Monthly Archives: October 2014

The Grocer, Three Boys and Colored Marbles

A beautiful story narrated by an unknown woman:

I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes… I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas.

I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.

Pondering the peas, I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.

“Hello Barry, how are you today?”

“H’lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus’ admirin’ them peas. They sure look good.”

“They are good, Barry. How’s your Ma?”

“Fine. Gittin’ stronger alla’ time.”

“Good. Anything I can help you with?”

“No, Sir. Jus’ admirin’ them peas.”

“Would you like to take some home?” asked Mr. Miller.

“No, Sir. Got nuthin’ to pay for ’em with.”

“Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?”

“All I got’s my prize marble here.”

“Is that right? Let me see it,” said Miller.

“Here ’tis. She’s a dandy.”

“I can see that. Hmm mmm, only thing i, this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?” the store owner asked.

“Not zackley but almost.”

“Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble,” Mr. Miller told the boy.

“Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.”

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said, “There are two other boys like him in our community; all three are in very poor circumstances.

Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn’t like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.”

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man.

A short time later, I moved to Colorado, but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.

Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one.

Just recently, I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community, and while I was there, learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them.

Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line, were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts…all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband’s casket.

Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket.

Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one; each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband’s bartering for marbles.

With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.

“Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim ‘traded’ them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size….they came to pay their debt. We’ve never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,” she confided, “but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho …”

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

The Moral:
We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath.

Brain Scans Yield Clues to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Findings might help doctors diagnose the baffling condition.

 

It’s not a secret that ME/CFS is a very difficult illness to diagnose.  Patients presenting multi-symptom complaints are often misdiagnosed or labeled as hypochondriacs.

There are clear differences in the brains of people with ME/CFS and the brains of healthy people, new research indicates.  One of the many symptoms is inflammation of the brain, shown by MRIs.

ME/CFS affects up to 4 million people in the United States alone.  This assessment (updated from a year ago’s 1 million) is reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The History of M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis)

The History and Present of M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis)

[Myalgic Encephalomyelitis]/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is one of the greatest scientific and medical challenges of our time,” said the study’s senior author, Dr. Jose Montoya, professor of infectious diseases and geographic medicine, in a Stanford report.

ME/CFS patients in the U.S. number more than MS and AIDS patients added together, yet, government funding for MS and AIDS research has been 4 times that of ME/CFS in recent years!

Despite the HHS, CDC, NIH et al’s negative and misguided attitudes of the last several years, and particularly the problems with IOM (Institute of Medicine) and P2P (Pathways to Prevention) Workshop, I have the distinct impression that there is more focus on finding a solution to the problems of ME/CFS than ever before.

Research in Nevada, and California is getting ramped up through mostly private funding.  If we depended upon the HHS’s funding up to now, nothing would be progressing in the necessary research; in fact, HHS has been doing everything it can to prevent progression in research.  My past posts on M.E. Advocacy will shed light on that.

The very active WordPress, Blogspot (Google) blogs and Twitter accounts of ME/CFS patients and advocates that I find, proves that we (ME/CFS patients and advocates) are not sitting on our hands in this fight.

As sick as so many patients and patient-advocates are, there is an inner strength (digging very deep down to find) that keeps everyone pushing to their limits and beyond.  And, they suffer physically for it for many days, weeks, months or even years.  More than 3 decades of being pushed aside and told “it’s all in your head and go see a psychiatrist for your depression” means it must stop.  NOW.

 

[Image from bingdotcom]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even Paradise Can Be Besmirched

In my past blogs, I, on occasion, talk about how lovely it is to live in “Paradise.”  South Florida.  Eventually, life, even in the city near which I live, can suffer from man’s malevolent actions.

An article in yesterday’s Sun-Sentinel gave me cause to have an intake of breath.  Not only does the action of a human besmirch my fair patch of earth; it causes harm to animals.

Case in point:

An auction house (which sells ancient Chinese jade, antique furniture and fine porcelain) and its president, have been charged with illegally selling rhinoceros horns and elephant tusks to buyers in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Canada and Belgium.  The horns came from the black rhinoceros, a critically endangered African species.  These horns command high prices in Asia for their use in traditional medicine, and were selling for as much as $70,000!!

Black Rhinoceros

Black Rhinoceros

Elephant tusks brought much lower prices:  the auction house sold them for $1,600 and up, to buyers in Belgium, Hong Kong and Taiwan, according to prosecutors.

African Bush Elephant Family

African Bush Elephant Family

To add insult to injury to other buyers, the auction house also sold modern carvings as antiques.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service takes credit for uncovering this illegal activity, due to their excellent undercover agents.

Even though I am aware of this animal killing activity worldwide, it still blows my mind when I read about it again…and again…and again.

That monster, GREED, keeps raising its ugly head.  It is the cause for most of the horrible happenings in the world today.

greed

[Images from bingdotcom]

 

She Gives Hope To Other ME/CFS Patients

Below is a video of Carol E. Head, President and CEO of Solve ME/CFS Initiative.

Carol E. Head, President and CEO of Solve ME/CFS Initiative

Carol E. Head, President and CEO of Solve ME/CFS Initiative

She talks about her “personal walk” with ME/CFS, describing how she became afflicted with the illness.

She had goals and plans for her life when she was a young woman who had just graduated from Management School at Stanford University.

Then, she got the flu.  And you can guess what happened after that.

After going from doctor to doctor to doctor, she did seek alternative therapists, and, over the course of many years, started to see improvement, to the point where she was able to go back to work.

Her story, told briefly in this video, is reminiscent of most of all sufferers with M.E.

It’s not a long story, but you will be able to empathize with her, and take hope that it is possible to achieve some measure of improvement.

Kindness and Rewards

Found this inspirational image on Facebook.  Just had to share.  “Inspiration Flows Where Your Will Goes.”

Inspiration Flows....

Inspiration Flows….

Sunday smiles!

Could not resist these marvelous photos. Had to share.

Fellowship of the Minds

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DCG

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Hurtful Words Said to M.E. Sufferers

words hurt

Hopeful News: Dr. Lerner’s Success on his Longterm Antiviral Treatment

This report, published by the Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association, is an eye-opener regarding Dr. Lerner’s treatment of ME/CFS patients who were suffering from remaining active viruses (non-latent) after initial infections.  The immune system couldn’t fight strongly enough to defeat the viral infections.

Dr. Lerner treated small groups (not controlled) who suffered with CFS/ME; some with EBV (Epstein-Barr Virus); some with cytomegalovirus (HCMV), or human herpes virus-6 (HHV-6); and some with both.

Dr. A. Martin Lerner

Dr. A. Martin Lerner

His treatment, over the course of approximately 2 years, consisted of antivirals.  These patients exhibited different stages of improvement, and many were able to resume an active, normal life, after suffering years of debilitating illness.  Cardiac symptoms also improved.

Dr. Lerner is an infectious disease specialist who became ill with CFS/CFIDS/ME.  In 1986 he began having troubles with dizziness and severe fatigue.  A visit to the Cleveland Clinic found his heart was found to be grossly dilated.  10 years later he’d figured out how to treat himself and recovered.

Prior to becoming ill, he had completed decades of research of various infectious diseases.  Over the subsequent decades, his research has concentrated on the viral aspects of CFS/CFIDS/ME; the use of antivirals in its treatment; and the effects of viral infections on cardiac activity in CFS/CFIDS/ME patients.

Patients underwent lab tests, at 4-6 week intervals, in order to be checked for signs of toxicity.  Different organs in the body (particularly the liver) could be negatively affected.  Close monitoring assisted with adjustments in the dosages of these antivirals and/or substitutions from one medication to another.

Dr. Lerner’s work is reason to hope for improvement in ME/CFS patients’ lives.

 

 

 

Sheep High After Eating Cannabis

Imagine the amazement of the farmer when she discovered her sheep were intoxicated!

Cannibas Sheep

A stunned farm manager discovered her flock had come across bags of dumped cannabis, reported Alex Wellman in the Daily Mirror, a UK newspaper.  They were stumbling around the field after eating pounds of cannabis that were left on the farm property.

No one knows how the cannabis got there, and the police are investigating.  To read the complete article, click here.

Eddi Reader’s “My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose”

Sweetness and softness and remembering.  This is a most lovely song.

Especially to my loves who are physically lost to me.  We will meet again, but in the meantime, know that you are all in my heart today and always.