Sports, Sports, Sports – A Bit of Prevention Goes a Long Way to Beating Sports-Related Injuries

   The last month has been jam-packed with a lot of exciting play for sports fans. The Miami Heat clinched its second straight NBA title by beating the San Antonio Spurs on June 20 in Game 7, 95-88. The Chicago Blackhawks snagged its second Stanley Cup in three years in Game 6 of the NHL finals in Boston on June 24 in a rousing finish with back-to-back goals. There were injuries, naturally – such as a collision in Game 6 of the NBA Finals that caused Dwyane Wade’s left knee to swell very badly when he was already suffering with an injured right knee. Chicago Blackhawks Captain Jonathan Toews got hit in the head and sat out part of Game 5, while Andrew Shaw took a puck to the face in the first period of Game 6, but returned in the second period after receiving stitches. For those that enjoy their spectator sports with a bit more starch and less blood, how about Wimbledon, which officially started on June 24 with fifth-ranked Rafael Nadal getting knocked out for the very first time in the first round of a Grand Slam! On June 20, Abby Wambach broke Mia Hamm’s record for international career goals by a soccer player, scoring four times in the first half against South Korea to increase her total to 160. While I was watching her the next day on Good Morning America with a recap of one of the goals she scored by heading the ball, I thought about the number of sports- and recreation-related injuries and concussions suffered every year by professional and amateur athletes alike.

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My Doctor Has Me on an Annoying TV Prescription Med…

…No, It’s not for “ED”… I’ve had asthma for most of my life, since my early teens. For at least the last couple of decades I managed it with what they call “rescue inhalers,” primarily albuterol. Generally the asthma only flares up from exposure to certain airborne irritants, snow shoveling and sometimes when I play tennis or volleyball. I’ve done quite well on the albuterol. In recent years there has been a shift concerning asthma treatment. Most doctors advocate treating it with long-term steroid type inhalers to prevent, rather than treat, asthma episodes. About 8 years ago one doctor I was seeing wanted me to try one of the newer medications. I can’t remember the first one I tried, but it did not do anything for me. He then put me on Advair, with its cute, round purple inhaler. I wasn’t on it long before I developed a mouth infection as some steroid treatments are notoriously for. After that I stuck with my albuterol. Last week that prescription ran out and when I tried to get it refilled, the doctor’s office required that I go in for a checkup first.

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My Foray into the Awesome World of Natural Products – Part Two

This is a continuation of the blog I wrote earlier on my awesome experience at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim. In this piece I am singing the laurels of the natural body products section of this vast show. While there were also an amazing number of supplement and vitamin exhibitors, I find these products daunting and didn’t give this area more than a cursory look. I met many nice people in the natural body products area, but one person in particular stood out in the crowd. Shannon Graham and her husband Goeff started their company Grahams Natural Alternatives as a response to their son Ryan suffering from eczema at 14 months of age and the lack of available natural treatment options. Based in Australia’s Gold Coast region, Shannon is a native of Canada and as such has a unique and delightful hybrid Aussie/Canadian accent. I was attracted to Grahams Natural Alternatives not only thanks to Shannon’s considerable charm, but because this product line has helped many children and adults with eczema and psoriasis. I visited this booth several times and chatted with Shannon about their products and how Jeff and I have suffered from dry skin and bouts of an eczema-related condition. She generously gave me several full-size eczema products and Sooth-it Balm, advanced therapy ointment for dry, cracked skin to use at home.

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2011 Top 20 Grouches vs. Top 20 Purrs

Top 20 Grouches Losing my director-level position and being unemployed for the first time in 20 years in a dismal job market My sister Janet losing her glamorous Hollywood job 6 weeks after me Jeff’s scary February car accident on an icy treacherous stretch of road in Long Grove My July 4 ER visit caused by art-related X-ACTO knife blade slip and resulting ugly scar Far-right politicians pulling out all the stops to sabotage Obama – hurting all Americans Mom suffering needlessly years after a botched appendectomy Incessant and overblown media coverage of Tim Tebow Kim Kardashian and her clan Mom falling while on vacation in NYC and suffering a nasty head wound Samantha incurring a permanent facial scar at the hands of an incompetent oral surgeon Wall Street Volatility – making investing wisely a total crap shoot Grossly overpaid CEOs, athletes, and celebrities North Koreans’ brainwashed adoration of a monster dictator upon his sudden death Nancy Grace June 23 ComEd power outage affecting our humble abode for 17 hours People who text and talk on cell phones while driving – especially on the highway Charlie Sheen Rained-out August garage sale after months of preparation – never again Financial worries caused by loss of income and health insurance The annoying Ozzie Guillén – adiós in 2011 Top 20 Purrs Pepper’s snuggles and unconditional love Jeff walking away uninjured from his terrifying car accident A lot of free time to play tennis and exercise Photographing and painting my site specific works Legions of oppressed people in the Middle East overthrowing horrific regimes The deaths of Osama Bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi Leisure time to hang out downtown with Samantha Detoxing after losing my incredibly stressful, office politics-ridden job Discovering the superb Breaking Bad and devouring 3 seasons of episodes within a month Humility learned from being unemployed Amanda Knox being freed in October after 4 years of imprisonment in Perugia The magic of movies including Hugo, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Drive Watching Dark…

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Whaaaat was He/She Thinking – Fact Stranger than Fiction

In a professional capacity, I have been privy to eye and head injury statistics over the last 10 years. During the time period that I was researching and promoting injury prevention, reality shows arose like Jackass, Scarred, and World of Stupid, as well as video games such as Grand Theft Auto. These glorify idiotic and dangerous behaviors and I find them revolting. I spoke firsthand to the physicians who treated horrific injuries caused by idiotic antics such as hot dogging on skateboards and car surfing. On the lighter side, sitcoms sometimes portray injuries with hilarity – a case in point is the Seinfeld episode called The Fusilli Jerry. Kramer makes pasta sculptures of his friends including one of Jerry using Fusilli pasta. George’s dad Frank falls on the Fusilli Jerry and they have to take him to a proctologist to have it removed.

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Mom’s Fall in the Big Apple Reawakens My Passion for Injury Prevention

It can be very disheartening when your parents age and are subjected to declining health. One of the most common health concerns among seniors is falling, and alas, this has happened far too many times to my dear mom.  Having launched many PR/media campaigns on head injury prevention in my last position over the course of seven years, I know quite a bit about traumatic brain injury, causes, and statistics – and I am passionate about injury prevention. While my mom has fallen quite a few times and sustained broken bones as a result, this is the first time that a tumble has led to a serious head injury. I was quite upset when she called me from NYC (after having recovered sufficiently) and told me they walked back to the hotel after she fell outside the Chrysler Building. She was bleeding profusely from the wound sustained in her head, exacerbated by being on blood thinners. They should have called 911 immediately instead of walking back to the hotel and then calling an ambulance. My mom spent 17 hours on a gurney in the infamous Bellevue Hospital ER as a result of this fall, but the good news is that she did not suffer a concussion. And thankfully there was not a traumatic brain injury such as a subdural/epidural hematoma  or skull fracture, which can be deadly.

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