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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?

Denial

When we refuse to face the obvious or place blame where it usually is unfounded, problems germinate.  Our minds and bodies are sponges that soak up thoughts, feelings,  experiences,  visions, and impacts. Both the mind and body retain their own memory. When we fail to acknowledge or accept that we are holding on to unnecessary baggage or even garbage that may be contaminating our system,  problems begin to arise.

For those of us who deny our symptoms, illnesses, or our perspective on own personal health, we fail to realize that there are warning signs being presented.  Avoiding a warning sign, be it a tremor,  balance issues, weakness, or any noticeable change in medical condition should be a wakeup call that there is work to be done and not dismissed.

Don’t deny denial. Once you overcome denial you can address the issue or issues at hand and begin healing.  No doubt, it takes courage, fortitude, awareness, and some trust to admit that you may have an unaddressed physical, mental,  or  emotional issue to deal with.  Much of improving  our lives is discovering those issues and buffing them out–not storing them. It’s called growth.

The first step in breaking denial’s hold is taking a hard look at oneself. Don’t like what you see? Guess what? You can change it!

Accepting that you see a change, either positive or negative, is a good place to begin.  Realizing that there may be work needed, be it physical, psychological, spiritual, or a combination of modalities may be the answer to get you back to the path of health. The sooner that you can make sense of the signals that your body is sending you and not ignoring them, the sooner you can help yourself and heal.

(This is just my opinion–I am not a doctor of any kind. I’m just an English Major.)

Observations To End The Week And Ponder Over The Weekend

Failing to be able to laugh at oneself is a crucial and unhealthy character flaw.

If One is unable to take criticism, One is destined for stagnation.

Learning to remember the positive and not the negative makes for happier memories and a healthier you.

It’s refreshing to mind and spirit when you take a holiday from television news and DC  pundits.

Deep breathing  and meditation can do wonders for stress and pain.

Our bodies are receivers of all kinds of energy so be careful of picking up on other people’s’ negative energy.

Your body is like a battery, if you don’t recharge it ever so often, it will give out.

An overactive mind needs taming and quieting to reach true calming.

Is HBO Making Early Onset Parkinson’s Disease A Prime Time Topic?

In the event that you may have missed the return of HBO’s riveting series, In Treatment, it’s back for a 3rd season on Monday and Tuesday nights. The show revolves around the superb actor Gabriel Byrne’s character, Paul Weston, a middle-aged therapist seeking solace with himself and struggling with both his issues and those of his neurotically eccentric patients.

The show is a witty, smart, bold, conversation-based exchange program void of mindless jabber, caustic violence or cattle prod laugh track garbage that major networks try to pass off as television entertainment. Not since My Dinner With Andre have I seen an appreciation for the art of conversation as displayed on In Treatment..

Last season, Paul faced a divorce from his long-time wife, a custody battle over his 2 sons and daughter, a lawsuit over patient negligence, and the loss of his estranged father due to complications from Parkinson’s Disease.  The show fearlessly takes on real world issues and everyday situations in a novel and entertaining manner. The dialogue is crisp and real and edgy. It’s smart. You know good writing when you see it and In Treatment has got it.

Last night, Byrne’s character, a man no later than his early fifties, at best, showed a rapid and uncontrollable tremor in his hand. Suspecting early warnings of Parkinson’s, he calls a doctor friend for a referral of a good Neurologist. Wow, welcome to prime time, Parkinson’s Disease (PD)! Now we wait to watch if what Paul has is truly PD or not.

Thank you HBO and the talented writers associated with the show for taking on this story. This may just get PD the platform for public understanding that it so desperately deserves. Maybe with HBO’s help we can shed light on our illness and add another non-elderly face along with Michael J. Fox to the PD public eye. Finally, maybe the message will get out that PD isn’t just an illness that strikes the elderly.

I am hopeful that this show portrays Paul and his symptoms, if is PD, in an accurate and insightful manner. This show takes on a huge responsibility in bringing PD to the mainstream and it has the capability of educating millions of viewers around the globe. I applaud and thank HBO and anyone associated with In Treatment for taking on a character  that may be dealing with early onset PD an I am eager to see how hero deals with his PD, if that turns out to be the diagnosis. If it is PD, as it looks to be, this would be one the biggest developments in Parkinson’s awareness ever!

If it is PD, and they have the proper medical advisors, which I bet they do, an accurate portrayal of the life altering changes that come with PD will be de-mystified and maybe no longer misunderstood. At least, a television character who may have early onset Parkinson’s Disease. I never thought I would see it happen, and it just may become a reality!

I have faith in you HBO. I’ll be watching. This could be very big!

(This is just my opinion. If you missed In Treatment try catching up with On Demand on cable or Netflix. New episodes air Monday and Tuesdays. Check your local listings for your time zone)

Michael J. Fox Interview w/ Sanjay Gupta Was Excellent!

If you missed it, there are portions from last night’s inspirational interview with Michael J. Fox about his Parkinson’s  Disease (PD) on YouTube. I am hoping that the Fox Foundation will have the entire interview on their site at http://www.michaeljfox.org. The interview was by far the most candid, poignant, philosophical, in-depth, investigation of Michael’s fervor for life and a cure that I have seen. I always respected, appreciated, and knew about his dedication to curing PD, but it this interview was one of his best, in my humble opinion. I found his spirit and passion to be invigorating and contagious.

As someone with PD, I identify with Michael: both of us are not too far apart in age (he is almost 6 years older), both of us were diagnosed in our 20’s, both of us get dyskinetic when we are stressed (like interviews) and both of us are trying to make a difference in the world of Parkinson’s.  I identify and completely support and respect the mission and inspiration of Michael J. Fox and his foundation’s work. I encourage you to support the work that they are doing financially or through their Team Fox fundraising events. Go to his site for more information and get on his foundation’s  mailing list. I hope that you will share this information with others and educate them about PD.

TrendWatch – Part 1

BG Sunset by Karl Robb

BG Sunset by Karl Robb

Our Western culture values a puzzling menagerie of unrelated and diverse topics. The slow death of our nightly news continues as it selectively chooses the carnage and distress from every corner of the world. We as the public beg for more technical intervention to fill in the gaping holes that the standard press leaves. Our fascination or albeit obsession with ghosts, fallen or downtrodden celebrities, looking good, wealth, and cooking are slowly being satisfied by a cable channel for every topic. If there isn’t a cable channel, an XM/Sirius radio station, a Blog on the web, or an app for your Iphone that isn’t devoted to it, your topic probably holds little or no social importance.

In the early 90’s I pitched a dozen new television concepts that had yet to be seen on any major television network. The representative from the production company seemed to show interest in my novel pitches but failed to make anything happen. My favorite of the shows focused on what is now the hottest and most mainstream of accepted shows, ghosts and the paranormal.

Now, almost 20 plus years later, in 2010, there are over a dozen shows dealing with ghosts and the paranormal. Here are most of the major ones: Most Haunted, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters International, Paranormal State, Ghost Adventures, Ghost Lab, Ghostly Encounters, Scariest Places on Earth, Ghost Academy, A Haunting, The Haunted, Celebrity Ghost Stories, Psychic Kids, not to mention Crossing Over with John Edward and many other psychic-related shows that are semi-associated to this rant.

By now you either think that I am high on my soapbox, trying to flaunt my self-proclamation of being a visionary, that I am crying in my beer, or that I am embittered and mad at the world for not receiving my 15 minutes or the millions that no-good no-talent celebrities get for shaking their liposuctioned booty.

I am none of these. Novelty and creativity are important ingredients to the soup of success but that’s all they are. Timing is an essential key. Receptivity and knowing the right people are two other ripe elements that make for a deal.

Our lives can change or fluctuate in a second. I truly believe that when a door closes a window can open. I also believe that as hard as some of the things that we are forced to endure at times in our lives, that if we are able to stand back and dissect our situation, there is a lesson or message for us. The message that I get from this trend watch and memory is that maybe we don’t always get what we want when we want it but maybe we get what we want when we need it.

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