is a complete article that I originally wrote in 2013. 

Phase 2 focused almost entirely on pain management and in particular – the pain of pancreatitis (acute or chronic). There is a complete article that I originally wrote between 2013 and 2014. 

The main self-treatment in Phase 2 is sodium bicarbonate. This is one natural supplement that I simply will not be without. Not on any day, not at any time. There is sodium bicarbonate with me all the time. It is such an effective pain reliever that works within seconds of taking it. 

Since writing up those two phases in my self treatment, I have created a third phase. I have called it Phase 3 and I have discussed its benefits to me in several articles and in different context. I have been reluctant in exposing the main compound of Phase 3. Initially that was to complete my own tests to make sure it worked as I thought it would. And it has worked beyond my wildest expectations. 

As I write this, I am in the second week of being free of insulin injections. My pancreas is now producing enough insulin, supplemented with oral medicine (a prescription). 

When I was first diagnosed with Idiopathic Chronic Pancreatitis, I was told my pancreas was non-functional. That meant it could not produce enough insulin or digestive enzymes for my body to function. I needed insulin injections and digestive functions. For the rest of my life, I was tethered to needles for insulin and digestive enzymes to eat, drink and snack. My C-Peptide reading was 264 ... with a normal range of 370 to 1140 pmol/L, that meant I was well under "normal", hence the need for the insulin injections.

The prognosis was not good. My doctor told me that the pancreas does not repair or regenerate. The only possible change for a pancreas is a decrease in functionality. Treating with insulin and digestive enzymes could possibly slow down the degradation, but eventually my pancreas would stop functioning entirely. The only bright side is that would not affect my lifespan. It would create a dependency on pharmaceuticals.

Over a period of about two years, I finally came up with a treatment program based on a fairly simple scientific phenomena.

It has taken me another two years to create my Phase 3 compound and test it on myself. Two years of adjusting the formula and the dosage. In that time, I found several methods of administering this phase. 

And, the end result is nothing short of miraculous. The latest C-Peptide test (January 24 2017) is at 574 pmol/L. That is at the low end of normal, but enough to be able to stop using injected insulin. I've also been able to cut down on digestive enzymes quite a bit ... roughly one-half the amount needed before I started Phase 3. Along the way, I have a few new discoveries. 

One of my main points in all of this is that with Pancreatitis and Diabetes, the researchers need to spend more time looking at what is missing. I know that we are deficient in D3 and B12. With pancreatitis, most of us need digestive enzymes to function. We do not have an effective treatment for one of the symptoms: steatorrhea. I've tackled this issue with psyllium husks at the recommendation of my gastroenterologist and the nutritionist – at least early on when this was first diagnosed. Steatorrhea continued to be a problem until I did a test. I replaced the psyllium husks with an Omega 3 supplement that has pretty much eliminated the steatorrhea issue. More importantly, I discovered that we are also deficient in vitamin H (Biotin). When you combine the prescription digestive enzymes with Omega 3 and with Biotin you end up with near normal digestion. No loose stools, no oil leaks (steatorrhea), very little flatulence, and fairly normal nutrient absorption. 

The thrill, though, is in proof that Phase 3 is working and reversing the damage to my pancreas. It is not a quick fix, this is taking time. Two years so far to get to the low end of normal.

Before anyone contacts me to get the details of Phase 3, or demands that I publish it on my website like the other phases: sorry, but that isn't happening. The two previous Phases were blatantly copied and turned into commercial products with not even a thanks or any credit for contributing to someone else's profit. Phase 3 is far more profound and holds the promise of some life altering changes. It has in my own life already and I am thankful. I will make this available to others though. I am currently in discussions with several companies to make this available – inexpensively – to everyone. 

Stay tuned.

PS. I will be creating some of the Phase 3 compound for others to test (primarily taste). If you are interseted and close to my location, let me know.

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When is a 4x4 NOT a 4x4?

My Ford F150 has 4X4 stickers all over it and is documented as a 4X4 in specifications and the user manual. Is is a 4X4?

EDIT: On a flat surface a vehicle in 4WD is driving all four wheels. 25% of the engines torque is going to each wheel. In 4WD, you have 50/50 torque split front to rear. With open differentials you can lose traction with one front or one rear wheel and still keep moving. If you had front and rear locked differentials you would only need one wheel with traction to move the truck (but steering would be next to impossible). With open differentials and the transfer case in 4WD, it only takes one front and one rear in the air, or on ice to stop the progress of the truck.

Here is some clarification on terminology:

  • 4x2 (four by two) means a vehicle with 4 wheels powered by 2 wheels, in effect a 2WD (two wheel drive)
  • 4x4 (four by four) means a vehicle with 4 wheels powered by 4 wheels, in effect a 4WD (four wheel drive)

Mine is a 4X3 at the very best and might possibly be a 4x2 – that is despite having an axle and drive train for the front wheels and an axle and drive train for rear wheels.

How can this be? Well, Ford uses a number of different rear axles on their F150 trucks. The common ones are known as 19, H9 and L9. You can see those in the door sticker of your own truck. Here's a picture of mine on the right.

The line near the bottom has the title "AXLE" and below that is the axle code (19). That means an open differential with 3.55 gear ratio. It has 31 splines, and is a 9.75 inch axle. Although it is an incredibly strong axle, only one wheel drives at any point in time. 

A differential has three tasks in the drive train:

  1. It transfers power from the engine/transmission to the wheels
  2. It varies this power so that the wheels can turn independently (differential)
  3. It is the final gear reduction in the drive system

In terms of the second point, there are three types. All are designed to allow some flexibility in one wheel turning a bit faster or slower than the other wheel. Without this flexibility, turning would be impossible. Here's the three types:

  • Open differential (open diff) has open spider gears that allows the wheels to turn freely. This the most common for rear-wheel drive passenger cars. The differential will transfer power to the wheel with the least resistance. If you have ever seen a vehicle stuck in snow or ice on the road with one wheel on the road and one wheel in snow/ice ... and it can't seem to get enough traction to pull itself out (despite one wheel on the road) ... it's the open differential that is the problem. It is transferring power to the wheel with the least resistance – the one spinning in the snow/ice.
  • Limited slip operates on a clutch mechanism. When it senses the two wheels are not rotating at the same speed, it will "lock up" its gears mechanically so that both wheels get the same amount of power. There is some slippage to allow for turning, but essentially it is a lock up system.
  • Locking axle. This is an electronic traction control system. When the computer senses slippage in one wheel, it will lock up the gears mechanically so that both wheels get the same amount of power. When not locked up, the locking axle functions like an open differential axle.

If you look up my axle code, I have an open differential axle. That means that despite flipping the switch to 4x4 (hi or lo), all I can possibly get is 4x3. There are four wheels, and only three are getting power. 

This F150 is my sixth 4X4 Ford truck. Four of them were Rangers, and two have been F150s. And this is the first that features this issue. I am actually quite disappointed in Ford. Calling this truck a 4x4 and selling it as such is misleading – at the very least, all trucks sold as 4X4's should have a limited-slip rear axle. 

This came to the fore front because I got stuck in snow. Not a lot of snow, just a bit of a snow pile. One side of the back of my truck was a bit raised and not really firm on the ground – and it ended up spinning because the open differential transferred power to that wheel. Had it functioned like a true 4x4, the other rear wheel should have picked up the load. Why didn't the front wheels help? I was on ice and the front wheels had no traction. I should have been able to just pull out of this easily ... but ...

I now have picked up a used H9 axle from a 2005 F150. This is a limited slip and a straight swap out. The only real issue I expect to run into is having to bleed the brake lines. Other than that, it is a straight mechanical swap with the same spline count and same dimensions. Just need a bit of a warm spell to get this done.

And, shame on you Ford. 

EDIT: In the first few paragraphs I pointed out that at best the final drive was 4X3 and quite possibly 4X2 even though promoted as a 4X4. Andrew Johnston at the Ontario F150 facebook group points out that the front axle is an open differential as well. That means that the front can only have one wheel driving. If the rear axle is open differential, you can put the truck in 4x4 Hi or 4X4 Lo, all you will end up getting is two wheels actually under power. A true 4X4 would require a locking or limited slip rear axle and a locking or limited slip front axle.

I document my projects in their own individual web pages:

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Best first aid training

In high contrast to a horrible experience trying to renew my first aid certificate, I have now completed the Emergency First Aid Training with AED. (AED means Automated External Defibrillator) offered by Action First Aid.

I'll even go a bit further. The course instructor, Christine, offered one of the best definitions and guided training for AED I have ever seen or participated in. 

I really enjoyed this training session. The environment was professional yet kept light with excellent interaction between the instructor and participants. Participants were paired and each two-member team had their own practice "casualty". This device has built in sensors with tactile feedback that guides the participants through the process of applying the correct pressure and timing to be effective in providing emergency first aid assistance.

There are quite a variety of first aid training programs, this one is focused on emergency first aid as it applies to driving situations involving service vehicles, buses and public locations. The company, Action First Aid, also offers first aid training targeted to sports venues, work sites, and more.

The first training program I attended was well over 30 years ago. I followed in my father's foot steps and took a general Emergency First Aid training program by St. John's Ambulance. My father was part of the team that attended sporting events with the quite visible St. John's Ambulance vehicle and rendered services to anyone injured. While most of those seeking assistance were over-heat related, he did help with a few broken bones and very occasional cardio issues. My dad took this seriously, helping others was a corner stone of his life.

I'm not quite so altruistic. My participating in these training programs is more focused to requirements. Most of the time, it was a requirement for the martial arts clubs I participated in or work related. While I never really had a desire to participate in public events like my father did, I chose to stay involved in the quality of first aid training and helped identify requirements and organizations to delivery those training needs. Nowadays, maintaining my first aid certificate is a personal choice.

I encourage everyone to take some basic first aid training. At a very minimum, everyone should know the basics of CPR, Addominal Thrust (used to be called Heimlich something or other, but due to trademark violations, that term is no longer used or promoted), how to use an AED device, and dealing with emergencies that are more prominent these days including dealing with asthama, allergies, diabetes, and seizures.

I have a now-expired certificate with Red Cross Sports First Aid Training with AED. St. John's does not offer a certificate renewal program and it is cost prohibitive to take the full program. I will not be renewing the St. John's First Aid. The Red Cross is sub-standard in my opinion and I will not be renewing that either. My experience with Action First Aid is that the training is clearly at par with the others and exceeds expectations in many areas.

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