Archive for December, 2013

2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,500 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 42 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


energy drinks…

A 2013 report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration stated that the number of emergency department visits in the U.S. related to energy drinks increased from 10,068 in 2007 to 20,783 in 2011. Most of the patients were 18 to 25 years old, followed by individuals 26 to 39 years of age.

The following information is from

The FDA has posted adverse-event reports for two more energy drinks: 40 illnesses and five deaths linked to Monster Energy, and 13 illnesses and two lasting disabilities linked to Rockstar Energy.  The FDA reports linking 92 illnesses and 13 deaths to 5-Hour Energy shots. The FDA previously said it was investigating the deaths linked to Monster Energy.

These adverse-event reports (AERs) are filed by patients, families, or doctors. They simply warn that the products might have harmed someone — but they do not prove that the product caused harm. The FDA can remove a product from the market only when investigation shows that the product causes harm when used according to the product label.

“If we find a relationship between consumption of the product and harm, FDA will take appropriate action to reduce or eliminate the risk,”  FDA public information officer Shelly Burgess says.  Moreover, the reports do not offer details on any underlying medical conditions that may have led to product-related illnesses.

 The reports, some dating back to 2004, are not a complete inventory of all events that product users may have suffered. Most people, and many doctors, do not know how to file these reports or do not get around to filing them. And even when a product actually causes an illness, a user or doctor may not associate the product with the illness.

The new reports detail the events suffered by users of 5-Hour, Monster, and Rockstar energy drinks. These include:

  • Deaths due to heart attack or suicide linked to 5-Hour Energy
  • A miscarriage linked to 5-Hour Energy
  • Convulsions, life-threatening fear, deafness, and hemorrhage linked to 5-Hour Energy
  • Deaths due to heart attack or loss of consciousness linked to Monster Energy drink
  • Hospitalization due to irregular heartbeat, severe diarrhea, migraine, psychotic disorder, heart attack, and/or vomiting linked to Monster Energy drink
  • Disability from irregular heartbeat or stroke linked to Rockstar Energy drink
  • Hospitalization due to psychotic disorder, increased heart rate, or loss of consciousness linked to Rockstar Energy drink

All of these reports are collected by the product manufacturers. Because they market their products as nutritional supplements, they are required to submit them to the FDA.  A recent government report documented a sharp spike in the number of people who need emergency medical care after consuming energy drinks.

Living Essentials, the maker of 5-Hour Energy, said in a statement that the company “takes reports of any potential adverse event tied to our products very seriously.”  But the company maintains that its products are safe when used as directed. Rockstar and Monster Energy did not respond to interview requests by publication time.

Caffeine Levels in Energy Drinks

Caffeine is the main active ingredient in energy drinks, most of which also contain herbal supplements.

A recent test by Consumer Reports found that:

  • 5-Hour Energy contains 215 milligrams of caffeine per serving.
  • 5-Hour Energy Extra Strength contains 242 milligrams of caffeine per serving.
  • Monster Energy contains 92 milligrams of caffeine per serving.
  • Rockstar Energy Drink, Double Strength contains 80 milligrams of caffeine per serving.
  • Rockstar Energy Shot contains 229 milligrams of caffeine per serving.

An 8-ounce cup of coffee has about 100 milligrams of caffeine, although that varies according to how the coffee is brewed. For example, Consumer Reports finds that 8 ounces of Starbucks coffee has 165 milligrams of caffeine.  According to Consumer Reports, safe limits of caffeine are up to 400 milligrams per day for healthy adults, 200 milligrams a day for pregnant women, and up to 45 or 85 milligrams per day for children, depending on weight.  High doses of caffeine can result in restlessness, nervousness, insomnia, and tremors. High doses can also trigger seizures and unstable heart rhythm.

Still There…

What I have learned about addiction lately – is it never really leaves your thoughts.  I might not have been an alcoholic like my husband, but I was a smoker and that is an addiction as well.  It is always in my thoughts, I still to this day think about having a smoke.  I know my husband still thinks about drinking because he tells me when he is having a bad day.  We talk about it and then life puts something in our path that shows us that we are still ok.  Like this weekend when hubby was having a hard time with a craving – we saw one of his fellow “friends of Bill W” and they had a good little chat and Hubby showed him his 2 year coin.  It was just what we needed at that time.  Yes we have not been to a meeting since March – part of the reason being that the people in our home group would not be as welcoming as you would think.  It would be a lot of “did you go back out?”  “where have you been?”  Not a single one has called just to see how we were, a few have called to see if hubby would work on their cars – but not just to see how we are.

We are doing things now that his drinking took away from us, and that is what is important to us right now.  Making up for lost time while we both lived that lifestyle.  I the co-dependent and him the alcoholic – we let our married lax, we let our home improvement lax, we let our chores lax – we were stuck in it and now its time to start doing the things we laxed on.  We painted the inside of the house and replaced the carpet with wood floors.  Next we tackled the kitchen a bit – still have a newer sink to drop in – maybe after Christmas.  And we have a front bathroom sink to replace and one day our master bath to finish.  but instead of freaking out about all the projects.  We take them on one at a time and try not to over do it.  I am really good at talking myself right out of doing something.  It’s too much work, why start what you can’t finish, no one will care that you did it, no one says thank you…Yeah I am good at that.  I can catch myself doing it now most of the time.  doesn’t mean I can always stop it.  But at least I can recognize it now.

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