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Feb 18


With all the news about concussions: the long-term impact, cumulative impact, risk versus reward in letting kids play football and crash into each other versus experiencing teamwork, hard work, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, I believe we, as parents and people who love children, need to think about another type of concussion, one different than the crashing of heads in football helmets, or the smacking of the frontal lobe as a soccer ball is headered by a teenaged Mia Hamm wannabe.

 

Please consider, if you will, the EMOTIONAL CONCUSSION.

 

If parents, sporting equipment companies, school systems, pediatricians, neuroscientists, researchers, journalists, an

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Dec 15


It’s as omnipresent as bad Christmas music: that vague sense of dread for people who’re related to an active addict at holiday time.

“I don’t know when he’ll do it, but I know it’s a matter of time before he’ll drink too much and make an ass out of himself.”

 

“I used to love Christmas. Then I married into a family with an alcoholic who manages to suck the joy out of every gathering; everyone is so worried that she’ll fall, or pass out, or cuss somebody out. Even if she behaves, everyone else is so busy trying to control everything that there’s bound to be a blowup. It ha

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Dec 02

First, a big "thank-you" to an earth-mother friend of mine who warned me some 23 years ago, thanks to the Bradley Method of Husband Coached Childbirth class she took, that any alcohol consumed during any stage of pregnancy could cause permanent damage to the developing fetus.


Had my friend not shared that information, and had I not listened, I could easily have been one of millions of pregnant women who have a beer or two or three or more while pregnant, as I used to loved cold beer, and I did not get the absolute "do not drink at all while you are pregnant" warning from my OBGYN. In all humility, I was lucky to have had that Bradley Method warning. I believe everyone should be so fortunate.

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Nov 14

About the time his mother died of Alzheimer’s disease, my stepdad did a stunning and surprising thing. Though Jim was in his 60s and had always loved to participate in sports and dancing, it was interesting that he got up one morning at about 4 a.m. and drove far away to run in a 5K race. And then it was interesting that he did it again the next week. And the next. Mother kept us updated.

Part of the draw of his running the races could have been the “free” stuff – bananas, muffins and other loot he’d take back to my mom. I think he loved more, though, the fact that just a few weeks after he started running in races, he was winning in his age group.


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Nov 04



This is a story of broken hearts, Titanic alcohol damage, and second chances. It is a story I have been blessed to help unfold over the last six years; a story that joyfully, and brilliantly, is becoming very well known, despite its being started by epic unraveling thousands of miles away.

 

A little background: an eternal optimistic opportunist, I see 50 ways something will work where most sane folks only see downside. Where others see a single thread, I see entire tapestries. It is a blessing and a curse.

 

I needed a thread or two back in 2006 when I was working on a 5K fundraising race/walk to raise awareness for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). FASD is an umbrella term used to describe the range of effects that can occur to an individual whose mother consumed alcohol while pregnant. The most severe form of FASD is called fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). FASD is not “a war

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Oct 17


The Greatest Generation was set up to have eating disorders, and to then have children and grandchildren with eating disorders.  That is my theory. This not grounded in science. It is grounded in what I’ve seen at home and out in the world. 


And this isn’t about judgment. God knows there is enough of that in the world. It is simply about observation with regard to my own family, the size of people, the size and nutritional facts of meals out, and the size of the problem we, as a nation, are facing if we don’t get a grip on eating disorders one person, one family, at a time.  

 

Children of the Great Depression I knew – my dad, mom, stepdad

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Oct 10

The Greatest Generation was set up to have eating disorders, and to then have children and grandchildren with eating disorders, is my theory. This not grounded in science. It is grounded in what I’ve seen at home and out in the world. And this isn’t about judgment. God knows there is enough of that in the world. It is simply about observation with regard to my own family, the size of people, the size and nutritional facts of meals out, and the size of the problem we, as a nation, are facing if we don’t get a grip on eating disorders one person, one family, at a time.  

 

Children of the Great Depression I knew – my dad, mom, stepdad, an aunt and uncle, a few older friends from that era – grew up hungry and afraid there wouldn’t be enough. Their mothers were afraid of not having enough food for their hardworking husbands and children. My father’s mother scraped and saved a penny here, a nickel there; a bite of fatback here, a cup of flour for gravy there.

 

She would mix the white flour, lard, sugar, and home-grown fruits for pies and sugary preserves. Her family would feast on the

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Aug 28


Binge drinking hurts the person doing the drinking, hurts the people around the person doing the drinking, and, as everyone who drinks and has sex – including men – should know: binge drinking HURTS THE PERSON INSIDE THE PERSON DOING THE BINGE DRINKING.


Yes, you read that correctly. I am stepping on my soapbox as a modern-day Carrie Nation to talk about the dangers of binge drinking to the most innocent among us: the developing fetus, while at the same time saying a big "thank-you" to an earth-mother friend of mine who warned me some 23 years ago, thanks to the Bradley Method of Husband Coached Childbirth class she took, that any alcohol consumed during any stage of pregnancy could cause permanent damage to the developing fetus.


Had my friend not shared that information, and had I not listened, I could easily have been one of millions of pregnant women who have a beer or two or three or more while pregnant, as I used to loved cold beer, and I did not get the absolute "do not drin

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Jul 16

Almost nine years ago, over the course of four days, I let my doctor send me home from his office three times before I almost died of pneumonia. I spent two weeks in the hospital; it took many months to fully recover.  It was a life-changing experience, and I continue to learn from it.

 

About three years ago a physician’s assistant skipped a basic, obvious test for a 17-year-old with swollen glands. Twelve hours later, in the emergency room, physicians glanced at my daughter, diagnosed mononucleosis, and confirmed it shortly thereafter with a “spot mono test.” The greater danger though, came from a severe reaction to antibiotics, medication my daughter would never have taken had the mono test been done at the doctor's of

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Jun 13



It’s estimated that there are about 30 million adult children of alcoholics in the US, and that today, one in four school children (or 13.5 million children ages 5 - 17) lives in a home where there is alcoholism or drug addiction. If you add in addictions to food, spending, the Internet, sex, codependency, and what I call “Toxic Intensity,” or the addiction to self-generated angst, it is likely that a far greater percentage of children -- and adults -- are living with the effects of addiction.


You see, addiction of any type has a negative impact on every member of the family, not just the addict. While the statistics below are about children o

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