Saturday, February 7, 2009

Brocco Sprouts

Hi All,
There's a new development that I thought worth posting. A lot of what I've written is about things that have not worked for us, but have not really talked about anything we are currently trying or have heard about. There is a lot of chatter about Brocco Sprouts (R) which is as it would seem, sprouts of broccoli, but these are some kind of special sprouts that have a high level of a potent anti-oxidant called SGS which is thought to help protect and strengthen cells. I'm attaching a link to the discussion in the ALS-TDI forum that discusses this development. If you are affected by ALS, it is worth a read. There are several links posted on that discussion that lead to more info about SGS and BroccoSprouts (R). An interesting factoid is that 1 oz. of these sprouts contains as much SGS as a 1 1/4 pounds of cooked mature broccoli. That is a 20/1 ratio. Nice "bounce for the ounce." (cue "More Bounce to the Ounce" by ZAPP

As I've said before, any glimmer of hope is always welcome.


Friday, February 6, 2009

The STRANGE edition...

Hi All,
Well, I thought it would be interesting to post some of the strange things we have tried over the past couple of years. As I've mentioned, we tend to come across strange and interesting methods of alternative medicine that people believe in quite frequently. With really nothing to lose, we tend to do some research and try these things if they seem at all reasonable for our situation.

Natural radioactive rocks: So, there are two things we tried here. The theory is that if your body is exposed to super low doses of radiation that it will train itself to quickly heal cells that are damaged. (or something like that.) Early on, H heard about some stones that you put in water to add some level of radiation to the water as it soaks. She was supposed to drink a few pints of this water every day (after soaking the rocks in it for some period of time) and magically she would get better. Crock o doodle doo.

The next one was a "Medicine Man" that doubles as a helicopter repairman that was called by God to mine stones from the earth that have a low level of radiation naturally embedded in them. These stones when worn on a necklace or kept in your pocket or whatever cause those natural healing powers within your body to snap into action. He wasn't too sure about ALS, but said curing cancer was "easy stuff." He said he never had anyone ever come back to him with stories of how it didn't work. He offered some level of guarantee that it would work (like maybe our $300 back if we returned the stones) and that he wasn't doing it for the money as it was some sort of "calling" for him to provide these stones. People find out about him via word of mouth, and if they do, then he has to provide these things for them. If someone finds this and attributes some miraculous recovery to these cure all stones, please post a comment to the blog.

By all accounts the Medicine Man was a super nice guy and believes in what he's doing (at least appears to be genuine in his discussion about his stones.) The way he explains it seems logical too, I suppose. I wish it worked for us. I wonder if he'd really give us our money back? In any case, I know one of the stones was lost on our Hawaii trip last year, but we still have the necklace he made. Ah, found the link to his website. Radiation Hormesis is what it's called. Maybe it will work for you!

Let's see, what else...Oh yea, Reiki. This is also known as "energy work." By any measure, this is a fairly well known alternative medicine practice that originated in Japan around 1920 or so. There's even courses that you can take to learn how to practice this "healing art." Heidi had a couple of Reiki sessions when we were in Hawaii by a friend of a friend. The story of how we found this "healer" is as interesting as the actual practice, one of those too weird to be a coincidence kind of stories.

As we were planning our Hawaii trip, I was trolling various places on the web to find a suitable accommodation for us all. I found a house on Kauai that looked wonderful, and might be available for rent. I reached out to the owner who was trying to sell it, and wanted to see if he'd rent it to us during our stay. He wasn't interested in a short term rental, but seemed like a nice guy via our email conversations. In any case, we didn't have a good match in our needs, so that was that. I figured I'd never hear from the guy again. Boy was I wrong... this is where it gets really strange. I was standing on the edge of our beach watching the girls play in the surf one late afternoon and this dude walking by saw a look in my eye of a proud and loving dad and made some off-handed comment about it. I can't remember what he said, but I acknowledged him and we struck up a conversation.

As we stood there talking, watching the girls play, we introduced ourselves and I found out he was a real estate agent so I was asking him about the market, etc. As he learned more about me, he said out of the blue "Wait...I think we already know each other..." It turns out that this completely random meeting was with the very person that I had reached out to that owned the place for sale on Kauai. He was staying a couple blocks away in a condo he was selling and just happened to be walking down the beach that evening. We talked some more and I invited him over for a margarita and we eventually became friends. He came over and had dinner a time or two and we have stayed in touch loosely over the past year. He was also selling a beach hose he owned on the North Shore over by Alligator Rock, but I don't know if he ever sold it. It was a little out of my price range.

Anyways, back to the Reiki story...He knows someone that is a "healer" and connected us with her. We got in touch with her, flew her in from Kauai for the day and this very nice person came to our cottage spent two "sessions" with H doing her energy thing. It was very interesting. Did it help? Who knows. I don't think this type of thing necessarily "cures" diseases, but is meant to help in more spiritual ways and maybe if you believe in it you can awaken your internal healing powers to help you get better. Wikipedia has a good bit of information on this phenomenon here:

I can do another whole post on some of the weird "supplements" that we have tried, so I guess I'll close this one and tackle that topic later. Peace,

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Back in the saddle...but feeling philosophical not historical...

Man, there's a bit of pressure now that I feel when I don't update the blog for a few days. Almost like I'm letting someone down or something. That is a bit egotistical, i suppose, thinking someone checks my blog and then feels let down if it is not updated. For what it's worth, I freely admit that these writings are self-indulgent for me, most certainly more-so than they might be for anyone reading them, but I appreciate your coming this far with me.

So, the Superbowl is over, and with it the end of another football season, which I really enjoy. There is something about those Sundays when the Broncos or , insert your team here, are playing and there's hope that they'll show up and give a good performance. I'll admit that I was rooting for the Cards tonight, but really was hoping for a great game, and that it was. I remember reading an article about Hunter S. Thompson's suicide, probably in Vanity Fair or something, and it said that one of the reasons he picked the time to blow his own brains out was because the football season was over, and he loved it so much, that no matter his personal demons, he would wait to silence them until after the end of the Superbowl. That may seem completely absurd, but then again, we are talking about H.S. Thomson here and in that context it probably makes perfect sense. I wonder if he really silenced them, or if he made them louder.

H and I had a couple great years in Arizona, so even though I have liked the Pittsburgh Steelers since the days of Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Lynn Swann, John Stallworth and Mean Joe Green, the Cards were my sentimental pick tonight. When we lived there, they were terrible and everyone "hated" Bill Bidwell for not investing in the team. I went to a few games in Sun Devil Stadium and for the most part, the visiting team jerseys outnumbers the Cards' fans jerseys. Well, I guess he finally proved the naysayers wrong...A new stadium, a fantastic season, and the makings of a great team in the years to come, so rock on. I hope the Broncos play them in the Superbowl next year.

We moved to the Phoenix area when S was about 6 months old and left when R was about 1 or so, a little over two years in all. I'm not proud of the fact that I lived in AZ just over two years, but somehow managed to live there for 3 summers. That is not strategic brilliance by any stretch. If you have lived there, you know what I mean. The summer is not a fun time to be hanging in the AZ.

When we lived in Arizona, thinking back, we really had no worries at all. We had a healthy baby, I had a good job with a fun and growing company that had all the prospects to be a great little Internet company. Health was an expectation, not a privilege.

But, yet, worry we did. I had the stress of having a new job and big sales quotas to hit, so that worried me. I had employees to find, hire, train and help be successful, so that worried me. I had to figure out how to be a dad, and a husband to a mom for that matter (which is different than a husband to a non-mom, for sure.) I had to figure out how to get back in shape after eating ice cream for 9 months with H and not working out...ever, so that worried me. I had new social infrastructures to find, new friends to make, new things to do with my "spare time" ... these things all "worried me."

Wow, how shallow I was. How ignorant of true responsibility, true need for worry and true pain. How did i let these things get to me? I didn't know any worse.

I sort of think that it is a human condition that we make some level of potent drama out of the situation that we are in. Perhaps there's a boredom factor, or a subconscious need to place importance on issues that falls away in the face of true challenge. I heard a John Mayer song recently on the radio, can't remember the name of the song, but it said something to the effect of "better take all your problems and put 'em in quotations." I can see the hands going up and the little " " signs framing the air.

I feel like I have problems, if you are following this blog, you know some of them. But if I take my problems and "put 'em in quotations" relative to some other peoples problems, well then I feel a little better about my situation. There are many people in the world that are worse off than I am. I am sad sometimes, I know that there is a very high likely hood that things will get harder over the next ...whatever...period of time. It won't stop me, it won't beat me and I won't let it dominate the rest of my life, or that of my girls'.

Today, my oldest daughter, who is 11, asked me if my cup of coffee, which I had already consumed about half of, was half full or half empty. I said "Well, it's half full, of course." She then asked R, our middle daughter, who is 9, the same question about her juice and she said: "Well, whats the difference?" I thought this was actually a very sophisticated answer, especially, after Dad had said, "half full, of course." So, my oldest declared with confidence, that it was an idiom and that if you answered one way or the other it explained about your outlook on life and therefore your personality....O.....K. A bit heavy for an early Sunday am, but wow.

An idiom is a phrase whose meaning cannot be derived from the literal definition of itself, but rather is based on a common cultural use. I'm not sure that this question is an idiom in the sense that "kicking the bucket" is an idiom nor am I convinced that the answer to this one completely defines your personality as confidently stated my my elder daughter, but bear with me.

My big take away from this: I LOVE the fact that my 9 year old kid questioned the question, even after hearing my answer. This is core stuff my friends. It hits me hard to see the beauty in that strength. To see a kid develop with a "gut feeling" to question an absurd question in the face of an authoratative answer is gigantic to me. It's like a massive "gong" amigos, and in that moment I realized that these little ones are keeping me strong too.

Don't worry, please.