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lawson Healthpop goals and game changers

My wife (Monica) had a friend in college that was always busy, had a lot of energy. She graduated with several degrees and then became a doctor. Monica had another friend that went on to get a PhD at John's Hopkins. That friend came to visit us when we lived in St. Louis which I had no problem with because any friend of Monica's is a friend of . . . my wife's.


There are always those gifted people that are also driven to achieve. This morning I read about the Kansas City Star's annual student athlete of the year. The male had a 35 ACT, undefeated wrestler the last 3 years, chess club, first chair trombone etc. He did four productive things before I hit the snooze button in the morning.


He also has a mirror in the back of his closet. He uses it as a dry erase board on which he writes down goals and then erases them when they're accomplished, replacing each with another goal in the same motion.


So . . . Last night, I ate two spicy flautas and a potato burrito from Taco Bueno . . .


They were terrible so I went ahead and got a Volcano Burrito from Taco Bell because I didn't get my fix satisfied (even though I finished the others).


. . . I seriously need a mirror in my closet. I will write: No Mexican fast food. And hopefully, cross it off the list replacing it with “a salad per day” in the same motion. My wife is going to write in BOLD: “No more Mexican food” a second time without comment.


One of my favorite movies is called the Bucket List. I liked the dramedy because in the movie the list was actually satisfied unintentionally. For instance, one goal was to laugh until (the character) cried. If you saw the movie you'll remember how that happened. It wasn't on purpose.


My bucket list has always included something similar: writing something in Healthpop so funny the reader wet himself (not with tears), and of course write something so moving the reader would cry.


The pinnacle would be to accomplish both feats in one letter so if someone walked into a room and saw the impacted reader the intruder would have to say something like, “Um, should I leave? . . . sometimes it happens, you don't have to cry about it . . .”


I digress. Regarding health, I think two of the more ignored issues are stress and exercise. They're ignored because everyone wants to sell you something for health. Not addressing both issues is like me asking my barber for a mo-hawk. It's ignoring the obvious.


Stress is a big deal because the hormones involved actually mess with your DNA and shorten your life – aside from it's impact on hardened arteries etc. Which, by the way, a new study shows omega 3's strengthen your DNA (like exercising).


Laughter is an awesome tool for stress, and there is a lot of interesting information available about laughter and pain and cancer.


Crying is awesome because it's a stress hormone dump.


Sooo, my daughter gets back from Switzerland July 5th. I haven't seen her in 10 months. Prior to that I'd been with her all but less than 20 days of her life.


18 years ago I used to drop her off at daycare and go on to Chiropractic school. She would cry and in full panic yell, “Don't go Daddy”, as I walked to the door.


I would cry from the door to my car thinking I don't want to go.


Time goes by. Now she's taller than me.


When I tell you about things that impact your health my intent isn't to get you to live longer than anyone else. Sorry. We're all going to pass, even though we live like we're invincible (and some even rationalize bad lifestyles by referencing the exceptional drinker and a smoker that lived to 95. . . I won't mention any names . . . Jackie). Then we reach a certain age and realize what we've done to ourselves.


As a parent we live like our kids will always be with us and then, bam, they leave. I'm going through that now.


Whew, that was fast.


Well, today is a good day.


It's good because that's how I'll remember the day. I don't remember Haley keeping us up at night when she was one, I don't even remember the fear of having an unplanned child at the same time I was starting school. I just remember loving her and having her home. Experience today as the good you'll remember it for. You won't get it back.


My real intent is to empower you to avoid the difficult end.


On that note, someone hurt themselves on the job recently.


The big concern was whether or not the employer was going to make this difficult. Very stressful. In the mean time the symptoms didn't add up so I recommended an MRI.


The primary physician refused to work with workman's compensation and a local guy didn't want to give a Chiropractor credit and said it was just a “pinched nerve” and to take pain meds – no MRI.


The symptoms got worse over two weeks and I didn't treat because I didn't see the point until we had visual confirmation.


The person originally got twisted on the job and the upper back hurt intensely. Sleep became impossible, down to less than an hour a day due to pain. Deliriously tired.


Fortunately the MRI report finally came in so we could figure out how to move forward.


It read: “yada, yada, technical scmechnical . . . most likely metastatic cancer, lymphoma or myloma”. The spine is riddled with it.


Processing. Processing.


Now to reality. Imagine 8 levels of your spine having the periosteum lifted off of it; periosteum is the most pain sensitive tissue in your body. If you've ever been kicked in the shin amplify the pain to a break times 8 and have no relief with the word cancer behind it. This is the tough end I'm talking about. You don't want this and nothing you've ever done in your life that caused it could you ever say “it was worth it”.


Workman's comp stress is in the rear view mirror.


Today is a good day. It's good because if you pray tonight don't ask for a way to pay for your car, just give thanks . . . . for pain free sleep.


If you were to get that mirror and put it in your closet I would add one more thing? Imagine the goals not being written by you, but by someone that loves you. Would the goals be the same?

What if there was actually a list maker that loved us that silently knew what our potential was/is? What would it's goals be for you? To eat cancer inciting foods or foods that prevent angiogenesis for micro-tumors?


In the mean time I'll battle Taco Bueno, and still tell you to not eat refined carbs with N6 fats. I tell you this because cancer cells love them some sugar, evidenced by the fact that they have way more insulin receptors than healthy cells. So you combine refined carbs with fats that promote tumors (N6 fats) when you eat fast food. Bad combination.


We all have micro-tumors on a regular basis. The only thing they lack is a blood supply. Think diet matters? Well, certain foods block the formation of the necessary blood supply to grow the tumors. Other foods drop the acid levels (raise the pH) to prevent a cascade of events that change the tumor's environment to one that's more conducive for growth. (btw, some would argue pH - they would lose that argument with me). You can watch the video section on painandsneeze.com for more specifics (on angiogenesis).


But you can always stop eating garbage tomorrow instead of today right? I mean, cancer will always work with your schedule correct?


On the other hand, the list maker doesn't scratch off for excuses. Sometimes you have to be the spirit, not the body, and say no to its desires.


For example, a lot of people don't really have a desire to exercise. We like to conserve energy. It's kind of instinctive. On the other hand the gene that converts vitamin D is the same gene that gives off the exercise “high” so maybe your body does want you to be outside exercising. Since vitamin D directly prevents 16 kinds of cancer maybe the body knows what it needs.


Either way, give your body a reason to live and start exercising.


I expect that if I had a list maker he would probably be highlighting more lines than scratching them off. In fact, his forehead would probably be bruised from hitting it with his palm after he watched me for just an hour.


Another example: when I tell my daughters that I bean walked and detassled in the summers when I was a kid - as opposed to what they do: lie on the couch - the list maker puts his palm on his head and thinks, “you conveniently forgot to mention the hangover, and the mediocre grades you got, but they don't” . . . As a parent, I'm still a work in progress for sure, but I'm working.


So I recently got to spend a brief minute with my railroad friend. It was nice because he wasn't in any pain. While he rested there quietly two things occurred to me. One: an effective way to learn something is from a mistake, but a better way to learn is from someone else's mistake. Two: last Sunday I was at a wedding and at about the time I was jokingly asking my wife if we could leave yet; my railroad friend was in a panicked house. While I was laughing at a wedding in Parkville he was receiving unsuccessful CPR in Lawson. A second later his wife was getting a call from her son telling her she better come home from her errand. It happened quick.


I don't know if I'll ever get to scratch off “great parent”from my list, but I hope if I get told one day that I didn't really strain my back, instead, I have something gravely serious, my first thought will be: “either way, I have good kids”.


I wanted to tell Mr. Railroad as he lay there in the simple pine box he requested prior to his death that he had good kids, but I know he already knew that. Unfortunately, a bad habit robbed him from twenty more years with them.


He did however, somehow, tell me to ask of you one thing: to learn from his mistake. It was lung cancer. Forty years of smoking.



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