Sunday, February 27, 2011

DAY 147 - Knowing Pains

MoveOn Dec 2005
While there is clarity within medical science that there are no such things as growing pains; since physical growth does not cause pain, knowing pains ARE real.

A very-late bloomer, but by age 50 I finally knew that I was a part of the whole of humanity.

The knowing pains I feel are not sharp, nor stabbing. I am not bleeding.

It would be so easy to just know that I am a part; what’s difficult is figuring out what my part is in contributing to us.

What ARE our needs, and when am I in balance in supporting me, relative to supporting us?

Too often I am a deer in the headlights, frozen by distress born of limitless factors to consider, and uncertainty. How can I serve us in the most helpful ways?

I hope that my frozen figure in the headlights does not startle nor confuse others.

In fact, I hope that my open expression of the part of my life that is confused, will help to thaw me, and provide warmth for others, knowing my care for us.

Thank goodness I am not alone.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

DAY 142 - My Mom

Me, sister Tori, brother Kap & Mom
She died today
She waited patiently through years of dementia
But today she was ready

She was more than a good woman
She was my Mom
She loved me
And I loved her

She trusted me
knew that I could live on my own at 16

She did not track every step of my life
She was living a full and interesting life of her own

At 48 I studied Functional Medicine
while staying at her home on Fox Island
each night, late, smiling faced,
she awaited my return
eager to hear what I had learned
hungry for my excitement
a mother still

there is more
so much more
but it is best expressed
by the fact that I am not filled with sorrow
I am filled with gratitude
both for knowing
and for being born to my Mom


Kay Caldwell Kelly
Born 9/28/30 - Died 2/23/11

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

DAY 141 - The Enemy: MRSA, Cancer, Terrorists?

The MRSA infection that was in my foot has affected by brain, but I don’t think it has damaged it. I’ve simply found myself reflecting on the infection and me, and me and the infection.

This post won’t break any new ground for some of you, but I believe that our culture needs this reminder about enemies, and about infections.

First off, MRSA stands for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; an infection caused by a strain of staph bacteria that's become resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat ordinary staph infections.

Most of us would consider MRSA, cancer and terrorists to be enemies. Each can definitely be a serious threat.

Many of us would see the existence of these evil three, as THE problem, and would further see the logical, and complete answer, being their annihilation through a war or similar process.

It is valuable to remember that neither MRSA, nor cancer, nor terrorists can grow just anywhere. In most all cases, they require a conducive, if not nourishing environment in which to live and multiply.

Apparently, I was a good host, and provided nourishment for the MRSA that found its way into my body. While I did wage war against it with an effective and welcomed antibiotic, the war was one to markedly decrease its numbers and see if my body could re-establish its self-preserving balance once again. My war was not to kill every last MRSA organism in my body, nor in the world. It is impossible to do so in the world, and may be impossible to do so in ones body.

These organisms are everywhere. One in every 4 Americans is a carrier of MRSA. What this means is that if we randomly selected 100 Americans, and used cotton swabs to collect samples from the inside of their noses, we would find, and be able to grow these bacteria from one of every 4 samples taken.

When we find ourselves, as individuals or communities, in a situation where we are threatened by MRSA organisms, cancer cells, or terrorists, we are unwise if we miss the opportunity to ask ourselves about the terrain in which they have grown.

MRSA has not been a delight in my life, but I don’t believe that this organism is THE problem. The real power lies in me understanding how and why I am such a good host.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

DAY 139 - Stopped by a Bug

It was 9 o’clock in the evening on Friday the 4th of February, DAY 123 of my book, when I realized I was in trouble.

A week earlier I had torn some connective tissue in my left ankle. No big deal; it swelled a bit and bled internally. Having done this before, I knew that it would be sore, but resolve within a week or two. Instead, 3 days later, the ankle was not just swollen and bruised, but red and warm. My sweet wife gently suggested that antibiotics might be called for. While in no way opposed to antibiotics, I have always been strongly opposed to their inappropriate use. I hoped that my immune system could handle the situation.

During the next few days the condition of my ankle fluctuated. On Thursday the 3rd, it appeared that my body had the upper hand. But by 9 PM on Friday, the invaders had me down. My left ankle was painful, hot and swollen.

Being so fortunate as to have dear friends who are medical doctors, I was able to contact one, get to an all-night pharmacy, and start on antibiotics. The next day, Saturday, my MD friend met me at his office, lanced the infected area, sent a sample for culturing, and recommended a stronger antibiotic.

By Monday the culture report was back from the lab and showed a serious infection by a bacterium that is resistant to most antibiotics.

My book and my life would be put on hold for 14 days ... by a bug.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

DAY 127 – An Opportunity for Knowing

               I limp,
          you wince ...
          are we not one?

Friday, February 4, 2011

DAY 123 - The Most Common Sign of Allergy

photo courtesy of tajai at Flickr
Itching, rash, watery eyes, and runny nose are what most of us think of as common signs of allergy; and they are. I simply believe there is something far more common; muscle contraction.

Modern healthcare recognizes muscle contraction in allergy, as seen with contraction of smooth muscles of the respiratory tract in asthma, of the digestive tract with throat constriction and constipation, and with a racing heart.

What is missed by most doctors, is that chronic contraction, also called hypertonicity, of the muscles of the spine and limbs, can also be, and is a very common feature of allergy.

Large numbers of American adults experience stiffness and/or pain associated with excessive muscular tightness. American youth, as young as toddlers, also exhibit excessive muscle tone, but are less apt to experience pain than adults. Mild to moderate manual pressure, applied during examination, to tight muscles, in children and adults, will predictably elicit a flinch reaction and verbal expression of pain.

Long term, untreated allergy has negative whole-body effects. Tissue damage can occur locally, and/or systemically as ones immune system wages war on what it considers invaders.

I predict that in the future it will be standard practice for doctors skilled in palpatory examination, to screen patients’ skeletal musculature for indications of allergy.

Until such time, you and your family don't have to wait. You can find a skilled chiropractor or other practitioner, and have an annual screening of your musculature as a part of ruling out allergic reactions, and as part of a thorough health check-up.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

DAY 122 - Pigeonholed ... but not intentionally

Pigeonhole principle from Wikipedia
I’m a chiropractor, and I know my limitations; few.

Merriam-Webster defines a pigeonhole as “a neat category which usually fails to reflect actual complexities.” As a verb, pigeonholed can mean, “to assign to an often restrictive category.” And that’s my frustration, the name of my profession is a “neat category”, and boy have we assigned ourselves, and been assigned by our culture, to a “restrictive category” as back doctors.

In the beginning (1895), chiropractors focused on, and advertised as central, our adjustment of the spine, as a mode of improving health and function in all parts of the body. We provided much relief for a variety of conditions, but performed particularly, even remarkably well in the realm of back, neck, and general musculoskeletal conditions. Between the difficulty in making the case for spinal function influencing health in other organs and systems, and the often immediate relief of back and neck pain, we became known as back doctors.

Medical doctors, on the other hand, have created a clear understanding with the public that they treat anything and everything. Nice work.

For chiropractors that specialize in backs, things are good; the shoe fits.

But, for chiropractors like me, who treat everything from sinus infections to hemorrhoids, from vertigo to esophageal reflux, from colic to menstrual cramps, from high blood pressure to diabetes, and from anxiety to ADHD, there’s a mismatch. Thank goodness I also love fixing backs!

The challenge is obvious; powerful historical factors over the last 115 years have unintentionally, and impersonally pigeonholed me.

I find myself grateful for the awareness to climb out of the pigeonhole, and grateful for the strength to fly into the wind.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

DAY 121 - A Look in My Mirror and Out to the Horizon

Prior to turning 50, I cared about others, cared about the world, but had no plan, and felt little responsibility. I didn’t realize the harm and dangers that were, and are upon us. While considering myself part of the solution to man’s problems, I never really thought of myself as a co-creator of our salvation (not in a religious sense).

Since 50, things have changed; I now consider myself a co-creator of our future; not a hot shot, just a co-creator. Turns out, we are all co-creators; of some future; whether we act, or not.

In 2003, as a part of my efforts for our present and our future, I joined the executive board of Citizens for Peaceful Resolutions (CPR), of Ventura, California. CPR is an inclusive, diverse group of individuals, committed to non-violence, and recognizing the interconnectedness of all life on our planet. Our mission is to discover, live and communicate what is needed to build a just, sustainable and peaceful global society. Each month we hold public meetings dealing with the critical issues of our times: war, nuclear weapons, homelessness, poverty, global warming, campaign finance reform, and much more.

I don’t know what lies ahead on the horizon for humanity, or for our world, but I am comforted to have seen myself more clearly, and to have seen a reflection of myself, as a small and responsive part of our world.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

DAY 120 – Ticklishness: Is it Just Funny?

photo courtesy of jencu at flickr
I’ll let you answer the question.

But, before you do, I’d like to offer questions and thoughts that have shaped my view over the last 30 years.

What causes ticklishness?

Does the coupling of its seeming innocuousness with the laughter, distract us from even wondering?

Is it important if ones body reacts significantly differently than most, to touch?

Why are some people extremely ticklish, and others not at all?

It is a sensitivity to touch.

It is a hypersensitivity for some.

Often, hypersensitivities are signs of imbalance/illness.

I have observed that when food allergens, such as dairy products are removed from the diet, some children experience a marked decrease in ticklishness.

All children that I have treated, who are significantly ticklish, also have other signs of allergy, and specifically of food allergy.

Hypersensitivity is a common effect of allergy; sensitivity to light, sound, or motion.

What do you think?