May you and yours have the gift of good health and spirits.
During the pandemics of the last two+ years my sister, Marlene, had LITTLE-zero human contact.
About 4 hours of her mornings are spent putting on her leg, cleaning her commode, and dressing; another 3- 4 hours of her evenings are spent reversing the procedure. She was going pandemic stir crazy and choose to leave the San Francisco condo where she had been blindly managing on her own. Thanks to childhood friend Mickey Larosa and former Saint Ignatius community service volunteer Darin Michalski, she found Vista Springs in Independence, Ohio. (https://www.vistaspringsliving.com/vista-springs-ravinia).
I wish I could praise Vista Springs.
If you are one of her friends, she would love to hear from you between noon and 5:00 PM.
In 2019 my friend John Walsh convinced me to return to Denver with him to deal with a number of maladies (worn out left shoulder cartilage, rotator cuff tear, numb and cold fingers and toes, trembling right hand, balance problems, Parkinsonian symptoms, etc.)
This move has forced me to learn a new vocabulary that moves around the terms “levodopa and carbidopa,” which our bodies need to produce the dopamine that powers the millions of neurons that synchronically has our movements gel with our thoughts. Understanding this new vocabulary has forced me to try to understand why the blessings of body, mind, and will that God gave me are not now working. Phrases I wrestle with for understanding now include:
Bradykinesia-frozen movements, a lack of motivation, which has seldom been a problem for those raised and trained like me.
Neuroplasticity-the ability of the brain’s neurons to adapt and change.
Right hand tremors that throw off one’s balance, confidence, and ability get food to one’s mouth.
Low level or cold lasers that strengthen and regenerate damaged body parts, which other nations like Canada, Israel, Russia, etc. are ahead of us on.
Non-invasive, portable neurological stimulators (PONS), which can revive and fire up one’s neurons to work properly.
If you or friends are interested, two excellent award winning books are: The Brain That Changes Itself and The Brain’s Way of Healing (2015) both by Norman Doidge, MD, Psychiatrist. (https://www.ifm.org/about/profile/norman-doidge/) They are great New Year’s gifts. Over the next year, I am placing a lot of hope in the non-invasive laser, neuronal electrical spikes, etc., covered in these books. These are among the therapies of the future.
“What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future.”
When my Sister and I were helping mom recover from her devastating stroke in the nineties, my mom’s favorite TV show was “Golden Girls.” it was mom who introduced me to the cryptic phrase, “I don’t know why they call it ‘The Golden Years.’”
My sister has endured more health, vision, and support challenges, which usually wait to pile on until the Golden Years, than anyone I know. Like her mom, she has faced her vision, diabetic, amputation, and blindness problems with true grit.
I hope I can measure up to mom and Marlene in battling this mysterious disease they call Parkinson’s (PD).
In 2007 my left hip was replaced. In 2017 it broke and the recission and another artificial left hip was inserted. It came with chromium, cobalt, and cadmium poisoning. In that same 2017 year my right shoulder was replaced. I sat around the house quite a bit. In 2018 I had a professional, Liz Menkes, from Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) Healthy (https://www.emfhealthy.com/ ) do a microwave reading on my house. Professionals like Menkes say EMF readings should be less than <5. With my DECT phone plugged in the reading on my deck was 52,000 microwaves per meter. She said, “Get out immediately.”
My microwave use, microwaving from the cell towers 100 yards from my home and microwaving cars that pass by during commute hours may or may not have contributed to Parkinson’s. My gut, however, says that our over reliance on excessive microwaving will hang with the gang that said DDT, nicotine, lead in gasoline… was safe and clean.
I was having trouble sleeping and being my energetic self, when longtime friend John Walsh offered to take me to Denver around November 2019 with the hope that the University of Colorado Health (UCHealth) would provide some answers. Since the 1950s Carbidopa and Levodopa pills that address PD symptoms has been our medical industries primary drug answer for degenerative PD.
Parkinson’s disease is the 14th leading cause of death in the U.S. Those with PD include Michael Fox, Mohammed Ali, Alan Alda, Robin Williams, Billy Graham, Charles M. Schulz, Janet Reno…
I do not think 50+ year-old pills revolving around Carbidopa and Levodopa will knock out PD symptoms or PD itself. Nations like Israel, Russia, and Canada are far ahead in next generation answers such as neuroplasticity, low level light therapy, electro neuronal stimulation, etc.
Merry Christmas and may many more good elves ring in a triumphant New Year 2017 for you and yours.
My sister continues building the Northern California record for audio books checked out from the library. When not listening to those, talk shows, or University of San Francisco lectures, she pushes to improve the training of the company that supplies her 2+/-– day a week assistants. Marlene also trains her disability assistants on the importance of attending their union meetings, which recently helped improved their wages to $13/hours on the way to $15 over the ensuing year or so.
Solar sales angel Spencer Smith and his Apple-baited wife Nancy continue taking Marlene to fund raising dinner functions of the do-good agencies they support.
Many years ago, my Kaiser Primary Care Doctor said something like, “Tell me if I’m correct, you are planning on running as hard as you can for as long as you can till everything wears out, right?”
I laughed, and didn’t put much thought into the last part of his sentence. I am paying more attention to sentence endings now, and may even now be serving some kind of sentence, which my mom warned me about as she kept imploring “Rest more… Take it easy… Take a nap…”
(If you are lucky enough to have a wonderful mother, pay attention .to even her offhanded remarks. Somehow, even those are prescient.)
Instead of having my worn shoulder and torn rotator cuff repaired with stitches, I decided abouta year back to go out on my right limb by using my buttock’s bone marrow and stem cells to try to repair my former sling-shooting right shoulder. But… Due to a variety of reasons, which may include my jocular induced Ignatian (“Get up and run it off, Hunn, you rainbow chaser…”) approach to health and healing, my shoulder is still defined in largely Latin and Greek derivatives in November of 2016 by some in the medical world as:
“There is superimposed interstitial signal within the conjoined fibers of the supraspinatus and infraspinatus tendon measuring 1.1 cm transverse by 1.0 cm AP suggesting greater than 50% partial thickness tear. Previously seen signal involving the distal anterior fibers of the supraspinatus tendon appears less discrete. Thickening of the subscapularis tendon compatible with tendinosis. There is interstitial tear with mild medial subluxation of the proximal fibers of the long head of biceps tendon. Teres minor tendon…”
Even Saint Ignatius High’s boot camp Latin training conducted by my favorite SI Drill Sergeant, Mr. Leonard, failed to make my aging amyloid-free, I hope, brain easily “comprendo” what is going on in the above stew of words… But, it ain’t that good, and that’s without mentioning this clean hippie’s hip.
Feel free to translate into grade school English, with which I still have trouble, so I’ll know how to start slinging stuff again.
Statistically, it is likely that a little less than half of you who voted, voted for Donald Trump and that mesmerizing beauty that stalks him on the elevator. Since President-elect Trump likes to tweet, here’s a lovely tweety-bird like Christmas gift that won’t cost you anything and will save bloodshed, expensive military dollars, and heartbreak year-round.
During Christmas and through the New Year, why not tweet 140 characters to some of President-elect’s twitter sites or those related, such as:
May you and yours have good health well beyond this Holiday Season.
Although she still mails Christmas cards, my sister now has a computer thanks to Lighthouse for the Blind. She also has volunteer Spencer, the solar guy, who brings some levity and sunshine into her life as he reads her internet stuff, emails, and wonders about her weird friends…
She recently beat back a cancer scare, as she continues being the trooper pushing her walker and tipping the army of taxicab drivers (sorry Uber) that shuttle her to University of San Francisco lectures, medical checkups, and meetings with her friends in town.
For me, there may not be a Habitat build on this year’s list thanks to bone on bone right shoulder and a rotator cuff tear, which I always thought belonged to those Moby-ized pitchers who flung hard from the starboard..
Most of you who are reading this have been exposed to Christian traditions, especially during this Holiday Season. You know that Jesus was raised by an adopted father, Joseph, a ”Teckton,” or builder. Joseph was a stonemason, carpenter, or likely combination of the two. He built stuff, likely housing, perhaps so future families would not have to be born in mangers.
When Jesus Christ was born about 2,000 years ago, about 300 million roamed the earth. According to the Bible, the Lord ARMED a sandal wearing gang of 12 with not only the words of brotherhood but supposedly the power to perform miracles. They were sent out to spread peace and build things that would make life more comfortable for innocent babies and children, in the hopes that they would grow up with innocence and goodwill.
Jesus did not build an army of soldiers and drones. He didn’t encourage the Roman Empire to expand its war making abilities. He pushed people to do unto others as they would have done unto themselves.
Today there are about seven billion people, who, in many ways are ravaging the earth. Shouldn’t America, the Roman Empire of its time, field an army of one million sandaled Americans to spread peace and build healthy things for the innocents?
It cost us over $1 million per active military volunteer per year to be engaged in battles, without calculating PTSD related costs.
Instead of building a new, big bureaucracy, the AWSC Congressionnal Proposal would send A LOT more paid volunteers to Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Habitat, Doctors Without Borders, Head Start, Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, Oxfam, Mercy Corps, State Conservation Corps, effective local non-profits, in-need schools, hospital therapy centers, homes for the aged, etc. Fielding a million Americans a year under this AWSC umbrella would cost about $40,000 per year.
It’s a gift to the world that keeps giving all year long. It cultivates compassion, raises our public policy IQ, responds to devastations, helps refugees, wins hearts and minds, and thereby stunts terrorist recruitment.
Imagine how much different today’s world would be had we been doing such a robust NATIONAL SERVICE CORPS for 30, 40, 50 years…
One of the few times Jesus expressed anger was at the money changers in the Temple.
Under the AWSC Proposal The Forbes 400 could fund the fielding of 21,000,000 doing good, paid American volunteers for 27 years by donating 1.1% of their wealth to the cause of protecting innocents. What would Jesus say?
Want to help make the AWSC Proposal become law, spreading gifts and little miracles all year long?
Pester Congress. Spread the word via media. Use any of People’s Lobby’s Opeds that express something akin to your feelings and put them out in social media, forward them to Congress and candidates. Ask candidates where they stand.
Prayers accepted, but we are pretty sure God, as busy as he is, is pushing us humans to do more than kneeling to deliver some good amidst the myriad of problems clanging around down here.
Neither Santa nor Jesus delivers what the world needs without a lot more of us being involved.
“We are close to Christmas,” he said. “There will be lights, there will be parties, bright trees, even Nativity scenes – all decked out – while the world continues to wage war.”
“What shall remain in the wake of this war, in the midst of which we are living now?” the pontiff asked. “Ruins, thousands of children without education, so many innocent victims, and lots of money in the pockets of arms dealers.”
Christmas festivities are “all a charade. The world has not understood the way of peace. The whole world is at war.”
“War can be justified, so to speak, with many, many reasons, but when all the world as it is today, at war, piecemeal though that war may be — a little here, a little there — there is no justification.”
“God weeps,” the pope concluded, “Jesus weeps,” for those whose sole purpose on this planet is to wage war, but who cynically deny that that’s their intent.