Spring Detox

    Congrats! You have made it through a hard winter and the sun is peeking out.  Spring cleaning time!  It is time to get your life organized and your house cleaned.  Spring is also an excellent time to clean out your mind, body, and spirit.  What have you accumulated through the year that no longer serves you?  A good detox addresses clearing out body toxins, mental garbage, and a deepening of spiritual practices.

    We no longer live in a pristine world.  The industrial revolution and all the ways it has made our lives better has had the side effect of polluting our air, water, and soil.  In doing so our bodies are collecting and accumulating the toxins and it is affecting our health in a myriad of ways.   Components of plastic, pesticides, herbicides, petroleum, and heavy metals are now being found in increasing amounts in our bodies.   Is it possible that your health condition is affected by a toxic chemical getting into you?
    
    Toxins have three main pathways out the body: urination, defecation, and sweating.  However, before they may be eliminated toxins go through a process in the liver called phase one and two conjugation to package the toxin to get it out of the body.  This process can be augmented by certain herbs and nutrients.  Dr. Holder specializes in the application of many different detoxification protocols.  When is juice fasting best utilized?  Water fasting?  Coffee enema? Sauna?  Pancha Karma?

    What about the mental trash?  How do we detox the negative self image, the news, the hardships we endure?  A good first step is to look at what we consume; do the music, TV shows, movies, news, and other media we consume clutter our mind or liberate it?  How do you connect to that which is greater than you?  Do you need to reconnect to a community?  Do you need more time in nature?  Is there a spiritual practice that has been calling to you?

    Before embarking on a detox consider consulting with Dr. Chris Holder at Hill Park Integrative Medical Center for a comprehensive look at your health.  A personalized detox plan will be developed to meet your needs in addition to being specific to the toxins that are in your body.  Different detoxes are utilized depending on what chemicals are in you.  One size dose not fit all!  Important considerations will be explained as well as safety considerations.   Comprehensive toxin testing is available if needed.  Come learn more about the three ways toxins get out of the body.  Let’s get busy cleaning our bodies, houses, and the planet!

Healing perfectionism by crying in words; a case study.

We all have things we do that speed up the the break down of our body and bring about the inevitable freedom of our soul from the confines of the meat-monkey-suit.  I always thought it would be my sweet tooth that has enslaved so many in my family and race(es) to the slow decline of diabetes and then heart disease.  Alas, as of this year I have finally sprouted a small gut who in its growth threatens to speed up the tendency in my DNA to insulin resistance and then diabetes.  I am wrong, that may be a mere footnote in my medical history.  The real cause as always lies much deeper.

I was innocently reading one of the extremely heavy novels I am apt to read (When I am stressed I like reading about situtations worse than my own and then I don't feel so bad) when I hit page 115, the final words of the chapter jumping off the page, slapping me across the face, bloodying my nose and echoing into my psyche... "You can't ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving."  Shit that is me.  "When Breath Becomes Air" is a stellar memoir that will leave you reevaluating your life, its meaning, and what to do with the time we have on the planet.  The author Paul Kalithi is a Stanford Trained neurosurgeon who gets lung cancer during his residency and speaks to his epiphanies about life, death, and medicine as he alternates between being patient and doctor. 

Here is the sentence in context:

"Our patients' lives and identities may be in our hands, yet death always wins.  Even if you are perfect, the world isn't.  The secret is to know that the deck is stacked, that you will lose, that your hands or judgment will slip, and yet still struggle to win for your patients.  You can't ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymtote toward which you are ceaselessly striving."

His comment about perfection was profound to me because I think he was indirectly telling me that that was the ultimate cause of his death, yet he never comes out and says that.  In his book he never talks about the etiology of his lung cancer, however, I did find an article where his wife Lucy states that he was not a smoker and they worked with the Chris Draft Family Foundation to raise money for lung cancer research and to dispel the myth that lung cancer is merely a smoker's disease.  I wonder how much his having to constantly strive for perfection as a neurosurgeon ultimately lead to his early demise at age 37.

His line about perfection strikes me because it is the un-healed wound in my journey.  When I look deeply about my behaviors for coping one would see succumbing to sugar cravings, sex, exercise, and scouring the internet for the latest cancer theories and treatments.  The latter is largely responsible for some of my success as a doctor, I am a master of finding information and wading through data.  All of the above are attempts to jack up dopamine in my disappointed brain.   However, a deeper look and I see that my coping mechanisms in life come from a root in perfectionism.  When I fall short (or mis-percieve myself as falling short) I turn to cookies, which ruins my perfect physique, leading to obsessive exercise out of the fear that if my body isn't perfect i won't get to have sex and thus I should just be a perfect doctor to get love and justify my time and space on the planet.

There it is, that damn "I am not lovable thing" that has haunted me since childhood.  Rationally, I can see that this is all a crock of shit, but it is still in my tissue, aching my bones, tightening my muscles, draining my energy, weakening my immunity.   I can see it in the mirror in my greying hair, sagging eyes and growing belly; the physical embodiment of the stress of a wedding, of the potential loss of my daughter to a move out of state by her mother, totaling my car in the recent floods, and working with cancer patients.   Yes, things are far from perfect in my world.  Icarus falls from the sky.  I am human.

And Trump is not helping with is war on immigration, the planet, and everything else dear to me...  But maybe he is.  Maybe it is healing to know that I have never stopped watching my back despite moving to the one of the most liberal places in the US.  I am always aware of how much I stick out.  The Black Sheep.  Maybe this is all catalyzing a big healing crisis for me and for the planet.  Thanks Trump, you really have been good for business. At the next deeper level, I have never relaxed, never been at home anywhere, never fully exhaled and I fear it will prematurely take me off the planet should I not figure out how to heal that hole in the soul.  I have never fully belonged.

It really irritates others when I speak of my death, as if talking of it is enough to will it into existence.  How much more powerful is writing about it?  I don't really subscribe to that belief, working with cancer patients has taught me that death comes for us all despite my perfectly imperfect attempts at a perfect treatment plan, that power is not in my hands.  My body will die whether I speak of this, write of it, ect.  I do think that HOW one does it can set things in motion faster or slower.  So no I am not suicidal, morbid, depressed or dying.  I am merely aware of my death and that is truly the gift of working with cancer.   The awareness that time is precious and life is an amazing journey.   It makes all the long hours, all the hard decisions, all the tears shed in my office worth it.  I am aware of the strangle hold this perfectionism has on my life and health and will strive to heal it in a slow and imperfect manner becoming a patient.  I have made an appointment with my doctor to begin this journey.

So thank you for listening, for I cry in words and in doing so release the emotions and tension from my body from a hard year.   Bear with me as I learn to accept the imperfection, root out the disease of perfectionism,  and embrace the humanness it brings me.

Trumpitis

Trumpitis: an inflammatory condition as a response to the U.S election.

There is a new scourge sweeping the land and no is not swine flu, bird flu, or Zika virus or what ever new thing we are to fear and get vaccinated against... It is Trumpitis. However, a review of the records shows that Trumpitis has been mildly reported in the US since Oct 7, 1885.    As a doctor my first main observation of Trumpitis is that it is "good for business".   No I am not talking about the business book by the same title. He is quite the opposite from a conscious corporation. My first case of Trumpitis was seen on Nov 9.  Since then business has been booming.  My schedule is rapidly filling up.  So much so that I am worried about moving a tax bracket.   However, my worries are in vain as President elect Trump will be changing the tax code so I don't get the dreaded taxitis that plagues so many doctors.  More on that one in mid April.

Trumpitis is marked by several signs and symptoms.  The first of which is a disbelief in the US elections results, followed by mild nausea and heartburn.  Over the next few days a generalized anxiety kicks in accompanied by frantic reading of the news and scouring Facebook posts.  Next comes epigastric pain and alternating diarrhea and constipation from not being able to stomach the news.  Then comes avoiding the news.  Many with then fill out numerous Credo and Change.org petitions hoping that the Electoral College will assuage the election inflammation.  Hopefully the Russians have not hacked them yet.   Some may binge read "1984", "Brave New World", and the book of "Revelation".  Others will fret over where to put their investments in this unpredictable market that after a brief dip, has raised the DOW into record levels.  Many have alternative definitions of Trumpitis, however the only one I think is accurate is "The disease whose symptoms are constipation of the brain with simultaneous diarrhea of the mouth." 

Even Trump's own doctor came down with a bad case of Trumpitis, his case was characterized by an overly inflated positive view of the President elect's health.  I mean what doctor ever had the audacity to state "If elected, Mr Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the Presidency"  Definitely, a case of late stage Trumpitis, which is frequently marked by an over use of adjectives that do not really match the reality of what is being described.  The final stages involve the complete assimilation of Trumps look and persona, at least Alec Baldwin has figured out how to cash in on his very late stage Trumpitis.

By now you lowly readers must be fearing the dreaded Trumpitis.  Surely someone is working on a vaccine?   For now here is a comprehensive review of the available treatments.  Some have treated cases of Trumpitis with the homeopathic remedy Fluoric Acidum.  For those of us who don't believe in that wu-woo shit, maybe some herbs?  The most popular herb for those suffering from Trumpitis is none other than Herb, you know Ganja, Miss Mary Jane, Cannabis, Marijuana.  Many states have recently legalized it in anticipation of the epidemic that is expected to hit at least 54% of the US population this year.   Will Trump's Attorney General Jeff Sessions go after the very thing that is giving so many relief from Trumpitis?  Time will tell.

Let's not count out Big Pharma though, they are expected to win big with a Trump candidacy as well as in their lucrative treatment for Trumpitis.  While there is no direct drug for Trumpitis, the following blockbuster drugs will insure your symptoms are abated and you stock portfolio is steadily gaining.   You will need Ablify for your depression and psychosis, Nexium for your acid reflux, Oxycontin for your pain, Suboxone to get off the Oxycontin, Xanax for the anxiety, and a combination of Advair, Ventolin, and Spireva for the inability to breathe due to increasing amounts of carbon in the atmosphere.

Speaking of Carbon, one way to counter Trumpitis is to completely boycott and divest from Fossil Fuels.  Be sure to look at your mutual funds, indexed funds, and stock holdings to be sure you are not funding the past, the future planet depends on it.   This carbon bubble will pop, and when it does you will be happy that your retirement is held in businesses, mutual funds, and stocks that clean water, provide solar power, cars that run on the sun and have no emissions, and generally make the planet a better place.

If after all this, you are still suffering from Trumpitis, come into the office and we will smudge you off with some sage, say a prayer for the planet together, and exorcise this orange devil from your body and the land.  In other words, hope and pray that Elizabeth Warren saves us.

Marriage

Twenty days till I get married.  I never really thought this day would come.  For most of my life I did not think I could or would get married.  I never would be good enough.   What a terrible story to tell.  But tell it I did and believe it I did, and overcame it with the help of a few friends (and $13.75 in library fines). What a beautiful, complicated, and joyous journey life is.   Marriage is not for the faint of heart.  At age 36, I go in with no blinders.  Marriage is work.  My ego has been screaming for weeks as it knows its death is imminent as a merge lives with my beloved and make a vow to do what is best for her not for myself.   What better spiritual journey could one ask for?

As special thanks to those who have helped me along the way:  To my teachers David and Marcia, who are marrying us.  To Char and Stu and the rest of my spiritual family.  To the women in my life who embody the divine feminine; Cosetta, Georgia, Auna, Kat, and Mo. Our countless conversations have helped shape me into the man I am today.   To my boys Aaron, Drew, Darth, and Mikael.   You guys have been there through thick and thin.  To all the women who have walked in my life as a lover, I apologize for any confusion, hard feelings, and general idiocy on my part.   Thank you for playing a role in my healing journey.  To Dave, Becky, Rachel, and Laura, I could not ask for a better family to join.   And last but not least to my sisters Sarah and Michelle who have been there through it all and have made it their life long job to make sure I don't turn into an egotistical asshole.

Jen.  This woman has been through thick and thin to be in this relationship.  She has loved me during the good times and the bad.  Times of money and times of scarcity and debt. She has seen my shadow and has not flinched.  She has suffered through my cold feet.  We have done long distance for the last three years while she finished up medical school.  She has stood by my side through an ongoing lengthy custody battle for my daughter Penelope.  She even allows for my unique form of trichotillomania...  She has taught me about emotional fidelity, unconditional love, and how to be gently poised while exuding ferociousness.   She puts up with my bad moods and my punny jokes.  She even suffered through the Star Wars series (a condition of our marriage) just to be with me.   I truly did all I could to scare her away.  Pulled out all the stops.  Tried all my tricks... I have disclosed everything.  She is my life partner.  We knew this from our third date when I broke a geode on our hiking trip and it broke into a heart.   She has broken my stone heart open.

Jen.  This woman has been through thick and thin to be in this relationship.  She has loved me during the good times and the bad.  Times of money and times of scarcity and debt. She has seen my shadow and has not flinched.  She has suffered through my cold feet.  We have done long distance for the last three years while she finished up medical school.  She has stood by my side through an ongoing lengthy custody battle for my daughter Penelope.  She even allows for my unique form of trichotillomania...  She has taught me about emotional fidelity, unconditional love, and how to be gently poised while exuding ferociousness.   She puts up with my bad moods and my punny jokes.  She even suffered through the Star Wars series (a condition of our marriage) just to be with me.   I truly did all I could to scare her away.  Pulled out all the stops.  Tried all my tricks... I have disclosed everything.  She is my life partner.  We knew this from our third date when I broke a geode on our hiking trip and it broke into a heart.   She has broken my stone heart open.

As our hearts and lives merge, thank you all for supporting us on our journey.  For dropping us off at airports and picking us up.  For listening and processing the latest dumb thing I did to ruin the relationship.  For laughing with us, vacationing with us, eating with us, and crying with us.   And now it is time to celebrate with us!  To us!  May we live long and prosper and go forth and multiply.

As our hearts and lives merge, thank you all for supporting us on our journey.  For dropping us off at airports and picking us up.  For listening and processing the latest dumb thing I did to ruin the relationship.  For laughing with us, vacationing with us, eating with us, and crying with us.   And now it is time to celebrate with us!  To us!  May we live long and prosper and go forth and multiply.

Why I don't want my daughter to go to college...

My daughter recently said to me "Daddy, I don't want to go to college".  When I asked her why she mentioned being worried about the cost.  Kids hear everything, she likely has heard me talk about the burden of school loans on our family.  Plus earlier this year we opened an education savings account to save for college and have been talking about our savings and which investments we would do. (She chose 1 share of Tesla and bought at $155!)  In the back of my head, I worried about other things...

The Brock Turner sentencing had just occurred and my blood was boiling about the sentencing.   And I thought to myself, yes, don't go to college so you will be less likely to be raped.  I then nearly broke down and cried in front of my daughter.  Penelope is very striking and since she was born she has already commanded more than her fair share of attention due to her looks.  Mostly, it comes as a comment like "she is gonna be trouble when she gets older".  Or there was the time I was pulled off a plane in Dallas after a woman saw her and insisted that I get a gun for when she gets older.  Someone nearby alerted security because they thought I had a gun and I was questioned by airport security.  This is beyond irritating, I should not have to get a gun to keep my daughter from being raped. 

Sexual assault by an athlete and leniency is nothing new, most of us can make a long list of athletes that have likely committed sexual assault and then gotten away with it.  However, this was a very clear case, with many witnesses.   And yes, he even got charged.  It's just that the sentencing does not match the crime.  The average rape sentence is 9.8 years with an average of 5.4 years served.  After reading the statement by the victim that was read to Judge Persky prior to sentencing I don't know how he could have given such a light sentence.  Over a million people have signed a petition calling for the judge's recall.  Ironically I was at a party this weekend where a old college colleague was there who happens to work as a lawyer in the county and knows Judge Persky.  She arguedas to why the judge should not be recalled and eventually I agreed that judges are to judge and that while we disagree he should not be recalled unless he commits a crime.   However, I do think the voters of Santa Clara county should opt not to vote for his reelection this November.

It doubly pains me that it occurred at Stanford as I am planning on taking my daughter to the The Tech Museum of Innovation next month followed by a visit to the Stanford campus.  Yes, I am doing that parent thing where I am vicariously living through my kid as Stanford was always my dream school for undergrad and medical school.  Alas I was not smart enough or moneyed enough.  I am content with what is, but want my daughter to know she can dream big and that her dad will work hard to make it so she can go anywhere she likes.

So with a heavy heart, I think of "Emily Doe" our nameless victim and the countless other victims of sexual assault, many of whom are my patients.   Men, we must follow the examples of the two heroes in this awful story and intervene any time anything like this is happening.  Women, the world is awakening, we have got your back.  Read prior post on Rape Culture to get links of all the people working for change in this area.  Finally, I think of my daughter and hope we can change our world enough before she reaches college.

Unpacking my baggage

I just finished listening to Macklemore's new song "White Privilege II" after a week of raw processing about race with multiple people.   I about died, cried with a cacophony of emotions with the line "white supremacy isn't just a white dude in Idaho" for I grew up in Idaho around many white supremacists.   Growing up there I learned subtle and not so subtle messages that were not true about myself.  In the end, it would take me half my life to begin healing those early childhood wounds, wounds that have quietly continued to haunt me as I became a young adult, a father, and soon to be a husband. 

When I turned 18, I could not wait to get out of Idaho and left for the grey skies and liberal views of Seattle.  However, even in liberal Seattle I learned to still be vigilant, the world does not see me as my friends see me.  Seattle has been good to me.  I never had a problem with the police there, a welcome relief from the time in Idaho when I had been pulled over five times in one month and never ticketed.  That does not mean that there were no problems with Seattle PD, but from 18 to 33 I had zero altercations with officers.  Moving to California was a return to reality and a return to vigilance.

I landed in Seattle in 1998 where that November Proposition 200 passed in Washington. This proposition remove any preferences on the basis of race, sex, national origin, color or ethnicity for the goal of creating a diverse student body among other things.  As debates about it ensued over the next few years, I felt all eyes on me.  At the time Seattle University was not a diverse student body.  I became the poster boy for diversity.  I had to answer for the minority view in every class in a private school with a predominantly wealthy white student body.   People wondered if I got in on the quota.  I wondered if I got in on the quota... I had to prove that I belonged there academically, a stress I would never wish on anyone, but in a weird way it worked out for me, I am now a doctor.

I am vigilant about how I am SEEN.  I spend an inordinate amount of time and energy worrying about: being pulled over, about getting shot while I am on my run, being perceived as a sex object, being perceived as a sexual predator, being seen as unintelligent, being seen as a thief, being snubbed in the surf lineup, being a perfect father so I don't loose my daughter, being seen as an Uncle Tom, being seen as militant, what people think about my hair, my daughter getting in trouble in school, explaining my races, getting searched at airports and boarders, being seen as cheap, being an oreo, being a coconut, being seen as abusive to partners, and never ever show ANGER.  Angry men of color are scary.  I wish I could express it the way he did, but will not.  Be cool and unemotional.  I am Spock. I have not gotten to BE.  Hold your tongue, cope with the ache in your jaw from not saying what needs to be said in the moment.  Take a white pill for my growing hypertension, not for me, I am treating it's cause...

This my friends is White Privilege.  If you don't have to worry about the things in the above paragraph, then you have White Privilege.  For those who are still in denial of this concept please watch this scene from "The Color of Fear".  If you still don't get it, you never will.  For those that want to go a little deeper watch the film "Traces of the Trade". 

I am tired of being a second class citizen.  I am unpacking my baggage, someone else will have to carry that shit now.

What does Dr. Holder eat?

Many of my patients often come home with a recommendation to "eat a rainbow oforganic fruits and vegetables per day, but what does that really mean?  Fruits and vegetables contain a wide variety of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants and should make up the bulk of a healthy diet.   The broad range of colors ensures that there are a wide variety of antioxidants present in my diet.  I purchase everything organic when possible to avoid pesticides, herbacides, and fungicides present in conventional foods.   I avoid processed foods.  I strive to buy things that come from the earth unprocessed and then I process them myself into shakes, dishes, meals, ect.

The following is my general grocery list: carrots, celery, parsnips, turnips, beets, turmeric root, burdock root, bok choi, shittaki mushrooms, kale, chard, pomegranites, pears, fuji apples, blue berries, dates.  In the minimally processed foods category, I use: coconut oil, olive oil, ume plum vinegar (daughter Penelope loves this on her vegetables), and ketchup (probably the worst thing in my cupboard right now).  I eat walnuts, cashews, chia seeds, flax seeds, and brazil nuts as snacks.  The main meat I eat is grass fed beef, buffalo, lamb, and wild Alaskan salmon.  I minimally eat grains, mainly brown rice, quinoa, and occasionally oatmeal.  I don't eat dairy but have recently reincorporated Kerry gold butter into my diet with no problems.

Many of my eating habits have been honed after reading Michael Pollen's books.  He is an amazing writer on the topic of food.  Check him out if you have not already.

Childhood Vaccinations

With the SB277 Referendum going on right now, many patients have been asking me about my views of SB277 and the mandate for universal childhood vaccination.   I thought I would write a blog to clarify my views on the subject...

Wow, this is a loaded topic. On one hand you have the pro vaccine camp that states that those not vaccinating are creating a public health nightmare.  On the other side, we have many who are concerned about the effects and side effects of the vaccines themselves.  I am in neither camp, I both recognize the role vaccines have played in decreasing certain diseases.  However, I have also seen first hand many children who have been harmed by vaccine side effects.   First lets start with some facts...

1. Current vaccine schedule is not based on sound science.  Case in point, the first vaccine recommended on the CDC schedule is hepatitis B.   Why would all newborns need a vaccine against a disease that is transmitted by blood or sexual fluids?  This is not a childhood communicable disease.  Ok, maybe if the mother has it it would make sense to prevent transmission.   However, the vast majority of mothers in the US are hepatitis b neg.  In a vast majority of European countries hepatitis B vaccine is given only if the mother has hepatitis b.  I think Merck and SmithKleinBeecham have some friends at the FDA and CDC.

2. Vaccines are not as safe as they are purported to be... Don't believe me?  Check it out yourself at the government's Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS).  Using the above hepatitis b vaccination example, I was able to find 1558 cases of adverse events during 2014.  Searching under all vaccines and death I found 217 cases in 2014, 54% of those cases were in children under 3.  These are all very small numbers compared to the number of vaccines given, however, if you are the parent of that child this does not take away the pain of loosing your child.  The U.S. even has a special Vaccine court for those injured by vaccines thus shielding vaccine manufacturers from litigation that would bankrupt them.  We even have a special fund to compensate victims of vaccine adverse events called the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP).  Someone has a friend in Congress and the US Court of Federal Claims.

3. Vaccines contain preservatives that may impact certain populations.  The preservatives are there to prevent contamination with bacteria such as staphlocci and streptococci.  Thimerosol used to be a preservative in vaccines, it has since been phased out quietly due to safety concerns and links to autism and ADHD.  Thimerosol is 50% mercury, a neurotoxin... It is interesting to note its quiet removal from medicine just like the discontinuation of using mercury amalgams in dentistry...

4. Vaccines contain other chemicals that may impact certain populations.  These include aluminum (linked to alzheimers), squalene, fetal bovine serum (yup baby cow serum), formaldehyde (a carcinogen), recombinant DNA productsand antibiotics such as neomycin, polymyxin B, streptomycin and gentamicin.

5. Vaccines may be linked to certain conditions such as autism, sids, guillian-barre syndrome, and adhd.  For the record, I do not think that vaccines cause these disorders, however, I think in the wrong individual with genetics that don't allow them to detoxify substances normally, you may have a problem.  It is likely that these conditions arise from cytokines from the immune system causing damage to the nervous system.  It is also probable that these cytokines are arising in a small number of individuals due to genetic differences that make them susceptible while leaving the rest of the population unharmed.   In other words, the vaccine may be the trigger in genetically susceptible individuals, thus accounting for a vast number vaccinations that are uneventful.

6. Vaccines are big $$$.  I am not gonna get into this one, but will point you to two documentaries that explore the topic... Bought and Doctored.

I support the ability for a patient to opt out for medical reasons such as having a sibling or parent with autism spectrum disorders.  I support the ability for a patient to opt out for personal reasons such as not not wanting to have recombinant DNA products, chemical, and preservatives injected into them.  I support the ability for a patient to opt out for religious reasons due to protections under the Constitution to freely practice one's beliefs. Consequently, I believe that it is between a patient and a doctor to decide what goes into a person's body for their health and well being.  Not a government blanket mandate.  Thus, I cannot support a law mandating universal vaccinations.

For more information on SB277 referendum go here.  Our clinic has a referendum signature sheet at the front desk for those inclined to sign the petition.   The referendum is asking to put the issue to the California voters in a future election, rather than having it be decided by a small committee and made law.

Explaining Slavery to a Six Year Old...

Kids pick up everything.  I was listening to an interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates on his new book "Between the World and Me" on Democracy now when they went to break playing the song "Slavery Days" by Burning Spear.  Penelope my daughter turns to me and says "Dad... Do you remember the days of slavery"? (Which happens to be the chorus of the song.)

I answered "No, I wasn't alive back then, but my great grandparents were slaves and indentured laborers". 

"Dad, what's a slave?"

"A slave is someone who is forced to work for others but is not paid for the work they do"

"That's not right".....    "Dad, If I had slaves I would pay them!"

"Then they would not be slaves, they would be workers"

"Oh"

Our little dialogue tonight, brought up a lot of pain as I thought of all the Black people killed at the hands of our society recently.  I say society rather than police, because we as society sanction this.  We sanction it with our subliminal messages in media, we sanction it by ignoring the news stories, we sanction it with our silence.  Most tellingly we sanction it by paying the police with the collective's money.   This is the legacy of slavery of African Americans.   It will continue until we as a society own it.  Look it square in the face and say what is.  We must confront our shadow.

Slavery has not ended.  It has merely changed form.  It looks like predatory lending by Bank of America. It looks like higher rates of school loans for minorities. It looks like the millions of women and children trafficked for the sex and pornography trades.  It looks like those picking my organic strawberries.  It even looks like my beloved iGadgets that I am writing this blog on.   The legacy of slavery lives on in all the recent deaths.  God rest their souls, they have took on too great of a burden in this life.

Chances are pretty good that my daughter will become a slave.   Struggling with paper shackles that are quickly becoming digital ones.   Unless of course, we act.  Unless we conquer our thoughts of complacency.  Unless we "Emancipate ourselves from mental slavery" we shall not be free of the burden of enslavement.

I think the Lakota concept of "Wasichu" explains the mindset of slave holders. (Takers of the Fat, the nickname the Lakota gave to Whites because of their propensity to take the best cuts of the buffalo rather than giving it to the women and children as is the norm in traditional Lakota Culture)  It is this constant taking of the fat that leads one to the mentality that their life has greater value over others.  Once I elevate myself (or my people) any number of things may be justified.

I just got back from spending time on the Pine Ridge Reservation with my Lakota family participating in the Sun Dance.  It is hard to miss the remnants of the unspoken genocide that has occurred on this soil.  You are not forgotten by me.  I see you.  I hear you.  I bleed with you. The medicine to heal fat taking lives on in the Dance.  Maybe the prophecy will be true, people from all corners of the earth will come together and learn Lakota medicine and it will save the world.

For it is this fat taking consciousness that is destroying the world.  It lies behind global climate change.  It lies behind white collar crime.  It lies behind empire.  We have a sickness, a mental disease.  We take for ourselves with no thought of what the future of our children will be as a result of our actions.  We must stop taking the fat of the land.  We must stop consuming our children.

I hope to see the real promise of America in my lifetime by seeing appropriate cultural recognition of the legacy of the genocide of indigenous peoples, slavery and the grinding generational poverty it has produced, and the rectification of these wrongs.  I hope to see global healing of our mental disease.  I am actually crazy enough to think it can happen and that we can and will reach that tipping point in my lifetime.  I believe we can heal, there is no pill for this.  We have to work and work together.   We have no other choice.  So let's have these conversations that are hard.  We will become closer, more intimate as a result.  Let's learn to love one another and our differences.  Let's celebrate the global wealth of human knowledge that lies in other cultural practices.  Let us stop being Wasichu's.

Brown Privilege

    With all the national soul searching going on with the recent events in Charleston, SC stemming from the actions of a young man who wanted to "Start a Race War" I have decided to take a look at my own thoughts on race. 

     Race is something we as a nation have done a poor job examining.  The history of our country is cloaked in the blood of the other.  From the start, it began as genocide of the the Native Americans.  This genocide continues today in the form of the oppression of the reservation system.  Don't believe me?.  Go to one, I dare you.  We still celebrate Columbus Day to this day. 

Then there is the slave system in the United States.  This contrasts with the slave system in the Caribbean in that in the Caribbean the slave masters left after emancipation.  This has made a drastic difference in the outcomes of post slavery peoples in the Caribbean versus their counterparts in the US.  For one, in the Caribbean those countries rebuilt in a way where it was normal to have Black doctors, lawyers, politicians, teachers, ect.  This implicitly lead to the unspoken message that as a young Black person you can be anything in that culture.  Contrast that with the US, where the only young Blacks making it are Rappers and Athletes.  The Cosby Show and the Fresh Prince of Bel Air (I am dating myself) were two shows that made it based on how odd it is for a Black male to be a doctor or a judge in the legal system at that time.  It was entertainment to think of black people in the medical and legal systems in the 1990's.  Don't get me wrong, those shows were of importance in countering some of the messages about what it means to be Black and a a professional in the US.  Of the people of color at my medical school, all but one were of Caribbean stock.  (My parents are from Guyana).  Those of us from the Caribbean were never told to play basket ball or sing.  We could be engineers (most of my uncle's are engineers), doctors, business owners, whatever we wanted.   Even if we grew up poor.  It was such a mixed message for me growing up American but with parents from the Caribbean because I got two messages about race and right livelihood.

     Growing up in Idaho, one of the least diverse states, I had no problem trying out for sports.  Every coach automatically watched me.  Much to my dismay at the time, I was not talented enough to be a sports star. Now I see it as a blessing.  Being dark in Idaho, I had two types of racism to work with: the Mormon belief that dark skin was the mark on Cain and the Neo Nazi's that were so popular in the state at the time (they used to draw swastika's on my desk and pictures of me with really big lips!).  Consequently, by the time I was eighteen and left the state I had some rocking low self esteem.   Those first eighteen years I was told implicitly and explicitly that I was a second class citizen.  I was told it by classmates, teachers, policemen.  I was told it by movies, tv, music.  I eventually told it to myself.

     To this day I am not sure how I came out of that.  The grace of god and good teachers and good people around me.  I had the good sense to leave Idaho at a young age and move to Seattle and the liberal west coast.  It was here that I would spend the next 15 years unpacking the world I was born into.   Seattle was good to me.  I don't fear the police there, they are well trained.  I was lucky enough to get into Seattle University and eventually to get a financial aid package that helped defray the overwhelming costs of going to a private Jesuit school.  I set aside money and began to travel and this is where I learned about brown privilege.

     You see there are places in the world where I can go as a brown person and not be harrassed, not be stared at, not be messed with because I am brown.  I blend in many places.   Even in some places, they know I am American, but do not group me in with "White America".  I am not the same American that caused economic, political, social issues in their countries.  Consequently, I have had many conversations and relationships that likely would not occur had I been white.  Or maybe they occur because I care to have those conversations.

    I am privileged in the likelihood that my ancestors most likely did not participate in genocide.  I don't have that heaviness to face in my ancestry.  Instead I get to work with the shame of a survivor of slavery and indentured servitude.  Luckily for me this has somewhat become cool in the last 10 years.  It is hip to be from oppression.  This may change.  I will never understand what it is like to be white.  I imagine on some level it must be scary to wonder: Did my ancestors kill the Native Americans?  Did my ancestors own Slaves?  Did my family build its wealth on the backs of Latino's?  Did my ancestors sit by and do nothing while all that was happening?  This is something I am privileged to not have to work with.  I give my full hearted support to those whites who are doing that work of addressing the past.  Check out "Traces of the Trade" a movie about one family's confrontation with their slave owning past.  Or this journalist calling for white people to fix the problem of white supremacy

It is mind blowing to me that the Confederate Flag still flies on the South Carolina Capitol building.   I am told that it is their heritage.  Why would you want to hold onto that heritage?  For me it is the symbol for white supremacy.   Growing up in Idaho and Wyoming, when I came across someone posting the Confederate Flag it was a signal to me that they were racist and to stay clear in the same way that my brown skin was the signal to them of being Other.   There is no coincidence that there are many pictures of the Charleston shooter with the Confederate Flag.  Symbols are very powerful, it is time for that symbol to go the way of the Hitler mustache.  Unless of course you are a dictator like Robert Mugabe, then you can rock it.   And yes it is my privilege to not have to process my heritage as a southern white person, or as a German who was part of the Nazi party.   And it is my privilege to not have the burden of making right the nine wrongs that plague our nation this week.

We all have work to do, on ourselves, on our communities, in our nation.  Let's get to work, there is much to be done and life is so short.  Let's start with some tough conversations.   It is time to finish this page in history.

 

Radical Remission From Cancer

I recently attended the Integrative Healthcare Symposium in NYC where I was introduced to the work of Kelly Turner Ph.D. Dr. Turner has spent her life researching cases of radical remission of cancer.  In her research she has identified nine key factors that are common across all these cases.  I am a bit jealous as it is something I have always been curious about.  I have often wondered why we don't spend more time and resources studying the people who beat cancer with a complete disease reversal.  Some of these patients do it without conventional medicine.  A few of them are my patients...

The following are the nine key factors that Dr. Turner has identified in no particular order:

  • Radically changing your diet
  • Taking control of your health
  • Following your intuition
  • Using herbs and supplements
  • Releasing suppressed emotions
  • Increasing positive emotions
  • Embracing social support
  • Deepening your spiritual connection
  • Having strong reasons for living

I like what Dr. Turner is onto here as I have observed it myself and strive to work with my cancer patients beyond the paradigm of just killing or removing the cancer cells.  We must work to restore a terrain that has allowed cancer to emerge in the first place.   We must heal.  Healing has always for me involved addressing imbalances in body, mind, spirit, social, and societal relationships.

For more stories check out http://www.radicalremission.com/ for patient stories of their remissions.

Check out "Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds", it may save your life or the life of a love one.

Life Transplant

Frequently when working with people with chronic diseases, I introduce a concept that I call "Life Transplant".  This is for patients who are falling apart physically, mentally, and emotionally. It rings with the concept of an organ transplant, where we replace a diseased organ with a healthy one.  However many people with chronic disease would need multiple organs to be replaced.  This is not possible yet, however we can change many aspects of our environment, management of emotions, and lifestyle.   Changing multiple life variables at once to elicit a change toward health is what I call a "Life Transplant".

I have recently decided to undergo my own Life Transplant.  Here are its components:

  • Meditation: 15 min per day first thing in the morning.
  • Exercise: 45 min per day after meditation. Yoga, weights, and running.
  • Diet: Whole foods, organic diet.  Pro-biotic foods daily.   No dairy, low sugar, low grain.
  • Play: weekly play with 6 year old daughter.  No multitasking or electronics.
  • Relationship: Got engaged to my girlfriend Jen!  Her is her blog.  We have begun planning our life together :)
  • Reading: 1/2 hour per day of non-work related reading.
  • Bodywork: 1 session per month with acupuncturist Vladi Starkov, LAc, DMQ, CMT or massage with  Mo Washburn.
  • Emotional: Identifying what I am feeling in moment and reacting appropriately in the moment rather than holding on to the feeling.
  • Finances: Paying down my debts and school loans this year.  I have been listening to the Dave Ramsey Show podcast to help me with this.  I use Mint to track finances.
  • Work: Forming a Breast Health Program to address the skyrocketing rates of breast cancer.

I am six days in now and feel great. For more information, schedule an appointment to have your own personal "Life Transplant" 707-861-7300.  Phone, Skype, and Facetime appointments available for those who don't live in the Bay Area.

What changes do you need to make to thrive at life?

Driving While Black Part 2: Guilty

Today was my court date contest my "Following Too Closely" ticket.   This was my first time in court and my first ticket.   The judge called us both up.  Officer Thomson gave his side of the story which was fairly accurate... He noticed a car driving with the taillight out and pulled out behind.  He then pulled up beside me in the L lane and then pulled back behind me.  I thought he wanted to get the guy with the taillight out and so I moved to the R lane and he pulled me over.

I told Judge Wheeldin (Ironically one of 2 African American Judges in Sonoma County )that I agreed with his rendition of the story other than that I was following too closely.  I told the judge that I did not understand why he did not pull over the car with the taillight out.  I told the judge that I felt like I was being profiled when he pulled beside me and then pulled me over.   I told the judge that I felt like I was being ticketed for a bogus charge because there was nothing else to get me on.  I told the judge that I have a perfect driving record in all the states I have lived in.  I told the judge that ironically I had just given a speech at a Costco event (see prior blog) where I had written into the speech about my experiences of being racially profiled while driving and that up to this point I had never been ticketed.

The judge commented that you can find these stories anywhere on the news these days and that yes it does happen.  However, it is traffic court and if I wanted to file a complaint I could do it in civil court where they try those kind of cases that set precedence for policy.  In the end he said it comes down to my word versus his and that in this kind of case he goes with the officer's contention that I was following to closely unless I am able to provide some proof to the fact that I was not.  Since I was unable to prove it, he finds me guilty as charged.

At first I felt sick to my stomach.  In the end I am guilty on two counts: "Following too closely" and "Driving while Black". However, I was under no illusion going into this that justice in this country is anything but a farce.   I wondered whether the judge felt that he could not bring race into account in this case based on his own race?    Would he be seen as "helping one of his own"?  In the end I feel good.  I stood up for myself, I stated my truth.  I was not physically or verbally harmed by this officer.  In the end it is only money and time, $300 and traffic school.  I hope some good comes out of it.  I hope officer Thompson thinks twice about his actions in the future.  I hope my airing of my dirty laundry benefits readers.  I hope the world can move forward and begin a productive dialogue about these things so that maybe my grandchildren can not be pulled over (or worse) for ridiculous reasons.  May we all return to an age of reason and peaceful coexistence.  

Why I protested today...

Today is the first day I participated in an act of civil disobedience.   All my life I have stayed clear of becoming involved in a physical demonstration of any sort.  Ironically, mostly because I too fear the police may mistreat me.   I have always felt I had too much to loose to get arrested for something stupid and not have my dreams come true.  I have hid behind my degrees and watched the world around me change.  

I want to thank those who have read my blog, "Driving While Black" had over 1000 hits this week and an outpouring of support.  This week I went to court and plead not guilty and have a court date set for January 7.  My case is just a minor example of what happens on a daily basis.  The cases in the news are the extreme end of that.

For too long I have felt that my education would in insulate me from that reality...  It does not. I have always wondered when reading history from the past whether I would have participated in bringing about change or whether I would sit on the sidelines of history.  I think it is clear I can no longer sit still in our rapidly changing world.  And neither can you.

Driving while Black

I have struggled for days as to whether to write this post.  Then I struggled with what to write.   Given the recent events where justice seems to be complicated.  Two black men's killers were acquitted setting loose a storm of protests around the country.  I am somewhat insulated from it up here in the wealthy and predominantly white North Bay San Francisco Bay Area. However, with recent events it rings ever too close to home.

On October 8, 2014, I was driving North from San Francisco back to Sebastopol on the 101 in early evening.  Somewhere around the Novato area I was pulled over.  I was utterly confused.  I was not speeding, I was driving a 2010 Honda Insight registered to me.  The officer notified me that he pulled me over because the car in front of me was driving with a taillight out.  He then stated that he was concerned for me as he felt I was driving to close behind the car, especially given that the taillight was out.   I remember him being behind me for quite awhile before pulling me over.   I did not argue with him.  I kept my hands on the steering wheel at all times except when asked to do something.  I moved slowly.  His allegation is preposterous, not only was I not speeding (nor did he cite me for that), I also was not following too closely behind the car.   Anyone who has ever driven with me knows that I drive like a grandma.  Precisely to avoid unnecessary interactions with cops.  He gives me a citation after visually inspecting the interior of my car with his flashlight from outside the car.  The whole time I kept thinking "why did he not go after the guy with the taillight out and cite him?"  "I am not guilty of anything."  But I was guilty.  I was guilty of a crime he can't directly cite me for.  I was guilty of Driving while Black.

Ironically just few weeks before, I had given a speech at a Costco fundraising event where I briefly included a line about being guilty of "Driving while Black".  Speech is here I start speaking at min 14. (Password is "2014").  How prophetic!

I just received the citation in the mail and am seething with anger at the $238 charge.  Not to mention ruining my perfect driving record.  I am seething at the lost day I will spend at the traffic court as they will not assign you a time for your case.  You sit and wait.  This policy directly affects the working poor as they lose a days wage in fighting this, while the wealthy are likely to pay the charge and get on with their lives.  Yes I beat the odds, I made it through my 20's as a young, dark skinned male without ever getting a ticket for anything!  Now I am pissed, and for once in my docile life, I will be marching myself into court and standing up for myself.

This is just one of many experiences where I have experienced life as a second class citizen in the United States.  I bring it up now to open up to my mostly white friends that these things are true and really do happen. I feel like if you put me at the wrong place at the wrong time and I too would be dead or in prison.  I am tired now.  I am tired of my silence and shame.  I am tired of young men who look like me having their lives cut down in their prime.  I am tired of young men who look like me being given ridiculous prison sentences for marijuana charges when I see young white men getting slaps on the wrist and often nothing at all.  I am tired of young men who look like me being assumed to be sexual predators.  They come in all colors, shapes and sizes.  And so do good people.   I am tired of young men who look like me not getting a fair shot at a decent education unless they are willing to play collegiate sports or join the military first.  I am tired of the discrepancy of class that still so easily follows the color lines in this country.  I am tired of that fact of all my education I still am impoverished and enslaved to the banks via the school loan system.  I am tired of being afraid of having a son.

We need to change, we need dialogue to get there.  Yes it is a hard topic.  Yes it is uncomfortable.  We have no choice.  Speak up when you see any type of discrimination.  Do your part to make this tiny planet a better place. This nation was built on the notion of white supremacy and will be broken shortly if that concept is not replaced with reality.

For those interested in good dialogue on the subject, check out "The Color of Fear".  Also, PBS show "Traces of the Trade" chronicling on families journey after discovering that their family owned slaves.  Also check out Bill Moyers "The United States of Ferguson".  And of course, you can always talk to me :)

 

Bioneers 2014

This weekend I attended the Bioneers conference for the first time courtesy of Guayaki and Beijaflor Elixirs.   What a great event full of wonderful people all doing good work to make the planet a more habitable place to live.  Highlighted speakers include: Eve Ensler, Paul Stamets, Noami Klein, Brock Dolman, Charles Eisenstein, Erin Switalski, Louie Schwartzberg, and Vandan Shiva.  Don't know these people?   Then check out their bios at the above link or Google them!  Amazing work!   Being in the presence of such heavy hitters inspires me to contribute more in my work to help change the problems plaguing our tiny planet right now.

The after party at solstice grove was amazing too.  Great tibetian food, unique cordials and herbal libations by Beijiaflor elixirs and music by Dogon Lights.

Check out the conference and afterparty next year and join one of the many movements to build a better planet for all.

Who's side are you on?

Just watched a clip of Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren that inspired me to take another look at the political process.  Like most in our country I am completely disillusioned by what I see happening in Washington.   There is a ray of hope now. She talks a sweet talk, walks the walk, and most importantly seems to be able to deliver. 

At times I am so disillusioned that I have considered leaving this country. My family seems to have a thing where we can't stay in the same country for more than a generation. Then I had my lovely daughter and have decided to stay here and raise her. 

Then I got to thinking, we can just let the oligarchy have this country. We have to fight for it. Elizabeth Warren is my horse in this fight. Please get to know her and if so inspired rejoin the political process that once made this country so great.  

 

Healing the Past

Many times when I am working with a client it becomes very clear that they have some event in their past that needs to be healed in order to have their body-mind-spirit return to wholeness.  I have many people that come to me having done therapy for years surrounding the topic.  Others have taken antidepressants and other pharmaceuticals for years only to find that they are still depressed and anxious and it still stems from the same traumatic event.  Most of the time I end up recommending some traditional medicine that involves a ceremony.  These include soul retrieval, cord cuttings, inipi (sweat lodges), and hanbleycha (vision quest).  Ceremony works because it connects the psyche to the outside world and marks ending for an event and signals a new beginning.  Talk therapy mostly runs talk and memory centers on the left side of the brain.  Healing must involve both hemispheres of the brain and the heart.

Some of my clients work very hard to heal; recovering their mind and spirit only to find that the body dies.  It always does.   My body will, no matter how many "good" and "right" things I do to it.  It is designed to break down to give space for new life to occur.  Celebrate birth and death, humanity has amazing creativity with its ceremonies on birth and death.  Death is not a loss in and of itself.  Only stupid deaths are. Michael Brown, Travon Martin, Eric Garner are stupid deaths.  Our country must heal its issues with race, and not just the disproportionate jailing and police killing of black men.  It must face its history of slavery and its role in the current economy.  It must face its genocidal roots with Native Americans, and our obtuse immigration policy with Latinos. We must face our over glorification of extreme wealth and our production of immense poverty through our legal, political, and banking systems.   We must reconnect our souls to the timeless ebbs and flows of nature.

I think we need to begin to talk about these issues as much as we talk about Beyonce.  This dialogue must happen beyond social media posts and media spin.  How do I feel about these events?  How can I do my part to heal the greater collective?  This is just the beginning.  To truly heal as a nation, planet, we must have a large scale ceremony to express and honor these events of the past and to put them to bed.  Traditionally these ceremonies are organized and orchestrated by the leader.  Mr. Obama where are you?  Do not wait for the federal government or any body outside yourself.  Choose to heal your past and your ancestor's past- start within yourself.   Use both hemispheres of your brain and heart.  Seek out indigenous ceremonies if you don't know where to begin.  The time is now to take action.

I drank the kool-aid...

Tony Robbins is a genius.  This weekend I was down in San Jose to attend a Tony Robbins Seminar called "Unleash the Power Within".  I really had no idea what to expect.  I had seen him around on TV in the past as well as on the internet.  When I was in medical school, one of our instructors had us listen to one of his CD sets for a practice management class.  Many people have also seen the TED talk where he calls out Al Gore for losing the election.  Which by the way has almost 12 million hits as of today.  Talk about virality!

So what is all the hype about?  Brilliantly applied psychology!  I have never seen so many psych techniques packed into 4 days.  Not to mention the effect of having 6000 people sitting through an infomercial disguised as a concert.  Yes, I said concert.  The whole thing was like a concert!  Music, dancing, high energy; hell I even feel hung over and I did no drugs or alcohol.  The drug was TONY! 

But no seriously, I am HUNG OVER today!  I have a massive headache, I am tired, achy all over, my eyes are red, pillow over the head... And here is why...  Top Ten highlights of the weekend...

First of all I am an information junkie,  I love to learn, I love info, I get high off of it!  It jacks my dopamine like no other which makes me a great researcher.  Man Tony really blasted my receptors with constant info.  (Most days only had one 40 min break and we went from 8am to midnight!)

Second I feel like I just ran a marathon and played a game of tackle football because every 20 min or so we were jumping around, dancing, and generally acting crazy.  I have runners high and I barely left a 5 foot area for 12 hours or more.

Third my man Tony (yes we are on a first name basis despite never having met) elicited massive oxytocin through my touched starved body by giving me multiple massages, hugs, and high fives from strangers! (Ha!  Ironically the spell check wants to change oxytocin to oxycontin!  I feel like I was on oxycontin!)  I truly feel bonded to Tony and the 6000 strangers I attended the event with.

Fourth my Serotonin has been massively up-regulated.  I am undepressed and I did not even know I was depressed.

Fifth I had every known psych technique applied in mass from neuro associative conditioning, hypnosis (pretty impressive hypnotizing 6000 people at once), affirmations ("I freaking rock!!!"), emotional mastery, guided imagery, and I am sure there were a plethora of techniques used that I was not even aware of.

Sixth  Did i mention I walked on hot coals!  Not that impressive, those of you who know me know I do crazier shit all the time.  However, I did have a moment where I dropped out of the
"state" I was in and thought "these are not so hot" and then I burned my left foot! (I am fine).   A further reminder that pain gating is an illusion of the brain.  That night I calmly told my foot that I no longer needed the message of burning as there is no more fire now and the pain went away and I slept fine.

Seventh  Spiritual experience... It was like ayahuasca, a pentacostal church, and a concert all rolled into one.

Eighth  Seeing all the sheeple blindly consume lots of Tony Robbins stuff after being hyped into a massive emotional state where you almost could not help buying tons of stuff.  Almost.  Luckily I only sipped the kool-aid so I won't be going to Fiji with him just yet... But if I get enough withdrawal I just may!

Ninth  Great information on the Battle of the Sexes.  Clear examples of how masculine and feminine have different wants and needs and strategies to speak a common language.

Tenth Deep healing, removed some major belief systems that were getting in the way of my being able to thrive.  I feel like I have both rewired these things out of my brain as well as rewired my brain to express a full range of emotions.  When I was younger I had a brain injury playing sports that pretty much ended my contact sports career.  I have been somewhat emotionally flat since.  This is a common sign of chronic tramatic encephalopathy which is making the news as many NFL players are getting it.  I have lately been afraid that I would get it to as I get older.  Something has shifted this weekend as I am no longer afraid of it and am considering researching treatments to help the affected players.

Me on drugs...  I smoked Tony!

Me on drugs...  I smoked Tony!