Monthly Archives: March 2012

And So It Goes

It’s over–at least for this year! My beloved North Carolina Tarheels run for the NCAA Basketball Championship title for 2012 has ended with a crushing defeat from the young men of Kansas. Don’t worry about me–with years of basketball counseling, behavior modification, and heavy drinking, I will overcome this loss!

I have returned to the living and March Madness has ended for me. In spite of the Final Four still well ahead for the remaining teams, my interest is only in passing as I have no alliance to any of the contenders. Not to say that I won’t take a peak at any of the remaining games, I just don’t have any strong feelings one way or the other. I have broken free of the basketball tether to which I  was entangled. I have returned from the dizzying world of the almighty bracket, once again.

The sun is shining. There is actually a world outside of my television screen–what do you know?

Eating Your Veggies

A new Harvard study performed over 20 years with 110,000 participants on red meat consumption, showed strong evidence for drastically reducing or eliminating red meat from one’s diet. The report did not make the major network news that I watched last night nor did I see it in the major newspaper that I read today.

As a longtime vegetarian, I can tell you that I have seen and experienced so many benefits to keeping on a vegetarian diet. My energy level improved, as did my digestion, the absorption of my meds, as well as my overall health. I am passionate about being vegetarian, not fanatical.

Some people reading this with an open mind may want to try this and slowly implement more veggies and less or even no meat into their lives. Some will be less likely to consider a dietary change at all. All I can tell you is that for 20+ years, vegetarianism has treated me well.

If you decide to try Vegetarianism, you should consult your doctor(s).

NCAA College Basketball Tournament Delays Blog

March Madness is a dizzying joyful , yet harried time for me. A noticeable amount of productivity is lost during  the month of March each year due to committed college basketball fans everywhere.

I am one of those committed fans. I will be posting this month–just not as frequently. In April, Parkinson’s Awareness Month, I am excited to announce my release of my interview with Davis Phinney. I hope to continue with more interviews in the near future. Go Tarheels!

Advocacy Brought Us Together

The Hill

On Wednesday, State Directors and Assistant Directors representing the Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN) stormed Capitol Hill to advocate for issues facing our community.  We met with our Senators and many of our state representatives in Congress. Even though I have done this a dozen or so times, the experience is exhilarating and empowering. I don’t deny that walking the miles of marbled corridors left a  few souvenir blisters and left me with a good night’s sleep, but it also gave me a sense of accomplishment.

The experience on the Hill was remarkable but even more wonderful is the camaraderie and friendship generated when we all got together. I thank you all for your advocacy work and the difference you make and strive to make. I truly enjoyed seeing all of you and look forward to our next encounter.  Until then, I wish you well.

Keeping Relations Alive

Illness shouldn’t break up a family. It shouldn’t come between  spouses. Friendships shouldn’t  end because one of you is ill. The truth of the matter, sadly, is that illness tests the family, the spouse, and your interaction with friends. Change of any kind mixed with insecurity and doubt about one’s security is frightening for all involved parties.

This is where  communication,  understanding, patience, strength, and compassion must be expressed swiftly and thoroughly. If there was love when you both were healthy, then there ought to be love when either of you are sick. Marriage vows state “in sickness and in health”.  Real love means taking care of those that you care about as best and as long as you can. I will add as a patient and one who is sensitive to, and aware of caregiver burnout– that caregivers  need to be taken care of as desperately as the afflicted, to assure the health of everyone involved. In many ways, the relationships between friends and family can be strengthened if we treat one another with proper awareness, respect,  and appreciation.

Communication:

-Share your fears with each other and don’t hide your feelings. Show your support and love for one another through your personal strength, faith,  support groups, professional counseling, or mentor. You are stronger than you know. You are not the first person to be tested by what you are going through. This is the time to take stock in your life. Maybe, just maybe, doors close but windows open for a reason. Stay on top of your situation and seek help as you need it from family, friends, the local community. Do your research about the services that are available to you locally, statewide, federally, and even internationally.  The world is quickly becoming a smaller place thanks to the internet and the sharing of information.

Understanding:

-Common ground isn’t always easy to find when one party is in discomfort and the other has a clean bill of health. Just the act of trying to imagine another’s challenges can help to put negotiations back on track. Taking the time to listen, observe, and feel another’s pain, can make tremendous change for bonding and healing.

Patience:

Finding that part of you that slows the mind and targets the need for anything other than a focus on improving one another is essential. Patience is a virtue that you can attain with breathe, realization, commitment, and keeping love alive. Understand that all parties must observe patience for this to work efficiently and equally.

Strength

-I will admit that this one may take time, effort, exploration, and even outside assistance. Find what works for you.  Maintaining your wits in a crisis is not easy and takes a unique skill set.  Dealing with the added stress can take a toll and injure anyone around us. Whether you need a massage, to go to the shooting range, breaking  something (a non-dangerous and inexpensive object that provides emotional release), pop bubble wrap (reported to be a great stress reliever), working out, singing, or having  coffee with a friend. Finding what works for you is crucial.

Compassion:

-Loving yourself and someone else is what makes for a complete relationship. It is not egotistical to love oneself.  If one is unable to love oneself, a spouse or friend faces a demanding task. It is of vital importance to maintain our connection with others. There is beauty in the world. There is kindness even in the darkest  corners. The human is a resilient and crafty being.    

Wayne Dyer, prolific author and lecturer, has a great saying, “Don’t die with the music still in you!”  Do your best at doing what you  can and surprise yourself . You might just change and see a change for the better. This is my opinion–what’s yours?

Do you have a credo that you want to share? What do you do to improve your relationships? Does illness cost you relationships?  Do you share a positive attitude with others?

I want to hear from you!

Thanks,

Karl

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