Sunday, November 26, 2017

Mayo Clinic Guide to Pain Relief

The Mayo Clinic Guide to Pain Relief

Professor Barbara K. Bruce
The Great Course Company

Start with the last question I usually answer when I review a book/course I have just completed.  WHO SHOULD READ THE BOOK OR TAKE THE COURSE? 

At first you might think that since YOU have no pain, taking this course is not necessary but the course is NOT entirely just about YOU.  As it turns out, the course is not only about a person experiencing chronic pain but also about that person’s support group.  Therefore, the course may be for you if you are a family member or friend of someone experiencing chronic pain or if you are the person experiencing the chronic pain. 

Dr. Bruce is a Pain Psychologist.  To understand why that is important to this course and ultimately you, you must first understand what “chronic pain” is.  Chronic pain are pains that typically last more than 3 months meaning you may injure a knee but the pain usually subsides and you resume your daily activities in less than 3 months.  There are pains such as back pains, severe headaches, and even continued knee, hip, ankle, shoulder and neck pains that may persist and actually never completely go away.  This course addresses chronic pains and what can be done when all other corrective measures have been exhausted.

Why did I take this course?  I have had chronic back pain for over 6 years and it has curtailed many of the activities I engaged in prior to the onslaught of the pain in my lower back.  I wanted to learn more about chronic pain and what my options were in combating it.  If you are in a similar situation, this course is for you.  If you are a family member or good friend of someone experiencing chronic pain this course is also for you.  My guess is that if you plan to live beyond 60 years old, this course WILL be important for you.  I remember the day when I would watch older people struggle with just walking and would wonder how they arrived at such a fate for them.  Then I became that “older person” and now I know how they feel.

At times all seems lost.  Yes there are people with far worse ailments in their lives than I have in mine but what gets lost in that type of attitude is that the ailments I am experiencing are my ailments and yes they have curtailed a great many of the activities I once performed.  Now just walking becomes a problem at times.  I tell you this as a form of disclaimer and more importantly to emphasize what someone can learn from this course to help them live a more happier and productive life.

The course sets out a plan to deal with a person’s new normal that includes chronic pain.  It emphasizes not only that you establish specific goals it helps you determine what those goals should be.  It explains pain, sometimes with terms that completely go over my head but the overall explanation is actually easy to understand in spite of those medical terms.  The course lays out various treatment options for chronic pain that are currently available including medications one probably has already taken.  Then when all measures seem to have failed, the course lays out a plan to learn to make lifestyle alterations to live that happier and more productive life.

If YOU have chronic pain or if you know of someone else who has chronic pain, this course should be a must take for both of you.  For the person with the pain, it will help create that better life.  For the other person it will help them understand what the person with the chronic pain is going through and more importantly what that person is thinking and the emotional crisis that may be caused by the chronic pain.

This is a GREAT course.  As I said, on occasion it was over my head in regards to the medical terms interspersed throughout the course but the content was not affected by my not being able to recall the various names given to body parts that are affected and controlled by pain.  Did it help me?  Absolutely.  Who should take the course?  Anyone with lingering pains or knows of someone with lingering pains that they may be in a position to help.  Anyone who plans to live long enough to where physical and mental pain may become a basic part of their life and that would include just about everyone.

Saturday, November 11, 2017


By Thomas Kersting

“If you fear that your children will fade into irrelevancy and you strive to ensure they fit in with everyone else, YOU ARE TEACHING THEM TO BE ORDINARY. Teach uniqueness and let your children grow from that.” This is just one quote from a book that contains many such valuable quotes. 

I have for many years felt our society and more importantly our children were on a path of self-destruction due primarily to the use of phones, tablets, notebooks, computers, television and movies especially those that feature sex and violence. I also felt like maybe I believed this to be true because that is what others have said of me and/or because I was just getting older and therefore I was misreading what was actually happening.

Having no medical background, I had no hard evidence to support my beliefs at least until now. EVERY PARENT OR PERSON WHO MIGHT EVER BECOME A PARENT NEEDS TO READ THIS BOOK! WITHOUT EXCEPTION!

Why? Because the author is trained to observe what we have all observed and probably have also become ourselves to some degree; people distracted by electronic devices. I believe that the mind cannot do two things equally as well as it can do just one thing very well. Yet if you look around you see people of all ages trying to do two or more things at one time and one of those “things” usually involves using an electronic device(s).

The message of this magnificent book is summed up in that one quote above. It asks the question as to whether we are teaching our children to be leaders and stand out from the crowd or are we permitting them (as opposed to teaching) to just fit in and become ordinary. WOW!!! Think about that for a moment.

Do yourself and your family a tremendous favor and read the book. It’s short, easy to read but packs a tremendous wallop! You just might see yourself on the pages of this book and I know you will recognize a good number of your friends and family as well. But what will you do with the confirmation of the knowledge that should lead you to do what you may have been avoiding?

Who should read this book? EVERYONE – NO EXCEPTIONS; NO AGE RESTRICTIONS. Would I buy this book as a gift? ABSOLUTELY! Will I read it again? MOST DEFINITELY OR AT LEAST REVIEW CERTAIN SECTIONS.

Friday, October 6, 2017

The Magic of Believing

Over 30 years ago I created a Life Mission Statement for me.  "To help people to do what they do, to do it better!"  I would then use Joe Tye's Direction-Deflection-Question (DDQ) which is very simple.  I would ask myself this question or one similar:  "Is what I am about to say or do consistent with my Life's Mission Statement to help people to do what they do to do it better?"  If yes, I say or do it; if no, I don't.  Can't get any easier.  Works every time.

I could have saved all the work and concern by just handing them a copy of Claude M. Bristol's book, The Magic of Believing. If his book does not help you and everyone who reads it to do whatever it is you do or something that you may want to do to, to do it better, then nothing ever will; the book is that good!

I have used the principles discussed in the book without knowing them to be principles; at least at first.  I know they work because they have worked for me.  In particular when I first left the service I knew not what I was going to do with my life.  I responded to an advertisement (that turned out to be a little misleading) where an aircraft parts company was looking for an office manager.  I did not finish college (2 years), managed to get drafted (1965), spent 20 years in the Coast Guard (loved it) but was forced out because of a bad knee (1985).  I specialized in personnel management but had no degree.  In 1985 the economy sucked, unemployment was high.  I got the interview to meet with the Vice President of the aircraft parts company and the job sounded great.  After the interview I wrote her a thank you note for the interview but never thought I would get a call back; until......  For the next several days, I continually thought about that job and I knew I could do it and I actually envisioned myself sitting in the office doing the job.  I got the call back and I got the job.  More importantly, the VP showed me the stack of resumes from people applying for the job, most had college degrees, some has Masters Degrees and a couple had Doctors Degrees.  Why was I selected for the job?  Two reasons.  I believe it was because like in Bristol's book, I told myself and believed I was going to be great at the job and could see myself doing it.  Secondly, the VP told me that I was the ONLY one who sent her a thank you note.  Points taken on both counts!

Bristol's book and principles will work for you, of that I am certain BUT ONLY IF YOU LEARN TO BELIEVE IN WHAT YOU EXPECT TO HAPPEN.  

What I believe is that if you take the time to read the book, even though it was written in the late 1940's, it is more valid today with all that is going on and the competition to become successful being so competitive.  I could give you several more examples of The Magic of Believing in my own life but you would be better served by reading the book.

My test of a good book?  Would I read it again?  ABSOLUTELY!  Would I give it as a gift?  ABSOLUTELY!!!!!  I pray my 4 children, 9 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren would all read it (when they are ready that is).  I think anyone over the age of 8 to 10 would benefit from this book.

BEST OF ALL?  I costs only $2.99 on as a Kindle read.  BEST $2.99 I HAVE EVER SPENT!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Raven Rock by Garrett Graff


I AM IN AWE.  First in the research Garrett Graff did on this book, unbelievable.  Secondly, I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s and entered the U. S. Coast Guard in 1965 and stayed on active duty until 1985 and frankly, I was 99% unaware of any of the material covered in this book.  Raven Rock is a history book that takes the reader BEHIND THE HISTORY WE WERE TAUGHT AND TOLD and reads like a science fiction novel.  Graff writes about school children participating in Nuclear Attack Drills; I remember those.  We were told to take cover beneath our desks as if that would actually make any difference.

As I read the book, I had a recurring question in my thinking, “Okay smart A…., what would you do if YOU were the President of the United States and a foreign government launched a Nuclear Attack on the USA?”

One question and answer leads to another question and answer to another, etc.  The book is so compelling to read and the subject matter so complex to fully understand.  We have seen the devastation created by a hurricane upon our shores and that would pale in comparison to a Nuclear Attack on one or more of our cities.

The book is all about what our government will do if that should occur to maintain a government in spite of the damage and deaths of so many of our government officials.  More importantly it is about what our government has done until now and what it has done is very scary stuff – the stuff science fiction movies are made of.  It was difficult for me to keep track of the billions upon billions of dollars spent in creating evacuation sites, maintaining them and then upgrading them in addition to the constant upgrading of airplanes and communication/computer equipment.

There were so many revelations, at least to me.  For example, I was always taught that the Vice President would naturally assume the duties of the President in the case of his/her death.  But as you read about what has happened in our history you discover that no such ascendancy existed in the Constitution until the 25th Amendment which was not ratified and signed until February 10, 1967.  Until that time Presidents would sign a letter to the Vice President authorizing the ascendancy but the legality of that document has never been tested.

Raven Rock gives the reader an inside look at how our government operated or didn’t operate during times of crisis like the Cuban Missile Crisis and 9/11 and more.  Do I recommend this book?  ABSOUTELY.  Who should read it?  Anyone over the age of 14 who wants to better understand the Constitution and the inner workings of our government.  Would I buy it as a gift?  Absolutely!